“When we treat God’s commandments and our part in building His kingdom like something to check on a to do list, we miss the heart of discipleship…
For some of us, obedience to God’s commandments doesn’t always feel very joyful…we approach it with the enthusiasm of a child sitting before a plate of healthy but hated vegetables. Perhaps during times like these we might find ourselves asking, do we really need to obey all of God’s commandments?
I think God knows something…our Father in Heaven is an eternal being whose experience, wisdom, and intelligence are infinitely greater than ours. Not only that, but He is also eternally loving, compassionate, and focused on one blessed goal: To bring to pass our immortality and eternal life…
If you truly believe the great mission of our Heavenly Father is to exalt and glorify his children and that He knows best how to do it – doesn’t it make sense to embrace and follow His commandments, even the ones that appear difficult? Should we not cherish the light posts He has given that guide us thru the darkness and the trials of mortality?
By choosing Heavenly Father’s path, you lay a divine foundation for your personal progress…that will bless you throughout your life…We need to accept that the commandments of God aren’t just a long list of good ideas. They are divine counsel, based on eternal truths, given to bring peace in this world and eternal life in the world to come.”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Living the Gospel Joyful,” Ensign, November 2014.
“The more we study, pray, and ponder the awesome Atonement, the more we are willing to acknowledge that we are in His and the Father’s hands. Let us ponder, therefore, these final things.
When the unimaginable burden began to weigh upon Christ, it confirmed His long-held and intellectually clear understanding as to what He must now do. His working through began, and Jesus declared: “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour.” Then, whether in spiritual soliloquy or by way of instruction to those about Him, He observed, “But for this cause came I unto this hour.” (John 12:27.)
Later, in Gethsemane, the suffering Jesus began to be “sore amazed” (Mark 14:33), or, in the Greek, “awestruck” and “astonished.”
Imagine, Jehovah, the Creator of this and other worlds, “astonished”! Jesus knew cognitively what He must do, but not experientially. He had never personally known the exquisite and exacting process of an atonement before. Thus, when the agony came in its fulness, it was so much, much worse than even He with his unique intellect had ever imagined! No wonder an angel appeared to strengthen him! (See Luke 22:43.)
The cumulative weight of all mortal sins—past, present, and future—pressed upon that perfect, sinless, and sensitive Soul! All our infirmities and sicknesses were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement. (See Alma 7:11–12; Isa. 53:3–5; Matt. 8:17.) The anguished Jesus not only pled with the Father that the hour and cup might pass from Him, but with this relevant citation. “And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me.” (Mark 14:35–36.)
Had not Jesus, as Jehovah, said to Abraham, “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14.) Had not His angel told a perplexed Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible”? (Luke 1:37; see also Matt. 19:28; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27.)
Jesus’ request was not theater!
In this extremity, did He, perchance, hope for a rescuing ram in the thicket? I do not know. His suffering—as it were, enormity multiplied by infinity—evoked His later soul-cry on the cross, and it was a cry of forsakenness. (See Matt. 27:46.)
Even so, Jesus maintained this sublime submissiveness, as He had in Gethsemane: “Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39.)
While bearing our sins, our infirmities, our sicknesses, and bringing to pass the Atonement (see Alma 7:11–12), Jesus became the perfect Shepherd, making these lines of Paul’s especially relevant and reassuring: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom. 8:35.)
Indeed, we are in His hands, and what hallowed hands!
The wondrous and glorious Atonement was the central act in all of human history. It was the hinge on which all else that finally matters turned. But it turned upon Jesus’ spiritual submissiveness!