Millions of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as well as many other interested people heard the Prophet speak on Sunday, April 7, 2013. President Thomas S. Monson spoke about the importance of obedience to the commandments of God and said that knowledge of truth and the answers to great questions come through obedience.
“There is no need for you or for me, in this enlightened age when the fullness of the gospel has been restored, to sail uncharted seas or to travel unmarked roads in search of truth. A loving Heavenly Father has plotted our course and provided an unfailing guide – even obedience.”
President Monson reminded us that we all learn obedience throughout our lives. “Beginning when we are very young, those responsible for our care set forth guidelines and rules to ensure our safety. Life would be simpler for all of us if we would obey such rules completely. Many of us, however, learn through experience the wisdom of being obedient.”
To illustrate this idea, President Monson shared a personal experience that took place when he was eight years old. He had been repeatedly taught that fire was dangerous and to leave matches alone, but he disobediently used matches to burn a circle of weeds to clear an area for a campfire later in the day. The weeds were dry, and the fire quickly burned more than the expected area. In fact, the fire became so large that it threatened the trees and homes in the area. After several hours of hard work by many people, the fire was brought under control before it could reach the trees and homes.
The Prophet said that he learned several lessons that day, including the importance of obedience. He said that there are rules and laws to help ensure physical safety. “Likewise, the Lord has provided guidelines and commandments to help ensure our spiritual safety so that we might successfully navigate this often treacherous mortal existence and return eventually to our Heavenly Father.”
According to President Monson, all prophets, ancient and modern, have known that obedience is essential to our salvation. “Obedience is a hallmark of prophets; it has provided strength and knowledge to them throughout the ages. It is essential for us to realize that we, as well, are entitled to this source of strength and knowledge. It is readily available to each of us today as we obey God’s commandments.
President Monson shared the experiences of two acquaintances - two of the “countless individuals” who have been particularly faithful and obedient. “I have been inspired by them.” After sharing the experiences, he added, “My brothers and sisters, the great test of this life is obedience.”
There is no greater example of obedience than that of the Savior. “The Savior demonstrated genuine love of God by living the perfect life, and by honoring the sacred mission that was His. Never was He haughty. Never was He puffed up with pride. Never was He disloyal. Ever was He humble. Ever was He sincere. Ever was He obedient.
“Though He was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by that master of deceit, even the devil, though He was physically weakened from fasting forty days and forty nights and was an hungered, yet when the evil one proffered Jesus the most alluring and tempting proposals, He gave to us a divine example of obedience by refusing to deviate from what He knew was right.”
President Monson told us that rich rewards come to the obedient. “The knowledge which we seek, the answers for which we yearn, the strength which we desire today to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world can be ours when we willingly obey the Lord’s commandments.”