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Brigham Young University-Idaho DevotionalApril 19, 2011

"Deep Obedience"

Kim B. ClarkPresident, Brigham Young University–Idaho

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I am grateful for this possibility to speak to you at the start of this feather semester. Sisters Clark and also I love you really much.

You are watching: When obedience ceases to be an irritant

One the the overarching themes in the book of Mormon is caught in this amazing promise the lord made come Lehi and also to every who involved the land of promise:

Inasmuch as ye shall save my commandments ye chandelier prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not save my commandments ye chandelier be reduced off from my presence.1

In this verse the lord teaches us that opposing of prospering is come be cut off indigenous His visibility and, thus, from every one of the blessings that flow from Him. To prosper in the floor is to get all the blessings that God has actually prepared for us.

Obedience connects us to the Savior and also opens channels for His love and power to flow into us, much like life-giving nutrients circulation from the tribe of a tree into its branches. The Savior said:

I am the vine, ye room the branches: He that abideth in me, and also I in him, the very same bringeth forth lot fruit: for without me ye have the right to do nothing.

If ye store my commandments, ye candlestick abide in my love; . . .

These things have I spoken unto you, the my joy can remain in you, and that your joy could be full.2

The Lord provides us commandments so that we can have His love, joy, and power in ours lives. Once we disobey those commandments, we threaten our link to Him. If we execute not repent, we become cut turn off from the source of magnificent power and also joy in life. However the much more we follow His commandments, the an ext we draw near to Him, the more powerful the connection becomes, the greater the happiness we experience, and also the more we come to be like Him. Us abide in Christ, and we prosper in the land.

Once we view commandments together a blessing, our whole perspective towards obedience changes. Obedience stops being something the weighs top top us because we are an alleged to execute it and becomes other we desire to do because we recognize it bring blessings and also joy, and also we know it is the way to become much more like Christ. The type of obedience the connects united state to Christ and brings magnificent love, power, and also joy into our lives is not a reluctant, surface type of obedience. It is obedience that the entirety heart and soul. It is deep obedience.

President Ezra Taft Benson defined that change of attitude and deep obedience in thisway:

“When obedience ceases to it is in an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us through power.”3

Brothers and also sisters, I want you to prosper in this land. I desire you to have every blessing God has prepared because that you at BYU–Idaho and also all with your lives. The is why I will speak today around deep obedience come the commandments of the Lord. Ns pray that the divine Ghost will be v us.

Introduction

Please turn with me to the 59th ar of the Doctrine and Covenants offered to the Prophet Joseph blacksmith in Jackson County, Missouri, on august 7, 1831. Ar 59 is a wonderful statement the the Lord’s really hopes for, and promised blessings to, those who save His commandments. In verses 1 v 4 the mr addresses the revelation come those “whose feet was standing upon the soil of Zion,” and also promises them exorbitant blessings if they space “faithful and diligent prior to .”4

We deserve to liken this scripture to ourselves. We, too, have come to a place set apart for us where we seek to construct Zion. And also the Lord will certainly bless us just as the promised come bless the Missouri Saints.

Brothers and sisters, this is an invitation from the mr to rise up to the an excellent privileges and responsibilities before us. Just look approximately at all He has actually prepared because that us. Think the the holy place on the hill, the opportunities in this university, and also this beautiful new Center in which us gather. Think about why God would certainly put every one of this in one place and also then carry us right here to study, work, and learn together. We have actually been referred to as to discipleship and also leadership in the great work the the mr in the critical dispensation. And the method forward and also upward, the means to prosper in the land, is deep obedience to the Lord.

As we check out section 59 together, I will certainly highlight 5 dimensions that deep obedience: (1) love God through all her heart; (2) go the strait and narrow path; (3) bring to the mr a sacrifice of a damaged heart and a contrite spirit; (4) store the Sabbath day holy; and (5) perform all these things with gratitude and also a please heart.

Let’s begin with the love the God in verse 5.

Love God . . . V all her heart

Wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, speak thus: you shalt love the mr thy God v all her heart, through all your might, mind, and also strength; and also in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt offer him.5

Our Heavenly Father desires all we need to give—our physical and also mental capacity, our attitudes and also desires—totally cursed to offer Him in the name of His Son. He wants to create the gospel covenants in our hearts so the the guarantees we make to Him end up being our deepest desires, our most crucial commitments.

As the mr told Jeremiah:

But this shall it is in the commitment that I will certainly make v the residence of Israel; . . . Ns will placed my law in their inward parts, and also write that in your hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.6

To love is a verb; the is a rule of action. Us love God with every one of our understanding by exhilaration on ours righteous desires and also keeping ours covenants every one of the time. Come love God with all our hearts, we must have actually integrity of heart: a heart that is sound, whole, with no hypocrisy, no shortcuts, no conflicting commitments, and no competing desires. Ours attitudes, desires, choices, and also actions must be completely aligned with, and also submissive to, the will of the lord all the time. This is deep obedience. It is the very same obedience that Christ provided to His Father. Once we are deeply obedient come the Savior, we execute what is right and we become what is right. We become an ext and more like Him.

This is a lifelong journey of the heart. That does not happen in a work or a mainly or a year. We strive come be deeply obedient, and step-by-step the Savior changes our hearts; He gives us new hearts. This is no something we can do by ourselves; over there is no self-improvement plan, no six easy steps to a brand-new heart. A new heart comes as a gift native the Savior. That gift is what Alma dubbed the mighty adjust of heart the comes through the power of the Atonement of Christ with the ministry of the divine Ghost to those who exercise confidence in Christ and “walk in statutes.”7 it is a journey of deep obedience in the strait and narrow path. Please read with me verses 6 and7 about that path.

Walk the Strait and Narrow Path

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. She shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, no one kill, nor perform anything like unto it.

Thou shalt say thanks to the lord thy God in every things.8

These commandments of service, virtue, and also gratitude—and others we could cite like words of Wisdom and also the legislation of tithing—are familiar to us. They note the path to exaltation and also eternal life.

For just a moment, reflect top top that expression “and nothing like unto it.” it is deep obedience, brothers and sisters. Those of girlfriend who invest time playing video clip games where you death other human being ought come reflect on the scripture. As the mr Himself taught, that route is strait and also narrow. Strait is s-t-r-a-i-t. It method strict as well as narrow.

This is what the mr said:

Enter ye in in ~ the strait gate: for vast is the gate, and wide is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many over there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate, and also narrow is the way, i beg your pardon leadeth unto life, and few there it is in that find it.9

Jesus Christ is the just name “given under heaven by which man deserve to be saved.”10 In that work-related of salvation “no unclean thing have the right to inherit the kingdom of heaven.”11 Therefore, the Savior “cannot look at upon sin v the least degree of allowance.”12 In the strait and narrow path, ours obedience need to be deep; it must be exact, disciplined, and also complete.

Your BYU–Idaho endure is component of the Lord’s arrangement for girlfriend to discover to go the strait and narrow path. In that endure the Honor password is central. That is a protection versus the pressures of evil and a preparation for the greater laws, ordinances, and commandments that the mr will provide you.

Before you involved BYU–Idaho, every of girlfriend promised you would certainly live by the honor Code. Each person who works here makes the very same promise. Maintaining our promises and living the respect Code needs deep obedience. I desire to share through you three parables that show this principle:

Number One: someday while working on a long writing assignment, a young mrs finds an essay on the web on her topic. Thinking “the net is so great,” she duplicates two paragraphs and incorporates them into her first draft.

Later, the words “We think in gift honest” come into her mind. (She learned castle in Primary.) She decides to make the paragraphs right into quotes and also include footnotes with the citations.

Number Two: A changed missionary captures himself beginning to daydream around physical intimacy v his girlfriend. His first thought is, “I’m all right; she has actually things under control, and also we haven’t overcome the line. Yet at that an extremely moment a bible comes into his mental (a bible he taught his investigators ~ above his mission):

. . . Whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after ~ her, hath committed adultery already in his heart.13

He resolves to store those daydreams the end of his thoughts and to law his girl friend with higher respect.

Number Three: A sister was standing in prior of the winter thinking about wearing an outfit come Church the she would never ever wear throughout the week: the top is a borderline low-cut blouse; the dress is 3 inches above her knee.

As she looks at the outfit in the mirror, a thought concerns her: Isn’t that ironic the the work you would certainly pick come break your promise to live criter of modesty would be the Sabbath Day? She put the outfit away.

This is deep obedience: exact, disciplined, and complete. Every of these students was tempted come rationalize breaking your covenants. However each listened to the Spirit and chose to walk the strait and also narrow path.

Living the honor Code through deep obedience sets united state on a course an extremely different from the ways of the world. Modern-day society has become increasingly casual in its therapy of sacred things; in its strategy to personal, intimate relationships; and, that course, in dress and also grooming. In this context words “casual” method without purpose, design, or intention; fruit or indifferent. When we end up being casual in our strategy to the gospel, we shed reverence for the sacred, diminish in personal obedience, and falter in purpose. We become prey come false principles as Nephi prophesied:

And there shall additionally be numerous which candlestick say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, are afraid God—he will certainly justify in committing a tiny sin; yea, lie a little... ; there is no injury in this; . . . And if it so be that we are guilty, God will certainly beat us v a few stripes, and at last us shall be conserved in the kingdom that God.14

Brothers and sisters, execute not falter! do not think these false ideas. Please execute not it is in casual in the means you act the commandments and the guarantees you made to live the respect Code. Effort to be specific in your obedience. Pray for assist to it is in honest and virtuous in thought, attitude, and also action.

I understand the Savior will aid you come to be deeply obedient to His commandments. In fact, over there is divine help and support all follow me the path, also when us stumble. We gain accessibility to that aid when we come to the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Let’s watch at verse 8 in ar 59.

Bring to the mr a damaged Heart and Contrite Spirit

Thou shalt market a sacrifice depend the mr thy God in righteousness, even that the a broken heart and a contrite spirit.15

Elder Bruce Porter defined the nature of this sacrifice:

When our hearts space broken, us are completely open to the soul of God and recognize our dependency on the for every that us have and also all that us are. The sacrifice therefore entailed is a sacrifice of pride in all its forms. Choose malleable clay in the hand of a skilled potter, the brokenhearted have the right to be molded and also shaped in the hand of the Master.16

We all require the touch the the Master’s hand. The strait and also narrow course is occasionally difficult, yet the Savior is always there to combine us and pick us up when we stumble. Periodically we pick poorly and also sin. Occasionally we need aid to get rid of weaknesses and deepen our obedience. Us all require the mercy and grace the comes v the Atonement of Christ. Us all must repent.

President Spencer W. Kimball said:

If we room humble and desirous of life the gospel, we will involved think of repentance as applying to every little thing we carry out in life, whether it be spiritual or temporal in nature. Repentance is for every heart who has actually not yet reached perfection.17

Elder Russell M. Nelson teach this wide view the repentance:

When Jesus said “repent,” that asked united state to change—to readjust our mind, knowledge, and also spirit . . .

. . . To readjust our ways, come come depend Him, and be much more like Him. This requires a total change.18

This is the mighty adjust of heart the comes v the transforming power of Christ come those that feel godly sorrow and seek that mighty adjust with a damaged heart and a contrite spirit.

President Benson said:

Godly sorrow is a gift that the Spirit. It is a deep realization the our actions have offended ours Father and also our God. That is the sharp and also keen awareness that our habits caused the Savior, He that knew no sin, even the best of all, to endure agony and suffering. Our sins caused Him come bleed at every pore. This really real mental and spiritual anguish is what the scriptures refer to as having actually “a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” such a soul is the pure prerequisite for true repentance.19

How we store His commandments expresses our feelings around the lord Jesus Christ. The commandments are not a distant, impersonal collection of rules. They room His. And He gives them come us because He loves us. That invites united state to involved Him in deep obedience with a broken heart so that He might mold and shape us, strengthen us in maintaining our covenants, lift us up once we stumble, heal us, forgive us, clean our souls, and also redeem us through His almighty love and also power. If we choose to disobey, we revolve away from Him. Yet Jesus is infinitely merciful and kind. As soon as we realize we have actually turned away, we can turn earlier to Him. The means back is repentance, forsaking sin, transforming our ways, and also opening ours hearts come Christ. Think for a minute of His supernal gift to us. We room not trapped in our sins and weaknesses through no way out. We deserve to change. We can have a new heart. Us can become deeply obedient. If we will turn to Him through a broken heart, He will strengthen, forgive, bless, and also heal as just He can. That is the Savior and also Redeemer.

Keep the Sabbath job Holy

We currently turn to the Sabbath Day. Let’s check out verses 9 to 11:

And the thou mayest more totally keep thyself unspotted from the world, she shalt go to the home of prayer and also offer increase thy sacraments ~ above my divine day;

For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the most High;

Nevertheless thy vow shall be available up in righteousness on every days and at every times;20

Everything the the Lord commands us to execute will aid us keep the civilization out of our hearts. But to be more completely unspotted indigenous the world, the Lord regulates us to prayer in “the residence of prayer”21 and participate in the ordinance that the sacrament ~ above His divine day. Please note the usage of the native “offer increase thy sacraments” in city 9. As soon as we take part in this sacred ordinance in the method the mr intends, we make an providing of devotion come God: we partake the the emblems of the sacrament in remembrance the the suffering, sacrifice, and also glorious resurrection of the son of God. Us witness to our Heavenly father our willingness to take it upon ourself the name of Christ, come “always remember Him and save His commandments . . . The always have his heart to be with .”22

With these vows we renew our covenants and place Jesus Christ at the an extremely center of our lives. That is the source of life water; that is the Bread of Life. Together He teach us: that is the vine; we are the branches. ~ above His holy day we commemorate three life-giving miracles—the Creation, the Atonement, and the Resurrection. The Sabbath is not a day for recreation, because that work, or because that worldly pursuits. What us do and say, whereby we go, and also what we wear have to reflect the it is the Lord’s day—a job of spiritual rest, renewal, and new life.

Please notice that in city 11 the Lord regulates us to sell up our Sabbath vow every day and also at every times. The Sabbath, therefore, is not just a single day that rest, renewal, and brand-new life. It should collection the tone because that our entirety week, every week. In that sense the Sabbath is favor the spiritual development for the upcoming week.

Elder David A. Bednar taught this around prayer and spiritual creation:

Meaningful morning prayer is crucial element in the spiritual development of every day—and precedes the temporal development or the actual execution the the day. Just as the temporal production was linked to and also a extension of the spirituality creation, so systematic morning and evening prayers are linked to and are a continuation of each other.23

Think around the Sabbath Day and the rest of ours week in this very same way. The Sabbath work should set the tone for the week ahead. That should produce a spiritual structure that tote over into the week in our prayers, our bible study, our temple worship, our service, and also our covenant keeping every day. This is deep obedience the will keep the world out of our hearts and also the soul of the mr in them.

Be Cheerful and Grateful

I come now to the Lord’s command to it is in cheerful and also grateful. Look in ~ verses 15-16 in ar 59.

And inasmuch together ye carry out these points with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances,

. . . The fulness the the planet is your . . .24

This is the Lord’s invite to do all He has actually commanded through an perspective of great cheer and gratitude. Gratitude and cheerfulness go together. They space companion feeling in the righteous heart.

The Savior often said, “Be of an excellent cheer.”25 This was no an invite to a sort of mindless, carefree, no responsibility happiness. It was an invite to see points as they yes, really are. His invite to “Be of great cheer”26 was always accompanied by phrases reminding united state of His presence, His power, and also His love:

It is I; be not afraid.27

I have overcome the world.28

I the lord am through you, and also will was standing by you.29

When us understand how richly the lord blesses us once we obey, how merciful the is once we repent, and how generous He is as soon as we seek His help, the is basic to be of great cheer. The gospel truly is great news.

Concluding Thoughts and also Testimony

The Lord’s blog post of love and hope in ar 59 comes through a warning in city 21:

And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, conserve those who confess not his hand in all things, and also obey no his commandments.30

Pride, ingratitude, selfishness, and also unrighteousness mark those who get in in at the broad gate and also walk the large path the spirals down to destruction. In contrast, those who discover the route which leader to eternal life love God through all your heart, to walk the strait and also narrow path, carry to the mr a broken heart and also a contrite spirit, store the Sabbath job holy, and also do all things with gratitude and a cheerful heart.

This is deep obedience and also it brings these marvelous promises:

But learn that he that doeth the functions of justice shall get his reward,31 also peace in this world and also eternal life in the human being to come.34

My too ~ brothers and also sisters, if you will be deep obedient to the commandments of the mr Jesus Christ, you will certainly be associated to Him; you will certainly prosper in the land; you will have joy and become more and much more like Him v His mercy and grace and also the supernal love that our father in Heaven. I so testify.

I leaving you with my witness the God lives. Jesus is the Christ, the Savior the the world. He significant the course of deep obedience, and He led the way. The guarantees are true, and the promises are yours. In the surname of Jesus Christ, amen.

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1 2 Nephi 1:20

2 john 15:5, 10-11

3 In DonaldL. Staheli, “Obedience—Life’s good Challenge,” Ensign, might l998, 82.

4 Doctrine and also Covenants 59:3-4

5 Doctrine and also Covenants 59:5

6 Jeremiah 31:33

7 Leviticus 26:3

8 Doctrine and Covenants 59:6-7

9 Matthew 7:13-14

10 2 Nephi 31:21

11 Alma 11:37

12 Doctrine and Covenants 1:31

13 3 Nephi 12:28

14 2 Nephi 28:8

15 Doctrine and Covenants 59:8

16 Bruce D. Porter, “A broken Heart and A Contrite Spirit,” Ensign, November 2007