For those of you who couldn’t be there – we had a pretty sweet lesson in Relief Society yesterday. (pun intended, bwahahaha!) On the table at the front was a large mixing bowl, surrounded by the ingredients you would use to make cookies. Oil, flour, salt, sugar… You know the drill.
Our teacher called someone up to the front, decked them out in a “Texas” cooking apron, and had them read a recipe. For each item read, however, Sis. R gave them a surprise-ingredient to put in the bowl. Instead of “flour,” she had her helper dump in a baggy of flowers! Instead of “baking soda” (so boring, right?), she opened up a can of soda pop to pour all over the flowers. As you can imagine, the resulting mess when it was all over looked anything but edible!
(especially with the car oil instead of vegetable oil… oh, wow. Yuck!)
The point being, if you don’t follow the directions, the recipe is not going to work.
In life, if we don’t follow the commandments God has given us, we really are not going to be happy in the end.
She shared a great story from the life of Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith, whose teachings we were studying that day.
President Smith once shared an experience that illustrated the change of heart that can come to a person who heeds this warning call:
“I attended a stake conference a number of years ago and spoke on the Word of Wisdom. … When I went to the rear of the building [at the close of the conference,] nearly everybody had left, but a man held out his hand and said:
“‘Brother Smith, that is the first discourse on the Word of Wisdom that I ever liked.’
“I said: ‘Haven’t you heard other discourses on the Word of Wisdom?’
“He said: ‘Yes, but this is the first one that I ever enjoyed.’
“I said: ‘How is that?’
“He said: ‘Well, you see, I am keeping the Word of Wisdom now.’”
That little story shows us how keeping the commandments can change our perspectives and our hearts.
But obedience does more than that… Here, I’ll let Pres. Smith tell you what I mean.
The Lord has given to man a code of laws that we call the gospel of Jesus Christ. Due to lack of inspiration and spiritual guidance, men may differ in relation to these laws and their application, but there can hardly be a dispute in regard to the fact that such laws do exist, and that all who seek entrance into that kingdom are subject to them.4
We have every truth, every doctrine, every law and requirement, every performance and ordinance needed to save and exalt us in the highest heaven of the celestial world.5
He can’t promise much more than that! Obedience really does bless our lives in countless ways.
There really are some fabulous quotes in this lesson. Sis. Rodgers strongly encouraged us to read through the manual so we could see for ourselves, and after having followed that counsel, I would definitely join her in that idea! Here are a few more of my favorites.
With such a glorious hope before us, can we do less than forsake the evil ways of the world? Shall we not put first in our lives the things of God’s kingdom? Shall we not seek to live by every word that proceedeth forth from his mouth?20
Keep the commandments. Walk in the light. Endure to the end. Be true to every covenant and obligation, and the Lord will bless you beyond your fondest dreams.22
At the end of the lesson, we were blessed by Sis. Rodger’s testimony — and by Bro. Rodgers baking skills, as he had made real chocolate chip cookies for us to enjoy. It was a yummy reminder of the blessings that come by following the directions. 😉
God created us and loves us. When He gives us commandments like “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” or “Thou shalt not covet” or “Love one another as I have loved you,” it’s not because He’s trying to make our lives miserable or difficult. He’s telling us how to have peace, happiness, and even joy in this life, right now, and eternal life in the world to come. Surely we can show him our gratitude and love by trusting him enough to do our best to “live by every word” He gives us.
Thanks, Sis. R, for a wonderful lesson!
Source: L7 Relief Society