Friday, January 17, 2014

Why Obedience Matters

I was talking with my son about obedience.

He was working on his Faith in God requirements, and he had to write down some things he could do to help around the home. Then it asked him to discuss why honoring and obeying parents was important and he couldn't quite say why it was (because, frankly, in his mind, we are oppressive, eh?), so I decided to show him an illustration.

It starts like this:

The tiniest person is my son, and me (the parent) is next to him. Because I am older (and taller, ha!), I can see more than he can. Next, I drew this:

The larger person next to me is Heavenly Father. He is God and He sees ALL of it! Do you see where this is going? The need for obedience and honor simply comes from the fact that the older/wiser person knows more.

And God knows more than all of us combined.

What is even more beautiful is the fact that God doesn't ask us to follow blindly, just as I don't expect my kids to follow me blindly! I want them to know the "why's" of what I ask them to do, and I do my best to teach it to them. But sometimes, they just don't have the capacity to understand because of their limited understanding and their immaturity (i.e. they are children). In those cases, they trust me to lead them correctly, and sometimes, when they balk or don't understand, I just have to say, 'Trust me."

I believe that Heavenly Father does the same thing. He asks us to follow Him and He teaches us the "why's" of it all. But sometimes, we just aren't able to understand the why of His commandment, and so He simply asks us to trust Him that He knows what He is doing. "Just trust me."

What is the common thing between parents and God? Love. Truly, it's love. My children can sometimes see this as oppression or dictatorship or lack of love, but the truth of it is, I do pretty much all of my parenting through the lens of love. So does Heavenly Father. And His love is so immense and perfect! There's no worry about abuse or manipulation with Him. Sometimes I mess up because I am weak and selfish. Sometimes I require my kids to obey me to fulfill some warped idea of what I think I am. Luckily, everything Heavenly Father requires comes from a place of perfect, righteous truth and love.

I honestly think that's where people get it wrong. They see God as this removed being who doesn't really care that much, when, in fact, He is incredibly invested in our lives. His love gave us the Plan of Salvation, His love gave us His Only Begotten Son and the Atonement, His love provided the Holy Ghost, and His love is trying teach us all of it through commandments. He's trying to get us back to Him and to not only be in Heaven, but to be AS HE IS. This is huge, dear reader. Huge! Epic proportions! He's not just handing out nice little rewards --He's trying to help us become exactly like Him.

This is why learning obedience is important. Knowing why we obey is just as important. Having someone who loves us and wants the best for us to obey is the most important of all.

[I did forget one other important person: A prophet. Prophets have been given gifts and keys from God to see more than we see. I have an absolute conviction that prophets guide us, and our obedience to their teachings will bring us the most happiness, simply because they see more than we do.]

1 comment:

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

What a great illustration of a very important principle! Way to go with an awesome teaching moment :)