Saturday, September 21, 2013

Talk - The Commandments

I was asked to speak about The Commandments.  A lot of the information from my talk comes from lesson 4 in the missionary book called “Preach My Gospel.”  Since I will be able to go on a mission soon, it was good for me to study from this book.
Since the beginning of time, parents have been giving rules to their children. Rules like not playing in the street or not playing with matches. Sometimes the rules seemed like a burden to kids, like their parents must have invented them to keep them from doing the things they really wanted to do—the things they thought would make them happy. As we grow up we learn how important these rules are, how we could have been seriously injured or even killed if we had not obeyed.
Like our earthly parents, God gives us commandments to help keep us focused on what is most important and how to stay safe. All of His guidance is meant to keep us safe, help us stay close to Him and, in the end, to give us more freedom and happiness.

The word "commandment" might make us think of the Ten Commandments—a list of "Thou Shalt Nots"—God does not only tell us what we should not do, but He also tells us what we should do. His greatest hope is for our eternal happiness, so we can be sure that His commandments are not restrictive rules, but they are divine guidance meant to protect us from harm and lead us to better ways of living.

Heavenly Father also gives us agency, or the ability and opportunity to choose between good and evil. Obedience to the commandments brings us peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come. Obedience shows our love for God.  Disobedience brings us sorrow.

Heavenly Father knows our weaknesses and is patient with us. He gives us commandments so we know what to do and what to avoid. He blesses us as we strive to obey His commandments.
God revealed to Moses the Ten Commandments to guide His people:

The “Thou Shalt Not” commandments from the 10 Commandments are:

·         “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”
·         “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”
·         “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”
·         “Thou shalt not kill”
·         “Thou shalt not commit adultery”
·         “Thou shalt not steal”
·         “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour”
·         “Thou shalt not covet”

The “Thou Shalt” commandments from the 10 Commandments are:
·         “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy”
·         “Honour thy father and thy mother”

The Ten Commandments are still valid today even though society ignores a lot of them.
I will now share some of the commandments and guidance that is listed in Preach My Gospel.
PRAYER - God commands us to pray to Him. You can pray anytime and anyplace. The Lord has taught us to pray in the morning and in the evening, as individuals and with our families. Our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.  We can express gratitude and love, and also ask for help, protection, and direction according to our needs.  As we pray, we will see God’s influence in our lives. He will guide us and help us make good decisions. He will comfort us and give us peace. He will warn us of danger and strengthen us to resist temptation. He will forgive our sins. We will feel closer to Him.
SCRIPTURES - We are advised to read the scriptures.  We show our faith by studying, believing, and obeying things we learn in the scriptures. We diligently search the scriptures to understand the truth and to learn about Jesus Christ and His gospel.

SABBATH DAY - Our Sabbath-day behavior is a reflection of our commitment to honor and worship God. By keeping the Sabbath day holy, we show God our willingness to keep our covenants. Each Sabbath day we go to the church and partake of the sacrament. We remember Jesus Christ and His Atonement. We renew our covenants and show that we are willing to repent of our sins and mistakes.  As we attend Church and worship together, we strengthen each other and our faith is strengthened.  We should set the Sabbath day apart from activities of the world. As Church members try to keep the Sabbath activities holy, their lives will be filled with joy and peace.

BAPTISM & CONFIRMATION - When we are baptized and confirmed, we show our desire to follow Heavenly Father’s path. We enter into a covenant with God that we will take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ and that we will always remember Him and keep His commandments. We also promise to stand as witnesses of God at all times and to assist those in need. In return, God promises the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, a remission of our sins, and being born again.

FOLLOW THE PROPHET - We are blessed to have a living prophet on the earth who is a righteous man with great faith.   We are to have faith and follow his guidance.   We have the chance to sustain (or support) our Church leaders. We are to prepare ourselves so that when the prophets and apostles speak, the Holy Ghost can confirm the truths they teach, and we can then determine to follow the counsel they give us.  We have the chance to listen to our Church leaders in two weeks during General Conference which will be great.

LAW OF CHASTITY - God wants us to be morally clean. Chastity includes strict abstinence from sexual relations before marriage and complete fidelity and loyalty to one’s spouse after marriage.  We need to keep our thoughts clean and be modest in our dress, speech, and actions. We must avoid pornography in any form and treat our bodies as sacred.  If you keep the law of chastity you will be stronger because you use self-control. You can feel more confident and be happier in your family relationships. You can enjoy more fully the influence of the Holy Ghost in your lives and be free of the burden of shame and guilt. 
WORD OF WISDOM - The Lord revealed the Word of Wisdom to the Prophet Joseph Smith. This law teaches us what foods and substances we should and should not use to be healthy and to keep us free from evil influences. The Lord promises blessings of health, strength, protection against evil, and greater receptiveness to spiritual truths.  The Word of Wisdom teaches that we are to eat healthy foods. It teaches very specifically that we are to avoid harmful substances, including alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee. We must also avoid harmful drugs in any form.

TITHING - One of the great blessings of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the privilege of contributing to the growth of the kingdom of God through paying tithing.  The blessings we receive from tithing may be temporal or spiritual, but they will come to those who obey this divine law.

FASTING - Great blessings are available to those who obey God’s commandment to fast.  Fasting and prayer go together. When we fast and pray with faith, we are more receptive to receiving answers to our prayers and blessings from the Lord. He promises us that He will guide us continually. We should fast and pray for specific purposes.  We are also commanded to care for others and help them meet their physical and spiritual needs. When we fast, we donate money as a fast offering to the Church for the care of the poor and the needy.  By caring for others, we help fulfill our baptismal covenant and retain a remission of our sins.
LAWS OF THE LAND - We believe in obeying the laws of the country that we live in.  Yep, that means we shouldn’t speed.  Members of the Church are counseled to be good citizens and to render community service too.
In closing, I would like to bear my testimony, that I know we can be blessed as we strive to keep the commandments.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Thank you to Zach for contributing this talk.  Also click HERE to find the graphic that an awesome blogger is sharing for free.

No comments: