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Friday, September 13, 2013

"Obedience brings blessings" by Thomas S. Monson

Hello there!

The talk I picked for this week is "Obedience brings blessings". It was given by President Thomas S. Monson during last General Conference (April 2013).

I love President Monson's talks. They're always full of teachings and principles, but he never sounds preachy. Every talk of his, has at least one anecdote of his childhood. Apparently Tommy Monson was a very active child!

This talk is no exception. But let's proceed with order!

I was reading this talk this morning and one of the things that caught my attention was President Monson's definition of obedience. He said:
"There is no need for you or for me, in this enlightened age when the fulness 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"
Of the many ways you can look at obedience, this is one of the most insightful. Not only does it give you the what of obedience, but it also gives you a why. The what is not hard to find; it's in the word itself: obedience means to obey (laws, commandments etc). The why is not always that obvious to find out. President Monson teaches that we need to be obedient, if we want to find the truth we're all looking for in life.
It's like a map: you have all the directions you need in it, but you won't get to your destination unless you follow those directions closely. 

President Monson relates a story from his childhood thanks to which he learned something about obedience. This took place at Vivian Park, Utah. Young Tom Monson and his friend Danny were trying to figure out how to get rid of the grass that covered an area on which they had decided to have a campfire with some canyon friends. He recalls:
"And then what I thought was the perfect solution came into my eight-year-old mind. I said to Danny, “All we need is to set these weeds on fire. We'll just burn a circle in the weeds!” He readily agreed, and I ran to our cabin to get a few matches. Lest any of you think that at the tender age of eight we were permitted to use matches, I want to make it clear that both Danny and I were forbidden to use them without adult supervision. Both of us had been warned repeatedly of the dangers of fire. However, I knew where my family kept the matches, and we needed to clear that field. Without so much as a second thought, I ran to our cabin and grabbed a few matchsticks, making certain no one was watching. I hid them quickly in one of my pockets.Back to Danny I ran, excited that in my pocket I had the solution to our problem. I recall thinking that the fire would burn only as far as we wanted and then would somehow magically extinguish itself. I struck a match on a rock and set the parched June grass ablaze. It ignited as though it had been drenched in gasoline. At first Danny and I were thrilled as we watched the weeds disappear, but it soon became apparent that the fire was not about to go out on its own. We panicked as we realized there was nothing we could do to stop it. The menacing flames began to follow the wild grass up the mountainside, endangering the pine trees and everything else in their path. Finally we had no option but to run for help. Soon all available men and women at Vivian Park were dashing back and forth with wet burlap bags, beating at the flames in an attempt to extinguish them. After several hours the last remaining embers were smothered. The ages-old pine trees had been saved, as were the homes the flames would eventually have reached.Danny and I learned several difficult but important lessons that day—not the least of which was the importance of obedience."

Isn't this story a perfect example of how disobedience to certain set rules puts us in danger? Young Monson knew he wasn't allowed to use matches, but he thought he knew better and he knew where his parents kept matches. He transgressed a rule and he he almost set an entire forest on fire!
Lessons about obedience are "difficult but important". I like that definition. Personally, sometimes I wish I could have it my way. It just seems so much easier to me. But I know the my Heavenly Father does know better, and every time I do things His way - not mine - I find that that was indeed the best way.

In his loving way of teaching, President Monson doesn't dwell too long on the consequences of disobedience. Instead, he stresses out the blessings promised to the obedient:
 “He that keepeth [God’s] commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things." (D&C 93:28)

A true prophet of God always points to Jesus Christ. And the Savior is a perfect example of obedience. As President Monson teaches in this talk:
"No greater example of obedience exists than that of our Savior. Of Him, Paul observed:'Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;'And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.'" (Hebrews 5:8-9)

I invite you all to read and study this talk. The insight it gives and the inspiration it provides are priceless.

Let me know what you think about obedience, about the prophet, about this post, and about the talk!
Thanks for reading all the way through.

Bye for now!

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