“Commandments,” Topics and Questions (2023)

Moses and the ten commandments

Gospel Study Guide


Divine truths to guide us on God’s covenant path

Have you ever noticed how many signs are posted along roads and highways? Some signs provide directions to help drivers travel where they want to go. Other signs promote safety by showing speed limits or warning messages about road conditions. If drivers decide to ignore road signs, they can put themselves and others at risk. Heavenly Father’s commandments are a little like road signs. When obeyed, the commandments direct you on the path that leads to God’s presence. They instruct you in how to find peace and joy in this life. God’s commandments can also help you avoid many of the spiritual and temporal dangers in this world.

The commandments are evidence of God’s love for you. Choosing to keep the commandments brings blessings and joy into your life. Obedience to the commandments will also prepare you to return to live with God forever (see Doctrine and Covenants 82:8–10). As President Dallin H. Oaks taught, “God’s universal and perfect love is shown in all the blessings of His gospel plan, including the fact that His choicest blessings are reserved for those who obey His laws.”1

What Are Commandments?

Commandments are divine laws and requirements that God gives for our benefit. Obedience to God’s commandments is necessary for our exaltation. By keeping the commandments, we show our love for God and receive spiritual and temporal blessings.

Related gospel study guides: Obedience, Agency, Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance

Section 1

Commandments Are a Vital Part of Living the Gospel

Jesus teaching rich young ruler

Jesus Christ taught that the greatest commandments are to love God and to love others. All other commandments provide guidance on how to do those two things. (See Matthew 22:37–40.)

The scriptures demonstrate that God has taught the commandments through prophets since the days of Adam and Eve (see Moses 5:4–5). Many people throughout the world are familiar with the Ten Commandments that Jehovah revealed to Moses (see Exodus 20:3–17). These divine laws have been reemphasized in our day along with other important truths (see Doctrine and Covenants 42:19–29; 59:5–13). God’s commandments prohibit immoral acts, such as dishonesty, adultery, and murder. God has also given commandments to do good, such as to pray, 2 to forgive, 3 and to care for those in need.4

Our obedience to commandments is best motivated by our love for Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. When we struggle to be obedient to God’s commandments, He invites us to repent and turn back to Him.

Things to think about

  • Read Matthew 22:37–40. Why do you think Jesus said that the greatest commandments are to love God and to love others? In what ways do other commandments reflect the meaning of these two commandments?

  • Imagine that someone suggested that following each of God’s commandments isn’t important. How could you respond? What experiences have you had that increase your gratitude for God’s commandments?

  • Read Mark 10:17–22, looking for how the rich young man felt about the commandments. What do you learn about obedience to commandments from his interaction with Jesus Christ? If you put yourself in the position of this man, what change do you feel Jesus would invite you to make?

Activity for learning with others

  • Watch “Why Does God Give Us Commandments?” (0:39). After watching the video, you could make a list of commandments that you have lived and the blessings you have received for your obedience. You could also talk about why it is important to view commandments from God’s perspective.

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Section 2

Commandments Draw Us Closer to Jesus Christ

waking on arrow

Jesus taught His disciples, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15; see also verse 21). Each step of obedience is a manifestation of your love for God and brings you closer to Jesus Christ. When you were baptized, you made a covenant, or promise, to keep God’s commandments. But sometimes you may struggle to do so. Because God loves you, He invites you to repent often and turn back to Him. There may also be times when it is not clear why God has given a specific commandment. In that case, God wants you to exercise faith in Him. Everything will work out for your good when you trust God and strive to be obedient to His commandments (see Doctrine and Covenants 100:15).

Things to think about

  • President Harold B. Lee stated: “The most important of all the commandments of God is that one that you are having the most difficulty keeping today.”5 What might you do to focus on striving to obey that commandment?

  • Sometimes obedience to commandments can feel like a test of our faith. Read 1 Nephi 3:7. How can this passage help if you struggle to obey one of God’s commandments, such as paying tithing or observing the Word of Wisdom?

Activity for learning with others

  • You could use the video “Following God” (1:25) to discuss how regular repentance is an important part of striving to be obedient to God’s commandments.

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Other Resources about the Importance of God’s Commandments