Some people feel that the commandments are burdensome and that they limit freedom and personal growth. But the Savior taught that true freedom comes only from following Him: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31–32). God gives commandments for our benefit. They are loving instructions for our happiness and for our physical and spiritual well-being.
In the premortal existence, Heavenly Father presided over a great Council in Heaven. There we learned of His plan for our salvation, which included a time of testing on the earth: “We will make an earth whereon these may dwell; and we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:24–25). One reason we are here on the earth is to show our willingness to obey Heavenly Father’s commandments.
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that obedience to the commandments leads to blessings from God. He said: “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:20–21). King Benjamin also taught this principle. “I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God,” he counseled. “For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it” (Mosiah 2:41).
Our obedience to the commandments is an expression of our love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The Savior said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). He later declared: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10).
Isaias Vargas Chavarria, “Hesitantly Faithful, Abundantly Blessed,” New Era, March 2017
Shanna D’Avila, “The Best Part of the Week,” Friend, February 2017
L. Whitney Clayton, “Obedience Helps Us Be Happy,” Friend, February 2017
Christine Merrill, “Double Happy,” Friend, February 2017
Carlisa Cramer and Margaret Willden, “What God Wanted for Me,” New Era, February 2017
Christopher Lambe, “‘Let’s Make That Our Motto,’” Ensign, December 2016
Julia M. L. Whitehead, “The Hill,” Friend, December 2016
Cindy Lambourne, “We Found True Freedom in Obedience,” Ensign, August 2015
“The Savior’s Example of Obedience,” Ensign or Liahona, April 2015
Russell M. Nelson, “Why is being obedient so important?” Friend, April 2015
Lauren Bangerter Wilde, “The Purifying Path of Obedience, Sacrifice, and Consecration,” Ensign, March 2015
“The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Obedient Son,” Ensign or Liahona, January 2015
“The Savior’s Example of Obedience,” New Era, October 2014
“Real Obedience Is More Than Just Not Sinning,” New Era, September 2014
“Feeling the Love of the Lord through Obedience,” Ensign or Liahona, March 2004
Ralph W. Hardy Jr., “Naaman and Gehazi: A Contrast in Obedience,” Ensign, August 2002
“Devotional Speaker Teaches Freedom through Obedience to God,” Church News
“Obedience,” Lesson Helps for Teaching Children