The WHY & HOW of Living the Gospel

    “The WHY & HOW of Living the Gospel,” New Era, Oct. 2018, xx–xx.

    The WHY & HOW of Living the Gospel

    When we know why we live the gospel, it’s easier to know how.

    The WHY and HOW of Living the Gospel

    “Why do you always move all the dirty dishes to the right side of the sink?” my friend once asked me. I thought for a moment and replied, “I guess it’s because my mom does the same thing, and I learned it from her.”

    Has this ever happened to you? OK, maybe you don’t have a weird thing about where the dirty dishes go, but knowing why you do something can be surprising. This habit I picked up from my mom might be small, but there are other things I do that have a much bigger reason behind them—like living the gospel. Think about why you live the gospel: Why do you go to church every Sunday?

    Why obey the Word of Wisdom? Why wait until you’re 16 to start dating? Why take the time to serve and minister to others? Thinking about what motivates you to live the gospel can make it easier to choose the right. Here are some examples of ways to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and a few reasons why.



    Worship shows your love and reverence for Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:19, 29; 2 Nephi 25:29).

    Worthiness qualifies you to make and keep covenants and receive blessings (see Mormon 9:29; 2 Nephi 9:18).

    The word of God guides you to righteousness, happiness, and eternal life (see 2 Nephi 31:20; Joseph Smith–Matthew 1:37).


    Health is a blessing of obedience as you care for your mind, body, and spirit (see Doctrine and Covenants 89:18–21; Galatians 5:21).

    Hope lifts you up as you have faith in the Savior and His Atonement (see Joel 3:16; Ether 12:4; Moroni 8:26).

    Happiness is the result of living righteously and comes through Jesus Christ (see Galatians 5:22; Mosiah 2:41; Alma 41:10–11).


    Yearning. Elder D. Todd Christofferson has taught, “If we yearn to dwell in Christ and have Him dwell in us, then holiness is what we seek, in both body and spirit” (Oct. 2017 general conference).

    Yoked with Christ. You are never alone. As you humbly seek help from your Redeemer, He will make your burdens light (see Matthew 11:29–30; Galatians 5:1).

    Youth means you! As you stand for truth and righteousness, others will see your light and follow (see Alma 37:35; 1 Timothy 4:12).


    Simply knowing the gospel is true isn’t enough. I know that obeying the Word of Wisdom will keep my body and spirit healthy, but I have to live it to receive those blessings. I have to act on what I know. But how? When you feel a purpose behind living the gospel, consider how you can turn that knowledge into action.


    Hearken means listening and obeying the voice of the Lord (see 2 Nephi 26:8; Doctrine and Covenants 84:46–47).

    The Holy Ghost will teach and guide you to know what is true if you listen intently (see John 14:26; Moroni 10:5; Doctrine and Covenants 121:45–46).

    Humility keeps pride from your heart and helps you to turn to the Lord for strength (see Mosiah 4:11; Ether 12:27).


    Obey all of God’s commandments (see Doctrine and Covenants 93:1; 1 Nephi 3:7; John 14:15).

    Ordinances of the gospel (baptism, sacrament, temple) bring you closer to God and are essential for salvation (see Articles of Faith 1:3–4; Ezekiel 11:20).

    Offer your time, talents, and tithes as a gift and sacrifice to the Lord (see Omni 1:26; Doctrine and Covenants 128:24).


    Works are the actions you do every day. Choosing to do good works shows God’s influence in your life and can be a light to others (see Moroni 7:5; Doctrine and Covenants 137:9; Matthew 5:16).

    Witness or testify of the Savior and His restored gospel through your words and by example (see Mosiah 18:8–9; Ether 5:4).

    Walk with God and be open to the promptings that He sends you. Show your love for Him by trusting in Him (see Micah 6:8; 4 Nephi 1:12).


    It may not always be easy to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, but you can do it! Hold on to your reasons for choosing righteousness, especially when life gets hard. Then take that purpose and turn it into action. As you try to live the gospel with more purpose, you will be immeasurably blessed.

    The author lives in Utah, USA.