Some have the mistaken idea that the commandments of God constrict freedom and personal growth. Not so. God gives commandments for our benefit. They are loving instructions for our happiness and for our physical and spiritual well-being.
Jesus counselled his disciples to be obedient:
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46)
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
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)Joseph Smith taught about obedience:
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)
In a recent conference address, President Monson taught:
A knowledge of truth and the answers to our greatest questions come to us as we are obedient to the commandments of God. (President Thomas S. Monson, Obedience Brings Blessings)
President Uchtdorf counsels to be aware of the beautiful blessings that blossom and grow out of obedience:
Let us not walk the path of discipleship with our eyes on the ground, thinking only of the tasks and obligations before us. Let us not walk unaware of the beauty of the glorious earthly and spiritual landscapes that surround us.
The “what” and “how” of obedience mark the way and keep us on the right path. The “why” of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into the majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration. (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Forget Me Not)
This illustration of the cycle of obedience models the result of observing the commandments of God. Obedience brings blessings to us, which makes us happier and motivates further obedience.
Despite the popular confusion of this idea, there has never been the slightest ambiguity. Obedience is always positive. God has never commanded us to disobey any of his commandments.
Cecil B. DeMille, producer of the epic The Ten Commandments, dramatizing the life of Moses the Lawgiver, spoke at a BYU commencement in 1957. He made these observations:
We are too inclined to think of law as something merely restrictive—something hemming us in. We sometimes think of law as the opposite of liberty. But that is a false conception. That is not the way that God’s inspired prophets and lawgivers looked upon the law. Law has a twofold purpose. It is meant to govern and it is also meant to educate...
...We cannot break the Ten Commandments. We can only break ourselves against them—or else, by keeping them, rise through them to the fullness of freedom under God. God means us to be free. With divine daring, He gave us the power of choice. (Cecil B. DeMille, BYU Commencement Address)