Our sacrament meeting today was centered around obedience. One of our cute neighbors from across the street returned home from his mission to Mozambique this week, and he was one of the speakers. He related a story from his boyhood, when his family lived in Hawaii. His dad took him out fishing on the ocean. Whenever he would take his boys out, he would remind them: "I am the captain. If you want to come out fishing with me, you need to do what I say, when I say it." This newly-returned missionary related that he didn't think much about it when his dad said that, he just nodded an enthusiastic yes, because he wanted to go fishing.
One day, they were out on the boat, and a rope got tangled in the propeller. His dad told him to dive under and untangle it. He just sat there, petrified, as he was afraid of the darker, deeper water they were in at the time. His dad again told him to untangle the propeller, in a sterner voice this time. He just sat there, thinking, "no way! I know what's in this water!"
He thought his dad would be angry with him when he had to dive in himself and take care of the problem, but he wasn't angry. He was disappointed and sad (what child doesn't know that that is far worse than parental anger??). The son was not allowed to go out fishing for awhile after that.
He thought of this incident repeatedly throughout his mission, thinking each time of how our Heavenly Father must feel when we do not obey. He must be saddened, because He knows that obedience protects us and brings us lasting happiness. There might be a loss of trust that we have to regain.
I taught the Laurels a lesson today about honoring our parents. Again, it all came down to obedience for me. How can we better please and honor our parents than by adhering to the principles they have taught us?
I have a family member with some serious problems. We found out yesterday that his problems were more severe than even we knew. My mom told me that she had never before felt so grateful for obedience -- for the knowledge that living the principles of the gospel saves us from so much heartache, disappointment, and enslavement to addiction. I feel exactly the same way. Obedience provides so much protection for us, prevents so many many problems and trials. I read somewhere that obedience brings a deep, inward joy that can not be won in any other way. I am infinitely grateful for that knowledge.