Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday thoughts

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.

13 comments:

patsy said...

Michelle-
thank you for sharing this important/beautiful message.

Denise said...

You summed up exactly how I feel about obedience. It is not, as some people think, something we just blindly do because we're "supposed to." Obedience is the highest expression of gratitude, it is a sure protection, it is safety and peace. I too, am so grateful for this knowledge.

shannon said...

One of my favorite things to reflect upon is how when we are obedient, the Lord is bound...

Just knowing that we are protected in this way is very comforting to me...

Your mom often speaks of this same thing...

rmt said...

Wonderful Sunday thoughts. Thank-you.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I think this profound Michelle and also Denises' thoughts that "obedience is the highest expression of gratitude."

I've often thought that the talent of obedience is a gift worth coveting.

Susan said...

I learned from a great mission President when we lived in Pittsburgh about binding the Lord through obedience. That was his main missionary tool and message during his assignment. I find that I get overwhelmed thinking of how to be perfect, but I know that I can be obedient. I can make my actions consistant with my knowledge of right and wrong. I love obedience and I am grateful to understand it and yearn to be so. I know it is the way to happiness.

Jill said...

I truly believe that we make our lives so much easier for ourselves when we are obedient. There are many heartaches that pass us by because we have been obedient to the Lord's instructions. I still find myself thinking of other areas we could do better in that would help us avoid pain (i.e., staying out of debt).

rebekah said...

"He must be saddened, because He knows that obedience protects us and brings us lasting happiness."

that's a great insight that i really needed to hear put in those exact words.

one of my favorite hymns is "How Gentle God's Commands". yesterday i was singing it as i walked home from church and i thought how sad it must be for people who don't think God's commands are gentle, and don't realize how kind His precepts are. unfortunately, Heavenly Father and the Savior are commonly portrayed as wrathful and vindictive. knowing what i know, when i am prompted to do something or when i am thinking of a commandment, i will try to remember that Heavenly Father and the Savior are gentle with Their commands because They love us and want us to be protected.

Kelly said...

I liked this, Michelle. I hope to be able to impart this on my girls -- obedience is freedom and not repression. Thanks for the inspiration!

Becky said...

I love the principle of obedience...I used to really struggle with it (and the concept of honoring our parents) because I grew up with a very abusive father who misunderstood the way obedience works. I have grown to love this principle though and know that I am able to honor my parents through righteous living despite the choices they make. Obedience brings me so many blessings...the older I get the less desire (or need) I have to question and rebel.

Hannah said...

I have a hard time with obedience, I question too much. But I have never thought of it how Denise phrased it as, "Obedience is the highest expression of gratitude" I do love that and it resonates with me. Great thoughts Michelle!

Jen said...

these are great thoughts. i love that and i am so glad your yw have you as a teacher.

i'm sorry about your family member. i think it hurts the most to see someone else hurting because of disobedience...

Amie said...

I love this. I love thinking about obedience... you said it more perfectly than I can... I like that there is no gray area either we will be obedient or we won't, it seems to make the choices much more clear when I think about it like that.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...