President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: Choosing to follow God’s commandments

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Courtesy of Mormon Newsroom)
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Courtesy of Mormon Newsroom)

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf delivered the concluding address in the 184th Semiannual Women’s Meeting, speaking on the necessity of following God’s commandments to receive His blessings.

President Uchtdorf began with expressions of gratitude for the women who helped shape his life, with especial thankfulness for his wife, Harriett, and the millions of faithful sisters worldwide who work to inspire, nurture and bless others.

“It is good to remember that you are always a child of God,” he said. “This knowledge will carry you through the most difficult times in your life and will inspire you to accomplish remarkable things.”

He then taught that daughters of God do not need to earn that distinction and will never loose it. However, divine origin alone does not guarantee a divine inheritance.

“God sent you here to prepare for a future greater than anything you can imagine,” he said.

He elaborated, teaching that God’s greatest blessings are incomprehensible, but qualifying for them requires more than a “spiritual birth certificate” or a “child-of-God membership card.”

To attain these blessings, President Uchtdorf said, people must receive the Lord’s law, also referred to by the phrases “walking the path of discipleship,” “obedience to God’s commandments” and “living the gospel joyfully with all our heart, might, mind and soul.”

Next he spoke about commandments that may seem less appealing, comparing obedience to these more difficult commandments to children approaching a plate of healthy, but hated, vegetables.

“We grit our teeth and force ourselves to comply so that we can move on to more desirable activities,” President Uchtdorf said.

He noted that at these times it is easy to question whether it really is important to obey all of God’s commandments.

“My response to this question is simple,” he said. “I think God knows something we don’t.”

He added that Heavenly Father not only knows what is best for His children, but He also anxiously wants them to choose what is best for them.

“If you truly believe the great mission of our Heavenly Father is to exalt and glorify His children, and that He knows best how to do it, does it make sense to embrace and follow His commandments, even the ones that appear difficult?” he asked.

He compared commandments to light posts that guide us through mortality, marking the way back to God’s heavenly home.

President Uchtdorf said he thinks part of the challenge is that people imagine that God has all of his blessings locked in a cloud in heaven, refusing to give them away unless His children comply with strict requirements.

“In reality, Heavenly Father is constantly raining blessings upon us,” he said. “It is our fear, doubt and sin that, like an umbrella, block these blessings from reaching us. Commandments are the instructions that help us close the umbrella and receive His blessings.”

President Uchtdorf said people have a choice between the ways of the world and the ways of the Lord. The Lord’s way offers the blessings of peace, happiness and eternal life.

“To receive these blessings, you must humble yourself, exercise faith, take upon you the name of Christ, seek Him in word and deed and resolutely stand as witnesses of God at all times, in all things and in all places,” President Uchtdorf said.

He said this changes the motivations of our hearts and enables us to live the gospel joyfully.

“Walking in the path of discipleship does not need to be a bitter experience. It is sweet above all that is sweet … it gives us divine power and lasting joy.”



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