As a mother of five kids, one of my favorite words is “Obedience.” I find myself preaching about this concept most days, however, it seems my sermons fall on deaf ears. I have a few “standard lectures” on the topic and I think they are pretty catchy. My kids must think they are good because they are constantly disobeying. I assume it means they love my lectures and must want them to continue. Sadly, I will not be sharing one of those lectures here.
I do want to share a few thoughts I’ve had about obedience. Conscious, or subconscious, we follow “the rules” and are obedient because we know on some level obedience makes our life easier. For example, most of us obey traffic rules. If we want to be healthy, we choose to follow our doctors orders on medication, diet, or exercise. Church leaders have encouraged us to have a supply of food & goods we use for a rainy day. I have tried to follow that council and sometimes I wonder if it matters. This time last year, I reaped the blessings of my obedience to this council. I had precious, precious toilet paper. As I walked the stores with empty shelves and listened to a dad ponder on the utility of buying napkins as a toilet paper substitute, I was grateful for obedience and prophets.
The last couple of years, my word of the year has been ‘essential.’ I did not really pick a word for 2021, but I have been surprised at two words that seem to come up on almost a daily basis. Those two words are “Intentional” and “Obedience”. Combining those two words helps me understand the concept of agency. Intentional obedience implies more than just obey. Intentional obedience shows a greater desire to follow with exactness. When I intentionally obey, I am exercising my agency.
The concept of obedience is described by the church in this way:
“God’s plan for us depends on our agency, or ability to choose freely for ourselves. Because our agency is the one thing that cannot be taken away from us, submitting our will to God through obedience is the greatest gift we can offer Him.”
Keeping the concept of intentional obedience in mind, consider this scripture I studied a couple of weeks ago. “If a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.” D&C 130:19.
There are many opportunities for obedience, but do we have the attitude of INTENTIONAL obedience? Obedience brings blessings. But, how many more blessings can we obtain with diligent or intentional obedience? I don’t want to leave some blessings on the table because I choose not to intentionally obey. I have thought about my current church calling and other callings I’ve had. Did I intentionally obey the church handbook? Did I even read the handbook section about my calling? How well am I currently obeying my local leaders and the prophet? If obedience is the greatest expression of love I can show my Heavenly Father and the Savior, am I being intentional about that expression? As a mother, I know nothing pleases a parent more than exact and happy obedience.
In what ways can we be more intentional about obedience to Heavenly Father? Have you considered obedience to be an expression of love?
Camille is happily married to her husband for almost 26 years now! Together, they are trying hard to survive raising their five kids. She has two adult children, two teenagers, and an 8-year-old. She has started her 18th year of homeschooling and is still trying to figure things out!
As a stay-at-home mom, Camille’s favorite things are reading books, electric blankets, writing, working on her “very little farm”, and dancing while doing the dishes. She needs to trademark her “mom dance” that the kids love to mock her over.
Camille is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is always wearing out her copy of the conference talks. When she is not in an apron or highlighting the latest book she is reading, Camille spends time taking kids to music lessons, debate tournaments, gymnastics classes, and wrestling competitions.
One of Camille’s greatest achievements is losing 75 pounds in the year 2020 and is on the way to releasing the last 25 pounds in 2021.
Camille currently resides in Utah, USA with her family.