Joshua's commitment to the Lord was one of complete obedience

"Several experiences in the life of Joshua are instructive to us today regarding the importance placed by the Lord on keeping commitments and on being committed to following the commandments and direction He has given," said Elder Howard W. Hunter at the October 1983 general conference. Elder Hunter, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, later became president of the Church.

Elder Hunter said: "Joshua would need courage for what he had to do. He would need the Lord's help at every step. Here is a commitment of the Lord to provide that help. With faith in the Lord, Joshua could now go forward, knowing that the Lord would direct him in the way he should go. Joshua knew that his obedience would bring success, and although he did not know exactly how he would succeed, he now had confidence in the result.Elder Hunter said that after the Israelites had crossed the Jordan River, Joshua was directed to destroy the city of Jericho that lay before them.

"Not knowing the means, but assured as to the end, Joshua carried out the instructions he had been given by a messenger of the Lord, Elder Hunter said. "His commitment was to complete obedience. His concern was to do precisely as he was instructed, that the promise of the Lord would be fulfilled. The instructions no doubt seemed strange, but his faith in the outcome urged him on. The result, of course, was another in a long series of miracles experienced by the Israelites as they were led over many years by Moses, by Joshua, and by many other prophets who were committed to follow the commandments and the directives of the Lord.

"As Joshua and his people approached Jericho, the instructions of the Lord were followed precisely, and according to the scriptural account, `the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.' (Josh. 6:20.)

"The record states that after Israel had rested from the wars with their enemies, Joshua, who was now very old, called all Israel together. In his farewell address he reminded them they had been victorious because God had fought for them, but if they now ceased to serve the Lord and keep His law they would be destroyed. He recalled how the Lord God of Israel had led Abraham throughout Canaan and had multiplied his seed.' (Josh. 24:3.) He reminded them of how Jacob and his children had gone down into Egypt. He told of how the Lord had been with Moses and Aaron and had brought their fathers out of Egypt; how, in all of the battles and conquests, they had prevailed, adding this significant statement:But not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.' (Josh. 24:12.)

"They had been led by the Lord to victory. The battles had not been won by swords and bows. He then admonished them: `Fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.' (Josh. 24:14.)

"This great military and spiritual leader then urged a commitment, and made one himself and for his family: `Choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.' (Josh. 24:15.)

"Here was a great statement of full commitment of a man to God; of a prophet to the desires of the Lord; of Joshua the man to his God, who had many times previously blessed his obedience. He was telling the Israelites that regardless of how they decided, he would do what he knew was right. He was saying that his decision to serve the Lord was independent of whatever they decided; that their actions would not affect his; that his commitment to do the Lord's will would not be altered by anything they or anyone else would do. Joshua was firmly in control of his actions and had his eyes fixed on the commandments of the Lord. He was committed to obedience.

"Surely the Lord loves, more than anything else, an unwavering determination to obey His counsel. Surely the experiences of the great prophets of the Old Testament have been recorded to help us understand the importance of choosing the path of strict obedience."

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