Full obedience required; blessings come as result

Elder Ted E. Brewerton, while serving as a member of the Seventy, spoke in the April 1981 general conference about the blessings that come through full obedience to the Lord's commandments and counsel of His servants.

He told the congregation about a member in Brazil who, upon hearing then-Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Quorum of the Twelve challenge members to bring a hundred people into the Church that year, said to himself, "I will obey." Elder Brewerton said that the last time he spoke with that member in Brazil he had baptized more than 250 people.Another member who was obedient to Elder Hinckley's challenge took the opportunity to introduce the gospel to a driver whose car he accidently hit on a congested street in Sao Paulo. This member baptized more than 200 people because of his obedience to the request of a servant of the Lord.

"Let us for a moment look at some examples of disobedience, even men who had righteous intent but nevertheless disobeyed," Elder Brewerton said. ". . . One great man, chosen of God, who showed some disobedience and lost everything of importance, was King Saul.

"The Lord gave Saul a particular assignment: Destroy the people of Amalek. `Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.' (1 Sam. 15:3.) "It was a mighty army that Saul took to destroy the Amalekites - 210,000 men.

" `But Saul and the people spared King Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them.' (1 Sam. 15:9.)

"Saul failed," Elder Brewerton said. "Angered by this disobedience, the Lord sent Samuel again to upbraid the king."

When Samuel asked Saul about the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the oxen, Saul replied that he, contrary to what he had been commanded to do, had spared "the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed."

Samuel said, "Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice. . . .

"Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king." (1 Sam. 15:14-15, 22-23.)

Elder Brewerton referred to counsel given by President Spencer W. Kimball, who was then president of the Church. The prophet, he noted, "is the Lord's mouthpiece on the earth, and when he says we should do certain things, even small things, what is our answer? For example, if he says clean up your yard - do it. If he says paint your fence - do it. If he says one more endowment per person per year - do it. If he says at least one more couple per ward in the mission field - do it. If he says to avoid commercial purchases whenever possible on Sunday - do it. What blessings we must impede through lack of full obedience!

"Now why obey? In Deuteronomy, it states, Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day.' Now, why?That it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for ever.' " (Deut. 4:40.)

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