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Sister Carole M. Stephens: ‘If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments’

Credit: Screenshot
Credit: Screenshot

Sister Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, began her remarks Sunday afternoon by relating an experience she had driving down the street with her 3-year-old granddaughter, Chloe. Before Sister Stephens had reached the end of the street, she found that Chloe had unbuckled her seatbelt and was standing up, talking to her grandma.

Sister Stephens pulled the car over to the side of the road but soon found that her attempts to convince and persuade Chloe to stay buckled were futile.

Finally, Sister Stephens explained to Chloe that the seat belt was there to protect her. If she didn’t wear it, she wouldn’t be safe. After thinking it over, Chloe responded, “Grandma, you want me to wear my seat belt because you love me!”

Sister Stephens explained, “Until Chloe understood that my desire for her to remain securely fastened in her car seat was because of my love for her, she was unwilling to submit to what she considered a restriction.”

Like Chloe, individuals may feel that commandments restrict personal freedom. “But as we seek for greater understanding, as we allow our Father to teach us — we will begin to see that His laws are a manifestation of His love for us, and obedience to His laws is an expression of our love for Him.”

For those “figuratively parked on the side of the road,” Sister Stephens suggested four principles to help individuals get safely back on the road of faith and obedience.

1. Trust God. “Commandments are vital instructions to teach, guide and protect us as we gain earthly experience,” Sister Stephens said.

Despite mistakes and opposition, “God never loses sight of our eternal potential, even when we do. We can trust Him ‘because God wants His children back.’”

2. Trust Jesus. “The ultimate expression of obedience and love is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. … He said; ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept the Father’s commandments, and abide in His love’” (John 15:10).

3. Trust the whisperings of the Spirit. Sister Stephens promised, “When your mind is filled with doubt and confusion, the Father and the Son will send the Holy Ghost to warn you and guide you safely through the dangers of this mortal journey. He will help you remember, comfort you and fill you with ‘hope and perfect love’" (Moroni 8:26).

4. Trust the counsel of living prophets. “There is safety in following the word of the Lord through His prophets,” Sister Stephens declared.

rsterzer@deseretnews.com

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