Remember the ‘basics’

In today's hectic world it is sometimes helpful to pause and take a few minutes to keep focused on some basic principles of the gospel that guide our lives.

Knowing that God's desire for us is to achieve immortality and eternal life in His presence, we should remember these basic truths:- We lived before we came here, and in that first estate we learned that mortality was a necessary part of God's plan of eternal progression.

  • There was order and organization in that pre-mortal world that enabled us to grow and progress to the point we were ready for mortality.
  • We qualified for our place in this mortal sphere by faithfulness in our first estate, where we were chosen for mortal missions.
  • We knew personally God the Father and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ, who created and organized this earth for us.
  • Once we obtained a mortal body we were then to learn through faith and the use of our agency how to control and master this body so we can go back into the presence of God and Christ.
  • This process of proving ourselves is done by learning correct principles and then governing our lives according to them.
  • Our growth is gradual, line upon line precept by precept.
  • We must be held accountable for our actions.
  • As we prove ourselves worthy we are blessed here and now, as well as having hope for eternal blessings.
  • The ultimate reward of our faithfulness here is to live with God and have glory added upon our heads forever and ever.

In August 1842 the Prophet Joseph Smith uttered an inspired statement concerning the living of our lives when he said:

"Happiness is the object and design of our existence, and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them, and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received. . . . In obedience there is joy and peace unspotted, unalloyed; and as God has designed our happiness – and the happiness of all His creatures, He never has – He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of His law and ordinances." (History of the Church 5:134-135.)

To the importance of keeping all of God's commandments in this life the Prophet Joseph also said in February 1844: "I . . . spoke to the people, showing them to get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded. . . . The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what He tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular. I will always maintain true principles even if I stand alone in it." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 332.)

From the foregoing we can conclude that personal exaltation is the purpose of life, and that happiness is the object of our pursuit of such exaltation.

As Latter-day Saints we are under obligation to live righteously and then to teach and inspire others to attain the happiness of eternal life.

We must keep our own lives in order, and then as we are strong in the faith we must work to help fortify and strengthen others.

As we keep our lives focused in this direction, not letting the pressures of the world detour us from our eternal quest, we should also consider this significant statement from the Prophet Joseph:

"God has in reserve a time, or period appointed in His own bosom, when He will bring all His subjects who have obeyed His voice and kept His commandments, into His celestial rest. This rest is of such perfection and glory that man has need of a preparation before he can, according to the laws of that Kingdom, enter it and enjoy its blessings. This being the fact, God has given certain laws to the human family, which, if observed, are sufficient to prepare them to inherit this rest. This, then, we conclude, was the purpose of God in giving His laws to us. . . ." (Teachings, p. 54.)

Our purpose, then, is to know and understand God's laws so that we might find that celestial rest of true perfection and glory that God has prepared for His faithful children.