We have contemplated many sources whereby we can obtain virtual oil to fill our spiritual lanterns. If our lamps are filled with oil, we are promised that we will be ready to enter in with the Savior at the last day. However, some circumstances in our lives may cause us to use up some precious oil. We must be vigilant and take daily accurate measurements to ensure there is enough oil so that we will not be caught with a shortage when the bridegroom comes. This requires constant and diligent attention. Is there a way that we can obtain some insurance against a catastrophe, or unintended neglect that my cause a shortage at the last day? There is. It is the principle of obedience.
In our last General Conference, Elder Robert D. Hales explained the Saviors use of agency as he faced the test in Gethsemane and on Golgotha. “He made His own choice to obediently endure to the end and complete His atoning sacrifice, even though it meant great suffering, even death.” Elder Hales said, “Spiritually mature obedience is “the Savior’s obedience.” It is motivated by true love for Heavenly Father and His Son.”
When we are obedient, the Lord has the opportunity to pour out blessings upon us. Among these blessings is freedom. “There are two freedoms, the false where one is free to do what he likes, and the true where he is free to do what he ought” (Charles Kingsley). Lehi said to Laman and Lemuel, “Hearken unto his great commandments….. and if you do, the devil will have no power over you.”(2Nephi 2:28-29)
Obedience will also open the door of knowledge. “He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things” (D&C 93:28).
Another blessing explained by Elder Tad R. Callister, is that of power: “The end product of an obedient life is power,…. not irreverent power, but the pure benevolent power of God.” This is the power to utilize all that God gave us through the Atonement. The cleansing power of baptism, the healing power of the Sacrament, and the eternal sealing powers of the temple are a few of these types of blessings.
We could discuss many more reasons to keep the commandments, but Christ himself gave us the best reason. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”(John 14:15) “As we do what He would have us do…the Lord considers it a kindness to Him, and we will feel closer to Him as we feel His love and His approval. In time we will become like Him and will think of the Judgment Day with happy anticipation.” (Henry B Eyring)