Today I read Doctrine and Covenants section 33, which is a section given to a couple of brethren and it honestly feels a little hodgepodge to me. I am quite positive it is what those 2 men needed to hear, no doubt about it. However, reading it in this day and age it almost seems strange the commandments they are given in this section and the things the Lord tells them.
One thing that really stood out to me almost immediately, was verse 4 where the Lord tells them that the entire earth is corrupted and very few that doeth good and they are confused by priestcraft. If the Lord said that about people in 1830, what must He think of the world and it's people now? I can only imagine. But knowing what I do of American history from 1830, if He is saying that people are all corrupt in that day and age, I can only imagine what He must think about people in our time.
I have often wondered in the past about why people are good or don't break the law or commandments more, and why people do the things they do, especially atheists. I have often felt it is because they are afraid of getting in trouble with what ever authority figure is present, be they police or even the principal if still in school. Now perhaps some people have more faith in people than I do, but I really do wonder what causes people to be good. But people who do not believe in God and do not believe in the 10 commandments, most people are still doing good things, or at least not doing bad things, so what prompts it?
Now, working in the customer service industry perhaps has jaded me. I have seen people do and say the most ridiculous things all in the name of getting something for free. I've seen people eat an entire pizza except for one small bite then complain it was wrong and demand a free one. I've seen people straight up lie about treatments received, all to save a few dollars and it has really jaded me to people being good or not and people's motives for when they are good.
Now being a church member I really do try and think the best about people and despite what I say, I always give people the benefit of the doubt. But even church members, you have to wonder, what re the reasons people keep the commandments? I used to talk with Dad about this and I remember we came up with 3 different reasons for following the commandments and each stage reflected a different level of progression.
The first is following the commandments for fear of punishment. None of us wants to end up in the telestial kingdom so we follow the commandments. We do not wish to be caught being bad by others so we follow the commandments. A spin off to this is we follow the commandments because we are supposed to. That's just what you do.
The second reason people follow the commandments is they want blessings. We follow the law of tithing because we want the windows of heaven to open up and bless us. We follow the word of wisdom because we want physical health and spiritual health. I think lots of members fall into this category even if they don't know it. We all want blessings and like our earthy Father, Heavenly Father wants to bless us too. He wants us to have everything our heart desires, within reason. That is the reason there are blessings a fixed to the commandments in the first place.
The third and final reason people keep the commandment is love for our Father in Heaven. Jesus taught his apostles that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. When we love our Father in Heaven, the commandments no longer become a burden and we live them without thought. For most members born and raised in the church unless it is their weakness, following the word of wisdom is not hard at all and they don't even think about it. We are keeping the commandments because we enjoy it, because we enjoy living the kind of life that our Heavenly Father has. That is our ultimate goal isn't it? To live like He does?
So generally I think most people fall into the fear of punishment category, I really do. However, I also believe well over half of the people in this nation at least would NOT commit a major crime even if they were promised they could get away with it. So perhaps Heavenly Father would be more pleased with this generation than He was in 1830? Perhaps more people are doing good these days? Who really knows? I do know that priestcraft is more prevalent than ever unfortunately. So we need to make sure that we are being good and that we are setting a good example to those around of us of following the commandments because we WANT to. As we strive to be good a example, it will rub off on those around you. I have seen it dozens of times and hope to see it hundreds more. I hope you do also, because it will mean you are being an effective example. Until tomorrow.