Why Do We Keep God’s Commandments?

My favorite questions about being a Mormon usually involve the phrase, “What would happen if…” My husband gets these all the time at work. “What would happen if you secretly bought a lottery ticket and then won? Would your church take away all of the money?” (No). “What would happen if you were singing along to a song and it swore and you said the swear word? Can you swear too because it wasn’t your own thought?” (It doesn’t really work like that). I think there is this conception about the Mormon Church that members sign their names in blood to blindly follow all the rules. The truth is that we do commit to abide by God’s commandments, but it is a personal commitment made with God. There are no Mormon police. If I do things that I have committed not to, no one is spying on me waiting to report me. I can choose to do what I want. I choose to follow the commandments of God.

Some of the commandments that Mormons live by are no alcohol or coffee, tea, tobacco, illegal drugs, prescription drug abuse, premarital sex, R rated movies, gambling, foul or derogatory language, revealing clothing, pornography, recreation on the Sabbath, cheating, breaking civic laws, etc.

Mormons typically try to live a healthy and pure life while being good citizens of their communities. I have to admit, there are a lot of commandments. Each person struggles with his or her own thing. But, like I said, there are no Mormon police and anyone can choose to not abide by these commandments. I choose to abide by them because they bring me happiness. I don’t like how I feel when I subject myself any of those things mentioned above. It leaves me feeling empty inside. I want to be happy. God has given us commandments so that we can be happy and live free from addiction and free from filth. I choose to be close to God by following his commandments and when I am close to God I am happy.

5 thoughts on “Why Do We Keep God’s Commandments?

  1. Natalie

    What? NO MORMON POLICE? 🙂

    I think this is an interesting misconception about the church — that we’re forced into adhering to the rules of Mormondom. While it’s true there are guidelines you must follow to remain in full fellowship, each individual is free to choose if they will obey. Members of a cult are forced to obey, Mormons are free to choose.

    It’s fairly common for Mormons who have left the Church to claim they were held to certain commitments against their will. Readers should beware those kinds of sentiments because they’re 100% untrue. Anyone is allowed to leave the Mormon church at any point.

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  2. Eric

    Your description of how you feel empty inside when you fail to abide by the commandments reminds me of a Benjamin Franklin quote about God’s commandments:

    “Revelation had indeed no weight with me, as such, but I entertained an opinion, that, though certain actions might not be bad, because they were forbidden by it [that is, by revelation], or good, because it [revelation] commanded them; yet probably these actions might be forbidden because they were bad for us, or commanded because they were beneficial to us, in their own natures, all the circumstances of things considered.”

    That is, that God commands certain things because by the very nature of things, those things benefit us. And He forbids other things because they are by nature bad for us.

    Marcus B. Nash said it this way: “Because you are the offspring of God, it is incompatible with your eternal nature to do wrong and feel right. It cannot be done. It is part of your spiritual DNA, as it were, that peace, joy, and happiness will be yours only to the degree you live the gospel.”

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  3. Adrianne

    I’ve noticed that some of my co-workers have taken notice to some of these commitments that I’ve made with God. They pick up on my actions and choices. The fact that I don’t drink alcohol or coffee, and that I rather choose water over soda’s that contain caffeine. Around the office I catch the occasional glance of the eye when it wanders to whatever beverage I’m holding.
    One day my boss asked me, “Can you drive?” I don’t own a car, and I walk to get everywhere. I guess he had assumed that my lack of vehicle was a religious restriction. I made it clear that driving a car is an OKAY thing to do as long as traffic laws are followed :). This experience made me think, “How can we show others that Mormons are real people too?”

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  4. Bertrand Russell

    Modern morals are a mixture of two elements: on the one hand, rational precepts as to how to live together peaceably in a society, and on the other hand traditional taboos derived originally from some ancient superstition, but proximately from sacred books, Christian, Mohammedan, Hindu, or Buddhist. To some extent the two agree; the prohibition of murder and theft, for instance, is supported both by human reason and by Divine command. But the prohibition of pork or beef has only scriptural authority, and that only in certain religions. It is odd that modern men, who are aware of what science has done in the way of bringing new knowledge and altering the conditions of social life, should still be willing to accept the authority of texts embodying the outlook of very ancient and very ignorant pastoral or agricultural tribes. It is discouraging that many of the precepts whose sacred character is thus uncritically acknowledged should be such as to inflict much wholly unnecessary misery. If men’s kindly impulses were stronger, they would find some way of explaining that these precepts are not to be taken literally, any more than the command to “sell all that thou hast and give to the poor.”

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