Thursday, November 6, 2008

Caution: This Product May Be Hazardous

Some people think that the commandments are restrictive, and ask how we can stand to live with so many rules. But actually, the commandments free us from sin, and from other by products of sin. In John 8:31,32 it says,
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, expanding on the phrase "the truth shall make you free," wrote:
"..Free from the damning power of false doctrine; free from the bondage of appetite and lust; free from the shackles of sin; free from every evil and corrupt influence and from every restraining and curtailing power; free to go on to the unlimited freedom enjoyed in its fulness only by exalted beings" (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:456–57).

My sister wrote about this subject recently. She questioned why we are careful not to take medications with bad side effects, but how many people take harmful illegal drugs without learning of the consequences that can result. As we discussed this topic today in seminary, one student told of a television show she saw that portrayed a man in the hospital with lung cancer. A woman came along and said, "Didn't you read the caution on the box?". (referring to the cigarette box) Sometimes we can read on the label about harmful side effects. But as we discussed to day, we thought about other types of sins that don't come with a warning label. Here are a few warning labels that I would like to see.

ADULTERY: Caution, this sin could destroy your marriage and family.

DISHONESTY: Caution, this habit can cause you to lose your own personal integrity, as well as the trust of those around you.

GREED: Caution, any amount of greed can cause you to forget the blessings that you have already received.

BACKBITING and GOSSIPING: Caution, backbiting and gossping cause disunity and hatred among groups of people. You may also notice that they are communicable, and will find others begin to do the same for you.

STEALING: Caution, stealing not only undermines the integrity of the thief, but causes prices to be raised so that even innocent people have to pay higher prices to offset the cost of the items stolen.

Although the commandments may seem restrictive to some, they actually free us from the bondage of sin. Jesus said,

"28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Some may feel that they are yoked and bound to commandments in a suffocating manner. But the Savior has encouraged us that his yoke is easy, and his burden is light. Keeping the commandments is much easier in the long run than breaking them.

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