"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
May 14, 2014
Does God Obey His Own Rules?
by Kathryn Grant

If you've read C. S. Lewis' book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, you'll remember how the invisible Dufflepuds ask Lucy Pevensie to help them become visible again. Lucy's task is to venture into the home of a mysterious magician, where she finds a book with a spell to make hidden things visible.

After Lucy pronounces the spell, she hears someone approaching. Turning toward the sound, she is overjoyed to see Aslan, Narnia's king and her beloved friend. "It was kind of you to come," she tells him.

He responds that he has been there all the time, but has been invisible. Lucy thinks he is teasing her -- as if anything she could do would make Aslan visible. But he tells her that's exactly what happened. He asks, "Do you think I wouldn't obey my own rules?"

Sometimes we think of God the way Lucy thought of Aslan -- above or beyond the commandments that we as mortals are required to obey. But what if God is the most obedient of all? The scriptures give multiple examples of God keeping His own rules, setting a perfect example of following the same commandments He asks us to keep. Here are three.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind (Luke 10:27).

I've never read a better statement on God's loving reciprocity than this one by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: "The first and great commandment on earth is for us to love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength (see D&C 59:5; Matt. 22:37) because surely the first and great promise in heaven is that He will always love us that way." ("Look to God and Live.")

Always remember Him (D&C 20:77, 79).

Even as we remember God, the scriptures teach plainly that He always remembers us. After Alma was born again, he testified that God "remembereth every creature of his creating" (Mosiah 27:30).

And the Lord told Nephi, "I will show unto them ... who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever" (2 Nephi 29:14).

By love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).

God asks us to serve Him and each other, while He is always serving us. We may need to add another picture to the one we often imagine of the Lord sitting on a heavenly throne: the picture of Him "[going] about doing good" for those He loves, just as He did during his mortal ministry (Acts 10:38).

"For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39).

Commandments help us as mortals, surely. But it appears we'll never reach a point, even in Heaven, where we put the commandments behind us. Rather, I suspect we'll find perfect joy in perfect obedience, following the pattern of our Lord and Savior who "obeys [His] own rules."

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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