Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Don't let this man control you!"

A few weeks ago, as my missionary companion and I were using the computers at a local college campus, we had a run in with a fiery fellow named Sean. He came up to Elder Krambeck and started to rant about all the 'signs of the times' and went off on various conspiracy theories. Elder Krambeck was in a pickle, so I interjected by simply asking, "What's up?" Sean looked at me with blazing eyes and said to Elder Krambeck with his voice a-booming, "Don't let this man control you!" It was quite an amusing experience.

It has got me thinking though. I for one have questioned the faith I was born into for a very long time. I saw the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and all church's for that matter, as a ploy for control and power. All those 'thou shalt nots' seemed to me a mere stratagem for someone to gain supremacy; not a way to inner peace. I looked at the church's of the earth and thought to myself, "Nu uh. You ain't gonna fool me. I won't follow blindly and be controlled." Luckily, Heavenly Father fulfilled His promise that "the haughty shall be humbled" (2 Nephi 20:33). And oh boy was I humbled!

After years of doubting and nay saying, my new found compelled humility led me to start putting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the test. I started praying and doing some of the 'thou shalts'. I learned from experience that  the Lord doesn't want to control us through obedience, but He wants to bless us for it. He promises that if we are obedient to Him that He will give us blessings in our lives. In fact, He is bound to bless us if we are obedient (Doc. & Cov. 130:20).

We don't however, have to follow thoughtlessly. We as members of His church have the principle of Intelligent Obedience. That is, we don't have to follow Him blindly or out of fear of punishment. He wants us to be obedient of our own free will. We need to gain our own witness, or belief, that the commandments really come from Him and help us live happier lives. To obtain this witness, we have to use faith. We have to have a real desire, and we have to be willing to do the work necessary to know these things.

We can know for ourselves that the commandments are there to make us free from the consequences of sin, not just imperious rules from an abstract God. We can pray and " ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true" and He will answer us and tell us. When we know that they are true, we will want to live them for the rest of our lives. The commandments will be a lighthouse as we make our way across the stormy seas of life. We will grow stronger, feel greater peace, and increase in spirituality. We will show our true love and devotion for Jesus Christ as we keep His commandments (John 14:15).

But don't take my word for it....put it to the test!


  1. Haha I love your experience at the college. Classic! Your point is perfect. Really, all we do as missionaries is ask people to put what we say to the test. What we DON'T want are blind followers. In a recent Mission Conference, Elder Kearon of the 70 stated "We want more baptisms of the truly converted."

  2. Control freak is surely one of the last labels I'd put on Elder Ika!