“15. If ye love me, keep my commandments”
Keep the Commandments #303 Hymn Book
Keep the commandments; keep the commandments!
In this there is safety; in this there is peace.
He will send blessings; He will send blessings.
Words of a prophet: Keep the commandments.
In this there is safety and peace.
*For Younger Children* Read or share Jehovah Gives Commandments and discuss how, much like in Moses’ time we receive instructions and revelation from our Prophet and apostles?
The account of Moses and the children of Israel is found in Exodus 3–20; 24; Joshua 3.
The sheep and their lambs followed their shepherd, Moses, as he led them through the desert. When they reached the mountain called Horeb, Moses saw something unusual. A bush was on fire, but it did not burn up.
When Moses went closer, he heard the voice of Jehovah saying, “Moses, Moses.”
“Here am I,” Moses replied.
Jehovah commanded Moses to tell the Egyptian pharaoh to set free the children of Israel, who were slaves in Egypt. Moses was worried. How could he make the powerful pharaoh listen to him?
Jehovah told Moses to throw his shepherd’s staff to the ground. Moses threw the stick down, and it became a snake. Jehovah told Moses to pick up the snake. Moses picked it up, and it became a staff again! Moses saw the power of Jehovah. He knew that Jehovah would help him.
Moses went to Pharaoh’s court. He explained to Pharaoh that Jehovah commanded that the children of Israel be set free. But Pharaoh said he would not let them go. The children of Israel had been slaves to the Egyptians for 430 years. They built Pharaoh’s great buildings and worked in his fields.
Jehovah sent plagues to show Pharaoh His power. First, the river turned to blood. Next came swarms of frogs, gnats, and flies. Then came boils, hailstorms, and locusts. Still, Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go.
Then came one final, awful plague. At midnight the firstborn sons of the Egyptians would die. The prophet Moses told the children of Israel to put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts. This was a symbol of the sacrificeJesus Christ would make for them. Then the plague would pass over them, and their children would be safe.
That night when his firstborn son died, Pharaoh finally decided to let the children of Israel go. Quickly Moses led them out of Egypt into the wilderness of Sinai.
In the wilderness, the children of Israel soon became hungry and thirsty. Jehovah told Moses to strike a rock, and water gushed out for them to drink. Every morning, Jehovah sent a white, sweet food called manna for them to eat.
As slaves, the children of Israel had followed the orders of their masters. Now they needed to learn how to follow Jehovah.
Jehovah called Moses to the top of Mount Sinai. There He spoke to Moses and gave him ten commandments for the people to follow. The commandments were carved into large tablets of stone so the people could remember them.
The children of Israel were disobedient. They had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years until they were ready to obey Jehovah’s commandments. At last they were led to Canaan to make a home in the promised land.
Jehovah is another name for Jesus Christ. He is Heavenly Father’s oldest son. Heavenly Father asked Him to create the world and to help people return to Heavenly Father’s presence. When Jehovah speaks to people, He is usually representing Heavenly Father. In the Old Testament, Jehovah is usually referred to as LORD. After He was born in Bethlehem, He was known as Jesus Christ.
God, our Heavenly Father, is the father of our spirits. He loves and watches over us always. We worship Him and pray to Him.
*For The Whole Family* Read through and share some from The Other Six Discuss about one commandment you want to work on to become better and what you hope to gain from listeting to the Prphet and apostles we have in modern day.
If you think about what makes you truly happy, your thoughts will often center on things that are really meaningful to you and others. In the April 2013 general conference, several Church leaders taught that eternal happiness arises from one of the most meaningful ways we show our love of God—obedience to the commandments.
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that our “eternal happiness come[s] from obedience to [God’s] laws.” He talked about many ways to obey, including the Ten Commandments. He warned us that more than half of the Ten Commandments are viewed by the world as no longer important.
“In my judgment,” he said, “four of the Ten Commandments are taken as seriously today as ever. As a culture, we disdain and condemn murder, stealing, and lying, and we still believe in the responsibility of children to their parents.
“But as a larger society, we routinely dismiss the other six commandments:
- •“If worldly priorities are any indication, we certainly have ‘other gods’ we put before the true God.
- •“We make idols of celebrities, of lifestyles, of wealth, and yes, sometimes of graven images or objects.
- •“We use the name of God in all kinds of profane ways, including our exclamations and our swearing.
- •“We use the Sabbath day for our biggest games, our most serious recreation, our heaviest shopping, and virtually everything else but worship.
- •“We treat sexual relations outside marriage as recreation and entertainment.
- •“And coveting has become a far too common way of life. (See Exodus 20:3–17.)”
Think about it: the world takes only 40% of the Ten Commandments seriously. That means 60% are dismissed as unimportant! Well, what are those six ignored commandments, and why should you keep them? Here are some ideas to help put it into perspective.
Commandment 1: Put God First
Sometimes it can be hard to put God first, such as when you’re so tired you’d rather sleep in than wake up for seminary or when you’d rather spend time on the Internet instead of preparing for your Sunday learning. While these decisions may seem small, they can have a big impact because they help you know if you’re putting “other gods” before Heavenly Father. Those “other gods” can include a lot of different things too, including possessions, a desire for power or popularity, or an unhealthy amount of time spent pursuing a hobby.
Think about how you plan your time and activities each day. Do your everyday decisions show Heavenly Father that you put Him first? Is there anything you should change because it’s taking priority over your relationship with God?
Commandment 2: Don’t Worship Idols
Idolatry is “the worship of idols or an excessive attachment or devotion to anything.” While you may think that most people don’t worship idols like they did in the Bible, it’s important to realize you may be giving more attention to everyday objects than you think. For example, have you ever become upset with a sibling because she tried to play with your autographed soccer ball or your new music player, placing that object as more important than your family? Or have you spent hours polishing and re-polishing a trophy or car that’s barely had time to gather dust since the last time you polished it? If so, you may be giving too much devotion to objects.
Worshiping idols can also mean becoming obsessed with people. You can learn a lot from people in the spotlight who have great skills, whether they be athletes, musicians, or actors—or even just the “popular” people at your school. But just because people get a lot of attention doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good role models for life. Learning good skills from them can be helpful, but following their examples can often go too far. Trying to be too much like someone else can cause you to lose sight of who you really are—a child of our Heavenly Father—and who the ultimate example is—Jesus Christ.
What are ways you can remember to follow Jesus Christ and keep Him as the ultimate example in your daily life?
Commandment 3: Don’t Take God’s Name in Vain
It’s important to be careful about the way you treat the names of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Doing so shows your love for Them. For the Strength of Youth says, “Always use the names of God and Jesus Christ with reverence and respect.” Make sure the media you read, watch, or listen to shows the same respect, because if you frequently hear the Lord’s name taken in vain, you may be more tempted to do so yourself. Also, you may want to be careful to avoid any commonly used abbreviations or phrases where the names of God and Jesus Christ are taken in vain.
How does what you say or listen to reflect how you feel about the great love and blessings from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?
Commandment 4: Keep the Sabbath Day Holy
The world often tempts you to misuse the Sabbath, treating it as a day to relax and enjoy yourself. And have you noticed that many of the biggest sporting events or the best shopping deals seem to be on Sundays? But this is not how you should view the Sabbath.
“Because the Sabbath is a holy day, it should be reserved for worthy and holy activities. Abstaining from work and recreation is not enough. In fact, if we merely lounge about doing nothing on the Sabbath, we fail to keep the day holy.” Rather than doing things that would make Sunday seem like just another day of the week, try to do things that honor the Sabbath, like reaching out to people in need, studying the scriptures, and spending time with family.
What things can you do on Sunday to remind yourself that the Lord has reserved the Sabbath as a day of worship?
Commandment 7: Don’t Commit Adultery
Television shows, movies, and music frequently portray sexual intimacy outside marriage not as a sin but rather as an acceptable way to have fun and for two people to show they love each other. But this attitude distorts Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. As Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in the April 2013 general conference, “Intimate relations are proper only between a man and a woman in the marriage relationship prescribed in God’s plan.”
Like all commandments, this one is given so that we can find true, eternal happiness. For the Strength of Youth teaches, “Remaining sexually pure helps you to be confident and truly happy and improves your ability to make good decisions now and in the future.”
What do you do to apply the principles taught by living prophets and inFor the Strength of Youth to keep yourself sexually pure and to avoid the false teachings of the world regarding sexual intimacy?
Commandment 10: Do Not Covet
Coveting means that you “envy someone or … have an excessive desire for something.” It’s not wrong to want to improve your life. In fact, working hard so you can provide for yourself and your future family is part of God’s plan for you. Even so, you need to be careful not to get caught up comparing yourself to others or focusing on what you don’t have. “Coveting … can consume our thoughts and plague us with constant unhappiness and dissatisfaction.” Instead, give thanks to Heavenly Father for all He has given you and do your best to improve your education and talents so you can best serve Him and follow His plan for you.
What goals can you set to keep improving your life while staying focused on the Savior and not coveting the lives, experiences, or possessions of others?
Blessings of Obedience
As you strive each day to keep the Ten Commandments—along with all of God’s commandments—you will find the blessings that our Heavenly Father has prepared for you. As Elder Perry said, “The commandments … are loving counsel from a wise, all-knowing Heavenly Father. His goal is our eternal happiness, and His commandments are the road map He has given us to return to Him, which is the only way we will be eternally happy.”
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Natures Candy and Cinnamon Nut Palmiers
- 1 large sweet potato
- 2 medium apples*
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp dried basil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel the sweet potato. Cut the sweet potato into one inch cubes. Wash the apples and then cut them into one inch cubes as well.
- Place the cubed sweet potatoes and apples in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, cinnamon, and basil. Toss until everything is well coated in oil and spices. Spread the apples and potatoes out onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or foil. Make sure they’re in a single layer and not piled up on one another.
- Roast the apples and potatoes for 30 minutes, or until they are tender and begin to look shriveled. Serve hot.
(From Budget Bytes )
Cinnamon Nut Palmiers
- 1 box (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- ½ cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
- Thaw the box of puff pastry either on the counter at room temperature or in the refrigerator over night. I just put mine in the refrigerator instead of the freezer when I got home from the store and a couple days later it was ready to go. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Sprinkle a clean counter top with powdered sugar to keep the dough from sticking. Unfold the dough and lightly drizzle it all over with honey (about 1 Tbsp per sheet). Next, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon, brown sugar and chopped walnuts. You don’t need a lot of any of these because you will be rolling the dough up and the ingredients will be more concentrated than they seem when it is unrolled.
- Roll each side of the puff pastry inward until the two sides meet. You may need to get a little more powdered sugar from the counter and powder up the log again.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the log into ½ inch sections and place them on a cookie sheet (about 1.5-2 inches apart).
- Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Check the cookies at 10 minutes and keep an eye on them. You want them golden brown but not dark brown. If the cookies get too dark they will taste like burnt sugar!
(From Budget Bytes )
- Obedience or Disobedience –
On one side of a paper, list the following actions: stay up too late, exercise, arrive late for school orwork, break a traffic law, smile, eat too much, drive on a flat tire, prepare well for an assignment ortest. If you desire, list any others that are applicable for your family. Draw a line down the middle ofthe paper.Briefly discuss what the word consequences means. Tell your family that every choice has aconsequence. Sometimes the consequences do not happen for a long time, but there is always aconsequence. Go through the list and have family members tell what the consequence of each actionmight be. On the other side of the line, write one or two consequences of each action. Determinewhether the action shows obedience or disobedience.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.