“In a world where the moral compass of society is faltering, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ never wavers, nor should its stakes and wards, its families, or its individual members. We must not pick and choose which commandments we think are important to keep but acknowledge all of God’s commandments. We must stand firm and steadfast, having perfect confidence in the Lord’s consistency and perfect trust in His promises.”
As we consider the Ten Commandments, we might feel they don’t have much relevance to our day-to-day lives. Most faithful Latter-day Saints are far from crossing the lines of killing, stealing, and cheating. However, whether a certain commandment feels more applicable than some to our personal circumstances, pondering each one and seeking ways to more fully obey them will bring us closer to Jesus Christ.
We’ve come up with ten unique suggestions on how we might live the Ten Commandments more fully.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
This commandment focuses on what we choose to worship and why. The ancient Israelites were introduced to numerous gods and goddesses from various religions and cultures throughout their journeyings.
Today, we love connecting this first commandment to the invitation given in Alma 37:36: “Let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.”
Focus on building your faith through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Seek to know His character and His will. Instead of the transactions of worship, performing rites and actions in hopes of obtaining something, strive to worship God from a place of love and devotion.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
While the idea of idolatry has changed forms in our modern era, we still struggle with idols—namely, influencers, celebrities, and other prominent voices that compete for our attention. It can be a blessing to have ample access to a wide variety of ideas. We can learn from one another and gain more empathy for those who are different from us. But do we place some of these influences before God and His teachings?
This week, go through your social media accounts and ponder on the influencers you regularly follow and interact with. Ask who builds your faith and expands your knowledge. Consider removing those who do not uplift and focus your attention on Christ.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
We just need to walk down the street, listen to music, or tune into our favorite show to hear the name of the Lord used in painful and blasphemous ways. It is important that each of us do what we can to support holy language and avoid inappropriate media.
However, we can magnify this commandment when we actively try to speak well of the Lord. Whether we talk about our Church activities and beliefs more regularly in conversation or post inspiring materials and thoughts online, we can help combat the evil words against God with uplifting testimonies of our own. As disciples of Christ, we can be more brave and bold in speaking of the Savior and His influence on us.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
It’s never been easy to keep the Sabbath Day holy, but we certainly have a lot of distractions today! From fun social activities to easy access to media, it can be hard to keep our minds and hearts focused on Christ. The more time we can disconnect from the world and connect with God, the better.
Here’s an idea to remember the Sabbath Day: plan for it! We often wake up on Sunday morning and just see where the day takes us. Instead, spend some time on Saturday planning out what you will do to make it a holier day. Set up a time to minister to others, choose appropriate media, prep your meals, or plan time to ponder outdoors.
By making a plan, you show the Lord that the Sabbath is important enough to plan for and think about ahead of time.
Honour thy father and thy mother.
We all have vastly different relationships with our parents. We may honour our parents naturally because of their great love for us or we may have been deeply hurt by them. We may not even know our parents or have contact with them.
Whatever your relationship is with your parents, recording their histories and stories is one powerful way to honour them. If you have contact with your parents, ask them questions about their lives and record the answers. You may also want to record your own memories about them that are significant to you. If you don’t know your parents, write about those people who have a positive spiritual impact on your life.
Take some time to enter this information into FamilySearch.org or another genealogical website where it will be safe and digitized.
Thou shalt not kill.
Now, this one might seem like a tough one to incorporate into our lives. Most of us have no intention to harm others.
Instead, seek to minister to those who have been harmed by violence in your communities. Consider searching for organizations that support:
- Children who have lost guardians due to violence
- Those impacted by suicide loss
- Reducing gun violence in schools and communities
- Prison reform and support
- Victims of domestic violence
We live in a violent world and there are many different ways we can get involved that suit our personal attitudes and passions. In all things, seek to follow President Russel M. Nelson’s counsel:
“My call today, dear brothers and sisters, is to end conflicts that are raging in your heart, your home, and your life. Bury any and all inclinations to hurt others—whether those inclinations be a temper, a sharp tongue, or a resentment for someone who has hurt you.”
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Homes and families are broken by adultery and sexual sin every day. One way we can purify ourselves and place sexuality in a healthy, godly perspective is to counteract the desensitization that’s taken place in our lives from the mass amount of sexualized media we’re exposed to.
It’s hard, but try and go one week without any media at all. Focus on not watching any television or movies. Log off social media and try not to listen to music. The goal is to embrace stillness and quiet, seeking to detox from the world and become more sensitive to the spirit.
See what difference just one week will make in how you respond to the things you normally partake in.
Thou shalt not steal.
One unique way we can keep this commandment is by being generous. Everything we have comes from the Lord. When we do what we can to give back in abundance, we will find ourselves more closely connected to Him. If you’re able, give more than you normally would in a fast offering this month. If you’re unable, look for other ways to be generous.
We often get caught up with needing to have more. We fear loss. When we are generous, we show the Lord we have faith in His abundance.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
There are many little ways we lie throughout our day-to-day lives. One thing we don’t often think about is seeking help or being open about our struggles. We shouldn’t be vulnerable with just anyone. Boundaries are important when it comes to who we open up to and share our hearts with.
However, we often have more people in our lives than we realize who stand ready to help us. Ponder on who you can trust and look for ways to be more emotionally available to them. Practice asking for help or admitting that things have been rough. Especially, kneel in prayer and be honest with God about all the things you experience and feel, no matter how shameful or embarrassed you might be.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.
Coveting isn’t just about being jealous. It’s about craving and longing for what we don’t have and especially for what others have. We can battle covetousness by showing gratitude. This upcoming week, take time each day to write down all the things you’re grateful for. Don’t worry about repeating yourself. You can use your journal, sticky notes, or the Gospel Library app.
You may also want to consider trying to say a prayer of only gratitude in the upcoming week.
We hope these ideas help you feel more connected and confident in keeping the Ten Commandments. What are some other ways you’ve lived them in your own lives?
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.