“Decisions of character are made by remembering the right order of the first and second great commandments.”
The most important of all the commandments of God is that one that you’re having the most difficulty keeping. Today is the day for you to work…until you’ve been able to conquer that weakness. Then you start on the next one that’s most difficult for you to keep.
“Someone once asked me, ‘Don’t you think the commandments should be rewritten?’ The answer was, ‘No, they should be reread.'”
“It has sometimes been asked whether God commands certain things because they are right, or whether certain things are right because God commands them…I empathically embrace the first alternative. The second might lead to the abominable conclusion that charity is good only because God arbitrarily commanded it — that He might equally well have commanded us to hate Him and one another and that hatred would then have been right. I believe, on the contrary, that ‘they err who think that of the will of God to do this or that there is no reason besides His will.'”
God’s laws are motivated entirely by His infinite love for us and His desire for us to become all we can become.
“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.”
“We need strength beyond ourselves to keep the commandments in whatever circumstance life brings to us. … The combination of trials and their duration are as varied as are the children of our Heavenly Father. No two are alike. But what is being tested is the same, at all times in our lives and for every person: will we do whatsoever the Lord our God will command us?”
“Because of Christ there is hope smiling brightly before you, and you need not worry too much about sickness, death, poverty, or other afflictions. The Lord will take care of you. Your responsibility is to keep the commandments, feast upon the words of Christ, and stay in the path to your heavenly home.”
There is a careful way and a casual way to do everything, including living the gospel. As we consider our commitment to the Savior, are we careful or casual? Because of our mortal nature, don’t we sometimes rationalize our behavior, at times referring to our actions as being in the gray, or mixing good with something that’s not so good? Anytime we say, “however,” “except,” or “but” when it applies to following the counsel of our prophet leaders or living the gospel carefully, we are in fact saying, “That counsel does not apply to me.” We can rationalize all we want, but the fact is, there is not a right way to do the wrong thing!