Obedience Prepares us to Better Serve God

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Richard G. Scott

When we are obedient, we are better prepared to serve God and those around us.

"Two missionaries who were aflame spiritually had spent an active day establishing a branch of the Church in a remote village.  At 5:30 that morning, they had taught a family before the husband left for the fields. 

Later they had struggled to plaster their adobe walls to keep out blood-sucking insects.  During the week they had laid a small cement floor and had hung a five-gallon can with a shower head to keep clean.  They had begun a sanitation facility and put new gravel and sand in their water filter.  For part of the day they had worked beside men in the fields to later teach them.  They were exhausted and ready for welcome rest.

"There came an anxious knock at the crude wooden door.  A small girl was crying.  She had been running and was gasping for air.  They struggled to piece together her message, delivered amid sobs in a torrent of words. 

Her father had suffered a severe head injury while riding his donkey in the darkness.  She knew he would die unless the elders saved his life.  Men of the village were at that moment carrying him to the missionaries.  She pled for her father's life, then ran to help him.

"The seriousness of their desperate situation began to engulf them.  They were in a village with no doctors or medical facilities.  There were no telephones. The only means of communication was a rough road up a riverbed, and they had no vehicle.

"The people of the valley trusted them.  The missionaries were not trained in medicine.  They did not know how to care for a serious head wound, but they knew someone who did.  They knelt in prayer and explained their problem to an understanding Father in Heaven.  They plead for guidance, realizing that they could not save a life without his help.

"They felt impressed that the wound should be cleansed, closed, and the man given a blessing.  One companion asked, 'How will he stand the pain?  How can we cleanse the wound and bless him while he is in such suffering?'

"They knelt again and explained to their Father,  'We have no medicine. We have no anesthetic.  Please help us to know what to do. Please bless him, Father.'

"As they arose,  friends arrived with the injured man.  Even in the subdued candlelight, they could see he had been severely hurt.  He was suffering greatly.  As they began to cleanse the wound, a very unusual thing occurred.  He fell asleep. 

Carefully, anxiously, they finished the cleansing, closed the wound, and  provided a makeshift bandage.  As they laid their hands on his head to bless him, he awoke peacefully.  Their prayer had been answered, and his life saved.  The trust of the people increased, and a branch of the Church flourished." 

These young missionaries were able to call upon the Lord for help because they had kept themselves clean and pure.  Their obedience made them instruments through which the Lord could work.


l.   Why did these missionaries have the confidence necessary to call directly upon Heavenly Father for help?

2.  What would have happened if the missionaries had not been obedient?   (They might have felt inadequate and not tried to help the injured man.   They might have felt unworthy to ask the Lord to help them.)

3.  How does obedience give us confidence?

4.  Why do you think obedience is called the first law of heaven?  (Because all blessings are based on obedience --see D&C 130:20-21). 

April 1989 Gen. Conf. "Trust in the Lord"