Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Deliberate Disobedience

At one point in Disney's The Lion King, The mane (main) character, Simba really wanted to escape the confines of his father's kingdom.  He escaped with his (girl)friend Nala, to an elephant graveyard where hyenas rule and the king's dominion is limited.  You've heard the phrase, "curiosity killed the cat".  Well, in this case, it almost killed two lions and a toucan.  They end up barely escaping the wrath of the hyenas, but only with some help from Mufasa, the king.  After this incident Mufasa is chastising his son for his youthful indiscretion.  One line of his lecture always catches my attention more than any other, "You deliberately disobeyed me!".  Mufasa gave Simba explicit directions never to leave the pride.  As the king's son, Simba was guaranteed freedom and protection anywhere in his father's kingdom.  But when outside those boundaries, Simba was a huge target as the heir to the throne.

Similarly, we are "heirs of God" (Romans 8:17).  God is our father and He wants the best for us.  He wants us to be happy so He gives us commandments.  When we obey God and His commandments, we learn for ourselves the blessings that come from obedience.  But sadly, like Simba, we sometimes learn these lessons another way.  When we "deliberately disobey" the commandments of God, we learn firsthand that "wickedness never was [or is] happiness"(Alma 41:10).

Elder David A. Bednar
Most fathers, including the wise Mufasa, have their children's safety and well-being at heart when they give useful and sometimes stern counsel.  Our Father in Heaven knows what we can become, that's why He gives us these commandments.  Just like Mufasa, God wants His children to become like Him.  To accomplish this, we need to avoid dangers and pitfalls.  You could describe this as our own "elephant graveyard[s]" where Satan rules and the Holy Ghost's effect is diminished.  This could be a physical place or simply thoughts in our minds or our hearts.  Whatever the case, we must avoid these dangers at all costs if we are to fulfill our commission as "joint-heirs with Christ".

God wants the best for us.  Commandments are there to protect us and strengthen us.  When we follow the counsel of God we will learn this for ourselves.  Like Simba eventually did, we will see our potential and rise to the occasion.

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