"There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated--
And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."
Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21
I've heard this scripture a lot... so many times in fact, that maybe I've never actually thought about it before. :) I've mentioned before that we are little children in comparison with the Lord... that we are struggling to get used to these bodies, finding out who we are, choices and consequences... learning to walk and talk. I think it gives the symbolism of baptism a remarkably literal flavor. Anyway, as children, we need some structure... some consistency, some rules. Children who are raised without consistency and a reward structure tend to fare worse in school and in corporate America... not that those are eternal indicators, but just helpful to my analogy. :) So... this is evidence of God's reward structure. :) As a perfect parent, he has put in place incredibly consistent laws, and ways for us to succeed and thrive as we learn. Just as with our everyday earthly lives, sometimes there are negative rewards, not meaning bad, but meaning... the reward for not running out into the street is that we don't die... we don't get an ice cream cone or anything. :) Sometimes the reward for refusing an addiction is merely that we aren't chained down by it anymore. Of course, without chains, we are free to put in force some positive action and receive positive rewards. Throughout the scriptures there are individual blessings tied to individual laws... for instance D&C 89:18-21 talks about rewards for obeying the Word of Wisdom. It's all part of the reward structure. And like all children, sometimes we test it... we see the least we can get by with and still receive the blessing... or the most we can get by with and still avoid the consequence. We're crazy like that... but God takes that all into account. He includes a sincere heart as part of the requirements in many of his laws, if not all. Anyway, today... let's learn something. Let's try not to test the Lord, but learn the lessons and receive the incredible blessings that he has in store.