Saturday, May 13, 2017

D&C 130:19 -- On Rules and Knowledge

"And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come."
Doctrine and Covenants 130:19

What I find interesting about this verse today is the idea that obedience helps us gain knowledge and intelligence.  We rebel so often against "the rules," and yet the rules--or at least God's rules--are exactly what enable us to succeed.

I think of it a little like a game, although of course life is much more than that.  In a game, the rules are what define the whole activity.  Without rules, you can't win, and you can't even play, because without some kind of rules there is no game.

Life is much more serious than a game, as I said, but just like we can compare life to a story with a guaranteed happy ending, we can compare life to a game that we absolutely empowered to succeed at. Our father teaches us the rules, and he's even there with an unlimited supply of hints about strategy. The problem is that we misinterpret and misunderstand the rules so often, and we keep using the wrong strategy.  We try competing and undermining our opponents, but the victory conditions can't be met without working together to reach the final goal.  Our diligence and obedience in understanding the rules and following them can give us an advantage even beyond the game, because we'll have learned planning and strategy and cooperation and support.  All things we need in the real world.

And so it is with life, right?  The better we learn the gospel and the rules of this life, the better we will do, and the better the people around us will do with our help.  The more we are diligent and obedient in loving God, helping our fellow beings, and understanding and living the gospel, the more we will succeed together and be prepared for the world to come.  Today, let's work on our diligence and obedience.  Let's follow the rules and gain some knowledge and intelligence--and whatever we gain, let's go back again and apply those things in God's way, not our own, by loving and serving and becoming better, and making the world better in the process.

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