All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.To be justified means we live in agreement with the laws of the kingdom we are in. This means we cannot be condemned for breaking the laws, for we are living within them. Keeping the commandments (the laws of God) justify us in His eyes, so we stand blameless before Him. The name of the set of laws we live under in mortality is called the gospel of Christ. The gospel contains the complete set of laws under which we will be governed and judged. As long as we live by those laws we are blameless or justified. It is important to understand that the laws under which we live are not in place because they are to keep us in line. These are the same kinds of laws God lives by. These laws produce happiness as their byproduct. He wants us to live the gospel to its fullest because then and only then will we experience joy in its fullest sense. By learning to keep the commandments we come to understand that we need to obey them not out of fear, but out of love, because keeping them makes us happy. Keeping the commandments becomes the outward expression of our inward love of God.
Turning From the LordAs long as we follow Christ and obey His commandments we are blessed with all the help and support the laws of the gospel allow. It is when we turn away from following Christ and do as we want instead of as He wishes that we no longer have claim upon His blessings. Remember that the law states that only those who are justified have claim upon the blessings of the law. Those who have broken the laws have no promise, for those who break the laws are under condemnation from the law. Unless that person repents and conforms to the law, the end result will be punishment by the laws we have broken. Fortunately for us the Lord delays punishing us as long as possible, giving us the maximum amount of time to repent so he doesn't have to punish us.
It is necessary for us to walk in the full light of the truth, not in part of the truth only. I haven’t the privilege of discarding some of the principles of the gospel and believing others, and then feel that I am entitled to the full blessings of salvation and exaltation in the kingdom of God. If we want exaltation, if we want the place which the Lord has prepared for those who are just and true, then we must be willing to walk in the full light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and keep all the commandments. We cannot say that some of them are small and insignificant and therefore the Lord will not care if we violate them.
Be PerfectThe Lord has commanded that we become perfect as He is perfect. This is not something that can be accomplished in this lifetime, but we do lay the groundwork in this life. We become perfect by practicing all the virtues of godliness each day. We learn patience, long suffering, charity, forgiveness, faith, and so forth. These all take a lot of practice and many years to master. All we are expected to do is be better today than we were yesterday. If we are not, are we repenting and trying again to be better? This all assumes we are aware of our short comings and our weaknesses. This assumes we are seeking the Lord’s help in overcoming those things which hold us back and prevent us from receiving the full blessings of the gospel.
No commandment, at any time, has He given us, that was not for our comfort and blessing. They are not given merely to please the Lord, but to make us better men and women, and worthy of salvation and exaltation in His kingdom.
ConclusionWe are all seeking to be protected from the evils of this world. That protection is had at the cost of obedience to the commandments. The protection Christ offers us is the strength to know evil when we cross its path, the ability to discern it, the power to withstand it, and the joy and comfort that comes from being true to our commitments. In the process of being true, we develop honesty and integrity, the Spirit teaches us godly ways of being, and we become not just more like Christ, but closer to Him because we begin to feel as He feels and to act as He acts. This is what it means to have His image in our countenance. It all starts with the choice to obey.
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To read the full lesson, click here: Teaching of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith, Chapter 18: Living by Every Word that Proceeds from the Mouth of God