Wednesday, May 11, 2016

You Can Have What You Want or You Can Have Something Better

This post is about the Ten Commandments.  Each item corresponds to one of the ten in order as described by Moses in Exodus 20.

  1. You can believe in many gods or no god at all; you can look to horoscopes and scientific hypotheses for explanations or — you can have something better: a rock solid belief in God and trust that He will explain everything in his own due time.
  2. You can have your big house, fast car, and all the distractions of life or — you can have something better: a relationship with God.
  3. You can make your point with profanity or — you can have something better: reverence for the source of true power in the universe.
  4. You can vacation, work, wash your car and a hundred other things on the Sundays of your life — or you can have something better: nourishment that comes from worshipping in church and studying God’s word privately.
  5. You can harbor hatred towards your parents for all the mistakes they made — or you can accept their gift of life and the things they did right as the gift they truly are.
  6. You can take your frustrations to the extreme and kill either yourself or someone else or — you can learn to be happy by dealing with your emotions.
  7. You can have an affair, an open relationship or experiment with same gender attractions or — you can have something better: a marriage to someone who also keeps the law of chastity.
  8. You can take what you want or think you deserve with no thought for the consequences to others or — you can earn your daily bread through honest labor and gain the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.
  9. You can pretend to be who you aren’t, offer what you can’t deliver, and say what you don’t mean, but there is something better: one heart and one mind at peace with yourself and others.
  10. You can have a negative perspective preferring to focus on all the things you don’t have — a house as big as your neighbor’s, a husband or wife as good as someone else, a lack of health, wealth or talents and you can become bitter and resentful of God — or you can have something better: faith in His purposes for your life, hope in a brighter tomorrow, love for your neighbor and yourself and a sense of contentment and happiness.

Life is undoubtedly hard.  The trials we face force us to use all our resources, develop resources we never had and discover our own grit and stick-to-it-ness.  These Ten Commandments (as with all commandments) point the way to happiness.

This video is an excellent speech given to an audience of young BYU students but with a timeless message of hope and encouragement.

The title comes from Jeffrey R Holland as quoted here.

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