Two Pathways to Obedience
Introduction

Life teaches mankind that there are two ways to find God's will:  through submission or rebellion.

Through submission, God shows the sinner that while we don't always understand the burdens he places on oneself, the promise is that his 'yoke is easy and his burden light.'  Submissive decisions are made by reconciling God's word to a situation, and applying the principle that may, at times, seem contrary to public opinion, or conventional wisdom.  In the end, the sinners submission proves the wiser road to happiness when one realizes he never walked alone.

Through rebellion, the sinner (trys to) show God that we understand life better than him, and because situations seem obvious to oneself, we make firm decisions contrary to God's gentle command.  These choices result in self-imposed disappointment, despair, and often tragedy.  

But in either choice, submission or rebellion, the sinner ultimately learns God's will.  Life proves, however, the second way, rebellion, is always harder, and in retrospect, the least desirable path to trod.

Living Example

The Book of Mormon provides an excellent comparison and contrast of obedience through submission and rebellion.

Consider the people of Limhi, and consider the people of Alma (escapees from King Noah's land).

Both groups had much in common:  

  • They were Nephites by origin
  • They wanted to return to their homeland Zarahemla
  • They believed in God
  • They had generally righteous men as leaders.
  • Both came into bondage by the enemy.
  • Both desired freedom

But notice how they approached their freedom differently.  Limhi's people sought it though rebellion and lack of submission; Alma's people, on the other hand, approached their freedom through obedience and submission. 

Action

Zeniff-Noah-Limhi (rebellion)

Alma (Submission)

Departed because of...

   ...Temporal Desire    ...Spiritual Desire
      Mosiah 6:6       Mosiah 9:2-6 , Mosiah 9:28
 

Suffered because of

   ..of Iniquity ...To Try Their Faith
     Mosiah 5:31       Mosiah 11:62
 

Deliverance came

 ...After repentance, then painful submission ...Through cheerful Submission all along
       Mosiah 9:153      Mosiah 11:64
 
 

Battles fought

...Without Godís strength, were offenders with sword. ...With Godís Strength without raising sword or offence
      Mosiah 9:145-147       Mosiah 11:65
 

Burdens Became

   ...Unbearable ...Un-'Feelable'
      Mosiah 5:35-36      Mosiah 11:61-65
 

Confidence Level...

   ...Afflicted and Scared ...Confident and Assurance
      Mosiah 9:143      Mosiah 11:2
 

Attempt to Deliver from Bondage by

   ...Raising Sword   ...Raising Voice to God
      Mosiah 9:145-147      Mosiah 11:59
 

Bondage Came due to

  ... Iniquity    ...Godís desire for testimony
     Mosiah 5:41-42      Mosiah 11:23 , Mosiah 11:62
 

Submission

   ...was Forced  ...was Chosen willingly
      Mosiah 9:142       Mosiah 11:64
 

Rescue came

...After Repentance and wine induced sleep ...Faithfulness and Spiritually induced sleep
      Mosiah 10:13       Mosiah 11:68-69
 

Final Destination 

...came to Zarahemla after maximum suffering ...came to Zarahemla after minimal suffering
      Mosiah 10:16       Mosiah 11:76
 
God's word teaches that 'every knee shall bow and tongue confess' that he is the savior.  Many bow willingly; sadly, many don't.

What is your response?  

  • Are you rebelling in tithing because you disagree with specific church policy at times, or do you submit because you realize that tithing is a means to bless the giver, not the receiver?  Limhi's people valued the temporal blessings more than the spiritual, at first.  Do you regard the monetary value of money higher than the spiritual value of obedience?
  • Are you rebelling against the church and left fellowship because of lines that humans have drawn in the sand, but that perhaps God has not?  Limhi's people raised the sword in offence and lost; Alma's people raised their voice (to God) and won.  Which path have you followed?
  • Or, have you put off the day of your repentance and chosen to be obstinate?  How is life for you now?  Are the burdens so light that you can't feel them, or are they so heavy you can't bear them? Do you feign outward happiness when you feel inward depression? Either way, the end will be to return to God.  The difference is the journey one takes:  submission through suffering or submission through choice.

Two paths lie ahead:  be willingly submissive to God or be smitten by the wrong choice.  In either case, the choice is yours.