Natural Consequences

For the past several months, I’ve been getting a daily installment of scriptures on hotmail, and it’s been awesome. Since I could custom order what I wanted, I decided to start with Psalms and Proverbs, and then I backtracked to Genesis through Deuteronomy, the Pentateuch. Then, since we’ve been studying the Doctrine and Covenants in Sunday school this year, I opted to receive a daily dose of that. It’s been fantastic, especially since I finally figured out how to access hotmail on my Blackberry. So if anyone sees me checking out my phone, I might be checking for missed calls or for FB posts, but it’s also quite likely that I’m reading the scriptures. How handy is that?

Today I’m thinking of a verse from D & C 82:10:  “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” As I read this passage on my phone, I remembered some comments made by a former bishop. Frequently, people “lost and weary” and troubled in heart and soul sought him out. And then sometimes they looked to him for helpful advice on everyday issues related to marriage, finances, employment, and prodigal children.  This particular bishop said he always asks his advice seekers some basic questions pertaining to living the gospel of Christ.

  • Do you show love to others, even those nearest and dearest to you? I mention that question because sometimes people find it easier to write big checks to a favorite charity than spend an hour with a child or spouse.
  • Do you pray often, both alone and as a family or couple? Do you thank the Lord for His tender mercies and ask for His guidance in matters great and small?
  • Do you attend church meetings and fulfill all callings (or church positions) to the best of your ability?
  • Do you read and study the scriptures?
  • Are you living the commandments, especially the first and greatest of them all?
  • Do you pay a full tithe?
  • Are you keeping the Sabbath holy?

Interestingly but not surprisingly, the answers are often no, no, no, and no again. Hey, I’m not a perfect person and have been known to slip and fall more times than I can count. At the same time, I KNOW from experience and observation that obedience brings more peace and solace than disobedience does.  Sometimes walking a straight path is more challenging than taking fun side trips, and yet the consequences are better…especially in the long run.

The more I think about this principle of obedience, the more I realize that it’s just like real life. There are always consequences for our behavior. If you don’t practice the piano, you’ll be mediocre at best, and the same goes for sports. If you give your work “a lick and a promise,” you’ll soon earn the reputation of being a so-so employee. If you have hissy-fits to get your way, you might find yourself without friends. If you keep smoking, you might find yourself walking about with an oxygen pack. The odd part is that people don’t necessarily see their own part in these unfortunate consequences.

Funny how the messages in the scriptures apply to so many aspects of our lives isn’t it? Whether temporal or spiritual, there are always consequences, and I want all the good ones I can get.

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

3 thoughts on “Natural Consequences”

  1. I love that thought! And you’re right – everything IS a natural consequence. It reminds me why we have commandments in the first place. It’s not because God gets a kick out of telling us what to do. It’s because he’s telling us what things we should do that will bring us the best “consequences”!

  2. Tithing is something that I have always wanted to be more committed to.

    When I started paying Sean’s student loan back, I know it wasn’t exactly tithing but I felt I was giving back from what I had received.

    I am still aiming for “real” tithing, though, once I get an income of my own.

  3. do you use the nnew new family search to set up names to submit to the temple because it it is so EASY…..i am submitting a cousin who was born in 1944 and died in 1993 and am sealing his mother who committed suicide to him and her husband next teusday night, sealing room reserved…..you should add this to your list you have on your post….oh not my people but different people on you search to do list…love the putz

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