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Obedience to God is the First Law of Heaven

Speaking of obedience to God and his commandments, the Prophet Joespeh Smith said,

"Obedience is the first law of heaven… without obedience there could be no union or order, and chaos and confusion would prevail…for it is on this principle that the designs and purposes of God are accomplished.” 1

Obedience to God brings blessings

Heavenly Father has decreed that obedience to his commandments always results in blessings:

“when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” 2

On the other hand, disobedience to God's commandments always results in misery, for “wickedness never was happiness.” 3

Obedience to God and individual choice

Heavenly Father has given each of us the supernal gift of moral agency—the ability and opportunity to choose between good and evil. In other words, we have the God-given ability to choose. But we must be wise in choosing. When we choose to follow God and obey his commandments, we are choosing to conform to his will. Promised blessings follow. Moreover, choosing to obey God is a demonstration of our love for him. Jesus said,

“If ye love me, keep my commandments…He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me….” 4

As much as blessings follow obedience, consequences follow disobedience:

  • Blessings for obedience.


  • Punishments for disobedience

Obedience to God--from fear to duty to love

Although Heavenly Father expects us to exercise our moral agency by our obedience to him, he also understands our weaknesses. Just as parents are patient with their growing children, so Heavenly Father is patience with us as we mature in the principle of obedience.

Motivations for obedience are fear, understanding and duty, and love. For example, we often show our obedience to a law of God because we fear the consequence. But over time, as we begin to understand the principles that support the law and experience evidence of the blessings, we are willing to show our obedience as an act of duty. The highest motivator of obedience is love--we are willing to offer God our obedience because we love him.

When we experience the happiness that flows from obedience, obedience is no longer something to be feared or a duty or a sacrifice. We choose obedience over all other options because its results are always the most desirable. Then, of course, the greatest blessing of obedience is the growing, loving relationship we have with Heavenly Father.

Questions about 'Obedience to God is the First Law of Heaven'

  • Obedience to God is the first law of what?


  • What results always come from obedience to God? From disobedience?


  • Obedience to God is only possible if we have a choice. God's gift to us--our freedom to choose--is called what?


  • How are love and keeping God's commandments connected?


  • How does obedience to God migrate from immature to mature?


  • What is the highest manifestation of obedience that results in the greatest blessing?

What should you do now?

If any part of this message rings true, we invite you to take the next steps:

  1. Request free materials
  2. Invite missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to visit you and teach you more.

In either case, you have no obligation. But if you have the courage to act, you will discover the greatest revelation and happiness of your life!

References for 'Obedience to God is the First Law of Heaven'

  1. Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., 16:, p.248
  2. D&C 130:20-21 – here is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.
  3. Alma 41:10 – Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
  4. John 14:15, 21