First let me say that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That is the actual and proper name for our church. Our church is often referred to as the LDS Church, or the Mormon Church. This series of posts was at the request of some of my friends on Facebook. You can read more about that here–on my Landing Page or introduction for the Write 31 Days Challenge.
This is a very abbreviated lesson on The Commandments. This lesson can also be taught over several different visits, as there are a lot of different principles. For this reason, I am splitting this lesson material into two posts. This is the second post for this lesson. If you would like to know more, I encourage you to visit with the full time missionaries of the Church. You can get information on how to contact them here.
From the Preach My Gospel Manual:
Follow the Prophet
Truth is a knowledge of things as they really are, were, and will be. It does not change with conditions or time. Truth is the same in every age and culture. God is the source of all truth. We can have faith in Him because we know He will teach us only truth. God wants all His children to know the truth. Therefore, He reveals the truths necessary for salvation through prophets and apostles. He reveals truth to us personally through the scriptures and personal revelation.
A prophet is called and chosen by God and is a righteous man with great faith. The Lord reveals truth to him through the Holy Ghost. He commands His prophet to teach truth to all people. Those who believe God’s words as revealed through His prophet are blessed.
Christ’s Church is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, who direct the Church by revelation. The Lord called Joseph Smith as the first prophet and head of this last dispensation. His successors who lead The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today are also prophets and apostles. The President of the Church today is a living prophet. We are to have faith in God’s chosen prophet, gain conviction of his divine calling, and follow his teachings.
We have frequent opportunities to sustain Church leaders publicly. Sustain means to support. We are to prepare ourselves so that when the prophets and apostles speak, the Holy Ghost can confirm the truths they teach, and we can then determine to follow the counsel they give us.
Those who listen to and follow the counsel of living prophets and apostles will not go astray. The teachings of living prophets provide an anchor of eternal truth in a world of shifting values and help us avoid misery and sorrow. The confusion and strife of the world will not overwhelm us, and we can enjoy the assurance of being in harmony with God’s will.
Keep the Ten Commandments
Heavenly Father gives us commandments so that we will know what to do and what to avoid in order to receive the blessings He wants to give us (joy, peace of conscience, lasting happiness). God revealed to Moses the Ten Commandments to guide His people:
- “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Other “gods” can include possessions, power, or prominence.
- “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:4).
- “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7).
- “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
- “Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12).
- “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13).
- “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
- “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
- “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” (Exodus 20:16).
- “Thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:17).
The Ten Commandments are still valid today. They teach us to worship and show reverence for God. They also teach us how to treat one another.
Live the Law of Chastity
God delights in chastity and hates sexual sin. Chastity includes strict abstinence from sexual relations before marriage and complete fidelity and loyalty to one’s spouse after marriage. Those who live the law of chastity enjoy the strength that comes from self-control. They enjoy confidence and trust in their family relationships. They can enjoy more fully the influence of the Holy Ghost in their lives. Those who break this law are subject to a lasting sense of shame and guilt that burdens their lives.
Chastity requires faithfulness in thought and action. We must keep our thoughts clean and be modest in our dress, speech, and actions. We must avoid pornography in any form. We should treat the God-given procreative power and our bodies as sacred. Baptismal candidates are to live the law of chastity, which prohibits any sexual relations outside of a legal marriage between a man and a woman. They are not to participate in abortions or homosexual or lesbian relations. Those who have committed sexual sin can repent and be forgiven.
Obey the Word of Wisdom
The Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith a law of health called the Word of Wisdom. This law teaches us what foods and substances we should and should not use to maintain the health of our bodies and to keep us free from evil influences. The Lord promises blessings of health, strength, protection against evil, and greater receptiveness to spiritual truths.
Remember that our bodies are sacred. We should treat them with respect and reverence. The Word of Wisdom teaches that we are to eat healthy foods. It teaches very specifically that we are to avoid harmful substances, including alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee. We must also avoid harmful drugs in any form. To be baptized and confirmed, those you teach must give up these substances. People who obey the Word of Wisdom are more receptive to spiritual truths.
Keep the Law of Tithing
One of the great blessings of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the privilege of contributing to the growth of the kingdom of God through paying tithing. Tithing is an ancient, divine law. For example, the Old Testament prophet Abraham paid tithes of all he possessed (see Alma 13:15).
To those who pay tithing, the Lord promises that He will “open … the windows of heaven, and pour … out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). These blessings may be temporal or spiritual, but they will come to those who obey this divine law.
Tithing means one-tenth, and the Lord has commanded us to give a tenth of our increase, which is understood to mean income, that we may be blessed. The law of tithing gives us the opportunity to help build His kingdom. Our tithes are holy to the Lord, and we honor Him by paying tithing. God promises to abundantly bless those who pay an honest tithe. Those who do not pay tithing rob God (see Malachi 3:8). They keep for themselves something that rightfully belongs to Him. We should seek first the kingdom of God, and tithing is an important way of doing that. Paying tithing is an expression of our faith. It is an outward sign of our belief in God and His work.
Tithing funds are used to support the ongoing activities of the Church, such as building and maintaining temples and meetinghouses, carrying the gospel to all the world, conducting temple and family history work, and many other worldwide activities. Tithing does not pay local Church leaders, who serve without receiving payment of any kind.
Local Church leaders send the tithing received each week directly to Church headquarters. A council comprised of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the Presiding Bishopric determines specific ways to use the sacred tithing funds.
Observe the Law of the Fast
Great blessings are available to those who obey God’s commandment to fast. Fasting means going without food and drink for a period of time. Usually the first Sunday of each month is set aside as a special day to fast for two consecutive meals, pray, and bear testimony. Fasting and prayer go together. When we fast and pray with faith, we are more receptive to receiving answers to our prayers and blessings from the Lord. He promises us that He will guide us continually. We should fast and pray for specific purposes. Fasting is private and spiritual, and we should not draw attention to the fact that we are fasting.
Pure religion includes caring for the poor. We are to help them meet their physical and spiritual needs. When we fast, we donate money to the Church for the care of the poor and the needy. We call this a fast offering. We give at least the amount of money we save by fasting for two meals. However, we need not limit our contribution to the cost of two meals. We are encouraged to be as generous as our means allow. By caring for the poor, we help fulfill our baptismal covenant and retain a remission of our sins.
Caring for the Poor
Obey and Honor the Law
Latter-day Saints everywhere believe in obeying the laws of the country in which they live. Members of the Church are counseled to be good citizens, to participate in civil government and the political process, and to render community service. They do so, however, as concerned citizens, not as representatives of the Church.
If you want to know more, here is a non-threatening way to see what a lesson with the missionaries would be like (without the interaction of course.) These videos are done by a couple of members of the church to share what would be taught by missionaries.
Follow the Prophet
Live the Law of Chastity