I was preparing for a lesson on the importance of attending sacrament meeting in order to partake of the sacrament which is a remembrance of the atoning sacrifice of our Savior. As I read the words that it is actually a COMMANDMENT to do so, it came to me that the word commandment evokes different feelings for different people.
I have come to know that everyone isn't wired quite like I am. I am by nature an obedient personality. I was simply born that way. Put up a "Do Not Park Here" sign and I won't even consider it. I have, however, come to know that other people that would see that sign and think,"They must want me to park here or they wouldn't have suggested that I shouldn't." I have been in the car with those people and all the while I am suffering from a nervous, uncontrollable twitch.
So I concluded that for some the word commandment is seen as restriction and control and would especially bristle at the suggestion that they would be punished for not keeping the commandment as more of the same attempt to control.
Those who are more submissive like myself, however, could actually be more easily persuaded by evil commandments, such as those given by Hitler so I can't get too prideful of my innate nature. Also we could only actually just fear the punishment for disobedience to the righteous commandments. And let's face; that wouldn't be a good enough reason for compliance.
I have come to see the healthy and beneficial attitude is to see commandments for what they really are. They are from a loving Father in Heaven who wants the very best for us and wants to lead us to health and happiness. Instead of a restriction, they are an opportunity. Instead of control, they are a protection. Instead of a roadblock, they are a direction. And instead of focusing on punishment for breaking them, they can be a blessing for keeping them. They are something I want to do, not feel like I have to do.
So I ask again, how do you feel about keeping the COMMANDMENTS?
Restriction or Opportunity?
Control or Protection?
Roadblock or Direction?
To Punish or To Bless?
How we see a commandment will make all the difference, especially the commandment to go and honor and celebrate the atoning gift of our Savior, because either we will run from or embrace. And in the end we might run from or embrace joy and peace.