Being accountable to God for your actions is one of the first lessons taught in the script of the Bible. Lucifer (in the guise of a serpent) beguiled Eve into partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Eve then persuaded Adam to do the same. When the Lord confronted them as to what had transpired, Adam attempted to blame his wife. When asked what she had done, Eve tried to shift the responsibility to the serpent. The Lord, however, held each of them accountable for their actions by measuring out a just judgement for their individual choices (see Genesis 3:7-25.)
Accountability Originated in God's Law
In this life, we have the opportunity to choose what we want, whether it is obedience to God's law or to become a law unto ourselves. The first yields eternal blessing and salvation; the latter brings an eternal death. In other words, in every thought and action we take, we are accountable to God.
Obedience Requires Introspection
In order to grow, we must look deeply inside ourselves and ask difficult questions about our motives. Alma 3:27 is an excellent place to test our righteousness; it outlines a test. This test signifies whether or not you are ready to stand at the judgement bar and be judged by Christ. Use these verses as a constructive way of changing your heart and mind when you fall short of the cross. Remember to be positive in your thoughts regarding how you can change.
Obedience is Learned by Doing
We do not learn obedience by just reading or studying, and God does not just give us obedience. What God does, instead, is give us opportunities to be obedient. These opportunities are not necessarily presented when everything is going our way. In these instances, they do not reflect true obedience. Why? Anything of value or worth must have a cost. The higher the cost, the greater the value. True obedience comes in the form of sacrifice. We have the infinite example demonstrated by our Lord and Savior. His obedience was performed on the cross. He was the example of many attributes of the Kingdom, but most of all, obedience. "...nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done."(Luke 22:42.)
Obedience Requires Order
Order is one of the defining words that describes God. It is on that basis then, that we must work to place our lives in holy order. This starts with the genuine desire to love God. This love of God then moves us to want to please Him. A desire to please requires the faith referred to in Hebrews 11:6: "Without faith it is impossible to please him." Finally, this faith leads to inspired action, which, if done with real intent of heart, has the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Remember, we cannot just be a little more righteous than those around us if we are to be in the Kingdom.
JAMES VUN CANNON
THE FIRST PRESIDENCY