Why Keeping God's Commandments Brings Success

In a previous post, I talked about the following promise from God, found in the Book of Mormon:

“Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper”     (1 Nephi 2:20).

To briefly review, I concluded that it is not fruitful to compare our prosperity to our neighbor’s prosperity because that causes us to be guilty of the sin of pride. Please consider reading that post before reading this one because I believe it lays an important foundation for the concepts I will share here.

In this post, I would like to talk about why keeping God’s commandments causes us to prosper.

Jesus Christ said, in His Sermon on the Mount, “Your Father … maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). In short, Christ is telling us God is no respecter of persons: good things happen to bad people, bad things happen to good people, and the reverse.

If we think about the rain and sun literally, a “good” farmer and a “bad” farmer living in the same town are going to be exposed to the same weather conditions. However, if one of them keeps the commandments, how much more successful will that farmer be?

a red barn on a farm

Let’s look at three commandments in particular:

  • “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16).
  • “But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work” (Exodus 20:10).
  • “Cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated” (D&C 88:124).

If the farmer is honest (Exodus 20:16), those who purchase his products are more likely to give him return business. If the farmer rests on the seventh day (Exodus 20:10), he will have more energy the rest of the week. If the farmer wakes up early, goes to bed early, and gets the right amount of sleep (D&C 88:124), he will have more energy and be more focused, and get more done, among other great blessings. If you do not believe me, look into the scientific research and literature on honesty, the concept of a Sabbath, and sleep. It’s amazing that these blessings alone are all from three commandments. There are so many more commandments and counsel from God that would bless us and help us prosper (God’s health laws, act and not be acted upon, prayer, scripture study, meditation, loving and serving others, etc.).

It is clear to me that living God’s commandments is not some kind of magic. Money does not fall from the sky because we are living the way God asks us to. God does not cause our circumstances to change; instead, through keeping His commandments, we change our circumstances.

It is important to note that in rare circumstances God does bless us with changed circumstances (Moses parting the Red Sea, the Brother of Jared’s stones being touched by the finger of God, etc.), but overall just keeping the commandments by themselves brings us prosperity and success.