I want to be exactly obedient. I want to be exactly obedient not just because I want miracles. In fact, not even mainly because I want to be a part of miracles. I want to be exactly obedient because I love God. I really do. And because I love Him I really, really want to obey Him. Exactly. I want to be exactly obedient. Not partially obedient, not mostly obedient, not sloppily obedient, not letter-of-the-law obedient. Exactly obedient.
Exactly obedient but not perfectly obedient. Perfect obedience implies that one does not make mistakes which is impossible. It is also not part of God’s plan. We are here to learn from our experiences. A vital part of our mortal education is learning from our mistakes. In order to learn from our mistakes, we must make them. Exact obedience does not mean that we don’t make mistakes. It means that we correct them quickly once we recognize them. We make course corrections as soon as we realize we are off course.
Brother Joseph M. Brough said, "I am sure that I do not completely understand what exact obedience means, but here is what I have come to understand. It is not perfect obedience; that is impossible. Hence, repentance must be a key part of exact obedience." http://www.byui.edu/devotionals/brother-m-joseph-brough
"Repentance must be a part of exact obedience." I love this!!! Sometimes we think repentance is only for when we screw up. Not so. Repentance is part of the path, not just a way to get us back on the path.
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught about repentance: “When we sin, we turn away from God. When we repent, we turn back toward God….The invitation to repent is rarely a voice of chastisement but rather a loving appeal to turn around and to ‘re-turn’ toward God [see Helaman 7:17]. It is the beckoning of a loving Father and His Only Begotten Son to be more than we are, to reach up to a higher way of life, to change, and to feel the happiness of keeping the commandments. Being disciples of Christ, we rejoice in the blessing of repenting and the joy of being forgiven. They become part of us, shaping the way we think and feel.” (Neil L. Andersen, Oct. 2009 general conference.)
Life’s path holds many twists some of which turn me away from my Lord. I rejoice in the blessing of repenting, in the opportunity to re-turn toward Him!