Please see the disclaimer.

This past weekend was the 190th Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, had encouraged us to prepare for the conference. I did so.

What I did was prepared to obey the word of the Lord to me, and then I prepared to write down every commandment I heard in the conference, whether directly from a speaker or the Spirit whispering to me.

I received 59 separate commandments:

  1. Accept tests from the Lord when He is proving, trying, and examining me.
  2. Prepare for the things that scare me because “if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.”
  3. Keep building our supply of food storage.
  4. Be a doer of the word, not just a hearer.
  5. Examine myself physically, socially, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
  6. Gain a stronger desire to be like Jesus Christ.
  7. Ask whick Christ-like attribute I lack most. Ask God and others, including my wife and bishop. 8 Repent. Choose to change. This means choosing a different action than I have normally done when I am about to break a commandment through habit.
  8. Focus on building specific Christ-like attributes, one at a time.
  9. Pray for God to help me see, to open my eyes. This especially includes how He sees me and others.
  10. See people deeply and be deeply seen. This means to see people as God sees them and to see myself as God sees me.
  11. Ask God what I should stop doing.
  12. Ask God what I should start doing.
  13. Stop looking at my phone.
  14. Love, serve, and affirm others.
  15. Love the Savior.
  16. Treat all with dignity and respect; this will build unity.
  17. Be one with others in Christ.
  18. Keep the Sabbath Day holy.
  19. Keep my Temple Recommend current.
  20. Be humble enough to accept commands I am already following.
  21. Build diligence, perseverance, gratitude, and patience.
  22. Forego anger and hatred in politics (and everything).
  23. Love my enemies and do good to them.
  24. Pray for my enemies.
  25. Learn from my enemies.
  26. Get to know my enemies.
  27. Obey the laws of the nation, as much as possible.
  28. Seek to understand the power of love.
  29. “Expand [my] circle of love to cover the entire human race.”
  30. Be a virtuous person.
  31. Preach virtue to prepare a sustainable society.
  32. Hearken to prophecy. (This means study the prophecies of the Last Days and follow them.)
  33. Change hearts. That is all the purpose I should need.
  34. Never desire more purpose than changing hearts.
  35. Refresh, edify, and inspire.
  36. Never allow myself to think that people are “others” and do not treat them as “others” as well.
  37. Focus more on my family.
  38. Do all in my power, and then stand still (in holy places).
  39. Pray for the nation and its leaders.
  40. Redouble my commitment to prayer
  41. Do not let thoughts that encourage sin to stay, including thoughts about breaking the Sabbath.
  42. Stay away from the magnet of temptation.
  43. Think more about Christ, love, virtue, the Sabbath, family, and all other good and eternal things. This is to change my thought habits and thereby, change my desires.
  44. Get outside my comfort zone and talk to people.
  45. Stand out, speak up, and be different.
  46. “Be ready always to give an answer for the hope that is in [me].”
  47. Let God prevail in my life.
  48. Make God (and Christ) to be the greatest, if not only, influence in my life.
  49. Expand my perspective, and seek the eternal.
  50. Do what God wants over every other ambition.
  51. Put off the attitudes of racism.
  52. Minister to others in their tribulation, even if suffering myself.
  53. Be patient in doing right; it took Enoch 365 years to be translated.
  54. Repent joyfully.
  55. Be diligent and patient in nourishing faith, and wait patiently.
  56. Look forward to the future, despite the commotion.
  57. Speak more of Jesus Christ.
  58. Make a list of the promises the Lord has given to covenant Israel.

The above commandments were (almost) exactly reproduced from my notes about the conference.

I am already obeying a lot of those commandments, but one of them, number 21, was a reminder to humbly accept correction in those commandments as well because I am not yet perfect.

Because obeying these commandments is not enough. I need to obey them exactly.

This was something I learned recently, before the conference.

My wife and I went on a trip to Florida, and while there, I had the opportunity to read on our down time, reading that I haven’t done in a while because before this vacation, I would usually waste time staring at my phone. (See number 14 above.) I actually broke that habit somewhat and read some books, including The First 2,000 Years, The Fourth Thousand Years, and Days of the Living Christ, all by W. Cleon Skousen.

I learned a lot about the Gospel, but the first and foremost thing was that nothing beats exact obedience in God’s eyes.

And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.

Abraham 3:25

It made sense to me. After all, I was at the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse and had experienced the literal night and day difference between total eclipse and just a sliver of sun.

When a sliver of the sun is still showing, even the tiniest amount, it still feels like day, just with a shadow. When total solar eclipse happens, the temperature drops about 20 degrees Fahrenheit and the animals immediately start acting like it’s night. In addition, the entire horizon looks like a late sunset.

It is literal night and day difference.

As I was reading those books by Brother Skousen, the Spirit kept telling me the same thing over and over: the prophets of those times, and Christ, pleased God and worked out their salvation (and Christ worked out salvation for all of us) through exact obedience to God, His laws, and His commandments.

So that was why I wrote down all of commandments: I want to practice exact obedience.

But I also learned that exact obedience is not enough; God and Christ require a willing heart. If obedience is done unwillingly, it does not count.

For behold, if a man being evil giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.

Moroni 7:8

On top of that, it is even better, but often not required, that we obey with enthusiasm.

For an example of where it was not required to obey with enthusiasm, consider God’s commandment to Abraham to sacrifice his son. I am sure it would have been bad if Abraham would have been enthusiastic about obeying.

To the end of being willing, I am going to call out some commandments that I am not quite willing to obey:

  1. Get to know my enemies.
  2. Learn from my enemies.
  3. Get outside my comfort zone and talk to people.

To keep all three of these commandments, I am going to start asking people I disagree with to meet with me. I will start with President Trump, Joe Biden, Vice President Mike Pence, Senator Kamala Harris, and especially, Senator Mike Lee and Senator Mitt Romney.