Are we willing to put our own causes second to God’s?

When the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, He commanded “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” adding “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them or serve them.”

In other words, God must come first.

In His mortal ministry, Jesus Christ expanded on this concept, giving “the first and great commandment”: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Matt. 22:37).” He then gave the second: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Matt. 22:39).”

Again, God must come first.

In our day, idols and graven images are generally symbolic of things we put before the Lord. Popularity. Technology. Influencers. Jobs. Money. Power.

But sometimes, our idols are more subtle, especially when these idols use the very virtues and spiritual gifts that Christ has given us.

If a cause we support distances us from wanting to keep our covenants, it becomes an idol. If people make us choose a relationship with them over one with God, they can be an idol. When our compassion comes before our commitment to God, it can become an idol.

So how do we put God first? By following His words. The Lord has called prophets in every dispensation and has repeatedly proclaimed that His words will come from His chosen mouthpiece, the prophet. “Our sustaining of prophets is a personal commitment that we will do our utmost to uphold their prophetic priorities” (President Russell M. Nelson, Sustaining the Prophets, Oct. 2014).

One such prophetic priority has been made clear from the earliest scriptures to the most recent general conference: God’s pattern for families.

President Dallin H. Oaks has declared:

“I believe our attitude toward and use of the family proclamation is one of those tests for this generation. I pray for all Latter-day Saints to stand firm in that test.”

As we cling to the first great commandment, we will find greater strength to adhere to the second commandment, too. We will have the strength to stand firm in the tests of our generation.

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