- Act on any instructions you may receive through revelation
The prophet Joseph Smith wrote, “No month ever found me more busily engaged than November; but as my life consisted of activity and unyielding exertions, I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it.” (https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-13?lang=eng)
The prophet Nephi tells us that the Holy Ghost tells us what we should do in order to spiritually progress in 2 Nephi 32:
3) Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
4) Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.
5) For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
6) Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.
The prophet Isaiah explains that the Spirit tells us how to walk in the way (of salvation) – “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21).
Lehi and Nephi understood the word ‘commandment’ to mean a revelation from God in which he gives you a task to accomplish. For example, in 1 Nephi 2, Nephi tells us about the revelation-commandment that God gave Lehi to flee from Jerusalem:
1) For behold, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him: Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life.
2) And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.
3) And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.
4) And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.
In the next chapter, 1 Nephi 3, Nephi tells us about the revelation-commandment God gave Lehi to send his sons back to Jerusalem to get the brass plates:
4) Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, and seek the records, and bring them down hither into the wilderness.
5) And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.
6) Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured.
7) And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
After Nephi and his brothers return with the brass plates, Nephi comments that “thus far I and my father had kept the commandments wherewith the Lord had commanded us.” (1 Nephi 5:20). Later, Lehi received another revelation-commandment to send his sons back to Jerusalem to convince Ishmael and his family to join them so that Lehi’s sons could marry Ishmael’s daughters as found in 1 Nephi 7:
1) And now I would that ye might know, that after my father, Lehi, had made an end of prophesying concerning his seed, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise.
2) And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi, and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness.
In this passage, Nephi uses the word ‘commandment’ in such a way that you could substitute it with the word revelation without losing any meaning:
And after I had made these plates by way of commandment, I, Nephi, received a commandment that the ministry and the prophecies, the more plain and precious parts of them, should be written upon these plates; and that the things which were written should be kept for the instruction of my people, who should possess the land, and also for other wise purposes, which purposes are known unto the Lord. (1 Nephi 19:3)
Abraham desired to receive revelation-commandments and to do them in order to progress from one spiritual level to the next – “And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.” (Abraham 1:2).
As we receive revelation-commandments and then do as instructed, we are given more and more light – “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.” (D&C 50:24).