The Value of Duty
- Carrying out assignments; supporting the body; fulfilling tasks, particularly when challenged by lack of understanding or excitement
- To follow customs, regulations and institutional codes out of a sense of duty
- A required act or course of action; moral obligation
- “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” – Daniel 1:8
- “And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace.” – Alma 24:19
Daniel and his three friends were taken captive and carried into Babylon. There, the King commanded that they eat his meat and drink his wine. But these boys refused to defile themselves with this food, despite the urging of their overseer who feared he would be executed for their poor health. After 10 days, however, not only were they healthier and stronger than their counterparts, but God honored their integrity by blessing them with knowledge, skill, and wisdom.
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies were a group of Lamanites who converted to Christ and renounced their bloodthirsty lifestyle. Soon afterward, another Lamanite group threatened them with massacre. In order to honor their covenant to never shed blood again, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies buried their weapons in the earth and allowed themselves to be slain. This passive gesture so convicted the hearts of their attackers that many of the enemy converted to Christ.
It’s easy to make excuses to compromise our duty to God. Daniel and his three friends could have claimed that they were captives in a foreign land or that they were risking the life of their overseer or that God had abandoned them to rationalize breaking their prohibition against eating meat.
The Anti-Nephi-Lehies could have succumbed to the fear that they and their loved ones would be mercilessly slaughtered, breaking their vow against violence. But, because these people honored their covenants to God — despite the assumed risks — God blessed them in unexpected ways.
When we do what’s right before God out of a sense of duty – like being honest with our taxes, like avoiding activities that provoke us to sin, like treating unlikeable people with kindness, like driving long distances to support church events — anything that seems inconvenient at the time, we can expect God to answer our prayers and bless us immeasurably beyond our minimal sacrifice. We have liberty and boldness to go before Him in prayer and to expect an answer.
Points to Ponder
- Do you find yourself serving God only when it’s convenient for you?
- Do you find yourself asking God for something when you know you haven’t been serving Him to the best of your ability like you promised at the water’s edge?
- Can you reflect on your life and identify present-day blessings that resulted from past decisions to uphold your commitments to God?
Send in Your Miracle Monday for February
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This article has undergone ministry review and approval.