These three words spoken represent the most profitable direction that could possibly be given by anyone in any age and guarantees happiness.
Thomas Carlyle once said that a man’s religion is the most important thing about him. That is what he believes in and thinks about and works at and fights for and lives by.
Our eternal exaltation will not be awarded according to whether or not we make a good living, but according to whether or not we live a good life. Jesus announced the purpose of his own mission by saying, “… I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10.) And to produce the most abundant lives is our primary responsibility.
The primary message of the first great general conference held by Adam (D&C 107:54–56.) was also centered in that fundamental human requirement to “Keep the commandments.”
The religion of Christ is not just an idea; it is an activity. It is not just something for us to think about; it is something for us to do. These words also constitute the world’s most powerful success formula. The best way to be a good doctor or a good lawyer or a good teacher is to be a good man. These three words serve as the shortest, the most pleasant, the most direct, and the only road to the celestial kingdom.
Enoch said, “Keep the commandments,” and those who did were translated and taken up to heaven. Noah said, “Keep the commandments,” and those who did not were drowned, and their spirits were sent to the eternal prison house. The prophet Jonah said to the people of Nineveh, “Keep the commandments,” and when they obeyed, their city was saved.
All of these founding patriarchs lived in the days of great wickedness, and yet the scripture says that Noah was also perfect in his generation. It says, “and Noah walked with God.” (Gen. 6:9.) And most of his life was spent saying to the antediluvians, “Keep the commandments.”
We have many interests in common with the founding fathers of our world. They lived on one end of our civilization, and we live on the other. They stood in the forefront of our history, and we carry the responsibility for this equally important last-day period.
When one came to Jesus and said, “… what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Jesus said unto him, “[Thou knowest the law], keep the commandments.” (Matt. 19:16–17.)
Then on the night preceding his crucifixion Christ said to the apostles, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15.)
Great modern prophets are standing shoulder to shoulder with those of other times, again saying to all the world and to each of us individually,