This past week I answered a question for my missionary daughter about the living a higher law.
I gave it a ton of thought before I answered her. I decided that living the higher law comes down to the two great commandments… Loving God and Loving your neighbor. We are living the higher law when make these two commandments our standard to live by.
Living by the Spirit is a part of living the higher law. If we put traditions and rules above seeking personal revelation, we may be missing the point of the higher law. Sometimes people get hung up on “what is mentioned as a sin.” It is simple. Anything that separate us from God is a sin, whether it is mentioned in a conference talk as a commandment, a scripture, a pamphlet or some policy manual. If doing the action leads us away from God, away from the Spirit, it is something we shouldn’t do… that is the higher law.
Titus 3:8-9 teaches that the higher law is to avoid foolish questions, contention, and strife.
Paul taught in 2 Corinthians 3 that the law no longer needs to be written in stone. It needs to be written on our hearts. Rather than insisting on being carefully instructed in every little thing that we must do and not do, we are expected to learn and follow correct principles. Writing the gospel on our hearts also pertain to our motives for obeying God’s commandments. We obey because we love. Love should be our primary motivating factor… our reason for doing everything. If we truly love God and our fellowmen we would have no need to have commandments written in stone before we keep them. Obedience would be a natural fruit and expression of our devotion to God… and a reflection of our efforts to be like Jesus.
President Dallin H. Oaks taught, “Well-taught doctrines and principles have a more powerful influences on behavior than rules.” (Ensign, Nov. 1999)
Joseph Smith said, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”
This is the order of heaven. This is the higher law.
Another point to consider is the gift of the Holy Ghost we have been given. With his guidance we exercise our own agency to apply the principles of the Gospel to a wide range of circumstances and questions.
Again, when it all boils down to it, LOVE is the higher law. Love makes the world go round. Love is something we can all do and all live with.