Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
So why do the elements obey Christ? Is it greed, money, faith, loyalty, or fear?
The elements obey Christ out of love. The same love that compels us to follow our Savior compels the winds, the seas, and the mountains to obey Christ. It is that same love that compels us to return to our Heavenly Father and Christ to become an eternal family.
Father and Husband
There are many reasons why we follow others. We may follow our boss because he is the one that pays our salary. Our kids may follow us because we can put them in time out. We may follow our leader out of fear of punishment or retaliation. Greed, money, faith, loyalty, and fear are just a few of the reasons we follow others.
We follow Jesus Christ for a different reason. We follow Him because we love Him. Christ sacrificed for each of us as he bled in Gethsemane and was lifted up upon the cross. We follow Christ because he is our older brother who loves and cares for us and wants us to become as He is, perfect, so that we can return to our Father in Heaven.
We are not the only ones that follow Christ. In Matthew chapter eight, we learn that Christ healed a man sick with palsy, a woman sick with fever, and a man possessed by devils. After performing these miracles, Christ and his apostles sailed on a ship to their next destination. As they were sailing on the ship, a great storm came upon them causing the apostles to fear for their lives. The apostles woke Christ saying:
Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
We similarly learn in Matthew 21:21 that:
If ye have faith, and doubt not… ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
In these amazing accounts of Christ’s miracles, we learn that the elements, even the winds, the seas, and the mountains obey Christ. President Brigham Young expounded on this teaching when he taught:
There is life in all matter, throughout the vast extent of all the eternities; it is in the rock, the sand, the dust, in water, air, the gases, and, in short, in every description and organization of matter, whether it be solid, liquid, or gaseous, particle operating with particle.1
So why do the elements obey Christ? Is it greed, money, faith, loyalty, or fear? No. The elements obey Christ out of love. The same love that compels us to follow our Savior compels the winds, the seas, and the mountains to obey Christ. It is that same love that compels us to return to our Heavenly Father and Christ to become an eternal family.
For me, the struggle to obey can arise from a lack of faith. If I lack faith in the existence and love of my Savior, then I am less willing to obey a being that I am not sure exists and loves me. At times, I struggle with the concept of eternity, eternal marriage, polygamy, the priesthood, or a number of other gospel teachings. As I face these struggles, I reflect back to the simple obedience of the winds, the seas, and the mountains. If these elemental entities have such great love and faith in the Savior that they are willing to obey him without question, then I too am able to reach a point in my faith where I can unwaveringly obey all the commandments of my Savior.
The Prophet Joseph Smith, in teaching obedience, said that whatever God requires is right, though we may not know the reason until much later. As I continue to strive to become perfect and follow Christ, I take courage in the simple faithful obedience of the elements. As we follow Christ, we have the blessing to return to Him and our Heavenly Father to live with them eternally.
1 Preaching—Necessity of the Saints Having Confidence in Those Over Them—Necessity of Wisdom in Dealing With Those Who Are Dead to Good Works—Ignorance of Worldly Philosophers—The Principle of Life As Shown in the Dissolution of Organized Matter. A Discourse by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, March 23, 1856.
2 Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 256