23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
I love King Benjamin’s declaration that when we keep the commandment we are immediately blessed. But at first glance, this doesn’t accord with our reality. So many keep commandments and yet experience opposition and persecution. Some have even died for their commitment to keep the commandments of God. So in what way can we always say that immediate blessings come from keeping the commandments.
Ultimately, some answers come when we keep God’s plan of salvation in mind. The purpose of the plan is nothing more and nothing less than exaltation- transforming us into beings that are like our Father in heaven. In order to become like him, we must first learn to fully yield our hearts to him. We must become humble and teachable. We must show our willingness to hearken.
And when we choose to keep a commandment, we engage in some of that process of hearkening to the Lord. So in that sense, even if keeping a commandment leads to opposition and persecution we have still been rewarded. Our greater willingness to follow God is a reward in and of itself.
Truly, God can never be in our debt. He created this world for us and he does nothing save it be out of a desire to help us be exalted. Every good thing we do ultimately allows Heavenly Father to further conform our will to his. And of course, all of this is only possible because God created this world for us and provided a savior for us. Therefore, we are truly always in his debt.