My grandfather served in the Navy when he was younger. He operated the sonar and radar on a submarine. When he was about to be discharged he had an opportunity to re-enlist and be on a new class of submarine, the USS Thresher. The Thresher was a nuclear submarine. It was quietest of its day and could also go the deepest. This would have been a great opportunity for my grandpa. However, when he was offered to go on the submarine he refused! He told them that he wanted to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints instead.
This decision seems insane from a worldly point of view. He was giving up the opportunity of a lifetime to serve a mission. But he stuck to his decision to serve a mission rather than go on the Thresher.
Toward the end of his mission he heard that the Thresher and its crew had sunk during a training exercise. They were training near the submarine’s max depth and it sunk, with all hands on board. Had my grandfather chosen to re-enlist rather than go on a mission he very likely would have lost his life.
By following the commandment to go on a mission my grandpa was protected from physical danger. But this is not the only type of danger we are protected from when we follow the commandments. Often we are protected spiritually by keeping the commandments. When we keep the commandments we are inviting the Holy Ghost into our lives to help us overcome temptation, and when we don’t we lose the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
God gives us commandments through prophets and scripture. Some people might feel like these commandments are overbearing and are only given to stop us from having fun, but they are actually here to protect us and help us return to Him someday. For some commandments, it is obvious how they protect us. For example, we are commanded not to drink alcohol or smoke, and these things have been proven to damage our bodies. But for others it may be less obvious and people might feel like the commandments are there to restrict us. The truth is the exact opposite: commandments free us.
For things like choosing not to drink alcohol or partake of other drugs, the commandments free us by protecting us from harmful addictions. When someone becomes a slave to a harmful substance they are hardly free to make choices. In this way commandments protect our freedom to choose.
I know that God blesses us when we follow his commandments and I know that they are given to protect and free us, not to restrict us. I urge you to keep the commandments, and as you do you will invite the Holy Ghost into your life so that you can be protected and blessed.