To think that obeying commandments puts you higher on the rewards list is kind of a self righteous way of looking at it. To think that membership in a church means God will exalt you because you found the true church is a little self righteous.
Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke about religion as a tool to help us come to know God. And it is a very worthy tool and one I recommend for EVERY BODY. It is a tool to help us know God, and a tool to help us get out of our shell by serving others in addition to ourselves and our family. The reward is in knowing who God is and why He is that way. I also want to add that religion is also a very good community organizer. One of the things members of my church sing about almost every month on fast and testimony meeting is how wonderful it is to know that no matter where you are in the world, each congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints feels like home.
(Elder Nelson's talk may be read here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/let-your-faith-show?lang=eng)
The reason why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a true church and holds every thing needed to tie one back to God is because God himself organized it. The story of how He organized it can be read in Joseph Smith-History under the Pearl of Great Price on lds.org.
And if you didn't know, Elijah already has come, there is no need to keep waiting. He appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry in the Kirtland Temple in 1836 and restored the keys of sealing families together forever. You can read that in the Doctrine and Covenants section 110. (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-h?lang=eng).https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/110?lang=eng#)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contains covenants and ordinances that will give us eternal life, which is a knowledge of God. Jesus said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3). An ordinance is a physical act such as baptism that demonstrates an inward, spiritual promise. More ordinances and covenants are performed and made in the temple after you have been a member of the church for one full year and are the appropriate age.
God is much more than a creator. He is also a Governor; in other words: and Organizer of His creations so they can co-exist. Almost anyone can look around them and find some resources and make something with them. This is a very important and fun attribute of life. I find great joy in people's creations. But any one who has 'pushed' a product knows that the idea, while important, is only half of the battle. The other half of the battle is the organization of that idea into a product that can be incorporated into the environment. This means funding, marketing, and organizing that product in a successful manner. Look around at all the governments of the world and world history. None of them have been very well. Contrast that to God. Look up at the stars. Look at all of His creations. It sure appears that He has a way of governing that actually works. Instead of picking apart why His commandments are so restrictive, maybe we should respect God's system because it actually works.
And lets follow this train of thought into our idea of God as a creator. He has created worlds without end, and creations limitless. How are these creations to get along with each other? First of all He has organized things into spheres of intelligences, and those spheres are divided into families. Then He gives them commandments, which if they obey, allows them to be entrusted with a higher power to rule and possibly even the power to create for themselves. The Gospel Principles Manuel ch. 1 states," [God] made man in His own image to be a ruler over His other creations".(https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-1-our-father-in-heaven?lang=eng) I kid that if a man can figure out how to righteously govern his wife, then there is probably nothing out there that he can't righteously govern.
We are to keep the commandments because they lead us to life. Satan did not much care for creation or life. He prefers the void. So that is what God gives him. Abraham 3:28 states, "and [Satan] was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him."
Satan is not much of a creator. He is named the destroyer for a reason. When we break commandments, we side with the devil and his ever so powerful opinion that nothing is better than something. Why should we not lust? Because it destroys. Why shouldn't you use power to force someone to do something for you? Because it treads on their joy of existing. The book of Mormon shows over and over again that a failure to live the 10 commandments and obey God leads to slavery and bondage, which takes all the joy out of existence.
God is not giving us commands because He is controlling. He is an advocate for life. All the ways you can be good and create are immeasurable. There are only 10 basic ways of destroying, and it is written in our hearts. Every living creature naturally shirks from something that would destroy it, that is why Satan must be so deceptive in his ploy. He will say anything to get us to feel justified in breaking a commandment. But in the end, it leads to destruction.
I know what if feels like to feel how Satan feels. I have had Satan in me, and I have felt his absolute rage at God, men and women, sex, food, and many other good things. Most people don't have the devil inside of them, but when a person experiences trauma, it is disorienting to a creature's view of creation. Someone who has undergone trauma may not be all that crazy about God's plan of creation, because of the great pain they have been through. Hence, one of Satan's greatest allies is pain because it can convince someone that life isn't worth it because it can hurt. But God promises the hurt is only a small moment if we endure it well. Isaiah 54:7 explains, "For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee." If we would practice obeying God, Satan would not be as rampant as He is today. God does not want anyone to suffer, but God has laws so that all creation could co-exist, and ultimately God is a creator.
Again, God loves creation so much, He is willing to put His money where His mouth is. Jesus Christ came down from His throne in Heaven and suffered all things with us, so those unfortunate enough to become temporary victims are not alone. It is worth it to God to suffer all the pain all His children feel than for creation not to happen at all.
I made another step in my healing from trauma when I counted the minutes I felt like dying because of pain (not irrational thinking, but of pain only) in my life, such as the pain of being betrayed and molested and the pain of childbirth, and etc. I counted 170 minutes out of the 13 million minutes I have been alive. That amounts to .001% of my life. I think that is a small moment when looked at in perspective! Now, I did not include pain that was due to my irrationality, or my holding on to the pain because Jesus Christ is the way out of that, and there really is no need to keep suffering after the pain is gone, though I think we all do from time to time.
God does not love you less if you break the commandments. That is why Jesus Christ died for us. He wants us to repent because of His great great love for us. As long as we learn from our mistakes and put them behind us, we can be forgiven. If someone made a mistake on you, please forgive them. God does not have laws to punish us, but He has them so that He can create.
There is not one creation that is unworthy to God. Matthew 10:29-31 states:
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
So whose side are you one? We are living in troubled times. I long for the day when we all know God personally. Jeremiah 31:34 states, "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."
God is a loving Heavenly Father who loves all His creations so much! Especially His children who are made in His image! He loves us fiercely! He fiercely wants us to love Him back! To stop griping about His commandments and why or why not they are fair, but just accept them, and accept the joy of being alive! He wants us to love His creations also, and give them the respect they deserve. When we develop that kind of appreciation, we start to treat things right. We keep our houses clean, because we love everything in them that God and inspired man has created. We treat our spouses with the respect they deserve. We treat our children with kindness, because it is not about making them obey, it is about developing their inner sense of right and wrong. We reach out to others because we appreciate them. God is no respecter of persons. He doesn't play favorites. When we truly know God, we will stop having inferiority complexes or fights to be superior. There will be less envy and strife and more appreciation and accepting of things.
Yes, part of being created means there will be sorrow, and there will be pain. Jesus wept and God weeps. Moses 7:28, 32-33 explains,
And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;
We all weep from time to time. Some times we have periods of months or years of weeping. But we are alive! Doesn't that count for something?