Pastor James Merritt from the popular broad cast Touching Lives gave this analogy of what Jesus meant when He said "If you love me keep my commandments"
To know Him is to put faith in Him, To put faith in Him is to love Him, and to love Him is to obey Him. We don't have to look to far from his word, to know that the more we trust Jesus the more we will want to know Him and the more we know him, not just know about him but interact and allow His interaction with us the more we find we love Him. The more we grow to love Him, the easier we find it to obey Him.
It's only when we refuse to obey Him does He seem distant from us. The distance grows as we continue to be disobedient to him. Just as in any relationship the less interaction the greater the distance. The greater the distance the less likely we are to change for the better. But if we will try and live by His word, the more likely we grow together than apart and the more radical change for the better we will find ourselves. This organic change comes from within and expresses itself outward as the world looks on. They can see a new you and how much you love the Savior.