Friday, February 24, 2017

Tis the gift to be simple

Jacob 4:14
“But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble”

I just read an ensign article written by Elder Cook in 2003, where he discussed looking beyond the mark and losing sight of what is really important in our life. He mentioned that members will replace doctrine with the philosophies of man, develop gospel hobbies and become principle extremists, and place more emphasis on rules rather than doctrine. I think that there are times where it is appropriate to delve into a topic to try to understand deeper doctrine, or to more fully analyze a principle, but if that becomes the main focus then it will blind us of what is truly important. In this scripture, Jacob says that the Jews looked beyond the mark. The mark is Jesus Christ and his gospel. They were blind because they were too focused on rules and regulations that they had added to the Law of Moses. For me, this means that I shouldn't tamper too much with policy or esoteric matters, but that I should constantly ponder the simple truths of the gospel principles and the divinity of Christ. The gospel is meant to be simple, even though it is eternally complex. We should strive to have our focus on Christ, and not on anything else. If we do that, everything else can fall into place, and we will gain understanding with time, since that plainness that God took from the Jews will be with us.

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