Some of the ideas I have expressed regarding scripture may be considered too simplistic by the more educated. There is a reason why I have become so simple in my belief.
In 1 Ne. 17:41, Nephi tells us that the reason so many Israelites perished in the wilderness, during the fiery serpent attack, was “…because of the simpleness of the way”.
Alma 33:16 says that the Lord is angry with people “…because they will not understand thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them because of thy Son.”
In Helaman 8:15, Nephi compares coming to Christ to the brazen serpent Moses held up; he says: “…even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal.”
Regardless of what criticisms may exist in the world with regard to translation, interpretation, etc. of scripture, the one constant that never changes is how to come to Christ. Some Christians may not accept all that Christ requires, but they do recognize the need to turn to Him.
In my mind, then, for those who do turn to Christ, the path must be clear, it must be simple, and it must be knowable, so that even the weakest among us can understand what is required.
Furthermore, as was taught by the Prophet Joseph in the Lectures On Faith, we must have a 1) an idea that He exists; 2) a correct idea of His character, perfections, and attributes; 3) an actual knowledge that the course of life one is pursuing is according to His will.
We know that God exists through His communications with His prophets, and in answer to our individual prayers. We know that He is our Eternal Father and that we existed with Him prior to coming to this earth. We know that He is a resurrected being, that He is the embodiment of perfection, and that He sent His Son to the earth to atone for our sins, and to be resurrected, so that we could return to live with Him in the mansions of our Father.
The Saviour, then, laid out the path whereby we could know that the course of life we are pursuing is according to His will.
That course being to: 1) exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; 2) repent of our sins; 3) be baptized by one holding the proper authority; 4) receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, by those who hold the authority to administer in the ordinances of His Gospel, as demonstrated by the apostles anciently; and then to continue on that path by repenting of our sins, trusting in His promises and doing the best we can.
By so doing we follow the Saviours admonition to follow Him. As we plant the seed, He will nourish it in His good time and according to His will. Our responsibility is to plant; His is to nourish and lead us along, so that we can learn line upon line and precept upon precept.
In Mosiah 26:19-32 Alma records what membership in Christ’s church means. One of the interesting points to me is in verses 30 and 31 where he says: “…and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me. And ye shall forgive one another your trespasses;…”.
In 3Ne.11: 32-40 the Saviour lays out the same principles of faith, repentance and baptism, and adds that we must become as little children (which to me means covered by the atonement, which the principles and ordinances accomplish), and then adds this point; “And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil…”.
Again, as I’ve studied the Gospel, I have learned that it is simple, yet profound. It is powerful in its simplicity and is available to be understood by the weakest among us, which I have come to learn through blogging, definitely includes me.