Highlights for D&C 3-5
The Doctrine and Covenants, sections 3-5 are full of meaningful verses. Interestingly, I felt drawn to a couple of verses seldom mentioned in Sunday School or General Conference. They paint a vivid portrait of repeating human tendencies.
Seeing Is Not Believing
Joseph had the actual golden plates and several other artifacts. Naturally, he wanted to share those with people who were close to him. Especially when some of them proved anxious to see them. We might sympathize with Joseph’s predicament because one of the most significant objections to our faith is the “lack” of archeological evidence of Book of Mormon civilizations. I’ve wondered myself; why wouldn’t God allow more evidence to surface to help guide people towards the truth? Nonetheless, Joseph had strict commandments that only God showed the plates and other items to anyone, which turned out to be a relatively small group of men. I have faith the purposes are wise.
What more, physical evidence doesn’t seem to carry any real impact. Consider this verse from Doctrine and Covenants 5:7-8
The truth is, tangible evidence hasn’t gone far with people. Those insisting there should be physical evidence and miracles as proof of God, ancient civilizations, and other religious truths would still reject the gospel even if they did experience them. Christ reminds Joseph that people rejected Him as their Savior when He was right in front of them performing miracles.
Seeing is not believing.
What is “unbelieving”?
Instead, Paul says, “Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Apparently, unseen elements are more crucial to the development of lasting faith.
Which brings us to our next question; if unbelieving is the opposite of faith – what is the substance of unbelieving? What are the roots of unbelieving which would cause one-third of our Father’s children to reject Him while they had complete access to light and evidence? What would cause most Jews to reject Jesus despite his powerful words, the testimony of his miracles, and the heavenly witnesses borne?
Unbelieving also has a “substance,” and if we were to peel back the layers of why the Savior was rejected in real-time among the Pharisees and Sadducees, we might find something like:
- lust for power & control
- guilt or resistance to guilt
- fearful of peers
Unbelieving In Ourselves
There’s also another side to unbelieving, and that’s unbelieving in ourselves. What is the substance of that side of unbelieving?
Sometimes, it might be:
- loss of hope
- lack of confidence
- weak identity (who am I?)
- not connected to a higher power
- lack of experiences with one’s capabilities
- timidity, hesitation
- lack of meaningful connections with others
With which one of these might you be challenged by or even “stiff-necked” with? Each of these conditions is a weakness to be made strong. So often, our weaknesses point right to our greatest potential strengths and gifts. This is a matter of prayer and self-discovery!
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.Ether 12:27
Throughout the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon, the Savior extends a personal invitation directly to you – to believe in yourself, to shine, and let the world see your brilliance. Consider this verse:
24 Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do… (3 Nephi 18:24)
He extends that invitation again in D&C 4: 2-3, if you desire to serve and be useful, He immediately calls you to act:
Sometimes it is hard to imagine how you are relevant or useful – or how much the Savior desires to have an active connection with you.
Don’t wait for a calling; you have complete permission to serve with passion and inspiration. The Kingdom of God is full of powerful, significant partnerships with Christ – to create, help, and bring good things to pass. You are needed! No church calling status starts or stops the power of this vital gospel truth.
Belief is a dynamic, potent force. Believe in Christ, believe in you. You have the capacity and the power to bring to pass goodness that wasn’t there before. It is a part of your divine nature, and with the Lords’s help, you can set yourself into motion.