Highlights for Doctrine and Covenants 10-11
Wow, some verses in D&C 10 give me significant pause this week! Even after pondering them several times, the full meaning was above my pay grade. I could sense there was something profound in the message. At the same time, these verses seemed to contradict what I understood to be “church.” See what you think?
Black and White
Doctrine and Covenants 10:67-69
Verse 68 is stunning. “Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.”
Wait a minute, what about temple work, genealogy, girl’s camp, tithing, Sunday School, bishop’s storehouse, ministering, perfecting the Saints, and Sacrament talks about self-reliance? You might think up a few more church programs and traditions to add to the list. If I read these verses right, my list is not supposed to be a part of Christ’s church? Nor are other topics like education, service, word of wisdom, self-reliance, etc.
The first thought that crossed my mind is perhaps repenting and coming to Jesus are the only real gatekeepers; everything else is extra. After all, it is called “Sacrament Meeting,” and the Sacrament is entirely about repenting and coming to the Savior. I love how that ordinance puts the Atonement right in our laps.
I love Relief Society, I love the Young Women/Young Men program, and I miss the temples so much. I know of a surety; they have brought great goodness into my life. Yet, there is plenty of talk besides repentance and a relationship with the Savior.
After reading these verses several times, pondering them, consulting a good friend (Tom), and sleeping on them – thankfully, finally, a greater understanding found me.
Let’s start with what Tom said:
“Yeah, I still feel the ordinances and commandments are encompassed [by] ‘coming to Him.’ The Sacrament is the main reason to come to church. Where the other aspects of it are supposed to help strengthen the Saints, and I suspect give us an environment to practice being godly or becoming Zion. Much like family units are excellent training grounds for developing godly attributes.”
His perspective helped open mine and then a verse fell into my mind.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do; (3 Nephi 27:21)
Coming unto Jesus includes becoming more like him, a perfect being. It means doing the things we’ve seen Him do, like seeking the good, teaching, blessing, fellowshipping, healing, showing compassion, earning knowledge, ministering, becoming self-reliant, and acquiring wisdom. In the same way, He developed and increased His stature (Luke 2:52), we’re to increase ours.
Most programs and traditions in the Latter-day Saint church have that end in mind, hopefully even girls’ camp. Perhaps it’s a good idea to make sure every meeting and activity facilitates some aspect of perfecting the Saints?
In the business world, ‘MIT’ is an acronym that means “most important task.” The theory is that the most successful elite identify their true MIT and dedicate their two most energetic, mindful morning hours to that task before all else. They even calendar it first in the day like any other meeting or appointment. I’ve used that method myself, and it works great!
Our spiritual MIT is to ‘come unto Jesus.’ Coming unto Jesus means learning and reading about Him, developing a relationship with Him, and it means acting, talking, and walking like Him. ‘Repent’ means identifying what isn’t like Him or isn’t appropriate for His presence and changing it. What is it you need to stop doing or start doing? One or two of the most significant changes will come right to your mind as soon as you ask!