When it comes to the study of the scriptures, there are two schools of thought in our day.
- Author Intention
- Reader Interpretation
The first, author intention, is outdated and not very popular. It requires the reader to spend the time and effort trying to understand the intention of the author. The second, however, is only concerned about their opinion (reader interpretation) about what the author wrote. The second is most popular in our day. It is based upon opinions, perceptions, and justifications. Reader interpretation allows one persons definition to drastically differ from another. For that reason, obedience to the sabbath can take on many forms.
What I offer here is my best effort to express what I have learned concerning the mind or intention of the author (author intention). In order to do so, I must mentally place myself in the position of the author in efforts to discover their intents in their writing. This method requires a laboring over words, much pondering and mental exertion by immersing attention to figure it out. It is my opinion that this is what Moroni considered being “sincere.” This is the seeking that results in finding.
Are there many who come short of this expectation? Yes, including myself. I will be first to admit that there are hundreds, even thousands of imperfections within myself. Somehow, others hear or read my words and incorrectly assume that my knowledge makes me feel I am above the next person who doesn’t know as much. Everything I know about the scriptures came only as I read them. The promise to understand the words of Christ has nothing to do with privilege. It has only to do with studying with real intent, wanting to know the mind and will of God. I have no advantage except for the amount of time I have invested in the study of the scriptures. It doesn’t require much to surpass the amount of knowledge I have obtained, because I know very little. Some play sports, others have businesses to run, others have hobbies, nonetheless each of us have chosen how we expend our time. My expressions here are to identify what God is trying to tell us with the scriptures and to share it with those who are interested.
I make no apologies for the messages that has been shared. We are not saved in groups. Salvation is an individual thing. It is between you and Christ. The condemnation I speak of is not my condemnation to you or any of the “A”-for-effort relief society sisters. I never wrote D&C 84:55-60. That was Joseph Smith. That condemnation is not to one person, but to the whole church, and to all the children of Zion. It was Joseph who gave the remedy to reversing the condemnation, which is reading the words of Christ. I only quoted it. Don’t shoot the messenger. You may just be throwing the baby out with the bath water.
We all have agency. It is the very gift God has given us. It is the subject upon which the war in heaven was waged. It is what Satan hates and wrestles to take away from us. By continuing to do the same thing, expecting a different result, we suffer the same results, in great frustration. Line upon line was meant to lift, not to plateau. My suggestion here is to propose a different way than what we have done in the past. Our agency is the only gift that we can give.
We must change what we have repeated in the past in order to find a better existence than the one we currently suffer in. In the past we have always not read the scriptures. In the past we have always not understood the temple. In the past we have always not had angels visit us and identify themselves as messengers to give us greater light and knowledge. In the past we have always not obtained a personal visitation from Christ. Perhaps, we need to do something differently so that we can obtain such blessings. After all, these are the very blessings that the scriptures tell us that we can qualify for.
If you feel inadequate, so do I. But, then again so did Nephi and so did Isaiah. It wasn’t until the Lord visited them that they became full of confidence. It will not be until after the Lord visits you personally that you too will become full of confidence. Then will your confidence wax strong in the presence of the Lord and your scepter be and unchanging scepter (D&C 121:46).
The false message is the idea that it is our obedience and perfection that sanctify’s us to make us worthy to enter into the presence of Christ. The Jews falsely believed that obedience to their law was what saved. If that is the case, then what is the atonement for anyway? I am saying that it isn’t the case. I’m saying that when we enter into the presence of Christ you WILL be dark and will fear the light. It is Christ who complete’s you and restores your knowledge. It will be because of the atonement that you will find the kind of confidence that Abinidai had. When we submit to the process of the Lord, then are we slowly sanctified.
This idea of me judging or condemning others or lifting myself up above others is a false temptation placed in the minds of others to accuse me of doing something that I am not. What I speak about is the only real hope, the words of Christ. Any disagreement is a disagreement with the words I “feel” that I have gotten from the scriptures. If I make a mistake it is mine and not a mistake in the word. But if I am mistaken then I also desire to fix my error and align with the word. I am open to the suggestion of others. But more importantly, I am open to discovering and acting upon processes offered in the words of Christ.
I don’t matter, the words/scriptures matter. The intention of the author of the scriptures matter. The perception of the reader is meaningless. The mind and will of God is what holds the meaning. As far as I know, I am ignorant. But I desire to receive further light and knowledge through the word and heavenly messengers. This is my effort. If you get some other communication, it is only because you don’t know me and don’t trust me. And I can understand that too. I have given many people reason enough not to trust me.
My intention is not to offend, but if I have, please chalk it up to my inexperience and my lack of eloquence. I empathize with those who are stacked with work until completely exhausted in the evening and can’t find time to read the word. I sympathize with those who were not so fortunate to have pure hearted parents as I have. Everyone has their battles. No one avoids the battle that is required to enter in to the presence of Christ. Joseph Smith said that when we get to the presence of Christ, those who have died and gone before you will have nothing over you. You would have earned it just as they did (knida scary).
The message of the gospel of Christ is absolutely a message of hope. It isn’t very comfortable. It isn’t streamlined or simpler because of modern technology. However, God has provided a way to escape, defeat Satan, and return to the presence of Christ. That is all I desire to discuss, how do we escape Satan and make our ascent into the heavens.