Wednesday, May 30, 2018

D&C 19:21-23 -- On Learning Step by Step

"And I command you that you preach naught but repentance, and show not these things unto the world until it is wisdom in me.
For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish.
Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.
I am Jesus Christ; I came by the will of the Father, and I do his will."
Doctrine and Covenants 19:21-24

This is an interesting set of verses.  The first two explain that the revelation in this section shouldn't be shared with everyone just yet, and then the last one says to learn.  In some ways it seems like a contradiction, advocating the restriction of knowledge and then saying to go out and get more.  I think that the point here though is the idea of milk before meat (Hebrews 5:12, 1 Corinthians 3:2).

We should learn all we can, but we need to learn it in the proper order.  If we haven't taken French before, it would be extremely difficult to jump into a 4th year French class and have any hope of following along.  We would likely be extremely confused, and perhaps even get the totally wrong idea of what was being discussed.  Similarly, we need some foundation in the gospel before we jump into move advanced topics.  Repentance has to come before lessons about always following the promptings of the spirit, for instance, because we can't feel the spirit consistently until we make things right with God.  Going back further, we can't even really discuss the basic benefits of prayer, church attendance, or scripture study if we don't have a foundation of belief in God and his son Jesus Christ.  Even within each principle there are many layers, and in order to understand any of these things on a deeper level we have to master the basics.

Today, let's work to do God's will, and to keep learning step by step, instead of trying to jump up to French 612 immediately, and then failing the class because we weren't ready for it.  Let's work on our meekness, which in many ways means being teachable and open to learning more... not thinking that we already know it all.  Let's learn of Jesus Christ, and let's pray and be open to what God has to teach us today.

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