Skip to main content


Often when we discuss controversial topics and deep doctrine, all we reap are vastly differing opinions and interpretations, criticisms of others’ ideas, and overall confusion. Such discussions do nothing to aid our testimonies of the gospel, only bringing out doubts and questions.

I strongly believe in focusing on the basics of the gospel. Without a very firm foundation in “the first principles and ordinances of the gospel” (Article of Faith 4), we cannot have a strong testimony of higher doctrine. We must first start with the ABC blocks of the gospel and build “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30) for deeper understandings.

Just like babies, we must start with milk before we get meat (See 1 Corinthians 3:2, D&C 19:22). Timothy further clarified, “For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13–14). Babies who nurse receive their mother’s immune system. Similarly, the milk of the gospel gives us immunity to doubt, sin, and deception by giving us strong testimonies. Once we have exercised our faith and proven our testimonies and understanding, we can receive greater knowledge, or meat. When questions and confusion arise over these higher principles, we will have our testimonies to fall back on. Otherwise, with a weak foundation, we will completely fall away from the gospel. Christ gave us another analogy in the parable of the sower: the seeds that fell upon stony places scorched and withered away when the sun came because they had no deep roots (See Matthew 13: 1–23).

It is best to remember that the gospel is simple; we should not try to make it complex. The Jews did and lost their understanding (See Jacob 4:13–15). Also, all that we need to know to reach exaltation has been given us: “And for this cause, that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fullness of his gospel, his everlasting covenant, reasoning in plainness and simplicity” (D&C 133:57). Even in the temple, the highest place of learning, the focus is the plan of salvation.

Have faith: the mysteries of heaven will be revealed in due time, and probably not until we need to know them—when we are exalted. For now, let us put our energy into learning the fundamentals of the gospel and keeping our covenants so that we can return to Heavenly Father.

Challenge: Next Sunday, attend your ward’s Gospel Essentials class to strengthen your foundation in the ABCs of the gospel.

Photo from wbd on Stock.xchng


Anonymous said…
I taught my last lesson today in sunday school - it was on light and darkness - see robert d hales 2002 talk on the subject in conference

Popular posts from this blog

Family Home Evening for Babies

Family home evening can sometimes be a challenge because we don't know what to do. This is especially true for those of us with only a baby. There are plenty of ideas for single members, couples, and families, but I have yet to find good suggestions for planning a family home evening lesson for a baby (not yet in Nursery). So I compiled my own list: Read gospel-related board books. They are short and introduce common scripture stories in a very simple manner. Read the scriptures. Elder Bednar said, "Youth of all ages, even infants, can and do respond to the distinctive spirit of the Book of Mormon. Children may not understand all of the words and stories, but they certainly can feel the 'familiar spirit' described by Isaiah (Isaiah 29:4; see also 2 Nephi 26:16)." Sing Primary songs together. There is no better way to invite the Spirit, teach basic gospel principles, and prepare your baby for Nursery and Primary. Sing interactive songs to get wiggle…

The Sacrament Prayers

We hear the sacrament prayers every week, but do we listen to the words and know the purpose of the prayers? I have broken down the blessing on the bread to help us better understand the sacrament, something I was advised to do in my patriarchal blessing.

O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy son, Jesus Christ,
First, we address Heavenly Father. Then we ask Him in humility and verify that we are doing so in Jesus's name, as we are commanded to do all things in His name (3 Nephi 27:7, 9).

to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it,
The Guide to the Scriptures on defines the words bless and sanctify as follows:
Bless: To confer divine favor upon someone. Anything contributing to true happiness, well-being, or prosperity is a blessing.
All blessings are based on eternal laws (D&C 130:20–21). Because God wants his children to find joy in life (2 Ne. 2:25), he grants blessings to them as a result of their obedience to hi…

Patriarchal Blessings

"The same Lord who provided a Liahona for Lehi provides for you and for me today a rare and valuable gift to give direction to our lives, to mark the hazards to our safety, and to chart the way, even safe passage—not to a promised land, but to our heavenly home. The gift to which I refer is known as your patriarchal blessing. . . .

"Patriarchs are humble men. They are students of the scriptures. They stand before God as the means whereby the blessings of heaven can flow from that eternal source to the recipient on whose head rests the hands of the patriarch. He may not be a man of letters, a possessor of worldly wealth, or a holder of distinguished office. He, however, must be blessed with priesthood power and personal purity. To reach to heaven for divine guidance and inspiration, a patriarch is to be a man of love, a man of compassion, a man of judgment, a man of God.
"A patriarchal blessing is a revelation to the recipient, even a white line down the middle of the …