My goal in blogging is to write about those things that will help each of us draw nearer to the lord. The Lord has said, “draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.” With that thought in mind I would like to explore the following scripture.
And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost. D&C 19:31
What is the Lord teaching Martin Harris, and the rest of us in this verse of scripture?
The way I read this verse of scripture is that the Lord is teaching His followers the importance of talking about those things that will be the most beneficial to us Spiritually. He says, of “tenets thou shalt not talk”.
The 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary defines tenet:
Any opinion, principle, dogma or doctrine which a person believes or maintains as true; as the tenets of Plato or of Cicero. The tenets of christians are adopted from the Scriptures; but different interpretations give rise to a great diversity of tenets.
When I first read this I was puzzled why the Lord would tell us not to talk about the “doctrines” of the church. After some thought, I decided that what the Lord is telling us is to focus on certain doctrines, the most important ones, so that we don’t get our doctrinal priorities mixed up. The scripture contain many hundred tenets; just go through the Topic Guide to observe this.
Based on my observations this verse needs to be talked about more in our day. It seems to me that the important principles of the gospel: “repentance faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost” are not our favorites; just as healthy food is not our favorite in this day of fast food.
To test this out, the next time you have a group of friends over place some fruit and vegetables next to ice cream and pizza on the table. Which one will be consumed first?
Another way to observe this proclivity of the natural man is to read the ratings for TV programs. How many watch CSI and Cold Case compared to the best PBS has to offer? We could talk about how the internet is used, but I think you get the picture.
I think the message of D&C 19:31 is simple. The Lord is teaching us to focus on those doctrines that will bless our lives the most: the first principles of the gospel.