(In limba romana mai jos)
I have recently been feeling a bit down because I feel so inadequate. I have this whole list of things that I feel need to be written about--like my current series in English on the Lectures on Faith, or one that I'm planning in Romanian about the discourses of Alma the Younger, but I'm not a spiritual genius, and I don't feel particularly insightful as I study or write. Mostly I just feel like somebody needs to write about these things, for two reasons.
First, as people who aspire to be members of the Lord's church, as He defined it in D&C 10:67-68, we sure preach a lot of stuff that violates the standard He gave us in those same verses, and we teach for doctrines the commandments of men (Matt 15:9). I cannot stress enough how important it is to realize that any teaching that is not faith in Christ, repentance, and coming unto Christ, is not His doctrine.
Our talks, our lessons, our manuals and publications and handbooks are all full of commandments that are not doctrine, and it's not healthy for us. We need to invest a lot more effort in understanding what Christ's doctrine is, so that we can actually be His church, and not just another worldly imitation. (Hence my series on the Lectures on Faith.)
Second, in September of 1832, only two and a half years after the LDS Church was established, the Lord gave Joseph Smith a revelation that is quite shocking if you think about it: He declared that the "whole church," "the children of Zion, even all," was "under condemnation" (D&C 84:55-56). If you read the whole passage of D&C 84:54-58, you will find that we are condemned because we do not believe the Book of Mormon and have treated its teachings lightly. And unless we manage somehow "not only to say, but to do according to that which [the Lord has] written," a scourge and judgment will be poured out upon us.
And lest you doubt that this condemnation still rests upon us today, consider the fact that Ezra Taft Benson, whose teachings we study this year in Relief Society and priesthood quorums, taught this same principle when he was president of the Church. You can read a bit of it in our lesson manual.
We need to spend a lot more time with the Book of Mormon: reading it, studying it, applying it to our lives today, and praying for understanding. I worry that we pass through it superficially only once every four years
in our Church curriculum. I can't do anything about the worldwide curriculum, but maybe by writing about the Book of Mormon and my own efforts to learn from it, I can help myself and a few others. That's all I want, even if I'm not very good at it.