|Deep Doctrine and the Mysteries of God|
|Part 1: Is it okay to think and talk about mysteries and deep doctrines that aren't taught in church?|
This article contains my personal thoughts and feelings regarding deep doctrines and the mysteries of God. Part two of this feature contains quotes by our Latter-day Saint Prophet, Apostles and other church leaders on the mysteries of God, deep doctrines and when they are/aren't appropriate.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is when Alma is talking to Zeezrom about how knowledge is given to those who will receive it and taken from those who don't:
"And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him
And therefore, he that will harden his hear, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell." (Alma 12:9-11)
My interpretation of this scripture is that God blesses people to know His mysteries but they should only be talked about with those who also believe and are ready to learn. I think pondering the mysteries of God is a great way to expand our understanding and to open our mind to the Spirit and His teachings. We must be careful that when we teach and talk with others we focus on the basics but that it is okay to talk with others (such as in personal conversations or forums) about the many possibilities as long as it is clear that what we say or write are the thoughts of the individual and not Church doctrines.
In the Pearl of Great Price there is a scripture that I believe was directed to Joseph Smith from God when Joseph was translating the first chapter of Moses:
"These words were spoken unto Moses in the mount.... And now they are spoken unto you. Show them not unto any except them that believe. Even so. Amen." (Moses 1:42)
I think there is a time and place for "deep doctrine discussions" but that church meetings, classes, seminary programs, etc. are not appropriate places for deep doctrines to be discussed. I don't agree when people say we shouldn't talk or wonder about the mysterious things of God. I do agree that we must be rooted to the gospel, that Christ must be our Rock, but the scriptures clearly indicate that God blesses people (including all of us) with knowledge of his mysteries.
Other scriptures I like that talk about the mysteries of God:
"Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed..." (Alma 26:22)
"If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal." (D&C 42:61)
I strongly believe that Heavenly Father wants us to think about His gospel and its teachings, doctrines and principles. There is a time and place for pondering the unknown, the mysteries of God, and there are many times and places when it is not appropriate.
At times I have felt His Spirit touch my heart and mind while pondering His mysteries. My mind has been opened, my heart has been softened and my joy has been full.
Next page > What our Prophets and Apostles have said about the Mysteries of God > Page 1, 2