Simplicity of the Gospel

These reflections are based on a talk given by the current Presiding Bishop, Bishop Gerald Causse, in October 2008 General Conference. He spoke of how simple the Gospel is – even so that a child could understand.

Some people have the idea that “they have to look for [God] in intellectually complicated concepts,” – just look at the Nicene Creed! However, Bishop Causse makes the very valid point: “God would indeed be unjust if the gospel were only accessible to an intellectual elite.” He quoted President John Taylor as saying it takes true intelligence to take a complicated subject and make it so simple that a child could understand.

Christ was a great example of this as His statements to the logic of the Pharisees were always simple and crystal clear. I love a scripture he quoted in Jacob 4:14  that explains how this “blindness…by looking beyond the mark…” meant the Jews were given complicated concepts – as that was what they were searching for.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed such an amazing thing as the plainness of it means anyone can know that Jesus is the Christ, the Saviour and Redeemer of the World – without being an “intellectual elite”.

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5 thoughts on “Simplicity of the Gospel

  1. I am grateful for your comment and of course I am aware that not all people will believe the concepts being taught here. A lot of the principles taught in religion, not just The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are based on a foundation of faith. If someone does not view these things through the Spirit of the Lord then they will, indeed, seem foolish to them. So I do understand where you are coming from.
    I’m sure that having researched so deeply into the Book of Mormon you must have actually read the book for yourself? If so, all I would suggest is that you pray and ask God if the book is true. Only He can truly give you the answers to questions you have. It may not be the scientific proof you seek – but then again, scientific proof often evolves and contradicts itself over time.

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    1. I have to admit, I’m puzzled by your perspective. Proper science is testable, reproducible, and peer-reviewed. While we do continually discover more about the world around us and evolve our scientific understanding, I view that as a huge positive for science rather than a negative. Science is willing to adapt and change to new knowledge. It accepts its errors because it has no care for authority; it only desires to provide better and better explanations for how the world works.

      Religion, on the other hand, has showed itself throughout human history to be extremely resistant to change. Most prominent world religions still rely on ancient mythology: nonsensical stories that defy what science has now allowed us to understand. No longer are we susceptible to believing that Zeus is the cause of lightning or that water can be turned into wine. Yet these supernatural stories persist because to rationally reject them would be to also reject their sources. Religion literally has sacred cows.

      You mention faith as though it represents a beacon of truth, shining for all to see and follow. Yet there are countless mutually exclusive religions in the world all claiming that faith shows their particular beliefs are true while all others are false. If prayer or faith were dependable and consistent, why would there be such a gigantic diversity in religious beliefs?

      We can and should analyze Mormonism through the lens of science. Objective evidence helps remove bias and reduces the effect of emotional reactions. It provides a measuring stick, a standard for determining whether a claim should be taken seriously. Take for example the Book of Abraham.

      Joseph claimed that it was written by Abraham’s own hand. Yet science clearly shows the papyri to be much more recent than the time of Abraham. Furthermore, we can now translate ancient Egyptian properly. The facsimiles and papyri can be easily understood by unbiased experts. Joseph’s supposed translations now stand as clear fabrications, bearing no resemblance to the actual meaning of the Egyptian characters.

      If this was in the realm of science, the Book of Abraham would be accepted as false, the work of a charlatan. But because it is in the realm of religion, the Mormon leaders cannot afford to reject it. To do so would call into question their founder’s integrity, status as a prophet, and ability as a translator of ancient records.

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      1. Once again, thank you for your comments. I can see you have thought a lot about this matter and it’s great to discuss these important issues. I have heard all of these arguments before and they are very logical – however, I cannot deny the witness I have received from a power greater than my own understanding that the things I have mentioned are true.
        I am sure this discussion could go on and if you would like to continue it I’m more than happy – however I do not think it would be appropriate on a public blog. If you wish I can send you my email if you want to discuss further. However, I will always debate my faith with things that have strengthened my faith (e.g. scriptures, spiritual witnesses etc) – if you are looking for a scientific answer to the questions you are asking then I can tell you now you’ll be disappointed 😉

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    1. Thanks for the invitation to link up – I’ll leave it this month as I don’t have any post on General Conference (the only post I did I kept private as it included personal thoughts and revelation) but I will keep an eye out for events in future!

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