Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What would Jesus say and do?

Asking what would Jesus do is meaningless if we don't bother to study what Jesus did. I remember how impressed I was with something I once read Ezra Taft Benson write of an apostle. That apostle, confronted as a youth with the teaching that he should ask himself what Jesus would do, realized that he could not do that rightly if he would not study what Jesus actually did. He studied the scriptures, and noticed how frequently Christ quoted or referred to the scriptures. He concluded that Jesus must have spent extensive time studying the scriptures, and so, in answer to the teaching that he should do what Jesus would do, he took up a dedicated study of the scriptures.

Today as I was reading, I came across these verses, in which Christ is speaking:

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Parts of that remind me of the much expanded version we get in D&C 98 (which is also Christ speaking). Of note also is the opening phrase "if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him". I think I have never in my life heard that phrase quoted. But it was a commandment of the Savior.

Why do we muffle Christ with our traditions? It is wrong of us to do. I think I could say "if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him" in priesthood or Sunday School and certainly count on someone suggesting that we it would be better if we would choose to be christlike instead. (Pause, to relish the irony.)

We should quote Christ freely. At times in the old testament we get words from God spoken to man. At times we get them in the Book of Mormon. The vast bulk of the doctrine and covenants are the words of the Savior himself, spoken to man. The words of god himself we should pay particular attention to among the words of scripture. When we ask ourselves "what would Jesus say", we are appealing to the way the master himself acted, which was higher and more perfect than anyone else. But if we ask that question mentally crossing out the vast bulk of God's words to man, then we are not asking it honestly.

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