Our Loving Heavenly Father

D&C 1

Introduction

Something I love so much about the scriptures is that I never get the same understanding of a chapter twice. I always learn something new. I don’t mean new as in I have never heard it before. Just new as in I understand it in a new and different way.


Reading through the first chapter of the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) this time, I felt an overwhelming love from my Father in Heaven. It is incredible the things that He has done for us.

Getting the Most Out of Our Studies

I can have a hard time feeling like studying my scriptures is beneficial in any way. The scriptures don’t change much. When I read them often, it can feel repetitive and boring at times. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. There is a reason the first study point of Come, Follow Me this year addresses this exact point. While reading through chapter 1, we were to look to see how we could get the most out of our studies this year. After a quick prayer asking what I could do better, these are the things that came to mind.

How to be a “Weak Thing” v.19-20

The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh— But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;


The idea that the weak things of the world shall overpower the strong has never resonated with me the way this did. When we look around there are lots of strong things in our world that seem to dwarf us. Most recently coming to mind is COVID-19, politics, hate, violence, doubt. It is easy to feel like a small and weak thing.


But in these verses, God is telling us that He needs weak things. He promises that we “weak things” will come forth and bring peace, love, and joy to the Earth. We can overpower these strong things and bring the Light of Christ to the world.

Come to Understanding v.24

Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.


Understanding the scriptures is a massive hurdle for me sometimes, especially in the Bible. The language can confound and meaning can be lost to the confusion. I love that in D&C, the Lord gave His commandments to His “servants in their weakness.” He went out of His way to make this as easy for us to understand as possible. God wants us to succeed. He wants us to learn and grow from what He shares with us. He wants us to be able to follow the commandments because we understand them.


Now, don’t get me wrong. These scriptures can still be hard to understand and can take more effort on our side. But for me, it is worth the extra work. God showed us so much love simplifying the gospel for us. It makes me want to do everything I can to understand what it is He wants me to know. And I know that with His help, I can do just that.

Find the Love of God v.25-28

And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known; And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed; And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent; And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.


Let me preface this section by saying that I respond well to criticism. It’s a theme that, as you keep reading my posts, you will see time and time again. The majority of my favorite scriptures are kinda harsh. This one isn’t as bad as the others, but I gave you a fair warning.
This section of verses I feel really shows the love of our Heavenly Father. This is basically a continuance of Christ’s sermon where He says “Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it must be opened unto you.” The difference in this section is that the sentiment is easier to understand. It is more straight forward and provides lots of examples.


Now, while Christ uses these verses to explain what He does, He also explains why He does it, which is where His love for us is really shown. He promises to point out our flaws, and chasten us. But He does this to help us repent and grow and become more like Him.
He also promises us that the more we look to learn and understand and humble ourselves, He will bless us with the wisdom, knowledge, strength that we seek. How better to show His love for us. As we look for this outpouring of His love as we study this year, this is what we will be blessed with.

Use Christ’s Atonement v. 31-32

For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;


The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the ultimate act of love. He did this because He “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” and thus, He provided a way for us to overcome our sin and weaknesses. What better way can we show our love for Him than using that gift and repenting fully. This year as we study the commandments given to a living prophet by our Heavenly Father, let us take full advantage of this gift and repent at every opportunity. Let us become more like our Savior.

The Lord’s Servants

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, too often do we think that we are the only people the Lord speaks to. There is a difference between having the full truth and having the only truth.


The Lord makes it very clear in verses 17 and 18:


Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments; And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets–


Yes, Joseph Smith was called as a living prophet to restore the full truth. It is so important to understand that. But it is also important to understand that God loves all His children and gives them the level of truth that they are seeking for. There is truth in every religion and belief. We just need to know what is truth from God, and what is the word of man.

Weakness and Sin v. 3, 24-28, 31-33

And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.

Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding. And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known; And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed; And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent; And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.

.For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven; And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.


The Lord does not condone sin. He can’t permit us to do wrong. But He can love us and help us to improve. He can forgive our sins and weaknesses as we do our best to improve every day.


The most important thing to understand from this chapter is that the Lord doesn’t care where we have been, as long as we have learned and repented our mistakes. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of trajectory. He loves us enough to make perfection possible, eventually. We won’t reach it today, or even tomorrow. But with the love and assistance of our Savior and Redeemer, we will reach it.

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