Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Four Levels of Interpretation part 3

The Book of Mormon also records an experience where another group of people received the Spirit of prophecy.

"...When king Benjamin had...spoken to his people, he...desired to know...if they believed the words which he had spoken....And with one voice they said: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken...; and...we know of their...truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord...And we,...through...the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient [which it wasn't], we could prophesy of all things." (Mosiah 5:1-3)

Each person in this audience shared a common prophetic view. They, of course, were not in competition with King Benjamin, but because of their faithful commitment and belief in Christ, they had access to the same information their prophet-king.

"Mystery" is the word used in the New Testament to describe the sod level.

LDS Bible Dictionary
Mystery. Denotes in the N.T. a spiritual truth that was once hidden but now is revealed, and that, without special revelation, would have remained unknown.

The teachings of the temple fall under this category. The Lord reserves unto Himself the prerogative and privilege of teaching these truths to His children. He alone knows the hearts of those who seek Him, and comprehends how to instruct them without any possible misunderstanding at their level of preparedness. Only He can teach sacred truths and tailor them to each individuals learning style, background, experiences, and unique capacities.

When the Savior was on earth teaching his disciples, he would explain the hidden depths of his teachings. However, they were not given permission to divulge these insights to others or to set themselves up for a light to get the praise of men.

"And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand." (Luke 8:10)

Nephi also obtained this level of understanding.

"I, Nephi,...having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God..." (1 Nephi 1:1)

Who has access to this information? Alma says:

"...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." (Alma 12:9)

Alma diligently inquired to know concerning a mystery and recorded his answer which still blesses us today.

"...Now, I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself. But I show unto you one thing which I have inquired diligently of God that I might know--that is concerning the resurrection." (Alma 40:3)



  1. I like this. I often marvel at how merciful the Lord is in unfolding a few of his mysteries to one so prone to sin as I am when I humble myself and seek repentance.