New Testament Lesson
December 31-January 6: We Are Responsible for Our Own Learning
To follow Jesus, we need to understand what he taught and how he lived. These resources look at how Jesus lived (specifically Jesus forgiving the soldiers who put him to death), how we can be humble about our gospel learning, and the need for deep learning for all disciples.
"Jesus on Forgiveness, from Luke 23:34", excerpted from The Testimony of Luke, New Testament Commentary, by S. Kent Brown.
Jesus’ example of pleading for forgiveness for the soldiers who crucified him (Luke 23:34) is certainly an example of Godly mercy. Jesus is clear in latter-day scripture (for example D&C 45:5) that forgiveness is extended to those who believe on his name. Is it also extended to these soldiers? Kent Brown writes, “Only he knows. Scripture shows us a door, and they need to turn the lock.” Read more on divine forgiveness as Luke records it.
“The Spirit and the Intellect: Lessons in Humility,” Duane Boyce, BYU Studies 50, no. 4
Some individuals have great confidence in their knowledge of both intellectual and spiritual things. Boyce does not share this confidence. "I have come to believe, after many a false start," he admits, "that if I am honest and thorough in my approach to the gospel, and if I am honest and thorough in my approach to intellectual disciplines, there resides in each the imperative for a profound sense of humility. I discover in both of them that what we don't know far outstrips what we do." He then goes on to illustrate the limits of human knowledge by presenting three examples: Ludwig Wittgenstein, logical positivism, and the long theoretical debate in quantum physics between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr. "These incidents from recent intellectual history," writes Boyce, "suggest that significant intellectual matters are often less settled than the current orthodoxy implies, whatever that orthodoxy happens to be and in whatever field." Even in spiritual matters, our current understanding may often be inadequate. "Beyond the certainties of the gospel," Boyce concludes, "the only wisdom we can hope to acquire is the wisdom of humility. Humility is endless."
"Thy Mind, O Man, Must Stretch," John W. Welch, BYU Studies 50, no. 3
Welch placed emphasis on hard work and keeping an open mind while searching for truth. Mormonism thrives, he said, because it welcomes the idea that the world is fundamentally pluralistic: scriptures, priesthoods, worlds, revelations, covenants, even gods. Mormon thought also brings together rights and duties: with all rights come powers and privileges, and with powers and privileges come duties. Scholars have inherent duties to selflessly serve and teach others, unashamed of the gospel of Christ.