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Ponderize 3 Nephi 18:12-13 (May 29 - June 4, 2016)

This week’s ponderize scripture came to me as I was listening to Elder Renlund's last conference talk.
I call it the principle of more or less.  Or, looking beyond the mark.

In his talk he quoted 3 Nephi 18:12-13
12 And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things. And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock.
 13 But whoso among you shall do more or less than these are not built upon my rock, but are built upon a sandy foundation; and when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon them, they shall fall, and the gates of hell are ready open to receive them.
As I read this scripture I thought of the many times I have seen people look beyond the mark. (Reference Jacob 4:14) Or they do more or less than intended.  This includes gospel hobbies that set aside the plain and simple truths of the gospel for some missing mystery.  The gospel is intended to be so simple a child could understand it, but with such eternal meaning that a lifetime of study will only bring a modest understanding.  Our goal is not to root out some deep doctrine that was somehow missed by the brethren, but to come unto Christ and be perfected in him.

Jacob 4:14
 14 But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble.
Quote: 
     Certain members have wanted to add substantially to various doctrines. An example might be when one advocates additions to the Word of Wisdom that are not authorized by the Brethren and proselytes others to adopt these interpretations. If we turn a health law or any other principle into a form of religious fanaticism, we are looking beyond the mark.
     Some who are not authorized want to speak for the Brethren and imply that their message contains the “meat” the Brethren would teach if they were not constrained to teach only the “milk.” Others want to counsel the Brethren and are critical of all teachings that do not comply with their version of what should be taught.
     The Lord said regarding important doctrine, “Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me” (D&C 10:68) and “That which is more or less than this cometh of evil” (D&C 124:120). We are looking beyond the mark when we elevate any one principle, no matter how worthwhile it may be, to a prominence that lessens our commitment to other equally important principles or when we take a position that is contrary to the teachings of the Brethren.  (Elder Quentin L. Cook, "Looking Beyond the Mark",  March 2003 General Conference)

Cross References
Jacob 4:14
D&C 3:2
Joshua 1:7
D&C 10:4
Mosiah 4:27
Alma 41:1
John 7:45-53
Jacob 5:48
Mosiah 9:3
3 Nephi 11:40
Hebrews 12:1
Exodus 18:18
1 Timothy 1:3-4

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