Saturday, September 6, 2008

Looking beyond the Mark

Looking beyond the Mark
Elder Quentin L. Cook

Read portions of the talk below,
to read the entire talk click here.

Today there is a tendency among some of us to “look beyond the mark” rather than to maintain a testimony of gospel basics. We do this when we substitute the philosophies of men for gospel truths, engage in gospel extremism, seek heroic gestures at the expense of daily consecration, or elevate rules over doctrine.

Substituting the Philosophies of Men for Gospel Truths

Some people seem to be embarrassed by the simplicity of the Savior’s message. They want to add complexity and even obscurity to the truth to make it more intellectually challenging or more compatible with current academic trends...We look beyond the mark when we refuse to accept simple gospel truths for what they are.

Gospel Extremism
Another sign of spiritual immaturity and sometimes apostasy is when one focuses on certain gospel principles or pursues “gospel hobbies” with excess zeal. Almost any virtue taken to excess can become a vice.

Heroic Gestures as a Substitute for Daily Consecration
Some members profess that they would commit themselves with enthusiasm if given some great calling, but they do not find home teaching or visiting teaching worthy of or sufficiently heroic for their sustained effort.

Elevating Rules over Doctrine
Doctrine usually answers the question “why?” Principles usually answer the question “what?” Whenever we emphasize how to do something without reference to why we do it or what we do, we risk looking beyond the mark.

The “Mark” Is Christ
When we look beyond the mark, we are looking beyond Christ, the only name under heaven whereby we might be saved. When He is the foundation for all that we do and are, we avoid the theological blindness that results from looking beyond the mark, and we reap the glorious blessings He has promised us.

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