“Thou hast declared unto us hard things”

Hard Things

In the last post of a series titled “The ‘Covenant Path’ Unveiled – Part 5/5, Which Path Are You On?“, was included a side-by-side chart of sorts. It compared and contrasted the path of an institution (“church path”) and the true “covenant path” that the Savior called “my doctrine” (doctrine of Christ).

In the first post in the series (The “Covenant Path” Unveiled – Part 1/5, What’s In a Name?), I extended an invitation to you in preparation for reading the series. This invitation was to prepare you for some things that may be difficult to read at first. But with much pondering and personally seeking for learning and clarification, the spirit of the Lord would teach you. It reminded me of the interaction between Nephi and his brothers.

“And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of speaking to my brethren, behold they said unto me: Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear.

And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.

And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things against us.”

1 Nephi 16:1-3

Keep in mind that the entire family was entrenched in the Mosaic Law and Jewish culture of their day. For Nephi to declare “spiritual things” to them was seemingly self-righteous and Nephi’s older brothers were very territorial about their standing in the family, their father’s favor, and their inheritance. They could not see or understand the things of the spirit within their own religious culture, their rituals, and their own performances of the law.

The way in which you reacted to that compare/contrast of the two paths says much about where your heart is right now–your loyalties, your desires, your dependence, your expectations.

If these things were “hard things” or even if they were not, I would like to invite you to ask yourself the following questions and ponder the relevant words from the scriptures and thoughts:

Of the two great commandments, which one is yours?

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 22:35-40

Ezra Taft Benson: “The world largely ignores the first and great commandment–to love God–but talks a lot about loving their brother. They worship at the altar of man. Would Nephi have slain Laban if he had put the love of neighbor above the love of God? Would Abraham have taken Isaac up for a sacrifice if he had put the second commandment first? “It is from within the Church that the greatest hindrance comes. Six of the original Twelve Apostles selected by Joseph Smith were excommunicated. The Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon left the Church. Three of Joseph Smith’s Counselors fell – one even helped plot his death. A natural question that might arise would be, that if the Lord knew in advance that these men would fall, as he undoubtedly did, why did he have his Prophet call them to such high office? The answer is: to fill the Lord’s purposes. For even the Master followed the will of the Father by selecting Judas.

“Perhaps it is His own design that faults and weaknesses should appear in high places in order that His Saints may learn to trust in Him and not in any man or men. And this would parallel Lehi’s warning; put not your “. . . trust in the arm of flesh. . . .” (2 Nephi 4:34). What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire of themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders.”

Be Not Deceived, Elder Ezra Taft Benson Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, October 1963, p. 15-19

Who is responsible for working out your personal salvation with the Lord?

“And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no more deny the coming of Christ.”

Alma 34:37

“O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.”

Mormon 9:27

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

Philippians 2:12

Who is responsible for initiating and developing your own relationship with the Lord?

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

John 17:21

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Jeremiah 31:34

“And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”

Hebrews 8:11

“For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand.”

Mosiah 26:24

“For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.”

Doctrine and Covenants 132:22-23

“Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.”

Alma 42:4, 10, 13

What does it mean to receive salvation “in and through” Jesus Christ only?

“And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.

“For behold he judgeth, and his judgment is just; and the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy; but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and become as little children, and believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.”

Mosiah 3:17-18

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.”

2 Nephi 10:24

“And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?”

Mosiah 16:13

“Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.”

2 Nephi 2:6

“And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness.”

Alma 38:9

“Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; thus this holy calling being prepared from the foundation of the world for such as would not harden their hearts, being in and through the atonement of the Only Begotten Son, who was prepared”

Alma 13:5

Awake & Arise

“Awake” and “arise” each have their own meanings with respect to your own personal salvation. To awaken is to hear the voice of the Lord, to arouse your soul from under the veil of mortality, to uncover the desire within you for the Lord and His glory, to begin your personal journey in and through the doctrine of Christ.

“Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word;…”

Alma 5:1-62

“For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state—I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body—And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.”

Mosiah 4:5-6,11

“Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom; behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord.”

D&C 133:10

“And so great were their afflictions that every soul had cause to mourn; and they believed that it was the judgments of God sent upon them because of their wickedness and their abominations; therefore they were awakened to a remembrance of their duty.”

Alma 4:3

“And now my beloved brethren, I have said these things unto you that I might awaken you to a sense of your duty to God, that ye may walk blameless before him, that ye may walk after the holy order of God, after which ye have been received.”

Alma 7:22

“In and through” describes both a way (which is a path) and a personal relationship each person has to have with the Savior, Jesus Christ.  The Savior calls the way, “My doctrine.” This is the purpose of The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide–so that you can learn, believe, live, and teach the path “in and through” Jesus Christ. Personal revelation is the only means by which a person can initiate and develop their personal relationship with the Savior.  This is the purpose of the The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide. You are invited to begin your personal journey now through any and all free study guides.

JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on free, online study guides to help you learnbelievelive and teach the Doctrine of Christ. The Study Guides invite any and all to see and know this truth for themselves that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has, in fact, introduced His doctrine and He personally invites all to receive personal redemption and literally receive Him while in the flesh (mortality).

Blog posts are only intended to supplement the Study Guides.  Per all blog posts, seek the understanding and confirmations from the Lord in your own personal revelation.  Study guides are intended to point you to both the Lord’s written word and His voice (personal revelation). These study guides will help you uncover what the Doctrine of Christ is and other essential topics that will help you in your journey to literally “come unto Christ” while in mortality. All study guides are available at JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org.


  1. There have been many things which at first I initially pushed back on. Which is my own version of “Thous hast declares unto us hard things”. Thankfully the Lord is full of loving patience, and gives me repeated opportunities to soften to the new to me concepts/truths.

    What I am finding is that I can now recognize this internal push-back when it comes up as a sort of self-realization mechanism that is potentially a blessing of discernment. If I am sensitive to the feelings that are triggered, it is then with the Spirit I can identify areas of unbelief that needs to be repented of and healed. And it is almost like the realization that comes when I am trying to rationalize choices and behaviours instead of taking the issue to Jesus and relying on his infinite wisdom. When I catch myself doing that I try to repent quickly and ask the Lord what he would have me do.

    I am still so very far from perfect, but I am grateful when I can recognize the Laman and Lemuel in me that I used to be unable to identify with. Reconciling this is a gift from God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is such a great description of what happens for me also. You put it into words better than I could so thank you for sharing.

      I too believe the hardest part is recognizing the internal reaction. For me, I have to see myself in third person to help identify it more clearly (If that makes any sense). Or at least, that is how it is easier for me to see it. When I am too emotionally charged in my response I dont see what is really happening right away. The natural man/woman in us is what gets emotionally charged. We want to run from it or push it away initially because the feelings are uncomfortable. Turns out “uncomfortable” is a fork in the road to opportunity. Reminds me being too quick to judge in our natural man/woman responses also shared in this blog post: https://journeydoctrineofchrist.org/2018/07/31/false-tradition-confusion-is-of-the-devil/

      Liked by 1 person

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