I received the following questions in an e-mail from a good friend, and thought I would solicit the greater masses for input.
A 1967 edition of a Deseret Sunday School Union lesson manual, Messages of Exaltation, explained the following:
Unfortunately, not all people accept and live the teachings contained in the scriptural witnesses given them by our Heavenly Father. The Lord does not give additional scriptures to those who reject these witnesses; in fact, He often takes away from them even those scriptures which they already have. The Lord outlines as follows the principle upon which He works in this matter.
Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!
For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. (2 Nephi 28: 29 – 30.)
Several good examples of how this principle has operated in this dispensation might be listed. For example, when those Christians who believed in the Bible heard of the Book of Mormon and accepted it, additional scriptures were given to them – the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. This is in keeping with the principle “for unto him that receiveth I will give more.” (v. 30) However, many Christians who believed in the Bible and refused to accept the Book of Mormon as a new scriptural witness literally had their testimonies of the Bible taken away from them. Thus it should not be surprising to note that apparently many Christians today (including many Christian ministers today) do not accept the Bible as the literal word of God. They refused to accept the second scriptural witness when it came to them, so their first scriptural witness (1) has either been changed through new versions so that many of its essential teachings have been changed or (2) has been “explained away” by themselves or by “higher critics.” This abandonment of the Bible is in keeping with the principle enumerated by the Lord – “from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.” (v. 30)
Do you think the conclusion of the authors of this lesson manual is correct; i.e., that alternate versions of the Bible and “explaining away” of the Bible by “higher critics” are evidence that a “taking away” has occurred?
Is an “explaining away” of modern scripture evident in the LDS community today? If so, to what extent, do you feel, that a “taking away” has occurred in the LDS community?