Luke 11

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Luke 11:1 he was praying in a certain place

"Luke...provided deep insights into Jesus' spiritual life. We see Jesus constantly at prayer in those moments when major events were about to occur. In those instances where Luke parallels Mark's account, Luke alone added the observation in several instances that Jesus prayed. At Jesus' baptism, the Holy Ghost descended while Jesus was praying (Luke 3:21-22). Jesus went to the wilderness to pray (Luke 5:16). The night before he called the Twelve, he withdrew into the hills and prayed the whole night through (Luke 6:12-13). Before he asked the disciples, 'Whom say the people that I am?' he prayed (Luke 9:18). He went up the Mount of Transfiguration to pray and while he was praying he was transfigured (Luke 9:28-29). It was the result of Jesus' praying that led the disciples to ask him to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1). He told Peter that he had prayed for him, so that Satan might not have Peter (Luke 22:31-32). And, of course, prayer was central to the experience in Gethsemane. Jesus commanded the disciples to pray, and he prayed in his agony (Luke 22:40-46). It is in Luke alone that we find Jesus' parables about prayer-the parables of borrowing bread at midnight (Luke 11:5-8) and of the widow and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8). Thus, prayer was the very lifeline between the Father and the Son. If Christ needed to pray, how much more do we need prayer." (Roger Keller, The Lord of the Gospels: The 1990 Sperry Symposium on the New Testament, ed. by Bruce A. Van Orden and Brent L. Top, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 94.)

Luke 11:2-4 Another version of the Lord's Prayer

Hugh Nibley

"One of the premises of New Testament scholarship is that Jesus said everything only once, and therefore our chore as scholars is to try to plow back into the text and find what the original form of the saying was. When you compare, for example, the prayer in Luke 11 with the prayer in Matt. 6, or the Beatitudes in Luke 6 with the Beatitudes in Matt. 5... The task that the critical New Testament scholars have taken upon themselves is to find what the original form of those Beatitudes must have been. That assumes that there was only one set of Beatitudes and that Jesus only blessed people once and that Jesus only taught people how to pray once. I guess I just find that really hard to believe. He worked for three years. Any of you who have preached the gospel for a couple of years know that you give the same discussion more than once. And it's not always exactly the same, as hard as the MTC might try to make it that way." (Teachings of the Book of Mormon--Semester 1: Transcripts of Lectures Presented to an Honors Book of Mormon Class at Brigham Young University, 1988-1990, 150.)

Luke 11:2 Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth

Neal A. Maxwell

"The Lord's disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray.' (Luke 11:1.) Jesus then gave a marvelous model of what prayer could be. Yet even this model did not suffice for the needs of Gethsemane. Nor was it as sublime as His prayers given in the special circumstances after His resurrection when Jesus prayed among the surviving Nephites. (3 Nephi 17:15-18.) The point is obviously not to detract from the tutoring nature of the wonderful Lord's Prayer, but to underscore how prayers will reflect circumstance; no single prayer will suffice for all circumstances!

"There are no Christlike prayers, however, that do not include, as did the Lord's Prayer, deep expressions of gratitude and appreciation to our Father in heaven along with a submittal to Him.

"So very much of pure prayer seems to be the process of first discovering, rather than requesting, the will of our Father in heaven and then aligning ourselves therewith. The 'Thy will be done' example in the Lord's Prayer reached its zenith in the Savior's later prayer in Gethsemane and in His still later submittal on the cross: 'Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.' (Matthew 26:39.)" (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979], 93.)

Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us

N. Eldon Tanner

"Let us consider 'Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.' (Matt. 6:12) It is interesting to compare this version as recorded by Matthew with those of Luke and Mark. Luke says, 'And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us...' (Luke 11:4.)

"Mark expresses it this way: 'And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.' (Mark 11:25-26.)

"The Lord has said, 'I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.' (D&C 64:10.) We are further admonished to forgive many times, even seventy times seven. We should stop and ask ourselves if we are prepared to ask the Lord to forgive us of our sins and trespasses only as we forgive our friends and neighbors. How wonderful it would be if we would all forgive and love our neighbors. Then it would be much easier for us to call upon the Lord to forgive us of any of our wrongdoings, and as we repent and bring forth fruits meet for repentance, we can expect God's forgiveness and mercy to be extended in our behalf.

"The scriptures are clear concerning such forgiveness. We read: 'For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.' (Matt. 6:14-15.) Further: 'Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.' (D&C 64:9.)" ("The Importance of Prayer," Ensign, May 1974, 53)

Luke 11:8 because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth

We are instructed to pray for that which is right, lest we ask amiss (3 Ne. 18:20; James 4:3). Such instruction implies that there are things we should pray for and things we should not pray for. May we suggest another category. Sometimes, our requests are neither right nor wrong as far as God is concerned. They may be important to us but lack eternal consequence. How does the Lord feel about our requests for such things? Will he answer our prayers if we ask for that which is neither right nor wrong? This parable, in part, addresses that issue.

Clearly the man who has already retired is not much concerned with his friend's plight. He gets out of bed and gives him what he wants-not because of their close friendship, not because he cares about his friend's hospitality as a host, but because of his friend's insistence. It is a clear case of "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." The same principle is taught in the parable of the widow and the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-7, DC 101:81-84). These parables are not designed to show that God doesn't care about our troubles. Rather, they show that if the average man will grant his friend's request just because he keeps asking, then a righteous father will certainly grant the requests of his beloved children-even if the matter is of little eternal consequence.

Luke 11:9 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find

"'President,' the missionary declared, 'I don't seem to be getting an answer to my prayers!' 'Elder,' I answered, 'one of the beautiful truths of the gospel is that our Father in Heaven is very close and responsive to all who earnestly pray to him. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth' (Luke 11:9-10; emphasis added).

"We were engaged in one of the many interviews I would conduct as a mission president. My young missionary friend, like many other people, had become discouraged in his prayer experience, thinking that Heavenly Father was unresponsive. But the reassuring message of the scriptures is that all who pray in faith for divine assistance, asking for that which is right, will be answered in some way (see 3 Ne. 18:20; D&C 88:63-65). The promise is sure. Our challenge is to discern our Father's abundant and varied responses...If we wish our prayers to be answered by our Heavenly Father, we must, of course, do all in our power to make them spiritually effective." (Grant E. Barton, "Discerning Answers to Our Prayers," Ensign, Feb. 1996, 50)

Boyd K. Packer

"It is clear that the Lord wants us to come unto Him and ask Him for whatever we need. The simple invitation to 'ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you' was repeated by the Lord on many occasions. He gave this message to the people He taught while He lived on earth. He repeated it twice to the people of the New World at the time of His visit to them following His resurrection, including His last words He gave them before returning to His Father in heaven. Interestingly, the Lord repeated the same invitation seven times in the Doctrine and Covenants. In varying ways throughout the scriptures, He has invited us to ask Him for whatever we need in righteousness, that He might give it unto us.

"The initiative, then, is ours. We must ask and pray and seek, and then we will find.

"There are several paintings depicting Christ at the door, illustrating a New Testament scripture: 'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.' (Revelation 3:20.) In the more famous paintings He is shown holding a lantern as he knocks at the door.

"The story is told that a little girl once remarked to one painter that his painting of Jesus at the door was not finished. 'You have left something out,' she said. 'You have left out the door latch.' The artist replied, 'The painting is complete. That door represents the door of the human heart. It opens only from within.'" (Teach Ye Diligently [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1975], 18-19.)

Luke 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?

"This scripture not only acknowledges our Heavenly Father's desire to give, but also indicates to me a problem some of us have with prayer: we think God is giving us a stone-no answer at all-when what we are actually receiving is bread unrecognized. These scriptures tell us that our Heavenly Father loves us and would never give us stone. Yet because of our imperfect understanding, we may perceive the bread he offers us-perhaps his most nourishing and filling-as cold stone. We forget his eternal perspective as the crisis or problem of the moment looms before us." (Francine Bennion, "Stone or Bread?" Ensign, Jan. 1976, 40)

Luke 11:13 how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

The Matthew version of this verse states, 'how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him' (Matt. 7:11). The Joseph Smith Translation combines these two concepts saying, 'how much more shall your heavenly Father give good gifts, through the Holy Spirit.' The latter reminds what the 'good things' are that we should be asking for. They are the gifts of the Spirit administered by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Many members understand that to everyone is given a gift of the Spirit. What they may not understand is that those gifts, like talents, must be prayerfully fostered and developed in order to find their fullest expression. Furthermore, although everyone receives at least one gift, there is no restriction on how many you can have. The Lord has commanded us, 'seek ye earnestly the best gifts (note the use of the plural form)...For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments' (DC 46:8-9).

Often times, we don't pray for that which would be of the most benefit to us. While it is commonplace to pray for personal safety, for help with decisions, or for help to have a good day, we could be praying for the gift of testimony, the gift of wisdom, the gift of knowledge, the gift of prophecy, or the gift of faith. Ironically, we know that God won't give us a stone if we ask for bread, but we make the mistake of asking for the spiritual equivalents of stones, serpents, and scorpions. Instead, we need to believe that God will grant us his good gifts according to the promise, 'he that asketh in Spirit shall receive in Spirit...He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh' (DC 46:28-31, italics added).

Luke 11:16 others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven

Bruce R. McConkie

"They had already seen signs in such number and variety as had never before in all history been poured out upon a people. In their streets, houses, and synagogues, the lame leaped, the blind saw, the dumb spoke, paralytics walked and carried their beds, all manner of diseases were cured, devils were cast out, the dead raised-all by the command of him whom they now tempted. Yet, in the face of all this, they now demanded something new and different, some heavenly portent which would prove that what they had already seen was from above and not from beneath." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 277.)

Luke 11:20 Jesus casts out devils with "the finger of God"

'If I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.' Jesus' finger was indeed "the finger of God." That same finger had written the law of Moses on tablets of stone (Ex. 31:18). That same finger had given light to the brother of Jared's stones (Ether 3:6). That same finger was amongst the Jews performing mighty miracles and casting out devils, and yet few believed. Moses had faith and saw the finger of the Lord. The brother of Jared's faith was such that he saw the same finger-and more. Even Pharaoh's magicians-an otherwise faithless lot-witnessed three of Moses' plagues and declared, 'This is the finger of God' (Ex. 8:19). Yet, with miracle after miracle, sermon after sermon, and healing after healing, most of the Jews would not believe.

Such hearts are as hard as rocks. No! They are harder than rocks, for the finger of God could carve the law into stone tablets but couldn't make a scratch in these hearts. The finger of God could enlighten Mahonri's stones, but the Light of the World could not illuminate such hearts of darkness. Indeed, 'when thine eye is evil, thy body,' and especially the heart, 'is full of darkness.' (v. 34)

What could possibly be the cure for such a spiritual illness? Is there no hope? The Jews suffered from a terrible case of spiritual heart failure. Without treatment, the prognosis is spiritual death. But Jesus is the Master Physician. He is also the Master Surgeon. In this particular case, his treatment plan demands definitive surgical action. He knew that these hardened hearts could not be softened or saved. A heart transplant would be the only chance for cure. He declared his surgical plan to Ezekiel when he said, 'I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God' (Ezek. 11:19-20).

Luke 11:24 the unclean spirit...walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none

Certainly, we cannot pretend to know much of the world of unclean spirits. Undoubtedly, a world of spirit, it apparently has dry, inhospitable places. In general it does not seem to be a restful, peaceful world. Joseph Smith said that these spirits "go abroad upon the earth exposed to the anger of the elements, naked and bare." (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 85.)

JST Luke 11:26 And when it cometh, it findeth the house swept and garnished

Spencer W. Kimball

"In abandoning sin one...must be certain not only that he has abandoned the sin but that he has changed the situations surrounding the sin. He should avoid the places and conditions and circumstances where the sin occurred...He must forget addresses, telephone numbers, people, places and situations from the sinful past, and build a new life. He must eliminate anything which would stir the old memories.

"Does this mean that the man who has quit smoking or drinking or had sex pollutions finds life empty for a time? The things which engaged him and caught his fancy and occupied his thoughts are gone, and better substitutions have not yet filled the void. This is Satan's opportunity. The man makes a start but may find the loss of the yesterday's habits so great that he is enticed to return to his evil ways, and his lot thus becomes infinitely worsened. The Savior had this kind of situation in mind when he said: (quotes Luke 11:24-26)" (The Miracle of Forgiveness, 172)

Luke 11:34 when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light

"If our eye or mind or soul is single to the glory of God; if our desires, our ambitions, our hopes and dreams are centered in the things of righteousness; if our greatest reason for serving is to build up the kingdom of God and establish in the earth the righteousness of God-if we are thus centered, then we will be spiritually transparent, the light of the Spirit of Almighty God will shine through us and we shall be a light to the world. If our will is subject to the will of heaven, then there is in us no hindrance to the power and glory, the light, of the Father; others will see him in our countenances. Those who have and maintain an eye single to the glory of God are on that path which allows them now to see and understand things that are mysterious to the worldly and that will lead them, in the Lord's due time, to that highest of spiritual rewards-the privilege of seeing him face to face." (Joseph Fielding McConkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1987-1992], 4: 87)

Luke 11:39 ye...make clean the outside of the cup...but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness

Spencer W. Kimball

"When we speak of righteousness, the image of it may be varied in different minds. To one person, righteousness may be kindness and tolerance only; to another, the Word of Wisdom; and to still another, the payment of tithing or attendance at Church, or maybe the Golden Rule. There are those who would not commit adultery, yet would be unkind to spouse or children. Some keep scrupulously clean their bodies, teeth, hair and clothes, but their morals might be degenerate. The Savior found religionists who would never fail to wash their hands before a meal but who came to the table with their 'inward parts full of ravening and wickedness.' (See Luke 11:39.)

"Some people are like the Pharisee in Luke's Gospel of whom the Lord said: '... ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.' (Luke 11:42.)

"Self-justification is the enemy to repentance. God's spirit continues with the honest in heart to strengthen, to help, and to save, but invariably the Spirit of God ceases to strive with the man who 'excuses' himself in his wrong doing." (February 25, 1964, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1964, p. 2)

Luke 11:42 Woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God

The latter-day definition of the law of tithing is that we are to pay one tenth of our annual increase. Further interpretations of the law are left up to the individual. Bishop's are wisely counseled not to define the law in any more specific terms. Not with the Pharisees. They had to define everything, including the payment of tithes on garden herbs. Imagine yourself, before tithing settlement, trying to assess the value of the wild herbs which grew on your property. Would you carefully assess their market value to make sure that you paid one tenth of their worth? If so, then you pay tithing like a Pharisee.

Bruce R. McConkie

"One of the marks of personal or universal apostasy is to center on religious trifles to the exclusion of eternal principles. Abstain from the use of tea, coffee, and tobacco, but indulge in lustful acts or forsake standards of business integrity; refrain from picking an olive or shucking an ear of maize on the Sabbath, but ignore the command to worship the Father in spirit and in truth on his holy day; pay tithing on the leaves and stalks of herbs grown in pots on the windowsill, but give no heed to judgment, mercy, and faith-such are the marks of apostate fanaticism. By such a course it is easy to have a form of godliness and a zeal for religion without doing the basic things that require the whole heart and the whole soul." (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 3: 398.)

Joseph Smith

"We may tithe mint and rue, and all manner of herbs, and still not obey the commandments of God. The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what He tells us to do." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 332)

Luke 11:44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

N. Eldon Tanner

"Imagine the great influence the Church . . . could have upon the world if each of us would be what we profess to be; if everyone were a real, truly dedicated Christian, living every day and not pretending; if we were honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, doing good to all men, and always seeking for things virtuous, lovely, or of good report and praiseworthy.

"Let us listen to the prophets and live by their words. Let us not be guilty, as were the scribes and Pharisees of old, of increasing the agony of our Savior by rejecting Him and His teachings, which He gave to us, together with His life, that we might have happiness here and eternal life hereafter. Let us not find ourselves in the condition which He describes as He concludes His chastisement of the hypocrites: 'Behold, your house is left unto you desolate...' (Matt. 23:38-39.)" (LDS Church News, 1994, 11/12/94)

Lorenzo Snow

"There are those among us who are recognized as members of this Church who take a vast amount of pains to be favorably known by those around them, but whose real character, or the inwardness, so to speak, of such people, is veiled or disguised, being to all outward appearance reputable Latter-day Saints, but whose inward character, the character that is written indelibly upon their own hearts, would, if known, render them unfit for the association and fellowship of the people of God." (6 May 1882, Journal of Discourses, 23:190.)

Joseph Smith

"I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm yet deals justice to his neighbors and mercifully deals his substance to the poor, than the long, smooth-faced hypocrite. (History of The Church, 5:401)

Luke 11:47 Woe unto you! For ye build the sepulchers of the prophets, and your fathers killed them

Hugh Nibley

"...must the church always have living prophets in its midst? Is it not enough that we have the words of the prophets of old preserved in holy writ? The answer to that is clear enough in the few passages we have cited. The true church must and will always have living prophets. But that is unwelcome news to the world. It has always been poison. It is the one teaching that has made the restored gospel unacceptable to the wisdom of men. A dead prophet the world dearly desires and warmly cherishes; he is a priceless tradition, a spiritual heritage, a beautiful memory. But woe to a living prophet! He shall be greeted with stones and catcalls even by pious people. The men who put the Apostles to death thought they were doing God a favor, and the Lord tells us with what reverence and devotion men adorn the tombs of the prophets whom they would kill if they were alive (Luke 11:47-48)." (The World and the Prophets, 3rd ed. [Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book Co., Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1987], 5 - 6.)

Spencer W. Kimball

"Even in the Church many are prone to garnish the sepulchers of yesterdays prophets and mentally stone the living ones." (Instructor, Aug. 1960, p. 257)

Luke 11:50 the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation

This comprises one of the most woeful cursings in all of the scriptures. If there is opposition in all things, then 'eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that [hate] him' (1 Cor. 2:9). Regarding God's punishments, we are reminded, 'the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows; Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof; Nevertheless, I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again; Wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation.' (DC 76:45-48)

Joseph Smith

"Hence it was that so great a responsibility rested upon the generation in which our Savior lived, for, says he, 'That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.' (Matthew 23:35, 36) Hence as they possessed greater privileges than any other generation [in having the Savior minister among them], not only pertaining to themselves, but to their dead, their sin was greater, as they not only neglected their own salvation but that of their progenitors, and hence their blood was required at their hands." (Teachings, 222-223)

Luke 11:51 Zacharias...perished between the altar and the temple

Joseph Smith taught that Zacharias was killed by Herod's soldiers. It was during the time when Herod had ordered the death of all the males less than two years of age. John the Baptist had been taken by his mother into the mountains to protect his life. When the soldiers asked Zacharias as to the whereabouts of his son, he would not divulge them, and for this he was killed (See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 261).

Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers...for ye have taken away the key of knowledge...and them that were entering in ye hindered

John K. Carmack

"Fanaticism existed in biblical times. Jesus fought against excesses and extremes of Jewish religious leaders in his day. He warned against the deadly formalism of Pharisees and scribes operating in Israel. Summing up their approach to religion, Jesus said they 'strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel' (Matt. 23:24). Pharisees, for example, took great pride in being strict observers of the law of Moses. Their strictness took the form of stressing petty rules, finding fault with hundreds of innocent, ordinary human acts, and establishing penalties for breaking these rules. Spiritual pride crowded out religion. Self-righteousness, such as praying to be seen by others, replaced true devotion to God. Jesus denounced the Pharisees in terms harsh for the Son of God, because he knew the danger of their fanaticism (see Matt. 23; 7; and  Luke 11:37-54).

"Among Latter-day Saints, too, there are religious fanatics who are not content to follow the lead of prophets. We must be wary of those who claim to have special, private revelations to guide others, who advocate causes such as a return to polygamy without Church sanction, and individuals who teach and practice income-tax evasion despite explicit warnings by every prophet in recent times. Fanaticism is dangerous to the peace and welfare of all people. We should be on guard against it, knowing its tendency to enflame and lead to violence." (Tolerance: Principles, Practices, Obstacles, Limits [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1993], 57.)

Spencer W. Kimball

"[Speaking of those whose false teachings weaken the testimonies of others] Not all scribes and Pharisees lived anciently. There are today wreckers as well as builders among men and in nature...Simon Peter warned us: '. . . there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring unto themselves swift destruction.' (2 Peter 2 1.)

"The Lord said: 'Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: the fulness of the scriptures; ye enter not in yourselves, into the kingdom and those who were entering in ye hindered.' (See Luke 11:52; Revised)

"Apparently there were in the early church those who taught for doctrines the sophistries of men. There are those today who seem to take pride in disagreeing with the orthodox teachings of the Church and who present their own opinions which are at variance with the revealed truth. Some may be partially innocent in the matter; others are feeding their own egotism; and some seem to be deliberate. Men may think as they please, but they have no right to impose upon others their unorthodox views. Such persons should realize that their own souls are in jeopardy. The Lord said to us through the Prophet Joseph: 'teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel. And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit...And if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach' (D. & C. 42:12-14)" (Conference Report, April 1948, Afternoon Meeting 109.)

JST Luke 11:52 ye have taken away the key of knowledge, the fullness of the scriptures

Bruce R. McConkie

"The devil wages war against the scriptures. He hates them, perverts their plain meanings, and destroys them when he can. He entices those who heed his temptings to delete and discard, to change and corrupt, to alter and amend, thus taking away the key which will aid in making men 'wise unto salvation.' (2 Tim. 3:15-17.)

"Accordingly, Jesus is here heaping wo upon those who have contaminated and destroyed scriptures which would have guided and enlightened the Jews." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 625.)

Neal A. Maxwell

"When Jesus criticized the lawyers of his time (Luke 11:52), he said they had 'taken away the key of knowledge.' In the inspired translation of the New Testament, Joseph Smith added five words: 'for ye have taken away the key of knowledge, the fullness of the scriptures.'

"Without the divine disclosures God has given to us, we face all the usual dangers of incomplete information, but these are compounded by cosmic consequences when we are ignorant, or heedless, of these key truths.

"We should seek these 'key' truths, not simply because such truths are shiningly there, but because it is by their light 'that we see everything else!'" (The Smallest Part, 7)

Dallin H. Oaks

"I have seen some persons attempt to understand or undertake to criticize the gospel or the Church by the method of reason alone, unaccompanied by the use or recognition of revelation...One cannot find God or understand his doctrines and ordinances by closing the door on the means He has prescribed for receiving the truths of his gospel. That is why gospel truths have been corrupted and gospel ordinances have been lost when left to the interpretation and sponsorship of scholars who lack the authority and reject the revelations of God.

"That is what the Savior told his professional critics, as recorded in the eleventh chapter of Luke. He was confronted by a group who had hypocritically built monuments to the prophets their predecessors had murdered, while personally rejecting the living prophets God was sending them. (See Luke 11:47-49.) In what I understand to be a condemnation of their rejection of revelation, the Savior pronounced woe upon these worldly professionals: 'For ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.' (Luke 11:52.)

"...In our day we are experiencing an explosion of knowledge about the world and its people. But the people of the world are not experiencing a comparable expansion of knowledge about God and his plan for his children. On that subject, what the world needs is not more scholarship and technology but more righteousness and revelation." ("Alternate Voices," Ensign, May 1989, 30)