“Blindness Came by Looking Beyond the Mark”

K. Douglas Bassett

Titus 3:9; 2 Tim. 4:2-4; 1 Tim. 1:4

“They were apparently afflicted with a pseudosophistication and a snobbishness that gave them a false sense of superiority over those who came among them with the Lord’s words of plainness… . They must have reveled in speculative and theoretical matters that obscured for them the fundamental spiritual truths… . There are other ways in which many of us often look beyond the mark. Sometimes we focus too much of our attention and energy upon our temporal wants, not only to entertain ourselves and gratify our physical appetites, but also to gain recognition, position, and power. We can become so consumed by the pursuit of these things that we sacrifice the sweetness and enduring peace of mind that are found in spiritual well-being, in well-nurtured family relationships, and in the love and respect of friends and associates.” (Dean L. Larsen, Conference Report, Oct. 1987, pp. 12-13)
“We are ‘looking beyond the mark’ (Jacob 4:14), therefore, when, figuratively speaking, we are more interested in the physical dimensions of the cross than what was achieved thereon by Jesus. Or, when we neglect Alma’s words of faith because we are too fascinated by the light-shielding hat reportedly used by Joseph Smith during some of the translating of the Book of Mormon.” (Neal A. Maxwell, First Nephi, The Doctrinal Foundation, BYU Religious Studies Center, p. 5)
“So many times young people are enticed to go to the very edge or even beyond it. With only a precarious toehold, it is easy to be seriously injured or even die. Life is too precious to throw away in the name of excitement, or, as Jacob said in the Book of Mormon, ‘looking beyond the mark.’ You young people may think that you are indestructible and that you are going to live forever. In a few years you will learn that this is not so… . Of even more danger is to put your souls at risk by dabbling in drugs or other mind-abusing substances to ‘get a buzz.’ Some of you may think that you will discover your strengths and abilities by living on the edge… . Your strengths and identity will come from honoring your priesthood, developing your talents, and serving the Lord.” (James E. Faust, Ensign, Nov. 1995, pp. 45-46)

Latter-Day Commentary on the Book of Mormon