“Because of Stiffneckedness and Unbelief They Understood Not My Word”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

Jesus performed only the works and taught only the doctrines that his Father commanded him (see John 5:19-20). In our record of his mortal ministry among the Jews we have no mention of his teaching them concerning the remnants of the house of Israel that had been dispersed throughout the nations of the earth—including the Book of Mormon peoples.

He only was allowed to speak fragmentarily of “other sheep” that must be gathered to “one fold” by he “one shepherd” (see John 10:11-18). Perhaps he wanted to teach them greater things but was constrained by the Father. The reason that the Father did not command Jesus to teach more explicitly and extensively was the Jews’ “stiffneckedness and unbelief” and “because of their iniquity.” It appears from this account that even if the Lord had taught more, they would not have understood it.

This is a sober warning. “As far as we degenerate from God,” the Prophet Joseph said, “we descend to the devil and lose knowledge and without knowledge eve cannot be saved” (Teachings, p. 217 ) We learn from the example of the Jews, cited here by Jesus, that the Lord stands ready to reveal to us greater doctrines and additional scriptures, but only as we seek such from the Lord, live righteously, and fully embrace that which has already been revealed.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4