“Because of Stiffneckedness and Unbelief, I Was Commanded to Say No More”

Bryan Richards

The Lord stands ready to give us as much revelation as we have faith to deserve. But sometimes, we are content with what we know. Sometimes we would rather regurgitate our favorite doctrinal clichés than perform the mental stretching and intellectual exercise necessary to comprehend a new concept. Like the ancient Jews, if we struggle with unbelief we should not expect to be given much more than we already have. Later, Nephi explains, if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people (3 Nephi 26:9-11). In contrast, the brother of Jared exhibited such faith that the Lord could not withhold anything from him (Ether 3:26).

"We will now give Butterworth's definition of unbelief: He says it 'is a want of credit of, and a want of confidence in the word and truth of God, arising, not from a want of evidence of divine truth, but from a rooted enmity of the heart against it, and is a criminal disobedience.' Unbelief being the only reason that can be given, why we shall not have revelation now, and precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little, as well as in the days of the ancient prophets..." ("Messenger and Advocate," vol. 3, no. 8, p. 501)