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This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- Matt 12:30. Mark 12:40 (which says, in essence, that those not against Jesus are on his side) and verse 30 here (which says that those who are not for Jesus are against him) seem like they may be contradictory. But an examination of the context of these two verses indicates that they may be complementary.
- One reason we may tend to see the verses as contradictory is because when we say someone is "not for" or "not against" us, we tend to think of people who are more or less neutral. But Jesus in neither case appears to be talking about people who are neutral. In Matthew, the verse comes just before verses where Jesus is talking about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, and just after verses where people were attributing Jesus' miracles to Beelzebub. These people weren't just "not for" Jesus; they were antagonistic to his ministry.
- In the story in Mark, however, the people being discussed aren't opposing Jesus. They're healing people in his name, apparently without being given authority to do so. There is no indication in Mark that they are doing this in order to harm Jesus' ministry. In fact, it is possible that they were sincere and may have even believed they were doing the work that Jesus wanted them to do. At the very least, according to Jesus' words, they were people that were doing good things and would soon be unable to speak against Jesus. Again, these people in being "not against" Jesus weren't neutral; at the very least, they were leaning toward Jesus and thus could be counted on his side.
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Prompts for life application
This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Prompts for further study
This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- Matt 11:30. In what sense is the Lord's yoke easy?
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- Dallin H. Oaks, "He Heals the Heavy Laden," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 6–9.
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.