Pattern for Understanding Truth

    And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 14:3). This is the pattern adopted by the writers of the New Testament Gospels. Christ explained how to understand His ministry by using the law and prophets. The Gospels would not be written until decades after this, and they were composed following the Lord’s pattern (found in the discussion that took place on the road to Emmaus) to vindicate Him as the promised Lord and Redeemer, and thereby, fulfilling scripture. This framework appears in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They all wove into their records how Christ fulfilled the prophecies. Christ proved He came and suffered to fulfill the prophets. He opened the scriptures unto them so that they understood (see Luke 14:7). The Gospel writers followed this same pattern. “Our Lord could have testified by revealing 10,000 new truths to these two disciples [on the road to Emmaus]. He could have disclosed to them new visions and predictions. Instead, He expounded the scriptures concerning Himself. That is how He wants us to learn the truth. When the Lord first spoke to me, He expounded the scriptures. When He rose from the grave, except for these two disciples, His visit with everyone that day was brief, even perfunctory. With others He proved He had risen. But with these two, the Lord took hours, walking and talking in a discourse wherein he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 14:3). They did not recognize Him, but they were moved by the content of His sermon. When they arrived at Emmaus, He entered the house because they asked Him to stay. If they had not asked, He would have passed by. The Lord does not force Himself upon us. We must invite. At the end of this encounter, they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us by the way and while he opened to us the scriptures? (Luke 14:4). It is not necessary to reveal any new thing in order to open eyes to everything the Lord has, and is, doing. Nothing apart from expounding the scriptures is required. He did not think it was necessary even when He arose from the dead. In the First Vision, Christ quoted or paraphrased Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Paul. Like His discourse on the road to Emmaus, in the First Vision our Lord expounded scripture. This is the condition of the world. Today is when mankind searches the earth and does not find the word of God, while the scriptures are available and ignored. When [Nephi] visited Joseph Smith, he quoted prophecies from Malachi, Isaiah, Peter, and Joel (see JSH 3:1–12). The pattern used by the Lord to reveal new truth is the same in every generation. The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. His path is straight and His course is one eternal round. Truth is best advanced by opening the scriptures.”1See also STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES.

    1 Preserving the Restoration, 299–300.