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March 12, 2020 – Look at the mark, not beyond

“Those who are committed to following rules without reference to doctrine and principle are particularly susceptible to looking beyond the mark. Equally dangerous are those who get mired in rules and are thus less willing to accept change resulting from continuous revelation.

One of the great challenges of this life is to accept Christ for who He is: the resurrected Savior of the world, our Redeemer, our Lord and Master, our Advocate with the Father. When He is the foundation for all that we do and are, we avoid the theological blindness that results from looking beyond the mark, and we reap the glorious blessings He has promised us.

When we look beyond the mark, we are looking beyond Christ, the only name under heaven whereby we might be saved.”

  1. Elder Quentin L. Cook, “Looking beyond the Mark”, Ensign, March 2003

At times, when things get tough or we sense something is coming, like we are experiencing now, we tend to put our focus on things that truly matter. Or, at least, we should be. There is caution to be had in so doing that we need to be careful of. Let’s not get caught up in the rules, or what someone else says, or, rather the what to do. It doesn’t matter what so much as why or how. We need to focus on the mark (Christ), not look past it (Him).

An example would be leaving our home in a crisis and going to the mountains to get away from everyone and everything. That is fanaticism and we don’t need to do that. That is looking beyond the mark. We don’t need to leave, but rely on the sanctuary of our home, with our food supplies, and take precautions necessary to keep ourselves and family safe. All while still studying, praying, etc. That is looking at the mark.

So, let’s combine what to do with why we are doing it and how to do it. In other words, let’s stick to the doctrine that the Lord teaches us (why) along with the principles of the gospel (how), then we can apply the rules (what).

Losing sight of the mark, panicking, being selfish, is very easy to do. That is a natural reaction. Our purpose on earth is to learn to put off the natural and focus on the eternal. Trust Him. Follow Him.


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