9 Things The Scriptures DO NOT SAY (But We Sometimes Believe Anyway)

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Man folding hands over scriptures

Have you ever read the scriptures and understood them cognitively but at the same time had a hard time actually applying them to yourself? Or maybe, for example, Christ’s counsel in the New Testament seems great and all, but we subconsciously don’t think it applies in our circumstances? Here are nine scriptures we’re probably all familiar with, but that we sometimes fail to apply correctly:

1. Matthew 5:44

It DOES NOT say,

“Love your enemies, unless they’re nameless, ignorant internet trolls that are just asking for it.”

It DOES say,

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

2. Doctrine and Covenants 64:10

It DOES NOT say,

“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive only the people you like.”

It DOES say,

“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.”

3. 3 Nephi 11:29-30

It DOES NOT say,

“For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil. Unless it’s a sibling you’ve casually fought with your whole life. That’s just innocent family feuding. Behold, this is my doctrine, to occasionally stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another.”

It DOES say,

“For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.”

4. John 13:34

It DOES NOT say,

Verily verily I say unto you, my commandment to ‘love one another’ only requires you to love other people, and not yourself.”

It DOES say,

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

5. Doctrine and Covenants 84:88

It DOES NOT say,

“Thus saith the Lord: Sorry, but you’re on your own through this mortal journey. I’ve got work to do, the Spirit has work to do and mine angels have work to do. Good luck.”

It DOES say,

“I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”

6. Daniel 3:17-18

It DOES NOT say,

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we’ll probably get really angry and hold a grudge against our God.”

It DOES say,

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

7. Mosiah 26:30

It DOES NOT say,

“Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me. Except for you, *points to reader through screen,* out of the billions of people that live on this planet, the Atonement doesn’t apply to you.”

It DOES say,

“Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.”

8. Alma 37:6

It DOES NOT say,

…but behold I say unto you, you and your efforts are small and simple, and therefore insignificant…”

It DOES say,

“…but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass…”

9. 2 Nephi 32:3

It DOES NOT say,

“Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto everyone else but you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell other people all things what they should do.”

It DOES say,

“Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”

Sometimes we believe in Christ, but have a hard time believing Christ. So, let’s improve. I am worthy of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. I am worthy of love. I can forgive others. I can improve myself. I can make small changes in my life every day to become more like Jesus Christ. I can stop justifying my mistakes, but I can also move past them with confident humility. I am not alone in this world, and neither are you.

Are you guilty of secretly interpreting these scriptures the WRONG way sometimes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

David Snell is a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He's the Founder of The Sunday Pews, and has experience writing for Mormon Newsroom Pacific, KBYU11, Classical 89 Radio, FamilyShare.com and plenty more. He tries not to take himself too seriously and just wants to brighten your day a bit.