In the Sermon on the Mount, after instructing us not to judge other people harshly and before assuring us that God will answer our prayers, the Savior provides the following warning:

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Matthew 7:6, 3 Nephi 14:6

In Joseph Smith’s revision of this passage, the Savior clarifies that He does want His disciples to share the gospel, but that there are some principles which they should not share with unbelievers:

Go ye into the world, saying unto all, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come nigh unto you.

And the mysteries of the kingdom ye shall keep within yourselves; for it is not meet to give that which is holy unto the dogs; neither cast ye your pearls unto swine, lest they trample them under their feet.

For the world cannot receive that which ye, yourselves, are not able to bear; wherefore ye shall not give your pearls unto them, lest they turn again and rend you.

Matthew 7:9–11, JST

I’ve been thinking this week about the phrase, “which ye, yourselves are not able to bear.” I think He’s encouraging us to think about what we should share, with whom, and in what context. Doctrines which are hard for us to understand are probably not the best introduction to the gospel for beginners. Start with fundamental principles, like repentance. Other things will become clearer to them as they learn and progress.

In September of 2000, I had the privilege of leading tours through the Boston Massachusetts Temple. After one tour, a young lady asked me why we keep some of the things we do in the temple secret. I explained that Christ doesn’t want to exclude anyone. He places some requirements on our attendance at the temple, but those requirements simply help us open ourselves to receive the blessings He wants to pour down upon us.

Today, I will share principles that others are ready to receive. I will focus on fundamentals which can be beneficial to everyone, and I will be judicious about when and how I share the spiritual experiences which are most precious to me.

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