“The gospel must be its own advocate”

Hugh W. Nibley
From ‘The World and the Prophets”

“One cannot help asking at this point: Does the revealed truth require any such help at all? One of the great hallmarks of truth, as Milton teaches us, is that it can defend itself. It needs no special pleading, let alone battalions of technically trained experts, to render it effective. If men do not accept the gospel as it stands, there is no profit in dressing it up to make it more appetizing. “If they hear not Moses and the prophets,” said the Lord, “neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31).

The gospel needs no “adorning,” to use St. Augustine’s word. If it is the supreme truth, it cannot possibly be helped but only harmed by the officious activities and extraneous ornaments of professional pleaders and skillful salesmen.

What about the missionaries? you ask. An excellent case in point: in ancient as in modern times, the missionaries of the church have impressed the world before everything by their notorious lack of any special training or talent. To survive in such hands, the gospel must be its own advocate, and it is—it can safely be trusted to delivery by the weak and unprepossessing. Only when men are entirely without pretense, even when that means being without education or polish, can the Holy Ghost speak for himself.

That the heathen must be impressed and the believers reassured by the offices of philosophy is an unconvincing argument.”

About annlaemmlenlewis

I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am currently serving as a Missionary in the Washington Yakima Mission. Welcome to my personal blog, Ann's Words, and my Mission blog, Our Yakima Mission. If you are interested in family history stories and histories, you can find those posted in Ann's Stories. Thanks for looking in!
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