Hello! Shalom! Aloha! Mabuhay!

If this is your first visit to Modern Apocrypha, I have only two recommendations for continuing on with minimal confusion:

1) Please begin with the first introductory post (found HERE) and work your way forward. Almost all the posts on this blog flow chronologically and will make more sense with the background and context of previous ones. Jumping in anywhere might be disorienting.

2) Please read along in the texts posted off to the right. I try not to summarize too much in the commentary and discussion, and being at least somewhat familiar with what we're discussing or I'm commenting on will be most beneficial and edifying for all involved. Plus, going along with the theme of this blog, any hidden truths to be brought to light will be found within the text itself and not necessarily within my ramblings.

Okay, fine, three recommendations:

3) Please read with an open heart, mind, and spirit. See what truths you can find in these works--ones which speak to you. Namaste : )

Friday, July 25, 2014


Jesus concludes His visit with Elisha reiterating His role as redeemer and gatherer of Israel under the direction of His Father. He preached the word in Jerusalem during His mortal ministry but was commanded to bring the Gospel to wherever Israel was scattered. He teaches Elisha what He told the descendants of Lehi (3 Nephi 15:12-16:7), that when He spoke of other sheep that needed to hear the Shepherd's voice and be gathered into His fold (John 10:16), He meant other tribes the Father had led away. The people of the islands are among those other sheep, as well as people of many more lands and even many more worlds! (While the author of Hebrews writes of Christ creating worlds under the direction of the Father (1:2; 11:3), it's often understood to mean simply the universe, however one imagines it. It isn't until Joseph Smith's translation of Moses (1:33, 35) that we learn of the literalness of that statement--that there are indeed innumerable worlds inhabited by God's children and other creations with Jesus as Savior of them all. This doctrine was also reiterated a few years later in D&C 76:24, 39 and 93:10.)
Christ reminds Elisha that He has set all these events in motion in order to remind the people of the islands that:
1) He is Lord of all nations and King in all lands and of all people
2) they are His children and one of His chosen people
3) He visited them in ancient times
4) He made covenants with them that He intends to keep
5) they will be gathered back into the House of Israel and receive their blessings
6) the island kingdom is given to them for their inheritance
7) the Aklatan is the catalyst for this chain of events

He tells Elisha that at the appointed time Oleeha will return to aid in translating the record, which speaks concerning the time when He came unto the island people. By His power, Christ caused it to be preserved in the cave and Elisha to discover it that it might come forth among the people and be a guide for them. The Aklatan will also be proof (He uses the word "proof" and not just "evidence") of two things: Elisha's calling and the Holy Spirit's power to witness of truth.

This promise from Jesus is key for anyone with hangups over Elisha. It's also analogous to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. In the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon was not read or studied as thoroughly as it is today; at first, it was mainly just a physical manifestation and witness of Joseph's prophetic calling. Even today, LDS missionaries ask everyone to read the Book of Mormon and receive a witness from the Spirit of it's truth. Then, the logical progression follows that if the Book of Mormon contains the word of God, then Joseph was a prophet of God who restored Gospel knowledge, priesthood keys, Christ's church, etc. in the latter days. The promise is the same, then, for Elisha: seeking and receiving a witness from the Holy Spirit of the truths found in the Aklatan logically leads to a witness of his divinely issued calling to the people of the islands.

Elisha is commanded to write all of Jesus' words down and promised they will stay in his memory until he has done so. At the end of the chapter, after Christ departs, Elisha relates that this happened just as Christ said it would; he remembered the whole visitation with perfect clarity until he wrote it down, and only then the memory began to fade. This reminded me of the story behind D&C 132. Historically, we can deduce that Joseph had received the revelation on celestial marriage as early as 1831, but it wasn't written down until 1842 at the insistence of his brother, Hyrum. Joseph declined using the Urim and Thummim, saying that he knew the revelation perfectly from beginning to end, even though he'd kept it in his mind for some 11 years. After recording it and making a copy, Joseph said that much more could've been written, but what was recorded was sufficient at that time. He even allowed his wife, Emma, to destroy the original, claiming he could recite it word for word at any time if necessary.

Wilford Woodruff also spoke of this unique spiritual gift (h/t Bruce):
Whenever I hear Joseph Smith preach, teach, or prophesy, I always felt it my duty to write it; I felt uneasy and could not eat, drink, or sleep until I did write; and my mind has been so exercised upon this subject that when I hear Joseph Smith teach and had no pencil or paper, I would go home and sit down and write the whole sermon, almost word for word and sentence by sentence as it was delivered, and when I had written it, it was taken from me, and I remembered it no more. This was the gift of God to me.
Christ's final command is to spread these words among the people, and whoever obeys these commands will be saved in the last day.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Yesterday I taught a Sunday School class on examples of good and bad leadership in the scriptures. (I know I've mentioned this before, but the best description of a Christlike leader is found in D&C 121:24-46.) We didn't get to discuss much the interplay between leaders and followers and the importance of that dynamic for the success of the system. So here are two quotes that present food for thought when it comes to our role as free followers and seekers of truth:

In a 2012 Worldwide Training Broadcast, Dieter Uchtdorf asked:
How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn't get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?
Brigham Young promised in an 1853 General Conference address:
Now those men, or those women, who know no more about the power of God and the influences of the Holy Spirit than to be led entirely by another person, suspending their own understanding, and pinning their faith upon another's sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory to be crowned as they anticipate; they will never be capable of becoming Gods. They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to in every trifle, like a child. They cannot control themselves in the least, but James, Peter, or somebody else must control them. They never can become Gods nor be crowned as rulers with glory, immortality, and eternal lives. They never can hold sceptres of glory, majesty, and power in the celestial kingdom
Remember, in all things of importance, seek the Spirit's guidance and confirmation of truth and then act on that confirming revelation. And it's probably a good idea to never accept something out of hand, no matter the source--a Nobel laureate, a government official, a Church leader, a blog (heaven forbid)--and falling in line while ignoring your own conscience, morality, ethics, etc.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)


Continuing on the theme of God giving according to need, Jesus quotes Paul's letter to the Ephesians (Ch 4), saying there is one Lord, faith, baptism, and God, who is the Father of all. Yet each of His children is unique, and because of this, we are each given grace (divine help) according to the degree of our need and circumstance. One of the Lord's primary aims in this life is for us to come unto Him; however, because of the uniqueness of our situations, understanding, and spiritual intelligence (see Abraham 3:18-19), there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

As Paul says, and the Lord reiterates to Elisha, He has prepared various means by which all of His children may increase in knowledge and wisdom, come to Him, understand His word, and eventually become perfect with the whole (the body of Christ analogy). Some of us progress the most in following the counsel and direction of apostles or the words of prophets; others thrive under the watchful care of pastors; and still others catch the vision through the preaching of evangelists or instruction of teachers. Christ explains that the purpose of this Swiss-army-knife approach is to optimize comprehension and inspiration among all of His children scattered throughout the earth that they might be uplifted according to their degree, do good works, and spread His word. He says the better teacher will uplift the many rather than the few.
This pattern, then, will remain in effect until a millennial condition is achieved, when all believers in Christ become unified in the faith, grow closer to and come to a more perfect knowledge of Him, are safe from deceitful schemes and false doctrines, and speak only truth and love. In that condition, the body of Christ is whole, with Christ at the head and every unique part fulfilling its role and working together for the perfection of all. That is unity of heart, mind, and purpose. That is God's Kingdom. That is Zion.

Jesus then recites the Parable of the Talents known from Matthew 25 and Luke 19, and maybe it's me, but I've never made or seen made the connection between Ephesians 4 and this specific parable. As with any other gift or talent, the capacity for faith and knowledge and the circumstances we find ourselves in differs from person to person. Some are born into blessed situations (e.g., freedom of religion; strong, believing families; etc.), others are not, to varying degrees. It doesn't matter to the Lord what or how much we've been given; all that is asked is that we show an increase in faith and good works.
This short mortal life is essentially a school (see Abraham 3:25-26) in which lessons are individually designed and meted out according to the differing knowledge, abilities, weaknesses, etc. of each student. Again, as the Lord explained above, each of us possess a unique set of strengths and weaknesses, of spiritual power and character flaws, and thus, will have to pass through a unique set of strengthening and purifying tests and trials. Outwardly, some of these tests might seem relatively easy compared to the soul-crushing difficulty of others, but they are all designed to allow us the greatest opportunity to grow and progress in that moment. And despite all of our differences, the end goal is the same for each student--that we make it to the next grade.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Elisha asks the simple, yet critical, question for seekers of truth: How will we know? And the Lord gives a simple, yet critical, answer: The Spirit will show you. This is supremely important to understand. The search for truth is a personal matter, so the Lord leaves quite a lot of that process up to us--the desire to learn more, degree of investment in the search, openness to new truth, humility to accept it, sincerity of heart and purity of motive, relationship with the Spirit, familiarity with its promptings, faith to act on them, and so on. The key to remember is that the Spirit is constant, true, and always willing to impart revelation; it's our responsibility to get to where it is and tune in to it, not the other way around. As we strive to become its constant companion, it will be ours (see D&C 121:45-46).

"Ask and ye shall receive" is the most common promise given by the Lord (and in all of scripture). Yet how often do we--does anyone--actually take Him up on this promise in the pursuit of truth? Oftentimes, we can get complacent about our state of knowledge--that we know enough or have achieved the minimal requirements for salvation--or, on the other hand, that we aren't personally capable or even allowed to know more. Each of these perspectives betrays a flawed comprehension of God, self, and the relationship of the two. We aren't much compared to God, as Moses discovered (Moses 1:10); however, the great paradox is that we are everything to Him--we are His children and He is our loving Father. And as such, Christ taught that God will give us spiritual truth as we ask for it (Matt 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13). The mysteries of God are not untouchable, and it's no punishable offense to seek for them. Rather they are spiritual truths only understood in the process of asking and receiving through the Spirit (Matt 13:11; D&C 42:61, 65; 63:23; 84:19; 107:18-19). However, the search for truth is, and should be, an endless pursuit, not just a once-in-a-lifetime event. Joseph Smith taught:
Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. (D&C 130:18-19)
And so the Lord doesn't give Elisha a long discourse on how to come to know truth. His answer is short and sweet: Follow the Spirit. But He makes an interesting and key distinction between physical and spiritual truth and teaches that physical truth can only be determined through physical means and spiritual truth can only be determined through spiritual means. This epistemological dichotomy is central in the so-called faith and religion v. science and reason debates. While I'm optimistic in the efforts to bridge this divide, it's really a collision of two distinct paradigms or worldviews with some slight overlap. However, Christ teaches that--at least at this point--there's something to this division: logic, reason, and the scientific method will only be able to deduce physical or natural laws and truth, whereas spiritual laws and truth will only be able to be ascertained through spiritual means--faith, obedience, revelation, etc. Yet even still the Lord is patient and merciful toward those who can't quite grasp things spiritually; He will eventually provide them physical means to accept His spiritual truths. This is exemplified in His encounter with the apostle Thomas who'd said:
Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. (John 20:25)
Then after Jesus allowed him a physical witness to help his faithlessness and unbelief, He taught:
Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. (29)
Despite Thomas' difficulty believing the witness of the Spirit and others, Jesus still provided a physical means for him to accept the spiritual truth of His glorious resurrection. Yet He notes that we are better off gaining spiritual knowledge through spiritual means than physical ones.
The Lord continues on this theme of giving us what we need in order to believe in the subsequent segment, but breaks from it for a moment to give Elisha another command concerning the record he will translate. Elisha is to read Ezekiel 40-48 and include it at the beginning of the Aklatan. The Lord says this is "for a special purpose" but doesn't say what that would be. That phrase should remind LDS readers of the experiences and teachings of Nephi (1 Nephi 9:3-6; 19:3), Mormon (Words of Mormon 1:7) and Alma (Alma 37:2-18) concerning the wise and special purposes of the Lord regarding His records. We'll explore these Ezekiel chapters later, but they comprise a vision that Ezekiel had of the temple of the Lord in the last days where he gives a description of its construction and the goings-on within. The "special purpose" more than likely will have something to do with preserving and teaching about the temple and temple worship.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Wait, hold on, Jesus. The Bible doesn't contain all of God's word?
This segment on the Bible and God's word will be interestingly familiar to LDS readers. Jesus begins by saying that the Bible contains the pure word of God... except for the mixed-up parts caused by transmission errors, etc. (He conveniently leaves out which are the good parts and which are the bad ; ) We apparently have to figure that out for ourselves.) This echoes the teachings of Joseph Smith:
- We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. (Article of Faith 8)
- I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors.
- From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.  
In other words, the message of the Bible is held to be true, while details of accuracy and completeness are accepted within certain limits.

In vision, Nephi is instructed by an angel of the Lord:
Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God. (1 Nephi 13:24)
Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God. (25)
And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away. (26)
And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men. (27)
Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God. (28)
And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles,... thou seest--because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God--because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them. (29)
Nephi learns that the writings within the Bible once contained the fulness of the Gospel in its purity but that many truths and covenants were lost or corrupted. These would be restored in God's own time.

Jesus reiterates that God speaks to many nations and peoples and that anything spoken by God is, obviously, His word. And since God Himself is limitless, infinite, and eternal, so too is His word. Jesus reminds Elisha of the last verse of John's gospel:
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. (John 21:25)
Hyperbole? Exaggeration? Or reality. John claims here that not all of Jesus' doings and sayings are, or even could be, contained in his account or any other combination of records.

Again, Jesus tells Elisha that the Bible has preserved a record of some of His words and works, but many teachings, writings, and truths were lost or not preserved because of the weakness of men (see above). He gives the Book of Enoch as an example; it is not found in the Bible (considered apocryphal or pseudepigraphal by most Christian denominations), yet He says He taught from it and had His disciples learn from it. (As an aside, there are at least three different Books of Enoch. You can find some translations HERE; they're fun reads. More than likely Jesus would be talking about 1 Enoch, which was well known at His time and even quoted by Jude in verses 14-16 of his epistle.) But Jesus wants to remind Elisha that we shouldn't degrade the Bible or think it weak or inferior because of these issues. It has brought millions to Christ and will stand forever as the foundation and measuring rule (Greek: kanon) for His word.

However, to preach that the Bible alone contains all of God's word is a different gospel than the one Jesus taught. As He said before, God's works are manifest in all the world and made known through the books and records of the nations of the world. Logically, neither Jesus nor His apostles taught from the Bible as we now have it; it didn't exist at that time and wouldn't for centuries. Jesus says they taught from the scriptures, meaning inspired writings of the various ancient prophets, many of which aren't contained in today's Bible. Jesus warns those who say, "I only accept the Bible," that they're following Satan and, thus, committing a grave sin. Satan lies to men to lead them away from Christ, whereas Jesus' words are pure and holy and come from the Father. Jesus finishes this segment with the counsel to read the words of the Bible, for they are good, but to not be afraid to read other books that contain His word. (This segues nicely into our next section...)

Monday, July 7, 2014


The Lord told Oliver Cowdery that
There are records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people. (D&C 6:26)
Almost all of the time, we gloss over this verse, quickly pointing the finger at "the world" and blaming them for the lack of further light and knowledge from our Father. However, Joseph Smith once remarked:
If the Church knew all the commandments, one half they would condemn through prejudice and ignorance.
Could it be that we are those people, and it's our own wickedness keeping back these important records? This puts 2 Nephi 28-29 in a whole new light. Let's "liken the scriptures unto [ourselves]... for our profit and learning" (1 Nephi 19:23).
And they shall contend one with another... and teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance. (2 Nephi 28:4)
And they deny the power of God. (5)
They have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men. (14)
Wo unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! (16)
For behold, at that day shall [the devil] rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good. (20)
And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well--and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell. (21)
Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion! (24)
Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well! (25)
Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost! (26)
Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more! (27)
And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall. (28)
Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough! (29)
For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. (30)
Cursed is he that... shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost. (31)
But behold, there shall be many--at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember the covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel; (29:1) 
And because my words shall hiss forth--many of the [Saints] shall say: [Scripture]! [Scripture]! We have got [scripture], and there cannot be any more [scripture]. (3)
But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have [scripture]; and it shall proceed forth from... mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they [them] for the [scripture] which they receive from them? Yea, what do the [Saints] mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of [my people], and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the [Saints]? (4)
O ye [Saints], have ye remembered... mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people. (5)
Thou fool, that shall say: [Scripture], we have got [scripture], and we need no more [scripture]. Have ye obtained [scripture] save it were by [my people]? (6)
Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea;... and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? (7)
Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. (8)
And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever. (9)
Wherefore, because that ye have [scripture] ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. (10)
For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written. (11)
For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. (12)
And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews. (13)
 And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever. (14)
Just to clarify, where are the records mentioned in D&C 6 that contain the Lord's Gospel? Among ALL the nations of the earth. (That's a lot ; ) Have we received all of them yet? No? (Or maybe they've been here, but we haven't been able to discern them.) Then let us remove our pride, prejudice, and ignorance and replace them with humility, openness and acceptance, and the sincere search for truth. As we act in faith, we will have the Lord's will and words revealed to us.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Christ next gives Elisha a brief overview of the translation and publication process. When mentioning "this work" or "the first record", it's clear He means the Aklatan. However, He also speaks of "another work of translation", and at this moment, I'm not sure what that entails, but it would've been translated in 1991 or thereabouts. From Christ's words, it seems to be something other than a record of the people of the islands.

In any case, Elisha is commanded to record the Aklatan on paper, carry it wherever he goes, and preach from it for 5 years, after which he'll begin that second work of translation. Christ says that the Aklatan is a record of His people on the islands and needs to be shared so that all the people of the islands will read it and see its light. However, Elisha is not allowed to publish it for 20 years (it came out in 2007), and even then only a small portion. If the people receive it well and follow the Lord's teachings through Elisha, then more will be published until the whole record is complete.

I'd like to touch on one cool little thing before moving on to more important matters. Christ says that He will "prepare the way that [the Aklatan] may be published." As of right now, the Aklatan is available on (HERE), a relatively young company offering self-publishing, printing, and distribution services. Basically, the entire ordering and publishing system is automated, and authors can submit and communicate exclusively via internet. The books are simply printed on demand, and the retail price is determined by the printing cost, author margin, and publisher fee. The author can select to receive nothing financially (as Elisha was commanded), and then Lulu takes no commission. All of this seems like an ingenious way to publish, print, and distribute a document relatively hassle-free, so one could focus on continuing the work.
Finally, regarding the end of this segment and publishing little by little, this should be a familiar pattern, a method the Lord has employed throughout history (see also Alma 12:9-10; Ether 12:6; DC 76:7-11). The Lord taught Joseph Smith:
For [I] will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith. (D&C 98:12)
 He expanded on this to Nephi:
I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. (2 Nephi 28:30)
And Mormon provided an example of this:
And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people; 
But behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people.
And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken.
And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.
And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation.
Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people. (3 Nephi 26:6-11) 
We are taught little by little as we exercise our faith in acting on the truths we have, and as we are true and faithful in a few things, we show the Lord our readiness to accept greater things. To paraphrase Bruce R. McConkie, the milk of the present prepares us for the meat of the future. Spencer W. Kimball also taught that before obtaining greater manifestations or additional scripture we must read and believe what has already been revealed; he then noted:
We are quite often looking for the spectacular, the unobtainable. I have found many people who want to live the higher laws when they do not live the lower laws.