Have you pondered what is expedient for you to be doing and becoming?
I love how looking across the scriptures builds my testimony of Christ and the prophet Joseph Smith. As I realize the incredible variety of doctrinal uses of a word, it is a testament to me that Joseph didn’t just make up the Book of Mormon out of thin air. Nobody could have included the amazing variety of content in the Book of Mormon during a 90-day translation period, dictating the entire book in a single pass. I am so thankful to God for the scriptures we have been given and those that sacrificed to bring them to us.
For some time I’ve noticed the word expedient and wondered at what things the scriptures say are expedient for us to be doing? This study topic just peels back the first layer and it’s not even comprehensive. There are many more things that are expedient for us to be doing and becoming that aren’t listed in the scriptures. However, this search yielded a few interesting patterns.
The word expedient has a few definitions (from Webster’s 1828 dictionary).
Hastening; urging forward
Shift; means devised or employed in an exigency
To get started and build a collection note in Scripture Notes for this, first open a search pane and search the scriptures for:
Create a collection note and title it something like “What is expedient for us?” and give it a tag of “Expedient” and anything else you feel is related like “Profitable.”
As I went through these 107 verses summarizing the things that were expedient in my master collection note, I noticed there were some groupings that could be made. There were overarching things expedient for mankind, things for God’s covenant people and church, things for us individually, and things related to military action or politics. It’s amazing to me just how relevant some of this civic counsel is for what’s happening right now in America. It’s almost like someone saw our day and gave us specific counsel to help… 😉
Now someone else might organize these differently, but this is how I did it. You are welcome to create your own collection note and copy/paste these lists into your master note or do your own thing or just read the lists below.
What isn’t written that is expedient?
Before I get to the lists though, I want to point out a couple things that are not mentioned in the verses that use the word expedient.
Is it expedient for us that we should have an experience like the Brother of Jared, and be brought into the presence of the Lord? Yes it is. One definition of expedient is something useful and profitable for us. As such, it is expedient that we should experience the gifts of the Spirit, visions, dreams, miracles, interactions with angels, and other marvelous things that will bring comfort to our souls, relief from our spiritual anxieties, and allow us to enter into God’s rest. These things are certainly expedient for us and we should exercise faith and belief in them happening to us. Remove doubt, fear, and unbelief, and realize the Lord has wonderful things in store for us should we exercise the faith we need to move from grace to grace until we experience a greater endowment of the Spirit in our lives.
Is it expedient that we be translated in preparation for the times ahead and the events about to unfold on the earth? Would it be useful when mobs rule and all the earth is in commotion to have a separation from telestial laws and be a Savior on Mount Zion to rescue those in distress without any worry about being in danger? Why do we get examples in the scriptures unless it is to repent of our unbelief and strive to accomplish what others have spiritually become? Now is the time to make the climb.
Here are my lists of expedient things from the scriptures.
Things that are expedient for us:
Christ would pay the price of sin (John 11:50; 18:14)
The Comforter/Holy Ghost, will come to us (John 16:7)
When God’s covenant people are in need and they hearken unto him, God provides food, water, miraculous protection, freeing them from bondage, and being led by a prophet.(1 Nephi 17:23-30)
The content of scriptures the Lord sees fit to give us (2 Nephi 3:19)
It was expedient there must be an atonement so there is an infinite and eternal sacrifice (Alma 34:9-10) that puts an end to the shedding of blood (Alma 34:13), and it must be among the Jews (2 Nephi 9:5). They were the only nation that would crucify their God (2 Nephi 10:3). Christ must die to bring about the resurrection so men may be brought into the presence of the Lord (Helaman 14:15).
Agency is expedient for man. (2 Nephi 2:27)
It is expedient that we are taught the consequences of sin (2 Nephi 9:48)
After the fall, it was expedient that angels taught man the gospel so they knew of the plan of redemption and the judgment to come (Alma 12:28).
Man must die (Alma 42:8) and have a way to be reclaimed from spiritual death (Alma 42:9).
It is expedient that signs are fulfilled proclaiming Christ’s birth (3 Nephi 5:2).
It is expedient that Christ goes to the Father for our sakes (3 Nephi 18:35).
For every man to be accountable as a steward over earthly blessings (D&C 104:13)
For God’s Covenant People and church
When the Jews cease looking for another Messiah and believe in Jesus Christ, it will be expedient that they believe the Book of Mormon (2 Nephi 25:16).
Keep the lesser law (law of Moses) until a greater is given. The same is true in our day. (2 Nephi 25:30; Mosiah 13:27; Alma 25:15)
It’s expedient to give stricter laws (law of Moses) to those that are stiff necked, quick to do iniquity, and slow to remember the Lord their God (Mosiah 13:29).
Missionary work is expedient to open the ears and minds of the people (Jarom 1:3).
Keep a record of those that enter into a covenant with God to keep his commandments (Mosiah 6:1).
The church needs a way to remove members from the church for bad behavior. (Mosiah 26:6)
The wicked are separated from God and his people (Alma 3:18).
To preach the gospel to those that go astray instead of going to war or anything else (Alma 31:5).
To preach the gospel to keep the church in line (Alma 45:21; D&C 96:5), particularly after wars have hardened their hearts (Alma 62:44).
When people err in teaching false doctrines, it creates contention. Preaching the word corrects this. (3 Nephi 1:23-25)
The Lord commands the church to assemble in Ohio (D&C 37:3).
Gather as the Lord commands (D&C 44:1)
That a history be kept (D&C 47:1) and that people contribute in meetings as they feel the need (D&C 47:2)
To have a bishop in each part of the vineyard (D&C 72:2)
Continue preaching the gospel (D&C 73:1; D&C 96:5)
For Joseph and Sidney to continue their work re-translating the Bible (D&C 73:3-4)
Make use of missionary funds wisely or send it to your family for their needs (D&C 84:103)
Officers in the church should be instructed in their duties and the gospel (D&C 88:127)
That stakes of Zion should be made strong (D&C 96:1)
Bring forth the word unto the children of men (D&C 96:8)
The Lord guides his missionary work for the salvation of souls (D&C 100:4)
For Sidney Rigdon to be a spokesman for Joseph Smith (D&C 100:9)
That we wait upon the Lord for the redemption of Zion (D&C 105:9, 13)
For us personally
Finish the good things you start (2 Cor. 8:10)
Write down our spiritual experiences (1 Nephi 10:15)
To be diligent to “win the prize” of eternal life (Mosiah 4:27).
All people should know what’s in the record of the Jaredites. (Mosiah 28:19)
Not to murder lest you lose your soul (Alma 20:18).
To pass down sacred things to those who will treat them with sacredness (Alma 63:11).
That we should keep a record of things that have been done (3 Nephi 5:14).
That we receive the lesser things first to try our faith and then receive greater things (3 Nephi 26:9).
If we have faith, we can do all things that are expedient for us to do from the Lord (Moroni 7:33; 10:23)
Sometimes things are expedient for us to do when we begin them, but if we fear and time passes, it may not be expedient to continue. Don’t fear. Move forward with faith constantly (D&C 9:3, 10-11).
The Holy Ghost will manifest to the faithful, the things that are expedient for us (D&C 18:18)
To partake of the sacrament often (D&C 20:75)
When the Lord calls you to a mission, it is expedient that you open your mouth without fear (D&C 30:5).
When your enemy is upon you, the Lord may pause things that are otherwise expedient for you to accomplish (D&C 37:1).
Haste to our missions (D&C 61:7)
To take care of our families (D&C 64:18; 99:6)
To serve missions and expound the mysteries out of the scriptures by the power of the Spirit (D&C 71:1)
To obtain revelation from the Holy Ghost on everything for their spiritual progression (D&C 75:10)
That everything we do is motivated by a desire to bring glory to the Lord (D&C 78:8)
Our stewardships should bind us together for the cause of Zion (D&C 82:11-12)
That we become friends of the Lord and live by faith, completely trusting in Him for our daily needs (D&C 84:77-85)
The prayer of faith, guided by the spirit will lead to receiving all we desire but prayers that aren’t led by the spirit for things that aren’t the will of God will turn to our condemnation (D&C 88:64-65).
If you want to be instructed more perfectly in theory, principle, doctrine, and the law of the gospel, teach these things and the Lord will expand your understanding (D&C 88:78)
That we experience a trial of our faith (D&C 105:19)
That we should receive an endowment in the temple of God (D&C 105:33)
That we form acquaintances with people we are led to meet to further open opportunities as the Lord will desire (D&C 111:3)
To take care of our safety (D&C 127:1)
For military strategy & politics
To have good and righteous rulers over the people (Mosiah 1:9).
Not expedient to have a king and esteem someone above another (Mosiah 23:7), or have wicked kings that bring abominations on the people (Mosiah 29:24), but it would be OK if you could always have righteous kings (Mosiah 29:13). Since you can’t always have righteous kings, it is not expedient to have kings (Mosiah 29:16, 23-34)
In war it is not wise to let dissenters join your enemies to stir them up and add to their strength (Alma 46:30-31)
Not expedient to attack enemies in their fortifications (Alma 52:5) or when enemies have power over you (Alma 55:23), but it is expedient when enemies are increasing to make an attack on your enemies (Alma 55:33).
To keep your armies well provisioned (Alma 57:11)
To deal with your enemies as needed (Alma 57:15)
To wait for reinforcements and provisions before extending your army too far (Alma 58:3) and make sure the government is supporting the military action (Alma 60:24)
To put down internal dissent (treason) so you don’t lose your freedom (Alma 62:10).
A war on terror should be fought when the enemies assemble and are in groups near you (Helaman 11:27-29). When society is overrun with robbers laying waste to your cities, spreading death and carnage, it is expedient to take up arms against them (3 Nephi 2:11).
When your forces are running out of food, you must take decisive action to preserve them (3 Nephi 4:5).
Don’t let your enemies know your plans before you carry them out (D&C 45:7)
What’s Expedient for You?
Take a few minutes and write down your own impressions. What are the things that are expedient for you to be doing and becoming? Is there a plan the Lord has for you to engage in right now? Probably so. It would be good to get some revelation on that!
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About the Author
God, family, country, scriptures, soccer, Sanderson, disc golf, dessert, development. These are a few of my favorite things. :) - Oak Norton