Joseph Smith taught this as an important key: “do not betray the revelations of God, whether in Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or any other that ever was or ever will be given and revealed unto man in this world or that which is to come”.
I think there are a number of ways in which we are very fond of taking the revelations and adding personal footnotes and appendixes that come from our culture our personal inclinations and have absolutely no basis in the revelations or the scriptures.
One of these is in the various scriptures about judgment and damnation. If someone even reads one of these scriptures there are all sorts of ideas appended that are really nothing more nor less than non-scriptural alterations of God’s own revelations. We are offering our own translation of the scriptures. We have an article of faith that says that bible is the word of God insofar as it is translated correctly. Joseph Smith spoke of men altering the words of the prophets so that the bible text was changed to fit mens ideas without any authority.
We should not be guilty of doing the same thing ourselves when we teach from the scriptures.
For instance. Alma says that men will not be restored from wickedness to happiness. But in order to make a nicer sounding story and a better scripture we like to find all sorts of ifs, ands, and buts tot append to that teaching that have no basis in scripture whatsoever.
When we teach the scriptures, do we translate them according to our own prejudices and teach that instead.
Why can’t we just follow Amulek’s example. He said that men can’t be saved in their sins. He didn’t append a whole lot of expectations to that. Because he hadn’t the right to do so. Here are his words when Zeezrom challenged him for “commanding God” by stating what God would do at the judgment bar.
Alma 11:36 Now Amulek saith again unto him: Behold thou hast lied, for thou sayest that I spake as though I had authority to command God because I said he shall not save his people in their sins.
37 And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.
Note that Amulek says he isn’t commanding God by simply standing by God’s own revelations about salvation and judgement. Instead, he is being true to them by doing so. Amulek says “I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven;…Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.”
Now it must also be added that we are to teach by the Holy Ghost. We can speak as inspired by the Holy Ghost. The only way to understand the revelations we have been given is to gain more revelation. And the door to understanding is the door of revelation. After all, Amulek also says
Alma 11:21 And this Zeezrom began to question Amulek, saying: Will ye answer me a few questions which I shall ask you? Now Zeezrom was a man who was expert in the devices of the devil, that he might destroy that which was good; therefore, he said unto Amulek: Will ye answer the questions which I shall put unto you?
22 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord, which is in me; for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord. …
But there is a marvelous difference between teaching by the power of the Holy Ghost and simply altering the scriptures to fit our natural inclinations.