December 18 – Romans 1:16; “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
In order to understand any scripture we need to look at the entire thing in context and remember that we are never at liberty to change it for what we think it should say. In today’s Mormon example, we see that Brigham Young decided to do just that; fit it according to his own righteousness. He proves by his own words that he was an un-teachable person and felt he had enough authority to shamelessly invoke his theory. When people do this it takes away the meaning of the message and puts the focus on something else entirely.
Originally this verse is meant to give glory to Jesus and to proclaim that Paul was not ashamed of Christ’s gospel or God’s instruction to him. It is only through God’s power the gospel works, otherwise as Matthew Henry stated, “it is but dead letters.” Henry went on to say “The revelation of the gospel is the revelation of the arm of the Lord (Is. 53:1).”
If it is only through God’s power we are saved, what is Brigham Young so afraid of?
“It is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe and obey it. The words “obey it,” I have added to the text as it is given to us by King James’s translators. To say it is the power of God unto salvation to them that believe, and that be the end of it, then the people could not be saved by it. It is quite possible some may argue the point as it is held out in the New Testament reading, and in their own estimation justly. But to me one argument is sufficient to lay the matter at rest in my mind—a person who disobeys the Gospel, and operates against it, may not only believe it, but know it to be true. Therefore I read the Scripture thus—“This Gospel that we preach is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe and obey it.” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. 2: 1 – 2.