1 Ne 16:2 the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.
The light of Christ is given to every man. When the wicked hear the word of God as taught by the Spirit, the light of Christ swells within. This causes a painful conflict between the truth and the spirit of rebellion. This concept is taught with the imagery of the sword which represents the word of God, For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow (Heb 4:12). Mormon tried to speak with the sharpness of a two edged sword to his people in a desparate attempt to get them to repent. But like Laman and Lemuel, when he speaks the word of God with sharpness they tremble and anger against me; and when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it; wherefore, I fear lest the Spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them (Mor 9:4).
The Savior also used the sharp sword of the word of God to offend the wicked.
¡®But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.¡¯ (Lu 11:42-44, see also verse 45-54).
See also the parable of the wicked husbandmen, Lu 20:9-20. These scriptures bring more meaning to the phrase, blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me (Matt 11:6). Only those who feel the conflict between truth and a rebellious spirit will be offended for the obedient have no reason to be angry.
Neal A. Maxwell
¡°God is not only there in the mildest expressions of His presence, but also in those seemingly harsh expressions. For example, when truth ¡®cutteth ¡¦ to the very center¡¯ (1 Ne. 16:21 Ne. 16:2), this may signal that spiritual surgery is underway, painfully severing pride from the soul. (Ensign, November 1987, p. 31.)
¡°There is kindness in this pain, for as truth, the Lord's laser, cuts through to all but the hardest of hearts, so the healing light of the gospel is let in. The outer encrustations of evil can make us so insensitive that only the cuts ¡®to the very center¡¯ have any hope of bringing the desired response!¡± (Things As They Really Are, p. 79.)
¡°Most of us don't like to be cut to the center [see 1 Ne. 16:21 Ne. 16:2], and when the gospel standards cut us it hurts. The tendency is to deal with the pain by rejecting further surgery. (For the Power Is in Them¡¦: Mormon Musings, p. 49.)