I chose to write here about the Joseph Smith Translation (a) because it is the true translation of the Bible and (b) because it has an entirely different meaning than the King James version.
In verse 40, it reads:
“Therefore, if thy hand offend thee, cut it off, or if they brother offend thee and confess not and forsake not he shall be cut off. It is better to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go into Hell.”
Then 44 goes on to say:
“Therefore, let every man stand or fall by himself, and not for another, or not trusting another.”
The other day I was talking to my friend Ariel Russon (she was actually the one that motivated me to start studying my scriptures again). She had been making a lot of positive life changes and was reaping the benefits. She was encouraging me to do the same – to stop being so lazy and to make steps towards becoming a better person. While she was giving these suggestions, I was spurting out as many excuses as to why I was not being productive – many of which were blamed on other people.
But what I believe this scripture is saying is that we cannot live by those excuses forever. When the judgment day arrives, we will have no one to hide behind. And in a more immediate sense, we cannot be using those excuses now if we want to have a full and happy life. We have to take full responsibility of our actions and change our beings to be more like Christ.