A while ago I read someone's assertion that, "Apostles and prophets have far more authority to 'interpret' scripture than mere laymen do." In my opinion, that is 100% incorrect. Apostles and prophets have authority to speak for the Church, but nobody has more or less authority to "interpret". That is a right and a responsibility that is inherent in our status of children of God, not our individual callings or positions in the organizational church.
There is nothing within "official" Mormonism that discourages lay members from trying to understand our scriptures. In the end, there is FAR more autonomy to read and interpret and strive to reach individual understanding within Mormonism than within most other denominations - believe it or not.
Actually, that's a central part of the "living church" designation - that the Church empowers individuals to learn and grow and progress by allowing and actually encouraging individual testimonies gained by individual study and prayer.