- 3 Nephi 12-16: “I Am the Law, and the Light” (September 21-27)
“Hear ye him.” That is what our Heavenly Father said to a group of people just before Jesus Christ descended from heaven. They were therefore highly motivated to listen and receptive to His message.
What was that message? After calling twelve disciples and teaching them how to baptize, He addressed the multitude. Here are the first topics He discussed with them:
- The Sermon on the Mount (3 Nephi 12-14)
- Becoming perfect (3 Nephi 12)
- Avoiding hypocrisy (3 Nephi 13)
- Judging righteously (3 Nephi 14)
- What it means for the law to be fulfilled in Christ (3 Nephi 15:1-10)
- The importance of the gathering of Israel (3 Nephi 15:11-24, 16)
Here is a summary of the entire sermon, which He delivered over two days:
Here are some blog posts about this week’s reading:
- Finishing what we’ve started: Why Did Jesus Tell Us to Be Perfect?
- Don’t fret yourself when things don’t seem fair: How Will the Meek Inherit the Earth?
- If you are demeaned or belittled, you are in good company: Why Are We Blessed When We Are Reviled?
- Whether someone offends you, or whether you offend them, take the first step toward reconciliation: How Can I Heal a Broken Relationship?
- …but be prepared to be patient if necessary: How Can I Heal a Relationship with Someone Who Doesn’t Want the Relationship Healed?
- Avoid hurtful feelings just as you would avoid hurtful words or actions: Whosoever Is Angry with His Brother – 3 Nephi 12:21-22
- Making wise decisions with imperfect information: More Blessed Are They Who Shall Believe in Your Words – 3 Nephi 12:1-2
- Don’t miss the intrinsic blessings of good decisions by focusing on the wrong outcomes: They Have Their Reward – 3 Nephi 13:2, 5, 16
- Keeping our prayers simple and pure: The Lord’s Prayer- 3 Nephi 13:9-13
- Prepare before you pray: What Are “Vain Repetitions,” and Why Should We Avoid Them?
- Choosing forgiveness—for ourselves and for others: If Ye Forgive – 3 Nephi 13:14-15
- When should our good works be visible, and when should they be private? When Thou Doest Alms – 3 Nephi 13:1-4
- Prioritize the duties of today over the duties of tomorrow: What Is the Meaning of the Phrase “Sufficient Is the Day Unto the Evil Thereof?”
- Separating the principles from the circumstances can help us apply those principles in other settings: This Is the Law and the Prophets – 3 Nephi 14:12
- Jesus values authenticity: I Never Knew You – 3 Nephi 14:21-23
- Dig deep, and sure you’re building on a solid foundation: A Wise Man, Who Built His House upon a Rock – 3 Nephi 14:24-27
- God will answer when we call: Ask…Seek…Knock – 3 Nephi 14:7-8
- Don’t be harsh in your assessment of other people: Judge Not – 3 Nephi 14:1-5
The Law Is Fulfilled
- Practices change but eternal principles do not: Why Did the Nephites Keep the Law of Moses?
- Adapting to change while trusting in fundamental truths: The Law in Me is Fulfilled – 3 Nephi 15:2-8
- Remembering the ultimate goal: I Am the Law – 3 Nephi 15:3-5, 9
The Gathering of Israel
- Be grateful for diversity: Other Sheep I Have – 3 Nephi 15:21, 24
- As we grow closer to the Savior, we grow closer to each other: One Fold, and One Shepherd – 3 Nephi 15:21
- Help sometimes comes from unexpected places: The Fulness of the Gentiles – 3 Nephi 16:4
- The gospel can help people from different backgrounds become unified: They Shall See Eye to Eye – 3 Nephi 16:18-20
- The Sermon on the Mount (3 Nephi 12-14)
What does it mean to judge? It means to form an opinion or to make a decision. Mormon said, “I show unto you the way to judge” (Moroni 7:16), and then explained that we ought to make decisions according to what is right and good, which we can know by the light of Christ. “See… Continue Reading →
In the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior teaches a principle using two examples from nature: “Behold the fowls of the air” (3 Nephi 13:26, Matthew 6:26). “Consider the lilies of the field” (3 Nephi 13:28, Matthew 6:28). What does He want us to notice about birds and flowers? They don’t perform… Continue Reading →
Near the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, after sharing the Beatitudes and encouraging His disciples to let their light shine, Jesus gave six examples of commandments or traditions which the people had interpreted too narrowly. In all six cases, He encouraged them to expand their perspective and live according to a higher law…. Continue Reading →
At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior lists eight qualities which will bring a person joy. This list is known as the Beatitudes, because the Latin word translated “blessed” is beati. This word—and the original Greek word makarios (μακάριος)—literally mean “happy,” but with a connotation of “having great reason to be… Continue Reading →
It takes effort to listen well. Listening is not a passive activity; it’s not something that just happens to us. Some time after the destruction which coincided with the death of Jesus Christ, a large number of people were gathered at the temple in the land of Bountiful on the American continent. I can imagine… Continue Reading →
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9, 3 Nephi 12:9), and He demonstrated His commitment to peace: When two of His apostles requested privileged status in the next life, the other ten apostles were angry. Jesus called them all together and taught them that their bad feelings were based on inaccurate understanding of their… Continue Reading →
The way you introduce yourself says a lot about what is important to you and about your relationship with your audience. After the Savior’s death in Jerusalem, He introduced Himself twice to a group of people on the American continent: while they sat in darkness and heard His voice, and again when He visited them… Continue Reading →
After the destruction which coincided with the death of Jesus Christ, while the survivors sat in darkness and pondered what had happened, they heard the voice of the Savior. He listed sixteen cities that had been destroyed, and explained why this had happened. There is a lot of repetition in this passage, including a refrain… Continue Reading →
After listing sixteen cities that had been destroyed over a three-hour period and explaining why they were destroyed, the Savior extended an invitation to those who remained: O all ye that are spared…, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? 3 Nephi 9:13 These people… Continue Reading →
As Mormon prepares to relate the most extraordinary sequence of events in the Book of Mormon, he begins by emphasizing the reliability of his source, followed immediately by an admission that the source may have gotten some of the details wrong: And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know… Continue Reading →
Thirty-one years after the birth of the Savior, while Jesus was ministering to the people in the land of Israel, a prophet named Nephi was preaching the gospel on the American continent. He “began to testify, boldly, repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ” (3 Nephi 7:16). Mormon tells us… Continue Reading →
I wrote last week that we all have signs in our lives—reasons to believe that God lives and loves us. The question is whether we are willing to recognize those signs or whether we choose to ignore them. As Samuel the Lamanite revealed to the Nephites in Zarahemla the signs which would correspond with the… Continue Reading →
Nephi, the son of Helaman, prayed on a tower beside a highway, expressing his sorrow for wickedness of his people (Helaman 7:10-11). Twenty-two years later, his son, also named Nephi, also became sorrowful when the unbelievers among his people threatened to put to death the believers. And it came to pass that he went out… Continue Reading →
In March, 2019, I studied 20 different names or titles of Jesus Christ which appear in the Book of Mormon. I was particularly interested in the way each name was used, both in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible.
In 2018, I wrote summaries of many of the sermons in the Book of Mormon. Each summary describes the setting, the purpose, an outline of the sermon’s content, and my takeaways from the sermon.
In 2019, I used the Book of Mormon to study 365 questions—one per day. Here is a list of those questions, grouped by category, with a link to the blog post for each question.