He Shall Turn the Heart of the Fathers to the Children – 3 Nephi 25:5-6

1 For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
2 But unto you that fear my name, shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall.
3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts.
4 Remember ye the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord;
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

I’m impressed with the way this chapter hangs together and with its aggregate message. A few observations:

  1. It doesn’t make any sense to announce a deliverer if your audience doesn’t realize that they are in trouble. No wonder Malachi sets the context for this chapter up front: painful days are ahead and no one is strong enough to avoid the destruction. 
  2. Those who fear God will have access to the healing power available through Jesus Christ. I love the symbolism of the Savior arising “with healing in His wings.” In the very act of rising from the dead, He delivered us from every physical affliction. In atoning for our sins, He made it possible for us to be delivered from every spiritual affliction. 
  3. By choosing to follow Him, we are shielded from many afflictions which we would otherwise have suffered. “Calves in the stall” are protected and nourished while they grow. In contrast, wild animals must fend for themselves. 
  4. On April 3, 1836, Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon in the Kirtland temple and conferred upon them the authority to bind families together for eternity (see D&C 110:13-16). On the surface, this means that marriages performed by this authority will have legal validity in the next life. But I think I sense a deeper meaning in the words of Malachi: through the prophet Elijah, God has given us the power to build strong families–families which will be able to withstand the difficult challenges associated with the last days. The goal of eternal marriage is not just to achieve recognition as a family in the next life. It is to develop relationships which are sustainable, relationships which can weather powerful storms and endure, relationships which can last forever. 
Today, I will turn my heart to my family and will invest in my relationships with family members. I will also remember that through the Atonement, Jesus Christ can heal not only our individual wounds; He can heal our relationships.  
This entry was posted in 3 Nephi, Atonement, Family and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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