Jesus Christ’s Sermon at the Temple in Bountiful – 3 Nephi 12-16, 20-22

christ-teaching-nephites-2

Setting

Following His death and resurrection in Israel, Jesus Christ visited a group of people on the American continent. He healed their sick, organized His church, and taught them the gospel. Over a two-day period, He preached a sermon which included the Sermon on the Mount and a discussion of several Old Testament prophecies regarding the gathering of Israel in the latter days.

Purpose

The Savior’s purpose in delivering this sermon was to broaden the perspective of His listeners in two ways:

  1. He wanted them to deepen their own discipleship, seeing past the mechanics of the gospel and applying the underlying principles.
  2. He wanted them to understand that they were part of a global and multigenerational effort: He and His Father are actively involved in saving people all over the world.

Outline

  1. The Sermon on the Mount
    1. How disciples of Christ should behave (3 Nephi 12, Matthew 5)
      1. The Beatitudes: acquire the attributes of Christ (3 Nephi 12:1-12).
      2. Let your light shine (3 Nephi 12:13-16).
      3. The principles behind the commandments (3 Nephi 12:17-48).
    2. Focus on heavenly rewards, not earthly ones (3 Nephi 13, Matthew 6)
      1. Serve others, pray, and fast for the right reasons (3 Nephi 13:1-18).
      2. Focus on heavenly treasures and keep your eye single to God (3 Nephi 13:19-24).
      3. Seek God’s kingdom first: He can provide earthly necessities (3 Nephi 13:25-34).
    3. Learn to discern between good and evil. (3 Nephi 14, Matthew 7)
      1. You will be judged as you judge others (3 Nephi 14:1-5).
      2. Don’t give sacred things to people who won’t respect them (3 Nephi 14:6).
      3. Ask, seek, knock. God will answer you (3 Nephi 14:7-11).
      4. The Golden Rule (3 Nephi 14:12).
      5. Don’t be fooled by false prophets who preach the gospel but don’t live it (3 Nephi 14:13-23).
      6. Build your life on a solid foundation by following these principles (3 Nephi 14:24-27).
  2. What it means for the law to be fulfilled (3 Nephi 15:1-10)
  3. You are some of my “other sheep.” I also have others. There will ultimately be one fold and one shepherd (3 Nephi 15:11-24, 16:1-3).
  4. Explanation of prophecies regarding the gathering of Israel
    1. The Gentiles will play a key role in both the scattering and the gathering of Israel, as prophesied in Isaiah 52:8-10 (3 Nephi 16:4-20).
    2. [Day 2] If the Gentiles don’t repent, then Israel will overpower them, as prophesied in Micah 5:8-9 and Micah 4:12-13 (3 Nephi 20:10-22).
    3. The scattering fulfills an important prophecy of Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15-19) and helps to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:3) (3 Nephi 20:23-28).
    4. The gathering fulfills the prophecies contained in Isaiah 52:8-10, 1-3, 7, 11-15 (3 Nephi 20:29-46 21:1-10).
    5. Those who reject the gospel will be separated from the people of the covenant, as prophesied in Micah 5:8-15. But all those who accept the gospel will become part of the covenant (3 Nephi 21:11-25).
    6. The work of the Father will commence among all nations. The people who participate need not be hurried nor anxious, because this is God’s work, and He will be with them, as prophesied in Isaiah 52:12 (3 Nephi 21:26-29).
    7. Isaiah 54: After much affliction, Israel will have peace and prosperity (3 Nephi 22).

My Takeaways

God’s work is expansive. In each of our lives, it extends far beyond religious activities to the development of Christlike attributes and, ultimately, the pursuit of perfection. Additionally, it reaches throughout the world, blessing people in every nation.

But in our daily lives, that perspective can be lost. We can become too fixated on the duties of the day and lose sight of the spiritual growth we are experiencing in the process. We can also be too provincial, thinking only of the people in our immediate surroundings, and failing to recognize God’s love for all of His children in every part of the world.

Jesus’s sermon at the temple in Bountiful reminds us that we are part of something extraordinary. The gospel will eventually touch all of God’s children and has the power to transform them. As Jeffrey R. Holland urged us in the most recent general conference, we need to “[rise] above any mechanical, function-without-feeling routine to the heartfelt discipleship articulated by the Savior” (“Be With and Strengthen Them,” General Conference, April 2018).

I will respond to Jesus’s sermon at the temple in Bountiful by lifting my sights higher. I will strive to live the gospel more fully—applying gospel principles and not merely completing tasks. I will also think more broadly about whom I can serve and how, remembering that God loves all of His children throughout the world and is working to bless them.

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One Response to Jesus Christ’s Sermon at the Temple in Bountiful – 3 Nephi 12-16, 20-22

  1. Pingback: Lessons from Sermons to Believers | Book of Mormon Study Notes

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