He Did Loose Their Tongues – 3 Nephi 26:14-16

14 And it came to pass that he did teach and minister unto the children of the multitude of whom hath been spoken, and he did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things, even greater than he had revealed unto the people; and he loosed their tongues that they could utter.
15 And it came to pass that after he had ascended into heaven—the second time that he showed himself unto them, and had gone unto the Father, after having healed all their sick, and their lame, and opened the eyes of their blind and unstopped the ears of the deaf, and even had done all manner of cures among them, and raised a man from the dead, and had shown forth his power unto them, and had ascended unto the Father—
16 Behold, it came to pass on the morrow that the multitude gathered themselves together, and they both saw and heard these children; yea, even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things; and the things which they did utter were forbidden that there should not any man write them.
(3 Nephi 26:14-16)

Near the end of his account of the Savior’s visit to the American continent, Mormon summarizes the Savior’s activities during the visit, including teaching, instituting the ordinance of the sacrament, and healing the sick. There is no record of His words on the third day of His visit. Mormon simply tells us that He ministered to the children and “did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things.” The words of these children were so sublime that the people were not allowed to write them down.

I find it unsurprising that the children were the most receptive to this immersive learning experience. They were the least encumbered by prejudices, cultural norms, and bitterness, and therefore were the most open to the new guidance the Savior was giving to them. The interactive nature of this third day is fitting: Jesus not only wanted to give these people information; He wanted to teach them how to receive revelation for themselves.

President Russell M. Nelson has encouraged us to learn how to receive personal revelation: “I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation…. I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation” (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” General Conference, April 2018).

Elder David A. Bednar has taught us the importance of being actively involved in the learning process:

Giving a man a fish feeds him for one meal. Teaching a man to fish feeds him for a lifetime. As parents and gospel instructors, you and I are not in the business of distributing fish; rather, our work is to help our children learn “to fish” and to become spiritually steadfast. This vital objective is best accomplished as we encourage our children to act in accordance with correct principles—as we help them to learn by doing (“Watching with All Perseverance,” General Conference, April 2010).

Today, I will strive to teach as the Savior taught. I will remember His example during the third day of His ministry on the American continent. Rather than merely distribute information to my children, I will strive to “loose their tongues,” encouraging them to seek revelation and teach truths so that they are fully engaged in the process of acquiring spiritual knowledge.

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3 Responses to He Did Loose Their Tongues – 3 Nephi 26:14-16

  1. Betty Anderson says:

    I think loosing their tongues may have to do with what we forget as we come to earth. Babies can’t talk to us because they know too much about Heavenly Father. I think they were were able to share what they remember. Is that possible?

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    • Paul Anderson says:

      I like that idea. As each of our children were born, I felt that our family was closer to heaven as we welcomed a newborn baby into our home. I do think that the fact that these children were so young contributed to their receptiveness to the Savior’s teaching on this occasion.

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  2. Pingback: Lessons from the Savior’s Visit to the American Continent | Book of Mormon Study Notes

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