Malachi: “I Have Loved You, Saith the Lord,” (December 12-18)

Elijah Appearing in the Kirtland Temple” (fragment), by Dan Lewis

The name Malachi (מַלְאָכִי) means “my messenger.” Here are some of the messages Malachi delivered to the post-exilic inhabitants of Jerusalem:

  1. God loves you (Malachi 1:1-5).
  2. You have despised and profaned His name by offering corrupt sacrifices to Him (Malachi 1:6-14).
  3. The priests will be cursed unless they repent. They should be more like their ancestor, Levi. They are supposed to be God’s messengers to the people (Malachi 2:1-10).
  4. When you marry, you become one. God expects you to be faithful to your spouse (Malachi 2:11-16).
  5. You weary the Lord when you rationalize your sins (Malachi 2:17).
  6. A messenger will prepare the way for the coming of the Lord, who will refine and purify us, so that we can offer righteous sacrifices to Him (Malachi 3:1-6, 3 Nephi 24:1-6).
  7. You have robbed God by failing to pay tithing. He will bless you abundantly as you obey this commandment (Malachi 3:7-12, 3 Nephi 24:7-12).
  8. Life may not seem fair, but in the end, you will see that God is just (Malachi 3:13-18, 3 Nephi 24:13-18).
  9. Difficult days are coming, and the proud and wicked will be consumed, but those who love the Lord will be protected and healed (Malachi 4:1-3, 3 Nephi 25:1-3).
  10. Keep the law of Moses (Malachi 4:4, 3 Nephi 25:4).
  11. Elijah will come before those difficult days to heal intergenerational rifts (Malachi 4:5-6, 3 Nephi 25:5-6).

Notice how many messengers are highlighted in this short book: Malachi himself, the priests (who should be God’s messengers like their ancestor, Levi), an unnamed messenger who will prepare the world for the coming of the Lord, Moses (who gave the law), and Elijah.

Malachi is a prepared messenger. He expects that many of his messages will not be well received. Notice how many times he uses the phrases “yet ye say,” “but ye say,” or “yet ye said.” But every time, he has a response to these anticipated objections.

Malachi lived long after Lehi and his family left Jerusalem, but when the Savior visited the American continent, He quoted chapters three and four and commanded His disciples to write them down. (See 3 Nephi 24:1.) Here are some blog posts about key concepts in those two chapters:

The Savior’s Second Coming

Tithing

Trusting God’s fairness

Receiving God’s grace in difficult times

Elijah and family relationships

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