The first sentence in the Book of Mormon is about the importance of keeping records. Nephi tells us that, because the Lord had blessed him with "goodly parents," who taught him, and because he had been "highly favored of the Lord" in spite of enduring many afflictions, "therefore I make a record of my proceedings... Continue Reading →
Expound and Exhort
I've been thinking today about two verbs that appear repeatedly in section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants: "expound" and "exhort." Elders, priests, teachers, and deacons are all instructed to do both. (See Doctrine and Covenants 20:42, 46, 50, 59.) Several sections later, the Lord directs Emma Smith to "expound scriptures, and to exhort the... Continue Reading →
“Give Heed to My Words” – 3 Nephi 23:4
After quoting a chapter from the book of Isaiah, Jesus emphasized the importance of studying the scriptures: I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah....Therefore give heed to my words; write the things which... Continue Reading →
“He Expounded Them” – 3 Nephi 23:6, 14; 24:1; 26:1, 3
To expound something is to explain it in detail (Oxford English Dictionary). During His ministry on the American continent, the Savior expounded the scriptures to the people. He expounded the words of Isaiah and Micah (3 Nephi 20-22; see 3 Nephi 23:6). He expounded the words of Malachi (3 Nephi 24:1). He identified connections and... Continue Reading →
“When These Things…Shall Come Forth…” – 3 Nephi 21:1-7
The longest sentence in the Book of Mormon—392 words long—is 3 Nephi 21:1-7. In this sentence, Jesus reveals a sign by which we can know that the gathering Israel has begun. Here is the complete sentence, with some commentary in brackets: And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may... Continue Reading →
What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Diligence?
Today, I studied all 56 passages in the Book of Mormon which use some form of the word "diligent." To be diligent is to "[show] care and conscientiousness in one's work or duties" (Oxford English Dictionary). The word also carries a connotation of eagerness. It comes from the Latin word diligere, which means to "esteem,"... Continue Reading →
Why Is Isaiah Quoted So Much in the Book of Mormon?
After Lehi's family left Jerusalem and began to travel toward the promised land, the Lord commanded him to send his four sons back to Jerusalem to retrieve a set of sacred writings engraved on brass plates. Lehi's son Nephi tells us that these plates contained the five books of Moses, additional historical records, and the... Continue Reading →
Why Is It Important to Record the Fulfillment of Prophecies?
When the Savior visited the American continent, He introduced Himself twice--once audibly and once in person after descending from the sky. Both times, He introduced Himself as the fulfillment of prophecies with which the people were familiar (3 Nephi 9:15-16, 3 Nephi 11:10). After describing the destruction which preceded this event, the prophet Mormon challenged... Continue Reading →
What Does It Mean to Search the Scriptures?
After leaving the city of Jerusalem with his family, Lehi sent his sons back to obtain the words of the prophets and a genealogy of their ancestors which were recorded on a set of brass plates. When his sons returned with this sacred record, Lehi "gave thanks unto the God of Israel." Then, he "took... Continue Reading →
Jesus Had Expounded All the Scriptures in One – 3 Nephi 23:14
14 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded all the scriptures in one, which they had written, he commanded them that they should teach the things which he had expounded unto them. (3 Nephi 23:14) What does it mean to "[expound] all the scriptures in one," as Mormon tells us Jesus... Continue Reading →