Tag Archives: 3 Nephi

#BOMTC Day 73, June 18~3 Nephi 27-30 or Pages 459-464: The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints

Click on the graphic to study 3 Nephi 27-30

Of the several topics that are covered in 3 Nephi 27-29 (what the name of the Church should be; the Atonement is the essence of the gospel; through the Atonement we may stand spotless before God as we repent, are baptized, and endure to the end; Christ granting the Nephite disciples their righteous desires; the transfiguration and translation of three of the Nephite disciples) I think I had better spend my time on the topic that has been emphasized and followed up by Elder M. Russell Ballard–THE NAME OF THE CHURCH (3 Nephi 27).

The Name of the Church

“I have thought a lot about why the Savior gave the nine-word name to His restored Church [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints]. It may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the Church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief, candid, and straightforward. How could any description be more direct and clear and yet expressed in such few words?

“Every word is clarifying and indispensable. The word The indicates the unique position of the restored Church among the religions of the world.

“The words Church of Jesus Christ declare that it is His Church. In the Book of Mormon, Jesus taught, “How be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man [like Mormon] then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel” (3 Nephi 27:8).

“Of Latter-day explains that it is the same Church as the Church that Jesus established during His mortal ministry but restored in these latter days. We know there was a falling away, or an apostasy, necessitating the restoration of His true and complete Church in our time.

“Saints means that its members follow Him and strive to do His will, keep His commandments, and prepare once again to live with Him and our Heavenly Father in the future. Saint simply refers to those who seek to make their lives holy by covenanting to follow Christ.

“The name the Savior has given to His Church tells us exactly who we are and what we believe. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. He atoned for all who would repent of their sins, and He broke the bands of death and provided the resurrection from the dead. We follow Jesus Christ. And as King Benjamin said to his people, so I reaffirm to all of us today, “Ye should remember to retain [His] name written always in your hearts” (Mosiah 5:12).”

Read, watch, or listen to Elder Ballard’s entire talk.

#BOMTC Day 73, June 18~3 Nephi 27-29 or Pages 459-464, The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints (1)

The First Presidency has taught:

“The use of the revealed name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (D&C 115:4), is increasingly important in our responsibility to proclaim the name of the Savior throughout all the world. Accordingly, we ask that when we refer to the Church we use its full name wherever possible” (First Presidency letter, Feb. 23, 2001).

Following Up

“In the October 2011 conference, I urged that we remember these important words of the Lord: “For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Doctrine and Covenants 115:4)

“With these words, the Lord makes clear that this is not only a formal title but also the name by which His Church is to be called. Given His clear declaration, we should not refer to the Church by any other name, such as “Mormon Church” or “LDS Church.”

“The term Mormon can be appropriately used in some contexts to refer to members of the Church, such as Mormon pioneers, or to institutions, such as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Church members are widely known as Mormons, and in interactions with those not of our faith, we may fittingly refer to ourselves as Mormons, provided we couple this with the full name of the Church.

If members learn to use the correct name of the Church in connection with the word Mormon, it will underscore that we are Christians, members of the Savior’s Church.

“Brothers and sisters, let us follow up and develop the habit of always making it clear that we belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Following Up, Ensign, May 2014. Emphasis added.)

#BOMTC Day 73, June 18~3 Nephi 27-29 or Pages 459-464, The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints I am a Christian

Here are a few entries from the Guide to the Scriptures that deal with the name of the Church and different parts of the name of the Church:

CHURCH, NAME OF

In the Book of Mormon, when Jesus Christ visited the righteous Nephites shortly after his resurrection, he said that his church should bear his name (3 Ne. 27:3–8). In modern times the Lord revealed the name of the Church to be “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (D&C 115:4).

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, THE

The name given to the Church of Christ in the latter-days to distinguish it from the Church in other dispensations.

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST

An organized body of believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ by baptism and confirmation. To be the true Church it must be the Lord’s Church; must have his authority, teachings, laws, ordinances, and name; and must be governed by him through representatives whom he has appointed.

SAINT

A faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ.

The nickname Mormon was created by people who were not members of the Church to refer to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The name given by the Lord by which members of the Church are to be known is “Saints.” (The Guide to the Scriptures, “Mormon(s)”). Sometimes we seek to be accepted by the Christian world by adopting the term, “Christian”. Although this term is commonly used throughout the world, the Lord has designated true followers of Christ as Saints (Acts 9:13, 32, 411 Cor. 1:2D&C 115:4) (see The Guide to the Scriptures, “Christians”).

The Importance of a Name

Since last April’s general conference, my mind has repeatedly focused on the subject of the importance of a name. In these past few months, several great-grandchildren have come into our family. Although they seem to come faster than I can keep up with, each child is a welcome addition to our family. Each has received a special name chosen by his or her parents, a name to be known by throughout his or her lifetime, distinguishing him or her from anyone else. This is true in every family, and it is also true among the religions of the world.

The Lord Jesus Christ knew how important it was to clearly name His Church in these latter days. In the 115th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, He Himself named the Church: “For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (verse 4).

And King Benjamin taught his people in Book of Mormon times:

“I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. …

“And I would that ye should remember also, that this is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression; therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts” (Mosiah 5:8, 11).

We take the name of Christ upon us in the waters of baptism. We renew the effect of that baptism each week as we partake of the sacrament, signifying our willingness to take His name upon us and promising always to remember Him (see D&C 20:77, 79).

Do we realize how blessed we are to take upon us the name of God’s Beloved and Only Begotten Son? Do we understand how significant that is? The Savior’s name is the only name under heaven by which man can be saved (see 2 Nephi 31:21).

As you will remember, President Boyd K. Packer discussed the importance of the name of the Church in last April’s general conference. He explained that “obedient to revelation, we call ourselves The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rather than the Mormon Church” (“Guided by the Holy Spirit,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2011, 30).

Because the full name of the Church is so important, I echo the revelations from the scriptures, the First Presidency’s instructions in letters of 1982 and 2001, and the words of other Apostles who have encouraged the members of the Church to uphold and teach the world that the Church is known by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the name by which the Lord will call us at the last day. It is the name by which His Church will be distinguished from all others.

I have thought a lot about why the Savior gave the nine-word name to His restored Church. It may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the Church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief, candid, and straightforward. How could any description be more direct and clear and yet expressed in such few words?

Every word is clarifying and indispensable. The word The indicates the unique position of the restored Church among the religions of the world.

The words Church of Jesus Christ declare that it is His Church. In the Book of Mormon, Jesus taught: “And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man [like Mormon] then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel” (3 Nephi 27:8).

Of Latter-day explains that it is the same Church as the Church that Jesus Christ established during His mortal ministry but restored in these latter days. We know there was a falling away, or an apostasy, necessitating the Restoration of His true and complete Church in our time.

Saints means that its members follow Him and strive to do His will, keep His commandments, and prepare once again to live with Him and our Heavenly Father in the future. Saint simply refers to those who seek to make their lives holy by covenanting to follow Christ.

The name the Savior has given to His Church tells us exactly who we are and what we believe. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. He atoned for all who would repent of their sins, and He broke the bands of death and provided the resurrection from the dead. We follow Jesus Christ. And as King Benjamin said to his people, so I reaffirm to all of us today: “Ye should remember to retain [His] name written always in your hearts” (Mosiah 5:12).

We are asked to stand as a witness of Him “at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9). This means that we must be willing to let others know whom we follow and to whose Church we belong: the Church of Jesus Christ. We certainly want to do this in the spirit of love and testimony. We want to follow the Savior by simply and clearly, yet humbly, declaring that we are members of His Church. We follow Him by being Latter-day Saints—latter-day disciples.

People and organizations are often given nicknames by others. A nickname may be a shortened form of a name, or it may be derived from an event or some physical or other characteristic. While nicknames do not have the same status or significance as actual names, they can be properly used.

The Lord’s Church in both ancient and modern times has had nicknames. The Saints in New Testament times were called Christians because they professed a belief in Jesus Christ. That name, first used derogatorily by their detractors, is now a name of distinction; and we are honored to be called a Christian church.

Our members have been called Mormons because we believe in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Others may try to use the word Mormon more broadly to include and refer to those who have left the Church and formed various splinter groups. Such use only leads to confusion. We are grateful for the efforts of the media to refrain from using the word Mormon in a way that may cause the public to confuse the Church with polygamists or other fundamentalist groups. Let me state clearly that no polygamist group, including those calling themselves fundamentalist Mormons or other derivatives of our name, has any affiliation whatsoever with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

While Mormon is not the full and correct name of the Church, and even though it was originally given by our detractors during our early years of persecution, it has become an acceptable nickname when applied to members rather than the institution. We do not need to stop using the name Mormon when appropriate, but we should continue to give emphasis to the full and correct name of the Church itself. In other words, we should avoid and discourage the term “Mormon Church.”

Through the years as I have filled assignments around the world, I have been asked many times if I belong to the Mormon Church. My response has been, “I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Because we believe in the Book of Mormon, which is named after an ancient American prophet-leader and is another testament of Jesus Christ, we are sometimes called Mormons.” In every instance this response has been well received and in fact has opened up opportunities for me to explain the Restoration of the fulness of the gospel in these latter days.

Brothers and sisters, just think of what an impact we can have by simply responding by using the full name of the Church as the Lord has declared we should do. And if you cannot immediately use the full name, at least say, “I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ” and later explain “of Latter-day Saints.”

Some may ask, what about the Internet sites such as Mormon.org as well as various Church-initiated media campaigns? As I said, referring collectively to members as Mormons is sometimes appropriate. As a practical matter, those outside of our faith come looking for us searching for that term. But once you open up Mormon.org, the proper name of the Church is explained on the home page, and it appears on each additional page on the site. It is impractical to expect people to type the full name of the Church when seeking to find us or when logging on to our website.

While these practicalities may continue, they should not keep members from using the full name of the Church whenever possible. Let us develop the habit within our families and our Church activities and our daily interactions of making it clear that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the name by which the Lord Himself has directed that we be known.

A recent opinion poll indicated that far too many people still do not understand correctly that Mormon refers to members of our Church. And a majority of people are still not sure that Mormons are Christian. Even when they read of our Helping Hands work throughout the world in response to hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and famines, they do not associate our humanitarian efforts with us as a Christian organization. Surely it would be easier for them to understand that we believe in and follow the Savior if we referred to ourselves as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this way those who hear the nameMormon will come to associate that word with our revealed name and with people who follow Jesus Christ.

As the First Presidency asked in their letter of February 23, 2001: “The use of the revealed name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints … , is increasingly important in our responsibility to proclaim the name of the Savior throughout all the world. Accordingly, we ask that when we refer to the Church we use its full name wherever possible.”

Back in 1948 at the October general conference, President George Albert Smith said, “Brethren and sisters, when you go away from here, you may be associating with various denominations of the world, but remember that there is only one Church in all the world that by divine command bears the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1948, 167).

Brothers and sisters, may we also remember this as we leave conference today. Let our testimonies of Him be heard and our love for Him always be in our hearts, I humbly pray in His name, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

What Is a Latter-day Saint?

“A Latter-day Saint is quite an ordinary individual. We are now everywhere in the world, 14 millions of us. And this is only the beginning. We are taught to be in the world but not of the world (see John 17:14–19). Therefore, we live ordinary lives in ordinary families mixed with the general population.

“We are taught not to lie or cheat or steal (see Exodus 20:3–17). We do not use profanity. We are positive and happy and not afraid of life.

“We are “willing to mourn with those that mourn . . . and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9).

“If someone is looking for a church that requires very little, this is not the one. It is not easy to be a Latter-day Saint, but in the long run it is the only course.”

Read, watch, or listen to President Packer’s entire talk.

“Thus Shall My Church Be Called”

Today I would like to speak about a name. We are all pleased when our names are pronounced and spelled correctly. Sometimes a nickname is used instead of the real name. But a nickname may offend either the one named or the parents who gave the name.

The name of which I shall speak is not a personal name, yet the same principles apply. I refer to a name given by the Lord:

“Thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (D&C 115:4.)

Note carefully the language of the Lord. He did not say, “Thus shall my church be named.” He said, “Thus shall my church be called.” Years ago, its members were cautioned by the Brethren who wrote: “We feel that some may be misled by the too frequent use of the term ‘Mormon Church.’” (Member-Missionary Class—Instructor’s Guide, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982, p. 2.) Before any other name is considered to be a legitimate substitute, the thoughtful person might reverently consider the feelings of the Heavenly Parent who bestowed that name.

Surely every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord is precious. So each word in this name must be important—divinely designated for a reason. If we study the key words in that name, we can better understand the name’s full significance.

Saints

The last word in the title is Saints. I smile when I remember a comment made after my call to the Quorum of the Twelve. A doctor friend relayed a report made at a professional meeting that “Dr. Nelson was no longer practicing cardiac surgery because his church had made him ‘a saint.’”

Such a comment was not only amusing but revealing. It evidenced unfamiliarity with the language of the Bible, in which the word saint is used much more frequently than is the term Christian.

The word Christian appears in only three verses of the King James Version of the Bible. One verse describes the historical fact that “disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26); another quotes a sarcastic nonbeliever, King Agrippa (see Acts 26:28); and the third indicates that one known as “a Christian” must be prepared to suffer (1 Pet. 4:16).

In contrast, the term saint (or saints) appears in thirty-six verses of the Old Testament and in sixty-two verses of the New Testament.

Paul addressed an epistle “to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 1:1.)

To recent converts there he said, “Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” (Eph. 2:19; see also Eph. 3:17–19.)

In his epistle to the Ephesians, Paul used the word saint at least once in every chapter!

Despite its use in ninety-eight verses of the Bible, the term saint is still not well understood. Some mistakenly think that it implies beatification or perfection. Not so! A saint is a believer in Christ and knows of His perfect love. The giving saint shares in a true spirit of that love, and the receiving saint accepts in a true spirit of gratitude. A saint serves others, knowing that the more one serves, the greater the opportunity for the Spirit to sanctify and purify.

A saint is tolerant, and is attentive to the pleadings of other human beings, not only to spoken messages but to unspoken messages as well. A saint is different from an individual whose response to a concern might be a selfish “What do I care” attitude. A real saint responds, “What? I docare!” Do is an action verb, and it becomes the driving force in the reply of one who will care for another in need. (See 1 Cor. 12:25–272 Cor. 7:12.)

A saint “refrain[s] from idleness” (Alma 38:12) and seeks learning by study, and also by faith. Education not only helps in communication with others, but it enables one to discern truth from error, particularly through studying the scriptures. (See D&C 88:118.)

A saint is honest and kind, paying financial obligations promptly and fully, treating others as she or he would want to be treated. (See Matt. 7:123 Ne. 14:12D&C 112:11.)

A saint is an honorable citizen, knowing that the very country which provides opportunity and protection deserves support, including prompt payment of taxes and personal participation in its legal political process. (See D&C 134:5.)

A saint resolves any differences with others honorably and peacefully and is constant in courtesy—even in traffic at the rush hour.

A saint shuns that which is unclean or degrading and avoids excess even of that which is good.

Perhaps above all, a saint is reverent. Reverence for the Lord, for the earth He created, for leaders, for the dignity of others, for the law, for the sanctity of life, for chapels and other buildings, are all evidences of saintly attitudes. (See Lev. 19:30Alma 47:22D&C 107:4D&C 134:7.)

A reverent saint loves the Lord and gives highest priority to keeping His commandments. Daily prayer, periodic fasting, payment of tithes and offerings are privileges important to a faithful saint.

Finally, a saint is one who receives the gifts of the Spirit that God has promised to all His faithful sons and daughters. (See Joel 2:28–29Acts 2:17–18.)

Latter-day

The term latter-day is an expression especially difficult for translators who labor in languages in which there is not a good equivalent term. Some translations may suggest last day.

It is true that scriptures foretell the final days of the earth’s temporal existence as a telestial sphere. The earth will then be renewed and receive its paradisiacal, or terrestrial, glory. (See A of F 1:10.) Ultimately, the earth will become celestialized. (See Rev. 21:1D&C 77:1D&C 88:25–26.) But its last days must be preceded by its latter days!

We live in those latter days, and they are really remarkable. The Lord’s Spirit is being poured out upon all inhabitants of the earth, precisely as the Prophet Joel foretold. His prophecy was of such significance that the angel Moroni reaffirmed it to the Prophet Joseph Smith. (See Joel 2:28–32;JS—H 1:41.)

For millennia, methods of farming, travel, and communication were largely unchanged from ancient techniques. Developments since the birth of Joseph Smith, however, have risen in remarkable contrast.

Joseph Smith had long been foreordained as God’s prophet for the restoration of the gospel in the fulness of times. (See 2 Ne. 3:7–15.) Twenty-five years after his birth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was officially organized.

Later in that same century, the telegraph was developed, the Atlantic Ocean was first crossed by a steamship, and the telephone, the automobile, and motion pictures were invented.

The twentieth century has been even more extraordinary. Farming has become mechanized.

Modern transportation allows travel to nearly any destination in the world within a day or two.

Computers have been developed that allow the Church to serve living members and to organize information relative to progenitors who live on the other side of the veil. People throughout the world, once little concerned with family history, now search for roots of their ancestral heritage using technologies unavailable a century ago.

Long-distance telephone, telefax, radio, television, and satellite communications have become routine. In these latter days it is possible for the word of the Lord to be broadcast from world headquarters of His Church and heard in the most remote areas of the globe.

The divine promise is being fulfilled that this restored “gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” (D&C 133:37.)

Political changes have occurred recently in many countries. Previous restrictions of personal liberties have been relieved. The shell of spiritual confinement has been shattered. Swelling shouts of freedom fill the air. Surely the hand of the Lord is apparent. He said, “I will hasten my work in its time” (D&C 88:73), and that time of hastening is now.

Jesus Christ

By divine directive, the title of the Church bears the sacred name of Jesus Christ, whose church this is. (See D&C 115:3–4.) He so decreed more than once. Nearly two thousand years ago, the Lord said, “Ye shall call the church in my name; …

“And how be it my church save it be called in my name?” (3 Ne. 27:7–8; italics added.)

We worship God the Eternal Father in the name of His Son by the power of the Holy Ghost. We know the premortal Jesus to be Jehovah, God of the Old Testament. We know Him to be “the chief corner stone” upon which the organization of His Church is based. (Eph. 2:20.) We know Him to be the Rock from whom revelation comes to His authorized agents (see 1 Cor. 10:4Hel. 5:12) and to all who worthily seek Him (see D&C 88:63).

We know that He came into the world to do the will of His Father, who sent Him. (See 3 Ne. 27:13.) His divine mission was to effect the Atonement, which was to break the bands of death and enable us to receive immortality and eternal life.

The living Lord’s divine mission still continues. One day we will stand before Him in judgment. He has foretold that event:

“Whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.” (3 Ne. 27:16.)

We revere the name of Jesus Christ. He is our risen Redeemer.

The Church

The first two words of the name the Lord chose for His earthly organization are The Church.

Note that the article The begins with a capital letter. This is an important part of the title, for the Church is the official organization of baptized believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ. (See D&C 10:67–69D&C 18:21–25.)

The foundation of the Church is the reality that God is our Father and that His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, is the Savior of the world. The witness and inspiration of the Holy Ghost confirm those realities.

The Church is the way by which the Master accomplishes His work and bestows His glory. Its ordinances and related covenants are the crowning rewards of our membership. While many organizations can offer fellowship and fine instruction, only His church can provide baptism, confirmation, ordination, the sacrament, patriarchal blessings, and the ordinances of the temple—all bestowed by authorized priesthood power. That power is destined to bless all children of our Heavenly Father, regardless of their nationality:

“The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth.” (D&C 65:2; see also Dan. 2:37–45D&C 109:72.)

Admission into His church is by baptism. This sacred ordinance is reserved only for children after they reach the age of accountability and for adults who are truly converted, prepared, and worthy to pass this scriptural test:

“Ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in.” (Mosiah 18:8–9.)

Through the ordinance of baptism, we take upon ourselves the name of the Lord and covenant to be saints in these latter days. We covenant to live by the doctrines of the Church as recorded in sacred scriptures and as revealed to prophets, ancient and modern.

“We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” (A of F 1:9.)

These revelations include fundamental truths essential to our everlasting happiness and joy. They teach of priorities with eternal potential, such as love of God, family, mother, father, children, and home; self-mastery; care of the poor and needy; service; and thoughtful consideration for others.

This church, established under the direction of Almighty God, fulfills promises made in biblical times. It is part of the “restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:21.) It has been restored and given a name by the Lord Himself.

He issued this solemn warning: “Let all men beware how they take my name in their lips.” “Remember,” He added, “that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care.” (D&C 63:61, 64.) Therefore, just as we revere His holy name, we likewise revere the name that He decreed for His church.

As members of His church, we are privileged to participate in its divine destiny. May we so honor Him who declared, “Thus shall my church be called … The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” I pray in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Richard Lloyd Anderson, professor of religion and history, Brigham Young University:

A concise answer to this question is found by comparing the name of the Church on the title pages of the first three printings of the revelations: “The Church of Christ” (Book of Commandments, 1833), “The Church of the Latter Day Saints” (Doctrine and Covenants, 1835), and “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” (Doctrine and Covenants, 1844).

The Savior told the Nephites that his church should be called in his name. (See 3 Ne. 27:8.) As a result, the restored Church’s official title from 1830 to 1834 was “The Church of Christ.” That title is found in the revelation on the organization and government of the Church (D&C 20:1) and in early minute books. During this period, however, members of the Church regularly called themselves “saints”; the word saint is used approximately three dozen times in the D&C before 1834.

On 3 May 1834, official action modified the name of the Church. In a priesthood conference presided over by Joseph Smith, a motion passed “by unanimous voice” that the Church be known as “The Church of the Latter Day Saints.” (See The Evening and the Morning Star, May 1834, 2:160.) This alteration was not seen as a de-emphasis of Christ; on the contrary, it was done in hopes that the name of the Church would more clearly reflect the fact that Christ was at its head.

In the same issue of the Kirtland newspaper in which the announcement appeared, an editorial explained that the change stemmed from a misleading nickname: the “Mormonite” church. The new name also had these advantages: (1) Since American Christians, including Congregationalists and reformers, frequently designated themselves as “The Church of Christ,” that title did not distinguish the restored gospel from a host of Protestant sects. (2) Since Paul and Peter used the Greek word saint (“a holy person”) to refer to believers in Christ, the term Latter-day Saints implied that Church members were modern followers of Christ. Thus it also asserted the claim of restoration.

Just as the term saint flourished when the official name was “The Church of Christ,” the name of Christ regularly supplemented the official name of “The Church of the Latter Day Saints.” For example, in 1835, the church was referred to as “the church of Christ” and the Twelve apostles were commissioned as “special witnesses of the name of Christ.” (D&C 107:59, 23) The Saints certainly did not feel that the Church was leaving out the name of Christ.

Sometimes during this period the first and second titles would be combined—“the church of Christ of Latter Day saints”—as they were in priesthood minutes (Messenger and Advocate, Feb. 1836, 2:266) and in the publication of the first high council minutes (see headnote, D&C 5, 1835 edition).

A vivid illustration of the way members then understood the official name of the Church is found in a letter from John Smith, the Prophet’s uncle, to his son Elias before the latter was converted. Writing 19 Oct. 1834, Uncle John answers the question of why the name could be changed:

“The Church of Christ is the Church of Saints and always was. This is the reason why the apostle directed letters sometimes to the Church of God, others to the Church, and again to the Brethren, sometimes to the Saints, always meaning the Church of Christ.” (Archives, University of Utah)

Thus, the final version of the Church’s name was no radical shift from the previous practice of using both “Christ” and “Saints” in designating the restored Church and its members. Revealed on 26 April 1838 (D&C 115:4), the full title, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” is striking by comparison to the names of the scores of churches that obscure their Christianity under the label of their founders or of some characteristic belief or aspect of church organization. It is a highly effective name, for while it is distinctive, it indicates that Jesus is at its head. It is also descriptive of divine restoration. And it is more than a name—it is a public commitment to a holy life through the Savior’s power.

Style Guide  The Name of the Church

The official name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This full name was given by revelation from God to Joseph Smith in 1838.

While the term “Mormon Church” has long been publicly applied to the Church as a nickname, it is not an authorized title, and the Church discourages its use.

When writing about the Church, please follow these guidelines:

  • In the first reference, the full name of the Church is preferred: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
  • Please avoid the use of “Mormon Church,” “LDS Church” or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints.”
  • When a shortened reference is needed, the terms “the Church” or “the Church of Jesus Christ” are encouraged.
  • When referring to Church members, the term “Latter-day Saints” is preferred, though “Mormons” is acceptable.
  • “Mormon” is correctly used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon, Mormon Tabernacle Choir or Mormon Trail, or when used as an adjective in such expressions as “Mormon pioneers.”
  • The term “Mormonism” is acceptable in describing the combination of doctrine, culture and lifestyle unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • When referring to people or organizations that practice polygamy, the terms “Mormons,” “Mormon fundamentalist,” “Mormon dissidents,” etc. are incorrect. The Associated Press Stylebook notes: “The term Mormon is not properly applied to the other … churches that resulted from the split after [Joseph] Smith’s death.”

Also see recommendations for using Mormon hashtags on social media channels.

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#BOMTC Day 72, June 17~3 Nephi 22-26 or Pages 453-458: “Greater Things”

#BOMTC Day 72, June 17~3 Nephi 22-26 or Pages 453-458, Greater Things

The word “THINGS” seems like an insignificant word when isolated from other words. What does it really denote? It could be any number of, or kind of, or combination of “thing”. And yet, in 3 Nephi 23 & 26, the word, “THINGS,” is VERY significant. Excluding the heading to 3 Nephi 26, the word, “things,” is used 20 times in a chapter that has just 21 verses.

As you read these chapters you will find exactly what the “greater things” are that The Lord wants to give you, and how you can receive those “greater things”.

One thing that I love about this set of chapters is that they don’t just tell you how to receive the “greater things”, but they illustrate it as well. In these chapters we see Christ bestowing “greater things” upon the people as they respond to the “lesser things”.

By way of personal application, we can consider what “greater things” The Lord wants to bestow upon us personally, and ponder what we need to do to receive those “greater things” blessings.

As the Savior taught, if we want the > (greater) things, then we have to make sure that we have taken full advantage of the < (lesser) things we have been given. Remember the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25? Those that were faithful over “few” (< lesser) things were made rulers over “many” (greater >) things.

There are many “things” that I could have put in this post, but your time will be much better spent studying and pondering about the relationship between “lesser things” and “greater things” in 3 Nephi 22-26. I would suggest that you go back and study them in more detail and depth one more time, and see what “greater things” you are able to receive.

My post < things; 3 Nephi 22-26 > things.

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#BOMTC Day 71, June 16~3 Nephi 20-21 or Pages 447-452: The Book that Gathers the Scattered

#BOMTC Day 71, June 16~3 Nephi 20-21 or Pages 447-452, Book of Mormon in Different Languages (2)

Click on the graphic to study 3 Nephi 20-21

During the second day of His ministry among the righteous inhabitants of America, Jesus Christ again administered the sacrament to the people; and this time in a miraculous manner. The Resurrected Lord also testified that in the latter days the Father would fulfill His covenant to gather Israel and bless all the nations of the earth. Israel would be gathered, and all the nations of the earth would be blessed. As Jesus Christ continued to teach the people who had gathered, He also explained that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the last days would be a sign that the Father had begun to fulfill this covenant.

#BOMTC Day 71, June 16~3 Nephi 20-21 or Pages 447-452, Book of Mormon in Different Languages (1)

In the short video clip below Elder Russell M. Nelson talks about how the Book of Mormon gathers scattered Israel (see 3 Nephi 21:1–7).

The Book of Mormon Gathers Scattered Israel

“The Book of Mormon is central to this work. It declares the doctrine of the gathering. It causes people to learn about Jesus Christ, to believe His gospel, and to join His Church. In fact, if there were no Book of Mormon, the promised gathering of Israel would not occur” (Elder Russell M. Nelson, “The Gathering of Scattered Israel,” Ensign, Nov. 2006, 80).

#BOMTC Day 71, June 16~3 Nephi 20-21 or Pages 447-452, Book of Mormon in German

Think of someone with whom you can share your testimony of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, the Restoration of the gospel, and the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith to help this person receive the blessings of the restored gospel.

#BOMTC Day 71, June 16~3 Nephi 20-21 or Pages 447-452, book-of-mormon-share

Ponder how you can encourage others to come to the Lord, including those who were previously faithful in the gospel but no longer are.

#BOMTC Day 71, June 16~3 Nephi 20-21 or Pages 447-452, Another Testament of Jesus Christ

The video below is a powerful illustration of what can happen as people “discover” the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

A Book of Mormon Story

A young bishop in England describes how the Book of Mormon came to life for him and changed his perspective forever. (5:15)

For many of you who are reading along with the Book of Mormon Translation (‪#‎BOMTC‬) Challenge, I’m sure you’ve had your eyes opened and your hearts touched by certain verses of scripture that you perhaps hadn’t appreciated before. Wouldn’t it be great if we could help gather scattered Israel by simply showing the world what’s in this book?

#BOMTC Day 71, June 16~3 Nephi 20-21 or Pages 447-452, I LOVE the Book of Mormon

The YouTube channel, “I Love the Book of Mormon” (“LIKE” the Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/ilovethebookofmormon. I think you will “LIKE” it!) has the goal of opening up the words of the Book of Mormon to the world – one verse at a time. 

People from around the world record a short video reading their favorite verse and sharing how it’s impacted them. There are over 100 videos up already, and they hope to add thousands more, but could use your help! By doing this, people can hear the words of the Book of Mormon and feel the power it contains.

President Ezra Taft Benson said:

“The time is long overdue for a massive flooding of the earth with the Book of Mormon for the many reasons which the Lord has given. In this age of the electronic media and the mass distribution of the printed word, God will hold us accountable if we do not now move the Book of Mormon in a monumental way.” (“Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon“, CR, Oct. 1988)

Will you help gather scattered Israel by flooding the earth with the Book of Mormon, one verse at a time? Please check out the intro video to find out how to get involved. Let’s help gather the scattered!

“I Love The Book of Mormon Challenge”

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#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446: One By One

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446-christ-asks-for-the-children (3)

I am always profoundly touched by this part of the Book of Mormon. It is at this point that the Resurrected Lord announces to the people of the land that it is time for Him to leave and show Himself unto the lost tribes of Israel. As He does so, the people “look steadfastly upon Him as if they woud ask Him to tarry a little longer with them.” What happens next would surprise us, except for the fact that it is exactly what we probably would expect the Savior to do. He stays! And He stays a lot longer than one might expect. Granted, in the account of the event it is only two chapters, but because of the sheer number of people (2,500) involved in what happens in those next two chapters, we can suspect that His stay was more lengthy.

What I love most about what is about to happen is not only what will happen, but HOW it will happen. As He heals the people, He heals them “every one“–one at a time. When He commands that the little children be brought to Him, “He took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.” He institutes the Sacrament and instructs them. And before departing, He takes His disciples and, “touched with His hand the disciples whom He had chosen, one by one, even until He had touched them all, and spake unto them as He touched them.”

As you read these chapters, it is worth the effort to identify the word “one” and “all“. He made time for the individual, not just the multitude. What message do I learn from that?

HE HAS TIME FOR YOU AND ME; ALL THE TIME IN ETERNITY!

We just need to learn to ask Him to “tarry a little longer” with us.

Below are a few of my favorite paintings that depict the Savior as He, “took their little children, one by one”. As you examine them, I hope you will be reminded of how much He wants to have “one by one” experiences with YOU each day.

HAVE WE MADE TIME FOR HIM AS THESE PEOPLE DID?

I know that the Savior loves “ALL” of us, and wants to have experiences with each “ONE” of us on a daily basis.

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, Christ with the Children

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, Christ with the Nephite Children (1)

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, Christ with the Nephite Children

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, Jesus-Christ-America-Nephites-Walter-Rane

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, They Saw, Jesus Christ in America with the Children

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446-jesus-blesses-the-nephite-children

The following short video highlights this portrayal of the Savior’s visit to the inhabitants of ancient America, providing a unique view of His caring, compassion, and love for His children.

My Joy is Full

 Those who enjoy sacred music and verse may find the following two songs an uplifting addition to their study of this tender account. Each of them is entitled, “One by One”.

One by One

One by One (PDF)

Seminary Music: Book of Mormon

One. One by one, every one.

One by one we came to look upon the Lord.

And feast upon His word.

One by one.

One. One by one.

One by one we came.

The halt, the blind, the lame.

He healed us in his name.

One by one.

He spoke what no tongue can speak

What ear hath not heard before.

We saw what no eyes hath seen;

The joys of eternity

Ah Then he blessed our little ones.

And we were overcome, everyone.

Alleluia,  Alleluia, Alleluia,

Alleluia, Oh Gloria.

One.  One by one everyone.

One by one we came to look upon our Lord.

Text:  Steven K. Jones

Music:  Sam Cardon

Arranged By:  Brian Jensen

Artist:  Selected members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

One by One

#BOMTC Day 70, June 15~3 Nephi 17-19 or Pages 441-446, One by One Song

The following talk by Elder Ronald A. Rasband illustrates well the Savior’s desire to minister to each of us “one by one”,  and shows us how we can apply the “one by one” principle to our own life and ministry.

“One by One”

– Ronald A. Rasband

Throughout my life, I have come to know through my own experiences that Heavenly Father hears and answers our personal prayers. I know that Jesus is the living Christ and that He knows each of us individually, or as the scriptures express it, “one by one.”

This sacred assurance is taught compassionately by the Savior Himself in His appearance to the people of Nephi. We read of this in 3 Nephi, chapter 11, verse 15:

“And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth” (3 Ne. 11:15; emphasis added).

To further illustrate the “one by one” nature of our Savior’s ministry, we read in 3 Nephi, chapter 17, verse 9:

“And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him” (3 Ne. 17:9; emphasis added).

We then read of the special blessing given to the precious children in verse 21: “And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them” (3 Ne. 17:21; emphasis added).

This was not a small gathering. In verse 25 [3 Ne. 17:25] we read: “And they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.”

Certainly, there is a very profound and tender personal message here. Jesus Christ ministers to, and loves us all, one by one.

As we reflect on our Savior’s way of loving, we sustain you dedicated stake and ward leaders, men and women of great faith. We gratefully recognize the many efforts of those of you working with the youth. And we express great appreciation to our caring Primary leaders and teachers for your Christlike service. We consider each of your one-by-one ministries and say thank you and please, please continue. Perhaps never in the history of mankind do we need to be serving on a one-by-one basis more than we do now.

During the final months of our mission last year, we experienced an event that taught once again this profound principle that each of us is known and loved by God.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell was coming to New York City for some Church business, and we were informed that he would also like to have a mission conference. We were so pleased to have this opportunity to hear from one of the Lord’s chosen servants. I was asked to select one of our missionaries to provide the opening prayer for the meeting. I might have randomly picked one of the missionaries to pray, but felt to ponder and prayerfully select one whom the Lord would have me ask. In going through the missionary roster, a name boldly stood out to me: Elder Joseph Appiah of Accra, Ghana. He was the one I felt the Lord wanted to pray at the meeting.

Prior to the mission conference, I was having a regularly scheduled interview with Elder Appiah and told him of the prompting that I had received for him to pray. With amazement and humility in his eyes, he began to weep deeply. Somewhat surprised by his reaction, I started to tell him that it was all right and he wouldn’t have to pray, when he informed me he would love to offer the prayer, that his emotion was caused by the love he has for Elder Maxwell. He told me that this Apostle is very special to the Saints in Ghana and to his own family. Elder Maxwell had called his father to be the district president in Accra and had sealed his mother and father in the Salt Lake Temple.

Now, I didn’t know any of what I just related about this missionary or his family, but the Lord did and inspired a mission president on behalf of onemissionary to provide a lifelong memory and testimony-building experience.

At the meeting, Elder Appiah offered a wonderful prayer and made a humble contribution to a meeting where Elder Maxwell taught the missionaries of the attributes of Jesus Christ. All who were there will never forget the feelings of love they experienced for their Savior.

I have a testimony in my heart, brothers and sisters, that God, our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ know and love us individually. I’m not sure I fully understand how, I just know and have experienced that They do. I urge all of us in our own ministries, to our families and to our fellowman, to embrace the Savior’s warm invitation to come unto Him, one by one, and be perfected in Him.

I share this witness and hope, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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#BOMTC Day 68, June 13~3 Nephi 11-13 or Pages 429-434: The Return of the LIGHT!

#BOMTC Day 68, June 13~3 Nephi 11-13 or Pages 429-434, Christ in America One by One (2)

Click on the graphic to study 3 Nephi 11-13

How does one create a blog post for a set of chapters like this? There is just no way I can come close to doing justice to these chapters.

Jesus Christ in America Timeline

Jesus Christ in America Timeline: 3 Nephi is sometimes called the “Fifth Gospel” because it records the teachings of the Risen Lord in the Americas. It is the Book of Mormon’s Easter Story. This timeline outlines the key events in 3 Nephi leading up to the Savior’s miraculous appearance to the people at the temple in Bountiful. (Credit: Book of Mormon Central)

With that said, there are several other people who have put significant work into bringing these chapters to life and helping us feel the great blessing that was realized in 3 Nephi 11-13. So for this post I will be sharing a few videos and quotes that have helped me to appreciate this culminating event of the Book of Mormon. I hope you will enjoy them as well. I believe that they are worth every second that you will spend to read the quotes or watch the amazing videos with beautiful accompaniment.

#BOMTC Day 68, June 13~3 Nephi 11-13 or Pages 429-434, Christ in America with Young Child

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve, wrote that:

[the appearance of the resurrected Lord to the Nephites and His declaration of His Messiahship] “constituted the focal point, the supreme moment, in the entire history of the Book of Mormon. It was the manifestation and the decree that had informed and inspired every Nephite prophet for the previous six hundred years, to say nothing of their Israelite and Jaredite forefathers for thousands of years before that.  Everyone had talked of him, sung of him, dreamed of him, and prayed for his appearance—but here he actually was. The day of days! The God who turns every dark night into morning light had arrived” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 250–51).

Another Testament of Christ

Sometime following the great destruction and three days of darkness, about 2,500 men, women, and children gathered around the temple in the land of Bountiful (see 3 Nephi 17:25). They heard a voice, which they at first did not understand. As they tried to listen, they understood that it was the voice of Heavenly Father introducing His Son, Jesus Christ. The Savior of the world appeared. Jesus Christ invited the people to one by one personally witness that He had been slain for the sins of the world by feeling the wound in his side and the prints of the nails in His hands and feet.

Come See the Light

President Ezra Taft Benson taught:

“What a blessing it would be if every family would read together 3 Nephi, discuss its sacred contents, and then determine how they can liken it unto themselves and apply its teachings in their lives. Third Nephi is a book that should be read and read again. Its testimony of the resurrected Christ in America is given in purity and beauty” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 5–6; or Ensign, May 1987, 6).

Reflections of Christ

President N. Eldon Tanner, who was a member of the First Presidency, said:

“I suppose that nowhere in the scriptures do we have a more beautiful or detailed record of God’s dealings with man than in the account of this visit as recorded in Third Nephi. . . . [The] warnings and beautiful teachings . . . , if accepted and lived, will do more than anything else to bring peace and happiness to the world and to the individual seeking such a way of life. Here we can find explanations for many unanswered questions in the Bible.  Third Nephi gives us additional information in more detail than the four Gospels in the New Testament, and preserves the doctrines, teachings, and compassion of the Lord. For this reason there are many who refer to Third Nephi as the ‘fifth Gospel.’” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 52; or Ensign, May 1975, 34).

Visit http://www.reflectionsofchrist.org/for more images and information on the videos listed on this post.

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#BOMTC Day 67, June 12~3 Nephi 8-10 or Pages 423-428: The Death of the LIGHT

 #BOMTC Day 67, June 12~3 Nephi 8-10 or Pages 423-428, The Death of the LIGHT

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

“No single historical event in the whole Book of Mormon account is recorded in so great detail or at such extended length as the fulfillment of the signs signifying that Jesus had been lifted up upon the cross and had voluntarily laid down his life for the world” (The Promised Messiah, 572)

Pause for a moment to consider that statement. Read it one more time. Ponder WHY.

Take your time. Look away from the screen. Look over some of the things you marked in 3 Nephi 8-10.

Did you notice any patterns? Were there any key words or phrases that kept coming up? Why would Mormon include such detail concerning the signs that accompanied the death of the Savior?

Could it be that Mormon intends these chapters to serve as a pattern for what is to come before the Second Coming? Is it possible that Mormon is trying to warn the wicked in the latter days?

#BOMTC Day 67, June 12~3 Nephi 8-10 or Pages 423-428, Come Unto Me (1)

Thirty-three years after seeing the sign of the Savior’s birth, the Nephites began to look for the sign that Samuel the Lamanite had prophesied of the Savior’s death. Although many signs were given, doubts and disputations arose among the people. Within the next year, Samuel’s prophecy was fulfilled. After great storms, earthquakes, and other calamities caused widespread destruction, darkness covered the land for three days. In the darkness, the people who had survived the destruction heard the voice of Jesus Christ. He invited them to repent and return to Him. When the darkness dispersed, the peoples’ mourning turned to joy and praise of Jesus Christ.

I found three particular phrases that stood out to me in these three chapters. Each one helps me to better prepare myself for the Second Coming of the Lord. As you read each of these phrases in their complete verse, you will see how each of these phrase seems to be related to one another. And if these chapters are a pattern and a warning for us as we approach the Second Coming, then I need to make sure that I am not delaying my repentance and that I accept His invitation to come unto Him and be covered by His Atonement.

#BOMTC Day 67, June 12~3 Nephi 8-10 or Pages 423-428, Repent NOW

3 Nephi 8: The lamentation, “O that we had repented before this great and terrible day…” (vv. 25 & 25). I have always loved the following account related by President Spencer W. Kimball of an experience he had with a young man who was not quite sure he was ready to repent:

“In an interview with a young man in Mesa, Arizona, I found him only a little sorry he had committed adultery but not sure that he wanted to cleanse himself. After long deliberations in which I seemed to make little headway against his rebellious spirit, I finally said, ‘Goodbye, Bill, but I warn you, don’t break a speed limit, be careful what you eat, take no chances on your life. Be careful in traffic for you must not die before this matter is cleared up. Don’t you dare to die.’ I quoted this scripture:

“Wherefore, if they should die in their wickedness they must be cast off also, as to the things which are spiritual, which are pertaining to righteousness; wherefore, they must be brought to stand before God, to be judged of their works.

. . . And there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God; wherefore there must needs be a place of filthiness prepared for that which is filthy. (1 Ne. 15:33-34.)

“A slow death has its advantages over the sudden demise. The cancer victim who is head of a family, for instance, should use his time to be an advisor to those who will survive him. The period of inactivity after a patient learns there is no hope for his life can be a period of great productivity. How much more true this is of one who has been involved in deliberate sin! He must not die until he has made his peace with God. He must be careful and not have an accident.” (Miracle of Forgiveness, pp.145-6)

#BOMTC Day 67, June 12~3 Nephi 8-10 or Pages 423-428, Come Unto Me

3 Nephi 9: The invitation, “Come unto me…” (vv. 14 & 22). The following quote from President Thomas S. Monson is a faithful echo of the Savior’s continual invitation to come unto Him:

“Our Heavenly Father rejoices for those who keep His commandments. He is concerned also for the lost child, the tardy teenager, the wayward youth, the delinquent parent. Tenderly the Master speaks to these and indeed to all: ‘Come back. Come up. Come in. Come home. Come unto me.'” (President Thomas S. Monson, “The Race of Life”)

#BOMTC Day 67, June 12~3 Nephi 8-10 or Pages 423-428, As a Hen Gathereth Her Chickens

3 Nephi 10: The illustration, “As a hen gathereth her chickens…” (vv. 4, 5, & 6). Christ used the image of a common chicken to communicate his loving care and covenant relationship to his children. The following is taken from the Deseret News, Saturday, Oct. 11 2008.

Jane Allis-Pike, a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, calls Christ’s description of himself gathering the Nephites under his wing the “hen metaphor.” Christ chose this metaphor to communicate something to the fearful survivors.

“I suggest that Christ uses the hen metaphor to rekindle the survivors’ faith and trust in him, and to remind and teach them of the true nature and condition of their covenant relationship with him,” Allis-Pike said.

Christ chose the common chicken for his metaphor because of the hen’s selfless devotion to its chicks. Allis-Pike explained that a chicken is almost defenseless, yet it will never abandon its offspring when danger arises. It also is an active mother and will gather its offspring together to protect them. If necessary it will shield its little chicks with its own body — offering itself to preserve their lives.

To the hen, its chicks are valued greatly. It actively will call to them. “Perhaps the most important point about the chicks in this metaphor is what is assumed. These chickens obey instinct. They come to their mother … this means that when the hen calls they come without hesitation, without delay and without question run to the safety that is only found underneath their mother’s wings,” Allis-Pike said.

It may seem paradoxical for Christ to compare himself to a mother, yet, as Allis-Pike explained, he has figuratively given birth to his children. “Christ has specific qualities normally existing only in the purview of women and mothers,” she said.

A mother hen calls her chicks to protect them from predators. Satan is the predator, according to Allis-Pike. “Just as the mother hen literally uses her body to protect her chick’s life, Christ literally uses his body to protect his children from spiritual destruction,” she said.

Christ also used his body to bring the resurrection of all people to pass.

“The beauty of the hen metaphor is that it goes beyond language, allowing the readers to simply feel Christ’s love for us,” Allis-Pike said.

When Christ spoke to the Nephites, he expanded the metaphor to include the past, present and future.

“How oft have I gathered you,” refers to the past.

“How oft would I have gathered you,” is a conditional reference to the past.

“How oft will I gather you,” refers to the future.

“And then in the very act of speaking to these people he is talking in the present and caring for them. Like a hen who watches gently over her chicks, Christ is always available,” Allis-Pike said.

In the four verses of the metaphor Christ uses the verb “gather” eight times. This is an active process, according to Allis-Pike. Those who were killed in the destruction were those who refused to be gathered.

“But if the chicks, or the people of the House of Israel, run away … Christ can not save them from the devouring predator, Satan,” Allis-Pike said.

According to Allis-Pike, the hen metaphor sequence in Third Nephi can also be read as a “covenant lawsuit” where Christ takes the position of a prosecutor over those who have died and where the survivors act as witnesses.

Each reciting of the hen metaphor is posed as a question and builds a case against those who rejected the merciful invitation to be gathered. It also applies the covenant question to the Nephite survivors … and to the readers of Third Nephi as well.

Christ finished his invitation. Allis-Pike points out that the survivors’ response to this second announcement from Christ was not silence. The people begin to weep. They weep for the lost. They weep for their sins. But Christ’s love turns their weeping to joy as the darkness lifts.

“Christ’s use of the hen metaphor has played a major role in this transition (from weeping to joy). Christ in his infinite wisdom has created a visual, powerful healing metaphor that allows people to come to terms with the destruction and the loss of life they have witnessed … and teaches of their covenant relationship with Christ,” Allis-Pike said.

Don’t WAIT, “later” may be too LATE!

#BOMTC Day 67, June 12~3 Nephi 8-10 or Pages 423-428, NOW or LATER

Below is a video that I created from the Bible Videos produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is an attempt to visualize the final hours of the Savior’s life. These are the events that occurred in the vicinity of Jerusalem which led to the destruction that we studied in 3 Nephi 8-10.

“The Hour Is Come”

The Final Hours of the Savior’s Life

#BOMTC Day 67, June 12~3 Nephi 8-10 or Pages 423-428, Come Unto Me TSM

“Our Heavenly Father rejoices for those who keep His commandments. He is concerned also for the lost child, the tardy teenager, the wayward youth, the delinquent parent. Tenderly the Master speaks to these and indeed to all: ‘Come back. Come up. Come in. Come home. Come unto me.'” (President Thomas S. Monson, “The Race of Life”)

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#BOMTC Day 66, June 11~3 Nephi 6-7 or Pages 417-422: Satan’s Strategy

#BOMTC Day 66, June 11~3 Nephi 6-7 or Pages 417-422, Satan's Strategy (1).jpg

Click on the graphic to study 3 Nephi 6-7

Is it possible for someone to be …

  • Rich and humble?
  • Poor and prideful?
  • Educated and humble?
  • Uneducated and prideful?

Of course one could answer “YES” to each of the questions above, but as we read in these chapters, it takes a conscious effort to prevent pride and to seek to be humble no matter what our circumstances may be.

Something else that we can learn from these chapters is that IF we do not ENDURE TO THE END blessings can be LOST in the LAST hour.  Following their miraculous deliverance from the Gadianton robbers, the Nephites enjoyed peace for about three years. But pride, class distinctions, and persecutions arose among the people. While some remained faithful to the Lord, many entered into secret combinations. Because of the secret combinations, the chief judge was murdered and the Nephite government was overthrown. The people divided into tribes and appointed their own leaders. Nephi continued to minister unto the people with power and great authority. As recorded in 3 Nephi 6–7, some of the Nephites experienced the tragic results of rejecting the prophets, while others experienced the blessings that come from repenting and hearkening to the Lord’s chosen servants.

strategy

It seems that there are two great strategies at play in our lives: UNITY & DIVISION

You may see it differently, but to me, God’s strategy is to strengthen His children through UNITY. Unity in covenants, unity within family, unity with the priesthood, unity in our communities, etc. There is great STRENGTH in UNITY!

#BOMTC Day 66, June 11~3 Nephi 6-7 or Pages 417-422, Unity

Satan’s strategy is to DIVIDE. Division WEAKENS, hence the saying, “Divide and conquer!”

#BOMTC Day 66, June 11~3 Nephi 6-7 or Pages 417-422, Divide and Conquer (2)

To understand this next part, we need to define the difference between a strategy and tactics. A strategy is the large, overall plan that can comprise several tactics, which are smaller, focused, procedures that are part of the overall plan/strategy.  God uses several tactics (procedures) to unify: sealed in families, gathered as Saints, worship meetings, temple ordinances, missionary work, caring for the poor and the needy, priesthood quorums, Relief Society, visiting teaching, home teaching, service, etc. All of these tactic help to STRENGTHEN us, in part, because of the UNITY that they create among ourselves and with our God. God is our greatest strength, so if we are unified with Him then His grace (strength) is sufficient.

#BOMTC Day 66, June 11~3 Nephi 6-7 or Pages 417-422, Don't Panic, Organize

However, Satan has many tactics that he employs to “divide and conquer” and destroy the “strength in unity” that we seek to create with God and His children. Several such tactic are found in these chapters as Satan makes his final attempt to divide as many people as he can from the blessing of receiving the Savior’s impending visit after His resurrection (see 3 Nephi 11). His tactics in these chapters are not much different from the tactics that he is implementing today: pride, love of riches, class distinction, contention, dissension, rebellion, violence, and secret combinations.

#BOMTC Day 66, June 11~3 Nephi 6-7 or Pages 417-422, Calvin and Hobbs Divide and Conquer

Take a moment to consider how many things God asks you to do every day and each week to STRENGTHEN you, as you UNIFY with Him and His children. Consider the STRENGTH that you feel in your life when you faithfully fulfill those daily and weekly duties. Then contrast that with the WEAKNESS that you feel as you neglect to unify with God and His children and instead allow Satan to DIVIDE you from God’s unity and strength with his tenacious tactics.

Don’t LOSE your blessings in the LAST hour by falling prey to Satan’s WEAKENING tactics, like many of the people did in these chapters. Rather, ENDURE to the END and use your agency to comply with God’s tactics of STRENGTH that will bring UNITY with God and His children (3 Nephi 7:21-22). You have the ability to choose which strategy will have power in your life–“Divide and Conquer” or “Strength in Unity”. Choose wisely!

 ON THIS DAY IN 1829: Utica, New York. Richard R. Lansing, clerk of the Northern District Court, entered Joseph Smith’s copyright application for the Book of Mormon. (See a copy of the original below…)

Original manuscript copyright of the Book of Mormon. Richard R. Lansing, clerk of the federal district court, prepared two copies of the application for the copyright of the Book of Mormon. One is housed in the Church archives and the second in the Library of Congress.

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