Tag Archives: 3 Nephi

#BOMTC 3 Nephi 22-26: “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 (lesser <) things | 3 Nephi 22-26 (greater >) things.

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#BOMTC 3 Nephi 20-21: The Book that GATHERS the Scattered

During the second day of His ministry among the righteous inhabitants of America, Jesus Christ again administered the sacrament to the people–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.

As Jesus Christ continued to teach the people who had gathered that day, 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

“This doctrine of the gathering is one of the important teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Lord has declared: “I give unto you a sign … that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion” (3 Nephi 21:1). The coming forth of the Book of Mormon is a sign to the entire world that the Lord has commenced to gather Israel and fulfill covenants He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (See Genesis 12:2–3; 26:3–4; 35:11–12; and chapter headings for 3 Nephi 21; 29). We not only teach this doctrine, but we participate in it. We do so as we help to gather the elect of the Lord on both sides of the veil.
“The Book of Mormon is central to this work. It declares the doctrine of the gathering (Doctrines relating to the scattering and gathering of the house of Israel are among the earliest lessons taught in the Book of Mormon: “After the house of Israel should be scattered they should be gathered together again; … the natural branches of the olive-tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer” (1 Nephi 10:14)). 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 (See Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith (1985), 554.). (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” (Now called “Mormon Light” and Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/ilovethebookofmormon) 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 many 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? Check out the intro video to find out how to get involved. Let’s help gather the scattered by sharing the Book of Mormon!

“I Love The Book of Mormon Challenge”

Please leave your thoughts about a special verse, teaching, etc. that you enjoyed at one of the following:

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#BOMTC 3 Nephi 17-19: One By One

The post-mortal ministry of Jesus Christ is THE great indicator of how the Savior feels about each and every ONE of us! Even after the words “It is finished” fell from his broken lips as “he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost,” (John 19:30) He knew HE was not finished with YOU.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ was not quick, casual, or impersonal. The Savior felt our pains and sins on an individual and personal basis, and He understands, knows, and loves each of us personally (see Alma 7:11-13). The Savior continually seeks the “ONE” (see Luke 15) and YOU are the ONE.

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 would 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 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.

One by One

Words by David A. Bednar
Music by Paul Cardall
Arranged by Ken Neff and Shauna Swainston

Download the mp3 audio file: Music and lyrics.

1. One by one, one by one.
Jesus, the Fa-ther’s Beloved Son—
One by one, one by one—
From the beginning said, “Thy will be done.”
Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill God’s plan,
For He alone could atone as Savior of man.
The Lord blessed and beckoned them, “Come unto me,”
And willingly sacrificed to set us free.
One by one, one by one.
He suffered for us and victory won.
One by one, one by one.
We marvel at all His love has done,
One by one.
One by one, one by one.
Multitudes gathered and saw Him come.
One by one, one by one.
Each heard a voice declare, “Behold My Son.”
Jesus Christ came and stood in the midst of them.
They fell to the earth in great rev’rence for Him.
The Lord bid, “Arise, and come forth unto me.”
With hands they did feel and with eyes they did see.
One by one, one by one.
Each knew and bore record, He is our Lord.
One by one, one by one.
They cried “Hosanna” with one accord,
One by one.
One by one, one by one.
Christ looked around Him and saw their tears.
One by one, one by one.
In His compassion, He calmed their fears.
Jesus Christ healed each one brought forth unto Him.
Then He blessed each precious child and prayed for them.
The angels descended from heaven above,
Encircling those little ones; each felt His love.
One by one, one by one.
He intercedes for each daughter and son.
One by one, one by one.
Strength from His grace gives us pow’r to become,
One by one.

#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

#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”

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.

“One by One” Extras:

 

  • “One by One” music:
    • One by One,” David A. Benar (2016, free MP3 download)
    • One by One,” Jake Garvin (2016, free MP3 download)
    • One by One,” Hilary Weeks (2008, free MP3 download)
    • One by One,” John V. Pearson (2003, text only)
    • One by One,” Mormon Tabernacle Choir (1998, free MP3 download)

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#BOMTC 3 Nephi 11-13: The Return of the LIGHT!

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 3 Nephi 8-10: 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 and ponder how they relate to Elder McConkie’s statement.

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 people in the latter days?

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

Around 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 Jesus Christ. As you read each of these phrases in their complete verse, you will see how each of them seem 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, Come Unto Me TSM

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.

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

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.

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

Don’t WAIT; “later” may be too LATE!  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

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#BOMTC 3 Nephi 6-7: Satan’s Strategy

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

Is it possible for someone to be …

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

As we read in these chapters, we learn that 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 blessings can be LOST in the LAST hour IF we do not ENDURE TO THE END.

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, ministering, 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. Now, 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.

In the aftermath of World War II, trust had vanished between Latter-day Saint survivors in the Netherlands. Mission president Cornelius Zappey searched for a way to heal the wounds left by the war and restore UNITY among the Dutch members. He set the members to work planting potatoes, restoring their sense of belonging and solidarity. After learning of the extremely harsh conditions in which German Church members were living, President Zappey set about convincing the Dutch Saints to love their brothers and sisters in Germany. They sent their hard-earned potato harvest to Germany, looking past the actions committed by the German regime. A few years later when the North Sea flooded and those same Dutch members were in need, the German Saints showed their gratitude by sending welfare supplies to the Netherlands. They learned that Christlike love heals the wounds caused by human actions.

Here is a little video about those World War II Latter-day Saints that were DIVIDED by war and then UNIFIED by the Lord:

That We Might Be One:

The Story of the Dutch Potato Project

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 apply 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!

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#BOMTC 3 Nephi 3-5: PREPARED

#BOMTC Day 65, June 10~3 Nephi 3-5 or Pages 411-416 3 Nephi 5~13 RMN, The Book of Mormon Will Prepare the World

Soon after the people saw the signs of Jesus Christ’s birth, they began to forget the witnesses they had received, and they hardened their hearts. Many of the Nephites and Lamanites rejected further signs and wonders and increased in wickedness. As a result, the Gadianton robbers grew so strong that Nephites and Lamanites were compelled to take up arms against them. The converted Lamanites joined with the Nephites and became known as Nephites.

Lachoneus, the chief judge of the Nephites, called on the people to repent and prepared them for battle. Because of their repentance, unity, faith in the Lord, and diligent preparations, the Nephites triumphed over the Gadianton robbers. Following their deliverance, the righteous Nephites and Lamanites acknowledged the power of God in their preservation.

 Joplin Saints Talk About Preparation

Members of the Joplin Stake share how being prepared blessed their lives and the lives of others in the wake of a devastating tornado. (3:40)

By this point in our study of the Book of Mormon you are probably seeing many similarities between our day and what was happening back then. We can definitely “LIKEN” these accounts to our life as we prepare for the Second Coming of the Lord. As the righteous Nephites and Lamanites prepared themselves physically and spiritually they received the “strength of the Lord” (3 Nephi 3:21; 4:10) to help them overcome their enemies and the wickedness that surrounded them. The video above demonstrates the importance of our physical preparation in the latter days preceding the Second Coming. The video below helps us to understand the importance of our spiritual preparation–which is even more important. It is one of my favorite talks about preparing for the Second Coming, and if you like to listen to Elder Dallin H. Oaks, then you will definitely want to review his message that was giving in 2004. Elder Oaks is indeed a Latter-day Lachoneus that is trying to help us be prepared for that which is to come.

#BOMTC Day 65, June 10~3 Nephi 3-5 or Pages 411-416 3 Nephi 5~13 DHO, Preparing for the Second Coming

Preparation for the Second Coming

Dallin H. Oaks

In modern revelation we have the promise that if we are prepared we need not fear (see D&C 38:30). I was introduced to that principle 60 years ago this summer when I became a Boy Scout and learned the Scout motto: “Be prepared.” Today I have felt prompted to speak of the importance of preparation for a future event of supreme importance to each of us—the Second Coming of the Lord.

The scriptures are rich in references to the Second Coming, an event eagerly awaited by the righteous and dreaded or denied by the wicked. The faithful of all ages have pondered the sequence and meaning of the many events prophesied to precede and follow this hinge point of history.

Four matters are indisputable to Latter-day Saints: (1) The Savior will return to the earth in power and great glory to reign personally during a millennium of righteousness and peace. (2) At the time of His coming there will be a destruction of the wicked and a resurrection of the righteous. (3) No one knows the time of His coming, but (4) the faithful are taught to study the signs of it and to be prepared for it. I wish to speak about the fourth of these great realities: the signs of the Second Coming and what we should do to prepare for it.

I.
The Lord has declared, “He that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man,” signs that will be shown “in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath” (D&C 45:39–40).

The Savior taught this in the parable of the fig tree whose tender new branches give a sign of the coming of summer. “So likewise,” when the elect shall see the signs of His coming “they shall know that he is near, even at the doors” (JS—M 1:38–39; see also Matt. 24:32–33; D&C 45:37–38).

Biblical and modern prophecies give many signs of the Second Coming. These include:

1. The fulness of the gospel restored and preached in all the world for a witness to all nations.
2. False Christs and false prophets, deceiving many.
3. Wars and rumors of wars, with nation rising against nation.
4. Earthquakes in divers places.
5. Famine and pestilence.
6. An overflowing scourge, a desolating sickness covering the land.
7. Iniquity abounding.
8. The whole earth in commotion.
9. Men’s hearts failing them.
(See Matt. 24:5–15; JS—M 1:22, 28–32; D&C 45:26–33.)

In another revelation the Lord declares that some of these signs are His voice calling His people to repentance:

“Hearken, O ye nations of the earth, and hear the words of that God who made you. …

“How oft have I called upon you by the mouth of my servants, and by the ministering of angels, and by mine own voice, and by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind, … and would have saved you with an everlasting salvation, but ye would not!” (D&C 43:23, 25).

These signs of the Second Coming are all around us and seem to be increasing in frequency and intensity. For example, the list of major earthquakes in The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2004 shows twice as many earthquakes in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s as in the two preceding decades (pp. 189–90). It also shows further sharp increases in the first several years of this century. The list of notable floods and tidal waves and the list of hurricanes, typhoons, and blizzards worldwide show similar increases in recent years (pp. 188–89). Increases by comparison with 50 years ago can be dismissed as changes in reporting criteria, but the accelerating pattern of natural disasters in the last few decades is ominous.

II.
Another sign of the times is the gathering of the faithful (see D&C 133:4). In the early years of this last dispensation, a gathering to Zion involved various locations in the United States: to Kirtland, to Missouri, to Nauvoo, and to the tops of the mountains. Always these were gatherings to prospective temples. With the creation of stakes and the construction of temples in most nations with sizeable populations of the faithful, the current commandment is not to gather to one place but to gather in stakes in our own homelands. There the faithful can enjoy the full blessings of eternity in a house of the Lord. There, in their own homelands, they can obey the Lord’s command to enlarge the borders of His people and strengthen her stakes (see D&C 101:21; D&C 133:9, 14). In this way, the stakes of Zion are “for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth” (D&C 115:6).

III.
While we are powerless to alter the fact of the Second Coming and unable to know its exact time, we can accelerate our own preparation and try to influence the preparation of those around us.

A parable that contains an important and challenging teaching on this subject is the parable of the ten virgins. Of this parable, the Lord said, “And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins” (D&C 45:56).

Given in the 25th chapter of Matthew, this parable contrasts the circumstances of the five foolish and the five wise virgins. All ten were invited to the wedding feast, but only half of them were prepared with oil in their lamps when the bridegroom came. The five who were prepared went into the marriage feast, and the door was shut. The five who had delayed their preparations came late. The door had been closed, and the Lord denied them entrance, saying, “I know you not” (Matt. 25:12). “Watch therefore,” the Savior concluded, “for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 25:13).

The arithmetic of this parable is chilling. The ten virgins obviously represent members of Christ’s Church, for all were invited to the wedding feast and all knew what was required to be admitted when the bridegroom came. But only half were ready when he came.

Modern revelation contains this teaching, spoken by the Lord to the early leaders of the Church:

“And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people.

“For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes. …

“And … the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.

“And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.

“And angels shall fly through the midst of heaven, crying with a loud voice, sounding the trump of God, saying: Prepare ye, prepare ye, O inhabitants of the earth; for the judgment of our God is come. Behold, and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” (D&C 88:88–92).

IV.
Brothers and sisters, as the Book of Mormon teaches, “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; … the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32). Are we preparing?

In His preface to our compilation of modern revelation the Lord declares, “Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh” (D&C 1:12).

The Lord also warned: “Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom; behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord” (D&C 133:10; see also D&C 34:6).

Always we are cautioned that we cannot know the day or the hour of His coming. In the 24th chapter of Matthew Jesus taught:

“Watch therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

“But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up” (Matt. 24:42–43). “But would have been ready” (JS—M 1:47).

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:44; see also D&C 51:20).

What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow—through our premature death or through His unexpected coming—what would we do today? What confessions would we make? What practices would we discontinue? What accounts would we settle? What forgivenesses would we extend? What testimonies would we bear?

If we would do those things then, why not now? Why not seek peace while peace can be obtained? If our lamps of preparation are drawn down, let us start immediately to replenish them.

We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult—the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.

V.
We are living in the prophesied time “when peace shall be taken from the earth” (D&C 1:35), when “all things shall be in commotion” and “men’s hearts shall fail them” (D&C 88:91). There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current “commotion” is spiritual.

Viewing our surroundings through the lens of faith and with an eternal perspective, we see all around us a fulfillment of the prophecy that “the devil shall have power over his own dominion” (D&C 1:35). Our hymn describes “the foe in countless numbers, / Marshaled in the ranks of sin” (“Hope of Israel,” Hymns, no. 259), and so it is.

Evil that used to be localized and covered like a boil is now legalized and paraded like a banner. The most fundamental roots and bulwarks of civilization are questioned or attacked. Nations disavow their religious heritage. Marriage and family responsibilities are discarded as impediments to personal indulgence. The movies and magazines and television that shape our attitudes are filled with stories or images that portray the children of God as predatory beasts or, at best, as trivial creations pursuing little more than personal pleasure. And too many of us accept this as entertainment.

The men and women who made epic sacrifices to combat evil regimes in the past were shaped by values that are disappearing from our public teaching. The good, the true, and the beautiful are being replaced by the no-good, the “whatever,” and the valueless fodder of personal whim. Not surprisingly, many of our youth and adults are caught up in pornography, pagan piercing of body parts, self-serving pleasure pursuits, dishonest behavior, revealing attire, foul language, and degrading sexual indulgence.

An increasing number of opinion leaders and followers deny the existence of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and revere only the gods of secularism. Many in positions of power and influence deny the right and wrong defined by divine decree. Even among those who profess to believe in right and wrong, there are “them that call evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20; 2 Ne. 15:20). Many also deny individual responsibility and practice dependence on others, seeking, like the foolish virgins, to live on borrowed substance and borrowed light.

All of this is grievous in the sight of our Heavenly Father, who loves all of His children and forbids every practice that keeps any from returning to His presence.

What is the state of our personal preparation for eternal life? The people of God have always been people of covenant. What is the measure of our compliance with covenants, including the sacred promises we made in the waters of baptism, in receiving the holy priesthood, and in the temples of God? Are we promisers who do not fulfill and believers who do not perform?

Are we following the Lord’s command, “Stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly”? (D&C 87:8). What are those “holy places”? Surely they include the temple and its covenants faithfully kept. Surely they include a home where children are treasured and parents are respected. Surely the holy places include our posts of duty assigned by priesthood authority, including missions and callings faithfully fulfilled in branches, wards, and stakes.

As the Savior taught in His prophecy of the Second Coming, blessed is the “faithful and wise servant” who is attending to his duty when the Lord comes (see Matt. 24:45–46). As the prophet Nephi taught of that day, “The righteous need not fear” (1 Ne. 22:17; see also 1 Ne. 14:14; D&C 133:44). And modern revelation promises that “the Lord shall have power over his saints” (D&C 1:36).

We are surrounded by challenges on all sides (see 2 Cor. 4:8–9). But with faith in God, we trust the blessings He has promised those who keep His commandments. We have faith in the future, and we are preparing for that future. To borrow a metaphor from the familiar world of athletic competitions, we do not know when this game will end, and we do not know the final score, but we do know that when the game finally ends, our team wins. We will continue to go forward “till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (History of the Church, 4:540).

“Wherefore,” the Savior tells us, “be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom—For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that I come quickly” (D&C 33:17–18).

I testify of Jesus Christ. I testify that He shall come, as He has promised. And I pray that we will be prepared to meet Him, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

#BOMTC Day 65, June 10~3 Nephi 3-5 or Pages 411-416 3 Nephi 5~13

3 Nephi 5:13

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