Whoso Receiveth Not the Words of Jesus and the Words of Those Whom He Hath Sent Receiveth Not Him

Mormon, the Nephite prophet, offers a stark warning about rejecting Christ by rejecting His words.

“…Wo be unto him that will not hearken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom he hath chosen and sent among them; for whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him; and therefore he will not receive them at the last day; And it would be better for them if they had not been born. For do you suppose that ye can get rid of the justice of an offended God, who hath been trampled under feet of men that thereby salvation might come?” (3 Nephi 28:34-35)

-How many opportunities does Christ provide a soul to hearken to His words?

-Does the phrase “better for them if they had not been born” only apply to those who do not receive Christ’s words even up to and after the Last Judgment (i.e. does it only apply to those who reject His Atonement even after receiving an undeniable witness of His role as the Savior and His perfect justice and mercy)?

Great and Marvelous Works Shall Be Wrought by Them

Before finishing His ministry to the descendants of Lehi (A.D. 34-35), Jesus Christ blessed three of the twelve disciples He called in the New World so they would not die but, instead, remain on the Earth until His second coming (similar to the blessing John received from Christ in the Old World). In the following verses, the prophet Mormon discusses these three American-based apostles’ role leading up to Christ’s return:

“Behold, I was about to write the names of those who were never to taste death, but the Lord forbade; therefore I write them not, for they are hid from the world. But behold, I have seen them, and they have ministered unto me. And behold they will be among the Gentiles, and the Gentiles shall know them not. They will also be among the Jews, and the Jews shall know them not. And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom that they shall minister unto all the scattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them. And they are as the angels of God, and if they shall pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good. Therefore, great and marvelous works shall be wrought by them, before the great and coming day when all people must surely stand before the judgment-seat of Christ; Yea even among the Gentiles shall there be a great and marvelous work wrought by them, before that judgment day.” (3 Nephi 28:27-32)

Questions:

-Are there signs that the three apostles discussed above are working with the Gentiles, Jews, and the scattered tribes of Israel in our time?

-Who would they reveal themselves to in order to bring many souls to Christ?

The Father Giveth the Holy Ghost unto the Children of Men Because of Me

Christ teaches that the power of the Holy Ghost is an intercessory gift. The Holy Ghost does not operate separate from Christ’s role as the Mediator with the Father on behalf of all mankind.

“…The Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost unto the children of men, because of me.” (3 Nephi 28:11)

Questions:

-Why would the Holy Ghost be without effect for humankind separate from Christ’s atoning power?

-Are there specific commandments from God that a person needs to follow in order to draw on the full power of the Holy Ghost?

All Things Are Written by the Father

Christ testifies of the Father’s omniscience: Nothing is unknown or forgotten (though much can be forgiven through Christ’s Atonement).

“…All things are written by the Father; therefore out of the books which shall be written shall the world be judged.” (3 Nephi 27:26)

-What is Christ teaching when He states that all things are written by the Father?

-What are the books (earthly and/or heavenly) by which the inhabitants of world will be judged?

That Which Ye Have Seen Me Do Even That Shall Ye Do

The true church of Jesus Christ should be organized to empower its members to do as Christ did in His earthly ministries. In Christ’s words…

“…Ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do.” (3 Nephi 27:21)

Questions:

-How many churches are organized to empower their members to serve and do as Christ did?

-How many have a clear mindset of following this commandment when engaging with, and serving within, their church?

Ye May Stand Spotless Before Me at the Last Day

Christ teaches that no unclean thing can persist in the kingdom of God, but all who repent, are baptized, and remain faithful to Christ to the end will be sanctified by the Holy Ghost and will stand clean in His presence at the Last Judgment (ready to enter into God’s kingdom).

“…No unclean thing can enter into [the Father’s] kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.” (3 Nephi 27:19-20)

Questions:

-Are the words of Christ designed to work within us to keep us spiritually alert and focused?

-Do His teachings in these verses lead one to be complacent about God’s saving power? Or, do the qualifications of baptism and faithfulness to the end, through continual repentance, challenge a soul to actively gather greater spiritual intelligence through the application of free will in line with God’s commandments?

-If God loves us and can magnify the spiritual intelligence we obtain in this life throughout eternity, how import would it be for Him to encourage His children to gain as much light as possible during their mortal probation?   

This Is My Gospel

Christ describes His gospel to His disciples in the Americas (about A.D. 34). The culmination of His atoning sacrifice —having suffered for all the sins of mankind and having felt all the pains of mankind before dying on the cross outside of Jerusalem — established His unalterable place as the Judge of all mankind. Accordingly, God the Father has given his Son, Jesus Christ, the power to draw every human soul into His presence to be judged at the time of the Resurrection.  

“…This is my gospel…that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me. And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works. And it shall come to pass, that 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. And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.” (3 Nephi 27:13-17)

Questions:

-What does it mean to endure to the end (after repenting and being baptized in Christ’s name)?

-Is the opportunity to be held guiltless before God (the ultimate Authority) something that your soul yearns for?

If the Church Is Built upon My Gospel Then Will the Father Show Forth His Own Works in It

God’s power is the only non-entropic force in the universe. Every organization that does not keep His authority and His gospel tightly at its center will come to naught in the end. In the verses below, Jesus teaches this principle (in the context of church organization) to His disciples in the Americas:  

“…If it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it. But if be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they shall have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return. For their works do follow them, for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.” (3 Nephi 27:10-12)

Questions:

-Is the search for God the search for things that last forever?

-Does it make sense to stop that search at any point and resign oneself to the temporal and fleeting?

-Is there a church on the Earth that has the authority from God to seal loving and committed family relationships as eternal relationships?

Ye Shall Call the Church in My Name

Christ teaches that the name of His church should bear His name:

“Have ye not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day; And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day. Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake. 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 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. Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you.” (3 Nephi 27:5-9)

Questions:

-What existing Christian churches include the name of Jesus Christ in their name?

If It So Be That They Shall Believe These Things Then Shall Greater Things Be Made Manifest unto Them

In about 34 AD, Jesus Christ visited and taught a group of Lehi’s descendants living in the Americas. In about 385 AD, Mormon, the Nephite prophet who abridged the record that became the Book of Mormon (after Joseph Smith translated it by the power of God), describes how only part of what Christ taught to Mormon’s ancestors was allowed by God to become part of the Book of Mormon. The remainder of what was taught would be revealed by God only if the smaller part offered in the Book of Mormon was accepted and believed.

“…There cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people; But behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people; And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken. And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall greater things be made manifest unto them. And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. Behold I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.” (3 Nephi 26:6-11)

Questions:

-Does the condemnation referenced by Mormon fall on those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have professed to receive Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon (another testament of Christ) but do not take it’s teachings to heart?