Behold, I Am the Law and the Light

Shortly after His Resurrection, Christ taught a group of Lehi’s descendants (who up to that point were living the Law of Moses somewhere in the Americas) that the Law of Moses was fulfilled. The pre-mortal Christ (Jehovah) was the One who gave the law and the One who fulfilled it as the resurrected Christ. The Savior also made clear that His fulfillment of the Law did not negate the prophecies that extended beyond his coming as the Messiah or His covenant with the people of Israel.

“Behold, I am he that gave the law, and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel; therefore, the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfil the law; therefore it hath an end. Behold, I do not destroy the prophets, for as many as have not been fulfilled in me, verily I say unto you, shall all be fulfilled. And because I said unto you that old things have passed away, I do not destroy that which hath been spoken concerning things which are to come. For behold, the covenant which I have made with my people is not all fulfilled; but the law which was given unto Moses hath an end in me. Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.” (3 Nephi 15:6-9)

Questions:

-What do the above verses say about Christ’s continuing covenant with ancient Israel and their descendants (including the Jewish people)?

-Do some believe that God’s covenant with the Jewish people ended with the coming of Jesus Christ (the Messiah)?

-What does Christ mean when He says that He is the law?

Whoso Remembereth These Sayings of Mine and Doeth Them, Him Will I Raise Up at the Last Day

After teaching the principles of what has come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount (found, for example, in Matthew 5-7 of the New Testament) to a group of the descendants of Lehi somewhere in the Americas, Christ reiterates their value as foundational spiritual truth.

“And now it came to pass that when Jesus had ended these sayings he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and said unto them: Behold, ye have heard the things which I taught before I ascended to my Father; therefore, whoso remembereth these sayings of mine and doeth them, him will I raise up at the last day.” (3 Nephi 15:1)

Questions:

-How important is it to remember and do what Christ taught in His Sermon on the Mount (which he again taught to the descendants of Lehi)?

Whosoever Heareth These Sayings of Mine and Doeth Them, I Will Liken Him unto a Wise Man, Who Built His House upon a Rock

Jesus Christ taught the descendants of Lehi in the Americas (who were of the house of Israel) many of the same gospel principles He taught to His Jewish disciples in the Old World. The teachings as recorded in the book of Matthew, found in the New Testament, known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7) were again taught by the Savior when he visited Lehi’s descendants after His resurrection.

The passage below shows the words from verse 24 through 27 of the King James version of Matthew 7 and the comparable verse from 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

“Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (3 Nephi 15:24-27)

Questions:

-How are these verses tied to Lehi’s dream? Specifically, the fall of the great and spacious building as his son Nephi saw it (1 Nephi 11:35-36)?

Not Everyone Who Saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, Shall Enter into the Kingdom of Heaven

Jesus Christ taught the descendants of Lehi in the Americas (who were of the house of Israel) many of the same gospel principles He taught to His Jewish disciples in the Old World. The teachings as recorded in the book of Matthew, found in the New Testament, known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7) were again taught by the Savior when he visited Lehi’s descendants after His resurrection.

The passage below shows the words from verse 21 through 23 of the King James version of Matthew 7 and the comparable verse from 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.

“Not everyone who saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name; and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

“Not everyone who saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them: I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (3 Nephi 14:21-23)

Questions:

-How does one truly do the will of Heavenly Father? If you think you are doing God’s will is it still worthwhile to re-evaluate often given the message of the verses above?

-Will those who plead with the Savior (at the Last Judgment as described in these verses) truly believe that they have acted righteously? Or, will they know that what they are saying is not true even as they are saying it?

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

Jesus Christ taught the descendants of Lehi in the Americas (who were of the house of Israel) many of the same gospel principles He taught to His Jewish disciples in the Old World. The teachings as recorded in the book of Matthew, found in the New Testament, known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7) were again taught by the Savior when he visited Lehi’s descendants after His resurrection.

The passage below shows the words from verse 15 through 20 of the King James version of Matthew 7 and the comparable verse from 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:15-20)

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.” (3 Nephi 14:15-20)

Questions:

-How common are people who come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravening wolves?

-Are they more common among those who seek power and attention?

-How quickly can a person’s (or organization’s) fruits be discerned as good or evil?

Enter Ye in at the Strait Gate

Jesus Christ taught the descendants of Lehi in the Americas (who were of the house of Israel) many of the same gospel principles He taught to His Jewish disciples in the Old World. The teachings as recorded in the book of Matthew, found in the New Testament, known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7) were again taught by the Savior when he visited Lehi’s descendants after His resurrection.

The passage below shows the words from verse 13 through 14 of the King James version of Matthew 7 and the comparable verse from 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

“Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat; Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (3 Nephi 14:13-14)

Questions:

-What is the strait gate that the Savior is referring to in these verses?

-Is the life Christ refers to (in verse 14), eternal life?

-Does the broad gate spoken of in these verses refer to following the inclinations of what the Book of Mormon refers to as the “natural man”?

All Things Whatsoever Ye Would That Men Should Do to You, Do Ye Even So to Them

Jesus Christ taught the descendants of Lehi in the Americas (who were of the house of Israel) many of the same gospel principles He taught to His Jewish disciples in the Old World. The teachings as recorded in the book of Matthew, found in the New Testament, known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7) were again taught by the Savior when he visited Lehi’s descendants after His resurrection.

The passage below shows the words from verse 12 of the King James version of Matthew 7 and the comparable verse from 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

“Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.” (3 Nephi 7:12)

Questions:

-How is this verse related to the first and second great commandments (see Matthew 22:37-40) to love God and to love your neighbor?

-Does what one wants others to do to him or her change when that person loves God with all their heart, might, mind and strength?

-This question is more obvious, but…Does a person become better equipped to do to others as that person would have done to him- or herself when they love God (as Christ taught was the first commandment)?

Seek, and Ye Shall Find

Jesus Christ taught the descendants of Lehi in the Americas (who were of the house of Israel) many of the same gospel principles He taught to His Jewish disciples in the Old World. The teachings as recorded in the book of Matthew, found in the New Testament, known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7) were again taught by the Savior when he visited Lehi’s descendants after His resurrection.

The passage below shows the words from verses 7  through 11 of the King James version of Matthew 7 and the comparable verses from 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:7-11)

“Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seekth, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (3 Nephi 26:7-11 [italics added to show word variations from King James Version])

Questions:

-Does the Savior define the timetable by which the asker/seeker will find?

-Does He leave any doubt that the acts of faithful asking, seeking, and knocking will bear fruit (even if the expectations of harvest in a person’s mind may not be exactly aligned with God’s actual blessings and timetable)?

Give Not That Which Is Holy unto the Dogs

Jesus Christ taught the descendants of Lehi in the Americas (who were of the house of Israel) many of the same gospel principles He taught to His Jewish disciples in the Old World. The teachings as recorded in the book of Matthew, found in the New Testament, known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7) were again taught by the Savior when he visited Lehi’s descendants after His resurrection.

The passage below shows the words from verse six of the King James version of Matthew 7 and the comparable verse from 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (3 Nephi 14:6)

Questions:

-Do you feel it is harsh for Christ to refer to the spiritually insensitive/ignorant as dogs and swine?

-Would He have used such poignant language if it wasn’t needed to clearly convey the importance of varying degrees of spiritual preparedness and communication appropriately gaged to that preparedness?

First Cast the Beam out of Thine Own Eye

Jesus Christ taught the descendants of Lehi in the Americas (who were of the house of Israel) many of the same gospel principles He taught to His Jewish disciples in the Old World. The teachings as recorded in the book of Matthew, found in the New Testament, known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6 and 7) were again taught by the Savior when he visited Lehi’s descendants after His resurrection.

The passage below shows the words from verses three through five of the King James version of Matthew 7 and the comparable verses from 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (3 Nephi 13:3-5)

Questions:

-Does the size of the mote versus the size of the beam reflect one’s capacity to change what needs to be changed in terms of faults and shortcomings?