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 and 6) were again taught by the Savior when he visited Lehi’s descendants after His resurrection.
The passage below shows the words from verse 24 of the King James version of Matthew 6 and the comparable verse from 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon.
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.” (3 Nephi 13:24)
-Are you moving towards loving God in increasing degrees? Or, are you moving toward loving the idols and materialism of this world?
-Is it possible to be neutral in the direction you are going according to Christ’s teaching above?
The Book of Mormon record reemphasizes the importance of the Ten Commandments given by God to the Israelite people. The Nephite prophets who taught their people and recorded scripture drew on a record called the Brass Plates (which were brought from Jerusalem) that contained most of writings of the prophets found in the Old Testament up to 600 B.C., including the book of Exodus containing the Ten Commandments.
The tenth of the Ten Commandments warns against the sin of always wanting more than one has (and envying those who seem to have more).
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s. (Mosiah 13:24 – Compare Exodus 20:17)
-Is runaway materialism more or less inevitable when this commandment is not kept?
-What does the Ten Commandments being repeated in the Book of Mormon say about God’s view of their importance (and their timeless application for His children as a baseline for righteous living)?
The prophet Jacob teaches his people that being prideful, being materialistic, and mistreating others (attitudes and actions that are often closely tied together) are not minor offences in God’s eyes
“…Because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they. And now, my brethren, do you suppose that God justifieth you in this thing? Behold I say you nay. But he condemneth you, and if ye persist in these things his judgments must speedily come unto you.” (Jacob 2:13-14)
-What are some of the judgments of God that have been brought upon the people of the earth due to selfishness and prideful class distinctions.
-Is the prideful swagger that some use to cope with life (and prop up their self-esteem) acceptable to God?