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Friday, April 4, 2014

Book of Mormon Class ~ 3 Nephi Chapter 11

Taught by Sue G.

The appearance of the resurrected Savior to the people of Nephi is recorded in chapters 11~26.

We are given a description of Heavenly Fathers voice as He bears witness of His Son to those who have gathered around the Temple in the land of Bountiful.

Jesus extends an invite to each of the 500 people assembled there to come forth individually and feel the wound in his side and the prints of the nails in his hands and feet. He will then teach them to avoid contention and will bear witness of the Father to them. Finally He will teach them the first principles of the gospel. 3 Nephi 11:1-2

The people are privileged to hear the Fathers voice bearing witness of the Son. Thus join the select few including Peter, James and John (Mount of transfiguration) (Matthew 17:5) and Joseph Smith (JS History 1:17) who have been privileged to hear his voice during their mortal lives. Next Mormon describes his voice and its effect on the people who heard it. In some detail. The people will not understand the voice until the third time they hear it.      3 Nephi 11:3-4

As you read verse 5 next note what they did differently this time which enabled them to understand the voice the third time they heard it.

There are many lessons which could be taught from what the people did in verse 5 which led to their understanding the voice . One lesson might be that they opened their spiritual ears and focused completely toward heaven, tuning out all distractions  This would certainly be an example of how we may receive revelation and inspiration from above.

We will now listen to the message from the Father regarding his beloved son. then watch the savior come. 3 Nephi 11:7-12

In other words it finally according to them what was happening that the prophecies about Jesus appearing were actually being fulfilled in front of their very eyes. 3 Nephi 11:13-15

There is much symbolism in this scene. One of the the most important symbolic messages is the worth of each individual, in the sight of God. One of Satan's most devastating goals is to do away with the worth of the individual.

The word, Hosanna, used in verse 17, has much significance in our day. We give the hosanna shout when we dedicate a new temple. It has the meaning, 'save us now' and the waving of the white handkerchief is a symbolism for the waving of the palm in ancient days greeting a king as he arrived.

3 Nephi 11:18-22 Official Baptism is put in place.

One of the first major messages to the people of Nephi here is that of avoiding contention. He warns that Satan uses contention as one of his very successful tools against us. When the spirit of contention enters one can immediately feel the withdrawal of the spirit. 3 Nephi 11:29-30

The Lord describes his doctrine as repentance and baptism.  In similar language in 2 Nephi 31, Nephi described what he called "The Doctrine of Christ". He included faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost, scripture study and enduring to the end . Later in his visit to the book of Mormon people, the Lord repeated these same principles and labeled them "My gospel". These principles remind us of Articles of Faith 1~4.

The Savior warns us not to twist change or water down his doctrine. 3 Nephi 11:40-41

*What is the difference between the spirit of contention and a discussion to resolve a disagreement?

*How can people disagree without becoming contentious?

These verses are commonly known as the Beatitudes. The word "blessed" among other things means to be happy. Therefore each time we read "blessed are" in the Beatitudes we can think "happy are".

Here are two lessons
A- Those who mourn the loss of a loved one will be comforted by the Spirit.
B- Those who mourn for their sins and thus repent are comforted by the forgiveness which they obtain.

The word meek can be defined a being patient and mild not inclined to anger or resentment. It is also often defined as being teachable voluntarily humble. Thus being meek implies being kind, pleasant and humble from a position of deep inner strength.

Things we can learn from this verse-
A- Happy are the people who didn't plateau in their striving for personal righteousness.
B- Happy are the people who truly want to be good.
c- Happy are those who continually strive others righteously.
d- Righteous in scriptures is sometimes a synonym for God(2 Nephi 26:9).
Therefore, to hunger and thirst after righteous common man to Christ the result of which is being with the Holy Ghost who bears witness of Him.

Merciful behavior toward others is a sign of true personal righteousness. Sincere mercy offered to others is a very strong purifier of the soul.

"Heart" is often used in scriptures to represent the true inner person. Thus, true personal purity in thought and action are required to see God and to ultimately be in his presence.

Whether or not you are a peace maker is a significant measure of personal spirituality. Also, the more pure you become, the more offensive contention becomes. Verses 10-11 go together. It would seem that being persecuted is sometimes a significant indicator that the members of the Church are doing well at living the Gospel. 

It is helpful to know that salt in Old Testament culture among other things represents covenants  the following quote from the Book Of Mormon student manual is helpful "In the Mosaic sacrificial ritual, salt was a token of covenants with God (Numbers 18:19). In a similar sense, Saints should be tokens on symbols of the Christ like life (D&C 101:39-40) indicates what one must do to be accounted as the salt of the earth. A little salt is a powerful influence in making a whole meal taste better. Therefore one aspect of symbolism here is that salt makes the environment better. So also, true saints make their environment better and more pleasant for those around them.

3 Nephi 12:13
This is rather stern warning that members of the church who don't keep their covenants in other words, who loose their savor will ultimately be called on scattered and smitten either by others or by Satan or both.

In verses 14-16 the Savior teaches the people of Nephi the importance of living the Gospel in order to help others see its value. It has been said that what people see is far more important than what they hear in the lives of members as far as influencing them to desire to know more about the church.

We are taught a very vital lesson about the value of being a peacemaker and of the terrible poison we put on ourselves in if we refuse. This counsel you will see several differences between 3 Nephi 12:25-26. Such self built persons often make it nearly impossible for you to even rationally and clearly. Thus you are emotionally immobilized and find it very difficult to work your way out.

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