3 Nephi 20 This chapter is a continuation of Jesus’ second day of ministering to the Nephites and Lamanites.
3 Nephi 20:1-2 He commands the multitude to stop praying out loud and to stand up, but keep praying in their hearts.
3 Nephi 20:2 The phrase “stood upon their feet” is in Revelation 11:11.
3 Nephi 20:3 Remember that Jesus had administered the sacrament to the multitude of 2,500 the previous day. This second day, He miraculously provides bread and wine for a larger crowd who had gathered. “And it came to pass that he brake bread again and blessed it, and gave to the disciples to eat.” In the 1830 edition page 496 it read “he break bread” it was corrected in later editions to “brake.” The words “and blessed it, and” are in Luke 24:30 and “gave to the disciples to” are in Luke 9:16.
3 Nephi 20:4 “And when they had eaten he commanded them that they should break bread, and give unto the multitude.”
3 Nephi 20:5 Then He repeated the process with wine for them to drink. ^The phrase “and commanded them that they should” is in Mark 6:8.
3 Nephi 20:6-7 Since no one had brought bread or wine, Jesus provided it for them. This might be compared to the feeding of the 5,000 recorded in the New Testament.
3 Nephi 20:8 Jesus will now give instruction regarding the sacrament to the much larger group of people than yesterday’s multitude. “And he said unto them: He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled.” Water instead of wine is used today in the LDS Church, according to instructions given to Joseph Smith by the Lord in Doctrine and Covenants 27:1-4. The words “my body to” are in 1 Corinthians 13:3 and “drinketh of this” are in John 4:13 and “shall never hunger” in John 6:35. In the 1830 edition page 496 it reads “He that eatheth this bread.” In later editions the spelling was corrected to “eateth.”
3 Nephi 20:9 “Now, when the multitude had all eaten and drunk, behold, they were filled with the Spirit; and they did cry out with one voice, and gave glory to Jesus, whom they both saw and heard.” ^The words “and gave glory to” are in Revelation 11:13. In the 1830 edition page 496 it read “had all eat and drank” which was changed in later editions to “had all eaten and drunk.”
3 Nephi 20:10 Next, Jesus will teach the people about the scattering and gathering of Israel. “And it came to pass that when they had all given glory unto Jesus, he said unto them: Behold now I finish the commandment which the Father hath commanded me concerning this people, who are a remnant of the house of Israel.”
3 Nephi 20:11 “Ye remember that I spake unto you, and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled – behold they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them –“
3 Nephi 20:12 “And verily, verily, I say unto you, that when they shall be fulfilled then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel.” Speaking of the covenant that Israel will be gathered. ^The words “the fulfilling of the” are in Romans 13:10.
3 Nephi 20:13 “And then shall the remnants, which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, be gathered in from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God, who hath redeemed them.” Latter-day Saints believe this gathering is taking place today, through the efforts of thousands of missionaries teaching and converting people to Mormonism. The phrase “shall be scattered abroad” is from Matthew 26:31.
3 Nephi 20:14 Jesus tells them, the Father told him, to give the Nephite people the New World for their inheritance.
3 Nephi 20:15 “And I say unto you, that if the Gentiles do not repent after the blessing which they shall receive, after they have scattered my people – “ Meaning the Lamanites and the Jews. ^ The words “if the Gentiles” are in Romans 15:27.
3 Nephi 20:16 Jesus begins quoting from chapters 4 and 5 of the book of Micah, adding and changing a few words. “Then shall ye, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.” In other words, nothing will stop the spread of the Mormon gospel in the last days.
3 Nephi 20:17 “Thy hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.” Righteous Israel, in the last days will have power to proceed against all odds and will ultimately triumph.
3 Nephi 20:18 “And I will gather my people together as a man gathereth his sheaves into the floor.” Referring to bundles of grain on the threshing floor where the wheat is separated from the tares.
3 Nephi 20:19 Next, is strong symbolism. “For I will make my people with whom the Father hath covenanted, yea, I will make thy horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass. And thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. And behold I am he who doeth it.” In the 1830 edition page 497 it read “thy hoops brass” which was changed in later editions to “thy hoofs brass.” The phrase “behold, I am he” is in Acts 10:21.
3 Nephi 20:20 “And it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the sword of my justice shall hang over them at that day; and except they repent it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the Gentiles.” In this verse, Gentiles refer to the wicked of the entire world. The words “except they repent” are in Revelation 2:22.
3 Nephi 20:21 “And it shall come to pass that I shall establish my people, O house of Israel.”
Next, Jesus teaches about a city called a “New Jerusalem” that will be established in America, and that Jesus Himself will visit the inhabitants. Joseph Smith even included this prophesy in the 10th Article of Faith, which says “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.” Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote in The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man, page 301 “It shall be the city of the Great King. His throne shall be there, and from there he shall reign gloriously over all the earth.” It was revealed to Joseph Smith that this city will be built in Independence Missouri (see D&C 57:2-3 and D&C 84:3-4). We have a short episode called “False Prophecies of Joseph Smith – Temple in Independence, MO.” talking more about this topic. Links are in the description below.
The temple revelation was given on September 22nd and 23rd in the year 1832. Joseph Smith foretold of an LDS temple that was to be built in Independence Missouri. That prophesy can be found in Doctrine and Covenants Section 84, verses 2-5, 31. It read: “Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city of New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared IN THIS GENERATION. For verily THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT ALL PASS AWAY until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house. …which house shall be built unto the Lord IN THIS GENERATION, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed.”
Over 185 years later, there is still no temple on the “temple lot” specified in this prophecy. Yet, early Mormon leaders made it quite clear the word “generation” meant those who were alive when the revelation was given in 1832. The facts are: Historical records that the area of Independence Missouri was built up, but not by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And, the LDS church no longer owns the lot. The Church of Christ-Temple Lot (another Mormon sect) owns it and plans to build their own temple on it.
3 Nephi 20:22 “And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you.” The phrase “New Jerusalem” is from Revelation 21:2 and “the powers of heaven” in Luke 21:26. Supposedly, this was to be the new Headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
3 Nephi 20:23-26 Next Jesus basically quotes from the Book of Acts chapter 3:22-26, which did not even exist at the time. Acts was written by Luke in AD. 63 about 30 years after Jesus was supposed to have spoken these words to the Nephites. Jesus explains that He is the One prophesied of by Moses and other Old Testament prophets.
3 Nephi 20:24 ^The words “testified of me” are in Acts 23:11.
3 Nephi 20:25 The phrase “ye are the children of the prophets; and” is from Acts 3:25 and “all the kindreds of the earth be blessed” is in Acts 3:25.
3 Nephi 20:27 Then Jesus explains that through the descendants of Abraham, all people of the world will be blessed, and that the Holy Ghost will give all people the opportunity to understand and accept or reject the Mormon gospel.
3 Nephi 20:28 Jesus tells them that the settlers of America will scourge the Lamanites. But when the Gentiles receive the fulness of the His gospel restored through Joseph Smith, and turn their hearts against Jesus, He will punish them for their wickedness. ^The words “my gospel” are in 2 Timothy 2:8.
3 Nephi 20:29 Jesus now speaks of the gathering of the Jews and their conversion to Him. “And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father.” Joseph Smith was given a revelation that the gathering of Israel was to be an event of our modern day (see Doctrine and Covenants 110:11). He directed Orson Hyde to go to Jerusalem in 1841 to dedicate Palestine for the return of the Jews.
3 Nephi 20:30 “And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fulness of my gospel shall be preached unto them.” Mormon missionaries will teach the Jews. The phrase “the time cometh” is in John 16:25 and “gospel shall be preached” is in Mark 14:9.
3 Nephi 20:31 “And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name.” There will be a large-scale conversion of the Jews to Mormonism, who will accept Jesus as their Messiah. The words “believe in me” are in Matthew 18:6 and “I am Jesus” are in Acts 22:8.
3 Nephi 20:33 “Then will the Father gather them together again, and give unto them Jerusalem for the land of their inheritance.”
3 Nephi 20:34 “Then shall they break forth into joy – Sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Father hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.”
3 Nephi 20:35 “The Father hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of the Father.” All people will know God, at the Second Coming of Christ.
3 Nephi 20:36 “And then shall be brought to pass that which is written: Awake, awake again, and put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city, for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.” Jesus is quoting parts from Isaiah chapter 52. In the 1830 edition page 498 the word “writen” was misspelled, but corrected in latter editions –”written.”
3 Nephi 20:37 “Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself form the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” 3 Nephi 20:38 Now, Jesus explains to these Nephites at the temple in Bountiful, “For thus saith the Lord: Ye have sold yourselves for naught, and ye shall be redeemed without money.”
3 Nephi 20:39 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that my people shall know my name; yea, in that day, they shall know that I am he that doth speak.”
3 Nephi 20:40 “And then shall they say: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings unto them, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings unto them of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!” Mormon missionaries with their beautiful feet.
3 Nephi 20:41 “And then shall a cry go forth: Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch not that which is unclean; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.”
3 Nephi 20:42 “For ye shall not go out with haste nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel shall be your rearward.” In other words, He will prepare the way and be your protection. In the 1830 edition page 499 it read “shall be your rereward.” The same spelling in 3 Nephi 21:29. They were corrected in later editions to “rearward.” 3 Nephi 20:43 “Behold, my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.”
3 Nephi 20:44 Speaking of Himself, Jesus says of his Atonement, “As many were astonished at thee – his visage was so marred, more than any man and his form more than the sons of men – “
3 Nephi 20:45 “So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him, for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.” In the 1830 edition page 499 the first “not” in this verse was omitted but was added in later editions.
3 Nephi 20:46 Next, Jesus states that the gathering of Israel will take place, just as prophesied. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, all these things shall surely come, even as the Father hath commanded me. Then shall this covenant which the Father hath covenanted with his people be fulfilled; and then shall Jerusalem be inhabited again with my people, and it shall be the land of their inheritance.” The phrase “Verily, verily, I say unto you” is in John 16:23 and “even as the Father” is in John 12:50 and “which the Father hath” is from Acts 1:7.
3 Nephi 21:1 Jesus will tell these people that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon will be a major sign that the gathering of Israel, in the last days, is about to begin. “AND verily I say unto you, I give you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place – that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion.” ^The words “And verily I say unto you” are in Luke 13:35.
3 Nephi 21:2 “And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign – for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them;” In other words, the Book of Mormon will tell the world about the dealings of the Lord with the people of the Western Hemisphere. The words “for verily I say unto you” are in Matthew 5:18 and “declare unto you” are in 1 Corinthians 15:1 and “the power of the Holy Ghost” in Romans 15:13 and “shall be given unto you” are in Luke 6:38.
3 Nephi 21:3 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you;” In others words, through Joseph Smith’s restored church to the Lamanites.
3 Nephi 21:4 “For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel:” America was established in order for the LDS Church to take the Book of Mormon to the Lamanites. The words “that the covenant” are in Galatians 3:17 and “may be fulfilled” are in Luke 21:22.
3 Nephi 21:5 “Therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity;” ^The words “from the Gentiles, unto” are in Acts 26:17.
3 Nephi 21:6 Next, Jesus explains why the Book of Mormon will come forth from the Gentiles. “For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may numbered among my people, O house of Israel;”
3 Nephi 21:7-8 Jesus repeats the fact that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is a sign that the gathering of Israel is beginning to take place.
3 Nephi 21:9 Speaking of the day when the LDS Church is established and the Book of Mormon comes forth, “For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and marvelous work among them; and there will be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.”
3 Nephi 21:10 Jesus now speaks of Joseph Smith. “But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred, because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.” The words “of the devil” are in Matthew 4:1.
3 Nephi 21:11 “Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.” In other words, those who will not accept the Book of Mormon translated through Joseph Smith will miss out on making covenants that will earn them celestial exaltation. ^The words “Jesus Christ, which” are in Revelation 1:1 and “unto the Gentiles, and shall” are in Luke 18:32.
3 Nephi 21:12-13 Like a lion among sheep, no one will stop the spreading of the LDS gospel in the last days and the gathering of Israel.
3 Nephi 21:14-19 Jesus prophesies the ultimate destruction of all the wicked Gentiles who reject the gospel. He promises to cut off their horses; destroy their chariots; cut off and destroy their cities; cut off witchcrafts, soothsayers, and graven images; and all lyings, deceivings, envyings, strifes, priestcrafts and whoredoms will be done away.
3 Nephi 21:14 The phrase “except they repent” is in Revelation 2:22.
3 Nephi 21:19 The phrase “shall be done away” is in 1 Corinthians 13:10.
3 Nephi 21:20 “For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel.” The phrase “my beloved Son” is in Matthew 3:17.
3 Nephi 21:21 “And I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.”
3 Nephi 21:22 “But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;”
3 Nephi 21:23-24 Converts from around the world will come to build the New Jerusalem.
3 Nephi 21:25 “And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.” Jesus will visit them there – supposedly at LDS Church HQ in Independence, Missouri.
3 Nephi 21:26 “And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily, I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.” The gospel will be preached to the Lamanites and the Lost Tribes. The phrase “gospel shall be preached” is in Mark 14:9.
3 Nephi 21:27-29 Scattered Israel will be gathered from all nations in a gradual, orderly process. And Jesus will prepare the way.
3 Nephi 21:27 ^The phrase “call on the Father” is in 1 Peter 1:17.
3 Nephi 21:28 ^The words “with the Father” are in Philippians 2:22.
3 Nephi 22 This entire chapter is Jesus quoting Isaiah 54 concerning the gathering of Israel. Since much of it is a repetition of the previous two chapters of 3 Nephi, we won’t cover it in this lesson.
3 Nephi 23:1 Now Jesus commands the Nephites to study the prophecies of Isaiah (preferably the King James Version) concerning the gathering of Israel. ^The words “I say unto you, that ye” are in Matthew 5:39.
3 Nephi 23:2 “For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles.” The words “it must needs be that” are in Matthew 18:7.
3 Nephi 23:3 Everything Isaiah said either has been or will be fulfilled.
3 Nephi 23:4 “Therefore give heed to my words; write the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father they shall go forth unto the Gentiles.” He is speaking of the Book of Mormon. The phrase “the will of the Father” is in John 5:30.
3 Nephi 23:5 “And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets, for many there be that testify of these things.” The phrase “the same shall be saved” is in Mark 13:13.
Question: Is baptism necessary for salvation? Answer: As with any single verse or passage, we discern what it teaches through the filter of what we know the Bible teaches elsewhere on the subject. In the case of baptism and salvation, the Bible is clear that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works of any kind, including baptism (see Ephesians 2:8-9). So, any interpretation which comes to, the conclusion that baptism, or any other act, is necessary for salvation is a faulty interpretation.
Regarding The Great Commission given in Mark 16:16, does it teach that baptism is required for salvation? The short answer is, no, it does not. In order to make it teach that baptism is required for salvation, one must go beyond what the verse says. What this verse does teach is that belief is necessary for salvation, which is consistent with the countless verses where only belief is mentioned (see John 3:18; John 5:24; John 12:44; John 20:31; 1 John 5:13). Mark 16:16 “He who believeth and is baptized will be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” This verse is composed of two basic statements. 1—He who believes and is baptized will be saved. 2—He who does not believe will be damned.
While this verse tells us something about believers who have been baptized (they are saved), it does not say anything about believers who have not been baptized. Mark 16:16 does not say a believer must be baptized. The verse states a fact about baptized believers (they will be saved), but it says exactly nothing about believers who have not been baptized. There may be believers who have not been baptized, yet they, too, are still saved.
The one specific condition required for salvation is stated in the second part of Mark 16:16: “but he that believeth not will be damned.” In, essence Jesus has given both the positive condition of belief (whoever believes will be saved) and the negative condition of unbelief (whoever does not believe will be condemned). Therefore, we can say with absolute certainty that belief is the requirement for salvation. More importantly, we see this condition restated positively and negatively throughout Scripture (John 3:16; John 3:18; John 3:36; John 5:24; John 6:53-54; John 8:24; Acts 16:31).
Jesus mentions a condition related to salvation (baptism) in Mark 16:16. But a related condition should not be confused with a requirement. Nowhere in the Bible do we find a statement such as “whoever is not baptized will be condemned.” Therefore, we cannot say that baptism is necessary for salvation based on Mark 16:16 or any other verse. Throughout the Bible, in every dispensation, people have been saved without being baptized. Every believer in the Old Testament (e.g., Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon) were saved but not baptized. The thief on the cross was saved but not baptized. Cornelius was saved before he was baptized (Acts 10:44-46).
Baptism is a testimony of our faith and a public declaration that we believe in Jesus Christ. The Scriptures tell us that we have eternal life the moment we believe (see John 5:24), and belief always comes before being baptized. 3 Nephi 23:6 Jesus tells the Nephite people, there are other scriptures He wants them to write. ^The words “all the scriptures” are in Luke 24:27.
3 Nephi 23:7 Jesus asks, Nephi to bring and show Him the records which he has kept.
3 Nephi 23:8-11 After inspecting the records, during an awkward moment, Jesus asks why there isn’t anything written on the plates about the prophesies of Samuel the Lamanite.
3 Nephi 23:9 ^The words “should glorify” are in John 21:19 and “arise from the dead, and” are in Ephesians 5:14.
3 Nephi 23:10 ^The phrase “And his disciples answered him” is in Mark 8:4.
3 Nephi 23:12 “And it came to pass that Nephi remembered that this thing had not been written.”
3 Nephi 23:13 “And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded.” And we find it in Helaman 114:1-31.
3 Nephi 23:14 “And now it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded all the scriptures in one, which they had written, he commanded them that they should teach the things which he had expounded unto them.” The Disciples were to teach the multitudes.
3 Nephi 24 Jesus has just told the Disciples that He had other scriptures for them to write. He then had them write the words of Samuel (if they could remember verbatim what Samuel wrote). Then here in in chapter 24, Christ will command them to write what we know as Malachi, chapter 3 in the last book of the Old Testament. Since Malachi lived almost 200 years after Lehi left Jerusalem in 600 BC., the Nephites could not have known what Malachi wrote, since they were not in the brass plates.
3 Nephi 24:1 “AND it came to pass that he commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi, which he should tell unto them. And it came to pass that after they were written he expounded them.” Mormon says, “AFTER they were written, he expounded them.” I have, to ask the question: How did the Nephites come up with blank metal plates on the spur of the moment to inscribe the words of Malachi? Practically speaking, this really does not make sense. How long would it have taken Nephi to etch these words into the metal before Jesus could expound on them? But we continue, “And these are the words which he did tell unto them, saying: Thus saith the Father unto Malachi – Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye see shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” ^The words “the Father had” are in John 13:3.
The Latter-day Saint Church believes that this phrase “suddenly come to the temple” is in reference to appearances of the Lord in the Kirtland Temple as recorded in D&C 110:2. But, we understand from the heading to 3 Nephi chapter 24, it could also refer to His Second Coming and the Millennium in the LDS temples.
3 Nephi 24:2 “But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap.”
3 Nephi 24:3 “And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” During the entire Book of Mormon time span, no one could claim to be sons of Levi or of the tribe of Levi. Who by-the-way were the only ones who held the Levitical or Aaronic priesthood and could officiate in matters of the Jewish temple.
3 Nephi 24:4 “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”
3 Nephi 24:5 Malachi speaks of God’s judgment. “And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger, and fear not me, saith the Lord of Hosts.”
3 Nephi 24:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”
3 Nephi 24:7 “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts. But ye say: Wherein shall we return?”
3 Nephi 24:8 Next, is a statement on the subject of “tithes and offerings.” “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say: Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”
3 Nephi 24:9 “Ye are cursed with a curse, for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.”
3 Nephi 24:10 Is speaking of the blessings promised to them who pay their tithes and offerings, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house; and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” When King James translators were translating the KJV Bible between 1604 and 1611, they would occasionally put their own words into the text to make the English more readable. We know exactly what these words are because they are italicized in the KJV. So, what are these 17th century italicized words doing in the Book of Mormon? This verse in 2 Nephi 24:10 is quoting Malachi 3:10 which has 7 added italicized words. Why does the Book of Mormon, completed 1,200 years prior to the King James Bible, contain the exact identical seven italicized words of 17th century translators? What does this say about the Book of Mormon being an ancient record?
There does not seem to be a single reference in the entire Book of Mormon to show that the Nephites, Lamanites, or Jaredites ever paid tithing. Of the four times it does appear, two are a direct quote from Malachi 3:8, 10. The remaining two are in an indirect quote from Hebrews 7, and where it here speaks about Abraham paying tithes to Melchizedek. (see Genesis 14:16-20).
In the early decades of the LDS Church, Bishops and Stake Presidents were paid for their services. They were entitled to keep 8% of the tithing they collected. Stake Presidents kept 2% of the total tithing from their Stake in payment for their services. The custom of paying local leaders was discontinued in April 1896. Yet, in Book of Mormon times, apparently God did not want the Priest (they did not have Bishops) to receive any money. They were to support themselves (see Mosiah 18:26). (We have 3 episodes talking about – The Law of Tithing Part 1, The Law of Tithing Part 2, The Law of Tithing Part 3)
3 Nephi 24:11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of Hosts.”
3 Nephi 24:12 “And all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of Hosts.”
Latter-day Saints have misinterpreted this passage from Malachi. They believe that both Jesus and Malachi are teaching the Nephites the promised blessings of being a full tithe payer, like the faithful LDS are required to do in order to qualify as worthy to enter LDS temples. This passage in Malachi is directed to the Tribes of Israel who have neglected to support the priestly Levites as they serve in the Jerusalem temple.
3 Nephi 24:13 The Lord now returns to scolding Israel for their rebellious attitude. “Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say: What have we spoken against thee?”
3 Nephi 24:14 “Ye have said: It is vain to serve God, and what doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?” They are complaining that it does not do any good to live the religion.
3 Nephi 24:15 The wicked seem to prosper and there are no real consequences for being wicked.
3 Nephi 24:16 But the Lord tells the people that He is keeping score, and a book of remembrance is being written for those who respected and honored the Lord.
3 Nephi 24:17 “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”
3 Nephi 24:18 “Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.”
3 Nephi 25 This chapter can be compared with Malachi, chapter 4, which is the last chapter in the Old Testament. It speaks about things relating to the Second Coming. One of the serious mistakes the author of the Book of Mormon made was that of quoting from the book of Malachi many years before it was written. In previous lessons we find verses in the Book of Mormon which were supposed to have been written by Nephi sometime between 588 and 545 BC (see 1 Nephi 22:15; 2 Nephi 26:4, 6; 2 Nephi 25:13). These passages are drawn from Malachi 4:1-2, which was written about 400 BC. The problem is that the Book of Mormon states the Nephites did not have the book of Malachi until Jesus gives it to them upon his appearance in the New World. And He tells them back in 3 Nephi 24:1 to write Malachi’s words down.
3 Nephi 25:1 “FOR behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”
3 Nephi 25:2 “But unto you that fear my name, shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall.”
3 Nephi 25:3 “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts.”
3 Nephi 25:4 “Remember ye the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” Horeb is another name for Sinai.
3 Nephi 25:5 These verses are often quoted by the LDS, as a reference to their genealogy research and family history work as well as family sealing ordinances performed in their LDS temples. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord;”
3 Nephi 25:6 “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Today, devout Jews believe that Elijah will yet come, and that when he comes, it will be during the time of Passover. Thus, each year, during their celebration of Passover, they provide a place setting and chair for Elijah at the table during the Passover meal in case he decides to show up. But the LDS believe that Elijah has already come. He supposedly came to the Kirtland, Ohio, Temple on April 3, 1836 (see D&C Section 110). Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and restored the sealing keys and power for marriage and other ordinances.
In the Gospel Principle’s manual, page 254 it reads: “Elijah would restore the sealing powers so families could be sealed together. He would also inspire people to be concerned about their ancestors and descendants.” However, Malachi’s prophecy, as it appears in the Old Testament, gives no indication that Elijah would restore priesthood keys or reveal sealing ordinances either for the living or the dead. The New Testament interprets Elijah’s coming as having been fulfilled in John the Baptist who went before Jesus “in the spirit of Elias” (i.e., Elijah). There is no mention of John exercising what Latter-day Saints understand as sealing powers. But then, according to LDS doctrine, he would have been unable to because he held only the Aaronic Priesthood.
Latter-day Saints frequently cite Matthew 17:11, in which Jesus states: “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things”, as proof that such a restoration was prophesied to occur. But Matthew is simply alluding to Malachi’s prophecy of the coming of Elijah in Malachi 4:5-6. Matthew is citing the Greek Septuagint, which uses the word “Elias” when speaking of the coming of Elijah to “restore” the children to the fathers and the Jews to righteousness. The interpretation that the mortal Jesus himself gives of this prophecy is that the coming of Elias (i.e., Elijah) was fulfilled in the person of John the Baptist who had already come (see Matthew 17:12-13).
3 Nephi 26:1 After Jesus taught the prophecies of Isaiah and Malachi to His disciples, He explained them to the multitude.
3 Nephi 26:2 These scriptures are to be given to future generations. ^The words “scriptures, which” are in 2 Timothy 3:15.
3 Nephi 26:3 “And he did expound all things, even from the beginning until the time that he should come in his glory – yea, even all things which should come upon the face of the earth, even until the elements should melt with fervent heat, and the earth should be wrapt together as a scroll, and the heavens and the earth should pass away.” The words “come in his glory” are in Matthew 25:31.
3 Nephi 26:4 On Judgment Day everyone will stand before God and be judged according to their good and evil works. The phrase “stand before God” is in Revelation 20:12.
3 Nephi 26:5 “If they be good, to the resurrection of everlasting life; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of damnation; being on a parallel, the one on the one hand and the other on the other hand, according to the mercy, and the justice, and the holiness which is in Christ, who was before the world began.” The words “of everlasting life” are in Acts 13:46 and “which is in Christ” are in Romans 8:39 and “before the world began” are from 2 Timothy 1:9.
3 Nephi 26:6 Mormon now talks about what he has written in his abridgment about Jesus’ visit and teachings to the Nephites and Lamanites. “And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people;” Mormon could only include less than 1% of all the stuff Jesus said to the people of Nephi. The phrase “the things which Jesus did” is in John 11:45.
3 Nephi 26:7 “But behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things he taught the people.”
3 Nephi 26:8 “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.” Speaking of the Book of Mormon from the Gentiles to the American Indians. In the 1830 edition page 506 it read “I have wrote them” which was changed in later editions to “I have written them.”
3 Nephi 26:9 Possibly alluding to the “sealed portion” of the gold plates, Mormon states: “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 the greater things be made manifest unto them.”
3 Nephi 26:10 “And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation.”
3 Nephi 26:11 Mormon tells us he was about to write the things that Nephi had engraved on his plates, but the Lord had other plans. “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.” The phrase “I was about to write” is in Revelation 10:4. In the 1830 edition page 506 it read “Behold I were about to write” which was changed in later editions to “Behold I was about to write.”
3 Nephi 26:12 “Therefore I, Mormon, do write the things which have been commanded me of the Lord. And now I, Mormon, make an end of my sayings, and proceed to write the things which have been commanded me.”
3 Nephi 26:13 “Therefore, I would that ye should behold that the Lord truly did teach the people, for the space of the three days; and after that he did show himself unto them oft, and did break bread oft, and bless it, and give it unto them.” The words “for the space of three” is from Acts 19:8 and “them oft” are in Acts 26:11.
3 Nephi 26:14 “And it came to pass that he did teach and minister unto the children of the multitude of whom hath been spoken, and he did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things, even greater that he had revealed unto the people; and he loosed their tongues that they could utter.” That’s a miracle Jesus never performed in Judea. Must have been quite a spectacle to see and hear those children talk about doctrine they themselves were not mature enough to understand.
3 Nephi 26:15 Jesus performed lots of miracles like healings and raising a man from the dead. Then He went up to heaven again to spend the night with the Father. ^The phrase “ascended into heaven” is similar, to Acts 26:11 and “healed all” is in Matthew 8:16 and “from the dead” is in Matthew 14:2.
3 Nephi 26:16 The next day when the multitude gathered, they heard their babies say marvelous things, which were forbidden to be written down. ^The words “that the multitude” are in Matthew 15:31.
3 Nephi 26:17 After the forbidden baby-talk, the Disciples went about baptizing people in the name of Jesus, who were then filled with the Holy Ghost. The phrase “filled with the Holy Ghost” is from Acts 2:4.
3 Nephi 26:18 “And many of them saw and heard unspeakable things, which are not lawful to be written.”
3 Nephi 26:19 Then, we learn these people started living the Law of Consecration, or the United Order. “And they taught, and did minister one to another; and they had all things common among them, every man dealing justly, on with another.”
3 Nephi 26:20 “And it came to pass that they did do all things even as Jesus had commanded them.”
3 Nephi 26:21 “And they who were baptized in the name of Jesus were called the church of Christ.” We will learn more about the name of the Church in our next lesson.
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Until next time, God Bless!