Book of Mormon
“Old Things Are Done Away, and All
Things Have Become New”
Jesus teaches the Beatitudes to the Nephites.
Jesus declares that His followers are to be the salt of the earth and a
light to other people.
Jesus declares that He has fulfilled the law of Moses. He teaches
the people a higher law.
Jesus teaches the Nephites how they must live to be his true disciples.
A study of this lesson will encourage us to be true disciples of Jesus Christ by
following His example and by living the higher law that He taught to the
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 38 Handout (PDF)
The Sermon on the Mount to the Nephites
President Harold B. Lee: "Christ came not only
into the world to make an atonement for the sins of mankind but to set
an example before the world of the standard of perfection of God's law
and of obedience to the Father. In his Sermon on the Mount the Master
has given us somewhat of a revelation of his own character, which was perfect,
or what might be said to be an 'autobiography, every syllable of which
he had written down in deeds,' and in so doing has given us a blueprint
for our own lives." (Stand Ye In Holy Places, pp341-342)
The Sermon on the Mount to the Nephites reads nearly the same as that contained
in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. But the Nephite version is
more complete and clarifies much of what the Savior said.
3 NEPHI 12:1-2.
This preface to the Beatitudes is not contained in the KJV.
Brother Daniel Ludlow stated that here "the Savior
prefaced his sermon by indicating the teachings that were to follow applied
only to those who would 'come down into the depths of humility and be baptized...[and]
be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and...receive a remission
of their sins." (A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon,
Review the following chart:
The Beatitudes: A Comparison
Differences in italics
3 Nephi 12
|3 Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
||3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
|4 And again, blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall
||4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
|5 And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
||5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
|6 And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after
righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.
||6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.
|7 And blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
||7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
|8 And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see
||8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
|9 And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called
the children of God.
||9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children
|10 And blessed are all they who are persecuted
for my name's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
||10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
|11 And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute,
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;
||11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and
shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
|12 For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for
great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the
prophets who were before you.
||12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Daniel Ludlow: "This more complete version of
the sermon changes the entire emphasis of the Beatitudes. Here the
Savior is not saying 'you are more blessed if you mourn than if you do
not mourn,' but he is saying 'If you are called upon to mourn, then you
are blessed if you come unto me, and are baptized, receive the Holy Ghost,
etc.' Thus, if you do truly hunger and thirst after righteousness,
you shall be filled 'with the Holy Ghost.'
"It is also of interest
to note that each of the Beatitudes in the Book of Mormon begins with the
coordinating conjunction 'and,' which helps to relate them back to the
introductory statement." (Ibid., p263)
Additional Comparisons Between the Sermon on the Mount & the Nephite
3 NEPHI 12:22.
KJV: "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry
with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and
whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council:
but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."
WHAT IS DIFFERENT IN THESE TWO VERSIONS?
The Book of Mormon deletes the phrase "without a cause."
DOES THAT CHANGE THE MEANING?
As the Bible has been translated over the centuries, a translator or group of
that extra phrase that seems to give an excuse for anger. The Lord gives
us no excuse.
Note: The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) also drops the phrase "without a cause."
3 NEPHI 12:23-24.
KJV: "Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the
altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before
the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then
come and offer thy gift." (Matthew 5:23-24)
WHAT IS DIFFERENT IN THE TWO VERSES?
The KJV speaks of bringing gifts to the altar. The Book of Mormon speaks
of desiring to come before the Lord.
HOW DOES THIS CHANGE THE INTENT?
It speaks of a higher gospel principle. One of coming before the
Lord rather than just delivering a gift.
3 NEPHI 12:27-30.
KJV: "And if thy right eye offend thee,
pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that
one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be
cast into hell. And if thy right hand
offend thee, cut if off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for
thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body
should be cast into hell." (Matthew 5:29-30)
HOW ARE THESE VERSES DIFFERENT?
The verses in the Bible contain symbolic admonitions. The Book of
Mormon account clarifies the intended meaning of how one avoids lust.
The JST contains both versions.
3 NEPHI 12:48.
KJV: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father
which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
IS THERE ANY REAL DIFFERENCE IN THESE TWO VERSES?
The Nephite version seems to say that this is a goal to strive for, whereas
the KJV seems to be an unreachable commandment.
President Brigham Young explained that "we all
occupy diversified stations in the world and in the kingdom of God. Those
who do right, and seek the glory of the Father in heaven, whether they
can do little or much, if they do the very best they know how, they are
perfect .... 'Be ye as perfect as ye can,' for that is all we can do ....
To be as perfect as we possibly can according to our knowledge is to be
just as perfect as our father in Heaven is. He cannot be any more perfect
than he knows how, any more than we. When we are doing as well as we know
in the sphere and station which we occupy here we are justified."
(Journal of Discourses, 2:129-130)
Brothers Joseph Fielding McConkie & Robert L. Millet: "We
are perfect when we are whole, fully formed, finished. The word finished
is most important here. We cannot through discipline and self-will be perfect
in the sense that we are finished. We cannot conquer the flesh, overcome
the trials and tribulations and sins of this world, on our own. We become
finished only in and through Christ. Moroni explained that the Saints of
God are ‘continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits
of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith’ (Moroni
6:4, italics added). In short, we become perfect, fully formed, finished,
in Christ (Moroni 10:32). His grace is a divinely given enabling power,
a sacred source of strength which enables us to accomplish what we could
never accomplish, worlds without end, on our own. We become perfect in
Christ to the degree that we trust perfectly in his infinite ability to
make of us, now unworthy creatures, persons capable of and comfortable
with celestial society. In speaking of that celestial glory, the revelation
attests: ‘These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the
mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through
the shedding of his own blood’ (D&C 76:69, italics added)." (Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 4:78)
In the Lord's Prayer, the Nephite version drops the phrase "Thy kingdom
come" (see 3 Nephi 13:10).
WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT IS?
The Lord had established his church (kingdom).
The Lord had completed his saving mission and the doors to the kingdom
were now open to those who chose to invoke the atonement in their lives.
3 NEPHI 13:25, 34.
KJV: "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought
for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your
body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"
The Book of Mormon clarifies the meaning of 25-34 by indicating that Jesus
was speaking to his chosen Twelve for this portion of the sermon.
Note in 3 Nephi 14:1 the Lord turns back to the multitude: "And
now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he turned again
to the multitude and did open his mouth unto them..."
3 NEPHI 14:21-27.
The Lord is saying that we must not only hear his words, but we must DO
WHAT KIND OF FOUNDATION ARE WE BUILDING IN OUR LIVES?
3 Nephi 15
The Authority of Jesus.
The American Sermon on the Mount ends with a declaration that Jesus was
one who taught as one having authority.
"And it came to pass, when
Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."
The Nephite sermon also ends with a declaration of
authority, but given in a much different way (see
3 Nephi 15:1-10).
"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." (v5)
"Behold, I am
the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and
ye shall live." (v9)
"Behold, I have
given unto you the commandments; therefore keep my commandments. And this is the law and the prophets, for they truly testified of me."
In these verses Jesus is giving an unqualified statement
of his authority.
The Law & The Prophets.
3 NEPHI 15:6-8.
WHAT IS THE MASTER TEACHING IN THESE VERSES?
The Law had an end with the death and resurrection
of the Savior.
The Law = the strict ceremonies, observances, and
offerings peculiar to the law of Moses.
The prophecies and covenants given through the prophets,
but not fulfilled by the Atonement and Resurrection, were not done away
and are still in force.
Promises concerning the eventual gathering of Israel.
Their restoration to promised lands.
Events concerning the ushering in of the Millennium.
We read in the New Testament: "And
other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring,
and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."
WHO DID HIS FOLLOWERS IN JERUSALEM BELIEVE TO BE THESE
WHY DIDN'T THE PEOPLE IN JERUSALEM UNDERSTAND JESUS
WHEN HE TOLD THEM ABOUT THESE OTHER SHEEP? (see
3 Nephi 15:18-19)
Jesus was commanded to say no more on the matter
by the Father.
3 NEPHI 15:22-23.
It is interesting to note that the Lord
has stated that he will not manifest himself personally nor by his audible
voice to a Gentile nation, but only unto them "by the Holy Ghost." (v23)
It would appear that such an event is declared to
be a blessing reserved for those who are of the House of Israel.
It is the responsibility of the seed of Abraham to
preach the gospel to the Gentiles.
By accepting the Gospel the Gentiles become the seed
of Abraham and heir to all his covenants and promises.
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the teachings of the Savior to the
Nephites. What specific teachings might you more fully implement in your life?
Resources Used In This Lesson
A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon by Daniel H. Ludlow.
Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon by Joseph Fielding McConkie & Robert
Journal of Discourses.
Stand Ye In Holy Places by Harold B. Lee.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
17 August 2016