Come Follow Me - New Testament
"Blessed Are Ye"
February 18–24


Lesson Highlights

Scripture references for study:  Matthew 5; Luke 6
     Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the Scriptures at LDS.org.

Lesson Handout (PDF)


Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

The Lord ascended a mountain, probably to escape the crowds that thronged about him.

WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THE LORD DELIVERED THIS GREAT SERMON?

Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "This sermon is a recapitulation, a summary, and a digest of what men must do to gain salvation; and the eternal concepts in it are so stated that hearers (and readers) will get out of it as much as their spiritual capacity permits. To some it will point the way to further investigation; to others it will confirm and reconfirm eternal truths already learned from the scriptures and from the preachers of righteousness of their day; and to those few whose souls burn with the fires of testimony, devotion, and valiance, it will be as the rending of the heavens: light and knowledge beyond comprehension will flow into their souls in quantities that cannot be measured. Every man must judge and determine for himself the effect the Sermon on the Mount will have upon him." (Mortal Messiah, 2:116)

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: "Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the course that leads to it" (TPJS, p255).


Lasting Happiness Comes From Living the Way Jesus Christ Taught and Lived

The first part of this sermon are teachings, which if heeded, can teach us to be like the Lord and testify of his divinity.

Following the Brethren:

Humility & Baptism.

The Poor in Spirit.

They That Mourn.

The Meek.

They Who Hunger and Thirst After Righteousness.

The Merciful.

The Pure in Heart.

The Peacemakers.

They Who Are Persecuted.


The Savior’s Disciples Are to Be the Light of the World

READ MATTHEW 5:13-16. Salt of the earth & light of the world.

As members of the Lord's church we have a responsibility to share the light that we have with the world, not "put it under a bushel."

People notice us as members of the Church and we need to be diligent at all times.


Jesus Christ Taught a Higher Law That Can Lead Us Toward Perfection

READ MATTHEW 5:17-20. Jesus came to fulfill the law.

Killing & Anger.

Agree With Your Adversary.

Adultery & Looking With Lust.

Divorce.

Swearing Oaths.

Reacting to Offenses.

Loving Our Enemies.

Perfection.


Informational Note

What Is The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible?


Over the years I have received numerous questions about the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) such as the two below:

Question:  Often in your lesson outlines you mention scriptures found in the Joseph Smith Translation that I do not find in the back of my Bible. (This Bible is about a year and a half old). Where do I go to find the Joseph Smith Translation scriptures that you mention. An example would be in New Testament where you mention that the first two Beatitudes are missing and then quote them. However when I go to my JST in the Bible I only find Matthew 5:21 and there is no JST addition at the beginning of Matthew 5. I loved reading about these two Beatitudes, but if I mention it to my class I want to be able to show them where they may find it in the scriptures as well.

Question: I have just been called to be the Gospel Doctrine teacher and to say the least I am nervous. Your lessons are great but I do have a question. In trying to make sure that I can back up everything I say, I can not find the Joseph smith translation for Matthew 5:3 and 5:4 in my scriptures or on the official church website. Can you please let me know where you got your information.

Answer:  A little history is necessary to understand the answer to the above questions. Some basic information on the Joseph Smith Translation is available at LDS.org under the Study Helps - Guide to the Scriptures (see Joseph Smith Translation). The Encyclopedia of Mormonism contains the following information regarding the disposition of the manuscripts:

After Joseph Smith's death in June 1844, the marked Phinney Bible and the 477-page manuscript were kept by his widow, Emma Smith. She permitted Dr. John M. Bernhisel to examine the materials in the spring of 1845 at Nauvoo, Illinois. Bernhisel later reported that he made a complete copy of the markings in the Bible and an extensive but incomplete copy of the manuscript entries (Matthews, 1975, p. 118). The Bernhisel manuscript is in the Historian's Library of the LDS Church in Salt Lake City, but the location of the Bernhisel marked Bible is not known. Emma Smith gave the Phinney Bible and the original manuscript to a publication committee representing the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church) in 1866. These are now in the custody of the RLDS Church at Independence, Missouri. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 1-4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow [New York: Macmillan, 1992], 766.)

The RLDS Church (now the Community of Christ) first published the Inspired Version (JST) in 1867, with numerous subsequent printings. I picked up my copy of the Inspired Version at the RLDS bookstore in Independence, Missouri, in 1973. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has not published the full JST. It is my understanding that the Community of Christ (RLDS) owns the copyright. Only excerpts from the JST are included in the LDS Bible.

Where can you obtain a copy of the full Joseph Smith Translation?

Online versions Gospelink.com Online LDS library hosted by Deseret Book (annual fee required for access)
  CenterPlace.org Hosted by Restoration RLDS Church (break off group from the RLDS Church).  Access is free.  I have made a limited comparison of the text to both my hardcopy and my Gospelink copy and there appears to be no difference.
Hardcopy version Herald House Community of Christ bookstore (RLDS)

Gospel Doctrine Notebook

In the fifth chapter of Matthew, the Lord taught a greater law. Those teachings are as applicable and necessary today as they were 2000 years ago. If we can incorporate these teachings into our daily lives, I dare say we would be well on our way to perfection.

Record your thoughts on this first portion of the Sermon on the Mount. What principles do you need to work on? What are the blessings for following the Lord's counsel?


Resources Used In This Lesson

Doctrinal New Testament Commentary by Bruce R. McConkie

Ensign

General Conference

Gospel Standards by Heber J. Grant

History of the Church by Joseph Smith

Pure in Heart by Dallin H. Oaks

Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith (TPJS)

The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, Volume 2, by Bruce R. McConkie


This outline is provided as supplementary material and is not intended to replace the official lesson manual. It is not endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am wholly responsible for the content. I do my best to see that the content is in harmony with the teachings and doctrine of the Church.


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Changes last made on:  30 December 2018