Book of Mormon Lesson #38: 3 Nephi 12-15
“Old Things Are Done Away and All Things Have Become New”
1. Harold B. Lee: 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, p. 342.
2. Robert J. Matthews: The Jewish Sermon on the Mount was a missionary-oriented discourse preparatory to sending forth the Twelve to preach. The Nephite sermon was directed to the multitudes, with only portions of it being specifically pointed to the twelve Nephite disciples. The Sermon on the Mount was given prior to the Lord’s atonement and fulfilled the law of Moses; the Nephite sermon was given after the Atonement and fulfillment of the law of Moses. Symposium on the Book of Mormon, 1982.
3. Harold B. Lee: [3 Ne. 12:3 – poor in spirit] To be poor in spirit is to feel yourself as the spiritually needy, ever dependent upon the Lord for your clothes, your food and the air you breathe, your health, your life; realizing that no day should pass without fervent prayer of thanksgiving, for guidance and forgiveness and strength sufficient to each day’s need. Decisions for Successful Living, p. 63.
4. David E. Sorensen: [3 Ne. 12:4 – those who mourn] Remember the Lord has promised that He will help us as we face adversity. He has particular compassion for those who suffer. It was He who said, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4). … The world sees peace as the absence of conflict or pain, but Jesus offers us solace despite our suffering. … He will strengthen us and bring us peace in the time of our trials. Gen. Conference, April 2005.
5. Alvin R. Dyer: [3 Ne. 12:5 – the meek] I believe there is perhaps a distinction between humility and meekness. It may be said that meekness is a condition of voluntary humility. Improvement Era, Nov. 1970.
6. Chauncey C. Riddle: [3 Ne. 12:6 – hunger and thirst] Perhaps the greatest divider between the seekers of righteousness and the self-righteous is that those who hunger and thirst after true righteousness cannot rest until satisfaction and happiness come to those whom they strive to help. They hurt when others hurt. The self-righteous are often deed-conscious rather than people-conscious. They seem to glory in forms and traditions, formulas and standards. They cast alms to the poor without loving them or stopping to discern what the real problem might be. The Book of Mormon: It Begins With a Family, p. 140.
7. Gordon B. Hinckley: [3 Ne. 12:7 – the merciful] How godlike a quality is mercy. It cannot be legislated. It must come from the heart. … I am convinced that there comes a time, possibly many times, within our lives when we might cry out for mercy on the part of others. How can we expect it unless we have been merciful ourselves? … Mercy is of the very essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The degree to which each of us is able to extend it becomes an expression of the reality of our discipleship under Him who is our Lord and Master. Gen. Conference, April 1990.
8. Bruce R. McConkie: [3 Ne. 12:8 – the merciful shall see God] We have the power so to live, that becoming pure in heart, we shall see the face of God while we yet dwell as mortals. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1977.
9. David O. McKay: Who are the pure in heart? Those who let no selfishness or hatred or vile thought becloud their spiritual vision. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1935.
10. Gordon B. Hinckley: [3 Ne. 12:9 – peacemakers] Let us bind up the wounds – oh, the many wounds that have been caused by cutting words, by stubbornly cultivated grievances, by scheming plans to “get even” with those who may have wronged us. We all have a little of this spirit of revenge in us. Fortunately we all have the power to rise above it. … There is no peace in harboring old grudges. There is no peace in reflecting on the pain of old wounds. There is peace only in repentance and forgiveness. This is the sweet peace of the Christ, who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God” (Matt. 5:9). Be Thou an Example, p. 52.
11. Gordon B. Hinckley: Draw comfort from the words of the Master when we as a church are spoken of by those whose lives are torn with hate. They lash out at one thing and another. They manufacture and spread vile falsehoods behind which there is not a shred of truth. There is nothing new about this. But we shall go forward, returning good for evil, being helpful and kind and generous. Stand a Little Taller, p. 23.
12. James M. Freeman: [3 Ne. 12:13 – salt] Salt from the Dead Sea … was strewn over the sacrifices in the temple to neutralize the smell of the burning flesh, and when it became spoiled by exposure it was cast out upon the walks to prevent slipping in wet weather, and was thus literally “trodden under foot of men.” Manners and Customs of the Bible, pp. 335-36.
13. Gordon B. Hinckley: [3 Ne. 12:22 – angry with his brother] Anger is not an expression of strength. It is an indication of one’s inability to control his thoughts, words, his emotions. Of course it is easy to get angry. When the weakness of anger takes over, the strength of reason leaves. Cultivate within yourselves the mighty power of self-discipline. Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 25.
14. Ed J. Pinegar, K. Douglas Bassett, & Ted L. Earl: [3 Ne. 12:23 – be reconciled to thy brother] Harboring an evil thought injures the person who harbors it more than the man against whom he holds ill feeling. Modern psychology emphasizes that truth. If we would have peace, we should banish our enmity for others. Bearing enmity in our hearts injures us and drives peace from our hearts. Latter-day Commentary on the New Testament, p. 110-11.
15. Elaine Pagels: [3 Ne. 12:31-32 – divorce] Among Jesus’ Jewish contemporaries no one questioned the legitimacy of divorce. The only question was what constituted adequate grounds; and it was this question of grounds, no the legitimacy of divorce as such, that split religious schools into opposing factions. The teacher Shammai, for one, took the conservative position: the only offense serious enough to justify divorce was the wife’s infidelity. Shammai’s opponent Hillel, famous for his liberal judgments, argued instead that a man may divorce his wife for any reason he chooses, “even if she burned his soup!” The well-known teacher Akiba, who agreed with Hillel, added emphatically, “and even if he finds a younger woman more beautiful than she.” Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, pp. 13-14.
16. Gordon B. Hinckley: Never forget that it was you who selected your companion. It was you who felt that there was no one else in all the world quite like her. It was you who wished to have her forever. But in too many cases the image of the temple experience fades. A lustful desire may be the cause. Faultfinding replaces praise. When we look for the worst in anyone, we will find it. But if we concentrate on the best, that element will grow until it sparkles. Gen. Conference, April 2003.
17. Bryon R. Merrill: [3 Ne. 12:27-30 – adultery in your heart] Not committing adultery would bring one to a terrestrial plateau; but only by eradicating lust could one come to harmony with celestial law. Book of Mormon: 4 Nephi – Moroni, From Zion to Destruction, p. 171.
18. Neal A. Maxwell: [3 Ne. 12:30 – take up your cross] Given the array of temptations “common to man,” the best way of denying them is by giving them “no heed,” by turning them away decisively at the doorstep of the mind. Otherwise, if we entertain temptations, very soon they begin entertaining us! Whom the Lord Loveth, pp. 29-30.
19. David B. Haight: [3 Ne. 12:43 – love your enemy] Besides loving God, we are commanded to do what to many is a more difficult commandment – to love all, even our enemies, and to go beyond the barriers of race or class or family relationships. It is easier, of course, to be kind to those who are kind to us – the usual standard of friendly reciprocity. … Whom would you bar from your circle? We might deny ourselves a nearness to our Savior because of our prejudices …, attitudes that Christ would surely condemn. Love has no boundary, no limitation of good will. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1982.
20. Glenn I. Latham: Abraham Lincoln was criticized by one of his associates because he went out of his way to make friends of his enemies. His associates asked President Lincoln, “Why don’t you destroy your enemies rather than make friends of them?” Lincoln answered, “Don’t I destroy my enemies when I make friends of them?” Christlike Parenting, p. 79.
Next week: 3 Nephi 17-19 “Behold, My Joy is Full”