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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday School - Book of Mormon Lesson 41

Book of Mormon Lesson #41: “He Did Expound All Things Unto Them”
3 Nephi 22-26

1. Joseph Fielding McConkie & Robert Millet: [3 Ne. 22:4-5 – shame and reproach] Scattered Israel’s unfaithfulness – her failure to forsake the ways of Babylon and receive the covenants of Zion – shall be forgiven; Israel’s God will remember her and the promise he made to her. The reproach of her youth, her spiritual sterility, shall be forgotten. The bridegroom, the Lord of Hosts, has returned to receive his bride, repentant Israel. The wanderings of Israel over the generations, her tendencies toward unfaithfulness, her inclination to go whoring after other gods (Exodus 34:15-16), will be a thing of the past. Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 3, p. 155.

2. Jeffrey R. Holland: [3 Ne. 22:7-10 – covenant with Israel] The imagery of Jehovah as bridegroom and Israel as bride is among the most commonly used metaphors in scripture, being used by the Lord and his prophets to describe the relationship between Deity and the children of the covenant. … Christ has, on occasion, been rightfully angry with backsliding Israel, but that has always been brief and temporary – “a small moment.” Compassion and mercy always return and prevail in a most reassuring way. The mountains and the hills may disappear. The water of the great seas may dry up. The least likely things in the world may happen, but the Lord’s kindness and peace will never be taken from his covenant people. He has sworn with a heavenly oath that he will not be wroth with them forever. Christ and the New Covenant, p.290.

3. Cynthia L. Hallen: [3 Ne. 22:8 – I hid my face] Among orthodox Jews, a husband is not allowed to watch his wife going through the labor of childbirth. He sits in the corner of the delivery room with his back turned so that she will not feel embarrassed or immodest in her unavoidable hour of agony. He does not abandon her, although she may feel very much alone. The woman recites or sings psalms as she endures contractions. When the pain becomes too great for her to continue singing, the husband takes over, reciting psalms for her. Although Zion cannot see the Lord in the time of her probation, when she weeps, he weeps with her; when she sings, he rejoices with her. Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, 7, No. 1:46.

4. Patricia Pinegar: [3 Ne. 22:13-14 – great shall be the peace of thy children] The world is not a safe place. It is not a place where children will feel peace, hope, and direction unless they are taught to love and follow the Savior. … We believe that Christ-centered Primaries can help parents as they teach their children the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only knowledge that will give our children peace, hope, and direction. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1999.

5. John Taylor: [3 Ne. 22:17 – no weapon formed against thee shall prosper] The day is not far distant when this nation will be shaken from centre to circumference. And now, you may write it down, any of you, and I will prophesy it in the name of God. And then will be fulfilled that prediction to be found in one of the revelations given through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Those who will not take up their sword to fight against their neighbor must needs flee to Zion for safety. And they will come, saying, we do not know anything of the principles of your religion, but we perceive that you are an honest community; you administer justice and righteousness, and we want to live with you and receive the protection of your laws, but as for your religion we will talk about that some other time. Will we protect such people? Yes, all honorable men. When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States, the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations. Journal of Discourses, 21:8.

6. Ezra Taft Benson: We are fast approaching that moment prophesied by Joseph Smith when he said: “Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is on the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction.” The sentiments of John Adams were these: “But whatever may be our fate, be assured that this Constitution will stand. … It may … cost us blood before we are through. It is my conviction, however, that when the Lord comes the Stars and Stripes will be floating on the breeze over this people. The Constitution, A Heavenly Banner, p. 28.

7. Victor L. Ludlow: [3 Ne. 23:1 – great are the words of Isaiah] Isaiah was not only difficult, he was deliberately difficult. We must study his words, wrestle with them, and ponder them at great length before his powerful, sublime teachings begin to emerge and inspire us. Because of this, it is easy to become discouraged and give up before we begin to understand his message. However, through serious and prayerful study, when we finally grasp the language and ideas of a particular chapter until they not only make sense, but enlighten and inspire as well, we realize that we have arrived at a profound level of understanding. Isaiah: Prophet, Seer and Poet, pp. 134-35.

8. Wilford Woodruff: [3 Ne. 23:11 – record keeping] “What shall I write?” you ask. Write about anything that is worth preserving, or the best you have; and if you begin this while you are young, it will be quite easy for you when you become men and women. How pleasing it would be to you, and to your children, thirty, fifty, or eighty years hence, to sit down and read what took place around you in your childhood and youth! Would you not like to read what took place with our fathers, and mothers, and grandparents, while they were young and during their lives? But the object is not so much to get you to keep a journal while you are young, it is to get you to continue it after you become men and women, even through your whole lives. Teachings of the Presidents of the Church – Wilford Woodruff, p. 131.

9. Joseph Smith: [3 Ne. 23:14 – Jesus expounds scriptures] Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints upon the order of the Kingdom of the Lord, than the light which burst upon the world through the vision [D&C 76]. Every law, every commandment, every promise, every truth, and every point touching the destiny of man, from Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of the Scriptures remains unsullied by the folly of men, go to show the perfection of the theory [of different degrees of glory in the future life] and witness the fact that the document is a transcript from the records of the eternal world. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 11.

10. Dallin H. Oaks: [3 Ne. 24:8-12 – tithing] During World War II, my widowed mother supported her three young children on a schoolteacher’s salary that was meager. When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things because we didn’t have enough money, I asked my mother why she paid so much of her salary as tithing. I have never forgotten her explanation: “Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t. The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children. I cannot do that without the blessings of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing. When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that he will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along.” Gen. Conference, April 1994.

11. Heber J. Grant: I bear witness – and I know the witness I bear is true – that the men and the women who have been absolutely honest with God, have paid their tithing. … God has given them wisdom whereby they have been able to utilize the remaining nine-tenths, and it has been of greater value to them, and they have accomplished more with it than they would if they had not been honest with the Lord. Gen. Conference, April 1912.

12. Joseph Fielding Smith: [3 Ne. 25:5 – Elijah and keys of sealing] The sealing power bestowed upon Elijah, is the power which binds husbands and wives, and children to parents, for time and eternity. It is the binding power existing in every Gospel ordinance. … It was the mission of Elijah to come, and restore it so that the curse of confusion and disorder would not exist in the kingdom of God. Elijah the Prophet and His Mission, p. 5.

13. Richard H. Winkel: When you come to the temple you will love your family with a deeper love than you have ever felt before. The temple is about families. As my wife, Karen, and I have increased our temple service, our love for each other and for our children has increased. And it doesn’t stop there. It extends to parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, forbears, and especially our grandchildren! This is the Spirit of Elijah, which is the spirit of family history work; and when inspired by the Holy Ghost, it prompts the turning of the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. Gen. Conference, Oct. 2006.

14. Joseph Fielding Smith: [3 Ne. 26:9-10 – greater portion of the word] Now the Lord has placed us on probation as members of the Church. He has given us the Book of Mormon, which is the lesser part, to build up our faith through our obedience to the counsels which it contains, and when we ourselves, members of the Church, are willing to keep the commandments as they have been given to us and show our faith as the Nephites did for a short period of time, then the Lord is ready to bring forth the other record and give it to us, but we are not ready to receive it. Why? Because we have not lived up to the requirements in this probationary state in the reading of the record which has been given to us and in following its counsels. Gen. Conference, Oct. 1961.

15. Neal A. Maxwell: Just as there will be many more Church members, families, wards, stakes, and temples, later on there will also be many more nourishing and inspiring scriptures. However, we must first feast worthily upon that which we already have! Gen. Conference, Oct. 1986.

16. Spencer W. Kimball: I have had many people ask me through the years, “When do you think we will get the balance of the Book of Mormon records?” And I have said, “How many in the congregation would like to read the sealed portion of the plates?” And almost always there is a 100-percent response. And then I ask the same congregation, “How many of you have read the part that has been opened to us?” And there are many who have not read the Book of Mormon, the unsealed portion. We are quite often looking for the spectacular, the unobtainable. I have found many people who want to live the higher laws when they do not live the lower laws. Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 531-32.

Next week: 3 Nephi 27-30; 4 Nephi “This is My Gospel”

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