Book of Mormon Lesson #42: “This is My Gospel”
3 Nephi 27-30; 4 Nephi
1. Boyd K. Packer: Others refer to us as Mormons. I do not mind if they use that title. However, sometimes we are prone ourselves to say “Mormon Church.” I do not think it is best for us to do so. Ensign, April 1998.
2. Dallin H. Oaks: The First Presidency has requested that we not refer to ourselves as “the Mormon Church” but by the name the Lord gave his church by revelation: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. Ensign, March 1998.
3. Joseph Fielding McConkie & Robert Millet: The Savior said that it becomes his Church “if it be called in my name” and also is “built upon my gospel.” The name alone is insufficient. The true Church of Jesus Christ will undoubtedly bear his holy name, but it also must be built upon, preach, and practice his gospel as he has conveyed it to the earth both through his prophets and through his own personal ministry these verses concerning the name of the Church serve as a preface to Jesus’ subsequent teachings about the gospel upon which the Church must be built. Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 3, p. 176.
4. Richard O. Cowan: [3 Ne. 27:13-14 – gospel] This word is derived from the Old English godspel which is a combination of god (meaning “good”) and spel (meaning “story”). Godspel was a translation of the Latin evangelium, which in turn was derived from the Greek evangelion meaning “well,” or “beautiful news.” It is related to the Greek word angelos (meaning “messenger”). Hence, the English word gospel and angel are closely related in meaning even though in our language they have taken on rather different forms. The gospel of Jesus Christ truly is “good news” – the best we could hope to receive. This is My Gospel, p. 228-29.
5. B.H. Roberts: There is no one greater thing that man can do and then do no more and obtain salvation. It is by resisting a temptation today, overcoming a weakness tomorrow, forsaking evil associations the next day, and thus day by day, month after month, year after year, pruning, restraining and weeding out that which is evil in the disposition, that the character is purged of its imperfections. … Nor is it enough that one get rid of evil. He must do good. … He must cultivate noble sentiments by performing noble deeds – not great ones, necessarily, for opportunity to do what the world esteems great things comes but seldom to men in the ordinary walks of life; but noble deeds may be done every day; and every such deed performed with an eye single to the glory of God, draws one that much nearer into harmony with Deity. The Gospel and Man’s Relationship to Deity, p. 197-98.
6. Bruce R. McConkie: [judgment] The book of life is the record of the acts of men as such record is written in their own bodies. It is the record engraven on the very bones, sinews, and flesh of the mortal body. That is, every thought, word, and deed has an effect on the human body; all these leave their marks, marks which can be read by Him who is Eternal as easily as the words in a book can be read. By obedience to telestial law men obtain telestial bodies; terrestrial law leads to terrestrial bodies; and conformity to celestial law – because this law includes the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost – results in the creation of a body which is clean, pure, and spotless, a celestial body. … Men’s bodies will show what law they have lived. Mormon Doctrine, p. 97.
7. Harold B. Lee: [3 Ne. 27:20 – sanctification] The most important of all the commandments of God is the one that you’re having the most difficulty keeping. … Today is the day for you to work … until you’ve been able to conquer that weakness. Then you start on the next one that’s most difficult for you to keep. That’s the way to sanctify yourselves by keeping the commandments of God. Church News, 5 May 1973.
8. Spencer W. Kimball: [3 Ne. 27:27 – even as I am] Hard to do? Of course. The Lord never promised an easy road, nor a simple gospel, nor low standards, nor a low norm. The price is high, but the goods obtained are worth all they cost. The Lord himself turned the other cheek; he suffered himself to be buffeted and beaten without remonstrance; he suffered every indignity and yet spoke no word of condemnation. And his question to all of us is: “Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be?” And his answer to us is: “Even as I am.” Gen. Conference, Oct. 1977.
9. Neal A. Maxwell: It is always easier to be a character than to have character! After all, getting attention is not as important as getting wisdom; the asserting of self is not as important as serving others. Yet, for some, getting attention is their way of validating their worth. Furthermore, focusing on being a character keeps us from directing our lives toward becoming the men and women of Christ by emulating His character. Those with sterling character, always in short supply, are invariably the high-yield and low-maintenance individuals who deflect attention from themselves to others. … It is too bad if seeking the spotlight diverts us from worshipping the Light of the World. Character, after all, is the composite of what we carry into eternity; it is not only portable but eternal. There is no limitation on such luggage. Whom the Lord Loveth, pp. 13-14.
10. Joseph Fielding Smith: Translated beings are still mortal and will have to pass through the experience of death … although this will be instantaneous. … Translated beings have not passed through death; that is, they have not had the separation of the spirit and the body. Answers to Gospel Questions, vol. 1, p. 165.
11. Joseph Fielding Smith: [4 Ne. 1:1-18 – a Zion society] What a glorious time that must have been when everybody was happy, when everybody was at peace, when everyone loved his neighbor as himself, and above all he loved God, because we are informed here that the thing which brought about this condition of happiness was the fact that the love of God was in the hearts of the people There never will be a time of peace, happiness, justice tempered by mercy, when all men will receive that which is their right and privilege to receive, until they get in their hearts the love of God. Doctrines of Salvation, 3:319-20.
12. John Taylor: [4 Ne. 1:2 – every man did deal justly] When all act for the benefit of all – when while we love God with all our hearts we love our neighbor as ourselves; when our time, our property, our talents, our mental and bodily powers are all exerted for the good of all; where no man grabs or takes advantage of another; where there is a common interest, a common purse, a common stock; where, as they did on this continent, it is said of them that “they all dealt justly to each other,” and all acted for the general weal, … and every evil are subdued and brought into subjection to the will and Spirit of God. Teachings of the President of the Church – John Taylor, p. 102.
13. Marvin J. Ashton: [4 Ne. 1:2, 13, 15, 18 – no contention] If the adversary can influence us to pick on each other, to find fault, bash, and undermine, to judge or humiliate or taunt, half his battle is won. Why? Because though this sort of conduct may not equate with succumbing to grievous sin, it nevertheless neutralizes us spiritually. The Spirit of the Lord cannot dwell where there is bickering, judging, contention, or any kind of bashing. … Let us open our arms to each other, accept each other for who we are, assume everyone is doing the best he or she can, and look for ways to help leave quiet messages of love and encouragement instead of being destructive. Gen. Conference, April 1992.
14. Gordon B. Hinckley: We need not contend, … but if we will pursue a steady course, our very example will become the most effective argument we could ever advance for the virtues of the cause with which we are associated. … We have no desire to quarrel with others. We teach the gospel of peace. … Should we be surprised if we are called upon to endure a little criticism, to make some small sacrifice for our faith when our forbears paid so great a price for theirs? Without contention, without argument, without offense, let us pursue a steady course, moving forward to build the kingdom of God. If there is trouble, let us face it calmly. Let us overcome evil with good. This is God’s work. Ensign, Jan. 2005.
15. Russell M. Nelson: [4 Ne. 1:17 – nor any manner of –ites] Throughout the world, strident voices are engaged in divisive disputation and name-calling. Often demeaning nicknames are added to – or even substituted for – given names. Unfortunately, terms of derision obscure the true identity of children of the covenant. … When the Nephites were truly righteous, they avoided divisive nicknames. … “There were no … Lamanites, nor any manner of –ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.” That lesson from history suggests that we also delete from our personal vocabularies names that segregate. Gen. Conference, April 1995.
Next week: Mormon 1-6; Moroni 9 “How Could Ye Have Departed From the Ways of the Lord?”