3Nephi 23 – Jesus asked the people to search and study the words of Isaiah. He reviewed the Nephite records and asked for a prophecy of Samuel the Lamanite to be recorded.
VS1 – “Great Are the Words of Isaiah”
1. President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote of the difficulty encountered by many readers of the Book of Mormon:
“Most [readers] readily understand the narrative of the Book of Mormon.
“Then, just as you settle in to move comfortably along, you will meet a barrier. … Interspersed in the narrative, are chapters reciting the prophecies of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. They loom as a barrier, like a roadblock or a checkpoint beyond which the casual reader, one with idle curiosity, generally will not go.
“You, too, may be tempted to stop there, but do not do it! Do not stop reading! Move forward through those difficult-to-understand chapters of Old Testament prophecy, even if you understand very little of it. Move on, if all you do is skim and merely glean an impression here and there. Move on, if all you do is look at the words” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 76; or Ensign, May 1986, 61).
2. Three basic guidelines assist anyone who wishes to understand what Isaiah wrote:
- Study other scripture. The scriptures themselves offer many insights into the meaning of Isaiah’s writings. The Bible Dictionary states, “The reader today has no greater written commentary and guide to understanding Isaiah than the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants” (“Isaiah,” 707). Not only do these books of scripture interpret passages of Isaiah, they contain doctrines and prophecies that shed light on Isaiah’s words. These modern scriptures fill in details that are not as evident in the Bible.
- Seek the spirit of prophecy. As Nephi mentioned, those who were not “filled with the spirit of prophecy” (2 Nephi 25:4) in his day could not understand the meaning of Isaiah’s writings. The same is true today. Each serious student of Isaiah must seek revelation through the Holy Ghost to enlighten their mind and to help them read the words by the same Spirit in which they were written—in the testimony of Jesus Christ (see Revelation 19:10).
- Study diligently. Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged Latter-day Saints to devote themselves to serious study of Isaiah: “Read, ponder, and pray—verse by verse, thought by thought, passage by passage, chapter by chapter! As Isaiah himself asks: ‘Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?’ His answer: ‘them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.’ (Isa. 28:9–10.)” (“Ten Keys to Understanding Isaiah,” Ensign, Oct. 1973, 83).
3. President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, emphasized the unique and important role of the prophecies of Isaiah and why the Lord preserved his words:
“Isaiah is the most quoted prophet in the New Testament. The Lord Himself quoted Isaiah seven times, the Apostles forty times more. In addition there are ninety partial quotes or paraphrases of Isaiah’s words.
“Isaiah is the most quoted prophet in the Doctrine and Covenants. Sixty-six quotations from thirty-one chapters of Isaiah attest to the singular importance of this great prophet.
“All of this confirms that the Lord had a purpose in preserving Isaiah’s words” (Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled , 280).
VS1–5 – Search the Scriptures
1. President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), the 13th President of the Church:
“When individual members and families immerse themselves in the scriptures regularly and consistently, other areas of activity will automatically come. Testimonies will increase. Commitment will be strengthened. Families will be fortified. Personal revelation will flow” (“The Power of the Word,” Ensign, May 1986, 81).
Q – Why would other areas of Church activity increase as a result of regular and consistent 0scripture study?
2. True to the Faith:
“Latter-day prophets counsel us to study the scriptures every day, both individually and with our families. …
“You will benefit greatly by following this counsel. Daily, meaningful scripture study helps you be receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. It builds your faith, fortifies you against temptation, and helps you draw near to your Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son.
“Develop a plan for your personal study of the scriptures. [Set] aside a certain amount of time each day to study the scriptures. During that time, read carefully, being attentive to the promptings of the Spirit. Ask your Heavenly Father to help you know what He would have you learn and do” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference , 156).
Q – In what ways can you better fulfill the command to diligently search the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets?
3. The Prophet Joseph Smith (1805–44) encouraged the Saints to search the scriptures in order to receive an independent witness of the truth and to obtain direct instructions from God: “Search the Scriptures—search the revelations which we publish, and ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to His glory, nothing doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then know for yourselves and not for another. You will not then be dependent on man for the knowledge of God; nor will there be any room for speculation. No; for when men receive their instruction from Him that made them, they know how He will save them. Then again we say: Search the Scriptures, search the Prophets, and learn what portion of them belongs to you” (History of the Church, 1:282).
4. Although searching the scriptures may be difficult at first, President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) promised that those who seriously study the scriptures will be enlightened and their spirits lifted: “I am grateful for the emphasis on reading the scriptures. I hope that for you this will become something far more enjoyable than a duty; that, rather, it will become a love affair with the word of God. I promise you that as you read, your minds will be enlightened and your spirits will be lifted. At first it may seem tedious, but that will change into a wondrous experience with thoughts and words of things divine” (“The Light within You,” Ensign, May 1995, 99).
VS6–13 – Importance of an Accurate Scriptural Record
*The accuracy and completeness of the scriptural record is vital since we rely on it to gain our understanding of God and His plan for us.
Q – Why do you think it would be important for people in the future to know that this prophecy had been fulfilled?
1. President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency talked about the important of writing down spiritual experiences:
“I came home late from a Church assignment. It was after dark. My father-in-law, who lived near us, surprised me as I walked toward the front door of my house. He was carrying a load of pipes over his shoulder, walking very fast and dressed in his work clothes. I knew that he had been building a system to pump water from a stream below us up to our property.
“He smiled, spoke softly, and then rushed past me into the darkness to go on with his work. I took a few steps toward the house, thinking of what he was doing for us, and just as I got to the door, I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: ‘I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.’
“I went inside. I didn’t go to bed. Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family. Grandpa didn’t have to do what he was doing for us. He could have had someone else do it or not have done it at all. But he was serving us, his family, in the way covenant disciples of Jesus Christ always do. I knew that was true. And so I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it.
“I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: ‘Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?’” (“O Remember, Remember,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 66–67).
Q – Why do you think it is important for us to write about experiences that strengthen us spiritually? How might our record help others?
3Nephi 24 and 25 – Just as the Lord’s kingdom must be prepared for His coming through the restoration of the gospel and the priesthood, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and the preaching of the gospel throughout the world, each member of that kingdom needs to be prepared. In 3 Nephi 24 and 25, we find prophecies that the Savior commanded to be written for the benefit of future generations (see 3 Nephi 26:2–3). These prophecies had not been included in the brass plates—they were recorded by Malachi in about 430 B.C., approximately 170 years after Lehi left Jerusalem (see Bible Dictionary, “Malachi,” 728).
3Nephi 24 – A messenger will prepare the way for the second coming. Christ will judge us. We are commanded to pay tithes and offerings.
VS1 – “The Words Which the Father Had Given unto Malachi”
Who was the prophet Malachi? Malachi was an Old Testament prophet who wrote and prophesied at approximately 430 B.C. Malachi means “my messenger,” and the first part of his prophecy “is addressed to the priesthood, reproving them for their neglect of service to God. The second part (2:10–4:6) is addressed to the people, speaking against marriage outside the covenant, divorces from wives within the covenant, and neglect of tithe paying. … The faithful are encouraged to remain so, with the assurance that the Lord is mindful of them, and the disobedient shall fail in the day of the Lord’s coming” (Bible Dictionary, “Malachi,” 728). The latter part of Malachi’s message declares the blessings that come from obeying the law of tithing and the special role the prophet Elijah would play in the last days in preparation for the Second Coming (see 3 Nephi 24–25).
VS1 – The Lord “Shall Suddenly Come to His Temple”
- The messenger is Joseph Smith. Legrand Richards said, “I bear you witness that Joseph Smith was the messenger sent, that he was the instrument in the hand of God in setting up this kingdom (Conference Report, April 1958, pp.40-43).
- Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that one “reason for repeated reading of the scriptures is that many of the prophecies and doctrinal passages in the scriptures have multiple meanings” and “multiple fulfillments” (“Scripture Reading and Revelation,” Ensign, Jan. 1995, 8). Such is the case with the phrase “the Lord … shall suddenly come to his temple” (3 Nephi 24:1). It was partially fulfilled when the Lord appeared in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836, at the beginning of this dispensation (see D&C 110:1–10); it is partially fulfilled each time the Savior comes to any of His temples; it will also be partially fulfilled as part of the Second Coming when the earth will be cleansed from wickedness and become a celestial abode (see D&C 88:25). Hence, the earth will be appropriately referred to as a temple of the Lord.
VS2 – A Refiner’s Fire and Fuller’s Soap
1. Malachi employed powerful symbolism by describing the Messiah’s coming “like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap” (3 Nephi 24:2). A refiner is “a man who separates the precious metals from the dross with which in nature they are usually found mixed. Part of the process consists in the application of great heat, in order to bring the mass into a fluid state, hence the term ‘refiner’s fire’” (Bible Dictionary, “Refiner,” 760).
2. The Savior is like a refiner. Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “His mission is to cleanse, purify, and refine the human soul so that it can return to his Father’s kingdom in purity, free from dross. (3 Ne. 27:19–21.) His cleansing power ‘is like a refiner’s fire, … And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver’ in that great day when he comes to judge the world. (Mal. 3:2–3; 3 Ne. 24:2–3; D.&C. 128:24)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 624).
3. A fuller’s “work was to cleanse garments and whiten them” through the use of soap (Bible Dictionary, “Fullers,” 676). The Atonement of Jesus Christ acts like “fuller’s soap” to cleanse us from our sins and prepare us to stand pure and spotless before the judgment seat.
VS3 – Sons of Levi
a. Who Are the “Sons of Levi”?
President Joseph Fielding Smith explained that “after the children of Israel came out of Egypt and while they were sojourning in the wilderness, Moses received a commandment from the Lord to take Aaron and his sons and ordain them and consecrate them as priests for the people. (Ex. 28.) At that time the males of the entire tribe of Levi were chosen to be the priests instead of the firstborn of all the tribes, and Aaron and his sons were given the presidency over the Priesthood thus conferred. Since that time it has been known as the Priesthood of Aaron, including the Levitical Priesthood.” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:63.)
b. What Is Meant by the Sons of Levi Offering an Offering of Righteousness unto the Lord?
1. The Prophet Joseph Smith commented as follows on this scripture:
“It is generally supposed that sacrifice was entirely done away when the Great Sacrifice [i.e.,] the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was offered up, and that there will be no necessity for the ordinance of sacrifice in the future; but those who assert this are certainly not acquainted with the duties, privileges and authority of the Priesthood, or with the Prophets.
“The offering of sacrifice has ever been connected and forms a part of the duties of the Priesthood. It began with the Priesthood, and will be continued until after the coming of Christ, from generation to generation. …
“These sacrifices, as well as every ordinance belonging to the Priesthood, will, when the Temple of the Lord shall be built, and the sons of Levi be purified, be fully restored and attended to in all their powers, ramifications, and blessings. This ever did and ever will exist when the powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood are sufficiently manifest; else how can the restitution of all things spoken of by the Holy Prophets be brought to pass. It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses’ day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued.” (Teachings, pp. 172–73.)
*President Joseph Fielding Smith further explained that “we are living in the dispensation of the fulness of times into which all things are to be gathered, and all things are to be restored since the beginning. Even this earth is to be restored to the condition which prevailed before Adam’s transgression. Now in the nature of things, the law of sacrifice will have to be restored, or all things which were decreed by the Lord would not be restored. It will be necessary, therefore, for the sons of Levi, who offered the blood sacrifices anciently in Israel, to offer such a sacrifice again to round out and complete this ordinance in this dispensation. Sacrifice by the shedding of blood was instituted in the days of Adam and of necessity will have to be restored.
“The sacrifice of animals will be done to complete the restoration when the temple spoken of is built; at the beginning of the millennium, or in the restoration, blood sacrifices will be performed long enough to complete the fulness of the restoration in this dispensation. Afterwards sacrifice will be of some other character.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:94.)
VS5 – Those Who Oppress Widows and the Fatherless
1. God holds us accountable for our neglect of the widows and the fatherless. President Thomas S. Monson expressed how important widows are to the Lord and our need to minister to them:
“The word widow appears to have had a most significant meaning to our Lord. He cautioned his disciples to beware of the example of the scribes, who feigned righteousness by their long apparel and their lengthy prayers, but who devoured the houses of widows [see Luke 20:46–47]. …
“And to the Prophet Joseph Smith he directed, ‘The storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church; and widows and orphans shall be provided for, as also the poor” [D&C 83:6]. …
“There may exist an actual need for food, clothing, even shelter. Such can be supplied. Almost always there remains [a widow in need]. …
“Let us remember that after the funeral flowers fade, the well-wishes of friends become memories, and the prayers offered and words spoken dim in the corridors of the mind. Those who grieve frequently find themselves alone. Missed is the laughter of children, the commotion of teenagers, and the tender, loving concern of a departed companion. The clock ticks more loudly, time passes more slowly, and four walls do indeed a prison make” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 90–91; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 70).
VS8–12 -Tithes and Offerings
1. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared five reasons why every member of the Church, in any kind of circumstance, should obey the law of tithing:
“I … suggest five reasons why all of us, rich or poor, longtime member or newest convert, should faithfully pay our tithes and offerings.
“First, do so for the sake of your children. … Teach your children that many of the blessings of the Church are available to them because you and they give tithes and offerings to the Church. …
“Second, pay your tithing to rightfully claim the blessings promised those who do so. …
“Third, pay your tithing as a declaration that possession of material goods and the accumulation of worldly wealth are not the uppermost goals of your existence. …
“Fourth, pay your tithes and offerings out of honesty and integrity because they are God’s rightful due. …
“This leads to a fifth reason to pay our tithes and offerings. We should pay them as a personal expression of love to a generous and merciful Father in Heaven. Through His grace, God has dealt bread to the hungry and clothing to the poor. At various times in our lives, that will include all of us, either temporally or spiritually” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2001, 39–41; or Ensign, Nov. 2001, 33–35).
2. President Heber J. Grant (1856–1945) testified that God will bless those who obey the law of tithing with increased wisdom: “I bear witness—and I know that the witness I bear is true—that the men and the women who have been absolutely honest with God, who 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” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1912, 30).
3. Elder Bednar: The imagery of the “windows” of heaven used by Malachi is most instructive. Windows allow natural light to enter into a building. In like manner, spiritual illumination and perspective are poured out through the windows of heaven and into our lives as we honor the law of tithing.
For example, a subtle but significant blessing we receive is the spiritual gift of gratitude that enables our appreciation for what we have to constrain desires for what we want. A grateful person is rich in contentment. An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontentment (see Luke 12:15). https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/the-windows-of-heaven?lang=eng
4. Russell M. Nelson – Now is the time to enroll our names among the people of God. This we do by paying tithing. [God] tithes His people to bless them. (see Malachi 3:10; 3 Nephi 24:10)” (Russell M. Nelson, “Now Is the Time to Prepare”, Ensign, May 2005, pg. 18).
5. D&C 64:23 – 23 Behold, now it is called atoday until the bcoming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of csacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is dtithed shall not be eburned at his coming.
VS12 – “A delightsome land”
1. President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:
“The Lord has promised that he will rebuke the devourer for our sakes. … May not that rebuke of the devourer apply to various of our personal efforts and concerns?
“There is the great blessing of wisdom, of knowledge, even hidden treasures of knowledge. We are promised that ours shall be a delightsome land if we will walk in obedience to this law. I can interpret the word land as people, that those who walk in obedience shall be a delightsome people. What a marvelous condition to be a delightsome people whom others would describe as blessed!” (“Tithing: An Opportunity to Prove Our Faithfulness,” Ensign, May 1982, 40).
2. Elder Dallin H. Oaks addressed the statement some people give when faced with whether or not they will be obedient to the commandment to pay tithing:
“Some people say, ‘I can’t afford to pay tithing.’ Those who place their faith in the Lord’s promises say, ‘I can’t afford not to pay tithing.’
“Some time ago I was speaking to a meeting of Church leaders in a country outside of North America. As I spoke about tithing, I found myself saying something I had not intended to say. I told them the Lord was grieved that only a small fraction of the members in their nations relied on the Lord’s promises and paid a full tithing. I warned that the Lord would withhold material and spiritual blessings when his covenant children were not keeping this vital commandment.
“I hope those leaders taught that principle to the members of the stakes and districts in their countries. The law of tithing and the promise of blessings to those who live it apply to the people of the Lord in every nation. I hope our members will qualify for the blessings of the Lord by paying a full tithing” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1994, 44; or Ensign, May 1994, 34).
Q – How has paying tithing blessed you?
VS16–18 – “I Make Up My Jewels”
How do we become one of the Lord’s jewels? A jewel is a precious stone measured by its intrinsic and extrinsic value in the marketplace. Malachi and other prophets used the imagery of jewels symbolically to refer to people who “feared the Lord”—those who show respect for Him, keep His ordinances, and have their names in “a book of remembrance” (3 Nephi 24:16–18; see also D&C 60:4; 101:3; Exodus 28:15–21). Thus, to become one of the Lord’s jewels, you must faithfully keep the covenants associated with every ordinance regardless of worldly pressure. By doing this you show that you love the Lord, and your name will be recorded in the book of remembrance.
3Nephi 25 – The proud and wicked will be burned as stubble at the second coming. Elijah will return before that day to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.
VS1 – “Neither Root Nor Branch”
1. What does it mean that the “proud … and all that do wickedly” will be burned and left without either root or branch? (3 Nephi 25:1). This phrase refers to the theme of 3 Nephi 25. Consider your roots to be your parents or ancestors and your branches to be your children or posterity. To be united with our roots and branches, we must receive temple ordinances. The Lord said He would send Elijah before the Second Coming to restore priesthood keys that would allow families to be complete—both roots and branches. In 1836 the sealing power was restored, and it provides the way for families to be eternally linked (see D&C 110:14–16; 128:18). However, the proud and the wicked will be burned up and left without either root (ancestors) or branch (posterity), leaving them cut off from their family and the sealing blessings.
2. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke of this idea: “Elijah restored the sealing powers whereby ordinances that were sealed on earth were also sealed in heaven. … Without that link no family ties would exist in the eternities, and indeed the family of man would have been left in eternity with ‘neither root [ancestors] nor branch [descendants]’” (Christ and the New Covenant , 297–98).
VS2 – “Calves in the Stall”
- President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) taught that children who will be raised during the Millennium “shall grow up ‘as calves of the stall’ unto righteousness, that is, without sin or the temptations which are so prevalent today” (The Way to Perfection , 299).
- One commentator said: “Those who are left after the judgment of the Second Coming will be able to raise up their children as calves are raised in a stall. The calf is protected from the elements, and his environment is controlled (Malachi 4:2; 1 Nephi 22:24). The children in the Millennium will similarly ‘grow up without sin unto salvation’ (D&C 45:58). The telestial element will be removed, and with Satan being bound (Revelation 20:1–3; 1 Nephi 22:26; D&C 101:28), the environment will be more controlled” (Monte S. Nyman and Farres H. Nyman, The Words of the Twelve Prophets: Messages to the Latter-day Saints , 145).
VS5–6 – Elijah Shall Turn Hearts
1. On his first visit on the evening of September 21, 1823, the angel Moroni quoted the prophecy from Malachi 4:5–6 to the Prophet Joseph Smith “with a little variation from the way it reads” (Joseph Smith—History 1:36–39; see also D&C 2). This prophecy was fulfilled on April 3, 1836, in the Kirtland Temple when Elijah appeared and restored the priesthood keys to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (see D&C 110:13–16). From this first visit to the end of his ministry, the Prophet Joseph Smith continually mentioned Malachi’s prophecy and the mission of Elijah.
2. The Prophet Joseph Smith: “The word turn here [in Malachi 4:5–6] should be translated bind, or seal.”
3. Russell M. Nelson:
Quoting Joseph Fielding Smith – “It is interesting to know that on the third day of April, 1836, the Jews were celebrating the feast of the Passover, and were leaving the doors of their homes open for the coming of Elijah. On that day Elijah came, but not to the Jewish homes, but to the Temple in the village of Kirtland … to two humble servants of the Lord” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. , 3:84).
(In making this statement, President Smith referred to a traditional practice of Jewish people, who believe Malachi’s prophecy about Elijah’s return (see Malachi 4:5–6). Each Passover, many faithful Jewish families have a Passover meal and set an extra place at the table for Elijah. They leave their doors open in the event that Elijah decides to join them.)
“Elijah’s return to earth occurred at the first temple built in this dispensation, where he and other heavenly messengers, under direction of the Lord, entrusted special keys of priesthood authority to the restored Church. …
“With that, natural affection between generations began to be enriched. This restoration was accompanied by what is sometimes called the Spirit of Elijah—a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family. Hence, people throughout the world, regardless of religious affiliation, are gathering records of deceased relatives at an ever-increasing rate.
“Elijah came not only to stimulate research for ancestors. He also enabled families to be eternally linked beyond the bounds of mortality. Indeed, the opportunity for families to be sealed forever is the real reason for our research” (Russell M. Nelson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 43; or Ensign, May 1998, 34).
4. Prophet Joseph Smith: “The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead” (in History of the Church, 6:313).
5. Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “The earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link … between the fathers and the children” (D&C 128:18).
3Nephi 26 – Christ speaks of all things from beginning to end. Children speak marvelous things. The people of the church are united.
VS2 -“These Scriptures, Which Ye Had Not with You”
Jesus Christ emphasized the importance of accurate scriptural records. In addition to the fulfillment of the prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite being added to the scriptural record (see 3 Nephi 23:7–13), the Savior followed the command of the Father to give the people in America “scriptures, which ye had not” (3 Nephi 26:2). He quoted the writings of Malachi, an Old Testament prophet who lived nearly 200 years after Lehi left Jerusalem. Malachi’s teachings would not have been on the plates of brass since he lived 200 years after Lehi left Jerusalem.
VS6–12 – If They Believe, Then Greater Things Will Be Made Manifest
- President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught that before obtaining greater manifestations or additional scripture we must read and believe what has already been revealed: “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” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 531–32).
- Article of Faith 9 – 9 We believe all that God has arevealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet breveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.
- President Uchtdorf, in the October 2013 General Conference, said: Some struggle with unanswered questions about things that have been done or said in the past. We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of Church history—along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable, and divine events—there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question. Sometimes questions arise because we simply don’t have all the information and we just need a bit more patience. When the entire truth is eventually known, things that didn’t make sense to us before will be resolved to our satisfaction. Sometimes there is a difference of opinion as to what the “facts” really mean. A question that creates doubt in some can, after careful investigation, build faith in others.
VS14, 16 – Jesus taught the children, who then taught their fathers greater things than they had before heard.
- H. Verlan Andersen, former member of the 70, said: “It is not difficult to believe that Christ taught profound gospel truths to sinless children whose spiritual powers as developed in the pre-earth life were equal to or superior to those of their parents. Our test of faith seems to be in believing our children of today are as able to understand spiritual truths as were the Nephite and Lamanite children of yore, and in putting this belief into practice.”
- Michaelene P. Grassli, former Primary General President said, “Let us not underestimate the capacity and potential power of today’s children to perpetuate righteousness. No group of people in the church is as receptive to the truth, both in efficiency of learning and with the greatest degree of retention.”
VS19 -“They Taught, and Did Minister One to Another”
- This is the pattern in the Lord’s Church in every dispensation: His covenant people teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom and minister to one another in the fellowship of gospel bonds, for the Lord’s people comprise one great family.
- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency, in which he taught how we can follow the Lord’s pattern of ministering to others:
“A story is told that during the bombing of a city in World War II, a large statue of Jesus Christ was severely damaged. When the townspeople found the statue among the rubble, they mourned because it had been a beloved symbol of their faith and of God’s presence in their lives.
“Experts were able to repair most of the statue, but its hands had been damaged so severely that they could not be restored. Some suggested that they hire a sculptor to make new hands, but others wanted to leave it as it was—a permanent reminder of the tragedy of war. Ultimately, the statue remained without hands. However, the people of the city added on the base of the statue of Jesus Christ a sign with these words: ‘You are my hands.’
“… When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. And He always talked with, never down to, people. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation.
“That is what He did during His mortal life; it is what He would be doing if He were living among us today; and it is what we should be doing as His disciples and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints. …
“Christ did not just speak about love; He showed it each day of His life. He did not remove Himself from the crowd. Being amidst the people, Jesus reached out to the one. He rescued the lost. He didn’t just teach a class about reaching out in love and then delegate the actual work to others. He not only taught but also showed us how to ‘succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees’ [D&C 81:5]. …
“If we are His hands, should we not do the same?” (“You Are My Hands,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 68, 70).
Q – What blessings have you experienced as you have ministered to someone? How have you been blessed by someone ministering to you or your family?