Jesus’s visit to America was literally earth shaking, and in this destruction, suffering and humility, the father announces the savior of the world as he descends at the temple in Bountiful to finally fully found his church and kingdom to his other sheep. But first, Jesus calls forth the prophet Nephi. The third, recognizing his faithfulness, calls 11 more disciples and then immediately starts teaching his celestial doctrine the fullness of the gospel.
Yes, Christ celestial law changed the world and changes hearts.
Now, Mormon could have just said, OK, you can read this next part in your other scriptures, but the savior is world changing.
Sermon is here again and with several interesting differences.
For starters, Come unto Christ in Chapter 12 is repeated six times here. But what does that really mean, coming to Christ and follow him?
Well, here the rubber meets the road as he teaches us how to be real, true disciples and really come on to him.
And as the original Nephi taught back in second Nephi 31, it all begins with listening, baptism, the Holy Ghost and progressing on his covenant path, an exciting path full of goals, blessings, adversity, change and progress.
And here his beatitudes perfectly describe how to progress and receive his blessings. Know the game of life Jesus teaches isn’t about being competitive, wealthy, strong, smart or better than others.
Our Redeemer teaches. The greatest blessings are for the humble, merciful, peaceful and the patient who ask for his help.
So rather than looking at his beatitudes as different groups of people, let’s look at them as ascending steps to heaven. Now we all get beat down at times, but when we calm down, come to ourselves and then desire Christ will we do come to him. And he teaches us how to spiritually mourn and receive his comfort as we are released from our spiritual bondage.
And then we become teachable or meek, ready to hear God’s voice in us.
And as we fan that spark into a flame, we begin to hunger and thirst for his righteousness and are filled with the Holy Ghost, God’s real super power to us.
And with this Holy Ghost, we become kinder and gentler with ourselves and we start to look outward and see so many hurting who we could give mercy to, especially to those who harm us.
And so eventually in this progression, we truly become consecrated Zion like pure hearted saints, and we create peace and harmony in us and around us.
And finally, like so many prophets before, we are now able to endure, well, the refiner’s fire even excruciatingly painful persecutions and harsh injustices for his cause.
Now, notice here that the reward for the persecuted is the same as the poor in spirit as we see a repeating pattern of ascension up the mountain of the Lord. Yes, he needs his believers to light the world.
He needs us to show others a more excellent way.
And now, Jesus contrast, examples of Moses’s outward focused law with his new inward focus, the law of coming into him and becoming a new creature.
And so Moses’s law said, don’t kill, commit adultery or make Ole’s without swearing by the Lord.
But I say he taught.
Do not get angry with others, lust after others or swear by anything at all.
The old law focused on fairness and justice. But now you must frankly forgive and let God worry about justice and vengeance.
But now get ready for it. Just turn the other cheek and love our enemies.
What love our enemies. Now, he didn’t really mean that, right? Yes.
He said what he meant and he meant what he said, following it up with bless do good to and pray for our enemies.
Now, in Chapter 13, Jesus teaches how to give good gifts, take care of the poor, pray and fast and how to serve. Now, in all cases, doing good isn’t about looking good.
It’s about truly helping others and recognizing that that could just as well be us.
And in this way it allows us to receive his blessings. And now he reminds us not to worry too much about our own lives and future. Just put your best foot forward and be ready for his guidance as uncertainty is certain and he will care for us. And now Chapter fourteen opens with a strong warning judge. Not that ye not be judged. You will be judged by your judgments.
Now it’s easy to notice others wrongs while we think we are in the right.
But Jesus compares this to noticing a small sliver of wood in another person’s eye while we have a big beam sticking out of our own now putting off the natural man and becoming a saint.
Rewriting so many of our natural ways isn’t easy.
And he acknowledges that the gate is narrow.
But he reminds us that true discipleship is about building on his rock and becoming who he wants us to be.
And as we climb his steps from the Beatitudes and live his higher law, our discipleship will take us to greater heights with opportunities to be an extension of the Lord’s hands and helping others in their own journeys towards eternal life.
3 Nephi 12: Jesus calls and commissions the twelve disciples—He delivers to the Nephites a discourse similar to the Sermon on the Mount—He speaks the Beatitudes—His teachings transcend and take precedence over the law of Moses—Men are commanded to be perfect even as He and His Father are perfect—Compare Matthew 5. About A.D. 34.
3 Nephi 13: Jesus teaches the Nephites the Lord’s Prayer—They are to lay up treasures in heaven—The twelve disciples in their ministry are commanded to take no thought for temporal things—Compare Matthew 6. About A.D. 34.
3 Nephi 15: Jesus announces that the law of Moses is fulfilled in Him—The Nephites are the other sheep of whom He spoke in Jerusalem—Because of iniquity, the Lord’s people in Jerusalem do not know of the scattered sheep of Israel. About A.D. 34.
3 Nephi 16: Jesus will visit others of the lost sheep of Israel—In the latter days the gospel will go to the Gentiles and then to the house of Israel—The Lord’s people will see eye to eye when He brings again Zion. About A.D. 34.