Saturday, September 08, 2007

3 Nephi 20

Cease Not to Pray in Your Hearts

In 3 Nephi 20:1, Jesus commands the people to cease not from praying in their hearts. We ought to pray formally every day (individually and as a family), but we also ought to keep a prayer in our hearts. What that means is that we should constantly involve our Father in Heaven in the details of our lives.

For example, a few years ago, I had a small project at work that I was assigned to do. The project was creating a database of contacts for our hundreds of servers. To me, it was somewhat of a big project and I had to learn new things. I distinctly remember sitting at my desk at the onset of my project and wondering how I was going to create the complex code and design. But I took it step by step and along the way, I said plenty of little prayers in my heart. A few weeks later I finished and was praised by many of my peers.

The New Jerusalem

3 Nephi 20:22 talks about the New Jerusalem. My patriarchal blessing says "you will be involved in the gathering of Israel and in the preparation for the building of the New Jerusalem here upon the earth." I don't know if that is a "generic" statement meaning that I (along with every other member of the Church) am involved in the missionary work or if it means something more specific with the logistics of preparation for the building of the New Jerusalem. But whenever the scriptures refer to the New Jerusalem, my ears perk up. This verse says that the powers of heaven will be with the New Jerusalem.

D&C 45:66-75 says, " And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;

"And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.

"And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.

"And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.

"And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.

"And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.

"And now I say unto you, keep these things from going abroad unto the world until it is expedient in me, that ye may accomplish this work in the eyes of the people, and in the eyes of your enemies, that they may not know your works until ye have accomplished the thing which I have commanded you;

"That when they shall know it, that they may consider these things.

"For when the Lord shall appear he shall be terrible unto them, that fear may seize upon them, and they shall stand afar off and tremble.

"And all nations shall be afraid because of the terror of the Lord, and the power of his might. Even so. Amen."

Moses: Foreshadow of the Millennial Christ

In 3 Nephi 20:23, Christ declares, "I am he of whom Moses spake, saying: A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me"

Moses not only was a type of the Mortal Christ, but he was a type of the Millennial Christ in the Last Days.

The following table is from

Plagues of EgyptApocalyptic Destruction of Wicked
Waters of Egypt turned to blood. (Ex. 7:20)The rivers and fountains of waters…became blood. (Rev. 16:4)
Frogs covered the land of Egypt. (Ex. 8:6)Three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon. (Rev 16:13)
Plagues of lice and flies. (Ex. 8:17,24)God will send forth flies and maggots. (DC 29:8)
All the cattle of Egypt died. (Ex. 9:6)Desolation upon the cattle and sheep. (Joel 1:15-20)
Plague of boils upon man and beast. (Ex. 9:10)There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men hich had the mark of the beast. (Rev. 16:2)
Plague of hail and fire (Ex. 9:23)Men scorched with fire and a plague of great hailstones. (Rev. 16:8,21)
Locusts covered the face of the whole earth. (Ex. 10:14-15)There came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth. (Rev. 9:3-10)
A thick darkness in all the land for three days. (Ex. 10:22)The Sun became black as sackcloth. (Rev. 6:12)
The firstborn males are killed. (Ex. 12:29-30)The third part of men are killed by fire, smoke, and brimstone. (Rev. 9:18)
Pharaoh’s army destroyed by water. (Ex. 14:28)Saint’s enemies destroyed by fire. (1 Ne. 22:17)

Be Ye Clean

In 3 Nephi 20:41 Jesus commands us: “be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” This is referring to personal purity.

President Hinckley just spoke of this subject in the April 2007 General Priesthood session (Gordon B. Hinckley, “‘I Am Clean’,” Ensign, May 2007, 60–62). He related the dream Joseph F. Smith had and how in that dream he was reproved by the Prophet Joseph for being late. But Joseph F. Smith confidently responded, "Yes, but I am clean - I am clean!" He then counseled us to be clean in our language, our thoughts and our body and our dress.

His Visage Was so Marred

While in his mortal ministry, Christ suffered and was lowly in appearance. As Isaiah wrote, " He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not." (Mosiah 14:3) But when He comes again, we will see Him in glory and dominion.

Bruce R. McConkie wrote, " In these words we see a triumphant millennial Christ -- one whose visage was marred and whose form was mangled when he dwelt among men -- we see him in glory and dominion, in whose presence kings remain silent and before whom their mouths are shut. We see his cleansing blood sprinkle all nations, with devout men everywhere turning to the saving truths that they have not before heard and to the words of truth that they have not theretofore considered.” (The Mortal Messiah, p. 344)"

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