Sunday, September 09, 2007

3 Nephi 24 & 25

The Doctrine of Elias

3 Nephi 24:1 says, "I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me."

From the July Ensign "I Have a Question" section, Keith W. Perkins provides a couple of quotes that shed light on this doctrine. "Elias is a title for 'forerunner.' The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that 'when God sends a man into the world to prepare for a greater work, holding the keys of the power of Elias, it was called the doctrine of Elias, even from the early ages of the world' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 335–36). Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the various messengers who brought their keys of authority to the Prophet Joseph Smith, then added that those messengers, 'all taken together, are the Elias of the Restoration. It took all of them to bring to pass the restoration of all the keys and powers and authorities needed to save and exalt man' (The Millennial Messiah [1982], 120)."

Return to Me

3 Nephi 24:7 says, “Return to me and I will return to you.” This is the Lord telling us if we turn to him, he will turn to us. Our efforts in turning to the Lord will not be overlooked.

One way we can show the Lord that we return to him is by paying tithing.


3 Nephi 24:8-11 refer to tithing and fast offerings. My favorite part is how we will be blessed so much that we won’t have room to receive all the blessings. Also, the “devourer” is rebuked for our sakes.

We may ask "what doth it profit" (3 Nephi 24:14) us to pay tithing? I have certainly asked this question before. When we were college students and our wages were little, our tithing check seemed little too. But after we graduated and began to earn a salary and began living in the real world, our tithing checked increased along with our salary. As the years went by, we saw friends and neighbors buy large homes and new cars. And they would furnish their homes extravagantly. We wondered how they afforded such a lifestyle. Naturally, I concluded that many of these people, not being members of the Church, had an "extra" 10% of income compared to us. If we did not pay tithes and fast offerings, we could easily afford the new cars and fancy furniture and nice clothes. But we choose to pay tithes and fast offerings. We know the blessings far outweigh what we could buy with that "extra" money.

Additionally, we are taught when we pay tithing to the Lord, the Lord will "discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." (3 Nephi 24:18)

Hearts Turned

3 Nephi 25:6 – The hearts of the children will be turned to the hearts of their fathers and vice versa. This is the spirit of Elijah or the spirit of genealogy and doing temple work for our dead kindred. This work is so important for not only our dead, but for the salvation of the world; for if we do not do this work, the whole world would be destroyed at the coming of the Lord.

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