Monday, September 10, 2007

3 Nephi 26

Judgment Day

3 Nephi 26:4 talks about Judgment Day. Every person will stand before God to be judged of his or her works. If their works were good, then they will be resurrected to eternal life. If not, then to damnation (lack of progress).

We will not only be judged according to what we have done in this life, but we will be held accountable for our thoughts and the desires of our hearts. See Alma 12:14 and Alma 41:3. “Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal.” (2 Nephi 9:39)

Greater Things if we Accept the Book of Mormon

3 Nephi 26:9 says that if we would study the scriptures (more specifically the Book of Mormon), then God would bless us with additional scriptures or “greater things.”

We are reminded in D&C 84:49-58, “And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin.

“And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me.

“For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin.

“And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me.

“And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now.

“And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—

“Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

“And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

“And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—

“That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.”

He Loosed Their Tongues

One of the many miracles Jesus gave the Nephites was to let their children speak. It is interesting to think that Jesus did not tell the children what to say. The children already knew and have that perfect faith inherent within them. All that Jesus did (what an understatement) was to loose their tongues so that they could communicate what they knew and felt.

And when they were able to communicate, “they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things, even greater than he [Christ] had revealed unto the people.” (3 Nephi 26:14) It is no wonder, then, that Jesus teaches us “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:4-6, see also Mark 9:43, Luke 17:2)

The tender primary song teaches us:

Jesus once was a little child,
A little child like me;
And he was pure and meek and mild,
As a little child should be.
So, little children,
Let’s you and I
Try to be like him,
Try, try, try.
(Children’s Songbook, 55)

Elder Jay E. Jensen shares the following, “When I was a young seminary teacher, one of my students approached me about her assignment to prepare a devotional for the class. She said she wanted to bring her married sister to class with a newborn daughter and have her sing a song about the child. I agreed. Her sister announced the number, and my student accompanied her on the piano. Standing in front of the class, the young mother held her daughter in her arms and, looking at her, began to sing these words:

Do you know who you are—little child of mine—
So precious and dear to me?
Do you know you’re a part of a great design
That is vast as eternity?
Can you think for a moment how much depends
On your holding the “Iron Rod”?
Your life is forever—worlds without end—
Do you know you’re a child of God?

(“To a Child,” words and music by Ora Pate Stewart [Fernwood, 1964])

“All the students were touched by what they saw and heard. It was a heavenly scene. I cannot talk about it today without having tender feelings surfacing.” (Jay E. Jensen, “Little Children and the Gospel,” Ensign, Jan 1999, 30)

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