Friday, December 19, 2008

33b - The Resurrected Jesus Christ's Ministry in Ancient America

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Jesus Christ Visits in the Americas -by John Scott
You now have the special opportunity of reading more of the initial teachings Jesus gave the Nephite people in His visit with them in their homeland in the Western Hemisphere not long after His resurrection in Jerusalem.

You will first read of Jesus' call to twelve men to be His disciples (apostles) who were to serve the people there.

Being that you are most likely acquainted with the four Gospels of the New Testament, you may recognize right away that the teachings you will now read, are teachings that He gave to the people in Palestine when He was still in mortality. It only makes sense that the Savior of the World would teach the same things to this branch of the House of Israel (some of the other sheep of his fold - John 10:16) as He had taught His flock in Palestine during His mortality.

This demonstrates that He is the same person as before, with the exception being, that He is now resurrected and glorified for all eternity.

I invite you now to read the following scripture: (Using the Listen function should help you.) III Nephi 12: 1-48

I remind you, that which is written in each chapter in the greater portion of the Book of Mormon is a summary by the prophet Mormon. In this sub-book, III Nephi, Mormon has made it clear that his record is taken from the writings of this prophet, Nephi who was chosen by our Savior as one of his twelve disciples in that land.

In this particular chapter which you have just read and listened to, in my opinion each principle the Lord Jesus Christ taught the Nephites, applies equally to you and me. Do you agree? When we live by each of these principles in the spirit by which He taught them, we can be sure of rich spiritual blessings and then and in time, be promised eternal life by Him.

That which I shall now highlight for you is something that may not directly apply in our lives, but perhaps you can see some application as you contemplate that which Jesus spoke to the Nephites:
III Nephi 12: 46 Therefore those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled.
47 Old things are done away, and all things have become new.
48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
I imagine that none of you, as is the case with me, have ever lived under the Law of Moses. Therefore we can't imagine very easily the perhaps difficult transition these Nephites were being asked to make. However, reading some of the Apostle Paul's words regarding the difficulty the people he was teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, had, in giving up living by the Law of Moses, should help us understand the necessity of Jesus saying what He did in verses 46 and 47 above to these Israelites who had also been living the Law of Moses before and since their ancestor, Lehi had left Jerusalem.

New Testament: Galatians 3: 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Perhaps our Savior's words, "Old things are done away, and all things have become new," are very applicable to us. Don't we understand these principles more clearly, or like new, after we have really focused on what He said to the Nephites?

I suppose there is much which you have read in this blog post today that should have helped you and me more fully realize that these people, the Nephites, truly existed, and were another part of Jesus' flock which He chose, at that time, to visit and teach. Hopefully, we have learned that we must learn and live more fully the same principles He taught them.

I have a special love for the Nephite-Lamanite people and their descendants. I worked for a good number of years for the Indian Placement Service of the LDS (Mormon) Church, where LDS American Indian children were helped to improve the quality of their education by living with a volunteer LDS foster family during the school year, and then returning home to their own families on the "Indian Reservations" (where the schools, at that time, were generally not of very high quality) for the summer vacation.

Also at that time LDS branches and wards on or near the Indian Reservations often had difficulty functioning because of the lack of experienced leadership.

I have at times, wondered who the other lost sheep were who were also of our Savior's flock that He refers to in John 10:16. Early in the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ in His pre-mortal life, said the following to Nephi, the fourth son of Lehi that doesn't answer my question but does promise an answer in the future:

II Nephi 29:13 And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.
I remind you of the inspiring and uplifting Christmas Video I embedded at the end of my just previous blog post (#33a). In case you haven't seen that, I suggest you scroll down through this post to that post. You'll find it near its end. I promise you that it will be a very worthwhile experience.


This website is not owned by or affiliated with the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church.


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Neil Birch

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