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In 34 A.D. the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ called and set apart twelve apostles of the Nephite Nation in the Western Hemisphere as a key step in setting up his kingdom among them too, as he had done during his mortal ministry among his fellow Jewish followers in Palestine. The painting I used is one which is used to depict the setting apart of the Twelve in Palestine. I used it because to my knowledge there isn't a painting available of that particular event in ancient Central America.
3 Nephi 12: 1 AND it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and behold, he stretched forth his hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.
Jesus Ordaining the Twelve in Palestine -by Harry Anderson (I am using this painting to remind us of the ordination of the Twelve in Central America.)
2 And again, more blessed are they who shall believe in your words because that ye shall testify that ye have seen me, and that ye know that I am. Yea, blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins. (emphasis added)
The Resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ Teaches the Nephites in Ancient Central America -by John Scott
In Chapters Twelve through Fourteen of 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, is recorded a sermon given by the Resurrected Jesus Christ to the Nephites of Ancient Central America who were the remaining more righteous citizens of the Nephite Nation after a great cataclysm had destroyed a larger and very wicked portion of their people.
That discourse is very similar to the one recorded in the New Testament, Matthew Chapters Five through Seven, which is commonly referred to as The Sermon on the Mount. We should expect that which the then, immortal and glorified, Jesus Christ had chosen to teach the Nephite-Lamanite people who were to be his followers at that time in the Western Hemisphere, would be very similar to that which he had taught his flock in Palestine during his mortal ministry there. We should expect that he would be teaching in each of his two sermons, the basic principles of his unchanging gospel.
In this present post I will have the space to only compare Chapter Twelve of 3 Nephi to Chapter Five of Matthew. There appear to be, besides many key similarities, a few insignificant differences between the two sermons. and also some very significant differences! I will quote just a portion of our Lord's Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew, Chapter 5 allowing us to compare what was said by Him in those passages there in Palestine with that which He said near the temple in the Land Bountiful (in Central America) for the purpose of identifying significant differences that exist between these two very similar sermons which were both given by Jesus Christ, the one in Palestine as a mortal and the one near the temple in the Land Bountiful in Ancient Central Americas by Him as an immortal resurrected being. I hope we can learn something very significant about the reasons for there being striking differences between these two otherwise very similar sermons.
I have used the brown print I typically use when quoting from the Bible in my blog when quoting Matthew Chapter 5. When quoting what the Savior taught his fold in the Americas as is recorded in 3 Nephi Chapter 12 I have used the blue print I typically use when quoting Latter-day Scriptures. I will use red print when making interspersed clarifying comments.
One might expect that which Jesus taught both groups; his followers in Palestine on a mount, depicted in this painting and then his Nephite followers in the Land, Bountiful near the temple there, to be very similar if not identical in most of what He teaches because they can be identified as key points of doctrine of his unchanging gospel.
The first two verses of Chapter 5 of Matthew and Chapter 12 of 3 Nephi are basically introductory and therefore I won't compare them. Please note also that I have skipped over verses four and five in both 3 Nephi Chapter 12 and Matthew 5 because they are word for word identical!
The Sermon on the Mount in Palestine -by Carl Heinrich Bloch
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
3 Nephi 12: 3 Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (emphasis added)Note: It appears that Jesus in his mortal ministry did not yet use the words, "who come unto me," because he had not yet experienced His Atonement, Death, and Resurrection, which brought on his glorified state, which is surely the reason that would cause mortals to seek to come unto him, He who had become fully their God!)
Matthew 5: 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
3 Nephi 12: 6 And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.Please Note: Jesus did not include in this comparable New Testament scripture the words, "they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost," which were used in 3 Nephi 12:6. His apostles in Palestine had not yet received the Gift of the Holy Ghost at the time of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. They received that sacred gift only after His Resurrection.
Acts 1: 4 And, being assembled together with them (His Apostles in Palestine), (He, Jesus) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. (clarification added)
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (emphasis added)
Go Ye Therefore and Teach All Nations -by Harry Anderson
____________Acts 1: 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Matthew: 5:18 for verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
3 Nephi 12:18 For verily I say unto you, one jot nor one tittle hath not passed away from the law, but in me it hath all been fulfilled. (emphasis added)Note: As you may have already determined, in the Matthew version of this verse it is written in the future tense. However, in the 3 Nephi version you will have noted it is written in the past tense. By then, Jesus personally had fulfilled the Law (of Moses) by His Atonement, Death and Resurrection!
Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
3 Nephi 12:19 And behold, I have given you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you, and the law (of Moses) is fulfilled. (emphasis and clarification added)
It would also seem to me that only then was Jesus actually able to fully know personally through His great atonement and sacrifice the full meaning of: a broken heart and a contrite spirit. The Savior just before descending from the heavens to be with the Nephites near His Temple had previously emphasized that phrase:
3 Nephi 9:20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit, And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.
Again, those words were spoken by the Resurrected Jesus Christ from the heavens in the darkness that covered those Nephites and probably others who had survived the holocaust which the Lord had put into action Himself.
See (3 Nephi 9: 12) And many great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people, because of their wickedness and their abominations.
Matthew 5: 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Nephi 12:20 Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (emphasis added)In that scripture the Resurrected and Glorified Savior of Mankind doesn't refer to just righteousness as was the case in Matthew 5:20, but to "my commandments," in speaking to the Nephites after His resurrection.
Once again I present a scriptural verse that comes from the time when the resurrected Redeemer of the World, Jesus Christ spoke from the Heavens just before descending to speak with the Nephites:
3 Nephi 9:18 I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
19 And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. (emphasis added)
Please Note: One difference between those two verses is that while in 3 Nephi 12:20 the Savior says, "come unto me and be ye saved," he also mentions keeping his commandments. He doesn't say that in Matthew 5:20.
Then too, the very last verse of each chapter we considered from each book ought to be compared:
Matthew 5: 48: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."That verse 48 in each of the two books is the perfect way to end this comparison of the two chapters, one from the New Testament and the other from the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I will refrain from further comment recognizing that you won't need any assistance from me in recognizing that the comparison of those two last verses caps the discussion very surely and decisively!
3Nephi 12: 48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
The issue of possible plagiarism of the Sermon on the Mount that has been raised by disbelievers of the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, that may possibly have been considered by some of you readers too has just faded away into the clear blue blue sky!
Thank you for your patience with me as we went through much effort in comparing these two special and very true chapters!
The comparison of our Savior Jesus Christ's words before and after His sacred atoning sacrifice and resurrection using both sets of holy and sacred scriptures, the New Testament and the Book of Mormon tells us that which our Savior and God has done!
Blessed be His name for ever and ever and may each of us strive with all of our hearts, might, minds and strength to try to be worthy of what He has done for each of us and for each of our Loved Ones!
In Case you would like to Read and Listen to Matthew Chapter Five and/or III Nephi Chapter 12, Here is Your Opportunity!
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