We pick up with Jesus discussing the scriptures. He has just repeated from Isaiah 54 and tells them that they, “…ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.” (3 Nephi 23:1) The language that he uses gives no doubt to what they and we need to do. He first says “Ought” and then to make it perfectly clear with no room for any other interpretation, he commands. And not only are we to read, but to “search diligently”. We will be held accountable for this.
As Jesus was the one who gave the doctrine to record, he repeats all the scriptures that they should have written down through all the generations. Repeats, not reads. (Musing: I will love to know what it’s like to be able to recall all that I need to when I need to. To have a perfect memory. Or at least all the good things!) He asks Nephi to bring him all the records that they have kept, reads them, and then points out some things that are missing to have them record. Then he explains in detail (aka expounds) everything that had been written in their records and commands them to go and teach all that he had just explained.
Our Savior doesn’t end there with the scriptures. Lehi left 600 years before and so there is quite a bit of more recent revelation that they don’t have. He wants them to have it all, and starts with Malachi. He repeats Malachi 3 and 4 and then explains it. Then goes on and expounds the entire history of the world to the end of the world. “…,even all things which should come upon the face of the earth,...” (3 Nephi 26:3). Every detail was expounded to these 12 extraordinary men.
Yet, we are not to receive these teachings. We have a teeny, tiny portion of what he told them because our faith is to be tried. If we can not abide and believe what’s given to us with these scriptures, why would we believe and abide the greater? Though like most, I would love to know what else was said, but as I am having a hard enough time doing the things that have been said so far, which to the Savior are considered “a lesser part” (3 Nephi 26:8), then how could I possibly be able to do the greater things? I’ll leave it alone.
Christ taught the people for 3 days. He healed and blessed them. He ministers to the children. Then he leaves and the Apostles get to work teaching and baptizing.
Then they it a slight snag. They are fasting and in “mighty prayer” because there’s some disputing going on as to what the Church should be called. While in prayer, Jesus appears and asks them what the problem is. They tell him and then ask, “why is it the people murmur and dispute because of this,… have they not read the scriptures?…therefore ye shall call the church in my name.” (3Nephi 27:4,5,7) He is quite clear. Call the church in his name because if it’s called by any other name then it’s not his church….
….IF it’s also built upon his Gospel, that is.
Not some of it, not most if it, but all of it. His church will also have the fullness of his Gospel, or it will not be his church. He will not know those who profess to be of a church and not do the fullness of it.
DO. His church is a church of doing, not just saying or thinking. We must DO.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must DO in my church’ for the works which ye have seen me DO that shall ye also DO’ for that which ye see me DO even that shall ye DO; Therefore, if ye DO these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (3 Nephi 21-22, capitals added for emphasis)
6 times the Savior said DO in those 2 verses. I’m thinking it’s absolutely important if he feels the need to repeat one word 6 times.
The point of this life is to return to live with our Father in Heaven. In order to do this, we need to be able to be as clean and righteous as possible. Fortunately, he didn’t leave us to figure this out for ourselves, but sent his Son to guide us, be our example and take up our slack through the Atonement. So, we must become like him as much as we can.
Brother Clark said “Shakespeare said “to be or not to be.” That is actually a good question, but the Savior posed it in a way that is doctrinally much more profound. He says, “therefore what manner of men ought your to be? Verily I say unto, even as I am.” He invites us to take upon us his name and his nature.
To become as he is, we must do the things that he did, but the “be” and “do” to really be functional are inseparable. They’re independent doctrines that reinforce promote each other. The Savior often denounced those who did without being, calling them hypocrites. Conversely, to be without to do is void. Entering the waters of baptism is something that we do. The be that must proceed it is faith in Jesus Christ and a mighty change of heart.
Partaking of the sacrament is something we do, being worthy of partaking the sacrament is a weightier and much more important matter. I believe that one thing that every one of us needs to do is always have the idea that I “do to become.” If in all things we’re always thinking “do to become” then we’re including some of the Savior’s most important teachings from 3 Nephi here near the end of his ministry among the Nephites.”
He couldn’t have said it any better. We must do to become.
What do we or you need to work on to do so that we can become?