3 Nephi 30


 



MDC Contents

 

 

 3 Nephi 30:1

1  Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:

3 Nephi 30:2

2  Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.

 

Our current chapter 30 replicates the chapter from the 1830 text. This is a chapter that consists of a single complex sentence, broken into two verses. The first verse is Mormon’s introduction to the second verse. He tells us that the second verse should be considered as a quotation from the Savior himself.

 

Mormon is concluding 3 Nephi. More than that, he is concluding his discussion of the most important event to take place on the soil of the entire Western hemisphere. How does one end such a description?

 

For Mormon, the true importance of the Savior’s appearance is not in the appearance itself, but the context of the story of God’s relationship with Israel of which this was a part. Mormon clearly understands the Savior as the Atoning Messiah who came to provide the atonement. His discussion clearly shows that he understood that issues of atonement and redemption were part of the mission of the Atoning Messiah.

 

At the same time, Mormon understands that this Atoning Messiah is also the Triumphant Messiah. Mormon sees this appearance of the Atoning Messiah as a type of the next coming of the Savior, the time when he will come as the Triumphant Messiah. Thus the concluding comments are not on the wonders of the Savior’s appearance, but the meaning of this appearance for the future. In particular, Mormon is understandably concerned with the text that he is writing. He is engaged in the process of producing this text on plates. We understand that he is working from some type of outline, probably a draft form. Therefore this is a text on which he has spent years of his life in the research and the writing, and arriving at this discussion of the Savior he focuses on the future importance of this very text he is writing. When Mormon chooses to close this most important chapter, he does so by creating a completely separate chapter to highlight this testimonial. In it he speaks directly to his future readers. He address those of us that are, at the time, far in his future.

 

Mormon does not tell us if the Savior actually spoke these words to him for the purpose of placing in this testimonial, or if this is Mormon’s interpretation of the impact of the message of the Messiah. Certainly the Lord could have given him this sentence.

 

It is also possible that Mormon couches that meaning in his own terms. The sentence uses phraseology that we have previously seen from Mormon:

 

Alma 16:18

18 Now those priests who did go forth among the people did preach against all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and malice, and revilings, and stealing, robbing, plundering, murdering, committing adultery, and all manner of lasciviousness, crying that these things ought not so to be—

 

3 Nephi 1:22

22 And it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen; but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings the more part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord.

 

Textual: This is the end of the chapter, and the entire book of 3 Nephi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Brant Gardner. Copyright 2002