Previous: 3 Nephi Chapter 28  |      Book Home      |   Next: 3 Nephi Chapter 30

3 Nephi Chapter 29

1 And now behold, I say unto you that when the Lord shall see fit, in his wisdom, that these sayings shall come unto the Gentiles according to his word, then ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of Israel, concerning their restoration to the lands of their inheritance, is already beginning to be fulfilled.

verse 1 Again, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon ("these sayings") is a sign that the great final gathering is beginning and that his second coming is nigh (see verse 2; see also 3 Nephi 21:1-7; Ether 4:17).

2 And ye may know that the words of the Lord, which have been spoken by the holy prophets, shall all be fulfilled; and ye need not say that the Lord delays his coming unto the children of Israel.

3 And ye need not imagine in your hearts that the words which have been spoken are vain, for behold, the Lord will remember his covenant which he hath made unto his people of the house of Israel.

4 And when ye shall see these sayings coming forth among you, then ye need not any longer spurn at the doings of the Lord, for the sword of his justice is in his right hand; and behold, at that day, if ye shall spurn at his doings he will cause that it shall soon overtake you.

verse 4 Mormon is obviously writing to, and warning, the people of our dispensation. The Book of Mormon must obviously be taken most seriously, as it is the Lord's solemn warning to our dispensation.

To spurn is to manifest disdain in rejecting any thing.

5 Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord; yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works!

verse 5 "Spurneth at" is a colorful verb form which obviously means to reject, scorn, or treat contemptuously.

The reader may notice the example of synonymous parallelism contained in this verse (see the supplemental article, The Hebrew Language and the Book of Mormon):

Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord

Wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works!

6 Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost!

verse 6 One cannot help but be reminded of the so-called orthodox Christians in the world today. Generally speaking, they believe the canon of scripture is closed and includes only the Bible. They believe the sixty-six books of the Bible contain all the truths necessary to bring individuals to salvation and enable them to live godly lives. During the time of the Reformation, when the Reformers were struggling against the claims of authority in the Roman Catholic Church, they often used the terms sola scriptura ("the scriptures alone") and ad fontes ("to the sources"). The first term was shorthand for the doctrine that the scriptures alone, God's written word, were authoritative for the declaration and definition of doctrine. The second was directed to Christians wanting to understand the gospel. They should turn back from all other potential sources of doctrine to the scriptures-the only real sources of doctrine.

7 Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!

verse 7 "to get gain" These are the preachers guilty of the sin of "priestcraft." If a man represents himself as a priesthood or church leader, yet his primary motive is personal popularity, power, or financial gain rather than the selfless serving of his fellow man, then he is guilty of practicing priestcrafts or priestcraft.

Here, again, the term "son of perdition" seems to refer to Judas Iscariot (see the commentary for 3 Nephi 27:32).

8 Yea, and ye need not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews, nor any of the remnant of the house of Israel; for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them, and he will do unto them according to that which he hath sworn.

verse 8 The word "hiss" is used in the scriptures with two quite different meanings. Here the word is used in its pejorative or negative sense. It means to express disapproval by hissing and even carries with it the spirit of persecution.

It is also used negatively in the expression "hiss and a by-word." This colorful expression is found in none other scripture than the Book of Mormon where it is found 3 Nephi 16:9 and 1 Nephi 19:14. In these verses the word "hiss" is used as a noun and means something like "someone or some thing spoken of in disapproving terms." A "by-word" or "byword" is, in this context, a person or thing known for contemptible qualities.

The word "hiss" may also have a positive meaning in that it is used to mean to signal to or call or notify (see 2 Nephi 15:26; Isaiah 5:26; Isaiah 7:18; Zechariah 10:8; Moroni 10:28).

9 Therefore ye need not suppose that ye can turn the right hand of the Lord unto the left, that he may not execute judgment unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel.

verse 9 This verse is reminiscent of the profound truth revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith when he was in Liberty Jail: "How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints" (D&C 121:33).

The colorful phrase "turn the right hand of the Lord unto the left" obviously means to thwart the Lord in his purposes.

Previous: 3 Nephi Chapter 28  |      Book Home      |   Next: 3 Nephi Chapter 30