Wed - Feb 16, 2011 : 04:14 pm
3 Nephi : 27
Seems like the first half of this chapter is a gentile rebuke coming from Christ himself, to his Apostles, for not knowing the scriptures well enough. It seems like he goes on for a bit in the why, though. I wonder why it's so important to put across the point that things of Christ need to be done in Christ's name...? Seems like it'd be pretty obvious to me. I'll have to think about that one for a bit.
Then comes verse 11. This is the only verse in scripture (I think) where it states, "joy" can come to those who work evil. I remember coming across this verse on my mission, after believing that joy only comes to those who work righteousness. The joy coming of evil, of course, is very temporary, and the ultimate unrepentant result is eternal burning, but I found it very interesting that joy can indeed be found through evil works. Interesting that Christ himself said it, too. That said, True joy, as we all know, can only come through the Gospel of Christ, and is stated throughout all scripture.
Then he goes into explaining the details of the Gospel, and these verses are about as doctrinally potent as they come. ...and right now, I think the verses themselves do a better job of explaining it as anything. The atonement, enduring to the end, the justice of the Father, etc...
I wonder if verse 27's reference of "judges" refers to being a "judge in Israel", perhaps? The more I ponder this, the more I wonder if it even refers to righteous people doing what they know they should. Every testimony given which is received through the Holy Ghost stands as a witness to he or she who receives it. Should they decide not to act upon it, or commit some other sin pertaining to that truth, would not the purveyor of that truth stand as a witness (or judge) as to that truth, and the accompanying sin? Are not all sins going to be shouted from the rooftops? Is the Holy Ghost not going to testify to the truths given to each person? I wonder if the Spirit working in each of us will not make us all judges to some extent. That's somewhat a scary thought.
That being scary, verse 33 is also depressing. Gotta work to make the narrow path visible to as many people as we can, even if the broader road will ultimately (and always) be the one most people choose.
Great chapter, this was.