Nephi and John's Revelations of the Last Days Part 1 The Book of Mormon ...




Published on Jun 19, 2016
Hyrum L Andrus
All rights reserved August 10-12, 1989 and
Lecture – 20 JOHN'S REVELATION OF THE LAST DAYS, Part 1
One of the great things that the Book of Mormon does is to open the meaning of the Bible in more than one way. Tonight we want to discuss one of the real challenging ways in which this does, but I'm going to rely on the statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith as we talk about the book of Revelation. "The book of revelation is one of the plainest books God ever caused to be written.” [Teachings, p. 290] I put my hand on the sacred scriptures, I raise my arm to the square, and I bear you my testimony that that is a true statement.
Many of you may want to believe, but still may not. But I hope in some measure that we can open some doors. And if there is credit for that, it comes from the Book of Mormon, from the Prophet Joseph Smith, and from the Lord and his help which I freely and humbly acknowledge.
Let me, in order to approach this subject, get back and get the foundation. Some of you people haven't been here prior to this, so I need to go back to 1 Nephi 14. On the basis of 1 Nephi 14, we have found the foundation to understand the book of Revelation, and I want you to get that in your minds, open your hearts and your souls, because that verily is true.
In 1 Nephi 14, Nephi sees these two great churches, the church of the mother of abominations, which is the whore of all the earth, and then he sees the church of the Lamb of God, and that church of the Lamb constitutes those Latter-day Saints who come up in adversity, purify their lives and realize the blessings that Nephi talks about when he said, "I beheld that the Saints were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory." That's the church of the Lamb, the spiritually endowed church.
So he sees that these two churches exist, and this brings it down to our time, because there's never a period in this dispensation when you have a situation where the church of the Lord, the true church of Jesus Christ, is planted in all the major nations of the Gentiles--you don't have that. And you haven't had that until post-World War II days, when with the administration of President McKay we began to be an international organization. This prophecy focuses, then, on our time and on future events from our time.
Nephi sees that the mother of abominations gathered multitudes from among the Gentiles primarily, to fight against God. Nephi then said when this took place, as he saw all these churches throughout the world built up, these stakes and these wards, that he said, "I beheld the power of God, that it descended upon the Saints of the church of the Lamb and upon the covenant people of the Lord." This has particular reference to the converted Jews who will one day receive it and flee to Jerusalem. Not that all Jews will be converted, but there will be those who will, and the major nation of the Jews will not.
Then he sees the power of God in great glory rest upon them, and they were all armed with righteousness and with the power of God. Then he sees the preparatory work that the Lord does to establish Zion. And that preparatory work is a cleansing work, and that cleansing work is a work of cleansing among the Latter-day Saints and of this land of Zion. So he sees when the power of God rests upon the Saints, that there will be wars and rumors of wars among all nations, and this includes our beloved America.
He says, verse 17: "When the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose foundation is the devil, then, at that day," and that's a point of reference, telling us a time and what will happen, "then at that day the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel."
Now, this is not the day of Israel's gathering, of Israel's redemption. Note that he says, "...then at that day the work of the Father shall commence in preparing the way"--this is a preparatory situation and action. It is carried out in connection with this warfare that's poured out upon all nations. The preparatory program is one that is fulfilled through warfare. That's what he is saying. And it's going to be preparatory to the work of fulfilling his covenants which he has made to his people who are of the house of Israel.
Now, there are two things that are necessary, primarily, to prepare. One is that we need a Zion people; we need people who are truly Zion in the sense that they become sanctified, that they are truly a consecrated people, that they live in tune with the Holy Spirit, and that the Holy Spirit brings them to a free and open union where they see eye to eye, a… Get the full transcription from www.hyrumandrus.com!

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See How The Lessons Plans In The Book Of Mormon Are A Type And Shadow Of What Comes Our Way-

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Book of Mormon
Lesson 37
“Whosoever Will Come, Him Will I Receive”

Lesson Highlights
  • Great destruction occurs in the Americas at the time of Jesus' death.
  • Survivors hear the voice of the Lord inviting them to return to Him.
  • Jesus Christ descends from heaven and teaches the people.
A study of this lesson will help us understand the fulfillment of Samuel’s prophecies and the blessings available to those who come unto the Savior.
Scripture references for study:  3 Nephi 8–11
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

3 Nephi 8 - Destruction Upon The Land
As discussed in Lesson 35, a few years before the birth of the Savior, Samuel the Lamanite went amongst the Nephites preaching repentance and prophesied of future events.
  • In Helaman 14, Samuel told of great destruction that would occur upon the land at the time of the Savior's death.
  • Thirty-three years after the birth of Jesus, "the people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land. And there began to be great doubtings and disputations among the people, notwithstanding so many signs had been given." (3 Nephi 8:3-4)
  • President Ezra Taft Benson:  "In the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming. A major portion of the book centers on the few decades just prior to Christ's coming to America. By careful study of that time period we can determine why some were destroyed in the terrible judgments that preceded His coming and what brought others to stand at the temple in the land of Bountiful and thrust their hands into the wounds of His hands and feet." (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p59)
  • How many people in the world are actively preparing for the Second Coming? How many doubt the signs that indicate that the Second Coming is near? How many will be destroyed at the Lord's coming because they failed to prepare?
  • Just as important, how many are "taken home to that God who gave them life?" (Alma 40:11) Though the Second Coming may still be years away, are we prepared today to enter "paradise?" Our lives can end at any time. Are we prepared?
"And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land." (3 Nephi 8:5)
  • Verses 6 through 18 describe the terrible destructions that took place upon the land.
    • The city of Zarahemla burned.
    • The city of Moroni sunk into the sea and all the inhabitants drowned.
    • The city of Moronihah was buried by a mountain.
    • "And many great and notable cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen to the earth, and the inhabitants thereof were slain, and the places were left desolate" (v14).
    • This scale of destruction had not occurred upon the earth since the great flood.
  • "And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease--for behold, they did last for about the space of three hours; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours--and then behold, there was darkness upon the face of the land."
  • (3 Nephi 8:19)
    • HOW LONG DID THE DARKNESS LAST?
      • Three days (see v23).
    • WHAT KIND OF DARKNESS WAS THIS?
      • It was a total and complete darkness.
      • "thick darkness . . . insomuch that the inhabitants . . . could feel the vapor of darkness" (v20).
      • The inhabitants could not even light a fire "with their fine and exceedingly dry wood" (v21).
      • I have had the opportunity of being deep in a cave and having the lights switched off. So complete was the darkness that I could not see my hand, even an inch or two in front of my face. But I could have lit a candle or turned on a flashlight. Such was not possible during the three days of darkness. How frightening that must have been.
    • Jesus said: "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12).
      • It is interesting to note that the prominent sign, to Nephite/Lamanite nation, of the Lord's birth into the world was light. 
        • "At the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came" (3 Nephi 1:15).
      • In contrast, at his death there was total and complete darkness. The surviving Nephites and Lamanites could not go anywhere so total was the darkness.
      • As noted in the eighth chapter of John, Christ is our light and without him we are lost.
        • HOW HAS FOLLOWING THE SAVIOR BROUGHT LIGHT INTO YOUR LIFE?
        • HOW MANY ARE LOST IN SPIRITUAL DARKNESS BECAUSE THEY FAIL TO FOLLOW THE MASTER AND HIS TEACHING?
  • "There was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them" (v23).

3 Nephi 9 & 10
 In the midst of this darkness "there was a voice heard among all the inhabitants of the earth, upon all the face of this land" (3 Nephi 9:1).
  • WHOSE VOICE DID THE PEOPLE HEAR?
  • WHAT WAS HIS MESSAGE?
    • In 3 Nephi 9:2-12, the Lord describes the great destruction throughout the land and tells the survivors that this happened "because of their iniquity and abominations" (v2).
      • "And behold, that great city Moronihah have I covered with earth, and the inhabitants thereof, to hide their iniquities and their abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come any more unto me against them" (v5).
    • "O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."
    • (3 Nephi 9:13-14)
      • This second part of the message was a message of hope. After describing the calamity, the Lord called the people to repentance and asked them to "come" unto him that he may "heal" them.
        • These survivors were a generation of people that needed healing. They had:
          • Endured war with the Gadianton robbers.
          • They had watched the collapse of their government.
          • They were witnesses to the natural holocaust that had just occurred in the cities of the American continent.
        • Elder Jeffrey R. Holland:  "'Come,' [Christ] says lovingly. 'Come, follow me.' Wherever you are going, first come and see what I do, see where and how I spend my time. Learn of me, walk with me, talk with me, believe. Listen to me pray. In turn you will find answers to your own prayers. God will bring rest to your souls. Come, follow me."  (Ensign, Nov 1997, p65)
    • In 3 Nephi 9:15-18, Jesus testifies that he is the Son of God and that he is the "light and the life of the world".
    • He tells the people to no longer offer up their sacrifices and burnt offerings. The Law of Moses has been done away with.
      • WHAT DOES HE TELL THEM TO DO INSTEAD OF MAKING THESE OFFERINGS?
        • "And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit" (3 Nephi 9:20).
        • Elder Neal A. Maxwell:  "The real act of personal sacrifice is not now nor ever has been placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal that is in us upon the altar—then willingly watching it be consumed! Such is the "sacrifice unto [the Lord of] a broken heart and a contrite spirit." (Meek and Lowly, p94)
        • "Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved" (3 Nephi 9:22).
"And it came to pass that thus did the three days pass away. And it was in the morning, and the darkness dispersed from off the face of the land, and the earth did cease to tremble, and the rocks did cease to rend, and the dreadful groanings did cease, and all the tumultuous noises did pass away. And the earth did cleave together again, that it stood; and the mourning, and the weeping, and the wailing of the people who were spared alive did cease; and their mourning was turned into joy, and their lamentations into the praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ, their Redeemer." (3 Nephi 10:9-10)
  • From these verses it would appear that during the three days of total darkness there continued to be aftershocks from the great cataclysm. How difficult, and terrifying at times, this must have been for the survivors to see great destruction, be surrounded by total darkness, and to have the earth unstable during this time of darkness. Indeed, when it stopped, this became a time of rejoicing and thanksgiving.

3 Nephi 11 - The Appearance of Christ
The greatest moment of the Book of Mormon is revealed in the personal appearance of Jesus Christ to the more righteous part of Lehi's descendants, those who had witnessed the bitter and the sweet in the years preceding this grand event.
Following the great destruction and the three days of darkness a multitude of people had gathered near the temple in the land of Bountiful.
  • READ 3 NEPHI 11:3-7.
    • WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THE PEOPLE DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE VOICE UNTIL THE THIRD TIME?
      • The scripture says the third time they "did open their ears to hear it".
      • Were they not sufficiently spiritually tuned?
      • Were they not trying to understand the voice?
    • THE QUESTION FOR US: HAVE WE OPENED OUR EARS TO HEAR AND UNDERSTAND THE VOICE AND WILL OF THE LORD OR DO WE JUST HEAR THE SOUNDS AND NOT TRULY OPEN OUR EARS?
      • We are about to have the opportunity to listen to another great General Conference.
        • Will we just hear the words or will we seek to comprehend, understand, and apply?
        • What do we need to do to prepare?
  • READ 3 Nephi 11:8-17.
    • HOW DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD HAVE FELT IF YOU HAD BEEN PRESENT WHEN JESUS APPEARED TO THE PEOPLE IN ANCIENT AMERICA?
    • WHY DID THE SAVIOR WANT THE MULTITUDE TO FEEL HIS WOUNDS?
      • It was a second witness to that which they beheld with their eyes.
      • "and this they did do...and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of who it was written by the prophets, that should come." (v15)
    • HOW CAN WE KNOW THAT JESUS IS THE SAVIOR?
      • "But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good." (Ether 4:11)
      • "Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?" (D&C 6:22-23)
      • HOW HAS THE BOOK OF MORMON HELPED YOU GAIN THIS WITNESS?
        • As one comes to know the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, these great events become a testimony that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of the world.
    • "Hosanna!  Blessed be the name of the Most High God!  And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him."
    • (v17)
      • Daniel H. Ludlow: "The word Hosanna is a transliteration of a Hebrew word of supplication which means in essence 'Oh, grant salvation.' Evidently the people were asking the Savior to teach them the way to salvation; thus it is not surprising that he immediately teaches them the basic principles and ordinances of the gospel." (A Companion To Your Study of the Book of Mormon, p261)
Authority & Ordinances.
  • WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THE SAVIOR TEACHES AFTER HE APPEARS TO THE PEOPLE AND THEY SEE AND FEEL HIS  WOUNDS? 
    • Baptism.
    • WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE, OF ALL THE WONDERFUL ASPECTS OF THE GOSPEL, BAPTISM WAS THE FIRST THING THE SAVIOR TAUGHT?
      • Baptism, with its necessary prerequisites of faith and repentance, opens the door to the Lord's kingdom and to the reception of the Holy Ghost.
      • This is the gate by which all must enter. One cannot feast at the table of the Lord until he has entered in at the gate.
  • READ 3 NEPHI 11:28-30.
    • WHAT DID THE LORD TEACH HERE ABOUT CONTENTION?
    • WHY IS CONTENTION ABOUT GOSPEL DOCTRINES DANGEROUS?
      • "...Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them." (D&C 10:63)
      • "Now these dissenters, having the same instruction and the same information of the Nephites, yea, having been instructed in the same knowledge of the Lord, nevertheless, it is strange to relate, not long after their dissensions they became more hardened and impenitent, and more wild, wicked and ferocious than the Lamanites--drinking in with the traditions of the Lamanites; giving way to indolence, and all manner of lasciviousness; yea, entirely forgetting the Lord their God." (Alma 47:63)
      • Elder Bruce R. McConkie:  "Contention leads to bitterness and smallness of soul; persons who contend with each other shrivel up spiritually and are in danger of losing their salvation. So important is it to avoid this evil that Jesus expects his saints to suffer oppression and wrong rather than lose their inner peace and serenity through contention. `He that hath the spirit of Contention is not of me,' he told the Nephites, `but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another." (Mortal Messiah, 2:141)
  • READ 3 NEPHI 11:38-39.
    • WHAT IS THE LORD'S DOCTRINE?
      • Elders George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl: "Our Lord, next, tells Nephi and the other disciples, and He repeats it by way of emphasis, that repentance, a childlike disposition and baptism, are three conditions without which none can inherit the Kingdom of God.
            "Why childlike? The normal little child is willing to learn. It is content with the arrangements of its father or mother, its teachers, its lawful governors, to whom it is bound by love, admiration and respect. Because of that disposition it fits perfectly in its place in the family, the school or the society. It is so with those who have experienced repentance, been 'born again' and become as a little child, childlike, and have proved their willingness to obey the Lord; they are they who can have a useful place in God's Kingdom. They are never rebellious. In other words, they are as a stone laid in its proper place in the structure reared on the Eternal Rock, which Rock is Jesus Christ."
         (Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 7:142)
    • WHY DO WE SOMETIMES COMPLICATE WHAT THE LORD HAS MADE SO CLEAR?

Gospel Doctrine Notebook

Record your thoughts on the great events discussed in this lesson. How can you better know that Jesus is the Christ?

Resources Used In This Lesson
A Companion To Your Study of the Book of Mormon by Daniel H. Ludlow.
Commentary on the Book of Mormon by George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl.
Ensign.
Meek and Lowly by Neal A. Maxwell.
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson.
The Mortal Messiah by Bruce R. McConkie.

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