Episode 69: 3 Nephi 22-27

March 2, 2015


Click to Listen: Episode 69: 3 Nephi 22-27

Jesus keeps talking, and talking, and talking. It’s unclear whether or not he even understands what he’s talking about, but that doesn’t stop him for babbling on about it. Also, we learn that Jesus and the angel Moroni must hang out a lot because they both have the same habit of jumping back and forth between heaven and earth without any warning or explanation.

“Drink” Count – 34 (this includes the freebie after chapter 22)

Almost 6 beers


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5 Comments on “Episode 69: 3 Nephi 22-27”

  1. Tina Says:

    I loved David’s earnest attempt to make sense of these chapters. Too funny.

    I checked in today, hoping for wisdom from the Duke. (I feel like I’ve become dependent on his insight.) All I can say is that Chapters 24 and 25 make almost no sense to me b/c they are almost verbatim copies of what is written in Malachi 3 and 4; i.e., the Old Testament book Malachi. And Malachi makes little sense to me on its own merit. I only know what I was taught it was supposed to mean according to Sunday School manuals. Mormons believe these chapters prophesy of the Second Coming, though I wonder if Jews or other Christians read them the same way. (Mormons sometimes have a habit of interpreting Bible passages in a way that nobody else seems to.)

    “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” is a favorite in Mormon scripture study. But the real “biggie” in terms of Mormon doctrine is 3 Nephi 25:6 (Malachi 4:6): “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Mormons believe this is talking specifically about the restoration of temple practices to spiritually bind generations of families together in the eternities. It’s used as a scripture to motivate people to research their families’ genealogy. Hoping others can shed a little light on the rest of it…


    • Duke of Earl Grey Says:

      I don’t think you need me on this one. It looks like you’ve got this, Tina. But if you insist…

      I couldn’t say much about Malachi, and how other religions read it. I think the typical Christian reading is that the prophecy of Elijah coming was fulfilled when Elijah and Moses appeared to Jesus on the mountain at the Transfiguration, end of story. How that has anything to do with turning hearts of fathers to children and vice versa, I don’t know. At least Mormonism took the idea a little further, and fulfilled the prophecy in another way, as you alluded to. (Doctrine and Covenants spoiler!)

      And whenever I think of Elijah in the context of Judaism, I always remember that SNL skit from the 90’s where a Jewish family at Passover is leaving an empty chair for Elijah, as per tradition. Then there’s a knock on the door, and Elijah, played by Jerry Seinfeld, comes in to dinner. He ends up being a pretty big jerk. (“This soup is saltier than the Dead Sea!”)

      The modern LDS church loves to emphasize the 4 or 5 verses here that talk about tithing, and the leaders frequently remind the membership of their tithing obligation, telling them to make it a priority over any other expenses, like such trifles as rent or food. After all, the church can always stingily dish out welfare if you really need it, so tithe first, and the “windows of heaven” will be opened, with the disclaimer that the blessings poured out may be merely spiritual, rather than tangible, monetary-type blessings.

      But many liberal Mormons, those you might call the Dis-Affected Mormon Underground (or DAMU, pronounced “damn you”, for short), still believe the scriptures are inspired, even if the church isn’t. They would interpret the tithing verses as a rebuke not against members of the church who won’t pay their full tithing, but against the leaders of the church who could be using the collected tithes to help the poor, instead of robbing God by investing a large chunk of it in for-profit ventures. The verse doesn’t say, after all, “that there may be high-end shopping malls in my house, saith the Lord.”

      Jesus’ excuse for regurgitating all this Malachi was that the Nephites didn’t have it on the brass plates, since they left Jerusalem before the time of Malachi. Fair enough. That didn’t stop him from quoting a shload of Isaiah, which the brass plates supposedly had in abundance.

      Yes, 3 Nephi is big disappointment, for the most part. But it isn’t over yet. Maybe, if we’re lucky, something crazy will happen soon…


  2. John Ashton Says:

    What kind of beer?


  3. colddodger2015 Says:

    I always thought 3 Nephi was the most disappointing part of the book of mormon, and this was my thought as a true believing mormon (tbm) doing all he could to wring meaning from its pages anyway I could. Since David started discussing 3 Nephi, I’ve begun to realize just how dry and shallow it really is –– regurgitations of things we already had mixed with original content that seems to be unimaginatively focused on what shape a true church of Christ should take rather than what kind of person we ought to be.

    Personally, I used to attach a lot of meaning to 3 Nephi 26:9-11. This, to me, was the perfect explanation for why the Book of Mormon contains so few of the things that Mormons actually believe are essential parts of “the gospel.” We were given the “lesser things” first to try our faith, and then if it so be that we could believe things then would “the greater things be made manifest unto” us. The greater things being, in my personal view, every part of mormonism that the Book of Mormon fails to touch upon.

    In the tbms that I’ve talked to, its a huge hurdle of faith to try and figure out why the Book of Mormon is missing so much doctrinally and yet we claim it to be the “keystone” of our faith, as it says on the title page, and the “most correct of any book” on earth, a book containing the “fulness of the everlasting gospel.”

    If “fulness” means anything, shouldn’t it mean all, or everything? It should, so I turned to the word “gospel” instead –– is there some way to redefine “gospel” in a way that the phrase “fullness of the everlasting gospel” can describe the limited range of doctrine that the book touches? Gospel means good news in Greek. What is the good news? It’s that Christ came into the world to make forgiveness of sins and resurrection possible, and the Book of Mormon does touch upon the minimum requirements to lay claim to one’s own individual salvation.

    In your reading selection for this episode there is a summary of that portion of the “everlasting gospel” that the Book of Mormon focuses on. 3 Nephi 27: 13-22. I read this summary and decided that this was the “lesser things” spoken of in chapter 26, and my duty was to “obtain a testimony” about these lesser, yet far more fundamental, things before the “greater things” could be made manifest unto my understanding.

    This is how I made sense of the “keystone” analogy. The keystone is not in and of itself the whole arch, but it is the most essential piece that holds the whole thing together and locks the rest in place with its supportive, distributive weight. TBMs set up a domino effect of logic –– if the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet, so if Joseph Smith was a prophet this is the true church, and if this is the true church then everything else it does and teaches is true, so believe and obey.

    Utilizing this logic, I comforted myself in other Book of Mormon passages that alluded to more knowledge to come after the book. I no longer believe this book is the literal word of God, but I wanted to give you this glimpse into the mind of a tbm, someone with a living, vibrant “testimony” and their ability to read meaning into this book. Except, in the example I just gave you, you can see how I turned what the book fails to mention as evidence for its truthfulness –– I added meaning that may not actually be there. But still, for many a tbm this is a multilayered book that continues to teach them new things.


  4. Ephima Morphew Says:

    Translated Beings are destined to dither in etherial fog.
    Eeny meeny miny moe Mymo Gospel, memo to my-mo moo moo, to do what you do doo.
    Making the world a better place with an honest liar for sport.
    Through the awesome grace of god, the powers are given to Joseph Smith from Jesus to create a bible by the unreliable narrator.
    Bible Magic is the best magic with the Liahona guide to the light from darkness to philo-semetic fullness of spirit. “O God hear the words of my mouth.”


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