3 Nephi 12 to 16 – “I Am the Law, and the Light”

September 21, 2020 to September 27, 2020

In these chapters, the jewel of the Book of Mormon, Christ teaches the way of salvation. He teaches covenants, prayer, gathering and escape, and perfection.

Illuminating the Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount, by John W. Welch
Welch explores the contours of the Sermon at the Temple through its history, language, and temple context. Chapter 6 compares the words and phrases in the Sermon at the Temple with the Sermon on the Mount to show their points of independence. Chapter 7 lists elements in the Sermon that were derived from the common Israelite heritage shared by the Jews and the Nephites. The full text of this book is available at this web page.

“The Commandment to Be Perfect,” Gary R. Whiting, The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9–30, This Is My Gospel
Beginning with 3 Nephi 12:19 is a series of commandments and sayings that Jesus uses to typify the difference between the old covenant of the Mosaic law and the new covenant of the gospel. In listing contrasts, the application Jesus makes is characterized by one new thing: love.

“Moses and Jesus: The Old Adorns the New,” S. Kent Brown, From Jerusalem to Zarahemla: Literary and Historical Studies of the Book of Mormon
​In 3 Nephi, the risen Lord cites Isaiah’s prophecies of a ‘‘new exodus” to instruct his audience about the gathering of Israel in the last days. By miraculously providing bread and wine, and by identifying himself as the law and the light, the Savior established himself as one greater than Moses.

“‘Pray Always’: Learning to Pray as Jesus Prayed,” Donald W. Parry, The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9–30, This Is My Gospel
Nowhere in all of the Book of Mormon is the subject of prayer taught and emphasized in such a concentrated fashion as it is in 3 Nephi 11–20, wherein approximately sixty verses are dedicated to the subject of prayer and some eleven prayers are offered. Noteworthy is the central role that Jesus Christ plays in teaching the concept of prayer to the Nephite multitude.

“‘After This Manner…Pray Ye,’” Donald W. Parry, Ensign, January 1996
During his ministry among the Nephites, Jesus gave many important teachings and instructions regarding prayer, including the benefits of prayer, what to pray for, how to pray, the proper posture of prayer, and the usage of diving names during prayer.