Looking closely at elements of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) reveals that these words are much more than instructions for Christian living. They are steps for making eternal covenants that bind people to God.
“Sermon on the Mount Overview, Matthew 5-7,” in Charting the New Testament
Many people have wondered whether the Sermon on the Mount is a single coherent text or whether it is, instead, a scrapbook of miscellaneous sayings without any particular structure or organizing principle. Recent scholarship, however, has begun to see the Sermon as a baptismal catechism or an instructional text teaching baptized Christians their advanced duties as members of the kingdom of God. While the Sermon on the Mount certainly contains many ethical and social teachings, it also goes far beyond the regular scope of an ordinary moral discourse.
“Toward an Understanding of the Sermon as a Temple Text,” by John W. Welch, from The Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount
Welch identifies forty-eight elements of the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon at the Temple in the Book of Mormon in view of establishing covenant relationships between God and his people. 1. A thrice-repeated announcement from above. 2. Opening ears and eyes. 3. Delegation of duty by the Father to the Son. 4. Coming down. 5. Silence. 6. Identification by marks on the hand. 7. Falling down. 8. Personally touching the wounds. 9. Hosanna Shout and falling down a second time. 10. Ordination to the priesthood. 11. Baptism explained. 12. Assuring the absence of evil. 13. Witnesses. 14. Teaching the gospel. 15. Commending his disciples unto the people. 16. Blessings promised. 17. The people invited to become the salt of the earth. 18. A first set of laws explained. 19. Obedience and sacrifice. 20. Prohibition against anger, ill-speaking, and ridicule of brethren. 21. Reconciliation necessary before proceeding further. 22. Chastity. 23. Marriages of covenanters are not to be dissolved except for certain causes. 24. Oaths sworn by saying yes or no. 25. Love of enemies. 26. Transition into a higher order. 27. Giving to the poor. 28. The order of prayer. 29. Fasting, washing, and anointing. 30. A requirement of consecration. 31. Care promised for the twelve disciples. 32. Clothing. 33. Preparing for the judgment. 34. Secrecy required. 35. A three-fold petition. 36. Seeking a gift from the Father. 37. Help other people. 38. Entering through a narrow opening. 39. Bearing the fruit of the Tree of the Life. 40. Entering into the presence of the Lord. 41. Lecture on the portion of God’s covenant with Israel yet to be fulfilled. 42. Admonition to ponder. 43. Healing the sick. 44. Blessings for parents and children. 45. The covenant memorialized and a new name given. 46. Continued worthiness required. 47. Conferring the power to give the Holy Ghost. 48. From sermon to ceremony
“The Temple, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Gospel of Matthew,” by John W. Welch
This is a chapter from the book Mormonism and the Temple: Examining an Ancient Religious Tradition, ed. Gary N. Anderson. The whole book is available for download. This chapter contains these sections:
What Is Temple Theology?
Temple Theology, TempleStudies, and the Sermon on the Mount
What Is a Temple Text?
The Sermon and the Temple Mount: A Tale of Two Mountains, or One?
Word-level Relations with the Temple, Especially with the Psalms
Table 1:Temple Themes and Texts in the Sermon on the Mount. This table looks at Matthew 5-7 verse by verse.
Example: “Into the mountain” (Matt. 5:1) reflects the Mountain of the Lord in Psalm 24:1 and Isaiah 2:2.
Further Connections with Other Old Testament Temple Texts
Sermon on the Mount as Preparation for a Ritual of Initiation
Sermon on the Mount as Ritual Ascent
Table 2: The Sermon on the Mount Seen in Twenty-Five Stages of Ascent
Table 3: Individual Themes Escalating up the Path of Ascent in the Sermon on the Mount
Table 4: Ceremonial Actions That could Have Accompanied Uses of the Sermon on the Mount
Table 5: Temple of Solomon, Mountain of the Lord, and the Sermon on the Mount
Table 6: Other Texts Based on the Temple Floor Plan
Was the Sermon on the Mount a Pre-Matthean Text?
Table 7: Quotations or Echoes
from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 10-25
Table 8: Use of the Sermon on the Mount in Mark, Luke, Peter, James and Paul
Was Matthew a Levite?
Table 9: The Duties of the Levites
Table 10: Does the Gospel of Matthew Reflect Letivical Concerns?
But Could a Levite Have Been a Tax Collector?
A Temple Harvest: Seeing the Temple in the New Testament and the New Testament in the Temple