3 Nephi 15

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The Savior next tells the people that these things He has just finished teaching them were the same things that He taught during his ministry in Israel (verse 1).  He knew that some of the people were confused because they were so focused on the old laws of Moses (verse 2).  He told them that the law of Moses had pointed to Him, and so now in Him are fulfilled (verse 4).  This is the new covenant, the new testament, in that the old covenant pointed to what the Savior would do, but the new covenant points to what He has already done and is continuing to do for us (verse 3).  He gave the law, and He is the one who fulfilled it (verse 5).   His work did not end the work of the prophets, but rather completed it – in a whole and perfected sense (verse 6) – and so what has not yet happened will still happen as promised (verse 7) because it is still in process (verse 8).

Behold, I am the law, and the light.  Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life (verse 9).

He gives us commandments us for our benefit, because they teach us who He is (verse 10).

We do not and cannot earn Heaven, but we must learn of Heaven if we are to live there some day.  In order to prepare to abide by its laws, we do learn His commandments now and practice living according to the way He has prescribed.  This will help us become more like Him, even able to live in His presence again.

After teaching these things, the Savior chose twelve disciples just as He had in Israel (verse 11).  This is His pattern that He set, and we follow the same pattern with apostles today.  He gave them patriarchal blessings, telling them they were a remnant of the house of Joseph (verse 12), and that this land was their inheritance (verse 13).  He told them that Heavenly Father had not instructed Him to teach Israel about the other “lost” tribes (verses 14-15), but that Heavenly Father had told him to tell the people of Israel that He would go to His “other sheep” (John 10:16) and bring them unto Himself (verses 16-17).  However, Heavenly Father did not tell the Savior to explain who the “other sheep” were, and “because of stiffneckedness and unbelief, they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them” (verse 18).

This tells us two things, with a principle inside an example.  The Savior wanted to teach the Jews in Israel about their lost “brothers”, and even alluded to these “other sheep”; however, because the people did not receive the small truth, Heavenly Father did not give away greater truth (verse 19).  We must seek and accept (and live according to) the small truths first, and then Heavenly Father will teach us greater truth.

The Savior also said there are others (of the ten lost tribes, with this one trip of Joseph being in the Americas), and that the Jews and others do not understand them (or where the other tribes are) “because of their iniquity” (verse 20).  The Savior says that the Jews assumed He meant that the Gentiles would become Jews (verse 22), but that the Savior was being more specific than that.  But this is also true, and so the Gentiles did receive the Savior (last), after the Jews received Him first and rejected Him.  So the (last) Gentiles were first in receiving the full Gospel, while the (first) Jews were last in receiving the full Gospel (Mark 10:31; Luke 13:30; Matthew 19:30; and Ether 13:12)

And verily I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd (verse 21)… But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me (verse 24).

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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