Come unto me
And behold, I have given unto you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you and the law is fulfilled. Therefore, come unto me and be ye saved. For verily I say unto you that except ye shall keep my commandments which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven. (NC 3 Nephi 5:12)
21 The Book of Mormon is to convince the gentiles, and a remnant of Lehi, and the Jews, of the truth of the words of my ancient prophets and apostles, with all the records agreeing that I am the Lamb of God, the Son of the Father, and I was sent into the world to do the will of the Father, and I am the Savior of the world. All must come unto me or they cannot be saved. And how do men come unto me? It is by faith, repentance, and baptism, which bring the Holy Ghost, to then show you all things you must know.
22 If the gentiles, unto whom the Book of Mormon was given, had hearkened unto the Holy Ghost, they would have come unto me in Hyrum and Joseph’s day. But they did not hearken, and would not allow me to abide with them in word, and in power, and in very deed.
53 Be of one heart, and regard one another with charity. Measure your words before giving voice to them, and consider the hearts of others. Although a man may err in understanding concerning many things, yet he can view his brother with charity and come unto me, and through me he can with patience overcome the world. I can bring him to understanding and knowledge. Therefore, if you regard one another with charity, then your brother’s error in understanding will not divide you. I lead to all truth. I will lead all who come to me to the truth of all things. The fullness is to receive the truth of all things, and this too from me, in power, by my word and in very deed. For I will come unto you if you will come unto me.
7 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. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father and the Father in me, and in me hath the Father glorified his name. I came unto my own and my own received me not. And the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled. And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name. For behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled. I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood, yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings; and ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the holy ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the holy ghost and they knew it not. Behold, I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin. 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.
6 And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing. And awake and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion, and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders for ever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled. Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness. And if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ. And if, by the grace of God, ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again if ye, by the grace of God, are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
6 And Christ hath said, If ye will have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. And he hath said, Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.
10 And it came to pass that I began to be old; and having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord; wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good. For there is nothing which is good, save it comes from the Lord, and that which is evil cometh from the Devil. And now my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end, and as the Lord liveth, ye will be saved.
10 O then despise not and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him. Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness. Ask, not that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God. See that ye are not baptized unworthily. See that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily, but see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. And if ye do this and endure to the end, ye will in no wise be cast out. Behold, I speak unto you as though I spake from the dead, for I know that ye shall hear my words.
1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father, that he was a just man, for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and blessed be the name of my God for it. And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God before I received a remission of my sins. Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forest, and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life and the joy of the saints, and sunk deep into my heart; and my soul hungered, and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul. And all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came, I did still raise my voice high, that it reached the heavens. And there came a voice unto me, saying, Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee and thou shalt be Blessed. And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away. And I said, Lord, how is it done? And he said unto me, Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh. Wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.
2 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I beseech of you in words of soberness that ye would repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts… O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter ye in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow until ye shall obtain eternal life. O be wise. What can I say more?
And again I say unto you, is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother or that heapeth upon him persecutions? Woe unto such an one, for he is not prepared; and the time is at hand that he must repent, or he cannot be saved. Yea, even woe unto all ye workers of iniquity. Repent, repent, for the Lord God hath spoken it. Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men; for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith, Repent and I will receive you. Yea, he saith, Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely. Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be put down and cast into the fire. For behold, the time is at hand that whosoever bringeth forth not good fruit, or whosoever doeth not the works of righteousness, the same have cause to wail and mourn.
1 And now it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold, they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them; and they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying, O have mercy and apply the atoning blood of Christ, that we may receive forgiveness of our sins and our hearts may be purified! For we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who created Heaven and Earth and all things, who shall come down among the children of men.
2 And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words, the spirit of the Lord came upon them and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins and having peace of conscience because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ, who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them. And king Benjamin again opened his mouth and began to speak unto them, saying, My friends and my brethren, my kindred and my people, I would again call your attention, that ye may hear and understand the remainder of my words which I shall speak unto you. For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state, I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men, and also the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith, even unto the end of his life (I mean the life of the mortal body), I say that this is the man that receiveth salvation through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind which ever were, ever since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world. And this is the means whereby salvation cometh. And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you.
3 Believe in God. Believe that he is, and that he created all things both in Heaven and in Earth; believe that he has all wisdom and all power both in Heaven and in Earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins, and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God, and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you. And now if you believe all these things, see that ye do them. And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness, and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceeding great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember and always retain in remembrance the greatness of God and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this, ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins. And ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due. And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry or naked, neither will you suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the Devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another and to serve one another.
4 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor. Ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need, and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. Perhaps thou shalt say, The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just. But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this, the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done, he perisheth for ever and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind? And behold, even at this time ye have been calling on his name and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay, he hath poured out his spirit upon you and hath caused that your hearts should be filled with joy and has caused that your mouths should be stopped, that ye could not find utterance, so exceeding great was your joy.
5 And now if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives, and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then how had ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another. And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you, but to God, to whom also your life belongeth, And yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done. I say unto you, woe be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him. And now I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world. And again I say unto the poor, ye who have not, and yet have sufficient that ye remain from day to day (I mean all you who deny the beggar because ye have not), I would that ye say in your hearts that I give not because I have not, but if I had, I would give. And now if ye say this in your hearts, ye remain guiltless; otherwise, ye are condemned, and your condemnation is just, for ye covet that which ye have not received.
6 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you — that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God — I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order, for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize. Therefore, all things must be done in order. And I would that ye should remember that whosoever among you that borroweth of his neighbor should return the thing that he borroweth, according as he doth agree, or else thou shalt commit sin, and perhaps thou shalt cause thy neighbor to commit sin also. And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them. But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe to keep the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember and perish not.
(continued) NC Mosiah 3:1-3
1 And now it came to pass that when king Benjamin had thus spoken to his people, he sent among them, desiring to know of his people if they believed the words which he had spoken unto them. And they all cried with one voice, saying, Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us! And also, we know of their surety and truth because of the spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. And we, ourselves, also through the infinite goodness of God and the manifestations of his spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things. And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceeding great joy. And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, that we may not bring upon ourselves a never-ending torment as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God.
2 And now these are the words which king Benjamin desired of them, and therefore, he said unto them, Ye have spoken the words that I desired, and the covenant which ye have made is a righteous covenant. And now, because of the covenant which ye have made, ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you. For ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name, therefore ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free; there is no other name given whereby salvation cometh. Therefore I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.
3 And now it shall come to pass that whosoever shall not take upon them the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore he findeth himself on the left hand of God. And I would that ye should remember also that this is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression; therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts. I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also the name by which he shall call you. For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart? And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor and keep him? I say unto you, nay. He will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away and cast him out. I say unto you that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called. Therefore I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to Heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things in Heaven and in Earth, who is God above all. Amen.
19 He that will not believe my words will not believe me, that I am. And he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father. I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world. Come unto me, O ye gentiles, and I will shew unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief. Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you because of unbelief. Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you — yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name with a broken heart and a contrite spirit — then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed. Therefore, when ye shall receive this record, ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land. Therefore, repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and believe in my gospel, and be baptized in my name. For he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. And signs shall follow them that believe in my name. And blessed is he that is found faithful unto my name at the last day, for he shall be lifted up to dwell in the kingdom prepared for him from the foundation of the world. And behold, it is I that hath spoken it. Amen.
2 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water to fulfill all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water? And now I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfill all righteousness in being baptized by water? Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he sheweth unto the children of men that according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments. Wherefore, after he was baptized with water, the holy ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove. And again, it sheweth unto the children of men the straitness of the path and the narrowness of the gate by which they should enter, he having set the example before them. And he said unto the children of men, Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And the Father said, Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my beloved Son. And also the voice of the Son came unto me, saying, He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the holy ghost like unto me. Wherefore, follow me and do the things which ye have seen me do. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ by baptism — yea, by following your Lord and Savior down into the water according to his word — behold, then shall ye receive the holy ghost. Yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the holy ghost, and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
3 But behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying, After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the holy ghost, and can speak with a new tongue — yea, even with the tongue of angels — and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me. And I heard a voice from the Father, saying, Yea, the words of my beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. And now my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved. Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shewn unto me: that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the holy ghost. And then are ye in this straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life. Yea, ye have entered in by the gate, ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son, and ye have received the holy ghost, which witness of the Father and the Son unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way, ye should receive.
4 And now my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this straight and narrow path, I would ask if all is done. Behold, I say unto you, nay, for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ, with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
5 And now behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under Heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy ghost, which is one God without end. Amen.
12 And behold, I have given unto you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you and the law is fulfilled. Therefore, come unto me and be ye saved. For verily I say unto you that except ye shall keep my commandments which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
9 And then came certain men unto him, accusing him, saying, Why do you receive sinners, seeing you make yourself the Son of God? But he answered them and said, Truly I say unto you, all sins which men have committed, when they repent, shall be forgiven them; for I came to preach repentance unto the sons of men. And blasphemies of any kind with which they shall blaspheme shall be forgiven them that come unto me and do the works which they see me do. But there is a sin which shall not be forgiven: he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost never has forgiveness, but is in danger of being cut down out of the world. And they shall inherit eternal damnation. And this he said unto them because they said, He has an unclean spirit.
5 And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying, Fools mock, but they shall mourn. And my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness. And if men come unto me, I will shew unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness, that they may be humble. And my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will shew unto the gentiles their weakness. And I will shew unto them that faith, hope, and charity bringeth unto me, the fountain of all righteousness.
18 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is a hard saying, who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples grumbled about it, he said unto them, Does this offend you? What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the Spirit that quickens. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you that no man can come unto me, except he does the will of my Father who has sent me.
19 From that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will you also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of Eternal life. And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the living God.
16 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness. He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world, for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life, that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation. Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying, Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, nay; but he saith, Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey without money and without price. Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, nay. Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold, I say unto you, nay, but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men unto repentance. Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold, I say unto you, nay, but all men are privileged, the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.
18 Jesus responded to them, Do not dispute my teaching between yourselves. No man can come unto me except he follows the path of my Father, who has sent me as His messenger of salvation. And this is what my Father expects of you, that you heed his Son. For the Father testifies he sent me, and anyone who accepts the Father’s testimony, and has the faith in him to heed his testimony, I will raise upward in the resurrection of the just. For it is written in the prophets, And these shall all be taught by God. Every person who has hearkened and has learned the will of the Father, accepts me as his messenger. None of you have seen the Father unless you first descended from God’s presence, as I have come; and all who have seen the Father can testify of him. In the name of Father Ahman I declare to you, He that has faith on me has endless lives, worlds without end. I am that bread of life. This is the bread that descended from Heaven, that a man may eat of me and his life never end. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and they perished. But I am the living bread sent from Heaven to rescue you. If any man takes into themselves this bread, he will gain light and truth and the power for endless life. The staff of life I provide is to sacrifice my flesh, which I will surrender to rescue the world.
19 Therefore, if you shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, or if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift before the altar and go your way unto your brother, and first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
“Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, and rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee— Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you.”
Notice the offense is taken by the brother, not by you. It is presumed that you haven’t taken offense against him. If he, however, ‘hath aught against thee”–meaning that if you have done anything to cause him an offense, you have steps to take.
Notice that your relationship with the Lord comes second, after you have made amends with any you have offended.
You can’t bring “full purpose of heart” when there is a lingering offense you have not attempted to cure. This kind of mental distraction alters you.
If you realize you’ve offended someone it likely means you know your conduct has been uncharitable. You did something wrong. You hurt another.
Inventory of your conduct is something to be done before approaching the Lord. If you have offended someone you need to take the steps to free your conscience from it. Only then can you bring “full purpose of heart” in approaching God.
When the heart is right, then the Lord can “receive you.” When the heart is not right, you cannot be received.
He’s said this before, of course. His doctrine in the preceding chapter required repentance before baptism precisely so you could be right in the heart before the ordinance takes place. (LE 3 Nephi 11:23)
Other Book of Mormon writers said the same thing as well: “For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing. … And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such.” (LE Moroni 7: 6,9) “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.” (LE 2 Nephi 31:13) “But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.” (LE Moroni 6:8)
You bring your whole heart to Him. That He can receive. That He can work with. Less than that, it is not possible for Him to offer you anything. You will invariably reject what He offers. Acting as the hypocrite will neither fool you or Him. Hence Nephi’s counsel in 2 Nephi 31: 13 quoted above, and discussed previously in this blog.
“Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
The blessing referred to for those who are “poor in spirit” comes as a result of “coming unto” Christ. Any who come to Christ will receive “the kingdom of heaven.” However, to obtain it, you must “come unto [Christ].”
Christ is approachable. But the approach is determined by the Gospel. The earlier “doctrine of Christ” taught in Chapter 11 tells you how to “come unto Christ.”
Belief on His teachings, then repentance and baptism are all essential prerequisites to coming to Him.
What does it mean to be “poor in spirit?” Does that make you more open to Him? Have you ever had a season in which you felt “poor in spirit?” Were you more open to Him as a result?
Before I converted, though I did not consider myself a candidate to convert, I also felt a hollowness in life. There was something missing. The void inside us was meant to be there. Filling it was always the responsibility of the Gospel. We were all meant to feel “poor in spirit” until we find truth. Then, upon finding truth, we were meant to “come unto Christ” so the void may be filled. Coming to Christ is the return to life and light. It is the journey back to that light from where we originated.
Converting was more of a homecoming than anything else. The Gospel rings true and His sheep hear His voice (NC John 6:24; LE John 10: 27) because these are things we long ago accepted and decided to follow (T&C 145/Abraham 6:2; LE Abr. 3: 26-27). Each of us needs to be converted. Even if you were raised in the church, you still need to convert. The steps Christ is outlining are the ones each of us are expected to follow. Whether you do so as an adult, or did so earlier in life, we are all required to “come unto Christ” and be converted.
We are not meant to remain “poor in spirit” but to “come to Christ” and move beyond that. Moving beyond it we find ourselves joyfully informed that “ours is the kingdom of heaven.” We cannot claim it for ourselves. But Christ can claim it for us. This is how our poverty of spirit is to be cured. The Lord juxtaposes poverty with the riches of heaven itself. The contrast is designed to make us think, and to make us grateful. We were always intended to have joy. Above all else, Christ is a Deliverer from sorrow. (NC Revelations 2:16; LE Rev. 7:17.)