3 Nephi 21: 19-20

3 Nephi 21: 19-20:

“And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away.  For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel;”
Notice that the first four defects that are to end, include “lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes.” These are somewhat different than the next two. These first four are character flaws that lead to the next two.
The character flaws should not be thought of as defects in our ability to do business or conduct commerce. These are flaws leading to the failures of our redemption. Therefore, think of them as flaws in our beliefs, leading us to have what the Book of Mormon terms unbelief.
What lying goes on among us leads to priestcraft? How is our lying keeping us from knowing the Lord? What is it about our peculiar form of false belief that leads us to believe in, and spread about lying as part of the fallen, false faith we entertain?
What deceivings are part of our culture of unbelief? How is it we can celebrate the great priesthood “authority” we possess while acknowledging that it lacks any “power?” Are we deceiving ourselves? Are we alienated from God while thinking ourselves His peculiar people?

What envy is there among us? Has envy become a tool for church governance? If so, how does it become a tool for church governance? Have we built it right into our system at present?

Are we filled with strife? Is strife among us suppressing healthy exchange of ideas by labeling such discussion as “contention?” Is strife different from contention? Is uniformity of ideas and suppression of dissent something that will remove strife? If not, then why not?
These character flaws in turn lead to “priestcrafts” where people seek approval of the world but not the best interest of Zion. (2 Ne. 26: 29.) Do we want popularity from the “world?”  What is the “world?” Why would someone practicing priestcraft seek in particular to have approval and lead the world? Why is the distinction made between the interests of Zion and the interests of the world? Is public relations always focused on approval from the world? If so, why are we seeking such approval? Does the world’s opinion of us matter? Why? When have the followers of Jesus been popular? What have they suffered for His name? (Heb. 11: 36-40.)
Then we see “whoredoms” which we have discussed earlier. David Christensen’s comment on the meaning of false religion is worth returning to read again in this post.
Then Christ sounds the alarm, attributing it to the Father.  Repent. Come unto Christ. Otherwise you will be cut off. What does it mean to come to Christ? Read the short statement in D&C 93: 1. There is a succinct description of the process. You haven’t come to Him until you have “seen His face and know that He is,” or, in other words, until you hear from His own voice that He has atoned for your sins and He promises you a place in His kingdom.
All of these warnings are being given to orient you to what is important. The important thing is to come to Him. As Christ put it to Martha, “but one thing is needful.” (Luke 10: 38-42.) Until we have come to Him, all our concerns about other matters must remain secondary. Of what good is it to know all mysteries, if we have not come to Him? This is why, in the middle of this warning of calamities to come, the Lord places this invitation to come to Him. He can help. He can restore and protect. But only if you are His.

16 thoughts on “3 Nephi 21: 19-20

  1. My husband and I are new to your blog. We wish to thank you as it is a voice that we have been searching for. We are struggling in going to our ward and hearing false doctrine taught and the precepts of man. Today in my husbands high priest class they were discussing the responsibilities and duties of priesthood offices. The teachers calling was being discussed and my husband suggested they turn to D&C 20:53 and read. The high priests said that was impossible, these young men were not able to do that because they were too geeky.They said that was given for older men who were newly baptized in the church. My husband disagreed and they all renounced him. How do we stay active in a church of people that are so clueless. I wept on the way home from church not knowing which way to turn.
    Ezekial 33:4 We know we should warn our neighbor but no one wants to hear. They are all deaf save but a few.

  2. CDK,

    We had that lesson today in Elder’s Quorum. They were saying pretty much the same thing as you were talking about, except I had no idea where I could interject and throw out a new possibility for them to think about. So I stayed silent.

    Lately, I’ve been wondering what our “responsibility” is when confronting the mists of darkness about us. Should we speak up? Should we drop hints? Should we just keep our mouths shut?

    I came across this highly applicable scripture which has helped me to know what to do for now:

    D&C 11:15-30
    15 Behold, I command you that you need not suppose that you are called to preach until you are called.
    16 Wait a little longer, until you shall have my word, my rock, my church, and my gospel, that you may know of a surety my doctrine.
    17 And then, behold, according to your desires, yea, even according to your faith shall it be done unto you.
    18 Keep my commandments; hold your peace; appeal unto my Spirit;
    19 Yea, cleave unto me with all your heart, that you may assist in bringing to light those things of which has been spoken—yea, the translation of my work; be patient until you shall accomplish it.
    20 Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength.
    21 Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men.
    22 But now hold your peace; study my word which hath gone forth among the children of men, and also study my word which shall come forth among the children of men, or that which is now translating, yea, until you have obtained all which I shall grant unto the children of men in this generation, and then shall all things be added thereto.

  3. Thank you so much for the comforting words. It’s wonderful to know that others can see these things and feel the same way. I know that Denver mentioned in an earlier blog that we should continue on in church but what good are we doing….especially having to listen to the the false doctrine and drivel that has no substance? I long for the days that we can share, feast and truly learn as a group of saints. Again thank you Denver and others who have helped to wake up my husband and I to the beautiful truths and simplicity as well as complexity of the B of Mormon.

  4. CDK

    Sometimes when I feel that way I poke my head into primary. I did this today and very much enjoyed the primary class about Samson. One little girl in particular made a comment about humility that rang loud and clear with truth. I was asked to bear my testimony and did so. I didn’t expect to learn from my own words but I did. The kids were happy and smiled. Made my day. The simplicity of the moment was very enjoyable.

    Primary is sometimes a breath of fresh air.


  5. D&C 11 simply tells Joseph Smith to finish translating the BOM before going out to teach. To get the spirit and enough knowlege to be effective. We should do the same, get enough knowledge and spirit/light to warn our neighbors the best we can. Do not limit yourselves, nor the Lord in what He can do with us.

  6. I like the suggestion to attend Primary! In Primary we teach the very basics – actually not anything different or more advanced than what is heard in the other auxilaries or from the pulpit (including conference!) – So, you won’t get the increased knowledge or advanced study you long for, but the kids provide such a lovely spirit of wonder and love and belief to primary that it is always sweet to visit their classes!

  7. Hello All,
    I know exactly how everyone feels in our watered down classes, but there is Hope and a Reason to be there…

    I would suggest reading “Finding Peace & a Place Within the Church Again” by James Custer,

    It REALLY helped me deal with being at church and feeling some of the feelings I have been. Classes still grate sometimes, but I know I am there serving and doing what I need too.

    Here is the

    James Custer is another author that is similar to the Spirit Denver has.

  8. Denver,
    Concerning your statement . . . ‘You haven’t come to Him until you have “seen His face and know that He is,” or, in other words, until you hear from His own voice that He has atoned for your sins and He promises you a place in His kingdom.’

    Question? Is this experience the same as receiving what Joseph referred to as ‘The Testimony of Jesus’? (or see reference of Teachings of Joseph Smith, p 150-151)


  9. Dave
    Go back to the July 7 blog on the Testimony of Jesus, 1 Ne 14:6 where he identifies this.

  10. I am so grateful to have the Book of Mormon as a guide as we go through this. Whenever I start to wonder about the wickedness I see in the Church, I remember two things:

    1) the Book of Helaman and 3 Nephi, where the true believers were reviled against and even stoned and murdered by other members of the Church, but they “did not turn and revile again”, but bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.

    3 Ne. 6: 13
    13 Some were lifted up in pride, and others were exceedingly humble; some did return railing for railing, while others would receive railing and persecution and all manner of afflictions, and would not turn and revile again, but were humble and penitent before God.

    And then 2) I remember how many times my eyes have been opened to see something I was previously blind to, only to later have my eyes opened further and come to see that I was still largely blind back when I thought I could see.

    The difference between us and the Lord is so great that there’s not much meaning in the tiny differences we find between ourselves and all those “sinners” around us in our wards. As we show love and patience to those around us who are blind to the truth, we might help to merit in some small way to have the Lord continue in His patience and love with us, who are still largely blind, even though we think we are now seeing.

    We are indeed seeing more, thanks to the Lord’s mercy in giving us Denver and others who are helping us. But I think we would all croak if our eyes were opened suddenly to see all that we are not currently seeing. Notice D&C 111: 11

    11 Therefore, be ye as wise as serpents and yet without sin; and I will order all things for your good, AS FAST AS YE ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE THEM. Amen.

    It takes time for Him to bring us out of the darkness we’re in. The creeds of the fathers are riveted to our hearts, and it can be unbelievably painful to have Him break the rivets. King Lamoni and the gang didn’t faint and go into comas for nothing.

    D&C 123:7

    “…that spirit which hath so strongly riveted the creeds of the fathers, who have inherited lies, upon the hearts of the children, and filled the world with confusion…”

    But there’s hope for us, because the Lord is God, and He works 24/7 to bring us to eternal life. After all, it’s His work and His glory to do so.

  11. Brian Bowler,

    Thanks for your suggestion to read the James Custer article. I found it very enlightening…not only upon the issue of maintaining a proper attitude about one’s membership in the church…but he shed light on a number of topics that I was vaguely familiar with, but was desiring more insight upon. Incidentally, he also covered the topic of the Aaronic Priesthood issues that CDK mentioned frustration about at her Sunday meetings. IF Custer is correct in the historical explanations, then it appears there is truth to the “adult” aaronic priesthood responsibilities vs. youth…but not for the reasons the high priest group members were giving. I think Kisi makes an EXCELLENT comment of warning for all…we need to be careful of our own pride as we think we are more knowledgeable than our fellow brothers and sisters. We are all learning line upon line and when I am certain I finally get something completely…it seems there is always eventually something more for me to have an “aha” moment about. We are all always learning…just at different stages. I’m just grateful to have the desire and recognition that there IS so much to learn and repent of and to be given access to information to help me in the process.

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