3 Nephi 15: 11-14:
“And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he said unto those twelve whom he had chosen: Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph. And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem.”
Christ has identified Himself as the “light. ” Now refers to His chosen twelve disciples as His “disciples,” and a “light unto this people.” Why? How can He be the “light” and also make disciples who follow Him a “light” to others as well? What would a disciple need to be in order for them to also reflect His light to others? How would that be accomplished? What happens if the disciples no longer reflect His light, but instead seek to be a light unto themselves? (See 2 Nephi 26: 29.)
Notice He identifies them as a “remnant of the house of Joseph.” This would be Joseph of Egypt. Why is “this …the land of your inheritance” if it is the tribe of Joseph? How was Joseph given the Americas as his promised land? Was that foreseen? If so, how long has the Lord had in mind the establishment of Joseph in the promised land of the Americas?
Why is the “Father” the one who has given the land of inheritance to Joseph? Why not Jesus Christ? Why does the Father keep in His authority to divide the land for inheritance?
What does it mean that the Father did not give Christ “commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem?” If Christ knew it, why wouldn’t He tell it to the “brethren at Jerusalem?” Why would Christ know something of this significance and keep it to Himself?
I’ve explained in The Second Comforter the subject of the failure of the Nephites to ask about the “other sheep” which will occupy some of this phase of the sermon. I’m not going to repeat it here, but would refer you to that discussion on the topic.
Why do you suppose the Lord would point out this monumental failure of the disciples at Jerusalem to ask about the “other sheep?” (3 Nephi 16: 4.) What is it about the failure to seek knowledge from the Lord that makes people both stiffnecked and filled with unbelief? (3 Nephi 15: 18.)
When the Lord will tell those who ask of Him, why is it offensive to Him that people fail to ask?
Is the admonition to “ask, seek, knock” more than an admonition? Is it in fact a commandment? Are you required to search into the mysteries of God, and know more day by day as a result of inquiring of Him? Can you substitute for that by asking others about mysteries? Why not? Why is it essential to gain your knowledge from Him?
Does the Lord’s phrasing tell you something important? (“not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem”)? Is Christ constrained to not disclose until those at Jerusalem ask of Him? (3 Nephi 16: 4.) What does that say about how this area of revelation is governed? Must the inquiry precede the revelation? What does it mean about the duty to inquire? Again, I’ve explained this in The Second Comforter, and would refer you to that discussion.
There must be a “living relationship” between you and the Living God. If it is not alive, then God must be dead to you. And you dead to Him. Ask, for He has promised to answer. Seek, for He has just promised you will find. Knock, for He has just assured you it will open to you. Now He is walking through a subject where much could have been revealed had the inquiry been made. It will be followed in turn by the Nephite failure to ask about the “other sheep” just as those at Jerusalem failed to ask. Again, see the discussion in The Second Comforter for more on this.
The next portion of this sermon is dealt with in The Second Comforter, or in an earlier series of posts on this blog. I’m going to skip forward at this point to cover portions I have not discussed before.