Book of Mormon Commentary - 3 Nephi 17

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
             CHAPTER 17

Jesus directs the people to ponder his words and pray for understanding—He heals their sick—He prays for the people, using language that cannot be written—Angels minister to and fire encircles their little ones. [A.D. 34]

1 BEHOLD, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my atime is at hand.
2 I aperceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot bunderstand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this timea.
3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and aponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and bprepare your minds for the cmorrow, and I come unto you again.

 2a ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time Often the level and extent of the message is beyond the capcity of the audience. Such is often the case of conference sermons as well as scriptural messages. Thus it is that they ought to be written down, and studied and pondered over time, that all that in them are may eventually come unto he who is diligent in seeking after the full understanding thereof. This is why we are told to read and reread and study the scriptures daily. So much is to be had and found therein beyond just a one time surface level of understanding. Many mysteries of the kingdom are held therein and with the aid of the Holy Ghost, we receive line upon line, precept upon precept at the rate that we are ready to receive and understand them.  1a IE to return to the Father.; See v. 4
 2a TG Jesus Christ, Teaching Mode of
   b John 16:12; D&C 50:40; D&C 78:18 (17-18)
 3a TG Meditation
   b Ezra 7:10; D&C 29:8; D&C 132:3
   c 3 Ne. 19:2

4 But now I go unto the Father, and also to ashow myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not clost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken thema.

 4a they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them There are two concepts concerning the lost tribes of Israel. One is that they are mingled with those of the earth in all the nations. But this does but seem to be the fate of those of Joseph. As to the other 10 tribes, these is a presidence to suppose that they have been taken by the hand of God, namely here the Father, and have been so administered to by such as the 3 Nephites and John, thus being a distinct and separate body of souls whom the Father hath dealt with unto to the time of their gathering in the one sense and their 'return' in the other. Certainly we do not know all things but that they are and here they are said to 'not be lost unto the Father as he hath taken them. Just what is meant by this, that the 'Father hath taken them', will yet be seen. Some possible explanations have been discounted perhaps due to a lack of a greater degree of faith and belief upon our part.  4a 3 Ne. 18:39
   b 3 Ne. 16:3;
     TG Jesus Christ, Appearances, Postmortal
   c TG Israel, Ten Lost Tribes of

5 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were ain tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
6 And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with acompassion towards you.
7 Have ye any that are asick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or bleprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will cheal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

 5a TG God, Love of
 6a TG Compassion
 7a TG Sickness
   b TG Leprosy
   c TG Administrations to the Sick; TG Healing

8 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your afaith is bsufficient that I should heal you.
9 And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their ablind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.
10 And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did akiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.

   8a Matt. 8:10 (1-17); Luke 18:42
     b 2 Ne. 27:23; Ether 12:12
   9a Matt. 9:28-31; Mosiah 3:5; 3 Ne. 26:15;
       D&C 84:69
 10a Luke 7:38, 45; 3 Ne. 11:19

11 And it came to pass that he commanded that their alittle children should be brought.
12 So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him.
13 And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, he commanded the multitude that they should akneel down upon the ground.

 11a Matt. 19:13-14; Mark 10:13;
       3 Ne. 26:14, 16; TG Children
 13a Acts 9:40; Acts 20:36; 3 Ne. 19:6, 16-17

14 And it came to pass that when they had knelt upon the ground, Jesus groaned within himself, and said: Father, I am atroubled because of the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel.
15 And when he had said these words, he himself also aknelt upon the earth; and behold he bprayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him.
16 And after this manner do they bear record: The aeye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father;
17 And no atongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.

 14a Mosiah 28:3; Alma 31:2; 3 Ne. 17:20;
       3 Ne. 27:32; Moses 7:41
 15a 3 Ne. 19:19, 27
     b TG Jesus Christ, Relationships with the
 16a Isa. 64:4; 1 Cor. 2:9; 3 Ne. 19:32 (30-36);
       D&C 76:10, 116 (114-119)
 17a 2 Cor. 12:4; 3 Ne. 19:34 (32-34)

18 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the ajoy of the multitude that they were overcome.
19 And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.
20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And anow behold, my joy is full.

 18a TG Joy
 20a 3 Ne. 17:14

21 And when he had said these words, he awept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and bblessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
22 And when he had done this he wept again;

 21a John 11:35; TG Sincerity
     b Mark 10:16 (14-16)

23 And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.
24 And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and aencircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.
25 And the multitude did see and ahear and bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himselfa; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.

 25a for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself Often in the case of the visitation and administration of angels, all who are present do not see. It frequently occurs that in such cases some see and others do not. Joseph Smith saw the angel Moroni three times in a room of others sleeping. Joseph Smith and Sydney Rigdon saw the vision of the degrees of glory in the room with others who did not see but witnessed their seeing. At the dedication of the temple in Kirkland, there were those who did see various things and angels, and not all did see nor see the same things. Such is the viewing of the ministering of angels. But in this specific case it does therefore emphasize that 'they all', 'all of them' did see 'every man for himself'. There was no selectivity of the view of any, they all saw and witnessed together.  24a Hel. 5:43 (23-24, 43-45); 3 Ne. 19:14;
       TG Transfiguration
 25a Ex. 19:9-13

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