Book of Mormon Commentary - 3 Nephi 5

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
             CHAPTER 5

The Nephites repent and forsake their sins—Mormon writes the history of his people and declares the everlasting word to them—
Israel shall be gathered in from her long dispersion. [Between A.D. 21 and 26]

1 AND now behold, there was not a living soul among all the people of the Nephites who did adoubt in the least the words of all the holy prophets who had spoken; for they knew that it must needs be that they must be fulfilled.
2 And they knew that it must be expedient that Christ had come, because of the many signs which had been given, according to the words of the prophets; and because of the things which had come to pass already they knew that it must needs be that all things should come to pass according to that which had been spoken.
3 Therefore they did forsake all their sins, and their abominations, and their whoredoms, and did serve God with all diligence day and night.

 1a TG Doubt

4 And now it came to pass that when they had taken all the robbers prisoners, insomuch that none did escape who were not slain, they did cast their prisoners into prison, and did cause the word of God to be preached unto them; and as many as would repent of their sins and aenter into a bcovenant that they would murder no more were set at cliberty.
5 But as many as there were who did not enter into a covenant, and who did still continue to have those asecret murders in their hearts, yea, as many as were found breathing out threatenings against their brethren were condemned and punished according to the law.
6 And thus they did put an end to all those wicked, and secret, and abominable combinations, in the which there was so much wickedness, and so many murders committed.

 4a 3 Ne. 6:3
   b Alma 44:15; Alma 62:16-17
   c TG Liberty
 5a 2 Ne. 10:15

7 And thus had the atwenty and second year passed away, and the twenty and third year also, and the twenty and fourth, and the twenty and fifth; and thus had *twenty and five years passed away.
8 And there had many things transpired which, in the eyes of some, would be great and marvelous; nevertheless, they cannot all be written in this book; yea, this book cannot contain even a ahundredth part of what was done among so many people in the space of twenty and five years;
9 But behold there are arecords which do contain ball the proceedings of this people; and a cshorter but true account was given by Nephi.

 7a 3 Ne. 2:8
   * [A.D. 21-26]
 8a W of M 1:5; 3 Ne. 26:6-12
 9a Hel. 3:15 (13-15)
   b W of M 1:5; Alma 13:31
   c Morm. 2:18

Mormon Speaks from the Perspective of His Time

10 Therefore I have made my arecord of these things according to the record of Nephi, which was engraven on the plates which were called the bplates of Nephi.
11 And behold, I do make the record on plates which I have made with mine own hands.
12 And behold, I am called aMormon, being called after the bland of Mormon, the land in which Alma did establish the church among the people, yea, the first church which was established among them after their transgression.

 10a Hel. 2:14
     b W of M 1:1; Morm. 1:4 (1-4);
       Morm. 2:17-18; Morm. 8:5 (1, 4-5, 14)
 12a W of M 1:11
     b Mosiah 18:4; Alma 5:3

13 Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christa, the Son of God. I have been acalled of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.
14 And it hath become expedient that I, according to the will of God, that the prayers of those who have gone hence, who were the holy ones, should be fulfilled according to their faith, should make a arecord of these things which have been done—
15 Yea, a asmall recorda of that which hath taken place from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem, even down until the present time.

 13a I am a disciple of Jesus Christ This clear statement is easy to miss. But must be understood. When the 12 disciples of the Savior were ordained that apostleship was continued to be maintained by the Nephites and as each disciple would die, another would be ordiained in their stead in order to maintain the quorum of the 12 among the Nephites (4 Nephi 1:14). When young Moron first traveled to the land of Zarahemla with his father, the 3 Nephites, those three disciples were still ministering unto the poeple. It was during Mormon's stay in Zarahemla tha the 3 disciples did withdraw themselves from the people (Mormon 1:13). Yet Mormon was at some time ministered unto by the 3 disciples and called of God to the discipleship (3 Nephi 28:26 & Mormon 8:11).
 15a a small record Mormon does continuously remind the reader that his abridgment does not contain even one hundreth part of the records and the history of the Book of Mormon. His record is a highly condensed record which requires much caution when reading that the reader does not jump to quick conclusions based solely upon a one-one hundreth account of a people. It is not a detailed cannon of the lands of the Book of Mormon, though many have attempted to use it as such concluding upon from its highly condensed abridge form that the Book of Mormon lands were very limited in size. This distortion is NOT consistant with what has be taugh by the Church, as it has maintained that the Book of Mormon lands did fill both South and North America, which does include Central America, but is not confined solely to it such as many intellectuals concluded upon.
 13a 3 Ne. 30:1; Moro. 7:2
 14a Enos 1:16 (13-18); D&C 3:19;
       D&C 10:47 (46-50)
 15a Morm. 7:9; Morm. 8:12

16 Therefore I do make my record from the accounts which have been given by those who were before me, until the commencement of my day;
17 And then I do make a arecord of the things which I have seen with mine own eyes.
18 And I know the record which I make to be a just and a true record; nevertheless there are many things which, according to our alanguage, we are not able to bwrite.

 17a W of M 1:5; Morm. 1:1
 18a TG Language
     b 3 Ne. 19:32-34; Morm. 9:33 (32-33);
       Ether 12:25 (24-24); D&C 76:116

19 And now I make an end of my saying, which is of myself, and proceed to give my account of the things which have been before me.
20 I am Mormon, and a pure adescendant of Lehia. I have reason to bless my God and my Savior Jesus Christ, that he brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, (and bno one knew it save it were himself and those whom he brought out of that land) and that he hath given me and my people so much knowledge unto the salvation of our souls.
21 Surely he hath ablessed the house of bJacob, and hath been cmerciful unto the seed of Joseph.

 20a I am Mormon, and a pure descendant of Lehi It is significant that the writer and abridger of the Book of Mormon, which is that record prophesied to come forth in the latter days, is not only Mormon, but hat Mormon is a 'pure descendant of Lehi'. It was Lehi who was 'also' promised of the Lord that the Lord would raise up unto the fruit of Lehi's loins one to write the record of Lehi's descendants which would cry from the dust unto Lehi's latter day descendants unto bring many of them unto the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Nephi 3:18-21), and that Moroni would be Mormon's spokesman who would bring them forth unto the world (See Revelation 14:6 & Commentary 2 Nephi 3:18-21).  20a Morm. 1:5; Morm. 8:13
     b 1 Ne. 4:36; 3 Ne. 15:14
 21a TG Israel, Blessings of
     b Gen. 32:28 (24-32); Ps. 135:4;
       D&C 49:24 (23-25)
     b Ps. 98:3

22 And ainsomuch as the children of Lehi have kept his commandments he hath blessed them and prospered them according to his word.
23 Yea, and surely shall he again bring a aremnant of the seed of Joseph to the bknowledge of the Lord their Goda.
24 And as surely as the Lord liveth, will he agather in from the four quarters of the earth all the remnant of the bseed of Jacob, who are scattered abroad upon all the face of the earth.

 23a surely shall he again bring a remnant of the seed of Joseph to the knowledge of the Lord their God This is Mormon speaking from the perspective of about 385 A.D., at the time when the Nephites have rejected the true knowledge of God and have rippened unto destruction. Thus the 'again' spoken of here is a later time after the time of the Nephites, when the Lord would again bring the knowledge of the truth to be known among a remnant of the seed of Joseph. Thus Mormon speaks of the time of the restoration of the gospel and our day and age, when a remnant of Joseph has again been brought foreth upon this land and given the gospel knowledge of the Lord our God.  22a 2 Ne. 1:20; Jarom 1:9; Omni 1:6;
       Mosiah 1:7; Alma 9:13-14; Alma 37:13
 23a Alma 46:24; 3 Ne. 10:17
     b 2 Ne. 3:12; Morm. 7:5, 10
 24a TG Israel, Gathering of
     b Gen. 46:8

25 And as he hath acovenanted with all the house of Jacob, even so shall the covenant wherewith he hath covenanted with the house of Jacob be fulfilled in his own due time, unto the brestoring all the house of Jacob unto the knowledge of the covenant that he hath covenanted with them.
26 And then shall they aknow their Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and then shall they be gathered in from the four quarters of the earth unto their own lands, from whence they have been dispersed; yea, as the Lord liveth so shall it be. Amen.

 25a 3 Ne. 15:8; 3 Ne. 16:5
     b 2 Ne. 30:3 (1-6); 3 Ne. 16:13 (6-13)
 26a 2 Ne. 30:7-8; 3 Ne. 20:31 (29-34)

* Verse 7 [A.D. 21—26].

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