Annotated Book of Mormon
Evaluated According To My Current Knowledge

3 Nephi Chapter 14

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Book of Mormon Annotations

Chapter 14

 

1 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he turned again to the multitude, and did open his mouth unto them again, saying: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.

 

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

 

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

 

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

 

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

 

6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

I think most consider Peccary or Javelina, native to the Americas, to be pigs. Peccary are not in the same family as old world pigs, but they are in the same suborder, Suina.

7 Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

 

8 For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

 

9 Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone?

 

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

 

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

 

12 Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.

 

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat;

 

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 

15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

 

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

 

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

I see this as a black-and-white oversimplification and think it’s harmful.

Each of us is a mix of good and bad. Yes, it behooves us to aspire to do good works and improve ourselves, but this either/or approach is a false dichotomy. I believe it encourages an “us vs. them” perspective and harsh judgments of others and of self when someone is seen as falling short of bringing forth only good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

 

20 Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.

 

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.

3 Ne 14:21-27

I like these verses. It is almost identical to Matthew 7:21-27 which is accepted as God’s word by most mainstream Christians. This should demonstrate to all Christians that Mormons are on to something when they teach that faith is manifested in works. Don’t get me wrong. I understand the principle of grace and that most of Christianity teaches that works do not bring salvation, that all are condemned by the law. But, clearly Christian holy texts teach that doing, though insufficient, is essential.

 

However, verse 23 presents a significant challenge.

22 Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Annotation for 3 Ne 14:21-27 above

23 And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Annotation for 3 Ne 14:21-27 above

 

Verse 23 here is a verbatim copy of Matthew 7:23. But, if you look at footnote “a” of the LDS King James Version of Matthew 7:23, you find that Joseph Smith later changed the Bible verse to, “And then will I say, Ye never knew me . . .”

 

Since the Book of Mormon is supposed to be translated by the power of God, and the process gave each English word to Joseph to use (Book of Mormon Translation) one is left to wonder why God would copy the King James Matthew 7:23 version word-for-word into the Book of Mormon, only to have Joseph change it later in the JST of Matthew 7:23.

24 Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock—

Annotation for 3 Ne 14:21-27 above

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

Annotation for 3 Ne 14:21-27 above

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—

Annotation for 3 Ne 14:21-27 above

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

Annotation for 3 Ne 14:21-27 above

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