Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Temple in 3 Nephi 27

Christ in the Americas by Minerva Teichart
This afternoon I was reading 3 Nephi 27 and was reminded of what a remarkable chapter in the Book of Mormon it is. One of the things that makes the Book of Mormon exciting is the fact that temple imagery and themes are so pervasive in the text and 3 Nephi 27 is a case in point. The following are some of the temple themes that can be drawn out of the text:


In verses 1-3 the disciples are praying regarding a disputation that had arisen over what the name of the church should be. The Savior appears to the disciples and begins to teach them. Verse 2 explains that the Savior did appear in their "midst". This suggests that when he appeared he was surrounded by the disciples. Clearly the disciples were engaged in praying in what we would call a prayer circle.

New Name

In verse 6 the Savior expounds briefly on the taking upon oneself the name of the Jesus Christ and its attendant blessings. Implicit in the taking of a new name is the taking of a new identity and the Savior returns to this idea in verse 27.


In verse 11 the Savior pronounces a penalty upon those who fail to live up to their covenants.


In verses 14-15 the Savior draws an analogy between his being lifted up on the cross and his followers being lifted up by the Father to join with the Savior and enter his presence.


There are at least a couple references to washing or being made clean in the chapter. They can be found in verses 16 and 19.


Verses 19 and 20 reference having clean and unspotted clothing or garments.


In verse 20 the Savior discusses receipt of the Holy Ghost which is tied to being anointed with oil. Stay tuned, I plan to update this post and elaborate a little more on this.

A Charge Not to Reveal Sacred Things

The Savior issues this charge in verse 23.

Request for Divine Audience

In verse 29 there is a description of one coming before the partition between the Holy and profane with a promise of further light and knowledge to those who seek it.


Verse 30. Interestingly a common theme of throne theophanies found in the scriptures is the vision of angels. When I update this post I will elaborate on this a little more as well.

The Gate

See verse 33. I will treat this in more depth in the future as well. I'm in a hurry because I want to finish this post before we take the kids to dinner at grandma's house. Shabbat Shalom!

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