3 Ne 19:1-20:9
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Relationship to Third Nephi. The relationship of Chapters 19-20a to the rest of Third Nephi is discussed at Third Nephi.
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- 3 Ne. 19:4. We are given the names of the twelve "disciples whom Jesus had chosen." These twelve go on to preach to the multitude which is divided into twelve groups (v. 6). The text isn't explicit in identifying these as the same twelve people Jesus gives authority to baptize to as noted in 3 Ne 12:1, but that seems likely from the context. Also it seems likely that these are the same twelve people Nephi sees in a vision described in 1 Ne 12:7-10. Though we may think of these twelve as having a similar role to the twelve apostles, throughout the word "apostle" is never used to refer to these 12. Instead they are consistently referred to as disciples. In fact 1 Ne 12:9 distinguishes these twelve from the twelve apostles by explaining that the twelve apostles will judge the twelve tribes of Israel and this twelve will judge Nephi's seed.
- 3 Ne. 19:20: Chosen them out of the world. Jesus refers to the people here as those he has chosen and he thanks the Father that He gave the Holy Ghost to those he has chosen. "Chosen" could mean chosen in a broad sense--something like chosen to be Christ's people. Or it could be specific. These are the people chosen by Jesus to receive the Holy Ghost at this time. Maybe it doesn't matter as maybe these are two ways of describing what amounts to the same thing.
- 3 Ne. 19:14: Compared to Verse 19:34. In verse 14 we are told that the children spoke unto their fathers greater things than Jesus had revealed unto the people. Compare this to 3 Nephi 19:34 where we are told that the words Jesus prayed were "so great and marvelous ... that they cannot be written neither can they be uttered by man." How can the children reveal greater things than Jesus did, if what Jesus spoke is so great that it cannot be spoken by man?
- This seems like a contradiction if we assume that man here include all people (as it often does in the scriptures) and that what the children revealed is being judged on the same scale as the words Jesus prayed. Essentially then there are two ways to explain away what could appear as a contradiction:
- We could interpret the word man as not applying in the context of 19:34 to children. In this way think that the things Jesus spoke could not be spoken by man, but they could be spoken, and even greater things could be spoken, by children.
- We can draw a distinction between "revealing" and "praying." This could be done in different ways depending on how we interpret each word. For example, we might interpret the great words Jesus prayed as carrying with them a spiritual presence that made it impossible for others to pray as Jesus did. Then we might interpret the things the children spoke to their fathers as revealing greater truths than Jesus had revealed. Essentially then Jesus words are being judged as greater on one scale and the things the children revealed are greater on a different scale of revealed truths.
- 3 Ne. 19:30. This most likely refers to righteousness, not skin color. (See Tvedtnes article below.)
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- 3 Ne. 19:19: Christ says that the law has been fulfilled. What exactly does that mean?
- 3 Ne. 19:22: Jesus says that the people pray unto him because he is with them. Why does Jesus's presence give them reason to pray to him?
- 3 Ne. 19:31-36: In Verse 19:14 it says that the children spoke to their fathers greater things than Jesus had revealed? What does it mean to say that one revelation is greater than another? What is the scale on which such judgements are made? Take two truths that have been revealed to us, celestial marriage and the doctrine of repentance--what would it mean to say that one of them is greater?
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- 3 Ne. 19:20. Brant Gardner argues that in this verse Christ is referring only to the twelve disciples he has chosen.
- 3 Ne. 19:22: Praying to Jesus. The June 1988 Ensign has a response to this question by Beth Spackman. She essentially says that although it seems to have been proper for the Nephites to pray to Jesus, we have been instructed to only pray to the Father.
- 3 Ne. 19:22: Praying to Jesus. Ben Spackman makes the point that pray in this verse may have more of the connotation to praise since there are many different Hebrew words for our one word pray in English. Ben also makes the point that in Old Testament times people prayed to Jehovah, so making the switch to praying to the Father may've been something the disciples hadn't been taught yet.
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