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This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- Matt 13: Central position in Matthew. Non-LDS Christians often refer to Matthew as the "Gospel of the Church" because of its emphasis on the calling, instruction, and ministry of the Twelve and its discussion of the keys given to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration. Those who accept the calling of Joseph Smith have an additional reason to apply this title to Matthew. As shown at Matthew, the Gospel of Matthew can be outlined as a chiasm with Chapter 13 sitting at central position of greatest prominence. As discussed on this page, Joseph Smith explained that the unifying theme of the parables in Chapter 13 is apostasy and restoration. (It should be noted that, for different reasons, the term "Gospel of the Church" can also be applied to Luke).
- Matt 13: Outline of the discourse. Chapter 13 can be outlined as a chiasm:
- a. Jesus begins to teach the multitude (13:1-2)
- b. parable of discipleship: the sower (13:3-9)
- c. use of parables fulfills prophecy about Jesus (13:10-17)
- c. use of parables fulfills prophecy about Jesus (13:34-36)
- d. parable of the wheat and tares explained (13:37-43)
- b. parables of discipleship: treasure in a field, pearl of great price, dragnet (13:44-50)
- b. parable of discipleship: the sower (13:3-9)
- a. parable of the householder, Jesus leaves (13:51-53)
- • Jesus is not honored only in his own country (13:54-58)
- Matt 13: Theme of apostasy and restoration. Joseph Smith wrote a letter, published in the Messenger and Advocate (Dec 1835) newspaper (or see this PDF hosted by BYU), in which he explained the parables of Matthew 13 as relating to the apostasy and restoration. Need to actually explain it here in several paragraphs.
- Matt 13:10-17: Mysteries. The word mysteries here is a translation of the Greek musterion. While this word originally had reference to pagan religions where initiates were taught secret teachings about the gods, in the Greek Old Testament this word translated the Hebrew cowd/sode, which often refers to the hidden secrets or counsel of the divine assembly or heavenly council.
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Prompts for life application
This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Prompts for further study
This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Chapter 10: "He Spake Many Things unto Them in Parables." In The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles (New Testament Institute Manual), second ed., sec. 10-4 to 10-15. (PDF version). Salt Lake City, Utah: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1979.
- Latter Day Saints' Messenger & Advocate (Dec 1835) Vol. 2 (PDF from BYU Library), No. 3, p. 225-29. Kirtland, Ohio: F.G. Williams & Co., 1834-1837, (HTML).
- Roberts, B.H,. ed. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (HTML), 2d ed., vol. 2. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1976 (orig. pub. 1904)
- Smith, Joseph. History 1839-1856, Vol. B-1, p. 97-105 (also known as the Manuscript History of the Church). The Joseph Smith Papers.
- Smith, Joseph Fielding, ed. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1938. (ISBN 0877476268) (ISBN 087579243X).
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.
- available from several locations including Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (TPJS) 93-102; History of the Church 2:264-272 (HTML); Manuscript History of the Church, Vol. B-1, p. 97-105 (PDF), Messenger and Advocate, (Dec 1835) vol. 2, no. 3, p. 225-229 (HTML); Same (PDF). Also see the New Testament Institute Manual, sec 10-4 to 10-15.