John 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water
Do angels make inanimate objects a source of healing? Where else in the scriptures do we see healings performed in this manner? Are we to believe that it was an angel troubling the waters? The concept seems far-fetched. In fact, Elder Talmage teaches us that this was the notion among the people, not the actual source of healing (see Jesus the Christ, 192). Hence, "the focus of this story is neither the infirm man nor the water. The focal point of this story is that Jesus has far greater power than a mineral spring or any of his other creations. He is the creator of heaven and earth, of land and sea, the source of living water and the force behind all life-giving elements." (Bruce A. Van Orden and Brent L. Top, eds., The Lord of the Gospels: The 1990 Sperry Symposium on the New Testament [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 194.)
Bruce R. McConkie
"...this pool [was] evidently a mineral spring of some sort whose waters bubbled intermittently as escaping gases broke the surface...No doubt these waters had-as hot mineral springs do in our day-some curative and healing powers, which gave rise to a legend, among the superstitious and spiritually illiterate Jews, that 'an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water,' and that 'whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.'" (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 2: 66.)
John 5:6 wilt thou be made whole?
Of this question of the Savior, James E. Talmage wrote: "The question was so simple as almost to appear superfluous. Of course the man wanted to be made well, and on the small chance of being able to reach the water at the right moment was patiently yet eagerly waiting. There was purpose, however, in these as in all other words of the Master. The man's attention was drawn to Him, fixed upon Him." (Jesus the Christ, 193) Yet, the Lord asks us the same question almost every day, yet we often fail to hear his kind offer. It may be because our attention is not drawn to him; we are not "fixed upon Him" as we should be.
Christ would heal all of us of our weaknesses, sins, addictions, shortcomings, and imperfections. Though we have been afflicted with the same sin for 38 years, his power to heal is not found wanting. He asks, 'wilt thou be made whole?' And, 'will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?' (3 Ne. 9:13). The words 'Rise, take up thy bed, and walk' (v. 8) can just as easily be rendered, "Rise above the blood and sins of this generation, take up thy bed of addiction and affliction, and walk with me in newness of life." How do we respond to the Lord's invitation, 'wilt thou be made whole?'
John 5:7 while I am coming, another steppeth down before me
It's one thing to cut in line in front of someone with a sore thumb or a bum knee, but to cut in front of a crippled man? Who would do such a thing? Yet, almost every day, we see those who would cut in front of anyone if given the least opportunity. They seek their own welfare at the expense of others, taking advantage of the weak without the slightest hint of guilt or impropriety. They take candy from babies; they take money from the poor; and they cut in front of the crippled. For these, Solomon had the following advice, 'Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate: For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them' (Prov. 22:22-23).
"You have seen me rise up here in my authority, when necessary, and I have had to be like a lion among the people. But who can point out a single act that has not been full of kindness to this people, collectively and individually? Though sometimes I have to roar to them; and why? Because sometimes they are foolish. This was exhibited here to-day, and also on the fourth of July. I saw scores of men who had no more sense than to crowd upon the women and children, at the risk of crushing them to death. When I see such conduct, I feel like a lion in the cause of the oppressed...
"Do you wish to know how men of God feel under such circumstances? I will tell you...I had to go out to the door, when the people were crowding each other down, and talk as if I would swallow them up. What for? To injure them? No. Did I tell you to rush on and tread down women and children? No. Have I ever told you to take advantage of the weak and defenceless, or in any way oppress the innocent? No, never; and if you do, I shall handle you; and if you get into my way, you will be no more to me than a child's toy." (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 2: 21.)
John 5:8 Rise, take up thy bed, and walk
Thomas S. Monson
"Just a few weeks ago my wife, Frances, and I visited the National Gallery and admired the display of inspired genius which met our gaze and touched our hearts. A large painting occupied most of the wall of one room. It was an incomparable piece by the renowned Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, completed in the year 1670 and titled Christ Healing the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda. The centuries have not dimmed its beauty, dulled its appeal, nor diminished its impact.
"I could not avert my eyes, nor could I transfer my thoughts. I was carried back through time as I saw the crippled man lying on his crude crutch with his arms extended and his hands upturned as he appealed to the Savior of the world. The words and thoughts expressed in the book of John coursed through my mind. I share them with you this morning: (quotes Jn. 5: 2-9)
"At length, after pondering this scripture, I left the reverie of the room; however, the impact of that masterpiece was indelibly impressed on my soul.
"I have thought since of the majesty of the Master's command, the tenderness of His heart, and the incredible joy His act had brought to the afflicted man." ("Christ at Bethesda's Pool," Ensign, Nov. 1996, 16-17)
John 5:16 therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus...because he had done these things on the sabbath day
"The scripture records no rejoicing at the man's good fortune, nor does it contain any hint that his nation saw reason to praise God for the miracle they had witnessed. We read no commendation of Jesus, no suggestion that he might be their long-promised Messiah, but rather condemnation of a man who carried his bed on the Sabbath day and efforts to kill the person who directed him to do so. It was the tradition that was loved and honored, not the living Christ." (Joseph F. McConkie, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 5: The Gospels, ed. by Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1986], 281.)
John 5:18 he...said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God
Christ's response to this accusation is to demonstrate his complete submission to the will of the Father. Though he truly was a God, he would not accept the assumption that he was equal with his Father. Rather, he goes on to explain what great things the Father had given him. In doing this, he undoubtedly inflames the jealousy of the Jewish elite; already accused of blasphemy, now he is really going to give them something to get mad about. The unassuming Nazarene would claim great authority from God, including: 1) a status so great that worship of the Son is equated with worship of the Father (v. 23), 2) the promise that everlasting life would be given to those who hear the word of the Son and believe on him (v. 24), 3) the keys of judgment (v. 27), and 4) the keys of the resurrection (v. 26). Yet in spite of all the power and authority given him, Christ in ultimate meekness declares, 'I can of mine own self do nothing...because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me' (v. 30).
Bruce R. McConkie
"We suppose that our Lord's Jewish detractors by this time are completely overawed. How could it be otherwise, so comprehensive are the concepts of which he speaks, so infinite their application! But Jesus continues: 'For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.' 'The Father is an immortal, exalted, resurrected being, who cannot die. He is the Creator of the lives of men. Life dwells in him independently; he has life in himself; all things live because of him. He is the source of life, and the one who upholds, preserves, and continues it. And he has given this same power to the Son; the Son inherits from the Father; an immortal Father passes on to his mortal Son the power of immortality; it comes as a natural inheritance.'
"'And hath given him authority to execute judgment also,' Jesus continues, 'because he is the Son of man.' Why will Jesus be the Judge of the living and the dead? Because he is the Son of Man of Holiness-the Son of an Immortal Man, a Holy Man, who is God-because he is the Son of God who has received the power to do all things, from his Father whose right it is to grant such infinite power." (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 2: 74.)
John 5:19-20 The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do
Great truths are contained in this seemingly unassuming statement. The Savior is saying that he only was doing what the Father showed him. But what are the implications of this statement? He did not say that he was doing what the Father told him to do but what he had seen the Father do! This begs the question, "what did the Son see the Father do?"
"[The prophet paraphrases the meaning of this verse] 'I do the things I saw my Father do before worlds came rolling into existence. I saw my Father work out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same. [Then] I shall give my kingdom to the Father so that he obtains kingdom rolling upon kingdom,' so that Jesus treads in his tracks as he had gone before.
"...He laid down his life and took it up, same as his Father had done before. He did as he was sent, to lay down his life and take it up again." (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 131-132.)
"It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of as all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did. . . .
"I will go back to the beginning before the world was, to show what kind of a being God is. What sort of a being was God in the beginning? Open your ears and hear, all ye ends of the earth . . .
"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,-I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form-like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-346.)
John 5:22 the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son
We often imagine that Jesus Christ will be our judge. In John 5:22 we learn that 'the Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.' The Son holds all the keys of Judgment. However, he has delegated this responsibility; The Father delegated the responsibility to the Son, and the Son delegated the responsibility to the twelve apostles and twelve disciples in the New World (see 1 Ne 12:9-10). These 24 men, and others, will judge mankind under the direction of the Savior. This was made clear when the Lord spoke to Peter in Matt 19:28, 'ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.'
In Revelation we learn that the 'books were opened....and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works' (Rev 20:12). The Father is responsible for writing the books, the Savior is responsible for establishing the pattern by which men should be judged, and the Savior's apostles/disciples are the actual judges. This pattern is shown in 3 Ne 27:25-27. This prompted the counsel to the twelve disciples, 'Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.' The scriptures are replete with confirmations that this judgment will be just, 'But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth' (Rom 2:2), 'Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments' (Rev 16:7).
Who else will be a judge? 1) Bishops, stake presidencies, and higher church councils act as judges on matters under their administration (DC 107:69-80). 2)When missionaries are rejected and perform the ordinance of dusting off their feet, they will act as judges for the people who rejected their message (DC 75:19-22). 3) The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment against the people who rejected Christ during his ministry because they [the men of Ninevah] 'repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here' (Matt 12:41). 4) Paul says that the saints will also judge the world, 'Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?' (1 Cor 6:2)
Bruce R. McConkie
"Under Christ a great hierarchy of judges will operate, each functioning in his assigned sphere. John saw many judges sitting upon thrones. (Rev. 20:4.) Paul said the saints would judge both the world and angels. (1 Cor. 6:2-3.) The elders are to sit in judgment on those who reject them. (D&C 75:22Matt. 10:14-15.) Daniel saw that judgment would be given to the saints. (Dan. 7:22.) The Nephite Twelve will be judged by the Twelve from Jerusalem and then in turn will judge the Nephite nation. (1 Ne. 12:9-10; 3 Ne. 27:27; Morm. 3:19.) And the Twelve who served with our Lord in his ministry shall judge the whole house of Israel. (D. & C. 29:12.) No doubt there will be many others of many dispensations who will sit in judgment upon the peoples of their days and generations-all judging according to the judgment which Christ shall give them, 'which shall be just.' (3 Ne. 27:27.)" (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:558.)
John 5:25,28 the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God
The Bible teaches of Christ's ministry in the Spirit World in several locations. Here, he declares that the dead shall hear his voice, and 'all that are in the graves shall hear his voice' (v. 28). Could the words be rendered any plainer? Later, Christ promises the malefactor, 'To day shalt thou be with me in paradise' (Lu 23:43). Then Peter declares in great clarity, 'For Christ...went and preached unto the spirits in prison' (1 Pet. 3:18-19), 'For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.' (1 Pet. 4:6) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asks the world, "what good is all this preaching to the dead, if it is not done with the intent to bring salvation to the spirits of the dead? And how can they be saved without the saving ordinances of the gospel?"
Shall the dead hear the voice of the Son of God? Joseph F. Smith saw in vision the fulfillment of the Savior's words:
Joseph Fielding Smith
"The Jews marveled. Perhaps they thought he meant those who were 'dead in trespasses and sins' should hear his voice. At any rate they marveled...Why did he preach to these disobedient spirits? Surely not to increase their torments, to taunt them for not accepting of his truth in the days of the prophets! Was it to tantalize them and make them more miserable because of the blessings they had lost! Jesus was a merciful Redeemer, who suffered as no other man suffered that he might save the children of his Father. He would take no pleasure in the suffering of the wicked.
"The visit of Christ to the spirits in prison was not made in vengeance, to show them that he had power to triumph over the grave, while they, who died without the remission of their sins, should remain in that condition of punishment forever. He took the glorious message of the gospel and proclaimed it to the dead with the promise that they, if they would obey it, should partake of its blessings." (Doctrines of Salvation, 2: 159.)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"Any misunderstanding of the plain statement of these words must be wilful, for they can have no meaning other than that the dead who were in the spirit world would hear his voice and come forth in the resurrection...
"What purpose could there possibly be, in the Savior going to the spirit world to preach the gospel, if there were no provision in the gospel for deliverance of the dead? Is it possible for any person to imagine that he went there merely to harrow up these souls, to increase their torment by proclaiming the gospel and then informing them that because they died without a knowledge of it, and unrepentant, without the remission of their sins, they would have to endure the torment of the unsaved forever? Surely not! There could be but one purpose for preaching the gospel to the dead, and that would be to 'proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.'...Provision has been made by which the gospel message is proclaimed among these active spirits, and provision has been made in the gospel plan, appointed before the foundation of the earth was laid, for the vicarious work to be performed for them, if in that spirit world they repent and receive the gospel. Otherwise God would be a respecter of persons favoring the living and condemning the dead, who would be penalized when dying without the opportunity to receive the gospel." (The Restoration of All Things [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1945], 228 - 229.)
John 5:26 the Father has given to the Son to have life in himself
Christ has claimed authority over Judgment (v. 22, 27), and we may say that he was given the keys of Judgment. While in personal possession of the keys, the Lord delegates this power to his servants (see commentary for Jn. 5:22). The exact same pattern is seen with Christ's power over life itself. When the scripture says, that the Father has 'given to the Son to have life in himself,' it means that Christ has power over death. He has power over his own death and has power over ours. He holds the keys of the Resurrection just as he holds the keys of Judgment. Russell M. Nelson said, "The keys of the resurrection repose securely with our Lord and Master. He said: 'I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.' (John 11:25-26.)" (The Gateway We Call Death [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 79 - 80.) While we usually don't think of the Lord delegating his power over the Resurrection, consider the following:
Boyd K. Packer
"I heard President Kimball say on one occasion, as other Presidents of the Church have said, that, while he holds all of the keys that are held upon the earth, there are keys that he does not hold. There are keys that have not been given to him as President of the Church, because they are reserved to higher power and authority. For instance, he said that he does not hold the keys of the resurrection. The Lord holds them, but He has not delegated them-neither anciently, nor to modern prophets." (The Holy Temple [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980], 151.)
"We are in possession of all the ordinances that can be administered in the flesh; but there are other ordinances and administrations that must be administered beyond this world. I know you would ask what they are. I will mention one. We have not, neither can we receive here, the ordinance and the keys of the resurrection. They will be given to those who have passed off this stage of action and have received their bodies again, as many have already done and many more will. They will be ordained, by those who hold the keys of the resurrection, to go forth and resurrect the Saints...This is one of the ordinances we cannot receive here, and there are many more." (John A. Widtsoe, comp., The Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 397.)"
"If we ask who will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation, the answer is-Joseph Smith, Junior, the Prophet of God. He is the man who will be resurrected and receive the keys of the resurrection, and he will seal this authority upon others, and they will hunt up their friends and resurrect them when they shall have been officiated for, and bring them up. And we will have revelations to know our forefathers clear back to Father Adam and Mother Eve, and we will enter into the temples of God and officiate for them. Then man will be sealed to man until the chain is made perfect back to Adam, so that they will be a perfect chain of Priesthood from Adam to the winding-up scene.
"This will be the work of the Latter-day Saints in the Millennium. (John A. Widtsoe, comp., The Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 116.)"
John 5:29 all shall come forth...unto the resurrection of life...unto the resurrection of damnation
This verse, John 5:29, inspired one of the most transcendent revelations ever revealed through Joseph Smith-DC 76, the revelation on the resurrection and the three degrees of glory.
"It was the winter of 1832. Joseph Smith had been engaged in his work of inspired translation of the Bible since June of 1830, and since April of 1831 had concentrated on the New Testament. Joseph and Emma were then living in the home of John Johnson in Hiram, Ohio. On February 16 in the year 1832 Joseph the Prophet and Sidney Rigdon his scribe prayerfully pondered the fifth chapter of John's Gospel, particularly verse 29. By the power of the Spirit the translators felt impressed to alter the King James verse so as to refer to the 'resurrection of the just' and the 'resurrection of the unjust,' instead of the resurrections of life and damnation. This change 'caused us to marvel,' the Prophet said, 'for it was given unto us of the Spirit. And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about.' (D&C 76:18-19.)" (Robert L. Millet and Joseph Fielding McConkie, The Life Beyond [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1986], 3)
"The first resurrection (the just) includes the Celestial and the Terrestrial people. The second resurrection (the unjust) includes the Telestial people and the sons of perdition. Occasionally, reference is made to the 'morning of the first resurrection.' This term would apply to the first phase (Celestial) of the first resurrection. This phase is depicted by the sounding of the first trump at the time of the Savior's second coming. (See D&C 88:92-98) This sounding of the trump pertains to the saints of God who have died since the Savior's resurrection.
"The second phase of the first resurrection, is depicted by the second trump. (See D&C 88:99) This phase is the resurrection of the Terrestrial people and is sometimes referred to as the afternoon of the first resurrection. This concludes the first resurrection.
"The second resurrection consists of two groups. The Telestial will be first and is depicted by the sounding of the third trump. This event will occur at the conclusion of the thousand-year period of millennial peace. (D&C 88:100-101) The second phase of the second resurrection is the resurrection of the sons of perdition and is depicted by the sounding of the fourth trump. (D&C 88:102)" (L. G. Otten and C. M. Caldwell, Sacred Truths of the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982-1983], 2: 107 - 108.)
Bruce R. McConkie
"At his coming, the Lord will sit in judgment on all nations, dividing the sheep from the goats, sending some to everlasting punishment and others to life eternal. (Matt. 25:31-46.) At his coming, also, those who have earned the right to come forth in the resurrection of the just will rise from their graves and inherit their places in a celestial or a terrestrial kingdom. ("D&C 88:95-99.)" (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 697)
"As concerning the resurrection, I will merely say that all men will come from the grave as they lie down, whether old or young; there will not be 'added unto their stature one cubit,' neither taken from it; all will be raised by the power of God, having spirit in their bodies, and not blood. Children will be enthroned in the presence of God and the lamb with bodies of the same stature that they had on earth, having been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; they will there enjoy the fulness of that light, glory and intelligence, which is prepared in the celestial kingdom. 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them.' [Rev. 14:13.]" (History of the Church, 4:555-56.)
Joseph F. Smith
"Those from whom we have to part here, we will meet again and see as they are. We will meet the same identical being that we associated with here in the flesh-not some other soul, some other being, or the same being in some other form, but the same identity and the same form and likeness, the same person we knew and were associated with in our mortal existence. . . . Deformity will be removed; defects will be eliminated, and men and women shall attain to the perfection of their spirits, to the perfection that God designed in the beginning." (Gospel Doctrine, p. 23.)
John 5:30 I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father
Marion G. Romney
"What a difference it would make in the conditions of the world today if all leaders of nations and all peoples were seeking to know and do the Father's will! What peace would come into the world and what peace does come into the hearts of individuals as they acquire such a state of mind and act upon it! The happiest and most successful people in the earth are those who, knowing the will of the Father, are living in harmony therewith. On the other hand, the most contentious, distressed, and miserable people on the earth are those who know his will and who do not live in harmony with it.
"We members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are in a unique position with reference to this matter because we know that the Lord has revealed, and is continuing to reveal, to our generation his will concerning us, and we profess to accept it. This leaves us no excuse and no escape. Each of us is destined to be happy and at peace, or miserable and contentious. Many have already chosen their places; others are moving into position. Our status will depend upon how nearly we do the Father's will now, and how faithful we are in continuing to do it to the end of our mortal lives." (Conference Report, April 1945, Afternoon Meeting 88.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"In fact, while God has given us so many enabling gifts in addition to the gift of life, the only real gift we can actually give Him is to submit our will to His...the one precious gift, our wills! It is the only one we can really give to Him that is not already His!" (One More Strain of Praise [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1999], 93.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"In striving for ultimate submission, our wills constitute all we really have to give God anyway. The usual gifts and their derivatives we give to Him could be stamped justifiably 'Return to Sender,' with a capital S. Even when God receives this one gift in return, the fully faithful will receive 'all that [He] hath' (DC 84:38). What an exchange rate!" (Ensign, May 2002, 38)
John 5:32 There is another that beareth witness of me
Christ understood the law of witnesses (2 Cor. 13:1). He recounts all those that bear witness of his mission. These include his Father (v. 37; Matt 3:17), John the Baptist, (v. 32-35), the Saviors own works (v. 36), and Moses (v. 45-47). How many witnesses do they need? Isn't God the Father an adequate witness? What about John the Baptist, couldn't he be trusted? And what about a three-year ministry of miracles and brilliant teachings-shouldn't that be witness enough all by itself? Lastly, we have Moses, that prophet whose legend had become larger than life. Did not the very Law of Moses point to Christ? Was Moses not the prototype prophet for the Savior (Deut. 18:15-18)? With all these witnesses, the Jews still rejected the Son of God. For such a grave error must come a grave punishment, as the Lord has said, 'Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?...upon you [will] come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.' (Matt 23:33-35)
John 5:39 Search the scriptures
Scriptures are of little value unless they are searched. They are useful if they are read, but the term search implies something totally different. To search is to try to understand, to look for personal meaning, to understand historical context, to reference other sources, to find resolution to conflicts, and to internalize principles. The Lord has never commanded the saints to read the scriptures; He always commands them to search them: search them diligently that ye may profit (Mosiah 1:7)....and search these things diligently, for great are the words of Isaiah (3Ne 23:1).
The newer editions of the LDS scriptures are designed specifically to aid the reader in his search for scriptural truths.
M. Russell Ballard
"The new editions of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, and the Bible are cross-referenced to each other. Never before has there been more comprehensive information available on the teachings and the mission of our Savior. What strength can come to us in our families as we follow Christ's admonition: 'Search the scriptures; ... they are they which testify of me.' (John 5:39.)
"Elder Boyd K. Packer, in speaking of the effect these new editions of the scriptures will have upon the rising generation, said; 'There is another generation growing up. The revelations will be opened to them as to no other in the history of the world. Into their hands now are placed the sticks of Joseph and of Judah. They will develop a gospel scholarship beyond that which their forebears could achieve. They will have the testimony that Jesus is the Christ and be competent to proclaim Him and to defend Him.' (Ensign, Nov. 1982, p. 53.)" ("Resources for Teaching Our Families," Ensign, Feb. 1983, 11)
Spencer W. Kimball
"Brethren and sisters, my purpose is to encourage you to study the scriptures. As the Lord has said, 'Search the scriptures: for ... they are they which testify of me.' (John 5:39.)
"Perhaps you will have noticed that for many years the General Authorities have urged us all with increasing frequency and in a spirit of love to adopt a program of daily gospel study in our homes, both as individuals and as families. Also, the standard works have replaced all other materials as texts in the adult curriculum of the Church, and scarcely a meeting comes to a close without an inspired admonition from priesthood leaders to read and study the scriptures.
"We believe that there has been marked improvement. Many more Church members are bringing the scriptures to appropriate meetings, and they are coming prepared for learning and discussions. In accord with divine inspiration, many more parents are using the standard works to teach their children the doctrines of the Kingdom. We view these things with pleasure and satisfaction, and know that many blessings will result." ("How Rare a Possession-The Scriptures," Ensign, July 1985, 3)
Milton R. Hunter
"The holy scriptures have been my closest companion throughout my life. I love them and read them continually. I think I have gone through the Book of Mormon forty-five times. Every time I read it I find new thoughts. I believe with all my heart, as I said in the beginning of my talk, that these three latter-day scriptures, together with the Bible, constitute some of the greatest treasures that we possess. If we will permit them to do so, they will serve as our guides to bring us back unto God. May our Heavenly Father bless us that we may fully utilize effectively in our lives these great treasures, I humbly pray, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." (Conference Report, October 1955, Afternoon Meeting 68.)
L. Tom Perry
"The scriptures are one of our greatest treasures. They contain God's instructions to His people from the beginning of time. In a world so full of the doctrines of men, how grateful we are to have a sure anchor on which to build our faith! Of the Book of Mormon, Elder Marion G. Romney said:
"If our young folks are traditioned in the teachings of the Book of Mormon, they will not only be inspired with righteous courage to choose the right by example, ... they will also be so schooled in the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ that they will know what is right.
"From almost every page of the book, there will come to them a moving testimony that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of the Living God, our Redeemer and Savior. This witness alone will be a sustaining anchor in every storm." (In Conference Report, Apr. 1960, p. 112.) ("Back to Gospel Basics," Ensign, May 1993, 92)
Marion G. Romney
"I don't know much about the gospel other than what I've learned from the standard works. When I drink from a spring I like to get the water where it comes out of the ground, not down the stream after the cattle have waded in it. . . .
"I appreciate other people's interpretation, but when it comes to the gospel we ought to be acquainted with what the Lord says. You ought to read . . . all the scriptures with the idea of finding out what's in them and what the meaning is and not to prove some idea of your own. Just read them and plead with the Lord to let you understand what He had in mind when He wrote them." (LDS Church News, 1991, 03/23/91)
John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me
Neal A. Maxwell
"...it should not surprise us that the foretelling role of the law of Moses is made more clear in the plain and precious Book of Mormon:
"What came later through Joseph Smith, came earlier through John: 'For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me (John 5:46).' (But for a Small Moment [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1986], 46.)
Neal A. Maxwell
"It is ironic that many in Jesus' time refused to listen to Him because they were so fixed on Moses. To those who persecuted Him because He had healed an invalid on the Sabbath, he said: 'Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?' (John 5:46-47. See also Mormon 7:9.) Yet Jesus had personally called, instructed, and tutored Moses! He told the Nephites, 'Behold, . . . the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses. Behold, I am he that gave the law, and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel; therefore, the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfill the law; therefore it hath an end.' (3 Nephi 15:4-5.)" (Meek and Lowly [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1987], 77.)