3 Nephi 26

3 Ne 26:2 These scriptures...should be given unto future generations

Bruce R. McConkie

"These scriptures...are primarily for our benefit. We live in the day of which they speak; we are the children in whose hearts the promises have been planted; we are the ones who are striving so to live that we will abide the day of His coming. And it is in our day that Elijah has come, according to the promises, bringing again the sealing power so that legal administrators may bind on earth and have it sealed eternally in the heavens -- for all of which the Lord be praised." (The Mortal Messiah, book 4, p. 368)

3 Ne 26:3 he did expound all things, even from the beginning

"After reciting these scriptures to the people, the Savior...then explained all things to them 'from the beginning until the time that he should come in his glory' (3 Nephi 26:3). It seems likely that, having just quoted these verses about Elijah's promised return, the Lord then explained something about Elijah's mission, what it meant and why it was necessary. Because that mission and the keys of the sealing power that form such an integral part of it pertain so much to the sacred work carried on in the holy temples of the Lord, it is not surprising that the text of 3 Nephi does not give us more detail about the Lord's explanations. They were probably things of such a sacred nature as to be learned by us only in the temple." (Byron R. Merrill, Elijah: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, chap. 16)

3 Ne 26:3 elements should melt with fervent heat

From the Book of Mormon text, it is not clear whether the elements are to melt at the Second Coming or later, at the celestialization of the earth. However, a careful reading of other applicable scriptures (2 Pet 3:10-12, DC 101:25, Mormon 9:2) tells us that the elements melt from the heat and burning which will accompany Christ at his Second Coming.

Bruce R. McConkie

"When the Lord comes in his glory, in flaming fire, that fire will both cleanse the vineyard and burn the earth. In that day, so intense shall be the heat and so universal the burning, the very elements of which this earth is composed shall melt. The mountains, high and glorious and made of solid rock, shall melt like wax. They shall become molten and flow down into the valleys below. The very earth itself, as now constituted, shall be dissolved. All things shall burn with fervent heat. And out of it all shall come new heavens and a new earth whereon dwelleth righteousness. It is of these things -- and they, above all else, show the literal nature of the burning fires that shall attend that dreadful day -- it is of them that we must now make mention...

"Fervent heat -- what is it? It is hot, glowing heat. The word itself comes from the Latin verb fervere, meaning to boil or to glow. It is the heat of which our revelation, alluding to a prophecy of Isaiah (Isa. 64:1-3), says: 'The presence of the Lord shall be as the melting fire that burneth, and as the fire which causeth the waters to boil.' (D&C 133:41.) There has as yet been no heat on earth of such extent and intensity that it could melt the very planet itself. Such is reserved for the day of burning." (The Millenial Messiah, p. 526-7)"

Orson Pratt

"Here then is a declaration how this earth is to be cleansed the second time from wickedness, namely, by fire, which is a more powerful element than water. The earth is to be cleansed by fire; in other words, the elements are to be melted with fervent heat. This is the declaration of several of the prophets. David, in speaking of this period, in one of his psalms, says, the mountains shall melt like wax before the presence of the Lord when he shall come (Ps 97:5). You know how wax melts when exposed to the influence of heat. So, when the Lord comes, will the elements melt and the mountains flow down at his presence with fervent heat. This will cleanse the earth as it was cleansed in the days of Noah, only by another element called fire.

"This is typical of the cleansing of those who embrace the plan of salvation. After you have been immersed, as this earth was, in the water, and been cleansed and received the remission of your sins, you also have the promise of baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, by which you are purified, as well justified and sanctified from all your evil affections, and you feel to love God and that which is just and true, and to hate that which is sinful and evil. Why? Because of this sanctifying, purifying principle that comes upon you, by the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. So must this earth be baptized by fire, it must be cleansed from all sin and impurity. Will it be filled with the Holy Ghost? Yes. These elements that melt like wax before the presence of the Lord will again be filled with his Spirit and will be renewed, and the earth itself will be full of the knowledge of God as the waters cover the channels of the great deep. It will enter into the elements of creation, so that the curse which came in consequence of the fall of man will be removed from the earth, and the elements will be cleansed, not only by fire but by the Spirit of the living God, which will mingle with and purify them." (Journal of Discourses, 16:319)

3 Ne 26:6 there cannot be written...even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach

Bruce R. McConkie

"Who has seen such marvelous things as Jesus did among the Nephites? And who has heard such wondrous words of divine wisdom as fell from his lips on the American continent? To our shame we know only the hundredth part. Our friend Mormon -- the prophet -- historian who has given us such as we do have -- at this point in his inspired writing said of the teachings of the Blessed One, which he so freely gave to the spiritually attuned ears in the New World: (quotes 3 Ne 26:3-5).

"In the providences of the Lord, we have slivers and fragments of what Jesus gave the Nephites, Sections 29,  45,  63,  76,  77,  88,  93,  101,  107,  132,  133, and 138 in the Doctrine and Covenants, and the books of Moses and Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price, all contain truths of transcendent worth about the doings of Deity from the beginning to the end. But what we have is only the milk of the present, which prepares us for the meat of the future. We do not have what he told the Nephites, and we do not have what he revealed to the brother of Jared, nor will we until the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon comes forth." (Mortal Messiah, book 4, p. 368-9)

3 Ne 26:9 if...they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest

Joseph Fielding Smith

"I would like to call your attention to one thing in the Book of Mormon. The Lord has promised us greater knowledge, greater understanding than we find in the Book of Mormon, when we are prepared to receive it. When the brother of Jared went upon the mount to have the Lord touch stones to give them light to light their way across the great ocean, the Lord revealed to him the history of this world from the beginning of it to the end. We do not have it.

"I am going to read one or two passages of scripture from the Book of Mormon in relation to that matter. 'And he' (that is, Christ) 'did expound all things, even from the beginning until the time that he should come in his glory -- yea, even all things which should come upon the face of the earth, even until the elements should melt with fervent heat, and the earth should be wrapt together as a scroll, and the heavens and the earth should pass away; . . .' (3 Nephi 26:3.)

"All of that was written and given to the Nephites. We do not have that record, and the Lord said this -- which is concerning us particularly -- and Mormon wrote it: (quotes 3 Ne 26:8-10)

"I say that when the brother of Jared went on the mount, the Lord revealed the history of this earth to him from the beginning to the end thereof, but we do not have it. But when the Nephites became righteous, after the visit of the Son of God, the Lord revealed that record to them, and then when they began to fall away, he took the record away again and hid it up. Here is what the Lord says about it.

   'And after Christ truly had showed himself unto his people, he commanded that they should be made manifest.' (That is, the full record.)

   'And now, after that, they have all dwindled in unbelief; and there is none save it be the Lamanites, and they have rejected the gospel of Christ; therefore I am commanded that I should hide them up again in the earth.'

   '...And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.' (Ether 4:2,3,7)

"Now the Lord has placed us on probation as members of the Church. He has given us the Book of Mormon, which is the lesser part, to build up our faith through our obedience to the counsels which it contains, and when we ourselves, members of the Church, are willing to keep the commandments as they have been given to us and show our faith as the Nephites did for a short period of time, then the Lord is ready to bring forth the other record and give it to us, but we are not ready now to receive it. Why? Because we have not lived up to the requirements in this probationary state in the reading of the record which had been given to us and in following its counsels." (Conference Report, Oct. 1961, pp. 19-20)

Neal A. Maxwell

"So it is that 'all things must come to pass in their own time.' (D&C 64:32.) This is cause and reason for patience and perspective amidst the macro plan! Such unfoldingness reflects the tutoring of a just and a long-suffering Lord.... Besides, we have a notable lack of capacity to appreciate things that, like water out of a fire hydrant, come in a rush. Hence the Lord meters out divine disclosure according to what is deserved and usable. He has warned us: 'Murmur not because of the things which thou hast not seen, for they are withheld from thee and from the world, which is wisdom in me in a time to come' (D&C 25:4.)." (Meek and Lowly, p. 91)

3 Ne 26:14 he did teach and minister unto the children

Jeffrey R. Holland

"We are left to wonder at the marvelous messages given to these children that could in any way have been 'greater than he had revealed unto the people.' He had spoken of faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, prayer, the sacrament, the law of Moses, the scattering and gathering of Israel, the Book of Mormon, the fulness of the covenant, the work of the priesthood, and his own second coming-to name just a few of the principal topics! What he told the children that was greater than these is a question of surpassing wonder. On that astonishing note Christ ascended into heaven, concluding the second day." (Christ And The New Covenant, p. 299)

3 Ne 26:15 he...raised a man from the dead

The raising of this individual from the dead was not an afterthought on the part of the Lord. Rather, it is a blessing given according to their desires. Previously, the Savior said, I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem (3 Ne 17:8). Therefore, the Lord blessed their sick and afflicted as he had done among the Jews. Later the Lord gave them bread and wine symbolizing the miracle of the loaves and fishes (3 Ne 20:7). Finally, he would demonstrate his power over death as he had with Lazarus, Jairus's daughter, and the widow's son (Jn 11:14-46, Matt 9:18-26, Lu 7:11-17). This demonstration of power over death was important both as a witness and a blessing to the Nephites. Hereby, his ministry of the second day was complete, for after he had shown forth his power unto them, he ascended unto the Father.

3 Ne 26:16 on the morrow...even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things

Jeffrey R. Holland

"The sequence and circumstance of Christ's third day of ministering to the Nephites is not entirely clear in the text we have been given...Apparently after the close of the second day...the people gathered 'on the morrow' (the third day) to be taught by the Master. As he had done the first and second days, so too on the third he again ministered to the children, loosing their tongues and filling their hearts with spiritual truths. As a result, not only children but also babes in arms 'did open their mouths and utter marvelous things; and the things which they did utter were forbidden that there should not any man write them.'  

"It is significant that in each of the three days of his Nephite ministry, Christ had a singular spiritual experience with children. Those experiences, linking each of the days of his Nephite ministry, trumpet again the truth that Christ taught in the Old World as well as the New, that 'of such is the kingdom of heaven' (Matt 19:14)."  (Christ And The New Covenant, p. 301 - 302)

Marion D. Hanks

"My experience is that, as the prophets have known, and the poets also, children come into this world:

'Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory...

From God, who is our home.' (William Wordsworth)

"...We have a little girl who is, I think, especially susceptible to spiritual things. Form her babyhood she gave me an almost eerie feeling sometimes, because she would walk about the yard and in her play, stop and look up and say, 'Hi, Jesus,' or 'I love you, God': just a little child...The sweet assurance and confidence she has, nothing doubting, that God is, and that Jesus is, and that they are interested in her and related to her and that she may talk with them and apply to them on her little knees at night and in the morning, and expect that when she prays for her little sister who is ill, she will be blessed by them-this sweet confidence and assurance we need. The scriptures not only affirm it, my own life and experience affirm it." (Book of Mormon Student Manual, 1981, p. 436)

Neal A. Maxwell

"Some time ago, Nate, then just over three, said: 'Mommy, there is another little girl who is supposed to come to our family. She has dark hair and dark eyes and lives a long way from here.'

"The wise mother asked, 'How do you know this?

"'Jesus told me, upstairs.'

"The mother noted, 'We don't have an upstairs,' but quickly sensed the significance of what had been communicated. After much travail and many prayers, the Barker family were in a sealing room in the Salt Lake Temple in the fall of 1995-where a little girl with dark hair and dark eyes, from Kazakhstan, was sealed to them for time and eternity. Inspired children still tell parents 'great and marvelous things'" (Ensign, May 1996, pp. 69-70 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 457)

3 Ne 26:17 the disciples...began from that time forth to baptize

We remember the account of the baptisms of the disciples (3 Ne 19:11-13). But, at that time, there had not been sufficient time to baptize the entire multitude. The ushering in of a new dispensation and covenant now required another baptism, even for those who had been previously baptized. This massive work was one of the first tasks of the new disciples. Apparently, the Lord truly blessed them with many manifestations of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, for we are told, many of them saw and heard unspeakable things, which are not lawful to be written (v. 18).

Joseph Fielding Smith

"Baptism, as we understand it, is one of the cardinal principles of the gospel, commanded primarily for the remission of sins, and, secondarily, as the door by which we enter into the Church... When Christ appeared to the Nephites on this continent, he commanded them to be baptized, although they had been baptized previously for the remission of their sins. We read how Nephi beheld angels who came and ministered to him daily; how he baptized all who came to be baptized for the remission of sins; how he organized the Church; and how he even raised his brother from the dead, since he held the priesthood (see 3 Ne 7:15-25). Then we read that the Savior commanded Nephi and the people to be baptized again, because he had organized anew the Church under the gospel. Before that it had been organized under the law." (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 332,336)

3 Ne 26:19 they had all things common among them

See commentary for 4 Nephi 1:3.