Divine Ministry, The First Gospel: Jesus Among The Nephites: Book of Mormon Commentary, Volume 5

Divine Ministry, The First Gospel: Jesus Among The Nephites: Book of Mormon Commentary, Volume 5

by Monte S. Nyman

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A study of the Life of Christ, or of the New Testament Gospels,
would be incomplete if it did not include the contribution of the
Book of Mormon. President Ezra Taft Benson gave the following
counsel to the members of the Church:
The Book of Mormon is the instrument that God designed to "sweep
the earth as with a flood, to gather out [His] elect" (Moses 7:62). This
sacred volume of scripture needs to become more central in our
preaching, our teaching, and our missionary work.

At present, the Book of Mormon is studied in our Sunday School and
seminary classes every fourth year. This four-year pattern, however, must
not be followed by the Church members in their personal and family
study. We need to read daily from the pages of the book that will get a
man "nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book."
[History of the Church, 4:461]

And when we are called upon to study or teach other scriptures, we
need to strengthen that undertaking by frequent reference to the
additional insights which the Book of Mormon may provide on the
subject. (See 1 Nephi 13:40; 2 Nephi 3:12.) [CR, October 1988, 3]
Third Nephi, the account of Jesus' ministry to the Nephites, especially
provides extensive additional insights to an understanding of the
teachings of our resurrected Lord and Savior.

Jesus ministered for three years among the people of Palestine as
a mortal being. This will be referred to as his "mortal ministry" in this
Divine Ministry--The First Gospel Jesus Among the Nephites The writer of the Gospel of John made a similar statement: "And there are also
many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen" (John 21:25).

Although there is a wide variance among scholars in the dating of the writing of
the New Testament Gospels, the traditional dates of the four Gospels being written are about: Mark A.D. 65–70.; Matthew A.D. 75–80; Luke A.D. 80–85; John A.D. 95–100.
However, 1 Nephi 13:24 indicates the records were written much earlier than the
traditional dates, probably during and following Jesus' ministry. The Nephite account of his ministry, from which Mormon made his abridgment, was also made at the time of the Nephite ministry (see 3 Nephi 26:7–8).
The gospel is defined in 3 Nephi 27:13–22. We will discuss the definition given
there in chapter 14 of this work.

His ministry in the Americas following his resurrection in
Jerusalem will be referred to as his "divine ministry." He ministered
for just three days as a divine, resurrected being among the more
righteous of the Nephites who were spared from the destruction at the
time of his crucifixion. Although Mormon, the abridger of the records
tells us, "there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part
of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people" (3 Nephi
26:6),1 what is provided gives us a basis of understanding the four
New Testament Gospels.
As pointed out by President N. Eldon Tanner, "3 Nephi gives us
additional information in more detail than the four Gospels in the
New Testament, and preserves the doctrines, teachings, and compassion
of the Lord. For this reason there are many who refer to Third
Nephi as the fifth Gospel" (CR, April 1975, 52). Acknowledging the
insight of those who call it the fifth Gospel, Third Nephi would more
accurately be viewed as the first and foremost Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Based upon the theories of the world it was written before the New
Testament Gospels,2 but more importantly, it defines and explains the
gospel per se, as well as many other teachings of the Savior.

In addition to defining the gospel,3Third Nephi interprets and
clarifies many New Testament teachings, which further justifies
designating it as the first Gospel. Third Nephi 8 through 28:12 and
Moroni 2–6 (an appendage of the Savior's teachings to the Nephites
added by Moroni) contains as much information about Jesus'
teachings as there is in any of the four New Testament accounts.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014084895
Publisher: Mary Ann Nyman
Publication date: 12/04/2010
Series: Book of Mormon Commentary , #5
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 452
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Monte Steven Nyman was president of Southern Virginia University (SVU) from 2003 to 2004. He had previously been academic vice president at SVU and a professor of religion at Brigham Young University (BYU).

As a young man Nyman served a mission in the North Central States Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Nyman received his bachelors and masters degrees from Utah State University, both in physical education. He later received a doctorate from BYU in educational administration. Prior to joining the BYU faculty, he was the Institute of Religion director in Edmonton, Canada.

While at BYU, Nyman served as director of Book of Mormon studies for the Religious Studies Center and for a time he was the acting head of the ancient scripture department within the College of Religious Education.

Nyman retired from BYU in 1996. In 1999-2000 he was baseball coach at SVU and continued on as academic vice president and then as president until he again retired in 2004.

Nyman has served in many positions in the church including as a bishop and a member of the Correlation and Translation Committee. He has written several books including Great Are the Words of Isaiah, An Ensign to All People and The Most Correct Book: The Book of Mormon and The Book of Mormon Commentary series.

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