Counsel to His Disciples – 3 Nephi 13:1-34

1 Verily, verily, I say that I would that ye should do alms [donations] unto the poor; but take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father who is in heaven.

2 Therefore, when ye shall do your alms do not sound a trumpet before you, as will hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

3 But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; [Do not make it a public affair.]

4 That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly. [The Lord emphasizes the importance of giving to the poor, but for the right reasons. We are not to seek attention in any way, for this is pride, and that which is meant to be an act of charity and love is cankered, and there is no spiritual benefit.]

In today’s society, often the giving to charity is a public display with much congratulation. Donations should be done under the direction of the Spirit.

5 And when thou prayest thou shalt not do as the hypocrites, for they love to pray, standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. [This is an interesting scripture. There are times when it is required to pray in public, but how do you pray? Are you concerned with how you will sound to the listening ear? Do your words in public match the words you use in your private prayers? Are you praying for the Lord to hear, or to please those who are listening? This was important enough for the Lord to mention, as many do not pray with their heart, but for pride they craft their prayers to impress those who are listening.]

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. [I have found my closet to be the best place. It is private and humble. My greatest experiences with the Lord have taken place there. Where is your private place that you can go at any time?]

7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. [The Lord hears the desires of the heart, not the eloquence of our words. Often when people praise the Lord they use lofty speech to express themselves. Simply remember the purpose. Focus upon your love for Him and desire to serve.]

8 Be not ye therefore like unto them, for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him. [He is simply waiting for you to exercise the faith.]

9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. [Approach Him humbly, address Him, and praise His name. The praising is a way to open the Spirit of God upon us as we express gratitude.]

10 Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. [Seeking His will, not our own. Often we come to Him demanding certain blessings. We must trust in the Lord.]

11 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. [Ask for forgiveness of our sins. consider yourself, and seek revelation for how you should assist or forgive others. Is there anything in your life which is amiss?]

12 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [Ask for the strength to overcome temptation and the Adversary.] 

13 For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. [Recognize and express gratitude to God.]

“The Lord’s Prayer” is usually read as a continual prayer, but in actual application it is a series of steps. They can be spoken in your own words and it is advisable to pause between them to listen. The Spirit may have you add to your prayer. The greatest prayers you will ever offer will be those in which the Spirit dictates every word spoken. 

Order of prayer based upon the “Lord’s Prayer:”

  1. Father, (express gratitude and praise. Thank Him for your blessings.)
  2. Seek His will as we ask for what we need.
  3. Ask for forgiveness, consider what you need to do.
  4. Ask for protection from both spiritual and physical foes.
  5. Again, express gratitude and contrition. Be a Servant of God.

14 For, if ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you;

15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [Your personal forgiveness can never be complete until you forgive all who have wronged you. If you carry a dark thought in your heart toward anyone, even if that person is yourself, the power of forgiveness will be halted. Pray for an understanding of what this means to you.]

16 Moreover, when ye fast be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance, for they disfigure their faces that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face;

18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father, who is in secret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. [Fasting is much like giving alms. It is a benevolent act when we purify ourselves of the world and focus upon God only. This can include obtaining from food and drink, or any worldly activity. Do not do these for the attention of our friends and family. It is completely something between us and the Lord. The Lord looks upon the intent of the heart.]

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [Everyone treasures something. A treasure in itself is not evil. Our family and friends are treasures. Our possessions can serve an important purpose in bringing joy to us as we provide for the needs of others. What is important is to understand that all things in this world are temporary. The glory of heaven is eternal, and should be the focus of our heart’s desire.]

22 The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

When a singular “eye” is referenced, this is the eye of the Spirit, not the physical “eyes.” There are many cultures that are aware of a separate eye and point to the pineal gland in the forehead as the “Third Eye.” If your spirit is awakened, the light within you will grow until you have been quickened in the Spirit of the Lord. This is an act which fills your entire body, not just a gland in your head. The adversary has a counter to this where the body may be filled with darkness. Each are covenant beings and follow their master.

24 No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. [personal gratification, the Adversary]

25 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked upon the twelve [Disciples] whom he had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken [This is the conduct by which ye shall act]. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? [Do not worry about your physical needs as you administer to this people.]

26 Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? [You are my chosen disciples. You will be provided for in every way.]

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? [Just as you cannot cause your height to grow by anything of your own doing, you must allow things to take their course.]

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;

29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. [You shall be glorious in your light and glory. Do not focus upon your clothing and how you appear to others.]

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith. [You will have what you need until your time is over.]

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. [Again, trust in the Lord, and He will provide all that His Servants require.]

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. [Your priority is the ministry in which you are called. Your food, clothing, housing, and all needs will be provided for.]

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof. [Take it one day at a time.]

This part of the Book of Mormon is the same counsel given to His disciples in Galilee, which is called the “Sermon on the Mount.” When Joseph Smith came to certain passages within the Book of Mormon, particularly Isaiah and the words spoken by Christ, he saw that the words mirrored that which was written in the Old and New Testament. He was permitted to use the same English translation with a few variants as the Spirit guided him. This is a common annoyance to those who judge the Book of Mormon as false. To Joseph, it was a act of honoring what he knew were true words of scripture from the Bible.

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5 Responses to Counsel to His Disciples – 3 Nephi 13:1-34

  1. S Silver says:

    Is the Lord offended when we do not ever kneel down to pray?

    I have thrown out some religious traditions and I talk to Heavenly Father and Jesus using normal words, as if they are there with me and are family. Because of my spouse, I rarely kneel or appear to be in prayer. (I feel like I have to make sure he doesn’t see it because of how he grew up, as such devotion makes him uncomfortable.)

    I’ve wondered if I am offending HF & Christ by not kneeling? [95% of the time I pray I am sitting down on the floor with my knees up. The other 10% are kneeling or standing. What is important is that our hearts are filled with contrition. The way we express that with our bodies, hands, and words will affect the prayer. PR]

    Liked by 8 people

  2. daniel Dylan says:

    [“Your personal forgiveness can never be complete until you forgive all who have wronged you. If you carry a dark thought in your heart toward anyone, even if that person is yourself, the power of forgiveness will be halted. “] I have been struggling with this. I would appreciate your thoughts. My dilemma is when you forgive someone do you still have to associate with them? I have no ill will towards them but I feel until they show some respect towards me I should avoid them. I know many people have had to endure great trials in their life with certain people. When is enough ….enough? Does the Lord allow you to forgive but keep your distance or does He expect you to keep trying? [It does not mean you have to associate with them, unless the Spirit tells you otherwise. We should forgive all people and even love our enemies. It doesn’t mean we trust all people, trust is earned. The best answer is to ask the Lord to reveal to you how He expects you to interact with that individual. PR]

    Liked by 6 people

  3. MRR says:

    “If your spirit is awakened, the light within you will grow until you have been quickened in the Spirit of the Lord. This is an act which fills your entire body, …”

    I have experienced this many times. For me, it comes and goes. Sometimes it is out of the blue, many times it happens in prayer or right after I have been pensive and thoughtful in accomplishing a task He has given me. But some times it goes days and even almost a week of nothing. Question: I think that is normal for most? Question: Is there a time (a spiritual level?), while yet mortal, when this amazing quickening of joy, peace, patience, brotherly kindness, and light is like… always present? Or is that not possible due to the weight of the Telestial forces at play on us… if it IS possible, would you share what you know? [What you were describing is being in and out of the light of God, or standing in a baptism of fire from time to time. The gift of the Holy Ghost changes your spirit within you, but still you need to stand in the glory to be made clean while in this life. When a person receives the sealing power they receive a fullness of that glory while in the flesh. For most, they must wait until they have finished this life and inherit Eternal Life. PR]

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Anthony says:

    Do you have any more insight on how and why Joseph used the KJV Bible for his manuscript rather than revelation/translation. I don’t personally have a problem with this, but I’m trying to develop an explanation that is more palatable to critics of the Book of Mormon that maybe they have not considered before… Like for example, I wonder if in some cases the Isaiah chapters weren’t copied directly into the metal plates, but rather just referenced, which would make sense that Joseph would go ahead and copy a chapter down… [All I can say is what I was told. Critics will never be satisfied. PR]

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nate says:

    Is it ever moral to lie or cheat? [I think the word “moral” is a standard of conduct expected by society. It often falls under the commandments of God, so the word is used often in the church. Lying and cheating (or any immoral behavior) is a sin when used to get personal gain. However, it can be done righteously when commanded of the Lord as a means to overcome an enemy that would desire to destroy you. For example: Abraham’s deception to Pharaoh about Sarah, Miriam’s deception when hiding the baby Moses, Captain Moroni using trickery to win battles. PR]

    Liked by 1 person

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