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The Sermon on the Mount was called by President Joseph Fielding Smith, “The greatest sermon that was ever preached, so far as we know,” and President Harold B. Lee called it “the constitution for a perfect life”. It tells us not just what to do but gives us the much more exacting standard and describes how we should be.
From Mt. Sinai Jehovah had delivered the great law to Moses. Now, from another mountain, with the blue sea of the Galilee spread below, He gave the new law of the gospel. Where the law of Moses had focused on outward performances, actions visible to the world and easy to see, the new law focused on the state of the heart, the flow of the soul.
In this 30-minute podcast, Scot and Maurine Proctor explore the rich meanings behind the Sermon on the Mount that invite us to change the entire way we consider life.
Scot and Maurine Proctor have researched the Savior’s life extensively, written about Him in books and articles, and have spent a great deal of time in Israel, walking in Jesus’ footsteps.
You can listen to the podcast in the link below on SoundCloud.
You can also find the podcast on the following platforms (click on the platform of your choice):
References Used in the Podcast not in Matthew 5 and Luke 6.
3 Nephi 12:3
Blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
3 Nephi 12:6
Blessed are they which all they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Joseph Smith Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2011)
Be meek and lowly, upright and pure; render good for evil…Be humble and patient in all circumstances of life; we shall then triumph more gloriously.”
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn [emphasis added].
Psalm 107: 4-7,9
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation…For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. [emphasis added].
Psalm 24: 3-6
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek his face.
3 Nephi 12: 13
I give unto you to be the salt of the earth; but if the salt shall lose its savor wherewith shall the earth be salted?
3 Nephi 12:14
I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.
3 Nephi 11:29,30
For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
Behold, this is not my doctrine to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another, but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.
Joseph Smith to W.W. Phelps from a letter July 22, 1840, Nauvoo, Illinois. History of the Church 4:162-164
I must say that it is with no ordinary feelings I endeavor to write a few lines to you in answer to yours of the 29th [of last month]; at the same time I am rejoiced at the privilege granted me.
“You may in some measure realize what my feelings, as well as Elder Rigdon’s and Brother Hyrum’s were, when we read your letter—truly our hearts were melted into tenderness and compassion when we ascertained your resolves, etc. I can assure you I feel a disposition to act on your case in a manner that will meet the approbation of Jehovah, (whose servant I am), and agreeable to the principles of truth and righteousness which have been revealed; and inasmuch as long-suffering, patience, and mercy have ever characterized the dealings of our heavenly Father towards the humble and penitent, I feel disposed to copy the example, cherish the same principles, and by so doing be a savior of my fellow men.
“It is true, that we have suffered much in consequence of your behavior—the cup of gall, already full enough for mortals to drink, was indeed filled to overflowing when you turned against us, one with whom we had oft taken sweet counsel together, and enjoyed many refreshing seasons from the Lord—‘had it been an enemy, we could have borne it.’ [See Psalm 55:12–14.] ‘In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day when strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon [Far West], even thou wast as one of them; but thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother, in the day that he became a stranger, neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.’ [See Obadiah 1:11–12.]
“However, the cup has been drunk, the will of our Father has been done, and we are yet alive, for which we thank the Lord. And having been delivered from the hands of wicked men by the mercy of our God, we say it is your privilege to be delivered from the powers of the adversary, be brought into the liberty of God’s dear children, and again take your stand among the Saints of the Most High, and by diligence, humility, and love unfeigned, commend yourself to our God, and your God, and to the Church of Jesus Christ.
“Believing your confession to be real, and your repentance genuine, I shall be happy once again to give you the right hand of fellowship, and rejoice over the returning prodigal.
“Your letter was read to the Saints last Sunday, and an expression of their feeling was taken, when it was unanimously resolved, that W. W. Phelps should be received into fellowship.
“‘Come on, dear brother, since the war is past,
For friends at first, are friends again at last.’
Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:245
One of the most pleasing scenes that can occur on earth, when a sin has been committed by one person against another, is to forgive that sin; and then according to the sublime and perfect pattern of the Savior, pray to our Father in heaven to forgive [the sinner] also.
3 Nephi 9:18-20
I am the light and life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings. And yhe shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
Wallace Goddard “Marriage and the Parting of the Red Sea” https://ldsmag.com/marriage-and-the-parting-of-the-red-sea/
There is nothing quite so helpful for humans as total desperation. As longa s we have even a sliver of hope that our efforts might resolve our dilemmas, we are likely to keep foundering along. But when we come up against impossibility, then we can discover the Power.
It certainly was true for Moses. Imagine how he felt with the Red Sea in front of him, millions of clamoring children of Israel around him, and murderous Egyptian troops approaching him.
Joseph Smith Lectures on Faith 6:7
A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation: for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things…God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of all earthly things that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God.
When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for the truth’s sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life.