2020 Study Summary 39: Behold, My Joy Is Full
3 Nephi 17-19
“Behold, My Joy Is Full”
Jesus directs the people to ponder his words and pray for understanding—He heals their sick—He prays for the people, using language that cannot be written—Angels minister to and fire encircles their little ones. [A.D. 34]
Jesus institutes the sacrament among the Nephites—They are commanded to pray always in his name—Those who eat his flesh and drink his blood unworthily are damned—The disciples are given power to confer the Holy Ghost. [A.D. 34]
The Twelve Disciples minister unto the people and pray for the Holy Ghost—They are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost and the ministering of angels—Jesus prays using words that cannot be written—He attests to the exceedingly great faith of these Nephites. A.D. 34]
What joy do children bring?
A short account that includes little children may serve to awaken in us the realization of the joy the Savior feels when the children are brought to him and the joy we may feel when we come to him as little children. A number of years ago, 1994, I was in the Galilee with tourists on the day when the headline news rang out, “The King is coming!” The media was set to record and broadcast the event. The Israeli Prime Minister and officials were to meet the Jordanian King Hussein Ibn Talal and his entourage at the center of a new bridge built in his honor and escort him officially into Israel. The Jordanians began their entrance, but no Israeli was to be seen. Was there a mistake? Who missed the cue? The Jordanian entourage advanced almost to the middle of the bridge, all of a sudden, only Israeli children came running from their side toward King Hussein – to greet him – with flowers. Some say the King knelt down and wept. However, the media waited until the officials arrived and only then did the filming begin. Did someone miss the point?
Who do you send to meet the king?
Imbedded in the Jewish genetic memory was a protocol; the way to honor a King is to extend the tenderness and innocence of children. Two-thousand years earlier, close by in the Galilee, children gathered around the Savior, the King of Kings. Some objected to the little ones “bothering” the Lord. “. . . Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer (allow) little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” (Luke 18:16-17)
What remains in the memory of a child?
In 1951 Hussein was a child standing next to his grandfather, King Abdullah, as he was shot to death while in prayer at the Al Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem. The underlying reason for the assassination was that Grandfather Abdullah envisioned a peaceful coexistence with the Jews of Israel. Moslem fanatics apparently thought that killing the king would eliminate peace. It did not; peace was spared. Among the shots was a bullet that glanced off a medal on young Hussein’ s chest. His life was spared. Somewhere tucked in the genetic code of his royal blood, Hussein was destined to become the king who would see the peace his grandfather yearned for. Although not the first peace treaty a Moslem nation would have with Israel, it is by far the warmest peace agreement Israel had at that time with any Arab neighbor in the Holy Land.
Who was that child?
The “Holy” of the land was Jesus of Nazareth. He was born in Bethlehem, moved to Egypt, returned to Galilee, visited East, beyond the Jordan River, and fulfilled his mission in Jerusalem, the Holy City. His influence reaches out from these places to all the world. Now, I ask you, are you ready to bring your children to him? The peace you will experience will warm your heart. His purpose was and is to bring peace. “. . . Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
How does the King show His love for children?
When the King of Kings appeared on the Western Continent, thousands who had survived the destruction at his mortal death were touched to the heart with the peace he brought as the resurrected Lord. He requested the children to be brought to him. “And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full. And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them. And when he had done this he wept again; And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones. And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.” (3 Nephi 17:20-24)
How does loving children prepare us to love the Lord?
Imbedded in our genetic memory should be a desire to love, teach and lead our children. We can use the experiences of the past as guidelines. We can use the opportunities of the present to prove our devotion, to fill ourselves with his love. It will help prepare us in the near future greet the King, for soon the King of Kings will be coming! Our greeting as “His children” will fill a measure of true joy.