There are 8 thoughts on ““Come unto Me” as a Technical Gospel Term”.

  1. Very interesting article. I love looking for concise phrases that alert the reader to a larger understanding … I’ve noticed many areas in the BoM where I believe the writer is expecting the reader to “fill in” the additional, fuller meaning. For example in 2 Ne. 25:13 we find the full expression, “…rise from the dead with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God.” We encounter similar condensed wording “risen from the dead” two more times (2 Ne 25:14 and 2 Ne. 26:1). I believe the writer is expecting the reader in both instances to expand the phrase based on the first full usage in 2 Ne 25:13. So the full message from 2 Ne 25:14 should be, “… after the Messiah hath risen from the dead [with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God], and hath manifested himself unto his people, unto as many as will believe on his name…” And similarly in 2 Ne. 26:1, the full message should be, “…after Christ shall have risen from the dead [with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God] he shall show himself unto you, my children….”

    Can you help me understand if these are examples of merisms?

    I believe there are many other instances where the BoM teaches a full concept / doctrine, then the reader is expected to “fill in the blank.” One example that applies somewhat to your article is in Hel. 14:13 which teaches “…if ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins.” There are many instances in the BoM which teach us to “believe on his name.” One instance is Hel. 14:2, “…then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.” The reader is expected to fill-in the full doctrine, “…if ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins.”

    Of course my example above for 2 Ne 25:14 could be expanded a 2nd time. “… after the Messiah hath risen from the dead [with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God], and hath manifested himself unto his people, unto as many as will believe on his name [and if ye believe on his name ye will repent of all your sins]….” My example above for 2 Ne 25:13 could also be expanded after the phrase “believe on his name.”

    I’d appreciate any insight you can provide. Do you think Mormon is purposely leaving it up to the reader to fill in the blank in the examples I have provided. I can point to dozens of other individual examples.
    Thank you, Blair

  2. Might the phrase “come unto Christ” be a literal command?

    Joseph taught that unless we have a key word – the meaning of words or phrases revealed to us as individuals directly by heaven – then we should take the scriptures as they read[1], with no interpretation at all[2]. There are other statements from Joseph that can be cited to this effect.

    1 Nephi 13:40-41 at face value says that we must come unto Christ by doing what He said to do by His own mouth in both the New Testament and the Book of Mormon or else we cannot be saved. The commandments Jesus established by His own mouth in both books is the Sermon on the Mount, and, according to Joseph’s interpretive rule of literalism, it is to be done as it is written[3]. Jesus said He would show Himself to those who kept His commandments, and bring His Father to them[4]. Joseph stated this appearance is to be taken literally[5], thus it is possible to literally come to Him by keeping His commandments. Coming to Christ by keeping His commandments is what is being portrayed in the Endowments, with one exception[6].

    If then we must actually come unto Christ or we cannot be saved, and we come unto Christ by literally doing what He said, it might profit us to examine His commandments in greater detail.

    [1] “History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843],” p. 1523, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed April 9, 2018, http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-d-1-1-august-1842-1-july-1843/166
    [2] “History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843],” p. 1459, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed April 9, 2018, http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-d-1-1-august-1842-1-july-1843/102
    [3] Matthew chapters 5-7; Luke 6:20-49; 3 Nephi chapters 12-14 (see also 3 Ne 15:1-10)
    [4] John 14:23
    [5] D&C 130:3
    [6] That exception is the Law of Consecration as presently worded in the ritual.

  3. This brought to mind why scribes would readily seize upon any short cut to alleviate the laborious task of copying books of scripture like the Book of Isaiah -some 26 ft long, by hand. The gate (7) = baptism and repentance by water (27) = a 74% reduction. I nph hvng bn brn f gdly prnts.(23) Leaving out the vowels is a 34.3% savings. Seems a very Jewish thing! SMrdch. Thnk yu vry mch.

  4. Great article!

    In light of what you have written above, I have a question. Do you think that the phrase in Romans 10:9 is such an instance, where Paul is using a similar technique to sum up what a believer is required to do to be saved, without having to spell things out point by point?

    The reason I ask is that, as I’ve talk to others about the Gospel, especially those of a more Evangelical bent, I’ve often gotten beaten up by them, quoting the scripture above, along with others, to show me that Mormonisms requirements are too Old Testament like, and works based, when all that is needed to be saved is to believe in your heart and confess with your lips.

    Thanks for the interesting and enlightening research.

    Rich

  5. Noel,

    Thank you for another enlightening description of the Gospel of Christ, or the Doctrine of Christ. I appreciate your explanation of how “coming to Christ” is equivalent to “enduring to the end,” and your establishment of other such equivalences.

    The Book of Mormon contains A fulness of the gospel (JSH 1:34, as delivered by the Savior; see also D&C 20:9). The Bible used to contain such a fulness, and this fulness includes covenants (1 Nephi 13). Now the Book of Mormon and the Bible contain a fulness (D&C 42:12). The fulness of the gospel is to be proclaimed (D&C 1:23) but will be rejected by the gentiles in the last days (3 Nephi 16:10).

    I am unable to find an explicit definition of “the fulness of the gospel” in the scriptures. Where can such be found? I assume that “the fulness of the gospel” means the same as the gospel of Christ or the doctrine of Christ that you discuss in your paper. If this is so, how does one verify it?

    Thank you in advance for your help with my questions.

    Gerald Armstrong

    • Gerald, I don’t think this is exactly an answer to your question, but it may help. In 3Ne 27: 13 The Savior says “this is the gospel.” He then teaches that he will die on the cross; repentance; baptism; enduring to the end; forgiveness of sins; the reception of the Holy Ghost; and then ends his teaching by saying “this is my gospel” (verse 21). So maybe the fulness of the gospel is more narrow than we sometimes think. Where do temple ordinances, priesthood offices, latter day prophets, etc fit in? Well that’s a question for someone smarter than me.

      Also, I really appreciate Prof. Reynolds articles on the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has helped me to focus on the most important things and not get distracted with fluff. Thanks.

  6. Pingback: “Come unto Me” as a Technical Gospel Term - Noel B. Reynolds - The Mormonist

  7. Gerald, I don’t think this is exactly an answer to your question, but it may help. In 3Ne 27: 13 The Savior says “this is the gospel.” He then teaches that he will die on the cross; repentance; baptism; enduring to the end; forgiveness of sins; the reception of the Holy Ghost; and then ends his teaching by saying “this is my gospel” (verse 21). So maybe the fulness of the gospel is more narrow than we sometimes think. Where do temple ordinances, priesthood offices, latter day prophets, etc fit in? Well that’s a question for someone smarter than me.

    Also, I really appreciate Prof. Reynolds articles on the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has helped me to focus on the most important things and not get distracted with fluff. Thanks.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

All comments are moderated to ensure respectful discourse. It is assumed that it is possible to disagree agreeably and intelligently and comments that intend to increase overall understanding are particularly encouraged.

Close this window

Top of Page

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This