For my Come, Follow Me studies this week, I studied and pondered the Beatitudes, which were part of the Savior’s Sermon at the Temple found in the Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ. This sermon is quite like the Sermon on the Mount found in the New Testament.
The Book of Mormon Student Manual – Religion 121-122 (2009) states that the “Savior’s sermon begins with the Beatitudes, or statements that start with the words ‘blessed are…’ (3 Nephi 12:1-11).” The text explains that the word Beatitude means ‘to be fortunate,’ ‘to be happy,’ or ‘to be blessed’” (Mathew 5:3a). “Webster’s dictionary defines the word as ‘a state of utmost bliss’ (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. , 107). Such words describe the results when Saints apply the teachings of this sermon.”
The Bible Dictionary describes the Beatitudes as “certain elements that go to form the refined and spiritual character, and all of which will be present whenever that character exists in its perfection.” The Bible Dictionary continued by explaining that the Beatitudes are not individual or “isolated statements,” but they “are interrelated and progressive in their arrangement” (“Beatitudes,” 620). The Guide to the Scriptures added, “The Beatitudes are arranged in such a way that each statement builds upon the one that precedes it” (“Beatitudes”).
The Beatitudes are “Be Attitudes” or statements of attitudes and living patterns that bring blessedness and happiness. They teach us how to be true disciples of Jesus Christ and what we should do to be good examples to other people.
… Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you…; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost…
… more blessed are they who shall believe in your words … and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins.
… blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
… blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
… blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
… blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.
… blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
… blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
… blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;
For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven… (3 Nephi 12:1-12).
There is much more counsel in the chapters for this week, but this post will concern only the Beatitudes. President Harold B. Lee taught that the Beatitudes embody the “constitution for a perfect life”: “Four of them have to do with our individual selves,” and the other four “have to do with man’s social relations with others” (Decisions for Successful Living , 57, 60) (as quoted in the Student Manual).
The Student Manual explained the following as pertaining to relationships, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” is for self, while “Blessed are the meek” is for others. “Blessed are all they that mourn” is for self, while “Blessed are the merciful” is for others. “Blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness” is for self, while “Blessed are the peacemakers” is for others. “Blessed are all the pure in heart” is for self,” while “Blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake” is for others.
As part of Christ’s “blueprint for life,” the Beatitudes teach us about Jesus Christ and His character. They show us the path to become like the Savior.