If you routinely read this blog series each week, you know that I go chapter by chapter in the Book of Mormon, reading through the chapter and selecting a theme or topic to write about for that week. This week, as I open to the final chapter of 3 Nephi, I see somewhat of a challenge. This chapter is just two verses long!
In the original 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi had only 14 chapters. In a subsequent edition of the book, the text of chapters 1-13 was broken up differently such that it comprised 29 chapters. The final chapter however (all 12 lines of it) was brought over intact to be chapter 30 — and so we have a chapter that is just two verses long.
Now, I happen to appreciate when someone makes an effort to say something meaningful or important in as few words as possible (verbosity is not a gift in my humble opinion). There are, in fact, several occasions in the scriptures where concepts that carry very significant meaning are stated in just a few words — perhaps just a verse or two. Just for fun, going along with the title of this article, let’s form a few two-verse “chapters” from the scriptures that say something meaningful.
The Chapter of Commandments (Matthew 22:37,39)
- Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
- Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Jesus comments, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:40). Quite a lot of content squeezed into two verses!
The Chapter of Eternal Life (Matthew 7:13-14)
- Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
- Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The Chapter of Repentance (1 John 1:8-9)
- If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The Chapter of the Restored Everlasting Gospel (Revelation 14:6-7)
- And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
- Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The Chapter of the State of the Soul After Death (Alma 40:12-13)
- The spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
- The spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil … shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
In 3 Nephi 30, Mormon instructs all of the Gentiles (which includes many of us) that if we repent of our sins and are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, we will be “numbered with [the] people who are of the house of Israel” (verse 2). Considering that the people of the house of Israel are considered to be God’s “chosen people” and there is a plan in place for them to eventually be gathered in a place called Zion where Christ will appear, it’s quite an honor to be included with them as an added bonus for becoming part of the family of God — a very meaningful message in this chapter that is just two verses long.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.