COME FOLLOW ME
Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 6 -7
Commentary by Lynne Hilton Wilson Ph.D.
Book of Mormon Perspective
By comparing and contrasting the similar passages of the Sermons on the Mount and the Plain with the Sermon on the Temple in 3 Nephi, you can find great insight into their different times, audiences, needs, and even levels of understanding. I find the nuanced additions of the Book of Mormon meaningful.
Matthew 5 focuses on the Mosaic “Law,” while Matthew 6–7 distills the “Prophets.” Jesus teaches his higher law to emphasize inner purity along with outer obedience. He calls on disciples to control their appetites, needs of the flesh, and worldly wants. Stylistically, there is such a sharp contrast between these two chapters that biblical commentators suspect Matthew 6:1–18 was introduced later. That is not the way John W. Welch sees it, however. As the text moves to a higher order and presents a second set of requirements for total dedication to God, Welch sees this as a transition in a temple text taking the disciples to a higher order.