Testimony of Acts of the Three Nephites – Gary W. Metzger
In August of 2018, I was in Brazil with my wife visiting the Mauricio Berger family. Mauricio and I were speaking about the office of high priest mentioned in the Sealed Book of Mormon (not yet printed) as he was still translating then. We were interested in seeing the number of references there to assist in our brother Joseph Smith understanding the office by using God’s word. He searched the Word document he had, and one of the references was Acts of the Three Nephites 5:4. It refers to the visitation of Jonah (one of the Nephites) to the Apostle Paul in Jerusalem when he was to stand before the apostles in Jerusalem about the circumcision. The Lord desired to bless Paul in his hour of need with the ministry of one of his servants. Jonah writes:
“In view of this, after had passed fourteen years since we were caught up and equipped with these good news, who from the heavens Jesus took me privately among my other two companions, and set me before one of His disciples in Jerusalem, who was about to enter into debate with the chief apostles of Christ because of the circumcision of the Gentiles, to which I ministered to him not to let the feelings of pride from the evil one take hold of his heart as Jesus foresaw, for how much I have made him realized that true circumcision in is the lofty sentiment of Christ in our hearts and that the strange feeling of disagreement was an angel of satan who had moved him for long time in order to confront the one who held the keys of the high priesthood of the Church in Jerusalem, and this brought tremendous pain to his heart, as if it were a thorn in the flesh,
Our minds remember that Paul writes in 2Cor 12:2,4 “I knew a man in Christ above 14 years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell; God knoweth;) such a one caught up to the third heaven. How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” Paul had met Jonah! He records his testimony years later in this letter, but since Jonah mentioned 14 years ago, those words stood out to him, and he simply stated it was more than that by the time he wrote the Corinthians. Compare the words that Mormon records from the Nephites own experience, the very words recorded in 3Nephi 13:25,27: “And behold, the heaven were opened and they were caught up into heaven, and saw and heard unspeakable things. And whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell;…”
The Sealed Book of Mormon tells us that Jonah delivered their testimony to Mormon and Moroni on scrolls of hides and “Mormon would transcribe them on the plates that were compiling…” (Acts of the Three Nephites 4:5)
I rejoiced with the newfound information, and when I returned to Missouri I shared the general idea of this testimony with two sisters and while sharing the Holy Spirit of God fell upon me in such power that I had to stop talking. As tears ran down my cheeks I shared that the Lord had told me, “This is my grace, and this is true.” God had truly blessed Paul and preserved his heart from the pride and anger which Satan wished to torment him. By God’s grace we have this testimony. It was my first testimony of the content of the Sealed Book of Mormon as being from God.
May God bless all who read this part of the sealed portion with a heart seeking truth, and not trying to find faults (which may exist), as Moroni reminds us in the Title Page. This is how I first read the Book of Mormon before I became converted in 1980. I searched for errors in doctrine and grammar to prove it wrong. That was not the approach that the Lord desired me to take. May those of this day not repeat my error, and that of the evangelicals who reject the Book of Mormon by seeking errors and not the truth.
This work is the "refreshing" of the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ in these last days brought first through Joseph Smith Jr and comes again through Maurício Berger. This website will post truth irrespective of its conduit. "All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also, otherwise there is no existence" D&C 90:5b RLDS or D&C 93:30 LDS. Therefore, postings on this website should be viewed as the endorsement of truth—speaking generally and not specifically for each word, action, person or organization. "And righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare; an holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion; a New Jerusalem." Genesis 7:70
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