Being a missionary definitely has it’s perks. The literal setting apart makes my brain think in a way that I would have not experienced otherwise. During study time, my brain goes into another world and learns WAY more than I ever could have learned before the nametag. Read at your own discresion, but remember–these are the findings of Sister Hawkes, and not of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This week was an emphasis on the number three. Why is the number “three” so symbolic? Each symbol testifies that Christ is the Son of God. I’m briefly putting bullet points, but it is up to you to expound by the spirit as your teacher what these things actually represent. In the King James Version of the Bible, Paul states to the people of Corinth, “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (2 Corinthians 13:1) There are many more, but here are the ones that I’ve found recently:
- The Godhead. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. They are three seperate beings, but all one purpose. They cannot operate without each other, and we cannot operate without them. (2 Nephi 31:21)
- The Atonement. There were three distinct parts: Christ’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, His actual death on the cross, and of course being risen… three days later. (John 2:18-22)
- Testaments. The Old Testament, The New Testament, and The Book of Mormon: Another testament of Jesus Christ. Finally, in 1830, the Lord knew we were ready for another testament that proved Christ really did come to Earth, and that He really did atone for the sins of the world. (Book of Mormon–Introduction)
- The Savior’s Ministry. The ministry of Christ lasted three years long. Then, he died at age 33.
- Days of Darkness. “And the God of our fathers…yieldeth himself, according to the words of the angel, as a man, into the hands of wicked men, to be lifted up, according to the words of Zenock, and to be crucified, according to the words of Neum, and to be buried in a sepulchre, according to the words of Zenos, which he spake concerning the three days of darkness, which should be a sign given of his death unto those who should inhabit the isles of the sea, more especially given unto those who are of the house of Israel.” (1 Nephi 19:10) Three different prophets told of the signs Christ before He even got here. The one I’m emphasizing here is the number of days. Once that third day came and gone, that was the proof they had been promised.
- The Three Witnesses. Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer. These three men were shown the plates by angel Moroni, and were commanded by the Lord to testify of the things they had both seen and heard. “I was relieved from a burden which was almost too heavy for me to bear…I am not any longer to be entirely alone in the world.” -Joseph Smith
- The Wisemen. (The older version of the three witnesses.) Three men saw the huge star on the night Christ was born. They brought him gifts, but most importantly, testified of what they had seen and heard. (Luke 2:17)
- Missionary work. Wait a minute, we go two by two! You’re right. However, we cannot operate without the companionship of the Holy Ghost. That completes our work…in fact, he always should be the senior companion. There is also the relationship between the missionary, the investigator, and most importantly, God. Without any one of those three, we don’t have any work to do. (D&C 121:46)
- Kingdoms of Heaven. As described in the Plan of Salvation, there has always been, and always will be, one of three kingdoms you will end up in. Ultimately, it’s up to you which one you want to be in. The Celestial, the Terrestial, and the Telestial. (D&C 76:50-98)
- The Three Nephites. Like you, I wish there was more doctrine on this. All we know is that three of the Nephites were allowed by Christ to stay on earth until He comes again as Our King. Their wish was granted, and they were promised a “fulness of joy.” (3 Nephi 28: 4-10)
- The Apostle Simon Peter. Christ told Peter he would deny Him three times, and immediately went to Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:34,69-75)
Again, these all testify that Christ truly is the Son of God. I’d be interested to learn of other findings that you have in your own personal study. Think about the things you read and hear from now on and see if they correspond with what I feel is “the power of three.”