Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; 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; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.
2 And again, more blessed are they who shall believe in your words because that ye shall testify that ye have seen me, and that ye know that I am. Yea, 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.
Jesus begins his great sermon at the temple with an injunction to listen to those 12 disciples that he has chosen. And promised that all of us who take heed to the Lord’s anointed will be blessed. He also emphasizes that those who come after his earthly ministry will be even more blessed because we are willing to hearken unto the words of Christ’s special witnesses and be baptized with humbleness of heart.
This framework changes the following familiar text in significant ways. No longer is the sermon being given to those I commuted to Christ as General guidance. Instead, the principles of the sermon on the mount are framed as guidelines to discipleship within the Church and on the Gospel path.
Other differences underscore this point. For instance verse six focuses on receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, a token of membership:
“6 And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.”
Again when later focusing on reconciliation with other brothers and sisters, the focus is on coming to Christ:
24 Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you.
Finally, the crowning change of this chapter comes in the final verse as the savior acknowledges his own perfection in a way that he did not during his mortal ministry:
“48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.”
This whole chapter is therefore transformed in light of its Christcentric framework. I am so grateful for the new depth and meaning that this transformation brings.