Journey through the Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 14 (What Man?)

“9 Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
Today in my Sunday School class we spoke about the Savior’s use of metaphors/parables and also his use of questions. These verses illustrate the savior’s brilliant teaching approach. Here, he uses rhetorical questions that are modeled after real world scenarios. He wants to invoke in his listeners a visceral reaction. He doesn’t want passive listeners.

For most, his questions invoke a memory of a kindly parent or efforts to be generous and loving to one’s kids. These emotions crescendo in his declaration that we are evil. The natural man within us wants to resist. The natural man wants to believe that it is good and righteous. Yet, the light of Christ within us testifies of the truth of his words. And it is this tension that pushes the listener to self reflection. Ideally, it pushes the listener to recognize the goodness of God and to turn to him.

We can learn much more the Savior’s rhetoric and his questions.


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