Summary of the Sermon on the Mount

Today my Sunday School instructor in teaching about the Sermon on the Mount concluded with an interesting graphic on the chalkboard.  In it she stacked horizontally the topics covered in the Sermon on the Mount.  On top of it she drew a church, pointing to the Savior as the key to it.  It reminded me of this graphic:

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She made the point that this was the foundational sermon by the Savior.  I realized how right she was; this is the first discussion by him of doctrine recorded in the New Testament, set out very early in his ministry.

In fact, as he preached in the New World as recorded in the Book of Mormon, he gave essentially the exact same sermon.  It makes me realize that if he were to appear before us today, he would most likely rehearse these same messages.

Her graphic made me wonder what kind of framework I might make from the list of doctrines in the Sermon on the Mount, a grouping of topics into a shorter list.  Below, I have copied the topics from the LDS Harmony of the Gospel, and grouped them, simply, by what might be a framework for the sermon.

  • What We Strive to Become:
    • The Beatitudes (Virtues)
    • The salt of the earth
    • Ye are the light of the world
    • Let your light shine
  • What We Don’t Do:
    • The law fulfilled (Our Law is Different than Others)
    • Anger: “Thou shalt not kill”
    • Adultery, lust
    • Divorce
    • Swearing an oath: honesty
    • Evil force or generous service
  • What We Do:
    • Love enemies
    • Perfect as your Father
    • Alms: Notoriety or generosity
    • Prayer: Hypocrisy or reverence
    • Fasting: Hypocrisy or simplicity
  • Why We Do It
    • Treasure on earth or in heaven
  • How It Will Transform Us
    • Light of the body is eye
    • No man can serve two masters
    • Seek ye first the kingdom of God
  • Helping Others Along the Path
    • Judgment: Hypocritical or helpful
    • Holy things are like pearls
  • Divine Assistance along the way
    • Prayer: Ask, seek, knock
  • Even Though It Is Not Easy
    • The way is strait and narrow
    • False prophets known by their fruits
  • Summation
    • Do the will of the Father
    • A house built on a rock or on sand

A bit deeper understanding of the Sermon.  Thanks Michelle, for your preparation for the lesson today, and for the increased insight and appreciation I’ve gained for this perhaps greatest of all sermons ever preached.

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