Other Accounts of What You Read in Matthew 3
Understanding the Scriptures
|Raiment (v. 4)||Clothes|
|Leathern girdle about his loins (v. 4)||Leather belt around his waist|
|Meat (v. 4)||Food|
|Pharisees and Sadducees (v. 7)||Two different groups of Jewish leaders (see Bible Dictionary, “Pharisees” and “Sadducees,” pp. 750, 767)|
|Vipers (v. 7)||Poisonous snakes (often symbolic of wickedness)|
|Wrath (v. 7)||Anger|
|Fruits (v. 8)||Works, actions|
|The ax is laid unto the root of the trees (v. 10)||A symbolic way of saying the judgment is near or God is about to cut down the trees that bear no fruit in His land|
|Bear (v. 11)||Carry (the whole phrase is John’s symbolic way of saying that the Savior’s mission is much greater than his own; see JST, Matthew 3:38)|
|Fan (v. 12)||A tool or instrument used to separate wheat kernels from their lighter outer shell (called “chaff”), which is not eaten|
|Purge his floor (v. 12)||Clean his place of harvesting|
|Forbad him (v. 14)||Told him he would not|
|Becometh us (v. 15)||Is the right thing to do for us|
|Descending (v. 16)||Coming down|
|Lighting (v. 16)||Landing|
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A and then either B or C as you study Matthew 3.
Using the Aaronic Priesthood
Doctrine and Covenants 13 tells what John the Baptist said when he restored the Aaronic Priesthood to the earth in 1829. He spoke of three keys of the Aaronic Priesthood: (1) the keys of the ministering of angels, (2) the keys of the gospel of repentance, and (3) the keys of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. For each of these three keys, find a verse (or group of verses) in Matthew 3 that describes John using that particular key. (You may want to read Moroni 7:29–32 for help in understanding the key of the ministering of angels. This passage seems to especially apply to what John did.) For each verse you choose, give a brief explanation of how John’s actions demonstrate that priesthood key.
Describe ways Aaronic Priesthood holders today are allowed to use these same three Aaronic Priesthood keys.
The Baptism of Jesus
Answer the following questions:
For what purpose did John baptize the Jews? (see Matthew 3:11).
Why do you think Jesus went to John to be baptized?
Why is immersion an important symbol of baptism, and what clues in Matthew 3:13–17 help us understand that Jesus was baptized by immersion?
How did Heavenly Father show He approved of the baptism? (see Matthew 3:16–17).
Be a Missionary
Write how you would use Matthew 3:13–17 to explain to someone who is not a member of the Church that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings.