Malachi 3–4: The Lord's Coming

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 193–194

When Moroni visited Joseph Smith on the evening of 21 September 1823 and told him about the Book of Mormon, he also quoted several scriptures to him, including “part of the third chapter of Malachi; and … the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy” (Joseph Smith—History 1:36). Chapters 3–4 of Malachi are of great importance in the latter days.Malachi 3–4 focuses on “the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5), or the Second Coming. Malachi testified to the people of his day and ours that the day of the Lord will come. Furthermore, although the wicked may seem to prosper, the day of the Lord will be a day of judgment wherein the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked will be burned.As you read these two chapters, look for what we must do to prepare for the Second Coming, what can help us faithfully endure until that great day, and what can encourage us to have faith that the Second Coming will come.

Understanding the Scriptures

Malachi 3

Abide (v. 2)Survive 
Refiner’s (v. 2)Someone who separates pure metal from all other substances 
Fullers’ (v. 2)Belonging to people who wash clothes as part of the process of making them 
Purge (v. 3)Cleanse 
Sorcerers (v. 5)People who seek to use magic and evil spirits to influence others 
Oppress (v. 5)Treat unfairly 
Hireling (v. 5)Worker, a person who is hired 
Wherein (vv. 7–8)In what ways 
Prove (v. 10)Test, try 
Rebuke (v. 11)Prevent, turn back 
Devourer (v. 11)Things that destroy 
Vain (v. 14)No benefit 
Set up (v. 15)Prosperous 
Tempt God (v. 15)Challenge God’s commandments by not living them and seeing if there really is a punishment 
Delivered (v. 15)Saved from punishment 
Spare (v. 17)Have compassion on 
Discern (v. 18)Come to know or recognize 

Malachi 4

Stubble (v. 1)Short stalks left after a field is harvested. They are then burned. 
Stall (v. 2)Place where animals are fenced in 
Tread down (v. 3)Walk on 
Horeb (v. 4)Mount Sinai 
Statutes (v. 4)Laws 

Studying the Scriptures

Do three of the following activities (A–E) as you study Malachi 3–4.

Activity A iconMore Than One Fulfillment

Read Matthew 11:7–11 and Doctrine and Covenants 45:9 and tell who or what the messenger is speaking of in Malachi 3:1. We would also be correct in saying that the Prophet Joseph Smith is a messenger to prepare the way of the Lord by restoring the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days (see JST, Matthew 17:10–14; 2 Nephi 3).

Activity B iconOne Fulfillment

Notice that in Malachi 3:1 we read about “my messenger” and “the messenger of the covenant.” You identified “my messenger” in activity A above. Who do you think “the messenger of the covenant” is? Why?

Activity C Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Malachi 3:8–10

  1. 1.

    List the blessings contained in Malachi 3:8–10 for those who live the law of tithing. Read verses 11–12 and add other blessings to your list.

  2. 2.

    How could not paying our tithes and offerings be considered “robbing God”?

  3. 3.

    Read what the Lord said about tithing in Doctrine and Covenants 64:23. How does what the Lord said compare to Malachi’s message if you read on to Malachi 4:1?

Activity D iconIn Your Own Words

  1. 1.

    In your own words, write the people’s complaint found in Malachi 3:14–15.

  2. 2.

    What promises did the Lord give in Malachi 3:16–18 that answered the complaint and can help you in times when you don’t seem to be blessed for your righteousness while those who do not keep the commandments seem to be doing just fine?

Activity E Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Malachi 4:5–6

  1. 1.

    You may be interested to know that Malachi 4:5–6 contains the only verses quoted (although not word for word) in all four of the standard works of the Church (see 3 Nephi 25:5–6; D&C 2; 128:17; Joseph Smith—History 1:36–39). From the many scriptures quoted by Moroni to the boy prophet in 1823, this prophecy about Elijah to return before the Savior’s Second Coming is the only portion put into the Doctrine and Covenants. Elijah’s return to restore sacred keys is most important. Read Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–16 and explain when and how this prophecy was fulfilled.

  2. 2.

    President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “Through the power of this priesthood which Elijah bestowed, husband and wife may be sealed, or married for eternity; children may be sealed to their parents for eternity; thus the family is made eternal, and death does not separate the members. This is the great principle that will save the world from utter destruction” (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:118). Knowing this truth, explain what “curses” you think come upon the earth and upon individuals and families who know about these teachings but do not live according to the blessings and covenants Elijah restored. In other words, how do the keys of the priesthood Elijah restored keep the earth from “cursings”? Why is it so important for us to share the wonderful news about these things? The following quotation from a proclamation by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles may help you answer:

    “We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

  3. 3.

    Explain what you think you could do to turn your heart to “the fathers” (your ancestors) or to your children (your descendants) in ways that would bless their lives forever.