The word "Blessed" comes from the Hebrew word barukh. When an Israelite blesses God or God blesses someone or something the word barukh carries with it an awareness of the closeness of God. In fact being blessed is being in a state wherein the very presence of God fills the air. The idea of blessedness carries with it deep Israelite connotations of the presence or spirit of God being felt in our minds, our hearts, even the core of our very souls. The idea of being blessed or even in blessing God is that our hearts and minds should be awakened to the understanding that God is making himself close to us to draw us into closeness with him. In other words, the declaration of a blessing or declared blessed is that of the awareness of the presence of God right now.
With that in mind now consider the words of the Messiah as part of his covenant declaration:
"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.
3 Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 And again, blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.
7 And blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8 And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
10 And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake; For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you. (3 Nephi 12)
Now for a moment as you read the words of the Sermon at the Temple/Mount consider for a moment as the Messiah of Israel is making a declaration of blessing (i.e. blessed) that in each of these declarations he is declaring the Promise of the closeness -EVEN THE PRESENCE- of God in the here and now as we conform to the image of those blessed who are the poor in spirit, those that mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted for the sake of walking in his name. In other words, the presence of God is already with them.
When the words of Christ were declared in exactness on this day the people who were there were visited by the voice of God, The Presence of the Son and the Spirit of God. And again even the next day when his disciples had administered these same words in exactness to the multitude that gathered there we see the fulfillment of this covenant promise again with as they were given the spirit of God, the Presence of the Son, and the revealing of Great and Marvelous Things that were too great to be written.
Now those same words in the mouth of two witnesses from the House of Israel as contained in the Sermon on the Mount and more particularly those recorded in the Book of Mormon in the Sermon at the Temple have come unto us. No we were not those people who were physically present when these words were recorded. BUT we are the people to whom these words have been delivered. In fact we would be those who are labeled, "Those who believe on their words." Consider for a moment now these great covenant promises:
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.
And Consider the Covenant prayers of God as promises to us who were not present and yet who believe on their words:
19 And it came to pass that Jesus departed out of the midst of them, and went a little way off from them and bowed himself to the earth, and he said: 20 Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.
21 Father, I pray thee that thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words. 22 Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in me; and thou seest that they believe in me because thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them. 23 And now Father, I pray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one.
28 Father, I thank thee that thou hast purified those whom I have chosen, because of their faith, and I pray for them, and also for them who shall believe on their words, that they may be purified in me, through faith on their words, even as they are purified in me.
29 Father, I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them.
If we approach 3 Nephi as the very Heart of the Covenant- we see that God is offering us -those who believe on their words- the same declaration of blessing (blessed) as he offered to those who were there that day to hear those words with their own ears. These words in the Book of Mormon are those words as recorded by those servants and receiving the Presence of God and an awareness that he is all around us from the air that we breath to the reception of his Son is offered to us. Behold even as the Prophet Mormon declared:
7 And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;
8 Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.
9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?
10 And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles.
11 But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are...
18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth." (Mormon 9)
Let us turn back to the right way. Let us loose the seals of the Book of Mormon by unlocking the covenant code that conceals the promises in plain sight. Let us call upon the Father in the Name of the Son and embody his declaration of "Blessed are those..." even the Presence of God, the restoration of the House of Israel, and the establishment of Zion even the New Jerusalem.