Behold the Lamb of God
The following is Bruce R. McConkie
s commentary of the parallel passages covered in the
above chapter of the student manual. Reading the entire selection constitutes 20
John Announces He Is Messiah's Forerunner
Matt. 3:1. John the Baptist] This miraculously-born son of Zacharias was the last legal
administrator of the old dispensation, the first of the new; he was the last of the old prophets, the
first of the new. With him ended the old law, and with him began the new era of promise. He is
the one man who stood, literally, at the crossroads of history; with him the past died and the
future was born. He was the herald of the Messianic age, the messenger, fore-runner, and Elias
who began the great restoration in the meridian of time and on whose secure foundation the Son
of Man himself built the eternal gospel structure. His ministry ended the preparatory gospel;
Messiah's commenced again the era of gospel fulness.
Wilderness of Judea] A desert area about ten miles wide, lying west of the Dead Sea and
extending northward to the west bank of the Jordan near its mouth.
2. Repent ye] John's teaching was "the preparatory gospel; Which gospel is the gospel of
repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins." (D. & C. 84:26-27.) Without repentance
there is neither forgiveness of sin nor salvation in the celestial realms.
The kingdom of heaven is at hand] That is, the kingdom of God on earth, the one true
Church, the sole organization through which salvation is administered, the very Church and
kingdom is here. "John came preaching the Gospel for the remission of sins," the Prophet taught.
"He had his authority from God, and the oracles of God were with him, and the kingdom of God
for a season seemed to rest with John alone. .
.. But, says one, the kingdom of God could not be
set up in the days of John, for John said the kingdom was at hand. But I would ask if it could be
any nearer to them than to be in the hands of John. The people need not wait for the days of
Pentecost to find the kingdom of God, for John had it with him, and he came forth from the
wilderness crying out, `Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is nigh at hand,' as much as to say,
`Out here I have got the kingdom of God, and you can get it, and I am coming after you; and if
you don't receive it, you will be damned'; and the scriptures represent that all Jerusalem went out
unto John's baptism. There was a legal administrator, and those that were baptized were subjects
for a king; and also the laws and oracles of God were there; therefore the kingdom of God was
there; for no man could have better authority to administer than John; and our Savior submitted
to that authority himself, by being baptized by John; therefore the kingdom of God was set up on
the earth, even in the days of John." (Teachings, pp. 272-273.)
4. John wore the dress and ate the food of the poor and the lowly, a course which in
effect rebuked the rich and haughty of Judea for centering their hearts on costly robes and