Introduction: I teach Gospel Doctrine in Sunday School in our ward. Today’s lesson was part two on the Sermon on the Mount and concentrated on Mt. 6 and 7. It struck me that of all sermons, this one teaches the fullest and truest “Living Philosophy” so a discussion of it is not only welcome here, but virtually mandated because of its preeminent position in the philosophies of the world.
Mt. 5:13-20. Salt that has lost its savor, light hidden under a bushel, teaching by word or example to break the "least" of God’s commandments. I find it interesting that one of the first things the Lord addresses after people have become members of his Church is to warn against becoming an ineffective member; and certainly inactive members are ineffective. Too many fail to continue on the path of spiritual maturity, or to “grow up” in the Lord.
Mt. 5:21-47. Six examples where the “higher law” is given by reaffirming and deepening the old law or correcting an erroneous tradition.
Mt. 6:1-8, 16-18. Giving alms, praying, and fasting incorrectly with the wrong purpose and with the wrong motive–to be seen of men and receive their praise rather than to please God.
Mt. 6:14-15. We cannot be forgiven if we will not forgive.
Mt. 6:19-23. Place your heart on those treasures that may be laid up in heaven. Keep your eye single to the glory of God. (JST Mt. 6:22, see footnote 22b; also D&C 88:67, this one is also in a temple context.)
Mt. 6:24. You cannot worship both God and mammon. Isn’t it interesting that this teaching follows the direction to keep our eye single.
Mt. 6:25-34 (JST Mt. 6:38). Do not worry about clothing and food. Seek not the things of this world, but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God and to establish his righteousness. See JST Mt 6:38 in footnote 33a.
Mt. 7:1-5. You shall be judged in the same manner as you judge others. Get the beam out of your own eye so you can see others clearly.
Mt. 7:6. Do not give that which is holy to the dogs or set your pearls before swine. Spiritually mature individuals have a heightened sense of and an appreciation and reverence for the sacred and holy.
Mt. 7:13-14. Few find it. The gate is baptism; the way includes the other ordinances of the temple and all of these principles of the higher law–the law of the Gospel, or the law of Christ.
Mt. 7:15-20. Beware of false prophets; by their fruits ye shall know them.
Mt. 7:21-23. There is an important difference between saying and doing. Compare the parable of the two sons in Mt. 21:28-32. Covenants obligate us to use our knowledge so that we are not guilty of lip-service only.
Mt. 7:24-27. Live according to the “law of the Gospel,” the higher law as taught in this sermon and you shall be able to properly weather the storms of life.