The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Nine: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/9?lang=eng
‘And he said unto them,
“Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power”’ (Mark 9:1).
The Transfiguration: Read Mark 9: 2-10.
‘And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
‘And Peter answered and said to Jesus,
“Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.”
‘For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid’ (vs. 2-6).
Sometimes we don’t know what to say either, yet we think we need to say something.
‘And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying,
“This is my beloved Son: hear him.”
‘And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.
‘And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead’ (vs. 7-9).
They were instructed not to share this vision, not to relate it to anyone else, until after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
‘And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean’ (vs. 10).
No one had ever yet been resurrected. Certainly the apostles had witnessed Jesus bringing many back to life; but, they could not comprehend Him dying or His resurrection yet.
Question Concerning Elias: Read Mark 9:11-13.
‘And they asked him, saying,
“Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?”
‘And he answered and told them,
“Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things and prepareth all things; and teacheth you of the prophets; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him; and he bore record of me, and they received him not. Verily this was Elias”’ (vs. 11-13, JST italicized).
Elias is a messenger sent to prepare the way of the Lord and to bare record of Him. John the Baptist was an Elias.
Jesus Commanded Foul Spirit to Come out of the Boy: Read Mark 9:14-29.
Because Jesus’s disciples had been unable to command the spirit to leave and stop tormenting the boy, there seemed to be a great disturbance among the people; and the scribes were questioning His disciples.
‘And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.
‘And he asked the scribes,
“What question ye with them?”
‘And one of the multitude answered and said,
“Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not”’ (vs. 11-18).
There must have been a lack of faith, because the apostles did have the authority to cast out evil spirits. But there must be faith present in those bestowing the healing gift, faith present in the recipients of the gift (in this case those who loved the boy and desired him to be healed), and it must be God’s will as well.
‘He answereth him, and saith,
“O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me” (vs. 19).
Jesus was indeed telling the disciples and those present that they needed to increase their faith. How do we do this? Observing the commandments both demonstrates our faith and adds to our faith. But Jesus also tells us that prayer and fasting are important.
‘And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
‘And he asked his father,
“How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us” (vs. 20-22).
“If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.” How often do we think these words, feel or speak these words? Of course the Lord can do something; He can do anything and everything. But it becomes apparent that we must also be willing to do something. What is required of us?
‘Jesus said unto him,
“If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
‘And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears,
“Lord, I believe;
“help thou mine unbelief”’(vs. 23-24).
Is there doubt amidst our belief? Aren’t we all found lacking in some way? Don’t we all feel both empathy for and sameness with this man? Can’t we sense his fear even in his desire to trust? Aren’t we all helpless in our desires for our children to be whole and to be found by Him? Isn’t it in the sincerity of our weakness that we can find strength in Him, and cry along with this man, and taste the tears, as we proclaim,
“Lord, I believe. Oh please, dispel my fear and help me to believe”?
‘When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him,
“Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.”
‘And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said,
“He is dead.”
‘But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
‘And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately,
“Why could not we cast him out?”
‘And he said unto them,
“This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting” (vs. 25-29).
‘And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it’ (vs. 30).
Jesus desired to be alone with His disciples. Again, He felt the necessity of preparing them for His impending death and resurrection, and for their missions to testify of Him.
‘For he taught his disciples, and said unto them,
“The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.”
‘But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him’ (vs. 31-32).
They were not ready to receive this message. Few of us are prepared to let our loved ones depart. But at this time, no one had ever been resurrected. Now we all have that glorious hope in the knowledge that Jesus was indeed resurrected!
Become as Little Children: Read Mark 9:33-37:
‘And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them,
“What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?”
‘But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
‘And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them,
“If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.”
‘And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
“Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.”’
Those for Us are for Us: Read Mark 8:38-41:
And John answered him, saying,
“Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.”
‘But Jesus said,
“Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.
“For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”’
Then Jesus goes on to explain more about His little ones, which could mean the children He earlier spoke of or those who are sharing their newly found faith in Him. We need to be extremely careful to not offend His little ones.
“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea” (vs. 42).
Verses Relating to the Sermon on the Mount: Read Mark 9:43-50.
How important is it for us to get rid of those parts of our nature which are offensive to the spirit within us and to the Spirit of the Holy Ghost? The Lord doesn’t want us to enter into life maimed, but whole; and to do so, we must repent of those things which are holding us back.
“For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another” (vs. 49-50).
We need to work on our own righteousness, so that we can add to the well-being of others. We are not here to condemn one another, but to help one another become whole.