|Kelly Rae Roberts|
For the past 9 months I have been reading, studying, discussing and teaching the Book of Mormon, and to say it has been a “crash course” is an understatement. When I was investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I actively resisted doing an in-depth reading of the Book of Mormon and since then I had felt a loss because of that. I know that to some it is given to receive the book of Mormon by its words and there by receive a testimony, but then to some it is given by study and prayer. I am in that group; the study and prayer group. I believe that the Father is pleased with me in my pursuit, because every now and then, He will show me something, a tender mercy, the sop as it were.
“Sop” a small portion, a morsel, or a fragment. Think of a small piece of crusty bread that has been dipped in a yummy sauce, or used to dab up the last bit of delicious gravy. In the south, we call it a “sop” when you dip biscuits in gravy. If you gave it to someone who was special, even putting it in their mouths, then it was a good gift. A little taste, a promise of things to come. Doesn’t that make your mouth water, your soul water too?In ancient times there would have been a common dish at the meal. The bread was flat, thin and round. The host would dip a piece of bread into the dish, and give it to someone that was very significant. The host or the master of the house would give the sop to the person to whom he wanted to show his greatest love and esteem.
John 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.I don’t think that Judas understood the significance of being offered that morsel of bread. A high honor of friendship was offered to him. He understood it not.
So I was reading in the book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 19:24-25, and the verse say’s that “Jesus smiled.” Are you serious? I have not found in the Bible a verse that says he smiled, laughed, joked or was generally happy. One of the shortest verses in the Bible is that “Jesus wept”, John 11:35
3 Nephi 19:24-25,30
24 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire.
25 And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof.
30 And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto his disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.
I was so happy to read these verses.
What is the sop?
23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless themYummy, feasting on the Word.