“Behold My Beloved Son in Whom I Am Well Pleased”

Brant Gardner

The Savior is introduced to the people in the New World similarly to the introduction in the Old World:

Matthew 17:5

5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Matthew’s text is written as part of the events on the mount of transfiguration. While a similar introduction occurs in both Mark and Luke, both of those texts have only “This is my beloved Son: hear him.” (Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35). All three synoptic writers, however, have the phrases “in whom I am well pleased” when the God introduces Jesus at the time of his baptism (Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22).

Any of these phrase might serve as the basic textual model for the Book of Mormon, but Matthew 17:5 is the best fit, containing both the phrase “in whom I am well pleased” and the command “hear him.” Even though the language is built on the Matthean phrase, the Book of Mormon text adds “in whom I have glorified my name.” This is appropriate after the resurrection as it comes in the New World, but was not appropriate in the New World, as this statement came at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in the Old World.

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon