Malachi chapters three and four are of particular interest to Latter-day Saints. When the Savior visited the Nephites he quoted Malachi 3 and 4 (see 3 Nephi 24 & 25) and said that these verses were for future generations (3 Nephi 26:2). When Moroni met for the first time with the Prophet Joseph Smith, the first scriptures that he quoted were from Malachi 3 & 4. So we have three witnesses as to the importance of these two chapters in Malachi, 1. Malachi 3 & 4, 2. 3 Nephi 24 & 25, and 3. Moroni's quoting from them to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
A closer look at these two chapters reveals several important insights. They were given to Israel who were temple worshippers but had become lax in their service to God. This was a community that was served by the priesthood who were no longer giving offerings in righteousness. These people were complaining about the requirements to serve their maker and they aped for the things of this world.
Malachi's message is to the House of Israel in particular, and is a warning and a list of things needed to be prepared for the Lord's visit to the earth. In his message can be found the "bookends" of keys necessary for the restoration of the gospel. He promises that a messenger will be sent to prepare the way of the Lord (Malachi 3:1). The same messenger prepares the way for both the first and second comings of Christ - John The Baptist (see Matth. 11:10; Mark 1:2). He also foretells of the coming of Elijah and his keys, which we know have the power to seal all things together using the holy priesthood. So, Malachi teaches us who will bring the first keys to preach the gospel of Christ into all of the world and also who will bring some of the last keys to seal all things together.
Malachi may have universal application to all people, nevertheless, his message has particular application to the Saints who have both the temple and the priesthood. In our next post we will list all of the things that Malachi mentions are necessary for members to be prepared for the Second Coming of Christ. Note, this is not a list for perfection or dwelling in the Celestial Kingdom, but only a list to be worthy to live in the Millennium when we will concentrate on losing all of our Telestial traits and prepare the earth for Celestial glory.