11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you,and persecute you,and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely,for my sake.for great is your reward in heaven:for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.(Matt. 5:11-12)
11 And blessed are ye when men shall revile you
and persecute,and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely,for my sake;12 For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad,for great shall be your reward in heaven;for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.(3 Nephi 12:11-12)
In this block of verses, Jesus commends those who are persecuted for Christ’s sake. 3 Nephi 12 speaks of the reward of joy as something reserved for the future, unlike Matthew, which seems to command those persecuted to be glad in the middle of the pain they undergo. To me, 3 Nephi seems more realistic; persecution is not fun to go through. Joy tends to come after long spaces when we can look back and begin to understand and feel satisfied with how we made it through, rather than being pained and fearing a repetition.
Some might argue that the KJV’s language bringing the reward in heaven into the present tense is more powerful, but the reward isn’t just because you are persecuted for Christ’s sake. It’s for staying faithful to the end, and you have to get to the end to see whether a reward is merited or not.