Lesson 120: 3 Nephi 11:1–17

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2012


Introduction

Following the destruction and three days of darkness that signaled the Savior’s death, about 2,500 Nephite men, women, and children gathered around the temple in the land of Bountiful (see 3 Nephi 17:25). As they spoke with one another, they heard the voice of Heavenly Father introducing His Son, Jesus Christ, who then appeared. Jesus Christ invited the people to personally witness that He had been slain for the sins of the world. One by one they approached Him and felt the wound in His side and the prints of the nails in His hands and feet.

Suggestions for Teaching

3 Nephi 11:1–7

The Nephites hear the voice of the Father announcing the appearance of His Son

As students enter class, have a recording of sacred music or of general conference playing quietly in the background—just loud enough to be heard. Stop the recording when it is time to have the opening prayer and devotional. Following the prayer, ask students if they heard the recording. (If you do not have the resources to carry out this activity, consider having a student read in a soft voice from 3 Nephi 11 as students enter the room. If you choose this option, it will work best if you make the assignment a day ahead of time, perhaps to a student who usually arrives early.)

  • What must a person do to hear and understand a soft voice?

  • What was the message of the song (or general conference address or scripture passage) that was playing as you entered the classroom today?

  • Was it easy or difficult to hear and understand the words as everyone was coming into class? Why?

Invite a student to read 3 Nephi 11:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Nephites had difficulty understanding.

  • How is the voice described in 3 Nephi 11:3? (You may want to suggest that students mark the description of the voice in their scriptures.)

  • What effect did the voice have on those who heard it?

Ask students to read 3 Nephi 11:4–7 silently, looking for what the Nephites did differently in order to understand the voice the third time they heard it.

  • What did the Nephites do differently the third time they heard the voice?

  • Based on what you read in 3 Nephi 11:7, whose voice did the people hear? (They heard the voice of Heavenly Father, introducing His Son, Jesus Christ.)

Consider asking students to read Helaman 5:30, looking for another description of the voice of the Lord.

  • How was the voice the Nephites heard similar to the promptings we receive from the Holy Ghost? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following truth: The Holy Ghost often speaks to us through our feelings.)

  • Why is it important to pay attention to the inspiration we receive from the Lord through the Holy Ghost?

Invite students to share experiences they have had when they felt the inspiration of the Holy Ghost come into their minds or hearts. Ask them to describe how they felt. You may also want to share an experience of your own.

Invite a student to read the following statement by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles about what we need to do to listen to and understand the voice of the Lord through the Holy Ghost:

President Boyd K. Packer

“The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting. It never shakes us with a heavy hand. The Spirit whispers. It caresses so gently, indeed, that if we are preoccupied, we can’t feel it at all.

“Occasionally, the Spirit will press just firmly enough or often enough for us to pay attention; but from my experience, most of the time, if we do not heed the gentle feeling, if we do not listen with those feelings, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening, in our manner and our expression” (“How Does the Spirit Speak to Us?” New Era, Feb. 2010, 3).

  • What principle can we learn from 3 Nephi 11:1–7 and from President Packer? (Students may give a variety of answers, but make sure they identify the following truth: As we learn how to listen to the voice of the Lord through the Holy Ghost, we will be able to understand the communication He gives us.)

  • What helps you to prepare your mind and heart to hear and understand the whisperings of the Holy Ghost?

3 Nephi 11:8–17

Jesus Christ appears to the Nephites and invites them one by one to feel the wound marks in His hands, feet, and side

Invite a student to read 3 Nephi 11:8–10 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and imagine what it might have been like to be among the Nephites at this time. Display the picture Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere (62380; Gospel Art Book [2009], no. 82), and ask:

Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere
  • What thoughts and feelings do you think you would have had if you had been among the Nephites when the Savior visited them?

Remind students of the darkness and destruction that the Nephites experienced just before the Savior appeared. Then invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles about the importance of the Savior’s appearance to the Nephites:

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“That appearance and that declaration constituted the focal point, the supreme moment, in the entire history of the Book of Mormon. It was the manifestation and the decree that had informed and inspired every Nephite prophet for the previous six hundred years, to say nothing of their Israelite and Jaredite forefathers for thousands of years before that.

“Everyone had talked of him, sung of him, dreamed of him, and prayed for his appearance—but here he actually was. The day of days! The God who turns every dark night into morning light had arrived” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 250–51).

Explain to the class that the next portion of the lesson is designed to allow them to ponder the Savior’s visit on their own. Before class, prepare the following instructions and questions on a handout for each student (or write them on the board or on a poster). Allow students sufficient time to read 3 Nephi 11:11–17 and follow the instructions on the handout. Encourage them to ponder carefully the meaning of these verses as they study them.

  1. 1.

    Read 3 Nephi 11:11–12 silently. Look for what Jesus Christ wanted the people to know about Him and about what He had done during His mortal ministry. Ponder the following questions:

    • Which of the Savior’s statements in 3 Nephi 11:11 is most meaningful to you? Why?

    • What did the Savior mean when He said, “I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me”? Why is it important to know that Jesus Christ has always been submissive to Heavenly Father’s will?

  2. 2.

    Read 3 Nephi 11:13–15, and ponder the following questions:

    • What did the Savior invite the Nephites to do? What did He want them to know as a result of this experience?

    • The people went to the Savior “one by one until they had all gone forth” (3 Nephi 11:15). Considering there were about 2,500 people in the multitude (see 3 Nephi 17:25), what does this teach you about how the Savior feels about each one of us?

  3. 3.

    Respond to the following questions in a notebook or scripture study journal:

    • Why do you think the Lord wanted the people to see and touch Him “one by one”?

    • How do you think it would affect you to be able to touch the wounds the Savior received while atoning for your sins?

  4. 4.

    Consider writing the following truth in the margin of your scriptures near 3 Nephi 11:11–15. Jesus Christ invites me to receive a personal testimony that He is my Savior. Respond to the following questions in a notebook or scripture study journal:

    • What experiences have led you to gain your own testimony that Jesus Christ is your Savior?

    • What do you think the Savior would like you to do to strengthen your testimony of Him?

    • When have you felt that the Savior knows you and has blessed you individually?

After students have had sufficient time to complete this activity, invite a student to read 3 Nephi 11:16–17 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the people did after they had this personal experience with the Savior. You may want to explain that hosanna is a Hebrew word that means “save now” or “please save us” and is used throughout the scriptures as an exclamation of praise and supplication (see Bible Dictionary, “Hosanna”; Guide to the Scriptures, “Hosanna,” scriptures.lds.org).

  • Why do you think the people cried “hosanna” after their experience with the Savior?

Invite students to take a closer look at 3 Nephi 11:15. Ask them to identify what the people did after they had seen and felt the Savior’s wounds. (The people bore record, or testified, that it was Jesus Christ.)

  • Do we need to be able to see and touch the Savior to know that He lives? (See Moroni 10:5.) How can we “bear record” of Jesus Christ?

  • How can we liken 3 Nephi 11:15 to ourselves? What should each of us do after we receive a testimony of Jesus Christ? (When we receive a personal testimony of Jesus Christ, it is our responsibility to bear record of Him.)

Conclude class by inviting students to tell about times when they have shared their testimonies of Jesus Christ with others. As time allows, invite all those who wish to do so to share a brief testimony of the Savior and, perhaps, tell what they have done to gain their testimonies. If time allows, you also might invite them to share some of what they wrote down or felt during their study of 3 Nephi 11 today.

Commentary and Background Information

3 Nephi 11:3. “A small voice”

President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained how the voice of the Holy Ghost operates on our minds and hearts:

“The voice of the Spirit comes as a feeling rather than a sound. You will learn, as I have learned, to ‘listen’ for that voice that is felt rather than heard. …

“The gift of the Holy Ghost, if you consent, will guide and protect you and even correct your actions. It is a spiritual voice that comes into the mind as a thought or a feeling put into your heart. …

“It is not expected that you go through life without making mistakes, but you will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Spirit” (“Counsel to Youth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 17–18).