Lesson 120

3 Nephi 11:1–17

“Lesson 120: 3 Nephi 11:1–17,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)


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.

  • What was the message of the song (or general conference address) 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 a multitude of Nephites heard as they were gathered at the temple. Before the verses are read, remind students that in fulfillment of Samuel the Lamanite’s prophecy about the sign of the Savior’s death, great destruction had occurred among the Nephites and Lamanites, the more wicked part of the people had been destroyed, and darkness had covered the land for three days.

  • What did the multitude hear?

  • Did the people understand the voice when they first heard it?

  • 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 a student to read 3 Nephi 11:4–7 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, 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.)

Explain that on this occasion, God the Father spoke from heaven to introduce His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. When God speaks to us, it is most often through the Holy Ghost.

  • What principle can we learn from this account about understanding spiritual communication? (Help students identify the following principle: As we learn how to listen to the voice of God through the Holy Ghost, we will be able to understand the communication He gives us. Write this principle on the board.)

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

Explain that as students continue to learn about the Savior’s appearance among the Nephites, they will have opportunities to receive spiritual communication. Invite them to listen for the voice of God through the Holy Ghost as they study 3 Nephi 11:8–17.

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 few students to take turns reading aloud from 3 Nephi 11:8–12. Ask the class to follow along and imagine what it might have been like to be among the Nephites at this time.

Jesus Christ Visits the Americas

Display the picture Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere (Gospel Art Book [2009], no. 82; see also lds.org/media-library), and ask:

  • According to verse 8, how did the multitude respond as Jesus descended from heaven and stood in the midst of them? Initially, who did they think He was?

Point out that as Jesus Christ introduced Himself to the people, He taught them important truths about His mission as the Savior.

  • Which of the Savior’s statements in 3 Nephi 11:11 is most meaningful to you? Why? (You may want to give students a moment to ponder these questions before asking them to respond.)

  • According to verse 12, why did the multitude fall to the earth?

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” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997], 250–51).

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

handout iconExplain 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 11:13–15 and follow the instructions on the handout. Encourage them to ponder carefully the meaning of these verses as they study them.

handout, come forth unto me

“Come Forth unto Me”

one by one

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual—Lesson 120

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

    • How do you think the people may have felt as they saw the Lord and touched Him “one by one”?

    • What do you think the people came to know as a result of this experience?

    • 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?

  2. Respond to the following question in your class notebook or study journal:

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

  3. Consider writing the following truth in the margin of your scriptures near 3 Nephi 11:13–15: Jesus Christ invites me to receive a personal testimony that He is my Savior. Respond to the following questions in your class notebook or study journal:

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

    • What can you do to strengthen your testimony of Jesus Christ?

After students have had sufficient time to complete this activity, consider inviting them to share some of what they wrote down or felt during their study of 3 Nephi 11:13–15.

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 look for what the people did after they had seen and felt the Savior’s wounds.

  • What did the people do after they had seen and felt the Savior’s wounds? (The people bore record, or testified, that it was Jesus Christ.)

  • What principle can we learn from 3 Nephi 11:15? (Help students identify the following principle: When we receive a personal testimony of Jesus Christ, it is our responsibility to bear record of Him. Write this principle on the board.)

  • Why do we not need to see and touch the Savior to know that He lives? (By the power of the Holy Ghost we can know that Jesus Christ lives [see Moroni 10:5].)

  • How can we “bear record” of Jesus Christ?

Consider singing as a class a few verses of “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Hymns, no. 136) prior to concluding today’s lesson. As time allows, invite all those who wish to do so to share a brief testimony of the Savior.

Encourage students to act on the truths they learned today as they studied 3 Nephi 11:1–17.

Commentary and Background Information

3 Nephi 11:3. “A small voice”

President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained how the voice of the Holy Ghost operates on our minds and hearts:

President Boyd K. Packer

“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” (Boyd K. Packer, “Counsel to Youth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 17–18).