Lesson 127

3 Nephi 18

“Lesson 127: 3 Nephi 18,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)


Introduction

As Jesus Christ concluded the first day of His ministry among the Nephites, He administered the sacrament. He commanded them to partake of the sacrament, pray to the Father always, and extend fellowship to all people. The Savior promised great blessings to those who obeyed. He then gave the twelve Nephite disciples instructions pertaining to their ministry in the Church. Prior to ascending into heaven, He gave them power to give the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Suggestions for Teaching

3 Nephi 18:1–14

Jesus Christ administers the sacrament to the Nephites

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Gerald N. Lund, who served as a member of the Seventy. (Tell the student that the name Czenkusch is pronounced “CHEN-kush.”) Encourage the class to imagine what it might have been like to be the mountain climber mentioned by Elder Lund.

Elder Gerald N. Lund

“Some time ago there was an interesting article about mountain climbing in a medical magazine. …

“The article was about a man named Czenkusch who runs a climbing school. … Czenkusch was describing to the interviewer the belay system in mountain climbing. This is the system by which climbers protect themselves from falls. One climber gets in a safe position and secures the rope for the other climber, usually around his or her own body. ‘You’re on belay,’ means, ‘I’ve got you. If something happens, I will stop you from falling.’ It is an important part of mountain climbing. Now note what followed next in the article: ‘Belaying has brought Czenkusch his best and worst moments in climbing. Czenkusch once fell from a high precipice, yanking out three mechanical supports and pulling his belayer off a ledge. He was stopped, upside down, 10 feet from the ground when his spread-eagled belayer [Don] arrested the fall with the strength of his outstretched arms. “Don saved my life,” says Czenkusch. “How do you respond to a guy like that? Give him a used climbing rope for a Christmas present? No, you remember him. You always remember him”’ [Eric G. Anderson, “The Vertical Wilderness,” Private Practice, Nov. 1979, 21; italics added]” (Gerald N. Lund, “The Grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ,” in Jesus Christ: Son of God, Savior, ed. Paul H. Peterson, Gary L. Hatch, and Laura D. Card [2002], 48).

  • Why do you think the mountain climber felt that giving his rescuer material gifts would be an inadequate way to show thanks?

  • How is always remembering the person who saved your life a better way to show love than giving that person a gift?

  • What would you do to remember someone who saved your life?

Remind the class that as recorded in 3 Nephi 17, the Savior instructed the Nephites to return to their homes and prepare themselves for the next day when He would return and teach them additional truths.

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from 3 Nephi 18:1–6. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Savior did before He left.

  • What did the Savior do before He left?

  • According to verse 6, how often were the Nephites to continue performing this ordinance?

Write the following phrase on the board: As we partake of the sacrament, we witness unto the Father that …

Invite students to read 3 Nephi 18:7–11 silently, looking for words or phrases that complete the statement on the board. Ask a few students to report what they have found. Complete the statement on the board so that it conveys the following principle: As we partake of the sacrament, we witness unto the Father that we will always remember Jesus Christ and that we are willing to do all that the Savior has commanded. Invite students to consider marking the words remembrance and remember in 3 Nephi 18:7–11.

  • How does partaking of the sacrament help us remember the Savior’s sacrifice in our behalf?

video iconTo help students further understand the principle they identified from 3 Nephi 18:7–11, consider showing a portion of the video “Always Remember Him” (time code 2:50–5:28). In this video, available on LDS.org, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explains what we can do to remember the Savior during the ordinance of the sacrament.

 
  • What are some aspects of the Savior’s life and ministry that we might remember during the ordinance of the sacrament? (Answers might include His death and atoning sacrifice, His humble birth, His miracles and teachings, His loving care toward others, and His submissiveness to Heavenly Father.)

  • What can we do to always remember the Savior after we have partaken of the sacrament and during the rest of the week?

Invite students to review 3 Nephi 18:7, 11, looking for the blessing Jesus promised to those who partake of the sacrament and always remember Him.

  • According to 3 Nephi 18:7, 11, what principle can we identify from the Savior’s promise to those who partake of the sacrament and remember Him? (Help students identify the following principle: As we partake of the sacrament and always remember the Savior, we will have His Spirit to be with us. Invite students to consider marking the words that teach this principle in their scriptures.)

  • Why do you think that always remembering the Savior helps us to have His Spirit to be with us?

Ask a student to read 3 Nephi 18:12–14 aloud, and then ask another student to read Helaman 5:12 aloud. Invite the rest of the students to follow along, pondering connections between the two scripture passages.

  • What connections do you notice between these two scripture passages?

  • How can regularly partaking of the sacrament help you make Jesus Christ the foundation upon which you build your life?

3 Nephi 18:15–25

Jesus Christ teaches the Nephites to pray to the Father always and meet together often

Ask the class:

  • What are some common ways in which Satan seeks to tempt us to forget about the Savior and to disobey the Lord’s commandments?

Divide students into pairs. Invite each partnership to read 3 Nephi 18:15–21 together, looking for what the Savior taught us to do to resist temptation.

  • What did the Savior teach us to do to resist temptation?

  • What do you think the word watch means in 3 Nephi 18:15, 18? (To be spiritually alert, vigilant, or on guard.)

Ask the partnerships to write a principle that they feel summarizes these teachings about overcoming temptation. Ask several partnerships to share what they wrote. (Though students may use different words to express their summaries, they should identify the following truth: If we will be watchful and pray always to the Father, we can resist the temptations of Satan. Write this principle on the board.)

  • Why do you think both watching and praying are essential to resisting temptation?

Invite students to answer the following questions in their class notebooks or study journals. (You may want to write the questions on the board.)

  • What are some ways in which you can seek to pray always?

  • How has praying helped you resist the temptations of Satan?

If time permits, consider asking a few students to share with the class what they wrote.

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from 3 Nephi 18:22–25. Ask the class to follow along, looking for additional counsel the Savior gave to the Nephites.

  • What does the Savior ask us to do to help others come unto Him? (We should not turn others away from our Church meetings, and we should pray for them.)

3 Nephi 18:26–39

The Savior teaches His disciples to extend fellowship to all people

Summarize 3 Nephi 18:26–39 by explaining that after the Savior spoke to the multitude, He turned to the twelve disciples He had chosen and instructed them on how to lead and direct the affairs of the Church. Explain that the Savior gave specific counsel to the twelve Nephite disciples regarding their responsibility as priesthood leaders to monitor the worthiness of those who partake of the sacrament. He cautioned them not to cast out anyone from among them who was unworthy to partake of the sacrament; rather, they should continue to minister to the person, with the hope that he or she would repent and be healed by the Savior. After warning against disputations among the people, the Savior gave His twelve disciples power to give the Holy Ghost, and then He ascended into heaven.

Conclude by sharing your testimony of the truths that students identified in today’s lesson. Encourage students to always remember Jesus Christ and obey His commandments and to watch and pray always so they can resist the temptations of Satan.

Commentary and Background Information

3 Nephi 18:15. “Pray always”

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about what it means to “pray always”:

Elder David A. Bednar

“Our evening prayer builds upon and is a continuation of our morning prayer. And our evening prayer also is a preparation for meaningful morning prayer.

“Morning and evening prayers—and all of the prayers in between—are not unrelated, discrete events; rather, they are linked together each day and across days, weeks, months, and even years. This is in part how we fulfill the scriptural admonition to ‘pray always’ (Luke 21:36; 3 Nephi 18:15, 18; D&C 31:12). Such meaningful prayers are instrumental in obtaining the highest blessings God holds in store for His faithful children” (David A. Bednar, “Pray Always,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 42).

3 Nephi 18:21. “Pray in your families”

President James E. Faust (1920–2007) of the First Presidency spoke of the power of family prayer:

President James E. Faust

“Family prayer is a powerful and sustaining influence. During the dark days of World War II, a 500-pound bomb fell outside the little home of Brother Patey, a young father in Liverpool, England, but the bomb did not go off. His wife had died, so he was rearing his five children alone. He gathered them together at this very anxious time for family prayer. They ‘all prayed … earnestly and when they had finished praying, the children said: “Daddy, we will be all right. We will be all right in our home tonight.”

“‘And so they went to bed, imagine, with that terrific bomb lying just outside the door half submerged in the ground. If it had gone off it would have destroyed probably forty or fifty houses and killed two or three hundred people. …

“‘The next morning the … whole neighborhood was removed for forty-eight hours and the bomb was finally taken away. …

“‘On the way back Brother Patey asked the foreman of the A.R.P. Squad: “Well, what did you find?”

“‘“Mr. Patey, we got at the bomb outside of your door and found it ready to explode at any moment. There was nothing wrong with it. We are puzzled why it did not go off.”’ [Andre K. Anastasiou, in Conference Report, Oct. 1946, 26.] Miraculous things happen when families pray together” (James E. Faust, “The Lifeline of Prayer,” Ensign, May 2002, 61).

3 Nephi 18:28–29. “Whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily”

Elder John H. Groberg, who served as a General Authority Seventy, taught how we can know if we are worthy to partake of the sacrament:

Elder John H. Groberg

“What does it mean to partake of the sacrament worthily? Or how do we know if we are unworthy?

“If we desire to improve (which is to repent) and are not under priesthood restriction, then, in my opinion, we are worthy. If, however, we have no desire to improve, if we have no intention of following the guidance of the Spirit, we must ask: Are we worthy to partake, or are we making a mockery of the very purpose of the sacrament, which is to act as a catalyst for personal repentance and improvement?” (John H. Groberg, “The Beauty and Importance of the Sacrament,” Ensign, May 1989, 38).