Lesson 135

3 Nephi 29–30

“Lesson 135: 3 Nephi 29–30,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)


Introduction

As Mormon concluded his account of the Savior’s visit among the Nephites, he explained that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon would be a sign that the Lord was fulfilling His covenant with the house of Israel. He also warned that those who reject the works of God will be subject to God’s judgments. Finally, he recorded the Savior’s invitation for all people to repent and be numbered among the house of Israel.

Suggestions for Teaching

3 Nephi 29

Mormon testifies that the Lord will fulfill His covenant with the house of Israel in the last days

Copy the following chart on the board before class begins (or prepare it as a handout for each student):

 1. Gentiles

a. Two meanings: (1) the descendants of the Old Testament prophet Jacob (Israel), with whom the Lord made covenants, and (2) true believers in Jesus Christ who have made covenants with God

 2. House of Israel

b. A promise to the faithful that included gospel blessings, priesthood authority, eternal families, and a land of inheritance

 3. Spurn

c. Two meanings: (1) people of non-Israelite or non-Jewish lineage and (2) people without the gospel

 4. The Lord’s covenant with Israel

d. Deep sadness and regret

 5. Wo

e. To disregard or reject with disdain or contempt

Begin class by inviting students to come to the board to write doctrines, teachings, or aspects of the Church that they love or consider precious. After students have finished, ask:

  • Have you ever heard or witnessed any of these things being disdained or disregarded by others?

As students study 3 Nephi 29 today, invite them to look for what Mormon prophesied would be disdained or disregarded in the last days, as well as the warning he gave to those who would do so.

Explain that after Mormon wrote about the Savior’s visit to the Nephites, he prophesied of the fulfillment of the Lord’s promises in the last days. To help students understand some of the words and phrases that Mormon used in his prophecy, draw their attention to the chart on the board (or give each student a copy of it).

Invite students to match the words in the first column of the chart with their correct definitions in the second column (answers: 1–c, 2–a, 3–e, 4–b, 5–d). As students report their answers, make sure they understand each of the definitions.

After students are familiar with these terms, invite them to read 3 Nephi 29:1–3 silently, looking for an event that will show that the Lord is keeping His promises to the house of Israel in the last days. (It may be helpful to explain that the phrase “these sayings” in 3 Nephi 29:1 refers to the writings of the Book of Mormon.)

  • How would you summarize the prophecy recorded in these verses? (Help students understand that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is a sign that the Lord is fulfilling His covenant to gather Israel in the latter days.)

Invite students to hold up their copies of the Book of Mormon. Explain that they have in their hands the fulfillment of Mormon’s prophecy and that they can be assured that the Lord is preparing His people for His coming.

Refer to the definition of spurn from the matching activity. Invite a student to read 3 Nephi 29:4–5 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Mormon said people in the last days would spurn.

  • What did Mormon say people in the last days would spurn? (“The doings of the Lord.”)

  • According to verse 5, whom would people in the latter days deny?

Refer to the definition of the word wo from the matching activity. Invite students to consider marking this word in verses 5–7 and writing this definition next to these verses.

  • What do you think Mormon meant when he wrote, “Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord … [and] shall deny the Christ and his works” (verse 5)? (Help students identify the following principle: Those who spurn the Lord’s doings and deny Him will eventually experience sadness and regret. Write this principle on the board.)

Explain that 3 Nephi 29:6–8 can help us to better understand this principle. Invite a student to read these verses aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the Lord’s doings, or works, that people in the latter days deny or spurn.

  • According to these verses, what are some examples of the Lord’s doings that people deny or spurn? (List students’ responses on the board with the responses students wrote at the beginning of class.)

  • Why do you think sadness and regret are the eventual consequences of spurning the Savior and His works?

  • What blessings come from accepting and believing in revelation, miracles, and other doings of Jesus Christ?

  • How can the Book of Mormon and its teachings help people accept and believe in the Savior and His works?

3 Nephi 30

The Lord exhorts the Gentiles to repent and come unto Him

Invite students to think of a group that they are part of (such as a school class, sports team, or ward or branch).

  • What are some of the benefits you receive from being part of that group?

Refer to the definition of “house of Israel” from the matching activity, and ask students to ponder some of the benefits or blessings of being numbered among true believers in Jesus Christ.

Refer to the word Gentiles from the matching activity. Invite students to consider the following questions:

  • Can Gentiles receive the same blessings as members of the house of Israel? If so, how?

As students study 3 Nephi 30, invite them to look for how the Gentiles can be numbered among and receive the same blessings as the house of Israel.

Inform students that in 3 Nephi 30, Mormon fulfilled a commandment from the Lord to record an invitation from Jesus Christ specifically to the Gentiles, or people without the gospel. Invite students to read 3 Nephi 30:1–2 silently, looking for as many invitations to the Gentiles as they can find.

  • What did the Savior invite the Gentiles of the last days to do? (Students’ responses should include the following: “turn … from your wicked ways,” “repent of your evil doings,” and “come unto me, and be baptized in my name.” Invite students to consider marking these phrases in verse 2.)

  • What blessings does Jesus Christ promise to the Gentiles if they will accept His invitations and come unto Him? (Receiving a remission of sins, being filled with the Holy Ghost, and being numbered among His people. Invite students to consider marking these blessings in verse 2 as well.)

  • Based on what you may have marked in verse 2, what if–then principle can we identify? (Students should identify a principle similar to the following: If we repent, come unto Jesus Christ, and be baptized, then we will receive a remission of our sins, be filled with the Holy Ghost, and be numbered with the house of Israel. Write this principle on the board.)

To help students understand this principle, invite a student to read aloud the following statements from True to the Faith:

“It does not matter if your lineage in the house of Israel is through bloodlines or by adoption. As a member of the Church, you are counted as a descendant of Abraham and an heir to all the promises and blessings contained in the Abrahamic covenant” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference [2004], 112).

“As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are a child of the covenant (see 3 Nephi 20:25–26). You have received the everlasting gospel and inherited the same promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You have the right to the blessings of the priesthood and to eternal life, according to your faithfulness in receiving the ordinances of salvation and keeping the associated covenants. Nations of the earth will be blessed by your efforts and by the labors of your posterity” (True to the Faith, 5–6).

  • Why is it a blessing to be numbered among the Lord’s people?

Explain that even though 3 Nephi 30:2 is addressed to those who are not members of the Church, we can use Jesus Christ’s invitation to measure our own efforts to keep the covenants we have made with God.

Invite students to use 3 Nephi 30:2 to evaluate their efforts to come unto Christ by turning from “evil doings.” Make a copy of the following chart for each student. (Or you could read the items on the chart slowly and have students copy them in notebooks or study journals.) Explain that some of the actions listed on the chart represent serious sins. Students can use the material provided in parentheses to adapt each category to their own situations and to help them evaluate themselves regarding related but less serious actions.

handout iconHave students evaluate themselves silently and privately, and tell them it is not necessary to record their responses. Also remind them that sharing past transgressions publicly is inappropriate.

handout, self-evaluation

Self-Evaluation

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual—Lesson 135

“Evil doings” mentioned in 3 Nephi 30:2

I do this often.

I sometimes do this.

I never do this.

Lying and deceiving (leading someone to believe something that is not true)

 

Secret abominations (private actions that are sinful or offensive to God)

 

Idolatries (giving priority to the things of the world over the things of God)

 

Priestcrafts (participating in religious activities to glorify oneself rather than to serve God and others)

 

Envyings (being jealous or resentful of what someone else has)

 

Strifes (contention, fighting, or quarreling)

 

Testify that as we repent and come unto Jesus Christ, He will bless us and number us among His people.

Invite students to determine which “evil doings” they may need to more fully turn away from in order to come unto Christ. Consider asking them to complete the following statement on a separate piece of paper: “I will come unto Christ by … , so I can receive the full blessings of the covenant.” Suggest that they carry the paper with them as they strive to accomplish their goals.

Commentary and Background Information

3 Nephi 30:1–2. The gathering of Israel

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught:

President Spencer W. Kimball

“The gathering of Israel consists of joining the true church and their coming to a knowledge of the true God. … Any person, therefore, who has accepted the restored gospel, and who now seeks to worship the Lord in his own tongue and with the Saints in the nations where he lives, has complied with the law of the gathering of Israel and is heir to all of the blessings promised the Saints in these last days” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 439).