3 Nephi 11: The Savior Appears!

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 163–165


For 600 years, Nephite and Lamanite prophets had talked, written, and prophesied of the coming of Jesus Christ. They knew that He would not come to them during His mortal life, but that He would appear to the children of Lehi after His Resurrection (see 2 Nephi 26:9; Alma 16:20). Believers put their whole faith and hope in Him and His saving mission. In 3 Nephi 11 you will read the glorious fulfillment of those prophecies. The record of the Savior’s visit to the Americas continues through 3 Nephi 28. As you read these chapters, ponder what it must have been like for those who were present when the Savior appeared. Consider carefully what Jesus chose to say and do in the short time He spent with them and what that teaches us about what He considered essential.
Christ appearing in Americas

Understanding the Scriptures

3 Nephi 11

Cast their eyes (vv. 3, 8)Looked
Frame (v. 3)Body
Durst (v. 8)Dared
Wist (v. 8)Knew
Suffered (v. 11)Obeyed
Ascension (v. 12)Rising
With one accord (v. 16)Together
Hosanna! (v. 17)Grant me salvation!
On this wise (vv. 22–23)In this way
Disputations (vv. 22, 28)Arguments, contentions
Immerse (v. 26)Completely cover
Inherit (vv. 33, 38)Fully receive by lawful right
Gates of hell (vv. 39–40)Power of the devil
Prevail (v. 39)Gain the victory, win

3 Nephi 11:14–15—The Wounds of the Savior

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, declared:

“Even though the power of the Resurrection could have—and undoubtedly one day will have—completely restored and made new the wounds from the crucifixion, nevertheless Christ chose to retain those wounds for a purpose, including for his appearance in the last days when he will show those marks and reveal that he was wounded ‘in the house of [his] friends’ [Zechariah 13:6; see also D&C 45:52].

“The wounds in his hands, feet, and side are signs that in mortality painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect, signs that tribulation is not evidence that God does not love us. It is a significant and hopeful fact that it is the wounded Christ who comes to our rescue. He who bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love, the emblems of humility and forgiveness is the Captain of our Soul. That evidence of pain in mortality is undoubtedly intended to give courage to others who are also hurt and wounded by life, perhaps even in the house of their friends” (Christ and the New Covenant [1997], 258–59).

Christ with child

3 Nephi 11:1–8—How Does God Speak to Man?

President Joseph F. Smith, then a counselor in the First Presidency, said, “The Holy Spirit of God has spoken to me—not through the ear, not through the eye, but to my spirit, to my living and eternal part,—and has revealed unto me that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 7).

3 Nephi 11:27, 32–36—The Oneness of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost

In 3 Nephi 11 is another testimony of the doctrine that the members of the Godhead are separate individuals yet completely unified in their efforts “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). They can speak for each other and testify of each other because of their unity in purpose and doctrine. The people heard the voice of the Father, they saw and heard Jesus Christ, and they were taught concerning the different, but united, roles of these two individuals and the Holy Ghost. (See also John 17:20–23 and D&C 130:22 regarding the unity, yet separateness, of members of the Godhead.)

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–E) as you study 3 Nephi 11.

Activity A iconWrite a Talk

Suppose you are assigned to speak in sacrament meeting on the subject “Learning to Listen to God.”

  1. 1.

    Write a talk using 3 Nephi 11:1–8 to explain how we can better prepare ourselves to hear the word of God. Consider discussing questions similar to the following: How did the voice come? How is it described? What did the people do to hear it? Why didn’t they hear it the first time?

  2. 2.

    Read also Doctrine and Covenants 136:32–33 and use the study helps in your scriptures to find more passages that might help a person hear and understand God’s voice through the Holy Ghost. Explain these passages in your talk (see D&C 1:38; 18:34–36 for additional help).

Activity B iconConsider What it Really Means

  1. 1.

    Of all the ways Jesus could have introduced Himself, why do you think He said what He did in 3 Nephi 11:10–11? What can we learn about the Savior from His introduction?

  2. 2.

    Read Doctrine and Covenants 19:16–20 and explain what was involved in drinking the “bitter cup.”

Activity C iconBeing a Witness

  1. 1.

    Review 3 Nephi 11:14–16 and explain what Jesus wanted the people to know and what the people did to obtain that witness.

  2. 2.

    Write a few sentences explaining why you think Jesus let the people see and touch Him one by one.

  3. 3.

    How can you know that Jesus was resurrected, without actually seeing and feeling His wounds?

Activity D iconList the Baptism Doctrines

List at least four important truths we learn about baptism from what Jesus said and did in 3 Nephi 11:18–40.

Activity E Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—3 Nephi 11:29

  1. 1.

    Write two questions about contention that can be answered from reading 3 Nephi 11:28–30. Include the answers.

  2. 2.

    Read Proverbs 15:1 and summarize what it says about one way to avoid contention. Then suggest two more ways you think a person can avoid contention in family relationships.

Elder Lynn G. Robbins, a member of the Seventy, said:

“Anger is a yielding to Satan’s influence by surrendering our self-control. …

“Understanding the connection between agency and anger is the first step in eliminating anger from our lives. We can choose not to become angry” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 106; or Ensign, May 1998, 80–81).