3 Nephi 13: The Sermon at the Temple, Part 2

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 166

In 3 Nephi 13, the Savior continued teaching about a higher level of righteousness and addressed the problem of hypocrisy. A hypocrite is a person who says one thing and does another, for example, a person who publicly denounces watching inappropriate videos, but watches them privately. Notice that the Savior teaches that we are to do the right thing for the right reason in both our public and private behavior.
Christ at temple in Americas

© 1995 Gary L. Kapp

Understanding the Scriptures

3 Nephi 13

Alms (vv. 1–4)Good deeds, donations
Hypocrites (vv. 2, 5, 16)People who say one thing and do another
Closet (v. 6)A private place in your house
Vain repetitions (v. 7)The same words repeated over and over without any thought or feeling
Heathen (v. 7)People who do not accept the gospel
Hallowed (v. 9)Holy, sacred
Countenance (v. 16)Appearance, face
Single (v. 22)Focused on righteousness, not distracted
Mammon (v. 24)Riches, worldliness
Raiment (vv. 25, 28)Clothing
Sow (v. 26)Plant
Reap (v. 26)Harvest
Cubit (v. 27)A unit of measurement (about 18 inches or 46 centimeters)
Stature (v. 27)Height
Toil (v. 28)Work
Spin (v. 28)Make cloth
Arrayed (v. 29)Beautifully dressed
Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof (v. 34)Each day has enough trouble of its own

3 Nephi 13:25–34—Do Not Worry about What You Eat, Drink, or Wear

Many people have misunderstood the Savior’s counsel to “take no thought for your life” in Matthew 6:25–34. Some have thought it meant they were not to worry about having a job and supporting themselves. The Nephite version of this sermon helps us to understand that this counsel was specifically given to the Twelve Apostles and to the twelve Nephite disciples, who were to forsake their worldly pursuits and devote all their energies to their calling. All Church members, however, could apply these principles to themselves by focusing more on spiritual matters and less on worldly cares.

Studying the Scriptures

Do one of the following activities (A–C) as you study 3 Nephi 13.

Activity A iconGive a Modern Example

Review 3 Nephi 13:1–24 and list the four examples Jesus gave of doing the right thing for the wrong reason. After each example, give a modern example of how a person could do those things for the right reasons.

Activity B iconMore Meaningful Prayer

little girl praying

Write about ways you would use 3 Nephi 13:5–15 to teach a short lesson on prayer to a class of young children. Include all of the ideas you would want to share from these verses and how they apply to the members of the class.

Activity C iconThink of an Application

Describe at least two situations common to people your age that involve making many decisions. In what ways might the Savior’s counsel in 3 Nephi 13:19–20, 33 help to make righteous decisions?