3 Nephi 2: Wonders amidst Wickedness and War

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 158


The “more part of the people” were converted when the signs of Christ’s birth were given (see 3 Nephi 1:22). Signs, however, do not convert people, but they do strengthen and confirm truths for those who are already converted. 3 Nephi 2 records what happened as the people whose conversions were based on the signs forgot about the wonders and events they had witnessed.

Understanding the Scriptures

3 Nephi 2

Reckon (v. 8)Count, calculate
Lay waste (v. 11)Destroy
Carnage (v. 11)Destruction, bloodshed
Compelled (v. 12)Forced

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study 3 Nephi 2.

Activity A iconDownward Steps

Although the change in the people’s attitudes you read about in 3 Nephi 2:3 seemed to occur quite quickly, it did not occur at once.

  1. 1.

    Make a diagram that represents the gradual steps some of the people took that brought them from a “great remission of sins” in 3 Nephi 1:23 to “great wickedness” in 3 Nephi 2:3. Label each step with phrases from 3 Nephi 1:27–2:3.

  2. 2.

    Make another diagram that represents the upward process toward greater spirituality. Identify what you can do to stay true to the gospel and increase your faith and testimony of Jesus Christ.

Activity B iconProtection Principles

  1. 1.

    What did the Nephites and Lamanites do to protect themselves and “gain some advantage” over the Gadianton robbers? (see 3 Nephi 2:11–12, 17).

  2. 2.

    What gave the Gadianton robbers “many advantages”? (see v. 18).

  3. 3.

    What do you think is the message of these incidents to modern Church members?