Unit 26: Day 4, 3 Nephi 20–22

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 266–69


Introduction

During the second day of His ministry among the Nephites, Jesus Christ again administered the sacrament to the people. He testified that in the latter days the Father would fulfill His covenant to gather Israel and bless all the nations of the earth. He also explained that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the last days would be a sign that the Father had begun to fulfill this covenant.

3 Nephi 20:1–9

The Savior again administers the sacrament to the people

If you are a young man and hold the Aaronic Priesthood, ponder the following questions: What does it mean to you to be able to help administer the sacrament? How do you demonstrate to the Lord that you understand the sacred nature of this ordinance?

If you are a young woman or a young man who does not yet hold the priesthood, ponder the following questions: How do you feel when you see worthy young men administering the sacrament? What do you do during the administration of the sacrament that shows you understand its sacred nature?

As recorded in 3 Nephi 20:3–5, at the beginning of the second day of His ministry among the Nephites, the Savior miraculously provided bread and wine to again administer the sacrament. Read 3 Nephi 20:1, and identify what He asked the people to do just before He prepared and passed the sacrament. How do you think praying in your heart can affect your weekly experience of partaking of the sacrament?

Read 3 Nephi 20:8. Notice that the Nephites used wine at this time, but it is the current practice of the Church to use water (see D&C 27:2). Also notice what the bread and water represent. When we regularly partake of the sacrament, we show our willingness to make the Savior’s Atonement part of our lives.

According to 3 Nephi 20:8, what did Jesus Christ promise to those who partake of the sacrament? Think about the portion size of the bread and water in the sacrament. If you were physically hungry and thirsty, would the sacramental bread and water satisfy your hunger and thirst? To better understand how we can be filled by partaking of the sacrament, read 3 Nephi 20:9 and finish this principle: If we worthily partake of the sacrament, we can be filled with _____________________________________________.

Read the following statement from Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and underline ways he said you can be blessed as you are filled with the Spirit:

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

“Let us qualify ourselves for our Savior’s promise that by partaking of the sacrament we will ‘be filled’ (3 Ne. 20:8; see also 3 Ne. 18:9), which means that we will be ‘filled with the Spirit’ (3 Ne. 20:9). That Spirit—the Holy Ghost—is our comforter, our direction finder, our communicator, our interpreter, our witness, and our purifier—our infallible guide and sanctifier for our mortal journey toward eternal life.

“… Out of the seemingly small act of consciously and reverently renewing our baptismal covenants comes a renewal of the blessings of baptism by water and by the Spirit, that we may always have his Spirit to be with us. In this way all of us will be guided, and in this way all of us can be cleansed” (“Always Have His Spirit,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 61).

  1. journal icon1.

    Think of a time when you felt the Holy Ghost as you partook of the sacrament. Read the sacrament prayers in Moroni 4:3 and 5:2. How does partaking of the sacrament each week help you to be filled with the Holy Ghost? Write some of these ways in your scripture study journal.

3 Nephi 20:10–46

The Savior teaches the Nephites about covenants to be fulfilled in the last days

Think about some of your most important qualities. What type of qualities did you focus on? Were they physical characteristics, personality traits, or spiritual qualities?

Read the following statement by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and mark how he defined who we are: “You may enjoy music, athletics, or be mechanically inclined, and someday you may work in a trade or a profession or in the arts. As important as such activities and occupations can be, they do not define who we are. First and foremost, we are spiritual beings. We are sons [and daughters] of God and the seed of Abraham” (“Becoming a Missionary,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 47).

To be the seed of Abraham means that we are literal descendants of Abraham or we have become his sons and daughters through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. All receive the same promises and covenants God made with Abraham.

As recorded in 3 Nephi 20:11–13, the Savior taught the Nephites about the covenants and promises made to Abraham and his descendants, who are the house of Israel. He taught that the Father will fulfill His covenant to gather the house of Israel in the last days. Read 3 Nephi 20:13, and note what knowledge the house of Israel will gain as an essential part of this gathering. Why do you think this knowledge is essential?

Read 3 Nephi 20:25–26, and identify what the Savior taught about how the descendants of Lehi were blessed because of the covenant the Father made with Abraham. The Savior emphasized that the Father sent Him to visit the Nephites and save them from sin “because [they were] the children of the covenant” (3 Nephi 20:26).

  1. journal icon2.

    Write in your scripture study journal about how you have been blessed by the covenant you made with Heavenly Father at baptism. Because you have been baptized a member of the Church, you are the seed of Abraham and you have a responsibility to help fulfill the covenant God made with Abraham.

Read 3 Nephi 20:27, and mark phrases that teach the following principle: As the seed of Abraham, we have a covenant responsibility to bless all the people of the earth.

Elder David A. Bednar

As you read the following statement by Elder David A. Bednar, look for how—as the seed of Abraham—we are to bless all the people of the earth: “You and I, today and always, are to bless all peoples in all the nations of the earth. You and I, today and always, are to bear witness of Jesus Christ and declare the message of the Restoration. You and I, today and always, are to invite all to receive the ordinances of salvation. Proclaiming the gospel is not a part-time priesthood obligation. It is not simply an activity in which we engage for a limited time or an assignment we must complete as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rather, missionary work is a manifestation of our spiritual identity and heritage. We were foreordained in the premortal existence and born into mortality to fulfill the covenant and promise God made to Abraham. We are here upon the earth at this time to magnify the priesthood and to preach the gospel. That is who we are, and that is why we are here—today and always” (“Becoming a Missionary,” 47).

  1. journal icon3.

    Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      What can you do now, as a youth, to bless others in the world?

    2. b.

      Why do you think it is important for you to understand that you are of the seed of Abraham?

3 Nephi 21–22

Jesus Christ foretells the sign for the gathering of the house of Israel in the last days

As recorded in 3 Nephi 21–22, the Savior taught the Nephites many things about the last days—the time when the gospel would be restored to the earth and the Saints would prepare for His Second Coming.

  1. journal icon4.

    To help you discover what the Savior taught about the latter-day gathering of Israel, as recorded in 3 Nephi 21–22, read all of the scriptures in the left column of the following chart. Then choose two of the questions in the right column to answer in your scripture study journal.

Verses

Questions

Read 3 Nephi 21:1–2, 7. When the Book of Mormon comes forth in the last days, it will be a sign that the Father has begun gathering the house of Israel.

  1. a.

    When have you seen the Book of Mormon lead (or gather) someone, including yourself, to Jesus Christ and the covenants of the gospel?

Read 3 Nephi 21:9. The phrase “a great and a marvelous work” refers to the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  1. b.

    What do you think is great and marvelous about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Read 3 Nephi 21:10–11, and ponder how this description fits the Prophet Joseph Smith.

  1. c.

    Why is it essential to believe the words of the Lord that were brought forth through the Prophet Joseph Smith?

Read 3 Nephi 21:22. If people repent and do not harden their hearts, they will be numbered among the house of Israel.

  1. d.

    Why do you think repentance is necessary for a person to be gathered into God’s covenant people?

Read 3 Nephi 22:7–10, and look for the promises the Savior made to His covenant people who return to Him after forgetting the covenants they made with Him.

  1. e.

    Why do you think it is important to understand that the Lord shows everlasting kindness and mercy to those who have strayed from Him?

Think of someone with whom you can share your testimony of Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, the Restoration of the gospel, and the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith to help this person receive the blessings of the restored gospel. Also ponder how you can encourage others to come to the Lord, including those who were previously faithful in the gospel but no longer are. If you think of a specific individual, set a goal to act on the promptings you have received.

  1. journal icon5.

    Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied 3 Nephi 20–22 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: