Unit 27: Day 1, 3 Nephi 23

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 269–70


Introduction

After quoting the words of Isaiah, Jesus Christ commanded the Nephites to search the words of the prophets. The Savior also corrected the Nephites for not being diligent in their record keeping.

3 Nephi 23:1–5

Jesus Christ commands the people to search the words of the prophets

Ponder your experiences with studying the scriptures during this past year. Write a few words or short phrases that describe blessings that have come into your life as a result of your study of the scriptures. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As you look over your list, consider what these blessings may teach you about the importance of scripture study.

After quoting some of the teachings of Isaiah (see 3 Nephi 22), the Savior commanded the people to diligently search the words of Isaiah and the prophets. Read 3 Nephi 23:1–5, and identify why the Savior said we should search the words of Isaiah and the prophets. Consider marking words and phrases that will help you remember what you learned.

One reason we are commanded to study the words of Isaiah is because “he spake as touching all things concerning [the Lord’s covenant] people which are of the house of Israel” (3 Nephi 23:2). Because you have made covenants with the Lord, you are part of the house of Israel. Isaiah’s writings pertain to you. Another reason we should study Isaiah’s words is because they will all be fulfilled (see 3 Nephi 23:3).

Notice in 3 Nephi 23:1 that Jesus Christ specifically commanded the Nephites to “search [the words of Isaiah] diligently.”

  1. journal icon1.

    Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      What do you think is the difference between reading the words of the prophets and diligently searching them?

    2. b.

      What scripture study methods can help you search the words of Isaiah and the prophets effectively and meaningfully? (You may want to review the lesson Unit 1: Day 1, “Studying the Scriptures,” to remember some important scripture study helps.)

Elder Merrill J. Bateman, an emeritus member of the Seventy, noted some blessings that come into our lives as we search the words of the prophets: “There are certain blessings obtained when one searches the scriptures. As a person studies the words of the Lord and obeys them, he or she draws closer to the Savior and obtains a greater desire to live a righteous life. The power to resist temptation increases, and spiritual weaknesses are overcome. Spiritual wounds are healed” (“Coming unto Christ by Searching the Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 28).

Read 3 Nephi 23:5, and look for the promise the Savior gave all of us if we study and act upon the invitations in scripture.

  1. journal icon2.

    Imagine you have a friend or family member who is struggling to study the scriptures regularly. Using what you learned in 3 Nephi 23:1–5, write what you might say to encourage this person to study the words of the prophets diligently and have a meaningful experience with the scriptures.

3 Nephi 23:6–14

Jesus Christ chastises His disciples for failing to record important events

Read the following statement from President Spencer W. Kimball:

President Spencer W. Kimball

“The Lord Jesus Christ Himself emphasized the great importance of record keeping to the Nephites and Lamanites [see 3 Nephi 23:6–13]. …

“I am glad that it was not I who was reprimanded, even though mildly and kindly, for not having fulfilled the obligation to keep my records up to date. …

“… Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events” (“The Angels May Quote from It,” New Era, Feb. 2003, 32, 34–35).

The remainder of 3 Nephi 23 contains the account President Kimball described, when the Savior chastised the Nephites for not including some important events in their records. Read 3 Nephi 23:6–11, and identify what the Nephites had failed to record. Why do you think it was important for the Nephites to record the fulfillment of this prophecy made by Samuel the Lamanite? How does having that record in the Book of Mormon help us in our day?

  1. journal icon3.

    Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why might it be important for you to write down the spiritual events and promptings that occur in your life?

If there has been a recent spiritual event in your life that you have failed to record, consider writing it in your personal journal now. A simple notebook or pad of paper is sufficient for keeping a personal journal. Read 3 Nephi 23:12–14, and look for what the Savior did after the Nephites obeyed the commandment to write down the fulfillment of Samuel the Lamanite’s prophecy.

The Savior “expounded all the scriptures,” which means that He explained the meaning of the scriptures.

Read 3 Nephi 24:1, and notice similarities between the first part of this verse and what occurred in 3 Nephi 23:12–14. Notice that after the Nephites recorded what Jesus Christ taught them, He gave them more knowledge and revelation by expounding upon those things.

Based upon what you have learned from 3 Nephi 23:6–14, complete the following principle: As I write down sacred promptings and events, I invite ____________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Among other possibilities, you could have completed the above principle this way: As I write down sacred promptings and events, I invite the Lord to give me more revelation.

To more fully understand the truth you have learned, read the following two statements from Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Elder Richard G. Scott

“Knowledge carefully recorded is knowledge available in time of need. Spiritually sensitive information should be kept in a sacred place that communicates to the Lord how you treasure it. That practice enhances the likelihood of your receiving further light” (“Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 88).

“Write down in a secure place the important things you learn from the Spirit. You will find that as you write down precious impressions, often more will come. Also, the knowledge you gain will be available throughout your life” (“To Acquire Knowledge and the Strength to Use It Wisely,” Ensign, June 2002, 32).

  1. journal icon4.

    Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      Why do you think writing down the revelations we have received from the Lord may help us receive more revelation?

    2. b.

      How can taking time to write about the Lord’s influence in our lives help us feel grateful for our blessings and express our gratitude to Him?

You may be concerned that you have not had special or sacred experiences that would be valuable enough to record. Elder John H. Groberg, an emeritus member of the Seventy, addressed this concern: “Some people say, ‘I don’t have anything to record. Nothing spiritual happens to me.’ I say, ‘Start recording, and spiritual things will happen. They are there all the time, but we become more sensitive to them as we write’” (“Writing Your Personal and Family History,” Ensign, May 1980, 48).

You can begin to apply what you have learned about recording spiritual experiences by carrying a piece of paper, notebook, or journal with you for the next week. Record any promptings, impressions, experiences, or feelings you have throughout the week. Also record how you feel impressed to act upon those promptings you receive. After you have followed through with those actions, write about your experience.

Tell someone (a family member, friend, or Church leader) about your plan to keep a record of your spiritual experiences. Consider inviting this person to join you in this effort by recording some of his or her own spiritual experiences. By inviting another person to do this project with you, you can encourage and report your progress to each other. However, you should remember that it is not necessary—and may not be appropriate—to share your sacred experiences with one another.

  1. journal icon5.

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

    I have studied 3 Nephi 23 and completed this lesson on (date).

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