3 Nephi 8–10

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 215–217


Introduction

The prophet Zenos prophesied that the Crucifixion of Christ would be accompanied by storms, fires, earthquakes, and three days of darkness (see 1 Nephi 19:10–14). The fulfillment of this prophecy is recorded in 3 Nephi 8–10. Amid these upheavals, the whole face of the land was changed, and many people and cities were destroyed, but the “more righteous part of the people” were spared (3 Nephi 10:12). The Lord comforted His people by speaking to them.

One truth we can learn from 3 Nephi 8–10 is that in the face of suffering we can find peace and hope by heeding the words of Jesus Christ. As you read these chapters, look for what the Lord teaches us will lead us to hope and salvation.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • To use the power of the priesthood in our lives, we must be worthy (see 3 Nephi 8:1; see also D&C 50:29; 121:34–46).

  • Those who kill the prophets or reject their testimony will eventually be destroyed, while the righteous will be blessed (see 3 Nephi 8:5–25; 9:5–13; 10:12–13, 18–19; see also D&C 1:14; 97:21–26).

  • Christ offers comfort, joy, and eternal life to those who come unto Him through the principles and ordinances of the gospel (see 3 Nephi 9:14–10:10).

  • The law of Moses was fulfilled in the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, and burnt offerings are no longer required. Instead, the Lord requires the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit (see 3 Nephi 9:16–20).

Additional Resources

  • Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 114–15.

Suggestions for Teaching

weekly icon3 Nephi 8:1–9:14. Those who kill the prophets or reject their testimony will eventually be destroyed, while the righteous will be blessed. (20–25 minutes)

Darken your classroom as much as possible, or have students close their eyes. Invite students to listen as you read 3 Nephi 8:1–23 (you could use an audio recording), and have them try to visualize the events depicted in these verses. When you finish, ask:

  • What most impressed you about these verses?

  • What did you feel while listening to the verses?

  • What do you imagine the people who experienced this destruction felt?

Invite students to read Matthew 27:45–54 and look for what happened at Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified. Ask:

  • What similarities do you see to what happened in the Americas?

  • Why do you think darkness and destruction accompanied the death of Jesus Christ?

  • Read John 8:12. How does this verse help you understand the darkness that accompanied His death?

Read 3 Nephi 9:10–14 and ask:

  • How did the darkness and destruction affect the righteous? the wicked?

  • What reasons did the Lord give for destroying the wicked?

Tell students that there will also be destruction and calamities before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Testify that we can be blessed and protected in those times. Have students read Doctrine and Covenants 1:14; 109:22–26 to discover how or where we can find this protection in our day. Have them read 3 Nephi 11:1 looking for where the Nephite people gathered after the destruction. Share the following statement by Elder Lance B. Wickman, a member of the Seventy:

“Climbing atop the Mount of Olives with his disciples, the Savior prophesied the cataclysmic events that would precede the destruction of Jerusalem and his second coming. He then issued this portentous admonition to his disciples, ancient and modern: ‘Then you shall stand in the holy place; whoso readeth let him understand’ (Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:12; italics added; see also Matthew 24:15). Latter-day revelations provide understanding. They teach that in our day, amidst strife and catastrophe and pestilence, there are two kingdoms locked in grim struggle for the souls of men—Zion and Babylon. More than once they repeat the injunction to ‘stand in holy places’ for a refuge from these storms of latter-day life (D&C 45:32; see also D&C 87:8; 101:16–23). Prominent among such holy places, and key to all the others, is the temple of the Lord” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 110; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 82–83).

3 Nephi 8–10. Christ offers comfort, joy, and eternal life to those who come unto Him through the principles and ordinances of the gospel. (30–35 minutes)

Invite students to tell about the most devastating natural disaster they have experienced and how it affected them. Or ask them to give details of a terrible natural disaster they have seen in the news. Ask:

  • How did this disaster affect the community where it occurred?

  • What was done to help the community and the families living there recover from the destruction?

Invite students to quickly read 3 Nephi 8:1–22 looking for details of the destructions in the Americas at the death of Jesus Christ. Ask:

  • How do these events compare with the natural disasters you have witnessed or read about?

  • Read 3 Nephi 8:23–25. How did this destruction affect the people who survived?

Invite students to find answers to the following questions by reading the accompanying scriptures:

Tell students that the Lord spoke to the people during this time of darkness and distress and offered peace and comfort. Share the following statement by Elder Robert D. Hales, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“The fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ brings great comfort in stressful times of mortality. It brings light where there is darkness and a calming influence where there is turmoil. It gives eternal hope where there is mortal despair. It is more than just beautiful doctrine. It is a reality in our lives that if we can be obedient and obtain the eternal rewards that God grants us, if we will draw nigh unto Him and embrace the eternal doctrine, we will be blessed” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 89; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 66).

Have students read 3 Nephi 9:14–10:10. Invite them to share parts of the Savior’s message that they think would provide hope, comfort, and light, and discuss these as a class. Ask:

  • How do you think the Savior’s message would help console the people?

  • How can His message help give us comfort and peace?