3 Nephi 6: From Righteousness to "Awful Wickedness"

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 160–161


Think about someone your age who is righteous and has a strong testimony. Imagine that four years from now you see that person again and he or she is involved in all sorts of wickedness. What could have happened over those four years? How could it have happened so quickly when that person’s testimony was so strong? That is very similar to the story in 3 Nephi 6. The chapter begins in the 26th year after Christ’s birth and ends in the 30th year. As you read what happened to the Nephites in so short a time, pay attention to the reasons Mormon gave for their rapid fall.

Understanding the Scriptures

3 Nephi 6

Devoured (v. 2)Eaten
Wherewith to subsist upon (v. 3)Enough to survive
Hinder (v. 5)Stop, prevent
Disputings (v. 10)Arguments, contentions
Distinguished (v. 12)Separated, recognized
Ignorant (v. 12)Unlearned, uneducated
Railing, revile (v. 13)Insult, denounce
Penitent (v. 13)Repentant
Contrary (v. 24)Against
Kindreds (v. 27)Family members
Set at defiance (v. 30)Disobey, defy

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you study 3 Nephi 6.

Activity A iconMake a Road Map

  1. 1.

    In your notebook, draw a road map that starts in the “State of Righteousness” and ends in the “State of Awful Wickedness.” Carefully study 3 Nephi 6:9–18, and insert points on the map that represent the “places” the people went through on their way down to a state of awful wickedness. Give each point a name that describes what the Nephites did that demonstrated their movement away from righteousness and note the verse where you found it.

  2. 2.

    Add another road to your map that leads to eternal life. As with the other road, label points that represent what a few people did in 3 Nephi 6 to remain righteous even when almost everyone else was traveling toward wickedness.

road map to eternal life chart

Activity B iconSerious Consequences

  1. 1.

    In your own words, summarize what Mormon noted was especially wrong about the wickedness of the people in 3 Nephi 6:17–18.

  2. 2.

    What does Mosiah 2:36–39 say are some consequences of such attitudes and behaviors?