Understanding the Scriptures
|All things common (v. 3)||Everyone recognized that all they had came from the Lord, and so they willingly shared what they had with others and for the building up of the kingdom of God.|
|Wrought (v. 5)||Done|
|Stead (vv. 9, 19)||Place|
|Tumults (v. 16)||Disturbances, rebellions|
|Lasciviousness (v. 16)||Lustfulness, sexual sins|
|Apparel (v. 24)||Clothing|
|Classes (v. 26)||Social groups based on money or popularity|
|Dwindle (vv. 34, 38)||Fall gradually away|
|Adorn (v. 41)||Decorate|
|Vain (v. 43)||Selfish|
|Traffic in all manner of traffic (v. 46)||Buy and sell many things, trade|
|Constrained (v. 48)||Commanded|
|Remnant (v. 49)||Descendants, remainder|
Studying the Scriptures
Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study 4 Nephi.
The Happiest People
In 4 Nephi 1:16, Mormon wrote there could not have been a happier people than the people described in 4 Nephi 1:1–22. List at least five principles found in these verses that you believe were most influential in leading them to this happiness.
According to 4 Nephi 1:15, what was the single reason contention was eliminated? Explain why you think that quality of the people made the difference.
Conduct an Interview
Imagine that a group of young people from the time described in 4 Nephi 1:1–22 were available to be interviewed in our day. Write three questions you think young people from our day would want to ask them. Then write the answers you think they might give, based on what you read in 4 Nephi.
The Steps Leading Downward
Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, taught, “Sin, like a journey, begins with the first step” (The Miracle of Forgiveness , 214). In 4 Nephi, Nephite society lived in obedience to God’s commandments for the first half of the chapter, but by the end they had become extremely wicked. In your notebook, draw a set of stairs leading downward. There should be from five to eight steps. On the top step, write what 4 Nephi seems to indicate was the first step the people took that led them down and list the verse in which you learned it. Continue labeling each step with what the rest of 4 Nephi teaches were the other steps downward, leading the people away from the kind of life the Lord would have them live.
By the end of 4 Nephi, very few people in their society could have been considered righteous. Next to each step on your diagram, briefly write what you think the righteous people might have done to remain righteous when the rest of their society took that step downward.
How do you think it might have felt to have been among the few living true to the teachings of Jesus Christ by the end of 4 Nephi? What challenges do you think a righteous person would have faced then?
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