Early in their ministry, after the second day of the resurrected Savior’s appearance among them, the twelve Nephite disciples met together in mighty prayer and fasting. Jesus Christ again appeared to them and answered their question about what the name of the Church should be. The Savior taught them that the Atonement is the essence of His gospel and that through the Atonement we may stand spotless before Him as we repent, are baptized, and endure to the end. In addition, He commanded His disciples to be like Him.
The Lord teaches the twelve disciples that His Church should bear His name
Imagine that you wanted to start a new club or sports team. Decide what type of club or team you would create, and then choose a name for your organization. Write down both the name and the kind of organization you chose: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Think about some organizations you know about and what their names signify about their purpose and the people who belong to them.
The twelve Nephite disciples continued to teach and baptize the people. On one occasion they were united in fasting and prayer when the Savior again visited them (see 3 Nephi 27:1–2). Read 3 Nephi 27:3–7, looking for the question the disciples asked and the Savior’s answer. You may wish to mark the reasons Jesus Christ gave for calling the Church in His name.
Search 3 Nephi 27:8–10, and mark what the Savior taught were indicators of His true Church. Finish the following phrase in your manual to indicate several key features of the true Church:
The true Church of Jesus Christ is ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
Think about why it is important that the true Church of Jesus Christ not only bears His name but is also built on His gospel (see 3 Nephi 27:8–10). The Savior promised the Nephites that if the Church is built upon His gospel, then Heavenly Father will show forth His works in it (see 3 Nephi 27:10). Ponder how you personally have seen Heavenly Father show His works in the Church.
In your scripture study journal, write Being a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ is important to me because … Then write a short paragraph describing your thoughts on the phrase. Try to include as many reasons as you can from what you learned while studying 3 Nephi 27:1–12.
Jesus Christ defines His gospel and teaches what we must do to stand guiltless before Him
Think of a time when you were caught doing something you knew was wrong. Recall how you felt when the truth about what you had done became known. Ponder the following questions: How would you feel standing before the Lord to be judged if there were still some wrong deeds you had not repented of? How would you feel standing before the Lord to be judged if there was no way to repent of any of the sins you committed during your life?
After teaching the Nephites that His Church must be built upon His gospel, the Savior went on to teach them what His gospel is. The word gospel literally means “good news” or “glad tidings.” Through the gospel there is still good news for all of us if we sin.
Read 3 Nephi 27:13–16, 19, and look for elements of the gospel that are good news for all of us. The foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that He did the will of His Father in accomplishing the Atonement. Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
To help you appreciate the greatness of this good news, read one or more of the following scripture passages and write a brief explanation in your scripture study journal about why the Atonement of Jesus Christ is such good news: 2 Nephi 9:8–10; Alma 34:14–16; Helaman 14:15–18.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles testified about why the gospel is good news for all people: “The ‘good news’ was that death and hell could be escaped, that mistakes and sins could be overcome, that there was hope, that there was help, that the insoluble was solved, that the enemy had been conquered. The good news was that everyone’s tomb could one day be empty, that everyone’s soul could again be pure, that every child of God could again return to the Father who gave them life” (“Missionary Work and the Atonement,” Ensign, Mar. 2001, 8, 10).
Have you ever heard someone say that we need to “live the gospel”? When someone invites us to “live the gospel,” they are usually inviting us to live the principles and receive the ordinances that invite the power of Jesus Christ’s Atonement into our lives so we can be saved. Search 3 Nephi 27:20–21 looking for what we must do to receive all the blessings of the Atonement and prepare for judgment.
Write If we _____________________________________________, then we will be able to stand spotless before Jesus Christ in your scripture study journal. Complete this phrase by writing in a gospel principle from 3 Nephi 27:20–21 that we must follow in order to stand spotless before the Lord. (You might identify several principles for the “if” part of this principle statement.) Then answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What can I do in my life right now to “live the gospel” more fully so that I can experience the power of the Atonement and stand spotless before God at the last day?
Ponder what it will be like one day to stand before Jesus Christ knowing that you have been made clean through His Atonement by obedience to the principles, commandments, and ordinances of His gospel.
Jesus Christ instructs His disciples to be like He is
As recorded at the end of 3 Nephi 27, Jesus Christ gave instructions to His twelve disciples and taught them about their role as leaders and judges of their people. Read 3 Nephi 27:27, and look for the commandment He gave the disciples to help them righteously fulfill their roles. Take a moment and think about the following questions:
Why would it be important for those who judge others to be like the Savior?
Referring back to 3 Nephi 27:21, what did the Savior command the disciples to do?
What is the relationship between doing the works of the Savior and becoming like Him?
Reread 3 Nephi 27:21, 27, and mark in your scriptures words and phrases that show that the Lord expects His disciples to emulate His works and become as He is.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal to help you apply the Savior’s teachings to be more like Him:
What opportunities did I have yesterday to be like the Savior?
How could I be more like the Savior today?
What works of the Savior could I do tomorrow at school or at home?
President Ezra Taft Benson taught that those who strive to become like Jesus Christ achieve true greatness: “That man is greatest and most blessed and joyful whose life most closely approaches the pattern of the Christ. This has nothing to do with earthly wealth, power, or prestige. The only true test of greatness, blessedness, joyfulness is how close a life can come to being like the Master, Jesus Christ. He is the right way, the full truth, and the abundant life” (“Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations,” Ensign, Dec. 1988, 2).
Write the following note at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied 3 Nephi 27 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher:
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