3 Nephi 27–30

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 236–240


Introduction

“The sequence and circumstance of Christ’s third day of ministering to the Nephites is not entirely clear in the text we have been given, but Mormon did record that ‘the Lord truly did teach the people, for the space of three days; and after that he did show himself unto them oft, and did brake bread oft, and bless it, and give it unto them’ [3 Nephi 26:13]. …

“From that time forth, the disciples began to teach, baptize, and confer the Holy Ghost upon as many as sought the privilege. The new converts, as with the children whom they were like in many ways, ‘saw and heard unspeakable things, which [were] not lawful to be written.’ With such conversion and infusion of the Spirit, all self-centeredness and vanity were swept away, and they did ‘minister one to another; and they had all things common among them, every man dealing justly, one with another. And it came to pass that they did do all things even as Jesus had commanded them’ [3 Nephi 26:18–20]” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant, 301–2).

The final chapters of 3 Nephi give an account of a visit of the Lord to His twelve disciples some time after His three-day ministry among the Nephites. The Savior expounded significant doctrines concerning His gospel and gave promises and powers to the Nephite twelve. The book ends with a powerful call to repentance by the Savior to those of us in the latter days.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • The true Church of Jesus Christ is called by His name and built on His gospel (see 3 Nephi 27:5–12; see also D&C 115:3–4).

  • The foundation of the gospel is that Jesus Christ obeyed Heavenly Father’s will and atoned for the sins of all mankind. Because of the Savior’s Atonement, if we exercise faith in Him, repent, are baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end, we can receive eternal life (see 3 Nephi 27:9–22; see also D&C 76:40–42).

  • Jesus Christ will judge all mankind according to their works (see 3 Nephi 27:14, 23–27; see also John 5:22).

  • Transfiguration is a temporary change in a physical body so it can abide the glory of God. Translated beings undergo a similar change, but they remain in that state until they are resurrected. Translated beings are no longer subject to physical pain, nor will they taste of death (see 3 Nephi 28:4–40; see also D&C 67:10–12; Moses 1:11).

  • The Lord has commanded us to repent of our sins and come unto Him. Those who reject Him will be cursed (see 3 Nephi 29–30).

Additional Resources

  • Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 126–27.

Suggestions for Teaching

3 Nephi 27:1–12. The true Church of Jesus Christ is called by His name and built on His gospel. (20–25 minutes)

Divide the class into groups of four. Have each group imagine that they are going to start an organization (such as a club or sports team). Give them a few minutes to decide what kind of organization they would like to start and to write it on a piece of paper. Have them also choose a name for their organization and write it on the other side of the paper. Collect the papers.

Read one at a time the names the groups chose for their organizations, and see if the class members can guess the type of organization based on the name. Discuss the following questions:

  • Why is the selection of a name important for an organization?

  • What might a name tell about an organization?

  • Why is the name chosen for a church also important?

  • What might the name of a church tell you about it?

Read 3 Nephi 27:1–3 and look for the question Jesus’s disciples had. Ask:

  • Why do you think the disciples raised this question?

  • Read verses 4–8. What did Jesus Christ teach them about the name of the Church?

  • What did He say to show the importance of using His name?

  • Read verses 9–12. What else did the Savior teach about His Church?

  • Why is it important to know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints not only has His name in its title but is also built upon His gospel?

Tell students that Elder Russell M. Nelson gave a talk about the name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He shared important information regarding each word in the Church’s name. Review each of these points with students as time permits. If possible, make copies of these points and give them to students as a handout.

The Church

“The first two words of the name the Lord chose for His earthly organization are The Church.

“Note that the article The begins with a capital letter. This is an important part of the title, for the Church is the official organization of baptized believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ (see D&C 10:67–69; 18:21–25). …

“The Church is the way by which the Master accomplishes His work and bestows His glory. Its ordinances and related covenants are the crowning rewards of our membership. While many organizations can offer fellowship and fine instruction, only His church can provide baptism, confirmation, ordination, the sacrament, patriarchal blessings, and the ordinances of the temple—all bestowed by authorized priesthood power. That power is destined to bless all children of our Heavenly Father, regardless of their nationality” (in Conference Report, Mar.–Apr. 1990, 20; or Ensign, May 1990, 18).

Jesus Christ

“By divine directive, the title of the Church bears the sacred name of Jesus Christ, whose church this is (see D&C 115:3–4). …

“We worship God the Eternal Father in the name of His Son by the power of the Holy Ghost. We know the premortal Jesus to be Jehovah, God of the Old Testament. We know Him to be ‘the chief corner stone’ upon which the organization of His church is based (Ephesians 2:20). We know Him to be the Rock from whom revelation comes to His authorized agents (see 1 Corinthians 10:4; Helaman 5:12) and to all who worthily seek Him (see D&C 88:63)” (in Conference Report, Mar.–Apr. 1990, 19; or Ensign, May 1990, 17).

Latter-day

“It is true that scriptures foretell the final days of the earth’s temporal existence as a telestial sphere. The earth will then be renewed and receive its paradisiacal, or terrestrial, glory (see Articles of Faith 1:10). Ultimately, the earth will become celestialized (see Revelation 21:1; D&C 77:1; 88:25–26). But its last days must be preceded by its latter days!” (in Conference Report, Mar.–Apr. 1990, 18; or Ensign, May 1990, 17).

Saints

“A saint is a believer in Christ and knows of His perfect love. The giving saint shares in a true spirit of that love, and the receiving saint accepts in a true spirit of gratitude. A saint serves others. …

“A saint ‘refrain[s] from idleness’ (Alma 38:12) and seeks learning by study and also by faith. …

“A saint is honest and kind, paying financial obligations promptly and fully, treating others as she or he would want to be treated. …

“A saint is an honorable citizen, knowing that the very country which provides opportunity and protection deserves support, including prompt payment of taxes and personal participation in its legal political process (see D&C 134:5).

“A saint resolves any differences with others honorably and peacefully and is constant in courtesy—even in traffic at the rush hour.

“A saint shuns that which is unclean or degrading and avoids excess even of that which is good.

“Perhaps above all, a saint is reverent. Reverence for the Lord, for the earth He created, for leaders, for the dignity of others, for the law, for the sanctity of life, and for chapels and other buildings are all evidences of saintly attitudes. …

“A reverent saint loves the Lord and gives highest priority to keeping His commandments. Daily prayer, periodic fasting, and payment of tithes and offerings are privileges important to a faithful saint.

“Finally, a saint is one who receives the gifts of the Spirit that God has promised to all His faithful sons and daughters (see Joel 2:28–29; Acts 2:17–18)” (in Conference Report, Mar.–Apr. 1990, 18; or Ensign, May 1990, 16–17).

3 Nephi 27:13–33. The foundation of the gospel is that Jesus Christ obeyed Heavenly Father’s will and atoned for the sins of all mankind. Because of the Savior’s Atonement, if we exercise faith in Him, repent, are baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end, we can receive eternal life. (25–30 minutes)

Display a large number of pictures related to Christ and the gospel. You could use the following from the Gospel Art Picture Kit:

  • Adam and Eve Teaching Their Children (no. 119)

  • The Birth of Jesus (no. 200)

  • John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus (no. 208)

  • Christ Ordaining the Apostles (no. 211)

  • Jesus Healing the Blind (no. 213)

  • Christ and the Children (no. 216)

  • The Good Samaritan (no. 218)

  • The Prodigal Son (no. 220)

  • The Last Supper (no. 225)

  • Jesus Washing the Apostles’ Feet (no. 226)

  • Jesus Praying in Gethsemane (no. 227)

  • The Crucifixion (no. 230)

  • Mary and the Resurrected Lord (no. 233)

  • Jesus the Christ (no. 240)

  • The First Vision (no. 403)

  • Salt Lake Temple (no. 502)

  • Latter-day Prophets (no. 506)

  • Baptism (no. 601)

  • The Gift of the Holy Ghost (no. 602)

  • Blessing the Sacrament (no. 603)

  • Young Boy Praying (no. 605)

Have students think about what the word gospel means. Invite them to choose the picture they feel best illustrates what they think the gospel is. Have some of them share what picture they chose and why.

Have students look up the definition of the word gospel in their Bible Dictionary. (Good news; see “Gospels,” p. 682.) Read 3 Nephi 27:13, 21 and ask students to mark the phrases this is the gospel and this is my gospel. Explain that the verses between these two phrases contain a good description from the Savior Himself of what the gospel is. Read verses 13–21 and ask:

  • According to the Savior, what is the gospel?

  • Why is that “good news”?

  • Would you select a different picture to represent the gospel after reading these verses? If yes, which picture would you choose and why?

Invite students to read the first paragraph in the Bible Dictionary under “Gospels,” and ask what it adds to their understanding. Study 3 Nephi 27:22–33 as a class, pausing as you read to consider the following questions:

  • What blessing comes to those who do the works of the Savior? (see v. 22).

  • How does the gospel help us become like Jesus Christ? (see v. 27).

  • How do you feel about the commandment to become as He is?

  • Why is the promise in verse 29 so important?

  • When have you experienced the fulfillment of this promise?

  • What do verses 30–31 tell us about the Nephites in that day?

  • What do you think it would be like to live in a generation where none were lost spiritually?

  • Why do you think the path that leads to life is narrow? (see v. 33).

  • What can we do to ensure that we are among those who “find it”?

  • How can we apply the Savior’s teachings about the gospel in our personal lives? our homes? at Church activities? at school?

scripture mastery icon 3 Nephi 27:27 (Scripture Mastery). We should strive to become like Jesus Christ. (15–20 minutes)

Bring magazines, books, or newspapers to class that contain pictures of famous people. Distribute the magazines among class members and ask them to find a picture of a person they admire. Have them tell who they selected. Discuss the following questions:

  • If you could trade places with any of these people for a day, who would you choose? Why?

  • What characteristics do these people have that you admire?

Read 3 Nephi 27:27 and ask:

  • Who are we commanded to become like? (see also 3 Nephi 12:48).

  • What characteristics does Jesus Christ have that we need to develop?

  • Why should we focus more on Him than on other famous or popular people?

Encourage students to look to the Savior as their primary example. Discuss what we could do to help us become more like Jesus Christ. This might include:

  • Placing a picture of Him in our bedroom or home.

  • Memorizing some of His sayings or teachings.

  • Listening to music that includes lyrics about Him.

  • Studying about Him in the scriptures.

  • Praying regularly.

Give students a few minutes to find a scripture that describes a characteristic of Jesus Christ that they admire. Invite them to share the trait they selected and why. Encourage them to apply what they have discussed and to strive to become as the Savior would have them be.

3 Nephi 28. Transfiguration is a temporary change in a physical body so it can abide the glory of God. Translated beings undergo a similar change, but they remain in that state until they are resurrected. Translated beings are no longer subject to physical pain, nor will they taste of death. (40–45 minutes)

Have a student come to the front of the room. Tell the student: Imagine you have been granted one wish. The wish can be anything except to receive more wishes. What would you wish for and why?

Read 3 Nephi 28:1 and ask the class:

  • After the Savior had taught the Nephite disciples and given them commandments, what did He ask them?

  • Read verses 2, 4–6. What did nine of the disciples desire?

  • What do you think of their desire?

  • What did the other three desire?

  • What did the Savior say about their desire?

  • If you had a choice between those two desires, which would you choose and why?

Show students a gift-wrapped box. Discuss the following questions:

  • When was the last time you received a gift?

  • How anxious were you to open it? Why?

Read 3 Nephi 28:3, 7–12 and ask if the Savior granted each of His disciples the gift they desired.

Explain that the rest of 3 Nephi 28 could be compared to opening a gift. Jesus Christ told the three Nephite disciples that they would be translated, and verses 13–40 show them receiving that gift.

Group students into pairs. Have each pair read 3 Nephi 28:13–40 and answer the following questions on a piece of paper:

  • What do these verses teach about translation? (List each detail and the verse or verses where it is found.)

  • What questions do you have after reading these verses?

Invite one pair of students to read their list to the class. Ask how many other groups found the same details. Invite any who found additional details to share them with the class. Have students share the questions they have about translated beings, and discuss those questions as a class. (The commentary for 3 Nephi 28 in Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122 [pp. 126–27] may be helpful in answering students’ questions.)

3 Nephi 29–30. The Lord has commanded us to repent of our sins and come unto Him. Those who reject Him will be cursed. (15–20 minutes)

Give students five minutes to find several scriptures from the New Testament in which the Savior is treated cruelly. (If they need help, you could suggest they use the harmony of the Gospels in the Bible Dictionary [pp. 684–96].) Invite students to share some of the scriptures they found, and then discuss the following questions:

  • Why do you think people treated the Savior this way?

  • How do you feel about the way they treated the Savior?

  • If you could have talked to these people, what would you have said to them?

Tell students that 3 Nephi 29:1–4 teaches that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is a sign that the Lord has begun to gather Israel and fulfill His covenants. Have students read verse 4 and mark the word spurn. Ask: What do you think this word means? Have them read verses 5–9 to find what the word means in this scripture. Discuss the following questions:

  • What warning did the Savior give to those who spurn Him in the latter days?

  • What does wo mean in the scriptures? (It is a stern warning that misery or grief will come to those who do not repent.)

  • What do you think about the Savior’s warnings?

  • In what ways do people spurn the Savior in our day?

  • What can you do to show greater love for the Savior?

Read 3 Nephi 30:1 and look for who commanded Mormon to write the words in verse 2. Read verse 2 and ask students to summarize the Savior’s words. Ask: How do you feel about this warning?

As you conclude teaching 3 Nephi, consider discussing the following questions:

  • What did you enjoy most in 3 Nephi?

  • What part of the Savior’s teachings most impressed you?

  • Why do you think this account of the Savior’s ministry among the Nephites is such an essential part of the Book of Mormon?

  • How has your life changed because of your study of 3 Nephi?

Invite students to share their testimonies of the truths they learned in 3 Nephi.