3 Nephi 18-20: ALWAYS HAVE MY SPIRIT TO BE WITH YOU—CEASE NOT TO PRAY IN YOUR HEARTS!
3rd Nephi 18:
Gave sacrament to all—about 2500 people—disciples provide—later the Lord’s miraculously provides it
Lord’s true church is a kingdom of order—done by proper priesthood authority –can’t ordain yourself
Read: Verse 5: one be ordained among you and to him will I give power
Can’t call yourself as an ordained minister—difference between us and all other religions—we are a RESTORED church, not reformed. Reformation was necessary—can’t reform what’s gone or corrupted. If bread is moldy, can’t revive it; must begin again–make a new loaf of bread.
READ V 6, 7, 10—do in remembrance of my body
partaking of the sacrament—it shows obedience
- Why does he want us to take it so often? Why is it a commandment? To remind us of our commandments—stir us up to remembrance of them.
READ V 11—wine/bread
Bread and water are the two most basic elements to sustain life. In a similar way, Jesus, who is the “bread of life” (John 6:35), and the “living water” (Jeremiah 17:13), is the basic element to sustain our spiritual life. (“Seek These Things Diligently,” Brian Gardner)
READ v 12,13—build on the true foundation
Helaman 5:12—solid rock foundation, not sandy
APOSTASY: great challenge to keep doctrinally pure. That is one of the vital blessings of having apostles and prophets to lead the church, to keep the doctrine pure/right path.
One of the ways people go into apostasy (fall away from the church) is by adding to, embellishing, or taking away from the simple ordinances and teachings which Jesus has given us.
Examples of this—modern day: baptism, original sin, repentance/forgiveness, just faith—no works, minister without correct authority, man made doctrines introduced; original doctrines changed or omitted
PRAYER: READ 15-20
READ V 20—key to getting answers to your prayers
Inspired learning: pray in the spirit to get answers in prayer
“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, WHICH IS RIGHT, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given you.”
- Why should we only ask for “that which is right” in prayers?
“The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.” (LDS Bible Dictionary, s.v. “Prayer”)
“The Savior reminds us that faith, no matter how strong it is, cannot produce a result contrary to the will of him whose power it is. The exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is always subject to the order of heaven, to the goodness and will and wisdom and timing of the Lord. That is why we cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will.” (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, May 1994, 100).
Ask in faith, but also ask for that “which is right.” We must be in harmony with the will of the Lord, so that it is for our best good. When you have the spirit you will ask for what you should and not what you shouldn’t . Hard to do—be in tune.
Examples: D & C 46:30—discussed before
“He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as He asketh.”
Savior’s example of the importance of prayer:
Pray together in families and at church
Read v 22-25: How you treat non-members: welcome and set example for them
Don’t forbid anyone from meeting with you/bid them to stay and “come unto me.”
Inspired learning: follow Christ’s example exactly
- How important is Christ’s example to us?
What did he just set the example of what to do?
PRAY—in our families, when you meet together, for others
Elder Holland teaches us so beautiful about the Savior’s example:
“The praying Christ: that is the example to which we are to point others. The Christ of humility. The Christ of spiritual communion. The Christ who is dependent upon His Father. The Christ who asks for blessings upon others. The Christ who calls down the power of heaven. The Christ who submits, yields, and obeys the will of the Father. The Christ who is one with the Father in at least one way that we may be united with Him as well through prayer. That is the light we are to show to the world. It is the image of Christ.” (Jeffrey Holland, Ensign, Jan 1996, 19)
READ V 28, 29
Speaks to apostles (calls them disciples)—instructions as church leaders concerning who should take sacrament/not unworthy—Bishop or stake president may instruct not to until worthiness is resolved
**Leaders have serious responsibilities–
Read commentary highlighted
Inspired learning: Importance of partaking of the sacraments—symbolism and covenants.
READ: Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation:
“I have often wondered if we full realize the significance and importance of the covenants we make in partaking of these emblems in remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is our duty carefully and thoughtfully to consider the nature of these prayers; when we hear them offered in our meetings.
There are four very important things we covenant to do each time we partake of these emblems, and in partaking, there is the token that we subscribe fully to the obligation, and thus they become biding upon us:
1) We eat in remembrance of the body of Jesus Christ, promising that we will always remember His wounded body slain upon the cross.
2) We drink in remembrance of the blood which was shed for the sins of the world, which atoned for the transgression of Adam, and which frees us from our own sins on condition of our true repentance.
3) We covenant that we will BE WILLING to take upon us the name of the Son and ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM. In keeping this covenant we promise that we will be called by his name, and never do anything that would bring shame or reproach upon that name.”
4) We covenant that we will keep His commandments which He has given us, not one commandment, but that we will be willing to ‘live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.’
“If we do these things, then we are promised the continual guidance of the Holy Ghost, and if we will not do these things, we will not have that guidance.”
Papa on the sacrament: taken to the “SOULS” not the body
Inspired learning: how we treat less actives/non-members
READ V 30-32: more instructions on non-members/not worthy members
PEARL V 32—“and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation to them.”
V 34—disputations if they should allow non-members or unworthy members to attend church.
We all know those who have found their way back—happy!
EXAMPLE OF “I SHALL HEAL THEM”—THEY WILL RETURN
Story of Steve Smith (cover of LDS Living–July/Aug 2018)
story of how he joined the church, fell away, taught against the church, and found and reclaimed his testimony again)
Felt the Lord say to him when he had worked to regain his testimony, “I’ve kept your testimony warm and safe. This time take care of it.” Smith recalls the Lord cupping His hands around the testimony and placing it on Smith’s heart. “He held it like a living thing when he gave it back to me. And I realized that it is a living thing, and if you don’t feed it and nourish it and nurture it, it will die.”
People had said they wish they could have just one miracle like he had. He responds that they probably have them too. Steve Smith: “You’re just not seeing them. Sometimes the Lord will open the waters, sometimes He’ll make the earth shake, sometimes He’ll cure the sick, sometimes He’ll raise the dead, but sometimes, He whispers.”
He said: “I want people to know that God loves them and that there is hope and that even when people have turned their backs on the Church, there is hope that they will come back. You should never give up on someone. My friend Mike never gave up—from 1999 to 2015, put name in temple weekly.” “I want people to know that God loves us, and He is intricately and acutely aware of us. He knows us us. He waits on us. He doesn’t give up on us even when we give up on Him.”
Inspired learning: God knows you/calling you/listen: This may be the situation with a family member you love, or even yourself—know that God is aware of each of us and is reaching for us, calling us to return, “Come Follow Me” he says.
Favorite part of the movie Count of Monte Cristo:
“Put your faith in God.”
“But I don’t believe in God.”
“That’s all right. He believes in YOU!”
NEVER GIVE UP ON LOVED ONES—ALWAYS HOPE TO RETURN!
This chapter contains much prayer and praying. If you count—28 occurences of these words
Names of 12 apostles—Timothy who Nephi raised—also chapter of instruction and ministering
12 got busy and began organizing themselves/teaching when they were taught—divided into groups of 12
righteous before—didn’t just happen—these men were obedient leaders before –now given more responsiblities
- What’s the value of proper delegation?
“As the church grows in total membership and regional distribution, wise delegation becomes more and more important—in fact, imperative for continued success.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings, 378)
Prayed in the name of Jesus
Did as they saw Jesus do—new people who arrived overnight
Same pattern as we see now
READ V 9—prayed for the most desirable thing—HG—greatest gift we can use to bless our lives—to many of us, we don’t value as much as should/most underrated gift
- What difference will the gift of the Holy Ghost make in my salvation?
“The receipt of that member of the Godhead (the Holy Ghost) as a gift and the enjoyment of the companionship of the Holy Spirit is ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION!” (Bruce R. McConkie, Promised Messiah, 560-61)
Verse 11, 12—don’t readNephi, apostles and all people were all re-baptized:
“When Christ appeared to the Nephites on this continent, he commanded them to be baptized, although they had been baptized previously for the remission of their sins . . . Then we read that the Savior commanded Nephi and the people to be baptized again because he had organized anew the church under the gospel . . .
“For the same reason Joseph Smith and those who had been baptized prior to April 6, 1830 (that baptism was for the remission of sins), were again baptized on the day of the organization of the Church . . .
“They had to be in order to come into the Church by the door.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:336).
Rebaptized like those in the restoration—up until now they had been baptized in compliance with the law of Moses, but now it was to be baptized into the Church the Savior Himself established
READ V 13, 14, 15: Holy Ghost fell upon the 12—received what they asked for—verse 9 fulfilled
JESUS AGAIN APPEARED—HAD THEM IMMEDIATELY PRAY
READ V 18:
- Why did the people pray to Jesus?
“Jesus was present before them as the symbol of the Father. Seeing Him, it was as though they saw the Father; praying to him, it was as though they prayed to the Father. It was a special and unique situation that as far as we know has taken place only once.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Promised Messiah, 561).
One of the things we need to wait to find out—only pray to the Father. V 22 examples
(Ridges—commentary) Could be that the word, “pray,” in this very limited context, could mean that they were praising and expressing appreciation and adoration to Him directly because He was with them. This is a special and unique situation and the fact that Jesus did not stop them should be sufficient for now.
READ V 22: “they pray unto me because I am with them.”
READ V 24: INSPIRED LEARNING–AGAIN: When HG is upon us, we say the things God inspires us to say—guided by inspiration
“It was given unto them what they should pray.”
“Perfect prayers are those which are inspired, in which the Spirit reveals the words which should be used.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 586).
READ Romans 8:26, 27
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
“If ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done.
But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask.” D&C 50:30
Key to getting answers to prayers—ask in a repentant state (cleansed from sin), and in the spirit—PRAY IN THE SPIRIT AND YOUR WILL IS THE SAME AS THE LORD’S—YOU WILL POSSESS THE MIND OF CHRIST
READ V 25: HIS COUNTENANCE DID “SMILE” UPON THEM
Nothing on earth that can compare with the purity and glory of celestial realm
Alma 5: “Have ye received His image in your countenance?”
Experience of seeing President Hunter—saw the countenance of the Savior through him
READ V 34
Elder Bruce R. McConkie was present in June 1978 when the First Presidency and the Twelve importuned the Lord for a revelation and subsequently learned that the priesthood would be available to all worthy males.
He said: “The Lord in his providences poured out the Holy Ghost upon the First Presidency and the Twelve in a miraculous and marvelous manner.” Speaking of this and other revelation, he continued, “There is no way to describe in language what is involved. This cannot be done . . . I cannot describe in words what happened.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Sermons and Writings, 167, 168-69)
READ D & C 76:114-16
- Raise your hand if you’ve had the spirit testify to your heart of something—can’t prove it, wouldn’t deny it.
We have all had similar experiences with the spirit. Can’t explain what is happening to you, how the Lord is touching your heart, changing it. Can’t prove to someone the church is true, but you can feel it in your heart.
D&C 8:2—“I will tell you in your heart and in your mind by the Holy Ghost”—works by feelings in your heart/impressions on your mind
- When have you felt this? Couldn’t describe or explain
Story of teaching principle of chastity at a fraternity/sorority gathering–spirit entered the room w/ power and changed discussion/feeling
READ 1: “not cease to pray in their hearts”
- Pray always—how do we?
Alma 37: 36, 37
“Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yet, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thank unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”
V 19 “continue in prayer unto Him.
Cry in your field, over your flocks (work)
In your houses/household—morning/mid-day & evening
Pray against the power of your enemies (not against your enemy, but against the POWER of your enemies—we are told to pray for our enemies)
Pray AGAINST THE DEVIL—his fate is sealed, it’s over
Pray over your crops that they may prosper
Pray over your flocks that they may increase (can pray to do better, for more material gain—to bless your families)
V 26 But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.
***V 27 Yea, and when you do not cry (pray formally) unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.
A much larger group has gathered now—some spent most of the night gathering people to the temple. He gives the sacrament first to his apostles, and then to the multitude. This is no doubt part of the disciples schooling to prepare them to lead the Church when Jesus departs (like JS was taught).
Jesus miraculously provides the sacrament for many more than 2500 people (more have come from different cities/areas), compares to Jesus feeding the 4000 and 5000 in Israel.
There is symbolism in this miracle—there had been no bread, or wine brought by his disciples:
Inspired learning: the Savior can provide things for us that cannot come from our own resources. (water is used today in place of wine, according to the instructions given by the Lord in D&C 27:1-4)
Read Verse 8:
Refers back to the Sermon on the Mount (inspired version):
Thus “never hunger or thirst,” can be a reference to those who “hunger and thirst after righteousness”—for “they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost” as they partake worthily of the sacrament emblems and keep covenants in their daily lives.
Being “filled” could also include being filled with peace found in the true gospel of Christ.
Partake worthily of the sacrament/reflect on it’s symbolism to the atonement
Value and use the gift of the HG—answer prayers—pray with the spirit so that the will of the Lord is revealed
Pray ON—do not cease to pray in your hearts
Follow the example of the Savior in all things—prayer/how we treat others—unbelievers/less-active
Conclusion scripture (3 Nephi 18:24)
“Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world (be good examples). Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do.”