THE SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST COMES TO FULFILL PROPHECY
This is the chapter where the signs of the Savior’s death are given to the Nephites, as prophesied by Samuel the Lamanite (Helaman 14:20-28).
VIDEO youtube 3rd Nephi 8-11 (Christ Appears)—dramatic scene of destruction which had never been before, appearance of Jesus Christ
Continue – Verse 6: weather and obedience to God’s laws
“The Lord uses the weather sometimes to discipline his people for the violation of His laws.” (Spencer Kimball, Ensign, May 1977, 4).
Elder Holland explained it this way: “This was earth’s God being crucified, this was creation’s benefactor, this was ‘the God of nature’ suffering on the cross, and nature would not receive that injustice passively” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant, 43-44)
Verse 20-21: symbolism of darkness and light
(David Ridges commentary: The New Testament Made Easier) When Christ was born, there was light (day a night and a day—sun went down but still light). When He left the world, there was darkness. Likewise when we invite the Savior into our lives, there is “light” in our souls. When we cast Him out of our lives, there is great “darkness.”
When the darkness came, it signified that the Savior had been crucified, and it was absolute. The surviving Nephites were unable to create any light at all in the thick darkness. This could be symbolic of the fact that no other light can be made which can take the place of Christ. In other words, “there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ.” (Alma 38:9)
Such darkness is an important and stark reminder of how dependent we are on Christ and the light of His gospel.
Verses 24-25: regret that they hadn’t repented and lost their families
Prophecies always are fulfilled—count on it! Apply to prophecies today and what our prophet and leaders are saying we need to do to prepare for the 2nd coming.
(Ridges) Symbolism of Lord’s voice penetrating the darkness
Still completely dark for three days (time the Lord was in the tomb). While in the darkness, people hear the voice of the Savior.
Symbolism of the voice of the Lord penetrating through spiritual darkness, calling to the inhabitants of the world to come to Him and enjoy the light of the gospel.
*Apply to our lives—
Q How can we hear and obey the Lord’s voice who is calling to us while we are in darkness/struggling/disobedient?
Lord tells of great cities that were destroyed. Think of our cities today that no one would believe could be taken down because of wickedness.
Verses 5, 7-11: *The Lord uses the phrase “the blood of the prophets and the saints” five times in six verses to show that He keeps His promises to the faithful (verses 5, 7-11). Those who were persecuted and martyred did not cry to the Lord in vain; He did avenge them in His due time, not ours. Same is the case with those saints who died during the Restoration of the gospel. The saints are promised justice and that He will fight their battles ultimately, even if they’re killed.
In Lectures on Faith (School of the Prophets), Joseph Smith wrote this about justice from God to those saints who are wronged:
“. . . they (the saints) are enabled by faith to lay hold on the promises which are set before them, and wade through all the tribulations and afflictions to which they are subjected by reason of the persecution from those who know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, believing that in due time the Lord will come out in swift judgment against their enemies, and they shall be cut off from before him, and that in his own due time he will bear them off conquerors, and more than conquerors, in all things.”
While the righteous are usually spared and protected by the Lord, many righteous people were killed by the wicked, and their justice will come to them later for various purposes of the Lord.
Some examples include:
The righteous people of Ammonihaha
The people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi
Verse 9: Jacobugath most wicked people on all the earth (King Jacob—leader of the secret combinations who caused his people to move northward)—commit murders—they were totally destroyed
Read Verses 11-13: Why it’s important to live righteously among the wicked– righteous who survived—return to me and be healed
“O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?”
V 13: the more righteous were preserved—maybe not totally righteous because they lamented that they didn’t repent sooner, but they didn’t kill and drive out the prophets
Why is it worth it? Learned in the scriptures that the Lord would save and preserve His people, if there were as little as 10 good people in a city. Important to live righteously, even if few others do as well.
“The time soon cometh that the fullness of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous . . . He will preserve the righteous by his power, even if it so be that the fullness of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, THE RIGHTEOUS NEED NOT FEAR, for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved.” (1 Nephi 22:16-17)
REPEAT: “THE RIGHTEOUS NEED NOT FEAR”—“IF YE ARE PREPARED (OBEDIENT), YE SHALL NOT FEAR.”
Also read: verse 12:
“And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and it was they who received the prophets, and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the blood of the saints, who were spared” (3rd Nephi 10:12) also(D&C 97: 22, 25)
- How does the Lord heal us today?
Forgives us, invites us to repent and return, gives us His spirit to comfort, enlighten, inspire, encourage, teach us of His love and forgiveness. His love (shown through the Book of Mormon) is eternal.
“The greatest miracles I see today are not necessarily the healing of our bodies, but the greatest miracles I see are the healing of sick souls.” (Harold B. Lee, Ensign, July 1973, 123.)
We all know stories of those who have brought the gospel light into their lives and totally transformed. It’s within each of it to take hold.
Read Verse 14: Lord reaching for us—
“Whosover WILL come” (desiring to come unto Christ)
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man (or woman) will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelations 3:20 also Jacob 5
If time read Omni 1:26—“offer our whole souls as an offering”
26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should acome unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and boffer your whole souls as an coffering unto him, and continue in dfasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.
Read verses 17-20:
Not a new sacrifice, an old one through the beginning of time, but the burnt offerings were no longer needed as well.
- Why offer a broken heart and contrite spirit? What does that really mean?
Elder Bruce Porter wrote about this:
When we sin and desire forgiveness, a broken heart and a contrite spirit mean to experience “godly sorrow [that] worketh repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:10). This comes when our desire to be cleansed from sin is so consuming that our hearts ache with sorrow and we yearn to feel at peace with our Father in Heaven. Those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit are willing to do anything and everything that God asks of them, without resistance or resentment. We cease doing things our way and learn to do them God’s way instead. In such a condition of submissiveness, the Atonement can take effect and true repentance can occur. The penitent will then experience the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost, which will fill them with peace of conscience and the joy of reconciliation with God. In a wondrous union of divine attributes, the same God who teaches us to walk with a broken heart invites us to rejoice and to be of good cheer.
When we have received a forgiveness of sins, a broken heart serves as a divine shield against temptation. Nephi prayed, “May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite!” (2 Nephi 4:32). King Benjamin taught his people that if they would walk in the depths of humility, they might ever rejoice, “be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of … sins” (Mosiah 4:12). When we yield our hearts to the Lord, the attractions of the world simply lose their luster.
There is yet another dimension of a broken heart—namely, our deep gratitude for Christ’s suffering on our behalf. In Gethsemane, the Savior “descended below all things” (D&C 88:6) as He bore the burden of sin for every human being. At Golgotha, He “poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:12), and His great heart literally broke with an all-encompassing love for the children of God. When we remember the Savior and His suffering, our hearts too will break in gratitude for the Anointed One. (Elder Bruce Porter, Ensign Nov 07, A Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit)
Sister Patricia Holland explains the wonderful effects of a broken heart when she said, “God knows how to receive a broken heart, bless it, and give it back healed and renewed. He knows how to weep with love over such an offered gift. With God, whatever has become broken can be fixed. I believe that it is through the cracks of a broken heart that God sheds his purest and most illuinating light to the soul. Hard hearts admit no light, so when our hearts are broken, pure light can enter and teach us in profound and indelible ways.”
Silence is a very effective way to get people’s attention and to promote mediation and serious analyzing. Such as when the prophet enters a room, there is silence as a way to show respect and honor. There will be “silence in heaven for the space of half an hour” just before the Savior’s Second Coming (D&C 88:95).
In this chapter, there are several hours of silence, following the words of Christ recorded in Chapter 9. It is still completely dark. We sense that the people are in a state of deep readiness to receive the next message of the Savior.
Read 4-7: “how oft I would gather you and ye would not” (touching reference to a mother hen gathering and protecting her chicks under her wing, but it was rejected, again and again)
“He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust.” (Psalm 91:4)
Read 8, 9, 10m 11-14—Zenos and Zenock prophecised of this
CHAPTER 11: Highlight of Book of Mormon—Jesus Christ appears!
Unveil the picture—Savior a figure of light, “light of the world”
Read many verses
Verse 3: Q. What kind of voice does the Lord use to speak to His children?
The Lord told Elijah to “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:11-12)
“Be still and know that I am God.” Listen to the still, small voice.
“Dramatic and miraculous answers to prayer may come, but they are the exceptions. Even at the highest levels of responsibility in this Kingdom of God, which is being built up upon the earth, the voice is still small . . . My testimony is that the Lord is speaking to you! But with the deafening decibels of today’s environment, all too often we fail to hear Him.” (Graham W. Doxey, Ensign, Nov 1991, 25)
Verses 14, 15: 2500 came and touched the Savior—it would take about 7 hours for each person to have just 10 seconds each with Him—significant learning: Each of us is an individual to the Lord. Each of us is invited to let His atonement be applied very personally in our lives, one by one. The message is clear: the worth of souls is great in the sight of God (D&C 18:10). One of Satan’s most devastating goals is to do away with the world of the individual.
Verse 17: Hosannah means “save now.” It was the cry of the multitude as they joined in our Lord’s triumphal procession into Jerusalem” (Merrill Unger, Bible Dictionary).
Verses 28, 29: Contention is of the devil
“I pray that we may be true to our covenants, true to each other; that we will cast out of our hearts all that is evil, that we will not speak evil one of another, or be given to backbiting or contention or strife, for the spirit of wickedness destroys faith and tends to divide and separate instead of uniting and strengthening the people.” (Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, Oct 1913, 74).
Ending scripture: 3 Nephi 11: 14, 15
“Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did, going forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.”