“Lesson 132: 3 Nephi 24–26,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)
“Lesson 132,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
Jesus Christ fulfilled a commandment from Heavenly Father to share with the Nephites some prophecies from the prophet Malachi (see 3 Nephi 26:2). These prophecies taught that members of the house of Israel needed to repent and return to the Lord in preparation for the Savior’s Second Coming. Jesus Christ also expounded unto the Nephites “all things, even from the beginning until the time that he should come in his glory” (3 Nephi 26:3). Mormon taught that those who believe the Book of Mormon will have even greater things manifested unto them (see 3 Nephi 26:9).
Begin class by holding up a match and a bar of soap (or draw on the board a picture of fire and a bar of soap). Ask students what fire and soap have in common. (Soap and fire can both be used as cleansing or purifying agents.)
Explain that Jesus Christ fulfilled a commandment from the Father (see 3 Nephi 26:2) to give the Nephites some of the prophecies of Malachi, an Old Testament prophet who lived in the Holy Land about 170 years after Lehi and his family left Jerusalem. Ask students to read 3 Nephi 24:1–3 silently, looking for someone who Malachi compared to a “refiner’s fire” and “fuller’s soap.”
Who is compared to a refiner’s fire and fuller’s soap? (Jesus Christ.)
What event is described in these verses? (“The day of his coming.” In other words, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. To help students answer this question, you may want to suggest that they scan the chapter heading or the footnotes.)
What does the comparison of Jesus Christ to fire and soap suggest will take place at His Second Coming? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following truth: At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ will purify the world. You may want to invite students to write this truth in their scriptures next to 3 Nephi 24:2–3.)
Explain that a refiner uses fire to heat a metal like silver or gold until it reaches a liquid state. The heating process allows dross, or impurities, to rise to the surface of the liquid metal, where the refiner can remove them, thus purging the metal of its impurities. A fuller is someone who cleans or whitens fabrics using soap. You may also need to explain that the “sons of Levi” were priesthood holders in ancient Israel. Today the phrase can refer to modern-day priesthood holders (see D&C 84:33–34).
Invite a student to read 3 Nephi 24:5–6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along and identify who will be consumed, or destroyed, at the Savior’s Second Coming and who will not be consumed. (You may want to explain that the phrase “sons of Jacob” refers to the Lord’s covenant people in the house of Israel.)
According to 3 Nephi 24:5, what will Jesus Christ do at His Second Coming? (Though students may use different words, they should identify the following truth: Jesus Christ will destroy the wicked at His Second Coming.)
Invite students to imagine that they have a close friend or family member who is struggling to feel the love and influence of the Lord and maintain a testimony of the gospel.
What would you do to try to help this person?
Invite students to read 3 Nephi 24:7 silently, and ask them to identify the Lord’s counsel to those who had begun to drift away from Him and from keeping their covenants with Him.
What do you think it means that the people had “gone away” from the Lord’s ordinances? (They were no longer keeping the covenants and ordinances of the gospel.)
What promise did the Lord give to those who were not keeping their covenants? (“Return unto me and I will return unto you.”)
What do you think it means to “return” to the Lord? What do you think it means that the Lord will “return unto” those who return to Him?
Write the following principle on the board: If we will return unto the Lord, He will return unto us.
What does this principle teach you about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?
On the board, write Return to the Lord. Invite students to read 3 Nephi 24:8–12 silently, looking for one way the Lord indicated the people could return to Him. As students respond, write pay tithes and offerings under Return to the Lord.
How is willingness to pay tithing an indication that someone has placed their love and affections on the Lord?
Invite a student to read the following statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“We can pay our tithing. This is not so much a matter of money as it is a matter of faith” (“Let Us Move This Work Forward,” Ensign, Nov. 1985, 85).
How is our willingness to pay tithes and offerings an indication of our faith in the Lord?
Give students time to review 3 Nephi 24:10–12 silently. Ask them to identify the Lord’s promises to those who pay a full and honest tithe.
In what ways have you been blessed as a result of paying your tithing? How are these examples of “the windows of heaven” being opened for you?
Summarize 3 Nephi 24:13–18 by explaining that in these verses the Lord pointed out that some in ancient Israel had questioned the need to keep the ordinances of the gospel. They complained that the proud and the wicked seemed to prosper despite their unrighteousness. In 3 Nephi 24:16, the Lord responded that a “book of remembrance” would be kept wherein the names of the faithful would be recorded (see D&C 85:7–9; 128:6–7; Moses 6:5–8). The Lord then indicated that when He comes again, He will preserve the faithful and reserve them to Himself as a treasure, or “make up [His] jewels.”
How is it a blessing to know that the Lord will preserve the faithful and make them His treasure?
In 3 Nephi 24:16, which phrases describe those whom the Lord will preserve as His treasure? (“They that feared the Lord” and that “thought upon his name.”)
Write fear the Lord and think upon the Lord’s name under Return to the Lord. (You may want to explain that in this context, the word fear means reverence or respect.) Invite students to respond to the following question in notebooks or scripture study journals:
Consider how you are doing in the areas of paying tithes and offerings and thinking of Christ often. In what ways can you “return” to Him or improve in these areas?
Invite a student to read 3 Nephi 25:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for a reason why the Second Coming will be a blessing to those who are faithful to Jesus Christ. Invite students to report what they find. You may need to explain that in 3 Nephi 25:1, the word root likely refers to ancestors and the word branch to posterity. Thus, in the next life, the wicked will not enjoy the blessings of being sealed to their ancestors and posterity. In 3 Nephi 25:2, the phrase “calves in the stall” refers to calves that are safe, well fed, and cared for. The Lord promises that He will similarly protect and care for those who “fear [His] name.”
Explain that Malachi prophesied about an event that would take place before the Second Coming and that would involve the Old Testament prophet Elijah. Invite a student to read 3 Nephi 25:5–6 aloud, and ask the class to look for what Elijah would do to help prepare the world for the Lord’s coming.
Ask students what they know about Elijah’s return to the earth as part of the Restoration of the gospel. You may want to supplement their answers by explaining that on April 3, 1836, Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the newly dedicated Kirtland Temple (see D&C 110:13–16). At that time, Elijah restored the priesthood keys necessary to seal families for eternity in the Lord’s holy temples. Through family history research, we identify family members for whom temple ordinances can be performed.
What do you think it means that Elijah would “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers”?
How is it a blessing for you to know that you can be sealed to your family for eternity?
Testify that as our hearts turn to our fathers through family history and temple work, we are helping to prepare the earth for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Summarize 3 Nephi 26:1–5 by explaining that after the Savior shared the prophecies of Malachi, He taught the people “all things which should come upon the face of the earth” from the Creation to the Final Judgment (3 Nephi 26:3–4).
Invite a student to read 3 Nephi 26:6–8 aloud, and ask the class to look for how much of what Jesus Christ taught was recorded in the Book of Mormon. Then invite students to read 3 Nephi 26:9–11 silently, looking for the reason Mormon did not include in his abridgment everything the Savior taught the Nephites. Emphasize that the word believe in these verses implies that we need to act on the doctrines and principles God has revealed and not merely hope that they are true.
According to 3 Nephi 26:9, what does the Lord promise to those who believe and act on what He has revealed? (As students respond, emphasize that as we believe and act on what God has revealed, we prepare ourselves to receive greater revelation.)
Why do you think it is necessary that we believe in the truths we have already received before we can receive additional truth?
How can we show that we believe what the Lord has revealed?
Promise students that as they faithfully study and apply the principles in the Book of Mormon, they will receive increased understanding of the gospel. Help students ponder how well they are receiving the truths in the Book of Mormon by inviting them to respond to the following questions in notebooks or scripture study journals (you may want to write these questions on the board):
What are you doing in your life that demonstrates your belief in the Book of Mormon?
When has reading the Book of Mormon with real intent led you to receive personal revelation?
Explain that in 3 Nephi 26, Mormon summarized the rest of the Savior’s ministry among the Nephites. Invite students to read 3 Nephi 26:13–16 silently. You might want to suggest that they mark some of the things the Savior did that Mormon chose to emphasize.
If time permits, invite students to review and ponder their notes and scripture markings from their study of 3 Nephi 11–25. Encourage them to look for teachings and events from the Savior’s ministry among the Nephites that are significant or memorable to them. Invite a few students to share their thoughts and feelings about the Savior’s ministry among the Nephites.