“Lesson 131: 3 Nephi 23,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)
“Lesson 131,” Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
After quoting the words of Isaiah (see 3 Nephi 22), Jesus Christ commanded the Nephites to search this prophet’s words. He said that Isaiah’s words are a blessing because Isaiah “spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel” (3 Nephi 23:2). He also said that all of Isaiah’s words had been or would be fulfilled. The Savior then commanded the Nephites to search the words of all the prophets and instructed them to add material to their records.
Write the following phrase on the board: Blessings from my scripture study. Ask students to ponder their experiences studying the Book of Mormon at home and in seminary this year. Invite them to come to the board and write a word or short phrase that describes a blessing that has come into their lives as a result of scripture study. You may want to ask a few students to describe in more detail what they have written. Then point to the blessings written on the board.
Why do you think we are blessed in these ways when we read the scriptures?
Ask students to recall from the previous lesson whose words Jesus Christ quoted as He taught the Nephites. (Isaiah’s words.) Invite a student to read 3 Nephi 23:1–3 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Savior said we should do with the words of Isaiah. Invite them to report what they discover.
Why did the Lord want the people to search the words of Isaiah? (See 3 Nephi 23:2–3.)
Invite a student to read 3 Nephi 23:4–5 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what else the Savior commanded the people to give heed to and search.
According to verses 4–5, what did the Savior command the people to give heed to and search?
Write the following truth on the board: The Savior commands us to give heed to His words and to search diligently the words of the prophets.
What is the relationship between the Savior’s words and the words of His prophets? (You may want to invite students to read Doctrine and Covenants 1:38.)
In what ways is diligently searching the words of Jesus Christ and the prophets different from only reading their words? Why do you think it is important to search their words diligently?
In addition to the scriptures, where can we find the words of the Savior and His prophets?
What scripture study methods best help you make searching the words of Jesus Christ, Isaiah, and other prophets a meaningful part of your life?
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Merrill J. Bateman, who served as a member of the Seventy. Ask the class to listen for blessings we receive when we study the word of the Lord.
“There are certain blessings obtained when one searches the scriptures. As a person studies the words of the Lord and obeys them, he or she draws closer to the Savior and obtains a greater desire to live a righteous life. The power to resist temptation increases, and spiritual weaknesses are overcome. Spiritual wounds are healed” (Merrill J. Bateman, “Coming unto Christ by Searching the Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 28).
According to Elder Bateman, what are some of the blessings we receive when we study the word of the Lord? (As students answer this question, add their answers to the list of blessings on the board.)
Refer again to the list of blessings on the board. Invite a few students to testify of the blessings that come from searching the words of the Lord and His prophets.
Ask students to respond in their class notebooks or study journals to the following question:
What changes can you make to study the words of the Lord and His prophets more diligently?
Ask a few students to name their favorite accounts in the Book of Mormon. List their responses on the board. Then erase one of the responses. Ask students to imagine that Mormon or Nephi or another record keeper had neglected to include that account.
What important lessons would be missing from the Book of Mormon if this account were not included?
Explain that when the Savior taught the Nephites, He pointed out that their record keepers had neglected to include an important event that came in fulfillment of prophecy. Ask several students to take turns reading aloud from 3 Nephi 23:6–13. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Nephites had failed to record.
What had the Nephites failed to record?
The Nephites already had a record of Samuel’s prophecy (see Helaman 14:25). Why do you think it would have been important for them to have a record of its fulfillment? (Help students see that recording the fulfillment of this prophecy could help strengthen the faith of those who would read it.)
What truth can we learn from these verses about the value of recording spiritual experiences from our own lives? (Students may identify a truth such as the following: Recording spiritual experiences can help strengthen our faith and the faith of others.)
To help students see one way they can record their spiritual experiences, invite a student to read aloud the following experience shared by President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency:
“I came home late from a Church assignment. It was after dark. My father-in-law, who lived near us, surprised me as I walked toward the front door of my house. He was carrying a load of pipes over his shoulder, walking very fast and dressed in his work clothes. I knew that he had been building a system to pump water from a stream below us up to our property.
“He smiled, spoke softly, and then rushed past me into the darkness to go on with his work. I took a few steps toward the house, thinking of what he was doing for us, and just as I got to the door, I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: ‘I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.’
“I went inside. I didn’t go to bed. Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family. Grandpa didn’t have to do what he was doing for us. He could have had someone else do it or not have done it at all. But he was serving us, his family, in the way covenant disciples of Jesus Christ always do. I knew that was true. And so I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it.
“I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: ‘Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?’” (Henry B. Eyring, “O Remember, Remember,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 66–67).
Why do you think it is important for us to write about experiences that strengthen us spiritually?
How might we benefit from following President Eyring’s example?
How might our record help others?
Explain that President Eyring told of the blessings he received because he kept a daily record of God blessing his family. Ask a student to read the following statement aloud:
“As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.
“More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened” (Henry B. Eyring, “O Remember, Remember,” 67).
Why do you think President Eyring’s testimony grew as a result of recording these experiences?
Explain that some students might feel that they have not had anything happen to them that would be valuable enough to record. To help them, you may want to invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder John H. Groberg, who served as a member of the Seventy:
“Some people say, ‘I don’t have anything to record. Nothing spiritual happens to me.’ I say, ‘Start recording, and spiritual things will happen. They are there all the time, but we become more sensitive to them as we write’” (John H. Groberg, “Writing Your Personal and Family History,” Ensign, May 1980, 48).
What are some ways in which your faith has been strengthened as you have recorded spiritual experiences or as you have read spiritual experiences of parents or ancestors? (Encourage students not to share any experiences that are too sacred or personal unless they feel prompted to do so. You may also want to share an experience.)
Invite students to ask themselves if they have neglected to write about experiences that have strengthened them spiritually. Encourage them to write about these experiences and to continue recording other experiences throughout their lives. You might suggest that they follow President Eyring’s example, writing something every day.