“September 7–13. 3 Nephi 1–7: ‘Lift Up Your Head and Be of Good Cheer,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“September 7–13. 3 Nephi 1–7,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
In some ways, it was an exciting time to be a believer in Jesus Christ. Prophecies were being fulfilled—great signs and miracles among the people indicated that the Savior would soon be born. On the other hand, it was also an anxious time for believers because, in spite of all the miracles, unbelievers insisted that “the time was past” for the Savior to be born (3 Nephi 1:5). These people caused “a great uproar throughout the land” (3 Nephi 1:7) and even set a date to kill all the believers if the sign prophesied by Samuel the Lamanite—a night without darkness—did not appear.
In these trying circumstances, the prophet Nephi “cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people” (3 Nephi 1:11). The Lord’s response is inspiring to anyone who faces persecution or doubt and needs to know that light will overcome darkness: “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; … I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets” (3 Nephi 1:13).
How do you imagine you would have felt if you had been one of the believers during the time described in 3 Nephi 1–7? How might it have felt, for example, to wait for the night with no darkness that would announce the Savior’s birth, knowing you would be killed if it didn’t happen? As you read 3 Nephi 1:4–21 and 5:1–3, look for what Nephi and the other believers did to keep their faith during these difficult times. How did the Lord bless them? What do you learn that can help when you find yourself waiting for blessings promised by the Lord?
You might think that witnessing something so miraculous as a night without darkness would stay with you for a long time and be an anchor to your testimony. But the memories of the signs and wonders the Nephites witnessed seemed to fade over time. What caused them to forget, and what were the results of forgetting? (see 3 Nephi 1:22; 2:1–3).
What are you doing to remember and renew your witness of spiritual truths? For example, consider how recording your spiritual experiences can help you. How will you share your witness with those closest to you to help them believe?
In our day, we usually don’t face bands of robbers that force us to leave our homes and gather in one place. But we do face spiritual dangers, and the Nephites’ experience may contain lessons that can help us. Look for these lessons as you read 3 Nephi 2:11–12 and 3:1–26.
In 3 Nephi 5:24–26 we read of the gathering of the Lord’s people in the latter days. What do these verses teach about how the Lord is gathering His people today?
See also “Worldwide Devotional for Youth: Messages from President Russell M. Nelson and Sister Wendy W. Nelson,” June 3, 2018, ChurchofJesusChrist.org; “Israel—The gathering of Israel,” Guide to the Scriptures, scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
What do you think it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? (see Doctrine and Covenants 41:5). In 3 Nephi 5:12–26, Mormon interrupted his abridgment of the Nephite records and declared that he was a disciple of Jesus Christ. Then, in 3 Nephi 7:15–26, he described the ministry of another disciple—the prophet Nephi. What do you find in these two passages that helps you understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ?
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some ideas.
What did the Nephites do to protect themselves from the enemy they faced? What are we doing to make our home a place of safety and protection from the evil in the world?
To help your family learn how Satan can deceive us, draw a body, and as your family reads 3 Nephi 2:1–3 and 6:15–17, mark the different parts of the body mentioned. According to these verses, what are some of the ways Satan tempts us to forget God and turn to sin?
What did the Nephites do when they saw the Gadianton robbers coming? What can our family learn from the Nephites when we face difficult situations? What can we learn from the Nephites’ words after the Lord helped them in their time of difficulty?
Read 3 Nephi 5:13 and Doctrine and Covenants 41:5, and discuss what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Maybe family members could talk about times when they noticed each other being disciples. If you have small children, you might make a badge that says, “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ,” and let them wear the badge whenever you notice them following the Savior.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus,” Children’s Songbook, 78–79.
Help your family liken the scriptures to themselves. Nephi said, “I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning” (1 Nephi 19:23). To help your family liken the scriptures to themselves, you could invite them to ponder what they would have done if they had been among the believers described in 3 Nephi 1:4–9. (See Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 21.)
A Day, a Night, and a Day, by Walter Rane