“September 28–October 11. 3 Nephi 17–19: ‘Behold, My Joy Is Full,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“September 28–October 11. 3 Nephi 17–19,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Jesus Christ had just spent the day ministering in the land of Bountiful, teaching His gospel, giving the people a chance to see and feel the marks in His resurrected body, and testifying that He was the promised Savior. And now it was time for Him to leave. He needed to return to His Father, and He knew that the people needed time to ponder what He had taught. So promising to return the next day, He dismissed the multitude to their homes. But no one left. They didn’t say what they were feeling, but Jesus could sense it: they hoped He would “tarry a little longer with them” (3 Nephi 17:5). He had other important things to do, but the opportunity to show compassion does not always come at a convenient time, so Jesus stayed with the people a little longer. What followed was perhaps the most tender example of ministering recorded in scripture. Those who were present could only say it was indescribable (see 3 Nephi 17:16–17). Jesus Himself summed up the impromptu spiritual outpouring with these simple words: “Now behold, my joy is full” (3 Nephi 17:20).
We know that there were about 2,500 people (see 3 Nephi 17:25) who experienced Christ’s first visit, as recorded in 3 Nephi 11–18. Yet the Savior found a way to minister to them one by one. What do you learn about ministering from the Savior’s example in this chapter? What needs did He minister to? Ponder how His example can help you minister to others.
Imagine what it would be like to hear the Savior pray for you. What might He say in your behalf? His teachings and prayers in these chapters might give you an idea. As you study, what do you learn from Christ’s example that can make your own prayers more meaningful? What blessings from prayer have you seen in your life?
As you read 3 Nephi 18:1–12, ponder how taking the sacrament can help you be spiritually “filled” (3 Nephi 18:3–5, 9; see also 3 Nephi 20:1–9). For example, you could make a list of questions to prompt personal reflection when you take the sacrament, such as “How do I feel about the Savior and His sacrifice for me?” “How is His sacrifice influencing my daily life?” or “What am I doing well as a disciple, and what can I improve?”
These words from President Henry B. Eyring may help you ponder one way the sacrament can help you be spiritually filled: “As you examine your life during the ordinance of the sacrament, I hope your thoughts center not only on things you have done wrong but also on things you have done right—moments when you have felt that Heavenly Father and the Savior were pleased with you. You may even take a moment during the sacrament to ask God to help you see these things. … When I have done this, the Spirit has reassured me that while I’m still far from perfect, I’m better today than I was yesterday. And this gives me confidence that, because of the Savior, I can be even better tomorrow” (“Always Remember Him,” Ensign, Feb. 2018, 5).
Think about a prayer you said recently. What do your prayers teach you about your deepest desires? After spending a day in the presence of the Savior, the multitude “did pray for that which they most desired”—the gift of the Holy Ghost (3 Nephi 19:9). As you read these passages, ponder your own desire for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. What do you learn about seeking the companionship of the Holy Ghost?
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.
As you read this chapter as a family, consider pausing from time to time to invite your family to imagine experiencing these events firsthand. For example, you might ask questions like “What afflictions would you bring to the Savior to be healed?” “What would you want Him to pray for in your behalf?” or “What loved ones would you want Him to bless?” Reading this chapter may also inspire you to pray for your family members, one by one, as Jesus did.
What does it mean to be “filled” by partaking of the sacrament, and how do we experience it? What do we learn from verses 5–7 about why Jesus gave us the ordinance of the sacrament?
What do we learn from these verses about the purposes of prayer? How can we improve the spiritual power of our prayers, both as individuals and as a family?
What has our family experienced through the gospel that we wish everyone around us could also experience? How can we follow the example of the people in these verses and “labor exceedingly” (3 Nephi 19:3) to bring others to Christ, that they too might “feel and see” (3 Nephi 18:25) what we have found in the gospel?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.