“October 12–18. 3 Nephi 20–26: ‘Ye Are the Children of the Covenant,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“October 12–18. 3 Nephi 20–26,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
When you hear people use terms like house of Israel, do you feel like they’re talking about you? The Nephites and Lamanites were literal descendants of Israel—their story even begins in Jerusalem—but to some of them, Jerusalem must have seemed like “a land which is far distant, a land which we know not” (Helaman 16:20). Yes, they were “a branch of the tree of Israel,” but they were also “lost from its body” (Alma 26:36; see also 1 Nephi 15:12). But when the Savior appeared to them, He wanted them to know that they were not lost to Him. “Ye are of the house of Israel,” He said, “and ye are of the covenant” (3 Nephi 20:25). He might say something similar to you today, for anyone who is baptized and makes covenants with Him is also of the house of Israel, “of the covenant,” no matter who you descend from or where you live. In other words, when Jesus speaks of the house of Israel, He is talking about you. The instruction to bless “all the kindreds of the earth” is for you (3 Nephi 20:27). The invitation to “awake again, and put on thy strength” is for you (3 Nephi 20:36). And His precious promise, “My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed,” is for you (3 Nephi 22:10).
The Savior gave the multitude some remarkable promises and prophesied about the future of His covenant people—and that includes you. As President Russell M. Nelson said: “We are among the covenant people of the Lord. Ours is the privilege to participate personally in the fulfillment of these promises. What an exciting time to live!” (“The Gathering of Scattered Israel,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 79).
Look for prophecies about the last days in the Savior’s words in 3 Nephi 20–22. Which of these prophecies are especially exciting to you? What can you do to help fulfill the prophecies in these chapters?
Note that 3 Nephi 21:1–7 indicates that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon (“these things” in verses 2 and 3) is a sign that God’s promises have already begun to be fulfilled. What are those promises, and how does the Book of Mormon help fulfill them?
See also Russell M. Nelson, “Hope of Israel” (worldwide devotional for youth, June 3, 2018), broadcasts.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Jesus’s words and actions throughout these chapters reveal how He feels about the scriptures. What do you learn about the scriptures in 3 Nephi 20:10–12; 23; and 26:1–12? What do you find in these verses that inspires you to “search these things diligently”? (3 Nephi 23:1).
In 3 Nephi 22 and 24, the Savior quotes words from Isaiah and Malachi that are full of vivid images and comparisons—colorful foundation stones, coals in the fire, purified silver, the windows of heaven. It might be interesting to make a list of them. What does each one teach you about God’s relationship with His people? For example, 3 Nephi 22:4–8 compares God to a husband and His people to a wife. Reading about these images might prompt you to think about your own relationship with the Lord. How have the promises in these chapters been fulfilled in your life? (see especially 3 Nephi 22:7–8, 10–17; 24:10–12, 17–18).
The promised return of Elijah has been eagerly anticipated by Jews around the world for centuries. Latter-day Saints know that Elijah has returned, appearing to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple in 1836 (see Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–16). The work of turning hearts to the fathers—temple and family history work—is well underway. What experiences have you had that helped turn your heart to your ancestors?
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.
After reading this verse, maybe you could make a homemade tent and talk about how the Church is like a tent in a wilderness. What might it mean to “lengthen [its] cords” and “strengthen [its] stakes”? How do we invite others to find “shelter” in the Church? (see the video “Welcome” on ComeuntoChrist.org).
If the Savior were to examine the records our family has kept, what questions might He ask us? Are there any important events or spiritual experiences that we should record? Now might be a good time to create or add to a family record and counsel together about what to include. Younger family members might enjoy decorating your record with photographs or drawings. Why is it important to record our family’s spiritual experiences?
How have we experienced the blessings of paying tithing promised in these verses? Elder David A. Bednar’s message “The Windows of Heaven” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 17–20) could help family members recognize these blessings.
How will you help your family members turn their hearts to their fathers? Maybe you could assign family members to learn about one of your ancestors and share with the rest of the family what they learn (see FamilySearch.org). Or you could work together to find an ancestor who needs temple ordinances and plan a temple trip to perform those ordinances.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Families Can Be Together Forever,” Children’s Songbook, 188.