“October 19–25. 3 Nephi 27–4 Nephi: ‘There Could Not Be a Happier People,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“October 19–25. 3 Nephi 27–4 Nephi,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
The teachings of Jesus Christ are not just a beautiful philosophy to ponder. They are much more than that—they are meant to change our lives. The book of 4 Nephi provides a stunning example of this, illustrating just how thoroughly the Savior’s gospel can transform a people. Following Jesus’s brief ministry, centuries of contention between the Nephites and Lamanites came to an end. Two nations known for dissension and pride became “one, the children of Christ” (4 Nephi 1:17), and they began to have “all things common among them” (4 Nephi 1:3). The “love of God … did dwell in the hearts of the people,” and “there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God” (4 Nephi 1:15–16). This is how the Savior’s teachings changed the Nephites and the Lamanites. How are they changing you?
As the Savior’s disciples began establishing His Church throughout the land, a question arose that, to some, might seem like a minor point—what should be the name of the Church? (see 3 Nephi 27:1–3). What do you learn about the importance of this name from the Savior’s answer in 3 Nephi 27:4–12? In 1838 the Lord revealed the name of His Church today (see Doctrine and Covenants 115:4). Ponder each word in that name. How do these words help us know who we are, what we believe, and how we should act?
What would you say if the Savior asked you, as He asked His disciples, “What is it that ye desire of me?” (3 Nephi 28:1). Think about this as you read about the experience of the Savior’s disciples in 3 Nephi 28:1–11. What do you learn about the desires of the disciples’ hearts from their answers to His question? President Dallin H. Oaks taught: “To achieve our eternal destiny, we will desire and work for the qualities required to become an eternal being. … We will desire to become like [Jesus Christ]” (“Desire,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 44–45). What can you do to make the desires of your heart more righteous? (For more information about the “change wrought upon [the] bodies” of the three disciples, see 3 Nephi 28:37 and “Translated Beings,” Guide to the Scriptures, scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.)
Can you imagine what it would have been like to live in the years following the Savior’s visit? How did the people maintain this divine peace for so long—nearly 200 years? As you study 4 Nephi 1:1–18, consider marking or noting the choices that people made in order to experience this blessed life.
Ponder what you can do to help your family, ward, or community live in greater unity and happiness, as the people in 4 Nephi did. What teachings of Jesus Christ can you live more fully in order to accomplish this goal? What can you do to help others understand and live these teachings?
Sadly, the Zion society described in 4 Nephi (see also Moses 7:18) eventually unraveled. As you read 4 Nephi 1:19–49, look for the attitudes and behaviors that caused this society to fall apart. Do you see any signs of these attitudes or behaviors in yourself?
See also “Chapter 18: Beware of Pride,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson (2014), 229–40.
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.
These verses can help family members better understand what the Savior meant when He referred to “my gospel.” After reading and discussing these verses, you could ask each family member to summarize what the gospel is in one sentence.
How are we doing at recording the things we have “seen and heard”—individually or as a family? Why is it important to keep a record of spiritual things?
To help family members understand the joy the Savior described in these verses, you could play a game in which family members hide and another family member tries to find them. This could lead to a conversation about why it’s important to find every family member so that “none of them are lost.” How can we help our family members stay strong in the gospel or return if they have left?
What can we learn from Mormon’s example when he did not understand everything about the change that happened to the three Nephite disciples? What can we do when we don’t understand everything about a gospel principle? President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught: “God cares about you. He will listen, and He will answer your personal questions. The answers to your prayers will come in His own way and in His own time, and therefore, you need to learn to listen to His voice” (“Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 21).
To reduce contention in your home, perhaps family members could set a goal to be more loving to each other this week. After the week is over, review your progress together and discuss how showing greater love has affected your family.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.