“September 7–13. 3 Nephi 1–7: ‘Lift Up Your Head and Be of Good Cheer,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“September 7–13. 3 Nephi 1–7,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
To help class members share what they are learning at home, ask them to write on pieces of paper some truths they found in 3 Nephi 1–7 and the scripture references for the truths. Put the pieces of paper into a container, and draw out several to discuss as a class. As class members share, consider if there are related ideas in this outline that can deepen the discussion and engage other members of the class.
3 Nephi 1–7 describes people who were converted to Jesus Christ and His gospel and others who were not. To help your class identify what made the difference between these groups, you could create a chart on the board with the following headings: Beliefs and actions that weaken conversion and Beliefs and actions that strengthen conversion. Divide the following scripture references among class members, and invite them to fill in the chart with what they find (examples are provided for the first reference).
3 Nephi 1:4–23, 29–30: Weaken conversion: not believing the prophet’s words and making fun of righteous people (verses 5–6). Strengthen conversion: having faith in the prophet’s words and praying for help (verses 8, 11).
How can we keep our conversion strong despite opposition?
Your class might be interested in exploring how to strengthen what 3 Nephi 1:27–30 calls “the rising generation.” You might ask class members to find reasons in these verses why the young Nephites and Lamanites were not able to resist the wickedness around them. This could lead to a discussion about some of the challenges facing today’s rising generation and the best ways to help them develop faith in Christ. Some suggestions are found in “Additional Resources.”
Reading the accounts in 3 Nephi 1:4–21 and 5:1–3 could strengthen your class members’ faith in the Lord’s promises. Perhaps class members could read together 3 Nephi 1:4–7 and list on the board how they might feel if they were the believers described in these verses. They could also think of similar circumstances we might face today. What do we learn from 3 Nephi 1:8–21 and 5:1–3 about the Lord and His promises? To broaden the discussion, you could review a hymn about trusting God, such as “When Faith Endures” (Hymns, no. 128). Class members could share experiences when their faith and trust in God was rewarded, despite opposition.
Mormon declared, “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ” (3 Nephi 5:13). To explore with your class what it means to be a disciple, you might invite class members to search 3 Nephi 1:4–15; 5:12–26; 6:10–15; and 7:15–26, looking for qualities, beliefs, and actions of disciples of Christ. Consider giving class members a few minutes to ponder and write down something they can do to become a better disciple of Jesus Christ.
Part of the reason the Nephites were able to defeat the Gadianton robbers was that they joined forces with the converted Lamanites and followed the inspired direction of Lachoneus to “gather themselves together” in Zarahemla (3 Nephi 3:22). What lessons might this hold for your class members? You could ask them to share experiences when they were strengthened by the righteous people around them. You could then invite class members to review 3 Nephi 3:12–26, looking for reasons the Nephites gathered and the blessings they experienced. How do we experience these same blessings when we gather with members of our families or branches and wards? What more can we learn about gathering from 3 Nephi 5:24–26?
Reading 3 Nephi 3 could be an opportunity to help class members see how much stronger we are when we gather together in righteousness. Perhaps you can think of an object lesson that shows how something that is weak becomes stronger when united with other things. Invite class members to imagine that they were asked to convince the Nephites of the benefits of gathering together, as described in verses 12–26. Perhaps they could work in groups to discuss how to do this, based on what they read in these verses. Let them share their ideas. As a class, you might then discuss questions like these: What challenges do we face that might be likened to the Gadianton robbers? How can we make our homes and our ward places of refuge?
The epistle written by Giddianhi, the leader of the Gadianton robbers, was an attempt to intimidate and deceive the Nephites. Perhaps class members could review his words found in 3 Nephi 3:2–10 and compare them to ways Satan might try to deceive us today. What do we learn from the reaction of Lachoneus, the chief judge of the Nephites?
To inspire your class members to read 3 Nephi 8–11 for next week’s class, tell them that 3 Nephi 11 contains “the crowning event” of the Book of Mormon—Jesus Christ’s personal ministry among the Nephites (see the introduction to the Book of Mormon).
Elder Valeri V. Cordón of the Seventy suggested three ways to help the rising generation stay true to the gospel:
“Being More Diligent and Concerned at Home. … Powerful teaching is extremely important to preserve the gospel in our families, and it requires diligence and effort. We have been invited many times to acquire the practice of daily family and personal scripture study. Many families that are doing this are blessed each day with greater unity and a closer relationship with the Lord.”
“Strong Modeling in the Home. … It is not enough just to talk to our children about the importance of temple marriage, fasting, and keeping the Sabbath day holy. They must see us making room in our schedules to attend the temple as frequently as we can. They need to see our commitment to fasting regularly and keeping the entire Sabbath day holy.”
“Traditions. … As families, we need to avoid any tradition that will prevent us from keeping the Sabbath day holy or having daily scripture study and prayer at home. We need to close the digital doors of our home to pornography and all other evil influences. To combat the worldly traditions of our day, we need to use the scriptures and the voice of our modern prophets to teach our children about their divine identity, their purpose in life, and the divine mission of Jesus Christ” (“The Language of the Gospel,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 56–57; italics added).