“September 14–20. 3 Nephi 8–11: ‘Arise and Come Forth unto Me,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“September 14–20. 3 Nephi 8–11,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Sometimes people are more likely to share if you ask for something specific. For example, you could invite class members to share something from 3 Nephi 8–11 that has taught them about the character of Jesus Christ. You might extend this invitation a few days in advance so that they can come prepared to share.
These chapters contain accounts of destruction and devastation, but they also teach spiritual lessons that can help us come closer to Jesus Christ. Perhaps you could divide the class into three groups and assign each group to search one chapter from 3 Nephi 8–10, looking for words or phrases that describe what the people learned or experienced. One person from each group could then share with the rest of the class what their group discovered. Encourage class members to discuss how these spiritual lessons can help us come closer to the Savior.
A valuable message in these chapters is that the Savior reaches out to us with love and mercy even during our most difficult trials. You might invite class members to think of someone they know who is going through a challenging time and then search the Savior’s words in 3 Nephi 9:13–22 and 10:1–10 to find phrases that might help that person. Perhaps class members could also share personal experiences when they felt the Savior reach out to them.
Before the Savior’s coming, the faithful in the promised land obeyed the law of Moses, which included the sacrifice of animals. To help class members better understand this law, you could briefly review Moses 5:5–8. Why were God’s people commanded to sacrifice animals anciently? What new commandment did the Savior give in 3 Nephi 9:20, and how does it point us toward Him and His sacrifice? The quotations about the law of sacrifice in “Additional Resources” can help.
How can you help class members understand what it means to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit? Perhaps you could begin by writing on the board the words broken, contrite, and sacrifice. Then you could ask class members to draw pictures that represent what these words mean to them or write words or phrases that they associate with these terms. As class members share their pictures, words, or phrases, they could discuss how these relate to what the Savior asks of us in 3 Nephi 9:19–22. The quotation by Elder D. Todd Christofferson in “Additional Resources” can also help.
The events described in 3 Nephi 11:1–17 are among the most sacred in the Book of Mormon. Consider allowing your class members a few moments to read these verses in silence. Perhaps you could write a few questions on the board for them to ponder as they read, such as these: How would you have felt if you were among these people? What impresses you about the Savior in these verses? What do you learn from Jesus’s example? or What experiences have given you a witness of Jesus Christ as your Savior? You could allow class members to share some of their thoughts or impressions.
It may be instructive to note the first things the Savior chose to say and do when He appeared in the land Bountiful. Maybe class members could mark or write down truths they identify from the Savior’s words and actions in 3 Nephi 11:10–41. Invite them to share what they found. What do we learn about the Savior from these verses? What do we learn about His Church?
In order to end apparent disagreements among the people related to baptism, the Savior revealed important truths about this ordinance in 3 Nephi 11. To help class members discover these truths, you could write the following verse numbers on the board: 21–25, 26–27, 33–34. Invite each class member to pick a verse or two and share a truth it teaches about baptism.
Your class may be interested to know that the Savior’s visit to the Nephites and Lamanites affected them so profoundly that these formerly contentious people lived in peace for the next 200 years (see 4 Nephi 1). This might inspire class members to study 3 Nephi 12–16 to learn what the Savior taught the people that may have led to such a dramatic change.
President M. Russell Ballard explained one way we live the law of sacrifice today:
“After the Savior’s ultimate sacrifice, two adjustments were made in the practice of [the law of sacrifice]. First, the ordinance of the sacrament replaced the ordinance of sacrifice; and second, this change moved the focus of the sacrifice from a person’s animal to the person himself. In a sense, the sacrifice changed from the offering to the offerer. …
“… Instead of the Lord requiring our animals or grain, now He wants us to give up all that is ungodly. …
“… When we overcome our own selfish desires and put God first in our lives and covenant to serve Him regardless of the cost, we are then living the law of sacrifice” (“The Law of Sacrifice,” Ensign, Oct. 1998, 10).
Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “Real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed!” (“Deny Yourselves of All Ungodliness,” Ensign, May 1995, 68).
Elder D. Todd Christofferson described what it means to have a broken heart and a contrite spirit:
“You can offer the Lord the gift of your broken, or repentant, heart and your contrite, or obedient, spirit. In reality, it is the gift of yourself—what you are and what you are becoming.
“Is there something in you or in your life that is impure or unworthy? When you get rid of it, that is a gift to the Savior. Is there a good habit or quality that is lacking in your life? When you adopt it and make it part of your character, you are giving a gift to the Lord” (“When Thou Art Converted,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 12).