“September 21–27. 3 Nephi 12–16: ‘I Am the Law, and the Light,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“September 21–27. 3 Nephi 12–16,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
To give everyone an opportunity to share what they studied in 3 Nephi 12–16, you could write the numbers 12 through 16 across the board. Class members could then search for a verse in these chapters that they found meaningful and then write the verse number under the corresponding chapter number on the board. Choose a few verses to read together, and discuss why they are meaningful.
This week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families suggests summarizing passages in 3 Nephi 12–14 to complete the phrase “True disciples of Jesus Christ …” You could ask if any class members who did this activity would be willing to share what they learned. Or you could write the incomplete phrase on the board, along with references like these: 3 Nephi 12:3–16, 38–44; 13:1–8, 19–24; and 14:21–27 (or other passages you found in your personal study). Class members could choose a passage to read, individually or in groups, and suggest a way to complete the phrase on the board based on what those verses teach. Encourage class members to ponder and perhaps write down what they will do to follow Jesus Christ more faithfully because of what they learned from these verses.
To help class members understand the Savior’s words in 3 Nephi 12:48, you could invite one or more of them to study Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s message “Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 40–42) before class and share insights that help them understand this verse.
A discussion of 3 Nephi 12:21–30 could help class members see how controlling our thoughts can help us control our actions. To begin a discussion, you could make a table on the board with headings like Actions We Want to Avoid and Thoughts or Emotions That Lead to Them. Then you could invite class members to search 3 Nephi 12:21–22 and 27–30 and begin filling in the table. What other actions and thoughts could class members add to the lists? How can we “suffer none of these things to enter into” our hearts? (3 Nephi 12:29). How can we drive them out when they do enter? After reading President Ezra Taft Benson’s counsel in “Additional Resources,” you might create a new table with the headings Christlike Actions We Want to Develop and Thoughts That Lead to Them and fill it out as a class.
Studying 3 Nephi 13 presents an opportunity for class members to examine why they do good works. To begin a discussion, you could read together verses 1–2 and 16 and share this definition of hypocrites: “Pretenders; the Greek word [used in the New Testament] means ‘a play actor,’ or ‘one who … exaggerates a part’” (Matthew 6:2, footnote a). Perhaps one or two class members would enjoy pretending or acting as if they are giving to the poor or fasting. Why is pretending or acting a good metaphor for hypocrisy? How can we make sure our service, prayer, and fasting are sincere and free from hypocrisy?
After identifying the good works mentioned in 3 Nephi 13:1–8 and 16–18, class members could discuss what motives might lead a person to do these things or other things God asks us to do. What would we say to someone who asks us why we do good things? Encourage class members to ponder their personal motivations for doing good works like these. How can we purify our motives?
To understand the Lord’s invitation to ask, seek, and knock, it might help to explore what these words mean. What does each word imply about what the Lord invites us to do? How do we ask, seek, and knock? How have the promises in 3 Nephi 14:7–8 been fulfilled in our lives? Class members could also review President Russell M. Nelson’s counsel in “Additional Resources,” looking for the questions he asks and the invitations he gives. Give class members time to ponder and write down their answers to his questions and their plans to act on his invitations.
Some class members might be uncertain about what the Savior meant when He said, “Every one that asketh, receiveth” (3 Nephi 14:8). Why do some prayers seem to go unanswered, and why do we sometimes get answers we don’t want? Reviewing some of the following scriptures as a class could help answer these questions: Isaiah 55:8–9; Helaman 10:4–5; 3 Nephi 18:20; and Doctrine and Covenants 9:7–9; 88:64. Encourage class members to share what they find. How might these insights affect how we pray?
To inspire class members to read 3 Nephi 17–19 at home, you could invite them to imagine what it would be like to hear the Savior pray for them and their families. In these chapters they will read about people who had this sacred experience.
President Ezra Taft Benson taught:
“The mind has been likened to a stage on which only one act at a time can be performed. From one side of the wings the Lord, who loves you, is trying to put on the stage of your mind that which will bless you. From the other side of the wings the devil, who hates you, is trying to put on the stage of your mind that which will curse you.
“You are the stage manager—you are the one who decides which thought will occupy the stage. … You will be what you think about—what you consistently allow to occupy the stage of your mind. …
“If thoughts make us what we are, and we are to be like Christ, we must think Christlike thoughts” (“Think on Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 1984, 10–11).
President Russell M. Nelson said:
“What will your seeking open for you? What wisdom do you lack? What do you feel an urgent need to know or understand? Follow the example of the Prophet Joseph. Find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Humble yourself before God. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and for comfort.
“Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. …
“Does God really want to speak to you? Yes! … I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation. …
“Oh, there is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know” (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 95).