“October 12–18. 3 Nephi 20–26: ‘Ye Are the Children of the Covenant,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“October 12–18. 3 Nephi 20–26,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
3 Nephi 20–26
“Ye Are the Children of the Covenant”
Let the Spirit guide your study of 3 Nephi 20–26. He will help you identify principles that could be particularly meaningful to the people you teach.
Record Your Impressions
After reading together the Savior’s words in 3 Nephi 23:1, you could ask class members what they searched for as they read the scriptures this week. What did they find?
Teach the Doctrine
3 Nephi 20:25–41; 21:9–11, 22–29
In the latter days, God will perform a great and marvelous work.
The Savior spoke of “a great and a marvelous work” (3 Nephi 21:9) that His Father would do in the last days. Perhaps class members could share what they learned about that work as they studied these chapters at home. Questions like these could inspire a discussion: What did the Savior say would happen in a future day? (see especially 3 Nephi 20:30–32, 39–41; 21:22–29). Why would He call these things “great” and “marvelous”? What evidence do we see that this work is taking place? How do we participate in it?
To help class members see how the Prophet Joseph Smith helped fulfill the Lord’s great and marvelous work, you could display a picture of the Prophet and invite the class to read 3 Nephi 21:9–11, looking for words and phrases that remind them of the life and ministry of Joseph Smith. For example, how did the Lord “give unto him power that he shall bring [the gospel] forth unto the Gentiles”? (verse 11). Why is it important to know that Joseph Smith’s ministry was foretold by the Savior? (see also 2 Nephi 3).
You could also help class members see themselves in the great work foretold in these chapters by reading together 3 Nephi 20:25–27. If necessary, you could point out that when we make covenants with the Lord, we become the seed of Abraham. How can we as the descendants of Abraham bless “all the kindreds of the earth”? (verse 25). Class members could ponder this question as they read President Russell M. Nelson’s statement in “Additional Resources” and share their thoughts.
The Savior wants us to search the scriptures.
What do the Savior’s interactions with the Nephites reveal about the way He feels about the scriptures? To help class members find out, you could ask half of them to read 3 Nephi 23 and the other half to read 3 Nephi 26:1–12; then they could share with each other what they found. They could also share ideas they have about how to show the Lord that the scriptures are important to us. For example, what is the difference between searching the scriptures and simply reading them? (see 3 Nephi 23:1).
The Lord is like a refiner’s fire.
Visual aids might enhance your discussion of 3 Nephi 24:1–6. For example, you could show a silver coin or some soap while class members read the verses to find out how these items relate to the Savior and His mission. You could also share with the class the explanation of silver refining and fuller’s soap in “Additional Resources.” Or you could show the video “The Refiner’s Fire” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org). How is the Lord “like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap”? (verse 2). What do these examples teach us about how the Savior purifies us?
God is merciful to those who return to Him.
You might point out that the teachings about tithing in 3 Nephi 24:8–12 are in response to the question in verse 7: “Wherein shall we return [to the Lord]?” What is the relationship between returning unto the Lord and paying tithing? Class members could share how they have received the blessings listed in verses 10–12 as they have paid tithing. How could these truths be helpful to someone who is struggling to pay tithing?
What attitude described in 3 Nephi 24:13–15 is often found in today’s world? Encourage class members to share what they would say to someone who feels that life is easier or better for those who do not keep the commandments. According to 3 Nephi 24, how does the Lord bless those who serve Him? You might also encourage them to find examples in 3 Nephi 22. (See also Mosiah 2:41; Alma 41:10.)
Our hearts should turn to our ancestors.
To illustrate the concept of turning our hearts to our ancestors, you could invite a class member to turn away from the class and describe class members from memory (where they are sitting, what they are wearing, and so on). Then he or she could turn toward the class and try again. What can this example teach us about turning our hearts to our ancestors through temple and family history work? After reading 3 Nephi 25:5–6, perhaps class members could share how their hearts have turned to their ancestors. You could also invite the ward temple and family history consultant to introduce them to some family history tools. How does this work relate to the gathering of Israel described by President Russell M. Nelson in “Additional Resources”?
Encourage Learning at Home
In 3 Nephi 27–4 Nephi we read about the “[happiest] people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God” (4 Nephi 1:16). Suggest to the class that reading these chapters could help us learn how to find happiness for ourselves and our families.
You can be part of something grand.
President Russell M. Nelson declared:
“These surely are the latter days, and the Lord is hastening His work to gather Israel. That gathering is the most important thing taking place on earth today. Nothing else compares in magnitude, nothing else compares in importance, nothing else compares in majesty. And if you choose to, if you want to, you can be a big part of it. You can be a big part of something big, something grand, something majestic!
“When we speak of gathering, we are simply saying this fundamental truth: every one of our Heavenly Father’s children, on both sides of the veil, deserves to hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. …
“… Think of it! Of all the people who have ever lived on planet earth, we are the ones who get to participate in this final, great gathering event. How exciting is that! …
“This gathering should mean everything to you. This is the mission for which you were sent to earth” (“Hope of Israel” [worldwide devotional for youth, June 3, 2018], broadcasts.ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Refining and purifying.
Silver is found mixed with other minerals in deposits of ore. Anciently, a refiner of silver would extract the silver by placing the ore in a furnace heated to extreme temperatures. This would cause dross (impurities or unwanted minerals) to emerge on the surface of the molten ore. The refiner would scrape the dross away, leaving pure silver, which could be identified by its distinctive glow.
A fuller was someone who cleansed and whitened cloth. The cloth would be immersed in water mixed with “fuller’s soap,” which was designed to remove oil and dirt. While the cloth was soaking, the fuller would beat or stamp it to remove impurities. (See “Refiner’s Fire and Fuller’s Soap,” New Era, June 2016, 6–7.)