“October 19–25. 3 Nephi 27–4 Nephi: ‘There Could Not Be a Happier People,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“October 19–25. 3 Nephi 27–4 Nephi,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
3 Nephi 27–4 Nephi
“There Could Not Be a Happier People”
Personally studying 3 Nephi 27–4 Nephi is the best way to prepare to teach. The doctrines and ideas in this outline may help you respond to the spiritual promptings you receive as you study.
Record Your Impressions
One way to encourage class members to share insights from their personal study is to invite them to find a hymn related to a truth they learned in 3 Nephi 27–4 Nephi. They could then share the hymns they found and how these hymns relate to the scriptural truths.
Teach the Doctrine
The Church of Jesus Christ is called in His name and is built upon His gospel.
Discussing the name of the Church might deepen your class members’ appreciation for their membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Consider inviting class members to list names of various organizations and describe what the names tell us about those organizations. Then class members could read 3 Nephi 27:1–12, looking for what the Savior taught about the name of His Church. They could also share what it means to them to be members of Christ’s Church. What does it mean to take His name upon ourselves?
Here’s another way to discuss the importance of the name of the Savior’s Church. After a discussion of truths found in 3 Nephi 27:1–22, you could write the full name of the Church on the board. Then class members could select words in the name and suggest how each word helps us know who we are or what we believe. President M. Russell Ballard’s statement in “Additional Resources” could help. Why is it important to use the name of the Church as we share our beliefs with others?
After explaining that His Church must be “built upon [His] gospel” (3 Nephi 27:10), the Savior described what His gospel is. Perhaps you could invite class members to share how they might explain to a friend what the gospel is. Then you could invite them to search 3 Nephi 27:13–22, looking for how the Savior defined His gospel. How would we summarize what the Savior said? As we study the Savior’s definition of the gospel, what insights do we gain about how to live the gospel in our daily lives?
The Book of Mormon is a sign that God’s latter-day work is being fulfilled.
Perhaps you could start a discussion about 3 Nephi 29–30 by talking about signs. For example, class members could name signs that let us know that a storm is coming or that the seasons are changing. Then they could read 3 Nephi 29:1–3 to learn what is signified by the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, which Mormon called “these sayings” (see also 3 Nephi 21:1–7). What message did the Lord give in 3 Nephi 29:4–9 to those who would “spurn” or “deny” the work of God in the last days? How does reading the Book of Mormon daily strengthen our faith in those things that other people “spurn” or “deny” in our day? You may want to invite class members to read the Lord’s invitation in 3 Nephi 30 and share how the Book of Mormon has helped them accept this invitation.
Conversion to Jesus Christ and His gospel leads to unity and happiness.
The account in 4 Nephi illustrates the joy that can come into our lives—as individuals, as families, and as a ward or stake—as we strive to be more fully converted to Jesus Christ. Consider asking class members to search 4 Nephi 1:1–18 and write on the board the blessings that came to the people when they were all converted to the Lord. How did their conversion affect how they treated each other? Perhaps class members could share how the gospel has brought similar blessings to their families or their ward. To help class members understand how each of us can live more like the people in 4 Nephi and how we can encourage greater unity and happiness among those around us, you could read the statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson in “Additional Resources.” Class members could assess their personal efforts in the three areas Elder Christofferson described.
The people of the Book of Mormon had distinguished themselves as Nephites and Lamanites—and many other “-ites”—for centuries, but after the Savior’s ministry among them, these distinctions disappeared. After reading 4 Nephi 1:17 together, perhaps class members could share their thoughts about what kinds of “-ites” or groups exist in our society today. What can we do to overcome such divisions and truly become “one, the children of Christ”? (verse 17).
What can class members learn from the decline of the Zion society described in 4 Nephi? You could invite them to search 4 Nephi 1:19–34, looking for what ended the happiness and unity the people experienced in the nearly 200 years following the Savior’s visit. What truths in these verses can help us identify attitudes and behaviors that need to change in our lives and in our society?
Encourage Learning at Home
Mormon 1–6 describes tragic events that led to the destruction of the Nephite people. To encourage class members to read these chapters, invite them to look for things they notice about the Nephites that we see happening in our day.
The name of Christ’s Church.
President M. Russell Ballard said:
“I have thought a lot about why the Savior gave the nine-word name to His restored Church. It may seem long, but if we think of it as a descriptive overview of what the Church is, it suddenly becomes wonderfully brief, candid, and straightforward. How could any description be more direct and clear and yet expressed in such few words?
“Every word is clarifying and indispensable. The word The indicates the unique position of the restored Church among the religions of the world.
“The words Church of Jesus Christ declare that it is His Church [see 3 Nephi 27:8]. …
“Of Latter-day explains that it is the same Church as the Church that Jesus Christ established during His mortal ministry but restored in these latter days. We know there was a falling away, or an apostasy, necessitating the Restoration of His true and complete Church in our time.
“Saints means that its members follow Him and strive to do His will, keep His commandments, and prepare once again to live with Him and our Heavenly Father in the future. Saint simply refers to those who seek to make their lives holy by covenanting to follow Christ” (“The Importance of a Name,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 80).
What will it take to build Zion?
Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught: “Zion is Zion because of the character, attributes, and faithfulness of her citizens [see Moses 7:18]. … If we would establish Zion in our homes, branches, wards, and stakes, we must rise to this standard. It will be necessary (1) to become unified in one heart and one mind; (2) to become, individually and collectively, a holy people; and (3) to care for the poor and needy with such effectiveness that we eliminate poverty among us. We cannot wait until Zion comes for these things to happen—Zion will come only as they happen” (“Come to Zion,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 38).