Lesson 36: 3 Nephi 1-7
We will concentrate on chapters 5-7.
Verses 8-26: Once again the people have repented after having to defend themselves against an enemy. Why does Mormon insert his commentary here?
Verse 9: Why does he tell us of the existence of other records? Why do we need to know about them?
Verse 10: Were you to say what this verse says in your own words, what would you say?
Verse 12: Why does he tell us the origin of his name? What was the particular transgression of the Nephites to which Mormon refers? Is there a connection between his name and what happened in that land? Is there a connection between his name and what he has just described?
Verse 13: What does it mean to be a disciple? Might Mormon be using â€œdiscipleâ€? as we use â€œapostleâ€?? What does it mean to have everlasting life?
Verse 14: Who are the holy ones to whom he refers?
Verse 18: We have an idea of what it means for a person to be just, what does it mean for a record to be just? The most common meaning of â€œtrueâ€? is something like in â€œaccordance with the facts,â€? but there are other meanings as well, such as â€œsteadfast,â€? â€œconstant,â€? â€œreliable,â€? and â€œverified.â€? Do any of these other meanings give further understanding of what it means for the Book of Mormon to be true?
Verse 20: He said he was making an end in verse 19, but he continues. How might you explain this? What does it mean to be a pure descendant of Lehi? Why do you think Mormon mentions this? How can knowledge bring salvation? Isn’t something more needed? Or, perhaps, is he using â€œknowledgeâ€? differently than we might expect?
Verse 21: How is Mormon using the word â€œsurelyâ€?? When we use it, it usually indicates some previous doubt. Is that what he is implying? What is the point of the comment of this verse? Why is it important to notice that the Lord is blessing the seed of Jacob and that of Joseph?
Verses 23-24: Notice the repetition of â€œsurely.â€? Does its use in verse 24 suggest something about the way in which it was being used earlier?
Verse 23: Is the knowledge referred to here the same as that mentioned at the end of verse 20?
Verse 25: What covenant has the Lord made with the house of Jacob? Why does the house of Jacob have to know about that covenant?
Verse 26: In this case does the word â€œthenâ€? mean that they will know their Redeemer after they know the covenant the Lord has made with Israel, or does it mean that they will know their Redeemer in knowing that covenant?
Verse 10: The Nephite story starts all over again: riches corrupt them, causing disputes, pride, boasting, and even persecution. Couldnâ€™t the Book of Mormon have been shorter with fewer examples of that cycle? Why does Mormon feel compelled to give us so many cases?
Verse 11: Our culture has enough negative things about lawyers that we can perhaps imagine how their presence in the Book of Mormon land accounts for the disputes, pride, boasting, and persecution, but what about the merchants? How is it a problem to have many merchants? What does it mean to say there were many officers? What would the modern equivalent of Nephite officers be?
Verse 12: Do we distinguish by ranks according to riches and opportunities for learning? We often pride ourselves on the level of learning in the Church. We also often pride ourselves on the material achievements of the members in general. But in doing so do we make those with less riches or less opportunity for learning feel uncomfortable? Do we exclude them? Perhaps even more to the point being made here, is our society one which makes it more likely that the poor will be ignorant and that the rich will be learned? If so, what should we do about that?
Verse 13: What is the connection between not returning railing for railing, but suffering persecution and affliction, on the one hand, and being humble and penitent before God, on the other?
Verse 14: What is the great inequality that began to be in the land?
Verse 18: What has the daily ministering of angels to do with Nephi’s power to convince them? How does his ministration to them (verse 17) compare to the angel’s ministration to him?
Verse 24: Why does the writer need to tell us that those who were converted were baptized? Though true, it is something we might not think to include in a history. What might this say not only of the prophet’s insight into our needs, but also of the situation in his own day?