3Nephi 5 – The Nephites, after realizing the Lord helped them defeat the Gadianton robbers, had faith in Christ and repented of their sins. Mormon called himself a disciple of Christ and told of his writings of the history of his people.
VS1–3 – Faith Leads to Repentance and All Good Works
While serving as a member of the Seventy, Elder John H. Groberg explained the relationship between faith and repentance:
“If we think deeply, we realize that the first principle—faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—underlies all else; that is, it takes faith in Christ to repent or be baptized or perform any other ordinances of the gospel. Jesus made saving repentance possible and He made baptism meaningful. If we have faith in Him, we will repent and be baptized.
“If we do not repent, or refuse to be baptized, or are unwilling to keep His commandments, it is because we do not have sufficient faith in Him. Thus, repentance, baptism, and all other principles and ordinances are not entirely separate but are actually extensions of our faith in Christ. Without faith in Him, we do little of eternal value. With faith in Him, our lives become focused on doing things of eternal value” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 35; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 26).
VS13 – “A Disciple of Jesus Christ”
- Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “The following has been written about discipleship: “‘The word disciple comes from the Latin [meaning] a learner. A disciple of Christ is one who is learning to be like Christ—learning to think, to feel, and to act as he does. To be a true disciple, to fulfill that learning task, is the most demanding regimen known to man. No other discipline compares … in either requirements or rewards. It involves the total transformation of a person from the state of the natural man to that of [a] saint, one who loves the Lord and serves with all of his heart, might, mind, and strength’ (Chauncey C. Riddle, ‘Becoming a Disciple,’ Ensign, Sept. 1974, 81)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2000, 77; or Ensign, Nov. 2000, 61).
- Mormon called himself a disciple, but responsibilities made him more of an apostle, just like the 12 Nephite disciples.
- One of the most important ways we can show our gratitude to the Lord for the blessings He gives us is by helping others come to Him and receive those same blessings. How can we be more devoted disciples?
VS22–26 -The Meaning of the Gathering in the Latter Days
- Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained the meaning and purpose of the gathering: “Another sign of the times is the gathering of the faithful (see D&C 133:4). In the early years of this last dispensation, a gathering to Zion involved various locations in the United States: to Kirtland, to Missouri, to Nauvoo, and to the tops of the mountains. Always these were gatherings to prospective temples. “With the creation of stakes and the construction of temples in most nations with sizable populations of the faithful, the current commandment is not to gather to one place but to gather in stakes in our own homelands. There the faithful can enjoy the full blessings of eternity in a house of the Lord. There, in their own homelands, they can obey the Lord’s command to enlarge the borders of His people and strengthen her stakes (see D&C 101:21; 133:9, 14). In this way the stakes of Zion are ‘for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth’ (D&C 115:6)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2004, 6; or Ensign, May 2004, 8).
- Remnant of the seed of Joseph means the descendants of Lehi living today.
3Nephi 6 – Following a period of prosperity, the Nephites become prideful and the Church is broken up and prophets slain.
VS1-9 – The Nephites returned to their homes. Peace was established with the repentant Gadianton robbers. Cities were built or repaired, and highways were built.
- VS5 – You will always prosper unless you fall into transgression
VS10-12 -Prosperity and Peace Can Lead to Pride
- During the years immediately prior to the Savior’s personal ministry among the Nephites, the people enjoyed a period of brief prosperity. Unfortunately, this temporal success led to “pride and boastings because of their exceedingly great riches” (3 Nephi 6:10).
- President Henry B. Eyring warned about such challenges in our day: “A little prosperity and peace, or even a turn slightly for the better, can bring us feelings of self-sufficiency. We can feel quickly that we are in control of our lives, that the change for the better is our own doing, not that of a God who communicates to us through the still, small voice of the Spirit. Pride creates a noise within us which makes the quiet voice of the Spirit hard to hear. And soon, in our vanity, we no longer even listen for it. We can come quickly to think we don’t need it” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2001, 16; or Ensign, Nov. 2001, 16).
VS12, 14 – Inequality can break up a church or community.
Q – What impresses you about how the converted Lamanites responded during this time?
VS13 – We Determine Our Response to Circumstance (Attitude)
Q – Is it possible for someone to be
Rich and humble?
Poor and prideful?
Educated and humble?
Uneducated and prideful?
- The record states that “some were lifted up in pride, and others were exceedingly humble” (3 Nephi 6:13). Each of us must determine which way we are going to turn. Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught of this principle: “Certainly one of our God-given privileges is the right to choose what our attitude will be in any given set of circumstances. We can let the events that surround us determine our actions—or we can personally take charge and rule our lives, using as guidelines the principles of pure religion. Pure religion is learning the gospel of Jesus Christ and then putting it into action. Nothing will ever be of real benefit to us until it is incorporated into our own lives” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 91; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 63).
- Railing for railing means insult for insult.
Q – What actions can we take to help ourselves remain humble and faithful in any circumstance?
VS15–18 – Satan Tempted Them to Willfully Sin against God
- Satan, who rebelled against God in our premortal existence (see Moses 4:3; D&C 29:36; 76:25), seeks to stir up rebellion among the Saints of God. The danger of willful participation in sin has to do with the voice we choose to follow. King Benjamin warned: “And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken. …“I say unto you, that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God; therefore he listeth to obey the evil spirit, and becometh an enemy to all righteousness; therefore, the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholy temples” (Mosiah 2:36–37).
- Elder Neal A. Maxwell observed: “Surely it should give us more pause than it does to think of how casually we sometimes give to [Satan] who could not control his own ego in the premortal world such awful control over our egos here. We often let the adversary do indirectly now what we refused to let him do directly then” (We Will Prove Them Herewith , 45).
- Elder M. Russell Ballard further explained the danger of heeding Satan’s temptations: “In the premortal world before we left the presence of Heavenly Father, He warned and cautioned us about new experiences we would have in mortality. We knew that we each would have a physical body of flesh and bone. Never having been mortal before, we had no experience dealing with the temptations of mortality. But Heavenly Father knew and understood. He charged us to control our mortal bodies and to make them subject to our spirits. Our spirits would have to master the physical temptations that our bodies would encounter in a temporal world. Spiritual power over the influence of Satan comes to us by keeping the commandments of our Lord, Jesus Christ. …“Satan will seek to tempt us at times and in ways that exploit our greatest weaknesses or destroy our strengths. But his promises of pleasure are short-lived deceptions. His evil design is to tempt us into sinning, knowing that when we sin we separate ourselves from our Heavenly Father and the Savior, Jesus Christ. We begin to move away from Heavenly Father’s promised blessings toward the misery and anguish in which Satan and his followers languish. By sinning we put ourselves in Satan’s power. “Now, my dear young friends, I understand the struggles you face every day in keeping the commandments of the Lord. The battle for your souls is increasingly fierce. The adversary is strong and cunning. However, you have within your physical body the powerful spirit of a son or daughter of God. Because He loves you and wants you to come home to Him, our Father in Heaven has given you a conscience that tells your spirit when you are keeping the Lord’s commandments and when you are not. If you will pay more attention to your spiritual self, which is eternal, than to your mortal self, which is temporary, you can always resist the temptations of Satan and conquer his efforts to take you into his power” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 5–6; or Ensign, May 1993, 6–7).
VS10–18 -The effects of pride
President Ezra Taft Benson taught that the tendency to compare ourselves with other people can be a manifestation of pride. He also warned about how pride affects our relationships with God and others:
“The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others. In the words of C. S. Lewis: ‘Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.’ (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.) …
“Pride adversely affects all our relationships—our relationship with God and His servants, between husband and wife, parent and child, employer and employee, teacher and student, and all mankind. Our degree of pride determines how we treat our God and our brothers and sisters” (“Beware of Pride,” Ensign, May 1989, 4, 6).
VS19-30 – Lachoneus, the son of Lachoneus, took over the judgment seat. Prophets started to preach and testify. Many chief judges, high priests and lawyers were very angry. It was against the law to condemn anyone to death without the governor’s approval, so secret murders were done. Complaints were made, but the judges who did these crimes had friends and family who had their backs and kept their secrets. They covenanted to combine against all righteousness and to destroy the righteous. They wanted to destroy the governor and take over the government with a king.
3Nephi 7 – The chief judge is murdered and the Nephites divide into tribes. The Gadianton robbers appoint a king and move northward. Nephi preaches and does many miracles. Many repent and are baptized.
VS1-8 – The chief judge was murdered. The Nephites divided into tribes, consisting of friends and family. Each tribe was very large. There were no wars amongst the tribes at that time, but the government was destroyed.
Q – How do you think you would have felt if you had lived among the Nephites after their government was overthrown? Where do you think you would have turned for leadership and direction?
VS9-13 – The Gadianton robbers gathered together and appointed a king named Jacob. This group was not as large as the tribes of the Nephites, who each had their own government. The tribes were not righteous, but all were united in their hatred of the robbers. Jacob moved the band northward to build a kingdom and build their numbers with dissenters that were sure to come. They would prepare to fight the tribes as their numbers grew.
VS14 – The tribes would not go to war with each other or trespass on each other’s land. They had peace amongst each other though they stoned the prophets and cast them out.
VS15-18 – Nephi was visited by angels daily. He had power to know of Christ’s ministry. He preached and testified boldly repentance and faith. The people were angry with him because of his power and great faith.
VS19-20 – Nephi cast out devils, raised his brother from the dead, and did many more miracles.
VS21-26 – Not many people were converted, but those who were, felt the Spirit of God. Those who were had miracles done to them testified of their healing and did miracles themselves. Nephi continued to preach. All who repented were baptized.
1. Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the difference between those who are fully converted and those who are still lacking. He further taught the continual need for a cycle of conversion, which builds steadiness in true followers of Christ:
“Each of us has observed how some individuals go through life consistently doing the right things. … When difficult choices are to be made, they seem to invariably make the right ones, even though there were enticing alternatives available to them. We know that they are subject to temptation, but they seem oblivious to it. Likewise, we have observed how others are not so valiant in the decisions they make. In a powerfully spiritual environment, they resolve to do better. … Yet they are soon back doing the same things they resolved to abandon. …
“Sometimes the word converted is used to describe when a sincere individual decides to be baptized. However … conversion means far more than that. … President Marion G. Romney explained conversion:
“‘Converted means to turn from one belief or course of action to another. Conversion is a spiritual and moral change. Converted implies not merely mental acceptance of Jesus and his teachings but also a motivating faith in him and his gospel. A faith which works a transformation, an actual change in one’s understanding of life’s meaning and in his allegiance to God in interest, in thought, and in conduct. In one who is really wholly converted, desire for things contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ has actually died. And substituted therefore is a love of God, with a fixed and controlling determination to keep his commandments’ [in Conference Report, Guatemala Area Conference 1977, 8]. …
“Stated simply, true conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience. Faith comes by hearing the word of God [see Romans 10:17] and responding to it. You will receive from the Holy Ghost a confirming witness of things you accept on faith by willingly doing them [see Ether 12:6]. You will be led to repent of errors resulting from wrong things done or right things not done. As a consequence, your capacity to consistently obey will be strengthened. This cycle of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience will lead you to greater conversion with its attendant blessings” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2002, 26–28; or Ensign, May 2002, 24–25).
2. If we repent and follow the Lord’s servants, we will receive the influence of the Holy Ghost.President James E. Faust of the First Presidency said:
“I have concluded that spiritual guidance in large measure depends upon being in harmony with the President of the Church, the First Presidency, and the Quorum of the Twelve—all of whom are sustained … as prophets, seers, and revelators. I do not know how we can expect to be in full harmony with the Spirit of the Lord if we are not in harmony with the President of the Church and the other prophets, seers, and revelators” (“Called and Chosen,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2005, 53).