Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Sunday, October 18, 2020

There Could Not be a Happier People


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In an evaluation of your life have you thought about this question? How happy are you? I’ve thought about it a lot particularly lately. How happy am I? I still struggle with health and financial issues, I still struggle with trial tribulation and find myself repenting of things daily and wish I could be better. I find that I am a woman that makes mistakes, that suffers from anxiety and PTSD, self-esteem issues, and neediness. I suffer from the grief of the death of my children daily, and simply put, I just suffer; but am I happy? I could never be happier as the gospel of Jesus Christ changed my life and though I suffer, I do so gratefully for He is worth it, and my joy is full. In all these things, I truly have happiness, and my heart though it grieves and I struggle, it is not beyond the touch of Jesus Christ it is not, beyond being happy.

As we study this week 3 Nephi 274 Nephi we can put a focus on the happiness of the people as they embrace the gospel. In this, we too can embrace and find joy.

History and Background

3 Nephi 27 Soon after the Savior’s ministry among the Nephites, the twelve newly called Nephite disciples met together in mighty prayer and fasting. Jesus Christ appeared to them and answered their question concerning the name they should give the Church. He taught them about His gospel and commanded them to be like Him.

3 Nephi 28 When Jesus Christ asked each of His twelve Nephite disciples what they desired of Him, nine requested to speedily return to Him when their ministry on the earth was complete. Three desired to remain on the earth to bring souls to Him until His Second Coming. The Lord honored both sets of righteous desires. Mormon provided some details of the Three Nephites’ ministry, and he also shared what the Lord had revealed to him about the physical change the Three Nephites experienced so they could remain on the earth.

3 Nephi 29–30 As Mormon concluded his account of the Savior’s visit among the Nephites, he explained that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon would be a sign that the Lord was fulfilling His covenant with the house of Israel. He also warned that those who reject the works of God will be subject to God’s judgments. Finally, he recorded the Savior’s invitation for all people to repent and be numbered among the house of Israel.

4 Nephi In only 49 verses, the book of 4 Nephi narrates a period of nearly 300 years—almost one-third of the entire Nephite history covered by the Book of Mormon. The brevity of 4 Nephi contributes to its power. It succinctly highlights the contrast between the people’s righteousness immediately following the Savior’s ministry among them and their wickedness four generations later. The book’s first 18 verses illustrate the blessings enjoyed by a society that is built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ. Later verses provide a witness of the destructiveness of pride, showing how this society gradually weakened until it was almost entirely consumed in sin. After Jesus Christ’s ministry among the descendants of Lehi, the people applied His teachings and enjoyed many years of unity, prosperity, and happiness. They united as “the children of Christ” and no longer referred to themselves as Nephites or Lamanites (4 Nephi 1:17). However, they eventually became prideful and increasingly wicked, and they again divided themselves as Nephites and Lamanites. Nearly 300 years after the Savior’s visit, almost all the people had become wicked.

Part One: 3 Nephi 27:1–22 The Church of Jesus Christ is called in His name and is built upon His gospel.

Discussing the name of the Church helps to deepen our appreciation for our membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following is how the church was named and why.

And it came to pass that as the disciples of Jesus were journeying and were preaching the things which they had both heard and seen, and were baptizing in the name of Jesus, it came to pass that the disciples were gathered together and were united in mighty prayer and fasting.

And Jesus again showed himself unto them, for they were praying unto the Father in his name; and Jesus came and stood in the midst of them, and said unto them: What will ye that I shall give unto you?

And they said unto him: Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter.

And the Lord said unto them: Verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing?

Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;

And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.

Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.

And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.

Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;

10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.

11 But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return.

12 For their works do follow them, for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.

13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.

14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.

18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.

19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.

21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;

22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

What can a name communicate about an organization and the people in it?

Soon after Jesus Christ’s visit to the Nephites, His twelve Nephite disciples united in fasting and prayer. They wanted to know what the name of the Church should be. As they were praying, the Savior appeared and began to teach them.  3 Nephi 27:1–3 (click the link to read or see above)

What did the Savior teach about the name of His Church?

What reasons did He give for naming the Church after Himself?

What is the Savior’s description of His true Church? The true Church of Jesus Christ must be called by His name and be built upon His gospel.

Why do you think it is important for the Savior’s Church to bear His name?

Why is it important to use the name of the Church as we share our beliefs with others?

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).

Why do you think it is important for the Church to not just bear Jesus Christ’s name but also be built on 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?

Part Two: 3 Nephi 29–30 The Book of Mormon is a sign that God’s latter-day work is being fulfilled.

3 Nephi ends with Mormon describing the Book of Mormon’s role in the latter-day gathering of Israel and the Lord (through Mormon) warning the Gentiles in the latter days to repent and turn unto Him. These chapters give us a good opportunity to recommit to using the Book of Mormon in our lives and in inviting others to come unto the Savior.

3 Nephi 29–30 by talking about signs. What is signified by the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, which Mormon called “these sayings?” 3 Nephi 29:1–3 

And now behold, I say unto you that when the Lord shall see fit, in his wisdom, that these sayings shall come unto the Gentiles according to his word, then ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of Israel, concerning their restoration to the lands of their inheritance, is already beginning to be fulfilled.

And ye may know that the words of the Lord, which have been spoken by the holy prophets, shall all be fulfilled; and ye need not say that the Lord delays his coming unto the children of Israel.

And ye need not imagine in your hearts that the words which have been spoken are vain, for behold, the Lord will remember his covenant which he hath made unto his people of the house of Israel.

“these sayings” in 3 Nephi 29:1 refers to the writings of the Book of Mormon. How would you summarize the prophecy recorded in these verses? The coming forth of the Book of Mormon is a sign that the Lord is fulfilling His covenant to gather Israel in the latter days. The Book of Mormon is fulfillment of Mormon’s prophecy and we can be assured that the Lord is preparing His people for His coming.

What message did the Lord give in 3 Nephi 29:4–9 to those who would “spurn” or “deny”

And when ye shall see these sayings coming forth among you, then ye need not any longer spurn at the doings of the Lord, for the sword of his justice is in his right hand; and behold, at that day, if ye shall spurn at his doings he will cause that it shall soon overtake you.

Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord; yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works!

Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost!

Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!

Yea, and ye need not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews, nor any of the remnant of the house of Israel; for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them, and he will do unto them according to that which he hath sworn.

Therefore ye need not suppose that ye can turn the right hand of the Lord unto the left, that he may not execute judgment unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel.

What did Mormon say people in the last days would spurn? “The doings of the Lord.”

What do you think Mormon meant when he wrote, “Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord … [and] shall deny the Christ and his works?” Those who spurn the Lord’s doings and deny Him will eventually experience sadness and regret.

How does reading the Book of Mormon daily strengthen our faith in those things that other people “spurn” or “deny” in our day?

In 3 Nephi 30, Mormon fulfilled a commandment from the Lord to record an invitation from Jesus Christ specifically to the Gentiles, or people without the gospel.

Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:

Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.

What did the Savior invite the Gentiles of the last days to do? “turn … from your wicked ways,” “repent of your evil doings,” and “come unto me, and be baptized in my name.”

What blessings does Jesus Christ promise to the Gentiles if they will accept His invitations and come unto Him? Receiving a remission of sins, being filled with the Holy Ghost, and being numbered among His people.

What principle do we learn about this from Verse 2? If we repent, come unto Jesus Christ, and be baptized, then we will receive a remission of our sins, be filled with the Holy Ghost, and be numbered with the house of Israel.

“It does not matter if your lineage in the house of Israel is through bloodlines or by adoption. As a member of the Church, you are counted as a descendant of Abraham and an heir to all the promises and blessings contained in the Abrahamic covenant” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference [2004], 112).

“As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you are a child of the covenant (see 3 Nephi 20:25–26). You have received the everlasting gospel and inherited the same promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You have the right to the blessings of the priesthood and to eternal life, according to your faithfulness in receiving the ordinances of salvation and keeping the associated covenants. Nations of the earth will be blessed by your efforts and by the labors of your posterity” (True to the Faith, 5–6).

Why is it a blessing to be numbered among the Lord’s people?

Even though 3 Nephi 30:2 is addressed to those who are not members of the Church, we can use Jesus Christ’s invitation to measure our own efforts to keep the covenants we have made with God. We can use 3 Nephi 30:2 to evaluate our efforts to come unto Christ by turning from “evil doings.”

Self-Evaluation: determine which “evil doings” you may need to more fully turn away from in order to come unto Christ. As we repent and come unto Jesus Christ, He will bless us and number us among His people.

“Evil doings” mentioned in 3 Nephi 30:2I do this often. I sometimes do this. I never do this.
Lying and deceiving (leading someone to believe something that is not true)
Secret abominations (private actions that are sinful or offensive to God)
Idolatries (giving priority to the things of the world over the things of God)
Priestcrafts (participating in religious activities to glorify oneself rather than to serve God and others)
Envyings (being jealous or resentful of what someone else has)
Strifes (contention, fighting, or quarreling)

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Part Three: 4 Nephi 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.

It covers the nearly 200 years of unity and harmony following Jesus Christ’s visit to the Americas. The people “were all converted unto the Lord” 4 Nephi 1:2, resulting in a society that people of all ages have dreamed of. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles observed that following Christ’s visit, “His majestic teachings and ennobling spirit led to the happiest of all times, a time in which ‘there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another. And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift’ [4 Nephi 1:2–3]That blessed circumstance was, I suppose, achieved on only one other occasion of which we know—the city of Enoch, where ‘they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them’ [Moses 7:18]” (Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 40; or Ensign, May 1996, 30).

When we talk about being converted unto the Lord we need to remember that this includes more than simply being a member of His Church. It involves “changing one’s beliefs, heart, and life to accept and conform to the will of God … [and] become a disciple of Christ” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Conversion, Convert,”

President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988) of the First Presidency gave the following insight regarding the meaning of true conversion:

“Webster [dictionary] says the verb, ‘convert,’ means ‘to turn from one belief or course to another.’ That ‘conversion’ is ‘a spiritual and moral change. …’ As used in the scriptures, ‘converted’ generally implies not merely mental acceptance of Jesus and his teachings but also a motivating faith in him and in 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 wholly converted, desire for things inimical [contrary] to the gospel of Jesus Christ has actually died, and substituted therefor is a love of God with a fixed and controlling determination to keep his commandments. …“… From this it would appear that membership in the Church and conversion are not necessarily synonymous. Being converted … and having a testimony are not necessarily the same thing either. A testimony comes when the Holy Ghost gives the earnest seeker a witness of the truth. A moving testimony vitalizes faith; that is, it induces repentance and obedience to the commandments. Conversion, on the other hand, is the fruit of, or the reward for, repentance and obedience” (Conference Report, Oct. 1963, 23–24).

In  4 Nephi 1:1–2  what happened as the people became converted unto the Lord?

And it came to pass that the thirty and fourth year passed away, and also the thirty and fifth, and behold the disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ in all the lands round about. And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass in the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.

When we are converted unto the Lord, we avoid contention. Regarding the way members of the Church should treat others, the Lord revealed, “Every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God” (D&C 82:19).

Why do you think becoming converted unto the Lord helps us avoid engaging in contention with others?

What words or phrases in these verses describe what the people experienced because they were all converted unto the Lord? 4 Nephi 1:3, 5, 7, 10–13, 15. 

And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus.

And thus did the thirty and eighth year pass away, and also the thirty and ninth, and forty and first, and the forty and second, yea, even until forty and nine years had passed away, and also the fifty and first, and the fifty and second; yea, and even until fifty and nine years had passed away.

And the Lord did prosper them exceedingly in the land; yea, insomuch that they did build cities again where there had been cities burned.

Yea, even that great city Zarahemla did they cause to be built again.

But there were many cities which had been sunk, and waters came up in the stead thereof; therefore these cities could not be renewed.

10 And now, behold, it came to pass that the people of Nephi did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people.

11 And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them.

12 And they did not walk any more after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses; but they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God, continuing in fasting and prayer, and in meeting together oft both to pray and to hear the word of the Lord.

13 And it came to pass that there was no contention among all the people, in all the land; but there were mighty miracles wrought among the disciples of Jesus.

14 And it came to pass that the seventy and first year passed away, and also the seventy and second year, yea, and in fine, till the seventy and ninth year had passed away; yea, even an hundred years had passed away, and the disciples of Jesus, whom he had chosen, had all gone to the paradise of God, save it were the three who should tarry; and there were other disciples ordained in their stead; and also many of that generation had passed away.

15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

What ceased to exist among the people during this time? 4 Nephi 1:16–17 

**Note: tumults refer to public commotions or upoars, whoredoms refer to sexual sins, and lasciviousness refers to lustfulness and immorality.

16 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

17 There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.

What do you think the phrase “nor any manner of -ites” (verse 17) means? 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.

What can we do to overcome such divisions and truly become “one, the children of Christ”?

What would it take in today’s world to build a society that did not have any contentions or disputations? President Spencer W. Kimball taught how this goal can be achieved: “First, we must eliminate the individual tendency to selfishness that snares the soul, shrinks the heart, and darkens the mind. …“Second, we must cooperate completely and work in harmony one with the other. …“Third, we must lay on the altar and sacrifice whatever is required by the Lord. We begin by offering a ‘broken heart and a contrite spirit’ [3 Nephi 9:20]” (Conference Report, Apr. 1978, 123; or Ensign, May 1978, 81).

President James E. Faust of the First Presidency taught that despite diversity of cultures, races, or traditions, unity can be developed: “I have learned to admire, respect, and love the good people from every race, culture, and nation that I have been privileged to visit. In my experience, no race or class seems superior to any other in spirituality and faithfulness. Those who seem less caring spiritually are those individuals—regardless of race, culture, or nationality—spoken of by the Savior in the parable of the sower who are ‘choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection’ [Luke 8:14]. …“As we move into more and more countries in the world, we find a rich cultural diversity in the Church. Yet everywhere there can be a ‘unity of the faith’ [Ephesians 4:13]. Each group brings special gifts and talents to the table of the Lord. We can all learn much of value from each other. But each of us should also voluntarily seek to enjoy all of the unifying and saving covenants, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. “In the great diversity of peoples, cultures, and circumstances, we remember that all are equal before the Lord” (Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 81–82; or Ensign, May 1995, 61–62).

According to verses 16–17, how were the people blessed because they were converted unto the Lord? When we are converted unto the Lord, we are blessed with happiness and unity as the children of Christ.

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).

How do you think your life would be different if everyone you knew was converted unto the Lord?

Tragically, the second half of 4 Nephi reveals how a righteous and happy people allowed pride and apostasy to enter their lives, bringing the eventual destruction of their society.

What can we learn from the decline of the Zion society?

What ended the happiness and unity the people experienced in the nearly 200 years following the Savior’s visit? 4 Nephi 1:19–34

19 And it came to pass that Nephi, he that kept this last record, (and he kept it upon the plates of Nephi) died, and his son Amos kept it in his stead; and he kept it upon the plates of Nephi also.

20 And he kept it eighty and four years, and there was still peace in the land, save it were a small part of the people who had revolted from the church and taken upon them the name of Lamanites; therefore there began to be Lamanites again in the land.

21 And it came to pass that Amos died also, (and it was an hundred and ninety and four years from the coming of Christ) and his son Amos kept the record in his stead; and he also kept it upon the plates of Nephi; and it was also written in the book of Nephi, which is this book.

22 And it came to pass that two hundred years had passed away; and the second generation had all passed away save it were a few.

23 And now I, Mormon, would that ye should know that the people had multiplied, insomuch that they were spread upon all the face of the land, and that they had become exceedingly rich, because of their prosperity in Christ.

24 And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.

25 And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.

26 And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ.

27 And it came to pass that when two hundred and ten years had passed away there were many churches in the land; yea, there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness.

28 And this church did multiply exceedingly because of iniquity, and because of the power of Satan who did get hold upon their hearts.

29 And again, there was another church which denied the Christ; and they did persecute the true church of Christ, because of their humility and their belief in Christ; and they did despise them because of the many miracles which were wrought among them.

30 Therefore they did exercise power and authority over the disciples of Jesus who did tarry with them, and they did cast them into prison; but by the power of the word of God, which was in them, the prisons were rent in twain, and they went forth doing mighty miracles among them.

31 Nevertheless, and notwithstanding all these miracles, the people did harden their hearts, and did seek to kill them, even as the Jews at Jerusalem sought to kill Jesus, according to his word.

32 And they did cast them into furnaces of fire, and they came forth receiving no harm.

33 And they also cast them into dens of wild beasts, and they did play with the wild beasts even as a child with a lamb; and they did come forth from among them, receiving no harm.

34 Nevertheless, the people did harden their hearts, for they were led by many priests and false prophets to build up many churches, and to do all manner of iniquity. And they did smite upon the people of Jesus; but the people of Jesus did not smite again. And thus they did dwindle in unbelief and wickedness, from year to year, even until two hundred and thirty years had passed away.

What truths in these verses can help us identify attitudes and behaviors that need to change in our lives and in our society?


In recent days President Nelson has taught of the importance of the name of the church, and the importance we have to uphold that name and use it correctly. In great detail this is explained in these chapters giving us even more reason to practice this appropriately. In connection with this The Book of Mormon is a sign that latter-day work is being fulfilled, this is evident more now than ever, and conversion, true conversion is a new level we need to achieve.

“Your happiness now and forever is conditioned on your degree of conversion and the transformation that it brings to your life” (Richard G. Scott, “Full Conversion Brings Happiness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2002, 25).

How can your efforts to become more converted unto the Lord influence the happiness and well-being of those around you? When members of a family, quorum, class, or other group are unified in righteousness, they can experience greater happiness than they would be able to experience on their own. Therefore let us be unified and progress to the state of happiness the Lord wants us to have.


Book of Mormon Student Manual

Seminary Manual

Doctrine and Covenants

Conference Reports


True to the Faith

Guide to the Scriptures

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The Fall of Adam and Eve

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