Sunday School Lesson 39

Lesson 39: 3 Nephi 17-19

Chapter 17

Verses 1-3: Does the Savior think what he has said is easy to understand? Are the things he has taught “plain and simple�? Why haven’t the Nephites understood him well? In what ways are they weak? What does it mean to ponder something? What does it mean to ask the Father for understanding?

Verses 5-8: Jesus appears to have been ready to quit for the day. What moves him to continue? What is the connection between healing the sick and Jesus’ ministry? Why do the gospels, the Book of Mormon, and latter-day revelation consistently connect these two things? How is that related to the sermon that he has just recently given to them?

Verses 12-24: Why is the blessing of the children interrupted by Jesus’s prayer? The story implies some connection between the children coming to him and his groaning within himself for Israel. What’s the connection? Is there anything in your own experience to which you might compare what happens in Jesus’ prayer? (Though verses 15 through 17 indicate that it is impossible to tell what Jesus prayed, notice that the end of verse 17 implies that it was a prayer for the people present.) Why would Mormon think it is important for us to know about this prayer if it is impossible for us to know its contents? What does Christ mean when, in verse 20, he says his joy is full? What makes it full?

Verses 23-25: What is the import of these verses? What would this vision have meant to the Nephites? What might it mean to us?

Chapter 18

Verses 4-5 and 9: In what sense or senses were those who ate the bread filled?

Verse 7: Is it significant that he says “ye do always remember me� rather than “ye will always remember me�?

Verse 10: They are blessed for what they have done. Does this refer to the sacrament? If so, how is taking the sacrament “fulfilling my commandments�? What is the connection between obeying the Savior and remembering him?

Verse 11: The language here is slightly odd. How do we do the sacrament to those who repent and are baptized? What is the significance of that usage?

Verse 12: To what does “these things� refer?

Verses 12-13: He ended his first sermon with the same analogy that he uses here. (See 3 Nephi 14:24-27.) Little of what he says to them is repetitious, why does this particular one? How would we do more than these things? How would we do less?

Verses 16 and 24: When the scriptures tell us to let our light shine before the world, what do they mean? Compare what Christ says here to 2 Nephi 31:12.

Verse 18: What does it mean to watch and pray lest we enter into temptation?

Verse 22: To what situation in their own lives and history might the Nephites have thought this verse applied? Why does he repeat the injunction so frequently here? (See verses 30 and 32.) How does this relevant to us? Are there those whom we cast out of your chapels? Who? How?

Verses 27-31: What is this commandment about? Why does the Savior give it special place by drawing such attention to it?

Verse 33: In this verse, to what does the phrase “these saying� refer? Do sayings go beyond the commandments or is “saying� just another way of saying “commandment�? Why might Christ have used the word “saying� here?

Verse 34: What are the commandments Jesus has given? How are those commandments a response to the disputations that have been among the Nephites? (What disputations have we seen among them?)

Verse 35: What might it mean to say that it is expedient that Jesus go to the Father for their sakes?

Verses 38-39: Why do you think that Jesus ascends to heaven in a cloud, obscured from the view of the multitudes?

Chapter 19

Verses 2-3: Did everyone witness Jesus’s appearance?

Verses 11-12: Hadn’t the twelve been baptized? If not, why not? If so, why are they baptized again?

Verse 14: Why are this event and that related in 3 Nephi 17:24 so similar? What do those similarities suggest? Do they teach us something?

Verses 18 and 22: Jesus was known as Jehovah in the times of the Old Testament. He was prayed to many times by that name. What is different now?

Verses 20-21: How does Jesus’ prayer here relate to the context in which it occurs? In other words, why, in this particular context, does he pray that the Holy Ghost will be given to all believers?

Verse 23: Why is this prayer to the Father primarily a prayer for the unity of the believers? What kind of unity does the Savior have in mind here? Is this particularly a response to the Nephites, or should we understand it in a broader context? What does it mean for us?

Verse 24: What does it mean that “it was given unto them what they should pray�? Are our prayers ever like that? When? If not, should they be, or is this a special case of prayer? What does it mean that “they were filled with desire�? Desire for what?

Verses 28-29: Compare this prayer to John 17, especially 17:9-10. What does it mean that Jesus doesn’t pray for the world? Doesn’t he love everyone? What does it mean that those who have faith have been given to him? If we have faith, in what sense have we been given to him? How do we belong to him? What does it mean that Jesus will be glorified in those who have been given him? How is he glorified in us?

Verses 32-34: Did they perhaps receive their endowment?

Verses 35-36: What miracles could Jesus show those on the American continents that he couldn’t show the Israelites?