Book of Mormon Lesson #37: “Whosoever Will Come, Him Will I Receive” 3 Nephi 8-11
1. Daniel C. Peterson: The account of the great destruction given in 3 Nephi 8 finds remarkable parallels with what modern seismology and volcanology show about cataclysmic geological events and with historical events of such catastrophes. Yet Joseph Smith never saw a volcano and never experienced a significant earthquake, nor is it likely that he had read any substantial literature on the subject. Ensign, Jan. 2000.
2. Jeffrey R. Holland: [3 Nephi 9:1 – voice of Christ] “Come”, Christ says lovingly. “Come, follow me.” Wherever you are going, first come and see what I do, see where and how I spend my time. Learn of me, walk with me, talk with me, believe. Listen to me pray. In turn, you will find answers to your own prayers. God will bring rest to your souls. Come, follow me. General Conference, Oct. 1997.
3. Robert D. Hales: [3 Ne. 9:2 – the devil laugheth] Although the devil laughs, his power is limited. Some may remember the old adage: “The devil made me do it.” Today I want to convey, in absolutely certain terms, that the adversary cannot make us do anything. He does lie at our door, as the scriptures say, and he follows us each day. Every time we go out, every decision we make, we are either choosing to move in his direction or in the direction of our Savior. But the adversary must depart if we tell him to depart. He cannot influence us unless we allow him to do so, and he knows that! The only time he can affect our minds – our very spirits – is when we allow him to do so. General Conference, April 2006.
4. Boyd K. Packer: [3 Ne. 9:13 – be converted, that I may heal you] There is another part of us, no so tangible, but quite as real as our physical body. This intangible part of us is described as mind, emotion, intellect, temperament, and many other things. Very seldom is it described as spiritual. But there is a spirit in man; to ignore it is to ignore reality. There are spiritual disorders, too, and spiritual diseases that can cause intense suffering. The body and the spirit of man are bound together. Often, very often, when there are disorders, it is very difficult to tell which is which. That All May Be Edified, pp. 63-64.
5. Henry B. Eyring: [3 Ne. 9:20 – a broken heart and a contrite spirit] A soft heart has nothing to do with being a coward. In fact, the bravest people I’ve every known have had the softest hearts. … When people love enough, and their hearts are softened enough, there’s nothing they wouldn’t do in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. A Latter-day Saint with a soft heart is courageous, strong, and able to do far more than those who think of themselves as tough. This is what the Savior said about a soft heart. What are some things you could do to have a soft heart? First of all, don’t think of repentance as something you do after you’ve made a serious mistake. Think of repentance as what you do every day. Find a moment each day to review in your mind those things that might have disappointed your Heavenly Father and your Savior, and then go and humbly plead for forgiveness. I would suggest that you do that especially on Sundays when you take the sacrament. … Another way to obtain a soft heart is to make sure you don’t focus too much on yourself or your personal problems and struggles. Instead of thinking of yourself primarily as someone who is seeking purification, think of yourself as someone who is trying to find out who around you needs your help. Pray that way and then reach out. To Draw Closer to God, pp. 109-10.
6. Ezra Taft Benson: Sometimes in the peace of lovely temples, the serious problems of life find their solutions. At times pure knowledge flows to us there under the influence of the Spirit. I am grateful to the Lord for temples. The blessings of the House of the Lord are eternal. They are of the highest importance to us because it is in the temples that we obtain God’s greatest blessings pertaining to eternal life. Temples really are the gateways to heaven. May we remember always, as we visit and work in these temples, that the veil may become very thin between this world and the spirit world. I know this is true. Colorado Temple Dedication, Oct. 25, 1986.
7. Spencer W. Kimball: Nothing builds spirituality and our understanding of the priesthood principles more than regular temple attendance. General Conference, April 1982.
8. Gordon B. Hinckley: There is no better way to ensure proper living than temple attendance. It will crowd out the evils of pornography, substance abuse, and spiritual atrophy. It will strengthen marriage and family relations. Gen. Conf., April 2005.
9. Robert R. Steuer: [3 Ne. 11:3 – still, small voice] Some years ago I remember asking my father-in-law, a seasoned bishop, about a 3x5 inch card he always carried in his shirt pocket. His reply was that at times he felt impressions or promptings. He then liked to pull out that card and write down those feelings, whenever they came. And then he tried to act upon them as quickly as possible. It is humbling to consider that the still, small voice is always there for us, teaching us what to do and where to go. The Lord tells us that when the promptings are heeded, oft more are given. If we do not follow them, the promptings eventually diminish. General Conference, April 2002.
10. Bruce R. McConkie: I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way. General Conference, April 1985.
11. Russell M. Nelson: As we dread any disease that undermines the health of the body, so should we deplore contention, which is a corroding canker of the spirit. … My concern is that contention is becoming accepted as a way of life. From what we see and hear in the media, the classroom, and the workplace, all are now infected to some degree with contention. … Well do I remember a friend who would routinely sow seeds of contention in Church classes. His assaults would invariably be preceded by this predictable comment: “Let me play the role of devil’s advocate.” Recently he passed away. One day he will stand before the Lord in judgment. Then, I wonder, will my friend’s predictable comment again be repeated? General Conference, April 1989.
12. George Q. Cannon: Should there be any quarreling or fault-finding? No; because where the Spirit of God exists there is no disposition of this character. There is a manifestation to suffer wrong rather than to do wrong; not to revile, not to persecute, not to assail back when we are assailed. If a brother comes up to me, and he is in a bad temper, he says something that is annoying, and I lose my temper and reply in the same spirit, do I right? Certainly not. However much the provocation may be, it is not my duty as a Latter-day Saint to indulge in any such feeling or expression. … If a man forgets himself so far as to call his brother a liar, or any other offensive name, there should be enough of the Spirit of God and the spirit of patience and the spirit of self-respect left in the brother to bear the insult without resenting in the same spirit. … It is the duty of every man and woman in this Church to live at peace with him and herself, and then to live at peace with everybody else, husbands with wives, wives with husbands, parents with children, children with parents, brothers with sisters and sisters with brothers. Journal of Discourses, vol. 22, pp. 102-03.
13. Dallin H. Oaks: It is noteworthy that the Savior did not limit his teaching about disputations and contentions to those who had wrong ideas about doctrine or procedure. He forbade disputations and contention by everyone. The commandment to avoid contention applies to those who are right as well as to those who are wrong. The Lord’s Way, p. 142.
14. Bruce R. McConkie: [3 Ne. 11:40 – Christ’s doctrine] Truth is truth. And truth and salvation and the gospel all are ordained of God. They are what they are; and they are not what they are not. Men either have the truths of salvation or they do not; they either possess the gospel, which is the plan of salvation, or they do not. … Anyone in heaven or on earth, in time or eternity, in Paul’s day or ours, anyone who preaches any gospel other than the true one is accursed. Why? Because there is no salvation in a false religion. There is no saving power in a man-made system of salvation. … And any man – whether mortal or immortal, whether man or angel – who preaches any system other than the very one ordained by Deity, leads men astray and keeps them from gaining celestial salvation. And who is a false teacher, a false minister, a false prophet? Anyone who does not teach the truth, minister the elements of true religion, or prophesy truly of that which is yet to be. It is truth, pure, diamond truth that counts and nothing else. A true preacher is one who belongs to the true Church, believes the true gospel, holds that priesthood which is in fact the power of God delegated to man on earth, and who receives revelation from the one true Spirit Being who is the Holy Ghost. And wo unto all others, for they fall under the eternal law here announced by one who was a legal administrator and who wrote by the power of the Spirit. Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, vol. 2, pp. 457-59.
15. Thomas S. Monson: Brethren, may we learn what we should learn, do what we should do, and be what we should be. By so doing, the blessings of heaven will attend. We will know that we are not alone. He who notes the sparrow’s fall will, in His own way, acknowledge us. … I leave with you my testimony that this work in which we are engaged is true. The Lord is at the helm. That we may ever follow Him is my sincere prayer. General Conference, Oct. 2008.
16. Quentin L. Cook: The challenges we face today are in their own way comparable to challenges of the past. The recent economic crisis has caused significant concern throughout the world. Employment and financial problems are not unusual. Many people have physical and mental health challenges. Others deal with marital problems or wayward children. Some have lost loved ones. Addictions and inappropriate or harmful propensities cause heartache. Whatever the source of the trials, they cause significant pain and suffering for individuals and those who love them. In numerous places in the Book of Mormon, the people were promised that they would prosper in the land if they would keep the commandments. This promise is often accompanied by the warning that if they do not keep the commandments of God, they shall be cut off from His presence. Clearly, having the blessings of the Spirit—the ministration of the Holy Ghost—is an essential element to truly prosper in the land and to be prepared. Regardless of our trials, with the abundance we have today, we would be ungrateful if we did not appreciate our blessings. Despite the obvious nature of the hardships the pioneers were experiencing, President Brigham Young talked about the significance of gratitude. He stated, “I do not know of any, excepting the unpardonable sin, that is greater than the sin of ingratitude.” General Conference, Oct. 2008.
Next week: 3 Nephi 12-15 “Old Things Are Done Away and All Things Have Become New”