Sunday School Lesson 41

Lesson 41: 3 Nephi 22-26

I’ll be out of town for each of the next three weekends, but I will try to keep up on the study materials for Gospel Doctrine class.

Chapter 22

Why is this chapter from Isaiah important to the Nephites? To us?

Verse 1: What does this verse mean?

Verse 2: If the tent stakes in this scripture are the stakes of the Church, what is the tent? How is the comparison of Church stakes to tent stakes an apt comparison?

Verses 1-3: These verses clearly are verses of rejoicing. Who is rejoicing and why?

Verses 4-7 (and 1): What does the comparison of the Lord’s people to a married woman and the Lord to her husband tell us? In what ways has she been barren? How has she been a widow? What does it mean to say that she has been refused? Who has refused her? How will she be redeemed, caused to forget her shame and reproach?

Verses 7-10: What is Jesus describing? How has Israel been forsaken? To what is he referring when he says, “this, the waters of Noah to me�? What has it to do with covenants?

Verses 11-12: What is the point of this promise? Why would I want pavement of fair colors, foundations of sapphires, and so on?

Verse 13: Does “shall be taught of the Lord� mean “will be taught by the Lord� or “will be taught about the Lord�?

Verse 14: What does it mean to be established in righteousness?

Chapter 23

Verse 1: What are the things we should search? What does it mean to search diligently? How would we search scriptures diligently? (In other words, are we commanded here to read them or to do something more?) For what should we search?

Verse 2: Here Jesus tells them why Isaiah important. How would you explain what he says here in your own words?

Chapter 24

Verses 1ff: Why would a prophesy of the last days be important to the Nephites?

Verse 5: This is the third time the Savior has made this prophecy during his appearance to the Nephites. Obviously he is emphasizing it. Why such emphasis?

Verses 8ff: Of all the things the Lord could have taken to time to mention, why does he mention tithing?

Verses 14-15: What complaint does this prophecy depict the people making? Do we make that complaint? How?

Verse 16: How is a book of remembrance an answer to the complaint in 14 and 15? What would you suppose is in that book of remembrance? Does that tell us anything about what we should keep in our books of remembrance? Why is it made “for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name�?

Verse 18: Who is the “you� who will return? Is it Christ? If so, why the shift from the previous verse where he was spoken of in the third person (he) to the second person here? Does it refer instead to Israel? If so, why the shift? (Israel too was spoken of in the third person in the previous verse—“they�.)

Chapter 25

Verse 1: Since the proud will be burned, it is a good idea to know who they are. In what ways might we be proud?

Verse 4: Jesus taught them that the law of Moses was fulfilled in him (though not necessarily everything which had been prophesied). Why then does he repeat a scripture to them which says they should remember the law of Moses? What does this commandment ask them to do?

Chapter 26

Verse 1: What might be included in “all things [. . .], both great and small�?

Verse 2: What scriptures has he given them that they didn’t have before?

Verse 3: What does it mean to say that the earth will be wrapped together like a scroll?

Verse 9: How will the things we have, a small part of Jesus’ teaching, try our faith? Are there specific things in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount/Sermon at the Temple that try our faith?

Verse 18: Why might the things they heard by unlawful to speak?

Verse 19: What does it mean to have all things common? Can we live this principle now? If so, how? If not, what can we do instead?

4 comments for “Sunday School Lesson 41

  1. Jim F.

    It’s been a while since I posted anything here! I had a comment on the very first question asked here. And I wonder if it doesn’t open up the Book of Mormon on the whole in a very interesting way.

    I’ve been looking at Isaiah’s role in the Book of Mormon more and more lately. Specifically, I find Nephi’s quotation of thirteen chapters (and his subsequent adaptation of Isaiah 29) to take up an interesting structural role in Nephi’s overarching project. But it was only recently that I noticed something else going on in the whole of Mormon’s project with Isaiah. If one sets the “Isaiah chapters” (meaning the ones in 2 Nephi 12-24, 29), all of the other chapters of Isaiah that are quoted in the Book of Mormon occur in exactly this order:

    1 – Isaiah 48 (1 Nephi 20)
    2 – Isaiah 49 (1 Nephi 21)
    3 – Isaiah 50 (2 Nephi 7)
    4 – Isaiah 51 (2 Nephi 8 )
    5 – Isaiah 52 (fragmented in 2 Nephi 8 and Mosiah 13)
    6 – Isaiah 53 (Mosiah 14)
    7 – Isaiah 54 (3 Nephi 22)

    In other words, as Mormon’s historical project develops, he works almost systematically through a major portion of Second Isaiah. Isaiah 54 seems to serve as the climax, spoken by the Christ when He comes among the Nephites (which I take as the overarching fulfillment of the project of 1 and 2 Nephi and the other Isaiah quotation). Isaiah 54 certainly has some powerful climactic themes, such as the crying out as labor comes to its end and the prayers and songs that the travailing one cries out as the tent can at last be enlarged. I think this chapter of Isaiah takes up a significant climactic position here, but a position not only significant to its immediate setting in 3 Nephi. I wonder if we should reassess Mormon’s overarching project and supplement it with further insight from Second Isaiah (I’m actually working on just such a project right now).

    Some thoughts at least.

  2. First, I want to thank Jim for this service. His questions are responsible for initiating some thoughtful discussion in the classes I teach.

    Second, for those interested, I have created an outline for this lesson and posted it on my website at . I have followed the manual’s outline and added in questions from Jim, some that I thought of myself and other supplemental material. I have found this type of outline perfect for teaching, hopefully it is of help to others.

  3. I want to add my thanks. I refer to these questions week after week as I prepare my Sun. School lessons. Thank you, Jim, for all the time and thought that goes into these posts.

  4. I apologize for not responding to these comments sooner. Because I was out of town and, so, way behind on what is posted at T&S, I didn’t see them until I noticed Michelle’s comment today.

    Joe, your hypothesis is tantalizing. I am interested in seeing what you do with it.

    Thomas Grover: Thanks very much for anything additional that you can add. The more of us who work on these kinds of things, the better off we all will be. Having looked at your outline, I suspect I’m going to be consulting your site before I finish my plans for my lesson.

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