Episode #37 Published: September 11, 2020
Imagine you are gathered at the temple in the land of Bountiful after Christ’s Crucifixion. You have seen fires, tempests, earthquakes, whirlwinds, floods, and so much more destroy the land. You’re exhausted, homeless, and just trying to survive. And then you hear a voice. But it’s not just any voice. It’s His voice. In this week’s study group, we’re going to dig into 3 Nephi 8–11 to learn more about Christ’s visit to the Americas and what His first words were to the people.
Tamara Uzelac Hall grew up in Utah and Missouri fully intending to get married, raise her 12 children while putting her husband through medical school, God had other plans. She went to college and received both her bachelor's and master’s degrees from BYU. She served a mission in Fresno, California, and worked as a social worker until God steered her life in a completely different direction, becoming a full-time seminary and institute teacher instead. After buying a house and settling nicely into a family ward, she was set up on (another) blind date with a widower, which miraculously worked and catapulted her into married life and became an insta-mom to two little girls. Currently, she and her husband are the parents to four girls and live in Utah. She is a host for Time Out for Women, a featured speaker at Temple Square Youth Conferences, Retreat for Girls, girls’ camp, and has been a speaker at BYU Women’s Conference. She loves all things scripture and is a lifelong student of the Hebrew language. A good flash mob makes her cry, she is a (self-proclaimed) champion Oreo eater, and she believes that cheese is God’s way of saying, “Hey, everything is going to be OK.”
Liz Hansen is a lead writer for the Church's Book of Mormon video, director, and consultant who has gone from acting on Broadway to a Byline at the Los Angeles Times to the classrooms of Brigham Young University.
She holds an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, has won the prestigious Writers Guild Award, an EMMY nomination, and was a finalist for the Humanitas Prize for excellence in children's television programing. In addition, she has a Telly award and two Crystal Awards for excellence in corporate video writing.
Shauna recently left her life as a city girl and returned to her roots as a country girl, which includes cows, chickens, horses, dogs, cats, and various uninvited “wildlife”!
Shauna is grateful to be allowed to come to earth at this time to be part of the Lord’s Battalion. She loves the work of gathering Israel on both sides of the veil.
Quote: "Verse 23: “And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and [you can imagine] there was great mourning; . . . great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness.” This is a terrible part, this dramatic part. Notice again the description of these phenomena. They are not in scientific terms, so they’re quite accurate as they’re reported by [ordinary] people. This is as they would appear to human beings. We’re seeing the whole thing from the human point of view. This is the way it looked—the groanings, the darkness, the terrible thunders, and then the human reaction to it. This is all the human story we’re having here. It doesn’t give us figures. It doesn’t say it was probably 10 or 11 on the Richter Scale, or something like that, or as high as 12 on the Wood-Neuman. That’s what the Assam earthquake was. This is a human story, but notice how we’re involved with our environment here. They’re all mixed into it. It’s part of what happens to us, of course. We feel very personally involved when the earth starts shaking around us. Some of you have been in earthquakes; I’ve been in some pretty bad ones. They cried, “O that we had repented before this great and terrible day [they knew they were guilty], and had not killed and stoned the prophets.” All along they knew they were guilty. Then why would people do such a thing? 3 Nephi 9:1: “And it came to pass that there was a voice heard among all the inhabitants of the earth, upon all the face of the land, crying: Wo, wo, wo unto this people; wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall repent" (Hugh Nibley, "Semester 3, Lecture 83," Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Part 3).
What happened when the Savior was crucified?
And it came to pass that it did last for the space of three days that there was no light seen; and there was great mourning and ahowling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness and the great destruction which had come upon them (3 Nephi 8:23).
And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth" (3 Nephi 8:17).
Why was there darkness upon the land?
Quote: As Professor Sidney B. Sperry pointed out, the darkness “may possibly be accounted for on the basis that the Spirit of Christ was withdrawn in part from the land (cf D&C 84:45–46; 88:7–13)” (Sidney B. Sperry, quoted by Alvin K. Benson, Book of Mormon (Symposium Series): 3 Nephi 9-30, This Is My Gospel).
Aretalogy: A form of sacred biography in which a deity's attributes are listed, in the form of poem or text, in the first person (yourdictionary.com).
3 Nephi 9 divided into two parts:
3 Nephi 9:2–12: Woes upon the earth
3 Nephi 9:13–22: Promises and blessings
Wo, wo, wo unto this people; wo unto the inhabitants of the whole earth except they shall arepent; for the devil blaugheth, and his angels rejoice, because of the slain of the fair sons and daughters of my people; and it is because of their iniquity and abominations that they are fallen! (3 Nephi 9:2).
Wo: The word wo denotes distress, affliction, or something of an adverse nature. "Wo unto him" simply means that adversity will befall the individual upon whom or about whom the "wo" is spoken (D&C 11:15; 38:6). When used three times, wo means utter destruction or affliction. Wo used three times is used to denote the most possible destruction or affliction.
And ye shall offer for a asacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I bbaptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not (3 Nephi 9:20).
Quote: "The crucified sometimes lived for days upon the cross, and death resulted, not from the infliction of mortal wounds, but from internal congestion, inflammations, organic disturbances, and consequent exhaustion of vital energy. Jesus, though weakened by long torture during the preceding night and early morning, by the shock of the crucifixion itself, as also by intense mental agony, and particularly through spiritual suffering such as no other man has ever endured . . . When Christ bowed His head and “gave up the ghost,” and when considered in connection with other recorded details, it points to a physical rupture of the heart as the direct cause of death—the Lord Jesus Chrsit died of a broken heart" (Jesus the Christ, chapter 35, footnote 35).
Contrite: Crushed in spirit by a feeling of remorse or guilt (see webstersdictionary1828.com).
Cross reference: Mark 14:33-34; Matt. 26:37
Quote: “Real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed! Such is the ‘sacrifice unto the Lord … of a broken heart and a contrite spirit’ (D&C 59:8)” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Deny Yourselves of All Ungodliness,” Ensign, May 1995, 68).
Journal: What does this sacrifice look like for you? What "animal" do you have to place on the alter
Cross Reference with D&C 29:2:
3 Qualifiers for being gathered under Christ's wings:
1. Harken unto His voice
2. Be humble before Him
3. Call upon Him in mighty prayer
Hhen: Hebrew word for grace
Hugh Nibley called 3 Nephi 11 the "fifth gospel."
Quote: "We have thirty pages of Christ’s words here. That’s more than you find in [any gospel] in the New Testament. I notice you have 28 pages in Matthew, 16 pages in Mark, 21 pages in Luke, and 24 pages in John. But in the Book of Mormon we have 30 pages of Christ’s teachings. We have a better source for the teachings of Christ. Of course, he says I’m going to teach you what I taught them there. It parallels the New Testament quite closely, but very significantly it gives more" (Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Part 3, "Semester 3, Lecture 83").
And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a avoice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a bsmall voice it did cpierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn
What did the people have to do to hear the voice?
1. Open their ears
2. Look to the sound
3. Look toward heaven
Tammy's Tear Jar
What are tear jars?
Tear bottle or jar=bitter cup
Isaiah compares the amount of the bitter cup to a flagon:
And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons (Isaiah 22:24).
Quote: "Flagons were large goat skins filled with water or wine, the cup could represent a flagon of tears so great that no mortal stomach could accommodate it. Or it could represent a tear cup full of tears a symbol of sorrow so great that only one who is possessed with divine power could drink it. The meaning may have been the amount of grief and sorrow you’re asking me to carry is a tear cup larger than I can bear. There was no other way for God’s will; the cup could not pass from him. He drank from the cup of trembling in tears even the dregs of the sinful tears of all humanity and fulfilled his divine mission. In a very literal way Jesus both drank the cup of trembling’s and filled the cup with his tears for the sins of all of God’s creations, truly a bittersweet cup. Put though my tears into thy bottle. Psalms 56:8" (John Lund, "Put Thou My Tears Into Thy Bottle—Psalm 56:8," funforlesstours.com).
Quote: "If He lives to wipe away my tears then I can trust that I live, in part, to cry them" (Laurel Christensen Day, TOFW presentation).
Quote: "Many members, in drinking of the bitter cup that has come to them, wrongfully think that this cup passes by others. In His first words to the people of the Western continent, Jesus of Nazareth poignantly spoke of the bitter cup the Father had given Him (see 3 Ne. 11:11). Every soul has some bitterness to swallow. Parents having a child who loses his way come to know a sorrow that defies description. A woman whose husband is cruel or insensitive can have her heart broken every day. Members who do not marry may suffer sorrow and disappointment. Having drunk the bitter cup, however, there comes a time when one must accept the situation as it is and reach upward and outward" (James E Faust, “A Second Birth”, Ensign, June 1998).
Quote: "There is nothing any of us will ever suffer that our Savior has not also suffered, He descended not only to our condition but below all things (D&C 88:6, 122:8). When we cry out, “But you don’t understand!” he is the only One who actually does understand—all things, and his understanding is accompanied by compassion" (D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse the Book of Mormon, Vol. Two, Deseret Book 2011).
And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and adid feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come (3 Nephi 11:15).
How many people went one by one to see Christ?
And the multitude did see and ahear and bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children (3 Nephi 17:25).
Quote: “Touch was an important element in lasting conversion: the people, one by one, touched his body for two reasons: (1) to know and testify forever that the living Christ is a real, corporeal being, to avoid what later happened to apostates who claim that God is without body, parts or passions; and (2) to experience the wounds of the Atonement—to be personal eyewitnesses of the dramatic, tangible evidence of his pure love" (D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse the Book of Mormon, Vol. Two, Deseret Book 2011).