How do you maintain hope during tumultuous times? In the years between the Savior’s birth, when the Nephites saw unmistakeable signs in the heavens, and His death, when natural disasters devastated the land, people of faith faced one crisis after another:
- The non-believers threatened to kill all believers if the sign of the Savior’s birth didn’t appear. Fortunately, the sign appeared on the night before the threatened massacre (3 Nephi 1).
- The Gadianton robbers became so powerful that the Nephites and the Lamanites had to combine forces, gathering into one place and enduring a five-year siege (3 Nephi 2-4).
- For three years after their victory, the people lived in peace. But as they became prosperous and began to divide into classes, social unrest and secret combinations began to spread. The government collapsed, the people divided into tribes, and a large new secret combination threatened them once again (3 Nephi 6-7).
But throughout these turbulent times, we see examples of faith and courage:
- On the day before the Savior’s birth, Nephi prays and receives assurances from God: “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given” (3 Nephi 1:13).
- When Lachoneus, the governor, receives a threatening letter from the leader of the Gadianton robbers, he begins to prepare his people for the coming attack. Mormon tells us that Lachoneus “was a just man, and could not be frightened by the demands and the threatenings of a robber” (3 Nephi 3:12).
- In an editorial note, Mormon reminds us that God keeps His covenants and blesses those who turn to Him. “I have reason to bless my God and my Savior Jesus Christ…. Surely he hath blessed the house of Jacob, and hath been merciful unto the seed of Joseph” (3 Nephi 5:20-21).
- Even after the government collapsed, Nephi “did minister with power and with great authority” (3 Nephi 7:17). He preached the gospel, performed miracles, and baptized many people (3 Nephi 7:18-26).
Here are some blog posts relating to these chapters:
- Jesus Christ can bring light into our lives, even in the darkest of times: Why Is Light an Appropriate Symbol for the Birth of Christ?
- Hopeful and happy thoughts and words can lift us closer to God: Be of Good Cheer – 3 Nephi 1:13-14
- There is power and safety in unity: They Did Dwell in One Land, and in One Body – 3 Nephi 3:25
- As we plead with God for help, we express our faith in Him: Hosanna
- Focusing on the blessings you have received can help you face challenges with faith: I Have Reason to Bless My God – 3 Nephi 5:20
- We must hold our leaders to a high standard of integrity: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Corruption?
- It is important to provide opportunities for learning to everyone, particularly to those who are less fortunate: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Education?
- Reduced economic opportunity leads to social unrest and anarchy: What Should I Do About Economic Inequality?
- Build bridges of trust with people who are different from you: Tribes – 3 Nephi 7:2
- Some things we might prefer to keep private have more meaning and power when we are willing to make them public: There Were None Who Were Brought unto Repentance Who Were Not Baptized – 3 Nephi 7:24-25