Thunderings, lightnings, storms, tempests, and earthquakes, unlike anything they had ever seen before—that’s what the Nephites and the Lamanites experienced at the time of the Savior’s crucifixion. At least sixteen cities were destroyed by fire, or buried, or covered with water. Many other cities were partially destroyed, and many people died. All of this happened over a period of about three hours.
After the destruction, the survivors heard the voice of the Savior twice: once immediately, and again several hours later. Some time later, He appeared to a group of people who had gathered at the temple in the city of Bountiful. He invited them to feel the prints of the nails in his hands and feet, selected twelve disciples to represent Him, and taught the people how baptisms ought to be performed.
Here are some principles I’ve learned from these chapters:
1. The destruction (3 Nephi 8)
- You can avoid procrastination by remembering that you may later regret not taking action today: O That We Had Repented – 3 Nephi 8:24-25.
- Think about the impact of your decisions on other people: Then Would Our Brethren Have Been Spared – 3 Nephi 8:24-25
2. The Savior’s words immediately after the destruction (3 Nephi 9)
- Jesus Christ can heal not only physical wounds but also emotional, mental, and spiritual ones: How Can I Be Healed?
- The Savior can help us build a home where people feel safe, supported, and loved: The Places of Your Dwellings Shall Become Desolate – 3 Nephi 9:6-7
- Broadening our perspectives can help us see more clearly and make better decisions: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About the Creation of the Earth?
- Jesus gives us knowledge and hope and helps us find purpose and meaning in our daily lives: How Is Jesus Christ “the Light and the Life of the World?”
- Jesus has been with us from the beginning, and He will be with us until the end: Why Is Jesus Called “Alpha and Omega?”
- We receive the blessings of the Savior’s sacrifice by offering our own personal sacrifice—a broken heart and a contrite spirit: What Does the Book of Mormon Teach about Sacrifice?
- When we are “crushed” or “ground to pieces,” we may be more receptive to God’s blessings: What Is A Contrite Spirit?
- The Holy Ghost sanctifies, enlightens, and energizes us: What Does It Mean to Be “Baptized with Fire?”
- Repenting and improving is a constant process for a disciple of Jesus Christ: Because Ye Were More Righteous Than They – 3 Nephi 9:13
3. The Savior’s words several hours later (3 Nephi 10)
- We should follow the Savior’s example of persistent love: How Oft Would I Have Gathered You – 3 Nephi 10:5
- The Savior can strengthen us as we pass through—and recover from—difficult challenges: Their Mourning Was Turned to Joy – 3 Nephi 10:10
- We should follow the Savior’s example by providing customized service, adapted to the needs of the individual: Ministering Unto Them – 3 Nephi 10:18-19
4. The Savior’s appearance at the temple in Bountiful (3 Nephi 11)
- A plea for deliverance and an expression of faith in one word: Hosanna
- We need to focus our attention in order to hear the Spirit of the Lord: The Third Time They Did Understand the Voice – 3 Nephi 11:3-6
- God always keeps His promises: Whom the Prophets Testified Shall Come – 3 Nephi 11:10-11
- The words of the baptismal ordinance teach us important concepts about the nature of baptism: What Can We Learn from the Words of the Baptismal Ordinance?
- Our relationship with God is connected with our relationship with each other: The Spirit of Contention – 3 Nephi 11:29-30