39. “Behold, My Joy Is Full”

Chart 58: “Book of Mormon Covenant Language,” from Charting the Book of Mormon
Covenant-making phrases used throughout the Book of Mormon are similar, regardless of which group of people made the covenants. This chart compares covenant-language phrases in four particular settings: after King Benjamin’s great speech, with Alma at the Waters of Mormon, during Christ’s administration of the sacrament, and during Nephite sacrament administration following Christ’s visitation. Most of the elements are the same or are similar throughout, such as the willing commitment to obey God’s commandments. Other elements may vary somewhat. For example, the phrase, “God’s people,” used commonly in ancient Israel to emphasize collective salvation, shifts to the phrase “people of [Christ’s] church,” focusing more on individual membership and worthiness. Covenant language shifted slightly after Christ came to the Americas, when intimate “fold” (shepherd) imagery was replaced by the more institutional affiliation of covenanters with Christ’s larger church.
“Active Learning and the Savior’s Nephite Ministry,” by Anthony R. Sweat, in Religious Educator 10, no. 3
As a result of increased expectations of Church youth, the standards of teaching for religious educators who instruct the youth have also risen. These higher teaching standards call for increased student participation in the learning process. The Lord’s ministry among the Nephites presents an excellent case study of Jesus’s teaching methods which serve as a model for teachers everywhere.
“The Book of Mormon as the Keystone of Church Administration,” by John W. Welch, in A Firm Foundation: Church Organization and Administration
Administrative principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ are scattered among the revelations and experiences of Nephite religious leaders and their people. From these we can find beneficial principles, practices, and procedures of Church governance.
“Covenants, Sacraments, and Vows: The Active Pathway to Mercy,” by Peter B. Rawlins, in Religious Educator 13, no.3
The conversion process is ultimately in the hands of the Lord, and we participate according to his will. We must have faith in the Lord’s unfolding purposes and timing.
“Christ in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon,” by David E. Bokovoy and John A. Tvedtnes, in Testaments: Links Between the Book of Mormon and the Hebrew Bible
All of the key events, doctrines, and people of the Hebrew Bible point directly to Jesus’ role as the Anointed One of Israel. This is the inspired message proclaimed so passionately by the ancient authors of the Book of Mormon: Jesus is the link between the Book of Mormon and the Hebrew Bible.
“Covenant Teachings in the Book of Mormon,” by Victor L. Ludlow, in The Fulness of the Gospel: Foundational Teachings from the Book of Mormon
This article discusses all the cases where Christ made covenants with his people in the Book of Mormon. Of note is the instance in 3 Nephi, when Christ visits the Nephites in the Americas and puts away the Law of Moses for a new covenant.
“Jesus the Savior in 3 Nephi,” by Robert J. Matthews, in The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9-30, This Is My Gospel
This article discusses Jesus Christ’s role in 3 Nephi. Third Nephi offers greater insight into the activity and scope of Jesus’ work than that found in the New Testament alone. Matthew discusses the anticipation of Christ’s coming, his miraculous appearance in the Americas, the doctrines he taught, and how Jesus Christ’s coming is significant for the message of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Jesus the Christ – Our Master and More,” by Russell M. Nelson, in A Book of Mormon Treasury: Gospel Insights from General Authorities and Religious Educators
In a thoughtful overview, Elder Russell M. Nelson discusses how Jesus Christ fulfills each of Biblical and Book of Mormon titles attributed to him.
“Seeing Third Nephi as the Holy of Holies of the Book of Mormon,” by John W. Welch, in Journal of the Book of Mormon and Restoration Scripture 19, no. 1
Third Nephi and its account of the ministry of the resurrected Jesus to the Nephites has long been seen as the pinnacle of the Book of Mormon. This text can also be viewed as the Holy of Holies of the Book of Mormon. Everything in 3 Nephi, especially the ministry of the Savior, echoes themes related to the temple and the presence of the Lord in the Holy of Holies. Themes such as silence, timelessness, unity, awe, and consecration confirm this interpretation.
3 Nephi 17

“‘They Came Forth and Fell Down and Partook of the Fruit of the Tree’: Proskynesis in 3 Nephi 11: 12–19 and 17: 9–10 and Its Significance,” by Matthew L. Bowen, in Third Nephi: An Incomparable Scripture
Two times in 3 Nephi, the multitude fell down and worshipped Jesus. The act of bowing down and prostrating before an object of worship is known as proskynesis and is an example of Old World religion reflected in the New World of the Book of Mormon.

“One By One: The Fifth Gospel’s Model of Service,” by Richard A. Holzapfel, in A Book of Mormon Treasury: Gospel Insights from General Authorities and Religious Educators
This article expounds on the importance of individual ministry in our daily lives. 3 Nephi teaches the many ways that the Savior taught people on an individual and one-on-one basis.

“The Praying Savior: Insights from the Gospel of 3 Nephi,” by Robert L. Millet, in Third Nephi: An Incomparable Scripture
In 3 Nephi, the Savior prays to the Father several times in an attempt to teach the Nephites. This example of prayer not only teaches us how we ought to pray, but it provides us many doctrinal and teaching tools in ministering to others.

“‘Pray Always’: Learning to Pray as Jesus Prayed,” by Donald W. Parry, in The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9–30, This Is My Gospel
Parry discusses the purpose and process of prayer, drawing on the teaching of Jesus Christ among the Nephites in 3 Nephi 11-20.

“Was There Leprosy Among the Nephites?” by John L. Sorenson, in Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon: The FARMS Updates of the 1990s
It may be confusing that Christ calls forth lepers to be healed, when it is generally thought that leprosy did not exist in ancient America. Sorenson proposes that what is rendered as “leprosy” may be referring to either uta or Chagas’ disease.

“‘So Great and Marvelous Things’: The Literary Portrait of Jesus as Divine Lord in 3 Nephi,” by Charles Swift, in Third Nephi: An Incomparable Scripture
While the Gospels in the New Testament sometimes emphasize Jesus’s mortality, the Book of Mormon clearly paints Jesus Christ as the divine and glorified Son of God. 3 Nephi 17 talks about how “The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father.”

“Becoming as Little Children,” by John A. Tvedtnes, in The Most Correct Book: Insights from a Book of Mormon Scholar
In 3 Nephi, the Lord places special emphasis on the humility and docility of little children. Christ exhorts all to become as little children, not only for their meek disposition, but because as we make sacred covenants, we become the children of Christ.

3 Nephi 18

“The Twelve: A Light unto This People,” by Kenneth W. Anderson, in The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9-30, This Is My Gospel
From those present at his appearance in Bountiful, Christ chose twelve disciples, who were also apostles, to lead his Church as he had done in the Holy Land. These men would be responsible for proclaiming the gospel among their people and for judging all of Israel.

“Religious Validity: The Sacrament Covenant in Third Nephi,” by Richard Lloyd Anderson, in By Study and Also By Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh W. Nibley, Vol. 2
This piece discusses the sacrament covenant laid out in 3 Nephi 18 by first discussing the importance of covenants in the Old Testament, the establishment of the sacrament in the New Testament, and the changing of the baptismal covenant in the Book of Mormon.

“‘In the Mount of the Lord it Shall Be Seen’ and ‘Provided’: Theophany and Sacrifice as the Etiological Foundation of the Temple in Israelite and Latter-day Saint Tradition,” by Matthew L. Bowen, in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
While this article covers a variety of topics, Bowen discusses 3 Nephi 18:7, to talk about how Jesus Christ showing his body to the Nephites was a foundational theophany to their religion and to the ordinance of the sacrament.

“The Symbolic Unity of Christ’s Ministry in 3 Nephi,” by Neal E. Lambert, in The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9-30, This Is My Gospel
Lambert demonstrates how literary continuity is pervasive throughout the Book of Mormon, but especially in Christ’s ministry in 3 Nephi. Specific themes are repeated often and follow a logical flow so that the narrative comprises a beautifully complex whole. The theme of little children is employed throughout 3 Nephi 17, while the motifs of light and healing are found throughout 3 Nephi 18.

“The Doctrine of a Covenant People,” by Joseph Fielding McConkie, in The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9-30, This Is My Gospel
The idea of sacred covenant making with a chosen people is found throughout the Bible. This article shows that the covenants made in 3 Nephi fit perfectly with how it is taught in the Bible. This article highlights the covenant meal of the sacrament found in 3 Nephi 18.

“Our Nephite Sacrament Prayers,” by John W. Welch, in Reexploring the Book of Mormon
The sacrament prayers used today in the church can be found in the Doctrine and Covenants, but their predecessors are found in 3 Nephi 18. While there are slight differences in the prayers found in Mosiah 5, 3 Nephi 18, and Mormon 4-5, all testify of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

“Reusages of the Words of Christ,” by John W. Welch, in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 22, no. 1
Wording from the Sermon on the Mount is quoted or paraphrased in subsequent sections of the Book of Mormon more often than people typically realize. This pattern of drawing and building on the foundational words of that text was set by Jesus himself as he gave the sermon in 3 Nephi 12-4 and then quoted from it significantly in 3 Nephi 15–28. The same pattern can be observed in the New Testament.

3 Nephi 19

“Gathering to the Temple: Teachings of the Second Day,” by Gerald Hansen, Jr., in The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9-30, This Is My Gospel
Jesus had the multitude go home to ponder, and then return the next day for instruction. The gathering on the second day, and the instruction given there, reflects patterns of gathering and temple learning found throughout the church. The article discusses gathering at the temple, gathering in the premortal existence, gathering of the house of Israel, and how gathering is part of God’s plan.

“The Designations Jesus Gives Himself in 3 Nephi,” by Monte S. Nyman, in The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9-30, This Is My Gospel
After the destruction in 3 Nephi, the voice of Christ is heard. Christ cries repentance to his people and declares who he is, using various names and titles. This article discusses the significance of each of those names.