3 Nephi 1 to 7 – “Lift Up Your Head and Be of Good Cheer”

September 7, 2020 to September 13, 2020

The people who believed in Christ held fast to the prophets’ promises, even during a time of political turmoil and with threats to their lives.

“Dating the Birth of Jesus Christ,” Jeffrey R. Chadwick, BYU Studies, Vol. 49, no. 4
Did Jesus die at Passover in the early spring of A.D. 30? This article uses the New Testament, Book of Mormon, Mishnah, scholarly research, historical sources, and astronomical data to propose that Jesus died on Thursday, April 6 (Julian calendar), A.D. 30, which was the day of the preparation of Passover.

“When Was Jesus Born? A Response to a Recent Proposal,” Lincoln H. Blumell, Thomas A. Wayment, BYU Studies, Vol. 51, no. 3
When was Jesus born? In response to the article by Jeffrey R. Chadwick published by BYU Studies in 2010, two professors in the BYU Department of Ancient Scripture push the conversation forward and offer a different interpretation of the data.

“Seeing Third Nephi as the Holy of Holies of the Book of Mormon,” John W. Welch, in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 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.

“Girded About with a Lambskin,” Matthew Brown, in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 6 no. 2
3 Nephi 4:7 mentions that Giddianhi’s army wore lambskins. This article suggests a possible connection between this item of apparel and ritual clothing that was worn in ancient Israel, Egypt, and Mesoamerica. He also suggests a possible reason for the use of this item of clothing among the secret combinations in the Book of Mormon. Finally, he discusses the lambskin apron used in Freemasonic ritual.

“The Execution of Zemnarihah,” John W. Welch, in Reexploring the Book of Mormon
This article explains why Zemnarihah would have been hanged as his execution (3 Nephi 4:28). In Israelite law, the ultimate punishment was hanging upon a tree because it was believed that someone hanged on a tree was cursed of God. See also “More on the Hanging of Zemnarihah,” John A. Tvedtnes, in Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon: The FARMS Updates of the 1990s.

Chart 33: “The Nephite Judges,” Charting the Book of Mormon
From about 91 B.C. to A.D. 30, the Nephite civilization was governed by chief judges. Each judge’s name, known church role, tenure, cause of termination, and relation to his predecessors are represented on this chart. Of the thirteen Nephite judges charted, nearly half were assassinated, indicating serious governmental turmoil during the reign of the judges.

“Secret Covenant Teachings of Men and the Devil in Helaman through 3 Nephi 8,” Victor L. Ludlow, The Book of Mormon: Helaman through 3 Nephi 8, According to Thy Word
The Book of Mormon prophets not only teach the Nephites about their covenant relationship with God, but they also record some covenant promises made by government leaders to each other. They instruct future readers about the origins and dangers of secret covenants with Satan and his followers.