“Behold, My Joy Is Full”

As those of us who have taken on a study of the Book of Mormon we know and believe that Jesus Christ after his resurection and appearnce in the Holy Land taught that he had sheep of another fold that he would attend to. Part of that fold was the Nephite population on the American Continent that we have studied so far this year.

In a glorious moment Jesus Christ the Savior of the world appeared and for several days ministered unto the people making not only the truth of prophecy evident but also the hopes and dreams of all those who had even a notion to believe.

As we move now to sections of His teaching and ministering we have the opportunity to gain a fullness to our testimonies and our hopes and our faith that Jesus Christ is real and all that the Father has commanded Him to do will be done, even to a second coming.

In addition we are given principles to help us in our desire and faithfulness to become more like Him, in our daily lives, that we may enjoy, even in the worst of times, peace, comfort, hope, and the ability to believe.

In 3 Nephi 17:1–3, the Savior invited the people to return to their homes and “prepare their minds” before returning to be taught again. We might ask ourselves with the study of this lesson, how do you prepare?

History and Background 3 Nephi 17–19

3 Nephi 17 As the Savior’s first day with the Nephites drew to a close, He perceived that many did not fully understand His words. He taught them how to receive additional understanding, and He emphasized the importance of prayer and pondering. The people wept when He announced that He was leaving. Filled with compassion, the Savior remained a little longer to heal the sick, to pray for the people, and to bless their children. The Nephites were overcome with joy.

3 Nephi 18 As Jesus Christ concluded the first day of His ministry among the Nephites, He administered the sacrament. He commanded them to partake of the sacrament, pray to the Father always, and extend fellowship to all people. The Savior promised great blessings to those who obeyed. He then gave the twelve Nephite disciples instructions pertaining to their ministry in the Church. Prior to ascending into heaven, He gave them power to give the gift of the Holy Ghost.

3 Nephi 19 After the Savior completed His first visit to the Nephites, the news of His visit spread among the people all that night. (The events recorded in 3 Nephi 11–18 all took place during one day.) Throughout the night, the people labored “exceedingly … that they might be on the morrow in the place” where the Savior was going to appear again 3 Nephi 19:3. In the morning, the twelve disciples taught the people and prayed with them. Jesus Christ appeared and commanded the disciples to pray, while He prayed to the Father in their behalf. Because of their faith, the twelve disciples were purified. Jesus prayed that the disciples and all those who believed their words might become one with Him and His Father.

Part One: 3 Nephi 1718:24–25, 28–32 The Savior is our perfect example of ministering.

We all have opportunities to minister to others, and we can all be better at it. One way to learn from the Savior’s example of ministering is to simply read 3 Nephi 17

Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my time is at hand.

I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.

Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.

But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them.

And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.

And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.

Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.

10 And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.

11 And it came to pass that he commanded that their little children should be brought.

12 So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto him.

13 And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, he commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground.

14 And it came to pass that when they had knelt upon the ground, Jesus groaned within himself, and said: Father, I am troubled because of the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel.

15 And when he had said these words, he himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold he prayed unto the Father, and the things which he prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard him.

16 And after this manner do they bear record: 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;

17 And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.

18 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.

19 And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.

20 And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.

21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.

22 And when he had done this he wept again;

23 And he spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.

24 And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.

25 And the multitude did see and hear 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.

What do we learn about the Savior’s character that made Him a great example of ministering?

What truths do we learn about ministering from the Savior’s example?

What additional insights do we find in 3 Nephi 18:24–25 and 28–32?

24 Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.

25 And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.

28 And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it;

29 For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid him.

30 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father, in my name; and if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in my name, then shall ye receive him, and shall minister unto him of my flesh and blood.

31 But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered.

32 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.

The Savior taught that we are each to hold up our light so it shines to the world. He also said that He is the light we are to hold up. Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that we hold up the light of the Savior by keeping His commandments and following His example:

“We should be like the Savior as He admonished us to ‘Come, follow me.’ Wouldn’t it be pleasing to Jesus if we could let our light so shine that those who followed us would be following the Savior? There are those searching for the light [who] will gladly pass through the gate of baptism onto the straight and narrow way that leads to eternal life (see 2 Nephi 31). Will you be that light that will lead them to a safe harbor? …

“Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps you are the light sent by Heavenly Father to lead another safely home or to be a beacon from a distance to show the way back to the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life? Your light is a beacon and should never stop burning or mislead those who are looking for a way home. …

“… Jesus Christ is the light that has been given to us so that we may follow and know where to go. [I pray] that each one of us may choose the right [so that we can] lift and strengthen those around us” (“That Ye May Be Children of Light” [Church Educational System fireside for young adults, Nov. 3, 1996], 6–7).

Praying for others, inviting them to attend Church meetings, and setting a Christlike example are ways we can minister to others. Reflect on how you felt when you followed the example of Jesus Christ and helped someone else come closer to the Savior. What will you do today or this week to let your light shine so that those who follow you will also be following the Savior?

Elder Neal A. Maxwell admonished that whatever our role, we should seek to emulate the Savior’s character as much as we can:

“Each of us plays various roles in family, Church, community, business, education, and so forth. Though we have differing needs, we have in common the need to focus on all Christ’s qualities, especially those which individually we most need to develop more fully. …

“We can, of course, stop short and merely adopt a few techniques illustrated by the Savior. But unless we emulate Him as completely as we can, we will have deprived ourselves of the great model. Moreover, our emulation is to be of both style and substance. God’s love underwrites his listening, for instance. Can we conceive of a God who is a non-listener? Or who is lacking in power? Or who is unwilling to assert Himself on an issue of principle? As we become more like Him it will take place in both attributes and actions” (A Wonderful Flood of Light [1990], 110).

What things do you feel inspired to do to follow the Savior’s example of ministering?

Part Two: 3 Nephi 17:13–2218:15–2519:6–9, 15–36 The Savior taught us how to pray.

This week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families suggests questions to ponder about prayer when reading these verses. What does it mean to ponder?

“Reading, studying, and pondering are not the same. We read words and we may get ideas. We study and we may discover patterns and connections in scripture. But when we ponder, we invite revelation by the Spirit. Pondering, to me, is the thinking and the praying I do after reading and studying in the scriptures carefully” (Henry B. Eyring, “Serve with the Spirit,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 60).

How do you think pondering and praying can work together to help prepare our minds to receive greater understanding of how the Savior taught us to pray?

What principle do you think summarizes 18:15–25?

15 Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil, and ye be led away captive by him.

16 And as I have prayed among you even so shall ye pray in my church, among my people who do repent and are baptized in my name. Behold I am the light; I have set an example for you.

17 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto his disciples, he turned again unto the multitude and said unto them:

18 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.

19 Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;

20 And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.

21 Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.

22 And behold, ye shall meet together oft; and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not;

23 But ye shall pray for them, and shall not cast them out; and if it so be that they come unto you oft ye shall pray for them unto the Father, in my name.

24 Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.

25 And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.

What do you think the word watch means in 3 Nephi 18:15, 18? To be spiritually alert, vigilant, or on guard.

Why do you think both watching and praying are essential?

What are some ways in which you can seek to pray always?

President Gordon B. Hinckley discussed the importance of family prayer: “I feel satisfied that there is no adequate substitute for the morning and evening practice of kneeling together—father, mother, and children. This, more than soft carpets, more than lovely draperies, more than cleverly balanced color schemes, is the thing that will make for better and more beautiful homes(Conference Report, Apr. 1963, 127).

How can prayer help us resist the influence of Satan? We can be filled with the Holy Ghost as we sincerely desire and pray for His companionship and as we participate in the ordinances of the gospel. In doing so we will have protection.

What truths can you learn about prayer from these passages?

The Savior’s first prayer: 3 Nephi 19:19–23

The disciples’ prayer: 3 Nephi 19:24–26, 30

The Savior’s second prayer: 3 Nephi 19:27–29

We should express gratitude to God in our prayers. The Holy Ghost can help us know what to pray for. If we pray with the Spirit, our prayers will not include vain repetitions. The Lord blesses us when we pray without ceasing.

From the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day prophets, we know that we are to worship God the Father and pray to Him only. We should not pray to Jesus Christ. For example, the Savior taught the Nephites, “Ye must always pray unto the Father in my name” 3 Nephi 18:19. (Click the link to read or see above passage)

However, shortly after the Savior taught this, His Nephite disciples prayed directly to Him  3 Nephi 19:18. They did so, He said, because He was with them 3 Nephi 19:22. Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained that this was an exception—a unique situation:

“There was a special reason why this was done in this instance and on a onetime basis. Jesus had already taught them to pray in his name to the Father, which they first did. … Jesus was present before them as the symbol of the Father. Seeing him, it was as though they saw the Father; praying to him, it was as though they prayed to the Father. It was a special and unique situation” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ [1978], 560, 561).

3 Nephi 19:24 contains the phrase “for it was given unto them what they should pray.” Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught:

“Perfect prayers are those which are inspired, in which the Spirit reveals the words which should be used. (3 Ne. 19:24.) ‘And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done. But know this, it shall be given you what you shall ask.’ (D. & C. 50:29–30.)” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 586).

What difference would having the Spirit’s guidance make in how you pray and what you pray for?

**Point To Ponder: How will you apply one or more of these truths in order to improve their personal prayers?

Part Three: 3 Nephi 18:1–12 We can be spiritually filled as we partake of the sacrament.

Read the following scripture section then complete the following sentence with your thoughts:

As we partake of the sacrament, we witness unto the Father that …

And it came to pass that Jesus commanded his disciples that they should bring forth some bread and wine unto him.

And while they were gone for bread and wine, he commanded the multitude that they should sit themselves down upon the earth.

And when the disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the disciples and commanded that they should eat.

And when they had eaten and were filled, he commanded that they should give unto the multitude.

And when the multitude had eaten and were filled, he said unto the disciples: Behold there shall one be ordained among you, and to him will I give power that he shall break bread and bless it and give it unto the people of my church, unto all those who shall believe and be baptized in my name.

And this shall ye always observe to do, even as I have done, even as I have broken bread and blessed it and given it unto you.

And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.

And it came to pass that when he said these words, he commanded his disciples that they should take of the wine of the cup and drink of it, and that they should also give unto the multitude that they might drink of it.

And it came to pass that they did so, and did drink of it and were filled; and they gave unto the multitude, and they did drink, and they were filled.

10 And when the disciples had done this, Jesus said unto them: Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done, for this is fulfilling my commandments, and this doth witness unto the Father that ye are willing to do that which I have commanded you.

11 And this shall ye always do to those who repent and are baptized in my name; and ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you, that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.

12 And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things. And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock.

As we partake of the sacrament, we witness unto the Father that we will always remember Jesus Christ and that we are willing to do all that the Savior has commanded.

How does partaking of the sacrament help us remember the Savior’s sacrifice in our behalf?

What does it mean to be “filled” as we partake of the sacrament? 3 Nephi 18:4–5, 920:9 (Click the link to read the passage)

What connections do you notice between these two scripture passages? 3 Nephi 18:12–14  Helaman 5:12 

12 And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall do these things. And if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock.

13 But whoso among you shall do more or less than these are not built upon my rock, but are built upon a sandy foundation; and when the rain descends, and the floods come, and the winds blow, and beat upon them, they shall fall, and the gates of hell are ready open to receive them.

14 Therefore blessed are ye if ye shall keep my commandments, which the Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you.

12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

How can regularly partaking of the sacrament help us make Jesus Christ the foundation upon which you build your life?

Now ponder the last time they felt spiritually “filled” when partaking of the sacrament.

What might prevent or distract us from being “filled” by the sacrament and how can we overcome those obstacles?

The Savior taught that the principal purpose for taking the sacrament is to remember Him. We have an opportunity to concentrate on the Son of God during the sacrament ordinance; we should not allow our thoughts to wander or be distracted. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described several appropriate ways to remember the Lord while renewing our covenants through the sacrament:

“We could remember the Savior’s premortal life and all that we know Him to have done. …

“We could remember the simple grandeur of His mortal birth to just a young woman. …

“We could remember Christ’s miracles and His teachings, His healings and His help. …

“… We could remember that Jesus found special joy and happiness in children and said all of us should be more like them. …

“We could remember that Christ called His disciples friends. …

“We could—and should—remember the wonderful things that have come to us in our lives and that ‘all things which are good cometh of Christ’ (Moroni 7:24). …

“On some days we will have cause to remember the unkind treatment He received, the rejection He experienced, and the injustice … He endured. …

“… We can remember that Jesus had to descend below all things before He could ascend above them, and that He suffered pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind that He might be filled with mercy and know how to succor His people in their infirmities” (Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 90–91; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 68–69).

Part Four: 3 Nephi 19:9–15, 20–22 Disciples of Jesus Christ seek the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The twelve disciples, whom Jesus had chosen, prayed “that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them”

And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.

10 And when they had thus prayed they went down unto the water’s edge, and the multitude followed them.

11 And it came to pass that Nephi went down into the water and was baptized.

12 And he came up out of the water and began to baptize. And he baptized all those whom Jesus had chosen.

13 And it came to pass when they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

14 And behold, they were encircled about as if it were by fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and did bear record; and angels did come down out of heaven and did minister unto them.

15 And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst and ministered unto them.

20 Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.

21 Father, I pray thee that thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words.

22 Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in me; and thou seest that they believe in me because thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them.

What did the twelve disciples “most desire,” 3 Nephi 19:9–15 and 20–22?

Think of something you deeply desire. What are you willing to do to receive it?

Why might this have been so important to them?

Why is it important to us?

According to these verses, how can we earnestly seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost?

President Marion G. Romney who was Second Counselor in the First Presidency, stated that we can obtain and keep the Spirit by following a simple four-point program: “If you want to obtain and keep the guidance of the Spirit, you can do so by following this simple four-point program. One, pray. Pray diligently. … Second, study and learn the gospel. Third, live righteously; repent of your sins. … Fourth, give service in the Church” (“Guidance of the Holy Spirit,” Ensign, Jan. 1980, 5).

The Holy Ghost, is a personage, that has been called of God to the specific calling of helping His children. He is a real spirit being that is with us always, in our minds, in our hearts, and in our lives. Its what the world might call our conscience, but as a gift from God he is even stronger and more powerful, and again, he is real.

It’s not a subject to take lightly, for the gift of the Holy Ghost is one of the greatest of all and will be lifesaving in our journeys, providing us with spiritual strength and inspiration, as well as helping us to recognize and understand the truth of all things. He will comfort us in difficult times and guide our decisions large and small as we work to bring ourselves and our families through the trenches of earth’s life to arrive safely back in the arms of God.

This gift is so powerful and so strong, and so real, that it will bring us the feeling of God’s love and we will recognize it and know beyond a doubt that He knows each of us by name, He and His Son Jesus Christ; and this will influence our daily lives in ways we can only begin to imagine. However, though this is a gift and given freely to everyone upon baptism into His true church, it is conditional. Our ability to enjoy this divine gift depends on our obedience to Gods’ commandments.

The Holy Ghost is just that, holy, and cannot remain with those who do not live according to God’s teachings. If we drift or choose to continue in sin we lose the privilege of his guidance and inspiration. Therefore, it is extremely important from the moment we emerge from the waters of baptism, that we remain clean and pure and always strive to be worthy of his companionship.

Now let me stress the phrase ALWAYS STRIVE. If you are always striving to do our best and to live the gospel, he will never leave us and we WILL be lead. Do we have to be perfect, NO, we cannot. We only must be doing your sincere best and as we grow in the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as we gain knowledge, we will become stronger and stronger and the straight and narrow way laid before us will be a relief to travel and we will find the peace that comes with this gift.


What did we learn today? The Savior is our perfect example of ministering, He taught us how to pray, as we come nearer to him through the Sacrament we can be filled, and true disciples of Jesus Christ seek after the Holy Ghost.

Striving to keep the spirit with us in all this can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing, but remember, we are never left without direction or comfortless. In our desire to keep the Holly Ghost with us, and to live these commandments to the best of our ability, the Sacrament has been provided as a reminder of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. When we honestly and sincerely minister, pray always and partake of the Sacrament each week, repenting daily in our prayers with a focus on the Atonement, we recommit ourselves to Jesus Christ in the same way that we do at baptism and we are then able to move forward in our progression, then we Behold, Our Joy is Full.


Book of Mormon Student Manual

Seminary Manual


Conference Reports

Church Educational System

The Promised Messiah, Bruce R McConkie

Mormon Doctrine Bruce R McConkie

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