I don’t have a study skill for you on this one, as one will be assigned as I go to class tonight… so you can just wing it, that’s what I am going to do.
Here in 4 Nephi, there are 49 verses that cover a span of approximately 286 years. That’s a lot of time, so let’s dig in and see what we can learn.
In the 34th and 35th year after Jesus Christ was born, and clearly after he had died a mortal death at the hands of the Jews and Romans, on the American continent the disciples were super busy out preaching His gospel. Many came into the fold and were baptized in His name. In the 36th year, every single Nephite and Lamanite were the same and each converted and all a part of His church. Everyone got along, they shared freely with one another and did as Christ had taught them to do. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be a part of this, even if only for a short while? Everything was so great that the disciples performed miracles and everyone prospered exceedingly. Great cities had been rebuilt, even Zarahemla.
This great bliss continued in the land until just prior to the year 200 AD. 100 plus years of good people, living the commandments of God and Jesus Christ. 100 plus years with no robbers, murderers, lies, thefts, adulterers…. what a great time and in verse 18 it reads “And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings.” And then there were some that revolted and the Lamanites return to the land. And in the year 201 AD, people began again to be lifted in pride, and as we know from history that repeats, this isn’t a good thing. By the time 210 AD rolled around, many had separated from the Church and had begun their own churches, still claiming to know Christ, but denying many of his teachings, and Satan helped these new churches flourish. As these new churches grew, the members began to persecute those that still followed Christ’s teachings and tossed them in prisons, into fires and into dens of wild beasts, all of which they withstood by the power and blessings of Christ.
In 231 AD a great division of the people came about and they named themselves according to the tribes that they now belonged. Those that were not believers in Christ, taught their children to behave just as Laman and Lemuel did 800 years prior and to hate those that loved and followed the Savior. Over the next twenty years or so, the wicked people grew in number and began going secret works again, as in times past. Those that had been righteous, began to be vain and prideful because of the blessings that they had received. Verse 44 reads “And from this time the disciples began to sorrow for the sins of the world.” By the year 300 AD the people were all the same again… all wicked. The only righteousness that remained was that of the disciples. In the year 305 AD Ammaron, who had charge of the Plates of Nephi did hide up the scared records that had been past down since Lehi as directed by the Holy Ghost.
And this ends 4 Nephi.
I leave this with you in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.