211: A Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit (BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 37)

“Whosoever Will Come, Him Will I Receive”


3 Nephi 11 is one of the most familiar chapters in Mormon scripture, shared by missionaries daily in countless languages. 3 Nephi 11-28 recount the personal ministry of Christ to the Lehites. Some of the most touching and powerful chapters in the Book of Mormon are found in this section.

But before that ministry, there is destruction. Lots of cataclysmic destruction. The combination of devastation, divine pleading, and then personal visitation provide rich material for discussion on the nature of God. Who is the God of the Book of Mormon? What do we make of these passages? Is Jesus the vengeful God paralleling the activity in the Old Testament? Is Jesus the entreating, loving God (in striking imagery of Jesus as mother!). Is the the God who appears personally to each of us one by one? All of these?

This discussion will take center stage, as well as the following additional points.

  • The life changing power of cataclysmic events
  • Having a “broken heart and contrite spirit”
  • Biblical parallels (this will go into high gear next lesson)
  • Avoiding contention
  • the “doctrine of Christ”

Class Member Reading: 3 Nephi 8-11

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Listen with an open heart and thoughtful mind to the engaging discussion with Amanda, Meredith, and Les, and then feel free to continue the discussion here on the blog.

You can access my Lesson Notes here (or PDF).


Much thanks to James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for his hard work in post production, and to William Newman for editing the reissued episode.


Art: Grief, by Jack Yeats

Latest Comments

  1. Steve says:

    Relating to Christ’s admonition in 3 Nephi 9:20 of offering a broken heart heart and a contrite spirit in place of animal sacrifice. In verse 17 reference is made to fulfilling the Law of Moses, however I was reminded by a member of the SLC Temple Presidency that the Law of Sacrifice was given to Adam and had been in effect since the beginning of mankind. The symbolism of the Great Sacrafice of the Savior predates the Law of Moses. Perhaps this reference to the Law of Moses comes as this was the Law the Nephite people were under having come through Lehi and the house of Israel.
    For me thinking about it from this perspective provides a broader view of Christ’s fulfillment of what mankind had been looking to from the beginning.


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