Presentation on theme: "2 nd Nephi Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ."— Presentation transcript:
2 nd Nephi Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effect upon all mankind. And no other book in the world explains this vital doctrine nearly as well as the Book of Mormon.
One does not speak lightly of the Atonement or casually express appreciation. It is the most sacred and sublime event in eternity. It deserves our most intense thoughts, our most profound feelings, and our noblest deeds. One speaks of it in reverential tones; one contemplates it in awe; one learns of it in solemnity. This event stands alone, now and throughout eternity.
The Second Book of Nephi’s major focus is Jesus Christ. In fact, the words “Jesus Christ” are not found in 1 Nephi, while they are collectively mentioned sixty-two times in 2 Nephi. It begins with Lehi’s teachings and the expressing of his heart to his family. Nephi justified using Isaiah and Jacob as part of his material because they also knew Jesus Christ (2 Nephi 11:3). We know that Lehi was an eyewitness of the Savior (I Nephi 1:8; 2 Nephi 1:15). Thus, 2 Nephi is a record of four witnesses --- Lehi, Nephi, Isaiah and Jacob --- all bearing testimony of the reality of Jesus Christ.
The main message is that mankind, individually and collectively, can be saved only by the Messiah.
If there were no Atonement, Elder Marion G. Romney declared, “The whole purpose for the creation of earth and our living upon it would fail (Conference Report, Oct. 1953, 34). President David O. McKay quotes James L. Gordon in this regard: “A cathedral without windows, a face without eyes, a field without flowers, an alphabet without vowels, a continent without rivers, a night without stars, and a sky without a son --- these would not be so sad as a … soul without Christ” (Conference Report, Oct, 1952, 12).
2 Nephi 1:4Jerusalem destroyed! Elder Talmage said 588 B.C., by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25). 2 Nephi 1:5-6 There shall none come into this land save they be brought by the hand of the Lord. 2 Nephi 1:26 Give Lehi and Sariah credit, their family did not divide until after their deaths.
2 Nephi 1:5-7 Inhabitants of the Promised Land “The Lord in his scriptures tells us that no one can come to this land (North and South America) unless he be brought or directed by the Spirit of the Lord, and so he has brought this people here. He brought the faith of the devoted Puritans of New England; he brought the patriotism of the Dutch at New York; he brought the gallantry of the cavaliers of Virginia; the light-hearted energy of the French of New Orleans. Just the kind of composite body of men to establish a government that could not be dominated by any particular race or tongue, but made composite, that all men might be welcomed to it, live under and enjoy its privileges” (Anthony W. Ivens, C.R., Oct. 1932, 108).
2 Nephi 1:7, 9-11, 16, 20, 31-32 “Because our nation is a creation of heaven, and because it has a divine destiny, we Americans must learn that it can continue to exist only as it aligns itself with the powers of heaven…Our first President, George Washington… warned that if we are to survive as a free and independent nation, we must obey the Almighty God who brought us into being” (Mark E. Peterson, C.R., April 1968, 59).
“Even this nation will be on the verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground, and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the Staff upon which the Nation shall lean, and they shall bear the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction” (Joseph Smith, Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 304).
There are also other documents in Church History files that show that five different early Saints recorded some remarks by Joseph Smith on this same prophecy. Parley P. Pratt wrote in 1841 that Joseph said, “The government is fallen and needs redeeming. It is guilty of Blood and cannot stand as it now is but will come so near desolation as to hang as it were by a single hair! Then the servants goes to the nations of the earth, and gathers the strength of the Lord’s house! A mighty army! And this is the redemption of Zion when the saints shall have redeemed that government and reinstated it in all its purity and glory ( George A. Smith Papers, Church Archives, Box 7, Folder 5, January 21, 1841).
James Burgess related that the Prophet, while addressing the Nauvoo Legion several miles east of Nauvoo in May 1843, said that “the time would come when the constitution and government would hang by a brittle thread and would be ready to fall into other hands but this people the latter-day saints will step forth and save it” ( James Burgess Journal, 1818- 1904, Church Archives, vol. 1 --- found among loose sermons). Orson Hyde recalled that the Prophet predicted that “the time would come that the Constitution and the country would be in danger of an overthrow and said he, if the constitution be saved at all, it will be by the Elders of this Church. I believe this is about the language as nearly as I can recollect it” ( JD, 6:150).
In a Pioneer Day celebration in Ogden in 1871, Eliza R. Snow said, “I heard the prophet say, “The time will come when the government of these United States will be so nearly overthrown through its corruption, that the Constitution will hang as it were by a single hair, and the Latter-day Saints --- the Elders of Israel --- will step forward to its rescue and save it” ( Journal History, MSF 143 #28, July 24, 1871). In support of this view of “constant vigilance,” it is most instructive to note that Church leaders have seen the Constitution imperiled a number of times. Brigham Young, reflecting on the prophecy of 1868, expressed: “It would not be many years before these words come to pass” (JD, 12:204). President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., warned in 1942: “Whether it [the Constitution] shall live or die is now in the balance” (CR, October 1942, 58).
I believe as the Prophet Joseph has written, that the day would come when there would be so much of disorder, of secret combinations taking the law into their own hands, tramping upon Constitutional rights and the liberties of the people, that the Constitution would hang as by a thread. Yes, but it will still hang, and there will be enough of good people, many who may not belong to our Church at all, people who have respect for law and for order, and for Constitutional rights, who will rally around with us and save the Constitution. I have never read that that thread would be cut. It will hang; the Constitution will abide and this civilization, that the Lord has caused to be built up, will stand fortified through the power of God, by putting from our hearts all that is evil, or that is wrong in the sight of God, by our living as we should live, acceptable to him (Charles W. Nibley, CR, Oct. 1922, 40).
I believe that it is the destiny of the Latter-day Saints to support the Constitution of the United States. The Prophet Joseph Smith is alleged to have said --- and I believe he did say it --- that the day would come when the Constitution would hang as by a thread. But he saw that the thread did not break, thank the Lord, and that the Latter-day Saints would become a balance of power, with others, to preserve that Constitution. If there is --- and there is one part of the Constitution hanging as by a thread today --- where do the Latter-day Saints belong? Their place is to rally to the support of that Constitution, and maintain it and defend it and support it by their lives and by their vote. Let us not disappoint God nor his prophet. Our place is fixed (Melvin J. Ballard, CR, April 1933, 127).
2 Nephi 1:13-14 “From Whence No Traveler Can Return” “Anti-Mormon critics claim that Joseph Smith received from Shakespeare the idea of referring to death as ‘the cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return.’ Shakespeare’s quotation, which critics say is too similar to the statement by Lehi, reads as follows: ‘But that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country form who bourn no traveler returns’ (Hamlet, Act 3, scene 1). Such critics overlook other possibilities for the explanation of the similarity between this statement by Joseph Smith and the one by Shakespeare.
In the first place, the idea of referring to death in such a manner is not unique to either of these men. In the book of Job in the Old Testament, we find such statements as: ‘Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death’ (Job 10:21), and ‘When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return’ (Job 16:22). Also, the Roman poet Catulus (who lived in the first century B.C., included a similar thought in his “Elegy on a sparrow’: Now having passed the gloomy bourne/ from whence he never can return’” (Ludlow, Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, 124-25).
2 Nephi 1:30“Thou art a true friend” Marvin J. Ashton said: “A true friend,” would never knowingly lead you to do the wrong thing.” 2 Nephi 2“Wow” Where can we learn about the Atonement? “Our most explicit teachings on the Atonement of Christ are in 2 Nephi 2 and 9 and Alma 34” (Bruce R. McConkie, Promised Messiah, 421). v.2Jacob’s blessing was the most doctrinal, which tells us a great deal about him. 2 Nephi 2:2 D&C 122:1-7 “Consecrate thine afflictions!”
President Spencer W. Kimball said: “We knew before we were born that we were coming to the earth for bodies and experience and that we would have joys and sorrows, ease and pain, comforts and hardships, health and sickness, successes and disappointments, and we knew also that after a period of life we would die. We accepted all these eventualities with a glad heart, eager to accept both the favorable and unfavorable. We eagerly accepted the chance to come earthward even though it might be for only a day or year. Perhaps we were not so much concerned whether we should die of disease, of accident, or of senility. We were willing to take life as it came and as we might organize and control it, and this without murmur, complaint, or unreasonable demands” ( Faith Precedes the Miracle, 106).
Elder Marion G. Romney taught the following about difficulties and afflictions: “If we can bear our afflictions with the understanding, faith, and courage…we shall be strengthened and comforted in many ways. We shall be spared the torment which accompanies the mistaken idea that all suffering comes as chastisement for transgression… “I have seen the remorse and despair in the lives of men who in the hour of trial, have cursed God and died spiritually. And I have seen people rise to great heights from what seemed to be unbearable burdens” (C.R., Oct. 1969, 59-60).
2 Nephi 2:11 “Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life and Godhood.
Four things necessary to have agency: 1. Opposition 2.Power to choose 3. Law 4.Knowledge of good and evil
“’For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things… righteousness… wickedness… holiness… misery… good…bad…’ “Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the door upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery. The sufferings of our Savior were part of is education” (Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle : Deseret Book Co., 97-98).
2 Nephi 2:14 To Act and Not Be Acted Upon People tend often to measure their righteousness by the absence of wrong acts in their lives, as if passivity were the end of being. But God has created “things to act and things to be acted upon,” and man is in the former category. He does not fill the measure of his creation unless he acts, and that in righteousness ( The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 148). The more we sin, the more we are acted upon, eventually coming to be almost like inanimate objects that are acted upon (Neal A. Maxwell, Things As They Really Are, 34).
Ironically, those who are made less and less free by successive sinning taunt those on the Lord’s path, who know the personal liberty of righteousness. It would be comic if it were not so tragic (Neal A. Maxwell, Things As They Really Are, 34).
2 Nephi 2:21-29“ Results of the Fall ” v. 25 Elder Talmage said, “Our first parents are entitled to our deepest gratitude for their legacy to posterity – the means of winning title to glory, exaltation, and eternal lives. But for the opportunity thus given, the spirits of God’s offspring would have remained forever in a state of innocent childhood ( Articles of Faith 2:25).
Did Adam sin by partaking of the forbidden fruit ? “Adam and Eve therefore did the very thing that the Lord intended them to do… “…The Lord said to Adam that if he wished to remain as he was in the garden, then he was not to eat the fruit, but if he desired to eat it and partake of death he was at liberty to do so. So really it was not in the true sense a transgression of a divine commandment…. “It was the divine plan from the very beginning” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answer to Gospel Questions, 4:80).
The gospel or plan of salvation is designed, according to President Brigham Young, for redemption of “fallen beings” ( J.D. 1:1). Elder Orson F. Whitney taught that the fall was a step forward, a step in the eternal march of human progress. Joy = I Nephi 8:12
2 Nephi 2:25 “Men are, that they might have joy” “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is…keeping all the commandments of God” (Joseph Smith, Teachings, 255).
The four Components of Freedom : 1. First is the need for an intelligent being, a decision maker (2 Nephi 2:26). 2. Second is the need for a knowledge of good and evil. 3. The third element of freedom is the availability of choices. 4. The power to execute or to carry out the choices before us.
Brigham Young taught, “The difference between the righteous and the sinner, eternal life or death, happiness or misery, is this, to those who are exalted there are no bounds or limits to their privileges” (Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 63). Now that is freedom! Lehi understood this glorious truth. He declared that, because of Christ’s redemption, men would “become free forever” (2 Nephi 2:26).
2 Nephi 2:27 In the long run, it will not matter what we have chosen if it is not the Kingdom of God. Freedom (agency) + knowledge = Accountability
Lucifer, who has no future,…desperately desires to persuade men that they have no future either. He desires “that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” Misery likes company --- especially ultimate misery! (Neal A. Maxwell, Disposition of a Disciple, 14). Lucifer apparently was and is multi-talented, but his memories of what might have been gnaw at him constantly. No wonder he is an incurable insomniac (Neal A. Maxwell, Disposition of a Disciple, 36).
2 Nephi 2:29 What gives the spirit of the devil power to captivate? “All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him. The moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil take power” (Joseph Smith, Teachings, 181).
1.Joseph of Egypt 2.Joseph born in the wilderness to Lehi and Sariah 3.Joseph Smith Sr. 4.Joseph Smith Jr. Joseph Smith Jr., (like myself), was the fourth of nine children.
It was decreed in the counsels of eternity, long before the foundations of the earth were laid, that he, Joseph Smith, should be the man, in the last dispensation of this world, to bring forth the word of God to the people, and receive the fullness of the keys and power of the Priesthood of the Son of God. The Lord had his eyes upon him, and upon his father, and upon his father’s father, and upon their progenitors clear back to Abraham, and from Abraham to the flood, from the flood to Enoch, and from Enoch to Adam. He has watched that family and that blood as it has circulated from its foundation to the birth of that man. He was fore-ordained in eternity to preside over this last dispensation” (Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 108).
2 Nephi 13:5 And he shall be like unto me! The comparisons between the two Joseph, of course, are quite striking: 1. Both Josephs had inauspicious beginnings. They were both unlikely candidates to have had a impact on Egyptian history and American history, indeed upon world history. 2. Both were falsely accused and jailed. 3. Both Joseph’s were torn from their families. 4. Both were amazingly resilient in the midst of adversity. 5. Both Joseph’s were generous to those who betrayed them. 6. Both were understandably anxious about their loved ones and friends.
2 Nephi 3:12“Shall Grow Together” This phrase denotes an ongoing process pertaining to the coming forth of the stick of Judah and the stick of Ephraim (Ezekiel 37:15-20). Concerning the coming forth of the new Latter-day Saint editions of the scriptures, Elder Boyd K. Packer stated: “The stick or record of Judah --- The Old Testament and the New Testament --- and the stick or record of Ephraim --- The Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ -- - are now woven together in such a way that as you pore over one you are drawn to the other; as you learn from one you are enlightened by the other. They are indeed one in our hands. Ezekiel’s prophecy now stands fulfilled” (C.R., Oct. 1982, 75).