The official Gospel Doctrine Manual is your first source for ideas on the upcoming lesson. Below are some ideas to supplement your study of 2 Nephi 26-30:
First, let’s get the “big picture.” Below is an excellent overview of these chapters from S. Michael Wilcox:
- 2 Nephi 25: The Jews will reject Christ and apostatize
- 2 Nephi 26: 1st half: The Lamanites/Nephites will reject Christ and apostatize
- 2 Nephi 26: 2nd half: The Gentiles will reject Christ and apostatize
- 2 Nephi 27: The World’s Second Chance
- 2 Nephi 28: What problems will the Book of Mormon Solve?
- 2 Nephi 29: Satan will try to destroy the power of the Book of Mormon
- 2 Nephi 30: The World’s Second Chance will take effect
- 2 Nephi 31: How individuals should get involved (Note the “Follow me” in verses 10, 12, 13, 16, 17; baptism and the Holy Ghost)
- 2 Nephi 32-33: “Feast on the words of Christ,” or in other words, listen to the Holy Ghost
Source: S. Michael Wilcox, Book of Mormon Gospel Study Companion DVD.
2 Nephi 26
1 – “He shall show himself unto you…” Later generations of Nephites appear to have forgotten this foretelling of Jesus’ visit, as shown by their reaction after Samuel the Lamanite’s prophecy: “Why will he not show himself unto us? (See Helaman 16:18).
4 – “The day that cometh shall burn them up” – Other verses describe this event with more sobering detail: “ They that come shall burn them” in JS-H 1:37, or the Lord himself saying “I will burn them up…” in D&C 29:9, D&C 64:24, 2 Thess 2:8.
8 – “Look forward unto Christ with steadfastness.” This is a latter-day necessity – don’t get distracted! The great and spacious will continue to try to get us to leave the tree of life.
10 – “They choose works of darkness rather than light” – as we have heard many times, we are free to choose, but not free to choose the consequences of our choices.
15-16 – Coming forth of the Book of Mormon, using some Isaiah language (note footnote 16a)
24-28 – “Doth he cry unto any saying, Depart from me?” These verses (24 -28) all say the same thing, which is that Jesus always invites, and he never told anyone to “Go away.” The Savior points this out in 3 Nephi 18:25, “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.”
29-31 – “Priestcrafts are that men set themselves up for a light..” One of my professors, Joseph Fielding McConkie calls this a “spiritual eclipse” when someone gets in front of the “Son” by saying “I am the light” instead of showing that Jesus is the light.
Priestcraft: The stratagems and frauds of priests; fraud or imposition in religious concerns; management of selfish and ambitious priests to gain wealth and power, or to impose on the credulity of others. – Websters 1828 Dictionary
There is a difference between priestcraft and priesthood. Priestcraft builds up itself, it is not authorized of God. Priestcraft oppresses the people; but the priesthood of God emancipates men. – George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses, 13:55.
33 – “He inviteth them all … all are alike unto God” A beautiful invitation
2 Nephi 27
1 – “Drunken with iniquity and all manner of abominations”
The rapid, sweeping deterioration of values is characterized by a preoccupation – even an obsession – with the procreative act. Abstinence before marriage and fidelity within it are openly scoffed at – marriage and parenthood ridiculed as burdensome, unnecessary. Modesty, a virtue of a refined individual or society, is all but gone. – Elder Boyd K. Packer, “Our Moral Environment,” Ensign, May 1992, p.66.
15-20 – See the Charles Anthon incident JSH 1:64-65, see also Isaiah 29:11-13
20-21 – “I am able to do mine own work” It is interesting to note that throughout the scriptures God is called “able” whereas the best we can do is be “willing” When we partake of the sacrament, we witness that we are “willing” to take upon us Christ’s name, not that we are “able.” We sing a hymn, “we are weak, but thou art able.”
This is also a comforting phrase when we remember Moses 1:39, “For behold, this is my work and my glory…” We rejoice that he is able to do his “work” to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. Sometimes parents think it is their work to exalt their own children, but the Lord comforts us by saying it is his work – and he is able. We will work together.
27 – “Hide their counsel” This is Isaiah language (Isaiah 29:15). “Counsel” is usually a positive word in our religious discussions, but in this context, “counsel” refers to secret conversations or conspiracies. Someone has said, “integrity is what you are in the dark.”
2 Nephi 28
This is a wonderful chapter to illustrate Satan’s tactics:
- Builds up false churches (3)
- Creates contention (4)
- Relies on learning, not on the spirit (4)
- Denies the existence and power of God (5)
- Denies miracles (6)
- Teaches that there is no life beyond mortality (7)
- Says God will justify some sin (8)
- Says God will save everyone regardless of how they live (8)
- Tempts people to sin now, repent later (8)
- Encourages pride (9, 12)
- Robs the poor (13)
- Promotes whoredoms, immorality (14)
- Emphasizes riches (15)
- Twists the truth (15)
- Hates that which is good (16)
- Promotes anger (19)
- Pacifies people – think of a baby “pacifier” (21)
- Lulls – think of a “lullaby” (21)
- Puts us to sleep and cheateth our souls (21)
- Uses flattery (22)
- Teaches there is no devil, hell (22)
- Says there is no need for new scripture (29)
- Says to trust in man, not in God (31)
Sheri Dew once compared Satan’s tactics to the little steps one uses over the course of a few weeks to break a horse:
- Sit on fence near the horse
- Coax the horse to come to you and eat
- Pet the horse
- Put your arm around the horse’s neck
- Attach a bridle
- Attach a bridle with bit
- Put on a saddle
- Saddle with rider
Sister Dew concluded, “They don’t like it, but they get used to it, until you can lead them wherever you want.”
29 – “We need no more of the word of God, for we have enough” – Who has the power, or the authority (or the audacity) to tell God to stop talking?
2 Nephi 29
5 – “I the Lord have not forgotten my people…” The Lord has not forgotten the Jews. 3 Nephi 29:8 also warns:
Yea, and ye need not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews, nor any remnant of the house of Israel; for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them, and he will do unto them according to that which he hath sworn.
3, 6-7 – “A Bible! A Bible” The Book of Mormon is not a rival to the Bible, it is a companion in testifying of Christ. In fact, one of the purposes of the Book of Mormon is to defend the Bible! Read Mormon 7:8-9 carefully:
Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews, which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you. For behold, this [the Book of Mormon] is written for the intent that ye may believe that [the Bible]; and if ye believe that [the Bible] ye will believe this [The Book of Mormon] also; and if ye believe this ye will know concerning your fathers, and also the marvelous works which were wrought by the power of God among them.
10 – “Neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written”
Joseph Smith: We have what we have, and the Bible contains what it does contain: but to say that God never said anything more to man than is there recorded, would be saying at once that we have at last received a revelation … because it is nowhere said in that volume by the mouth of God, that he would not, after giving, what is there contained, speak again; and if any man has found out for a fact that the Bible contains all that God ever revealed to man he has ascertained it by an immediate revelation, other than has been previously written by the prophets and apostles. (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Alma P. Burton [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977], 69 – 70.)
2 Nephi 30
1-2 – “As many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord” Being a part of the Lord’s chosen family is open to everyone.
16 – “All things shall be made known unto the children of men” Notice footnote 16a to D&C 101:32: (Here’s D&C 101:32-36:
Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things— Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof— Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven. Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.