After testifying that Jesus Christ delivers all mankind from the effects of the fall and offers us forgiveness from our sins, Jacob concluded his sermon. He warned against attitudes and actions that lead to separation from the Lord, and he testified of attitudes and actions that allow people to come to Christ and be saved. On the next day, Jacob reiterated that although the house of Israel would be scattered because of sin, the Lord would remember His covenants with them and gather them when they would repent and return to Him. Jacob prophesied of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He also prophesied that his people’s promised land would be a place of liberty, fortified against all nations and free from the reign of kings. Jacob exhorted his people to reconcile themselves to God’s will and remember that they could be saved only through God’s grace.
2 Nephi 9:27–54
Jacob invites all to come unto Christ and warns of attitudes and actions that separate us from the Lord
In your journal, write the phrases why I need help and what I must do. Imagine a person who has a terrible disease.
- Why is it important that this person understand the need to seek help?
- Why is it important that the person also understand what to do to receive help?
- What will result if the person understands the need for help but does not understand what to do to receive it?
In the previous lesson, we studied the effects of the fall and the consequences of our sins, learning about why we need the Saviour. He wants to help us and deliver us from our sins. Think about whether you know what you must do to receive all the blessings of the Atonement.
Jacob wanted to help his people choose “the way of eternal life” (2 Nephi 10:23). He helped them understand that they would receive eternal life only if they would “come unto the Lord” (2 Nephi 9:41). Read 2 Nephi 9:41. Look for Jacob’s description of “the way” we should follow.
- What does it mean to come to the Lord? ( imagine your life as a path. silently contemplate where your path is leading. Are your choices bringing you closer to the Saviour?)
- What words did Jacob use to describe “the way”? What do the words narrow and straight teach about the way we should live?
To view a video “Look to Christ and Follow Christ” press HERE
In connection with the narrow and straight way, Jacob used an image of a gate. He referred to the Saviour as the keeper of that gate. We can be forgiven of our sins and receive eternal life only through Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Everything we do that leads to eternal life—including the ordinances we receive, the prayers we offer, the testimonies we share, and the way we live—must be done in the name of Jesus Christ.
- Why is it significant to you that the Saviour “employeth no servant there”? ( the Lord does call servants, such as bishops and stake presidents, to act on His behalf as judges of the people. However, He will be our final Judge and will give final approval according to the way we have lived.)
- How can the knowledge that the Lord “cannot be deceived” influence our efforts to come to Him?
Throughout the remainder of 2 Nephi 9, Jacob’s teachings help us understand how our attitudes and actions affect our ability to come to the Saviour. Some attitudes and actions help us come to Christ, while others prevent us from coming unto Him.
To discover some of these attitudes and actions, draw a vertical line down the centre of your journal. On one side of the line, write Distancing Ourselves from Christ. Below that, write:
1. 2 Nephi 9:27–33
2. 2 Nephi 9:34–39
On the other side of the line, write Coming unto Christ. Below that, write:
3. 2 Nephi 9:23, 39, 42, 45–46
4. 2 Nephi 9:49–52
Read the first two verses to identify attitudes and actions that can distance us from the Saviour and list. Jacob mentioned learning and money, both of which can be good. How can our choices about learning and money keep us from coming to the Lord?
- What do you think it means to be spiritually deaf or blind? (See 2 Nephi 9:31–32.)
- The phrase “uncircumcised of heart” (2 Nephi 9:33) refers to those whose hearts are not open to God and who are unwilling to keep covenants with Him. How does this condition keep us from receiving the full blessings of the Atonement?
- What are some forms of idol worship today? (See 2 Nephi 9:37.)
Read the next 2 verses to identify attitudes and actions that help us come unto the Saviour and receive the blessings of His Atonement and list. Mark your findings in your scriptures.
In 2 Nephi 9:23, Jacob reminds us of the Lord’s command to repent and be baptized. How does renewing baptismal covenants through the sacrament help us come to the Lord and receive the blessings of His Atonement?
- What do you think it means to be “spiritually-minded”? (2 Nephi 9:39). What are some activities that can help us be spiritually minded?
- What does it mean to “turn away from your sins”? (2 Nephi 9:45).What do you think Jacob meant when he said to drink, eat, and “delight in fatness”? (See 2 Nephi 9:50–51. these verses refer to spiritual nourishment.)
As we come to the Lord and live according to His will, we will receive the full blessings of the Atonement. Write this principle in you scripture journal above the list you have created.
Ponder evidence you have seen of this principle in your lives. Write in your scripture study journals about how you have come closer to the Saviour through one or more of the attitudes and actions in the second list on the board.
2 Nephi 9:29. “To be learned is good”
Latter-day prophets have always counselled us to obtain an education. “Education is an investment that brings great rewards and will open the doors of opportunity that may otherwise be closed to you. Plan now to obtain an education. Be willing to work diligently and make sacrifices if necessary. Share your educational goals with your family, friends, and leaders so they can support and encourage you” (For the Strength of Youth [booklet, 2011], 9).
Read 2 Nephi 9:29. After Jacob said that “to be learned is good,” he added this caution: “if [you] hearken unto the counsels of God.” You will be better prepared to follow this counsel as you participate in scripture study.
Jacob encourages his people to rejoice and come to the Lord.
Have you ever received a gift that was particularly meaningful because someone had gone to great effort or made a sacrifice to give the gift?
- How can we express gratitude for such gifts?
- How can we express gratitude for the gift of the Saviour’s Atonement?
The day after Jacob delivered his sermon about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he again testified of the Lord’s deliverance from the consequences of sin. He taught his people about how they should respond to the gift of the Atonement.
To summarize 2 Nephi 10:1–19 Jacob reiterated that although the house of Israel would be scattered because of sin, the Lord would remember His covenants with them and gather them when they would repent and return to Him. In 2 Nephi 10:3 it is the first verse in the Book of Mormon that uses the title Christ in referring to the Saviour.
Read 2 Nephi 10:20, 23–25. Identify what Jacob exhorts us to do in response to the gift of the Atonement. You may want mark what you find in these verses.
To view a video “The scattering and Gathering is first spiritual” press HERE
- In light of what we have studied about the Saviour, what do you want to always remember about Him?
- Why is repentance an important way to show our gratitude for what the Lord has done for us?
- What have you learned about the Saviour that helps you to feel hope?
The word reconcile in 2 Nephi 10:24 means to bring people or things into harmony or agreement with each other. For example, two friends should reconcile with one another after a disagreement.
- What do you think it means to reconcile ourselves to the will of God?
Ponder what you have learned and felt as you have studied 2 Nephi 9–10. Seek guidance from the Holy Spirit to help them determine something you will do to reconcile themselves to the will of God and more fully partake of the blessings of the Atonement. For example, you might commit to heed certain counsel from God (see 2 Nephi 9:29), turn away from a specific sin (see 2 Nephi 9:45), or identify a way to remember the Saviour more often throughout each day (see 2 Nephi 10:20). Do whatever is necessary to “reconcile [your] selves to the will of God” (2 Nephi 10:24).
Next week’s lesson 31 – 2 Nephi 11 and 16