Book of Mormon
All to Come unto Him”
Nephi prophesies of the Savior's ministry among the Nephites.
Nephi testifies of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.
Nephi testifies that Satan will spread false doctrines in the last days.
Nephi teaches about the importance of the Book of Mormon.
A study of this lesson will help us understand that through the Restoration of
the gospel and the teachings of the Book of Mormon, the Lord will cause truth to
triumph over evil.
Scripture references for study:
2 Nephi 26–30
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 10 Handout (PDF)
These chapters are heavily influenced by the writings of Isaiah.
Nephi has described two strong forces at work in the world:
The work of God.
The influence of Satan.
There is an ongoing war on earth between these two forces.
Some of the thoughts in this lesson were developed from an essay by Robert
J. Matthews, formerly a professor of ancient scripture at BYU (Two Ways In The World:
The Warfare Between God and Satan, Studies in Scripture, 7:146-161).
The War In Heaven
HOW DO THOSE OUTSIDE OF THE RESTORED CHURCH EXPLAIN THIS BATTLE BETWEEN
GOD (GOOD) AND SATAN (EVIL)? WHY DO THEY SAY IT IS BEING WAGED?
WHERE DID THIS BATTLE BEGIN?
We know from latter-day scripture that this battle began during our pre-earthly
WHAT ISSUES WERE INVOLVED IN THIS BATTLE?
The principle of agency, always coupled with individual responsibility.
It was recognized that if individuals were given their agency, then some
would not be saved.
The fact that Godhood and ultimate perfection can only be obtained through
individual effort and excellence.
Lucifer offered to save all people, but not by requiring individuals to
consciously strive for excellence.
Satan, by saving all would take all the glory.
Jesus, defending the Father's plan, would honor the Father.
WHAT WAS THE NATURE AND SEVERITY OF THIS WAR?
It was a battle that had eternal consequences.
The agency of our spirits seems to have been insured from the beginning.
As a result of personal agency, we could choose to follow Jesus or Lucifer.
It was a battle to win eternal spirits to one side or the other.
HOW WAS THE BATTLE FOUGHT?
Brother Matthews: "This was not a war just of
words and debate and forensics. It was a war of misdeeds, lies, hatred,
pride jealousy, remorse, envy, cursing, blasphemy, deception, theft, cajoling,
slander, anger, and sins of almost every kind that are also known in mortality. The issues were so well defined that coexistence was not possible. Those who wholeheartedly supported Lucifer's rebellion became like him;
and after having sinned beyond the possibility of reclamation, they were
cast out of heaven and placed (as spirits) upon the earth, never to have
the opportunity to be born with a body of flesh and bone." (Studies
in Scripture, 7:147-148)
As Brother Matthews indicates, these spirits committed such pernicious
deeds that they were cast out from the presence of the Father and eternally
damned. This is severe stuff.
- These rebellious spirits are "the devil and his angels."
"And it came to pass that Adam, being tempted
of the devil--for, behold, the devil was before Adam, for he rebelled against
me, saying, Give me thine honor, which is my power; and also a third part
of the hosts of heaven turned he away from me because of their agency;
And they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels"
The war continues into mortality.
We think of the war in heaven as something that happened millennia or eons
ago. In fact, this was only the opening battle. The war continues
unabated and the battlefields have been expanded. It is a war between
the forces of good and evil that continues into our mortal existence. It is a continuing war for the souls of men. The war continues today.
We are left with a disadvantage: the memory of our pre-mortal life was
removed from our consciousness.
Those that do not read or believe the revelations do not perceive the nature
or purpose of their life or their responsibilities, or even that a war
WHY ARE SATAN AND HIS FOLLOWERS LEFT WITH THIS ADVANTAGE?
"And it must needs be that the
devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto
themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the
sweet--" (D&C 29:39)
Only in the gospel can we find the knowledge, the tools, and the power
to combat the devil's program of defeat and enslavement.
There can be no neutral position.
IN THIS ONGOING WAR, THERE IS NO NEUTRAL GROUND. WHY?
So called neutrality is an aid and advantage to the enemy.
- It renders comfort and assistance to the forces of the adversary.
- It helps the enemy in that they need not fight against the neutral.
- Such neutrality also creates a lack of help that could have been given
had that individual chosen a side.
Nephi warns us of the devil's work on earth and tells of the Lord's plan
for salvation and defense for humanity. Nephi makes it clear:
The Lord works in plainness, in truth, and in goodness.
The devil deals in deception and cunning.
Detail is given about the devil's manner of operations and about
how he carefully traps people.
The Book of Mormon not only shows us what the gospel of Christ is, but
it also shows us what it is not.
Christ’s Coming To The Nephites Foretold
In 2 Nephi 26 Nephi looks forward to the coming of Christ. He sees
the results of this ongoing war within his own people.
He writes about the great calamities that will befall the wicked (at the
time of the death of Christ) who have been warned.
Nephi seems to indicate that the Lord would initiate these calamities:
"...for the fire of the anger of the Lord
shall be kindled against them..." (v6)
"O the pain, and the anguish of my soul for
the loss of the slain of my people! For I, Nephi, have seen it, and
it well nigh consumeth me before the presence of the Lord; but I must cry
unto my God: Thy ways are just." (v7).
Nephi observed that the righteous who hearkened unto the words
of the prophets would not be destroyed (v8).
Nephi seems to be teaching that the behavior of human beings can affect and
influence the so-called "natural" phenomena. The language of the
scriptures also suggests that God uses these "natural" occurrences to punish
or at times to reward his children.
IS THIS TRUE IN OUR DAY?
The Stumbling Block & Priestcraft
2 NEPHI 26:20-22. The Gentiles that have
been lifted up in their pride have stumbled.
We begin to see how Satan is fighting the war.
WHAT IS THE "STUMBLING BLOCK"?
In 1 Nephi 13:28-35 Nephi stated that the Gentiles would stumble because
the Bible had been altered and thus lacking "many plain
and precious parts."
A stumbling block in the last days would be the lack of knowledge and
spiritual understanding because of the imperfect Bible - the only scriptural
record they ever possessed.
Thus we see how Satan has worked through the ages to deceive men.
Thus we see the great necessity for a second witness of Christ, the Book
ACCORDING TO NEPHI, WHAT WILL BE THE SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF THE GENTILES
IN THE LAST DAYS?
Lifted up in the pride of their eyes (v20).
Stumble spiritually because of the "stumbling block" (v20).
Preach for religious doctrine their own ideas gained through their
own wisdom and learning (v20).
Preach for financial gain (v20).
Deny the miracles and power of God (v20).
Be filled with envy, malice, and strife (v21).
Support secret combinations from the devil (v22).
This is the first real reference to secret combinations in the Book of
As we are aware, this becomes an important part of the Book of Mormon
2 NEPHI 26:29-30. The Lord condemns priestcraft
(includes those things listed in the previous section).
We see the difference here between the workings of the Lord and Satan.
Nephi indicates that one danger of priestcraft is that such professional
religious leaders would be more concerned with teaching those things that
were popular and acceptable to the people than they would in preaching
the word of God.
WHAT EXAMPLES OF PRIESTCRAFT ARE EVIDENT IN THE WORLD TODAY?
Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "Even in the seemingly
miscellaneous gospel gems there is plainness and preciousness. If, for
instance, we assume there is only ancient relevance concerning the practice
and purposes of priestcraft, we need to be braced by how germane that definition
is for our time.... Do we not see such people working today (minus
the label, of course) among the children of men? Alas, such match the criteria
set forth not only as some lead out in the realm of religion but in the
realm of irreligion." (Plain and Precious Things, pp86-87)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "Priesthood and
priestcraft are two opposites; one is of God, the other of the devil. When
ministers claim but do not possess the priesthood; when they set themselves
up as lights to their congregations, but do not preach the pure and full
gospel; when their interest is in gaining personal popularity and financial
gain, rather than in caring for the poor and ministering to the wants and
needs of their fellow men -- they are engaged, in a greater or lesser degree,
in the practice of priestcrafts." (Mormon Doctrine, p593)
HOW CAN WE COUNTERACT THESE CONDITIONS?
"The Lord God hath given a commandment that
all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they
should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity
they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish. But the laborer in
Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish."
(2 Nephi 26:30-31)
The Lord Is Able To Do His Own Work
In 2 Nephi 27 Nephi begins by writing of universal apostasy from the things
of God in the last days.
Consider Nephi's words: "And all
the nations that fight against Zion [or the kingdom of God], and that distress
her, shall be as a dream of a night vision; yea, it shall be unto them,
as unto a hungry man which dreameth, and behold he eateth but he awaketh
and his soul is empty; or like unto a thirsty man which dreameth, and
behold he drinketh but he awaketh and behold he is faint, and his soul
hath appetite; yea, even so shall the multitude of all the nations be that
fight against Mount Zion. For behold, all ye
that doeth iniquity, stay yourselves and wonder, for ye shall cry out,
and cry; yea, ye shall be drunken but not with wine, ye shall stagger
but not with strong drink." (2 Nephi 27:3- 4)
As a consequence of the spiritual condition of the world the Lord will
bring forth the Book of Mormon.
2 Nephi 27 tells us that the Book of Mormon is one of the Lord's most effective
tools enabling us to:
Fight against the work and influence of the devil.
Aiding us in more readily detecting the false doctrines of the world.
Recall the words of President Benson: "It is not just that the Book of
Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just
that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does
that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in
the book that will begin to flow into your life the moment you begin a
serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist
temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You
will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path." (CR, Oct 1986)
HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THE BOOK OF MORMON COUNTERACT THE CONDITIONS NEPHI DESCRIBES
IN VERSES 3 AND 4, EITHER IN YOUR LIFE OR THE LIVES OF OTHERS?
The Devil's Manner of Operation
2 Nephi 28 explains how the devil operates and how well he will succeed
in the last days.
2 NEPHI 28:3-4. They shall teach with their
WHAT IS THEIR LEARNING?
If it is not the things of the Lord, then it must be the things of Satan
which carefully lead them away from the Lord.
2 NEPHI 28:7-9. Many will justify themselves
and say it is acceptable to sin.
DO WE HEAR THIS IN THE WORLD TODAY?
Do we hear: "He will justify in committing a little sin"?
WHY ARE SATAN'S LIES SO ENTICING TO MANY PEOPLE?
WHAT SUBTLE LIES AND FLATTERIES MIGHT SATAN BE TELLING CHURCH MEMBERS TODAY?
WHY DO MANY PEOPLE FOLLOW THE WAYS OF SATAN RATHER THAN THE WAYS OF GOD,
EVEN THOUGH THEY KNOW SATAN'S WAYS ARE WRONG?
I think these verses answer the question. We think we can repent
later or that repentance is not necessary at all.
HOW EXTENSIVE WILL WICKEDNESS BECOME?
"They wear stiff necks and
high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations,
and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the
humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances
they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." (2
All have gone astray, save it be a few humble followers of Christ.
Even many of followers of Christ will err "because they are taught by the precepts
President Ezra Taft Benson: "Not only are there
apostates within our midst, but there are also apostate doctrines that
are sometimes taught in our classes and from our pulpits and that appear
in our publications. And these apostate precepts of men cause our
people to stumble...
"Christ taught that we
should be in the world but not of it. Yet there are some in our midst
who are not so much concerned about taking the gospel into the world as
they are about bringing worldliness into the gospel. They want us
to be popular with the worldly even though a prophet has said that it is
impossible, for all hell would then want to join us.
"Through their own reasoning
and a few misapplied scriptures, they try to sell us the precepts and philosophies
of men. They do not feel the Church is progressive enough."
(CR, Apr 1969)
2 NEPHI 28:17-20. The kingdom of the devil
WHAT WILL BE THE FORCE THAT "SHAKES" THE KINGDOM OF THE DEVIL AND "STIR"
MEN TO REPENTANCE?
That "marvelous work and wonder" spoken of in 2 Nephi 27 and Isaiah 29.
The Book of Mormon is the catalyst for righteousness.
It opened the kingdom of God in the Last Days and is the key to opening the
kingdom of God to each individual.
It is the great, secret weapon of God and the forces of righteousness
in this ongoing battle against the devil and his legions.
"And others will he pacify,
and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well
in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well--and thus the devil cheateth
their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." (2
HOW IS THIS HAPPENING IN THE CHURCH AND WHAT CAN WE DO TO DEFEND AGAINST
How is it happening:
The Church is growing rapidly and it is easy to say that all is well and
not do all that we should.
We, as members of the Church, may prosper and say that we are doing all that
we can to build the kingdom.
Many might think they are serving the Lord when, in reality, they are too
Joseph Smith: "...nothing is a greater injury
to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit
when they think they have the Spirit of God." (TPJS, p205)
President James E. Faust: "Thomas R. Rowan...said:
'Author and commentator Malcom Muggeridge once told a story about some
frogs who were killed without resistance by being boiled alive in [a] cauldron
of water. Why didn't they resist? Because when they were put
in the cauldron, the water was tepid. Then the temperature was raised
ever so slightly,...then a bit warmer still, and on and on and on. The change was so gradual, almost imperceptible, that the frogs accommodated
themselves to their new environment--until it was too late. The point
that Mr. Muggeridge was making was not about frogs but about us and how
we tend to accept evil as long as it is not a shock that is thrust on us
abruptly. We are inclined to accept something morally wrong if it
is only a shade more wrong that something we are already accepting'."
(Ensign, May 1989, p32)
How do we defend ourselves against this attitude:
Immerse ourselves in the living waters of the Book of Mormon - it is the
Some warnings and wo's.
HOW DOES THE LORD DISPENSE HIS TRUTHS TO MEN?
"For behold, thus saith the
Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept
upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who
hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall
learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them
that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that
which they have." (2 Nephi 28:30)
Line upon line, as men accept what they are given.
We read in 2 Nephi 27:7 that the book to come forth contains a revelation
from God, "from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof."
- Obviously we do not have this part of the Book of Mormon (it must be part of
the sealed portion).
- HOW DO WE OBTAIN THAT REVELATION?
Line upon line - we must first accept and understand what we have. There is a reason it
has not been given to us yet. We must learn the
first line before we receive the second. Is not this the normal process
of learning. Why should we think that spiritual learning and comprehension
is any different.
Three Great Scriptural Witnesses for the Lord
AS THE LORD LAUNCHES THE BOOK OF MORMON INTO THE BATTLE, WHAT THOUGHT
MIGHT SATAN PLANT IN THE HEARTS OF MEN?.
"And because my words shall
hiss forth--many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got
a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible." (2 Nephi 29:3)
The Lord to present three major written testimonies of Christ to mankind.
2 NEPHI 29:13-14. My word also shall be gathered
We have the Bible, though it remains incomplete.
We have the Book of Mormon, though we only have one-third of the record.
We have yet to receive the record of the lost tribes.
The Eventual Restoration of All the House of Israel
In 2 Nephi 30 Nephi prophecies of the eventual gathering and restoration
2 NEPHI 30:1-2. Except ye shall keep the
commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish.
WHAT IS NEPHI TEACHING US HERE ABOUT THE COVENANT PEOPLE?
Those that repent (Gentiles) are the covenant people of the Lord.
Those that refuse (Jews) are cast off and no longer the Lord's people.
The Lord only covenants with those who repent and follow the Savior.
The Israelites should not think they are more righteous than the Gentiles
on the basis of lineage.
THE QUESTION WE NEED TO ASK OF OURSELVES: ARE WE REPENTANT GENTILES OR
Consider these humble comments on repentance by the beloved General Authority,
J. Golden Kimball:
Quote sources: J. Golden Kimball by Claude Richards; The Golden Legacy
by Thomas E. Cheney.
"I acknowledge that I am imperfect, and no one
is more sorry than I am. I have made mistakes, but I have faith in
God, and I know God will forgive a man who repents."
"Now I am speaking of myself; I am not criticizing
others; I am talking about principles. I stand before you a transgressor,
but I am trying to be saved, and that is all God asks me to do."
"I am a man of weakness; I am a man full of faults;
but God knows I have given him the best effort there was in me."
"My brethren and sisters, I want you to be good
to me and help save me. If I can be saved it is an encouragement
to every man, woman, and child in Israel to make the effort."
The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Elder Kimball's 1910 conference address:
said he loved the Lord for many things, not the least among which was His
patience in creating the world and His patience with Elder Kimball. Elder Kimball thanked the Lord that he had the spirit of repentance. It kept him pretty busy repenting, he said, but if he did not have the
spirit of repentance he would be woefully discouraged."
"I have not committed any crimes, but there are
some things in my history that I regret. Environment has a great
deal to do with a man, and men who have colonized the outlying districts
do not look upon some habits as seriously as men who have never indulged
in them; if they did, it would be an injustice to themselves. You
never saw a man in your life do a wrong thing who was happy over it. You never saw men violate a commandment of God and feel jubilant over it,
but if they have the Spirit of the Lord they feel miserable."
2 NEPHI 30:3-6. Many
shall believe the words of the book.
ACCORDING TO NEPHI'S PROPHECY, HOW WILL THE BOOK
OF MORMON BLESS THOSE WHO READ IT?
These prophecies apply specifically to the descendants
of Lehi, but in reality apply to all who read the book.
A knowledge of the lineage of Lehi's seed to be known.
Gain a knowledge of their fathers and consequently
those things which blessed and cursed their society.
Gain a knowledge of Jesus Christ and learn that their
fathers also had that knowledge.
The scales of darkness will fall from the eyes of
those who accept the book. They will be led into the light of truth.
They shall become a pure and delightsome people.
WHAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY FOR HELPING FULFILL THIS
To carry the message of the Book of Mormon to the world,
especially the remnant of the seed of Lehi,
"there shall be many which shall believe the words which
are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed."
President Benson: "We
hardly fathom the power of the Book of Mormon, nor the divine role it must
play, nor the extent to which it must be moved....
"[God] has revealed to
me the absolute need for us to move the Book of Mormon forward now in a
marvelous manner. You must help with this burden and with this blessing
which He has placed on the whole Church." (CR, Oct 1988)
Restoration & Gathering.
it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin
to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of
the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome
people. And it shall come to pass
that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds,
tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon
(2 Nephi 30:7-8)
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GATHERING AND RESTORATION
IN THESE VERSES?
Gathering = the physical gathering of the remnants
The early gathering of the Saints to America (Missouri,
Illinois, Mountain West).
The gathering of the Jews to the promised land.
The return of the lost tribes, first to America and
then to the Holy Land.
The eventual gathering to the city of Zion.
Restoration = The restoration of the gospel to the
remnants of Israel.
This includes gathering to the stakes of Zion.
Nephi concludes chapter 30 with information about
2 NEPHI 30:15-18. All things shall be revealed.
In that day, we shall receive great knowledge.
"...the earth shall be full of the knowledge of
the Lord as the waters cover the sea"
"...all things shall be made known unto the children
of men" (30:16).
"...there is nothing which is sealed upon the
earth save it shall be loosed" (30:17).
"...all things which have been revealed unto the
children of men shall at that day be revealed" (30:18).
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on the teachings of Nephi as discussed in this
lesson. Consider how the battle between good and evil continues today. What
weapons is Satan using in this battle? How can you shield yourself from those
Resources Used In This Lesson
Conference Reports (CR).
J. Golden Kimball by Claude Richards.
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.
Plain and Precious Things by Neal A. Maxwell.
Studies In Scripture, vol. 7, edited by Kent P. Jackson.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (TPJS).
The Golden Legacy by Thomas E. Cheney.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
11 January 2016