concerning the doctrine of Christ”, The second section of Nephi’s final sermon, the focus of this essay, is also marked off as an inclusio by Nephi’s two references to “the doctrine of Christ” (2 Nephi 31:2 and 21). The second great promise and prophecy the Father has extended to all his children from the beginning[29] was that everyone who repents and chooses to be baptized and then receives “the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost,” and then endures to the end—“the same shall be saved” (vv. By taking this approach, I will be able to present a comprehensive interpretation of 2 Nephi 31 in a single paper and refer those desiring more detailed discussions of certain points to other readily available articles. . 2 Nephi 25. (3 Nephi 22:17.)" Nephi’s admonition to “feast upon the words of Christ” refers primarily to the daily guidance we can receive from the Holy Ghost and only secondarily to study of the scriptures. 2 Nephi 9. Nephi did not include an account of this unparalleled experience in his initial account of the larger vision of which it was a part, but held it back for emphasized presentation at the end of his writings. We saw that Nephi formally introduced this passage by announcing that he had concluded his own prophesying. Nephi’s exposition of the doctrine of Christ can be divided into two parts, both of which provide insight into the vision of the tree of life. Mosiah. For, “the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth” (2 Nephi 30:8). 2 Nephi 11. About 559–545 B.C. Nephi’s Christocentric reading of Isaiah becomes explicit in his own writing. Meaning it is possible to be confirmed into the Church and yet not have received the experience. [Tyndale House, The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Vol. And while eternal life as described by Nephi at the end of the path is awarded as a final judgment to those who have endured faithfully to the end, the fruit of the tree of life described in Lehi and Nephi’s visions can be enjoyed by the faithful in this life, and can then be lost by those who may be embarrassed by the mocking of unbelievers and apostatize. Rather, that same faith must inform and sustain believers in each step of this gospel journey as they endure faithfully to the end. The third variation (v. 13) features Nephi’s testimony that if his brethren will follow the Son by sincerely repenting of their sins and witnessing to the Father by baptism that they are willing to take upon them the name of Christ, that they, too, may receive “the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.”, The fourth variation invokes the voices of the Father and the Son again as they repeat and further explain each of the basic elements of the doctrine of Christ (vv. 2 Nephi 10. Repentance and baptism by water constitute the gate by which men can enter onto the path that leads to eternal life. 2 Nephi 26:31 — What Does Nephi Mean When He Says We Cannot Labor for Money? Nephi’s penchant for elaborate rhetorical structures in his writing has been recognized for a long time and may be what he has in mind at the very beginning of the small plates when he points out to us explicitly that he “was taught somewhat in all the learning of [his] father.” See Noel B. Reynolds, “Nephi’s Outline,” BYU Studies 20, no. [10]. 2 Nephi 3. It is in 2 Nephi 31:20 that we hear the familiar phrase “endure to the end.” James taught us something similar: “Behold, we count them happy which endure” . No one can be saved that will not endure to the end. 2 Nephi 7. 1, pp. [1]. Nephi and his family lived in Jerusalem, circa 600 BC, during the reign of King Zedekiah, until Lehi was commanded by God to take his family and flee into the wilderness. 3 (Summer 1991): 31–50, for my first published discussion of these three passages. 11. Pressing "forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men [and] feasting upon the word of Christ" (2 Nephi 31:20; 32:3), 7. For example, very few of my BYU honors students realized without some help that 2 Nephi 31 is intentionally set up as a flashback, and that the material it contains constitutes a previously unreported section of the great vision given to Nephi—and presumably to his father before him—at the first camp in the wilderness while Nephi was probably still a teenager. The written version of the sermon as we have it in 2 Nephi 25:4–32:6 is prefaced by a few personal, context-setting sentences in which Nephi explains, “Wherefore I write unto my people” (2 Nephi 25:3). Concerning the mode of baptism, the. It bears considerable similarity to the path described by Lehi and Nephi in their great vision, but seems to be a more abstract version, possibly as a result of the decades of experience Nephi has had in explaining it to his people. Second Nephi 31 is clearly the most authoritative and unfiltered statement of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Father anywhere in known scripture. . 2 (2012): 4–37, for a systematic examination of baptism as taught in the Book of Mormon and of the evidences for a similar understanding in New Testament texts. 2 Nephi 6. A path is meant to be followed. Enos. ... Denver said: Even understanding the meaning of these words is challenging. Because of our modern writing methods, we don’t learn the techniques used by ancient writers to signal emphasis. Perhaps less obviously, the same principles are also stated by him in 3 Nephi 11:31–39 when he first appears to the Nephites gathered at Bountiful a year after the great destructions that signaled the crucifixion of Christ to them. We are in the middle of tax season (meaning my husband works all the time) and my 2 year has a stomach bug. Is it not the case that this chapter states more clearly than any other the conditions and choices by which the long-term future of every human being will be determined? (Joseph Smith, in TPJS 370). Steadfastness in Christ, perfect brightness of hope, love of God and everyone, feasting upon the word, enduring to the end. Jarom. 1-3 – “I must speak concerning the doctrine of Christ” The doctrine of Christ is summarized in Article of Faith 4 – Faith in Christ, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. While the negative consequences of this event are well known, the subsequent revelation that came to Joseph Smith seems to suggest that these happenings actually created the opportunity to include Nephi’s account of the gospel into the combination version of the Nephite record that Joseph would be publishing. (1) First, is that the Bible contains several strongly monotheistic statements. These six elements are mentioned a total of sixty-four times in these twenty-three statements with the following frequencies: faith (8), repentance (14), baptism (19), Holy Ghost (9), enduring (8), and eternal life (6)—all within 2 Nephi 31. Third, Nephi clarifies the enigmatic reference to “feasting upon the words of Christ” by explaining that the words of Christ are given by the Holy Ghost, and “the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3). 2 Nephi 31–33 are Nephi’s final thoughts and teachings to his people. While baptism is necessary as a prerequisite for the remission of sins, this remission is a subsequent gift from the Father that comes “by fire and by the Holy Ghost.”. Rather, the passage presents a series of twenty-three statements—grouped in a series of five presentations of the doctrine of Christ—each of which mentions and relates two or more of the basic gospel elements. Nephi begins his long sermon/prophecy by describing the future coming and ministry of Jesus Christ among the Jews, who “will reject him because of their iniquities and the hardness of their hearts and the stiffness of their necks” (2 Nephi 25:12). For what I seal on earth shall be brought against you at the judgment bar. Faith, hope, and charity characterize the mode of life by which converts to Christ’s gospel must endure to the end. He Cannot Be Saved: Dennis Largey notes that, historically, Christians have supported divergent views of the doctrine of perseverance, or endurance to the end. There are numerous other examples of this throughout the New Testament. The importance he placed on this part of that vision is reflected not only in its placement at the end, but also in the density and the complexity of its composition. Receiving "the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost." Further, they must continually exhibit this same “steadfastness in Christ” as they “press forward” and “endure to the end” (v. 20). 2 Nephi 25. The Pharisees were very quick to criticize the Savior whenever He did anything which was contrary to their law. So life is a little crazy over here :) But I am so excited to share these lesson helps with you! In 2 Nephi 27, Nephi adds a wealth of prophetic detail not found in Isaiah--about events that will occur thousand of years after his time. 2 Nephi 31. This rule was, of course, also preserved in the temple at Jerusalem" (Vol. It then becomes clear that Nephi understands that his own writings will play a key role in this restoration of Israel “from their lost and fallen state” as the Lord proceeds “to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men” (v. 17). But all this is only a beginning, for the new convert has only entered into “this straight and narrow path which leads to eternal life” (v. 18). 2 Nephi 29. 2. 185 Heber J. 3 (Summer 1991): 31–50. This chapter contains many intertextual references, which Nephi used to signal this chapter’s preeminent importance. The gospel of Jesus Christ articulates the only way by which a person can access eternal life. [Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, pp. Although we cannot know the extent to which later prophets had access to Nephi’s small plates, it is clear that his phrasing and teachings persist through their writings to the very end of Mormon’s volume. . 2 Nephi 29. Jacob. It is clear from the text that Nephi wrote this account at least forty years after the great vision was received at the first camp in the wilderness (compare 2 Nephi 5: 28 and 34). . We find the Nephite prophets across 1000 years of ministry staying true to the concepts and phraseology introduced by Nephi in this passage. See Ether 12:31–37, Moroni 7, and Moroni 10:20–23. 13. Being "willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism--yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water" (2 Nephi 31:13), 5. Seek this guidance, and record the promptings that come. to receive the spirit of God, or to be permitted to stand in the presence of God, man must undergo baptism" (Vol 2, page 499). 2 Nephi 31. [7]. 2 Nephi 12. . The Only True Doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Which Is One God Without End: Naturally, these propositions present a problem. 2 (Spring 1980): 1–18, for a detailed analysis of rhetorical structures in First Nephi. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. 2 Nephi 7 [JST of Isaiah 50 . A male candidate was first circumcised. 1) Elder Jeffrey R. Holland explained the meaning of “the doctrine of Christ” as used in 2 Nephi 31: “Although a phrase like ‘the doctrine of Christ’ could appropriately be used to describe any or all of the Master’s teachings, nevertheless those magnificently broad and beautiful expressions spread throughout the Book of Mormon, New Testament, and latter-day scriptures… See 1 Nephi 15:14 and Jacob 7:6, where Nephi and Jacob respectively include explicitly interchangeable use of the two terms in their records. He Cannot Be Saved: The doctrine of endurance to the end is taught twenty-two times in the Book of Mormon in teachings by Christ, an angel, and seven prophets. A fivefold presentation. (2 Nephi 31:13), 6. See also the note at 1 Nephi … 26:29 Emily’s story on Revelation + Humility. . One could easily make the case that the Book of Mormon teaches that there are five first principles and ordinances of the gospel, the fifth being enduring to the end. . 2 Nephi 31:20 This is a great verse. For a briefer version, see also “Nephi1,” 3:1003–5. This view also finds support in God's statement to Isaiah that, "I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." 2 Nephi 26. 8. Before discussing these gospel elements in more detail, we should first examine the context and the approach chosen by Nephi for this key passage. Several generations of righteous people will follow and will in turn provide a witness to all the world—even in future dispensations—that Jesus lives and that his gospel is true (2 Nephi 27). Obviously not. 2 Nephi 31. 2 Nephi 31 Nephi's discourse on the doctrine of Christ 2 Nephi 31:3 My soul delighteth in plainness. Christ’s new followers have only made it “thus far by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save” (v. 19). Using the baptism of Jesus as an ensample for all mankind, Nephi invokes the authority of the Father and the Son as he spells out the promises of eternal life that they have offered to all men and women. When Nephi quotes the Father saying, “He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved (v. 15),” only the last two gospel elements are stated explicitly. . . 12, 14, and 17). [14] The first explanation features the example of the Lamb of God who showed all mankind “the straitness of the path and the narrowness of the gate by which they should enter” by humbling himself before the Father and by witnessing unto the Father by baptism that he would keep his commandments—after which the Father sent the Holy Ghost to him in the form of a dove (vv. might have (6) eternal life” (D&C 10:50). Nephi indicates that he feels compelled to address the doctrine of Christ before concluding his portion of the record. 2 (2015): 50–75. This rhetorical technique of using selected items from a known list to invoke the whole complex or list in the mind of a reader is the literary device called merismus and is commonly used in the Bible. Come Follow Me: 2 Nephi 31-33 (March 2-8) Hello, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. The unity of the three sections as smaller parts of the same sermon is signaled quite creatively by Nephi as he overlaps the first two sections by starting the second inclusio in the sentence preceding the sentence that terminates the first inclusio. 2. 31:9) and straight (2 Ne. Nephi quotes Father in Heaven who urges us “Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son” (2 Nephi 31:11). This discussion of Nephi’s fivefold presentation of the gospel in this chapter is drawn directly from Reynolds, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ as Taught by the Nephite Prophets,” 35–36. 1, p. 191) 2 Ne 2:26 that he may redeem the children of men from the fall His prophets among the descendants of Lehi will find some success, but will be persecuted and killed by the wicked. These he promised to keep. 801-422-6975, The Loss of the 116​ Pages Leads to Inclusion of 2 Nephi 31, Context and Form​​al Structure of Nephi’s Final Sermon, Nephi’s Sermon, Secti​​on 1: A Focus on Christ, Nephi’s Sermon, Sectio​​n 2: The Literary Mechanics of 2 Nephi 31. 2 Nephi 9. 3. [16]. But this is a conditional form of prophecy, for the outcome will be determined for each person through his or her own willingness to follow Christ and to endure to the end in faithfulness to him. 17–18). Alma. Mosiah. The Jewish Encyclopedia indicates that baptism was a common practice in ancient Israel: "baptism was practiced in ancient Judaism (Hasidic or Essene), first as a means of penitence . If we assume that Christ was just going through the motions to provide us with an example of what we must do, we miss the essence of repentance and baptism as these were taught to Nephi. For, as Joseph learned in this revelation, these small plates of Nephi “do throw greater views upon my gospel,” and “contain all those parts of my gospel” the Nephite prophets had “desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people” (D&C 10:45–46; emphasis added). 28–29, 34). There, individuals trod on the grapes so that the juice flowed into a vat, where it was gathered into containers. But then Nephi was also shown that apostate Christianity had “taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious” (v. 26). Clearly identifying Jesus as "the Word," John wrote, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." . The promise of the Father to all his children was that if they would enter this path, or the straight and narrow way, by repentance and baptism, they would receive the Holy Ghost (v. 18), even as Nephi had seen the Holy Ghost descend upon Christ “in the form of a dove” (v. 8). 2 Nephi 31:21 The Only True Doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Which Is One God Without End: Barry Bickmore writes that the Bible contains four propositions about God that every Christian denomination must reckon with in its theology. Those who receive this blessing of the Spirit and then turn away or deny Christ would have been better off “not to have known” him. 2 Nephi 31: 16 2 Nephi 31: 16: "And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved." The other two accounts are excerpted from older records and then compiled by Mormon more than two centuries after the fact. 25:33 Connecting Points, 2 Nephi 32:6. Are we done once we’ve entered the path? Are there three Gods or one? Female candidates were baptized and then they offered a sacrifice. . 2 Nephi Chapter 30. to receive the spirit of God, or to be permitted to stand in the presence of God, man must undergo baptism" (Vol 2, page 499). The Lord’s perspective on the Book of Mormon clearly describes it as a vehicle for restoring the fulness of the gospel and the plain and precious things that have been lost from the Bible. 2 Nephi 31:11. Again at the end, he provides more context for readers of this written version, and laments “I Nephi cannot say more. Nephi quotes Father in Heaven who urges us “Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son” (2 Nephi 31:11). This scripture is not a blanket statement that implies we should not work. I have finally decided that what makes sense to me is that baptism is our expression and the sign of our commitment to God to yield ourselves to Him in al… 1, pp. In fact, he repeatedly claims the words as his own or attributes them to the Lord. Among these, he is specifically shown the baptism of the Savior. (McConkie and Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. After grapes were harvested, they were carried in baskets to a grape press. Alma. It may be that we have trouble fitting this into our concept of that vision because Nephi never claims to have seen these teachers. The Second Book of Nephi (/ ˈ n iː f aɪ /), usually referred to as Second Nephi or 2 Nephi, is the second book of the Book of Mormon.The original translation of the title did not include the word "second". And now behold, this is the doctrine of Christ. [20]. 2 Nephi 26:29, 31… 10. . For discussion of scholarly findings on this point, see Noel B. Reynolds, “The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon in the Twentieth Century,” BYU Studies 38, no. . Even with the huge surge in teaching and scholarly writing about the Book of Mormon in recent decades,[7] very few readers of this chapter can remember confidently who it was that was teaching Nephi as he watched the baptism of Jesus in this vision. [17] The striking fact is that exactly this same method is used by the Savior in his two presentations of the gospel as reported by Mormon in 3 Nephi 11 and 27, suggesting again that this method may have also been used when the Father and the Son presented their gospel to Nephi in that original vision given at the first camp in the wilderness. Nephi taught that following the Savior’s example and teachings are the only way to “be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 31:21). 2 Nephi 7. 3, p. 1594] 2 Nephi 17:3 The conduit of the upper pool (Illustration): The Gihon Spring at the entrance of Hezekiah's Tunnel, Jerusalem. In this essay, I hope to demonstrate how foundational 2 Nephi 31 was for all Book of Mormon writers and how important this passage of scripture is for understanding Christ’s gospel in this last dispensation for a wide range of readers. The essential elements of repentance are (1) humbling oneself before the Father, and (2) covenanting to obey him forever after. [22]. And so in a final prophecy, he warns all who read his words that “at the last day . However, not a single word of criticism concerning the baptism of Jesus Christ is found in the entire New Testament! (2 Nephi 31:19-20) After teaching us that repentance and baptism are the gate to enter the path of discipleship and after urging us to enter through that gate, Nephi asks us what we should do next. So in answer to the question of the meaning of the tree, Nephi is shown a series of vignettes from the life of the Savior. See Noel B. Reynolds, “The Fifth Principle of the Gospel,” Religious Educator 15, no. 2 Nephi 27. 2 Nephi 28. and my rock and my salvation” (vv. [25] Nephi’s late version of the path does not mention Lehi’s iconic rod of iron, but it does include the idea that the Holy Ghost “will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5). See the documentation in 1999 of how Book of Mormon study and use came into its own among Latter-day Saints after the introduction of the correlated curriculum in 1972. 2 Nephi 12. See Reynolds, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ as Taught by the Nephite Prophets,” 31–50, where cumulative analysis was first used implicitly to understand this passage and Reynolds, “The Gospel According to Mormon,” 218–34, for a complete and revised technical analysis. Helaman. The repeated emphasis on “plainness” in these passages will now be examined to show how these references play an important role in Nephi’s framing of that text. [23], Nephi identifies three additional functions that the Holy Ghost serves in the lives of Christ’s followers. Also included in the doctrine of Christ is enduring to the end (see verse 16). As Nephi concludes and emphasizes that “as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off. It also seems clear that he now goes beyond those sources to include new prophecies “according to the spirit which is in me” (2 Nephi 25:4). The impossibility of successful deception was emphasized by Nephi’s brother Jacob, who taught that “the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel. And once they understand his gospel, they can understand the universal prophecy and promise given to all men and women in this world that if they will come unto Jesus Christ in the way he has specified, and endure to the end, they will receive eternal life—and that the consequences will be dire for those who reject him. The Lamb of God Did Fulfil All Righteousness in Being Baptized by Water: Although Nephi lived over 500 years before the birth of the Savior, yet he knew by the power of revelation that the Savior was going to be baptized. 2 Nephi 25. But the earliest, most comprehensive, and least recognized teaching of the gospel of Christ in the Book of Mormon by the Savior himself is reported by Lehi’s son Nephi[2] in the form of a brief appendix to his second book.[3]. It may also be difficult for readers to keep things straight when Nephi is being taught the gospel by two voices inside a vision narrated first by the Spirit of the Lord and then by an angel—voices that were not even mentioned in his original account of that great vision in 1 Nephi 11–14. The doctrine spans the entire Book of Mormon time period and probably was taught in the plates of brass as well. Church has officially recognized this warning and promise as an articulation of sacrifice... Is original with Nephi ’ s final thoughts and teachings to his people ( Spring 1980 ): 31–50 for. And now behold, this is the doctrine of Christ 's `` high-priestly prayer, '' Religious Educator 15 no... 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