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Come, Follow Me — Study and Teaching Helps
Lesson 6, February 5 - 11
2 Nephi 1-2

Editor’s Note: Four years ago, Jonn Claybaugh began writing the Study and Teaching Helps series of articles for Interpreter. We now have these wonderful and useful posts for all four years of Come, Follow Me lessons. Beginning this year we will be reposting these articles, with dates, lesson numbers, and titles updated for the current year’s lessons. Jonn has graciously agreed to write new study aids for those lessons that do not directly correspond to 2020 lessons.

2 Nephi 1    Lehi’s Last Words to Laman and Lemuel

What last words would a righteous father want to say to his recalcitrant sons? 2 Nephi 1 relates Lehi’s words to Laman and Lemuel (verse 1). He spoke to them of their great blessings from God, including being spared despite their rebellions (verses 1-2); the Lord’s mercy in bringing them out of wicked Jerusalem and to the land of promise (verses 3-5); and the distinction of their new land of promise (the Americas) as a covenant and consecrated land (verses 5-9). Also, Lehi extended a lengthy, forthright, yet loving charge to his sons to awake from a deep sleep; arise from the dust (verses 13-14); to remember; observe the statutes and the judgments of the Lord (verse 16); be a choice and a favored people of the Lord (verse 19); be men; be determined (verse 21); put on the armor of righteousness; shake off the chains; rebel no more (verse 23); and follow the leadership of Nephi (verses 24-29).

Lehi—who knew that his eternal reward would be with the Lord (verse 15)—loved and labored with his children to the end (see 2:30; 4:3-10), just as our Heavenly Father and His Son love and labor with us, never giving up.

2 Nephi 2:1-4    Lehi’s Words to Jacob: Consecrating our Afflictions

Lehi promises Jacob that he will be “redeemed” (verse 3). Summoning the background of Jacob’s many tribulations, afflictions, and sorrows (verse 1), Lehi verbalizes one of the gospel’s most sublime teachings: “Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain” (verse 2). Everyone has afflictions, but this does not sound like God is saying, I’m punishing you for your own good. Rather, it is a prophetic declaration regarding our very purpose on earth and our Father’s loving plan to help us become as He is. What follows is a brilliant recitation of how our God does this, along with other key elements of His plan of redemption. (Additionally, 2 Nephi 2 is one of the many parts of the Book of Mormon that shouts emphatic testimony that Joseph Smith did not fabricate the Book of Mormon through plagiarism nor imagination. Just a few words from this remarkable discourse prove its inspired source.)

2 Nephi 2:5-28    God’s Perfect Plan for His Children

This chapter lends itself to creating an outline of Heavenly Father’s plan for us. One approach is to identify and compare our part in His plan, along with the roles of the Savior and our Father in Heaven:

Our role

  1. We must have a broken heart and a contrite spirit (verse 7).
  2. We must repent (verse 21).
  3. We must reject the influence of Satan, who seeks to make us miserable (verses 27, 29).

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ

  1. They have given us knowledge of good and evil (verses 5, 27).
  2. Jesus is willing to redeem us because He is full of grace and truth (verse 6).
  3. Jesus gave Himself as a sacrifice to satisfy the demands upon us of the law of justice (verse 7).
  4. Jesus’s merits, mercy, and grace are the only way we can dwell again in God’s presence (verse 8).
  5. Jesus laid down His life, was resurrected, and brings to pass the resurrection of all (verse 8).
  6. Jesus will intercede before the Father in behalf of all men and will save those who believe in Him (verse 9).
  7. As Jesus advocates for us, Heavenly Father will judge us according to truth and holiness (verse 10).
  8. They allowed for opposition in all things, making possible righteousness, life, and happiness (verse 11).
  9. They gave us law, also making possible righteousness and happiness (verse 13).
  10. They created all things for us (verse 14).
  11. Their work is designed to bring about Their eternal purposes for us (verse 15; see also Moses 1:39).
  12. They allowed Adam and Eve to experience opposition and gave them agency to act for themselves (verses 15-16, 26-27)
  13. They allowed Satan to entice Adam and Eve, opening the way for the Fall and mortality (verses 16-18, 22, 25).
  14. They drove Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden, requiring them to labor for their keep (verses 19, 22).
  15. They made it possible for Adam and Eve to bring forth children and the family of all the earth (verses 20, 23, 25).
  16. They prolonged the days of mankind, allowing us to repent (verse 21).
  17. They allowed the fall of mankind, opening the way for children, joy, and good (verses 23, 25).
  18. Their design—and its results—were according to Their wisdom and knowledge of all things (verse 24).
  19. Jesus came to earth as mortal to redeem us from the Fall (verse 26).
  20. Jesus gives us the opportunity to choose liberty and eternal life, and wills us to do so (verses 27-28).

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