Lesson 30: 2 Nephi 9:27–54; 10

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2017


Introduction

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 exhorted his people to reconcile themselves to God’s will and remember that they could be saved only through God’s grace.

Suggestions for Teaching

2 Nephi 9:27–54

Jacob invites all to come unto Christ and warns of attitudes and actions that separate us from the Lord

Before class, hide an object (such as a piece of candy) somewhere in the room. Begin the lesson by telling the class about the hidden object and inviting a student to look for it. Help the student get closer to and eventually find the object by prompting him or her with the words warm and warmer as the student gets closer to it and the words cold and colder as the student gets farther away from it. After the student finds the object, ask:

  • Why did you choose to follow the prompts that got you closer to the hidden object?

  • Why might a person in this situation choose not to follow the prompts that are intended to help him or her find the object?

Explain that as recorded in 2 Nephi 9–10, Jacob described attitudes and actions that lead people closer to Jesus Christ and the blessings of His Atonement, as well as attitudes and actions that lead people farther away from Him. As students study the rest of 2 Nephi 9 and 2 Nephi 10 today, invite them to look for these attitudes and actions.

To help students discover some of these attitudes and actions, copy the accompanying table on the board:

Distancing Ourselves from Jesus Christ

Coming unto Jesus Christ

Assign each student a number between 1 and 4. Invite students to silently read the verses associated with their assigned number. Ask the students assigned to numbers 1 and 2 to look for attitudes and actions that can distance us from the Savior. Ask the students assigned to numbers 3 and 4 to look for attitudes and actions that help us come unto the Savior and receive the blessings of His Atonement. You may want to invite students to consider marking their findings in their scriptures.

After several minutes, write the following incomplete principle on the board: If we __________________________________________________, we will distance ourselves from Jesus Christ.

Invite the students assigned to numbers 1 and 2 to come to the board, and ask them to complete this principle by specifying a few attitudes and actions that distance us from Jesus Christ. Students may identify a variety of principles, such as the following: If we trust in our learning and riches more than we trust in the Lord, we will distance ourselves from Jesus Christ. If we choose to lie, we will distance ourselves from Jesus Christ.

Discuss some of Jacob’s warnings by asking some or all of the following questions:

  • According to verse 28, how can trusting in their own learning lead individuals to distance themselves from Jesus Christ?

  • According to verse 30, how can trusting in riches lead individuals to distance themselves from Jesus Christ?

  • What can we do to ensure that learning and wealth do not lead us away from Jesus Christ?

  • In what ways might we be tempted to justify lying or other forms of dishonesty? When we face these temptations, how can it help us to remember that if we are dishonest we will distance ourselves from Jesus Christ?

Invite the students assigned to numbers 3 and 4 to come to the board and list attitudes and actions they have discovered that will bring us closer to the Savior and help us receive the blessings of His Atonement. To help students analyze what they have discovered, ask some or all of the following questions:

  • 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” (2 Nephi 9:50–51)? (You may want to explain that these verses refer to partaking of the abundant blessings of the gospel made available by Jesus Christ and His Atonement.)

Invite students to identify a principle from these verses that describes what we can do to receive the full blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The following is one of the principles students may identify: As we come to the Lord and live according to His will, we will receive the full blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Write this principle on the board.

Encourage students to ponder evidence they have seen of this principle in their lives. Invite them to write in their study journals or class notebooks about how they have come closer to the Savior through one or more of the attitudes and actions in the second list on the board. Invite a few students to share what they have written (but help them understand that they should not feel obligated to share experiences that are too personal or private).

Invite students to think of one way they will seek to come to Jesus Christ and live according to His will so they can receive the full blessings of His Atonement.

Summarize 2 Nephi 9:53–54 by explaining that Jacob rejoiced in the Lord’s “greatness, … grace and mercy” and the Lord’s promise that the posterity of Jacob and his people would not be completely destroyed. Jacob told his people that he would finish delivering his teachings the following day.

2 Nephi 10

Jacob encourages his people to rejoice and come to the Lord

To prepare students to study Jacob’s teachings in 2 Nephi 10, write the following on the board:

  • What are some recent choices you have made that resulted in positive consequences?

Ask students to think of poor choices they have made that resulted in negative consequences (but do not ask them to share).

As students study 2 Nephi 10 today, invite them to look for truths that will help them make righteous choices that will result in positive consequences.

Explain that as recorded in 2 Nephi 10:1–9, Jacob prophesied of the Jews—particularly those who would inhabit Jerusalem at the time of the Savior’s mortal ministry. Invite a student to read verses 3–6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for some of the Jews’ choices and the consequences that would follow those choices.

  • What are some of the poor choices Jacob prophesied the ancient Jews would make?

  • What were some of the consequences of those choices?

Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 10:7–8 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for other choices Jacob prophesied the Jews would make and the resulting consequences.

  • What will happen when the Jews choose to believe in Jesus Christ?

Summarize 2 Nephi 10:9–22 by explaining that Jacob prophesied that the Gentiles will assist in gathering the house of Israel to their lands of inheritance and in building Zion. Jacob also rejoiced in the Lord’s mercy and kindness for preserving and remembering the Nephites and other people whom He had led away to other lands.

Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 10:23 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for a truth Jacob taught about choices and consequences.

  • What truth can we learn from Jacob’s words about choices and consequences? (Help students identify the following truth: We are free to act for ourselves, and we will receive the consequences of our choices. You may want to invite students to consider writing this truth next to 2 Nephi 10:23.)

  • If people know that negative consequences follow poor choices, why do you think they still make poor choices?

On the board, erase a section of the line between the words Choice and Consequence as shown in the accompanying example.

  • Why might Satan want us to believe that we can avoid the consequences of our choices?

  • What are some examples of poor choices people might make while believing they can avoid the consequences? What consequences eventually result from those choices?

To help students see how we can “choose … the way of eternal life” (2 Nephi 10:23), read 2 Nephi 10:24–25 aloud. Explain that the word reconcile in verse 24 means to bring people or things into harmony or agreement with each other. Point out the following principle: As we make righteous choices, we become reconciled to God and will be saved by His grace from physical and spiritual death.

Consider sharing your testimony of the truths discussed today, and invite students to act on those truths.

Commentary and Background Information

2 Nephi 10:23–24. “Ye are free to act for yourselves”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that Satan seeks to limit our ability to exercise our agency:

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

“[Satan] promotes conduct and choices that limit our freedom to choose by replacing the influence of the Holy Spirit with his own domination (see D&C 29:40; 93:38–39). Yielding to his temptations leads to a narrower and narrower range of choices until none remains and to addictions that leave us powerless to resist” (D. Todd Christofferson, “Moral Agency,” Ensign, June 2009, 49).

Supplemental Teaching Idea

2 Nephi 9:29. “To be learned is good”

Explain that latter-day prophets have always counseled 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).

Invite students to read 2 Nephi 9:29 silently. Emphasize that after Jacob said that “to be learned is good,” he added this caution: “if [you] hearken unto the counsels of God.” Point out that students will be better prepared to follow this counsel as they participate in seminary now and in institute when they are a little older. Seminary and institute can help them strengthen their faith while they are engaged in secular learning.

Encourage students to continue attending seminary and to plan to attend institute. Testify of the eternal value of the education they will gain in these classes.