Lesson 35

2 Nephi 25

“Lesson 35: 2 Nephi 25,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)


Introduction

Nephi continued to emphasize the importance of Isaiah’s prophecies and shared the purpose of his own writing: “to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God” (2 Nephi 25:23). He invited all to believe in Jesus Christ and to “worship him with all [their] might, mind, and strength, and [their] whole soul[s]” (2 Nephi 25:29).

Suggestions for Teaching

2 Nephi 25:1–20

Nephi teaches that the spirit of prophecy is needed to understand the words of Isaiah, and he prophesies of the scattering and gathering of the Jews

Begin the lesson by asking the following questions:

  • When have you or someone you know tried to persuade someone to do something they weren’t already doing on their own but that would have benefitted them? (Examples might include persuading someone to eat healthy food, to put on a seat belt or a life preserver, or to attend a Church meeting or activity.)

  • In the example you thought of, what might be a reason why the individual did not do the task on his or her own?

Write the following statement on the board: Believe in Jesus Christ.

  • What can keep people from choosing to believe in Jesus Christ?

Ask students to think about someone they know who may need help choosing to believe in Jesus Christ. Also invite students to consider whether they personally need help believing in Him. As students study 2 Nephi 25 today, invite them to look for truths that can help them choose to believe in Jesus Christ.

Remind students that 2 Nephi 12–24 includes some of the words of Isaiah, as recorded by Nephi. Summarize 2 Nephi 25:1–10 by explaining that Nephi taught that the spirit of prophecy enables people to understand the words of Isaiah. Nephi also testified that the judgments of God come upon all nations according to God’s word and that the Jews had never been destroyed unless God’s prophets had first warned them against iniquity and called them to repentance. For example, as forewarned by prophets, many Jews were destroyed and others were carried captive into Babylon shortly after Lehi left Jerusalem. (See 2 Nephi 25:9–10.)

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from 2 Nephi 25:12–15. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Jews would experience after being restored to their lands following their captivity in Babylon.

  • According to verse 12, who would manifest Himself to the Jews after they returned to the land of Jerusalem?

  • How would the Jews respond to the Savior?

  • What judgments would come upon the Jews as a result of rejecting the Savior and fighting against His disciples?

Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 25:16 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for when the Jews would cease to be scattered and scourged.

  • According to Nephi, when will the Jews cease to be scattered and scourged? (When they believe in Jesus Christ and His Atonement and stop looking for another Messiah.)

Remind students that the title Messiah means “the anointed Prophet, Priest, King, and Deliverer” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Messiah,” scriptures.lds.org).

  • When Jesus Christ lived among the Jews during His mortal ministry, why did many Jews not believe He was the promised Messiah? (Help students understand that “many Jews were looking only for a deliverer from the Roman power and for a greater national prosperity; thus, when the Messiah came, the leaders and many others rejected him” [Guide to the Scriptures, “Messiah,” scriptures.lds.org].)

Ask students to search 2 Nephi 25:18 silently, looking for what Nephi said the Lord would do to convince the Jews of the true Messiah.

  • What did Nephi say the Lord would do to convince the Jews of the true Messiah?

Explain that the words Nephi refers to in verse 18 include the words of the Book of Mormon. These words were written “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ” (title page of the Book of Mormon).

Direct students’ attention to the end of 2 Nephi 25:19, where Nephi declared that the name of the true Messiah “shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Invite students to consider marking this phrase.

Ask a student to read 2 Nephi 25:20 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for what Nephi taught about the importance of Jesus Christ.

  • As declared by Nephi in verse 20, what truth do we learn about Jesus Christ? (Invite students to consider marking phrases that teach the following truth: Jesus Christ is the only name whereby we can be saved.)

Explain that in the scriptures, the word name can be used to represent a person or to represent his or her power or authority. Thus, another way of saying that “Jesus Christ is the only name whereby we can be saved” is “Jesus Christ is the only person with the power to save us,” or “Jesus Christ is the only person who can save us.”

Ask students to think again of the person they know who may need help choosing to believe in Jesus Christ.

  • How would you explain to this person why Jesus Christ is the only name by which we can be saved?

2 Nephi 25:21–30

Nephi teaches about the saving grace of Jesus Christ and of the importance of believing in Him

To prepare the class to identify additional truths Nephi taught, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency:

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“Many people feel discouraged because they constantly fall short. They know firsthand that ‘the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak’ [Matthew 26:41; see also Romans 7:19]. They raise their voices with Nephi in proclaiming, ‘My soul grieveth because of mine iniquities’ [2 Nephi 4:17]” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Gift of Grace,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 110).

Ask students to think of times when they may have felt discouraged because of their weaknesses or sins.

  • Why is it easy to feel discouraged at times because of our weaknesses or sins?

As students continue their study of 2 Nephi 25 today, invite them to look for truths Nephi taught that can help them know how to overcome their weaknesses and sins.

Summarize 2 Nephi 25:21–22 by explaining that Nephi prophesied that his writings would be passed down to subsequent generations who would be judged by what those writings contained.

Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 25:23 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for why Nephi and others “labor[ed] diligently to write.”

  • Why did Nephi “labor diligently to write”?

  • What do you think it means to be “reconciled to God”? (To be saved from sin and restored to a state of harmony with God.)

Explain that this verse also includes the word grace. Grace is a gift from Heavenly Father given through His Son, Jesus Christ. The word grace, as used in the scriptures, refers primarily to enabling power and spiritual healing offered through the mercy and love of Jesus Christ (see Bible Dictionary, “Grace”).

  • In what ways might we experience the grace of Jesus Christ? (Possible answers include forgiveness, healing, and increased spiritual strength.)

  • What truth can we learn from 2 Nephi 25:23 about the grace of Jesus Christ? (Write the following truth on the board: We are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, after all we can do.)

  • What do you think the phrase “after all we can do” means?

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

“I wonder if sometimes we misinterpret the phrase ‘after all we can do.’ We must understand that ‘after’ does not equal ‘because.’

“We are not saved ‘because’ of all that we can do. Have any of us done all that we can do? Does God wait until we’ve expended every effort before He will intervene in our lives with His saving grace?” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Gift of Grace,” 110).

  • How might this teaching from President Uchtdorf help those who feel they must be perfect before they can receive God’s grace?

Ask a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Invite the class to listen for what we can do to more consistently receive God’s help in our lives.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

“We do not need to achieve some minimum level of capacity or goodness before God will help—divine aid can be ours every hour of every day, no matter where we are in the path of obedience. But I know that beyond desiring His help, we must exert ourselves, repent, and choose God for Him to be able to act in our lives consistent with justice and moral agency” (D. Todd Christofferson, “Free Forever, to Act for Themselves,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 19).

  • According to this statement by Elder Christofferson, what can we do to more consistently receive God’s help in our lives?

Consider sharing an example of how the Savior’s grace has helped you or someone you know. (Do not share anything private or too personal.) Or you could show a Mormon Messages video or relate an experience found in the New Era, Ensign, or Liahona that illustrates how the Savior’s grace has helped someone.

Invite students to apply what they have learned by writing answers to the following question in their study journals or class notebooks. You may want to write the question on the board.

  • What will you do to seek and rely on the Savior’s grace?

Summarize 2 Nephi 25:24–25 by explaining that Nephi and others knew that the law of Moses would be fulfilled through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and that the Savior’s disciples would eventually no longer be required to keep it. However, the faithful Nephites continued to obey the law at this time because they knew the law pointed them to Jesus Christ, who would bring them salvation.

Moses and the Brass Serpent

Display the picture Moses and the Brass Serpent (Gospel Art Book [2009], no. 16; see also lds.org/media-library). Invite one or more students to summarize for the class the account portrayed in this picture.

handout iconDivide students into small groups of three or four. Distribute the following handout to each group, and ask them to work together to read the scriptures and discuss the questions included in the handout.

handout, helping others look to Christ

Helping Others Look to Christ

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual—Lesson 35

Imagine that you were living among the Israelites at the time of Moses when the people were bitten by poisonous serpents.

  • What would you have done to convince the snake-bitten Israelites to look at the serpent that Moses placed before them?

  • In what ways could the poisonous snake bites be compared to our sins?

Read 2 Nephi 25:26, looking for what Nephi said he and others did to help their posterity look to the Savior for a remission of their sins.

From 2 Nephi 25:26, we learn the following principle: By talking of, testifying of, and rejoicing in Jesus Christ, we can help others look to Him for a remission of their sins. Discuss the following questions:

  • What do you think it means to “rejoice in Christ”?

  • What are some examples of how our efforts to talk of, testify of, and rejoice in Jesus Christ can help others look to Him as their Savior?

Read 2 Nephi 25:28–29, looking for what Nephi counseled his people to do.

  • What did Nephi describe as “the right way”?

  • Based on the truths you have learned from 2 Nephi 25, why is believing in Jesus Christ “the right way”?

  • What are some ways you are seeking to follow Nephi’s counsel in verse 29 to “believe in Christ” and “worship Him with … your whole soul”?

Invite several students to report something they learned about helping others look to Christ. Conclude by sharing your testimony of Jesus Christ and encouraging students to act on the truths they learned in this lesson.

Commentary and Background Information

2 Nephi 25:23. The doctrine of grace

“The main idea of the word [grace] is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.

“It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by His atoning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life. It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.

“Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the Fall of Adam and also because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, ‘It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (2 Ne. 25:23). It is truly the grace of Jesus Christ that makes salvation possible” (Bible Dictionary, “Grace”).