Nephi prophesied about the latter-day Restoration of the gospel, which the Lord said would be “a marvelous work” (2 Nephi 29:1). Nephi testified that in the last days, all scriptures would work together to show that God remembers His children. He prophesied that many would reject the Book of Mormon but that those who believe would be gathered into the Church. In addition, he taught that God’s covenant people are those who repent and believe in the Son of God.
Suggestions for Teaching
Nephi prophesies that in the last days, many will reject the Book of Mormon
Ask students to think about how they would respond in the following situation:
While assisting the full-time missionaries with their work one evening, you begin a conversation with a married couple in a park. They tell you that they belong to another Christian faith. After discussing some shared beliefs about Jesus Christ, the missionaries tell the couple that there is additional scripture that can help them learn more about the Savior. When the missionaries try to give the couple a copy of the Book of Mormon, the couple refuses it, saying, “We believe that God has already spoken and that His words are in the Bible. There can’t be any additional scripture, because the Bible contains all of God’s words that are necessary for salvation. Thank you for the offer, but we don’t need your book.”
If you were in this situation, how would you respond to the couple’s comments about the Bible and the Book of Mormon?
Explain that Nephi prophesied that many would respond to the Book of Mormon in this way in our day. As students study 2 Nephi 29 today, invite them to look for truths that help us understand why the Lord gives additional scripture.
Invite students to read 2 Nephi 29:1–2 silently, looking for what the words of Nephi’s seed and the words of the Lord would do in the last days.
What would the words of Nephi’s seed and the words of the Lord do in the last days? (They would “proceed forth” to Nephi’s seed, or descendants, and they would also “hiss forth unto the ends of the earth” [verse 2].)
You may want to point out that to “hiss forth” means to go forth with intensity. Explain that the word standard in 2 Nephi 29:2 refers to an object, such as a flag or banner, that is used as a rallying point or a signal to assemble.
According to 2 Nephi 29:2, what is the “standard” that will go forth “unto the ends of the earth” to gather the Lord’s people? (The words of Nephi’s seed, or descendants, and the words of the Lord. Explain that these words are recorded in the Book of Mormon.)
Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from 2 Nephi 29:3–6. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how some Gentiles would react to additional scripture. You may want to explain that in the Book of Mormon, the word Gentiles generally refers to people who are not of Jewish descent or from the area of Jerusalem. The word Jews generally refers to people who came from the area of Jerusalem or from the tribe of Judah.
How will some react to additional scripture?
What did the Lord say about people who react this way?
Divide the class into groups of two or three. Give each group a sheet of paper. Invite students to read 2 Nephi 29:7–10 together in their groups, looking for truths we can learn about the Lord and His revealed word. Ask them to write these truths on their sheet of paper.
After sufficient time, invite a member of each group to report what his or her group wrote. You may want to write their statements on the board. They may include the following:
As the Creator of all people, the Lord remembers them and brings forth His word unto them. (See verse 7.)
The testimony of two nations witnesses that the Lord is God and that He speaks the same words to all nations. (See verse 8.)
The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (See verse 9.)
The Lord’s work is not finished, and He will continue to speak according to His will to accomplish His work. (See verse 9.)
Remind students of the earlier scenario involving the couple who believed that there could not be additional scripture beyond the Bible and that they did not need the Book of Mormon. Ask students to practice addressing this concern in their groups, using truths that they have learned from 2 Nephi 29:7–10. Or, you could invite several students to role-play this scenario in front of the class. After students have practiced addressing this concern, consider asking the following questions:
How did the truths taught in 2 Nephi 29:7–10 help you address this concern?
How have you been blessed by the additional scripture that God has revealed?
Encourage students to think of people they know who might benefit from a discussion of the truths taught in 2 Nephi 29 and to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit on how to talk with these people.
Summarize 2 Nephi 29:11–14 by explaining that the Lord taught that He commands people in all nations to record His words, including the tribes of Israel that He has led away. One day, the Jews, the Nephites, and the lost tribes of Israel will have each other’s words, and the Lord’s word will be “gathered in one” (verse 14).
Nephi prophesies that Lehi’s seed and the Jews will come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ
Invite a student to read aloud the following summary:
From 2 Nephi 30:1–8 we learn that Heavenly Father covenants with those who repent and believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, regardless of their lineage or nationality. Nephi prophesied that many Gentiles (in this context, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) will believe the words of the Book of Mormon and carry them to the descendants of Lehi. These descendants will be restored to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The scattered Jews will also begin to believe in the Savior, and they, as well as the believing descendants of Lehi, will become “a delightsome people” (verses 6, 7) and will take the gospel to all nations of the earth.
Nephi prophesies of conditions of the earth during the Millennium
Invite students to imagine that they are writing a news article about spiritual conditions of the world today. Ask them to write a headline for the article in their class notebooks or study journals. Invite several students to report what they wrote.
Point out that the Lord has revealed that the time preceding His Second Coming will be one of great wickedness and turmoil (see Matthew 24:6–7; D&C 45:27; 88:91). Invite students to read 2 Nephi 30:9–10 silently, looking for what Nephi prophesied would happen prior to and at the Savior’s Second Coming. (Explain that a similar prophecy is found in Isaiah 11.)
According to 2 Nephi 30:10, what will happen prior to and at the Savior’s Second Coming? (Invite students to consider marking statements that teach the following truth: The Lord will cause a great division among the people, and at His coming He will destroy the wicked.)
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994). Ask the class to listen for what he taught about this division.
“I testify that as the forces of evil increase under Lucifer’s leadership and as the forces of good increase under the leadership of Jesus Christ, there will be growing battles between the two until the final confrontation. As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil. As these conflicts rage, either secretly or openly, the righteous will be tested. God’s wrath will soon shake the nations of the earth and will be poured out on the wicked without measure. (See JS—H 1:45; D&C 1:9.)” (Ezra Taft Benson, “I Testify,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 87).
What must we do in order to be on the Lord’s side of the great division that will occur?
Explain that Nephi also prophesied concerning the Millennium—the 1,000 years following the Savior’s Second Coming.
Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from 2 Nephi 30:12–18. Ask the class to follow along, looking for descriptions of conditions during the Millennium.
Invite students to write another headline for a news article, this time describing one or more conditions during the Millennium. Invite several students to report what they wrote.
How would you summarize what you have learned from these verses about the Millennium? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following truth: During the Millennium, peace will prevail, all things will be revealed, and Satan will not have power over people’s hearts.)
Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President George Q. Cannon (1827–1901) of the First Presidency. Ask the class to listen for reasons why Satan will not have power during the Millennium.
“We talk about Satan being bound. Satan will be bound by the power of God; but he will be bound also by the determination of the people of God not to listen to him, not to be governed by him” (George Q. Cannon, in Conference Report, Oct. 1897, 65).
How will Satan be bound during the Millennium?
Of the millennial conditions you have studied in 2 Nephi 30, which one do you most look forward to? Why?
Conclude by sharing your testimony of the truths students learned in this lesson.
Commentary and Background Information
2 Nephi 29:2. “My words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth”
President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) said:
2 Nephi 30:9–10. “God shall cause a great division”
In 2 Nephi 30:9–10, Nephi prophesies of a time when “the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people.” In order to be numbered among the Lord’s people in that day, we need to separate ourselves from worldly ways now.
President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:
“The distance between the Church and a world set on a course which we cannot follow will steadily increase” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Father and the Family,” Ensign, May 1994, 21).
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:
“As Latter-day Saints, we need not look like the world. We need not entertain like the world. Our personal habits should be different. Our recreation should be different” (Robert D. Hales, “Gifts of the Spirit,” Ensign, Feb. 2002, 17).
Elder Larry W. Gibbons of the Seventy said:
“In this day of moral relativism we must be prepared to take a stand and say, ‘This is right, and this is wrong.’ We cannot follow the crowd! Now, I am not suggesting, of course, that we move to the wilderness and lock our doors. We can be in the world, go to school, go to work, join worthwhile community organizations, and so forth. But we must hold to the Lord’s standards. …
“Brothers and sisters, stay on the straight and narrow path. No, stay in the middle of the straight and narrow path. Don’t drift; don’t wander; don’t dabble; be careful.
“Remember, do not flirt with evil. Stay out of the devil’s territory. Do not give Satan any home-field advantage. Living the commandments will bring you the happiness that too many look for in other places” (Larry W. Gibbons, “Wherefore, Settle This in Your Hearts,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 103, 104).
2 Nephi 30:9–18. What is the Millennium?
“A millennium is a period of 1,000 years. When we speak of ‘the Millennium,’ we refer to the 1,000 years following the Savior’s Second Coming (see Revelation 20:4; D&C 29:11). During the Millennium, ‘Christ will reign personally upon the earth’ (Articles of Faith 1:10).
“The Millennium will be a time of righteousness and peace on the earth. The Lord has revealed that ‘in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts, yea, the enmity of all flesh, shall cease’ (D&C 101:26; see also Isaiah 11:6–9). Satan will be ‘bound, that he shall have no place in the hearts of the children of men’ (D&C 45:55; see also Revelation 20:1–3).
“During the Millennium, all people on the earth will be good and just, but many will not have received the fulness of the gospel. Consequently, members of the Church will participate in missionary work.
“Members of the Church will also participate in temple work during the Millennium. The Saints will continue to build temples and receive ordinances in behalf of their kindred dead. Guided by revelation, they will prepare records of their ancestors all the way back to Adam and Eve.
“Complete righteousness and peace will continue until the end of the 1,000 years, when Satan ‘shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather together his armies.’ The armies of Satan will fight against the hosts of heaven, who will be led by Michael, or Adam. Satan and his followers will be defeated and cast out forever. (See D&C 88:111–115.)” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference , 103–4).
Supplemental Teaching Idea
2 Nephi 29:12–14. What are the blessings of additional scriptural records?
Ask students to read 2 Nephi 29:12–14 silently, looking for what will happen in the latter days with all the words God has commanded to be written throughout the earth.
How do you think the different peoples of the world will benefit from having each other’s records?
Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that other records will come forth to testify of Jesus Christ:
“Lost books are among the treasures yet to come forth. Over twenty of these are mentioned in the existing scriptures. Perhaps most startling and voluminous will be the records of the lost tribes of Israel (see 2 Nephi 29:13). We would not even know of the impending third witness for Christ except through the precious Book of Mormon, the second witness for Christ! This third set of sacred records will thus complete a triad of truth. Then, just as the Perfect Shepherd has said, ‘My word also shall be gathered in one’ (v. 14). There will be ‘one fold and one shepherd’ (1 Nephi 22:25) in a welding together of all the Christian dispensations of human history (see D&C 128:18)” (Neal A. Maxwell, “God Will Yet Reveal,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 52).