Understanding the Scriptures
|Confounded (v. 2)||Mixed with other people so that their identity can no longer be distinguished|
|Abominable (v. 3)||Wicked, hateful|
|Utter (v. 3)||Complete, total|
|Great and marvelous work (v. 7)||This refers to the Restoration of the gospel and the Church|
|Temporally (v. 7)||Physically|
|Whore (v. 10)||The church of the devil is a whore in the sense that its people have forsaken God and followed after Satan.|
|Dominion (v. 11)||Area of influence, stronghold|
1 Nephi 14:7–10—Why Are There “Two Churches Only”?
The “church of the devil” does not refer to a specific church but to any person, group, organization, or philosophy that works against the Church of Jesus Christ and the salvation of the children of God. Truth and goodness can certainly be found outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the fulness of the gospel, which is only found in the restored Church, is essential for the salvation our Heavenly Father desires for His children. The Restoration of the gospel, that “great and … marvelous work” (1 Nephi 14:7), as the angel told Nephi, would divide people, “either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction” (v. 7).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught: “There is only light and darkness; there is no dusky twilight zone. Either men walk in the light or they cannot be saved. Anything less than salvation is not salvation. It may be better to walk in the twilight or to glimpse the first few rays of a distant dawn than to be enveloped in total darkness, but salvation itself is only for those who step forth into the blazing light of the noonday sun (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man , 54).
Studying the Scriptures
Do any two of the following activities (A–C) as you study 1 Nephi 14.
Find the “If-Then” Promises
In 1 Nephi 14:1–3, the angel told Nephi of conditional blessings available to the Gentiles, which includes us. These blessings are stated in “if-then” promises—if you do this, then God will do that. Find the promises and complete the following statements in your notebook.
The Gentiles …
And harden …
They shall be numbered …
They shall be a …
They shall be no more …
And that great pit …
Find Evidence in a Newspaper
In 1 Nephi 14:7–10, the angel told Nephi that people decide between two choices.
Review those verses and summarize what those two choices are (see also the “Understanding the Scriptures” section).
Look through the articles and advertisements in a newspaper and find at least two examples of people, groups, or philosophies that Satan wants us to trust in instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Explain why those things cannot bring us “peace and life eternal” (v. 7).
Write Your Own Test Questions
At the end of his vision, Nephi saw the struggle that would take place between the “church of the Lamb of God” and the church of the devil. He also learned that another prophet would be given a similar revelation many years later.
Search 1 Nephi 14:11–30 and write from six to eight test questions that you think are important questions to answer from these verses. Be sure to also give the answers.
What did you learn in these verses about what your own future might be like?