2 Nephi 31: The Doctrine of Christ

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 57–58

We have learned much from and about Nephi since the beginning of the Book of Mormon. Before he gave the plates to his brother Jacob and prepared to leave mortality, Nephi summarized important teachings about the gospel of Jesus Christ and left his testimony of the truthfulness of what he wrote.In 2 Nephi 31:2, Nephi wrote that he wanted to give us a “few words … concerning the doctrine of Christ.” Then in verse 21 he testified that he had taught the true doctrine of Christ. Carefully study what is contained between verses 2 and 21 so that you can learn what the important elements of the doctrine of Christ are.

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Nephi 31

Sufficeth me (v. 2)Are enough for my purposes
Doctrine (vv. 2, 21)Principles, truths
Wherein (v. 6)In what ways
Witnesseth (v. 7)Establishes the truth, gives evidence
Hypocrisy (v. 13)Pretending to be what one is not
Deception (v. 13)Dishonesty
Remission (v. 17)Forgiveness
Merits (v. 19)Goodness or excellence that entitles one to honor or reward
Steadfastness (v. 20)Firmness of mind or purpose

2 Nephi 31:13–14—“The Tongue of Angels”

See 2 Nephi 32:2–3 to help you understand what it means to have “the tongue of angels.”

2 Nephi 31:21—The Oneness of the Godhead

Not fully understanding doctrines relating to the nature of God, people have misunderstood statements concerning the members of the Godhead being “one.” The Father and the Son both appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17), and it was revealed to him that the members of the Godhead are separate, individual beings (see D&C 130:22). They are, however, “one” in the sense that the words and actions of any one of the members of the Godhead would be the words and actions of the other two (see 3 Nephi 11:32–36). They are perfectly united in purpose.

First Vision

Studying the Scriptures

Do at least two of the following four activities (A–D) as you study 2 Nephi 31.

Activity A iconSummarize Nephi’s Teachings

In one paragraph, summarize “the doctrine of Christ” found in 2 Nephi 31:3–20. Be sure to include every important principle.

Activity B iconWhy Baptism?

  1. 1.

    Read 2 Nephi 31:5–9 and list the reasons Jesus was baptized.

  2. 2.

    What should be added to the list if we were listing reasons we must be baptized? (see D&C 33:11; Articles of Faith 1:4).

Christ's baptism

© 1988 Greg K. Olsen

Activity C iconDraw

Make a drawing or diagram that represents what Nephi taught in 2 Nephi 31:17–20 about ways that we can obtain eternal life. Include all of the ideas and elements Nephi spoke of. Show it to a friend or family member and ask if its meaning is clear to them.

Activity D iconGive More Explanation

Sometimes a simple word or phrase in the scriptures can represent deep, important, powerful ideas. Consider the following words and phrases from 2 Nephi 31. Explain the significance and the message of each.

  1. 1.

    “The straitness of the path” (v. 9)

  2. 2.

    “Full purpose of heart” (v. 13)

  3. 3.

    “The gate” (v. 17)

  4. 4.

    “Feasting” (v. 20)