2 Nephi 9: "O How Great the Plan of Our God"

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 42–43


The chapters of Isaiah that Jacob quoted in 2 Nephi 6–8 revealed much about the power of the Lord to deliver His people. Although Isaiah testified of what the Lord will do for the house of Israel to deliver them from their enemies and gather them to their promised lands, Jacob encouraged the likening of Isaiah’s words to our individual lives (see 2 Nephi 6:5 ). A great example of likening Isaiah’s teachings is found in 2 Nephi 9 as Jacob taught and testified of the Lord’s power to deliver us from our greatest enemies—death and hell. This chapter contains important truths about Heavenly Father’s plan for His children, including the importance of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in that plan.
Christ in Gethsemane

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Nephi 9

Bestow upon (v. 3)Give to
Expedient (vv. 5, 47–48)Necessary, essential
Behooveth (v. 5)Is necessary or proper
Become subject (vv. 5, 8)Be under the authority or control of
Corruption (v. 7)This refers to the mortal body, which will die
Incorruption; incorruptible (vv. 7, 13)This refers to the resurrected body, which will live forever
The first judgment (v. 7)“Thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17) was the first judgment of God pronounced upon man.
Beguiled (v. 9)Deceived, misled
Nigh unto (v. 9)Resembling
Immortal (vv. 13, 15)Able to live forever (especially in a resurrected state)
Executeth (v. 17)Performs, completes
Despised, despiseth (vv. 18, 42)Hated
Condemnation (v. 25)Judged to be guilty
Cunning (v. 28)Deceitful
Vainness (v. 28)Pride, self-centeredness
Frailties (v. 28)Weaknesses
Profiteth them not (v. 28)Does them no good
Yielding to the enticings (v. 39)Giving in to the temptations
Carnally-minded (v. 39)Worldly, given to bodily appetites or desires
Prudent (v. 43)Careful, wise
Constrained (v. 46)Compelled, obliged
Prey (v. 46)Victim
Harrow up (v. 47)Torment
Abhorreth (v. 49)Hates, detests
Condescensions (v. 53)The ministering of Jesus Christ, a divine being, to others

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you study 2 Nephi 9.

Activity A iconGod’s Divine Nature

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that one of the things necessary in order to “exercise faith in God unto life and salvation” is to have “a correct idea of [God’s] character, perfections, and attributes” (Lectures on Faith [1985], 38). List what you learn about God from Jacob’s exclamatory statements (the statements that begin with the exclamation “O”) in 2 Nephi 9:8, 10, 13, 17, 19–20.

Activity B iconWrite the Questions

One method of studying the scriptures is to ponder on the fact that what you are reading contains important answers from God and then to ask yourself “What were the questions?” Many important truths about Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation for His children are contained in 2 Nephi 9:5–27. Write at least five important doctrinal questions that can be answered from these verses. After each question, include the answer from 2 Nephi 9.

Activity C Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—2 Nephi 9:28–29

  1. 1.

    How does the doctrine taught in 2 Nephi 9:20 relate to the problem Jacob said some people had? (see vv. 28–29).

  2. 2.

    Use 2 Nephi 9:28–29 to help you explain what you might say to a Church member who made the following statements:

    1. a.

      “I’m not going to try very hard to get an education. It’s all unnecessary and only temporary.”

    2. b.

      “It’s alright to drink a little alcohol. Some scientists say that people who drink a little are more healthy than those who do not drink at all.”

    3. c.

      “I don’t know why they called him to that position in the Church. I have much more experience than he does, and he’s really not that smart when it comes to the scriptures.”

Activity D iconDraw a Picture

Sketch a drawing with the images mentioned in 2 Nephi 9:41–42.