As you study 2 Nephi 1, notice that it contains the words of a loving parent and priesthood leader who was about to die. Father Lehi pled with his family to obey the commandments of God (see 2 Nephi 1:16). He prophesied that if they would obey the commandments of God, they would prosper in the promised land. He also exhorted his children and those who came with them from Jerusalem to follow Nephi’s prophetic leadership. As you study this chapter, evaluate your personal obedience to the Lord’s commandments. How well do you follow the counsel of Church leaders?
Lehi exhorts his people to live righteously
Imagine that you suddenly have to leave your family and never see them again. You have one last opportunity to speak to them. What might you say to them in this situation?
In 2 Nephi 1–4, Nephi recorded his father’s final counsel to his family. As you study these chapters, think of ways Lehi’s final recorded teachings apply to you.
Read 2 Nephi 1:1–4, and identify what “great things the Lord had done” for Lehi’s family.
Write short answers to the following questions in your scripture journal:
In what ways did the Lord show mercy to Lehi’s family?
What “great things” has the Lord done for you and your family? What feelings do you have for the Lord when you think about how merciful He has been to you and your family?
Lehi taught his family that choosing to keep God’s commandments would determine whether or not they would continue to receive “great things” and the “mercies of God” in their lives.
To help you see that the Lord blesses us when we keep His commandments, and He withholds blessings when we do not keep His commandments, draw a diagram like the one below in your scripture journal. Read 2 Nephi 1:7–11, and identify actions (“if”) that Lehi said would bring about certain consequences (“then”). Write what you discover under the appropriate column of the diagram in your study journal.
Lehi was particularly concerned about the spiritual conditions of Laman and Lemuel and realized that they needed to repent. As he exhorted them, he used several symbols to help them understand sin and repentance. Search 2 Nephi 1:13–14 for the symbols Lehi used to encourage his sons to repent, and write your answers in the blanks below:
“____________________ from a deep ____________________”
“____________________ off the ____________________ ____________________”
“____________________ from the ____________________”
Answer the following question in your scripture journal: How is repentance like each of the phrases in the above exercise?
Read 2 Nephi 1:15, and mark in your scriptures the three phrases Lehi used to describe the blessings he received because of his obedience to God’s commandments. Contrast these blessings with the negative consequences in 2 Nephi 1:17–18, 22 that Lehi said will come upon those who do not keep God’s commandments.
Mark Lehi’s counsel in 2 Nephi 1:23, and ponder what you need to do in your life in order to “awake” or “shake off” or “arise” so you can receive the blessings that Lehi spoke of in this chapter.
Lehi exhorts his sons to follow Nephi’s prophetic leadership
Lehi next reminded his family and others of another source of direction and inspiration they had been blessed with to help them make righteous decisions in their lives. Read 2 Nephi 1:24, and identify this source.
As you read 2 Nephi 1:24–27, look for how Lehi encouraged his people to follow Nephi. Think about your answers to the following questions:
What qualities did Lehi emphasize that would help you trust Nephi as a leader?
Why would you trust a leader with these qualities?
How have you seen Church leaders today demonstrate these same qualities?
Read 2 Nephi 1:28–32, and mark in your scriptures the promises Lehi gave to those who would follow Nephi’s leadership. These promises show that as we follow those whom God has called to lead us, we are blessed with spiritual prosperity and security. Ponder what Church leaders have taught you recently about how obedience to inspired counsel can lead to your spiritual prosperity and security.
Read the following quotation by President Wilford Woodruff, and underline the promises he made if we will follow the counsel of the Lord’s servants: “I hope we may all pursue the course laid down for us by the servants of the Lord, for if we do this I know that we shall be safe in this world, and secure happiness and exaltation in the world to come. … If we are faithful they will lead us in the way of life, and in as much as we have faith to believe in their instructions, in the teachings of the Holy Spirit through them, we are always in the safe path, and shall be sure of our reward” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff , 199).
Write in your scripture journal why you think being obedient to the Lord’s commandments and the counsel of His servants is important to do throughout your life.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture journal:
I have studied 2 Nephi 1 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: