In 2 Nephi 2, Lehi taught his son Jacob why Heavenly Father has placed His children in a world where afflictions, sorrow, sin, and death exist. To help Jacob understand the purpose of mortality, he explained fundamental doctrines of the plan of redemption—including agency, the Fall of Adam, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Studying the truths taught in 2 Nephi 2 can help you more fully appreciate how the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcomes the effects of the Fall and makes it possible for each of us to make choices that will lead to eternal life.
Lehi teaches about the Fall of Adam and the Atonement of Jesus Christ
Think about some of the challenges you have faced lately. Have you ever wondered why life has such challenges? As you read 2 Nephi 2:1, you might want to mark words or phrases that Lehi used to describe Jacob’s early years. Then read 2 Nephi 2:2, and mark what Lehi promised Jacob would result from his afflictions. One meaning of the word consecrate is to dedicate or make holy. Lehi seems to be promising Jacob that the Lord will dedicate Jacob’s trials for his ultimate benefit.
Lehi taught Jacob about the necessity of the Fall of Adam and our need for the Atonement of Jesus Christ in Heavenly Father’s plan. He wanted Jacob to know that the Fall and the Atonement make it possible for us to exercise our agency so that we can grow and progress toward eternal life. Read 2 Nephi 2:15–18, and write short answers to the following questions:
What did God provide for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that allowed them to use their agency? (See 2 Nephi 2:15–16.) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
What was Satan seeking in the Garden of Eden? (See 2 Nephi 2:17–18.) How do you see Satan pursuing that same purpose today? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Draw the chart below in your scripture journal. Search 2 Nephi 2:19–25, and identify what the consequences would have been if Adam and Eve had not eaten the forbidden fruit and fallen, as well as the consequences that occurred because of the Fall.
If Adam and Eve had not fallen (2 Nephi 2:22–23)
Because Adam and Eve fell (2 Nephi 2:19–20, 25)
After completing the chart, consider why the Fall of Adam and Eve is an essential part of Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness.
Suppose a friend tells you that Adam and Eve made a mistake by partaking of the forbidden fruit. Using what you have learned in 2 Nephi 2:19–25, write a paragraph in your scripture journal explaining why the Fall was essential to Heavenly Father’s plan for our salvation.
While the Fall of Adam and Eve opened the way for us to progress, it also introduced other consequences. Before the Fall, Adam and Eve were in the presence of God in the Garden of Eden; after partaking of the forbidden fruit, they had to leave His presence.
Read 2 Nephi 2:5, and identify the phrase that indicates Adam and Eve’s separation from God after the Fall. “Temporal law” refers to the physical laws that came into effect as a result of the Fall. Thus, to be “cut off” according to the “temporal law” refers to the mortal condition on earth that we inherit as descendants of Adam and Eve. Because of these laws we are physically separated from the presence of God and are subject to sorrows, pains, afflictions, and physical death. To be “cut off” according to the “spiritual law” refers to being separated from the presence of God because of our sins.
Ponder how you have personally experienced these consequences of the Fall by reflecting on the following questions:
What afflictions, pains, and sorrows have you experienced in this life?
Who do you know who has died? How has this person’s death affected you?
When have you felt spiritually separated from God?
As you read 2 Nephi 2:6–10, you might want to mark key words or phrases that show that through the Atonement, Jesus Christ redeems us from the effects of the Fall and offers redemption from our sins. In 2 Nephi 2:9–10, the word intercession means to act for the benefit of another.
Scripture Mastery—2 Nephi 2:25
While Lehi was teaching Jacob about the Fall of Adam and the opposition that we experience in mortality, he emphasized the positive outcomes of the Fall for all mankind.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
From what you have learned about the Fall, how does it bring joy to mankind?
When have you experienced joy because of the positive consequences of the Fall?
Lehi teaches about agency and the consequences of our choices
Think about an important choice you had to make recently and what the long-term consequences of that choice might be. Lehi taught his people the fundamental importance of agency in Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation. To help you understand that we are free to choose liberty and eternal life or captivity and death (see 2 Nephi 2:27), complete the activity below.
Write each of the following statements taken from For the Strength of Youth ([booklet, 2011], 2–3) in your scripture journal. Then, as you read each verse in 2 Nephi 2:11–18, 26–29, pause and write that verse number after the statement or statements you think it supports. Each of the verse numbers should be written after one of the statements. A statement may apply to more than one verse, and a verse may relate to more than one statement. As an example, a verse is written in for the first statement—one truth Lehi taught in 2 Nephi 2:16 is that we have been given the ability to act for ourselves.
“Heavenly Father has given you agency, the ability to choose right from wrong and to act for yourself.” 2 Nephi 2:16
“While here on earth, you are being proven to see if you will use your agency to show your love for God by keeping His commandments.”
“While you are free to choose your course of action, you are not free to choose the consequences.”
“Sinful … choices delay your progression and lead to heartache and misery.”
“Righteous choices lead to lasting happiness and eternal life.”
Read 2 Nephi 2:26–27. What are you free to choose? Read 2 Nephi 2:28, and mark what else God has given you to help you “choose eternal life.” Ponder the choices you have made in your own life that show you have chosen eternal life.
Scripture Mastery—2 Nephi 2:27
Work to memorize 2 Nephi 2:27, a scripture mastery verse. Read it several times, and then close your scriptures and use the first letter of each word in this verse listed below to try to recite it to yourself or to a family member. Repeat this exercise until you feel that you can do it well.
W, m a f a t t f; a a t a g t w a e u m. A t a f t c l a e l, t t g M o a m, o t c c a d, a t t c a p o t d; f h s t a m m b m l u h.
Using only the first letter of each word in 2 Nephi 2:27 above, write this scripture mastery passage in your scripture journal. No peeking!
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture journal:
I have studied 2 Nephi 2 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: