Unit 6: Day 1, 2 Nephi 4–5

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 50–53


Introduction

In 2 Nephi 4 you will read how Lehi called his posterity together to give them his final counsel and blessing before he died. After Lehi’s death, Laman and Lemuel became angry with Nephi for preaching to them “the admonitions of the Lord” (see 2 Nephi 4:13–14). Troubled by his brothers’ attitudes and actions and by his own weaknesses and sins, Nephi recorded his feelings in expressive and poetic language (see 2 Nephi 4:15–35). As recorded in 2 Nephi 5, the Lord warned Nephi and those who supported him to flee from Laman, Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael. Following this separation, the Nephites lived in righteousness and happiness, while those who stayed with Laman and Lemuel cut themselves off spiritually from the Lord. Nephi’s devotion to the Lord strengthened him to overcome sin and discouragement. Nephi then recorded how he and his people “lived after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27).

2 Nephi 4:3–11

Lehi counsels and blesses his family

Think of a time when you received counsel or advice from your mother, father, or leaders. Did you follow the advice? Why or why didn’t you follow the advice? Do you have any regrets? In 2 Nephi 4:1–11, Nephi recorded Lehi’s final counsel and blessing to his family. Read 2 Nephi 4:4–5, and identify the counsel Lehi gave his children that could also apply to you. Have your parents, family members, or leaders ever given you similar counsel?

Lehi holding brass plates
  1. journal icon1.

    Make a list in your scripture study journal of some of the blessings that have come into your life from listening to the counsel of those who care about you. What blessings have come from being obedient to the commandments of the Lord?

2 Nephi 4:12–35

Nephi expresses his trust in the Lord and acknowledges his weaknesses

In 2 Nephi 4:12–35, Nephi wrote “the things of [his] soul” (2 Nephi 4:15). Read 2 Nephi 4:15–16, and look for what Nephi delighted in.

Think about the wholesome things that bring you great joy. Complete the following phrase with several answers: My soul delighteth in ____________________________________________________________________________________________________.

  1. journal icon2.

    Write in your scripture study journal what you think it means to delight in the things of the Lord.

Nephi mentioned that his “heart pondereth” (2 Nephi 4:15) the scriptures. Pondering means not only to meditate and think deeply about the scriptures but also to open our hearts to revelation and understanding.

Nephi experienced moments of great joy in his life; however, he also encountered difficult moments. Refer back to 2 Nephi 4:12–13 to discover some difficult challenges Nephi faced at that time in his life.

Read 2 Nephi 4:17–18, and find what else made Nephi sorrowful. As you read, keep the following definitions in mind: Wretched means miserable or worthless. Flesh refers to weakness in our mortal state. Beset means to surround or press in on all sides, to trouble, or to harass. Though Nephi felt sorrow for his sins, this should not be misunderstood to mean that he was guilty of any major transgressions.

Consider a time in your life when you could relate to how Nephi felt (such as when you have lost a loved one, others have been angry with you for following the Lord, you have faced hardship or disappointment, or you have felt sorrow because of your sins, weaknesses, and temptations). Read 2 Nephi 4:19, and identify the phrase that expresses Nephi’s hope despite his sorrows. What do you think Nephi meant when he said, “I know in whom I have trusted”? How can you put greater trust in God?

As you continue your study, look for evidence of the gospel principle that God supports those who put their trust in Him.

  1. journal icon3.

    In your scripture study journal, answer the questions in the following chart:

Scripture Reference

How These Verses Applied to Nephi

How These Verses Can Apply to You

2 Nephi 4:20–25

  1. a.

    How had the Lord blessed Nephi in the past for placing his trust in Him?

  1. b.

    How has the Lord blessed you when you have trusted in Him?

2 Nephi 4:26–30

  1. c.

    How did remembering his blessings affect Nephi’s desires to be righteous?

  1. d.

    How have the blessings of the Lord affected your desire to be righteous?

2 Nephi 4:31–33

  1. e.

    What did Nephi pray for?

  1. f.

    How might you apply these verses in your prayers?

Read 2 Nephi 4:34–35, and mark phrases that show Nephi’s confidence in the Lord.

  1. journal icon4.

    Write in your scripture study journal what you have learned from studying 2 Nephi 4:17–35 and ways you would like to increase your trust in the Lord.

2 Nephi 5:1–8

The Lord separates the Nephites from the Lamanites

As you study 2 Nephi 5, think of difficult problems and decisions you may be experiencing or have experienced. In this chapter Nephi explained that his brothers “did seek to take away my life” (2 Nephi 5:2). Notice in 2 Nephi 5:1 what Nephi did to find a solution to the problem. Then mark in your scriptures what the Lord did to help Nephi in 2 Nephi 5:5.

group of Nephites

As a result of this warning, Nephi and “all … those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God” (2 Nephi 5:6) left the land of their first inheritance. They journeyed “for the space of many days” (2 Nephi 5:7) and settled in a place they called Nephi. This experience illustrates that safety comes from obeying the revelations of God.

Read the following testimony from Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy: “It is not surprising that in the face of tremendous evil and temptation the Lord does not leave us to find our way on our own. In fact, there is more than enough guidance available to each of us if we will listen. You have received the gift of the Holy Ghost to direct and inspire you. You have the scriptures, parents, Church leaders and teachers. You also have the words of the prophets, seers, and revelators who live in our day. There is so much guidance and direction available that you won’t make major mistakes in your life unless you consciously ignore the guidance you receive” (“The Blessings of General Conference,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 51).

  1. journal icon5.

    In your scripture study journal, write a warning you have received from the Lord, His prophets, or other Church leaders. What are you doing to heed that warning? How has heeding that warning helped you in your life, and how will it help you in the future?

2 Nephi 5:9–18, 26–27

The Nephites live after the manner of happiness

After recounting the circumstances that led to the division of Lehi’s family, Nephi described what life was like among “the people of Nephi” (2 Nephi 5:9). Read 2 Nephi 5:27, and mark the phrase that indicates how the Nephites lived. What do you think it means to live “after the manner of happiness”?

  1. journal icon6.

    Carefully read 2 Nephi 5:10–18, 26, and mark in your scriptures what the Nephites had or did that contributed to their happiness. Select one of these things, and write in your scripture study journal how that action or attitude has contributed to your happiness. For example, if you chose the fact that the Nephites built a temple (see 2 Nephi 5:16), you could write how the temple has brought greater happiness to you or your family.

The actions and attitudes you have identified are part of living the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may want to write the following principle in your scriptures next to 2 Nephi 5:27: As the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes our way of life, we increase in happiness. This was true for the Nephites even during a time of great difficulty. Examine your life and determine something you will do to live more fully after the way of happiness. Write it down in your personal journal or in your scriptures. The principles you have studied today lead to happiness.

  1. journal icon7.

    Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied 2 Nephi 4–5 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: