Unit 6: Day 2, 2 Nephi 6–8

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 53–55


Introduction

Nephi’s record of the first part of a sermon taught by his younger brother Jacob is found in 2 Nephi 6–8. (The second part of Jacob’s sermon is found in 2 Nephi 9–10.) Jacob prophesied that since the time Lehi left Jerusalem, the Jews had been taken captive and scattered because of their wickedness. However, the Lord would mercifully gather the Jews back to Jerusalem. Jacob also prophesied that the Jews would be scattered a second time after they rejected the Savior during His mortal ministry; again the Lord would show mercy and gather them in the last days as they come to a knowledge of the Savior. Additionally, Jacob quoted Isaiah’s prophecies showing the Savior’s loyalty to His covenant people, His mercy, and the greatness of His promises to the faithful.

2 Nephi 6

Jacob prophesies of the scattering and gathering of Israel

How would you act if people you loved treated you unkindly? What if they showed by their actions or attitudes that your relationship was no longer important to them? Ponder if you have ever acted this way toward the Lord. In 2 Nephi 6–8, Jacob taught how the Lord responds to those who, by their attitudes and actions, have turned away from Him.

Read 2 Nephi 6:3–5; 9:1, 3, and look for reasons why Jacob gave this sermon.

As you study today, look for how Jacob’s teachings can help you “learn and glorify the name of your God” (2 Nephi 6:4), better understand the covenants you have made with the Lord (see 2 Nephi 9:1), and give you reason to “rejoice, and lift up your heads forever” (2 Nephi 9:3).

  1. journal icon1.

    Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      Jacob begins his sermon by prophesying what happened to the Jews after Lehi left Jerusalem because they had rejected the Lord. How did he describe it in 2 Nephi 6:8?

    2. b.

      Lehi, Jeremiah, and other prophets prophesied about this destruction. When the Babylonians conquered the Jews in about 587 B.C., many were killed and others were taken captive into Babylon. The Jews eventually softened their hearts toward the Lord. According to the first sentence of 2 Nephi 6:9, what did Jacob prophesy would happen to them?

    3. c.

      Jacob prophesied that the Savior would live His mortal life among the Jews after they returned from captivity. According to 2 Nephi 6:9–10, how would the Jews act and feel toward the Savior?

    4. d.

      According to 2 Nephi 6:10–11, what would happen to the Jews who rejected the Savior?

Read 2 Nephi 6:11, 14, and look for phrases that describe how the Lord feels about the house of Israel even though they rejected Him. You may want to circle the phrases “merciful unto them” and “recover them” in your scriptures.

  1. journal icon2.

    In your scripture study journal, write your answers to the following questions:

    1. a.

      What does it mean to “recover” someone or something?

    2. b.

      How does the Lord’s willingness to recover Israel a second time show His mercy?

In these same verses Jacob taught what the Jews must do in order to receive these blessings from the Lord. Read 2 Nephi 6:11, 14 again, and find the phrase “when they shall” in each verse. Highlight the words that complete the phrase. According to these verses, how will Israel qualify for the Lord’s mercy? These verses teach the principle: The Lord is merciful to those who return to Him.

  1. journal icon3.

    Ponder ways you have witnessed the Lord’s mercy and willingness to forgive those who return to Him. In your scripture study journal write: I know the Lord is merciful because … Then complete the statement with your own thoughts and feelings. You may want to repeat this exercise as you think of different ways the Lord has demonstrated that He is merciful.

In 2 Nephi 6 there is a great promise of hope for Israel—which includes all of us. Read 2 Nephi 6:17–18, and complete the following promises made by the Savior:

“The Mighty God shall _____________________________________________” (2 Nephi 6:17).

“All flesh shall know that _____________________________________________” (2 Nephi 6:18).

2 Nephi 7–8

Jacob quotes Isaiah’s prophecies about the Savior’s loyalty to the covenant people and His ability to redeem us

As recorded in 2 Nephi 7–8, Jacob quoted Isaiah’s prophecies concerning the Lord’s desire and ability to redeem Israel from the sufferings caused by their sins. Read 2 Nephi 7:1–2, and identify questions the Lord asked Israel that indicate He still loved them and wanted to redeem them.

It may be helpful to understand that the Lord used symbolic language relating to divorce and slavery, and the social customs familiar to people of that day, to teach them in an impactful and memorable way. The phrases “put thee away,” “the bill of your mother’s divorcement,” and “sold you” refer to the idea of breaking or severing a covenant. The questions could be rephrased as follows: “Have I turned away from you? Have I put aside the covenant we have made?” The answer to these questions is, “No.” The Lord will never turn away from us or forget the covenants He has made. His questions are a way of emphasizing that He will never break His covenant with Israel.

At the end of 2 Nephi 7:1, underline the Lord’s explanation of why Israel was separated from God and suffering in captivity.

  1. journal icon4.

    Answer one of the following questions in your scripture study journal:

    1. a.

      Why is it important to understand that our thoughts, decisions, and actions can separate us from God?

    2. b.

      Why is it important for you to know that the Lord never forgets or forsakes us, even though we may forget and forsake Him?

In 2 Nephi 7:2 the Lord asked Israel a vital question that applies to each of us. Find and highlight the question.

What do you think the Lord meant when He asked, “Is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?” To help you visualize this, imagine you are stretching out your hand, trying to reach someone in need. If you were to lengthen your reach, what would you be trying to do for the person in need? If instead you shortened or pulled back your hand, what would it say about your desire to help the person? With this imagery in mind, another way to phrase the Lord’s question to Israel is: “Am I holding back and not reaching out to redeem you?”

The phrase “have I no power to deliver?” invited Israel to ponder on their faith that the Lord had the power to deliver them from the suffering caused by their sins.

In the remainder of 2 Nephi 7–8, Isaiah gave several examples of the Savior’s desire and power to redeem His covenant people.

Read 2 Nephi 7:5–7, and look for phrases in this prophecy that tell what the Messiah would do and experience as part of His atoning sacrifice to redeem us. In 2 Nephi 7:6, footnote a, there are cross references that explain and show the fulfillment of this prophecy. You might want to mark Matthew 27:26 in the footnote; then read Matthew 27:26–31, looking for ways Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled.

  1. journal icon5.

    Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What does 2 Nephi 7:2, 5–7 show us about the Savior’s desire and willingness to redeem us?

To help you discover further evidence of the Lord’s mercy and power in the remainder of Isaiah’s prophecy, imagine you were asked to give a talk in church on the principle: The Savior desires to redeem His covenant people and has all power to do so. To prepare for your talk, read 2 Nephi 8:3, 11–13, 16, 22, and choose phrases that you feel offer assurance of the Lord’s desire and power to redeem us.

  1. journal icon6.

    Make an outline of your talk in your scripture study journal by:

    1. a.

      Listing two or three phrases that stood out to you and explaining how each phrase is an example of the Savior’s desire to redeem us or of His power to do so.

    2. b.

      Choosing one of those phrases and describing how you have either experienced, or would like to experience, that blessing in your life.

As you finish this lesson, remember that Jacob taught the truths you have studied today “that ye may learn and glorify the name of your God” (2 Nephi 6:4), “that ye might know concerning the covenants of the Lord” (2 Nephi 9:1), and “that ye may rejoice, and lift up your heads forever” (2 Nephi 9:3). Look for an opportunity today to share your appreciation for the Lord and His love for you with someone.

  1. journal icon7.

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

    I have studied 2 Nephi 6–8 and completed this lesson on (date).

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