After recording the prophecies of Isaiah (2 Nephi 12–24), the prophet Nephi emphasized the importance of these prophecies and explained that those with the spirit of prophecy can come to understand and appreciate Isaiah’s words (2 Nephi 25). He explained that the purpose of his writing was “to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God” (2 Nephi 25:23). He invited all to believe in Jesus Christ and to “worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul” (2 Nephi 25:29).
Nephi teaches that we can understand the words of Isaiah when we have the spirit of prophecy
People often use locks to keep valuable possessions safe. They might keep the only key to the lock, or they might give a copy of the key to a trusted friend or family member. Nephi knew that the prophecies of the Isaiah were “of great worth” (2 Nephi 25:8), and he wanted everyone to understand them. He provided a key for anyone who wants to unlock the meaning of Isaiah’s words.
Read the first sentence in 2 Nephi 25:4, and look for the key to understanding the words of Isaiah. What does it mean to have “the spirit of prophecy”? How do you think the spirit of prophecy could help you better understand the scriptures, particularly the words of Isaiah?
The spirit of prophecy refers to the spirit of revelation. This means that when you diligently and prayerfully study the scriptures and seek to understand their meaning, you can have the spirit of revelation, and the Holy Ghost will enlighten your mind and your understanding. Also, the scriptures teach that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). As you grow in your knowledge and testimony of the Savior, your understanding of the scriptures—including the teachings of Isaiah—will increase and you will better understand how the teachings relate to you.
Nephi shared other ideas that can enhance our understanding of Isaiah’s words. Search the following scriptures, and identify three more keys to understanding the words of Isaiah:
2 Nephi 25:1 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
2 Nephi 25:5–6 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
2 Nephi 25:7–8 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Remember that symbolism and poetic language are often used in ancient Jewish prophecies (see 2 Nephi 25:1). Also, studying the culture, history, and geography of ancient Israel will help you understand Isaiah’s words (see 2 Nephi 25:5–6). Living in the last days and seeing the fulfillment of many prophecies also helps us understand Isaiah (see 2 Nephi 25:7–8).
Nephi prophesies about the Jews
As recorded in 2 Nephi 25:9–19, Nephi prophesied about the Jews and their homeland in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. He said that the Jews who had been taken captive to Babylon after the destruction of Jerusalem would return to “the land of their inheritance” (see 2 Nephi 25:9–11). Jesus Christ, the Messiah, would live among them, but many would reject Him and crucify Him (see 2 Nephi 25:12–13). After the Savior’s death and Resurrection, Jerusalem would again be destroyed, and the Jews would be scattered and scourged by other nations (see 2 Nephi 25:14–15). They would eventually believe in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, and the Lord would restore them “from their lost and fallen state” (see 2 Nephi 25:16–19).
Nephi testifies of Jesus Christ
Think about how you might respond to someone who claims that Latter-day Saints do not believe in Jesus Christ. As you study the rest of 2 Nephi 25, look for passages that you could share in such a situation.
Quickly look over 2 Nephi 25:20–30, and consider marking the name “Christ” each time it appears.
Read 2 Nephi 25:28–29, and identify what Nephi said was “the right way.” Search 2 Nephi 25: 23–26 for reasons why believing in Jesus Christ is “the right way.” (Note that 2 Nephi 25:23, 26 is a scripture mastery passage. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way so you can locate it in the future.) Record your answers in your scripture study journal.
The word reconciled in 2 Nephi 25:23 means to be brought into harmony with God. The Lord’s “grace” is ultimately how reconciliation with God occurs. Read the following explanation of the Lord’s grace:
“The word grace, as used in the scriptures, refers primarily to the divine help and strength we receive through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. …
“… Through grace, made available by the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, all people will be resurrected and receive immortality. [But if we are to qualify for eternal life in God’s presence, we must be made clean from our sins through His grace.]
“The phrase ‘after all we can do’ [2 Nephi 25:23] teaches that effort is required on our part to receive the fulness of the Lord’s grace and be made worthy to dwell with Him. The Lord has commanded us to obey His gospel, which includes having faith in Him, repenting of our sins, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. …
“In addition to needing grace for your ultimate salvation, you need this enabling power every day of your life. As you draw near to your Heavenly Father in diligence, humility, and meekness, He will uplift and strengthen you through His grace” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference , 77–78).
In your scripture study journal, write answers to the following questions:
What is the relationship between the Lord’s grace and our efforts to live the gospel?
What does it mean to you to be saved by grace?
What does the phrase “all we can do” mean to you?
Ponder the following truth: Because of Jesus Christ, we can be saved by grace after all we can do. Think of a time when you did all you could do and were blessed with divine help and strength.
Another truth Nephi taught (see 2 Nephi 25:26) is: Through the Savior’s Atonement, we can receive a remission of our sins.
Consider writing a letter to a friend or family member about your belief in Jesus Christ or testifying of your belief in a testimony meeting or other appropriate setting.
Read 2 Nephi 25:26 again, and then answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
In what ways do you worship or revere Jesus Christ? What activities show others that you believe in and worship Jesus Christ?
What can you do to better worship the Savior with all your might, mind, and strength?
Scripture Mastery—2 Nephi 25:23, 26
Use the following format to help you memorize 2 Nephi 25:26:
“And we talk of Christ,
we rejoice in Christ,
we preach of Christ,
we prophesy of Christ,
and we write according to our prophecies,
that our children may know
to what source they may look
for a remission of their sins.”
After repeating the passage a few times, cover the top line with your hand and try it again. Then cover another line, and continue until you feel you have the passage memorized.
Recite 2 Nephi 25:26 to a family member, and write that you have memorized it in your scripture study journal.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied 2 Nephi 25 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: