Nephi’s message about the marvelous work of the Restoration of the gospel continues in 2 Nephi 29–30. He testified that in the last days all scriptures will work together to show all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people that the Lord remembers His children. These records are a witness and testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior. Nephi prophesied that many will reject the Book of Mormon but those who believe will be gathered into the Church. In addition, Nephi taught that God’s covenant people are those who repent and believe in the Son of God.
The Lord tells Nephi that in the last days many will reject the Book of Mormon
Nephi saw that many people in the latter days would believe the Bible to be the only book of scripture revealed from God and would reject the Book of Mormon. How would you respond if you had a friend ask, “Why do Mormons have another Bible?”
Nephi provided some answers to this question by recording the Lord’s words about the role of the Book of Mormon in the latter-day Restoration of the gospel, which the Lord called “a marvelous work” (2 Nephi 29:1). Read 2 Nephi 29:1–2, and identify what the Lord’s words would do in the last days. (They would “proceed forth” to Nephi’s seed, or descendants, and they would also “hiss forth unto the ends of the earth.”) To “hiss” means to “whistle,” which is suggestive of a signal to gather (see Isaiah 5:26, footnote b).
The word standard in 2 Nephi 29:2 refers to an object used to gather and unify people. Flags are often called standards. According to 2 Nephi 29:2, what is the standard that will go forth “unto the ends of the earth” to gather the Lord’s people? (You may want to write something like The Book of Mormon—the words of Nephi’s seed, or descendants next to 2 Nephi 29:2.)
Write in your scripture study journal what, according to 2 Nephi 29:1–2, the Lord’s purpose is for providing additional scripture such as the Book of Mormon.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared the following insight regarding the Book of Mormon: “The Book of Mormon is the preeminent statement of God’s covenant with and his love for his children here on earth” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon , 4).
In 2 Nephi 29 the word Gentiles refers to people who are not of the house of Israel. The word Jews refers to people who are of the house of Israel, including Lehi’s family and descendants. Read 2 Nephi 29:3–6, looking for the reaction some Gentiles would have toward additional scripture. Write your answers to the following questions in the space provided.
How will some react to additional scripture? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
What did the Lord say about people who react this way? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Nephi was prophetic in his description of people’s reaction to the Book of Mormon. People today often express doubts about the Book of Mormon because they already have the Bible. Highlight words or phrases in 2 Nephi 29:7–11 that describe the Lord’s purposes for giving additional scripture. Think about how you might explain these purposes to someone who does not understand the need or value of receiving additional revelation from God.
Using what you marked in 2 Nephi 29:7–11, write a response in your scripture study journal to the question presented at the beginning of this lesson: “Why do Mormons have another Bible?”
The Lord provides scriptures as a second witness and to gather people to His covenant. Read 2 Nephi 29:13–14, and look for the blessing that results when the scriptures—“the words of the Nephites” (the Book of Mormon), “the words of the Jews” (the Bible), and “the words of the lost tribes of Israel”—are had among the people.
Nephi prophesies of the role of the Book of Mormon in the last days
After teaching that God would remember the house of Israel, Nephi cautioned his people not to think they were more righteous than the Gentiles would be. He also reminded them that all people can become God’s covenant people. Read 2 Nephi 30:2, and in the space provided write two things people need to do before the Lord will enter into covenants with them. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Take a moment and ponder the effect the Book of Mormon has had on you or someone you are close to. Then read 2 Nephi 30:3–8, and complete the following activity with phrases describing the impact of the Book of Mormon on those who receive it.
Groups of People
The Impact of the Book of Mormon
Descendants of Lehi (2 Nephi 30:3–6)
Jews (2 Nephi 30:7)
Gentiles, or all nations (2 Nephi 30:8)
Read the following statement from President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency and highlight reasons why the Book of Mormon is a powerful missionary tool:
“The Book of Mormon has been at the center of missionary work since the gospel was restored through the Prophet Joseph. We use it every day in missionary work. One fact about the Book of Mormon being the key to power in each part of missionary work is this: the Book of Mormon is a testament of Jesus Christ. The title page tells us that. It says that the purpose of the book is to show what great things the Lord has done for His people, to help them know that the covenants the Lord has made with His people are still in force, and to convince all people that Jesus is the Christ” (“Why the Book of Mormon?” New Era, May 2008, 6, 8).
Studying 2 Nephi 30:1–8 shows us that the Book of Mormon can help all people come to know Jesus Christ and live His gospel.
Select one of the following questions to answer in your scripture study journal:
How has the Book of Mormon helped you come to know the Savior?
How will you use the Book of Mormon to help others come to know the Savior?
Nephi prophesies of conditions of the earth during the Millennium
Read 2 Nephi 30:9–10, and look for what will happen among the people before the Millennium—the 1,000 years of righteousness and peace following the Savior’s Second Coming, when Jesus Christ shall “reign personally upon the earth” (Articles of Faith 1:10). How have you seen a “great division” (2 Nephi 30:10) separating the righteous from the wicked? What will eventually happen to the wicked?
Read 2 Nephi 30:12–18, looking for what life will be like during the Millennium.
In your scripture study journal, write a newspaper headline (a highlight or summary in a few words) describing the millennial condition you most look forward to. After you have written a headline, explain how that headline is an indication of the peace that will prevail on the earth during the Millennium.
Consider what it will be like when Satan will not have power over the hearts of people during the Millennium, and righteousness and peace will prevail. Think about how your school or community would be different if those conditions prevailed today.
Write in your scripture study journal about what you can do to help yourself, your family, and others prepare for this period of peace and righteousness.
Commentary and Background Information
How Will Additional Scriptural Records Come Forth?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles suggested that the records spoken of in 2 Nephi 29:12–14 would “come forth in a marvelous manner, at the direction of the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who is a revelator and a translator and who holds the keys of the kingdom of God” (The Millennial Messiah , 217). We know that the Savior visited some of the lost tribes of Israel after His Resurrection and visit to the Nephites and that they will also write accounts of His ministry among them after His resurrection (see 3 Nephi 16:1–3; 17:4).
When Will the “Jews … Begin to Believe in Christ”?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie also discussed the prophesied conversion of the Jews:
“‘And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land.’ (2 Ne. 30:7.) Much of the old Jewish bitterness against Christ has ceased; many now accept him as a great Rabbi, though not the Son of God. A few have accepted him in the full sense, coming into the true Church along with the gathered remnants of Ephraim and his fellows.
“But the great conversion of the Jews, their return to the truth as a nation, is destined to follow the Second Coming of their Messiah. Those able to abide that day, in their extremity and mourning, will ask: ‘What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet? Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.’ (D. & C. 45:51–52; Zech. 12:8–14; 13:6.)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 722–23).
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied 2 Nephi 29–30 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: