Chapter 11: 2 Nephi 17–24

Book of Mormon Teacher Manual, (2009), 42–44


Introduction

Through a series of remarkable revelations, Isaiah learned about the Savior’s birth and Second Coming, the conditions on the earth in the last days, the peace and joy that will come in the Millennium, and the ultimate failure of the adversary. These revelations, written according to “the manner of prophesying among the Jews” (2 Nephi 25:1), also told of coming events in Isaiah’s day. Although the revelations help us understand conditions in Isaiah’s day, you can help students focus on their latter-day significance. We can read them with full confidence that they contain messages for us in the last days—messages of warning, peace, and hope.

Some Doctrines and Principles

Suggestions for Teaching

2 Nephi 17–24. Isaiah Prophesied about the Savior’s Birth and Second Coming

Invite students to open their scriptures to 2 Nephi 17. Explain that 2 Nephi 17–24 contain prophecies that the Lord gave through Isaiah. These prophecies applied to Isaiah’s time and to the latter days. To help students understand this concept, invite them to read the following on pages 81–82 in the student manual: the introduction to chapter 11, the overview and background of 2 Nephi 17–24, and the statement by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.

To help students understand the latter-day implications of Isaiah’s prophecies, ask them to read the chapter headings for 2 Nephi 17–24 (you may want to inform students that Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote the chapter headings in the Book of Mormon). Encourage them to underline items related to prophecies about Jesus Christ’s birth and Second Coming. Ask students to find at least one idea in each chapter heading and share their discoveries. Their responses might include the following:

  1. 1.

    Jesus Christ will be born (chapter 17).

  2. 2.

    He will be a stumbling block for the wicked (chapter 18).

  3. 3.

    He will be the Prince of Peace (chapter 19).

  4. 4.

    The wicked will be destroyed at the Second Coming (chapters 20 and 23).

  5. 5.

    The Lord will raise up an ensign to gather Israel (chapter 21).

  6. 6.

    In the Millennium all people will praise the Lord (chapter 22).

  7. 7.

    Gathered Israel will enjoy rest and peace during the Millennium (chapter 24).

Bear your testimony of the Savior’s birth and Second Coming and about His great work in the latter days.

2 Nephi 17–18; 19:1–7. Jesus Christ Was Born to Reign as the Prince of Peace

Ask students to list as many descriptive titles of Jesus Christ as they can. Write their responses on the board. You may want to encourage them to scan pages 240–58 in the Topical Guide to see the many titles and roles of Jesus Christ. After students have shared their responses, invite them to read 2 Nephi 17:14. Add the title Immanuel to the list on the board, or circle it if it is already there. Ask students if they know the meaning of this title. If no one knows the meaning, invite them to read the definition of the word Immanuel in the Bible Dictionary or on page 83 in the student manual.

  • What is the meaning of the title Immanuel?

This prophecy’s ultimate significance is found in the New Testament, in Matthew 1:18–25. Ask students to read this passage.

  • How was Isaiah’s prophecy about Immanuel fulfilled?

  • When have you seen the reality of the Lord as Immanuel, or “God with us,” in your life?

2 Nephi 19:6–7 is one of the most well-known prophecies about the Savior. Read this passage to the class. Point out that verse 6 contains five titles for Jesus Christ.

Write the five titles on the board. Divide the class into five groups. Assign each group to carefully consider one of the titles. Ask them to discuss examples of how Jesus Christ fulfilled these roles during his earthly ministry, how He fulfills these roles now, and how He will continue to fulfill these roles during the Millennium. Ask each group to appoint a spokesperson to summarize their conclusions for the whole class.

  • How can our knowledge that Jesus Christ performs these roles affect how we live?

If time allows, ask students to memorize verse 6.

Tell students about the love you feel for the Savior and the blessings you receive each day because of Him. You might also invite students to share their feelings on this subject.

2 Nephi 19:8–21; 20. The Wicked Will Be Destroyed at the Second Coming

Invite students to read (or reread) the chapter heading for 2 Nephi 20. This chapter includes Isaiah’s prophecy that Assyria would be destroyed—a prophecy that has already been fulfilled (see Bible Dictionary, “Assyria and Babylonia,” 615–16). However, when Isaiah prophesied about the destruction of Assyria, he was also prophesying about the destruction of the wicked in the last days. Remind students of the importance of types in understanding ancient prophecies (see chapter 10 in this manual).

Explain that in Isaiah’s day, the house of Israel was divided into two kingdoms. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin, headquartered in the city of Jerusalem, formed a kingdom that was known as Judah. Isaiah was part of that kingdom. The other ten tribes formed a kingdom to the north, headquartered in the city of Shechem, which was in Samaria. They became known as the kingdom of Israel. They were also known as Ephraim, which was the dominant group among them. At the same time, the kingdom of Assyria was increasing in power. (See Bible Dictionary, pages 637–39 for a chart showing some of the history of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel.)

Put the following headings and scripture references on the board, but do not include the numbered answers in each column.

Kingdom of Israel

2 Nephi 19:8–10, 13, 17–20; 20:1–2

Assyria

2 Nephi 20:5–15

  1. 1.

    Pride (19:9–10)

  2. 2.

    Not seeking the Lord (19:13)

  3. 3.

    Hypocrisy and evil actions (19:17)

  4. 4.

    Selfishness and greed (19:19–20)

  5. 5.

    Turning away the poor and the needy (20:2)

  1. 1.

    Desire to destroy others (20:7)

  2. 2.

    Idolatry (20:11)

  3. 3.

    Pride—“high looks” and boasting (20:12–14)

  4. 4.

    Failure to acknowledge God’s power (20:15)

Divide the class into two groups. Ask one group to examine the verses in the first column and look for the sins of the kingdom of Israel. Ask the other group to examine the verses in the second column and look for the sins of the Assyrians. After sufficient time, invite students to write their answers on the board. Possible answers are shown above.

Explain that after more than 200 years of wickedness, the ten tribes in the kingdom of Israel were conquered by the Assyrians, who took many of the people captive into Assyria. Those ten tribes became known as the lost ten tribes.

The Assyrians also suffered consequences of their wickedness. Although they were a mighty people, they were never able to build a stable government, and they were eventually conquered by the Medes and Babylonians.

Refer back to the chart on the board. Ask the following questions to help students understand the latter-day meaning of Isaiah’s prophetic warnings:

  • In what ways are these offenses evident today?

  • How can we withstand these evil tendencies?

Help students understand what the consequences of these offenses will be in the last days by assigning six students to read the following verses: 2 Nephi 20:16, 17, 23, 26, 33, 34. Invite students to follow along in their scriptures and make note of words that describe the prophesied judgments.

  • What types of destruction has the Lord decreed for the wicked in the last days? (Famine, burning, scourges, destruction, terror, being hewn or cut down, the fall of kingdoms.)

Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 20:20–22. Then direct students’ attention to the phrase “stay upon” in verse 20.

Explain that in this passage, the word stay means to fix on something as a foundation or to place reliance or confidence in something or someone. Have the same student read verses 20–22 again, substituting one of these definitions for the phrase “stay upon.”

  • How does this clarification help you understand these verses?

  • What did Isaiah teach about avoiding evil and escaping the coming judgments?

  • What has the Lord provided in our day to help us “stay upon” Him?

2 Nephi 21. The Stem, Rod, and Root of Jesse

For helpful commentary on this chapter, see Doctrine and Covenants 113 and pages 88–89 in the student manual.

2 Nephi 22. The Millennium Will Be a Thousand-Year Period of Peace and Joy

Ask students to read (or reread) the chapter heading for 2 Nephi 22, which explains that the chapter is about the Millennium. The chapter includes two expressions of gratitude. Have students read 2 Nephi 22 silently.

  • According to verses 4–6, what will the righteous say at the time of the Millennium?

Point out that even after the cataclysmic events that will precede the Second Coming (see D&C 45:33, 39–42; 88:87–91; 133:49), people will praise the Lord for His goodness and loving-kindness (see 2 Nephi 22:1–2; D&C 133:40–52).

  • According to verses 1–2, what does the Lord do that will lead people to praise Him during the Millennium?

Bear your testimony of the reality of the approaching Millennium and how we can look forward to that time with joy.

2 Nephi 24. Satan’s Opposition to God Will Ultimately Fail

Put the following chart on the board, but do not yet write the statements in the second column:

2 Nephi 24

The Lord will:

verse 1

Have mercy on His people.

verse 2

Bring His people to their lands of promise.

verse 3

Give His people rest from sorrow, fear, and bondage.

verse 5

Put an end to the power of the wicked.

Have students read 2 Nephi 24:1–8 silently, looking for things the Lord will do for His people in the last days. After sufficient time, discuss the verses, asking students to share what they have found. Write students’ observations on the board. Possible answers are shown above.

Invite students to read 2 Nephi 24:12–20, looking for Lucifer’s final destiny.

  • According to Isaiah’s prophecy, what will happen to Satan?

  • What attitudes led to Satan being cast out of the premortal world?

Share your gratitude for the knowledge that the Lord will triumph and that Satan’s efforts will fail. You might also invite students to share their testimonies.