Chapter 12: 2 Nephi 25–27

Book of Mormon Teacher Manual, (2009), 45–47


Introduction

After quoting some of Isaiah’s writings (see 2 Nephi 12–24), Nephi provided his own inspired commentary. Nephi’s insights about Isaiah’s prophecies can be summarized in three categories. First, he affirmed the role of Jesus Christ as the sole source of salvation. Second, he warned readers in the last days of great evils: pride, priestcraft, and secret combinations. Third, he quoted an additional prophecy from Isaiah, highlighting the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. As students discuss Nephi’s teachings, they will be able to see how the Book of Mormon testifies of the Savior’s mission and provides a remedy for the evils of the last days.

Some Doctrines and Principles

  • Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ (see 2 Nephi 25:19–30).

  • Pride, secret combinations, and priestcrafts will be stumbling blocks for many in the last days (see 2 Nephi 26:20–31).

  • In the last days the Lord will perform “a marvelous work and a wonder” (see 2 Nephi 27).

Suggestions for Teaching

2 Nephi 25:1–8. The Spirit of Prophecy Makes Gospel Truths Plain

Invite students to read 2 Nephi 25:1–8 silently, looking for ideas that can help people understand Isaiah’s prophecies. After sufficient time, ask students to share what they have found. You may want to write their answers on the board. Answers may include the following:

  1. 1.

    Understanding the manner of prophesying among the Jews in Isaiah’s time (see verse 1).

  2. 2.

    Having the spirit of prophecy (see verse 4).

  3. 3.

    Being taught after the manner of the Jews in Isaiah’s time (see verse 5).

  4. 4.

    Knowing the regions around Jerusalem in Isaiah’s time (see verse 6).

  5. 5.

    Living in a time when Isaiah’s prophecies are fulfilled (see verse 8).

Point out that all Church members may not gain a thorough understanding of items 1, 3, and 4 in the list above. However, everyone can receive the spirit of prophecy, and because we live in the latter days, we can look for the gradual fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies. Although we may not see all of them come to pass, we can know that the events Isaiah foretold are happening around us.

Invite one student to read 2 Nephi 25:4, and then invite another student to read Revelation 19:10.

If you have written the students’ list on the board, add Having a testimony of Jesus. Suggest that students write Revelation 19:10 in the margin of their scriptures, next to 2 Nephi 25:4.

  • Why do you think the prophecies of Isaiah are more understandable to those who have a testimony of Jesus Christ?

Encourage students to look for references to the Savior and His atoning sacrifice as they study the prophecies of Isaiah.

2 Nephi 25:19–30. Salvation Comes Only through Jesus Christ

Have students scan 2 Nephi 25:19–30 and note the number of times the word Christ appears. Ask if someone in the class knows the meaning of this word. If no one knows, invite students to look up the entry titled “Christ” in the Bible Dictionary and read the definition.

  • How does the title Christ reflect the mission of the Savior?

Share the following statement, in which Elder Gary J. Coleman of the Seventy testifies of the central importance of the Savior in our lives:

“The great plan of God provided a Savior for us. All accountable persons sin and must pass through the experience of death at the end of our mortality. Therefore, God sent Jesus Christ to fulfill the plan by helping us overcome sin and death. Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer. Through His atoning sacrifice for each of us, He helps us overcome sin through repentance and baptism. Through His Resurrection, He makes it possible for everyone to overcome death and the grave. We have faith to follow Jesus and become more like Him. Oh, how we love our Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ, the only ‘name … under heaven … whereby [we] can be saved.’ [2 Nephi 25:20.] I know that Jesus saves us from the effects of sin and death” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2000, 35; or Ensign, May 2000, 29).

Invite students to study 2 Nephi 25:23–30 silently, looking for Nephi’s declarations and teachings about the Savior. After sufficient time, invite students to pair up and compare their discoveries from these verses. Ask each student to choose one of Nephi’s points and share why that particular point is important.

When the pairs of students have finished their discussion, direct their attention to verse 26.

  • Nephi taught that we are saved by grace “after all we can do.” What does “all we can do” include? (See, for example, Mosiah 4:29–30; Alma 24:11; D&C 58:26–27 .)

  • How did Nephi and others help their children focus on Jesus Christ?

  • In what ways can we “talk of Christ, … rejoice in Christ, … [and] preach of Christ”?

  • In what ways can we learn of the Savior and apply the principles of the Atonement in our lives?

Invite students to tell about how their lives have been blessed as they have recognized the Savior as the source of salvation. You may choose to bear your testimony as well.

2 Nephi 26:20–31. Pride, Secret Combinations, and Priestcrafts Will Be Stumbling Blocks for Many in the Last Days

Put the following chart on the board, but do not include the words and phrases below the verse numbers:

Wickedness in the Last Days—2 Nephi 26

verses 20–21

verse 22

verses 29–30

pride, envy, strife, malice

secret combinations

priestcrafts

Divide the class into three groups. Assign one of these passages to each group. Invite each group to examine their verse or verses to find sins that Nephi said would be prevalent in the last days. When the groups have discovered the sins Nephi described, write their answers on the board as shown above.

To help students understand the meaning of the word priestcraft, suggest that they review Nephi’s definition in 2 Nephi 26:29–31. They may also read the statement by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on page 97 in the student manual (also available on the companion DVD A).

Instruct all three groups to examine their verses again to identify actions and attitudes that result from each transgression. After sufficient time, have a student from each group write on the board what their group has identified.

  • Why do you feel that these transgressions are abominable to the Lord?

  • What can we do to combat the evils presented in this prophecy? What counsel have latter-day prophets given that can help us stay faithful?

2 Nephi 27. In the Last Days the Lord Will Perform “a Marvelous Work and a Wonder”

Before class, prepare the following chart on the board or in a handout. Do not include the information listed in the third column.

Isaiah 29

2 Nephi 26–27

Additional Truths in the Book of Mormon

1–3

none

 

None

27:1

The prophecy would be fulfilled in the last days.

4–5

26:15–18

The words that would come “out of the dust” would be written by the descendants of Nephi and the descendants of his brothers.

6–10

27:2–14

The book would be delivered to one man (Joseph Smith), who would then deliver the book to another man (Martin Harris). Three witnesses would be allowed to see the book. Others would also bear witness of the book.

11–12

27:15–23

Additional details are given about taking these words to the learned (see also Joseph Smith—History 1:63–65).

13–24

27:24–35

2 Nephi 27:24–25 clarifies who is speaking.

Instruct students to read the chapter heading for 2 Nephi 27. Explain that this chapter contains one of the most significant prophecies about the latter-day Restoration—a prophecy about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Also explain that 2 Nephi 26 and 27 include many important details that are not found in the biblical record of Isaiah’s prophecy. These additional details could be either a restoration of Isaiah’s text or Nephi’s inspired commentary on what Isaiah taught. To help the students see these additional details, direct their attention to the chart. Invite them to compare the verses in Isaiah 29 with the corresponding verses in 2 Nephi 26 and 27.

As students compare the verses, encourage them to identify truths about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon that are found in 2 Nephi 26 and 27 but not in Isaiah 29. Suggest that they highlight these truths in their copies of the Book of Mormon. After sufficient time, have students discuss their findings. You may want to write their discoveries on the board. Possible responses are shown in the third column of the chart.

Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 27:25–26.

  • What did Isaiah say the Lord would do for His people in the last days?

  • In what ways is the Book of Mormon part of the “marvelous work and a wonder” that is taking place throughout the world?

To help students answer this question, invite them to read the following verses: 2 Nephi 27:29–30, 33–35; 28:2. Ask them to mark the blessings that will result from the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

  • In what ways can you see these promises and blessings being fulfilled today?

  • How can we be more involved in helping others receive these blessings?

Explain that in the students’ reading assignment in preparation for the next class, Nephi continues to prophesy concerning the Book of Mormon, including the way some people in the world will respond to the book. Share your testimony of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.