Chapter 9: 2 Nephi 9–10

Book of Mormon Teacher Manual, (2009), 34–36


Introduction

As Nephi compiled his record, he included two of his brother Jacob’s sermons. In the first sermon, which spans 2 Nephi 6–9, Jacob testified of the power of the Savior’s Atonement to ransom us from the spiritual and physical effects of the Fall. In the second sermon, found in 2 Nephi 10, Jacob again shared a message of redemption. After prophesying of the scattering of the Jews, he offered a message of hope for all people through the Savior’s grace. He encouraged us to “remember [Jesus Christ], and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off” (2 Nephi 10:20).

Some Doctrines and Principles

  • The Atonement ransomed all people from the Fall and prepared the way for the righteous to inherit the kingdom of God (see 2 Nephi 9:5–21, 41, 46).

  • Our attitudes and actions determine whether we receive the full blessings of the Atonement (see 2 Nephi 9:21–54).

  • When members of the house of Israel believe in Jesus Christ, they are gathered in as His covenant people (see 2 Nephi 10).

Suggestions for Teaching

2 Nephi 9:5–21, 41, 46. The Atonement Ransomed All People from the Fall and Prepared the Way for the Righteous to Inherit the Kingdom of God

Before class, prepare the board display in this section.

Explain that 2 Nephi 9 is one of the most descriptive chapters on the Atonement in all the scriptures. By studying this chapter, students can gain a deeper knowledge of the doctrine of the Atonement.

Divide the class into four groups. Assign each group one of the four scripture blocks on the board. They may read the verses silently or aloud to one another. Then they should discuss answers to their assigned questions. Have each group appoint a spokesperson to present their answers to the class. Invite the students to mark passages in their scriptures that are important to them as they listen to the answers from each group. (This activity may take several minutes to complete.)

Group 1

2 Nephi 9:7–13, 19; see also Alma 42:9; Helaman 14:15–18

  • If there were no Atonement, what would happen to our bodies? What would happen to our spirits?

  • What is physical death? What is spiritual death?

  • How does the Atonement help us overcome physical death and spiritual death?

  • Why do you think Jacob called physical and spiritual death an “awful monster”?

Group 2

2 Nephi 9:12–16, 41, 46

  • As you read and ponder these verses, what do you learn about the Judgment?

  • Who will make the final judgment on us? (See also John 5:22.)

  • How will the wicked respond when they are judged?

Group 3

2 Nephi 9:5–7

  • How are death and resurrection essential elements of God’s plan?

  • What is the “first judgment” mentioned in 2 Nephi 9:7? How does the Atonement overcome its effects?

Group 4

2 Nephi 9:16–21

  • What does it mean to you to endure the crosses of the world?

  • What are some of the blessings promised to the righteous through the Atonement?

  • Jacob taught that Jesus Christ suffered the pains of all people. How does this truth affect your feelings about the Savior? How has this truth influenced your life?

At the conclusion of this exercise, you may want to invite students to share their feelings about what Jacob taught. You may summarize students’ feelings as you share your testimony of these teachings.

To help students focus on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you might consider inviting them to share their favorite lines from their favorite sacrament hymns.

2 Nephi 9:21–54. Our Attitudes and Actions Determine Whether We Receive the Full Blessings of the Atonement

Jacob’s teachings in 2 Nephi 9 help us understand how our attitudes and actions affect our ability to receive all the blessings of the Atonement. Some attitudes and actions help us come unto Christ, while others prevent us from coming unto Him.

To help students discover these attitudes and actions, give each of them a piece of paper. Ask them to fold their papers in half. On one half of the paper, have them write Distancing Ourselves from Christ. On the other half, have them write Coming unto Christ. Invite them to read 2 Nephi 9:21–54 and list the attitudes and actions from those verses that fall into these two categories. You may want to ask students to work in pairs. You may also want to encourage them to mark their findings in their scriptures in addition to writing them on their papers.

After several minutes, invite students to share their findings. To help them ponder and apply their discoveries, ask some or all of the following questions. You may also prepare your own questions about these same verses or about other verses in the reading assignment.

  • How do the principles and ordinances in verses 23–24 relate to our ability to receive the blessings of the Atonement?

  • In verse 27, what do you think it means to waste the days of our probation? (You might want to point out that our mortal life is sometimes called “the days of our probation”—in other words, a time to be tested.) Why is the Lord displeased with us if we waste our days?

  • How can we apply the counsel in verses 28–29 as we seek to learn and gain an education? How can we apply the counsel in verse 30 as we seek to support ourselves and our families? In connection with these verses, see verses 42–43. Why do we need to see ourselves as “fools before God”?

  • What do you think it means to be deaf or blind, as expressed in verses 31–32? What can we do to open our spiritual ears and eyes?

  • Jacob spoke against those who worship idols (see verse 37). What are some modern examples of idol worship? Why do you think the devil “delighteth” in idol worship?

  • What do you think it means to be “carnally-minded”? (2 Nephi 9:39). How does this attitude prevent us from coming unto Christ? What do you think it means to be “spiritually-minded”? How does this attitude help us come unto Him? (You may want to give students time to memorize the second sentence of 2 Nephi 9:39. Then invite one or more students to recite the sentence.)

  • In verses 50–51, Jacob speaks of quenching our thirst and satisfying our hunger. How do these words relate to our efforts to come unto Christ?

  • In what ways can these verses influence us in making important decisions?

Invite each student to examine his or her lists and determine something he or she will do to more fully partake of the blessings of the Atonement.

2 Nephi 10. When Members of the House of Israel Believe in Jesus Christ, They Are Gathered In as His Covenant People

Having taught about personal, individual redemption (see 2 Nephi 9), Jacob concluded his sermon. He told the people that he would “declare unto [them] the remainder of [his] words” the next day (2 Nephi 9:54). When he taught the people again, he returned to the subject he had taught at the beginning of his first sermon: the redemption of the house of Israel. He spoke of the future of the Jews in Jerusalem, of his people, and of the Gentiles who would live in the Americas. This chapter also helps introduce the writings of Isaiah contained in 2 Nephi 12–24.

Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 10:3–6. These verses contain Jacob’s prophecy concerning those in the land of Jerusalem.

  • According to these verses, what would lead to the scattering of Israel after the Savior’s ministry?

Invite another student to read 2 Nephi 10:7–8.

  • What must happen among the members of the house of Israel before they will be able to return to the lands of their inheritance?

  • What role do full-time missionaries play in gathering Israel?

  • What can we do to help gather Israel?

As students discuss these questions, you may want to have them read the statements by Elder Bruce R. McConkie on pages 70–71 in the student manual and the statement by Elder Russell M. Nelson on page 71 in the student manual. The statement by Elder Nelson is also available on the companion DVD A.

Jacob continued to describe many events that would surround the latter-day gathering of Israel. Write the following references on the board. Ask students to copy the list on a sheet of paper.

Ask students to read each reference individually and summarize Jacob’s teachings in their own words. (Some students may ask about Jacob’s prophecy in verses 10–12 that there will be no kings. They may think that the prophecy is inconsistent with later records in the Book of Mormon, which include kings such as Mosiah, his son Benjamin, and Benjamin’s son Mosiah. Point out that the Nephite kings were Israelites, not Gentiles. Jacob’s prophecy referred to the Gentiles of the last days, not to the kings of their days.)

After a few minutes, ask students to share what they have found in each reference. Students may have discovered more than one idea relating to each passage.

Have a student read 2 Nephi 10:22–25.

  • What truths in these verses can help us “cheer up [our] hearts”? (verse 23). Why are these truths meaningful to you?

  • When Jacob commanded the people to “reconcile [them]selves to the will of God” (verse 24), he was encouraging them to make their will consistent with God’s will. What are some things we might need to do today to reconcile ourselves to the will of God?

  • Why is it important to remember that even after we have worked diligently to reconcile ourselves to the will of God, we are saved only through His grace?

Testify of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of the other principles students have discussed in this lesson. Share your feelings about how these truths have blessed your life.