2 Nephi 28: Sins and Traps of the Latter Days

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 55–56

In 2 Nephi 27, Nephi prophesied of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the latter days to lift the darkness of the Apostasy. In 2 Nephi 28, Nephi described what Satan would try to do to keep people from seeing that light and learning about the Lord and His truths. Those who read, understand, and follow the counsel in 2 Nephi 28 will have a great advantage in overcoming the traps of Satan and the false teachings of men in the latter days.

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Nephi 28

Constrained (v. 1)Commanded, compelled
Remnant (v. 2)Remaining part
Contend (v. 4)Argue, debate
Utterance (v. 4)Revelation, inspiration
Precept (vv. 5–6, 14, 26, 30)Commandment, principle
Justify (v. 8)Consider guiltless
Sanctuaries (v. 13)Church buildings
Pervert (v. 15)Change to evil
Revile against (v. 16)Speak evil of, insult with abusive language
Pacify (v. 21)Calm
Lull (v. 21)Put at rest quietly
Carnal (v. 21)Worldly, not spiritual
Seized (v. 23)Captured
Maketh flesh his arm (v. 31)Considers man to be the greatest source of power
Arm is lengthened out (v. 32)Power to help is available

2 Nephi 28:7–8—“Eat, Drink, and Be Merry”

We would agree that there are many people in the world today who believe in the attitudes expressed in 2 Nephi 28:7–8. President Joseph Fielding Smith, however, quoted those verses and said: “Do not think that this was said of the world. … It is said of members of the Church” (Seek Ye Earnestly … [1970], 143). Some Church members believe that they can sin now and repent later. They believe that living the gospel will take away from their enjoyment of life. By experience and by revelation, however, we can see and know that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10) and that “no unclean thing can enter the kingdom of God” (1 Nephi 15:34).

Bishop Richard C. Edgley, a counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, said: “We cannot say we will sow a few wild oats in our youth or that we will just dabble a little around the fringes of sin. There are no fringes of sin. Every act, good or bad, has a consequence. Every good act improves our ability to do good and more firmly stand against sin or failure. Every transgression, regardless of how minor, makes us more susceptible to Satan’s influence the next time he tempts us. Satan takes us an inch at a time, deceiving us as to the consequences of so-called minor sins until he captures us in major transgressions. Nephi describes this technique as one of pacifying, lulling, and flattering us away until Satan ‘grasps [us] with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance’ (2 Nephi 28:22; see also v. 21)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 54; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 40).

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study 2 Nephi 28.

Activity A Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—2 Nephi 28:7–9

  1. 1.

    Write a modern phrase to express each of the false ideas in 2 Nephi 28:7–9 that Nephi said would be popular in our day (for example, the idea in verse 7 might be expressed as “Go for it while you can; you only live once”).

  2. 2.

    For each phrase find at least three scriptures that explain why that attitude is “false and vain and foolish” doctrine (v. 9).

  3. 3.

    Explain why you selected each scripture. You may want to write the references in the margin next to 2 Nephi 28:7–9 so that you can help strengthen others who may be tempted by these common but foolish philosophies.

Activity B iconIdentify Satan’s Methods

  1. 1.

    Read 2 Nephi 28:19–23 and list different ways Satan tries to “grasp” people in his “everlasting chains.”

  2. 2.

    For each item on your list, give an example of how he uses those methods on young people today.

Activity C iconThe Sad Ones

Wo is a word that refers to deep sadness and regret. List the attitudes and actions from 2 Nephi 28:15–16, 24–32 that Nephi said would bring “wo” to people.