2 Nephi 25–30

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 68–75


Introduction

In chapters 25–30, Nephi provides keys for understanding ancient scripture and prophecies. He reminds us that salvation can only come through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and warns about pitfalls that lead away from Christ. Having seen our day, Nephi knew that his writings would provide direction and hope to a world mired in the wiles of the devil. Nephi prophesied that the Book of Mormon would come forth in the last days bearing this message, and that “there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written” (2 Nephi 30:3).

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

  • We understand the words of Isaiah better when we study them with the Spirit and with the help of modern scripture and prophets. It also helps to learn about the history and culture of the Jews (see 2 Nephi 25:1–8).

  • The Book of Mormon testifies that salvation comes only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (see 2 Nephi 25:19–30; see also Mosiah 3:18–19).

  • Whatever the Lord says through His prophets will be fulfilled (see 2 Nephi 26:1–23; 27:1–20; see also D&C 1:37–38).

  • We serve in the Church to build the kingdom of God (see 2 Nephi 26:29–31; see also D&C 121:34–36).

  • In the last days many people will be deceived by false doctrines. Some of these false doctrines are: God no longer works with man, miracles have ended, sin is acceptable because in the end God will save everyone, “all is well in Zion,” and there is no hell or devil (see 2 Nephi 28; see also Moroni 7:35–37).

  • In the last days many will be “puffed up in their hearts” and will mistakenly believe that they can hide their wickedness from the Lord (see 2 Nephi 28:7–9; see also D&C 1:3).

  • The Lord has given us the Bible and the Book of Mormon as two separate testimonies that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. This fulfills the Lord’s own law of witnesses (see 2 Nephi 29:1–9; see also Matthew 18:16; D&C 6:28).

  • The Book of Mormon will be the means of bringing many to a knowledge that Jesus is the Christ (see 2 Nephi 30:3–8; see also D&C 20:8–12).

Additional Resources

  • Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 36–41.

Suggestions for Teaching

video iconBook of Mormon Video presentation 5, “Spiritual Crocodiles” (8:22), can be used in teaching 2 Nephi 28 (see Book of Mormon Video Guide for teaching suggestions).

2 Nephi 25:1–8. We understand the words of Isaiah better when we study them with the Spirit and with the help of modern scripture and prophets. It also helps to learn about the history and culture of the Jews. (35–40 minutes)

Hold up a combination padlock and ask for volunteers to open it (do not provide the combination). Ask: Why is it so difficult to open the lock? Give the volunteers the combination and invite them to try again. If they still have difficulty, give additional instructions. When they succeed, ask the class:

  • Why is it important to know the right combination in order to open the lock?

  • Why won’t any other combination of numbers work?

  • Why is it important to understand how to use the numbers in order to open the lock?

Display a picture of Isaiah (for example, Gospel Art Picture Kit, no. 113). Ask students what they have heard about the writings of Isaiah. Ask:

  • How is this lock like the writings of Isaiah?

  • How could you compare opening the lock to understanding Isaiah?

Explain that Nephi and other prophets have provided the “combination” for unlocking the writings of Isaiah. Have students read 2 Nephi 25:1–8 looking for Nephi’s insights on how to understand Isaiah.

To further examine this passage, write on the board Combination Number 1: Understand the ways of ancient Israel and the judgments of God. Ask:

  • According to 2 Nephi 25:1, why were many of the teachings of Isaiah hard for Nephi’s people to understand? (see also Jacob 4:14).

  • According to verse 2, why didn’t Nephi teach his people many things concerning the manner, or customs and traditions, of the Jews? (Have students read the reference given in footnote 2a.)

  • What do you think are the “judgments of God” referred to in verse 3?

Read the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, then a member of the Seventy:

“In all ages the Lord pours out his judgments upon the children of disobedience. Famines, captivity, plagues, floods, lightnings, hailstorms, pestilences, tempests, earthquakes, wars, fire and brimstone raining from heaven—all these and infinitely more are sent of God upon men who forsake him and his laws. (Lev. 26; Deut. 28; 29; 30; 3 Ne. 8; 9; 10; D. & C. 43:25; 63:32–33; 88:88–91.) Obviously these judgments come upon peoples and nations to punish them for their rebellion and to humble them that peradventure they will turn to righteousness. And obviously also a righteous minority group may be called upon to suffer with those who are receiving a just reward for their unholy deeds. (Teachings [of the Prophet Joseph Smith], pp. 162–163; Dan. 11:35.)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 404–5).

Ask: How do the words of Isaiah, as well as the other prophets, help people understand the “judgments of God”?

Write on the board Combination Number 2: Have the “spirit of prophecy.” Remind students that Nephi said his soul delighted in “plainness” (2 Nephi 25:4). Ask:

  • According to verse 4, what can make the words of Isaiah plain?

  • What is the “spirit of prophecy”? (The inspiration and witness of the Holy Ghost.)

The “spirit of prophecy” is further clarified in Revelation 19:10. Read this verse looking for the meaning of the phrase. Ask: Why is a testimony of Jesus Christ essential to understanding Isaiah?

Write on the board Combination Number 3: Study the culture, history, and geography of ancient Israel. In verse 5, Nephi points out that he came from Jerusalem and had observed “the things of the Jews.” In Hebrew, one word for “thing” is dabar, which can also mean “word,” “saying,” or “act.” Nephi says that the Jews understood “the things of the prophets,” and that no one understands those prophecies like them unless they have been “taught after the manner of the things of the Jews.”

Ask: How might we better understand the “manner of the things of the Jews”? One of the best ways is to study their writings, particularly the Bible and the Book of Mormon. To understand Isaiah, it helps to be familiar with all the scriptures. Studying the history, culture, and language of the Jews is also helpful. Consider sharing the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“Scriptural insight … is aided by a knowledge of the history, political and social conditions, educational status, and temperament of the peoples to whom the various scriptures were originally revealed. For instance, it was more difficult for the Nephites to gather the full import of Isaiah’s prophecies than it was for the Jews in Jerusalem, because the Nephites were not taught ‘after the manner of the Jews.’ True, Isaiah’s words ‘are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy’; but just as scientific and medical writings can be better understood by those trained in science and medicine, so those schooled in interpreting prophecies are in a better position to determine their full meanings” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1966–73], 1:58).

  • What does the phrase “the regions round about” in verse 6 mean? (The geography of Israel and surrounding lands.)

  • How might being familiar with “the regions round about” help us understand Isaiah?

Write on the board Combination Number 4: Know the prophecies concerning the last days and the signs of the times. Ask:

  • According to verses 7–8, when will men understand Isaiah’s words? Why?

  • How does studying the teachings of the prophets, including the “signs of the times,” help us better understand the words of Isaiah?

Testify of the value of understanding the words of Isaiah, and point out that we are commanded to study them diligently (see 3 Nephi 23:1–3).

2 Nephi 25:19–30. The Book of Mormon testifies that salvation comes only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. (25–30 minutes)

Hold up a picture of Jesus Christ. Ask students how many times they can find the title Christ in 2 Nephi 25. (The word is found eighteen times in this chapter, including the chapter heading.) Ask:

  • What does the title Christ mean? (see Bible Dictionary, “Christ,” p. 633; “Anointed One,” p. 609).

  • Why do you think this title is used so often in this chapter?

Have students read 2 Nephi 25:19–21, and ask:

  • What is Nephi’s main message concerning Jesus Christ?

  • What promise did Nephi receive concerning his message?

  • Why was it so important to Nephi that his descendants receive this message?

Invite students to consider whether they feel the same way Nephi did about sharing the gospel with their family and friends. Have them read verse 22, and ask: What does the Book of Mormon have to do with our eternal judgment?

Read verse 23 and ask: What does grace mean? (see Bible Dictionary, “grace,” p. 697). Read the following statement by President Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“Grace consists of God’s gift to His children wherein He gave His Only Begotten Son in order that whosoever would believe in Him and comply with His laws and ordinances would have everlasting life.

“By grace, the Savior accomplished His atoning sacrifice so that all mankind will attain immortality.

“By His grace and by our faith in His atonement and our repentance of our sins, we receive the strength to do the necessary works that we otherwise could not do by our own power.

“By His grace, we receive an endowment of blessing and spiritual strength that may eventually lead us to eternal life if we endure to the end.

“By His grace, we become more like His divine personality.

“Yes, it is ‘by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.’ What is meant by the phrase ‘after all we can do’?

“‘After all we can do’ includes extending our best effort.

“‘After all we can do’ includes living His commandments.

“‘After all we can do’ includes loving our fellowmen and praying for those who regard us as their adversary.

“‘After all we can do’ means clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, and giving ‘succor [to] those that stand in need of [our] succor’ (Mosiah 4:16), remembering that what we do unto one of the least of God’s children, we do unto Him (Matthew 25:40).

“‘After all we can do’ means leading chaste, clean, pure lives, being scrupulously honest in all our dealings, and treating others the way we would want to be treated” (Come unto Christ [1983], 7–8).

Have students read 2 Nephi 25:24–30. Ask: How did the Nephites differ from the Jews of Jesus’s day in the way they lived the law of Moses? Note that we do not have much detail on the daily practice of the law of Moses among the Nephites. But it is clear that they obeyed the law knowing that they were saved by faith in and obedience to Jesus Christ.

Sing “I Stand All Amazed” (Hymns, no. 193).

weekly icon2 Nephi 26:1–23; 27:1–20. Whatever the Lord says through His prophets will be fulfilled. (45–50 minutes)

Write on the board the following three statements by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102):

1. “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments of God and to be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”

2. “We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God.”

3. “Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.”

Ask:

Explain that the passages of scripture they will be studying today contain many prophecies that have been fulfilled. Ask: How can knowing that all these prophecies have been fulfilled exactly as prophesied help a person have more confidence in the Lord’s word?

Give students a copy of the accompanying chart as a handout, or duplicate it on the board. Use the version included in the appendix (p. 296), which leaves the “Fulfilled” column blank. Divide students into four groups, and assign each group one of the chart’s four categories. Have the groups read the prophecies and scriptures for their category and find additional scriptures that show each prophecy has been fulfilled. Tell them that after ten minutes you will give them a hint to help them in their search. After ten minutes, give them the references from the “Fulfilled” column, but not in the correct order. Have them work five to ten minutes longer, and invite them to choose a spokesperson for their group.

1. Prophecies Concerning the Coming of Jesus Christ to the Americas

Prophecy

Declared

Fulfilled

Christ would show Himself to the Nephites.

2 Nephi 26:1

3 Nephi 11:8–10

There would be great wars between the Nephites and Lamanites.

2 Nephi 26:2

Mormon 1:8

The Nephites would be shown signs of Christ’s birth, death, and Resurrection.

2 Nephi 26:3

3 Nephi 1:15–21; 8:3, 19–20, 23

At the time of Christ’s death, there would be terrible destructions and the wicked would perish.

2 Nephi 26:4–6

3 Nephi 8:5–25

The righteous who looked forward to Christ would not perish in the destruction at the time of His death.

2 Nephi 26:8

3 Nephi 10:12–13

2. Prophecies Concerning the Book of Mormon Peoples after Christ’s Coming

Prophecy

Declared

Fulfilled

There would be a great period of peace in America after Christ’s coming.

2 Nephi 26:9

4 Nephi

The Nephites would be destroyed shortly after the fourth generation following Christ’s visit to America.

2 Nephi 26:10, 18

Mormon 8:7

The descendants of the Book of Mormon peoples would dwindle in unbelief after the destruction of the Nephite nation.

2 Nephi 26:15

Mormon 8:8–10

3. Prophecies Concerning the Last Days

Prophecy

Declared

Fulfilled

The Gentiles would suffer from pride and would stumble spiritually. There would be many churches built up, causing envyings, strife, and malice.

2 Nephi 26:20–21

JS—H 1:5–6

There would be secret combinations.

2 Nephi 26:22

D&C 42:64

4. Prophecies Concerning the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon

Prophecy

Declared

Fulfilled

The Book of Mormon would be delivered to an unlearned man (the Prophet Joseph Smith).

2 Nephi 27:9

JS—H 1:59

Three witnesses, and a few others, would see the plates containing the record of the Nephites.

2 Nephi 27:12–14

D&C 5:11; 17

God would command that some of the unsealed portion of the Book of Mormon be delivered to the learned.

2 Nephi 27:15

JS—H 1:63–64

The learned man would ask for the plates to translate them.

2 Nephi 27:15

JS—H 1:65

The learned man would say he could not read the book because it was sealed.

2 Nephi 27:17

JS—H 1:65

Invite the spokesperson for each group to summarize their findings, and discuss them as a class. Ask how the fulfillment of these prophecies has an impact on our lives today.

Have students scan 2 Nephi 27:21–35 to find prophecies about our day that have not yet been completely fulfilled. List these prophecies on the board as the students identify them.

Read the following statement by President Ezra Taft Benson:

“All the words of the Lord will be fulfilled, whether He gives the words Himself or through inspiration and revelation to His servants to declare those words, and the Holy Spirit bears testimony to all who seek to know the truth of the revelations and commandments” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 333–34).

2 Nephi 26:29–31. We serve in the Church to build the kingdom of God. (10–15 minutes)

Write the word craft on the board and ask students to define it. Give the following definitions of the word: (1) “skill in planning, making, or executing”; (2) “an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill”; (3) “skill in deceiving to gain an end”; (4) “the members of a trade or trade association” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 10th ed. [1993], “craft,” 270). Ask students if they consider the word a negative term.

Write the heading Priestcraft on the board and ask: How would you define priestcraft in light of what you know about the word craft? Explain that in an American dictionary printed at the time the Book of Mormon was being translated, priestcraft is defined as “the stratagems and frauds of priests; fraud or imposition in religious concerns; management of selfish and ambitious priests to gain wealth and power, or to impose on the credulity of others” (Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language [1828], “priestcraft”).

Write the heading Priesthood on the board to the right of Priestcraft. Ask: How is this definition of priestcraft different from the definition of priesthood? Discuss their answers briefly, and then read the following statement by Elder Stephen L Richards, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“The Priesthood is usually defined as being ‘the power of God delegated to man to administer the ordinances of the gospel.’ This is a true definition, but I like to add to it an interpretation in terms of service. The power is not static. The extent of it varies with a man’s worthiness and capacity to hold and use it” (The Church in War and Peace [1943], 42).

Have students read 2 Nephi 26:29–31, keeping in mind the meanings of the terms priestcraft and priesthood. Ask: How does this scriptural definition of priestcraft differ from the 1828 dictionary definition?

Invite students to identify the problems with priestcraft as listed in these verses. Write their responses on the board under the heading Priestcraft. Have students name contrasting points of the true priesthood, and write these under the heading Priesthood. See the accompanying chart for suggested answers.

Priestcraft

Priesthood

Those engaging in priestcraft set themselves up for a light unto the world.

Those who hold the true priesthood hold up Jesus Christ as their light.

They seek their own gain.

They build the kingdom of God.

They seek the praise of the world.

They serve humbly, often without recognition.

They seek not the welfare of Zion.

They seek the welfare of Zion.

They would let the laborer in Zion perish.

They have charity.

They labor for money.

They labor for Zion.

Explain that understanding the differences between priesthood and priestcraft helps us tell who is from God and who is not. Even those who hold the true priesthood of God must guard against the misuse of their authority. Read Doctrine and Covenants 121:36–37 and ask: How can we be sure to exercise our priesthood righteously?

2 Nephi 28. In the last days many people will be deceived by false doctrines. Some of these false doctrines are: God no longer works with man, miracles have ended, sin is acceptable because in the end God will save everyone, “all is well in Zion,” and there is no hell or devil. (30–35 minutes)

Write on the board Thoughts precede deeds. Ask: If you want to change your behavior, what must you change first?

Share with students some headlines from recent newspapers describing crimes against persons (such as “Two Charged in Drug Bust,” “High School Teacher Sues Student for Attack,” “Man Charged with Domestic Violence,” “Party Turns into Riot, Alcohol Involved”). Ask: What kind of thinking would lead a person to do these kinds of things?

Write on the board: “The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior” (Boyd K. Packer, in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 20; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 17). Ask: In light of this statement, what is one reason the Lord wants you to study the Book of Mormon every day?

Read 2 Nephi 28:1–14 and ask some or all of the following questions:

  • As used in verse 1, what does the word constrained mean? (“Compelled” or “brought to do something out of necessity.”)

  • What is the book mentioned in verse 2? (The Book of Mormon, which Nephi had described in chapters 26–27.)

  • Read Joseph Smith—History 1:5. How does this verse fulfill what Nephi describes in 2 Nephi 28:3–4?

  • According to 2 Nephi 28:4–6, what would the churches in the last days teach?

  • How would these churches feel about Jesus Christ, miracles, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost?

  • Why do you think the churches and doctrines Nephi warned against would be popular with the world? (see vv. 7–9).

  • What kind of acts do these teachings lead people to do? (see vv. 10–14).

  • Review verses 1–2. What is it about the Book of Mormon that will help counteract these conditions in the latter days?

Have students spend a few minutes searching for specific scriptures in the Book of Mormon that counteract the false teachings identified in 2 Nephi 28:3–14 (see the accompanying chart for examples). Discuss their findings.

False Teachings in the Last Days

Scriptures That Counteract the False Teachings

2 Nephi 28:4–6

Moroni 7:37

2 Nephi 28:8

2 Nephi 9:24–27; Alma 34:32–34

2 Nephi 28:12–14

Moroni 8:26–27

Read and bear testimony of the following statement by President Ezra Taft Benson:

“Yes, it is the precepts of men versus the revealed word of God. The more we follow the word of God the less we are deceived, while those who follow the wisdom of men are deceived the most” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 354).

Show the class a few carpenter’s tools, such as a hammer, a saw, and a tape measure. As you hold up each tool, ask what it is used for and how it is used. Explain that there are many types of carpenter’s tools because there are many types of wood and many different tasks that a carpenter needs to do.

Explain that Satan also has many different tools because people have many different weaknesses. Write the accompanying chart on the board. Include the scripture references in the left column, but leave the other two columns blank. Have students scan 2 Nephi 28:13–32 looking for ways Satan tempts people and for what happens when they give in to his temptations. Fill in the other two columns as you discuss these verses.

References

Satan’s Wiles (Tricks)

Results

2 Nephi 28:13–15

He persuades people to rob the poor out of pride and to satisfy their love of fine clothes and ornate churches.

The wicked will be thrust down to hell.

2 Nephi 28:16, 20

He persuades them to think that good things are bad or worthless.

They will perish.

2 Nephi 28:21, 24–25

He pacifies them into carnal security and tells them that all is well.

The devil will cheat their souls and lead them down to hell.

2 Nephi 28:22–23

He uses flattery and says there is no devil or hell.

They will be bound by Satan’s chains and go down to death and hell.

2 Nephi 28:27–30

He persuades them that the revelations they have received are enough and they don’t need more.

They will lose what they have.

Invite students to reread verses 20–22, and ask: Why does Satan use different approaches with different people? Have students provide examples from their own experiences of how Satan gets some to rage, how he pacifies others, and how still others he flatters.

Read 2 Nephi 28:24–32. Explain that wo means deep distress, suffering, or grief. Ask:

  • What woes did Nephi warn us of?

  • What examples of these sins and false beliefs today can you think of?

  • According to Nephi, how can the Lord help us overcome the wiles and temptations of the devil?

Read and bear testimony of the following statement by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“God never forgets us, even those who turn away from or deny Him. If they repent and come unto Him, He will be merciful to them, ‘for [His] arm is lengthened out all the day long’ (2 Nephi 28:32)” (A Wonderful Flood of Light [1990], 60).

scripture mastery icon2 Nephi 28:7–9 (Scripture Mastery). In the last days many will be “puffed up in their hearts” and will mistakenly believe that they can hide their wickedness from the Lord. (10–15 minutes)

Bring some whole-grain wheat or rice to class along with some puffed wheat or rice. (This demonstration will also work with popcorn.) Show the puffed cereal to the class and ask what it is. Show the whole-grain cereal and ask: Which of these could you store the longest? Why? (The whole-grain cereal would store best because it is still protected by its hull.) Ask some or all of the following questions:

  • How is puffed grain made? (Grain is heated in a closed container until it is hotter than the temperature at which water turns to vapor. When the pressure is released, the water in the kernel turns to steam and explodes the kernel.)

  • Do we ever get into life situations that “put the heat (or pressure) on” and then, when circumstances change, we become “puffed up”?

  • What does it mean when people get “puffed up”? (They become conceited and snobbish. A person who is “puffed up” does not feel a need to rely on the Lord.)

  • Which has more food value: a bushel of whole grain or a bushel of puffed grain? Why? (With whole grain you get more food value. The puffed grain is mostly air.)

  • Which would you rather have: five “puffed up” friends or five sincere friends?

  • Which kind of friend would you rather be?

Have students read 2 Nephi 28:7–9 looking for the types of teachings believed and taught by those who are puffed up, and list them on the board. Ask: How can one avoid being “puffed up”? Review the role of the Book of Mormon in counteracting false teachings, pride, and wickedness as discussed in the teaching suggestion for 2 Nephi 28.

Have students mark the scripture mastery verses (2 Nephi 28:7–9). Ask: Why do you think these verses are important enough to be included in the scripture mastery list? Identify key phrases that might help students remember the content, such as “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die”; “take the advantage of one because of his words”; “dig a pit for thy neighbor”; and “God will beat us with a few stripes.” Suggest that students underline these phrases if they desire.

2 Nephi 29:1–9. The Lord has given us the Bible and the Book of Mormon as two separate testimonies that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. This fulfills the Lord’s own law of witnesses. (25–30 minutes)

Invite two students to play the role of missionaries knocking on your door. Tell them to try to interest you in the Book of Mormon. During the role play tell the missionaries that you appreciate their intentions, but that you already have a Bible and do not think you need another. Let the missionaries respond without coaching. Allow the class to offer suggestions on how to respond. Ask: Is there a passage in the Book of Mormon that answers this objection? Explain that 2 Nephi 29 offers a powerful answer.

Chapter 29 begins with Nephi’s prophecy that in the last days the Lord will do a marvelous work. Have students read verses 1–2 looking for five reasons the Lord will proceed to do His “marvelous work,” and list them on the board. Your list might look like this:

  • “That I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men.”

  • “That I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people.”

  • “That I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed.”

  • “That the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed.”

  • “My words shall hiss forth … for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel.”

Discuss the meaning of each point.

Ask: What do you think the Lord meant when He said that His words would “hiss forth”? (To hiss is to make a sharp, prolonged s or psst sound, as we sometimes do to get someone’s attention.) Stress to students that the word of God in the Book of Mormon is to be hissed forth to the ends of the earth (see 2 Nephi 29:2; Moroni 10:28).

President Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve, said of 2 Nephi 29:2:

“We, the members of the Church, and particularly the missionaries, have to be the ‘hissers,’ or the tellers and testifiers, of the Book of Mormon unto the ends of the earth” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1975, 96; or Ensign, May 1975, 65).

Read 2 Nephi 29:3–14 and look for three reasons we should study the Book of Mormon in addition to the Bible, and list them on the board. Your list might look like this:

  • The Lord speaks to more nations than one (see v. 7).

  • The witness and testimony of two nations is better than one (see v. 8).

  • The Lord will judge us out of the books that are written (see v. 11).

Concerning the third reason, President Marion G. Romney said:

“For me there could be no more impelling reason for reading the Book of Mormon than this statement that we who have the Book of Mormon shall be judged by what is written in it” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1980, 87; or Ensign, May 1980, 66).

Go through the role play with students acting as missionaries once again. This time have them practice responding to your objection using the knowledge they have gained from 2 Nephi 29.

2 Nephi 30:1–8. The Book of Mormon will be the means of bringing many to a knowledge that Jesus is the Christ. (15–20 minutes)

Write on the board What, combined with the Spirit, is the greatest single tool available to every missionary? Hold up a copy of the Book of Mormon. Explain to students that it is essential that we learn how to use the Book of Mormon as a missionary tool. The Book of Mormon will be the means of converting many and by which prophecies will be fulfilled. Read the following statement by President Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“My beloved brethren and sisters, for some years now I have been deeply concerned that we are not using the Book of Mormon as God intends.

“As I participated in the Mexico City Temple dedication, I received the distinct impression that God is not pleased with our neglect of the Book of Mormon. …

“The Book of Mormon is for both member and nonmember. Combined with the Spirit of the Lord, the Book of Mormon is the greatest single tool which God has given us to convert the world. If we are to have the harvest of souls that President Kimball envisions, then we must use the instrument which God has designed for that task—the Book of Mormon” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1984, 4–7; or Ensign, Nov. 1984, 6–7).

Read 2 Nephi 30:1–8 and ask: What impact will the Book of Mormon have on the world? (For help understanding the terms Gentiles, Jews, and remnant, see the commentaries for 1 Nephi 13:1–3; 2 Nephi 30:4; and 2 Nephi 30:4–6 in Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121 and 122, pp. 12–13, 41.) Ask some or all of the following questions:

  • What is our role in this conversion process?

  • How will the Book of Mormon be made available to the world?

  • How can you be most effective in using the Book of Mormon for missionary work?

  • Why should you diligently study the Book of Mormon on a daily basis?

Read the following statement made by President Benson while President of the Church:

“There are three great reasons why Latter-day Saints should make the study of the Book of Mormon a lifetime pursuit.

“The first is that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. This was the Prophet Joseph Smith’s statement. He testified that ‘the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion’ (History of the Church, 4:461). A keystone is the central stone in an arch. It holds all the other stones in place, and if removed, the arch crumbles. …

“The second great reason why we must make the Book of Mormon a center focus of study is that it was written for our day. The Nephites never had the book; neither did the Lamanites of ancient times. It was meant for us. …

“The third reason why the Book of Mormon is of such value to Latter-day Saints is given in the same statement by the Prophet Joseph Smith cited previously. He said, ‘I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book’ (History of the Church, 4:461). That is the third reason for studying the book. It helps us draw nearer to God. Is there not something deep in our hearts that longs to draw nearer to God, to be more like Him in our daily walk, to feel His presence with us constantly? If so, then the Book of Mormon will help us do so more than any other book.

“It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 4–6; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 5–7).