2 Peter 1-3: Partake of the Divine Nature

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 159–160


Progressing toward godhood can be compared to climbing a ladder (for example, see Genesis 28:12–17). With the Lord’s help, we must change and grow to be “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Some people, however, choose to follow a different course in life, one that will not lead to the celestial kingdom. Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, described such people as having “climbed their ladder of learning, only to find it leaning against the wrong wall” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1984, 37; or Ensign, Nov. 1984, 30). As you read 2 Peter, look for the steps the Lord asked us to follow and how we can protect ourselves from false teachers who would lead us down a wrong path.

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Peter 1

Divine (vv. 3–4)Godly 
Pertain unto (v. 3)Have to do with 
Unfruitful (v. 8)Empty 
Purged (v. 9)Cleansed 
In this tabernacle (v. 13)Alive, in this body 
Cunningly devised fables (v. 16)Clever and false stories designed to deceive people 

2 Peter 1:10—“Make Your Calling and Election Sure”

Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught that “to have one’s calling and election made sure is to be sealed up unto eternal life; it is to have the unconditional guarantee of exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world; it is to receive the assurance of godhood” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:330). It is also referred to as “the more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19).

2 Peter 2

Privily (v. 1)Secretly 
Damnable heresies (v. 1)False teachings that cannot bring salvation but only destruction 
Pernicious (v. 2)Destructive, harmful 
Feigned (v. 3)Untrue, false 
The angels that sinned (v. 4)Followers of Satan in premortal life (see D&C 29:36–38) 
Presumptuous (v. 10)Bold and prideful 
Beguiling unstable souls (v. 14)Deceiving those who are weak 
Much wantonness (v. 18)Unbridled lust 
Wallowing in the mire (v. 22)Rolling in the mud 

2 Peter 2:21—It Is Better “Not to Have Known the Way of Righteousness” Than to Turn from It

Those who sin after learning the truth have a greater accountability than those who sin ignorantly (see also Doctrine and Covenants 82:3).

2 Peter 3

Scoffers (v. 3)Those who make fun of something 
Hasting unto (v. 12)To earnestly desire something 
Wrest (v. 16)Twist or change the meaning 

2 Peter 3:3–9—Peter Spoke of Those Who Do Not Believe in the Second Coming

Peter said that it is as easy to believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as it is in the Creation. It is just as likely for the world to be destroyed by fire as it was by flood. Although it seems to us like it takes a long time for God’s purposes to be fulfilled, it is only a short time to Him.

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study 2 Peter 1–3.

Activity A iconMake a List of Christlike Qualities

President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The virtues outlined by Peter [in 2 Peter 1:5–7] are part of the divine nature, or the Savior’s character. These are the virtues we are to emulate [follow] if we would be more like Him” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 59; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 45).

  1. 1.

    Read 2 Peter 1:5–7 and list the qualities Peter mentioned.

  2. 2.

    Do you think attaining these qualities is more like climbing a ladder (done one step at a time) or like putting a puzzle together (each quality attained in random order)? Why?

  3. 3.

    Read 2 Peter 1:8–12 and list several blessings that come to those who receive these attributes.

Activity B iconSpared or Delivered?

There are two main teachings in 2 Peter 2:1–9. One is that false teachers will not be spared, meaning they will not be protected. The other is that the righteous Saints will be protected and delivered. Read those verses and list at least three people or groups from the scriptures who were not spared and three who were protected and delivered from wickedness.

Activity C iconGive Advice to a Friend

Suppose you have a friend who is beginning to doubt his or her testimony of Jesus Christ, particularly the reality of His Second Coming. In 2 Peter 3:1–17 we read about how a belief in the Second Coming can help keep us from being led away from the truth. Using what you learn from these verses, write a letter to your friend about the most important thing you learned concerning the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.