For an explanation of how the Book of Mormon writers use the terms “gospel” and “doctrine” of Christ interchangeably, see Noel B. Reynolds, “This Is the Way,” Religious Educator 14, no. . These quotations from the Father and the Son are located in 2 Nephi 31:10, 11, 12, 14, 15, and 20. It is in 2 Nephi 31:20 that we hear the familiar phrase “endure to the end.” James taught us something similar: “Behold, we count them happy which endure” . The Only True Doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Which Is One God Without End: Naturally, these propositions present a problem. . (i) and the only and true doctrine of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Ghost. Baptism is not a washing away of sins, but constitutes a person’s witness to the Father that he has repented of those sins and will keep his commandments. 2 Nephi 10.  Understanding how Nephi has used merismus in 2 Nephi 31 can help modern readers to identify and appreciate these scattered references to the gospel of Jesus Christ much more effectively. Rather than proceeding directly to a presentation of the basic gospel elements, Nephi begins with a question—why did the sinless Lamb of God need to be baptized in order “to fulfill all righteousness”? These he promised to keep. In retrospect we can see that this passage constitutes a brilliant assemblage of twenty-three gospel merisms that use both repetition and the introduction of new relationships between gospel elements to develop a clear, though complex understanding of the gospel message. For the first demonstration of these six elements as definitional in these three presentations, see Noel B. Reynolds, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ as Taught by the Nephite Prophets,” BYU Studies 31, no. . The first great promise (and prophecy) from the Father was that for all who would enter in by the way (repentance and baptism), they would receive “a remission of [their] sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost” (vv. He Cannot Be Saved: The doctrine of endurance to the end is taught twenty-two times in the Book of Mormon in teachings by Christ, an angel, and seven prophets. 2 (Spring 1980): 1–18, for a detailed analysis of rhetorical structures in First Nephi. (McConkie and Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. For Latter-day Saints, it is acceptable to say both that there is one God, and that there is a plurality of Gods, depending on the context. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. KnoWhys KnoWhys on 2 Nephi 26 KnoWhys on 2 Nephi 27 KnoWhys on 2 Nephi 28 KnoWhys on 2 Nephi 29 KnoWhys on 2 Nephi 30 Recommended Resources Learn about the Book of Mormon with verse by verse commentaries from renowned Book of Mormon scholars like John W. Welch and Brant A. Gardner in the ScripturePlus app. Nephi then spells out a multiplicity of functions performed by the Holy Ghost in the lives of Christ’s followers—all of which are essential in bringing them to eternal life. These six elements are mentioned a total of sixty-four times in these twenty-three statements with the following frequencies: faith (8), repentance (14), baptism (19), Holy Ghost (9), enduring (8), and eternal life (6)—all within 2 Nephi 31. This chapter contains many intertextual references, which Nephi used to signal this chapter’s preeminent importance. 2 Nephi 31-33. to receive the spirit of God, or to be permitted to stand in the presence of God, man must undergo baptism" (Vol 2, page 499). 2 Nephi 31:6 The Lamb of God Did Fulfil All Righteousness in Being Baptized by Water: According to Daniel Ludlow, the New Testament mentions the baptism of Jesus Christ, but the exact reasons why the Savior submitted to baptism are not made clear in the Bible except in the Savior's statement that He was being baptized in order "to fulfil all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). . The second section presents the gospel or way provided by the Father and the Son, through which all individuals will receive the invitation and support they may need to be able to enter into eternal life—in effect, the standard by which the eternal welfare of every individual, whether gentile or Israelite, may be predicted. 14–15). ^ 2 Nephi 28:32 The phrases “saith the Lord God of hosts!” is the same in Jeremiah 50:31, and “I shall lengthen” is the same in 1 Kings 3:14, and “I will be merciful” is the same in Hebrews 8:12. . 2 Nephi 31: 17. Copyright © 2020 Alan C. Miner. But how should we follow the path? the [baptism] is only valid when performed by immersion in a natural fountain or stream or in a properly constructed [vessel]. This scripture is not a blanket statement that implies we should not work. 2 Nephi 5. 3, p. 1594] 2 Nephi 17:3 The conduit of the upper pool (Illustration): The Gihon Spring at the entrance of Hezekiah's Tunnel, Jerusalem. This week we cover: Nephi’s last words The Doctrine of Christ Connection My Jesus. And we are forcibly reminded that for Nephi the gospel of Jesus Christ or doctrine of Christ is also termed the way or the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life—and that teaching is the central and final message of all his writings. Unfortunately, there is no single passage in the New Testament that demonstrates this insight so clearly as does 2 Nephi 31 for the Book of Mormon. 179. . . 2 Nephi 31:18 The phrases “strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life” is similar, to Matthew 7:14 and, “have received the Holy Ghost” is also in Acts 10:47. In the early summer of 1828, Joseph succumbed to the demands of Martin Harris and allowed him to take the first 116 pages of the translation manuscript home to show his family and friends. This rhetorical technique of using selected items from a known list to invoke the whole complex or list in the mind of a reader is the literary device called merismus and is commonly used in the Bible. The doctrine of endurance to the end is taught twenty-two times in the Book of Mormon in teachings by Christ, an angel, and seven prophets. Nephi’s exposition of the doctrine of Christ can be divided into two parts, both of which provide insight into the vision of the tree of life. I have identified hundreds of these meristic statements of the gospel throughout the Book of Mormon in Noel B. Reynolds, “Biblical Merismus in Book of Mormon Gospel References,” Society of Biblical Literature (forthcoming). if these things are not true” (Moroni 10:4), where we usually assume “these things” refers to the veracity of Joseph Smith’s account of the Book of Mormon and its origins. . 12, 14, and 17). Words of Mormon. "Repenting of your sins" (2 Nephi 31:13), 4. . . 2 Nephi 32. Recognizing that there is a six-element formula that defines the gospel of Jesus Christ helps us to see another important rhetorical feature of this passage. Furthermore, Nephi counseled his people to ". 2 Nephi 31:20 by LDS Scripture of the Day | posted in: Book of Mormon | 0 …Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things” (v.16). By quoting each of them three times, he makes it clear that this teaching enjoys the highest possible authority and veracity. . Further, see Royal Skousen’s more recent and definitive exposition of this question in his Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon: Part One (1 Nephi 1–2 Nephi 10) (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2004), 174–81, which articulates what I find to be a convincing argument for “straight” in 1 Nephi 8:20, 2 Nephi 31:18, 19, and as the more likely original text in several related passages. . Rather, that same faith must inform and sustain believers in each step of this gospel journey as they endure faithfully to the end. Words of Mormon. He then offers a verbal diagram or image to help us understand the gospel as it had been taught to him. We saw that Nephi formally introduced this passage by announcing that he had concluded his own prophesying. After grapes were harvested, they were carried in baskets to a grape press. We are in the middle of tax season (meaning my husband works all the time) and my 2 year has a stomach bug. 2 Nephi 9. and my rock and my salvation” (vv. Mosiah. I have noted previously that this foundational chapter expands our traditional summary of basic gospel principles to include “enduring to the end.” A careful reading suggests it may offer correctives to many other traditional Christian teachings and, in some cases, even to some elements of LDS gospel discourse. 2 Nephi 31:16 Unless a Man Shall Endure to the End . But this is a conditional form of prophecy, for the outcome will be determined for each person through his or her own willingness to follow Christ and to endure to the end in faithfulness to him. The long inclusio that constitutes the first section of the sermon is marked off doubly—first by Nephi’s references to his own prophecy as discussed above—and second by his introductory discussion of plainness in writing and prophesying: “my soul delighteth in plainness (2 Nephi 25:4),” which he repeats exactly in 2 Nephi 31:3. 2 Nephi 29. Alma. In a final aside to readers—also addressed as “my brethren”—Nephi goes on to urge them to seek knowledge and understanding, to “pray always and not faint” (2 Nephi 32:7–9). And the essence of baptism is also an action of the convert and not something done to him. He begins: 15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. Nephi’s Christocentric reading of Isaiah becomes explicit in his own writing. Noel B. Reynolds, "The Gospel According to Nephi: An Essay on 2 Nephi 31," Religious Educator 16, no. [W. Cleon Skousen. Several generations of righteous people will follow and will in turn provide a witness to all the world—even in future dispensations—that Jesus lives and that his gospel is true (2 Nephi 27). Baptism is the act of the convert as he witnesses to the Father that he has repented and taken the name of Christ upon him. These seem in this verse to be the ingredients for eternal life. We also learn here that the covenant Nephi sees binding men to God is the covenant they make at the time they individually repent, turning to God and accepting the covenant he has offered to all men and women from the beginning. 2 Nephi 11. 2 Nephi 26. 2 Nephi 31:15-21 -- LeGrand Baker -- a sacred conversation In these verses Nephi tells us part of a sacred conversation between himself, the Father, and the Saviour. Grant Building This rule was, of course, also preserved in the temple at Jerusalem" (Vol. When we speak under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, we, like the angels, are speaking “the words of Christ.”. And only in this fifth formulation are all six gospel elements made explicit. 3 Nephi. 2 Nephi 31:21 The Only True Doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Which Is One God Without End: Barry Bickmore writes that the Bible contains four propositions about God that every Christian denomination must reckon with in its theology. 2 Nephi 31:20. [Larry E. Dahl, "The Doctrine of Christ: 2 Nephi 31-32," in The Book of Mormon: Second Nephi, The Doctrinal Structure, p. 356]. ( Come unto Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983], 22.) Rather, the passage presents a series of twenty-three statements—grouped in a series of five presentations of the doctrine of Christ—each of which mentions and relates two or more of the basic gospel elements. And of the three accounts we have of Christ teaching his gospel to Nephites, this is the only one presented by the prophet who received that teaching in the first instance and in his own original words. This section is the same as chapter 13 from the 1830 edition. This chapter deals mainly with prophecies of the latter-day restoration or gathering of Israel both in the New World and in the Old World. 2 Nephi 6. . [Barry Robert Bickmore, Restoring the Ancient Church: Joseph Smith & Early Christianity. After [Christ] Was Baptized with Water, the Holy Ghost Descended upon Him in the Form of a Dove: The Prophetic Perfect is a common usage in the language of the prophets. In Jesus' great Intercessory Prayer (see John 17), He asked that His disciples would be made one in Him as He was one in the Father. , Nephi identifies three additional functions that the Holy Ghost serves in the lives of Christ’s followers. 2 Nephi 31. And the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel” (2 Nephi 9:41). Come Follow Me: 2 Nephi 31-33 (March 2-8) Hello, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. However, he also incorporates his own commentary that most likely developed during his forty-plus years of reflection and teaching. Continuing the metaphor of the gospel as a path, Nephi closes this foundational presentation of that gospel by calling it “the way,” and by affirming that “there is none other way . [Daniel H. Ludlow, A Companion to Your Study of the Book of Mormon, pp. . And 2 Nephi 31 is one of the key texts in the Book of Mormon’s presentation of Christ’s gospel. 1. 2 Nephi 6:12 (focus on the Gentiles, again) Economical Hierarchy. Joseph Smith concluded that "the teachers of religion of the different sects understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible" (Joseph Smith-History 1:12). This happens in making promises or threats, and also in the language of contracts. It also seems clear that he now goes beyond those sources to include new prophecies “according to the spirit which is in me” (2 Nephi 25:4). Nephi’s presentation of the gospel of Christ. The strait gate that allows people onto this “straight and narrow” path “is repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost” (v. 17). Beginning in 2 Nephi 31:1, Nephi says that he will now make an end of his prophesying, and he can only write a few select things. 2 The a mighty man, and the man of b war, the judge, and the prophet, and the c prudent, and the ancient; . These six can be identified as fundamental when we analyze their sixty-four occurrences—using a method of accumulation. 2 Nephi 15:1-2 A winepress (Illustration): An ancient winepress.  For example, Mark 16:16 quotes Jesus’s statement of his gospel to his disciples as follows: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” This and other similar passages are often used to argue that all that is required for salvation is faith in Christ, or faith and baptism. In the fifth presentation (vv. 68-69). Omni. We should assume that Lehi had that same experience and that this is what he was sharing with his sons at this point in 1 Nephi 10. 2 Nephi 2:4 The way is prepared from the fall of man (Illustration #1): He Offereth Himself unto Those with a Broken Heart. From the beginning of the Restoration LDS teaching has emphasized an understanding of the Book of Mormon as evidence or proof that Joseph Smith was a prophet sent in these latter days to open the last dispensation. Nephi has told us that his “soul delighteth in the scriptures” and that he “pondereth continually upon the things which [he has] seen and heard” ( 2 Nephi … . Clearly identifying Jesus as "the Word," John wrote, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Again we are referred back to Nephi’s great vision in which he was shown that after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, when the Bible first went forth from the Jews to the Gentiles, “it contained the fullness of the gospel of the Lamb” (1 Nephi 13:24).  To this day, we invite investigators to read the book and then to take Moroni’s challenge and to “ask God . (Joseph Smith, in TPJS 370). 2 Nephi 31–33 are Nephi’s final thoughts and teachings to his people. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.' In the ancient temple or tabernacle, after passing into the sacred space, the first thing you would encounter would be the altar of sacrifice. See Reynolds, “Understanding Christian Baptism through the Book of Mormon,” 9–10. Small wonder that Joseph was instructed in several revelations that the Book of Mormon contains “the fulness of the everlasting gospel” (D&C 42:3). Another advantage of the essay approach is that it frees me from the scholarly requirement of documenting the connections between my assertions and the writings of others. . . We begin our journey by acting on faith and entering the sacred space. (Isaiah 43:10) This tradition is continued in the New Testament as, for example, when Jesus prayed to the Father he said, "And this is life eternal: that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent." Yes, there are chronology problems with this setting, but let's stress the positive today. They will subsequently “be scattered among all nations” until a distant future in which “they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ the Son of God and the atonement . His brother Jacob seems to have the same image in mind when he says, “The way for man is narrow. Second Nephi 31 is also the earliest comprehensive statement of the gospel message in the Book of Mormon—even though several previous passages make it clear that Lehi, Nephi, and Jacob knew the gospel—as it clearly sets forth all six elements of that message as it is recognized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today, including: These same six elements are included in both of the other Book of Mormon presentations of the gospel or doctrine of Christ that were given by Christ himself.. 2 Nephi 31. (John 1:1) Here Jesus is presented as God, but also as distinct from the Father, hence the phrase, "and the Word was with God." Latter-day Saint discourse has long privileged the requirement of faith in Jesus Christ as the first principle of the gospel. The Father endorses these words as “true and faithful” and goes on to state the principle positively: “He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved” (v. 15). 2 Nephi 5. 2. In the prophetic perfect style of writing, the prophet who speaks of the future describes the event as if it had already occurred. . 14–15). Jacob. . As Nephi later realizes he needs to explain, this means that they can “speak the words of Christ” as they “speak by the power of the Holy Ghost,” even as angels speak (32:3). “For this cause hath the Lord God promised unto me that these things which I write shall be kept and preserved and . 2 (Spring 1999): 6. 2 Nephi 26. Helaman. 2 Nephi 28. First and Second were added to the titles of The Books of Nephi by Oliver Cowdery when preparing the book for printing. The requirement of endurance to the end appears consistently in context with the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. 2 Nephi 26:29, 31… And now behold, this is the doctrine of Christ. 2 Nephi 31 - On Baptism It reads like a rousing frontier revival sermon preached by Nephi in 550 BC, urging the faithful listener or reader to commit themselves to baptism.  Nephi’s late version of the path does not mention Lehi’s iconic rod of iron, but it does include the idea that the Holy Ghost “will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5). [Tyndale House, The Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Vol. Wherefore ye are not brought into the light but must perish in the dark” (2 Nephi 32:4). We find the Nephite prophets across 1000 years of ministry staying true to the concepts and phraseology introduced by Nephi in this passage. See also the note at 1 Nephi … to receive the spirit of God, or to be permitted to stand in the presence of God, man must undergo baptism" (Vol 2, page 499). . Other examples of New Testament passages that feature meristic statements of the gospel include Ephesians 2:8, Matthew 3:11, 24:13–14, Acts 2:38, 19:4–6, and Romans 1:16. . The prophet so transports his mind ahead that he describes a future event as if it had been already seen or heard by him. . But what exactly does it mean … See Noel B. Reynolds, “The Fifth Principle of the Gospel,” Religious Educator 15, no. This passage marks a transition point. Then a benediction was pronounced, and he plunged beneath the water, taking care to be entirely submerged" (see Vol. It will be a day in which false doctrines will prevail, and most of the Gentiles will fight against the Nephite record and its teachings (2 Nephi 28–29). . The most important things you’ll learn in your study will come from the whisperings of the Spirit. The Lord’s perspective on the Book of Mormon clearly describes it as a vehicle for restoring the fulness of the gospel and the plain and precious things that have been lost from the Bible. 1) Elder Jeffrey R. Holland explained the meaning of “the doctrine of Christ” as used in 2 Nephi 31: “Although a phrase like ‘the doctrine of Christ’ could appropriately be used to describe any or all of the Master’s teachings, nevertheless those magnificently broad and beautiful expressions spread throughout the Book of Mormon, New Testament, and latter-day … First Nephi be expanded considerably in the scriptures ( 4 ) Fourth there... Pronounced, and Moroni 10:20–23 gate by which men can enter onto the path by a! Of course, also preserved in the dark ” ( 2 Nephi 31 is one of the of... New Testament 15:1-2 a winepress ( Illustration ): 1–18, for a detailed analysis the... Come to the end the Savior whenever he did anything which was contrary to their law Nephi by... Remission of their sins ” ( 2 Nephi 32:4, 8-9 ).! Two main sections that each have a separate message, 8-9 ).... See also Noel B. Reynolds, “ this is the same materials, written for non-LDS.! 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