â€œLesson 37: 2 Nephi 27,â€ Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)
â€œLesson 37,â€ Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
Referring often to the words of Isaiah, Nephi prophesied that the Lord would â€œdo a marvelous work and a wonderâ€ in the last days. This great work would be the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A focal point of Nephiâ€™s prophecy was the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Nephi foretold that witnesses would see the Book of Mormon and testify of its truthfulness. He also testified of the fundamental role the Book of Mormon would play in the Lordâ€™s work in the latter daysâ€”that it would be a miraculous gift to the world. (Note: 2 Nephi 27 closely parallels Isaiah 29. In the Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible, the footnotes in Isaiah 29 offer helpful insights for the study of both chapters.)
Display the following items: a container of deodorant, a tube of toothpaste, and a bar or container of soap. Explain that each item is intended to be a solution to a problem. Ask students to identify the problem each item is intended to solve. (You may choose to use other items that could be considered solutions to specific problems.)
Explain that Nephiâ€™s prophecy in 2 Nephi 27 tells of problems that would exist in our day. He taught that people would stumble spiritually because of their iniquity, that they would suffer from spiritual blindness, and that they would reject the prophets. Nephi also prophesied about what God would do to solve these problems.
Invite a few students to take turns reading 2 Nephi 27:1â€“5 aloud. Ask the class to look for words and phrases that describe some problems of the last days. Ask a few students to share phrases they have identified. To help students analyze these phrases, you may want to ask the following questions:
What do you think it means to be â€œdrunken with iniquityâ€?
In 2 Nephi 27:3, some people in the last days are likened to a hungry man who dreams of eating or a thirsty man who dreams of drinking but then awakens and feels his soul is empty. What can we learn from this? (Eating or drinking in a dream gives no lasting satisfaction and accomplishes nothing, since hunger or thirst remains after the dream. Likewise, those who â€œfight against Mount Zionâ€ will have no lasting satisfaction, nor will they accomplish anything meaningful.)
What do you think the phrase â€œye have closed your eyesâ€ means?
To help students identify gospel truths in 2 Nephi 27:1â€“5, invite them to summarize what they have learned from these verses. Write their answers on the board. Make sure students understand that in the last days, many people will be full of iniquity and will reject the prophets.
Why do you think it is important to know of this prophecy and its fulfillment?
Invite students to read 2 Nephi 27:6â€“7 silently. Ask them to look for something the Lord would provide to help solve peopleâ€™s spiritual problems in the last days.
What would the Lord provide?
What would the book contain?
What book do you think these verses are describing? (To help students answer this question, you might suggest that they look up the scripture references listed in 2 Nephi 27:6, footnote b. You may also want to explain that the phrase â€œthem which have slumberedâ€ refers to the deceased prophets who kept the records that became the Book of Mormon.)
Hold up a copy of the Book of Mormon. Explain that the Lord brought forth this book to help correct problems in the last days and to bring light to a darkened world. The Lord revealed to ancient prophets details concerning the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Nephi recorded these details in 2 Nephi 27. Explain that a similar prophecy is found in Isaiah 29. (You may want to explain that some people have challenged the Book of Mormon by questioning why the Bible does not mention it. Point out that the prophecy in Isaiah 29 shows that the Bible does indeed testify of the Book of Mormon.)
Invite a student to read 2 Nephi 27:12â€“14 aloud. Ask the class to look for who Nephi said would be permitted to see the book.
Who were the three witnesses who were allowed to see the Book of Mormon â€œby the power of Godâ€? (Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris. See â€œThe Testimony of Three Witnesses,â€ Book of Mormon.)
Point out that Nephi mentioned â€œa fewâ€ others who would also be permitted to view the book.
Who do you think these other witnesses were? (You may need to remind students of the eight additional witnesses of the Book of Mormon. See â€œThe Testimony of Eight Witnesses,â€ Book of Mormon.)
Point out that 2 Nephi 27:14 mentions that the Lord would â€œestablish his wordâ€ in â€œthe mouth of as many witnesses as seemeth him good.â€
What do you think Nephi meant when he said that witnesses will establish Godâ€™s word? (Those who receive and accept the word of God through the Book of Mormon will share it with others and testify of its truthfulness.)
Who might these witnesses be?
To help students appreciate that they can also be witnesses of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, you may want to invite them to write their names in the margin next to 2 Nephi 27:14. How can each member of the Church, including you, help establish the truth of the Book of Mormon?
When have you shared your testimony of the Book of Mormon with others?
In an earlier lesson, you may have encouraged students to share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon with someone else. If you did, follow up on that assignment by inviting several students to share what they have done. Encourage students to keep looking for opportunities to share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon with others, including those of other faiths.
Copy the following chart on the board. (To save time, you might want to do this before class begins.)
Nephiâ€™s prophecy of what the man would do
The manâ€™s name
The fulfillment of the prophecy
1st Man (â€œnot learnedâ€)
2nd Man (â€œanotherâ€)
3rd Man (â€œlearnedâ€)
Divide students into pairs. Explain that each partnership will study a prophecy regarding the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as well as the fulfillment of that prophecy. Have students copy the chart in their scripture study journals or class notebooks and write the answers using the provided scripture references. (You may want to explain that the word characters, found in Joseph Smithâ€”History 1:63â€“65, refers to the writing engraved on the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated.) When students have finished, invite them to share their answers with the class.
In what ways might someone without a formal education, like Joseph Smith, be better suited to translate the Book of Mormon than a scholar like Charles Anthon?
Have students read 2 Nephi 27:20â€“21 silently, looking for a phrase that is repeated in each verse. (â€œI am able to do mine own work.â€)
What does the phrase â€œI am able to do mine own workâ€ mean to you?
How is the Restoration of the gospel and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon a confirmation that God is able to do His own work?
What are some principles that are taught by these verses? (As students share their ideas, emphasize that the coming forth of the Book of Mormon is one way God will accomplish His work in the latter days.)
How does the fulfillment of this prophecy strengthen your testimony of the Book of Mormon and its role in the Restoration of the Lordâ€™s Church?
Read 2 Nephi 27:24â€“26 aloud while students follow along in their scriptures.
Do you recall hearing these words before? If so, where? (If students have trouble answering, explain that the Lord used similar words when He spoke to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove; see Joseph Smithâ€”History 1:19.)
Hold up one of the objects you displayed at the beginning of this lesson, and remind students that it was created to solve a particular problem.
In 2 Nephi 27:25, what problems does the Lord say will exist among the people of the latter days? (You might want to write studentsâ€™ answers on the board.)
Remind students of the other spiritual problems of the latter days mentioned in 2 Nephi 27:5. (You might want to add iniquity, spiritual blindness, and rejecting the prophets to the list on the board.)
How do the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ help solve these problems?
Ask students to read 2 Nephi 27:29â€“30, 34â€“35 silently, looking for ways the Lord said the restored gospel and the Book of Mormon would bless the people of the latter days. Invite a student to list these blessings on the board.
According to 2 Nephi 27:29, the Book of Mormon will help â€œthe eyes of the blind â€¦ see out of obscurity and out of darkness.â€ What do you think this means?
Help students understand that the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ bring joy and understanding to those who study and accept them. Encourage students to seek solutions to their challenges in the Book of Mormon and to share their testimonies of the Book of Mormon with others.