â€œIntroduction to the Second Book of Nephi,â€ Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2012)
â€œIntroduction to the Second Book of Nephi,â€ Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual
The book of 2 Nephi will help students understand basic doctrines of the gospel, such as the Fall of Adam and Eve, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and agency. Additionally, this book is filled with prophecies from Nephi, Jacob, and Isaiah, who were special witnesses of the Savior. They prophesied of the Restoration of the gospel in the latter days, the scattering and gathering of Godâ€™s covenant people, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and the Millennium. The book of 2 Nephi also contains Nephiâ€™s explanation of the doctrine of Christ and concludes with Nephiâ€™s testimony of the Savior.
Lehiâ€™s son Nephi wrote this book. Nephi was a prophet and the first great leader of the Nephite people after their separation from the Lamanites. His writings reveal that he experienced the Lordâ€™s redeeming power (see 2 Nephi 4:15â€“35; 33:6) and desired with his whole soul to bring salvation to his people (see 2 Nephi 33:3â€“4). To accomplish this purpose, he taught his people to believe in Jesus Christ and established a temple.
Nephi wrote with three audiences in mind: his fatherâ€™s descendants, the Lordâ€™s covenant people in the last days, and all the people in the world (see 2 Nephi 33:3, 13). The book of 2 Nephi was written on the small plates of Nephi, which were designated by the Lord to be a record of the â€œministry and the propheciesâ€ of Nephi and his descendants (1 Nephi 19:3â€“5). On these plates, Nephi recorded â€œthe things of [his] soul, and many of the scriptures which [were] engraven upon the plates of brass.â€ He explained that he wrote â€œfor the learning and the profit of [his] childrenâ€ (2 Nephi 4:15). He declared, â€œWe talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sinsâ€ (2 Nephi 25:26). He concluded his record by inviting all people to â€œhearken unto [his] words and believe in Christâ€ (2 Nephi 33:10).
Nephi began writing the account that became 2 Nephi in approximately 570 B.C., 30 years after he and his family left Jerusalem. He wrote it when he was in the land of Nephi (see 2 Nephi 5:8, 28â€“34).
Although Nephi is the author of 2 Nephi, the book is a compilation of teachings from various sources. As shown in the following list, many chapters in the book include quotations from other prophets. Because Lehi, Jacob, and Isaiah had seen Jesus Christ and were witnesses of Him, Nephi included some of their teachings in an effort to persuade readers to believe in Jesus Christ. Lehi and Jacob also quoted other prophets in their sermons.
2 Nephi 1â€“4 Shortly before his death, Lehi counsels and blesses his posterity.
2 Nephi 4â€“8 Nephi glories in the Lord. He leads his followers into a land they call Nephi. He records Jacobâ€™s teachings on the scattering and gathering of Israel.
2 Nephi 9â€“10 Jacob teaches about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He also prophesies of the Jewsâ€™ rejection of Jesus Christ and the future gathering of Jews and Gentiles in the promised land.
2 Nephi 11â€“24 Nephi expresses his delight in testifying of Jesus Christ. He quotes Isaiahâ€™s prophecies regarding the scattering and gathering of Israel, the humbling of the proud and wicked before the Second Coming, and the birth, mission, and millennial reign of the Messiah.
2 Nephi 25â€“27 Nephi prophesies of the Saviorâ€™s Crucifixion, Resurrection, and visit to the Nephites; the scattering and gathering of the Jews; the destruction of the Nephites; the Apostasy; the coming forth of the Book of Mormon; and the Restoration.
2 Nephi 28â€“30 Nephi warns against the wickedness of the last days, explains the future role of the Book of Mormon, and prophesies of the gathering of souls into the covenant.
2 Nephi 31â€“33 Nephi exhorts us to follow Christ, feast upon His words, and endure to the end. He testifies that he has written the words of Christ.