“February 17–23. 2 Nephi 11–25: ‘We Rejoice in Christ,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“February 17–23. 2 Nephi 11–25,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Engraving on metal plates is not easy, and space on Nephi’s small plates was limited. So why would Nephi go to the tedious effort of copying a large amount of Isaiah’s writings into his record? He did it “that whoso … shall see these words may lift up their hearts and rejoice” (2 Nephi 11:8). In a sense, the invitation to read Isaiah’s writings is an invitation to rejoice. You can take delight, as Nephi did, in Isaiah’s prophecies about the gathering of Israel, the coming of the Messiah, and the millennial peace promised to the righteous. You can rejoice that even in a day of “trouble, and darkness,” you “have seen a great light” (2 Nephi 18:22; 19:2). You can rejoice that you can “draw water out of the wells of salvation” (2 Nephi 22:3). In other words, you can “rejoice in Christ” (2 Nephi 25:26).
Nephi acknowledged that for some, “the words of Isaiah are not plain” (2 Nephi 25:4). This can certainly be true for those who aren’t familiar with ancient Jewish culture and geography like Nephi was (see 2 Nephi 25:6). But Nephi also gave counsel to help us find meaning in Isaiah’s writings:
- “Liken his words unto” yourself (2 Nephi 11:2).
Many of Isaiah’s teachings have multiple possible meanings and applications. For example, his writings about the scattering and gathering of Israel might prompt you to think about your need to be “gathered” back to the Savior.
- Seek to be “filled with the spirit of prophecy” (2 Nephi 25:4).
The best way to understand Isaiah’s prophecies is to seek inspiration from the Spirit. Pray for spiritual guidance. You may not understand everything all at once, but the Spirit can help you learn what you need to know for your life today.
You might also find it helpful to refer to the study helps in the scriptures, including the footnotes, chapter headings, Guide to the Scriptures, and so on.
Nephi both introduced and concluded his quotation of Isaiah by expressing his testimony of Jesus Christ (see 2 Nephi 11:2–8; 25:19–29). What impresses you about his testimony? As you study this week, think about Nephi’s desires to “persuade [his] children … to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God” (2 Nephi 25:23), and note passages that persuade you to believe in and follow Jesus Christ.
It might help to remember that many of Isaiah’s teachings about the Savior are conveyed through symbols. For example, you may see the Savior in symbols such as the lord of a vineyard (see 2 Nephi 15:1–7), a stone (see 2 Nephi 18:14), and a light (see 2 Nephi 19:2). What other symbols of Jesus Christ do you find in these chapters? What do these symbols teach you about Him?
Nephi had foreseen that pride would cause the downfall of his people (see 1 Nephi 12:19). So it’s not surprising that Nephi would share with his people Isaiah’s repeated warnings against pride. In chapters 12 and 13, look for words that Isaiah used to describe pridefulness, such as lofty and haughty. Then you might try paraphrasing these warnings in your own words, as if you were writing a message to yourself to warn about pride.
See also “Chapter 18: Beware of Pride” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson , 229–40).
You might find it helpful to visualize yourself in the place of Nephi and his people. Imagine you fled from Jerusalem just before it was destroyed (see 2 Nephi 25:10), and now you are part of the scattering of Israel. How might it have felt to read Isaiah’s teachings about the future gathering of Israel and a peaceful Millennium? As Latter-day Saints, we have been called to help gather God’s people in the latter days in preparation for Christ’s millennial reign. As you read these verses, ponder how you are helping fulfill the prophecies they describe. What do you feel inspired to do to help gather God’s people?
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some ideas.
If you have been to the temple—“the mountain of the Lord’s house”—you might share with your family how temple covenants are helping you “walk in [the Lord’s] paths.” If you have not been to the temple, reading these verses together might inspire a discussion about how you can prepare for temple blessings.
Can your family think of modern examples of the unrighteous ideas that these verses describe? How can we avoid being deceived by false ideas about good and evil?
If your family needs help understanding this chapter (which corresponds to Isaiah 11), you might find insights in Doctrine and Covenants 113:1–6, in which the Prophet Joseph Smith answers some questions about Isaiah 11. What do we learn about Jesus Christ from these verses?
What are some specific things we can do to help fill the earth with “the knowledge of the Lord”?
How can you help your family members “rejoice in Christ”? Maybe you could invite them to write on slips of paper things about the Savior that bring them joy. Then, during future family home evenings or family scripture study, someone could read a slip. Family members could add slips throughout the year.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.