Sunday School
February 3–9. 2 Nephi 1–5: “We Lived after the Manner of Happiness”

“February 3–9. 2 Nephi 1–5: ‘We Lived after the Manner of Happiness,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)

“February 3–9. 2 Nephi 1–5,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020

Adam and Eve

Adam and Eve, by Douglas Fryer

February 3–9

2 Nephi 1–5

“We Lived after the Manner of Happiness”

Begin your spiritual preparation by reading 2 Nephi 1–5 and recording your impressions. There are more principles in these chapters than you have time to discuss in one class, so follow the Spirit in your preparation and pay attention to the insights shared by class members to help you determine which principles to focus on and how to guide the conversation.

Record Your Impressions

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Invite Sharing

It is likely that members of your class have marked or made a note about at least one verse in 2 Nephi 1–5. To start the class, you could invite class members to share verses that were meaningful to them. Invite the class to summarize a doctrinal principle they learn from the verses shared.

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Teach the Doctrine

2 Nephi 2:11–30

We are free to act for ourselves.

  • Too often, people use their agency to cause much suffering to others. So why is agency so important to Heavenly Father? Maybe you could write this question on the board, and class members could search for answers in 2 Nephi 2:11–30 and write their answers on the board. How does the adversary try to undermine our agency? How does the Savior help us “choose liberty and eternal life”? (2 Nephi 2:27). Consider singing together a hymn about agency, such as “Know This, That Every Soul Is Free” (Hymns, no. 240), and inviting class members to add to their list other insights they gain from the hymn.

  • This week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families identifies four essential conditions that make agency possible. Here’s one way you could build on what class members may have learned at home: Write the four conditions on the board. Then invite class members to share statements from 2 Nephi 2 that teach why these conditions are essential to reaching our divine potential.

2 Nephi 2:15–29

The Fall and the Atonement of Jesus Christ are essential parts of Heavenly Father’s plan.

  • Many Christians believe that the Fall was a tragedy and that Eve made a terrible mistake. These verses in 2 Nephi 2 clarify truths about the Fall of Adam and Eve, and they testify that Jesus Christ redeems us from the Fall. One way to discuss these ideas is to invite class members to search 2 Nephi 2:15–25 and make a list of truths they learn about what happened in the Garden of Eden. What other insights do they find in the quote from President Dallin H. Oaks in “Additional Resources”? How did Jesus Christ redeem us from the Fall? (see 2 Nephi 2:6–8, 26–29).

  • After doing an activity like the previous one, you could display several questions like the following and invite class members to share their insights:

    • How do Lehi’s teachings in these verses correct some common misunderstandings about the Fall?

    • In what ways is the Fall a blessing?

    • How does correctly understanding the Fall help us better understand our need for Jesus Christ and His Atonement?

    • What is one reason you are grateful for Adam and Eve’s choice in the Garden of Eden?

    • How was your choice to come to earth similar to Adam and Eve’s choice to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil?

    • What is the purpose of life? Why was the Fall necessary to achieve this purpose?

2 Nephi 4:15–35

We can turn to God in our weakness.

  • Nephi’s writings in 2 Nephi 4:15–35 can bring us hope and comfort when we feel overwhelmed by our struggles and weaknesses. Perhaps class members could review these verses in pairs and find passages that they could use to comfort someone who feels burdened by his or her afflictions. Then each pair could share these passages with the class. Maybe someone in the class could share an experience in which he or she found comfort by turning to God, as Nephi did.

  • Another way to review 2 Nephi 4 could be to invite a few class members ahead of time to come prepared to share verses and phrases from this chapter that were meaningful to them. Ask them to share what they do when they feel overwhelmed by their weaknesses. A hymn about comfort and hope, such as “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” (Hymns, no. 129), could add to this discussion. For example, class members could share how the hymn reinforces Nephi’s example of relying on the Lord in times of discouragement.

2 Nephi 5

Happiness is found in living the gospel.

  • Despite the challenges Nephi and his people faced, they were able to build a society based on principles that lead to happiness. What principles did class members find in their study of 2 Nephi 5 that contributed to the happiness the Nephites experienced? You could provide a piece of paper to class members and invite them to search 2 Nephi 5 for principles that lead to happiness and write them down. How are the ways the world seeks happiness different from what we find in 2 Nephi 5? What goals can class members set to apply one of these principles?

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Encourage Learning at Home

Tell class members that 2 Nephi 6–10 has one of the best sermons about the Atonement of Jesus Christ in all of scripture. You could also share a verse you find in these chapters that makes you excited to read it.

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Additional Resources

The Fall was part of God’s plan.

President Dallin H. Oaks taught:

“When Adam and Eve received the first commandment, they were in a transitional state, no longer in the spirit world but with physical bodies not yet subject to death and not yet capable of procreation. They could not fulfill the Father’s first commandment without transgressing the barrier between the bliss of the Garden of Eden and the terrible trials and wonderful opportunities of mortal life. …

“… The Prophet Lehi explained that ‘if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen’ (2 Ne. 2:22), but would have remained in the same state in which he was created.

“… The Fall was planned, Lehi concludes, because ‘all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things’ (2 Ne. 2:24).

“It was Eve who first transgressed the limits of Eden in order to initiate the conditions of mortality. Her act, whatever its nature, was formally a transgression but eternally a glorious necessity to open the doorway toward eternal life. Adam showed his wisdom by doing the same. And thus Eve and ‘Adam fell that men might be’ (2 Ne. 2:25).

“Some Christians condemn Eve for her act, concluding that she and her daughters are somehow flawed by it. Not the Latter-day Saints! Informed by revelation, we celebrate Eve’s act and honor her wisdom and courage in the great episode called the Fall. …

“Modern revelation shows that our first parents understood the necessity of the Fall. Adam declared, ‘Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God’ (Moses 5:10)” (“The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 72–73).

Improving Our Teaching

Reach out to those who do not attend. Teaching is more than leading a discussion on Sunday; it involves ministering with love and blessing others with the gospel. Maybe you could think of someone who is not attending and give him or her a specific invitation to participate in an upcoming lesson. (See Teaching in the Savior’s Way, 8–9.)