“February 17–23. 2 Nephi 11–25: ‘We Rejoice in Christ,’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“February 17–23. 2 Nephi 11–25,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2020
Record Your Impressions
Before discussing specific passages from 2 Nephi 11–25, it might be helpful to ask class members to imagine they have a friend who struggles to find anything meaningful or inspiring in the writings of Isaiah. What verses would they share with this friend?
It can be easier to understand Isaiah’s prophecies when we know why they were written. To begin a discussion of Isaiah’s prophecies in 2 Nephi, you might invite class members to search chapter 11 and list several of Nephi’s purposes for quoting Isaiah so extensively. They could also share passages they found in their personal or family study of 2 Nephi 12–24 that they feel achieved those purposes. How has understanding Nephi’s purposes helped class members get more out of the writings of Isaiah? Encourage them to keep these purposes in mind as they discuss Isaiah’s writings in class.
Because Isaiah used so much symbolic language, it can be easy to overlook his powerful witness of Jesus Christ. Here’s an activity that can help your class focus on this witness. You could prepare several papers with scripture references written on them from 2 Nephi 12–24 that teach about the Savior (for example, 2 Nephi 13:13; 14:4–6; 15:1–7; 16:1–7; 17:14; 18:14–15; 19:6–7; 21:1–5; 22:2). Each class member could select one of the papers, study the verses written on it, and write on the paper what he or she learned about Jesus Christ. Then class members could exchange papers with someone else and add any further thoughts or insights they learned about the Savior from the same verses. You could then give class members a chance to share what they learned from Isaiah and from each other that deepened their appreciation for Jesus Christ.
The prophecy in 2 Nephi 19:6 lists several titles of Jesus Christ. Consider asking someone to list them on the board and inviting class members to discuss why each of these titles is a fitting description of the Savior. How has He fulfilled these roles in our lives? To learn more about some of these titles, it might be helpful to look up the references in the footnotes for 2 Nephi 19:6.
Certain parts of Isaiah’s prophecies are especially relevant to us because they describe aspects of God’s latter-day work. For example, you could examine 2 Nephi 21:10–12, which describes an “ensign” (standard or banner) that will be raised to gather God’s people. How have we seen the Lord gather His people spiritually? Maybe some class members could talk about what makes them want to gather or unite with God’s people in the Church. They might even enjoy creating their own banners that list or illustrate some of the truths of the gospel that they feel people “seek” and will help “assemble” and “gather together” (verses 10 and 12) God’s children in our day. How do we help with the gathering?
Another way to discuss this doctrine is to write the following themes on the board: Scattering of Israel, Gathering of Israel, and Prophecies of Christ. You might assign chapters from 2 Nephi 12–24 to groups of class members and invite them to find verses that teach about these things and write these verses under the appropriate heading on the board. What messages do these verses have for us? (It might be helpful to tell class members that Doctrine and Covenants 113:1–6 can help them understand 2 Nephi 21:1–5, 10.)
Hymns such as “High on the Mountain Top” (Hymns, no. 5) or “The Lord Is My Light” (Hymns, no. 89), which are based in part on the prophecies in 2 Nephi 12:2–5 and 2 Nephi 22, can reinforce the messages and spirit of Isaiah’s words.
In 2 Nephi 14:4–6 Isaiah prophesied about the safety and peace that the righteous will enjoy after the Lord has “washed away” and “purged” their sins. Although these verses describe conditions that will exist in the Millennium, they could help class members as they seek spiritual safety in the midst of latter-day wickedness. Invite them to ponder and discuss what it means to have “a cloud and smoke” and “a flaming fire” on their “dwelling-place” and “assemblies” (verse 5; see also Exodus 13:21–22). What are some things that might be compared to the heat, storm, and rain mentioned in verse 6? How can we find refuge? (see also Doctrine and Covenants 115:6). Perhaps class members could suggest ways to make sure our homes and Church gatherings are places of spiritual protection.
Your class members can likely relate to Nephi’s desire “to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ.” How did Nephi “labor diligently” to accomplish this goal? (2 Nephi 25:23). Maybe class members could search 2 Nephi 25:19–29 to find truths about the Savior and His gospel that Nephi wanted his people to know. Then they could share what they have done to teach these truths to their family or friends. For example, how have they taught the truth that “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”? (The statement by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in “Additional Resources” can provide some insight on this truth.) How have they helped others “rejoice in Christ”?
Class members might be interested to know that 2 Nephi 26–30 can help them respond to people who say, “We don’t need the Book of Mormon.”
To supplement your discussion of 2 Nephi 19:6, watch or listen to the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square sing “For unto Us a Child Is Born” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Commenting on Nephi’s words in 2 Nephi 25:23, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said:
“I wonder if sometimes we misinterpret the phrase ‘after all we can do.’ We must understand that ‘after’ does not equal ‘because.’
“We are not saved ‘because’ of all that we can do. Have any of us done all that we can do? Does God wait until we’ve expended every effort before He will intervene in our lives with His saving grace? …
“I am certain Nephi knew that the Savior’s grace allows and enables us to overcome sin [see 2 Nephi 4:19–35; Alma 34:31]. This is why Nephi labored so diligently to persuade his children and brethren ‘to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God’ [2 Nephi 25:23].
“After all, that is what we can do! And that is our task in mortality!” (“The Gift of Grace,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 110).