Iâ€™m making pretty good progress on my Goal this year to read the Book of Mormon from beginning to end. I just finished second Nephi. Previously I had reported on 10 things I never knew before in First Nephi. Here are 10 things about 2nd Nephi.
1. 340 of the 777 vs. in 2 Nephi are Isaiah verses. This is ~44%. (Also, information like this is completely worthless.)
2. 2 Nephi 2 is the great LDS theodicy. I hope to do a post on this later. To Summarize: God allows opposition because without it, weâ€™d have no agency (â€œall things would be a compound in oneâ€- ie- weâ€™d only have one choice, and only one choice is no choice at all). Agency allows for mistakes and sin. Sin requires either an atonement or captivity. The atonement gives us freedom to choose.
3. 2 Nephi 32 is the full doctrine of the church. If you only read one thing I ever write, read this. Or better yet, read that chapter. McConkie spent hundreds of pages trying to layout the doctrine of the church, and his effort was riddled with problems. Nephi laid it out in the first six vs of this chapter. To paraphrase him. Why are you asking me what you should do? The Holy Ghost is available to you. Feast on personal revelation. (remember the words of Christ here is not some written scripture, since it didnâ€™t exist yet, but personal revelation) the Holy Ghost â€œwill show you all things ye should do.â€ That is all the doctrine of the Church, and there wonâ€™t be anymore. (I think this is what Geoff has preached all along as well, right?)
4. 2 Ne. 5:6 is the only place in the Book of Mormon Nephi mentions his â€œsistersâ€ I always before took him literally, but am now wondering if he meant his sister-in-laws or sisters in some other sense. I say this in part because it seems so odd these sisters are not mentioned in the tree of life vision. Another alternative is that these sisters were born after that vision, like Joseph and Jacob.
5. 2 Nephi 9:5-6 blurs the lines of the God head, to the â€œGreat Creatorâ€ who â€œsufferethâ€ and dies â€œfor all menâ€ , and this fulfils â€œthe merciful plan of the great Creatorâ€. So is the plan Christâ€™s plan or Heaven Fathers? I have always understood it to be Heavenly Fathers, but this vs. calls both the Great Creator.
6. 2 Ne. 10 takes the Grace vs. Works issue on (as does chapters 31 and 32) in a concise and simple way â€œafter ye are reconciled to Godâ€ it is by â€œthe grace of God that ye are saved.â€ While we can and must workout our salvation, we would still be insufficient without Christ, and it is important to remember that our â€œworksâ€ do not obligated God to make up for our inadequacies. Yet he does all he can.
7. 2 Ne. 16 (Isaiah 6) contains a powerful testimony of the atonement I had never noticed before. In vs. 5 Isaiah notes he is unclean (sinful) and the lord takes away his iniquity and purges his sins by taking a â€œlive coalâ€ from the altar of the temple. A live coal on the altar would have been there from the burning of a sacrifice and perhaps would have been a piece of the sacrificed being itself. Christâ€™s sacrifice for us is thus beautifully captured in symbols I had not before notices.
8. On my mission a man told me that missionaries must shave because of 2 Ne. 17:20 (Isaiah 7:20) In actuality, this vs. notes that the Lord is not shaving himself, but the people. It is said of this vs that ancient societies shaved the nations the conquered to mark them and demoralize them.
9. Lucifer, in 2 Ne 20:12, clearly refers to a name given to the king of Babylon mentioned in vs 4. Many different thoughts on this can be proposed, as to whether it is a type or an epithet, or the kingâ€™s actual name, I donâ€™t know. What is more interesting to me, is that in vs. 24 following, the Lord says â€œall nationsâ€ will eventually receive this fate. Itâ€™s a good thing to remember in the fit of all this nationalist pride as we discuss immigration.
10. 2 ne 25:18 says â€œthere is save one Messiah spoken of by the prophetsâ€ thus pushing away the idea that Messiah ben Joseph and Messiah ben David are two sepearte people. This is especially useful for when people try and suggest Messiah Ben Joseph is Joseph Smith.