The people of Nephi are settled in their new land. They live the commandments and because of this, the Lord was with them and they “did prosper exceedingly” (2 Nephi 5:11) . They build swords to protect themselves. Through the guidance of the Lord to Nephi, he teaches them how to build buildings and work with the materials of the land. They built a temple. They were industrious and worked with their hands.
In all this, 40 years passed.
In those 40 years, the people began to forget the Lord and they needed reminding. Nephi loved the words of Isaiah, which he read from in the Brass plates. These words are identical to the words of Isaiah in the King James version of the Bible! And so for 13 chapters in 2 Nephi, Nephi quotes from Isaiah, specifically from Isaiah 2-14. Why? He’s teaching his people and us about prophecies surrounding the times around the Second Coming concerning the House of Israel. What we should know about this time, some of which has come or is coming to pass. He prophesies about Christ, most importantly, and what will happen with him.
In the ending of the book, Nephi provides gloriously sound doctrine. He worries for us, for his people. His words are for all dispensations and especially the last dispensation.
For all dispensations, he pleads for all to follow Christ. To obey the commandments. We are warned and shown the nature of Satan. How Satan binds us and leads us away.
How in our day, Satan will (2 Nephi 28:20-22) :
- Rage in hearts.
- Stir up to anger against what’s good.
- Lull away into carnal security.
- Cheat our souls .
- Lead us away carefully down to hell.
- Flatter us away.
- Whisper in our ears until we’re grasped in his chains.
As William Shakespeare says in King Lear, “The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman.”
We see this today all around us!! We find this happening to ourselves. We have to completely, thoroughly, absolutely and exhaustively protect ourselves and turn to the Lord.
Thankfully, the Lord through Nephi gives us the solution to what we are to do, which way we are to turn. We are to (verses in 2 Nephi 28-33):
- Follow the Son (Jesus Christ)
- With full purpose of heart, acting in no hypocrisy or deception, with real intent
- Witness to the Father that we are willing to take upon us Chris’s name.
- Be baptized
- Receive the Holy Ghost
- Endure to the end
- Follow the example of the Son
- Have unshaken faith in Christ
- Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ
- Have a perfect brightness of hope
- Love God and and all men
- Feast upon the words of Christ (the scriptures)
- Search knowledge
- Hearken unto the Spirit
- Pray always
- Believe in Christ (which Nephi quotes four times in two consecutive verses)
Nephi makes it crystal clear how we can overcome Satan. How we can be saved. And actually there is no other way we can be saved. Only through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
With this, he bids us an “everlasting farewell” (2 Nephi 33:14), if we don’t do as he’s been commanded to tell us. We will be judged by his words, the Lord’s words. We will never see Nephi if we don’t do these things. I would rather be able to say hello to Nephi someday. So all I have to do is what he says. Can I do this on my own. Not at all! But as our Savior says, “…With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) I am in that “all”, and you are too.