What are we?

This blog is devoted to people like us who need a daily spiritual outlet and motivation to keep up with our personal scripture study.
Join us as we begin and discuss the Book of Mormon daily--an online Institute class of sorts!

We welcome your comments, your experiences, and your thoughts.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

2 Nephi 28

Before I begin this post I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Adam, and I am Tori's husband. She is away this weekend to attend a wedding reception, and has asked that I guest write her post this week.

Now without further ado - 2 Nephi 28!

Chapter Introduction and Summary

Many false churches shall be built up in the last days—They shall teach false and vain and foolish doctrines—Apostasy shall abound because of false teachers—The devil shall rage in the hearts of men—He shall teach all manner of false doctrines. Between 559 and 545 B.C.

This chapter is a continuation of a prophesy of Nephi. Note that he is only writing "according as the Spirit hath constrained [him]." Along with the chapters surrounding it, it is obvious that this chapter has direct reference to our day. It is easy to say that the entire Book of Mormon deals with our day, but these chapters make specific reference to the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ (with such specific references as the coming forth of the Book of Mormon). Every time I read through this chapter, it is always striking how Nephi  with the spirit of prophesy — describes the religious condition of the world so accurately.

This was always a favorite chapter of mine during my mission. Nephi, who glories "in plainness," gives us extremely direct warnings and counsel.

False and Misleading Doctrine

Think about what some of the most misleading doctrines in the world are. How often are they taught, or how many times have you heard them from those excusing themselves from sin? Nephi tells us several, that I have found to be the most pervasive  and destructive  doctrines to the soul.

1. God has changed. Verse 5-6 refer to how God has changed the way he works with His children. He no longer (a) needs to direct the affairs of His church or the world and (b) is a god of miracles.

A theory that has been bounced around through the centuries is that God is the great clockmaker. He made the world, and all things that in it are, gave us precepts, and then let it us go (much as a clockmaker makes and sets a clock, and then just lets is run). While I believe this theory may make sense in the case with regards to the laws of nature (e.g. the Earth orbiting the Sun), the Lord, who has numbered "even the hairs of your head" cares far too much for His children than to let us solely to our own, imperfect, devices. Claiming that God, "hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men," is to deny revelation, priesthood, and all the works of God. This may be a comfort for those who see no need for additional light and truth, or for the need of ordinances, but the scriptures and the prophets have made it abundantly clear that the Lord does care for us, and that he does wish to be an active part of our lives.

The claim that God is not a god of miracles is best addressed by Mormon who taught,  
" And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

" And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust."

2. Eat drink and be merry... This, I believe, is the most popular (and possible most dangerous) on the list.  How often do we hear, "you only live once!" While this declaration may have a wonderful impact on your live (e.g. not procrastinating) it can also have dire consequences. If the saying is true, "... for tomorrow we die," my question is: why do you want to meet your Heavenly Father in the rags of sin? If you were called into his presence now, would you not want to be as pure as you can and receive your eternal reward, and by be tainted by the pleasure of your short-lived sin?

The more dangerous variation on this theme is, "eat, drink, and be merry, nevertheless fear God." I once had the opportunity of speaking with a friend about the law of chastity. I asked her if she were willing to have premarital sex. She acknowledged that it was a sin, but said that she'd be willing for the "right" guy.  When I asked her about the contradictory nature of her statements, she responded that God will forgive sins. This absolutely astonished me! Here was a devout christian who told me that she could, fully understanding, enter sin and expect immediate forgiveness. More than shock, however, was my sadness that she did not understand the nature of the atonement, nor the repentance process. Yes, God can (and does!) forgive sin, but it requires repentance, which is much harder for those who sin with the idea, "why not? I can always repent tomorrow."

Just a thought, how often have you heard the scripture, "men are that they might have joy," be used improperly?

3. Contentment. What's wrong with this statement, "All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth?" It seems like a declaration that Zion is being properly established? Why should all not be well in Zion? I believe the reason behind this statement is the underlying sentiment it gives: because all is well in Zion, we may sit back and enjoy our laurels (no, not our 17 year old sisters). With a sense of contentment, there is no drive to improve. Since we are all imperfect beings working toward becoming more like our Father in Heaven, why should be ever stand still? Why should we ever be content in our present circumstances? We need to always have a proactive attitude toward building Zion. Is all well in Zion if there is a single less-active member in our ward? Is all well in Zion if were are not all attending the temple as frequently as we can? Think about how Zion can be improved in your families, wards, and stakes and never be content with the status quo.


The last major warning that Nephi gives us is the underlying theme of the entire chapter, that men are puffing themselves up. They are teaching their own ideas and theories as doctrine, and are setting aside the teachings and wisdom of God. This is not a new concept. Pride is the root of all sin. In stead of my views on this, however, I will direct you to one of the greatest sermons of our time by President Ezra Taft Benson entitled, "Beware of Pride." I encourage you to prayerfully read this general conference address and see how you can remove more pride from your life.

Repentance and Judgment

With all of these warnings to us, it is easy to loose track of another lesson Nephi devotes 2 verses two: that the Lord is loves His children and is merciful unto all men. While we are under commandment to abstain from all unrighteousness (more than abstain but to, "be ye perfect") He understands that we will not be perfect. Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross of Golgotha, we may repent and become, "white as snow." It is our duty, however, to initiate this process. While repentance may be difficult, remember that the Lord's, "arm is lengthened out all the day long."


Nephi has seen our day, and he has given us this warning, to avoid all false doctrines. It is up to us to receive it, not only in our minds, but also in our hearts. The best way to avoid these doctrines is to fill you mind with truth, and engrave it upon, "the fleshy tablets of [our] hearts." As we read from the scriptures, and embrace the words of the prophets, we will be directed by the Holy Spirit in the right direction. The Lord has not left us to ourselves, but is willing to reveal His will to any who is prepared and seeks to know it.


Natalie Sue said...

Nice to meet you, Adam. And great, great post! Plus, I am very impressed that you would do this for your wife! That is so neat!

Elise said...

Nice job, Adam. Tori always does an exceptional job, so it is fun to see that her husband does, as well. You two must have good scripture study! We'll have to have you guest post more often.