Monday, June 18, 2018

Nephi Pieces Things Together -- 2 Nephi 11

What Happens

"Jacob saw his Redeemer—The law of Moses typifies Christ and proves He will come."
2 Nephi 11 Chapter Heading


In our last episode, Jacob was giving us some great advice about choosing life and reconciling ourselves to the will of God.

In this chapter, the narrative returns to Nephi, who was collecting and writing out these records for us, and who is now transitioning us from the sermon of Jacob to more prophecies of Isaiah.  Although he tells us that he is leaving a lot out, I really like that he specifically mentions that he and Jacob have seen their Redeemer, just as Isaiah did (verses 2 and 3).

Nephi wants his people (and us) to know some specific things.  One is the truth of the coming of Christ, including how the law of Moses and the entire gospel from the beginning of the world all point us to Christ, and the fact that we *need* him.  I think this is sometimes hard for us to grasp, but just imagine how difficult it must have been for people before Christ came... talking about a future event, and imagining that Christ would save them someday.

I really like this chapter partly for that reason.  I think it shows the all-encompassing nature of God's plan, and kind of how all time is before him.  People before Christ were saved by his atonement, as we are, after the actual event.  Because God promised it, it was a sure thing before it even happened, which I think is a good thing to remember about all of God's promises.  They are always sure, even when they are far away.  Just like the atonement, the happy ending that God promises us, if we trust in it, can help us to be happy now (Mormon 9:14).

Another thing that Nephi wants us to remember are the covenants that the Lord made to his ancestors (and ours, whether by blood or adoption).  Sometimes we take it for granted, but the idea that someday we will be granted immortality--that's huge.  Nephi mentions God's grace, justice, power, and mercy.  The way that all of those pieces of the gospel fit together IS the atonement.  Christ makes it possible for justice and mercy to coexist, through the grace and power of Christ.  The gift that he gives us is both free (because we could never accomplish it ourselves), and costly (because we still have to become perfect--Christ just gives us almost unlimited second chances).  Christ, as mediator, gives us that opportunity to keep working on changing and improving, until the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18; D&C 50:24).

To end, Nephi reaffirms the reality of God and Christ's atonement, and then tells us that he is going to share more of the writings of Isaiah, and he already told us why... because Isaiah knows these things too, and there is much to be learned from him. 

Tune in next time as we read some Isaiah that Nephi picked out for us.