2013 Book of Mormon: Chapter 14 (Institute Lesson by hgellor)


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2 Nephi 31-33

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2013 Book of Mormon: Chapter 14 (Institute Lesson by hgellor)

  1. 1. DOCTRINES AND PRINCIPLES IN THIS LESSON: •The doctrine of Christ leads to eternal life (see 2 Nephi 31). •The words of Christ and the Holy Ghost teach us what we should do (see 2 Nephi 32; 33:1-5). •Those who believe in Jesus Christ will also believe the words of Nephi (see 2 Nephi 33:3-15). Chapter 14 2 Nephi 31-33
  2. 2. Jesus Christ was born to reign as the Prince of Peace. 2 Nephi 31 “The ‘doctrine of Christ’ as taught by Nephi in his grand, summational discourse focuses on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism by immersion, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. … As used in the Book of Mormon, ‘the doctrine of Christ’ is simple and direct. It focuses on the first principles of the gospel exclusively, including an expression of encouragement to endure, to persist, to press on. Indeed, it is in the clarity and simplicity of ‘the doctrine of Christ’ that its impact is found. … “… The doctrine of Christ is not complicated. It is profoundly, beautifully, single-mindedly clear and complete” (Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [1997],49–50, 56).
  3. 3. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Faith, Bible Dictionary: As most often used in the scriptures, faith is confidence and trust in Jesus Christ that lead a person to obey him. Faith must be centered in Jesus Christ in order for it to lead a person to salvation. Latter-day Saints also have faith in God the Father, the Holy Ghost, priesthood power, and other important aspects of the restored gospel. Faith includes a hope for things which are not seen, but which are true (Heb. 11:1; Alma 32:21; Ether 12:6). Faith is kindled by hearing the gospel taught by authorized administrators sent by God (Rom. 10:14–17). Miracles do not produce faith, but strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, faith comes by righteousness (Alma 32:40–43; Ether 12:4, 6, 12; D&C 63:9–12). True faith brings miracles, visions, dreams, healings, and all the gifts of God that he gives to his Saints. By faith one obtains a remission of sins and eventually is able to dwell in God’s presence. A lack of faith leads one to despair, which comes because of iniquity (Moro. 10:22).
  4. 4. As parents, we have been commanded to teach our children “to understand the doctrine of … faith in Christ the Son of the living God” (D&C 68:25). This requires more than merely recognizing faith as a gospel principle. “To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone” (Bible Dictionary, “Faith,” 669). True faith must be centered in Jesus Christ. “Faith is a principle of action and of power” (Bible Dictionary, 670). It requires us to do, not merely to believe. Faith is a spiritual gift from God that comes through the Holy Ghost. It requires a correct understanding and knowledge of Jesus Christ, His divine attributes and perfect character, His teachings, Atonement, Resurrection, and priesthood power. Obedience to these principles develops complete trust in Him and His ordained servants and assurance of His promised blessings. There is no other thing in which we can have absolute assurance. There is no other foundation in life that can bring the same peace, joy, and hope. In uncertain and difficult times, faith is truly a spiritual gift worthy of our utmost efforts. We can give our children education, lessons, athletics, the arts, and material possessions, but if we do not give them faith in Christ, we have given little. (Elder Kevin W. Pearson, April 2009 Conference, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ)
  5. 5. Repentance The Savior suffered for our sins and gave His life for us. This great sacrifice is called the Atonement. Through the Atonement, you can receive forgiveness and be cleansed from your sins when you repent. Repentance is more than simply acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments. Satan wants you to think that you cannot repent, but that is absolutely not true. The Savior has promised you forgiveness if you will humble yourself and make the effort that repentance requires. If you have sinned, the sooner you repent, the sooner you begin to make your way back and find the peace and joy that come with forgiveness. If you delay repentance, you may lose blessings, opportunities, and spiritual guidance. You may also become further entangled in sinful behavior, making it more difficult to find your way back.
  6. 6. To repent, you need to confess your sins to the Lord. Then seek forgiveness from those you have wronged, and restore as far as possible what has been damaged by your actions. As you strive to repent, seek help and counsel from your parents. Serious sins, such as sexual transgression or use of pornography, need to be confessed to your bishop. Be completely honest with him. He will help you repent. If you have a question about what should be discussed with the bishop, talk with your parents or with him. When you do what is necessary to repent and receive forgiveness, you will know for yourself the power of the Atonement and the love God has for you. You will feel the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ, which will bring you great strength, and you will become more like Him. https://www.lds.org/youth/for-the-strength-of-youth/repentance Why do we need to confess serious sins to the Bishop
  7. 7. It is important to remember that confession of certain sins to a Bishop is necessary because they are the judges in the ward. They hold the keys to ensuring worthiness for church service and callings, and for such ordinances as baptism and the sacrament. President Ezra T. Benson taught: “Let your priesthood leaders help you resolve the transgression and come back into full fellowship with the Lord. Certain sins are of such gravity that they put our standing in the Church in jeopardy. Sexual sins are among those of such seriousness (see D&C 42:24). Full repentance of such sins requires that we not only confess our sins and resolve them with the Lord, but that we also do so with the Church. This is done through appropriate priesthood leaders. The bishops and stake presidents have been [p.139] appointed by revelation to serve as watchmen over the Church and as judges in Israel. While only the Lord can forgive sins, the priesthood leaders play a critical role in the process of repentance. Even if we are disfellowshipped or excommunicated, it is a beginning step in the process of repentance, and the sooner one begins, the sooner one can find the sweet peace and joy that come with the miracle of forgiveness” (President Ezra Taft Benson, Missionary Preparation, Religion 130, Student Readings, [1996], 138-139). When we confess our sins, it shows humility. D&C 58:43 teaches “By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them.” http://ldswhy.com/
  8. 8. Baptism by Immersion 2 Nephi 31 5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water! 6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water? 7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments. 8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove. 9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the agate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them. What are the reasons why Jesus Christ was baptized? In addition to the reasons given for Jesus’s baptism, what are some other reasons why we need to be baptized?
  9. 9. Why is baptism a necessary preparation to meet God? When we went into the waters of baptism we entered into a covenant with the Lord that we would do all within our power to keep God’s commandments, with the understanding that the Lord’s promises would be given to us and His glory would be added forever and ever, and that we would let our lives be so ordered that we would serve as witnesses of God in all places even until death. [See Mosiah 18:8–10.] It was that covenant we made when we were baptized members of this Church.9 Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins … is for those who have attained the age of accountability, a necessary preparation to meet our God. It is by this means that you become “the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ,” (Galatians 3:26–27) or in other words through baptism have received “the power to become the sons and daughters of God.” [See Mosiah 5:7.] It is through this medium that you may apply to yourselves the atoning blood of Christ, that you may receive forgiveness of your sins, and your hearts be purified. [See Mosiah 4:2.] To be worthy of such a forgiveness after having been baptized, you must humble yourselves and call on the Lord daily and walk steadfastly in the light of the teachings of the gospel. … … Only those who repent and are baptized for the remission of their sins will lay full claim to the redeeming blood of his atonement.10 Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, (2000), 27–36
  10. 10. And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands (D&C 68:27). Not long after Moroni was called to be a prophet, disagreements arose in the church about whether little children should be baptized. Moroni wrote a letter to his father, Mormon, asking for advice. Mormon prayed to Heavenly Father and received an answer: “Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin” (Moro. 8:8). Mormon wrote back to Moroni, telling him, “It is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children. “Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin. … “And … little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance … unto the remission of sins. “But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world.” (Moro. 8:9–12.) In our own time, the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that children should be baptized at the age of eight. (See Doctrine and Covenants 68:25, 27 [D&C 68:25, 27]).https://www.lds.org/friend/2000/02
  11. 11. Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost The gift of the Holy Ghost is the privilege—given to people who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, been baptized, and been confirmed as members of the Church—to receive continual guidance and inspiration from the Holy Ghost. Joseph Smith said we believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost being enjoyed now as much as it was enjoyed in the days of the first Apostles. We believe in this gift in all its fulness, power, greatness, and glory. (See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 97–98.) A person may be temporarily guided by the Holy Ghost without receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost (see D&C 130:23). However, this guidance will not be continuous unless the person is baptized and receives the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. We read in Acts 10 that the Roman soldier Cornelius received inspiration from the Holy Ghost so that he knew the gospel of Jesus Christ was true. But Cornelius did not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that if Cornelius had not received baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost would have left him (see Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, 97). Today people who are not members of the Church learn by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true (see Moroni 10:4–5). But that initial testimony leaves them if they do not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. They do not receive the continuing assurance that can come to those who have the gift of the Holy Ghost. Gospel Principles, (2011), 120–24 What must we do to receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost?
  12. 12. Enduring to the End Enduring to the end requires faithfulness to the end, as in the case of Paul, who told Timothy, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). Obviously, this is not an easy task. It is intended to be difficult, challenging, and, ultimately, refining as we prepare to return to live with our Father in Heaven and receive eternal blessings. Enduring to the end is definitely not a do-it-yourself project. First, it requires the Savior’s redemptive power. We cannot return to our Heavenly Father’s presence unless we are clean, and so we must continue to repent. Ideally, we repent moment by moment, but we also attend sacrament meeting each week to partake of the sacrament and renew our baptismal covenants. Second, enduring to the end requires the Holy Ghost, who will both guide and sanctify us.
  13. 13. Third, we must be an integral part of a community of Saints, serving and receiving service from our brothers and sisters in the gospel. With baptism we become part of the body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12:11–13); each of us has a role to play, each of us is important, but in order to succeed we must be unified in our Savior. Fourth, we must share the gospel with others. The promises of bringing even one soul unto the Lord are profound and eternal (see D&C 18:15). Moreover, the gospel takes deeper root in those who share it frequently. Finally, we must always maintain faith and hope in Christ to endure to the end, and among the many ways we do this are praying, fasting, and reading the scriptures. These practices will fortify us against the subtle schemes and fiery darts of the adversary. https://www.lds.org/youth/article/how-to-endure-to-the-end
  14. 14. Feast on the Words of Christ What does it mean to you to press forward? What does it mean to you to feast on the words of Christ? Where can we find the words of Christ? In what ways does feasting on the words of Jesus Christ help us have a “perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men”? How can our love of the scriptures help us endure to the end? What have you done to make your daily scripture study a meaningful experience? How have the scriptures become a feast for you?
  15. 15. The words of Christ and the Holy Ghost teach us what we should do. 2 Nephi 32; 33:1-5 2 Nephi 32 3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. 5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. Where can we read or hear the words of Christ? How do the words of Christ help us know what we should do? How does the Holy Ghost help us know what we should do? How do the words of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Ghost relate to one another?
  16. 16. 2 Nephi 33:2 But behold, there are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught. ACTIVITY PAIR WORK Read and discuss 2 Nephi 32:4–9. Talk about how you can prepare your hearts so the Holy Ghost will have a place in them. Be prepared to answer the following: Why do we sometimes struggle to experience and understand spiritual things? As we follow the teachings in these verses, what does Nephi promise? What words in 2 Nephi 32:8 suggest the seriousness of neglecting to pray? Why is it important that we pray before we “perform any thing unto the Lord”? (2 Nephi 32:9). How have you been blessed as you have followed this counsel?
  17. 17. Those who believe in Jesus Christ will also believe the words of Nephi. 2 Nephi 33:3-15 Reasons Nephi gave for why his words would be a source of strength to those who would read them: 1. Nephi’s words persuade people to do good. 2. They teach Lehi’s descendants about their ancestors. 3. They speak of Jesus Christ and persuade people to believe in Him. 4. They encourage people to endure to the end. 5. They speak harshly against sin.
  18. 18. What kinds of information did Nephi record to persuade people to believe in Christ? How has studying Nephi’s words helped you want to grow nearer to Christ? What do modern prophets do to persuade us to believe in Christ?