2 Ne 1:1-32
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Relationship to Chapters 1-5. The relationship of Chapter 1 to the rest of Chapters 1-5 is discussed at Chapters 1-5.
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Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Chapter 1 include:
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- 2 Ne 1:7. Verse 1:7 promises those that the Lord brings to the land of the Nephites and Lamanites that they will not be brought into captivity so long as they are righteous. If they are not righteous, the land will be cursed to them.
- 2 Ne 1:10. In verse 10 the "so great blessings" Lehi describes sound much like the blessings given to modern LDS worshippers in the temple endowment. See related links for more information on the temple endowment.
- 2 Ne 1:21. A bit of irony in that Lehi says he does not want to be brought down with sorrow to the grave, or back to the dust of the earth, and at the same time tells his sons to arise from the dust. And in verse 23, again he tells them to arise from the dust. On one hand he is about to go to the grave and on the other, he tells his sons to arise from the grave.
- 2 Ne 1:23:Obscurity. Obscurity is a synonym for "darkness." The state of sin is often compared to darkness (see Alma 5:7).
- 2 Ne 1:26: Sharpness. Sharpness has nine separate meanings in Webester's 1828 Dictionary, including "Painfulness; afflictiveness; as the sharpness or calamity"; "Severity of language; pungency; satirical sarcasm; as the sharpness of a satire or rebuke" ; "Acuteness of intellect"; and, "Quickness of sense or perception."
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- 2 Ne 1:1: Why might Nephi have taught before his father Lehi? What is the relationship between what Lehi teaches and Nephi's teachings?
- 2 Ne 1:1: Why would it be important for Lehi to remind his sons "how great things the Lord had done for them"?
- 2 Ne 1:1: Are Nephi's and Lehi's words to Laman and Lemuel all on the same occasion? If so, why does Nephi begin speaking at what turns out to be the occasion of Lehi's last counsel and giving of patriarchal blessings to his whole family? Why isn't Nephi's blessing recorded, or any words of Lehi to Nephi directly, for that matter? Why does Nephi break his record into two books at this exact point, between his words and the words of his father? What is the difference between Nephi's teachings and Lehi's rehearsings, and how do the two relate?
- 2 Ne 1:2: How can Laman and Lemuel's actions "upon the waters" be construed as "rebellions"? What is meant by rebellions?
- 2 Ne 1:3: What or where is the "land of promise"? Does this include all of the Americas, or only a part of the Western Hemisphere?
- 2 Ne 1:4: How much faith would it take for Lehi to believe that the destruction he saw in his vision represented a historic reality? Do we know if Laman and Lemuel accepted this vision?
- 2 Ne 1:5: Why would it be important to know exactly where this land of promise is located? Does this promise extend to all of the Americas or only a portion?
- 2 Ne 1:5: Who are "all those" who are also "led out of other countries"?
- 2 Ne 1:5: What does it mean to be "led...by the hand of the Lord"?
- 2 Ne 1:6: In verse 6, does it mean that every person who immigrated to the Americas were led by the hand of the Lord? Or does it mean groups of people such as the Puritans. Perhaps verses 6 & 7 refer to things both "temporal" and "spiritual", and a "spiritual" application could apply to "those who are led into the promised or consecrated land" are led by the Lord [that is the only way to get there!] and it will be a "land of liberty"--free from the bondage of sin and temptation.
- 2 Ne 1:9: What is the "promise" that Lehi obtains in vs. 9? What are the conditions of the promise? Is this a one-way promise from the Lord, or do these verses imply a two-way covenant between the Lord and the posterity of Lehi?
- 2 Ne 1:10: In verse 10 Lehi tells us that if after having received so great blessings from the Lord, his descendants still reject the Messiah, they will be judged accordingly. From the context it is clear that the Lord expects those who have received these blessings to know better than to reject the Messiah. One of these blessing is "having a knowledge of the creation of the earth." Why is knowledge of the earth particularly important? How does knowing about the creation help us to understand and accept Jesus as our Messiah?
- 2 Ne 1:10: Where in modern LDS worship do we receive "a knowledge of the creation of the world" and recieve "all the commandments from the beginning"?
- 2 Ne 1:26: In this verse, how is anger acceptably qualified as truth?
- 2 Ne 1:26: Which meaning of "sharpness" (see "Lexical notes" below) is most appropriate for verse 26?
- 2 Ne 1:28-29: What is Lehi's first blessing?
- 2 Ne 1:28-29: Why does Lehi address three distinct groups in v. 28? Why are Lemuel and Sam paired together, why Laman by himself? Who are the sons of Ishmael and Lehi? Their grandchildren? Why is Lehi's first blessing contingent upon being obedient to Nephi?
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- See James E Talmage's description of the temple endowment here.
- 2 Ne 1:15: Bonnie D. Parkin, "Eternally Encircled in His Love," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 108–10. Sister Parkin asks: "Do we frequently reject the Lord's love that He pours out upon us in much more abundance than we are willing to receive? Do we think we have to be perfect in order to deserve His love...? This is a gospel of eternal progress, and we must remember to appreciate the journey. Eternal means 'without beginning or end,' so the encircling of His love is there for us every day."
- 2 Ne 1:21: D. Todd Christofferson, "Let Us Be Men," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 46–48. Elder Christofferson compares the attitudes of Laman and Lemuel to the attitudes of men in our day. He said: "Some act as if a man's highest goal should be his own pleasure. Permissive social mores have 'let men off the hook' as it were... For some, a life of work and achievement is optional."
- 2 Ne 1:23: Gordon B. Hinckley, "Rise Up, O Men of God," Ensign, Nov 2006, pp. 59–61. Speaking to the priesthood brethren, President Hinckley said: "There is not a man or boy in this vast congregation tonight who cannot improve his life. And that needs to happen... With this priesthood comes a great obligation to be worthy of it."
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