2 Nephi 28: 7-8

2 Nephi 28: 7-8:

“Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.  And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.”
This notion that religion should always encourage merriment and feasting has so taken hold that it becomes impossible to cry repentance. Anything that challenges a happy outlook is thought to be negative and of the devil. It creates the misunderstanding that the right to feel good about one’s self is a higher obligation than the duty to teach repentance and forsaking sin.
If you are laden with sin (Isa. 1: 4), it is of no consequence, for God intends that you be happy. It is of little matter that happiness cannot be found in sin (Alma 41: 10), the gospel of positive attitude and flattery will triumph with the ungodly every time when it competes with a warning to repent and return to Christ.

The whole system has been worked out for us. The odds are you’re going to be exalted. Deseret Book has taken a firm stand on that very subject. We have it from God, you see. Because Deseret Book is owned by the church, the church has been headed by a prophet, the prophet can’t lead you astray, and therefore the odds are you’re going to be exalted–  Or so the reasoning goes.

If Nephi’s warning is urged against the tide of permissiveness, supported by this false gospel of positive attitude and false hope, then the message must surely be meant by Nephi for someone other than us. We cannot possibly be among those who incorrectly believe the Lord will justify us in committing a little sin. We do not believe in the utility of a little lie, do we? We do not use words to take advantage of others do we?

What pits have we dug for our neighbors?

By what measure do we advocate to live life pleasantly and not fear death or judgment? How could we be taken with the notion that a little guilt will result in merely a “few stripes” from an irritated, but ultimately tolerant, and permissive God?  What doctrine is it we advance that suggests all of us will, at last, be saved in the kingdom of God?
Assuming this was meant to be a warning to US, the readers of the Book of Mormon, and not to another audience who will never read the book because the aren’t converted to it, then how do we fit into this warning? Do we have a mistaken view of God’s plan? What do we say, preach or believe that would provoke this warning from Nephi? Have you scrutinized the recent manuals from the Correlation Department to see if there is any basis for concern? Have you read the General Conference talks for hints of these teachings? Do you find them there?
How many articles do you find in the LDS Church News, Ensign and New Era which are positive, flattering and reassuring? How many articles confront you, call you to repent, warn you of the judgment and the duration of eternity? (Enos 1: 23.)

Why is the Book of Mormon constantly calling upon us to repent? Why are we not called relentlessly to repentance by our current leaders? Is there a disconnection between the message of the Book of Mormon and our modern messages? Has the Lord changed His mind? Was Nephi just a crank? Is the Book of Mormon a negative book not relevant to an enlightened people who are specially chosen by God for endless happiness and promised they will never be led astray? Why would the Book of Mormon be a message for us? Why do we have a book so negative in tone, pessimistic in its view of us, while we sit atop the promises of never again having to face an apostasy?

What accounts for this disparity?
An interlude by:
Bobby McFerrin:
“Hmmmmmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmmmm, hmmmm, hm-hum-hm-hm…. Don’t worry.
Be happy.”
He’s Mormon now, isn’t he? I heard someone’s friend’s boyfriend baptized him when serving a mission in Southern California….
Poets and artists have been proclaiming the coming apocalypse in songs, art and movies for several decades. Nephi gives us the same message. But we spin happily out of control, loosed from the moorings and tossed by the approaching hurricane, all the while promising one another that it will all turn out right. We are special. We are chosen by God. Surely He will not judge us, nor hold us to account for what we believe. If we’re mistaken, He owes it to us to give us a warning, and an opportunity to repent. Other than that sad account of the prior occupants of this land, He hasn’t done that….
Oh. The Book of Mormon is important, isn’t it?
The foolishness of the doctrines that Nephi is denouncing provokes such dismay that our own foolishness needs to be paraded out in all its stupidity. We just don’t seem to get it. We’re reading Nephi’s warnings to us and pretending they were meant for everyone other than us. They aren’t – they are aiming at us. Read the verse again and try to see our own teachings being laid bare. We are his target. We are his audience. We are being warned.

18 thoughts on “2 Nephi 28: 7-8

  1. Speaking of the great disconnect in curriculum and doctrine taught today and that taught by the prophets of Book of Mormon who saw us in vision.


    We declare All is well in Zion, yea Zion propereth, Wo unto him that is at ease in Zion, that crieth all is well. We deny the power of godliness. Teach the precepts of men. All gone astray save a few.


    The fruit on the Olive Tree, all of it during the time of the Gentiles, turns bad and is ready to be cast into the fire. (This is reference to the whole Church)


    All save a few walk in pride, wear costly apparel, iniquity, every church is polluted with pride, we love money and substance and fine apparel, and the adorning the churches more than the poor, needy, sick, afflicted


    children oppress, women rule, leaders cause to err, drunk with wine, error in vision. We eat the vineyard of the poor and put the spoil of the poor in our homes. Daughters of Zion are proud walk with stretched necks, filthy. Hypocritical nation, idols exceed all nations. No fear of the Lord. Ephraim is crown of pride, errs in drunkeness, preaches judgement will pass us by.

    Denver has pointed out that great disconnect between Book of Mormon doctrine and the precepts of men taught today. Rather than calling our solemn assemblies and fasting and praying that the imminent judgments spoken of might be lessened, (Joel Chapter 1)we instead are building condos and malls and are seen at Jazz games to declare to all the Church that the judgments of God will pass us by (Isaiah 28:15) and all is well in Zion.

    Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil should never have had to be written by Denver. But because the precepts of men have changed the doctrine to allow for an easier path to salvation that neither requires the sacrifice of all things nor the coming into the presence of God, it had to be written by Him while neglected or denounced by leadership.

    To quote Elder McConkie “But never, never at any time have they (the Apostles) taught or endorsed the inordinate or intemperate zeal that encourages endless, sometimes day-long prayers, in order to gain a personal relationship with the Savior…Let me remind you to stay in the course chartered by the Church. It is the Lord’s Church, and he will not permit it to be led astray.”

    Yet Joseph Smith taught

    Then I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon god until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, AND WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE PROMISE UNTIL YOU OBTAIN IT, etc.



    Due to the curriculum of the Church, the path to attain eternal life, though it was taught more than any other subject by Joseph Smith from the time he left Liberty Jail until his death, is now least understood by the saints. Why? So as to not offend? So as to make it easier to attain? So as to fit in with the world?

    Nephi has brought to our attention that we deny the power of godliness or the power to make us as God is. Moroni concludes the Book of Mormon with the same accusations of our denial of the power of godliness. (Moroni 10:24-34)

  2. This scripture “Eat, drink & be merry… God will justify us in committing a little sin…” was called “one of the most devilish doctrines ever” by a Prophet.

    We definately just hear nice & soft ‘feel good’ talks & teachings these days in all our conferences & Church publications.

    Even the talks about ‘Porn’ seem light in view of the grave adultery that it is. Many leaders just give a slap on the hand for it & other forms of adultery & abuse today. Which just encourages them to do worse.

    I seems like the Leaders of the Church are purposely not wanting to awaken the wicked among us. Has the time for their ‘grace’ passed? Is it too late for them?

    It takes some pretty blunt & hard talks to rattle the wicked. For the wicked usually don’t think they are ‘wicked’ they, we, always think it’s the other guy, not us.

    The evilest people I now go almost completely undetected by their leaders & fellow members, who usually think they are wonderful examples of righteousness.

  3. Anonymous,

    I think Bruce McConkie’s quote needs a bit of context. Elder McConkie also taught very emphatically that it is our privilege to behold the Savior in this life if we follow the formula in D&C 93.

    I believe Elder McConkie’s warning is specified in the words “inordinate or intemperate zeal,” I’ve heard his son (as I recall) Joseph Fielding Smith give a similar warning to those who in their pride and arrogance decide they now merit the blessing of a personal visit of an angel or the savior and determine to go up into the mountains and pray until they get what they want. Most of the time what they get is the devil appearing as an angel of light intending to deceive.

    The danger there is that they open themselves up to deception because of their pride and intemperate zeal.

    The process as outlined in Second Comforter isn’t intemperate zeal, its a humble process that requires submission to the Lord over many years in most cases.

    Now, I agree that we don’t teach nearly enough the possibility of ministering angels and an audience with the Savior. Our teaching is so superficial in nearly every venue that we starve ourselves instead of partaking of the meat the restoration brought and being nourished by the Bread of Life.

  4. Ben,

    Would Elder McConkie give the same advice to Enos? He sure seemed full of zeal to receive a remission of his sins “and cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; all the day long did I cry unto him.”

    Would Enos had prayed so if Jacob had said this to him.

    Never, never at any time have I taught or endorsed the inordinate or intemperate zeal that encourages endless, sometimes day-long prayers, in order to gain a personal relationship with the Savior

  5. I don’t think Enos was doing the same thing that Elder McConkie was talking about. Have you read Beloved Enos?

    Some more context about what I think is involved here, from the same talk,

    “There are yet others who have an excessive zeal which causes them to go beyond the mark. Their desire for excellence is inordinate. In an effort to be truer than true they devote themselves to gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous.

    I say perilous because this course, particularly in the lives of some who are spiritually immature, is a gospel hobby which creates an unwholesome holier-than-thou attitude.”

    I find a difference between excessive zeal for something one is not prepared for and hunger for repentance that one is prepared to receive. Beloved Enos shows that there is much more involved with the Enos story than is apparent on a cursory reading.

  6. A question for the Anonymous of 9:03 AM:

    When you wrote:

    “I[t] seems like the Leaders of the Church are purposely not wanting to awaken the wicked among us. Has the time for their ‘grace’ passed? Is it too late for them?”

    Did you intend the antecedent of “their” (and “them”) to be understood as the “the wicked among us” or “Leaders of the Church”?

  7. Openers of the Way v. Closers of the Way

    As the first patriarch of this dispensation, the Prophets Joseph was given the keys whereby we might know how ascend to Gods throne while in this life. He ascended to the seventh heaven and in doing so received the names, signs and tokens necessary to pass by the angels who stand as sentinels in the journey to the seventh heaven. He taught us those keys and encouraged us to go to the temple and receive them and then call upon God, prove our integrity, demonstrate the fact of our faith and over time be allowed the pillar of light to descend upon us that we might ascend upward into Gods presences and receive his glory, power, and knowledge to our hearts content.

    Joseph revealed the way and taught it more that any other subject including how to detect false messengers if they should come. He revealed the way and desired all to ascend with him.

    Since his time and especially for the last 20 years hardly a word has been spoken nor taught concerning how to attain eternal life. Sealing power, calling and election, attendant keys of knowledge and power necessary to win the victory on earth – all have been kept out of our doctrine. Yet of these things Joseph wrote “the great and grand sum of the whole matter and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us consists in the obtaining of the powers of the Holy Priesthoods.” “It is the grand key that unlocks the glories and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”

    Today we have all but closed the heavens and this grand key of knowledge and power, obtaining His presence, that leads us there. Our curriculum has been watered down to where if one were looking for those keys of knowledge and power they would not be discernible until they had once again read the words of the Prophet Joseph or found them in diligent searching of the scriptures for they are nowhere to be found in our curriculum.

    Our curriculum has closed the doors to the powers of heaven and power of godliness.

    Why? Ignorance? jealousy? laziness? Moroni and Nephi response is simply we “deny” the power of godliness. The definition to deny is to refuse, to turn down. Like the children of Israel who refused to ascend the mount, we too deny the ascent. Save for the “few” both mention.

  8. I think the “Warden” quoted this a couple of days ago:

    Moro. 10:4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
    5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

    These things Denver is teaching and we are commenting on – we need to do exactly what Moroni is asking us to do – If what Denver is teaching is truth, then we need to ask for truth – and then having received the witness, find out what He wants us to do ourselves to act in accordance with His mind and will for US – If we question a comment – apply the same procedure. Unless we do this and find out what He wants of individually -for our own salvation – then we are among the condemned ourselves – That The Lord God will and does as promised in Moroni – give us understanding of truth – I have asked. The Spirit speaks the witness of a blessed, blessed peace witnessing an assurance that what Denver is teaching is truth. Our responsibility before God is to know what we must do to become a righteous servant in these days ahead of us that we are being warned of – and not get caught in the great debate – persecution that is surely inevitable as these things begin to become more publicly manifest. The Church is the Lord’s to do with what He sees fit as are all of us individually.

  9. Michael,
    I meant that the day of grace for ‘the wicked’ may have passed & the leaders are now told to be silent (or at least give soft sermons, that the righteous enjoy & learn from but that don’t wake up the wicked, for it would cause mostly ‘anger’ & further problems rather than ‘repentance’ in people who have become ‘past feeling’, which seems so rampant today) just as Prophets in the scriptures have become silent when the people became too wicked to accept truth anymore in their day.

    It seems that if the Leaders really spoke the whole truth about the rampant evils going on today, like other Prophets have in the past, if could cause most of the members of the Church to leave.

  10. Ben:
    I am compelled to suggest even further “context” is needed when discussing Elder McConkie’s remarks. I am old enough to remember much about a dust-up about a lovely book on developing a relationship with Christ that was soundly denounced by Elder McConkie. I had the book, had read the book and was heartbroken over how the author was treated. The “special, personal relationship with Christ” that McConkie calls “improper” is actually that of a bride to a groom. You can’t find a more personal or special relationship than that. I believe Elder McConkie would retract that statement were he able to.

  11. KB-

    I actually had similar thoughts when I was typing up that last reply. I still think much of his warning about seeking things that you aren’t prepared for in prideful arrogance about your own righteousness is a valid concern. It is plucked out of a talk that imo, is confusing and somewhat contradictory to other things Elder McConkie said.

    This is why I think the current mormon tradition of quote mining to prove a point is in many cases misleading. At one point Elder McConkie was asked about a point in one of his books that contradicted his views that he wrote in an earlier book. He was asked if he wanted to update the older book to conform to his current view. He said to them, paraphrasing, “leave it along, let them follow the trail.” Meaning that his views changed and he wanted a record to show how he had learned and progressed.

    I just find it misleading to say Elder McConkie was against seeking for your calling and election and a personal visit from the Savior when the man has, on record, an talk entitled “Making Your Calling and Election Sure.”

    Elder McConkie’s patience was sometimes a little quick, and I think he was too harsh and public in correcting George Pace, but if we’re talking in this post about the abundance of feel-good, watered down, weak kneed messages that we sometimes get from official channels, McConkie is one recent example of not being afraid to call it as he saw it.

    No, he wasn’t right all the time, but I miss having someone like him in the 12.

  12. I am so sad, and I cry for us.

    But would it be so bad if the wicked did exit from the church?

    After the initial pain of loss maybe a feeling of joy and love would abound in each of our ward meetings???????

  13. essel nc, that will happen on the Lord’s time table, which perhaps is getting closer and closer to reality:

    D&C 86:

    6 But the Lord saith unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also.
    7 Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned.

    For now we must first make sure we ourselves are really wheat (“an actual knowledge to any person that the course of life which he pursues is according to the will of God”), and then work in our families, wards and stakes so that we resist the efforts of the tares to choke us.

  14. J,

    I think those were verses Denver quoted a few days ago, not me. I brought up Moroni 6:9. But that also talks about being led by the Holy Ghost, so it is all connected. Good times! :)

  15. Ben
    That on making sure we are ‘wheat’ –
    and then identifying the ‘wheat’ as “an actual knowledge to any person that the course of life which he pursues is according to the will of God” – defines the path we had better get on if we aren’t already treading it – and not let the ‘church’ issue, etc., sidetrack us if we are already convinced only the Jesus Christ can help us – Only His Holy Spirit can lead us along.

  16. Agree 100% J. If we ask the Lord if we’re on the right track, he’ll let us know what we need to do to get moving the right direction. The 1st step in all of this is to determine our standing and direction with the Lord. Once we have him guiding us, any deficiencies in the Church and its general membership become irrelevant. Not that we will outgrow the institution, but our salvation will be in the Lord’s hands.

    I love the aspect of the gospel that direction is more important than position in the the Lord’s eyes. Doesn’t really matter where we are in the spectrum of righteousness, cleanliness and sanctification, if we turn to the Lord and put our lives in his hands we can expect to be guided and accepted by him to our eventual exaltation.

    Getting on that path and getting revelation from him that we are on it is the great first step.

  17. What I am so grateful for is that this is helping me to see ME in all of this. Every day I see more and more the need to repent — I mean for ME to repent. Thank you, Heavenly Father and all your servants on both side of the veil who are helping me to wake up more and more. Please keep going.

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