2 Nephi 30: 1

2 Nephi 30: 1:

“And now behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you; for I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed.”

This is troubling if you understand what is said here. Let’s see if we can pull it apart.

Nephi adds this direct comment to his descendants, the forebears of the remnant.  Although they are the target of covenants and beneficiaries of the restoration, they too need to keep to the path. Though they are “beloved brethren” to Nephi, they are not given any unconditional promises. No one is.  Everything we receive is based on what we do, think and say. (See both Alma 12: 14 and D&C 130: 20-21.)

Note that this is not about the actual remnant, but about the Nephites who would be destroyed. These people would have access to Nephi’s record until the time of Mormon, when they would be destroyed. You can see the time frame in the word usage, “Ye are” as to the Nephites, in contrast to “the Gentiles who shall be.”  This message is addressed to the Nephites in a time before the gentile.

What is particularly distressing is the comparison Nephi is making. He is saying that the Nephites, who possess the land of promise, needn’t think themselves “more righteous than the Gentiles shall be” because if these Nephite descendants do “not keep the commandments of God” then they “shall all likewise perish.” If the Nephites do not keep the commandments, they will, like the gentiles, perish.

This means that Nephi is confirming again his prophecy of the destruction of the gentiles.  They are doomed. And the Nephites are similarly doomed unless they are obedient.

Despite this warning we know what happened to the Nephites. They were destroyed. The gentiles will be destroyed also.

In the case of the Nephites and the gentiles, “ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed.” That is, neither all the Nephites have been, nor all the gentiles will be “utterly destroyed.”

Well, this is happy news indeed. Some tiny fragment of the gentiles will actually survive the destruction of the coming days! So we ought to rejoice! All is well with us after all! And coming from Nephi we know that we have a promise from one holding sealing authority who will, as I have previously pointed out, seal this prophecy. (2 Nephi 33: 13-15.)

Interestingly Nephi warns his own descendants about their pride and haughtiness. He says that these Nephite descendants, heirs of the covenant, should not think of themselves as righteous. “I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be.” Nephi’s prophecy is clear to him, and clear to his descendants.  They both regarded the gentiles with pessimism. They (we) are doomed. So they saw us as something dreadful to be compared to.  When Nephi confirms they ought not think themselves better than us, he is giving a strong warning indeed. The odd thing is that we read these same records, this same prophecy, and we think we’re better than them! We have inverted the picture! We’re good, they were bad! But Nephi is using us as the dreadful comparison, the stark warning, the terrible warning that if the Nephites do not repent they will be like us and perish.

When you pick these words apart and see the message it makes you wonder how we could have come to our inverted view. Arrogance and pride really do blind us. Almost completely. What more could Nephi have said to get us to understand? (2 Nephi 32: 8.)

3 thoughts on “2 Nephi 30: 1

  1. The thought just struck me that the Book of Mormon is the ultimate “Hot Potato.” It seems to only come (whether in plate form, or book form) into the hands of a group of people if they are scheduled for future destruction. (Hopefully the “remnant” will fare better).

    It gives new meaning to 1 Ne. 14:7

    “For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other—either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.”

    Apparently there are always a lot more of the latter than there are of the former!

  2. NEED HELP! When you state that some thought or teaching is found in some specific Snuffer Book, is it possible for you to give a page or at least a chapter heading, particularly if it is from Second Comforter or Nephi’s Isaiah. I have found the index ‘lacking’ in these books. Beloved Enos and even Come Let Us Adore Him weren’t so large that I couldn’t transfer the whole text into an electronic program for my own use and then I can “FIND” any word or phrase and then use the ‘find’ in a ‘work sheet’ on that subject –
    I become extremely frustrated, especially with the Second Comforter which has so much and I waste hours, trying to remember or find where a phrase or idea was used and explained. As often as not I give up and go with what I have been able to find elsewhere.
    Would it be possible to give page numbers when you refer to any portion of Second Comforter?

    Thank You

  3. Frustrated:

    Be careful about making electronic copies. There are copyright laws which prevent making copies without permission to do so.

    I do not rely upon the book revenue for myself, but donate it to the Church. But there are others (i.e., publisher, printer, retailer, etc.) whose livelihood is derived from the book sales, and therefor want/need the copyright protection for their life’s work.

    It is both a civil wrong and a Federal crime to infringe upon a copyright, carrying stiff penalties.

    There is no Kindel version available for any of these books because of the inability to protect the electronic distribution from hackers. Therefore making any electronic copy is not permitted at this point.

    I offer that as a word of caution only. But I would be careful about this issue.

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