2 Nephi 31: 10-11

2 Nephi 31: 10-11:

“And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father? And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.”

Notice the “prophetic-perfect” tense, where Nephi speaks of the Lord’s future conduct as if it were in the past. This is what happens when a prophet speaks in prophecy. To the prophet, the events are in the past because he was shown it before writing it.  Although the event has not occurred yet, the prophet remembers it in his mind and to him it is a past event.

This “remembering” the future makes the mind of the prophet akin to the mind of God.

Nephi again addresses his “beloved brethren” in this plea. Can we “follow Jesus” and not keep commandments? Is “be willing to keep the commandments” the same as “keeping the commandments?” Are all commandments to be kept? What about those that create conflict?  How did Christ resolve the conflict between the commandment to do good and honor God on the Sabbath, with the commandment to do no work on the Sabbath? Are some commandments objective and without conflict (like baptism) while others may conflict with each other? Can you keep them all? Do you think you even know them all? How do you resolve conflicts? How do you make up for the wrongs you do in ignorance? (Mosiah 3: 11.)

Notice the quote Nephi reports from “the Father.” Again, Nephi is telling us something about his associations. He says the Father has stated: “Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.” You can search all the scriptures and you will find this quote appears in this one place. Nephi is quoting the Father. Where did Nephi get the quote from if it does not otherwise appear in scripture?

What does that tell you about Nephi? What does it tell you about the Father’s view of baptism? What does it tell you about the actions of Christ and the will of the Father? Why does the Father refer to Christ as “my Beloved Son” while speaking of baptism?

With what emotion does the Father express Himself about Christ?  Does that emotion attach to any of those who do as Christ did?  Does it please the Father when we are baptized? Why?

What is God’s work? (Moses 1: 39.) How does baptism relate to this work? How do we “follow Christ” without seeking to do everything He did? Can we do all He did? Why did Joseph say we must go from one exaltation to another? What does Joseph refer to when he explained: “you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.”  (King Follett Discourse.) This was long after Joseph received the Vision of the Three Degrees of Glory found in Section 76. Section 76 was received February 16, 1832 while the King Follett Discourse was given April 7, 1844. Remember that all of what was seen in the vision was not recorded by Joseph: “But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion;  Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful forman to utter.” (D&C 76: 114-115.) Why would some things be known to a prophet but “not lawful” for him to reveal to others?

What does the idea of “following Christ” imply, if it were taken to its fullest extent? Why would that require someone to go “from one small degree to another?” What would be involved for someone to pass “from exaltation to exaltation,” as Joseph mentions in this discourse in April, 1844? How fully must we follow Christ?

If it is God’s work to bring to pass immortality and eternal life for His children, then must God work out salvation for His children to confer upon them immortality and eternal life? If another becomes “like God” will they undertake the same work?  Will it require the same price to be paid? Is there another way?

19 thoughts on “2 Nephi 31: 10-11

  1. What does this statement mean and how does it fit ? I know my view is limited and that is why this does not fit my picture. Are ever lasting burnings A good thing in this quote,or does this mean as we follow the Christ in all things we will only do the things that we have seen him do?

    “and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.”

  2. Since there is significance to the three woes in 2 Ne 28:5, as explained by Denver here, one would also have to assume that there is significance to the two “repent ye”‘s. Perhaps this is to signify that there are two forms of repentance: 1. what we are taught in Sunday School (the five R’s or whatever), and 2. turning to Christ/letting go of our unbeliefs.


  3. Good place to start is to read what our early church prophets and apostles stated about Christ’s family life. Are there some things we do not conform to anymore in the church that is required to go from exalatation to exaltation?
    See http://www.journalofdisourses.org -early church conference reports.

  4. Denver said ” will it require the same price to be paid?”. When applying that phrase to Christ there is one price and only one price that was paid, that comes to mind.

    Christ has also said that He only did that which He saw His Father do. How literal was that statement? When we are told to “be even as Christ is”, does that mean literally, in every way?

    That is a frightening thought! Denver alluded to this a few posts back as well. What exactly are you alluding to here Denver!

  5. Jeremiah 18:2-6

    2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

    3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.

    4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

    5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

    6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.

    Brigham Young comments on these verses:

    “The clay that marred in the potter’s hand was thrown back into the unprepared portion, to be prepared over again. So it will be with every wicked man and woman, and every wicked nation, kingdom and government upon earth, sooner or later; they will be thrown back to the native element from which they originated, to be worker over again, and be prepared to enjoy some sort of a kingdom.” (JD 2:124)

  6. Regarding Jesus’ family life, it is almost too painfully obvious from what we even have in the record of the New Testament that Jesus had plural wives and children. I commented on that earlier. But it is also possible, in my opinion, for the Lord to eventually give away and seal those extra wives to one husband each when one is found worthy, and Himself remain with only one wife.

    This, in my mind, is a beautiful principle that correctly defines the temporary nature of plural marriage. I don’t care what D&C 132 says about virgins, I believe it to be true religion that the end of all such temporary arrangements is one man and one wife for all, ideally.

    Consider the Father of our Lord, how that He condescended and took up the virgin Mary to be His wife, showing that He had power to take more wives if He pleased, and that too His own daughter, yet He had her remain a virgin when she conceived, and then she was wed to Joseph. Who, then, shall she be sealed to? The Father or Joseph?

    If this then causes problems for who the boy Jesus was then sealed to, let me give two alternative opinions:

    1. that He was sealed to Joseph and Mary, as Heavenly Father raised up seed for Joseph, thus Christ took upon Him the nature of the son of mankind in full, yet He readopted Himself as a Son of the Most High, as was confirmed at His baptism (or at the Mount of Transfiguration or both).

    This option might imply that sealing to parents must be done away and we be sealed to our God, and Christ showed us that we must leave our fathers and mothers this way, as He condescended to do to show us the path.

    2. Or, the reverse is true and Mary raised up seed to a different Mother, and the child Jesus remained sealed to Heavenly Father and this other Mother, and Jesus just resided with Mary and Joseph out of love and service, being taught by His true Father along the way.

    Take your pick.

  7. To the commenter above about “everlasting burnings”. I have not seen them – but would like to at some point. I always wondered after that and how it could be until I came across a Harvard/Yale study on a crystalline diamond sphere that is very hot and would be as a “sea of glass”, as it were. The possibilities blew my mind – knowing that God is a being of light and dwells in a perfect place where nothing of this fallen sphere would plague him and other enlightened beings. Truly one would have to attain a state of “purified by fire” as it were if one were to live there:


  8. “Do you think you even know them all?”

    Since Keeping the Commandments is a Foundation Bedrock principle, I really wish you would take an aside and expound on keeping the commandments, Denver. Please?

  9. This is a troubling post. How much indeed of following Christ are we to do? Are each of us expected to carry out something similar to Jesus Christ in order to attain such a state and learn to be gods? In some sense I would say yes, how else would we “know” Him without being a “type”. But what degree is expected and how much of His path CAN we follow given the difference between our biological earthly fathers and His birth parents. (I suppose given this posts subject of baptism and rebirth our parentage could be seen in a different light)

    After stewing deeply for a while about this a part from The Second Comforter came to mind. Page 320 (in the first edition) “You are not required to live your life as if you were anything other than what you are, living where you are, among the people of your own family and neighborhood. Within your life’s context, you too can be full of light and truth. You too can drink the cup given to you, without regard to attempting to swallow an ocean never given to you to drink. Theoretical and impractical challenges are not yours. You only have those challenges that will occur in the next moment in your life. That moment can be confronted with the same rest you have as you sit in the Celestial Room of the Temple.”

    If that quote isn’t absolutely beautiful I don’t know what is.

    I hope I”m understanding this quote and how it relates to the blog post today correctly. Correct me if I’m wrong.


  10. It never ceases to amaze me the talents of some LDSs to read polygamy into any conceivable subject under the sun. I thank the Lord I am not burdened with that “preoccupation.”

  11. It seems to me the order of our eternity is explained here in one exaltation to another. After all, we do have a long time in eternity and plenty of clay pots can be made therein.

  12. Perhaps Mary is the mother of Christ in the eternities too. I’m not saying she is; it’s just food for thought.

    The ways of God seem to be unguessable and don’t always fit neatly into a “this, that, or the other” list.

  13. Anonymous @ 10:37 PM,

    I’ve wondered if Mary was really our Mother in Heaven and bore Her own first son, although I’ve never mentioned it before.

  14. Yes, very possible for Mary to be the Mother, but consider also that despite the respect Jesus shows her at the wedding in Cana, the other references of when He speaks about her is 1. He says she is not his mother and that the those who believe in Him are His mothers and brothers, etc, and 2. He says she is John’s mother. Interesting.

  15. What if you are sealed to a wife, you pass on early, she remarries. What if the latter husband she marries becomes your adopted son? Polyandry right? But surely, this man will need his own sealed wife later, or maybe he had one before his last marriage. All one big happy family… course Bryant, Harmston and others have twisted these things.

  16. Those who continue to whine about the fulness of the marriage covenant we still promise to keep to this day… maybe you have more to understand about the fulness of the gospel. It truly is all about family and being blessed with the blessings the Gods enjoy. As long as we want to not understand it’s features, functions and benefits, we suffer the happiness and blessings that otherwise could be had. God restored it for a reason. I believe God would only restore to us those heavenly things that are for our happiness and exaltation on this earth and later. Plus it’s a better system for our women and children to always be taken care of. Women have more freedom and choice to be sealed to a any righteous (celestial heading) man wether or not he has a family. Take a look around, it’s hard to find such men in our day. Others may choose to believe their way is better than God’s. Simply study the scriptures and church history regarding these things and pray on it. Let the truth speak to you, don’t tell the truth about your perceptions.

  17. I’ll comment to Anonymous August 26, 2010 8:30 AM post by saying for myself, I only build up scenarios based on some assumptions for the model. Carrying that through all the ramifications is useful for studying things out before praying for confirmations. Any of the assumptions change, and the whole model needs to change. I’m willing to accept whatever the truth really is, or hope to be able to.

    With the current model I’m toying with, one exalted man and one exalted woman, after shedding all temporary plural relationships, would be the end status, but I am purposely not mentioning the possibilities of their having liberties we may not even dream of.

    And if there are relationships of a plural nature that drag on because no righteous man can be found, I suggest, in 3 trillion years maybe a righteous child of Abraham can be risen from the very stones to fill the spot.

    That is just a hypothetical if the assumption I am working off of this time is believed that the ideal exalted unit is one man and one woman, and not one man and many women (even if one man houses many woman under his canopy for a time).

    Now how is going about searching for truth in this way short-sighted or offensive, especially when I am willing to can the whole scenario and start up with different assumptions? And how does one judge that I haven’t or won’t consider certain options? Who is anyone else to tell me what my prejudices are and aren’t? No one here knows what I believe. I am building up shadows for consideration.

    Anyway…that is how I would respond to Anonymous, but that doesn’t mean they were necessarily referring to my posts, the above is just an exercise, just an exercise…

  18. Anonymous of August 25, 2010 12:54 PM does have a point about this endless preoccupation about polygamy. Yet, this is a significant wile of the devil that does need to be overcome with understanding. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Who has clean hands and a pure heart? Who will receive the mystery of the covenant of Chastity? (I don’t exclude myself from the same line of questions as if I’ve got it figured out)

    Much has been said about men pining away over this issue of polygamy, and the points are well taken, but it is only as the man and the wife join together to understand the doctrines associated with it that such pining can be overcome, in my opinion. Let the women who are overly pious eat some humble pie as well as the whining horny toads. Let the adulterous women who think they are pure because their adultery doesn’t take the form of sexual deviance take heed as well.

    The male and the female must have charity one towards another. We must learn to work together as one. The enmity women have against the carnal, sensual, and devilish has its uses, but it must be matured past and superseded by charity, in my opinion, as opposed to discarded wholesale as the whores do (they ignore their natural enmity and become drunken).

    Let the women become motherly and womanly in deed, and let the men bridle their passions. Our women’s virtue and depth of light should be more voluptuous than the tempter’s eye-candy, yet there is as much wretchedness, and vomit, and foul stench within the Relief Societies of our Church (over-piety) as there is pornography abuse within the Quorums. Perhaps there is a connection there.

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