‘Come, Follow Me’ for March 4-10: What have Church leaders and scholars said about 2 Nephi 20-25?

This week’s study guide includes Nephi’s teachings on Jesus Christ and the prophet Isaiah

2 Nephi 21

“We speak of the Church as our refuge, our defense. There is safety and protection in the Church. It centers in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Latter-day Saints learn to look within themselves to see the redeeming power of the Savior of all mankind. The principles of the gospel taught in the Church and learned from the scriptures become a guide for each of us individually and for our families.

“We know that the homes we establish, and those of our descendants, will be the refuge spoken of in the revelations — the ‘light,’ the ‘standard,’ the ‘ensign’ for all nations, and the ‘refuge’ against the gathering storms (see Doctrine and Covenants 115:5–6; Isaiah 11:12; 2 Nephi 21:12).”

— President Boyd K. Packer, October 2006 general conference, “A Defense and a Refuge

“As wonderful as our modern attainments may be, there is an even greater age of enlightenment coming. The Savior’s future return to the earth will usher in the great millennial day when ‘the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea’ (2 Nephi 21:9). … When calves who have spent their early lives in the barn are led out into the pasture for the first time, they run with excitement at their newfound freedom. So it will be with us. Christ and His gospel give us more enlightenment about the purpose and meaning of life than any other individual or source. And when He appears at the Second Coming, we will receive even more.”

— W. Jeffrey Marsh, former associate professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University, in the April 2000 Ensign article, “‘Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been’

“‘And a little child shall lead them’ (2 Nephi 21:6). Can you imagine the joy our Heavenly Father must feel when we come to Him with the tender faith of a little child and accept the love He has for each of us? He wants us to come to Him and has promised that He will be there to welcome us.”

— Elder J. Thomas Fyans, October 1985 general conference, “‘Draw Near unto Me’”

“[The pioneers] came west with the faith that God had ‘set his hand again the second time’ (2 Nephi 21:11) to restore the house of Israel. They knew that they were a part of this great movement. They were converted to the truth that the Church of Jesus Christ had been restored again on the earth through the instrumentality of a latter-day Prophet, Joseph Smith, and that following his martyrdom, the keys of the priesthood had been continued through Joseph’s ordained successor, Brigham Young. They believed themselves to be God-directed and prophet-led. Their conviction inspired their sacrifices.”

— President Ezra Taft Benson, October 1976 general conference, “Our Priceless Heritage

2 Nephi 22

“You are the women whose everyday works overflow with the quenching knowledge stated so powerfully by Isaiah:

“’God is my salvation; … the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; …

“’Therefore, with joy shall [I] draw water out of the wells of salvation’ (2 Nephi 22:2–3).

“The cause of Christ — to redeem all souls — needs your strength, time and talents in your homes and in your communities. Your faithful works and words contribute significantly to the building of this, the kingdom of God on the earth.”

— Sister Virginia U. Jensen, then the first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, October 2000 general conference, “Ripples

Nephi sits beside his wife while teaching his people in this picture from the Book of Mormon Videos.
Nephi teaches his people in this picture from the Book of Mormon Videos. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

2 Nephi 23

“The word ‘satyr’ or ‘satyrs’ occurs twice in the King James Version, both times in the book of Isaiah. [In the first instance], Isaiah, speaking of the fate of Babylon, says that ‘wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there’ (Isaiah 13:21; 2 Nephi 23:21). …

“In contemporary English, the word ‘satyr’ usually refers to a mythical creature. In Greek mythology, a ‘satyr’ was a creature of the hills and woods, half man and half animal, who followed Dionysus and Pan. In Roman art, the ‘satyr’ regularly appeared with goat legs and horns. The animal’s association with goat features may have influenced King James translators to select the word in the two Isaiah passages. The Hebrew word translated [as] ‘satyr’ may… mean ‘hairy’ (this word is used in Genesis 27:11 to describe Esau), ‘he-goat,’ ‘hairy one,’ ‘hairy being,’ and ‘demon’ with ‘he-goat’s form.’

“The translator’s task is to select the word or phrase that best represents in another language the meaning in the original language. It is likely that the word ‘satyr’ was selected by the King James translators because they expected that the English-speaking readers of their day would recognize the word’s associations with goats or goat-like creatures.”

— Stephen Ricks, professor of Asian and Near Eastern languages at Brigham Young University, in the February 1996 Ensign article, “How do we explain the mention of ‘satyrs,’ commonly regarded as mythical creatures, in 2 Nephi 23:21 and Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14?

2 Nephi 24

“You have heard too that Satan wanted to destroy man’s agency, but that was not the only reason he fell out of favor. He was cast out of heaven for rebellion against the Father and the Son.

“Why did you and I fight against the devil? We fought out of loyalty. We loved and supported our Father in Heaven. We wanted to become like Him. Lucifer had a different goal. He wanted to replace the Father (see Isaiah 14:12–14; 2 Nephi 24:12–14). Imagine how Satan’s betrayal hurt our heavenly parents. In the scriptures, we read that ‘the heavens wept over him’ (Doctrine and Covenants 76:26).”

— Elder Larry R. Lawrence in the April 2017 Liahona article, “The War Goes On

“In the pre-mortal council, it was pride that felled Lucifer, ‘a son of the morning’ (2 Nephi 24:12–15). …

“In the pre-earthly council, Lucifer placed his proposal in competition with the Father’s plan as advocated by Jesus Christ. (See Moses 4:1–3.) He wished to be honored above all others. (See 2 Nephi 24:13.) In short, his prideful desire was to dethrone God.”

— President Ezra Taft Benson, April 1989 general conference, “Beware of Pride

“Perhaps it is not pedestrians on the straight and narrow path who are narrow, but those who see Christ too narrowly. Spectacular surprise awaits those who see Christ too narrowly, for these individuals shall look upon Christ and ask, in the words of the scripture concerning another, ‘Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?’ (2 Nephi 24:16)”

— Elder Neal A. Maxwell in the August 1971 New Era article, “On the Straight and Narrow Way

Nephi hugs children in this picture from the Book of Mormon Videos
Nephi hugs children in this picture from the Book of Mormon Videos. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

2 Nephi 25

“When your children ask you questions, consciously think about teaching what the Savior taught. For example, if your child asks, ‘Daddy, why do we pray?’ You might respond, ‘That’s a great question. Do you remember when Jesus prayed? Let’s talk about why He prayed and how He prayed.’

“’We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, … that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins’ (2 Nephi 25:26).

“This same scripture adds that ‘we preach of Christ.’ In our worship services, let us focus on the Savior Jesus Christ and the gift of His atoning sacrifice. This does not mean we cannot tell an experience from our own life or share thoughts from others. While our subject might be about families or service or temples or a recent mission, everything in our worship should point to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

— Elder Neil L. Andersen, October 2020 general conference, “We Talk of Christ

“I don’t know if anything in this world could bring more happiness and joy than to know that our children know the Savior, to know that they know ‘to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.’ That is why, as members of the Church, ‘we preach of Christ’ and we testify of Christ (2 Nephi 25:26).

“That is why we pray with our children every day.

“That is why we read the scriptures with them every day.

“That is why we teach them to serve others, so that they can hold claim upon the blessings of finding themselves as they lose themselves in the service of others.

“As we devote ourselves to these simple patterns of discipleship, we empower our children with the love of the Savior and with divine direction and protection as they face the fierce winds of the adversary.”

— Elder K. Brett Nattress, October 2016 general conference, “No Greater Joy Than to Know That They Know

“My beloved brothers and sisters, godly fear dispels mortal fears. It even subdues the haunting concern that we never can be good enough spiritually and never will measure up to the Lord’s requirements and expectations. In truth, we cannot be good enough or measure up relying solely upon our own capacity and performance. Our works and desires alone do not and cannot save us. ‘After all we can do’ (2 Nephi 25:23), we are made whole only through the mercy and grace available through the Savior’s infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice. Certainly, ‘we believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel’ (Articles of Faith 1:3).”

— Elder David A. Bednar, April 2015 general conference, “Therefore They Hushed Their Fears

“Repentance means striving to change. It would mock the Savior’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross for us to expect that He should transform us into angelic beings with no real effort on our part. Rather, we seek His grace to complement and reward our most diligent efforts (see 2 Nephi 25:23). Perhaps as much as praying for mercy, we should pray for time and opportunity to work and strive and overcome. Surely the Lord smiles upon one who desires to come to judgment worthily, who resolutely labors day by day to replace weakness with strength. Real repentance, real change may require repeated attempts, but there is something refining and holy in such striving. Divine forgiveness and healing flow quite naturally to such a soul, for indeed ‘virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; [and] mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own’ (Doctrine and Covenants 88:40).”

— Elder D. Todd Christofferson, October 2011 general conference, “The Divine Gift of Repentance

Nephi kneels to pray in this picture from the Book of Mormon Videos. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“The convincing and converting powers of the Book of Mormon come from both a central focus upon the Lord Jesus Christ and the inspired plainness and clarity of its teachings. Nephi declared, ‘My soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn’ (2 Nephi 25:4). The root word ‘plain’ in this verse does not refer to things that are ordinary or simple; rather, it denotes instruction that is clear and easily understood.”

— Elder David A. Bednar, April 2010 general conference, “Watching with All Perseverance

“Nephi taught us clearly what we ought to do. He said, ‘For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (2 Nephi 25:23).

“I believe that the first thing we have to keep in mind in doing ‘all we can’ is to repent of our sins. We will never be able to reach our divine potential if we remain in our sins. …

“Another important principle to remember in doing ‘all we can do’ is to look for and develop the opportunities that life within the gospel constantly offers us and recognize that the Lord has given us all that we have. He is responsible for all that is good in our lives.

“Another thing that must be our permanent responsibility is to do ‘all we can do’ to share the gospel of happiness with all mankind. …

The final concept I want to share is that we should do ‘all we can do’ until the end of our mortal probation.”

— Elder Claudio D. Zivic, October 2007 general conference, “After All We Can Do

“The scriptures and our prophets are clear about what to teach our children. Nephi summarizes it in this verse, ‘And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ … that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins’ (2 Nephi 25:26).

“Knowing that we teach of Christ and His gospel, how do we do it? Begin by following the counsel of our prophets and making time in our homes for family prayer, scripture study and family home evening. Have we heard that counsel so often that it seems too simple? Or are we so busy that adding one more thing feels too complex? I testify that even when our family worship seems less than effective, obedience alone invites the blessings of the Lord.”

— Sister Margaret S. Lifferth, then the first counselor in the Primary general presidency, October 2006 general conference, “Behold Your Little Ones

Related Story
‘Come, Follow Me’ for Feb. 26-March 3: What have Church leaders and scholars said about 2 Nephi 11-19?
Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed