Scripture Study

God Is No Respecter of Persons (2 Nephi 30)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 04 January 2017. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 384

God Is No Respecter of Persons (2 Nephi 30)

Since the House of Israel was given the first opportunity to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, there were many Israelites in those early days who thought it was only for them or that they were somehow special to God or even privileged because of the family they belonged to. After all, they were the “covenant people”! Nephi sought to squash this notion in 2 Nephi 30, describing who the real covenant people are:

"For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel." (2 Nephi 30:2)

This had to be quite an eye opener, that the only factor that mattered was belief on the Lord Jesus Christ and that those who believed — regardless of heritage — would be part of the family of God and those who did not believe — again, regardless of heritage — would be on the outside.

Why Must God Be “One and Done”? (2 Nephi 29)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 28 December 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 396

Why Must God Be “One and Done”? (2 Nephi 29)

What do the following books have in common?

  • “The Mysterious Affair at Styles” by Agatha Christie
  • “A Time to Kill” by John Grisham
  • “Carrie” by Stephen King
  • “Alex Cross” by James Patterson

All Is Well in Zion (2 Nephi 28)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 21 December 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 411

All Is Well in Zion (2 Nephi 28)

Here’s a little quiz for you — do you know what the phrase “All is Well in Zion” means? The phrase isn’t used in the church as often as it was years ago, so if you’re a younger member, you can perhaps be excused for not being familiar with the phrase. If you guessed that it’s some type of prophecy regarding the future gathering of Israel, that's actually incorrect. The mention of Zion is just an indirect reference; the phrase actually has meaning for us in this day and time.

In 2 Nephi 28, Nephi describes a spiritual battle that was taking place, one that is still going on today: “For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance” (2 Nephi 28:19). To help us be better equipped for this battle, Nephi then goes on to warn us about three different strategies that the enemy is using.

Fruitful Women: Joyful Mary

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 15 December 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 513

Fruitful Women: Joyful Mary

So far, the fruitful women I've described have included Hannah, who epitomizes longsuffering, as well as Miriam, Pharoah’s daughter, and Jochebed, who exude gentleness.

When I think of the fruit of the spirit, joy, I think of Mary, the mother of Jesus. When Mary went to visit her cousin, Elisabeth, the scripture explains that the babe, John, leaped in her womb for joy. This happens shortly after Mary learns of God’s plan for her to be the mother of Jesus.

In Luke 1:38, Mary comes to terms with being chosen to be the mother of Jesus when she responds to the angel, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

Being Unlearned (2 Nephi 27)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 14 December 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 501

Being Unlearned (2 Nephi 27)

A portion of 2 Nephi 27 references a prophecy in Isaiah 29 regarding a learned (educated) man and an unlearned (uneducated) man trying to read a book. The book being referenced is the original manuscript of The Book of Mormon as inscribed on the plates.

According to these verses, the learned man would say that he cannot read the book because it is “sealed” (unreadable) and the unlearned man would say that he cannot read the book because he is unlearned. An actual episode similar to what is described in these verses occurred when Joseph Smith (an unlearned man) brought the plates to a university professor (a learned man) and the same basic dialogue occurred.

Salvation Is for All (2 Nephi 26)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 07 December 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 359

Salvation Is for All (2 Nephi 26)

Although much of what Nephi writes is directed to his people, the House of Israel, he makes the point in 2 Nephi 26 that the gospel is for the Gentiles (everyone else) as well. In verses 25 to 28, he poses the following series of questions (underlines added for emphasis):

  • Doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me?
  • Hath he commanded any that they should depart…out of the houses of worship?
  • Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation?
  • Hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness?

For each of the questions above, the answer is the same — Nay!

Second Chances (2 Nephi 25)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 30 November 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 375

Second Chances (2 Nephi 25)

Having completed the sharing of Isaiah’s prophecies in 2 Nephi 12 through 24, Nephi devotes the remainder of 2 Nephi (chapters 25 to 33) to his personal observations on Isaiah’s prophecies as well as some prophecies of his own.

In 2 Nephi 25:12-16, Nephi describes how God would send His son to redeem Israel but that they would reject Him and crucify Him, resulting in the scattering of Israel throughout the world. However, rather than cutting off Israel, God would give them a second chance:

"And the Lord will set his hand again the second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state. Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men." (2 Nephi 25:17)

Lift Me Up a Little Higher, Self (2 Nephi 24)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 23 November 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 371

Lift Me Up a Little Higher, Self (2 Nephi 24)

2 Nephi 24 describes how the angel Lucifer fell from heaven to become the enemy of God and all mankind. The reason for the fall is given as follows:

"For thou hast said in thy heart: I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High" (2 Nephi 24:13-14)

Whatever Lucifer did or has done or will do, it all extends back to him attempting to exalt himself (lift himself up) to the level of God (or even higher). Keeping in mind that Lucifer was an angel, loved by God and referred to (in verse 12) as “Lucifer, son of the morning,” the penalty that was levied — “thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (verse 15) — indicates how God feels about those who seek to lift themselves up to His level.

The Day of the Lord (2 Nephi 23)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 16 November 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 475

The Day of the Lord (2 Nephi 23)

2 Nephi 23 gives some detail on a future period of time referred to as the “Day of the Lord,” a time of vast destruction that will precede the establishment of Zion. There are many scriptural references to the Day of the Lord, both in Isaiah and 2 Nephi as well as in the writings of other prophets. Verses that include the phrase “in that day” generally are referring to the Day of the Lord.

On the one hand, this is not a time to look forward to:

"Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty." (2 Nephi 23:6)

Sing Unto the Lord (2 Nephi 22)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 09 November 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 429

Sing Unto the Lord (2 Nephi 22)

In the brief chapter of 2 Nephi 22, the prophet encourages us to “Sing unto the Lord: for he hath done excellent things” (verse 5). Singing to the Lord is a large part of our worship of God. We have quite a diversity of hymns available to us, enough to express almost anything we might want to say regarding our relationship with God.

To illustrate this diversity, I gathered the titles of about 70 of our hymns and fashioned them into something that sounds a lot like my personal testimony. Here it is:

Fruitful Women: Gentleness in the Story of Moses

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 03 November 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 545

Fruitful Women: Gentleness in the Story of Moses

What do the following have in common?

  • Gentleness
  • Pharoah’s daughter
  • Jochebed
  • Miriam
  • Adoption

Read on to learn how today’s fruit of the spirit, gentleness, relates to the topics outlined above.

According to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, gentleness is defined as “sensitivity of disposition and kindness of behavior founded on strength and prompted by love.”

The Lamb & the Lion (2 Nephi 21)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 02 November 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 472

The Lamb & the Lion (2 Nephi 21)

The image of the lamb and the lion lying down together is a familiar one, typically representing “peace on earth.” Many Christian groups use this image, and many organizations have “Lamb & Lion” as part of their name. This phrase is based on the prophecy in Isaiah 11, which is reproduced in 2 Nephi 21:

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young one shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox." (2 Nephi 21:6-7)

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (2 Nephi 20)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 26 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 467

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (2 Nephi 20)

Here are a few hypothetical scenarios:

  • Suppose I am a church officer, perhaps a representative of the finance committee, and I come to your branch and present an impassioned plea for all of you to donate as much as you can to the church. During questions and answers, it somehow comes out that I myself don’t donate at all. You ask me, “Why should we donate to the church if you don’t?” How shall I respond – “Do as I say, not as I do”?
  • Now suppose I’m a member of the ministry and I preach on the sinfulness of adultery, and then it comes out that I in fact indulge in sexual indiscretions. Do as I say, not as I do?
  • I’m a Sunday school teacher, teaching about the 10 Commandments, when I regularly cheat on my taxes and am often dishonest in my dealings with other people. Do as I say, not as I do?
  • Or, I’m a new member of the church (or any member of the church) and I tell my friends about how much the church has changed my life and how thankful I am that I no longer live the type of life I used to. Perhaps my friends still live this type of life, and I’m letting them know they would do well to check out the church. Yet, I still frequent the bars; my language is still filthy; and I don’t even make it to church very often. In short, my life hasn’t really changed that much after all. Do as I say, not as I do?

His Name is Wonderful (2 Nephi 19)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 19 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 566

His Name is Wonderful (2 Nephi 19)

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Philippians 2:9-11)

There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ…And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ. (Mosiah 5:8-9)

Based on the verses above, is it any wonder that we say (and even sing) His name is wonderful? It’s a powerful name that brings salvation and casts out the enemy.

Is Christ Offensive? (2 Nephi 18)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 12 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 547

Is Christ Offensive? (2 Nephi 18)

The prophecy recounted in 2 Nephi 18 indicates that Jesus Christ would be “a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel…many among them shall stumble and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken” (2 Nephi 18:14-15). The prophecy seems to be saying that Christ would be offensive. Was this accurate? See for yourself:

  • Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said…Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:12-14)
  • After stating that His followers should eat His flesh and drink His blood, “many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:66).
  • The Jewish leaders were so offended with His claim to be the Son of God that they caused Him to be crucified.
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