Scripture Study

Being Unlearned (2 Nephi 27)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 14 December 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 442

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 312

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 320

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 328

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 422

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 378

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 465

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 427

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 409

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 507

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 480

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.

Fruitful Women: Hannah's Longsuffering

Written by Sister Linda Scolaro on Thursday, 06 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 878

Fruitful Women: Hannah's Longsuffering

This is the first article of a series by Sister Linda Scolaro in which she relates the fruits of the spirit to women in scripture who possess them. Enjoy!

What do you think of when you read the following?

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Longsuffering
  • Gentleness
  • Goodness
  • Faith
  • Meekness
  • Temperance

Galatians 5 refers to these qualities as the fruits of the spirit. In examining them closely, I realize how many of these characteristics I lack in my own character. One fruit or attribute that I can personally relate to is longsuffering. At the very least, I can relate to the patience aspect of longsuffering. There have been times when patience was essential because God didn’t answer my prayers quickly. Waiting on the Lord is always best, but it is not always easy.

God With Us (2 Nephi 17)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 05 October 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 422

God With Us (2 Nephi 17)

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:22-23)

This passage is often read as part of a Christmas sermon celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The prophet referred to in the passage is Isaiah, and the quote comes from Isaiah 7:14, which is reproduced in 2 Nephi 17:14.

The recognition that the birth of Christ created a condition of “God with us” is an important concept in understanding why Jesus took on flesh and lived as a man among us.

Send Me (2 Nephi 16)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 28 September 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 495

Send Me (2 Nephi 16)

2 Nephi 16 includes the account of Isaiah’s calling as a prophet. In a famous scene, a heavenly being takes a hot coal and touches Isaiah’s tongue with it, purging him of his sins and preparing him to do the Lord’s work. Then the Lord speaks to him: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said: Here am I; send me” (2 Nephi 16:8).

In the work of the Lord today, we often hear the equivalent of the question, “Who will go for us?” The actual question could be any of the following:

En La Viña Del Señor (2 Nephi 15)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 21 September 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 544

En La Viña Del Señor (2 Nephi 15)

The prophecy in 2 Nephi 15 relies heavily on the metaphor of the vineyard. It mentions planting in the vineyard, fencing it, pruning it, digging in it, putting in a wine-press for the grapes that would grow, etc. An actual vineyard is typically a collection of grape vines used to grow grapes to make wine with, but when the term is used in prophecy, it of course means something else.

In this particular prophecy, the vineyard is used to represent the House of Israel (2 Nephi 15:7) so everything that is done to the vineyard in this chapter is something that was being prophesied would be done to the House of Israel.

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