Scripture Study

Holy, Holy, Holy (2 Nephi 14)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 07 September 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 492

Holy, Holy, Holy (2 Nephi 14)

The prophecy in 2 Nephi 14 indicates that the people who will be in Zion “shall be called holy” (v. 3). What does it mean to be holy? Can we be holy today?

Definitions of the word “holy” include sacred, sanctified, set apart, dedicated to God, etc. These are all good things to be; however, they make it sound like we should be shutting ourselves off from the world. Describing ourselves as holy can cause some challenges — people may think we consider ourselves perfect or, at the least, better than other people. Thus the term “holier than thou.”

You Reap What You Sow (2 Nephi 13)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 31 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 533

You Reap What You Sow (2 Nephi 13)

I once preached a sermon in which I said that I went to a seed store and bought seeds to plant orange trees. The package said the seeds were for orange trees, and the salesperson confirmed that these seeds would grow nice orange trees. I told the congregation that I was so proud of the oranges that I grew that I brought one to show them. I then reached into my briefcase and held up a banana! As everyone looked at me shaking their heads (or SMH as they say on social media today) I went on to explain that if you plant seeds for a banana tree, that’s what you will get regardless of what anyone else says and how convincing they may sound.

In other words – You Reap What You Sow.

The Peaceful Reign (2 Nephi 12)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 24 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 517

The Peaceful Reign (2 Nephi 12)

"We believe in the fulfillment and ultimate establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth while men are still in the flesh. We refer to this period as the “Peaceful Reign.”
– From Article 23 of the Faith & Doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ

Chapters 12 through 24 of 2 Nephi consist of the prophecies contained in Isaiah 2-14. Nephi included these prophecies in his record because he felt they were important for his people to know.

2 Nephi 12 (from Isaiah 2) includes a vivid description of a period of time (still in the future) that we refer to as the Peaceful Reign or Zion. The prophecy states that people “shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks – nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (2 Nephi 12:4).

Called as a Witness (2 Nephi 11)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 17 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 469

Called as a Witness (2 Nephi 11)

In 2 Nephi 11, Nephi briefly comments on the preceding chapters in which he included the words of his brother Jacob. He points out that since Jacob has also been a witness to the coming Christ, his words are valuable alongside the words of Nephi since the combination of their words is more effective in proving the case of Christ to others. Nephi states, “God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words” (2 Nephi 11:3).

There are several places in scripture where it states that the testimony of multiple witnesses is more valuable — or even required — as compared to the testimony of a single witness. Along these lines, note the following:

Don't Be Deceived

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Thursday, 11 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 475

Don't Be Deceived

Throughout the Book of Mormon there are several instances where men with evil intentions deceived many people. All of them were out for power and spoke flattering words to get people to follow them. One such person was Amalickiah. Alma 46 and 47 describe him and what lengths he went to in order to become a king.

First, he started out as the leader of the opposition against the church and standing government of the Nephites. Moroni, the young commander of the Nephite army, saw this and would not stand for it. He created the Title of Liberty and gathered as many as would fight with him to protect the church and the liberty they enjoyed. Amalickiah, seeing that his forces were outnumbered, took whoever would go with him into the wilderness to the land of Nephi. It is here that we see how determined he was to become king.

Land of Our Inheritance (2 Nephi 10)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 10 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 470

Land of Our Inheritance (2 Nephi 10)

Today, many of us routinely buy and sell homes and move around frequently. For Israelite families during the time period covered by the Book of Mormon, this was not the case.

Such families were typically allotted a parcel of land that would remain in the family for generations, being passed from father to son and perhaps divided up as necessary. This land was referred to as the “land of their inheritance” and was clearly very valuable.

As a clear indicator that Lehi was “all in” for God when he left Jerusalem in 1 Nephi 2, the record notes that “he left his house, and the land of his inheritance” (1 Nephi 2:4).

The Power of the Resurrection (2 Nephi 9)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 03 August 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 426

The Power of the Resurrection (2 Nephi 9)

Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes! (from chorus of “Christ Arose”)

If you’ve watched any movies that depict the life of Christ, they almost all end with Jesus returning from the dead. It makes for a nice ending — the hero is alive, the good guys (the disciples) were sad but end up happy, and the bad guys who had appeared to have won didn’t win after all. Of course, the same description can be applied to the ending of many other movies that have nothing to do with Jesus.

It’s important to understand that the resurrection is not just a happy ending to the story.

Redeemed of the Lord (2 Nephi 8)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 27 July 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 501

Redeemed of the Lord (2 Nephi 8)

REDEEM

  • To save (a person or soul) from a state of sinfulness and its consequences
  • To set free, as from slavery or kidnapping, by providing money or other compensation
  • To recover ownership of by paying a specified sum
  • To restore the honor, worth, or reputation of

In the passage from Isaiah that Jacob shares in 2 Nephi 8, he refers to the redeemed of the Lord: \\\"Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away\\\" (2 Nephi 8:11). This particular verse refers to those of the House of Israel who will one day accept Christ and be gathered into Zion.

Who Moved? (2 Nephi 7)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 20 July 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 540

Who Moved? (2 Nephi 7)

You’ve probably gone through something like this at some point. You have a close friend who lives near you (or works with you, attends the same church, goes to school with you, etc.). The day arrives when your friend moves away (leaves the company, church, school, etc.).

Promises are made that you’ll still be close friends. Perhaps that lasts for a while, but as time passes, contact is less frequent. The closeness is no longer there. The day may come when your friend calls and says, “What happened? We used to be so close but now we hardly even speak anymore.” Rather than hurt your friend’s feelings, you may choose the typical meaningless reply (“Things have been so busy … you know how it is.”) but what you really want to say is, “Hey, who moved? I’m still in the same place I was before — you’re the one who moved away. Why would you expect our relationship to be unchanged?”

Ordained of God (2 Nephi 6)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 22 June 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 649

Ordained of God (2 Nephi 6)

In 2 Nephi 6, Nephi’s brother, Jacob, shares some prophecy regarding the role of the Gentiles in restoring the House of Israel. In order to provide some credibility for his words, Jacob begins with this introduction: “I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained after the manner of his holy order, and having been consecrated by my brother Nephi…” (2 Nephi 6:2).

Even as Jacob was ordained into the priesthood at that time, we have people today who occupy ordained offices in The Church of Jesus Christ. These ordained offices are Apostle, Evangelist, Elder, Teacher, Deacon and Deaconess. How is a member of The Church placed in one of these offices? The steps are outlined in Jacob’s statement above.

Follow a Good Example (2 Nephi 5)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 15 June 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 583

Follow a Good Example (2 Nephi 5)

After the death of his father, Lehi, Nephi finds his life threatened by his brothers, Laman and Lemuel. Heeding the warning of the Lord, Nephi takes the members of his family who are supportive of him (hereafter known as Nephites) and separates from Laman and Lemuel and their followers (hereafter known as Lamanites).

After establishing their new home in a different part of the land, the Nephites set to work on a couple of projects:

Awake My Soul (2 Nephi 4)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 08 June 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 657

Awake My Soul (2 Nephi 4)

Here’s the scene: You’re at church on Sunday, and you’ve invited several brothers and sisters to come to your house after church. When you arrive home, you’re met with quite a sight — your teenage son and several of his friends have taken over your house! They’ve made quite a mess of things and are currently passed out on sofas, chairs, and the floor. What do you do?

It probably goes something like this: WAKE UP EVERYBODY!! Clean this room right now! And to your son — Don’t ever do this again!

The Choice Seer (2 Nephi 3)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 01 June 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 685

The Choice Seer (2 Nephi 3)

A key belief of The Church of Jesus Christ is that a man will come forth in the future who will play an important role in The Church’s mission among the Seed of Joseph and the House of Israel. The title used for this man is the Choice Seer. Most of the information regarding the Choice Seer is contained in 2 Nephi 3.

If you read chapter 3, you’ll see the name Joseph used quite frequently. In fact, almost everybody referenced in the chapter is named Joseph, so here’s a “scorecard” of who each Joseph is:

We Need Opposition (2 Nephi 2)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 25 May 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 714

We Need Opposition (2 Nephi 2)

In 2 Nephi 2, Lehi shares his insights on the weather in Southern California, arranged marriages and winning a major sports championship. What? You say you didn’t see any of those insights in this chapter? Let’s take them one by one.

Never Give Up on Someone You Love (2 Nephi 1)

Written by Brother Jerry Valenti on Wednesday, 18 May 2016. Posted in Scripture Study Hits 622

Never Give Up on Someone You Love (2 Nephi 1)

As 2 Nephi begins, Lehi is on his deathbed, and he shares some final words of wisdom with various members of his family as recorded in chapters 1-4. In chapter 1, he speaks primarily to Laman and Lemuel, his oldest sons, who'd given the family the hardest time as they traveled in the wilderness and had never really accepted the Lord into their lives. Here’s a summary of the points Lehi makes as he pleads with his sons:

  • Shake off the chains that bind you (verses 13, 23)
  • Soften your hardened hearts (verse 17)
  • Keep the commandments of God (verses 16, 20)
  • Do the above to avoid eternal destruction (verse 22)
  • Ultimately, the will of God will be done (verse 19)
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