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:
- Three witnesses were selected to confirm that the plates of the Book of Mormon existed and were as Joseph Smith described them. In spite of later differences between these men and the church, they never recanted their testimonies of the Book of Mormon plates.
- The Book of Mormon itself is a second witness of Jesus Christ. Instead of trying to discredit it, Christian people would do well to place this book next to the Bible as a distinct witness to the rest of the world that Jesus is the Messiah.
You and I have been called today to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. What does this mean? Does it mean we need to be ready to debate scripture, represent our views and express our opinions? If we were called as a witness in court and did any of those things, the testimony would be dismissed as irrelevant or hearsay. No, being a witness means relating what you have personally seen or experienced. When it comes to the things of God, this includes:
- Giving testimony in church of what God has done for you. Not what you have done but what God has done. Relating what He’s done for others has value, but your testimony is much more impactful when it’s about what He has done for you personally.
- Relating to others outside of church what God has done for you or what you have experienced in the church or in conjunction with your service to God. Your views on scripture or doctrine or how people should behave can easily be up for debate, but nobody can refute what happened to you personally. As when Jesus restored the sight of the blind man in John 9, the doctrinal “experts” were trying to discredit Jesus, and the man finally admitted that he didn’t know how to answer what they were saying but he added, “one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).
In any court case, a steady stream of witnesses telling the same story makes a compelling case for the side supported by that story. On the other hand, a courtroom filled with witnesses is worthless if those who are called don’t present testimony relevant to the case.
Jesus is on trial today. You have been called as a witness. Are you prepared to testify on His behalf?
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.