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He Inviteth All To Come Unto Him

Book of Mormon Lesson 10

Purpose: To help class members understand that through the Restoration of the gospel and
the teachings of the Book of Mormon, the Lord will cause truth to triumph over evil
Nephi’s writings in Chapter 26 are a reiteration of the vision that he wrote about in Chapter
12. Read the following scriptures and pair them with their Chapter 12 counter part.
2 Nephi 26:2

1 Nephi 12:6

2 Nephi 26: 1

1 Nephi 12:3

2 Nephi 26:3

1 Nephi 12:5
2 Nephi 26:7

Oh the pain, and the _____________ of my soul for the loss of the
__________ of my people! For I Nephi, have seen it, and it well nigh
____________ me before the presence of the Lord. But I must cry unto my
God: Thy ways are _______.
When we are in the depths of pain and anguish can we cry out as did Nephi, “Thy ways are
just”? Or are we tempted instead to proclaim, “It’s not fair?” Is God good when the
outcome is not? During the famine as well as the feast? At some point we all stand at this
intersection. The definitive answer comes in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the only picture
of God ever taken. Do you want to know heaven’s clearest answer to the question of
suffering? Look at Jesus.
He pressed his fingers into the sore of the leper. He felt the tears of the sinful woman who
wept. He inclined his ear to the cry of the hungry. He wept at the death of a friend. He
stopped his work to tend to the needs of a grieving mother. He doesn’t recoil, run, or retreat
at the sight of pain. Just the opposite. He didn’t walk the earth in an insulated bubble or
preach from an isolated, germfree, pain-free island. He took his own medicine. He played by
his own rules. Trivial irritations of family life? Jesus felt them. Cruel accusations of jealous
men? Jesus knew their sting. A seemingly senseless death? Just look at the cross. He exacts
nothing from us that he did not experience himself.
Why? Because he is good.
God owes us no more explanation than this. Besides, if he gave one, what makes us think we
would understand it? Might the problem be less God’s plan and more our limited perspective?
Out of all his creation, how much have we seen? And of all his work how much do we
understand? Only a sliver. A doorway peephole. Is it possible that some explanation for
suffering exists of which we know nothing at all
Your pain won’t last forever, but you will. What is coming will make sense of what is
happening now. Let God finish his work. Let the composer complete his symphony. The
forecast is simple. Good days. Bad days. But God is in all days. He is the Lord of the
famine and the feast, and he uses both to accomplish his will.

2 Nephi 26:10
“And they sell themselves for naught”
Is there any better example of selling themselves for naught in all of scripture than Esau,
who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright? Early on God established the importance of
being in the line of those chosen to inherit the promises of salvation (Gen 17:18-21;
21:8-14). To possess the divine birthright and to be a part of this chosen lineage was the
greatest blessing any one could hope to receive. As the firstborn of Isaac and Rebekah, the
heir of the Lord’s promises (26:1–5), Esau should have clung to his status tenaciously. The
birthright of the eldest male child in the ancient Near East conferred upon him the headship
of the clan and a double share of the inheritance. How foolish, then, is Esau to reject this
prize (and redemption) when he sells his birthright for stew?
depicts Esau as a man who lives only for the moment and does not take the cost of his
decisions into account. He stumbles into Jacob’s tent, exhausted and looking for food.
Surely he was aware of the wonderful promises made to Abraham that could have been his
if, by faith, he did not place his temporary hunger pains over the eternal satisfaction tied
to his birthright. But Esau lets his belly entice him away from life in God’s presence, and
therefore, Moses rightly adds that “Esau despised his birthright” (v. 34). Matthew Henry
comments: “The gratifying of the sensual appetite is that which ruins thousands of precious
souls.” If we claim to be in Christ, we must be on guard lest the lusts of the flesh become
settled in our hearts and give birth to death.
What are some ways that we are tempted to sell ourselves for naught?

2 Nephi 26:24
He doeth not __________________ save it be for the benefit of the
___________________; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth
down his own _________ that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he
________________________ none that they shall not
partake of his _____________.
Read that last sentence again. Salvation is possible for all men who will receive it. This is
the gift bestowed upon all of His children by a loving Father in Heaven. Robert Millet
says, “God enrolls none of his children in the school of mortality who have not the capacity
to graduate with full honors”. The gift of salvation is the power to receive love and the the
power to give it. Salvation changes us, shapes up, and leads us to a life that is eternally
altered. Believe that through the atonement of our Savior you are not perfect yet, but can
be closer to perfection today than you’ve ever been. That each day on earth can make you
steadily stronger, gradually better, infinitesimally closer.

2 Nephi 26:29-33
Our motives for serving in the church are just as important as the service itself.
Elder Oaks said, “We must not only do what is right. We must act for the right
reasons. The scriptures often signify this appropriate mental attitude with the words
full purpose of heart or real intent. The scriptures make clear that God
understands our motives and will judge our actions accordingly. If we do not act
for the right reasons, our acts will not be counted for righteousness” (Oaks, Pure In
Heart, 15).
2 Nephi 27:11
“And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read
upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things
shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children
of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth”
D. Kelly Ogden said of this verse, “Could Isaiah be referring to television
antennas, cable, satellite dishes, and other high tech media yet to be invented that
are stationed on the housetops?”
2 Nephi 27:14-18
It is amazing how literally these verses were fulfilled according to the words of
Martin Harris:
“I went to the city of New York, and presented the characters which had been
translated, with the translation thereof, to Professor Charles Anthon, a
gentleman celebrated for his literary attainments. Professor Anthon stated that
the translation was correct, more so than any he had before seen translated from
the Egyptian. I then showed him those which were not translated, and he said that
they were true characters. He gave me a certificate certifying to the people of
Palmyra that they were true characters, and that the translation of such of them
as had been translated was also correct. “I took the certificate and put it into my
pocket, and was just leaving the house, when Mr. Anthon called me back, and
asked me how the young man found out there were gold plates in the place where he
found them. I answered that an angel of God had revealed it unto him. He then
said to me, ‘Let me see that certificate.’ I accordingly took it out of my pocket
and gave it to him, then he took it and tore it to pieces saying that there was no
such thing as ministering angels, and that if I would bring the plates to him he
would translate them. I informed him that part of the plates were sealed and
that I was forbidden to bring them. He replied, ‘I cannot read a sealed book.’ I
left him and went to Dr. Mitchell, who sanctioned what Professor Anthon had
said respecting both the characters and the translation.”

Thought question: When did the Lord say we could expect to receive a translation of the sealed portion
of the Book of Mormon? What special advantages will that give us?

Professor Charles Anthon
(1787-1867)
This is the brilliant and scholarly gentleman who turned out to be the “one that is learned,” spoken of in
Isaiah 29:11 and in 2 Nephi 27:15-18. It was to this learned professor of Columbia that Martin
Harris took the characters which had been copied from the plates of the Book of Mormon. Charles
Anthon was professor of classical studies at Columbia College (later Columbia University) for forty-seven
years—from 1820 to 1867. In earlier years he attended Columbia as a student and is described as
probably the most brilliant scholar ever to attend Columbia College. The Dictionary of American
Biography describes Professor Anthon as a prolific writer. During a period of thirty years he produced at
least one volume annually. “Each of his text books passed through several editions, and for thirty years his
influence upon the study of the classics in the United States was probably greater than that of any other
man.”1 Edgar Allen Poe wrote of Anthon: “If not absolutely the best, he is at least generally
considered the best classicist in America....”2 Harper’s Weekly, August 17, 1867, said Professor Anthon
was “more widely known in Europe than any other American commentator on classical authors”.
Thought Question
When did the Lord say that we could expect to receive a translation of the sealed portion of the Book
of Mormon? What special advantage will that give us?

2 Nephi 28:4, “and they shall teach with their learning…”

.

This is a prophetic warning against the notion that one must be formally trained for the ministry, in
which case degrees and wisdom of men become the object of our trust, rather than the quiet whisperings of
the Spirit. When men or women begin to discuss the principles and doctrines associated with salvation,
they must do so under the influence of the Holy Ghost in order for their words to have convincing power;
otherwise there is no lasting learning, no communication of saving verities, no commitment or conversion.
The “law of the teacher” is set forth in modern revelation as follows: “Verily I say unto you, he that is
ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth
he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way? And if it be by some other way it is not of God.
And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other
way? If it be some other way it is not of God. Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and
know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of
truth? Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified
and rejoice together.” (D&C 50:17–22.)

To preach something which is true (note that it must be true!) by “some other way”—meaning by
the power of human reason and intellect—is to undertake a work which is “not of God.” That
is to say, it does not have the ratifying and confirming power which always accompanies an
inspired and heaven-sent utterance. It is not the way the Lord himself would have done it.
Indeed, the word of the Master Teacher is both a command and a prophecy: “And the
Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith: and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall
not teach” (D&C 42:14)

2 Nephi 28
“Obedience,” wrote CS Lewis, “is the key to all doors”. Don’t think for a second that you
can heed the wrong voice, make the choice, and escape the consequences. Obedience leads to a
waterfall of goodness not just for you but for your children, children's children, great
grandchildren and the children of a thousand generations in the future (Exodus 20:6. ) As we
obey God’s commands, we open the door to God’s favor. Choose obedience. And, as you do,
you can expect blessings: the blessing of a clean conscience, the blessing of a good night’s
sleep, the blessing of God’s fellowship, the blessing of God’s favor. This is no guarantee of an
easy life. It is the assurance of help. Remember Jesus’ parable about the two builders who
each built a house? One built on cheap, easy-to-access sand. The other built on costly,
difficult-to-reach rock. The second construction project demanded more time and expense,
but when the spring rains turned the creek into a gulley washer, guess which builder enjoyed a
blessing and which experienced trouble? Beachfront property doesn’t make for much if it can’t
withstand the storm. According to Jesus the wise builder is whoever hears these sayings of
Mine, and does them (Matt. 7: 24). Both builders heard the teachings. The difference
between the two was not knowledge and ignorance but obedience and disobedience. Security
comes as we put God’s precepts into practice. We’re only as strong as our obedience.
What can you do today/this week/this month to increase your obedience to the laws and
commandments of God?