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Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ

Book of Mormon Study Guide #11
2 Nephi 31:2
Ten different times during the Book of Mormon record we find the Nephites using an
Egyptian word which Joseph Smith translated as “sufficeth.” The King James
translators also used the same word in John 14:8. The word implies “adequacy” or
“sufficiency” but not total satisfaction. This is the way Nephi seems to have felt about
his record. He had been compelled to leave out so much precious material.
Nevertheless, he felt he must include at least one final thought concerning the
__________________
of
__________________ . He wanted the reader to know that
he would speak
___________________
so there could be
no doubt as to the import of this doctrine.
2 Nephi 31:5-12
Baptism
The human mind explaining baptism is like a harmonica interpreting Beethoven: the
music is too majestic for the instrument. No scholar or saint can fully appreciate what
this moment means in heaven. Any words on baptism, including these, must be seen
as human efforts to understand a holy event. Our danger is to swing to one of two
extremes: we make baptism either too important or too unimportant. Either we deify
it or we trivialize it. One can see baptism as the essence of the gospel or as
irrelevant to the gospel. Both sides are equally perilous. One person says, “I am
saved because I was baptized.” The other says, “I am saved so I don’t need to be
baptized.” The challenge is to let the pendulum stop somewhere between the two
viewpoints. This is done by placing it where it should be: at the foot of the cross.
Baptism is like a precious jewel—set apart by itself, it is nice and appealing but has
nothing within it to compel. But place baptism against the backdrop of our sin and
turn on the light of the cross, and the jewel explodes with significance. Baptism at
once reveals the beauty of the cross and the darkness of sin. As a stone has many
facets, baptism has many sides: cleansing, burial, resurrection, the death of the old,
and the birth of the new. Just as the stone has no light within it, baptism has no
inherent power. But just as the stone refracts the light into many colors, so baptism
reveals the many facets of God’s grace.
1 Peter 3:21 states, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us
(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience
toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: In the New Testament, baptism
was no casual custom, no ho-hum ritual. Baptism was, and is “the answer of good
conscience toward God.

This promise is vital. Baptism separates the tire kickers from the car buyers. Would
you feel comfortable marrying someone who wanted to keep the marriage a secret?
Neither does God. It’s one thing to say in the privacy of your own heart that you are
a sinner in need of a Savior. But it’s quite another to walk out of the shadows and
stand before family, friends, and colleagues to state publicly that Christ is your
forgiver and master. This step raises the ante. Jesus commanded all his followers to
prove it, to make the pledge, by public demonstration in baptism.
Indeed, baptism is a vow, a sacred vow of the believer to follow Christ. Just as a
wedding celebrates the fusion of two hearts, baptism celebrates the union of sinner with
Savior. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were
baptized into his death?
(Rom. 6:3).
Do the bride and groom understand all of the implications of the wedding? No. Do
they know every challenge or threat they will face? No. But they know they love each
other, and they vow to be faithful to the end.
When a willing believer enters the waters of baptism, does he know the implications of
the vow? No. Does she know every temptation or challenge? No. But both know the
love of God and are responding to him.
Please understand, it is not the act that saves us. But it is the act that symbolizes
how we are saved! The invisible work of the Holy Spirit is visibly dramatized in the
water.
Remove your shoes, bow your head, and bend your knees: this is a holy event. Baptism
is not to be taken lightly. The event is a willing plunge of the body and soul into the
promise and power of Christ. The ritual of washing signifies our admission that apart
from Christ we are dirty, but in Christ we are pure.
Don’t prevent baptism from being what God intended. This is no optional command.
This is no trivial issue. It is a willing plunge into the power and promise of Christ.
Baptism is the first step of a believer. If it was important enough for Jesus to
command, isn’t it important enough for you to obey? And if it was important enough
for Jesus to do, isn’t it important enough for you to follow?
The ritual of burial signifies that we are willing to die to sin and self and that we
can be made alive again because of him. (Luther referred to baptism as death by
drowning.) Baptism effectively seals our salvation, uniting us to him and his body. In
baptism, Christ’s death becomes my death, Christ’s resurrection becomes my resurrection,
and Christ’s church becomes my church.
What can you do to more fully honor and reverence the commitments and covenants
you made at the time of your baptism?

2 Nephi 32:3
When we “feast upon the words of Christ…, the words of Christ will tell [us] all
things what we should do”.
When we search the scriptures, our hearts and minds are filled with the Spirit of the
Lord. With that Spirit, we can indeed find the direction we seek within the pages of
the standard works.” Spencer J. Condie
Can you remember a time that the answer to a question or problem you were
struggling with came to you as you studied your scriptures? Have you taken the time to
record that experience in your journal? If not, put this worksheet down, and do so
now. (That was super bossy, huh? Sorry)
Elder Gene R Cook said, “I’ve found, as I’m sure you have, that when you are
trying to learn from the Lord and you feel an impression from the Spirit…it is
important to make a note so it will not be forgotten. The more you not only hear
but remember what you’ve been told, the more the Lord will give you. It will come
more and more rapidly and you will begin to hear and feel those impressions of the
spirit more quickly than you have previously done”
Spencer W Kimball wrote, “Get a notebook… a journal that will last through all
time, and maybe the angels will quote from it for eternity. We do not know how our
writings could impact future generations.”
2 Nephi 32:1-6
Joseph Smith said, “No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving
revelations” (Teachings, p 328). This does not mean simply that we can receive
revelation, but that we cannot be denied them.
What does this mean to you?

2 Nephi 32:3
____________ speak by the power of the
_____________; wherefore they speak the words _____
______________.
Nephi’s point is that anyone who speaks the words of Christ under the influence of the
Holy ghost is speaking with the tongue of angels. Who are some angels that have gone
unrecognized in your life?

2 Nephi 32:7-9
Extreme Prayer
When Martin Luther’s coworker became ill, the reformer prayed boldly for healing. “I
besought the Almighty with great vigor,” he wrote. “I attacked him with his own weapons,
quoting from Scripture all the promises I could remember, that prayers should be
granted, and said that he must grant my prayer, if I was henceforth to put faith in
his promises.” On another occasion his good friend Frederick Myconius was sick. Luther
wrote to him: “I command thee in the name of God to live because I still have need
of thee in the work of reforming the church . . . The Lord will never let me hear that
thou art dead, but will permit thee to survive me. For this I am praying, this is my
will, and may my will be done, because I seek only to glorify the name of God”.
Boldness in prayer is an uncomfortable thought for many. We think of speaking softly
to God, humbling ourselves before God, or having a chat with God . . . but agonizing
before God? Storming heaven with prayers? Pounding on the door of the Most High?
Wrestling with God? Isn’t such prayer irreverent? Presumptuous?
It would be had God not invited us to pray as such. “Let us therefore come boldly unto
the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”.
(Heb. 4: 16 )
With this command in mind, consult God in everything. Always. Immediately. Quickly.
Live with one ear toward heaven. Keep the line open to God. “Is this opportunity from
you, God?” “Are you in this venture, God?” “Should I take this road, God?” At every
decision. At each crossroads. Acknowledge the LORD with all your heart, and lean
not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct
your paths” (Prov. 3: 5– 6) We abide with him, and he abides with us. He grants
wisdom as we need. Refer every decision to the tribunal of heaven. Like David you can
ask God to “Bow down thine ear to me;” (Ps. 31: 2). Wait until God speaks before you
act. Be patient. Monitor your impulse. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way
which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Ps. 32: 8). If you feel a check in
your heart, heed it and ask God again. This is the only way to outwit the devil’s deceit.
How can you improve in remembering to pray always?

2 Nephi 33:1
And now I, Nephi, cannot ___________ all the thing which were taught
among my _______________. Neither am I might in writing, like unto
speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the __________
_______________ the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth in unto the
___________________ of the children of men.
What is the difference between “unto the heart” and “into the heart”?. “The power of the
Spirit carries the message unto but not necessarily into the heart. A teacher can explain,
demonstrate, persuade and testify, and do so with great spiritual power and effectiveness.
Ultimately, however, the content of a message and the witness of the Holy Ghost
penetrate into the heart only if a receiver allows them to enter. Learning by faith opens
the pathway into the heart.” Elder Bednar
2 Nephi 33:4-5
Things the scriptures do for us
The scriptures were not given to us for an occasional perusal, a casual reading or a brief
history lesson. They were given for us to feast on the words of Christ. This implies
something much more than just reading. It implies that the scriptures are satisfying a
powerful spiritual hunger and quenching a thirst for the things of the Spirit. The spiritual
food is internalized and becomes a part of the individual. Spiritually speaking, you are
what you eat.
The other verb that the scriptures use to describe our approach to scriptures study is to
search. Scriptures are of little value unless they are searched. They are useful if they are
read, but the term search implies something totally different. To search is to try to
understand to look for personal meaning, to reference other sources, to find resolution to
conflicts and to internalize principles. The lord has never commanded the saints to “
read” the scriptures. He always command them to search them
Read the following verses: Mosiah 1:7, 3 Nephi 23:1 Alma 17:2
If there was a how-to manual about studying the scriptures, what do you think would be
the first direction? Do you practice this regularly?

What does the act of scriptures study accomplish in your life?

What usually prompts you to study the scriptures?

When we search the scriptures what blessings come to us:
1)  It persuadeth them to do good: The word persuade means to instill confidence.
Reading our scriptures gives us the confidence to do what is good. What “good” did
Nephi want them to do? In this Nephi alludes to the doctrine of Christ—i.e. having
faith, repenting, being baptized, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. A
study of the Book of Mormon reveals that there are two vital parts or dimension of
the journey along the path leading to Christ. We must be aware of both: we must do
and what we must be.
2)  It maketh known unto them of their fathers
Why is this an important function of the scriptures? What does knowing the history
of the Lord’s dealings with our ancestors do for us?
3)  It speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him. Remember, the word
persuadeth means to inspire confidence. When we read of Jesus Christ and his life, his
death, and his resurrection, we receive the confidence necessary to believe in him. Our
testimony grows as story after story illustrates his undying love for each one of us as
individual children of our Heavenly Father.
4)  …It persuadeth them to endure to the end, which is life eternal. Elder Perry taught,
“Enduring to the end means entering into the gospel covenant and then remaining
faith to that covenant. The Hebrew word for faithful is ‘ama which means “to be firm
and reliable” and implies primarily qualities of loyalty and determination. It means
we don’t quit because of life’s difficulties or temptations. Conversely failing to endure
means backing away from what we’ve staring, first promising loyalty to God and then
withholding what we promised. Endurance is not so much a matter of stamina as it is
a matter of loyalty and integrity. Trials, deception, and iniquity—these are the
enemies of endurance. Those who can bear the pain of trials, who can ignore alternate
voices, whose loyalty can’t be bought with sin, these are they who will not betray their
master’s trust. They will faithfully maintain the charted course. They will endure to the
end.
5)  Elder Robert E Wells testified, “Like Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon is a
divine instrument to draw the reader closer to Christ…It has withstood every
conceivable test by both skeptical and sincere minds. It is not on trial. We are the
ones on trial, being tested by our acceptance or rejection of its truths, teachings,
commandments, and declaration.