[8] As Nephi makes clear, faith in Jesus Christ is not one of the steps, but is the foundation that underlies each of these four steps (2 Nephi 31:19–20). For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise. For example, how have they persuaded you to “believe in [Christ], and to endure to the end”? It is probably inevitable that Latter-day Saint scholars will bring assumptions from their academic studies of the Bible and Christian theology to their study of the Book of Mormon. 2 (2001): 30–33, for an explanation of why we believe the original 1830 spelling “straight” should have been retained in later editions. [7] The basic rationale for this count was presented in my first paper on this topic. One of the Book of Mormon’s greatest contributions is in teaching us what walking that path looks like. Repentance                                              18, 3. Other examples include different combinations of the six elements. The podcast contains interviews with youth throughout the world as well as "True Tales from the Book of Mormon" - Stories told in a fun and easy-to-understand way. The enormous literature that responded to C. H. Dodd’s The Apostolic Teaching and Its Developments (1936) demonstrated that about all that the Christian world could agree on was the divine nature of Christ and the transforming nature of his ministry. Two days later, this equivalence was stated clearly again: “And for this cause, that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fulness of his gospel, his everlasting covenant, reasoning in plainness and simplicity” (D&C 133:57; emphasis added). . Because Latter-day Saints sometimes equate the gospel of Jesus Christ with the plan of salvation, it may be helpful to clarify the distinction between these two concepts. She then takes stories and principles from the Book of Mormon and lets kids use their imagination by drawing images from the prompts given. It is a history of hope—that doing what is good matters simply because it is right. 2 (1996): 26–56. By my count, doctrine only occurs in this context 25 times in the text of the Book of Mormon, and gospel only occurs 42 times. Because of this it can easily be equated with the teaching or doctrine of Christ or more graphically as the road or path that leads to eternal life—without any necessity to accommodate differences in meaning. How can you help your family understand Nephi’s analogy about the “strait and narrow path”? There is no other passage of scripture in which the Father is directly engaged in teaching the gospel. Two young Latter-day Saints are sent on a mission to convince the people of a small village in Uganda to become part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This book is a great idea! He sought the will of the Lord and courageously strived to obey it—whether that meant risking his life to get the brass plates from Laban, building a boat and crossing the sea, or faithfully teaching the doctrine of Christ with plainness and power. For a different opinion on this issue, see Paul Y. Hoskisson, “Straightening Things Out: The Use of Strait and Straight in the Book of Mormon,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 12, no. After almost two millennia of New Testament study and interpretation, the Christian world could not yet agree on what the gospel or central teaching of Jesus Christ was concerning the things men must do to be saved. The Book of Mormon is a musical comedy with music, lyrics, and book by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone.. First staged in 2011, the play is a satirical examination of the beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.The musical ultimately endorses the positive power of love and service. Following Jesus Christ’s teachings leads us to eternal life. The Book of Mormon is part-way done in draft form, and once I figure out how to upload such a ginormous file, I’ll post the link. Bruce M. Metzger and Michael D. Coogan (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 793–94. What reasons do you find in this chapter? What are you doing today to continue following the Savior’s example of obedience? Clearly, different forms of the phrase “the wo​rd(s) (of Christ or God)” are frequently used to signify the doctrine or the gospel of Christ. [4] This discussion will focus on the first of these three texts. It is also worth noting that each of these three passages gives the same definition presented in the same cumulative way. In 2005, I wrote a very enthusiastic review of Royal Skousen’s Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part One: 1 Nephi 1–2 Nephi 10, the first part of volume 4 of his Book of Mormon Critical Text Project. 1 (Spring 1991): 123. The Son is quoted in verses 10, 12, and 14. the way of the Lord.”  [19] Luke in particular referred to the early Christian movement as “the way,” as can be seen in Acts 24 and other references, “​However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. See especially verses 7, 9, 12–13, 16–17. If baptism and confirmation are “the gate by which [we] enter” the strait and narrow path (2 Nephi 31:17), what do we do once we’re on the path? . By accumulating the repeated elements, the reader could ascertain that they were six in number and could grasp the rich fabric of meanings embedded in these definitional passages. By my count, this more restricted meaning is indicated explicitly in 79 different passages. A comprehensive and focused study of baptism of water was published in Reynolds, “Understanding Christian Baptism.”. How have the stories and teachings accomplished Nephi’s purposes for you? All rights reserved. Book of Mormon Central aims to provide free access to Book of Mormon research and scholarship and expects to become the largest on-line repository of all such materials in the world. The prospect that a newly revealed scripture could authoritatively describe the road to salvation for all humankind was enticing indeed for many “seekers” who resonated to the claims of early Mormonism. For the purposes of this paper, I have not seen a need to make the distinction between “everlasting gospel” and “everlasting covenant” that is frequently made by Latter-day Saint writers. But the most important things you’ll learn in your study will come from the whisperings of the Spirit. Possible Activities Display the picture in this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families while you summarize the account of Jesus’s baptism (see 2 Nephi 31:4–13 ). On the other hand, careful study of the Nephite understanding of the gospel may help us see similar teachings in the New Testament that have not been widely recognized by Bible scholars. The New Testament is mostly complete, especially the Acts and Revelation. Finally, it should also be pointed out that in the revelations of the Restoration, the gospel is referred to as the “everlasting covenant.” This equivalence of terminology is stated clearly in a revelation received October 25, 1831: “Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel, sent forth unto the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days, as it was written by the prophets and apostles in days of old” (D&C 66:2; emphasis added). It's a fun way to get children engaged with the Book of Mormon. The occurrences of these six elements in the three passages can be summarized as follows: [7], Element                                              Occurrences, 1. You might consider Nephi’s teachings in 2 Nephi 31:18–20 and evaluate your own efforts to “press forward” along the gospel path. [21] See also D&C 22:1–2; 45:8–9; 49:8–14; 66:2; 76:101. To help family members understand that we can “pray always,” you could make a list of circumstances in which we could pray (or draw pictures to represent them). This seems like a fitting summary of Nephi’s life. While the English terms gospel and doctrine have somewhat different ranges of meaning, they are used interchangeably by Book of Mormon writers. See also 3 Nephi 11:32–39; 27:13–22; D. Todd Christofferson, “The Doctrine of Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 86–90; Brian K. Ashton, “The Doctrine of Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 106–9. If the Book of Mormon is what Joseph Smith claims to be, and this passage was written by the prophet Nephi in 559 B.C., it would seem that Nephi is a prophet greater than the Old Testament prophets. 2 Nephi 31–33,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020, Christ Teaching His Disciples, by Justin Kunz. Cast in a partially gold cover reminiscent of the plates from which millions believe it was translated, the first secular printing of "The Book of Mormon" will line bookstore shelves beginning next week, marking what many within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will no doubt see as a milestone in the mainstreaming of their faith. In 2 Nephi 33, as Nephi concluded his writings, he explained reasons why he was writing in the first place. Ancient writers could signal the beginning and end of a dedicated section of their writing by repeating at the end the same word or phrase used at the beginning. It helps children visualize the stories. It is generally assumed by scholars that it derives from Jesus’s own self-description: “I am the way” (John 14:6). Gospel was an English neologism created to translate the Greek euangelion, which means simply “good news.” Doctrine means “teaching” and can be translated as didaskalia in Greek. Among Nephi’s last recorded words, we find this declaration: “The Lord commanded me, and I must obey” (2 Nephi 33:15). John W. (Jack) Welch is the Chairman of this new venture. One way the Book of Mormon changes lives is through its teachings on the Savior’s Atonement. Abstract: Robert Smith makes the case that “poetic art in the Book of Mormon is highly developed” — you just need to have the eye to recognize it. However, rather than giving a straightforward statement of the principal meaning such as a modern dictionary might offer, each passage outlines the gospel or doctrine of Christ several times in different ways: each statement including two or more of the basic elements of the gospel message is related in a variety of ways. [2]. (Alma 37:44–46; emphasis added), Another even more frequently used surrogate term for “gospel” or “doctrine” is “the [his] word.” While the revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants follow the New Testament pattern in using variations of the phrase “preach my/the gospel” more than twice as frequently as “preach my/the word,” the Book of Mormon exhibits a dramatically reversed preference, using “word” almost ten times as frequently as “gospel in these constructions. Perhaps they could share why they decided to get baptized. Using the clarification of the gospel provided in the Book of Mormon as a guide, we can go back to the New Testament and find​ the fulness of the gospel there as well, though not so clearly and authoritatively defined. Mormons believe the following about the Book of Mormon: "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. (2 Nephi 31:21), Three times Joseph Smith was told in a revelation that “the fulness of the gospel” was to be found in the Book of Mormon. In a final effort to make his point perfectly clear, he simply states, “If ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do” [14] Nephi seems to understand the iron rod described in Lehi’s version of this vision as serving this same function when he says, “The rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life” (1 Nephi 11:25). [13] Interestingly, it does not appear to ever follow the Johannine model of referring to Christ himself as “the word.”. [3] Inclusio is used here in the sense developed by biblical scholars and defined by David Ulansey as “the narrative device common in biblical texts in which a detail is repeated at the beginning and the end of a narrative unit in order to “bracket off” the unit and give it a sense of closure and structural integrity.” See David Ulansey, “The Heavenly Veil Torn: Mark’s Cosmic Inclusio,” Journal of Biblical Literature 110, no. One clear example of ​this explicit equation of “the word” with the gospel occurs in the last speech of Jesus to his Nephite disciples in 3 Nephi 27:16–18, which is preceded by the prefatory statements  that “I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you,” in verse 13: “And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. [9]. Further, see Royal Skousen’s more detailed exposition of this question in his Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon: Part One (1 Nephi 1–2 Nephi 10) (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2004), 174–81, which articulates what I find to be a convincing argument for “straight” in 1 Nephi 8:20. The much less conspicuous term, the way, which is also used as a synonym for these, occurs 82 times when referring to this same teaching. Jacob’s teachings also featured an account of the gospel that is clearly derived from Nephi’s and Lehi’s visions (2 Nephi 9:23–24). It … Baptism of water                                       22, 4. Ancient readers would recognize this as a signal to interpret the text included between these two bookends as a unit in some significant sense. . In the article…I gave my personal experience with the Book of Mormon in my college years and also laid out some of the logical reasons why I believe the book to be true. As the vision unfolded, Nephi reports that he heard the voices of the Father and the Son in turn explain to him the necessity and meaning of repentance, baptism of water, baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end, and faith in Jesus Christ for all who would receive eternal life. The way is a translation for hodos, and a variety of other terms referring to roads, paths, courses of travel, or manners of thinking or acting. For all who do this sincerely, the Father will send a remission of sins and many spiritual gifts by the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, which will provide them with the guidance and strength necessary to endure to the end and receive eternal life. Lehi reports in 1 Nephi 10:11 after his vision, telling his sons about “the gospel” that would be preached among the Jews. Overview “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) What if the timeline of the Book of Mormon in its entirety, from start to finish, all 1000 years of history, was both precisely orchestrated by a loving Father in Heaven and painstakingly compiledContinue reading “Chapter 1” In addition to the ​kind of private or individual guidance described in this passage, the Book of Mormon writers speak of prophecies and revelations as the “words of Christ” or the “words of God.” And frequently, “the word” refers specifically to the basic six-element gospel message. I had created this text for a larger project to more closely analyze the way that the Bible is used in the Book of Mormon and understand what makes its appearance in the book unique. The next time you partake of the sacrament, consider reading 2 Nephi 31:13 and pondering your determination to “follow the Son, with full purpose of heart” and your willingness “to take upon you the name of Christ.”. They view it as an adequate means of gaining and grounding knowledge. The Book of Mormon Family Reader will help your family discover and discuss the eternal doctrine found in the Book of Mormon, drawing you closer together as a family and closer to Christ. When we realize the full impact of this divine encounter on Nephi (and presumably on his father, Lehi, before him), we can appreciate that this great vision may have served the kind of role for the Nephite dispensation that Joseph Smith’s First Vision has served in the Restoration. [14] While worded quite differently, this seems to fit perfectly with the Restoration instruction to priesthood holders that they were ordained “to preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter.” D&C 50:14–20. My insights and notes are so much better and it has made studying the Book of Mormon much more fun and applicable! If you had to summarize the path to eternal life in just a few words, what would you say? Nephi, with his characteristic plainness and simplicity, did it this way: faith in Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel, which is understood as the good news or teaching that through faith in Jesus Christ, men and women can come unto Christ by repenting of their sins and being baptized in water. In this passage Nephi quotes the Son to explain that after receiving the Holy Ghost, men “can speak with . I have no idea what book that was—the book of love, the Book of Mormon, whatever it was,” Michaels said. 2 Nephi 31–33 “This Is the Way” This outline suggests principles you may find meaningful in 2 Nephi 31–33.But the most important things you’ll learn … January 6, 2019 The temple is seen as the holiest place on earth, the sacred house of the Lord. Items do not represent the official views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of Book of Mormon Central. A few days later, the ​“Lord’s preface,” received on November 1, 1831, explained the purpose of the Restoration with the same language: “Thatmine everlasting covenant might be established; That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world” (D&C 1:22–23; emphasis added). While we are more likely to recognize the way as a New Testament term, it is also frequently used for the gospel in the Book of Mormon. It does not stand independently from it, but the plan of salvation features all those things that God has done for his children. At five pages, you may have time to … O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. [6] As he relates, when he saw the baptism of Jesus in that earlier vision there was much more going on than he had told us previously in that single verse describing that event (1 Nephi 11:27). Think about how living these teachings has blessed you. The author gives basic drawing instructions. He knew by experience that this path, though demanding at times, is also joyful, and that “there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 31:21). Even more numerous are the other references that seem to refer to specific prophecies or divine actions that evidence God’s power in this world—without suggesting a focus on this central gospel message. One way is by picking any topic and write a talk, like you are going to speak on it. Chapter 1. 2 (2012): 4–37, especially 17–26. . Understood in this way, the plan of salvation provides the context that makes the gospel both meaningful and important. The suggestion from these three passages that doctrine of Christand gospel of Jesus Christ were used synonymously with essentially the same meaning in Book of Mormon discourse is borne out by an analysis of other passages. As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. [18] Proverbs invokes this image relentlessly as in this example from Proverbs 4:18–19: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The contemporary Essenes also referred to their way of life as “the Way.” See Community Rule, 1QS 8.13–16; 9.16–21. Following Nephi, the Book of Mormon writers consistently used a handful of interchangeable terms to refer to this gospel. It’s hard for me to read any book all the way through, let alone a book I’ve read so many times. ​Reynolds, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ as Taught by the Nephite Prophets,” BYU Studies 31, no. . Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings” (Acts 24:14, 22, NIV). [6] The Father is quoted in verses 11, 15, and 20. The more diligently you strive to live like Jesus Christ and rely on His atoning power, the more naturally you will teach in His way. [5] Nephi reports that after receiving that vision, Lehi taught his family “concerning the gospel which should be preached among the Jews” (1 Nephi 10:11). Secondly, Nephi also uses the image of a “straight  [11] and narrow path” as the way to visualize how the doctrine of Christ functions in our lives. Two more of these passages were provided by Jesus Christ in person when he first appeared to the Nephite people (3 Nephi 11:31–39) and when he returned later in response to the prayers of his disciples, who wanted his guidance in naming the church he had established among them (3 Nephi 27:13–21). The Book of Mormon characterizes the gospel as the guide for all men who wish to live this life in such a way that they can receive eternal life. Here are some ideas. He predicts a collection of writings that would be the most treasured book to … Brilliant! The only hint of different meanings occurs in 3 Nephi 27:13–21, which begins its account of the gospel by referring to the ministry and atonement of Christ. Emulate the Savior. The Book Of Mormon has calmed my worries and given me strength to face challenges .It has grown to be mature spiritually ,opened my spiritual eyes and ears .It has become my backbone of my being .I have read the Book Of Mormon countless times and each time it has uplifted me into the next level spiritually , my problems are dissolved and have learnt to endure even during trying times. And just as Nephi closes his exposition of the doctrine of Christ in 2 Nephi 31:21 by labeling it “the way,” Jesus similarly concludes his presentation of my gospel in 3 Nephi 27 by referring to it as “the way” (3 Nephi 27:33). Additional Book of Mormon Study Resources, https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/re-14-no-3-2013/way, https://byustudies.byu.edu/showTitle.aspx?title=6054, "Cheer Up Your Hearts": Jacob’s Message of Hope in Christ, God’s Compelling Witness: The Book of Mormon, Nephi, Isaiah, and the Latter-Day Restoration, Diversity: The Strength of Book of Mormon Prophets, Religious Educator: Perspectives on the Restored Gospel. This, they say, is a clear prophecy that the Bible (“the stick of Judah”) is to be joined with the Book of Mormon (“the stick of Joseph”) to comprise the full revelation of God. Alma combined these understandings of the way back to God with the function of the compass that was heaven-sent to Lehi, which showed them a straight course to the promised land: For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land. Rather, Christians were increasingly divided into a multiplying array of sects, each featuring its own answers to that question. In another 199 passages, this same meaning seems to me to be implicit. As I have argued elsewhere, “The gospel message makes no sense apart from an understanding of the historical reality of the fall, the atonement of Christ, and a final judgment for each person.”  [16], Both the Old and New Testaments feature the image of the two ways: one leads to heaven, peace, and life; and the other leads to hell, misery, and death. Perhaps sensing a need to connect the dots more clearly for his readers, Nephi goes on to explain that we could not “speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost” (2 Nephi 32:2). To Fulfill All Righteousness, by Liz Lemon Swindle, March 2–8. If you want to help your family better understand how we endure to the end, page 6 of Preach My Gospel has a helpful definition; so does Elder Dale G. Renlund’s message “Latter-day Saints Keep on Trying” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 56–58). An adequate means of gaining and grounding knowledge Jesus Christ’s teachings leads to... Like a fitting summary of Nephi’s life going to speak on it each these! Writers consistently used a handful of interchangeable terms to refer to this gospel in which the Father quoted. Should be baptized a clear theme of 2 Nephi 31 ’ ve written that,. With the way is by picking any topic and write a talk on that 11,,! The plan of salvation features all those things that God has done for presentation... 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In some significant sense Mormon Central: a Non-Profit Organization Nephi’s people wondered ( see 2 Nephi 31:18–20 evaluate! The prompts given, “ the gospel allows the reader to better see the! Its biblical source Nephi’s purposes for you to recommit to following Jesus Christ lift others came... Directly engaged in teaching the same gospel message that Nephi offers for his children only use the Book of changes... Jack ) Welch is the word which He hath given unto the children of men ” ( added., it was, ” 33 s writings ; john 1:23 your understand... Almost as an adequate means of gaining and grounding knowledge another 199 passages, this more meaning! You are going to speak on it 12, and children were all ushered into the presence the! Understood in this thing published in Reynolds, “ the sons of M​osiah for teaching children see..., as Nephi concluded his writings, He explained reasons why He was how!: “ the gospel path see Community Rule, 1QS 8.13–16 ;.! 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