Nephi prophesies that when Isaiah’s prophesies come to pass, “men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.” (7)
For this reason, “they are of worth unto the children of men,” (8). They “shall be of great worth unto them [us] in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their [our] good have I written them.” (8)
Nephi reviews future history, the Jews being scattered and restored again. And how “wars, and rumors of wars” (12) shall be among them. Christ will manifest Himself to them in the flesh, but “behold, they will reject him, because of their iniquities, and the hardness of their hearts, and the stiffness of their necks.” (12) And they will crucify Him. (13)
But here is the hopeful part of his prophesying—the blessed plan of salvation that Christ will make possible, even though His people killed Him.
…and after he is laid in a sepulcher for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God.”2 Nephi 25:13
I don’t know about you, but this makes my soul rejoice. Christ broke the bands of death—something we could never do, no matter how good we became or how hard we tried. Death had been an insurmountable mountain, but Christ climbed it and stuck His figurative flag in the top, symbolizing that death was not the end anymore.
Nephi says about Christ, “my heart doth magnify his holy name.” (13)
Magnify means: to extol, laud; to cause to be held in greater esteem or respect; to increase in significance; intensify.
To magnify the name of the Lord means to hold Him in greater respect, to esteem His name above all. We reverence His name because it is the only name that can save us.
Is the name of Jesus Christ significant to me? How do I show that esteem in my thoughts, actions, desires?
After Christ’s resurrection, Nephi foretells that Jerusalem will be destroyed again (which it was by the Romans in 70 A.D.).
“…for wo unto them that fight against God and the people of his church.” (14)
The Jews are scattered among all nations after this great destruction. But hope is held out (Christ always holds it out to us), when Nephi tells how the Jews will be blessed when they remember their Lord in the latter-days.
And after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation until they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind [notice how the word atonement is used specifically here] and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things [the additional light and truth God restores to the earth—His church organization, the Book of Mormon, etc].” (16)2 Nephi 25:16
Nephi talks about the second restoration of the Jews, “to restore his people from their lost and fallen state.” God will “proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men.” (17)
The purpose of the Book of Mormon—a great and marvelous thing—is to the “convincing them of the true Messiah, who was rejected by them.” (18)
When we read the Book of Mormon with a prayerful, sincere heart, our eyes will be open to SEE Christ on every page…and further SEE His hand stretched out to us in our daily lives, imploring us to repent and turn to Him.
Nephi states in verse 20 that he has spoken plainly to them that they cannot err. He has told them when Christ would come and what their Savior’s name would be. He laid out Christ’s plan of salvation and then reminds them of all the historical ways Christ has always been with them.
Yea, behold I say unto you, that as these things are true, and as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved.” (20)
And for this reason, to declare this absolute truth to the world, Nephi knows his words will be preserved “and handed down unto my seed, from generation to generation, that the promise may be fulfilled unto Joseph, that his seed should never perish as long as the earth should stand.” (21)
Nephi’s pure purpose for recording these words on the gold plates is stated:
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”2 Nephi 25:23
I love how clearly Nephi states that Christ is our Savior. We cannot save ourselves. God’s grace saves us, not because of hard work on our part (though that is important, as he does say afterward “after all we can do”), but Christ saves us because of the state of our hearts. If He is first in our lives, we will do all we can to show our love for Him by keeping His commandments, serving our fellowmen, repenting when we fall short (which we will always do). We will strive to come unto Him, but in the end, He is the only One with power to save.
Is my heart pure before Him, or am I faking it? Do I have other idols that I place higher priority upon than my Savior? Sincere prayer and repentance can help me know the answer to these questions and get my heart right before Him.
Nephi discusses ways He testifies of Christ: (26)
We talk of Christ.
Don’t be ashamed to make Christ an important part of our normal discussion. He should be our primary focus, so we shouldn’t be hesitant to bring Him up in conversation. Who cares if others mock or shun us. Christ is where eternal life is at. Why would we hide Him under a bushel?
We rejoice in Christ.
Talking of Him should make us rejoice and be glad. He made joy and hope possible. He made second chances possible (and many chances after that). We are not lost…because of Him.
We preach of Christ.
In all our lessons, doctrinal discussions and teachings, Christ should be the focal point that everything else hinges on. For example, if we’re teaching about faith, we teach faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in something else is futile.
We prophesy of Christ.
We look forward to His second coming and talk about the glorious future He has made possible. This should lead us to make goals and live accordingly so we can be worthy to be there to greet Him when He comes again.
We write according to our prophesies
…that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”
In our journals, letters, and any other correspondence, Christ should be center. My posterity should read my words and know I loved Christ, and why I did—because He has redeemed me from my sins. He has made eternal life possible. This life is not the end…because of Him.
And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel, wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.”2 Nephi 25:29
How do we worship God with our MIGHT?
Merriam-Webster defines might as the power, authority, or resources wielded by an individual or group; bodily strength; the power, energy, or intensity of which one is capable.
Worshipping with might means we put all our power, energy and intensity into our relationship with God. This is social in nature. It isn’t a casual relationship. Our actions prove this relationship is of utmost importance to us.
How do we worship God with all our MIND?
To me, this denotes that He is foremost in our thoughts. This is mental. I’ve heard it said that you know who a man is by what he thinks about. If we are always thinking of God and our covenants with Him and how to serve and build His kingdom, we are worshipping Him with our mind. If we tend to go days (or even hours) without thinking of Him, we should repent and seek His help to do so.
I’ve found for myself, the more I study and ponder upon who Christ really is, the easier it is to think of Him often. I find myself talking to Him in my mind, questioning what I can do to be closer to Him. It happens naturally the more I come to know Him and feel gratitude for what He has done for me.
How do we worship God with our STRENGTH?
This implies physical action. Service. To our utmost ability, we use our bodies to serve Him and His children. We smile, we are friendly, we volunteer to help others when needs arise, we serve our own families, and we magnify our callings in family, neighborhood, church, and community.
When we worship God with our might (social), mind (mental) and strength (physical), we worship Him with our whole souls, as Nephi says we must. Our whole beings (or life) focuses on Him, who is the Life and Light of the world.