Before I even begin reading this one, I've gotta say that 2nd Nephi 2 is one of the power-doctrine chapters. I'll be surprised if I can get through reading this today.
Verse 2 contains an interesting phrase: Consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain
. This brings to mind quite a few cross-references, but can you imagine how much easier it would be if we all kept in mind that if we pray and live right, all
our afflictions can be "consecrated for our gain". 2nd Nephi 32:9 tells us that this means the affliction will be turned around to work for our eternal welfare. Various scriptures
in D&C tell us that "all things shall work together for the good of those who keep" the commandments of God.
The kicker is the whole "all things
" bit. When God says something, he means it. When he says it more than 5 times, he means it more. All things can be for our good if we allow God to consecrate them due to our righteousness.
"Salvation is free". I believe that phrase can only be found in this chapter throughout all scripture, but I'm glad it's there. The entrance fee for heaven has nothing to do wtih money. The entrance fee has already been paid by Jesus Christ, and now we owe Him our wills, doing what He has asked.
I've been debating for at least 2 minutes now whether to write something about verse 5. The beginning statement seems innocent enough, yet the only thing which causes me grief is the fact that not all
men are instructed sufficiently to know good from evil - and it doesn't say all men. It just says men. So... Are serial killers instructed sufficiently? How about perpetual pedophiles? There are obviously some mentally handicapped people which might not fit into that category... So... I guess the statement is just ambiguous enough to keep me unstable about the whole thing. Ah well, it's not for me to judge, anyway.
continuing verse 5... "by the law, men are cut off." How are they cut off? By not being able to keep the law (The law of God, which is "be perfect"). All men fall short of keeping themselves free from sin, so, "by the law", they are cut off. For this reason, verses 6 and 7 talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ being there "to answer the end of the law". Good stuff.
Verse 8 then talks about how if this is all true, it is then very important for us to let people know about it!
Verse 10 answers a question I've had for a bit. I personally believe that God is the judge of us, and we will all
stand in the presence of God to be judged of Him at the last day. Christ will be our advocate before the father. It seems that verse 10 states that we will all be brought back into the presence of God and
the Holy One (Christ). This tells me that God is indeed going to be our judge, and Christ will be the advocate for His righteous followers before the Father.
And, I'm going to save verse 11 to the end of the chapter for tomorrow's study.