Context and General Information
- Lehi, before his death, preaches to Jacob a final time.
- People are instructed sufficiently to know good from evil.
- We have the law.
- The law justifies no one, in fact because of the law we are cut off – from God.
- We are also cut off from God spiritually and will be miserable forever.
- BUT, redemption comes through the Holy Messiah
- Christ offers Himself as a sacrifice for sin to answer the ends of the law.
- If we will come unto Him with a broken heart and contrite spirit, then His sacrifice will answer the ends of the law – and we will not be subject to misery or death.
- It is important that everyone on this earth knows this message. No one can dwell in the presence of God, save it is through Christ – His merits, mercy, and grace. He laid down His life and took it again to bring pass the resurrection of the dead.
- He will also stand an intercessor between us and God – saving us.
Witness of Christ
I realize that this has been a really long series of blog entries for a short few verses. But there is so much to ponder! This entire chapter is packed with foundational doctrine, principles, and laws. It’s amazing!!! So, anyway – this is the last post in this series of posts on 2 Nephi 2:5-9—Redemption Comes through Christ.
We have studied the law, redemption (and our need for it), Christ’s grace and truth, Christ’s sacrifice for sin, and our sacrifices of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Finally, we will study another thing that we must do – bear witness of Christ, His redemption and our need for it.
“Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.” – 2 Nephi 2:8-9
There is so much to study in this, and a part of me wishes I could take the time to unpack every little thing in this verse, but I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to focus on one part of it: how great the important to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth.
Why is it so important to make these things known to everyone? Why are we exhorted to share the good news of the gospel—that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. That through His merits, mercy and grace, we can dwell again in the presence of God? Why do we need to declare to others that Christ is the firstfruits unto God and will make an intercession for all of us???
I can’t help but think of part of our responsibilities as covenant members of Christ’s church as taught by Alma the elder:
“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—” – Mosiah 18:9
When we are baptized, we promise to be willing to mourn with others, comfort others, and stand as a witness of God to others. This is a part of our own redemption – sharing the message of redemption to others. Why is that? Why is our witness a necessary ingredient in our covenant?
I’m reminded of two scriptures…First – the two great commandments given to us by the Savior:
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” – Matthew 22:37-49
Second, Lehi’s experience when partaking of the fruit of the tree of life:
“And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.” – 1 Nephi 8:11-12
Okay…I hope that I can make this train of thought clear. Lehi partook of the fruit of the tree of life. He chose a covenant path, held to the rod, and He made it. He partook of the the fruit. That fruit symbolized the love of God – Christ’s Atonement. It symbolized the promised blessings of eternal life, only available through the Savior.
The blessing of eternal life is sweeter and purer than anything else we can experience. And it will fill our souls with joy. This is what God offers us!
When Lehi partook of this fruit, he was filled with God’s love, and then wanted to share that love with those he loved – his family.
So – now we circle back to those great commandments. When we are filled with God’s love, our love for Him grows. Our love for others grows. When our love for others grows, then we will begin to desire to share this amazing fruit – the gospel – with them. We will want them to feel the same joy that we have experienced.
The importance of sharing the message that Christ is our Redeemer and Savior isn’t about getting more members in the church. It isn’t about brownie points. It isn’t about a checklist of things that we should do to be “good members” of the church.
The importance of sharing the message of the Gospel is about love.
And can you imagine the impact???
Can you imagine if you were able to help make known the things of the gospel to others, and if they were able to really accept it? Can you imagine the peace, comfort, and joy that would exist???
I often get overwhelmed by the anger that seems to exist these days. I get overwhelmed by news of shooters, violence, terrorism, hate, etc. Usually, the reaction is that we need to talk to our congresspeople. People argue that we need stricter laws, more limits. People argue, but nothing changes. And then, in time there is another act of anger, violence, terrorism, or hate. And the arguing starts all over again.
I’m of the mind that nothing will ever happen if we keep thinking that it is someone else that needs to fix the world. Changing laws won’t bring about peace, comfort and safety. But changing hearts will.
I’m so grateful for the scriptures because I’m reminded that even though bad news can be overwhelming, there actually is something I can do. I can help my little corner of the world. I can teach my children the gospel. I can be a witness of Christ through my words and deeds. I can be kind to others. I can write my little blog and hope that others are lifted by my own faith and testimony. Though I might not impact many people, my little corner of the world can get a little cleaner, a little more pleasant.
And imagine others started doing the same thing – just tidying up their little corners of the world.
These small but simple acts would change the world.
So – I agree with Lehi. It is so important to declare the gospel to others. This is a show of gratitude to our Father for the gift of the Atonement. It is a show of devotion to the Savior who provided the Atonement. And it is the way to make the world a better place.