"Free to Choose Liberty and Eternal Life"
Lesson 6 - 2 Nephi 1-2

Lehi exhorted his sons to repent, obey the Lordís commandments, and put on the armor of righteousness

Chapter One contains counsel that Lehi gave to his sons shortly before he died. As we review the lesson material, look for specific things that Lehi counseled his sons to do and for the blessings that he promised they would receive if they obeyed his counsel.
2 Nephi 1:5 Lehi said that despite their afflictions, his people had "obtained a land of promise" by covenant.
2 Nephi 1:6-7, 9-10 The covenant between the Lord and Lehiís people required them to serve the Lord according to the commandments, be righteous (more than just obedient), and keep the commandments. If they did their part, the Lord would bless them with a consecrated land, liberty, a blessed land, prosperity, protection, blessings, freedom from being molested by others, a land of inheritance, and safety forever.
2 Nephi 1:10-12 Lehi said the inhabitants of the land would suffer God's just judgments, invasion from other lands, loss of their land of inheritance, scattering and oppression, and bloodshed if they rejected the Savior.
2 Nephi 1:13; see also verses 2 Nephi 1:14, 21, 23 Lehi called his sons to repentance by commanding them to "awake...from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which [they were] bound".
Sinfulness is like being in a deep sleep because it connotes an unconscious state in which one is unaware. Sinfulness is like being bound by chains because one cannot escape that consequence without great effort or help from another.
2 Nephi 1:21 Lehi counseled his sons to "arise from the dust...and be men" and avoid captivity.
2 Nephi 1:21-27 Qualities of a righteous man recorded here include determination (to choose the right), freedom from sin, righteousness, obedience to commandments, willingness to serve God, demonstrating leadership to others while following the Savior, faithfulness during suffering, humility, seeking the glory of God and the welfare of others, speaking plainly, being filled with the power of God, and being truthful.
The worldís definition of manhood is not consistent with the gospel definition. Think about how you can help young men choose righteousness over the worldís definition of manhood.
2 Nephi 1:15 Lehi spoke of the blessings received through his faithfulness. Note that while some of his sons were bound by the "awful chains" of sin, Lehi was "encircled about eternally in the arms of [the Saviorís] love." Like Lehi, as we humbly come unto Christ through repentance and obedience, we will be redeemed and "encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."

Lehi testified of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

2 Nephi 2:5 Lehi said that "by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off". To be justified is to be reconciled to God, pardoned from punishment for sin, and declared righteous and guiltless.
James 2:10; 1 Nephi 10:21 The law cuts us off and prevents us from being justified because when we disobey the commandments, we become guilty and unclean, and no unclean thing can dwell with God.
2 Nephi 2:6-8 Since we cannot be justified by the law, we can only be justified and made worthy to enter Godís presence by the Atonement of Jesus Christ as we repent and are forgiven of our sins.
2 Nephi 2:7 Lehi said that the Savior would "answer the ends of the law". The phrase "the ends of the law" refers to the consequences of the Fall and to the "punishment that is affixed" for disobedience to Godís commandments (see 2 Nephi 2:5, 2 Nephi 2:10).
2 Nephi 2:7; Alma 34:13-16; D&C 19:16-19; D&C 45:3-5 The Savior answered the ends of the law by offering himself as a sacrifice for sin.
President Joseph F. Smith said, "Jesus came and suffered, Ďthe just for the unjust,í he that was without sin for him that had sinned, and was subjected to the penalty of the law which the sinner had transgressed" (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. [1939], 204).
2 Nephi 2:7; see also Romans 10:4; D&C 19:15-16; Articles of Faith 1:3. We must offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit so that we can be justified through Christís suffering for our sins.
2 Nephi 2:6-8 "These things" that we should make known are the doctrines concerning the mission of the Savior and Redeemer. We can "make these things known" by bearing testimony to others of the gospel's truth. Making "these things" known shows gratitude to the Savior for His Atonement.

Lehi taught the importance of opposition and the freedom to choose good from evil.

As Lehi taught his sons about the need for opposition, he reviewed the account of Adam and Eve partaking of the forbidden fruit.
2 Nephi 2:15-25. Look for (1) conditions that existed for Adam and Eve before they partook of the forbidden fruit and (2) the opposition Adam and Eve experienced after they partook of the fruit. (See chart below.)
Note that in 2 Nephi 2, Lehi mentions some of the conditions that were brought about by the Fall. However, the doctrine of the Fall is broader in scope than is presented in this chapter. The Fall brought physical death and spiritual death into the world, thus bringing the plan of redemption into operation.
CONDITIONS BEFORE PARTAKING OF THE FRUIT
OPPOSITION EXPERIENCED AFTER PARTAKING OF THE FRUIT
They could act for themselves (2 Nephi 2:15-16), but they did not do good "for they knew no sin" (2 Nephi 2:23). They could do good, and they could also commit sin (2 Nephi 2:23).
They were commanded to repent of their sins (2 Nephi 2:21).
They did not have to till the ground in order for food to grow in the garden (2 Nephi 2:19; see also Moses 2:29). They had to work to obtain food (2 Nephi 2:19).
They knew no misery or joy (2 Nephi 2:23). They experienced misery and joy (2 Nephi 2:23)
They would have remained "in the same state...forever, and had no end" (2 Nephi 2:22).They became fallen and mortal...subject to physical death (2 Nephi 2:22; see also Moses 6:48).

If Adam and Eve had not partaken of the fruit, they would not have experienced the opposition mentioned in this chart (2 Nephi 2:22-23).
2 Nephi 2:23-27; Moses 5:10-12 Blessings we can receive because the Fall of Adam and Eve brought opposition into the world include posterity, the ability to experience joy, the opportunity to do good, the ability to choose, the ability to act for ourselves, and freedom to choose eternal life.
2 Nephi 2:11; see also verse 2 Nephi 2:15 Lehi told his children that "it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things" . Think about how important it is to have opposition in our daily lives and how opposition can help us progress by presenting opportunities for testing and growth.
2 Nephi 2:24-28 According to these verses, our Father in Heaven wants joy, liberty, and eternal life for us.
2 Nephi 2:26-27; see also John 14:6. He provided a way for us to receive these blessings through proper use of our free agency.
2 Nephi 2:18, 2 Nephi 2:27, 2 Nephi 2:29 Satan wants misery, captivity, and spiritual death for us. Our individual actions determine whether we receive joy, liberty, and eternal life or misery, captivity, and spiritual death.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught: "The Lord has given you the gift of agency (see Moses 7:32) and instructed you sufficiently to know good from evil (see 2 Nephi 2:5). You are free to choose (see 2 Nephi 2:27) and are permitted to act (see 2 Nephi 10:23; Helaman 14:30), but you are not free to choose the consequences. With absolute certainty, choices of good and right lead to happiness and peace, while choices of sin and evil eventually lead to unhappiness, sorrow, and misery" (Ensign, Nov. 1989, 75).
2 Nephi 2 contains the doctrines of the Creation (2 Nephi 2:14-15), the Fall (2 Nephi 2:4-5, 2 Nephi 2:8, 2 Nephi 2:18-25), and the Atonement (2 Nephi 2:3-4, 2 Nephi 2:6-10, 2 Nephi 2:26-27). These three doctrines are central to Heavenly Fatherís plan of redemption.

Conclusion

Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be "encircled about eternally in the arms of [the Saviorís] love" (2 Nephi 1:15). It is a great blessing to be "free to choose,". "Choose liberty and eternal life"through Jesus Christ, "the great Mediator of all men"(2 Nephi 2:27).

Using Lehiís teachings to counter the teachings of the world

Imagine that you have heard a friend, coworker, or schoolteacher present persuasive arguments for these false statements: "There is no good or evil, no law, no Christ, no existence after this life, no God, no purpose to life, and our actions are determined by genetics and environment."
Lehi shared truths that can give us peace and reassurance when we are confronted by the worldís false teachings. Lehiís Teachings include 2 Nephi 2:5--Men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. 2 Nephi 2:5--The law is given unto men. 2 Nephi 2:6--Redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah. 2 Nephi 2:10--All men [will] stand in the presence of [God], to be judged of him. 2 Nephi 2:14--There is a God. 2 Nephi 2:25--Men are, that they might have joy. 2 Nephi 2:26-27--We are free to act for [our]selves and not to be acted upon. We are free to choose liberty and eternal life...or to choose captivity and death.