"O How Great the Goodness of Our God"
Lesson 8 - 2 Nephi 6-10

Think about what Jesus Christ has done for you. Read 2 Nephi 6:17; 2 Nephi 7:2; 2 Nephi 8:3-6, 2 Nephi 8:12. Look for words in the verses that refer to things the Savior does for us. The list may include the following words: deliver (2 Nephi 6:17; 2 Nephi 7:2), redeem (2 Nephi 7:2), comfort, comforteth (2 Nephi 8:3, 2 Nephi 8:12), light (2 Nephi 8:4), judgment, judge (2 Nephi 8:4-5), and salvation (2 Nephi 8:5-6). This lesson discusses the Atonement, which is the greatest act Jesus Christ has done for us and helps us understand our need for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It also teaches us how to receive all the blessings of the Atonement.

Through His Atonement, Jesus Christ offers redemption from temporal death and spiritual death.

2 Nephi 9 contains a discourse by Jacob, one of Nephiís younger brothers, about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which is the central event in the plan of salvation. To understand the teachings in this chapter, it is helpful to know how Jacob referred to temporal death and spiritual death:
2 Nephi 9:6 Temporal death is the death of the physical body and the separation of the spirit from the physical body. As a result of the Fall of Adam, all people will die temporally.
In 2 Nephi 9, Jacob uses the following words and phrases to refer to temporal death: "death" (verse 6), "the death of the body" (verse 10), and "the grave" (verse 11).
2 Nephi 9:6 Spiritual death is separation from the presence of God. We are all separated from God as a result of the Fall of Adam.
Romans 3:23; Alma 12:16; Helaman 14:18 We further separate ourselves from God when we sin.
In 2 Nephi 9, Jacob uses the following words and phrases to refer to spiritual death, or separation from God: "shut out from the presence of our God" (verse 9), "the death of the spirit" (verse 10), "spiritual death" (verse 12), "hell" (verse 12), and "death" (verse 39).
2 Nephi 9:1-26, 39-54 Jacob teaches the doctrines of the atonement and the resurrection to his people and urges them to prepare to meet God.
2 Nephi 9:5-7, 12 , 21-22; see also Luke 22:44; Mosiah 3:7; D&C 19:16-19 The Savior died, arose from the grave, suffered for the sins of man, and suffered greatly in body and spirit to provide a way for man to overcome temporal death and spiritual death.
2 Nephi 9:12-13, 22 Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected/saved from temporal death.
2 Nephi 9:6-10 Without the power of Christís Resurrection, temporal and spiritual death would be permanent. We would be shut out from Godís presence forever, and our spirits would be subject to Satan. We would "remain with the father of lies, in misery." This shows that temporal death and spiritual death are indeed an "awful monster" (verse 10).
2 Nephi 2:10; 2 Nephi 9:15 Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people will be restored to Godís presence to be judged.
2 Nephi 9:23; Mormon 7:7 However, not all people will be "saved in the kingdom of God," or permitted to dwell in Godís presence forever.
2 Nephi 9:18, 21, 23-24, 39, 41, 50-52 According to Jacob, some of the things we must do to be "saved in the kingdom of God" include believe in Christ, endure the crosses of the world (endure suffering for a righteous cause), hearken to the voice of the Savior, repent, accept baptism, have perfect faith in Christ, be spiritually-minded, come unto the Lord, be righteous, follow the strait and narrow way of the gospel, labor for the kingdom of God, feast upon the gospel message (make it part of you), remember the teachings and commandments, pray continually, give thanks to God, and be joyful in Christ.

2 Nephi 9:18, 23-24, 41 Think about the reasons it is essential to believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy One of Israel, and come unto Him to receive all the blessings of His Atonement.
2 Nephi 9:18 Think about what it means to endure the crosses of the world. (See Matthew 16:24, footnote 24d; 3 Nephi 12:29-30.)
D&C 1:38; D&C 18:33-36; D&C 88:66 These verses help us understand how we can hear the voice of the Lord.
2 Nephi 9:23-24 Repent, be baptized, and endure to the end.
2 Nephi 9:39; see also Romans 8:5-8 We must be spiritually minded. Consider carefully what it means to you to be spiritually minded and how being spiritually minded leads to "life eternal".
2 Nephi 9:50-51 "Feast upon that which perisheth not". Think about some things that never perish and how you can "feast" on these things.

2 Nephi 9:52 Remember the words of God. 3 Nephi 15:1 Helps us see how remembering God's words so that we can do them helps us receive all the blessings of the Atonement.
2 Nephi 9:52 Prayer to express gratitude to our Heavenly Father helps you draw nearer to Him and His Son.

Certain attitudes and actions prevent us from receiving all the blessings of the Atonement.

In addition to speaking of requirements for receiving all the blessings of the Atonement, Jacob spoke of attitudes and actions that prevent us from receiving those blessings.
2 Nephi 9:27-38 Some attitudes and actions that prevent us from receiving all the blessings of the Atonement include the following:

2 Nephi 9:27 Transgressing the commandments and wasting the days of our probation. In the Book of Mormon, prophets often refer to our life on earth as a "state of probation," or a time to be tested (2 Nephi 2:21; see also 2 Nephi 2:30; Mormon 9:28). Some people waste the days of their probation by remaining in sin, refusing to repent or procrastinating the day of repentance, hardening their hearts, and seeking happiness in iniquity. (See 2 Nephi 9:38; Alma 34:31-33; Helaman 13:38.)
2 Nephi 9:28-30, 37 Placing learning, money, and other idols above God. The pursuit of knowledge and riches can keep us from receiving all the blessings of the Atonement if we rely on our own wisdom rather than hearkening to the cousel of God, fail to help the needy with our funds, and let pride influence us. (See 2 Nephi 9:28 , 30, 42.) In some situations learning and riches are good (See 2 Nephi 9:29; Jacob 2:18-19.) if we hearken to the counsel of God, seek the kingdom of heaven, and use our riches to help others.
2 Nephi 9:31-32 Being spiritually deaf and blind. Consider what it means to be spiritually deaf and blind and how you can open your ears and eyes to the truths of the gospel.
2 Nephi 9:33 Being "uncircumcised of heart". In ancient Israel, a man who was uncircumcised was breaking a covenant with God (Genesis 17:11, Genesis 17:14). With this understanding, think about what it means to be "uncircumcised of heart".
2 Nephi 9:34-36 Lying and committing murders and whoredoms.

The Lord remembers His covenants with His people.

2 Nephi 10:2-6 Jacob prophesied that the Nephitesí descendants would "perish in the flesh because of unbelief" and that the Jews in Jerusalem would crucify the Savior and be scattered because of their sins.
2 Nephi 10:2, 7-8, 21-22; see also 1 Nephi 21:15-16; 2 Nephi 9:1-3, 53; 2 Nephi 30:2 These verses tell us what the Lord will do for these people when they believe in Him and repent of their sins. Mosiah 26:22 shows us how this applies to us individually.
Elder Boyd K. Packer taught: "The discouraging idea that a mistake (or even a series of them) makes it everlastingly too late, does not come from the Lord. He has said that if we will repent, not only will He forgive us our transgressions, but He will forget them and remember our sins no more (see Isaiah 43:25; Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 10:17; Alma 36:19; D&C 58:42)" (Ensign, May 1989, 59).
2 Nephi 10:22-23 Jacob said that his people should "cheer up [their] hearts" because the Lord remembers His covenant people. Think of how you can find comfort in the knowledge that the Lord remembers His covenant people.
2 Nephi 10:23-24 As Jacob concluded this address to the people, he encouraged them to remember that it is only through the grace of God that we are saved.
2 Nephi 2:26-27 We choose either the way of everlasting death or the way of everlasting life. Think about why it is important to remember that "it is only through the grace of God that [we] are saved".

Conclusion

2 Nephi 10:25 is Jacobís concluding message in this discourse. We should pause to consider our gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and commit ourselves to "choose...the way of eternal life" (2 Nephi 10:23).