Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

Book of Mormon Lesson #11

Posted by cherylem on April 20, 2008

I am behind in posting, but will post the last 3 lessons anyway. I hope to be caught up and with everyone else in about two-three weeks.  This outline is mostly from Mack Sterling’s class of a decade or so ago. The addition of commentary on righteousness is mine.


April 13, 2008

2 Nephi 31-33

“Press Forward with a Steadfastness in Christ”


2 Nephi 31:

3          God speaks to men according to their language – unto their understanding

            Read D&C 1:24


4-10     Baptism of Christ (see also D&C 20:37, 71-74)

Fulfills all righteousness. What is righteousness? See attachment. (Pres Joseph F. Smith taught

that to fulfill all righteousness meant to fulfill the law. – manual)


Powerful rejoinder to those who say baptism is not necessary:

1.     shows men his humility before the Father

2.     shows the Father he would be obedient

3.     shows men the gate by which they should enter


Christ participates with us in the plan of redemption just as he does in:

1.     sin

2.     death, pain and suffering


13        Pre-requisite for actually receiving the Holy Ghost

            Holy Ghost = baptism of fire (why fire?)

                                  Tongue of angels -> shout praises to God, witness to truth and Jesus Christ


            Follow Son with full purpose

                        No hyprocisy

                        No deception

                        Real intent

            Repent of your sins

            Take on the name of Christ by baptism


14        Worse if you deny Christ after the Baptism of Fire


17-20   Gate = (Faith), repentance, baptism, remission of sins by fire and the Holy Ghost

            What is a remission of sins? When does one get it?

Is all done after going through the gate?


Ability to do these things is a gift of the Spirit

Press forward with steadfastness in Christ

Perfect brightness of hope

Love of God and all men

Press forward feasting upon the word of Christ

Endure to the end



20        “With the ever increasing number of converts, we must make an increasingly substantial effort to

            assist them as they find their way. Everyone one of them needs three things: a friend, a

responsibility, and nurturing with ‘the good of God’.” Gordon B. Hinckley, CR April 1997.


2 Nephi 32

The Essential Necessity of the Holy Ghost


1-5       What to do when “in the way”

·       Feast on the words of Christ which will tell you all things you must do.

·       Receive the Holy Ghost and it will tell you all you should do



1.     Every answer to every problem is not written down explicitly in scripture.

2.     Scriptures and church leaders teach us general principles -> we must find specific answers to complex problems ourselves.

3.     An essential pre-requisite of salvation is to learn to receive this kind of knowledge from the spirit – without it, we cannot walk down the path.


Two dangers:

1.     ignore the spirit

2.     counterfeit spirit


“We need to feast upon the words of Christ in the scriptures and as these words come to us from living prophets. Just nibbling occasionally will not do. (See 2 Nephi 31:20 and 2 Nephi 32:3.) Feasting means partaking with relish and delight and savoring—not gorging episodically in heedless hunger, but partaking gratefully, dining with delight, at a sumptuous spread carefully and lovingly prepared … over the centuries” Neal A. Maxwell, Wherefore Ye Must Press Forward, 1977, 28.


2 Nephi 33

1          Speaking is only effective (has the desired result) when the Holy Ghost carries it into the

hearts of people.


3-4       The essential necessity of prayer (where we get the best approach to the Holy Ghost


7-8       charity? American Heritage Dictionary: The theological virtue defined as love directed

            first toward God but also toward oneself and one’s neighbors as objects of God’s love.

            Webster’s unabridged:  Full of love and good will; benevolent; kind.


9          Gate – Path – Life

            End of the Day of Probation

            2 Nephi 9:33 wasting days of probation

            2 Nephi 2:21    Probation: days prolonged while in the flesh to repent

            2 Nephi 2:30    last days of my probation

            2 Nephi 28:32  Mine arm is lengthened out all the day long




(for complete articles see Web links)


Hebrew Definition of Righteousness




The Hebrew word for righteousness is tseh’-dek, tzedek, Gesenius‘s Strong’s Concordance:6664—righteous, integrity, equity, justice, straightness. The root of tseh’-dek is tsaw-dak’, Gesenius’s Strong:6663—upright, just, straight, innocent, true, sincere. It is best understood as the product of upright, moral action in accordance with some form of divine plan.


In the Book of Job the title character is introduced to us as a person who is “perfect” in righteousness. This does not mean that he is sinless. “Perfect” in this sense means that his righteousness permeates every relationship of his life as his working principle. After all, righteousness is a matter of relationships – with God, with things, and with other people. The biblical definition of righteousness involves the inherent quality of God. God is right because He is righteous, therefore God can only act righteously. In one instance the word means being right; in another it is used to mean doing right; in still another case it means putting right. Job qualifies as a righteous person on each of these counts, so much so that he is commended by God as “wholly righteous” or, translated into our terms, “perfect.”


Righteousness as it is understood in the Old Testament is a thoroughly Hebraic concept at variance with the common understanding of the term. The failure to comprehend its meaning is perhaps most responsible for the view of the Old Testament religion as legalistic and as far removed from the graciousness of the New Testament.




from To All the World: The Book of Mormon Articles from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism

by Marvin K. Gardner  pp. 252–53



Righteousness comprises a broad group of concepts and traits. As with the biblical Hebrew sedek and the Greek dikaiosunē, the English word “righteousness” describes the ideal of religious life, with Godlike behavior as the norm. Righteousness is right conduct before God and among mankind in all respects. The scriptures give the following perspectives:


Righteousness is ultimately synonymous with holiness or godliness. Christ himself is known as “the Righteous” (Moses 7:45, 47) and as “the Son of Righteousness” (3 Ne. 25:2). His “ways are righteousness forever” (2 Ne. 1:19).


The state of righteousness is available to mankind through the redemption of Christ as one is born of God: “Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women . . . must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters” (Mosiah 27:25).


The terms “righteous” and “righteousness” also apply to mortals who, though beset with weaknesses and frailties, are seeking to come unto Christ. In this sense, righteousness is not synonymous with perfection. It is a condition in which a person is moving toward the Lord, yearning for godliness, continuously repenting of sins, and striving honestly to know and love God and to follow the principles and ordinances of the gospel. Saints of God are urged to do “the works of righteousness” (D&C 59:23) and to “bring to pass much righteousness” (D&C 58:27).




(Originally published in New Dictionary of Theology.  David F. Wright, Sinclair B. Ferguson, J.I. Packer (eds), 590-592.  IVP.  Reproduced by permission of the author.)



Righteousness.  The basic meaning of ‘righteousness’ and its cognates in the Bible derives from the Hebrew sedeq, which was usually translated in the LXX as dikaiosynē. It thus denotes not so much the abstract idea of justice or virtue, as right standing and consequent right behaviour, within a community.  English translates this semantic field with two different roots: ‘right’, ‘righteous’, and ‘righteousness’ and ‘just’, ‘justice’, ‘justify’ and ‘justification’.  In Heb. and Gk., however, these ideas all belong together linguistically and theologically.


In the OT (upon which the NT idea is based) two fields of thought give specific shape to the idea:


1.  The lawcourt setting gives ‘righteousness’ the idea of the standing of a person in relation to the court’s decision.  In the Hebrew court there were no public prosecutors: all cases had to be brought by a plaintiff against a defendant.  Righteousness is the status which results, for either party, if the court finds in his favour.  Since the standard of judgment is the covenant law of God, ‘righteousness’ can acquire the sense of ‘behaviour in conformity with the covenant requirements’, bringing about the possibility that right covenant standing can be observed in ordinary behaviour.  In addition, the judge, or king, must conform to a different sense of righteousness: he must try cases fairly, i.e. he must be true to the law and/or the covenant, must condemn evil, show no partiality, and uphold the cause of the defenceless.  This complex meaning explains the occasional instances when the Septuagint uses dikaiosynē to translate not sedeq and its cognates but other roots such as hesed (grace, covenant mercy), mišpāt (judgment, justice), etc.


2.  The covenantal setting merges with that of the lawcourt: this is due partly to the fact that the law (Torah) is the covenant charter.  Though sometimes God himself is seen as Israel’s adversary at law, the more frequently encountered picture is of God as judge or king, with Israel as either plaintiff (pleading her cause against her enemies) or defendant (on trial for failure to keep the covenant).  God’s righteousness is then invoked as the reason why he can be expected to deliver his people: he is committed by covenant to do so.  When this is apparently called into question (in the exile, and later in the Maccabean revolt and the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70), the writers of these periods reply that God is righteous in judging his sinful people; that he is righteous in waiting before judging their enemies, granting time for repentance; and that he will show himself righteous in restoring the: fortunes of his people, in renewing the covenant (Dn. 9; Ezr. 9; etc.).  The book of Job can be seen as a long lawcourt scene in which Job pleads his righteousness, imagining that God is his adversary, only to discover that God cannot be brought into court: the first two chapters reveal Satan (see Devil) as the real prosecutor, with Job’s comforters as his unwitting assistants.


These two settings (lawcourt and covenant) combine to produce the developed covenantal theology which underlay Judaism at the time of Jesus.  To have ‘righteousness’ meant to belong to the covenant, the boundary marker of which was the Torah, and the hope of which was that God, in accordance with his own righteousness, would act in history to ‘vindicate’, to ‘justify’, his people (i.e. to show that they really were his people) by saving them from their enemies.  These meanings are reflected particularly in Matthew, where ‘righteousness’ is shorthand both for the saving plan of God (Mt. 3:15) and for the covenantal obligations of his people (5:20; 6:1), and Luke, which emphasizes the ‘righteous’ standing of many of the key actors in the drama (Lk. 1:6; 2:25; 23:50; Acts 10:22).  Jesus himself is sometimes called ‘the righteous one’, in virtue of his being the one designated by God as his true covenant partner (e.g. Acts 3:14; 7:52, 22:14, Jas. 5:6).  The Jewish belief that God would judge the world justly is echoed repeatedly in the NT, e.g. 2 Thes. 1:5-6; Rom. 2:1-16; Heb. 12:23.  But the fullest development comes in Paul, particularly with his exposition in Romans of the righteousness of God.

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