All done with Isaiah chapters! 2 Nephi 25 is Nephi speaking about the things which Isaiah wrote. Nephi says in verse 1 “For behold, Isaiah spake many things which were hard for many of my people to understand; for they know not concerning the manner of prophesying among the Jews.” I say Nephi is right, the words that Isaiah spoke are hard to understand, I look forward to reading and studying this chapter, and I hope that you do too.
As I turn to this chapter, I know for sure that there is a scripture mastery verse here, and as I found my scripture mastery card, I discover there are actually two different mastery verses in this chapter. So rather than making lists for this chapter, as I have been doing, I’m going to go ahead and cluster. I worked on clustering last week and really understand how and why I should cluster around scripture mastery, you really do learn a lot! Ok, so the two verse for mastery are verses 23 and 26.
Verse 23 reads: “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
Okay, a-clustering I go!
First phrase: “persuade our children” we are told to go to the topical guide and look up “Family, Children, Responsibilities towards,” this heading also sends us to go look up children; family; marriage, fatherhood and marriage, motherhood. Where we can find 40 separate verses that can teach us about persuading our children. Ephesians 6:4 reads: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” 1 Nephi 1 reads in part: “having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught.” Mosiah 4:15 reads “But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.” Doctrine and Covenants 93:40 sates: “But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.” These are but a few. I think we’re getting a good picture of what we, as parents, are expected to do on behalf of our children. We must remember that while we are leading them in this life of mortality, they were Heavenly Father’s children long before they were ours.
Second word: “grace.” We know that by now we will be sent to the topical guide, but let’s save that for later. First verse is Psalms 130:4-5 which says:”But there is a forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.” Next verse is Romans 3:20: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Followed by Romans 7:5 “For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.” And then 2 Nephi 2:5 “And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.” And there are four more verse listed as well. The topical guide for the word grace is very lengthy. Here we are directed to read about benevolence, favor, the mercy of God, good works, man may fall from grace, gracious, and mercy. I love this definition given by Merriam-Webster “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.” I like the first part of the definition best.. unmerited divine assistance. Assistance that Jesus Christ gives us that we don’t warrant and sometimes, perhaps, that we don’t even deserve. He is wonderful and full of love.
To finish up this verse and the third word that we should cluster here is the word “do.” We are again sent to the topical guide to look up “good works” and also to read James 2:24. James 2:24 reads “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith alone.” Good works in the topical guide sends us to read the will of God, good, grace, justice, righteous and works. Furthermore, we can read 79 additional scriptures on good works. Suffice it to say that our deeds here on this earth are of importance and I am well aware that we must not only be faithful to Jesus Christ, but we must do good while we are here on this earth.
Verse 26 reads: “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”
Some more clustering… it’s almost addictive. I am, however, going to leave verse 26 un-clustered at the moment and get this published. I will come back to cluster this in my personal journal so that I have it. 2 Nephi 25:26 means so very much to me, as this was the verse that was assigned to me to give as a talk in sacrament when I first became active again in the church. I love the Book of Mormon and I love the Pathway program from BYU-I. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn to study the scriptures.
I write this, humbly in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.