Blessings of the Promised Land – 2 Nephi 1:1-32

1 And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of teaching my brethren, our father, Lehi, also spake many things unto them, and rehearsed unto them, how great things the Lord had done for them in bringing them out of the land of Jerusalem.

2 And he spake unto them concerning their rebellions upon the waters, and the mercies of God in sparing their lives, that they were not swallowed up in the sea.

3 And he also spake unto them concerning the land of promise, which they had obtained—how merciful the Lord had been in warning us that we should flee out of the land of Jerusalem. [They had lived through an incredible experience together, witnessing firsthand the miracles and mercy of the Lord. Lehi, very old in age, tried to hammer this point to his sons.]

4 For, behold, said he, I have seen a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed; and had we remained in Jerusalem we should also have perished. [A seer is shown thing of the past, future, and how they are at the present. Lehi saw what was left of Jerusalem after it was conquered.]

5 But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord. [The land of North America is the most choice of all lands for various reasons. It is a blessed land since the beginning, being the land of Adam and His children, where the Jaredites came, and now where those seeking to worship God could flee. This is for not just the family of Lehi and their descendants. The land is also rich with natural resources.]

6 Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord. [This is referring to an occupying people. There will always be evil people seeking to overthrow what is good in America. As the United States becomes more ripe in iniquity the Lord will prepare to clean the land that a new people may possess it. (Zion)]

7 Wherefore, this land is consecrated [set apart] unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever. [America has had its share of wars and afflictions, mostly because of wickedness. When we look at how the practice of human slavery destroyed the South, and today as the culture shifts to a more godless, secular society, the country is currently divided along lines of what is considered good and evil. For many, what is black is now white.]

8 And behold, it is wisdom [with foresight] that this land should be kept [secret]as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.

9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land [Thus, it is called the Promised Land.]; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever. [America has been more safe than other nations from outside war and attacks than other nations until recent years. Most all of our afflictions have been self-inflicted.]

10 But behold, when the time cometh that they [Those that inhabit this land.] shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith [After the restoration of the priesthood and the many blessings that include advancements in medicine and technology.] ; having all the commandments [revelations] from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them. [That day is soon upon us.]

11 Yea, he will bring other nations unto them, [invasion] and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten. [Future suffering of America.]

12 Yea, as one generation passeth to another there shall be bloodsheds [wars], and great visitations [God’s interventions] among them; wherefore, my sons, I would that ye would remember; yea, I would that ye would hearken unto my words.

13 O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe. [To be asleep is a good metaphor for not being willing to repent. How many people seem to find comfort in the warm blankets of their current situation, not willing to wake up to the truth?]

14 Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent, whose limbs ye must soon lay down in the cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return; a few more days and I go the way of all the earth.

15 But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love. [A powerful testimony, the kind that should be born from the pulpit and at home amongst our families.]

16 And I desire that ye should remember to observe the statutes [laws] and the judgments [ordinances] of the Lord; behold, this hath been the anxiety of my soul from the beginning.

17 My heart hath been weighed down with sorrow from time to time, for I have feared, lest for the hardness of your hearts [lack of desire] the Lord your God should come out in the fulness of his wrath upon you, that ye be cut off and destroyed forever;

18 Or, that a cursing should come upon you [your posterity] for the space of many generations; and ye are visited by sword, and by famine, and are hated, and are led according to the will and captivity of the devil. [The sins of the parents often affect several generations of family before the chain is broken.]

19 O my sons, that these things might not come upon you, but that ye might be a choice and a favored people of the Lord. But behold, his will be done; for his ways are righteousness forever.

20 And he hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments [revelations to you] ye shall be cut off from my presence. [If we do not do as the Lord commands us, we cannot have the faith necessary to come to Him.]

21 And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men [of God], and be determined in one mind and in one heart [In the Spirit of the Lord], united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;

22 That ye may not be cursed with a sore cursing; and also, that ye may not incur the displeasure of a just God upon you, unto the destruction, yea, the eternal destruction of both soul and body. [This is the ultimate curse upon those who become Perdition.]

23 Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness [performing in the Spirit]. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound [Satan’s chains upon the heart], and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust. [be born again in Christ]

24 Rebel no more against your brother [Nephi], whose views have been glorious, and who hath kept the commandments [revelations] from the time that we left Jerusalem; and who hath been an instrument in the hands of God, in bringing us forth into the land of promise; for were it not for him, we must have perished with hunger in the wilderness; nevertheless, ye sought to take away his life; yea, and he hath suffered much sorrow because of you. [a painful reminder to Laman and Lemuel]

25 And I exceedingly fear and tremble because of you, lest he shall suffer again; for behold, ye have accused him that he sought power and authority over you; but I know that he hath not sought for power nor authority over you, but he hath sought the glory of God, and your own eternal welfare.

26 And ye have murmured because he hath been plain unto you. Ye say that he hath used sharpness [in terms of rude accusations]; ye say that he hath been angry with you; but behold, his sharpness was the sharpness of the power of the word of God, which was in him; and that which ye call anger was the truth, according to that which is in God, which he could not restrain, manifesting boldly concerning your iniquities. [The wicked hate to be confronted with truth. The often react with great anger and desire to return with harm upon their accuser.]

27 And it must needs be that the power of God must be with him, even unto his commanding you that ye must obey. But behold, it was not he, but it was the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, which opened his mouth to utterance that he could not shut it. [When the Spirit of Prophecy comes upon an individual they feel constrained to speak, almost can’t help but do so. When this is done it is not uncommon for the servant to say in the name of the Lord, or something to imply that this is the Lord’s words, not their own.]

28 And now my son, Laman, and also Lemuel and Sam, and also my sons who are the sons of Ishmael, behold, if ye will hearken unto the voice of Nephi ye shall not perish. And if ye will hearken unto him I leave unto you a blessing, yea, even my first blessing. [Lehi officially designates Nephi as the leader of the people.]

29 But if ye will not hearken unto him I take away my first blessing, yea, even my blessing, and it shall rest upon him.

30 And now, Zoram, I speak unto you: Behold, thou art the servant of Laban; nevertheless, thou hast been brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and I know that thou art a true friend unto my son, Nephi, forever. [A close relationship founded upon a love for scripture.]

31 Wherefore, because thou hast been faithful thy seed shall be blessed with his seed, that they dwell in prosperity long upon the face of this land; and nothing, save it shall be iniquity among them, shall harm or disturb their prosperity upon the face of this land forever. [The Zoramites would be counted among the Nephites and carry the lineage of Ephraim.]

32 Wherefore, if ye shall keep the commandments of the Lord, the Lord hath consecrated this land for the security of thy seed with the seed of my son. [Remnants of his seed continue among the Native Americans today.]

 

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