Purpose of Life – 2 Nephi 2:1-30

1 And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my firstborn in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness [teasing and meanness] of thy brethren.

2 Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God [He has a witness of God’s glory.]; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain. [A good lesson for us to remember, that God allows the righteous to suffer that they may be made holy in their afflictions.]

3 Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother, Nephi; and thy days shall be aspent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time [The apex of this worlds time for man.] he cometh to bring salvation unto men. [Jacob had received a witness of Christ and saw the future events for himself, as his brother Nephi before him.]

4 And thou hast abeheld in thy youth his glory [There is no age requirement for when a person can have a witness of Jesus. Joseph saw the Father and the Son at the age of fourteen.]; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free. [Another reminder that things never change. That by the Atonement of Christ all men may be saved. He payed the price, which makes it free to us. The question is whether we will take it.]

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. [Which law is Lehi alluding to here? It is the law associated with partaking of a body in this temporal sphere. All mankind is “cut off” from God when they come here, yet they may know intrinsically between good and evil. However, no person is able to be redeemed of their own will, but must be forever telestial.]

6 Wherefore, aredemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah [anointed one]; for he is full of dgrace and truth. [power and light]

7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin [to make clean again], to answer the ends of the law [That which separates us from God], unto all those who have a broken heart [full desire] and a contrite spirit [full submission]; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. [Only these can be born again in His image.]

8 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God [the purpose of Christ’s sacrifice], save it be through the merits [anointing], and mercy [love], and grace [power] of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh [in a temporal body], and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit [Overcome death and hell], that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead [The raising of our bodies from temporal to a spiritual rebirth of higher glory.], being the first that should rise. [He must be the first to be resurrected.]

9 Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God [The pattern for all], inasmuch as he shall make intercession [in the stead thereof] for all the children of men; and they that believe [have faith] in him shall be saved. [Shall not be sent where Satan will go.]

10 And because of the intercession for all, all men [and women] come unto God; wherefore, they stand in the presence of him [before His all-seeing eye], to be judged [divided and organized] of him according to the truth [divine knowledge and wisdom] and choliness [Fullness of the Spirit] which is in him. Wherefore, the ends of the law [divine purposes] which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the dpunishment which is affixed [the justice of the wicked that choose Satan], which punishment that is affixed [set in place] is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the eatonement— [The entire purpose of the Atonement is to bring us joy and happiness.]

11 For it must needs be, that there is an aopposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one [no balance and purpose]; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. [This single verse has massive ramifications to understanding the nature of God and the Heavens. Everything has its mirror image in the universe. You cannot have good without the bad or bad without the good.]

12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught [nothing]; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. [From the moment we were given a spiritual tabernacle in the image of God our purpose was to fill the measure of our creation. This is something that is intrinsically inside each of us, like a seed waiting to sprout and grow into whichever kind of tree we are to become.] Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power [grace and the estates], and the mercy [Atonement], and the justice of God. [the dividing of the wheat from the tares.]

13 And if ye shall say there is no law [governing of heaven], ye shall also say there is no sin. [that which is not in harmony with God’s law]  If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. [in harmony with God’s law] And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. [spiritual joy and peace] And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. [hell and perdition] And if these things are not there is no God. [These are the evidence of His works.] And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away. [All things in creation are a cascade of relationships of one larger system to another. Each are created with balance to create harmony and help all things reach the measure of the their creation in the cosmos.]

14 And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon. [This is the nature of the very sub-atomic particles that make up all creation. There are those that act, or are acted upon, and herein lies a mystery.]

15 And to bring about his eternal purposes [the entire purpose of the creation] in the end of man, after he had bcreated our first parents, [literally, the first] and the beasts of the field [creatures good and evil] and the cfowls of the air [angels good and evil], and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition [choice]; even the forbidden fruit [forbidden knowldege] in opposition to the tree of life [Eternal Life]; the one being sweet and the other bitter.

16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. [At no time in our existence are we ever compelled to do anything, for we are the kind of intelligence which can act and not be acted upon. However, if ever one were to choose Satan, it becomes a different story.] Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other. [This is why we are always allowed to be tempted of Satan, even until our dying breath.]

17 And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, [in the brass plates] must needs suppose that an aangel of God [fourth estate], according to that which is written, had bfallen from heaven [descended into Outer Darkness to make oaths with Lucifer] ; wherefore, he became [was changed]cdevil, having sought that which was evil before God. [Evil is worse than wickedness, for it endeavors to usurp power in the name of Satan.]

18 And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable [unquenchable lust]forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. [to bind them to himself] Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die [be cut off from God’s presence], but ye shall be as God, [Father and Mother] knowing good and evil. [the fruit is knowledge of their former glories. In this is a mystery.]

19 And after Adam and Eve had apartaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth. [condescended to a telestial earth.]

20 And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth. [The purpose to do this was to provide physical bodies for the first estate.]

21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged [longevity of life], according to the will of God, that they might repent [turn their hearts to God] while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation,[to see what we will do] and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents. [All mankind were on the same footing in that they came into this world separated from God. If they repent and come unto Him we will raise them up through the power of the Only Begotten. The transgression of their parents has vast implications.]

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed [changed course from God’s commandment] he would not have fallen [condescended to a lower sphere], but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. [without progression in the estates]

23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, [without knowledge] having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. [Knowledge can only be fully understood through the afflictions of the temporal world.]

24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom [foresight] of him who knoweth all things. [the beginning from the end]

25 aAdam bfell that men might be; and men care, that they might have djoy. [Adam and Eve condescended to this earth to open the door for our journey to become like God. The purpose of our creation is to become like our Heavenly Parents.]

26 And the Messiah [Our Anointed Redeemer] cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. [create the path for us to return to the Garden of Eden] And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever [without constraint], knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law [according to the glory for which they are resurrected] at the great and last day [at the end of this worlds terrestrial existence, at the end of the Millennium], according to the commandments which God hath given.

27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh [in this mortal sphere]; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. [Just enough is given to us to find our way in this lone and dreary world.] And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself. [Satan’s view of misery is different from our own. His motivation is self gratification and dominion over others and promises such things to those who serve him, but it is a worm that can never be quenched. Therefore, the term “miserable” is very appropriate.]

28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit; [our holy Parents]

29 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh [the carnal man] and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, [to take possession of our souls] to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom. [Satan’s full purpose.]

30 I have spoken these few words unto you all, my sons, in the last days of my probation; [time of testing] and I have chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls. Amen.

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10 Responses to Purpose of Life – 2 Nephi 2:1-30

  1. Mike Ross says:

    About verse 11, you wrote:
    ” Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one [no balance and purpose]”
    Could you expound on that more? To me, the “wherefore” ties the “compound in one” back to the eternal truth… I have read this verse dozens and dozens of time and never understood why all things must needs be a compound in one… or what that even means.

    I agree that this verse is heavy… and deep and I have always puzzled over the “must needs be a compound in one” part of this verse. Are you simply saying that verse 11 could be just as well written as “wherefore, all things must needs have no balance and purpose”?

    I just looked up a definition of “compound” and in chemistry a compound is a group of molecules that cannot be separated by physical means. I am glad I did this… that makes much sense

    “A substance consisting of atoms or ions of two or more different elements in definite proportions joined by chemical bonds into a molecule. The elements cannot be separated by physical means. Water, for example, is a compound having two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom per molecule.”

    So it is safe to say if there was not a divinely appointed opposition in all things… and I dare say that if evil did not exist… we could not be “good” and neither could be be sanctified to any holy state. We need evil to exist in order for us to choose the path leading away from it?

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  2. I read this as: if there were not opposition in all things, even on a molecular level, it would be a singularity with no balance or purpose. There are positive and negative forces always at odds with each other with one dominating the other.

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  3. Your comment, “descended into Outer Darkness to make oaths with Lucifer” leads us to believe that Satan and Lucifer are two separate individuals. Is this your understanding? Also, is the creation story of Adam and Eve in the Garden to be taken literal or is it more symbolic? For example, was Adam “fashioned” from literal dirt AND was a rib incised from Adam and a body “fashioned” to create Eve? Or were Adam and Eve created from divine parents in the same way all humans are? Lastly, if they were born like every other human were Adam and Eve physical offspring of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother thereby making them both physical and spirit brother & sister?

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  4. Russell, you saw that well. Yes, Satan and Lucifer are separate and at some point Satan will assume that role. These are titles. Much of the Adam story is symbolic, yet there is a literal component as well. Adam and Eve were born to Heavenly Parents in the Garden. The rib is symbolic, the dirt or dust is also symbolic. The story is completely accurate, yet words are used that require revelation to unravel. In my translation of the Book of Moses you can learn more.

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  5. Jacob Detweiler says:

    Can you help me understand this principle- there is an opposition in all things. [Everything has its mirror image in the universe.]
    Is it accurate to say it is ‘equal’ in its opposition? Such as the Yin and Yang? God of light and God of darkness, son of light and son of darkness? Elohim/ Jehovah, Lucifer/ Satan.
    We are brought up thinking God is so much more powerful than Lucifer and this whole war in heaven is a sure thing, but I’ve always wondered if we are only hearing one side of the story. If there is true opposition in all things the “other side” would be just as powerful as God’s? Is this accurate?
    And if so, will it always be an equal opposition, or is one side trying to overcome the other. In this war, will one side ever completely be victorious, or is that the plan? Growth only comes through opposition, therefor the ‘war’ will continue indefinitely.
    Thank you for doing these-

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  6. It is equally opposite in the Universe, but both sides are completely separated except in the Telestial realm. Think of Outer Darkness as a mirror universe stacked beneath the Universe of light we observe, like a pancake dimension beneath us. In our world, depending upon the planet and the covenants made therein, good or evil presides. All covenant worlds, where Adam and Eve and their posterity are placed, are governed by Jehovah. Satan is given a sphere of influence and bounds he cannot cross. But there is a type of balance that is maintained between good and evil. Even amongst the planets, as with people, there are those that are claimed by Satan, those of God, and those that remain telestial forever.

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  7. Jacob Detweiler says:

    Thank you. That makes sense. Do both sides then share Telestial worlds, that the Elohim create or does the dark side have power to create worlds as well and start civilizations with Adams and Eves of their own?

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  8. The pattern of salvation for the worlds is very similar to the souls of men. Some become perdition and some are exalted, but most remain telestial. In the realm of outer darkness Satan can create, but it is not a realm of glory. He can populate his worlds, but they are not holy and I wouldn’t refer to them as an Adam and Eve. All creation in the Telestial realm is the creation of God (Elohim).

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  9. Jacob Detweiler says:

    Wow, thank you for this.

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  10. shnopa says:

    Why does God call Satan ‘Lucifer’ in the temple? Is he already called both? I understand there is a heirarchy. Is it like Christ bring called both the Father and the Son? [It was Lucifer’s plan given to the one that would be Satan. PR]

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