In this week’s review of the Book of Mormon, we’ll look at chapters 5 through 9 of 2 Nephi. Here Jacob, another of Lehi’s sons, reads from the brass plates chapters 50 and 51 of Isaiah, which primarily discusses the mission of God’s Endtime Servant. We can look at Dr. Gileadi’s commentary on these two chapters here for more information. But we are going to focus our review on chapter 9 where Jacob expands on the destiny of man that we saw in last week’s review and calls it God’s Great Plan. We will look at the primary themes of this chapter and then summarize.
Jacob begins this discussion by introducing the concept that because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, man became subject to eternal death, which included a physical or temporal death and a spiritual death meaning that Adam and Eve and their posterity would be denied the prescence of God forever unless there was an atonement and resurrection. So our flow of concepts looks like this in verses 6 through 10.
Post-Mortem Spirits of Men
Here in verses 11 through 14 we are introduced to the concept of a post-mortem spirit realm where the spirits of men exist until the resurrection. This spirit realm is divided into two places – a place of captivity of the unrighteous or the unjust and a place of paradise for the righteous or the just.
In verse 15, we see that man is judged according to the judgements of God but we are not given any details. So we must assume that God will judge each of us according to His infinite knowledge of each person. Further, we see in the scriptures, that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Yeshua is the Savior and Redeemer of Mankind - Phil 2:10,11, but where each person is assigned to an eternal realm in the Kingdom of God is determined by one’s resolve and capacity to keep the Law of God for that realm.
A Place of Eternal Death and Misery
We see in verse 16 the fate of those who are unredeemable. Those who are unredeemable will suffer the fate of the devil who is denied eternal physical and spiritual life forever.
The Kingdom of God
When we look at the Kingdom of God, in verse 18, as we saw in our previous review of the destiny of man, the Kingdom of God is comprised of three realms – the realm of the Spirit, the realm of the Son and the realm of the Father. But here in verse 18, Jacob is referring to a specific class of Beings who will inherit the realm of the Father for they will receive a fullness of joy. So in summary we have:
The Law and God's Great Plan
Jacob wraps up chapter 9 with a discourse on the Law, those who die without the Law and strong warnings about rejecting the Law and being deceived beginning at verse 25. He states that those who die without the Law will be redeemed nonetheless, but of course must accept Yeshua (Jesus) as the Savior of Humanity. When we look at the Kingdom of God and the Law, we factor in the concepts introduced last week, and so the Kingdom of God looks like this -
God's Great Plan
So in summary this is the Plan that Jacob constructs in chapter 9 of 2 Nephi.