2 Nephi, Chapter 31

What is the doctrine of Christ?

“And now I, Nephi, make an end of my prophesying unto you, my beloved brethren. And I cannot write but a few things, which I know must surely come to pass; neither can I write but a few of the words of my brother Jacob (v. 1).  Wherefore, the things which I have written sufficeth me, save it be a few words which I must speak concerning the doctrine of Christ; wherefore, I shall speak unto you plainly, according to the plainness of my prophesying (v. 2). . . And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen (v. 21).”  Nephi says he will end his writings with the doctrine of Christ, which is the only true doctrine.


Since Jesus Christ is perfect, why was he baptized?

The ordinance of baptism is for the remission of sins (Article of Faith 4).  Why was Jesus Christ baptized if he was perfect?  My initial answer is because no one can return to live with our Father in Heaven without performing the ordinances necessary to do so.  Nephi gives us the answer in this chapter.  “And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water (v. 5)!”  Jesus was baptized to “fulfil all righteousness”.

What does this mean?  “And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water (v. 6)?  Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments (v. 7).”  Jesus obeyed all of God’s commandments and we have been given a commandment to be baptized.  He is our example, “And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them (v. 9).  And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father (v. 10)?  And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son (v. 11).  And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do (v. 12).”  To fulfil all righteousness, He humbled himself and obeyed.

“…O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized…”.  The Savior was perfect and we are not.  If He had to be baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness, then we must be baptized as well.

What is the “form of a dove”?

2 Nephi 31:8 reads, “Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.”  What characteristics does a dove have that are like the Holy Ghost?  The dove has been seen for a long time as a sign of peace.  I have experienced for myself the peace that the Holy Ghost brings.  When I think of how a person feels when they have repented of their sins, are baptized and washed clean, and then receive the Holy Ghost, there is a overwhelming peaceful feeling.  The dove is also usually thought of as white and white represents purity.  I think the form of a dove is peace and purity given through the Holy Ghost.

The incomparable gift of the Holy Ghost

I don’t remember much from my baptism, but I do remember feeling really good afterwards.  In verse 12 (see above), we read of the blessing that is promised to those who repent and are baptized; they will be given the Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost is a comforter, a teacher of truth, and a guide.  I cannot imagine my life without the inspirations that come from the Holy Ghost.  “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel (v. 13).”  If we repent, are baptized and live righteously, then we can “speak with the tongue of angles” by the gift of the Holy Ghost.  In 2 Nephi 32:3 we read, “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ…”.  We too can speak the words of Christ if we are filled with the spirit.

The gate and the straight and narrow path

What is the gate?  “Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost (v. 17).”  The gate is repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost.  The gate is the ordinances we have been commanded to receive.

What is the path?  “And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive (v. 18).”  The path is that which leads to eternal life guided by the Holy Ghost.

How do we continue on this path?  “And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save (v. 19).  Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life (v. 20).”  We must endure with hope, love, and faith, living the gospel to the end.  We must feast on the word of Christ, which means becoming absorbed in the scriptures, not just reading the words.  We must live what we read and truly apply it to our lives.  The more we live the gospel, the more we will be able to love all men.  If we walk the path that the Savior has made for us, we will love as He loved and live as He lived.  We learn of the path, through the scriptures.

Why is this so important?  We learned in verse 21 (see above) that this path, given to us by the Savior, is the only way that we can be saved.


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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.


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