Today we’ll be looking at 2 Nephi 8, a continuation of the “conference talk” by Jacob, the brother of Nephi.
Continuing with the previous theme, chapter eight discusses the events surrounding the Second Coming of Christ. As this is the case, Jacob quotes Isaiah as suggesting we remember where we came from. I’m not really sure he means Abraham and Sarah. I think it’s more likely that he’s telling us to remember who we were before we came to Earth.
After telling us this, we are treated to a number of, to me at least, confusing allusions. First, we are told that the Lord will make the Earth’s wilderness like Eden, a beautiful garden teaming with flowers and fruit and requiring little if any cultivation, for which there will be joy and great gladness (v3). Second, the Lord will rule among us, acting as the judge of the people, like in the Old Testament of the Bible, and his judgments will allow the people to rest and provide them with light, and they will rely on him almost exclusively (v 4-5). Third, A day will come when “the earth will wax old like a garment; and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner (v6). This, I think, is talking about the Earth’s baptism of fire. The righteous, writes Isaiah, need have nothing to fear (v7). The wicked, will be destroyed like an old piece of clothing being eaten by a moth (v8).
The next couple of verses speaks to the great power of God. Because of this great power, “the redeemed of God shall return, and come with singing unto Zion…(v11).” They shall have great joy. There will be no sorrow. So, we are told not to fear man or his son, who will be as easily cut down as a blade of grass might be (v12).
Around verse 17 is when the signs of the return of Christ are enumerated.
- Jerusalem will drink the cup of the Lord’s fury, and “the dregs of the cup of trembling wrung out.”
- There will be none among her sons who can guide her.
- Two sons will come to her (v 19, see Revelation 11:3-12) and feel sorry for her, her desolation and destruction and all she has suffered. By these two shall the Lord comfort her. They will be full of the fury of the Lord and will act as the rebuke of God.
- The Lord will remove the cup of trembling and fury from the hand of Jerusalem. She shall never drink of it again. Instead, it will be placed in the hands of those who afflict her.
At this point, Jacob finishes the chapter with the first two verses of the next, a commandment to all the righteous to put on their beautiful clothing because they no longer need fear the wrath of the unbelievers and they don’t have to serve them any longer.