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2 Nephi 1-5: Agency and Repentance

Kyle Gill
February 9th, 2020 · 1 min read

2 Nephi 2 offers some of the most profound lessons about mortal life. Lehi was teaching his son Jacob, but it’s relevant to the whole human family.

Days were prolonged

Lehi explains that it is through the fall that we even exist, and that without opposition in all things we would lack the ability to really, truly experience joy.

A verse that struck me as interesting—leading up the famous 2 Nephi 2:25—was verse 21:

2 Nephi 2:21
21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, 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.

I think this verse is evidence of a loving God. When Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, it was explained to them that there would be a Savior that would come and free them from their mistakes. On top of that mercy, Lehi explains that God even provides more time for His children on the earth to repent.

Men are instructed sufficiently

A companion scripture to verse 21, that explains that we aren’t simply victims of circumstance is verse 5:

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.

Knowing that people are “instructed sufficiently” is comforting in a mortal sojourn that is often confusing and foggy. To know good from evil means you aren’t excused from poor choices, and also that you have the resources to make your way through life as is.

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