“One of the most enlightening discourses ever delivered in regard to the atonement. It should be carefully read by every person seeking salvation.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 4:57. Emphasis added.)
Well, that is a powerful statement, by a powerful prophet, about a powerful chapter, in a powerful book! I wrote that quote in my scriptures years ago so I would always remember and consider that before studying 2 Nephi 9.
Starting in verse 10 of 2 Nephi 9, Jacob seems to use a literary technique known as a foil (a person or thing that makes another seem better/worse by contrast). Jewelers do this visually when they put a diamond on black velvet. The black absorbs the light and the diamond refracts it, thus causing the diamond to stand out more than it normally would.
Well, since Jacob’s original intent from the last reading was to help us “learn and glorify” the name of God, what would be the perfect foil for God? How about… Satan.
Returning our attention to 2 Nephi 9:10 we are able to see the genesis of this foil that Jacob will use: “O how GREAT the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this AWFUL monster” (emphasis added). As you continue reading from verse 10 you may want to pay attention to the words GREAT and AWFUL, and what they refer to. Jacob does not want us to miss out on God’s “greatness”, nor does he want you to be ignorant of how “awful” Satan really is. The use of our agency will determine the extent to which we rely on and access the Atonement of Jesus Christ to receive the blessings of the “merciful plan of the great Creator.”
“Remember the GREATNESS of the Holy One of Israel” (2 Nephi 9:40, emphasis added). Life truly is GREAT with God, and AWFUL without Him!
You may enjoy learning more from the following :
- KnoWhy: 2 Nephi 9:6, When Does the Book of Mormon First Talk about the Plan of Salvation?
- KnoWhy: 2 Nephi 9:10, Why Does Jacob Choose a “Monster” As a Symbol for Death and Hell?
- KnoWhy: 2 Nephi 9:27, Why Does Jacob Declare So Many “Woes”?
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