2nd Nephi

a brief theological introduction

“I have seen a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed . . .”

In the wake of epic cataclysm, Nephi launches a second book of writings. Inspired by the prophet Isaiah’s remark­able account of the scattering and gather­ing of God’s covenant people, Nephi aches to reassure his family by providing a clear understanding of their unbroken place in God’s designs. Interweaving history, theology, and prophecy, Nephi brings together the covenant’s ancient roots and its future fulfillment, orienting everything around the person of Jesus Christ.

In this brief theological introduction, Terryl Givens echoes Nephi’s invitation for readers to keep Christ front and center in their minds, hearts, and wor­ship. Givens finds clear emphasis on the Redeemer’s healing atonement, the promise of resurrection, the necessity of oppositional strife and of agency wisely employed, and other plain and precious truths lost or obscured by time. Above all, Nephi presents essential elements of the doctrine of Christ, emphasizing repentance as a lifelong process of heart reeducation, and of scripture as a re­source for spiritual succor and personal revelation.

Jerusalem is destroyed.

But all is not lost.


“Givens surprised me by revealing both the poignancy and the spiritual depth in 2 Nephi with fresh perspectives.”

"This volume provides some interesting framing for 2 Nephi that promises to provoke further insight as I wrestle with it in my return to the scriptural text. And that seems to be precisely what such books should do."

"There are so many gems to be found in this small book. In reading Givens's '2nd Nephi,' I know the next time I read the Book of Mormon I will study it with new eyes, a new heart, and a better understanding and appreciation for what Lehi's family was experiencing...Givens helps us drink deeply and experience the true spiritual power of the Book of Mormon."

Gerald Smith

Joel's Monastery

About the Author

Terryl Givens

For many years, Terryl Givens was the Jabez A. Bostwick Chair of English at the University of Richmond. Now a senior research fellow at Brigham Young University’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute, Givens is the author of several books on the Latter-day Saint tradition, including Wrestling the Angel, By the Hand of Mormon, and The Pearl of Greatest Price. With his wife, Fiona, he coauthored The Crucible of Doubt, The God Who Weeps, and The Christ Who Heals.

Table of Contents

  • Series Introduction
  • Introduction
  • The New (and Very Old) Covenant
  • They Are Not Cast Off
  • To the Convincing of Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ
  • More Plain and Precious Things
  • Backmatter

  • Editions of the Book of Mormon
  • Index
  • Colophon
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Publication Information

  • Subject: Book of Mormon
  • Publication Month: April
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Language: English,
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-8425-0008-1
  • Page Count: 115
  • Binding: Paperback, eBook
  • Price: $ 9.95
  • Imprint: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)