The Covenant Path Unveiled in the Book of Mormon: The Witness of Nephi—The Doctrine of Christ is Plain

In a previous 5-part series entitled, “The Covenant Path Unveiled”, we uncovered the Savior’s personal teaching of what His true saving doctrine is (3Nephi 11-26).  Though the term “covenant path” is not found in scripture, His saving doctrine is referred to by other names in scripture including “my doctrine,” “the doctrine of Christ,” “the gospel” and others.  He teaches some important characteristics of His doctrine.  He also includes the very few, yet essential steps or milestones that you personally have to fulfill or receive.  If you have not yet studied through that 5-part series, I encourage you to do that first before studying this additional witness.

The purpose of that 5-part series was to clarify what the covenant path really is, to unveil the simplicity and beauty of the true covenant path so that it does not lose its meaning, and that you might know the true way to personal redemption.  As I stated about the Savior’s own teachings (3Nephi 11-30),  my witness is that any other teaching of what the covenant path is or might be is rooted in darkness to frustrate your personal journey “in and through Jesus Christ.”

Another Witness of the True Covenant Path

In this post, we will add to the Savior’s personal teachings with the witness of Nephi, son of Lehi that left Jerusalem and was directed to the promised land 600 years before the birth of Christ.  Nephi and his brothers knew of the true covenant path because his father fulfilled it and then taught it to his family.

The following is an index from 2 Nephi chapters 31-33. I always invite you to first read it on your own and use the spirit of the Lord to help you see the doctrine of Christ with new eyes. Then feel free to supplement your own reading with mine. Use the spirit to discern any of my message as the Lord will help you discern. The index that I compiled is only there to help clarify the simplicity and beauty of Christ’s saving doctrine.  The outline will follow the exact format from the 5-part series.  As always, study these chapters and verses yourself beyond what is listed for more context and personal understanding.  Brothers and sisters, this is the doctrine (path) of personal salvation and complete redemption.

IMPORTANT:  Sometimes, in order to understand what somethings is, it can be helpful to also identify what something is not.  With that in mind, just as you did with the teaching of the Savior (3Nephi 11-30), as you study Nephi’s witness here in 2Nephi 31-33, identify what the covenant path is not or at least what it is not compared to what you thought it was or what you have been previously taught that it is. In other words, salvation and exaltation do not come through any institution or person other than personally in and through Jesus Christ.

“… I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.”  (2 Nephi 33:6)

Synonymous Terms:  Names or Terms Used for the Covenant Path By This Witness

First, note the synonymous names or terms used by the Lord to teach or describe the doctrine of Christ.  These are important because when you are reading the scriptures it will provide more context and understanding.

Doctrine of Christ31:2 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… 21 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. 32:6 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh…

Straight and Narrow Path31:9 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. 18 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. 19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask… 33:9 I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.

The Way31:21 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… 32:1 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, I suppose that ye ponder somewhat in your hearts concerning that which ye should do after ye have entered in by the way. But, behold, why do ye ponder these things in your hearts? 32:5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

Step 1 in His Path (Doctrine):  Hope & Faith

Sufficient hope (belief, trust) exercising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (seeking for revelation from God and acting on it) which is only possible with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

31:10 …Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father [be obedient to personal revelation]?… 13by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then… 18 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 received19 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.

32:4 Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark… 7 And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be. 8 And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray. 9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance [exercising faith] unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

33:2 But behold, there are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them; wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught… 7 I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat… 10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good. 11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye [try and see for yourself]—for Christ will show unto you [He will show you it is true], with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.

Step 2 in His Path (doctrine): Repentance

[Note Father is speaking] 31:11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, 13 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… 14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and…

Step 3a in His path (doctrine): Baptism in the name of the Son part one—Baptism of Repentance (Water)—Witnessing your repentance and willingness to follow the Savior

31:5 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! 6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water? [the Savior was literally leading and teaching His doctrine by example by being baptized by water7 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 [obedient to personal revelation]… 13 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, 14 After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water17 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;

Step 3b in His path (doctrine): Baptism in the name of the Son part two—Baptism of Fire & Holy Ghost (Spirit)–Personal redemption/Remission of sins

There are many misunderstandings about this part of the baptism in the name of the Son.  Please study and ponder this very carefully.  Here are a few things to note as you study the Lord’s words about this part of baptism in the name of the Son.  First, there is a determined period of time between a person receiving their baptism of water and their baptism of fire and Holy Ghost.  That period of time is different for each person and is determined by the Lord.  The means of receiving the second part is only possibly through receiving and following personal revelation.  Also, the baptism of fire and Holy Ghost is not the same as being confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It is also not received when a person lays hands on your head and says “receive the Holy Ghost.”  The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide explains all of this and more.  Also, in the scriptures that follow, identify who performs this part of the baptism in the name of the Son (baptism of fire and Holy Ghost):

31:8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove [a visible sign of being baptized by fire and Holy Ghost]… 13 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… and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me… 17 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. 18 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. [receiving the promise originally given to Adam & Eve in Garden of Eden (Moses 5:9-13)–to receive complete and personal redemption, remission of sins]

33:6  I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell9 I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.

Step 4 in His path (doctrine): Starting a new personal relationship with the Savior by receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, learn to be a servant by using the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the gifts of the spirit–Which is to “Endure to the End”; Keep His commandments continually

[Note the Son is speaking31:12 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.

31:18 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… 20 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.

32:2 Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost? 3 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.

33:9 I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.

Step 5 in His path (doctrine): Receive the promise of eternal life, even to be received into the presence of the Lord

31:18 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… 20 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.

32:9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

33:9 I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation… 12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.

The True Path & The Covenant

Exactly as the Savior taught, we have just been taught the “path” milestones by Nephi as:

1. Sufficient hope and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

2. Repentance

3a. Baptism of repentance (water)

3b. Baptism of fire and Holy Ghost for the remission of sins

4. Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost that dwells in you and allows you to start a new relationship with the Lord (Mentor-Apprentice-type relationship)

5. Receive the presence of the Lord and the promise of eternal life

I invite you to ponder on the simplicity of Christ’s doctrine.  Notice how personal and individual it really is.  Ponder on what the Lord includes and does not include that you may have been previously taught.  Ponder on the wisdom of its progression.

What Did Nephi Say was His Purpose in Teaching the True Covenant Path?

“Plainness; To give light and understanding”  31:2I shall speak unto you plainly, according to the plainness of my prophesying. 3 For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; 33:6 I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.

“To receive eternal life”  31:20 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.

“It’s of great worth” 33:3 But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. 4 And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.

“Last farewell at end of his life”  31:1 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. 33:13 And now, my beloved brethren, all those who are of the house of Israel, and all ye ends of the earth, I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the dust: Farewell until that great day shall come. 14 And you that will not partake of the goodness of God, and respect the words of the Jews, and also my words, and the words which shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God, behold, I bid you an everlasting farewell, for these words shall condemn you at the last day.

“He was commanded to teach it in his own record”  15 For what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen.

What Does Nephi Say is the Invitation Associated with the Covenant Path?

31:5 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!… 13 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

33:4 And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.

Who or What Does Nephi Say Is the Central Figure of This Covenant Path?  In Whom Should We Put Faith?  In Whom Are We Actually Saved?  In Whom or What Are We Not Saved?

31:10 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? 11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. 12 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. 13 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… 16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved… 19 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. 20 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. 33:6 I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.

Conclusion

Nephi’s witness validates the Savior’s own teaching and yet it comes 600 years before the birth of the Savior.  Yet he was taught of the coming of the Savior that would fulfill the new and everlasting covenant.  Nephi saw our day and the knew his record would be revealed to Jew, Gentile and the seed of his brethren.  Therefore, he was commanded to teach it to us and leave his personal witness of the greatness of the true covenant path–the new and everlasting covenant.  Nephi’s witness is discussed in more detail in this specific section of the The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide.

For more understanding of this covenant path and its milestones taught throughout the scriptures, you are welcome to begin your personal study and your own journey in and through the doctrine of Christ through The Doctrine of Christ Study Guide. Also, to help you increase your confidence in personal revelation and develop your own gift of discernment, I invite you to study The 3 Voices of Personal Revelation Study Guide.

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JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org is based on free, online study guides to help you learnbelievelive and teach the Doctrine of Christ. The Study Guides invite any and all to see and know this truth for themselves that the Savior, Jesus Christ, has, in fact, introduced His doctrine and He personally invites all to receive personal redemption and literally receive Him while in the flesh (mortality).

Blog posts are only intended to supplement the Study Guides.  Per all blog posts, seek the understanding and confirmations from the Lord in your own personal revelation.  Study guides are intended to point you to both the Lord’s written word and His voice (personal revelation). These study guides will help you uncover what the Doctrine of Christ is and other essential topics that will help you in your journey to literally “come unto Christ” while in mortality. All study guides are available at JourneyDoctrineOfChrist.org.

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