Lehi’s Prophecies and Counsel to His Family

The Purpose of Life

2 Nephi 2:14

Speaking not just to Jacob, but now to all his sons, Lehi teaches that God created all things, both things to act and to be acted upon.

And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.

2 Nephi 2:15–16

God commissioned man to act for himself, and therefore created necessary opposition.

And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

2 Nephi 2:17

A fallen angel seeks to make others miserably like himself.

And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God. And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind.

2 Nephi 2:18–20

The devil enticed Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit; Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden of Eden and produced humanity.

Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said:

“Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die,
but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.”

And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth. And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth.

2 Nephi 2:21

A lengthened time of probation was given to mankind to repent.

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.

2 Nephi 2:21–22

All of mankind, being fallen, must repent; were it not for the fall, everything would forever be in its original state.

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. And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

2 Nephi 2:23–25

In a pre-fallen state, mankind would have had no children, and would be in an ignorant state of innocence; the fall of man was designed to enable humanity to experience joy.

And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

“Adam fell that men might be;
and men are, that they might have joy.”

2 Nephi 2:26

The Messiah will come to redeem mankind from the fall, setting them free to choose their own course, but accountable to God at the last day.

And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man.

2 Nephi 2:27

Mankind can, through the great Mediator, choose liberty and eternal life, or can choose captivity and death by following the devil.

And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

2 Nephi 2:28–29

Look to the great Mediator and be faithful to him, choosing eternal life instead of eternal death.

And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit; And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.

2 Nephi 2:30

I say these in my last days, wanting nothing more than the everlasting welfare of your souls.

I have spoken these few words unto you all, my sons, in the last days of my probation; and I have chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls. Amen.