CLICK HERE to read 2 Nephi 33.
This is the final chapter written by Nephi. He closes his writings in a humble way, stating he has only written what he taught his people. He says he is not skilled at writing or at speaking, but that he “speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost” and that it is the Holy Ghost who “carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men” (verse 1).
This is another cross-reference to D&C 18:35, that teaches us that when we testify… the Holy Spirit does testify to the spirits of others… or if we are listening to others testify, the Holy Spirit does testify directly to our spirits.
Spiritual things are communicated Spirit to spirit, directly.
This is why it is so vital that our heart be “soft” (both prepared and willing to receive – which includes being prepared and willing to obey, no matter the instruction), and so critical that we be worth of the Spirit’s communications – and experienced in receiving communication from the Spirit.
Because without all that, we are the ones getting in the way of Spirit-to-spirit communication.
“… there are many that harden their hearts against the Holy Spirit, that it hath no place in them” (verse 2).
When this happens, things that are TRUTH seem like nothing.
It is the Holy Spirit that confirms the truth, that unfolds (unveils!) the meaning of the truth, and so without the Spirit, words of truth seem no different than any other words and hold no meaning. The words seem empty, irrelevant, nada-ness.
“wherefore, they cast many things away which are written and esteem them as things of naught” (verse 2).
But when you have the Holy Spirit confirming to you, teaching you, unfolding for you, unveiling for you, then you know these truths are of great worth – more important than anything else – and we depend on it to discern anything, everything, even to find our way.
And we know, too, that others need it as well.
And we grieve when they reject it.
“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” (verse 3).
And so Nephi leaves his testimony with us, knowing the Holy Spirit will testify of the truth to those people who really ask.
“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… and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal” (verse 4).
So it is the Holy Spirit testifying of the truth of Nephi’s words, and we know the role of the Holy Spirit is to correct, instruct, and guide. Because of this, Nephi points out, those who do not want to make the changes (not willing to respond to what is revealed, not willing to obey no matter the instruction) will think his testimony is “hard”, that it “speaketh harshly against sin, according to the plainness of the truth” (verse 5).
When we are being submissive, and willing to do what the Lord instructs, then His words do not seem harsh to us.
When we are already guilty, or do not want to make changes, or refusing opportunities for progression that He offers, then His words seem harsh.
“wherefore, no man will be angry at the words which I have written save he shall be of the spirit of the devil” (verse 5).
When we understand clearly who He is, and what He has done for us, anything He asks of us seems a small thing.
“I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell” (verse 6).
And when we understand how He loves us, we better understand how to love others.
“I have charity for my people…” (verse 7). We know from Moroni 7:47 that “charity” is defined as “the pure love of Christ”. When we have faith in this pure love, and love others as He loves us, then others are also invited to him. “I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat” (verse 7).
So Nephi urges all: “hearken unto these words and believe in Christ… and they teach all men that they should do good” (verse 10).
This is Nephi’s hope.
This is his prayer, “that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day” (verse 12).