2 Nephi 17 reminds us of the inconsistencies of loyalty and allegiances among the nations and peoples of Judah and Israel and their surrounding allies and enemies. “And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind” (2 Nephi 17:2). Our hearts must be fixed on righteous principles in order to build a strong foundation or root system that will keep us and our nations from being “broken.” Proverbs 12:3 teaches us that “A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.”
In order for us to “be established” in righteousness we need to “believe.” Believe in what? The Lord gave us the answer, “a sign,” for us to see and believe that there is a right way to live and be happy. “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and to choose the good” (2 Nephi 17:14-15). Immanuel means God with us. Our Father in Heaven sent His Only Begotten Son to be among the people, to show us the right way to live that we might know good from evil and choose the good, too. Jesus said to his apostles at the Last Supper, “And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall observe to do the things which ye have seen me do” (JST Matthew 26:25). This simple children’s song reminds us that Jesus’ examples of refusing the evil and choosing the good throughout his mortal ministry help us to know how to establish our lives in the right way.
There’s a right way to live and be happy;
It is choosing the right ev’ry day.
I am learning the teachings of Jesus;
They will help me and show me the way.
Choose the right way and be happy.
I must always choose the right.
(“Choose the Right Way“)
Samuel gave a short sermon to the Lord’s people that echoes Isaiah’s messages to the house of Israel on how to be established in “the good and the right way.” It simply says:
“Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.
“For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people. Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
“Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king” (1 Samuel 12:20-25).
*Think of someone who has taught you the good and the right way. What did you learn?
*Share an experience when you did what Jesus would do. How did you feel?
*Share an experience when you refused the evil and chose the good. How were you strengthened?
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