An insight from the Mormon Theology Seminar on 2 Ne 2

There are two, concurrent Mormon Theology Seminar projects going on right now. One is on 2 Nephi 2, and the other is on Genesis 2-3, and they are going to have a big two-day joint conference in June (awesome, no?).

All the work of a Mormon Theology Seminar takes place publicly on a blog. But, only the participants can comment on the blog. So, since I can’t comment there, I thought I’d post what I found interesting from their blog and comment on it here:

Perhaps these connections suggest more generally that it’s through the sermons of King Benjamin and Abinadi that Lehi’s and Jacob’s teachings regarding the plan of salvation passed into general Nephite knowledge. That may be important for understanding the basic significance of 2 Nephi 2 and 2 Nephi 9 for Nephite thought.

That’s an interesting insight. King Benjamin, as the inheritor of a new, unified kingdom (of Zamahelma’s people and the righteous Nephite remnant) suddenly finds himself in possession of the small plates. As he reads them, he is most struck by the writings of Jacob and of Lehi’s words to Jacob. Perhaps he is struck by them and allows them to influence his discourse at the temple, or, perhaps this way of thinking was already a part of Nephite culture and so it was the more natural part to share with his people. Either way, I like the insight that since we see King Benjamin and Abinadi drawing on Jacob’s words, we can begin to see what role the small plates prophets played in general Nephite culture.

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