“O How Great the Plan of Our God”

Alan C. Miner

In 2 Nephi 9:13 it says, "O how great the plan of our God!" Hugh Nibley notes that the word "plan" is not found in the Bible, yet it's found forty-two times in the Book of Mormon . . . and thirty-six times in the book of Alma. . . . Origen tells us that in the early church they taught that you earned your position here before you came here. So whatever happened to the plan? How did it drop out of the Bible? . . . When the temple was lost the rabbis took over. They were learned men but they were not priests. . . . The philosophers at the School of Alexandria took it over, and in their place you have the doctrines of St. Augustine--this takes the place of the plan. That is, you are predestined to damnation or you are predestined to salvation. . . . This predestination doctrine of St. Augustine was taken over by the Lutherans and by the Calvinists especially. What happens to you is because you were predestined that way. Of course, you didn't live before you came here; you didn't earn it or anything like that. . . . All creation had to be instantaneously, simultaneously complete. Everything was completely there all at once, so you had no background or anything. [Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, pp. 295-296] [See the commentary on Jarom 1:2; Alma 22:13]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary