“There is None Other Nation on Earth That Would Crucify Their God”

Alan C. Miner

Had Joseph Smith been the author of the Book of Mormon, he would have had to follow chapter 9 of 2 Nephi, a remarkable doctrinal essay on the atonement, with another chapter full of "new" doctrine. According to Monte Nyman, there are five very interesting doctrines put forth in 2 Nephi 10 that relate directly to Jesus Christ:

(1) The first is that Christ's name was revealed to prophets in Old Testament times (2 Nephi 10:3; see also 2 Nephi 25:18-19).

(2) The second doctrine is that Christ came among the Jews because no other nation on earth "would crucify their God" (2 Nephi 10:3).

(3) The third doctrine is that it was priestcrafts and iniquities among the Jews that caused Christ's crucifixion (2 Nephi 10:5). The term priestcraft is not used in the Bible.

(4) The fourth doctrine is unique in referring to two gathering places of Israel. It promises that America will be a land of liberty to the Gentiles, that "there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles," and that the Lord would fortify the land against "all other nations." (2 Nephi 10:11-12) Nyman notes that this interpretation of two gathering places can be backed up by the words of Isaiah. In the early chapters of Isaiah, the prophet always separates his messages to Zion (the Americas) and to Jerusalem (see Isaiah 3:1-15 and 3:16--4:3-4; chapter 25 to Zion and chapter 26 to Jerusalem). In the later chapters of Isaiah, including the ones Jacob quotes in 2 Nephi 6-8, the prophet speaks of the two gathering places in conjunction (Isaiah 40:9) as well as giving separate messages to each (see isaiah 48 to Judah, Isaiah 49 to the Isles of the Sea [Zion]; 51:3-16 and 51:16-23; 52:1-2; see also TPJS 362).

(5) A fifth doctrine is that people become members of the great and abominable church by their actions rather than by an affiliation with an particular organization. Jacob says that those who fight "against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female," are of "the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me" (2 Nephi 10:16).

[Monte S. Nyman, "Come to Understanding and Learn Doctrine," in The Book of Mormon: Second Nephi, The Doctrinal Structure, pp. 25-26]

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