2 Nephi 2:1 And now Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my first born in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow because of the rudeness of thy brethren.
2 Nephi 2:2 Nevertheless, Jacob my first born in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God. And he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.
2 Nephi 2:3 Wherefore thy soul shall be blessed, and thou shalt dwell safely with thy brother Nephi, and thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore I know that thou art redeemed because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer, for thou hast beheld that in the fullness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.
2 Nephi 2:4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory, wherefore thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh. For the Spirit is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.
2 Nephi 2:5 And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil, and the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or by the law men are cut off, yea, by the temporal law they were cut off. And also by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good and become miserable forever.
2 Nephi 2:6 Wherefore redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah, for he is full of grace and truth.
2 Nephi 2:7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law unto all those which have a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
KJV Bible, 1769, Psalms 140:13
Note: This usage of the word "dwell" is cited by some as a Hebrew phrasing, which Joseph Smith could not have known how to use in this manner
2 Nephi 2:8 Wherefore how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God save it be through the merits and mercy and grace of the Holy Messiah, which layeth down his life according to the flesh and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
2 Nephi 2:9 Wherefore he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men, and they that believe in him shall be saved.
2 Nephi 2:10 And because of the intercession for all, all men cometh unto God. Wherefore they stand in the presence of him to be judged of him according to the truth and holiness which is in him; wherefore the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the atonement--
If there be moral good in any of those tempers or actions, there must be moral evil in the directly opposite; and if there be no moral evil in the latter, there is no moral good in the former; as if there were no natural evil in pain there would be no natural good in pleasure.
The Works of Jonathon Edwards, D.D., vol 2, Boston: 1850. (sermon originally preached in 1793 and published in New Haven, Connecticut)
Farther, in all things different, however moderate their Diversity, there is an appearance of Opposition with respect to each other…
2 Nephi 2:11 for it must needs be that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither happiness nor misery, neither good nor bad; wherefore all things must needs be a compound in one. Wherefore if it should be one body, it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
2 Nephi 2:12 Wherefore it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power and the mercy and the justice of God.
2 Nephi 2:13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. And if ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness, there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness, there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not, there is no God. And if there is no God, we are not, neither the earth. For there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore all things must have vanished away.
2 Nephi 2:14 And now my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning. For there is a God and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth and all things that in them is, both things to act and things to be acted upon.
2 Nephi 2:15 And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man—after that he had created our first parents and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air and, in fine, all things which are created—it must needs be that there was an opposition, even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life, the one being sweet and the other bitter.
2 Nephi 2:16 Wherefore the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself; wherefore man could not act for himself save it should be that he were enticed by the one or the other.
2 Nephi 2:17 And I Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.
2 Nephi 2:18 And because that he had fallen from heaven and had became miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind; wherefore he saith unto Eve—yea, even that old serpent which is the devil, which is the father of all lies—wherefore he saith: Partake of the forbidden fruit and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
2 Nephi 2:19 And after that Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit, they were driven out from the garden of Eden to till the earth.
2 Nephi 2:20 And they have brought forth children, yea, even the family of all the earth.
We shall now present the reader with a few of the arguments in favour of the possibility of the final apostacy of the saints. 1. It is argued from the probationary state of man throughout the present life. By a state of probation "we mean," (in the words of Mr. H.) "a time in which we are allowed to act on trial for the retributions of a future world." "It is a time in which we may choose life or death; with the assurance that according to our choice will be our future condition."
2 Nephi 2:21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh. Wherefore their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent, for he shewed unto all men that they were lost because of the transgression of their parents.
2 Nephi 2:22 And now behold, if Adam had not transgressed, he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden; and all things which were created must have remained in the same state which they were after that they were created. And they must have remained forever and had no end,
2 Nephi 2:23 and they would have had no children. Wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery, doing no good, for they knew no sin.
2 Nephi 2:24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
2 Nephi 2:25 Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.
2 Nephi 2:26 And the Messiah cometh in the fullness of time that he might redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall, they have become free forever, knowing good from evil, to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
2 Nephi 2:27 Wherefore men are free according to the flesh, and all things are given them which is expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death according to the captivity and power of the devil, for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
2 Nephi 2:28 And now my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator and hearken unto his great commandments and be faithful unto his words and choose eternal life according to the will of his Holy Spirit,
2 Nephi 2:29 and not choose eternal death according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.
2 Nephi 2:30 I have spoken these few words unto you all, my sons, in the last days of my probation. And I have chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet. And I have none other object save it be the everlasting welfare of your souls. Amen.