Partake of the Divine Nature
Progressing toward godhood can be compared to climbing a ladder (for example, see Genesis 28:12–17 ). With the Lord’s help, we must change and grow to be “partakers of the divine nature” ( 2Peter 1:4 ). Some people, however, choose to follow a different course in life, one that will not lead to the celestial kingdom. Elder RussellM. Nelson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, described such people as having “climbed their ladder of learning, only to find it leaning against the wrong wall” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1984, 37; or Ensign, Nov. 1984, 30 ). As you read 2Peter, look for the steps the Lord asked us to follow and how we can protect ourselves from false teachers who would lead us down a wrong path.
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Understanding the Scriptures
2Peter 1:10 —“Make Your Calling and Election Sure”
Elder BruceR. McConkie taught that “to have one’s calling and election made sure is to be sealed up unto eternal life; it is to have the unconditional guarantee of exaltation in the highest heaven of the celestial world; it is to receive the assurance of godhood” ( Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:330). It is also referred to as “the more sure word of prophecy” ( 2Peter 1:19 ).
2Peter 2:21 —It Is Better “Not to Have Known the Way of Righteousness” Than to Turn from It
Those who sin after learning the truth have a greater accountability than those who sin ignorantly (see also Doctrine and Covenants 82:3 ).
2Peter 3:3–9 —Peter Spoke of Those Who Do Not Believe in the Second Coming
Peter said that it is as easy to believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as it is in the Creation. It is just as likely for the world to be destroyed by fire as it was by flood. Although it seems to us like it takes a long time for God’s purposes to be fulfilled, it is only a short time to Him.
Studying the Scriptures
Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study 2Peter 1–3 .
Make a List of Christlike Qualities
President Ezra Taft Benson said, “The virtues outlined by Peter [in 2Peter 1:5–7 ] are part of the divine nature, or the Savior’s character. These are the virtues we are to emulate [follow] if we would be more like Him” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 59; or Ensign, Nov. 1986,45 ).
Read 2Peter 1:5–7 and list the qualities Peter mentioned.
Do you think attaining these qualities is more like climbing a ladder (done one step at a time) or like putting a puzzle together (each quality attained in random order)? Why?
Read 2Peter 1:8–12 and list several blessings that come to those who receive these attributes.
Spared or Delivered?
There are two main teachings in 2Peter 2:1–9 . One is that false teachers will not be spared, meaning they will not be protected. The other is that the righteous Saints will be protected and delivered. Read those verses and list at least three people or groups from the scriptures who were not spared and three who were protected and delivered from wickedness.
Give Advice to a Friend
Suppose you have a friend who is beginning to doubt his or her testimony of Jesus Christ, particularly the reality of His Second Coming. In 2Peter 3:1–17 we read about how a belief in the Second Coming can help keep us from being led away from the truth. Using what you learn from these verses, write a letter to your friend about the most important thing you learned concerning the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.