Mormons sometimes ask people to read 2 Nephi 31. Although we caution against giving the Book of Mormon any credence, this chapter can be used as a springboard for a witness.
The launching pad is the last statement in the chapter heading: “Eternal life comes to those who keep the commandments after baptism.” The topic you want to focus on is eternal life.
There are two things you need to know about the LDS concept of eternal life.
- It lies in the future. As verse 18 of 2 Nephi 31 states, baptism is the gate to the path leading to eternal life.
- Mormonism equates eternal life with exaltation. The LDS manual, True to the Faith, simply has “see eternal life” under exaltation. This is significant because exaltation equals godhood. “They shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation. . .Then shall they be gods” (D&C 132: 19-20).
In contrast, you will want to talk about John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Don’t worry that the King James Version says everlasting life, not eternal life. The LDS topical guide (TG) equates the two. (The TG is in the back of LDS Bibles and is referenced in the footnotes of the LDS Bible.) Most Mormons automatically equate the two.
You will want to underscore how Jesus talks in the present tense, “hath.” In other words, eternal life is a present possession of believers. Therefore, it can’t refer to godhood. It also shows that it is not something a person obtains but is given them through faith.
As you make this point, we encourage you also to bear your testimony. Talk of the wonderful life you have in Christ. Share the confidence that you have eternal life right now and will experience it fully, living with Heavenly Father for all eternity. Emphasize that you have no doubts because having eternal life is entirely based on what Jesus has done for you.