Thursday, April 1, 2010
Boyd K. Packer's testimony, part 2
Because of a question contained in the comments section under an earlier post, I am adding this explanation:
Elder Mark E. Peterson explained his view regarding the Second Comforter (a visitation by Jesus Christ with a believer) in conversations of his which have been repeated to me. He had been asked about the issue, and explained his view to those who asked. He believed that the Second Comforter experience was not available to Gentiles. He quoted 3 Nephi 15: 20-24 as the basis for his view, which includes this statement by Christ to the Nephites at the time of His appearance at the Temple in Bountiful: "they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching. And they understood not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice-- that I should not manifest myself unto them save it be by the Holy Ghost."
I interpret the above quote differently than Elder Peterson. It is my view that this statement made by Christ was explaining His immediate post-resurrection appearances. Those were limited to the scattered sheep of Israel. These scattered sheep were unknown to each other, and therefore "lost" from each other's knowledge. However, they remained (just as the Nephites) in organized and believing bodies of scattered Israelites. It was to these organized bodies alone that the risen Savior's ministry extended immediately following His resurrection.
In contrast, in the latter-days the prophecies are to the contrary. In the latter days, Christ's appearances as the Second Comforter have been without regard to any limitation of who may be visited. Now, those who believe who are identified with the Gentiles, are grafted into the branches of Israel and become part of the covenant people. (See e.g., 1 Ne. 10: 14.)
With respect to the Gentiles in our day, it is promised directly to them by the Lord, through Nephi, that His appearances will include Gentiles, in very deed: "And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks--" (1 Ne. 14: 1.) This is that day.