Friday, June 25, 2010

3 Nephi 16: 12

 
"And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel."
 
Gentiles shall NOT have power over Israel. Gentiles, filled with pride, claiming to hold the power of God, sitting in the Temple of God and acting as if they were God, will lose their grip. (2 Thes. 2: 2-4.) They will be cast down like Lucifer, after claiming they would sit in the congregations of the north, like the Gods. (Isa. 14: 13-15.)
 
These Gentiles will not have "power" over the house of Israel, though they may claim to possess great authority. (D&C 121: 36-37.)  What, then, is the difference between the Gentiles lacking "power," but holding authority?
 
How will the Lord remember the covenant?

What does it mean to come to "the knowledge" of something, rather than to start believing in something?
 
What does it mean to have the "fulness of [His] Gospel?"
 
What does "knowledge... of the fulness" imply about the degree to which it will be revealed as part of remembering the covenant?
 
Why is the Gentile rejection of the fullness tied to the house of Israel receiving the fullness?
 
Are the basic Gospel Principles the same as the fullness? If not, what is the difference? What do the Gentiles risk when they reject the fullness and focus instead upon the basic principles?
 
How perilous is it for the Gentiles to suppress the mysteries of godliness and retain only the most basic of doctrines as their focus?
 
Unto whom is the Lord to teach doctrine? Who is prepared to hear?  Are they necessarily to be first weaned from milk and prepared to understand meat?  (See Isa. 28: 9-10.)  If that is so, then what do we need to do to wean ourselves off the milk and be prepared to receive weighter matters?
 
When will these things be? How will you know when the spirit begins to withdraw from the Gentiles and blessings begin to be poured out on others of the house of Israel?

Well, let's keep going.....

10 comments:

  1. And how will the Gentiles not not have power over them?

    Because the "House of Israel" will live by the Laws of Zion and labor in one or more United Orders.

    Hence they will have their own legal and commercial systems (hopefully under suzeronic protection of God).

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  2. Oops, forgot to ask the most important question, "Exactly who/what is the "House of Israel" besides the royal priesthood?

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  3. Clarification of the word "Gentile"

    Denver,

    You probably will make a distinction as to what this word means and does not mean. Here is a beginning for those getting confused.

    Nephi begins the Book of Mormon by stating "in the last days or times of the Gentiles". Because Israel rejected the fullness of the Gospel, the Gospel was taken from them and the everlasting covenant was turned to the Gentiles, meaning all the nations of the world.

    Though members of the Church may be and often are direct descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh and other tribes, yet as the Prophet pointed out in the Kirtland Temple dedication we "are identified with the Gentiles" during this time of "the last days or times of the Gentiles." Or until the "fullness of the Gentiles" or the time when the covenant is "fulfilled" due to a rejection of it.

    Those present in the dedication were of the blood of Israel, mostly if not exclusively from Ephraim or Joseph by bloodline, yet the everlasting covenant is to the Gentiles, until they reject it. Until that time all members, including direct bloodline members of Israel will be "identified with the Gentiles" during the time when the everlasting covenant is given to them.

    The Book of Mormon, generally speaking, in using the term Gentile does not distinguish between one who have entered the covenant of baptism and one who has not. Yet it speaks of a rejection of the fullness of the Gospel by the Gentiles. This non-distinction between a Gentile who has entered into the covenant of baptism and one who has not allows us, if we are casual readers of the book, to decide if we include ourselves in the group who rejects the fullness or if we say we are not apart of that group because we are baptized.

    Further comparisons, however, with the Nephi, Isaiah, Jacob, Mormon, Moroni, Christ, and the Doctrine and Covenants confirm that the Gentiles who have entered into the covenant of baptism also reject the fullness of the Gospel (Book of Mormon) and stray from the ordinances and break the everlasting covenant (D&C 1:15). Meaning a rejection of the fullness of the Priesthood. Covenants can't be broken unless they have been entered into.

    3 Nephi 16 is a summary then of the state of both the Gentiles who have entered into the everlasting covenant of baptism, but are still "identified with the Gentiles during the last days or times of the Gentiles" and those who have not entered into the covenant. So this chapter is speaking of both members of the Church and non-members in all the nations of the world.

    It is important to note also that throughout the Book of Mormon and Isaiah the Lord makes exception for a "few" who have not broken their covenants. It is also important to remember that although 3 Nephi 16 speaks of a whole scale rejection of the fullness, yet many in the Church and outside of the Church will repent and return to the everlasting covenant during the time of judgment. Many also, in the Church, will fall away.

    Ephraim was chosen to provide the grafting of the Gentiles into the Olive Tree (they are the roots spoken of by Jacob) and is identified with them during that time period. The type for this was Joseph in Egypt when he is identified with the Egyptians even so much that his brothers do not recognize him. When the fullness of the Gentiles is complete and the everlasting covenant returns to the House of Israel, Ephraim, now recognized by his brothers becomes the temporal and spiritual saviors of the House of Israel just as Joseph was to his brothers in Egypt. This of course cannot occur until Ephraim is chastened and returns to the Lord.

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  4. Verse 10 of 3 Nephi 16 does indeed say "WHEN the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel." So, that makes it sound like it's going to happen; the Gentiles are goners. However, later in the same sentence the Lord adds, "IF they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness." This modifies the meaning. It changes the verse from a bald statement of what the Lord knows is going to happen to a conditional prophecy. It is the same formulation as, "When you start dating other men, if that happens, I'm going to leave you." The Lord knows what is going to happen, but do we know what he knows? Not from this verse.

    Also, I can find no justification for the assertion that there will only be a TINY group of Ephraimites who will bless the tribes of Israel with crowns of glory. Jacob 5:72 talks about a group of servants, but does not mention the size of the group even obliquely. And I don't understand why we should believe that this tiny group does not include the institutional church. Surely, the First presidency and the Twelve are the essential part of the institutional church and they appear to be striving to build up the Church and Kingdom of God, both in the world and in their own lives. Yes they are imperfect, but their actions and their attitudes are representative of those I would expect to find in Zion.

    Lastly, if Joseph Smith was a "pure-blooded Ephraimite" (as per Brigham Young) why should we not suppose that there are varying percentages of the blood of Israel in the different members of the church? If this is true, why should we suppose that "the Gentiles" are a homogenous block which are essentially equal to the body of the church?

    Because of the light which I find in your books and your blog, I am predisposed to accept what you say as true. But, you seem to make some unsupported leaps of doctrine in the last few posts. I would gladly learn why I am wrong.

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  5. Is it truth that if we repent personally or as a church we will be numbered among the Lord's sheep and we will be numbered among Israel.

    3 Ne. 21: 6, 22
    6 For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be bnumbered among my people, O house of Israel;

    Alma 6: 3
    3 And it also came to pass that whosoever did belong to the church that did not arepent of their wickedness and humble themselves before God—I mean those who were lifted up in the bpride of their hearts—the same were rejected, and their names were cblotted out, that their names were not numbered among those of the righteous.

    3 Ne. 16: 13
    13 But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be anumbered among my people, O house of Israel.

    3 Ne. 18: 31
    31 But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I aknow bmy sheep, and they are numbered.

    Moro. 6: 7
    7 And they were strict to observe that there should be ano iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and bthree witnesses of the church did condemn them before the celders, and if they repented not, and dconfessed not, their names were eblotted out, and they were not fnumbered among the people of Christ.

    I can hardly wait to see where we are headed. In the meantime, onward with repentance.

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  6. Gordon:

    The relative size is referred to by the Lord in a number of places where He contrasts the "few there be who find it" with the "many who go in thereat." He also uses the parable of wise and foolish virgins. I take the meaning of "virgin" who are attired in wedding garments and have both oil and lamps to mean those who have: 1) been endowed; 2) been sealed; 3) come into possession of both oil and a lamp--meaning the Spirit has visited with them and they have shown its fruits at some point in their lives. From this group half will be unprepared at His coming and kept from the wedding feast.

    There are others, and perhaps a post would be better than a comment. But the point is not to discourage anyone. It is to make us take a sober inventory of our lives and what we do with the Gospel we've been given. Are we taking it seriously enough? Do we do what we can to follow Him? Are we safely aboard, or yet in peril? If aboard, are we crying repentance and warning our neighbor? Do we really love Him? Do we love His children?

    Whether the Church's leadership is or is not going to lead us there remains an open question. As with all things, they and we are free to choose. But their choice should not affect yours, or mine.

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  7. I really appreciate the comments above. Thank you. What I am experiencing is that the Lord in His great loving mercy is helping me to see my own sinfulness and helping me to see where I need to repent. I feel to pray for Lord to extend the time for us so that we can repent enough and get far enough along to both be OK ourselves (which includes our families) and help as many people around us to be able to repent enough to be OK also.

    I'm just your basic regular nice person in the neighborhood who tries to do right as best as I can and gets help from Heavenly Father and has miracles in my life here and there. I don't see myself being above or different from other regular nice people in the Church. And so I figure if He's working to help me catch the vision and repent, He's working to help all the other people in the Church (and out of the Church) to catch the vision and repent. I think there's great hope for us. I'm not planning on going down with the ship or letting anyone within 100 miles of me go down either. There's hope. Let's do this and help everyone around us to do it too. :)

    Notice that by the end of 3 Nephi, EVERYONE had repented. When Nephi and Lehi went to the Lamanites, they all repented and Lamanites ceased to be a thing until the end of 4th Nephi, about 200 years later. We can accomplish much through loving and clear missionary work, work done with power. Alma 26:22 says we can bring 1000's to repentance:

    22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

    This can be us! Let's do it. Let's do it with our own people. I don't believe the group who repents has to be small, even if it's only 50% of the active endowned faithful members.

    Let's not get discouraged or think that most of the Church has to be toast to fulfill prophecy. We have agency. We can do this and bring thousands and tens of thousands if not millions with us.

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  8. Thanks for that, Kisi! While some of us are mourning the current state of things, others condemn us and assume we don't have the hope that you expressed. After the mourning, if people take it seriously and mourn themselves, the Savior steps in. We must have the faith that if we let ourselves feel the pain of the awfulness of our reality that the Savior will be there to pick us up. Too many are afraid He will not do so, and then say such mourning is equivalent to speaking evil of the Lord's anointed. Little do they know the Lord's anointed have done this mourning, too!

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  9. Kisi,
    I agree. Just because things look grim, doesn't mean we should give up or stop trying to help others repent too.

    Our modern Prophets have told us that we can avoid the coming calamities & destructions if we will only keep our marriages & families from disintegrating. As the Proclamation says, the Prophets are calling us "to promote measures designed to maintain & strengthen the family."

    If we will do this we can avoid individual & maybe even national destruction.

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  10. Well said, Anonymous. Let us hope and try!

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