Friday, July 9, 2010
1 Nephi 14: 11-12
"And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw."
The whore has "dominion" over all. All nations. All kindreds. All tongues. All people. She has dominion over them all. What does "dominion" mean?
Notice the "church of the Lamb of God" are referred to as "the Saints of God."
The Saints on the other hand, were "few" in number by comparison with the great dominion of the whore.
The Saints numbers are few because of "the wickedness and abominations of the whore." How would the whore's wickedness and abominations cause the Saints to be "few" in number? What trouble must the Saints overcome because of the whore's widespread wickedness? What challenges must the Saints overcome because of the whore's universal abominations? How do they "overcome" these challenges? (D&C 76: 53.)
What does it mean the whore "sits upon many waters?" (Rev. 17: 15.) Why are they likened to water? (Gen 49: 4.)
Note the Saints are also "upon all the face of the earth" but are not said to be "sitting upon many waters." They do have, however, "dominions" (in the plural). Why is the whore's dominion singular, while the Saint's plural? The whore's control is one, but the Saints are divided into sub-groups. Why? Will they be led by various prophets from various locations? (D&C 133: 26.)
This fragmentation of the Saints is set in a time frame of this prophecy and it will not last. However it will exist before the wrath poured out upon the whore begins.
Why is the whore much more successful than the church of the Lamb of God? Or, more importantly, is the number of those involved in these two different cultures any indication of their relative standing before the Lord? If not, then what matter? Is it the quantity of those who are following a particular creed or organization, or the quality of the knowledge some few possess of the Lord?
Will getting more people to join the Church change the outcome of this prophecy from Nephi?
What is important, then, for those who want to be on the right side of this divide? How do they become one of the "few" who are Saints belonging to the Lamb of God?
How should "success" be defined? By numbers, buildings, activity and wealth or possession of knowledge of Christ? If success has nothing to do with numbers, buildings, activity and wealth, why do we concern ourselves with them? If it has something to do with knowledge of Christ, why are so few able to declare they know Him? Who can state they have seen Him? Who can testify as a witness of Him? How successful have we been in distributing the knowledge of the Son of God?
Where should our efforts be focused? Is the Book of Mormon important in accomplishing what the Lord expects from His Saints?
What interesting information Nephi has given us in this verse. But it gets more interesting as it proceeds further....