The sign Christ is giving requires a specific knowledge of a sequence of events. These verses begin to detail how you will recognize the sign as the proper chronology unfolds.
First, Christ's words which were "declared unto you" (meaning the Nephites) will be "made known unto the gentiles." So, the Nephites must receive both what Christ has declared and will declare to them before His ministry was completed. Then these Nephites must record or preserve the words Christ declared. These words, recorded by the Nephites must in turn, become "known unto the gentiles." This initial part of Christ's sign is directly tied to the Book of Mormon. However, what does it mean that the words of Christ must be "made known unto the gentiles?" We have them, but do we know them in the sense that is being used here?
Second, the gentiles must come to a knowledge of "this people (Nephite audience) who are a remnant of the house of Jacob." The gentiles must understand or "know" that the promises made to the "remnant" exist. Has that happened? If not, why not? Is it happening at the moment as you become aware of this information that has been in the Book of Mormon since its publication in 1830? (No wonder the Lord's condemnation of the Latter-day Saints.)
Note the Lord calls the audience, and in turn their posterity, "this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob... this my people." It is important to know that the Lord describes them with this identity as "my people" throughout His sermon and prophecy. This careful limitation of the reference to the Lord's "people" should not be applied broadly. It does not include gentiles. We should not change His meaning. He is speaking about a single identified group as "my people" and it is those before Him and their descendants.
Now, although it is a parenthetical thought, He adds a third event in the chronology. The third event is the scattering of the "Lord's people" who are the "remnant" by the gentiles. It will happen before the second listed event, but it is the third tier of the sign Christ is giving.
[By the way, this scrambled chronology is one of the things that evidences it is authentic and not a product of Joseph Smith's imagination. The time-line is always scrambled somewhat when the Lord or His true prophets speak. Information is not presented to their minds in a chronological manner, and therefore it is grouped by subject, not by time. (D&C 130: 7-8.) Isaiah, for example, was always grouping information according to subject, not chronology. Indeed, when looking back on a sweeping revelation, it is not possible to reconstruct a time line of events shown to a prophet in vision without some considerable effort. But this is merely an aside.]
The fourth portion of the sign is when the gentiles, who have the words, and appreciate or "know" them, bring them to the attention of the remnant. When those standing before Christ, through their descendants, come to receive these words of Christ from gentiles who know them to be true, then the fourth portion of the sign will have occurred.
Notice how Christ attributes the coming forth of the Book of Mormon to the gentiles as the work of "the Father." Christ was and is directly involved, He is the husbandman and the true vine. But He does not take credit as the Son. He says this coming forth will be "of the Father." All things are done by Christ according to the will of the Father, to whom He always gives the credit. There is a profound lesson in that for each of us. We are only accomplishing something good, enduring and valuable as we conform to the will of the Father and His Son. Whenever we are on our own errand, it is foolishness and vanity.
The "sign" given to us will continue in the Lord's statement which follows. So let's turn to more...