Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2 Nephi 33: 7-9

2 Nephi 33: 7-9:

"I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless at his judgment-seat. I have charity for the Jew-- I say Jew, because I mean them from whence I came.  I also have charity for the Gentiles. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation."

It is necessary to read all three verses to see what Nephi is saying. What distinctions does he make? Is his charity to his people unequivocal? Is his charity to the Jews unequivocal? Is his charity to the gentiles equivocal? Why?

Does the condition that appears in the final verse apply to the preceding group (gentiles) or to all three groups? How do the remarks made by Nephi in the prior verses we have looked at modify or explain which group the final limitation should be applied?

What has Nephi foreseen or said to suggest he has hope for his own people? What has he done to seek charity by his consecrated petitions for his own people? What has he said about the future inheritance of the covenant blessings for both his people and the Jews?

On the other hand, how little promise has he shown for the gentiles?  How conditional are their latter-day rights? How much failure has been prophesied regarding the gentiles? 

Since we've been discussing this for months, I am not going to repeat it. You can look to see the scope of Nephi's declarations for his people, for the Jews and for the gentiles. After you've done that, it becomes plain that Nephi has:

Charity for his people.
Charity for the Jews, from whence he came.
Charity for the Gentiles, but he cannot hope for the gentiles except they shall be reconciled to Christ, enter into the narrow gate, walk in the strait path, and continue to do so until the end of the day of probation.

We are reminded again of the Savior's own prophecy of the failure of the gentiles. (3 Nephi 16: 10.) We are reminded of the Lord's promise to take the fullness from us in 1841 if we did not complete the construction of the Nauvoo Temple within the allotted time given. (D&C 124: 32.) If we failed, we would be rejected. We did not complete the Nauvoo Temple in the three and a half years allotted after that revelation while Joseph was alive. Then Joseph was taken, much like Moses was taken.  (D&C 84:25.) What the Lord threatened we would lose permanently at the end of our appointment was the fullness of the priesthood, which He had already removed from us in 1841. (D&C 124: 28.) So the gentiles sit in a precarious position indeed.

You must answer for yourself the questions posed by Nephi's teaching:

-Have we been reconciled to Christ?
-Have we entered into the narrow gate?
-Do we walk in the strait path?
-If so, have we done so as a people until the end of our days of probation?

To be able to restore again that which we lost before 1841 would require someone truly mighty in Spirit. Fortunately, we have been promised that lifeline will be extended to us again at some point. (D&C 85: 7.) However even he will not be able to help a gentile who has not been diligent having their name written in the book of the law of God.

The mothers who minister to their children in patience and love will undoubtedly be among those whom the Lord will remember in that day.  The first parable, The Busy Young Man, is about those little acts through which we find our Lord. The Weathered Tree is about the enduring power of a mother's love, and how like the Lord's own sacrifice, this often under appreciated calling has been and continues to be.

Mothers oftentimes do not take time to study because they are too busy engaged in the actual work of charity, love and service. Some may not be able to construct a scripture-based explanation or exposition, but they recognize truth by the light acquired within by their fidelity to the Lord's system of conferring light and truth.

I have been far more impressed with mothers in Zion than with the tattered remains of what is now called Zion by the gentiles. The pride and foolish traditions which claim authority while lamenting the lack of power are the expected results of the latter-day gentile stewardship according to Nephi.

The good news, and the thing we should rejoice over, is that Nephi does
extend to us gentiles an opportunity to be saved. All we must do to join in the blessings is to:

-Be reconciled to Christ.
-Enter into the narrow gate.
-Walk in the strait path.
-Endure to the end of our days of probation.

So we do have a choice. No matter what failings have occurred or things we lack.

It was Lifehouse who sang an anthem to yearning:

Desperate for changing,
starving for truth,
Letting go of all I've held onto,
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
Forgetting all I'm lacking
Completely incomplete
I'll take your invitation
You take all of me..

I like that song. It is strangely applicable to the condition we find ourselves. But our yearning of course ought to be for the Redeemer who alone can save us.


  1. Denver,
    Can you clarify what was removed from the church in 1841?

  2. To Anonymous:

    Here's my answer to your question.

    "The fullness of the priesthood" is a term which incorporates both the sealing wherein one is made both a king (queen) and a priest(ess) and the Second Comforter.

    D&C 124: 28
    28 For there is not a place found on earth (a house of the Lord) that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you (The kirtland temple?), or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.

  3. DC 84 beginning with about vs33 defines the fullness of the Priesthood and those, who receive these priesthoods receive first Christ and those who receive Christ Receive the Father and THEN the Father teaches them of the Covenant (the oath and covenant)which the Father RENEWS and CONFIRMS (seals) upon them - for the sake of the whole world which is under bondage of sin - for those who have not walked the 'strait path' are under this bondage. vs. 49-53 define the bondage and then he tells the saints they are also in bondage hence they are under condemnation.
    This condemnation is defined in vs. 56-57. Pres. Benson in his Presidency tells us we are still under this state of condemnation because we are failing to heed the Covenant teachings of the Book of Mormon.

  4. Denver, could you please help me find where the church was given 3.5 years to build the Nauvoo temple? Are you saying all temple work from 1841 and on is rejected by the Lord? Or have we have lost the fullness of the priesthood and the accompanying authority/power to seal/bind?

    D & C 124

    31 But I command you, all ye my saints, to abuild a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.

    32 But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.

    -kind regards

  5. "The sealing wherein one is made both a king (queen) and a priest(ess)" was not even introduced until 28 September 1843 (see, for example, p. 306 in "The Words of Joseph Smith," by Ehat and Cook) so how can you argue it was taken away in our dispensation in or prior to 1841?

  6. D&C 124: 28. It isn't an "argument." It is a quote from a revelation in January 1841.

  7. " I grant unto you a sufficient time..."

    Where do we learn that the "sufficient time" was 3.5 years?


  8. Given D&C 124:28, and assuming the time was past and not fulfilled, I see the following scenario:

    The Lord saw that the Saints refused to follow the commandment speedily, fearing the persecutions that another temple could bring about maybe. So, instead of revealing Himself in the Nauvoo temple as the Second Comforter, he relegated the experience to an ordinance called the second anointing, which wasn't the real experience, but only a type of it.

    This way, Joseph was able to pass on the keys and finish his mission even though the Saints weren't prepared to receive what he gave them. They received a parable instead, and Joseph was able to finish his work because the impact of the teaching was delayed while he was still able to teach what he was commanded to teach. Then he was taken out of our midst, when we could've had Joseph in the Rockies. My heart is about to burst in mourning simply because we don't have more of a history of our beloved Prophet to tell, and that he was cut short in life so early without need. Sure it fulfilled the blood covenant part, but why not that after he had more years?

  9. I am so frustrated. I've looked through dozens of threads to find where Denver said 3.5 years was the time the Lord allowed to build the Nauvoo temple.... if that is what he said.... I cannot find it.... and I'm pretty sure my question will go unanswered. Does anyone know where the claim was made that 3.5 years was the time allowed to build the Nauvoo temple? and is willing to share it?

    thank you.

  10. The revelation in Section 124 was given on Jan 19 1841. Joseph and Hyrum were killed/taken 3.5 years later.... is that the reasoning for "sufficient time" = 3.5 years?

  11. Donald,
    Remember that 3.5 is a very symbolic number. It is half of 7. It is "a time and times and the dividing of time." Don't take it too literally. It means it was stopped before it could be fulfilled..."arrested midway in its normal course."...

  12. After the Nauvoo period we have the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Presidents of the U.S. coming from beyond the veil to ask that our temple work be done in their behalf...

    Jesus Christ appears to Lorenzo Snow with a message about reorganizing the First Presidency...

    Those are positive experiences that could be used to tone down any thoughts of rejection, yet it would still seem the "and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God." needs to be qualified in terms of:

    1. What is the appointment exactly? Was it just for building the Nauvoo temple within 3.5 years exactly, or for building the Church itself throughout an unspecified symbolic amount of time? Or both?

    2. What is the Lord's definition of rejection? Does it mean rejected as a Church that can perform the fullness of the Gospel, yet still authorized to do preparatory work, including some temple work that is worthwhile (problem being, the context is baptisms for the dead in these verses, an introductory ordinance reference I assume)...somewhere it was quoted that Brigham Young said he didn't know of any Church that operated a fullness of the Gospel (implying that he included our own Church in that regard, even if we have a book that talks about the fullness...someone can find the quote, I'm sure)

    and 3. When will the rejection occur? Does the implementation of the rejection happen many decades later? Even past today?

    Those I think would be important questions to pose to the Lord if we indeed failed in the assignment/appointment.

    Like it was mentioned, 3.5 years could mean a longer trial period than just in Nauvoo. If that is the case, a good question to ask the Lord would be, are we succeeding yet? Or will we be "arrested midway in our wayward course" if the Lord indeed sees us as wayward?

    That sounds a bit like the phrase "cut short His work in righteousness" meaning the Lord still takes responsibility for the work of the Latter-day Saints, even if He thinks we are wayward, yet for righteousness' sake, He cuts it short if we go too far and do too much violence to the humble followers of Christ.

    Very important points to ponder and pray over, in my mind. Wouldn't any of you agree? This is just taking the text for what it says, and trying to understand what the wording really means. I'm not interjecting any of my own opinions here, just going for plain definitions.


What Say You?