Tuesday, June 29, 2010

1 Nephi 13: 30

The role of gentiles in the history of this land, promised to Lehi's descendants, is not just covered in the Lord's words. It is set out in some detail by Nephi. Therefore, we will look at some of Nephi's prophecy from 1 Nephi Chapter 13.  Below is verse 30:

"Nevertheless, thou beholdest that the Gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity, and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations, upon the face of the land which is choice above all other lands, which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance; wherefore, thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren."

This comes after an explanation of how the gentiles will flee oppression in another land (Europe), come here, and overtake this land. Nephi has been shown the establishment of a great church that alters the teachings to be given by Christ to the Jews. Then the prophecy continues with the above statement.

Flight from captivity has brought the Gentiles here. They came here (originally) for religious freedom. They wanted to follow their conscious when it came to matters of God and belief. This land was a land of religious freedom for these gentiles.

They then were "lifted up by the power of God above all other nations." This "lifting up" is not only to enjoy religious freedom to worship God. It also included the power to retain that freedom against any foreign threat to remove it. Therefore, ancillary to the religious freedom, the gentiles were necessarily given economic and military might with which to retain that freedom against "all other nations." But the "power of God" which "lifted [them] up" is conditioned upon them always serving the God of this land, who is Jesus Christ. (Ether 2: 12.) The power of God cannot be used to protect a wicked people.

The land is "choice above all other lands." Why is that so? What is it about the American continent which makes it more "choice" than any other location on earth?

Notice that here again Nephi is told that the land has been given to Lehi's descendants as "the land for their inheritance." Whatever dispossession the gentiles cause, these people have God's covenant to return the land to them. What does it mean to have this land promised by God through covenant to Lehi's descendants? Does that promise contain any condition? Will these people forfeit their right if they are wicked? If they will not forfeit the right, then what will happen to them if they cease to serve the God of this land?

Because of the covenant, the Lord will "not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy" the covenant people? Note the "mixture of thy seed" mentioned to Nephi. Why is Nephi promised a "mixture of thy seed" will be preserved? Does gentile oppression remove the promises to Lehi and Nephi? If not, what then do the promises assure them?

Why does God make a covenant to a worthy prophet-patriarch and bind Himself to fulfill the promise even with a posterity which may not be similarly faithful? Has the Lord done this before with Abraham? With Isaac? With Jacob? With Noah? Even though we knew nothing of these covenants when the gentiles overran the land, are they nonetheless God's promise and something which He will fulfill?  How certain should we be that the Lord will deliver this land back to those who descend from Lehi and Nephi?

Why can a righteous prophet-patriarch obtain such promises from the Lord? What reason is there for such covenants to be made? Can they still be made? How? What did Lehi and Nephi do to qualify to receive such a covenant? Was there any intermediary? Will the Lord employ a servant when making such a covenant?

Well, this is interesting stuff.  Worth continuing to consider, I think.


  1. Denver said: How certain should we be that the Lord will deliver this land back to those who descend from Lehi and Nephi?

    It's possible that we might be covering this in the days to come, but I continued reading the rest of Nephi's vision and discovered some interesting things.

    So it seems that the Gentiles (via the great and abominable church) are digging a pit of destruction for themselves.(1 Ne 14:3-4) And if the Gentiles harden their hearts against the Lamb of God, "wo be unto" them. HOWEVER, and this is the amazing part, "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— And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father...

    So the Gentiles, if they repent of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, have an opportunity to avoid captivity altogether. Their stumbling blocks, which trip them up so they fall into the pit, are completely removed, and they BECOME the seed of Lehi with access to all the promises given him and his posterity, as well as part of the House of Israel's royal line.

    It's no wonder that "if the Gentiles repent it shall be WELL WITH THEM." That may be the biggest understatement in the whole Book of Mormon!

    This truly is a great and a marvelous work!


  2. "Land for" is quite different than "land of" inheritance.

    The former seems to indicate a "possibility" or "promissory" status; while the latter seems to be "possessory".

    Therefore one can not necessarily conclude, "the Lord will deliver this land back ... ".

  3. I believe the answer to this line of questioning can be found as early as 1 Nephi chapter 2 in the Book of Mormon. It is in this chapter that Nephi recounts his progression from prophet, priest, to king.

    In Verse 16 he receives a sure testimony of Jesus Christ, “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, (despite what some may think, I believe he “EMPLOYED NO SERVANT WHEN MAKING THIS COVENANT) and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.”

    In Verses 17-18 he acts as a prophet and testifies to his brothers of Jesus Christ, but in the end of 18 he elevates his level of progression by “crying” unto the Lord on behalf of his brothers who would not hearken. This is the same thing the Priest did as he entered the Tabernacle, he prayed on behalf of others.

    In Verse 22 the Lord promises that he will be “made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren”, or in other words a King.

    Because of Nephi’s progression he is “blessed” in Verses 19-22 with the fullness of the Abrahamic Covenant, (eternal priesthood, ie king, posterity ie prosper, and land).

    All others in this land, including his brother’s posterity will only be allowed to have power over his posterity, to remind them of this blessing or promise from the Lord. (Verse 23-24)

    The sure testimony he received in Verse 16 allows him to testify with power that “the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” His testimony is so strong that he makes an oath, “As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.”

    The Lord then allows for his Abrahamic Test, or trial of his faith to occur when he delivers Laban into his hand and instructs him to slay him. By passing this “test” I believe his calling is sure, and he now holds the “Power” of the priesthood. From now on he speaks as the Lord.

    This process has allowed Nephi to be qualified as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This process is the same for all of us.

    I believe it is because of this promise that Nephi’s posterity will not be utterly destroyed.... I find it interesting that it comes as soon as Chapter 2 in the beginning of the Book of Mormon. WOW!!!

  4. Hey Doghouse, good blog

    For the sake of discussion, let's agree that Nephi has been given "this land" for his inheritance.

    How much land is "this land"? Does "this land" extend the same as the "quaking of the whole earth" [3Ne8:12,17,18], or the "face of the land [3Ne8:3]? Or is it limited to the immediate, or mediate, area where Nephi was when he received the covenant?

    I'm curious as to the validity of certain assumptions made. I'm sure Denver could tell many stories about how opposing parties have tried to "enlarge the statutes"; I'm not sure, if sometimes, we don't attempt to "enlarge the scriptures" by some of our assumptions.

    Also, as a side bar--for clarification in my mind--in your view, what was the "abrahamic test"?

  5. Hi Stone, thanks. BTW I have been following your entire dialog in the comment section of this Blog and am grateful for your thought provoking insights too.

    I believe that Nephi received his Abrahamic test when he was presented with the daunting task of killing Laban. I didn’t want to take up too much space on Brother Snuffers Blog developing my line of reasoning, and will probably post on my own Blog soon, but suffice it to say that for me, it is as soon as then that he receives power from on high.

    When you see that Nephi makes the Oath to do anything the Lord commands, as I previously mentioned, then the Lord provides a trial to see if he is willing to put “his money where his mouth is” so to speak.

    Look at the test: And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.

    I can almost hear the Lord saying the words, “but you swore by an oath you would obey me..... prove it!”

    Instead Nephi recalls this incident, “I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise.” This is the same thing recorded in Chapter 2 wherein the Lord “Blessed” him for entering into this covenant; you know the one where he promises him he will be a “ruler and teacher”. (In fact later Nephi refers to his record as a record of his “reign” in Chapter 10, shouts King to me.) This also has to do with the LAND...

    From the moment he kills Laban until the end of his life, watch the record and see that the POWER is in Nephi’s WORD. It is simply amazing to me.

    Small example, Chapter 7:
    17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.
    18 And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again.

    Large example, Chapter 17.

    I believe the pattern fits.... just my thoughts.

  6. I was curious about the "Abrahamic Test" ... most people think it is when he took Isaac upon the mountain ... I'm not totally convince that was his test.

    I think that episode was the "test of Isaac" to see if he was worthy of the continuation of the covenant God gave Abraham.

    If this is true, then "Abrahamic Test" would have been when Abraham was put upon the alter.

    ... scratch, scratch ...

  7. Jesus taught the gospel; his disciples spread the word and brought their friends, family, and so forth to see and hear Him. He blessed the sick, taught parables, and spent his time focused rightly, on helping others achieve the Kingdom of God. How much teaching time did he spend speaking to the evils of the presiding institution of the day? Did He condone evil speaking from His disciples? Does He condone it today?

    Those who are here on your blog are already in a repentance process and are simply seeking greater light, not necessarily to hear continual criticism about the church and the Lord's anointed. The notion that those seeking repentance need to be continually bashed over the head is illogical.

    Only as you teach pure doctrine in a good spirit, is the yearning for greater light is best satisfied.

    Those already coming to the site (disciples) are already "tuned in" and searching. They are not feeling All is Well in Zion, nor are they lulled to sleep. Of what purpose them is there to evil-speak about the Lord's anointed or His church.

    Those who are asleep and who are not seeking redemption are not on the website anyway, so there is no point to spend undue time bashing the church, belittling church members, and so forth that so many comments reflect.

    The argument that if you cannot listen to it, you obviously cannot repent or stand the threshing heat, and so forth are illogical and horrid arguments used to justify evil speaking. Those who are here have chosen to learn pure doctrine from you. I hope your intent is not to gather only those who enjoy the bashing of others, but that your real intent is to teach pure doctrine to those seeking it.

    Ben said what needed to be said yesterday and he did so in just the right spirit. Not too surprisingly, one of the worst comment offenders, rather than repent insisted that Ben basically have fun listening to evil-speaking of others and to get use to it.

    Here is the problem in a nutshell; if you truly have a commission from Christ, then allow those of us who come here to learn, grow, and repent to bring others who also want to learn, grow, and repent. Allow us to wake up our brothers and sisters and be able to come, as it were, to listen to Jesus. Christ's disciples cried repentance and Jesus taught the Gospel of truth.

    It is nigh to impossible to invite others presently, unless the others who are invited have a bone to pick with the church and with church members. Those who seek to remain in the Light of Christ, to do good and be kind, will not recognize the Light of Christ on the posts that are heavily ladened with criticism.

    Repent Denver and do not forfeit your exaltation; did you not teach that even those who have received the Second Comforter can lose their exaltation, even those who were God's before this life. Your online audience is already in a repentant state and wants to help bring others into that state. Let us therefore correct the problems one person at a time and not seek to use dynamite where a toothpick will do.

  8. Stone,
    I have always thought that Abraham went through a series of tests, culminating in the offering of Isaac. I have also believed that the offering of Isaac was the test of Isaac as well. Your line of reasoning, if I understand you correctly, is that Abraham's test came all the way back in Ur. This is an interesting line of reasoning, seeing that both Abraham and Isaac were tested at the beginning of their recorded ministries. If that is the case then the test of Nephi concerning Laban fits rather nicely, as it is in the beginning of his ministry too.

    I like it!

    Were you the one who shared the fact that Brigham Young wanted the endowment to be given in two parts? This could also fit very nicely with this pattern.

  9. Doghouse, No, I think it was Denver who mentioned it on the blog here.

    My understanding (from the 1970s) was the 1st endowment was in 4 parts (not just 2).

    2 Aaronic parts relative close together; and the,

    2 Melchizedek relatively close together.

    Per Joseph, the 2nd Anointing should be received by worthy men and their women between 35-40 (man's age) and was in multiple parts.

    I ran across the above when researching some journals ... can't remember where though ... some of these young researcher should try to find it.

    I'll maintain my position about Abraham and his test; I agree with you, it was in Ur. There is much more to the story, but here is not the place.

    I will say he was much more than a standard "sheepherder" ... His little band of men had 318 captains in it ... that was a sizable army.

  10. Thank you anonymous (June 29, 2010 4:11 PM) You've expressed my feelings better than I have been able to do myself.

    I've also wanted to point some close friends and ward members to this blog, but have not felt comfortable doing so for the past few months.

  11. Ben, do your friends first ... be truthful and warn them there are many views, just like there are many faces on a diamond.


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