Saturday, June 26, 2010

3 Nephi 16: 15

"But if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, I will suffer them, yea, I will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among them, and shall tread them down, and they shall be as salt that hath lost its savor, which is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of my people, O house of Israel."
The Gentiles, to whom the restoration of the Gospel came, will fail to repent and return to the Lord, and will doom themselves to destruction.
The land reverts back to those to whom it was originally promised.  They, the rightful heirs, will "go through among them, and shall tread them down." What does it mean to be "tread down?"

When salt has lost its savor, it becomes useless. The preservative has become a contaminant. The corruption, the abominable religion, is worse than what they were before inheriting the fullness of the Gospel. They have sinned against a greater light. And in the process they have rejected the Greatest Light of all.
What did the Gentiles do to become salt without savor?  Why are they good for nothing but to be cast out? Why is it appropriate that the Gentiles who previously cast out and trod down previous inheritors should now be trodden down?  What did the earlier heirs do to merit destruction at the hands of the Gentiles? How does the cycle seem to repeat itself in the actions of both of these peoples?
Why do the trodden down peoples, who were the first heirs, remain the "Lord's people" even when they have been dispossessed of the land and destroyed by the Gentiles? Why are the first to become the last, and the last to become the first? Why do such cycles of history repeat themselves? Why is the Book of Mormon unable to help the Gentiles avoid this cycle of destruction? Was the Book of Mormon intended to help the Gentiles avoid their fate? What did the Gentiles do with the Book of Mormon instead of using it as a guide to avoid destruction?
These prophecies are spoken by Christ, but ordained by the Father.  What does it tell us about the Father's involvement with this unfolding history? How does the "foot of my people" reflect symbolically upon the process of destruction? If the Gentiles have rejected the fullness of the Lord's Gospel, but the feet of those who cry peace are beautiful upon the mountains, why do the one people get trodden and the others tread upon them?  Why are clean feet preserved and the filthy cast out and trodden down?
How serious a matter is this Gospel? How should we conduct ourselves toward the Gospel? What is the Gospel's fullness?
This becomes more than interesting; it is gripping.


  1. I agree with Denver that it is critical that we recognize our state of jeopardy and repent mightily. We are in great peril. In Ether 8: 24 Moroni said,
    24 Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation,

    But i believe that the first statement in this post: "The Gentiles, to whom the restoration of the Gospel came, will fail to repent and return to the Lord, and will doom themselves to destruction" is too far sweeping and is not taking into account those of the Gentiles in the Church who will repent.

    The parable of the 10 virgins gives us both bad news and good news. Half of the endowed, faithful members of the Church will apparently fail to repent, but half of them will be ready when He comes as the Bridegroom. Look at what Isaiah said about us (especially verse 13):

    2 Nephi 6: 6-7, 12-13:

    6 And now, these are the words: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
    7 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their faces towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that cwait for me.
    12 And blessed are the Gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written; for behold, IF IT SO BE THAT THEY SHALL REPENT AND FIGHT NOT AGAINST ZION, AND DO NOT UNITE THEMSELVES TO THAT GREAT AND ABOMINABLE CHURCH, THEY SHALL BE SAVED; for the Lord God will fulfil his covenants which he has made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet has written these things.
    13 Wherefore, they that fight against Zion and the covenant people of the Lord shall lick up the dust of their feet; and the people of the Lord shall not be ashamed. For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him; for they still wait for the coming of the Messiah.

  2. Clean feet may refer to the ordinance of the Second Anointing. I won't go into details, but it is or is related to the "fullness of the priesthood" and your calling and election made sure.

  3. Kisi,
    I, too, am optimistic that there will be numerous of our family members, friends and congregation who wake up and repent. The time may come soon when we have the opportunity to cry repentance to them. I think often about individual acquaintances and how they would respond to my admonitions, if that's what the Lord would have me do. However, before I go too far down that road in my mind, I need to cleanse the inner vessel. There is so much to learn and even more repenting to do on my part.


  4. The number 5 in the parable of the virgins could be symbolic instead of numerical, Kisi. The number 5 is a dual symbol with a negative and positive connotation. It represents both the fall of man as well as the grace of the Lord that lifts man up. So, if you are part of the 1-5 part of 5, you are choosing the fall of man. If you receive the Lord reaching down from 10 from the upper half, you are on the grace side. It is a matter of choice and not necessarily any designation of half of some set of people or not...or it could be a number, too. Either way, I agree with you that we should try and have hope to convert and preach repentance, but be careful not to judge the Lord's statement of the truth of the future He already knows. The outcome shouldn't discourage you from trying, neither should vain wishes delude anyone into thinking it will be anything other than how the Lord spoke. What the Lord spoke will come to pass, but there is always another beginning after every end! That's where true hope gains perspective! In fact, if you don't try to warn others, you will meet the same fate as the other Gentiles.

  5. Denver said: "Why is the Book of Mormon unable to help the Gentiles avoid this cycle of destruction? Was the Book of Mormon intended to help the Gentiles avoid their fate?"

    To me, these questions imply pre-determined outcomes for God's children. The verse under our scrutiny here doesn't imply a determined destruction, but begins with a "But if..." Do we truly have free will? Or has all of this been determined already? Why seek any more to bring the "gentiles" to a fulness, if they will not receive it?

    I will add that I have very much enjoyed all of the verse-by-verse commentary.

  6. There is a chance that some will repent, but to think we can change the whole face of the scenario for the Gentiles specifically, is to criticize the Lord's statement about them as a whole. To try to change the whole face of the scenario is still necessary to fulfill our duty to give them a full chance for agency. Many prophets had similar charges - Ether and Mormon come to mind. There came a point where they were commanded to say nothing. Those who are filled with this hope love the principle of agency so dearly, it is joyful to preach even to a nation dwindling in unbelief, even if they prophetically will fail. A prophet can have joy in the message while simultaneously mourning the temporary loses of the people, but not without hope. As I said, after the end of the prophecy has been fulfilled, there is always a new beginning! If people don't have a vision of what is possible after the damnation period is fulfilled, then I don't blame them for not sharing my perspective. The Prophet said at the end of D&C 76 that all who wish it can see that vision. I have faith in that promise. It is enough to begin to give me hope for this situation. Gentiles are predisposed to expect results and Gross National Product increase and efficiency as Babylonian business men. They cannot conceive of working in a cause destined to fail. It is simply un-businesslike. After all, someone once said our endowment ceremony is too long. If productivity is the goal (which it is not), then why not rattle off a few promises on behalf of our dead in 5 minutes?

  7. This scripture came to my mind...

    D&C 24: 15
    15 And in whatsoever place ye shall aenter, and they receive you not in my name, ye shall leave a cursing instead of a blessing, by casting off the dust of your feet against them as a testimony, and cleansing your feet by the wayside.

  8. Cannot help but think of my ten children and seven grandchildren and my son in laws, not to mention my siblings, their children and so forth. Jacob's Allegory helps us understand what we are up against. It isn't enough for us alone to receive of the fullness of the gospel. The fruit we cast must be good or our branches will have lost their savor.

    Our scripture study has taken on a whole new dimension as of late and each of my children love it. As we talk of the fullness, share the warnings, and encourage the entire family to forsake all sin; there is both a sobering and delicious effect. Lamoni and his household offer some hope.

    Zang, I have it on good authority that Ether chose night-time rock climbing as his means of staying fit while recording the end of the Jaredite history. My son, a professional rock climber, is sure Ether chose the cavity of a rock just for that purpose:)

  9. I wouldn't doubt it, JDS! Here's a new thought with a scripture I knew had to have a different interpretation that we've traditionally given it. First, a primer: Scriptures can be used to be "likened" to any situation as long as the likening is along good principles and the according to the light of Christ. However, there is also a strict translation of their meaning based on what the Holy Ghost inspired the writer to write at the time, including double meanings, as long as that was the original interpretation. That being said, we don't need to get offended if our favorite "likenings" turn out to be the wrong interpretation of the scripture. The likening had its place, and can be put into a certain context, and did some good. Now its time to look at Daniel 2:44 "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." Let us look at a new possible interpretation. Everybody knows we think this applies to us as a people. Let's say it does and it doesn't. I believe it may be saying in the days of the Gentile kings, the Lord's kingdom will be established among these Gentiles, but it will not be left to the Gentiles, yet the kingdom itself should last forever and it will be given to the House of Israel. From Daniel's perspective as a Jew, seeing the kingdom set up among Gentiles gives him no hope for his people unless he forsees that the "other people" will not be left the kingdom and it will turn again to the Daniel's people. Substitute the word "Gentiles" in place of "other people" and reread the verse: "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: [but] the kingdom shall not be left to [the Gentiles], but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms [the Gentiles - it will destroy them from within], and it shall stand for ever [and be given back to the House of Israel]."

  10. What do YOU think the Gospel Fulness is Denver?

  11. I've set that out in The Second Comforter: Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil. I've elaborated on what comes as a result in Beloved Enos. This blog presumes you are already familiar with everything taught in those and the other books I've written. I'm trying to build upon what was set out before, not to repeat it. The first book took approximately 170,000 words which, were I to attempt to repeat it here would require years to accomplish and could not be done in as systematic a manner given the difference between a single discussion building on itself in a book and the somewhat interrupted and disjointed manner involved here.

    I'm not trying to sell books. I make nothing from them (although there are others involved in publishing, printing, retailing, etc. whose livelihoods depend upon selling books--I do not). But it is the only manner in which to approach some challenges and have another learn what they need to know. It was also undertaken as a Divinely imposed responsibility, and therefore I presume that it will reward anyone who reads them with the Spirit in a way which could not be accomplished through other means.

  12. Z Family,

    In regards to your thought about 5 being symbolic...I love it! We are so trained in thinking with the corporate mentality of numbers and percentages. (A third part of the hosts of heaven, etc.) If I could just add to your idea a little. To me, your approach has to do with agency. If we have the unprepared on one side, and the prepared on the other, we are right in the crux of the two, being able to decide which way we will go. Once we realize where we stand, we get the opportunity to make what Denver would call a "hard choice."

    The many confident assurances of God's favor we have do give us comfort, don't they? They are either true and right, and we have little to fear. Or they are among the abominations that allow foolish, vain and false notions lull us to sleep. The difference between those two propositions is quite alarming. I hate it when we have to make hard choices.

    I'm coming to realize that repenting has less and less to do with being sorry for the "bad" stuff I've done, and more and more about realigning my thought processes and perspective. I've got a long way to go.


  13. I like that, Doug. And let me also add, agency to receive. As Denver pointed out, virgin implies more than just going through the endowment ceremony. Apparently the only ones who can even make the choice to receive oil are those who have received a lamp and other things. How many endowed members of the Church know what that even means? They can't even make a choice then. They have no knowledge with which to make the choice. They will miss out on the wedding party and will have to catch the next shindig (or they will have gathered oil and a lamp without knowing it and be told what they really have last minute, which is a harder course to follow). They'll be cranky about that, but it's not unfair in the least. It's a matter of timing, and it won't be their time for it, but it could be...By the way, learning about these things doesn't need to involve someone leaving the Church. One can hold membership in both camps, and at present, there is no conflict between the two, in my opinion. Even if people look at you weird, get jealous, judge you of being apostate, etc., it simply isn't true. You may not say anything, but may still feel alienated because of the enmity the natural man has towards these things. People will feel that you are a stranger and a pilgrim here, even at Church, and some will alienate you. You still have a place, and that doesn't mean you should leave. The tables will turn soon enough at the wedding feast. People will self-select themselves not to go to that event simply because what it really is won't interest them. They will eventually bow the knee and say it wasn't their cup of tea: Jesus was right. How sad. Some others may try to flatter you and say you are great because of the spiritual power they detect. If you believe them, then they have won because you instantly lose your power then. Those people just want to tear you down, unless they repent. Anyway, those are my current opinions.


What Say You?