Tuesday, July 6, 2010

1 Nephi 14: 5

"And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, Nephi, saying: Thou hast beheld that if the Gentiles repent it shall be well with them; and thou also knowest concerning the covenants of the Lord unto the house of Israel; and thou also hast heard that whoso repenteth not must perish."

Again a reminder that Nephi's teachings come from an angel. He's not on his own errand in making these things known. I doubt a person of good faith and common sense would ever dare to make declarations as Nephi does unless he had received the message from such a source. Joseph put it this way: "None but fools will trifle with the souls of men. How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations—too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God, according to the purposes of His will, from before the foundation of the world!"  (DHC Vol 3, pp. 295-96.)  Nephi was no fool. He wanted us to understand these teachings came from a higher source, and not man's wisdom. Indeed, what man can open up the mysteries that have remained hidden? Either God makes them known or they remain a mystery!

I believe the wisest course would have been for all our teachers, from Joseph till today, to either declare what the Lord and His angels have made known to them or to remain silent. Had that been the practice our libraries would undoubtedly be sparse. But what few books that remained would be the "best books" worthy of study. (D&C 88: 118.) I understand that not all have faith. But teachers do a profound disservice whenever they pontificate about something they do not understand. No-one is an "authority" who has not received intelligence from the Lord or His angels. They are simply trying to be helpful, or seeking to magnify a calling, but they are not on His errand. Alas, the full extent of this problem cannot be known. All those who have spoken in His name, but without His instruction and direction, have indeed taken His name in vain. This will be a great burden for those who have chosen to use His name in violation of a fundamental commandment to the contrary. (Exo. 20: 7.)

The happy news is that "if the Gentiles repent"-- is always a condition for moving forward. We can't get through carrying on our backs the false, vain and foolish traditions men have handed to us. We must lay them down. Unless we do so we wind up exactly at the point when this Dispensation began: suffering under doctrine which consists merely of the commandments of men, having a form of godliness without power. (JS-H 1: 19.)

What must gentiles do to "repent?" All gentiles, including those who have accepted the Restoration and who claim to believe the Book of Mormon... What must they do? To answer that look again carefully at the Lord's condemnation of us: 

"And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received— Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.  And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.  And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion." (D&C 84: 54-58.)

Then Nephi's angel-minister reminds Nephi of two different thoughts: 1) There are covenants with the house of Israel. So they will be remembered.  2) Whoever repents will find things will be well. Nephi was told: "thou also knowest concerning the covenants of the Lord unto the house of Israel; and thou also hast heard that whoso repenteth not must perish." The result is that even though the gentiles are not given a covenant status, they are nonetheless included within the promise that it is well with whoever should repent. Accordingly, if they will repent, the gentiles will not perish but will have eternal life.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who declare that God reigneth and will deliver His people. How merciful it is that the Lord God will accept all those as His people who will repent and come unto Him.


  1. Denver

    What does "unbelief" mean as used in the book of mormon? During a book of mormon discussion a while back I remember you speaking to the more specific definition of the word as used in that context. Rather than misquote you I wanted to ask.

    I remember something to the effect of unblief not so much meaning that a person didn't have a belief, or willgness to believe something, but that unbelief meant a person believed in something false, distorted or incomplete.

    Given the Lords direct words specificlly about the churches unbelief and vanity I think this would be valuable to know.

    Is to me anyway.


  2. So what I'm gathering from the many discussions is that when it comes to my salvation, my children's, or the salvation of others, the only thing that really matters is that we overcome error with truth; and that we learn and apply the plain and simple truths which can enable us to become redeemed.

    False traditions, stumbling blocks, Gentiles, Remant, Abrahamic lineage and so forth create an interesting storyline and background setting, but the true passport to become an eternal member of God's family and to be endowed as a full participant in that family is received as a result of becoming redeemed by Christ. God is no respecter of persons and has laid out the plan for us to follow and we will succeed as we learn and apply plain and simple redemptive truth and as we do not allow anyone to come between us and God.

  3. Almost without exception the Book of Mormon uses these words in this way:
    "Belief" means you understand and accept true doctrine.
    "Unbelief" means you do not understand and have not accepted true doctrine.
    "Faith" means you have been visited by an angel.
    "Knowledge" means you have been visited by the Lord.

    The Book of Mormon is trying to teach you true doctrine, to have you reject false or incomplete doctrine, to develop faith and to bring you to receive at last knowledge.

  4. Thanks for the word clarifications.

  5. All of this is the reason that each of us much individually be reading and pondering and searching the scriptures daily. I was thinking about Sunday School....if a person attends Sunday School and that is the only exposure they get to the scriptures or gospel learning each week, then they are subjected only to the teachings of another mortal who is weak and flawed and having their own perceptions. This is how some of the false traditions get handed down....we listen, we like what we hear, we believe and don't investigate it for ourselves. We don't turn to the true source for radification. Therefore we are not grounded in truth because we have not had a witness for ourselves. Hmmmm....I wonder what perceptage of Latter Day Saints fall into this category? No wonder we are under condemnation.

  6. Denver -- Can you clarify even further your definition of faith as you stated above. If I have faith in the Lord, in what he did and promises, then knowingly or unknowingly have I been visited by an angel? Would the Holy Ghost be classified as an angel?

  7. If you have correct understanding of Him then you have belief. Belief does not become "faith" as used in the Book of Mormon until an angel has ministered to you. Your belief in Christ is belief.

    The Holy Ghost is not an angel in the sense used in the Book of Mormon.

    There are different definitions of "faith" and I'm not saying that is the only definition ever given. In the Lectures on Faith Joseph Smith gives a different meaning. He defines faith as a principle of power through action, in which you put your beliefs into action and thereby acquire power; because Joseph related faith to having power.

    What you are describing would be classified as "belief" in the Book of Mormon's typical use of the term. It would also be called "faith" by Joseph Smith if, as a result of your faith you have acquired power from the Lord.

    An answer I give only responds directly to a question asked. It does not attempt to cover all other applications, meanings or uses.

  8. Going on with the Book of Mormon definition of faith.

    Can we define an angel a bit more?

    Must it be someone from the other side of the veil, not currently mortal? Is it referring only to a being who shows up in white robes and bright lights claiming a message from God and appearing like the majority of the images depicted in Gospel art books? Or can an angel be someone who lives a normal mortal life but in such a way as to become an angel who ministers?

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  10. Given the quote above from DHC which details the vain things:

    How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations—too low, too mean, too vulgar, too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God, according to the purposes of His will, from before the foundation of the world!" (DHC Vol 3, pp. 295-96.)

    and your post on the whore (1 Nephi 14:10) who uses "imaginations" to make the deed seem worth it,

    "The great illusion of a whore is to imagine she likes you. To imagine she cares for you. To imagine she desires what you desire and is cooperating with you because she finds you attractive, appealing, and that you fulfill her longing. It is a lie, an illusion and a fraud. Her bodily diseases are less virulent than her contamination of the soul. Empty, false, vain and foolish thoughts occupy the imagination of those who have intercourse with the great whore. She prefers the lie, relies on it. You would not be her customer if not for the lies."

    This really clarifies what is meant in 1 Nephi 12:18 when Lehi described the great and spacious building as having "vain imaginations".


What Say You?