BOWbutton

This button is a resource to link those desiring baptism with those having authority to baptize. More information can be found here.

 

2 Nephi 30: 9-10

2 Nephi 30: 9-10:

“And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.  For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire.”
 
Nephi quotes Isaiah to weave a second witness into this end-of-times description of the Lord’s agenda.
 
Righteousness for the poor. Equity for the meek. Smiting for the earth. Death to the wicked. For the poor, why “righteousness?” For the meek, why “equity?” For the earth, why shall it be “smitten?” What is the “rod of His mouth” to be used to smite the earth?
 
For the wicked, it is the “breath of His lips” which will slay. Have you considered what this means? Why His “breath” when that is the mechanism that brings life to Adam, (Gen. 2: 7) and the Spirit to His disciples? (John 20: 22) Does the word “breath” imply the converse of bringing life, and the removal of the Holy Spirit? If so, how do those ideas affect the meaning of the Lord’s decision to “slay the wicked?” In what sense will they be “slain?”
 
What does it mean that “the time speedily cometh?” From what point is the measure taken to decide the “speed” of His coming? Is it from Nephi’s prophecy, or from the time in which the prophecy is set?
 
What does it mean there will be “caused a great division?”  How would that “division” manifest itself? Is it first spiritual, then physical? Or is it both from the start? If it is first a great spiritual division, followed at some point in a physical gathering together of these two groups into separate locations, how would it unfold?
 
How will the wicked be “destroyed?” (Mormon 4: 5.) Will they also be able to destroy the people whom the Lord identifies as “His people?” (1 Ne. 22: 16.)
 
What does it mean that the Lord “will spare His people, yea, even if it so be that He must destroy the wicked by fire?” Is that true?  Would the Lord personally intervene to protect His people? Has He done anything like that before? If so, when? Why? Can He still do that today? In a time of tremendous upheaval and destruction, can He selectively preserve His people? (3 Nephi 9: 1-13.) What protection is there from such forces of destruction?
 
Have you noticed how things seem to be speeding up?  Business cycles that used to take generations now play themselves out in a few years. Political dynasties are crumbling and institutions which were once impervious to change are being forced to change. Cultural norms are changing so quickly that change is itself the new culture.  The days seem to be shortening, don’t they. (Matt. 24: 22; JS-Matt. 1: 20.)

2 Nephi 30: 7-8

2 Nephi 30: 7-8:

“And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people.  And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.”

Nephi has circled back and is reiterating his earlier prophecy, assuring us that this is the order, these are the priorities and this work is indeed universal.

The scattered Jews will begin to believe in Christ, and as they do they will be gathered again. These will also be among the people destined to become “delightsome” as a result of the Gospel.

Again, we have the reminder of the universal nature of this work. Every nation, kindred, tongue and people will be invited. The invitation is to result in a “restoration of His people upon the earth.” That is, the purpose of the creation was to produce God’s people. By and large that hasn’t happened.

From the rebellion of Adam’s children, through the almost universal rebellion at the time of Noah, mankind has been unwilling to become His people. The times when we find a “people of God” upon the earth is the exception, not the rule.

The desire to see Zion return is not the same thing as seeing its return.

I sometimes wonder if people who speak of Zion have any clue of the tremendous gulf between what that will require and who we are as a people. Having a vocabulary is not the same thing as having the heart to produce Zion.

How do people live with one another in peace?  Without any poor among them? While seeking the best interest of all, and without ambition. Why would we believe we can get that great task done in a short effort in our day? There is no precedent living in anything like Zion, in this or the last seven generations.

Having the Gospel understood is the first step, of course. As a group, there is such a poor command of the scriptures that we have some considerable study before us. Passing familiarity with some scriptures is not of much use. They are the standard given to us to help reveal the basis for becoming a covenant people.

I notice how the subject of “calling and election” gets mentioned from time to time.  It would be better to learn about the fundamentals of the Gospel that we are not living than to attempt to understand what lies at the end of the struggle.

Losing ourselves implies something quite distant from the self-centered worry that grows out of not knowing your standing before God. The first step is to pray in sincerity, asking God to soften your heart that you may believe. The steps Nephi followed are described in first few chapters of The Second Comforter. Those steps are not given to us merely to contemplate. They are given for us to follow.

As we see Nephi wrapping up his two books of scripture, he turns to the distant view of a return upon the earth of a “people of God.”  We could have been that people. We even fancy ourselves as being likely to be among such a people. But if we lived that kind of life, we would already associate with such beings here, in the flesh. We would know we have part with them, because we would be associating with heaven now, as they will do then.

There is no one else who you need to look to other than the Lord. There is enough revealed in the Book of Mormon to tell you what you must do to become part of His people. You don’t need me, or a program, or a leader, other than Christ. He has offered the opportunity for each of us to become part of His people.

Well, onward still….

2 Nephi 30: 6

 
“And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and a delightsome people.”

Once the remnant is in possession of the Gospel, they will “rejoice.” What does that mean? What form would “rejoicing” take as a result of receiving the Gospel?

What does it mean to “know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God?” How would they recognize that?

What are the “scales of darkness” which cover eyes? How would the scales have been over their eyes in the first place? What does it mean to have the scales “begin to fall from their eyes?” Does “begin to fall” mean something about a gradual process, rather than a single quick event? How do scales continue to remain in place, even as they “begin to fall?” What does that imply about the difficulty in overcoming errors because of false understanding or traditions? Even the remnant will struggle to fully remove the “scales of darkness.”

Why are there “not many generations” involved in this process? Do you need “generations” to pass away in order to fully remove darkness?

Why is it not possible to accomplish this in a single generation?

If the Lord’s purposes in redeeming the remnant will take “not many generations” then why do we think we can accomplish it in one? How gradual a process is involved?

What does it mean to become a “pure and delightsome people?” (For many editions of the Book of Mormon, this phrase used to be, “white and delightsome.” It was changed back to the original, “pure” rather than “white” in the 1980 edition.)

 
Why does purity and being “delightsome” to the Lord go together?

If this process is going to involve “not many generations” then how far away are we from this unfolding?

When we read prophecy like this, we should realize we are looking at unfolding history from the Lord’s perspective.  We want to know what will happen in our single lifetime. We are impatient. He is interested in having us know the truth.

Nephi’s prophecy gives us a perspective that helps put our own time into context. We are in a hurry. History is not. There is a great deal left to do. There is a great deal left to happen. Nephi is letting us see this lengthy agenda.

2 Nephi 30: 4-5

“And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.  And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.”
Once the remnant obtain a copy of the Book of Mormon, from a believing gentile hand, they will realize they are originally come out of Jerusalem.  They will realize also that they are “descendants of the Jews.” 

It comes full circle. Those who were lost have returned again. The “prodigal” will return.  (Luke 15: 11-32.) There will be joy at the return.

This will happen as a preliminary to “the gospel of Jesus Christ [being] declared among them.” The Gospel being declared requires a true message, true messengers, authority, and ordinances. That will follow the remnant receiving the Book of Mormon. To what extent the gentiles bring those things and to what extent it will require heaven’s direct involvement, remains to be seen. But when the remnant reconnects, they will reconnect in every respect. The “gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them!”
As a result of these events, the remnant “shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers.” What does it mean to be restored? What knowledge? Which fathers? The Nephites, and Lehi, or to the earlier “fathers” as well? Does this include Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?

What does it mean they will be “also [restored] to the knowledge of Jesus Christ?”  What does this “knowledge” involve? What kind of relationship with Christ does this imply?

If we wonder at the “knowledge” the remnant will obtain, we have a parallel given to us: The future remnant knowledge of Christ shall be akin to that “which was had among their fathers.” Meaning they will grow to know what the earlier Nephite disciples and peoples knew. What kind of knowledge does that include?

When the right target receives the right Gospel, the results are dramatic. When the wrong group is entrusted with the Gospel, they tend to let it atrophy, grow dim, and become a social order without the power of godliness. The restoration was intended to cure that problem. But as with any gift from God, we must do more than to “take no thought but to ask.” (D&C 9: 6-7.) We must pursue knowledge and act with alacrity when it is given.
If we do not do this, then the result is not a blessing, but a cursing. (D&C 124: 47-48.) No matter what we are offered by the Lord, we must act consistent with His will to receive the blessings offered. When we fail to fulfill the obligation He appoints to us, then we fail to obtain what was offered. (D&C 124: 31-32.)
Once they have been given the gospel, the remnant will not fail. Their reconnection will be as a nail in a sure place, not to be moved. Their knowledge will grow into the perfect day, just as it might with anyone who is willing to receive what Christ offers.  (D&C 50: 24.) Noon at the summer solstice is a symbol of the perfect day. This year, in contrast, at midnight of the winter solstice there will be an eclipse. This would be a symbol in the heavens of the opposite of the perfect day.  When it arrives it undoubtedly is a sign relevant to the time. (Those things are never accidents or mere happenstance.)

The ideas begin to accumulate. Darkness and light. Free will and acceptance of what is offered by God. So many divergent roads that are offered in place of the one that remains strait and narrow, but nevertheless in a straight course before you. (2 Nephi 9: 41.)

2 Nephi 30: 3

2 Nephi 30: 3:
“And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.

Nephi speaks again prophetically about our time. He makes no distinction between the Jews and “the remnant of our seed,” or Nephite remnant in what he says here. The “book of which I have spoken” is the record of the Nephites. It will come forth, written as a warning to the gentiles. Here is another attempt to establish a time frame for a prophecy. It will be after the record exists, gets brought forth “unto the gentiles” and then is “sealed up again unto the Lord.” We are in that era now. The record exists, even if part of it is sealed. It has come forth, at least in that part intended to be released at the point of this prophecy. And it has been “sealed up again unto the Lord.” We don’t have possession of it at present.

I’ve addressed the cover story that the Angel Moroni still has the plates in what I’ve written before. Briefly, the Book of Mormon tells Joseph Smith to “seal them up unto the Lord” in detail in three places. This is one of them. The other two are 2 Nephi 27:22 (giving the most detailed instruction to Joseph) and Ether 5: 1-4. All of these instructions are to the same effect. Once the Book of Mormon has been translated, to the extent it is to come forth in our day, the plates are to be “sealed up again” by Joseph. Since he did everything else in the way he was instructed, there is no reason to believe he wouldn’t have sealed up the record and hid it again.

Here Nephi prophesies that “there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written.” Meaning that those words “written unto the gentiles” or what we have in print now, will in fact be believed by “many.” They “shall believe the words.” Nephi has assured us of that. Therefore, it is necessary that some group from among the gentiles distinguish itself by actually believing the words of the Book of Mormon. It will be this group which “shall carry them forth unto the remnant of” Nephi’s seed. Notice that they will “believe” in the book. (That will require them to have a correct understanding of the book’s content, otherwise they would have unbelief.)

Those who do not believe (or have unbelief) in the Book of Mormon will not, indeed cannot, bring the words to the remnant. They aren’t qualified. They would not be able to convert any of the remnant. It will be those who actually believe in and accept the precepts of the Book of Mormon who will carry them forth unto the remnant.



Considering the otherwise direful predictions about the gentiles, this is the one way where hope may come to them. The group that believes in the Book of Mormon will necessarily have to be preserved to fulfill their responsibility to carry the words to the remnant. This is a subset of the Saints, and clearly not all of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For the church itself, there remains a condemnation because of their unbelief in the book. ( D&C 84: 54-57.) This condemnation of the church was repeated by President Benson and again by Elder Oaks.

If, therefore, you would like to be preserved, the manner in which that will happen, according to Nephi’s prophecy, will necessarily require you to abandon the condemnation of the larger church, and become one of those who believe in the Book of Mormon. Not only to say, but to do; as Section 84 above requires.

It is surprising how much information the Book of Mormon has for us. It is even more surprising that with such detail available to us, we have done so little to understand and teach it. The words of this prophecy by Nephi ought to be proclaimed among us. However, very little attention has been given to it.

One of the effects of pride is blindness. We can’t see what our pride prevents us from seeing. We have to come down to the depths of humility (to use a phrase Nephi coined in 2 Nephi 9: 42.) Interestingly it is only the Book of Mormon which tells us to “come down in the depths of humility.” (2 Ne. 9: 42; Helaman 6: 5; and 3 Ne. 12: 2.) Once Nephi coined the phrase, Mormon used it twice in his abridgement. It is a good phrase. It does tell us what we must do.

The great work of the Lord in this day revolves around the Book of Mormon. More instruction, prophecy and promises are contained in that book for our day than any other. You can get closer to God by abiding its precepts than any other book.

Joseph Smith didn’t write it. It was written by ancient prophets, sealed up to come forth in our day, and translated by the gift and power of God.

It is a perilous book. We neglect it at the risk of failure. Don’t let it remain a “sealed book” for you. Anyone can come to believe in it if they are willing.

2 Nephi 30: 2

2 Nephi 30: 2:

“For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.

To the extent that gentiles “will repent” they may become part of the Lord’s “covenant people.” They are not the remnant, but they may join in the covenant. If they do, then by virtue of the covenant they become “covenant people.”

What is required for the gentiles to repent?

What covenant must they enter into or receive so they may be numbered among the “covenant people?” Is membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the only thing needed to “repent” and become a “covenant people?” If not, then what else would be required?

To the extent that “the Jews will not repent” then they will be “cast off.” Although history has shown how the Jews have been treated (as Nephi put it), “ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them.” (2 Ne. 29: 5.) These difficulties suffered by the Jews are preliminary. The Lord always watched over and preserved them from complete destruction. However, when the Gospel is offered to them in the last days, in the final offering to the last (who had once been first–see 1 Ne.13: 42), they will reject the offered renewal of the covenant at their peril. If they reject it, they “shall be cast off” because that will sever the covenant.  “The Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.”

Although we know the Lord will extend every opportunity to the descendants for the sake of a covenant with those who have become the friends of God, there are limits. God will do all He has promised to do. He will forbear, entreat, beseech, send messengers, labor alongside with His messengers, and do all He can to reclaim the heirs for the covenant’s sake. In the end, however, the heirs must either accept what He offers, or be cast off.

It is extraordinary how long the Lord will extend His hand to reclaim His people. But everyone must choose to follow Him. We have our agency. We cannot be forced to follow Him. Even though He may be longsuffering and patient, He cannot compel any to be saved.  (Moses 4: 1-3.) Unless a person is free to choose for themselves, there is no existence.  (D&C 93: 30.) 

If you remove the right to choose, it is not only agency that is obliterated, but it is existence itself. Though we are utterly dependent on God for our very existence, sustained from moment to moment by Him loaning us the ability to move, breathe and act (Mosiah 2: 21), because we are free to make choices we exist. If you destroy the right to choose you have ended the personality of the person. [I have explained this in the beginning of Beloved Enos.]

Well, all of this is of no import if the gentiles do not “repent.” Whenever we brush up against that subject we wind up engaged in discussions about justice, mercy, vengeance and restitution. I’ve written about this process in both The Second Comforter and Come, Let Us Adore Him. Briefly, here are some of the most important points:  To be forgiven we must forgive. Not just forgive, but plead for mercy for those who have offended us. The role of accusing is left to “the accuser of the brethren” or Satan. (Rev. 12: 10.) When we accuse others we interfere with their salvation. If we are the one who was offended, and we make no accusation against them, then we become their savior. Satan’s right to accuse is inferior to ours as victims of the offense. We suffer in the flesh the wrongs of others. If we make no claim for justice, surrender those and seek instead for mercy on behalf of others, then Satan’s accusations can have no claim upon them. We mimic Christ, follow His example, and in our own limited way also atone for the sins of others. Joseph Smith was trying to get us to understand this concept when he taught: “If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours—for charity covereth a multitude of sins.” (DHC. 4:445)

I have explained this at length in what I’ve written in Come, Let Us Adore Him. Christ said this in His ministry repeatedly. He lived it.  He showed by His own example the way to obtain forgiveness for every wrong you have ever done. It is in the same way He went about atoning for sins. It is by suffering offenses and returning good. It is by forgiving those who despitefully use and abuse you. It is through loving those who are your enemies. It is by becoming sons and daughters of God. And it can be done in no other way. (Matt. 5: 38-48.) If you do not forgive others, you cannot be forgiven. (Matt. 6: 14-15.) This is why Christ, in teaching us to pray, told us we are only forgiven as we forgive others.  (Matt. 6: 12.) It is as we forgive that we obtain forgiveness.

The way is strait and narrow, and cannot permit you to pass through while carrying any burden of accusation, desire for revenge or even just complaint about others. When you lay down what you might justly claim against others and seek nothing for their offenses, then you are able to enter in. To be blessed, we must seek peace with those who would make war against us. (Matt. 5: 9.) When we judge all others with mercy, it is with mercy alone we will be judged. (Matt. 7: 2.)

For the most part, the gentiles will not repent. They will hold courts, use their time judging, exact conditions, set limits, and annotate their permanent records with notes showing what discipline a person has undergone. And happily employ control, compulsion and dominion over one another (D&C 121: 37) right up to the time when the trumpet sounds and it is everlastingly too late.  Others will justify this failure to forgive, shout praises to the abuse, and claim all compulsion and dominion is necessary to protect us from the evil. Even though our Master told us not to resist the evil, but forgive it. (Matt. 5: 39.)

For the most part, the gentiles will demand they be judged by a law they cannot satisfy.  Some few, however, will forgive and plead for the weaknesses and failings of others. They will forgive, and thereby be forgiven. They will obtain for themselves a judgment based only on mercy, for they have shown mercy to others. This atoning act of love and intercession will be the hallmark by which the children of God are identified in the Day of Judgment. (Matt. 5: 9.) Only the peacemakers can be trusted to live in peace with one another. All others are unfit for the presence of God.

2 Nephi 30: 1

2 Nephi 30: 1:

“And now behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you; for I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed.”

This is troubling if you understand what is said here. Let’s see if we can pull it apart.

Nephi adds this direct comment to his descendants, the forebears of the remnant.  Although they are the target of covenants and beneficiaries of the restoration, they too need to keep to the path. Though they are “beloved brethren” to Nephi, they are not given any unconditional promises. No one is.  Everything we receive is based on what we do, think and say. (See both Alma 12: 14 and D&C 130: 20-21.)

Note that this is not about the actual remnant, but about the Nephites who would be destroyed. These people would have access to Nephi’s record until the time of Mormon, when they would be destroyed. You can see the time frame in the word usage, “Ye are” as to the Nephites, in contrast to “the Gentiles who shall be.”  This message is addressed to the Nephites in a time before the gentile.

What is particularly distressing is the comparison Nephi is making. He is saying that the Nephites, who possess the land of promise, needn’t think themselves “more righteous than the Gentiles shall be” because if these Nephite descendants do “not keep the commandments of God” then they “shall all likewise perish.” If the Nephites do not keep the commandments, they will, like the gentiles, perish.

This means that Nephi is confirming again his prophecy of the destruction of the gentiles.  They are doomed. And the Nephites are similarly doomed unless they are obedient.

Despite this warning we know what happened to the Nephites. They were destroyed. The gentiles will be destroyed also.

In the case of the Nephites and the gentiles, “ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed.” That is, neither all the Nephites have been, nor all the gentiles will be “utterly destroyed.”

Well, this is happy news indeed. Some tiny fragment of the gentiles will actually survive the destruction of the coming days! So we ought to rejoice! All is well with us after all! And coming from Nephi we know that we have a promise from one holding sealing authority who will, as I have previously pointed out, seal this prophecy. (2 Nephi 33: 13-15.)

Interestingly Nephi warns his own descendants about their pride and haughtiness. He says that these Nephite descendants, heirs of the covenant, should not think of themselves as righteous. “I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be.” Nephi’s prophecy is clear to him, and clear to his descendants.  They both regarded the gentiles with pessimism. They (we) are doomed. So they saw us as something dreadful to be compared to.  When Nephi confirms they ought not think themselves better than us, he is giving a strong warning indeed. The odd thing is that we read these same records, this same prophecy, and we think we’re better than them! We have inverted the picture! We’re good, they were bad! But Nephi is using us as the dreadful comparison, the stark warning, the terrible warning that if the Nephites do not repent they will be like us and perish.

When you pick these words apart and see the message it makes you wonder how we could have come to our inverted view. Arrogance and pride really do blind us. Almost completely. What more could Nephi have said to get us to understand? (2 Nephi 32: 8.)

2 Nephi 29: 14

“And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever.”

Now we have an estimate of the time when a general disclosure of the records of these various nations will occur. It’s set in the time when the people who have survived the great distresses and wars of the last days will leave the New Jerusalem and return to their lands of possessions. That is, post-New Jerusalem, post-destruction of the wicked, and after the time when the Lord has come among them. When they are sent into their respective lands of possessions, then at last the entire record of the Lord’s dealings with each nation will be “gathered in one.”

So this won’t be anytime soon. Well, if soon, it will be after some more dramatic events, which will take our minds off the issue of missing scripture.
What is interesting is the Lord’s emphasis on those who “fight against my word.” He puts this first. The fight, as He puts it, is against both “my word and my people,” but it is the fight against His “word” that He lists first.  This is important.
You will recall there were two different reactions to the two parts of Lehi’s message. When it was repentance from their wickedness, the Jews mocked him. But when it was a message of the coming Christ, they wanted to kill him. (1 Ne. 1: 18-19.) This is the war against His “word” in a nutshell. The message of hope and redemption found in Christ is what the enemies of God always seek to suppress.
First, distort, suppress and exclude His word.  Then it follows that He has no people, because they cannot find their way back to Him.
Remember this is the great fight. It is relentlessly underway. So soon as His word becomes available, there will be forces, enemies, alliances, even good-intentions used to suppress, discard and alter His words. This is the great work of the adversary. This is the fight that gets waged first.
When the victory is won against His word, then the victory against the people is over. There cannot be any “people” belonging to Him if they do not possess His words in clarity, fullness, and with power.
What significance is there then in changing His words? Discarding His revelations? Suppressing His ordinances? Altering what He has revealed?  Designating some of His word as “mysteries” that ought to be feared or avoided? Why would Joseph Smith advise us to search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of God? Why would we be told to avoid them today?  What has happened in the fight against the Lord’s word among us? 

The purpose of His word is to establish His people. When people have His word, and obtain the light and truth that flows from it, then they are inevitably turned in their hearts to the fathers. Primarily among those fathers is the one mentioned here: Abraham. For in Abraham we see a return to the original order which preceded the flood. He inherited what “came down from the beginning” and restored the original ancient order. (Abraham 1: 2-3.) When the “word” and “people” are again here, they are directly linked to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and are heirs to the covenant and priesthood  they held. It is a return. It is a resurrection of an ancient order, where men know God and are His friends and companions while living here in this fallen world.

The results of having the Lord’s “word” is to then create a “people” who in turn are linked to “Abraham.” These things all follow in turn.  The fight against it is begun at the “word” to prevent the others who follow. If you can choke people off and get them to refuse His “words” then you can prevent them from ever becoming His “people” and realizing the association which brings their hearts to the fathers.

It is a consistent plan and a predictable fight. How’s it going in our time? What good things have we done to preserve His word? Have we kept intact everything He handed us through Joseph? Do we possess all of the word He intended us to have, study and live? Are we thereby made into new creations, His people? Do we show the fruits of being His people? Do the visions of heaven flow over us, and angels minister to us? Do we possess knowledge of God in the sense used in the Book of Mormon? Are we in possession of all the rights and powers conferred upon Abraham?

It is an interesting interconnection the Lord refers to here. Worth reflection at a minimum. Fasting, prayer and seeking as well, perhaps.

2 Nephi 29: 13

“And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.”
Well, happily the Jews “shall” get the Nephite words. Some day. Currently for the most part they don’t want them. And, even if they did, the “words of the Nephites” will include the sealed portion, because they are certainly part of the “words” the Nephites recorded. So this will be future, even if there were Jews interested in taking the offer today.
The Nephites also “shall” have the words of the Jews. However, once again as we have seen, the words include a great volume of material spoken by Christ, recorded by the Jews, and not in anyone’s current possession. So this, too, must be in the future. For now we aren’t even sure of who these “Nephites” are.
The Nephites and the Jews “shall” get the words of the lost tribes of Israel. This is a category, not a number. Remember that.  So once again, future event. Don’t know when.  Don’t know how many records. Don’t even know how many groups will be included.

But all these records are inevitably to come forth. Just not yet.

Why?
Read Mormon’s explanation: “But behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people. And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken. And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.  And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation.  Behold, I was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: I will try the faith of my people.  Therefore I, Mormon, do write the things which have been commanded me of the Lord. And now I, Mormon, make an end of my sayings, and proceed to write the things which have been commanded me.” (3 Nephi 26: 7-12.)

What if I do believe these things? What if I will accept the things which He offers? What if my faith has been tried and I am found to be deserving of more information? Can a person come out from under the condemnation referred to above, even if the rest of mankind fails to acquit themselves? Alma comes with the reply:  “Yes.” (Alma 12: 9-11.) So, as it turns out, ignorance is voluntary.

Well, shut my mouth! (That’s a pun, you see.)
[Can you do puns in a religious blog? Or will the long faced and dour be offended? Well, they don’t get it anyway. Hey! Why are you reading this if it offends you? Stop it!]
What do you suppose it would take for the Lord to respond to us removing the condemnation that we labor under? How should we go about trying to make that happen? I don’t see it happening, do you? I’m sort of persuaded by Nephi’s pessimism of the gentiles of our day.  Even this mild blog discussion I am attempting has provoked ire in many readers. How we fix our collective disinterest seems a monumental enterprise beyond human ability. I fear it would take some great calamity to unfold before we would change. Then again, I think the Lord has already told us that. (D&C 1: 17; 45: 50.)