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3 Nephi 21: 8-9

“And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.  For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.”
Christ is quoting from Isaiah and applying the words to a specific time frame. It is post-gentile receipt of the Book of Mormon, post-delivery of that book to the remnant, and post-opportunity for gentiles to repent and know of the true points of His doctrine. When that happens, the Lord will be freed up to fulfill the covenants of the Father.

When the Father’s covenants are in being fulfilled, “kings shall shut their mouths.” That is, the noble of this world will not know what to say. They will be at a loss of words because of the Father’s acts.

Things that haven’t been “told them” will take place, and they will not understand.
Things that they never had taught to them will unfold, and they cannot comprehend, cannot get their hands around it all.  It will dumbfound them.
Even when people who understand that the events are according to the Father’s plan, and the Lord’s covenant, they will not be able to believe it.
Too much! Too distressing! Too unexpected! Too great to take in! It will be confusion and distress, and the idea that God is behind it all will be unbelievable to them. (Isa. 52: 15.)

Their plans for managing the world will be dashed and end.  Their great investments will be lost.The control they imagined they had as “kings” will fade to dust. (Hag. 2: 22.)

How can such splendor, such great and masterful arrangements, such glory in mankind become nothing? How can it all fall to the dust? (Rev. 14: 7-8.)

It will be “great and marvelous” because it shows the Father’s power and might. But it will be inconvenient and distressing, unbelievable and terrible. (Malachi 4: 1.)
What is coming will leave proud men speechless and believing people vindicated. Everything will change.
Once again we see the tremendous relevance of Isaiah’s words. You can search for language to capture our times and find no-one who has given phrases that capture this moment better than Isaiah. Even the Lord finds his words appropriate to quote as His own. Words of inspiration, given Isaiah by the Lord, become Isaiah’s, then are taken by the Lord and used again as His. The symmetry of this chiasm is a reminder of how closely the Lord works with those He inspires. It is “His voice” even when the message comes from His servants.  Who has ears to hear?

3 Nephi 21: 7

“And when these things come to pass that thy seed shall begin to know these things—it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel.”
Now the completion of the sign:
When all that has been described has happened, and the remnant will “begin to know these things,” that beginning is the sign. Has it happened? Is it happening? Then who is the “remnant” that has or will “begin to know” about the Book of Mormon to fulfill the sign?
We’ve lost the history of Joseph Smith’s efforts to locate the “remnant” of the Nephites. The first mission to locate them was called by revelation in the first 5 months after the church was organized. (D&C 28: 8-9.) Oliver was called and later that same month Peter Whitmer was also called.  (D&C 30: 5-6.) This began an effort to locate the “remnant” that continued after the death of Joseph Smith. That will take some time to set out and cannot be dealt with in this post. We’ll get to it.
When the remnant is at last identified, and have been given the Book of Mormon, and start to know about their history and the Lord’s covenants with them, that will be the moment at which the “sign” given by Christ will have occurred.
It is when this happens that all of us will “know that the work of the Father hath already commenced.” Or, in other words, the Father’s hand is in motion to finish up what He promised to accomplish. What is it He intends to accomplish? What does it mean “fulfilling of the covenant?” What does the reference to “the people who are of the house of Israel” mean? How broadly will this final work of the Father spread? How many of those who are included in the covenant to Israel will become affected by the Father’s work fulfilling the covenant?
Assuming the work “commences” at that time, how long will it take for the work to be completed? Will it be a single generation? (JS-M 1: 34-37.) How long is a “generation?”
Why is the fulfillment to result in “the house of Israel” being given their covenant again?
How can we participate?
Why would the “sign” be given? If it was given to inform us, how can we watch to behold the sign when it happens?
Is there any indication that the sign is now unfolding?
If the organized church does not pay any attention to these things, and does not search for the remnant as Joseph did, will that change these promises? Will the covenant of the Father be forgotten by Him if the Saints themselves forget about it?  What effect does our neglect have on the Father’s covenants?

3 Nephi 21: 5-6

3 Nephi 21: 5-6:

“Therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity;  For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel;”

 
Now keep in mind this is all within a “sign” Christ is telling to the Nephites. It is a “sign” of when the great latter-day work will begin to unfold.
 
What are “these works” referred to by Christ? Was it necessary for the “works which shall be wrought among you hereafter” to be included in the “works” the gentiles were to receive? Why? Why would the gentiles need to know of the great success and ultimate failure of Nephite faith? The greatest time in the Nephite history would be after Christ’s visit, when they lived a united order. But the harrowing end described by Mormon and Moroni shows a depth of shocking evil. The violence, killing, cannibalism are disgusting to read and consider. Why did Christ want the “works which shall be wrought among you hereafter” to be included for the gentiles to have before them? What lessons would we not learn without these subsequent portions of the Nephite record?
 
Why do (from Christ’s vantage point)/did (from our vantage point) the records need to come “from the gentiles?” And how did that “show forth [the Father’s] power unto the gentiles?”  What about the restoration was a visible display of the Father’s power? Latter-day Saints have a “testimony” of the restoration, but gentiles seem unimpressed. The missionary effort among Americans today is nearly at a standstill. There are about as many people slipping into inactivity, or asking for their names to be removed as there are people volunteering to join at the present. So how is the restoration a display of “the Father’s power” to the gentiles?
 
Does the Father use “small means” to display His power? (1 Nephi 16: 29; Alma 37: 6.) Is it possible for the Father to show forth His power and for people to miss it entirely? What kind of “power” is missed by those who reject it?
 
If they do not reject it, notice what the “Father’s power” may lead the gentiles to receive:
-repentance,
-baptism,
-knowledge of the true points of Christ’s doctrine,
-being numbered among Christ’s people, even Israel.
 
But if not, then they will be swept away by their own wickedness and violence.
 
Now it may not be appreciably “powerful” when the gentiles receive the Book of Mormon. But if they repent, and are baptized, and come to know the true points of His doctrine, how great a change will take place? How great a show of power is it when the only ones at peace are those who dwell in Zion? (D&C 45: 68-71.)
 
It is clear the Lord will only gather to Zion in the great day of calamity those who had previously seen in His “small means” the path to safety and redemption.

For the most part, the gentiles will be unimpressed with the Lord’s stretched out arm. Gentiles will remain slow to respond, skeptical of the means, and dispute whether the Lord is really involved. Even those who claim to believe in His restored Book of Mormon and covenant will take lightly what He offers them. Only a few will be willing to undertake a form of repentance. But to receive “knowledge of the true points of my doctrine” it will require something more than half-hearted conversion.

How do you suppose “knowledge of Christ’s true points of doctrine” would change you?

 
Why do you think it will be necessary to “repent” before you receive “knowledge of the true points of His doctrine?” (John 7: 17.)
 
Why are both of these (“repentance” and “knowledge of true points of doctrine”) required before you can be “numbered among Christ’s people?”
 
Why do some of the gentiles need to become so numbered?  How will we know when that sign has occurred? Has it already? If not, then the sign isn’t before us yet — But if so, then the sign has begun. Are you among those who have repented, been baptized, know the true points of His doctrine, and become numbered with His people?

3 Nephi 21: 4

3 Nephi 21: 4:

“For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel;

Christ attributes the wisdom of this plan to “the Father.”

The gentiles will be set up “in this land.” What land has become a land for free people “by the power of the Father?” The most common answer is the United States. That is the conclusion of Meldrum and Porter in their book Prophecies and Promises – The Book of Mormon and the United State of America.

The “wisdom of the Father” decrees that the gentiles will receive the record and the land where Christ visited the Nephites. Why is it wise for this to be the case?

From the gentiles, who inherit the record, the record will “come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed.” The gentiles receive it first, then it will come from them to the “remnant.” Who are the gentiles? Do the Latter-day Saints have the record? Even though they are in possession of the record, they are nonetheless called “gentiles”

Note that the “covenant of the Father” is the reason for these events to unfold. Why is the unfolding history of the remnant, gentiles and house of Israel to fulfill “the covenant of the Father?” What was/is Christ’s role in the process? If Christ is directly involved, why is it nevertheless the “covenant of the Father?”
 
Christ refers to the objects of the covenant as “his people” –  the Father’s people. This is an important transition in the description. These people belong to the Father!  Immortality and eternal life is a family affair. Christ’s harvest of souls is for the glory of the Father. If there were any doubt of Christ’s motivation and selfless service, His comments here remove that doubt.

From what source does the gentile freedom come?

If gentile freedom is based on the Father’s power, how vulnerable is their hold on freedom if they rebel and reject the Father? How much credit can the gentiles take for establishing their land of freedom? To whom should gratitude flow for the gentile freedom?

The backdrop Christ gives to our history is wholly based on the Father’s will, covenants and design for mankind. We tend to question how involved the Father and His Son are in the daily events of life. From Christ’s statement here, how involved are they?

3 Nephi 21: 2-3

“And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign—for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them;  Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you;”
The sign Christ is giving requires a specific knowledge of a sequence of events. These verses begin to detail how you will recognize the sign as the proper chronology unfolds. 

First, Christ’s words which were “declared unto you” (meaning the Nephites) will be “made known unto the gentiles.” So, the Nephites must receive both what Christ has declared and will declare to them before His ministry was completed. Then these Nephites must record or preserve the words Christ declared. These words, recorded by the Nephites must in turn, become “known unto the gentiles.” This initial part of Christ’s sign is directly tied to the Book of Mormon.  However, what does it mean that the words of Christ must be “made known unto the gentiles?” We have them, but do we know them in the sense that is being used here?

Second, the gentiles must come to a knowledge of “this people (Nephite audience) who are a remnant of the house of Jacob.” The gentiles must understand or “know” that the promises made to the “remnant” exist. Has that happened? If not, why not? Is it happening at the moment as you become aware of this information that has been in the Book of Mormon since its publication in 1830? (No wonder the Lord’s condemnation of the Latter-day Saints.)
Note the Lord calls the audience, and in turn their posterity, “this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob… this my people.” It is important to know that the Lord describes them with this identity as “my people” throughout His sermon and prophecy. This careful limitation of the reference to the Lord’s “people” should not be applied broadly. It does not include gentiles. We should not change His meaning. He is speaking about a single identified group as “my people” and it is those before Him and their descendants.
Now, although it is a parenthetical thought, He adds a third event in the chronology. The third event is the scattering of the “Lord’s people” who are the “remnant” by the gentiles. It will happen before the second listed event, but it is the third tier of the sign Christ is giving.
[By the way, this scrambled chronology is one of the things that evidences it is authentic and not a product of Joseph Smith’s imagination. The time-line is always scrambled somewhat when the Lord or His true prophets speak. Information is not presented to their minds in a chronological manner, and therefore it is grouped by subject, not by time. (D&C 130: 7-8.) Isaiah, for example, was always grouping information according to subject, not chronology. Indeed, when looking back on a sweeping revelation, it is not possible to reconstruct a time line of events shown to a prophet in vision without some considerable effort. But this is merely an aside.]
The fourth portion of the sign is when the gentiles, who have the words, and appreciate or “know” them, bring them to the attention of the remnant. When those standing before Christ, through their descendants, come to receive these words of Christ from gentiles who know them to be true, then the fourth portion of the sign will have occurred.
Notice how Christ attributes the coming forth of the Book of Mormon to the gentiles as the work of “the Father.” Christ was and is directly involved, He is the husbandman and the true vine. But He does not take credit as the Son. He says this coming forth will be “of the Father.” All things are done by Christ according to the will of the Father, to whom He always gives the credit. There is a profound lesson in that for each of us. We are only accomplishing something good, enduring and valuable as we conform to the will of the Father and His Son.  Whenever we are on our own errand, it is foolishness and vanity.

The “sign” given to us will continue in the Lord’s statement which follows. So let’s turn to more…

3 Nephi 21: 1

Now we jump to late in His ministry where Christ is teaching the Nephites. We pick it up in 3 Nephi, Chapter 21:
 
 
And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place—that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion;”
 
Christ is telling the Nephites (and us) about timing. He will provide a “sign” to those who watch for such things. Contrary to what you’ve heard all your life about “signs,” they are and always have been part of the true Gospel. They invariably follow faith, but do not and never have produced faith. (D&C 63: 9-10.) There are examples of signs throughout God’s dealings with those who follow Him. (See, e.g., Helaman 14: 4; Ezek. 24: 24; Ex. 10: 2; Acts 2: 22, among many others.) We are supposed to see signs, that we may know God is dealing with us. (D&C 68: 10-11.)
 
Christ is giving a sign to us so we may understand when His Father’s promises are being fulfilled.
 
The time when His Father’s covenants are to be fulfilled will be the moment when Christ will “gather in, from their long dispersion, my people.” Note it is “I” meaning Christ, who will do the gathering. Christ is the great husbandman of this, the Lord’s vineyard. It is Christ who will personally do the gathering. How do you suppose Christ will “gather in” those whom He calls “His people?”

Notice how the gathered are referred to by Christ as “my people” and “house of Israel” and “my Zion.” When the gathering is complete, the various groups are no longer separately identified. On the other side of this gathering they will be “one” people and a restored “house of Israel.”

 
But note the sequence:
 
First, gathering in from a long dispersion.
 
Second, they convert into “my people” or the “house of Israel.”

Then they are “established” as “Zion.”

 
Why does the Lord refer to it as “my Zion?” Can you have Zion without the Lord’s presence? Can there be Zion without the Lord dwelling among them? (Moses 7: 16-18.) Notice in Enoch’s City that it was the Lord who came and dwelt there, then later the Lord is the one who names or calls the people “Zion.”
 
When the Lord calls it “my Zion” how literal is this? How directly will the Lord be involved?

If you want to have a place there, do your connections in a church, organization, fraternity, fellowship, quorum or brotherhood matter? If not, what association alone will allow you to participate? How important is the “testimony of Jesus?”
 
Read again the description of the group of Saints who are included with those who will comprise Zion. As you read, keep in mind all we have discussed up to this point as you recognize familiar words used below:
 
“51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—

  52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;

  53 And who overcame by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.

  54 They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.

  55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—

  56 They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;

  57 And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.

  58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—

  59 Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

  60 And they shall overcome all things.

  61 Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet.

  62 These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.” D&C 76: 51-62.)
 
These, then are Zion.These are those who become “one” and are called by the Lord after they are gathered in the “house of Israel” and “my Zion.”

1 Nephi 14: 17

1 Nephi 14: 17: 

“And when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel.”
Now we get some indication of timing. A great deal has been described, but the timing of the events has been left out until now.
The “day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots” – that is, when the great and abominable church is caught up in worldwide violence, every nation at war with its neighbor or within itself. It is when those events are underway “the work of the Father shall commence” to fulfill all the prior commitments and covenants.
First, the great whore will reel and stagger as a drunkard, drunk with her own blood.

Then the “work of the Father” will “commence.” What does it mean to “commence?” Why choose such a desperate hour to begin?

Are there signs of this international and internal violence already afoot? Is the work of the Father now commenced?
The “commencement” of the work is “for the fulfilling of His covenants.” What does it mean to “fulfill?” Will every whit of His covenants be all completed, all finished, all kept?  (D&C 1: 38.)
Interestingly, the “fulfilling of His covenants which He hath made to His people who are of the house of Israel” is not divided into “remnant” and “gentile.” At the time when His final work begins, all of “the house of Israel” will be remembered, in whatever scattered place they may be found. Why the change? Why no longer focus upon the “remnant” and “Jew” and “gentile” and “scattered house of Israel?”  Why does He now call them all “his people?”
Do the fractures heal? Do the divided groups come together at last? Will the scattered, lost and forgotten remains of Israel be found throughout the world? (Jacob 5: 67-68.) Will the results be a restoration of all Israel, no matter what group they may have been identified with previously? (Jacob 5: 72-73.) Will these divided, but remembered people become one at last? (Jacob 5: 74.)
How much purging will be needed to bring this to pass?  (Jacob 5: 71; D&C 45: 68-71; D&C 133: 9-12.)
If the work has begun, are there “servants” already here beginning to move the now wild branches back to their natural roots? (Jacob 5: 70.) How does one respond and return to their natural roots? Who is the “tree of life?” How do we reattach ourselves to Him? (John 15: 1-6.) What of those who would have you attach yourselves to them, to become their disciples, to follow what they claim as their right to lead and control you? (D&C 121: 36-37.) How must they lead, if not by exercising control and dominion? (D&C 121: 41-42.)
[As long as we are in Section 121, there is an important but still unrecognized truth in that revelation. The caution in Section 121 about abuse is directed in whole at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Among other things, it is warning the LDS Church not to persecute the Lord’s Saints, and thereby fight against God. (D&C 121: 38.) It has been traditionally interpreted by the LDS Church to the complete contrary. The LDS teaching turns the warning on its ear, and reads it to mean that you shouldn’t fight against the LDS Church! The warning, however, is addressed to the Church and warning it to exercise caution, least they find themselves fighting against the Lord’s Saints, and thereby in turn fighting against the Lord. Read it carefully. It is not a caution to you or me, but a caution to the LDS Church itself. It means that there may be Saints of God who are at times at odds with, or critical of the LDS Church. When that happens, the LDS Church is warned to refrain from persecuting them, or else they may find themselves fighting against God. It is an unnoticed warning because the traditional interpretation is used to give the LDS Church protection against criticism.]

1 Nephi 14: 15-16

“And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon that great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth. And as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things—” 

God’s wrath is “poured out” and takes a specific form: “wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds.” People go to war. The “wicked kill the wicked.” (D&C 63: 33Proverbs 11: 5; Mormon 4: 5.)

The wicked get to destroy one another, but they do not get to destroy the righteous. (1 Nephi 22: 16.)
The destruction of God’s judgment will be “among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations.” But that was all nations, was it not? Therefore, what nation will not be at war in this coming day?

The angel makes a point of stating what Nephi is beholding: “Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots.” How is this God’s wrath? The answer is that when God is angry, He withdraws His spirit. (Helaman 6: 35; Helaman 13: 8.)  And when He withdraws His spirit from one, He generally pours it out on another. (Helaman 6: 34-36.)  When His spirit withdraws, men are left to their natural, carnal state, filled with envy, jealousy, covetousness, ambition and greed. When the heavens become silent, the judgments of God follow. (Revelation 8: 1; D&C 88: 95.)

This is the means by which the tares ripen in iniquity, and the wheat ripens in righteousness. However, to preserve the spirit among those to be saved in the last days, it will be necessary for the same priesthood, the same calling, to be in possession of those to be preserved. Otherwise they can’t ripen into wheat. (D&C 86: 1-11.)  For the wheat are destined for Celestial Glory and eternal life. (D&C 101: 65.) This cannot be realized without a covenant (D&C 132: 20) and the testimony of Jesus to them. (D&C 76: 51-57.)

How should we each proceed?

Can anyone make you “wheat” if you do not the things the Lord commands you to do? (Luke 6: 46–a favorite verse of President Kimball’s.)

Can anyone give you “oil” for your lamp?
What is your responsibility to obtain these things?
When the time comes that all nations of the earth are at war with one another as the means for the Lord’s wrath to be poured out upon the wicked, what is the role of the righteous? Will they join in the battle? Will they be spared?  (D&C 45: 68-71.)
Why does the Lord not require the righteous to shed the blood of the wicked? Why would He use the wicked to destroy the wicked?

If His spirit withdraws from the world, but remains with His Saints, what peril is there if the Saints don’t also withdraw from the world?

Will citizenship in both Babylon and Zion be possible? Will Zion need a bank?

CD Talks available

There are a couple of talks I gave in the past that were digitally recorded. They have been sold in the past for (as I recall) $10.00 apiece. The proceeds from those sales were donated to a shelter for abused girls in Utah.

The recordings are still available. They are not charging anything for the copies, but are asking that donations be made. There are costs associated with producing and mailing the copies, so some donation is appreciated to be fair to those providing them. Any donation you make that exceeds the costs to reproduce and mail them will be used to support the missionary effort of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Below are descriptions of the two recordings:
Denver Snuffer, One CD:   Zion Symposium Talk, 4 Nephi, given February 23, 2008
Denver Snuffer, Three CDs:   Christ’s Discourse on the Road to Emmaus, given April 14, 2007
Cost:  Donation 
For orders email:  thembones47@yahoo.com 
While I own the copyright for these materials, all the money raised in selling them has been donated. None of the donations will be given to me, nor have any ever been given to me. 
If you choose to make a donation, the money will go to those who will take the order, process your donation, and return anything above production costs to the missionary effort. Other than giving the talks and making this announcement, I am not involved in any other capacity. 
The second recording (3 CDs) is a talk that became the appendix in Eighteen Verses.  There are some differences between the recorded talk and the published appendix.
Anyone interested can contact the email address shown above to get a copy. Please do not contact me or the comment moderator.  I am only making the announcement.