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1 Nephi 14: 14

1 Nephi 14: 14: 

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.” 

Once the whore sets about to destroy the Lamb of God, He does not remain in His pavilion away. He takes up the fight for His Saints.

What is the “power of the Lamb of God?”

Why does this “power” “descend” upon the Saints?

Why are there two groups identified, “the Saints of the Lamb of God,” and also, “upon the covenant people of the Lord?”  Are these the same or two different groups? If two, what is to happen in this descending of “power” upon these two?

Why are the “Saints” and the “covenant people” both “scattered upon all the face of the earth?” Why are they not gathered together in one place?

What does it mean to be “armed with righteousness?”

Why are “righteousness” and “the power of God” two different things?

Do the “covenant people” have to have “righteousness” to receive the “power of God?” Are they blessed for the covenant’s sake? What about the others? Who are “righteous” and their protection? Are they protected for righteousness sake?

Assuming the “power of God” is given to protect these groups, do they need munitions? Do they need intercontinental firepower? Do they need to form an army for their own defense?

What is the “power of God in great glory?” Will the children of the great whore be able to behold this “power of God in great glory,” or will it be hidden from them? If hidden, will they sense something? Will fear fall upon them that they flee from the presence of this glory? Wasn’t that the case with Daniel’s friends? (Daniel 10: 7.) Wasn’t that the case with the companions of Saul? ( JST Acts 9: 7 “And they who were journeying with him saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him who spake to him.”) Will Zion not be protected by this “power of God?” (D&C 45: 70.)  If it is to be like the days of Noah (Luke 17: 26-27), then won’t there be someone who can speak the word of God and mountains flee, armies held at defiance, and rivers turned out of their course? (Moses 7: 13.)

Will the same things happen that happened at the time of the great flood? If so, how much relevance does the history from Enoch through Noah have to our day? Should we be familiar with that pattern to know how the pattern may repeat itself? 

What can you do to be numbered with those who will be spared? Does the known history of the antediluvians tell you anything about how you need to prepare? Since Enoch had 365 years to develop a people who were worthy to be spared, how much greater a work will it be to prepare now that life spans are generally less than 90 years? How great a work lies before you?

1 Nephi 14: 13

1 Nephi 14: 13:

“And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.”
 
Did you notice that? The whore is also a “mother?” Why is that? What do we learn from that bit of information? Just how loyal will the deceived be to the institution they regard as their great mother? It’s no wonder they react with such hostility at the threat posed by the Lamb of God.
 
Now did you notice also that the fight is against “the Lamb of God” and not the “Saints?” They are opposed to Christ and are going to fight against Him.
 
This is akin to David’s response to Goliath: “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defiedThis day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.” (1 Sam. 17: 45-47.) David knew the fight was between the Lord and Goliath, not between him and Goliath. Therefore the advantage was all the Lord’s.
 
The coming fight will be between those who regard the worldly order as their mother, and the Lamb of God.
 
Did you notice also that the great mother whore includes “all the nations of the Gentiles?” Meaning that included among this great false order will be the United States, the greatest of the Gentile nations. We’ve been told in modern revelation that along with all other nations, the United States will be destroyed.  (D&C 87: 6.) We disbelieve this and hope to save the nation. We want to follow the counsel of the Lord to make friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when we fail we may be received into everlasting habitations. (Luke 16: 9.) Your affiliations here will serve you here, but you will not be trusted with true riches. (Luke 16: 11.) The result is that we have no choice but to flee.
 
Well, the great whore wants to defeat the Lamb, but she cannot get access to Him. She must settle for destroying His teachings, His doctrines, His ordinances. She will target these truths because they link the Lord to some few who are here. She will at every turn deceive, mislead, corrupt and discourage. She understands that the fight is with the Lord, but to destroy Him she must destroy all that testifies truthfully of Him.
 
All that is corrupt and corrupted is welcomed by her. All that fails to redeem the souls of men and return them to the Lord’s presence is welcomed here in her dominion. She will confer tax benefits, honors, protection and awards upon those who cannot teach the doctrines that save. Wealth will amass, privileges will be given, and the great whore’s dominion will expand to include “all churches” in these last days. (2 Nephi 28: 12-14.)  Persecution is the heritage of the righteous because this world has no part in Christ. (John 14: 30.)  When the righteous are no longer persecuted, and the honors and awards of men begin to be bestowed upon any religion, you may know they have made friends of the children of mammon.
 
She cannot destroy Him, so she will turn her anger upon those who preserve His doctrine, His teachings, His truths and destroy them that He may be cast out of this world. This is her plan.
 
But this battle is between principalities and dominions involving spiritual wickedness in high places, and not just flesh and blood. (Eph. 6: 12.) Therefore we should fear not, because the battle is, always was, and always will be the Lord’s. (D&C 105: 14.)

1 Nephi 14: 11-12

 
“And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.”
 
The whore has “dominion” over all. All nations. All kindreds.  All tongues. All people. She has dominion over them all.  What does “dominion” mean?
 
Notice the “church of the Lamb of God” are referred to as “the Saints of God.”
 
The Saints on the other hand, were “few” in number by comparison with the great dominion of the whore.
 
The Saints numbers are few because of “the wickedness and abominations of the whore.” How would the whore’s wickedness and abominations cause the Saints to be “few” in number? What trouble must the Saints overcome because of the whore’s widespread wickedness? What challenges must the Saints overcome because of the whore’s universal abominations? How do they “overcome” these challenges?  (D&C 76: 53.)
 
What does it mean the whore “sits upon many waters?”  (Rev. 17: 15.) Why are they likened to water? (Gen 49: 4.)
 
Note the Saints are also “upon all the face of the earth” but are not said to be “sitting upon many waters.” They do have, however, “dominions” (in the plural). Why is the whore’s dominion singular, while the Saint’s plural? The whore’s control is one, but the Saints are divided into sub-groups.  Why? Will they be led by various prophets from various locations?  (D&C 133: 26.)
 
This fragmentation of the Saints is set in a time frame of this prophecy and it will not last. However it will exist before the wrath poured out upon the whore begins.
 
Why is the whore much more successful than the church of the Lamb of God? Or, more importantly, is the number of those involved in these two different cultures any indication of their relative standing before the Lord? If not, then what matter? Is it the quantity of those who are following a particular creed or organization, or the quality of the knowledge some few possess of the Lord?
 
Will getting more people to join the Church change the outcome of this prophecy from Nephi?
 
What is important, then, for those who want to be on the right side of this divide? How do they become one of the “few” who are Saints belonging to the Lamb of God?
 
How should “success” be defined? By numbers, buildings, activity and wealth or possession of knowledge of Christ? If success has nothing to do with numbers, buildings, activity and wealth, why do we concern ourselves with them? If it has something to do with knowledge of Christ, why are so few able to declare they know Him? Who can state they have seen Him? Who can testify as a witness of Him? How successful have we been in distributing the knowledge of the Son of God?
 
Where should our efforts be focused? Is the Book of Mormon important in accomplishing what the Lord expects from His Saints?
 
What interesting information Nephi has given us in this verse. But it gets more interesting as it proceeds further….

1 Nephi 14: 10

1 Nephi 14: 10:

“And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.” 

There are and always have been two churches only. One is true. Its members belong to the Lamb of God. The Lamb, and their Father. 

Either you belong to the elect family of Christ, the Church of the Firstborn, or you don’t.  All other religions and philosophies are false. Read again the description of those who are saved. (See What’s in a name?) There are only “two,” and one of them is not the Catholic Church, nor the Presbyterian Church, nor the Lutheran Church, nor The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, the ordinances received through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are expected for those who belong to “the church of the Lamb of God,” but there is not a complete overlap of the “church of the Lamb of God” and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Therefore, based on what Nephi says above, unless we are part of that body of believers whose Father is Christ, and who posses a covenant from Him that they will be His, we belong to the whore of all the earth, a church of abominations. Those who are believers are they who He has declared to His Father “. . . having been true and faithful in all things.”

The other and all-inclusive great church is comprised of all philosophies, all belief systems, all unbelief systems, all rationalizations, all theories and vanities that distract people from repenting and following Christ. These vary from very good things that are uplifting, and possess even great portions of truth, to the degrading and perverse. This all-inclusive church is a “whore” because she is completely indiscriminate and open for all to have her acceptance and affection. She welcomes you. The only requirement being that you have false beliefs.

She will make you rich, or she will make you covet riches.  If she gives them to you it is to corrupt you. If she withholds them from you, it is so you will lust and envy what you do not have.

Look at her list of trade goods, given in the description of her fall by John the Revelator:
“And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.”  (Rev. 18: 11-13.)
The final two on the list are the reason for the other items. The earlier ones lead inevitably to slavery and loss of the souls of men. The devil, who founded her, is not interested in anything other than slavery and the loss of your soul.
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.
What an amazing congruence of sexual images and religious failing have been given to us by Nephi and John the Revelator. How apt! How perfect!  Imagining something that is degrading and debilitating to be sacred. It is a work of a god or a devil.  And of course it is for us to decide between them.
The whore does have her allures, doesn’t she? How many of us are in her embrace, speaking of love and Jesus and the joy of the Saints, while remaining wretched, poor, foolish and lost? She offers you vanity as a religion.  “Vanity” because it is vain, or without any effect to save, i.e., without power. Only a form of godliness, nothing real.
Such powerful deception as is implied in these verses demands our attention. It ought to force us forward to seek and obtain a more sure word of prophecy, so we know our God and covenant directly with Him. It should make us refuse all the imitations, all the deceptions, all those who pretend to speak truth, and instead  demand that true messengers be sent from whom we can be taught further light and knowledge.
There’s the rub, isn’t it? How to tell the one from the other? A concealed and veiled resurrected Christ laid aside all glory and walked with two of His disciples for approximately seven miles on the day of His resurrection. After His departure, the one asked the other: “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24: 32.) Undoubtedly the reason they already knew it was Him was because truth has power that vanity does not. Therefore, it appears that before our eyes are opened, we must determine truth first. I’ve written about this in the Appendix to Eighteen Verses.
Interesting cause and effect. Interesting the Lord would open the scriptures to touch their hearts. What a powerful pattern the Lord has given for those who follow Him.

1 Nephi 14: 8-9

1 Nephi 14: 8-9:


“And it came to pass that when the angel had spoken these words, he said unto me: Rememberest thou the covenants of the Father unto the house of Israel? I said unto him, Yea.  And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil.”

The dialogue between Nephi and the angel is interrupted.  Nephi is brought into the dialogue as the angel interrupts and asks Nephi a question. You should ask yourself why an angel behaves in this manner? Why interrupt the teaching by asking Nephi questions?

And what a question it is: ” Rememberest thou the covenants of the Father unto the house of Israel?” Once again, it is the “covenants of the Father” that is important and controls what is being taught and all history involved. It remains not only “in the beginning” but throughout “is the Word of God.” Consider how broadly the “Word” of God may be applied:

-Christ is the “Word of God” because He lived and did all in conformity with the will of the Father. ( 3 Nephi 11: 11.)
-All of creation came into being because of the Father’s Word, or power. (
Mormon 9: 17.)
-Christ’s spoken Word had such power as to astonish onlookers. (
Luke 4: 32, 36.)
-Nothing of power hereafter will exist unless obtained by the Father’s Word. (
D&C 132: 13.)
-Moses made water come forth from the rock by the Father’s Word. (
1 Nephi 17: 29.)
-Joseph Smith was able to bring the Book of Mormon forth because of the Father’s word. (
Mormon 8: 16.)
-His Word is “quick” and “powerful” and can cut like a two-edged sword. (
D&C 11: 2.)
-It was by this Word of God that Enoch had power to hold at defiance the armies of nations. (
Moses 7: 13.)

Without the “covenants of the Father” the best laid plans, the most noble aspirations, the desire to have Zion return, will all fail. It will return by a covenant or not at all. It will return in strict conformity with His covenant, His Word, and not according to the vain desires of men.

The angel is setting up a contrast for Nephi. First he asks if Nephi remembers the Father’s covenants, to which Nephi responds that he does remember them. Now, often in the Book of Mormon the word “remember” is used to mean “keep.” If that is the way it is used here, then Nephi is being asked if he keeps the covenants of the Father, so far as they apply to him. Using that meaning, the angel is inquiring about Nephi’s worthiness to receive more. Or, in other words: “Do you follow the Father’s commandments?” “Yes.”  “Then I will show you more.” Reminding Nephi that the only reason he is beholding these things is because of his obedience and sacrifice. Or, to put it more plainly, reminding US that this kind of information and learning from angelic ministers comes as a consequence of following everything taught to you before. You receive more because you follow what you already have.

Now, after the inquiry and answer, the contrast is shown: On the one hand: The Covenants of the Father. On the other hand: the Great and Abominable Church.

God’s covenants are strict and apply in a very precise manner. The great whore uses religion to promise to all people everywhere their desires for being comforted in their sins. The great and abominable church does not want you to forsake your sins, but to retain them and expect God will forgive and overlook them. The great and abominable church wants you to believe that the way is broad and many will enter into exaltation. This whore teaches that no matter your conduct, the odds are you are going to be exalted. So eat, drink and be merry. If God is going to be upset He will merely beat you with a few stripes and promote you into the kingdom of God anyway. ( 2 Nephi 28: 8.)

This contrast is drawn for Nephi because these are two extremes. Both of them are religious. One is founded on a true religion, the other is a false religion. One follows the Father’s covenants and will result in God’s promised results. The other follows the commandments of men who have mingled their own philosophies with scripture so that their doctrines are all corrupt. They share a vocabulary, but nothing else. For one, to “repent” is to return to God’s presence, for the other “repent” is to satisfy institutional demands and surrender to control by others. The angel uses the contrast because this is where mankind finds themselves. We live between these two choices. Our eternal consequences hinge on how we choose. Among all sects there are good people who are blinded by the craftiness of deceitful men. ( D&C 123: 12.) Even though they may be honorable, by surrendering to deceit they forfeit the crown. (D&C 76: 74-76.)

This contrast is shown to Nephi, and shared by him with us, because we are always facing the dilemma of choosing between those who will promise you everything and give you nothing, and those who warn you to repent, as a result of which you may receive everything. Oddly, mankind seems to prefer the former.

1 Nephi 14:7

1 Nephi 14: 7:

“For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other—either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.”
There will be a time when the accounts will all be settled. Everything will become everlasting and people will either inherit eternal lives and move forward, or they will return to be destroyed both temporally and spiritually again. Joseph Smith commented in the King Follett Discourse about the process of gaining exaltation.  He said, “you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.”
Death and hell are the devil’s domain. He’s the god of that world, and since we have death and suffering here, he calls himself the god of this world. Those who come here are subject to his buffeting, and his will. They are tormented, tempted, troubled, and then they die. While captive here, they endure the insults of the flesh, and the difficulties of trying to find their way back to God.

Those who find Him, however, are able to receive “peace and life eternal” through a higher way. The devil is bound for them, and they are able to be “added upon” by the experiences and difficulties here.

All of this is called a “great and marvelous work” to occur “among the children of men.” Note it isn’t the “remnant” or the “gentiles” but “the children of men.”  Why so? Is everyone invited? Why, if everyone is invited, will it largely only affect the “remnant,” and the “gentiles,” and the “scattered Israel,” and “Jews?” What about the “heathen,” since they are also “the children of men?” Don’t they also have part in the first resurrection? (D&C 45: 54.) Will even some of them be included among the “children of men” who behold this “great and marvelous work?”

Why is it “everlasting” whether it is for “peace and eternal life” or “captivity and destruction?” Isn’t “Everlasting” another of God’s names just like “Eternal” and “Endless?”  (D&C 19: 10-12.) If so, then what does the “everlasting peace and eternal life,” and “everlasting captivity and destruction” really involve?  [You really need to read that paper I’ve been emailing out if you haven’t read it already.]

Why does God want us to respond to His message and get out of this Telestial Kingdom into another, higher kingdom? Why does He want us to become like Him? How is this experience able to make us more like Him?
If one is involved in the “continuation of the lives” (D&C 132: 22) is that distant and second-hand? Or does God (or the Gods) get involved directly with His/Their children? (Abraham 3: 24-25.)

What causes “hardness of their hearts?” What causes “blindness of their eyes?”  Why are those whose hearts are hard unable to receive Christ? Why are those who are blind unwilling to see Him?

This cycle of inviting people to come to the Lamb of God has been going on for some time now. When mankind generally rejected Him after the time of Noah, there was a chosen people who were given a sacred tradition. Ultimately they got proud, failed to recognize Him when He came, rejected His message, and killed Him.  Gentiles converted and became the inheritors of His teachings. Then the gentiles began to persecute the previously chosen people for generations. In this verse the gentiles are remembered, sacred materials are entrusted to them with an obligation to spread that sacred material back to the earlier chosen people. However, for the gentiles to be able to accomplish this they need to hold onto the sacred materials and teachings. You simply can’t spread abroad what you’ve failed to retain.

If the gentiles let the sacred materials and teachings fall into disuse, forfeit their priesthood by draining it of any power, and have nothing to offer the previously chosen people, then the gentiles will be cast off, trodden under foot and destroyed, as we have earlier seen.

This verse reminds us what is at stake: Eternity. Or at least God’s judgment. It’ll be embarrassing to return to Him unimproved and un-added upon. Particularly when His hand was stretched out to us all the day long. Gentiles who do as they are asked are given all the blessings of the chosen people. Those who do not are rejected and destroyed.
As a friend and I discussed last week, Hindu’s advise us to get off the wheel and return to God. They may be onto something with that thought. One eternal round, indeed…..

1 Nephi 14:7

1 Nephi 14: 7:

“For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other—either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.”
There will be a time when the accounts will all be settled. Everything will become everlasting and people will either inherit eternal lives and move forward, or they will return to be destroyed both temporally and spiritually again. Joseph Smith commented in the King Follett Discourse about the process of gaining exaltation.  He said, “you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.”
Death and hell are the devil’s domain. He’s the god of that world, and since we have death and suffering here, he calls himself the god of this world. Those who come here are subject to his buffeting, and his will. They are tormented, tempted, troubled, and then they die. While captive here, they endure the insults of the flesh, and the difficulties of trying to find their way back to God.

Those who find Him, however, are able to receive “peace and life eternal” through a higher way. The devil is bound for them, and they are able to be “added upon” by the experiences and difficulties here.

All of this is called a “great and marvelous work” to occur “among the children of men.” Note it isn’t the “remnant” or the “gentiles” but “the children of men.”  Why so? Is everyone invited? Why, if everyone is invited, will it largely only affect the “remnant,” and the “gentiles,” and the “scattered Israel,” and “Jews?” What about the “heathen,” since they are also “the children of men?” Don’t they also have part in the first resurrection? (D&C 45: 54.) Will even some of them be included among the “children of men” who behold this “great and marvelous work?”

Why is it “everlasting” whether it is for “peace and eternal life” or “captivity and destruction?” Isn’t “Everlasting” another of God’s names just like “Eternal” and “Endless?”  (D&C 19: 10-12.) If so, then what does the “everlasting peace and eternal life,” and “everlasting captivity and destruction” really involve?  [You really need to read that paper I’ve been emailing out if you haven’t read it already.]

Why does God want us to respond to His message and get out of this Telestial Kingdom into another, higher kingdom? Why does He want us to become like Him? How is this experience able to make us more like Him?
If one is involved in the “continuation of the lives” (D&C 132: 22) is that distant and second-hand? Or does God (or the Gods) get involved directly with His/Their children? (Abraham 3: 24-25.)

What causes “hardness of their hearts?” What causes “blindness of their eyes?”  Why are those whose hearts are hard unable to receive Christ? Why are those who are blind unwilling to see Him?

This cycle of inviting people to come to the Lamb of God has been going on for some time now. When mankind generally rejected Him after the time of Noah, there was a chosen people who were given a sacred tradition. Ultimately they got proud, failed to recognize Him when He came, rejected His message, and killed Him.  Gentiles converted and became the inheritors of His teachings. Then the gentiles began to persecute the previously chosen people for generations. In this verse the gentiles are remembered, sacred materials are entrusted to them with an obligation to spread that sacred material back to the earlier chosen people. However, for the gentiles to be able to accomplish this they need to hold onto the sacred materials and teachings. You simply can’t spread abroad what you’ve failed to retain.

If the gentiles let the sacred materials and teachings fall into disuse, forfeit their priesthood by draining it of any power, and have nothing to offer the previously chosen people, then the gentiles will be cast off, trodden under foot and destroyed, as we have earlier seen.

This verse reminds us what is at stake: Eternity. Or at least God’s judgment. It’ll be embarrassing to return to Him unimproved and un-added upon. Particularly when His hand was stretched out to us all the day long. Gentiles who do as they are asked are given all the blessings of the chosen people. Those who do not are rejected and destroyed.
As a friend and I discussed last week, Hindu’s advise us to get off the wheel and return to God. They may be onto something with that thought. One eternal round, indeed…..

1 Nephi 14: 6

“Therefore, wo be unto the Gentiles if it so be that they harden their hearts against the Lamb of God.” 
Interestingly, rather than shouting out in rejoicing that all who repent will escape punishment, the angel instead pronounces a “wo” upon the gentiles. It is almost as if the future of the gentile conduct inspires nothing but pessimism for the angel. It inspires another warning and condemnation for the gentiles who, having received the Book of Mormon and other sacred writings, are then fully responsible to repent.

Notice that the relationship is between the “Lamb of God” and the gentiles. It is not between the gentiles and “leaders” or “prophets” or “administrators” or “general authorities” or even messengers. It is between the gentiles and “the Lamb of God.” 

Why that specific a relationship? Why is it exclusively between the individual and Christ? 

Read again the description of the Telestial folk who return “worlds without end” to their condemnation: “And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world; For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas.  These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch; But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.”  (D&C 76: 98-101.)

From what you’ve now learned can you see how one might follow even a true messenger but fail to gain “the testimony of Jesus?”

Can you now understand why, although you have followed messengers, you may have not in fact received the “everlasting covenant?”

The Temple is a type and shadow. It is a symbol of the real thing, but it is not the real thing. The “everlasting covenant” is taught there. But to gain it you must receive it through “the testimony of Jesus.” Is this “testimony of Jesus” yours?  Of is it rather Jesus testifying to you? If it is He testifying to you, then what must His testimony be?

In light of that does it mean then to “harden your hearts against the Lamb of God?” As you answer that, keep in mind His formula in D&C 93: 1: “Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.” Here Christ is but reiterating the message of the Book of Mormon.

Then how do you repent? I was asked about idolatry among the Saints. Anything that separates you from the Lamb of God is an idol. Cast it aside and come to Him. Why we have idols between us and the Lord is as different as one person is from another. Almost without exception, it comes as a result of a false tradition handed down. Your false traditions are based on your life’s experiences while another’s false traditions are based on theirs. No matter what they are or how they were acquired, whatever separates Christ from you must be set aside. Come to HIM. Not to me or any other. Only He can save you.

No wonder that after making great promises to the gentiles, if they will but repent, the angel cries out “wo be unto the Gentiles!” They won’t receive: 1) the Gospel, neither 2) the testimony of Jesus, neither 3) the prophets sent to warn them and the message given to them, neither 4) the everlasting covenant offered to them.

Will you?

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.