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3 Nephi 16: 15

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

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

3 Nephi 16: 13-14


“But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel.  And I will not suffer my people, who are of the house of Israel, to go through among them, and tread them down, saith the Father.”

Here Gentiles are given hope. Although as a group, they will fall away and reject the fullness, if there are any among them who “repent and return” they may still be numbered among those who are the Lord’s people. Those whom He calls “my people.”  Those dear to Him by covenant and promise.

The few who do will be required to “repent and return.” Why do they need to “repent?” Why do they need to “return?” What have they been doing that will require this “repentance” and “return?”  

Does it mean they will not remain in the way, but will have been led out of it? Will they necessarily have to abandon the abominations, or false beliefs, which have become part of their religious traditions?

Where did these false religious ideas arise?  If the Gentiles inherit the fullness of the Gospel, then reject the fullness, what did they first receive? What did they do with what they received?

How can some few still persist and be numbered among the house of Israel?  What must those who “repent and return” accomplish?  How will they be able to accomplish this?

Nephi had described these “few” earlier in a prophecy about our day in 2 Nephi 28: 14They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.”

What does it mean to have “all gone astray?” Does “all” truly mean “all?” How can a “few, who are the humble followers of Christ” exist? Do these “few” “nevertheless err?”

What causes the “few” to err? What does it mean that they are “led, that in many instances they do err?” What does it mean to be “taught by the precepts of men?” Wasn’t that the very problem that provoked the Restoration in the first place? Weren’t men teaching for doctrines the commandments of men? Did that produce only a form of godliness, which had no power?  (JS-H 1: 19.)

Those who “repent and return” will be spared from being trodden down and torn up. Others of the Gentiles, who do not “repent and return” are destined, like the original inhabitants of this land, to be trodden down and torn up. Their inheritance here is probationary. If they fail the probation, they will be swept away. The Gentiles will be gone, just as the earlier civilizations are gone. It will be the Father’s doing.

3 Nephi 16: 12

 
“And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.”
 
Gentiles shall NOT have power over Israel. Gentiles, filled with pride, claiming to hold the power of God, sitting in the Temple of God and acting as if they were God, will lose their grip. (2 Thes. 2: 2-4.) They will be cast down like Lucifer, after claiming they would sit in the congregations of the north, like the Gods. (Isa. 14: 13-15.)
 
These Gentiles will not have “power” over the house of Israel, though they may claim to possess great authority. (D&C 121: 36-37.)  What, then, is the difference between the Gentiles lacking “power,” but holding authority?
 
How will the Lord remember the covenant?

What does it mean to come to “the knowledge” of something, rather than to start believing in something?

 
What does it mean to have the “fulness of [His] Gospel?”
 
What does “knowledge… of the fulness” imply about the degree to which it will be revealed as part of remembering the covenant?
 
Why is the Gentile rejection of the fullness tied to the house of Israel receiving the fullness?
 
Are the basic Gospel Principles the same as the fullness? If not, what is the difference? What do the Gentiles risk when they reject the fullness and focus instead upon the basic principles?
 
How perilous is it for the Gentiles to suppress the mysteries of godliness and retain only the most basic of doctrines as their focus?
 
Unto whom is the Lord to teach doctrine? Who is prepared to hear?  Are they necessarily to be first weaned from milk and prepared to understand meat?  (See Isa. 28: 9-10.)  If that is so, then what do we need to do to wean ourselves off the milk and be prepared to receive weighter matters?
 
When will these things be? How will you know when the spirit begins to withdraw from the Gentiles and blessings begin to be poured out on others of the house of Israel?

Well, let’s keep going…..

3 Neph 16: 11

“And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them.”
When the Gentiles have rejected the fullness of the Gospel, the Lord’s memory will be stirred. He will “remember His covenant” again. 
Notice the covenant He will remember is for “His people,” whose interests and inheritance will now be vindicated.  His words will be fulfilled. The Father’s promises will all be realized. But “His people” are not the Gentiles. His people are the remnant to whom the Gospel will come as a matter of covenant and inheritance to reclaim a fallen people. This is the re-grafting of the natural branches referred to in Jacob 5: 67-75.  It is important to note that the Lord of the vineyard was directly involved with the few servants assigned to accomplish this final work of gathering together.  (Jacob 5: 72.) 
This is to be done after the Gentiles (who are the European Latter-day Saints who descend from the bloodlines that overran and dispossessed the native people in North America), have rejected the fullness of the Gospel. Therefore, you should not expect that the institutional church, controlled as it is by those very same bloodlines, will be the means through which this final effort will be accomplished. 
When the time comes, the Lord will “bring [His] gospel to them.”  How will He do this? What “laborers” should we expect to be sent?  How, if the Gentiles have rejected the fullness of His Gospel, will the Gentiles be involved? 
Can Gentiles who are lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations of the earth assist? If not, then what Gentiles can assist? 
Isn’t Ephriam to be involved? After all, they have the birthright. Are they not involved? 
If they are, who will it be from among Ephriam? 
How can the remnant to whom these blessings are promised, have still among them a few descendants of Ephriam?  Why will Mannassah, through the remnant, build the New Jerusalem, yet it will be Ephriam through whom the blessings are conferred upon the returning Lost Tribes?  (D&C 133: 26-34.) 
How can the New Jerusalem be the property of the remnant, but there be a group of Ephiamites who bestow crowns?  What must these Ephriamites possess to be able to accomplish this task?  How can they possess it and not be lifted up in pride above all other people of the whole earth?  How can such power be put upon some group and they remain willing to ever bend the knee and confess before Him whose right it is to rule? 
How can the Gentiles both reject the fullness of the Gospel, yet there be some who are of Ephriam who are able to bestow crowns? 
What an interesting picture begins to emerge. Gentile rejection, but  a tiny group of Ephriamite servants whose lives are lived so as to bestow blessings upon others. 
The main body in the New Jerusalem coming from the remnant, who are to build the City of the New Jerusalem, yet within that City a functioning group of Ephriamites who will crown others with glory. All this preparatory to the Lord’s return to a City set upon a hill which cannot be hid. To a location in the tops of the everlasting mountains, where all will gather from every nation. 
Well, let’s keep going to see how much we can figure out from the scriptures to correct our foolish traditions about these future roles and perhaps gain an even better idea of locations. 

3 Nephi 16:10

 
“And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.”
 
These words come from the Father.
 
The Father has commanded Christ to speak them.
 
This material is important to understand.
 
“At the day when the Gentiles shall sin against the Gospel…”  Not IF.  Not SHOULD THEY HAPPEN TO DO SO. It is in the day WHEN the Gentiles SHALL sin against the Gospel.

The Father has already seen this happen. (D&C 130: 7.)  He has told Christ to speak about it. But it is before the Father and therefore He can speak with knowledge of the coming rejection by the Gentiles.

 
What do the Gentiles do as they reject the Gospel?  They “shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations… above all the people of the whole earth.”  Read again the prior post.  The Gentiles take their inheritance of the promised land as their birthright. They presume God’s favor. They mistake their probation and testing as proof of having God’s favor. They are on trial, and presume they aren’t being tested.

What, then, do the Gentiles do with their highly favored status?  The list is sobering:

-Lyings
-Deceits
-Mischiefs
-All manner of hypocrisy
-Murders
-Priestcrafts
-Whoredoms
-Secret combinations
 
Read the list and contemplate how much of this is among us. If we do not murder, do we delight in bloodshed? Are we warlike? Are there people whom we kill daily somewhere in the world to project our national will and great power?
 
Notice that hypocrisy leads to murder. Murder leads to priestcrafts.  Priestcrafts lead to whoredoms. Are we seeing a progression here?  By the time we have whoredoms, have we already passed through murders and priestcrafts?
What are priestcrafts? (2 Ne. 26: 29.)  What does it mean to seek the welfare of Zion? Is “Zion” the same thing as the institutional church? What is the difference? Can a person seek the welfare of Zion without seeking to succeed inside the institutional church?  What is the difference between seeking to be a “light unto the world,” on the one hand, and seeking the welfare of Zion, on the other? Can one seek to be a light pointing to Zion, and never be a “light unto the world?” What is the world? What is Zion? How are they different? Can one who seeks the welfare of Zion ever get praise from the world? Can a person curry favor with the world while also seeking to benefit Zion?
 
If not hiring a whore, do we nonetheless watch with delight the portrayal of sexual license to entertain us, fill our thoughts, satisfy our lusts?  Do you need to hire a prostitute to be practicing “whoredoms?” Utah is one of the largest consumers of pornography in the US. Hence, the continual return to this subject in General Conference.
When they do this, in turn the Gentiles will “reject the fullness of my Gospel.” To reject the fullness is not to reject the Gospel itself.  As we have seen, some fragment of the Gospel remains even when it has turned into “iniquity” and “abomination.” Without some fractured segment of the Gospel to salve the conscious and let the people feel good about their sins, there couldn’t be “abominations.”
 
It is not the “Gospel” which is lost. Rather it is the “fullness of my Gospel” which is rejected and then taken away. It is first rejected, then it is forfeited. The Gentiles lose their entitlement to possess what they have rejected.
 
The Father has decreed it will happen. The Gentiles will change the ordinance and break the everlasting covenant. (Isa. 24: 5.)  What ordinance? What change? Has it happened? If not, what will be required to make a change and lose the “everlasting covenant” by the Gentiles?  I hope to avoid that.

3 Nephi 16: 9

3 Nephi 16: 9


“And because of the mercies of the Father unto the Gentiles, and also the judgments of the Father upon my people who are of the house of Israel, verily, verily, I say unto you, that after all this, and I have caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten, and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a byword among them—”
Notice once again the Lord’s motivation for speaking these words: The Father’s “mercies” and the Father’s “judgments” are what drives the coming events in history. The Father is in control and Christ does not question or gainsay the results. The Father’s mercy is not questioned by Christ, nor is there any degree of shame shown for the terrible circumstances which follow from His “mercies.” Nor does Christ hesitate to announce the Father’s “judgments” despite the anxiety which some may feel at hearing the future.
Truth should be delivered in a forthright and plain manner, whether the result is fearful or vindicating; whether you take joy in the news or you cower at what is to come.
Notice, however, that when the Father’s judgment has been given, then the Lord assumes personal responsibility for the punishment to be inflicted. He does not say it is the Father’s punishment. It is His own. Christ will personally be the one who “caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten.” Christ will personally “afflict” and “slay” the people. The Father decides, Christ fulfills. He seeks no cover, looks to no-one else to be held to account, He does as His Father judges.
Why would Christ assume responsibility to “smite” to “afflict” and to “slay” when it is the Father’s judgment?
What does this tell us about Christ’s acceptance of the Father’s decisions?
Is (or has) there been some good result from those whom Christ calls “my people” (i.e., His people) being smitten, afflicted, slain, and cast out by the Gentiles? If so, what good has come to the Lord’s people?  How can these things that have lasted now for over two hundred years have been beneficial to the Lord’s people?  What can we learn about the Lord calling afflicted, smitten and outcast people as “His people” despite their centuries of subordination?
What does the Gentile “hatred” of the Lord’s people do to diminish the Lord’s plans for them? What does casting them out and making them a “hiss and a byword” by the Gentiles do to remove the Lord’s promised blessing and covenant to “His people?”
What foolish pride allows the Gentiles to measure the Lord’s people as stricken, smitten of God and afflicted?  (Isa. 53: 4.)
Why would the Gentiles be put in this position? Why would Israel? What does it do to the Gentiles’ ability to see through the deception of their time into truth which is timeless?  (D&C 93: 24.)
How should the Gentiles view their momentary triumph and unchallenged possession of the land promised to others?
Why are those smitten and afflicted called by the Lord “my people” and the Gentiles referred to as “Gentiles?”
Is the irony of this beginning to dawn on you?  Maybe you should re-read the title page of the Book of Mormon.

3 Nephi 16: 8

3 Nephi 16: 8:

“But wo, saith the Father, unto the unbelieving of the Gentiles—for notwithstanding they have come forth upon the face of this land, and have scattered my people who are of the house of Israel; and my people who are of the house of Israel have been cast out from among them, and have been trodden under feet by them;”
 
So now the time frame is the latter day when the Gentiles have been given this restoration of the fullness. This comment moves forward from the reasons of the restoration to the Gentiles (earlier faithfulness) to the time when the Gentiles have received the fullness.
 
To make the time frame abundantly clear to both the Nephites and to us, the Lord explains in passing that the Gentiles will come to “this land.” The full description of them coming is set out in the earlier prophecy of Nephi as set out at length in First Nephi.  (1 Nephi 13 & 14.)  But here Christ reminds the audience that when the Gentiles come, they will “scatter my people who are of the house of Israel.”
 
Gentiles certainly did come. They did scatter the remnants who were on the American continent. Not only did they scatter them, but they also “cast out” and “trodden down” those populations who were here when the Gentiles arrived. Smallpox wiped out the Great Plains Indians. There were an estimated 20 million plus Plains Indians when Columbus arrived. Smallpox all but annihilated them.  So few survived that by the time of the western push of the United States, it was believed the Great Plains had never been populated.

To say they were “trodden underfoot” is descriptive. The native populations were destroyed. They were conquered. They died.  Their remains returned to the earth upon which the Gentiles trod.

You must keep this image in mind as you read about the future of the Gentiles being trodden underfoot. We will get to that later in this same prophecy by Christ. 

 
“Wo” is pronounced upon those Gentiles who are ‘unbelieving’ toward the Gospel. This is confirmed again in Section 76, describing those who are Telestial. They are religious, and follow even true messengers. However, they follow, believe in, trust and hope for salvation from the messenger, but fail to have faith, believe in, trust and receive salvation through Christ. They even claim to follow Christ. But they fall short of having a saving testimony of Him. It warns:  “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.)
 
There is a great gulf between those who claim they follow Christ and those who receive the “testimony of Jesus.” There is a difference between claiming to follow a recognized authority such as Paul, Apollos, Cephas, Moses, Elias, Esaias, Isaiah, John or Enoch on the one hand and “receiving the prophets” on the other.
 
How easy it is to quote a dead prophet. How unlikely it always is to  recognize a living one.

What is meant then by saying “they are of Christ” on the one hand, and saying, “receive not the Gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus?” on the other.  How do you reconcile these two things?  One damns to the Telestial Kingdom, the other exalts.

 
How perilous it is for the latter day Gentiles!

3 Nephi 16: 7

“Behold, because of their belief in me, saith the Father, and because of the unbelief of you, O house of Israel, in the latter day shall the truth come unto the Gentiles, that the fulness of these things shall be made known unto them.”
 
This is a teaching from the first day of Christ’s visit with the Nephites. It is a quote from Christ.
 
The time frame in which the Gentiles were to have “belief in [Christ,]” and merit a special blessing as a result, was the time immediately following the Judean ministry. The Gospel would be taken to the Gentiles and they would believe. The Jews were going to reject Him and oppose His faith, the Gentiles would welcome it and have belief.
 
Now the words Christ spoke and Nephi’s record preserved were from “the Father.”  Christ’s explanation of these prophecies originate with His Father.
 
Gentiles will believe. Moreover, the “house of Israel” will not believe in Him. The result of that acceptance and rejection is the juxtaposition of the roles of Gentiles and Israel.
 
Whereas, the Gospel came to the Jews first, and by the Jews it was transmitted to the Gentiles, later the opposite will occur. The pattern will reverse. It will go from the last back to the first.  (It is an historic chiasm.)
 
Accordingly, the Gentiles will be the ones to whom the restoration of the “fullness” will come in the latter day. The reward for earlier faithfulness is later recognition and reward.
 
Now, it should take no amount of brilliant insight to realize that the restoration involved Joseph Smith. A man of English descent. May have some Israelite blood in him from the earlier disaporia of the Lost Ten Tribes, but he is nevertheless the one through whom the restoration was brought. He is necessarily identified as a “Gentile” in this prophecy by Christ, given by the Father. If Joseph Smith is NOT a Gentile, then the whole promise of the Father and word of the Son is defeated. Therefore, you may know for a surety that the Gentiles are not those nasty non-members. It is US. WE are the Gentiles who receive the first offer in the last offering.
 
So it was that the Father determined and Christ taught that the Gentiles would be the ones to whom the Gospel message would first come in our day. Now we have it. (Or had it anyway.)
This movement from Israel to Gentile and from Gentile to Israel is evening the playing field. This is balancing out the record of history.  It is not that one is more favored than another. Rather it is that each one will have a suitable turn and opportunity to receive what the Lord offers. In the end, no people will be able to say the opportunities were unfair, unequal, or more challenging for one than for another. [I leave it to you to determine why that is so when lives come and go across generations and one dispensation may include different people than another.  It raises the question as to how certain we should be about some of our premises. That, however, is too far afield at the moment. And it may not matter anyway. Today is the day of salvation, not yesterday or tomorrow.  So we should confine ourselves to solving the problem we face at the moment.]
 
The promise is that the “fullness of these things” will come to the Gentiles. What things? What does it mean that the “fullness” will be coming to the Gentiles?  Have the Gentiles in fact received it?

If we received it, what have we done with it? Do we still have it? If not, how do I know that? What will happen if we have not retained that fullness?

 
Fortunately for us, Christ will answer all those questions as He moves along in the message He delivers here.

The talk

“A talk about the first three words spoken by the players in the Endowment”

This is the talk.  This is the talk referring to the King Follett Discourse and this is the talk discussing the pre-existence. If you have received this then you are good to go. If not, be patient – you will. Now go forth and read – and discuss.

CM