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.

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?