1 Nephi 13: 31 – 32

1 Nephi 13: 31-32:

“Neither will he suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren. Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.”

The gentiles are limited in how far they may go. Although the covenant people will be smitten and afflicted, they will not be utterly destroyed. Diminished, broken to the dust, but not altogether lost. And, no matter what afflictions they may be called to endure, the Lord intends to give them this, their promised land.

A hopeful note sounds for the gentiles: The Lord will not let them “forever remain in that awful state of blindness” they are in when they arrive here. The Lord has commended the gentiles for coming to this land. They did so in response to the Spirit of God which “wrought” upon them. (1 Ne. 13: 13.) The gentiles came out of captivity and humbled themselves before God. (1 Ne. 13: 16.) The gentiles were given the “power of the Lord” because of their humility. (Id.)  In the preceding verse, the power of God was how they were delivered from their captivity. (1 Ne. 13: 30.) Despite all this, these gentiles are “in that awful state of blindness.”

How can the gentiles be both blessed to inherit all the Lord’s assistance and yet in an awful state of blindness?

What caused them to be blind?

If something is “plain” in the scriptures what must it include?

If something is “precious” in the scriptures what must it include?

If something both “plain” and “precious” has been removed, what has happened to the scriptures?

What does it mean to be blind? What does it mean to “stumble?”

What does it mean to cause plain and precious things “to be held back?”

Does any organization or group which “holds back” plain and precious things become part of that “abominable church?” Since “abominable” requires the use of religion to suppress truth or impose a false form of truth, can the definition of “abominable church” be limited to Historic Christianity? What about a modern church, even a restorationist church like the Community of Christ (formerly RLDS) which suppresses or abandons truth? If they “hold back” truth, do they join in the collective assembly of false religions called the “abominable church?” Even it they came through Joseph Smith and accept the Book of Mormon?

What are the “plain and most precious” parts of the Gospel, anyway? Would it have anything to do with knowing Christ? Since this is life eternal, to “know” Him, would it be a simple and plain, but most precious teaching to urge people to part the veil of unbelief and behold their Lord? (John 17: 3.)

Where do we hear that message preached today? I think when I find such a message taught, I will give heed to it.

Nephi’s vision of these events does inform us, does it not?

4 thoughts on “1 Nephi 13: 31 – 32

  1. How can the gentiles be both blessed to inherit all the Lord’s assistance and yet in an awful state of blindness?
    Isn’t this the same role that the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians played in helping the Children of Israel to remember the covenants that were made with their fathers?

    If something both “plain” and “precious” has been removed, what has happened to the scriptures? According to the Book of Mormon this involves the removal of covenants too (vs. 26). I believe that the process of receiving the Lord has been adulterated, so that it is hard to see and causes many to stumble, perhaps even in our current curriculum of the Church (dare I suggest?).

    Where do we hear that message preached today? Having just finished an extensive study of the Doctrine and Covenants, that message is taught very clearly. I am now seeing that it is being taught in the Book of Mormon clearly as well. Unfortunately some who have commentated on the scriptures have caused others to stumble because they have “complicated” them (May I even be as bold as to question some of the footnotes in those works too?). I don’t know if that makes sense or not…

    Example: Even though the scriptures state that a person was visited by the Lord, it is often explained away as they were simply receiving instruction from either an angel or receiving promptings from the Holy Ghost. A visit from the Lord has been “commentated” right out of our scriptures.

    As for myself, I have started to look more closely at the plain truths seeing what they are, plainly stated.

  2. So any church which suppresses or abandons truth may be part of the great and abominable church? Does that not cover every church?

  3. Are not the gentiles spoken of in verse 32 the pre-restoration gentiles? I see a definite chronology in this vision and the restoration of the gospel doesn’t take place until the end of verse 34 (which I assume is coming in an upcoming post).

    This is one reason I think its absolutely critical to determine what group of “gentiles” a prophet, or even a verse is talking about. In this case, we absolutely cannot be talking about the LDS gentile because the gospel has not yet been restored.

  4. Denver, did you notice you have 96 followers, the same number as a full quorum of Elders? That reminds me of your friends from the temple who were close to the number in a deacons quorum. Funny ironies :-)

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