“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: 14: “They 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.