“Verily, verily, I say unto you, thus hath the Father commanded me—that I should give unto this people this land for their inheritance.”
As a result of the their behavior, the Gentiles forfeit the land. The ones who inherit the land will be “this people” or the ones to whom Christ was speaking. The land will belong to the remnant – those who were standing before Christ at the time of this address.
Now, the actual inheritors will not be those people, but those who claim the right as descendants through their fathers. It will not, and cannot be the Gentiles. There were no European migrants in the audience when Christ spoke on this occasion.
We need to know who “this people” is to know who will inherit the land.
We also need to know what “this land” was to be able to know if the Gentiles who inherited the “land of liberty” (2 Nephi 10: 11) which would “never fall into captivity except for wickedness” was North America (2 Nephi 1: 6-11). Hence the relevance of knowing the location of the Book of Mormon lands.
That is such a side-track that I hesitate to even revisit the subject. I will only add that there are arguments for both North American and Central America. I think the better argument is for North America.
The various possessors of the land all have the same condition: They either follow Christ as they occupy the ground or they are swept away and others who will follow Christ will supplant them.
This was established by covenant with Lehi generations before Christ visited with and taught Lehi’s descendants. Lehi recorded the covenant:
“Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever. But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them. Yea, he will bring other nations unto them, and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten.” (2 Nephi 1: 9-11.)
Christ’s words dovetail with the covenant made with Lehi. The same Lord announcing them both. That condition and lease of this land remains conditional. Keep the conditions and you may be preserved to inherit the land and be numbered with the house of Israel. Violate them and be swept away.
So we see that the times of the Gentiles, as they end, become quite perilous for the Gentiles upon the land. They will forfeit their hold, however improbable it may seem to them at the present. Christ’s Father has declared it so. Who, then, can disannul?
The many confident assurances of God’s favor we have do give us comfort, don’t they? They are either true and right, and we have little to fear. Or they are among the abominations that allow foolish, vain and false notions lull us to sleep. The difference between those two propositions is quite alarming. I hate it when we have to make hard choices.