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!

13 thoughts on “3 Nephi 16: 8

  1. Denver said: 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.

    Wow, a possible type of the Gentile’s demise right before our faces.


  2. So, I like the readjustment in thinking about who is who. I used to think it was America who would lift themselves in pride above all other nations and be full of all manner of murders, whoredoms, and abominations. Are we to understand that it is more specifically LDS Church members who will fit this awful description? And at that time the Lord will mow them down except the few who will be spared and counted with Israel? Are we there already and these things are done by Church members in secret? The abominations I understand from your last post, but are we murdering, etc?

  3. After reading Alma 36:14, you will learn a new definition of Murder.
    “Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.”

    So that is a different way of looking into the word murder.

    Murder: according to Alma means “leading someone away unto destruction”…. Not the shedding of blood. Could we be guilty of ever leading anyone away unto destruction? Under Alma’s definition we might be guilty of “Murder”… by leading them astray or away from Christ to the reliance on the arm of flesh. I know that might sound extreme. But read again what Alma thought of his actions after he lead others away. He has inexpressible HORROR. (what if we are to lead someone away just one degree) or more likely.. Do we follow others/leaders who possibly might be leading us off by maybe even just 1 degree?

    Another word that we might not think we are guilty of: Whoredoms.

    From Websters 1828 dictionary the definition of whoredoms it: “the desertion of the worship of the true God, for the worship of idols. Unfaithfulness to God; idolatry.”

    So do we have idols today? We sure see enough of idols on television. Are we guilty of commiting whoredoms under this definition which is not necessary of a sexual nature?

    One last thought from another eye witness to our days, Nephi, who said that many false churches shall be built up in the last days—They shall teach false and vain and foolish doctrines—Apostasy shall abound because of false teachers. What is this false doctrine? What is the “murdering” or leading someone away unto destruction? What is this vain and foolish doctrine? What is this apostasy?

    THIS THE DEFINITION OF APOSTASY: Any doctrine that does NOT teach that salvation comes in and through CHRIST!

    If we believe that just our church attendance, our temple recommends, or our good works will save us.. than that is apostasy…

  4. The prophecy quoted by the Lord, in this Snuffer blog is found 5 places in scripture. I list them here for those who are interested. The original prophecy was given to Micah:

    Micah 5: 8 ¶ And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

    It is quoted or referred to 3 times by the Saviour in 3rd Nephi:

    3 Ne. 16: 15
    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 atread 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.

    3 Ne. 20: 16
    16 Then shall ye, who are a aremnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young blion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both ctreadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

    3 Ne. 21: 12 – And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

    And once in Mormon’s adress to us:

    Morm. 5: 24 Therefore, repent ye, and humble yourselves before him, lest he shall come out in justice against you—lest a aremnant of the seed of Jacob shall go forth among you as a blion, and tear you in pieces, and there is none to deliver.

    Can you even think of another prophecy Christ made twice, let alone 3 times. We have been warned.

  5. Thanks David, I agree 100%. That finished out the definition well enough for me, and now I believe the Gentiles spoken of in the Book of Mormon are in all instances the Latter-day Church. How full is the cup? is the next question. How to advise non-members in this context? is the next. Join, do as they say, but not as they do? I like Denver’s point in an earlier post comment that the only real reason to join is the doctrine. And I’d add, tell them to get all the ordinances they can, but don’t listen to what anyone ever says about them. Learn about their meanings yourself and close your ears to the cultural baggage. Even baptism. Away with stereotyped Mormons! Oh wait, wasn’t that Brigham Young who said that?

  6. “…and now I believe the Gentiles spoken of in the Book of Mormon are in all instances the Latter-day Church.”

    I think there’s wisdom in being a bit more judicious in our re-interpretation of scripture for ourselves. Because I gain a new understanding of the usage of Gentile in a few scriptures today doesn’t of necessity imply the views I held yesterday about the Book of Mormon are entirely useless, or utterly false. These scriptures (1 Ne 13:3-4, 10; 2 Ne. 10:9-11; 29:3-4; 30:2) among others, for example, clearly aren’t referring to LDS. We must understand in context. Denver is doing a marvelous job fixing a time frame for us to work within here in 3 Nephi that may not apply to the “Gentiles” among whom Nephi saw the “formation of a great church,” for instance.

    We’ve confused ourselves before in this manner when in the late 1800s the Saints absolutely insisted on pinning down one (and only one) personality for any given divine name title used by the brethren or found in the scriptures (be it Elohim, or Jehovah, or whatever). We got what we were aching for, and now we’re set and stubborn in our views of who’s who, with very little if any wiggle room. But at least we’re sure now.

  7. Folks, honestly the Emperor doesn’t have clothes fully on in this discussion. We are a Christian nation that is off by several degrees. Is the LDS church off by several degrees? Perhaps our expectations are not adequately set; we practice the basics year after year; we hear the same 52 lessons again and again, but the spirit still resides in my home daily, as well as the homes of many good LDS people. In that, we are not off even one degree and are not murderers.

    Moreover, the Gentiles referred to in 1 Nephi cannot possibly be the LDS because the LDS religion did not exist when American was being established. The whole of America, excepting those remnants are Gentiles.

    I’ve lived among devout non LDS Christians, and it is obvious that the belief in Jesus is nearly universal among Americans (Gentiles referred to in 1 Nephi). As a nation we are off many degrees. As LDS we teach the basics faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost. In the temple we teach all the laws of Holyness that enable us to become as Christ; to not adulterate gifts of Christ, and to know how to use our gifts and talents. Anyway, I don’t buy this discussion.

    I have knelt by the side of my bed each day since I was a child, and carry a prayer in my heart 24/7. I feel the spirit daily; I feel it as I study the scriptures; I have had numerous conversations with God; I feel his spirit strongly each and every general conference. I feel it leave when I offend it and come back to me when I repent. The idea that the church has gone to hell in a hand basket is utterly false. The idea that we have not gained the fullness of the gospel yet and that we labor under condemnation, is not false. Yet, like Sodom, the Lord is not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater for any people in this country or in this church who are earnestly striving to know Jesus Christ. That isn’t true in the least and is inconsistent with His nature and History.

    We are a Christian nation that is off several degrees, but as you review last General Conference talks you will see that by in large, speaker after speaker was not off by even a degree and none were murdering any remnants of Israel. Such thinking is utter nonsense.

  8. I’m still struggling to understand why we should view gentiles as essentially always a synonym for Latter-day Saints.

    The wo pronounced in this verse is to the “unbelieving of the Gentiles” [emphasis added].

    Using the classification scheme I outlined in my 2nd comment on the prior post (my attempt at sorting out who could possibly fall under the rubric of gentiles) this seems to me to be talking about at least groups D (gentiles who’ve declined the restored gospel), C2 (former members who’ve apostatized outright), C3 (members in the care-free all-is-well crowd), and B (non-Jews/Lamanites who haven’t had an opportunity to consider the restored gospel yet).

    It doesn’t make sense to me to read it as exclusively being group C (Latter-day Saints).

    Rather unbelieving could be a result of:

    1) Never having had an opportunity/exposure yet (group B, cf. also D&C 123:12);

    2) Apostasy (group C2);

    3) Light-mindedness (group C3, cf. D&C 84:54);

    4) Disinterest, rejection, or unbelief (group D).

    Only in the second & third groups (C2 & C3) are we talking about current or former Latter-day Saints.

    Plenty of non-LDS (groups B and D) “have come forth upon the face of this land” since 1492; it certainly isn’t exclusively Latter-day Saints who are responsible for the scatterings in the 15th century on.

    As I’ve said previously, I absolutely believe we are among those being forewarned and those potentially in peril. In this verse, at least, I can’t see us as being the sole people being warned–just an important subset.

  9. Why be unbelieving? Why not be believing? I hear good evidence and I believe it. It’s enough to plant the seed. If better evidence comes along, then I can plant that seed. I will nourish the new thoughts, and see if they grow. But why throw it out because of unbelief? So if I am not mistaken, there are people here who doubt the possibility that the Book of Mormon could be condemning our Church as a general rule (that is conservative, I said in all instances, but let’s keep it conservative and say its generally the case). IF that is what the Lord is saying, why throw out the possibility? Is it because you’d be forced to face the uncomfortable feelings of applying a narrow standard of judgment to the Lord? Maybe your standard of judgment needs to be expanded, because we all know He’s not unjust. Just a thought. I’m intending that to be helpful. Why after 200 years is the Lord not dwelling with us? Why does Elder Christofferson say in Conference we haven’t even started the path to Zion yet?

  10. That being said (my last comment), I do tend to use absolutes when I know there are exceptions. I’m sure context will prove that not all references to Gentiles will refer strictly to the Church, as Denver noted above (at one point the Church didn’t exist at the point the prophecies are talking about). But I do think the Lord doesn’t draw much of a distinction between the members and non-members. We are the Gentile nation. Church or not. And Church status has nothing to do with making a separate distinction with us (not any more, at least). We either accept the powers of heaven and become new creatures in the Holy Ghost (whether in the Church or out), being adopted into the House of Israel, or…well, we will keep reading a chapter about the other scenario. And for anyone who has a problem thinking someone out of the Church can become a new creature in the Holy Ghost, well, then most of our temple work would be in vain. Think that through before judging me. Sorry if I’m sounding like my feathers are ruffled. I’m a passionate fellow. I used to judge people that they were criticizing the Church when I should’ve been open to the possibility that they were merely echoing what wise men say in conference. At conference they entertain us with stories that help the medicine go down, but we are immune to the healing effects. It’s obvious we would crucify our wise leaders if they spoke any more plainly. Joseph Smith said that, not me. I believe a large group within our Church would crucify the Savior all over again if He were here. You hypocrites! How long can you vipers escape the wrath of hell? That’s not a reference to the humble followers of Christ in the Church, of course. I’m sorry their tender hearts have to even hear such a thing. Yes, Denver, I will weep for Zion, and for my own sins.

  11. Zang Family; I apologize if I was too abrupt. I do believe with all my heart the church is laboring under condemnation. I sat in President Benson’s Office face to face with him and he said as much. It was so disturbing to me that I read the Book of Mormon cover to cover every month seeking to understand why this was the case. However, I still receive proofs everyday that the Lord’s arm is extended to this people. I gave examples. He bears witness to my soul in Sacrament meetings, in General Conference, when I study my scriptures, when I teach the gospel each day to my children. My brother baptized the first 300 members of the church in Pakistan and I am the beneficiary of knowing how those things occurred. My neighbor reported from his mission Sunday where he served as a mission president. A powerful Spirit rested upon the congregation during his talk. he shared a story of two missionaries he assigned to open missionary work on a particular Island. He asked them to fast and to study carefully the story of Ammon and King Lamoni and to seek revelation concerning how they were to conduct missionary work on this Island. They became servants of the King on the Island, taking care of his lifestock, fences, fields, and so forth. The word went out that holy men were serving the King. The first five families were baptized just before my neighbor returned home and nearly all other people on the Island were receiving discussions. There are proofs galore that the Lord’s hand is still extended and that this people is striving to know the Lord. All I’m saying is that if this is so, and if we each do our part to help the church come out from condemnation, there are a lot of good folks giving their all to the cause of Zion. Never doubt it.

  12. Cool stories, JDS! Thanks for sharing! It sounds like most of that happened outside Gentile America? I always feel that people usually think more alike than words let on. But I still think we hold different perspectives on some points. No biggie.

  13. David,
    I appreciated your comments. I have always noticed Alma the Younger’s definition of murder, as being more than just a physical thing.

    How easy & common it is to be decieved to think we are righteous, while we actually lead others to destruction by our errant example, support or teachings.

Comments are closed.