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.”

8 thoughts on “3 Nephi 21: 1

  1. If you want to have a place there, do your connections in a church, organization, fraternity, fellowship, quorum or brotherhood matter?

    Phrased this way it reminds me of all the petty politicking in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice where most of the characters [especially the mother] are constantly scheming how they can advance their social standing by means of advantageous marriage connections. :)

    Who you know, who you are related to, who you once lived near, whose class you took at BYU, who your EQ president is, where you served your mission, whose blog you read, none of these things matter.

    (Though clearly all of the above “connections” can influence us–for good or for ill.)

    If not, what association alone will allow you to participate? How important is the ‘testimony of Jesus?‘”

    The association with the Holy Spirit and Heaven.

    The “testimony of Jesus” is paramount. Of the 7 (by my count) phases of progression [I don’t dare say “steps”] outlined in D&C 76:51-54 “receiving the testimony of Jesus” comes first, followed by “belief on his name” followed by “baptism”.

    Joseph Smith did teach that divine authority was necessary to make the ordinances valid:

    “Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on the earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none others will be acknowledged either by God or angels.” (TPJS, 274).

    So my membership in a Church which has administrators legally authorized to baptize does make a difference. But my baptism received at the hands of a legal administrator is only effective for me (and then only if I live worthy of it afterward). My baptism isn’t valid for you, or for my friends or coworkers or my 2nd cousin’s best-friend’s neighbor, the guys I go bowling with, or the people who read my comments on the Internet, etc.

  2. I believe that it is those who have been so valiant in the ‘testimony of Jesus’ & the gospel he has taught, that they have received the “Holy Spirit of Promise” over their marriage, which is the assurance that their marriage will go on forever because they have ‘the Pure Love of Christ’ for their spouse.

    Only ‘one spouse’ need have this pure love to gain this assurance & promise about their marriage. For usually only one is righteous in a marriage in this life, & the other must repent after this life. But one spouse’s love can save their spouse & marriage for eternity. That is the power of Christ’s True Love.

    Elder Holland said it was this ‘True Love’ that Christ had for us & that he (Christ) hoped we would have for each other. His Atonement was not only a gift but also ‘an example’ of how we can also sacrifice & give our life to save our loved ones.

    Exaltation is a ‘couple thing’. We will never receive it unless our spouse helps us to achieve it & we help them receive it, til we get there together. We cannot do it alone, the ‘righteousness’ or even the ‘wickedness’ of a spouse can help us become truely Christ-like & worthy of Exaltation.

    If we ever leave our spouse behind thinking they will never make it & we go on to seek Exaltation & to save ourselves, we lose the promise of it.

    We are commanded to have True Love for our spouse & put their happiness & welfare above our own. As we seek to save them, no matter what it takes, we save ourselves.

    ‘The True Love of Christ’ is the hardest thing we will ever acquire, for it’s the greatest & most powerful thing in the Universe & the foundation of everything in the Gospel. ‘True Love’ is the Gospel.

    Yet ‘True Love’ is something most all members don’t even believe in having. It is very rare today to find someone who’s spouse means more to them than their life, even if that spouse is unrighteous.

  3. “A man filled with the love of God is not content to bless his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.” -Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:226–27

  4. Contrary to what you’ve heard all your life about “signs,” they are and always have been part of the true Gospel.

    I think an “unbelief” that many of us have is that all signs from God are grand and mysterious. That may be the case for us collectively. Yet, in our quest for personal progression, we often overlook the subtle things that whisper truth that we are on the right path, like Gideon and the dew on the fleece. I think that if we are in tune with the Spirit, we can notice them everywhere. It may be a simple word someone says, or an idea associated with a scripture, or even silence in response to a request.

    Alma 30:44
    …all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.”


  5. Anonymous: I have read what you wrote a couple of times. Is this something that has been given to you by the Lord for your own under-standing – or is there another source. It is something that I myself have believed for some time and hung onto like a life-line.
    Thanks for your witness

  6. J.,
    I have learned most of these things from the Spirit, but then later was shown where Prophet after Prophet has taught these things. I have many different references for these doctrines. If you would like some I would be happy to share them with you.

    Thank you so much for sharing your feelings. These things surely are a lifeline for those who understand it & realize the promises & truely want the blessings. As Joseph Smith said, It’s the most comforting (wonderful) doctrine ever taught.

  7. Anonymous
    Could you list a few at least on this comment site? I would really appreciate receiving them. Would just as soon not send my e-mail out unless necessary, at least a this point in time.
    Thank you for your willingness to share.

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