3 Nephi 21: 12-14

3 Nephi 21: 12-14

“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. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off.  Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots;”
Notice again the distinction between the gentiles and the remnant.
The “remnant” will behave in a way which will “tread down and tear in pieces” the gentiles. As they do this, “none can deliver” the gentiles.
Unlike the previous slaughter of the remnant by the gentiles, this time it is the gentiles who are slaughtered at the hands of the remnant. Those who are “enemies” to the remnant will all be “cut off.” What does “cut off” mean?
The woes of that coming time can all be avoided by the gentiles – predicated upon their willingness to “repent.” So we return again to the recurring question of what it means to “repent?” How can “repentance” be the only means by which the gentiles survive the slaughter? What is it about gentile repentance that spares them from the wrath that is to be otherwise poured out upon them?
What symbol comes to mind when you think of “horses?” What does cutting out the horses symbolize?
Does the symbol of the “horses” and the symbol of the “chariots” go together? That is, does cutting out the horses and destroying the chariots express a single thought? If it does, what do the horses and chariots symbolize? How vulnerable is the American military might to destruction? What effect would symbolically destroying the horses and chariots of the American population have?
If the United States is to be engulfed in domestic violence, will it continue to have foreign military influence? Economic influence? Social and cultural influence?
Assuming the gentile population is swept away, trodden under foot and torn in pieces, what culture and social influence will remain?
What symbol does the lion among the beasts of the forest suggest? The young lion among the sheep? What is the difference between the beasts of the forest and the sheep? If both beasts and sheep are gentiles, then are the beasts different than the sheep? What sort of person called a gentile “beast” will be swept away? What kind of person called a gentile “sheep” will be torn in pieces? Why would both gentile beasts and gentile sheep need to “repent?” Does repentance of a “beast” and repentance of “sheep” take the same form?  Why would both need repentance when they are so remarkably different in symbol? Is it enough alone to be a gentile sheep?
What message is being sent by this warning?

11 thoughts on “3 Nephi 21: 12-14

  1. I think D&C 33 might help answer some of these questions:

    2 For verily, verily, I say unto you that ye are called to lift up your voices as with the sound of a trump, to declare my gospel unto a crooked and perverse generation.
    3 For behold, the field is white already to harvest; and it is the eleventh hour, and the last time that I shall call laborers into my vineyard.
    4 And my vineyard has become corrupted every whit; and there is none which doeth good save it be a few; and they err in many instances because of priestcrafts, all having corrupt minds.
    5 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this church have I established and called forth out of the wilderness.
    6 And even so will I gather mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, even as many as will believe in me, and hearken unto my voice.
    7 Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that the field is white already to harvest; wherefore, thrust in your sickles, and reap with all your might, mind, and strength.
    10 Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;
    11 Yea, repent and be baptized, every one of you, for a remission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.
    12 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and remember that they shall have faith in me or they can in nowise be saved

    Also, could “cut off” have anything to do with pruning of the vineyard? In order to make the production the best it can be, you have to trim the branches that add cumbersome weight into the tree, the fruit that is not growing well, and the suckers that grow quickly but are useless to the harvest. All of these were at one time part of the tree before they are cut off.


  2. Are we reading the same verse and remembering the same blogs for the past several weeks? Snuffer has been identifying for us the Gentiles (our church – us) that are going to be torn apart by the remnant (Lamanites) as a cleansing in preparation for Zion – Only repentance by the Gentiles can save them (us) from what he is describing in today’s blog if I am reading it right. WE are being called to repentance – the kind of repentance that will lead us to Christ and the Church of the Firstborn – anything less cannot be Zion or Pure in Heart. I have to ask myself – WHERE AM I – I am not “There” I know that much!

  3. J- I’m not sure if you’re referring to my comment or not. But it’s true that it’s about declaring repentance, not necessarily about receiving it. My point is this: the scripture talks about those who seem to be trying but still err, and those who just plain don’t do good. Does that correspond with the beasts and the lambs? Both need repentance, and why? Because they have corrupt minds. It then talks about the Church of the Firstborn. From the Gathered to the Gatherers.

    I still struggle with the symbolism of the lion and the young lion. The lion can represent the House of David. Also, Daniel talks about the lion as one of the 4 beasts representing kingdoms of the earth, but there, the animals are being stripped of power, so it doesn’t seem to match.

    I did find, in a fairly recent Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual this:
    “What does this image suggest about the strength and power of the Lord’s work? (Just as a flock of sheep have no power to stop a young lion, no power on earth will be able to hinder the work of the Lord.)
    Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, p.162
    In 1842 the Prophet Joseph Smith declared, “No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done”

    Not sure that is the correct interpretation either, in this context.


  4. Doug
    All of your quotes and points are applicable in the context that they appear in and would definitely be appropriate for us in any Gospel Doctrine Class. My purpose in following Denver’s blogs is to ferret out what the Lord and Denver are specifically speaking of in these specific scriptures where the Lord Himself is quoting them to the Nephite people abou their seed. The remnant is THEIR remnant (Lamanites)and how it applies to them in THIS day. I am trying to figure out exactly where Denver is coming from and where he is going with his line of questions – I am trying to understand HIS questions and how the LORD meant them. I am finding I have to take what he has been saying repeatedly in ear lier blogs – in different ways – about these two specific groups. How was he using ‘repentance’ in the last couple of blogs? I have MANY questions I wish I could get to him personally and have him explain.
    What does seem obvious is the Gentiles Christ is calling to repentance are the members of the Gentile LDS Church because they are only accepting a ‘portion of his word’ rather than the fullness they are being offered – this is their condemnation – and the result of their doing what the children of Israel did with Moses – i.e., saying “Moses you go get revelation and come and tell us” rather than seeking to repent sufficiently to receive it for themselves (sort of like that anyway). THAT is our repentance – to seek the Lord and not the Prophets words only. That’s the higher ‘way’. O Well!

  5. Thanks, J…
    I hear you about finding the fullness. The broad definition of the Gospel Doctrine quote was given so we could see what the Church correlation dept. thinks the meaning is. But admittedly, that viewpoint tastes pretty bland to me…unlike so much of the feast we’ve had lately.

    McKay had an excellent insight to the lions among sheep and beasts on the 3 Ne 21:10-11 found here.


  6. J, I guess thats why things are the way they are… so the Lord can polish a few to be gatherers in that great day. What if their isn’t enough? Few there be…

  7. Here is one suggestion of the type of repentance needed for this subject material: If the root idea behind repentance is a change in heart and mind about a subject, brought about by the reception of more light and truth than you had previously….

    And, if our perspective towards the Native Americans (and/or whoever the remnant people are) and ourselves as members of the Church placed us in a position superior to them previously…

    Then repentance would be a full realization that we are guests in the Church, which doesn’t belong to us, and that the true owners of the Church aren’t welcome because we have put them out of doors, and make them uncomfortable in their own house (read Hugh Nibley’s documenting of the Native American’s gradual rejection of the increasingly Babylonian Saints). And, if we want to maintain a place in the house, we must humble ourselves to the dust and exalt the Native Americans (and/or whoever the remnant people are) to their true status as possessors of the Church and the land, using the Book of Mormon as a peace offering to ask that they don’t mow us down with the non-repentant. Maybe we could offer them some of our precious food storage, too, to be let in as slaves if need be. We should be at their mercy, not they at ours. They might surprise us with their benevolence.

    Is not this the lesson of Ammon, who left others to tend to the Church and went to the Lamanites, after he had repented of wickedness in the form of false worship within the Church — “Nay, I will be thy servant” he tells them.

    Should we not go to them with the idea of making them autonomous, and not subject to our leaders? So they have their own prophets?

    Or can we continue to make ourselves false priests, using the authority to perform ordinances as a tool of oppression? We are glorified record keepers — scribes and pharisees. The spirituality that we document we are jealous of, and we keep people from entering in the gate, or shove them out the back door so quickly, or make them three-fold the child of hell that we are sometimes. This is not speaking of all, but many.

    Truly, what will it take to dwell safely with these lions when they are unleashed? Have we considered the humility we need? Do we think the right to bear arms will help us?

  8. Chariots and horses seem to represent our modern-day transportation. Chariots and horses were a way to move and trade in older times. If our ability today to transport goods and move around were stopped or curtailed, it would have huge ramifications, since we are so dependent on this system for our food, economy, etc. The upheaval it would cause and riots that would occur, if in some way our way of existing was changed, is not fun to think about. Food storage would definitely come in handy. What would or could destroy our chariots could be a number of possibilities. It would definitly be helpful to be close to the Lord.-

  9. Brian Zang,

    Great comment. Do you mind providing the Nibley reference for the Native American’s gradual rejection? I would love to read more on that.

    This discussion certainly has parallels of Rameumpton, doesn’t it? Let’s stand on a tower, where only one can be on the top (person and group) and cast out all the others who don’t fit the stereotype. Hmmm.

  10. I’m not sure if this is the specific Nibley reference that Brian Z. alluded to, but Promised Lands (chapter 4 in Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints) is definitely worth reading. Here are three snippets:

    As they see all things as a whole, all joined in a single divine pattern, like a great sand painting, so they feel that all who share a common life should act together. I have often heard them say that when they join the Church, it will be all together–as soon as we set them the example.” [CWHN 13:81]

    The ancient doctrine of the Two Ways is a lively one with the Hopis. A thing is either Hopi or Ka-Hopi. When I first went there they spoke of three ways, those of the Hopi, the Pahana, and the Momona–the Mormons, which in the early days were manifestly not typically Pahana, who in fact were constantly denouncing them to the Indians. But one of the best Indian men I know told me very recently that the Indians no longer consider the Mormons their friends. And it is not hard to understand why. There is a bitter joke among the Navajo today: ‘What is the Peabody Corporation?’ Answer, ‘A bunch of Mormon lawyers getting rich.’” [CWHN 13:92]

    With increasing interest in the Indians and a considerable growing literature on the subject, the Mormons are regularly given a black eye in books and articles–a black eye which they would not deserve if they would only pay a little more attention to their scriptures. There is one common ground, one common need, between us and them, and it is the Book of Mormon.” [CWHN 13:93]

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