3 Nephi 21: 26

3 Nephi 21: 26: 

“And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.” 

Christ reiterates again the work of the Father is only at its “commencement” when the fullness of the gentiles is completed. The gentile day ends, the message goes to the remnant, and then will the work “commence at that day.”

We think the work was underway when Joseph initiated it. In one respect it was. But Joseph never lived to locate the remnant, nor to deliver the Book of Mormon to them, nor to see them return to believe in and obtain a renewal of their covenant with Jesus Christ. It was one of his great priorities.  But Joseph was killed before the work advanced to the point which is called the “commencement” by the Lord in this prophecy.

The work of the Father consists in fulfilling covenants. His great latter-day work of bringing the return of the Gospel to the remnant, who had the promise, used Joseph Smith and the gentiles to lay a foundation.The work of the covenant, however, will commence when the gentiles hand off the restored truths, the record of the fathers, and the reminder of what great things are promised, to the remnant.

The work of the Father, once it commences, is not limited to restoring the remnant to their former status. It reaches to all those who had been “led away out of Jerusalem.” Therefore, all of those tribes who are “lost” to us, but are not lost to the Father, will be brought back and restored to the Lord.

This restoration of the lost tribes and return of the covenant is a subject Isaiah wrote and rejoiced about. I do not intend to take that detour in this post, but if you read Isaiah (particularly those portions quoted by Nephi), you will see how great a focus this final restoration has been.

We call our time the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time, because our time is leading to that return to fullness. However, in one sense Joseph Smith was much like the Protestant fathers who laid a groundwork for a greater, further return of light. They did not see the full return. We might.

From the time of Joseph Smith until now, however, we have neglected or forgotten a great deal of what Joseph was given.  There are doctrines we circulate today that are incomplete or misleading. We have not been diligent, and as a result our conferences, meetings, associations and discussions continue to be too low, too vulgar, too condescending from what we were called to receive.

How few or many of us will be permitted to participate in the on going process of the Restoration remains to be seen.  However, when the fullness returns, those who become the heirs will look back on the era of the Latter-day Saints with much the same reaction as we look back on the Jewish era in which Christ lived. They will be astonished at the great principles of truth we discarded, neglected or ignored. They will wonder in astonishment at our groveling to gain acceptance from a doomed and ignorant religious tradition calling itself “Christianity.” They will find it utterly incomprehensible that we argued we should be regarded as one of them, rather than proclaiming their doctrines are the commandments of men, having a form of godliness but lacking any power.  They will wonder why we would trade the power of God for acceptance and popularity; particularly when we were told that pandering for popularity is at the heart of priestcraft. Why, they will ask, did the Latter-day Saints invest tithing in opinion polling and focus group testing to insure the language and opinions of doomed Babylon were employed in declaring what little we kept of the restored Gospel? Our failure will be clear to them, although we find it quite opaque. We still think we’re approved by the Lord, even though our condemnation is set out in scripture.

The work of the Father will commence in the future. What is underway at present cannot be what was intended to bring the return of the Lord’s Zion because we have neglected the ordinances, forgotten the teachings, and drifted into a “feel good” sentimentality which suggests that all of us are likely to be exalted. Using a gambling term to capture the grave risks we take, Deseret Book proclaims: “Odds Are, You’re Going To Be Exalted”–while they risk damning all those who are willing to gamble with them on such foolish, vain and untrue notions.  Nephi condemned that foolish idea long ago in a book which, if we kept its principles, would have spared us from our current plight.  (2 Nephi 28: 8.)

11 thoughts on “3 Nephi 21: 26

  1. How soon?

    I suspect a “trigger” to the commencement you speak of will be apostasy.

    We’ve lived with the lesser portion of the Book of Mormon for nearly 200 years…. and for the most part neglected it as you rightly observe. I hope and pray that we will yet see the greater (sealed) portion. … Looks bleak given our neglect.

  2. Suggestion please….if I am new to this blog spot, should I just jump right in where you are, or do I need to go back and read everything else first. Seems like a daunting task since there is so much information here. Thanks.

  3. There are many reports from China and Mongolia that new members of the church from those areas who receive their patriarchal blessing are being told they are from the tribe of Asher, Dan , Napthali, Gad, Issachar, etc.

    Does this indicate that the work of the Father has commenced among “the tribes which have been lost(?)”

    If so, it must also mean that the gosple has been preached among the remnant in the Americas.

    Does anyone know of any tribe of Native Americans that has received the ordinances of the gospel in any number? Is there any tribe or group of Native Americans who are conspicuous by their good works, or Christ-like lives?

    Should we expect them to be conspicuously righteous?

  4. Do the Polynesian fall into the “remnant” category? if so, Tonga is listed as having 32% of their population as members of the Church, and Samoa & American Samoa both with 25% of their population as members. I also think it is interesting that in Independence is a nearly a whole ward of Samoan people. Their grandfather moved them all there in 30 years or so ago. Apparently he was inspired that his family were to be part of the building of the New Jerusalem. They are happy to be there striving to live the gospel and waiting until the day they can fulfill their grandfather’s vision.

    I also have watched in awe the Hopi tribe, and their vision of the events to unfold in this country. Many of the signs of their prophecies have already been fulfilled.

    I love the Native American people–been involved with the Indian placement program for years as a girl growing up, and still keep in contact with my Indian sister. My heart breaks for them as I have seen first hand the horrors and tragedy that many have had to endure because of the broken treaties and unfair treatment handed to them by the Gentiles. Now there are so many who are “slaves” to the government welfare life forced upon them, they don’t know how, or can’t get out of it.

    These blog posts by Denver have renewed my feelings for the Lord’s people even more, and I can help but ask the question, are we to assist them in coming out of their plight? Will it “just happen” when the Lord is ready? And for sure I want to be among the righteous assisting them (instead of being trodden under) when the time comes.

  5. The “feel good” “tickle the ears” conference talks have replaced substantive doctrinal content for some years now. There are yet a few substantive talks here and there. However, I feel that to prepare a people to redeem a land for the building of a temple and a city, we need to get serious about this project and abandon the “feel good” sentimentality mentioned. By the way, what ordinances are being neglected? sc

  6. The “feel good” “tickle the ears” conference talks have been standard fare for too many years. There are exceptions duly noted however. But I feel that if we are ever going to prepare a people to redeem a land and build a city and a temple, we must get serious about the project and abandon the so called “feel good” sentimentality spoken of. We need a return to the substantive doctrine taught in the B of M and we need it soon as the hour is late. By the way, what are the ordinances being neglected ? sc

  7. Gordon: I have read that around 90% of the Hopi had joined the church, but only 10% remain because they did not like what they saw.

    samc: look into fulness of priesthood, 2nd anointing (ordained a K&P or Q&P, and a greater ordinance that is the 2nd portion of the 2A that Denver has made mention of lightly). So much knowledge, so much beauty, so much we should have maintained and taught. Father just wants us to get this world living the things He does. He keeps trying, we keep failing, at least as a majority.

  8. DS said: “never lived to locate the remnant”

    How do we know this for sure? Just because it’s not known or recorded by us doesn’t make it so.

    Joseph once was told to go and take lamanite (indian) plural wives in “this land”… what if he had offspring there too (which is the purpose of marriage to raise up righeous seed to God)? We don’t know this either, but just a thought.

  9. I’ve been out of town for a few days and so am getting caught up right now, and I don’t know if you guys who wrote the above comments will even see this, but here goes.

    Gordon, you asked: “Does anyone know of any tribe of Native Americans that has received the ordinances of the gospel in any number? Is there any tribe or group of Native Americans who are conspicuous by their good works, or Christ-like lives?”

    Yes! Look at this! This is so exciting that I can hardly stand it! In the 1960’s when Ecuador was first opened to the preaching of the Gospel, an indigenous Quichua man came up to the missionaries on the street in Otavalo and said, “Moroni told me that you have a book for me. Where is it?” They taught him and his entire Quichua tribe in that city joined the Church. Otavalo is a mostly indigenous city/town. He’s now the stake patriarch of the Quichua-speaking stake, (or he was when my friend lived in Ecuador a few years ago). There are 3 stakes there. The Quichua-speaking stake has almost 100% activity, while the Spanish-speaking stakes struggle.

    When President Hinckley dedicated the Ecuador Temple in 1999, he said that the Quichua people are pure descendants of Lehi. The article at this link: http://ethnography.suite101.com/article.cfm/quichua_pequichua_people_of_ecuador

    “…the Quichua people are the largest of any Indian group on the American continent in the world today. Their population numbers around 2.5 million.”

    In another place in the article it says “12.5 million”, so I’m not sure which number is correct and which one is a typo.

    This is my opinion: The work of the Father HAS commenced. The return of the Lost Tribes has already begun, as we see from what Gordon said above – “There are many reports from China and Mongolia that new members of the church from those areas who receive their patriarchal blessing are being told they are from the tribe of Asher, Dan , Napthali, Gad, Issachar, etc.”

    I believe things will get much bigger and there will be a transformation within the Church as the United States moves into socialism, martial law, chaos, and war.

    Clearly, the Quicha of Ecuador are part of THE Remnant. Also, the Philippines has one of the largest LDS populations in the world and is one of the top countries in % of the country being LDS. They seem to be an indigenous mix.

  10. it seems clear to me that the Hopi are indeed part of THE Remnant. Hugh Nibley said (but I can’t find the quote right now) that the Hopi say they know the Mormons have the true Gospel, but they are waiting for us to live it.

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