3 Nephi 20: 17-19

3 Nephi 20: 17-19:

“Thy hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.  And I will gather my people together as a man gathereth his sheaves into the floor.  For I will make my people with whom the Father hath covenanted, yea, I will make thy horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass. And thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. And behold, I am he who doeth it.”

The remnant will be the instruments of Divine retribution against the gentiles. It will be the remnant’s “hand” which “shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries.” And it will be “all [the remnant’s] enemies [which] shall be cut off.” So, who will be the remnant’s “adversaries?” Who will be their “enemies?”

The Lord promises to “gather my people together” –and the only ones He has called His people are the Nephite audience, never the gentiles. (See 3 Nephi 16: 8-9; 3 Nephi 20: 15, 27; 3 Nephi 21: 2.) The Lord’s people to be gathered, the promised inheritors of the land, the chosen and covenant people are the remnant. This prophecy is about them. The gentiles are only included to the extent that a few of them will repent. (3 Nephi 16: 13; 3 Nephi 21: 6.)
The “sheaves into the floor” is a harvest image. It is an end-of-times view, because it involves harvest time. “Gathering the sheaves into the floor” is a reference to latter-day Zion, where a group is first “gathered” before the burning of the fields that always follows.
Again the Lord calls the remnant “my people” while clarifying that His people are those “with whom the Father hath covenanted.” To covenant with the Father is to receive a Father. The Father does not covenant with strangers. His covenants are with His household. So this is the Family of God.
The “iron horn” and the “brass hoofs” are also symbolic images. What does a “horn” represent? In the context of judgment, does the “horn” hold additional meaning? Why is the horn said to be “iron?” What do the hoofs represent? In the context of judgment do the “hoofs” have additional meaning? Why are they “brass?” How stern and unrelenting will the judgment be? How complete will it become for the “people” to be “beat in pieces?” How terrible will the pouring out of judgment become?
Why would judgment be so severe upon a people who claim to be godly? Think about the introduction to Joseph Smith at the time the restoration of all things was offered. (JS-H 1: 19.) Compare that to the statement made by the mortal Christ when the Pharisees were confronting Him about violating the rituals and practices of the religious hierarchy at the time. (Mark 7: 5-9.) Christ offered them the fullness of His Gospel and they rejected it. The judgment which followed was unlike anything that went before.  Christ warned them it would be so. (Matt. 24: 21.)  Nevertheless, they refused to accept the fullness offered them, continued on in their religious traditions, and were besieged by Roman legions and slain en masse. The account from Josephus is difficult and shocking to read. Mothers cannibalizing their infants to satiate their hunger pains. It is as if hell itself opened upon Jerusalem.
Rejection of the fullness of Christ’s Gospel carries terrible consequences. We have seen it before. And, when it was rejected before, it was done in preference to traditions from men. The arm of flesh and a religion multiplied the commandments of men until every aspect of life was controlled by religion. How one dressed, what they ate, how they observed the Sabbath, what things were considered clean and unclean, how to appear in public in order to conform to the right look, vocabulary and conduct. These were very religious people. I’ve discussed them in Come, Let Us Adore Him. I assume you’re familiar with that.
Thank goodness we are not like them. We have the fullness, don’t we? We are safe and in the right path and none can molest us or make us afraid. For we are the chosen people.
Well those other people (not us) who rejected the fullness of the Gospel, those are the ones who will be broken into pieces. Then their “gain” and their “substance” will be consecrated to the Lord. So they will live the law of consecration after all! Only it will be postmortem. That is, once killed, the Lord can use their gain and substance to provide for His people.
Lest any forget the author and finisher of our faith, He speaks to us anew to remind us who is responsible for these deeds: “And behold, I am he who doeth it.”

The Lord is, after all, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. When He invites us in meekness to come to Him, we should realize that failure to come risks the judgments that have always been terrible to bear. Those Old Testament events we have a difficult time associating with Christ will become associated with Christ again. Just as His New Testament judgments were His and terrible to behold. He is the same. We should expect that when the time ends and we have not met our appointment, we actually do risk rejection and judgment.

14 thoughts on “3 Nephi 20: 17-19

  1. Peaked my curiosity so I looked up the following:

    Metaphor is that of a bull or ox.

    “Oxen are established types for Israel and represent power, patience, and sacrifice, as well as Christ or deity. Bulls also suggest images of royalty, divinity, power, sacrifice, atonement, and Jehovah.”
    Lost Language of Symbolism, Alonzo Gaskill, pg.257


    “In scripture horns are used as symbols of power and strength, whether good or evil…, Paraphrasing the book of Micah, Christ promises the Nephites that through their faithfulness he will “make their horn iron” (3 Nephi 20:19), implying that they will be invincible.”
    “Lost Language of Symbolism”, Gaskill, pgs. 49-50

    “Moses declared that the reason these animals were clean and acceptable was that they chewed the cud and had cloven hooves (See Leviticus 11:3; Deuteronomy 14:6). Cud chewing as mentioned previously, was a symbol for those who meditated again and again upon the words of Christ, who continually studied and pondered the scriptures and teachings of the prophets, looking for increased understanding of the divine will. Paul’s missionary companion Barnabas wrote that cud chewing symbolized pondering and acknowledging one’s God and one’s dependence on him. Philo of Alexandria indicated that the cloven hoof symbolized that everything has its opposite and that there are always two paths, one leading to vice and the other to virtue…,”
    “Lost Language of Symbolism”, Gaskill, pgs. 257-258


    “Brass or copper, is generally taken to represent judgment; for brass is that which can stand fire.”
    “Lost Language of Symbolism”, Gaskill, pg.91

  2. Gaskill also authored the book, “Odds Are You’re Going to be Exalted.”

    I’m just sayin’…..

  3. This recent series of posts and comments reminded me of something my mother taught me as a child. She taught me that the flood was the baptism of the Earth by water and that the Millennium will be immediately preceded by the baptism of the Earth by fire and by the Holy Ghost. She also taught that in both cases, only those that follow the Spirit and the Lord’s chosen prophet have the ability to survive either baptism. She also taught that I should always live today as if the baptism by fire would happen tomorrow so that I would always be ready and worthy. She is a wise woman. I credit her for most of my learned gospel knowledge and I credit my father for the dedication to keep improving and doing better than before.

  4. Anonymous @10:28. Yeah, and Gaskill is also a darn nice guy whether or not his books are accepted here. I’ve spent a fair amount of time corresponding with him (not related to his books, but to a family issue which we both shared). He took all the time in the world to try and help someone who was a stranger to him.

  5. In response to Denver’s post:

    Acts 2:37 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

    About Gaskill: The Symbols book is amazing. But there is a difference when a scholar writes a work that is a dictionary (doesn’t have to put his own opinions in them much) versus branching out and writing his own opinion (odds are, he’s wrong on that opinion). I’d still highly recommend the symbology book, though. It is almost an essential work to have in one’s library.

    Now, someone filled with the spirit of prophesy on the other hand…their opinions are not their own.

  6. OK, so I’m going to throw another Remnant possibility into the mix. Has anyone ever considered the possibility that Lehi’s “remnant,” are among the Asians, possibly even the Chinese?

    Odd question, I’m sure, but I have had this theory swimming around in my brain for a number of years, that some of Lehi’s descendants not only made it to the Polynesian Islands, but all the way to SE Asia, and places farther north.

    There are several reasons why I think this might be a possibility, but it also might answer the DNA dilemma. Especially since the Haplogroup X that was found up in Siberia were late arrivals, and appeared to come up from SE Asia. So when we say that the Native Americans have Asian DNA, it might actually be the case that the Asians have Native America DNA.

    There is some evidence that the earliest Asians were Caucasians, (as were the mummies that were found in Western China) and that what we think of as Asian is a later group that came in. A relative by marriage is a Filipina. Her lineage is Manasseh. Hmmmm. Certainly they COULD have come East from the Middle East, but they COULD have made it the other direction, also. They certainly had plenty of time.

    It is interesting that the Chinese are fascinated by all things BYU. I have that on authority of a Chinese National living and working over here. I couldn’t escape the feeling as I watched the Chinese Olympics that those are our lost brethren; not to mention a formidable force to be reckoned with.

    I can’t quite picture today’s N/A tribes being any kind of a threat to the gentiles unless they bring in a LOT of reinforcements. That certainly COULD involve the Hispanics, but where I live, the Hispanics and Natives absolutely hate each other.

    There are a number of LDS that have had dreams about a future Chinese invasion of the Western US. What if THAT is the remnant invading? That could certainly get ugly, couldn’t it. Kind of puts a different light on things. I just throw that out there to be trounced upon:-).

  7. I felt like I should add an addendum to my last comments:

    My ex-spouse is part NA. His 1st cousin who has a lot more NA blood of mixed tribes; is a leader in the white business community where he lives, and also a tribal leader.

    He has gone on record in the local newspaper that he foresees in dreams a future war between the Natives and whites that he will be involved with (on the side of the Natives). He is not LDS: He was raised Catholic, but I don’t know if he is a practicing Catholic.

  8. It seems repentence is in order but is repentence that is motivated by fear ever real and lasting? Does not real repentence have to be about going toward something better vs runing away from something awful?
    This is scary stuff or it scares me anyway but I have been afraid of the consequences of my sins most of my life and it has motivated me to try and do better but it has never brought about a lasting change. Perhaps some of us (like me) need to suffer through horrors such as described here before we are humble enough to have that mighty change of heart that is required.

  9. Interesting thoughts on the Chinese… I’ve wondered how they play into everything… what’s their story, etc.? I’ve also heard of the western Chinese invasion “prophecy” too. (Have no reference on that.)

    I also wonder about the Muslim countries… desert blossoming as a rose… the whole oil thing since what, the 30s? Giving them a tremendous amount of power… I don’t see the power to tread/rend unless the people have money. Lots of it. I don’t see the NA casinoes quite measuring up.

    Just tossing out more thoughts…

  10. In our recent stake/regional conference, President Packer asked us to think about what “father” ment…. and suggested that when we better knew what “father” ment we would be well along on our own journey to meet The Father.

    Denver, this statement you made struck me: “To covenant with the Father is to receive a Father.

    I read it early this morning and it has been on my mind since…. I was sitting with my wife eating breakfast when a light went on for me. I was a little startled and talked about it explained to my wife what I was thinking and feeling. I spent time last night reviewing Alma 13…. maybe that chapter triggered some thoughts.

    Are there ‘fathers’ among us? There are other questions I’d like to ask… but will save them for now.

    -kind regards

  11. There are problems with our perspective that make these prophecies of the remnant as unbelievable to us as it was for the Jews to believe the Temple in Jerusalem could be destroyed. We need to divorce ourselves from the “Babylon” mentality. Some are speaking of China as a possible alternative to native Americans. I suppose anything is possible but we are neglecting a few very important points. First, the “consumption decreed will bring an end to ALL NATIONS”. All means all nations. One post mentioned that the native Americans would need a lot of money to accomplish this. If the root of all evil is the love of money, what is the best way to root out the problem? I would imagine eliminating all currency would accomplish that. If Babylon is going to fall (D&C 133:14, spiritual wickedness)then destroying currency and commerce would be a good way to introduce greater simplicity and distractions from the truth. In this environment, those who have lived on less and had to scrape through life would have a decided advantage over those who are accustomed to modern convenience. Eliminate electricity, oil or natural gas distribution and we are all in pretty sad shape except those who have never come to rely on them.
    China has major problems of their own that never get discussed in MS media because major corporations who own major media outlets will not allow negative reports about China because Chinese officials will lock them out of the Chinese markets. China has demographic issues. Because of their one child policy, many parents elected to abort millions of Chinese girls in favor of boys who are in essence their retirement because the government has no social safety net. Now these young men are reaching marriageable age they have a difficult time finding a marriage partner. How will that be dealt with? China also has to generate 6 million jobs a year just to stay even with the portion of their population who are leaving an agricultural living for industrial. Russia, who shares a border with China has the opposite problem. Their birthrate is plummeting and their projected to contract to less than 100 million people within the next decade or two. With their vast resources in oil will China sit idly by and be deterred from invasion by Russia’s Nukes?
    Sorry for the length of this post but you see, we need a new mindset that is post Babylonian. The demise of “all nations” changes the game considerably. All barriers to Israel’s gathering must be removed and destroying nations eliminates barriers and redraws power lines whereby each country will experience a division between believers and non believers. (1 Nephi 14:6-7) On that happy note I bid you Adieu!

  12. A few points to ponder:

    1.All nations will be destroyed.
    2.This will remove all barriers to Israel gathering.
    3.”The love of money is the root of evil”, consequently, if you want to put a dent in evil,eliminate currency.
    4.Babylon (D&C 133:14)will fall.
    5.When all nations fall, all politics truly become local and things will likely break down to believers (Israel) vs. non-believers (Gentiles)

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