Remnant, part VIII

We’ve seen some of what the remnant is defined to mean. We’ve seen the definition in the Book of Mormon excludes gentiles. We’ve seen the converted gentiles comprising the Latter-day Saints are still defined as gentiles after conversion.

We’ve seen that the first formal mission called after the establishment of the church was sent to the Lamanites to find the remnant. We’ve seen how the mission went no further than the boundary where the Indian Nations were relocated by the US Government in 1830. What we haven’t discussed is the interest Joseph Smith had in locating the remnant throughout his life. 

When he was fleeing Nauvoo in late June, he intended to go to the Rocky Mountains. That was the location chosen precisely because it was where he hoped to find the remnant. He was talked into returning by those who claimed it was cowardly for him to flee. They used the Lord’s analogy about the false shepherd who would flee when the flock was in danger. (John 10: 11-13.)  He reportedly said “if my life is of no value to my friends, it is of no value to myself.” He returned. With that, Joseph’s attempt to locate and identify the remnant came to an end. However, before his final surrender, his intention was to go to the Rocky Mountains to locate the remnant.

The following entry appears on June 22, 1844 in Vol. 6, page 547 of the DHC: “About 9 p.m. Hyrum came out of the Mansion and gave his hand to Reynolds Cahoon, at the same time saying, ‘A company of men are seeking to kill my brother Joseph, and the Lord has warned him to flee to the Rocky Mountains to save his life. Good-bye, Brother Cahoon, we shall see you again.’ In a few minutes afterwards Joseph came from his family. His tears were flowing fast.  He held a handkerchief to his face, and followed after Brother Hyrum without uttering a word.”

In his final public address Joseph said, among other things: “You will gather many people into the fastness of the Rocky Mountains as a center for the gathering of the people …you will yet be called upon to go forth and call upon the free men from Main to gather themselves together to the Rocky Mountains; and the Redmen from the West and all people from the North and from the South and from the East, and go to the West, to establish themselves in the strongholds of their gathering places, and there you will gather with the Redmen to their center from their scattered and dispersed situation, to become the strong arm of Jehovah, who will be a strong bulwark of protection from your foes.” (“A Prophecy of Joseph the Seer”, found in The Fate of the Persecutors of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 154, 156.)

There is a well known quote that speaks volumes when considered as a whole: “I want to say to you before the Lord that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and Kingdom than a babe upon its mother’s lap. You don’t comprehend it. It is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America–it will fill the world. It will fill the Rocky Mountains. There will be tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints who will be gathered in the Rocky Mountains, and there they will open the door for the establishing of the Gospel among the Lamanites. …This people will go into the Rocky Mountains; they will there build temples to the Most High. They will raise up a posterity there, and the Latter-day Saints who dwell in these mountains will stand in the flesh until the coming of the Son of Man. The Son of Man will come to them while in the Rocky Mountains.”  (Millennial Star, Vol. 54 (1852), p. 605.)

We’ve seen how the primary effort to build the city of Zion will be the remnant’s, and the gentiles will merely “assist” in the construction.

To see the remnant’s role is more important than to understand their identity. Their identity will come. But their role is distinct and important. We are not them, and they have a destiny appointed them by covenant and promise. We cannot substitute ourselves for them. Nor can we fulfill the prophetic promises without them.

Christ had some specific teachings about the remnant we have not yet examined. We’ll turn to that to add to our understanding of the remnant role:

3 Nephi 20: 11:

“Ye remember that I spake unto you, and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled—behold they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them—

Christ is speaking and will turn to the future destiny of the Nephites. By the time this statement was made, however, the Nephites were mingled with all other bloodlines. There were shortly to be no more “ites” but only one people. (4 Nephi 1: 17.)

The destiny of the future remnant will unfold in conformity with words spoken by Isaiah. They are adequate to foretell the future of the events involving the people on this, the American land. But we are supposed to “search them” to be able to get an understanding of what will unfold.

There is a plan. It was all foreseen. It will happen as the prophecies describe. However we need to trust the language and not impose other ideas upon the words.

8 thoughts on “Remnant, part VIII

  1. In the 1836 dedicatory prayer for the Kirtkland Temple (section 109), the Prophet Joseph used language that is very helpful to this discussion:

    55 Remember . . . all people, and the churches, all the poor, the needy, and afflicted ones of the earth;
    56 That their hearts may be softened when thy servants shall go out from thy house, O Jehovah, to bear testimony of thy name; that their prejudices may give way before the truth, and thy people may obtain favor in the sight of all;
    57 That all the ends of the earth may know that we, thy servants, have heard thy voice, and that thou hast sent us;
    58 That from among all these, thy servants, the sons of Jacob, may gather out the righteous to build a holy city to thy name, as thou hast commanded them.
    59 We ask thee to appoint unto Zion other stakes besides this one which thou hast appointed, that the gathering of thy people may roll on in great power and majesty . . .
    60 Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.
    61 But thou knowest that thou hast a great love for the children of Jacob, who have been scattered upon the mountains for a long time, in a cloudy and dark day.
    62 We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed;
    63 And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;
    64 And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.
    65 And cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten because of their transgression, be converted from their wild and savage condition to the fulness of the everlasting gospel;
    66 That they may lay down their weapons of bloodshed, and cease their rebellions.
    67 And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before thee.

    I’d like to add comments to the next post . . .

  2. Several things come into play here in the context of Denver’s discussion–

    1. Joseph considered himself and those others who were the Lord’s servants called and serving alongside of him, although “identified with the Gentiles,” to be among “the sons of Jacob.”
    2. Is it possible that Joseph considered himself a son of Jacob but at the same time NOT a part of any of the mentioned “remnants?”
    3. Wouldn’t many (if not most) members of the church today be able to be called appropriately “the sons of Jacob,” particularly the sons of Ephriam or of Manasseh and like Jospeh NOT be part of “the remnants” either?
    4. Remnants of Judah are mentioned apart.
    5. Remnants of Jacob that are in a “wild and savage condition” are also mentioned specifically–American Indians, but perhaps including North and South.
    6. All the scattered remnants are mentioned–“who have been driven to the ends of the earth.”
    7. The Lord reveals that He has a plan for the gathering of them all, and from this passage it appears that Joseph Smith, as a son of Jacob, and others called to serve along side him, also sons of Jacob, are those are enjoined by the Lord to do the work of gathering.
    8. The plea is for other stakes that the work of gathering may “roll on in great power and majesty.”

    I’d also point out that it could be completely consistent with this passage to see “the believing among the Gentiles” who carry forth the words (The Book of Mormon) unto the remnant of Nephi’s seed (2 Nephi 30:3) to be Joseph Smith and these others–as well as the majority of missionaries serving today in those parts of the world where there are remnants of Jacob. Those who believe their report and are converted have the joy of seeing their scales of darkness “begin to fall from the eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and a delightsome people” (2 Nephi 31:6).

    A few comments that I hope will only add to the discussion–I’ve read the whole thread today and enjoyed it very much!

  3. Rich,

    Also it should be noted that when the times of the Gentiles ends and their fullness comes, then those of the blood of Jacob who are identified with them during the “last days or times of the Gentiles”, when that day comes to and end and the covenant turns from them to the Jews (Israel) then those of the blood of Israel no longer are identified with them and are considered the remnant of Jacob as well.

  4. Reading Rich’s comments about D&C 109 reminded me of Hosea 7:8:

    Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.

    Donna Nielsen had a blog post about this verse last year and quoted the [1599] Geneva Bible Commentary as saying:

    Baked on one side and raw on the other, he is neither through hot nor through cold, but partly a Jew and partly a Gentile.

    So those of us whose us (such as myself) whose patriarchal blessings inform us that we’re of Ephraim really have a two-fold nature: part gentile, part Jew/Israelite. Dual citizenship if you will.

    Donna also said:

    Ephraim was literally ‘half-baked,’ willing to have one side exposed to the refiner’s fire, but refusing to completely surrender… You could say that he liked to keep one foot in the Kingdom outwardly, but that the other foot was firmly planted in the world.

    [Ouch; I stand convicted.]

    As Rich points out in D&C 109:60 we [members of European descent] are “identified with the gentiles” at this time.

    It is our gentile nature that is operative at this point in history and thus that is the role we’re assigned to play.

  5. Denver, Rich and all,

    This is a most welcome discussion and I hope it continues until every parcel related to the promises made to the Lamanites and the Remnant are fully discussed. Its apparent from the Nephite record that the Brass Plates spoke of these things too as men like Joseph of Egypt and Zenos saw far into the future regarding these matters, and the Brass Plates were central to the conversion of many of the Lamanites. Lehi foretold that the Brass Plates would go to every nation, so I suppose this discussion could branch out into the many other records yet to come forth as well? I know Denver touched on this point a few weeks ago.

    These people of promise will play an integral role in the winding up scenes, the building of the New Jerusalem, and the establishment of Zion. And we poor gentiles have almost no appreciation whatsoever for the miracles which will unfold once God begins to set his hand the second time to redeem His people. Much is going on behind the scenes preparatory to this great day.

    One friend has been given hundreds of Native American words of a certain dialect, and he is reconstructing a dictionary of that language. It’s been an ongoing process for several years (patience and timing) as he is given more linguistic information (through wonderful and sacred means) and he has been fortunate to meet an elderly person of the particular Indian tribe who has verified the meaning to the words. Old languages are being restored for some higher purpose related to these matters.

    Other people I’ve met are being directed to do things which seemingly will help to fulfill some of the prophecies to these downtrodden people. Even if the General Authorities of the Church have dismissed these people, the Lord has not forgotten them. Another friend tried in vain to get the MTC to allow him to teach the missionaries a certain Indian language, only to be rebuffed as not necessary. This same friend has a letter from brother Packer dismissing his concerns for the Native Americans as the Church found more bang for buck south of the border.

    As Denver said, one day, in the natural course of events, these things will suddenly blossom before our eyes (assuming we are allowed to see them) and we better have our hearts attuned to that which the scriptures predict and foretell.

    Wonderful indeed!!!

  6. Much has been written about the Rocky Mountains in this discussion of the Remnant. The readers of this blog should know that others have been fortunate to behold some very special preparations deep in the holds of the Rocky Mountains. God has not slackened His hands in this regard, and surprisingly vast resources have been applied for many generations and from many ages, involved in preparing for these great coming events. Perhaps this goes beyond Denver’s intent, yet it is nonetheless true.

    Those prepared to go forward into the changes following the advent of the Remnant will see things marvelous beyond anything you could have imagined. Truly our Heavenly Father has taken all things into account, and He is prepared to do His own work to redeem the House of Israel.

    Thank you Denver for this wonderful discussion.

  7. Denver, can you tell me how this scripture relates to the topic at hand (THE remnant) or even to converted gentiles being “children of the covenant”:
    1 Ne 14: 1-2
    1. AND it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks–

    2. And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.

    I’m sure that you have addressed this in this blog but I haven’t had time to read all of the posts on the remnant; also it is difficult to check without a search function for the entire blog.

  8. Bro. Snuffer,

    1) Volume 54 of the Millennial Star was published in 1892 not 1852 (see

    2) However, while a variant of the “well known quote” you cite appears there, that particular quotation does not (see volume 38, “Remarks by President Wilford Woodruff” at the URL above).

    3) I’m quite confident that one accurate citation of the quote is p. 57 of the April, 1898 Conference Report but I have not yet read the original myself.

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