Jacob has some relevant instruction for us. He reports: “And blessed are the Gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written; for behold, if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion, and do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church, they shall be saved; for the Lord God will fulfil his covenants which he has made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet has written these things.” (2 Ne. 6: 12.) Some of the Gentiles will be preserved, as well. It will be those who:
1. Are among those of whom the prophet has written. Interesting condition. These are already the topic of revelation. That requires us to study the revelations to know something of the Gentiles “of whom the prophet has written.” That is no small topic in its own right.
2. Are repentant. Of course, that requires the recognition of the need for repentance. Most of the Gentiles are unaware of their need to do so. Some because they are not religious. Others because they are overly religious and fail to understand that their religion condemns them. It does not justify them.
3. Fight not against Zion. Here is “Zion” which will come into being at some point. Not today, but by and by. When it does, there will be Gentile opposition to it. Those who aren’t initially invited will find the idea of Zion without them offensive. Their response should be to repent (as in 2, above). Instead, because of their blindness and jealousy, they will “fight against Zion.”
4. Do not unite with the great and abominable church. This is not a single congregation. It is the world itself. The entire world is divided into two: One is the church of the Lamb of God. The other is everything else. (1 Ne. 14: 10.) This is a bigger problem than it may first appear. Inasmuch as there are endless ways to belong to the great and abominable church, but a single way to avoid the great and abominable church, the odds are Gentiles will not find Zion. Instead they will fight against her and join the worldly minions who are opposed to her.
Most of the Gentiles will not meet these four conditions. Consequently, they will be so reduced they will “lick up the dust of their feet” who are in Zion. (2 Ne. 6: 13.) For those few Gentiles who give heed to Jacob’s teaching, there is good news.
Despite all the Gentiles have done to disappoint the Lord, He will “set himself again the second time to recover them.” (2 Ne. 6: 14.) Jacob will elaborate on this future in his own book. Chapter 5 of his book contains an allegory describing all the Lord’s efforts to produce fruit suitable to be preserved against the harvest. Jacob was well qualified to know what he was teaching. His brief confirmation that the allegory is true is so modest, so plain, so direct that it speaks of the man’s confidence. It is unadorned by rhetoric. The starkness of it suggests Jacob is a man of few words because they aren’t necessary.
Jacob bears close study. Unlike the later writers (beginning with Mosiah), Jacob carved his book onto the small plates of Nephi himself.