Tag: Great and Abominable Church

1 Nephi 14: 8-9

1 Nephi 14: 8-9:

“And it came to pass that when the angel had spoken these words, he said unto me: Rememberest thou the covenants of the Father unto the house of Israel? I said unto him, Yea.  And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil.”

The dialogue between Nephi and the angel is interrupted.  Nephi is brought into the dialogue as the angel interrupts and asks Nephi a question. You should ask yourself why an angel behaves in this manner? Why interrupt the teaching by asking Nephi questions?

And what a question it is: ” Rememberest thou the covenants of the Father unto the house of Israel?” Once again, it is the “covenants of the Father” that is important and controls what is being taught and all history involved. It remains not only “in the beginning” but throughout “is the Word of God.” Consider how broadly the “Word” of God may be applied:

-Christ is the “Word of God” because He lived and did all in conformity with the will of the Father. ( 3 Nephi 11: 11.)
-All of creation came into being because of the Father’s Word, or power. (
Mormon 9: 17.)
-Christ’s spoken Word had such power as to astonish onlookers. (
Luke 4: 32, 36.)
-Nothing of power hereafter will exist unless obtained by the Father’s Word. (
D&C 132: 13.)
-Moses made water come forth from the rock by the Father’s Word. (
1 Nephi 17: 29.)
-Joseph Smith was able to bring the Book of Mormon forth because of the Father’s word. (
Mormon 8: 16.)
-His Word is “quick” and “powerful” and can cut like a two-edged sword. (
D&C 11: 2.)
-It was by this Word of God that Enoch had power to hold at defiance the armies of nations. (
Moses 7: 13.)

Without the “covenants of the Father” the best laid plans, the most noble aspirations, the desire to have Zion return, will all fail. It will return by a covenant or not at all. It will return in strict conformity with His covenant, His Word, and not according to the vain desires of men.

The angel is setting up a contrast for Nephi. First he asks if Nephi remembers the Father’s covenants, to which Nephi responds that he does remember them. Now, often in the Book of Mormon the word “remember” is used to mean “keep.” If that is the way it is used here, then Nephi is being asked if he keeps the covenants of the Father, so far as they apply to him. Using that meaning, the angel is inquiring about Nephi’s worthiness to receive more. Or, in other words: “Do you follow the Father’s commandments?” “Yes.”  “Then I will show you more.” Reminding Nephi that the only reason he is beholding these things is because of his obedience and sacrifice. Or, to put it more plainly, reminding US that this kind of information and learning from angelic ministers comes as a consequence of following everything taught to you before. You receive more because you follow what you already have.

Now, after the inquiry and answer, the contrast is shown: On the one hand: The Covenants of the Father. On the other hand: the Great and Abominable Church.

God’s covenants are strict and apply in a very precise manner. The great whore uses religion to promise to all people everywhere their desires for being comforted in their sins. The great and abominable church does not want you to forsake your sins, but to retain them and expect God will forgive and overlook them. The great and abominable church wants you to believe that the way is broad and many will enter into exaltation. This whore teaches that no matter your conduct, the odds are you are going to be exalted. So eat, drink and be merry. If God is going to be upset He will merely beat you with a few stripes and promote you into the kingdom of God anyway. ( 2 Nephi 28: 8.)

This contrast is drawn for Nephi because these are two extremes. Both of them are religious. One is founded on a true religion, the other is a false religion. One follows the Father’s covenants and will result in God’s promised results. The other follows the commandments of men who have mingled their own philosophies with scripture so that their doctrines are all corrupt. They share a vocabulary, but nothing else. For one, to “repent” is to return to God’s presence, for the other “repent” is to satisfy institutional demands and surrender to control by others. The angel uses the contrast because this is where mankind finds themselves. We live between these two choices. Our eternal consequences hinge on how we choose. Among all sects there are good people who are blinded by the craftiness of deceitful men. ( D&C 123: 12.) Even though they may be honorable, by surrendering to deceit they forfeit the crown. (D&C 76: 74-76.)

This contrast is shown to Nephi, and shared by him with us, because we are always facing the dilemma of choosing between those who will promise you everything and give you nothing, and those who warn you to repent, as a result of which you may receive everything. Oddly, mankind seems to prefer the former.