Tag: President of the United States

3 Nephi 21: 4

3 Nephi 21: 4:

“For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel;

Christ attributes the wisdom of this plan to “the Father.”

The gentiles will be set up “in this land.” What land has become a land for free people “by the power of the Father?” The most common answer is the United States. That is the conclusion of Meldrum and Porter in their book Prophecies and Promises – The Book of Mormon and the United State of America.

The “wisdom of the Father” decrees that the gentiles will receive the record and the land where Christ visited the Nephites. Why is it wise for this to be the case?

From the gentiles, who inherit the record, the record will “come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed.” The gentiles receive it first, then it will come from them to the “remnant.” Who are the gentiles? Do the Latter-day Saints have the record? Even though they are in possession of the record, they are nonetheless called “gentiles”

Note that the “covenant of the Father” is the reason for these events to unfold. Why is the unfolding history of the remnant, gentiles and house of Israel to fulfill “the covenant of the Father?” What was/is Christ’s role in the process? If Christ is directly involved, why is it nevertheless the “covenant of the Father?”
Christ refers to the objects of the covenant as “his people” –  the Father’s people. This is an important transition in the description. These people belong to the Father!  Immortality and eternal life is a family affair. Christ’s harvest of souls is for the glory of the Father. If there were any doubt of Christ’s motivation and selfless service, His comments here remove that doubt.

From what source does the gentile freedom come?

If gentile freedom is based on the Father’s power, how vulnerable is their hold on freedom if they rebel and reject the Father? How much credit can the gentiles take for establishing their land of freedom? To whom should gratitude flow for the gentile freedom?

The backdrop Christ gives to our history is wholly based on the Father’s will, covenants and design for mankind. We tend to question how involved the Father and His Son are in the daily events of life. From Christ’s statement here, how involved are they?

Preaching the Gospel to all who are here

When I was over missionary work for my stake we would meet with the Mission President quarterly.  The “Spanish Language Initiative” was where the primary missionary success was taking place in an area from Idaho to Wyoming and throughout Utah. The justification for the Spanish Language Initiative was rather an excuse. The stated reason was: “Can you imagine what will happen to the home base of the church with so many moving in if there isn’t an effort made to convert them?”

Criticism has been leveled at the church for the eagerness with which the missionaries are being sent to teach illegal aliens. There are full time Spanish language missionaries being called to teach all over the United States. My wife has a friend living in Texas whose son was recently called to a Spanish language mission in Pocatello, Idaho.

Criticism has been based upon the Article of Faith which states we believe in “honoring, obeying and sustaining the law.” The criticism is that there is some hypocrisy in seeking out and baptizing those who are illegal. The process seems to be lawless rather than sustaining the law.

At one point the church announced that law enforcement officers, judges and State prosecutors would no longer be called to be Bishops or Stake Presidents because it presented a conflict of interest for them to be a presiding church official over those who they were required to enforce the law. I do not know if that policy still exists, but it was the policy for some time while I was on the High Council.

I’ve thought the church’s position was poorly articulated and deserving of criticism. The church ought to make a well-publicized statement justifying what is happening by adopting a straight-forward explanation that everyone can understand and agree is true. I wish they would announce the following, or something close to the following, as the their reason for the Spanish Language Initiative:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has an obligation to proclaim the Gospel.  We believe in inviting all to come to the Gospel and be baptized.  We would preach the Gospel to anyone, regardless of their race or nationality, wherever situated.  Today there are millions of people welcomed into the United States by a national government that has refused to enforce any significant deterrent to cross-border crossing.  Although such entry is nominally “illegal,” even the current President of the United States, the country’s chief law enforcement official, has proclaimed it is in the best tradition of the American people to welcome immigrants to the country.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a law enforcement agency.  It is powerless to make or enforce any immigration law or policy.  If the national government does not prevent migration into the United States, we believe it is altogether appropriate to offer all who will receive the Gospel an opportunity to be taught and baptized here, just as we would do for the same people if they were located in another country.

This puts the responsibility upon the Federal government, where it belongs.  It shows the church is powerless to affect the outcome of the migration.  It also avoids the “can you imagine what it would be like if we didn’t work to convert them” excuse, and puts it into a positive and reasonable light.

I do not think the church’s actions deserve criticism.  I do, however, think they ought to be more forthright about justifying and defending the effort to convert those whose presence here is nominally illegal.  There’s nothing wrong about preaching to such people.