Wednesday, March 5, 2008
The Lord's Covenant People - 3 Nephi 16:8-15
8 But wo, saith the Father, unto the unbelieving of the Gentiles—for notwithstanding they have come forth upon the face of this land, and have scattered my people who are of the house of Israel; and my people who are of the house of Israel have been cast out from among them, and have been trodden under feet by them;
9 And because of the mercies of the Father unto the Gentiles, and also the judgments of the Father upon my people who are of the house of Israel, verily, verily, I say unto you, that after all this, and I have caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten, and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a byword among them—
10 And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.
(Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 16:8 - 10)
The gospel will be brought to the Gentiles. The Lord will be merciful to them. The house of Israel will be smitten, afflicted, and slain. We’ve seen that happen through the ages. Israel only became a country again recognized by the Untied States and the United Nations in May of 1948. Prior to that they suffered through the holocaust where millions were brutally treated and put to death in concentration camps set up by the Nazi Regime.
On the very day that Israel gained its independence, May 14th, it was attacked by several Arab nations including: Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. That war lasted a little over a year with Egypt signing a peace treaty in February 1949, and Lebanon, Jordan and Syria signed one in July of 1949.
All that one has to do to realize that part of the world is still a powder keg, with a very short fuse, is to turn on the evening news, or pick up a newspaper.
If the Gentiles turn their backs on the light and truth they have received through the gospel, then the fullness of the gospel will be taken from them as well.
On a slightly unrelated side note…
If you want to read a good historical fiction novel dealing with the holocaust, and faith, and hope, I strongly recommend The Strength to Endure by Tristi Pinkston. From her website, “Strength To Endure by Tristi Pinkston
Anneliese Klein was just a small girl when Hitler came into power in her home country of Germany. Fear and uncertainty were as much as part of her childhood as dolls and tea parties. As she grew up, the war crept even closer to home, taking first her two brothers and then her father. Eventually it claims the man she loves. How will she survive these horrors? And what will become of her unborn child?
A historically rich tale, Strength To Endure expertly portrays the consequences of war and the ability of the human spirit to conquer all.”
I finished the book last night, and it was amazing. Tristi, if you see this, you’ll have to ask me about the time that I corrected my French professor’s French in his class. When I read a very similar experience in your book, I couldn’t stop laughing. The irony is that my professor was from Paris.
11 And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them.
12 And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.
13 But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel.
14 And I will not suffer my people, who are of the house of Israel, to go through among them, and tread them down, saith the Father.
15 But if they will not turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, I will suffer them, yea, I will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among them, and shall tread them down, and they shall be as salt that hath lost its savor, which is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of my people, O house of Israel.
(Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 16:11 - 15)
Though much of the world may despise Israel, the Lord will not forget His ancient covenant people. The house of Israel will come to know the fullness of the gospel. Gentiles and Israelites alike that accept the message of the gospel into their lives will be gathered together.
The Gentiles that accept the gospel will not be trodden down at the last day. These verses should give us all pause to consider how we view Israel and how we view the Lord’s covenant people. Clearly, we don’t want to be on the wrong side.