3 Nephi 16

 

Covenant Obedience Brings Peace -

 3 Nephi 11 -- Mormon 7      Disobedience Brings Destruction


 

3 Nephi 16:1 I Have Other Sheep Which Are Not of This Land, Neither of the Land of Jerusalem:

 

     Clayton Brough notes that as the Lost Ten Tribes made their way northward through the unknown region of "Arsareth," they were "led by prophets and inspired leaders" who "were guided by the spirit of revelation, kept the law of Moses, and carried with them the statutes and judgments which the Lord had given them in ages past."15 Indeed, the spirit of the Lord continually watched over the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel and guided them throughout their journey northward. (See Jeremiah 23:7-8; 16:14-15)

     In regard to other spiritual events that later transpired among the Lost Ten Tribes, such as the Lord personally visiting them following his ministry to the Nephites on the American continent, their being taught the Gospel, and their creating and maintaining volumes of scripture, Elder Bruce R. McConkie has written:

           In their northward journeyings they were led by prophets and inspired leaders. They had their Moses and their Lehi, were guided by the spirit of revelation, kept the law of Moses, and carried with them the statutes and judgments which the Lord had given them in ages past. They were still a distinct people many hundreds of years later, for the resurrected Lord visited and ministered among them following his ministry on this continent among the Nephites. (see 3 Nephi 16:1-4; 17:4) Obviously he taught them in the same way and gave them the same truths which he gave his followers in Jerusalem and on the American continent; and obviously they recorded his teachings, thus creating volumes of scripture comparable to the Bible and Book of Mormon. (See 2 Nephi 29:12-14) (Bruce R. McConkie, Gospel Doctrine, pp. 457-458}

 

     Brough notes that following our Lord's resurrection and personal visit to the peoples of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, our Savior also assigned one of his chosen Apostles, John the Revelator, who is presently a "translated being," to watch over the Lost Ten Tribes and to assist them in preparing for their future return from "the land of the north." (R. Clayton Brough, They Who Tarry, 1976, pp. 37-43; also D&C 110:11) [R. Clayton Brough, The Lost Tribes: History, Doctrine, Prophecies, and Theories About Israel's Lost Ten Tribes, pp. 31-32] [See the commentary on 1 Nephi 22:4; 2 Nephi 29:13]

 

3 Nephi 16:3 There shall be one fold and one shepherd (Illustration): The Lost Lamb. "There shall be one fold and one shepherd." Artist: Del Parson. [Thomas R. Valletta ed., The Book of Mormon for Latter-day Saint Families, 1999, p. 538]

 

3 Nephi 16:7 In the Latter Day Shall the Truth Come unto the Gentiles, That the Fullness of These Things Shall Be Made Known unto Them:

 

     Wayne Shute, Monte Nyman, and Randy Bott write that when the angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith in September, 1823, he "stated that the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in" (J. S. Hist. 1:41`). The fulness of the Gentiles is the full opportunity for the nations of the Gentiles to receive the gospel (see D&C 45:24:30; JST Luke 21:24-32; 3 Nephi 16:7-11). The Prophet Joseph Smith, and other descendants of Ephraim, began the dispensation of taking the gospel to the Gentiles (D&C 21:10-121; 86:8-11; 90:6-9).

     The patriarch Jacob's blessing given to the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, was an affirmation of what Jacob had previously told Joseph. The blessing as recorded in the KJV was as follows:

           God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day. The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. (Genesis 48:15-16)

 

     The reader should note that according to the King James text it says that Jacob blessed Joseph (v. 15), however as the footnote shows, the Septuagint (the Greek text copied form an earlier Hebrew text) states that Jacob blessed "them."

     Now there are two significant statements in the above blessing conferred upon the two sons of Joseph:

     (1) they were to have the name of Israel that had been given Jacob by the Angel who redeemed him (Genesis 32:24-30) (Note* the angel who appeared was apparently Jehovah himself as a careful reading of the text and also Genesis 35:9-15 that speaks of a second appearance will confirm.)

     (2) the offspring of the two sons was to become a multitude of people in the midst of the earth. Joseph questioned his father regarding who was to inherit the birthright, having assumed Manasseh would. But Jacob responded; "I know it, my son, I know it: also he shall become a people, and also he shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations" (Genesis 48:19).

 

     Collectively the offspring of both sons would become a multitude. While Manasseh would become great, Ephraim would become even greater. Ephraim's greater blessing extended to his posterity who would become a multitude of nations. The "multitude of nations" may also be given a more enlightening translation. The word "nations" is often translated as "Gentiles."16 The word multitude may also be translated "fulness."17 Therefore, Ephraim's blessing as interpreted by Jacob could be that he would "become the fulness of the Gentiles."

     Ephraim was scattered among all the nations of the Gentiles (Amos 9:8-9; Hosea 8:8). Today Ephraim is being gathered out of those nations. As Ephraim is gathered, the Gentiles are being given an opportunity to accept the gospel and be numbered with Ephraim. When the gathering is completed, it will bring in the fulness of the Gentiles. We are living in the day of its fulfillment. [R. Wayne Shute, Monte S. Nyman, and Randy L. Bott, Ephraim: Chosen of the Lord, pp. 20-21]