3 Nephi 21

 

Covenant Obedience Brings Peace -

 3 Nephi 11 -- Mormon 7      Disobedience Brings Destruction


 

3 Nephi 21 (The Lord Speaks on Isaiah's Prophecies)

 

     Chapter 21

 

     The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon is a Sign of the Father's Work

 

 1 And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place--that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion;

 2 And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign--for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father (that is, My words and the message of the records your prophets are keeping--the Book of Mormon), shall be made known unto the Gentiles (lineal Israelites but cultural Gentiles--see 1 Ne 22:7; D&C 109:60) that they may know concerning this people (the Nephites and Lamanites) who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them;

 3 Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things (relative to the Book of Mormon) shall be made known unto them (the cultural Gentiles) of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them (the Latter-day saints) unto you (your Latter-day remnant);

 4 For it is wisdom in the Father that they (lineal Israel--especially the tribe of Joseph--but cultural Gentiles) should be established in this land (the Americas--your Promised Land), and be set up as a free people (no longer in bondage) 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;

 5 Therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity;

 6 For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel;

 7 And when these things come to pass that thy seed shall begin to know these things--it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel.

 

     Joseph Smith and the Great and Marvelous Work

 

 8 And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider (in essence, the powerful leaders of the world will not be able to stop the Lord's work in the last days, revealed through a young farmboy named Joseph Smith).

 9 For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them (that is, the work of restoring the Covenant and the gathering of Israel); and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.

 10 But behold, the life of my servant (Joseph Smith--and also the prophets who follow him) shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him (that is, Joseph Smith's pre-ordained work--and the work of the prophets who follow him will not be stopped), although he shall be marred because of them (Joseph especially will be persecuted and suffer a martyrs fate). Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the Devil (that is, despite the most strenuous efforts of the Devil, the Restoration and Gathering will move forward through the Lord's prophets).

 11 Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him (my servant) to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) [see 3 Nephi 20:23] they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.

 

     The Unrepentant Gentiles Will Be Cut Off from the Covenant People and Thus Destroyed

 

 12 And my people (my covenant people) who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest (that is, they shall have dominating power), as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver (in other words, there will be no stopping the consequences of the final Gathering).

 13 Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off (cut off from the light and power of Christ).

 14 Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots (symbolic of military power);

 15 And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds (symbolic of security);

 16 And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers; (symbolic of false religions)

 17 Thy graven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands; (that is, neither will your false gods save you)

 18 And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities. (Your immoral wicked lives, which once profited you with earthly security, will be destroyed)

 19 And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away (ultimately with the coming of Christ).

 20 For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people (my covenant people), O house of Israel;

 21 And I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.

 

     Establishment of the New Jerusalem (Zion)

 

 22 But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob (covenant people), unto whom I have given this land (the Promised Land--the place where the true covenant Gospel is administered) for their inheritance;

 23 And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob (the covenant House of Israel), and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem (Zion--Moses 7:61-62).

 24 And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.

 25 And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst (a function of temples).

 26 And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.

 27 Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.

 28 Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.

 29 And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight (that is, the work will be organized and directed by the Lord), for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.

[Alan C. Miner, Step by Step through the Book of Mormon: The Covenant Story, Vol. 6. Adapted from David J. Ridges, Isaiah Made Easier / The Book of Revelation Made Easier, 1994]