Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nephi's descendants are alive

Were all of Nephi's descendants destroyed?

2 Nephi 3:23

In blessing his son Joseph, Lehi cites words from Joseph of old, who was sold into Egypt.  Afterwards he adds this insight:

Although this pertains to Nephi's brother Joseph and his seed, it got me thinking about Nephi's descendants.  When we talk about how the Lamanites ultimately destroyed the Nephites, are we talking about one bloodline destroying another, or are we talking about cultural, civilization, or religious lines? After so many years, could the term Nephite and Lamanite have little to do with ancestry?

When Nephi had his vision of the tree of life, he saw his seed being wiped out, but the angel says this about the gentiles:

And in the Doctrine and Covenants section 3, the Lord declares this:

It seems clear to me that Nephi's descendants are among us, as well descendants of his brothers Jacob, Joseph, and his friend Zoram.  Through hundreds of years of cycles of righteousness and wickedness, desertions, missionary work, correspondence, and intermarrying, the descendants of Nephi are alive.

Monday, February 25, 2013

This land is consecrated to more than Lehi's seed

Second Nephi 1:5-8

The covenant that the Lord made with Lehi concerning this land is also covenanted to everyone who lives here... for none have come unless they were brought by the Lord.  This land is covenanted and consecrated not just to Lehi and his seed, but unto me and my children forever.  (see also v. 32)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A prophecy fulfilled

Second Nephi 1:4

When returning from Jerusalem with Ishmael and his household, Nephi speaks to Laman and Lemuel in their rebellion: (First Nephi 7)

The explicit fulfilment of this prophecy that "ye shall know at some future period ... concerning the destruction of Jerusalem" occurs in Second Nephi 1:4, through a vision of Lehi:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cut off

First Nephi 22:19-21

Nephi pauses his prophecies of the latter days to quote Moses:

Not only is this a prophecy about the coming of the Savior in mortality, but it is also a prophecy of events to occur prior to the second coming.

It is unclear exactly how this "cut off" will be fulfilled, but it doesn't sound good for those affected, those "who fight against Zion".  Verse 23 identifies them as "all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil", and that they will "be brought low in the dust; they...must be consumed as stubble".

When the Savior visits the Nephites, he also quotes this writing and sheds more light on how it will be accomplished. (3 Nephi 21:11-22)

The angel Moroni also quoted Moses's prophecy when he visited Joseph Smith. (JSH 1:40)

Monday, January 14, 2013

As stubble

First Nephi 22:15

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word stubble is facial hair.  As with many things in the scriptures, this word has an entirely different meaning.  

In agriculture, stubble what is left in the field after the harvest.  It is the short, hard, stalky part that is left behind after the crop has been cut close to the ground.  Apparently, it is easily burned.  The gospel symbolism here runs deep.  Let's make sure we are gathered with the harvest, not left behind as stubble to be burned.  

Other prophets have similarly written:

Isaiah 5:24 - Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Malachi 4:1 - For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yeah, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shill leave them neither root nor branch. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Righteous Need Not Fear

First Nephi 22

Discussing the second coming and the events leading up to it can sound dreadful at times.  Nephi makes repeated statements that offer some comfort:

 16: For the time soon cometh that the fulness of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous.

 17: Wherefore, he will preserve the righteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire.  Wherefore the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire.
... 19: For behold, the righteous shall not perish; for the time surely must come that all they who fight against Zion shall be cut off.
 22-23: And the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded.  But it is the kingdom of the devil, which shall be built up among the children of men, which kingdom is established among them which are in the flesh...all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet.

 24 And the time cometh speedily that the righteous must be led up as calves of the stall, and the Holy One of Israel must reign in dominion, and might, and power, and great glory.
 26 And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth.

 27 And now behold, I, Nephi, say unto you that all these things must come according to the flesh.

 28 But, behold, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people shall dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel if it so be that they will repent.

This last verse, 28, encapsulates the overall message of these thoughts, not just for the latter days, but for all time.  Perilous times are ahead of us, and we don't know how far ahead.  If we want to "dwell safely", the condition is repentance.