Chapter 28: Prophecies Regarding Fate of Gentiles
Does Nephite History Foreshadow That of the Gentiles?
In this work we have undertaken to use the Nephite experience with self-government to help us understand the problems faced by those living under the united states constitutional system today. We commenced our treatment of this theme by noting that our living prophet is calling for repentance and pointing out that pride is one of our greatest sins. In a conference address he discussed this sin at some length noting those scriptures which state that, (1) it was pride which destroyed the Nephites and that, (2) the Lord has in modem revelation warned us to beware of pride lest we become as the Nephites of old.
He reminded us of the scourge and a judgment which will fall upon the children of Zion unless we repent and do as the Lord has said in the Book of Mormon. (D&C 84:54-59) We tried to identify the particular sins the Lord has reference to by examining admonitions therein directed to the Gentiles. We found statements by Him, Nephi, Mormon and Moroni which indicated that the Gentiles would become so wicked that unless we repented we would be destroyed. We gave particular attention to predictions that secret combinations would be among us and would destroy us if we allowed them to get above us.
With this in mind we examined the Nephite history of the reign of the judges. We saw that during the first sixty years there were continuing attempts by Nephite apostates to capture control of the Nephite government so they could use it to practice enforced priestcraft.
During the second sixty years it was the secret combinations who were continually seeking to gain political control. They succeeded the first time they tried and did so by seducing even the more part of the righteous Nephites to join with them in corrupting the laws and using [p. 212] government as an instrument of plunder.
The prophet Nephi called them to repentance but they rejected him. Thereupon they were afflicted, first with civil war, and then with a famine which finally caused them to cleanse their government. A few years thereafter the band formed again and from that point on until the coming of Christ there was a great division among the people with those Nephites and Lamanites who believed in communism, constantly waging aggressive warfare against those who did not. This situation ended only when Christ came and destroyed all of the wicked.
Since we have reached that point in our own history when we have turned our own government into an instrument of plunder, we may well wonder if that which happened to the Nephites after they reached this point, foreshadows what will happen to us. Let us contrast our situation with theirs.
A Comparison Between Corruption of Nephite and Gentile Governments
The Book of Mormon states that th first time the Nephites adopted communism, it was because even the more part of the righteous had been seduced into doing so. (Hel. 6:38) We are also told that their prophet Nephi, who had been governor and chief judge, had pointed out the nature of their wickedness, called them to repentance, and warned of great destruction if they failed to heed. (Hel. 6-10) Let us compare that situation with our own today.
It is assumed that virtually all will agree that the corruptions of our own laws described in preceding chapters would be evil if performed outside the framework of government. As we discussed laws pertaining to licensing, regulatory, welfare state, currency and socialized education, we pointed out that in each case they would constitute violations of the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments if done by the individual.
It is submitted that if we do not realize that by legalizing these evils we do nothing to change their immoral nature, then we are allowing ourselves to be seduced as were the Nephites. Let those who doubt this compare the conditions in our own country with those of the Nephites when they completely corrupted their government. It is described as follows: [p. 213]
And seeing the people in a state of such awful wickedness, and those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment-seatshaving usurped the power and the authority of the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men;
Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills(Hel. 7:4, 5)
It will be admitted that the tragedy which has occurred in our nation can be traced directly to our own judiciary as was the case with theirs. Judges have largely destroyed the right of self government and this is especially true of federal judges. On the one hand they have so extensively interfered with the administration of criminal justice by the states, that evil cannot be properly punished at the local level.
On the other hand, by denying the right to a jury trial in administrative law cases, they have prevented the people from defending themselves against the crimes of a bloated bureaucracy which asserts the power to punish everything except evil. The corruption of the currency has enabled the federal government to nourish this bureaucratic monster with such an immense amount of irredeemable paper, that it is now recognizable as the fearsome threat Nephi describes. (See below) Nevertheless the Lord never would have allowed this situation to develop had not the people become so wicked as to deserve it.
That we have been warned by our prophets about our political sins as were the Nephites, is also indisputable. President McKays statement regarding the official position of the Church on communism delivered in the priesthood session of general conference in April, 1966, is adequate evidence of this. But in addition to this, there have been numerous discourses given, admonitions issued and books written by our leaders on these dangers since the beginning of the Church. Our living prophet has been in the forefront of this cause. (See Appendix II) [p. 214]
The Fate of Gentiles Who Do Not Repent
In D&C Section 84:59, the Lord asks this question:
For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? (He answers it thus.) Verily, I say unto you, Nay.
How does He propose to put an end to the pollutions? Perhaps He will remove us from the land and give it to the seed of Lehi to whom it has been covenanted forever. (2 Ne. 1:5) This may be what He meant by those statements found in Third Nephi where He says on three different occasions that if we do not repent, the seed of Lehi will come among us like a lion among a flock of sheep and tread us down and there will be none to deliver. (3 Ne. 16:10-15; 20:14-16; 21:11-12; See also Mormons statement to this same effect, Morm. 5:22-24) Perhaps this is what He meant when He said:
For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. (3 Ne. 22:3)
Hope Given to Gentiles Who Repent?
The scriptures indicate that in these last days there will come a great division between the righteous and the wicked. There are two scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants which mention the separation between the wise and the foolish virgins. One of them reads thus:
And until that hour (the day of the coming of the Son of Man) there will be foolish virgins among the wise; and at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked; and in that day will I send mine angels to pluck out the wicked and cast them into unquenchable fire. (D&C 63:54; see also 45:56, 57)
Other scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants describe it as a separation of the wheat from the tares. (D&C 86; 88:94) In Joseph Smiths translation of Matthew Chapter 24, the Lord speaks of the elect who are of the covenant who will be deceived, (v. 22) and the elect who treasure up His word who are not deceived. (v. 37) [p. 215]
These scriptures indicate that Gentiles who stop polluting this holy land, may be preserved. As we discussed the prophecies regarding Gentile destruction, we noticed that they always left open the possibility of repentance. It has been our thesis herein that one aspect of repentance must consist of obeying the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments when we act in the name of government. Let us undertake to confirm this conclusion by noting what Nephi has to say about the basis upon which the separation of the righteous from the wicked will be made in these latter days.
The Great and Abominable Church of the Devil
Perhaps Nephi provides the clearest and most complete information available regarding how the Lord will divide the righteous from the wicked at the time of His second coming. He was given a vision, only a part of which he was permitted to record, in which he saw battle lines drawn between the members of the Church of the Lamb and those of the church of the devil. Here is a part of what he was shown:
And he (the angel) said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.
And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God. (1 Ne. 14:10, 13)
To understand this division, it will not be sufficient merely to identify those who are members of the Church of the Lamb. We must also be able to identify those who belong to the church of the devil. This is so because the scriptures regarding the ten virgins, the tares, and the elect, indicate that many members of the Church of the Lamb will also belong to the devils church. Let us then note what Nephi says regarding those who are members of the latter group.
Like John the Revelator who also saw this satanic organization in vision, Nephi used a number of names to describe it. Not only did he call it the great and abominable church of the devil, but also the mother of [p. 216] abominations, and the whore of all the earth. Also like John, Nephi was always careful to state that it was the greatest wickedness on the earth, and that it was a single, identifiable organization, separate and distinct from all others. He saw that it was built up by the devil; that it sheds the blood of the saints and brings them down into captivity; and that in these latter days it would have
. . . dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues and people. (1 Ne. 14:11)
But these sins, attributes, and objectives are the same as those of the secret combinations as described by Mormon and Moroni. They too are: (1) built up by the devil, (2) to kill and enslave the prophets, (3) are the most abominable above all in the sight of God, (4) seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries, and (5) bring to pass the destruction of all people. (Ether 8; Hel. 2)
Is it not apparent that Nephi was describing the same world-wide movement as Mormon and Moroni? Can there be two satanic organizations which are the ultimate in wickedness? Obviously not, but we need not speculate about the matter because a modem prophet has identified communism as the greatest satanical threat on the earth today. (See Appendix I)
Identifying Satans church as the socialist-communist conspiracy, clarifies many scriptural statements which otherwise would be difficult to explain. What other organization can claim world-wide membership and dominion as Nephi foresaw would be the case? What other movement or organization do members of the Church of the Lamb also belong to? In describing its activities in these latter days Nephi saw that,
. . . there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations . . . . (1 Ne. 14:16)
Does not this confirm that he is describing a political combination? Also when we reflect upon the fact that it is corrupted government through which men commit countless abominations, we understand why it is called the mother of abominations. Through what organization other than government can this be done? And when we further recognize that Satan and his forces prostitute the Lords government, and use it to destroy freedom rather than preserve it, we understand better why the prophets would call it the whore of all the earth. [p. 217]
Will the Gentiles Be Given a Space for Repentance?
We noticed in studying the Nephite record that when they were seduced into prostituting their government, the Lord sent a repentance famine which caused them to cleanse their government of its abominations. We also noted that for a forty-year period following this, a great division occurred between the people based entirely upon differences in political philosophy. Those who favored Satans plan of communism, joined the Gadianton band and sought through constant aggressive warfare to conquer those who opposed it.
As noted above, the Lord has promised that in these last days, He
. . . shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire. (2 Ne. 30:10)
Just how He will bring about the division, the scriptures do not say. Obviously it could be done with a famine. Those who have stored provisions could subsist in a famine-stricken area while others could not. But regardless of how it happens, we can rest assured that the division will come and from the conclusions drawn herein, it will occur along political lines as was the case with the Nephites.
The Laws of Man in the Light of the Laws of God
It is rather sobering to reflect that under a government subject to the voice of the people we can, with no more risk, effort or inconvenience than that required to mark a ballot, destroy our freedom and jeopardize our eternal welfare. Merely by yielding to the common disposition to cover our sins by legalizing them; gratifying our pride, our vain ambition by voting for laws which unjustly provide us with the things of this world and the honors of men; and succumbing to the almost universal disposition to exercise unrighteous dominion, we can forfeit those blessings we prize above all others. (D&C 121)
At the opening of the J. Reuben Clark Law School in Provo, Utah, Marion G. Romney, then a member of the first presidency of the Church, delivered an address in which he stated: [p. 218]
The board of trustees, in establishing this school of law, did so, that there may be an institution in which you, the members of this class, and all those who shall follow you, may obtain a knowledge of . . . (The) laws of . . . Man in the light of the laws of God. (Speech dated August 27, 1973)
It would seem that this should be an objective of every member of the Church and indeed, of every person who desires to preserve freedom by reestablishing the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule as the law of the land.
Words of President Benson
I testify that wickedness is rapidly expanding in every segment of our society. (See D&C 1:14-16; 84:49-53.) It is more highly organized, more cleverly disguised, and more powerfully promoted than ever before. Secret combinations lusting for power, gain, and glory are flourishing. A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing its evil influence and control over America and the entire world. [See Ether 8:18-25] (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, November 1988, p. 87) [p. 219]