(More than I year ago, I departed from my study of the Book of Mormon to read from the words of Isaiah. Now I am returning to the Book of Mormon.)
This chapters discusses in some detail “the fulfilling of the covenants which the Father hath made unto his people, [the] house of Israel.” (See verse 12)
I find it instructive that the Lord administered to the Nephites the Sacrament (a second time) before teaching them regarding this covenant and its fulfillment. This is a reminder to me of the importance of spiritual preparation before the reception of spiritual blessings, knowledge, and insights.
I am struggling to progress through this chapter, and I have read it now from beginning to end several times. Part of the struggle that I am having is that I’m trying to fit this statements of the Savior into a timeline of events. I feel that this may be hindering my progress through this chapter. What is a different way of looking at these verses?
There is a passage in this chapter that I had always applied to others. Yesterday, in considering it, I realized that this could be talking about me:
Then shall ye, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
Thy hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.Verses 16-17
I would hardly consider myself such a destructive force among my fellows, but I think that the operative word here is “if”. “If he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth to pieces.” And this power, perhaps is more symbolic than literally, just as none is actually a lion or a sheep.
Part of the reason why I had never before consider that this could apply to me is because of the references that the context of this verse seemed to suggest in connection with native Americans or indigenous peoples. But am I not of the tribe of Ephraim, also of the house of Jacob? Am I not among the gentiles, who are many?
Here are a few random thoughts that I have clarified in my mind as I try to make sense of this chapter:
- Jerusalem will be destroyed and then rebuilt for righteous occupation.
- The redeemed of the house of Israel are those who will have accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Christ as their redeemer. They will be made clean through the blood of Christ. God has not decreed any other form of salvation or redemption. Redemption is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ unto repentance.