In the last chapter in the unsealed portion of the record that Joseph Smith translated known as the Book of Mormon, Moroni speaks to his brethren the Lamanites who will be living in the last days and tells them that the records that he is sealing up will come forth to them and he tells them how to know that they are true.
Those passages about how to unlock the knowledge that the ancient records are true have become perhaps the most talked about passages in Mormonism… particularly in missionary work.
Some people are a little perplexed at the fact that the Indian nations, as a whole, categorically rejected the Book of Mormon during the 2nd watch, when Oliver Cowdery, Parley Pratt and others introduced to them.
However, the term “THESE RECORDS” in verse 2 is referring to the sealed portion as well as the unsealed portion.
That is one of the reasons we know that Moroni was speaking to the Lamanites of the 3rd watch, when the Marvelous Work and a Wonder begins and brings forth all of the plates, not the 2nd watch when the foundation of the Marvelous Work was laid.
There are a number of interesting subtleties in this chapter that I want to point out just in case you haven’t noticed them.
One is the amazing simplicity of the sequence that follows after the righteous latter day Lamanites accept the record.
Following his admonition and instructions on how to know the records are true, Moroni tells them-
- The power of the Holy Ghost can tell them the truth of all things
- They can KNOW that Jesus is the Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost
- They should not DENY the GOODS GIFTS.
- He then lists the good gifts
- He speaks about the importance of faith hope and charity.
After that amazingly simple counsel, he directs his remarks to ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH who are living at the time that the records come forth.
“And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth, that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of UNBELIEF. And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there shall be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God”
Notice how the Lord uses the term “doeth good” when speaking to the Saints of the LDS foundation movement-
12 And there are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fulness of my gospel, which I have sent forth unto this generation. (D&C 35:1)
6 And the anger of God kindleth against the inhabitants of the earth; and none doeth good, for all have gone out of the way. (D&C 82:6)
Despite the bone chilling warning to all the ends of the earth that are living at the time the rest of the records begin to come forth, we know that there will be a remnant of gentiles that repent and rend the veil of unbelief at the same time that the righteous Lamanites do.
Either 4 informs us that a righteous portion of the gentiles will also repent and rend the veil of unbelief in the 3rd watch
6 For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.
7 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.
Ether clarifies that a portion of the righteous gentiles and a portion of the righteous house of Israel (who have not be classified among the gentiles) will repent of their unbelief at the same approximate time, although other scriptures inform us that it is the gentiles that receive it first and take it to the Lamanites-
13 Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.
14 Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief.
15 Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.
16 And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.
17 Therefore, when ye shall receive this record ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land.
18 Therefore, repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and believe in my gospel, and be baptized in my name; for he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned; and signs shall follow them that believe in my name.
19 And blessed is he that is found faithful unto my name at the last day, for he shall be lifted up to dwell in the kingdom prepared for him from the foundation of the world. And behold it is I that hath spoken it. Amen.
We know from this chapter and many other passages that the entire world will be in a state of darkness and apostasy at the time that the Marvelous Work finally commences. It is not until the appointed time that the plates come forth that any of the gentiles or house of Israel fully repent and rend the veil of unbelief and gain the testimony that Jesus is the Son of God. Prior to that time, those of us that believe in Christ have a faith and belief in the testimony of other that has been inspired by the Holy Ghost.
As I was reading this chapter and studying the gifts that the Lord had promised the Lamanites that are going to accept the gospel within the next few years, I was struck by the fact that their list of gifts did not seem to match up exactly with the gifts promised to us gentiles in section 46.
Notice the comparison on the graphic below.
Although about nine of the gifts are promised to both groups, the Lamanites are promised the gift of “exceeding faith” which is not expressly mentioned to the Gentiles.
Another fascinating thing is how the Gentiles get the discerning of spirits while the Lamanites get the gift of beholding angels and ministering spirits… are those gifts the same?
Interestingly, the gentiles are given the gifts pertaining to “administration” and “diversities of operations“.
Notice how the Gentiles are given the gifts of knowing the differences of administration and the diversities of operations while the Lamanites don’t.
In my opinion, when you compare the complexities of the things stated about church administration and the way it is to operate in modern revelation to the simplicity of the gospel and how the Lord conducted the affairs of the church among the decedents of Lehi in the Book of Mormon, it makes sense that the gentiles are promised those gifts and the Lamanites are not.
After all, it is the first laborers of the last kingdom (identified among the gentiles) that have been given the keys of the kingdom and stewardship to bring forth the records and the keys of the gathering that they have been given and to administer the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This why we are informed in modern revelation that the righteous remnant of Ephraim from among the gentiles will act in an administrative capacity, bestowing the blessings of the gospel upon the others of the elect.
Another very striking difference between the two sets of gifts is that one of the gifts the gentiles get is the gift to be able to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, on the words of those who have a knowledge that he is.
That gift is not given to the repentant Lamanites, they appear to all gain the Knowledge from heaven through the power of the holy Ghost.
That is a striking difference, and I believe it has to do with the fact that the gentiles have mixed blood and the fact that they are comprised of varying tribes of the house of Israel with varying spiritual dna, while the Lamanites have maintained their tribal state and identity.
As Joseph Smith said, the gospel net gathers all sorts of fish.
I believe those who “believe” and “endure to the end” without receiving the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost (being valiant in getting the spiritual testimony that Jesus is the Son of God by the power of the Holy Ghost) will receive their salvation in the terrestrial kingdom.
when we resume the series about the significance of the TESTIMONY that will be sealed up when the servants return, we will discuss this in more detail. Another thing I hope to discuss in that series is the EVIL GIFT.
Please notice verse 30
30 And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing. (Moro 10:30)
Moroni is speaking to everyone in the 3rd watch and he is not only beseeching them to come unto Christ and lay hold upon every good gift, he is warning them to not touch the EVIL GIFT!
Did you know that there is an evil gift that Satan has introduced in the world?
Do you know what the evil gift is?
Have you partaken of the evil counterfeit gift?
Many Latter Day Saints have.
I believe the giver of the evil gift uses his hand to offer and bestow it and the receiver uses his hand to receive it.
I believe the Book of Mormon is the only book of scripture that explains what this evil gift is and originates from, in relative detail.
We will possibly address this most important topic in one of the parts of the series on the sealing up of the Testimony.