Having used the prophecy of Moroni to clarify that a righteous portion of the Gentiles do ultimately repent prior to the second coming of the Lord in glory, let us now go back to the prophecy of Christ in 3rd Nephi.
We shall see that Christ was actually giving a three part sequence in his prophecy, first the Gentiles will reject the gospel, secondly, the fullness of the gospel will be taken from them and the gospel will be taken to the house of Israel… but only the knowledge of the fullness of the gospel will be given to the House of Israel as they are being grafted in.
Third and lastly, a portion of the believing gentiles will repent and become clean before the Lord
As you can see, the prophecy of Christ in 3rd Nephi is totally consistent with the prophecy of Moroni. A portion of believing gentiles will repent when the Marvelous Work commences.
Why is it that Moroni assures us that the gentiles will categorically repent and yet Christ says IF the gentiles repent?
It is because the context of Moroni’s remarks was only referring to the repentant believing gentiles. They, will repent.
Christ was making a broader declaration concerning all of the gentiles in the 3rd watch, realizing that some would repent while others would not when the marvelous work is ushered it.
He understood that the vast majority of the gentiles will reject the gospel when the final restoration takes place. Only a small portion of the gentiles will repent.
The Secret Appearance of Christ,
Moses, Elias and Elijah
The Secret Restoration of the Dispensation
of the Gospel of Abraham
Yes, I believe that Christ’s three part prophecy which is depicted in the image above, is related to the secret appearance of Christ and ministering angels to Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland Temple.
God was remembering his covenant with the House of Israel when he sent messengers to restore the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham and the keys of gathering Israel.
The restoration of the gospel of Abraham was done secretly allowing a great delusion to take place while resulting in the preparatory gospel being taken to the House of Israel.
This began the grafting in of the House of Israel to the restored gentile church!’
The prophet Mormon also provides an additional witness that just after the Lamanites are scattered by the gentiles, the Lord will remember his covenant with Abraham-
“But behold, it shall come to pass that they shall be driven and scattered by the Gentiles; and AFTER they have been driven and scattered by the gentiles, behold, then will the Lord remember the covenant which he made unto Abraham and unto all the house of Israel” (Mormon 5)
The Trail of Tears and related events having to do with the scattering of the Lamanites by the Gentiles began in 1831.
In 1836 Elias came to the Kirtland Temple to restore the “Gospel of Abraham” and Moses came to restore the “keys of the gathering of Israel”.
Can this possibly be a coincidence?
Was God not remembering his covenant with Abraham and with the house of Israel?
Would the real Gentiles please stand up?
I am suggesting that the originating American gentiles from pilgrim stock from England that were instrumental in laying the foundation of the church are not from the same branch of Israel as those who began converting to the church and migrating to America from Great Britain and other foreign lands a decade later during the Nauvoo era.
The American Gentiles from pilgrim stock were primarily from Joseph/Ephraim.
Yet Joseph smith referred to the new converts from foreign lands as the “outcasts of Israel” and the “dispersed of Judah“.
One could make a strong argument that the new converts migrating to Nauvoo from foreign lands from which most current latter days saints descend from, are not even technically referred to as gentiles in the Book of Mormon based on the Saviors statement in 3rd Nephi.
He continued to refer to them as the house of Israel even though they had mingled among the gentiles nations.
Perhaps that is why so many Caucasian members of the church innately despise the gentile once they begin to dig deep into the scriptures even though they falsely assume themselves to be one.
I am suggesting that the early and prominent gentile players in the restoration movement such as the Whitmer family, the Cowdery family, the Luke Johnson family and hundreds of other gentiles descending from pilgrim stock from England, were the gentiles that the Book of Mormon refers to.
They embraced the Book of Mormon but ultimately left the church during the Kirtland, Jackson, Far West and Nauvoo era’s over things pertaining to the fulness.
David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery personify the early originating gentile members of the church.
They continued to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ, but they and the rest of their American gentile brethren stumbled and just couldn’t accept the fullness of the higher light at that particular time.
The baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost were not being manifest abundantly during those trying years.
David Whitmer eventually rejected his own missionary work.
He essentially renounced the validity of the baptisms of tens of thousands of LDS converts that were brought into the church as the direct or indirect result of his missionary efforts and the testimony above his name in the opening cover of the Book of Mormon to this very day.
He rejected his own calling as an apostle.
He rejected the calling of the quorum of the twelve apostles that he and Oliver Cowdery had been instrumental in choosing and ordaining.
He rejected the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood and his own ordination as a high priest.
It was because of his actions and hundreds of others of his gentile brethren, that the Lord announced in section 124 that the fullness of the priesthood had been taken away from the gentiles!
Whitmer is one of the Great men of the Kingdom
Now then, have I been unreasonably hard on brother Whitmer and his fellow gentiles that rejected the fullness in this series?
Not at all.
Because what I am saying is the truth. I am simply quoting the prophecies of Jesus Christ and acknowledging their fulfillment regarding the preliminary rejection of the fullness of the Gospel by the Gentiles.
Furthermore, I am much kinder in my perception of these founding members of the restored church than most latter day Saints because I accept the unconditional promises that were given to people like David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery.
I am claiming that David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery and many others of the early gentiles are also the very same gentiles that Moroni prophesied about.
They are also the gentiles that will repent in the 3rd watch.
They REPENT and return to fulfill their callings!
Look at the UNCONDITIONAL promise given to Oliver and David
44 And by your hands I will work a marvelous work among the children of men, unto the convincing of many of their sins, that they may come unto repentance, and that they may come unto the kingdom of my Father.
45 Wherefore, the blessings which I give unto you are above all things.
Holy Cow, David and Oliver will be instrumental (along with others) in bringing to pass the Marvelous Work and a Wonder that is still a future event!
I would submit that David and Oliver have still not completed their callings as witnesses to the Book of Mormon. Perhaps they will witness about additional records as well.
It is because of their final testimony that many of the gentiles in the third watch will REPENT and enter the kingdom of the Father!
During the same month in 1829 that the above revelation was given to David and Oliver, the Lord gives a revelation directed exclusively at David Whitmer.
Are you sitting down?
I hope so because this might just blow your mind.
In it, He commands David Whitmer to seek to bring forth and establish Zion, a task that required the priesthood keys of the kingdom.
In the revelation given to Whitmer, Christ paraphrases his own prophecy in 3rd Nephi, telling David exactly what is going to happen to him and his fellow gentiles. He lets Whitmer know that the fullness of the gospel will be taken from him and his gentile brethren-
1 A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men.
2 Behold, I am God; give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore give heed unto my word.
3 Behold, the field is white already to harvest; therefore, whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God.
4 Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God.
5 Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.
6 Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things.
7 And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
8 And it shall come to pass, that if you shall ask the Father in my name, in faith believing, you shall receive the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance, that you may stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see, and also that you may declare repentance unto this generation.
9 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, who created the heavens and the earth, a flight which cannot be hid in darkness;
10 Wherefore, I must bring forth the fulness of my gospel from the Gentiles unto the house of Israel.
11 And behold, thou art David, and thou art called to assist; which thing if ye do, and are faithful, ye shall be blessed both spiritually and temporally, and great shall be your reward. Amen. ( section 14)
Undoubtedly, David and many others probably interpreted “bringing the fullness of the gospel FROM the gentiles to the house of Israel” with a positive spin. Meaning that the righteous gentiles who had embraced the fullness of the gospel would then share it with the House of Israel.
It is Obvious four generations later to those of us that have scripture search capabilities that the the Lord was paraphrasing his prophecy in 3rd Nephi and the SPIN was just the opposite of what it appeared to be.
The fullness of the gospel would be taken away from the gentiles because of their rejection of it!
Then the preparatory gospel and the Book of Mormon and D&C containing a description of the fullness of the gospel would be taken by an unsuspecting portion of well meaning Gentiles, to the House of Israel.
Praise God for David and Oliver and others of the gentiles who initially stumbled but have been covered by the grace of Jesus Christ and by the grafting in of the other branches of Israel and by the scapegoat offering of the atonement statute of God’s servants!
They will return and repent and testify.
Now then, was it only those early American gentiles who apostatized in Kirtland that rejected the fullness of the gospel?
The early gentiles that stayed with the church and went to Nauvoo ALSO rejected the fullness of the gospel.
They also could only embrace a portion of the gospel. This is what section 124:25 was telling the Nauvoo saints. They had failed to retain the fullness!
The entire church failed to embrace the fullness of the gospel in the 2nd watch and the fullness of the gospel was taken from all of them.
The issue was’t just whether a person stayed in the church or not, it was whether they lived the law of the gospel contained in section 42 and magnified the office of high priest which was restored at the Morley Farm and established Zion.
The entire gentile church collectively rejected the fullness of the gospel.
Now then, you might be surprised to find out that as the remaining portion of the early gentiles from the Kirtland church mingled with the converts to the church that began pouring into Nauvoo from foreign lands, who were being graphed into the church, that something very fascinating took place when the great succession debate took place.
There is evidence to suggest that 90% of the early Kirtland saints that followed Joseph Smith to Nauvoo rejected Brigham Young and the 12 and refused to follow them to Utah.
The primary demographic that followed Brigham were the new converts. The poor farmers and laborers from foreign lands who were still babes in the gospel. Many were illiterate. Most did not own a copy of the Book of Mormon or D&C.
If you were not seasoned in the scriptures and had just come over to the promised land, who would you follow? If you had been converted to the gospel by the preaching of one of the 12 or their assistance and then you were forced to put your trust in the one group of men or another, would it not be the apostles that you had come to love and trust?
Listen to the statement of Brigham Young that was being directed to those who could not really think for themselves-
“You are now without a prophet present with you in the flesh to guide you; but you are not without apostles..” Times and Seasons 5:618
Those words would calculated to appeal to the new converts that had not yet been weaned from the breast.
They would not have been very impressive to the seasoned leadership of the church who understood that the 12 were not even allowed to preside in stakes!
It was primarily the branches of the House of Israel from foreign lands that were being graphed into the restored church that had embraced the preparatory gospel of Abraham, that chose to follow Brigham Young and the quorum of the 12 to Utah… and then continued taking it to the nations of the earth.
Few things Stranger than Strang
This brings us back to the mysterious character in the picture at the beginning of this series.
Truth is often stranger than fiction. And so it is with the life of James Jesse Strang, our mystery guy in the picture at the beginning of this article.
To be continued…