Book of Mormon Commentary - 1 Nephi 14

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
            CHAPTER 14

An angel tells Nephi of the blessings and cursing to fall upon the Gentiles—There are only two churches: the Church of the Lamb of God and the church of the devil—The saints of God in all nations are persecuted by the great and abominable church—The apostle John shall write concerning the end of the world. [Between 600 and 592 B.C.]

[About 592 B.C.]
1 AND it shall come to pass, that if the aGentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in bpower, in very deed, unto the ctaking away of their dstumbling blocks—
2 And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy fathera; yea, they shall be anumbered among the house of Israelb; and they shall be a bblessed people upon the cpromised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.
3 And that great apit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged ita, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that bhell which hath no end.
4 For behold, this is according to the acaptivity of the devil, and also according to the justice of God, upon all those who will work wickedness and abomination before him.

I S R A E L 
'ISRAEL' is a name of God referencing God and His people. It is a name of the Covenant and references the fact that God will prevail in the plan of the covenant and those who are his with him. Though given to Jacob as a 'new name', it is a name of God and God's people first and from before the foundation of the world it was given. Thus all who do come unto God and who enter in by the strait gate and becaome a part of the LORD's Kingdom, are so called 'ISRAEL', 'They who do prevail with God.'
 2a they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father Since it was to Lehi who the covenant was made that his seed should inherit the promised land of America (see 1 Nephi 3:30 & 2 Nephi 3:16), it would be that seed, which others who would also inherit this land, who would be joined in that inheritance forever as the seed of Israel. Israel being the seed of Joseph by whom the blessing of the fathers did remain (D&C 10:27).
 2b they shall be numbered among the house of Israel All who come unto Christ and are baptized in his name by the authority of God are to be numbered among the House of Israel. That is they will be number among the House of God, which House is that House which shall Prvail, in that God, Jehovah, even Jesus Christ shall prevail. Indeed there are but two churches, the church of the Lamb of God, which is the same as Israel, and that of the devil. Jacob was given the name of Israel, but the concept that God would prevail was from the very foundation, that God would prevail in the Plan of God, and he would prevail over Lucifer and his angels. And thus it is as John the Baptist did state that even of these stones, an allusion to the Gentiles, could and would God raise up sons of Abraham, meaning sons of the covenant. For the covenant of God is from the beginning, from before the foundation of the world. It is that covenant which the Father made with His children. It is that covenant which is fulfilled through the chosen of the Father, Jehovah, even Jesus Christ. And any who are of that covenant are of the House of God, which is the House that will prevail. God will prevail and all will come under that same name and meaning, Israel. From before the flood to Adam, from since the flood to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Ephraim, to Moses and all of the holy prophets, and the apostles down unto this day and this time; all who join themselves to God will prevail and be names and numbered among the house of Israel.
 3a that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it Satan and his angels will be the primary fillers of it. They are they who have spent their efforts in digging the pit, which they intended for the children of God, for mankinds who has come to this second estate. Yet it will them, Satan and his angels, who will be cast into it. And the Salvation of the Messiah will be unto the salvation of all who do come unto him and seek after his name according to the mind and the will of God.
 1a 1 Ne. 22:9 (8-9); 2 Ne. 30:3;
      3 Ne. 16:6-13; TG Gentiles
   b 1 Thes. 1:5; 1 Ne. 14:14; Jacob 6:2 (2-3)
   c Ether 12:27
   d Isa. 57:14; Ezek. 7:19; 1 Cor. 1:23;
      1 Ne. 13:34 (29, 34); 2 Ne. 26:20
 2a Gal. 3:7 (7-29); 2 Ne. 10:18-19;
      3 Ne. 16:13; 3 Ne. 21:6 (6, 22);
      Abr. 2:10 (9-11);
   b TG Israel; BD Israel
   b 2 Ne. 6:12; 2 Ne. 10:10 (8-14);
      3 Ne. 16:6-7; 3 Ne. 20:27; Morm. 5:19
   c TG Israel, Deliverance of;
      TG Israel, Restoration of;
      TG Lands of Inheritance
 3a Ps. 57:6; Matt. 7:2 (1-2);
      1 Ne. 22:14 (13-14); D&C 10:26 (25-27);
      D&C 109:25;
   b Alma 19:29; TG Damnation; TG Hell
 4a TG Bondage, Spiritual

5 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, Nephi, saying: Thou hast beheld that if the Gentiles repent it shall be awell with them; and thou also knowest concerning the covenants of the Lord unto the house of Israel; and thou also hast heard that whoso brepenteth not must perish.
6 Therefore, awo be unto the Gentiles if it so be that they harden their hearts against the Lamb of God.
7 For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a amarvelous work among the children of men; a bwork which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the othera—either to the convincing of them unto cpeace and dlife eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the ecaptivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.

 7a a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other Now this is the matter as to whether the earth will be forever cursed or forever blessed. It is unto the fulfilling of the covenat of the Fathers, back to Abraham, Noah and Adam, and even back unto the very promise and oath which the Father did set before his children in the preexistance unto the salvation of man. For if this work of this latter day does go forth to the fulfilling of the everlasting covenant of the Fathers, then all will be well forever more. If not then the earth will be utterly wasted, having not fulfilling purpose in it and man being eternally lost. But he Savior had prevailed and now it is for man to so respond to the carrying the labor forth to the ends of the earth, from times to come back to all times pasted to the redemption of all mankind from the beginning to the end thereof. And thus is the great work of this latter day, as the gospel goes forth to every nation and kindred and tongue and people who does not live, who will ever live and who has ever so lived upon the face of the earth. What Church and what plan does not so universally provide for all of mankind is NOT of God, but is of the Devil. And thus is one of the signs of it.  5a 1 Ne. 13:39 (34-42); 1 Ne. 22:9
   b TG Repentance
 6a 2 Ne. 28:32
 7a Isa. 29:14; 1 Ne. 13:35; 1 Ne. 22:8
     2 Ne. 27:26; 2 Ne. 29:1-2; D&C 4:1;
     TG Restoration of the Gospel
   b TG God, Works of
   c TG Peace; TG Peace of God
   d Jer. 21:8; TG Eternal Life
   e 2 Ne. 2:29 (26-29); Alma 12:11 (9-11)

8 And it came to pass that when the angel had spoken these words, he said unto me: Rememberest thou the acovenants of the Father unto the house of Israel? I said unto him, Yea.
9 And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look, and behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the adevil.
10 And he said unto me: Behold there are save atwo churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the bother is the church of the cdevil; wherefore, dwhoso 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 ewhore of all the earth.

   8a TG Abrahamic Covenant;
       BD Abraham, Covenant of;
       TG Israel, Mission of
   9a 1 Ne. 15:35; D&C 1:35
       TG Devil, Church of
 10a 1 Ne. 22:23; 2 Ne. 26:20
       Morm. 8:28 (25-41); TG Church
     b 1 Ne. 13:4-6, 26, 34
     c TG Devil, Church of;
       TG False Prophets
     d 2 Ne. 10:16
     e rev. 17:15 (5, 15)

11 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many awaters; and she had dominion over ball the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.
12 And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were afew, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon ball the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.
13 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 afight against the Lamb of God.

 11a Jer. 51:13 (12-14)
     b D&C 35:11
 12a Matt. 7:14; Jacob 5:70; 3 Ne. 14:14;
       D&C 138:26
     b D&C 90:11
 13a Rev. 17:6 (1-6); Rev. 18:24; 1 Ne. 13:5

14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were aarmed with brighteousness and with the cpower of God in great glory.
15 And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was apoured out upon that great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the bnations and kindreds of the earth.
16 And as there began to be awars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things—
17 And when the aday cometh that the bwrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the cwork of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his dcovenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel.

 14a TG Misson of Latter-day Saints
     b TG Deliverence; TG Protection, Divine
     c Luke 24:49; 1 Ne. 13:37; 1 Ne. 14:1;
       Jacob 6:2-3; D&C 38:38 (32-38)
 15a D&C 115:6 (5-6)
     b Mark 13:8; D&C 87:6
 16a 1 Ne. 22:13-14; Morm. 8:30; TG War
 17a TG Last Days
     b 1 Ne. 21:26; 1 Ne. 22:16 (15-16);
       3 Ne. 20:20 (19-20)
     c 3 Ne. 21:26 (7, 20-29);
       TG Israel, Restoration of
     d Morm. 8:21 (21, 41); TG Abrahamic Covenant;
       BD Abraham, Covenant of;

18 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
19 And I looked and beheld a man, and he was dressed in a white robe.
20 And the angel said unto me: Behold aone of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
21 Behold, he shall asee and bwrite the cremainder of these thingsa; yea, and also many things which have been.
22 And he shall also write concerning the end of the world.

 21a he shall see and write the remainder of these things John the apostle, the Revelator, would see at least a part of the vision of all, the end part. And though Nephi was given to see that as well, it was not for Nephi to write it for it was John the apostle who would be given to write that portion of the vision.  20a Rev. 1:1-3; 1 Ne. 14:27
 21a Rev. 1:1
     b 1 Ne. 13:24 (20-40); A of F 8
     c Rev. 4:1

23 Wherefore, the things which he shall write are just and true; and behold they are written in the abook which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the Jew; and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, or, at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, the things which were written were plain and pure, and most bprecious and easy to the understanding of all men.
24 And behold, the things which this aapostle of the Lamb shall write are many things which thou hast seen; and behold, the remainder shalt thou see.
25 But the things which thou shalt see hereafter thou shalt not write; for the Lord God hath ordained the apostle of the Lamb of God that he should awrite them.

 23a 1 Ne. 13:20-24; Morm. 8:33; Ether 4:16
     b 1 Ne. 13:28-32
 24a Ether 4:16
 25a John 20:30-31; John 21:25; Rev. 1:19

26 And also others who have been, to them hath he ashown all things, and they have a,bwritten thema; and they are bsealed up to come forth in their purity, according to the truth which is in the Lamb, in the own due time of the Lord, unto the house of Israel.
27 And I, Nephi, heard and bear record, that the name of the apostle of the Lamb was aJohn, according to the word of the angel.
28 And behold, I, Nephi, am forbidden that I should write the remainder of the things which I saw and hearda; wherefore the things which I have written sufficeth me; and I have written but a small part of the things which I saw.

Vision of All 
When we come to understand that what Nephi saw was the same vision of all which John the Revelator and the brother of Jared saw, and that Nephi is so writing a part of that vision down in his record; then we will begin to have a greater interest and appreciation for these writings of the prophet Nephi. For Nephi, like many of the prophets did see it all. And Nephi in his plainness of writing does clearly set for and write a goodly portion of it, which he is so authorized to so write unto his people and unto we who are also of the seed of Joseph who live upon this promised land today.
 26a also others who have been, to them hath he shown all things, and they have written them When it states 'also others' that included Nephi. It is saying also besides Nephi, 'also other' besides you Nephi, have seen 'all things'. Certainly Mahonri Moriancumr has seen all things in the 'vision of all' and had written the whole of it as assigned by God. But Ether wrote it into his gold plates history of the Jaredites, so Ether read it and may have also seen it, for Ether was seeing night vision of that which was occuring to the Jaredites in the end. Mosiah II translated it and his record was read and had after Christ visited the Nephites. Moroni also translated Ether's record when he prepared the Jaredite history. But Nephi would not known of them.
   One who Nephi would have read of straight from the plates of brass would have been Moses, and that which Nephi had may not have had the word of Moses taken away from by men (Moses 1:40). And certainly Moses did see all things according to the fuller record of Moses (Moses 1:27-30). The who else would Nephi have been speaking? Consider that it is the likely reason why Nephi found Isaiah's writings so easy to follow and had such a great affinity for the book of Isaiah that he put many chapters of Isaiah directly into the Book of Mormon, not as a 'filler' but because it contained much of what Nephi had seen in vision. And of course if you have seen the 'movie'/vision then the book is much easier to follow, right? Nephi was further told that John the revelator also saw the vision or at least the tail end of it, for Nephi was not allowed to write any of that portion of his vision.
 28a I, Nephi, am forbidden that I should write the remainder of the things which I saw and heard Nephi and Lehi, as well as other prophets such as Mahonri Moriancumr, Joseph Smith, Isaiah, and many others, have seen the visions, even the vision of all and in particular that which Nephi could not write further was that portion which was given to the Apostle John to write, that is the book of Revelation. However, though Nephi is not allowed to write the vision, certain aspects of it do influence his gospel perspectives. One such prominant perspective is that men will be judged at the final judgement according to their works (Revelation 20:12-13). Thus unlike the perspective which the apostles Paul does emphasize, that works without faith in the Lord and the atonement of Christ and his gospel at of no effect, Nephi takes the strong perspective, assuming that required faith in Christ, that it is by works that we are judged (1 Nephi 15:32, 2 Nephi 9:44). And following after that perspective of Nephi, others in the Book of Mormon also state the strong position that men are to be judged of their works (Mosiah 3:24, Alma 9:28, Alma 41:3). This is the same perspective taken in the Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 19:3, D&C 76:111, D&C 112:34, D&C 59:23, D&C 121:24-25, D&C 124:48).
  Now it is one thing to state that salvation come by Christ and another to state that the final judgment of men will be based upon their works. For due to the work of the Temples, all ordinances for all who have ever lived will be accomplished. And then what remains is but the works of a man to be judged of unto which degree of salvation is obtained. And Paul's position of emphasizing the atonement of Christ must be taken in that context of the traditions of the Jews who believed that by their works they were justified unto salvation. Thus Paul's position that in works is not found salvation is a very solid position. For salvation is not found in works. Salvation is found in Christ. What is found in works is judgment. And men when they are brought before God at the final judgement will have already been raised from the dead, that is resurrected unto that being which will testify against them in that according to their works will not only their judgement be, but their resurrected being will stand as witness to their degree of Christ glory and image they have taken upon themselves in their works of goodness or of evil (Alma 5:16, 41-42, Moroni 7:5).
  Now when Christ was asked what a man must do to obtain Eternal Life, he first stated to keep the commandments. When the man said he had done so from his youth, Christ stated that one thing he still lacked and told him to take all of his earthly wealth, sell it, give it to the poor and come and follow him. Now the very act of selling all of one's earthly wealth and giving it to the poor would be a great good work, but that is not what the young rich man did lack. What he lacked is well stated by Paul, 'And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, ... and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:3). Charity is the Love of God. That man loved manmon, that is the things of the earth, more than he loved God. He did not keep the great commandment even though he might have appeared to live the second which is like unto it. But further still, is that if a man does not know God, that is Christ the Son and God the Eternal Father in Heaven, then he does not or has not exhibited his faith in God. And only in the faith and hope in the Lord, coming to him in meekness, with a broken heart and contrite spirit, willing to submit to and do the will of the Lord in all things,does man come unto salvation, that salvation which is provided only in and through Jesus Christ and none other.
 26a Moses 1:27-31; Moses 7:45; Ether 3:25-26
     b Moses 1:40-41; Ether 3:27
 26a TG Scriptures, Writing of
     b Dan. 12:9; 2 Ne. 27:10 (6-23);
       2 Ne. 30:17; Ether 3:21-27;
       Ether 4:5 (4-7); Ether 12:21;
       D&C 35:18; JS-H 1:65;
 27a Rev. 1:1-3

29 And I bear record that I saw the things which my afather saw, and the angel of the Lord did make them known unto me.
30 And now I make an end of speaking concerning the things which I saw while I was acarried away in the spirit; and if all the things which I saw are not written, the things which I have written are btrue. And thus it is. Amen.

 29a 1 Ne. 8:2-35
 30a 1 Kings 18:12; 1 Ne. 11:29 (19, 29)
     b 1 Ne. 13:39; 2 Ne. 25:20

Vision of All ~ Nephi's Portion

That portion of the Vision of All which Nephi has been given to write is in one sense now complete. And it can be studied upon that basis, that this is Nephi's small plates record of that vision or that portion of that vision which he is given to so record. But when one considers that there is always a ridsidual effect, a subsequent effect, and everlasting effect unto further application of such knowledge as obtained from such a vision; it must be understood that in Nephi's further writings that threads of the vision will also be made manifest and be drawn out unto further understanding. Look for such and they will be found for they are there. One such understanding which will stand out in Nephi's writings is that it is 'the works of man' which will determine a man's degree of glory. This concept is also so pronounced in John's account in the book of Revelation, meaning this same particular revelation, the vision of all. And thus Nephi further 'tilts' the scale by revealing his understanding of just how 'works' will so play into that final analysis without giving it in 'visionary' form, Nephi does give it in principle understanding form in respect to the great and final judgement which Nephi certainly foresaw in that great vision of all.

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