Yet another miraculous conversion/spiritual rebirth caused by simply calling upon the mercy of God. We learn exactly what “all we can do” is, and the penitent “see the light”.
2 Peter 2:20
1 Nephi 14:1
I don’t see Jacob 6:2 in your scriptures for the podcast, but that is the one that caught my attention.
“And the day that he shall set his hand again the second time to recover his people, is the day, yea, even the last time, that the servants of the Lord shall go forth in his power, to nourish and prune his vineyard; and after that the end soon cometh.”
The SECOND time. When was the first time? For some reason, this is the scripture that came to me:
“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.” (Jer. 16:14-15)
The footnote for Jacob 6:2 related to “recover” takes me to 1 Ne. 22:10-12 which includes the promise that “he will bring them again out of captivity”.
“Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel. Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.”
Searching “out of captivity” also led me to JST Gen 50:25 (& 2 Ne. 3:5) “… for he shall be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the Spirit of power; and shall bring them forth our of darkness into light; out of hidden darkness, and out of captivity unto freedom.”
We know that Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt with power, the promise of the last days seems to be that the Lord will make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations by leading his people out of captivity as well. If this is the case, it doesn’t appear that this work is simply a do-over of what was not accomplished during the lifetime of Joseph Smith. There is a real bondage under which the lost house of Israel is laboring, and they will be freed from this. The same promise is given to the Gentiles in 1 Ne. 14:2. If they will not harden their hearts against the Lamb of God they will enjoy the same blessings , including “they shall no more be brought down into captivity.” Would you say we are under captivity now? It seems that this captivity must be temporal as well as spiritual for it to be associated with the arm of the Lord being made bare in the eyes of all the nations. Maybe the fact that we pay so much in taxes is a symptom of captivity. Any thoughts?
I can see how and why the church discounts the miraculous conversion accounts in the Book of Mormon. During the foundation in the 1830s and beyond, there really aren’t many examples of the sort of public and well-known conversions happening. There are a few here and there, but nothing like what is found in the Book of Mormon accounts. If you believe you have the fulness and preaching the same, there’s an obvious disconnect and so you explain them away by saying that it isn’t normal. These are examples of extraordinary conversions and we shouldn’t be expecting to see them in our own lives.
However, once you have the true narrative of what happened to the church and what is to come, then it makes sense because the servants back in the early foundation did not go out with power and authority to preach the gospel. That is all part of the second commission. This view also makes sense why we didn’t see those sorts of things happening back then and up to our current day. For those who are awaiting the return of the servants, this is one of those signs that you will be looking for: when they preach with power, there should be conversions like those described in the Book of Mormon.
Both views explain what is happening today. I believe one of those views is far more in alignment with the totality of the scriptures.
So, would you say we could identify the time of the fullness of the Gentiles by seeing these types of events? Are they happening already among some evangelical Christians under the radar of the rest of the population?
This is where I start to wonder whether we are supposed to be watching for the signs of the times as diligently as we are searching the scriptures to discern true from false doctrines and traditions. I really don’t have a lot of awareness of the state of Christian conversion and persecution around the world. If there is active missionary work happening similar to what we see in the scriptures, it isn’t reported on in the mainstream news or in General Conference talks. Do any of you have stories about miraculous healing or the underground Christian communities in China? Of course the response to that could always be that we were warned about false prophets and false Christs, so ignore anything like that that is happening outside the expected channels.
I have heard stories of miracles among Christians in Africa, but few and far between. Here’s my theory:
King Lamoni and his father didn’t know much about God, but had enough faith to have miracles. Perhaps that is happening in some of these areas. People are exposed to Christianity and they embrace it wholeheartedly and see the fruits of faith at first. Then their mainstream Christian teachers quickly educate them on the creeds and doctrines of men, teaching them “the proper” way to worship and their faith is diverted and the miracles wane. I keep harping on D&C 123, but these creeds and traditions are an iron yoke that keep us in bondage. Jesus noted that the religious leaders of his time would compass land and sea to make a convert, and then turn them into a child of hell like themselves. I suspect that’s not too far off from what’s happening today.
Yep, I agree about the creeds blinding people who first see miracles because of their simple faith. I saw some interesting things on my mission for sure because people had faith. At the time I attributed it to the priesthood, but now I’m pretty convinced that it was almost 100% due to faith of the people involved and calling on the name of Jesus believing He would save. So, I think other Christian groups or even non-christians who believe in God, and don’t know anything about Jesus, can experience small miracles. But they mostly are under the radar, and I think are preparing the hearts of many to accept the servants when they go forth in power.
As to us being in captivity in a physical/political sense. It goes well beyond taxation (in Ether one of the kings is noted as being especially wicked for requiring 20% taxes, hahaha, I wish it was that low). At this point in time we have an elected monarchy with basically unlimited powers. We have rights de jure, but de facto will be thrown in jail and/or ostracized for exercising any of them, because there are judicial exceptions to all of them. On the economic front, try to live without working within the system. Good luck buying a house or a car without credit and a credit score. Good luck getting a good paying job without a college degree and trillions of dollars of student debt. Then for the rest of your life you have to keep working in a job you probably hate to make all of your debt payments. (Fun fact mortgage is old French for “death pledge”). And don’t get sick because you might bankrupt yourself even if you have insurance. You also will be kept so busy by all your work and financial obligations that you won’t ever have time for anything meaningful like spending time with your family, or doing service, or reading the scriptures. So yea I’d say we’re in all kinds of bondage.
That brings up an interesting question, prior to the ministry of Jesus Christ, how common were healing miracles in the scriptures? We know of Moses raising the brass serpent to heal whosoever would look, and Elijah and Elisha raising the dead. Naaman’s leprosy being cured is another example, but it seems rare in the record before Jesus’ ministry. In the Biblical timeline, though, Moses lived alongside the priests of Pharaoh who performed miracles, and Elijah/Elisha lived during the days of Jezebel’s false priests who could also perform miracles of some sort (otherwise who would have attempted to burn a sacrifice without matches?)
Alma 46:40 even mentions people dying of fever, “but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases.” Why not just send for the Elders? Did they need to see examples of that kind of healing for faith to kick in, or did they know enough about the foundations of health to expect people not to trash their bodies and expect the priesthood to fix it for them?
However, simultaneous to Christ’s ministry, Nephi was raising the dead, casting out devils, and having daily ministering angels. “And as many as had devils cast out from them, and were healed of their sicknesses and their infirmities, did truly manifest unto the people that they had been wrought upon by the Spirit of God, and had been healed”. (3 Ne. 7:22) I assume they still had access to the same plants and knowledge as the people in Alma’s day, but that might not be true. So by this point in time Nephi was healing the sick, not because that is what was expected of missionaries/high priests, but because he “had power given unto him that he might know concerning the ministry of Christ”. He was doing what he saw Christ do.
That leads me to wonder whether the supernatural faith healing we hear about in 3rd world countries are partly a result of faith in the supernatural that doesn’t exist in our culture, because they also believe in literal demons and spirits (evil) affecting their daily lives. When they learn about the miracles and goodness of God, it is only natural to them that His power would be more than sufficient to overcome the evil that has caused their problems. Could the fact that Nephi was casting out demons be an indication that the Nephite/Lamanite societies had also become more involved in demonic possession after there was such a widespread experience of people being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit?