2 Nephi 30

2 Ne 30:2 as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord

The difference between Jews and Gentiles, which was so important to the Jews of Christ's day, is abolished with the gospel of Jesus Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek...for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise (Gal 3:28-9). Those Gentiles who repent and receive Christ as their Savior will become the covenant people of the Lord. They are effectively adopted into the house of Israel. Conversely, those Jews who reject Christ will be cast off as though no promises were ever made to them.

The significance of being adopted into the house of Israel begins with the promises made to Abraham.  Because of Abraham's great faith and obedience, even that he would offer his son Isaac, the Lord promised him, That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (Gen 22:17-8). Those who understand the true meaning of the promise of eternal life and eternal increase understand that seed multiplied as the stars of the heaven is an eternal and not merely a mortal promise. Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies, means that the Lord will bless them, prosper them, and protect them from political oppression. In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed is fulfilled in several respects. First, the house of Israel will do the genealogy and temple work for the dead and perform temple ordinances for the returning ten tribes, becoming saviors on mount Zion, And there shall they (the 10 tribes) fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim (DC 133:32). Second, the Savior of the world and most of the prophets were to come through the lineage of Israel. Third, the gospel will be brought to the world primarily through the house of Israel. Fourth, the world has been blessed by the contributions to art, science, inventions, industry, philosophy, politics, etc. made by the descendants of Abraham.

Other promises related to the covenant made with Abraham are to be had in the temple of God. John the Revelator explained that those who are sanctified by Jesus Christ are made kings and priests unto God (Rev 1:6). This phrase could be rendered kings and priests in the house of Israel for it is through the house of Israel that the Lord establishes his church and reigns in his kingdom, for now and for all time. All of these promises that are part of the Abrahamic covenant are available to every member of the church. They are promises with incredible eternal consequence which are often under appreciated.

Joseph Smith taught that there was an actual spiritual transformation which purges out the old blood, "the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 150) See also Rom 9:6-8, DC 103:17, and the Bible Dictionary on "Adoption."

2 Ne 30:3-5 the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them (the remnant of our seed)

"In its overall structure, the Book of Mormon begins and ends with concern for the Lamanites receiving the gospel. Reiterating the main points from the title page, Nephi says that through the Book of Mormon the Lamanites shall know they are of Israel and through it 'they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ' (2 Nephi 30:5; see 30:1-6). Then toward the end, Mormon says much the same thing: 'Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel. . . . Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in Jesus Christ' (Mormon 7:2, 5). At the physical center of the book is the narrative of the conversion of the Lamanites. This central part begins with the decree of the king of the Lamanites that Ammon and his brethren should be free to preach the word of God throughout all the land, and ends with gratitude by these great missionaries for the thousands of Lamanite souls 'brought to behold the marvelous light of God' (Alma 26:3). The narrative high point of the book is the ministry of the resurrected Savior. While discoursing to both the Lamanites and Nephites before him, Jesus as well speaks to their descendants, saying that the Book of Mormon 'shall come forth of the Father, from [the Gentiles] unto you' (3 Nephi 21:3). He confirms the prophecies of Isaiah that in the last days the children of Lehi will be gathered both physically and spiritually. 'Then is the fulfilling,' he says, 'of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel' (3 Nephi 20:12)." (FARMS: Review of Books, vol. 2-1990, Richard D. Rust "The Book of Mormon, Designed for Our Day", p. 16)

We see the Father fulfilling this covenant as the missionaries have success preaching the gospel among the descendants of the Nephites and Lamanites in Central and South America. The Book of Mormon is the history of their ancestors and it rings true to them. Nevertheless, these missionary successes have come relatively recently-as the following quotes explain.

Spencer W. Kimball

"This year (1947) the Uruguayan Mission has been opened, and today with that mission and Brazil and Argentina, we have in South America 169 missionaries working among the Lamanites. This, of course, is in fulfilment of the dreams of the brethren and particularly the promise and prayer of Elder Melvin J. Ballard when on the 25th of December in 1925 he stood on the banks of El Rio de La Plata at Buenos Aires, and under the weeping willow trees there, blessed South America. He said this, among other things:

 '...I turn the key, unlock, and open the door for the preaching of the gospel in all these South American nations, and rebuke, and command to be stayed, every power that would oppose the preaching of the gospel in these lands. And we do bless and dedicate these nations, and this land for the preaching of the gospel' (The Improvement Era, April, 1926, pp. 575, 576.)" (Conference Report, Oct. 1947, p. 18)

After Elder Ballard blessed the land for the preaching of the gospel, the rate of growth of those who have been restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ is staggering:

"Church members in Latin America, especially in Mexico, Central America, and western South America, regard themselves as being among the descendants of the Nephites and Lamanites described in the Book of Mormon and hence as heirs to the great promises contained in that volume. In no other area was there greater Church growth during the third quarter of the twentieth century: Church membership in Latin America skyrocketed from less than 9,000 in 1950 to over 650,000 just three decades later. In 1950 only .8 percent of all Latter-day Saints lived in Latin America, while by 1980 the figure had reached 16.4 percent." (Richard O. Cowan, The Church in the twentieth Century, 1985, p. 270)

President Kimball, while still an apostle, described the success of earlier missionary efforts amongst the Indians of North America:

Spencer W. Kimball

"There was a period back in 1875-6 when there were great numbers of Indians who came into the Church. There was Chief Poko-Tel-Lo from the Snake River, who, with his entire band, was baptized into the Church, and they left Salt Lake City going back to their homes determined to refrain from all evil practices. The old chief said that the other Indians were interested, and there would be many who would be baptized. There were fifty from the north who came down. Chief Alma with twenty-two of his people from the Salmon River country came down and were baptized into the Church. The chief made the prediction that there would be hundreds and thousands of the Indians come into the Church. Orson Pratt baptized fifty-two and blessed nine papooses down at Mount Pleasant in June of that year. In July there were eighty-five of Kanosh's band who were baptized into the Church, and the following year there were forty-one men and thirty-nine women, Indians, baptized down at Kanab. It seems that there were a great many baptisms also up in the Malad country. I quote from The Deseret News of July 22. 1875:

'. . . Yesterday we met with Brother G. W. Hill, who has charge of a colony of several hundred Indians, mostly of the Shoshone, Bannock, and Pah Ute tribes. They are Indians who have come forward and demanded to be baptized. The location is in Malad Valley, Idaho Territory. . . . They declare their intention to wander about no more, but to lead industrious lives, at peace with all their fellow creatures, refraining from stealing and from all manner of bad practices, and abide by the conditions of their baptism, which are that they shall cease every species of wrongdoing. Elder Hill has baptized about three hundred since last spring.'" (Conference Report, Oct. 1947, p. 17)

2 Ne 30:6 they shall be a pure and delightsome people

"In earlier editions of the Book of Mormon this phrase read 'white and a delightsome people.'  The manuscript that the Prophet prepared for the 1840 edition was changed to 'pure' rather than 'white.'  In the theological sense the difference is slight, 'white' being the symbol of purity (see Alma 5:24; Mormon 9:6; Revelation 19:8)." (McConkie and Millet, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 1, p. 356)

Hugh Nibley

"White means delightsome if you consider the various meanings of white. Next he says that the Jews 'shall also become a delightsome people.' Were the Jews black? This is using white and delightsome in the broadest sense, as against the dark and uncivilized." (Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Lecture 22, p. 357-8)

2 Ne 30:7 the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ

One of the most consistent signs which is to precede the Lord's fulfillment of the promises made to the fathers regarding the restoration of the house of Israel is this sign-that the Jews shall be persuaded to believe in Christ.  This sign is given in numerous other passages, 2 Ne 9:2, 2 Ne 10:7, and 2 Ne 25:16. As Nephi explains, when this happens, the Lord will set his hand...to restore his people and proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men (2 Ne 25:17).

2 Ne 25:16 states, they (the Jews) shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God. One could argue that the Jews of today have not yet accepted Christ in sufficient numbers to fulfill this prophecy. Such an interpretation misunderstands the difference between the way Nephi used the term, "Jews," and the way that we sometimes use the term, "Jews." If we think of the "Jews" as that group of people which recognizes its heritage, accepts the religion of Judaism, and is returning in vast numbers to the Holy Land, the scripture doesn't make sense. That group of people is not turning to Christ as their Messiah in any great numbers. When the Savior comes again there will be some of this group which ask, What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet (DC 55:68), signifying that they have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

 However, if we understand the way in which Nephi uses the term, "Jews,"-to mean anyone of the house of Israel-this prophecy makes a lot more sense (see 2 Ne 9:1-2). In that sense, all those of Nephite and Lamanite descent who have accepted the Book of Mormon and the gospel of Jesus Christ have fulfilled this prophecy. All those who lived in Europe and America, who unknowingly are of the blood of Israel, and accepted the gospel have fulfilled this prophecy. The blood of Israel has been scattered all over the earth. Those who accept the gospel are either adopted into the house of Israel or belong to it by birthright, even if they did not realize their own lineage. This is what Nephi was speaking of when he said, And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ (2 Ne 30:7).

2 Ne 30:9 with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked

Nephi again quotes from Isaiah. In the next seven verses, he quotes the words of Isaiah as taken from Isa 11:4-9. See also 2 Ne 21:4-9.

The word of the Lord is likened to a two edged sword. When the Lord comes again to slay the wicked he will do it with the spoken word. He will command the elements and the angels to destroy the wicked and His word will be obeyed. Therefore, it is literally the breath of his lips which will slay the wicked at His Coming. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (Rev 19:15). This harsh judgment upon the wicked is contrasted to the loving care He will give to the righteous in that day, with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.

2 Ne 30:10 the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people

When the Lord comes again, he will send his angels throughout the earth to create this great division among the people. This is the time of the gathering of the wheat and the tares. It is the hour of reckoning for the ten virgins. It is the day of the Lord's indignation, for this was the day of vengeance which was in my heart (DC 133:51).

   'the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

   As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

   The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

   And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.' (Matt 13:39-42)

   'And until that hour there will be foolish virgins among the wise; and at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous and the wicked; and in that day will I send mine angels to pluck out the wicked and cast them into unquenchable fire.' (DC 63:54)

  2 Ne 30:12 then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb

William Phelps

"When these days come, every thing will be in its place. The beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, instead of feeding upon flesh, will feed upon the herb and the grain, as was given them in the beginning. Then man will not shed the blood of his fellow man, nor beast the blood of its fellow beast, nor fowl the blood of its fellow fowl; but the Spirit of the Lord will be poured out upon all flesh, the curse be taken from off the earth, when it will become an inheritance for the poor and the meek, when their will be peace thereon and good will towards man." (The Evening and Morning Star, vol. 2, no. 13, June 1833, p. 102)

Orson F. Whitney

"Prophets have predicted and poets have sung, all down the ages, of a time to come when the earth would rest; when man would cease his inhumanity to man, when they would beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; when nation would not rise against nation, neither would they learn war any more; when the animal kingdom would subsist solely upon the vegetable kingdom, when the lion would eat straw like the ox, the lion and the lamb lie down together and a little child lead them; when peace would spread her white wings over this planet and grim-visaged war, smoothing his wrinkled front, should sit at her feet and learn wisdom for a thousand years." (Collected discourses 1868-1898, ed. by B.H. Stuy, vol. 4, Orson F. Whitney, Aug. 12 1894)

Joseph Smith

"In pitching my tent we found three massasaguas, or prairie rattlesnakes, which the brethren were about to kill, but I said, 'Let them alone--don't hurt them! How will the serpent ever lose his venom, while the servants of God possess the same disposition, and continue to make war upon it? Men must become harmless, before the brute creation; and when men lose their vicious dispositions and cease to destroy the animal race, the lion and the lamb can dwell together, and the suckling child can play with the serpent in safety.' The brethren took the serpents carefully on sticks and carried them across the creek. I exhorted the brethren not to kill a serpent, bird or an animal of any kind during my journey unless it became necessary in order to preserve ourselves from hunger." (History of the Church, vol. 2, pp. 71-2)

Hugh Nibley

"In Paradise, as everybody knows, all creatures lived together in peace. So too, in Zion when it is restored to the earth, the lion shall lie down with the lamb. God's other creatures are an important part of the picture of heaven. A marvelous statement by Joseph Smith on this subject gives us a flash of insight into an amazing future: 'John learned that God glorified Himself by saving all that His hands had made, whether beasts, fowls, fishes or men; and He will glorify Himself with them.' Brigham Young said: 'The millennium consists in this, every heart in the Church and kingdom of God being united in one. . . . All things else will be as they are now, we shall eat, drink, and wear clothing. Let the people be holy . . . and filled with the Spirit of God, and every animal and creeping thing will be filled with peace; the soil of the earth will bring forth in its strength, and the fruits thereof will be meat for man.'" (Approaching Zion, p. 13)

2 Ne 30:14 the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp

This verse uses some unfamiliar terms. The words, "asp" and "cockatrice", mean a poisonous snake. Nothing could be more terrifying for a parent than to find their child playing around the den of poisonous serpents. In the Millennium, it won't matter for the sting of the serpent is gone. When Satan is bound for 1000 years, his earthly symbol, the serpent, will no longer strike. For they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain (v. 9).

2 Ne 30:15 the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea

During the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ, missionary work will continue to spread the gospel. The message will reach to many more than it had prior to the Second Coming, for every ear shall hear it, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess (DC 88:104). The Lord will also fill the world with knowledge long since hidden:

   'Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things-

   Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof-

   Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven' (DC 101:32-34).

Not only will the knowledge of the gospel be spread during the Millennium, but the number of people with a personal knowledge of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will increase. In other words, those who had exhibited great faith in their Lord but were not privileged to see His face in mortality will receive that privilege during the Millennium. Therefore, their faith will be dormant in that thing (Alma 32:34) for it will be replaced with the knowledge of the Lord (Ether 3:19).

Joseph Fielding Smith

"The gospel will be taught far more intensely and with greater power during the millennium until all the inhabitants of the earth shall embrace it. Satan shall be bound so that he cannot tempt any man. Should any man refuse to repent and accept the gospel under those conditions then he would be accursed. Through the revelations given to the prophets we learn that during the reign of Jesus Christ for a thousand years, eventually all people will embrace the truth. Isaiah prophesied of the millennium as follows: [Isa 11:6-9 quoted]

"This chapter in Isaiah Moroni quoted to the Prophet Joseph Smith and said to him it was about to be fulfilled. If the knowledge of the Lord covers the earth as the waters do the sea, then it must be universally received. Moreover, the promise of the Lord through Jeremiah is that it will no longer be necessary for anyone to teach his neighbor, '. . . saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.' (Answers to Gospel Questions, vol. 1, p. 111)

2 Ne 30:17 There is nothing which is secret save it shall be revealed

There are many indiscretions, small and large, which our friends, family, and ward members never know about. Unless we repent of these little secrets, they will become common knowledge in the Millenium, for there is no work of darkness save it shall be made manifest in the light. The implications of this doctrine are frightening, but other scriptures confirm the principle.

   'And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.' (DC 1:3)

   'can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God?' (Alma 5:18)

Spencer W. Kimball

"My young folks, since the Lord said, 'Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect' (Matthew 5:48), it would be well if all of us would take frequent inventory to see if hidden away under the rugs and in the corners of our lives there might be some vestige of hypocrisy and ugliness or error. Or could there be hidden under the blankets of personal excuse and rationalization some small eccentricities and dishonesties? Are there any cobwebs in ceilings and corners which we think will not be noticed? Are we trying to cover up the small pettinesses and the small gratifications we secretly allow ourselves-rationalizing the while that they are insignificant and inconsequential? Are there areas in our thoughts and actions and attitudes which we would like to hide from those we respect most? Are we certain that all of our innermost secrets are kept confidential? The Lord revealed in 1831, 'The rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.' (D&C 1:3.)

"Would a frequent house cleaning be in order for all of us?" (BYU Speeches, February 25, 1964, p. 21)

Bishop Robert L. Simpson

"To him who says: 'I am lucky, I didn't get caught,' I say, how unfortunate; for his other foot is already in motion for the next treacherous step." (Conference Report, Apr. 1969, p. 86)

Spencer W. Kimball

"If men's secret acts shall be revealed it is likely that their secret thoughts will also be revealed, for the iniquities of the rebellious shall be spoken from the housetops.

"The one who harbors evil thoughts sometimes feels safe in the conviction that these thoughts are unknown to others and that they, like acts in the dark, are not discernible. The Revelator, John, seemed to clear this matter when he wrote:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Rev. 20:12.)

"And in the last days an angel will 'sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts.' (D&C 88:109.)

"Accordingly, men's deeds and thoughts must be recorded in heaven, and recording angels will not fail to make complete recordings of our thoughts and actions. We pay our tithing and the bishop records it in his book and gives us a receipt. But even if the entry fails to get in the ward record, we shall have full credit for the tithes we paid. There will be no omissions in the heavenly records, and they will all be available at the day of judgment. President John Taylor emphasized this:

'Man sleeps the sleep of death, but the spirit lives where the record of his deeds is kept. Man sleeps for a time in the grave, and by and by he rises again from the dead and goes to judgment; and then the secret thoughts of all men are revealed before him with whom we have to do; we cannot hide them; it would be in vain then for a man to say, 'I did not do so and so'; the command would be, unravel and read the record which he has made of himself and let it testify in relation to these things, and all could gaze upon it.'" (Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 108-9)

2 Ne 30:18 all things which have been revealed unto the children of men shall at that day be revealed

This is the good news about the new openness of the Millenium. Even though all wickedness will be revealed, all righteousness will also be revealed. This includes all the prophecies given to men since the days of Adam: the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, the interpretation of the facsimiles of Abraham, revelations concerning the other worlds that Moses, Abraham, and Enoch saw, the scriptures of the 10 tribes, the things revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith that were too sacred for a wicked world, etc. We may learn more of the history of this earth than we ever imagined, and we may even learn who actually killed John F. Kennedy.

   'Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things-

   Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof-

   Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven' (DC 101:32-34).