THE FIRST BOOK OF NEPHI
HIS REIGN AND MINISTRY
Lehi’s seed are to receive the gospel from the Gentiles in the latter days—The gathering of Israel is likened unto an olive tree whose natural branches shall be grafted in again—Nephi interprets the vision of the tree of life and speaks of the justice of God in dividing the wicked from the righteous. Between 600 and 592 B.C.
And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been carried away in the spirit, and seen all these things, I returned to the tent of my father.
And it came to pass that I beheld my brethren, and they were disputing one with another concerning the things which my father had spoken unto them.
For he truly spake many great things unto them, which were hard to be aunderstood
, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought.
And now I, Nephi, was grieved because of the hardness of their hearts, and also, because of the things which I had seen, and knew they must unavoidably come to pass because of the great wickedness of the children of men.
And it came to pass that I was overcome because of my afflictions, for I considered that mine aafflictions
were great above all, because of the bdestruction
of my people, for I had beheld their fall.
And it came to pass that after I had received astrength
I spake unto my brethren, desiring to know of them the cause of their disputations.
And they said: Behold, we cannot understand the words which our father hath spoken concerning the natural branches of the aolive
-tree, and also concerning the Gentiles.
And I said unto them: Have ye ainquired
of the Lord?
And they said unto me: aWe
have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.
Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will aperish
, because of the hardness of your hearts?
Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and aask
me in bfaith
, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.
Behold, I say unto you, that the house of Israel was compared unto an olive-tree, by the Spirit of the Lord which was in our father; and behold are we not broken off from the house of Israel, and are we not a abranch
of the house of Israel?
And now, the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fulness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter days, when our seed shall have adwindled
in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after the bMessiah
shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fulness of the cgospel
of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the dGentiles
unto the remnant of our seed—
And at that day shall the remnant of our aseed bknow
that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the ccovenant
people of the Lord; and then shall they know and dcome
to the eknowledge
of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved.
And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their arock
and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true bvine
? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God?
Behold, I say unto you, Yea; they shall be remembered again among the house of Israel; they shall be agrafted
in, being a natural branch of the olive-tree, into the true olive-tree.
And this is what our father meaneth; and he meaneth that it will not come to pass until after they are scattered by the Gentiles; and he meaneth that it shall come by way of the Gentiles, that the Lord may show his power unto the Gentiles, for the very cause that he shall be arejected
of the Jews, or of the house of Israel.
Wherefore, our father hath not spoken of our seed alone, but also of all the house of Israel, pointing to the covenant which should be fulfilled in the latter days; which covenant the Lord made to our father Abraham, saying: In thy aseed
shall all the kindreds of the earth be bblessed
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake much unto them concerning these things; yea, I spake unto them concerning the arestoration
of the Jews in the latter days.
And I did rehearse unto them the words of aIsaiah
, who spake bconcerning
of the Jews, or of the house of Israel; and after they were restored they should no more be confounded, neither should they be scattered again. And it came to pass that I did speak many words unto my brethren, that they were pacified and did dhumble
themselves before the Lord.
And it came to pass that they did speak unto me again, saying: What meaneth this thing which our father saw in a dream? What meaneth the atree
which he saw?
And I said unto them: It was a representation of the atree
And they said unto me: What meaneth the arod
of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree?
And I said unto them that it was the aword
of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would bhold
fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the ctemptations
and the fiery ddarts
of the eadversary
overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.
Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give aheed
unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the bfaculty
which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.
And they said unto me: What meaneth the ariver
of water which our father saw?
And I said unto them that the awater
which my father saw was bfilthiness
; and so much was his mind swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water.
And I said unto them that it was an awful agulf
, which separated the wicked from the tree of life, and also from the saints of God.
And I said unto them that it was a representation of that awful ahell
, which the angel said unto me was prepared for the wicked.
And I said unto them that our father also saw that the ajustice
of God did also divide the wicked from the righteous; and the brightness thereof was like unto the brightness of a flaming bfire
, which ascendeth up unto God forever and ever, and hath no end.
And they said unto me: Doth this thing mean the torment of the body in the days of aprobation
, or doth it mean the final state of the soul after the bdeath
of the temporal body, or doth it speak of the things which are temporal?
And it came to pass that I said unto them that it was a representation of things both temporal and spiritual; for the day should come that they must be judged of their aworks
, yea, even the works which were done by the temporal body in their days of bprobation
Wherefore, if they should adie
in their wickedness they must be bcast
off also, as to the things which are spiritual, which are pertaining to righteousness; wherefore, they must be brought to stand before God, to be cjudged
of their dworks
; and if their works have been filthiness they must needs be efilthy
; and if they be filthy it must needs be that they cannot fdwell
in the kingdom of God; if so, the kingdom of God must be filthy also.
But behold, I say unto you, the kingdom of God is not filthy, and there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God; wherefore there must needs be a place of afilthiness
prepared for that which is filthy.
And there is a place prepared, yea, even that aawful bhell
of which I have spoken, and the cdevil
is the preparator of it; wherefore the final state of the souls of men is to dwell in the kingdom of God, or to be cast out because of that djustice
of which I have spoken.
Wherefore, the wicked are rejected from the righteous, and also from that atree
of life, whose fruit is most precious and most bdesirable
above all other fruits; yea, and it is the cgreatest
of all the dgifts
of God. And thus I spake unto my brethren. Amen.