1 Nephi 14
1 Nephi 22
1 Nephi 14:Verse 8
8 And it came to pass that when the angel had spoken these words, he said unto me: Rememberest thou the covenants of the Father unto the house of Israel? I said unto him, Yea.
1 Nephi 14:Verse 7
7 For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other--either to the convincing of them unto peace and life 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 captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.
1 Nephi 22:Verse 8
8 And after our seed is scattered the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed; wherefore, it is likened unto their being nourished by the Gentiles and being carried in their arms and upon their shoulders.
1 Nephi 22:Verse 9
9 And it shall also be of worth unto the Gentiles; and not only unto the Gentiles but unto all the house of Israel, unto the making known of the covenants of the Father of heaven unto Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Isaiah 14:Verse 1
1 ¶ FOR the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
Isaiah 14:Verse 2
2 And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
Isaiah 14:Verse 3
3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites--Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile--Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation--Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed--To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof--Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile--The interpretation thereof by the gift of God.
This paragraph teaches us that the Book of Mormon was written by "way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and revelation" It is an inspired book, and must be taken seriously. The test of "classic" literature is always internal, by that which is written, not the character of the author. The works of Hemingway are often considered "classic" while the man and author himself may not be considered the most righteous individual. The test is not external but always internal. Likewise, the Book of Mormon claims to be written by way of commandment and by inspiration, therefore, the responsibility to determine the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon will always fall upon the honest reader to do the internal test of value and truth. The prophet Joseph is not the one on trial, but the content itself and the spiritual value contained in the Book, which can change the heart and life in the individual Lamanite, Jew and Gentile.
It is written to the "Lamanites" and to the "Jew and Gentile." Each of these groups of people will read and understand the doctrines, concepts and covenants from a different point of view. For this reason the Book must be inspired and be given by the "spirit of prophecy and of revelation." This first paragraph describes "what" the Book of Mormon is, while the second paragraph explains "why" we have it.
An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven--Which is to
show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever-- And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS
is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations--And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.
This second paragraph explains "why" we have the Nephite record that restores the plain and precious things that were taken away. The first reason we have the Book of Mormon, is to "show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers." This is history, or the "protology" of man's relationship with God, containing the covenants that the righteous progenitors obtained from God because of their faith and obedience to His commandments. The second reason that Moroni gives us, is to teach the present generation the "covenants of the Lord." What they are, what is required to obtain the promises of the covenants, and explain the blessings that will be received by obedience to the commandments of God. The third reason falls into the category of "eschatology," the future: "that they are not cast off forever," this is the promise that they and their posterity have a chance to obtain the blessings of the fathers. It is learned here that the past relationships between God and our fathers, and the future relationship of God and our posterity is connected by covenant. The "past" is connected to the "future" by way of covenant. Eschatology is meaningless without protology, and without the two connected by the ordinances of covenant and blessing, there is no purpose to mortality nor potential to immortality. The final reason, and perhaps the most important, is the restoration of that eternal truth and name of salvation, that "Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God" which includes our relationship to him and his atonement.
The restoration of the covenants of the fathers by the coming forth of the Book of Mormon fulfills the promises the Lord has made to the righteous ancestors, that their seed would not be forgotten. These covenants and promises are in part, the restoration of the plain and precious truths that had been taken out of the Bible by the great and abominable Babylon. These things that are restored are of "great worth" as Israel comes to a knowledge of these covenants that the Lord made with the righteous fathers of the past.
2 Nephi 3: 7
7 Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers.
2 Nephi 3: 11
11 But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins--and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.
2 Nephi 3:12
12 Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah,
shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my
covenants, saith the Lord.
2 Nephi 11:5
5 And also my soul delighteth in the covenants of the Lord which he hath made to our fathers; yea, my soul delighteth in his grace, and in his justice, and power, and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death.
2 Nephi 29:Verse 1
1 BUT behold, there shall be many--at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel;
2 Nephi 29:Verse 2
2 And also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel;
1 Nephi 13:Verse 23
23 And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.
The unimaginable technological advances in communication and travel, or man walking on the moon, fade into nothingness when compared to the most important and significant event in modern history; the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ found in the Book of Mormon. This book that contains the "fullness of the gospel" restores those parts of the gospel that were taken out by design and conspiring men under the influence and power of Satan. This new witness for Jesus Christ, unites with the book that proceeds out of the mouth of a Jew and restores in the hearts of the children the promises and covenants the Lord has made to the fathers. As seen in the above passages, these promises made to the fathers are of great worth unto the children of Israel and of "great worth unto the Gentiles." It is the restoration of the true "Gospel of Jesus Christ" and the authority of the priesthood with it's keys and ordinances that are required to administer the gospel, which the prophets and angels have proclaimed.
The inspired version of the Old Testament begins with the pre-earth life, and answers that terrible question of; Where did we come from before birth? The New testament ends in the Book of Revelation and answers the companion question of: Where we are going after death? Everything between "the beginning" of the old, and the end of the new testaments, is our purpose on earth answering; Why are we here? It is the "gospel" that was taken out of the Bible, and the plain and precious truths restored in the Book of Mormon, that answers this question about this earth life and probationary existence. These primary questions of existence can only be answered by the restored pain and precious truths contained in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this purpose the restoration of the gospel and covenants of the fathers are of "great worth" unto all.
The scriptures disclose that there are two reasons that the angels fly through the midst of heaven, first, to proclaim the gospel while protecting the saints of God in the establishing of Zion, and second, to assist in the destruction of Babylon. The Gospel must always be restored first, before church is organized, to give a purpose for the church. The Church of Jesus Christ exists to administer the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to provide an organization so that the priesthood ordinances of the gospel might be preformed in an orderly manner, and offer to those who participate in the gospel an opportunity to love and serve their bothers and sisters. The ancient pattern set under the patriarchal priesthood and order, reveals that the gospel and priesthood do not need a church organization, however the church organization does need the gospel and priesthood to function.