We live in the days when we expect to see the promise of the Book of Mormon, the prophets of the Old Testament and the words of Jesus fulfilled by the restoration of the House of Israel to their lands of inheritance and a knowledge of the covenants of the Lord. The articles of this issue are provided to raise your awareness of those things.
There are necessary adjustments needed by the Gentile church to be in a position to assist the Lamanites in building the Zion of the last days. It is critical that the Saints of the latter days take seriously the message found in the Book of Mormon and the revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants. Learn our duty, repent of our transgressions and walk in the commandments of the Lord. Section 2/3 of the Doctrine and Covenants is in the body of scripture because it has lessons to teach us; lessons we must learn. It is the rebuke of the Lord to Joseph Smith Jr. at the time he lost the first pages of the Book of Mormon translation by the hand of Martin Harris. Martin is not specifically rebuked here, because Joseph had charge of the translation work.
What ought we to learn about God’s plan, which includes Israel and Gentiles? One lesson is that our
disobedience does not alter, hinder or derail the work of God—only OUR work can be frustrated. Experiences and testimonies of the Spirit do not benefit us unless they are associated with humility, honoring the word of God and submission to the will of God.
Acting by our own will creates a condition that sets us against God and that person “must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him” (D&C 2:2b/3:4). It is a lesson Joseph and the church learned more than once in the formative years of the church.
A second lesson is that stewardship, becoming an agent of a task from God, requires attention to the commandments associated with the task. The promises of blessings cannot come when one fails to do the task assigned by God in the manner God directs.
Joseph Smith, even with all the many powerful spiritual experiences he had, was yet prone to many transgressions. Why? The Lord identifies a significant problem for Joseph—he feared other people more than God.
The final message here, when we do the work God has given us and faithfully keep the commandments he gives, the Lord promises to give strength to overcome all the fiery darts of Satan and at tend to his servants in the times of trouble.
These lessons are key for both Israel and the Gentiles as we look for the final restoration and gathering of God’s covenant people.