Morning Manna Feb 15th 2019
The Reading for today is From Genesis8:5 (Inspired Version), Gen 6:3 (KJV)
Concerning the Gentile Period of Grace: “Genesis 8:5 And the Lord said unto Noah, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for he shall know that all flesh shall die, yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years; and if men do not repent, I will send in the floods upon them.”
Most of us are familiar with the words of Christ which say in Mark 13:48, "But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man; for it shall be with them as it was in the days which were before the flood.” How many parallels may be drawn between the “days of Noah” and the “coming of the Son of Man”? The next verse shows one parallel in 49, "Until the day the Noah entered into the ark, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.”
The preaching of Noah did not avail to staunch the excess of rioting in pleasures and sin – nor will the preaching of the righteous in these last days. In 1st Peter is another parallel, because God does not change, his “long suffering” calls out repentance to the sons of men as long as it is possible within the divine plan as it is written: “I Pet 3:20, "Some of whom were disobedient in the days of Noah, while the long-suffering of God waited, while the ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”
Our opening passage for this morning gave the measure of that “long suffering” beginning at the time the Lord determined the floods upon mankind - that is “one hundred and twenty years” this was the period of Grace given for mankind to find repentance before his judgments were set. Does this period map to the last days as well?
The church was restored in 1830 and the Lord gave a period of grace for the gentiles to accept that gospel message, as it is written: “3 Nephi 7:34, "And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you, At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations…” This, perhaps, is one of the most stunning prophecies in the Book of Mormon. In 1830 when it came forward, this fledgling nation was still in its infancy and had hardly time to even be called a proper experiment in democracy. Yet here is the bold declaration that this fledgling nation would become a super-power in the earth, "above all the people of the whole earth” So with the restoration of the gospel in 1830 and the priesthood authority to usher souls into the kingdom of God by baptism of water and of the Holy Ghost – so begins the gentile period of grace, and so it was that 120 year later by 1950 the US has become a super-power in the world above all nations - and just as prophesied, full of all manner of abominations.
This period also marks the point at which the “gentile times” began to close - Israel has become a nation again and the Lamanites are beginning to receive the gospel while the Gentile people – even in the restoration continue to wax worse and worse in rejection of the message set forth in the beginning of this work and so have come and remain under “condemnation” until we remember the “former commandment” sent to Zion in 1831 – not only to say but to do accordingly. As the gentile times begin to close in 1950 there is an awakening happening among the Jews in the earth and many begin to believe in Jesus, the Messiah – also an unimaginable event in 1830 – but also prophesied in the pages of the Book of Mormon.
This 1950 era begins the preparation for the labor of the second elders of the restoration. Some might object to the use of the notion “the second elders” since this terminology is not used directly in the holy writ. It is nonetheless inferred by the words: “RDC 85:23c, "Verily, I say unto you, … who are not the first elders." If there are “first elders” there must needs be those who follow after – what shall these be called, then, except the “second elders”, etc.? It is in the days of these 2nd elders and in this 2nd invitation that the blind and lame are invited into the wedding feast of the Lord. This term “Blind” having specific reference to the Jews, as it is written: Romans 11:25, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” As noted previously it was when the “gentile times” began to close about 1950, that the Spirit of God began to waken the Jews (of the Messianic Judaism movement, especially) to an understanding that Jesus is the very Christ and Son of God. Which is when the “fullness of the Gentiles” [or full measure of the gospel teachings to the Gentiles – that is the sealed Book of Mormon Writings] are prophesied to come forth as indicated here by the apostles Paul, and in 2nd Nephi 11 in the Book of Mormon.