Friday, June 2, 2017

The End of the Vision (and the World) -- 1 Nephi Chapter 14

What Happens

"An angel tells Nephi of the blessings and cursings to fall upon the Gentiles—There are only two churches: the Church of the Lamb of God and the church of the devil—The Saints of God in all nations are persecuted by the great and abominable church—The Apostle John will write concerning the end of the world. "
1 Nephi 14 Chapter Heading


In our last episode, Nephi saw the unification of the scriptures and said that Christ would manifest himself unto all nations, the first time to the Jews first and then the Gentiles, and the second time to the Gentiles first, and then the Jews.  Timeline-wise, the unification of the scriptures brought us up to the modern day, but the second appearances of Christ place the timing of this part of the vision as describing our future.  Interesting to see what is coming, right?

I really like the part right off where it talks about Christ taking away our stumbling blocks if we hearken to Christ.  Which makes me wonder what those stumbling blocks are, and what it would be like to be rid of them. :)  I also like that the great pit that was dug for us gets filled by the people who dug it.  Not that I'm rooting for their suffering--only happy that we get to avoid the trap.  Of course, all of this is *if* we repent and listen to God, because it also says that if we don't then it will be bad (the words "perish" and "wo" are used in verses 5 and 6, which can't be good).

I adore verse 7.  I am not even really sure why, but it is awesome.  My favorite part is "a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other."  It sounds like something absolutely amazing is going to happen and that there won't be room for dithering anymore.  No fence-sitting in the gospel anyway, but this sounds even more so.  We already have to choose God or Satan in our daily lives, but whatever this "great and marvelous work" is, it's going to make that so much more clear, and there will be no middle ground.

This part could be more symbolic, but as I read it, this big change makes it so that there are only two churches.  The bad one and the good one.  Unfortunately for the good guys, the bad side is much, much bigger, and gathers an army up to stomp the other side.  And here we are, the tension is rising.  We learn that God is going to pour out his wrath (yikes) on the bad guys... and we're waiting to see what happens at the end of the world.  And then... oh.  We're shut down.  Nephi got to see the end, but he isn't going to tell us, because John already told us (if we assume that is what the book of Revelation is).

It is totally cool that we have the book of Revelation for the end of the story, but there is that little mention in there that it used to be "easy to the understanding of all men," which it clearly is not now. However, hope is not lost for a sequel, since the story was told to several, and those versions are "sealed up to come forth in their purity."  This could be what is in the sealed portion of the golden plates, in fact.

It's also really interesting that Nephi tells us that he is only sending us a "small part" of what he saw, when we just read through 4 chapters of it.  We only got two chapters about the trip to get the plates of brass, so this is obviously very important to him, and still it is just a small part.  Nephi tells us that he saw the things his father saw, which was what he wanted in the first place, and so I wonder if Lehi saw all of it to to the end of the world as well, or if Nephi saw Lehi's dream, plus more.

Tune in next time to see what Nephi gets up to after seeing the end of the world, even though he doesn't tell us about it.  (Yes, I'm still bitter.) :)

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