29 October 2022

"Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways;...

It sounds like it might have been hard for the record-keeper at this point to write what the Lord Jesus Christ told them to say.  It certainly isn't politically correct and paints an entire section of the human family with a very broad brush of defamation. I can't think of many modern people who would defend these words for fear of being shunned. This is the entire contents of a chapter of the Book of Mormon and the closing statement on the record of Christ's visit to the western hemisphere.  It is both damning and hopeful, which typifies the tenor of the root message that Jesus has always given.

 3 Nephi 30

1 Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:

2 Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.

I hope we aren't too offended by the sins of our "Gentile" nation as called out by the Lord himself. How many of them do we personally imbibe in? Christ isn't shy or waffling - "all ye Gentiles", not just some; "your wicked ways", not mistakes.  These are strong words that don't quibble or downplay what Jesus finds very serious sins.

On the more hopeful end, Christ commands that we "Turn" and "repent of [our] evil doings". That requires abandoning our "evil doings" and changing our behaviors and desires.  The doctrine of Christ is reiterated yet again - "come unto me" and "be baptized".  Jesus assures again that we get "a remission of sins" and "be filled with the Holy Ghost".  Finally, you are not longer counted among the wicked Gentiles but are "numbered with my people".  When we change as the Lord directs, there is no distinction between the covenant children of Israel and anyone else - all followers of Jesus are treated the same, no matter their ancestry or their past actions. 

We can all turn from our "wicked ways" and follow Jesus instead.  We can all enjoy the promised rewards that Christ offers to all of those who "come unto me".  Make the change!