The Shemitah and the Jubilee in the Book of Mormon
As America is a land of promise or covenant land, the same covenant laws and cycles apply to it just as it did to ancient Israel and the land of Israel. For a covenant people in a covenant land, there is a covenant cycle that applies. This cycle is very ancient and can even be found in the first book of Genesis as given to Adam - God's appointed times. Part of this cycle of appointed times comes the Shemitah and the Jubilee.
Every seventh year was a Shemitah. Every seventh Shemitah (7 cycles of 7 ) was called the Jubilee. The Jubilee was the year of Restoration. If you lost your property, your land of inheritance, or your family's possessions, in the Jubilee it was returned to the legal heirs.
If ever there was a people who lost their property, their ancestral home, their fathers possessions, and their land of inheritance it is the Remnant of Jacob or First Nations/Native Americans. Like Rome (i.e. Gentiles) who had occupied and driven out the Jews from their land of promise over two thousand years ago, A Modern Gentile Rome has driven out the Remnant of Jacob from their land of promise here in United States of America and Canada.
Just as the appointed time of the Jubilee belongs to all the House of Israel so does the Jubilee belong to the Remnant of Jacob on this continent for this covenant land grant. Understanding this eternal appointed time is the key to understanding the fulfillment of the Book of Mormon and the establishment of Zion on this land. The Jubilee of Jubilees is upon us!
AMERICA - COVENANT LAND GRANT - LAND OF PROMISE
America is a Land of Promise. In covenant terminology what this means is that America is a covenant land of inheritance or a covenant land grant. So what does this mean and why is it important? It means that possession of the land is tied to a covenant relationship between God (The grantor of the Covenant) and the person(s) to whom the covenant was given. In other words, possession of the land of America is dependent on the same type of covenant relationship that ancient Israel had with the God of Israel.
"And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity. For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off." (Ether 2:9)
Those who possess the land must serve the God of this land- Even Jesus Christ. Iniquity in Hebraic thought is lawlessness; specifically the state of being in rebellion against God's Covenant Instructions. In covenant theology, faith or faithfulness (emunah) is a state of oneness with God because we uphold his commandments. Possession of this Land of Inheritance (America) is made by covenant decree.
A covenant decree is not alterable by the grantor except by covenant disloyalty/rebellion of the grantee (i.e. Jaredites, Lehites, and Gentiles). For example - Lehi was faithful and by covenant obtained the land of America as a covenant land grant or inheritance for himself and his posterity. Jared and the Brother of Jared recieved the same covenant grant by God and were also given the same promise as Lehi. A further example of this is seen in God making covenant with Abraham (who was faithful) and giving the land of Israel to him and his posterity. Because of the faithfulness of one man salvation and inheritance came to many. By returning to the covenant relationship God made with the Fathers the land of promise (i.e. inheritance) upon which they live is secured or regained should they fall from fidelity to the God of the Land.
THE REMNANT OF JACOB ARE THE LEGAL COVENANT HEIRS
The descendants of Lehi (First Nations of the Americas) are the legal covenant heirs to this covenant land grant or land of promise: As the Prophet Lehi explained:
"But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.
Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord. (2 Nephi 1:5-6)
This land was given to the seed of Lehi by God. The decree of the covenant land grant was reiterated by the KING OF ALL ISRAEL - JESUS CHRIST:
"And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you." (3 Nephi 15:13)
" But if they (the Gentiles) will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;" (3 Nephi 21:22)
"But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land. And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles." ( 2 Nephi 10:9-10)
22 But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance (3 Nephi 21:22)
THE MYSTERY OF THE REMNANT
There is a lot of talk these days about "THE REMNANT". In fact just about everywhere I go, I have heard people touting their "status" as being "THE REMNANT". It really should come as no surprise though because everyone likes to think they are the special ones- you know- the "Good Guys". Whether we tout the common propaganda that "WE ARE A PART OF THE ONE TRUE CHURCH!" or "WE ARE THE TRUSTED FEW!" OR "WE ARE THE HEARTS CORE OF THE HEARTS CORE!" we are basically engaging in the same form of pride and elitism demonstrated by ancient Israel.
The number of "ONE TRUE CHURCHES" that I have encountered over the years would blow your minds and whether big or small each one points their finger at the other and screams, "APOSTATE!" or "Cult!" The numerous "trusted few" are usually so enamored with their authority they act more like a person who discovers a mirror, beholds his own image, and then falls in love with himself. As for the Hearts Core of a Hearts Core- well let's just say that apple has either been micro-eviscerated so many times that their is nothing left or the core is so rotten even the worms won't live there anymore.
Besides Pride and Arrogance one of the reasons these conditions exist is because there is a basic identity crisis going on. Yes, there I said it! MORMONISM HAS AN IDENTITY CRISIS!
WHO ARE THE MORMONS?
To make a long story short, THE MORMONS ARE THE GENTILES! There I said it! Modern Mormons despite their patriarchal blessings and much "chosen people propaganda" are identified with GENTILES. In fact at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple, the Prophet Joseph Smith stated emphatically:
" 60 Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.
61 But thou knowest that thou hast a great love for the children of Jacob, who have been scattered upon the mountains for a long time, in a cloudy and dark day." (D&C 109)
Notice that the Prophet of this Dispensation who translated the Book of Mormon makes a clear distinction between the GENTILES and THE CHILDREN OF JACOB. Especially the children of Jacob who have been scattered upon the mountains for a long time in a cloudy and dark day. In fact if we read on we see the distinction of who is who very well laid out:
1. The LAND OF ISRAEL PROPER- THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM OF DAVID - IE THE JEWS
62 We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed;
63 And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;
64 And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.
*We have seen a fulfillment of this with the establishment of the Nation of Israel and Jerusalem being returned to the control of the children of the southern kingdom.
2. NEPHITES - LAMANITES - MULEKITES - AMERICAS
65 And cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten because of their transgression, be converted from their wild and savage condition to the fulness of the everlasting gospel;
66 That they may lay down their weapons of bloodshed, and cease their rebellions.
*Now this is an interesting one!
3. SCATTERED REMNANTS OF ISRAEL (10 TRIBES, ETC)
67 And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before thee.
*We see scattered around the world pockets of Israelites such as the Pathans, Ethiopian Jews, and others are beginning to re-discover their covenant identity as Israel.
So if Mormons are identified as the Gentiles where then do they fit in this covenant picture? Does this make them a mongrel or 2/3 rds a person? Are they a lower class of people or less deserving of God's love? No! BEING IDENTIFIED AS A GENTILE MEANS YOU HAVE A JOB TO DO!
THE WORK OF THE GENTILES
The body of the Gentiles who inherited the message of the Book of Mormon were designated as the messengers of the covenant to the Remnant of Jacob on this land to restore them to a knowledge of their Fathers and their status as covenant heirs to this land:
"1 And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place—that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion;
2 And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign—for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them;
3 Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you" (3 Nephi 21)
The Gentiles who received the Book of Mormon were to take the covenant message of the Book of Mormon that they received through a Gentile to the Remnant of Jacob. The Covenant Message contained in the Book of Mormon is far more than, "We have the True Church!" or "We have a living Prophet!" It is the Message (Gospel) that was to go forth to turn the hearts of the children (In this case the decendants of Lehi, Mulek, etc) back to the covenant God made with their Fathers - Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, etc. Just like the rest of the scattered remnants of Israel around the world who had lost their identity, the covenant inhabitants of this continent were not supposed to remain in a scattered condition, but were to be ONE PEOPLE - O HOUSE OF ISRAEL! Those who were esteemed as less than the dust of the earth were to be restored and exalted.
As strange as it may sound to accomplish this it was necessary that The United States of America be set up as a Free Nation with a Free People. By establishing the conditions of Freedom and Liberty the message could go forth and accomplish the great work it was meant to bring about. While in the establishment of this land there were atrocities that occurred, out of the dust God will yet proceed to perform a Great and Marvelous Work:
4 For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel.
I do not say these things to demean the sufferings of any of the First Nations/ Native American Peoples as the Jews have gone through many of the same types of suffering and atrocities. Actions - even inhuman actions- have been perpetrated in the past, but out darkness there is a light, "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it." (Isaiah 25:8)
3 NEPHI 21 - GOD'S SIGN TO THE REMNANT OF JACOB AND WARNING TO THE GENTILES!
There is a warning and a promise to the Gentiles that was delivered as part of the Covenant Treaty for this Land - The Book of Mormon:
The Promise of God's Great and Marvelous Work -
"For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.... Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.( 3 Nephi 21:9,11)
Like Joshua and Israel in the Promised Land = The Remnant of Jacob = A Young lion
"And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off." ( 3 Nephi 21:12-13)
Warning to the Gentiles = You are being Disinherited from the Land of Promise!
"Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots; And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds; And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers; Thy graven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands; And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities. And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away." (3 Nephi 21:14-19)
THE REMNANT OF JACOB - THE HOPE OF AMERICA - THE BUILDERS OF THE COVENANT/CITY OF PEACE!
"For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; And I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance; And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem. And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst." (3 Nephi 21:20-24)
The Gentiles/Mormons in America are following an ancient path. They are not the legal heirs of the covenant and while they can be blessed in the land their covenant relationship is inextricably interwoven with the legal heirs-- in this case The Remnant of Jacob, First Nations, or Native Americans. This is not the first time this has happened. We see the same pattern with ancient Israel in the Exodus and the "Mixed Multitude" or Gentiles of their day:
" And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle." (Exodus 12: 37-38)
This "mixed multitude" would be considered mixed blood Israelites, non-blood Israelites, and children of various nations who resided in Egypt. The mixed multitude were numbered among Ancient Israel until they came to Mount Sinai where a covenant was extended. From that point, we really don't hear anymore more about them. Why? Because at Mount Sinai and the acceptance of the covenant relationship they ceased to be "mixed multitude" or Gentiles and became ONE PEOPLE - O HOUSE OF ISRAEL. In other words, in that day there will no longer be divisions into Jews, Gentiles, Lamanites, etc. There will be One Covenant House- such as existed in the days of Moses when all Israel Heard the Voice of God!
SO THEN WHAT IS THE REPENTANCE OF THE GENTILES:
The warning to the Gentiles is that if they repent they will be numbered among the Remnant of Jacob to assist them to build a New Jersulem here in America- a place where the presence of God is Restored. If they do not repent, their civilization (Gentile America) will be brought to an end just as the people who resided in the Land of Israel were removed by judgment from God as Joshua and the Children of Israel moved to take back the land of their inheritance.
In taking back the land of promise from those nations who occupied it, Israel went through, "as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off." (3 Nephi 21) What has been shall be again. It won't be pretty.
To escape such judgment one must repent. The only problem is our definition of repentance may be incomplete. From a modern Gentile Mormon perspective we would define repentance as coming to Christ, casting away our sins, and then being baptized. There may be some various addendum depending on which sect of Mormonism you affiliate with, but I think we could probably boil it down at least to that definition. This definition does hold some truth.
But there is a repentance that goes much deeper. It is covenant repentance or the repentance of Israel. This type of repentance not only goes to returning in covenant loyalty to the King of Israel - Jesus Christ- and making the outward sign of covenant loyalty- i.e. baptism. It also includes doing the work the gentiles were assigned to do - restoring the Remnant of Jacob as a covenant people through the Book of Mormon.
Have you ever wondered why the Book of Mormon goes to great lengths to document the missionary efforts of the Son's of Mosiah to the Lamanites? Because it is a guidebook for the gentiles- who Nephi likened unto his people before they fell- to restore the Latter-Day Remnant of Jacob to their legal and rightful place as heir to God's covenant in this land. In other words, those Gentiles who repent will follow the covenant decree of Christ in the Book of Mormon to bring this record to the covenant Remnant of Jacob on this Land and restore them as a covenant people/nation. It has nothing to do with striping them of their identity to make them assimilate into a European Mormon Catholic Church.
Without the LEGAL HEIRS to the Covenant of the Book of Mormon the promises made to their Fathers will not be realized. The House of Israel in America will not be established. The New Jerusalem will not be built. The presence of God will not be restored. Those Gentiles who seek to be numbered among the House of Israel will be those who enter into covenant with the God of Israel. This covenant relationship can only be extended to the gentiles as they find themselves performing the duties of the gentiles to the house of Israel:
"Yea, the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them, and their queens shall become nursing mothers; wherefore, the promises of the Lord are great unto the Gentiles, for he hath spoken it, and who can dispute?" (2 Nephi 10:9)
PUTTING OFF OUR MORMON PRIDE: ARE WE READY TO BECOME THE SERVANTS?
As Mormons we take some pride in being "the Chosen People". Don't feel bad, the Jews did too? In parodying the words of the Great Prophet - Forrest Gump- "Chosen is as Chosen Does!" Perhaps it is time that both peoples, put off their arrogance and envy and follow the example of true love and repentance in that the Greatest Among you should be the servant of all:
"And there are many things which have been spoken by Isaiah which may be likened unto you, because ye are of the house of Israel. And now, these are the words: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their faces towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me." (2 Nephi 6:5-7)
The repentance of the Gentiles consists of being nursing mothers and fathers to the Remnant of Jacob- not their conquerors. Our repentance besides establishing our loyalty to God will be as servants to bring the covenant treaty of the Book of Mormon to the Legal Heirs of that Treaty- The Children of Lehi - The First Nations of America- The Remnant of Jacob.
In writing this there is a scripture though that haunts us, "Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts. (2 Nephi 28:32)
God is merciful if we should repent, but understand that his arm is poised to strike. In so doing, Zion though she seems as if she is dead, yet shall she live. Will the Gentiles repent and obtain mercy through their repentance of restoring the Remnant of Jacob? The parallels between the Gentile Mormons and the Jews of Christ's day are amazing-- but either way we have a choice of what path we will walk. Either way, the Jubilee of Jubilees is upon us. It is a time of restoration. The times of the Gentiles is complete and the days of restoration are here. This covenant land of promise will now revert back to the legal heirs of the covenant-The Remnant of Jacob. That which was taken will be given back. Those who were scattered will be gathered. When the time has come for the covenant decree to be fulfilled there is no corporate prophet or political president who will stand between the God of Israel and his Children.