God’s Great and Marvelous Work


God’s performing his great and marvelous work “among the children of men” (2 Nephi 25:17; emphasis added)—among humanity at large—characterizes the great and marvelous work as a worldwide event from the outset. As an inherent part of that work, God’s “setting his hand the second time” to restore his people of the house of Israel results in Israel’s deliverance in a new exodus from the four directions of the earth, as we observed earlier: “In that day will my Lord set his hand again the second time to reclaim the remnant of his people—those who shall be left out of Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the islands of the sea. He will raise the ensign to the Gentiles and assemble the exiled of Israel; he will gather the scattered of Judah from the four directions of the earth. . . . And there shall be a pathway out of Assyria for the remnant of his people who shall be left, as there was for Israel when it came up from the land of Egypt” (Isaiah 11:11–12, 16; 2 Nephi 21:11–12, 16; cf. Exodus 14:31).

Throughout Book of Mormon prophecies, therefore, God’s performing his great and marvelous work “among the children of men” consists of the restoration of the house of Israel, who are identified as the Jews, Israel’s Ten Tribes, and Lehi’s descendants. That work is accomplished by God’s endtime servant and his associates—the spiritual kings and queens of the Gentiles—who serve as saviors to the house of Israel. By ministering the gospel to Israel’s dispersed peoples and gathering them in a new exodus to Zion in God’s day of power, they graft them back into their own olive tree, fulfilling God’s covenants with them. By its own definition, therefore, that is the work God decreed he would “hasten in its time” (Isaiah 60:1–22; cf. Doctrine & Covenants 88:73), concerning which some mock those who accept its true definition and who seek to bring it forth (Isaiah 5:19; cf. 66:5). The flipside of that work, on the other hand, bodes ill for persons who don’t believe it (Isaiah 28:14, 16, 21–22; cf. 3 Nephi 21:9).

In a final series of warnings to the Ephraimite Gentiles whom he saw in his vision, Nephi informs them of “priestcrafts” and “secret combinations” operating among them (2 Nephi 26:22, 29). In that same context, Nephi depicts the endtime Gentiles as “lifted up in the pride of their eyes,” causing them to “put down the power and miracles of God and to preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning” (2 Nephi 26:20). Nephi’s pointing to the Gentiles’ spiritual state (2 Nephi 26:20–33) tells us that their priestcrafts and secret combinations exist not in political circles but in ecclesiastical and academic ones that are set in opposition to God’s great and marvelous work. Within a similar ecclesiastical and academic conspiratorial context, Isaiah declares: “Woe to those who contrive to hide their schemes from Jehovah! They work in the dark, thinking, ‘Who will see us? Who will know?’” (Isaiah 29:15; cf. vv 13–14; 28:14–15; 3 Nephi 16:10; 30:2; Mormon 8:27–28; Doctrine & Covenants 33:4).

Nephi concludes his predictions that are based on the words of Isaiah by listing seven woes or covenant curses on those who (1) are “at ease in Zion”; (2) assume “all is well”; (3) “hearken to the precepts of men”; (4) say, “We have received, and we need no more”; (5) “tremble and are angry because of the truth of God”; (6) say, “We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!”; and (7) “deny” the Lord their God (2 Nephi 28:24–32). This regression from being “at ease in Zion” to denying their God grows out of the Ephraimite Gentiles’ subscribing to “precepts of men” that prevent them from accepting the further “truth of God” that comes forth. The word “more,” which occurs three times, infers that when God offers more, they reject it, choosing instead to “put their trust in man” (2 Nephi 28:26–31). Nephi’s mention of God’s extending his arm in this context (2 Nephi 28:32) locates the fulfillment of these events at the time God empowers his endtime servant.

(Taken from Endtime Prophecy: A Judeo-Mormon Analysis, pp 401–403)

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