Book of Mormon examples of the Davidic Covenant in action exist for anyone who wants a clear idea of how it operates. Without its end-time reinstitution among the Ephraimite Gentiles, the prophesied gathering and restoration of the house of Israel—Jews, Ten Tribes, and Lamanites—cannot occur. Nor can the coming in glory of Jehovah/Jesus to reign on the earth that follows on the heels of it. Nor will anyone be prepared to meet God who hasn’t done his part as “a savior of men.” Book of Mormon proxy saviors show the way.
Nephi—to whom his people looked “as a king or a protector, and on whom ye depend for safety” (2 Nephi 6:2)—understood the terms of the Davidic Covenant. He typifies a proxy savior when he says, “I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people” (2 Nephi 33:3–4). His intercession won God’s physical protection or temporal salvation.
The Lord’s chastening the brother of Jared for three hours wasn’t because he didn’t say his prayers but because he didn’t “call on the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him” (Ether 2:14–15). From the start, they depended on him for their welfare as he fulfilled the role of a proxy savior. As with Nephi, his spiritual merits accrued to those for whom he interceded so that God might protect them from harm. Answering for their sins, he merited their temporal salvation in the pattern of Jehovah/Jesus himself (Isaiah 53:11–12).
When “every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins” at the time the Nephites changed their government from kings to judges (Mosiah 29:38), they relieved King Mosiah of that burden as had been required under the terms of the Davidic Covenant. Helaman’s assuming that burden on behalf of two thousand stripling warriors assured their physical protection. Their “father”–“sons” relationship in the pattern of a king to his people under the terms of the Davidic Covenant bound God to deliver them for Helaman’s sake.
Those end-time Ephraimite Gentiles “who have care for the house of Israel” (Mormon 5:10) and are willing to act as “a father to them” (2 Nephi 10:18)—as proxy saviors—will ensure the safety of those whom they gather from the midst of worldwide calamities and desolation. Serving as spiritual kings and queens to the house of Israel under the terms of the Davidic Covenant, “they will bring your sons in their bosoms and carry your daughters on their shoulders” in a new exodus to Zion (Isaiah 49:22–23) in fulfilment of God’s promises.
“When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance. And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance. Yea, the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto them, and their queens shall become nursing mothers” (2 Nephi 10:7–9).