Question about Jesus’ Non-Appearance to the Gentiles

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Question: Why hasn’t Jesus shown himself in person to the Gentiles, including the Latter-day Saints, as he did to the Jews, Nephites, and Ten Tribes?

Answer: To the house of Israel—whom Paul defines as “his people whom he [God] foreknew” (Romans 11:2)—pertain certain blessings that accrue from previous spiritual experience. People have called this preceding experience “premortal,” though it isn’t at all clear from the scriptures that there occurred but a single premortal scenario. Hence, souls come into this present mortality on different spiritual levels—as did Abraham, Melchizedek, and other “great and noble ones” (Alma 13:4–14; Abraham 3:22–23).

We observe this spiritual difference elsewhere, as in Isaiah’s ladder to heaven with its seven identifiable spiritual categories of people. Furthermore, Zenos’ olive tree allegory characterizes the Gentiles as “wild” branches, while it likens the house of Israel to “tame” or “natural” ones (Jacob 5; cf. Romans 11:1–22). Such spiritual disparity between the Gentiles and house of Israel thus accounts for why Jesus doesn’t show himself to the Gentiles as he did to the house of Israel. That is, until the Gentiles, too—as a people—become a people he “knows” because they obey his commandments.

Until the Ephraimite Gentiles keep his law and word, therefore, he cannot show himself to them as a people, only to individuals among them: “Ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also. This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law” (Doctrine & Covenants 132:33–24).

In the meantime, as he said to his Jewish apostles when he refused to even speak to a Gentile woman, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Added he, “They understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching. And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice—that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me” (3 Nephi 15:21–24).

In that light, a prophesied “great division” among the end-time Ephraimite Gentiles results in some who repent of their sins of commission and omission. Thenceforth identified as “saints” or “sanctified ones,” these come to know Jesus personally as a people, while those who harden their hearts and don’t know him are instead “cut off” from among his people (Matthew 25:10–12; 1 Nephi 14:1–14; 22:24–25; 2 Nephi 30:10; 3 Nephi 21:20).

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The Isaiah Institute was created in the year 2000 by the Hebraeus Foundation to disseminate the message of the prophet Isaiah (circa 742–701 B.C.). Avraham Gileadi Ph.D’s groundbreaking research and analysis of the Book of Isaiah provides the ideal medium for publishing Isaiah’s endtime message to the world. No longer can the Book of Isaiah be regarded as an obscure document from a remote age. Its vibrant message, decoded after years of painstaking research by a leading authority in his field, now receives a new application as a sure guide to a rapidly changing world. To those who seek answers to today’s perplexing questions, the Book of Isaiah is God’s gift to humanity.

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