Just as the Jews taught their fables that “turn from the truth” (Titus 1:14), so, Paul warns, “The time will come when they [God’s end-time people] will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3–4).
Having been conditioned over time to believe things unsupported scripturally—that we will never be led astray; that all we need to do is follow the prophet; that the gospel will never be taken away from us again—have we labored under the assumption that it can’t be us who “have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men,” or that surely it isn’t us who “preach false doctrines” (2 Nephi 28:14–15)?
Who indeed has warned of what Jesus taught, that “at that day when the [Ephraimite] Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them. And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them. And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel” (3 Nephi 16:10–12)?
Who has warned that “when they [the Ephraimite Gentiles] shall have received the fulness of my gospel, then if they shall harden their hearts against me I will return their iniquities upon their own heads, saith the Father. And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father. And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fulness of my gospel shall be preached unto them; And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name” (3 Nephi 20:28–31)?
Who has warned that “if the [Ephraimite] Gentiles do not repent after the blessing which they shall receive, after they have scattered my people—Then shall ye, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver” (3 Nephi 20:15–16)?
Didn’t Isaiah teach that the Lord’s end-time wife would be “cast off” and that his former wife would be received back? “Thus says Jehovah: Where is your mother’s bill of divorce with which I cast her out? Or to which of my creditors did I sell you? Surely, by sinning you have sold yourselves; because of your crimes is your mother cast off” (Isaiah 50:1); “Sing, O barren woman who did not give birth; break into jubilant song, you who were not in labor. The children of the deserted wife shall outnumber those of the espoused . . . . Jehovah calls you back as a spouse forsaken and forlorn, a wife married in youth only to be rejected, says your God. I forsook you indeed momentarily, but with loving compassion I will gather you up. In fleeting exasperation I hid my face from you, but with everlasting charity I will have compassion on you, says Jehovah, who redeems you” (Isaiah 54:1, 6–8).
Have we perceived the implications of these words by our Savior and by prophets who saw our day? If we can’t bring ourselves to deal first with the “bad news” that they apply to us, how shall we qualify for what the “good news” has to offer? An unparalleled time of glory upon the earth awaits those who put away all sense of entitlement, hold fast to every word of God, and assist in restoring the house of Israel.