The Greater Portion


The prophet Alma taught that the word of God is comparable to a seed which, when nourished, grows up into the tree of life. Faith is replaced with knowledge as light distills “as the dews from heaven,” until the tree at last grows into full maturity (Alma 32:28-42; cf. D&C 121:45). Stated another way: “It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him… and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full” (Alma 12:9-10). We similarly read that “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24; cf. 2 Nephi 28:30; Alma 32:28-42).

Similarly, the Book of Mormon was to come forth to the Gentiles as the word of God which, if nourished, would grow up into a fulness of truth. Said the Savior, “if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them” (3 Nephi 26:9). Such “greater things” are frequently characterized as “sealed” by Book of Mormon writers, whose contents “reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof” (2 Nephi 27:10).

One prophet to whom all things were revealed was the brother of Jared. Of his vision, Moroni wrote that “there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared” (Ether 4:4), which revelation he recorded and sealed up to come forth in the Lord’s own due time. “For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord. And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations” (Ether 4:6-7).

Nephi confirms his witness, stating: “And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth.” (2 Nephi 27:11). Foreseeing this day in vision, he described “other books” in addition to the Book of Mormon, coming forth “by the power of the Lamb” to the convincing of the scattered tribes of Israel that Jesus is the Christ, “the Savior of the world” (1 Nephi 13:39-40). Nephi beheld that the apostle John, as well as “others who have been, to them hath [the Lord] shown all things, and they have written them; and they are sealed up to come forth in their purity, according to the truth which is in the Lamb, in the own due time of the Lord, unto the house of Israel” (1 Nephi 14:26; cf. D&C 77:14; Isaiah 48:6).

The Lord’s “own due time,” of course, is described as the day that at least some Gentiles “repent of their iniquity and become clean before the Lord,” exercising faith “even as the brother of Jared.” His open invitation to Book of Mormon readers is to come unto Him, so that He might “show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief,” promising that when they rend that “veil of unbelief… and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you [come forth]… And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people… Therefore, when ye shall receive this record ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land” (Ether 4:13-17; cf. 2 Nephi 27:21-23; D&C 93:18).

The “great and marvelous” things contained in such records also characterizes the work in bringing them forth—which work will divide all the world “either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually” (1 Nephi 14:7).

As the Savior prophesied to the Nephites, “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. But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil. 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; cf. Isaiah 29:11-18).

Even as the Jews’ rejection of Jesus led to the gospel turning to the Gentiles, so will the Gentiles’ rejection of the fulness of the gospel lead to its turning back to the Jews and natural branches of Israel (3 Nephi 16:10-11; cf. 3 Nephi 20:28-29; 1 Nephi 13:32; JST Matthew 21:52-56; D&C 45:28-32). There will thus be a great division among all people as to whether they will harden their hearts against the Lord and His truth. Those who have heeded the Savior’s command to search diligently the words of Isaiah—which He Himself calls “great”—will be far more prepared to receive greater things when they come than those who do not (3 Nephi 23:1; cf. JS–Matthew 1:37; Isaiah 30:8).

Cameron Mayer

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