32 Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.
(1 Nephi 13:32)
When the books and letters which now constitute the Bible were originally written, they contained “the fulness of the gospel of the Lord” (1 Nephi 13:24). However, as they were passed down over the years, some of the people who had access to these writings intentionally withheld some of the teachings in order to “blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men” (1 Nephi 13:27). The consequences were significant: “because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them” (1 Nephi 13:29).
But in the verse above, the angel promises Nephi that God would not allow this ignorance to continue indefinitely. He would provide other sources of His word which would contain the “plain and precious things” that were omitted from the Bible. One of those sources is the Book of Mormon (See 1 Nephi 13:35-36).
No wonder one of our articles of faith states: “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God” (Articles of Faith, 8).
I see two complementary principles in this chapter:
- People do real damage when they withhold information which could bless another person.
- God will eventually compensate for all that we suffer, including the suffering caused by a lack of knowledge.
I’m grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who wants all of His children to have access to the full gospel: the full set of principles and covenants which will lead us back into His presence. I’m grateful to know that He will eventually ensure that all of His children have access to these saving truths, so that they can overcome spiritual blindness.