6 And now, these are the words: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
7 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their faces towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
(2 Nephi 6:6-7, Isaiah 49:22-23)
During the month of June, I’m studying sermons in the Book of Mormon which were delivered to audiences of believers. The first of these sermons was delivered by the prophet Jacob to the people of Nephi shortly after they separated from the people of Laman and Lemuel and moved to a new land.
Jacob begins the sermon by telling the people that he was anxious for their welfare and wanted to speak to them about both “things which are, and which are to come” (2 Nephi 6:4). Then, he begins his teachings by quoting part of Isaiah chapter 49. The first passage he reads (which appears in the passage above) is about the gathering of Israel in the last days. Isaiah talks about kings and queens carrying the sons and daughters of Israel in their arms and on their shoulders and serving as their nursing fathers and mothers.
Jacob goes on to explain that this scripture refers to the gathering of Israel after the scattering which had already taken place. What does this gathering mean? As Jacob explains several verses later, the central element is that they will “come to the knowledge of their Redeemer” (2 Nephi 6:11).
This evening, President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy W. Nelson, spoke to the youth of the Church, between the ages of 12 and 18. They taught that the most important work going on in the world today is the gathering of Israel, and they invited all of these young members of the Church to participate more fully in the gathering, by sharing the message of the gospel with all people. In particular, President Nelson challenged the youth to do five things:
- Take a 7-day fast from social media, and use that fast to make their participation in social media more appropriate and meaningful.
- Set aside some time for the Lord each week for three weeks. Pray to know one thing that they can give up each week and what they should do instead.
- Conduct a thorough review of their lives, and make any necessary corrections.
- Pray daily for all to receive the blessings of the gospel.
- Be different, stand out, and be a light to the world. If you seem different from others, be grateful for it.
Today, I will take the challenge from the prophet and will begin to act on the challenges he gave to the youth. In particular, I will set aside some time this week that I would not have normally spent in the service of God. Also, I will begin today to pray that the blessings of the gospel might be available to all people.