8 And after our seed is scattered the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed; wherefore, it is likened unto their being nourished by the Gentiles and being carried in their arms and upon their shoulders.
9 And it shall also be of worth unto the Gentiles; and not only unto the Gentiles but unto all the house of Israel, unto the making known of the covenants of the Father of heaven unto Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
(1 Nephi 22:8-9)
After reading two chapters from the book of Isaiah to his brothers, Nephi explained the relevance of those scriptures. Among other things, he described a “marvelous work” which the Lord would do: the Gentiles would spiritually nourish the children of Israel in fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that all nations would one day enjoy the blessings of the gospel.
This work would originate among the Gentiles, but it would not only bless them. It would spread to bless the descendants of Israel, including the descendants of Nephi and his brothers.
Something is “marvelous” when its observers find it amazing, extraordinary, or awe-inspiring. The word descends from the Latin word mirus, which means wonderful (Online Etymology Dictionary). Mirus is also the root of the word “miracle.”
Nephi was likely alluding to another passage from Isaiah, in which the Lord promises to respond to rebellion and hypocrisy by performing “a marvellous work and a wonder,” which will cause the people to recognize His hand and regain their perspective on what is truly important (Isaiah 29:14, 2 Nephi 27:26). I particularly like the NIV translation of this verse:
Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.
To me, it’s energizing to know that God is at work in the world, and that I can expect to see miracles over time. In the most recent general conference of the Church, President Russell M. Nelson promised:
Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. We will see miraculous indications that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, preside over this Church in majesty and glory (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” General Conference, April 2018).
Today, I will be grateful for God’s patient but powerful work which blesses all of His children. I will watch for His “marvelous work” in my life and in the lives of others. I will be grateful for His active and miraculous involvement in the progression of His children.