Throughout the different sections that we have covered to date we have seen that there will be a purification process in both America and Israel. No unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God, and God will dwell among His people during the millennium. Therefore, people must either repent, or be swept off the face of the land. We have seen that many will be lost during this great purge, however, as we have seen before, the Remnant of Jacob will repopulate the decimated ranks of Israel. Here Christ quoted Isaiah in reference to Israel’s repopulation after they have suffered so much at the hands of the Gentiles.
And then shall that which is written come to pass: Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child; for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations; spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.[i]
Zechariah notes two-thirds of the Jewish population will be destroyed in that day.[ii] With the hosts of Jacob, the land will once again teem with Israelites, thus the phrase, “for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife”. Christ continues:
Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy maker, thy husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel—the God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.[iii]
The remaining third will be sanctified. They will cling to the Lord, and He will frankly forgive them. Their sinful past will be remembered no more. They will become a pure and righteous people -firm and immovable in keeping the commandments of God evermore. As the Lord promised to never again flood the earth after the days of Noah, so again the Lord promises that Israel will never again have cause to drink the dregs of the cup of trembling wrung out.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. For this, the waters of Noah unto me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.[iv]
The above verses are a wondrous reminder that the trials and sufferings of this life truly are but a small moment, when compared with the unfathomable depths of eternity. All suffering, so long as it turns one to the Lord, will have an end. However, the everlasting kindness of the Father is as endless as His name.
O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.[v]
The above verses refer to the building of the New Jerusalem, which will be built of the most precious materials. Consider the following verses from Revelations describing the same:
And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.[vi]
It is interesting to note that the stones from which the New Jerusalem will be constructed are the same stones that were embedded into the breastplate of the high priest in the days preceding the scattering of Israel. As noted in the above verses, John did not see a separate temple within the walls of the city, noting that God the Father and Jesus Christ are the temple of it. A more accurate interpretation is that the whole city of the New Jerusalem is a temple, for the city itself will be the House of the most high God, and a place for instruction for all, thus only the best of materials will be used in its construction, similar to our temples.
And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression for thou shalt not fear, and from terror for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together against thee, not by me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.[vii]
The Lord finishes His unparalleled sermon on the latter-day gathering of Israel with a powerful statement regarding the remnant of Jacob. Ultimately, the Lord says, it was He, Himself, that would purify and purge Israel. The Remnant of Jacob, like the Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans, Gentiles and many others will be used to one degree or another as tools in His omnipotent hand to bring about the salvation of His Covenant people.
Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.[viii]
This brings us to the end of the Lord’s marvelous sermon. It is my sincere hope that the power of Christ’s message has resonated within your heart. There is no other sermon on record with such authority on this subject as this, spoken directly to us in our day, by the Son of God. The ramifications of this marvelous sermon are as far reaching as they are amazing.
Upon concluding the message that the Father commanded the Son to share, Christ reiterates the importance of His words in the following way:
And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah. And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake. Therefore give heed to my words; write the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father they shall go forth unto the Gentiles. Search the prophets, for many there be that testify of these things.[ix]
Christ links His message to the message provided by the prophet Isaiah. I have done my best to lay out the message of that great prophet in an understandable format. It is up to the reader to decide for himself the veracity and correlation of these accounts.
After Christ concluded this message, He went on to quote additional prophets to the Nephites, including sharing with them the sealed portion of the Jaredite record. We have learned that, as the Jaredite record was had among them at that time, so it shall be accessible to us in the future. The Lord also quoted from the Old Testament prophet Malachi. The message of Malachi will be addressed in the section on the teachings of Moroni, as it was also specifically quoted to Joseph Smith by the angel Moroni.
[i] 3 Nephi 22:1-3
[ii] Zechariah 13:8-9
[iii] 3 Nephi 22:4-6
[iv] 3 Nephi 22:7-10
[v] 3 Nephi 22:11-12
[vi] Revelations 21:19-22
[vii] 3 Nephi 22:13-15
[viii] 3 Nephi 22:16-17
[ix] 3 Nephi 23:1, 3-5