My dear brothers and sisters, how grateful I am for this marvelous, for the marvelous messages of this conference and for my privilege to speak with you. Now, for the more than 36 years I’ve been an Apostle, the doctrine of the gathering of Israel has captured my attention. Everything about it has intrigued me, including the ministries and names of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, their lives and their wives, the Covenant God made with them and extended through their lineage, the dispersion of the twelve tribes and the numerous prophecies about the gathering.
In our day. I have studied the gathering, prayed about it, feasted upon every related scripture, and ask the Lord to increase my understanding.
So imagine my delight. When I was led recently to a new insight. With the help of two Hebrew scholars, I learned that one of the Hebraic meanings of the word Israel is let God prevail. Thus the very name of Israel refers to a person who is willing to let God prevail in his or her life. That concept stirs my soul.
The word willing is crucial to this interpretation of Israel. We all have our agency. We can choose to be of Israel or not. We can choose to let God prevail in our lives or not. We can choose to let God be the most powerful influence in our lives or not.
For a moment, let us recall a crucial turning point in the life of Jacob, the grandson of Abraham.
At the place Jacob named Peniel, which means the faith of God. Jacob wrestled with a serious challenge. His agency was tested. Through this wrestle, Jacob proved what was most important to him. He demonstrated that he was willing to let God prevail in his life.
In response, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, meaning Let God prevail.
God then promised Israel that all the blessings that had been pronounced upon Abraham’s head would also be here.
Sadly, Israel’s posterity broke their Covenant with God. They stoned the prophets and were not willing to let God prevail in their lives. Subsequently, God scattered them to the four corners of the Earth. Mercifully. He later promised to gather them, as reported by Isaiah.
For a small moment, have I forsaken the Israel, but with great mercy will I gather the with a he break definition of Israel in mind, the gathering of Israel takes on added meaning. The Lord is gathering those who are willing to let God prevail in their lives. The Lord is gathering those who will choose to let God be the most important influence in their lives.
For centuries, profits have foretold this gathering and it is happening right now as an essential prelude to the second coming of the Lord. It is the most important work in the world.
This premillennial gathering is an individual saga of expanding faith in spiritual courage for millions of people and as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints or Latter day Covenant Israel. We have been charged to assist the Lord with this pivotal work. When we speak of gathering Israel on both sides of the veil, we are referring, of course, to missionary temples and family history work. We are also referring to building faith and testimony in the hearts of those with whom we live, work and serve.
Anytime we do anything that helps anyone on either side of the veil to make and keep their Covenant with God.
We are helping to gather Israel.
Not long ago, the wife of one of our grandsons were struggling spiritually. I will call her Jill. Despite fasting prayer and priesthood blessings, Jill’s father was dying. She was gripped with fear that she would lose both her dad and her testimony.
Late one evening, my wife sister Wendy Nelson, told me in Jill situation the next morning, Wendy felt impressed to share with Jill that my response to her spiritual wrestle was one word. The word was my APIC chill layer admitted to Wendy that initially she was devastated by my response. She said, I was hoping for Grandfather to promise me a miracle for my dad. I kept wondering why the word myopic was the one he felt compelled to say.
After Jill? S father passed on the word Myopic kept coming to her mind. She opened her heart to understand even more deeply that Myopic meant near sighted and her thinking began to shift. Jill then said, My optic cause me to stop, think, and heal. That word now fills me with peace.
It reminds me to expand it by perspective and seek the eternal. It reminds me that there is a divine plan that my dad still lives and loves and looks out for me. My OPIC has led me to God. Close Quote I’m very proud of our precious granddaughter in law. During this heart wrenching time in her life, dear Jill is learning to embrace God’s will for her dad with an eternal perspective for her own life.
By choosing to let God prevail, she is finding peace if we will allow it. There are many waves. This he break interpretation of Israel can help us imagine how our prayers for our missionaries and for our own efforts to gather Israel could change. With this concept in mind, we often pray that we and the missionaries will be led to those who are prepared to receive the truth of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I wonder to whom will we be led when we plead to find those who are willing to let God prevail in their lives?
We may be led to some who have never believed in God or Jesus Christ, but who are now yearning to learn about them and their plan of happiness outdoors may have been born in the Covenant, but have since wandered away from the Covenant path. They may now be ready to repeat, return and let God prevail. We can assist Him by welcoming them with open arms and hearts and some to whom we may be led. Mary have always felt there was something missing in their lives. They too are longing for the wholeness and joy that come to those who are willing to let God prevail in their lives.
The gospel net to gather scattered Israel is expensive. There’s room for each person who will fully embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Each convert becomes one of God’s Covenant children, whether by birth or by adoption. Each becomes a full error to all that God has promised of faithful children of Israel.
Each of us has a divine potential because each is a child of God. Each is equal in His eyes. The implications of this truth are profound. Brothers and sisters. Please listen carefully to what I’m about to say.
God does not love one race more than another. His doctrine on this matter is clear. He invites all to come unto him. Black and white, blond and free, male and female. I assure you that you’re standing before God is not determined by the color of your skin.
Favor or disfavor with God is dependent upon your devotion to God and His Commandments and not to the color of your skin. I grieve that our black brothers and sisters during the world over are enduring the pain of racism and prejudice. Today I call upon our members everywhere to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice. I plead with you to promote respect for all of God’s children. The question for each of us, regardless of race, is the same.
Are you willing to let God prevail in your life? Are you willing to let God be the most important influence in your life? Will you allow His words, His Commandments, and His covenants to influence what you do each day? Will you allow His voice to take priority over any other? Are you willing to let whatever he needs you to do take precedence over every other ambition?
Are you willing to have your will swallowed up in His?
Consider how such willingness could bless you if you are unmarried and seeking an eternal companion. Your desire to be of Israel will help you decide whom to date and how.
If you are married to a companion who has broken his or her covenants, your willingness to let God prevail in your life will allow your Covenant with God to remain intact. The Savior will heal your broken heart. The heavens will open as you seek to know how to move forward. You do not need to wander or wonder if you have sincere questions about the gospel or the Church as you choose to let God prevail, you will be led to find and understand the absolute, eternal truth that will guide your life and help you to stay firmly on the Covenant path when you were faced with temptation.
Even if the temptation comes when you are exhausted or feeling alone or misunderstood.
Imagine the courage you can muster if you choose to let God prevail in your life as you plead with Him to strengthen you.
When your greatest desire is to let God prevail to be part of Israel, so many decisions become easier. So many issues become non issues. You know how best to groove yourself. You know what to watch and read or to spend your time and with whom to associate. You know what you want to accomplish and you know the kind of person you really want to become now, my dear brothers and sisters, it takes both faith and courage to let God prevail.
It takes persistent, rigorous spiritual work to repent and to put off a natural man through the atonement of Jesus Christ. It takes consistent daily effort to develop personal habits, to study the gospel, to learn more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and to seek and respond to personal revelation.
During these perilous times of which the Apostle Paul prophesied Satan is no longer even trying to hide his attacks on God’s plan emboldened evil abound. Therefore, the only way to survive spiritually is to be determined to let God prevail in our lives, to learn to hear His voice, and to use our energy to help gather Israel.
How is the Lord feel about people who will let God prevail? Nephi summed it up? Well, the Lord Loveth those who will have Him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers and he covenanted with them. Yay, even Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
And he remembers the Covenants which he has made close book. And what is the Lord willing to do for Israel? The Lord is pledged that he will fight our battles and our children’s battles and our children’s children’s battles to the third and fourth generation.
As you study your scriptures during the next six months, I encourage you to make a list of all that the Lord has promised he will do for Covenant Israel. I think you will be astounded ponder these promises. Talk about them with your family and friends, then live and watch for these promises to be fulfilled in your own life.
My dear brothers and sisters, as you choose to let God prevail in your lives, you will experience for yourselves that our God is a God of miracles. As a people, we are His Covenant children and we will be called by His name of this, I testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Okay.