Israel is covenant-founded, temple-based, and Christ-centered. The work of Jesus Christ is the reason the covenant of Abraham exists. The Abrahamic covenant, which is the covenant of Israel, is in every way as significant in the last days as it was in any age of the past.
Jesus Christ is the Savior of all nations, yet by heavenly design and divine intent, he was born into the of through the house of David. Although he is God of the whole earth, he is precisely the Holy One of Israel. The arrangement of nations and races is the work of the Lord, according to his foreknowledge and our own premortal existence. Thus God has a hand in the development of history. The Abrahamic covenant is a prototype or manifestation of the work and mission of Jesus Christ. Just as Jesus was an Israelite but extends his Atonement to all nations, so also the Abrahamic covenant is centered in Israel but has provisions for reaching out to all nations. The covenant incorporates priesthood, the Holy Ghost, baptism, eternal marriage, posterity, land, and a blessing for all nations. The literal, biological descendants of Abraham have a natural right to the priesthood and the fullness of the gospel of Christ. Ephraim holds the birthright, or keys of presidency, in the last days. Jesus deliberately limited his personal ministry, both before and after his Resurrection, to those nations biologically of Israel. Jesus manifests himself to the Gentiles through the Holy Ghost, as they are taught the gospel by prophets who are of the house of Israel. The Gentile nations can obtain the blessings of the gospel through the preaching of the prophets of Israel. Whether one is Gentile or Israelite, the only way to obtain the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant is by faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, priesthood, and so forth. The house of Israel has been scattered over all the world, among all nations; therefore, most nations today have the blood of Israel in their veins to some extent or another. Latter-day Saints are for the most part biologically descended from Joseph through Ephraim and Manasseh. As descendants of Joseph, the members of the Church have a responsibility in the last days to feed the world the bread of life, that is, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was a legal heir to the priesthood and the keys of presidency through his lineage of Ephraim. As far as individual salvation is concerned, a Gentile can be saved in the celestial kingdom as an Israelite can, but the process for the Gentile is to obtain the gospel through the agency of Israelite prophets and teachers. A primary purpose of the gathering is for building temples so that sacred ordinances essential for salvation may be administered. The building of temples is an indication that the blood of Israel is present in the land. That truth is especially noteworthy in view of the temples being built in Asia (Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and so forth). The holy scriptures are Israel's witness for Jesus Christ and will eventually consist of records of the Jews, the Nephites, and the ten tribes. The tribes of Judah, Joseph, and Levi were each given special responsibilities of long-lasting significance, which will be fulfilled when Israel is restored to the lands of their inheritance. The restoration of Israel in the last days is much more extensive than a mere gathering and is a work many times larger than the exodus from Egypt in Moses' time. The promises of restoration are beginning to be fulfilled even now but will not be fully accomplished until well into the Millennium. The gathering progresses through various phases. The first phase was to midwestern America and then to the Rocky Mountains. Currently the gathering is to the stakes of Zion wherever they may be. Other phases will come in their time. To be engaged in the gathering and restoration of Israel was described by the Prophet Joseph Smith as being on the "pathway to eternal fame and immortal glory." (Robert J. Matthews, Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews: Gospel Scholars Series [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1999], 581.) ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// /// ZION LIST CHARTER: Please read it at /// /// http://www.zionsbest.com/charter.html /// ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ==^================================================================ This email was sent to: email@example.com EASY UNSUBSCRIBE click here: http://topica.com/u/?aaP9AU.bWix1n.YXJjaGl2 Or send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] T O P I C A -- Register now to manage your mail! http://www.topica.com/partner/tag02/register ==^================================================================