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eternal life of man." The voice of the continents, the independent testimonies of Judah and Ephraim, the Scriptures of the Jews and those of the Nephites, are heard in tuneful harmony bearing true witness to the world of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In vindication of the prophets of both East and West, the Holy Priesthood has been restored to the earth in this latter age, and the saving ordinances of the Lord's House are again administered for the salvation of souls. In this glorious restoration, coupled with the miraculous bringing forth of the Book of Mormon, is found a rich fulfilment of ancient prophecy; for verily Truth has sprung out of the earth, and Righteousness has come down from heaven. (See Psa. 85:11).
Now, in olden times at least two witnesses were required to establish the truth of any important fact; and thus spake the Lord respecting the independent testimony of nations concerning Himself: "Wherefore murmur ye, because that shall receive more of ye my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together, the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. . . . Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible, ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. . . . For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth, and they shall write it. . . . And
it shall come to pass that my people which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in one." (2 Nephi 29).
The theme of this unified anthem of Divine ministry is the preparation of the race for the impending advent of the Lord, who shall stand in Bodily Presence upon the earth, to subdue wickedness and reign in righteousness in company with all who shall have become His.
Shepherds and Sheep-Herders
UR Lord's likening Himself to a shepherd and His followers to sheep has been an inspiration to poets, preachers, artists, and devout souls generally throughout the centuries of our era. While all His discourses are fraught with a significance that increases with repeated readings, some of His utterances are of outstanding interest because of their universal application and personal appeal. The sermon of the Good Shepherd is prominent in this class. Read John 10.
None other than the Lord Himself has depicted so forcefully and yet simply the contrast between shepherd and sheep-herder, between owner and hireling, between him who is ready to defend the sheep because he loves them, and the other who sees in the flock only so much wool, hide, and
Our literature contains no more striking differentiation of devoted service from money-loving effort than that pre
sented in this brief, terse, yet comprehensive discourse. Every efficient laborer is worthy of his hire, or ought to be, be he plowman, artizan or professional, artist, teacher or preacher. Far from there being discredit in receiving wage for work, this reciprocal relationship is a fundamental necessity of community existence. But he whose sole purpose and interest is the wage, without devotion to the service for its intrinsic good, is but a hired servant and likely so to remain.
Never has been spoken a stronger arraignment of insincere teachers, false pastors, self-seeking hirelings—those who teach for pelf and divine for dollars, robbers who pose as shepherds yet avoid the door to the fold and climb up "some other way," prophets in the devil's employ who, to achieve their master's purpose, hesitate not to robe themselves in assumed sanctity, and appear in sheep's clothing while inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matt. 7:15).
In the record of this profound discourse, one verse appears as an abrupt interpolation, bearing little relation aside from imagery with preceding or following verses. This reads: "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16).
The Bible contains no related passage affording explanation. Commentators treat this verse as an isolated and unconnected utterance, and content themselves with the suggestion that the "other sheep" may be the Gentile nations who are to be brought into the Jewish fold under the one Shepherd. The Jews who heard the Lord speak so understood Him. The Book of Mormon, however, illumines our understanding of the quoted Scripture, and explains the Lord's purpose in speaking as He did and in leaving the subject without further exposition.
Shortly after His ascension, Christ visited a detached body of Israelites then existing as a great nation on the Western Continent. To them He declared Himself to be the slain and resurrected Son of God, through whom alone salvation was made possible to man. He gave them precepts and commandments, and chose twelve disciples whom He ordained to teach the Gospel and to administer in His name the ordinances thereof. To them He said, referring to the Jews amongst whom He had lived and died:
"This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them: That other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And now because of stiffneckedness and unbelief, they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them. . . . And verily, I say unto you, that ye are they of whom I said: Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles; for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching. And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice; that I should not manifest myself unto them, save it were by the Holy Ghost. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 15:16-24).
It is evident that even the Jewish Apostles had failed to apprehend the real significance of the Master's words; for they had vaguely surmised that He would manifest Himself
in personal ministry among the Gentiles, oblivious to the fact that He had been sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel; and that only through the ministrations of His ordained representatives would the Gospel be declared to the Gentile world.
But, as other parts of the sacred record make plain, the Gospel is offered freely to the Gentiles of the earth, and they through acceptance and obedience shall be numbered with Israel and be made partakers of the blessings assured by covenant to the righteous. See Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 30:2; 3 Nephi 16:13.
Divine Communication in the Current Age
E believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. (Articles of Faith, No. 9).
Revelation, direct and personal from God to men, is the dominant theme of Scripture. Expunge from the Bible all record of actual revelation and reference thereto, and what remains? Nothing more than a variety of historical sketches, chronicles, genealogical data, some chapters of ethical value, a few poetical rhapsodies, proverbs, and allegories.
Every believer in the authenticity of the Holy Bible acknowledges that God literally spake to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and Moses, and that specific revelation was given to Israel during the time of the Judges, and on