1 And now, behold, my brethren, I have spoken unto you, according as the Spirit hath constrained [compelled] me; wherefore, I know that they must surely come to pass. [It is a curious thing to be constrained by the Spirit. When you feel the Hand of God take over you it is impossible for many to resist as you know you are doing the Lord’s will.]
2 And the things which shall be written out of the book [Book of Mormon] shall be of great worth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel. [This book has hardly yet fulfilled its mission.]
3 For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord— [The push today amongst many Christian sects is to be unified. Few claim to be the Lord’s only true church.]
4 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance. [How many attempt to prove their scriptural understanding through scholarly research? They study history, geography, language, or the words of men, and yet do not have the Holy Ghost to inspire them. And, most people accept there teachings.]
5 And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men; [Most every Christian church I know believes that God has passed His power to men. That new revelation, the kind that Joseph gave, is not necessary as before. We are told to hearken to the words of men, and this is idolatry.]
6 Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work. [How often are miracles dismissed amongst the followers of Christ today? How would those you associate with today react if you stood before them and bore witness to angelic visitations, the power of healing, tongues, prophecy, and above all – that Christ has visited you with His glory and you KNOW that He lives! These are the miracles witnessed throughout the BofM and those that Moroni and others testify to us.]
7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. [How many believe that they are good enough to merit eternal blessings?]
8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry [celebrate]; nevertheless , fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin [“You are a Christian, so relax!”]; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die [“God doesn’t expect you to be perfect, so relax!”]; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. [“What do you think the Atonement is for? Relax!”]
Too often the focus of many is to do busy tasks that supposedly bring us to God and merit forgiveness. What God wants is our hearts, to repent, which means to desire Him more than anything. To know Him and serve Him by receiving the Holy Ghost and acting upon the revelations we are given. By so doing we become new in Christ and our actions display a love toward all men as we keep the Lords commandments and exercise charity. God cannot justify even the smallest sin, yet if we are repentant, we will be forgiven.
9 Yea, and there shall be many [almost every ecclesiastical leader] which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts [pride], and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord [do not council with the Lord and seek revelation]; and their works shall be in the dark. [inspired by the Adversary]
10 And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them. [In modern times I think of Joseph Smith.]
11 Yea, they have all gone out of the way; they have become corrupted. [Nephi says “all,” not just some.]
12 Because of pride, and because of false teachers, and false doctrine, their churches have become corrupted, and their churches are lifted up; because of pride they are puffed up. [What started as pure has been polluted by pride, and the false teachings of men.]
13 They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries [What is a sanctuary? It is a magnificent church building that is very costly.]; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart [those who seek Christ only], because in their pride they are puffed up. [How do they persecute others by how they dress, or what they build? Because they set themselves up as a light.]
14 They wear stiff necks [unteachable] and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms [Sexual sin amongst the leadership of these Christian churches.], they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led [even the humble followers of Christ fail], that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men. [Because they lean on the understanding of men, and follow the arm of flesh.]
15 O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty [Not Nephi’s words, but the Lord.], for they shall be thrust down to hell!
16 Wo unto them that turn aside the just [the distinction between right and wrong] for a thing of naught and revile against [to rebuke and condemn] that which is good, and say that it is of no worth! [No value for today.] For the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity they shall perish.
17 But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of Hosts.
The Book of Mormon up until now has been almost exclusively studied by the LDS Church and other Mormon denominations. It is written for us. It’s message now is for us. In the future it will become a great ensign for the Remnant of Israel. They will easily see the truth behind Nephi’s words regarding the Church of the Gentiles. The message is sobering and we should ask the Lord to help us to understand.
18 But behold, that great and abominable church, the whore of all the earth, must tumble to the earth, and great must be the fall thereof. [This is the conglomerate of all churches that do not lead us to Christ.]
19 For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish; [How will Satan’s kingdom shake? This is the purpose of the judgments that God will pour out upon the world in the near future. Men will choose to repent or not.]
20 For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
21 And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well [If you ever hear anyone, a neighbor, family member, ecclesiastical leader, celebrity, or scholar, tell you that God’s church (Zion) is doing well, you must know that this is false. Zion is not well until the day you are standing with your feet firmly planted in that holy city and Christ is with you.]—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
22 And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance. [I have heard more of this talk amongst those who identify as Christians, and it sickens my heart. Many view religious philosophy as a symbolic metaphor for a spiritual connection to the universe. Many who become disillusioned with church choose this path, and it is very popular in today’s secular world.]
23 Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell [caught in a cycle], and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. [At some point they will be divided and organized according to the justice of God.]
24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion! [Zion is both a state of mind and a place of refuge. It is the status or dwelling of those who have been glorified, or received the gift of the Holy Ghost. They are prepared to enter the presence of God. To be at “ease” is to not feel an urgency to prepare.]
25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well! [Because it has not yet been established don’t think that God is pleased with any institution upon the face of the earth.]
26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men [pontifications of people as they read the words of other people, share stories, and platitudes] , and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost! [They do not speak by the power of revelation and prophecy, but rely on prepared speeches and teleprompters.]
27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!
28 And in fine [finally], wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! [It is hard for those who will be angry for this rebuke and condemnation, for it is difficult to accept the truth.] For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.
29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough! [We usually think of these as your standard Christians that only will read the Bible, yet the admonition is to those who read the Book of Mormon and will expect that it is normal to no longer receive a regular influx of revelation.]
30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. [I love this scripture, because it teaches the pattern of revelation. It begins as a small trickle of faith, of new understanding, a word, a thought, a phrase, and then the Lord sees what we will do with it. Often it is rejected by those who see it as their own obscure thoughts, thrown away as waste. We must learn to lend an ear to the Lord’s counsel, which is to seek revelation and to act upon it. This process must be exercised for us to obtain Zion.]
31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost. [How many times has he said this? How many of us will do nothing unless a presiding authority tells us? Where do YOU put your trust? This is not a rhetorical question.]
32 Wo be unto the Gentiles [Those who have not received the Covenant of God], saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm [mercy] is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.