Context and General Information
- Nephi is answering his brothers questions about what Isaiah spoke in Isaiah 48-49.
- Israel will be scattered – physically – all over the earth.
- Some of the children of Israel will be led away and protected from harm – but still led away or scattered.
- Some of the children of Israel will be confounded and scattered because they hardened their hearts against the Holy One of Israel.
- The house of Israel will become apostate.
- Eventually, the Lord will work a marvelous work and wonder – among the Gentiles. He will restore His gospel and covenants.
- The Gentiles would then take the gospel and covenants back to the house of Israel.
- Eventually, all of the people of the earth will know that the Lord—the Mighty One of Israel—is Savior and Redeemer.
- Those who fight against God (the great and abominable church) will start to war with themselves. They will be ensnared in the pit that they dug for the righteous.
- The Lord will not suffer that the wicked will destroy the righteous. He will preserve the righteous by His power – even if it means that he will destroy their enemies by fire.
- After the Lord has saved his people, and destroyed the wicked, Satan will not have any power -this because of the righteousness of the people and through the expression of their agency.
- A Prophet will be raised up – it is the Savior. We need to heed Him.
- The Prophet, Jesus, Will gather his children from the all over earth. He will be their shepherd. There will be one fold and one shepherd, and He will feed His sheep.
- When He has gathered His sheep, they will dwell in righteousness. Satan will have no power—not because the Lord will bind Him. Satan’s power will be quelled because of the righteousness of the people – because of their agency. They will no longer be fascinated by sin.
- We can dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel, but we must repent.
- The words of the prophets are true. If we will be obedient, then we will be saved.
Repent and Dwell Safely
Today’s is the third and final post on the concept of repenting and dwelling safely – with the focus on dwelling safely, specifically. Previously, we studied repentance. You can read the first two posts here and here.
Even though I won’t get much into repentance in this post, in case you haven’t read the other ones, I will say that I’m looking at repentance as something more than simply confessing and forsaking sins. Instead, repentance is turning away from our natural tendencies and toward God. Repentance is our choice to change our minds – away from the carnal, sensual, and devilish – and toward the heavenly, holy, and angelic. This may be done through confessing and forsaking sin. It may also be done through other practices including prayer, scripture study, and anything that helps us to have a Heavenly perspective.
Now that we are on the same page regarding repentance, we will move on. In 1 Nephi, we read:
“28 But, behold, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people shall dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel if it so be that they will repent.” – 1 Nephi 22:28
One – Who?
The invitation to dwell safely is open to ALL. All nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. There isn’t a person that is going to be denied a safe dwelling place. The only qualification is repentance – or turning to the Lord.
Two – Who…Again?
There are two “who’s” in this scripture. First the invitee (everyone!). The second is the inviter.
Who is inviting us? It is the Lord. It is the Holy One of Israel. He is the One who offers us the promise that if we repent, then we will dwell safely in Him.
Three – What does this mean?
This is what I really want to ponder today, I guess. What does it mean to dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel.
I looked up dwell in the dictionary. We have a few definitions:
1: to remain for a time
dwell in the hallway
2 a : to live as a resident
the town in which he dwelled for eight years
the dwelling place of the gods
b : EXIST, LIE
where the heart of the matter dwells
3a : to keep the attention directed —used with on or upon
tried not to dwell on my fears
b : to speak or write insistently —used with on or upon
reporters dwelling on the recent scandal ” – Merriam Webster Dictionary: Dwell
I don’t know for sure the best use of dwell here. I suppose that dwelling safely in the Lord may actually have more than one application in our lives, depending on the circumstances in our lives.
For example, maybe “dwelling safely” in the Lord is – more of a 2b – thing – to exist. If we are turned to the Lord, we can be in the most horrible of circumstances, yet still be dwelling in His safety. I can’t help but think of an examples such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer – who suffered in concentration camps during World War 2. He endured suffering. He was executed. He did not “dwelt safely” in a physical sense.
Yet, it seems that he did dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel – he had perspective and hope for a better world that would come later.
i know I shouldn’t speak for him.
And I can’t even begin to imagine the suffering that he endured. But it is my belief that we can dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel anywhere. We can stand in holy places anywhere. It is about our agency and our attitude. If we have an attitude of repentance – where we are keeping our minds and hearts single to God’s glory by actively turning against the Natural man – then we create these holy places where we can dwell safely in the Lord wherever we are.
All of that being said, I believe that this promise can have physical, literal application as well.
“Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world,…” – Ether 12:4
Not only do I like what Ether taught, I believe it! I believe that the Lord will offer us literal safety and peace. If everyone was choosing to turn to the Lord during the 1940s, for example, then the entire holocaust wouldn’t have happened. The world would have been a safer and happier place – for all.
Of course, everyone wasn’t choosing to turn to the Lord in the 1940s. Many people suffered and died because of the pain caused by hatred, malice, and evil. The suffering, though, of the righteous will not be eternal. God will hear their cries, and He will compensate through His grace. Elder Wirthlin taught of the principle of compensation:
“The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.
One of the blessings of the gospel is the knowledge that when the curtain of death signals the end of our mortal lives, life will continue on the other side of the veil. There we will be given new opportunities. Not even death can take from us the eternal blessings promised by a loving Heavenly Father.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
When we repent, when we turn to the Lord, then we will dwell—free from harm—in Him.
Who – One Last Time
Let’s think about the Holy One of Israel, where we will safely dwell if we repent, one more time.
In the Bible Dictionary we read:
“The anointed (Greek) or Messiah (Hebrew). Jesus, who is called Christ, is the firstborn of the Father in the spirit and the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is Jehovah and was foreordained to His great calling in the Grand Councils before the world was. He was born of Mary at Bethlehem, lived a sinless life, and wrought out a perfect atonement for all mankind by the shedding of His blood and His death on the cross. He rose from the grave and brought to pass the bodily resurrection of every living thing and the salvation and exaltation of the faithful.
He is the greatest Being to be born on this earth—the perfect example—and all religious things should be done in His name. He is Lord of lords, King of kings, the Creator, the Savior, the God of the whole earth, the Captain of our salvation, the Bright and Morning Star. He is in all things, above all things, through all things, and round about all things; He is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; His name is above every name and is the only name under heaven by which we can be saved.” – Bible Dictionary: Christ
Really read through that. Jesus Christ, is the Holy One of Israel. He Is:
- The Resurrection – When we dwell in Him, He offers us life after death. He offers hope!
- The exemplar – When we dwell in Him, we have an example, a pattern. We don’t have to be uninformed or ignorant.
- Lord of lords – When we dwell in Him, we dwell with the Lord who exceeds all. And He is righteous, to boot!
- King of kings – When we dwell in Him, we dwell with the most powerful and righteous king. We aren’t dwelling with an egomaniac, but a loving leader.
- the Creator – When we dwell in Him, we are dwelling with the Creator. He created this earth, our bodies, we can trust Him for help with our physical concerns.
- The Savior – When we dwell in Him, we are dwelling with the One who will save us – overcoming both death and hell. I wouldn’t want to dwell with someone who doesn’t have this power!
- The God of the Whole Earth – When we dwell in Him, we are dwelling with the being that understands everything because He is the God of it. I mean, this just makes sense. What safer dwelling place could we have than with the God of this very earth!
- The Captain of Our Salvation – When we dwell in Him, we are dwelling with a Being who loves us enough to offer us eternal salvation. I love the idea of dwelling with someone who will run to stop the bus, rather than throw me under it. Can you imagine dwelling with someone who is abusive and full of hate?! You would want to get out. The Savior is neither abusive or hate-filled. He is loving, He offers us Salvation, He is kind, He uplifts, and He builds us up.
- The Bright and Morning Star – When we dwell in Him, we dwell in light. We dwell in hope. We dwell in truth.
It’s a pretty good deal for us. The Lord has extended an invitation to us all. We are invited to dwell safely in Him, if we will but repent. We will dwell safely in His peace, love, sacrifice, omnipotence, omniscience, and salvation – if we will but change our hearts and mind – from the things of the world and instead toward Him.
It really is a pretty good deal.