Answer to Lisa: Who are the Gentiles?

Lisa asked why I believe that we, the latter-day church, are the Gentiles spoke of as eventually rejecting the “fullness of the Gospel”.  She also wondered how a member who has been adopted into the house of Israel can still be considered a Gentile.

This is my reply:

I believe there will be many millions of faithful LDS when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, and far more than that. I also believe that in most references to the “Gentiles” in latter-day scripture, that it is speaking of the latter-day church because we are non-Jews. In some cases, it is speaking of America specifically, and in some cases of the whole world of Gentiles. It takes some careful reading to sort it out.

One can be considered a Gentile and still be adopted into the house of Israel (by membership) because we are still not “Jews”. It is confusing, but it makes sense when you look at it as if you were a Jew living at the time of Christ when this distinction or class was coined. To them, all non-Jews are Gentiles regardless of other bloodline or spiritual affiliations because the other tribes were lost and comingled through the world, and they alone considered themselves to be pure Israelites.

Here are a couple quotes about whom the latter-day Gentiles actually are, and when the Jews will finally receive the Gospel (which signals the end of the Times of the Gentiles). I’ve underlined a few key points.

“We have heretofore identified the Jews as both the nationals of the kingdom of Judah and as their lineal descendants, all this without reference to tribal affiliation. And we have said, within this usage of terms, that all other people are Gentiles, including the lost and scattered remnants of the kingdom of Israel in whose veins the precious blood of him whose name was Israel does in fact flow. Thus Joseph Smith, of the tribe of Ephraim, the chief and foremost tribe of Israel itself, was the Gentile by whose hand the Book of Mormon came forth, and the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who have the gospel and who are of Israel by blood descent, are the Gentiles who carry salvation to the Lamanites and to the Jews.” (McConkie, Millennial Messiah, p 233)

“It is to those who are not Jews that the Lord promised to give his gospel first in the last days. “In the latter days, when our seed”—now known as Lamanites—”shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years,” Nephi said, “and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then”—and this is to be in the glorious age of restoration in which we now live—”then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, [the Latter-day church] and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed.” This gospel shall come to them “by way of the Gentiles.” Why? “That the Lord may show his power unto the Gentiles,” Nephi continues, “for the very cause that he shall be rejected of the Jews, or of the house of Israel.” (1 Ne. 15:13-17.)

We are those Gentiles of whom Nephi speaks. We have received in this age of restoration the fulness of the everlasting gospel. It is now beginning to go from us to the Lamanites and to the Jews. But the great day of the Lamanites and the great day of the Jews both lie ahead. In the full and true sense of the word, the day of their worldwide glory, the day of the triumph and glory of both the Lamanites and the Jews, in all nations—that day will be millennial.” (McConkie, Millennial Messiah, p 238)

“Why will the Lord take the gospel from the unbelieving Gentiles? Jesus answers: “At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel”—he is speaking here more particularly of the United States of America, of the nation that has scattered the Lamanites, of the nation that esteems itself greater than any other nation—”and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.”

“When will the Lord take the gospel from the unbelieving Gentiles? It will be when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, when he remembers the covenant made with his own people, when the hour for millennial glory has arrived. “And then . . . I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel. But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel.” (McConkie, Millennial Messiah p. 240-241)

And when the times of the Gentiles is come in [that is, speaking in retrospect, when the restoration of the gospel takes place], a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel but they receive it not.” That is, there are many in the dispensation of the fulness of times who refuse the glories and wonders of the Lord’s new and everlasting covenant. “For they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men. And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (D&C 45:24, 25, 28-30.) In the ultimate sense, it appears that the fulness of the Gentiles-the time when the gospel goes on a preferential basis to Jews and Lamanites-is millennial. (Robert L. Millet, Joseph Fielding McConkie, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Volume 4, p. 111)

“We may observe that the times of the Gentiles are rapidly nearing their close by watching the signs of the times. One of the first signs that the days of the Gentiles are nearing their close was given when Palestine was turned over to Great Britain and a Jewish state proclaimed. Another indication is the fact that the Jews are beginning to believe in Christ. They have not yet reached the point where they are willing to receive him as their Redeemer, and they will not, only here and there an individual, until Christ comes as their Deliverer. [the Second Coming and Millennium].” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Restoration of all Things, p 164-165)

“It is part of the great plan that the Jews shall gather [to Jerusalem] in their unbelief and then our Lord will appear to them as spoken of by Zechariah. Then they will be fully converted, and not until then. However, there is a great work to be accomplished among the scattered remnants of Israel and the Lord has said:

“And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.

“And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this Gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people [scattered Israel]. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.—III Nephi 21.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Restoration of all Things, p. 165)

From these quotes we may conclude two things. First, WE are the latter-day Gentiles, and second, the times of the Gentiles will not be fulfilled until the Jews accept Christ at the beginning of the Millennium.

Brother John

© January 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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8 Responses to Answer to Lisa: Who are the Gentiles?

  1. Rob gravitt says:

    There were three tribes living in Jerusalem at the time of Lehi, Ephraim, Manasseh and Judah. Ephraim (Laban, Zoram), Manasseh (Lehi), and Judah (Mulek) were all considered Jews. It was a distinction given due to residency. Gentiles in our day is a distinction given due to our residency, we live among the Gentiles, but are of the house of ?, in my case Ephraim. One a Gentile repents, he is adopted into the house of Israel and is no longer a Gentile. So that being the case, if we are keeping the commandments and are a member of the church, we are no longer a Gentile but of the remnant of Jacob.


  2. Miles says:

    Hi John, Love your Blog.
    This is such a fun subject but reminds me of our current president’s status, that is, is he Black or is he White?
    I was 100% gentile before joining the Church. Now, after many years of genealogy I can show , so far, I have 4 lines back to ADAM through Israel. Well, when we connect into the royal lines these things pop up and it is fun. But I feel that we will be very surprised when the truth is displayed before us of how rich the USA is with the blood of Israel.
    I don’t think most of us have enough information yet to know if we are only adopted or can receive the ‘stamp of approval’ of being genuine Israelites. Don’t we all really agree that this is all about what is going on inside us?
    Anyway, I see that California is talking about making it illegal to circumcise babies, and it causes me to wonder about this: Abraham was commanded to begin this practice, so I presume it is not part of the Law of Moses, is it still in effect?


  3. ken h says:

    The prophet Joseph Smith addressed this issue of becoming the seed of Abraham from a Gentile perspective using the two Comforters as a basis.

    “There are two Comforters spoken of,” says the Prophet in one of his most profound and enlightening discourses. “One of these is the Holy Ghost, the same as given on the day of Pentecost, and that all saints receive after faith, repentance, and baptism. The first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye, than upon an Israelite, while the Israelite at first might be fare before the Gentile in pure intelligence.

    We who are of Gentile blood mixed or otherwise with the blood of Israel must become the Remnant of Jacob by becoming born again, a new creation by the Holy Ghost and therefore truly the seed of Abraham and have his blessings upon us or we cannot be saved with Abraham in Celestial glory. May we all become the Remnant of Jacob and press forward to glory with Abraham!


  4. Genevieve says:

    Brother John,

    I have no comment but I read that a brother named jimmy tetuanui made a comment on your blog. He is from French Polynesia where I do serve a full time mission. A brother from my ward called me 2 days ago. He comes from French Polynesia too. He wanted to know how he could go to Japan to bring help to clean Fukushima area. I had no idea who to contact. Would it be possible for you to ask Jimmy if he would agree to make contact with me?
    Thank you for your help.


  5. Donald says:

    Of course there is D & C Section 109 (the dedication of the Kirtland Temple):

    60 Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.


  6. Chris says:

    Joseph Smith, in the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland temple stated, “…the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.” (D&C 109:60)


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