Thursday, February 11, 2016

Blood of a Gentile vs an Israelite

3 Nephi 15:23

"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." 
A few days ago I read this article over at Mormon Yeshiva.  I didn't read the entire piece, but the quotes and thoughts on who the Gentiles are (at the beginning) were really interesting.  In summary, it might be wise to assume that we who have the gospel as contained in the Book of Mormon might well be considered Gentiles.

There is a quote by Joseph Smith that I frequently read, but never really understood until reading this verse from 3 Nephi 15.  The quote reads like so:

The 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 far before the Gentile in pure intelligence.  
I would frequently cite these verses to highlight the effects of the Holy Ghost, stressing that it's not just emotions which may shift with the wind.  But then I typically don't do anything to discuss the latter part of the quote.  (Surely this is part of a lengthier discourse worth considering as well.)

Joseph speaks of the effects of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile.  The reason I space out at the latter end of the quote is that it reminds me of Jane Eyre, where the concept of "bad blood" vs "good blood" is discussed.  Mr. Rochester, a wealthy lord over much land, is socially forbidden from courting Jane Eyre, the governess for his young steward, because she supposedly does not have good enough blood to be in high society with him.  She is poor and of "low society".  In reading Joseph's words, I typically poo-pooed the discussion of blood as some cultural notion that I ought to disregard.  Something akin to the slavery issue in the 1800's, to think that any soul has lesser blood than another because of their genetics.

But consider the words of Christ.  "... the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice that I should not manifest myself unto them..."  There is something to this notion of having the blood of a Gentile vs the blood of an Israelite.  The people at Bountiful clearly were not considered Gentiles, or Christ would not have been able to minister to them.  However perhaps the notion of blood may have once had a lot to do with blood, but after thousands of years of mixing blood lines, God knew that these things would get mixed?  Or perhaps from it has little to do with blood, but rather had something more to do with who "knew" Him?  Us knowing Him prepares the way for Him knowing us.

Have you heard the voice of the Lord speak to you, audibly?  While not a frequent occurrence for me, it happened to me last year, when struggling with a very difficult issue.  It surprised me, comforted me, and gave me direction all in one mild sentence in my right ear.  It was undeniably Jesus, and my core knew it.

If you haven't heard His voice, seek it.  If you can testify that you have heard His voice, and if my understanding is not incorrect, that it is worth considering that any Gentile blood in you has been purged, sufficient enough for you to qualify to hear His voice, as He explains in verse 23.  But perhaps you are of Israel already, so that the effect of the Holy Ghost is calm serenity and filling the soul with intelligence?

Those who are Gentiles will not HEAR his voice, and can only be ministered to through the Holy Ghost, UNTIL, as Joseph Smith says, the blood of Abraham creates in them a new creation by the Holy Ghost.  The effect of the pure intelligence, the mind of God, the Holy Ghost, is to purge out the Gentile in us.  When we can testify that we have truly heard the voice of the Lord, I believe it is safe to say that we ought to consider that we have had our blood purged, and we are becoming (if not already) Israelite.

Understanding this brings new meaning entirely to what is being said in 3 Nephi 16, and unfolds the scriptures like never before.  Thank you, Jesus!  Read on.  


  1. :) I have already learned this for myself. I love how you put this together. It is one thing to learn and understand for yourself and whole other things to share it with others. You shared this beautifully.

    1. That's awesome, Sally! Thank you! I love hearing how others are learning similar truths. It will be interesting to see what comes forward next, as the scales of darkness fall from our eyes.


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