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Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

Indeed Jesus Christ fulfilled the law (of Moses) and the prophets (Joshua, Judges, Kings, Samuel, Isaiah, etc), all of who and which pointed toward the coming of a Messiah, a Savior of the world. But the Messiah that the ancient Jews expected was far beyond the mark and they stumbled, failing to realize that their salvation was from sin and death and not the government oppression in which they lived under Roman rule. Their hope of a deliverer took on political undertones and they ignored the spiritual significance of His coming and instead formed expectations of someone mighty who would overthrow their taskmasters and free them from their burdensome yokes.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

And so they rejected not only the Son of God, but the heir to David’s throne. Had Jerusalem been a free and independent nation, Jesus Christ would have succeeded Joseph as their rightful king. This the Jews also failed to realize.

Throughout His mortal ministry, He spake to them in parables and symbolism. Those with ears to hear and eyes to see were the meek and the humble seekers. At one point, He explained to them that they had brothers of other nations, for they were of the nation of Judah.

John 10:16 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.

Here the Savior confirms what Isaiah and other ancient prophets testified concerning more than one nation or tribe of Israel. And after His resurrection, He fulfills His promise that they would hear His voice. The second fold, or tribe, which He visits is that remnant of Joseph. In the Book of Mormon is a record of Jesus Christ’s visit to these people. Furthermore, He expounded to them their heritage:

3 Nephi 15:13 And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you.
14 And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem.
15 Neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land.
16 This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them:
17 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.
18 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.
19 But, verily, I say unto you that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their iniquity that they know not of you.
20 And verily, I say unto you again that the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their iniquity that they know not of them.
21 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.
22 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.
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.
24 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.

Because of the faith of these Nephites and Lamanites, Jesus Christ spent some time with them, blessed them, ministered to them and taught them many things concerning His gospel, including many of the same things He taught to the Jews at Jerusalem. They lived in harmony for several generations until pride and dissentions tore them apart and wars broke out until the wicked remained, who persecuted and exterminated anyone who believed in Jesus Christ.

There was always someone–a prophet, however, who was called to continue writing in and preserving the records of this people, and one of the last of them was named Mormon. He had compiled and abridged a thousand years of records into what we call today, the Book of Mormon. And like Moses, Isaiah and other old world prophets who testified of a Savior of the world, Nephi, Mormon and many other new world prophets in between testified of the same thing–that Jesus is the Christ.

2 Nephi 25:26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

The canon (or anthology) of scripture that comprises the Holy Bible and the canon of scripture that comprises the Book of Mormon or as Ezekiel the prophet called the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph, serve to testify in harmony of the divinity and the mission of Jesus Christ. The coming forth of this new record also ushers in the gathering of all the nations or tribes of Israel in these last days before the great coming of the Lord.

In conclusion, I echo the words of a Nephite prophet who labored much of his life for the welfare of the souls of his countrymen, to gather them by invitation into the Master’s fold:

Alma 5:62 I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life.

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