It is always a pleasure to hear from our prophet, and that general truth has been unusually true with President Russell Nelson.
President Nelson shared that he has been focused on the doctrine of the gathering of Israel for all the 36 years he has been an apostle. Yet there was more to learn.
Recently he learned that one Hebrew meaning of “Israel” is “Let God Prevail!”
President Nelson’s comments were powerful, and if you happened to miss this session, it will be available to view very soon. In the meantime, below are the notes I took.
President Russell M. Nelson – The gathering of Israel has captured my imagination through the the years since I became an apostle. I have studied the gathering, feasted upon it, and asked the Lord to increase my understanding. I was delighted to recently gain a new insight. The very name of Israel means “Let God Prevail.” That concept stirs my soul.
We all have our agency. We can chose to be of Israel or not. We can choose to let God prevail in our lives or not. We can choose to let God be the most powerful influence in our lives or not.
At Peniel, Jacob proved what was most important to Him. Jacob was willing to let God prevail in his life. And this is where God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. The God pronounced that the blessings of Abraham would fall to Israel. But eventually the descendants of Jacob rose the covenant, and they were scattered. But God promised that with great mercy He would gather Israel.
God is gathering those who are willing to let Him prevail in their lives. For centuries prophets have foretold this gathering, and it is happening right now. This is an essential prelude to the Second Coming of the Lord. It is a saga of expanding faith and courage for millions. We have been asked to assist the Lord with this pivotal work.
We are referring to missionary and temple work, but we are also talking of anything that we do to help others keep their covenants with God.
A wife of one of our grandsons was struggling, let’s call her Jill. Her father was dying and she felt her faith was also dying. My response was “myopic”. Jill was devastated. Her father died. But as she reflected on the word “myopic,” she felt prompted to expand her perspective and seek the eternal. That word, initially so distressing, has led Jill to God.
If we will allow it, there are many ways this interpretation of this Hebraic meaning of Israel can be powerful in shaping how we pray. If we plead to be led to those willing to allow God to prevail, what might occur?
We may be led to those who know nothing of God. Or to those who have left, but are now ready to return. There is room for all willing to embrace God in the Church of Jesus Christ.
Each who will come may become a full heir to the Kingdom. Each is equal in God’s eyes.
God does not love one race (or gender) more than another. He invites all to come unto him. Favor or disfavor with god is contingent on devotion to God, not on any other individual attribute.
I plead with you to promote respect for all of God’s children.
The question to all, regardless of race, is the same. Are you willing to let God prevail in your life? Are you willing to allow His voice to take priority over any other? Are you willing to allow His will to take precedence over any other ambition?
Imagine how this can change you. No matter your situation or challenge, you will be led to find the eternal truths that will guide you to stay on the covenant path. Temptation will fade as you plead with God to strengthen you. When your greatest desire is to let God prevail, many issues become non-issues.
It takes both faith and courage to allow God to prevail. It takes consistent, daily effort learn of Christ and seek and respond to revelation. These are perilous times, when Satan is not even trying to hide his attacks. To survive, we must be determined to allow God to prevail in our lives, to use our energy to help gather those willing to allow God to prevail (gather Israel).
God loveth those who will have Him to be their God. God remembers the covenants that He has made. The Lord will fight our battles and the battles of our children and their children.
I encourage you to make a list of all God will do for covenant Israel, the look for these promises to be fulfilled in your life. You will experience for yourself that God is a God of miracles. We will be called by His name.