Journey through the Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 26 (Free for All Men)

Nephi speaks eloquently of God’s love for all mankind and his willingness to save and exalt all his children.

23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.
24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.

27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.

33 and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

These words should instantly dispell any accusations of racism or bigotry against the Book of Mormon. Nephi the same author who described a curse of blackness coming upon his wicked brethren here definitively declared that God loves everyone without exception.

God doesn’t want the way back to him to be hidden and mysterious. He doesn’t require hidden wisdom or secret knowledge. He merely requires an obedient heart and a willingness to hearken unto him. He does not hide the way. Instead, he declares it openly through prophets and apostles. And he wants every soul to know the way for his or her self. He therefore sends his spirit to all who seek him.

All men are equally privileged to receive salvation. Temporary positions of status in his Church or kingdom are not eternal marks of salvation or damnation. Marital status is not a mark of salvation or damnation. All he requires is obedience and repentance. If we come unto him, we will eventually be transformed to be like him through the power of his atonement. And every blessing will eventually be ours thanks to his redemptive and infinite sacrifice.

Sometimes, we think of God as one playing favorites or seeking to exclude. But nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that only we can exclude ourselves from the love of God through our willful disobedience and refusal to repent.

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