“Have Ye Remembered the Jews!”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

It is the Lord who asks. How have the Jews, through whom the Bible came, been received? History answers by turning its blood-stained pages to the light, one by one, seemingly for endless ages.

We, who have reached an advanced age, remember a time when the brilliant rays of civilization seemed about to break through the mists and give hope of the early dawn of a better day. Already Napoleon I, in 1806, summoned a Sanhedrin of Jews, to learn the qualifications of their people for citizenship. And during the so-called Victorian era, the freedom of the Hebrews grew with the ever increasing influence of democracy.

The World War made a great change. During those dark years, the world was easily pushed back a century, or more, in some parts of the world, and with this recession of civilization, barbarism has gained ground, and with it, persecution of the Jews.

According to newspaper clippings:

At the beginning of 1938, the unfortunate Jews in Germany appealed to the ruler of that nation for the mercy of salvation from destitution and extermination, they being forcibly scattered and then persecuted for not having visible means of support, or passports.

In Bucharest, about the same time, a Rumanian government official is said to have announced that plans were being laid for a world-wide anti-Semitic congress, which would, of course, mean world-wide persecution.

In Italy, the ruler is said to have informed the Jews (Feb. 16, 1938) that they would not be permitted to play a more important part in the national life than their individual abilities merit.

In Austria, in Jan. 1938, the state council considered measures for the closing of the country to refugees from Poland and Rumania, somewhat after the pattern of the old slave legislation in the United States before the Civil War.

Austrian Jews. On March, 1938, the situation of the Jewish population in Austria had become so critical that Jewish World congress in Geneva petitioned the League of Nations to consider the problem of the "Martyrdom of Austrian Jews." The congress showed that the Jewish death rate in Austria had risen from an average of 4 a day to 140. If the Jews ever were in need of a Messiah, they are now. Meanwhile agitation in Palestine has been rife between Jews and Arabs, until the strongholds seem to have been in the hands of the opponent of the Prince of Peace.

I Have Not Forgotten My People. That is the promise of the Lord. The settlement of 200,000 Jews in recent years (this was written in 1955) is regarded as one of the miracles of history. Rabbi Samuel H. Gordon, Salt Lake City, is quoted as having said in a recent address that the spectacle of Palestine of today, is one of "a race of agriculturally astute people becoming wedded to the soil after centuries of being confined to commercial activities." The land which 20 years ago could feed only 700,000 people now supports a population of about 1,500,000, and has an orange export business of $18,000,000 a year, two-thirds of it produced by Jews, he said. Industrial development in Palestine also is being stimulated by the Jewish migration, he said. (Salt Lake Trib., Feb. 5, 1938.)

God has not forgotten his people.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1