“I Bring Forth My Word Unto all the Nations of the Earth”

Bryan Richards

The doctrine that the Lord speaks to all nations is repeated three times in this chapter. In verse11 it reads, For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them, and from verse 12, I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. We should not be surprised to find out one day that many of the writings the ancient Orient, Near East, and Africa have divine origins. The Lord has said he would bring forth his word unto all the nations of the earth. Why should we disbelieve him? Elder B. H. Roberts explains:

B. H. Roberts

"Elder B. H. Roberts offered the following counsel on this principle:

While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is established for the instruction of men; and is one of God’s instrumentalities for making known the truth, yet he is not limited to that institution for such purposes, neither in time nor place. God raises up wise men … of their own tongue and nationality, speaking to them through means that they can comprehend; not always giving a fulness of truth such as may be found in the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ; but always giving that measure of truth that the people are prepared to receive. Mormonism holds, then, that all the great teachers [those who teach principles of truth and virtue] are servants of God; among all nations and in all ages. They are inspired men, appointed to instruct God’s children according to the conditions in the midst of which he finds them… . Wherever God finds a soul sufficiently enlightened and pure; one with whom his Spirit can communicate, lo! he makes of him a teacher of men. While the path of sensuality and darkness may be that which most men tread, a few … have been led along the upward path; a few in all countries and generations have been wisdom seekers, or seekers of God. They have been so because the Divine Word of Wisdom has looked upon them, choosing them for the knowledge and service of himself. (Defense of the Faith and the Saints 1:512–13 from Joseph Smith, the Choice Seer, McConkie and Millet, chapter 2)

Hugh Nibley takes the interpretation even one step further:

“These words are those of the prophet Nephi, found in the Book of Mormon, a book which in many such passages opens a window on other worlds. Here we learn that God has been in contact at sundry times and places with nations of whose existence the world has never dreamed, and even with inhabitants of other worlds, for the house of man, we are told, is but one among many mansions.” (The World and the Prophets, p. 210)