“Pluck Not the Wild Branches from the Trees”

Brant Gardner

As with the earlier efforts, there is no wholesale destruction of the wild branches. As we are well aware, this is not a perfect world and people do not live gospel principles perfectly. Clearly the wild branches have been allowed to continue. We understand that the Lord tolerates but does not condone their continuance. He could destroy the wicked but chooses not to.

Some of the wild branches will be destroyed. We certainly cannot identify all of these branches historically, but the final destruction of the Nephites suggests itself as a model for this type of destruction. The arrival of the Europeans in the New World ushered in tremendous devastation, sometimes due to military action but more often due to diseases that at times destroyed 80–90 percent of the native population.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2