“Because of Their Belief in Me In the Latter Day Shall the Truth Come Unto the Gentiles”

Bryan Richards

Interestingly, this passage shows that it was the faith of the Gentiles which earned them the privilege of having the fullness of the gospel brought to them in the latter-days. In other words, prior to the Restoration, the Gentile Christians of North America were to be privileged to have the Book of Mormon come forth among them because they had exhibited greater faith in Christ than the Jews of the early 19th century. Here we see that the Lord recognized the faith of all those Christians, whether Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, or Catholic. Individually, their faith is counted and weighed by the Great Judge. We should remember that it was the institutions of religion and their professors to which the Lord was referring when he said, "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof." (JS-Hist 1:19) Other passages also acknowledge the faith of pre-Restorational Christians (see 1 Nephi 13:9).

Also, this helps us to understand how the word "Gentile" is used in the Book of Mormon. Typically, the latter-day Gentiles are the peoples of North America and Europe (excluding the native American Indians). Often, the term Gentile will be used to refer specifically to the people of North America (see 1 Nephi 13-14).