A Way of Life, Elder Larry Echo Hawk
On the title page I read that it is “written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile.” In the introduction to the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, it says that the Lamanites “are among the ancestors of the American Indians.” As I read the Book of Mormon, it seemed to me that it was about my American Indian ancestors. It tells the story of a people, a part of which were later described as “Lamanites,” who migrated from Jerusalem to a “land of promise” (1 Nephi 2:20) about 600 B.C. It is an account of God’s dealings with these ancient inhabitants located somewhere on the American continents. It includes an account of the ministry of Jesus Christ among them following His Resurrection. Passages in the Book of Mormon suggest that over time they were dispersed throughout the American continents and islands of the nearby seas (see Alma 63:9–10). Their prophets foretold that many multitudes of Gentiles would eventually come to this land of promise and the wrath of God would be upon the Lamanites and they would be scattered, smitten, and nearly destroyed (see 1 Nephi 13:10–14).
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The Book of Mormon has a special message for descendants of the Lamanites, a remnant of the house of Israel. Nephi expressed this message while interpreting his father’s vision of these latter days: “And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant people of the Lord; and then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved” (1 Nephi 15:14).
Excerpt from Elder Larry Echo Hawk’s October 2012 General Conference address, “Come unto Me, O Ye House of Israel”. Elder Larry Echo Hawk is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. View Elder Larry Echo Hawk’s full address here.