Nephi made several prophecies about the last days and what will happen after the Gospel has been restored to the Earth and when Israel and the Jews will be Gathered once again. In one of these prophecies he states:
For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire. – 2 Nephi 30:10
“The Lord God shall cause a great division among the people” is something we are seeing on a daily basis nowadays. We as a nation and world are becoming divisive on pretty much every topic and it can be frustrating and a little depressing. I don’t think it matters which “side” you are on, you should be able to see it by now.
And I don’t believe Nephi is saying that after this division, one side is wicked and one side is righteous. There are good people on both sides of the divisions I am seeing, as well as wicked people on both sides. I believe Nephi is saying that the wicked on both sides of this great division will be destroyed.
I believe this division that is being created by the Lord is a way to test us and see how we react to others who have different viewpoints than we do. I believe that he wants to see if we are we going to still follow the greatest commandment and the second which is like unto it, to love God first and to love your fellow man/woman. I think this is the purpose of the great division and that this secondary division between the wicked and righteous will be a result of the first division.
We, as human beings and children of God, need to learn how to love our fellow brothers and sisters in this mortal life even though we disagree with them. We loved them in the Pre-Mortal Life and now need to again learn in this Mortal existence how to love them in the earthly setting. I believe that there are times that we can still disagree with others and still both be living within the boundaries of the Gospel.
Now I’m not talking about the obvious things like, “I think it’s ok to kill innocent people” vs. ” I think it’s wrong to kill innocent people”, as these commandments are set in stone and should be obeyed. I’m talking about these differences of opinion and lack of understanding of the “other side” that permeate our discussions and statements that we make. And even if the other side is struggling to understand the Gospel and perhaps is in the wrong, we still need to forgive them and be an example to them. Otherwise, if we don’t forgive them, ultimately we are just as much in the wrong. (Matthew 6:12-15)
The prophecies of Nephi are telling and pertinent to our day and age and will continue to be of the utmost importance. These prophecies are also comforting and give me hope as I am able to see that our Father in Heaven does have a plan for us and that if we are obedient, ultimately we will be brought back into His presence.