In Come Follow Me, we recently covered D&C 28, 30 and 32 which involved the Mission to the Lamanites who were living in New York, Ohio, Missouri and Kansas at the time.
There's a phrase common to all three sections.
And thou shalt assist to settle all these things, according to the covenants of the church, before thou shalt take thy journey among the Lamanites. (Doctrine and Covenants 28:14)
And be you afflicted in all his afflictions, ever lifting up your heart unto me in prayer and faith, for his and your deliverance; for I have given unto him power to build up my church among the Lamanites;
(Doctrine and Covenants 30:6)
And that which I have appointed unto him is that he shall go with my servants, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jun., into the wilderness among the Lamanites. (Doctrine and Covenants 32:2)
Regular readers of the Book of Mormon may recall that this same phrase appears 24 times in the Book of Mormon. Examples:
I, Zeniff, having been taught in all the language of the Nephites, and having had a knowledge of the land of Nephi, or of the land of our fathers’ first inheritance, and having been sent as a spy among the Lamanites that I might spy out their forces... (Mosiah 9:1)
And king Mosiah went and inquired of the Lord if he should let his sons go up among the Lamanites to preach the word.... And they took their journey into the wilderness to go up to preach the word among the Lamanites; and I shall give an account of their proceedings hereafter. (Mosiah 28:6, 9)
And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; (Alma 17:11)
And thus the work of the Lord did commence among the Lamanites; thus the Lord did begin to pour out his Spirit upon them; and we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name. (Alma 19:36)
Maybe the Lord used the phrase to refer to two entirely different groups of people, completely unrelated genetically, culturally, historically, geographically, etc.
Or maybe, as Joseph Smith declared from Nauvoo in the Wentworth letter, the remnant of Lehi "are the Indians that now inhabit this country."
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