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3 Nephi Chapter 30

1 Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying:

2 Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.

verses 1-2 Even though the gospel in the latter days will be restored and promulgated by the "Gentiles"-those citizens of the great Gentile nation-the prophecies have been clear that there will be a major apostasy of Gentiles in the latter days. This apostasy will involve Gentiles outside of the Church, and, unfortunately, some inside his Church as well (see the commentary for 3 Nephi 16:15). By commandment from the Lord the prophet Nephi (or perhaps Mormon) delivers, through the Book of Mormon, an invitation to this generation of Gentiles to come unto him, be baptized, and be numbered among his people.

The reader should note the frequent use of the possessive pronoun "your" in this verse (it is used twelve times). In lists, the Hebrew language repeats the possessive pronoun (e.g., their, our, your, thy, his, her) before each of the nouns to which it refers, a convention that is uncommon in English usage. The Old Testament preserves many examples of this Hebrew usage. For instance, the pronoun our is used six times in the KJV of Exodus 10:9: "And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD." Other biblical examples include the repetition of our five times in Deuteronomy 26:7, their four times in Genesis 10:20, your five times in Exodus 12:11, your four times in Leviticus 26:30, and our six times in Nehemiah 9:32.

This particular verse in the Book of Mormon is an excellent example of this Hebrew usage. Other examples of the repeated possessive pronoun in the Book of Mormon include your four times in Mosiah 4:30, their eight times in Mosiah 11:3, your three times in Alma 32:42, our nine times in Alma 44:5, and thy four times in Alma 38:3.

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