During the chaos of an election year, we are constantly bombarded with heated political arguments. One political issue, in particular, has always interested me in light of scriptural prophecy. I speak of illegal immigration through America's southern border and the immense effect that it has on the economy. Although I retain personal and quite strong feelings on the subject, this post is not intended to be a political commentary. Instead, I am simply putting forth my personal interpretation of a scriptural theory.
D&C 87 is generally remembered as the prophecy that foretold the Civil War. I submit that the revelation reaches far beyond that sorrowful conflict that pitted brother against brother and father against son to be as prophetic for us as it was when first recorded. D&C 87:5 reads:
And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.
What is this "sore vexation" that we are to be afflicted with? Some scholars argue that this verse is tied to Micah 5:8. They argue that this prophecy may find fulfillment through the events involving all 12 tribes of Israel and encompassing the whole earth. In my opinion, however, D&C 87:5 may see its fulfillment in the ramifications resulting, in part at least, from illegal immigration.
After administering the sacrament to the Nephites, Christ said:
14 And the Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you this land, for your inheritance.
15 And I say unto you, that if the Gentiles do not repent after the blessing which they shall receive, after they have scattered my people—
16 Then shall ye, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, go forth among them; and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. (3Ne 20:14-16)
In short, the Lord promised Lehi’s remnant an inheritance in the Americas, and unless the Gentiles repent after they received “the blessing” (referring to temple blessings – see vs 27), the remnant is to act to acquire their inheritance. Christ stated that the remnant would go among the Gentiles, and be in the midst of them who are many. To me, this sounds a whole lot like illegal immigration through America's southern border, as 11 million+ Mexican citizens (a handful of “the remnant”) are among the many (300 million+) Gentiles.
Illegal immigrants are also “as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces.” A lion among a flock of sheep clearly causes havoc and distress among the flock. But the lion, nonetheless, is a “young lion” possibly meaning that it will not retain leadership capabilities. Instead, the young lion creates an abundance of difficulties that “shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation” (D&C 87:5).
Up until recently, I always thought that the “sore vexation” likely referred to the crippling effects of the drug trade that emanates from south of our border. But the frightening reports of the economic and moral effects that illegal immigration wreaks upon our land have me leaning toward a new interpretation.
Regardless, now that the temple blessings have been introduced on this continent for over 170 years, I don’t believe the Gentiles are repenting. Both Micah and Christ (and Mormon – see Mormon 5:15-24) make it clear that in the face of such a “sore vexation,” “none can deliver.” The only question in my mind, then, is the extent of damage that the “young lion” will have on this country.