Recounting the destruction of the Nephite nation, Mormon is moved to address directly the people who would eventually receive the Book of Mormon in the latter days.
In Mormon 5:14, he repeats one of the purposes of the Book of Mormon listed frequently within the book itself: To help persuade "the unbelieving of the Jews . . . that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all of the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant."In general conference of October 1918, Elder David O. McKay, then of the Council of the Twelve, cited the prophecy in 1 Ne. 19:15, that the day would come when scattered Israel would "no more turn their hearts against the Holy One of Israel. . . ."
Elder McKay quoted the writing of Isadore Singer, the editor of the Jewish Encyclopedia: "When I was a boy, had my father, who was a very pious man, heard the name of Jesus uttered from the pulpit of our synagogue, he and every other man in the congregation would have left the building, and the rabbi would have been dismissed at once.
" . . . Now, it is not strange in many synagogues to hear sermons preached eulogistic of this Jesus, and nobody thinks of protesting. In fact, we are all glad to claim Jesus as one of our people."
Such a softening of attitude toward Jesus of Nazareth has occurred since the Book of Mormon came forth, Elder McKay pointed out. "Does it not seem that the time has come when `their hearts no more turn against the Holy One?' It seems to me that it has. Then if so, great events are to take place."
Among the events, he said, is the carrying of the gospel to the world.