The gospel is for all men everywhere — every nation, every people, said Elder Dallin H. Oaks. "All are invited."
Speaking Sunday morning, Elder Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve said one thing Church members can read from the Book of Mormon is how much God loves all of His children in every nation.
"Again and again the Book of Mormon teaches that the gospel of Jesus Christ is universal in its promise and effect — reaching out to all who ever live on the earth."
The teachings of the Book of Mormon "expand our vision and enlarge our understanding of the all-encompassing love of God and the universal effect of His Atonement for all men everywhere."
Before relating conversion accounts from Russia, Nigeria, India, Thailand, Cambodia and Mongolia, Elder Oaks said the children of God in all nations have His promise that He will manifest Himself to them.
The Book of Mormon also teaches that the great Creator died "for all men, that all men might become subject unto him" (2 Nephi 9:5).
"Being subject to our Savior means that if our sins are to be forgiven through His Atonement we must comply with the conditions He has prescribed, including faith, repentance, and baptism. The fulfillment of these conditions depends on our desires, our choices and our actions."
Elder Oaks said the Lord provides a way for all His children, and He desires that each one comes unto Him.
"The Book of Mormon adds to our knowledge of how our Savior's earthly ministry reached out to all of His scattered flock," he said. "In addition to His ministry in what we now call the Middle East, the Book of Mormon records His appearance and teachings to the Nephites on the American continent. There He repeated that the Father had commanded Him to visit the other sheep which were not of the land of Jerusalem. He also said that He would visit others 'who had not as yet heard his voice' (3 Nephi 16: 2)."
Elder Oaks said the Book of Mormon is a great witness that the Lord loves all people everywhere. And the Lord not only manifests Himself to all nations, Elder Oaks said. He also commands that they write His words.
"The Lord will eventually cause the inspired teachings He has given to His children in various nations to be brought forth for the benefit of all people," Elder Oaks said. "This will include accounts of the visit of the Resurrected Lord to what we call the lost tribes of Israel and His revelations to all the seed of Abraham. The finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls shows one way this can occur."
When writings come forth — "and according to prophecy they will" — Elder Oaks said he hopes they will not be treated with the rejection some applied to the Book of Mormon because people already had the Bible.
"We live in the day foretold when righteousness is sent down out of heaven and truth out of the earth 'to sweep the earth as with a flood,' and to gather out the elect 'from the four quarters of the earth' (Moses 7: 62). The Book of Mormon has come forth to remind us of the covenants of the Lord, to the convincing of all 'that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself to unto all nations' " (Book of Mormon, title page).