In 3 Nephi 9:11, the Lord calls the Nephite audience and their posterity, this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob…this my people. It is important to know that the Lord describes them with this identity as my people throughout His sermon and prophecy. This careful limitation of the reference to the Lord’s people should not be applied broadly. It does not include gentiles. Mankind should not change His meaning. He is speaking about a single, identified group as my people, and it is those standing before Him, as well as their descendants.1 Speaking to Nephi, the angel stated, Behold, saith the Lamb of God, after I have visited the remnant of the house of Israel (and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed of thy father)… (1 Nephi 3:23). Notice that the definition of the remnant to whom the prophecies apply has now been given. The distinction between the “gentiles” and the remnant is apparent here.2 Nephi refers to the remnant variously as : descendants of his father, Lehi (see 1 Nephi 3:23); descendants of his brethren (1 Nephi 3:24); his family’s descendants or our seed (see 1 Nephi 4:3); and a mixture of Nephi’s descendants who are among his brother’s descendants (see 1 Nephi 3:22). Although it would be impossible, without revelation, for someone to determine which of these lines a person might belong to today, the Lord, nevertheless, revealed in 1828 that these various divisions remain identified to Him (see JSH 10:7). No doubt, in time He will restore to the remnant descendants this knowledge of their sacred paternity and eternal identity. Their blood may be mixed, but the remnant remains. Nephi may have referred to them more often as descendants of his brethren, but they have within them some of his blood, as well. In the day of redemption and restoration, the promises will all be fulfilled. The whole of the family of Lehi will be represented in the remnant.3
1 “3 Nephi 21:2–3,” July 13, 2010, blog post.
2 “1 Ne 13:33–34,” June 30, 2010, blog post.
3 “2 Nephi 28:1–2,” July 25, 2010, blog post. See also blog posts “The Remnant,” April 13, 2010 and Remnant, Parts I – X, Sept. 10–22, 2010.