Today, many of us routinely buy and sell homes and move around frequently. For Israelite families during the time period covered by the Book of Mormon, this was not the case.
Such families were typically allotted a parcel of land that would remain in the family for generations, being passed from father to son and perhaps divided up as necessary. This land was referred to as the “land of their inheritance” and was clearly very valuable.
As a clear indicator that Lehi was “all in” for God when he left Jerusalem in 1 Nephi 2, the record notes that “he left his house, and the land of his inheritance” (1 Nephi 2:4).
In 2 Nephi 10, Jacob shares a prophecy in which God indicates (in several different verses) that He will grant unto the descendants of Israel a land to be the land of their inheritance. That land is a portion of the land of the Americas, which will be known as New Jerusalem or Zion. It is noted in the prophecy that it is not the people’s original land of inheritance but a new land given as a gift by God. Israel will inherit this land when they come to Christ and are then gathered from the various parts of the world.
Although everyone — Israelite and Gentile — will have the opportunity to share in the blessing of Zion, we have an even greater land of inheritance reserved for us:
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:3-4)
- Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34)
Similar to the land of inheritance described above:
- The land of our inheritance will not be any land that we (or anyone else) has previously owned, but it will be a new land given as a gift by God
- We will qualify for this inheritance as a result of coming to Christ
- We will receive the land of our inheritance when the believers are gathered together from the world (at the time of the resurrection)
Our mansion in the kingdom of heaven, purchased by the blood of Christ, is one that we will own for all eternity, easily surpassing the length of time that any parcel of land on earth remains under the ownership of any family. Compared to how important it was for Israelite families to retain the lands of their inheritance, how much more critical is it for us to do whatever is necessary to retain the rights to the land of our eternal inheritance?
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.