In a sense, it would have been less confusing if the King James translators did not even use the word “Gentiles” or “heathen.”
“Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles” (D&C 109:60).
Although LDS Church members are identified with the Gentiles, they are not identified as the Gentiles.
Various statements from Joseph Smith and the Standard Works imply that “Gentiles” are not exclusively LDS Church members.
“God will gather out his Saints from the Gentiles” (Joseph Smith, HC 2:52).
“They are the Twelve Apostles, who are called to the office of the Traveling High Council, who are to preside over the churches of the Saints, among the Gentiles, where there is a presidency established; and they are to travel and preach among the Gentiles, until the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews” (Joseph Smith, HC 2:200).
“We must use precaution in bringing sinners to justice, lest in exposing these heinous sins we draw the indignation of a Gentile world upon us (and, to their imagination, justly too)” (Joseph Smith, HC 5:20).
The Doctrine and Covenants
“This being an ordinance unto you, that you are an elder under his hand, he being the first unto you, that you might be an elder unto this church of Christ, bearing my name— And the first preacher of this church unto the church, and before the world, yea, before the Gentiles; yea, and thus saith the Lord God, lo, lo! to the Jews also” (D&C 21:11-2).
“Therefore, tarry ye, and labor diligently, that you may be perfected in your ministry to go forth among the Gentiles for the last time” (D&C 88:84).
“That through your administration they may receive the word, and through their administration the word may go forth unto the ends of the earth, unto the Gentiles first, and then, behold, and lo, they shall turn unto the Jews” (D&C 90:9).
“The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world . . . The Seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Twelve or the traveling high council, in building up the church and regulating all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and then to the Jews . . . And these seventy are to be traveling ministers, unto the Gentiles first and also unto the Jews” (D&C 107:25, 34, 97).
“The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews” (D&C 107:33).
“Let thy heart be of good cheer before my face; and thou shalt bear record of my name, not only unto the Gentiles, but also unto the Jews; and thou shalt send forth my word unto the ends of the earth” (D&C 112:4).
“Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, and then upon the Jews” (D&C 133:8).
The Book of Mormon
“And he said unto me: These are the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles. And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church” (1 Nephi 13:3-4).
Nations of Gentiles existed before the “great church” was even formed among them, so that does not make sense that Gentiles are exclusively LDS Church members.
“I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land. And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters. And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise” (1 Nephi 13:12-4).
“And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the Gentiles and also unto the Jews, and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last” (1 Nephi 13:42).
The Lord has manifested Himself to the Jews and some LDS Church members. However, He will also manifest Himself to all nations. Therefore, Gentiles do not necessarily have to be LDS Church members.
“I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true. And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world” (1 Nephi 13:39-40).
The above scripture refers to “other books,” but we do not yet know if it refers to the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.
“And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches” (2 Nephi 26:20).
“Churches” is plural. The LDS Church has no reason to want to build up many (different) churches. (A church is different than a church building.)
“And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible” (2 Nephi 29:3).
It tends to be people who are not LDS Church members who do not believe there can be more scripture than what is in the Bible.
“Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words” (Ether 12:25).
It tends to be people who are not LDS Church members who mock the words in the Book of Mormon.
At any rate, everyone (Jew, Gentile, LDS, etc.) needs to repent
“And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations” (Title Page of the Book of Mormon).
“. . . all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile” (2 Nephi 26:33).
“Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying: Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings . . . and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel” (3 Nephi 30:1-2).
Moroni writes, “Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins” (Ether 8:23).
“I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord” (2 Nephi 30:2).
“Thou hast beheld that if the Gentiles repent it shall be well with them” (1 Nephi 14:5).
“But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel” (3 Nephi 16:13).