Proper understanding of the scattering and gathering of Israel begins with the Abrahamic covenant. In the covenant, God promises that all the nations of the world will be blessed through Abraham's posterity. This will be accomplished through the scattering of Israel among the nations and then gathering them again. The following quotes will help in understanding this.
The Abrahamic Covenant:
8 My name
is Jehovah, and I know the end from the
beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.
9 And I
will make of thee a great nation, and I
will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all
and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their
they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;
10 And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;
Lord called Abraham out of Ur, the land
of his fathers, he made certain covenants with him because of his
One promise was that through him and his seed after him all nations of
the earth should be blessed. This blessing is accomplished in several
Jesus Christ who came through the lineage
2. Through the priesthood which was conferred upon Abraham and his descendants;
the scattering of Israel among all
nations by which the blood of Israel was sprinkled among the nations,
thus the nations partake of the leaven of righteousness, on condition
their repentance, and are entitled to the promises made to the children
of Abraham; and
4. In the fact that the Lord covenanted with Abraham that after his time all who embraced the gospel should be called by his name, or, should be numbered among his seed, and should receive the Holy Ghost. (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:246-247)
The Scattering of Israel
From the Scriptures
The following are statements from the scriptures relative to the curse promised Israel if they broke their covenant with God:
And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. (Deuteronomy 4:27)
I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men: (Deuteronomy 32:26)
And it shall come to pass, that] as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
LORD shall scatter thee among all people,
from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt
serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even
these nations shalt thou find no ease,
neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give
there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:
And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:
In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you. (Deuteronomy 28:63-68)
I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them. (Jeremiah 9:16)
I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; (Ezekiel 20:23)
And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. (Ezekiel 22:15)
And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. (Ezekiel 36:19)
For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as [corn] is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. (Amos 9:9)
Wherefore, the things of which I have read are things pertaining to things both temporal and spiritual; for it appears that the house of Israel, sooner or later, will be scattered upon all the face of the earth, and also among all nations.
And behold, there are many who are already lost from the knowledge of those who are at Jerusalem. Yea, the more part of all the tribes have been led away; and they are scattered to and fro upon the isles of the sea; and whither they are none of us knoweth, save that we know that they have been led away.
And since they have been led away, these things have been prophesied concerning them, and also concerning all those who shall hereafter be scattered and be confounded, because of the Holy One of Israel; for against him will they harden their hearts; wherefore, they shall be scattered among all nations and shall be hated of all men. (1 Nephi 22:3-5)
And as surely as the Lord liveth, will he gather in from the four quarters of the earth all the remnant of the seed of Jacob, who are scattered abroad upon all the face of the earth. (3 Nephi 5:24)
And verily, verily, I say unto you, that when they shall be fulfilled then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel.
From General Authorities
The descendants of Abraham, the tribes of Israel, became the chosen people of the Lord according to the promise. The Lord honored them, nourished them, watched over them with a jealous care, until they became a great nation in the land the Lord had given to their fathers. Notwithstanding this tender care and the instructions and warnings this people received from time to time through their prophets, they failed to comprehend the goodness of the Lord and departed from him. Because of their rebellion they were driven out of their land and eventually were scattered among the nations. Their priesthood was lost and they were left in spiritual darkness. (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:164-165)
Though the majority of Israel lost their identity as a result of the scattering, it appears that, like the Lehi and his family, the Lord led other groups out of Israel to try to preserve the gospel upon the earth. This is clear from the allegory found in Jacob 5, where Zenos reveals that God tried to save ancient Israel by scattering branches of them throughout the world and grafting Gentiles into the Church that Christ set up in the days of Peter:
To the Nephites, the Savior promised to visit the all the branches of Israel whom he had broken off:
Peter's Church of grafted in Gentiles, and the other tribes to whom the Lord visited flourished for a period of time:
Eventually, Peter's Church with grafted in Gentiles, and all branches of Israel whom the Lord visited, like the Nephites, became apostate and lost the gospel and their identity.
29 And it
came to pass that a long time had passed
away, and the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Come, let us
go down into the vineyard, that we may labor again in the vineyard. For
behold, the time draweth near, and the end soon cometh; wherefore, I
lay up fruit against the season, unto mine own self.
30 And it
came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard
and the servant went down into the vineyard; and they came to the tree
whose natural branches had been broken off, and the wild branches had
grafted in [Peter's Church with grafted in gentiles]; and behold all
of fruit did cumber the tree.
31 And it
came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard
did taste of the fruit, every sort according to its number. And the
of the vineyard said: Behold, this long time have we nourished this
and I have laid up unto myself against the season much fruit.
behold, this time it hath brought forth much
fruit, and there is none of it which is good [Church had become
And behold, there are all kinds of bad fruit; and it profiteth me
notwithstanding all our labor; and now it grieveth me that I should
33 And the
Lord of the vineyard said unto the
What shall we do unto the tree, that I may preserve again good fruit
unto mine own self?
34 And the
servant said unto his master: Behold,
because thou didst graft in the branches of the wild olive-tree they
nourished the roots, that they are alive and they have not perished;
thou beholdest that they are yet good.
35 And it
came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard
said unto his servant: The tree profiteth me nothing, and the roots
profit me nothing so long as it shall bring forth evil fruit.
Nevertheless, I know that the roots are good,
and for mine own purpose I have preserved them; and because of their
strength they have hitherto brought forth, from the wild branches, good
behold, the wild branches have grown and
have overrun the roots thereof; and because that the wild branches have
overcome the roots thereof it hath brought forth much evil fruit; and
that it hath brought forth so much evil fruit thou beholdest that it
to perish; and it will soon become ripened, that it may be cast into
fire, except we should do something for it to preserve it.
38 And it
came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard
said unto his servant: Let us go down into the nethermost parts of the
vineyard [where portions of the 10 tribes had been scattered], and
if the natural branches have also brought forth evil fruit.
39 And it
came to pass that they went down into
the nethermost parts of the vineyard. And it came to pass that they
that the fruit of the natural branches had become corrupt also; yea,
first and the second and also the last; and they had all become corrupt
[all scattered Israel had become apostate].
40 And the
wild fruit of the last had overcome that
part of the tree which brought forth good fruit, even that the branch
withered away and died.
41 And it
came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard
wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my
I knew that all the fruit of the
save it were these, had become corrupted. And now these which have once
brought forth good fruit have also become corrupted; and now all the
of my vineyard are good for nothing save it be to be hewn down and cast
into the fire.
behold this last, whose branch hath withered
away, I did plant in a good spot of ground; yea, even that which was
unto me above all other parts of the land of my vineyard.
44 And thou
beheldest that I also cut down that
which cumbered this spot of ground, that I might plant this tree in the
45 And thou
beheldest that a part thereof brought
forth good fruit, and a part thereof brought forth wild fruit; and
I plucked not the branches thereof and cast them into the fire, behold,
they have overcome the good branch that it hath withered away.
46 And now, behold, notwithstanding all the care which we have taken of my vineyard, the trees thereof have become corrupted, that they bring forth no good fruit; and these I had hoped to preserve, to have laid up fruit thereof against the season, unto mine own self. But, behold, they have become like unto the wild olive-tree, and they are of no worth but to be hewn down and cast into the fire; and it grieveth me that I should lose them. (Jacob 5:29-46)
Of these events, Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:
Scriptural prophecies of the gathering of Israel:
shall come to pass, when all these things
are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before
thee, and thou shalt call [them] to mind among all the nations, whither
the LORD thy God hath driven thee,
return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt
obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and
thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity,
and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all
the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.
If any of
thine be driven out unto the outmost parts
of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from
will he fetch thee:
And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. (Deuteronomy 30:1-5)
And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
shall come to pass in that day, that the
Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of
his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from
Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from
and from the islands of the sea.
shall set up an ensign for the nations, and
shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the
of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim (Isaiah 11:10-13)
Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. (Isaiah 49:22-23)
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. (Isaiah 27:12)
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
will send for many fishers, saith the
LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters,
and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and
out of the holes of the rocks.
For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes. (Jeremiah 16:14-17)
Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.
acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast
transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to
strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice,
backsliding children, saith the LORD; for
I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a
family, and I will bring you to Zion:
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:12-15)
Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. (Ezekiel 11:17)
Keys for the Gathering of Israel Restored
The gathering of Israel commenced in the following manner. In May of 1829, Peter, James and John restored the Melchizedek Priesthood to Joseph Smith including the keys of the kingdom. Joseph Smith restored the Church on April 6, 1830. Then according to D&C 110, on April 3, 1836, Moses appeared to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple and restored the keys for Israel's gathering and restoration to the land they were driven from:
Of this, Bruce R. McConkie has said:
mediated the cause of his erring brethren
in ancient times, and to whom the Lord revealed the doctrine of the
and the doctrine of the gathering, is the very one who came in
glory to give the needed authorization and keys to Joseph Smith and
Cowdery. As the holy word attests: "Moses appeared before us, and
unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the
earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north."
are involved in this commission. First
Israel -- all Israel, the Ten Tribes included -- is to be gathered
the four parts of the earth," out of every nation and from among every
people. They are to be gathered into the true church and fold of the
of Israel. This gathering is primarily spiritual, but it is also
in that the gathered sheep are assembled into the stakes of Zion where
the living waters flow. But, next, this commission directs the one who
holds the keys of the gathering, meaning the President of the Church,
lead the Ten Tribes from the land of the north to their destined
homeland. They will be led to their promised inheritances after they
the Church, after they return unto the Lord, after they believe in
and accept his gospel, after they receive, individually and
the Abrahamic covenant again. This part of the gathering of Israel is
for that is the assigned period in which the Ten Tribes are to come
that is the day in which the kingdom will be restored to Israel in the
political as well as the ecclesiastical sense. (A New Witness for
Articles of Faith, p.529-530)
Two Gathering Places
further testify that the Lord has appointed
a holy city and temple to be built on this continent, for the endowment
and ordinances pertaining to the priesthood; and for the Gentiles, and
the remnant of Israel to resort unto, in order to worship the Lord, and
to be taught in his ways and walk in his paths; in short, to finish
preparations for the coming of the Lord.
further testify, that the Jews among all
nations are hereby commanded, in the name of the Messiah, to prepare,
return to Jerusalem in Palestine, and to rebuild that city and temple
And also to
organize and establish their own
government, under their own rulers, judges, and governors, in that
For be it
known unto them that we now hold the keys
of the priesthood and kingdom which is soon to be restored unto them.
let them also repent, and prepare to obey
the ordinances of God. (Messages of the First Presidency, 1:254)
In the Times and Seasons, the church newspaper in Nauvoo, Wilford Woodruff wrote the following in relation to the Proclamation of the Quorum of the Twelve of 6 April 1845:
It is set forward that the Lord has appointed a temple and holy city to be built on the continent of America, for the endowment and ordinances pertaining to the priesthood and for the Gentiles and remnants of Israel to resort unto, in order to worship the Lord, to be taught in his ways and walk in his paths, and finish their preparations for the coming of the Lord. A command is also given to the Jews among all nations, to prepare to return to Jerusalem in Palestine, and to re build that city and temple unto the Lord. Thus, America and Jerusalem are set forth as two places of gathering for the nations, and they may escape the judgments about to overtake the world, as the prophets have testified, that in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance. (Times and Seasons, Vol.6, p.1067)
There will be a universal gathering to America and Palestine. Mormonism teaches that prior to the Millennial reign of peace, there is to be a universal gathering of scattered Israel, the lineal descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; meaning not only the Jews, but also the "lost tribes" and such of the chosen seed as have for generations been mixed with other peoples. This gathering, which includes the converted Gentiles, is preliminary to the glorious advent of the King of kings, and the resurrection of those who are Christ's at His coming. The places of assembly are America and Palestine, the former taking chronological precedence as the gathering place of "Ephraim and his fellows," while the "dispersed of Judah" will migrate to and rebuild Jerusalem. Here, upon the American continent, will be reared Zion, a new Jerusalem, where the Saints will eventually assemble and prepare for the coming of the Messiah. (Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p.153)
Joseph Fielding Smith:
Israel Gathered by the Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is the instrument designed by the Lord to gather Israel
responsibility of the seed of Abraham, which
we are, is to be missionaries to "bear this ministry and Priesthood
all nations" (Abraham 2:9). Moses bestowed upon Joseph Smith in the
Temple the keys to gather Israel (see D&C 110:11).
Now, what is the instrument that God has designed for this gathering? It is the same instrument that is designed to convince the world that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith is His prophet, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. It is that scripture which is the keystone of our religion. (Ensign, May 1987, p. 85)
The Gathering of Israel Accomplished in Phases
gathering of Israel and establishment of Zion
in the latter days is divided into three periods or phases. The first
is past; we are now living in the second phase; and the third lies
Prophecies speak of them all. If we do not rightly divide the word of
as Paul's expression is, we will face confusion and uncertainty. If on
the other hand we correctly envision our proper role and know what
be done today, we shall then be able to use our time, talents, and
to the best advantage in building up the kingdom and preparing a people
for the second coming of the Son of Man.
The three phases of this great latter-day work are as follows:
I - From the First Vision, the
setting up of the kingdom on April 6, 1830, and the coming of Moses on
April 3, 1836, to the secure establishment of the Church in the United
States and Canada, a period of about 125 years.
II - From the creation of
of Zion in overseas areas, beginning in the 1950's, to the second
of the Son of Man, a period of unknown duration.
Phase III - From the Lord's second coming until the kingdom is perfected and the knowledge of God covers the earth as the waters cover the sea, and from then until the end of the Millennium, a period of 1,000 years. ("Come: Let Israel Build Zion," Ensign, May 1977, pp. 115-118)
Bruce R. McConkie:
Prophecies about the gathering of Israel by the same prophet might seem to be repetitive. In part they are, for repetition is sound pedagogy, but they also tell of gatherings that will occur by stages and in different locations. Israel was not scattered at one time; indeed, the main phases of the scattering went forward for a thousand years. And Israel will not be gathered all at one time. The gathering commenced with the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830; it was formalized and took on a divine impetus with the restoration of the keys by Moses in 1836; and it has grown in scope and intensity ever since. Once it was centered in Kirtland, Ohio, then in Missouri, and then in Illinois. For nearly a hundred years the new converts flowed to the tops of the Rocky Mountains, and now they are counseled to remain in the stakes of Zion in the nations of their inheritance. It will thus continue on a worldwide basis until the Second Coming and then go on into the Millennium for as long as is necessary to perfect the work and convert the world. We see no reason why this Millennial phase should take longer than a single generation. (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, pp. 545-546)
We are presently living in the second phase of the gathering of Israel. Concerning this phase the following has been said:
Zion are also being organized at the ends
of the earth. In this connection, let us ponder these truths: A stake
Zion is part of Zion. You cannot create a staek of Zion without
a part of Zion. Zion is the pure in heart; we gain purity of heart by
and by obedience. A stake has geographical bounderies. To create a
is like founding a City of Holiness. Every stake on earth is the
place for the lost sheep of Israel who live in its area.
The gathering place for Peruvians is in the stakes of Zion in Peru, or in the places which soon will become stakes. The gathering place for Chileans is in Chile; for Bolivians it is in Bolivia; for Koreans it is in Korea; and so it goes through all the length and breadth of the earth. Scattered Israel in every nation is called to gather to the fold of Christ, to the stakes of Zion, as such are established in their nations. ("Come: Let Israel Build Zion," Ensign, May 1977, pp. 115-118)
Harold B. Lee:
must increase in beauty, and in holiness,
her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened, yea,
I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments."
used here, undoubtedly had reference to
the Church. At that time there was but a small body of Church members
beginning to emerge as an organization, after having experienced harsh
treatment from enemies outside the Church, who had then been directed
gather together in Jackson County, Missouri, which the Lord had
as the "land of Zion" .
borders of Zion, where the righteous and pure in heart may dwell,
must now begin to be enlarged. The stakes of Zion must be strengthened.
All this so that Zion may arise and shine by becoming increasingly
in carrying out the plan of salvation throughout the world.
Church was in its infancy, the Lord
to a time when those earlier gathering places would not have room for
who would be gathered for reasons for which he declared that his church
should be united. . . . In these revelations the Lord speaks of
units of the Church which are designated as stakes. each of which those
not of our faith may think of as a diocese. These units so organized
gathered together for these fundamental purposes: first, for a defense
against the enemies of the Lord's work, both the seen and the unseen. .
are witnessing the demonstration of the
Lord's hand even in the midst of his saints, the members of the Church.
Never in this dispensation, and perhaps never before in any single
has there been such a feeling of urgency among the members of this
as today. Her boundaries are being enlarged, her stakes are being
In the early years of the Church specific places to which the Saints
to be gathered together were given, and the Lord directed that these
places should not be changed, but then he gave one qualification'
the day cometh when there is found no more room for them; and then I
other places which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called
for the curtains or the strength of Zion." (D&C 101:21.)
Mexico City Area Conference last August,
Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Council of the Twelve, in a
address, made some comments pertinent to this subject, and I quote a
sentences from his address:
glorious day of restoration and gathering,
another Nephite prophet said: 'The Lord . . . has covenanted with all
house of Israel,' that 'the time comes that they shall be restored to
true church and fold of God'; and that 'they shall be gathered home to
the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their
of promise.' (2 Ne. 9:1-2)
call your attention to the facts, set forth
in these scriptures,that the gathering of Israel consists of joining
true church; of coming to a knowledge of the true God and of his saving
truths; and of worshiping him in the congregations of the Saints in all
nations and among all peoples. Please note that these revealed words
of the folds of the Lord; of Israel being gathered to the lands of
inheritance; of Israel being established in all their lands of promise;
and of there being congregations of the covenant people of the Lord in
every nation, speaking every tongue, and among every people when the
Elder McConkie then concluded with this statement, which certainly emphasizes the great need for the teaching and training of local leadership in order to build up the church within their own native countries:
"The place of gathering for the Mexican Saints is in Mexico; the place of gathering for the Guatemalan Saints is in Guatemala; the place of gathering for the Brazilian Saints is in Brazil; and so it goes throughout the length and breadth of the whole earth. Japan is for the Japanese; Korea is for the Koreans; Australia is for the Australians; every nation is the gathering place for its own people." (Ensign, July, 1973, pp. 2-6; see also Conference Report, April 1973, pp. 4-10)
gathering of Israel now involves conversion.
Now, we are concerned with the gathering of Israel. This gathering
continue until the righteous are assembled in the congregations of the
Saints in the nations of the world. This reminds us of the tenth
of faith wherein the Prophet Joseph Smith said to his inquirer, "We
in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten
that Zion (the new Jerusalem) will be built upon the American
that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth
be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory."...
gathering of Israel consists of joining
the true church and their coming to a knowledge of the true God. Any
therefore, who has accepted the restored gospel, and who now seeks to
the Lord in his own tongue and with the Saints in the nations where he
lives, has complied with the law of the gathering of Israel and is heir
to all of the blessings promised the Saints in these last days.
are no longer to come to a single place.
In 1955, Sister Kimball and I went to Europe. We spent six months
all of the missions in Europe. The people were still laboring under the
impression that they should come to America for the gathering process.
The burden of our sermons to them was, "Stay where you are. You have
the gospel. The blessings will be brought to you. It will not be long
you have stakes, and the Brethren will come across the ocean to visit
Eventually temples will come, and you will have all the blessings of
folks of South America are in a different
category: you have always lived in Zion. One of the Brethren said that
Zion was all of America and that it is like a great bird with two wide
wings: North America and South America.
people have been holding their breath waiting
to see the gathering of Israel. We are in Israel and are being
the early days of the Church we used to
preach for the people to come to Utah as the gathering process, largely
because that was the only place in the whole world where there was a
Now we have sixteen temples, and two more that have been approved,
throughout the world. So it is no longer necessary that we bring the
all to Salt Lake City. Our missionaries preach baptism and
And then we come to you with conferences and to organize stakes. So we
say again, stay in Korea. This is a beautiful land. In this land you
teach your children just as well as you could in Salt Lake City. Stay
Korea where you can teach the gospel to millions of people.
And so the
gathering is taking place. Korea is the
gathering place for Koreans, Australia for Australians, Brazil for
England for the English. And so we move forward toward the confirmation
of this great program the Lord has established for us.
Presidency and the Twelve see great wisdom
in the multiple Zions, many gathering places where the Saints within
own culture and nation can act as a leaven in the building of the
-- a kingdom which seeks no earthly rewards or treasures.
inadvertently, we have given artificial
encouragement to individuals to leave their native land and culture
too often, this has meant the loss of the leaven that is so badly
and the individuals involved have sometimes regretted their migrations.
I am hopeful that each of you will ponder carefully what it is the Lord would have you do with your lives, with the special skills, training, and testimonies you have. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 438-440)
New Jerusalem Built
22 But if
they will repent and hearken unto my words,
and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and
they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the
of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;
23 And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.
24 And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. (3 Nephi 21:22-24)
Joseph Fielding Smith said:
another part of this discourse which, in
my judgment, is misinterpreted: "For it shall come to pass, saith the
that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved
them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; And I will
execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as
they have not heard. But if they will repent and hearken unto my words,
and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and
they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this remnant
of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance; And
shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the
of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be
the New Jerusalem."
The Return of the Ten
After the Savior told the Nephites that gathered Israel would build New Jerusalem, he then said that the Lord would open the way for them to return back to the land of promise given to Abraham:
shall the power of heaven come down among
them; and I also will be in the midst.
then shall the work of the Father commence
at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant
of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of
Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the
which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.
the work shall commence among all the
of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come
unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.
and then shall the work commence, with the
Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be
gathered home to the land of their inheritance.
29 And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward. (3 Nephi 21)
them, therefore, who are among the Gentiles
[the ten tribes] flee unto Zion [presently, stakes of Zion throughout
world but eventually the New Jerusalem].
13 And let
them who be of Judah flee unto Jerusalem,
unto the mountains of the Lord's house.
14 Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon.
verily, thus saith the Lord, let not your
flight be in haste, but let all things be prepared before you; and he
goeth, let him not look back lest sudden destruction shall come upon
and hear, O ye inhabitants of the earth.
Listen, ye elders of my church together, and hear the voice of the
for he calleth upon all men, and he commandeth all men everywhere to
behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the
angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of
the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is
18 When the
Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and
with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father's name
on their foreheads.
Wherefore, prepare ye for the coming of the
go ye, go ye out to meet him.
behold, he shall stand upon the mount of
Olivet, and upon the mighty ocean, even the great deep, and upon the
of the sea, and upon the land of Zion.
21 And he
shall utter his voice out of Zion, and
he shall speak from Jerusalem, and his voice shall be heard among all
22 And it
shall be a voice as the voice of many
waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the
mountains, and the valleys shall not be found.
23 He shall
command the great deep, and it shall
be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become
24 And the
land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion
shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like
as it was in the days before it was divided.
25 And the
Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in
the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh.
26 And they
who are in the north countries shall
come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his
voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the
and the ice shall flow down at their presence.
27 And an
highway shall be cast up in the midst
of the great deep.
enemies shall become a prey unto them,
29 And in
the barren deserts there shall come forth
pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a
30 And they
shall bring forth their rich treasures
unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.
31 And the
boundaries of the everlasting hills shall
tremble at their presence.
there shall they fall down and be crowned
with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord,
the children of Ephraim.
33 And they
shall be filled with songs of
34 Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows. (D&C 133:12-34)
21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
22 And I
will make them one nation in the land upon
the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and
shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two
any more at all:
shall they defile themselves any more
with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of
transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces,
they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people,
I will be their God.
24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. (Ezekiel 37:21-24)
31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
according to the covenant that I made with
their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out
of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an
unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this
shall be the covenant that I will make
with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put
my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be
their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Joseph Fielding Smith:
Before the second coming of Jesus Christ the remnant of the Jews will be gathered to Palestine. This prophecy is now being rapidly fulfilled. The Saints who are dead will come forth. Christ will appear to the Jews as they shall flee from their enemies. Part of the city of Jerusalem shall fall when a great earthquake shall take place and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in twain and into the valley thus formed the persecuted Jews shall flee for safety. At this time Christ will appear to them and show them his hands and his feet and the predictions of Zacharias will be fulfilled. Then the Jews who have only partly believed in Christ and who have not been willing to accept him as their Redeemer, will be converted and forgiven on their repentance and a nation will be born in a day. (Church History and Modern Revelation, Vol 1, p.180)
Bruce R. McConkie:
in the literal gathering of Israel and
in the restoration of the Ten Tribes." (A of F 10.) This inspired
leaves the clear impression that the gathering of Israel is one thing
the restoration of the Ten Tribes is another. Why this distinction? Are
not the Ten Tribes a part of Israel? And if Israel is to be gathered,
in the very nature of things this would include the gathering of the
portion of that ancient and favored people.
Moses, appearing in resurrected glory
on the 3rd day of April, 1830, in the Kirtland Temple, committed unto
mortal fellowservants, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. "the keys of
gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading
the ten tribes from the land of the north." (D&C 110:11.) Again
is a distinction between Israel as a whole and the Ten Tribes who are
dominant portion of Jacob's seed. All scripture comes by the power of
Holy Ghost and is verily true. When special and unusual language is
there is a reason. Holy writ is not idle chatter; it is the mind and
of the Lord; it says what he wants said. And so it now behooves us to
why it is one thing to gather Israel from the four parts of the earth
yet another to lead the Ten Tribes from the land of the north.
already seen that all Israel, including
specifically and pointedly the Ten Tribes, is scattered in all the
of the earth, upon all the islands of the sea, and among every people
dwell on this planet. It is absolutely basic and fundamental to know
We cannot understand the gathering of Israel, we cannot envision what
meant by the restoration of the Ten Tribes, and we cannot properly
these two things to the Second Coming of our Lord unless we know where
Israel and the Ten Tribes now are.
are also aware that the Ten Tribes were first
taken as a body into Assyria; that they went out from Assyria,
in a body, under prophetic guidance; and that they were then splintered
and driven and scattered into all places and among all peoples. These
Tribes, no matter where they are located, are in nations and places
in the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah and the ancient prophets as the
countries. Hence, their return to Palestine at least will be from the
of the north.
of Ephraim is one of the Ten Tribes; and
her people became wanderers in the nations, where they now reside and
they are now being found and gathered, one of a city and two of a
into the stakes of Zion in those nations. This gathering of Israel is
to an American Zion; it is not to Palestine and the ancient holy land;
it is not to any central place or location. Rather, it is to the holy
of safety that are now being set up in all nations as rapidly as our
and means permit. As we have seen, this gathering of Ephraim falls in
category of the gathering of Israel and not of the leading of the Ten
from the land of the north. This gathering of Ephraim is into the
of Zion in all the nations of the earth. There are, of course, isolated
and unusual instances of people from the other lost tribes gathering
Ephraim, but these are few and far between. The gathering of these
tribes is not yet, but by and by.
is meant by the leading of the Ten
from the land of the north? Our answer is: Just what the words say. We
are gathering Israel now in all nations and counseling them to stay
they are, there to enlarge the borders of Zion, there to build up
of Zion in their own lands and among their own people. But with the Ten
Tribes, in part at least, it will be another thing. They are destined
return (at least in large and representative numbers) to the same soil
where the feet of their forebears walked during the days of their
pilgrimage. They are to return to Palestine. At least a constituent
will congregate there in the very land given of God to Abraham their
Others will, of course, be in America and in all lands, but the formal
return, the return from the north countries, will be to the land of
ancient inheritance. . . .
clear; it is plain; it is certain: God gave
ancient Canaan to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the twelve tribes of
of whom the Ten Tribes are the dominant part. It is their land, in time
and in eternity. It is their land now whenever they are worthy to tread
its blessed surface. And it shall be theirs again in that everlasting
that lies ahead. "It is decreed that the poor and the meek of the earth
shall inherit it," in that celestial day when it shall be crowned with
the presence of God, even the Father. (D&C 88:17-19.) Where else,
would we expect to see the Ten Tribes return? Where else would we
them to assemble to worship the God of their fathers and to be
of the promises made to the ancient ones whose seed they are?
Thus it is
that we see why the revelations speak
of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth into the
and kingdom of God on earth, and also of the leading of the Ten Tribes
from the land of the north back again to their promised Canaan. The
of Israel is one thing, the return of the Ten Tribes to a specified
is another; and Moses gave to men in our day the keys and power to
both labors. This means that Israel is gathered at the direction and
to the power and authority vested in the legal administrators who
over The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And it also means
that the Ten Tribes -- scattered, lost, unknown, and now in all the
of the earth -- these Ten Tribes, with their prophets, with their
in faith and desiring righteousness, shall return to blessed Canaan at
the direction of these same legal administrators. The President of the
Church is the only person on earth at any given time who does or can
these or any other priesthood keys in their eternal fulness. He will
the return of the Ten Tribes. It will not come to pass in any other
. . .
We do not
say that occasional blood descendants
of Reuben or Naphtali or others of the other tribal heads shall not
to their Palestinian Zion, or assemble in an American Zion, or find
way into the stakes of Zion in all nations, all before the Second
of Christ. Some shall no doubt return to Canaan as true believers and
of the true Church, with the intent and purpose of fulfilling the
and building up the ancient cities of Israel. This may well happen in
small measure, and to it there can be no objection. Great movements
small beginnings, and floods that sweep forth from bursting dams are
forecast when small rivulets trickle from the pent-up reservoirs. But
do say that the great day of the return of the Ten Tribes, the day when
the assembling hosts shall fulfill the prophetic promises, shall come
our Lord's return. . . .
day, "They who are in the north countries
shall come in remembrance before the Lord." The lost tribes of Israel,
the Ten Tribes whose members are scattered among the northern nations,
shall be remembered. The set time to favor them will have dawned. The
of the Father will then commence among them; converts will be made;
will believe the everlasting gospel tan to them by the elders of
and they will be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. They
will become again the Lord's people. "And their prophets shall hear his
voice, and shall no longer stay themselves."
prophets! Who are they? Are they to be holy
men called from some unknown place and people? Are they prophets
to the presiding officers of "the only true and living church upon the
face of the whole earth"? (D&C 1:30.) Perish the thought! The
of the Church, who holds the keys to lead the Ten Tribes from the
of the north wherein they now reside, holds also the keys of salvation
for all men. There are not two true churches on earth, only one; there
are not two gospels or two be plans of salvation, only one; there are
two competing organizations, both having divine approval, only one. "Is
Christ divided?" (1 Cor. 1:13.) God forbid. Their prophets are members
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are stake
and bishops and quorum presidents who are appointed to guide and direct
the destinies of their stakes and wards and quorums. (Bruce R.
Millennial Messiah, pp. 319-326)
Further statements regarding the gathering of Israel
Concerning Patriarchal blessings and the declaration of lineage, President James E. Faust stated:
Church is expanding at a tremendous rate. We
now have stakes of Zion in a great many countries of the world, and
stakes have at least one patriarch. This growth permits many people
the earth the privilege of receiving patriarchal blessings. As
Joseph Fielding Smith stated, "The great majority of those who become
of the Church are literal descendants of Abraham through Ephraim, son
Joseph"(Doctrines of Salvation, 3:246). However, Manasseh, the other
of Joseph, as well as the other sons of Jacob, has many descendants in
the Church. There may be some come into the Church in our day who are
of Jacob's blood lineage. No one need assume that he or she will be
any blessing by reason of not being of the blood lineage of Israel. The
Lord told Abraham, "And I will bless them through thy name; for as many
as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be
thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father." (Abraham
Nephi tells us that "as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord."(2 Nephi 30:2) Therefore it makes no difference if the blessings of the house of Israel come by lineage or by adoption.
Some might be disturbed because members of the same family have blessings declaring them to be of a different lineage. A few families are of a mixed lineage. We believe that the house of Israel today constitutes a large measure of the human family. Because the tribes have intermixed one with another, one child may be declared to be from the tribe of Ephraim and another of the same family from Manasseh or one of the other tribes. The blessing of one tribe, therefore, may be dominant in one child, and the blessing of another tribe dominant in yet another child. So children from the same parents could receive the blessings of different tribes. (Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 83; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 64)