Posted in Book of Mormon, Israel, LDS Doctrine

Gospel Doctrine 2016 – Lesson 40 – Then Will I Gather Them In

1. The Savior prophesies of the scattering of the house of Israel.

3 Nephi 16:4-13 Who are the gentiles?

“We have heretofore identified the Jews as both the nationals of the kingdom of Judah and as their lineal descendants, all this without reference to tribal affiliation. And we have said, within this usage of terms, that all other people are Gentiles, including the lost and scattered remnants of the kingdom of Israel in whose veins the precious blood of him whose name was Israel does in fact flow. ThusJoseph Smith, of the tribe of Ephraim, the chief and foremost tribe of Israel itself, was the Gentile by whose hand the Book of Mormon came forth, and the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who have the gospel and who are of Israel by blood descent, are the Gentiles who carry salvation to the Lamanites and to the Jews” (Bruce R McConkie, The Millennial Messiah [1982], 233).

3 Nephi 20:25 Ye are of the covenant

‘You are one of God’s noble and great spirits, held in reserve to come to earth at this time. (See  D&C 86:8–11 In your premortal life you were appointed to help prepare the world for the great gathering of souls that will precede the Lord’s second coming. You are one of a covenant people. You are an heir to the promise that all the earth will be blessed by the seed of Abraham and that God’s covenant with Abraham will be fulfilled through his lineage in these latter days. (See  1 Ne. 15:18  3 Ne. 20:25)

As a member of the Church, you have made sacred covenants with the Lord. You have taken upon yourself the name of Christ. (See  D&C 18:28  D&C 20:29, 37 You have promised to always remember Him and to keep His commandments. In return, He has agreed to grant His Spirit to be with you. (See  Moro. 4:3  Moro. 5:2  D&C 20:77)’ (Russell M Nelson, General Conference, October 1990)

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2. The Savior prophesies of the spiritual gathering of the house of Israel.

3 Nephi 20:11 The words of Isaiah

“The book of Isaiah was the only book of the ancient prophets the resurrected Savior specifically commanded the Nephites to search.

“The Savior said, ‘Ye remember that I spake unto you, and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled – behold they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them…’ (3 Ne. 20:11.) Further, He declared, ‘And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.’ (3 Ne. 23:1.)

“Monte S. Nyman, in his book, Great Are the Words of Isaiah, wrote: ‘That the commandment was to be extended to the latter days, and especially to the readers of the Book of Mormon, is shown by the Savior’s charge to the Nephites to record His words so that they could go forth unto the Gentiles: Therefore, give heed to my words; write the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father they shall go forth unto the Gentiles. (3 Ne. 23:4.)'” (Church News, 06/30/90)

3 Nephi 21:1-5 The gathering of Israel

‘The “gathering of Israel” is effected when the people of the faraway countries accept the gospel and remain in their native lands. The gathering of Israel for Mexico is in Mexico; in Scandinavia, for those of the northern countries;, the gathering place for the Germans is in Germany; and the Polynesians, in the islands; for the Brazilians, in Brazil; for the Argentines, in Argentina. We express our appreciation to the Lord for his goodness as we direct the activities of three and a half million people, ever growing more populous, and more independent, and, even more faithful.’ (Spencer W Kimball, Conf. Report, April 1975, p. 4).

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3 Nephi 21:9 A great and a marvelous work

“Seven centuries before the birth of Christ, Isaiah foresaw and foretold the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in these latter days. He declared it would be a ‘marvelous work and a wonder’ to all mankind (Isa. 29:14). When Jesus appeared to the Nephites in America, He confirmed the prophecy of Isaiah in these words: ‘For my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work’ among the people of the land of America in the last days (3 Ne. 21:9).

“April 6, 1830, in the state of New York, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had its beginning in this dispensation, a beginning that went largely unnoticed by the world. A small number of men and women, including the Prophet Joseph Smith, gathered in the home of Peter Whitmer, Sr., to witness and participate in the official organization of the Church. Today there are over 4 1/2 million members in eighty-one countries. We now look in retrospect on 150 years of the history of the Church and are led to exclaim with Isaiah, ‘Truly the work is marvelous and wonderful!’

“That the Church of Jesus Christ would have an inconspicuous beginning and then enjoy phenomenal growth was likewise predicted. Jesus used the comparison of the small mustard seed to describe the early beginning of His church. But eventually, He declared, that insignificant seed would become a great tree and many would find refuge in its branches (see Matt. 13:31-32).

“The prophet Daniel described the beginning and remarkable growth of the Church as a small stone which would become a great mountain and fill the entire earth! (see Dan. 2:34-35, 44).

“As men have attempted to assess the Church at a given period of time, in many instances they have not been able to see its forward movement and potential. The growth of the Church, like the growth of grass or trees, has been almost imperceptible to the eye, but little by little, line by line, precept by precept, the Church has matured.

“Simultaneous with the early development of the Church was a spirit of opposition and persecution. Wherever the tiny ‘mustard seed’ was planted, attempts were made to frustrate its growth. But notwithstanding all the efforts to destroy the work-even the murder of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother-the Church prospered and grew. There were those who thought the Church would fail with the deaths of the martyrs Joseph and Hyrum, but they did not perceive, as Daniel foretold, that this latter-day kingdom should ‘never be destroyed’ (Dan. 2:44).

“Just before the Prophet’s death, Brigham Young said, ‘The kingdom is organized; and, although as yet no bigger than a grain of mustard seed, the little plant is in a flourishing condition’ (History of the Church, 6:354).” (Ezra Taft Benson,  Conference Report, May 1980)

3. The Savior prophesies of the temporal gathering of the house of Israel.

3 Nephi 16:16, 3 Nephi 20:14 For their inheritance

“What could be clearer? This land has been given to that particular branch of Israel as an inheritance for their children in perpetuity-it is their sacred obligation to hold it for their children; they cannot possibly sell it or allow it to be taken from them. That would be unthinkable, and that we never seem to understand.” (Hugh Nibley, Brother Brigham Challenges the Saints, p. 85)

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“The Lord gave … America, as an everlasting possession to Joseph, the son of Jacob. His posterity, when cleansed from sin, and when they come forth in the resurrection, shall inherit this part of the earth. This land shall be theirs forever” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 1:88).

3 Nephi 21:26 Even the tribes which have been lost

‘We do not say that occasional blood descendants of Reuben or Naphtali or others of the other tribal heads shall not return to their Palestinian Zion, or assemble in an American Zion, or find their way into the stakes of Zion in all nations, all before the Second Coming of Christ.  Some shall no doubt return to Canaan as true believers and members of the true Church, with the intent and purpose of fulfilling the scriptures and building up the ancient cities of Israel.  This may well happen in some small measure, and to it there can be no objection.  Great movements have small beginnings, and floods that sweep forth from bursting dams are first forecast when small rivulets trickle from the pent-up reservoirs.  But we 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 after our Lord’s return.’ (Millennial Messiah, p. 323; see also New Witness, p. 521.)” (McConkie, Millet, and Top, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, vol. 4, p. 153,)

 

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