Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"The Gathering of My People"

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the vehicle by which the scattered Children of Israel will be gathered. The keys to the gathering of Israel, which the prophet Moses holds, have been turned once again in this dispensation and the work has begun. This gathering is taking place each day, as people from all over the world come to an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and join with the saints in worshiping the Father through Him.

In the early history of the Church Joseph Smith was instructed very specifically about those who would be gathered and the reasons He had for gathering them. In Section 10 of the Doctrine and Covenants He outlines some qualifications that are necessary for His people in order to be gathered.

D&C 10: 65 For, behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts;

66 Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely.

67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.

It is very easy to recognize these qualifications as the first four principles of the gospel, faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Today we can easily see those who are being gathered, by the number of baptisms that are taking place into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, through conversion because of the condition of their hearts. When they hear the “good news” they recognize it as a familiar voice. The Lord refers to these people as His elect.

D&C 29: 7 And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;

8 Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked.

Look for the many reasons the Lord has for gathering His people.

D&C 38:31 And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless—

32 Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high;

  • To escape the power of their enemies.
  • To gather a righteous people.
  • To be given the Lord’s Law.
  • To be endowed with power from on high.

Joseph Smith said, “What was the object of gathering the people of God in any age of the world? The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose. It is for the same purpose that God gathers together His people in the last days, to build unto the Lord a house to prepare them for the ordinances and endowments, washing and anointings, etc.”

D&C 38:35 And they shall look to the poor and the needy, and administer to their relief that they shall not suffer; and send them forth to the place which I have commanded them;

  • To look to the poor and the needy.

D&C 38:39 And if ye seek the riches which it is the will of the Father to give unto you, ye shall be the richest of all people, for ye shall have the riches of eternity; and it must needs be that the riches of the earth are mine to give; but beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.

  • To have the riches of eternity.

D&C 38: 42 And go ye out from among the wicked. Save yourselves. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Even so. Amen.

  • To go out from among the wicked.

Can you think of other times in the scriptures that the people were told to come out from the wicked?

In Section 37 the Lord gives counsel to the saints instructing them to gather to the Ohio, but is very specific with His instructions when he states,

D&C 37:4 Behold, here is wisdom, and let every man choose for himself until I come. Even so. Amen.

Why do you thing it is important for each man to choose for himself?

He also give further instruction for the saints as follows,

D&C 38:24 And let every man esteem his brother as himself, and practise virtue and holiness before me.

25 And again I say unto you, let every man esteem his brother as himself.

When it comes to the gathering of His people, why do you think it is important for every man to “esteem his brother as himself”? It certainly must be important, for the Lord has stated it twice!

The instruction to gather is prevalent in our Church today. We gather in Regions, Stakes, Wards, Sacrament Meetings, Priesthood meetings, Relief Society, etc. We gather today for the same reasons the Lord told the Saints to gather in all ages.

Elder Russell M. Nelson stated:

“The choice to come unto Christ is not a matter of physical location; it is a matter of individual commitment. People can be “brought to the knowledge of the Lord” without leaving their homelands. True, in the early days of the Church, conversion often meant emigration as well. But now the gathering takes place in each nation. The Lord has decreed the establishment of Zion in each realm where He has given His Saints their birth and nationality. Scripture foretells that the people “shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise.” “Every nation is the gathering place for its own people.” The place of gathering for Brazilian Saints is in Brazil; the place of gathering for Nigerian Saints is in Nigeria; the place of gathering for Korean Saints is in Korea; and so forth. Zion is “the pure in heart.” Zion is wherever righteous Saints are. Publications, communications, and congregations are now such that nearly all members have access to the doctrines, keys, ordinances, and blessings of the gospel, regardless of their location.

Spiritual security will always depend upon how one lives, not where one lives. Saints in every land have equal claim upon the blessings of the Lord.”

In what ways do you participate in the gathering today?

1 comment:

TruthSeekerToo said...

Thanks for putting this article together.

I can't find any scriptures to back up the quote from Nelson. Do you know of any? Specifically the parts he seems to be quoting from someplace.

The only thing I find in my scriptures is that Zion is still in Jackson County, Missouri and has not been moved. And that she will be redeemed and the saints will receive their inheritance.

I tend to think there might be a spiritual gathering and a physical gathering.