Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Moses Keyholder Of The Gathering of Israel

The second vision out of the four received in the Kirtland Temple is recorded as follows:

Doctrine and Covenants 110:11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed 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.

With the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth, in this dispensation, the gathering of scattered Israel began. As early as 1828 the Prophet Joseph Smith received Section 10 of the Doctrine and Covenants outlining the qualifications needed for one to be gathered, baptism being one of them. This gathering theme became a thread throughout the rest of the revelations received from the Lord, and culminates in the restoration of actual keys in Section 110.

There are many reasons for gathering which I have explored in a previous post called, “The Gathering of My People”. You might want to refresh your memory and go and read that one now before you continue with the rest of this post.

Why was Moses the key holder for the gathering? Sidney B. Sperry explained, "The first gathering of Israel was done under the direction of Moses and resulted in the exodus from Egypt. Moses therefore holds the keys of the gathering of Israel. The Lord set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people by sending Moses to confer the keys of his authority upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836."

Moses was the instrument the Lord used to free the Children of Israel from the bonds of slavery. Throughout his entire ministry he attempted to introduce this unruly group into the “promised land” to no avail. They simply would not be gathered in the same manner that Enoch had gathered his people. I believe that Moses was taken out of their midst holding the keys to this gathering only to return during a time when they would be committed to the “one true God.” It is appropriate that Moses would be the one to commit the keys of the gathering of Israel to the restored Church. Moses had come to Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration and there had bestowed upon them the same priesthood keys in their day.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote about the role of Moses in the latter-day gathering of scattered Israel as follows:

How shall Israel be gathered? First will come the conversion and gathering of the tribe of Joseph. Then Joseph [Ephraim and Manasseh] shall gather the other tribes. It will not be an easy work. Every lost sheep must be taught the gospel; every new convert must believe the Book of Mormon; all must repent and forsake the world and come voluntarily, often in the face of great opposition, into the latter-day kingdom of the God of their fathers. Missionaries must labor with zeal and in the face of great odds. They must "push the people together." And who shall do this work? Moses says: They are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh." (Deuteronomy 33:17.) And such is an apt and accurate definition of the missionary force of the great latter-day kingdom. Moses — mighty, mighty Moses — acting in the power and authority of the holy order, gathered Israel once. What is more fitting than for him to confer upon mortals in this final dispensation the power and authority to lead latter-day Israel out of Egyptian darkness, through a baptismal Red Sea, into their promised Zion? (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 528-29).

What does the return of the keys for the gathering of Israel mean to us individually?

“Why is it that you are here to-day? and what brought you here? Because the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four quarters of the earth have been committed to Joseph Smith, and he has conferred those keys upon others that the gathering of Israel may be accomplished, and in due time the same thing will be performed to the tribes in the land of the north. It is on this account, and through the unlocking of this principle, and through those means, that you are brought together as you are to-day” (John Taylor, in Journal of Discourses, 25:179).

1 comment:

Lori said...

I really enjoy all of your posts. Always. I appreciate that you bring everything to a simple level so we can easily make personal application to the gospel. It's also clear that you do a lot of research before writing your posts. You're my Master Yoda!