Book of Mormon
“Then Will I Gather Them In”
The Savior prophesies of the scattering of the house of Israel.
The Savior prophesies of the spiritual gathering of the house of Israel.
The Savior prophesies of the temporal gathering of the house of Israel.
A study of this lesson will help us understand the latter-day work of gathering
Israel and establishing Zion.
Scripture references for study:
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 40 Handout (PDF)
3 Nephi 16
3 NEPHI 16:1-3.
WHO ARE THESE OTHER SHEEP?
The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.
Led out of Palestine about 721 B.C. by the Assyrians.
Consists primarily of all the tribes of Israel except Judah and Benjamin,
It appears that when we receive the record of these lost tribes we will
find a record of Jesus appearance among them.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "The Lost Tribes
are not lost unto the Lord. In their northward journeyings they were led
by prophets and inspired leaders. They had their Moses and their Lehi,
were guided by the spirit of revelation, kept the law of Moses, and carried
with them the statutes and judgments which the Lord had given them in age
past. They were still a distinct people many hundreds of years later, for
the resurrected Lord visited and ministered among them following his ministry
on this continent among the Nephites." (Mormon Doctrine, p457)
Imagine what a great witness this will be to the world
when these tribes come forth with a record of Christ's visit.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "Will there be an
additional or third group of convincing and witnessing scriptures? Yes!
Will the lost Ten Tribes—those of ancient Israel who did not remain with
Judah, as well as a portion of Benjamin—bring their own records and scriptures?
Yes! And eventually, by three scriptural witnesses, the Messiahship of
Jesus of Nazareth will be finally established." (Plain
and Precious Things, p12)
As we consider the Savior's teachings regarding the "other sheep" is it
possible, to some degree, that we are like the ancient Jews who did not
understand the Savior's reference to the "other sheep"? Is it possible
that our knowledge is lacking regarding the Lost Tribes because of our
THE LORD COMMANDED THE NEPHITES TO KEEP A RECORD OF THIS EVENT (v4).
To bring the scattered remnants of Israel to the knowledge of the Redeemer.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE GENTILES?
The Book of Mormon and the restored gospel will flow through the Gentiles
to the seed of Israel.
Gentiles In The Book of Mormon.
WHO ARE THE GENTILES?
"The word gentiles means the nations, and eventually
came to be used to mean all those not of the house of Israel.... As used throughout the scriptures it has a dual meaning, sometimes to designate
peoples of non-Israelite lineage, and other times to designate nations
that are without the gospel, even though there may be some Israelite blood
therein. This latter usage is especially characteristic of the word
as used in the Book of Mormon." (Bible Dictionary, p679)
Brother Robert J. Matthews: "America, as is the
case with Europe, has been peopled by those who have been without the fulness
of the gospel for many centuries, yet they have much of the blood of Israel
in their veins. They are not easily identified or recognized as Israelites
and therefore are spoken of as Gentiles, in contrast to those of more recognizable
Israelite identity such as the Jews and the Lamanites. Hence, the
great American nation is spoken of in the Book of Mormon as a Gentile nation,
even though we, as Church members, know we have the blood of Israel in
us. This condition is described by the Prophet Joseph Smith in D&C
109:58,60, saying we are 'the sons of Jacob’ but are 'identified with the
Gentiles'." (Studies In Scripture, 8:169)
WHAT BLESSINGS ARE RESERVED FOR THE GENTILES?
"...in the latter day shall the truth come unto
the Gentiles, that the fulness of these things shall be made known unto
"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" (v13).
ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS OF THE SAVIOR, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE GENTILES
IF THEY SIN AGAINST THE GOSPEL?
The gospel will be taken from them and the gospel taken to the remnant
3 NEPHI 16:10-11.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell: "Scriptural warnings
often couple pride and selfishness. (See, for example, D&C 56:8.) Pride
can be characteristic of a whole race and will cause one of the hingepoint
happenings in human history. As far as the spread of the gospel is concerned,
the time will come when the Lord will take His gospel elsewhere from the
proud and resistant Gentiles." (Meek and Lowly, p53)
The Gentiles to be trod down by the house of Israel.
3 NEPHI 16:15.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Brothers Robert L. Millet & Joseph Fielding McConkie: "I
will suffer my people, O house of Israel, that they shall go through among
them, and shall tread them down] This is a theme, a recurring theme, in
the Savior's teachings to his American Hebrews (see 3 Nephi 20:16; 21:12)
and one to which Mormon later refers (Mormon 5:24). There has been much
discussion concerning its meaning. Many Latter-day Saints conclude that
it refers to a type of Lamanite uprising, a rebellion by Lamanites (identified
in this interpretation as 'a remnant of Jacob' -- see 3 Nephi 20:16; 21:
12; Mormon 5:24) against the 'Gentiles' in America. We have chosen to take
another approach to these passages.
"It is interesting that
in 3 Nephi 21 the Master quotes a prophecy from Micah 5:8-14, an oracle
which uses language similar to that above. According to this account the
rending of the Gentiles, this metaphor of a lion among the sheep, takes
place in a day when such things as witchcrafts, soothsayers, idolatry,
immorality, priestcrafts, lying, and deceit are all destroyed and done
away. When will such things be done away? Clearly, after the Lord comes
and the millennial day has begun. It would seem that the image of the remnant
of Israel rending its Gentile enemies is symbolic of Israel's ultimate
victory over its foes, a victory which comes when the Savior returns and
the wicked are destroyed.
"'Except for a few who
are the humble followers of Christ, the Gentiles will not repent. They
will revel in their abominations and sin against the restored gospel, and
they will be burned by the brightness of our Lord's coming while the righteous
-- here called the remnant of Jacob -- shall abide the day. And then, in
the prophetic imagery, it will be as though the remnant of Israel overthrew
their enemies as a young lion among the flocks of sheep.' (Bruce R. McConkie,
Millennial Messiah, p248; see also p242; Mortal Messiah 4:334-35.)"
(Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 4:111-112)
The Final Gathering To Christ - 3 Nephi 20-21
After administering the sacrament to those who had gathered, the Savior
began to again prophesy concerning the house of Israel, particularly that
which relates to the American continent.
The New Jerusalem.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN I MENTION “THE NEW JERUSALEM”?
A time and place long prophesied.
Christ teaches of the New Jerusalem.
3 NEPHI 21:20-25.
Those who refuse to repent will be cut off from the Lord's people.
Those who repent will be part of the Church and and the house of Israel.
They will assist the remnant of Jacob (the Lamanites) in building the city,
the New Jerusalem.
They will then assist in gathering those "who are scattered upon all the
face of the land" to the New Jerusalem.
The greater part of the gathering will not take place until after the building
of the New Jerusalem. Much of this will be Millennial.
The power of heaven will be in their midst.
A latter-day revelation.
WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "But even more
important than her past glory, her historical position, and her religious
influence, is the part (dear to the hearts of the prophets) which Jerusalem
is yet to play in the destiny of the world. In the last days the
Jerusalem of old is to be rebuilt, a remnant of the Jews is to assemble
there, and the final great battles which attend the Second Coming of the
Son of Man are to take place at Jerusalem. (Teachings, p. 17; Zech.
12; 13; 14.) And then during the millennial era this rebuilt Jerusalem
is to be one of two great world capitals, 'for out of Zion shall go forth
the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.' (Isa. 2:3.)
"In addition to the rebuilding
of the Jerusalem of old, the latter-days are to see the initial building
of a New Jerusalem on the American continent, a city which like its ancient
counterpart will be a holy city, a Zion, a city of God. (3 Ne. 20:22.) This New Jerusalem is to be built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints; Jackson County, Missouri, is the spot designated by revelation
for its construction. (D. & C. 28; 42:8-9, 30-42; 45:66-67; 52:2,
42-43; 57:1-5; 58:7, 44-58; 84:2-5.) It shall be built when the Lord
directs. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 66-79; D.&C. 124:49-54.)
"This New Jerusalem on
the American continent will have a dual origin. It will be built
by the saints on earth and it will also come down from heaven, and the
cities so originating will be united into one holy city. Moroni recorded
that America 'was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down
out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord. Behold, Ether
saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this
land....'" (Mormon Doctrine, p532)
In a vision by John Taylor, he had seen the United States in turmoil.
He then stated the following: "Immediately after
I seemed to be standing on the west bank of the Missouri River opposite
the City of Independence but I saw no City. I saw the whole States
of Missouri and Illinois and part of Iowa were a Complete wilderness with
no living human being in them. I then saw a short distance from the
river Twelve men dressed in the robes of the Temple Standing in a square
or nearly so. I understood it represented the Twelve gates of the
New Jerusalem, and they were with hands uplifted Consecrating the ground
and laying the Corner Stones. I saw myriads of Angels hovering over
them and around about them and also an immense pillar of a Cloud over them
and I heard the singing of the most beautiful music the words 'Now is established
the Kingdom of our God and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and Ever,
and Kingdom shall never be Thrown down for the Saints have overcome.' And I saw people Coming from the River and different places a long way
off to help build the Temple, and it seemed that the Hosts of the angels
also helped to get the material to build the Temple. And I saw some
Come who wore their Temple...robes to help build the Temple and the City
and all the time I saw the great pillar of Cloud hover over the place."
(Recorded by Wilford Woodruff in his journal)
"An explanation of the plat of the city of Zion,
sent to the brethren in Zion, the 25th of June, 1833.... The names
of the temples to be built on the painted squares as represented on the
plot of the city of Zion, which is now about to be forwarded thither:--numbers
10, 11, and 12, are to be called, House of the Lord, for the Presidency
of the High and most Holy Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, which
was after the order of the Son of God, upon Mount Zion, City of the New
Jerusalem. Numbers 7, 8, and 9, the Sacred Apostolic Repository,
for the use of the Bishop. Numbers 4, 5, and 6, the Holy Evangelical
House, for the High Priesthood of the Holy Order of God. Numbers
1, 2, and 3, the House of the Lord, for the Elders of Zion, an Ensign to
the Nations. Numbers 22, 23, and 24, House of the Lord for the Presidency
of the High Priesthood, after the Order of Aaron, a Standard for the People. Numbers 19, 20, and 21, House of the Lord, the Law of the Kingdom of Heaven,
and Messenger to the People; for the Highest Priesthood after the Order
of Aaron. Numbers 16, 17, and 18, House of the Lord for the Teachers
in Zion, Messenger to the Church. Numbers 13, 14, and 15, House of
the Lord for the Deacons in Zion, Helps in Government. Underneath
must be written on each house-HOLINESS TO THE LORD." (History
of the Church, 1:359)
HOW MANY LOOK FORWARD TO THE BUILDING OF THE NEW JERUSALEM?
WHY HAVEN'T WE YET BUILD THIS MAGNIFICENT CITY?
"Behold, I say unto
you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning
the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now. But behold, they have
not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands,
but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance,
as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them; And are not united according
to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; And Zion cannot be built
up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom;
otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. Therefore it is expedient
in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption
of Zion." (D&C 105:2-5, 13)
It would appear that the redemption of the physical Zion, the building
up of the New Jerusalem, is dependent upon us as members of the Church
and our worthiness.
If we refine and purify our lives, it may be that we then can plead with
the Lord to ask for this city to be built.
Consider this example, the extension of the priesthood to all worthy males.
Official Declaration 2: "Aware of the promises
made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us
that at some time, in God's eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy
may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those
from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly
in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the
Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance."
As we refine our lives, we may have claim upon the Lord, to once again
begin building this great city.
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Record your thoughts on prophecies discussed in this lesson.
What can you do in your life to prepare for the times ahead?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon by Robert L. Millet & Joseph Fielding
History of the Church.
Meek and Lowly by Neal A. Maxwell.
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.
Plain and Precious Things by Neal A. Maxwell.
Spiritual Survival In the Last Days by Brenton and Blaine M. Yorgason.
Studies In Scripture, Volume 8, edited by Kent P. Jackson.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
29 August 2016