Write It in Their Hearts”
Jeremiah foresees the latter-day gathering of Israel.
God will write his law in the hearts of his people.
A study of this lesson will help us understand what the scriptures teach about
Zion and inspire us in our efforts to establish Zion..
Scripture references for study: Jeremiah
16; Jeremiah 23;
Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked
to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.
Lesson 42 Handout (PDF
Jeremiah Foresees The Latter-Day Gathering Of Israel
JEREMIAH 16:14-16. The children of Israel
to again be brought to their land.
JEREMIAH 23:3-4. The Lord to set up shepherds
over his flock.
HOW GREAT WAS THE DELIVERANCE OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FROM
It is one of the great moments of Hebrew history that continues to be celebrated
by Jews today through the Passover.
WHAT GREAT LATTER-DAY EVENT DID THE LORD SAY WOULD BE AS GREAT AS THE EXODUS
OF ISRAEL FROM EGYPT?
The gathering of modern Israel and the growth of the Church (see
16:15 & Jeremiah 23:3).
President John Taylor: "There is no man
that believes in the literal fulfilment of the revelations of God through
the prophets who does not believe that the Lord will in the latter days
gather a people together out of every nation under heaven, and that he
will also gather the dispersed of Judah—the Jews—that have been trodden
under the feet of the Gentiles for the last 1,800 years." (Discourses
of Wilford Woodruff, p113)
President Taylor describes two gatherings. Jeremiah said, "And
I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return,
and will build them, as at the first" (Jeremiah 33:7). It is clear that the present work of gathering consists of: (1) the gathering
of the lost sheep of Israel to the stakes of Zion; (2) the gathering of
the Jews to their homeland.
"And it shall come to pass that the Jews which
are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin
to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in
Christ shall also become a delightsome people" (2 Nephi 30:7).
HOW ARE THESE PROPHECIES BEING FULFILLED?
WHO ARE THE FISHERS AND HUNTERS DESCRIBED IN
According to Elder LeGrand Richards, they are the missionaries of the Church
(see Ensign, June 1971, p98-99).
WHAT DO FISHERS AND HUNTERS HAVE IN COMMON WITH MISSIONARIES?
Over the years I have had the opportunity to go both fishing and hunting. As a
youngster I went fishing with my dad. He was an avid fisherman who
enjoyed pursuing trout in the streams and lakes of central Utah. Dad was extremely successful at luring fish on to his hook and many a summer
passed with a freezer full of trout. How did he do it? He worked
at it. He learned to use the right line, the right hook, and the
right bait. He learned to fish in the right spot. Missionaries,
like fisherman, use the lure of the gospel and the hook of the spirit. But it requires diligence.
Dad was not as successful at hunting. Many an October, dad and I went out deer hunting. We hiked all over
the Wasatch Mountains of Utah County in search of the elusive mule deer. We were usually unsuccessful in bagging a deer. Some missionaries
are like my dad and successful in fishing for many converts. Others
work hard hunting for an occasional convert.
Elder Orson F. Whitney: "The God of Israel
has set his hand to gather his elect and prepare the world for the sanctifying
reign of righteousness. He will accomplish what he has undertaken, using
for that purpose every means consistent and available. Christ died to save
the souls of men, and save them he will—by mild measures whenever these
will avail; but by stern methods if necessary, after the mild have proved
ineffectual. First, the 'fishers,' with gentle, kind persuasion. Then the
'hunters'—war, commotion and destruction. Such is the divine program."
(Saturday Night Thoughts, p184)
JEREMIAH 23:8. Israel to be led from the
WHO ARE THE SHEPHERDS SPOKEN OF IN THIS VERSE?
Priesthood and Church leaders.
HOW CAN WE ASSIST WITH THIS IMPORTANT GATHERING OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL?
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS VERSE?
In the Kirtland Temple, Moses appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery
"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" (D&C 110:11).
WHO ARE THESE TRIBES?
President Joseph Fielding Smith: "Because
of their wickedness the ten tribes in 721 B.C., were carried captive into
Assyria by Shalmaneser. Many years later when freed from their captivity
in Assyria, they did not return to Palestine to the land of their inheritance,
but departed into the north and disappeared. Since that time they have
been called the lost ten tribes of Israel. The promise is made that they
shall return, but to this day they are lost to the world. As they journeyed
to the north many of their number straggled and fell behind and mingled
with the peoples in the lands through which they passed, but the main body
continued on their journey and were hidden by the hand of the Lord."
(The Restoration of All Things, p131)
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "In due course
the Lost Tribes of Israel will return and come to the children of Ephraim
to receive their blessings. This great gathering will take place under
the direction of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, for he holds 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.' (D. & C. 110:11.) Keys are the right of presidency the
power to direct; and by this power the Lost Tribes will return, with 'their
prophets' and their scriptures to 'be crowned with glory, even in Zion,
by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.'
(D. & C. 133:26-35.)" (Mormon Doctrine, p458)
Joseph Smith: "All that the prophets that
have written, from the days of righteous Abel, down to the last man that
has left any testimony on record for our consideration, in speaking of
the salvation of Israel in the last days, goes directly to show that it
consists in the work of the gathering." (TPJS, p83)
God Will Write His Law In The Hearts Of His People
JEREMIAH 31:31-34. The Lord to make a new
covenant with Israel.
JEREMIAH 29:10-14. Judah to return from Babylon
to their homeland.
WHAT DID THE LORD PROMISE TO DO IN THE LATTER DAYS?
The Lord would make a new covenant with Israel and Judah (v31).
This covenant would differ from the covenant made with ancient Israel at
the time they were brought out of Egypt (v32).
This is the covenant: "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" (v33).
Those that remember the Lord will be forgiven of their sins (v34).
HOW IS THIS NEW COVENANT DIFFERENT FROM THE COVENANT MADE WITH ANCIENT
"Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known
and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the
epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the
Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables
of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
The ancient covenant, or Law of Moses, was a rigid code with specific laws
addressing all sorts of behavior. Living the Law became the focus. The Jews became obsessed with addressing and enforcing the law, rather
than bringing the people to the Lord. But as Paul wrote to the
Corinthians, this new covenant was not written in "tables
of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE GOD'S LAW WRITTEN IN OUR HEARTS?
To have the law written in our hearts indicates that one lives and obeys
the law because of his testimony of the gospel and his love of Jesus Christ.
The ancient law was often obeyed out of fear of the consequences.
DO WE HAVE THE LAW WRITTEN IN OUR HEARTS? WHAT MUST WE DO TO HAVE
GOD'S LAW WRITTEN IN OUR HEARTS?
Consider what happened to the Nephites at the time of King Benjamin's great
The Nephites said to Benjamin, "We believe all
the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety
and truth" (Mosiah 5:2). How did they come to believe
and know? They listened to the words of a prophet, King Benjamin. They planted the seed of faith and nourished it with their belief. "And it is the faith which we have had on the
things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great
knowledge" (Mosiah 5:4).
As a consequence the Spirit of the Lord "wrought
a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition
to do evil, but to do good continually" (Mosiah 5:2).
So great was this change, so deeply was the law etched in the "fleshy tables
of the heart" that "they were willing to enter
into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his
commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder
of our days" (Mosiah 5:5).
HOW IS OUR BEHAVIOR AFFECTED WHEN WE HAVE GOD'S LAWS WRITTEN IN OUR HEARTS?
King Benjamin listed some of the things people do who have had the law
written in their hearts (see
"...always retain in remembrance, the greatness
of God" (v11).
"...humble yourselves even in the depths of humility,
calling on the name of the Lord daily" (v11).
"...ye will not have a mind to injure one another,
but to live peaceably" (v13).
"...render to every man according to that which
is his due" (v13).
"...ye will not suffer your children that they
go hungry, or naked" (v14).
Again concerning your children, "neither will
ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one
with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin"
You will also teach your children "to walk in
the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another,
and to serve one another" (v15).
"...ye yourselves will succor those that stand
in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that
standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his
petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish" (v16).
"...ye should impart of your substance to the
poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry,
clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief,
both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants" (v26).
HOW DOES HAVING THE LAW WRITTEN IN OUR HEARTS HELP US OBEY SPECIFIC COMMANDMENTS,
Loving our neighbors.
Honoring our parents.
Being morally clean.
Keeping the Sabbath day holy.
Choosing appropriate movies, television programs, books, and magazines.
Wearing modest clothing.
Selecting suitable music.
When the law is truly written in our heart, we have "no more disposition
to do evil, but to do good continually." As we review the above
list, we see that we keep these commandments because of our love for the
Lord which results from this mighty change of heart. We desire to
be morally clean because to do otherwise is repulsive. We listen
to suitable music, because the spirit within us cannot tolerate music that
glorifies immorality, drugs, or other evil behavior. We turn off
the television when inappropriate shows come on because we are driven towards
that which is clean and pure. We have no more disposition to do evil.
"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent,
virtuous, and in doing good to all men.... If there is anything virtuous,
lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things"
(13th Article of Faith).
President John Taylor: "What is it that
will enable one man to govern his fellows aright? It is just as Joseph
Smith said to a certain man who asked him, 'How do you govern such a vast
people as this?' 'Oh,' says Joseph, 'it is very easy.' 'Why,' says the
man 'but we find it very difficult.' 'But,' said Joseph, 'it is very easy,
for I teach the people correct principles, and they govern themselves.'
And if correct principles will do this in one family, they will in ten,
in a hundred, and in ten hundred thousand." (Gospel Kingdom,
HOW DOES THIS STATEMENT RELATE TO HAVING GOD'S LAW WRITTEN IN OUR HEARTS?
Jeremiah prophesied here that after seventy years of captivity in Babylon, the
people of Judah would return to their homeland and live in harmony with
ACCORDING TO THESE VERSES, WHAT CAN WE DO TO DRAW CLOSE TO GOD?
Call upon the Lord through prayer (v12).
Seek and search for the Lord with all your heart (v13).
Gospel Doctrine Notebook
Jeremiah saw our day and the great gathering of Israel and Judah. We are part of that gathering and we can actively participate as we share
the gospel with our neighbors and prepare our children to serve missions.
First, we must seek to have the law of the Lord written in our hearts. As we do so, our testimonies will burn brightly and we will
have a desire to share
the great gospel message.
- Record your thoughts on the prophecies of Jeremiah regarding the gathering
of Israel. How can you help fulfill this prophesy?
Resources Used In This Lesson
Discourses of Wilford Woodruff.
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie.
Saturday Night Thoughts by Orson F. Whitney.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding
The Gospel Kingdom: Selections from the Writings
and Discourses of John Taylor.
The Restoration of All Things by Joseph Fielding Smith.
Gospel Doctrine Class
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Changes last made on:
19 October 2014