Gathering of Israel


Ogden Kraut


A church without a gathering is not the church for me;

The Savior would not own it, wherever it might be;

But I’ve a church that’s called out,

From false traditions, fears and doubts,

A Gathering Dispensation–

O, that’s the church for me,…

Times & Seasons 6:799



The gathering of Israel is a fundamental principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every true ancient and latter-day prophet has preached it, practiced it, and encouraged others to do so. It is so basic to Mormonism that even Primary children quote it in the Articles of Faith. The gathering of Israel has been established as a doctrine of the Church, a principle of the Gospel, a commandment of God, and a means of obtaining both temporal and spiritual salvation. Although early Church history is filled with stories of gathering saints from every nation and their reports of immigrations (nearly every sermon mentioned this subject), today it is neglected, discouraged, and certainly misunderstood.

This book is intended to show that without the gathering of Israel, it is impossible to live the higher laws of the Gospel such as the United Order, etc. Furthermore, it will be shown that the Saints must gather to avoid God’s wrath upon Babylon; that the redemption of Zion, the second coming of Christ, and the Kingdom of God require Israel’s gathering. The revelations teach that God’s “elect” will gather and leave the wicked to be “burned.” The true Saints of God will gather, and the true servants of God will encourage it; and they will thus fulfill the prophecies of all the ancient prophets. Hence, the gathering should be encouraged–not discouraged. God has promised many blessings for those who are obedient to this sacred principle.

Every true Saint has experienced that spiritual influence and desire to gather with God’s people and to be one with them. This volume is intended to show the reasons why.

–The Author


* * * * *


By the order of God, last of all, these are they,

That will not be gather’d with saints here below,


To be caught up to Jesus, and meet in the cloud:

In darkness they worshipp’d; to darkness they go.

Joseph Smith

Nauvoo, Feb. 1843

(The Vision, p. 164)


* * * * *



[5]                               CHAPTER I




“We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon this the American continent ….”

Tenth Article of Faith

The gathering of the people of God is found in every dispensation of the Gospel. Wherever there is a record of the people of God, there is a record of their gathering together, and all of the prophets have foretold of this last great gathering of Israel.

The doctrine of the gathering of the people of God, including Israel, is one so clearly predicted by the inspired writers, that it seems almost superfluous to refer to the numerous passages relating to it. (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 9)

Gathering is a doctrinal principle of the Gospel. Every true prophet has advocated it, and usually the only people who were saved were those who gathered out from the rest of the world. It is an evidence of inspired leaders. The Apostle Orson Pratt says:

Swedenborg, Wesley, Irving and a numerous host of others, during the last seventeen hundred years, have entirely neglected the gathering, which proves that they were without authority–that a dispensation of the gospel was never committed to them–that the voice from heaven to come out of [6] Babylon had never salted their ears. (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 10)

* * *

Now if this angel who brought this gospel from the heavens, and commanded this church to be organized, had left out this gathering together in one, we would have had reason to suppose him to be an impostor: Why? Because the great essential feature of the latter day dispensation was a gathering together in one of all things in Christ. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 18:45)

The Lord actually revealed the doctrine of gathering in this dispensation before the Church was organized. George Q. Cannon elaborates on this:

…at the time when the first of these revelations was given, there was no such organization as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints upon the earth; it did not have an existence; and in the September following its organization–that is five months afterwards–another revelation was given, in which it was stated still more plainly who were to be gathered, and the purposes for which they were to be gathered, and this, too, before there was a place designated as a place of gathering. I have often said that if the Prophet Joseph Smith had no other evidence to show to the world of the divinity of his mission, and of his prophetic office, than that revelation alone, it was sufficient in and of itself to establish it; for this reason: that at the time it was uttered, as I have said, there was no organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-[7]day Saints; there was no gathering place; no person had ever witnessed such a proceeding as a people belonging to one church gathering together and dwelling together in one organization. There was nothing of the kind known; there was no organization among the children of men that could have given a hint of the possibility or probability of such a great event taking place. If other churches had done the same, then it might have been thought that the Prophet Joseph Smith could easily have predicted that the people that he would be the means of gathering together, might do so also. But there was no accessible record extant of the gathering together of any people in this manner at the time that Joseph proclaimed this principle. Yet he, inspired of God, dared to make this statement to the world, and to publish it, and to-day, we who are here are living witnesses of its fulfilment. (J.D. 25:96)

The Prophet Joseph Smith clearly explained the nature and importance of this doctrine in these last days:


One of the most important points in the faith of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, through the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, is the gathering of Israel…. (T.P.J.S., p. 92)

* * *

Some may have cried peace, but the Saints and the world will have little peace from henceforth. Let this not hinder us from going to the Stakes; for God has told us to flee, not dallying, or we shall be [8] scattered, one here, and another there. There your children shall be blessed, and you in the midst of friends where you may be blessed. The Gospel net gathers of every kind.

I prophesy, that that man who tarries after he has an opportunity of going, will be afflicted by the devil. (T.P.J.S., p. 160)

Joseph’s successor Brigham Young throughout his life strongly advocated it with just as much enthusiasm. To illustrate:

If I lay down the Book of Mormon, I shall have to deny that Joseph is a prophet; and if I lay down the doctrine and cease to preach the gathering of Israel and the building up of Zion, I must lay down the Bible; and consequently, I might as well go home as undertake to preach without these three items. (J.D. 6:279)

  1. L. Whitehead, author of the excellent book, The House of Israel, has clearly pointed out the prophecies and fulfillment of this principle:

The gathering of Israel from out of the world where they have dwelt during the past centuries is to be one of the most important achievements of this dispensation of the everlasting Gospel on earth, for it represents the culmination of all hopes and desires of the ancient race, and the fulfillment of the prophecies of the shepherds of Israel. (House of Israel, p. 498)

President John Taylor also explained that:

It would seem that these Prophets, in common with the Prophets on the Asiatic con-[9]tinent and with the men of God in former ages, had looked forward to a time that we read of in the Bible, called the “Dispensation of the fulness of times; when God would gather together all things in one, whether they be things in the heavens or things upon the earth. (J.D. 10:126)

The primary points of this principle stem from the Lord who encouraged it all through the Doctrine and Covenants. Note the intent behind a few of the passages from that book:

So will I gather mine elect from the four quarters of the earth (33:6). Gather ye out from the eastern lands (45:64). A commandment I give unto all the churches, that they shall continue to gather together (101:22). The righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion (45:71). And the remnant shall be gathered unto this place (45: 43). Let the work of the gathering be not in haste, nor by flight (58:56). I will that my saints should be assembled upon the land of Zion (63:36). The city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints (84:4). That the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue (101:64). Gather yourselves together unto the land of Zion (103:22). Gather together for the redemption of my people (105:16). Go ye forth unto the land of Zion–that her stakes may be strengthened (133:9). I must gather together my people according to the parable of the wheat and the tares (101:65). That ye may be gathered in one, that ye may be my people and I will be your God (42:9) …that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes may be for a defense [10] and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth (115:6)

But the one passage which more clearly explains this doctrine than any other is found in the 29th Section. The Lord decreed:

And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts; 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. (D. & C. 29:7-8)

From this passage of scripture we learn what the Lord’s intentions are behind the doctrine of gathering:

  1. The elect are to gather.
  2. They are to be gathered to one place.
  3. The gathering place is in this nation.
  4. Their labor is to be prepared in all things for the tribulations and desolations which are coming upon all nations.

Since the foundation of the Church, the Lord has never revealed anything contrary to the gathering of His elect to “one place” upon the face of “this land.” The need for a continuation of this doctrine was explained by President John Taylor who said:

Whence comes our gathering? Because we are introduced into a Gospel of gathering, because we are living in a gathering dispensation, because that is one of the dispensations that existed in former days, and [11] has been restored in the latter days wherever this Gospel is preached, that spirit accompanies it. You cannot prevent it. Go and preach to the people, baptise them, lay hands upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and the first thing that exists among the people is the feeling to go to Zion. (J.D. 19:82)

Every righteous Saint has felt the desire to gather to Zion, for the “spirit beareth record.” And these spiritual feelings of wanting to live together with other Saints is a testimony to the will of the Lord and to the doctrine of the Gathering of Israel.

The true principle of means for the gathering is the principle of self-exertion. Indeed, this is the case not only in the gathering, but also in the whole plan of redemption. (Mill. Star 21:109)

Thus the principle of gathering is a doctrine not only of faith, but also of works. Saints in the last days will be saved only by obedience to that law of the gospel.



[12]                              CHAPTER II



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. (D. & C. 110:11)

The temple at Kirtland, Ohio, was begun in the summer of 1833 and was completed and dedicated in March 1836. The ceremonies and meetings lasted for several days with some of the most astounding events in the history of the world occurring in that temple. One of the many visions and revelations was described by the Prophet Joseph who said that

After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer. . . 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,… (D.H.C. 2:435)

To have Moses appear in our times is a most unique and astounding event, but the keys and power which he brought are even more amazing. The gathering of Israel in the last days is to be of a greater import and magnitude than the work which Moses accomplished while he was in mortality. For many years John Taylor dwelt on this particular theme.


[13]         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. (J.D. 25:179)

* * *

Unless those keys had been restored and you had partaken of that influence and spirit, would you have been here to-day? No, you would not. When the Gospel went forth among the people, after the appearing of Moses in the Temple, and the committing of the Keys of the Gathering, when you Latter-day Saints received the Gospel of baptism for remission of sins and the laying on of hands or the reception of the Holy Ghost, you also received the spirit of the gathering. (J.D. 19:125)

* * *

And my brethren, let me say, to you that if the Lord had not sent us these keys in the manner he did, you would not be here today. But that principle was unlocked, and when you received the Gospel you received it, because it is a part of the Gospel, and the consequence was you wanted to gather and you hardly knew why. You used to sing the songs of Zion in far off lands with [14] much earnestness, and the gathering was the theme of your conversation and also your preaching, and in your dreams you have many times seen yourself among the Saints of God, long before you managed to get here. (J.D. 20:162)

* * *


Do you think that the elders who brought the Gospel to you in far off lands could have gathered yon here if they were not the bearers of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and if this had not been a gathering dispensation? I think not. (J.D. 21:95)

And when these elders went forth in the performance of their duties, calling upon the people among whom they traveled to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins, promising believers that they should receive the Holy Ghost, in obedience to the gospel requirements, they laid their hands upon their heads confirming them members of the church and also conferred the Holy Ghost, and they received it; and among other things they received was the principles of the Gathering. And it was universally the case, and they hardly knew why it was, that among their first desires after their confirmation, was a wish to gather to Zion; and no one that remains faithful to the cause ever remained satisfied until he did gather with the saints. I would defy the world and all the Elders of Israel to have gathered this people together, as we now are, unless these keys [15] of the Gathering had been restored to earth, and the people had received the spirit of it through the proper channel. (J.D. 19:239)

* * *

Why did we gather? Because the keys of this dispensation were given to Joseph Smith, and conferred by him on the Twelve, the Seventies and others, and they received this as a part of their ministry, their endowments, if you please, and when they called upon the people to repent and be baptized, and they did so, they received the Holy Ghost, and among other things received was this principle of gathering, and I defy all Israel to have so gathered without these keys and been brought together as they are to-day. But we had no trouble in gathering because we had the keys. I have seen the time when the people were almost willing to sell themselves in order to get here, and you know this to be true; it is all from God. (J.D. 19:144)

President John Taylor understood this doctrine perhaps as well as any other man in this dispensation. In these sermons he explained that the Saints gather because Moses committed the “Keys of the gathering of Israel,” thereby “unlocking this principle,” and the “spirit of gathering” came with it. He declared this doctrine to be a “part of the gospel” in this “gathering dispensation; hence, no one “remains faithful” who does not gather with the Saints. This “principle” he said was so integrated with the Gospel that it was a “part of the ministry” and one of the “endowments” of the Saints.

Furthermore, Apostle George Q. Cannon explained the principle for obtaining more of God’s revelations. [16] He said that by accepting what has been revealed the Lord would reveal more.

My brethren and sisters, if you want more revelation, here is the principle upon which to obtain it. Are you entitled to it? Yes, every one of you–the same spirit of revelation that Moses had, the same spirit that all the prophets and apostles had, it is the privilege of every man and woman who possesses the Gospel to receive the spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, to have that same spirit resting upon him and upon her, and the more we seek after it and cherish it the more we will have. (J.D. 21:272)

By the same token, the less we accept those revealed principles, the less of the spirit of revelation we are entitled to. This same apostle elaborated on this theme:

I refer you again to that prophecy of Isaiah and Micah, respecting the gathering together of the Israel of God from the various nations to Zion. *** It requires the Spirit of God to enable men and women to understand the things of God; it requires the Spirit of God to enable the people to comprehend the work of God and to perceive his movements and providences among the children of men. The man who is destitute of the Spirit of God cannot comprehend the work of God. A woman whose mind has not been enlightened by that Spirit, cannot see or comprehend any of these events that take place in fulfillment of the prophecies of the holy prophets.

[17]                         You take two persons, one who has the Spirit of God, whose mind is enlightened by that Spirit,–the spirit of revelation, the same spirit that rested upon the prophets who wrote the revelations and prophecies we have–you take a man of that kind, and then take another who has none of that spirit, and put the two together, and the one man’s eyes will be open to see the hand of God in all these events; he will notice his movements and his providence in everything connected with his work and they will be testimonies to him to strengthen his faith and to furnish his mind with continual reasons for giving thanks to and worshipping God; while the man, who has not the Spirit of God, will see nothing Godlike in the occurrences: nothing which he will view as supernatural (as many suppose everything which exhibits God’s power to be), or nothing which he will accept as a fulfillment of prophecies; His eyes will be closed, his heart will be hardened, and to all the evidences of the divinity of these things he will be impenetrable.

To those who have mingled with the world the reasons for this are very plain. (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 21:267)

On the premise of these two Apostles, we can clearly comprehend the difference between the people of the world and the people of God–between the inspired teachers and uninspired teachers.

Those who are filled with the Holy Ghost and the spirit of revelation are those who are seeking to gather Israel according to the revelations of God. Those who possess the keys of the gathering of Israel [18] which were restored through Moses, will teach and advocate the doctrine of the gathering of Israel, and those who teach against the gathering are rejecting the keys of this gathering and they are opposing the mission of Moses in these last days.



[19]                             CHAPTER III



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. (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 83)



Noah called repentance to his generation for 120 years. They mocked him and sought his life, only to bring further judgment upon themselves. They ridiculed the idea of gathering and that means of survival; so only a few were saved.

It was known that he was building an ark, unto which all were invited who would receive the word of the Lord, but none would listen, save his sons and their wives. Herein we have an evidence of the power of the influence that worketh in the children of disobedience, and always opposes the truth. The inhabitants of the earth were warned of judgments to come, but they rejected the testimony of the servant of God preferring their false teachers and false enjoyments, and they were punished for their rejection of the heavenly message. So in the last days a testimony would be borne to the inhabitants of the earth, and this gathering would follow, in fulfilment of the commandment: “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues….” (Mill. Star 31:56)


[20]         The work of gathering the righteous and destroying the wicked in the days of Noah was to become a type, or parallel, for the same conditions in the last days. Jesus foretold his disciples that “as the days of Noe were, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt. 24:37)



Enoch labored for over 300 years to gather a righteous people upon whom the Lord could bestow heaven’s choice blessings. The city of Enoch did not just happen to be a city more righteous than the others; his city was composed of righteous saints who had gathered together through conversion. He called his city Zion– “because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (P.G.P. Moses 7:18) Such a condition cannot exist while the saints are scattered among the wicked.

When this city was established, then the Lord could visit them and bestow greater laws, commandments and blessings. He could never bless them in a scattered condition. Thus, the story or message of Enoch’s ministry was to illustrate the righteous being separated from the wicked.



Early in the history of man, at the time of the Tower of Babel, the Lord used the principle of gathering to save His righteous people. Jared and his brother were directed to gather their families and their belongings and separate themselves from the wicked. The Lord was about to “scatter” the wicked all over the earth while He was directing the righteous to gather. The brother of Jared was told by the Lord:


[21]         Go to and gather together thy flocks, both male and female, of every kind;…and thy families; and also Jared thy brother and his family; and also thy friends and their families, and the friends of Jared and their families. (Ether 1:41)

Thus the Lord guided these Jaredites to a choice land, and eventually made a great nation of them through the principle of gathering.



Abraham was chosen to gather a few righteous souls from out of the wicked cities. The unrighteous of those cities had to be destroyed and the righteous had to be saved. Lot also was commanded to gather his family out of the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Two angels directed him.

And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: for we will destroy this place (Gen. 19:12, 13. See also 19:14-17)

Whenever wickedness dominates a city, a nation, or the world, it will bring destruction. But before the Lord’s wrath comes, He sends a warning to the wicked so they may be left without excuse, and to the righteous that they may have a chance to be saved by gathering together. This has been the mission of all the prophets of God.



Moses had to gather Israel from out of the land of the Egyptians. Although they had food, clothes, work, and security while living with the Egyptians, [22] it was actually a spiritual and temporal bondage by comparison to the blessings that God wanted to offer them. Even in the barren desert, God provided for them by giving manna from heaven for food, water from out of a rock. He destroyed their enemies who tried to keep them from being gathered. While living among the wicked, they, nor any other saint, could not abide by the laws of the Gospel.



Jesus sought to gather a righteous people during His earthly ministry. He was without much success, however, and He lamented by saying, “. . .how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:34) Because this people would not gather, it marked the beginning of the apostasy of His church. They would never hear of the gathering again until the last days.

The Savior spoke in parable of the latter-day kingdom, and assured his disciples that when that kingdom was established, and preparatory to the end of the world, he would send his angels to the four corners of the earth, to gather the wheat into the garner, and the tares in bundles ready for the burning. (Mill. Star 36:172)

* * * * *



The gathering has always been spoken of by the prophets and by the Lord as a means of salvation.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,…how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”

Some my remark, “Cannot the Lord save his people from the evils of Babylon without calling upon them to leave their [23] homes? Cannot they serve him as well in their own lands as in America? Is he not omnipotent to save us from every peril and calamity?” Yes, had he willed it so, he could have saved Noah, without giving him the trouble to build an ark; he could have saved Lot in Sodom, and the Saints in Jerusalem; but, the command of the Lord to Lot and his family was to flee out of Sodom and to the Saints in Jerusalem, “Flee to the mountains.” Now, “We are the servants of him we list to obey,” and these ancient worthies were serving the Lord when they observed these commands. In consequence of their obedience he blessed them with salvation. The ways of the Lord are one eternal round, hence, we see his plan of gathering out the righteous from the wicked previous to the destruction of the latter, has been the same in all time. (Mill. Star 26:566)

The spirit of prophecy rested upon nearly every prophet to foretell the gathering of Israel in the last days. These events were to be the culmination of all the hopes and prophecies of those men of God. The Prophet Joseph explained:

The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the latter-day glory; it [24] is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory, “the dispensation of the fulness of times, when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth,” “even in one,” when the Saints of God will be gathered in one from every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue, when the Jews will be gathered together into one, the wicked will also be gathered together to be destroyed, as spoken of by the prophets; the Spirit of God will also dwell with His people, and be withdrawn from the rest of the nations, and all things whether in heaven or on earth will be in one, even in Christ. (T.P.J.S., p. 231-232)

Many of these ancient prophets looked ahead into our time and prophesied the great gathering of Israel in the latter days:

The Lord will “gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” (Deut. 30:3) “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” (Ezek. 36:24) “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen? (Psalms 106:47) “Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men.” (Psalms 26:9) “I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.” (Isa. 66:18) “He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.” (Jer. 31:10) “Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been [25] scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.” (Ezek. 11:17) “At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.” (Zeph. 3:20) “. . . that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” (John 11:52) “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” (Eph. 1:10)

Perhaps too few of the Latter-day Saints realize or appreciate their unique position in this era of the world.

All the Saints of God among the nations, who have been faithful, have been inspired by the same spirit to gather home to Zion. Why have we gathered to Zion? To fulfill the revelations of God. Isaiah and Jeremiah and nearly all the prophets since the world began have foretold the gathering of the people in the last days to establish Zion, from which the law of the Lord should go forth from Jerusalem. We are here to do these things, and to receive teachings and instructions that we may be prepared for the coming of the Son of Man. We are here to be shut up a little while in these chambers of the mountains, while the indignation of the Almighty passes over the nations. (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 12:280)

Orson Pratt recognized and pointed out to the Saints who were gathering that they were actually fulfilling prophecy:


[26]         The latter-day Saints that are now sitting before me, and those who inhabit this Territory, are here in fulfillment of prophecy. We inhabit these mountains because the ancient Prophets have predicted that such an event should take place, and we are fulfilling their predictions in this respect. (J.D. 2:285 See also his excellent discourses explaining the fulfillment of these ancient prophecies in J.D. 15:57-61 and J.D. 21:272-280)

Apostle Pratt also described his feelings at seeing the Saints fulfill the will of God in these prophecies:

. . . we see God fulfilling that which He spake many long centuries ago. And the work is still rolling on, just as fast as the wheels of time can roll it. The Prophet Isaiah, in the 35th chapter, says “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.”

Latter-day Saints lift up your hearts and rejoice with joy unspeakable, for you are the very ones who have the privilege of fulfilling this, you see it directly before you. Has this prophecy been fulfilled here? Was there a wilderness here? Was there a desert here, and does it blossom as the rose? I was not here this spring, but I will venture to say that if I had been within three miles of this city, in April or May, I should have seen, for five or six square miles, peach, pear, plum, and apple trees all in bloom, literally making the wilderness to blossom as the rose. What a miracle compared with [27] twenty years ago, when I stood, solitary and alone, by the side of City Creek, near this temple block, and surveyed the scene! The prophecy of Isaiah has been fulfilled, thanks be to Him who rules, controls, and guides all these things. (J.D. 12:92)

This latter-day gathering is to become affiliated with events which would surpass the miracles that occurred in the gathering of Israel under the Prophet Moses.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, but The Lord liveth, that brought up the children from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them:… (Jer. 16:14-15)


Then Jeremiah adds:

Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. (Jer. 16:16)

The early missionary work of the Church was the beginning of the fulfillment of this prophecy. The first missionaries, untrained and uneducated as they were, brought thousands upon thousands of souls into the Gospel net. One of the most successful missionaries was Heber C. Kimball, who saw in vision the actual “casting of nets” and the gathering of a multitude of fish for their labors.


[28]         The gathering thus foretold was to diminish until only “one of a city and two of a family” (Jer. 5:14) would occur after the first great gathering of fishes. We are in that slow and gradual period of gathering at the present time. The gathering of Israel was not to take place “in haste nor flight” (Isa. 52:12), but they would come to Zion with rejoicing (Isa. 35) and would gather to the tops of the mountains (Isa. 2:2) where they would set up a kingdom which would break in pieces all the other kingdoms of the earth (Dan. 2:2). Thus the people who fulfill these prophecies of the prophets are moved upon by the spirit of the prophets to fulfill that call from God.

Where from the beginning has a people been gathered out from all the nations of the earth–moved upon by one common impulse, a simultaneous impulse, an impulse of the same character, impelling them in every land where they have received the everlasting Gospel, to gather to a strange land as the Latter-day Saints are being gathered to this land? No magnet ever drew or attracted to itself that to which it has affinity, with greater power than has the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ drawn to it from the midst of the various nations those who have an affinity for the truth. * * * there has sprung up in the hearts of those who have thus heard the truth an irrepressible and irresistible desire to leave their native lands, and to identify themselves with the people of God in these remote regions, in these Rocky Mountains. (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 25:299)

* * *


[29]         If the thousands that are numbered in this Church had the opportunity of testifying, they would say, “I was moved upon by a power that I could not resist. I had enjoyed the society of my friends, I had intended to live with them all my life before I heard this Gospel; but when I heard it, a greater love sprang up in my heart than I had ever before known. The love of kindred became feeble as compared with it. I felt as though I could not be happy away from the society of those who believe as I believe and who had embraced the same truths that I had embraced. I therefore dissolved my connection with my kindred. I bade them farewell, and I went forth a stranger to cast my lot among a strange people whom I had learned to love because I had received the same spirit that they possessed.” And we all know–every one who has had any experience in this Church–how strong that feeling is. (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 22:364)

One wonders why the spirit of revelation that inspires people to gather to Zion has dwindled. Why has the gathering gradually diminished? President Cannon continues by explaining:

Communication never ceased when the people were faithful. When they honored God, when they kept the commandments of God, when they listened to the voice and admonitions of His Prophets, communication never ceased under these circumstances. (J.D. 22:265)

Hence, we must conclude that when we turn against the commandment of gathering to Zion, we will lose the spirit of God and its gifts. To reject the [30] revelations of God will prevent Him from giving any more revelations to that person or people.

All of the Latter-day Saints read and hear about the doctrine of gathering, but only a few ever are influenced strongly enough to obey that principle. Those who gather to Zion have been spoken of as “the righteous” who shall be saved. They are the “elect” of God.



[31]                              CHAPTER IV



There is not a spot where the Lord can tarry over night outside of these valleys of the mountains; the rest of the world is Babylon, in the strictest sense of the word. (Patriarch John Young, J.D. 5:371)

The word Babylon is Greek for Babel or “confusion.” It is a word which accurately describes our world today, as well as the ancient Roman world, (Rev. 14:8, 17-18) from which our nation and others have acquired their governmental roots. It is because every nation is in a state of “confusion” that the Lord has called them Babylon.

God has called His people to gather out of the wickedness and corruptions of Babylon, just as He would call a righteous soul from out of a den of thieves, a saloon, or a diseased area. God seeks to have His people gather to one place and form a community and society of their own. Former presidents and apostles have proclaimed this decree of the Lord.

We are called upon as individuals, each of us who form this community, to come out from the wicked world, from Babylon. All those who believe the history given by John, the “beloved disciple,” know that the time would come when the Lord would call upon all people, who believe in Him, delight to do His will, and seek to understand the requirements of heaven, to gather out from the midst of Babylon. John wrote plainly in reference to this gathering and we have believed it. We are called upon [32] to come out from among the wicked, as it is written, “Come out of her, O my people,” that is, come out of Babylon. What is Babylon? Why, it is the confused world: come out of her, then, and cease to partake of her sins, for if you do not you will be partakers of her plagues. (Brigham Young, J .D. 12:282)

* * *

Darkness has prevailed upon the earth, and does to-day, in all the nations, and this causes silence to reign, and all eternity is pained because of the sin, wickedness, and abominations which prevail throughout the whole Christian or Gentile world, and throughout the whole Jewish world, for darkness prevails upon the face of all the earth, and the Lord is calling upon all the inhabitants thereof to repent and receive the Gospel, and when they have done so to gather out of Babylon to the place he has appointed for the dwelling place of his Saints. *** We have been gathered here for a certain purpose, and that purpose is to fulfill the revelations of God. (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 18:112)

…there is one thing after all they cannot clearly comprehend, and that is, why we cannot be saved as well in one country as another. If we were inclined to… sum up the matter under one head, we would answer, …why would not some other mode save us besides baptism? We gather, simply because it is the commandment of God (Mill. Star 27:355-6)


[33]         There is a purpose that is as old as man himself, and as the earth itself, in thus bringing us together in this capacity in these valleys, and that purpose has not been that we should break the laws of God, or that we should become identified again with the world from whence we have been gathered. That certainly has not been the object that God has had in view in accomplishing these great works; but it has been that we should become a distinct people, a peculiar people, a people whom He could use according to His mind and will, and through whom He could accomplish His mighty, His marvelous, and His wondrous purposes. That is the object He has had in view in bringing us together–to separate us from Babylon. (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 25:300)

When the Saints gather to Zion, they are to leave all their former customs, traditions and superstitions behind them. Anything of a worldly nature which conflicts with the principles of Zion were not to be tolerated in the lives or communities of the Saints.

… while we wish the world well and would desire to promote their happiness, we cannot be governed by their practices nor be under their influences. God is the Lord our God; he is to be our king and lawgiver, and he must rule over us. We must not permit ourselves to conform to the ideas, notions, dogmas, theories nor the wickedness that exists in the world, and of which there is too much already among us. But to the contrary battle against these evils, continuing the warfare until we purge them from us, and call upon the Lord to assist us, and to lead us in the paths of life,


[34]         The ten tribes were led by Ephraim and Manassa with an Ephraimite as their king. These tribes were known as the House of Israel or the outcasts of Israel, although all of the tribes would retain the name of Israelites.

Jews are Israelites, just as Californians are Americans. But MOST Israelites are not Jews, just as most Americans are not Californians. The Jews are the House of Judah only, a part of the Israelites. “House of Israel” never means “Jews.” The two tribes at Jerusalem under the Davidic king, plus the Levites in Judah and Benjamin, are called merely the House of Judah.

But of Ephraim and Manasseh, sons of Joseph, the dying Israel had said, “Let my name be named on them.” And truly they now bear the name of Israel.

From here on, the tribe of Judah, with Benjamin and the tribe of Levi, are called “Judah.” The Ten Tribes, headed by Ephraim and Manasseh, from this time on are called “Israel.” They are not Jews, and never were called Jews!

From this time on, the children of Israel, twelve tribes in all, are divided into two nations!

For many generations Israel and Judah remained as separate nations, in adjoining territories, having their own separate kings. (The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy, Ambassador College, p. 89)


[35]         Oil and water will not mingle, neither the pure principles of righteousness amalgamate with unrighteousness consequently, if the will of God is ever done on earth as it is in heaven, the righteous must be separated from the wicked and ungodly. (Mill. Star 27:356)

* * *

There is no Latter-day Saint enjoying the light of the Spirit, but what realizes the difficulty of living in Babylon without partaking in some degree of her sins. As well think of handling pitch without being soiled, as to think of joining with the corrupt nations of modern Babylon without being contaminated by the abominations and wickedness that abound on every side. It is also equally certain that the Saints could not continue to live in these lands without being sharers in the judgments and plagues that are being poured out, and that will continue in an increasing degree, to vex the nations. (Mill. Star 47:251)

While the Saints are living in Babylon, they will be influenced by, Babylon; if they are living with other Saints they will be influenced by God. President Brigham Young contrasted the spiritual influences upon the Saints while living in the world to those while gathered in Zion:

You are well aware, by your own experience, that mankind in their feelings and spirits are more or less subject to be operated upon by surrounding influences. You, no doubt, discover that you are very much inclined to mingle with and participate in the feelings and exercises of the society in which you are. *** A gathering [36] and social spirit seems to be the order of heaven–of the spirit that is in the Gospel we have embraced. Though it may be esteemed as a fault–as an unwarrantable act to separate ourselves from those who do not believe as we believe, yet such is the nature of a portion of our religion pertaining to the performance of outward duties. If the Latter-day Saints can associate together, free from the contaminating influences that are in the world, it is a blessing and a great privilege. What would induce a child to grow up in the wickedness of the wicked world if it never saw or heard any of it? Would you see the fruit you now see produced? You would not. If children never heard language unbecoming intelligent beings, in their most heated passions, they would not know what to say; they would have no words to express their wicked feelings, until reflection would take the place of anger, and they would refrain from it. (J.D. 7:267)

Let me say a word in praise of the congregation before me. Here I see people who have gathered from almost every nation of the earth, and they have brought with them their national customs, traditions, education, fashions and language; yet this mixed people dwell together in peace: all nationality gradually subsides, and we see a universal blending into one, possessing the same feeling and spirit of our holy religion, all being determined to promote the kingdom of God on the earth, looking forward to the day of rest. What other community less needs the services of lawyers, magistrates and judges than this community? This is a joy to me. (J.D. 9:315)


[37]                         It is a great comfort to enjoy the privilege of passing day after day, week after week, and month after month, without hearing the name of God blasphemed. Here we have the privilege of sending the Gospel to the utmost parts of the earth, of teaching our children righteousness, of setting a righteous example before our neighbours, of associating together, of praying with and for each other, and mingling our voices in praising our God. Is not this a blessing? (J.D. 8:91)

Every Saint who is raised in Zion, or has gathered there, bears a responsibility to help others gather. The missionary work of preaching the gospel is only half done until those who believe are gathered.

This is a part of our religion, to do all the good we can in aiding and assisting our brethren in distress who are of the household of faith, and in placing them in a condition like unto ourselves in these quiet vales of the mountains, where they can be freed from the thraldom of sin and oppression in which they have lived to the present time. * * * I have often thought that we do not fairly comprehend the great mercies and blessings the Almighty has conferred upon us; if we did, we should show our appreciation of them by our actions in aiding those who are so anxious to be delivered from Babylon to be planted in these valleys and participate in the blessings we enjoy. (Daniel Wells, J.D. 10:134)

The influences, the laws, and the opposition from the world are reasons enough for the Saints to [38] gather out of that Babylon, but it has been prophesied that Babylon would fall; so it is the duty of every Saint who has been thus warned to warn every other. As Abraham of old who sought through Sodom and Gomorrah, or Noah who warned his generation for 120 years, so every Saint must seek to save righteous souls.

When we go out to preach this Gospel, we do not advise the people to stay and erect great churches in the countries where they receive the Gospel. We bear testimony to them that this is the time of God’s judgments. We say, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” We testify that the time is near at hand when great Babylon shall fall; when God shall smite terribly all the nations of the earth; when he will turn and overturn; when nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom; people against people and family against family; when there shall be wars and rumors of wars; plagues, famines and pestilence; such a time as has never been known upon the earth from the beginning even unto the present day. Therefore we call upon the elect of God to come out from the nations of the earth, and they come from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, to this chosen land, to serve the Lord, to learn of his ways and to walk in his paths, and prepare themselves for the great events that are about to transpire on the earth. (C. W. Penrose, J.D. 21:144)

Gathering out of Babylon or remaining in it–this distinguishes the spiritual from the wicked, or the Saint from the sinner.


[39]                         Can these men or women, these thus inspired, be kept in chains in Babylon? Not so, they by virtue of their faith, their perseverance, their determination, their integrity, command the blessing; and so by hundreds and by thousands, the best of every land have gathered, they have helped to redeem the waste places, they have began to build up Zion, they have pioneered for the kingdom of God, and they have been blessed with a mighty host who will worthily fill the highest stations when the fathers shall have gone to rest; but the indifferent, the lukewarm, the half-hearted, those who have grieved the spirit, who have lost its inspiring force, linger yet in Babylon, they are absorbed in its pursuits, and take satisfaction in its pleasures; their families are scattered, their children are in strangers’ homes, the world are without faith in their love for the truth, they are dissatisfied with themselves; cold, half-hearted, jealous, suspicious, and afraid, life has lost its attraction, the truth its glory, Zion its beauty, the Gospel its power, God his recognition, and every thing its interest, so far as pertains to religious and spiritual good; “where the treasure is there will the heart be also,” to one in Babylon, the other in Zion; to one in self, the other in all mankind; to one, narrowed, dwarfed, despised, the other expanded, enlarged, beloved; to one this life and but little of that, the other the life that now is, and that which is to come; to one life, happiness, heaven, the other misery, death, and hell; to one all that was, and is, or yet to come, the other poor and miserable and blind and naked; “he that putteth his [40] hand to the plow and looketh back is not fit for the kingdom of God,” but “the wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Dan. xii:3) (Mill. Star 59:458)

This nation as a whole and every other nation on earth, has rightfully earned and certainly deserve the title of Babylon. In their downward course to destruction they have continually passed laws to legalize gambling, drinking, prostitution, pornography, dope, abortion and a host of other immoralities which contradict the laws of God. The societies of the world teach atheism and evolution in their schools, their judiciary are protecting criminals from justice, and business practices are fraudulent and guide people to immortalize riches.

How can Zion be built up, unless the Saints gather and build it up? And how can Babylon fall, so long as the Saints stay and hold it up? (Mill. Star 32:233)

According to the revelations of God, it is not possible for a true Latter-day Saint to desire to remain in Babylon, or to advocate any other Saint to do so.



[41]                              CHAPTER V



He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad. (Luke 2:24)

The scriptures and sermons of the prophets abound with a multitude of reasons for the Saints to gather; but nowhere have they mentioned advantages in remaining scattered. On the contrary, all of the prophets have listed numerous evils that result from living among the worldly and ungodly. The spirit and power of gathering filled the souls of all the prophets of God. Those prophets who were the most spiritual felt that power the most. In this dispensation that spiritual giant Heber C. Kimball said:

Yes, I feel many times to weep and am sorrowful, and I can hardly sleep at night; and if I had Gabriel’s trump, I would speak to the Saints of all nations, and I would say, Gather! gather! and do not wait even for a handcart to be made. I feel this in my soul. Do the world believe it? Do the Latter-day Saints believe it? No. (J.D. 7:168)

The reason the Lord filled the prophets with such a burning desire was to save the souls of the Saints. The perils of remaining in Babylon were too numerous and too dangerous for those who were scattered. Some of these dangers are:



The alluring affluence of the world was the last and most enticing temptation that the devil offered [42] to Christ. It is a power so effectual that nearly all men are swayed by its snare. In this last dispensation

the devil has devised new and more influential temptations which he never employed before. These temptations are propagated through television, motion pictures, radio, books, magazines, and every form of advertising media. Even the wisest Saints may be overcome by these temptations.

The question is often asked by sectarian ministers, “Why could you not live in New York, Liverpool, or London, as well as going to Zion? Because we should be in the midst of sin and wickedness and abomination, and it would be very difficult, while so situated, to keep from being polluted by the evils which reign upon the face of the earth at the present time. (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 12:280)



Even if the Saints who are scattered abroad could avoid the temptations, they would still remain the victims and prey of the wicked. Thieves, criminals and villains re continually seeking for ways and means of overtaking unwary souls. Righteous people seek to be delivered from such a wicked environment.

Those who have embraced the Gospel in foreign lands sigh for deliverance, and the hope of this deliverance is the only ray of light that burns in their souls, and that gives them joy; although they live with their whole lives oppressed, this beam of gladness has found its way into their souls through the principles of the Gospel, and hence they are less oppressed in their feelings than many others. A hope [43] springs up in their bosoms that the time will come for their deliverance from the oppression under which they groan. (Daniel Wells, J.D. 11:186)



The standards of the world are never the same as they are for the Saints. A true Latter-day Saint will find raising children among the ungodly a most discouraging effort. He must raise his children in a much different path than those of their associates. A worldly society literally mushrooms with immorality, dope, pornography, profanity and a host of evils. Raising righteous children requires an almost unsurmountable effort to prevent them from being destroyed. Today’s society hosts drinking, smoking, dirty jokes, narcotics and fashions that are topless and bottomless, and these are rapidly degenerating every nation. Righteous parents would seek every means of delivering their children from such associations.

Now, you who wish to hire out with the wicked and mingle with the ungodly, does it suit you to hear the name and character of the Deity profaned, and every principle of propriety violated? If you go to the gold mines, or wherever the wicked are, you will hear the name of that Being whom you recognize and acknowledge as your Savior, blasphemed and taken in vain, and the name and character of the Almighty vilified and abused. Can you bear this? Does it suit you to have your ears saluted with such language and your spirits contaminated with such society? I would not associate with those who blaspheme the name of God, nor would I let my family associate with them. By this you may know whether you are in [44] the path that leads to life and salvation. (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:219)



The most honorable men of the earth are the prophets, patriarchs and apostles of the Lord. But the world praises and honors its athletes, politicians, movie stars and the wealthy. Men may be knaves, barbarians, corrupt and wicked, and yet be hoisted to the most honored positions in the society of the world. The worldly are honored for their temporal accomplishments, and society is taught to honor them for it. For a Saint to live and raise his children in Zion where men of God are honored, would be a blessing of unestimable worth. Honoring spiritual men and to live near them is one of the prime objectives of the gathering of Israel.

The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets, and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets and these had to hide themselves “in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth,” and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men. (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 206)



The history of the Church has proved the necessity of the Saints to dwell together and offer each other protection. Often without provocation the fury of mobs has burst out against the people of God. Their strength and protection rested in their [45] numbers and unity. By being scattered the righteous may not only suffer from mobs, but also from unjust politicians, lawyers, doctors and businessmen who might rob them of their property, their possessions, or their liberties and rights.

Wickedness and righteousness are in direct opposition. The Devil is opposed to God, and God is opposed to the Devil. All the heavenly hosts are opposed to wickedness, and all persons who are wicked are opposed to the heavenly hosts. This will be so as long as there are wicked people in existence. It does not matter how smooth they may be in their outward appearance, or how sociable they may be in their conversation. They, with their tongues, may make you think they are the most gentle, polite, civilized and moral people on the face of the earth, while within their hearts lurks a poison which would destroy the Saints of the living God.

As this has been the case in every former age and dispensation, so it is now; hence, the Latter-day Saints in every part of the globe are commanded to gather out from the midst of wickedness, corruption and priestcraft, and every abomination that exists, and assemble themselves in one place. For what purpose? That we my be separated from the world and its corruptions, which would otherwise work our temporal and spiritual destruction. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 12:303)



The world advances illegitimate ideals and pagan principles. The Saints would be raised in an [46] educational environment that stems from atheistic teachers and absurd theories. From years under such schooling it requires a near miracle to exclude such propaganda from the tender minds of youth. The end result of modern education has produced a demoralized and lawless society.

Men teach their own theories, ideas and opinions, and hence confusion and disorder prevail in the world. Hence, in order that God may have a people who will carry out His designs and accomplish His purposes, He has introduced the Gospel, and under its influence people have been gathered together to this land, as we see them here to-day, and as they are to be seen throughout the length and breadth of this Territory. The world, as I have said, is full of confusion, and there will be worse confusion by and by. (John Taylor, J.D. 24:200)



The marriages of men and of God are entirely different. The parents of the children of Zion seek friendships for their children which will result in worthy and honorable marriages. Today’s society is advocating “trial marriages” and “common law relationships” and “group marriages,” which usually do not last even for time. The righteous seek eternal marriages for their children. If they live among the worldly, their children will be attracted to the standards of Babylon. Living in a scattered condition in the world is an enticement for marrying out of the faith–a practice which has always been forbidden of God.

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou [47] take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. (Deut. 7:3-4)



People who live in a scattered condition will find the blessings of family gatherings nearly impossible. Family interests, paternal objectives, and parental responsibilities are all nearly uprooted by being separated. The spiritual work between the living and the dead is one of the most important and comprehensive labors of Zion.

The gathering of Saints to one place is necessary in order to preserve their genealogies, and to secure to them those inheritances, the title to which must be substantiated by legitimate records, kept in the archives of the house of God. Whenever God has had a people, He has been careful to instruct them to keep an accurate record of marriages and the issues of marriage; from Adam to Noah, and from Noah to Abraham, and thence to David down to Jesus Christ, the genealogy must necessarily be preserved. Says David, “God setteth people in families as a flock.” “He arrangeth them in families;” but if these families intermarry with those who do not keep the laws of God, nor conform to his ordinances, the records of genealogy are soon obliterated from the knowledge of men, and the proof of a legitimate title to inheritance is thereby extinct; and unless Saints are gathered out from the midst of unbelievers, they are more liable to intermarry and become alienated from the ordinances and covenants of the Lord. (Mill. Star 9:309)



During times of illness, financial trouble or some demoralizing experience or crisis, the Saints are less able to rely upon other members of the Church. The world’s welfare is generally obligatory, cold and lifeless, which destroys incentive. When Saints can aid each other, it brings them closer together spiritually and temporally.

When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind. (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 240)



Members of the Church who live scattered must use their income, efforts and talents in sustaining those societies and kingdom of the world. To live there usually requires adopting the unions, sales gimmicks, customs, and business practices of the worldly–thus lending support to those kingdoms. Therefore, little or no time can be devoted to building up the society of the Saints.

We are not gathered together to build up the kingdom of this world. The voice of God has not called us together from the uttermost parts of the earth to build up and enrich those who are diametrically opposed to His kingdom and its interests. (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:153)



The principles of heaven are not practiced among the nations of the world. Scattered Saints are [49] forced to trade, bargain, and deal with Wall Street sharks and business mongers. Many Saints are required to work in businesses which are unworthy of the association of a Mormon. Many good Mormons are compelled to work for liquor, tobacco, or much less worthy enterprises. They may be required to work on the Sabbath or to practice dishonest business principles.

We are here to promote the principles of heaven, and advance the purposes of the Almighty and no others; and when you spend a dollar to build up any other power or kingdom than the one which God has established, you are doing wrong, and you will find it out sooner or later. Sometimes when I think of these things I am very strenuous in my feelings; and some might think that I was whipping them to it just as we have been whipped into being an independent people. * * *

We are gathered together to sanctify these bodies, to deal, act, transact and do everything we do in the love of God, and in the fear of God, for the building up of his kingdom and to his name’s honor and glory. (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:288, 290)



While living among the worldly, we are subjected to the principles of the world; therefore, we are unable to live or practice the laws of God. While Israel lived among the Egyptians, they could not live the laws of God. While their minds were traditioned to Egyptian rules, they had great difficulty receiving and obeying the higher laws of God. Today the “profit-margin” and “marketing” practices of the world keep the Saints from understanding and living the laws of God.


[50]         The Priesthood in the last days has to be manifested in sufficient power to bear off the kingdom of God triumphant, that all Israel may be gathered and saved. If all Israel will not be sanctified by the law which their Moses first offers them, they will peradventure receive a law of ordinances administered to them, not according to the power of an endless life. Men will be saved in the last days as in former days, according to their faith and willingness to receive the word of God, and walk in it. (F. D. Richards, J.D. 1: 321)



When Latter-day Saints are commanded by God to gather but refuse, they become subject to another spirit. Those who refuse the spirit of gathering and unity are influenced by the spirit of the world. The Saints who reject the call to be gathered will eventually lose faith, lose the spirit of the Lord, and eventually will apostatize.

The Elders go forth and preach the Gospel to the nations; they baptize the people,–hunt them up from place to place; yet, if you take the names of those who have been baptized, have the one-fourth ever been gathered? No. Is not this strange? Do they keep the faith and stay in the midst of the wicked? No, they do not. * * *

Look at the people who are here–the few that have gathered–and then look back at the branches you came from. How many have gathered? Where are the rest of those who composed those branches? It is true that occasionally one will remain and keep the faith for many years; but circumstances [51] are such in the world, that they eventually fall away from it, if they remain there. (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:101-2)



Mormons who live in different nations may become subjected to laws which would place them in positions of jeopardy to other Mormons. In the event of war, Saints may be forced to kill other Saints. During World War II there were Mormon bombardiers who dropped bombs on the homes of other Saints, and perhaps Mormons shot Mormons on the battle fronts. Since wars are continuing to increase among the nations, so will this perilous evil.

You may take the Methodist society, the Presbyterian society, the Baptist society, the Episcopalian Church, the Roman Catholic Church or any other you please, and you will find that motives of a political character will separate them and make them enemies to one another and make them take up arms against one another, fight one another and shed each others blood. They not only seek to destroy each other, but they all pray to the same God to help them to do so. There is nothing strange or singular in this; for there is no motive, principle or power to cement or unite them together further than a sort of fancied religion which does not possess the principles of union; for instance, in some of the great wars that took place in Europe some years ago; one of the last with which we are the most familiarly acquainted, was between Russia, England and France. Who took up sides in the struggle? There was the Greek Church under the Russians, Protestant England, Catholic France and the [52] Mohammedan or Turk fighting against each other. The Catholics were Christians, the Protestants were Christians, the Russians were of the Greek or Christian Church, the Turks were Mohammedans; all worshippers of the same God, under different forms. These were arrayed against each other in deadly strife all praying to the same God to give them power over their enemies, and their enemies were also Christians; then they went to slaying and destroying each other. Let us notice the difficulties between France and Italy against Austria. In this case there were two Catholic powers engaged against another power which was also Catholic. Religious considerations do not confine or control them in the least. They fought just as hard to kill their fellow-Christians, as the Mohammedans or any other people would fight to kill their enemies. They were all in the same church, all partaking of the same sacrament, all believing in the same doctrines and worshipping the same God.

How has it been in the United States? Precisely the same. (John Taylor, J.D. 10:124)



When the curses and wrath of God are poured out upon disobedient nations, none are exempt. Both Saint and sinner are subject to the vengeance of God’s wrath. Only the rebellious would refuse to gather after God had given such reasons to gather.

Will we exert ourselves to relieve those brethren that are scattered abroad? We believe, ere long, that the vengeance of [53] the Almighty will be poured out upon the inhabitants of the whole earth. Peace having been taken from the earth, men thirst for each other’s destruction; and in their conflicts and destructive wars, our brethren and sisters who desire to emigrate to these peaceful vales may be overwhelmed, and have to suffer with the multitude of the wicked, unless we stretch forth our hand and use our means for their deliverance. (G. A. Smith, J.D. 9:159)



Any member of the Church who refuses to gather to Zion is acting in disobedience to a commandment of God. To refuse to gather with the Saints is acting in rebellion to God, and such will suffer His displeasure.

You there [in your own lands] learned that this was his true Church, his true kingdom established upon the earth as he predicted by the mouth of his servants, and you felt anxious to be gathered with the rest of the Saints that had the same testimony with you. Hence you gather not only from choice, but by actual commandment. We do not gather here merely for the sake of being together, but it is because the same God who revealed the Book of Mormon by his servant Joseph, the youth of whom I have spoken–that same boy received another revelation which is published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, which I now hold in my hand, commanding the Latter-day Saints to gather out of all nations of the earth, to this American continent. Hence you came here because you had received the Holy Ghost. You have come here because you [54] knew this work was true. You have come here that you might fulfil the commandment which God gave near the time of the rise of this Church in relation to the gathering of his Saints from among all the nations and kingdom of the earth. * * *

Now this great work of the last days never could be accomplished without this gathering together of the Saints. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 21:134)



The law of segregation is one of God’s laws, but mongrelization is an opposing law. God has always separated His people from other nations and bloods. There were segregations in the pre-existence and segregations in every dispensation on earth, and there will be separations in the heavens which are to come.

The ordinances of the church, and institutions of God’s house cannot be carried into execution in a land belonging to “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel;” because aliens from God will not have the Lord to rule over them; they consider that the laws of God set two against three, and three against two, the father-in-law against the son-in-law, etc.; and so do they have this effect, and always will have it, until the Saints are separated from their adversaries. Before there can be anything like a true, godlike, peaceful millennium, a separation must take place between the righteous and disobedient, even as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats, even so must God’s will be done with friends and foes on earth like as in heaven. (Mill. Star, 9:310)



The Latter-day Saints who will not gather have been tempted and overcome. The Saint’s who gather prove their faith in God and His word. It is a trial of sacrifice and will test the Saints to see if they are willing to give up their lands, their work, their friends and relatives, to be gathered with the people of God. It is one of God’s simplest tests to see who will be obedient to His revelations.

Every true believer of this Gospel is anxious to gather to the home of the Saints. I think I am safe in saying, that if there was a highway cast up from England to the shores of the continent of America, there are men who would be willing to measure the ground with their bodies to reach this place. Even this does not tell their anxiety to be here; it must be seen in the spirit, to know it as it really is. We are agreed in gathering the Saints, as well as in the initiatory ordinances of the Gospel of peace.

It my be said that the tug of trials has commenced when the Saints begin to cross the plains to this place. This temporal duty puts all their spiritual attainments to the test. (Brigham Young, J.D. 10:18).



The final resting place of all the prophets was considered sacred. They spoke of dying in Zion as one of their last requests.


[56]                         Sir, we feel the very same extraordinary interest in depositing our very bones in the land of Zion, that the patriarchs formerly felt when they commanded that their bones should be removed to the country and burying place which God had designated. If there is enthusiasm in this sentiment, sir, it is the enthusiasm of patriarchs and prophets that kept the divine mandates, and knew well the order of the resurrection, and the necessity of having their bones laid on the identical land, that should afterwards be their possession and inheritance for ever and ever. Did not the Lord apportion off the land of Canaan to the twelve tribes to be their inheritance for ever? and shall not the one hundred and forty-four thousand in the latter days be equally tenacious to possess the very inheritance that was promised them to be a perpetual possession in time and eternity? There, their bones, like the precious valley of dry bones, will be the guardian care of angels, and in the resurrection stand up like a consolidated army, while the disobedient and ungodly shall be scattered and driven as chaff before the wind. The aged and infirm, among us, fervently desire to carry their bones, while animated with life, to the land of Zion, as an expression of their faith in the promise of God, that he will resurrect them and plant them in that same “heavenly” country which they now seek. What Canaan was to ancient saints and prophets, the land of Joseph will be to the saints, and prophets of the last days, and more abundantly. (Orson Spencer’s Letters, ms. 9:310)

* * *


[57]                         I would esteem it one of the greatest blessings, if I am to be afflicted in this world to have my lot cast where I can find brothers and friends all around me. But this is not the thing I referred to: it is to have the privilege of having our dead buried on the land where God has appointed to gather His Saints together, and where there will be none but Saints, where they may have the privilege of laying their bodies where the Son of Man will make His appearance, and where they my hear the sound of the trump that shall call them forth to behold Him, that in the morn of the resurrection they may come forth in a body, and come up out of their graves and strike hands immediately in eternal glory and felicity, rather than be scattered thousands of miles apart. There is something good and sacred to me in this thing. The place where a man is buried is sacred to me. This subject is made mention of in the Book of Mormon and other scriptures. Even to the Aborigines of this land, the burying places of their fathers are more sacred than anything else. (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 294)

Whether in life or death, the true Saints have always sought to be gathered. The reasons are numerous, and the blessings are more than multiplied when they fulfill the call to gather to Zion. There are very few blessings for Israel in a scattered condition.



[58]                              CHAPTER VI



But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matt. 24:44, Insp. Vers.)

Down through the history of the world prophecies have warned the nations of the destructions which would occur in the last days. One of the foremost reasons for Saints to gather is to avoid the impending destructions upon these nations. God calls the righteous out of the nations of Babylon to protect them from the catastrophes which shall be poured out “without measure” upon those disobedient nations.

This land is blessed above all other lands: it was foreordained to be the gathering-place of the Saints, where the Lord would hide up his people until his indignation should pass over the nations of the earth. (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 9:52)

The Prophet Joseph Smith added his testimony to that of all the other prophets:

In addition to all temporal blessings, there is no other way for the Saints to be saved in these last days, (than by the gathering), as the concurrent testimony of all the holy prophets clearly proves, for it is written–“They shall come from the east, and be gathered from the west; the north shall give up, and the south shall keep not back.” “The sons of God shall be gathered from far, and his daughters from the ends of the earth.”


[59]                         It is also the concurrent testimony of all the Prophets, that this gathering together of all the Saints, must take place before the Lord comes to “take vengeance upon the ungodly,” and “to be glorified and admired by all those who obey the Gospel.” (D.H.C. 4:272)

* * *

Then, if this is the case, and if we are not sanctified and gathered to the places God has appointed, with all our former professions and our great love for the Bible, we must fall; we cannot stand; we cannot be saved; for God will gather out His Saints from the Gentiles, and then comes desolation and destruction, and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered. (D.H.C. 2:52)

Other leaders in Zion have clearly explained the dangers of remaining in Babylon while these judgments come.

God will pour out his vials of wrath, and distress the nations till they will learn and practice righteousness; and his people must flee to their appointed hiding place till the indignation is overpast otherwise they have no guaranty for their safety. The Hebrews were obliged to mark their houses, lest the destroying angel should slay both them and the Egyptians. The Lord God has decreed a consumption upon the whole earth, therefore let the righteous flee to the strongholds of Zion, that are preparing in that land, that was promised to the Patriarch Joseph, while it is an accepted time, and the evil days come not. [60] Jesus cautioned Jerusalem saints to beware of imitating the silly and dilatory part of Lot’s wife. The righteous are no more secure from approaching judgments than the wicked, except they obey the commands of God. Even a prophet was once slain by a lion because he dared to disobey the Lord. No man should neglect any means by which he can be removed, and help to remove others from those nations that are as inevitably doomed to destruction for rebellion, as the Canaanites of former times. (Orson Spencer, Mill. Star 9:310)

Joseph F. Smith described the necessity of protection by gathering and made the parallel between this and former dispensations:

In various dispensations there are various differences in regard to certain requirements of the Gospel. For instance, in the day of Noah, when he preached the Gospel to the antediluvian world, he was given a special commandment, to build an ark, that in case the people would reject him and the message sent unto them, that himself and all who believed on him might be saved from the destruction that awaited them. In this dispensation there is a principle or commandment peculiar to it. What is that? It is the gathering the people unto one place. The gathering of this people is as necessary to be observed by believers, as faith, repentance, baptism, or any other ordinance. It is an essential part of the Gospel of this dispensation, as much so, as the necessity of building an ark by Noah, for his deliverance, was a part of the Gospel of his dispensation. Then the world was destroyed [61] by a flood, now it is to be destroyed by war, pestilence, famine, earthquakes, storms, and tempests, the sea rolling beyond its bounds, malarious vapors, vermin, disease, and by fire and the lightnings of God’s wrath poured out for destruction upon Babylon. The cry of the angel unto the righteous of this dispensation is, “Come out of her O my people, that ye partake not of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (J.D. 19:192)

A majority of Saints, as with the Gentiles, are blind or slow in seeing the dangers that lie ahead. When “sudden destruction” comes upon the nations of the earth, many will not be able to escape to Zion, and those that do will find the journey very long and difficult.

Years ago, when the Spirit opened up to the mind of the Prophet Brigham the visions of the future, he plainly foresaw that the time must come, when the Saints would rejoice in the privilege of going up to Zion on foot, not only with handcarts, but without them; that they would be glad to escape from the nations with their lives. (Mill. Star 18:137)

The Prophet Joseph Smith described some of these destructions that are to take place:

A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a supreme government, and every species of wickedness will run rampant. Father will be against son, and son against father, mother against daughter, and daughter against mother. The most ter-[62]rible scenes of murder and bloodshed, and rapine that have ever been looked upon will take place.

…Many will come with bundles under their arms to escape the calamities, and there will be no escape except by fleeing to Zion. *** While the terrible revolution of which I have spoken has been going on, England will be neutral until it becomes so inhuman that she will interfere to stop the shedding of blood.

…During this time the great White Horse will have gathered strength sending out Elders to gather the honest in heart among the Pale Horse, or people of the United States, to stand by the Constitution of the United States, as it was given by inspiration of God. *** Peace and safety in the Rocky Mountains will be protected by a cordon band of the White Horse and the Red Horse. (Visions of the Latter Days, p. 50-51)

President Wilford Woodruff related a vision given to him which portrayed the poor and pitiful condition of those who were fleeing for protection:

…The next I knew I was just this side of Omaha. It seemed as though I was above the earth, and looking down at it. As I passed along upon my way east, I saw the road full of people, mostly women, with just what they could carry in bundles on their backs traveling to the mountains on foot.

…Everywhere I went I saw the same scenes of horror and destruction.


[63]         …I supposed this was the end, but no, I was given to understand that the same horrors were being enacted all over the country–East, West, North, South. (Prophetic Years, by Anderson, p. 54)

This could be the time which the Prophet Isaiah was describing when he said, “Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war,” and “in that day seven women shall take hold of one man.” After this destruction, “the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel,” where there will be a “dwelling place of mount Zion” and “a place of refuge.” (see Isaiah 3:25 and 4:1-6)

Some of the modern leaders in Israel have thought that this nation would not fall. But the early leaders and prophets of the Church have clearly described the destruction and collapse of this nation:

…I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed Upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left, for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men, women and children, and the wholesale plunder and extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished. (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., pp. 302-303)

* * *

Joseph said that if they succeeded in taking his life, which they did, war and con-[64]fusion would come upon the nation, and they would destroy each other, and there would be mob upon mob from one end of the country to the other. (Brigham Young, J.D. 10:255)

* * *

The nation that kills the prophets of God in any age must expect to reap cursings instead of blessings, unless it speedily repent. Judgment must begin at the house of God first, and we are perfectly willing it should. I told General Kane that the Government of the United States would be shivered to pieces. (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:119)

* * *

When I contemplate the condition of our nation, and see that wickedness and abominations are increasing, so much so that the whole heavens groan and weep over the abominations of this nation and the nations of the earth, I ask myself the question, can the American nation escape? The answer comes, No; its destruction, as well as the destruction of the world, is sure; just as sure as the Lord cut off and destroyed the two great and prosperous nations that once inhabited this continent of North and South America because of their wickedness, so will he them destroy; and sooner or later they will reap the fruits of their own wicked acts, and be numbered among the past. (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 21:301)


The Doctrine and Covenants also tells of the nation’s fall and of the destructions preceding it:


[65]                         And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;… (D. & C. 87:6)

When a people or nation have been warned of destructions but refuse the warning, they will have less chance of survival than those who have not had the warning. Those who reject the message to gather may deserve destruction with the unbelievers. Disobedience is a worse sin than disbelief.

Those who have been enlightened in relation to this work and wilfully linger, slothfully delaying the time of their departure to the “ark of safety,” must run the risk of perishing in the midst of the coming ruin, for those who persistently put off the day of salvation have no promise of protection. (Mill. Star 42:441)

The “counsel” the Lord has given is always the wisest to follow–and when He said the Saints should gather to Zion, it may prove to be the means of saving lives. Consider the following story which may have occurred many times in many similar circumstances.

A Latter-day Saint family living in Germany refused to accept the leaders’ advice to stay in their native land. Even though the family was large and very poor, the eight members (including six unmarried children) set their faces to the West. They cut their expenses to the bone, dedicated their efforts [66] to the Lord, and concentrated on one thought–gathering with the Saints in Utah. First the two sons came and then a daughter. Their combined efforts finally brought the five other members to Zion. Later all of the children were well fed, well clothed and happily married. Then war broke out and this family received word from their Fatherland that the city they had left–and where some of their relatives had remained–had been bombed to rubble. Scarcely a building remained and only a few people survived. Those that escaped remained the victims of famine, disease, a continuation of life with war and its atrocities, and many times an early death. Those survivors who remained in their native land did so in opposition to the revelations of the Lord, but in accordance to the “advice” of the present leadership of the Church.

When the Saints have been warned of coming dangers and told to gather for safety, they have no premise of safety if they disobey.

The calamities which the Lord foretold should fall upon the wicked inhabitants of the earth in the last days have been of a most fearful character. There should be earthquakes, tempests, pestilence, famine, war. How could His children escape if they lived scattered over the face of the earth?

Foreseeing these dangers, the Lord instituted the gathering of His people from all lands, that they might “stand in holy places, and not be moved.” (Mill. Star 60:350)

President Brigham Young signifies the time when millions would be gathered into these mountain valleys. Notice that at this same time many Saints would be caught in a scattered condition.


[67]         An inland Empire will be established in these valleys of the mountains, which will be a place of refuge for millions of people to gather to, when the great day of the judgment of God comes upon the earth, and the righteous come here for safety. Our people will go East, West, North and South, but the day will come when they will be glad to come back. We will be shut out from the rest of the world. (Prophecies of Brigham Young, by Pyramid Press, p. 4)

* * *

Previous to the death of Joseph, he said that the time would come when the SAINTS would be glad to take a bundle, if they should get one, under their arms and start to the mountains, and that they would flee there, and that if they could pick up a change of linen they would be glad to start with that, and to go into the wilderness with anything, in order to escape from the destruction that is coming on the inhabitants of the earth. (J.D. 4:203)

The principle of gathering is difficult for many Saints to obey. They are wrapped in a sense of false security by believing that God will protect them in Babylon when it falls.

The subject and practice of Gathering is a great stumbling block to many who make but a partial investigation of the Gospel as revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith; for, say they, “Cannot God save me as well in my native land, as in the land of America? Why is it necessary for me to leave the lands of my fathers, and take my journey to the wilds of a distant conti-[68]nent? Nothing is impossible with God, and he can save me just as well in one place as another!” With these consoling reflections they quiet any feelings of uneasiness which may arise in their minds, caused by “the signs of the times,” or by the declarations of the servants of God. Doubtless the Lord could do many things which he never will, and there is one thing for certain he never intends doing–that is, to save a man who will not strive to save himself, by rendering obedience to the principles laid down in the Gospel. The doctrine of Gathering has been taught, to a greater or less extent, in every dispensation given to man. (Mill. Star 39:212)

Warnings of coming destructions have been heard for over a century. The fears of approaching calamities are taking possession of all people, and the spirit of God is withdrawing from all nations. The gathering of Israel is one of the only means given by God for the safety and protection of His people. Those who gather to Zion have a greater guarantee of safety than those who reject this part of the Gospel and as a result will suffer with the wicked.



[69]                             CHAPTER VII



Our President said he would be glad to have some six discourses, each six hours long, preached to the people upon the subject of doing their duty unto others in regard to this Fund. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 2:55)

In 1849 President Brigham Young established a Perpetual Emigration Fund which was a financial company offering aid to those seeking to gather to Utah. Many of the Saints in foreign lands were very poor, if not in financial bondage, yet they had the desire to gather with the Saints in Zion. The Fund would loan them the money to emigrate to Utah, after which they were to repay that loan as soon as they could. This idea probably was conceived back in the days of Nauvoo. Apostle George A. Smith said:

While the Saints were surrounded by their enemies on every hand in illinois, they entered into a solemn covenant within the walls of the Temple at Nauvoo that they would exert themselves to the extent of their influence and property to aid every Latter-day Saint that desired to gather to the mountains. This covenant they did not forget, and the very moment they began to gather a little surplus they commenced to use it to aid their brethren and sisters left behind. At first they purchased, in the East, cattle and wagons necessary to bring the emigrants here; but in a few years they raised cattle here, and sent their teams to the Missouri river year af-[70]ter year, sometimes two hundred and sometimes three hundred, and they have sent as many as five hundred teams, for several successive seasons…. (J.D. 13:84)

This fund was to be a saving principle–to bring the righteous out of the nations of the wicked and place them among the Saints. President Taylor explained the power of that spiritual force that inspired men to emigrate to Zion.

Wherever this Gospel has been preached, believed and obeyed, this desire to leave the lands of their nativity, to gather with the Saints, has been strongly manifested; and so strong has it been, that I have had men offer to bind themselves to my service for quite a length of time, or willing to do anything required of them, provided they could be assisted to the gathering place of the Saints. And it was to meet this universal want that the Perpetual Emigrating Fund was gotten up, which has been the means of bringing out to this country thousands of people, the majority of whom, perhaps, by their own exertions, never could have accumulated the necessary amount of means to have brought themselves here; and as each one was required, after being assisted, to refund the amount received for this purpose, others could realize its benefits in like manner, and thus the fund became perpetual. (J.D. 19:151)

This Fund was readily accepted by those who sought to emigrate, and also by those who were gathered. Brigham Young gives a brief record of its accomplishments while still in its infancy:


[71]         Thousands of men, women, and children have been helped here by the Perpetual Emigrating Fund alone.

This is the subject to which I wish to call the attention of the Conference, and the community at large. I wish all to hearken to it, to reflect upon it, and contemplate it seriously.

I call upon those who have not yet put forth their hands to assist in gathering the poor, to give us their names and their means, during this Conference, that we may raise a few thousand dollars to be applied to this purpose. Suppose we should try to raise as much as we did four years ago, when we were in the midst of our greatest poverty and distress–we had just arrived here, and had scarcely sufficient to sustain life; notwithstanding these straightened circumstances, at the first Conference we held in the old Tabernacle, this subject was agitated, and $5,700 in gold was raised, and sent to gather in the poor. Dare I venture to flatter myself that we can raise $5,000 or $6,000 this Conference, to be applied to the same good purpose? The people are better able to raise $50,000 now, than they were to raise $5,000 then. (J.D. 1:322)

President Young had no little feeling towards that Fund, and he expected everyone to contribute, especially the rich. Those who were obligated to that Fund stood in jeopardy to the Church, as President Young waned:

We could have gathered hundreds of thousands more of the poor, were it not that the rich have been so biased, and still [72] continue to be. Say they “We do not wish our means to be applied to an evil use.”

If you wish to know what I mean by all this, it is that if any men or women refuse to pay their passage to this place when they are in circumstances to do it, let them be cut off from the Church, and then sue them at the law, and collect the debt. Sever those limbs from the tree, and then make them pay their honest debts. That is to the poor.

We now want the rich to turn in their means, that the poor, the honest poor, may be delivered. (J.D. 1:326)

This Fund was intended to be perpetual, or everlasting, until all the Saints were gathered to Zion. The First Presidency of the Church wrote:

We wish all to understand, that this fund is perpetual, and is never to be diverted from the object of gathering the poor to Zion while there are saints to be gathered, unless He whose right it is to rule shall otherwise command. (Mill. Star 12:120)

Orson Pratt explained that the duty of the Saints who were gathered was not finished–they had not completed their duty as a Saint until they helped other Saints to emigrate to Zion.

Shall we, then, as Saints of the Most High, come here and sit down in our fine habitation and upon our farms and inheritances, and let this great work of the last days come to naught through our carelessness and indifference? No, brethren; let it not be recorded in the archives of the [73] eternal world that we will thus do, when our brethren have stretched out their hands to help us to this place. Let not the news fly to eternal worlds that we are not willing to do to our brethren scattered abroad, as they have been willing to do to us, when we were in a scattered condition. (J.D. 2:55)

Twenty years later the Fund suffered from the lack of money because those who had borrowed from it, failed to repay their loans. President Taylor brought this to the attention of the Conference by saying:

Brother Cartington, who is President of the Fund, informs me that there is now due the Perpetual Emigration Fund the sum of about one million dollars, without interest; and if the interest were added it would be about double that amount. (J.D. 20:56)

The Fund began to disintegrate not only from within by failure of the people, but also because the United States Government put the final “coupe de grace” to it by passing the Edmunds-Tucker Bill.

The result of this anti-“Mormon” clamor for further special legislation was the passage of the Edmunds-Tucker bill; which, infamous as it was, fell very far short of being as vicious and infamous as the measures sought for by the Utah “ringites” and the anti-“Mormon” agitators throughout the United States.

It constituted polygamy as a continuous offense under the title of “unlawful cohabitation.” It created a federal re-[74]turning board to take charge of the re-registration and all the election machinery of the territory. It abolished woman sufferage. It also abolished the Emigration Company; and also dissolved the church as a corporation. It escheated in large part the church property and established an odious test oath for voters. It also abolished the Nauvoo Legion. (C.H.C. 6: 147)

At this critical point in Church history, the emigration of Saints to Zion began to cease, and the means which brought the poor to Zion were abandoned. From this time on the gathering of Israel lost momentum until it became a dead doctrine. The “perpetual fund” for gathering was abolished while there are now funds appropriated for assisting Saints to remain in Babylon. Within the past century it is ironic to note that the “Perpetual Emigration Fund” and the doctrine of the “Gathering of Israel” have been totally reversed.



[75]                             CHAPTER VIII



But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (Matt. 6:33)

A kingdom is a government, so the Kingdom of God is a theocratic government. When the Saints are organized with laws that are patterned to heavenly laws, they will form a government or kingdom similar to God’s own kingdom. As the Saints gather, they must organize and establish a system of governmental laws and rules to live by. Such a system must be as close to the laws of heaven as possible. God’s kingdom is brought about by just such efforts.

Whenever a body of people are thrown together, the inevitable consequence is a political power. It cannot be otherwise. They must have organizations, representation, laws and administrators of law; there must be a body politic formed whenever a body of people are gathered together as we are; and the very fact of our organization, religiously, and politically, the very fact of that oneness that so universally prevails among this people produces a terror to evil-doers and to those who are opposed to us. (John Taylor, J.D. 10:125)

* * *

We have been called together from different parts of the world for the great and special work of building up the kingdom of God upon the earth, to establish a [76] nucleus of righteousness from which shall radiate every great, good, and holy principle to all parts of the habitable world. (Daniel Wells, J.D. 9:59)

God’s people are not supposed to be ruled by the governments of the world. The laws of God’s kingdom should bear rule over the Saints and also the world.

Parley P. Pratt described the nature, purpose, and powers of the Kingdom of God on earth:

My view of the subject is this–to gather, and stay gathered, to be organized into the government of God, and call it what you please as to name. They used the word kingdom in ancient times, meaning nothing more nor less than government. We should stay gathered, and count one in schools, in meetings, in paying tithing, in paying taxes, in acting our part as members of the community; count one when men are needed, if necessary, to go against the savages; count one in influence, in beauty, in spirit, in faith, and in works; to build Temples, to attend to the ordinances, and administer to the living and the dead, and set an example worthy of imitation. What would a million of people do if they were all doing this, under one covenant, being actuated by the same spirit, baptized by one baptism? They would be a million of that faith, a million of that spirit, a million of that light and truth, a million possessing the very powers of peace, and heaven, and Zion in their bosoms. What would they do? Why, the world itself would see their light. Like a lighted candle on a candlestick, it [77] could not be hid. *** To a people thus consolidated, nations of the earth would come. The kings and queens, and governors, and rulers, and a great many of the house of Israel, and people of influence and power out of all nations, would come. They would say, “The Lord is there, the power of God is there;” and if they had any money they would make a deposit of it there, for the nations would be breaking up, and the people would want to escape with their life from war, and distress of nations. The people would say, “There is where we will go to find safety, for there the inhabitants live in union, they have the light of eternal truth, while other people are in darkness and ignorance without measure.” (J.D. 1:184)

There is no government on earth today that is or can be classed as the Kingdom of God on earth. Indeed nearly every government would not allow such a kingdom to exist. The Kingdom of God can exist only where the Saints govern themselves and have a majority rule.

We must not look to Russia, or to England, to become this kingdom, but to the smallest of the governments in this world, one so small that it is compared to a grain of mustard seed. Where must we look for it? In the very spot where it has room to grow, and in its smallness be overshadowed with weeds and plants of other kinds; so we must look for its organization, establishment, and development in some country where that little few compose the majority, and should rule. Now with these great characteristics, and plain directions, which any man can gather from the Bible, we need not [78] look to any other place where we may find this kingdom. Then among the Saints right here, where they compose the majority, where there is not another larger government, where they are hemmed in with mountains, and can establish peace, and a kingdom, and a government, and a law. (Parley P. Pratt, J.D. 1:181)

For six thousand years God has tried to organize such a kingdom; but with each attempt, it has been overpowered or apostatized. If such a body could exist without interference, it would grow with rapidity and become a standard to which all other governments would look with envy.

We do not want men to become lawyers, turn infidels, and live for nothing but the little money they can make. We want to raise up a corps of young men armed with the Spirit of the Gospel, clothed with the Holy Priesthood, who can tell the judges in high places what the law is, and what equity is, and can plead for the cause of Zion, and help maintain the rights of God’s people.

*** He has called us to the work in which we are engaged, and He is educating us, as I said before, in order that by and by He may have a nation of kings and priests, judges and rulers to help Him bear government and rule over this earth in righteousness, when the curse shall be taken from it, and when truth shall prevail from one end of the earth to the other. (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 26:102, 104)

The inhabitants of the earth have never been capable of bearing the rules and laws that pertain to the Kingdom of God. It requires the most right-[79]eous people of the earth to gather and fulfill these high and holy positions in the Kingdom of God, for the laws of God’s kingdom are not similar to those of the world.

We did not come here to copy after anything that exists in the world; we had no such idea or intention, and if this fact is not understood by all the Latter-day Saints it ought to be. When men come among us we should be very sorry indeed if they found us like the world; we are not like them, neither do we wish to be. *** We do not, to-day, try to imitate any of the governments of the earth; we do not admire their policy; we do not believe that their systems are correct. We believe that they have the seeds of dissolution within themselves, and through the lack of correct principles by which to regulate themselves, that they will eventually crumble to pieces. (John Taylor, J.D. 11:340)

Men cannot build up the Kingdom of God while they are employed with the kingdoms of the world.

…but let us raise our own cotton, indigo, tobacco, build up our own cities–even the cities of Zion for the honour and glory of God; if all our labour be in the right place we shall become independent of our enemies, make the desert become fruitful and blossom as the rose. Here is work enough for the Saints without working for the Devil or his agents or imps. The Lord has commenced his work and has planted the standard of Zion and there is plenty of business to do suppose that all Israel should go into it. If it were correct for men to go and devote their time, talents, [80] and strength in working to build up Gentile cities where would be the interests of the kingdom? (Daniel Wells, J,D. 9:302)

* * *

…we have assembled ourselves together to become one; to become the people of God, the children of Zion, the children of light. We are here for the express purpose of separating ourselves from the world and establishing that order of government that we read of in the Holy Scriptures; and we desire to see the glory of Zion upon the earth that has been spoken of by the Prophets of God. (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:226-7)

Considerable care must be taken in building up the Kingdom of God. It should not be ruled over by gentile men or gentile laws. This would become one of the first major elements to destroy that Kingdom.

We need good men that are capable of ruling us, and we have them in our midst. Take any man there is here, and I would rather have him come and rule me and this people than have any of those poor creatures that come here. What do they know? Nothing, only to come here and undertake to lead this people astray and pollute them. They would pollute every one, if they had the power, or every one that would yield to them. *** The day is not far distant when you will see us as free as the air we breathe, and we will be ruled by those men whom God Almighty appoints. (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 9:7)


[81]         Heber C. Kimball, along with others have prophesied that the Kingdom of God has been established in the tops of the mountains, and the seeds of that Kingdom will never again be destroyed. That Kingdom will grow and gain power until it overrules all other kingdoms and governments.

That kingdom is established with its authorities and powers agreeably to the will of God, and they are in the mountains, and all the combined powers of earth and hell can never get them out. They will never leave this land until the Lord God Almighty commands them to go, and then they will go where He directs them. ***

I wish you to understand also that the United States will not overcome this kingdom, neither will Great Britain, nor all the powers of Europe combined, for it is that kingdom which is to stand for ever. The seed has taken root, and all the powers of the earth cannot root it out. (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 8:273)

One of the first protective principles pertaining to the Kingdom of God on earth is that it should not depend, bargain with, or be concerned with the other kingdoms of the world. Commerce should be centralized within the limits of the Kingdom as much as possible, and its subjects should not be dependent upon anyone else.

…cease to give the wealth which the Lord has given us to those who would destroy the kingdom of God and scatter us to the four winds, if they had the power. Cease to buy from them the gewgaws and frivolous things they bring here to sell to us for our money and means–means that we should [82] have to bring the poor here, to build our temples, our towers, ornament our public grounds and buildings, and to beautify our cities. For, as merchandising has been generally conducted here, instead of having our means to perform these public works, it has been borne away by our enemies by the million. *** I know it is our duty to save ourselves; the enemy of all righteousness, will do nothing to help us in that work, neither will his children; we have to preserve ourselves, for our enemies are determined to destroy us. I know it is the duty of this people to build up themselves; for our enemies will not build us up, but they will do their uttermost to tear us down. (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:139)

* * *

Let me say to you, just what the Lord requires of you, if you would only do it. He requires at our hands, each and every one of us, to begin and sustain the Kingdom of God, and to withdraw from the world and the business of the world. *** …we should buy of our brethren, and sustain the Kingdom of God. I say this is the mind and the will of God concerning this people, if they will hearken to it. Purchase no more of your enemies. (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:374)

The purpose of the gathering is to make the Saints independent of the world; and when they cease to be independent, the purpose of gathering is defeated.

When we see the course that the Saints, or those professing to be such, have taken in feeding, clothing, and making our enemies [83] rich here in our midst, it makes me feel that it is time to cease gathering these who will not be Saints indeed. I know, as well as I know that I am a living being, that there is not one professing to be a Latter-day Saint, who has the spirit of his calling, who would not cease this course as quick as he would draw his hands out of the fire, if he thoroughly knew and understood that it tends to the overthrow of the Kingdom of God; and the fact that he helped to sustain the enemies of the Kingdom of God must be attributed to his ignorance. The people have eyes, but they see not; they have hearts, but they do not understand. (Brigham Young, J.D. 13:31)

The Lord seeks a people to whom He can bestow both spiritual and temporal wealth. He desires to reveal His secrets to those who will administer His laws on earth. Then such a people will serve Him and none other and have gathered together to be free and independent of the world. He will make them kings to rule over his laws on earth and priests to administer His holy laws to the people.

Then who is to gather the people of God? You all say that we are to become a kingdom of kings and priests–of queens and priestesses; and the Bible supports this doctrine. Now, the truth is, you are the very kings and priests that have got to gather the Saints, and your wives have get to school them and nurse them. I might put this in different language, but this will answer the purpose and convey to you the true meaning of the text.

We are informed in the Bible that in the last days the sons of God shall be [84] brought from afar, and his daughters from the ends of the earth; and also that the elect will be gathered from the four quarters of the globe. Now, this will most assuredly be fulfilled, and this is the work which you and I have got to perform. *** Now, brethren, if you could see the thing just as it is, there is not one of you but what would put forth your means, your hands, and your minds like men and like saviors upon Mount Zion. It is as brother Joseph said — “If you have the right spirit you will be ready to lend your ability towards the gathering of Israel.” *** We have got to gather the people, and our wives and sisters will become the nursing mothers, for they are the queens spoken of in Scripture. If we will all take this course, we shall be blest of the Almighty; his Spirit will be with us to impart joy and consolation continually. (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 8:349)

* * *

When our Father in heaven finds he has got a people who stand as a unit in favour of his kingdom, and have made themselves free and independent, will he not be pleased with that people? It is a long time since he has had such a people. It is our privilege to be that people, and be acknowledged of God as his people. (Daniel Wells, J.D. 9:61)

When we “seek first the Kingdom of God” we must try to accomplish the following:



  1. The citizens of that government must have the majority, and ultimate rule of their society.


  1. The laws of that government must be administered according to the laws of heaven–not from the commercialized world.


  1. The Kingdom of God must be built by a righteous people who are gathered primarily for the purpose of building it up temporally and spiritually.


  1. The headquarters for the Kingdom of God over all the world will be established at Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem.



[86]                              CHAPTER IX



We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the ten tribes and that Zion will be built upon this the American continent…. (Tenth Article of Faith)

The whole American continent is the land of Zion; Jackson County, Missouri, is the Center Stake of Zion; and the pure in heart are the people of Zion. But at the present time the land of Zion is burdened with corruption and crime; the Center Stake of Zion has no temple and is surrounded with gentiles; and the people of Zion are few and far between.

But God has been seeking to gather His saints that He may elevate them enough spiritually and temporally to bring about a Zion in the land and a Zion in His people. That Zion cannot come about except by obedience to the principle of gathering.

I repeat, our mission is to preach the Gospel, and then to gather the people who embrace it. And why? That there might be a nucleus formed, a people gathered who would be under the inspiration of the Almighty, and who would be willing to listen to the voice of God, a people who would receive and obey His word when it was made known to them. And this people in their gathered condition are called Zion, or the pure in heart. (John Taylor, J.D. 23:262)


[87]         God has always blessed His elect spiritually so they would have the will and desire to redeem Zion.

When we first receive the Spirit of the Gospel we receive great joy therein, great peace, and great satisfaction to our minds; and we are carried away in the Spirit to behold the beauties of Zion, and to contemplate the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Our brethren and sisters far away among the nations, when they received the gospel, and the spirit of revelation came upon them, delighted to contemplate the gathering of the Saints; it was a matter of joy to them to dream about it and think about it when they would awake from their slumbers. They would reflect upon it through the day, and talk about it in their prayer meetings, and in their prayer circles at home, the subject of gathering to Zion was constantly before them if they lived so as to enjoy the spirit of their religion. This spirit caused their hearts constantly to rejoice; it was not the journey across the plains that gave them joy, but it was the contemplation of Zion in its beauty and glory, for they could not see the troubles and disappointments, perplexities and vexations they would have to pass through in gathering to Zion, nor did they think of the hardships they would have to endure after they were gathered. So the ancients viewed the glory of Zion in the last days. (Brigham Young, J.D.12:162)

President Young continued to explain the work of building up Zion–but how few of the Saints would prove worthy of that grand undertaking:


[88]         It is true this is Zion–North and South America are Zion, and the land where the Lord commenced His work; and where He commenced He will finish. This is the land of Zion; but we are not yet prepared to go and establish the Centre Stake of Zion. The Lord tried this in the first place. He called the people together to the place where the New Jerusalem and the great temple will be built, and where He will prepare for the City of Enoch. And He gave revelation after revelation; but the people could not abide them, and the Church was scattered and peeled, and the people hunted from place to place till, finally, they were driven into the mountains, and here we are. Now, it is for you and me to prepare to return back again; not to our fatherland, in many cases, but to return east, and by-and-by to build up the Centre Stake of Zion. We are not prepared to do this now, but we are here to learn until we are of one heart and of one mind in the things of this life. Do all the Latter-day Saints arrive at this? No; they have not, Our former experience has proved this. Of the great many who have been baptized into this Church, but few have been able to abide the word of the Lord; they have fallen out on the right and on the left, and have foundered by the way, and a few have gathered together. Will these be prepared to enter the celestial kingdom? Some of them will be, and will become kings and priests; but not all of these, only a portion of them. They do not know what to do with the revelations, commandments and blessings of God. (J.D. 11:324)


[89]         For nearly 150 years the Saints in general have proved themselves to be unqualified to accomplish the redemption of Zion and the building of the New Jerusalem with its magnificent temple. It seems we are further from that major event than ever before.

In the early days of the Church the leaders pleaded with the Saints to come and build up Zion; but today the leaders plead for the members to build up the branches. Zion will never be redeemed under the present attitude of building and strengthening the missions around the world or among the wicked.

We are spiritually immature people, generally incapable of the celestial laws required to accomplish that work. We have never fully understood the temporal requirements of building Zion and the gathering of Israel.

Are we prepared to establish the Zion that the Lord designs to build up? I have many times asked the questions, “Where is the man that knows how to lay the first rock for the wall that is to surround the New Jerusalem or the Zion of God on the earth? Where is the man who knows how to construct the first gate Of the city? Where is the man who understands how to build up the kingdom of God in its purity and to prepare for Zion to come down to meet it?” “Well,” says one, “I thought the Lord was going to do this.” So He is if we will let Him. That is what we want: we want the people to be willing for the Lord to do it. But He will do it by means. He will not send His angels to gather up the rock to build up the New Jerusalem. He will not send His angels from the heavens to go to the mountains to cut the timber and make it into lumber to adorn the city [90] of Zion. He has called upon us to do this work; and if we will let Him work by, through, and with us, He can accomplish it; otherwise we shall fall short, and shall never have the honor of building up Zion on the earth. (J.D. 13:313)

This generation of Israelites may be compared to the first generation of Israelites, under the direction of Moses, who had to pass away until another generation came who were more willing to live the laws of God. Eventually, in this dispensation, the Lord will raise up a few faithful men upon whom He can pour out His spiritual and temporal fortunes towards the redemption of Zion. They shall have temporal powers such as no king of Israel could ever equal. Orson Pratt was commanded by the Lord to prophecy; here is one of his prophecies concerning Zion:

It was promised that we should have a land as an inheritage; but we were commanded of God, to purchase the land. Now, when the time comes for purchasing this land, we will have means. How this means will be brought about it is not for me to say. Perhaps the Lord will open up mines containing gold and silver, or in some other way as seemeth to him best, wealth will be poured into the laps of the Latter-day Saints till they will scarcely know what to do with it. I will here again prophesy on the strength of former revelation that there are no people on the face of the whole globe, not even excepting London, Paris, New York, or any of the great mercantile cities of the globe–there are no people now upon the face of the earth, so rich as the Latter-day Saints will be in a few years to come. Having their millions; [91] therefore they will purchase the land, build up cities, towns and villages, build a great capital city, at headquarters, in Jackson County, Missouri. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 21:136)

* * *

Has He not told us, in the early rise of this Church, if we would do His will, and seek the riches that is the will of the Father to bestow upon us, we should be the richest of all people; for the riches of eternity should be given to us, and it must needs be, saith the Lord, that the riches of the earth are mine to give. They are all His; how easily He could turn all the riches of the earth into our hands, if we were only prepared to receive them and use them according to His will. But He knows the time to hasten them, and He knows the secret intents of our hearts as a people; He knows whether we are prepared to use the riches of the earth to build up His kingdom or not, and He will withhold them, until the time shall fully come for Him to bless us according to the promise He has made–untill we shall be prepared to receive them; we shall have riches then in great plenty. Gold will be so plentiful that we may find no use for it only to make culinary and other utensils; we may use some of it for paving our streets, and for whatsoever is necessary; we can use the gold and silver which we have not toiled for in the gold mines of California and Australia, to collect for ourselves; we shall have that which others have labored for, but were unworthy because of wickedness to enjoy. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 2:263)

* * *


[92]         The true use of gold is for paving streets, covering houses and making culinary dishes, and when the Saints shall have preached the gospel, raised grain and built up cities enough, the Lord will open up a way for a supply of gold to the perfect satisfaction of his people. Until that time, let them not be over anxious, for the treasures of the earth are in the Lord’s storehouse and he will open the doors thereof when and where he pleases. (Brigham Young, Brigham Young at Home, p. 252)

Zion must have a people who are free from the world’s present evils. When temporal power is sufficient for the Saints to control their own laws administered according to the will of God, then we shall be called the people of Zion.

But if we had our ways, as Latter-day Saints, there would be no drinking saloons, there would be no houses of ill fame, there would be no gambling saloons, there would be nothing of this character permitted in our cities or in our settlements. We would not only be free from litigation and strife, as I have said we are as a people, but we would be free from those other evils, those other vices. (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 24:134)

* * *

We are here also to build up a Zion unto our God, wherein His laws can be taught, the principles of eternal truth be communicated, the relationship and communication opened between the heavens and the earth, and men placed in a position whereby they will be enabled to act intelligently, in regard to all matters pertaining to this [93] world as well as to the world that is to come. (John Taylor, J.D. 26:67)

The laws and principles of Zion are foreign to the people of the world–and the laws and principles of the world should be foreign to the Latter-day Saints. Hence, it is necessary for the Saints of God to rid themselves of all wicked practices, custom, and rules. They must re-establish the laws and principles of heaven on earth. It will be a major miracle to gather even “the elect” of Israel and to cleanse the land of Zion and the people of Zion from all worldly iniquities. When that is accomplished, Zion will be redeemed!



[94]                              CHAPTER X



When the righteous are thus gathered they will then be prepared for the coming of the Messiah. (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:163)

It is clearly evident from the scriptures that only the Saints who are gathered will be prepared for the Second Coming of the Savior. If the Saints are not gathered, they will not be prepared and therefore must suffer the consequences. Many of the early apostles placed the gathering of the Saints in conjunction with the coming of the Savior. Consider the statements of these inspired apostles.

Strangers may inquire, what has this great gathering to do with preparing the way before the coming of his Son? Could you not all remain scattered abroad among the nations and be prepared just as well? I answer, that if God had commanded us to remain among the nations in our scattered condition, that would have been right, and acceptable before him; but on the other hand, if God has spoken, as we declare that he has, and his voice has been heard, and messengers have been called and sent forth by divine command, and revelation has been given, not only for the people to obey the gospel but also to gather out and assemble themselves in one, then we could not be prepared for his coming without obeying the divine command. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 14:256-257)

* * *


[95]         And in order that they might the better prepare themselves, the servants of God are commanded to call upon the people to gather out from the various nations where they are living to a place that God has designated as a place of gathering for His elect, where they might prepare themselves for the coming of our Lord and Savior. (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 26:40)

* * *

The full set time has come, which the Lord decreed before the foundation of the world,–the great dispensation of the last days, and a people must be prepared for the coming of the Son of Man. How can they do it? By being gathered out from Babylon. (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 16:35)

* * *

There are many people who have believed that the coming of our Lord was near at hand. We might refer to many persons by name who have even set times for his coming–certain particular days, months and years in which the Lord would be revealed from heaven. But they have entirely overlooked the prophecies of the great preparatory work for his coming. If they had read closely, and instead of studying for dates had carefully looked for the great purposes to be fulfilled before he comes, they would have known that their predictions were false. There is to be a grand gathering of all his people from the four quarters of the earth into one body, one family as it were; one people consolidated in one region of country, before he shall come. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:56)


[96]         There seems to be connected with this advent of the Lord from the heavens, great power; his arm is to be made manifest before all people. Preparatory to this great event, there will be a universal gathering of the Saints from the four quarters of the earth. It is one of the signs preceding the second advent. It is clearly foretold by many of the prophets. David alludes to it, not only in this Psalm, but in many parts of his Psalms. The Spirit of God seems to have moved upon him to portray more or less the great work of the gathering of the Saints in the last days. Many suppose that he will come and find the Saints scattered all over the world, not gathered into any special country; but it is evident that those who have taken this view of the subject don’t understand the Scripture writings. Nothing is plainer in all the sacred Scriptures than the gathering of the people of God. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 21:273)

* * *

In speaking of the gathering, we mean to be understood as speaking of it according to scripture, the gathering of the elect of the Lord out of every nation on earth, and bringing them to the place of the Lord of Hosts, when the city of righteousness shall be built, and where the people shall be of one heart and one mind, when the Savior comes: yea, where the people shall walk with God like Enoch, and be free from sin. (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 93) * * *


[97]         From the foregoing quotations, it is evident that the following events must occur in connection with the Second Advent of the Savior:


  1. The Savior will not come while the Saints are in a scattered condition.


  1. All of His commandments and revelations direct the Saints to gather for His coming.


  1. The duty of every man who bears the priesthood is to declare and assist all other Saints to gather.


  1. The Saints cannot be prepared for the Second Coming while living in a scattered condition or they may be destroyed with the wicked.


  1. God and His angels will intervene in the affairs of men to assist in this preparatory gathering.


  1. True believers in God’s revelations will gather by making any sacrifice necessary to keep that commandment.


  1. Great power will be exhibited in gathering the righteous from the four quarters of the earth.


  1. The grand gathering of Israel is to be an evidence and sign of the Second Coming of the Savior.


  1. The first Saints called to gather are the elect who will help to gather the less valiant or less fortunate.


  1. Only the true prophets and the true servants of God teach the Saints to gather for the Second Coming of the Lord.

* * * * *



[98]                              CHAPTER XI



But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose. Zion shall flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be assembled together unto the place which I have appointed. (D. & C. 49:24-25)

While the Saints were living in the eastern portions of the United States, the above passage of scripture, pertaining to wilderness and mountains, was not understood. Orson Pratt commented:

Thus we see that twenty-two years ago, it was foretold in great plainness that Zion should flourish and rejoice upon the hills and mountains; when these prophecies were given, we did not know, for many years, how nor when the Lord intended to fulfil them, but fifteen years after the prediction the Lord suffered our enemies to rise against us, and we were driven by the force of arms from these States, and were obliged to flee to the mountains for refuge; thus, in an unexpected manner, Zion is placed in her appropriate position, and is truly beginning to flourish and rejoice upon the hills and mountains according to the predictions of Joseph, the Prophet, and according to many predictions of the ancient prophets. (The Seer, p. 6)


[99]         Before the Prophet Joseph Smith died, he uttered prophecies concerning the Saints going to the Rocky Mountains. Some of these were:

I prophesied that the Saints would continue to suffer much affliction and would be driven to the Rocky Mountains, many would apostatize, others would be put to death by our persecutors or lose their lives in consequence of exposure or disease, and some of you will live to go and assist in making settlements and build cities and see the Saints become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. (D.H.C. 5:85, Aug. 6, 1842)

* * *

This people will go into the Rocky Mountains; they will there build temples to the Most High. They will raise up a posterity there, and the Latter-day Saints who dwell in these mountains will stand in the flesh until the coming of the Son of Man will come to them while in the Rocky Mountains. (Wilford Woodruff, Conf. Rept., April 8, 1898, p. 57–quoting Joseph Smith)

* * *

“I am gazing upon the valleys of those mountains.” [said Joseph Smith] This was followed by a vivid description of the scenery of these mountains as I have since become acquainted with it.

“There are some men here who shall do a great work in that land.” Pointing to me, he said: “There is Anson; he shall go and shall assist in building up cities from one end of the country to the other, and you shall perform as great a work as has [100] been done by man, so that the nations of the earth shall be gathered in that land and assist in building cities and temples, and Israel shall be to rejoice.” (History of Northern Utah & Southern Idaho, Tullidge, p. 271-72)

To the Nauvoo Legion on June 22, 1844, the Prophet said:

Your mission will be to the nations of the earth. You will gather many people into the fastness of the Rocky Mountains. (Journal of Sam H. Rogers, p. 198)

President Brigham Young substantiated what the Prophet Joseph Smith said. He taught that the Rocky Mountains would be the gathering place for Israel in the last days.

When the pioneers left the confines of civilization, we were not seeking a country on the Pacific Coast, neither a country to the north or south; we were seeking a country which had been pointed out by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the midst of the Rocky Mountains, in the interior of the great North American continent. (J.D. 16:207)

* * *

I scarcely ever say much about revelations, or visions, but suffice it to say, five years ago last July I was here, and saw in the Spirit the Temple not ten feet from where we have laid the Chief Corner Stone. I have not inquired what kind of a Temple we should build. Why? Because it was [101] represented before me. I have never looked upon that ground, but the vision of it was there. I see it as plainly as if it was in reality before me. (J .D. 1:133)

* * *

And when President Young first set his foot upon the ground where the Temple now stands in Salt Lake City, by the testimony of the spirit of God that was in his heart, by the inspiration of the Almighty, he exclaimed to the pioneers: “Here we will make our resting place, and here is the spot upon which we will build the Temple.” He had before seen an ensign descend and light upon the mountain peak–which is now called from that circumstance “Ensign Peak” –which was an indication to him that this was the resting place God designed for His people. God led this people from the midst of their persecutors, delivered them from prison bars and fettering chains, delivered them from bondage, brought them out here and made them free–as free as any people upon the earth. (Joseph F. Smith, J.D. 24:155-56)

* * *

It was at this time of gloom that President Young stood before the whole people, and said, in substance, that some people had misgivings, and some were murmuring, and had not faith to go to work and make their families comfortable; they had got the gold fever and were going to California. Said he: “Some have asked me about going. I have told them that God has appointed this place for the gathering of his Saints, and you will do better right [102] here than you will be going to the gold mines. Some have thought they would go there and get fitted out and come back, but I told them to stop here and get fitted out. Those who stop here and are faithful to God and his people will make more money and get richer than you that run after the god of this world; and I promise you in the name of the Lord that many of you that go thinking you will get rich and come back, will wish you had never gone away from here and will long to come back, but will not be able to do so. Some of you will come back, but your friends who remain here will have to help you; and the rest of you who are spared to return will not make as much money as your brethren do who stay here and help build up the Church and Kingdom of God; they will prosper and be able to buy you twice over. Here is the place God has appointed for his people. We have been kicked out of the frying pan into the fire, out of the fire into the middle of the floor, and here we are and here we will stay. God has shown me that this is the spot to locate his people,… (Autobiography of James Brown, p. 119-123)

* * *

During all these trials President Young was firm and decided; he put on a smile when among the people, and said this was the place God had pointed out for the gathering place of the Saints and it would be blessed and become one of the most productive places in the world. In this way he encouraged the people, and he was sustained by men who felt that God had inspired him to lead us here. (G. A. Smith, J.D. 13:120)


[103] Other leading Elders of Israel added their testimony to Joseph Smith’s and Brigham Young’s concerning the gathering of Israel to the mountains:

We are in the mountains; we did not come here of our own accord, but we came by the will of the Father. We are in the tops of the mountains where the prophet said the people of God would be in the last days. (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 10:101) * * *

We gather up to these mountains that we may not be partakers of her [the world’s] sins. This is the appointed place where God can work with his people on the earth. (Daniel Wells, J.D. 17:344)

* * *

He [God] has brought us here. These valleys of the mountains are the best, or, at least, as well adapted as any land upon the face of the earth for the home of a free people. It would be something extraordinary if a people brought up as we are in these mountains should not be a liberty loving people; if we should not be a free people. We could not well be otherwise with such surroundings as we have. And our children will grow up filled with the love of freedom; and God designs that this shall be our home, and that we shall multiply and increase until the time shall come for us to go back, according to the revelation, to repossess the land from which we were driven. (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 22:282)


[104] Many ancient prophets also saw the Saints of God in the mountains and that nations would gather there. Isaiah and Micah prophesied that:

…it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (Isa. 2:2; also Micah 4:1)

It is evident from the scriptures that when God begins to pour out His judgments upon the nations, the more righteous among them will seek to escape to Zion. Millions from every nation shall flow to Zion for the peace and safety offered to them by the Saints. The Prophet said that “the time is soon coming, when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes.” (T.P.J.S., p. 161) He also said:

Peace will be. taken from the earth and there will be no peace only in the Rocky Mountains. This will cause many thousands of the honest in heart to gather there; not because they would be saints but for safety and because they would not take up the sword against their neighbor.

You will be so numerous that you will be in danger of famine, but not for the want of seed time and harvest, but because of so many to be fed. Many will come with bundles under their arms to escape the calamities, and there will be no escape except by fleeing to Zion. (“White Horse Prophecy”, Visions of the Latter Days, p.51)

Although some dispute the validity of the White Horse Prophecy, President Brigham Young confirmed much of what was said in it. He also referred to [105] the Saints gathering to the mountains with bundles under their arms.

I am looking for the words of Joseph to be fulfilled. The time will come when men and women will be glad to catch what they can, roll up in a small bundle, and start for the mountains, without team or waggon. (sic) That day will shortly come. (J.D. 8:356)

When the nations of the earth are being destroyed through war, famine, and natural calamities, God shall bestow upon His people a wealth and power which will be witnessed by every nation. The Lord shall raise His ensign, bring to pass His strange work, and manifest to all nations that He reigns over Israel in the tops of the mountains. This will cause millions on millions to flee to Zion for peace and protection. President Heber C. Kimball prophesied of these events:

I am very thankful that so many of the brethren have come in with hand carts; my soul rejoiced, my heart was filled and grew as big as a two-bushel basket. Two companies have come through safe and sound. Is this the end of it? No; there will be millions on millions that will come much in the same way, only they will not have hand carts, for they will take their bundles under their arms, and their children on their backs, and under their arms, and flee; and Zion’s people will have to send out relief to them, for they will came when the judgments come on the nations. (J.D. 4:106)

Those Saints who have failed to gather under favorable conditions must gather during the calamities with others who are forced to come with nothing [106] but bundles under their arms. The immensity and accomplishment of this grand gathering has been envisioned by President Brigham Young who said:

We are gathering the people as fast as we can. We are gathering them to make Saints of them and of ourselves. Probably many of them will apostatize, though some will not apostatize until you give them their endowments; and then, if you do not speak out of the right corner of your mouth, they will apostatize; and if you do not laugh out of the right corner of your mouth, they will go. We are gathering a few that will be faithful in the midst of this people, and prepare themselves to be crowned kings and priests unto God. By-and-by you will see the Saints flock together. Will they come merely by one or two shiploads? No; it will require many more ships than we have heretofore employed to bring home the gathering thousands to Zion. Millions of people that now sit in darkness–that are now, to all appearance, in the region and shadow of death, will come to Zion. ***

Millions will come and live in Zion when the laws of Zion reign predominant over creation; but will all be prepared to be crowned kings and priests unto God? No. You cannot imagine anything that will not be in Zion, except sin and iniquity, and reviling against God and against his kingdom. All classes oœ people will come to Zion. Will there be Methodists there? Yes; and they will have the privilege to worship a God without body, parts, and passions, just as they do now, if they choose to. Every person and every commun-[107]ity will receive according to the extent of their capacity and ability. Every person then will be blessed, will be filled with joy, will be filled with peace, with light, and intelligence according to the endowments with which they are endowed. Will all become kings and priests? No; not even all that will embrace the fulness of the Gospel. ***

There are millions of people, both among the Christian and heathen nations, that are still in darkness, and exclaiming, “Oh, how glad we would be to have some knowledge of the Gospel of salvation.” By-and-by, when the Lord sends forth his servants and his angels to gather them, they will be brought home to Zion and be taught the peaceable things of the kingdom; and those that abide a celestial law will receive a celestial glory, and those that can abide the next law in order can abide the glory pertaining to it, and so on. (J.D. 9:137, 138, 139)

Other Apostles such as Orson Pratt described these events and explained their fulfillment according to the scriptures.

The Lord is going to gather His Saints, and we are already gathered, a great host of us, into this territory; but let me tell you this is hardly a beginning; many nations are yet to be gathered unto the name of the Lord of Hosts, unto Mount Zion, where they can be taught in the ways of the Lord, and be instructed to walk in His paths, and understand the principles of true government, and their duties towards one another, and towards the God whom they [108] profess to worship and serve. Nations, not a few, are to be gathered, and to go up for that purpose.

This is just laying the foundation; it is a little nucleus, and a few thousands are gathering to it year after year; but the work that is now commenced will increase, and continue to increase, like the stone that was hewn out of the mountain. In the first place, the stone taken out of the mountain is much smaller than the mountain, but finally it increases to that magnitude that it begins to be a great mountain, not merely to fill one small territory, but as Daniel said, “it became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”

Very well, then, the Saints are to be gathered, and they are to come not only by thousands, but tens of thousands, scores of thousands, and hundreds of thousands are to be assembled from among the nations. How is this to be brought about? Through the servants of the living God. This is what the Lord told us before one Saint was gathered. In a revelation, given in the presence of six Elders, in Sept. 1830, the Lord says, “Ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts, wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father, that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land.”

That is the decree that has gone forth; it is ordained in the heavens, and it will come to pass. As the Saints have [109] already been gathered here unto this territory, even so will it continue to be fulfilled until the last of the elect of God are assembled from the four corners of the earth. (J.D. 2:54-55)

The responsibilities of the Latter-day Saints are almost beyond comprehension when one realizes the magnitude of the future destiny of Zion. Very few of the Saints today anticipate these events and are prepared or are trying to prepare for them. Brigham Young declared:

Young men, prepare yourselves; for a greater responsibility will come upon you than you have ever dreamed of. Millions will seek to you for salvation. Are you prepared for this? No, you are not. There are but very few men, old or young, that are capable of taking proper charge of themselves, to say nothing of a Ward, a community, or a nation. ***

You can scarcely find a man that knows how to properly treat himself, and it is worse when you come to his directing others. You will see the time when thousands will seek salvation at the hands of this people, and say, “Guide us in the way of life; the earth is emptied of wickedness, and it has come to an end.” (J.D. 9:143)

These future events were revealed to many of the early leaders of the Church. Because of these revelations they labored with all their might to gather the Saints, and to prepare them for this great international gathering to the tops of the mountains.



The Lord our God has therefore fulfilled that which he spoke; and as I said this work, instead of being nearly accomplished, nearly fulfilled, and all things brought about according to the purposes of the Almighty, only the foundation, as it were, is now laid, and instead of being gathered in a little company of 150,000, by and by we shall be gathered in hundreds of thousands and even millions. Now, do you believe it? I not only believe it but know it will come to pass just as much as a great many other things which have already been fulfilled since the promises were uttered and published in this book. I knew they would come to pass, for God has revealed these things to me, and given me a knowledge of them, and I also know concerning the future of this people, as also do a great many of our brethren that have received testimonies concerning these matters. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 21:135)

The object of gathering Saints is so they can prepare themselves for the millions who are yet to come when destructions are prevalent upon the nations of the earth. Jedediah Grant taught this principle:

Some of you who want a gardener, or a farmer, launch out your gold, your cattle, your horses, your food, and your raiment, and deposit the means, and we will send over, and get the family, and that family will aid and assist you in your financial operations, and pay up the debt. I reckon that six or eight thousand in Utah could act upon this principle. *** This piecemeal business of gathering Saints! We want it upon the wholesale principle. That’s the doctrine. I tell you, a few more boys [111] breaking the crust of nations, like brother Carn, after a while, by driving their little wedges, will bring them over by nations. (J.D. 2:72)

It would be easier and wiser for the Saints to gather to Zion now rather than wait until they were forced to come under so many privations. Those Saints who have been faithful in gathering will have the opportunity to provide for themselves in all things. No people ever lived that will enjoy greater responsibilities and blessings, for they shall be called “saviors on mount Zion.” They will be the people who will administer temporal and spiritual salvation for millions who will come to them for relief and guidance. The faithful Saints in the mountains of Zion shall provide the following means of relief for those suffering millions who will come to them for safety and relief.



While Joseph was in Egypt he provided a food storage program which resulted in the temporal salvation for his nation. The Saints of today must prepare food storage which will save millions from all the nations.



Although the Founding Fathers provided a government of liberty in this nation, it has been undermined, overgrown, and its liberties have nearly disappeared. A government must be re-established which will provide liberty, law and safety for many nations.



That Theocratic system wherein God can dictate His laws, ordinances and government, must be re-established not only for Israel, but for the world.



The early Saints of Mormonism failed to live the laws of God and build the [112] great temple in the New Jerusalem. The Saints of today must live all of those laws and fulfill the redemption of Zion.



Where many Saints have been weak and unvaliant, the Saints of the last days must gain power so that “one shall put a thousand to flight, and two shall put ten thousand to flight” –even gaining a power to “rebuke strong nations from afar off.”



These Saints shall have the gift of tongues to speak one language, and will receive instruction through dreams and visions. Angels shall administer to them daily; seerstones shall be used in their universities; and Christ shall personally rule over all people.

The blessings and promises to the Saints of the latter days supersede all other dispensations and peoples; yet very few anticipate these things or are trying to prepare themselves to become “saviors on mount Zion” for the nations of the earth who shall be gathered here.



[113]                            CHAPTER XII



Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. (Jer. 23:1)

Unity is one of the first principles of strength. To weaken men or things requires only to cause separation or scattering. Knowing this vulnerable weakness in an enemy, both military forces and devils plan and scheme to “divide, then conquer.” The devil has ever sought to separate, to split, and cause divisions among those he opposed. Any spirit or influence which teaches Saints to scatter, or remain scattered, is a spirit that will cause weakness among the people of God. The scattering principle has always been opposed by the prophets of God.

We have warred against the principle of promoting and making wealthy those who wish us no good, and we have found it hard to convince our brethren and sisters that the saying of the Savior is really as true when applied to us as it was when applied to his followers in his day, “He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.” Thousands of this people this day will not believe that saying. We have this to war against, and the warfare should be engaged in by every Latter-day Saint. (Brigham Young, J.D. 10:200-201)

Every true Saint should guard against any teaching or influence that is opposed to their gathering. Even under dire stress or in times of trouble, the [114] Saints must always keep the gathering of Israel as an objective in their lives.


John Bunyan in his own quaint and forcible manner depicts the almost ceaseless opposition, now alluring, and anon fierce and formidable, to which his Pilgrim was subjected ere he reached the heavenly city. Now if a Saint can go up to Zion without being tempted and tried, in a greater or less degree, I do not see rightly in the matter. I do not expect such a thing, because Satan does not like to see the people of God assembling for the day of decision, and it is contrary to reason to suppose that his Satanic majesty will not do all in his power to prevent their assembling. (John Jaques, Mill. Star 16:67)

Sidney Rigdon once came under the influence to scatter while Brigham Young chose to contend for the gathering.

On one occasion, when the Prophet was imprisoned, Sidney Rigdon exhorted the Saints to scatter and every man do the best he could for himself; “for,” said he, “this work of the gathering of the Saints we shall not accomplish, these Saints will never be gathered again.” I took the liberty of saying to him that it was my opinion that we should be gathered again, and that, by and bye, we should have Joseph with us. Some thought it impossible; but we had Joseph again and we gathered. The Lord thus proved his people, and tried them whether they would apostatize and give themselves up to the power of Satan, or be faithful to their calling and to their God under every circumstance. The Lord will [115] try this people in all things, as he tried Abraham of old, to prove whether they will forsake him, or cling to the faith of the Holy Gospel. (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:17)

The gathering was required during times of trouble when it seemed nearly impossible. It proves that it also can be accomplished in our own time–regardless of the conditions or circumstances.

It is regrettable that the majority of the Saints have never been fully converted to the practice of gathering. Many of them have tried to discourage or prevent others from gathering, and this spirit eventually has had a universal effect upon the Church.

Again, if those who go forth to preach the Gospel could speedily gather every one of the Saints from Europe, Asia, Africa, the islands of the sea, and from wherever they are scattered, there would be twenty thousand, yes, fifty thousand converted, where there now are not ten. The lingerers are right in the gate, like a dog in a manger; they will neither eat themselves nor let anybody else eat; and they are an offence in the eyes of the world, and they block up the work from rolling on. I wish they were gathered into a brush heap and burned, that is those who ought to be burned, and the rest gathered with us; for the Lord, in the very first start of this Church, let them gather themselves together into one place.” Still, do you not see how desirous people are to scatter here and there, and not go as they are told; but they are for getting off by themselves, to partake of the spirit of the world, and the spirit of selfishness; and they want to own everything there is,… (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 2:159)


[116] Throughout the history of the Church there have arisen those who have either failed to proclaim the gathering or else discouraged it. Formerly it was advocated with enthusiasm, but gradually it has been treated with indifference or opposition, until today the doctrine of gathering is nearly forgotten. It is interesting to note the difference in teachings between many of the present elders of the Church and those of President Brigham Young. Some of these comparisons follow:



…as we have told the Saints in Europe in hundreds of meetings in many different locations, if the Saints in Europe will remain in their lands and will build the Church and the kingdom in Europe and train and hold their children and bring them into the holy temples in Europe for marriage, the kingdom can grow and prosper, and God will bless them, and that I know. (Dec. 1955, Improvement Era)



The Lord never could teach His people while they were among the wicked how to live by themselves, how to unite their efforts and their whole power for the establishment of His Kingdom. (May 1868, J.D. 12:229)


* * * * *



…our building of foreign temples is to encourage the saints to stay in their own countries. (October 17, 1936, Des. News, Church Section)



God is now displaying His power in a marvelous degree, whispering to the inmost souls of the children of men in foreign lands with a still small voice, “flee to the mountains, for the day of the Lord is upon the wicked nations of Babylon, …” (May 10, 1868, J.D. 12:207-208)


* * * * *



I would like to say to you [Saints around the world] that I know that in your hearts this day there is a longing to be here at the hub of this great Church, a longing which you cannot realize; and in a sense I am pleased that you do not have that desire fulfilled. You are needed where you are. We encourage you to stay where you are because you are needed there where the light is going out,… (April 1952, Conf. Rept., p. 102)



Such men and women have seen in the revelations of the Spirit that God would gather His people even before the gathering was taught to them by the servants of God; and they understood the great object of the gathering, they saw that the people of the Lord could not be sanctified while they remained scattered abroad among the nations of the Gentiles. (January 1868, J.D. 12:154)


* * * * *



Many of the saints, who come here, could be far more useful in assisting to strengthen and build up the Church in their native lands, than by making sacrifices to come to Zion where their expectations may not be realized.

With cordial good wishes we are

Sincerely your brethren,

Heber J. Grant

  1. W. Ivins
  2. W. Nibley



(Messages of the First Presidency, Clark, 5:269)



Can we not sanctify ourselves without the chastening hand of the Almighty upon us? We can, if we will do as we are told. By whom? By the Old and New Testaments, and all the revelations given in them and the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. They all centre on one point in this respect–You, Saints, gather yourselves together, sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, live by yourselves and build up the kingdom of God. (Nov. 1868, J.D. 12:316)


* * * * *



The time of gathering is past. We now live in the time of scattering. We want to scatter our people over the face of the earth that we might leaven the whole lump. (Truth Magazine, Sept. 1952, p. 103)



Our business is to build up the Zion of God on the earth. Do you think you will do it and go hand in hand with the wicked? No, never. (May 1868, J.D. 12:231)


* * * * *


[121] DAVID O. McKAY:

I recall asking him [David O. McKay] if missionaries should persist in encouraging members to leave their homes and move to Zion. No, he answered, it is important that the branches be built up, and members should remain and work toward that end. (Nov. 1963, Instructor, p. 385)



The Elders of Israel should go forth calculating to help the people both temporally and spiritually,… Go and preach the gospel, and help the honest-in-heart to gather, that they may aid in building up Zion, for that was the design of the Lord when He said, through the Revelator John, “Come out of her my people that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (April 1867, J.D. 12:38)



We are now in a new era of church growth and development. * * * We are becoming a world church. * * * every nation is the gathering place for its own people. (Sept. 2, 1972, Church News)



I am rejoiced to meet and associate with the Saints. It is one of the greatest privileges and blessings I can enjoy on the face of this earth, to gather out from the wicked world with the Saints, and be far away from the contaminating influence of the breath of the ungodly. (June 1860, J.D. 8:91)


* * * * *


[123] HAROLD B. LEE:

President Lee explained that one of the purposes in holding the various area conferences was that many more people could assemble than could come to the headquarters of the Church at the semi-annual conferences held in Salt Lake City. (Aug. 1973, Church News, p. 4)



Civilization, it is corruption and wickedness of the deepest dye. It is no society for you, my people, come out of her. Gather out where you can pray, where you can have meetings and sacraments; where you can meet, associate, and mingle together; where you can beautify the earth and gather around you the necessaries of life, and make everything as beautiful as Zion, and begin to establish Zion on the earth; sanctify yourselves, sanctify your houses, the lands that you live upon; your farms, the streams of water that flow through your cities, country places and farms, sanctify your hills and mountains and valleys, and the land around about and begin to build up Zion. Now, “come out of her, my people,” for this purpose, “and partake not of her sins, lest ye receive of her plagues.” After all these revelations and commandments the people who profess to be Saints will mingle with the wicked, and foster those who would cut their throats, and feed and clothe, and give them everything they can gather together. (Feb. 1867, J.D. 11:300)


[124] The ancient prophets and the scriptures are so predominant in the doctrine of gathering that Apostle Orson Pratt declared that a true prophet could be detected upon this principle:

Now, supposing that Joseph Smith had all these proofs that I have named to testify concerning the divinity of this book, and had said nothing about the gathering, what then? Why you and I could go to our homes and say, “good by Joseph Smith, we do not believe you to be a Prophet.” “Why?” “Because the latter-day dispensation was to be characterized by the gathering together of all things in one that are in Christ, and you have said nothing about it, and therefore we reject you.” (J.D. 17:275)

Others also applied this key to determine who were inspired teachers:

If men have not the spirit of gathering they are blind and cannot see afar off, and are nigh unto burning. The gathering is one great test of faith, by which you may know who is on the Lord’s side. (Mill. Star 9:310; Orson Spencer)


* * *

It is true, that no other subject [gathering] is so largely treated of in the prophecies. But our theologians, being more wise than the prophets, and seeing that such a doctrine would be very hurtful to the best interests of popular Christianity, had long done away with it, by substituting a spiritual gathering in its stead. (Wm. M’ghie, Mill. Star 12:182)


* * *



You have heard brother Brigham preach it here time and time again, and other men, that a scattering spirit was not the spirit of God; and I know it is not. (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 4:362)

President Brigham Young explained that there was a class of men who receive the truth without the love of it. They were those who. . .

would just as soon fellowship, deal, and associate with, and hold in close communion the poor miserable sharks that follow us, as they would with the best Saint here, and they do not know the difference. Why is this? Because, although they have embraced the gospel and know it is true, they have not received the spirit of Christ. (J.D. 12:57)

Jesus often called his disciples his “sheep. He referred to himself as the “Good Shepherd” and said that he had appointed other shepherds or pastors to watch over his flock. Then he described the “wolves” who came in among his sheep and scattered them. It was a simple illustration to determine who was appointed and who was not appointed by the Lord to care for His flock.

Many inconspicuous and insidious means of disrupting the gathering of Israel have been employed by the cunning Arch-Deceiver. His design and purpose has been to scatter Israel when they were gathered and to keep them scattered when they were in a dispersed condition. The devil has always opposed the doctrine of gathering and always will.

In the early days of this dispensation there were persecutions, poverty, and governmental interference to disrupt and discourage the Saints from [126] gathering. Added to these attacks there were a few men, such as Sidney Rigdon, who advocated the scattering of the Saints. Today we do not have any persecutions or government opposition to the gathering, but we do have many, many voices proclaiming the virtues of being scattered. Their influence for scattering Israel has been far more effective than all of the mobs and afflictions suffered by the Saints in the early days of the Church.

The doctrine of gathering has never been changed by a revelation from the Lord. It has been a gradual decline in the faith of the people and their leaders. Consider the past century of the number of emigrating Saints from England to the United States:

Years                         Numbers

1850 – 1859                                              12,355

1860 – 1869                                                          9,924

1870 – 1879                                                          6,913

1880 – 1889                                                          8,219


1890 – 1899                                                          4,849

1900 – 1909                                                          3,195

1910 – 1919                            892

1920 – 1929                           786

1930 – 1936                           360

(Taken from House of Israel by Whitehead, pp. 510-513)


* * * * *


[127] Not only did the Saints begin to fail in gathering together, but the Church began to establish stakes outside of the Rocky Mountains. At the turn of the century a new innovation in the scattering program began. In June of 1901 a stake was organized in Oregon. Others began to follow:

1923                                                       Los Angeles Stake

1927                                                       Hollywood

1927                                                       San Francisco

1934                                                       3 more in California

1934                                                       New York

Of the first 68 stakes organized after the Saints arrived in Utah, none were established outside of the Rocky Mountains (except for three temporarily for emigration purposes). From the last 68 stakes organized, there were 39 established out of the Rocky Mountains.

In the past few years this reversal of the gathering has taken tremendous strides. Consider the following:

1950                                                       90% of all Saints lived in the USA

1960                                                       88% ”   ”    ”      ”    ”  ”   ”

1970                                                       71% ”   ”    ”      ”    ”   ”  ”

1950                                                       42% of Church members lived in Utah

1960                                                       38% ”    ”               ”       ”    ”  ”

1970                                                       27% ”    ”               ”       ”    ”  ”

In the Journal History of the Church under the date of Jan. 19, 1899, and also the Conference Report for April of 1899, indicated the beginning of a policy to advise the Saints to remain in their own countries. On December 14, 1907, the First Presidency wrote to the Saints in the Netherlands Mission as follows:


[128]”The policy of the Church is not to entice or encourage people to leave their native lands; but to remain faithful and true in their allegiance to their governments, and to be good citizens.” (Messages of the First Presidency 4:165)

Then again in 1921 the First Presidency instructed the presidents of the European Mission, George Albert Smith and Orson F. Whitney, who succeeded him, that due to widespread unemployment in the U.S., the Saints were not to gather.

April 28th, 1921

President George Albert Smith,

Liverpool, England


Dear Brother:

We are constrained to call your attention to the state of unemployment prevailing in America generally, and especially so as it affects the western States, including Utah. This state of things is hard enough on our people here that are out of work, living in rented houses, but it is particularly hard on our European immigrants who have come here during the last two or three months without sufficient means of support and without relatives or friends to render them needed assistance, and unless, therefore, intending emigrants have such means of support or relatives, or friends to come to, even if they should be without employment at home, it is better under these circumstances that they remain at home a while longer, than to come and be confronted with the same conditions here and perhaps worse; for it is one thing to break up a home and quite another thing to make a new one, especially when small houses to rent cannot be obtained, which is the case in Salt Lake and other large cities in Utah.

[129] We suggest, therefore, that you make these things known to all our brethren intending to come here, and especially to those who may persist in coming without ample means of support or relatives or friends to receive and welcome them to their homes, for it is almost impossible to secure employment here at present, and it will readily occur to intending emigrants who are working, that it would be very unwise in them to leave their employment to come here only to join the army of the unemployed.

With kindest regards,

Heber J. Grant

Charles W. Penrose

Anthony W. Ivins


(Messages of the First Presidency 5:200)

* * *

August 2nd 1921

President Orson F. Whitney,

Liverpool, England


Dear Brother:

We send you herewith enclosed copy of a letter dated April 28th, 1921, addressed by the First Presidency to President George Albert Smith, the substance of which letter should have been addressed also to all of the European missions, as brethren have quite recently come to this city from Holland and Scandinavia, leaving good jobs and steady work in their native lands, who are now unable to obtain employment, a thing they would hardly have done had they been advised of prevailing conditions here; and what has added to their trouble is that they are unable to speak the English language. So disappointed are some of our good brethren that we are informed that had they known before leaving their homes what [130] they know now, they would not have emigrated so soon. And we suggest, therefore, that brethren and sisters of all the European missions intending to emigrate to Utah, defer their departure until times improve, affording them opportunity to obtain employment after coming here, and that word to this effect be communicated to them by you.

Your brother,

  1. W. Ivins,

In behalf of the FIRST PRESIDENCY.

(Messages of the First Presidency, 5:200-201)

* * *

These letters and instructions from the First Presidency have grown increasingly firm in their determination to keep the Saints scattered around the world. The excuses and reasons have varied but without the sanction or will of the Lord to back them up. A recent statement in the Deseret News was so discrediting to the doctrine of gathering that it was embarrassing. The General Conference instruction


The place of gathering for the Mexican saints is in Mexico; the place of gathering for the Guatemalan saints is in Guatemala; the place of gathering for the Brazilian saints is in Brazil; and so it goes throughout the length and breadth of the whole earth. (Bruce R. McConkie, Sept. 2, 1972, Church News.)

In effect Elder McConkie was saying that the saints are gathering, when in reality they are scattering.

Perhaps the doctrine of gathering is too complicated for many who cannot fathom its purpose.



Why do the Saints gather to America? Why can they not be saved in their own land?

These are questions often asked by those who do not understand the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Neither can they have read or studied the scriptures much. If they have, they have been void of the Spirit of God to guide them. (Mill. Star, 21:648)

But for the “elect” it is comparatively beautiful and clear in both spiritual and practical application.

The gathering is a self-evident principle to people who have the spirit of the Lord. It is one of the simplest and most obvious of all principles.

The spirit of the gathering always attends the work of God. There never was a dispensation in which it did not prevail to greater or less extent.

If we throw overboard the principle of the gathering, we cast away one of the most important principles connected with the work of God and salvation of humanity. (Mill. Star 33:210, 326)

Every faithful Latter-day Saint must believe that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that he was called of God to gather Israel and establish Zion. Yet, if we believe in his divine mission and in the doctrines he taught, then it is necessary to conform our lives to those principles. But it is a sad commentary to note that so many Saints accept the calling of Joseph Smith as a prophet, yet they refuse to accept the doctrines he professed–even the simple ones, such as the gathering of Israel.



[132]                            CHAPTER XIII



And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceeding great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost. (I Nephi 8:23)

Attempting to locate the ten lost tribes of Israel has become one of the most controversial ecclesiastical mysteries of the latter days. It is astounding that there are so many varied and seemingly authoritative stories pertaining to their whereabouts. It would be easier to avoid the issue and just neglect the subject altogether. However, the gathering of Israel includes the gathering of the ten tribes; therefore, it is necessary to briefly review these various theories concerning the location and the eventual gathering of these tribes.

This chapter will include the following theories of the possible locations for the ten lost tribes of Israel:

  1. Interior of the earth
  2. On a star near the North Star
  3. On another planet
  4. On the wings of the earth
  5. At the North Pole
  6. Scattered among the nations

Before dealing with this area, however, it is necessary to first briefly review their history up to the time of their captivity.


[133] From the 12 sons of Jacob, or Israel, sprang the 12 nations, or tribes, of Israel. Then under King David they were all united into one great people or nation. After the death of Solomon, David’s son, the 12 tribes were divided into two separate nations–Judah and Israel. The tribe of Judah left the nation of Israel so they could retain the king that Israel had rejected.

The tribes which formed the division known as the House of Judah were:

  1. the tribe of Judah
  2. the tribe of Benjamin
  3. 1/2 the tribe of Simeon
  4. 1/2 the tribe of Levi.


The tribes constituting the House of Israel were:

  1. the tribe of Reuben
  2. 1/2 the tribe of Simeon
  3. 1/2 the tribe of Levi
  4. the tribe of Zebulon
  5. the tribe of Issachar
  6. the tribe of Gad
  7. the tribe of Asher
  8. the tribe of Dan
  9. the tribe of Naphtali
  10. the tribe of Manasseh
  11. the tribe of Ephraim

The new nation of Judah had its capital at Jerusalem and became the house of Judah; its people were called Jews. They were later taken captive by the king of Babylon for 70 years, after which they returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. By the year 70 A.D. they had fallen into apostasy and were taken captive by the Romans and eventually scattered around the world.


[134] The ten tribes were led by Ephraim and Manasseh with an Ephraimite as their king. These tribes were known as the House of Israel or the outcasts of Israel, although all of the tribes would retain the name of Israelites.

Jews are Israelites, just as Californians are Americans. But MOST Israelites are not Jews, just as most Americans are not Californians. The Jews are the House of Judah only, a part of the Israelites. “House of Israel” never means “Jews.” The two tribes at Jerusalem under the Davidic king, plus the Levites in Judah and Benjamin, are called merely the House of Judah.

But of Ephraim and Manasseh, sons of Joseph, the dying Israel had said, “Let my name be named on them.” And truly they now bear the name of Israel.

From here on, the tribe of Judah, with Benjamin and the tribe of Levi, are called “Judah.” The Ten Tribes, headed by Ephraim and Manasseh, œrom this time on are called “Israel.” They are not Jews, and never were called Jews!

From this time on, the children of Israel, twelve tribes in all, are divided into two nations!

For many generations Israel and Judah remained as separate nations, in adjoining territories, having their own separate kings. (The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy, Ambassador College, p. 89)


[135]                        THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL

1445 B.C.

The Tribes of Israel had reached the peak of their national existence under Joshua. Each tribe received an inheritance in Canaan and became a distinct nation with established boundaries and a separate government.


[135a]                       THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL

975 B.C.

Within 500 years the separate tribes or nations of Israel had already intermixed and intermarried with each other until only two distinct nations remained. These two nations of Judah and Israel were a combination of all the tribes.


[135b]                       THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL

730 B.C.

By now the tribes of Israel had fallen into total apostasy and were taken away as slaves by the Assyrians. Thus the tribes of Israel had fallen back into the same spiritual and physical bondage from which Moses delivered them nearly 800 years before. Their national existence was destroyed and they were physically scattered and spiritually lost.


[136] The Lord referred to these two nations or kingdoms after their separation as Judah and Israel. The Lord and the prophets spoke only of the House of Israel as consisting of two nations from that period of time. (See II Kings 23:27, Hosea 4:15, Jeremiah 23:6, Ezekiel 37:22, Isaiah 11:12.) The House of Judah consisted of a few tribes and the nation of Israel was composed of many tribes.

After their division, the nation of Israel went into sin and bondage from which she has never fully recovered. Our last history of the nation of Israel depicts them going into bondage and captivity. It is recorded in the Book of Kings:

In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. (II Kings 17:6-8)

In this last fleeting glimpse of that great nation, we see them in a fallen and apostate condition. The whole house of Israel had digressed from following prophets, to the rule of judges, and then to adopting a king after the manner of the gentiles. When wayward Israel had wicked kings to rule them, they sank to the lowest ebb of their political and ecclesiastical kingdom. In this degraded condition they were taken captive and became “lost” as a distinct people and nation.



And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. (II Kings 17:20)

From this period in Israel’s history, their locality has been a matter of conjecture, speculation and guesswork. Following are presented some of the most popular theories of where they went.



Many books and, periodicals contain stories and records of people who have claimed they have visited the interior of the earth or a subterranean “Shangrila.” They all claim there is a people of superior culture and knowledge dwelling there, and they have some perceivable arguments to support their claim. Some of these numerous books are:


Phantom of the Poles, by William Reed

Journey to the Earth’s Interior, by Marshal Gardner

Worlds Beyond the Poles, by Gianninis

The Smoky God, by Willis G. Emerson

Our Paradise Inside the Earth, by Theodore Fitch

Beasts, Men and Gods, by Ossendowski

The Hollow Earth, by Dr. Raymond Bernard

Two men from Norway claimed they went north in a ship and entered into the center of the earth. They saw a well organized society of people who were much taller and healthier than those on the earth. They described fruit and plants much larger than those on the earth–grapes nearly the size of peaches.

A Toronto, Canada, newspaper Globe & Main printed an article with pictures of a large green valley that were taken in the Arctic region by an aviator who flew over the pole.


[138] Another interesting account of vegetation at the North Pole was recorded by Admiral Richard Byrd:

In February of that year [1947], Byrd took off from an Arctic base and headed straight north to the Pole. Then Byrd kept flying north, beyond the Pole, and was amazed to discover iceless lands and lakes, mountains covered with trees, and even a monstrous animal moving through the underbrush below! For almost 1700 miles the plane flow over land, mountains, trees, lakes and rivers. After flying 1700 miles, he was forced to turn back because of his gasoline supply limit for the return trip. So he retraced the flight back to the Arctic base. Not much was thought about the unusual flight at the time.

Palmer then instructs the reader to look at the globe. According to Byrd’s reported flight, he shouldn’t have seen anything but ice-covered ocean or partially open water. Yet Byrd saw trees and other greenery. According to the globe, such a land just isn’t there. (The Saucerian Bulletin, Jan. 15, 1960)

A very recent publication, written by a Dr. Raymond Bernard, a man with a PhD., exploits this whole subject. In the forward to his book he writes:

It is the purpose of this book to present scientific evidence to prove that the Earth, rather than being a solid sphere with a fiery center of molten metal, as generally supposed, is really hollow, with openings at its poles. Also, in its hollow interior exists an advanced civilization which is the creator of the flying saucers. (The Hollow Earth, by Dr. Raymond Bernard, p. 23)


[139] Another author writing on the same subject added:

The earth is hollow. The Poles, so long sought, are phantom. There are openings at the northern and southern extremities. In the interior are vast continents, oceans, mountains and rivers. Vegetable and animal life are evident in this New World, and it is probably peopled by races unknown to dwellers on the Earth’s surface. (Phantoms of the Poles, by William Reed)

Another person claimed he saw the inside of the earth with a very sophisticated civilization. He described these people as…

living under an economic system by which they own all things in common, without private aggrandizement or hoarding, and without class distinctions of rich and poor, capitalist or worker. Also they have an equitable system of distribution free from exploitation and usury; and there is no poverty among them, since all are on a basis of perfect equality through a system of common ownership. They have no private property and work together cooperatively for their mutual welfare. (Our Paradise Inside the Earth, by Theodore Fitch)

A Russian by the name of Ossendowski wrote the account of a Mongol who told him that…

a holy man disappeared into the earth accompanied by a tribe of people and never returned to its surface. ***

All inhabitants of this region are protected against evil, and no crime exists within its boundaries. Science developed [140] tranquilly, uninterrupted by war and free from the spirit of destruction. Consequently the subterranean people were able to achieve a much higher degree of wisdom. They compose a vast empire with millions of inhabitants governed by the King of the World. He masters all the forces of nature, can read what is within the souls of all, and in the great book of destiny. Invisibly he rules over eight hundred million human beings, all willing to execute his orders. (Beasts, Men and Gods, by Ossendowski)

One of these witnesses said that on this visit to this strange world there came to him…


a man of beautiful appearance, who presented to him a Golden tablet bearing strange inscriptions, saying:

The King of the World will appear to all men when comes the time of the war of the good against the evil; but this time has not yet come. The worst members of the human race have yet to be born. (The Hollow Earth, p. 232)

These unusual and numerous testimonies coupled with over forty scriptures pertaining to “in the earth” certainly cannot easily be shrugged off as a possible place for the residents of the Ten Tribes. They at least provide a very interesting story.



One popular story tells how the ten tribes left the earth and went to a star. This “star theory” came from an early pioneer by the name of Benjamin Brown. The following dialogue is from an interview with Homer M. Brown, a grandson of Benjamin Brown:



… Sister Eliza R. Snow, in visiting my grandparents, was asked by my grandmother: “Eliza, where did you get your ideas about the Ten Lost Tribes being taken away as you explain it in your wonderful hymn?” [See page 147 for this hymn]

She answered as follows: “Why, my husband (The Prophet Joseph) told me about it.”

Have you any other information that your grandfather ever gave you as contained in any conversation with the Prophet Joseph Smith?

I have! One evening in Nauvoo, just after dark, somebody rapped at the door very vigorously. Grandfather said he was reading the Doctrine and Covenants. He rose hurriedly and answered the summons at the door, where he met the Prophet Joseph Smith.

He said, “Brother Brown, can you keep me over night, the mobs are after me?” Grandfather answered, “Yes, sir. It will not be the first time, come in.”

“All right,” the Prophet said, shutting the door quickly. He came in and sat down. Grandmother said: “Brother Joseph, have you had your supper?”

“No,” he answered, “I have not.” So she prepared him a meal and he ate it. Afterward they were in conversation relative to the principles of the Gospel. During the conversation the ten lost tribes were mentioned. Grandfather said, “Joseph, [142] where are the ten tribes? He said, “Come to the door and I will show you; come on Sister Brown, I want you both to see.”

It being a starlight night the Prophet said: “Brother Brown, can you show me the Polar Star?” “Yes, sir,” he said, pointing to the North Star. “There it is.” “Yes, I how,” said the Prophet, “but which one? There are a lot of stars there.”

Grandfather said: “Can you see the points of the Dipper?” The Prophet answered, “Yes.” “Well,” he said, “trace the pointers,” pointing up to the largest star. “That is the North Star.”

The Prophet answered: “You are correct. Now,” he said, pointing toward the star, “do you discern a little twinkler* to the right and below the Polar Star, which we would judge to be about the distance of 20′ from here?”

Grandfather answered, “Yes, sir.” The Prophet said: “Sister Brown, do you see that star also?” Her answer was “Yes, sir.”

“Very well then,” he said. “Let’s go in.” After re-entering the house, the Prophet said: “Brother Brown, I noticed when I came in that you were reading the Doctrine and Covenants. Will you kindly get it?”


* This must refer to a “star” since planets do not twinkle.



He did so. The Prophet turned to Section 133 and read, commencing at the 26th verse and through out to the 34th verse. He said, after reading the 31st verse, “Now let me ask you what would cause the Everlasting Hills to tremble with more violence than the coming together of the two planets. And the place whereon they reside will return to this Earth. Now,” he said, “Scientists will tell you that it is not scientific: that two planets coming together would be disastrous to both; but, when two planets or other objects are traveling in the same direction and one of then with a little greater velocity than the other, it would not be disastrous, because the one traveling faster would overtake the other. Now, what would cause the mountains of ice to melt quicker than the heat caused by the friction of the two planets coming together?” And then he asked the question, “Did you ever see a meteor falling that was not red hot? So that would cause the mountains of ice to melt.”

“And relative to the Great Highway which should be cast up when the planet returns to its place in the great Northern Waters, it will form a highway and waters will recede and roll back.” He continued, “Now as to their coming back from the Northern Waters; they will return from the north because their planet will return to the place from whence it was taken.”

Relative to the waters rolling back to the north. If you take a vessel of water and swing it rapidly around your head, you won’t spill any; but if you stop [144] the motion gradually, it will begin to pour out. “Now,” he said, “Brother Brown, at the present time this earth is rotating very rapidly. When this planet returns it will make the earth that much heavier, and it will then revolve slower, and that will account for the waters receding from the earth for a great while, but it has now turned and is proceeding rapidly eastward.” (The Last Days, Robert W. Smith, 1947, pp. 77-80, 11th Edition.)

There is a scripture which lends some support to this story which comes from the Old Testament:

And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: (Deut. 30:1-4)

From this scripture it appears that the Lord threatened to scatter Israel throughout the nations of the world, with the exception or possibility of a few who might go to heaven.


[145] Both the preceding scripture and story inferring that they are in “heaven” or on a “star” must imply that they have passed through mortality. Mortals do not dwell in heaven, nor can they live on a star (which is literally a blazing sun). Every star, or sun, is a celestial kingdom and all those who reside there are resurrected, celestial beings.

Brigham Young supports the idea of beings dwelling on the sun, and describes a sun, or star, as a celestialized sphere. Said he:

So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized. Every planet in its first rude, organic state receives not the glory of God upon it, but is opaque; but when celestialized, every planet that God brings into existence is a body of light, but not till then. (Brigham Young, J.D. 13:271)


And again:

Sunday – May 14th. Pleasant. At conference again. *** Brother Brigham spoke on the philosophy of our religion, said that all true science emanated from God, *** Spoke of the vast creations of God and the millions of worlds that had and would be redeemed, said that the sun was inhabited and God dwelt in the midst of eternal burnings….” (Journal of Charles Walker, 1876)


[146] Hence, if any of the ten tribes have been transferred to a star, or sun, it would indicate that they have passed through the veil of death and are in a resurrected state. They would necessarily be celestial beings on a celestial sphere.

It seems rather strange that the ten tribes could have emerged as a body from such a fallen state of apostasy, to become translated or exalted to or near a “star” in heaven. Such an achievement within a short period of time is without a doubt the greatest spiritual accomplishment in all the pages of sacred history. If such a magnificent and righteous achievement did occur, it certainly has failed to receive proper publicity. The scriptures and prophets alike have failed to point to this one lone triumph of a whole nation. Even Enoch managed to get only a city into such a condition after laboring 365 years. Such a stupendous event should have been heralded by all the prophets as an example for every other nation to follow.



Some say that when Joseph pointed to a “little twinkler” star, he was giving only the general locality of a planet on which the ten tribes reside. A considerable number of people advocate this theory and believe that a portion of this earth was separated and sent off into space.


“Brother Call, you have heard the statement of Brother Brown, concerning the ten tribes of Israel being upon another planet besides this earth. Can you give me–us–any corroborative evidence of this statement as made by Brother Brown from any of your recollections that as a boy you were told by your father or others?”



“Yes, my father, Anson Call, was a particular friend of the Prophet Joseph. I heard him say on a number of occasions that the Prophet told him in company with others that the ten tribes were on a portion of this earth, that had been taken away.” (The Last Days, Smith, p. 81)

Matthias F. Cowley states that he read this idea expressed in the journals of Wilford Woodruff:

The leaders on their return from Provo made a visit to Logan. Here, President Young is quoted as saying that the ten tribes of Israel are on a portion of the earth–a portion separated from the main land. (Wilford Woodruff, p. 448)

Eliza R. Snow wrote a hymn for the Church in which one verse read:

And when the Lord saw fit to hide

The “ten lost tribes” away,

Thou, earth, was severed to provide

The orb on which they stay.

(1905 Hymn Book, p. 322)

There is some dispute as to the tribes being translated or transported to another orb. If they were translated, they would be living in a spiritual existence similar to John the Revelator, the three Nephites, or the people of Enoch. In a translated state, they would be unable to reproduce children as mortals or resurrected beings. Only those who were translated would return–they would not be bringing a host of posterity, acquired after their absence from the earth.

If the ten tribes were transported to another sphere as mortals, it would be necessary for them to [148] be placed on a sphere of equal size to that of the earth, with similar living conditions. Human beings cannot survive on planets much smaller or larger than the planet earth. The forces of gravitation would make life awkward if the planet were smaller, or extremely difficult if the sphere were any larger.

One of the objections for the tribes of Israel leaving this earth is because it would have no reason or purpose. Neither do we have any record or history of their being righteous enough to be called away. Indeed, their last record describes their being overcome with all manner of wickedness.

However, if this transportation did occur, we do not know exactly when–nor is there any account of a large portion of this earth being taken away.

However, some suppose that the moon is a portion of this earth and was appointed as the planet for these tribes. Since the moon is a planet revolving around the earth, and is in its gravitational sphere, it may be considered a part of this earth. There are references which support the idea of the moon having inhabitants–possibly those of the ten tribes.


Brigham Young said:

Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed “the man in the moon,” and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere, you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. (Brigham Young, J.D. 13:271)


[149] Oliver B. Huntington adds:

“The inhabitants of the moon are more of a uniform size than the inhabitants of the earth, being about 6 feet in height.

They dress very much like the quaker style and are quite general in style, or the one fashion of dress.

They live to be very old; coming generally, near a thousand years.”

This is the description of them as given by Joseph the Seer, and he could “see” whatever he asked the father in the name of Jesus to see. (O. B. Huntington Journal, p. 166)

* * *

As far back as 1837, I know that he [J.S.] said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do–that they live generally to near the age of 1,000 years.

He described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the quaker style.

In my Patriarchal blessing, given by the father of Joseph the Prophet, in Kirtland, 1837, I was told that I should preach the gospel before I was 21 years of age; that I should preach the gospel to the inhabitants upon the islands of the sea, and–to the inhabitants of the moon, even the planet you can now behold with your eyes.

The first two promises have been fulfilled, and the latter may be verified.

From the verification of two promises we may reasonably expect the third to be fulfilled also. (O. B. Huntington, Young Women’s Journal, 3:263-64)


[150] These references to the inhabitants of the moon could indicate only a spiritual realm. It would in no way imply a dwelling place for mortals. Every mile of the moon has been photographed, surveyed and mapped, not to mention its absence of water, oxygen, and vegetation necessary for mortals to exist. Nowhere on the moon is there a house, canal, road, or any other evidence of mortal man’s being there. Since O. B. Huntington was called to “preach the gospel to the inhabitants of the moon,” it would indicate they were not acquainted with the principles of the gospel. His mission certainly implies preaching to the inhabitants of a spirit world. Hence, the inhabitants of the moon are in a spiritual world–similar to the one that surrounds this earth–where both good and evil spirits dwell. These could be at least a part of the House of israel.



Another theory for the locality of the lost tribes is attributed to Joseph Smith by Philo Dibble He presented a drawing similar to one drawn by the Prophet. (See opposite page)

The sphere marked “A” represented the earth, and the ten tribes were on the sphere marked “B”. He did not state the purpose for sphere “C”, but others have supposed that it could be the City of Enoch.

This theory also corresponds with Brown’s report of a planet coming in contact with the earth. This combining of earths can be interpreted either as a physical or a spiritual contact. If it refers to a physical collision, it would mean a complete change in the earth’s surface–two spheres of equal size placed side by side would change their center of gravity to the contact edge of each sphere. This would cause all the oceans and land masses to be [continued on 153]


[151]         Philo Dibble’s Diagram of “THE WINGS OF THE EARTH”


[152]                             AFFIDAVITS






Sidney Dibble, of Springville, Utah County , State of Utah, after being first duly sworn, on oath says, that M. W. Dalton, of Willard, Utah, has shown him a drawing drawn by C. F. Wells, Jr., of Willard, Utah, representing to be a drawing of the earth and a sphere north of the north pole, and a sphere south of the south pole, both spheres connected to the earth by a narrow neck of land, and I hereby certify that the drawing shown me by M. W. Dalton is a facsimile of a drawing shown me by my father Philo Dibble, which he told me was given him by the Prophet Joseph Smith about the year A.D. 1842, with the exception that both the northern sphere marked B is a little too large in proportion to the earth; also that the southern sphere, marked C, is also too large in proportion to the earth.

Sidney Dibble

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 30th day of January, A.D. 1906

James Caffrey,

Notary Public


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Source: “A Key to this Earth,” by Matthew Dalton 1906.


[153] drawn to the new gravitational center. The shifting of the center of gravity would fuse the two spheres into one large sphere. This merging of planets would be of such force that no human beings could survive. Even if they did, a man would weigh nearly a quarter of a ton, and would have to tolerate chaotic atmospheric changes.



Another different, as well as conflicting, theory of the ten tribes’ residence was attributed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Benjamin F. Johnson, one of the closest friends of the Prophet, wrote in his diary:

I asked where the nine and a half tribes of Israel were. “Well,” said he, [J.S.] “you remember the old caldron or potash kettle you used to boil maple sap in for sugar, don’t you?” I said yes. “Well,” said he, “they are in the north pole in a concave just the shape of that kettle. And John the Revelator is with them, preparing them for their return.” (My Life’s Review, p. 93)

This idea lends support to the theory of “Shangri-La” in the frigid north. It also substantiates the records of the Apocrypha:

But they took this counsel among themselves that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt. (II Esdras 13:41)

Even in the days of the Prophet, this idea was purported, and also written in Church periodicals. W. W. Phelps, in 1835, wrote:



The parts of the globe that are known probably contain 700 millions of inhabitants, and those parts which are unknown may be supposed to contain more than four times as many more, making an estimated total of about three thousand, five hundred and eighty millions of souls: Let no man marvel at this statement, because there may be a continent at the north pole, of more than 1300 square miles, containing thousands of millions of Israelites, who, after a highway is cast up in the great deep, may come to Zion, singing songs of everlasting joy. The Lord must bring to pass the words of Isaiah, which say to the NORTH, “Give up; and to the South; keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” From the north and south END, I presume, as no one has ever pretended that there was an end to the globe any where else. (Messenger & Advocate 2:194)

The learned Apostle Orson Pratt was also inclined to believe this view by adding further calculation to the Apocryphal story of the northward travels of the tribes. Said he:

When the Ten Tribes left Assyria they crossed the Euphrates River from west to east, miraculously. They must have repented of their sins or God would not have miraculously divided the river for them to pass over. They likely passed between the Black and Caspian Seas and continued on through Russia to the extreme north shores of Europe, i.e., 2500 miles north. But this could not be a year and-a half’s journey: indeed, it would not be an average of five miles a day. From many inti-[155]mations of ancient prophecy they evidently had a highway made for them in the midst of the Arctic Ocean and were led to a land in the neighborhood of the North Pole. This region would be about 4000 miles north of their Assyrian residence and could be traveled in eighteen months time at an average of a little less than eight miles a day. (Mill. Star 29:200-201)

Years later George Reynolds added the following:

…what must have been the sensations of even the boldest when they stood facing the icy waters of the Arctic Sea! …they approach the frozen shores of these unexplored waters in the gloom of the arctic winter’s continued night, then their feelings of awe must have been still more intense. No wonder if some turned aside, retraced their steps into northern Europe and mingled the seed of Ephraim with that of the heathen in those parts. But the main body did not falter; they followed where God led, yet farther north. Whether they crossed on the ice of winter, or whether by direct interposition of Jehovah, such as when the waters of the Red Sea were divided, we know not; to learn this secret we must abide His time, when the story of their exodus from Media and establishment in Arsareth will be revealed. (Juvenile Instructor 18:28, Jan. 15, 1883)

However, recent scientific research, aerial mapping and surveys have failed to reveal any possible place on the arctic pole for a nation of people to be dwelling.



The most popular belief held by many scriptorians and scholars concerning the disappearance of the ten tribes is that they were gradually intermixed and intermarried among the other nations. This view is not as spectacular and perhaps seemingly less spiritual; but the evidence and reasoning behind it is substantially more preponderant.

To reconcile the fate of the ten tribes, one perhaps should not consider “where” the lost tribes are, but rather “why” they are lost. Why did they lose their land inheritances? Why did they lose their king and kingdom? Why did they lose their national pride and even their language? What were the reasons they became captive slaves, losing their freedom, their power, and their identity as a nation?

The scriptures inform us that at the time of their national disintegration, Israel had been opposed by other nations; internally they were suffering from rivalries to the throne, massacres, idolatry, and nearly every species of wickedness. In the 17th chapter of 2nd Kings we read that the Israelites “did secretly those things that were not right” and “burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen,” and they also “served idols.” Even the Lord testified against them “by all the prophets and by all the seers” but still “they would not hear.” They had “rejected His statues,” “followed vanity,” and “went after the heathen.” They had made “molten. images” and “served Baal.” The Israelites had become so wicked they forced their children to “pass through fire” and also “sold themselves to do evil” because they “walked in all the sins of Jeroboam.” It is little wonder that the Lord caused them to be taken captive as slaves and lose their national existence.


[157] The last factual history we have of the tribes of Israel places them in the same state of apostasy as the Nephite-Lamanite nation in the 5th century A.D. (Compare II Kings 17:13-15 with Moroni 9:4) They had become more wicked than the heathen because they had sinned against light.

Thus, whatever may be said pertaining to the tribes of Israel and their location, their last history describes them in a totally corrupt and fallen state of apostasy.

Rather than becoming a standard, an ensign to the nations, or a light to the world, the Israelites were troubled with wickedness and spiritual failing. From the time of their golden calf, to their captivity, they were continually chastised and afflicted because of their sins.

The Lord gave the Israelites this solemn and prophetic warning through Moses:

And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary to me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I; will chastise you seven times for your sins.

And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. (Lev. 26:27, 28, 33)

Then later at the time of Israel’s captivity, the Lord’s anger was provoked against them and we read:

For the Lord shall smite Israel [not Judah] as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel [10 tribes and [158] Ephraim] out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the Lord to anger. And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin. (I Kings 14:15-16)

Thus we see both the wickedness of Israel and the prophetic punishment which the Lord was to bring upon them. The other nation or kingdom in Israel, the House of Judah, was not as wicked as its sister kingdom, nor did it have as many internal dissensions. At times Judah was ruled by good kings, so its government survived that of the Israelites by another 120 years.

It appears from the scriptures that generally the whole house of Jacob would fail in keeping the covenants of their God. The result would be the curse of being scattered all over the earth. For over 2,000 years all of the tribes of Israel have been scattering, but in the last 200 years the two houses or kingdoms of Israel have been gradually gathering to the lands of their inheritances.

There are several reasonable evidences that substantiate the scattering of Israel throughout the nations of the world:


Bible Scripture:

An abundance of scriptures indicate that both Israel and Judah would become dispersed throughout the nations of the earth; and then in the latter days they would again be gathered. A few scriptures will suffice:

Therefore behold the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, [159] The Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but the Lord liveth that brought the children of Israel from the land of the North, and from all lands whether he had driven them. (Jer. 16:14-15)

* * *

But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land. (Jer. 23:8)

* * *

Behold, I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and he that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them…. (Jer. 31:8-9)

* * *

Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.



Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. (Ezekiel 36:16, 17-19, 22-24)

* * *

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shiner, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. (Isaiah 11:11-12)

Jeremiah infers that because Israel and Judah had sinned, they would be scattered, but later they would be gathered–“one of a city and two of a family” (Jer. 3:14) until both the house of Judah and the house of Israel would be gathered to the lands of their inheritance.



Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth. (Jer. 31:8)

* * *

For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations wither I have scattered thee, yet I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished. (Jer. 30:11)

The Prophet Amos confirms the words of Jeremiah:

For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. (Amos 9:8-9)

The Mormon people have quoted the 37th chapter of Ezekiel to prove the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, but a careful reading of this chapter will identify and locate the tribes of Israel:

Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; (Ezekiel 37:19-21)


[162] God will gather the house of Israel as one nation “in the land upon the mountains,” which is Utah, and then the Israelites will not any more defile themselves with “detestable things.” Thus the children of Israel from their captivity until their gathering to Utah will have been defiled and deluded and scattered “among the heathen,” (See Ezekiel 37:22-23)


Patriarchal Prophecy:

Father Abraham received a blessing that pertained to his posterity–that they would be scattered throughout the nations of the earth. The Lord said to Abraham:

…thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and Kings shall come out of thee. (Gen. 17:4-6)

* * *

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Gen. 22:18)

* * *

And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south; and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Gen. 28:14)

* * *


[163] Notice also that Jacob and his posterity received the same blessing:

And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins. (Gen. 35:11)

Thus, both Abraham’s children and Jacob’s children were destined to become many nations on the earth according to the blessings and revelations of God.

The patriarchal blessings that Jacob gave to his twelve sons is of considerable interest because of their prophetic future description. He brought his sons together and gave them patriarchal blessings which foretold not only their future but that of their descendants. These blessings were not very favorable for the ten sons or tribes of Jacob. They read in substance as follows:


Reuben:                                 unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.

Simeon & Levi:                    instruments of cruelty.

Zebulun:                                                shall dwell at the haven of the sea.

Issachar:                                               bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.

Dan:                                                       shall be a serpent by the way.

Gad:                                                       a troop shall overcome him.

Asher:                                    shall yield royal dainties.

Naphtali:                                               is a hind let loose.

Benjamin:                                             shall raven as a wolf; and at night divide the spoil.

The blessings of the ten tribes yielded no great promise of righteousness or special future accomplishments. Nothing indicates their becoming worthy of translation or transportation to another sphere, or [164] being isolated somewhere on earth. Indeed, only Judah possessed the rights of the “sceptre” until “Shiloh” or the Savior would come. The only son among the 12 who had promise of doing any traveling was Joseph, and he was promised that he eventually would make it “over the wall,” or the ocean. If any of the sons of Israel had a promise of righteousness and finding favor with God, or worthiness to be translated, it was Joseph. He was a “fruitful bough,” who “abode in strength” and was “made strong by the mighty God.” It was he whom “God shall help” and the “Almighty shall bless thee with the blessings of heaven.” Yet with such blessings as these, his descendants were to go only beyond the “wall” and be separate from his brethren by the ocean. Notice also that Joseph was to separate from his brethren–not that his brethren would be separated from Joseph.

The record of the lives of the sons of Jacob best express the story of the tribes of Israel. By understanding the character and righteousness of each son, one can determine the character and history of each of their tribal descendants.

Judah proved somewhat more righteous than the other ten sons. It was not in his heart to kill Joseph, but only to sell him. (see Gen. 37:26-27) Judah also held some influence as spokesman for the other brothers throughout most of their lives. He was also given the right to the “sceptre” and the promised lineage in which the Messiah was to be born.

The other ten sons of Jacob could not be considered valiant in their lives–nor were they ever outstanding as tribal nations.

Joseph was blessed with the choicest blessings of God, and he became the leader in saving the rest of his family. Likewise, his tribe will be the sav-[165]ing descendants in the last days for the other tribes and by whom they shall obtain their temporal and spiritual blessings.


Book of Mormon Prophecy:

Nephi foresaw many great events in the last days. With his prophetic manner he described an occurrence when many people from all nations would fight against the Lord’s people. Note the power of God, at that time, that would be poured out upon his servants. He describes two classes of the Lord’s people in this prophecy.

I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God. [not yet fulfilled] And it came to pass that I Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the Church of the Lamb, AND upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon the face of the earth. (I Nephi 14:13-14)

The Saints of the Church and the covenant people who are scattered represent Ephraim and the Ten Tribes. The covenant people are scattered upon all the face of the earth, but the Saints of the Church of the Lamb would have been gathering for more than a century, and the Jews would be almost gathered by the time of this prophecy.

Further evidence follows showing that Nephi believed the Twelve Tribes of Israel were scattered throughout the earth and among all nations:

Yea, then will he remember the isles of the sea; yea, and all the people who are [166] of the house of Israel will I gather in, saith the Lord, according to the words of the prophet Zenos, from the four quarters of the earth. (I Nephi 19:16; also see Zenos’ prophecy, Jacob 5:13, 14, where it states “… the Lord … hid the natural branches of the tame olive-tree in the nethermost [lowest] parts of the vineyard, some in one and some in another, according to his will and pleasure.”)

* * *

Wherefore, the things of which I have read are things pertaining to things both temporal and spiritual; for it appears that the house of Israel, sooner or later, will be scattered upon all the face of the earth, and also among all nations. And behold, there are many who are already lost from the knowledge of those who are at Jerusalem. Yea, the more part of the tribes have been led away; and they are scattered to and fro upon the isles of the sea;…

And it meaneth that the time cometh that after all the house of Israel have been scattered and confounded, that the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea, even upon the face of this land;… (I Nephi 22:3, 4, 7)

Yea, even my father spake much concerning the Gentiles, and also concerning the house of Israel, that they should be compared like unto an olive-tree, whose branches should be broken off and should be scattered upon all the face of the earth. (I Nephi 10:12)



And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory. (I Nephi 14:14)

* * *

And again: Hearken, O ye house of Israel, all ye that are broken off and are driven out, because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people; yea, all ye that are broken off; that are scattered abroad, who are of my people, O house of Israel. Listen, O isles, unto me, and hearken ye people from far; the Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name. (Isaiah’s writings, I Nephi 21:1)

* * *

And as surely as the Lord liveth, will he gather in from the four quarters of the earth all the remnant of the seed of Jacob, who are scattered abroad upon all the face of the earth. (3 Nephi 5:24)

* * *

And I command you that ye shall write these sayings, after I am gone, that if it be so that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me, and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other [168] tribes that they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept, and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fullness of the Gentiles the remnant of their seed who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought to a knowledge of me their Redeemer. And then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfil the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel. (3 Nephi 16:4-5)

* * *

And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father, to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name. Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father, among all nations, in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward. (3 Nephi 21:26-29)

* * *


[169] These ancient Nephite prophets undoubtedly saw the future destiny of the American nation, and they expressed the view that the tribes of Israel would be gathered from all the nations.


Historians and Scholars:

From the Book of Apocrypha we read that the house of Israel were brought to a “further country” and would be spared from the future judgments by being able to remain on earth:

Those are the Ten Tribes which were carried away captives out of their own land in the time of Oseas the king, whom Salmanaser, the king of the Assyrians, took captive, and crossed them beyond the river; so were they brought into another land. But they took this counsel to themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth unto a further country where never man dwelt, *** Then dwelt they there until the latter time, and when they come forth again. (II Esdras 13:40, 41, 46)

* * *

Now when he destroyeth the multitude of the nations that are gathered together, he shall defend his people that remain. And then shall he show them great wonders. (II Esdras 13:49-50}

The historian Josephus, who lived at the time of Christ, wrote that:

…the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now, [60 A.D.] and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers. (Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. II, Ch. 5, v. 2)

[170] Then Paul the Apostle, while talking to King Agrippa about the promises of God, said;

…unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. (Acts 26:7)

Josephus says that this same King Agrippa exhorted the Saints to be loyal to the Romans, and he discouraged the Jews from expecting any help from the other tribes beyond the Euphrates because Parthian would not permit them to leave. (See Josephus, Book II, Ch. 16:4)

In the 5th century, the most famous scriptorian of the Catholic Church, St. Jerome–who was also noted as one of the better scholars and historians–wrote:

Unto this day the ten tribes are subject to the kings of the Persians, nor has their captivity ever been loosed. (TOM VI p. 7)

And again:

The ten tribes inhabit at this day the cities and mountains of the Medes. (TOM VI, p. 80)

Stephen Malan, an outstanding Mormon scholar, spent over 50 years researching the subject of the 12 tribes of Israel. After the conclusions of his researches in 1912, he wrote:

A long period of spiritual darkness was brought to an end by the restoration of the gospel to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Were the ten tribes enjoying the blessings of the gospel during this apostasy? As-[171]suredly not–unless they were somewhere on the outside of the earth on another planet, but this could not be sustained because it would be contrary to the declaration of the latter text. (D. & C. 133:26) Christ informed the Prophet Joseph that there were none on the earth except the Latter-day Saints who were recognized as his church. It is evident, then, that the ten tribes did not have the true church nor the holy priesthood nor the ordinances of the gospel. The presiding authorities of our modern church in their succession are the only prophets the ten tribes have, because the Latter-day Saints are of the seed of Ephraim, as thousands of patriarchal blessings testify, and Ephraim has therefore come again into his birthright, in his commission of the ministering for the whole ten, being heir to the holy priesthood to officiate in the holy ordinances for the whole; hence the precursor to build up Zion.

Thus, . . . we have shown that there are no grounds whatever for believing that the ten tribes are now and have been for centuries a separate and distinct nation living in complete isolation from the rest of mankind. Also from the further fact that should they have multiplied during twenty-four centuries upon any part of the known earth, they could not be isolated nor unknown to mankind at this age; hence the argument so often repeated of their being “lost,” and of their being recovered from their hiding places, cannot be construed otherwise than by the process of having become mixed with other people, and recovered from said mixture. (The Ten Tribes–Discovered and Identified, by Stephen Malan, 1912, p. 143-45)


[172] Brigham H. Roberts, one of the seven presidents of the Seventies, also advocated that the ten tribes were scattered over the earth:

Then again, in the matter of this return of the “lost tribes of Israel,” there are those I believe, who, seeing that there was small hope of a location for them about the north pole, have held that perhaps the said lost tribes were located upon some detached portion of the earth. As to that, I have no opinion to express; but this I believe, for myself, that within the known regions of the earth, where the children of men are located, it is quite possible for God to fulfill all his predictions in relation to the return of Israel. It would have been quite possible for God to scatter, or to use the language of the prophet Amos–“Sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve,” and “yet not the least grain fall upon the earth”–i.e., be lost to the knowledge of God, though now lost to men. And as it was possible to lose these tribes of Israel among the nations of the earth, so is it possible for God to recover them from their scattered condition from among these nations, with a display of the divine power. (Defense of the Faith and the Saints, Vol. II, B. H. Roberts, pg. 479-480)

Anthony W. Ivins, one of the members of the First Presidency was also convinced that the ten tribes were scattered:



The fate which befell the House of Israel had been plainly outlined by the prophets whom the Lord had sent to warn [173] them that the penalty of disobedience would be the dissolution of the nation, and that they would be taken from the land of their inheritance, and scattered among the strange and unbelieving nations of the world. A final fulfilment of this prophecy occurred when, about one hundred years after the birth of the Redeemer, Judea was trodden down by the Roman armies under Vespasian and his son Titus, Jerusalem taken, the temple destroyed, and the Jews scattered among the nations of the world, where they have remained until the present day.

The prophets Zechariah and Ezekiel had declared that the shepherds would neglect the flock, and that the sheep would be scattered, and become the prey of strange nations. To all human appearance, judged by every law of human reasoning, the promise made to Abraham had failed, he had been promised that Palestine should be the everlasting heritage of his children, and now they held dominion over no part of it. The end, it appeared, had come, the words of the prophets had been literally fulfilled, the promise made by the Lord if ever to be realized was still future.

Notwithstanding the fact that the Israelitish people had been scattered and lost to the world, to become the prey of strange and unbelieving nations, the Lord had not forgotten nor forsaken then. He remembered the covenant made with their father Abraham, and decreed that it should be verified. The prophet Jeremiah, six hundred years before the birth of Christ, speaking upon this subject, declared that the Lord who scattered Israel would gather [174] him again, in these words: “Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say: He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd does his flock.”

The scripture which I have just read indicates plainly the unchangeable decree of the Lord regarding the destiny of the Israelitish people. Scattered and lost to the world as they have been, they are not lost to the Lord, nor has he forgotten the covenant which he made with their father Abraham, and which was reconfirmed upon the heads of Isaac and Jacob. (Conf. Rept. April. 5, 1925, pg. 46, 47, 49)

Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, which is owned and operated by Herbert W. and Garner Ted Armstrong, has researched the destiny of the tribes of Israel and wrote to the author this letter which is most interesting:

Dear Friend:                                                                                                            March 1974

You wanted to know what individual nations of the world are identified as the tribes of Israel.

The tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, respectively, are identified in our free book THE UNITED STATES AND BRITISH COMMONWEALTH IN PROPHECY. Briefly, Manasseh is the United States and Ephraim basically constitutes the English-speaking member countries of the British Commonwealth (Great Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa).

The tribe of Judah (the Jews) is scattered among all nations, with a large num-[175]ber now living in the modern nation of Israel.

Putting together the evidence now available from Biblical and secular history we can be reasonably certain that the other tribes are located as follows: Levi and Simeon–scattered among Israel; Reuben–France; Dan–Southern Ireland; Benjamin–Norway and Iceland; Issachar–Finland; Naphtali–Sweden; Zebulun–Holland (the Netherlands); Gad–Switzerland; Asher–Belgium and Luxembourg.


It has been suggested that the names applied to nations have a basis which may imply some identity as to their founders.

The word “Scot” is derived from the word “Scyth.” It means “an inhabitant of Scythia.” The Scots are part of the House of Israel. Interestingly, the word Scythia, in Celtic, has the same meaning that Hebrew does in the Sematic language–a “migrant” or “wanderer.” (Where Did the Twelve Apostles Go?, Herman L. Hoeh, p. 7)

George Reynolds also stated that some of the present nations derived their names from the tribes:

…it has been claimed that Denmark was colonized by the tribe of Dan (in Danish it is Danmark, or Dan’s land, to this day), so, according to this, a Dane is simply a Danite. Jutland, adjoining, is regarded as Judah’s land, Jute being considered merely another form of the word Jew; while a little further north we find Gottland, [176] Gothland, or Gad’s land, as these writers believe, thus tracing in immediate proximity the homes of three prominent tribes of Israel through the names given to the regions they settled in. (Are We of Israel? by George Reynolds, p. 18)


The Mission of John the Revelator:

John the Revelator received a very important mission after his appointed time in mortality. Joseph Smith gives an interesting insight to that mission:

The Spirit of the Lord fell upon Joseph in an unusual manner, and he prophesied that John the Revelator was then among the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel…to prepare them for their return from their long dispersion to again possess the land of their fathers. (History of the Church, I:176)

Further information is found in the Doctrine and Covenants concerning John’s special mission:

What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?

We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things. (D. & C. 77:14)

By locating the place where John the Revelator’s mission is, we can determine the locality of the ten tribes of Israel. First, we go back to the appointment of John to that special mission.


[177] When Peter walked with the resurrected Jesus along the shore of Galilee, He indicated to Peter that he, too, would lose his life for the Gospel. Peter then noticed John the Beloved walking behind them and said, “What shall this man do?”. Jesus answered by saying, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” “Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die.” (See John 21:18-23)

The Doctrine and Covenants records John’s request to tarry on the earth:

And the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you. And I said unto him: Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee. And the Lord said unto me: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people. (D. & C. 7:1-3)

The Apostle John was to tarry here on earth as a translated being, and his mission was to remain here teaching the gospel to every nation. In this same revelation to the Prophet, the Lord clearly defines where John’s mission was:

…he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth. (D. & C. 7:6)

Thus we see that John the Revelator was to “tarry” on the earth until the Savior would come again. His mission is to “minister” to the 10 tribes to prepare them for their gathering from their “long dispersion.”


[178] The Mission of the Three Nephites:

There were three apostles of Jesus on this American continent who also had a very unique desire–a desire for a mission identical to that of John the Revelator:


Jesus spoke to them and said: “Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me.” (3 Nephi 28:6)

After receiving a promise to tarry, they again went forth with their labors and “they did again minister upon the face of the earth.” (3 Nephi 28:16)

It was also written that:

…they will be among the Gentiles, and the Gentiles shall know them not. They will also be among the Jews, and the Jews shall know them not.

And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom that they shall minister unto all the scattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled,… (3 Nephi 28:27-29)

One of the most fascinating stories of the three Nephites is the account of “Mr. Edge” who was the mysterious preacher of Tennessee. In his sermons he spoke of the prophecies in the scriptures that referred to “the gathering together of Israel; to the rebuilding of Jerusalem by the Jews; to the [179] mountains of ice flowing down and highways being cast up for the people to travel upon who should come from the north countries whither they have been scattered. (The Three Nephites, Kraut, p. 70)

As one of the three Nephites whose desire and mission was to minister among the Ten Tribes, he would certainly know where they were. On this occasion his testimony signifies that the Ten Tribes were scattered among the “north countries.”

The mission of the three Nephites was to remain on the earth in the work of the ministry until the Savior comes again, the same as John the Revelator. That ministry was to include preaching to the “scattered tribes of Israel” during their labors here on the earth.


The Mission of the Twelve:

When the Lord speaks of the “lost” tribes of Israel, He may be inferring that they are in spiritual darkness. Jeremiah, speaking for the Lord, said: “My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray,…. ” (Jer. 50:6)

Ezekiel was told to speak against those shepherds who scattered the flock of Israel.

My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of [180] all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, … (Ezekiel 34:6, 11, 12, 13, 16)

Every tribe of the house of Jacob have been “lost” and scattered. It has only been when they obeyed the gospel and were gathered that they gained their identity. When they were disobedient, they were scattered and lost; when they repented and accepted the gospel, they were found and were gathered.

When Jesus came in the meridian of time, He told His disciples, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 15:24) Then He gave a commandment to the twelve by saying:

Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 10:5-6)

Apparently the apostles were informed of the condition of the tribes of Israel and their general locality because the Apostle James wrote his epistle by saying:

James a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (James 1:1)


[181] James was a faithful Apostle of Christ whose mission was directed “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Having the Savior in person to direct him in that mission, he must have certainly known where all of the tribes of Israel were to write a letter to be read by “the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.”

The other apostles, as well as James, knew their mission was to be among the children of Israel. Peter wrote:

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,…. (I Peter 1:1)


The ten tribes were, of course, strangers in these foreign countries.

Paul the Apostle was told by the Lord “to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15)

The famous historian Eusebius wrote that the apostles “passed over to those which are called the British Isles. Some of the Apostles preached the Gospel in the British Isles.” (Evangelical Demonstrations, Bk. 3, Chap. 7, Eusebius)

Another history of England gives credit to the apostles for visiting that island:

The true Christian religion was planted here most anciently by Joseph of Arimathea, Simon Zelotes, Aristobulus, by St. Peter, and St. Paul, as may be proved by Dorotheus, Theodoretus and Sophronius. (Remains of Britain, Wm. Camden, 1674, p.5)


[182] Herman L. Hoeh wrote a pamphlet which also gives evidence that the apostles were in England:

In A.D. 598, when the bishop of Rome sent Augustine to bring Catholicism to England, he found the inhabitants were already professing Christians. Their ancestors had already heard the message from one of the twelve apostles. (Where Did the Twelve Apostles Go? by Herman L. Hoeh, p. 6)

* * *

But Simon Peter, Christ’s apostle, was in Britain, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The very fact that Peter preached in Britain is proof in itself that part of the Lost House of Israel was already there. Peter was commissioned to go to the lost tribes. (Where Did the Twelve Apostles Go? by Herman L. Hoeh, p. 5)

And according to Metaphrastes, the Greek historian:

Peter was not only in these western parts [Western Mediterranean], but particularly that he was a long time in Britain, where he converted many nations to the faith. (Antiquitates Apostolicae, p. 45; marginal note)

If Peter or one of the other prophets or apostles came to England, they perhaps envisioned the gathering of Israel from that land in the latter days. An unusual experience occurred in the ministry of Heber C. Kimball when he opened the door of England to the restoration of the Gospel.



“In the interval,” writes Heber, “I went and visited the branches in the regions of Clithero and Chatburn, and on the morning when I left Chatburn many were in tears, thinking they should see my face no more. When I left them, my feelings were such as I cannot describe. As I walked down the street I was followed by numbers; the doors were crowded by the inmates of the houses to bid me farewell, who could only give vent to their grief in sobs and broken accents. While contemplating this scene I was constrained to take off my hat, for I felt as if the place was holy ground. The Spirit of the Lord rested down upon me and I was constrained to bless that whole region of country. I was followed by a great number to Clithero, a considerable distance from the villages, who could then hardly separate from me. My heart was like unto theirs, and I thought my head was a fountain of tears, for I wept for several miles after I bid them adieu. I had to leave the road three times to go to streams of water to bathe my eyes.” ***

The Prophet Joseph told him in after years that the reason he felt as he did in the streets of Chatbum was because the place was indeed “holy ground”, that some of the ancient prophets had traveled in that region and dedicated the land, and that he, Heber, had reaped the benefit of their blessing. (Life of Heber C. Kimball, by Orson F. Whitney, pp. 187-188)

Thus Peter, Paul, or one of the other prophets of Christ came to England and dedicated that land for the reception of the Restored Gospel. Heber C. Kimball obtained that testimony when he again opened the doors of that nation for the Gospel.


[184] Such a thing is not unreasonable because the last commission that Jesus gave to his apostles was, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,” (Mark 28:19) and that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:47)

Thus the apostles of Christ fulfilled their mission to the “lost sheep of Israel” and sought them out from “among all nations.”


The Last Dispensation:

Since the keys for gathering the Ten Tribes were restored to the Saints in 1836, it is evident that they are not in a gathered condition. If they were, there would be no need for the keys and the mission to get them gathered.

Secondly, if the tribes were in a body inside the earth, under a polar cap, or on a star or planet, then the keys for their gathering have been dormant for nearly 150 years. We have no record of any of the Elders visiting or gathering them back here. However, if the history of the tribes being scattered among all nations is true, then the keys and calling to gather them is being fulfilled, as many patriarchal blessings testify.

Thirdly, the commandments and revelations of the Lord in this dispensation were to be sent to “all people,” which would include the Ten Tribes of Israel, by the disciples He had chosen in these last days. To fulfill this, the Lord instructed them to go to all the “inhabitants of the earth.” (D. & C. 1:4, 6)

This is evidence that the Gospel and work of gathering is confined to this earth and that the children of Israel are in a scattered condition [185] among “all nations.” This gathering was described by Jeremiah who wrote:

Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. (Jer. 16:16)

The “fishing” and the “hunting” that must go on to gather “the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them” (Jer. 16:15) would be necessary for those whose identity had been lost, and to a people who had been scattered over the nations of the earth. If they were in a large group or body, it would not require all that “fishing” and “hunting” to gather them. The gathering of all the tribes of Israel in the last days is to be “one of a city and two of a family.”

The Lord said, “They who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord.” (D. & C. 133:26) This passage is directed to mean the ten tribes, and it does not indicate that they are in any particular locality nor are they isolated. The “north countries” may indicate the countries of the northern hemisphere. The southern countries would include Africa, South America, Australia–from which very little of the blood of Israel has been found.

And the reference that they “shall come in remembrance before the Lord” means that up until this time, they had not accepted the Gospel or had prophets to lead them. In the last days when the whole earth is in commotion, then they will accept the Gospel.



And he shall utter his voice out of Zion, and he shall speak from Jerusalem, and his voice shall be heard among all people; (D. & C. 133:21)


This will be the time that the Lord shall speak to these tribes of Israel and all nations and they will write it.


For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. (2 Nephi 29:12)

This shall fulfill His promise to visit these “other sheep” (3 Nephi 16:1-3), which when they hear His voice, there shall be “one fold and one shepherd,” an event not yet transpired.

At this time when Christ will speak to these tribes of Israel, then “their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves.” (D. & C. 133:26) In other words, they had been staying themselves or had not fully accepted the Gospel or gathered. When they do hear His words and accept the Gospel, they shall then gather together and shall come “unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.” (D. & C. 133:30)

At the time of the restoration of the Keys of Gathering in the Kirtland Temple, a font was built for baptism of the living and the dead. Twelve oxen representing the Twelve Tribes of Israel held that baptismal font. This was the time and the place for the spiritual gathering of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.


[187] Essentially two bodies of the Ten Tribes will be involved in the gathering. First, those who are mortals scattered among the nations of the earth; and second, those who have passed through mortality. They will both come to the New Jerusalem to have their ancestral genealogy linked together. Thus, the living and the dead shall gather together and the hearts of the children will turn to their fathers and unite their family together back to Father Jacob. It will be an immense work requiring nearly a millennium to accomplish.

Even though Joseph and Judah received the choicest blessings, we note that they both failed in their responsibilities and also became scattered among the nations. Indeed, a hundred years ago the gathering of Ephraim and Manasseh began–but within one hundred years, what has happened? They are scattering all over the world, and are being encouraged to do so by their leaders! With all the blessings of heaven that have been showered down upon this people, and added manifestations of power to gather them, yet within a century they are forsaking that covenant.

If Ephraim, in our day, has reverted from gathering to scattering, it is only reasonable that the Ten Tribes did the same. In this dispensation Ephraim was given the commandment to gather, bestowed with Melchizedek Priesthood, and given the keys of gathering; yet they have reversed those obligations and are now scattering. In less than 100 years Ephraim is becoming scattered among the nations, while the Ten Tribes had centuries to do it. We are witnesses of Ephraim with the fullness of the Gospel reverting to a scattered condition. It certainly would have been easier for the Ten Tribes to do it during their rebellious state of apostasy.

The Apostle Orson Pratt clearly illustrated:



We find ourselves a government organized upon these great principles, and a government in peace. This government has to maintain its character, and become a standard, having developed in it every principle for the salvation of the living and the dead; to hold the keys of the Priesthood that bear rule in heaven, on earth, and in hell, and maintain a people built upon it, which is all necessary in order to become a standard. To this the Ten Tribes will look, to this will look the scattered remnants that are aware of the promise to Abraham, that in his seed, and not in some other Priesthood and lineage, shall all the nations and people of the earth be blessed. Where should they look, if WE were to be scattered abroad,… (Orson Pratt, J.D. 1:182)



Regardless of whatever thinking men entertain as to the locality of the Ten Tribes, it may not prove to be of any particular advantage or consequence. The most essential factor to be kept in mind is that the keys for the gathering of Israel were restored in this dispensation. The Latter-day Saints were given the responsibility of gathering and preparing for the ten tribes when they come to the lands of their inheritance. (See D. & C. 110:11)

The gathering of Israel in the last days will be conducted or brought about on the same principle that they were dispersed. It is not as important to know where the ten tribes are as much as it is to understand the responsibility of gathering all of the house of Israel. The purpose of this chapter is not particularly to locate the ten tribes, but rather to awaken the Saints to the importance of saving all [189] of the tribes of Israel through the principle of gathering. It is essential to remember that the keys of gathering Israel were given to this people, and they have not been, nor will they be, retracted nor revoked.

But, today the doctrine of gathering is being challenged and opposed by those who should bear most of that commission and burden. Thus the duty falls upon the shoulders of every Saint who has enough of the spirit of the restored gospel to boldly defend the doctrine and principle of gathering of Israel. The true Saints of God will seek to save the children of Israel from the wrath and destructions which God is about to pour out upon all of the disobedient nations of the earth.



[190]                            CHAPTER XIV



Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows. (D. & C. 133:34)

The elect of God, the blood of Ephraim, are to be gathered together in the last days to be spiritual leaders who will give the priesthood laws and ordinances to all the tribes of Israel. Ephraim must gather together in the mountains as a shelter and for a preparation to redeem the center stake of Zion in Missouri.

As a preliminary step in the gathering, the saints are to be gathered to the tops of the mountains in fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah. This is merely a temporary shelter until the forces of Ephraim have been able to procure the other lands and multiplied in numbers sufficiently to provide hospitality to the rest of the tribes who shall come to Zion to receive their blessings at the hands of Ephraim, and consummate the work for their ancestors in the temples of the Lord raised up by Ephraim. (House of Israel, p. 502)

* * *


By and by the Jews will be gathered to the land of their fathers, and the ten tribes, who wandered into the north, will be gathered home, and the blood of Ephraim, the second son of Joseph, who was sold into [191] Egypt, which is to be found in every kingdom and nation under heaven, will be gathered from among the Gentiles, and the Gentiles who will receive and adhere to the principles of the gospel will be adopted and initiated into the family of Father Abraham, and Jesus will reign over His own and Satan will reign over his own. This will be the result. (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:38)

There are two central gathering places for Israel in the last days. One is in Palestine where Judah is repossessing the land given to them by Jacob. The other gathering place is in America with the central gathering place in Missouri.

The prophecies foretelling the gathering of Israel refer to two peoples and two gathering places. Perhaps the largest body is that composed of the tribes of the Northern Kingdom known as Israel. This body will be gathered in two stages. The first stage is in process of fulfillment at the present time, the gathering of Ephraim out of the world. The fishers of men have gone forth and have made their casts, bringing in great draughts of fish during the early history of the Church. Now the hunters are searching for them in the hidden places of the world, bringing them one of a city and two of a family to the valleys of Zion. All this is preparatory to the arrival of the second and much larger body, the rest of the Ten Tribes.

Simultaneous with the gathering to Zion is the gathering of the Jews to their homeland, Palestine. The signal for the event was the sending of the word of the [192] Gospel to the remnant of the seed of Lehi, the Indians. This missionary work was begun in 1830 and has proceeded according to the plan of the Lord to the present time and shall continue until those of Judah who will heed His call have gathered to renew their covenants with Him once more. (House of Israel, by Whitehead, p. 500)

Many prophecies portray the gathering of these two nations in the last days. The Prophet Joseph Smith referred to them by saying:

The city of Zion spoken of by David, in the one hundred and second Psalm, will be built upon the land of America, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads.” (Isa. 35:10); and then they will be delivered from the overflowing scourge that shall pass through the land. But Judah shall obtain deliverance at Jerusalem. (See Joel 2:32, Isa. 26:20-21; Jer. 31:12; Psalms 1:5; Ezek. 34:11, 12, 13) These are testimonies that the Good Shepherd will put forth His own sheep, and lead them out from all nations where they have been scattered in a cloudy and dark day, to Zion, and to Jerusalem; besides many more testimonies which might be brought. (T.P.J.S., p. 17)

Orson Spencer relates the beauty and the spirit that existed in Jerusalem centuries ago. It is the influence and motivation which should and will govern both of these central gathering places:

The ancient Jews were taught of God to build up Jerusalem as a place of gathering; and those whose circumstances forbid [193] them to locate there, either from political or agricultural interests, were required to visit Jerusalem at least three times a year, where they could interchange hospitalities and friendships, and contract matrimonial alliances, etc. Also, in addition to these facilities of union, their baptisms were to be performed in the national font; their marriage rites, and records of genealogy, were to be performed and deposited in the archives of the great Temple of the Lord at Jerusalem. In this great city of gathering, their frequent and splendid national festivals were to be held from generation to generation. By these multiplied means the union of Jews became proverbially strong; and their attachments to their nation and kindred, and national rites and usages, became as enduring as their existence. If, perchance, they should be scattered amongst the remote nations of the earth, still the recollection of their journeyings to Jerusalem in social groups–their splendid festivals at the national capitol–their royal affinity with the great and good of God’s people–vibrated through their minds with resuscitating power. There it was that the Almighty condescended to reveal his acceptance of their sacrifices, and bless the people from the greatest to the least, and even speak to the people through their High Priest at least once a year. (Mill. Star, 9:311)

The Apostle Orson Pratt was told in a revelation to lift up his voice and prophesy. One of his prophecies was concerning the gathering places of the two Jerusalems, and he declared that:



By-and-by, after you have fulfilled your missions to the nations of the Gentiles, and there will not any more of them repent,–that is, when you have fully accomplished all that is required of you in relation to them, you will have another mission, and so will the Twelve, and that is to the house of Israel that may be among those nations; I mean the literal descendants of Jacob–the Jews, and the descendants of the other tribes that may be scattered among those nations. There are some from the ten tribes among them; but the body of the ten tribes are in the north country. You will find a few among all these Gentile nations: you will have to direct your attention to them after you have fulfilled your mission among the Gentiles, and their times are fulfilled. You will have something to do among the Jews, and then will be a time of great power, such as you and I have not dreamed of. Indeed, we could not, with our narrow comprehensions of mind, perceive the power that will then follow. The Lord has told it in a revelation in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. (J.D. 7:187)

Again Orson Pratt described the establishment of the New Jerusalem by comparing it to the great deliverance of the Israelites under Moses:

In these last days, in redeeming His people from bondage, He has told us in plain words, that His angel should go before us and also His presence; and as, in the deliverance of Israel in ancient times the waters were divided and plagues went forth upon the Egyptian nation, it would not surprise me at all if there should be [195] similar power manifested in the redemption of Zion. There may be a few individuals go to prepare the way, to purchase a little more land and get things in order; but when that is accomplished, this people as a body will return to that land, the Lord going with them. (Masterful Discourses of Orson Pratt, pp. 345-46)


The final destruction of the wicked, and the redemption of Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem, will occur at nearly the same time:

When the Gentiles shall have rejected the fullness of the Gospel, the cup of their iniquity will be full, then will the Lord make bare his arm in the eyes of all nations, in gathering together the dispersed of Israel from the four corners of the earth, unto the great centres of gathering for the elect of God, namely, Zion, on the Western Hemisphere, and Jerusalem on the Eastern; then will he pour out of his hot wrath and indignation upon those nations who have oppressed his chosen people, and trodden them under foot for so many generations. (Mill. Star 39:245)

The Sons of Ephraim have a different character than the other sons of Jacob. They are courageous men of valor and accomplishment.

The sons of Ephraim are wild and uncultivated, unruly, ungovernable. The spirit in them is turbulent and resolute; they are the Anglo-Saxon race, and they are upon the face of the whole earth, bearing the spirit of rule and dictation, to go forth from conquering to conquer. They search wide creation and scan every nook [196] and corner of this earth to find out what is upon and within it. I see a congregation of them before me to-day. No hardship will discourage these men; they will penetrate the deepest wilds and overcome almost insurmountable difficulties to develop the treasure of the earth, to further their indomitable spirit for adventure.

We are not in this region by choice, and there is no hardship that this people would not face and overcome. If there is a corner of the earth that can possibly be inhabited by mortals, the Latter-day Saints would venture there if they conceived it to be their duty, and overcome every obstacle and soon make the desert waste blossom as a rose. Such an undertaking is as easy to them, comparatively speaking, as it is to go from one town to another. (Brigham Young, J.D. 10:188)

The blessing given to Joseph by Jacob was peculiar and much different from those given to his sons. Brigham Young interprets its meaning:

…when he comes to Joseph he pronounces upon him a peculiar blessing–“Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well: whose branches run over the wall,” etc. As much as to say that all the branches that descended from Joseph would not remain in one country connected with the parent tree, but they should be so fruitful and numerous, in order to fulfil the prediction uttered in the 48th chapter, as to become a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth; that they would have to leave the parent tree, and the place of their first inheritance; they would have [197] to “run over the wall,” over the great wall of waters that intervened between them and this great western hemisphere. ***

Here we get a clue to a land that was to be blessed above all other lands — a distant land from Canaan, as is expressed by the words, “the utmost bound of the everlasting hills,… (J.D. 2:292)

  1. H. Roberts gives a most unusual incident in the founding of the American nation. He portrays the destiny of America in connection with the tribe of Joseph:

A PROPHETIC INCIDENT: In the April number, of the Century is a well-written and profusely illustrated article on the Inauguration of Washington, by Clarence Winthrop Bowen. Among the illustrations is a facsimile of the page of the Bible on which Washington laid his hand while taking the oath of office, and it is to this that I wish specially to call attention…. The Century article says:

“Secretary Otis of the Senate held before him (Washington) a red velvet cushion, upon which rested the open Bible…. `You do solemnly swear,’ said Livingston, `that you will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will, to the best of your ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States’…. [Washington repeated the oath.] He then bowed his head and kissed the sacred book, and with the deepest feelings uttered the words, `So help me God!'”



The page of the Bible which Washington kissed, and on which his hand rested while taking the oath, is indicated in the Bible of the St. John’s Lodge by the leaf being turned down. A copper-plate engraving is on the opposite page illustrating the blessings of Zebulun and Issachar as pronounced upon them by the patriarch Jacob in Genesis 49, thirteenth and fourteenth verses respectively. The page on which Washington’s hand rested contains part of chapter forty-nine and also part of the fiftieth chapter down to verse eight inclusive.

The particular thing which struck me as being a remarkable circumstance is that the page indicated contains the blessing of Jacob upon the head of his favorite son Joseph, which reads as follows:

“Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:

“The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:

“But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)

“Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:

“The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the ever-[199]lasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.”

To the Latter-day Saints the blessing of Joseph has a particular significance, for the reason that they, more than any other people, are familiar with his descendants, and the blessing promised them in which also they hope to participate. The Book of Mormon is a history, chiefly, of the descendants of Joseph; and in the mighty nations which have peopled the American continent, the Latter-day Saints see, in part, the fulfillment of the great blessings pronounced upon his head.

The article reviews Book of Mormon passages that refer to the seed of Jacob through Joseph coming to a promised land, including the comments made by the Savior when he visited them after his resurrection. Additional passages are reviewed that discuss the additional blessings pronounced upon Joseph by Moses. The author then says:

But what seems singular in connection with these promises made to Joseph and the account of their partial fulfillment in a portion of his posterity inhabiting America is, that after the nations, composed largely of his descendants, had been destroyed and other peoples from Europe–among whom, however, were also large numbers of the descendants of Joseph through the loins of Ephraim–had taken possession of the land, at the real establishment of that government which is destined to shape the destiny of the great continent of America [200]–the land of Joseph–the very first executive chosen for that nation when being sworn to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of this land which God had inspired men to frame, he placed his hand upon the very page of the Bible containing the blessing pronounced upon the head of Joseph by the patriarch Jacob….

Will men call this merely coincidence? Strange coincidence indeed it is, if that be all that it is. Observe that the forty-ninth chapter of Genesis is near the very first leaves of the Bible, and in laying the book open upon a velvet cushion for the use of one to be sworn, it would naturally be parted near the middle of the volume and not parted at the first few leaves.

Let others believe all this to be coincidence if they choose, but for my own part there is too much that is significant to assign it to that class of phenomena so conveniently disposed of by calling them coincidents…. (Contributor, 10:275)

Brigham Young continues to elaborate on the special blessing given to Joseph and his posterity by saying:

Remember that they were to be blessed not only with the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof, but with the precious things of heaven. What are the precious things of heaven? Are they anything else but revelations? Can you think of anything else that could be called the precious things of heaven? After the children of Joseph came to this land, they [201] were blessed, as Moses predicted, with the precious things of heaven; the Lord opened to them things past, present, and future, unfolding His great purposes that were to take place in the latter times; He unfolded to them the mysteries and things too great to be uttered by man. (J.D. 2:292-3)

Thus Joseph and the tribe of Joseph would possess the “richer” blessings and the “precious things of heaven.” These special blessings are available to the other tribes of Israel through the seed of Joseph in the last days.

Joseph received two important dreams that pertained to him and his descendants. He related his first dream to his brothers:

And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. (Gen. 37:6-8)


This dream was fulfilled when Joseph was made a ruler in Egypt and his brothers came to him to be saved from the famine. (See Gen. 42:6 & Gen. 43:26.)

His second dream was a dream of the sun and moon and the eleven stars which bowed down to Joseph. This dream represented something more distant and further in time and space. This was perhaps relating to a time when the eleven tribes would pay “obeisance” to the tribe of Joseph in the latter days. [202] The interpretation of this dream pertains to the posterity of Joseph and the posterity of his eleven brothers, including his parents. It was a dream of the future when the tribe of Joseph would be “sent before” the other tribes of Jacob to prepare the way for their temporal and spiritual salvation in the last days. The tribe of Joseph would receive the “precious things of heaven” and be established in a “choice” land where they would be able to say to the other tribes of Israel when they come, “God sent me beœore you to preserve you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” The tribe of Joseph, like Joseph, shall be blessed with revelations and temporal wealth, preserving the other tribes of Israel when famine and desolation come upon the earth. (See D. & C. 133:30-34)

Who are the people of the ten tribes of Israel? Simply the people of the many different denominations throughout the world whose righteousness and faith in Jesus Christ is sufficient for them to be saved when the destructions of God sweep over the earth. Ephraim’s mission is to prepare the way for them to come for temporal and spiritual salvation.

Joseph’s dreams signified that his eleven brothers would pay obeisance to him; and also that the eleven tribes would pay obeisance to Joseph’s tribe.

The mission of the tribe of Joseph today is identical to the mission of their forefather, Joseph, while he was in Egypt. Notice the similarity of circumstances and missions in the following discourses:

Famine shall sorely oppress them–confusion and war shall make their hearts to faint, and their knees to tremble. Would to God that our nation had never given cause for the distress which they now only begin to suffer! Would to God that they, chiefly for their sakes, had never provoked the anger of the Almighty by killing our prophets, and casting out our people. *** They burned our hay and our houses; and [203] left our sick, our women and children in the scorching sun and beating rain, without food or shelter. We told them when they did it, that we would have wheat when they had none. When these poor starving thousands flock here for food, will it not be glory enough for you to begin with, to feed them, to give them shelter, and administer to their sick? Will not such coals of fire heaped upon their heads be hot enough to satisfy your righteous indignation? If you will do as you are told, your eyes shall witness just such scenes! You may ask, “When shall these things be?” Answer: Just so soon as you can possibly lay up the wheat. (Orson Hyde, J.D. 2:206)

* * *

And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away, before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine, and earthquake will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel from the North country. (T.P.J.S., p. 17)

* * *

If the King of Egypt had not observed the counsels of Joseph, almost the whole people would have been destroyed. As it was, those who did not obey Joseph’s counsel were under the necessity of selling all their property, and ultimately themselves, for slaves to the king, in order to obtain [204] that bread which they could have laid up during the seven years of plenty, if they had obeyed Joseph’s counsel. Now brethren, let us not treat this subject lightly. (George A. Smith, J.D. 12:142)

* * *

Let us go to work, every man and woman of us and lay up our stores, and build good store-houses, and increase. If we will do this, brethren, we will have some of the finest seasons you ever saw. Our grain will increase, and we will lay a foundation for the world and the ungodly, and we will buy them for our servants. They will be glad to come and work for us for bread, and each one of us will be like Joseph in Egypt was to his father’s house. They will come to us and buy grain and the good things of the world; œor I know that we are the people who have got to do that thing. (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 4:338)

* * *

This is part of our religion–to lay up stores and provide for ourselves and for the surrounding country; for the day is near when they will come by thousands and by millions, with their fineries, to get a little bread. (Heber C. Kimball, J .D. 5: 163)

* * *

There is more salvation and security in wheat, than in all the political schemes of the world, and also more power in it than in all the contending armies of the nations. Raise wheat and lay it up in [205] store till it will bring a good price; not dollars and cents, but kingdom, countries, peoples, tribes, and tongues. `They have sold themselves for naught, and must be redeemed without money!’ It will take wheat to redeem them! Raise wheat and lay it up securely, and it will preach the “gathering” more eloquently, successfully, and extensively than all the missionaries that we can send out to sweep through the nations, with the proclamation of the judgments of God abroad in the land! (Orson Hyde, J.D. 2:207)

* * *

Those who are descendants of Joseph — as the blood of Ephraim–understand God’s work and ministry. It is Ephraim who will prepare themselves to be “Saviors on Mt. Zion” for the rest of the house of Israel.

The mission of Ephraim, or the elect, is to gather to the tops of the mountains and to become “prepared in all things” when God’s judgment will be poured out upon the nations of the earth. The tribe of Joseph must make a temporal foundation as Joseph did in Egypt, so that when the other tribes of Israel gather, they will be able to receive food as well as the ordinances of the gospel. Thus the Saints not only possess the keys and responsibility for gathering the house of Israel, but they are to assist them in both temporal and spiritual blessings.

The keys and responsibility of gathering rest with the Elders of Israel, but today that mission is being challenged and opposed. Many of the leading elders are promoting the scattering of Israel. Those who should be the means of gathering Israel are discouraging it. Thus only those who possess enough of the spirit of the Lord, those who are spiritually strong enough, will gather to Zion and help others to gather, thus fulfilling this monumental mission of the tribe of Joseph.



[206]                             CHAPTER XV



If there is one thing more than another that is before the minds of the Saints continually, it is the subject of the gathering. (Mill. Star 33:72; 1871)

When the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth, the principle of gathering was one of its most prominent themes. All of the Saints believed in and were activated by this spirit, as if they were being drawn into one large family.

The sentiments and importance of this doctrine were best expressed by the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was through his teachings that the indispensable nature of gathering was established. The Prophet said:

One of the most important points in the faith of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, through the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, is the gathering of Israel. (T.P.J.S., p. 92)

* * *

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. (T.P.J.S., p. 83)



In addition to all temporal blessings, there is no other way for the Saints to be saved in these last days, [than by the gathering] as the concurrent testimony of all the holy prophets clearly proves,… It is also the concurrent testimony of all the prophets, that this gathering together of all the Saints, must take place before the Lord comes to “take vengeance upon the ungodly,…” (T.P.J.S., p. 183)

* * *

It was the design of the councils of heaven before the world was, that the principles and laws of the priesthood should be predicated upon the gathering of the people in every age of the world. Jesus did everything to gather the people, and they would not be gathered, and He therefore poured out curses upon them. (T.P.J.S., p. 308)

For any Saint to believe in the gospel but not in the gathering was a mark of apostasy. The Apostle Orson Pratt wrote:

The gathering of the Saints is a very important item of our faith. It is founded upon divine revelation, both ancient and modern. *** None of the Saints can be dilatory upon this subject, and still retain the Spirit of God. To neglect or be indifferent about gathering is just as displeasing in the sight of God as to neglect or be indifferent about baptism for the remission of sins. (Mill. Star 10:241)

And President Brigham Young preached the same sentiments:



If a Saint who has received the Holy Ghost, is counselled to gather with the Saints, to come home, and he neglects to come, he has no further claim to the blessings promised unto the faithful, who obey all the commandments; his light becomes darkness, and remaining in this state, where God is he cannot come, for the ordinances in the house of the Lord, in Zion, and her stakes, are as necessary for a full salvation, as baptism is for a partial salvation; and the voice of the good Shepherd is to all Saints, even to the ends of the earth; “gather yourselves together, come home; and more to the Saints in the United States, Canada, and the British Isles; come home! come home!”

O ye Saints in the United States, will you listen to the voice of the good Shepherd? Will you gather? Will you be obedient to the heavenly commandments? (Mill. Star 14:22)

President Young concluded by saying that those who waited for better circumstances or conditions would never come, and they would leave their “carcasses to rot in the midst of the Gentiles,” and their faith and hope would depart from them.

In those early days of the Church the spirit and feeling was to flee out of the world to Zion–to enjoy the spirit, the associations, and the work of Zion; but now the doctrine is to stay in the world, build up the branches and missions, instead of Zion, while the Gentiles are moving to Zion. It is almost strange that such belief and enthusiasm for this principle has been reversed in such a short time.

Fifty years after the Church was restored, Apostle George Q. Cannon defined the principle of gathering as unchangeable and irrevocable by saying:



Who is there–I speak to you, my brethren and sisters, who have been connected with this Church from the beginning–who is there that can recall a single instance of recantation of any of its principles? Has there ever been a doctrine declared by the authorities of this Church, as a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that they have had to take back or modify? Not one. Has there been anything in the organization that has had to be perfected? No. The organization was as perfect in theory–being revealed of God–50 years ago as it is to-day in practice, after years of experience, practically carrying it out in these mountains. That constitutes the strength of this work. It is its infallibility. Not that man connected with it is infallible, for he is fallible; but the work itself, its principles, and everything connected with it, is infallible, having a divine origin, being revealed of God. It was a wonderful thing to state, as was stated right at the outset of this work, that it should be preached in every land, that its doctrine should be proclaimed in every tongue throughout the world, and that it should gather from every nation under heaven, men and women who should be numbered as its converts. A remarkable feature, something unheard of, that the principles of this religion when preached should have the effect to gather out from every nation, kindred, tongue and people those who espoused them. Yet every word has been fulfilled. Wherever the Elders of this Church have gone they have gone accompanied by that wonderful power, the power of gathering the people together; not of one race, not of one language, but [210] people of every race and of every language, showing the adaptability of its principles to the people of the frozen north as well as to those of the torrid south. *** They have come of their own accord. They have forsaken home, friends, old associations, ancestral tombs, and everything of this character that is calculated to bind men to their native land; they have severed all these and have gathered out and cast their lots with the people of their faith in these mountains. And this has been a peculiar feature of this work from the very commencement, and it will continue to be as long as the Gospel is preached. (J.D. 24: 184)

Previously Pres. Cannon had defined the eternal nature of these principles by stating:

It cannot be expected by any person who has any faith or confidence in the plan of salvation, or in the scriptures which contain an account of that plan, that it would lead them to believe in different forms of doctrine, or that it would teach one class of men that one portion of the Gospel was necessary, and another portion unnecessary; or cause any portion of the people to believe that a certain item of the Gospel was essential to salvation, and cause another portion of the people to believe that the same item of the Gospel was non-essential. Such a view is irreconcilable with the teachings of Jesus and his apostles and of all that is left on record concerning the gifts and power of the Holy Ghost and its office among the children of men. (J.D. 12:363)


[211] Pres. Cannon had no intention of the doctrine of gathering ever being changed, but the Prophet Joseph Smith knew that such changes could occur–and stated that they would! He warned the Saints:

And if any man preach any other gospel than that which I have preached, he shall be cursed; and some of you here now who hear me shall see it and know that I testify the truth concerning them. There is no error in the revelations which I have taught. (Historical Record 7:548)

Every revelation and commandment pertaining to the gathering is now lightly passed over with the excuse that “they no longer apply.”

Thus the Saints of today are faced with this two-fold dilemma: obeying the Lord’s revelations and adhering to the spirit which prompts the gathering–or else repudiating them by placing their trust in the arm of flesh and following the counsels of men. Hence, some remain in Babylon because of false advice or influence, while others are gathering to Zion because they believe in these revelations and are inspired to do so.

Most of those who accept the Gospel will obey many of its precepts, but they will not gather. Why? Something has persuaded them to remain in the lands of Babylon–wealth, social position, or climate. Or, someone has persuaded them to remain there–relatives, friends, or supposedly an inspired leader. Somehow or in some way the saints are not gathering as they were commanded to do.

Jesus warned His disciples that in the last days there would arise those “that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Then in our dispensation He gave the commandment that “ye [212] are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts” and “they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land.” (D. & C. 29:7-8) Hence, the elect know the voice of the good Shepherd and gather, while those who are not the elect and harden their hearts are deceived!

The Prophet Joseph said that the parable of the wedding supper pertained to the doctrine of gathering:

And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house [213] may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. (Luke 14:15-24)

Those of Ephraim who are “bidden” to gather but excuse themselves shall never eat with the Bridegroom, but those “poor, halt, and blind” of the ten tribes who will be compelled to gather will be saved.

Thus, in the preceding pages we have established the following reasons for God’s elect to be gathered:


  1. The gathering of God’s people has been a principle taught and practiced from the pre-existence to the eternal kingdoms.


  1. It was given by revelation to those of this dispensation as a commandment from God.


  1. Keys of Gathering were restored by Moses to the Saints in these last days and those keys were never revoked.


  1. From the Old Testament to the Doctrine and Covenants true Saints are filled with the spirit of gathering. Nowhere in revelations or scriptures have the Saints been told to scatter or remain in Babylon.


  1. The spirit of gathering is a principle that is initially revealed to a Saint when he receives the gift of the Holy Ghost.


  1. The teaching to stay in Babylon is encouraging Saints to marry among the worldly, and live their laws, standards, fashions. Such admonitions leave Saints to the temptation, influence and spirit of the world.


  1. Teachings which tend to keep the Saints among the worldly are in opposition to God’s principles of cooperative efforts and the United




  1. Temporal salvation is affected by this law; and when the destroying angel shall sweep over the world, the Saints who are not gathered will be destroyed.


  1. The obedient who are gathered shall be caught up to meet the Savior when He comes–those not gathered will not.


  1. Many of the most important spiritual blessings in this life, and in the life to come, are predicated upon this principle.


  1. Those who gather not only live in Zion and enjoy its spirit and good associations, but can be buried with them in the promise of dwelling with them forever in the heavens to come.

What would a society of Saints be like if they were all gathered together working for the cause of Zion? President Brigham Young was given a vision of what it could be and should be like:

I have looked upon the community of the Latter-day Saints in vision and beheld them organized as one great family of heaven, each person performing his several duties in his line of industry, working for the good of the whole more than for individual aggrandizement; and in this I have beheld the most beautiful order that the mind of man can contemplate, and the grandest results for the upbuilding of the kingdom of God and the spread of righteousness upon the earth. (J.D. 12:153)


And then he added that “The order of God among men is not complete without a gathering.”


[215] But the principle of gathering does not pertain to just this life. It is a part of one’s faith that draws men towards God beyond the grave. President John Taylor said:

It is the crowns, principalities, the powers, the thrones, the dominions, and the associations with the Gods that we are after, and we are here to prepare ourselves for these things. We are after eternal exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom of God. And we want to feel that this is the main object of existence, that this is why we were born, and that God has revealed Himself from the heavens, restored the Holy Priesthood and gathered us together in order that we might form a nucleus through whom He could communicate His will; through whom He could accomplish His work upon the earth and introduce the Gospel of the Son of God to the nations of the earth and gather together His elect from the four quarters of the globe; through whom He could introduce upon the earth the principles that exist in the heavens, that we might be taught to do the will of God on the earth as it is done in the heavens, that we might be a pure people, a virtuous people, a holy people, free from the vices and corruptions of the world, and that we might learn the laws of light, truth and intelligence from the fountain of all intelligence, for we are told the glory of God is intelligence. This is why we have been gathered together. *** (J.D. 24:198)

Apostle George Q. Cannon, as though with prophetic insight into this beautiful principle, warned the Saints that their success or failure with the Gospel could be determined by their attitude toward the doctrine of gathering.



It is not the numbers of the Latter-day Saints that gives them weight in the world so much as it is their union and their distinctive virtues, which in the struggle for existence and supremacy always give victory and triumph to their possessors. If the Latter-day Saints desert the principles of the Gospel, and abandon themselves to the vices and corruptions that prevail in the world, and to which they would have been subjected had they remained in a scattered condition, they would have no more power than any other people of like number. But that which will ever give them superiority, so long as they possess them, are those virtues which their religion makes imperative upon them, and without which they cannot remain the people of God. There can be no question about the future destiny of what are called the Mormon people, if they will only be true to themselves. (Mill. Star 60:350)

The doctrine of gathering extends beyond the realms of tribes and nations. It stretches far beyond the limited scope of man’s mortal mind. The Apostle Orson Hyde revealed a portion of that celestial gathering which includes planets, suns, and kingdoms–reaching into space and eternity.

God says He will gather all things into one; then He will gather the earth likewise, and all that is in it, in one. The gathering will be upon a larger scale in time to come; for by and by the stars of Heaven will fall. Which way will they go? They will rally to a grand centre, and there will be one grand constellation of worlds. I pray that we may be there, and shine among those millions of worlds that will be stars in the Almighty’s crown.





The earth will have to be removed from its place, and reel to and fro like a drunkard. The fact is, it has got to leave the old track in which it has roamed in time passed, and beat a new track; and saith the Lord, “come up here.” What is He going to do with it? Why, take it where the sun will shine upon it continually, and there shall be no more night there; and the hand of God will wipe away the tears from all faces. “Come up here, O earth” for I want the Saints who have passed through much tribulation to be glorified with you, and then I will give the earth to the meek. For I will take the curse from it, and rebuke the destroyer for your sakes, and bring all things in subjection to you, and you shall dwell in everlasting light. “Now it is half day and half night, but I tell you it is not going to be half and half, but there will be no night there. We have but one sun to shine upon us, but when the earth is taken out of this orbit, it will come in contact with rays of other suns that illuminate other spheres; their rays will dazzle our earth, and make the glory of God rest upon it, so that there will be no more night there. (J.D. 1:130)

Hence, the dominions of heaven are administered by the fundamental principle of gathering, and into each degree of glory are gathered subjects who have adapted themselves through obedience to the laws that pertain to that measure of glory. Even hell gathers its own subjects who have been attracted by and are obedient to false doctrines, errors, and superstitions.


[218] The doctrine of gathering has been, and always will be an eternal principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ–regardless of who may oppose it. And, those who teach against it, by advising others to remain in Babylon, shall answer for the blood of the innocent when they perish in the coming desolations. But those who gather, and help others to do so, shall be blessed as “saviors upon Mt. Zion.”

From the pre-existence, throughout mortality, and into the eternities to come, men and spirits are being attracted and gathered by truth or by error. Habitations and principles are being acquired by selection. In making a multitude of choices throughout the years, men become products of their own expressive desires.

The man who becomes accustomed to a lifetime in saloons, gambling dens, and dives would feel disturbed and uneasy in a church. Likewise a faithful and devoted man of God would feel the same uneasiness and distress in a saloon or gambling den. That gradual selection and attraction of men and things is inherent and eternal in its nature. Their eternal destiny is dependent upon who and what they are gathered to.

The success or failure of the gospel in any age has been dependent upon the unity of God’s people. It is for this reason they have always been commanded to gather. It has been an absolute rule and a strict commandment that the children of God should gather to Zion–that they might be worthy of gathering in the Zion of heaven.

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