Feast upon the Word Blog

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RS/MP Lesson 42: “The Gathering of the House of Israel” (Gospel Principles Manual)

Posted by kirkcaudle on September 9, 2011

This lesson may contain information that is not widely known among many members of the church (especially those that are recent converts). In my experience as a teacher, I receive many questions every time that I teach on this subject. Therefore, if you would like a brief synopsis of what the Gathering of Israel entails it might be helpful to read the entries “Israel” and “Israel, Kingdom of” in your Bible dictionary. This could at least keep you from going into this lesson blind if you are less familiar with the subject matter. The complete lesson can be found here.

The House of Israel Are God’s Covenant People

The manual asks, “What responsibilities do God’s covenant people have to the nations of the world?”

Those that are worthy are adopted into the family of Abraham and have a responsibility to do the work. I would point the class to Abraham 2:9-11 and Gen. 12:1-3 and have them point out the responsibilities found within those verses.

The House of Israel Was Scattered

This section is mostly historical. It gives a brief overview of the historical Israel/lost ten tribes. If you are dealing with new converts, it might be good to either read this section out loud or explain it in your own words if you are comfortable your Old Testament knowledge.

The House of Israel Must Be Gathered

Moses appeared in the Kirtland Temple and bestowed upon Joseph Smith the “keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth” (D&C 110: 11). What was the significance of Joseph receiving these keys?

Joseph Smith needed these keys because the Lord told him in 1832 that he would be “a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel” (D&C 86:11). Joseph could not fully do this until Moses gave him the keys to do so. However, this would not only be a work for Joseph Smith, but all worthy priesthood holders (D&C 84:34).

The manual states that “The Israelites are to be gathered spiritually first and then physically. They are gathered spiritually as they join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and make and keep sacred covenants” (248). Joseph Smith was much like Moses.

Moses led the covenant people of God through the wilderness. However, before Moses could gather the people into the promise land he needed to gather them spiritually. Unfortunately, God took Moses off the earth before his people were in a position to be physically gathered into the land of promise. Joseph Smith was in a similar situation at the time of his death. To spiritually gather Israel in the latter-days is to lead people unto Christ and to true temple worship.

After the spiritual gathering comes the physically gathering, “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes” (AOF 10). We might be tempted to think they we need to gather people to the promise land. I often hear it stated that America is the promise land. While that might be true, however, unlike for Moses, there are many promise lands. America is simply a promise land, one of many. Israel “shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise” (2 Ne. 9:2) by “people [who] shall take them and bring them to their place . . . from far unto the ends of the earth (2 Ne. 24:2). I believe that missionaries are doing this miracle every single day.

Elder Nelson states in the manual that, “in the early days of the Church, conversion often meant emigration as well. But now the gathering takes place in each nation. . . The place of gathering for Brazilian Saints is in Brazil; the place of gathering for Nigerian Saints is in Nigeria; the place of gathering for Korean Saints is in Korea; and so forth. Zion is ‘the pure in heart.’ [D&C 97:21.] Zion is wherever righteous Saints are” (249).

Although we have a hand in starting this gathering now, it will continue through the millennium, it will not be completed during our mortal lifetimes.

Additional Scriptures

Genesis 17:1–8 (God’s covenant with Abraham)
Romans 9:4–8; Galatians 3:29 (those who follow Jesus Christ and His word are the children of the covenant)
2 Nephi 30:2; Mosiah 5:10–11 (those who repent, follow the prophets, and have faith in Jesus Christ become the Lord’s covenant people)
2 Kings 17 (Northern Kingdom taken captive)
2 Chronicles 36:11–20 (Southern Kingdom taken captive)
James 1:1 (twelve tribes scattered abroad)
1 Nephi 10:12–13 (Nephite migration was part of the scattering)
Jeremiah 3:14–18 (one from a city, two from a family)
3 Nephi 20:29–46 (Jews will be gathered to Jerusalem)
1 Nephi 15:13–18; 3 Nephi 21:26–29 (gathering starts with Restoration of the gospel)
D&C 38:31–33 (the Lord’s covenant people will be saved)
Isaiah 11:11–13 (the Lord will recover His people)
Revelation 18:4–8 (a voice will proclaim the gathering)
D&C 133:6–15 (Gentiles to Zion, Jews to Jerusalem)

13 Responses to “RS/MP Lesson 42: “The Gathering of the House of Israel” (Gospel Principles Manual)”

  1. robbie. said

    Type “remnant” into the search on the top of the page and there is an exceptional multi-part discussion on the remnant from Isiah into the Book of Mormon and then Christ’s message to the Nephites and then how it effects us. Very interesting.

  2. Robert C. said

    Links to the posts Robbie are not all that easy to find, so start here to find links to the whole series, and then the final post in the series is here.

  3. joespencer said

    Thanks for the plug, guys. :)

  4. joespencer said

    Just a quick note (I’ll be teaching this lesson this Sunday):

    It is interesting that this edition of the GP manual has replaced “the House of Israel” with “the covenant people of the Lord” in many instances. Does that indicate a shift away from the historical roots of this doctrine, or does that indicate a shift toward emphasizing the covenantal underpinnings of the doctrine?

    The list of additional scriptures has had some interesting changes. Among the most interesting is the removal of passages talking about Israel returning “from the north countries.” I’m heartened by that, but some might be concerned by it.

  5. kirkcaudle said

    Nice catch Joe, I am also teaching this lesson tomorrow.

    Just to further your point, while looking at D&C 133, the manual includes vv6-15 (Gentiles to Zion, Jews to Jerusalem). However, the manual excludes vv26-35.

    26 And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence.

    27 And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep.

    28 Their enemies shall become a prey unto them,

    29 And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land.

    30 And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.

    31 And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.

    32 And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of bEphraim.

    33 And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy.

    34 Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of dIsrael, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.

    35 And they also of the tribe of Judah, after their pain, shall be sanctified in holiness before the Lord, to dwell in his presence day and night, forever and ever.

    (Are these the verses that in the old manual Joe?)

    Often in discussions of the lost 10 tribes these are the verses that are referenced. In my experience, people seem to be more interested in the “smit[ing] the rocks,” and the building of a great “highway,” than they are about the actual covenant.

    And one more note, although I think the title change from “the House of Israel” to “the covenant people of the Lord” is significant, I think it is impossible to completely take the Old Testament scriptures out of their historical context.

  6. joespencer said

    Kirk,

    That passage is in the additional scriptures list.

  7. kirkcaudle said

    D&C 133:26-35? I don’t see them listed?.

  8. kirkcaudle said

    Gotcha.

  9. wood floor said

    wood floor…

    [...]RS/MP Lesson 42: ???The Gathering of the House of Israel??? (Gospel Principles Manual) « Feast upon the Word Blog[...]…

  10. Tanamaybach62 said

    Kirkcaudle, I just wanted to let you know that Joespencer was semi-correct. In the current GP Manual being used, Chapter 42, Page 245, The Gathering of the House of Israel. On page 248, the last sentence at the bottom of the page states, “The ten lost tribes will receive from the tribe of Ephraim their promised blessings (see D&C 133:26-34). Only verse 35 was omitted. I am currently attending this class as I fall under the heading: Investigator / Adult Sunbeamer and I must say we have an absolute RIOT in our GP-Class!!! Hope you are having the same experience!! “T”

  11. Tanamaybach62 said

    Unfortunately no, Joe was on this particular subject manner. The reason being is due to the percentage factor. Joe had 10 out of 11 correct. You had 1 out of 11 correct. The main thing to remember, at the end of the day all parties concerned acquired the information they were looking for. It is sites like these that are helpful to people who have the desire in acquiring a better understanding of the things they are reading and researching. We are here to learn and I certainly did in reading all that was said above. Thank You to ALL who choose to share their knowledge!!

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