The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Seven

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series Literal Gathering

Chapter Seven

The Strength of Zion

Isaiah speaks frequently of the period of the gathering. One of the most interesting which is also quoted several times in the Book of Mormon is Isaiah 52:

“Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come unto thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.”

A revelation explains part of this verse. Joseph was asked what “Put on thy strength, O Zion” had reference to and the answer was: “He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of the priesthood TO BRING AGAIN ZION, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to the power which she had lost.” D&C 113:8

Obviously this prophecy is referring to our day since they did not “bring again Zion” in the days of Joseph Smith.

Verse 2 reads: “Shake thyself from the dust; arise and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O Captive daughter of Zion.” Scripture also explains here what is meant by “loose thyself from the bands of thy neck O captive daughter of Zion.” We are told the following: “We are to understand that the scattered remnants are exhorted to return to the Lord from whence they have fallen; which if they do, the promise of the Lord is that ‘he will speak to them, or give them revelation. See the 6th, 7th, and 8th verses. The bands of her neck are the curses of God upon her, or the remnants of Israel in their scattered condition among the gentiles.” D&C 113:10

Isaiah continues: “For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold your­ selves for naught; and ye shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for naught? They that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.” Verses 3-5

The remnants of Israel referred to here would be not only the Lamanite who is called a “remnant of the Jew.” At also the Ephriamites and possibly descendants of other tribes who live among the nations, but more especially America. We see that Isaiah tells us that Israel today is the “captive daughter of Zion.” She sold herself “for naught.” Not only is Israel oppressed with unjust laws which are taking away the freedom of the righteous as they did in Egypt, but their spiritual freedom is also taken away. They do not know the truth so they are not free, but the cloud of darkness in Lehi’s dream hangs over them. They do not cling to the iron rod so they are not able to taste the fruit of the tree of life.

“Therefore, my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.” Verse 6.

What does he mean by “in that day” We are told that it is in the days when the Lord “shall bring again Zion.” (Verse 8) Thus this scripture would refer to our day when the Lord is about to do this rather than the days of Joseph Smith. We are told that an interesting thing will happen in this our day and that is “my people shall know my name.” Has anyone stopped to ask what the name of God the Father is? Many Mormons believe it is Elohiym, but that is not a name, but a title. It is the Hebrew word from which the word “God” is translated from in the Old Testament. Elohiym is no more God’s name than “God” is. Yet we know that the Father has a name which can be revealed for Jesus said: “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world… And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it.” John 17:6 & 26. Here we see that Jesus did reveal the name of the Father to the inner circle and this will be elaborated on in future writings.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth.” Verse 7 Abinadi said that those who publish peace are the prophets. That is those who have the testimony of Jesus or the Spirit of prophesy and the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Priests of King Noah brought up this scripture to Abinadi and it is more than likely that they thought that they were the ones who were bringing glad tidings and publishing peace, for in their opinion Abinadi was a trouble maker and certainly not a bringer of peace. However, Abinadi explained to them that they misunderstood the scriptures for there must first come the inner peace through the Holy Ghost and then the true and lasting outer peace will come.

This is quite an interesting verse to examine more deeply: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings…”  Although prophets are sometimes on physical mountains, the mountains referred to here are spiritual mountains. Often in the scriptures the Lord takes a prophet to “a high mountain.” The mountain is symbolic of the raising of a man’s mind above the things of the world. It is also symbolic of’ the gathering of the saints which forms a mountain of spiritual force or a kingdom.

We are told that the ones on the mountains will have beautiful “feet.” That seems strange symbology, yet it makes sense when one realizes that feet represents spiritual preparation as evidenced by Paul: “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” 11 Eph 6:15

“… that publisheth peace…” The word for publisheth comes from the Hebrew SHAMA which word is translated in a variety of different ways but the basic meaning is to “cause to understand or hear intelligently.” It is interesting that when Solomon asked for wisdom he asked the Lord: “Give therefore thy servant an understanding (From the Hebrew word SHAMA) heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” Then the Lord said back to him: Thou “hast asked for thyself understanding to discern (SHAMA) judgment.” I Kings 3:9-11 These verses reveal to us that SHAMA is a very important quality to have, for the Lord was pleased that Solomon requested it. In other words, the ability to cause yourself and others to hear and understand intelligently, which is the meaning of SHAMA, was the key to Solomon’s great wisdom. When we then apply the full meaning of the word to Isaiah we have in place of publishing peace the following: “that understands and causes others to understand the way to peace and safety.”

“… that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation…” The true prophets will bring good news of things which are good in the eyes of God and not men, and here again we see that they “publisheth.” This word again comes from the Hebrew SHAMA. The word salvation here comes from the Hebrew YeSHUWAH which literally means to “cause to be delivered or brought to safety.” Thus if we clarify in the Hebrew instead of “publisheth salvation” it could read: He “causes himself and others to understand that which truly brings deliverance and safety.” And what really brings safety and deliverance? Nothing more than the literal gathering of Israel for without it the earth will be “utterly wasted at his coming.”

“That saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” The true prophet, can see that God reigns even when the church is in the wilderness and even if the nation should go into physical captivity and all others around him curse God and die because they feel that God has let them down.

We at this time who believe and publish the literal gathering of Israel do proclaim that the God of Zion does reign even though Zion sleepeth, the Lord of Israel never sleeps but is preparing to fulfill the covenant he made to the fathers.

Now if we were to translate verse seven according to the intent of the Hebrew we could render it thus: “How beautiful among the gatherings of my people is the spirituality of him that bringeth good tidings, that understands and causes others to understand the way of peace and safety, that bringeth good tidings of things that are truly good, who causes himself and others to understand that which really brings deliverance and safety; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”

The next three verses were quoted by Jesus in III Nephi 16. He said that they would be fulfilled after the day “when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel” and that he would “bring the fullness of My gospel from among them.” III Nephi 16:10 In the day when the Lord begins to fulfill his covenants to his people “then the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled which say;..” Then Jesus quotes Isa 52:8-10

“Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” Verse 8

The word watchman comes from the Hebrew TSAPHAH which signifies one who is able to perceive and be prepared for coming events and in this case indicates one who waits upon the Lord and is as one of the wise virgins with his lamp full of oil. These men will lift up their voices and tell the people how they may prepare for coming events.

“… with the voice together shall they sing…” Again “sing” is from the Hebrew RANAN which literally means “to cry aloud for joy” or “to shout for joy.” This shouting for joy was restored through the prophet Joseph in the form of the Hosanna Shout where the whole congregation shouted: ‘”Hosanna, ‘Hosanna, Hosanna, to God and the Lamb.” This principle was given up with many others near the turn of the century. Then too when Zion is redeemed there will be a natural instinct through the spirit to cry out loud for joy.

“..for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” When has a people ever seen eye to eye? Not since the days of Enoch, or the righteous Nephites. Even in the days of the Prophet Joseph the saints were badly divided, but the wise virgins will truly see eye to eye in the last days because they will have their lamps full of the Holy Ghost and if we are one with God we will see eye to eye.

 “Break forth into joy, sing (RANAN) together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for-the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.” Verse 9 This could be referring to either the New or Old Jerusalem for they both shall be redeemed, but the New Jerusalem shall be made clean first and this is mainly what it is referring to. The waste places of Jerusalem will be the desolate areas of this country as prophesied by Jesus: “Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots; (in other words we will have no transportation) And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds… And I will pluck up thy groves (houses of prostitution) out of the midst of thee; so I will destroy thy cities… For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; AND I WILL EXECUTE VENGEANCE AND FURY UPON THEM, (His own people) EVEN AS UPON THE HEATHEN, such as they have not heard.” III Nephi 21: 14-15, 18, 20-21.

Continuing with Isaiah verse 10 reads: “The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”

First the Lord will gather the righteous from among the Latter-Day Saints as well as non members and American Indians and then finally, the Lord will make bare his holy arm and “rebuke nations from afar” and deliver his people from destruction for all the world to see. It will be on a much grander scale than Moses passing though the Red Sea. All the freedom loving people in the world will have a chance to come to Zion.

“Depart yet depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out from the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” Verse 11

Here again we have the cry to go out of Babylon for there will “be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.” Isa 6:12. The great forsaking will come after the righteous are gathered out of the Mormon Church and the call sent forth for the lovers of freedom to support the constitution. “Touch no unclean thing” indicates that we must avoid substances which will harm our bodies as well as our spirits. Only the clean vessel can withstand the great day. “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord” refers to those who are vessels of the Holy Spirit and have a responsibility to be literal Saviors on Mount Zion as will be discussed later.

“For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward. Behold, my servant shall deal (prosper) prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled., and be very high. As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” Verses 12-14.

Apparently these verses speak of the same man spoken of in the Doctrine and Covenants: “Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.” D&C 103:15-16 This would undoubtedly be the same as the One Mighty and Strong; however, there will undoubtedly be several individuals strong in the Spirit involved in a major way in the great work here.

Some Bible scholars think that this man was Christ because “His visage was so marred MORE THAN ANY MAN.” But when one considers it even the body of Jesus was not marred more than ANY man. He was marred it is true, but there was not even a bone broken in his body. There have been other individuals who have been nearly cut in two or had their body badly burned or in explosions that have been physically marred much more than Jesus was. But as final proof that It was not Jesus we have Jesus himself quoting this verse in III Nephi 20:44 as a future event. Does this then mean that this man who is to come will be more crippled and marred than any other man like it says? How then will he lead the people?

A more thorough examination of the words will reveal the answer.

We are told that his visage was marred. What is meant here by visage? It comes from the Hebrew MAREH and literally means “the appearance that is seen,” and the word can be used in a number of ways. Numerous times it is translated as “favored.” For instance: “Joseph was a goodly person and well favoured.” (MAREH) Gen 39:6 “Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.” (Mareh) is another example. The word is trans­lated “fair” in Ester 2:2: “Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king.”

The most interesting use of the word is found in Isaiah itself where he talks about the man symbolized as the Branch; Here the word is translated “sight”: “And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight (MAREH) of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.” Isa 11:3. The other key word here, that is the Hebrew for “marred” is MISHCHATH. The word “‘marred” is a fairly correct translation for the word indicates disfigurement and can also imply corruption.

If we put all of this together what do we get? Instead of the idea that his physical image would be marred more than any other man we see here that the Hebrew tells us that it will be his appearance or his character which is displayed before men is that which “was so marred more than any man.” Is not this what happened to Joseph Smith? He was a great soul, yet his character was marred more than any man of his day. The whole world thought for sure that he was in league with the devil.

It is good reasoning then that the man like Moses will have to go through the same ordeal. He will be the most misunderstood man of the age. Jesus elaborates on this somewhat in the Book of Mormon: “But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore, THEY SHALL NOT HURT HIM, (Physically) although he shall be marred because of them. (That is his character will be defamed) Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.” III NEPHI 21:10 If his enemies “shall not hurt him” then obviously he will not be marred physically by them, but he will be spoken good and evil of as Joseph Smith was. The Lord says that he will heal him and that such a healing will show forth his wisdom. A physical healing would not show forth the wisdom of the Lord nearly as much as the healing of a man’s character for after Zion is redeemed then the servant will no longer be defamed and they who have laughed will see their folly and the servant “shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.” It is also very probably that part of the fulfillment will be correcting the many illusions that members and non members have about Joseph Smith.

The verse continues and tells us that the “form” of the servant will be marred “more than the sons of men.” ISA 52:14. The word “form” comes from the Hebrew TOAR which literally means outline or figure and implies the physical body more than does MAREH. Thus the scripture indicates that the servant’s physical body will be marred “more than the sons of men.” but fortunately not more than any man. For instance, Joseph Smith had a leg injury which marred his body.

The last verse continues: “So shall he sprinkle many nations.” This verse is directly quoted in the Book of Mormon and the Hebrew indicates that to sprinkle means “to purify.” This is very fitting, but the inspired version says: “So shall he GATHER many nations.” Now how would one go about gathering nations? Isaiah gives us the answer: “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; TO IT SHALL THE GENTILES SEEK… 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 corners of the earth.” Isa 11:10 & 12.

What is the Ensign to which the Gentiles will seek? It will be the basic principles of freedom in the original Constitution of the United States which the Lord said he “suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of ALL FLESH, according to just and holy principles… And FOR THIS PURPOSE have I established the Constitution of this land.” D&C 101:77 & 80 In other words, the design the Lord had in mind for the Constitution was to protect “all flesh.” It would eventually protect all nations just as it was designed to protect all states and that will happen by other nations subjecting themselves to the Constitution or in other words “to it shall the Gentiles seek.”

Joseph Smith Prophesied of this day: “The White Horse (the saints of God) will raise up an ensign on the tops of the mountains of peace and safety… many hundreds and thousands of the honest in heart will gather there; not because they would be saints but for safety and because they would not take up the sword against their neighbor… The great White Horse will have gathered strength sending out Elders to gather the honest in heart among the Pale Horse, or the people of the United States, TO STAND BY THE CONSTITUTION, as it was given by the inspiration of God. In these days God will set up a kingdom, never to be thrown down, FOR OTHER KINGDOMS TO COME UNTO… Power will be given the White Horse to rebuke nations afar off, AND THEY WILL BE ONE WITH THE WHITE HORSE, but when the law goes forth they will obey; for the law will go forth from Zion.” Taken from the White Horse Prophecy as told to Edwin Rushton and Theodore Turley by Joseph Smith. The ensign prophesied of here has never been lifted up, but we are dangerously approaching the day when this must be done, for the fact that the honest in heart will be called to stand by the Constitution indicates a time when the survival of the document or its content will be in grave danger.

Brigham Young quoted Joseph Smith as saying: “the time will come when the destiny of this nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.” JD 7:15

He also said: “When the constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the Mormon Elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it.”  JD 2:182

Orson Hyde also quoted Joseph Smith, as saying: “The time would come when the Constitution and the country would be in danger of an overthrow; and said he: If the Constitution be saved at all, it will be by the Elders of this church.” JD 6:152

John Taylor also spoke in harmony with the White Horse Prophecy: “When the people have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found HOLDING IT UP TO THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of ALL NATIONS.” JD 21:8.

Joseph Smith is recorded as speaking boldly concerning future problems our government will have: “I prophesy in the name 0 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.” DHC 5:394 He also said “that if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us. protection, THEY SHALL BE BROKEN UP AS A GOVERNMENT.” DHC 6:116

Also Wilford Woodruff said: “The American Nation will be broken in pieces like a potters vessel…” Wilford Woodruff, History of His Life a Labors, by Matthias F. Cowley; Page 500.

Taking all of these things into consideration we see that a gathering will be necessary to salvage the country and the Constitution itself, for if the nation is broken up and left without a government, then how can anything be set up as an ensign by the people of God if they are in a scattered condition? We see here that a gathering of two types of people will be necessary and there will be three steps to the process.

First Heber C. Kimball’s prophecy will be fulfilled that “the time will come when the Lord will choose A PEOPLE OUT OF THIS PEOPLE, upon whom he will bestow his choicest blessings.” Deseret News; Nov 9, 1865.

After a people are then gathered out of this people the Constitution will hang as if were by a single thread. (It’s only hanging by several now). At this point these righteous individuals will lift up the inspired Constitution as an ensign and many righteous non Mormons will gather together with them to support the principles of freedom.

This is the second step and the third step will begin after the desolations when a third group will be gathered out of all those who accept the fullness of the Gospel to go East to Missouri and build the New Jerusalem. Then from that point the Law will go forth out of Zion and she will be given power to rebuke nations from afar, “and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David.” Zech 12:8. At the time of these gatherings the words of Isaiah will be fulfilled: “Fear not; for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the East, and gather thee from the West; I will say unto 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… Let the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled; who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, It is truth.” Isa 43:5-6, 9

In other words, the power of the example of the Ensign will be so strong that the nations will be embarrassed to even witness against it and they will have to admit “It is truth.”

Then the Lord commands them: “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing.” Isa 43:18-19

All the governments of men in ages past will seem so primitive in comparison to the Lord’s “new thing” that they will not even want to remember the “former things.”

Also we will have a fulfillment of the words of Jeremiah: “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 of Israel from the Land of the North, and from ALL THE LANDS whither He ‘had driven them.” Jer 16:14-15


Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey

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The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Six

This entry is part 6 of 16 in the series Literal Gathering

Chapter Six

How Can Zion Be Established Today?

For the average member today the building of the New Jerusalem seems far away and when we speak of the literal gathering of Israel this is what his mind reflects on. It is an amazing thing the commandment to gather the Saints saturates the scriptures more than any other doctrine, yet it is the most greatly ignored. It is truly the irony of the age. Still the leaders today must find some way to rationalize away the fact that they are not keeping this commandment which is so important that the earth would be “utterly wasted” without it.

In the scriptures when the Lord talks about Zion he speaks of coming “out of Babylon” but today when Zion is spoken of… what comes to mind? Let us quote Spencer W. Kimball: “As we speak of Zion, WE THINK OF THE WORLD, since this has become a worldwide church.” (Taken from Stockholm Area Conference Report, Page 5 Reprinted in 1979 Church History Sunday School Manual – MY KINGDOM, page 163)).

The authorities dare not come straight out and declare that we no longer believe in the literal gathering of Israel, for this would upset too many people. A much better idea is to change the meaning of the literal gathering of Israel. Today President Kimball equates Zion with the world so the members can live anywhere On the earth and still be literally gathered. This broad interpretation is nice and comfortable; for it erases all responsibility to live in harmony with the scriptures we have been given.

Bruce R. McConkie gives us a very comfortable definition of the gathering of Israel: “The gathering of Israel consists of joining the true church; of coming to a knowledge of the true God and of his saving truths; and of worshipping him in the congregations of the Saints IN ALL NATIONS AND AMONG ALL PEOPLES.” (Mexico City Area Conference August 1972)

According to this nebulous definition you can be “among” any other group of people and still be gathered. That may be a metaphysical gathering of sorts, but only the most foolish of the “workmen” could call it a literal gathering. When I used to discuss faith and works with individuals of different religions I thought that their definitions of “salvation” and “faith” was quite nebulous, but I must now admit that the current Latter-Day belief on a literal gathering takes the cake. I have come to understand the warning that if we are not faithful that we will lose the little we have. We have lost the entire concept which is the springboard to the kingdom of God… The literal gathering of Israel.

When one reads the scriptures and sees plainly that the commandment to literally gather is not being obeyed today one may find himself in somewhat of a dilemma. How can one literally gather when the Church does not even believe in it at present? Do LDS people even have authority to gather together without the sanction of the church? If then, the brethren are astray, are members therefore released from responsibility because it was originally placed upon the brethren?

Let us put it this way. Moroni said that if the promises (the gathering) made to the fathers is not planted “in the hearts of the children (you and me)… the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.” D&C 2:2-3 If you knew that the earth would be wasted if this commandment is not lived do you suppose that God would be happy to see you placing all the responsibility upon others and doing nothing yourself? Since God cannot interfere with man’s free agency don’t you suppose he would be happy to see some of his children step forth and attempt to do his will? Doesn’t it seem logical that he would lend his support to such a righteous endeavor?

“But,” says one, “We have no authority to gather God would not be pleased if we attempted it!”

On the contrary, I ask where do you get such an idea? It is true that Joseph Smith had the keys of the gathering of Israel delivered to him, but where does it say that you have to have the keys to be obedient to a commandment of God.

O ye of little faith! Can you not consider the words of Nephi that “the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” I Nephi 3:7. Has not the Lord commanded the literal gathering of Israel? If he has then has not the way been prepared?

The best way to figure out what to do in a certain circumstance in the present is to examine a similar circumstance in the past and see there how the prophets handled the situation. Thus if we proceed on our present circumstance according to the same pattern that God inspired in a similar circumstance in the past, then we will not go astray or be out of order.

When the Kingdom went astray in the days of Saul and Saul was the “anointed of the Lord” what did David do? He gathered out the righteous from among them and prepared for the day when the Lord’s house would be set in order.

When the kingdom was astray in the days of wicked King Noah what did Alma do when he was converted by the testimony of Abinidi? Did he wait around for King Noah, who was supposed to hold the keys of power in that area, to tell him what to do? No! If he did that he would still be waiting. Instead he received personal revelation to teach the righteous among them and then gather them out for the Lord had told his people that except they repent he “will lead away the righteous from among you.” Jacob 3:4.

In the days of the restoration of the Gospel there were several groups of people who had received revelation that the Lord was going to do a great work and they gathered together to prepare for such an event and they were in no way held under any condemnation. In one such instance Wilford Woodruff received a revelation to go and visit one such group of three hundred individuals and all of them save one accepted his message. All of the leaders acknowledged the hand of God in preparing groups such as these and not even the least of the saints considered them out of order because they did not have the keys.

But on the other hand, in a sense, they did have the keys as they are defined in the doctrine and covenants: “And as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven. This therefore, is the sealing and binding power, and, in one sense of the word, the keys of the kingdom, WHICH CONSISTS IN THE KEY OF KNOWLEDGE.” D&C 128:14

Isn’t this interesting? In a sense the keys of the kingdom consists of “the key of knowledge.” This is why that even though the Jews had the right to the keys of the kingdom by ordination they had lost the “key of knowledge.” which key of knowledge John the Baptist had. Joseph Smith said that this was why John the Baptist was considered the greatest prophet – because he “wrested the KEYS, the kingdom, power, the glory FROM THE JEWS.” TPJS Pg 276 Why was John able to take the keys away from the Jews? Because he had the keys of knowledge.

When Joseph Smith imparted knowledge as to how to detect a true Spirit he said: “These are three grand keys whereby you may know whether any administration is from God.” D&C 129:9 These “grand keys” consisted of knowledge only.

The only keys we have on record that Alma possessed is that he received knowledge or keys by revelation from God that enabled him to gather out the righteous.

Do we not have the key of knowledge of the literal gathering of Israel given to us by God today by revelation? God has appointed to us areas which will be places of refuge and this knowledge in itself is a “key” to survival. Can there then be any condemnation in gathering together in places that the Lord has appointed and being as the faithful workmen and building the strange structures the Master Builder has commanded, which structures are symbolic of the gathering places of the Lord. If we are then faithful workmen we will be blessed by our Lord and if a literal ordination of some kind is needed he will then take away the talent from the unfaithful servant and give it unto him who was faithful.

A question now naturally arises: “How are we to gather today? Circumstances are much different now than in the days of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. It was practical then to gather together, but not today.”

This may be what the authorities today would have you believe, but it is not true. In many ways it was just as impractical from the standpoint of the world to gather in the days of Joseph as it is today. We forget that this was the main reason the world fought against the Saints of that day. In that time the saints gathered by selling all they had and buying new lands all in the same area and built cities to the Lord. Many had to leave their homes and travel thousands of miles to Nauvoo and later to Salt Lake, and their transportation was not nearly as convenient as it is today. How then can you say that it was more practical in the days of Joseph Smith? How can one say this when many groups are successfully gathering today? The Amish, the Mennonites, and many Indian tribes are successfully gathered today, not to mention the gathering of millions of Jews in Israel. With all of this evidence in view how can the saints claim that it cannot be done today? In actuality the gathering of the saints in the early days was as much of an anomaly as it would be today. The whole world wondered at them at that day and they would wonder anew at a gathering today.

The big question is how are we to gather today when there is no place to flee to? Again that is answered from the scriptures: “Verily, thus saith the Lord, I say unto you, if those who call themselves by my name and are essaying to be my saints, if they will DO MY WILL AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS CONCERNING THEM, LET THEM GATHER THEMSELVES TOGETHER UNTO THE PLACES WHICH I SHALL APPOINT UNTO THEM BY MY SERVANT JOSEPH (And others) AND BUILD UP CITIES UNTO MY NAME,. that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come.” D&C 125:2

As mentioned earlier these cities were to be called stakes and were to reach a population of from 15-20,000 and were to be presided over temporally by a stake Bishop. In the meeting in which the city of Nauvoo was contemplated and presided over by Joseph Smith they “wanted to know the views of the brethren, whether they wished to appoint this a stake of Zion or not; stating that he believed it to be a good place, and suited for the saints. It was then unanimously agreed upon that it should be appointed a stake and A PLACE OF GATHERING FOR THE SAINTS.” DHC 4:12

One will notice as he reads church history that the early stakes were appointed when there were virtually no saints living there yet. Today this process has been reversed whereas there has to be several thousand saints living in an area before the stake is created. This would not be done if the saints realized exactly what a stake is. A stake as taught by Joseph Smith is created by marking off a section of land for the building of a city of Zion by the gathering of the Saints. When the stake is designated it may at that time have zero inhabitants as Salt Lake Stake did, but from that time forth the Saints were to gather upon it until such time as it reaches a maximum population of 20,000. When this population limit is reached the excess leave and plot out another stake and gather there.

This is what the Lord was referring to when he said: “And behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed, for the work of the gathering of my saints Until the day cometh WHEN THERE IS FOUND NO MORE ROOM FOR THEM; and then I have OTHER PLACES which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called STAKES, for the curtains or the strength of Zion. Behold it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, Should gather together and STAND IN HOLY PLACES.” D&C 101:20-22

God is commanding here as clear as the word can be to physically (not metaphysically as is taught today) gather together on Holy Places which are the Stakes of Zion. We are to create the first stake and when there is found no more room, or in other words, the population limit is reached, then the Lord will have us gather in other stakes. Stakes were not designed to be congregations of Saints blended in and living with Babylon, but Stakes were designed to be the method by which the Saints were to “come out of Babylon.” The stakes are to be for the “curtains or the strength of Zion.”

Heber C. Kimball said: “We have witnessed the flowing of the saints towards Zion; the stream has begun, and we expect to see it continue running until it shall have DRAINED THE SALT. OR THE LIGHT FROM BABYLON.” DHC 4:132 Thus the salt, the light, or the wheat is to be separated from the tares and gathered into barns (or stakes) whereas the wicked are bound in bundles to be burned. We are to gather upon a land “upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh; and I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts.” D&C 38:18- 19. Where is there a land today that the Saints possess upon which there is no curse? There is none because we have not obeyed the commandment to gather the saints. The Lord’s advice to the Saints after they were expelled from Jackson County is still applicable today: “Carefully gather together, AS MUCH IN ONE REGION AS CAN BE, consistently with the feelings of the people. And behold I will give unto you favor and grace in their eyes, that you may rest in peace and safety, while you are saying unto the people: Execute judgment and justice for us according to the law, and redress us of our wrongs. Now, behold, I say unto you, my friends, in this way you may find favor in the eyes of the people, until the army of Israel becomes very great.” D&C 105;24-26

This was the advice the saints tried to follow after they were expelled; however, we must admit that their gathering places were not always consistent with the feelings of the people, for Babylon has no love for the saints.

If then, we are to obey the commandment to gather what are we to do? Can the commandment be obeyed today? The answer is solidly yes.  There is no law of the church, the scriptures or man that prohibits any group from buying lands and gathering upon them.  And since all are entitled to revelation all one has to do is to get an inner confirmation through payer that the gathering place is approve by the Spirit.

New places of refuge will be created until the central stake in Missouri can be redeemed. Today it is just as practical to buy “lands and gathering together upon them” and build cities to the name of the Lord as it was in the days of Joseph Smith. All that needs done is to find a group of people favorable to the idea. Once new cities or stakes are brought into existence there will be at last places of safety for the saints of the Most High God.

The Lord will bless these stakes or cities with an abundance of wealth so that the saints can gather up the wheat of the world and then when the desolation and the famine hits and wheat becomes worth its weight in gold the Saints will then be given dominion and people will be converted to the cause of Zion by the multitudes, and “they who have laughed will see their folly.” All of this was in Joseph Smith’s mind as evidenced in the words of Brigham Young while Joseph was yet alive: “Yet he (Joseph) will lay a plan to speculate as large as ancient Joseph did; he will have power to buy up all the rest of the world.” DHC 6:16


The time will come when the dollar will collapse and their will be famines and great tribulation and since we know these things in advance we have a chance to prepare as ancient Joseph did for when the famine came in his day he was given power over all his enemies because he had seven years supply of food. It is interesting to note that almost every story in the old Testament is a type or symbol of events which will transpire in the latter-days and the story of Joseph of Egypt will be repeated on a grand scale.

This final gathering is prophesied of in the scriptures: “Turn O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you ONE OF A CITY AND TWO OF A FAMILY, and will bring you unto Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jer 3:14-15 The Saints are so blinded by the craftiness of men today that very few will see the light and gather to places of refuge.

The gathering will not be for the members of the Church of Jesus Christ only, but for all lovers of freedom for all true lovers of freedom have the laws of God written in their hearts. Joseph Smith invited “all lovers of truth and correct principles to gather as well as the saints.” DHC 4:178. This type of people will be the inhabitants of the kingdom of God for the kingdom of God does not belong to any one church, but the saints of God will bring the kingdom.

Today numerous small groups are attempting to gather, some of them motivated by the Holy Ghost, but Joseph Smith said the gathering “has to be done by the council of Jehovah, by the revelations of heaven.” DHC 5:65. One of the reasons the gathering has to be done by the revelations of heaven is that great tribulation is going to be poured out and the only way to gain a knowledge of the safe locations is by revelation. Also, it will take the spirit of revelation and the approval of God to cause the Holy Ghost to motivate a large enough group of people to make the gathering successful.

Through the still small voice we have learned that the parable of the leaven will be fulfilled: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” Matt 13:33.  Joseph Smith said that the parable referred to the last days when there would be little faith upon the earth. These people with this little faith are the leaven that will leaven the whole loaf after the period of tribulation. The grain which is to be leavened is the wheat which will be separated from the tares through the gathering of Israel.


Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey

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The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Three

This entry is part 3 of 16 in the series Literal Gathering

Chapter Three

Was The Gathering Of Israel Suspended?

Those few who do yet believe in a literal gathering of Israel often state that the gathering process is-suspended until we go back to Jackson County. Then they believe we will go back there and again have a great gathering.

The gathering of Israel and the establishment of Zion was paramount on the minds of the early church. The Lord has made it clear that we should not cease in this endeavor: “Again, verily I say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me con­cerning ALL the churches, inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation,. That the work of the gathering of my, saints MAY CONTINUE, that I build them up unto my name upon HOLY PLACES, for the TIME OF THE HARVEST IS COME, and my word must needs be fulfilled. Therefore, I MUST GATHER TOGETHER MY PEOPLE, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory…While the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire. Therefore, a commandment I give unto ALL the churches, that THEY SHALL CONTINUE TO GATHER TOGETHER unto the places which I have appointed… if they will hearken unto this counsel they may buy lands and gather together upon them; and in this way they may establish Zion.” D&C 101: 63-67, 74

Here we are clearly told that the gathering was to continue and nowhere in the scriptures are we commanded to cease gathering, instead the First Presidency announced in the days of Joseph Smith: “The work of the gathering spoken of in the scriptures WILL BE NECESSARY to bring about the glories of the last dispensation.” DHC 4:186.

In the days of Joseph F. Smith an announcement was made that it was no longer necessary for the saints to gather, but was it done by revelation? If it was done by revelation then it had to be a “Secret” revelation and today the church openly condemns secret revelations as being a sure mark of the devil, yet the church is claimed to be run by revelation and apparently all of them are secret. Thus the church leaders are condemning themselves when they condemn such secret revelations,

Joseph F. Smith was not the first individual to try and stop the work of God in gathering his People for the gathering was one of the main causes of persecution, for most of the persecution came before polygamy was introduced.. And why were they persecuted for gathering? Because when the saints gathered together they formed a medium of power for good and they began talking about the glories of the Kingdom and how Zion would eventually rule the world and such talk put great fears in the hearts of their neighbors for their neighbors feared that they may eventually be ruled over by those “tyrannical” Mormons and thus they tried to destroy them.

When the saints gathered in Ohio they were persecuted, and when they gathered in Missouri and tried to build Zion they were mobbed and Bogg’s famous extermination order was issued. When they were ordered to leave Missouri they were told to scatter abroad – that if they dispersed then no one would bother them and they could live their religion without persecution. This seemed like good advice for them, and some followed this and taught others the same. Hyrum Smith spoke in a general conference on this subject and “made remarks disapproving the course pursued by some elders in counteracting the efforts of the presidency to gather the saints, and in enticing them to stop in places not appointed for the gathering.” DHC 4:424

Unfortunately this spirit of enticing of the saints “to stop in places not appointed for the gathering” has spread to the first presidency of the church and the sheep have followed the shepherds. Today they have told all the saints to stay in their native lands for their native countries are appointed for gathering places, yet the saints in Mexico do not gather in Mexico and the saints in Brazil do not gather in Brazil for there is no gathering places appointed for the members of the church anywhere on the earth. Today there are only figurative gatherings,and no literal ones.

On the contrary Brigham Young said: “Recollect that we are now calling upon the Elders to go and gather up Israel; THIS IS THE MISSION THAT IS GIVEN TO US. It was the first mission given to the Elders in the days of Joseph. The set time is come for God to gather Israel, and for his work to commence upon the face of the whole earth, and the Elders who have arisen in this Church and Kingdom are actually of Israel.” JD 2:268. The Lord said: “I must gather together my people according to the parable of the wheat and the tares.” D&C 101 :65 In the parable of the wheat and the tares the Lord did not instruct his servants to gather the wheat for a while and then throw it back in with the tares, yet this is what the shepherds have done in saying that a literal gathering is no longer necessary, but the Lord said: “And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.” Joseph Smith 1:27

This gathering began with Joseph Smith and the Lord instructed its continuance and he condemns those servants who do not obey the principle of gathering as “hypocrites” (verse 54). The Lord also said: “But know this, if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to have been BROKEN UP, but would have been ready.” Joseph Smith 1:47. Have the shepherds of Israel allowed the house of Israel to again be broken up even after a gathering had begun? Yes. The prophecy is fulfilled and Israel is not gathered today, but broken up. The Lord continues: “Blessed is that servant whom his Lord when he cometh, shall find so doing (Gathering Israel and building Zion); verily I say unto you, he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My Lord delayeth his coming (That is be delays the building of Zion to some future date and we do not have to worry about it now. Build up Zion wherever you are). And he shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, (This is done today by excommunicating the pure in heart), and to eat and drink with the drunken. (Since Israel is not gathered today then they “eat and drink with the drunken). Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, AND SHALL CUT HIM ASUNDER, AND SHALL APPOINT HIM HIS PORTION WITH THE HYPOCRITS,” Joseph Smith 1:50-54 (Compare Matt 24)

The general feeling in the church today regarding this scripture is that it applies mainly to the lowly member and home teacher for surely the authorities are being as the wise servant. But NO! The evil servant one who has power enough to allow the Lord’s whole house to be “broken and the lowly member and home teacher has not this power. The evil servant was one, who was supposed to have care for the Lord’s house, one in high authority. The faithful servant is represented by those who do not give up on the gathering and building of Zion.

The evil servants are also referred to in the Doctrine and Covenants. The Lord compared the gathering Of Israel to a tower and after He commanded its construction “They began to say among themselves: And what need hath my Lord of this tower? And consulted for a long time saying among themselves: What need hath my Lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace? (That is persecution has subsided so why gather. It is no longer necessary) Might not this money be given to the exchangers? For there is no need of these things. (After all it costs money to gather together and build cities) And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not to the commandments of the Lord. And the enemy came by night and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were afrightened and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive trees. Now behold, the nobleman, the Lord of the vineyard called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil? Ought YE NOT TO HAVE DONE EVEN AS I COMMANDED YOU, and after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof – built the tower also, and set a watchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, AND NOT FALLEN ASLEEP, lest the enemy should come upon you? And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy While HE WAS YET FAR OFF; and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.” D&C 101:47-54 Then the Lord tells us he will call a faithful servant to fulfill his will which would be accomplished “after many days”. Verse 62 Then the He speaks clearly a few verses later and said: “They shall continue to gather together unto the places which I have appointed.” Verse 7.

One might ask how would the gathering enable us to “have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off?” Verse 54 The reason he would have been seen while he was yet afar off is because the gathering always draws opposition and the enemy would have continued to show himself while he was yet weak or afar off. If the gathering had continued then the Church would be prepared for the enemy today. As it is, with the dissolution of the gathering, the Church does not draw the evil men to oppose them. They appear as friends and the saints eat and drink with the drunken and cannot see the enemy afar off; yea, they cannot see him until it is too late.

Oh, how great is the wisdom of God in commanding his people to gather, yet how great is the folly of man in neglecting this principle because they see no need. Is it not clear that the gathering of Israel is one of the main promises made to the fathers and without it “the earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.” D&C 2:3. Nephi elaborates somewhat on this principle “For thus are the covenants of the Lord with our fathers; and it MEANETH US IN THE DAYS TO COME, AND ALSO ALL OUR BRETHREN WHO ARE OF THE HOUSE, OF ISRAEL…

Therefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and THEY SHALL BE GATHERED TOGETHER to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness.” I Nephi 22:6&12.

Jesus tells us when these promises are to be fulfilled: “When the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled… then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel. And then shall the remnants, which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth BE GATHERED IN from the east and from the west and from the south and from the North; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God who hath redeemed them… And I will gather my people together as a man gathered his sheaves into the floor. For I will make my people with whom the Father hath covenanted, yea, I will make thy horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass. And thou shalt beat in pieces many people…” III Nephi 20: 11-13 &18-19

Concerning the gathering Jesus also said: he “will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer… 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 29:2, 7-8

Micah makes some interesting prophesies concerning the period when the final gathering will begin: “O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord straightened? Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly’? Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy (This could be referring to the people of the church when they abandoned the gathering). … Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because IT IS POLLUTED, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; (That is receiving revelations the world wants to hear) he shall even be the prophet of this people. (The people will have a false prophet) I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I WILL SURELY GATHER THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL; 1 will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men

“And I said, Hear I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the House of Israel (The General Authorities): Is it not for you to know judgment? (That is they should know how to make correct judgments.) Who hate the good, and love the evil… Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but He will not hear them: he will even hide His face from them at that time, (What time? At the time the Lord Gathers out a remnant.), as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings. Thus Saith the, Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite their teeth, and cry, Peace; (The Knox version translates this: ‘All is well) and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. (This means that the person who does not go along with those who believe all is well in Zion and raise their voice in protest they, the Authorities prepare war against him.) Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall have not a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips: for there is no answer from God.” Micah 2:7-12; 3:1-7

LDS missionaries use this scripture to substantiate the great apostasy during the dark ages, but there are several facts to indicate that the prophesy pertains to our day and not the dark ages. First of all the church during the dark ages did not believe in prophets, seers and revelators, but here Micah talks about people who will actually claim to be such and will receive false revelations. Secondly, we are told that at the time of these false prophets the Lord “will surely gather the remnant of Israel”. There was no gathering during the dark ages.

Thirdly, Micah makes another prophecy which is to be fulfilled after this successful gathering: “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And MANY NATIONS SHALL COME, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: FOR THE LAW SHALL GO FORTH OUT OF ZION, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Micah 4:1-2. This famous quote, which is also found in Isaiah, is often used by the church to support the idea that the Church today has Zion established in the tops of the mountains in Utah, and to the casual observer it seems as if this is the logical fulfillment of the prophesy, but is it??? We are told that “the law shall go forth out of Zion”. Does the church have any dominion that they have power to give laws? The next verse says: “And he shall judge among many people, and REBUKE STRONG NATIONS AFAR OFF… And I will make her that halteth a remnant, (the true gathering of the Jews), and her that was CAST FAR OFF A STRONG NATION.” Micah 4:3 & 7. Who was cast afar off? It was the children of Lehi. When they are gathered in the Lord will make Zion a strong nation.

Does the church today have power “to rebuke strong nations afar off? Is the church today a strong nation? No. These prophecies are not yet fulfilled and it may shock some people to learn that the mountain of the Lord’s house is not in Utah among those beautiful mountains. Has not the Church been clearly told that Zion is to be established in Jackson County Missouri and that it is from this spot that the law will go forth that will govern the nations? Joseph Smith made this clear near the end of his life at a time that he was aware that the “Saints would go to the Rocky Mountains and become a mighty people.” He said: “The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south, and is described by the prophets, who declare that it is the Zion where the mountain of the Lord should be, AND THAT IT SHOULD BE IN THE CENTER OF THE LAND. When the Elders shall take up and examine the old prophesies in the Bible, they will see it.” DHC 6:318-319

If the Church accepts the revelations given through Joseph Smith then they must acknowledge that the mountain of the Lord’s house is not in the Rocky Mountains, but is in Missouri. It is from this place that strong nations will be rebuked and that the law will go forth and that other nations will come forth and want to be governed by the principles of freedom as outlined in the original constitution of the United States which was established “for the rights and protection of ALL flesh.” D&C 101:77

If this is so one might well ask then why the prophecy speaks about the Mountain of the Lord’s house in the tops of the mountains when there are few mountains in Missouri. There are several things to keep in mind here. First recall that the Lord often speaks of his holy mountain as being in Israel, yet there are no high mountains there. A good-sized hill is the highest thing you can find there. Secondly the Lord often refers to his people gathered together as his “holy Mountain” even if there are no mountains around. Thirdly, Missouri is in the center of a land filled with mountain ranges, and Forth, if you demand a literal interpretation we are told that the time will come “for the valleys to be exalted, and for the mountains to be made low.” D&C 49:23. Thus it would hardly do to establish the Central stake in Salt Lake for it would no longer be in the tops of the mountains when they are made low. On the other hand it is possible that the Lord will raise up a great mountain in the central stake in Missouri.

The Lord seemed to be aware that the gathering commenced by Joseph Smith would not be permanent as we have previously indicated by the parable of the servants abandoning the tower. The scriptures say: “Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations; and this I will do when the cup of their iniquity is full. And in that day ALL who are found upon the watchtower, or in other words, all mine Israel, shall be saved. AND THEY THAT HAVE BEEN SCATTERED SHALL BE GATHERED.” D&C 101:11-13. This gathering spoken of here has to refer to a second gathering for the first had already started. This second successful gathering will take place when the Lord’s wrath is poured out upon the nations.

This second gathering was sensed by some of the early leaders. Brigham Young said: “God will preserve a PORTION OF’ THIS PEOPLE of the meek and humble, to bear off the kingdom to the inhabitants of the earth.” Contributor 10:362. Also Heber C. Kimball said: “But the time will come when the Lord will choose A PEOPLE OUT OF THIS PEOPLE upon whom he will bestow His choicest blessings.” Deseret News; Nov 9, 1865.

True saints look forward to the true literal gathering Of Israel. A  marvelous work and wonder will come forth, a work which shall be so great that the history books will teach that all that has gone on before us including the restoration of the gospel was only preparation for that which is to come. The work of the Lord through Joseph Smith, as great as it was, was only preparation for that which God will yet accomplish through the meek and humble of the earth.

John the Revelator prophesied of the great gathering, or the coming out of Babylon. He said: “And I heard another voice (rev elation) from heaven, saying, COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4 This revelation that John prophesied of was given to Joseph Smith November 3, 1831 wherein the Lord said: “Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon.” D&C 133:14 Joseph Smith said that this commandment was given “that the people of the Lord MAY LIVE when Babylon the great is fallen.” DHC 4:9

How can one deny that the commandment to come out of Babylon is literal and is yet binding on the Latter-Day Saints? The Lord said: “Save yourselves from this untoward generation, and COME FORTH OUT OF THE FIRE, hating even the garments spotted with the flesh.” D&C 36:6.

Jesus also personally prophesied of the coming out of Babylon: “And then shall a cry go forth: Depart ye, depart ye, GO YE OUT FROM THENCE, touch not that which is unclean; GO YE OUT OF THE MIDST OF HER. III Nephi 20:41

When Jacob was chastising his people he told them: “And the time speedily cometh, that except ye repent… the Lord God will lead away the righteous out from among you.” Jacob 3:4 Is not this the principle that God has used in all ages? Will he not lead forth the righteous from the Latter-Day Saints today except they repent?

Jeremiah speaks extensively concerning the commandment to come out of Babylon: “My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place… Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks. For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the North country: and they shall set themselves in array against her… Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver ever, man his soul… Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her that ‘have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem (That is the New Jerusalem) come into your mind.” Jer 50:6,8-9;.51:9,5

Again we are told: “The diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; THEY COMFORT IN VAIN… I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them… And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man… I will hiss for them, and gather them… I will bring them again also out of tile land of Egypt, (That is he will deliver us from oppressive laws and taxation), and gather them out of Assyria (That is the Lord will gather them from among the wicked); and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon;” Zech 10:2,6,7 & 10

What does the Lord mean when he says he will bring them “into the land of Gilead and Lebanon”? If we apply the Hebrew meanings of the words we get an interesting interpretation. Gilead means “many witnesses” and Lebanon means “the center” so we could render it thus: “I will bring you to a land of which you have received many witnesses which is in the center”( of the country). Did not Joseph Smith say that Jackson County, Missouri is the “center” stake in the center of the land? Is not the consistency of all of the prophets amazing?

We must keep in mind here that many of the prophesies concerning Zion will commence in their fulfillment in the Rocky Mountains, but they will not bud forth in all of their glory until the center stake is established. The prophecy that Joseph made about the saints becoming a mighty people in the midst of the rocky mountains has not yet been fulfilled. The Mormon people are now a numerous people, but they are not mighty, but a mighty people will grow up out of their midst.


Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey

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The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Two

This entry is part 2 of 16 in the series Literal Gathering

 Chapter Two

Babylon – Spiritual Wickedness

Just why did God choose the name “Babylon” to describe spiritual wickedness in the last days? To find the answer to this question we must go back to the beginning of the original Babylon. We find that it was started by Nimrod, the mighty hunter and the great Anti-Christ of his day. (See Gen 10:10). The city of Babel, or Babylon was built in direct opposition to the will of the Lord for He wanted his people to scatter abroad all over the face of the earth and repopulate it after the flood, instead of congesting in one place. For one thing the Lord knew that a great congestion of the population always brings this spiritual wickedness. Because the people built the great city and the tower God had to confuse their language so they could be scattered all over the earth according to his will.

Joseph Smith taught this important principle of limitation. He taught that the great city Zion would “fill up the world,” but that each community or stake in that city would be limited to “fifteen to twenty thousand people”. DHC 1:358

It is obvious that cities below twenty thousand population have much less corruption than the large cities. All of the large cities today are filled with every kind of wickedness one can imagine thus the main concentration of spiritual wickedness in the world today is in the large cities. Thus when the Lord says: “Come out of her (Babylon), my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her PLAGUES.” REV 18:4 He is telling the people to come out of the cities of the world for all of these large concentrations of people are Babylon or confusion in the sight of God.

Not only are the Large cities a part of Babylon but so also are the smaller ones, to a lesser degree, according to the amount of spiritual wickedness therein. The only places that are not a part of Babylon are those places appointed by the Lord. Concerning these gathering places the scriptures commanded: ”Those who call themselves by my name and are essaying to be my saints, if they will do my will and keep my commandments concerning them, let them GATHER THEMSELVES TOGETHER unto the places which I shall appoint unto them by my servant Joseph (or another servant), AND BUILD UP CITIES UNTO MY NAME, that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come.” D&C 125:2

Thus those who come out of Babylon are those who gather together and build up cities or stakes of Zion unto the Lord not exceeding twenty thousand. Salt Lake was once a city of Zion, but is no longer because of the spiritual wickedness there. It is as much a part of Babylon as any other city and there is no safety there at present.

Joseph Smith verified this doctrine. He said in speaking of Israel that the Lord would “Gather them from the coasts of the earth and as John heard the voice saying ‘Come Out Of her my people’ even so must all be fulfilled: that the PEOPLE OF THE LORD MAY LIVE when Babylon the great is fallen is fallen. There has been quite a number of families gathered up here already and we expect a continuance…” DHC 4:8-9 In speaking of the destruction of Babylon we find: “Therefore, shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, Alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! FOR IN ONE HOUR IS THY JUDGEMENT COME. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; FOR NO MAN BUYETH THEIR MERCHANDISE ANY MORE… The merchants of these things WHICH WERE MADE RICH BY HER, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing… In ONE HOUR so great riches is come to nought… And they cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying what city is like unto this great city!… In one hour is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou Heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for GOD HATH AVENGED YOU ON HER. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall the great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” Rev 18:8-11, 15,17-21.

In reading this chapter many people think that Babylon is only one city since it was called a “great city” but we know that this cannot be the case since we are told that “in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of ALL THAT WERE SLAIN UPON THE EARTH.” Rev 18:24. No one city has even been in existence long enough to slay all the saints that have been on the earth, but “spiritual wickedness” has indeed slain all the saints that have been on the earth and where­ ever this spiritual wickedness reigns there we have Babylon. The Lord calls Babylon a city just as he calls Zion a city that will “fill the whole earth”. Actually the city Zion which will fill the whole earth in the eyes of man will be composed of many smaller cities. The same is true of the great city Babylon. Yet even taking this into consideration within each prophecy we have many types or shadows of reality. For instance the city Zion is often referred to as the center stake in Jackson County. The central gathering place for Zion is prophesied to be in Missouri and the United States as a whole. Even so, with the city Babylon we have a city and nation today which typifies its-existence. The City is New York City and the Nation is the United States.

Just as in the days of Peter Rome was called Babylon (I Peter 5:13) so also in our day is the great controlling city of New York is called Babylon. New York has several things in common with the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar. First it is the controlling financial city of the world. Second it is surrounded by water. Third, it is the melting pot of the nations. A conglomeration of all types of people always fills the city Babylon. In speaking of Babylon of our day Jeremiah exclaimed: “opulent city, standing beside great waters!” Jer 51:13 New English.

Concerning the city beside the great waters Ezekiel writes: “How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, WHICH WAS STRONG IN THE SEA, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure. For thus saith the Lord God; when I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I shall BRING UP THE DEEP UPON THEE, AND GREAT WATERS SHALL COVER THEE.” Ezekiel 26:17-19

This coincides with another prophecy of John Taylor when he said that the city of New York would someday be submerged under water.

Jeremiah also speaks of this event: “The sea is come upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves.” Jer 51:42

On the other hand, Jeremiah in the next verse indicates that there are other parts of Babylon that will not be covered with water: “Her CITIES are a desolation, A DRY LAND, and a wilderness, a land where no man dwelleth.” Jer 51:43

This clearly indicates that the main city of Babylon will be sunken under the sea whereas its other cities will become a desolation just as John Taylor saw in his vision.

In addition to the flooding Jeremiah gives us another cause of the desolation: “And a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Howl, ye SHEPHERDS, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye PRINCIPAL (From the Hebrew ADDIYR which means the greatest of or the leading men) OF THE FLOCK: for the days of your slaughter and your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds (the General Authorities) shall have no way to flee, nor the principal (the First Presidency) of the flock, to escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock shall be heard: for the Lord hath spoiled their pasture. (The pasture is Salt Lake City and others where the church is joined with Babylon) And the peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the Lord.” Jer 25:32-37

We also have a strong indication that Babylon can refer to a certain country: in the last days: “For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon as assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken.” Jer 50:9

Obviously the nations that come against Babylon here could not be a part of Babylon so Babylon here could only refer to a nation or set of nations in the last days.

Since Babylon refers to “spiritual wickedness” then that nation which possesses this type of wickedness in the world today would be the Babylon that is prophesied. All nations possess wickedness, but they do not all have a great deal of “spiritual wickedness.” The greater the spiritual leanings are in a nation the greater the chance there is for spiritual wickedness for the greater the light the greater is the darkness of those who go against the light.

Not only is the United States the most religious nation on earth, as well as the headquarters of Mormonism but has a greater variety of spiritual teachers of every mold. It is indeed the prime candidate for being the modern Babylon, center of spiritual wickedness. It is not surprising that there are so many references in the scriptures to the apostasy of the shepherds of Israel in the last days.

There are many other indications that the nation Babylon is the United States* For instance we are told that “the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” Rev. 18:3 What other nation other than the United States makes the merchants of the earth rich?

The saints of God are commanded: “Come out of her my people.” Rev 18:4 We know that the majority of the Latter-Day Saints are in the United States.

Another indication is given in: “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.” Rev 18:20.  Joseph and Hyrum Smith are among these.

Then too, sometimes Babylon refers to the nations of the world. “Go ye Out from among the nations, even from Babylon.” D&C 133:14 All of the nations possess a degree of spiritual wickedness, but the United States exceeds them all and all cities in the United States possess this same wickedness, but New York exceeds them all from a political standpoint and Salt Lake City exceeds them all from a religious standpoint.

A great warning was given by the Lord through Ezekiel to the Watchmen of Israel to warn them about sinning against the light: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, AND GIVE THEM WARNING FROM ME. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, TO SAVE HIS LIFE; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” EZEKIEL 3:17-19

Do not the scriptures make clear that desolation can be our lot and that a warning voice needs to be sounded to save the actual physical lives of the saints? Is there a revelation anywhere that tells us to cease giving the warning voice? Yet where is the warning voice of the shepherds of Israel today telling us to come out of Babylon so we will not be caught in the cities and suffer as John Taylor saw in his vision? When the desolation comes the virgins who are not wise will ask why they were not warned and many members of the church will curse their leaders and then their God in their dying breaths while the wise virgins, the Saints who will gather “shall hardly escape”. D&C 63:34

Is it not clear from what has, been hitherto written that we in need of a “literal” gathering of Israel? That is that the Saints must literally gather to places of refuge to save their physical lives in the day of judgment. Is it not obvious that the church is not sounding the warning voice as commanded in the scriptures, thus the blood of those who perish will be required at the hands of the shepherds of Israel. There is a small handful who understand these things, and understanding the responsibility we must sound the warning no matter what sacrifice or cost that we have to pay,


Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey

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The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter One

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series Literal Gathering


I wrote this treatise back in 1979 when I was still strongly influenced by the mindset of the LDS church and its various writings. Since then many of my views have changed and my perspective broadened.  My later book – The Gathering of Lights more correctly reflects my current thinking and presentation and is written for the general populace.

This treatise has some excellent material and lots of good quotes for the LDS people.  It was written to speak to the LDS using their language and contains many wake up calls and provocative thinking for them to consider. Most important is it does present the true principle of the gathering using their own teachings.




 J J. Dewey


Chapter One

The Literal and Figurative Gathering


The tenth article of faith reads: “We believe in the LITERAL gathering of Israel, and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built on this (the American) continent…

Does the Church still believe in this literal gathering of Israel? Is there a literal gathering in the Mormon church today, or is it a figurative gathering?

If there is a literal gathering in the church today then that would have to mean that all there is to the gathering of Israel is the gathering together in meetings and occasional conferences. But if this is so then how are the LDS gathering together any more than the Methodists or the Baptists? If The LDS believe in the “literal” gathering of Israel today then so also do all the other churches in Christendom. If Mormon belief on the gathering is the same as the other churches then why do they pretend that this belief sets them apart?

Actually, until the turn of the twentieth century, the Latter-Day Saints did believe in the literal gathering of Israel, but after a number of compromises, the church decided to cease and desist in its efforts to gather out of Babylon. From that point in time to the present the Saints have become like unto the world and most of the members of the church have become part of Babylon itself.

In speaking of Jesus in his day Joseph Smith said: “Jesus did everything to gather the people, and they would not be gathered, and he therefore poured out curses upon them.” DHC 5:423 Joseph also said: “The Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ is a gathering Spirit. Its tendency is to gather the virtuous and good, the honest and the meek of the earth, and in fine, the Saints of God.” DHC 6:12.

Yes, many are not aware that Jesus did everything possible to literally gather out the pure in heart in his day, but he had such little success that there is nothing recorded in the New Testament of any gathering at all except into meetings. Near the end of his life when he saw that his efforts were futile Jesus painfully declared: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often WOULD I HAVE GATHERED thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” Matt 23:37-38

Jesus talks about the same principle in our day and he even calls it a mystery which implies that the principle is not understood by the average member: “Therefore I will unfold unto them this great mystery; For behold I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, IF THEY WILL NOT HARDEN THEIR HEARTS.” D&C 10:64-65

It looks as if the saints must have hardened their hearts for there is no gathering of the righteous at all today. Jesus tried to gather the saints in Jerusalem and they “would not”, and he again tried to gather them in our dispensation and again they would not.

Concerning this “mystery” the Lord continues: “Behold this is my doctrine, whosoever repenteth and cometh (gathereth) unto me, the same is my church. Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore HE IS NOT OF MY CHURCH.” D&C 10:67-68. Thus even though a person may have a membership in the Church on the earth it is not written in heaven unless he possesses the spirit of gathering.

This is why the Lord calls those who do not possess this desire to gather non members. This is also verified in the Book of Mormon: “Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion (The gathering of Israel) both Jew, and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; FOR THEY ARE THEY WHO ARE THE WHORE OF ALL THE EARTH.  II Nephi 10:16. Many members of the church will fight against the establishment of Zion through the gathering of Israel and thus belong to that great and Abominable Church of the Devil for the Adversary desires the dispersion of Israel so that the wheat will be burned along with the tares. We are told that Satan through his secret combinations seeks “the destruction of ALL people.” Ether 8:25. Since the Gathering of Israel will provide a place of “refuge” which would thwart the Adversary’s plan of destruction he, of course, wants to fight against this principle with all of his power.

When Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith he said: “Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children THE PROMISES MADE TO THE FATHERS, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so THE WHOLE EARTH WOULD BE UTTERLY WASTED AT HIS COMING.” D&C 2:1-3.

Notice that Moroni said that the promises (plural) that were made to the fathers must be planted in the hearts of the children or the earth would be “utterly wasted”.

What are the promises made to the Fathers???

The church is, of course, aware of “one” of the promises, and that is the sealing powers, but a full concept of this is not taught. Joseph Smith said: “This is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven… We cannot be perfect without our fathers. WE MUST HAVE REVELATION FROM THEM.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith Page 338.

Thus we see that the redemption of the dead is only part of the spirit of Elijah. In addition to this we must be connected with them to the extent that we can receive revelation from them. Part of the redemption of the dead involves freeing our fathers in the Spirit World so they can communicate with us as promised.

Why do we need revelation from our Fathers? Because all of the Fathers in Israel who we read of in the scriptures sought the gathering of Israel and the redemption of Zion and found it not, therefore they are very interested in our accomplishing this today for they do not want to be resurrected on a planet that is “utterly wasted”.

Indeed the literal gathering of Israel is one of the promises made to the fathers and it must be planted in the hearts of the children by revelation or the earth could be wasted at the coming of Christ. Why will the earth be wasted if there is no gathering? Because the Lord said that the gathering was “for a defense and for a refuge from the storm.” D&C 115:6 For this reason he commanded the Saints: “Go ye out of Babylon, gather ye out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other… Let them, therefore, who are among the Gentiles flee unto Zion… “D&C 133:7&12 “Declare both by word and by FLIGHT that desolation shall come upon the wicked.” D&C 63:37 “I WILL NOT SPARE ANY THAT REMAIN IN BABYLON.” D&C 64:24

If God will not spare “ANY” that remain in Babylon and all the saints remain there and not gather to form Zion then obviously the earth will be “utterly wasted” at his coming for there would be no men left. Indeed the Lord has warned us: “For a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out from time to time, if they repent not (for not establishing Zion by gathering), UNTIL THE EARTH IS EMPTY and the inhabitants thereof are CONSUMED AWAY AND UTTERLY DESTROYED (or wasted) by the brightness of my coming.” D&C 5:19

Joseph Smith illustrates clearly that the sealing powers restored by Elijah and the gathering go hand in hand: “The keys are to be delivered, the Spirit of Elijah is to come, the Gospel to be established, the Saints of God GATHERED, ZION BUILT UP, and the Saints to come up as saviors on Mount Zion The Saints have not too much time to save and redeem their dead and GATHER TOGETHER THEIR LIVING RELATIVES, that they may be saved also, before the earth will be smitten, and the consumption decreed falls upon the world… If the Church should go to with their might to save their dead, seal their posterity and GATHER THEIR LIVING FRIENDS, and spend none of their time in behalf of the world, they would hardly get through before the night would come, when no man could work; and my only trouble at the present time is CONCERNING OURSELVES,THAT THE SAINTS WILL BE DIVIDED, BROKEN UP, AND SCATTERED BEFORE WE GET OUR SALVATION SECURE; for there are so many fools in the world for the devil to operate on.” TOTPJS Pages 330- 331.

We see here that the gathering is necessary to secure our salvation. This is understandable when we consider that Joseph Smith said that “Salvation is nothing more nor less than to triumph over all our enemies and put them under our feet.” These enemies he said referred to “this world”. TOTPJS Page 297. In other words it is impossible for the kingdom of God to triumph over its enemies in this world without the gathering of Israel and the establishment of Zion. ‘Without a knowledge of this “mystery” the kingdom of God cannot set up an “ensign” to the nations which will bring peace on the earth.

Before we continue we must successfully define what is meant by the “Literal gathering of Israel” even though the meaning should be as clear as crystal to anyone who has read the Doctrine and Covenants even once.

Unfortunately many Latter-Day Saints actually believe that the missionaries of today-are participating in the gathering of Israel. Many members also believe that they are gathering by simply meeting in wards and stakes. Others who understand what is meant by the “literal gathering of Israel” believe that the gathering was suspended for a time and is to be resumed when they go to Jackson County and that there we will have a literal gathering.



Have you ever wondered why missionaries such as Wilford Woodruff were able to convert over three thousand people in several years of labor? Why is there not a missionary in the church today with the persuasive power of any of the early brethren? Is it because the missionaries of today lack charisma, or perhaps use the wrong brand of mouthwash? No. The reason is simply that today there is a different message with the most vital element deleted. That missing ingredient is the warning voice to all people to gather out from among the nations and come to Zion. Let the wheat be separated from the tares so the tares can be bound in bundles to be burned. Parley P. Pratt wrote his VOICE OF WARNING for this purpose. Also the Lord told us: “Behold, I sent you out to testify and to WARN this people…” D&C 88:81

Why were they to be warned? We are told a few verses later: “That their souls may escape the wrath of God, the desolation of abomination which awaits the wicked.” D&C 88:85

To Sidney Rigdon the Lord commanded: “Let him lift up his voice with the sound of a trump, and WARN the inhabitants of the earth to FLEE THE WRATH TO COME.” D&C 124:106 “Let your preaching be a warning voice.” D&C 38:41 “Lift a WARNING voice to the inhabitants of the earth; and declare both by word and by FLIGHT that desolation shall come upon the wicked.” D&C 63:37 “This is a day of WARNING…,’ D&C 63:58. “Let thy warning voice go forth; and when the night cometh let not the inhabitants of the earth slumber because of thy speech.” D&C 112:5. We are told that the main purpose of the Doctrine and Covenants is to be a “Voice of warning… unto all people.” D&C 1:4

Where is the Warning voice today?

I am familiar with the last two editions of the missionary lessons and there is not one warning in either of them. The main theme of the current set is to testify of “living prophets.” However, the scriptures plainly tell us that any recognized prophet will warn the people of the wrath to come. Why are those proclaiming to be “special witnesses” not doing this? Why O why are the missionaries not sounding the warning voice when sudden destruction awaits us and the time is coming that even with a gathering the “inhabitants of the earth are burned, and FEW MEN LEFT.” Isa 24:6 thus making “a man more precious than fine gold.” Isa 13:12

In an interesting vision attributed to John Taylor on December 16, 1877 we find a description of some of the desolation we are to warn against:

 “I went to bed as usual about 9:30 P.M…. The next I knew I was just this side of Omaha. It seemed as though I was above the earth, and looking down upon 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.

“I wondered how they could get through with such a small pack on their back. It was remarkable to me that there were so FEW MEN AMONG THEM It did not seem as though the cars were running. The rails looked rusty and abandoned and I have no conception of how I traveled as I looked down upon the people. I continued east by way of Omaha and Council Bluffs which were full of disease. The states of Illinois and Missouri were in tumult. Men were killing one another and women joined in the fighting. Family were against family in the most horrid manner. I imagined next that I was in Washington and I found desolation there. The whole House was empty and the Halls of Congress the same and everything in ruins. The people seemed to have fled the city and left it to take care of itself. (This would undoubtedly include the Washington temple). I was next in Baltimore in the square where the monument of 1812 stands in front of the Charles Hotel. I saw dead piled up so as to fill the squares. I saw mothers cutting the throats of their own children for their blood. I saw them suck it from their throats to quench their own thirst, and then lie down and die. The waters of the Chesapeake Bay were so stagnant and the stench arising from it on account of their throwing dead bodies in it, so terrible that the very smell carried death with it. I saw no men except they were dead or dying on the streets and very few women. And those I saw were crazy and in an ugly condition.

“Everywhere I went I beheld the same sight all over the city, it was terrible beyond description to look upon. I thought this must be the end, but no, I was seemingly in an instant in the city of Philadelphia. There everything was still. No living soul was there to greet me. It seemed the whole city was without any inhabitants. In the south of Chestnut street and in fact everywhere I went the putrefaction of the dead caused such a stench that it was impossible for any living thing to breath, nor did I see any living thing in the city.

“Next I found myself in Broadway in New York, and there it seemed the people had done the best they could to overcome the disease, but in wandering down Broadway, I saw the bodies of beautiful women, some dead and others in a dying condition on the sidewalk. I saw men come out of cellars and ravish the persons of some that were yet alive, and then kill them and rob their bodies of all the valuables they had upon them and they would roll over a time or two and die in agony. In some of the back streets I saw them kill some of their own offspring and eat their raw flesh and in a few minutes die themselves.

“Everywhere I went I saw the same scenes of horror and destruction and death. No vehicles or cars were running, but death and destruction was everywhere. Then I saw a fire start, and just at that moment a mighty East wind sprang up and carried the flames over the city and it burned until there was not a single building left standing there. Even down to the waters edge. Wharves and shipping all seemed to burn and follow in common destruction where the great city was a short time ago. The stench of the bodies that were burning was so great that it was carried a long distance across the Hudson Bay and carried death and destruction wherever it penetrated. I cannot paint in words the horrors that seemed to compass me about. It was beyond the description of men.

“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, and South. FEW WERE LEFT ALIVE STILL THERE WERE SOME. Immediately after I seemed to be standing on the left bank of the Missouri and Illinois and all of Iowa were a complete desert with NO LIVING BEING THERE. A short distance from the river, however, I saw twelve men, dressed in temple robes, standing in a square or nearly so, and I understood it represented the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem. Their hands were uplifted consecrating the ground and laying the Corner Stone of the temple.” Source: Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, June 15, 1878, “A Vision, Salt Lake City, Night of Dec 16, 1877

Is it not now obvious why the Lord said: “Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, FROM THE MIDST OF WICKEDNESS, which is SPIRITUAL BABYLON… Let him not look back lest sudden destruction shall come upon him.” D&C 133:14-15.

Here we see that one is in spiritual Babylon when he is in the “midst of wickedness”. We, of course, cannot be in physical Babylon today so it is obvious that the prophesies of Babylon in our day pertain to this “spiritual Babylon” as the scriptures have said.


Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey

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