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What About THE GATHERING? Part 1

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May 8, 2021 8:07 am

What About THE GATHERING? Part 1

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May 8, 2021 8:07 am

From Mormon to Jesus!  Real, authentic conversations among former members of the Church Of Latter Day Saints

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We will be talking about the gathering of Israel, what does that mean has that affect Latter Day Saints today and has that affect us as Christians. So let's start off talking about the 10th of this article of faith, which states we believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the 10 tribes that is IN the new Jerusalem will be built upon the American continent that Christ will reign personally upon the earth, and that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory today will you meet we will be discussing the gathering of Israel from the LDS perspective what we thought this meant as practicing Latter Day Saints now compares to what Christians understand of the gathering of Israel today IQ for joining us.

So start off with the question when reading the 10th article of faith is a just an introduction. What did you understand the literal gathering of Israel to mean as a Latter Day Saints so always extra for the yeah so my understanding of it of Deborah try to fake the proprietor of this topic on like what did I what was my experience of of this teaching. When I was kind of a young child growing up in the LDS church.

Growing up in Utah when I when I was younger I remember there being a lot of speculation on when exactly we would return to Jackson County is Jackson County Missouri was supposed to be the gathering place as taught by Joseph Smith and so on. That was supposed to be the place where Jesus would return to before the millennium and I remember in church discussions.

There was always a lot of a lot of speculation when when will the prophet give that direction for us to go back to Jackson County specially is gathering food storage kinda became a big thing in the in the 1980s and I was a child. There was a lot of speculation that that guidance was in preparation for that because you would need stores of food to travel cross-country so yeah there's that and then if I think about kind of like teachings that I received within my family about this. There is just member that the website asked Gramps there's a question on there that the really kinda gifts at the teachings and I kind of received about this as a child, that it answered the questions as I would like to know why my dad believes that the lost 10 tribes live at the North Pole under all that ice. He says that they will return someday.

But right now they're living inside the earth, maybe with the global warming issue.

The ice will melt and let them out anyway.

Dad said he learned this in church growing up, but I don't think they are teaching it now is a doctrine or is my dad crazy. Do you believe lost 10 tribes live under the ice. So that's that's definitely a teaching that I heard from my mom when I was growing up, and it's based on doctrine and covenants section 133 versus 26 to 27 and they who are in the North country struck him in remembrance before the Lord in their prophet shall hear his voice shall no longer stay themselves and they shall smite the rocks and I shall flow down of their presence and highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep so that that passage was kind of interpreted by some Latter Day Saints quite a few. I would think at least in the in the Mountain West to mean that that the North for the last 10 tribes were somewhere in the in the North Pole area under the ice which was kind of struck me as this is a strange belief but that's definitely what my mom believes in and you know she believes that that when the call came to return to Jackson County that the lost 10 tribes within come from those North from that north area. So yes, that's kinda what I understood the literal gathering of Israel to me. In addition to missionaries going out from the LDS church to gather the firm and Manasseh. Thank you.

Paul had never heard of that explanation of them being in the North Pole or around the North Pole sweetheart, do they believe that I don't design offensive, but is that where all the toys are made for Christmas all little elves under the mirthful.I mean it's it's an interesting question but the guy don't I don't think they believe that their Santa's elves spoke to dad and my the only one that that her back teaching. Yes, okay, I never had a memory circuit.

My mom's mouse from Idaho so maybe it's a fringe Idaho Mormon belief, you might learn about in an Idaho Falls method will see the depths. Brandon, Michael, do you have anything to add to that, I will say like my understanding is very different from Paul's. I also never have heard that idea that they live in the approved lots from somebody that they lived under the North Pole as it does sound a little bit familiar, but definitely not the normal thing that I heard so you as far as the scattering of Israel. I think that's pretty clear you know the teetimes were both conquered Israel was scattered on his legacy, and I believe that there would be a literal gathering and tether theories, and I would hear a lot of times was that I got my missions and they would say like hey maybe the aborigines in Australia are one of the last tribes and so they try to point to different groups of people in and speculate. I thought maybe the Mongolians constituted a crime read about the blessings that the jet Jacob gave his son was okay these are characteristics of of these people and I would try to match them with somebody else is really fun for me to speculate and try to gasp you last tribes were but I figured that they would be back at some point that would draw them out and it was going to gather them all together in one place and is immune. As new Jerusalem and a new Israel. But I also believe that the church was was gathering Israel because he became an Israelite baptism in the only extraction became the seed of Abraham, and so you you became part of that. So that's why we have our blessings and they would name our friends the supposedly from the tribe of because of that, and they would always say like Ephraim is the tribe that is in charge think they said Manasseh to Ephraim's in charge of the gathering of Israel were in charge of the missionary working and turning people into seed, and heirs of Abraham and of the promise that pretty much what you are just like us on time a lot right.

I think DTR Frank when the gospel with Carol on the building of the temple is like looking for that is that inching closer Gary is appreciated hopefully with their marks and a discussion will get more, those details so yet appreciate what you've shared so far, have you seen the LDS understanding of this literal gathering is of Israel change over time, or have you seen it stay relatively constant in the time that your members so start with you. Michael Breanna, I think we will talk about this beforehand and we really saw much of a change that. I remember seeing, but really curious about what Paul Stoll could see he was there longer and farther than we were with Martin Harris on the M, I might as well be the Gramps that you all ask okay like I remember when asked Gramps was asked baby no. So yeah, I think that I have seen a change in it. I think that just the difference between my experience and in Michael's and bananas and then yours. Matthew even know you are your little bit younger than I am but you but you grew up in Utah as well. I think in the kind of in the Mormon corridor were there in the in the Intermountain West Idaho, you know, Utah, Arizona, there was definitely some holdover doctrines that held on longer and got talked about more than than in other areas of of church membership, like in Texas were were Michael grew up in California were granted grew up and I think the reason for that is that the other scope of the holder. There was the older Janet there were the older generations of Mormons who had the older books, you know, prior to the Internet coming online in an and Hiram are going to the bookstores and trying to find old used Mormon books and there was plenty of. There were plenty of bookstores we got where I could do that met the kind of place into it so I think I think the differences between your speculation on returning to Jackson County and and also adjust that difference between the kind of the folk doctrine I would say about the return of the 10 tribes from the north countries and living under the ice. That's definitely an older LDS view that the kind of held over. I think in some areas of the Intermountain West that I'm another way. I think I see that change is.

And in this really happened. Kind of. As a result, I guess. Of, of necessity, after the pioneers went west and there was there was still a lot of speculation been in whenever going back to Jackson County and we have to go and take Jackson County because that's that's where the temple is supposed to be for the second coming and them so that speculation kinda held on for a long time and I remember when I was on my mission. The teachings of the presence of the church manual for Brigham Young had come out and we were studying through that in priesthood and relief Society and I remember going over the lesson on building Zion, and that the met manual it with some Hungarians on my mission and I member sitting there just kind of thinking through us as the Hungarians were reading through section of the lesson and doing like you do with asking the questions that are presented there is kind of thinking through what what is said there the focus was quick, kinda quickly shifted to from Zion being Jackson County and Independence, Missouri to it being the pure in heart which there is I guess within Latter Day Saints Scripture document covenants that 90 what is it 97 verse 21 says therefore barely set the set board less. I rejoice for this is Diane the pure in heart therefore let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn Brigham Young kinda helped shift LDS thinking on that bed. Zion is can be everywhere. Basically anywhere with her, where the pure in heart resides where Zion is and therefore there's there's really no need to go back to Jackson County and that's that's interesting when you think about LDS Church history and been really who owns the temple lot their independence and that all that kind of interesting sidebar tapestry stuff.

The act of hoisting this chat.

This change and identification is clear that is changed within the history of the church. It used to be.

Everybody gather to Kirtland then to Naboo than from a determined then to Jackson County until they were tossed out of Missouri and then to not view that everybody gathered us to Utah territory and then even after that it started then no don't gather anymore. Stay where you are. So is this this doctrine has definitely shifted over time. Yeah I made a lot of great points there and it does seem like almost like a post hoc adept adaptation of how things ever think were going early on in the church. Like he said they were anticipating that this is can happen imminently that they were the Jesus was going to return and is going happen Jackson County. So we've all got to be prepared then as the decades went on and on and on to Mike that was gonna happen. Then they said well Zion is wary wherever you are. Now you will build up the church of emergency medicine. Kind of like it's changed over the decades, not due to prophetic guidance, but it seems more like due to a change in circumstances, but that's my observation is interesting to see us probably remember that big push a couple years ago where they were staying with where you stand instead of like is like the opposite of like, let's gather his dislike for bloom where you're planted right there saying these things now. I think you're right think it is tenant shifting the focus away from gathering to bloom where you are. Succeed where you're at right build the church in your neck of the woods where I gathering makes me think of imagine the imagery of Moses in the desert and their wandering in the desert you know 10 years, 20 or 30 years 40 years and he's like you know it when I can get to Canaan. Let's just set up camp right here Mike was just was a set up where we are right now.

I know God promises this promised land Let's just pick a spot will just stick a tent that'll be Zion in outcome like that but a not-for-profit to receive the prophecy that's going happen imminently and then they change your mind makes you wonder will I really profit you know what I do know McPeak and Adele about so go to the next question so so why do you think there is a focus from LDS leaders and doctrine that this is a literal gathering of the 10 tribes of Israel who wants to start first. I think I think you touched on a little bit Matthew and that it it has to do with with prophecies given by Joseph Smith with regards to the gathering to Jackson County and an and Independence, Missouri and the know that the whole identification of Adam on thy almond bear in Missouri where it is said that Adam gathered his progeny together and gave a gave a speech before the end of his life and that that Adam would again speak to the gathered Israel there in Jackson County amidst these prophecies from Joseph Smith were very meaningful to early Latter Day Saints.

No ischemic even identified Missouri as the home of the Garden of Eden.

So it's here. There was definitely believed by early Latter Day Saints that much of much of patriarchal biblical patriarchal history happened here in America which is kinda an interesting view and yes it is stiff when it's all tied up with those those prophecies of Joseph Smith and in the belief that that those events would happen imminently.

I remember the mission. One time we were teaching a guy who was also kind of investigating the Seventh-day Adventist faith and he he kind who I know how to put this railroaded us text at one of our meetings. He said hey I want to be with a friend of mine were like okay sure you known we get there in the spring to his was the Seventh-day Adventist pastor who was also kind of teaching him and he had a copy of two Moron I would love that pamphlet and kinda railroaded us with all of the all this information about these prophecies that Joseph Smith had made about Missouri and you not talk about some of things I learned as a child. They were just kind of peripheral in the back of my mind I didn't really take it all that seriously, but then when I when I had that encounter with the Seventh-day Adventist was heavenly with some of the stuff my mission a really good me and the question some things and start to look at okay what what was really taught and what changed about about these things so I guess what I'll add to that I grew there in all said, but also it seems that the LDS church took some of these prophecies out of the Old Testament that you will be talking about a literal gathering of Israel. He decided to interpret that way. And once you jump on that boat and in the same year, the restored gospel when you got profits.

It seems that you can't really steer away from that you can a stock in that mindset. So I think that's why also the date focus so much on on a literal gathering of Israel. Although I will say that in my experience, the focus was definitely off of the literal gathering of Israel, and more honest. Your actual gathering of his spouse and was soon about something to change over time with you Breanna.

Yeah, I really don't have a lot to say particular because I didn't really go out focused on number. I was more involved in younger girl when I was older but I think the calling entity and rank, leaks you let me, did you guys have points in your lives were you thought like you were really just get a spontaneous call in the middle of the night to go to Adam on thy almond and then when They did for me was younger how that was going to happen is just like your Christmas Kelly Christmas at any given time. I coordinated this call from the bishop. One night okay it's time getting your cars and go as I got older I was, like, not really believing that that's the case with you Michael when I was younger I thought that was a possibility because it was being talked about so much in my church experience and I talked about that expensive of studying to reboot the building Zion chapter in the in the Brigham Young manual. You, my dad is from New York and kick when he converted she gathered quote unquote to Zion in Salt Lake City didn't know the Hungarians that I encountered many of them you know had questions about when should you should we gather to Salt Lake City. You know that they understood what was being kind about the undercurrent of of the teachings you know about gathering and so there were always question should we gather the Salt Lake know some of them wanted to and so young member and that that lesson one person who had 100 and Latter Day Saints who had moved to Canada and had and add eventually you wanted to move to Salt Lake City and gather their cutie was returning he would return home to visit and he got into a little bit of an argument during another Hungarian latter-day St. during that lesson about you know what was being said about you know, Zion is the pure in heart, and kinda like you're saying Michael recently the language constricted to lift for use before you are, whatever it is yesterday that there was kind of an argument there between the two that once I know we should gather the other say notes it's the teaching of the church to be checked so Agri points guys. I really have anything to add that so far been listening to our brightness and contrast from Micon to walk with Jesus when he ran us out of this vision and willingness to accept payment is born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, commonly referred to as the Mormon faith. All of us have left that religion and have been drawn to faith in Jesus Christ based on biblical teaching.

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Thus, our brightness purpose is to share our journeys of faith God has done in drawing us to his son to have conversations about all aspects of the transition years challenges, joys, and everything in between. Glad you found us and we hope you'll stick around.

So how would you understand a gathering of Israel for today.

Now that you are a born again Christian or is it just something that we as Christians only talk about so object stuff about that.

I think it is something we talk about it's it's kind of the main difference between dispensational lists and kinda covenant theology I would say are one of the main differences is not enough demand but is one of the main differences I remember when I was in Christian seminary and taking my kind of introduction to hermeneutics class and reading through the text that we were studying for that class. One of the one of the statements. This made in that book early on is you note 1 of the main questions with regards to hermeneutics that will that will drive how you interpret Scripture is what is the relation between Old Testament Israel and the church and I remember reading that and you know coming from from a Mormon background being kind of a little bit confused initially by that statement and not really understanding you know that the various Christian positions that there are with regards to that and so death to get something we we definitely as Christians think about in terms of how I understand it, I'm not a dispensational list so I don't kind I can of either that the church is his spiritual Israel, the church spiritual Israel so that that's that's my view today. Yeah, great think you yet is that is an interesting topic amongst reformed and dispensational form different types of groups how these prophecies I conjure Jeremiah 23. How is actually going to look like and you have some that are trying to build 1/3 temple in Jerusalem, and in their looking for signs to show signs of the times, signs the enemy the and in the coming of Christ. Try to work all that out there trying to talk about a lot people thought that with the nation of Israel with the creation of the nation of Israel. But that was one sign that the ending was near the ads interesting to see how history is gone and how Christians of seeing that the events in history. Some of try to tie that typical prophecy and some of his have just been prayerfully hoping you know waiting on the Lord rather than trying to figure out everything tying everything in history to what the Bible says Breanna and Michael do anything data yet so how do I view the gathering of Israel now is not even on my radar. To be honest, I actually called a couple of my life.

My brothers, today I was talking to them about it.

My Christian brothers and and doing gathering of Israel. What that is heavily delayed. I looked it up on YouTube to Michael on the list to see what happens when I do this in the first four videos are all Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and then I go to the first one isn't and I listen to that and it's one of these on a black Hebrew guys and he starts talking and it's King James only, and I'm like okay like I just have the red flags going off everywhere in my hand like are all the people that talk about this is only just cults is that what's going on here so it's really triggering for me and I guess I think of it more of me as a Latter Day Saints thing then being really high on my four priority list.

As a Christian is something that I'm thinking about, but that sentiment, I do believe that you know we are we are spiritual Israel mean like it what it says in Galatians that we if we are Christ's, then we are heirs of Abraham and heirs to the promise. So in that sense, yes, but other than that, I really think about it at all seem like I Michael Gary, I can't just wasn't really on my radar going into this right now my now other than when I kneel in prayer, which was a lot there right. We yeah it says something that thought too much about this because you don't talk about in such terms as we do Latter Day Saints and on Latter Day Saints.

They would be talking about the literal gathering and is, as Paul said, you know, in Jackson County. Things like that present Chris January were focusing more on the return of Christ to the world.

I think you know when he returns in judgment. I think we think more in terms of that rather than saying don't need to gather in 1 Special Pl. in on Adam on down and or wherever Soviets will be different. But I agree Paul that it's more about a spiritual gathering of Israel that were going out throughout the world sharing the gospel and in that way, God is gathering his elect people to crying out to Christ into the church to worship together and in that sense was, spiritual fulfillment, but I think there is also an actual kind of physical gathering of Israel going on will be read passages like Romans 11 so in here Paul says I say, then God is not rejected his people.

Has he Far from it, for I too am an Israelite, a descendent of Abraham of the tribe of Benjamin God is not rejected his people whom he foreknew that he continues ongoing about how Gentiles are grafted in to the to the olive tree, and he says I do not want you brothers and sisters to be uninformed of this mystery, so that you will not be wise in your own estimation that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and so it all Israel will be saved.

Just as it is written the deliverable come from Zion will remove ungodliness from Jacob.

This is my covenant with them, but I take away their sins so dispensational is can't take that as literal and that's when they talk about the millennium like after Christ returns and the God's people are fractured, then there will be that thousand years where there will be it will be a kind of at the time of Israel will know come back and will have all of their lands given to them as God promised them in the Old Testament there will be a literal fulfillment of that. But even in the reform covenant theology sense they do believe that God is going to pour out the spirit amongst amongst descendents of the Jews, so there will be kind of like a work that will bring more of them back to Christ you know that the people that once rejected Jesus will be once again come back to Jesus.

And I think we see once you have been fulfilled. Today there is a really large growing movement of messianic Jews in Israel today who are Jewish by birth and they practice a lot of kind of Jewish ceremonial nuts are mountains of rat animals, x-rays, or things like that but kind of their liturgical calendar.

You know they'll do celebrate like that the feast of Tabernacles, things like that because I see that as pointing to Christ, so don't see it as something are necessary for their salvation is something that enriches their worship of Christ and they all converted to Christ. Messianic Jews or Christians. So I do see this as a partial fulfillment of God actually bringing in Jews back into Christ flock so I see what kind of is a little bit about the seat gathering Israel being a spiritual Israel being the New Testament church, but also bringing Jews back into the covenant God remembering them and bringing them onto him in faith. So Monica talked about some stuff I might kind of try to have fidget with the questions a little bit that's all right as Yorty can't talk about the spiritual gathering read in the literal gathering if you don't mind I wanted to jump in here before you can turn while talking. Think about how you want to handle the questions but I can add to the last question we can kinda kick off dominant and unmoving things around so this is a work well. Some I'm looking at my systematic theology text that I studied in Christian seminary by Dr. Jack Cottrell, and I'm looking at his chapter on interpreting biblical prophecy and he's talking about the Old Testament prophecies with regards to Israel and Michael made the point that in a Latter Day Saints teaching has kind of interpreted some of those Old Testament prophecies in a literal way and and and and is being fulfilled in modern times and that's that's consistent with with the way the dispensational theology kind of approaches, Old Testament biblical prophecy with regards to Israel. As you are noting Matthew but he's talking about some of them and of the kind of the main events in Israel's history.

After the captivity unit in Egypt and the first 20 kinda notes is the possession of Canaan and he he kinda calls out the passages where that's prophesied and then the passages that show where it was fulfilled in the Old Testament, and that he talks about and of the disobedience of Israel and their captivity in Babylon. And where that is prophesied and fulfilled many talks about the account of the third main event being the return to Canaan and rebuilding of the temple, so the return from the Babylonian captivity and where that's prophesied fulfilled in about that.

He says he says this quote the next main event in the history of Old Testament Israel was there return to their homeland and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple. This return was predicted clearly in Deuteronomy 30 verses one through five after period of banishment in a season of repentance. Quote the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you and will gather you again from all the peoples, for the Lord your God has scattered you the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed and you shall possess it." And that's the says Jeremiah 30 verse 18 says, quote thus says the Lord. Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and the city will be built on its ruin in the palace will stand on this right in its rightful place fingers onto to say about the strangely enough, many think that the numerous prophecies of this event only recently began to be fulfilled. I.e. NAD 1948.

I once heard a speaker, a Bible college professor recite a list of the principal events in God's dealing with dealings with Israel, he listed several from the Old Testament, such as the Exodus. The monarchy, the Babylonian captivity that he skipped directly to the New Testament age leaving Israel dispersed until the great gathering in 1948. Thus, he completely ignored what must be one of the greatest events in Israel's history, comparable only to the Exodus itself mainly their restoration from Babylonian captivity in 536 BC.

In so doing, he was able to block out this crucial fact that the prophecies of Israel's return to their homeland were fulfilled in Old Testament times, not in modern times, the books of Ezra Nehemiah record how Israel of old return to their own land and rebuilt the city of Jerusalem including the temple, so that kinda kinda sums up what my position is with regards to the Old Testament prophecies about Israel like us another dispensational list and part of that I think is because I'm triggered by the dispensational view because it it it shares so much with the way that Latter Day Saints theology has approached the prophecies with regards to Israel. Obviously there's the key differences with regards to note Christian dispensational stone have any use at all with regards to Jackson County, Missouri. But yet it disturbs allotment in terms of how they interpret those prophecies was that we could look at Paul and just throw one quick question at you state your interpretation of the prophecy in Ezekiel 37 because this is the big one that Latter Day Saints bring out, although for some reason they bring it up with the book of Mormon of the Bible which make stuff sacks not take up the stick of Judah. The mistake of Joseph and he will be one in your hand but I think this is really strange in the context of this what it would does say Ezekiel 37 and just starting here in verse 19 stated on thus says the Lord God, behold, I'm about to take the stick of Joseph that is in the head of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel associated with him and I would join with it. The state of Judah and make them one state that they may be one of my hand. When the stakes on which you write are in your hand before their eyes then stated on thus says the Lord God, behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone and will gather them from all around and bring them to their own land and I will make them one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel in one king shall be king over them all and they shall be no longer two nations and no longer divided into two kingdoms shall not file themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things with any of their transgressions, but he specifically says here Ephraim and Judah and I mean is there a place in the Old Testament after those kingdoms are divided were there are brought back together or is there a way that you can think of team to explain is that is one where is he is a little trickier than the other Old Testament passages sand like I would need to. I would need to think on that some more Mike my thinking on this passage is has generally been more in regards to the way Latter Day Saints use it to try to make a prophecy about the Bible and the book of Mormon being one in your hand rather than looking specifically at it from an eschatological perspective with regards to you.

The two kingdoms being united again. I'll have to look into that eschatology has not been an area of really end up study for me thus far in my time and my time as a Christian I really have focused on trying to understand and make sure I have a good grounding in what the gospel is and so you know that there's a sense in which some of some of the peripheral or secondary doctrines are kind of and I would sit on the shelf. I just haven't made an end up really really end up study of them yet so that's a long way of saying I don't have an answer to your question right now, that's cool.

I don't even understand I was just checking out the ESV study Bible of the notes here is is a house of Israel and Judah says verses 15 to 28 in Ezekiel 37. Every creative activity verses 1 to 14, including homecoming.

Although homecoming remains a minor element in the dry bones, vision provides a link to this Oracle a symbolic action is in chapters 4 to 5 think I went over too far. So I'm at the Diaz going to drive bone section. Although that that is kind of I've seen dispensational stock, but the dry bones section where they see that is kind of like you know not know speaking about Israel coming back to faith in Christ. Kind of a thing yet something it up to have to think more about this to just because it is a difficult topic but as I was also reading an article earlier from a dispensational list where he was saying it, isn't it.

It's strange when you get into eschatology to it's hard to want to study it because there is so much kind of violence in vitriol, but there there are some very strong statement sometimes made between across lines across party lines kind of thing where the dispensational list in the article is reading said basically well.

People will try to spiritualize these promises that God gave to Israel by basically saying that God doesn't keep his promises.

Sena like being married very strong as language and about about not dispensational is hard to want to study eschatology, but in this particular aspect of eschatology is my specialty.

Either ASCAP kind of study more, more, yeah, I like the old covenant versus the new covenant. There's a lot of discussion on the millennium.

I mean, when you get into eschatology. There's a slew of topics related to that song. An expert on the Cedar but I do find eschatology interesting and I think it does have implications on our on our honor theology summit we should do in epsilon eschatology at some point or we can get into all the views of the interesting.

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