- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter One
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Two
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Three
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Four
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Five
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Six
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Seven
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Eight
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Nine
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Ten
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Eleven
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Twelve
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Thirteen
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Fourteen
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Fifteen
- The Literal Gathering of Israel, Chapter Sixteen
Author’s note: Some are saying this treatise on the gathering does not sound like me and this may be true as I wrote this back in 1979 when my thinking was focused on religious lines. I was attempting to wake the LDS up to the fact that if the writings of the prophets are true then all is not well within their kingdom.
As always I recommend the reader study this treatise in the light of the soul. Accept that which registers as being true and ignore the rest.
Zion, The Pure in Heart
The actual meaning of Zion is -probably misunderstood more than any other by the latter-Day Saints, partially due to the misunderstanding of the following scripture: “Let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion – THE PURE IN HEART.” D&C 97:21
If all of a person’s accumulated knowledge of the scriptures concerning Zion can be summed up in that sentence then we may be assured that such a narrow viewpoint will lead to erroneous conclusions. And what erroneous conclusion does it lead to? The Latter-Day Saint authorities conclude that the gathering is not necessary to establish Zion because if you are pure in heart you are already in Zion no matter where you are. Such individuals then believe that since they are in Zion, as they suppose, then they are safe no matter where they are as long as they follow the prophet.
The prophet will tell them what to do. In other words, they lean on the arm of flesh and do not depend on the Spirit. They feel that “all is well” with the authorities in the church, “and thus the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” II Nephi 28:21 1 can think of no more destructive doctrine to the kingdom of God than that its members thinking that they are in Zion no matter where they are and that God will protect them. On the contrary, we find that the righteous must be separated according to the parable of the wheat and the tares for if the wheat is mixed with the tares during the burning then it will be burned also. “And until that hour there will be foolish virgins among the wise; and at that hour cometh AN ENTIRE SEPARATION of the righteous and the wicked.” D&C 63:54
This entire separation has to take place for “the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion. And also the Lord shall have power over his saints.” D&C 1:36-37
If the devil has power over his dominion and you are residing in that dominion then where will your physical salvation be? The adversary will have such power over his own dominion that he will command all to worship an image and “as many as would not worship the image of the beast SHOULD BE KILLED. And he causeth ALL, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: AND THAT NO MAN MIGHT BUY OR SELL, save he that had the mark.” Rev. 13:15-17 If you think you are pure in heart and will be safe even though you are dwelling within Satan’s dominion you will have a chance to test that purity when you are commanded to worship the image of the beast or be killed. You will also be tested when you are commanded to receive the mark of the beast which will signify that you belong to him and not God. Without this mark you and your family will not be able to buy or sell, and just how long do you suppose you could stomach seeing your little ones going hungry before you would give in?
The prophet Joseph saw a vision wherein he saw the events in the devil’s dominion: he saw “the father shed the blood of the son and the son the blood of the father; the mother put to death the daughter, and the daughter the mother; and natural affection forsook the hearts of the wicked; for he saw that the Spirit of God should be withdrawn from the inhabitants of the earth, in consequence of which there should be blood upon the face of the whole earth EXCEPT AMONG THE PEOPLE OF THE MOST HIGH. The prophet gazed upon the scene his vision presented, until his heart sickened, and he besought the Lord to close it up again.” Jedediah M. Grant, THE IMPROVEMENT ERA, Feb 1915, Pg 286-7.
Orson Pratt said that during this time “there will be too much bloodshed – too much mobocracy – too much going forth in bands and destroying and pillaging the land to suffer people to pursue any local vocation with any degree of safety.” JD 20:151 Elder Pratt also said: “The people will think themselves well off if they can FLEE FROM CITY TO CITY, FROM TOWN TO TOWN AND ESCAPE WITH THEIR LIVES.” JD 12:344
In speaking of the devil’s dominion Brigham Young said: “They will destroy each other, caring not for the blood and lives of their neighbors, or their families, or for their own lives. They will be like the Jaredites…and will destroy each other to the last man, through the anger that the devil will place in their hearts, BECAUSE THEY REJECTED THE WORDS OF LIFE.” (They rejected the gathering principle Which would save their physical lives.) JD 8:123
It is this day that Joel speaks of when he says: “And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be DELIVERED: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the REMNANT WHOM THE LORD SHALL CALL.” Joel 2:32 Yes, those who do not reject the “words of life” and call on the name of the Lord in Mount Zion will be physically delivered, but unfortunately, many of the non LDS will be more likely to deliver their lives than the members of the church who put their trust in the arm of flesh.
Tell me my brother… you who believe that you are pure in heart enough to be saved no matter where you are: Is your faith strong enough to live in a community where people care not “for the blood and lives of their neighbors, or their families, or their own lives. They will be like the Jaradites.” Read the story of the Jaradites during the last battles. Would you like to go through something like that? Wouldn’t it be better to obey the law of the gathering as written by the prophets?
Just as we are told that Satan will have power over his dominion we are also told that the Lord will have power over the dominion of the saints in the last days. If the Lord has dominion over his saints then that must mean that the saints are out of reach of the power of the enemy and that they will be a physically separate body. Speaking of this time Joseph Smith was quoted as saying: “Many will come with bundles under their arms to escape the calamities, and there will be no escape except by fleeing to Zion. Those that come to you will try to keep the laws and be one with you, for they will see your unity and the greatness of your organization… During this time the Great White Horse will have gathered strength sending out Elders to gather the honest in heart among the pale horse, or the people of the United States, to stand by the constitution of the United States, as it was given by inspiration of God. In these days God will set up a kingdom, never to be thrown down, for other kingdoms to come unto.” Taken from the White Horse Prophecy, quoted by Edwin Rushton and Theodore Turley.
The official doctrine of the church today is that the church itself is the kingdom spoken of by Daniel, but here Joseph tells us that the kingdom will be set up in the days of this second gathering, and that the kingdom will not be a church, but it will be a government patterned after the original constitution of the United States.
In speaking of Zion it is written: “And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs FLEE TO ZION FOR SAFETY. And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.” D&C 45: 68-69
Tell me you who believe you are pure in heart, even though you dwell in Los Angeles, New York, or any other city… How is it that you now dwell in Zion when we are told that to get there you must “flee?” How do you explain the scripture: “Let them, therefore, that are among the Gentiles FLEE -unto Zion.” D&C 133:12 How are you obeying the commandment to “declare by word and by FLIGHT that desolation shall come upon the wicked?” D&C 63:37
Did not the Lord command us: “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them SHALL ALL BE FULFILLED.” D&C 1:37. Did not Jesus reprimand his own disciples after his resurrection by saying: “O fools, and slow of heart to believe ALL that the prophets have spoken.” Luke 24:25
We are told Often in the scriptures that Zion has to be “established”. If Zion is merely the pure in heart scattered around the world then why does it need to be “established”? There are always a number of people who are fairly pure in heart scattered abroad. We are told to “buy lands and gather together upon them; and in this way they may ESTABLISH ZION.” D&C 101:74 Do you make people pure in heart by buying lands??? No, but you can create a physical Zion on them where there will be a refuge from the storm. If all there is to Zion is the pure in heart scattered throughout the world then Zion has always been here, even before the church was organized, for there have always been some relatively pure in heart people upon the earth. The scriptures make it clear that Zion has not always been here: “For they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring AGAIN Zion.” III Nephi 16:18. If all Zion is, is the pure in heart, and there is always a few pure in heart scattered around, then why will the Lord “bring again Zion?” Is it not obvious that Zion is a condition or place that has to be created and is not always here?
Unfortunately, many people both within the church and out believe that they are pure in heart enough so that they will be miraculously taken up and snatched away to safety if they are in the midst of tribulation. But please, my brother, seriously ask yourself if this is realistic. After all, the Lord “is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Did the Lord miraculously snatch away the righteous in the days of Noah or did they have to physically remove themselves? Did the Lord miraculously rapture the people who were righteous in Sodom and Gomorra or, again, did they have to physically remove themselves? How about Lehi? Were he and his family removed like men in a Star Trek movie or was it the normal physical method of his day? How about our own day? Were not the righteous bombed along with the wicked in our recent wars?
“But God will save us if we keep all the commandments,” says One. That is true, but remember he is referring to the commandments of God and not men, and one of the commandments is to “gather” and “go out of Babylon.” If you are not obeying this commandment how then do you expect to receive protection?
The Lord tells us bow much faith we need to have if we expect to survive among a people who are not obeying all of the commandments. “Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it. Though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God. If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, THEY SHALL ALL DELIVER NEITHER SONS NOR DAUGHTERS; THEY ONLY SHALL BE DELIVERED but the land shall be desolate.” Eze 14:13-16.
Thus, if you expect to be saved in the midst of fury you must have the faith of a Noah, a Daniel or a Job. Do you have as much faith as they did? Are you one out of a billion like they were? In their day each was the most faithful man on the whole planet. Are you the most faithful person on the planet now? Even if you are the scripture tells us that even with your great faith you will not be able to save your family “neither sons nor daughters.”
Where then is the hope for the average saint? Are we doomed to destruction in these last days? No. We are told that this would be the situation if these three men “were in it,” or, in other words, this would be the situation if these three men stayed in Babylon. One would have to have faith like unto them if he wished to survive the desolations that will be poured out. The hope then for the average saint is to “come out of Babylon” for Ezekiel tells us that the way will be prepared to deliver sons and daughters: “Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be BROUGHT FORTH (or in other words gathered out), both sons and daughters.” Ezekiel 14:22.
The Lord has said that if the promises made to the fathers is not planted in the hearts of the children then “the earth will be utterly wasted at his coming.” Yes, the whole earth would be utterly wasted except for men like Noah, Daniel and Job and how many men such as this do you suppose we have on the earth today? They could probably be counted on the fingers of one hand and what good would their salvation be without their families? When reflecting on the wisdom of the gathering the pure in heart will feel hope and faith and praise for the Lord for preparing the way for our future deliverance along with our families. The spirit leads one to exclaim: “How great are thy ways and how unfathomable is the intent of thy heart, O Father, Thou carest for thy children as a true loving father and savest all that come unto thee and sends servants to those who are lost and in peril! Thou art truly the deliverer of Israel.”
When we consider that Zion is an actual place and condition that needs to be established one may be led to question as to why the Lord called Zion the “Pure in heart.” Can Zion be the pure in heart and yet the scriptures be consistent? Yes, for the scriptures tell us who the pure in heart are by giving us another definition of Zion. After Enoch gathered his people we are told: “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart, and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them… And it came to pass in his days, that he built a CITY that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.” Moses 7:18- 19
What had to take place here before the Lord called his people Zion? We find that the people were (1) of one heart, (2) and one mind, (3) they “dwelt in righteousness; (4) There was no poor among them, and (5) they gathered together and built a city unto the Lord and the wicked did not come unto it.
This then gives us a good idea of what the Lord means by the “pure in heart”. If one is pure in heart he will not love the world but will want to come out of Babylon and be united with others of like thinking and build communities unto the glory of God. He will be of one heart and one mind with these other righteous individuals. He will dwell in righteousness and consecrate all that he has so that there will be “no poor”. One cannot be one of the pure in heart that dwells in Zion while he is in Babylon. The pure in heart desire to gather with the saints and will do so at the first opportunity. At this point many people are inclined to say: “But doesn’t the scriptures command us to be in the world but not of the world? Therefore we do not need to gather for we are supposed to be in the world at this time.”
The person who uses this quote is like the guy who quotes the Bible as saying that “all men are created equal”. Neither quotation is found anywhere in the scriptures. Nowhere in all the holy writ are we commanded to be in the world, but, on the contrary, we are commanded to “come out”. The only ones that are to be sent out into the world at all are those who are to preach the gospel and they are commanded to be “not of the world”. John 17:16 On the other hand, many sectarians teach from the pulpit to be in the world, but not of the world. However, the motto of Zion should be: “Come out of the world that ye be not of the world that ye be not partakers of her ‘sins.”
Joseph Smith clearly told us that “the whole of America is Zion.” He said this included North and South America and that the mountain of the Lord was to be in the center of the land. (See DHC 6:319) Brigham Young also said- that Zion “is the land that the Lord gave to Jacob, who bequeathed it to his son Joseph, and his posterity, and they inhabit it, and that land is North and South America. JD 2:253
Hyrum Smith told us “The gathering will be FROM THE NATIONS to North and South America which is the land of Zion.” DHC 6:322
Of course we cannot gather to all of North and South America all at one time. Joseph Smith told us to begin this gathering by building stakes or cities of about twenty thousand population each until we fill up the land of Zion and then the world. Right now the land of Zion is possessed by the people of Babylon, but one day Babylon the great will fall and Zion will be redeemed for the people of Zion. Then it will come to pass: “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west.” Isa 59:19. When the center stake or city is established then shall the following scripture be fulfilled: “They shall call thee the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” Isa 60:14 “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities.” Isa 33:20.
The scriptures indicate that there is more than one city in Zion: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My CITIES through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.” Zech 1:17 When the land of America is full then the Lord’s cities will “spread abroad” and fill up the earth as Joseph Smith predicted.
Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey
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