Friday, April 4, 2014

Gathering Israel

I enjoy being a ward missionary. With that call, I have the opportunity to teach Gospel Principles every other Sunday. Last Sunday, Sister Fisher taught about the Gathering of Israel. It is clear that there are both a physical gathering (Judah to homeland, Joseph to the Americas, and the 10 tribes eventually to be gathered in more fully as well); and a spiritual gathering (which happens when we make our baptismal covenants and enter the waters of Judah, and become part of covenant Israel). And the Church today asks that as we are gathered, we remain in the countries we reside in, and build up Zion there.

As Saints gathered in these last days, we have the opportunity to unite in worship and instruction twice a year at conference time. I am so grateful for that. Under the leadership of a prophet of God, we will receive our marching orders for the next six months. That's a beautiful blessing. We can trust those things that are taught to us as if spoken directly from God's own mouth.

I am also grateful for the privilege of belonging to the Relief Society. Here we should be learning to be one in heart. We are all at different ages and different stages, but like we heard in our Women's Meeting last week, we all matter, and we are all needed.

So under Jesus's constant call, we hear again the words, "Come, Unto Me," and "Come, and See." His words are words of the gathering. His words are not ones of turning us away or saying that some are more important than others. I will look to the Shepherd as the True Gatherer of Israel, and under His direction I will seek to be united with my brothers and sisters; because, it is He who said, "If ye are not one, ye are not mine."

With that, I hope that we are all wary of unauthorized invitations to unite or to gather under any other Head than Christ's. No person or persons have the authority to ask us to gather in a Facebook setting whether or not they purport to believe as we believe or think ask we think. We are already gathered in our Church membership.

Jesus asked us to let the wheat and the tares grow together, because if we think we are "gathering" wheat, we might actually be disturbing the growth of wheat that we have mistaken for tares. I for one would not want to be responsible for that. We need not take on being a catalyst for the latter-day sifting process. Our goal should be to invite all to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him, because this is the mission of His Church.

Have a happy conference weekend.


  1. I realize this comment is a little stale. I just came across your blog. Your thesis that gathering is essentially a spiritual process is spot on, and a consistent theme throughout the Book of Mormon. Well written!