LDS Articles of Faith, Part LIV
Article 10, The Gathering of Israel in the Last Days, Part 1
The 10th LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the ten tribes; that Zion (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.” Israel’s captivity by the Assyrians about 722 BC is well known and so is the Bible prediction that Israel will be gathered again in their own land. But LDS have a different view of Israel’s gathering. LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote, “The gathering of Israel is first spiritual and second temporal. It is spiritual in that the lost sheep of Israel are first “restored to the true (LDS) church and fold of God,” meaning that they come to the true knowledge of the God of Israel, accept the gospel which he has restored in the latter- days, and join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is temporal in that these converts are then ‘gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and…established in all their lands of promise’ (2 Ne. 9:2; 25:15-18; Jer.16:14-21), meaning that the house of Joseph will be established in America, the house of Judah in Palestine, and that the Lost Tribes will come to Ephraim in America to receive their blessings in due course (D. & C. 133). However, the temporal gathering will not be completed before the Second Coming of the Son of Man…The purpose of the gathering is twofold: 1. To put the peoples of living Israel in that environment where they may better work out their salvation, where they may have the Gentile and worldly views erased from them, and where they may be molded into that pattern of perfect righteousness which will please the Almighty; and 2. To enable the gathered remnants of the chosen lineage to build temples and perform ordinances of salvation and exaltation for their Israelitish ancestors who lived when the gospel was not had on earth…One of the ordinances of the house of the Lord is baptism for the dead” (Mormon Doctrine pp. 305-306).
McConkie wrote the above hereticalarticle, but the content originally came from Joseph Smith. McConkie said, “The temporal gathering of Israel will not be completed before the Second Coming of the Son of Man.” But LDS Apostle James Talmage said, “The gathering of Israel and the establishment of an earthly Zion (in MO) are to be effected preparatory to His (Christ’s) coming” (The Articles of Faith p. 368). Did both of those LDS apostles (who are also LDS prophets) get their messages from the Lord? McConkie also said, “The Church was first organized on earth in the days of Adam, with that great patriarch standing as its first president, the presiding high priest over God’s earthly kingdom. The common sectarian notion that the day of Pentecost is the birthday of the Christian Church is a false heresy” (Mormon Doctrine p. 133). That idea also came from Joseph Smith. LDS often take Smith’s word over what the Bible says, making it difficult for LDS and Christians to have meaningful discussions.
LDS also accept the idea that the ten northern Israelite Tribes were lost after their captivity because Smith taught it. Smith’s King James Version Bible contained the Apocrypha which was not accepted as scripture by most Jews or Christians, but in it, 2nd Esdras 13:40-47 has that theory which Smith embraced. The Bible doesn’t say any Israelites were lost. Luke 1:5-9 in the New Testament says John the Baptist’s father, Zachariah, was a priest, so he had to be of the tribe of Levi. Luke 2:36 says Anna was of the tribe of Asher. In Philippians 3:5 Paul said he was of the tribe of Benjamin, so those were not lost tribes! In Oct. 1916 LDS Apostle James Talmage said: “The (Israelite) tribes shall come; they are not lost unto the Lord; they shall be brought forth as hath been predicted; and I say unto you there are those now living—aye, some here present—who shall live to read the records (scriptures) of the Lost Tribes of Israel which shall be made one with the record of the Jews, or the Holy Bible, and the record of the Nephites, or the Book of Mormon, even as the Lord hath predicted; and those records, which the tribes lost to man but yet to be found again shall bring, shall tell of the visit of the resurrected Christ to them after he had manifested himself to the Nephites upon this continent” (Articles of Faith, p. 513). But what Talmage said did not happen!
The LDS Temple in Kirtland, OH was dedicated on March 27, 1836, and seven days later, on April 3, 1836, D. & C. 110 says Smith and Oliver Cowdery had at least four visions in it: 1st, The Lord appeared to them and said He accepted that building and said that its fame would spread to foreign lands (vs.7-10). 2nd , Smith said Moses appeared to them and “committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israelfrom the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north” (v. 11). 3rd, “Elias appeared and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed” (v.12). 4th, “Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death stood before us and said…the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors” (vs. 13-16). Smith said Elias and Elijah are two separate people, when Elias is just the Greek form of the Hebrew name Elijah! Verse 11 says Moses committed unto Smith and Cowdery “the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.” Smith and Cowdery died without doing that, so it was false prophecy! But McConkie wrote, “In due course the Lost Tribes of Israel will return and come to the children of Ephraim to receive their blessings. This great gathering will take place under the direction of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for he holds the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north, D. & C. 110:11” (Mormon Doctrine p. 458). But D. & C. 110 was addressed to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, not the President of the LDS Church!
The Kirtland, OH LDS Temple was dedicated in 1836 and less than two years later the LDS “Kirtland Safety Society” bank failed and many LDS left and went to MO. But a few months later conflicts forced them to leave MO go to Nauvoo, IL. Some LDS in Kirtland who didn’t go to MO apostatized and others threatened Smith and LDS leaders for misleading them about the bank. The Kirtland Temple became the property the spinoff Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, now called the Community of Christ Church. So, the LDS Church didn’t use the Kirtland Temple very long. The Lord supposedly said, “the fame of that temple would spread to foreign lands.” But most people in foreign lands have never heard of Kirtland, OH, or the Kirtland Temple. It was built as a place to hold meetings and the Reorganized LDS Church held Sunday services in it. All other LDS temples were built just to perform ritual ceremonies like baptism for the dead, eternal marriages and sealings and other endowments.
Next time we will continue our discussion of the tenth LDS Article of Faith.