Letter to the Elders of the Church, December 1835

expression also, the end of the world,  and the reapers are the angels. Now  men cannot have any possible grounds  to say that this is figurative, or that it  does not mean what it says; for he is  now explaining what he had previously  spoken in parables; and according to  this language, the end of the world is  the destruction of the wicked; the har vest and the end of the world have an  allusion directly to the human family  in the last days, instead of the earth,  as many have imagined, and that which  shall precede the coming of the Son of  man, and the restitution of all things  spoken of by the mouth of all the holy  prophets since the world began; and  the angels are to have something to do  in this great work, for they are the  reapers: as therefore the tares are gath ered and burned in the fire, so shall it  be in the end of this world; that is, as  the servants of God go forth warning  the nations, both priests and people,  and as they harden their hearts and re ject the light of the truth, these first be ing delivered over unto the buffetings of  satan, and the law and the testimony  being closed up, as it was with the  Jews, they are left in darkness, and  delivered over unto the day of burning:  thus being bound up by their creeds and  their bands made strong by their priests,  are prepared for the fulfilment of the  saying of the Savior: the Son of man  shall send forth his angels, and gather  out of his kingdom all things that of fend, and them which do iniquity, and  shall cast them into a furnace of fire  and there shall be wailing and gnashing  of teeth.
We understand, that the work of the  gathering together of the wheat into  barns, or garners, is to take place  while the tares are being bound over,  and preparing for the day of burning:  that after the day of burnings, the  righteous shall shine forth like the sun,  in the kingdom of their Father: who  hath ears to hear let him hear.
But to illustrate more clearly upon  this gathering, we have another para ble. Again the kingdom of heaven is  like a treasure hid in a field, the which  when a man hath found, he hideth and  for joy thereof, goeth and selleth all  that he hath and buyeth that field: for  the work after this pattern, see the  church of the Latter Day Saints, sel ling all that they have and gathering  themselves together unto a place tha[t]  they may purchase for an inheritance,  that they may be together and bear  each other’s afflictions in the day of  calamity.
Again the kingdom of heaven is like  unto a merchant man seeking goodly  pearls, who when he had found one  pearl of great price, went and sold all  that he had, and bought it. For the  work of this example, see men travel ling to find places for Zion, and her  stakes or remnants, who when they  find the place for Zion, or the pearl of  great price; straitway sell all that they  have and buy it.
Again the kingdom of heaven is like  unto a net that was cast into the sea,  and gathered of every kind, which  when it was full they drew to shore,  and sat down and gathered the good  into vessels, and cast the bad away.— For the work of this pattern, behold  the seed of Joseph, spreading forth the  gospel net, upon the face of the earth,  gathering of every kind, that the good  may be saved in vessels prepared for  that purpose, and the angels will take  care of the bad: so shall it be at the  end of the world, the angels shall come  forth, and sever the wicked from a mong the just, and cast them into the  furnace of fire, and there shall be wail ing and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus saith unto them, have you un derstood all these things? they say un to him yea Lord: and we say yea  Lord, and well might they say yea  Lord, for these things are so plain and  so glorious, that every Saint in the last  days must respond with a hearty amen  to them.
Then said he unto them, therefore  every scribe which is instructed into  the kingdom of heaven, is like unto a  man that is an house holder; which  bringeth forth out of his treasure things  that are new and old.
For the work of this example, see  the book of Mormon, coming forth out  of the treasure of the heart; also the  covenants given to the Latter Day  Saints: also the translation of the bible:  thus bringing forth out of the heart,  things new and old: thus answering to  three measures of meal, undergoing  the purifying touch by a revelation of  Jesus Christ, and the ministering of an gels, who have already commenced  this work in the last days, which will  answer to the leaven which leavened  the whole lump. Amen. [p. 229]
JS, letter, Kirtland, OH, to the elders of the church, Dec. 1835; Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1835, pp. 225–230.