Letter to the Elders of the Church, November 1835

call them to mind, among all the na tions whither the Lord thy God hath  driven thee, and shalt return unto the  Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice,  according to all that I command thee,  this day, thou and thy children, with  all thine heart, and with all thy soul,  that then the Lord thy God, will turn  thy captivity, and have compassion up on thee, and will return and gather thee  from all the nations whither the Lord  thy God hath scattered thee; and if any  of thine be driven out unto the utmost  parts of heaven; from thence will the  Lord thy God gather thee; and from  thence will he fetch thee.”
It has been said by many of the lear ned, and wise men, or historians, that  the Indians, or aboriginees of this con tinent, are of the scattered tribes of Is rael. It has been conjectured by many  others, that the aboriginees of this con tinent, are not of the tribes of Israel;  but the ten tribes have been led away  into some unknown regions of the  north. Let this be as it may, the  prophesy I have just quoted, “will fetch  them” in the last days, and place  them, in the land which their fathers  possessed: and you will find in the 7th  verse of the 30th chapt. quoted:—“And  the Lord thy God will put all these  curses upon thine enemies and on them  that hate thee, which persecuted thee.”
Many may say that this scripture is  fulfilled, but let them mark carefully  what the prophet says: “If any are  driven out unto the utmost parts of  heaven;” (which must mean the  breadths of the earth.) Now this prom ise is good to any, if there should be  such, that are driven out, even in the  last days: therefore, the children of the  fathers have claim unto this day: and  if these curses are to be laid over on  the heads of their enemies, wo be unto  the Gentiles: See book of Mormon,  p. 487, Wo unto the unbelieving of  the Gentiles, saith the Father. Again  see book of Mormon, p. 497, which  says: “Behold this people will I estab lish in this land, unto the fulfilling of  the covenant which I made with your  father Jacob: and it shall be a New Je rusalem.” Now we learn from the book  of Mormon, the very identical continent  and spot of land upon which the New  Jerusalem is to stand, and it must be  caught up according to the vision of  John upon the isle of Patmos. Now  many will be disposed to say, that this  New Jerusalem spoken of, is the Jeru salem that was built by the Jews on  the eastern continent: but you will see  from Revelations, 21:2, there was a  New Jerusalem coming down from  God out of heaven, adorned as a bride  for her husband. That after this the  Revelator was caught away in the Spir it to a great and high mountain, and  saw the great and holy city descending  out of heaven from God. Now there  are two cities spoken of here, and as  every thing cannot be had in so narrow  a compass as a letter, I shall say with  brevity, that there is a New Jerusalem  to be established on this continent.— And also the Jerusalem shall be re built on the eastern continent. See  book of Mormon, p. 566. Behold,  Ether saw the days of Christ, and he  spake also concerning the house of Is rael, and the Jerusalem from whence  Lehi should come: after it should be  destroyed it should be built up again, a  holy city unto the Lord: wherefore, it  could not be a New Jerusalem, for it  had been in a time of old. This may  suffice upon the subject of gathering  until my next.
I now proceed, at the close of my  letter, to make a few remarks on the  duty of elders with regard to their  teaching parents and children, husbands  and wives, masters and slaves, or ser vants, &c. as I said I would in my for mer letter. And firstly, it becomes an  elder when he is travelling through the  world, warning the inhabitants of the  earth to gather together, that they may  be built up an holy city unto the Lord,  instead of commencing with children,  or those who look up to parents or guar dians, to influence their minds, thereby  drawing them from their duties, which  they rightfully owe to such, they should  commence their labors with parents, or  guardians, and their teachings should  be such as are calculated to turn the  hearts of the fathers to the children,  and the hearts of the children to the  fathers. And no influence should be  used, with children contrary to the con sent of their parents or guardians.— But all such as can be persuaded in a  lawful and righteous manner, and with  common consent, we should feel it our  duty to influence them to gather with  the people of God. But otherwise let  the responsibility rest upon the heads  of parents or guardians, and all con demnation or consequences, be upon [p. 210]
JS, letter, Kirtland, OH, to the elders of the church, Nov. 1835; Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, Nov. 1835, pp. 209–212.