Gathering 

Summary

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities.1 A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land.”2 Proselytizing efforts of missionaries gained converts who converged at designated points of gathering.3 Members in these areas were to “prepare their hearts, and be prepared in all things” for the Second Coming.4 Places for gathering varied over time.5 In December 1830, Saints living in New York were commanded to “assemble together” with church members in Ohio.6 In July 1831, “Zion” in western Missouri was designated as a land “appointed and consecrated” by God “for the gathering of the saints.”7 Even after repeated friction with neighbors caused some Saints to question the wisdom of gathering together, the majority of church members continued to build up gathered communities, including settlements in northern Missouri and Illinois.8 Church members not only received practical benefits of living among fellow believers, but also considered gathering to be critical to the church in the “last days.”9 JS taught that ultimately Saints gathered for the same reason Israel gathered anciently—to build a temple where God could reveal knowledge and ordinances.10 Church members also anticipated a gathering, or restoration, of scattered Israel to the Holy Land.11 In addition, early Saints viewed the American Indians as part of the house of Israel who would be gathered to the New Jerusalem in fulfillment of ancient prophecy.12 According to JS’s journal, he received the keys of the gathering of Israel from Moses in the Kirtland temple in 1836.13 See also “Zion” and “New Jerusalem.”

Links