“They Shall Be Gathered in from Their Long Dispersion”

Church Educational System

Jacob made it clear that iniquity led to the scattering of the Jews (see 2 Nephi 10:6). Similarly, he emphasized the order of the gathering. The Jews, he declared, will be gathered “when the day cometh that they shall believe in [Christ]” (verse 7; italics added).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie clarified the reasons the scattering and gathering of all the tribes of Israel are first spiritual and second physical:

“Why was Israel scattered? The answer is clear; it is plain; of it there is no doubt. Our Israelite forebears were scattered because they rejected the gospel, defiled the priesthood, forsook the church, and departed from the kingdom. They were scattered because they turned from the Lord, worshipped false gods, and walked in all the ways of the heathen nations. They were scattered because they forsook the Abrahamic covenant, trampled under their feet the holy ordinances, and rejected the Lord Jehovah, who is the Lord Jesus, of whom all their prophets testified. Israel was scattered for apostasy. …
“What, then, is involved in the gathering of Israel? The gathering of Israel consists in believing and accepting and living in harmony with all that the Lord once offered his ancient chosen people. It consists of having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, of repenting, of being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and of keeping the commandments of God. It consists of believing the gospel, joining the Church, and coming into the kingdom. … And it may also consist of assembling to an appointed place or land of worship” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 515).

Elder Russell M. Nelson emphasized the importance of the doctrine of the gathering: “This doctrine of the gathering is one of the important teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Lord has declared, ‘I give unto you a sign … that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion’ [3 Nephi 21:1]. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon is a sign to the entire world that the Lord has commenced to gather Israel and fulfill covenants He made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob [see Genesis 12:2–3; 26:3–4; 35:11–12]. We not only teach this doctrine, but we participate in it. We do so as we help to gather the elect of the Lord on both sides of the veil” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2006, 84; or Ensign, Nov. 2006, 80).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained where the Saints should gather:

“[The] revealed words speak of … congregations of … covenant people of the Lord in every nation, speaking every tongue, and among every people when the Lord comes again. …
“The place of gathering for the Mexican Saints is in Mexico; the place of gathering for the Guatemalan Saints is in Guatemala; the place of gathering for the Brazilian Saints is in Brazil; and so it goes throughout the length and breadth of the whole earth. … Every nation is the gathering place for its own people” (in Conference Report, Mexico and Central America Area Conference 1972, 45).

For more information on the scattering of Israel, refer to “Brief History of the Scattering of Israel” in the appendix (page 415). For more information on the gathering of Israel, refer to “The Gathering of Israel” in the appendix (page 416).

Book of Mormon Student Manual (2009 Edition)