We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be established upon the western continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth a thousand years; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory. -Tenth Article of Faith
Gathering of Israel
In Kabbalah “Israel” or “יִשְׂרָאֵל” (Yisrael) means more than just a people descended from Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. It literally translates as “God strives,” but to Kabbalists has a much deeper meaning. “Israel” becomes the Hebrew Yashar-El, which means “straight to God.” Yashar “יָשָׁר” means “straight,” or “right.” El “אֵל” means “God.” This, the gathering of Israel, becomes gathering all that are on the straight path to God. This path is described in Lehi’s dream as those that hold the Iron Rod, which is the Word of God. The Word of God is Christ, thus we wish to gather all that are Christ’s (1 Nephi 4:38-40 RAV, 15:23-24 OPV).
10 Lost Tribes
The twelve tribes of ancient Israel were divided after the death of King Solomon. The Northern 10 tribes were said to have been deported after its conquest by the Assyrian Empire around 720 BC, over 100 years before Lehi left Jerusalem. The 10 lost tribes are Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, and Zebulun. In the 7th and 8th centuries AD, the return of the messiah and the the return of the lost tribes began to be seen as one idea.
Prophecies in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants are are believed to speak of the return of the lost tribes.
“And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.” -Jeremiah 12:15 KJV
“And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” -John 11:52 KJV
Book of Mormon
“And as surely as the Lord liveth, will he gather in from the four quarters of the earth all the remnant of the seed of Jacob, who are scattered abroad upon all the face of the earth.” -3 Nephi 2:107 RAV, 5:24 OPV
Doctrine and Covenants
“After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us 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.” -LDS DaC 110:11 (This section is not in the CoC DaC)
The New Jerusalem
The New Jerusalem was prophesied by Mahonri Moriancumer, the Brother of Jared, found in the Book of Ether (Ether 6:3-6a RAV, 13:2b-6). It is a theme seen throughout the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. Some believe this is the City of Enoch returning to the City of Zion in Missouri that Joseph Smith Jr. prophesied would be build in this dispensation. It was also prophesied by John the Revelator:
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” -Revelation 212 KJV
We do not have all of the information about the New Jerusalem, but we know that it will appear as a part of the return of Christ, along with the gathering of Israel and the restoration of the lost 10 tribes.
At some point in the not too distant future, Christ will reign for one thousand years. This will be prior to the final judgement and the New Heavens and New Earth promised us by God. This isn’t merely a Christian idea. Zoroastrianism teaches of a thousand-year period of peace. Jewish apocryphal literature including Enoch, Jubilees, Esdras, and Daniel also speak of a “millennial kingdom,” led by a messiah, for a thousand years.
The debate isn’t over if this would happen, but rather how. We do not know when, even Jesus doesn’t know when (Matthew 24:36). Some believe there is nothing we can do, when things get bad enough Jesus will come. However, in the Fellowship we teach that it is the duty of Christians to bring peace to the earth in preparation of the Second Coming. As we are converted, God’s light flows from our kli (our hearts/vessels), converts, or repairs the corruption, changing the world around us.
Will we fix the world before he returns? We do not know. But we know it is our duty to try. One question many ask is: when Satan is chained during the one thousand years of the millennial reign of Christ, will the devil be chained becasue Christ chained him, or the righteousness of the Saints acts as chains thus he can do nothing? We say the correct answer is both.
“For YHVH is our judge, YHWH is our lawgiver, YHVH is our king; he will save us.” -Isaiah 33:22