We learn from the tenth article of faith that the gathering of Israel is literal. We may then ask ourselves, what is our contribution to this declaration from the Lord? And, how can we bring the children of God unto Him to experience the joy the gospel brings?
We can provide opportunities for our friends and loved ones to experience life-changing joy and eternal blessings when we share with them the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as Moses was called of God anciently to gather Israel1, we are led today by our prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, who has been called to deliver modern Israel from spiritual bondage and lead us toward exaltation.
How can we be active participants in the work of the gathering on both sides of the veil in our day?
There are many thousands of people who have not yet heard of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This may overwhelm us as we consider how large the assignment to spread the gospel throughout all the world really is.
In Jacob 5:72, we learn that while the work is great, Jesus Christ is the Lord of the vineyard and He will not leave us to labour alone. We have each been given small spheres of influence in which to perform our labours. As we reach out with love to our family and friends, minister and serve in our callings and communities, participate in temple ordinances, and share the truth of the restoration, we each participate—united with the Saviour, in the great work of the gathering.
Our family hobby for generations has been beekeeping, resulting in the gathering of honey. For this to be effective and successful, each of our family members has a job to do. Many of these jobs might be small and perhaps insignificant but have been designed to meet the talent and skill of each person. The youngest children in the family have the job of closing the large metal tap when the honey containers are full. They take great pride in the small responsibility of the task, and they each love being valued in their capacity.
Like these dedicated children, each commitment of our time and energy and most importantly—how we feel about the nature of our responsibility, is essential to accomplish the successful gathering of a precious and sweet resource.
Another simple yet powerful way to be active participants in the gathering is to fast and pray individually over our efforts. We learn in Alma 6:6 that, “the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God.”
As we pray and access the blessings of the fast as individuals and families, we can ask to be led to those who have not yet found the gospel. Each prayer offered will combine in a great collective outpouring of faith that the gospel might reach every nation and the miracle of the gathering will continue.
I invite you to make an individual commitment to be an active participant in the gathering of Israel in small and simple ways within your sphere of influence. President Nelson said, “Anytime we do anything for anyone we are helping to gather Israel on both sides of the veil”2.
“The Lord needs you now more than ever to be an instrument in His hands. All of us have a contribution to make to this miracle”3.
As we have faith in the Lord of the vineyard and labour with our might, our small but consistent contributions will bring about the great miracle of gathering the precious children of the Lord into the safety of Zion.