The Gathering of Israel: Like an Olive Vineyard
April 2024

“The Gathering of Israel: Like an Olive Vineyard,” Liahona, Apr. 2024.

Come, Follow Me

Jacob 5

The Gathering of Israel: Like an Olive Vineyard

people working in vineyard

Allegory of the Olive Tree, by Brad Teare

President Russell M. Nelson has taught that the gathering of Israel “is the most important thing taking place on earth today”1—and we can be a part of it! But what exactly is the gathering, and to whom does it apply? Once we understand this important work, we can better decide how we each want to help gather Israel.

The allegory of the olive trees in Jacob 5 can aid us in this understanding. Jacob shared this allegory, in part, to answer the question of how the Lord’s ancient covenant people, “after having rejected the sure foundation [that is, the Savior], can ever build upon it” (Jacob 4:17).

What: The gathering of Israel is a worldwide effort to help all Heavenly Father’s children “hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ … [and] decide for themselves if they want to know more.”2 It also fulfills the prophecies stating that God’s covenant people (the descendants of Abraham or those who are adopted into the covenant through baptism) will be gathered in the latter days. And it’s part of the preparation for the Second Coming of the Lord. (See Moses 7:61–65).

Jacob 5: The work of the master and his servants in the vineyard represents the Lord’s interaction with His children as Israel is scattered and gathered (see, for example, verses 76–77).

Who: Everyone! The gathering of Israel applies to all of God’s children, both the living and those in the spirit world. “Israel refers to a person who is willing to let God prevail in his or her life.”3

Jacob 5: The master of the vineyard represents Jesus Christ (Jehovah). The tame olive trees and their branches represent the Lord’s covenant people, and the wild trees and their branches represent those who have not yet made covenants with the Lord. The servants gathering the branches represent those who are spreading the gospel and helping people make and keep covenants. (See verses 3, 70, 72–73.)

How: As President Nelson taught, anytime we help anyone take a step toward making covenants with God, we are helping gather Israel.4 Serving a full-time mission, doing family history work, and performing temple ordinances are excellent ways to gather Israel. Less-obvious ways include fulfilling your Church calling, being a friend to those not of our faith, advocating for religious freedom, befriending somebody new at church, bearing your testimony, serving those in need, and being a worthy temple recommend holder.

Jacob 5: Pruning, digging, and grafting represent the different ways we can help others make and keep sacred covenants (see verses 11, 12, 58, 68).

When: The gathering of Israel has been happening since the beginning and continues in our day as part of the ongoing Restoration of Jesus Christ’s gospel on the earth.

Jacob 5: The last effort in the vineyard represents the latter days and our preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior (see verses 62, 77).

Where: The gathering of Israel is taking place all over the world. “Every nation is the gathering place for its own people.”5

Jacob 5: The master’s vineyard represents the world (see verses 8, 14).

Why: As we gather Israel, we are inviting God’s children to make covenants that will allow them to live with their families in heaven. Making these covenants on earth also endows us with strength, joy, and godly assistance in life’s challenges.6

Jacob 5: The joy that the servants feel from their diligent labors is the same joy we feel when we work to bring others unto Christ (see verses 71, 75).


  1. Russell M. Nelson, “Hope of Israel” (worldwide youth devotional, June 3, 2018), Gospel Library.

  2. Russell M. Nelson, “Hope of Israel,” Gospel Library.

  3. Russell M. Nelson, “Let God Prevail,” Liahona, Nov. 2020, 92.

  4. See Russell M. Nelson, “Hope of Israel,” Gospel Library.

  5. Bruce R. McConkie, in Conference Report, Mexico City Mexico Area Conference 1972, 45.

  6. See Russell M. Nelson, “The Everlasting Covenant,” Liahona, Oct. 2022, 4–11.