The laborers are sent forth for the last time to gather the harvest from the Lord’s vineyard.
The Lord directs his servants to thrust in their sickles to gather Israel.
“The laborer is worthy of his hire” (the success of the servant is based on his efforts; D&C 31:5).
The Church is to be strengthened and prepared through the gathering.
“The field is white already to harvest” (D&C 33:3).
This is the last time servants will be called. (It is the eleventh hour of mortal time before the Second Coming.)
The servants are to labor and reap with all their might.
The faithful will receive great blessings.
Sections 30-34; Enrichment A, “The Warning Voice”
Use material from Historical Background and Notes and Commentary to teach each revelation in its historical context.
D&C 30-34. Keeping in mind the theme of this lesson, read and ponder these sections.
Jacob 5:61-62, 70-77. What has been prophesied concerning this time period?
D&C 29:7. What is the gathering of the elect?
D&C 42:9. What does it mean to say that all will be “gathered in one”?
D&C 90:11. How will the message go forth to all nations?
D&C 110:11. What priesthood authority directs the gathering of Israel.
Matthew 20:1-16. How will the Lord of the vineyard reward the eleventh-hour laborers?
For additional references see topical guide, s.v. “Israel, Gathering of.”
Teachings, pp. 70-71. What are some of the purposes of gathering?
Teachings, pp. 84-86. Presents an overview of gathering and its importance.
Teachings, p. 101. What is an important result of the gathering?
Teachings, p. 163. What are the promised blessings to those involved in the gathering?
Teachings, p. 183. What are the promises of combined effort? What is the resultant blessing promised the Saints?
Teachings, p. 231. What are the three gatherings spoken of?
Teachings, pp. 307-8. What is the relationship of temples to the gathering?
Discourses, p. 121. Another purpose of gathering is established.
DS, 3:254-58. An overview of the blessings of gathering.
A of F, pp. 328-41. A thorough review of the doctrines of gathering.
Neal A. Maxwell, “The Net Gathers of Every Kind,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, pp. 14-15. Counsel for strengthening the gathered of Israel.
Howard W. Hunter,“ ‛All Are Alike unto God,’” Ensign, June 1979, pp. 72-74. An overview of the development and challenges of gathering Israel.
Bruce R. McConkie, “Come: Let Israel Build Zion,” Ensign, May 1977, pp. 115-18. The phases of the gathering work are detailed.
W. Grant Bangerter, “The Best of All Good News,” Ensign, Apr. 1980, pp. 56-59. The role of members in gathering.
Some Suggestions for Presentation
The teacher should note that lesson 26, “Laborers in the Vineyard,” also deals with missionary work.
We Have Been Called to Gather the Lord’s Elect (Chalkboard Illustration, Scripture Analysis)
At the time Doctrine and Covenants 30 was given, there were sixty-two members of the Church (see Ivan J. Barrett, Joseph Smith and the Restoration, p. 147). What was the major assignment given each of those mentioned in sections 30-34? What is the doctrine of the gathering? (see 1 Nephi 10:14; 3 Nephi 16:5). Note the following chalkboard illustration.
The Pruning in the Eleventh Hour (Scripture Analysis, Discussion)
Briefly review with the students the allegory of the tame and wild olive tree found in Jacob 5. Help the students to see the various scatterings of Israel (vss. 21-25, 39-45). Then review the gathering as prophesied (vss. 61-69) in this ancient scripture. How does this gathering relate to the destruction of the wicked, the unifying and strengthening of the Saints, and the establishment of Zion and ushering in of the Millennial reign? (vss. 65-66, 73-76).
The Joy and Blessings of Missionary Service (Scripture Analysis)
Have the students list the promises made to those who enter into the labor of gathering Israel.
D&C 30:8 _____
D&C 31:3 _____
D&C 31:5 _____
D&C 31:11 _____
D&C 32:3 _____
D&C 33:13 _____
D&C 33:15 _____
D&C 34:4-5 _____
D&C 34:11 _____
Discuss how it is possible to obtain these blessings through labor in the gathering process. Help the students to see the principles upon which the blessings are established.
Raising the Warning Voice to Effect the True Gathering of Israel (Discussion)
The following quotations could be used to lead a discussion on how we are to gather Israel in these last days.
“How is this gathering to take place? How will it be accomplished? Who will do the work involved? Who will identify the lost sheep of Israel, and what invitation will be issued to them to gather with the Lord’s people?
“In answer, the Lord says: ‛I will send for many fishers, … and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.’ (Jeremiah 16:16.)
‛That is to say, the gathering of Israel is a great missionary undertaking. It is a matter of inviting scattered Israel to return to the Lord their God, to worship once again the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, to come unto the Lord and forsake their false gods and false creeds. It is a call to worship that God who made them. It is a matter of ‛the servants of God’ going forth and ‛saying with a loud voice: Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come; And worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.’ (D&C 133:38, 39.) …
“Now I call your attention to the facts, set forth in these scriptures, that the gathering of Israel consists of joining the true Church, of coming to a knowledge of the true God and of his saving truths, and of worshiping him in the congregations of the Saints in all nations and among all peoples. Please note that these revealed words speak of the folds of the Lord, of Israel being gathered to the lands of their inheritance, of Israel being established in all their lands of promise, and of there being congregations of the covenant people of the Lord in every nation, speaking every tongue, and among every people when the Lord comes again.
“Any person, therefore, who has accepted the restored gospel, and who now seeks to worship the Lord, in his own tongue, and among his own people, and with the Saints of his own nation has complied with the law of gathering and is entitled to all of the blessings promised the Saints in these last days …
“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. Japan is for the Japanese; Korea is for the Koreans; Australia is for the Australians; every nation is the gathering place for its own people.
“The Book of Mormon teaching is, There is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth. And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations.’ (1 Nephi 13:41, 42.) The gospel is the same everywhere. It does not matter where we live if we keep the commandments of God, and the commandments are the same in all nations and among all people.” (Bruce R. McConkie, in Conference Report, Mexico City Area Conference 1972, pp. 44-45.)
“Let the Elders be exceedingly careful about unnecessarily disturbing and harrowing up the feelings of the people. Remember that your business is to preach the Gospel in all humility and meekness, and warn sinners to repent and come to Christ.
“Avoid contentions and vain disputes with men of corrupt minds, who do not desire to know the truth. Remember that ‛it is a day of warning, and not a day of many words.’ If they receive not your testimony in one place, flee to another, remembering to cast no reflections, nor throw out any bitter sayings. If you do your duty, it will be just as well with you, as though all men embraced the Gospel.” (Smith, Teachings, p. 43.)