“Ye Are Called to Bring to Pass the Gathering of Mine Elect”

Doctrine and Covenants 29:1–8

1 Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the Great I Am, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins;
2 Who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer.
3 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that at this time your sins are forgiven you, therefore ye receive these things; but remember to sin no more, lest perils shall come upon you.
4 Verily, I say unto you that ye are chosen out of the world to declare my gospel with the sound of rejoicing, as with the voice of a trump.
5 Lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is his good will to give you the kingdom.
6 And, as it is written—Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive.
7 And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;
8 Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked.

Elder Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjödahl wrote:

I Am . . . is [t]he same as JEHOVAH. Jesus Christ is Jehovah.

Arm of mercy . . . is an unusual expression, but it occurs in the Book of Mormon [see Jacob 6:5; 3 Nephi 9:14], where it refers to Christ’s gracious offer of salvation. It is the equivalent to His love, which prompted Him to make the Atonement for the sins of the world. In [Isaiah] 51:5, the Lord declares that His ‘arms’ shall judge the people. That is, He shall exert His mighty power in judgment; in this revelation [D&C 29] He promises to exert that power in mercy. He is as ‘mighty to save’ as to judge.

“. . . Our Lord, immediately before the end of His earthly mission, exclaimed, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, . . . how often would I have gathered thy children together . . . and ye would not’ [Matthew 23:37]. By gathering they might have been saved from the destruction that awaited the city. But they would not, and so, ‘Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.’ The dispensation that followed was not a gathering dispensation, but rather a scattering. Our dispensation is one of gathering.

“. . . In the councils of heaven it had been decreed that the Saints should gather to one place on the American continent, in order to be prepared against the last great tribulations of the world.

“. . . Jackson County, [Missouri], is the central gathering place of the Saints. On this subject the Prophet Joseph, in a letter to the Elders of the Church, dated September 1st, 1835, and published in the Messenger and Advocate, said, in part:—

“‘I received, by a heavenly vision, a commandment in June following [1831], to take my journey to the western boundaries of the state of Missouri, and there designate the very spot which was to be the central place for the commencement of the gathering together of those who embrace the fulness of the everlasting gospel. Accordingly I undertook the journey, with certain ones of my brethren, and, after a long and tedious journey, suffering many privations and hardships, arrived in Jackson County, [Missouri], and after viewing the country, seeking diligently at the hand of God, He manifested Himself unto us, and designated unto me and others, the very spot upon which He designed to commence the work of the gathering, and the upbuilding of an Holy City: which should be called Zion—Zion, because it is a place of righteousness, and all who build thereon are to worship the true and living God, and all believe in one doctrine, even the doctrine of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ’ [History of the Church, 2:254].

“The Saints were scattered, and established themselves in the Rocky Mountains, according to the prophetic word [see D&C 35:24; 49:25], but ‘Zion’ was not ‘moved out of her place,’ and the Saints will return and build it up. ‘Will our mission end here [in Utah]? Is the state of Utah the proper monument of the “Mormon” people? No. . . . The monument to “Mormonism” will stand in Jackson County, [Missouri]. There the great City will be built: There Zion will arise and shine, “the joy of the whole Earth,” and there the Lord will come to His temple in His own time, when His people shall have made the required preparation’ (Orson F. Whitney, in an address, Salt Lake City, April 9, 1916).”

(The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, rev. ed. [1951], 146–47.)