“The Gathering of My People”
Belonging is one of our greatest human needs, and there aren’t many more poignant and powerful ideas than that of “coming home.” This lesson will explore the concept of “gathering”, or more poetically put, our Heavenly Parents bringing us together so we can help each other come home. We will discuss:
- The concepts of exile and return/gathering in the Jewish Scriptures
- The history of the twelve tribes
- the role of the idea of the twelve tribes in the ministry of Jesus (hint: How many disciples did he have?)
- the concept of gathering in early Mormonism
- the place of gathering in the current church, including declarations of lineage in Patriarchal blessings
One Time Donation:
Student Reading: D&C 29:1–8; 33:3–7; 37; 38:24–41; 52:2–5,42–43; 57:1–3; 110:11; Articles of Faith 1:10; Our Heritage pages 16–23, 37–39, D&C 39:15, D&C 95:8; 105:33; 110:9, D&C 123:12, 1 Nephi 15:12–17, 1 Nephi 22:11–12
Additional Teacher Reading: D&C 31:3, D&C 45:71, 39:11; 88:81,Isaiah 2:2–3; 3 Nephi 20:22; 3 Nephi 21:22–28; Ether 13:2–12; Moses 7:61–62,D&C 63:24, 36–48, D&C 28:9, D&C 30:5–6; 32:1–3, D&C 42:62, D&C 54:8, D&C 115:6 Isaiah 11:12 2 Nephi 25:15; 2 Nephi 25:14 3 Nephi 20:33; 1 Nephi 15:19–20; 2 Nephi 9:1–2; 2 Nephi 10:8 D&C 109:62–67
Jenne and Ryan contribute an engaging and enjoyable conversation that balances out the lesson.
Continue the conversation by posting your questions and comments here, in the facebook group, or email them to me at MormonSundaySchool at gmail.
You can access my Lesson Notes here
You can access my Reading Notes here.
- Conference talk by Elder Nelson on the scattering and gathering of Israel
- Article by Armand Mauss on the early search for the “tribe of Ephraim”
- Article by Armand Mauss on Mormon conceptions of race and lineage
- Article by Irene Bates on Patriarchal blessings
- An amazing National Geographic resource about the history and interrelatedness of humanity
- A Nova program and Guardian article on some of the speculative but fun explorations of genetics and quests for the Lost Tribes
Many thanks to Devin Roth for the beautiful bumper music. Check out his arrangement of hymns and other work at DevinRothMusic!
Thanks to Nathan Jones for the audio editing and James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for adding the finishing touches.
I enjoy the idea that the stories we tell create a unifying structure for our groups. The example given of the twelve tribes of Israel not actually being descended from 12 brothers is fascinating.
We have modern examples of similar stories; The pioneer story of the seagulls eating crickets, disgorging themselves by the lake, and then coming back to eat more, does not surface until 20-30 years after the “event”. This would likely indicate that it isn’t historically accurate. Nevertheless, the story reinforces the affirming idea that God looks after us even in times of trial.
A less positive example is what happened to Thomas B. Marsh, the one-time president of the Quorum of the Twelve. He left the church after disagreeing with (and fearing) several Mormons who sacked and looted the town of Gallatin, Missouri (a discussion could be had about what lead them to feel they needed to do that, but we’ll save that for another time). It seems to me to have been a morally-based decision, but 26 years later, we hear the story that he left the church because his wife disagreed with another woman about sharing the “milk strippings.” (There is no contemporaneous documentation to indicate that was ever the case.)
That story is told to support the idea that the only reason people leave the church is because of pride or selfishness. This story has multiple consequences for the way we view other people and the judgment we pass on them.
Both examples show the staying power that stories hold in our lives. I hope that I can focus my own stories on positive, affirming events, and in so doing perhaps offer atonement for what we’ve done to poor Brother Marsh.