Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Article of Faith #10

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

(Pearl of Great Price | Articles of Faith 1:10)

The ten tribes of Israel were unified through the reign of King Solomon in the Old Testament. After King Solomon passed away, his son, Rehoboam began to reign in his stead. Solomon heavily taxed his people in order to build the temple. When he died, the people hoped that their taxation would be decreased. Rehoboam’s older advisors agreed that he should decrease the burden on the people, while his younger advisors, lobbied for the opposite. Rehoboam followed the counsel of his younger advisors, and most of the tribes of Israel stopped following his rule.

The kingdom of Israel was then effectively split in half between Judah in the south, and Ephraim in the north. The Northern kingdom was destroyed/scattered by the Assyrians. Subsequently, the kingdom of Judah was carried away captive by the Babylonians.

Eventually, some form the kingdom of Judah, (The Jews), return to Jerusalem, but the other tribes of Israel have not been gathered back in again.

The scriptures bare witness that the Lord has not forgotten His chosen people, and they will yet be brought back. In Isaiah 49:22 it states, “22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.”

We profess that Zion, a new Jerusalem, will be established on this continent, see Ether 13:6, and D&C 45:66-67.

We testify that Christ will again rule and reign on this earth, and will be the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. The scriptures are replete with signs that would precede His second coming. Some can be found in Matthew 24. The signs of the times are being fulfilled which suggests that His second coming is drawing near. However, we are not told exactly when that day will be. In verse 36 of Matthew 24 we read, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

When He comes again, the earth will be restored to its paradisiacal glory as it existed in the Garden of Eden. See Isaiah 11:1-9.

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