3 Nephi 5:24; D&C 110:11
And as surely as the Lord liveth, will he gather in from the four quarters of the earth all the remnant of the seed of Jacob, who are scattered abroad upon all the face of the earth. 3 Nephi 5:24
During the 1836 dedication of the Kirtland Temple, Joseph Smith prayed fervently for the gathering of Israel. Several days later Moses appeared in the Kirtland Temple and restored the keys necessary for this gathering to begin (see D&C 110:11).
Four years later Orson Hyde, one of the Apostles of the Church, announced that the Spirit had been witnessing to him for some time that he should go on a mission to the Jews (the people of Judah, one of the tribes of Israel). During the April 1840 general conference, Joseph Smith called Orson Hyde to go to the European Jews and then to the Holy Land to dedicate it.
On the morning of 24 October 1841, after having spent several months laboring in Europe and traveling to the Holy Land, Orson Hyde passed through the gates of Jerusalem and climbed the Mount of Olives. Through the spirit of revelation he wrote and offered a dedicatory prayer. In the prayer, he asked the Lord to bless the Holy Land for the gathering of the Jews. He acknowledged that God had given this land to Abraham and his children, that these children were scattered, and that they looked forward to the fulfillment of God’s promises. He prayed for the building up of Jerusalem and for the rearing of a temple, and he asked that the land be fruitful. Elder Hyde also prayed that the Lord would strengthen the Church and its leaders. Immediately following this holy experience, he “erected a pile of stones as a witness” to the occasion. (See History of the Church, 4:45659.)
His work in Jerusalem finished, Elder Hyde started his journey back to the United States. He preached in Egypt and Germany for several months before making his way to England. There he joined a group of British converts traveling to Nauvoo and arrived back home in December 1842. He had been gone for 32 months, traveled almost 20,000 miles, and overcome great adversity to fulfill this significant mission.
The Prophet Joseph Smith knew that the Holy Land, where Jesus lived when He was on earth, is where the Jewish people would gather in the last days and where a temple would be built. Joseph asked Orson Hyde, one of the Twelve Apostles, to go to the Holy Land. Elder Hyde traveled for over 18 months and thousands of miles to get to Jerusalem. He said a special prayer asking the Lord to bless the land for the gathering of the Jews. He said that God had given this land to Abraham and his children, and he prayed that the land would be fruitful and that a temple would be built. After much time and hardship, Elder Hyde had finally fulfilled his important mission.
Artist, Clark Kelley Price
© 1997 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Used by permission.