Jerusalem and Zion

One of Watcher’s recent posts touched on his interpretation of the scriptures that the Jerusalem of the last days is in North America and not the Middle East. Obviously this interpretation flies in the face of the opinions of experts and common sense. Everyone knows where Jerusalem is, just look on a map!

Watcher included this quotation from Joseph Smith:

“You know there has been a great discussion in relation to ZION- where it is, and where the gathering of the dispensation is, and which I am going to tell you. The prophets have spoken and written upon it; But I will make a proclamation that will cover broader ground. The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south and is described by the prophets, that it is the Zion where the Mountain of the Lord should be, and that it is the center of the land. When the Elders take up to examine the old prophecies in the bible they will see it.”

Let’s follow Joseph’s advice and examine the old prophecies while we also measure Watcher’s strange doctrine against the scriptures.

Ezekiel 28
25 Thus saith the Lord God; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.

The house of Israel will be gathered into and dwell in the land given to Jacob. Now remember, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel after his encounter with the angel. So other than the different names this is pretty straight forward. So straightforward that Nephi basically reiterated it:

2 Nephi 24
1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land; and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
2 And the people shall take them and bring them to their place; yea, from far unto the ends of the earth; and they shall return to their lands of promise. And the house of Israel shall possess them

Elsewhere, this gathering is discussed. The remnant of the seed of Jacob is gathered in from the four quarters of the earth unto their own lands.

3 Nephi 5
24 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.
25 And as he hath covenanted with all the house of Jacob, even so shall the covenant wherewith he hath covenanted with the house of Jacob be fulfilled in his own due time, unto the restoring all the house of Jacob unto the knowledge of the covenant that he hath covenanted with them.
26 And then shall they know their Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and then shall they be gathered in from the four quarters of the earth unto their own lands, from whence they have been dispersed; yea, as the Lord liveth so shall it be. Amen.

Everything still seems straightforward. Straightforward, that is, until the resurrected Jesus starts talking:

3 Nephi 21
1 And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place—that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion;

22 But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;
23 And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.
24 And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.

Jesus is saying that the latter-day members of his church will be numbered among the remnant of Jacob. And that remnant of Jacob has received the land of the Nephites for their inheritance. Furthermore, he says they will build the new Jerusalem in this land, and bring all those Lord’s people who are scattered into the new Jerusalem. And the Lord will establish Zion among these people living in the new Jerusalem.

One historical note to consider: when the printer’s manuscript was delivered to Grandin Press, the Book of Mormon was basically one massive run-on sentence. Every comma, period, and capital was added by John Gilbert, the typesetter. So “the New Jerusalem” could have been intended to read “the new Jerusalem” (which we will soon see is how it is in Revelation). Because we don’t know what was intended, we need to consider both options.

3 Nephi 20
21 And it shall come to pass that I will establish my people, O house of Israel.
22 And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New [new] Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you.

The resurrected Jesus makes it clear that his people are the house of Israel and the new Jerusalem will be located on the land of the Nephites, not the Middle East. More significantly, he says that establishing them in North America fulfills the covenant which he made with Jacob. This is where it gets interesting. Jesus is saying that the promise made to Jacob will be fulfilled when the people gather to the new Jerusalem in North America. He says nothing about a restoration of the Jerusalem in the Middle East where Jacob lived.

In the 1830s, the Lord reiterated that North America is a consecrated land according to the covenant.

D&C 52
2 Saying: I, the Lord, will make known unto you what I will that ye shall do from this time until the next conference, which shall be held in Missouri, upon the land which I will consecrate unto my people, which are a remnant of Jacob, and those who are heirs according to the covenant.

To summarize, Jesus seems to think that:

  • North America is the land given to the remnant of Jacob.
  • North America is the land where as many of the house of Israel shall come will build the new Jerusalem.
  • North America is the land where the house of Israel will be established according to the covenant made with Jacob.
  • Missouri is part of the land consecrated to the remnant of Jacob.

Let’s see what else the scriptures say:

D&C 109
64 And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.
65 And cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten because of their transgression, be converted from their wild and savage condition to the fulness of the everlasting gospel;
66 That they may lay down their weapons of bloodshed, and cease their rebellions.
67 And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before thee.

Judah

The children of Judah are prophesied to return to the lands given to Abraham. Keep in mind, Judah was a son of Jacob, so the remnant of Jacob would seem to include the children of Judah.

Section 133 on the surface seems to contradict the one location theory, as the Lord talks about the Gentiles fleeing unto Zion and Judah fleeing unto Jerusalem.

D&C 133
7 Yea, verily I say unto you again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you: Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
8 Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, and then upon the Jews.
9 And behold, and lo, this shall be their cry, and the voice of the Lord unto all people: Go ye forth unto the land of Zion, that the borders of my people may be enlarged, and that her stakes may be strengthened, and that Zion may go forth unto the regions round about.
10 Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom; behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord.
11 Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.
12 Let them, therefore, who are among the Gentiles flee unto Zion.
13 And let them who be of Judah flee unto Jerusalem, unto the mountains of the Lord’s house.
14 Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon.

If you believe that the Jerusalem in verse 13 is in the Middle East, then you must also believe that the mountains of the Lord’s house are in the Middle East too. Which means you also must believe this prophecy does not apply to North America:

2 Nephi 12  / Isaiah 2
1 The word that Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

If the Jerusalem in the Middle East is the mountain of the Lord’s house, then Jerusalem will be established in the top of the mountains and all nations shall flow unto the Middle East. Not North America (not even Utah). But if you believe that 2 Nephi 12 is talking about North America as the mountain of the Lord’s house that is established in the top of the mountains, then the Jerusalem in D&C 133:13 cannot be in the Middle East. But a new Jerusalem in North America works for both and keeps the prophecies intact.

Zechariah seemed to think that Jerusalem was a suburb of Zion, while also calling Jerusalem the mountain of the Lord.

Zechariah 8
3 Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.

Indeed, if Zion is in North America and Jerusalem in the Middle East, how could the Lord return unto Zion and dwell in Jerusalem? If Jerusalem in the Middle East is the mountain of the Lord, the 2 Nephi 12 prophecy is broken. Not only that, but several others are broken too.

Daniel 9:16,20
16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

Joel 2
1 Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

Joel 3
16 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
17 So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.

Isaiah 66
20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.

If Zion and Jerusalem are on two different continents, these prophets are contradicting each other. Some think that Zion in North America is the mountain of the Lord, while others think Jerusalem in the Middle East is the mountain of the Lord. Isaiah 30:19 simply defies geography and the laws of physics.

Isaiah 30
19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.

If Zion and Jerusalem are on two different continents, even the Father himself is confused:

D&C 29
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.

One Gathering Location

The Father doesn’t decree that the elect will be gathered into two places: one in America and one in the Middle East. He wants all the elect gathered into one place, on this land. God repeatedly states he will gather his people into one place, and that North America is where he will gather his people. He repeats is so many times it’s almost overwhelming.

D&C 101
12 And in that day all who are found upon the watch-tower, or in other words, all mine Israel, shall be saved.
13 And they that have been scattered shall be gathered.
14 And all they who have mourned shall be comforted.
15 And all they who have given their lives for my name shall be crowned.
16 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.
17 Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered.
18 They that remain, and are pure in heart, shall return, and come to their inheritances, they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the waste places of Zion—
19 And all these things that the prophets might be fulfilled.
20 And, behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed; neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed, for the work of the gathering of my saints
21 Until the day cometh when there is found no more room for them; and then I have other places which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called stakes, for the curtains or the strength of Zion.
22 Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places;

D&C 103
22 Therefore let my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., say unto the strength of my house, my young men and the middle aged—Gather yourselves together unto the land of Zion, upon the land which I have bought with money that has been consecrated unto me.

D&C 105
13 Therefore it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion.
14 For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil—I will fight your battles.
15 Behold, the destroyer I have sent forth to destroy and lay waste mine enemies; and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute mine heritage, and to blaspheme my name upon the lands which I have consecrated for the gathering together of my saints.

D&C 42
9 Until the time shall come when it shall be revealed unto you from on high, when the city of the New Jerusalem shall be prepared, that ye may be gathered in one, that ye may be my people and I will be your God.

D&C 45
43 And the remnant shall be gathered unto this place;
44 And then they shall look for me, and, behold, I will come; and they shall see me in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels; and he that watches not for me shall be cut off.

D&C 57
1 Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints.

D&C 84
2 Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem.
3 Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased.
4 Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation.

D&C 125
2 Verily, thus saith the Lord, I say unto you, if those who call themselves by my name and are essaying to be my saints, if they will do my will and keep my commandments concerning them, let them gather themselves together unto the places which I shall appoint unto them by my servant Joseph, and build up cities unto my name, that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come.

D&C 133
4 Wherefore, prepare ye, prepare ye, O my people; sanctify yourselves; gather ye together, O ye people of my church, upon the land of Zion, all you that have not been commanded to tarry.

7 Yea, verily I say unto you again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you: Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
8 Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, and then upon the Jews.
9 And behold, and lo, this shall be their cry, and the voice of the Lord unto all people: Go ye forth unto the land of Zion, that the borders of my people may be enlarged, and that her stakes may be strengthened, and that Zion may go forth unto the regions round about.

This call to Zion is made to all nations, to the Gentiles AND the Jews. The Jews are not told to gather in a different land. They are told to go forth unto the land of Zion. I can find nowhere in the scriptures where God commands that there are two locations for the gathering of his saints. There is just one gathering.

When talking to Enoch in the pre-flood times, God talked about gathering his elect from all over the earth into one location, not two.

Moses 7
62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.

 

Outcasts

In another Isaiah prophecy, millennial peace, symbolized by the wolf and the lamb dwelling together, occurs in the Lord’s holy mountain.

2 Nephi 21 / Isaiah 11
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Isaiah says the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah will be gathered together. Isaiah talks about this elsewhere.

Isaiah 56
6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
8 The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.

Here he talked about the sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord, and they are brought to the Lord’s holy mountain. Nephi talks about these strangers too, and how they will join Israel in their own land (which we already determined is in North America).

2 Nephi 24
1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land; and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
2 And the people shall take them and bring them to their place; yea, from far unto the ends of the earth; and they shall return to their lands of promise. And the house of Israel shall possess them

Which means that when Isaiah 56 talks about gathering the strangers and outcasts of Israel to the holy mountain, that must be in North America to be consistent with the house of Israel inheriting North America.

Other tidbits

If there was only one Jerusalem location in all of history, Enoch was probably pretty confused when talking to the Lord.

Moses 7
62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.
63 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
64 And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.
65 And it came to pass that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years;

Here the Lord tells him he will gather out the elect unto a place called Zion, a new Jerusalem. Except Enoch lived before the flood. This conversation happened at least 1,000 years before Jerusalem was established. If the name Jerusalem has and will only be used to refer to the city in the Middle East then why would the Lord talk about it to Enoch? It would be like Jesus telling the Nephites about Helsinki – completely irrelevant to them. Because Enoch’s people were called Zion, I would not be surprised if they called their city Jerusalem. Then, when the Lord talks about a New Jerusalem, Enoch wouldn’t be confused. If the city of Enoch were called Jerusalem, it would also link quite nicely to the prophecies of its return.

Another interesting study is to look at how Jerusalem is used in the Book of Revelation. John uses the name Jerusalem three times, all three times he refers to new Jerusalem, a city of God coming down out of heaven.

Revelation 3
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Revelation 21
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Those references are all to a heavenly new Jerusalem (likely comprising the city of Enoch and others). We know John also talks about the Jerusalem in the Middle East. How does he refer to that location if he doesn’t use the name Jerusalem? When talking about the two prophets who are killed in the last days, John says:

Revelation 11
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

John is saying that the city in the Middle East where Christ was crucified is spiritually bad. But that location can’t possibly be the holy city he refers to in verse 2. The holy city is new Jerusalem. The great city is old Jerusalem. All the righteous things the Lord has planned for his Second Coming are not going to be happening in spiritual Sodom. There are obviously two different cities here: a righteous Jerusalem and a wicked Jerusalem. One is blessed and one is cursed.

I originally included a section talking about Zechariah 14 here. I received some feedback that made me question my analysis. I don’t want to post an analysis that I don’t have confidence in, so I have removed it while I do some more research.

 

Conclusion

When I started working on this post, I had no idea there would be so many scriptures that touched on this topic. It’s been exhausting to capture them all and put them in some sort of order. Once you see them all together, you realize how quickly they all start to fall apart if we try to force a two continent Jerusalem/Zion model onto them. The Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price all support each other on the location of latter-day Jerusalem being in North America.

Joseph Smith was right:

“The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south and is described by the prophets, that it is the Zion where the Mountain of the Lord should be, and that it is the center of the land. When the Elders take up to examine the old prophecies in the bible they will see it.”

Having examined the old prophecies in detail, I can see no other explanation. The latter-day Jerusalem must be in North America. It goes against all our traditions and common sense, but when we weigh in the balances our traditions and common sense against the word of God, our traditions are found wanting. In whom shall we trust?

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Jerusalem and Zion

  1. I enjoy reading your blog and the insight that you bring; however, I don’t know if you treated this subject fairly. I noticed that you seemed to skip the references in 3N 20, where Christ references this very subject:
    3N 20:22 “this people will I establish in this land… and it shall be a new Jerusalem.”

    3N 20:29 “And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father.”

    3N 20:33 ” Then will the Father gather them together again and give unto them Jerusalem for the land of their inheritance.”

    We know these scriptures are referring to Judah, because Chapters 16 and 20 form a Chiasmus, which overlays this portion of chapter 20 with 3N 16:4 “that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry… that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer.”

    The land of America was given in an unconditional covenant to Lehi & Nephi and their seed. This covenant was renewed to the descendants of Lehi by Christ (3N 16:16 & 3N 20:14, 3N 21:22), and this covenant also included the Gentiles that will repent and as many of the House of Israel that will come (3N 21:22-23). The land of Canaan was given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in an unconditional covenant to their seed forever (Gen 12:7, 15:18, 26:3, 48:4).

    When taking all the scriptures together, these scriptures seem to indicate that there will be two places of gathering, Zion, the new Jerusalem, on the American continent and the Jerusalem of old in the land given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ether 13:3-6). From what I can glean from the scriptures, the New Jerusalem will be established as a place of refuge before the storm and the Old Jerusalem will be established as a place of gathering after/towards the end of the storm.

    The references to Zion and Jerusalem together need to be taken into context. Zion was established as a place of refuge or safety as the City of David (2 Sam 5:7, 1 Chr 11:5). It didn’t have the same definition in the OT as in the PGP (Moses 7:18). Most of the reference to Zion in Isaiah references the place of safety (I 5:1-2), that is why he prophesies that the daughters of Zion are haughty (I 3:16) it’s not the daughters of the Pure in Heart or the New Jerusalem, rather it is the daughters of those living in the safe place or the land of Zion that become haughty. The reference to the inhabitants of Jerusalem as read in 5:3 can be read in two ways: 1) he was prophesying to the people of Jerusalem, 2) the Jews of his day were the covenant people, so for the last days it also includes all people who are considered “my people” or people who have covenanted to take upon them His name.

    1. Hi Nathan. I have to confess that I’m still working to figure out what exactly happens with old Jerusalem in the last days. There is so little specific information about it in the scriptures, and I’ve been taught my whole life to fill in the blanks with things that reinforce my preconceived notions, so it’s tough to step back and stick to what is written. I’m still trying to work this all out, but I’ll try to address your points.

      I’m not familiar with a chiasm linking 3 Nephi 16 and 3 Nephi 20. While I’m not an expert on chiasmus, my understanding is the chiasm needs to be contiguous. There is a lot of unrelated, non-chiastic material in 3 Nephi 17-19. If you have something that explains this chiasm, I would enjoy reading it.

      You make a good point about the daughters of Zion. They may gather to Zion, but initially they bring all their crap with them. It’s only after they are cleaned up that Zion becomes holy. Duly noted.

      I’ll be honest. When I started this search I didn’t really think Jerusalem was in America. As I searched the scriptures, I kept finding links to America. I haven’t been able to come up with conclusive links to the Middle East. I’ve had to adjust my thinking because this idea goes against everything I have been taught, but if the Middle East Jerusalem were still to play a role I would expect to find a lot more scriptures supporting that. If you can find solid references, I’d like to see them.

      Anyway, let’s start with 3 Nephi 20.
      29 And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father.

      Which Jerusalem is Jesus talking about? The one in the Middle East, or the one in the Americas that was destroyed at Christ’s death?
      3 Nephi 9
      7 Yea, and the city of Onihah and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Jerusalem and the inhabitants thereof; and waters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come up any more unto me against them.

      3 Nephi 10
      3 And it came to pass that there came a voice again unto the people, and all the people did hear, and did witness of it, saying:
      4 O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, who are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.
      5 And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, who have fallen; yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, ye that dwell at Jerusalem, as ye that have fallen; yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.
      6 O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.
      7 But if not, O house of Israel, the places of your dwellings shall become desolate until the time of the fulfilling of the covenant to your fathers.

      When the voice of Christ speaks to the people in the Americas, he makes it clear that a city in the Americas called Jerusalem was destroyed. In 3 Nephi 10:4 he talked about the people of the great cities, then in verse 5 he talks specifically about those who dwell at Jerusalem and links them to “ye people of the house of Israel”. Then verse six links the survivors to the house of Israel. There is no mention of the people in the Middle East. Jerusalem in the Middle East was not destroyed at this time and wouldn’t be for another forty years, so Christ must be talking about the Jerusalem in North America. He even says the same thing about this Jerusalem that he said about the Middle East Jerusalem during his mortal ministry – “how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathers her chickens.” So every time Christ mentions Jerusalem in 3 Nephi, we have to pay careful attention to context and not just assume he means the Middle East.

      Notice that 3 Nephi 20:29 also calls this land of Jerusalem the promised land. Do a word search in the Book of Mormon on promised land. Every single instance refers to the Americas. Not a single reference to the Middle East as the promised land. It would be wildly inconsistent for Jesus to be referring to the Middle East Jerusalem as the promised land just this one time when every other instance refers to North America. Lehi even goes so far as to state that they had to flee Jerusalem to obtain the land of promise:
      2 Nephi 1
      3 And he also spake unto them concerning the land of promise, which they had obtained—how merciful the Lord had been in warning us that we should flee out of the land of Jerusalem.

      Lehi also says:
      5 …Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.

      Notice that Lehi says all those who should be led out of other countries. Not led out TO other countries, but led out OF other countries. He’s referring to the gathering, not the dispersion. The scriptures make it clear that all the house of Israel, including Judah, will be led out of other countries.

      Jumping back to 3 Nephi 16
      4 And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer.
      5 And then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and then will I fulfil the covenant which the Father hath made unto all the people of the house of Israel.

      The remnant of the seed of those at Jerusalem during the time of Jesus will be gathered from the four quarters to fulfill the promise to the all the people of the house of Israel. That remnant of the people at Jerusalem will be scattered upon the face of the earth and will be gathered in from the four quarters. Lehi has already said those led out of other countries will come to North America. Is there another witness?
      3 Nephi 21
      23 And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.
      24 And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.
      This would seem to indicate an initial gathering of those already on the American continent. Once that initial gather has happened, the work goes international, with power.
      25 And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.
      26 Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.
      27 Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.
      28 Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.
      29 And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.

      Christ doesn’t indicate a new location for this gathering. Every indication is that this gathering continues into the New Jerusalem. For these people to be gathered out of all nations but not go to America would contradict previous scripture. But I do agree that there seems to be an early phase and a later phase to the gathering.

      In 3 Nephi 20, Jesus said:
      11 Ye remember that I spake unto you, and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled—behold they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them—
      12 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that when they shall be fulfilled then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel.
      13 And then shall the remnants, which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, be gathered in from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God, who hath redeemed them.

      21 And it shall come to pass that I will establish my people, O house of Israel.
      22 And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you.

      “My people, O house of Israel” will be established in this land, North America. That fulfills the covenant with Jacob. If we think the Father has to gather the people to the Middle East to fulfill his covenant, we are ignoring 3 Nephi 20:21-22.

      Yes, that seems to contradict Genesis at first glance. The first references don’t talk about a time-frame or latter-day inheritance. They appear to be only a temporal promise. No mention of a land of promise or eternal inheritance. This is a case where our traditions have caused us to fill in the blanks and read in far more than is actually there.
      Genesis 12
      7 And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.

      Genesis 15
      18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

      Genesis 26
      3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;

      This last verse really reveals something. We’ve been conditioned to consider this an eternal promise of land, but the word the Lord uses is SOJOURN.
      Webster 1828
      SOJOURN, To dwell for a time; to dwell or live in a place as a temporary resident, or as a stranger, not considering the place as his permanent habitation.

      The Lord isn’t telling him the Middle East is the place of his final habitation, it is a place of temporary habitation!

      With that in mind, let’s look at Genesis 48:4
      3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
      4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.

      Now Genesis 48:4 is contradicting Genesis 26:3. Is it a place to sojourn, or an everlasting possession? I don’t have a definitive answer I can give. I have a speculative theory, but nothing solid. Given the weight of all the other evidence, I choose Genesis 26:3 over Genesis 48:4.

      Let’s hit Ether 13 quickly.
      Ether 13
      3 And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.
      4 Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.
      5 And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come—after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel—

      This could be interpreted two ways. Jerusalem was destroyed after Lehi left, and then was later rebuilt before Christ’s ministry. It was then destroyed again after Christ’s ministry. Is Ether referring to it being built up again before Christ or after Christ? If Ether means rebuilt after the Babylonian Captivity, then this was fulfilled in the meridian of time. If Ether means rebuilt after Christ’s ministry, then we have a latter-day prophecy we have to deal with.

      Nehemiah in the Old Testament discusses the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian Captivity, and refers to Jerusalem as the holy city.
      Nehemiah 11
      1 And the rulers of the people dwelt at Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts to dwell in other cities.

      While not conclusive, that would seem to indicate that this was fulfilled before the meridian of time.

      More interesting stuff is found later in Ether 13.
      8 Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.
      9 And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new.
      10 And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel.
      11 And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham.
      12 And when these things come, bringeth to pass the scripture which saith, there are they who were first, who shall be last; and there are they who were last, who shall be first.
      13 And I was about to write more, but I am forbidden;

      Even here the Jerusalem of old is described as the inhabitants who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth. It is not talking about a location, but a people. Again there is no reference to change of location for the gathering. I can’t find one anywhere in scripture. If there were, it would be problematic because it would be inconsistent with so many other scriptures.

      What really makes me curious, though, is verse 13. Obviously the Lord is withholding more details about this. I can’t wait until it is finally revealed.

  2. Both you and the Watcher have done an admirable job of proving through scriptures that the gathering will take place on the American continent, it will be the place of the New Jerusalem, and it will be a crucial part of what takes place in the later days. However, “Man shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”, which means we can’t just look at the scriptures that support our beliefs and ignore those that don’t. We have to evaluate the paradoxes that exist in the scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us until the paradoxes align and we can see the great whole. Just as the BofM, the Old Testament has many references to a Land of Promise, since the Lord promised Abraham, Issac and Jacob the land of Israel for their seed.
    Exodus 12:25
    Duet 9:28
    Duet 19:8
    Joshua 23:5
    Neh 9:23
    Paul also referenced the promise land in Hebrews 11:9 as the land the Abraham sojourned in.

    It’s not surprising that all BofM references to the Promised Land only refers to the Americas, because it was the Land of Promise to the seed of Lehi. However, it doesn’t make it the exclusive land of promise. If you read 1N 22:11-12 closely, in verse 12 is says they “will be gathered together to the LANDS of their inheritance”

    11 Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel.

    12 Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.

    There are many prophesies of the Jews and the Kingdom of Israel being restored to the land of their fathers and becoming again one Kingdom. I have copied the ones below that indicate that this gathering will take place in the Old World. All of them indicate that this gathering of the Jews and the House of Israel are back to the land of their fathers, which I take to be Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. For this to be America, we would need to interpret that to mean the land of their fathers Adam-Noah.

    Jeremiah 16:14-15
    14 ¶ Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

    15 But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

    Jeremiah 30:3
    3 For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

    Ezekial 36:26-28
    26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

    27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

    28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

    Ezekial 37:21-22,25
    21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

    22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

    25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

    I don’t believe this nullifies any of the scriptures you have used to highlight the gathering to America. Rather, if you read 3 Nephi 21:22-24 carefully, it says only that the New Jerusalem will be built by “this” the remnant of Jacob (descendants of Lehi), the repentant Gentiles, and “as many of the house of Israel as shall come”, not all the house of Israel but as many as desire to come.

    22 But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;

    23 And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.

    24 And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.

    Finally, we have to remember that Joseph Smith send Orson Hyde on a mission to dedicate Jerusalem for the gathering of the Jews. This is supported by the following two scriptures in the D&C:

    1) D&C 77:15 –
    15 Q. What is to be understood by the two witnesses, in the eleventh chapter of Revelation?
    A. They are two prophets that are to be raised up to the Jewish nation in the last days, at the time of the restoration, and to prophesy to the Jews after they are gathered and have built the city of Jerusalem in the land of their fathers.

    2) D&C 109:62-64
    60 Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.

    61 But thou knowest that thou hast a great love for the children of Jacob, who have been scattered upon the mountains for a long time, in a cloudy and dark day.

    62 We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed;

    63 And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;

    64 And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.

    Once again, I don’t disagree with you that the New Jerusalem will be built in America or that it won’t be a pivotal part of the Great and Marvelous Work; however, I don’t think the scriptures support the view that the old Jerusalem isn’t import or that the Jews and house of Israel won’t be gathered home to their lands of promise.

    In regards to the Chiasmus in 3 Nephi: Chapters 3N 16 and 20 really are the same continuous sermon. If you read the beginning of 3N 17, the Savior postpones the discourse because they weren’t understanding His sermon. He picks it up again in 3N 20:11, “Ye remember that I spake unto you, and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled” He is referring to 3N 16:17, “And then the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled”. The interesting thing is if you look in the 1830 version of the BofM, 3N 16:7 actually did use the word “when” rather than “then”, some well-intentioned Mormon scribe had changed it.

    3N 16:17-20 & 3N 20:11-13 When the words of Isaiah are fulfilled then the Father has fullfilled all His
    covenants to His people
    3N 16:16 & 3N 20:14 Seed of Lehi given this land as an inheritance
    3N 16:15 & 3N 20:15-20 Destruction of Gentiles unless they repent
    3N 16:13-14 & 3N21-24 Christ will establish His people, if Gentiles repent they can be numbers among
    His people
    This continues through 3N 16:4-5 and 3N 20:29-46

    Also, there is another Chiasmus in 3N 20 and 21 (which is why there are repeating themes in all three chapters). This Chiasmus starts in 3N 21:4 (last part of the verse which reads “that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which He hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel” This Chiasmus then runs backwards to 3N 20:11 (we should search the words of Isaiah) and forwards through 3N chapters 21-23 and ends in 3N 23:1-3 (where we are again commanded to search the words of Isaiah, for all things that he spake have been and shall be).

    1. Nathan,

      Thanks for the information on the chiasms. I wasn’t aware of these longer ones (admittedly, I haven’t studied chiasmus in depth). The one in 16 and 20 is especially impressive with Christ stopping halfway through and then picking up the next day to finish it. I will definitely need to spend some more time printing them out and analyzing them.

      You’ve provided a lot of scriptures that I want to address. Before I do that, I think it’s important that we first settle on some common terminology. I fear we may be using the same words to mean different things, and thereby talking past each other.

      When you refer to the Jews being gathered to Jerusalem, what group of people do you have in mind? Are you referring to the people today who don’t believe Jesus is the Christ and have been migrating for the past 70 years to the nation of Israel?

      If that’s who you refer to as the Jews, we are not talking about the same people.

      3 Nephi 20
      29 And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father.
      30 And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fulness of my gospel shall be preached unto them;
      31 And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name.
      32 Then shall their watchmen lift up their voice, and with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye.
      33 Then will the Father gather them together again, and give unto them Jerusalem for the land of their inheritance.

      1 Nephi 10
      5 But because of priestcrafts and iniquities, they at Jerusalem will stiffen their necks against him, that he be crucified.
      6 Wherefore, because of their iniquities, destructions, famines, pestilences, and bloodshed shall come upon them; and they who shall not be destroyed shall be scattered among all nations.
      7 But behold, thus saith the Lord God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.
      8 And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance.

      The Jews that the Lord talks about will not be gathered until AFTER they begin to believe in Christ. We have two witnesses to that in the scriptures, both testifying that the Jews will be gathered after they begin to believe in Christ. Whoever the current inhabitants of today’s Jerusalem are, they have not had the fullness of the gospel taught to them, they do not believe in Christ, and they do not pray to the Father in his name. The people that our society calls “Jews” do not meet the criteria for the Jews the Lord has promised to gather.

      Do you agree on that?

      1. History of the Church 4:231 [October 1840]
        “We had a letter from Elder Hyde, a few days ago, who is in New Jersey, and is expecting to leave for England as soon as Elder Page reaches him. He requested to know if converted Jews are to go to Jerusalem or to come to Zion. I therefore wish you to inform him that converted Jews must come here.”

  3. Jews – the descendants of those who belonged to the Kingdom of Judah, which will entail more than the tribe of Judah (the Lord even refers to the American Indians or Lamanite descendants as Jews in the D&C).

    Once again, I’m not disagreeing that the initial gathering will take place on the American continent, and this gathering will include all of the House of Israel, including Jews, to gather. My point is that we can’t just say that all prophecies concerning the Lord fulfilling His covenants and gathering the house of Israel are to take place in America. There are just too many scriptures that say they will be gathered to all their lands of inheritance, and there are too many scriptures that refer to them being gathered to the land of their Fathers, or to Jerusalem which is the promised land to them forever. If we go back to Ether 13 and read it carefully, it uses Joseph of Egypt as a type of the last day. That Joseph’s descendants will come to the land the Jaredites are inhabiting and prepare it for the rest of his father’s house that will be gathered, and it will be the place of the new Jerusalem. In V5 it tells us that the Jerusalem, from which Lehi came… should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord… and it should be built unto the house of Israel. This is reinforced in V11, then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof.. for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, back to V5, “it could not be a new Jerusalem, for it had been in a time of old”. If you read it carefully, Ether prophesies that Zion or the new Jerusalem, a holy city, will be built on the American continent, and afterwards (I don’t know how much longer afterwards) the Lord redeems Jerusalem, just as prophesied by Isaiah, and it also becomes a holy city unto the House of Israel.

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