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We know that before the Second Coming, the lost tribes will be gathered, and the Jews will accept Jesus as the Christ, return to the land of their inheritance, and rebuild the temple of Jerusalem. This is a critical part of the gathering of Israel.

However, it seems relatively few Jews join the Church, and the Church does not emphasize preaching to them. Additionally, the Jews have already returned to Israel, but without accepting Christ. How will the prophecies be fulfilled?






Thank you for this question. Let’s take it apart and talk about each aspect. Let’s begin with the “lost tribes.” Back in ancient times, after the reigns of Kings David and Solomon, a dispute arose among the tribes of Israel, and they split into two kingdoms—Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The southern kingdom of Judah included Jerusalem, and its main inhabitants were the tribe of Judah, the tribe of Benjamin (the smallest of the tribes), and the tribe of Levi. Levites never did receive a land inheritance because they were supposed to officiate over religious needs. Thus, they were spread out everywhere but concentrated near the temple. The northern kingdom was mostly made up of the remaining tribes, notably for us, the descendants of Joseph through Ephraim and Manasseh.

In 721 B.C., Assyria swept in and brutally attacked the northern kingdom, slaying many and carrying many away into Assyria. Then, Assyria planted people loyal to them in place of the departing Israelites. The Samaritans were descendants of these transplants blended with the remaining Israelites. On the way to Assyria, some Israelites repented and called upon God, who led them to a secret place and kept them hidden as a unique people. This account is found in the Apocrypha, in the Book of Esdras:

But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, that they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river. For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood till they were passed over. For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half, and the same region is called Arsareth. Then dwelt they there until the latter time” (2 Esdras 13:41–46).

The descendants of those Israeli tribes who continued the migration into Assyria are now found all over the world. They are being spiritually gathered by the missionary work of the Church. The group that was led away and still hidden will miraculously return as a group with their records to add to what we already have. These are those whom Christ visited after He sojourned with the Book of Mormon people. (See D&C 110:11; D&C 133: 26-34; 1 Nephi 21:12; Jeremiah 3:18; Jer. 16: 14-16.)

Now, let’s look at the ancient kingdom of Judah, also known as Judea. Judea’s residents became known as “Jews” no matter which tribe they were from. They increased in wickedness until they were conquered by the Babylonians around 600 B.C., then later conquered by Alexander the Great around 330 B.C., then by his eastern generals around 170 B.C., and then by the Romans, who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D., destroying the temple, and finally fully dispersing the Jews around 150 A.D.

You are correct that the Church does not actively proselyte among the Jews at this time, but many are still finding Christ. Among American Jews, only about 16% attend synagogue regularly. Many are loyal to their Jewish identity, history, and traditions but are not actively religious. Many are in mixed marriages. Many have become “messianic Jews,” having accepted Jesus as their Messiah. This holds true in the U.S. and also in other countries where they are found. In fulfillment of prophecy, they are physically gathering to the Holy Land and have established a thriving (albeit beset) state. In the Book of Mormon we read:

7 And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people. 2 Nephi 30:7

It is Christ Himself when He rescues them from destruction during the Battle of Armageddon, who will convert them. There will be a space of time between this appearance and the Second Coming, during which the Jews can both testify and seek to follow Christ. No one knows when the temple will be built in Jerusalem.






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