I appreciate your answers to questions so much. To have so many questions answered for people I think is a valuable tool in allowing those of us who have questions to give us a nonjudgmental forum to do so, without feeling we are “weak”!
My question is this: I have read so many different books and also scriptures in an attempt to understand the Ten Tribes’ return. I feel from my reading that they will return all at once, “from the North,” at some point either right before or after the Coming of Christ. In your opinion, do you think 1) they will come back all as one body of people; and 2) do you feel they will return before or after the Coming of Christ? Thank you.
We know that although the ten tribes migrated toward the north, it is probable that not all of them continued with the main body, and some may be scattered among the nations. However, we do know that the main group were together as a body at the time of the resurrection of the Savior. We read in 3 Nephi 17:4 the words of the Savior in reference to the ten tribes:
But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for he knoweth whither he hath taken them.
We read in 2 Nephi 29:13 that the records of the lost tribes of Israel will be brought to light. It seems logical that if they are to bring their records with them they must have existed as a coherent society, and will undoubtedly return as such. In the 10th Article of Faith it is stated that “we believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes.” Here, scattered Israel is “literally gathered,” a process that is going on today as those of the blood of Israel living in all the nations are receptive to the spirit of the gospel and are gathered to Zion. However, the Ten Tribes are not gathered, but are “restored.” The dictionary definitions of the word, restore, are 1: To give back or return, 2: to put or bring back into existence or use, 3: to bring back or to put back into a former or original state. Thus, if we accept the 10th Article of Faith we would accept the fact they will return as a group and be recognized as such.
The Savior will make at least four major appearances at the ushering in of the millennial reign. He will appear with Adam at the great convocation at Adam Ondi Ahman–
On May 19, 1838, Joseph Smith and a number of his associates stood on the remainder of the pile of stones at a place called Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri. There the Prophet taught them that Adam again would visit in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, holding a great council as a prelude to the great and dreadful day of the Lord. At this council, all who have held keys of authority will give an accounting of their stewardship to Adam. Christ will then come, receive back the keys, and thus take one of the final steps preparatory to reigning personally upon the earth (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 21).
He will appear at the temple to be built in the New Jerusalem–
Elder Charles W. Penrose explained that at the Second Coming, the Savior will first appear at the New Jerusalem. ‘He will come to the temple prepared for him, and his faithful people will behold his face, hear his voice, and gaze upon his glory. From his own lips, they will receive further instructions for the development and beautifying of Zion’ (Regional Studies, Missouri, Cowan-Great Temple, p.144).
He will stand on the Mount of Olives, as prophesied by Zechariah–
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south (Zechariah 14:4).
And finally, He will come in the clouds of heaven in power and great glory–
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 45:44).
In the sequence of events recorded in 3 Nephi 21, we read in verses 24 and 25 that when scattered Israel is gathered into the New Jerusalem the Savior will come down among them and will be in their midst. And in verse 26 we read that
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..
So apparently the lost ten tribes will return in the time of the coming of the Lord–perhaps after His first appearance, but certainly before His great ushering in of the millennium as He will come for all the world to see in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory.