General LDS Information
Basic LDS Beliefs
LDS Videos
Critics' Questions
Submitted Questions
Scriptures/LDS Literature
LDS Temples
Music and Arts
LDS Online Stores
Priesthood, Humor, Miscel.
Site Map

Suggest a Site

Bookmark and Share



JANN - Was talking to someone about the returning of the saints to mo before the return of the lord? Who is it attributed to or is it just a urban legend.

JOEL - One of the oldest doctrines of the Church is that of the gathering of the saints into places where they could worship together and perform temple ordinances.

"And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;" (D&C 29: 7)

Through out the early history of the church there were several gathering places; New York, Kirtland, Jackson county, Far West, Nauvoo, Salt Lake City and in our day the stakes throughout entire world.

The activities to be conducted in Missouri at the New Jerusalem, are not just an urban legend:

"And it shall come to pass that I will establish my people, O house of Israel. 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 [Jesus Christ] will be in the midst of you." (3 Nephi 20: 21-22)

Ether, the last prophet of the Jaredite civilization, prophesied that "a new Jerusalem should be built upon this land [America], unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph." (Ether 13:6.)

The prophet further proclaimed:
"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. 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." (Ether 13:9-10 .)

The Lord revealed the exact location of this future city in an 1831 revelation. It was to be in the "land of Missouri," which the Lord "appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints" and which "is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion." The Lord then identified the city of Independence as the "center place."

"And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God; And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion. And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward, "(See D&C 57:1-5.)

Even though over the years there has been an accumulation of most of the members in Utah, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught that “the center place where the City New Jerusalem is to be built, is in Jackson County, Missouri. It was never the intention to substitute Utah or any other place for Jackson County.” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3:72.)

Because of persecution this great city and temple could not be built during the early years of the Church, but the prophecy will eventually be fulfilled before the second coming when the saints are ready.

Elder Orson Pratt spoke of the need for the Saints to be sanctified in order to redeem Zion:
"When we go back to Jackson County, we are to go back with power. Do you suppose that God will reveal his power among an unsanctified people, who have no regard nor respect for his laws and institutions but who are filled with covetousness? No. When God shows forth his power among the Latter-day Saints, it will be because there is a union of feeling in regard to doctrine, and in regard to everything that God has placed in their hands; and not only a union, but a sanctification on their part, that there shall not be a spot or wrinkle as it were, but everything shall be as fair as the sun that shines in the heavens." (JD, 15:361.)

Not all church members will make the trek to Missouri. Can you imagine 14 million people converging to one small area? The D&C 57:1-5 scripture quoted above said the the New Jerusalem would be a "center place" from which the lord's kingdom will be governed. Various church leaders have declared that some but not all saints will return there to build the city of Zion and the temple.

In 1877 President Young proclaimed:
"Are we going back to Jackson County? Yes. When? As soon as the way opens up. Are we all going? O no! of course not. The country is not large enough to hold our present numbers. When we do return there, will there be any less remaining in these mountains than we number today? No, there may be a hundred then for every single one that there is now. It is folly in men to suppose that we are going to break up these our hard earned homes to make others in a new country. We intend to hold our own here, and also penetrate the north and the south, the east and the west, there to make others and to raise the ensign of truth." (JD, 18:355-56.)

He also said:

“Remarks have been made as to our staying here (Salt Lake). I will tell you how long we shall stay here. If we live our religion, we shall stay here in these mountains forever and forever, worlds without end, and a portion of the Priesthood will go and redeem and build up the centre Stake of Zion.” (In Journal of Discourses, 6:16–17.)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie commented in 1982:
"There is no present call for the saints to purchase land or to live in Jackson Couny or in any place connected therewith. The revealed word relative to the gathering to Independence and its environs will come through the prophet of God on earth. When it does come . . . that call will not be for the saints in general to assemble there. The return to Jackson County will be by delegates, as it were. Those whose services are needed there will assemble as appointed. The rest of Israel will remain in their appointed places." (Millennial Messiah, 294.)

President Spencer W. Kimball said in October Conference, 1978:
“We are building up the strength of Zion—her cords or stakes—throughout the world. Therefore, we counsel our people to remain in their native lands and gather out the elect of God and teach them the ways of the Lord. There temples are being built and the saints will be blessed wherever they live in all the world.” (Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 76.)

At a general conference, President Harold B. Lee said:
“The place of gathering for the Mexican Saints is in Mexico; … and so it goes throughout the length and breadth of the whole earth. Japan is for the Japanese; Korea is for the Koreans; Australia is for the Australians; every nation is the gathering place for its own people.” (Ensign, July 1973, p. 5.)

The only part of this prophecy that might be considered "urban legend" is that all LDS Church members would return to Missouri; something that mostly the early saints of the church assumed.

Return to top
Return to Questions