Mar 1, 2015

The Gathering of the House of Israel (FHE)

Our Family Home Evening lesson from last Monday was over chapter 42 of the Gospel Principles manual: Gathering of the House of Israel.

Song:  We sang song #1128 from the Primary Children's Songbook, The Tenth Article of Faith.  It goes as follows:
We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes;
that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent;
that Christ will reign personally upon the earth;
and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

Lesson:  The House of Israel are God's covenant people.  Jacob was a great prophet who lived hundreds of years before the time of Christ. Because Jacob was faithful, the Lord gave him the special name of Israel, which means “one who prevails with God” or “let God prevail” (Bible Dictionary, “Israel,” 708). Jacob had twelve sons. These sons and their families became known as the twelve tribes of Israel, or Israelites (see Genesis 49:28).  Jacob was a grandson of Abraham. The Lord made an everlasting covenant with Abraham that was renewed with Isaac and with Jacob and his children (see post about Abrahamic Covenant). God promised that the Israelites would be His covenant people as long as they would obey His commandments (see Deuteronomy 28:9–10). They would be a blessing to all the nations of the world by taking the gospel and the priesthood to them (see Abraham 2:9–11). Thus, they would keep their covenant with the Lord and He would keep His covenant with them.  Since the house of Israel became wicked, they were scattered, “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other” (Deuteronomy 28:64).

The tribes were scattered
 The Lord promised that His covenant people would someday be gathered: “I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them” (Jeremiah 23:3).  God gathers His children through missionary work. As people come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ, receiving the ordinances of salvation and keeping the associated covenants, they become “the children of the covenant” (3 Nephi 20:26). He has important reasons for gathering His children. He gathers them so they can learn the teachings of the gospel and prepare themselves to meet the Savior when He comes again. He gathers them so they will build temples and perform sacred ordinances for ancestors who have died without having this opportunity. He gathers them so they can strengthen one another and be unified in the gospel, finding protection from unrighteous influences in the world. He also gathers them so they can prepare themselves to share the gospel with others.

After much diligence, June gathered all the tribes to the temple.

Activity: Since my family is of the tribe of Ephraim, part of our responsibility is to help in the gathering of the tribes of Israel.  I picked out 13 of June's dolls and had each of them represent a tribe.  I kept the three dolls representing the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Judah with her while my brothers "scattered" the remaining 10 dolls around the house.  I then had June place the three remaining dolls by a picture of the temple to symbolize the spiritual gathering of the tribes to the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Then, with the help of the "Spirit" played by each of my brothers, June searched the house for the remaining dolls.  When she found one, she would place it by the temple picture with the others.  When she was stuck, she would ask for help, just as we should ask for help in our missionary and genealogical endeavors.  She had such a great time looking for each of her dolls--so much so that she wanted to play "gather the tribes" multiple times.

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