Mandate of the Early LDS Church: Recover the Remnant

From Ronald W. Walker’s discourse, “Seeking the Remnant.” (View PDF here)

“Orson and Parley P. Pratt, early pamphleteers and apostles, continued the theme. The former held that the “western world, including both North and South America,” would ultimately pass to the righteous…”remnant,” while his brother argued for a literal reading of the Book of Mormon text. The prophecies contained therein, he held, were “plain, simple, definite, literal, positive and very express” and Jesus’ prophetic words of American upheaval must be fulfilled to the letter. “This destruction” I included “an utter overthrow, and desolation of all our Cities, Forts, and Strong holds, an entire annihilation of our race, except such as embrace the Covenant and are numbered with Israel.”

“With these and similar expressions serving as their guide and the Book of Mormon as their handbook, early Church members had no confusion about their imperative. They understood the need of taking the Restoration message to the Native American people, who in turn would play their pivotal role by purifying the land prior to helping to build the New Jerusalem. What was at issue was a major biblical prophetic watershed: turning from the “times of the gentiles” to the new and final era of the chosen people of Jacob.” (Luke 21:24; D&C 45:25-30).

April 6, 1845 Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles

In 1841 the Lord called upon Joseph Smith and the leaders of the church to give a Proclamation unto all the world, to be given by the power of the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Prophecy. (The Lord commanding them to give this proclamation is found in Doctrine and Covenants Section 124 verses 1 through 11, athough the Proclamation was not released to the world until 1845.)

Excerpts from the April 6th, 1845 Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles:

“…. While these great events are rolling on the wheels of time, and being fulfilled in the old world, the Western Continent will present a scene of grandeur, greatness, and glory, far surpassing the scene just described.

“The Lord will make her that halted a remnant; and gather her that was driven out and afflicted; and make her who was cast afar off, a strong nation; and will reign over them in Mount Zion from that time forth and forever.

“Or, in other words, He will assemble the Natives—the remnants of Joseph in America—and make of them a great, and strong, and powerful nation: and he will civilize and enlighten them and will establish a holy city, and temple, and seat of government among them, which shall be called Zion.

“And there shall be his tabernacle, his sanctuary, his throne, and seat of government for the whole continent of North and South America forever.

“In short, it will be to the western hemisphere what Jerusalem will be to the eastern.

“And there the Messiah will visit them in person; and the old Saints, who will then have been raised from the dead, will be with him. And he will establish his kingdom and laws over all the land.”

To this city, and to its several branches or stakes, shall the Gentiles seek, as to a standard of light and knowledge. Yea, the nations, and their kings and nobles, shall say, Come and let us go up to the Mount Zion, and to the temple of the Lord; where his holy priesthood stand to minister continually before the Lord; and where we may be instructed more fully, and receive the ordinances of remission, and of sanctification, and redemption; and thus be adopted into the family of Israel, and identified in the same covenants of promise.

“The despised and degraded son of the forest (children of Lehi), who has wandered in dejection and sorrow, and suffered reproach, shall then drop his disguise, and stand forth in manly dignity, and exclaim to the Gentiles who have envied and sold him: “I am Joseph: does my father yet live?” Or, in other words: I am a descendant of that Joseph who was sold into Egypt. You have hated me, and sold me, and thought I was dead.  But lo!  I live, and am heir to the inheritance, titles, honors, priesthood, sceptre, crown, throne, and eternal life and dignity of my fathers who live forevermore.

“He shall then be ordained, washed, anointed with holy oil and arrayed in fine linen, even in the glorious and beautiful garments and royal robes of the high priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God; and shall enter into the congregation of the Lord, even into the Holy of Holies, there to be crowned with authority and power which shall never end.

“The Spirit of the Lord shall then descend upon him, like the dew upon the mountains of Hermon, and like refreshing showers of rain upon the flowers of Paradise.

“His heart shall expand with knowledge, wide as eternity; and his mind shall comprehend the vast creations of his God, and His eternal purpose of redemption, glory, and exaltation, which was devised in heaven before the worlds were organized; but made manifest in these last days, for the fulness of the Gentiles, and for the exaltation of Israel.

“He shall also behold his Redeemer and be filled with his presence, while the cloud of his glory shall be seen in his temple.

“The city of Zion, with its sanctuary and priesthood, and the glorious fulness of the gospel, will constitute a standard which will put an end to jarring creeds and political wranglings, by uniting the republics, states, provinces, territories, nations, tribes, kindred, tongues, people, and sects of North and South America in one great and common bond of brotherhood.

“While truth and knowledge shall make them free, and love cement their union. The Lord also shall be their king and their lawgiver; while wars shall cease and peace prevail for a thousand years.

“Thus shall American rulers, statesmen, citizens, and savages know, “this once,” that there is a God in Israel, who can utter his voice, and it shall be fulfilled.

“Americans! This mighty and strange work has been commenced in your midst, and must roll on in fulfilment.

“You are now invited, and earnestly intreated, to investigate it thoroughly, and to aid and participate in its accomplishment. “

—1845 Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles