Before sunrise on Sunday, Oct. 24, 1841, Elder Orson Hyde of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles exited the city walls of Jerusalem, crossed the brook Cedron and climbed the Mount of Olives.
With pen and paper, and in solemn silence, he offered a prayer dedicating the Holy Land “for the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants” and as a land of promise for all the scattered children of Abraham.
“Now, O Lord! Thy servant has been obedient to the heavenly vision which Thou gavest him in his native land,” Elder Hyde prayed, “and under the shadow of Thine outstretched arm, he has safely arrived in this place to dedicate and consecrate this land unto Thee, for the gathering together of Judah’s scattered remnants, according to the predictions of the holy prophets. …
“Let that nation or that people who shall take an active part in behalf of Abraham’s children, and in the raising up of Jerusalem, find favor in Thy sight.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said Elder Hyde’s dedicatory prayer — offered 180 years ago — demonstrates the importance of the gathering of Israel to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since its organization.
“There’s nothing that President Russell M. Nelson has stressed more than the gathering of Israel on both sides of the veil,” Elder Cook said. “Elder Hyde’s prayer demonstrates that from the earliest days of the Church and under the guidance of the Prophet Joseph, the focus has been on gathering scattered Israel.”
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