An Old Testament story tells of a moment when the Lord opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant so that he could see things he had not previously seen. In a moment of crisis, when hostile enemies surrounded them, the young man beheld that the Lord was protecting them as “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”
This story teaches that sometimes we need help to see things we might not otherwise see. Such may be the case with the pandemic. There has been so much pain and so much suffering that it is difficult to see much else. But if we open our spiritual eyes we see much more.
We see that the Lord was ahead of the pandemic with inspired adjustments like home-centered gospel learning, creation of an integrated study curriculum, and implementation of the Children and Youth program. With spiritual eyes, we see that the Lord has taught us new ways to do missionary work and minister to each other.
If we look carefully, we see that this is a unique moment in history and an opportunity to answer President Nelson’s prophetic call to gather scattered Israel.
Gathering Israel where all feel loved and build faith in Jesus Christ
President Nelson has taught that “The gathering of Israel is the most important thing taking place on the earth today. Nothing else compares in magnitude,” he said, “nothing else compares in importance, nothing else compares in majesty.”
We seek to gather God’s children so He can bless them. We want to do so in a way where everyone feels welcome, valued, and loved. So many of our friends, both inside and outside of the Church, need help. Some have lost loved ones; others have lost employment. Some have been displaced, while others have been disconnected from friends and their faith. All need the blessings that come from strengthening their faith in Jesus Christ.
President Nelson taught: “Each of God’s children deserves the opportunity to hear and accept the healing, redeeming message of Jesus Christ. No other message is more vital to our happiness—now and forever. No other message is more filled with hope.”
“Each of God’s children deserves the opportunity to hear and accept the healing, redeeming message of Jesus Christ. No other message is more vital to our happiness—now and forever. No other message is more filled with hope.”President Russell M. Nelson
How do we do it?
You might ask “how can we best do this?” The answer to that question will come as every Council, every presidency, every quorum, every class, every member, and every missionary prayerfully considers what they can do to gather Israel.
Many years ago, I travelled with a small group to the Kennedy Space Center in the United States. There, scientists and engineers from many countries were preparing to launch components of the International Space Station. I remember walking under the belly of space shuttles that stood idle, looking carefully at the unique tiles designed to manage the intense heat of reentry into the earth’s atmosphere.
And I remember visiting large hangars where teams of people from sponsoring countries prepared individual parts of the space station for use. As we entered each workspace, every team explained why their part of the mission was the most important. They understood that without their contribution, the project would fail. And, for them, failure was not an option.
It is the very same for us. Each of us can play an important role as the Lord hastens His work.
Go and build your ship
The prophet Nephi once sought guidance from the Lord regarding his ministry. He was told to build a ship so that the Lord could carry his family across the great waters to the promised land. Nephi did not know how to build a ship, but that did not stop him. His brothers called him a fool, but Nephi exercised great faith saying, “If God had commanded me to do all things, I could do them.”
So, Nephi “did go into the mount oft, and [he] did pray oft.” “And the Lord did show [him] from time to time after what manner [he] should work the timbers of the ship.” And Nephi “did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men… but [he] did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto [him].”
The result was a ship uniquely designed to fit the situation. It may not have been constructed like other ships, but it was successful, carrying Nephi and his family to the promised land.
Brothers and Sisters, as you prayerfully seek the Lord’s guidance, He will provide the direction you need. While you may encounter skeptics, and your solution may be different from those of others, He will help you build the solution you need. At this unique moment in time, I invite you to do your part to help gather scattered Israel safely to the promised land so they can be loved and build their faith in Jesus Christ.
 2 Kings 6:16-17
 President Russell M. Nelson, Hope of Israel, June 3, 2018
 President Russell M. Nelson, Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains, April 2021 General Conference
 See I Corinthians 12:20-26
 See 1 Nephi 17:50
 See 1 Nephi 18:3
 See 1 Nephi 18:1
 See 1 Nephi 18:2