As the mandate to latter-day saints is to gather Israel, what do the scriptures say about how that will be accomplished? When Jesus says of the time preceding his second coming that “he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:31), under what conditions will those things occur? Because the key words “send,” “angels,” “trumpet,” “gather,” “elect,” and “four winds” (or directions) also appear in the words of Isaiah, let us search them for answers.
From Isaiah’s prophecy alone we learn that persons whom the Lord “sends” are in the nature of saviors and priest-emissaries whom he appoints to minister to his people: “When they cry out to Jehovah because of the oppressors, he will send them a savior, who will take up their cause and deliver them” (Isaiah 19:20); “I will set a mark upon them, sending those of them who survive to the nations. . . . And they shall declare my glory among the nations and shall bring back all your brethren from throughout the nations to Jerusalem my holy mountain,” (Isaiah 66:19, 21).
In the category of “angels” we observe divine intervention in the affairs of God’s people, either to destroy the wicked or deliver the righteous: “Then the angel of Jehovah went out and slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp” (Isaiah 37:36); “With all their troubles he troubled himself, the angel of his presence delivering them” (Isaiah 63:9). Considering that Jesus’ three Nephite disciples, who were translated and caught up into heaven, became “as the angels of God” (3 Nephi 28:13, 30), Isaiah’s spiritual category of endtime seraphs applies here.
Isaiah’s “trumpet” denotes the mission of God’s endtime servant, his ensign and trumpet, who “gathers” Israel from “the four directions” in a time of worldwide destruction: “All you who live in the world, you inhabitants of the earth, look to the ensign when it is lifted up in the mountains; heed the trumpet when it is sounded!” (Isaiah 18:3); “In that day a loud trumpet shall sound, and they who were lost in the land of Assyria and they who were outcasts in the land of Egypt shall come and bow down to Jehovah in the holy mountain at Jerusalem” (Isaiah 27:12–13);
“He will raise the ensign to the nations and assemble the exiled of Israel; he will gather the scattered of Judah from the four directions of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12); “I will bring your offspring from the east and gather you from the west; I will say to the north, Give up! to the south, Withhold not! Bring my sons from afar, my daughters from the end of the earth” (Isaiah 43:5–6); “The righteous disappear, and no man gives it a thought; the godly are gathered out, but no one perceives that from impending calamity the righteous are withdrawn” (Isaiah 57:1).
God’s “elect” or “chosen” are those whom his endtime seraph-servants bring in a new exodus and new wandering in the wilderness to new Promised Lands: “I am making roads through the desert, streams in the wasteland. The wild beasts do me honor, the jackals and birds of prey, for bringing water to the wilderness, streams to the dry land, that I may give drink to my chosen people” (Isaiah 43:19–20); “I will extract offspring out of Jacob, and out of Judah heirs of my mountains; my chosen ones shall inherit them, my servants shall dwell there” (Isaiah 65:9).