A large portion of the revelations received by the prophet Joseph Smith talked about the importance and urgency of the gathering and the law of consecration.
Six years after the re-establishment of the Church, the Saints had failed in several attempts to live consecration and redeem Zion.
The Lord had revealed the Sept 11, 1836 was the appointed time to redeem Zion in Jackson County if the Saints were faithful. Shortly after the dedication of the Kirtland Temple apostasy broke out among the Saints in Kirtland Ohio which caused many of the members and their leaders to leave the church.
Shortly after that time, most of the loyal members of the Church began to scatter and flee from Kirtland just as the Saints in Jackson County had previously been scattered after they failed to live consecration.
When the church was first re-established in 1830 it was called the Church of Christ. (See D&C 20) In April of 1838, after many of the Saints began gathering to Far West, section 115 was given which revealed that the name of the Church had now been changed. Some of the Saints left the church because of the name change. They could not accept that God would rename the church six years after re-establishing it.
At that time the Lord informed the Saints that those who were "faithful" members living in Zion (Far West, which was another place that had been designated as being part of the land of Zion and was a place of gathering to live the law of consecration) would now be called the "Church in Zion".
Furthermore, the Lord designated that all of the elders and members of the church that were not gathered to a designated place of gathering where the law of consecration and the principles of Zion would be lived, would now be called the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints".
In other words, the name "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" has specific reference to members of the Church in the LAST DAYS that are not living the law of consecration and are therefore in a SCATTERED CONDITION:
"And also unto my faithful servants who are of the high council of my church in Zion, for thus it shall be called, and unto all the elders and people of my Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, scattered abroad in all the world; thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."
Unfortunately, even those who were gathered at Far West, attempting to live the law of consecration, eventually had to flee from there just like they had to flee from Jackson and Kirtland.
After the Saints gathered to Nauvoo, the High Council approached the Prophet Joseph Smith and told him they were ready to attempt living the law of consecration again, but he informed them the time was not right. (See HC vol 4:93)
The Prophet Joseph Smith possibly responded the way he did because the Lord had previously told the Saints that because of their transgressions they must wait a little season for the redemption of the land of Zion in Jackson County;
"Therefore, in consequence of the transgressions of my people, it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion— That they themselves may be prepared, and that my people may be taught more perfectly, and have experience, and know more perfectly concerning their duty, and the things which I require at their hands. And this cannot be brought to pass until mine elders are endowed with power from on high. For behold, I have prepared a great endowment and blessing to be poured out upon them, inasmuch as they are faithful and continue in humility before me. Therefore it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion"
Now that the window of opportunity to live consecration in the 2nd watch had passed, the efforts of the Saints turned towards ushering in the 3rd watch containing the dispensation of the fulness of times by completing the Nauvoo Temple.
The Prophet Joseph Smith informed the Saints that the salvation of the Church was now predicated on completing the Nauvoo Temple:
"The first great object before us, and the Saints generally, is to [complete] the Temple… to secure the salvation of the Church...
Elder Rigdon when addressing the brethren upon the importance of building this house, spake to this effect, that we should use every effort to accomplish this building by the time appointed, and if we did, the Lord would accept it at our hands, and on it depends the salvation of the church and also of the world." (HC 4:449)When the Saints failed to complete the Temple in Nauvoo and to provide an acceptable offering containing the records of their dead in said Temple (D&C 128:24) and the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum were murdered, the Saints had to flee from Nauvoo to Utah. This left them as an unconsecrated people. This left them in a scattered condition in a Gentile Nation.
From that time on, the Church in these last days as been called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints according to the prophecy and commandment given in section 115, because it has been in a scattered condition ever since the Saints fled Nauvoo to go to Utah.
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints represent the scattered remnants of Gods people among the gentiles.
So why is it important to understand that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a remnant of Gods people who are in a scattered condition among the gentiles?
BECAUSE..... In a question and answer period, Elias Higbee asked the Prophet to expound upon what Isaiah 52:1-2 was taking about. The Prophets reply shed light on the future of the Latter Day Saints as those who have been called in the LAST DAYS who have been given the "power of the priesthood" to "bring again Zion".
The promise is that a remnant of the Latter Day Saints shall return from a scattered state to a gathered state and to put on the authority of the priesthood which they had lost:
Questions by Elias Higbee:
What is meant by the command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength, O Zion and what people had Isaiah reference to? "return He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost.
The promise in Isaiah 52 that a remnant of the Latter-day Saints will return from a scattered condition to a gathered condition and put on the authority of the priesthood AGAIN and RETURN to the Lord is one of the most powerful testimonies that the marvelous work is a future event that takes place after the restoration of the church in 1830.