History of LDS - Jewish Connections
Jewish StateThe creation by modern Zionism (secular Jewish nationalism) of a Jewish community and then a state in Palestine tested LDS doctrine's equating the Jews' "return" with Israel's "gathering" (i.e., conversion, but in different locations).
While Rabbi Abraham Kook's disciples viewed Zionism's success from Jewish eschatalogical perspectives, some Latter-day Saints began regarding it from LDS perspectives: a secular preparatory stage for the messianic era.
A latter-day apostle, LeGrand Richards, and some others in effect identified Zionism and the State of Israel as the expected "return," the physical prelude to the spiritual "gathering."
Others, such as Elder Bruce R. McConkie, wrote that the Zionist ingathering was not that "of which the scriptures speaků. It does not fulfill the ancient promises." He saw it as a "gathering of the unconverted" but "nonetheless part of the divine plan" (Millennial Messiah, Salt Lake City, 1982, p. 229).