David W. Patten, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (1835-1838)

[By Harold B. Lee] If we thought deeply about the events of the centennial year [1947], perhaps we were stirred by the realization that we were but commemorating, the operation of a principle that is as old as the human family, a principle which has been invoked by the command of the Lord in every gospel dispensation. I refer to the principle of gathering.

The first reference we have, in the revelations, to gatherings of the Lord's faithful people was that spoken of when Adam gathered together his seven righteous sons, from Seth to Methuselah and all of their posterity, in the valley of Adam-ondi-ahman, and there he gave them his last blessing and prepared them for the appearance of the Lord which they received at that time (D&C 107:53-56).

I have thought it more than mere coincidence that one of the first martyrs in this dispensation, David W. Patten, a member of the Twelve Apostles, lost his life near the valley of Adam-ondi-ahman, that same valley in which Adam had gathered his posterity, which the Lord had revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith was near Wight's Ferry, at a place called Spring Hill, Dayless County, Missouri. To me it has also been significant that this martyrdom resulted directly from the obedience of the Latter-day Saints to the commands that had been given to them to gather in certain places as members of the newly restored Church.

It was the lament of the Master, just before his crucifixion:

O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matt. 23:37).
The Spirit of Gathering, Elder Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, April 1948, pp. 52-58