Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in Joseph Smith’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that the gospel would be brought “first unto the Gentiles, and secondly unto the Jews” [Doctrine and Covenants 107:33]. The Book of Mormon prophesied that the gentiles would restore the gospel to the earth and “be numbered among my people” if they would repent and be baptized [3 Nephi 21:5-6]. In 1836, Joseph Smith indicated that members of the church were “identified with the Gentiles” in fulfillment of these prophecies [D&C 109]. The term could also refer to those who were not members of the church.
Retrieved with permission from The Joseph Smith Papers.