Thoughts on Zion

What it Takes to Build Zion

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By Jesse Fisher

While re­view­ing talks given by LDS church lead­ers dur­ing the 1850s and 1860s, I found 26 state­ments that fell into the cat­e­gory of “What it Takes to Build Zion”. In pon­der­ing these, I re­al­ized that they fell into two sub­cat­e­gories: Spir­i­tual and Tem­po­ral Re­quire­ments.

In 1855, Pres­i­dent Brigham Young, in­di­cated that build­ing Zion is as much a tem­po­ral la­bor as it is a spir­i­tual one. He said, “You know the old the­ory is that the king­dom of God, and all per­tain­ing to it, is spir­i­tual and not tem­po­ral; that is the tra­di­tional no­tion of our brother Chris­tians. But a per­son may merely think un­til he goes down to the grave, and he will never be the means of sav­ing one soul, not even his own, un­less he adds phys­i­cal la­bor to his think­ing. He must think, and pray, and preach, and toil and la­bor with mind and body, in or­der to build up Zion in the last days.”

Apos­tle Daniel H. Wells re­in­forced this idea in 1861 when he stated, “To build up Zion is a tem­po­ral la­bor; it does not con­sist sim­ply in teach­ing: teach­ing is to in­struct us how to prop­erly ap­ply our la­bor…. Bone and sinew is re­quired to build up the king­dom of God in the last days.”

This dual ap­proach to build­ing Zion was best ex­pressed by then Apos­tle Wilford Woodruff. In 1867 he stated, “We are one of heart and mind, as it re­gards faith, re­pen­tance, bap­tism, or the first prin­ci­ples of the gospel of Je­sus Christ; but the same unity must ex­ist in our midst in all our tem­po­ral labors—in build­ing tem­ples, taber­na­cles, cities, towns, vil­lages, canals, cul­ti­vat­ing the earth, or any other la­bor…. No people, un­less they are united to­gether, can ever build up Zion and es­tab­lish the King­dom of God on the earth.”

I be­lieve El­der Woodruff was say­ing, “Not only must we be united on spir­i­tual mat­ters, but we must also unite in ‘all’ our tem­po­ral labors.” We will see in fu­ture ar­ti­cles how very much united the early Utah Saints were when it came to their “tem­po­ral labors”. In to­day’s hy­per-com­pet­i­tive econ­omy, we Saints are about as dis­united tem­po­rally as we can pos­si­bly be -- truly “ev­ery man walketh in his own way” (D&C 1:16). We are not united “in all our tem­po­ral labors”. But we could be. Dis­cuss this at Build­ © 2014 by Jesse Fisher

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