Tem­po­ral side of build­ing ZionBy

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - Jesse Fish­erRe­view­ing

quotes by LDS Church lead­ers dur­ing the Utah Ter­ri­to­rial years, one finds that “Zion” meant much more to them than just a spir­i­tual ideal, it had a strong tem­po­ral el­e­ment.

For ex­am­ple, in 1861 Apos­tle Daniel H. Wells 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 king- dom of God in the last days.”

The fol­low­ing year, Pres­i­dent Brigham Young said, “The work of build­ing up Zion is in every sense a prac­ti­cal work; it is not a mere the­ory. A the­o­ret­i­cal re­li­gion amounts to very lit­tle real good or ad­van­tage to any per­son. To pos­sess an in­heri- tance in Zion or in Jerusalem only in the­ory — only in imag­i­na­tion — would be the same as hav­ing no in­her­i­tance at all.”

Five years later, Apos­tle Wil­ford Woodruff add- ed, “We have to build up Zion, a tem­po­ral work here upon the face of the earth, and we have got to es­tab­lish right­eous­ness and truth. When I say a tem­po­ral work, I speak of tem­po­ral things. The Zion of our God can­not be built up in the hearts of men alone. We have to build up tem­ples and cit- ies... and to do this we must be united to­gether.”

“Strangers may think this a very strange sub­ject to present in a re­li­gious meet­ing, but we are build- ing up the lit­eral king­dom of God on the earth, and we have tem­po­ral du­ties to per­form. We in­habit tem­po­ral bod­ies, we eat tem­po­ral food, we build tem­po­ral houses, we raise tem­po­ral cat­tle and tem- po­ral wheat .... In build­ing up the Zion and king- dom of God in these lat­ter days, our agri­cul­tural and man­u­fac­tur­ing in­ter­ests are of the most vi­tal im­por­tance ....” - Wil­ford Woodruff, 1872.

“We have it to do, we can’t build up Zion sit­ting on a hem­lock slab singing our­selves away to ever- last­ing bliss; we have to cul­ti­vate the earth, to take the rocks and el­e­ments out of the moun­tains and rear Tem­ples to the Most High God; and this tem- po­ral work is de­manded at our hands by the God of heaven.... This is the great dis­pen­sa­tion in which the Zion of God must be built up, and we as Lat- ter- day Saints have it to build.” - Wil­ford Wood- ruff, 1873.

The early Utah LDS were ac­tively en­gaged in build­ing a real live tem­po­ral Zion and not just a spir­i­tual one.

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