Zion: One of three grand foun­da­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Jesse Fisher

Tenis­sues ago, this col­umn in­cluded quotes by early LDS apos­tles and prophets show­ing they saw Zion as some­thing other than the Mor­mon Church or the proph­e­sied New Jerusalem. Among the now more than 700 quotes gath­ered from talks given dur­ing Utah’s ter­ri­to­rial years are 11 sug­gest­ing that the same lead­ers saw Zion as one of three sep­a­rate but in­ter­con­nected foun­da­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions of the Lord’s peo­ple: the Church, the King­dom and Zion.

Sav­ing the best for last, let’s re­view four of those state­ments (num­bers and cap­i­tal­iza­tion added for em­pha­sis): Pres­i­dent Brigham Young in 1859 said, “We have the prom­ise, if we seek first the king­dom of God and its right­eous­ness, that all nec­es­sary things will be added to us. We should not be dis­trust­ful, but seek first to know how to please our Fa­ther and God — seek to ... learn how to save and pre­serve our­selves upon the earth, [1] to preach the Gospel, [2] build up the king­dom, and [3] es­tab­lish the Zion of our God.”

Not con­vinced? How about this one? In 1882, Wilford Woodruff, as pres­i­dent of the Quo­rum of the Twelve, taught, “The Lord ... has de­liv­ered the full­ness of the Gospel to Joseph Smith. He was raised up as a Prophet of God, by the power of God, [1] to lay the foun­da­tion of this Church of Je­sus Christ of Lat­ter-day Saints on the earth, AND [2] to lay the foun­da­tion of that king­dom which the Prophet Daniel and the other Prophets spoke of, AND [3] to build up that Zion which Isa­iah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel said should be built up in the lat­ter days.” His use of the term “and” in this quote sug­gests three sep­a­rate en­ti­ties.

Need more? Pres­i­dent John Tay­lor spoke of this on at least two oc­ca­sions. On Oct. 19, 1884, he taught, “We are here for the pur­pose of be­com­ing ac­quainted with the will of God, with the law of God, with the or­der of God, with the do­min­ion of God; AND we are here to es­tab­lish [1] the king­dom of God. We are here to be taught in things per­tain­ing to [2] the Church of God, and its pu­rifi­ca­tion. We are here to build up [3] a Zion of God....”

And fi­nally, Pres­i­dent John Tay­lor on Nov. 30, 1884, stated, “We are here re­ally to build up and pu­rify [1] the Church of the liv­ing God. We are here to build up and es­tab­lish [2] the king­dom of God. We are here ALSO to build up [3] a Zion unto our God....”

The church is ob­vi­ously the re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tion of God’s peo­ple, “The King­dom” (aka, the Coun­cil of 50) was the po­lit­i­cal, and Zion, with its Law of Con­se­cra­tion and United Or­ders, was the eco­nomic or­ga­ni­za­tion God wanted for his chil­dren.

Un­for­tu­nately, two of three were lost dur­ing the per­se­cu­tions of the 1880s. How­ever, all three foun­da­tions will need to be in place for the fu­ture Mil­len­nial so­ci­ety. How can we pre­pare for their re­turn?

More at Build­ingZion.org.

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