r Not only was building an Enoch-style Zion a core part of the mission of the early LDS Church as we saw last time, our leaders made it very clear in the mid-1800s that building Zion was a central element in God’s over-arching, big-picture plan for the last days to prepare Earth for the Second Coming of Christ. Here are four quotes, spread out over four decades, showing just that:
In 1853, President Young said, “…we will round up our shoulders, and bear up the ponderous weight, carry the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth, gather Israel, redeem Zion, and continue our operations until we bind Satan, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ ….”
Seven years later, in 1860, Brigham further expounded:r”The Latter-day Saints … are here to increase and multiply, to enlarge, to gather the house of Israel, redeem Zion, build up the Zion of our God, and to promote that eternal intelligence that dwells with the Gods … until every obnoxious principle in the hearts of men is destroyed, and the earth returns to its paradisaical state, and the Lord comes and dwells with this people …. That is our business, and not to suffer all our energies to be expended in merely preparing to die” (or, in our day, “retire”).
In 1879, soon after Brigham passed, President John Taylor made it clear that this doctrine had not changed. He said, “… the time had come, in the councils of heaven, that it was necessary to start the latter-day work, and to prepare a people, gathering them together to build up Zion and establish the kingdom of God upon the earth, that His will might be done upon the earth as it is done in heaven.”
In 1889, nearly two years after John Taylor’s death, President Wilford Woodruff briefly summarized God’s over-arching plan and Zion’s role in that plan when he said “… Joseph Smith was reserved to lay the foundation of this great Kingdom and dispensation of salvation to the whole human family in these last days, to build up Zion, to establish God’s Kingdom, and to prepare it for the coming of the Son of Man.”
Now the tough question: Is it logical to assume that because the Church was unable to “give birth” to Zion due to social, political and economic pressures in the 1880s, that the Lord has forgotten Zion or changed His plans regarding her? Unlikely. It makes more sense that He is waiting for His children to tire of living in Babylon and determine in their hearts to build Zion.
Read more at BuildingZion.org.