r In 1868, LDS Church President Brigham Young couldn’t have said it any plainer: “We are gathered together in the tops of these mountains for the express purpose of building up Zion, the Zion of the last days, the glory of which was seen by the prophets of the Almighty from the days of old.” Eleven years earlier, he took longer to say the same thing but from a different perspective:
“You hear brethren talk of coming to Zion to enjoy the blessings of this land; but do you not see that it is the short-sightedness of men which causes their disappointment when they arrive here? They read in the [scriptures] about Zion, and what it is to be; but [they] could not realize, before they came here, that they were the ones to help to build up Zion. They gather here with the spirit of Zion resting upon them, and expecting to find Zion in its glory, whereas their own doctrine should teach them that they are coming here to make Zion.”
Even to the end of his life, Brother Brigham taught that building Zion was the whole point and purpose of the Saints being in Utah. His clearest statement in this regard came in his very last General Conference address when he stated, “We have no business here other than to build up and establish the Zion of God.”
Brigham wasn’t the only one teaching this doctrine. A year earlier, in 1876, Apostle Wilford Woodruff expressed the same idea when he stated, “We have gathered here for the express purpose of establishing Zion….”
Then there was President John Taylor. Beginning the year after Brigham passed away, nearly every time Taylor spoke he drove this point home again and again:r“And we are gathered together, as I have said, for the purpose of building up Zion….”r“We are now gathered together to Zion. For what? To build up Zion….”r“We are here to build up Zion, and to establish the kingdom of God.”r“We are here to build up the Zion of God….”r“This is what we are gathered here for—to build up the Zion of our God….”r“We are here to build up the Zion of God, and not to build up ourselves.”r“We are here also to build up a Zion unto our God….”
So we see that Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff (and others) all taught that the whole point of the Saints being in Utah was to build Zion. Now that the Church is more mainstream America, maybe we Saints should work a little harder towards achieving that original purpose.
Discuss this at BuildingZion.org.