32.8 F
Springville
Monday, November 30, 2020
Support our Community Sponsors

John Taylor: Champion for Zion

Avatar
Chris Bairdhttp://www.servedaily.com
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

More from Author

Serve Daily – September 2020

Enjoy the 100th issue of Serve Daily. This issue is full of great articles by local Utah County writers and made possible by great...

Serve Daily: August 2020

Enjoy the 99th issue of Serve Daily. This issue is full of great articles by local Utah County writers and made possible by great...

Every day can be a better day, despite the challenge

Life is full of challenges. We knew that last year and we know that now. Life, at any time, has at least two choices...

Giveaways: Summer Giveaway

Click to View our Sponsors Websites

r During my first four decades as a member of the LDS Church, the only thing I could remember about President John Taylor was that he was in the room when Joseph Smith was martyred. Nothing else stood out for me about him until I started studying the early Brethren’s teachings about building a Zion society in Utah. That’s when I discovered that John Taylor was a tireless advocate for building Zion in the here and now.

From the first General Conference after Brigham Young’s death to his last public discourse, President John Taylor gave exactly 80 sermons. In those, he mentioned “Zion” 98 percent of the time. In 81 percent of his talks, he either spoke about building Zion in the present or about Enoch’s Zion being the example for the Saints of Taylor’s day.

One of his most-repeated teachings was some form of his 1883 General Conference statement, “We are here to build up the Zion of God.” In fact, he began speaking on that topic 10 years before becoming the prophet. In July of 1867, he stated, “We have come out from among the world, for the express purpose of serving God and keeping His commandments, building up Zion, and establishing His Kingdom upon the earth.”

Our Print Advertisers

Then, in one of his last three public discourses, President Taylor said, “We are here really to build up and purify the Church of the living God. We are here to build up and establish the kingdom of God. We are here also to build up a Zion unto our God….”

Remarkably, John Taylor frequently taught that not only does the Priesthood obligate us to build Zion, but, in fact, establishing Zion is the whole point of having the Priesthood at all! His briefest quote to this effect was given in January of 1881 when he stated, “What is this Priesthood given us for? That we may be enabled to build up the Zion of our God.”

Early LDS Church leaders, including Taylor, saw cooperatives as a preparatory steppingstone to Zion’s United Orders. In 1878, he spoke of cooperation as a preparatory effort to building Zion saying, “What was the principle of cooperation intended for? Simply as a stepping stone for the United Order, that is all, that we might be united and operate together in the interest of building up Zion.”

After Brigham’s efforts to organize the Saints into United Orders generally failed, Taylor, as president, launched the Zion’s Central Board of Trade with a board of trade in every stake. As mentioned before in this column, President Taylor had seen the success of the Cache Valley Board of Trade and saw it as vehicle to prepare the people for voluntary economic unity. The long-run purpose of that association was “to prepare the way for a more completely cooperative society”.

Today, more than his presence at Joseph’s martydom, I think of John Taylor as a grand champion for Zion.

More at BuildingZion.org.

 

Avatar
Chris Bairdhttp://www.servedaily.com
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

More from Author

Serve Daily – September 2020

Enjoy the 100th issue of Serve Daily. This issue is full of great articles by local Utah County writers and made possible by great...

Serve Daily: August 2020

Enjoy the 99th issue of Serve Daily. This issue is full of great articles by local Utah County writers and made possible by great...

Every day can be a better day, despite the challenge

Life is full of challenges. We knew that last year and we know that now. Life, at any time, has at least two choices...

Giveaways: Summer Giveaway

Click to View our Sponsors Websites

More in Category

Time to get your try on

Many say this is a year that should just be cancelled, however, I believe this is a year that can be used to learn...

National Parks Week may be impacted by events in the world

By proclamation of President Donald J. Trump, on April 20, our nation celebrates National Park Week with fee free entrance and a variety of special programs. This year National Park Week

College graduate realizes dream of sharing wonders of ocean with people of the desert

Serve Daily is about positive and uplifting people, organizations, and events. Occasionally while working on one story we find another amazing story behind the first story.

Viewpoint Frozen-Frozen: Coming to the Defense of Hans

I watched Frozen II recently, and honestly, I was disappointed. The makers of Frozen II promised the audience a redemption arc of Hans, the good guy who turned out to be the villain in the