Thoughts on Zion: Crossing From Babylon to Zion

r Over the last eight columns, we’ve reviewed teachings of the early LDS leaders regarding Babylon, Zion’s “antithesis and antagonist”.

They taught:r- We live in Babylon, both spiritually and economically.r- Though the Saints left Babylon to build a Zion in Utah, they, unfortunately, brought Babylonian values, practices, and traditions with them.r- Babylon is “the false organization of society” and Zion is the true one which God wants us to enjoy here on Earth.r- It is our “clinging to Babylon and her foolish ways” that prevents us from building Zion.r- We must abandon Babylon’s creed of “Every man for himself!” and cooperatively work together for our mutual well-being.r- We must overcome Babylon’s conditioning to pursue personal wealth at the cost of unity.r- Babylon’s economy is prophesied to fall and the Saints should prepare by becoming economically self-sustaining.

So, how do we move from Babylon to Zion?

I found over 142 quotes by early LDS leaders that first appeared to be a massive jumble of unrelated answers to that question. Finally, I saw order behind them. We move from Babylon to Zion by 1) Getting Babylon out of our hearts. We must learn to recognize and then forsake Babylon’s pride-based values, practices, social structures, and traditions. 2) Getting Zion into our hearts. We must learn to connect with our fellow man in unity. We do that by embracing humility-based values, practices and social structures. 3) Making and keeping temple covenants. We must be willing to sacrifice to obey God’s will, live the Gospel so we are worthy of the Spirit’s guidance, and we must be willing to put our all on the altar to bring about God’s will for his children.

I suspect that list may seem overwhelming to most. Let’s put it in different terms that may be easier to wrap our brains around. Suppose you already take your temple covenants seriously and you seek and follow God’s direction in your life. Let’s also assume you yearn to live in a Zion-like society, free of all the garbage we endure here in Babylon. All that would be left is for you to sacrifice your participation in and support of Babylon’s practices and social organizations. The Church itself is already a Zion social structure, so we’ve got religion covered. That leaves two other major social institutions – education and commerce.

The best place to learn to live a celestial marriage is IN a celestial marriage. It’s difficult for a single person to ever learn the lessons marriage (and parenthood) teaches us. In exactly the same way, it’s hard for us to learn to live in a Zion society if we remain in Babylon! We can, of our own free will, work with others to create more Zion-like social structures, specifically, freedom-based schools and cooperative businesses. I’m already working on both, taking baby steps in the direction of Zion. Come join the fun!

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