What is Zion?

The word Zion appears repeatedly in all the books of scripture of the Church. In latter-day revelation, Zion is defined as “the pure in heart.”

D&C 97:21

Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion—the pure in heart; therefore, let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn.

How can we become pure in heart?

Come to Zion

D&C 82:14

For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness; her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.

In the early days of this dispensation, Church leaders counseled members to build up Zion by emigrating to a central location. Today our leaders counsel us to build up Zion wherever we live. Members of the Church are asked to remain in their native lands and help establish the Church there. Many temples are being built so Latter-day Saints throughout the world can receive temple blessings.

Zion Locations

Zion is often used in this way to refer to the Lord’s people or to the Church and its stakes.  The word Zion can also refer to specific geographic locations, as follows:

The City of Enoch

Moses 7:18-21

And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.

And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.

And it came to pass that the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld, and lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven. And the Lord said unto Enoch: Behold mine abode forever.

The Ancient City of Jerusalem

2 Samuel 5:6-7

And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither.

Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.

1 Kings 8:1

Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion.

The New Jerusalem, which will be built in Jackson County, Missouri

D&C 45:66-67

And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God;

And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.

D&C 57:1-3

Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints.

Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion.

And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from the courthouse.

10th Article of Faith

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

President Eyring spoke boldly and directly about the New Jerusalem:

What can we do to be part of building Zion?

Laws and Government

What are the main purposes for laws and government?

D&C 134 is a declaration of belief regarding governments and laws in general, adopted by unanimous vote at a general assembly of the Church held at Kirtland, Ohio, August 17, 1835. Verses 2-3 read as follows:

We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man; and that he holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.

We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

Media, Social Media and Seeking for Truth

How can we navigate our confusing times so that we can attain unity?

If we want confusion to increase in our lives, then social media is our place to go. Posts on today’s social media can be compared to the conflicting messages Joseph Smith encountered in his day. He related, ‘good feelings of [all involved] . . . more pretended than real; for a scene of confusion and bad feeling ensued–[each] contending against [each]–so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about questions.’  And my mind too ‘was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness,’ but ‘it was impossible for a person . . . to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong.’

The emphasis for all of us right now is to ‘hold on our way,’ focusing on the Gathering and oneness of Zion, and not to permit ourselves to be derailed by current events into over anxiety and most especially divisiveness.  Because so much progress is happening, of course Satan will try to derail us.

Some Book of Mormon peoples became so heated up in contention that they were hitting each other with their fists–and even slaying each other.  We must avoid this in our own feelings, and most certainly in our behaviors and words with each other, especially in our families, so the growing trend to draw closer in love is able to continue, no matter our political differences.  We cannot afford to permit these differences and current political events to drive any wedges between us, nor to slow down this drawing together.

It is impossible for us, just as it was with young Joseph Smith, to tell who of ‘all these parties’ is right, who is telling the real truth, who is lying either from misinformation or deliberately attempting to manipulate for power. We must seek first to ask for and act upon personal revelation. We must also seek for news about current events from investigative journalism that is accurate. We must make decisions based on sound, moral principles.

The Olive Tree and the Gathering of Israel

Many families have found this publication to be helpful:

The True Olive Tree by Millennial Standard Press