"Moses went up the mountain, and he talked with God, and spoke with Him face-to-face. Moses wanted to bring the people up there with him so that they, like he, would speak with God and be in His presence, face-to-face. That's what Moses sought after. At which point Moses' status as the leader would have ended because no one would need to say to another, "Know ye the Lord," for they all would know him. This is the prophecy about Zion in the last days. (Jer. 31: 33-34.) That accomplishment requires people to know God, and not merely an individual. When the people refused to rise up, that ended the possibility of Moses establishing Zion.
"It did not end the people's desire to be merely led by a strong man. Because they kept Moses for another 40 years, wandering about in the wilderness, as they did. They trudged in a wasteland because they would not accept anything better, eating manna from heaven and grousing and bitching about it, as they did. But they had a strong man to lead them. So what? You can't get there by relying on the strength of a leader, even if the leader is the meekest of all men. That model will not work and cannot work." (Denver Snuffer, 40 Years in Mormonism, Zion)