Zion

"And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I will establish my covenant with you, which I made unto your father Enoch, concerning your seed after you.

"And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant, which I made unto thy father Enoch; that, when men should keep all my commandments, Zion should again come on the earth, the city of Enoch which I have caught up unto myself.

"And this is mine everlasting covenant, that when thy posterity shall embrace the truth, and look upward, then shall Zion look downward, and all the heavens shall shake with gladness, and the earth shall tremble with joy; And the general assembly of the church of the firstborn shall come down out of heaven, and possess the earth, and shall have place until the end come. And this is mine everlasting covenant, which I made with thy father Enoch." (Genesis 9:21, Inspired Version)

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On any typical Sunday the question is asked, "what is Zion" and the inevitable answer is "the pure in heart" and that we are Zion; we are a stake of Zion.  We are Zion scattered throughout the land, this is the new plan.

Whether it's the Lords plan to establish a scattered Zion or not, I can't say; but I can say, that we are not Zion, and it does a disservice to ourselves for us to say so. Reading about our history from a manual, or from the scriptures every week, does not make us Zion. Let me give you an example of a vision of Zion:  One sister rises, she speaks in tongues.  A brother arises and interprets.  One brother rises and prophesies what another brother needs to do in his job that week and that brother arises and testifies he knows it's true by the witness of the Holy Ghost.  Beautiful songs, never before heard are sung in perfect harmony by the power of the Holy Ghost.  A brother rises and knows he is supposed to heal a man in the congregation and does so.  A woman rises an beholds a vision, sees the Savior and testifies that he is here among us and several others can see him.

Blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

"And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost [read in Gifts here, e.g. tongues, prophecy, visions, healing]; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done." (Moroni 6:9)

This is Zion.

This is not us.  We should recognize it, because if we continue to insist that we are Zion, we will never find it.

"For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith." (Ether 12:12)

"[Jesus] he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief." (Mark 6:5-6)

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"And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety." (D&C 45:68)

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God fights the battles fo Enoch

"And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.

"There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off and went upon the land which came up out of the depth of the sea. And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God; And from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness.

"The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish. 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." (Moses 7:13-18)

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A comment by a member of a fellowship: "I've been so pleased as I've been reading this forum. I didn't know anyone in the world or on the Internet talked about important things! I didn't know people could differ in opinions but still love one another! Marriage seems to be a proving ground, an middle school on overcoming contention. My wife and I have had our difficulties, but we always knew we loved one another, even though sometimes we couldn't believe it. We always worked it out and forgave. Our unspoken goal was to be happy with each other and forgive and apologize until we got back to enjoying each others company. It seems these kind of groups are ideally situated to do the same with each other. We have a known goal, we have made sacrifices and will continue to do so to be here, we all want the same thing, though we may argue, have hurt feelings and misunderstandings for a while, our goal is to be one, to be patient and kind and supportive. If we blind and lame go to hell, we'll turn the devils out and make a heaven of it. I never understood how that statement could be true, but I'm getting a taste of it now."

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"Whatever the numbers were, the significance of Zion is not, and never was, its numerosity. The significance of Zion is its spiritual endowment. It is the power of heaven....It is not their big numbers which intimidate the ungodly. Even a handful is sufficient. Righteousness is a power in itself.

"Remember from the account of John when they came to arrest the Savior. He asked who they were seeking. They said "Jesus of Nazareth." He declared, "I am He." The guard stood face to face with righteousness. The imposing figure of the righteous Lord was enough to intimidate those who came with swords and with shields, protected and armed, while He was clothed only with the garments He had on and the force of righteousness within him. The guards "went backward, and fell to the ground." At that moment in that garden, in that presence, confined to the person of one individual, there was Zion." (Denver Snuffer, The Mission of Elijah Reconsidered)

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"The plan of salvation is the plan of education, the plan of knowledge about God and the principles of godliness. And the basis upon which, all of you, can live together, and be of one heart and one mind. It doesn't matter that some of you have strange political beliefs. It doesn't matter that some of you would like to see every gun in the universe recalled and melted down. And others of you, would like every child issued their own concealed carry permit and to be armed in kindergarten. None of that stuff separates you from being able to love one another and be one. Because much of what you think matters doesn't matter one whit to the Lord because when you're anxiously engaged in the right cause you will all be surprised how much of our deepest concerns, are merely trivial. The things of the heart are what matters. The things upon which we are capable of becoming one, in love toward one another, are infinitely greater than the political, social and economic issues that divide us.

"That's why in this fallen, dark well it is necessary to keep you distracted by this Telestial kingdom in which you presently reside. You are fixated by all the crap that goes on down here. You're worried about the Kardashians. It doesn't matter." (Denver Snuffer, "Be of Good Cheer Be of Good Courage")

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Denver on the Nature of Zion

“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.” (Moses 7: 18.) There were no poor among them physically; there were no poor among them spiritually. They did not compete, they cooperated. They did not envy, they shared. They did not pass a zoning law. I will tell you how to ruin Zion, how to keep it from coming, pass a zoning law. Decide you’re going to “police the neighborhood.” Start thinking you should have restrictive covenants so you can enforce views upon one another. The instant you start to regulate one another, Zion is gone. It slips right between your fingers. No man needs to say to another: “know ye the Lord; for they all are going to know him who dwell in Zion.” The new song to be sung presupposes the residents of Zion will know the Lord.

I thought about writing a fictional account of this curious city where those people who have several children live in big houses, while those who have no children live in small houses. In the place, no one has a job or schedule, but everyone works. One day the lead character gets up, walks outside, and notices that the lawn needs to be mowed. So he goes and finds a lawn mower and starts mowing. He mows at his house, then the next, then finds he has spent days mowing grass and is across the city to the other side. Everywhere he has been he found grass needing mowing, and he took care of it. He finishes after a couple of weeks, then returns to his house and says, “Hey, look at that the grass has grown again.” So he starts mowing again. He does this because he feels like mowing the grass at the time. He just wants to.

Then after the season, he notices there is only one person working in the local bakery. He had never worked in a bakery, but he decides to go see what it is like to work in a bakery—and he rather likes that. So he spends the next seasons in the bakery doing that. The following year he wonders whatever happened to the lawns. They have been cut since the spring, but he doesn‘t know who has been cutting them. He goes on his way to find out who has been cutting the lawn because he liked doing that and he has something in common with whoever is now mowing the grass. He would like to know how they like it and what their pattern for taking care of the work has become. He wants to ask them: “How did you do that?” On his way, he gets distracted by the orchard needing harvesting, so he spends that fall harvesting there.

So the story just ends, with what appears to be total chaos. A completely ungoverned society, where oddly enough everyone is at peace, but no one is in control. No one has a job, but everyone works, and the only thing that motivates any resident is what needs to be done. “Hey, let‘s take care of this” is the only motivation. And they do it for as long as they feel like doing it, and then they do something else. It is a story I‘ve considered writing, but have never done so. But now the idea for the story is in this talk, so you can write it in your own mind.

Our vision of Zion is regimented, regulated. We’re Mormons after all! We want to be controlled. A man cannot be saved unless there‘s a boss at the top. “This is your assignment.” “We are going to call you; we are going to sustain you.” “We are going to put your conscripted ass in this position and park it there and you must magnify that job!”—I am not sure anyone knows what “magnify” means, but I tell you, you better be calling attention to yourself so that everyone notices. We can‘t have the invisible lawn mower. We can‘t have the invisible baker. We can‘t have the invisible in harmony with everyone around them harvesting the orchard when it needs doing. Because this is the Zion Reich!—As soon as you do that, it is gone. It has slipped through your fingers. Zion is without compulsion. Zion will occur when the Lord brings again Zion. And it will happen perfectly naturally. But only among those who are fit to participate.

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