An even larger question may be: Do we, as individuals, have the authority to pursue a personal place in Zion? For nearly two centuries most of us have left the future of Zion in the hands of the latter-day Church with no sense of personal responsibility other than faithful membership. Is it even appropriate for us to adopt a personal quest to obtain a Zion stature when the Church says little about this aspect of the latter-day Zion? Even if it is within our reach, is it within our calling and our privilege to do this? Can we just march up to the veil and purchase a seat on a bus that the Lord apparently mothballed some 160 years ago?
I believe the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes! The first reason is that the bus to Zion was not mothballed, it was merely given a more personal destination. The second reason for so believing is that the Lord is no respecter of persons. Anyone who obeys the laws of Zion must, by divine justice, be given the blessings of Zion—“even to as many as believe on my name” (JST Genesis 14:29)—regardless of whether it is time for Zion to exist as a city or not.
But beyond any Zion-specific reasoning about our personal rights and privileges is the simple truth that all spiritual attainments, blessings and rights, are totally and completely personal. Even the most rudimentary testimony, or a bedrock belief in the existence of God, is a personal triumph. Every prophet, every priest, every righteous man or woman who obtained any blessing, whether it was in or outside of a Zion past, so obtained as a result of a personal quest.
Another reason is that even if Zion was at this very moment glowing in the millennial night, only those who have been in the presence of the Lord—which is the ultimate mortal triumph—will be allowed to enter.
The scriptures are full of examples of righteous souls who obtained their blessings of (if not in) Zion while surrounded by utter corruption, among a people to whom the Lord had certainly withdrawn the option of building Zion. Yet, they obeyed laws invisible to everyone but themselves, and in the privacy of their own quest, they obtained Zion.
Also, there is the fact that if any person comes to recognize Zion as a true principle, then that truth has distilled upon their soul by the power of the Holy Ghost. All truth comes from God. The mere fact that it is true and that the Holy Ghost has borne witness to you is prima-facie (obvious at first glance) evidence that the time of Zion has come for you personally, because divine law stipulates that the Holy Ghost cannot set you upon a path that is unobtainable (see 1 Nephi 3:7).
Beyond that, far beyond in fact, is the truth that the revealed word assures us that Zion will be built before the Messiah returns—and that we (meaning this dispensation) will build it. That alone releases the nuclear fuel in the reactor of our faith and makes Zion fully within our grasp. The revealed word pointedly promises that the pure in heart of any and all generations shall see God (Matthew 5:8) and that same class of believer is Zion (D&C 97:21).
(The Triumph of Zion, page 172)