Having observed in our previous discussion that the latter-day Zion will be a society like Enoch’s, the question must be asked, is it even possible for us to become a translated society? Can we even hope that such a glorious possibility is ours? Do the promises of Zion really extend to you and I?
The answer is an astonishing, Yes! The promises are ours to claim. We will discuss not only what these promises are, but also how to claim them. The way is clearly marked—much more clearly than one would ever imagine. A great deal has been said by prophets about translation, about who is privileged to seek it, why they would want to, and how to go about it. The scriptures hold many keys and clues regarding Zion that can be clearly understood when the underlying facts of Zion are understood by the seeker. When a reader is unaware of Zion, then these statements fade into truisms rather than truths. The difference being that truisms lack sharp meaning, they are hazy concepts that just feel true, whereas truths are facts and principles understood in a brighter light. We will discuss these points in detail as we progress.
Can translation be anywhere within the range of our most improbable yearnings? The answer is a wonderful, yes! The power of translation belongs to this priesthood.
Joseph Smith simply states:
Now the doctrine of translation is a power which belongs to this Priesthood. (TPJS, pp. 170)
Joseph Smith makes the point that translation is a power integral with the priesthood in our day.
Joseph further notes that these priesthood powers and associated keys are to be revealed in the latter days.
There are many things which belong to the powers of the Priesthood and the keys thereof, that have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world; they are hid from the wise and prudent to be revealed in the last times. (TPJS, pp. 170.)
Elder McConkie makes this astonishing statement:
Raphael, whom we assume to have been Enoch or someone from his dispensation, came and committed such keys as appertained to that day. No doubt these included the power to use the priesthood to translate men, as will be the state of all those who abide the day of the Second Coming. (TMiM, 119.)
From these statements there can be little doubt that our present priesthood embodies the power of translation.
The power of translation and the latter-day Zion are closely related. To be worthy of translation is to be a Zion-worthy individual, no matter if the command to actually build Zion has been issued in your lifetime.
When the time to build Zion actually comes, then without translation, Zion cannot exist on the pre-millennial plane that it must. It is only a small leap to say that until we become worthy to participate in the priesthood power of translation, we cannot completely establish Zion, nor can we be prepared to meet Christ when He comes again.
President John Taylor said:
And then when the time comes that these calamities we read of shall overtake the earth, those that are prepared will have the power of translation, as they had in former times, and the city will be translated. (JD, 21: 253)
John Taylor notes that it will be through this power of translation that our latter-day Zion will be able to join with Enoch’s Zion when it comes.
How perfect it was in the days of Enoch we are not told, but everything that they had revealed to them pertaining to the organization of the Church of God, also pertaining to doctrine and ordinances, we have had revealed to us, excepting one thing, and that is the principle and power of translation; that, however, will in due time be restored also. And if they in their day built a Zion, we have one to build in our day, and when this shall be done and everything is in readiness, the Zion which the people of Enoch built and which was translated, will descend from above, and the Zion of the latter days which this people will build, will ascend by virtue of this principle and power [of translation]. (Discourse by President John Taylor – Delivered at the Assembly Hall, on Sunday Afternoon, March 5th, 1882. (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs) JD, 23: 33, italics and bracketed comment added.)
In another address, President Taylor assured us:
If there was anything associated with Enoch and his city, and the gathering together of his people, or of the translation of his city, it would be manifested in the last days. If there was anything associated with the Melchizedek Priesthood in all its forms, powers, privileges and blessings at any time or in any part of the earth, it would be restored in the last days . . . for this is the dispensation of the fullness of times, embracing all other times, all principles, all powers, all manifestations, all Priesthoods and the powers thereof that have existed in any age, in any part of the world, for “Those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this the dispensation of the fullness of times.” (JD, 22: 299., italics added)
When will the Lord at last yield the mighty sword of translation in our behalf? It will be prior to the Second Coming, prior to the establishment of the city of Zion, and before we build the physical buildings of Zion. In other words, translation must come before it all.
Brigham Young gave us the answer years earlier.
How long, Latter-day Saints, before you will believe the Gospel as it is? The Lord has declared it to be his will that his people will enter into covenant, even as Enoch and his people did, which of necessity, must be before we shall have the privilege of building the Center Stake of Zion. (JD, 18: 263, italics added)
We, you and I, have a glorious opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Enoch, which is to enter into the perfections of Zion and the presence of God.
This gift of translation has hardly been a part of our thinking for since 1830. We have assigned it in our beliefs to other people and other dispensations. But, the doctrine of Zion has not changed, and our commission to build a city equal to Enoch’s stands before us. Rather than recoil with fear and disbelief, I propose we reach out with faith and anxious believing to claim the blessings being offered.
Tomorrow – how to qualify for translation.
© April 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved for the contents of this blog and website.