54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—(D&C 84:54-57.)
Even though this condemnation will remain until we remember the Book of Mormon, the solution isn’t in reading the divine word within, but as verse 57 notes, in doing “according to that which I have written”.
The Book of Mormon’s opening pages records Lehi having a personal visitation with God, and receiving his commission to call the people of Jerusalem to repentance. The next big account is of his son Nephi, having a similar experience. The book of Mormon is a graphic witness to the vastness of our privileges in the priesthood, of seeking the face of God, and obtaining these grand blessings from page one onward. So, if we do as “I have written” in the Book of Mormon, we should be seeking the face of God.
In this light, could it be that our chief failure is that we have not yet taken the offered blessings of the priesthood and these profound privileges of the “greater portion of the word” seriously? And in so doing, we have yet to find ourselves within the Holy Order and Zion?
Why could our inability to become a Zion people be a part of this condemnation? It is because Zion was to be our greatest accomplishment as a people—and thus it is our greatest failure. And, as the language aptly defines, we haven’t built Zion because our predecessors (“in times past”) for whatever reason, failed to do so, and we in this generation are continuing to take lightly our privilege of building it. We have received the priesthood and the promises, and yet we continue in the wilderness, even while myopically proclaiming our exile habitation to be the very Zion which we were expelled for not building.
Once again, only the living prophet can command the construction of the city and society of Zion. I do completely believe that when we are ready as individuals, and when the timetable of the Lord has matured, then the Lord will speak, and only then will we build the New Jerusalem. Until then, we are only speaking of the personal quest of building Zion within our own hearts. Becoming a Zion people can only open the doors and hasten the time when the actual city will be built.
Even to the careful observer, it appears to have been thousands of years since anyone has divided the seas or performed any of these greater miracles of Enoch-like power. Since obtaining a fullness of the priesthood, Zion and the Holy Order are closely associated, when the Holy Order is at last populated, the Enochonian miracles will be plainly manifest. (JST Genesis 14:30-32)
The very hopeful theme of the Un-Blog is that “the call of Zion” is beginning to sound again in our ears. Why believe such an astonishing idea? It is because Zion must be built before Christ will return; and because we are the designated builders of Zion. Another reason for this belief is that we have all of the tools to become Zion; even though we may not realize what they are for. Still, we plainly possess them, and the order of God’s House does not leave a clutter of doctrine past its expiration date – unobtainable blessings, and antiquated promises lying around.
It seems quite astonishing but true, that the Church has, for the moment, reached its full potential regarding Zion. What remains to be done is for a million members to awaken and claim the blessings being offered. That isn’t something the Church can control, or even influence more profoundly than it presently is. When we are ready and sanctified, then the Church will have something more to do regarding Zion.
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.