By and by, Zion will come back again


zionsgates“We have no business here other than to build up and establish the Zion of God. It must be done according to the will and law of God, after that pattern and order by which Enoch built up and perfected the former-day Zion , which was taken away to heaven, hence the saying went abroad that Zion had fled. By and by it will come back again, and as Enoch prepared his people to be worthy of translation, we through our faithfulness must prepare ourselves to meet Zion from above when it shall return to earth, and to abide the brightness and glory of its coming.” (Pres. Brigham Young, Annual Conference held in the St. George Temple, April 6, 1877; JD 18:356)

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24 Responses to By and by, Zion will come back again

  1. Brigham Young’s clear and powerful words from the Conference pulpit 137 years ago (tomorrow) are still perfect for our day. Thank you all for your insightful comments, you strengthen me. What can I add? Just that I am building Zion with my heart and soul, one little hug and smile at a time in my own family being mindful always of the covenants I’ve made and promises the Lord guarantees. As far as my influence can reach, I am building Zion, first in my own life as I take the sacrament every week, starting over again with a thankful heart for our Savior’s atonement and perfect love.

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  2. Eric says:

    Scoot,

    Re: your statement that “I was told that I would not build Zion, but that I would help teach those who will,” — Judging by your comments here, you’re already helping to build Zion…one heart at a time.

    Eric

    Liked by 1 person

    • scootd28 says:

      Thank you, Eric. What kind and encouraging words!

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    • Phyllis says:

      Eric, for some reason, I had not read your post before this. These were the exact thoughts that I had had when reading scootd28’s post. Also, by adding “one heart at a time” to this post, I also felt I saw a new meaning of “by and by” in President Young’s speech to the Saints in 1877 — “one by one”. As in all creation, Zion must be built spiritually before it is created physically. As each of us approaches Zion more closely in spirit, I am certain that we will be called upon, if we are willing, to encourage others in this, also. I would doubt very much that there would be any who had reached that level of spirituality who would not be willing. As I would listen to the audiobook of Spencer’s experiences, he was called up to not only gather one of the “lost” tribes to Zion, but was also expounding the gospel to those outside of Zion, camped in the area. to cause them to begin their spiritual and then physical journey to Zion, if they chose to do so. So even at that critical time, the Lord will be touching the hearts of His children, one by one, or as you stated so beautifully — one heart at a time. This thought makes me smile.

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  3. Jared says:

    Zion will be build by the covenant people of the Lord. Jesus Christ is a covenant making God. All of the covenants we make through ordinances point to Him. As we regain His presence He makes covenants with us. Jesus Christ is the true vine. We must connect with Him, personally. The Book of Mormon is the tool He has provided the Gentiles as a last chance to do this. We must take this blessed gift very, very, very seriously; much more seriously than we’ve done. Receiving the Second Comforter is not rocket science, it is not an astronomically odd chance; it is not a shot in the dark; It is a gift the Lord intends for you to receive. To do this the humble follower of Christ must not only believe in the Book of Mormon, he and she must believe everything that it says in regard to covenant making, covenant keeping, the prophecies in regard to both Jew and Gentile, as well as all other principles and doctrines appertaining to receiving the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in these last days.

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    • scootd28 says:

      Yes, Yes, Yes, Jared!

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    • tjpontius says:

      You are right on, Jared! You have given us the perfect sermon on building Zion, coming to Christ personally, and fully using the great gift of the Book of Mormon to do it. Thank you so very much for sharing your depth of knowledge, and your wonderful faith.

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    • James says:

      Jared, I like that you said about it not being rocket science or a remote chance… In a great BYUI devotional last year Elder Christofferson talked about the importance of the Joseph Smith papers project; that they wanted to know what he [Joseph] knew. I thought about that; what did Joseph know? He was a 14-15 yr old farm boy. He knew nothing. What he did know, however, was that he knew nothing. He also knew that God keeps His promises. Joseph knew that if God promised to give wisdom and to give it liberally, He would. All Joseph did was 1. believe (in God’s promise) 2. ask (according to the promise), 3. receive (the promise) . Believe, ask and receive, that’s it. It’s like simplifying the theory of relativity into E=MC^2. It’s a sobering thought but I also find it very encouraging. The simplicity of it is what stifles most of us.

      Your friend,
      James

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      • Jared says:

        James, you really make some excellent points. We tend to over-complicate things. The challenge I see in this day and age is unlearning false doctrine and relearning the basics we were taught as children. We need the Lord’s help in removing our stumbling blocks. Stumbling blocks, by definition, are not seen; we are blind to them; they prevent us from moving forward. The Book of Mormon was given to help us see. The Book of Mormon has just a few larger-than-life messages. One is that the Lord loves us and wants us to return into His presence; the other is that we, the Gentiles, are really blowing it and need to repent. Understanding what that means is crucial. Very few are willing to consider what a truly awful situation we are in, even within the church. It is too horrible even to consider.

        When Nephi begins the Book of Mormon narrative, he talks about the “many prophets” that came preaching and prophesying that Jerusalem would be destroyed if the people did not repent. Jerusalem was subservient to Babylon (a symbol), and they were a theocracy ruled by local leaders (another symbol). These “many prophets” were decrying the wickedness of both the political and religious establishment. Lehi accepted their message–a very bold and perilous thing to do. Then he was called as a prophet and joined the many others. He was rejected and ultimately instructed to leave for another land of promise. Their journey parallels the Visions of Glory narrative–a pattern we all must follow. These are all types and symbols for our day.

        Lehi was a savior for his family; Nephi was a savior for his people. Their salvation was achieved by connecting with Christ and the Father. This is the Patriarchal order. This is the order that Joseph Smith was trying to establish without success. I submit that this type of salvation will be the genesis for the latter day Zion. We must connect with Jesus Christ, the true vine. Freelance opposition to institutional evil is very perilous and becoming more so; I advise against this without being duly commissioned by the Savior. The hour grows late. We all are living under the urgent necessity to connect with the powers of heaven before the great day of the Lord comes.

        Come to Zion! Come to Christ! That is the mantra we need follow at this time, as in all times.

        Liked by 1 person

        • James says:

          Jared, thank you for your words of faith. They remind me of Lehi, who believed in the words of the ‘many prophets’. As he poured out his heart in prayer in behalf of his people, the people condemned by the prophets and by the Lord; as he pleaded in their behalf he was blessed with a heavenly vision, and later with the presence of God and marvelous revelations. Another example, Alma Sr., who when faced with the dilemma of unrepentant sinners, pleaded with God in their behalf. Clearly, the obvious course of action would have been to expel them from the church, but Alma petitioned the Lord for them in charity, so that the Lord’s will would surely be done. This act of perfect love was rewarded with knowledge from on high, and Alma’s calling and election was made sure. Once again the message of the Book of Mormon resonates from two or more witnesses that the heavens open to those whose love unfeigned ascends to heaven in behalf of their fellow man.

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  4. Gregory R. Warnes says:

    Just a quick comment: The meaning of “by and by” has changed since the time of Brigham Young. When he spoke it, “by and by” meant “soon” or “after a short time”. See, for instance the LDS Bible Dictionary and wiktionary.

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    • jowo says:

      I have heard the word “soon” from the Lord in response to several prayers. One “soon” was within 3 days. Another “soon” has not occurred yet. That was 11 years ago. I am learning much from my father who is 99. Time, or the measuring of it, as expressed in “soon” or “by and by” requires patience, diligence and faith to wait upon the Lord.

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  5. scootd28 says:

    This was right before he died. Might be the most profound thing he ever said. I’m personally on a campaign to bring this message to everyone who will listen, and probably to many who won’t.

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    • Phyllis says:

      This was exactly my thought when I saw the date of the conference, scootd28. It was probably his last conference before he passed on that August. Very profound. As for spreading the message of Zion, I went to the temple on Thursday morning and met a friend who is a former temple worker at the Fresno temple. We were talking in her home afterward and she pulls out a book and asked, “Have you read Visions of Glory by John Pontius?” I smiled and said that I was on my third time through now! I am also reading the book Journey to the Veil at this time, as well as Following the Light of Christ into His Presence. Thank you to Terri for compiling so many of John’s thoughts into a book form that we can so easily share. It is a very exciting time we are living in.

      Liked by 1 person

      • scootd28 says:

        Phyllis, and all…Zion will be built. At this time, I am, unfortunately, not convinced that the resources for building it will be marshalled by the church. I would love for that to happen, as I truly love the church, but something tells me it won’t. I personally am struggling with this, and with the knowledge that I must prepare myself so that, whether it’s the church or the Holy Ghost working outside the church, I am one who can be chosen to bring this about. There seem to be many of us who are in this limbo state. I work at the Salt Lake Temple. I absolutely love it, but I see things that make me go “Hmmmm”. I made a covenant with the Lord to give everything I have to the church, and I intend to keep that covenant, but what happens if…? Visions of Glory, and all of John’s books, gave me great comfort because they teach these things that are outside of the correlated curriculum without ever disparaging the church itself.

        I guess my point is that there seems to be a “gathering” going on. I dearly hope the church recognizes it and embraces it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Phyllis says:

          @ scootd28 Well, I think that Spencer’s visions have shown us that the Church will be very involved with the gathering and so will the Holy Ghost as it works upon those who are called. The Lord will be working and gathering all of the elect, within and without the Church. I do not believe you need worry about the Church’s preparedness. At this point, and we shall see next weekend undoubtedly, that the brethren are earnestly working on helping those throughout the world to get their lives in order, comfort the weak, etc. But they are also actively preaching the “hastening”, which involves all of us coming closer to the Lord and fulfilling His purposes. The most important thing any of us can do is do what you said, prepare ourselves to be an integral part of this. As in Spencer’s visions, some of us will pass before this occurs or during the process, but they, too, will be used on the other side of the veil to influence loved ones who are left behind to do the work on the Earth, as well as do the missionary work with their ancestors to prepare them for the Millenium. If we prepare ourselves, especially as John told us, through obedience to personal revelation, we will definitely be part of this work, regardless of which side of the veil we find ourselves on. After all, this is an eternal work. As Spencer told us from his grand vision, every time he thought he was reaching perfection, he would gain new insight, powers to his priesthood, etc. Remember from that wonderful song, “If You Could Hie to Kolob”, all things are endless, including the priesthood, knowledge, etc. It is only limited here on the earth by our willingness to obey the Lord and learn. As for the Church, remember that the Lord has His apostles, prophets, and seventies who have been prepared a great deal more than we are shown; i.e., Spencer’s apostle friend. The brethren know far more than they reveal. I am sure of this. So take heart and listen to the voice of the Lord, scootd28! Let’s all get there together! Happy Sabbath day, everyone.

          Liked by 2 people

          • scootd28 says:

            Thanks, Phyllis. I will listen carefully for the messages of the Brethren. I don’t share this often, (I’ve never shared it except with my wife) but I was told that I would not build Zion, but that I would help teach those who will. What that means is becoming more and more clear as I receive and obey additional commandments from the Lord. Of course – it’s the obedience that’s the hard part. But as our love for HIM, not just our love for the idea of HIM, grows, it becomes easier to obey. It’s amazing how He teaches us if we open ourselves to be taught.

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          • tay says:

            Amen! 🙂 That was beautifully put.

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      • tjpontius says:

        Reading your inspiring words, Phyllis, makes me want to shout, as John would, “Hurrah for Israel!” Thank you for your sweet feedback and encouraging faith as we all prepare ourselves for the trials and glories ahead.

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        • Phyllis says:

          I could not see a link to reply to you scootd78. Thank you sharing that beautiful promise you have received. As an ordinance worker in the temple, you are assisting many every day to bring a beautiful experience to not only themselves, but to their proxy as well. By helping others to live their covenants — baptismal, sacramental, and temple — you are, indeed, preparing Zion, are you not? Thank you for serving the Lord in His Holy House.

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        • Phyllis says:

          Terri, I just wanted you to know your post had a very interesting effect on me, to say the least. When you wrote “Hurran for Israel!” It went to the depths of my heart and soul. It seemed like such a familiar thing to say, although I do not really recall ever having heard this before in this life, although I am sure I may have read it before. But it was as if I were shouting it out myself! Perhaps a “leftover” from premortality? Thank you for your kind reply.

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  6. Great quote, thanks for sharing. I look forward to the time when we can live in a Zion society!

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    • Phyllis says:

      I completely agree with you, Arden. I am so tired of this human world where people care more about their worldly things than they do about their fellow man. Spreading the word of the Lord and becoming a Zion people is where we should be focusing our energies.

      Liked by 1 person

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