Studying the discourses given by early LDS Church leaders about Zion, I ran across this jewel given by Brigham Young on 2/3/1867:
And one of the last writers we have here in this book—John the Revelator—looking at the Church in the latter days, says: “Come out of her, my people”—out of Babylon, out of this confusion and wickedness, which they call “civilization.” Civilization! It is corruption and wickedness of the deepest dye. It is no society for you, my people, come out of her. Gather out where you can pray, where you can have meetings and sacraments; where you can meet, associate, and mingle together; where you can beautify the earth and gather around you the necessaries of life, and make everything as beautiful as Zion, and begin to establish Zion on the earth; sanctify yourselves, sanctify your houses, the lands that you live upon; your farms, the streams of water that flow through your cities, country places and farms; sanctify your hills and mountains and valleys, and the land around about, and begin to build up Zion. Now, “come out of her, my people,” for this purpose, “and partake not of her sins, lest ye receive of her plagues.”
From this we can see that:
- The latter-day Church was residing in Babylon
- The Lord wants the Church to leave Babylon.
- Brigham felt that Babylon was confused by some with “civilization”.
- Part of building Zion is economic – gathering around ourselves the “necessaries of life”.
- If we remain in Babylon, we shouldn’t be surprised if we “receive of her plagues”.