|And our mechanics [ie. tradesmen], do they labor for the express purpose of building up Zion and the kingdom of God? I am sorry to say that I think there are but very few into whose hearts it has entered, or whose thoughts are occupied in the least with such a principle; but it is, “How much can I make?” If our mechanics would work upon the principle of establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth, and building up Zion, they would, as the prophet Joseph said, in the year 1833, never do another day’s work but with that end in view. In that year a number of Elders came up to Kirtland; I think there were some twenty or thirty Elders. Brother Joseph Smith gave us the word of the Lord; it was simply this: “Never do another day’s work to build up a Gentile city; never lay out another dollar while you live, to advance the world in its present state; it is full of wickedness and violence; no regard is paid to the prophets, …nor to Jesus nor his sayings, nor the word of the Lord that was given anciently, nor to that given in our day. They have gone astray, and they are building up themselves, and they are promoting sin and iniquity upon the earth; and,” said he, “it is the word and commandment of the Lord to his servants that they shall never do another day’s work, nor spend another dollar to build up a Gentile city or nation.” |
– Brigham Young, 2/3/1867
This is quite the remarkable quote! He’s saying we should not work within the corrupt economic system of the world (ie. Babylon), but by implication, we should only labor in the economic system of Zion. The system they were building at the time was one based in Cooperative Free Enterprise (not State Socialism, by the way). They repeatedly spoke of how “Cooperation” was “a stepping stone to the United Order”, which of course, is a Celestial-level economic system.
If you’re interested, here’s a website where such a cooperative model is being introduced: Zion Builders.org