Some in the _____ Utah Stake may wonder if our stake president has overstepped his bounds by taking up the task of establishing Zion*. Last year, in the stake mission statement, President _____** wrote, “We are under covenant to establish Zion – to prepare the earth for for the Lord’s second coming; not simply to talk about it or read about it, but to ‘establish’ it.” Has he gone overboard?
Immediately after installing him as our new stake president, Elder C. Scott Grow told him, “Now, President _____, I need you to be the prophet for this stake.”
Obediently, President _____ set about to discern and accomplish the Lord’s will. Isn’t that what prophets are supposed to do – seek to bring about the Lord’s will within the bounds of their stewardship? He has testified accordingly in our Ward and Stake Conferences that the Lord does actually want our stake to pursue establishing Zion.
Is there evidence from our Church leaders that building Zion is something we should be doing right now? Yes.
“The establishment of Zion should be the aim of every member of this Church…. Zion comes not as a gift but because virtuous covenant people are drawn together and build it…. Thus gathered in the Lord’s appointed way, Latter-day Saints conscientiously strive to bring forth Zion… preparatory to the Lord’s Second Coming.” (Elder Keith B. McMullin, October 2002 General Conference).
“We see Babylon in our cities; we see Babylon in our communities; we see Babylon everywhere. And with the encroachment of Babylon, we have to create Zion in the midst of it…. We have to create Zion in the midst of Babylon.” (Elder David R. Stone, April 2006).
“If we would establish Zion…. It will be necessary to become unified in one heart and one mind; to become, individually and collectively, a holy people; and to care for the poor and needy with such effectiveness that we eliminate poverty among us. We cannot wait until Zion comes for these things to happen—Zion will come only as they happen….” (Elder D. Todd Christopherson, Oct. 2008).
“But these men are not the prophet,” one might protest. Granted, they are not. Next time we’ll explore what some of the latter-day prophets have said about establishing Zion.
* The term “Zion” here refers to the ideal society as understood by the Latter-Day Saints.
** My stake president received grief about being mentioned and asked that I not, so, out of respect for his request, I’ve redacted his name and the name of our stake.