Elder D. Todd Christofferson said that “The antithesis and antagonist of Zion is Babylon.” So, we can learn about both Zion and Babylon by comparing and contrasting them. I believe that they both are methods of organizing society, but that Zion is the true method, the one God wants for us, and that Babylon is the false. This idea came while pondering the following teachings of early LDS leaders.
President George Q. Cannon, counselor to multiple First Presidencies, on May 6, 1883 stated, “The evils under which mankind groan today, are attributable to the false organization of society. The evils under which we groan as a people and from which we suffer are not due to any lack of knowledge… but they are due to the fact that we ourselves fail to conform to the organization which God has prescribed, which God has revealed.”
Here we see that President Cannon acknowledged there are two methods of organizing society, “the false organization”, and the true organization that God has “prescribed” for his children’s benefit. That prescription by the Lord was given in D&C 78:3-15 where he directed the Saints to organize themselves in a United Order.
Apostle John Taylor’s comment on August 31, 1875 shed additional light on Cannon’s statement above when he said, “Now then, in regard to our temporal affairs, these are the things which seem to perplex us more or less. We have been brought up in Babylon, and have inherited Babylonish ideas and systems of business; we have introduced, too, among us, all kinds of chicanery, deception and fraud. It is time that these things were stopped, and that matters assumed another shape; it is time that we commenced to place ourselves under the guidance and direction of the Almighty.”
The “Babylonish ideas and systems of business” reminds us of Cannon’s “false organization of society”. Taylor recommended that we stop engaging in Babylon’s ways, and “place ourselves under the guidance and direction of the Almighty”. In other words, let’s abandon Babylon for the true organization of society under God’s direction.
Even earlier, Elder Jedediah M. Grant told how Lucifer has no objection to “the present organization of society”. On February 18, 1854, he said, “The world is more or less controlled all the time by influences that Lucifer evidently is not opposed to; he has little objection to the present organization of human society, from the fact that everything passes along in the wake that agrees with his religion, and rather tends to forward his purposes.” If Satan is not opposed to “the present organization of human society” then it cannot be the one God wants for us.
Given that the opposite of Babylon is Zion, can we not conclude that, as Babylon is the false organization of society, Zion is the true, God-given organization of society? So, instead of putting up with Babylon’s garbage, let’s reorganize our society into a Zion.
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