Here are four of twenty-two quotes by President Brigham Young I’ve found (so far) in the Journal of Discourses spanning 18 years that reflect the fact that building Zion was central to the mission and operations of the LDS Church in early Utah. Emphases are mine.
“When you had obeyed the first ordinances of the Gospel, then you discovered that the Lord and set his hand to gather Israel, that Zion might be built up and Israel gathered from the four winds. These doctrines have been taught and re-taught again and again. I think there is not a man here who did not fully understand them while in his native country.”
“That is our errand in the world, and we have no business but to build up the kingdom of God, and preserve it and ourselves in it. Whether it is ploughing, sowing, harvesting, building, going into the canyons, or whatever it is we do, it is all within the pale of the kingdom of God, to forward his cause on the earth, to redeem and build up his Zion, and prepare ourselves, that when the Lord shall usher in the morning of rest we may enter into our labors to officiate for our dead friends back to Adam.”
“We are determined to build up the kingdom of God on the earth; to bring forth Zion, to promote the cause of righteousness on the earth, and to walk under foot sin and wickedness.”
“What has He told us? He has told us, and it is recorded in the revelations contained in the New Testament, that in the latter days He would send His angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth. That angel has flown, the Gospel is delivered, the kingdom is established, and Zion has to be built up.”
And we’re waiting for… what, exactly?