One hundred forty-two years ago tomorrow, Apostle Wilford Woodruff gave a talk in Salt Lake City outlining our duty as Latter-Day Saints to build Zion and the consequences for us if we don’t. Below are five quotes from that talk along with a summary of the points made in each.
1. “The Lord has put into our hands the power to build up his Zion and kingdom on the earth, and we have more to encourage us than was ever possessed by any generation that has preceded us.”
Simple enough. We Saints have the power to build Zion.
2. “Brethren are passing away…. So it will be with us in a little while. We shall pass away and go to the other side of the veil, and the burden of the building up of Zion will rest upon our sons and daughters. Then rejoice in the Gospel of Christ. Rejoice in the principles of eternal life. I am looking for the fulfillment of all things that the Lord has spoken, and they will come to pass as the Lord God lives. Zion is bound to rise and flourish.”
Major point: Building up Zion is a burden resting up us and our posterity.
3. “As an individual, I will say that I feel a great responsibility resting upon me, and it also rests upon you. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young alone… were not called to be the only ones to labor in building up that great and glorious Zion, which was to become terrible to all nations; nor their counselors; nor the Twelve Apostles; but this responsibility rests upon every one of the Lord’s anointed upon the face of the earth, I do not care who they are, whether male or female, and the Lord will require this at the hands of all the Latter-day Saints. I therefore desire that we may be awake to these subjects, and to the position we occupy before God and in the world. “
a. The responsibility to build up Zion rests on every endowed member of the Church, male and female alike.
b. The Lord will require this work at the hands of all the Latter-Day Saints.
That second point is clarified in the following remarkable quote:
4. “The Lord has had Zion before his face from before the foundation of the world, and he is going to build it up. ‘Who am I,’ saith the Lord, ‘that I promise and do not fulfill?’ The Lord never made a promise to the sons of men which he has not fulfilled, therefore Latter-day Saints, you have all the encouragement in the world to sustain you in the faith that the Zion of God will remain on the earth. The work is in our hands to perform, the God of heaven requires it of us and if we fail to build it up we shall be under condemnation, and the Lord would remove us out of the way and he would raise up another people who would do it. Why? Because the Almighty has decreed that this work shall be performed on the earth, and no power on earth or in hell can hinder it.”
a. We can be 100% confident the Lord will follow through on his decree that Zion will be built on Earth.
b. We Latter-Day Saints have been given that work to do.
c. If we fail to do it, we will be under condemnation, the Lord will “remove us out of the way”, and he will raise up another people to do it.
Wow. If we Saints don’t build Zion, we will be replaced.
5. “We are not called to build up Zion by preaching, singing and praying alone; we have to perform hard labor, labor of bone and sinew, in building towns, cities, villages…. We should be united together, it is our duty to be so. “
Major point: Building Zion requires more than talk, it requires real-world, here-and-now labor, and united labor at that.
Dear Reader, I invite you to commit to shoulder your responsibility to build Zion and then work together with others to bring it about. We’re likely not ready to build “towns, cities, [and] villages” based on Zion principles, but there’s much we can do, which our Utah ancestors did do, that will prepare us. Please subscribe to this blog and we’ll review what can be done.