We assembled in Missouri, at the place of gathering on the borders of the Lamanites, and there we bought our farms and built our houses; but could we stay there? Were we prepared then to enter into Zion, to build up the Zion of God and possess it? We were not, we must suffer. “You Latter-day Saints, you, my children,” says the Lord, “are not prepared to receive Zion.”
Why, we have heard detailed by Elder Carrington the conduct of Elders at the present time, dishonest in the matter of a few shillings or dollars. Dishonest, covetous, selfish, grasping for that which is not our own; borrowing and not paying; taking that which does not belong to us; dishonest in our deal; oppressing each other. Are we fit for Zion?… Do the people understand it? Scarcely! Scarcely! Do the Latter-day Saints understand these principles, and are we prepared to receive Zion? Are we prepared to receive the Kingdom and are we prepared for the blessings that God has in reserve for his children?
Stop, think, consider, look around us! How is it? Are not the sordid things of this life before our eyes, and have they not thrown a mist before them so that we cannot see? Are we not of the earth, and still earthy?… Could our brethren stay in Jackson County, Missouri? No, no. Why? They had not learned “a” concerning Zion; and we have been traveling now forty-two years, and have we learned our a, b, c?
– Brigham Young, 4/28/1872