Yesterday morning I was continuing my on-going search through all the talks given during the Territorial Utah years by LDS General Authorities that mention Zion. As I go through them, nearly every mention of Zion falls neatly into about a dozen general idea categories.
So, I ran across a talk by Wilford Woodruff given in the October General Conference of 1873. In this talk, Apostle Woodruff makes statements falling into 8 of the 14 categories. Since this talk was pretty representative of the teachings during that period concerning Zion, I’ve added the talk to the “Reading List”. I also took the time to highlight nearly all mentions of the word “Zion” in the talk, and, classified the quotes into categories. Some quotes could really fit into two (or more).
In Woodruff’s talk, I found what is now my all-time favorite quote about building Zion. In fact, I like it so much, I added it to the top of every page on this site.
“We have it to do, we can’t build up Zion sitting on a hemlock slab singing ourselves away to everlasting bliss…. This is the great dispensation in which the Zion of God must be built up, and we as Latter-day Saints have it to build…. We are obliged to build cities, towns and villages, and we are obliged to gather the people from every nation under heaven to the Zion of God, that they may be taught in the ways of the Lord.”
“We can’t build up Zion sitting on a hemlock slab singing ourselves away to everlasting bliss”! LOL! Bravo! I LOVE this quote!
I have heard a fellow Saint say over and over again that “WE can’t build Zion, Jesus has to build it”. Hogwash. Balderdash. The quote above, the entire talk, and multiple other talks by Apostles and Prophets of the Territorial Utah period make it painfully obvious that building Zion is God’s will, He expects it of us, we are obligated to build it, and building it will require LABOR — physical labor. Building Zion is as much a temporal as a spiritual effort. We can’t coast our way to Zion.