Class 9: What is Zion?
“Zion is a wonderful place filled with glory and grace. I want to see my Savior’s face because Zion is a wonderful place. I want to go there.” Campfire song
A call to arms (motivation):
“There is even now already in store a sufficient, yea, even abundance to redeem Zion, and establish her waste places, no more to be thrown down, were the churches, who call themselves after my name, willing to hearken to my voice.” DC 98:10c
“Let the church again be admonished that the task of establishing Zion presses heavily upon us. Barriers and hindrances to the achievement of this goal should be removed as speedily as possible and practicable. To lay securely the foundations for Zion and her buildings the work should be accomplished in peace and harmony. Unity should prevail. To this end all the Saints should work together in the rich fraternity which can and will prevail among them when they keep faithfully the commandments. Great blessings are in store for the church if it will in faith and saintly devotion go forward in its tasks.” DC 138:3
“The church is admonished again that all movements toward Zion and the gathering and temporalities connected therewith are within my law, and all things should be done in order, the advice and counsel of the elders and of the Bishop and his council be sought and honored when received, as before enjoined, though of necessity their counsel when given is not intended to dictate or to deny any man his agency. The work of preparation and the perfection of my Saints go forward slowly, and Zionic conditions are no further away nor any closer than the spiritual condition of my people justifies; but my word shall not fail, neither will my promises, tor the foundation of the Lord standeth sure.” DC 140:5
General information about the term Zion:
The word “Zion” is used 153 times in the Old Testament of the KJV of the bible and does not appear at all in the New Testament. The word is used as another name for Jerusalem. Other meanings associated with the word include a “sunny place” and “sunny mountain” according to Strong’s concordance.
How has our church enhanced and expanded the concept of Zion?
In the our scriptures, the word “Zion” appears 193 times in the Old Testament, 1 time in the New Testament, 42 times in the Book of Mormon, and 204 times in the Doctrine and Covenants. This means that nearly half of all references to the word “Zion” appear in the smallest of the three standard books.
Stories of righteous people and those who made significant life changes:
Genesis 6:26-41; 7:12-28
Compare with DC 45:12-13
People of Josiah
II Kings 22:8-23:3
People of King Benjamin
People of Alma
People after Christ
IV Nephi 1:17-21
What do the scriptures say about Zion? Is Zion a physical place or is it a spiritual condition of the people?
One heart, one mind, righteousness, and no poor – DC 36:2h; 64:7a-c
City of holiness – Obadiah 1:17, Zechariah 8:2-3, II Nephi 5:90, DC 36:3b
City of Truth – Zechariah 8:2-3
City of Joy – II Nephi 5:90
City of the law – Isaiah 2:3, DC 102:2c; 106:2b-c; 128:8
City of judgment and righteousness – Isaiah 33:5
City of God’s heritage – DC 58:4a
Perfection of beauty – Psalms 50:2
New Jerusalem – DC 36:12g; 83:1b
Glory of the Lord present – DC 45:12d
God will comfort Zion – II Nephi 5:72
Jesus the cornerstone – Isaiah 28:16
Those in celestial glory dwell there – DC 76:5
Industriousness of the people – II Nephi 11:108-109, DC 68:4e
Sabbath day kept – DC 68:4d
Property brought before bishop – DC 72:3e
Redeemed by power – DC 100:3d-e
Cannot be moved – I Nephi 7:30; DC 94:5a-c; 98:4g
A house to be built for the Lord – DC 94:3a-b
Stakes in Zion – DC 98:4i
Things to ponder for next week:
How is the city of Jerusalem in the Old Testament related to Zion?
In other words, is there a spiritual and/or physical similarity between the Old Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem to other spiritual concepts in Christianity?
What do we know about the prophesies of Zion?