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Roy Eddings

What is Zion in the modern church?

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I'm a new poster on what looks like a great Latter-day Saint forum website and virtual gathering place. Here are a couple questions I have to get started:

What is Zion in real terms?
How do we build Zion throughout the church in today's world?
Are you a catalyst for Zion in your home, in your ward, and in your stake?
Which stake of the church will step forward and be an example of Zion for the rest of church to follow? 
 

 

Edited by Roy Eddings

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1 hour ago, Roy Eddings said:

I'm a new poster on what looks like a great Latter-day Saint forum website and virtual gathering place. Here are a couple questions I have to get started:

What is Zion in real terms?

I'm not sure as to what you mean.  Zion has several different meanings today.  It could mean the city where the people of the Lord are gathered.  It is a literal location where the Lord's people dwell. 

With that, we could look to the City of Enoch, or to the City of Jerusalem, or to the Future City of New Jerusalem.

It can also be the heavenly kingdom or Kingdom of Heaven.  In that way, we could say it is at whatever location the People of the Lord gather together and meet.  It is a general thing, in looking at the Church as a Kingdom, or rather a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. 

In this, today, I suppose the more real version we have would be the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is where the Kingdom can be found and where the Saints of the Lord are also to be found.

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How do we build Zion throughout the church in today's world?

The Lord has many different ways which we may not understand on how this is done, however he has given us multiple ways in which we can each help to build Zion.

Touching upon it briefly:

Individually we can be good examples to those around us.  We can live as the Lord would and show charity and love to others.  We can talk to others about our beliefs when legal, and also when legal invite them to join with us and the church in worship.

As Families we can build families up that honor and worship the Lord and respect the ordinances and teachings we have been given. 

As Churches (Wards and Stakes) we can provide a place for people to worship, for people to find teachings of the Lord.  It provides a place where ordinances of salvation can be obtained through the correct authority of the Priesthood and the Priesthood keys.

Above that is way above my level to say, but on the more local levels that touches upon things we can do, though it is not all by a far shot.

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Are you a catalyst for Zion in your home, in your ward, and in your stake?

I hope so

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Which stake of the church will step forward and be an example of Zion for the rest of church to follow? 

No idea what exactly you mean by that, but I think the church is lead by the Head.

I mean by this that the Prophet and the Apostles are the ones that step forward and the rest of the church follows.

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1 hour ago, Roy Eddings said:

I'm a new poster on what looks like a great Latter-day Saint forum website and virtual gathering place. Here are a couple questions I have to get started:

What is Zion in real terms?
How do we build Zion throughout the church in today's world?
Are you a catalyst for Zion in your home, in your ward, and in your stake?
Which stake of the church will step forward and be an example of Zion for the rest of church to follow? 

A subject near and dear to my heart, though I'm afraid that I'm not (yet) Zion material.

  • In real, down-to-earth terms, Zion is the kingdom of God, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In more expansive terms, Zion is the pure in heart, which I assume would include people who are not yet Latter-day Saints.
  • We build Zion by building the Church. The two are effectively identical. Our loyalty should be to the Church (aka Zion). Our efforts should be to build up the Church (aka Zion).
  • I hope I am a catalyst for Zion. I have no illusions about being super-righteous or a pillar of strength or great example. I accept that, in many ways, I am among the least of the Saints. But the point is that I am one of the Saints, whatever my relative position. That's how I build up Zion: By being a Saint and trying to magnify that position.
  • No one stake will take the lead for the rest of the Church. Every strong stake that seeks after God and strives to follow the lead of the First Presidency and of the Quorum of Twelve will lead the way for its own people. That's why we have stakes.

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1 hour ago, Roy Eddings said:

I'm a new poster on what looks like a great Latter-day Saint forum website and virtual gathering place. Here are a couple questions I have to get started:

What is Zion in real terms?
How do we build Zion throughout the church in today's world?
Are you a catalyst for Zion in your home, in your ward, and in your stake?
Which stake of the church will step forward and be an example of Zion for the rest of church to follow?

What is Zion in real terms?

I am not sure what you mean by "in real terms" so my answer is according to my knowledge and understanding. Zion is a place where if you see a man in the distance far away you see a brother. If you see a woman in the distance far away you see a sister. No other description is necessary: black, white, bond, free, etc... We are all the sons and daughters of God.

There are no rich, no poor. People do not define themselves by the "perceived" success they have received by their own merits. They realize there success is a blessing from God who is the giver of all things.

It will be a place where people are willing to live at the least Terrestrial laws. It will be a place where people actually by their works honor God (not just with their lips). The first commandment will be first and the second commandment will be second. They will not be inverted.

How do we build Zion throughout the church in today's world?

By small and simple means that are acted upon daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. By truly honoring the first and great commandment. It can only be built by a people who are willing to forsake the great and spacious building and the things of this world.

Are you a catalyst for Zion in your home, in your ward, and in your stake?

I would like to think so. There are aspects of Zion in our home and probably aspects of Zion that can be worked on.

Which stake of the church will step forward and be an example of Zion for the rest of church to follow?

There will not be one stake that will step forward and be an example by which the rest of the Church will follow. The Lord's kingdom is not built this way. It will be the result of many stakes acting in a Zion way. Or better said, it will be bishops and wards that truly begin to act in charity toward all their brethren, and it will be ward members who stop their rebellion and turn back to God and trust in him, not their own mind, heart, and will.

Edited by Anddenex

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I don't know what more I can say in response to the posed questions than has already been said so I want to comment on another aspect of building Zion. I would say that over the years I have been fortunate enough to be acquainted with many individuals who in my estimate would fit right in in Zion. But Zion by definition is a community and that's where the difficulty lies. Jesus said we would always have the poor among us. He could just as well have meant poor in testimony, poor in desire, poor in obedience as well as wealth because it's true. No matter where you go you will always find a mixed bag of saints. Now I know the Lord has said that at some point he will divide the wheat from the tares. But that's his job not ours. Ours is to work with all to gather as many as we can. So I will pose an additional question that perhaps addresses the same idea of the OP. What can we reasonably expect in our wards and stakes in terms of establishing Zion? All too often the 80/20 rule applies, sometimes it's 90/10. That to me does not sound very much like Zion.

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There is a series of Books by Isaac Asimov called The Foundation Series, winner of the Nebula Award for "Best Science Fiction Series Ever".

In it he describes "The Foundation" which started as an isolated world which was set to preserve all the knowledge of mankind as the rest of the galaxy fell to anarchy.  Eventually, the Foundation interacted with the rest of the Galaxy.  While the Foundation was originally separated and aloof, their influence permeated all the planets of the Empire and brought them out of the dark ages that would have otherwise taken 10,000 years to outgrow.  After hundreds of years, the foundation remained as a separate planet.  But they clearly influenced everything.

During the early days of the Restoration, we were aloof.  We even had a small area called Utah that kept us separated from most of the world. But we've been brought out of obscurity and out of darkness, to the point where we have members in nearly every nation in the world.  Each nation that has a Stake of Zion has been blessed by the Church's influence.

As for "which stake"?  All of them.

Read the series and it will give you a better idea of what I'm talking about.

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