"Each one of us can build up Zion in our own lives by being pure in heart. And the promise is, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8.) Each one of us can extend the borders of Zion by gathering our friends and neighbors into the fold of Israel.
These things of which we speak are part of a great plan and program of the Lord. He has known the end from the beginning. He has ordained and established the system which is now in operation. He has scattered his chosen people in all the nations of the earth. And now through his goodness and grace in this, our day, by the opening of the heavens, by the ministry of holy angels sent from his presence, by his own voice speaking from heaven, by the pouring out of the Holy Ghost—by all these means—he has once again restored the fullness of his everlasting gospel. He has called us out of darkness into the marvelous light of Christ. He has commanded us to build up Zion anew. He has commanded us to overcome the world. He has commanded us to forsake every evil thing. He has made us his agents and representatives. He has commissioned us to go out and find the lost sheep of Israel. He wants us to invite them to gather with the true Church and with the Saints of God.
This is a work of great magnitude and importance. There is no work like it in all the world. The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest thing in heaven or on earth. We rejoice in the glorious truths of heaven we have received. We praise the Lord for his goodness and grace. And we know within ourselves of the truth and divinity of these things." Bruce R. McConkie "Let Israel Build Zion"
If you haven't clued in yet, I've got Zion on the brain. Now don't roll your eyes or start backing away from me...this is what we are suppose to have on our minds! It should consume our every thoughts! Creating a place where the Savior can come a dwell, a place that is worthy of His presence, should be of the utmost importance in our lives.
D. Todd Christofferson said:
"Zion is both a place and a people. Zion was the name given to the ancient city of Enoch in the days before the Flood. “And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion” (Moses 7:19). This Zion endured for some 365 years (see Moses 7:68). The scriptural record states, “And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled” (Moses 7:69). Later, Jerusalem and its temple were called Mount Zion, and the scriptures prophesy of a future New Jerusalem where Christ shall reign as “King of Zion,” when “for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest” (Moses 7:53, 64).
The Lord called Enoch’s people Zion “because they were of ONE HEART and ONE MIND, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them” (Moses 7:18). Elsewhere He said, “For this is Zion—the pure in heart” (D&C 97:21).
I was talking to some friends the other day about the shift in my thoughts and how suddenly I can't stop thinking of Zion and they totally did not think I was weird, which was so awesome! It's not that I haven't had thoughts about it in the past or studied it or had conversations about it. All of those things have occurred at one time or another, but this is something different. There is a new desire to UNDERSTAND the meaning and purpose of Zion and I feel so excited, but a little overwhelmed and like I'm maybe getting in over my head (but what's new, right?)
So I was talking to some friends and telling them all my thoughts and feelings and the advice was given to me to first build Zion in my heart, THEN in my home, THEN in my ward, and so on. I LOVED this advice, but still felt unsure where to start. How do you even do that? How can I start to build Zion in my own heart? I just didn't even know where to begin, so I took my question to the Lord in the temple and I got my answer....
The ANSWER is what I will be sharing with you on my blog as the Spirit instructs. This is the new direction I will be taking, but really it's not new at all. It's where I've been heading all along, I just didn't totally know it. But now that I do and a change in me has occurred, the same desire that inspired me to start bearing my testimony on instagram 2 years ago and sharing my very personal Mormon Stories, has overwhelmed me again. I feel this is something the Lord want's me to do, BUT I realize Zion can be an intense and even scary topic for some. It use to be for me! But now it excites me and gives me a renewed purpose for me and my family.
Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you go get some guns and ammo and buy out all the tomato soup and Oreo's at the grocery store (though I do support getting a good food storage and don't forget the tp!) Rather I'm going to share with you my personal experiences of how I became better friends with the Holy Ghost and how He has been helping me on my journey to be one with Christ.
I'll be sharing some of the more deeper trials of my faith which, by the way will include some of my Mormon Stories! These are the trials that have brought me to this point and I'll also share with you things I am doing and experiencing now - all with one purpose in mind - to encourage anyone who is reading to do the same thing! To come to know and understand the Holy Ghost so He can help you build a personal relationship with the Savior because only then can we truly become unified in heart and mind!
He is the LIGHT and the WAY!
D. Todd Christofferson:
"Much of the work to be done in establishing Zion consists in our individual efforts to become “the pure in heart” (D&C 97:21). “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom,” said the Lord; “otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself” (D&C 105:5). The law of the celestial kingdom is, of course, the gospel law and covenants, which include our constant remembrance of the Savior and our pledge of obedience, sacrifice, consecration, and fidelity.
The Savior was critical of some of the early Saints for their “lustful … desires” (D&C 101:6; see also D&C 88:121). These were people who lived in a non-television, non-film, non-Internet, non-iPod world. In a world now awash in sexualized images and music, are we free from lustful desires and their attendant evils? Far from pushing the limits of modest dress or indulging in the vicarious immorality of pornography, we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness. To come to Zion, it is not enough for you or me to be somewhat less wicked than others. We are to become not only good but holy men and women. Recalling Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s phrase, let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion and give up the summer cottage in Babylon (see Neal A. Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light , 47).
I know this might feel a little overwhelming at first and there will be some crazy personal trials ahead I'm sure because SATAN does NOT want us to do this.
If you decide to take this ZION challenge with me I have a few bits of advice from my own past experiences to get you started...
2. Don't forget to PRAY
3. Keep your covenants...
-KEEP the Sabbath Day Holy and prepare to take the Sacrament. S. Michael Wilcox said something along the lines of this: You can't watch a Rated R movie on Friday night and then go to the temple on Saturday and then wonder why you didn't get anything out of it or gain any new understanding. Well the same goes for the Sabbath. If you feel like you aren't getting anything out of church, maybe it's because you filled yourself with mucky muck all week long. Be mindful of what you watch on TV, of what you listen to on the Radio or Spotify or Apple Music or whatever, and of what you look at on your phone and computer. Fill your mind and body and soul with GOOD THINGS.
-Don't look at porn. Soft Porn, Hard Porn, or anything in between. That's means pretty much about 90% of what's available to us today. Porn in any form makes you stupid! Seriously it makes you stupid and makes your brain not work properly and satan totally loves that because he can take advantage of you in all kinds of ways and you will NEVER get to Zion if you look at porn.
-If you are temple endowed WEAR your garments ALL the time and go the the temple and do Initiatories so you UNDERSTAND why you need to wear your garments and just how incredibly awesome they are. They are a GIFT from GOD.
4. DO your family history work and GO to the Temple! I recommend once a week, but at least once a month for sure. Don't forget...12 and up can do Baptisms for the Dead!
I will have more specifics on all that and experiments and challenges we can do together LIKE the one's I have already given like the POWER of 3 and ETHER 12 challenges.
I'm SUPER EXCITED about those and I'm SUPER EXCITED about this!
I hope and pray you will join me.
ONE HEART...ONE MIND