We know that we are supposed to build Zion. In practice our plan for Zion is mostly that we all just need to be nice to each other. May I start by pointing out that our plan is pretty pathetic. It is the same plan that has existed among practically all attempts to build a utopia. Even a group as rebellious and wicked as the hippies claimed the idea that everyone just needed to be nice to each other.
We seem to think that we either have a unique and clever plan that nobody has ever thought of before, or that because we belong to the true church we will be able to be extra special nice to each other unlike history’s many other failed attempts to build a utopian society.
Zion is built on doctrine. Zion precedes forth out of the scriptures and the temple, or it remains forever unknown.
D&C 84:54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
59 For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.
We read this scripture, but do we understand it. It is saying that if the city of Enoch were to return to the earth now then we would find ourselves outcasts from it. Our minds are darkened, and if that city returned we could not dwell there, we would be pollutions in his holy land.
We need to repent of that vanity and unbelief which looks in the spiritual mirror and feels like we are lovely enough and good enough without feasting diligently on the Book of Mormon and the former commandments (or revelations), not only to say but to do.
Yes, we already know the basic commandments found in the scriptures. That is not what is at issue. The Lord doesn’t say “you already know the basic commandments, now just go do them.” The Lord says our minds are darkened. He is saying we don’t understand. He is saying we don’t know. We don’t know what is taught there, we don’t comprehend it. The Lord is saying we don’t know our doctrine and we aren’t hearing his voice as it proceeds from the scriptures teaching us. He is saying we don’t know our doctrine. And Zion is built on doctrine.
We must not only say, but we must do, according to that which is written.
The gap between where we are and where the Lord requires us to be is so great the the Lord says “this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all”. I find my mind reeling at the notion that the Lord is saying the Joseph Smith’s knowledge of our scripture and doctrine, and obedience to them, was not sufficient.
That is the gap we need to close.
That needs to be our plan for building Zion. It is radically different than our plan, but if we do not follow it then we can become no better than pollutions in that holy land.