LDS leaders during the 1870s were teaching the Saints that they could never reach their goal of establishing Zion in the Utah Territory if they kept “clinging to Babylon”. One leader hinted that God himself may yank us away from Babylon. In 1877, Elder Erastus Snow said, “One thing is certain, that if God accomplishes with the Latter-day Saints what...
By Jesse Fisher Last time we saw from quotes given by early LDS leaders that Babylon is the false organization of society. Let's look now at those same brethren's teachings about Babylon's fateful future. For the three decades of the 1850s through the 1870s, the Mormon church leaders taught what John the Revelator saw happening in vision as recorded in the...
Zion
Elder D. Todd Christofferson said that "The antithesis and antagonist of Zion is Babylon." So, we can learn about both Zion and Babylon by comparing and contrasting them. I believe that they both are methods of organizing society, but that Zion is the true method, the one God wants for us, and that Babylon is the false. This idea...
By Jesse Fisher In the April 1873 General Conference, President Brigham Young pointed out another value of Babylon, Zion's opposite, that the Saints have yet to overcome – avarice, the insatiable desire for wealth or gain...Babylon's greed. Young said, “Babylon is in the hearts of the people, that is to say, there is too much of it. What did you come...
Admitting to ourselves that we live in a Babylon-style society allows us to see that our day-to-day environment is saturated with Babylon’s pride-based values, and more importantly, that they are rubbing off on us, and, leading society in the opposite direction of Zion. One such pride-based value early LDS leaders tried to teach the Saints to avoid was Babylon's mantra,...
Building Zion
Got a big kick out of Tanner Gilliland‘s blog post on MillenialMormons.com. Its title was “Newsflash: You Are Living in Babylon!" Why is this important to understand? Not realizing we live in Babylon prevents us from seeing that our day-to-day environment is saturated with Babylon’s pride-based values and, more importantly, that they are rubbing off on us — and, leading...
Building Zion
During my first four decades as a member of the LDS Church, the only thing I could remember about President John Taylor was that he was in the room when Joseph Smith was martyred. Nothing else stood out for me about him until I started studying the early Brethren's teachings about building a Zion society in Utah. That's when I...
Building Zion
Ten issues ago, this column included quotes by early LDS apostles and prophets showing they saw Zion as something other than the Mormon Church or the prophesied New Jerusalem. Among the now more than 700 quotes gathered from talks given during Utah's territorial years are 11 suggesting that the same leaders saw Zion as one of three separate but interconnected...
Building Zion
By Jesse Fisher In this 50th “Thoughts on Zion” article, we're exploring the determination by the early LDS apostles and prophets to establish a Zion in Utah. We start out with my favorite Brigham Young quote about building Zion, which always makes me smile: “I desire to let us alone .... Let them attend to their own business, and we will...
Building Zion
Another surprising thing I discovered while reading quotes by early LDS leaders was that they equated their Zion-building efforts in Utah to those of the ancient prophet Enoch: “Then again, did Enoch build up a Zion? So we are doing .... Now, this is what we are building up, and they built up a similar thing before the flood ....”...