There are several statements by members of the Seventy and by one apostle that all indicate that Zion is to be built by the Saints before Christ returns. Here is one:
“The establishment of Zion should be the aim of every member of this Church…. Latter-day Saints conscientiously strive to bring forth Zion… preparatory to the Lord’s Second Coming.” (Elder Keith B. McMullin, October 2002 General Conference).
What have our modern prophets said about this?
“We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object.”
– Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.186
“If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease….” – President Spencer W. Kimball, October 1991 General Conference
“My dear brethren and sisters, we must prepare to redeem Zion. It was essentially the sin of pride that kept us from establishing Zion in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was the same sin of pride that brought consecration to an end among the Nephites.” (See 4 Ne. 1:24–25.)
“Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion. I repeat: Pride is the great stumbling block to Zion…We must cleanse the inner vessel by conquering pride. (See Alma 6:2–4; Matt. 23:25–26.)”
– President Ezra Taft Benson, April 1989 General Conference.
“I need not remind you that this cause in which we are engaged is not an ordinary cause. It is the cause of Christ. It is the kingdom of God our Eternal Father. It is the building of Zion on the earth, the fulfillment of prophecy given of old and of a vision revealed in this dispensation.”
– President Gordon B. Hinckley, October 1989 General Conference.
From these statements we learn that as members of the kingdom of God, it should be our primary goal to build up Zion in fulfillment of prophecy, and to do that, we must first overcome our pride, selfishness, and our love for comfort and ease.
It can also be argued that until we comprehend what Zion is, and what it is not, we will have no idea where to begin. For this reason, the next articles in this series will include a contrast of Zion and its opposite, Babylon.