The “Secret” of Redeeming Zion
I’ve been pondering lately, while my mind and heart are turned to the Word (Philippians 4:6 “Be afflicted for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”)—what is it that Enoch discovered? What is that knowledge which he obtained that allowed Enoch and his people to “walk and talk with God”? What is the missing “key”, “secret” or the “mystery” yet to be revealed which will allow the children of God to fulfill their calling? Enoch was before all latter day revelations which are recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. Enoch was before the Book of Mormon which we know contains the “fullness of the everlasting gospel”. Enoch was even before the Word of God recorded in the Bible. So what did Enoch know and what is this thing which has kept the Lord’s people from fulfilling His word to “seek to bring forth and establish, The Cause of Zion” DC 11:3b? I certainly know that “the Lord has yet more light and truth to bring forth from His Word”, as a chorus from the beloved hymn we sing. I wondered, is this “light and truth” something yet missing? Is there something that God has reserved for only the most elect or chosen for whom God will finally give that “hidden secret knowledge” so that we can indeed, bring forth Zion in our day?
According to the word of God given through Joseph Smith, Jr., prophet and seer to the church (at Kirtland, Ohio, on May 6, 1833) the Lord God instructed to raise up “your children light and truth, according to the commandments”. “Light and Truth, according to the Commandments”. What commandments did the Lord God mean? Was God referring to some future commandments?
Three times the exact Word of the Lord was given to the people through Joseph Smith Jr. Five times God gave the same message, which said:
DC 6:3a “Now, as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, Keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion”.
DC 10:3a “Now as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, Keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion”.
DC 11:3b “Keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion”.
And then this beautiful Word, which many quote so frequently:
DC 12:1-3 “A great and marvelous work is about to come forth unto the children of men. Behold, I am God, and give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore, give heed unto my word. Behold, the field is white already to harvest, therefore, whoso desireth to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God; yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God; therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive, if you will knock it shall be opened unto you. Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things; and if you keep my commandments and endure to the end, you shall have eternal life; which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.”
All these messages are exactly the same, and all given through the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr, in 1829. Two things only are stated very clearly: 1) Seek 2) Keep my commandments. “Seek” is the way that God instructs His people for the discovery of all Truth:
Jeremiah 29:13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
Matthew 7:12 “Say unto them, Ask of God; ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”.
Luke 11:10 “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
The second part, “keep my commandments” is easy enough for us to understand, but—what commandments? Again, neither the Book of Mormon nor the Book of Doctrine and Covenants had been produced yet for the Saints. What commandments did Enoch have which permitted Enoch to walk and talk with God and which permitted all his people to dwell in righteousness in Zion? Let’s go back to the very beginning, to the garden.
Genesis 3:28 “And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and partake also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever; Therefore, I, the Lord God, will send him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken; For, as I, the Lord God, liveth, even so my words cannot return void, for, as they go forth out of my mouth, they must be fulfilled. So I drove out the man, and I placed at the east of the garden of Eden, cherubim, and a flaming sword, which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Genesis 4:6 “And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord”.
From this record we now understand that from the time of Adam and Eve, mankind had “the commandments of the Lord”, and not just the “commandments of the Lord” but they comprehended the plan of eternal salvation through the Only Begotten Son of God, who was and is and is to come.
Genesis 4:8 “Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest, in the name of the Son. And thou shalt repent, and call upon God, in the name of the Son for evermore. And in that day, the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying, I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and forever; that, as thou hast fallen, thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will. And in that day Adam blessed God, and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth; saying, Blessed be the name of God, for, because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again, in the flesh I shall see God. And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying, Were it not for our transgression, we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.”
So we see that Enoch had the commandments of God passed down from Adam and Eve. Enoch obeyed the commandments of God and Enoch did “seek” God with all his heart, might, mind and strength and for his obedience he saw both Jesus and God and also saw the day of the coming of the Son of God to reign in Zion.
Genesis 7:66 “And Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father; and he called unto the Lord, saying, Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? for inasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace; and wherefore I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth? And the Lord said unto Enoch, As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfill the oath which I made unto you concerning the children of Noah. And the day shall come that the earth shall rest. But before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth. And great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve; and righteousness will I send down out of heaven, and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men. And righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare; an holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion; a New Jerusalem. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there; and we will receive them into our bosom; and they shall see us, and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years shall the earth rest. And it came to pass, that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth, in righteousness, for the space of a thousand years. But before that day, he saw great tribulation among the wicked; and he also saw the sea, that it was troubled, and men's hearts failing them, looking forth with fear for the judgment of the Almighty God, which should come upon the wicked.”
We read something very interesting in this beautiful scripture above—"that my people may gird up their loins and be looking forth for the time of His coming”. Let’s look at another revelation which was given to Joseph Smith, Jr. (in August 1830 at Harmony, Pennsylvania) for here we discover about the command of God to “gird up their loins”:
DC 26 (RLDS) “Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Lord, your God, and your Redeemer, whose word is quick and powerful. For, behold, I say unto you, that it mattereth not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory; remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins; wherefore a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine, neither strong drink of your enemies; wherefore ye shall partake of none, except it is made new among you; yea, in this my Father's kingdom which shall be built up on the earth. Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fullness of my everlasting gospel; to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim; and also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things, or the restorer of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days; and also John the son of Zacharias, which Zacharias he (Elias) visited and gave promise that he should have a son, and his name should be John, and he should be filled with the spirit of Elias; which John I have sent unto you, my servants, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Oliver Cowdery, to ordain you unto this first priesthood which you have received, that you might be called and ordained even as Aaron; and also Elijah, unto whom I have committed the keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, that the whole earth may not be smitten with a curse; and also with Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, your fathers; by whom the promises remain; and also with Michael, or Adam, the father of all, the prince of all, the ancient of days. And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry; and of the same things which I revealed unto them; unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fullness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; and also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world; wherefore lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all ye may be able to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you, taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.”
Now we see the picture becoming even more clear. There is no “secret” nor “mystery” yet to be revealed for those who love the Lord and who desire to “bring forth and establish the Cause of Zion”. The answers have been before us all along. Those who love the Lord will 1) Seek the Lord with all their heart, might, mind and strength; 2) Keep the commandments of God; and 3) put on the whole armor of God, meaning that we are to be immersed in Truth, having our hearts continuously full of Righteousness; with our Faith in God always as our defense; we are to keep the Knowledge of the plan of salvation which God desires for all His children; and to keep ourselves always in harmony with the Holy Spirit, so that the personal Word of God to us and the “peace that passeth understanding” encompasses our whole being—which will enable us to pierce the evil which seeks to conquer and destroy.
In 1833 Joseph Smith Jr received this revelation from the Lord (while in Kirtland Ohio) which pertains to the redemption of Zion beginning at the center point of the USA—Independence, Missouri.
“Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered, they that remain and are pure in heart shall return and come to their inheritances; they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy; to build up the waste places of Zion. And all these things, that the prophets might be fulfilled. And, behold, there is none other place appointed than that which I have appointed, neither shall there be any other place appointed than that which I have appointed for the work of the gathering of my Saints, until the day cometh when there is found no more room for them; and then I have other places which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called stakes, for the curtains, or the strength of Zion. Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together and stand in holy places, and prepare for the revelation which is to come when the veil of the covering of my temple, in my tabernacle, which hideth the earth, shall be taken off, and all flesh shall see me together…..Again, verily I say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me concerning all the churches, inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation, that the work of the gathering together of my Saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled. Therefore, I must gather together my people according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life, and be crowned with celestial glory when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father, to reward every man according as his work shall be; while the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire. Therefore, a commandment I give unto all the churches, that they shall continue to gather together unto the places which I have appointed; nevertheless, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, let not your gathering be in haste, nor by flight; but let all things be prepared before you; and in order that all things be prepared before you, observe the commandments which I have given concerning these things, which saith, or teacheth, to purchase all the lands by money, which can be purchased for money, in the region round about the land which I have appointed to be the land of Zion, for the beginning of the gathering of my Saints; all the land which can be purchased in Jackson County, and the counties round about, and leave the residue in mine hand. Now, verily I say unto you, Let all the churches gather together all their moneys; let these things be done in their time, be not in haste; and observe to have all things prepared before you. And let honorable men be appointed, even wise men, and send them to purchase these lands; and every church in the eastern countries when they are built up, if they will hearken unto this counsel, they may buy lands and gather together upon them, and in this way they may establish Zion. There is even now already in store a sufficient, yea, even abundance to redeem Zion, and establish her waste places, no more to be thrown down, were the churches, who call themselves after my name, willing to hearken to my voice.”
In this revelation (DC 98 RLDS, which the Saints often do not quote completely) we read how the Lord guided part of scattered Israel and Judah “over the wall” and into this land of Promise, the USA. We read how God guided the lawmaker and the laws to allow the people of God liberty, for the express purpose of living lives full and free to worship and obey God. We read that the laws of the Church are similar to the laws of the land. And, finally, we read that there is one more commandment of God for the establishment of Zion—that the Saints of God are to gather together, in ONE place for ONE purpose, to begin to act as ONE. The Saints of God are instructed to purchase the lands beginning in Jackson County, Missouri and when the land is full of the Saints of God THEN stakes would be formed from that point. Yes, the Saints were scattered in the 1800’s. Yes, they lost the stronghold—but why do the Saints remain scattered all over the earth now? Can they not read and comprehend this commandment of God which commandment is to gather together in ONE?
Saints of the Most High God, we can no longer say “we are waiting for this Prophet or that Prophet” to lead us to Zion! God has declared from the beginning of time, from the time of our earthly parents Adam and Eve, what the requirements are to bring forth and establish the Cause of Zion! Why do we look to another to tell us something we have already been told? No, there is no “hidden mystery”, no “secret” that has not been revealed for the redemption of Zion. Zion does not wait for God to reveal more light and truth and this command. The truth is, Zion is not because the Saints of God do not want it enough. Nearly 245 million Christians on the earth today, 17 million combined members of all the branches of the Restoration Church. Can you imagine if all those people, the believers of our Eternal God and His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ, were to all be together in one place and all agreed to obey all the commandments of God and seek His will? What a truly glorious place this would be. Brothers, Sisters—Zion waits for us! Will you be here when the Lord returns? Will you be one who will help to prepare for the Wedding Feast? Will you be here to build the Holy Temple that the Lord Jesus will return to? Zion needs all those with willing hearts, strong minds and able hands. Zion needs—you!
May the love of the Christ and His light shine brightly upon the truth herein and may all who will—hear the call of the Holy Spirit saying…..come!