The old saying “hindsight is 20/20” becomes particularly poignant when it comes to the early saints, and the Lord’s request given to them concerning their job in the establishment of the city of
Doctrine and Covenants 57:1 Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints.
2 Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of
3 And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called
This group of Zionists must have been so excited to finally learn where the Lord had chosen to establish His city. They had prayed for this moment fervently and it had finally arrived. The understanding that they had of the Lord’s return, and the part that the building up of
Doctrine and Covenants 58:1 Hearken, O ye elders of my church, and give ear to my word, and learn of me what I will concerning you, and also concerning this land unto which I have sent you.
2 For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.
3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
The hour for them was truly “not yet”. The saints of that time period never did see the blessing of
Doctrine and Covenants 58:6 Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come;
7 And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand;
These wonderful Saints truly did bear testimony of
Doctrine and Covenants 58:27 Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.
Today the foundation for Zion that was laid by them is being built upon by us. We have become the builders of the Kingdom, furthering the work that was started. All of the prophets of old, as well as these founding Saints, look to us in anticipation of the great task we have been given, to build up
Joseph Smith explained:
The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory, "the dispensation of the fulness of times, when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth," "even in one," when the Saints of God will be gathered in one from every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue, when the Jews will be gathered together into one, the wicked will also be gathered together to be destroyed, as spoken of by the prophets; the Spirit of God will also dwell with His people, and be withdrawn from the rest of the nations, and all things whether in heaven or on earth will be in one, even in Christ. The heavenly Priesthood will unite with the earthly, to bring about those great purposes; and whilst we are thus united in one common cause, to roll forth the
(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.231)
We now fondly look back to those who have laid this foundations and call them blessed, for today we do truly realize the blessings of the work they so triumphantly undertook to accomplish.
Do you think we fully realize the job that we have been given? Do we understand we are the ones who were chosen to build upon that foundation that our pioneer ancestors so faithfully sacrificed to build? In what ways do you think we are building upon the work of those who have come before us? What can I do individually to participate in this great work? I ponder questions like these all the time, diligently striving to do my part. Have you considered your job in this vein lately? If not, take some time out to think about it... and strive to make
I believe we are truly Zionists. What do you think?