Of One Heart and One Mind


CityOfZionI wanted to share something that I have pondering about for a while now. It’s this idea of being one heart and one mind, such a rare and beautiful thing that is necessary to bring about Zion.

Zion is almost a mythical thing to us latter-day saints, something that’ll automatically come when Christ comes (I’ve heard it discussed this way), but we rarely ever mention what effort will be required on our part beforehand. I’ve only heard it mentioned once in church. It didn’t take well. This is a huge endeavor that the Israelites failed at, along with the early members of the latter-day church.

It isn’t going to be easier for us.

But I believe the building needs to begin, by us, one little bit at a time. Whether we rise to the challenge is contingent on whether or not we try.

And it begins first with one particular heart and mind.

Yours.

First: the Ultimate Example of Oneness

So many times in the scriptures it’s mentioned how Jesus and the Father are one. Here are three examples.

D&C 93:3-5

And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one— The Father because he gave me of his fullness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men. I was in the world and received of my Father, and the works of him were plainly manifest.

3 Nephi 11:11

And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

Mosiah 15:2-5

And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son— The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—And they are one God, yea, the very eternal Father of heaven and of earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.

He was one with God not simply because He is His literal Son, but because He subjected His will to Heavenly Father’s, the flesh subject to the will of God, suffering the will of the Father in all things.

This is how they are one.

If Christ was saying it or doing it, it was by the will of the Father. It was the Father speaking or doing these things through Christ.

Which brings us to…

Being One With God

John 17:21

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

D&C 35:2

I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am one in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one.

We are invited to be one with them as well, and how this is accomplished is in the example that Christ left for us…

…By subjecting our will to God’s.

In order to do this we have to understand what God’s will is for us as individuals. Beyond scripture study and keeping the commandments, this requires personal revelation. This requires a personal relationship with God. You can’t be one with God if you don’t hear what He’s saying to you, and then doing what He requires of you.

According to the Lectures on Faith, the Holy Spirit is the mind of God. We need this with us. We need to recognize and follow it.

A Tabernacle / A Temple in Zion

Throughout scripture, the Lord’s people have been required to build a house unto Him.

An example of this in the early church:

D&C 97:15-17

And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; Yeah, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God. But if it be defiled I will not come into it, and my glory shall not be there; for I will not come into unholy temples.

Sometimes we set our temples up as an idol. I have seen many members of the church do this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dismissing the temple. I’ve received many things from the spirit when I’ve attended. My point is that by overlooking the symbolism of the temple at its most basic, we miss the point. We build temples as a place for us to meet with God. A place where He can come to us.

The thing is, the temple is a symbol for us.

We are the temple.

God can visit us in our temple.

John 2:19-21

Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.

D&C 93:33-35

For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element inseparably connected, receive a fullness of joy. The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple.

So, a temple or tabernacle is a place where God can dwell with man, and man is the tabernacle of God.

This goes back again to being one with Him. Jesus referred to His body as a temple because God dwelled within it (not just referring to Himself).

Does it change the meaning of these scriptures when you understand that you are the temple?

D&C 94:8-9

And ye shall not suffer any unclean thing to come in unto it; and my glory shall be there, and my presence shall be there. But if there shall come into it any unclean thing, my glory shall not be there; and my presence shall not come into it.

D&C 97:15-17

And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; Yeah, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God. But if it be defiled I will not come into it, and my glory shall not be there; for I will not come into unholy temples.

God cannot dwell in anything unholy, so a redeeming has to take place before He can dwell within us, before we can begin to learn to become one with Him.

D&C 93:38

Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God.

Because we are fallen, our spirits are unclean until we are redeemed from this fallen state by a baptism. Not just by water, but also by fire.

2 Nephi 31:12-14

And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel. But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not know me.

And when you are made holy in this manner, given the gift of the Holy Ghost, then can God dwell within you. Then can you speak with the tongue of angels.

What the people of Zion will be like:

They will all know the Lord for themselves.

Hebrews 8:10-11

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

-They will be pure in heart.

D&C 97:21

Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion—THE PURE IN HEART; therefore, let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall burn.

-They will be of one heart and one mind, be righteous, and have no poor among them.

Moses 7:18

And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

I want to point out here that Zion being of one mind, indicates that they all are of one mind with God, and therefore each other. As I mentioned previously the mind of God is what Joseph referred to as the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore to be of one heart and mind with each other they will need to bear each other’s burdens, to mourn with those that mourn, that comfort those that stand in need of comfort. Which brings us the next requirement…

-They will need to possess a Godlike love.

Moroni 7:47-48

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

There is no room for pride in this set up. There is no room for unrighteous dominion or force. We can’t make others fit the requirements (it’s hard enough to do this ourselves). It can’t come with judgment, resentment, or contention.

This perfect society depends entirely on a perfect people. And people are only made perfect through Christ. Christ alone is King in this place, and only by Him is it possible.

When “One” can Mean “Many”

The fascinating thing to me is that through this process a great many people can become “one.” A great many humble and meek become strong. Become one with Christ.

Where It Begins and Ends

We start small, with ourselves.

We teach our families what we have learned, how they may know the Lord for themselves, and allow them to do it. Together we make our home into our Zion. (I would love input and examples on how you are doing this with your family.)

From here, I would trust in the Lord, and follow His direction. He does the gathering. And He will gather His people to Zion in His own due time. Best be prepared until then, even if it’s our children’s children who get there instead. The groundwork can begin here, with us.

What say ye?

18 Responses

  1. Thank you sister for the inspired post. Wonderful. Can’t wait for Zion to be redeemed.

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  2. Thank you Sarah for this timely post. Very well written and I agree with your premise. I love the fact that a post like this draws like minded people who what to prepare themselves to see the face of the Lord. This quiet movement is building and I can feel the energy of it. I feel honored to be among saints with such a deep desire to do what it takes, on a personal level, to usher in Zion.

    My interest in Zion began years ago after reading the “What Is Zion” Joseph Smith Lecture Series. (1972-1973) Lectures by Hugh Nibley, Rodney Turner, Hyrum L. Andrus, H. Verlan Andersen and Lael Woodbury.

    At the time, I wanted to share my enthusiasm with others but found very little interest in the subject. I have been surprised to find that through the years, very little has been discussed from the pulpit. Folks seem to want to jump to the Millennium without taking into consideration that Zion must be established first.

    At the present time, there seems to be much anticipation of a “Call Out” to go to “Tent” cities for protection from the destruction. More emphasis seems to be on physical preparedness rather than spiritual preparation. There seems to be a perception that those who will be called to build Zion will be called by the brethren from this group of people. Much of this speculation may be coming from several near death experience books describing these event.

    Personally, I have always felt it would be individuals that would be involved with building Zion rather than groups of people and that the Lord will be doing the calling.

    On this blog and others similar to it seem to be focusing on personal and spiritual readiness, more than physically preparedness. However, in this group, how many are physically prepared for the calamities that precede the building of Zion, and how important do you think it is? The Brethren have certainly toned down the one year “Preparedness” topic since President Benson. Now they just encourage a three month supply for emergencies.

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    • Like you, I have always been a little confused by the push for physical preparation. On the one hand, I believe in common sense measures, but then you see the Savior’s instruction in Third Nephi 13:25-34. Is he speaking only to the twelve here? Is he suggesting that to have a year’s supply of food is to put your trust in the arm of flesh as opposed to trusting Him? You raise some very valid points. At a minimum, I like the focus on personal and spiritual readiness, as it is the heart that matters most (as the author of this original post so adroitly lays out).

      25 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked upon the twelve whom he had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

      26 Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

      27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

      28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;

      29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

      30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.

      31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

      32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

      33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

      34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.

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      • Sam… thank you. Your comments are very helpful. There is much to consider.

        I have been reading D&C 105… the Zion chapter. The first 7 verses gives us insight as to what is expected to establish Zion. I found vs. 3 to 5 to be very interesting. These verses are connected because they are separated with a semicolon.

        Vs. 3: But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I require at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them;

        4: And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom;

        5: And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.

        Becoming one and having no poor among us seems to be vital in establishing Zion.

        Now here is the kicker.

        6: And my people must need to chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer.

        However, in verses 14 and 15 is hope:

        14: For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil–I will fight your battles.

        15: For behold, the destroyer I have sent forth to destroy and lay waste mine enemies; and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute mine heritage, and to blaspheme my name upon the lands which I have consecrated for the gathering together of my saints.

        If appears that if one is spiritually prepared, all else will fall into place.

        The entire chapter is profound and there is no mention of physical preparedness. This chapter concentrates on becoming spiritually ready as Sarah has beautifully expressed. There is where I would like to concentrate my efforts.

        Physical preparedness seems so “Fear” based. However, my rational mind tells me that some physical preparation is wise. Perhaps this is my own lack of faith. I have friends that are all out “Preppers” who are waiting for a call out from the brethren. I think they will be disappointed if it does not happen soon.

        What do the rest of you think? How important is physical preparation to you?

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        • Sam beat me to it. Lilies of the field, indeed. I love that scripture.

          I think it is prudent to be physically prepared, but, just as was earlier suggested, it does seem to be trusting on the arm of the flesh rather than the Lord, unless He is the one directing you. I think that we should counsel with the Lord regarding our preparation.

          As I’ve pondered this myself for my family, I keep getting led back to the spiritual preparation aspect.

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        • When I first started this journey, it was preparing physically. It was very fear based. Especially looking back at what motivated me. Still, I was very prayerful and felt lead in some respects to things that we should have in perpetration for things that may come. I also had some dreams that guided me to things that we would need. However, I have to give that experience (although fear based) some credit. It taught me about obedience. Something I needed before learning to separate the traditions of our Fathers vs. the gospel truth. I also learned that wether you are a “prepper” or a seeker for truth, both will bring you persecution. I think I needed to start slowly on the persecution from others. It’s shocking either way. It also prepared me to ask and speak to Heavenly Father “in all things that I should do”. In one of the NDE’s the author talks about a difference between tent city’s and city’s of light. She felt that she couldn’t speak about the city’s of light because the spirit was stopping her. Perhaps that is because most would reject the difference of the two outright. Also these tent city’s may be what many need to refine them. To learn to share what they have worked for and love each other in a very difficult situation that will require more faith than they have ever had to demonstrate. Many hearts will be softened in those places. Possibly enough to help them either become a city of light or get to one. Just some random thoughts on my own spiritual progression. 🙂

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        • I’ve worried a lot recently about physical preparation. However, prompted by these comments, I just read all the verses listed under TG Prepare. When taken in context, I could not find a single one that truly referred to physical preparation. They all referred to repentance and the need to be prepared with knowledge, understanding, and charity. (I also browsed lds.org, and they are the same verses generally used to explain the need for physical preparation. So I didn’t miss anything.) That has eased my mind a lot. I still think it is wise to do some physical preparing, but our ultimate success and survival will depend on other factors.

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  3. It will ultimately be our sins that unites us, not our conjugated-congratulatory-checklists of self righteousness.

    Sorry to be such a downer on a wonderfully uplifting post. But honestly, I believe, in the end, it will only be our complete and utter dependence on Christ, which paves the way for a unification worthy of His presence. Only those who can see their own filth and wretchedness can turn to God with enough faith for Him to sanctify them. I think this personal wrestle for sanctification (as was pointed out above) is related to the oneness of Zion.

    If only we were humble enough to recognize it now before our scheduled destruction.

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    • I don’t think you are being a downer. I think you’ve made a good point. When we all recognize our weaknesses and failings and dependence on the Lord, how much easier will it be to accept one another?

      I did not mention the process of sanctification in the post, other than how it begins, in the interest of length, but it is an important part, absolutely. Essential. And I agree, we have to recognize our need for it to receive it from Him.

      Thank you for your comment.

      I hope we can be humble enough too.

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    • Awaketozion—

      Sarah’s correct here. You’re not being a downer. Preach false doctrine, and you’ll be a downer. Turn away the needy, and you’ll be a downer. But emphasize the need for each member of Zion to receive the Savior in fullness, and you’ll have promoted the faith.

      Victor

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  4. Sarah, this is the most accurate summary of the doctrine of Zion I have ever personally seen. To be short, I saw the article title and began to receive inspiration on what I would personally write about. Upon clicking the article, the ideas I read matched nearly identically. The difference was yours were more developed and mature. So thank you–very, very much. I will be teaching from this.

    I’d like to add a few more steps between oneness with God and oneness as a people. First is of course unity with our spouse. Next, our children. The next is from one of my favorite teachings of Denver, and that’s unity with our extended family. There are few closer connections than those that bind families together. So if we can branch out from our families and go forward, including close friends along the way, we will certainly build a Zion people.

    I agree it won’t be easy. I don’t even know if it’s possible with a large group in this day. But I do know it is possible in small ones. And I know that by the same principles they can grow. So I don’t know how much to believe about a real Zion without becoming over-zealous as a certain Nephite was…interesting parallel there. But I can believe in the next step.

    I’m fortunate to be united with the girl I hope to be my wife one day soon. I received a dream where she, myself, and the LDS missionary who taught me all received our second anointings from an LDS church administrator–and were dissatisfied. The overall feeling was good and hopeful though. It was a message to hope on towards the real thing, which is to be called and blessed by Christ himself. I believe this will come to pass. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    I’m fortunate to have been blessed to know my children and children’s children will be united with us. This is certain. Perhaps more than certain, in the capacity I have now to know whether something is true or not.

    Now that I’ve come to this point, I’m looking forward to joining others in Zion. It is likely I will be able to greatly assist others both spiritually and financially. God is owner of all that I have, after all. He is. It has long been my dream to organize gated communities of some sort where the pure of heart can dwell, both in cities and out. It fills me with wonder at what the Lord can make of “stones” like me and you. He certainly can build Zion if we follow His direction. I doubt it could come any other way than by a group of people who all truly knew the Lord to the fullest extent someone can in this life.

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  5. In regards to physical preparation—

    I would first establish your spiritual connection to God and care for your soul before caring for the body. He will then direct you in all things.

    As for me and my house, God has directed our physical preparation. I have found that dependence on society is a dangerous invention of these past two hundred years and that the people of scripture have been able to rely on themselves for virtually everything. I believe in independence and self sufficiency at least.

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  6. Sarah….I have been moved upon by the Holy Spirit as I “feasted” upon your words. Straight up pure intelligence! I feel more inspired than ever to keep cleaning myself up…washing the walls….dusting off the furniture…opening my eyes and ears and letting the pure light from Fathers throne pierce the darkness and chase it from my inner corridors! Hallelujah Sweet Lord Jesus! may we all be one in mind with deity!

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  7. With regard to the value of spiritual vs. physical preparations, here is a verse that gave me food for thought:

    “And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their exceeding dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all” (3 Nephi 8:21)

    Notice these survivors believed the prophecies about darkness and were prepared with items such as candles, torches, and exceedingly dry wood. The Lord confirms in 3 Nephi 10:12 “And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and it was they who received the prophets and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the bood of the saints, who were spared”.

    Even as the “more righteous pare of the people” who had believed the prophecies enough to store sources of light, they found their preparations did not save them and they lamented that they had not repented. It was almost a year before they were prepared for the visitation of Christ.

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  8. WOW
    Thank you Minorityofone
    I think you nailed it.

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  9. As to physical preparedness:

    From President Benson:

    “Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion.”

    “The Lord has warned and forewarned us against a day of great tribulation and given us counsel, through His servants, on how we can be prepared for these difficult times. Have we heeded His counsel?”

    —–

    I believe that when a prophet gives repeated warnings such as Ezra Taft Benson did with teaching about the dangers of Socialism and the loss of Freedom all over the world, and the Saints need to be prepared (both spiritually and temporally) , and the Saint to a large extent ignore the message, the Lord then stops His prophets from warning the people any longer, as they rejected the original message, and therefore additional ones are no longer given because of our stiffneckedness.

    The warnings of past prophets, such as Pres. Benson are still valid! Just because current leaders are not slamming the pulpit about food storage, does not mean we no longer need to be prepared. If you focus on just being spiritually prepared and think that the Lord will somehow save you temporally because of your righteousness, you “will rue the day [you] harbored such a delusion.”

    Here is a link to this talk:

    https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1980/10/prepare-for-the-days-of-tribulation?lang=eng

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  10. While I agree there is much we can do to become more Zion-like as individuals, Zion is anathema to the state and its system of rule based on force and theft. As long as we are subjects of a state Zion cannot be established. Zion is supposed to rule over the kingdoms of the world and they should fear it. Just the opposite of the way things are now.
    Believing in the myth of earthly authority and that one must be subject to it is incompatible with establishing Zion. Here is a post explaining this concept: http://gregstocks.wordpress.com/

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  11. Thanks for the nice post. This really reminded me of this one advice at the end of my DMA book about achieving goals. The author quotes from The psychology of Winning by Denis Waitley. Thought I should share this little tid bit.

    “In the game of life, we’ve identified three types of people who play:

    First there are the spectators. They are the majority who watch life happen as bystanders. They avoid the main arena for fear of being rejected, hurt, defeated, or ridiculed . . . or most of all, fear of winning! After all, winning carries the burden of responsibility and for setting a good example. That’s too much of an effort for most . . . They prefer not to make waves, or get involved, and would rather watch it on television.

    Next there are the losers. By losers, we don’t mean the millions of hungry and destitute people throughout the world. Losers are the individuals in our own abundant and free society who would rather look like, be like, act like, or BE somebody else. {Losers are} people who wish for, make excuses for, alibi, scoff and, most of all, wallow in their own self pity. You can always spot losers in life by the way they put themselves down and spend most of their time criticizing others.

    But you and I are not interested in the losers . . . not in our lives. You and I are interested in WINNERS! These are the few, like YOU, who in a very natural, free-flowing way are determined to make a contribution to life worthy of the strong internal standards that they have set for themselves. Winners put themselves together across the board in life . . . at work in their professions, at home with their families, in society, with nature, and in their own spiritual dimension! They seem to constantly get what they want from life by providing valuable service to others . . .Winning is taking the talent or potential you were born with, and have since developed, and using it fully toward a purpose that makes you feel worthwhile.”

    Yesterday, I was thinking about this quote on how we can become winners through Jesus Christ’s help. By his gospel, using the atonement, and having your heart set on God. By your faith, you can achieve your goals. Such as Zion. Just my two cents.

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