I’m working on the second post, which will be about what is Zion, comparing my understanding which is pretty similar to most members of the LDS church and contrasting that with what I found out after doing some studying. But something happened that I want to share first.
A few weeks ago, I was thinking about the tree of life and the settings in Lehi’s dream. That night I had a dream that was very real. I wouldn’t say it was a vision, because I had a vision once, yet this was no ordinary dream. I dreamed that I was holding onto the iron rod. I followed it through thick fog. Fog like that found on Deadman’s Pass in Oregon. If you’ve driven there, it gets so bad you have to roll down your window or open your door and look at the road to see the lines in the road. So I followed the rod until I arrived at the downtown of some major city bustling with people. It was a bright day. I saw a church across the street and I got excited and thought, “I’ve made it!”. I walked towards it. I got to it and it faded away, quickly. So I thought, crap, and start to run to find another one. As I ran, other people were running with me. I ran through town and all over the place and kept finding places but they faded away too. I would say, “it’s got to be over here.” I started to worry and continued to search. I tried to get back to the beginning and eventually I woke up and never found anything.
That morning when I woke up early, I felt strongly that I should write it down. Many times when I wake from a dream, I can fall back asleep and get back into the dream where I left off, but I didn’t. I remember thinking when I woke up how vivid and strong that dream was. Like a fool, I didn’t. But I though about it much that day.
Yesterday, the message of the dream was revealed to me. I had followed the iron rod, but when I saw that church and got excited, I let go of the rod. I didn’t realize it until yesterday. I thought I found what I was looking for, but the rod didn’t lead to that building, it appeared and I had to cross the street. Oh my gosh, as I write this, I think of the river in Lehi’s dream. Across the river was the great and spacious building. I crossed the street to get to the building!
This dream came at a time in my life that parallels the life of Lehi. Lehi left Jerusalem and the wickedness of that place to avoid destruction that would come. When they had left and were in the wilderness, he had the vision. This was before they reached America, Zion.
I have had major changes over the past while. I have conscientiously left the apostasy of the church and its wickedness. My whole view of the church and relationship to it are in a transition and I fully don’t understand it yet. My family and I are on a journey in the wilderness. We are heading to Zion but have not yet made it.
It was made known to me that I had let go of the iron rod, which is the word of God and was following after a church/churches instead of the tree Lehi spoke of. I didn’t realize at the time that I did it, what I had let go. It wasn’t until afterwards that I realized I had let go of it and was seeking after churches and buildings (man made structures). The tree is nothing a man could build, only something he could nurture.
I knew that the iron rod leads to the tree with the fruit Nephi wrote of, yet I thought some church building was what the rod led to. I knew that, but I didn’t realize that and my life didn’t reflect that. My life was perfectly represented in that dream.
It’s crazy how simple and plain the teachings of the Savior are. How plain and precious are the latter-day revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants. But I and so many others have read them to bolster our beliefs while somehow important, obvious commandments don’t register. The Lord already condemned the church over 150 years ago for the same thing, as revealed in D&C 84:
55 Which avanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
I have sinned. I have treated lightly the things I have received. Most of us are under condemnation and must repent. I believe that scourge is still in effect. I didn’t finish reading the Book of Mormon on my own until I was in the MTC. I was excited to tell one of the branch presidents and he gave me a pathetic look, like you’re proud of that? So many people read the Book of Mormon competely for the first time a few years back when Gordon Hickley challenged everyone to do so. That’s scary. If we do read the scriptures, do we “lightly” read them over? Or are we digging into them and trying to draw out what is there? I haven’t. For the most part I haven’t even gotten many of the obvious commands and principles. In this blog I will post about many of those issues. There is repentance. God forgives and will give us light and knowledge again. The Gospel is for everyone, but we are to be valiant.
I have been studying the scriptures everyday for a while now and searching them. I recognize that many things I thought were good and great revelations, were not the word of God, even though I and many others accept as such. Similarly, in my dream, other people were on that same journey and were searching for things that didn’t deliver.
I’m not sure the where the path I’m on winds through, but I know where it takes us to. Are you even concerned about going to Zion, the land of our inheritance? Search the prophecies, commandments, blessings and revelations (nearly 200 in D&C) concerning Zion. It was the goal of the early saints, but like the Jews who no longer wait or hope for a Savior, the same is for Mormons regarding Zion. I think we can agree that it is sad what the Jews state is, yet do we ever look at ourselves in the same way? Or do we think we are doing great?
18 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
19 And all these things that the prophets might be fulfilled.
20 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—