The original title of this post was going to be: “Orson Pratt is on Team Jacob” but then I wasn’t sure if the Spirit is a fan of Twilight.
My last post should have been titled something along the lines of The Society of Zion. It is not my place or people that will be the leaders and designers of the City of Zion. It is the Lamanites, the Native Americans that will build it. I can only assist in the building of Zion.The remnant of Lehi will have the knowledge and receive revelations to accomplish it. This was taught and shared by the early members of the church, but has been virtually forgotten.
Now, a great many, without reading these things, have flattered themselves that we are the ones who are going to do all this work. It is not so; we have got to be helpers, we have got to be those who cooperate with the remnants of Joseph in accomplishing this great work; for the Lord will have respect unto them, because they are of the blood of Israel, and the promises of their fathers extend to them, and they will have the privilege of building that city, according to the pattern that the Lord shall give. -Orson Pratt
Whoa, whoa, whoa! How come I never heard about this before Arkwelder posted it on puremormonism? Ya, it’s in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants and Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and Orson Pratt spoke about it a lot…but how come this was a big surprise to me and to anyone else I’ve spoken with about it? Like I keep saying, my ignorance is my fault. But this is should be something that every Mormon should know about. We hear about Zion but hardly talk about building the physical city other than in the back of our minds or the occasional side reference. We know it has to be done before the Savior’s 2nd coming or we are screwed.
This makes sense to me. Perhaps it is just my upbringing. My mom was way into Native American folklore, art, culture and people. Being from Seattle also had a big effect as people are really into the First Nations culture. One of my best friends from high school is from some Tribe in Northern California. There are lots of reservations around Seattle and Washington state. To me, this makes sense. For all that I tried to understand and know what the structure of Zion is going to be like, I just couldn’t find anything on it or know it.
I don’t mention it in this post but the Lamanites are not what most believe to be including all the people of Central and South America. Here’s a post at puremormonism about it. The Lamanites as taught by Joseph Smith were those in the borders of the 19th Century USA. In the old Northwest, the great lakes region.
It’s funny because as I was reading the Book of Mormon yesterday before work, in Helaman it talks about geography and with my new perspective as I read it, it made perfect sense and I could visualize pretty accurately what it was talking about. This makes sense when you study about the promises and role the Lamanites are to play. It then makes sense why Zion has not yet been built. That will have to be for another post.
Orson Pratt shared what he knew about Zion at a meeting back in 1875. It’s long but if you want to read the whole thing, follow this link. Orson shared some great information about Zion. He also shared a lot of his own views. I can’t blame him for it. It’s hard not to try and figure it out and hope the Lord reveals something as we search. Especially something as necessary as Zion. There are many issues that we can look back and say, ya that was definitely a product of his culture and society that formed that view.
I’m going to share paragraphs from it and put my comments in italics. The biggest surprise and essential piece is the role the Native Americans will play. Actually, it’s the role we, for the most part the current members of the church will play…assisting. Go ahead and read. It’s awesome.
Here we go…
This is what we must look for—these are the things that must be fulfilled, and for which we must seek and pray in an understanding manner. Not asking God to redeem Zion before he has redeemed a portion of the remnants of Joseph; not asking God to establish this people upon their inheritances in Jackson County, until the other things are fulfilled in their order, and in their times and seasons. First, a remnant will be converted; second, Zion will be redeemed, and all among the Gentiles who believe will assist this remnant of Jacob in building the New Jerusalem; third, a vast number of missionaries will be sent throughout the length and breadth of this great continent, to gather all the dispersed of his people in unto the New Jerusalem; fourth, the power of heaven will be made manifest in the midst of this people, and the Lord also will be in their midst, in the character of a shepherd, and he will lead Joseph as a flock, and he will instruct and counsel them personally as he did their ancient fathers in the days of their righteousness.
1)Lamanites converted: The Native Americans
2)Zion redeemed by Lamanites (Native Americans) and assisted by the Gentiles (us).
3)Missionaries sent out to gather, gather, aka gather.
Perhaps some may inquire—“Have you any idea, brother Pratt, how we will be redeemed when we have accomplished this work you have spoken of?” Not much, I do not pretend to have a great deal of understanding upon the subject; but there are some few things revealed, some of which I read to you at the commencement of my remarks. Speaking of the redemption of this people, the Lord says—“Behold I will raise up a man like unto Moses.” This did not mean Joseph Smith, he was already raised up and was among us. He was the one who received that revelation; he was the one who brought to light the Book of Mormon, and translated it by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. But the Lord, who understands the end from the beginning, saw that when his work was completed, he would be taken away, and that another would be raised up. “Behold I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power, therefore I will raise up unto my people a man who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel, for ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, with an outstretched arm, and as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.”
Moses was an Israelite. One of the minority that was ruled and oppressed by the nation of Egypt. To me, if one is to be raised like Moses, it would be a Native American.
It may be that we shall yet be in bondage like the Israelites in the land of Egypt; for the Lord has said that, when this man should be raised up, he would redeem his people by power out of bondage, and they should be led as their fathers were led at the first.
But when we have two Mormons running for president and one with a decent chance and the head of the Senate a Mormon, then we are not the oppressed, we are the oppressors. “But we are oppressed, we have a massive PR campaign to help fix that…” Ya us and everyone else too. We all can paint ourselves the victims. Go and visit the Rez, then tell me who is oppressed. Of course we are in Spiritual Bondage in the chains of Babylon, but like I’ve stated in other posts, it doesn’t look like the leadership in the LDS church will be leaving Babylon any time soon. If anything, the Mormons are in the role of the Egyptians with the rest of the US and the Lamanites/Israel are in the role of Israel (funny how that works out). The Natives have been fighting the oppression for so long. They can only remember the good old days before. Just like Israel in Egypt. There may be a few individuals go to prepare the way, to purchase a little more land and get things in orders; but when that is accomplished, this people as a body will return to that land, the Lord going with them.
Notice he said “a few individuals,” not the first presidency or church. They are on some other track: “In 1978, for example, when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased over 4,000 acres of land across the river in Clay County, many Mormons concluded that this was somehow a sign of the temple’s immediate construction. Church leaders stressed that the purchase was for investment purposes only.” [Church News 16 Dec 1978] (My emphasis in bold)
Investment purposes? That’s not Zion, that’s Babylon.
This people—the Latter-day Saints, before they can ever return to build up the waste places of Zion and receive their inheritances in Jackson County, Missouri, have got to exert themselves to bring the remnants of Joseph to a knowledge of the truth. We have not made any very great exertions in this direction unto the present time.
Things haven’t gotten any better in the past 136 years since Orson opined that they hadn’t made any great exertions.
Another thing mentioned in prophecy is that they, “the Gentiles,” shall assist my people, the house of Israel, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem; and then shall they assist my people, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, that may be gathered in unto the New Jerusalem; and then shall the power of heaven come down and be in the midst of this people, and I also will be in their midst. And then shall the work of the Father commence, at that day, even when this Gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, in that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people.”
The lost tribes cannot be gathered until Zion, the New Jerusalem is built. So for all our missionary efforts, we’re doing it out of order. It’s like wiping before you poop. “And then shall the work of the Father commence, at that day, even when this Gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people.”
I’m looking for anyway that I can help. Those missions of bringing the Lamanites back, I can do that. That is what Ephraimites do, we are gatherers (missionaries).
What I wish to call your special attention to now, so far as these sayings are concerned, is this—the Latter-day Saints in these mountains never can have the privilege of going back to Jackson County and building that city which is to be called the New Jerusalem, upon the spot that was appointed by revelation through the Prophet Joseph, until quite a large portion of the remnants of Joseph go back with us. Now then, here is a work for us, and we have no need to pray the Father to return us to Jackson County until that work is done. We can pray to the Father, in the name of Jesus, to convert these Indian tribes around us, and bring them to a knowledge of the truth, that they may fulfill the things contained in the Book of Mormon.
The Lord says—“They,” the Gentiles, who believe in the Book of Mormon, “shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.”
Now, a great many, without reading these things, have flattered themselves that we are the ones who are going to do all this work. It is not so; we have got to be helpers, we have got to be those who cooperate with the remnants of Joseph in accomplishing this great work; for the Lord will have respect unto them, because they are of the blood of Israel, and the promises of their fathers extend to them, and they will have the privilege of building that city, according to the pattern that the Lord shall give. Do not misunderstand me, do not think that all the Lamanite tribes are going to be converted and receive this great degree of education and civilization before we can return to Jackson County. Do not think this for a moment, it will only be a remnant; for when we have laid the foundation of that city and have built a portion of it, and have built a Temple therein, there is another work which we have got to do in connection with these remnants of Jacob whom we shall assist in building the city. What is it? We have got to be sent forth as missionaries to all parts of this American continent. Not to the Gentiles, for their times will be fulfilled; but we must go to all those tribes that roam through the cold regions of the north—British America, to all the tribes that dwell in the Territories of the United States, also to all those who are scattered through Mexico, and Central and South America, and the object of our going will be to declare the principles of the Gospel unto them, and bring them to a knowledge of the truth. “Then shall they assist my people who are scattered on all the face of the land, that they may be gathered in to the New Jerusalem.”
This is my opinion but it has to contribute to the extremely low retention of South American converts. It was down to around 1% in many missions down there. Maybe it’s because they are to be gathered physically to Zion. Since that is not happening, a vital piece of the Spirit of the Lord’s work is missing. Things have fallen apart. Zion is the glue, the cause, that if missing, nothing will hold together and we end up in apostasy.
How important is Orson’s message! I think of Jack Sparrow’s compass in the The Pirates of the Caribbean. It worked according to their greatest desire. The main characters realize that what their mind wanted wasn’t what their heart wanted. How can we desire the right thing if we don’t know about it? If we aren’t desiring the right thing or the right order, then where the heck have we been going for the past 150 years? What has happened?
On another site, going over the history of Zion in Indepnedence, the author aptly describes the current state of the LDS church’s Zion.
“The glossy brochures, the young missionary women, the beautiful grounds do nothing to the Spirit of Zion in Missouri than reiterate the fact that these monuments are the gravestones of Zion.” link
So you’ve heard these things. Now what are you going to do? We can’t stick our heads in the ground, we have to follow the Lord or reject Zion. To me, this is exciting, it’s like finding a major clue in a treasure map. Are you a Lamanite, a lost tribe or a Gentile? Know who you are and what your role is. If this gospel is true. If the Book of Mormon is true. If Joseph Smith was a true prophet. No amount of FHE, mutual night activities or trunk or treats will accomplish any of this. It’s time to go big or go home. This is the gospel of action. If we aren’t actively engage in the process, it doesn’t really matter what else we are engaged in. I know what I am going to do.