Guest Post – Chauncey C. Riddle
Thesis: Zion is established one person at a time. However, Zion is a group of persons, persons who have all traveled the same strait and narrow covenant path to having become like unto Christ Himself. The Holy Temple Ordinances are the engine for establishing Zion.
1. Personal Revelation
The absolute fundamental to become a Zion person is to know by the Holy Spirit that God lives and Jesus Christ is the Savior of all the inhabitants of this world. In other words, the beginning of becoming like Christ is to be personally founded on the rock of revelation. A person founded on that rock not only has had revelation but lives by it daily, thus being enabled to do the works of righteousness.
2. Baptism and Confirmation
The works of righteousness are ministering to one’s neighbors as Christ would if He were here. The ordinances necessary for gaining this foundation are baptism and confirmation.
3. The Melchizedek Priesthood
As one serves his or her neighbor, ministering as Christ would, the next step is to do so with power, the power of the Holy Priesthood. Many receive the Holy Priesthood, but few receive it unto the power to do more than any ordinary human can do. As the priesthood holder concentrates on being as Christ, serving in all humility with love unfeigned and keeping himself unspotted by the sins of this world, the power to bless, heal, counsel and uplift come and the power to administer those things grows with the love the priesthood bearer has for those he desires to bless. The ordinance necessary to this step is ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood. Though sisters are not thus ordained, they and the brethren who do receive the Holy Priesthood learn to serve others as they scan the horizon constantly to find where and when they can help someone other than themselves, thus to make this world a better place, more like heaven. This searching and serving prepares all for the temple endowment.
4. Obedience to All Commandments
The next step in becoming a Zion person is to search out and gladly, delightedly obey the commandments of God. Searching the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit, the seeker comes to learn more and more of the order God desires to bring into this fallen world. This step is to treasure obedience to every word that proceeds forth out of the mouth of God. The measure of this obedience is the sacrifices, the giving up of the things of this world, that the person makes to complete that obedience
5. Loyalty to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
The step after studied obedience is the be sure that our obedience is done for the right reason. The best reason is that one loves the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven with all their heart. The measure of that love is that one’s love for everything and everyone else pales in comparison.
6. Overcome the Natural Man – Covenant of Chastity
The next step is to be sure that the temptations of the mortal flesh, especially the temptation for sexual fulfillment, are met only in the Lord’s way, in marriage ordained by God and as guided by His Holy Spirit. Without chastity, the pretended love of God is but a mockery because the goal is to eliminate all selfishness. The natural man clings to selfishness and can never get this far in loving God, and when confronted with his sins, will tend to blame God rather than trying to repent to become like him. The natural man can never get this far in loving God, and confronted with his sins will tend to blame God rather than repent to become like him. But the faithful sons and daughters of God glory in chastity and in the bearing of God’s holy spirits, the little children that come to husbands and wives in the covenant as the gift of God.
7. Covenant of Consecration
The step after that is to assure that everything a husband and wife possess or control is dedicated to the use and service of God. Sometimes this dedication and use is done through the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and sometimes that dedication and use are simply done privately as directed by the Holy Spirit. The net result is that all that the couple has by way of time, power, money, strength, hope, and love is dedicated to the cause of Christ in this world and to the establishment of Zion.
8. Personal Endowment
The covenant that makes these last four steps possible and complete is the Holy Endowment in the Temple. One purpose of the endowment is to teach every child of Christ how to love him with all one’s mind, heart, strength, and might, which is the temple order of these four.
9. Sealed in the Holy Temple
The final step in the covenant path in preparing to be a lawful inhabitant of a Zion community is to be sealed in the Holy Temple as husband and wife. That covenant is the commandment to cleave unto each other spiritually and physically unto the bearing of children, multiplying and replenishing this earth with the sons and daughters of God and unto the establishment of Zion.
The Mark of a Zion People
In Zion, the will of God is done on earth as it is in heaven. The temptations of Satan are still present and in great force, but by the sheer power of will in the love of Christ, the inhabitants of Zion cleave unto Christ, even as the husbands and wives cleave unto each other.
The mark of Zion is that the people of Zion are of one heart, one mind, they dwell in righteousness, and there is no poor person among them because they share. Bring Zion!