The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 186)
And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be. (1 Nephi 13:37)
Our dear friend, Chauncey C. Riddle, did a guest blog article for us on how to be a Zion people. His wisdom and experience as 19 years a sealer in the Provo, UT, Temple and 40 years of teaching philosophy make this article extremely useful in our quest to help the Lord, who will bring about Zion! It will happen, and we can be part of it!
The Lord through the Prophet Zenos proclaimed in his momentous allegory, anticipating the coming forth of Zion: “For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself…” (Jacob 5:71) Let us have joy with the Lord in this great effort and help ourselves and as many as will to repent, to come unto Christ, and to be part of this IDEAL SOCIETY.
The Lord says in, JS Luke 21:25 “In the generation in which the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars.” In 2017, the Lord gave us signs in the sun, moon, and stars. Beginning with a Total Solar Eclipse (21 August 2017), the Lord had it cross over this Promised Land of America and specifically passed over seven cities by the name of Salem and the place of the New Jerusalem. Salem means peace in Hebrew, and seven is the number of completion or perfection in the Lord’s arithmetic. In other words, If America would repent, she could have the Lord’s peace to settle over the land.
Also, the war in heaven, described in Revelations Chapter 12, is continuing here on the earth, which is about our free choice, and our God-given personal sovereignty is under attack in a major way. Satan and his minions are doing their ugliness to make the deep state sovereign, but the Lord and his servants in the due process will bring about Zion in spite of Satan’s horrible tactics, and in due process Babylon the great will fall, as Michael fights off the dragon depicted in this revelation and we will soon see the birth of the predicted “man child,” Zion society – the Kingdom of God coming on earth as it is in heaven, as the Lord has asked us to pray.
Satan, in opposition to the work of the Lord, always has his counterattack. The more important the work, the bigger the attack! As an important example affecting our lives today, just after the Lord had the Prophet Joseph Smith bring forth the restoration of the fullness of the gospel, Satan influenced Charles Darwin to develop atheistic organic evolution, which is now pervasive in our education systems throughout the world. Darwin’s theory is in stark contrast to our God’s creation message in Scripture for our first parents, Adam and Eve. Then followed social evolution and then political evolution, which is communism and socialism.
As we anticipate the Lord bringing forth Zion, there are exciting events associated therewith, as the Lord prepares the hearts of the people, who come unto Him, for that IDEAL SOCIETY. It behooves all of us to be open to marvelous manifestations as well as being cautious.
In a previous post, I suggested that you consider the claim that a Brazilian, Mauricio Berger, had brought forth a partial translation of the sealed plates of the Book of Mormon. In conjunction with that activity and as the Lord was showing His signs in the heavens on Saturday 21 January 2017 Mauricio was told that the Lord was moving his hand to restore Zion to its place determined by Him, in a place chosen to be the New Jerusalem in Missouri. Mauricio shares that he was given the means to translate 19 of the 42 sealed plates of the Book of Mormon to help bring about Zion.
My Consideration and Research
After finishing reading “The Sealed Book of Mormon,” as they call it, I have done some research and have drawn some conclusions but still have questions. The Lord has promised that in His time, He will bring forth the “sealed” portion of the Book of Mormon, which reveals the end from the beginning. However, should we not find it surprising that Satan will have counterattacks.
Is this a satanic counterfeit to deceive people from when the true “sealed” portion comes forth, which is a major step in the Lord’s program, as He brings forth Zion? The Savior said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits… Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” (Matt. 7:16-18) In mathematics and logic, this is a profound statement – gives both a necessary and sufficient validation.
My Perspectives Using the Savior’s Criteria
1. The fruits of the Prophet Joseph Smith validate him as a prophet of God.
3. The reformers, following the dark ages, brought forth the Bible, and the King James Version of the Bible has done more good than any other book on the planet.
4. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Joseph Smith organized under the direction of the Lord on the Savior’s birthday (6 April 1830) has done more good than any other church in bringing souls to Christ, and to the fullness of the gospel contained in the Book of Mormon.
5. However, there has been a serious decline in the Church’s effectiveness in bringing souls to Christ in recent times. In the 1980s, the Church had a conversion rate of 47.5 per thousand members. That dropped down to 14.4 in 2019. I did a linear regression analysis of the conversion rate over the four decades from 1980 to 2019; when extrapolated that analysis would indicate that in eight years there would be no converts! The 2019 number of 14.4 converts per thousand members dropped one year later to 7.6 converts per thousand members due to the pandemic in 2020. I have no doubt that the Lord has a solution to this deteriorating trend, as He gathers Israel from the four corners of the earth in fulfillment of prophecy and to prepare a Zion people to meet Him at His coming.
6. I pray for Zion to come forth every day. When I learned of the “Sealed Book of Mormon” coming forth on Sunday (4 April 2021), I wondered if this was partly an answer to my prayer. I like to try to be open to truth from wherever it may come so I made it a subject of consideration.
7. As I read the 156 pages of the translated sealed portion brought forth by Mauricio, I felt a spirit of purification knowing that a Zion society must be “pure in heart.” I had some similar feelings when I read the Book of Jasher, which is also mentioned in the Bible, as is the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon (Isa. 29:11). But the Lord hasn’t given me a witness of this “Sealed Book of Mormon.” I know the Lord can turn bad into good.
8. Is the story of the coming forth of the “sealed” portion, the angelic visits, and the witnesses valid? At present, my research shows me that it is not. The estimated weight of the plates is wrong. Mauricio mentions in his forward that the sealed portion is to come forth in two parts. As I read the scriptures he cites, I have a different understanding. The Lord says, “…the things which are sealed shall not be delivered in the day of the wickedness and abominations of the people. Wherefore the book shall be kept from them.” (2 Nephi 27:8)
9. The exciting dimension in my mind, and in the minds of others I have talked to, is that Satan is bringing this forth by way of deceit so that people will not believe in the real thing, which is soon to come forth.
10. Reading from what Mauricio translated of his “sealed Book of Mormon” in Chapter 10:5, 7, 9 of the Acts of the Three Nephites, “Here is wisdom and a promise; since Zion begins in our own house, then the fundamental bases of the united order of Enoch are the families that compose it… If the guidelines of our home are the teachings of Jesus Christ, then we will live in homes where joy reigns, whose branches of our posterity will be firmly rooted in the fruits of the Holy Spirit; love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance; these being the feelings that must fill our earthly abode, as being a heavenly refuge. And, behold, joy is one of its fruits and will overflow through the walls in the homes of Zion. …make your homes the symbols of Zion.”
What Mauricio shares seems fundamental, but somewhat deceptive in that if the “guidelines of our home[s] are just His “teachings,” then we miss the message of the three pillars of eternity: the CREATION, the FALL, and the ATONEMENT, as we bask in the fullness of the gospel. Indeed, I believe much, much more will be opened up when all of the sealed portion comes forth, as Zion is launched by the Lord. Therefore, I cannot support Mauricio’s claim of his translation of the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon.
Study and Search
As we consider new information that is coming forward, during these exciting times, wisdom demands that we do our own research, and study carefully those claims that come before us. I cannot think of any better guides than the scriptures and humble prayer. There are many points of view being expressed during this age of immediate information. We are in a time that we cannot afford to be lax and not personally take responsibility to do our own research. I cannot think of any better beginning than to diligently search the scriptures. Of course, we may make mistakes along the way, but with the Lord’s help, we will prevail, as we put our hand in His. If we are willing to do our part with open hearts and willing minds, then the TRUTHS of God will flow into our souls.
Supporting Each Other in the Journey
While I was serving for ten years as Stake President in Boulder, CO, I learned a humbling and hard lesson that the Lord would make up for my weaknesses by using others to fill in where I was deficient. I was surrounded by wonderful people, who were forgiving of my faults, and were focused in faith in moving the work of the Lord forward. I had many miraculous, and incredible experiences over those ten years with the help of the Lord and many wonderful people. I am confident that all “who shall seek to bring forth my Zion” trusting totally in Jesus Christ will be blessed, as promised by the Lord (1 Nephi 13:37), in spite of our weaknesses.
Now, my heart is filled with love for each of you who read this blog and for your precious families – hoping we will all have, in the meantime, the spirit of Zion in our homes as we prepare to be part of the Bride to meet the Bridegroom at His Coming. Such is the blessing of the Zion society that is destined to come forth in the midst of the storms of life to meet Him at His glorious return.
David W. Allan