The Why

779px-MarsSunsetLast night I was considering the “what” and “how” of Zion. After reading the comments from that post, I see that I’m skipping past the “why”. If I want to understand how Zion will work, I first need to understand why it exists — what it’s intended to achieve.

The scriptures exhort us with eager anticipation for the prophesied Zion. They even go into some detail on visions of its dimensions and inhabitants. But they don’t say what it’s for, or why we should be excited about it. So what’s it for? And for whom?

One key question to answer is, is Zion a means or and ends? In other words, is Zion intended to prepare its inhabitants for something greater, or is Zion the final reward of the righteous? If Zion is an ends, it will be more exclusive, but if its a means then it will be more inclusive.

Another question: what is Zion supposed to offer its inhabitants? Is Zion intended to maximize their happiness? Their righteousness? Or are those the same things? Or is the goal to maximize something else: productivity, knowledge, fecundity?

Like my previous post, all these questions are, of course, speculative. However, they’re important. Perhaps the purpose of Zion will be determined by conversations like these — perhaps sincere discussion and reflection will not merely uncover, but in fact create the vision of the Zion that one day I hope we build. Without an idea of why Zion exists, I don’t suppose it makes much sense to speculate on how it will work or what it will look like.

7 comments for “The Why

  1. This could be a useful exercise, in the same way that all the 19-year olds preparing a list of qualities they want in their spouse could be a useful exercise. But its not the list that makes you fall in love, and Zion should be the sort of place that makes your heart leap. If you don’t write poetry about it, its not Zion.

  2. Usually not, though Nehemiah might disagree. Still, getting buildings built is more of a ‘how’ problem, isn’t it?

  3. Zion, or the New Jerusalem, is a place to maximize accomplishing the work of God — administering the kingdom, serving in temples, learning the ways of God. It isn’t the final goal (it isn’t the Celestial Kingdom), but neither is it a low-grade laboratory for making Saints. For it to be Zion, Saints have to already *be* Saints, having already committed themselves to righteousness and be engaged in practicing it, while becoming ever more like God through learning and experience.

  4. Zion is also a place where the righteous receive the reward of being “kings and priests unto God” (Rev 1:6).

    In 3 Enoch, the prophet is taken up to heaven, dressed in white clothing, anointed, given the new name of the archangel Metatron (also Little Yahweh), and sat upon God’s throne, where he is worshiped by angels.

    In George Laub’s journal, he states that Nimrod’s Tower of Babel was built to catch the City of Enoch, where he could throw Enoch out of the city. IOW, Zion = Heaven, and Enoch = the King of Zion, or (a) God.

    We get this same concept with Melchizedek (whose name literally means King of Righteousness), who translates the city of Salem, and also becomes King of Heaven. In 4QMelchizedek (Dead Sea Scrolls), we are told that “Melchizedek is El (God)!”

    So, we build Zion because we want to have heaven on earth. We build it, because we want to be gods and kings and priests of God.

  5. These are great posts Dane. I wish I could keep up with them better. I can only hit the blogs about 2 to 3 times a week. But no matter, keep up the good work.

    Let’s see – just thinking on it. My mind is not as quick as you youngsters. It seems to me that there will be Zion (New Jerusalem) and Old Jerusalem – the Law to go forth from the former and the Word from the latter. Does this indicate a continued seperation of Church and State? If not, then why two centers of authority instead of one? Of course, this seperation would be different from what we know it today since Gospel principles will hold sway on the earth. Kind of like the difference between Temple Square and Capitol Hill? I mention this in order to bring up a discussion on government and how it would apply in that situation.

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