As we’ve been focusing on the scripture project, which we hope will bring about receiving a covenant from the Lord, Jesus Christ, I’ve begun to realize something: there is currently no scripture canonized today that teaches a people in word and by example how to bring about Zion.
The last time Zion was accomplished was in the days of Melchizedek with Salem, the City of Peace. The only other time Zion has been accomplished was previous to Salem with the City of Enoch. The scriptures contain references to these cities, but no actual recordings from the participants about how they governed themselves other than what little is said in scripture, “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” Moses 7:18
The Old Testament begins with the book of Genesis, “written” by Moses, or as some scholars believe, by four different sources, the “Yahwists”, “Elohists”, “Deuteronomists” and the “priestly document”. Whomever it was written by, one thing is certain, the Old Testament recorders lived long after both Zions had fled from the earth.
“And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion; and it came to pass that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is Fled.” (Moses 7:69)
We do not have any actual existing records in today’s known world of scripture which was written by any of the Patriarchs or “Fathers in Heaven”. Because of this we do not know how to organize ourselves under a Patriarchal system where all people are equal and function more as a family rather than an institution.
After Salem, the City of Peace, the people of the Old Testament failed to bring about Zion. The people of the New Testament failed to bring about Zion. The people of the Book of Mormon came very close in 4th Nephi but in the end failed to bring about Zion. The people of the Doctrine and Covenants failed to bring about Zion. These groups all failed because they organized themselves into institutions that were hierarchical rather than equal.
Is it wisdom in the Lord to keep the ideals, principles and guidelines followed by the people who were successful in bringing about Zion hidden from the world? If we had the records from Adam down to Ephraim (the Fathers in Heaven) would the world have even more pretenders? Would the knowledge damn us even more? Would it be used by conspiring men to enslave us even more? Or is it that we are too stubborn and stiff-necked to even understand the patriarchal model at all and therefore it is kept hidden from our view out of mercy in order to spare us greater condemnation and judgement?
All we know for sure is that both Enoch and Melchizedek preached repentance unto their people. Their people repented from all their wickedness and peace was established.
Today we have been sent a true messenger from the Father. He has been sent from the Fathers clothed with power and authority as an authorized servant to give us a message. The message is to repent! But it is also about how to govern ourselves so as to bring about Zion. As my family and I have been repenting and implementing the teachings we are learning, I am beginning to see how bringing about Zion can take centuries to accomplish.
One of the difficult struggles I have been witness to lately is that of equality: what it means and how we go about implementing it.
One of the lessons God has been teaching me lately is that Equality is not just between men but also extends to women. “ God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27 I have been greatly blessed to be married to a man who has treated me as his equal and walked side by side with me throughout our journey on this earth. I generally associate with other men who treat their wives and other women with respect and equality.
Recently I have interacted with men who are all so busy trying to be equal with other men that they trample on the tender hearts of women. Men may have knowledge but without the wisdom of women there is not true equity. Recent events have left me feeling that far too many men do not see women as their equals in spiritual matters. Interactions with men outside of my family and friends have left me feeling unappreciated, overlooked and minimized. Some interactions have even left me feeling embarrassed and humiliated.
This has caused me to think about the women mentioned in scripture from the Old Testament to the Pearl of Great Price. While there are stories about women there are no books which have been penned by women. As I’ve pondered on this, I thought about all the women of great faith, even prophetesses whose stories are in the scriptures. Surely, some of these women wrote about becoming daughters of Christ and receiving His testimony. This world has been a male dominated world since sin was introduced. Men are generally the ones who form committees to compile and canonize scripture, therefore, it only makes sense that men, threatened by and jealous of women having greater light and knowledge, would remove any writings penned by women.
As I have been pondering the current scripture project and the desire for equality among believers, the Lord has whispered to my heart that one of the tests underway in regards to equality is whether His Daughters will rise up and whether or not His Sons will allow us to. It is not just equality between men that God desires for us but equality among all people, male and female, young and old.
“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am” D&C 93:1
“For there is no respect of persons with God.” Romans 2:11
Unless we take seriously that women are created equal to men we will continue to fail to bring about Zion.
Part of this responsibility lies on the shoulders of the women; we must rise up; we must speak up; we must expect respect and equality and we must extend it to each other. Christ wants His daughters to speak up, to be more involved. If women cannot learn to respect and treat other women with equity we can never hope to be treated as such by men. If we cannot learn how to be equal we will never bring about Zion.