“Moving the Cause of Zion in Mighty Power, Lesson 10: Sections 21–24, 26,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324–325 (1981), 19–20
“Lesson 10,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide, 19–20
Two elements are necessary for the establishment of Zion: a living prophet who reveals the will of God and a people who sustain and follow a living prophet.
The purpose of this dispensation is to move the cause of Zion.
The cause of Zion is to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord.
A people thus prepared are called the pure in heart, or Zion.
God has directed his living prophet to move the cause of Zion.
The living prophet, the President of the Church, holds the keys to direct the building of Zion.
The living prophet will give us assistance and counsel to help us in becoming Zion.
Those who receive the prophet and sustain him receive great blessings.
Sections 21–24, 26; Enrichment B, “Establishing Zion”
Use material from Historical Background and Notes and Commentary to teach each revelation in its historical context.
D&C 105:4–5. By what principles is Zion to be built up?
D&C 97:21. What does it mean to be a Zion people?
D&C 84:99–102. What song will the righteous sing in the day when Zion is redeemed?
Moses 7:12–19. What characterized the Zion of Enoch’s time?
4 Nephi 1:2–5, 15–17. What qualities did these Book of Mormon people demonstrate?
1 Nephi 13:37. What great blessing is promised those who seek to bring forth Zion?
Teachings, pp. 160, 231–32. What should be a major motivating goal in our lives?
Teachings, p. 254. Upon what principle will Zion be built?
Discourses, p. 118. How must we begin to establish Zion?
DS, 3:78. Have we been released from the responsibility to build Zion?
Gos. Doc, p. 76. What must Latter-day Saints do to fulfill the requirements of being a Zion people?
Spencer W. Kimball, in CR, Apr. 1978, pp. 119–24. What are we accomplishing as we obey the Lord’s prophet?
Bruce R. McConkie, in CR, Apr. 1980, pp. 97–100. What yet lies ahead before Zion is redeemed?
History of the Church, 4:537. What are we preparing for as we build Zion?
Brigham Young, “General Epistle,” Ensign, July 1971, pp. 37–43; see also Millennial Star, 15 Mar. 1848, pp. 81–88.
Refrain from “laying the foundation of Zion” in this lesson because that theme will be developed later. Also, avoid an in-depth discussion of the law of consecration and the order of Enoch for the same reason. The purpose of this lesson is to show the role the living prophet plays in the establishment of Zion in the last days.
It is a great advantage for a member of any organization to catch a vision of the purposes, goals, and objectives of that organization. Until a person has that vision he can never really feel a part of the organization. The kingdom of God on earth has purposes, goals, and a divine destiny. When a member of the Church sees this “big picture,” the Church and its principles take on new meaning. The Lord gave Moses, Enoch, and other prophets visions of how their particular assignments fit into the ultimate purposes of the Lord. When Moroni appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith, he gave him an understanding of the importance of his calling by quoting prophecies and by indicating that they were about to be fulfilled (see Joseph Smith-History 1:40–41). One of the purposes of this lesson is to assist each student in “catching a vision” of the cause of Zion that he might feel he is a part of the only kingdom with a divine destiny.
In the early revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord repeatedly stated, “Seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion” (D&C 6:6; see also D&C 11:6; 12:6; 14:6). When the Prophet was first called to assist the Lord in the restoration of the Church, he did not know much about its ultimate destiny. Perhaps his first insights came as he translated the Book of Mormon. Such references as 1 Nephi 22:14–23 spoke of a kingdom called Zion that would be triumphant over evil in the last days. Other scripture spoke of a New Jerusalem and the powers of heaven coming down among a people (see 3 Nephi 20:22; 21:23–26; Ether 13:1–12).
Later the Prophet was to learn that the word Zion could refer to a number of things. Write the word Zion on the chalkboard, and ask the students for a definition. The following are a few references:
A city built by Enoch (see Moses 7:19)
North and South America (see Smith, Teachings, p. 362)
The Church of Jesus Christ (see D&C 113:7–8)
New Jerusalem in Jackson County, Missouri (see D&C 57:1–5)
The pure in heart (see D&C 97:21)
A complete overview of the various meanings of Zion is found in Enrichment B of the student manual, “Establishing Zion.”
Be sure the students understand that the term Zion can refer to places or, more importantly, to a condition of the people.
Possibly, one item that led to the Prophet’s greatest insight into the cause of Zion was the revelations now contained in the book of Moses. By these the Prophet learned about the city of Enoch. Note how the Lord described this people (see Moses 7:16–21). Also in this revelation, he learned that the city of Enoch was to come back to earth sometime near the second coming of the Lord (see Moses 7:60–69). In what condition will Enoch’s people find the Lord’s kingdom on earth when they return?
What then is the cause of Zion? (The purpose of this dispensation is to prepare a people to become a Zion society; see Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, pp. 119–24.)
Doctrine and Covenants 21 holds the key to our becoming of one heart and one mind. This revelation was received as a commandment according to History of the Church, 1:74–78. Verses 4 and 5 of Doctrine and Covenants, section 21, give the commandment. What does “as if” (vs. 5) refer to? Why might it take patience and faith to receive the words of the prophets? Verse 6 gives the blessings that will come to those who do this. According to verse 7, who has been given the keys to move the cause of Zion? How then can we become a Zion people? (See Notes and Commentary for D&C 21 in the student manual.)
One of the challenges for the early converts of the Church was to learn the lesson taught by the Lord in Doctrine and Covenants, section 21. They had to learn that there was only one person who received revelation for the whole Church. They were to look to the Prophet and receive all of his words as if from the mouth of the Lord. Doctrine and Covenants 22 through 24 offers an excellent opportunity to teach the doctrine of common consent whereby the Saints are given the opportunity to outwardly consent, or covenant, to sustain the Lord’s anointed-the Prophet. What is the responsibility established by this covenant as it relates to us? (See Notes and Commentary for D&C 26 in the student manual.)