Building Zion, Home by Home

This is a talk I gave during Ward Conference on May 17, 2009.

Good afternoon.

For those who may not know, I am the YW president in our ward. I was asked to speak today on Building Zion, Home by Home.

So, what is Zion?

Elder Bruce R McConkie wrote that “Zion is people; Zion is the Saints of God; Zion is those who have been baptized; Zion is those who received the Holy Ghost; Zion is those who keep the commandments; Zion is the righteous.” [1]

We are Zion.

Again quoting Bruce R Mc Conkie, “The Lord has called us out of darkness into the marvelous light of Christ. He has commanded us to build up Zion anew. He has commanded us to overcome the world. He has commanded us to forsake every evil thing. He has made us his agents and representatives.” [2]

Each one of us here today has chosen to follow this commandment, to be a part of Zion, to build Zion.

So, how do we do that? How do we build Zion? The first thing we need to do is come to Zion, individually, in our own hearts.

In the Doctrine & Covenants 97:21, we read that Zion is the pure in heart. In the words of Bruce R McConkie, “Each one of us can build up Zion in our own lives by being pure in heart.” [3]

Elder D Todd Christofferson declared “we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness. To come to Zion, it is not enough for you or me to be somewhat less wicked than others. We are to become not only good but holy men and women.” [4]

In Moses 7:18, we read that the Lord calls his people Zion when they are of one heart and one mind and dwell in righteousness. Continuing from Elder D Todd Christofferson’s remarks, “We will become of one heart and one mind as we individually place the Savior at the center of our lives and follow those He has commissioned to lead us.” [5]

This means putting Christ first in all that we do. This reminds me of one of my favorite scripture verses.

2 Nephi 25:26
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

As we strive to make Christ a part of every aspect of our lives, our testimonies will overflow.

The theme of our conference today is Building Zion, home by home.

This is where it all starts…at home.

Joseph Smith taught, “Anyplace where the saints gather is Zion.” [6]

We gather as a worldwide church twice a year. We gather in our stakes at least twice a year. We gather in our ward buildings at least once a week. But we gather in our homes every single day. No matter what our home situation is like, we wake up in the morning and lie down at night in our homes. This is why it is essential to build Zion in our homes.

Wherever the saints gather, there is Zion. Our homes are our most frequent gathering place. We need to strengthen them from the inside. Our homes should be a refuge against the storms of life. Our homes should be filled, not with contention and strife, but with love.

When we enter our homes, we should feel of the spirit; we should feel safe and loved. If you do not think that this describes your home, change it. In Doctrine & Covenants 115:5-6, the Lord tells us, “verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations; And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.”

It is our responsibility to arise and shine forth. The mutual theme this year reminds the youth to be “an example of the believers.” In every action we take, in every word we speak, we can be examples of the believers.

Primary children, remind your families about family prayer and family home evening. Parents, listen to your child’s simple prayers and testimonies. Children and teenagers, obey your parents. We are all in this together, and life is so much more enjoyable when we work and serve together, when we make Christ a priority, when we love one another.

Building Zion is the most important thing we can do. We can build Zion by striving to become pure in heart by coming to know our Savior and following his example. We can build Zion in our homes by being an example to our families and helping the Spirit to dwell there.

If we build Zion, home by home, we must start by building Zion in our own hearts, and then making our homes a refuge. Zion will grow as we then invite friends and families into our homes to feel of the spirit, to share in the safety that the gospel affords.

I know that we can build Zion. I know that as we keep the commandments, Zion will become a very real part of our lives. I know the spirit will abide in our homes. I know my Savior lives and He loves me and He loves each of you.

In his sacred name, Jesus Christ. Amen.


[1] Bruce R. McConkie, “Building Zion,” Tambuli, Sep 1977, 12
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
D. Todd Christofferson, “Come to Zion,” Ensign, Nov 2008
[5] Ibid.
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Ch 15

1 comment:

  1. I secretly hope that next talk I give will be about building Zion so that I can swipe this one.


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