The recent and on-going controversy over the Remnant Reunion in Mesa saddens me. It is greatly ironic that, among a fledgling community that so passionately advocates building Zion, we are already divided over this activity.
I’ve also recently had a personal experience in which I felt conflicted toward a dear friend and brother, in whom I have much emotional and spiritual investment; to whom I have made a very strong commitment. In trying to reconcile these experiences with my own image of Zion and how the interpersonal interactions will develop, evolve and sustain themselves, I have come to a conclusion:
If something can’t be said with love, kindness and at least a sincere attempt at understanding, it shouldn’t be said.
I suggest that this concept be raised as a spiritual ensign for all who would come to Zion. In raising this standard, I am in no way declaring that I have always lived up to it, that I do always live up to it, or that I will always live up to it. I am declaring, however, my intent to strive toward upholding that standard.
Unkind words are always (yes, I’m using the absolute “always”) the result of some form of jealousy and fear. We cannot hope to dwell in the presence of the Savior if we harbor jealousies and fears.
And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.
For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.
Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind. (D&C 67:10-12)
The prophet Joseph suggested this standard in his eloquent and eternally powerful treatise on the sociality required of Zion in D&C 121:41-46
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
Brethren and Sisters, the standard has been raised once again. These principles have been stated in scripture over and over again by greater spirits than mine. We must honor it, or our attempts to glorify our Savior by building His Zion will end up on the same scrap heap as so many other previous noble but doomed attempts. If we are to build Zion, we must each make this standard our own. We will struggle. We will fall. But this ensign, so simply stated, is one that must not fall. It must be raised in our hearts, and it must be raised above Zion, wherever she shall rise. I, for one, pledge before my Lord that I will never abandon it, in spite of my weakness and failures. This Ensign points to Him, and I will come.
Lord, I will come!