The Latter-day Saints look forward to an era of righteous peace under a world government having its central seats of authority in the City of Zion which is to be built upon the American continent and in Jerusalem upon the eastern hemisphere. (The probelm of this thesis is limited more specifically to the development of Zion's branch of this world order.) The earliest accounts of their history give information relating to basic principles and doctrines which have consistently developed to form a relatively complete concept of principles inherent within this proposed organization. This movement, designated as the "cause of Zion" has its goal the development of a righteous society in preparation for the time when the "One like the Son of Man" is to be given "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages . . . [may] serve him."
The nucleus of this new social order has been established and the society of Zion is in the process of development. Associated with Zion's rise to prominence, those who advocate the principles of this new society foresee a period of tribulation in world affairs which ultimately is to make "a full end of all nations." In order for Zion to succeed in bringing peace to the earth under these conditions it is first proposed that as an organization she must "stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world." Otherwise she herself may scucumb to the difficulties foreseen.
Having accomplished the establishment of a stable organization, the program advocated by Zion is then to encompass those people who are willing to come under the guiding auspices of this united organization during the period when the various nations of the world fail in maintaining civil government. "I will tell you what they will do, by and by," John Taylor, third President of the Church, explained:
You will see them flocking to Zion by thousands and tens of thousands, and they will say, "We don't know anything about your religious matters, but you are honest and you are honorable and you are upright, and just and you have a good just and secure government, and we want to put ourselves under your protection for we cannot feel safe anywhere else.
Under these circumstances a secular government designated as The Kingdom of God is to be established. This government is to grow out of Zion's body of united followers, they being "the germ from which the kingdom is to be developed, and the very heart of the organizaiton."
The law upon which the Kingdom of God is to be built will conform in its general principles to those prerogatives of liberty and freedom which are vouchsafed to the American people in our present constitution. These principles are to be "maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh" According to Mormon thought, "that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind," to the end "that every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I [the Lord] have given unto him."
With such laws maintained by the Kingdom of God, the inhabitants of Zion (the law of Zion is established upon Church covenants while that of the Kingdom of God is secular in nature) are then, according to their constitutional privileges, to be freely and voluntarily organized under a higher law of social advancement. This law (i.e., of Consecration and Stewardship), which is to "be executed and fulfilled, after her [Zion's] redemption" maintains a higher standard of spiritual, moral, and intellectual life and is uniquely designed to elevate the poor, give the earth to the meek, and make the pure in heart the children of God.
The work of Zion is also correlated with the work of gathering in, organizing, and establishing the scattered remnants of Israel in this day. These people, according to Mormon thought, consist of the present group of Latter-day Saints, many of the American Indians, the Jews, the "Lost Tribes," and other scattered remnants not yet gathered and identified. Under the new social order a transition of power from the present "Gentile" nations to those of Israel is expected, resulting in the elevation of the latter to a position of prominence.
When the people of the house of Jacob are prepared to receive the Redeemer as their rightful king, when the scattered sheep of Israel have been sufficiently humbled through suffering and sorrow to know and follow their Shepherd, then, indeed will He come to reign among them. Then a literal kingdom will be established, wide as the world, with the King of kings on the throne; and the two capitals of this mighty empire will be Jerusalem in the east and Zion in the west.
A central government will be established over the whole of this new order, thus "uniting . . . the two divisions of God's government." With the culmination of this objective the "law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
College and Department
Religious Education; Church History and Doctrine
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Andrus, Hyrum Leslie, "World Government as Envisioned in the Latter-Day Saint "City of Zion."" (1952). Theses and Dissertations. 4485.
City of Zion, Zion, City of