Have you wondered what the people of Enoch had to do in order to establish Zion? What were the conditions they met to be translated and have their whole population and city caught up into heaven?

Where does Zion come from?

Zion, the people of God, didn’t just randomly or magically appear. God showed Enoch many people’s in a vision, and commanded him to go and preach to them that if they didn’t repent they would be cursed. To enable their fruitful repentance, they had to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost by one holding the proper authority, so God commanded Enoch to baptize those who would believe in what he taught them.

10 And the Lord said unto me: Go to this people, and say unto them—Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they die.

11 And he gave unto me a commandment that I should baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, which is full of grace and truth, and of the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son.

PointRepentance doesn’t lead to exaltation without baptism by priesthood authority. Anyone can repent and be forgiven of their sins. The missing ingredient of the masses lies in the gift of the Holy Ghost. We must be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost in order for our repentance to lead to exaltation. Think about it – if we didn’t require the gift of the Holy Ghost then anyone could repent and go to the celestial kingdom without even needing baptism. Baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost is an essential step towards being able to return to the presence of God. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost requires the recipient to make a covenant with God. This is what baptism is, the covenant that allows us to be taught directly by a member of the Godhead.

We are missing the part of the story that came next. We know Enoch preached repentance to the people. There were those who believed him and repented. These people were baptized and began living a life of regular repentance, which is what Enoch taught them, because that is what God commanded him to teach the people. There were those who hated the converts, the people of Enoch. In their anger (which obviously does not come from God), they chose to fight Enoch’s people. They sought to destroy them. But Enoch had such great faith that the promises of the Lord were fulfilled in his everyday life. Mountains moved at his command, and rivers changed their course to accommodate him.

Enoch was no ordinary man. Most of what we read about Enoch happens right before and right after he receives his calling and election (special promises from the Lord). We know this by the nature of the visions he was receiving. Many of the accounts in the scriptures of prophets being shown the inhabitants of the earth include their calling and election. Sometimes this vision of the history of the earth, and it’s glorious conclusion, is called The Vision. It is almost like the Lord is giving to that person a clear perspective of the whole plan of salvation, from start to finish. It is a reward for the faith they have demonstrated in their life.

All we know about this next part of the story is that the wicked attacked the righteous in an effort to destroy them, and the Lord fought their battles with miracles performed through His prophet, Enoch.

PointEven though the scriptures here only mention Enoch, we need to be aware that the battles were not won on Enoch’s merits alone. Enoch’s army was also demonstrating faith in Enoch and in God. The people themselves were exercising faith in the prophet of the Lord. This behavior is always blessed by God with greater blessings upon their heads. It was true then and it is true today. This means the people were keeping the commandments taught to them, and living the best they knew how.

Likening Enoch’s people to today

We are taught in the Doctrine and Covenants that Zion will be built again in the latter days. We, the people of the covenant will be the ones to build it, but under what conditions? We know the nations of the earth will fight against us, just as the people of the earth fought against Enoch and his people. Let’s look at some verses from Doctrine and Covenants 105.

37 And inasmuch as they follow the counsel which they receive, they shall have power after many days to accomplish all things pertaining to Zion.

The time is not yet for Zion to be built, for we, as a people are still learning how to become worthy of living in such a society. The day will come when we are ready for Zion, but to do so will require that we first learn to “follow the counsel which [we] receive.” Only when we learn to follow the prophet fully and completely will we be given the power to “accomplish all things pertaining to Zion.”

We know that the nations will fight against us when we establish Zion. The Lord has told us that we need not worry, because He will fight our battles.

14 For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil—I will fight your battles.

In Moses 7 we read that Enoch’s faith was so great that he moved mountains and changed the courses of rivers. He instilled such fear in the people who fought his people that when a new land arose from the sea, the wicked escaped the wrath of Enoch’s power by going onto the new land mass in the hopes Enoch would not follow them. We will see examples of the Lord fighting the battles of His people in several places as we study the Old Testament. It won’t be any less miraculous when He fights our battles for us.

What law for Zion?

The clearest declaration of what law we need to be able to live by in order to live in Zion is given in Doctrine and Covenants 105:5.

And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.

Here is what we are told about Enoch and his people in Moses 7:17-18.

17 The fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord, which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.

18 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.

How many times have you read that in the last days the glory of the Lord will rest upon His people in great glory. They will be blessed, and the fear of the Lord will be upon all those who fight against Zion – so much so that they will not dare to come up against her in battle. This is the same quality that the people of Enoch demonstrated. The whole earth was cursed, but where the people of Enoch were “they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places.” Mountains and high places is Old Testament talk for holy or sacred places, for in such places were revelations given and received. Our equivalent are our holy places, our homes, ward/stakes, and the Temples of God. We’re not really so different from Enoch’s people after all, are we?

Here are some examples of where the Lord has instructed us to stand in our holy places.

Doctrine and Covenants 101:22

22 Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places;

Doctrine and Covenants 45:32

32 But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die.

Doctrine and Covenants 87:8

Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.

It all sounds really familiar to Moses 7, doesn’t it?

Zion taken up

Have you ever considered why Enoch’s Zion was removed from the earth? We aren’t told specifically the reason’s why, but I have an idea. The earth needed to be baptized, and the whole earth was filled with wickedness and violence. All of them were just about ripe in their iniquities, and in need of being destroyed. Once people are past the ability to repent, they are considered ripe in iniquity, and the Lord brings them home. There is no more point to leaving them in mortality to just continue to sin with no ability or possibility of being able to repent and receive His blessings. This is why no one is destroyed by God until they are ripe in their iniquities.

19 And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.

20 And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed.

It may be true that the city of Zion could have dwelt in safety forever, but the world was about to be immersed in water, so the Lord took the people and the city itself unto Himself. This means they were living worthy to be in God’s presence, which means they were living a celestial law.

21 And it came to pass that the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth; and he beheld, and lo, Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven. And the Lord said unto Enoch: Behold mine abode forever.

We know that the Lord allows no one into His presence if they are not worthy of it.

The simple truth

If you want to know the difference between Enoch’s Zion and our future Zion, it is this. They lived the law that made Zion possible. And what is that law? Let’s look at the definition of Zion again from verse 18.

18 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.

What does it take to become a Zion people?

  • We must make covenants with God to receive baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by someone in authority to do so.
  • We must emulate the righteousness of our prophets and heed their guidance.
  • We must keep the commandments and live in righteousness.
  • We must make sure there are no poor among us. That means that we need to learn to forsake our penchant to hang on to earthly possessions and freely share what we have with those who have less. This all assumes we are being led by the Holy Ghost in our actions so we are using wisdom in all things.

This tells me that God lives in such a society that personal possessions are all used for the benefit of others, that the welfare of others is of paramount importance. Forgiveness, mercy, and love are the crowning virtues of the lives of all those who live in the celestial kingdom. This is what it is going to take for us to be ready to build the city of Zion. When enough of us have become ready to live there, we just need to wait until the Lord says it is time. If we plan on not developing these traits until the city of Zion already exists, we will never be a part of the city. Our ability to live a Zion life must come first.

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Moses 7 – The Zion Experience, Then and Now