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The Prophet Joseph said: “The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory.” What can we be doing to help to establish Zion? We’re going to talk about this today.
Welcome to Meridian Magazine’s Come Follow Me Podcast. We are Scot and Maurine Proctor and we’re humbled that you would invite us into your homes and air buds, so that we can study together. We just have to give a special call out to one of our listeners this week, Mary Eliza, from San Antonio, Texas. She wrote, “Thank you for being my oasis. I am caring for my 91-year-old mom and terminally ill husband. My mom is losing her vision. She LOVES to listen your podcasts and I love everything about your podcast…I am sending a big hug of gratitude to you both.” Well, Mary Eliza, we are sending a personal big hug of gratitude back to you and your husband and your mother. It is a sacred honor to be in your midst.
I wish we could call each of you by name and tell you that we love you and we love being with you each week. Our little gathering with you kind of feels like a little Zion society. In these few minutes we have to spend together, we are one. We are family. We are learning together and striving to draw closer to the Savior Jesus Christ. This is a sacred and holy time for Maurine and me. So, thank you, each one, for joining us and studying the gospel together. We love it.
Now, that quote we started with from the Prophet Joseph, is one we have heard often. I never tire of it. But he went on to say some more important things:
“… We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object. … The time is soon coming, when no man will have any peace but in Zion and her stakes.”
“In regard to the building up of Zion, it has to be done by the counsel of Jehovah, by the revelations of heaven.”
“Let me say unto you, seek to purify yourselves, and also all the inhabitants of Zion, lest the Lord’s anger be kindled to fierceness. Repent, repent, is the voice of God to Zion…Let every one labor to prepare himself for the vineyard, sparing a little time to comfort the mourners; to bind up the broken-hearted; to reclaim the backslider; to bring back the wanderer; to re-invite into the kingdom such as have been cut off, by encouraging them to lay to while the day lasts, and work righteousness, and, with one heart and one mind, prepare to help redeem Zion, that goodly land of promise, where the willing and the obedient shall be blessed. …” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, Joseph Smith, pp. 187-88)
Now, Brigham Young said whenever the Saints go about trying to build Zion, they always end up building Babylon.
“We can’t discuss Zion very long,” writes Dr. Hugh Nibley, “without running into Babylon, because Babylon is, in all things, the counterpart of Zion. It is described just as fully, clearly, and vividly in the scriptures as Zion is and usually in direct relationship to it. “By the rivers of Babylon…we wept, when we remembered Zion (Psalm 137:1). “They shall ask the way to Zion” when word comes “to remove out of the midst of Babylon.” (Jeremiah 50:5,8)…Just as surely as Zion is to be established, Babylon is to be destroyed.” (Nibley, Hugh, Approaching Zion, Deseret Book Company and FARMS, Salt Lake City, 1989, p. 14).
Brother Nibley continues:
“When all the accidentals and incidentals are stripped away, what remains that is quintessentially Zion? Buildings, walls, streets, and gates—even of gold and jasper—do not make Zion; neither do throngs in shining robes. Zion is not a Cecil B. DeMille production; the properties do not make the play, no matter how splendid they may be. What makes Zion? God has given us the perfect definition: Zion is the pure in heart—the pure in heart, not merely the pure in appearance. It is not a society or religion of forms and observances, of pious gestures and precious mannerisms: it is strictly a condition of the heart. Above all, Zion is pure, which means “not mixed with any impurities, unalloyed”; it is all Zion and nothing else. It is not achieved wherever a heart is pure or where two or three are pure, because it is all pure—it is a society, a community, and an environment into which no unclean thing can enter…
“The Bible contains a fairly complete description of Zion, but there is one aspect of it that only the Latter-day Saints have taken to heart (or did formerly), and it is that doctrine that sets them off most sharply from all of the other religions, namely, the belief that Zion is possible on the earth, that men possess the capacity to receive it right here and are therefore under obligation to waste no time moving in the direction of Zion.” (Ibid, pp. 27-28)
In the early days of the Church, men like Heber C. Kimball and George Q. Cannon said in their writings that the establishment of Zion was the burden of all their prayers and uppermost in their minds and hearts. Is it uppermost in our minds and hearts today? I’m certain that most of us are certainly striving towards having Zion families. Isn’t that what we as parents want more than anything? Unity, harmony, love, charity—to be of one heart in our family?
Maurine, I know we’ve talked about this many podcasts ago but I can’t get this off my mind. I remember so well when we went into the Souq in Salalah, Oman—the old marketplace. We were walking around and came to a silversmith. He was working with a blowtorch on some pretty raw pieces of silver. I asked him, “How will you know when the silver is ready to be used, when it’s pure?” Of course, I had scriptural intentions in mind. The smith said, “Watch and you will see.” I kept watching as the extreme heat of the blowtorch was doing its work on the silver. He could see I was anxious to understand the refining process of silver. He said again, “Watch and see.” Then, in an instant the silver melted before my eyes, the dross had blown to the sides like magic from the intense and steady heat and now the silver was pure. It became like a wonderful mirror and he, the refiner, could see himself reflected in the silver. He said, “Now you see.” I think God will have a people who have been through the refiner’s fire—and those who get through will be prepared to bring again Zion.
There’s a pattern that is so obvious in the scriptures and we shall talk about it now, the calling of prophets and the feelings that come to the hearts and minds of these prophets. Let’s turn to Exodus, chapter 4, verses 10-12 and see how Moses responded to his call:
10 ¶ And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. (Exodus 4:10-12)
Moses did not feel prepared or able to do the great work of delivering the children of Israel.
Let’s look at Jeremiah with his calling [comments as needed]:
4 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
7 ¶ But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant. (Jeremiah 1:4-10)
That is quite the calling!
And, of course, our Enoch this week received his call at around age 65 and he said:
26 And it came to pass that Enoch journeyed in the land, among the people; and as he journeyed, the Spirit of God descended out of heaven, and abode upon him.
27 And he heard a voice from heaven, saying: Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people, and say unto them—Repent, for thus saith the Lord: I am angry with this people, and my fierce anger is kindled against them…
31 And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?
32 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good. (Moses 6: 26-27; 31-32)
And listen to the great prophet Isaiah when he received his calling:
5 ¶ Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (Isaiah 6:5-8)
And when Heber C. Kimball was called to take the gospel to Great Britain, this is how he responded:
“On Sunday, the 4th day of June, 1837,” says Heber C. Kimball, “the Prophet Joseph came to me, while I was seated in front of the stand, above the sacrament table, on the Melchizedek side of the Temple, in Kirtland, and whispering to me, said, ‘Brother Heber, the Spirit of the Lord has whispered to me: “Let my servant Heber go to England and proclaim my Gospel, and open the door of salvation to that nation.”
“The thought was overpowering. He had been surprised at his call to the apostleship. Now he was overwhelmed. Like Jeremiah he staggered under the weight of his own weakness, exclaiming in self-humiliation: “O, Lord, I am a man of stammering tongue, and altogether unfit for such a work; how can I go to preach in that land, which is so famed throughout Christendom for learning, knowledge and piety; the nursery of religion; and to a people whose intelligence is proverbial!”
“Feeling my weakness to go upon such an errand, I asked the Prophet if Brother Brigham might go with me. He replied that he wanted Brother Brigham to stay with him, for he had something else for him to do. The idea of such a mission was almost more than I could bear up under. I was almost ready to sink under the burden which was placed upon me.
“However, all these considerations did not deter me from the path of duty; the moment I understood the will of my Heavenly Father, I felt a determination to go at all hazards, believing that He would support me by His almighty power, and endow me with every qualification that I needed…” (Whitney, Orson F., Life of Heber C. Kimball, Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, 1945, pp. 103-104)
And I well remember reading of the calling of forty-eight-year-old, Spencer W. Kimball to the Twelve:
“It was noon and I was just entering the house for my luncheon at my new home on Relation Street and Eighth Avenue, Safford, Arizona. As I pushed open the door I heard my little 12-year-old son, Eddie, saying, “No, Daddy is not here. Oh, yes. Here he comes,” as I pushed my way into the room.
“Daddy, Salt Lake City is calling.”
“I had had many calls from Salt Lake City through the years but today an overpowering feeling came over me that instant that I was to be called to a high position in the Church. Why I should think so, I do not know. If ever that thought had entered my mind in times past, I had quickly thrust it from me as being most unworthy.
“It must have taken only a few seconds for me to cross the room to the phone, grasp the receiver and say, “Hello,” but it seemed that an hour’s thinking and retrospection coursed through my mind with lightning rapidity. I realized I had no unfinished business with Salt Lake City. I knew that there were two vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve but I had given it little concern, knowing that the Brethren would take care of it in due time and it was still some ten weeks before the Conference, at which the vacancies would most likely be filled. There was no reason in the world why I should be called. I instantaneously convinced myself that it was impossible, that I was not capable or prepared or worthy, that no one would be called away from the headquarters of the Church and that there was no reason whatever for the feeling that came with the announcement that Salt Lake was on the wire, but I still had that short premonition that an announcement of great portent was coming. Much happened in that short second. I was upbraiding myself for permitting such a thought to enter my mind; I was proving to myself that it was only an ambitious dream, unworthily presumptuous, and that it was impossible, when the clear pleasant voice of President J. Reuben Clark came:
“Spencer, this is Brother Clark. Do you have a chair handy?”
“Yes, Brother Clark,” I answered with a quivering voice.
His words came with strength and power unmistakable.
“The brethren have just chosen you to fill one of the vacancies in the Quorum.”
I heard the words ringing down into my consciousness, but it was unbelievable.
“Oh, Brother Clark! Not me? You don’t mean me? There must be some mistake. I surely couldn’t have heard you right.” This as I sank past the chair to the floor.
“Yes. The Brethren feel that you are the man. How do you feel about it?”
“Oh, Brother Clark! It seems so impossible. I am so weak and small and limited and incapable. Of course, there could be only one answer to any call from the Brethren but-“
A complete panorama came before me of the little, mean, petty things I had done, of the little misunderstandings I had had with people in business and with people in the Church whose feelings I might have hurt. It seemed that every person that had ever been offended because of me stood before me to say, “How could you be an Apostle of the Lord? You are not worthy. You are insignificant. You shouldn’t accept this calling. You can’t do it.” I must have hesitated a long time, for Brother Clark said:
“Are you there?”
Catching my breath I said, “Yes, Brother Clark, but you’ve taken my breath. I am all in a sweat.”
“Well, it is rather warm up here also,” he said good-naturedly, sensing I am sure, the tense emotional strain through which I was passing. It wasn’t the warmth of the summer day and he knew it well.
“Does this mean that I am to sell my home and business and all my belongings and move up to Salt Lake City?” I asked.
“Yes. Ultimately,” he said…
[For days Spencer struggled to feel worthy, to feel ready.]
“It was just breaking day this Wednesday, the 14th of July. No peace had yet come, though I had prayed for it almost unceasingly these six days and nights. I had no plan or destination. I only knew I must get out in the open, apart, away. I dressed quietly and without disturbing the family, I slipped out of the house. I turned toward the hills. I had no objective. I wanted only to be alone. I had begun a fast.
“The way was rough, I wandered aimlessly and finally came to the top of the hill. I nearly stepped on a snake coiled on my path. An unexplainable sudden strength sent me into a high jump over his striking head. Could this be symbolic of my other worries and problems…
“My weakness overcame me again. Hot tears came flooding down my cheeks as I made no effort to mop them up. I was accusing myself, and condemning myself and upbraiding myself. I was praying aloud for special blessings from the Lord. I was telling Him that I had not asked for this position, that I was incapable of doing the work, that I was imperfect and weak and human, that I was unworthy of so noble a calling, though I had tried hard and my heart had been right. I knew that I must have been at least partly responsible for offenses and misunderstandings which a few people fancied they had suffered at my hands. I realized that I had been petty and small many times. I did not spare myself. A thousand things passed through my mind. Was I called by revelation? …
“I was getting higher and the air was thinner and I was reaching some cliffs and jagged rocky points. I came to a steep slide area and it was almost impossible to make the grade…
“As I rounded a promontory I saw immediately above me the peak of the mountain and on the peak a huge cross with its arms silhouetted against the blue sky beyond. It was just an ordinary cross made of two large heavy limbs of a tree, but in my frame of mind, and coming on it so unexpectedly, it seemed a sacred omen. It seemed to promise that here on this cross, on this peak, I might get the answer for which I had been praying intermittently for six days and nights and constantly and with all the power at my command these hours of final torture. I threw myself on the ground and wept and prayed and pleaded with the Lord to let me know where I stood…
“I mentally beat myself and chastised myself and accused myself. As the sun came up and moved in the sky I moved with it, lying in the sun, and still I received no relief. I sat up on the cliff and strange thoughts came to me: all this anguish and suffering could be ended so easily from this high cliff…
[But] “There was one great desire, to get a testimony of my calling, to know that it was not human and inspired by ulterior motives, kindly as they might be. How I prayed! How I suffered! How I wept! How I struggled!
“Was it a dream which came to me? I was weary and I think I went to sleep for a little. It seemed that in a dream I saw my grandfather and became conscious of the great work he had done. I cannot say that it was a vision, but I do know that with this new experience came a calm like the dying wind, the quieting wave after the storm is passed. I got up, walked to the rocky point and sat on the same ledge. My tears were dry, my soul was at peace. A calm feeling of assurance came over me, doubt and questionings subdued. It was as though a great burden had been lifted.” (Edward L. Kimball, Andrew E. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball: Twelfth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, 1977, see pp. 188-195)
This pattern emerges: We are weak and we are small, but God is strong and God is great and He will give us what we need, when we need it for as long as we need it, to do His work. And he calls the weak and the simple to do His work. And, no matter who we are, or who we think we are, we ARE the weak and the simple.
It’s people who feel weak and unworthy of a call that make up this great work, people like Moses, Jeremiah, Enoch, Isaiah, Heber C. Kimball and Spencer W. Kimball—all of whom are like us, who say, “Why me Lord? Are you sure? I am a woman of stammering tongue or I am a man who is weak and the people hate me because I am slow of speech. I love that we can see the human nature of these amazing prophets.
In one of our favorite views of Enoch, after he was called, we read this scripture with such delight (remember, this is the Enoch who said, ‘all the people hate me for I am slow of speech’):
13 And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.
Scholars, Richard Draper, Kent Brown and Michael Rhodes commented on this scripture:
“Heretofore we have found reference to “enemies” who “came to battle” against the people of God. The account in Moses 7:15 [“the people that fought against God”] makes it clear that battling against God’s people [had become] the same as battling against God Himself.” (Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., Enoch and the Gathering of Zion, The Witness of Ancient Texts for Modern Scripture, The Interpreter Foundation, 2021, p. 110)
This scripture means a great deal to us personally. On August 9, 2018 the Coal Hollow Fire was raging in Utah County and would grow exponentially from just 200 acres to nearly 30,000 acres. It was heading directly towards our mountain property at the top of Spanish Fork Canyon.
Of course, we were very concerned about our beautiful mountain covered in aspen, fir, maple with the forest teaming in elk, moose, deer, mountain lions and bear. With all of our hearts we wanted the fire to be stopped and for all the canyon and the mountains to be preserved in their pristine condition. As Maurine and I drove up the canyon through the thick smoke and against an order of evacuation, we began to think about Enoch and this very scripture we just read together. We felt to re-memorize this verse as we were heading through this area of raging fire. “And so great was the faith of Enoch,” we repeated over and over again, “that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them,” and now our enemy was this enormous fire, “and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command…” At this point Maurine and I were exercising all the faith that we could muster and we were praying that the Lord would hear our cries and honor our faith. And we absolutely knew that others had faced fires with faith and had lost their homes and property.
But we kept praying and memorizing that verse: “and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.” We repeated this verse over and over again as we neared the gate to our development. Firefighters were in place on the mountain where the fire hadn’t come yet. We came in contact with the fire chiefs and asked if we could go up to our property. “Well, an evacuation order has been issued so don’t be long. And be very careful. These things can take a turn on a dime and the whole mountain could be engulfed in flames.” “Thank you,” we said. “And we will be careful and watchful.” We kept repeating this verse and praying that the Lord would increase our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and our Deliverer. We went to the top of the development at elevation 9,000 feet. We could see the fire and the smoke rising all around us. We offered a very powerful and very special prayer of thanksgiving and prayed for protection upon the whole mountain.
When we got to our own property our hearts were in our throats as we saw ashes falling from the skies onto our land. We, of course, could smell the smoke and the fire was growing in breadth and intensity all around us. We continued to repeat Moses chapter 7, verse 13 and then we had a special prayer, including a prayer of dedication of our land and the mountain around us. Again, we knew that many others had faced similar challenges with fire, nevertheless, we prayed in faith and pleaded with the Lord that He would hear our prayers and protect our land. We were just two people. Two weak vessels. Two who loved the Lord and in our humble prayers we included, “…but if not, we will ever love thee and trust thee and give our lives to thee.” Now, in this case, the Lord did spare our land, our beautiful mountain that we share with so many fine, amazing neighbors. We did not and could not know at that point that the devastating Camp Fire would be coming that fall to Paradise, California and surrounding areas that would destroy 240 square miles, more than 153,000 acres, and destroy nearly 19,000 buildings and do more than $16 billion in damage.
We tell you this story because in reflecting on the Prophet Enoch and his faith, and thinking about and focusing on the Savior and how He spared Enoch and his people, this greatly increased our faith and our trust in the Lord. We felt extremely blessed that day and still feel humbled and so grateful that we were blessed.
Now, how did Enoch help his people become a Zion society?
We read in Moses 7:18:
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.
Because the word Zion was originally not Israeli, the name Zion comes to us possibly from a language other than Hebrew, perhaps even from the Adamic tongue. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament mentions an Arabic root s-w-n, meaning to protect or defend, which may give Zion the meaning of fortress. (See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Zion.html) The word may also mean signpost—which could be similar to a fortress of strength and an Ensign to the world. Also, in the liberal tradition of translation from ancient tongues, Zion can mean “to command,” which could possibly be like Isaiah 2:3: “for out of Zion shall go forth the law…”
There is something about Enoch and his people that is so attractive. To be of one heart is a very rare thing in the world today. That is a relationship completely void of pride, jealousy, fear, envy, strife, contention, anger, malice, hatred, deceit, mischief, discord, immorality, distrust—the list goes on and on. Where do we start in becoming a Zion people? We start with our own primary relationships—between husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister, grandparent and grandchild—and with our ministering families and fellow ward members. We feel like we live in a Zion-like ward right now. We have been the recipients of Christ-like love many times here. And we experienced it in other settings.
Back in May of 1999 my father suffered a major heart attack. It was, of course, devastating to my Mom and very hard on all of us. Maurine and I went to the Utah Valley hospital to be with Mom and Dad while Dad was in the ICU. We spent most of the evening with them and finally got home at 2:00 AM. At 4:36 AM I woke up with a truck parked on my chest—in other words, I was having a heart attack—yes, within hours of my Dad’s. We had just started Meridian Magazine three months before and it was an extremely stressful time. So, I ended up in ICU at LDS Hospital and my dad continued at Utah Valley—about 48 miles away.
And you insisted that we not tell your dad about your situation and even your mom for some time, so that we would not burden them with more than they could take. We kept calling mom from the ICU hoping she would not hear the beeping noises of all my monitors in the background. You got out of the ICU in about six days and we went right back down to Utah Valley from there to be with dad. It was tough to see Dad starting to fail. We finally brought him home on June 11 and on June 12 he passed away. But this wasn’t the whole story. Our daughter Laura was getting married on June 16 and we were hosting the reception in our yard and because of all that we had been through we just weren’t ready—and there was not a lot you could physically do to get ready. It was just a huge amount of physical labor to be ready in a very short time. And that’s when our Zion-like ward came to the rescue. First of all, Scot, you were only 42 and because you were the youngest high priest in the quorum, I think it scared everyone else to death that they might be next! But, help came in a major way.
I remember it well because I watched as more than 40 of my brothers from the high priest’s quorum showed up and said, “What do we need to do to get your yard ready for Laura’s reception? We will do anything to help.” We just sat there in tears and could hardly talk, we were so overwhelmed by their offer of kindness and generosity. We said, “All the south window frames are peeling and need to be scraped and repainted. All the windows need to be washed. This rock garden has to be weeded and these plants planted. The trees and bushes all need to be trimmed. The stream needs to be cleaned out. The lawn needs to be mowed and trimmed. These tables need to be in place, these chairs need this, this needs that.” The list went on and on. These were seasoned, amazing members of the Church, full of the love of Christ, full of love for us, full of a desire to be of service to their neighbor who was in real need. The whole yard and house were completely transformed in a matter of less than a day—many man hours—it was a miracle. And, being the recipient of such kindness and love, with never a word of reluctance, complaint or criticism, we felt that Zion-like feeling—being of one heart. We can still feel it to this day.
And that feeling was so powerful among Enoch’s people, the Lord Himself came and dwelt among them. And He walked with them 365 years—this is a whole era of the earth that we know very little, but imagine the pre-mortal Jehovah walking with, being with, working with this City of Holiness for more than three-and-a-half centuries. And remember, Enoch and his righteous followers were in attendance at the great gathering at Adam-ondi-Ahman three years prior to Adam’s death. Jesus Christ had already been with and walked with them more than 300 years by the time of the great gathering. Can you imagine if the Savior lived in your community, as a pre-mortal spirit, and also as a God, how glorious and wonderful that would be?
And during this golden period, Enoch was shown great things by the Lord. He was shown every particle of the earth and all the inhabitants thereof by vision. He was baptizing his people unto repentance in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. He was teaching his people the pure doctrine of Christ.
And because of the righteousness and obedience of these people, the people of Enoch, “in process of time,” they were taken up—the entire city. Now, sometimes we might have an artist’s illustration of Enoch and his people and the city in the background looks like a little village built on the edge of a forest with few inhabitants. Remember, Enoch and his people walked with Jesus Christ for 365 years; can you imagine how attractive that was to become an inhabitant of the City of Holiness? Now, we don’t know the population of the City of Holiness, but we do know that after it was taken up from the earth, it continued to grow. Anyone who was righteous and kept the covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ was taken up to the City of Holiness. And why was that? Because, the merciful pattern of the Lord is that when there is imminent destruction, the Lord warns the people, then removes the righteous before that happens. According to the records we have, Noah was born just four years after the City of Holiness was taken up to heaven. There would be no place for the righteous to escape except up—up to the City of Holiness.
That’s all for today. We’ve loved being with you—as always. Next week we will be studying about Noah and the flood in a lesson you just won’t want to miss. Remember to share this podcast with friends and family. Tell them to come to latterdaysaintmag.com/podcast Thanks to Paul Cardall for the music and to Michaela Proctor Hutchins, our producer. Have a wonderful week, and see you next time.