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Discussion in 'Debate Other Religions & Faiths' started by Phoebe Ann, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    ZION
    The word Zion has various meanings in the scriptures. The most general definition of the word is “the pure in heart” (Doctrine and Covenants 97:21). Zion is often used in this way to refer to the Lord’s people or to the Church and its stakes (see Doctrine and Covenants 82:14). It has also been used to refer to specific geographical locations.

    The word Zion appears repeatedly in all the books of scripture of the Church. In latter-day revelation, Zion is defined as “the pure in heart” (Doctrine and Covenants 97:21).


    Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 10:13, 16
    13 And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God.

    16 Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God.


    Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 16:10
    10 And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.

    Many who read in the scriptures of people “fighting against Zion” may assume they refer only to non-members of the church. A search, however, may disabuse our minds on that subject. First, “He that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth” (2 Nephi 10:16). Those who fight against Zion, in other words—whatever name they go by—belong to the great and abominable church of the devil, which “fight against the Lamb of God” (1 Nephi 14:13).
    Will Many Mormon Gentiles End up Fighting against Zion? | Isaiah Institute
     
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  2. devin553344

    devin553344 Enlighten our lives dear Lord

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    Cause God kills people?
     
  3. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    They never explained that verse to me! They taught me that the body can die but the spirit is immortal.
     
  4. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    Spencer W. Kimball

    "But these promises, glorious though they be, desirable as they are, can come only '. . . if they will but serve the God of this land who is Jesus Christ....' (Ether 2:12.) There is only one way. That infallible cure is simply righteousness, obedience, Godliness, honor, and integrity. There is no other cure. Mountains of arms and ammunitions will not guarantee safety, for enemies can also build fortifications and missiles and bomb shelters. If we would but believe the prophets! For they have warned that if the 'inhabitants of this land are ever brought down into captivity and enslaved, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land.' (See 2 Nephi 1:7.)" (Conference Report, Oct. 1, 1961, p. 31)


    The spiritual interpretation of the phrase, he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, is apparent from the context of verse 16, Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God. In this sense, those who fight against the kingdom of God, or Zion, shall perish with the destructions pronounced upon the great and abominable whore.
    2 Nephi 10 | Gospel Doctrine
     
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  5. devin553344

    devin553344 Enlighten our lives dear Lord

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    I don't believe people will be cursed for teaching against false prophets. And Joseph Smith as a prophet or false prophet is easily debatable. Which is what we do here, debate.

    I'm interesting to see what the LDS say about this and who is them that fight against Zion. I don't see anyone really "fighting" against LDS folk. But I'm not really informed I suppose.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  6. JacobKStarkey

    JacobKStarkey Well-Known Member

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    The increasing militant language of the Mormons after the early 1830s, inspired by the oratory of Sydney Rigdon, Joseph Smith's first counselor for many years, can be interpreted as 'the bad guys are gonna get it if they come after the Good Church." 'Zion' can be generally interpreted as the center of the Latter-day Saints, which would be Salt Lake City today, so fighting against Zion can mean opposing the LDS Church and ultimately, and inevitably, failing in that fight. 'Zion' also for quite a few decades could be interpreted as the Gathering Place for the LDS to gather together to wait the soon-to-be millennial return of Jesus Christ.

    Transparency: I am not LDS but know them as well as a Jan Shipps or a Mario de Pillis Sr.
     
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  7. devin553344

    devin553344 Enlighten our lives dear Lord

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    Right, she quoted Nephi which is before Joseph Smith was killed, but I could see the appeal after their church leader was murdered. That could cause some concern.
     
  8. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    They believe their own scriptures. They believe some of the Bible.
     
  9. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    If anyone is wondering, I'm not worried about Mormon prophecies.
     
  10. devin553344

    devin553344 Enlighten our lives dear Lord

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    I dug and found an interesting article on the Utah War:

    "The Utah War (1857–1858), also known as the Utah Expedition,[1] Utah Campaign,[2] Buchanan's Blunder,[3] the Mormon War,[4] or the Mormon Rebellion[5] was an armed confrontation between Mormon settlers in the Utah Territory and the armed forces of the United States government."

    Would the United States Government then be considered fighting against Zion?
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  11. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    Hmmm....I do believe you have a point.

    Twas a bad time. The Mountain Meadows Massacre occurred in Sept. 1857.

    The Aiken massacre took place the following month. In October 1857, Mormons arrested six Californians traveling through Utah and charged them with being spies for the U.S. Army. They were released, but were later murdered and robbed of their stock and $25,000.[11][12][13]
    Utah War - Wikipedia
     
  12. devin553344

    devin553344 Enlighten our lives dear Lord

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    If God was going to destroy all that battle against Zion, why create an army to harass the US Government forces? I find that kinda strange in the faith area. Maybe it's just me. But the OT is full of miraculous battles of God against the enemies of Moses, etc.
     
  13. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    Well, yeah, but I had lots of soldiers in my family beginning with WWI. And God did send humans to war in the OT.
     
  14. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    That's pretty weird, and opportunistic.

    I thought everybody, Mormons included, knew that Zion was originally a place name, particularly the name of a certain hill. They (and, as per the Wiki link, the Rastafarians) seem to have stretched the definition out a bit to mean a kind of utopian place or center of unity. I can see where that's coming from, as a kind of gathering point for their people vis-a-vis the rest of the world (i.e., where the Saints/the Rastas are gathered in unity is Zion, while the outside world is not such a place of unity), but that's not even among the more generalized meaning as found with the Jews themselves and hence (eventually) the Christians, where it is a synonym for Jerusalem, since Jerusalem is of course also a place...as in, a real, existing place that you can drive to. :) It is of course common in more traditional forms of Christianity to describe paradise as "the heavenly Jerusalem" (e.g., as here), as a way of maintaining the connection between Jerusalem in Jewish thought and in nascent Christianity (as in Revelation 3:12 and elsewhere), but I don't think I've ever heard "the heavenly Zion", probably because of its strong identification with a certain hill which might confuse people and cause the more literal among them to think that paradise is essentially a "spiritual copy" of the physical geography of Israel, right down to individual hills and buildings and such. I don't know anyone who would actually think that, but you can never be too careful.
     
  15. devin553344

    devin553344 Enlighten our lives dear Lord

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    Sure military has important roles. My grandfather died in Germany in WWII.

    And I think that the Utah War is the closest I've seen to enemies of LDS Zion though except for Joseph Smith's death, and no casualties that I saw, or did I read that wrong. I think the only causalities I read about were friendly fire. But sometimes I miss stuff when I read, correct me if I'm wrong.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  16. Ironhold

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    Most of what I'm going to say comes from Norman F. Furniss' "The Mormon Conflict: 1850 to 1858", if anyone wants to check that out.

    This is the nutshell rendition of everything, but be warned that it is still going to be long:

    In the 1850s, a federal appointment to the Utah territory had little in the way of pay or prestige. Because of this, by the mid-1850s many federal appointees were, quite simply, unfit for their posts, the result of Washington having to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find officials.

    Some officials were straight-up incompetent or had issues that disqualified them from a better position, such as one appointee who was, allegedly, so frequently falling-down drunk that one newspaper claimed his unconscious personage was a common navigational hazard to anyone traveling at night.

    Other officials were openly antagonistic towards the church, and sought to abuse their power in order to coerce the church into fitting what the folks in Washington saw as the "proper" way of life.

    One of these latter officials - a federal judge - was particularly notorious because he abandoned his wife back East when he came to Utah, thereby allowing him to openly engage in an affair with his secretary; some reports have it that they were so brazen about matters she'd literally sit on his lap while he was holding court. Long story short, when a servant in this judge's employ bushwhacked a local who was particularly vocal in criticizing the judge, the judge and his pals were run out of the territory by irate locals.

    The judge realized that his career would be ruined if a report of his misdeeds made it back to Washington before he did, so he sent a false report back claiming that the territory was in a state of rebellion. For reasons that have never been explained, President Buchanan took the report at face value and instantly ordered a force of 1,000 soldiers to Utah in order to suppress the "revolt"... likely setting in motion a chain of events that would make the Civil War inevitable while ensuring that Utah would sit it out.

    Buchanan's haste to quash everything was such that he failed to send notice of intent, and so when the people of the territory learned about the oncoming military a general panic broke out as people began fearing the worst; after all, memories of Joseph Smith, Parley Pratt, and Missouri were still fresh, and so a *lot* of folks expected this to be yet another attempt at full-on genocide. It was this mindset that led to Mountain Meadows, as the county militia came to identify the Franchers as a possible threat and chose to wipe them out.

    Fortunately for everyone, a series of events led to General Albert Sydney Johnston being put in charge of the US military task force. Simply put, one could have a thesaurus listing nothing but deep personal insults and it would still be insufficient to describe how poorly Johnston handled the entire affair. Johnston was - by his own words - eager to kill Mormons, and his blood lust so clouded his judgement that he made mistakes even a rookie lieutenant would avoid.

    Because of this, Brigham Young essentially led Johnston by the nose, and ultimately pinned him in place inside a burned-out trading post for an entire Utah winter with only meager supplies. While Johnston still had his blood lust going the entire time, by Spring the fight had gone out of his men and so they willingly accepted it when Major Thomas Kane, a US military officer and a close friend of Brigham Young, arrived in the territory to serve as a go-between. By the grace of God, none of Johnston's men had fallen during their months of privation or the initial force march up to said trading post. But it was an absolute humiliation for the US military, and by all rights Young was in a position to press Washington for far more than he ultimately did.

    Johnston's incompetent handling of the Utah War is so startling in nature that whenever I do table-top gaming I make it a point to bring it up along with a specific handful of other real-life conflicts (like Midway) when I talk real-world tactics with my players.

    Mountain Meadows? The government originally only intended to investigate it to see if there was retroactive justification for invading, but abandoned it so abruptly that people in the territory soon became convinced it meant that the cover story of the Paiutes doing the deed was the truth. It would be 20 years before anyone would think to re-open the investigation.
     
  17. devin553344

    devin553344 Enlighten our lives dear Lord

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    Sure but the OP was of different question?
     
  18. JacobKStarkey

    JacobKStarkey Well-Known Member

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    The Mormon generations from the 1850s certainly saw the US Government as the enemy of the LDS Church.

    Read Will Bagley, Blood of the Prophets, and Turley Leonard and Walker Massacre at Mountain Meadows, for both sides of the stories. They are great reads.
     
  19. Phoebe Ann

    Phoebe Ann From Mormonism to Christ Supporter

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    @ JacobKStarkey
    I'd love to have more reading time since I have stacks of non-fiction books waiting to be read.

    My grandfather died as a result of being in ill health from WWI.

    @dzheremi
    In 1831, Joseph Smith received revelation that the site for the city of Zion would be near the town of Independence in Jackson County, Missouri.6 Bishop Edward Partridge began to purchase lands in the area and help settle new members as they arrived. In the summer of 1833, Joseph Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency sought divine guidance as they drafted a plan for the city, which included a grid of roads and 24 civic and church structures all consecrated as “temples” for different purposes.7 That summer, however, citizens of Jackson County drove the Saints out of the county, forcing them to abandon their land and their efforts to build the city of Zion.

    In a series of revelations that followed, the Lord instructed the Saints regarding spiritual characteristics they lacked but which were necessary for any people who desired to build Zion and gave them instructions on how to move forward.8 The Saints began to prepare for “the redemption of Zion,” a time when they would return and reclaim their land in Missouri and resume building the holy city.9
    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/history/topics/zion-new-jerusalem?
    lang=eng


    It seems this topic has turned into one about Zion instead of the LDS attitude towards critics of Mormonism. The reason I gave a definition of Zion in the OP was so people would understand Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 10:13, 16, and 3 Nephi 16:10.
     
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  20. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Thanks for the info as usual, Phoebe Ann. I have been aware for years about the LDS identification of the Garden of Eden with a site in Missouri, but this is the first that I've heard about the Zion-Missouri connection. Interesting.

    Also, sorry if it seemed like I was trying to drag your thread away from its purpose. My thinking was that it is opportunistic on the part of the Mormon religion to redefine Zion as they have to mean the Mormon religion and wherever it is precisely because this gives their reactions to non-Mormon critics (as you've outlined in the OP, and as has been subsequently extended to early physical confrontations, as in posts #10 and 11) a kind of 'spiritual sheen' that they would not otherwise have, and people in general are much more likely to approve of fighting in the name of their religion/to protect it than in the name of "that guy said something that I didn't like" or whatever the alternative is, where it would lay bare the insecurities and power trips of the leaders (say, like ordering a printing press destroyed because people printed things about them ;)). Thus, if the Mormon religion is Zion, then those who criticize it are "fighting against it", with everything that implies as per your OP. And indeed, it is good that you brought this up, since I'm sure we've both witnessed Mormons both here and elsewhere dodging questions about what exactly is meant by the idea found in LDS writings that "there are only two churches in the world..."

    It is good that non-Mormons know, if they didn't already, that no matter what Mormon apologists tell them when trying to butter them up, if they're non-Mormon and critical of Mormonism, then they're a part of the "great and abominable church of the devil", according to Mormonism. Kinda puts Mormon attempts to make their religion seem really nice and accepting of difference and all this into perspective.
     
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