Zion is not only where people are of one heart and one mind, it must also have the presence of Christ in the flesh, dwelling among them. Those who think that they are too unworthy to obtain that are “overthinking” this principle. Zion is not made of those who rarely make mistakes. It’s made of those who are willing to be unified upon the words of Christ.
In the time of Enoch, they were successful at building Zion, and Christ came and dwelt among them. The scriptures say that they walked with Christ for 360 years, before being taken up. The city of Salem was also received into the bosom of the Lord, and Christ dwelt among them too. They ended up joining Enoch. Moses tried to sanctify his people through a covenant with the Lord, but they did not want to be sanctified. They rejected the covenant, which was rejecting the invitation to join Zion, and they were cursed to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Moses, however, was translated, or buried by the hand of the Lord, and probably joined Enoch too. Other Book of Mormon prophets tried to build Zion, but the people wouldn’t, and then those prophets walked away, just like Moses. Joseph Smith told the early saints to build the Nauvoo temple in “sufficient time” and Christ promised: to dwell among them, and that they would not be removed out of their place (D&C 124). They didn’t, and the pioneer saints wandered in the wilderness for forty years before completing the Salt Lake temple.
In all ages where God’s people tried to build Zion, the best indicator that Zion exists is that Christ’s presence was literally among them (in the flesh). That is why in that day, when we have succeeded in building Zion, no one need tell his neighbor “know ye the Lord, for all will know Him.”
I am told that I “overthink” things. However, I would respond that we have been weighed down by accusations and guilt for so long, that we all overthink the concept of worthiness to enter into the presence of Christ, that we simply give up hope that such a gift is possible to lay hold upon. The first order of business when any prophet has entered into the presence of the Lord is, He forgives them of their sins.
No matter who you are, you too must have your sins forgiven when you enter His presence. No one comes in the presence of Christ because he is void of sin. Having his presence is not something you have “earned.” You receive this gift when the Lord recognizes that you will, at all cost, sacrifice all things, because you love Him. Then, He chooses to give you the gift of His presence, to redeem you from the fall, to show himself unto you (Ether 3:13-15). You cannot offer up worthiness, so let go of the guilt, and turn your heart over to Christ. He does the heavy lifting. He makes you His.
Zion is not made of people who don’t make mistakes. Zion is made of those who have experimented Christ’s words, were unified in the principles that they understood, while seeking to know more, to have more of a personal relationship with Christ. All of creation revolves around unification on Christ. That is the concept of families being together forever.
Zion first starts with an individual seeking Christ through His words (both static and dynamic/revelatory).Then, both husband and wife, who are familiar with Christ’s words, focus more on being one, than being right. They redefine their relationship as being one, then work through the kinks together of being right. Christ will seal this couple His.
Next, the children, having been trained to be kings and queens by their parents, and having searched the scriptures diligently, will add to the experimental mix, thus adding more light into this infant state of Zion.
Small successes increase through this process, until the Lord see’s fit to give you a land for your inheritance. Then He will tell you how to build a temple on that land of inheritance such that He can come and dwell there, to give us more light and truth. When He comes into that temple, now you have Zion.
When we have succeeded in building Zion, then the Zion of Enoch will return in glory. Those who want to live their, but cannot bear the light that Zion brings will be burned. Those who can, Zion will come and fall upon their necks and kiss them, and they will be one.
Conclusion: Zion must be built. It starts with the words of Christ, then the unification of a husband and a wife. It ripples to include the children who will soften their hearts to the words of the Fathers, and will be unified in their efforts. Their unification must produce experiments upon the words of the Lord, until the Lord can see good fruits of their combined labors. Just as in the past, the Lord will give you a land of inheritance, upon which he will command you to build a temple, in sufficient time, so He can dwell among you. That is the path that we must take as a family. That is why the scriptures are such of huge importance.
Let us not be like the children of Israel and the early saints in Nauvoo. We must not get distracted by the financial successes or failures. Let us put our trust in God to produce our escape from bondage and captivity. He will speak to us. We must work on hearing His voice, keeping the commandments which He has given us, experiment upon His words, so that His spirit will always be with us.