Zion is defined in the scriptures as the pure in heart. There are different characteristics of a zion-like community. These characteristics include:
- Unity which includes forgiveness and humility and cooperation
- Pure in Heart which includes obedience to God, modesty, and personal responsibility
- No Poor Among Them which includes sacrifice and work
Living in a zion-like community or striving to live principles of zion in each of our lives blesses us and helps us to become more Christ-like.
I have been greatly blessed this semester as my roommates and I have begun to bond together and to support each other like a family would. This last weekend we were all able to support one of our roommates by attending a jewelry party she was hosting. I must confess that originally I did not really want to go, but when I saw all of my other roommates were going, I felt it would be right to go and support her.
My roommates also showed great love for me as they decorated the apartment and threw a party for my birthday. As we come together in unity each person feels more loved and ‘at home.’ Truly, zion is what our home in heaven will be like. We are also able to have it here on earth as we forgive and have humility and cooperation.
Pure in Heart
When I think of the pure in heart, I think of a story found in the Book of Mormon about Aaron teaching King Lamoni’s father. As Aaron was teaching, the king asked him,
“What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive His Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.” (Alma 22:15)
Then, Aaron goes on to explain how to enter into the kingdom of God one must repent of all of their sins and become pure through the blood of Jesus Christ. Then in response to this, we read the account of the king crying unto God, saying:
“O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day.” (Alma 22:18)
In these verses we see how the king wanted to become pure in heart and how he wanted to be able to partake of the goodness of God by living the patterns of a zion-like community. We are able to become pure in heart through obedience to God; modesty in dress, actions, language, etc.; and personal responsibility.
No Poor Among Them
It is ever important to care for the temporal needs of people. When temporal needs are not cared for, there is little else that a person can do. In order to focus on the things that matter most in life, people must have the basic essentials of living. Without them, they are constantly trying to find them.
As we care for the temporal needs of others and strive to have no poor among us (both temporally and spiritually), we feel the spirit of the Lord in our lives and we are able to act as instruments in God’s hands. We are able to establish this pattern of a zion-like community through sacrifice and work.
I know that we become a happier and more fulfilled people as we live and implement these principles into our lives.