1 Nephi 22:Verse 24
24 And the time cometh speedily that the righteous must be led up as calves of the stall, and the Holy One of Israel must reign in dominion, and might, and power, and great glory.
1 Nephi 22:Verse 25
25 And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture.
1 Nephi 22:Verse 28
28 But, behold, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people shall dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel if it so be that they will repent.
Isaiah 13:Verse 12
12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
The Book of Mormon demonstrates that the "gospel" was sent forth throughout the lands, before the organization of the church is established (see 3 Nephi 11:18-41; 19:6-14; 27:1-3; 4 Nephi 1). The priesthood and its offices exist and function, but it's the gospel that goes forth, so that all may exercise "faith unto repentance" in Christ and the atonement. Scriptural history has taught us that the priesthood does not need the "church" to function, but in order for the church to function it does need the priesthood. It is true that every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ, yet faith must be taught, along with repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If Christ came to Salt Lake City in the eyes of all people, how much faith would be required to join the "Mormon Church." It is the gospel as described in Third Nephi by Christ himself, that must be taught and accepted by choice and free agency, that will give the people the power to bind Satan. Once the masses begin to believe and be baptized according to the gospel, the disciples request from the Savior the name by which His people, and the gospel organization would be called (3 Nephi 27:1-3+). Again the Savior declares his gospel that is to be preached in the new church. The success of the missionary comes not from "selling the church," but teaching the plain and precious truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
There is not a better description of a millennial society in the pages of scripture, than Fourth Nephi. It is a shame that out of five hundred pages of scripture contained in the Book of Mormon only
eighteen verses reveal the culture of a Zion society. Voltaire made the statement that 'empty are the annals of a happy people' and like the Book of Mormon, our personal journals are often filled with the trials and tribulations that we have every
day, while neglecting the times of spiritual prosperity. The record declares that "surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God" (4 Nephi 16).
2 And it came to pass in the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal
justly one with another.
Within three years after the coming of the Savior to the new world, all the people were converted unto the Lord and his gospel. It must be remembered that this was a localized culture and society, thus,
the conversion could take the short time of two to three years. The millennium of the last days may take longer because of the global teaching and conversion that will be required to completely bind Satan. However, we place no limits (on time or
space) on what the Lord may do to bring about the complete conversion of the peoples of the world. Fourth Nephi records that the business interaction of one man with another fulfilled that part of the Lord's Prayer that requests that all things be
done "on earth as it is in heaven." This interaction was with "no contentions and disputations" and that "every man did deal justly one with another."
3 And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.
The law of consecration is always given in connection with the law of the gospel and the law of sacrifice. These three laws combined and obediently lived become the trait of "charity" as
described by Moroni and is the basis and foundation of a Zion society. Like Enoch and his Zion there was "one heart, one mind, and there was no poor among them" (Moses 7:18) the people of Nephi were "not rich, and poor" having all
things in common. This idea of "not rich" sheds light on the concept of the "rich," and what it is, or perhaps, is not. What we learn from the above verse, is that when the people have "all things in common" and that
there are no rich and no poor, they become "free," and only the freedom from prosperity and poverty allows them to become "partakers of the heavenly gift," the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
4 And it came to pass that the thirty and seventh year passed away also, and there still continued to be peace in the land.
5 And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus.
6 And thus did the thirty and eighth year pass away, and also the thirty and ninth, and forty and first, and the forty and second, yea, even until forty and nine years had passed away, and also the fifty and first, and the fifty and second; yea, and even until fifty and nine years had passed away.
7 And the Lord did prosper them exceedingly in the land; yea, insomuch that they did build cities again where there had been cities burned.
8 Yea, even that great city Zarahemla did they cause to be built again.
9 But there were many cities which had been sunk, and waters came up in the stead thereof; therefore these cities could not be renewed.
Time passes, and the "Lord did prosper them exceedingly in the land" as the works and miracles of God and man increased throughout the land as they begin to clean and rebuild the cities that had
10 And now, behold, it came to pass that the people of Nephi did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people.
The people did "wax strong" and "multiply exceedingly fast" realizing that they were in constant need of nourishment to their physical and spiritual bodies, thus, waxing strong in
their faith, and receiving strength in their loins. The people of Nephi are described as becoming "exceedingly fair and delightsome," and many readers jump to the conclusion that it has to do something with a skin complexion that resembles
the ghostly and unhealthy color of whole milk. The accurate definition of the word "fair" expresses the meaning of "as it should be, complete, whole, and without need or want." The word "delight" conveys the concept and
meaning of 'enjoyment, and happiness without a spiritual or physical lust,' while, "delightsome" means to 'cause, or give delight, or enjoyment without the need to satisfy an appetite or passion.'
11 And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them.
With a "fair and delightsome" demeanor they were married and given in marriage, and received and realized, the promises and blessings of those "who enter into this order of the priesthood
meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage" (D&C 131:2).
12 And they did not walk any more after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses; but they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God, continuing in fasting and prayer, and in meeting
together oft both to pray and to hear the word of the Lord.
The Law of Moses was fulfilled in the sacrifice of Christ (Alma 34:14) and the Nephites participate freely in the ordinances of the Melchizedek priesthood (i.e. the Temple) wherein the "power of godliness is manifest" unto the living that they might behold the face of God and enter into his rest (D&C 84:19-22, 24). During their daily activities, they continued in "fasting and prayer" which was interrupted in "meeting together oft" to pray together and "hear the word of the Lord." Fasting means to "control or hold back from excesses," keeping your desires, appetites, and passions within the bounds required for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Section Twenty-six of the Doctrine and Covenants contain the "activities and rules" of Zion, in just two short verses.
1 Behold, I say unto you that you shall let your time be devoted to the studying of the scriptures, and to preaching, and to confirming the church at Colesville, and to performing your labors on the land, such as is required, until after you shall go to the west to hold the next conference; and then it shall be made known what you shall do.
2 And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith. Amen.
Verse one describes the activities that we should be engaged in stating: "let your time be devoted to the studying of the scriptures and to preaching, and to confirming the church . . . and to
performing your labors on the land." Our time, in a Zion lifestyle should be spent studying the word of God and learning the doctrines of the kingdom. With that study and knowledge the Latter-day Saints are to share it by preaching the gospel to
others, and "confirming" or strengthening those in the church as we edify one another. The final activity is to perform our labors on the land, to take care of the necessities of life, and not the excesses of life. The order of these
activities may be intentional as they are accomplished and governed under the "rules" of Zion found in verse two. The "rules" are that all things be "done by common consent" like the Nephites in Fourth Nephi, without
contention or disputation, and are done only after "much prayer and faith." These are the rules that govern the daily activities of a Zion society.
13 And it came to pass that there was no contention among all the people, in all the land; but there were mighty miracles wrought among the disciples of Jesus.
14 And it came to pass that the seventy and first year passed away, and also the seventy and second year, yea, and in fine, till the seventy and ninth year had passed away; yea, even an hundred years had passed away, and the disciples of Jesus, whom he had chosen, had all gone to the paradise of God, save it were the three who should tarry; and there were other disciples ordained in their stead; and also many of that generation had passed away.
15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
16 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.
17 There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.
18 And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no
contention in all the land. (4 Nephi 1:2-18).
This environment of "no contention, envyings, strifes, tumults, whoredoms, lyings, and murders," was a created environment because "of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people" (vs.15). This pure love of Christ, is defined by the prophets as "charity" which "suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (Moroni 7:45). This charity grows in the heart of the individual by obedience to the laws and covenants of the Temple, the law of sacrifice, the gospel, virtue or chastity, and the law of consecration. As these laws become part of our nature and character by strict and active willful obedience, "charity" is created and generated in the heart and begins to manifest itself in every aspect of our daily lives. Once this "charity" is part of our nature, it will never fail and will "endureth forever" (Moroni 7:46-47) for without charity, the pure love of God, that makes, God, God, we cannot receive the exaltation and inheritance we desire in the presence of our Father in Heaven..
Life in a world without sin is beyond the scope of our temporal imagination, yet, the few verses we have give a glimpse of that blessed day when "the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation. For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver" (D&C 45:58-59).
Below are a few references in the scriptures that describe life during the millennium when Satan is bound and charity fills the hearts of all that dwell on the earth.
Ezekiel 39:7, 28-29
D&C 133:33-35, 57-63
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