Friday, April 10, 2009

The Coming of Christ (Part 4) The New Jerusalem

One of the great events that must be accomplished before the coming of Christ in glory to the world, is the building up of the New Jerusalem. This New Jerusalem must have a glorious temple as it's center piece. According to the Prophet Joseph Smith, this temple will actually be a 24 building complex. D&C 42 reveals that the saints are to build up the New Jerusalem living the law of consecration. President Joseph Fielding Smith made this declaration about the New Jerusalem and the law of consecration,

D&C 42:30–35. What Is the Relationship between the Building of Zion and the Law of Consecration?

“In this revelation the Law of Consecration is stated definitely as the law on which the New Jerusalem is to be built. This law is given for the benefit of the poor, for the building of Zion and the work of the ministry. . . . Through this celestial law (Consecration) the Saints are to become the covenant people of the Lord. We cannot enter into the fulness of the covenants pertaining to Zion until we have reached the point where we can live such a divine law. Those who cannot abide the law of tithing cannot partake of this law of consecration, or the higher law and they will be deprived of an inheritance when the inheritances are divided.” (Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:168)

As mentioned in the post on April 5, by Elder Charles W. Penrose, the Savior will visit the people in the New Jerusalem and instruct them further in the building of Zion. As pointed out so far there is much to do to prepare the saints for the coming of Christ and to live in the Millennium. Remember that there is a very important organization that will be put in place at Adam-Ondi-Ahman that is a part of the concept of Zion and the New Jerusalem (see previous post).

The Prophet Enoch, who built the Zion of old, was instructed that the New Jerusalem would be the place where the righteous will be gathered to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, and that Enoch and his people will meet them there,

Moses 7:60-64
60 And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah;
61 And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;
62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem. (emphasis added)
63 And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other;
64 And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.

Here we can see that even before the flood, it was known that the New Jerusalem was a "gateway" to the coming of the Lord and Millennial life. It is one of the major signs or "fig leaves" as it were, to key us in to the time when the Lord will come.

This New Jerusalem is to be a place of peace and safety for the righteous while much of the world is in anarchy,

D&C 45:67-70
67 And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.
68 And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.
69 And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.
70 And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.

In other words, we should not be looking for the coming of Christ until the New Jerusalem and its temple is built by the law of consecration. It is to be a haven and a safe place for the righteous. Also, the stakes of Zion will serve this same purpose (see D&C 115:5-6). There is no way of knowing the speed by which some of these things may take place, but we do have the Lord's promise that he will hasten his work.

D&C 88:73
73 Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.

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