Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The City of Enoch and The New Jerusalem

In the great day of restoration-a day that has commenced, but in which many things yet remain to be restored-there will finally be two world capitals, both called Zion, both called Jerusalem. One shall be the seat of government, the other the spiritual capital of the world, for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Isa. 2:1-5.) That is to say, Jerusalem of old shall be restored, built up anew in glory and beauty, according to the promises, and also, another Jerusalem, a New Jerusalem, shall be established. Moroni tells us "of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven," and of "the holy sanctuary of the Lord." He says that Ether wrote both of this New Jerusalem, which should be upon the American continent, and of the restoration of the Jerusalem in the Old World, the one whence Lehi came. "And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth," the account says; "and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new. And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb. . . . And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham." (Ether 13:1-12; 3 Ne. 20:22; 21:23-24.)  
That the New Jerusalem, the latter-day Zion, the Zion to which Enoch and his city shall return, shall be in Jackson County, Missouri, has been set forth plainly in latter-day revelation. (D&C 84:1-4.) Of this millennial Zion, the New Testament apostle says: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Rev. 21:1-4.)  
To complete our vision of the concept of holy cities, as the New Testament account records, there will also be a day a celestial day, when this earth becomes a heaven in the full, complete and eternal sense, when the celestial New Jerusalem shall be with men. It was John, also, who saw this "holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God." This is the city having twelve gates and twelve foundations, "and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." This is the city with streets of pure gold, "as it were transparent glass." Of it John says: "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Rev. 21:10-27.)  
            (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols., 1:, p.95-96)

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