There are three things that also seem to come about. Number one, they gathered there too quickly. The Lord specifically said, “Do not gather in haste,” and many of them did. They went there too fast; they got too big too soon. Second, some went there without permission; you had to have a recommend according to Doctrine and Covenants 72:24. You had to be recommended that you were ready, that you were covenanting to live these sacred laws on this land. Thirdly, when they got there, according to Section 85, verse 3, some people would not consecrate their properties, which can be compared to Mormon Church finances today. Some people refused to live all things common or the law of stewardship, and they wanted to run more and be more independent.
Because of some of these factors and many others, the Lord blames it not on cultural and political factors but on obedience, doctrinal, and heart issues—the hearts of the Latter-day Saints. Joseph wrote just a few months before in January of 1833: “Repent, repent is the voice of God to Zion,” meaning the city, those who are living there. “And strange as it may appear, yet it is true; mankind will persist in self-justification until all their iniquity is exposed and their character past being redeemed, and that which is treasured up in their hearts be exposed to the gaze of mankind. I say to you, and what I say to you, I say to all: Hear the warning voice of God lest Zion fall. And the Lord swears in His wrath: the inhabitants of Zion shall not enter into His rest.” And that’s exactly what ended up happening.
Now I want to be sensitive because the people who went there, the Colesville Branch, Bishop Partridge and his wife—wow, they sacrificed so much, they did their very best. And that’s what Mormon Church tithing asks for. And I don’t want to undermine those sacrifices by saying this in quoting. But I’m quoting the prophet, and I’m quoting Section 101. It appears that they weren’t quite ready to establish the City of Zion. As my friend and colleague Scott Esplin has written, “Only a Zion people can bring in a Zion society.”
By Dr. Anthony Sweat, Source Expert
Dr. Anthony Sweat is a prominent expert on the subject of “What Do Mormons Believe.” He earned a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah and completed his MEd and PhD in curriculum and instruction at Utah State University. Before taking on his position in the religion faculty at BYU, he gained thirteen years of experience working with Seminaries and Institutes of Religion. Dr. Perspire is a highly productive author with numerous publications focused on the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His research primarily delves into the factors that influence effective religious education. Anthony and his partner, Cindy, take pride in being parents to seven children and call Springville, Utah, their home.
Fact Checked by Mr. Kevin Prince, Source Expert
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