Friday, April 26, 2013

The Inhabitants of Zion are Terrible

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.

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.

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.

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.

If you're like me, you may have wondered how the Lord will make Zion so terrifying to the wicked warlords of the world. I've imagined some kind of spectacular divine intervention, with fire from heaven and such power and confidence in the faces of the people of Zion that wicked people lose their courage at the mere sight of them. I've pictured miracles like those Enoch did, through his faith in our Savior:

And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.

But maybe Zion's terribleness will include something more natural, as well. Over the past year, I've seen story after story where Latter-day Saints made the news by playing hero.

Erica Castrillo was in her living room on Monday night at 200 South and 500 West in Provo when she heard a noise outside and saw a man taking her husband's bike.

"I ran out the door barefoot and started chasing him down the street," she said. "I ran about a block and a half then I saw a girl stopped at stop light and I asked her if she would help me. She was super kind and let me in and we followed him and chased him down."

Provo police Officer Chris Chambers said... "Partnerships between police and community are essential to stopping crime... there is no better asset we can have to fighting crime."

The whole essence of Zion is how the love of God affects our relationships with each other.

And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

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.

If we really believe that a Zion society is possible, shouldn't we expect miracles, both simple and spectacular?

Fighting crime isn't something most young members of the LDS church ever expect to do while on their mission. But a pair of Mormon missionaries came to the rescue, busting a pair of suspected would-be burglars...

"I really believe that God is working through all of us and nothing is a coincidence, it all happens for a reason," says [Elder] Brown.

With the love of God in our hearts, we're willing to help. With the power of the Holy Ghost, we're inspired to be in the right place at the right time. Small and simple miracles. But if the Lord needs something more showy, he seems to be fine with that as well:

[Mormon Bishop] Kent Hendrix woke up Tuesday to his teenage son pounding on his bedroom door and telling him somebody was being mugged in front of their house. The 47-year-old father of six rushed out the door and grabbed the weapon closest to him— a 29-inch high carbon steel Samurai sword.

He came upon what he describes as a melee between a woman and a man. His son stayed inside to call 911 while he approached the man along with other neighbors who came to help. The martial arts instructor didn't hesitate in drawing the sword and yelling at him to get on the ground.

"His eyes got as big as saucers and he kind of gasped and jumped back," Hendrix said by phone Tuesday afternoon. "He's probably never had anyone draw a sword on him before."

The man ran away down the street toward his car with the barefoot Hendrix and others in pursuit. Hendrix said he couldn't catch Eggersten before he fled in his car, but he picked up chapstick that the man dropped and memorized his license plate.

"I yelled at him, 'I've got your DNA and I've got your license plate: You are so done,'" Hendrix said.

Eggersten turned himself in to police an hour later, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.

So, we're already capable of this. What will we be capable of when we have greater faith, in the future, when we're being held accountable for living the law of consecration?

Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things: it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God.
Lectures on Faith 6:7

I look forward to finding out what Zion will do.

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