In April 1829, the Lord commanded the Prophet Joseph Smith to “establish the cause of Zion” (D&C 6:6). Subsequent revelations also referred to Zion in general terms (see D&C 11:6; 12:6; 14:6; 21:7–8; 24:7). But in July 1830, the Lord referred to Zion as a place. Emma, the wife of the Prophet, was promised that she would “receive an inheritance in Zion” (D&C 25:2). In December 1830, the Saints living in the New York area were commanded to gather to Ohio (see D&C 37:3), where they would escape the power of their enemies, receive God’s law, and be endowed with power from on high (see D&C 38:31–32). Some mistakenly thought Ohio was the Zion of which the revelations had spoken. Over 200 of these eastern Saints obediently sold their possessions and prepared to go to Ohio.
Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For
Church History in the Fulness of Times: Religion 341–43, pp. 95–100.
Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325, pp. 103–4.
Suggestions for Teaching
Doctrine and Covenants 48. The Lord commands Latter-day Saints to share what they have with those in need.
Tell students: Imagine that the Saints in a distant area have lost their homes because of a natural disaster. Church leaders have asked your bishop (or branch president) to arrange for members of your ward to house some of the displaced families for several months.
What questions and concerns would you and the families in your ward have?
What concerns and feelings do you think those moving into your area would have?
Read the historical background for section 48 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (p. 103). Help students understand that their concerns regarding this example are probably similar to those felt by the Saints moving to and living in Ohio. Read Doctrine and Covenants 48 and look for the Lord’s direction to these Saints. Ask:
How does this revelation apply to us today?
What are some ways we can share with others in the Church?
What words show that the gathering in Ohio was temporary?
How will the Saints establish the city of Zion in the future?
Who will direct the gathering of the Saints?
Have a student read President Harold B. Lee’s statement in the commentary for Doctrine and Covenants 48:5–6 in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual: Religion 324–325 (p. 104). Discuss the following question: How could our willingness to share our worldly goods prepare us to establish the city of Zion?