Lord's 'army' growing

In Section 105, the Lord revealed that His "army" or people must meet at least two requirements before Zion could be established: first, they must become "very great," or in other words, sufficiently numerous and strong; second, they must also become "sanctified," meaning holy and worthy. (D&C 105:31.)

How are we doing in meeting these requirements? The Lord's "army" is truly becoming very great. At the beginning of the present century, after the Church had been in existence for 70 years, its membership stood at only 268,000. The one million mark was reached in 1947, and today there are about 8.5 million Latter-day Saints worldwide. Nevertheless, Latter-day Saints represent just a little more than .1 percent of the world's population. Hence, God's kingdom has a long way to roll before it fills the earth as prophesied anciently. (Daniel 2:26-45.)Even though there is no direct statistical measure of the Saints' degree of sanctification, their faithfulness is reflected in such items as meeting attendance and temple activity. The level of sacrament meeting attendance has almost tripled during the 20th century - 16 percent in 1920 to 43 percent in 1980. (Church News, March 14, 1981, pp. 8-9.) (Richard O. Cowan, Temples to Dot the Earth, p. 208.) Despite this progress, our levels of faithfulness are below the ideal.

Some wonder when we will move to the center place and begin building the city of Zion. As early as 1948 Elder Harold B. Lee, then a member of the Council of the Twelve, cautioned: "The Lord has placed the responsibility for directing the work of gathering in the hands of the leaders of the Church to whom He will reveal His will where and when such gatherings would take place in the future." (April 1948 general conference.)

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