Zion based on celestial law

Section 105 explains that Zion will be built up by the Saints' conformity to celestial law. To understand this section, one might review earlier scriptures in the Bible as well as those revelations given earlier in what is now the Doctrine and Covenants.

Old Testament prophets spoke of two latter-day gathering places from which the Lord's law and word should go forth: Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem or Zion. (See Isaiah 2:2-3; Micah 4:1-2.)The Book of Mormon made it clear that while the ancient Jerusalem would be rebuilt and become the Holy City of the Lord in the Old World, the New Jerusalem would be built on the American continent. (Ether 13:4-6.) As early as 1830, the year in which the Church was organized, the building of the New Jerusalem was a subject of great interest, and the Latter-day Saints were eager to know just where the Holy City was to stand.

In compliance with the Lord's instructions for the elders to go to Missouri, the land He had consecrated for the people of Israel (see D&C 52:1-5), Joseph Smith and many others left Kirtland in mid-June 1831, and arrived in Jackson County, Mo., a month later. As the Prophet considered the backward state of this frontier land and its inhabitants, he was moved to exclaim: "When will the wilderness blossom as the rose? When will Zion be built up in her glory?" His questions were answered in a revelation received on July 20, 1831. (D&C 57:1-3.) Another revelation received about two weeks later, however, indicated that Zion would be built up "after much tribulation." (D&C 58:3-4.) The tribulation soon came in the form of mob action, resulting July 20, 1833, in the destruction of the Latter-day Saints' press. This antagonism and violence grew worse during the fall, and by November, despite bitterly cold weather, the Saints were forced to flee from the county.

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