“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.” Moses 7:18
In Moses 7:18 we are given the divine equation of Zion. We read these words and we philosophize on their meaning. In the attempts to achieve Zion in these Latter-Days many a men have read these words and attempted to establish groups, orders, communities, churches all in the attempt to replicate Zion. The results of their efforts were aptly described by the scriptures, “But behold, this time it hath brought forth much fruit, and there is none of it which is good. And behold, there are all kinds of bad fruit; and it profiteth me nothing, notwithstanding all our labor; and now it grieveth me that I should lose this tree.” Jacob 5:32
Sometimes the greatest of principles are hidden in the simplicity of the language. Moses was an Israelite and the language he uses in his description of Zion are actually very simple (and yet profound) expressions that are quite common in the Hebrew. This profound verse utilizes a tool called Hebrew block logic which is very cyclical and picturesque. It is also a foreign concept to our western minds. So to simplify matters—I am going to present this using western thinking in the form of a mathematical equation. So Let’s Examine the Equation:
And the Lord (YHVH) called his people Zion, because they were:
Zion = One heart + One Mind + Dwelt in Righteousness = “no poor among them” (the result)
The Hebrew word for Zion, Tzion (ציון) (pronounced TSEE-YON), can be translated as “sign” or “marking.” When God places his name upon a person or a place the person becomes marked. Zion is Zion by virtue of being established or marked by God and the people who fulfill God’s commandments. From a Hebraic mindset when a physical object has a sign or marking, should it be lost, the sign enables it to be returned to its owner . Just as Mount Zion was a monument or memorial (stone or mountain) even so the people become a living nation or monument that is marked by the distinctive laws, statutes, culture of the Kingdom of God- even that order that existed in the Ancient of Days before Israel ever existed as a people.
“Hear (Listen and Obey), O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one (echad-united). You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
Embracing God’s covenant relationship and commandments is the sign of oneness/unity/harmony which characterizes Zion.
This same relationship of oneness or unity is also expressed by the Savior:
“I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.
They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.
I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (John 17:14-23)
In Hebraic thought the heart is the center or source of our thoughts. In other words to be of one heart the people must be in agreement or in harmony. For Zion to exist and all Israel to be gathered we must be one (echad) or united. This unity does not come from a vacuum of speculation but on the knowledge that Yehovah is God and he alone is our God. There is one law Given to all Israel. It is the same Law delivered on Mount Sinai and renewed by the Messiah. There is ONE people-Israel; whether by natural blood or adoption.
Their Unity or Oneness comes from accepting God as their King and his laws as their Constitution. They are of one heart because their thoughts are centered on him and the embracing of his instructions that he gave to Moses and reiterated through Messiah.
In Hebraic Thought the “MIND” (point to your head) is the center or source of the will of a man. For a people to be of one mind is to have a united or harmonic desire to carry out or implement those instructions given by God to Moses and reiterated by the Messiah in the physical world of the here and now.
In doing so, God promises:
The LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate and persecute you. Then you will again obey the LORD and keep all his commands that I am giving you today.”
“The LORD your God will then make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and he will cause your fields to produce abundant harvests, for the LORD will again delight in being good to you as he was to your ancestors.
The LORD your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul. (Deuteronomy 30:9-10)
By returning (teshuvah-repentance) to the God of Israel and his commandments that he delivered to Israel not only to say them, but to do them in the here and now we will obtain the covenant blessings that will overturn the curses coming upon us. Rather than destruction we will have prosperity. Rather than losing our children to a foreign culture we will establish an everlasting inheritance in the land to our God.
There are those who would have us believe we must make some metaphysical connection with spirits and heaven to learn the “secret” before establishing Zion, but in doing so they err. The instructions of God are the words of plainness. They are simple and practical. We can begin to implement them in our homes and families in the here and now. Zion is the result of loyalty and obedience to God. It is our loyalty and obedience to God’s instructions that draws heaven to us—the connection. There is no new revelation or hidden instruction that we need to begin. God has provided these instructions to us in plainness in his Scriptures:
“This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach. It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’
It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’
No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.
“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.
For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. (Deuteronomy 30: 10-16)
DWELLING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS
Dwelling in Righteousness is a Hebraic expression that means the people enacted God’s laws (righteousness) in their society. In other words their lives, homes, and their communities were centered in and established upon God’s commandments. This is not theology or philosophy, but the people taking action to organize, declare, and walk out God’s commandments. In Hebrew Righteousness is the word Tzedakah which is the same word that is translated for Charity. This word describes not only a state of action but also a state of being or condition:
“If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity (tzedakah); for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity. And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moroni 7:44-47)
For Zion or “the marked” to dwell in righteousness or the carrying out of God’s words we carry them out in an intent or condition of : long suffering (patience), kindness, no envy (i.e. no covetousness), no pride (seeking to place ourselves above Gods commandments and other men), not being easily provoked, not being thinking evil (entertaining principles that would lead us to break God’s commandments), not rejoicing in iniquity (lawlessness), but rejoicing in truth (God’s word), bearing all things (bearing in Hebrew means carrying or working out-in this case God’s words), believing all things, hoping (or expecting based on God’s promises) all things, and enduring all thing.
THE RESULT OF THE EQUATION IS NO POOR AMONG THEM
The result of the equation is that as a result of being in agreement or united upon God’s laws/commandments, and being in agreement or united in their will to carry them out, the people actually dwelt in righteousness (a Hebraic expression for living and carrying God’s laws in the real day to day world).
The Messiah stated, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
In expounding the fulfillment of this scripture the Messiah laid out not only his mission but the mission of every man, woman, and child who would walk in his footsteps as his disciple.
“And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due. And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.” (Mosiah 4:13-16)
King Benjamin Reiterates these same principles:
“And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.”
We are at a crucial juncture in history. We are being given an opportunity to participate in bringing again Zion, but to do so means we must set aside the brainwashing of our modern churches and embrace God’s scriptural laws. Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel perhaps we should consider that God has already given us an economic system in the Scriptures. Consider for a moment that Moses who was the author of the phrase “and there was no poor among them” also made a similar statement in the Torah and gave the directions for an economic system so that there would be no poor among them:
“But there will be no poor among you; for the LORD will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—if only you will strictly obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today.” (Deuteronomy 15:4-5)
Moses then proceeds to layout several laws regarding tithes and financial laws given by God designed to prosper his people whether in freedom or Bondage. When these laws were given they were given to the individuals and families in Israel. THERE WAS NO HOLY 501C-3 CORPORATION SET UP BY GOD!
The Equation was given to us for a reason so that by following it we could pass under the rod and find ourselves in the Shepherd's flock. No step of the equation can be skipped. For us It starts with oneness/unity/harmony in the Doctrine of Christ and the commandments delivered from God to men.