I was asked if I thought it was wrong to own a gun or kill in self-defense. My response.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with owning firearms, hunting, or self-defense. But I do think we are too quick to presume we are authorized to take life. Therefore, I am reluctant to encourage that kind of thinking. I encourage a non-violent, non-confrontational way to solve a problem first, and violent action as a last resort. When violence or self-defense is used as the final option, then it is rarely needed. When it is viewed as justified and approved, it gets employed with the kind of recklessness that will condemn a person.
The Mountain Meadows Massacre is a hallmark event wherein aggressive “self defense” resulted in murder. No one in the local church leadership involved thought of it as murder at the time. In hindsight, everyone, even the church’s Assistant-Historian, admits it was murder and that the blame went far beyond John D. Lee. It is far better to suffer than to react too quickly and to take life.
This is a separate subject from the creation of Zion. Currently, as a people, we don’t possess enough basic understanding of doctrine to begin to organize Zion. Our current models would be warmed over Babylon with new names associated with it. Rather like the Historic Christian movement adopted “Christmas” to celebrate “Sol Invictus.” Or the fertility rites of Spring renamed “Easter.”
Our “Zion” would be a commercial enterprise, with private ownership and capitalist competition to form an economic basis from which to build a strictly regimented and highly controlled people. Something so foreign to what Zion was meant to be that I rather think it would draw tornadoes in a proportion greater than trailer parks currently do in Mississippi.
Zion will be cooperative, not competitive. They will be “one” in every sense of the word. No one will need to say “know ye the Lord” because everyone will know Him, from the greatest to the least. He will be able to dwell among them because He will have already been known by them.
Collectivist efforts are never going to work. FIRST, we must become individually the kind of people whom the Lord can visit. Then, after that, the gathering together of like-minded people will be a gathering of equals. It will not be an hierarchical gathering of “leadership” and drones. There won’t be a single drone in Zion. Everyone will be equal and no one will mind mowing the grass or taking out the garbage.
I envision this scene from Zion:
A man walks down the street early in the morning and notices that the bakery is unmanned. Its door is open, because there is no need for locks in Zion. So, on an impulse, he enters, looks about for the instructions left by someone, and begins to prepare bread. As the morning goes on, a few others join him. They make bread. Others come and take the bread to their homes. At the end of the day, the man goes home. This was his first time working in the bakery. He did it because he saw it needed to be done.
He returns to the bakery, because he enjoyed it. Day by day he works in the bakery for months, perhaps years. One day on his way, he notices that the grass needs to be cut and the mower has been carefully left beside a tree along the parkway. So he starts to cut the grass. He finds he likes it, and this is now what he does this day. And the next. And within a month he has cut all the grass needing cutting in his immediate neighborhood and starts over again where he began. He enjoys it.
Eventually he is asked by someone to help to move clothing and journals from one home to another. A couple whose children have all moved out no longer have need of the larger home they occupy, and are moving across town. So he puts the mower carefully beside a tree and begins to help move. Homes are occupied based upon need, and these people no longer have need of the larger space they once occupied.
Across town he notices that there is a new neighborhood being built. He decides, after finishing the move for the couple, that he will assist at the site. He returns there for over a year as he provides help with stocking and distributing materials, framing, installing shingles, painting and clean-up.
He has no job. He is never without work. He asks for no pay, because some labor to feed others. He has no need for housing, because what is available is shared.
Before I go on, I feel the need to interrupt:
How on earth is something like this going to work?
What about zoning laws and business licenses?
What about getting a building permit before commencing construction?
What quality control and food-handler’s permits exist which will guarantee the bread the man makes won’t make people sick?
This is chaos. Disorder. Anarchy. In short, how the hell will something like this WORK??!!??
Well, the answer is, of course, it won’t. Can’t. Not with the folks we have at present. We’ll sit around arguing about the rules for establishing Zion and simply never get around to being Zion. Zion IS. It can’t be organized, because it requires no organization. It can’t be controlled because there is no need for control. It can’t be governed because it is entirely voluntary and self-governing.
So for us, we imagine Zion to have a completely restrictive set of covenants on housing which will keep out those garish, bright colored stucco houses we see on the “west-side” in oh so many crowded cities. Right? We can’t have that. And we need a code to mandate a common language. We can’t put up with a polyglot society where we can’t make out what someone is saying, now can we? And we ought to make sure zoning keeps the commercial stuff on one side and not scattered throughout the neighborhoods. Crap like that attracts crime. And crime should require immediate expulsion, right? Can’t tolerate crime in Zion. We’ll need law enforcement to make that work, and a fence so the criminals don’t creep back in after dark. And street lights, so we can see what people are up to after dark when they’re lurking about. And taxes to pay for the public improvements. And a cap on taxes. We can’t let taxation become punitive…..
wait – we’re right back in Babylon….
But you say you want to start Zion? Ok. Go help your neighbor. This is where our hearts will need to be before the foundation will ever be laid. Studying so you can justify using violence if the need arises will not get you any closer to Zion. Nor will developing a street plan for Zion ahead of a heart plan for changing mankind. Men’s hearts have failed them. (D&C 45: 26.)