I responded to an email posing the question of how Zion would result from what is presently happening and who is presently involved. I responded by explaining these ideas:
Any solution could be imposed quickly and would result in stabilizing everything–just by adopting a central command structure to compel order. Everyone is already conditioned to accept authority and obey it. But that step would bring peace at the price of altogether losing the hope for Zion. For now it must be this gentle way.
Don’t think about this as a time to gather but as a time to prove.
And don’t think that we are proving who belongs to a group from among all involved, but who would the Lord choose; what few He would gather out from among them. In His wisdom He has elected to delay the next steps in order to select carefully those who can be gathered. What exists now obviously cannot be gathered. The freedom and liberty Christ allows us is misused and misunderstood. But God is no less stringent, demanding and exact just because He gently leads along. Only a few among the people could be gathered, and the Lord knows this.
There is no command to build a temple yet, although we know there will be one given. He doesn’t want the present assortment of people to be allowed to build His house. There is no place to gather identified yet. He doesn’t want the rebellious or froward to know where to go or be to interfere with the peace of that land.
God knows what He is doing. This is the culmination of a plan to finish the ages and vindicate all the promises made to the fathers. The fact that there are wayward and strident children among a people does not mean they will be permitted to either stop the forward movement or to come to the Lord’s Zion.
What amazes me is that He has continued to pour out teaching, guidance and profound truths that have been kept hidden from the knowledge of the world to a small body of believers. There is more light and truth being poured out now than has been given to almost any prior generation back to the time of Adam. Few have been privileged to know what we have been allowed to speak of publicly. For some that has made a great difference. For others it has not affected their hearts and minds enough to remove their hardness, their strident and discordant voices, nor to remove their froward countenances. But, remember, the Heavenly Parents “hate” the froward. That clearly disqualifies those individuals from being invited to the Lord’s gathering.
I think the Lord knows what He is about. And has everything before Him to decide what to do, how to do it, and when to separate the chosen and bring them to a land of peace. I’m just hoping to be able to receive that invitation and bring my family there.