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Q&A: What is "the Cause of Zion"?

The motto for everything I do is: INQUIRE. ILLUMINATE. INSPIRE. Usually, the inquiries that underlie what I post are my own, but occasionally the questions are prompted by one of you. This question was posed to me recently on social media: "What is meant by "the cause of Zion"? [1]. (Note: in this phrase cause refers to goal, not source.)

The cause of Zion is a concept that peppers latter-day revelation, so it's important to understand. As you'll see the answer is complex yet simultaneously simple.

I created a mini-fireside slideshow with what I hope is a concise, relatable explanation of an enormous topic. We first have to understand the various usages of the word Zion to grasp what is meant by "the cause of Zion."

This is just a jumping-off point to provide insights or resources that will hopefully inspire you to keep studying on your own.


[Click through the images below.]

President Russell M. Nelson taught that "Zion is wherever righteous Saints are" [2]. With that in mind, think through these questions:

  • What do you imagine Zion would look like in your home? your ward? the world?

  • What have you seen or experienced that you think reflects the principles of Zion? What is something you've done that reflects those same principles? And what impact have either of those had on you?


To His people in the Americas, the resurrected Lord taught that before His Second Coming He would "gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion" [3].

The cause of Zion today is essentially the same as it was in the days of Enoch: it's the process of gathering together all people (1) who are united in a consuming desire to live like Jesus Christ, (2) whose actions increasingly reflect that desire, and (3) whose righteous living and sacred covenants--made on Mount Zion (a.k.a. holy temples)--bring His presence into their lives.

The establishment of Zion is contingent upon being ready both individually and collectively. Zion doesn't happen overnight [4], and it isn't an every-man-for-himself situation. It requires us to gather to the Savior, with each other. And once we reach that point, we will be able to be with Him!

This time, though, Zion won't be brought up to heaven to live with Him; no, He will be coming here to dwell with us during His millennial reign.

Since Zion is a collective goal, I invite you to ponder these questions about your relationships with others:

  • How have others brought a little more Zion-ness to your life?

  • In what normal, natural ways do you express your joy and faith with the people you rub shoulders with in your sphere?

When it comes to Zion, we're all in this together: I've got your back, and you've got mine. It's all for one, and one for all, a reflection of the One who was sent for all (to experience all, to pay for all, and to save all), and who is our perfect example of unity, purity, and love.

Really, He is Zion.


  1. See, for example, Doctrine & Covenants 6:6; 11:6; 12:6

  2. "The Gathering of Scattered Israel," Conference Address, October 2006

  3. 3 Nephi 21:1

  4. "Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven." (Moses 7:19, emphasis added)


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