Monday, May 23, 2016

D. Todd Christofferson on our individual efforts to build Zion

Elder D. Todd Christofferson (b. January 24, 1945) was called to the Seventy in 1993, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2008.
"Much of the work to be done in establishing Zion consists in our individual efforts to become 'the pure in heart' (D&C 97:21). 'Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom,' said the Lord; 'otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself' (D&C 105:5). The law of the celestial kingdom is, of course, the gospel law and covenants, which include our constant remembrance of the Savior and our pledge of obedience, sacrifice, consecration, and fidelity.
"The Savior was critical of some of the early Saints for their 'lustful... desires' (D&C 101:6; see also D&C 88:121). These were people who lived in a non-television, non-film, non-Internet, non-iPod world. In a world now awash in sexualized images and music, are we free from lustful desires and their attendant evils? Far from pushing the limits of modest dress or indulging in the vicarious immorality of pornography, we are to hunger and thirst after righteousness. To come to Zion, it is not enough for you or me to be somewhat less wicked than others. We are to become not only good but holy men and women. Recalling Elder Neal A. Maxwell's phrase, let us once and for all establish our residence in Zion and give up the summer cottage in Babylon (see Neal A. Maxwell, 'A Wonderful Flood of Light' [1990], 47)."
- D. Todd Christofferson, "Come to Zion," Ensign, Nov. 2008, pp. 37-38
Click here to read the full talk

While there are many important organizational aspects to God's work, including the direction of sacred ordinances and the coordination of efforts to teach and serve, so much of the critical aspects of the Gospel are very personal and individual. As Elder Christofferson notes, building Zion depends on "individual efforts" as we each strive to purify our hearts, thoughts, and deeds. We must remember and magnify "our constant remembrance of the Savior and our pledge of obedience, sacrifice, consecration, and fidelity."

This process of personal growth and purification is really the essence of the Gospel. As we individually become more like Him, then Zion can be built collectively.

Elder Christofferson quotes Elder Maxwell's classic and memorable comment as a great reminder of the challenge many of us face in this individual process.

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