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To increase the understanding of what Zion is and what it takes to build it.
A Zion People
"Zion is Zion because of the character, attributes, and faithfulness of her citizens. Remember, "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) . . . . We cannot wait until Zion comes for these things to happen-Zion will come only as they happen.
"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" (D. Todd Christofferson, "Come to Zion," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 37-40).
Activity: Patterns of Zion
According to Moses 7:18, Zion is characterized by unity, righteousness (i.e., pure in heart), and an absence of the poor. President Clark connected seven patterns to each of these three characteristics of Zion. Write or type word strips for each of the seven patterns and distribute them to members of the group. Take turns attaching the patterns (with tape or putty) to each of the three characteristics of Zion and explain why that pattern reflects the characteristic.
Pure in Heart3. Obedience to God
No Poor Among Them6. Sacrifice
You may want to discuss some of the following quotations as part of the discussion about why each pattern fits a particular principle of Zion.
Forgiveness: "We are commanded to forgive all men. Forgiveness is essential to establishing Zion. We all sin; we all make mistakes. If we do not forgive one another, we deny the power of the Atonement. Those hurts fester and become resentments and anger. They destroy unity and dissolve the bonds of charity that are essential to Zion."
Never A Happier People
"...and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God." (4 Nephi 1:16)
Activity: Liken All Scripture
Modernize Fourth Nephi by looking at the following verses in Fourth Nephi and contrast them with the average student apartment, ward, or BYU-Idaho at large. Consider the 'modern' interpretation of these scriptures- what do they look like in today's world?
(For example: 4 Nephi 1:2 - every roommate dealing justly with one another-no disputations among them, all things in common-such as shared responsibility for cleanliness in the apartment.)
Contrast the righteousness and fall of the Nephites from "never a happier people" to destruction.
A lesson is not complete until a challenge or invitation is extended which inspires and motivates participants to apply what they have learned. "It's in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals" (Thomas S. Monson, "A Royal Priesthood," Ensign, Nov. 2007, 59-61).
As a result of the lesson, each participant should feel an increased desire to change an attitude or behavior and become a stronger disciple of Jesus Christ. Include the following steps as part of the application process: