The prophet Nephi experienced an expansive vision in which he saw many future events. After witnessing a period of spiritual darkness, he saw the publication of the Book of Mormon. The angel narrating the vision, quoting the Savior, said this:
Blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb;1 Nephi 13:37
In four revelations received in 1829, the Lord instructed associates of Joseph Smith to “seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:6, 11:6, 12:6, 14:6).
Elder D. Todd Christofferson identified three characteristics of Zion: unity, holiness, and charity (“Come to Zion,” General Conference, October 2008). He further explained that, unlike the ancient city of Zion, which was “taken up into heaven” (Moses 7:21, 23, 31), the Zion we build today must be prepared to receive the Savior Jesus Christ when He returns to the earth:
Crucial for the Lord’s return, is the presence on the earth of a people prepared to receive Him at His coming. He has stated that those who remain upon the earth in that day, “from the least [to] the greatest, … shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye, and shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together sing this new song, saying: The Lord hath brought again Zion. … The Lord hath gathered all things in one. The Lord hath brought down Zion from above. The Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath.”“Preparing for the Lord’s Return,” General Conference, April 2019
Joseph Smith explained this concept by elaborating on two sentences from the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). Here is Joseph Smith’s expansion of those sentences:
Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth.
Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so on earth.Doctrine and Covenants 65:5-6
So our mission is to help establish Zion (the kingdom of God) on the earth, so that we will be prepared to receive Zion (the kingdom of God) when it comes down from heaven.
Elder Christofferson testified, “This great and last dispensation is building steadily to its climax—Zion on earth being joined with Zion from above at the Savior’s glorious return” (“Preparing for the Lord’s Return,” General Conference, April 2019).
Today, I will “seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion.” I will strive to promote unity, holiness, and charity, to help prepare the world for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.