And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things ye shall receive by faith.” D&C 111:2
“...neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this church contrary to the church covenants, for all things must be done in order and by common consent in the church by the prayer of faith.” D&C 60:12
What does it mean to do all things by common consent? How does a group of people come to a unity of opinion? What does it mean to think with one another? Why does this require much prayer and faith?
Common: Belonging equally to more than one.
Consent: Accord of minds; agreement; unity of opinion. Literally, to think with another. Hence, to agree or accord.
How is common consent different than democratic rule? When the majority wins, is this common consent? Does voting have a place as common consent is being achieved?
Vote: That by which will or preference is expressed in elections or in deciding propositions; a ballot; a ticket, etc.; as a written vote; Expression of will be a majority;
How can God's people do all things by common consent? Can we have common consent without being one? This oneness with the Lord is not only for those who have received the Lord's presence but for those also who believe on Jesus through their words.
He [Jesus] had said, in another part of his prayer, that he desired of his Father, that those who believed on him should be one in him, as he, and the Father were one in each other: Neither pray I for these (the apostles) alone, but for them also who shall believe on me through their words; that they all may be one: that is, they who believe on him through the apostles' words, as well as the apostles themselves: that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee: that they also may be one in us. Lecture on Faith 7:40
If one soul has the same mind with the Father and thousands do not, who has the ability to bring about common consent? How does possessing the same mind with the Father and the Son, make common consent in all things possible? If we each seek to become one with the Father and the Son, will we be one with each other?
And he being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fullness of the glory of the Father- possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one, or in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things: by whom all things were created and made, that were created and made: and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one: The Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory, power and fullness: Filling all in all- the Son being filled with the fullness of the Mind, glory and power, or, in other words, the Spirit, glory and power of the Father-possessing all knowledge and glory, and the same kingdom: sitting at the right hand of power, in the express image and likeness of the Father- a Mediator for man- being filled with the fullness of the Mind of the Father, or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father: which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on his name and keep his commandments: and all those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all: being filled with the fullness of his glory, and become one in him, even as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one. Lectures on Faith 5:7
Why must the people of Zion be of one heart and one mind?
And the Lord called his people, Zion, because they were of one heart and of one mind, and dwelt in righteousness, and there were no poor among them.
Zion began by one man rising up to teach the people the truth. They were gathered by common consent because they found the word to be expanding, enlightening, and delicious. The people received teachings full of light and knowledge at the hand of Enoch as he taught them how to commune with and follow God. This is how common consent is achieved.
This process takes time, labor, patience, and knowledge. To achieve common consent, I must be willing to consider my brother and sister and listen to what they have to say? When I work with others, these are the tools I have to work with . . .
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the Priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned, by kindness, by pure knowledge which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy and without guile, reproving betimes with sharpness when moved upon by the Holy Ghost and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved lest he esteem thee to be his enemy, that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death; thy bowels also being full of charity towards all men and to the household of faith, and virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly. D&C 47:141
Fellowship is essential in this process of achieving Zion.
In Utah, we live in a culture where passive-aggressive behavior is abnormally high.
Michael Stevens, chairman of Weber State University’s department of business administration, has taught courses in organizational behavior and group psychology for 25 years. After coming to Utah in 2008, he saw his students score almost twice as high for having passive-aggressive conflict-resolution styles as his students in other regions.
Neither of these behaviors will work in Zion. We must use our time to teach one another and work together. To build a city which Jesus will claim as His own takes communication, humility, revelation, knowledge, organization, labor, cooperation, forgiveness, charity, and love. It's easier to go off on our own, do our own thing, and forget about the welfare of believers in Christ and others who are in need. But we can choose another way. If you have knowledge to impart then do what you can to lift and serve. If you lack wisdom, be teachable and willing to see a better way. We will all find ourselves in both situations. This blesses us both as a giver and a receiver.
We live in a society where texts, social media, and forums have replaced the human element in our communications. It is good to meet face to face where we can feel each others' hearts.
And now come, saith the Lord by the Spirit unto the elders of his church, and let us reason together that ye may understand; let us reason even as a man reasoneth one with another, face to face. D&C 16:10
It is a greater challenge to come to a oneness with God as a group than it is to come to God as an individual. Zion is supportive and synergistic. People have continued to come into God's presence throughout the course of history, but only the people of Enoch and Melchizedek have achieved Zion. This effort requires all who have desires to be part of Zion to not only rise up and come to their Lord but to labor for the welfare of others through their fellowship. Much prayer and faith is required as we reach out to lift and serve each other.
Zion is the result of common consent. Who cannot see that the Lord called His people Zion because they were of one heart and one mind?
Sanctify them through your truth. Your words are truth. As you have sent me into the world, likewise I am sending them into the world. And for their sakes I sacrifice myself, that they might be sanctified through the truth. I pray not only for these followers, but also for all believers who learn our words from them. I ask that all followers and believers may be united as one, as you, Father, are in me, and I am in you, that they also may be united as one in us. By them becoming one, the world will have reason to believe that you sent me. And the light which you gave to me I have given to them. This allows them to become united as one, even as we are one: my light in them, and your light in me. The light will lead them to be made perfect in one. That light I have given to them is evidence to the world that you have sent me. I have loved them, as you have loved me. Testimony of John 10:207-218