When the Lord offers a covenant, He offers the Higher Law first, if the people reject the first offering, they are left with a lesser law. His first offering is that of Zion. If as a group, the people refuse the Zion covenant, the offering to receive the Lord individually is still available.
We see this in the Old Testament. Even though the children of Israel rejected the invitation to receive a covenant for Zion, this didn't prevent Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Elijah from individually receiving the Lord.
We have eleven children. It is quite easy to obtain peace with each child individually. I don't steal their toys, fight over the best seat, tease, or make a mess of their stuff. Although the individual parent/child relationship takes work and effort, it is simple. When all of my children are together, things become more complicated. Not only do the children get to connect with me, but they get to love and connect with each other. Living with thirteen people, tests all of us in ways that are much more challenging than living in a household with only one child. Getting along with siblings is a greater challenge, but the blessings are also more rewarding. There is always a friend to talk to, someone to play with, and energy and excitement that fills the home. Greater growth is encouraged in the family as we work through our challenges together. A united home is supportive and synergistic for the entire family.
As Moroni knew, it can be lonely for a man to receive the Lord without a Zion covenant.
Behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded of my father. And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites until they were all destroyed, and my father also was killed by them. And I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfill the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not, therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth, and whither I go it mattereth not. Behold, my father hath made this record and he hath written the intent thereof. And behold, I would write it also, if I had room upon the plates, but I have not. And ore I have none, for I am alone, my father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolks, and I have not friends nor whither to go. And how long the Lord will suffer that I may live, I know not. Mormon 4:1-10
Throughout the history of the world, it has been more common to receive an individual covenant with God than to receive a Zion covenant. Establishing Zion takes time and is not accomplished in haste. Achieving this perfect unity took 365 years for Enoch and his people. This process takes faith, great diligence, and patience looking forward to the fruit of Zion. Here is the pattern we can expect to find in the establishment of Zion.
God calls a messenger to preach to a wicked people.
And it came to pass that Enoch journeyed in the land, among the people, and as he journeyed the Spirit of God descended out of heaven, and abode upon him, And he heard a voice from heaven, saying, Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people, and say unto them, Repent, for thus saith the Lord, I am angry with this people, and my fierce anger is kindled against them, for their hearts have waxed hard, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes cannot see afar off. And for these many generations, even since the day that I created them, have they gone astray, and have denied me, and have sought their own counsels in the dark, and in their own abominations have they devised murder, and have not kept the commandments which I gave unto their father Adam. Wherefore, they have forsworn themselves, and by their oaths they have brought upon themselves death. And an hell I have prepared for them, if they repent not, And this is a decree which I have sent forth in the beginning of the world, from mine own mouth, from the foundation thereof, and by the mouths of my servants, thy fathers, have I decreed it, even as it shall be sent forth in the world, unto the end thereof.
The messenger accepts the call.
And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying, Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me, for I am slow of speech, wherefore am I thy servant? And the Lord said unto Enoch, Go forth, and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good. Say unto this people, choose ye this day to serve the Lord God who made you. Behold, my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify, and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course, and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you, therefore walk with me.
And the Lord spake unto Enoch, and said unto him, Anoint thine eyes with clay, and wash them, and thou shalt see, and he did so. And he beheld the spirits that God had created, and he beheld also things which were not visible to the natural eye, and from thenceforth came the saying abroad in the land, A seer hath the Lord raised up unto his people.
The messenger testifies against their wickedness and the people are offended.
And it came to pass, that Enoch went forth in the land, among the people, standing upon the hills, and the high places, and cried with a loud voice, testifying against their works. And all men were offended because of him,
Some begin to listen to the messenger who walks with God.
and they came forth to hear him upon the high places, saying unto the tent-keepers, Tarry ye here and keep the tents while we go yonder to behold the seer, for he prophesieth, and there is a strange thing in the land, a wild man hath come among us. And it came to pass when they heard him, no man laid hands on him, for fear came on them all that heard him, for he walked with God.
And there came a man unto him, whose name was Mahijah, and said unto him, Tell us plainly who thou art, and from whence thou comest. And he said unto them, I came out from the land of Cainan, the land of my fathers, a land of righteousness unto this day, and my father taught me in all the ways of God. And it came to pass, as I journeyed from the land of Cainan by the sea east, I beheld a vision, and lo, the heavens I saw, and the Lord spake with me, and gave me commandment, wherefore for this cause, to keep the commandment, I speak forth these words. And Enoch continued his speech, saying, The Lord which spake with me, the same is the God of heaven, and he is my God and your God, and ye are my brethren, and why counsel ye yourselves, and deny the God of heaven? The heavens he made, the earth is his footstool, and the foundation thereof is his, behold, he laid it, and hosts of men hath he brought in upon the face thereof. And death hath come upon our fathers, nevertheless, we know them, and cannot deny, and even the first of all we know, even Adam, for a book of remembrance we have written among us, according to the pattern given by the finger of God, and it is given in our own language.
And as Enoch spake forth the words of God, the people trembled and could not stand in his presence.
The messenger teaches the people to repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost. The people begin to be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost.
And he said unto them, Because that Adam fell, we are, and by his fall came death, and we are made partakers of misery and woe. Behold, Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempteth them to worship him, and men have become carnal, sensual, and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God. But God hath made known unto our fathers, that all men must repent. And he called upon our father Adam, by his own voice, saying, I am God, I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh. And he also said unto him, If thou wilt, turn unto me and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask it shall be given you. And our father Adam spake unto the Lord, and said, Why is it that men must repent, and be baptized in water? And the Lord said unto Adam, Behold, I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the garden of Eden. Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world. And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying, Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so, when they begin to grow up sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good. And it is given unto them to know good from evil, wherefore, they are agents unto themselves. And I have given unto you another law and commandment, wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in no wise inherit the kingdom of God. For no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence, for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous judge, who shall come in the meridian of time. Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying, that by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so become of dust a living soul, Even so ye must be born again, into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten, that ye may be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory. For, by the water ye keep the commandment, by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified. Therefore it is given to abide in you, the record of heaven, the Comforter, the peaceable things of immortal glory, the truth of all things, that which quickeneth all things which maketh alive all things, that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment. And now, behold, I say unto you, This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time. And, behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual, things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath, all things bear record of me. And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water, and thus he was baptized. And the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man. And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying, Thou art baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, this is the record of the Father and the Son, from henceforth and forever, And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity. Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God, and thus may all become my sons. Amen.
And it came to pass, that Enoch continued his speech, saying, Behold, our father Adam taught these things, and many have believed, and become the sons of God, and many have believed not, and have perished in their sins, and are looking forth with fear, in torment, for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God to be poured out upon them.
The messenger prophecies of the things which the Lord has showed him. The people are warned of the destruction and the curse which awaits them if they don't repent and be baptized.
And from that time forth, Enoch began to prophesy, saying unto the people, that, as I was journeying, and stood in the place Mahujah, and cried unto the Lord, there came a voice out of heaven, saying, Turn ye and get ye upon the mount Simeon. And it came to pass, that I turned and went up on the mount, and as I stood upon the mount, I beheld the heavens open, and I was clothed upon with glory. And I saw the Lord, and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face, and he said unto me, Look, and I will show unto thee the world for the space of many generations. And it came to pass, that I beheld in the valley of Shum, and, lo! a great people which dwelt in tents, which were the people of Shum. And again the Lord said unto me, Look, and I looked towards the north, and I beheld the people of Canaan, which dwelt in tents. And the Lord said unto me, Prophesy, and I prophesied saying, Behold, the people of Cainan which are numerous, shall go forth in battle array against the people of Shum, and shall slay them, that they shall be utterly destroyed. And the people of Canaan shall divide themselves in the land, and the land shall be barren and unfruitful, and none other people shall dwell there, but the people of Canaan, for, behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever. And there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people. And it came to pass, that the Lord said unto me, Look, and I looked, and I beheld the land of Sharon, and the land of Enoch, and the land of Omner, and the land of Heni, and the land of Shem, and the land of Haner, and the land of Hanannihah, and all the inhabitants thereof. And the Lord said unto me, Go forth to this people, and say unto them, Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they die. And he gave unto me a commandment, that I should baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, who is full of grace and truth, and the Holy Ghost which beareth record of the Father and the Son.
The messenger continues to call upon all the people to repent. He leads the people of God, and they are protected by the power of God.
And it came to pass, that Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were the people of Canaan, to repent. And so great was the faith of Enoch, that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them, and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command. And the rivers of water were turned out of their course, and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness. And all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him. There also came up a land out of the depths of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off, and went upon the land which came up out of the depths of the sea. And the giants of the land also stood afar off, and there went forth a curse upon all the people which fought against God. And from that time forth, there were wars, and bloodshed among them, but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness. And the fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord which was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.
The people are of one heart and one mind. They build a city.
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. And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the city of Holiness, even Zion.
Zion is blessed. The Residue of the people are cursed. In process of time Zion is taken up into heaven. This is a process and is not to be achieved in one step or in haste.
And it came to pass, that Enoch talked with the Lord, and he said unto the Lord, Surely, Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch, Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed. And it came to pass, that the Lord showed unto Enoch all the inhabitants of the earth, and he beheld, and lo! Zion in process of time was taken up into heaven. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Behold mine abode forever. And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam, and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam, save it were the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them. And after that Zion was taken up into heaven, Enoch beheld, and lo, all the nations of the earth were before him, and there came generation upon generation. And Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father and the Son of Man, and,
Satan veils the earth with darkness and deceit. Satan laughs at the confusion he creates.
behold, the powers of Satan were upon all the face of the earth, and he saw angels descending out of heaven, and he heard a loud voice, saying, Woe! woe! be unto the inhabitants of the earth! And he beheld Satan, and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness, and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.
The people on the earth continue to be taught by those who have been caught up to heaven. They receive the Holy Ghost and are also caught up to heaven.
And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father, and of the Son. And the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.
The heavens weep over those who refuse to repent and come.
And it came to pass, Enoch looked upon the residue of the people, and wept, and he beheld and lo, the heavens wept also, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains? And Enoch said unto the Lord, How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, and millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations, And thy curtains are stretched out still, and thou art there, and thy presence is there, and also, thou art just, thou art merciful and kind forever, Thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity, and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne, and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end. How is it that thou canst weep?
The wicked choose hate over love. They choose to serve Satan and are miserable. They will be in torment until they return unto God.
The Lord said unto Enoch, Behold, these thy brethren, they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their intelligence. And in the garden of Eden man had agency, and unto thy brethren have I said, and also gave commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should serve me, their God. But, behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood, and the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them, and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them. Behold, I am God, Man of Holiness is my name, Man of Counsel is my name, and Endless and Eternal is my name also. Wherefore I can stretch forth my hands and hold all the creations which I have made, and mine eye can pierce them also. And among all the workmanship of my hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren, but, behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers, Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom, and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of my hands. Wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer? But, behold, these which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods, and, behold, I will shut them up, a prison have I prepared for them, and he whom I have chosen hath pleaded before my face, Wherefore he suffereth for their sins, inasmuch as they will repent, in the day that my chosen shall return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment. Wherefore for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of my hands. And it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men. Wherefore Enoch knew and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept, and stretched forth his arms, and he beheld eternity, and his bowels yearned, and all eternity shook.
The messenger sees the future of the world and weeps over its destruction.
And Enoch saw Noah also, and his family, that the posterity of all the sons of Noah should be saved with a temporal salvation. Wherefore Enoch saw that Noah built an ark, and the Lord smiled upon it, and held it in his own hand, but upon the residue of the wicked came the floods and swallowed them up. And as Enoch saw thus, he had bitterness of soul, and wept over his brethren, and said unto the heavens, I will refuse to be comforted. But the Lord said unto Enoch, Lift up your heart and be glad, and look. And it came to pass, that Enoch looked, and from Noah he beheld all the families of the earth, and he cried unto the Lord, saying,
The messenger sees the coming of the Lord in the flesh.
When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified, and have eternal life? And the Lord said, It shall be in the meridian of time, in the days of wickedness and vengeance. And, behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh, and his soul rejoiced, saying, The righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world, and through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me!
The messenger receives a covenant from the Lord.
And it came to pass, that Enoch looked upon the earth, and he heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying, Woe! woe! is me, the mother of men! I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children! When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which has gone forth out of me? When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face? And when Enoch heard the earth mourn, he wept, and cried unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, wilt thou not have compassion upon the earth? wilt thou not bless the children of Noah? And it came to pass, that Enoch continued his cry unto the Lord, saying, I ask thee, O Lord, in the name of thine Only Begotten, even Jesus Christ, that thou wilt have mercy upon Noah, and his seed, that the earth might never more be covered by the floods. And the Lord could not withhold, and he covenanted with Enoch, and sware unto him with an oath, that he would stay the floods, that he would call upon the children of Noah, and he sent forth an unalterable decree, that a remnant of his seed should always be found among all nations, while the earth should stand.
The Messiah is the King of Zion. Everything the messenger does is to glorify the King of Zion.
And the Lord said, Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come, for he saith, I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of heaven, which is broad as eternity, and whoso cometh in at the gate, and climbeth up by me shall never fall. Wherefore blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy. And it came to pass, that Enoch cried unto the Lord, saying, When the Son of Man cometh in the flesh shall the earth rest? I pray thee show me these things. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Look, and he looked, and beheld the Son of Man lifted up on the cross, after the manner of men. And he heard a loud voice, and the heavens were veiled, and all the creations of God mourned, and the earth groaned, and the rocks were rent, and the saints arose, and were crowned at the right hand of the Son of Man, with crowns of glory. And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth and stood on the right hand of God. And the remainder were reserved in chains of darkness until the judgment of the great day.
The messenger weeps for the return of Zion.
And again Enoch wept, and cried unto the Lord, saying, When shall the earth rest? And Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father, and he called unto the Lord, saying, Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? for inasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten, thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace, and wherefore I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth?
The Lord fulfills His covenant to the messenger and His people are blessed.
And the Lord said unto Enoch, As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfill the oath which I made unto you concerning the children of Noah. And the day shall come that the earth shall rest. But before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth, and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth. And great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve, and righteousness will I send down out of heaven, and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten, his resurrection from the dead, yea, and also the resurrection of all men. And righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming, for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us, and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other, And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made, and for the space of a thousand years shall the earth rest.
The messenger and all his people walk with God.
And it came to pass, that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth, in righteousness, for the space of a thousand years. But before that day, he saw great tribulation among the wicked, and he also saw the sea, that it was troubled, and men's hearts failing them, looking forth with fear for the judgment of the Almighty God, which should come upon the wicked. And the Lord showed Enoch all things, even unto the end of the world. And he saw the day of the righteous, the hour of their redemption, and received a fullness of joy. And all the days of Zion, in the days of Enoch, were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch and all his people walked with God, and he dwelt in the midst of Zion. And it came to pass, that Zion was not, for God received it up into his own bosom, and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled. And all the days of Enoch were four hundred and thirty years. Genesis 4
The covenant offered by Jesus Christ in September 2017 is the Lord's first offering. He is offering a Zion covenant. No one need suppose that the beginning is to look like the end, or that we should have attained what we are are in process of achieving. Zion is to be accomplished in process of time. Be patient. Be diligent. Be faithful. Be loving. Follow the Lord's instructions to you each day. As you do so, His voice will become clearer and clearer to you. He leads you to do good, lift and share the burdens of those around you, and see yourself as an equal with others. Jesus has perfect intelligence to bring again Zion. September marks the beginning of the end of Satan's kingdom here on earth. The devil will be bound and peace will be restored once more on this earth. Do not be discouraged because of your weakness. Keep your eye on Jesus and trust in His power to perfectly deliver you from all that holds you bound.