Monday, September 14, 2009




The Utopia of scripture.

A place, a concept, a passion.

No human utopias have ever survived. Some noble attempts dissolved or faded away. Others began with awful premises and became horrific nightmares, such as the Third Reich and the Soviet Union.

As a student of history, I have read over and over again of people who attempted to create -- if not Utopias -- then at least better societies. They range from the founders of the ancient Roman republic to the sectaries of Qumran, from the Puritans of England to the Icarians who resettled Mormon-bereft Nauvoo. But none of them succeeded in fully extirpating the evils to which humanity is prone: violence, envy, laziness, greed, etc.

Are we doomed to endure such miseries for all time?

The secularist must concede that it is so. Without an omniscient and incorruptible God above, men below will be forever at the mercy of the ruling human guardians that Plato envisioned, who themselves need guardians, who will need guardians, too, an impossible and intolerable conundrum.

The believer remains hopeful. Jews and Christians both long for the coming Messianic Age. Both speak reverently of Zion, the divine Utopia.

Zion is on my mind this week. Zion must begin with me. Zion is all the members of my ward family, too, and, to quote the prophet Brigham Young, "all those who journey with them." (D& C 136)

Not the amassing of wealth, not the trappings of fame, not the sceptre of power, can truly satisfy the human heart and fill the void in our souls. Legion are the miserable rich and famous. I think of Michael Jackson who pined for a lost childhood and couldn't sleep at night. I think of Marilyn Monroe, eye-candy for a generation and mistress of a president, who died a suicide.

Only in building Zion, can anyone find lasting joy.

I will engrave the letters for Zion (ןויצ ) upon my home, and work to engrave them in my heart and do what I can to build it, with what little talent, time and possessions I have, from this time forward.

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