Establishing Zion at Home

The teachings of the Church from a Hebraic heritage perspective place great emphasis on the importance of spiritual purity, obedience to the Commandments, and the study of scriptures in the lives of its members. These principles are not mere suggestions but are considered essential for Latter-day Saints. However, what occurs when physical illness or disabilities have created barriers to attending physical gatherings? In such circumstances, the call to “Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things” (D&C 14:6) takes on deeper significance. We are exhorted to establish Zion in our homes, where spiritual growth remains both possible and indispensable, regardless of physical limitations.

The scripture cited above is a divine command that emphasises the central importance of living the Gospel and preserving spiritual purity. For members of the Church, establishing Zion extends beyond creating a physical community; it encompasses creating a spiritual sanctuary within our hearts and homes. Our homes become sacred spaces where we can construct and sustain Zion.

The concept of spiritual purity lies at the heart of our theology. It signifies a state of holiness and cleanliness that allows a connection with Heavenly Father and the receipt of spiritual guidance. The presence of illness or physical disabilities need not hinder our pursuit of this state. While our physical actions may have been restricted in certain ways, our hearts and minds have remained open to spiritual purification.

Through prayer, meditation, and introspection, we can seek forgiveness and aspire to attain purity of heart and mind. We can tap into the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which has been accessible to all, regardless of our physical capacities. Consequently, even in the face of adversity, we have been able to maintain the spiritual purity required to establish Zion in our homes.

During times of physical limitations, we can draw inspiration from the account of the woman who, afflicted by an issue of blood, reached out in faith to touch the hem of the Saviour’s garment. Her faith, coupled with the Saviour’s healing touch, illustrates that the desire for spiritual purity can transcend physical limitations. (See Matthew 9:20–22, Mark 5:24–34, Luke 8:42–48)

Compliance with the Commandments has been a fundamental tenet of our faith. Even when we have been unable to attend physical meetings, we have still been able to adhere to the Commandments within the confines of our homes. Furthermore, obeying the Commandments has involved loving one another and demonstrating charity to our family and neighbours. Our homes, in fact, have offered the ideal setting to practise these principles with those closest to us. By upholding the Commandments, we have been able to foster a Zion-like atmosphere within our families and communities, irrespective of physical limitations.

In moments of physical vulnerability, we can reflect on the Saviour’s teachings to love one another as He loved us. Our homes have provided a unique opportunity to live out this commandment through acts of kindness and service, thereby creating a Zion-like environment within our families.

Scripture study has held a pivotal role in our faith journey. While our ability to attend church meetings or participate in group scripture study may have been constrained, we have still been able to immerse ourselves in the scriptures within the comfort of our homes. With the assistance of modern technology, we have been able to access a rich array of scriptural resources and guidance. By delving deep into the teachings of the scriptures, we have been able to draw nearer to God and strengthen our testimonies. Whether we have been exploring the Bible, perusing the Book of Mormon, or engaging with other writings in our tradition, we have been able to discover solace and inspiration in the word of God. Our homes have served as the perfect setting for both individual and family scripture study.

During periods of physical challenges, we can take inspiration from individuals in the scriptures who have confronted adversity with unwavering faith. Joseph Smith, for instance, sought guidance and solace from the scriptures during times of tribulation, reinforcing how scriptural study can invigorate our spirits even when our bodies have been feeble.

The establishment of Zion has not been necessarily constrained by physical limitations; in some cases, it has been a matter of the heart and spirit. Our homes, the places we have often found ourselves in during periods of illness or physical disability, have been transformed into havens of spiritual purity, obedience to the Commandments, and in-depth scripture study. By living the principles of our faith and crafting a Zion-like atmosphere within our homes, we have been able to heed the divine command to “Seek to bring forth and establish my Zion. Keep my commandments in all things” (D&C 14:6), even when faced with life’s trials. In doing so, we have bolstered our testimonies, drawn closer to Heavenly Father, and experienced the blessings that come with a life dedicated to following Christ. Our homes have evolved into strongholds of our faith, where we have found hope, love, and the sustaining influence of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, irrespective of the challenges we have confronted. As we have established Zion in our homes, we have created a miqlat (sanctuary) for spiritual growth and a legacy of faith for generations to come.