Moses 7:18 The Lord called his people Zion
Zion we build will pattern after the ideals of its inhabitants. To change men and the world we must change their thinking, for the thing which a man really believes is the thing which he has really thought; that which he actually thinks is the thing which he lives. Men do not go beyond their ideals; they often fall short of them, but they never go beyond them.
Victor Hugo said: “The future of any nation can be determined by the thoughts of its young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five.” Thus it is easy to understand why the Lord designates Zion as “… the pure in heart …” (D. & C. 97:21); and only when we are such, and only when we have such shall Zion “… flourish, and the glory of the Lord shall be upon her.” (D&C 64:41.)
The foundation of Zion then will be laid in the hearts of men; broad acres, mines, forests, factories, beautiful buildings, modern conveniences, will be but means and accessories to the building of the human soul and the securing of happiness. (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals: Selections from the Discourses of David O. McKay [Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953], 335)
Please note: Zion is people; Zion is the saints of God; Zion is those who have been baptized; Zion is those who have received the Holy Ghost; Zion is those who keep the commandments; Zion is the righteous; or in other words, as our revelation recites: “This is Zion-the pure in heart.” (D&C 97:21) (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, May 1977, 115-18)
Moses 7:18 Building Zion
If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God. (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 59)
Moses 7:21 Translated beings
“Translated beings are still mortal and will have to pass through the experience of death, or the separation of the spirit and the body, although this will be instantaneous, for the people of the City of Enoch, Elijah, and others who received this great blessing in ancient times, before the coming of our Lord, could not have received the resurrection, or the change from mortality to immortality, because our Lord had not [yet] paid the debt which frees us from mortality and grants to us the resurrection” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. , 1:165).
Moses 7:27 Many of the righteous taken up to heaven
The righteous people described in Moses 7:27 were translated and “caught up” to join those in the city of Zion. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote:
“After those in the City of Holiness were translated and taken up into heaven without tasting death, so that Zion as a people and a congregation had fled from the battle-scarred surface of the earth, the Lord sought others among men who would serve him. From the days of Enoch to the flood, new converts and true believers, except those needed to carry out the Lord’s purposes among mortals, were translated” (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man , 284).
Moses 7:38-39 A prison have I prepared for them
See also: Hell has an entrance and an exit
Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote:
“Men in Noah’s day rebelled, rejected the Lord and his gospel, and were buried in a watery grave. Their spirits then found themselves in that prison prepared for those who walk in darkness when light is before them” (The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ , 330).
President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote of these people:
“From the time of their death in the flood until the time of the crucifixion of the Savior, they were shut up in the prison house in torment, suffering the penalty of their transgressions, because they refused to hear a prophet of the Lord—and so it will be with every man who rejects the gospel, whether he lived anciently or whether he lives now; it makes no difference” (Doctrines of Salvation, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:229).