Last week I flew back to Utah. That means it's been a little over a week since I left the Zion-like community known as the Hill Cumorah Pageant. The other day I was talking with a Pageant friend about this. I told her that Pageant was one of the most Zion-like places I've been (the other one being North Star firesides and gatherings). She responded in agreement and expressing that she can't wait for that day to come for real. It got me thinking and I told her that in the meantime I want to do my best to bring Zion to my ward, because I don't believe we have to wait.
The scriptures say that Zion is a people of one heart and one mind who dwell in righteousness (Moses 7:18). Historically it has been a physical location (i.e. The City of Enoch, Jerusalem perhaps, and for a time Independence, Missouri). It will also be a physical place in the future in Independence. However, in the meantime, I believe we can have Zion in the church. I have my issues with Mormon culture, so I wouldn't trick myself into thinking "all is well in Zion" (2 Nephi 28:21) but I have felt Zion before. I've had wards that have felt like Zion. I've been to North Star firesides that just felt like home. And of course, as I mentioned earlier, the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I know it's possible, but now it is a matter of bringing that feeling of Zion with me to my current ward, or at the very least my group of friends. I cannot live (permanently) at the Hill Cumorah Pageant or at North Star firesides. However, I can work on building my own spiritual strength, building others up, and creating Zion in my circle of influence.