I love the book of Fourth Nephi in the Book of Mormon, especially this verse: “And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.” This verse is followed by three others that describe an amazing society:
And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land.
In his Sunday School lesson notes, Jim Faulconer refers to these verses and asks, “We often say ‘nobodyâ€™s perfect,’ but isnâ€™t this a record of a perfect people?” However you answer that question, I think you would agree that the people of Fourth Nephi are worthy of emulation.
But after reading these verses today, I am wondering, again, how we can get to Zion. Urban planning? Hmm. Judging by the tone of that thread, discussions of urban planning seem unlikely to lead to “no contention in the land.”
But it’s not just that thread. Take any topic of current interest, and what you see is that we live in a world with all manner of -ites. Even if you narrow your world to members of the Church. Does the concept of Zion have any traction in a world like that?