Subject: Zion: Who is teaching this...?
Date: Nov 21 03:32
Author: Stan

This one just kills me. I was a missionary in Florida, one year through, when a new Elder [missionary] transferred into my area from the MTC [missionary training center]. On fast Sunday, he got up to bare his testimony and broke down in tears, telling everyone how fearful he was about leaving Zion (Utah, his home) to come to the Gentile lands. I eventually saw around a half dozen Elders from “Zion” go through similar withdrawal symptoms, praying that God would spare them while outside Zion. This was one of the lamest things I had ever seen.

I recall double-teaching with some sister missionaries who hailed from Utah (my comp was present as well, of course). We were teaching a family that had committed to baptism, and the sister missionaries were teaching the family that they should consider moving to Zion so they could have the Spirit more readily available to them. I nearly barfed right there on the spot.

I know there are some recovering Utah Mormons visiting this site. Were any of you caught up in this nonsense of “Zion” (Utah) somehow being better or more “elect” than the rest of the planet? Where did you learn it & who was teaching it? In all my years in the church (none of it was spent in Utah), I have never been instructed that Utah was Zion or somehow more special than everywhere else. So where is this false doctrine coming from?

Subject: It is pervasive
Date: Nov 21 03:45
Author: Nick

Growing up in Utah, we were constantly reminded (often from the pulpit) how "blessed" we were to be living there — in the land given to the saints, and in close proximity to the prophet.

From time to time, there were reminders that Missouri would actually be the center of the church when Christ returned (and that, in advance of the Millenium, many church members would be called to go to Missouri, and make it ready). Also, it was sometimes stated or implied that some members of the church outside Zion had particularly strong testimonies — out of necessity, since they were surrounded by gentiles. But aside from that, there was never much doubt that Zion and its people were more spiritual, and less "worldly", than all other places and peoples.

Subject: Re: It is stupid
Date: Nov 21 04:04
Author: Stan

Wow! I heard all the Missouri crap too, and we even heard the line that the Utah saints didn't have to work for their testimonies (and therefore had stale, shallow testimonies).

The most disturbing thing to me is that Utah Mormons actually think they have somehow escaped bad influences by living in Utah. For starters, I would think that living in the age of mass media, the Internet, public schooling, etc., would give the youth of Utah the same pernicious environment that every other youth in the world deals with. Beyond that, I would think that the heavy influx of non-Mormons over the years would somehow quell such false rumors.

I never cease to be amazed and terrified at the naïveté and simplemindedness of Utah Mormons.

Subject: Terribly (and dangerously) naïve
Date: Nov 21 04:19
Author: Nick

The "holier and more blessed than all others" attitude has produced an environment in which Utah Mormons are unable to face up to some pretty drastic problems in the state. Anything negative is attributed to non-Mormons (and especially ex-Mormons) — and sometimes directly to Satan, who (of course) is working especially hard to attack the faithful in the heart of Zion. (The latter belief is part of how many Utah Mormons respond to the argument that non-Utah Mormons have stronger testimonies: "Because we are blessed to live here, so close to the prophet, and are thus naturally more spiritual, Satan works even harder on us than he does on those who live elsewhere.")

Subject: Throwing caution to the wind
Date: Nov 21 08:14
Author: Higgins-Magee
Mail Address:

This naivity often reveals itself in a throw-caution-to-the-wind mentality.

When I lived in Utah, I heard of more fatal car accidents, and suicides than any other place I lived.

I think Utahns may tend to think they can do whatever they want and the Lord will protect them from harm.

Subject: Re: Throwing caution to the wind: but, who's filling them with
Date: Nov 21 15:27
Author: interested
Mail Address:

all this bullsnot crap, anyway?

And, as the Scripture asks,

"Who beguiled you that you should believe...lie(s)?"

Obviously, there is some serious, major MAJOR beguiling going on there!

Subject: Naive missionaries and the Utah/Zion complex
Date: Nov 21 04:15
Author: Phil

I think most of the missionaries I knew on my mission had a stronger testimony of BYU that Jesus Christ.

Although there were some great, down to earth guys I met on my mission, the majority were native Utah boys who had readily admitted that before their missions they had never associated with "gentiles" and were shocked that people could actually live without the Mormon concept of God in their lives.

With the exception of the few decent folk (usually the semi-apostate ones) ALL of the Utah missionaries I knew actively encouraged investigators, new members, and single members to move to Zion and attend BYU. Those invited to Zion usually consisted of young, cute Japanese girls (funny how they never asked the guys to go to Utah too).

I have more than a mustard seed of faith that the majority of International student applicants for BYU are generated by the work of the missionary/BYU sales team.

Subject: This notion goes waaaay back. It's just an echo now, but in Briggy's day...
Date: Nov 21 04:25
Author: Perry Noid
Mail Address:

it was virtually a sacred obligation to pack-up the family and move to Zion (i.e., Briggyland) immediately after conversion. In those days they figured that there was strength in concentrated numbers and they wanted new converts to join the main flock as soon as possible. (It also made it easier for Briggy and his "Brethren" to confiscate the property of the new converts.)

Once in Zion, it could be nearly impossible for disillusioned converts to change their minds and go back to where they came from.

Ann Eliza Webb (Briggy's ex-wife) even tells of prominent Latter-day Saint missionaries who would court young ladies in England and other parts outside of Zion, marry them and take them to Zion, where they would then be introduced to the guy's OTHER wives (without having been warned in advance that the guy even had other wives). I can imagine ladies in that position would have experienced depression on a super-nova scale. And that was before Prozac was available.

Although the superiority complex of Zion-based Mormons is obnoxious, simple-minded and backwards, it's just a fading echo of the more extreme teachings that prevailed in past generations.

Subject: "Come to Zion, Come to Zion.....may all your....[etcetera]"...
Date: Nov 21 05:48
Author: interesting
Mail Address:

It still irritates me to hear people--even in your remarks--equate "Zion" with Utah.

The song with the words "Come to Zion" never had anything to do with moving out of where I was, in my thinking:

"Zion" was "a state of mind": NEVER a PLACE, to me.

Even the D&C emphasized that ZION was "the pure in heart"--

NOT a place.

Sounds to me like too much of this ugly thing called mormon culture is both taught and embraced in the "land of ZCMI", etcetera.

Subject: From time to time, Utah Mormons are called on the carpet (from the pulpit) on that very point…
Date: Nov 21 05:54
Author: Nick

… (at least they were in my Utah TBM days), but it never seems to stick.

Subject: Having spent very little of my life in "Zion," I was using the word ironically. However....
Date: Nov 21 07:59
Author: Perry Noid
Mail Address:

There can be little doubt that the term "Zion" in Mormon teachings, including scripture, has had significance both as a geographical concept and as a spiritual abstraction. The following are some D&C passages that seem to emphasize the geographical aspect of Mormon Zion beliefs:

D&C 49: 25
25 Zion shall flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be assembled together unto the place which I have appointed.

D&C 58: 49
49 And let there be an agent appointed by the voice of the church, unto the church in Ohio, to receive moneys to purchase lands in Zion.

D&C 66: 6
6 Tarry not many days in this place; go not up unto the land of Zion as yet; but inasmuch as you can send, send; otherwise, think not of thy property.

D&C 69: 6
6 For the land of Zion shall be a seat and a place to receive and do all these things.

Most Mormon teachings are like clay to conveniently be molded, remolded, shaped and reshaped by Mormon leaders as they see fit. I'm sure that in the past, whenever Mormon leaders found it useful to manipulate the members by emphasizing the geographical concept of Zion, they did just that. Likewise, whenever they find it advantageous to emphasize the concept as an inclusive abstraction, they do that as well. It served Brigham Young well to promote the idea of Utah (his seat of power) being the center of Zion. It serves the current leadership well to de-emphasize that, but the legacy of the beliefs of past generations linger on.

Subject: Thank you for your clarification on this issue:
Date: Nov 21 15:11
Author: interesting
Mail Address:

In chewing on those verses, I see where

"the land of Zion", is used by Jos. Smith to describe

Missouri !

If such a perspective as that [above] had been "promulgated" among the people--and btw, the "church" is ALWAYS a D&C description of "the people": never a reference to an as-yet-unheard-of description for something "institutionalized"--

then I think that the "church" [collective body] would have been instructed properly--on the above basis--that the land of Zion was elsewhere:

so as to make them realize that they were to be
"ever vigilant and constantly ready" for such a "change of venue" that would be required WHEN it was to be required of them.

[In other words, a readiness to MOVE from that "temporary staging ground" known as Utah!]

But, just like those Southern Utah farmers who--almost as soon as they had arrived and starting to till the earth and work the soil--forgot about God [because they forgot about their personal commitment to God's tithing laws]:

never mind the fact that those early "refugees" [by strict definition, the whole lot of them were not pioneers] did not yet have a conceptualized idea of church as an institution--or, in other words, as something apart from themselves [to which to give blind obeisance].

Therefore, they--southern Utah farmers--were "found wanting" by the God of Heaven, who "withheld rain in its due season" and nearly chased those backsliders right out of [Zion????]:

instead, though, He, God, sent Lorenzo Snow to go down there and preach about "the windows of Heaven" [which were closed to those farmers who had so quickly forgotten God].

Maybe this is about tithing, here.
Maybe this is about defining "Zion", here.
Maybe this is about refugees calling themselves pioneers.
Maybe this is about many strange and unusual mormon cultural traditions:

And then up pops that verdammt Scripture and declares to the heart and mind,

Your traditions have made void the Word of Truth.

If ZION were both "a state of mind" AND
the "final resting place for the S-Aints", then it would seem clear that

the vanity of the past has finally come home to roost [Or, "has caught up to them, mightily."] !

Rx: Repent, O ye vain frogs relaxing in that pan of warm(ing) water!

PS: I take my own advice, lest I be found [to be] a hypocrite

Subject: That's My Great-Great Grandmother You're Talking About, Perry . . .
Date: Nov 21 12:03
Author: SL Cabbie
Mail Address:

And I'll be happy to provide confirmation about what the former Mrs.Brigham Young said. GG-Grandpa (a bodyguard to BY) courted GG-Grandma in Scotland while on a mission and lured her to Utah. I suppose GG-Grandma regarded herself as blessed since the first wife died shortly thereafter. GG-Grandpa never took another wife. I don't think he dared.

Subject: Also, don't forget the persistent "more worthy in the pre-existence" concept.
Date: Nov 21 04:38
Author: Nick

Until 1978 (and even, to a lesser extent, afterwards), it was not at all uncommon to hear it argued (even, on occasion, from the pulpit) that the circumstances of your birth, and your upbringing, were directly related to how worthy you had been in the pre-existence. Thus, if you were born white, to a middle- or upper-class family, in the heart of Zion, you must have been among the worthiest spirits in the pre-existence. And if you were born outside of Utah (or if you were Hispanic, or Asian, or — heaven forbid — Black), you must have been less worthy in the pre-existence.

Even though this concept was often used as another tool for manipulating members through guilt and fear (because you were more worthy in the pre-existence, and thus born into favorable circumstances, you had an extra obligation to follow the gospel — while Satan would be working extra hard on you), it also definitely fed into the whole holier-than-thou attitude of Utah Mormons.

Subject: And, thus, stan's "namby-pamby missionary companions"...
Date: Nov 21 05:24
Author: EucalyptusTree

were unable to "cope" in Gentile Country!!!!!

So much for their pre-existent valiance, et al.

P.S: I remember watching a Yoootah couple [observing is the better word], 30+ years ago, and becoming just a wee bit jealous that they could jet off to Utah to get their "batteries recharged" while I, myself, had to stay in such God-forsaken Gentile Land and just "tough it out":

as I got to chewin' on it, though, I began to feel how utterly maladjusted those milquetoasts really were!
[And, I was the strong one!]

So much for their opulent privilege bequeathed from Above!

In other words, their so-called "righteousness" was really their own narcissistic nemesis!
[IE, they had a real vanity problem...

...the "sin of pride", as catholics would say: and, it "dogged them the whole time they lived away from their precious Yoootah."]

Subject: Yep. It certainly doesn't make any sort of rational sense.
Date: Nov 21 05:32
Author: Nick

Most of them want it both ways: Utah Mormons are more virtuous than others, and thus more righteously offended (and scared) by the outside world and its ways (after all, that's where Satan has a stronger foothold); at the same time, Satan (like some sort of spiritual Avis) tries harder against the most valiant of souls (i.e. Utah Mormons), and thus Utah Mormons were not only more worthy in the pre-existence, they also have (by necessity) more faith and stronger testimonies in this life.

I mean, c'mon: Why else would so many General Authorities be from Utah?!?!

Subject: What do you think the definition of "Zion" is, anyway?
Date: Nov 21 05:11
Author: EucalyptusTree
Mail Address:

"Zion" is the pure in heart!!!

In other words, Yooootah! [Uinta pronunciation, kemo sabey]

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah Hah!

Subject: Re: Zion: Who is teaching this crap?
Date: Nov 21 09:13
Author: Davey
Mail Address:

I was totally caught up in that crap until about a year ago. Now I would leave to leave, but because of employment I am stuck at least for a while longer.

Subject: As a Missionary
Date: Nov 21 09:43
Author: Tyler
Mail Address:

My two year stint for the Lard was in Argentina. While the missionaries came from all over, the biggest gomers were from Utah and Idaho generally (I was from Orem, UT).

Now, for many North American missionaries the elitism came from being from the United States, not necessarily Utah.

The cultural insensitivities towards the Argentines by the U.S. missionaries were very strong. Every stupid ass missionary yapped his fool head off about Peanut butter, root beer and McDonalds like the Argentine people were missing some really important foods and a far superior way of life.

The missionaries did recommend if possible moving to the states for more opportunities (Argentina has serious financial problems) and did drone on and on about having ward houses on every other corner in Utah.

I remember for our P-day we would head into the Cap (Buenos Aires) for our day of play. Seemed most of the white and delightsome yahoos went straight for McDonald's to eat and let everyone see some Americans.

Most non corridor mormons I knew thought Utah mormons were dipshits and would never recommend anyone moving to Utah. As for Zion I always imagined that it was someplace around Laguna Beach, Cal. and nowhere near where I was from.


Subject: Dipsticks?
Date: Nov 21 15:47
Author: 55+
Mail Address:

I mean dipshits? That's a good one!

Laguna Beach? That's a real good one!
[Don't say that too loud or too often: them cushy yootah dudes and dudettes might just get wind of this and start a premature exodus to Laguna Beach--

and then it wouldn't be ZION anymore, would it?]

Subject: You forgot the
Date: Nov 22 08:02
Author: Curiouser
Mail Address:

jackasses that had maple extract sent to them to make syrup for their pancakes. Or envelopes of ranch dressing mix.

And like you, I can still remember those idiots standing in line for over an hour at the first McDonalds that opened in the microcentro, while there were fantastic restaurants all around for half the price and no waiting.

TBM eavesdropper: Seguro que vos fuiste uno de esos llorones que tanto echaba de menos a tu maple. Pelotudo de mierda.

Subject: The mishies you speak of were homesick, nothing more.
Date: Nov 21 10:03
Author: Søvnløsener - Insomniac
Subject: Homesick? I think you are probably right.
Date: Nov 21 15:51
Author: reasoner
Mail Address:

It begs to ask, though, how those guys would be so homesick and the "others" WEREN'T:

perhaps living in a "vacuum" created serious coping difficulties
[no fault of their own, of course]

But, who or what was responsible for that?

Subject: Combine the fact
Date: Nov 21 16:11
Author: Søvnløsener - Insomniac
Mail Address:

that that was probably his first time away from home and facing the bleak existence of preaching LDS, Inc to uninterested brothers and sisters for the next TWO YEARS, he was probably taking comfort in the fact that zion was where everything good was and would rather be there than out in 'the world'.

Subject: I'm With Kirby About The Benefits Of Living in Utah . . .
Date: Nov 21 12:06
Author: SL Cabbie
Mail Address:

Where else could one find such a rich motherlode of material?

Subject: The fact that Kirby has such a rich and gleeful sense of humor . . .
Date: Nov 21 15:55
Author: I like Kirby
Mail Address:

is interesting in and of itself!

[He must most-certainly be liberal, not arch-conservative: otherwise he wouldn't have that fine-tuned sense of humor--

would he?]

Subject: I predict that the GA's will start commanding people to move to "Zion" soon
Date: Nov 21 13:46
Author: chanson
Mail Address:

The truth is that it's easier to avoid questioning your faith if everyone around you believes the same thing (as people have pointed out on this thread).

I get the impression from reading this site that the church is losing revenue big time because modern converts rarely stick with the program, so the BICs are the only ones the church can count on. And even the BICs are currently leaving in droves... What better way the strengthen the testimonies of the members then to renew Briggy's commandment to gather in Zion? That commandment would also give them a good excuse to disband all those new white elephant McTemples...

Subject: If they did THAT, though,...
Date: Nov 21 16:00
Author: tongue-in-cheek
Mail Address:

they couldn't continue to sprightly sing,

Firm as the Mountains Around Us!

Missouri is a flatland.

[And--besides--Missourians live there !!!]


hee hee hee


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