Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Israel, Israel, God Is Calling


A couple of days ago we sang "Israel, Israel, God Is Calling," for our hymn before family prayers. The hymn hasn't left me since then. Of course I have sang this before, but this time it is working in me and speaking more directly to my soul.

Israel, Israel, God is calling, Calling thee from lands of woe.
Babylon the great is falling;God shall all her tow'rs o'erthrow.
Come to Zion, come to Zion Ere his floods of anger flow.
Come to Zion, come to Zion Ere his floods of anger flow.

Israel, Israel, God is peaking. Hear your great Deliv'rer's voice!
Now a glorious morn is breaking For the people of his choice.
Come to Zion, come to Zion, And within her walls rejoice.
Come to Zion, come to Zion, And within her walls rejoice.

Israel, angels are descending From celestial worlds on high,
And to man their pow'r extending, That the Saints may homeward fly.
Come to Zion, come to Zion, For your coming Lord is nigh.
Come to Zion, come to Zion, For your coming Lord is nigh.

Israel! Israel! Canst thou linger Still in error's gloomy ways?
 Mark how judgment's pointing finger Justifies no vain delays.
Come to Zion, come to Zion! Zion's walls shall ring with praise.
Come to Zion, come to Zion! Zion's walls shall ring with praise.
(Israel, Israel, God Is Calling Hymn #7)


It brings to mind the scripture in 3 Nephi 11: 3-7 when Heavenly Father is speaking to the Nephites and He calls to them three times before they hear His voice:

Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in who I have glorified my name-hear ye Him.
Today Christ is calling us. He calls and beckons us to come to Zion. He calls us from this land of woe, urging us to come to Him before the 'floods of anger flow." Hear His voice! Come to Zion! "Judgment's pointing finger justifies no vain delays." Come to Zion is the plea…..

The subject of Zion has been on my mind the last several years. The Doctrine in Covenants is full of scriptures commanding us to flee Babylon and flee TO Zion.

The urging for Zion rests deep in me and it calls to me. I have often wondered if this burning in my soul is similar to what the Saints felt who lived in England who had the overwhelming call to go to Utah and gather with the Saints.

Through the last couple of years I have found that my husband and I are not alone. This fire is burning in many others. I have noticed that many lives are changing. Choices to reject television, reject immodesty, reject public school, reject what is popular, etc…. In its place choices to learn to be self-reliant, to reclaim true womanhood and gender roles, to eat well, to spend hours in the scriptures, and to be around others of like mind.

It is swelling. What is happening? Israel, Israel, God is calling us! Will we go?

I have been reading Brigham Young's words from The Discourses of Brigham Young. He confirms many things that my husband and I have read, pondered and felt impressed about. Since I have a prophet to back me up I shall share what this journey to Zion looks like.

There is not one thing wanting in all the works of God's hand to make a Zion upon the earth when the people conclude to make it. (9:283)

When we conclude to make a Zion we will make it, and this work commences in the heart of each person. When the father of a family wishes to make a Zion in his own house, he must take the lead in this good work, which it is impossible for him to do unless he himself possesses the spirit of Zion. Before he can produce the work of sanctification in his family, he must sanctify himself, and by this means God can help him to sanctify his family. (9:283)

Let our anxiety be centered upon one thing, the sanctification of ourselves for the approach of the events that are hastening upon us. This should be our concern, this should be our study, this should be our daily prayer. (9:3)

Those who are counted worthy to dwell with the Father and the Son have previously received an education fitting them for that society. (10:172)
We want all the Latter-day Saints to understand how to build up Zion. We have to build up Zion, if we do our duty. (10:172)
He will not send his angels to gather up the rock to build up the New Jerusalem...He has called upon us to do this work: and if we will let him work by, through, and with us, he can accomplish it; otherwise we will fall short, and shall never have the honor of building up Zion on the earth. (13:313) 

The work of building up Zion is in every sense a practical work; it is not a mere theory....Then let us not rest contented with a mere theoretical religion, but let it be practical, self-purifying and self-sustaining, keeping the love of God within us, walking by every precept, by every law, and by every word that is given to lead us. (9:284)
I have Zion in my view constantly.
Let us train our minds until we delight in that which is good, lovely and holy, seeking continually after that intelligence which will enable us effectually to build up Zion, which consists in building houses, tabernacles, temples, streets, and every convenience and necessity to embellish and beautify, seeking to do the will of the Lord all the days of our lives, improving our minds in all scientific and mechanical knowledge, seeking diligently to understand the great design and plan of all created things, that we may know what to do with our lives and how to improve upon the facilities placed within our reach. (10:177)

When are going back to Jackson County? Not until the Lord commands his people; and it is just as much as you and I can do to get ready to go when he commands us. (6:269)

This is just a small flavor of some of Brigham Young's discourses. We see that the journey to Zion begins in the hearts of each one of us. As the Lord teaches us the father then begins to build it within his family. Finally when the time is right and the people are prepared the Lord, through His prophet, will command us to return to Jackson County.

My husband recently exclaimed, "Why is it that the desire to build Zion burns so deeply in my heart? Everything I do is because I feel this burning to build Zion in our family?" A short time after that I read the above quote by Brigham Young that says that no one can built Zion unless he possess the "Spirit of Zion." So in a very real way the "Spirit of Zion" is burning in us.

Another interesting occurrence is in the lives of our youth and children.  As we have removed the influences of Babylon from our family our children have grown up much less untainted and immune to societal influences.  In their hearts burns the Spirit that is teaching them and preparing them.  Their hearts burn with desires to make cheese, raise a garden, wear dresses, eat healthy, reject processed food, skin animals, do physical labor, serve others, etc.  I see them rejecting evil and distraction.  I see them embracing self-preparedness, scripture study, and hard work.  The Lord is working in them!  They feel the desire to build Zion. We must allow them to do what God is leading them to and not distract them with workbook pages, twaddle books and societal expectations.  We must let them live!

Brigham Young said,
I wish to see this people take a course to bring back the days, years, and intelligence that have been lost through transgression.  (8:62)
Let them live.

May we each receive the "Spirit of Zion" and seek to build in your own hearts and in your own families. As we do the Lord will have a people prepared.

Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom; behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord. D & C 133:10
Israel, Israel God Is Calling You!

13 comments:

Emily said...

I was just shutting down this window for the night when I saw yours ... http://lds.org/ensign/2006/05/zion-in-the-midst-of-babylon?lang=eng

Ranee said...

Deanna,

This is an inspired post! Mr. Man and I were just talking last night, about the area we live in. President Eyring came around about 7 years ago, and told us that this is a gathering place for the Saints. There are many members of the church out here! It's exciting to think that we have the possibility of a "Zion" right here at our fingertips! How I want to be ready!

(P.S. I have a new blog address: www.ramblingleaper.blogspot.com)

crazy4boys said...

That's so wonderful to hear that your children are actually being strengthened by leaving Babylon. You hear so often that if they don't have experience with bad movies, violent video games, cursing, immorality and such all around them that they won't be able to make the right choices, that they'll be naive. It's good to know it can actually strengthen them!

Jennifer said...

Oh, how I needed this today! Thank you so much for sharing the quotes and the Spirit of Zion!

Deanna Householder said...

I cannot deny either the words that you have shared - the spirit that is calling me, my family, my husband's family, and many others I know to flee Babylon. What is sad is that so often I feel so "alone" in doing it! Why doesn't everyone else see what I do or feel what I feel? I want to yell "wake up!" so often. I am continually grateful Deanna for finding your blog! I know I was guided to find it and to know that I am not alone in my thoughts and feelings. And it is so cool that we share names! :) Thank you for making the time to write!

Mama Rachel said...

Beautiful! My husband and I have been reading and discussing Hugh Nibley's "Approaching Zion" these last few months, as well as several blogs (like yours) and talks about "Leaving Babylon."

So much has changed in our home and hearts! Thank you for the quotes by Brigham Young. I can't wait to share them with my husband! :-)

Celeste B. said...

I know that our family has been called to separate ourselves from the "norm" and live our lives to the beat of a "different drummer." Sometimes, that can feel lonely, especially if we do not have local like-minded people. It is so nice that I can go online and find like-minded people that feel the Spirit of Zion calling them to DO something.

It's kind of funny that when we announced our move to Missouri, several people asked us if the church had called us to move. I said, "No, but something else is calling us. We just feel like that is where we need to be." I know we need to be here. The way the church functions is so different than what we are used to. A lot of excuses and exceptions are made on a regular basis. They say it is because they are the "mission field", but our ward is just as big as any we have lived in before, yet they act like they are a tiny branch. Not that I'm perfect or have a perfect knowledge of the church handbook, but I want to help build Zion here with my willingness to serve and help break some of the "traditions of their fathers" that is holding them back from many blessings.

I'm reading "Jesus the Christ" and your post reminds me of the parable of the sifting of the wheat and the tares. They waited until the very end of the harvest to sift the wheat and the tares. Not all will heed the call, even when many will feel it. I feel that we do not have much time left, of course, time is relative to the Lord's time, not our own.

P.S. - Ranee - I remember Pres. Eyring coming to that area when we lived there. It was truly inspiring and humbling. Sometimes we miss it.

Families are Forever said...

Your post goes right along with what I've been feeling and the changes we've been making in our family. Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca said...

I do believe one of the blessings of technology is being connected with people of like minds. Thank you for sharing your findings among Brigham Young's teachings. I don't have time or ability to study everything and am really grateful when you can share exerts. I keep wondering why so many want to hang on to Babylon as if cutting back on tv time, videos, being involved at the schools, monitoring children is going to be enough. Why not just let go of those dangers. Don't take the chance or risking the souls of our children just to fit in.

Anonymous said...

I googled, "I feel like God is Calling", and this came up. I feel like I'm not alone. Thanks for sharing this.

Emily Young said...

Hi after reading your inspiring words I google searched this subject and I was shocked to find out that the leaders are now announcing to the members of the church to migrate to Zion in the city of David Panama. The link is found on
http://www.newsroom-lds.org/emergency-appeal-special-announcement.php

Also the church leaders made this http://www.newsroom-lds.org/emergency-appeal-special-announcement-australiand-more.php

I think the most disturbing news was what is reported on this link at http://www.newsroom-lds.org/lds-church-membership-reducing-rapidly.php

I suppose it is time to start packing our bags and migrate with the Lamanites in the city of David Panama.

Mr. Smith said...

To Emily Young, et al:

Beware those deceptive calls for members to flee their homes and head for the proverbial hills of Zion.

That is NOT the official Church newsroom website. That site is fraudulent and deceptive in that it mimics much of the official LDS Newsroom's design. That domain (www.newsroom-lds.org) is registered to a 'Moroni Garcia' in Panama.

The official LDS Church website for news is http://newsroom.lds.org/ which domain is registered to the official holder for copyright information, IRI "Intellectual Reserve, Inc."

Being A Mother Who Knows said...

Thank you Mr. Smith for addressing this. I am just now getting to my emails. I was going to delete the comment, but I think that your answer contains useful information to many in order to not be deceived.

We must remember that revelation for the church will come through the prophet either at General Conference or shared with us by the stake president and/or Bishop. All members will be alerted to it.