A prophesied last-days community of saints to which the City of Enoch will return, and where Christ will dwell. Originally expected by Mormons to be located in Independence, Missouri, it was later relocated to Nauvoo, Illinois. Late in his life Joseph Smith changed the location to “the whole of North and South America,” predicting it will cover the entire land mass at some point during the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.1 Zion consists of people living in harmony with God. It is defined in revelation as the pure in heart (T&C 96:5–7; T&C 101:3; Genesis 4:14–16,19), but prophecy also confirms it will be an actual location and a place of gathering.2
Zion and a New Jerusalem will exist before the Lord’s return in glory (see T&C 31:6; 58:3; 31:14–16). God will bring it as His work. Mortal man will labor with Him, but the Lord will be given credit for accomplishing it. No institution exists with the capacity to accomplish Zion. It will be so entirely foreign to this world that the people who come there will be required to adopt a new society, a new way of thinking, a different way of interacting, an entirely new law, a form of government that does not presently exist, an order to their lives that alters everything, and a form of righteousness that is only possible for a society with a new structure.3The law of Moses did not produce Zion. The New Testament Primitive Christian church did not produce Zion. Modeling after either of these, as the church established by Joseph Smith did, has likewise not produced Zion. Zion will be produced by a journey begun in equality, pursued by equals, with no man able to command another man’s actions. Persuasion, meekness, unfeigned love, and pure knowledge are the only tools necessary for Zion.4
Zion is something that has only been accomplished in the known history of the world by two communities. It is prophesied that there will be a third. What is to be created is something so foreign to this world that there is nothing in the world which can be used to judge its progression. Even the scriptures do not give a blueprint to follow. If they contained the necessary information, Zion would have been established long ago. “God alone will establish Zion. His instructions are vital and necessary for us. Once He instructs us, the Scriptures can then be used to confirm that His direction to us now is consistent with what He prophesied, covenanted, and promised would happen. But the path to Zion is to be found only by following God’s immediate commands to us. That is how He will bring it. He will lead us there. There is no magic, there is no sprinkling fairy dust that will take you to where God is. It does not and cannot happen that way. He will lead us, teach us, command us, guide us, but we have to be the ones who become what He commands. We have to be the ones who do what he bids us do.”5 The single, all-encompassing topic of Denver Snuffer’s ministry is Zion. “If you go back to the very first book, The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord through the Veil, and you read everything I have written beginning there until now…what you will discover is that I have given one continuous exposition. Admittedly it’s long, admittedly it fills millions of words in English, but it is a single exposition. I have been addressing one subject from the beginning until now; it is all one great whole.”6
The counterpart to the world (or Babylon, as the scriptures have nicknamed the world) is Zion.7 The criteria or the description of Zion can be read in Genesis. From that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them, but the Lord came and dwelt with his people and they dwelt in righteousness (Genesis 4:14). This is an interesting contrast. There are wars and bloodshed, on the one hand, but then there is the Lord dwelling among people who are living in peace and righteousness, on the other hand. And the fear of the Lord was upon all nations, so great was the glory of the Lord which was upon his people (ibid.). It was the glory of the Lord…upon his people that intimidated the wicked. The Lord doesn’t show Himself to the wicked except to destruction, but the Lord shows Himself unto those who are prepared. The glory of the Lord upon [them] is what others find intimidating. And that was the case with these people of Enoch’s Zion. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains and upon the high places, and did flourish (ibid.). That is literal — Zion is not located in a valley, either in the past or in the future. Zion belongs on a high place. The prophecies make this clear. And the Lord called his people Zion because they were of one heart, and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness, and there were no poor among them (ibid.). Of these, the words and the Lord dwelt [among them] are the most important. But He could not do so unless they were united. Becoming one and rising up to receive the proper order of things is but a prelude to the Lord’s presence.8“The Lord will fight the battles for Zion, when Zion exists. You will not need to have a weapon’s budget in Zion’s camp. It doesn’t happen that way. The battle to be fought is fought by the Lord. The prophecy given through Joseph Smith about the last days predicts the wicked decide they will not take on Zion, because Zion is too terrible. They will reach that conclusion entirely because of the presence of the Lord there (T&C 31:14). It is not because of munitions. In fact, that same description includes a statement about Zion’s residents. They are those who will not take up arms against their neighbor, but instead flee to Zion. They are the only ones that aren’t killing others.”9
Zion will include people who are willing to receive revelations from God and obey commandments. God does this to bless His people. Blessed are they whose feet stand upon the land of Zion, who have obeyed my gospel, for they shall receive for their reward the good things of the earth, and it shall bring forth in her strength. And they also shall be crowned with blessings from above, yea, and with commandments not a few and with revelations in their time — they that are faithful and diligent before me (T&C 46:1). In other words, if any are privileged to stand upon the land of Zion, God will speak to them. He speaks two things for their benefit: first, commandments, and those will be not a few, because they will need a great deal of direction if they are going to be His people; and second, revelations in their time, because they will be ignorant of many mysteries He expects them to one day comprehend. Therefore, one of the characteristics of these people will be their willingness, even alacrity, to receive commandments and revelations.10 Apparently, the people who are to settle in the New Jerusalem and cause Zion to reappear will need to know not only how to act, but to have the basis to know why they are to act according to the Heavenly pattern — which is not needed for the world but absolutely essential to the creation of Zion.11
“Being ‘one’ is required of us for Zion to return. Zion is required for the Lord to dwell among us again. He is going to return to a Zion, no matter how few may be involved. He will come even if only two or three gather in His name (Matthew 9:14). Zion may be small, but it will nonetheless be Zion before He can visit with her.”12 The significance of Zion is its spiritual endowment. It is the Power of Heaven and not the voting bloc. It is not their big numbers which intimidate the ungodly. Even a handful is sufficient. Righteousness is a power in itself.13 Zion is the Lord’s work. Getting it will not depend on the goodness or desires of men and women but on their submission to the Lord who intends to accomplish it. “We can’t force it, cause it, bring it, or hope it into existence. What we can do is submit to the Lord in a way that encourages Him to continue to use us for His purposes.”14 Zion, like our Lord, will receive little attention or regard from the world. The people who will recognize that its foundation is being laid will be very few. While the Jews, Christians, saints, and philosophers look to constantly replenish themselves from the east (see Isaiah 1:6), God will begin His work quietly in the mountains of the west (see T&C 58:3).15
1 A Man Without Doubt, 183; TPJS362; WJS, 363–365, 401n12; WWJ2:388.
2 “All or Nothing, 6,” Nov. 6, 2016, blog post.
3 “All or Nothing, 6,” Nov. 6, 2016, blog post.
4 “Authority And Abuse,” Sept. 21, 2016, Part 2, blog post.
5 “Opening Remarks,” Covenant of Christ Conference, Boise, Idaho, Sept. 3, 2017, 3.
6 “Zion Will Come,” April 10, 2016, 18, transcript of talk.
7 “King Benjamin’s Self Reliance,” Jan. 23, 2014, blog post.
8 “The Mission of Elijah Reconsidered,” paper, Oct. 14, 2011, 12.
9 “The Mission of Elijah Reconsidered,” paper, Oct. 14, 2011, 16.
10 “Things to Keep Us Awake,” expanded paper of address given in St. George, UT, March 19, 2017, 7.
11 Email to Scripture Committee, March 31, 2018.
12 “3 Nephi 11:27,” Sept. 26, 2010, blog post.
13 Essays: Three Degrees, “The Mission of Elijah Reconsidered,” 131.
14 “Restoration Scriptures,” March 24, 2017, blog post.
15 “All or Nothing, 7-Conclusion,” Nov. 8, 2016, blog post.