Mormonism’s Three Millennial Cities
|By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2005|
|A booklet published by the LDS Church declares: “…Bible doctrine is Mormon doctrine and Mormon doctrine is Bible doctrine. They are one and the same.” If this is true, shouldn’t Mormonism teach what the Bible teaches? Marvin Cowan explains how the Mormon teaching differs from biblical teaching about Enoch, the City of Enoch, and the New Jerusalem.|
What the Mormons Think of Christ, a booklet published by the LDS Church declares on page 2: “Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known informally by the nickname Mormons) believe the Bible. Indeed, so literally and completely do their beliefs and practices conform to the teachings of the Bible that it is not uncommon to hear informed persons say: ‘If all men believed the Bible, all would be Mormons.’ Bible doctrine is Mormon doctrine and Mormon doctrine is Bible doctrine. They are one and the same.”
LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie also said “Mormonism is Christianity; Christianity is Mormonism; they are one and the same, and they are not to be distinguished from each other in the minutest detail” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 513). If this is true, shouldn’t Mormonism teach what the Bible teaches?
The Bible says that “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). In the book of Revelation the Apostle John also wrote about the New Jerusalem that is to descend out of heaven at the time of Christ’s Second Coming.
But when LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote about these events he said,
- Enoch built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion. This Zion,in the process of time was taken up into heaven… It is this City of Zion whichis to return in the last days, probably shortly after the ushering in of the millennial era… The New Jerusalem to be built in Jackson County, Missouri is also called the City of Zion or Zion. Dozens of revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants speak about this Zion… Isaiah and other of the ancient prophets have much to say both about it and the Jerusalem of old which shall be restored in grandeur and beauty in the last days. These two great cities, dual world capitals, are needed to fulfil the great millennial promise: “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” Isa. 2:3… At the Second Coming, ‘the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his Father’s name written on their foreheads’” (Doctrine and Covenants [D. & C.] 138:18; Rev. 14:1-5). The Mount Zion spoken of is identified by latter-day revelation as the New Jerusalem to be built (by LDS) in Jackson County, Missouri [D. & C. 84:1-4] (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 854-855).
Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth LDS Prophet explained,
- The earth, in its paradisiacal state (the renewed earth in the millennium) shall have two capital cities—the City of Zion or New Jerusalem and Old Jerusalem. The City of Enoch, which was translated, shall return to the earth with the result that there shall be three great holy cities. Zion or the New Jerusalem, is yet to be built in Jackson County, Missouri. The law of God shall emanate from this city, for Ephraim holds the keys of authority. Micah relates that “…the law shall go forth of Zion [New Jerusalem], and the word of the Lord from (Old) Jerusalem” (Micah 4:2)… During the cleansing and renewal of the earth, the Lord shall remove His holy cities with the righteous inhabitants thereof. It is this new city of Zion or New Jerusalem that John saw coming down out of heaven after the earth’s cleansing (Rev. 3:12). The Book of Mormon refers to it as “… the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord” (Ether 13:3). Then shall the inhabitants of the city of Enoch meet those of New Jerusalem (Religious Truths Defined, pp. 389- 390).
LDS scripture also contains this information in the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 7:19-69 and several sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. The fourth LDS Prophet, Wilford Woodruff, added this information: “Joseph (Smith) also said that when the City of Enoch fled and was translated, it was where the Gulf of Mexico now is. It left that gulf a body of water” (Waiting for World’s End, The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff, p. 305, published in 1993 by Signature Books, Salt Lake City, UT). Joseph Smith founded the LDS Church.
Briefly, this is what has been said: Enoch built a city which ascended to heaven with him. Joseph Smith said the City of Enoch was taken up from the Gulf of Mexico leaving only the water, so the land under the city also ascended. That City of Enoch (or Zion) will return to earth in the last days and join with the people in the New Jerusalem yet to be built in Jackson County, Missouri, by Mormons. While the earth is being cleansed or renewed for the millennial reign of Christ, the City of Enoch will be taken off of the earth again along with Old Jerusalem and New Jerusalem. After the earth is cleansed those three holy cities will return to earth.
Joseph Fielding Smith said the city which the Apostle John saw descending in Revelation 3:12; 21:2 & 10 is the New Jerusalem built by Mormons in Missouri as it returns after the earth’s cleansing. Mormons believe the New Jerusalem in Missouri and Old Jerusalem in Israel will be dual capitals during the millennium from which Christ and Mormons will rule the earth.
Here are some things to consider: There are two men named Enoch in the Bible. One was the son of Cain, who killed his brother Abel. That Enoch built a city which was called by his name (Gen. 4:17). Neither that city nor any other city in the Bible was caught up to heaven. The other Enoch was the son of Jared. He walked with God and went to heaven without dying (Gen. 5:24).
If a “City of Enoch” was taken out of the Gulf of Mexico and left only the water, it must have been a huge city since the Gulf of Mexico is about a thousand miles across and 600 miles long. How long would it have taken Enoch to build a city that size?
The New Jerusalem that the Apostle John saw coming down from heaven inRevelation 21:2, 10 & 16 is around 1500 miles wide, long and high! Imagine how long it will take the Mormons to build that city in Jackson County, Missouri! Can that city and the City of Enoch come together as one city in Missouri after the earth is cleansed? The entire state of Missouri isn’t large enough for one of those cities, so Jackson County surely can’t hold them both!
At the beginning of this article LDS leaders said “Mormon doctrine is Bible doctrine” and “Mormonism is Christianity.” Are the LDS teachings mentioned in this article found in the Bible or in the teachings of historic Christianity?
Any who want to read more on this subject can do so in Latter-Day Prophets Speak, by Daniel H. Ludlow; published in 1951 by Bookcraft in Salt Lake City. Our next article will discuss more about the LDS view of the New Jerusalem.