Beautiful Zion: Impressions of Church History

  • Artwork by Al Rounds
  • Text by S. Michael Wilcox
  • Published by Covenant Communications, Inc. (2008)

My first question:  Would Joseph Smith embrace postmodernism or pluralism?

Joseph Smith addressed his testimony to “all inquirers after truth.”  Herein is our challenge and the challenge Joseph laid before the world.  Is it truth we seek or our “own tenets”; the “commandments of men,” which have ever created a “war of worlds and tumult of opinions,” or “wisdom from God”?  Yet opinions of truth always lack redemptive grace, and Joseph was not content to merely “file off, some to one party and some to another.”  No, he wanted a certain conclusion,” wanted to know “how to act,” wanted “wisdom from God,” wanted “confidence in settling the question.”  He was the quintessential inquirer after truth, the supreme example of all we must strive to be if we would find certain conclusions and settled concerning the will of God or the private dilemmas of our own lives. (See JS-H 1:6-12.) (p. 7).

My question:  Who would have ever thought that Isaiah was describing the work of Joseph?  Who told you that?  Joseph?

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out his roots:  and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge . . . and reprove . . . (p. 12).

My question:  Should we all pattern our families after Joseph Smith’s family? (I would not say this about the O.T. patriarchs.)

The first family of the Restoration is a model for us all (p. 21).

My question:  Do you believe that John the Baptist returned to this earth at Susquehanna?

So it was baptism for the dead the Baptist had centered in his mind as he laid his hands on the living (p. 25).

My questions:  Do you think that it has been the dark ages all the way up to Joseph Smith?  And are LDS who are not temple worthy walking in darkness?

To not build a temple or avail oneself of its proffered blessings was tantamount to “walking in darkness at noon-day” (p. 45).

A good description of the call to develop the Mormon Corridor in the West:

For many, the miles walked along the Mormon trail were not the last they would take.  Salt Lake was the destination on each pioneer’s lips, but Brother Brigham’s vision included a colonization that would spread the Saints across the entire Utah Territory and beyond.  Every water source flowing out of the mountains, every spring, every natural resource was explored, plotted, staked out, and inhabited.  So they packed up again, traveling up and down the Wasatch Front, into “Dixie,” Cache Valley, the Iron Mission, the Basin.  In time the “stakes” of the great tent of Zion would be driven from Cardston, Alberta, at the Canadian border to Mesa in the hot deserts of Arizona (p. 116).

And yes, this is my mission field, today, in the coming year of our Lord, 2009.


  1. The LDS Church is the realdeal. My husband, Dr. kittywaymo is a descendent of J.S. and we have had access to his personal history etc/journals, and those of the women in his life. As a retired CNN Headline News Journalist, and PrePharmD major, I love Science, Math and information/facts.

    The fact is: Joseph made alot of people uncomfortable with his prophecies and teachings, which I believe came from the Visions and visitations he received from Heavenly Messengers and Jesus Christ. The fruits are testable, but it takes YEARS of faith and devotion, many people want the “quick fix” and are not willing to keep the commandments and study etc and love/forgive etc.. do the things that are necessary to gain a testimony of the Gospel. Dr. K and I have and know beyond all doubt, this is the True Church. But this is something we cannot give to you, like Dr. K’s MD degree and my PharmD degree, we can’t give you those either. It takes YEARS of hard work study, labwork and practice to achieve such academic attainment. So it is with the Gospel.. If you will look, study and live.. you will LIVE! (spiritually in truth). There are millions of people just like us who are very bright etc. who have come to the same conclusion,, not by brainwashing but by similar process to achieving a medical degree: practice, study, theory and lab. God bless,

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