I should say, Zion and Bust. Let me explain.
We talked about Zion’s Camp today in Priesthood. We talked about what a growing experience it was for everyone and how it shaped the leadership of the church for decades to come. The elephant in the room was that the thing was a complete bust. Zion was not redeemed.
They didn’t even come close. The contrast between their awesome goal–march across the nation to redeem Zion!–and their squabbling, hapless, incompetent, plaguey reality could not be greater. Keystone Cops meets the Anabasis.
But who thinks we and they would be better off if they hadn’t gone? The apostles were called from the group that went. That is to say, the first apostles were men who knew that following God could lead to apparent futility, and didn’t lose faith.
You and I worry too much about success, even in spiritual matters. We need our own Zion’s Camp, or our own walk on water.
Take hometeaching. Hometeaching has high hopes. It’s supposed to bring back those whose testimonies have flickered out, no matter how hardened, make a ward into a family, and provide spiritual and temporal sustenance. No small vision, that. I regret that it mostly goes unfulfilled, no matter how hard one tries. That lack of fulfillment makes it hard to hometeach. For me, at least, that’s been a real source of my struggles. Who wants to go out and fail? Answer: Peter. Brigham Young. Joseph Smith.
We need to have a different attitude. The attitude I suggest is not one in which we cease to hope and desire. Zion’s Camp without the goal of redeeming Zion would be grotesque. So would Peter stepping out of the boat if he was blase about walking on the water. What we need to do, instead, is to obey God’s command: Be still, and know that I am God.
We need to realize that the stillness enjoined in not inaction or apathy, but rather ceasing to have expectations and submitting to whatever may come.