Where will Zion be built and why there? I am a member and I am pretty sure that I know this, but I am trying to explain it to a friend, and want to be certain.
There are many definitions of the word “Zion.” For instance, one definition given in the Docrrine and Covenants is-
Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion–THE PURE IN HEART; therefore, let Zion rejoice, while all the wicked shall mourn (D&C 97:21).
The continents of North and South America have also been designated by the Prophet, Joseph Smith as comprising Zion-
“The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south, and is described by the Prophets, who declare that it is the Zion where the mountain of the Lord should be, and that it should be in the center of the land” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843-44, p.362).
He mentions above that the Zion called the mountain of the Lord should be in the center of the land. If you look at a map of the United States you will see that Independence, MO is essentially midway between the north and south and the east and west borders of the U.S. There the City of Zion will be built, and in it the great Temple to which the Lord will come at his coming-
“Let me here take the liberty to say to this congregation that the City of Zion when it is built in Jackson County, will not be called a Stake. We can find no mention in all the revelations that God has given, that the City of Zion is to be the Centre Stake of Zion; the Lord never called it a Stake in any revelation that has been given. It is to be the headquarters, it is to be the place where the Son of Man will come and dwell, where He will have a Temple, in which Temple there will be a throne prepared where Jesus will dwell in the midst of His people; it will be the great central city, and the outward branches will be called Stakes wherever they shall be organized as such” (Journal of Discourses, Vol.22, p.35, Orson Pratt, October 10th, 1880).