- And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2-3).
- We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon this the American continent (see Ether 13: 3-6, 10); that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisaical glory.
The term New Jerusalem also refers to a holy city that will come down out of heaven during the millennium. This idea can be found in Revelation 21:2, 10 where it states that “the holy city, New Jerusalem, [will] com[e] down from God out of heaven.” This may refer to the return of the city of Enoch, which was so righteous that the inhabitants were taken up to live with God (see Moses 7:12-21, 59-64).
Joseph Smith received revelation in July of 1831 that the New Jerusalem and a temple would be built in Independence, Missouri and that the gathering of Israel would begin (Doctrine and Covenants 57:1-3). Since the term Zion also refers to the "pure in heart," when Christ comes again there could be many places in the world that would be referred to as Zion, because the people have accepted the gospel and follow the commandments, but the New Jerusalem is to be a “center place” or capital city for the pure in heart.
The building of the New Jerusalem and the rebuilding of Jerusalem must happen before the second coming of Christ. A proclamation from the Twelve Apostles in 1845 states:
- He will assemble the Natives, the remnants of Joseph in America; and make them a great, and strong, and powerful nation: and he will civilize and enlighten them, and will establish a holy city, and temple and seat of government among them, which shall be called Zion.
- And there shall be his tabernacle, his sanctuary, his throne, and seat of government for the whole continent of North and South America for ever. In short, it will be to the western hemisphere what Jerusalem will be to the eastern….
- The city of Zion, with its sanctuary and priesthood, and the glorious fulness of the gospel, will constitute a standard which will put an end to jarring creeds and political wranglings, by uniting the republics, states, provinces, territories, nations, tribes, kindred, tongues, people and sects of North and South America in one great and common bond of brotherhood. Truth and knowledge shall make them free, and love cement their union. The Lord also shall be their king and their lawgiver; while wars shall cease and peace prevail for a thousand years. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, ed. Daniel H. Ludlow, 1992, p.1010)
Ultimately, however, the complete fulfillment of this prediction will not take place until Jesus Christ returns to reign, since He is the one whose right it is to rule from Zion.