Crowdfunding Zion


nauvoo-temple-front-elevation-ms-11500-2

I’ve had an idea floating around in my head for a while and I want to post it here and see where it goes.

In my interaction with others in the so-called “Remnant” movement or even in the unification movement there has been talk of having a unified place of worship. A temple, that could be accessed by all, regardless of which Church™ (or lack thereof) the associate with.

Additionally in building Zion Joseph Smith revealed several gathering places (stakes) which the Saints could come together and received their inheritance. The central feature of these stakes was a temple. In the case of the plans for Kirtland and New Jerusalem, several temples.

One of these places was called Zarahemla:

Doctrine and Covenants 125
1 What is the will of the Lord concerning the saints in the Territory of Iowa?
2 Verily, thus saith the Lord, I say unto you, if those who call themselves by my name and are essaying to be my saints, if they will do my will and keep my commandments concerning them, let them gather themselves together unto the places which I shall appoint unto them by my servant Joseph, and build up cities unto my name, that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come.
3 Let them build up a city unto my name upon the land opposite the city of Nauvoo, and let the name of Zarahemla be named upon it.
4 And let all those who come from the east, and the west, and the north, and the south, that have desires to dwell therein, take up their inheritance in the same, as well as in the city of Nashville, or in the city of Nauvoo, and in all the stakes which I have appointed, saith the Lord.

Zarahemla is located right across the river from Nauvoo. And it seems like this could be a fitting place to build a city. My idea is to start a crowd funding campaign in Indiegogo to buy land and materials. We each possess limited resources but working together we might be able to accomplish something.

The early saints were able to accomplish amazing things with limited resources. What’s stopping us from doing the same?
I’m sure many might be asking why build a temple? Why waste money on a useless structure when there are hungry mouths to feed and children who need educations.

The answer is simple. Temples are not only buildings for religious ceremonies for the dead, they are centers of the community. This is the role temples played in the early church. Look at was the Kirtland temple was used for:
– A school
– A dance hall
– City offices
– Meeting house
– Community gathering place
– Oh yeah, and they occasionally did some sacred rituals on the top floor.

A temple would be useful 100% of the time as it is both literally and figuratively the center of the community.

In building a stake of Zion the money needed to build a temple would be worth it, as the structure is a benefit to the living, not only the dead. A temple would help people here and now.

So what are your thoughts? Is there really a desire to gather to Zion and build stakes? Is there a desire for a temple? Could there be enough involvement to crowd fund something like this?

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4 Responses to Crowdfunding Zion

  1. Karlyn says:

    There are some very good thoughts in this post. Community, what a beautiful thing, most of the time. A temple will be built and it will have to be funded by those who build it. However, the pattern seems to be that we don’t build until the command from the Lord comes. I don’t see that it is time for the renewing of the covenants inside the temple yet, though I hope. However, a community center would definitely be a beautiful thing. I will relocate to where the Lord says and when the Lord says. May God bless you in your endeavours!

  2. jenheadjen says:

    Great question. “What’s stopping us from doing the same?”

  3. Robert Horning says:

    I would suggest that you look up the various tabernacles that are found in older LDS communities. These are community spaces that are even still used today for much of their original purpose, including musical concerts, festivals, and even family history research… and used for Stake Conference frequently for the stakes in the area. The Logan tabernacle (located just two blocks away and downhill from the temple no less) is even open to the general public most of the year simply for public tours, as is the tabernacles in Wellsville and Brigham City. The tabernacles in Vernal and Provo have been (or are in the process of becoming) fully functional traditional LDS temples with the endowment ceremonies being performed within. Some of these buildings for some reason were even abandoned by the LDS Church, such as the Smithfield tabernacle that now serves that city as a recreation center (and is in a state of near total disrepair due to its pure secular usage now). I could name a great many other communities with these buildings as well.

    Still, it wouldn’t hurt to stop in and visit these buildings and observe how they are used within mainstream LDS communities even today. If you want to call such a building a “temple” as opposed to a “tabernacle”, that is to me mostly semantics. The fact that such buildings do exist and in fact used in a fashion very similar to how the Kirtland Temple was used during the lifetime of Joseph Smith is something to at least consider and definitely visit if you ever get the chance, and you don’t need to be a temple recommend holding LDS member to enter into those buildings either.

  4. John Tanner says:

    I know this is an old post, but I have felt the urge to get something going for some time now. I have even looked at what it would take to purchase a square mile of land. About 2.5 million for 950 acres (I know 1 square mile is 640 acres). However, if you divided the land into acre lots for 900 families, that’s less than 3000 dollars a person for a “land of their inheritance”.

    If I sold my house right now, I could walk away with about 25-30K. I could then put 3K towards the land and another 25K towards a manufactured home to put on the land. It would even be worth it to go a little in debt, up to about 100K for home and land improvement.

    Together, as a community of 900, if we pitched in 100 dollars a month into a “home and welfare” fund, we could have a home paid off almost monthly. 3 years later, no one would be in debt, all of our lands would be improved and we would have a community where there would be no poor among us. Now 100 bucks might be a lot to some people, but if people paid into this community fund instead of to a tithing, some people would be able to afford more than 100 and make up for those who couldn’t. Either way, you could raise near 90,000 a month to pay off people’s homes. Imagine a community of 900 families who own their homes, debt free.

    Only 2 problems with this picture though. 1. You have to have 900 families willing to move to the 950 acre plot of land. 2. You would have to make improvements on the land to support 900 families. 3. 900 families would have to have some kind of income, or at least have enough within the community to care for each other. 4. You would have to have people willing to care for one another.

    If you could get past that, anything would be possible.
    900 X 4 family members = 3600 people. Not too bad a start for Zion.

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