Wednesday, February 22, 2012

29: The GRAND OPENING OF Beautified ZION... or BABYLON?

On March 22, 2012, one month from today,  the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will unveil their multi-billion dollar beautification project around the Salt Lake Temple called CITY CREEK CENTER.  It will be interesting  to see how the billions upon billions of dollars funds were spent. Already billboards (see below), advertisements and even a large permanent rock countdown clock are being used to get the public excited for the grand opening. Not sure the Church has announced their dedicatory plans for their red-ribbon ceremony, but I am guessing that it will be similar to both President Hinckley’s and also President’s Monson dedicatory prayers at the new Zion Banks a few years ago.

I thought I would share a few photos I took of the billboard ads along the I-15 corridor today. The church’s advertising agency are using catchy slogans and imagery to hopefully draw us to the City Creek Center to spend our money. From the looks of what this woman is wearing, I am not sure the target market is for a temple recommend carrying Mormon. But looking on the positive side, this is  a new Missionary Campaign to entice the non-members to shop and then come over to the visitors’ center. (A little bait and switch… once baptized someone will eventually need to tell them that once you go through the temple, you can’t wear some of the clothes you purchased at our shopping center).  However, in the meantime.. MAKE IT YOURS.

I have been reading lately from Hugh Nibley’s Approaching Zion. I thought I would share a couple of highlights.  

·         “Saints start out building up Zion and end up Building Babylon.”
·         “Some of the Latter-Day Saints had an idea that they could take the follies of the world in one hand, and the Savior in the other, and expect to get into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
·         “Lusting after the things of this world., the Latter-day Saints are shaking hands with the servants of the devil, instead of sanctifying themselves. When I think upon this subject, I want the tongues of seven thunders to wake up the people.” Quoting Brigham Young.
·         “Do we glorify the four things Mormon says will destroy a civilization, lust for power, riches, popularity, and desires of the flesh?”

The Lord teaches these same lessons when he tells how members of the church fall away because of “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, which choke the word and it becometh unfruitful (Mark 4:19, Matthew 13:22).

A past modern day living prophet declared in 1979, “Unfortunately we cannot proclaim that “All is well in Zion.” We find that we Latter-day Saints are also vulnerable to the destructive forces of evil that are all about us in this sin-sick world.”. Spencer W Kimball.  A little different message than what we hear today from our living prophet, “Now, my brothers and sisters, I am pleased to report that the Church is doing very well.”  Thomas S. Monson, “Welcome to Conference,” Ensign, May 2009, 4–6.

Well, the church must be doing very well to spend the kind of money it has on City Creek Center. Yes, on March 22.. IT ARRIVES!

As a family, we have finished up 2 Nephi. We are reading it a little slower than most. Chapter 28 is especially good. I wanted to point out Hugh Nibley commentary of  Jacob’s discourse early in II Nephi.

“It is at the climax of his great discourse on the Atonement that Jacob cries out, “but wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor.” This is  very important statement, setting down as a general principle that the rich as a matter of course despise the poor, for “their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their God. And behold, their treasure shall perish with them also: Why does Jacob make this number one in his explicit list of offenses against God? Because it is the number one device among the enticing of “that cunning one” (2 Nephi 9:39) , who knows that riches are his most effective weapon in leading men astray. You must choose between being at one with God or with Mammon, NOT BOTH; the one promises everything in this world for money, the other a  place in the kingdom after you have “endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it.”

Are we being enticed? The billboard read, “Discover it”.  (Remember,  you can have anything in this world for money)

Just thought I would end with one of my favorite poems:

“All the water in the world, no matter how it tried,
could ever sink the smallest ship, until it got inside.
All the evil in the world, and every kind of sin,
could never damn a human soul, unless we let it in.”

Are we letting Babylon in?


Steve said...

While the commercialism make me cringe, what should the Church do relative to the decay of downtown SLC in the area of the temple?

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Perhaps you will like the newsletters at

Toni said...

Another insightful article.

Steve, the only thing the church can do which is scriptural is preach the gospel and let people make their own decisions. To pretend that there are no poor, or to shove them out (which is what this seems to me to be doing), while spending billions of dollars making a play and sell area for the rich seems hypocritical to me.

Anonymous said...

This article is very interesting. I'm intrigued with your view on this matter. I can't say that I entirely disagree either. Out of curiosity, I'm wondering something.. Are you currently an active member of the LDS Church? Thanks for your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I am actively serving and a temple card carrying member.

Anonymous said...

Will they build a mall for us members in Australia? Maybe we can get working microwaves in the chapel?

Anonymous said...

"The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these had to hide themselves “in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth,” and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men." Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith Pg. 205

"if a prophet come among you and declareth unto you the word of the Lord, which testifieth of your sins and iniquities, ye are angry with him, and cast him out and seek all manner of ways to destroy him; yea, you will say that he is a false prophet, and that he is a sinner, and of the devil, because he testifieth that your deeds are evil. But behold, if a man shall come among you and shall say: Do this, and there is no iniquity; do that and ye shall not suffer; yea, he will say: Walk after the pride of your own hearts; yea, walk after the pride of your eyes, and do whatsoever your heart desireth- and if a man shall come among you and say this, ye will receive him, and say that he is a prophet. Yea, ye will lift him up, and ye will give unto him of your substance; ye will give unto him of your gold, and of your silver, and ye will clothe him with costly apparel; and because he speaketh flattering words unto you, and he saith that all is well, then ye will not find fault with him." (Helaman 13:25-28)

Anonymous said...

I'm really feeling this right now, as I can see these kinds of things happening all around. I know that there are things I simply cannot say at church, even though they desperately need to be said. I just hope and pray that the Lord will open my mouth when it's time, and I can speak into the lives of those I know and love, but who are so totally unaware of what's gathering all around them.

Anonymous said...

When the Prophet, who you sustain each and every conference, stated that the Church is doing very well, he was talking about the growth of the church which he usually states following the words "the church is doing very well" which he tends to say every conference. Sounds like you are questioning the Lord's anointed.......friendly warning, i'd be careful.