photo taken of the Salt Lake Temple and the high rise building of Zions' Bank in the background
ZION'S BANK ( An Oxymoron) :
Last week as I was driving home from work, I had the impression to stop and take some pictures of the temple. It was getting dark, and the lights on the temple had just turned on. Just after setting up my camera, the lights on the Zion’s Bank building also turned on. I was surprised to see that the lights were the symbolic color of green. However, the green light only lasted for about 15 seconds until the lights were fully warmed up. Fortunately I was able to capture this photo with the centered words of Zion’s Bank lit up in green above the temple. It has led me to write the following thoughts.
Besides the scriptures, one of the best books about Zion is written by Hugh Nibley entitled “Approaching Zion”. Here are a few quotes from the book:
· “The gulf steadily widens between the Zion of God and those Babylonian institutions in our midst that brazenly bear the fair name of Zion as a gimmick to promote local business”. Approaching Zion, pg 249
· “The institutions of Mammon are made respectable by the beautiful name of Zion. Zion and Babylon both have their appeal, but the voice of latter-day revelation makes one thing perfectly clear as it tell us over and over again that we cannot have them both.” Approaching Zion, pg 21
· “There is an unbridgeable gap between Zion and Babylon. We cannot compromise on the two ways, because the two ways lead in opposite directions. When we try and mix Babylon and Zion and Babylon, Babylon has already won the game”. Approaching Zion, pg 18-19.
And then this quote by Brigham Young in the Journal of Discourses:
· “When I see this people grow and spread and prosper, I feel there is more danger than when they are in poverty. Being driven from city to city is nothing compared to the danger of becoming rich and being hailed by outsiders as a first-class community.” Journal of Discourses 12:272
It was publicized in both the LDS Church News and the church owned Deseret News that both President Hinckley and President Monson dedicated these newly constructed Zion’s Bank Buildings, in Salt Lake and Provo respectively. Interesting that they both used exact wordings.. praying that the bank may be a bright and shining star.
· In his dedicatory prayer, President Hinckley said, "We commend those who made the decision to locate the bank and its associated properties in this location. May it ever be a bright and shining star in the business community of Salt Lake City, and may its influence extend and be felt across the nation."
· LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson joined elected officials, business leaders and prominent Utah County residents Friday to dedicate and celebrate the Zions Bank Financial Center. In dedicating the building, President Monson prayed, "May it ever be a bright and shining star in the business community of Provo, and may its influence extend far and wide."
I think it is unfortunate that just like the other failed banks in the country. Zions Bank entangled itself with the US Government and received bailout money. It was reported that Zions Bancorp. sought between $500 million and $1.5 billion of the $250 billion the U.S. Treasury Department that was given to banks to encourage lending and help thaw the credit-market freeze.
After receiving the accolade of International Executive of the Year from BYU's Marriott School of Management Nov. 6, 1998, President Gordon B. Hinckley explained that the Church's business is salvation. In his acceptance speech, President Hinckley noted that the Church owns Bonneville International Corporation, the Deseret News Publishing Company, the Deseret Book Company, Zions Securities Corporation, Beneficial Life Insurance Company and other establishments. "Each is expected to make a profit."
Presiding Bishop of the Church, Bishop H. David Burton will receive the most prestigious honor that can be given in the Utah business community this March. The Deseret News article states, ..”as a businessman he has overseen the unprecedented investment in our capital city at the City Creek Center."
..........................................................I learned a new Latin term yesterday. It is “stare decisis”, which is short for a longer phrase meaning: “to stand by decisions and not disturb the undisturbed.” This term is mainly used in the legal profession which requires us to respect the precedents established by prior decisions. As Latter Day Saints, we too feel it is our responsibility to respect, stand by and not disturb the prior decisions of our church leaders. They deserve our love and prayers as we all are trying to survive in this telestial world in which we live. I hope that this short email is received not in a spirit of criticism, but of concern similar to the others who have seen our day and raised a voice of warning like Moroni:
Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?” (Morm. 8:34–38.)One thing I know to be true, Satan is the great deceiver. He claims that you can buy anything in this world with money… Not true. Zion CANNOT be bought with money.
Unfortunately nowadays, all that is quintessentially Babylon now masquerades as Zion.
Whenever the Lord prepares for Zion, there must be a division among the people. Because, no man can serve two masters… Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.