The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that true liberty and true peace come from righteous living. Those who love Jesus Christ and obey His commandments bring liberty and peace into their lives.
The Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ includes a short history of the conditions that were in ancient America following the visit of Christ. As you might have guessed, the Lord’s visit resulted in more than 200 years of righteousness and peace.
The history tells that “many … did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost. It also states that “there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.
“And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift” (Fourth Nephi 1:2).
These conditions continued for nearly 200 years, with the people prospering, growing rich, marrying and giving in marriage, and being blessed beyond measure. There was “no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people” (1:15).
This kind of society is known as a “Zion society.” There have been several times during the history of the earth when groups of people have become Zion societies. The first one we know of was the City of Enoch; these people became so righteous that the entire city was taken up into heaven. “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them” (Moses 7:18).
A second Zion group developed following the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. This society did not last long, but their history is found in the New Testament. “And when they had prayed, … they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:31-32).
The next Zion society will take place during the Millennium when Jesus Christ will reign personally upon the earth. In order to be a part of it, we must be converted to Jesus Christ. Being converted is different than just believing in Christ. President Marion G. Romney (1897-1988) of the First Presidency taught that “converted” means more than mere “mental acceptance of Jesus and his teachings.” It also includes “a motivated faith in him and in his gospel – a faith which works a transformation, an actual change in one’s understanding of life’s meaning and in his allegiance to God – in interest, in thought, and in conduct….” (See Conference Report, Oct. 1963, 23-24, as quoted in Book of Mormon Student Manual, Religion 121-122, p. 341.)
What can we do to be a part of Zion? President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) taught members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints what we must do to reach this goal: “First, we must eliminate the individual tendency to selfishness that snares the soul, shrinks the heart, and darkens the mind….
“Second, we must cooperate completely and work in harmony one with the other….
“Third, we must lay on the altar and sacrifice whatever is required by the Lord. We begin by offering a `broken heart and a contrite spirit’ [3 Nephi 9:20]” (Ensign, May 1978, 81).
Do you want to experience true freedom and peace? I know that we can all have this great experience as we become true disciples of Jesus Christ.