Raising up Children for Zion: Be Educated, Stand up, Say Something
Raising up Children for Zion
By Grant Beckwith, Head of School at American Heritage School
I have a few 19th Century heroes. One of them is Lincoln, whose life and works reflect in so many ways the life and works of Christ. Another is Joseph Smith. If Lincoln was a “type” of Christ, then certainly Joseph Smith, who “has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world than any other man that ever lived in it” (D&C 135:3) was a “type” of Christ.
We are very familiar with the famous passage in D&C 101 that reads:
80 And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.
Joseph Smith and Abraham Lincoln were both “raised up” to be a part of that bloodshed that preserved us a nation. We love this verse because it speaks to something deep within us that acknowledges their sacrifice and the sacrifice of so many other “Founders” in our history.
But there is an interesting parable that is revealed immediately after the famous “Constitution” passage in D&C 101: the parable of an importuning woman and wearied judge:
81 Now, unto what shall I liken the children of Zion? I will liken them unto the parable of the woman and the unjust judge, for men ought always to pray and not to faint, which saith—
82 There was in a city a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man.
83 And there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him, saying: Avenge me of mine adversary.
84 And he would not for a while, but afterward he said within himself: Though I fear not God, nor regard man, yet because this widow troubleth me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
85 Thus will I liken the children of Zion.
86 Let them importune at the feet of the judge;
87 And if he heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the governor;
88 And if the governor heed them not, let them importune at the feet of the president;
89 And if the president heed them not, then will the Lord arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation;
We are raising up children of Zion “for this very purpose”: to speak—even importune—for what we know to be just and true. It is a beautiful thing—planting the seed of agency. Parents, you set the example. Become educated about the issues of our day. Stand up and say something. Fear not. Perhaps our continual importuning will arouse the indifference that is the slippery gateway to evil. The Lord raised up men for “this very purpose” of founding a nation and restoring the Gospel. You are raising up children for this very purpose as well. Founding is never done. Teach your children to stand up and speak up—as Joseph Smith and Abraham Lincoln did—to protect liberty, to defend truth, and to build the kingdom of God on the earth.
Bless you for your good work in raising up children for Zion!