Joseph Smith’s 'New Zion' in the Americas was a Hoax
Never! God has claimed Mt. Zion in Israel forever.
The Restored Church
Mr. Berrett details the events surrounding an alleged revelation received by Joseph Smith concerning a New Zion in Independence, Missouri:
“In December, 1830, while in New York State, he had announced the revelation that a New Zion would be built somewhere in the West by the borders of the Lamanites.”119
“During the conference of the Church at Kirtland in June, he received by revelation the following:
â€˜I, the Lord will make known unto you what I will that ye shall do from this time until the next conference, which shall be held in Missouri, upon the land which I will consecrate unto my people, which are a remnant of Jacob and those who are heirs according to the covenant.’”120
“All were to meet at Independence, Missouri, where the Lord would reveal the location of the New Zion.”121
“Shortly after arriving in Missouri, the Prophet received a revelation announcing that Missouri was Zion, the gathering place for the Saints, . . .”122
“The idea that there would be a New Zion upon the earth in the latter days may be obtained from a reading of the Bible. It was not the study of ancient prophecies, however, which so fired the Saints with a zeal for Zion. To them God had spoken anew.”123
The statements, “It was not the study of ancient prophecies”, and “from a reading of the Bible”, pretty much sum up the truth of the matter. A lack of Bible study to determine the veracity of this alleged revelation explains why the people who followed Joseph Smith were so fired up with zeal over this false prophecy. It would have done them well to spend some time studying those ancient prophecies in the Bible. Their zeal would have dissipated with the knowledge that Joseph Smith had lied to them. God had not spoken anew! This was not a revelation from the Lord but a deception by Joseph Smith.
Zion is the mount upon which the city of Jerusalem is built. God will never forsake Zion nor will he create a new one. He has chosen Jerusalem and Mount Zion as his dwelling place forever. As suggested by Mr. Berrett, let’s consider some of those ancient prophecies from a reading of the Bible and see what God really has to say about Zion.
What does God’s Holy Bible reveal about where Zion is? Jerusalem is built on Mount Zion:
“And the king and his men went to
unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither.
Nevertheless David took the strong hold of
the city of David.”124
“And David and all Israel went to
Jebus; where the Jebusites
were, the inhabitants of the land.
And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless
David took the castle of Zion, which
the city of David.
And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.”125
“The LORD shall bless thee out of
Zion: and thou shalt see the good of
all the days of thy life.”126
“Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.”127
“ . . .
the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.”128
The Bible is very clear that Jerusalem is built upon mount Zion. Many more references could be listed to further support the truth of the statement, and the reader is invited to study the ancient prophecies of the Bible as Mr. Berrett suggested. A detailed study will verify that Zion is the place God has desired for his habitation on this earth. Someday he will rest there forever:
“For the LORD hath chosen
Zion; he hath desired
for his habitation.
my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.”129
Israel did not exist as a nation when Joseph Smith declared his alleged revelation from God. Many people of his day were of the opinion that God was finished with the nation of Israel. Thoughts like those exist today as well, but the Bible makes it clear that God is not finished with Jerusalem or the nation of Israel. Someday he will gather the scattered tribes of Israel from all the ends of the earth and cause them to dwell safely in Israel again. Consider the following promises yet to be fulfilled in Zion:
“THE word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning
Judah and Jerusalem.
And it shall come to pass
in the last days,
the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and
all nations shall flow unto it.
And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths:
for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”130
“And it shall come to pass,
he that is
left in Zion, and
remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy,even
every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount
and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory
“Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed,
when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.”132
“For the people shall dwell
in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.”133
“Look upon Zion,
the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem
a quiet habitation, a tabernaclethat
shall not be taken down;
not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.”134
“AWAKE, awake; put on thy strength, O
Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O
Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Shake thyself from the dust; arise,
sit down, O
Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of
“The LORD also shall roar out of
and utter his voice from
Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD
the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.
So shall ye know that I
the LORD your God
dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
And it shall come to pass in that day,
the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence
the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.
For I will cleanse their blood
I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in
“But in the last days it shall come to pass,
the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for
the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”137
“Sing, O daughter of
O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of
The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel,
isin the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more.
In that day it shall be said to
Jerusalem, Fear thou not:
Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee
mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
I will gather
them that are
sorrowful for the solemn assembly,
are of thee,
the reproach of
Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.
At that time will I bring you
again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth,
when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.”138
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for
with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.
Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and
shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of
Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold,
I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
And I will bring them, and
they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem:
and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.”139
The Prophet Jeremiah even mentioned God’s promised future blessings upon Jerusalem:
“At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and
they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.”140
“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and
I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.”141
I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this
his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.”142
The reader should take note that it was God who sent the Israelites away from their land in punishment for their sins. He scattered them across the whole earth, and he knows where their descendants are today. Someday he will bring their descendants back to the land, and Jerusalem as well as the entire land of Israel will be safely inhabited again. Jeremiah 23:8 above as well as a multitude of verses elsewhere reference that future event. Israel may seem insignificant today, but when God is finished punishing the nation for their sins, it will be a land of peace
while a multitude of other nations may be extinct!
Watch for those references as we continue:
“But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.
Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make
with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee:
though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”143
“I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.
His seed also will I make
for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments;
If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments;
Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.
Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my
faithfulness to fail.
My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
It shall be established for ever as the moon, and
a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.”144
It is interesting to note that Joseph Smith copied Isaiah chapters two through fourteen from the Bible into the book of II Nephi chapters twelve through twenty-four in the BkM. Allegedly copied by Nephi for the benefit of his people, the section of Isaiah taken directly from the Bible also gives prophecy to this subject under consideration. Joseph Smith’s own book, the BkM, agrees with the evidence offered here. Let it be understood that this does not give any credence to the BkM since the verses were plagiarized from the Bible. The truth of it is only because it was taken from God’s Holy Word, the Bible. Israel will again inhabit Zion, and from Jerusalem Jesus will rule the world as the Bible declares and has declared for centuries:
“FOR the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel,
and set them in their own land; and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
And the people shall take them and bring them to their place; yea, from far unto the ends of the earth; and
they shall return to their lands of promise. And the house of Israel shall possess them, and the land of the Lord shall be for servants and handmaids; and they shall take them captives unto whom they were captives; and
they shall rule over their oppressors.”
(II Nephi 24:1-2, BkM, copied from Isaiah 14:1-2, KJV Bible, with alterations.)
Another interesting detail is that this prophecy taken from Isaiah directly contradicts the prophecy of Ether as seen below. The book of Ether in the BkM made the same claim as Joseph Smith did about a new Jerusalem in the Americas. This indicates that Joseph Smith’s idea of a new Zion/Jerusalem in the Americas did not begin with the vision he and Oliver Cowdery allegedy had. Joseph Smith had invented the idea long before Oliver Cowdery met with him for prayer. It also adds evidence to the conclusion that Joseph Smith authored the entire BkM. His fingerprints remain in the book of Ether supposedly written following the confusion of languages at the tower of Babel. Joseph Smith put his idea of a new Zion in the Americas into the book of Ether, which he apparently authored, (see chapter twenty-three). By the way, this prophecy of Ether failed as most of Joseph Smith’s prophecies did:
“Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and
they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.”145
According to Joseph Smith, the remnant of the house of Joseph were the ancestors of the American Indians.146
This prophecy guaranteed the existence of their holy city in the Americas until the end of the earth’s existence. This would mean a holy city built by the American Indians. Where is it? It has never existed because Joseph Smith invented the idea from his own imagination. God does not make prophecies that never come to pass . . . False prophets do! God gives instructions in the following Bible verses that explain how we may know who the false prophets are:
“When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that
the thing which the LORD hath not spoken,
the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”147
“For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that
in the midst of you, deceive you,
neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.
they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.”148
There is no room in the Bible for another Zion in the Americas. Zion will always be the mount upon which Jerusalem sits, and someday God will dwell there. God will not punish Israel forever regardless of who thinks he is finished with them. His promises will come true exactly as written in his good time.
The LORD God of heaven did not speak through the alleged prophets Ether or Joseph Smith. Smith made up the entire story from his imagination. He was no more a prophet of God than any of the false prophets that Jeremiah had to deal with in his day. Had the early Mormons done some research of the ancient prophecies in the Bible they might well have delivered themselves from the deception Joseph Smith taught. The Lord did not give him any revelations at all; he just made up stories! When a thorough study is completed of the fifteen separate books within the BkM, it is discovered that Joseph Smith must have written all of them. None of the alleged authors ever truly existed, and they who have never existed cannot tell the truth! Let’s consider in chapter twenty-three how all of the fifteen separate books within the BkM were stories invented by Joseph Smith just like the false revelation cited above.
#119 The Restored Church, William F. Berrett, Twelfth Edition, (Deseret Book Company, Deseret News Press, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1965), p. 86
#120 Ibid., p. 86 (Berrett quotes Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 52:2-3)
#121 Ibid. p. 86
#122 Ibid. p. 87
#123 Ibid. p. 86
#124 2 Samuel 5:6-7, KJV bible
#125 1 Chronicles 11:4-7, KJV Bible
#126 Psalm 128:5, KJV Bible
#127 Psalm 135:21, KJV Bible
#128 Isaiah 10:32, KJV Bible
#129 Psalm 132:13-14, KJV bible
#130 Isaiah 2:1-3, KJV Bible
#131 Isaiah 4:3-5, KJV Bible
#132 Isaiah 24:23, KJV Bible
#133 Isaiah 30:19, KJV Bible
#134 Isaiah 33:20, KJV Bible
#135 Isaiah 52:1-2, KJV Bible
#136 Joel 3:16-21, KJV Bible
#137 Micah 4:1-2, KJV bible
#138 Zephaniah 3:14-20, KJV Bible
#139 Zechariah 8:2-8, KJV Bible
#140 Jeremiah 3:17-18, KJV Bible
#141 Jeremiah 16:14-16, KJV Bible
#142 Jeremiah 23:3-8, KJV Bible
#143 Jeremiah 30:9-11, KJV Bible
#144 Psalm 89:10 & 89:28-37, KJV Bible
#145 Ether 13:8, BkM
#146 BkM Introduction, ". . . The Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians", (The Lamanites were allegedly the descendants of Lehi who was allegedly of the tribe of Joseph, (1 Nephi, 6:2. See also chapter twenty- three in this book.)
#147 Deuteronomy18:22, KJV Bible
#148 Jeremiah 29:8-9, KJV Bible