Coming to Zion, tembling all the way

Jeff Needlegeneral 24 Comments

I am painfully aware that I haven’t posted anything in a long time.  Sigh, too much to do, not enough time to do it all.  And with Sunstone coming up, I’m dashing about getting ready to make my way to Zion from sunny southern California.

There is a certain madness in this year’s trip.  Something inside of me desperately wants to move from San Diego to Salt Lake City.  I will be looking seriously at housing opportunities.  My friends all think I’ve gone crazy.  How can I leave paradise for life behind the Zion Curtain?

Here’s the odd thing — it’s the closest I can come to a “testimony” about anything.  I feel as if this is really supposed to happen.  I have no idea how.  How do I move hundreds of books and everything else that would need to come with me?  How can I find housing that will fulfill my needs?  I have no idea.

But somehow I feel that there is an undeniable urge in me to relocate and spend my waning years in the shadow of the Temple.

Now, here’s the question: will I live in the shadow of the Temple, or of the Church Office Building?  Quite different phenomena, you know.  I can’t go into the Temple, but I can go into the Church Office Building.  But I have no desire to go into the COB again — been there, done that.  Eaten in the employee cafeteria, visited several offices.  And, frankly, I don’t much want to go into the Temple, either.

So what do I want?  Damned if I know.

What is it about Mormonism, and Mormons, that makes me want to live in the thick of things?  The logic behind it escapes me.  Maybe some of you who live in Mormon-land can explain it.

Comments 24

  1. Post
  2. “What is it about Mormonism, and Mormons, that makes me want to live in the thick of things?”

    The last three or four paragraphs of the BCC post describe the mustard plant as a weed that takes over and simply won’t die – something that grabs a hold of you and just won’t let go – that gathers the birds from all around. I thought it was an apt description of what you described. If not, my bad.

  3. Jeff, I think Dave’s reference is to Isaiah 55:8 – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

  4. Alma 55:8 – “And when it was evening Laman went to the guards who were over the Nephites, and behold, they saw him coming and they hailed him; but he saith unto them: Fear not; behold, I am a Lamanite. Behold, we have escaped from the Nephites, and they sleep; and behold we have taken of their wine and brought with us.”

    You’re not bringing any wine with you, are you Jeff?

  5. I’m dashing about getting ready to make my way to Zion from sunny southern California.

    Salt Lake City, Utah, is not Zion. That would be Jackson County, Missouri — Kansas City & Independence. You are more than welcome to come here…

    Utah isn’t even within the walls of the city of Zion (Rev. 21:16, which includes about 23 states, by my estimation).

  6. How do I move hundreds of books and everything else that would need to come with me?

    A moving van. I recommend Penske.

    How can I find housing that will fulfill my needs? I recommend waiting until year’s end when housing prices really collapse.

    Oh wait, these were rhetorical questions?

  7. Ray (#4) :–

    something that grabs a hold of you and just won’t let go – that gathers the birds from all around

    Do you mean Revelation 18:2? “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” If so, I must agree with your analogy.

  8. #12 – If you mean to be funny, please add some sign of that. If not, and you mean to compare Utah Mormons to devils and unclean, hateful birds, that’s your right. Just try to be respectful of those like me whom you are calling devilish, unclean and hateful. 🙂

  9. Ray (#13) :– I’m sorry, perhaps you also meant:

    Hosea 9

    11 As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird, from the birth, and from the womb, and from the conception.
    12 Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, that there shall not be a man left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them!

    Ezekiel 39

    4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
    5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.
    6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the Lord.

    Lamentations 3

    52 Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause.

    Jeremiah 5

    26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
    27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.
    28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

    Ecclesiastes 9

    12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.

    Perhaps this one fits Jeff Needle’s situation most:
    Hosea 11

    11 They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the Lord.

    We have certain promises in Scripture about being released from the fowler’s snare, “our soul is escaped as a bird”, but I reckon we’re not there yet… And that the above is still in effect…

  10. Re: “Maybe some of you who live in Mormon-land can explain it.”

    I’ve never lived there, and have a hard time explaining the compulsion that some feel to do so. Why would living near the COB be desirable? Does lurking inside the building give the feeling that you are in the thick of things? I enjoy going to Disneyland, but have never felt the need to move to Anaheim. There is some part of me, however, that would like to see the behind the scenes goings on within Disneyland–is that the same kind of “urge”?

    If I was going to move to Utah, I think I would move to Moab. I could bike the slickrock to my heart’s content, mingle with the visitors from all religious backgrounds who come for the same purpose and be within a short drive of a temple. Of course, the temple there is not hardly tall enough to cast a shadow, but its the feelings within my own being that are experienced during the temple ceremony that really count, right?

  11. Funny. My wife and I are in the process of considering whether or not to move back to Utah for a job opportunity. And it fills me with intense dread. I love the beautiful mountains of Utah, but could I really live there? Alas, my wife is from Utah, and longs to return closer to family.

  12. #15 – Give it a rest, or start using a smiley emoticon so I know you aren’t seriously making those comparisons to the people in Utah.

  13. Jeff,

    *the simpsons*

    One of us. One of us. One of us.

    */the simpsons*

    I have learned to love SLC over the last few years, as my paretns have been working in the Church History Library and Church Museum. Believe me, this has come as quite the surprise to me. There is almost nowhere I’d rather be than in the shadow of that temple. In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s house will be built in the tops of the mountains and all nations will flow unto it. Then why not you, too. As for the rest, all the anxiety, let it go.


  14. Ray (#19) :– It mattereth not what you or I think of the people of Utah, it is all the Lord’s doing.

    I “temble” everywhere I go,
    Gooble gobble,
    DPM 🙂

  15. Post

    I haven’t had a chance until now to check back in here, and I’m laughing my head off. Lots of good stuff — thanks.

    I am receiving Section 8 housing assistance — disabled and living on Social Security income. So it won’t pay for me to wait until prices come down — my rent is the same no matter where I live.

    As for Salt Lake City not being Zion, then why the heck do so many institutions have the name Zion in them?

    Sigh — leaving San Diego, heading to a city behind the Zion Curtain. Am I nuts or what?

    I’ll land in Salt Lake City next Tuesday. Anyone want to go to lunch sometime during the next two weeks — and I have some good lunch parties set up for the week beginning the 11th — let me know at It’ll be fun meeting folks.

  16. Long time no speak. Yup, I can’t imagine why you’d leave SD for Utah. Maybe u should just move back to the Bronx?

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