Micah 4:1 in the last days... the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the tops of the mountains
The term "mountain of the Lord's house" refers to the temple. But which temple is Micah speaking about? Many of the Brethren have interpreted this passage as having reference to the building of temples amongst the Rocky Mountains, specifically, the Salt Lake Temple. Certainly, many have come to Salt Lake from all over the world to learn of His ways and walk in His paths. Elder LeGrand Richards, while speaking of this prophecy said, "Can you go anywhere in the world and find a record of the fulfillment of that promise of Isaiah except in the gathering of the Latter-day Saints here to these valleys of the mountains?" (BYU Speeches of the Year, Feb, 10, 1960, p. 9) If this statement is true regarding the Salt Lake Temple, it must also refer to the many other temples now in use.
The gathering of people to the Salt Lake Temple does not completely fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah. Here is where prophetic dualism comes in. The scripture also has reference to the temples which will be built in Zion and in Jerusalem (v. 3). If Micah were speaking only of the temple in Salt Lake, he could have used the phrase, "the Lord's house shall be established in the valley amongst the top of the mountains." Micah is making reference to the mountain of the Lord's house. That means that these temples will be built on a hill or mountain to represent the spiritual journey toward God. As Hugh Nibley stated, "And the temple in Jerusalem was on the temple mountain, on Mt. Moriah. We find all the sacred places are the mountains, and they are very important here as the place of pilgrimage." (Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, Lecture 16, p. 3) Franklin D. Richards explains that the prophecy has reference to both Salt Lake and the New Jerusalem or Zion:
Franklin D. Richards
"For many years there has been a 'House of the Lord' in Salt Lake City, in the top of the mountains, and for more than thirty years, the people of many nations have been saying, 'Come...and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.'
"That there will be a place called Zion from which 'The law shall go forth,' distinct from Jerusalem, is evident from Isaiah, 'When the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem;'
"How is it that Joseph Smith, Jun., first organized the means for the partial fulfilment of this prophecy, and left, at his death, the authority and instructions necessary to complete its fulfilment, by the building of a great city to be called Zion, in the state of Missouri, which in fulfilment of the prophecy, shall become the capital of this western hemisphere, if he did not obtain his knowledge of the whole matter through Divine inspiration?
"The Jaredite prophet, Ether, some 2500 years ago, foretold 'That a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land (America), unto the seed of Joseph;' Ether 13. 4, 6." (Franklin D. Richards and James A. Little, A Compendium of the Doctrines of the Gospel, p. 106)
David B. Haight
Millennia ago, the prophet Micah predicted the following:
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that 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.
No doubt the building of the Salt Lake Temple was in partial fulfillment of Micah's prophecy. ("Symbol of Sacrifice, Monument to Life," Ensign, Oct. 1993, 9, emphasis added)
Micah 4:2 he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths
Howard W. Hunter
"Let us be a temple-attending people. Attend the temple as frequently as personal circumstances allow. Keep a picture of a temple in your home that your children may see it. Teach them about the purposes of the house of the Lord. Have them plan from their earliest years to go there and to remain worthy of that blessing.
"...As we become more removed from the lifestyle of the world, the Church becomes more the welcome refuge for hundreds of thousands who come each year and say, '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' (Isa. 2:3)." ("Exceeding Great and Precious Promises," Ensign, Nov. 1994, 8-9)
F. Enzio Busche
"Since our first visit to the temple thirty years ago, we have always revered and cherished the temple as a sacred place-a place of learning and a place of service-but now, after having been permitted to concentrate our minds and hearts for two years solely upon the purposes and holiness of the house of the Lord, it seems as if our souls have come to a new awakening. Our first awakening came when the gospel of Jesus Christ was manifested to us through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, giving us an understanding of faith, repentance, and baptism. This time it is as if a veil has been removed from our spiritual minds and we see the same gospel, but in sharper focus, with clearer colors, and with added dimensions of understanding.
"...It has become my conviction that the temple is the only 'university' for men to prepare spiritually for their graduation to eternal life." ("University for Eternal Life," Ensign, May 1989, 71)
Micah 4:2 out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem
In this passage, "Zion," refers to the New Jerusalem to be built in Jackson, Co. Missouri, 'this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion' (DC 57:2). When Christ comes to reign on the earth, the political administration of his kingdom will come from this Zion. The ecclesiastical direction during the Millenium will come from the Old Jerusalem. These two great cities shall be the world capitals in the Millenium. Temples will be built in both locations and will be built upon the tops of hills or mountains, in fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy.
"He [God] will assemble the Natives, the remnants of Joseph in America; and make of them a great, and strong, and powerful nation: and he will civilize and enlighten them, and will establish a holy city, and temple, and seat of government among them, which shall be called Zion. And there shall be his tabernacle, his sanctuary, his throne, and seat of government for the whole continent of North and South America forever. In short, it will be to the western hemisphere what Jerusalem will be to the eastern. And there the Messiah will visit them in person; and the old Saints, who will then have been raised from the dead will be with him. And he will establish his kingdom and laws over all the land....The city of Zion, with its sanctuary and priesthood, and the glorious fullness of the gospel, will constitute a standard which will put an end to jarring creeds and political wranglings, by uniting the republics, states, provinces, territories, nations, tribes, kindred, tongues, people, and sects of North and South America in one great and common bond of brotherhood....Americans! This mighty and strange work has been commenced in your midst, and must roll on in fulfillment." [originally published Apr. 6, 1845] (Messages of the 1st Presidency 1:239-261 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 130).
Harold B. Lee
"With the coming of the pioneers to establish the Church in the tops of the mountains, our early leaders declared this to be the beginning of the fulfillment of that prophecy (2 Ne 12:3)....Years ago I went with the brethren to the Idaho Falls Temple [dedication], and I heard in that inspired prayer of the First Presidency a definition of the meaning of that term 'out of Zion shall go forth the law.' Note what they said; 'We thank thee that thou hast revealed to us that those who gave us our constitutional form of government were men wise in thy sight and that thou didst raise them up for the very purpose of putting forth that sacred document....We pray that kings and rulers and the peoples of all nations under heaven may be persuaded of the blessings enjoyed by the people of this land by reason of their freedom and under thy guidance and be constrained to adopt similar governmental systems, thus to fulfill the ancient prophecy of Isaiah and Micah that, 'out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem'" (Improvement Era, Oct. 1945, p. 564 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 128)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"ZION: THE LAND OF JOSEPH. There are many references in the Bible to Zion, a land or place separate and distinct from Jerusalem. Two such passages are found in the 2nd chapter of Isaiah and the 4th chapter of Micah. It would be foolish to say that these references to Zion were to the hill in Jerusalem where David dwelt.
"...This western continent is known as the land of Joseph and is also designated as the land of Zion. The holy city which is to be built upon this land is sometimes called the City of Zion. We should keep in mind that these terms (City of Zion, and New Jerusalem) have reference to the same sanctified place from whence shall go forth the law, with the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
"....Palestine is to be the gathering place of the tribe of Judah and 'the children of Israel his companions,' after their long dispersion as predicted by the prophets. America is the land of Zion. It was given to Joseph, son of Jacob, and his descendants to be an everlasting inheritance. The children of Ephraim (son of Joseph) and 'all the house of Israel his companions,' will be gathered to Zion, or America.
"...In each land a holy city shall be built which shall be the capital from whence the law and the word of the Lord shall go forth to all peoples. The Savior said to the Nephites: 'Behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you.' (3 Ne 20:22)
"Moroni, writing of the Jaredites, has said: 'Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land. And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come-after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel.' (Ether 13:4-5)....
"ZION AND JERUSALEM: TWO WORLD CAPITALS. When Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he learned that America is the land of Zion which was given to Joseph and his children and that on this land the City Zion, or New Jerusalem, is to be built. He also learned that Jerusalem in Palestine is to be rebuilt and become a holy city. These two cities, one in the land of Zion and one in Palestine, are to become capitals for the kingdom of God during the millennium....
"TEMPLES IN ZION AND JERUSALEM. 'And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.
"And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.' (Moses 7:62-4)
"When Christ comes in fulfillment of this promise, there will be on the earth two great cities made holy with holy sanctuaries, or temples. One will be the city of Jerusalem in the land of Judah, which shall be rebuilt; the other the city Zion, or the New Jerusalem, in the land of Joseph." (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 66-72)
Spencer W. Kimball
"In our own time we have seen the political developments that have prepared the way for the gathering of Judah to old Jerusalem, to the land of their inheritance. Our comparatively recent history has also unfolded the preparation of the land of the Americas for the restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and we have witnessed much of the gathering of the remnants of Joseph in the land of the New Jerusalem and the grafting of the natural branches of Israel into the new tree of the restored gospel. We ourselves are witnessing the fulfillment of the words of the great prophet Isaiah: (quotes Isa. 2:2-3)
"And though we have seen the beginning only, yet shall the work of bringing Israel again to Zion expand to the uttermost parts of the earth. In this regard, I am reminded of the words of the prophet Habakkuk: 'For I will work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.' (Hab. 1:5.)" ("Our Paths Have Met Again," Ensign, Dec. 1975, 4)
Micah 4:3 they shall beat their swords into plowshares
Dallin H. Oaks
War and conflict are the result of wickedness; peace is the product of righteousness...
Many take comfort from the Old Testament prophecy that nations will "beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks." (Micah 4:3.) But this prophecy only applies to that time of peace which follows the time when the God of Jacob "will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths." (Micah 4:2.)
For now, we have wars and conflicts, and everywhere they are rooted in violations of the commandments of God.
The leaders of some nations have systematically murdered their opposition.
Persons in power in some nations have stolen public and private property so they could live in luxury. At the same time, they have neglected the most basic needs of the hungry and homeless among their people.
Some private citizens have promoted poverty by stealing, by corrupting public officials, and by oppressing the poor and defenseless.
Just across the borders of some nations are the wretched camps of refugees whose suffering circumstances are also traceable to man's inability to keep the commandments of God.
The moral climate in some nations is reminiscent of the prophet Ezekiel's description of "the bloody city" of Jerusalem:
Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain. ...
The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy. (Ezek. 22:27, 29.)
Democracy does not ensure peace. When a nation is governed according to the voice of its people, its actions will mirror the righteousness or wickedness of its people.
We cannot have peace among nations without achieving general righteousness among the people who comprise them. Elder John A. Widtsoe said:
"The only way to build a peaceful community is to build men and women who are lovers and makers of peace. Each individual, by that doctrine of Christ and His Church, holds in his own hands the peace of the world.
"That makes me responsible for the peace of the world, and makes you individually responsible for the peace of the world. The responsibility cannot be shifted to someone else. It cannot be placed upon the shoulders of Congress or Parliament, or any other organization of men with governing authority." (In Conference Report, Oct. 1943, p. 113.)
If citizens do not have a basic goodness to govern their actions toward one another, we can never achieve peace in the world. One nation's greed, hatred, or desire for power over another is simply a reflection of the greeds, hatreds, and selfish desires of individuals within that nation.
Conversely, each citizen furthers the cause of world peace when he or she keeps the commandments of God and lives at peace with family and neighbors. Such citizens are living the prayer expressed in the words of a popular song, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me." (Sy Miller and Jill Jackson, "Let There Be Peace on Earth.") ("World Peace," Ensign, May 1990, 72)
Harold B. Lee
With regard to the political turmoil among the nations, we would earnestly pray that if this and other nations would be constrained to live by and adopt governmental systems where civil and political liberties are secure, we could then hopefully look for the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy of the prophets Isaiah and Micah, to which I have already made reference, "that out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." When that day comes, the blessings and freedoms of the free world will then be realized. ("Teach the Gospel of Salvation," Ensign, Jan. 1973, 63)