Manti Set Apart to Become a “City of Zion”

Manti Set Apart in February 1851 to Become a “City of Zion”

Manti Messenger, Letter to the Editor, January 16, 1997

The unexpected letter to the editor below appeared in the local Manti newspapers several years after the beginning of the very last days gathering movements to Manti, and some years also after the establishment of the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days in Manti, Utah.

James D. Harmston was directed by the Lord to move to Manti in 1990, arriving here just six weeks before the culminating act of LDS Apostasy – the corruption of the keys of the Priesthood given in the LDS Endowment, and the changing of other critical components of the LDS Endowment.  He didn’t know why Manti was the place where the Lord directed his to relocate, nor was his move to Manti any part of all of some supposed act of apostasy.  James D. Harmston remained active in the LDS Church until he was called down by LDS leaders afterward for his continued beliefs and practices in unchangeable parts of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and thrown out of the LDS Church.

The letter below by Lauritz G. Peterson, who was an Assistant LDS Church Historian, clearly confirmed why the Lord commanded James D. Harmston to resettle to Manti.  Manti will indeed fulfill the role of becoming a City of Zion” as it was set apart to do under the direction given him by Joseph Smith, who had received this direction in a revelation from the Lord.  Zion will be established, according to the prophecies in the scriptures and according to the culminating plan of the last days.  Only the LDS Church has ceased to build Zion, has concentrated more on building Babylon and their image in the world and has abrogated nearly every single essential Zion-building principle that the Lord set up for this dispensation.  Consequently, and also according to prophecy, the Lord has called out a remnant of His people to do the job and establish Zion.  We invite you to consider carefully the following letter:

We Should be “City of Zion”

To the Editor:

Manti was a settlement of Mormon and other pioneers.  In the year 1851, the First Presidency and the Council of 12 Apostles of the LDS Church, agreed that the revelation on a City of Zion was to be fulfilled in Utah.  The city of Manti was chosen to be that city so they organized a Stake of Zion called Manti.

This was presented to the state [sic – territorial] legislature.  It was accepted and passed in February 1851.  The boundaries were set by the state [territorial] legislature, recorded in their minutes and the Manti Stake of Zion created according to the revelation given to Joseph Smith and approved by the Church.

This means that a City of Zion was to have a population of 15,000 to 20,000 inhabitants which Manti could easily contain.  The temple was to be the center of the city of Zion.  That thought was brought forth when Brigham Young and the 12 Apostles chose its present location.  The temple was the center of the proposed City of Zion – Manti.

Scarcity of water was a problem but prayers of the faithful reminded the Lord that He promised that springs would burst forth from underground.  The Lord answered their prayers and springs of water did burst forth – enough to care for 20,000 inhabitants.

Manti needs to grow in population.  We need a larger tax base.  I feel that we should not be complacent and self destruct.  We should plan for Manti to become a City of Zion.

To conform to the revelation on the City of Zion, the book High, Dry and Offside lists the original boundaries of Manti as follows on page 147:

“Beginning at the Warm Spring (about 2 miles) mouth of the present city plat in sait county: thence west to the west bank of Sanpete Creek; thence north and northwest along the west bank of Sanpete Creek; thence north and northeast along the west bank of said creek to a point due west of the Mouth of Willow Creek Kanyon (sic); thence west on said line to the place of beginning – including the survey of said plat – shall be known and designated as the City of Manti.”

In 1907 a political trial was held making Manti boundaries as they are now.

We need to urge Manti to return to the desires of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and the 12 Apostles.  We need to grow and become a City of Zion and not self destruct as did the Manassa Ward of the Manti Stake.

Do we grow or wait for the Federal Government to make Sanpete County a wetlands park? It’s our choice.


Lauritz G. Peterson [Assistant LDS Church Historian]

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