Question: Do Mormons believe that when Jesus returns, he will rule Earth from Jackson County, Missouri?
Prior to Christ’s Second Coming we know certain events will take place. Among the many signs of His coming, scriptures teach that prior to Christ’s return the 12 tribes of Israel and the saints of God will be gathered together both spiritually and physically (Jeremiah 23:3). The city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt and the Lord will then bring again Zion, the New Jerusalem, down from heaven (Rev. 21:2, Rev. 3:12, Moses 7:60-64).
Latterday revelation revealed to Joseph Smith in 1832 teaches us that this Zion, the New Jerusalem, will be built upon the American continent. In Doctrine and Covenants 84:2-3 the Lord reveals: “Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of this prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri….” This is the region known as Jackson County.
Following Christ’s return, Jerusalem and Zion (the New Jerusalem) will exist as two great capitals where Christ’s people will live and where Christ will dwell and reign personally on the earth (Micah 4:2) in some sort of divine government (D&C 45:59, Dan. 7:13-14). Thus the scripture, “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3) will be fulfilled. While we do not know the details of how this divine government will work, we do know that Zion, the New Jerusalem, will be located in Missouri and will be a central place for the ruling and running of the Lord’s Kingdom during the Millennium.