A Close Look at the Songs of Zion: Then You Can Enter In

by | Nov 21, 2022 | Music & Singalongs | 0 comments

While many of us have a favorite hymn from the beautifully inspired hymns of praise that have touched our hearts and brought tears to our eyes, The Songs of Zion are unique to our Church. They are songs that belong to a new time; they belong to a new era; they belong to our people. They are songs sent from the throne of God as a gift to The Church of Jesus Christ. They are inspirational and related to Christ and His promises of the latter-day times and events. This gift was given to our late Sister Arlene Buffington, as our songs of hope and joy, looking forward to the fulfillment of the kingdom of Zion, bathed in the latter-day glory of the restoration.

Today, I’d like to consider No. 11 “Then You Can Enter In” by looking at the meaning and application of the song, because it’s too easy to sing without paying attention to the words and their meaning.


Is there some pity for those who have fallen? 

Is there some mercy for those lost in sin? 

Is there forgiveness for those who have hurt you? 

Then you can enter in.


Is there some faith, now, in God’s holy promise? 

Have you clean hands, and washed of all sin? 

Is your heart pure and single in purpose? 

Then you can enter in.


Is there some love shown for God’s holy people? 

Is there a sister you’ve helped on life’s way? 

Is there a brother you’ve lifted from sadness? 

Then you can enter in.


Is your robe white with no spot upon it? 

Is there a hope in your heart, peace within?

Have you prayed often for those who need Jesus? 

Then you can enter in.

©1983 Arlene Lea Buffington

This song asks a series of conditional questions. Now, many of us might be tempted to answer these questions with “I’m not perfect” or “I could never live up to these expectations.” The truth is, while we may not say it out loud, many of us think it, and simply dismiss it as an impossible feat because the bar feels too high. 

But the reality is this: the song isn’t trying to make us feel bad about what we can’t do; it’s a call to recognize that if we desire to “enter in”—to heaven, to paradise, to Zion, to His kingdom on earth (His church, The Church of Jesus Christ)—then we need to examine ourselves, our actions, our thoughts, and especially our hearts. 

It’s a call to “enter in,” to surrendered our lives to Christ and to enter into a covenant with Him (through five steps: faith, repentance, baptism, reception of the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end. What We Believe No. 6.)

It’s through these five steps we’re made “perfect” in (through) Jesus Christ, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). And as the song says, having pity, mercy, forgiveness, faith, clean hands, a pure heart, love, hope, and peace is exactly what is demonstrated when we enter into this covenant. It’s this covenant that makes us “perfect” in Christ, and it’s this “perfection” that enables us to “enter in.”

This song provides a beautiful example of how obtaining a white robe (a robe of righteousness by walking with Christ and entering into a covenant with Him) helps us answer all of the conditional questions. Each verse poses a series of questions, that without Christ in our lives, we could never answer with complete honesty, but because of Christ, we have pity for those who have fallen. Because of Christ, we have mercy for those lost in sin. Because of Christ, we have forgiveness toward those who have hurt us. Etc., etc.

You see, because of Christ…we are perfected. Otherwise, no one would “enter in.” Jesus tells us, “…no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.” (3 Nephi 27:19)

So, the way to “enter in” is actually simple. Jesus further says, “Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do.” (3 Nephi 27:20-21)

In closing, I would ask, if you’ve not yet made that covenant, or if you have, and you’ve been challenged with fear, discouraged by life, or fallen into a sinful path, but still desire to “enter in,” and if by singing this song and reading these verses, your desire has been piqued, I beg you to reach out to an elder of the Church today, so he can pray with and for you.

May God bless you. 

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.


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