In short, a Zion Community is a Utopian community or society.
But more importantly, I believe the zion community is the beginning and end of the gospel program. It is the purpose of religion, and the test of whether a religion is alive or just a dead idol. It is the fruit of one’s faith, and the testing grounds of one’s study. A religion which fails to promote and create unity, love, understanding and cooperation is as dead as faith without works. Many revelatory texts suggest sectarian religion as we know it does not exist in the “higher heavens”, but instead COMMUNITIES do. The community IS their religion, and the community’s collective harmony and joy IS the measure of the people’s righteousness, and the deciding factor on their ability to ascend to yet higher spheres. True “righteousness”, then, is a groups ability to joyfully get along without alienating, deceiving or subjegating each other.
For Mormons and many other millennialists it is the type of community which will exist in the Millennial Nation of Zion. In the bible Zion is used to describe both Jerusalem and Israel in general, which John’s book of Revelation makes clear is a type for the heavenly city of God, or archetypical “heaven” where the righteous will dwell with God. This is the highest ideal of religion which Joseph Smith along with many other restorationalists came to teach. It is the testimony of many, many life after death experiences. It is the detailed meaning of the LDS Article of Faith, “We believe … that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth…”
I believe the key to building the most powerful, sustainable nation in history (Zion), is to put all political power and focus into building and maintaining small individual Zion communities, and let the nation simply be an amalgamation of its parts; Just as the key to building the most powerful, sustainable culture in history is to put all focus on the family and let the culture be a reflection of that fundamental unit.