“Lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.”
2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes . . .
President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:
“The expression ‘stake of Zion,’ first used in the revelation given in November 1831 (Sec. 68) is taken from the expression in Isaiah: ‘Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities; thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken’ (Isaiah 33:20). Again: ‘Enlarge the place of thy tent and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitation: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes’ (Isaiah 54:2). Isaiah speaks of Zion as a tent, or tabernacle, having in mind the Tabernacle which was built and carried in the wilderness in the days of Moses, and the cords are the binding cables that extend from the tent, or tabernacle, to the stakes which are fastened in the ground. Now, the Lord revealed that Zion was to be built and surrounding her would be the stakes helping to bind and keep her in place. This figure of speech has almost been lost through the intervening years, but it retains its significance, or beauty. To speak of Zion, the New Jerusalem, or even that section where the city will be built, as a stake of Zion, is a sad mistake. Zion is the tent; the stakes of Zion are the binding pegs that support her. Zion, therefore, cannot be a stake; it would be as improper to call a tent a stake as to apply this term to Zion.”
(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. , 1:321–22.)