Kingdom of God Vol. 3

Ogden Kraut


of the

Kingdom of God

            The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth. (D & C 65:2)

August 2001

But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

(Matt. 6:33)

I tell you when you look around and see the state of the world on the one hand, and what we have to perform on the other, and what the kingdom of God has got to arrive at in order to fulfill its destiny and the revelations of Jesus Christ, our chief object should be to build up the kingdom of God and roll it on.

(Wilford Woodruff, JD 4:229)

[5]                                PREFACE

From the beginning of time, from the first book of the Bible to the last, God has tried to establish a “kingdom of Priests” and a “holy nation;” but mankind continually disappoint Him. There have been many empires, princes and kings but not the kind that honor and obey the King of Israel.

Jesus said the Kingdom of God was like a tiny seed that could grow into a mighty tree. Instead the seed has gone unwatered, has fallen on stony ground, or has been picked up by birds, demonstrating that man has rejected it. That which was supposed to be sought after “first” has become the “last.”

When Jesus tried to establish the Kingdom of God among a “chosen” people, they crucified Him. Then for nearly 2000 years it lay dormant while men were content with their wealthy churches, because to them the kingdom meant lavish cathedrals, monasteries, chapels and temples. They didn’t believe that God could speak to them. However, they thought they could go to war and kill each other in the service of God. They thought they could improve on God’s definition of the word Kingdom.

In this third and concluding volume on the Kingdom of God, we shall see how God again restored the knowledge, power and priesthood of the Kingdom. These last days are the most important and desirable time to live because many of us will have a chance to see and participate in the work of God’s Kingdom. It will be a work that shall last for a thousand years–even longer.

[7]                               Chapter 1


“The Restitution of All Things”

Other attempts to promote universal peace and happiness in the human family have proved abortive; every effort has failed; every plan and design has fallen to the ground; it needs the wisdom of God, the intelligence of God, and the power of God to accomplish this. The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself;…. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 252)

Ancient prophets looked forward to the time when wars would cease and man would no more have enmity toward each other. Peace would prevail upon the earth. Even the animals would get along peacefully. The Kingdom of God would at last rule over mankind.

But when will this take place? When will this anticipated Millennium begin? Many religionists and military leaders have thought they knew, but no one as yet has correctly predicted the exact time of this peaceful era. Neither human wisdom nor actions will ever achieve it because it is God’s work and will come about in His timing. We do know, however, that certain conditions must exist prior to the Millennium:


  1. There must be a select people who will obey Him in all things and, if necessary, will sacrifice all things.


  1. This people must gather together to a place He will designate. They must live in harmony, both temporally and spiritually.


  1. They must accept His authority and administer all His principles, ordinances and laws without changes, alterations and compromises.


Even though the Christians of today are praying for His Kingdom to come, they don’t know what it is. Regrettably, most Mormons don’t know either.


The Prophet Joseph Smith introduced the Book of Mormon, revelations from God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and eventually the Kingdom of God before his mission was completed. He gave the people something new and fresh–not the same old re-hashed and oft-debated principles of Christianity. But this came at a price to him personally:


Joseph Smith soon found that by telling the story he had excited a great deal of prejudice against himself among many professors of religion. His experience indicated how far removed men were from a sincere belief in those scriptures so frequently found upon their lips. (CHC 1:56)


But in young Joseph’s 1820 vision, God did not commend him for being a wonderful servant, a choice seer, or a faithful prophet who would hold all the keys. Rather, it was simply to convey a message about an important work he was to do. In another subsequent vision a heavenly messenger appeared to Joseph and reiterated what his primary motive should be. In Joseph’s words–


[9]         Satan would try to tempt me, to get the plates for the purpose of getting rich. This he forbade me, saying that I must have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God, and must not be influenced by any other motive than that of building His kingdom; otherwise I could not get them. (“Origin of the Book of Mormon,” preliminary page in the Book of Mormon)


Joseph Smith was not trying to prove to people that he was smarter than other ministers; he was not trying to correct centuries of scriptural misinterpretations; nor was he trying to start another church for the purpose of making money as others had been doing. Joseph was playing the role of restorer. He re-established the church with the same offices and callings of Christ’s church. He restored the priesthood authority to administer in all of the sacred ordinances. He received and administered to others the gifts and powers of the Holy Ghost. But in addition to all these, he was an instrument in restoring the Kingdom of God.


In all of Christendom no one had claimed to have restored the Kingdom of God. Some talked about it, wrote about it, misunderstood it and misinterpreted scriptures pertaining to it. Now would come the test to see how Christianity and the rest of the world would accept the restoration of it.


The Kingdom of God was meant to include more than places of worship, new members and attendance records. It was not just the sweet feeling of being “saved” or a hand-clapping congregation singing about Jesus. It was a “pearl of great price,” a treasure above all the other treasures, and one that few people would recognize or fully appreciate. The scriptures tell us it is the first thing we should seek. Brigham Young elaborated on this:


[10]        The riches of this world are nothing more than a stepping stone, or necessary means whereby people may obtain the true riches–by which they can sustain themselves until they can procure the true riches of the kingdom of God. As such they ought to be looked upon and handled. “Seek first the kingdom of God.” “Seek first” that durable object. “Seek first” the righteousness that will never betray you. Obtain “first” the prize that will not forsake you. Procure to yourselves “first” of all, that which will endure through time, and through all the eternities that will be. “Seek first the kingdom of God, and its righteousness,” and let the gold and silver, the houses, the lands, the horses, the chariots, the crowns, the thrones, and the dominions of this world be dead to you, as it is necessary you should secure for yourselves eternal riches that will never forsake you in time nor in all eternity. (JD 1:266)


Unfortunately, our efforts in seeking the Kingdom are too easily interrupted by the ongoing struggle for food, housing, and other temporal provisions. The Kingdom of God also is in conflict with most customs and traditions of worldly kingdoms. But the commandment to seek first His Kingdom still stands and should be the prime objective of our existence.



[11]                              Chapter 2




The best investments and bargains that you can make and the best thing you can do for yourselves here while in time and for eternity is to let the kingdom absorb all your interests and all that pertains to you. (Daniel Wells, JD 9:83)


In the sorrowful history of our world, mankind has made little progress morally. Their religions are lacking, and their politics have been even worse. Scientific progress has been achieved at the expense of spiritual strength. The world in general has been deceived by the devil. (See Rev. 12:9.) How strange that even though God created this world for His children, the devil is the one who is frequently called “the god of this world.” (2 Cor. 4:4)


What is the cause of so many of God’s children rebelling against their own Creator? It seems that things got off to a bad start before we were born. The Prophet Joseph warned:


Beware of an aspiring spirit, which would lift you up, one above another, to seek to be the greatest in the kingdom of God. This is that spirit which hurled down the angels. It is that spirit which actuates all the churches of the sectarian world, and most of the civil and military movements of the men of this world. (DHC 4:345)


[12]  The difference between those who followed Satan and those who followed God could be found in the selection of principles and government that they wanted to rule over them. Even after we came to earth we began establishing different forms of governments and kingdoms that do not even resemble the Kingdom of God. These hundreds of governments can be classified into the following general categories:


Anarchy           No government (as in the Congo)

Oligarchy         A few rule (as in an Indian Council)

Monarchy          One person rules (as in many popular governments)

Dictatorship      Rule of one person (as Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung)

Aristocracy A privileged few rule (as the international bankers)

Democracy         Majority rule (as in America today)

Republic          Representatives rule (as America once had)

Theocracy         God rules (as with the ancient Israelites)


To have a theocracy there must be communication from God. It is a government from heaven, directed and governed by God Himself. This is explained further by Brigham Young:


I ask the question, can man govern himself? No, he cannot; and unless the Lord takes the government and introduces correct principles, it cannot be done; the intelligence we have will never do it, and in fact nothing but the light and intelligence of the Most High will enable us to progress in the things of the kingdom of God; and how few there are that can govern themselves. What will enable you, brethren and sisters, to govern yourselves? The Spirit of God; and you cannot do it without the Spirit of the living God dwelling in you,–you must have the light of revelation, or else you cannot do it. (JD 10:57)


[13]  President Young continued to explain that a man must not only receive the principles of the Kingdom of God, but he must also feel the spirit of it.


When you get the Spirit of God, you feel full of kindness, charity, long-suffering, and you are willing all the day long to accord to every man that which you want yourself. You feel disposed all the day long to do unto all men as you would wish them to do unto you. (Ibid.)


When this kingdom is organized in any age, the Spirit of it dwells in the hearts of the faithful, while its visible department exists among the people, with laws, ordinances, helps, governments, officers, administrators, and every other appendage necessary for its complete operation to the attainment of the end in view. (JD 10:18)


If people don’t live righteous principles within the Kingdom of God, they could quickly turn it into the kingdom of the devil. It is our thoughts, words and deeds that determine a good kingdom or a bad one. All who do wickedly serve, sustain and give power to the devil. He receives his glory and dominion from the wicked. It is conversely true with those who obey the Lord.


All mankind are not born with the same inclinations or desires. However, they do inherit the same spirit they had before they were born. Some were much more valiant than others. Parley P. Pratt explained:


Now the Lord did not predicate His principle of election or nobility upon such an unequal, unjust, and useless order of things. When He speaks of nobility, He simply means an election made, and an office or a title conferred, on the principle of superiority of intellect, or nobleness of action, or of capacity to act. And when [14] this election, with titles, dignities, and estates, includes the unborn posterity of a chosen man, as in the case of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is with a view of the noble spirits of the eternal world coming through their lineage, and being taught in the commandments of God. Hence the Prophets, Kings, Priests, Patriarchs, Apostles, and even Jesus Christ, were included in the election of Abraham, and of his seed, as manifested to him in an eternal covenant. (JD 1:258)


Not all men have an active part in the Kingdom of God, but they would be sheltered under its rule. Some were ordained to the calling of a mission to build up the Kingdom; others have established their own kind of kingdom on earth.


The Kings of Kingdoms


The history of man and his kingdoms and governments is a record of failure and catastrophe. Frequently, God has offered to establish His Kingdom on earth, but it has been rejected by man because it does not give enough power and control to mortal leaders. Consider the rise and fall of these nations and their empires:


Egyptian Empire         Chinese Han Dynasty

Persian Empire                Greco-Macedonian Empire

Babylonian Empire       Islamic Empire

Ottoman Empire                Mayan Empire


These empires were destroyed for the same reasons that the Israel and Judaic kingdoms failed.


The kings of ancient Israel were invested with total authority to direct the affairs of their nation or tribe. The Hebrew nation was ruled by kings for a period of about 500 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. Those kings led their people to battle, executed judgment and justice in legal matters (See 1 Sam. 8:20.), and demanded taxes, labor [15] or personal services from the citizens. They were considered the vice regents of Jehovah (See 1 Sam. 10:1.), and were expected to obtain the word and will of the Lord for the people. The Lord, however, was the supreme Ruler or King of the nation.


A king in Judah or Israel was set apart by a holy anointing. When a priest poured consecrated oil upon his head, he became known as “the Lord’s anointed.” The king was then dressed in royal robes and received a crown of gold with precious gems (2 Sam. 1:10) and a sceptre. Those who approached the king bowed down and touched the ground with their foreheads. (See I Sam. 24:8 and 2 Sam. 19:24.)


Following are the names and dates of ruling kings in both Judah and Israel as recorded in the Old Testament:


Kings of Judah:

  1.   Rehoboam, 931-915
  2.   Abijam, 915-912
  3.   Asa, 912-871
  4.   Jehoshaphat, 875-850
  5.   Jehoram, 850-843
  6.   Ahaziah, 842
  7.   Joash, 842-832
  8.   Joash, 836-797
  9.   Amaziah, 791-782
  10. Uzziah, 785-751
  11. Jotham, 751-736
  12. Ahaz, 736-721
  13. Hezekiah, 721-693
  14. Manasseh, 693-639
  15. Amon, 639-638
  16. Josiah, 638-608
  17. Jehoahaz, 608 (3 months)
  18. Jehoiakim, 608-597
  19. Jehoiachin, 597 (3 months)
  20. Zedekiah, 597-586



Kings of Israel, or Northern Kingdom:

1.Jeroboam, 931-910

  1.   Nadab, 910-909
  2.   Baasha, 909-886
  3.   Elah, 886-885
  4.   Zimri, 885 (seven days)
  5.   Omri, 885-874
  6.   Ahab, 874-852
  7.   Ahaziah, 852-850
  8.   Jehoram or Joram, 850-842
  9. Jehu, 842-814
  10. Jehoahaz, 814-800
  11. Jehoash or Joash, 800-785
  12. Jeroboam II, 785-745
  13. Zechariah, 745 (6 months)
  14. Shallum, 745 (1 month)
  15. Menahem, 744-735
  16. Pekahiah, 735-734
  17. Pekah, 734-730
  18. Hoshea, 730-722


Being a king did not exempt him from upholding the laws and ordinances of the gospel. Saul offered sacrifices (I Sam. 13:9-11); David wore the ephod (I Sam. 7:19); and Solomon addressed his people in the temple (I Kings 8:14). The fact that Solomon built a temple and dedicated it to the Lord shows the strong connection a king had to both priestly and civil functions. A king does not live beyond the law, but by it. Essentially a king should set the example of obedience to all the laws of God.


The Prophet Joseph Smith completely understood how this kingdom existed in ancient times and described its existence in the days of Moses:


When Egypt was under the superintendence of Joseph, it prospered, because he was taught of God; when they oppressed the Israelites, destruction came upon them. When the children of Israel were chosen [17] with Moses at their head, they were to be a peculiar people, among whom God should place His name; their motto was: “The Lord is our Lawgiver; the Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our King; and He shall reign over us.” While in this state they might truly say, “Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.” Their government was a theocracy; they had God to make their laws, and men chosen by Him to administer them; He was their God, and they were His people. Moses received the word of the Lord from God Himself; he was the mouth of God to Aaron, and Aaron taught the people, in both civil and ecclesiastical affairs; they were both one, there was no distinction; so will it be when the purposes of  God shall be accomplished: when “the Lord shall be King over the whole earth” and “Jerusalem His throne.” “The law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (TPJS, p. 252)


Many unbelievers in God’s Kingdom thought that the laws, principles and government under Moses came from his own wisdom and administration. They concluded that Moses was a genius and a powerful charismatic person who influenced an inferior people to follow his superior intellect. But after serious consideration and study of the theocracy over the children of Israel, we can conclude that the system could not have been of human devising. Moses, with all his wisdom and genius, could not have devised such a theocratic government. First of all, being an honest man, he would not dupe the people. Secondly, it did not profit him personally. Thirdly, the whole experience was a miserable one. Nothing in the theocratic government brought him personal profit or honor–which is different from the other governments of men. Moses, like other prophets, patriarchs and kings in the Kingdom of God, held a different position and objective than kings of men.


In spite of the high and holy calling of these kings in the Kingdom, these men were still mortal, fallible and often made mistakes. We read of the prophet Nathan’s warning to the [18] people as he exposed David for his sins. And Samuel chastised the people for wanting the wrong kind of king:


. . . and in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day. (I Sam. 8:18)


This should be a warning to our generation, because we have been voting, sustaining and obeying the wrong kind of kings in our land. (Call them presidents, governors, or politicians–any who are opposed to the Kingdom of God.)


When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, he spoke for the Lord and said:


Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. (Ex. 19:5-6)


These sentiments and objectives are the highest, and the possibilities are the ultimate for men to achieve. But such a condition, if it exists at all, is short-lived, and soon infiltrated and taken over by Babylon. The devil uses every kind of bribery or force to overthrow the Kingdom of God and put the people in bondage to Babylon.


We should keep in mind the examples of Israel and Judah who were chosen nations and were given the promises, blessings and holy prophets to help them establish a magnificent government or kingdom. But they soon forgot and forsook their God and suffered the fate of all other wicked empires.


And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works [19] which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. (Judges 2:10-12)


Nevertheless, the Lord did not destroy them but left them in the hands of their enemies. This disaster occurred about 1100 B.C., but God was still merciful to them and sent them judges and prophets. He did not finally “divorce” Himself from them until around the year 700 B.C.


Before this time, when a patriarchal blessing had been given to those in the tribe of Judah (or the Jews), it stated that “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, until Shiloh come.” (Gen. 49:10) Since Shiloh was Jesus, they had the opportunity of accepting the Kingdom directly from the King of kings. However, the Jews rejected not only the Kingdom but the King Himself.


The Christians and the Kingdom


Jesus came to the Jews with the power and wisdom of God and the desire to establish His Kingdom. “The kingdom of heaven, or kingdom of God, is the central theme of Jesus’ preaching, according to the Synoptic Gospels.” (Illus. Bible Dictionary, vol. 2, p. 853)


When He first began His ministry, it went fairly well. Luke recorded:


And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing. (Luke 9:11)


[20]  When Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead and walked on water, it should have been enough to convince the Jews that His power came from God. But, even though they were looking for the Kingdom, they didn’t like the King, as they were afraid He would take away all their worldly honors, positions and wealth.


After Christ’s crucifixion, persecution took a heavy toll on Christianity, and resulted in the eventual downfall of the Kingdom Christ had tried to establish. Men began to change gospel principles, doctrines and ordinances. They chose the things of the world in preference to the things of God. As they withdrew from God, He withdrew from them. For the next 300 years the philosophers, gnostics and intellectuals had a wonderful time re-defining the teachings of Jesus. Even the pagan Romans had a strong influence on the Gospel and Kingdom of God.


Flavius Constantine (Constantine the Great, 274-337 AD) was the Roman emperor that had more influence upon the Christian Church than any other person at that time. Up until 325 AD the Christians were no more than little bands of people hiding from Roman emperors. They were persecuted under ten major edicts of death by the previous emperors until it appeared there were no more Christians left.


Then a miracle happened. Constantine claimed to “have seen in the skies a flaming cross bearing the legend “in hoc signo vines,” meaning “in this sign conquer.” Military victories followed, beginning with the pagan Maxentius, and from that point on, Constantine embraced, or at least countenanced, Christianity. (See American People’s Enc. 5:409.)


At this point Romans became Christians and Christians became Romans, and the result was the formation of the “Holy [21] Roman Empire.” The Christian influence on the Romans was for the betterment of the latter, but the influence of the Romans on Christianity was just the reverse. The Christians began to seek for wealth, power, popularity and high government positions.


All of these events brought new definition to the Kingdom of God. It was then known for its armies, navies and governing power over nations, but it came by sword rather than conversion of the heart. From that time on the interpretation of the Kingdom of God became synonymous with the church. You believed or you died. For many centuries the Kingdom of the Catholics left a bloody trail throughout the nations in their quest for converts.


Authoritative historians admit that a civil government called the Kingdom was taught during the first centuries after Christ. Some of the early Christian fathers were acquainted with its doctrine and were teaching it. Then came such brilliant scholars as Origen and Augustine. Origen (185-253) was a celebrated ecclesiastical writer and professor of schools in Alexandria and Palestine. He wrote on theology, literature and philosophy, and was considered to be the greatest theologian up to that time. However, his followers were considered heretics and his doctrines were very controversial through the Middle Ages. He viewed the Kingdom of God as a spiritual entity of the Church.


About 100 years later St. Augustine (353-430) was baptized a Christian and soon became bishop and established many religious orders in the church. In one of his books entitled The City of God he opposed the idea of the literal civil government of the Kingdom of God.


[22]  Both Origen and Augustine had a strong influence on theologians and philosophers for centuries and are even highly regarded to this day. Origen called the Kingdom “the mystic Kingdom of heaven;” Augustine called it “the City of God.”


Merle D’Aubigne, author of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, gave Origen profuse credit for his scholarly works; however, Professor Briggs, writing in the New York Evangelist in 1879, explained:


We are sorry to see Dr. Merle D’Aubigne eulogizing Origen as “the greatest luminary of ecclesiastical antiquity.” Concede to Origen learning, fervor, and self-sacrificing life; but do not canonize as a luminary one who did more to darken scripture and to obscure some of its fundamental truth than any father of the first five centuries. (North British Review, May 1859, p. 273)


Cardinal d’Ailly said that the church regarded its jurisdiction more binding than the commands of God; the professors of canon law taught that the papal decretals (decrees) were of greater weight than scripture.


A special tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church was first established in 1179 called the Holy Inquisition. Its purpose was to seek out and punish heretics and apostates.


Unregenerate heretics were turned over to the civil government for punishment, in accordance with the civil law, which prescribed the death penalty, since heresy was regarded as anarchy and high treason.

Under it, Llorente estimated the number of persons put to death in 330 years at 31,000, but others insist that this number includes many executed for such crimes as polygamy, seduction, smuggling, witchcraft, sorcery, etc.” (New Modern Enc., p. 507)


[23]  In historian Henry Charles Lea’s extensive three-volume set of 2,000 pages, he covered the entire history of the Roman Catholic Inquisition, and–


. . . alluded to the power claimed and often exercised of abrogating all local statutes obnoxious to the Holy Office, and of the duty of every secular official to lend aid whenever called upon. This duty was recognized and enforced so that the organization of the Inquisition may be said to have embraced that of the State, whose whole resources were placed at its disposition. (History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, vol. 1, p. 385)


St. Thomas Aquinas (1227-1274 AD) was an Italian theologian who spent his life teaching and writing for the Catholic Church. He was canonized by John XXII as the fifth doctor of the Church. He was born and lived during the middle of the Catholic Inquisition and so was very familiar with its doctrines and activities.


Thomas Aquinas set out to prove that submission to the Roman Pontiff was necessary for every human being. He declared that under the law of the New Testament, the king must be subject to the priest to the extent that, if kings proved to be heretics or schismatics, the Bishop of Rome was entitled to deprive them of all kingly authority by releasing subjects from their ordinary obedience.


The fullest expression of this temporal and spiritual supremacy claimed by the bishops of Rome is to be found in Pope Innocent IV’s Commentary of the Decretals (1243-1254), and in the Bull, Unam Sanctam, published by Pope Boniface VIII in 1302. (History of the Reformation, Thomas Lindsay, p. 3)


Thus, priests became more powerful than kings. They could order prison sentences, robberies, and even slaughters with their “kingly power.”


[24]        Not only did the humblest priest wield a super-natural power which marked him as one elevated above the common level of humanity, but his person and possessions were alike inviolable. No matter what crimes he might commit, secular justice could not take cognizance of them, and secular officials could not arrest him. (A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, Henry Charles Lea, vol. 1, p. 2)


Some people have a strong influence upon others, either for good or for evil, but when they get into political office, that power is intensified. This was the case in Christianity. Under the jurisdiction of Jesus, acting as its King, there was the potential for liberty and happiness. However, under the direction of Constantine, Christianity became one of the most dreaded forces in the world.


The great Christian Catholic Church grew to become one of the major religions of the world. To many it appeared to be the promised kingdom of God on earth, but along the way the true spirit and purpose of the Kingdom were lost.


The Protestants do not want to believe that the Catholic octopus is the Kingdom of God because that would reflect on their own failure to have such a program. There are so many differences among Christian churches that there is no way one organization or kingdom could satisfy them all. They can’t agree on their religious beliefs let alone their view of the kingdom. Consequently, they have come up with a variety of definitions of the Kingdom of God, such as:


  1. It is centered in your heart.
  2. It is the good within you.
  3. It is heaven.
  4. It is the Millennium.
  5. It is the Church of Christ.


[25]  It is evident that none of the Christian churches understands the real meaning, purpose and organization of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, if it is ever correctly established on earth again, God will have to do it Himself.



[26]                              Chapter 3




Wherefore, this land is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of liberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound cursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever. (2 Nephi 1:7)


To have a productive garden you have to plant good seed in fertile soil. If you put bad seed in bad ground, your garden will fail. To plant the Kingdom of God on the earth, God once more had to find a fertile environment for it to grow. Of all the nations of the earth, the Lord selected America to restore His Kingdom.


God first gave these blessings to father Abraham and his children, so His posterity could rule in righteous power throughout the nations of the earth. His grandchildren would become the House (Kingdom) of Israel, and of those 12 sons, Joseph was to receive the blessing which would result in his descendants coming to America. Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, received the blessing that “A nation and a company of nations shall be of thee.” (Gen. 35:11) This prophecy pertained to the last days. Herbert W. Armstrong agreed with the LDS concept that–


[27]  The most remarkable fulfillment of Biblical prophecy in modern times was the sudden sprouting forth of the two mightiest world powers–one, a commonwealth of nations forming the greatest world empire of all time; the other, the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth today. These birthright peoples came, with incredible suddenness, into possession of more than two-thirds, nearly three-fourths of the cultivated wealth and resources of the whole world! This sensational spurt from virtual obscurity in so short a time gives incontrovertible proof of divine inspiration. Never, in all history, did anything like it occur. (The Plain Truth, April 1979, p. 7)


The royal line has continued throughout the kings and queens of Ireland, Scotland, and England. The crown worn by the kings in ancient Ireland had twelve points. The British Commonwealth of Nations is the only “company of nations” in the history of the world.


The United States expanded quickly in numbers, power, wealth and dominion until it has become the greatest power on earth–all within about 200 years of its birth. With the tribe of Joseph dividing into Ephraim and Manasseh, there were 13 tribes in the house of Israel, (as represented in the 13 stripes in the flag below), and, coincidentally, America had started as a nation with 13 colonies.


[28]  Judah and his house were given the blessing to hold the sceptre until Shiloh (the Savior) would come; but, of course, when He came, they put an end to Him and His Kingdom.


Joseph’s blessing, with the broadest and greatest promises, said his children would go “over the wall” (the ocean) to the land of the “everlasting hills” (Rocky Mountains). God was preparing them to receive the Kingdom–away from outside influences.


Men and women were chosen to begin the preparation for this great event, the greatest since the birth of Jesus. Men with religious and political backgrounds did a work beyond the scope of their own understanding. They became known as the Reformers.


Not only have these religious reformers been inspired to do a work in preparing for the advent of the Kingdom of God upon the earth, but others have been raised up for the same purpose. Columbus was inspired to penetrate the ocean and discover this Western continent, for the set time for its discovery had come; and the consequences which God desired to follow its discovery have taken place–a free government has been established on it. The men who established that government were inspired of God; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and all the fathers of the Republic were inspired to do the work which they did. We believe it was a preparatory work for the establishment of the Kingdom of God. (George Q. Cannon, Mill. Star, 26:114)


To establish the Kingdom of God there must be laws already in place for the protection of those principles. There was no other nation in 1800 that would have offered such safety for this great work. This was further emphasized by the following:


[29]  Doctrine and Covenants:

And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood. (D & C 101:80)


Orson F. Whitney:

Inspired men like Washington and Jefferson were raised up to frame a Constitution liberal in its provisions, extending the utmost freedom to all men, Christian or heathen, who desired to make this glorious land their home; that they might have the unrestricted right to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences. (JD 26:201)


George A. Smith:

There is no nation under heaven among whom the kingdom of God could have been established and rolled forth with as little opposition as it has received in the United States. (JD 6:364)


Joseph F. Smith:

But the Lord Almighty has prepared the way for the coming forth of the kingdom of God in this dispensation by establishing the republican government of the United States; a government affording the widest liberty and the greatest freedom to man that has ever been known to exist among men, outside of those governed by the direct communication of heaven. It was part of the design of the Almighty when He influenced our fathers to leave the old world and come to this continent; He had a hand in the establishment of this government; He inspired the framers of the Constitution and the fathers of this nation to contend for their liberties; and He did this upon natural principles, that the way might be prepared, and that it might be possible for Him to establish His kingdom upon the earth. (JD 22:44)


Wilford Woodruff:

I will say to the Latter-day Saints that we have been more blessed in this land than has any other [30] dispensation or generation of men. The Lord has been at work for the last three hundred years preparing this land, with a government and constitution which would guarantee equal rights and privileges to the inhabitants thereof, in the midst of which he could establish his kingdom. (JD 15:10)


In Defense of the Constitution


The United States Constitution contains rights and freedoms seldom found in any other government. It was not formulated quickly, but rather as a tedious labor over weeks of study and research. Ancient and contemporary governments were carefully examined with the object of establishing checks, balances and freedoms.


The Constitution was to limit the power of the government, not the citizens. Power in the hands of a few people in government can be, and always has been, the major fault in political efforts. The 55 men at Philadelphia had little use for any form of government except one that would preserve and protect individual liberties.


Of all the churches and political powers in America, 19th- century members of the Latter-day Saint Church probably held the greatest respect and love for the Constitution. In spite of their extreme sacrifices and severe sufferings at the hands of those in government, they still proclaimed their great faith in and respect for the Constitution. However, trying to add a few amendments and improvements to the Constitution, under the banner of the Kingdom, was not well received by the gentile world.


Frequently, the Mormons were falsely accused of being unpatriotic or of trying to establish another government inside the United States. In reality, however, they believed that the [31] Constitution was as inspired as their scriptures and should be revered the same. The Prophet Joseph Smith was a strong supporter of the Constitution:


We say that God is true; that the Constitution of the United States is true; that the Bible is true; that the Book of Mormon is true; that the Book of Covenants is true; that Christ is true; that the ministering angels sent forth from God are true, and that we know that we have an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God; . . . (TPJS, p. 148)


It is one of the first principles of my life, and one that I have cultivated from my childhood, having been taught it by my father, to allow every one that liberty of conscience. I am the greatest advocate of the Constitution of the United States there is on the earth. (TPJS, p. 326)


Do these comments by Joseph Smith sound like the ravings of a wild man or of someone trying to destroy our country? If the politicians in Washington, D.C., would have had that much respect for the Constitution, the Mormons could have asked no more of them.


Joseph Smith, however, did note one weakness with the Constitution:


The only fault I find with the Constitution is, it is not broad enough to cover the whole ground.

Although it provides that all men shall enjoy religious freedom, yet it does not provide the manner by which that freedom can be preserved, nor for the punishment of Government officers who refuse to protect the people in their religious rights, or punish those mobs, states, or communities who interfere with the rights of the people on account of their religion. Its sentiments [32] are good, but it provides no means of enforcing them. It has but this one fault. Under its provision, a man or a people who are able to protect themselves can get along well enough; but those who have the misfortune to be weak or unpopular are left to the merciless rage of popular fury. The Constitution should contain a provision that every officer of the Government who should neglect or refuse to extend the protection guaranteed in the Constitution should be subject to capital punishment; . . . (TPJS, pp. 326-327)


Thus, the Theocratic Kingdom added protections to the Constitution to cover these weaknesses. Brigham Young said the U.S. Constitution was very much like the Constitution of the Kingdom of God:


But few, if any, understand what a theocratic government is. In every sense of the word, it is a republican government, and differs but little in form from our National, State, and Territorial Governments; but its subjects will recognize the will and dictation of the Almighty. * * *

The Constitution and laws of the United States resemble a theocracy more closely than any government now on the earth, . . . (JD 6:342)


The Constitution was the glory of America. It was a magnificent document dedicated for protecting the rights and liberties of its citizens. The Kingdom of God was not intended to detract or take away anything from the Constitution; it will only add a finishing touch. That which was cast in silver will be overlaid with gold.


The Death of the Constitution


The Founding Fathers were America’s first intellectuals and, so far, her last. (Ayn Rand, The New Intellectual, p. 53)


[33] One of the great achievements of the American Revolution was to transfer power from the government into the hands of individuals. It was one of the rare governments to become a servant rather than a master.


Because of their natural weaknesses, mankind has proved to be poor leaders. Money, ambition, and power have taken a heavy toll on those who would govern the masses. It is often reinforced that the natural man is an enemy to God. Even with such a beautiful document as the Constitution, the sting of political perversion is felt over and over again.


Our government has changed from being a protector of our rights to being the owner of them. When a government obtains all the rights, then there are none for the people.


To be worth anything, the Constitution must be held sacred and rigidly enforced. The man who wields too much power in its administration can be its worst enemy. Minor infractions can become major disasters.


One of the most dangerous government powers is that of collecting money. This power affects every man in the nation no matter how poor he may be, and it seems that the poorer he is, the more he pays in proportion to his means. Once Congress begins to usurp this power, there is no end to its violations of the Constitution or the principles of morality.


There is no good on earth that doesn’t have its counter-part. The same is true of the Constitution. Conspiring men who sought for personal gain began to attack it. However, the Constitution will also have its friends and defenders, and according to prophecy it will be preserved from total destruction by its enemies:


[34]  John Taylor:

. . . for if the people of this nation are so blind and infatuated as to trample under foot the Constitution and other safeguards provided for the liberties of man, we do not propose to assist them in their suicidal and traitorous enterprises; for we have been told by Joseph Smith that when the people of this nation would trample upon the Constitution, the Elders of this Church would rally around the flag and defend it. (JD 25:349-350)


Orson Hyde:

It is said that brother Joseph in his lifetime declared that the Elders of this Church should step forth at a particular time when the Constitution should be in danger, and rescue it, and save it. This may be so; but I do not recollect that he said exactly so; I believe he said something like this–that the time would come when the Constitution and the country would be in danger of an overthrow; and said he, if the Constitution be saved at all, it will be by the Elders of this Church. I believe this is about the language, as nearly as I can recollect it. (JD 6:152)


Brigham Young:

Will the Constitution be destroyed? No, it will be held inviolate by this people; and, as Joseph Smith said, “The time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.” It will be so. (JD 7:15)


Brigham Young:

Every organization of our government, the best government in the world, is crumbling to pieces. Those who have it in their hands are the ones who are destroying it. How long will it be before the words of the Prophet Joseph will be fulfilled? He said if the Constitution of the United States were saved at all, it must be done by this people. It will not be many years before these words come to pass. How long will it be before they will be coming here for bread, for the bread [35] of life, and for the bread which sustains the body? Do you know this? You do not. (JD 12:204)


America has been a favored nation, above all others, but along with its blessings come the responsibilities of pre-serving it. Prophecy says that “whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off.” (Ether 2:9) When we consider the crime and corruption in America today, we know we are in deep trouble.


God’s judgments will be felt in the political as well as the religious realm. For instance, people in every agency of government take an oath that they will “support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign or domestic, so help me God.” Yet, as soon as many of them get into office, they begin to change or ignore the principles of freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution. Even though they may take this oath lightly, God does not. Wilford Woodruff once said:


The Constitution once broken by the rulers of the land, there will be no stopping place until the nation is broken in pieces, and no power beneath the heavens can save this nation from the consequences thereof. (Mill. Star 41:241)


He also saw in vision the destructions that are coming upon this nation and described dead bodies upon dead bodies in Washington, D.C.


There have been several different versions of a page entitled, “If I Were the Devil,” depicting several things the devil would do to take away the freedom of people and lead them to destruction. My adaptation follows, so the reader can compare the similar conditions that exist in America today.



If I Were the Devil . . .

here is how I would destroy America:


  1.    Destroy Christian ethics and morality.
  2.    Take over the media and tell the people what you want them to hear.
  3.    Get control of the mining, oil and banking industries.
  4.    Create wars to burden government with debt.
  5.    Send billions of dollars, technology and materials to foreign nations, especially those who are opposed to America.
  6.    Pay off or threaten politicians to do your bidding.
  7.    Increase the size, power and wealth of the government.
  8.    Establish individual taxation and then continually increase it.
  9.    Centralize regulations, codes, laws, courts and police.
  10. Increase cheap trade with foreign countries to break down American industries.
  11. Create inflations and depressions to steal money and property from the citizens.
  12. Get as many people on welfare as possible.
  13. Kill the incentive and rights of the people through regulations.
  14. Tear down or diminish all national defenses.
  15. Abolish the idea of a republic and promote democracy.
  16. Steal the nation’s gold supplies through national mortgages.
  17. Create easy credit, mortgages and credit cards.
  18. Promote birth control, abortion, sex and violence.
  19. Promote gun control and take away guns and ammunition.
  20. Pretend to solve all the problems these objectives have created by telling the people they need a new world government.



The Death of All Nations


If this and other nations do not prepare themselves to receive the Kingdom of God, He will proceed without them. Wicked people are only temporary obstacles to the work of God and they will be “hewn down” just as any obstacle when a road is being made. Anything or anyone that opposes the freedom of man is an offense to God. Any nation today that subverts the principles of liberty and virtue is in danger. According to Brigham Young:


When a great blessing is bestowed upon a people, and that blessing is not strictly honored and lived to, in proportion to the greatness of that blessing, over and above what has been previously enjoyed, it will be a curse to them. (JD 10:22)


In ancient times, kingly powers honored and respected the prophets, i.e., Nebuchadnezzar gave heed to the prophet Daniel. But according to Orson Pratt, “the people of these latter times have strayed so far from a theocratical form of government, that they do not even believe in such things. . . .” (JD 7:216) If we learn anything from history, it should be the fact that the more power a government has, the less freedom the citizens enjoy.


The experience of all mankind has shown that what matters most about a government is not its form, but its size–the degree to which it controls everything and everybody. Never for an instant forget what Hitler proved in the 30’s and 40’s, what Stalin proved in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, what Mao Tse Tung demonstrated over again starting in the late 1940’s. The real killing does not begin until the government has all the power and all the guns! (“The Golden Age Senior Newspaper,” p. 3)


[38]  The devil destroys governments by infiltration and subversion and by causing wars among nations. Beware when those nations reach the point that in their corruption, they will destroy themselves.



[39]                              Chapter 4




When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6)


After the resurrection of Christ, He appeared to the Apostles who asked Him, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) Three things are brought out in this question: (1) the kingdom once existed, but it was no longer with them; (2) it had to be restored; and (3) since Jesus did not do it then, meant that it would be later. Nearly 2,000 years later, it still has not been fully restored because His Kingdom has not yet ruled over all the other kingdoms of the earth.


That which is lost must again be found, or it will forever remain lost. The Protestant Reformers tried to teach about the Kingdom of God, but even they could not see it clearly because of all the smoke and fog created by the sectarian pagans, popes and priests. God was not unmindful of this dilemma and foresaw it from the beginning of time. Prophets and apostles foretold the restoration and final triumph of God’s Kingdom in the last days.


If you were God and looked down upon this dark and evil world, wouldn’t you try to do something to help improve the situation? If you saw your children sinking into apostasy and [40] wickedness, wouldn’t you do something to save them from destruction? Of course you would–and so did God! The Prophet Joseph stated:


. . . attempts to promote universal peace and happiness in the human family have proved abortive; every effort has failed; every plan and design has fallen to the ground; it needs the wisdom of God, the intelligence of God, and the power of God to accomplish this. The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself; “He whose right it is, will possess the kingdom, and reign until He has put all things under His feet;” iniquity will hide its hoary head, Satan will be bound, and the works of darkness destroyed; righteousness will be put to the line, and judgment to the plummet, and “he that fears the Lord will alone be exalted in that day.” (TPJS, p. 252)


But God cannot do it all alone. He must have help from those of His children who would listen and obey. Obedience and disobedience would be their own choice because God would force no one. Those who chose to obey would be blessed, but those who rebelled would be cursed. His plan was simple; the path was easy, and His burden would be light.


The kingdom cannot be restored to a people until they have repented and been cleansed from their sins, which is the job for the Church, the forerunner for the Kingdom. The Kingdom can be presented to only a righteous people–a people who will be looking forward to the coming of the King to His Kingdom. The Kingdom must be established just prior to His second advent.


In the 20th chapter of Ezekiel the Lord reiterates His difficulty with the house of Israel in Egypt. He said they would be cursed because “they rebelled against me, and would not [41] hearken unto me” (v. 8), and so He said He would “scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.” (vs. 23-24) But then after many years He would once again try to save the house of Israel:


And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.

And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord

As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols. For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.

I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. (Eze. 20:34-41)


This chapter will summarize the conditions that will exist prior to the restoration of the House of Israel:


[42]  1.    Israel failed to keep His laws and were cursed for it.

  1. They would be scattered among all nations. Jesus tried to gather them again as a hen gathereth her chicks, but they would not. (See Matt. 23:37.)
  2. Later the Lord would cause something to bring them from all nations unto a promised land. The restoration of the Gospel would be the only cause that would do it.
  3. He would plead with them face to face, which is what happened with the restoration, starting with the vision of Joseph Smith.
  4. Then He would plead with them in the wilderness as He did in Egypt and which He also did in the wilderness of Utah Territory.
  5. He would cause them to pass under the rod, which they did with persecutions, drivings, prisons and killings by the gentiles.
  6. He would bring them the bond of the covenant, which is the covenant of the Holy Priesthood, which He did.
  7. He would purge out the rebels and those that transgress against Him. This would be the destruction of the wicked and also the setting in order of the House of God.
  8. Only in His “holy mountain” would all the house of Israel know how to serve Him and be accepted. The power and divine guidance of the Lord would bring about the way for His people to be delivered out of their bondage and slavery to Babylon.
  9. Then will come the time where the Lord will finally be worshipped according to His laws, statutes, and ordinances. Only then will He be able to reign as King in His Kingdom over all other kingdoms.


Most scriptural prophecies are directed to the events of the last days and pertain to the Kingdom of God. For instance, both Daniel and John the revelator gave us several important clues and answer many questions about this kingdom:


[43]  How will the Kingdom be established?

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, . . . . (Rev. 14:6)


To whom will it be given?

And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (Dan. 7:27)


When will it be restored?

But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; … (Dan. 2:28)


What will the people of earth be like?

This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. (Dan. 4:17)


How will other kingdoms be?

And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. * * * (Dan. 2:42)


Who should receive God’s Kingdom?

But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. (Dan. 7:18)


[44]  Will the Saints have trouble establishing it?

I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. * * * And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Dan. 7:21, 22, 25)


And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. (Rev. 13:7)


For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. (Rev. 16:6)


Will the Kingdom survive?

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev. 11:15)


Will it have power over other kingdoms?

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. (Dan. 2:44-45)


[45]  How long will it last?

And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an ever-lasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Dan. 7:14)


Orson Pratt commented on these and other prophecies concerning the temporary establishment of the Kingdom of God in the latter days:


Here, then, dear reader, you find a people which answer every description, pointed out by the prophets; not one feature is lacking. Did John testify that an angel should fly, having the everlasting Gospel? This people testify of its fulfillment, and present you with the Book of Mormon, containing it, already translated into many foreign languages. Did Daniel testify that God should set up His kingdom in the latter days? This people testify that they were set up by special commandments and revelations, and present you with the books containing them. Did Daniel prophesy that the latter-day kingdom should be “cut from the mountain without hands?” This people are being gathered to the mountains, as the appropriate position of the stone. Did the former-day kingdom have inspired apostles and prophets? The latter-day one has the same. Did signs follow the believers in the former-day kingdom? The same is true of this people. Did the former-day kingdom receive their laws and commandments by revelation from the great King? The latter-day kingdom is governed by new revelation in the same manner. Not one ordinance, commandment, law, gift, or blessing, pertaining to the kingdom of God, is lacking: not one item of prophecy, pertaining to the setting up of this kingdom, has failed. Yet, with all this overwhelming testimony, apostate Christendom will reject it, and perish; and their nations and kingdoms be blotted out of existence; for the kingdom of God shall smite them, and they shall crumble to pieces and be known no more. This is the decree of heaven from ancient times, [46] and no nation can thwart the purposes of Jehovah. (Masterful Discourses of Orson Pratt, comp. by N. B. Lundwall, p. 196)


One of the strange phenomena about Christianity is that after 2000 years, it has not experienced much progress–either spiritually or socially. Instead of learning more and becoming more unified, they have become more scattered, confused and divided.


It was not until new light came from the heavens with additional revelation, scripture and spiritual powers, that they awakened from their slumber. But instead of rejoicing in the good news, they united to fight against it! Instead of Christianity taking a step forward when they had the chance, they fell over backward.


The Kingdom has not been carried down through the centuries, with the Bible or the Christian churches centered around it. Instead, the Kingdom was to be re-established in the last days, as Rev. George Peters stated:


This Jesus, thus declared to be the Messiah, shall remain in heaven until the period of restitution, spoken of by the prophets and always linked with the Messianic Kingdom, shall arrive; for this Jesus shall come again to be the Restorer as the prophets announce. Now let the reader consider how the hearers of Peter regarded the times of restitution, comprehending under it the Messianic reign, the restoration of the Davidic throne and Kingdom, etc., and it is utterly impossible to conceive of any other impression made upon their minds than that the Kingdom was still future, and would be established when Jesus would come again. The time of the restitution and the times of the Kingdom are strictly equivalent phrases. . . . (Theocratic Kingdom, Peters, vol. 1, p. 438)


[47]  There are many reasons why Catholicism and Protestantism remain in the spiritual darkness of Babylon. Their misunderstandings regarding the Kingdom of God and its restoration prevent them from receiving that restoration. Consider the following regarding the beliefs of other churches:


  1.   No other church and no other religion had received evidence that God had communicated to them.
  2.   They did not believe that God would communicate with man; the Bible was a sealed book and no more revelations were to be added.
  3.   They did not believe that in modern days God would bring prophets who could prophesy
  4.   They believed that the canon of scripture was closed and that God would not speak with a revelation saying, “Thus saith the Lord.”
  5.   They did not believe God would bring further scripture, new or ancient such as other ancient records.
  6.   They did not think there would be any restoration, even though the Bible foretold of it.
  7.   They did not think that all the churches had lost the original gospel of Christ, even though they contended against each other as apostates.
  8.   They could not see that the Lord’s church was supposed to have prophets, apostles, seventies, elders, priests, high priests, teachers and deacons, in spite of such offices being mentioned in the Bible.
  9.   They did not know the ordinances of the Lord could be performed only by those with the Holy Priesthood.
  10. They did not know what the Kingdom of God was, how it was organized, or that there needs to be a restoration of that Kingdom.


[48]  Even Jewish records point to the last days as the time for the restoration of the Kingdom of God. They state that the end of the world will mark the beginning of the Kingdom of God. According to the Midrash (Cant. R.H. 12), “when the kingdom of Rome has ripened enough to be destroyed, the Kingdom of God will appear.” (Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 7, p. 502)


There was a restoration of the Kingdom at the time of Christ, but it was short-lived and unsuccessful. So we must look to the last days for the fulfillment of this great event. It is written in the New Testament:


And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:20-21)


Scriptures consistently point to the restoration of the Kingdom of God in the last days. However, if we don’t understand what it is, we are no closer to recognizing it than are the Catholics and Protestants.



[49]                              Chapter 5




If the deceived religionists, who think the Church is the Kingdom of God, were right, and there is not going to be any supernatural and all-powerful world government which is the Kingdom of God, then humanity is utterly without hope. all human life is in danger of extinction. (“What Do You Mean–Kingdom of God?,” Herbert W. Armstrong, p. 26)


No doctrine of the Bible, however important, but has been perverted and abused by men, and has been allied with error and even extravagance. The doctrine of the Kingdom has not escaped the withering touch of depravity. (Theocratic Kingdom, Rev. George Peters, vol. 1, p. 645)


The Four Gospels mention the word “kingdom” 320 times. With all these references Jesus made about the Kingdom of God, did His listeners really understand what He was talking about? Has Christianity preserved for us the nature, the laws or even the definition of what the Kingdom was?


It takes only a few years for word meanings to evolve and a few more years for language itself to change. After 2000 years of biased translators, ignorant transcribers, uninspired monks and priests, and corrupt political leaders, confusion and half-truths remain.


[50]  Could today’s definition of the “Kingdom of God” be different from what it was 2,000 years ago? Over 1,000 contemporary Christian churches cannot describe what the word church means, so how can they come up with a correct definition for the term Kingdom of God?


Anciently, explanations and definitions pertaining to the Kingdom of God were revealed by inspired men and prophets. In the latter days it will again take inspired men and prophets to re-reveal the correct understanding.


Moses, David and Solomon knew nothing about how to build a tabernacle or a temple until God revealed it to them. Likewise, in the latter days Joseph Smith knew very little about such construction until God revealed it to him.


Moses, Jesus and Joseph Smith had to be instructed by God in the order, the constitution and the laws of the Kingdom of God before they could teach and establish it on the earth.


When there was a restoration of both the Church and the Kingdom in these latter days, the members understood the nature of the Kingdom, its organization and aims; however, in a few years that definition was changed. This is exactly what happened in the early Christian churches and also in the LDS Church today.


Throughout this three-volume series on the Kingdom of God, we have provided an abundance of explanations of the term. But how important is having a correct understanding? Does it really matter if people think it is a spiritual essence in your heart, a place in heaven, a church, or a religion? The answers to these questions can be easily found by answering the following questions:


[51]  Could you be in trouble if someone told you a snake was poisonous, and you thought he meant playful? Would you be in danger if someone told you a bridge you planned to use was gone and you thought they said it was safe? Could there be similar repercussions by believing in an incorrect interpretation of the Kingdom of God?  If the correct definition of the Kingdom of God is the government of God and we think it is a religion, we would be heading in the wrong direction.


Surely if we are told to seek first for the Kingdom, we ought to know what it is. If the Kingdom of God is the most prominent doctrine of the Bible, there must be some serious consequences involved for misunderstanding it or seeking for it in the wrong places.


The key to understanding the Kingdom of God is to realize that it is not the same as the Church of Jesus Christ–in fact, it is not a church at all. The church refers more particularly to the spiritual things and the Kingdom to the temporal. The following distinctions between the two may help in better understanding the difference:


  1.   The Kingdom of God is the Kingdom prophesied by the prophet Daniel. It was the “stone cut out of the mountain without hands.” Obviously what Daniel saw included the restoration of the Priesthood, the Church and the Kingdom.
  2.   The basic authority for both the political Kingdom and the ecclesiastical church is through the keys of the higher Priesthood.
  3.   The Kingdom of God is God’s government on earth and will absorb or over-rule all other kingdoms.
  4.   The political organization of this Kingdom will include all the people of the earth–both non-members and church members.

[52]    5.  The Kingdom will protect all the people of the earth in their civil and religious rights, including the right to differ.

  1.   The Kingdom will be a government of political, social, civil and economic order for the benefit of mankind, rather than the oppression of them.
  2.   The Kingdom will have a constitution which will be revealed from heaven.
  3.   The gathering of the Saints will constitute the elect people of God, through whom many things pertaining to the Kingdom will be given.
  4.   The law of the Kingdom and the foundation of Zion will be closely connected, for “out of Zion shall go forth the law to all nations.” (Isa. 2:3)
  5.   The Kingdom, not necessarily the church, will arouse strong opposition from other world governments who will feel threatened.


In the 1840’s, these concepts were presented to the Saints, but even then were not completely understood. It was clearly taught that the Kingdom of God was a government, a political organization. However, today it has been changed to mean a church. To prove this point, over 62 contemporary erroneous statements have been included in this chapter–arranged alphabetically by speaker–leaving no question as to the change in definition that has occurred during the past century.


Ezra Taft Benson

. . . Joseph Smith was called of God to re-establish that kingdom–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Ensign, Nov. 1975, p. 34)


Since we accept His Church as the kingdom of God on earth, we are under obligation, as His disciples, to preach His gospel to all the world. . . . (Come Unto Christ, Benson, p. ix)


[53]  Hugh B. Brown

The Church has been organized and set up. It is the Kingdom of God, and it will never be thrown down. (Conf. Rept., Oct. 1961, p. 87)


. . . the Church of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God, is massing its forces, getting ready for that which is to follow. (Conf. Rept., Oct. 1967, p. 113)


If they are baptized, it must be by proper authority, and if authoritatively baptized, they will become members of the Kingdom of God, which is the Church of Jesus Christ, give it whatever name you may. (The Abundant Life, Brown, p. 116)


William J. Critchlow, Jr.

Presently, it is the government of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–God’s kingdom here on earth. (Conf. Rept., Oct. 11963, p. 28)


Loren C. Dunn

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that kingdom of God on the earth, . . . (Ensign, Jan. 1973, p. 84)


Alvin R. Dyer

. . . the kingdom of God or Christ’s Church has been set up as a result of the restoration of truth unto the Prophet Joseph Smith, . . . (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1963, p. 48)


David B. Haight

The Church is not a democracy–it is a kingdom. (Ensign, Nov. 1992, p. 74)


His kingdom is again established on the earth, which is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Ensign, May 1982, p. 75)


[54]  Gordon B. Hinckley

This Church is a part of His divine plan. It is the kingdom of God in the earth. (Ensign, May 1985, p. 50)


It should be recognized that this Church is not a social club. This is the kingdom of God in the earth. (Ensign, May 1990, p. 97)


With the tremendous growth of the Church we become increasingly aware of the great magnitude of the affairs of this the Lord’s kingdom. (Conf. Rept., Oct. 1967, p. 89)


Howard W. Hunter

We represent and speak today for a worldwide church, the organized and established kingdom of God on earth. (Ensign, May 1991, p. 65)


The Church of Christ, the kingdom of God on earth, was re-established and destined, according to scripture, to roll forth and fill the whole earth. (Conf. Rept., Oct. 1963, p. 101)


Marlin K. Jensen

I testify that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s kingdom on the earth today. (Ensign, Nov. 1989, p. 28)


Spencer W. Kimball

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored in 1830 after numerous revelations from the divine source; and this is the kingdom, set up by the God of heaven, that would never be destroyed…. (Tchgs. of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 433)


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is literally the authorized kingdom of God upon the earth today.  * * *

This is the restored church. This is the kingdom of God upon the earth, . . . (Ensign, May 1976, pp. 6, 7)


[55]        Now we have come to a realization that the kingdom of God and the Church of Jesus Christ constitute a world church. (Ensign, Nov. 1977, p. 48)


Harold B. Lee

And to enter into the kingdom of God–that is to become members of the Church. . . . (Stand Ye in Holy Places, Lee, p. 48)


. . . bore eloquent witness to the growing awareness that the kingdom of God, meaning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is worldwide. . . . (Ibid., p. 84)


Here the Church of Jesus Christ is made synonymous with the kingdom of God, which parallels a similar organization in heaven. (Ibid.,  p. 321)


The Presidency of the High Priesthood hold the keys of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the Church. Therefore, the Presidency of the High Priesthood is also the Presidency of the Church. Elder Harold B. Lee taught this principle. (Sacred Truths of the D. & C., Otten & Caldwell, vol. 2, p. 54)


Richard W. Madsen

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a creed, is not a sect, is not a branch of any earthly organization, but this is the Church of Jesus Christ, the established kingdom of our Lord in the earth, . . . (Conf. Rept., Apr. 6, 1946, p. 100)


Helvecio Martins

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the Lord’s kingdom on earth, . . . (Ensign, Nov. 1990, p. 26)


Neal A. Maxwell

The living Church was and is a real kingdom, with a king, authority, ordinances, rules, doctrines, and duties. (Things As They Really Are, Maxwell, p. 45)


[56]  Bruce R. McConkie

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as it is now constituted is the kingdom of God on earth. Nothing more needs to be done to establish the kingdom. (Doc. N.T. Com., vol. 1, p. 537)


The kingdom of God on earth is the Church of Jesus Christ; they are one and the same.  * * *

It was as though the apostles said to the Lord: We know thou hast given us thy Church which is the kingdom of God on earth. (Doc. N.T. Com., vol. 2, pp. 22, 24)


. . . this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in very deed the kingdom of God on earth, . . . (Imp. Era, Dec. 1970, p. 114)


Oscar McConkie, Jr.

However, the kingdom is here, and it is the same kingdom which Daniel said would be set up in the last days. The Church and kingdom are one and the same. * * * The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth. (The Priest and the Aaronic Priesthood, McConkie, p. 191)


David O. McKay

And when that longing comes, after we are in the Church or kingdom, . . . (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1962, p. 8)


Russell M. Nelson

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, is neither a democracy nor a republic. His is a kingdom–the kingdom of God on earth. (Ensign, May 1993, p. 38)


James M. Paramore

They were members of His church–the kingdom of God on earth. (Ensign, May 1988, p. 10)


[57]  Mark E. Petersen

This is a great Church. It is indeed the kingdom of God. (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1949, p. 145)


Ronald E. Poelman

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth, . . . (Ensign, Nov. 1984, p. 64)


Franklin D. Richards

(quoting Harold B. Lee) “This means let your light so shine that men shall be led to join the Church, or the kingdom of God.” (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1961, p. 84)


(quoting Francis M. Lyman) “It will be profitable to all Latter-day Saints to make this Church first in their hearts and affections. Why? Because the Lord has told us to seek first the kingdom of God. We have sought the kingdom and have found it…. (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1964, p. 65)


Marion G. Romney

This Church is the literal kingdom of God in the earth. (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1961, p. 117)


Eldred G. Smith

I . . . know that this is the kingdom of God, that this is his Church. (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1964, p. 87)


. . . that David O. McKay is his prophet and our President of his Church on the earth–the kingdom of God. (Conf. Rept., Oct. 1965, p. 34)


Joseph Fielding Smith

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in very deed the kingdom of God, . . .

The kingdom of God that was set up never to be destroyed or given to another people is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, . . . (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1962, pp. 44, 45)


[58]        But the kingdom of God is the Church of Jesus Christ, and it is the kingdom that shall endure forever.

A man cannot receive the fulness of truth except in the kingdom of God, in other words, if you please, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Doc. of Sal., vol. 1, pp. 229, 299)


Philip T. Sonntag

This is that kingdom, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, . . . (Ensign, Nov. 1984, p. 77)


Delbert L. Stapley

The Kingdom of Heaven is the Church. * * * This kingdom is, and has always been, in `heaven.’ It is now on Earth in the Church. . . . (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1964, p. 133)


What I mean by the kingdom of God is the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, . . . (Ibid., p. 134)


Brother and sisters and friends, I bear humble witness that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s kingdom on earth. (Ibid., p. 136)


James E. Talmage

The efficacy of baptism as a means of securing remission of sins and of attaining entrance to the Church of Jesus Christ, which is the kingdom of God,… (The Vitality of Mormonism, Talmage, p. 94)


The Kingdom of God and the Church of Christ are virtually synonymous terms. (Ibid., p. 180)


The kingdom of God as identical with the Church of Christ has been established; . . . They claim an authority that is spiritual, but also temporal in dealing with the members of the organization–Church or kingdom as one may choose to call it. . . . (The Articles of Faith, Talmage, pp. 367-368)


[59]  N. Eldon Tanner

I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ, the kingdom of God here upon the earth, . . . (Imp. Era, Dec. 1960, p. 924)


And I bear testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God here upon the earth, . . . (Ensign, May 1976, p. 51)


John H. Vandenberg

. . . the kingdom as proclaimed by Daniel was established. It is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 95)


Robert J. Whetten

This Church is His kingdom on the earth. (Conf. Transcripts, Apr. 1999)


Joseph L. Wirthlin

. . . officers duly ordained and authorized to serve in his kingdom upon the earth, his Church–one Church. (Conf. Rept., Oct. 1953, p. 15)


. . . Gordon B. Hinckley, prophet, seer, and revelator, and the president of the Lord’s kingdom here upon the earth, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Conf. Transcripts, Oct. 4, 1997)


  1. Dilworth Young

. . . this Church is the true kingdom of God. (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1946, p. 108)


. . . they will peruse its {Book of Mormon] pages, receive and believe the promise at its end, and find the kingdom of God in this living, vibrant Church. (Conf. Rept., Apr. 1965, p. 52)


This church is their earthly kingdom, . . . (Imp. Era, Dec. 1969, p. 62)

* * *


[60]  It is interesting to note that during the past century several books have been published by LDS authors with titles relating to the Kingdom of God. However, in most cases there is nothing in them that pertains to the Kingdom. For example, in 1973 N. Eldon Tanner published Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God. Chapter One has the same title, but it doesn’t make any reference to the Kingdom; rather it is a review of the author’s life. The rest of the book discusses LDS Church history and basic principles of the Gospel, without any reference, definition or history of the Kingdom of God.


Another example is a book entitled The Kingdom of God Restored, written in 1955 by Carter E. Grant. It was published and distributed by Deseret Book Company and gives an excellent story of the history of the early days of the LDS Church but mentions nothing about the Kingdom of God.


A third example is a book written by Sterling W. Sill in 1975, entitled Thy Kingdom Come. This was an excellent title that one would think should contain the definition, doctrine and history of the Kingdom of God. And indeed the first chapter was titled, “Identifying the Kingdom,” but it failed to identify or even make reference to the Kingdom of God on the earth. The remainder of the book is Sill’s collection of his personal thoughts on basic religious principles without any mention of the Kingdom of God.


Bruce R. McConkie’s The Kingdom of God was published in 1962. One would have thought that with that title and author, the book would have contained a scholarly look into the meaning and history of that important subject. But, alas, it included nothing more than general topics and events of the LDS Church.


[61]  Not to be overlooked in this category is the Gospel Doctrine lesson manual of 1979, published by the LDS Church, entitled My Kingdom Shall Roll Forth. The leading page contains a picture of the First Presidency–Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney–with a message from them, part of which states:


Our solemn message to the world is that the ancient prophets’ visions of the latter-day kingdom of God are literally fulfilled in the establishment and growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


The rest of the book briefly describes the history and presidents of the Church without mentioning anything about the Kingdom of God.


Why did so many of these authors entitle their books the Kingdom of God and never get around to explaining what it was or offering a little ancient or modern history of it? There can be only two major reasons: (1) They were just leading up to the subject, or (2) they did not correctly understand the subject. It could not be the first reason because these authors never ended their books with anything pertaining to the Kingdom of God. This leaves reason two, which means they did not correctly understand the subject of the Kingdom of God themselves.


The early Church leaders, who were well acquainted with the doctrines of the restoration, certainly knew the true definition of the Kingdom of God. Their voices should be closer to the source of the revelations and therefore closer to the truth. “If you want a pure drink of water, go to the mountain source of the stream–not to the delta of the Mississippi River.”


[62]  This chapter would not be complete unless we included various quotes from some of the early Church leaders, giving the reader some grounds for comparison. It is evident from the following information that these great men certainly did not believe that the Kingdom of God was the same as the Church of Jesus Christ.


Joseph Smith

The Prophet [Joseph Smith] gave a full and complete organization to this kingdom the Spring before he was killed. This kingdom is the kingdom that Daniel spoke of, which was to be set up in the last days; . . . (Brigham Young, JD 17:156)


Brigham Young

As observed by one of the speakers this morning, that Kingdom grows out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it is not the Church. . . . (JD 2:310)


Whoever lives to see the kingdom of God fully established upon the earth will see a government that will protect every person in his rights. (JD 6:342)


John Taylor

The kingdom of God is the government of God on the earth. . . . (Government of God, Taylor, p. 58)


George Q. Cannon

We are asked, “Is the Church of God and the Kingdom of God the same organization?” * * * The Kingdom of God is a separate organization from the Church of God. * * *

We have been taught from the beginning this important principle, that the Church of God is distinct from the kingdom of God. Joseph gave us the pattern before he died.* * * In the minds of all of us who understand this matter there is a clear distinction between the Church in its ecclesiastical capacity and [63] that which may be termed the government of God in its political capacity. (Gospel Truths, Cannon, vol. 2, p. 56)


  1. H. Roberts

But it is proper for the reader to know that Joseph Smith, when speaking strictly, recognized a distinction between “The Church of Jesus Christ” and the “kingdom of God.” And not only a distinction but a separation of one from the other. The Kingdom of God is to be a political institution. On the other hand, the Church of Christ is purely an ecclesiastical organization. (Rise and Fall of Nauvoo, Roberts, p. 180)


Orson Pratt

Apostle Orson Pratt gave one of the most complete descriptions of the Kingdom of God ever made. He explained the functions of each officer–whether a Priest in the Church or a King in the Kingdom. He also showed how they both could operate under the authority of the Holy Priesthood.


The Kingly authority is not separate and distinct from the Priesthood, but merely a branch or portion of the same. The Priestly authority is universal, having power over all things; the Kingly authority until perfected is limited to the kingdoms placed under its jurisdiction: the former appoints and ordains the latter; but the latter never appoints and ordains the former: the first controls the laws of nature, and exercises jurisdiction over the elements, as well as over men; the last controls men only, and administers just and righteous laws for their government. Where the two are combined and the individual perfected, he has almighty power both as a King and as a Priest; both offices are then merged in one. The distinctions then, will be merely in the name and not in the authority; either as a King or a Priest he will then have power and dominion over all things, and reign over all. Both titles, combined, will then not give him any more power than either one singly. It is evident that the distinctions [64] of title are only expressive of the condition of things prior to the glorification and perfection of the persons who hold the Priesthood; for when they are perfected, they will have power to act in every branch of authority by virtue of the great, and almighty, and eternal Priesthood which they hold: they can then sway their sceptres as Kings; rule as Princes, minister as Apostles; officiate as Teachers; or, act in the humblest or most exalted capacity. There is no branch of the Priesthood so low that they cannot condescend to officiate therein; none so high, that they cannot reach forth the arm of power and control the same. (The Seer, Pratt, p. 145)

* * *


After the Church was restored in 1830, it took time and preparation for the Kingdom of God to be restored. The people soon learned the difference between the two and eventually saw them both organized and functioning, working toward different objectives, using different methods. They saw how they were separate organizations; they saw different men in both organizations; they heard and recognized the difference in their purpose and mission.


However, with the passage of time, the definition became confusing to some of the Elders. They had differing views, and gradually the original definition was changed from being a physical government on the earth to being the spiritual entity of the Church. It is interesting to note that both the early Christian Church and the Latter-day Church followed the same pattern and for the same reasons.



[65]                              Chapter 6




For it must needs be, that there is an opposition (or options, see v. 15) in all things. (21 Ne. 2:11)


It may seem to some that if God brought the laws of heaven to earth, that no one would want to oppose them. Why would anyone object to the principles of heaven on earth? Nevertheless, because of our free agency, there was–and continues to be–opposition, as there needs be opposition in all things.


Our lives are a constant struggle against opposition. The greater our efforts to do good, the greater the opposition. The path of righteousness is frequently strewn with poverty, temptations, handicaps, accidents, etc. From the Garden of Eden to our present day of modern miracles, we can’t escape some type of opposition. It has become a necessary part of mortality. Since modern Christian ministers fail to understand the reasons for evil, trials and temptations, they just put the blame on Adam and Eve.


The fullness of both the Gospel of Christ and the Kingdom of God has aroused great opposition. This chapter will explain the reason why opposition must exist.


Lehi made an interesting comment to his son Jacob, stating that “the ends of the law” are given for “the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is [66] affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed.” (2 Ne. 2:10) Then Lehi continued with–


For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so . . . righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. (2 Ne. 2:11)


Brigham Young elaborated further on this theme:


I will tell you a truth; it is God’s truth; it is eternal truth; neither you nor I would ever be prepared to be crowned in the celestial kingdom of our Father and our God, without devils in this world. Do you know that the Saints never could be prepared to receive the glory that is in reserve for them without devils to help them to get it? Men and women never could be prepared to be judged and condemned out of their own mouths, and to be set upon the left hand; or to have it said to them, “Go away into everlasting darkness,” without the power both of God and the devil. We are obliged to know and understand them, one as well as the other, in order to prepare us for the day that is coming, and for our exaltation. Some of you may think that this is a curious principle, but it is true. Refer to the Book of Mormon, and you will find that Nephi and others taught that we actually need evil, in order to make this a state of probation. We must know the evil in order to know the good. There must needs be an opposition in all things. All facts are demonstrated by their opposites. You will learn this in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and in the revelations given through Joseph. We must know and understand the opposition that is in all things, in order to discern, choose, and receive that which we do know will exalt us to the presence of God. You cannot know the one without knowing the other. This is a true principle. (JD 4:373)


[67]  The Prophet Joseph considered life’s difficulties and oppositions to be very important in his own personal life:


And as for the perils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life; and for what cause it seems mysterious, unless I was ordained from before the foundation of the world for some good end, or bad, as you may choose to call it. Judge ye for yourselves. God knoweth all these things, whether it be good or bad. But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel, like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it. (D & C 127:2)


We have learned that the devil continually seeks to destroy the Kingdom of God, as he does not want any competition. Furthermore, he wants to destroy all those who promote the Kingdom of God. In January 1831, when the Church was less than a year old, the Lord warned Joseph:


And now I show unto you a mystery, a thing which is had in secret chambers, to bring to pass even your destruction in process of time, and ye knew it not; . . .

And again, I say unto you that the enemy in the secret chambers seeketh your lives. (D & C 38:13 & 28)


Joseph soon learned very well how much opposition the devil could bring against him and the kingdom:


All the lies that are now hatched up against me are of the devil, and the influence of the devil and his servants will be used against the kingdom of God. (TPJS, p. 367)


[68]        The doctrine of eternal judgments belongs to the first principles of the Gospel, in the last days. In relation to the kingdom of God, the devil always sets up his kingdom at the very same time in opposition to God. (TPJS, p. 365)


God’s prophets, patriarchs, kings and priests have all had similar oppositions, but it seems the devil’s kingdom has the more widespread support of people in the world. The devil is passing out free tickets to join his club, and gullible takers are standing in line. But when the devil offers us the kingdoms and things of this world, he deceives us because he doesn’t own them; they are not even his to give. He owns nothing; he has no automobiles, money or real estate. He is what is known as a claim jumper. Only the Kingdom of God can and will eventually throw him out of office.


Good and evil must co-exist with each other, for the presence of one is as necessary as the other. It takes error to manifest truth, and truth to expose the error. It is a law of the universe–a fact of night and day, negative and positive, good and evil. It is a process that makes Gods and devils. God Himself had this experience so He could become a God.


These powers of opposition do not always come from without but also from within. It should be our primary objective to always oppose evil no matter what the source. Elder George Q. Cannon explained:


But after all, the great labor, the most honorable labor that any person can perform is to do that which I have attempted to describe to you–to improve ourselves; to be Latter-day Saints in deed and in truth, to live our holy religion. When we arise in the morning, to examine ourselves, to see if there is anything that is in opposition to the mind and will of God within ourselves; and through the day to pursue the same [69] course of self-examination. And at night before we retire to rest, to bow ourselves before our Father and God in secret, and pour out our souls in prayer before Him, supplicating Him to show unto us wherein we have done wrong during the day, wherein we have come short in thought, word and deed; and then repent of the same before we lie down to rest, and to obtain from Him a forgiveness of our sins. (JD 21:80)


It is difficult to admit that difficulties are usually for our ultimate good. They can be a mysterious cleansing, purifying and strengthening to our souls. According to Brigham Young, persecution was necessary for the benefit of Joseph Smith and the Saints:


Joseph could not have been perfected, though he had lived a thousand years, if he had received no persecution. If he had lived a thousand years, and led this people, and preached the Gospel without persecution, he would not have been perfected as well as he was at the age of thirty-nine years. You may calculate when this people are called to go through scenes of affliction and suffering, are driven from their homes and cast down, and scattered, and smitten and peeled, the Almighty is rolling on His work with greater rapidity. (JD 2:7-8)


Now that we better understand why there must needs be opposition, let’s go on to one of the worst periods of opposition in the history of the Church–just prior to Joseph Smith’s establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth.



[70]                              Chapter 7




. . . we hold ourselves at all times in readiness . . . to exterminate, utterly exterminate, the wicked and abominable Mormon leaders, the authors of our troubles . . . a war of extermination should be waged. (Resolutions passed by citizens of Warsaw, DHC 6:464)


The goal of good government should be to improve the welfare and happiness of the people over whom it rules. Its laws should aid them in obtaining their necessities and offer protection of lives and property. It should provide an atmosphere that brings out the best in people and that treats them all equally. Justice should be blended with mercy, but oppressors should not escape punishment. Here in America that dream should have been realized, but instead men have been overcome by temptations, weaknesses and desires for power–conditions which seem to exist in all governments.


With the restoration of a kingdom of light came all the corresponding powers of a kingdom of darkness. Within 50 years of the birth of the American nation, mortal and spiritual forces began to destroy it. However, the devil can do nothing unless human agencies do his bidding. Men in all the various guises of political, religion and social arenas became agents of evil.


The Mormon people, without much effort on their part, had caused hatred to develop among gentile priests and [71] politicians alike. On July 20, 1833, a force of over 500 of the opposition gathered at the town hall in Independence, Missouri. They appealed to the state government to remove the Saints from Jackson County. They “warned” the Mormons that they must sell all their property and leave. This aroused more mob wrath and hatred resulting in mobbing, burning, whipping, raping and murdering. Governor Boggs was no help; he, too, told the Mormons they must leave the county.


The Prophet Joseph Smith described these events:


In the course of this day’s wicked, outrageous, and unlawful proceedings [tarring and feathering at Independence, MO.], many solemn realities of human degradation, as well as thrilling incidents were presented to the Saints. An armed and well organized mob, in a government professing to be governed by law, with the Lieutenant Governor (Lilburn W. Boggs), the second officer in the state, calmly looking on, and secretly aiding every movement, saying to the Saints, “You now know what our Jackson boys can do, and you must leave the county;” and all the justices, judges, constables, sheriffs, and military officers, headed by such western missionaries and clergymen as the Reverends McCoy, Kavanaugh, Hunter, Fitzhugh, Pixley, Likens, and Lovelady, consisting of Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and all the different sects of religionists that inhabited that country, with that great moral reformer, and register of the land office at Lexington, forty miles east, known as the head and father of the Cumberland Presbyterians, even the Reverend Finis Ewing, publicly publishing that `Mormons were the common enemies of mankind, and ought to be destroyed’–all these solemn realities were enough to melt the heart of a savage; while there was not a solitary offense on record, or proof, that a Saint had broken the law of the land.” (DHC 1:391-392)


[72]  By the winter of 1833 the violence had increased until the Saints had to take up arms to protect themselves. The result of these clashes caused Lt. Gov. Lillburn Boggs to send in the state militia on November 4th and to disarm both sides–but it was only the Mormons who gave up their guns. The Saints were thus mobbed and persecuted worse than ever, until they fled the country in desperation. Parley P. Pratt described the scene:


The shore [of the Missouri] began to be lined on both sides of the ferry with men, women and children, goods, wagons, boxes, provisions, etc., while the ferry was constantly employed; and when night closed upon us the cottonwood bottom had much the appearance of a camp meeting. Hundreds of people were seen in every direction, some in tents and some in the open air around fires, where the rain descended in torrents. Husbands were inquiring for their wives, wives for their husbands; parents for children and children for parents. . . . The scene was indescribable, and, I am sure, would have melted the hearts of any people on earth, except our blind oppressors, and a blind and ignorant community. (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 1980 pb ed., p. 102)


The Saints settled in Clay County but were told that they could stay there only temporarily. Within two years their numbers increased so much that the original settlers demanded that they move on. From there they went to the upper part of Ray County which was very sparsely settled at that time. By 1837 they dedicated a place for their temple.


Meanwhile, in Kirtland, Ohio, the Saints were also having problems of apostasy and persecution. Added to these troubles was the financial crash of 1837 caused by the abundance of paper money. The notes had no legal value as currency and were rejected by their creditors. The Prophet explained:


[73]        It seemed as though all the powers of earth and hell were combining their influence in an especial manner to overthrow the Church at once, and make a final end. (DHC 2:487)


The Saints were forced to abandon their homes, lands and their temple. The Mormon settlements in northern Missouri grew quickly and by 1838 there were over 15,000 members. Once again this caused concern among the Missourians. In August a group of Mormons went to cast their votes but were met by a mob who tried to prevent them from casting their ballots. A fight ensued and the mob left but only long enough to gather more numbers and strength. They began a constant battle of robbery, raping, beatings and burning.


Most of the persecutions were directed at the Mormons merely because they were Mormons. The people in the surrounding areas acted as if they had been seriously injured and clamored for the public officials to destroy the Mormons. On August 30, 1838, a petition from people in Daviess and Livingstone Counties was sent to Gov. Boggs, calling the Mormons “impostors, rebels, Canadian refugees, emissaries of the prince of darkness.” The Prophet Joseph said it contained “all the falsehoods and lies that the evil genius of mobocrats, villains, and murderers could invent, charging the `Mormons’ with every crime they themselves had been guilty of. . . .” (DHC 3:76)


But what could a comparatively small group of people do when they are overpowered by so many more wicked people? The Saints first retaliated by sending a petition to Gov. Boggs, which said in part:


[74]        . . . whereas, your petitioners have on the 20th instant, been sorely aggrieved, by being beset by a lawless mob, certain inhabitants of this and other counties, to the injury of the good citizens of this and the adjacent places; that on the aforesaid day, there came from one hundred to one hundred and fifty armed men, and threatened with force and violence, to drive certain peaceable citizens from their homes, in defiance of all law, and threatened then to drive said citizens out of the county, but, on deliberation, concluded to give them, said citizens, till the first of October next, to leave said county; and threatened, if not gone by that time, to exterminate them, without regard to age or sex, and destroy their chattels, by throwing them into the river. (DHC 3:82)


Nevertheless, in October, Gov. Boggs issued what has become known as the “Exterminating Order.”


Governor Boggs’ Exterminating Order

Headquarters Militia, City of Jefferson

October 27, 1838


Sir: Since the order of the morning to you, directing you to cause four hundred mounted men to be raised within your division, I have received by Amos Rees, Esq., and Wiley C. Williams, Esq., one of my aids, information of the most appalling character, which changes the whole face of things, and places the Mormons in the attitude of open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made open war upon the people of this state. Your orders are, therefore, to hasten your operations and endeavor to reach Richmond, in Ray County, with all possible speed. The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state, if necessary, for the public good. (DHC 3:175)


Generals Alexander Doniphan and David R. Atchison had both been trying to stop the mobs from attacking the Mormon [75] settlements. When Boggs’ extermination order came to them, Atchison resigned his commission. In a letter to the governor he said he would not disgrace himself or permit the troops under his command to disgrace the state by acting as part of a mob. Doniphan also refused to carry out the order. However, Gen. Samuel D. Lucas, under the command of Gen. Clark, brought the state militia to Far West where the Mormons were put under arrest and forced to give up their arms. This was followed by heinous crimes upon the Saints–looting, ransacking, beating unarmed men and ravishing their wives and daughters.


On the night of November 1st, Gen. Lucas ordered a court martial for Joseph Smith and four others on the charge of treason, and they were sentenced to be shot at sunrise in the public square of Far West as an example to the rest of the Saints. Lucas sent the following order to Gen. Doniphan:


Brigadier-General Doniphan: Sir, You will take Joseph Smith and the other prisoners into the public square of Far West, and shoot them at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning. [Signed] Samuel D. Lucas, Major-General Commanding. (CHC 1:489-490)


But Doniphan returned a reply to Lucas:


Major-General Lucas: Sir, It is cold-blooded murder; I will not obey your order. My brigade shall march for Liberty tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock; and if you execute these men, I will hold you responsible before an earthly tribunal, so help me God. (CHC 1:490)


The Mormons claimed they knew firsthand that Boggs, Clark, Lucas, Wilson Gillium and King, had committed treason against the citizens of Missouri, expelling them from the State. These men were the principal cause of murdering nearly 450 [76] men, women and children, then forcing the remainder of nearly 15,000 others to leave the state in the dead of winter. All the while the Mormons thought that the Constitution and its government would protect them from such savagery.


Although they were not executed, Joseph and the others were imprisoned throughout the winter until the summer of 1839, when they were able to make their escape into Illinois. By then most of the Saints had left Missouri and had settled in Illinois.


The days were cold and bleak, but the clamor for the instant removal of the Mormons was so great that the old and young, and sick and feeble, delicate women and suckling children, almost without food and clothing, were compelled to abandon their homes and firesides to seek new homes in a distant state. (Mormonism, Americanism and Politics, Richard Vetterli, p. 95)


George A. Smith reported that–


. . . the Latter-day Saints paid the United States Government some $318,000 for land in the State of Missouri, but yet, in the winter and early spring of 1839, they were expelled from that State, with the entire loss of their lands and improvements and most of their personal property, under an extermination order from Lillburn W. Boggs, Governor of that State,… (JD 13:79)


Even after the Mormons had left the state, the Missourians would not give up their fight against them. They tried to extradite Joseph Smith, and several times tried to kidnap him. Other Church members had been kidnapped and taken into Missouri to be beaten. Opposition from New York, Ohio, Missouri and now Illinois continued; however, reasons for persecution in Illinois became more apparent than in the other states.


[77]  Many politicians planned for the death of Joseph Smith. “It was rumored that a strong political party numbering in its ranks many of the prominent men of the nation, were engaged in a plot for the overthrow of Joseph Smith.” (Rise and Fall of Nauvoo, B. H. Roberts, p. 404) In addition, over 200 apostates in Nauvoo plotted and planned for the Prophet’s death, such as John C. Bennett, William and Wilson Law, Francis and Chauncey Higbee, and Robert and Charles Foster. Why were both Church apostates and government traitors plotting the death of Joseph Smith? Helen Mar Whitney explained:


It was the popularity of Joseph as candidate for the Presidency, and the power and influence that the Mormon people were gaining, that created a feeling of fear among the apostates and corrupt politicians, and a deeper hatred took possession of their hearts, similar to that which was felt by the Jews towards Jesus Christ, and like them they were determined to put an end to his earthly career. (Woman’s Exponent, 11:114)


Thus, it was not just plural marriage that caused Joseph Smith and other leaders so much trouble and persecution, as George Q. Cannon stated:


It is not plural marriage alone in the minds of hundreds, and I may say thousands, who have examined this question. There is something more than this; there is something behind this, something that is greater than this, and that is the organization of the people, the union of the people, that which many men call the theocracy of this organization. It was that which excited the mob, in the earliest days of the organization. * * * In other words you must break up; we cannot endure your organization, your coming together and being united as you are. We fear you will take possession of our principal counties, and your political influence will be so great that in time [78] you will hold control of this country; and we cannot endure it, and you must go. (JD 24:103-104)


LDS apostates published a periodical in Nauvoo called the Nauvoo Expositor which demanded the repeal of the Nauvoo Charter and the dissolution of their government. It presented a difficult situation for the Saints. If they destroyed the press, charges of freedom of the press would be an excuse for the mobbers to retaliate. If the press were allowed to continue, then the material it contained would arouse the mobbers even more. It was a no-win dilemma. It was decided the press would be destroyed by the city council–and then all hell broke loose. The Warsaw Signal newspaper editorialized: War and extermination is inevitable! Citizens arise. One and All! Can you stand by, and suffer such infernal devils to rob men of their property and rights, without avenging them? We have no time to comment; every man will make his own. Let it be made with powder and ball! (“Warsaw Signal,” June 12, 1844)


As a result of the press destruction in Nauvoo, a mass meeting was held in Carthage to make some resolutions, one of which was, in part:


We must not only defend ourselves from danger, but we must resolutely carry the war into the enemy’s camp. We do therefore declare that we will . . . hold ourselves at all times in readiness to cooperate with our fellow-citizens in this state, Missouri, and Iowa, to exterminate, utterly exterminate, the wicked and abominable Mormon leaders, the authors of our troubles; * * *

That the Prophet and his miscreant adherents should then be demanded at their hands; and, if not surrendered, a war of extermination should be waged to the entire destruction, if necessary for our protection, of his adherents. (DHC 6:463-464)


[79]  Isn’t it strange that the common people, Christian ministers and local and state government officials, would all join forces to persecute and destroy a Christian people who had done no one any harm? Very few of these persecutors even knew any Mormons personally, but yet they eagerly jumped for their guns and were anxious for a chance to kill them.


If Joseph Smith had started just another regular Christian church, he would not have had any persecution. If he had entered the political arena with just another ordinary platform, he would have undoubtedly gained popularity. But his restoration of the fullness of Christ’s gospel was instantly met with persecution, and his explanation of God’s government resulted in his death.


Introducing the Kingdom of God is the same as a declaration of war to the kingdom of the devil. Joseph Smith lived only a few months after he organized God’s Kingdom on earth. But to create a war, the devil needs mortal soldiers to do his dirty deeds of persecution, war, and murder. As a result, Joseph Smith became the victim of many local, state and federal government conspiracies assisted by mobs, ministers, Masons and Mormons.


It has been said that whether those persecuted are right or wrong, the persecutors are always wrong. But unfortunately, here in America, under the banner of the Constitution, some of the worst conspiracies and murders have occurred–in this “land of the free!”



[80]                              Chapter 8




We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. (9th Article of Faith)


I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 366)


The scriptures tell us that God has a Kingdom, and He has instructed us to seek that Kingdom first above all else. To do so, we need to know what it is, how it is governed, and who belongs to it.


There are many questions that are not answered by the churches of our day, including the present LDS Church. It is interesting that no church leader today even claims to be an officer in that Kingdom of God.


Whether mankind likes it or not, God has the right to dictate in both the religious and political affairs of mankind. Under Moses and in other dispensations, God was the supreme ruler of both politics and religion. But, the apostate world of today does not believe God has a right to interfere with their affairs.


[81]  Joseph Smith envisioned something more than just a church that would be involved in the political or governmental affairs. Our present government insists upon a separation of Church and State, a concept that all religions seem to respect. The only exception to this rule is when the “State” consistently interferes with religion. Nearly all religious bodies are required to become incorporated with the State. This places them both under jeopardy. Under our present system neither government nor religion is being governed by God.


Nevertheless, in the “restoration of all things,” the Latter-day Saints learned that God could and did reveal the same gospel and government that existed anciently. However, Joseph Smith understood that even though there should be a separation of Church and State, God should still have a say in both organizations. As it was set up, the Council of Fifty in the Kingdom of God was to have an influence in both areas. Dr. Hyrum Andrus, BYU professor and author, explained three major concepts concerning this special council.


[First] It gives conclusive evidence that the Prophet included within his concept of the Kingdom of God the development of a political government that would be administered under the direction of the Priesthood of Zion. The Kingdom of God, then, was considered as something more than the Church. It included the idea of a future world government where the Church and State were to be separate bodies, but united in the fact that both institutions were to be subject to priesthood direction.


Second, this study establishes the fact that Joseph Smith laid the foundation of the Kingdom of God in its political, as well as in its religious, sphere. Thus, he revealed the political principles and philosophy of the millennial government, and organized it in embryonic form upon the earth. * * *


[Third] From the spring of 1844 to at least 1870 the political organ the Prophet organized played a [82] dominant role in the history of the Mormon movement. It was this body, not the Church, that planned and carried out the Exodus. After locating the Saints in the Great Basin, this political body then organized and incorporated itself into the State of Deseret. (Frontispiece of Joseph Smith and World Government, Andrus)


If we believe in the theocratic government that Moses established, then we must believe that such a system can and should exist now. What good is a kingdom if there is nothing for the king to preside over? The earth belongs to God, we are His children and He has said that the Kingdom belongs to Him. If there is such a kingdom, then should it not have members? Should the members be instructed from on High? Certainly if a true religion was restored to Joseph Smith, then he must have had information about God’s government.


We will discuss further Dr. Andrus’ three aspects of this special part of God’s Kingdom:


(1)  Joseph Smith’s Concept of World Government

(2)  Joseph Smith’s Foundation for the Kingdom of God

(3)  The Exodus and the State of Deseret


  1. Joseph Smith’s Concept of World Government


The Prophet Joseph made some very accurate and reasonable statements regarding the Kingdom of God. They sound like revelations of pure inspiration. However, he was able to share with the Saints only a small part of his understanding and knowledge:


If man has grown to wisdom and is capable of discerning the propriety of laws to govern nations, what less can be expected from the Ruler and Upholder of the universe? Can we suppose that He has a [83] kingdom without laws? Or do we believe that it is composed of an innumerable company of beings who are entirely beyond all law? Consequently have need of nothing to govern or regulate them? Would not such ideas be a reproach to our Great Parent, and at variance with his glorious intelligence? Would it not be asserting that man had found out a secret beyond Deity? That he had learned that it was good to have laws, while God after existing from eternity and having power to create man, had not found out that it was proper to have laws for His government? We admit that God is the great source and fountain from whence proceeds all good; that He is perfect intelligence, and that His wisdom is alone sufficient to govern and regulate the mighty creations and worlds which shine and blaze with such magnificence and splendor over our heads, as though touched with His finger and moved by His Almighty word. And if so, it is done and regulated by law; for without law all must certainly fall into chaos. If, then, we admit that God is the source of all wisdom and understanding, we must admit that by His direct inspiration He has taught man that law is necessary in order to govern and regulate His own immediate interest and welfare; for this reason, that law is beneficial to promote peace and happiness among men. (TPJS, p. 55)


Included in his concept of the Kingdom of God, Joseph said that once it was set up in the last days, it should never be destroyed:


The ancient prophets declared that in the last days the God of heaven should set up a kingdom which should never be destroyed, nor left to other people; and the very time that was calculated on, this people were struggling to bring it out. (TPJS, p. 365)



  1. Joseph Smith’s Foundation for the Kingdom of God


It is one thing to theorize and speculate on the meaning and philosophy of this “Kingdom of God,” but quite another to prepare, organize and put it into effect. Such talent and ability is far beyond the scope of modern Christian ministers.


With all the other work that Joseph Smith had to do, it is a wonder that he even thought about such a task as organizing the Kingdom of God. As leader of the people and president of the Church, he was busy laying out cities, building schools and temples, solving problems, establishing missions and calling missionaries, translating records, conducting meetings, and even spending time in courts and jails. Yet, he still had the vision and understanding of one of God’s most important works–the establishment of His Kingdom.


On March 11, 1844, Joseph Smith organized a group of men into a body which he called his “Special Council.” Joseph mentioned the 23 men in attendance at that Council meeting and described the purpose of this Council:


Present–Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, George A. Smith, William W. Phelps, John M. Bernhisel, Lucien Woodworth, George Miller, Alexander Badlam, Peter Haws, Erastus Snow, Reynolds Cahoon, Amos Fielding, Alpheus Cutler, Levi Richards, Newel K. Whitney, Lorenzo D. Wasson, and William Clayton, whom I organized into a special council, to take into consideration the subject matter contained in the above letters, and also the best policy for this people to adopt to obtain their rights from the nation and insure protection for themselves and children; and to secure a resting place in the mountains, or some uninhabited region, where we can enjoy the liberty of conscience [85] guaranteed to us by the Constitution of our country, rendered doubly sacred by the precious blood of our fathers, and denied to us by the present authorities, who have smuggled themselves into power in the States and Nation. (DHC 6:260-261)


Two months later, on May 12, 1844, Joseph spoke before a group of Saints:


I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world. (DHC 6:365)


Most of the Saints probably thought this had reference to missionary work or the widespread news of the restoration, but there were a few who knew what he was really talking about. Those few were with him nearly a year before when he had told them of a body of men that would be the nucleus for the Kingdom of God. Such an idea was based upon a revelation received about 13 years earlier. (See D & C 65:5-6.) The body of men was called by various names: “The Kingdom of God and its Laws,” “Council of the Kingdom,” “The General Council,” etc., until it became known as the “Council of Fifty,” so designated because of the number of men belonging to it.


Among the Fifty were included at least two men who were not members of the LDS Church. These men were recognized as representatives of the gentile, non-Mormon community who should have a say and vote on vital issues. We can assume that Colonel Thomas L. Kane, the “friend of the Mormons,” was perhaps a member of this Council, because he participated in some of their meetings at a critical time.


Another non-member was Daniel H. Wells, Justice of the Peace in Nauvoo and general adviser to the Mormons in some of their problems. He was later baptized and eventually became a member of the First Presidency under Brigham Young.


[86]  In time, others were also appointed to the Council, but it is difficult to get much information on them because of the secret and sensitive nature of this Council.


William Clayton’s journal refers to a certain Council, some of whose members were the same as those in the Council of Twelve, but they were functioning in a totally separate capacity:


Soon after, all of the members of the Council of the K. of G. in the camp, except Bro. Thomas Bullock, went onto the bluffs and selecting a small, circular, level spot surrounded by the bluffs and out of sight, we clothed ourselves in the priestly garments and offered up prayer to God. . . . The members of the above Council are Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, Amasa Lyman, Ezra T. Benson, Phineas H. Young, John Pack, Charles Shumway, Shadrack Roundy, Albert P. Rockwood, Erastus Snow, myself, William Clayton, Albert Carrington, and Porter Rockwell. (Clayton Journal, p. 203)


Little was known or reported about the organization of this new government on March 11, 1844, nor do we know about revelations that may have been given to this Council. However, in a private journal of John Taylor, he mentioned a revelation concerning this Kingdom. It was dated June 22, 1882, 40 years after the first revelation concerning this Kingdom. This revelation acknowledged God’s establishment of the Kingdom through Joseph Smith, that it was organized for the purpose of liberty throughout the world, and that he, God, claims the right to rule in both the Church and the Kingdom. The pertinent passages are as follows:


  1. Thus saith the Lord God, who rules in the heavens above and in the earth beneath: I have introduced my Kingdom and my government, even the [87] Kingdom of God, that my servants have heretofore prophesied of and that I taught my disciples to pray for, saying:
  2. “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” for the establishment of my rule for the introduction of my law, for the protection of my church, and for the maintenance, promulgation and protection of civil and religious liberty in this nation and throughout the world;
  3. And all men of every nation, color and creed shall yet be protected and shielded thereby;
  4. And every nation and kindred, and people, and tongue shall yet bow the knee to me and acknowledge me to be Ahman Christ to the glory of God the Father.
  5. And my law and my rule and my dominion shall yet be known and extended to all people.
  6. And now, behold, I speak unto you through my servant John, whom you have acknowledged and shall acknowledge as my spokesman. * * *
  7. He [J. Smith] was called and ordained to this office before the world was. He was called by me; and empowered by me, and sustained by me to introduce and establish my Church and Kingdom upon the earth;
  8. And to be Prophet, Seer and Revelator to my Church and Kingdom; and to be a King and Ruler over Israel.
  9. He was slain for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God; but he yet lives, and is with me where I am.
  10. And now I speak unto you who are members of this Council, and of my Kingdom, and I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples of old, Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.
  11. I called you by my servant Joseph, and by my servant Brigham, and by my servant John. You did not teach and instruct me; but I have taught and instructed you and organized you according to my eternal laws.
  12. Ye are my Constitution, and I am your God; and I will be acknowledged and my will and my word and my law shall bear rule in my Kingdom, saith the [88] Lord. (Revelation to John Taylor, June 22, 1882, Revelations, 1880-1890, Pioneer Press, pp. 25-27)


Brigham Young recalled in 1874 the distinction between the organization of the Latter-day Saint Church and the Kingdom of God:


I will say to you with regard to the kingdom of God on the earth–Here is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, organized with its rules, regulations and degrees, with the quorums of the holy Priesthood, from the First Presidency to the teachers and deacons; here we are, an organization. God called upon Joseph, he called upon Oliver Cowdery, then others were called through Joseph, the Church was organized, he with his two counselors comprised the First Presidency. In a few years the Quorum of the Twelve was organized, the High Council was organized, the High Priests’ quorum was organized, the Seventies’ quorums were organized, and the Priests’ quorum, the Teachers’ quorum and the Deacons’. This is what we are in the habit of calling the kingdom of God. But there are further organizations. The Prophet gave a full and complete organization to this kingdom the Spring before he was killed. This kingdom is the kingdom that Daniel spoke of, which was to be set up in the last days; it is the kingdom that is not to be given to another people; it is the kingdom that is to be held by the servants of God, to rule the nations of the earth, . . . (JD 17:156)


Once again, it is evident that this “secret” organization of the Council of Fifty was completely separate from the LDS Church. Public exposure of this new “government” would bring down the wrath of the gentile world. The principle of plural marriage was also being taught secretly about that same time, but it was not as well kept as the Council of Fifty. Such beliefs and practices were a heavy burden on the shoulders of Joseph Smith, so when they were both more fully established, he felt relieved that others could share the burden.


[89]  Benjamin Johnson recalled one of Joseph’s last sermons which has been called his “last charge:”


With great feeling and animation he graphically reviewed his life of persecution, labor and sacrifice for the church and the Kingdom of God, both of which he declared now organized upon the earth, the burden of which had become too great for him longer to carry, that he was weary and tired with the weight he had so long borne, and he then said, with great vehemence: “And in the name of the Lord, I now shake from my shoulders the responsibility of bearing off the Kingdom of God to all the world, and here and now I place that responsibility, with all the keys, powers and privileges pertaining thereto, upon the shoulders of you the Twelve Apostles, in connection with this council: and if you will accept this, to do it, God shall bless you mightily and shall open your way, and if you do it not you will be damned.” (Benjamin F. Johnson Letter to George F. Gibbs, p. 18)


Wilford Woodruff also related how relieved the Prophet was when others could finally share in the responsibilities of the Council and the Kingdom:


It was not merely a few hours ministering to them the ordinances of the Gospel; but he spent day after day, week after week, and month after month, teaching . . . the things of the Kingdom of God. Said he, during that period, “I now rejoice. I have lived until I have seen this burden, which has rested on my shoulders, rolled on to the shoulders of other men; now the keys of the kingdom are planted on the earth to be taken away no more for ever.” (JD 13:164)


Secrecy of the establishment of the Kingdom and Council was extremely important, and even when mention was made, it was covered up or in code. John D. Lee kept a record of meetings of the Council of Fifty, and in his own way he [90] would reverse the letters in an attempt to keep it a secret. For example, in April 1846, he wrote in his diary:


(April 2, 1846) . . . at 11 a.m. a convention of the council met some 200 yards south of the encampment. Pres[ent] of the Twelve: B. Young, H. C. Kimball, O. Pratt, P. P. Pratt, G. A. Smith. Father John Smith, Bishop Miller, A. P. Rockwood, Shadrack Roundy, B. F. Johnson, [and] J. D. Lee [were also present] of the council of the Y T F I F, Capt. Stuart, Winter, Benson & others.

Sat. Apr. 18, `46. Pleasant Point Encampment. Council convened in the grove west of the encampment at 10 a.m.  Present of the Twelve: Pres. B. Young, H. C. Kimball, John Taylor, P. P. Pratt, and Willard Richards. Of the council of the Y T F I F–Bishop Whitney, G. Miller, Wm. Clayton, John Smith, Samuel Bent, J. M. Grant, C. Shumway, Theodore Turley, P. B. Lewis, E. Snow, J. D. Lee and Peter Haws, and a number of the commanders of companies. (Diary of John D. Lee)


The Kingdom of God was a literal government, but is was not a threat or danger to the rights and liberties of Americans. In fact, the U.S. Constitution and the constitution of the Kingdom of God were very similar. In 1859, Brigham Young gave an excellent speech on the laws and organization of the Kingdom of God. Excerpts follow:


But few, if any, understand what a theocratic government is. In every sense of the word, it is a republican government, and differs but little in form from our National, State, and Territorial Governments; but its subjects will recognize the will and dictation of the Almighty. * * *

The Constitution and laws of the United States resemble a theocracy more closely than any government now on the earth, . . .

Whoever lives to see the kingdom of God fully established upon the earth will see a government that will protect every person in his rights. If that [91] government was now reigning upon this land of Joseph, you would see the Roman Catholic, the Greek Catholic, the Episcopalian, . . . (etc.) and every class of worshippers most strictly protected in all their municipal rights and in the privilege of worshipping who, what, and when they pleased, not infringing upon the rights of others. Does any candid person in his sound judgment desire any greater liberty? * * *

When the Saints of the Most High are established upon the earth, and are prepared to receive the kingdom of God in its fulness, as foretold by the Prophet Daniel, they will have power to protect themselves and all the sons and daughters of Adam in their rights. * * *

Jehovah has decreed and plainly foretold the establishment of his kingdom upon this earth; and it will prove to me a shield to the ordinances of his house, in the endowments, and in all the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God with which the Priesthood, so to speak, is clothed. * * *

The kingdom of God will be extended over the earth; and it is written, “I will make thine officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.” Is that day ever coming? It is; and the doctrine we preach leads to that point. Even now the form of the Government of the United States differs but little from that of the kingdom of God. * * *

The kingdom that the Almighty will set up in the latter days will have its officers, and those officers will be peace. Every man that officiates in a public capacity will be filled with the Spirit of God, with the light of God, with the power of God, . . .

I know that the kingdom of God is in its youth upon this earth, and that the principles of life and salvation are freely proffered to the people all over the world. * * * When the kingdom of God is established upon the earth, people will find it to be very different from what they now imagine. Will it be in the least degree tyrannical and oppressive towards any human being? No, it will not; for such is not the kingdom of God. (See JD 6:342-346.)


[92]  Names were gradually added to the Council of Fifty through the years, with membership averaging fifty or more. Klaus Hansen gives a list of names of those members that served on the Council at some time during the years 1844 to 1880:


Babbitt, Almon                Lewis, P. B.

Badlam, Alexander       Little, Feramorz

Benson, Ezra Taft       Lott, Cornelius P.

Bent, Samuel                  Lyman, Amasa

Bernhisel, John M.            Lyman, Francis M.

Brown, Uriah                  Marks, William

Bullock, Thomas         Miller, George

Burton, Robert T.       Morley, Isaac

Cahoon, Reynolds        Nuttall, L. John

Cannon, Angus M.        Pack, John

Cannon, George Q.       Page, John E.

Carrington, Albert            Parker, John D.

Clayton, William        Phelps, William W.

Clinton, Jeter                Pratt, Orson

Cluff, W. W.                  Pratt, Parley P.

Coolidge, Joseph W.           Pratt, Parley P., Jr.

Cutler, Alpheus         Preston, William B.

Eldredge, Horace        Rich, Charles C.

Emmett, James                 Rich, Joseph C.

Fielding, Amos                Richards, Franklin D.

Fielding, John                Richards, Franklin S.

Fullmer, John S.        Richards, H. J.

Grant, George D.        Richards, Levi

Grant, Jedediah M.            Richards, Willard

Haws, Peter             Rockwell, Orin Porter

Heywood, Joseph L.            Rockwood, Albert P.

Hollister, D. S.        Roundy, Shadrach

Hooper, William H.            Scott, John

Hunter, Edward, Jr.           Sharp, John

Hyde, Orson             Shumway, Charles

James, Samuel                 Smith, Elias

Jennings, William       Smith, George A.

Johnson, Benjamin F.    Smith, Hyrum

Kimball, Charles S.           Smith, Joseph

Kimball, David P.       Smith, Joseph F.

Kimball, Heber C.       Smith, John

Kimball, H. P.                Smith, John Henry

Lee, John D.                  Smith, Silas S.


(Quest for Empire, Hansen, p. 227)


[93]  Among the responsibilities of the Council of Fifty was to promote Joseph Smith as a candidate for the U.S. Presidency. This would place Joseph in a position to propose laws that would lead the people toward the millennial rule of the Kingdom of God. Dr. Hyrum Andrus noted:


The Prophet was aware that should he be elected, it would only be by the greatest possible effort and through the favor of fortune. Said George Miller: “It was thought and urged by the council that so great an undertaking would require, in order to insure success, the entire and united effort of the official members of the church.” Accordingly, the Quorum of the Twelve made arrangement for a series of conferences to be held in strategic places throughout the Union, terminating at Washington, D.C., the following September 7th through the 15th. Besides the twelve, nearly 340 of the most capable men in the Church were also sent out to work in the Prophet’s interest throughout the Union. That the general Council [of Fifty] was involved in these matters is evident not only from Miller’s comments but also from the following notation made by Joseph Smith, April 25th:

“In general council from 10 till 12, and from 2 to 5, when they adjourned sine die, after appointing a State Convention to meet in Nauvoo on 17th May. The council then dispersed to go abroad in the nations.” (Joseph Smith and World Government, p. 56)


One of the last meetings recorded of Joseph’s meeting with the Council was on May 6, 1844:


Monday, 6.–Attended general council all day. Elder J. M. Grant was added to the Council. . . . Sidney Rigdon was nominated as a candidate for the Vice-Presidency of the United States. (DHC 6:356)


The next month the Prophet was murdered. The campaign, the Church and the Kingdom were all thrown into disarray.



  1. The Exodus and the State of Deseret


The government and people of the United States generally wanted no part of the Mormon religion or politics. They thought by killing their prophet and many of his followers that they could drive them into the wilderness. The Saints realized that freedom of religion and politics was only a meaningless verbal expression, so they knew they could no longer stay in Illinois. The Saints began to prepare for an exodus into the wilderness under the direction of the Council of Fifty. It was an exodus similar to that of Moses and the children of Israel–and for similar reasons. They even organized into companies as did the children of Israel:


I [Brigham Young] called the brethren together and instructed the captains of hundreds to raise money in their respective companies and send for cloth for tent ends and wagon covers; . . .

Those not organized were instructed to join the Pioneers, and all to organize into companies of tens. (DHC 7:591-592)


At first the Saints were in a quandary as to what to do and where to go. Some had considered going to Texas, Oregon or California. Brigham Young, president of both the Council of Twelve and the Council of Fifty, was obligated to learn the Lord’s will in this regard. Apostle George A. Smith described what happened:


After the death of Joseph Smith, when it seemed as if every trouble and calamity had come upon the Saints, Brigham Young, who was President of the Twelve, then the presiding Quorum of the Church, sought the Lord to know what they should do, and where they should lead the people for safety; and while they were fasting and praying daily on this subject, President Young had a vision of Joseph Smith, who showed him the mountain that we now call Ensign [95] Peak, immediately north of Salt Lake City, and there was an ensign fell upon that peak, and Joseph said, “Build under the point where the colors fall and you will prosper and have peace.” The Pioneers had no pilot or guide; none among them had ever been in the country or knew anything about it. However, they traveled under the direction of President Young until they reached this valley. (JD 13:85)


A great burden was put upon the shoulders of Brigham Young, but he carried it well. It was also a very trying time for the Saints, and many apostatized.


Brother Brigham usually receives the entire credit for being a great colonizer and leader of the Saints–and indeed he was–but according to Hyrum Andrus, Brigham was acting under the direction and guidance of Joseph Smith:


As Brigham Young presented himself before the Saints as their leader and lawgiver in the stead of their martyred Prophet, it is reported by several reliable witnesses that the mantle of Joseph fell upon him with such power that it seemed as though Joseph and not Brigham addressed the Saints that day. This incident was but the great consummation in the merging of Joseph into Brigham. That fusion process had been going on for some ten years past. And with its completion Brigham Young was prepared to build upon the foundation that Joseph had laid with a minimum of deviation. Thus, in many ways it was Joseph, not Brigham, who launched the exodus and successfully carried it out; it was Joseph, not Brigham, who founded the Saints in the West, in their political as well as in their religious capacity. In this great project, the General Council played a dominant role. As previously noted, it was that body of men who laid the plans for the exodus and thereafter made all major decisions in carrying out the project. This fact has not been known to historians. It appreciably alters the existing concept of the move to [96] the West, in that it indicates that the initiative in these matters was not taken by the Church as a religious body, but by men acting in a political capacity under the direction of the priesthood. (Joseph Smith and World Government, Andrus, pp. 68-69)


As soon as the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, they began establishing a government. It was their first chance to really organize the Kingdom of God, as they finally had all the necessary ingredients: the people, the territory, the laws and a president (or king). They designated the boundaries for a new state to be called “Deseret;” established a government; claimed citizens for the state; and appointed Brigham Young as governor. The proposed boundaries and all their plans were sent to Washington, D.C., for approval.


The Mormons were ready to legally introduce the laws of the Kingdom, which were not unlike those of the U.S. Constitution. They planned to make peace with the Indians, establish roads, introduce routes for mail service, and follow the pattern of government similar to the other states of the Union. They would bring law and order to a wide territory, called the Great Basin Kingdom. All of this would result in more land for America and at the same time save the government the cost of colonizing expenses and the effort of sending men to govern the area–yet they would still have federal jurisdiction. It was a perfect plan for Washington, if they could just see what an opportunity it really was.


This proposed territory was to be four times larger than the current state of Utah. It provided intermountain water rights, immediate legal control, and fertile land for farming or cattle. The proposal for this new state included the following territory:




Known as the Great Basin Kingdom


compiled by E. R. Varner in 1940

(See similar drawing in Great Basin Kingdom, Leonard Arrington, p. 86.)


The Saints were grateful to finally have their own territory and government.


We, the people, grateful to the Supreme Being for the blessings hitherto enjoyed, and feeling our dependence on him for a continuation of those blessings, do ordain and establish a free and independent government, by the name of the “State of Deseret;” including all the territory of the United States within the following boundaries. . . . (A written description of the above map followed.) (CHC 3:424)


[98]  This application to Congress suggested that since they had not yet provided any form of civil government for the area and since they had fears that Mexico might extend their jurisdiction over that land, it would save the government time, money and men if the Mormons were to establish this government under the Constitutional guidelines. The Council of Fifty drafted a state constitution, which was later recognized as being superior to that of any other state in the Union.


The provisional state government of Deseret went into effect July 2, 1849, with a roster of state officers. Almond Babbit was elected as delegate and representative to Congress.


The new government of the “Kingdom” provided a military organization, which was a revival of the “Nauvoo Legion.” One of the first assignments of this little “army” was to settle some disputes with hostile Indian tribes.

Further work of the Council was to prepare places and people for pioneer settlements, some of the first being Pleasant Grove, American Fork, Lehi, Springville and Payson. Further communities were planned both north and south to include a distance of over 250 miles.


At that time, the population of the new state was about 15,000 people. When you consider so few people doing so much, it proved their abilities to rule, regulate and conduct the affairs of a new state. These people had been (1) driven out of the United States, (2) had traveled all the way from Illinois to the Salt Lake Valley, and (3) had suffered extreme poverty. In addition, they had to break ground, make settlements, build forts, raise cattle, plant crops, build irrigation canals and govern themselves in peace, free from the crimes of most other settlements. It has been recognized worldwide that such an accomplishment has seldom been equaled anywhere else at any time.


[99]  The work of the Council of Fifty continued with relative ease because of the lack of crime among a people who were patriotic, religious and dedicated. They often celebrated their victories of the past and present with gratitude to God. B. H. Roberts noted:


Under the regime of the “State of Deseret” the people were wont to give expression to their loyalty, and voice their patriotic sentiments in song and speech and public festivities. Naturally, to these early Utah colonists, the greatest thing within their experience was their deliverance from what had been to them intolerance, oppression, and a sense of bondage; and their safe arrival in the Great Basin of the Rocky Mountains. (CHC 3:492)


Mormon proposals to the U.S. Government continued through the succeeding years, always with the same result. Because Congress did not want the “Mormons” to have political power, and because of annexing other states to the Union, the size of the “State of Deseret” kept diminishing, as can be seen from the following diagrams:


(diagram of the territory of Utah from 1849 to 1896)


(Back cover of Mormonism, Americanism and Politics, R. Vetterli)


[100] In spite of Mormon accomplishments, their dedication to the U.S. Constitution, and their patriotism, the U.S. Government still didn’t trust them or grant them any favors–politically or religiously. Thus, this provisional state government lasted only 2-1/2 years, at which time it was replaced by a territorial government. According to B. H. Roberts:


The “State of Deseret” continued her existence about two and a half years, then passed into history. She was but a provisional state, and her authority could have no sanctions except in the voluntary submission of the people to her ordinances, and the judicial and administrative acts of her officers. Not until the legislative assembly and the governor of the territory of Utah, by enactment, declared that such of her laws as were not in conflict with the organic act of the territory of Utah, were approved and should remain until superseded by other enactments, was legal sanction given to the proceeding of the “State of Deseret.” But notwithstanding these facts, the “State of Deseret,” her rise and rule until displaced by a territorial government, is an instructive chapter in the history of civil government in our country. Her creation and triumphant and peaceful reign for more than two years over the intermountain colonies, proclaim with singular force the ability of her people for self-government. (CHC 3:498)


However, the Council of Fifty continued to perform its political mission. It existed as a political organization for nearly 50 years–separate and distinct from the LDS Church.


During this period of western colonization, the Council of Fifty had an impressive list of accomplishments:


  1. They were responsible for re-organizing the Nauvoo Legion.


  1. They routed and helped build roads and bridges.
  2. They assisted in determining settlement locations.
  3. They established a police force and court system.
  4. They helped establish forts and towns.
  5. They took care of range and cattle problems.
  6. They managed the affairs for food storage and distribution.
  7. They handled disputes with the Indians.
  8. They made sure there were some of their members in the political governments.
  9. They were involved in the script, coins and marketing.
  10. They worked diligently to establish the State of Deseret.


Western history shows that persecution, lawyers, judges and governmental politics gradually diluted and dissolved the political concepts and powers of the Kingdom of God and the Council of Fifty. More and more laws were passed and enforced upon the Saints. Klaus Hansen agreed:


The promotion of the political Kingdom of God by Mormon leaders was one of the major reasons why the Saints were driven so relentlessly for over half a century. (Dialogue, Autumn 1966, p. 73)


When the gentiles formed the political Liberal Party in 1870, the Council of Fifty countered with the organization of the People’s Party. This party proclaimed and supported the objectives and principles of their own Council. It was effective and practical for about 20 years, but it died in 1892 because of the agreement Wilford Woodruff had made with the government in his 1890 Manifest–or “Official Declaration.” Thus, around the turn of the century, the definition, organization and duties of the Kingdom and Council changed significantly.


The Kingdom of God evolved from a powerful political entity into the organizational body of the LDS Church. [102] Sermons, publications and messages from the First Presidency struck serious blows to the historical accomplishments and effectiveness of the Council of Fifty. For example, a 1903 Christmas message to the Saints from the First Presidency contained the following:


And history repeats itself in the old cry of “treason” and the charges that the “Mormon” organization is imperium in imperio. Yet it does not attempt to exercise the power of a secular government, but its influence and effects are to strengthen and promote fidelity to the law and loyalty to the nation where its followers reside.

The phrase “church and kingdom” is frequently used by speakers and writers in reference to the system called “Mormonism.” It is solely an ecclesiastical organization. It is separate and distinct from the state. It does not interfere with any earthly government. * * *

Sermons, dissertations and arguments by preachers and writers in the Church concerning the Kingdom of God that is to be, are not to be understood as relating to the present. If they are so presented as to convey the idea that the dominion to come is to be exercised now, the claim is incorrect, no matter by whom set forth, because it is in direct conflict with Divine revelation to the Church. Such opinions do not weigh at all when placed in the scales against the word and command of Almighty God. (“Christmas Letter, from Joseph F. Smith, John Winder, and Anthon H. Lund,” 1903; Messages of the First Presidency, vol. 4, p. 78)


Two years later in the Smoot Investigation, Dr. James E. Talmage was asked about Orson Pratt’s treatise on “The Kingdom of God,” in which Pratt had written:


The kingdom of God is an order of government established by divine authority. It is the only legal government that can exist in any part of the [103] universe. All other governments are illegal and un-authorized. God, having made all beings and worlds, has the supreme right to govern them by His own laws, and by officers of His own appointment. Any people attempting to govern themselves by laws of their own making, and by officers of their own appointment, are in direct rebellion against the kingdom of God. (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 31)


These views seemed to seriously bother members of the investigation, as can be detected from the following dialogue:


Mr. Worthington: . . . Now, on this same general line, there is an extract in this record from one of Orson Pratt’s works about the “Kingdom of God.” We are familiar with it, and you have read it, I believe?

Mr. Talmage: I have read it; yes, sir.

Mr. Worthington: Which is capable, at least, of the interpretation that the church is superior to governmental authority of this nation or any other. What do you say as to whether, if it be interpreted in that way, it correctly states the doctrine of your church?

Mr. Talmage: When those utterances of Orson Pratt are so interpreted, they do not in any sense represent the doctrines or the spirit of the doctrines of the church. The particular publication to which you refer, and which you describe properly by its title, “The Kingdom of God,” appeared originally as a serial publication in one of the periodicals, the Millennial Star, if I remember correctly. It may, however, have been some other periodical. It was then published as a tract. If you will read the whole of that pamphlet, or tract, or article, you will see that the rather extreme statement and unguarded comparisons made in the first part are departed from and do not recur again in the latter part, or in the body of the article proper, and in the summary thereto you will see that no reference is made to an existing kingdom as a temporal power. But personally I can not accept that publication of his as [104] representing my views, as a member of the church, and I am sure that it does not represent the views of the members of the church generally. (Smoot Hearings, Jan. 18, 1905, vol. 3, p. 34)


Thus was the interpretation of the Kingdom of God beginning to be changed–at least publicly. And in connection with this, Klaus Hansen summarized the decline and fall of the Council of Fifty:


When, in 1890, Mormon President Wilford Woodruff issued the “Manifesto,” ostensibly ending the practice of polygamy, he did so to save not only the Church but also the Kingdom of God. The semantic distinction between the two terms–the one denoting strictly an ecclesiastical body, the other a political organization intended to prepare the world for a literal, political government of Christ during the Millennium–originated with Joseph Smith, who taught those attending the secret sessions of the Council of Fifty in Nauvoo that “The Kingdom of God is a separate organization from the Church of God.” To those who understand this difference, it will be apparent that if the Manifesto marked a watershed in Mormon history because it heralded the beginning of the end for polygamy, the following twenty years, though lacking the dramatic impact of Woodruff’s pronouncement, divided Mormon history even more conclusively and permanently because they witnessed the decline and virtual disappearance of the idea of the political Kingdom of God, so vigorously promoted by the Council of Fifty in the nineteenth century. (Dialogue, Autumn 1966, p. 69)


Although the Council of Fifty has been misunderstood, discarded, and nearly forgotten, it is still the hope and faith of many who hold the Priesthood that the Kingdom of God is not completely gone. Even one man holding the Priesthood of God can still represent that Kingdom, for Joseph Smith taught:



Whenever there has been a righteous man on earth unto whom God revealed His word and gave power and authority to administer in His name, and where there is a priest of God–a minister who has power and authority from God to administer in the ordinances of the gospel and officiate in the priesthood of God, there is the kingdom of God; . . . (TPJS, p. 271)


Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. (TPJS, p. 274)


The Council of Fifty may be denied, changed and forsaken, the Church may turn aside from eternal principles, and the Mormon people may revel in the glory of Babylon, but there will always be a few faithful Priesthood holders to uphold the principles of the Kingdom of God. Whatever may happen to the LDS Church, the Council of Fifty, or the governments of men, the Kingdom of God will not be entirely overthrown. Brigham Young prophesied:


In my reflections upon these things, I have ever realized that God has spoken from the heavens, and said that this kingdom should fill the whole earth, and that the kingdom and greatness of the kingdom under the whole heavens will eventually be given to the Saints of the Most High. (JD 8:304)


John Taylor also prophesied:


We have got this kingdom to build up; and it is not a phantom, but a reality. We have to do it, God expects it at our hands. . . . we have got to have political power. * * *

When the people shall have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States, the Elders of Israel will be found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, [106] and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations. * * *

The kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ, . . . (JD 21:8)


This is God’s future plan, and the Kingdom of God will yet come forth in power to shine like the rays of the morning sun and fulfill its destiny. God has a schedule, and it will be completed on time. The earth and everything in it will be under the direction of the Kingdom of God during the Millennium.


When God comes out of His hiding place, He will allow no competition. The church, state, nation and the kingdoms of the world will all be set in order, and everything will fall under the glorious rule and reign of the Kingdom of God.



[107]                             Chapter 9




You all say that we are to become a kingdom of kings and priests–of queens and priestesses; and the Bible supports this doctrine. (Heber C. Kimball, JD 8:349)


The average reader of the Bible may not notice the frequent use of the words king and kings, mentioned over 4,000 times in both ancient and modern scriptures. This title should be taken seriously and considered more than casually. It is interesting to note that this term is used more in connection with the House of Israel than pertaining to the kings of the world.


Many times the word king is used synonymously with prophet, priest or patriarch. The word is like a golden thread running throughout the scriptures, connecting all the important subjects and people together.


Kings in Ancient Times


When King David, King Solomon or other Israelite kings are mentioned in scripture, it not only denotes an office, but also a throne or kingdom with inherent rights. We can be assured that these have a connection with the Kingdom of God.


[108] Looking back a little further in time, we find that Abraham received a promise that “kings shall come out of thee.” (Gen. 17:6) However, these kings were to be a part of the Lord’s “covenant” and not part of the wicked kings of the earth.


It was prophesied that Jesus would inherit the throne of King David, which was a political inheritance, meaning that He, too, would be a king. The angel who came to Mary announced that she would bear a child who would reign on “the throne of his father David” (Luke 1:32). When Jesus was born, wise men came to pay tribute to the “King of the Jews,” bringing treasures usually given to kings. Toward the end of His ministry, He was brought before the Romans on the charge of being a king, and His accusers said, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.” (Luke 23:2)


When Jesus was crucified, the title “King of the Jews” was inscribed on His cross. Before He was crucified, the scriptures tell us, Jesus gave Peter the “keys of the kingdom,” inferring that Peter must have been a king to rule with authority in a kingdom. The modern Christian ministers and Bible scholars have no idea what He was talking about. Also John the Beloved wrote that Jesus “hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father.” (Rev. 1:6) And John the Revelator wrote Jesus “hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.” (Rev. 19:16; see also Rev. 17:14; 1 Tim. 6:15)


So men like Peter, John, Abraham, David, Solomon were chosen to be literal kings and were recognized by the Lord. What did this title mean? What kind of office, title or authority did Jesus give to His disciples? None of the modern Christian churches use any such title or office in their congregations.


[109] If the Kingdom of God is literally a kingdom, as we have been told, then it must be some form of government. In such a government there must be officers and rulers. This kingly office pertains not only to this life but continues even after death:


Here then we find, from the first chapter [of the Book of Revelation], that they were made Kings and Priests before they were dead; and in the next quotation, we find that they still retained their kingly office after death, and actually had made songs to express their happy condition–Thou “hast made us kings and priests.” Now we see the reason why they are to wear crowns, for they will be made Kings and Priests on the earth; the Lord then, must have some way to give this kingly power. . . . “Yes, we understand it; the Lord has revealed the ordinances; we know how the sons and daughters of God obtain this kingly office, while living here in this mortal tabernacle.” (Orson Pratt, JD 1:290)


Orson Pratt also explained that kings were appointed in the Pre-Existence:


I have already told you that the spirits of men and women, all had a previous existence, thousands of years ago, in the heavens, in the presence of God; and I have already told you that among them are many spirits that are more noble, more intelligent than others, that were called the great and mighty ones, reserved until the dispensation of the fulness of times, to come forth upon the face of the earth, that they may be Prophets, Priests, and Kings to the Most High God. ***

This is the reason why the Lord is sending them here, brethren and sisters; they are appointed to come and take their bodies here, that in their generations they may be raised up among the righteous. The Lord has not kept them in store for five or six thousand years past, and kept them waiting for their bodies all [110] this time to send them among the Hottentots, the African Negroes, the idolatrous Hindoos, or any other of the fallen nations that dwell upon the face of this earth. (JD 1:62-63)


The Prophet Joseph said that, “Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was.” (TPJS, p. 365) If that is the case, then certainly those who were to be called to rule in His government must also have been selected and ordained to that calling. By what right, then, are they called to be ministers or kings in God’s Kingdom? It is by divine right which is God’s right to select men to administer His own laws. They are men who would rule as God would rule. They are men who obey, teach and rule on earth as God rules in heaven. These are the men who belong to the Kingdom of God on earth.


The Priesthood and Kingship


There are two types of kingship: one as part of the Priesthood and the other with no Priesthood. One kingship frequently rules and controls with fear and terror. The other is a peaceable kingdom ruled by kings who teach others to be kings. These are the kings that Jesus referred to when He said He presided over them as King of kings.


These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. (Rev. 17:14)


For a man to become a king and a priest unto God, he must also hold the High or Melchizedek Priesthood. As a king his mission is to promote liberty for his subjects; as a priest his duty is to administer righteousness. As a king and a priest, [111] a man has the double duty to serve in both political and religious functions within the Kingdom of God. He labors in both government and church capacities. According to Joseph Smith:


Those holding the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood are kings and priests of the Most High God, holding the keys of power and blessings. (TPJS, p. 322)


Here, then, is eternal life–to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, . . .  (TPJS, p. 346)


The Prophet Joseph went a little further in his explanation of the endowment. He stated that the Priesthood, in its entirety, was the power to make men kings and priests.


What was the power of Melchizedek? `Twas not the Priesthood of Aaron which administers in outward ordinances, and the offering of sacrifices. Those holding the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood are kings and priests of the Most High God, holding the keys of power and blessings. In fact, that Priesthood is a perfect law of theocracy, and stands as God to give laws to the people, administering endless lives to the sons and daughters of Adam. (TPJS, p. 322)


Hence, those who have not received an ordination to be kings and priests have only received a portion of the blessings of the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood in their endowment. If members of the Church want to receive all the blessings of the Kingdom of God, they must receive the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood.


[112] Since none of the existing Christian churches or worldly governments teach or promote this type of Priesthood kingship, where does a man go to get this commission? Where does he learn to become a King and a Priest unto God? Once again, Joseph Smith explained, in April 1844:


. . . there must be a holy place prepared for that purpose. There was a proclamation made during the time that the foundation of the [Nauvoo] Temple was laid to that effect, and there are provisions made until the work is completed, so that men may receive their endowments and be made kings and priests unto the Most High God, having nothing to do with temporal things, but their whole time will be taken up with things pertaining to the house of God. There must, however, be a place built expressly for that purpose. (TPJS, pp. 362-363)


If, then, kings and queens are supposed to be ordained in the temples and that ordination is a part of the fullness of the Priesthood, and it is necessary for exaltation, why don’t we hear more about such an important subject? Why aren’t Church leaders administering these rites? What has happened to these important ordinations?


Let’s go back about 160 years–to a meeting in 1842, that was probably the first account we have of Joseph Smith’s teaching, and probably administering, these ordinations:


Wednesday, 4–I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office * * * in council with General James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchizedek [113] Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple, and all houses which they have been, or shall hereafter be, commanded of God to build; and wait their time with patience in all meekness, faith, perseverance unto the end, knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are always governed by the principle of revelation. (TPJS, p. 237)


John Taylor explained who these kings and priests are supposed to rule over:


We find that after the days of Noah an order was introduced called the patriarchal order, in which every man managed his own family affairs, and prominent men among them were kings and priests unto God, and officiated in what is known among us as the Priesthood of the Son of God, or the Priesthood after the Order of Melchizedek. Man began again to multiply on the face of the earth, and the heads of families became their kings and priests, that is, the fathers of their own people, and they were more or less under the influence and guidance of the Almighty. (JD 17:207)


Bruce R. McConkie also had a correct understanding of this order:



A royal priesthood: Whenever the Lord has a people on earth he offers to make them a nation of kings and priests–not a congregation of lay members with a priest or a minister at the head–but a whole Church in which every man is his own minister, in which every man stands as a king in his own right, reigning over his own family-kingdom. The priesthood which makes a man a king and a priest is thus a royal priesthood. (Doc. N.T. Com., v. 3, p. 295)


The calling and ordination of a king is part of the Patriarchal Priesthood, which is one of the three grand orders of Melchizedek Priesthood, according to Joseph Smith. (See TPJS, pp. 322-323.) It is a family system, both on earth and in heaven.


This type of family government is not just confined to a man and his family on this earth, but it will continue through the eternities. It is a government based upon the same family order over which God Himself presides. Brigham Young explained:


The kingdoms he [God] possesses and rules over are his own progeny. Every man who is faithful and gets a salvation and glory, and becomes a King of kings and Lord of lords, or a Father of fathers, it will be by the increase of his own progeny. Our Father and God rules over his own children. Wherever there is a God in all the eternities possessing a kingdom and glory and power, it is by means of his own progeny. (JD 11:262)


This is not just another office and title from God. It is the very foundation of the order of heaven and eternal life.


Here, then, is eternal life–to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, . . . (TPJS, p. 346)



Kings and Priests, Queens and Priestesses


In most cases, where there is a king, there is a queen and vice versa. This is especially true pertaining to Priesthood ordinations. Kings and queens go together–both on earth and in heaven. We’re talking man and wife, water and air, pie and ice cream. The concept is a part of gospel doctrine, a part of the fullness of the Priesthood, and a part of exaltation.


The ordination of both kings and queens, or second anointing, was considered an important and sacred temple endowment. In the early days of the LDS Church there were many such ordinations, but they have gradually diminished and now are almost completely discontinued. This ordination was described by Fanny Stenhouse after her ordination in the temple:


. . . we two wives were anointed in like manner, and ordained Queens and Priestesses, to reign and rule with our husband over his kingdom in the celestial world. (An Englishwoman in Utah, p. 321)


Hyrum Andrus explained the nature of this special blessing to women:


A priestess is a female priest–one who exercises priestly rights and powers by virtue of the priesthood. In this context, a queen is a woman with a political status and power in the home, within the patriarchal order of the priesthood. (Doctrines of the Kingdom, p. 411)


John Taylor also revealed:


You have been ordained kings and queens, and priests and priestesses to your Lord; you have been put in possession of principles that all the kings, potentates, and power upon the earth are entirely ignorant [116] of; they do not understand it; but you have received this from the hands of God. (JD 5:189)


William Smith described his own ordination at the hands of his brother, Joseph the Prophet:


I was present with Joseph at the last council that was held previous to the Twelve and others going on their electioneering campaign to the east and various other parts of the United States; it was at this time that I received my initiation into the highest priesthood lodge, was washed and anointed, and clad with the sacredotal robe of pure white, and ordained to be priest and king, and invested with all the power that any man on earth ever did possess; power entitling me to preach the gospel, to bind up the Kingdom of God on earth, among all nations, and people of every tongue. In consequence of these endowments and ordination received from under the hands of Joseph, I hold as much power and as many keys to seal and bind on earth, as can possibly belong to Brigham Young; the power was conferred equally on all the Twelve and not therefore bestowed on one. (William Smith’s letter to the Warsaw Signal, Jan. 7, 1846)


Parley P. Pratt also gave a description and clarification of this special Priesthood ordination:


This Priesthood, including that of the Aaronic, holds the keys of revelation of the oracles of God to man upon the earth; the power and right to give laws and commandments to individuals, churches, rulers, nations and the world; to appoint, ordain, and establish constitutions and kingdoms; to appoint kings, presidents, governors or judges, and to ordain or anoint them to their several holy callings, also to instruct, warn, or reprove them by the word of the Lord. (Key to Theology, Pratt, 5th ed., pp. 68-69)



The Second Anointing


The first time a Latter-day Saint goes through the temple endowment ceremony, he receives a first anointing, wherein he is told that if faithful, he will receive a second anointing. But how many Saints today have received this second anointing, or are even aware of it? As baptism by the spirit is to baptism by water, so is the second anointing to the first. One is not complete without the other.


In the first anointing, a person is merely promised to receive a second. The first is a promise; the second is the fulfillment. In the second anointing, men and women are anointed as kings and queens, priests and priestesses, in the Kingdom of God.


The performance of these anointings goes back to even before the dedication of the Nauvoo Temple. They were administered in various places, i.e., the Mansion House, the Red Brick Store, and Brigham Young’s home. According to Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, at least 16 Church members received their second anointings during the last week of January and the first week of February in 1844. These anointings increased in numbers until around the turn of the century, at which time other doctrinal changes were also taking place. By the time Heber J. Grant became president, second anointings had dropped to almost nothing. George F. Richards, Apostle and Salt Lake Temple President, wrote:


The records show that there have been 32,495 such blessings administered in the Church and that during the last 12 years there have been but eight administrations. (George F. Richards Journal, Dec. 1942)


Then seven years later, he wrote a letter to the First Presidency and the Twelve:



For a long time I have felt that I would like to express to you the disappointment I feel in that we have practically discontinued the administration of Second Anointing in the Church. . . . I have not been able to bring myself to feel that the Lord is pleased with us in neglecting such an important and sacred endowment.

. . . Thousands of good and faithful men and women are dying without receiving a fulfillment of the promise made them in connection with the temple ceremonies. * * * Temples under construction now and in the future should be provided with a room for the administration of these blessings alone, to be known as the Holy of Holies, for if we do not move in the matter before us, some others coming after us will do so, for it must be done, and temples should be designed and constructed with that thought in mind.

It is to be hoped that this communication will not be shelved and forgotten without full consideration by this Council. For several years these matters have given me great mental anxiety and spiritual concern, and but for want of courage I would have sought an opportunity to be heard years ago. I do not want to leave this sphere of action without vigorously protesting our indifference and neglect. (Ibid., pp. 41, 42)


In the great vision of heaven, as recorded in D & C, Section 76, the Lord described those who will go to the Celestial Kingdom:


They are they who are the church of the First-born. They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things–They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory; and are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek. . . . (D & C 76:54-57)


In 1901, Lorenzo Snow also emphasized the importance of these ordinations:



After the opening exercises, Pres. Lorenzo Snow spoke upon the subject of giving Second Anointings. He said that this blessing brought a person to a greater knowledge of things pertaining to God and His purposes in the earth, that the glorious things of the kingdom were made clear to the understanding of the man. * * *

Every man should be determined to place everything on the altar, even to the laying down of life itself for the gospel’s sake in order to be truly worthy of this blessing. (recorded in Rudger Clawson’s Journal, April 8, 1901)


A Mystery to Modern Mormons


How many thousands and even millions of Mormons have gone to the temple to receive their first endowment and have never been made kings and priests in the second endowment? Every man who receives his endowment and First Anointing, receives the calling to prepare to receive his Second Anointing. Why are so few able to complete their ordination? Something is wrong. Are too many unworthy men and women receiving their First Anointing? Are there not enough members worthy of their Second Anointing? Has the Church discontinued the saving principles and ordinances that are requirements for such an anointing? Can it be that men in leadership positions who should be calling men to receive their Second Anointing are incapable or unworthy of receiving revelations instructing them in these important and essential matters?


In 1854, John Taylor asked similar questions of the Saints:


Have you forgotten who you are, and what your object is? Have you forgotten that you profess to be Saints of the Most High God, clothed upon with the Holy Priesthood? Have you forgotten that you are [120] aiming to become Kings and Priests to the Lord, and Queens and Priestesses to Him? (JD 1:372)


How much more the Saints have forgotten by now! What is worse, they are not even taught about the second anointing in theory, let alone in practice. Kings and Priests, Queens and Priestesses–ah, those were the days! Those were the times when men and women were acknowledged and ordained as a part of the Kingdom of God.


Today those high and holy callings are only a vestige, a little glimmer of the past. The great blessings, hopes and officers of the Kingdom of God are a mere shadow of what once was!



[121]                             Chapter 10




If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of none to myself. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 377)


Going back to the 1840’s, the Mormon statements and claims of a temporal kingdom could not be overlooked. Mormon apostates and observant politicians exposed the embryo of this temporal kingdom. They could see only a potential power and competition developing–not any virtue. In reality the Kingdom of God supported the Constitution in guaranteeing freedom and liberty; but apparently that is what the outsiders feared. Even though they claimed to be Christians, their vile and wicked conduct proved differently.


One may wonder why the Mormons came into violent conflict with their neighbors in all seven major areas in which they settled. One early anti-Mormon author said it was because they incorporated their economic, social and political ideals into their religion. If their religion had been just spiritual teachings or feelings, like other Christian churches, the Saints would not have been perceived as a threat to the rest of society.


Joseph Smith became even more aware of a conspiracy to take his life from the testimony of two young boys. Dennison L. Harris and Robert Scott attended a meeting of 200 apostate Mormons who were preparing to kill Joseph. They reported back to Joseph Smith what they had witnessed.



An oath had been prepared which each member of the organization was now required to take. Francis Higbee, a justice of the peace, sat at a table in one end of the room, and administered the oath to each individual separately, in the following manner: The candidate would step forward to the table, take up a Bible, which had been provided for the purpose, and raise it in his right hand, whereupon the justice would ask him in a solemn tone, “Are you ready?” And, receiving answer in the affirmative, would continue in a tone and manner that struck awe to the minds of the boys as they listened: “You solemnly swear, before God and all holy angels, and these your brethren by whom you are surrounded, that you will give your life, your liberty, your influence, your all, for the destruction of Joseph Smith and his party, so help you God!” The person being sworn would then say, “I do,” after which he would lay down the Bible and sign his name to a written copy of the oath in a book that was lying on the table, and it would be legally acknowledged by the justice of the peace.

The boys sat gazing upon this scene, wondering how intelligent beings who had once enjoyed the light of truth could have fallen into such depths of wickedness as to be anxious to take such an oath against the Prophet of God and his faithful followers. (“Conspiracy of Nauvoo,” an article taken from The Contributor, vol. V, pp. 251-260)


Meanwhile, Governor Ford had promised the safety and protection of Joseph Smith during his trial in Carthage and he added, “I will also guarantee the safety of all such persons as may thus be brought to this place from Nauvoo either for trial or as witnesses for the accused.” (DHC 6:537)


On June 22, 1844, Joseph sent a lengthy reply to Ford, concluding with–


We again say, if anything wrong has been done on our part, and we know of nothing, we will make all [123] things right if the government will give us the opportunity. Disperse the mob, and secure to us our constitutional privileges, that our lives may not be endangered when on trial. (Ibid., p. 541)


In an interview John Taylor had had with Gov. Ford in Carthage, Ford “pledged his faith as Governor, and the faith of the state, that we should be protected, and that he would guarantee our perfect safety.” (Ibid., p. 544) However, Joseph observed, “I told Stephen Markham that if I and Hyrum were ever taken again, we should be massacred, or I was not a prophet of God.” (Ibid., p. 546)


As Joseph and the others entered Carthage, men in the armed Carthage Greys made such comments as, “G-D you, old Joe, we’ve got you now,” “he has seen the last of Nauvoo,” “we’ll use him up now,” “kill all the damned Mormons.” And these were the armed men who were sent by Ford to protect Joseph! The Law, Higbee and Foster brothers were also there to fulfill their oath. John Hicks claimed that they, and others, were there with the intent to kill Joseph.


Thus, Joseph went into Carthage knowing he would be facing his worst enemies–both political and religious. The story is merely a repeat of history, for those who introduce God’s Kingdom are targeted by formidable mortal and spiritual enemies.


John, Jesus and Joseph bore the most common names of their time, but faced the most uncommon opponents. History has proved that a kingdom dedicated to freedom and peace would be met with opposition and violence. Prophets, priests and patriarchs in ages past gained the favor of God but the wrath of mankind.


[124] When Joseph Smith was just a lad of 14, he was confronted with both mortal and spiritual evil powers. He commented:


It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy? (DHC 1:6)


At 9:40 a.m. on June 27, another meeting took place with the officers in charge of the Mormon leaders, including local, state, and federal representatives.


Dr. Southwick was in the meeting, seeing what was going on. He afterward told Stephen Markham that the purport of the meeting was to take into consideration the best way to stop Joseph Smith’s career, as his views on government were widely circulated and took like wildfire. They said if he did not get into the Presidential chair this election, he would be sure the next time; and if Illinois and Missouri would join together and kill him, they would not be brought to justice for it. There were delegates in said meeting from every state in the Union except three. Governor Ford and Captain Smith were also in the meeting. (DHC 6:605-606)


Those who sought Joseph’s life were publicly his friends, but behind his back they were his bitter enemies. Governor Ford and William Law were examples of this hypocrisy. One account states that Law, Brutus-like, “rushed up to him and took him in his arms, and hugged him, and kissed him before some fifty or a hundred witnesses.” (Truth Magazine 2:141)


Joseph said to the Council and the police, “I might live as Caesar might have lived were it not for a right-hand Brutus;” and the illustration of that saying [125] is most clearly shown by William Law’s preparations in bringing about the murder of the Prophet. (Truth Magazine, 2:141)


Further identification of Joseph’s traitors was revealed by Benjamin F. Johnson:


The days of tribulation were now fast approaching, for just as the Prophet so often told us, so it came to pass; and those he had called around him as a cordon of safety and strength were worse than a rope of sand, and were now forging his fetters. William Law was his first counselor; Wilson Law, Major General of the Legion; Wm. Marks, President of the stake; the Higbees, his confidential attorneys, and Dr. Foster, his financial business agent. All of these and many others entered into secret covenant so much worse than Judas, that they would have the Prophet’s life, just in fulfillment of what he had said so often, publicly. With all their power, they began to make a party strong enough to destroy the Prophet. (My Life’s Review, Johnson, p. 99)


Back in February 1841, the Nauvoo Legion had been organized for the protection of the Saints from mobs. Joseph had wanted to avoid any further depredations on the Saints, and he thought the force and appearance of an armed legion of men would be enough to prevent trouble. By 1844, it had grown to over 5,000 members and was one of the best trained units in the country. Interestingly, just prior to the martyrdom, it was ordered to be disbanded by Governor Ford.


Gov. Ford had listened to the wild accusations of Mormon apostates and their neighbors, and wrote his own conclusion:


The Mormons openly denounced the government of the United States as utterly corrupt, and as being [126] about to pass away, and to be replaced by the government of God, to be administered by his servant Joseph. (Quest for Empire, Hansen, p. 155)


Politicians were calling the Mormons traitors, and the Mormons were calling the politicians traitors. The Mormons were trying to obtain protection under the Constitution while the politicians were trying to destroy it–and quite successfully, too.


When Joseph met with some of the officials in Carthage, on June 25th, he asked them if he looked like a desperate character. They replied, “on the contrary,” but added that they could not see what was in his heart nor did they know his intentions. He replied:


Very true, gentlemen, you cannot see what is in my heart, and you are therefore unable to judge me or my intentions; but I can see what is in your hearts, and will tell you what I see. I can see that you thirst for blood, and nothing but my blood will satisfy you. (DHC 6:566)


And he added:


I prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that you shall witness scenes of blood and sorrow to your entire satisfaction. Your souls shall be perfectly satiated with blood, and many of you who are now present shall have an opportunity to face the cannon’s mouth from sources you think not of; and those people that desire this great evil upon me and my brethren, shall be filled with regret and sorrow because of the scenes of desolation and distress that awaits them. They shall seek for peace, and shall not be able to find it. Gentlemen, you will find what I have told you to be true. (DHC 6:566)


[127] Joseph had already received the revelation about the Civil War (D & C 87), which would “terminate in the death and misery of many souls.” Nearly a half-million soldiers died, and no one knows how many civilians were killed. The loss of homes and industry cannot be calculated. Effects of the Civil War continued long after the truce was signed, for robbers, gangs and “bushwhackers” raided and plundered communities for many years after the war.


Thus, making war against the Kingdom of God proved to be a costly decision. This would always prove to be so. The inhabitants of those states that robbed and killed the Mormons suffered the greatest losses. It is interesting to note that more Americans were killed in the Civil War than in all subsequent wars in which America has fought.


When Abraham Lincoln was asked what he would do about the Mormon question, he replied that it was like a large tree on his farm that was too green to burn and too large to move; so he would just plow around it. However, on his Republican campaign, he termed slavery and polygamy as the “twin relics of barbarism.” Lincoln’s success in being elected U.S. president was because his opponent, Stephen A. Douglas, had turned against the Mormons. However, after taking office, Lincoln also opposed them. In a letter to a Protestant minister, Lincoln wrote:


. . . two cankers are biting the very entrails of the United States today; . . . the Romish and the Mormon priests. Both are equally at work to form a people of the most abject, ignorant and fanatical slaves, who will recognize no other but their supreme pontiffs. Both are aiming at the destruction of our schools, themselves under our grand and holy principles of liberty of conscience, and bind the world before their heavy and ignominious yoke. The Mormon and Jesuit priests are [128] equally and uncompromising enemies of our constitution and our laws…. (Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, Pastor Chinequy, p. 488)


While Lincoln was president, the Mormons tried to gain statehood, but he used his influence against them.


It was while these efforts to get into the Union were at their height, that Congress not only refused statehood to Utah, but passed the anti-polygamy act, which President Lincoln approved on the 8th of July, 1862. (CHC 5:7)


Heber C. Kimball prophesied that both Buchanan and Lincoln would be “tipped from their seat” and would “die an untimely death.” He added that the same would also happen to anyone else who would try to “destroy the Kingdom of God.” (JD 5:133) Lincoln was stopped by the bullet of an assassin, but before his death he signed an unconstitutional bill that caused members of the LDS Church untold misery and poverty, and put many good men behind bars. The first bill passed the House of Representatives on April 5, 1860, and one year later the Civil War began.


But back to Carthage–after Joseph and the others were put in jail, only eight men were left to protect them from the crowd of mobocrats who had threatened to kill them. Nearby groups of men were painting their faces black, a fitting color depicting what was in their hearts. They soon gathered around the jail, firing shots in the air, but the guards did nothing to stop them. According to Willard Richards–


(27th) A little before 6 p.m. the jail was forced by an armed, disguised mob, of from 150 to 200; the guard was frustrated; Hyrum shot in the nose and throat and two other places, only saying, “I am a dead man.” Elder Taylor received four balls in the left leg [129] and left wrist and hand. Joseph received four bullets, one in right collar bone, one in right breast, and two others in his back. He leaped from the east window of the front room, and was dead in an instant. (DHC 7:147)


Interestingly, Joseph, Hyrum and John each received four bullets. In Joseph’s case there were two bullets in his front and two bullets in his back. The two bullets in his chest could be said to represent the traitors in the state and federal governments, while the two in his back could represent the apostate Mormons–appropriately, figuratively speaking, all having Joseph’s blood on their hands.


When Parley P. Pratt heard of the death of Joseph Smith, he said he was “weighed down with sorrow and the powers of darkness, that it was painful for me to converse or speak to anyone, or even to try to eat or sleep.” (Auto. of P.P. Pratt, p. 333) As he was returning to Nauvoo from his mission, he was grieving and wondering why these things had to be:


When I could endure it no longer, I cried out aloud, saying: O Lord, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray Thee, show me what these things mean, and what I shall say to Thy people? On a sudden the Spirit of God came upon me, and filled my heart with joy and gladness indescribable; and while the spirit of revelation glowed in my bosom with as visible a warmth and gladness as if it were fire, the Spirit said unto me: “Lift up your head and rejoice; for behold! it is well with my servants Joseph and Hyrum. My servant Joseph still holds the keys of my kingdom in this dispensation, and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh, and fulfill that to which he is appointed. (Ibid., p. 333)


After the death of Joseph and Hyrum, “martyrs for the Kingdom,” the rest of the residents of Nauvoo continued to be harassed with the same political charges. In a writ issued to [130] arrest other Mormon leaders, the charges were for “treasonable designs against the state.” Six of the seven men mentioned were members of the Council of Fifty.


Thus, the opposition was not satisfied with the death of Joseph Smith; they continued to threaten and persecute the Saints until they drove them out of Illinois–and even beyond. No matter how tiny the spark of the fullness is, opposition will find it.


In Joseph Smith’s last speech to the Nauvoo Legion, he warned:


It is thought by some that our enemies would be satisfied with my destruction; but I tell you that as soon as they have shed my blood, they will thirst for the blood of every man in whose heart dwells a single spark of the spirit of the fullness of the Gospel. The opposition of these men is moved by the spirit of the adversary of all righteousness. It is not only to destroy me, but every man and woman who dares believe the doctrines that God hath inspired me to teach to this generation. (DHC 6:498)


Klaus Hansen, in his Quest for Empire, compared the demise of the Kingdom of God with that of plural marriage, during the years after the Prophet’s death:


As our understanding of the history of this kingdom unfolds, it will be apparent that, if the Manifesto marked a watershed in the 1890’s because it heralded the beginning of the end for polygamy, the following twenty years, though lacking the dramatic impact of Woodruff’s pronouncement, divided Mormon history even more conclusively and permanently because they witnessed the decline and virtual disappearance of the idea of the political kingdom of God, so vigorously promoted by the Council of Fifty in the nineteenth century. Because this kingdom had [131] existed for the most part sub rosa, its death–though accompanied by much agony–failed to attract as much public attention as the death of plural marriage. Polygamy died with a bang, the political kingdom of God with a whimper. (Preface)


Polygamy never really died and is supported now by more people than at any other time during its existence in this dispensation. Although the Council of Fifty died, the authority and power of the Kingdom of God still resides in a few men who honor the fulness of their Priesthood. We should remember the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith in this regard:


Whenever there has been a righteous man on earth unto whom God revealed His word and gave power and authority to administer in His name, and where there is a priest of God–a minister who has power and authority from God to administer in the ordinances of the gospel and officiate in the priesthood of God, there is the kingdom of God; . . . (TPJS, p. 271)


So, what is the future of the Kingdom of God? The members of the Council of Fifty have all passed away; the ordination of kings is seldom mentioned; the People’s Party is dead; the teaching of a literal Kingdom of God has been changed to its being a mystical kingdom yet to come–or it is the LDS Church; and the true history of the kingdom is seldom, if ever, found in LDS teaching manuals. It appears that the LDS Church would have its members believe that it has all gone away.


However, Jesus likened the Kingdom of God to a grain of mustard seed. He said it was “the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, . . .” (Matt. 13:32) The Kingdom of God will one day grow to fill the whole earth.



[132]                             Chapter 11




Sen. Thomas H. Benton . . . obtained the requisition to call for that battalion, and, in case of non-compliance, . . . to destroy the camp of Israel. This same Mr. Benton said to the President of the United States, . . . “Sir, they are a pestilential race, and ought to become extinct.” (Brigham Young, JD 10:106-107)


The politicians in Washington wanted to destroy the Mormons because they feared the loss of their own political power. They saw Joseph Smith as their greatest danger, because like the Jews, they thought he would cause them to lose their “place and nation.” (See John 11:48.) Since the death of Joseph Smith didn’t break up the Mormons or their religion, the opposition sought for another plan. A diabolical scheme was instigated by Senator Thomas Benton of Missouri, which authorized a government order for the formation of a “Mormon Battalion.”


The Mormon people had been persecuted by mobs and ministers from state to state. Then they were driven out of the United States into hostile Indian territory. In addition to a shortage of food and supplies, and frequent bad weather, they were now to be burdened with one more problem–the government asked for 500 of their men to help fight their battle with Mexico.


[133] Joining the U.S. Army and fighting a war for the politicians after what they had done to them, was like putting salt on a fresh wound. The soldiers would have to leave their wives and children to fend for themselves in the dead of winter. Although this seemed a bitter pill to swallow, Brigham Young said he could see the overall picture and did all he could to muster out the requested number of men. He said he “must raise the Battalion” but that he would out-general the men in Washington. It was a strange remark, but eventually it proved his capabilities as a prophet and seer.


Captain Allen, the U.S. commander of the battalion, said he would not blame the Mormons if they did not volunteer, and he admitted that if he were in their place, he would not volunteer because of how they had been treated in the past. It did prove to be an unusually great sacrifice.


Many questions have been raised concerning this great event in American history, yet both Americans and Mormons alike seem to know very little about it. This chapter will present several questions and answers that should provide a more complete picture. The answers are given by Church leaders who themselves had played a personal role in that difficult part of Mormon history.


  1. What sacrifices did members of the Battalion make when they answered the call to go to war with Mexico?


Many of the Battalion boys are here today, who walked over the plains and deserts; they know what they have endured. They left their fathers, mothers, and children on the prairie, and some of them they have never since seen, and will not in this time, for they sleep in the silent grave. They suffered all this in fighting for the country that had cast them out. (Brigham Young, JD 2:186)



  1. How difficult was this Battalion march to Mexico?


Our Battalion went to the scene of action, not in easy berths on steamboats, nor with few months absence, but on foot over two thousand miles across trackless deserts and barren plains, experiencing every degree of privation, hardship, and suffering during some two years absence before they could rejoin their families. (Brigham Young, JD 2:174)


  1. How far did the Mormon Battalion march?


The patient, heroic endurance of the “Mormon” battalion while making their wondrous march of 2,030 miles, the planting of the Stars and Stripes on these mountains and in these valleys, then Mexican soil by their fathers, brothers, sisters and wives are historical facts, and so are the circumstances under which these things were done, historical facts establishing love for, and loyalty to our country that no honest man can ever question. (Moses Thatcher, JD 23:210)


  1. What conditions existed between the American Government and the Mormon people, leading up to the calling of the Mormon Battalion?


Permit me to draw your attention, for a moment, to a few facts in relation to raising the Battalion for the Mexican war. When the storm cloud of persecution lowered down upon us on every side, when every avenue was closed against us, our leaders treacherously betrayed and slain by the authorities of the Government in which we lived and no hope of relief could penetrate through the thick darkness and gloom which surrounded us on every side, no voice was raised in our behalf, and the General Government was silent to our appeals. When we had been insulted and abused all the day long, by those in authority requiring us to give up our arms, and by every other act of insult and abuse which the prolific imagination of our enemies could [135] devise to test, as they said, our patriotism, which requisitions, be it known, were always complied with on our part; and when we were finally compelled to flee, for the preservation of our lives and the lives of our wives and children, to the wilderness; I ask, had we not reason to feel that our enemies were in the ascendant? that even the Government, by their silent acquiescence, were also in favor of our destruction? Had we not, I ask, some reason to consider them all, both the people and the Government alike, our enemies? * * *

And when, in addition to all this, and while fleeing from our enemies, another test of fidelity and patriotism was contrived by them for our destruction; and acquiesced in by the Government, (through the agency of a distinguished politician who evidently sought, and thought he had planned, our overthrow and total annihilation,) consisting of a requisition from the War Department, to furnish a Battalion of five hundred men to fight under their officers, and for them, in the war then existing with Mexico, I ask again, could we refrain from considering both people and Government our most deadly foes? Look a moment at our situation, and the circumstances under which this requisition was made. We were migrating, we knew not whither, except that it was our intention to go beyond the reach of our enemies. We had no homes, save our wagons and tents, and no stores of provisions and clothing; but had to earn our daily bread by leaving our families in isolated locations for safety, and going among our enemies to labor. Were we not, even before this cruel requisition was made, unmercifully borne down by oppression and persecution past endurance by any other community? But under these trying circumstances we were required to turn out of our traveling camps 500 of our most efficient men, leaving the old, the young, the women upon the hands of the residue, to take care of and support; and in case we refused to comply with so unreasonable a requirement, we were to be deemed enemies to the Government, and fit only for the slaughter. (Brigham Young, JD 2:173-174)



  1. What promise did God make to the members of the Mormon Battalion?


But God, in His Providence, did not place us in a position to imbrue our hands in the blood of our fellowmen. And when five hundred men–after we were driven from Illinois in 1846–were required to make up the Mormon battalion for the Mexican war, the promise of God to these five hundred men was that they should not be compelled to shed blood during their absence, and in a remarkable manner this prediction was fulfilled. They never shrank from doing their duty as good, loyal citizens and soldiers, but there was no blood-shedding by the Mormon Battalion. (George Q. Cannon, JD 22:328)


  1. What blessings did God give to the Mormons for responding to this call?


When the South raised the flag of rebellion, there was no well-informed Latter-day Saint who could approve in his heart of such conduct, however much we might have expected it, Joseph Smith having predicted, nearly thirty years before the rebellion broke out, that it would occur–however much this might be the case there was nothing connected with the principle of secession or rebellion that met with the approval of the Latter-day Saints. And it is a remarkable fact that God, through the acts of our enemies, caused us to be placed in a position where, in the war of the rebellion, we should not be compelled to shed the blood of our fellow-men. Had we remained in New York, where our people first settled; or afterwards in Ohio; had we remained in Missouri, to which State we subsequently emigrated and from whence we were cruelly driven; had we remained in Illinois, where we afterwards took refuge, and from whence we were also cruelly driven to the wilderness, we should have been made participants in that dreadful strife; we should have been compelled to have taken up the weapons of war, or the people [137] would have said we were disloyal. Inaction at such a time would have been set down to disloyalty and sympathy with the rebellion, and we could scarcely have escaped, in view of the prejudices against us, being branded and treated as traitors to the Government. But we were here in the mountains, in a position where we could do nothing in the strife. (George Q. Cannon, JD 22:327-328)


Well, suppose a man had stood up and prophesied before the Battalion went to California, or when we were first driven out from Illinois, that we should ever be prospered, clothed and fed until we could come here into these mountains and raise food for our own sustenance, who would have believed it? (Parley P. Pratt, JD 3:310)


I have seen the time when our brethren have had to eat beef-hides, wolves, dogs and skunks. You may smile, but I can tell you that it was no laughing matter at that time, for there were many who could not get even dogs to eat. Many of the brethren in those trying times were clothed in skins of wild animals. I felt impressed to prophesy to them, and I said, “Never mind, boys, in less than one year there will be plenty of clothes and everything that we shall want sold at less than St. Louis prices;” and I thought when I came to reflect upon it that it was a very improbable thing, and Brother Rich told me that he thought I had done up the job at prophesying that time, but the sequel showed the prediction to be of the Lord. In less than six months, the emigration to California came through here laden down with good clothing, bacon, flour, groceries and everything we wanted. The opening of the gold mines had caused them to rush for the scene of excitement; they came with their trunks full of the best of clothing, and they opened them and turned out a great deal of the clothing, and the brethren and sisters bought good coats, vests, shawls and dresses at a mere nominal price, and in this way the Lord supplied our wants, and He will do so again if the circumstances ever require it. This is the God that I believe in, and in Him I put my [138] trust. I know also that He will fight our battles from this time henceforth if we will only do right. He will turn our enemies aside and cause all things to work together for our good. Therefore, let us trust in Him, and He will send His angels to watch over us, and He will preserve us as in the hollow of His hand. (Heber C. Kimball, JD 10:247)


  1. What happened to those family members who were left behind at Winter Quarters?


The families of the volunteers who formed the battalion, being thus left without protectors, entailed much additional responsibility and labor upon those left behind, and rendered it impossible for the companies to proceed to the Rocky Mountains that season. They encamped at Winter Quarters, the place now called Florence, in the Omaha country, where they built 700 log cabins and 150 caves or dug-outs, in which a great number of the people resided through the winter. Some two thousand wagons were scattered about in the Pottawattamie country, on the east side of the Missouri. . . . (George A. Smith, JD 13:82)


  1. Why did the U.S. Government approve of Senator Benton’s plan to enlist Mormons in a military battalion?


The plan of raising a battalion to march to California by a call from the war department was devised with a view to the total overthrow of this kingdom and the destruction of every man, woman and child, and was hatched up by Senator Thomas H. Benton. Every day our progress was reported in Washington. Our enemies firmly believed we would refuse to respond to the call, and they told President Polk this would prove to him whether we were friends to the Union; and they further advised Polk when the call would be rejected, to say to the states of Missouri and Illinois and the mobocrats, “The Mormons are at your mercy.” (Brigham Young, Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1847-1850, p. 124)



  1. How serious were the plans to destroy all the Mormons–men, women and children?


. . . as our forefathers fought under General Washington and saved the country from the enemy, so did this Mormon Battalion save a large tract of land from being taken by the enemy, and they saved this people from being pounced upon by the militia of several States; for heartless villains had concocted plans to have all this people murdered while upon the western frontiers.

“You will all remember that I went to Washington, and I know from what I there learned, that the Hon. Thomas H. Benton advocated the necessity of raising troops and cutting off all the `Mormons’ from the face of the earth. Notwithstanding you had rendered your services, and offered your names to go and serve your country in the war with Mexico, yet, while you were doing this, one of the senators, and one of the principal men in the Senate, too, did endeavor to induce the Senate, the Cabinet, and the House of Representatives, to raise a force sufficiently strong to go out against the poor defenseless `Mormon’ women and children who were left upon the wild prairie unprotected. Yes, Mr. Thos. H. Benton wanted to take troops and pounce upon your wives and children when upon the banks of the Missouri River, and sweep them out of existence. And when the case was argued, the question was asked: `Supposing you cut off the men, what shall be done with the women and children?’ `O,’ said Benton, `if you argue the case, and wish to know what shall be done with the women, I say wipe them off, too.’ `Well, then,’ he was asked, `what shall be done with the children?’ `Why,’ said Benton, `cut them off, men, women and children, for the earth ought to drink their blood;’ and the feeling was so strong upon the question that it came within a little of magnetizing the whole nation. * * * Yes, brethren, had it not been for this Battalion, a horrible massacre would have taken place upon the banks of the Missouri River.” (Brigham Young, Concise History of the Mormon Battalion, Dan Tyler, p. 349)



Suppose it had been shown to you, that there were men in Washington, and influential, too, men who held control of the affairs of the nation, to a great degree, who had plotted to massacre this people, while on the frontiers in an Indian country, you would doubtless have gone to work to circumvent their plans; consequently, all we had to do was to beat them at their own game, which we did most successfully. I was, and am fully persuaded that a senator from Missouri did actually apply for, and receive permission from President Polk, to call upon the militia of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri, and if he wished more he had also authority to go to Kentucky and raise a force strong enough to wipe this people out of existence, provided that those men who had been driven from their homes should refuse to comply with the unjust demand upon us for troops. This circumstance you are all well acquainted with, and I need not speak more about it. (Ibid., p.352)


  1. Was President Polk aware of this conspiracy to destroy the Mormon people?


Captain Allen did not inform the people–for the reason, probably, that he knew nothing about it–what the design was in case the Battalion was not raised. The secret history of the transaction is, as President Young was afterwards informed on the best of authority, that Thomas H. Benton, United States Senator from the State of Missouri, got a pledge from President Polk, that if the Mormons did not raise the Battalion of five hundred, he might have the privilege of raising volunteers in the upper counties of Missouri, to fall upon them and use them up. (George Q. Cannon, Ibid., p. 117)


  1. Did anyone in Government position come to the defense of the Mormon people at this time?


I will briefly allude to Colonel Doniphan. After his return, and in a party made by his friends, in St. Louis, [141] at which Mr. Benton was present, he made a speech, and in his remarks, said: “I can take one thousand Mormon boys, and do more efficient service against Mexico, than you can with the whole American army.” This I have been told by those who heard him make the assertion. That was his testimony, and I presume he gave it openly and publicly. I suppose he felt like giving Benton a challenge, for he was always opposed to him in politics; but Benton was not disposed to say anything in reply to it, at least I have heard of no reply. (Brigham Young, Ibid., p. 353)


  1. How did the U.S. military officers feel toward members of the Mormon Battalion after getting to know them?


Captain Allen said to me, using his own words, “I have fallen in love with your people. I love them as I never loved a people before.” He was a friend to the uttermost. When he had marched that Mormon Battalion as far as Fort Leavenworth, he was thrown upon a sick bed where I then believed, and do now, he was nursed, taken care of, and doctored to the silent tomb, and the battalion went on with God for their friend.

That battalion took up their line of march from Fort Leavenworth by way of Santa Fe, and over a desert and dreary route, and planted themselves in the lower part of California, to the joy of all the officers and men that were loyal. At the time of their arrival, General Kearney was in a straitened position, and Colonel P. St. George Cooke promptly marched the battalion to his relief, and said to him, “We have the boys here now that can put all things right.” The boys in that battalion performed their duty faithfully. I never think of that little company of men without the next thoughts being, “God bless them for ever and for ever.” (Brigham Young, JD 10:106)



  1. Were the U.S. Government actions Constitutional?


[After talking about the Mormon Battalion] Very different are these sentiments from those uttered not many years since by a prominent Republican leader in the House of Representatives, who, when asked if he, as a lawyer, would state to the House that the measure introduced by him, and then under consideration by it, was in its provisions in harmony with the Constitution, answered with a sneer, “Why, any justice of the peace would tell the gentleman it is not constitutional, but it is a measure we want and one we shall pass, and by the time its constitutionality is tested, it will have accomplished the object we have in view.” (Moses Thatcher, JD 23:211)


  1. Did the attitude of the Government change toward the Mormons after the march of the Mormon Battalion?


I have looked upon scenes that are calculated to stir up the stoutest heart, without shedding a tear; but I cannot look upon the procession of this day [July 24, 1852] and consider the blessings that now surround this people, without shedding tears of gratitude, that God has so kindly delivered us out of all our distresses, and given to us our liberty. To be sure, after working our way into these valleys, making the roads through mountains, seeking out the route, and coming here, our persecutions did not cease; our enemies were like the good old Quaker when he turned the dog out of doors: said he, “I won’t kill thee, thou hast got out of my reach; I cannot kill thee, but I will give thee a bad name;” and he hallooed out “bad dog,” and somebody, supposing the dog to be mad, shot him. So with us; after robbing us of millions of property, and driving us cruelly from the land of our birth; after violating every solitary law of the government, in which many of the officers were partakers; expelling us into the wilderness, where they thought we would actually perish, (and there is not to be found in the history of the world, a parallel case of suffering that this people endured;) [143] while in the midst of this, the cry of mad dog was raised, to finish, as they thought, the work of destruction and murder. (George A. Smith, JD 1:43-44)


  1. What role did Battalion members play in the formation of civil government in the West?


In 1847 the standard of the American nation was planted on this Temple Block. I assisted in planting it; and many around me today participated in those early scenes. At the same time the country lying west of the Sierra Nevada and between it and the Pacific Coast, was held under the American flag by the Mormon Battalion, who under General Kearney captured the State of California from the Mexican government and held it for the United States government until this country was ceded to the United States by treaty on the 22nd of February, 1848. The stars and stripes were planted between the Rocky Mountains on the east and the Sierra Nevadas west by “Mormon” colonies, and west to the Pacific coast by the “Mormon Battalion,” and the country held for the American government. We proceeded to the establishment and organization of civil government. This great basin country between the mountains was incorporated into the State of Deseret, a provisional government was organized for the State of Deseret, a republican constitution was framed and adopted by the people; the country was divided into counties and precincts, local government was organized, laws adopted and delegates set to Congress to ask for admission into the Union. (Erastus Snow, JD 23:86-87)


  1. What was the story about some Mormon Battalion members discovering gold?


At the same time the gold hunters were flocking to California after the “Mormon Battalion” revealed the first gold which they brought to light while dragging Captain Sutter’s mill race. Some of the men are still in our midst who brought about these results, who [144] first revealed to the astonished world the gold of California, and who raised the first furor, which resulted in thousands flocking to the Pacific coast. (Erastus Snow, JD 23:87)


  1. What effect did the discovery of gold by Battalion members in California have on the Saints in Deseret?


We had anticipated, when we came into these distant valleys, that we should be entirely secluded from the world–that we should trouble no person and that no person would trouble us. The “Mormon” Battalion had been disbanded in California, and some of that body first discovered gold there; the news of that discovery quickly reached the eastern states, and thousands were soon upon our track. Instead of being secluded, we find ourselves in the great national highway. We must be known, and we could not be in a better situation to be known than where we are. (Brigham Young, JD 10:229-230)


  1. What else was accomplished by members of the Mormon Battalion?


And, mark you, the first colony of settlers upon that Pacific coast after the capture of that country through the valor of the “Mormon” Battalion, was a “Mormon” colony shipped from the New England States, who took with them a printing press, and planted their feet upon the shores of San Francisco, and there issued the California Star, in 1847, which was the first publication in the English language west of the Rocky Mountains–the first free press hailing the American flag and proclaiming American liberty, the principles of free government; and at the same time we planted a free press in this city, whence was issued the Deseret News, proclaiming those principles to all the world. (Erastus Snow, JD 23:87)



  1. What were the reactions of the Mormon Battalion members and their families toward the U.S. government after the Battalion march?


Five hundred men, the strength of Israel, were sent to fight the battles of their country, leaving their wives, children and teams on the prairie. They had to exercise faith, and so had we who remained, believing it would turn out for the best, and it has proved so. Every member of that battalion who has remained faithful has always rejoiced, from that day to this, that he was a member thereof. It has proved a blessing to him, and it proved salvation to Zion. (Wilford Woodruff, JD 13:160)


After all this, to prove our loyalty to the Constitution and not to their infernal meanness, we went to fight the battles of a free country to give it power and influence, and to extend our happy institutions in other parts of this widely extended republic. In this way we have proved our loyalty. We have done everything that has been required of us. Can there anything reasonable and constitutional be asked that we would not perform? No. (Brigham Young, JD 10:107)


  1. Would any other people in America have responded with a battalion as did the Mormons after the treatment they had received?


I will again urge upon this people to so live that they will have the knowledge they desire, as we have knowledge not of all, but only of that which is necessary. Have we not shown to the world that we love the Constitution of our country and its institutions better than do those who have been and are now distracting the nation? You cannot find a community, placed under the circumstances that we were, that would have done as we did on the occasion of furnishing the Mormon Battalion, after our leading men had been slain and we had been compelled to leave our [146] farms, gardens, homes and firesides, while, at the same time, the general Government was called upon in vain to put a stop to such a series of abuses against an innocent people. (Brigham Young, JD 10:107)


* * *


Even though the wicked plans to destroy the Mormons and their Kingdom of God failed at this time, the Prince of Darkness continued his efforts to destroy Mormonism. His next major effort came about ten years after their arrival in the Valley.



[147]                             Chapter 12




John Taylor to Captain Marcy: Excuse me, sir, when I say that you are merely the servants of a lamentably corrupt administration; that your primary law is obedience to orders, and that you came here with armed foreigners, with cannon, rifles, bayonets and broadswords, expressly, and for the openly avowed purpose of “cutting out the loathsome ulcer from the body politic.” (Contributor 3:339)


No sooner had the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, than a petition was sent to the Committee on Territories of the United States against the Mormon territory becoming a State. It was from the Beaver Island apostate group led by James Strang and William Smith, brother to Joseph. They were establishing their kingdom of God and didn’t want Brigham Young to establish another.


When a false story about the Mormons starting a “rebellion” reached Washington, D.C., Pres. Buchanan over-reacted and ordered an army to go west to stop this uprising. The government administration was incited to defend their authority in the territory; on the other hand, the Mormons felt they had to defend themselves for survival against a federal army.


Polygamy had already been publicly announced in 1852 as a doctrine of Mormonism, and ten years later Lincoln signed a law against it. The Christian ministers, politicians and [148] the public at large were claiming plural marriage to be a “relic of barbarism.” Everyone wanted to rid the country of “the Mormon question.” President Buchanan thought this was his chance to do it.


In June 1857, a huge army was organized at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. On June 12, Stephen A. Douglas gave his famous anti-Mormon speech saying the Mormons should be treated as a cancer, and it was now necessary to “cut out this loathsome and disgusting ulcer.” (His complete speech was printed in the Missouri Republican newspaper on June 18th.)


The whole military expedition was composed of about 5,000 members, including supplies enough for 10,000 troops. The historian Bancroft explained the reasons for such a blunder:


It is probable that no expedition was ever dispatched by the United States better provisioned and equipped than was the Army of Utah, . . . [Bancroft placed the blame] in part through the malice of a dissolute and iniquitous judge, the spite of a disappointed mail contractor, the wire-pulling birds of prey at Washington, and possibly in accordance with the policy of the President. . . . (Bancroft’s History of Utah, p. 497)


This army, intended to exterminate the Mormons, was called “the Flower of the American Army,” because it was composed of the most elite forces of the nation. It was the strongest force that could be put together at the time.


President Buchanan was so eager to do battle against the Mormons that he didn’t see the obvious factors of fraud, stealing, bad contracts and a wide field of speculation within his own government. Some of his close colleagues were his [149] worst enemies. There were increasing factions within the government headed for an internal split in the nation, and conspiracies for the South to rise against the North were being created under Buchanan’s very nose. What he suspected of the Mormons was, in reality, happening within his own government in the East.


The Utah War would end up costing the government $40 million and this at a difficult time because of the 1857 financial recession. It would also place its main military force and equipment in the west at a time when it was most needed in the east for the Civil War.


In addition to all this stupidity, prejudice, corruption and waste, came warnings from a few wise men. One of these was Congressman Sam Houston of Texas, who could foresee the high cost, jeopardy and futility of such a war, and his wisdom was almost prophetic. Nevertheless, his warnings went unheeded:


The more men you send to the “Mormon War,” the more you increase the difficulty. They have to be fed. For some sixteen hundred miles you have to transport provisions. The regiments sent there have found Fort Bridger and other places, as they approached them, heaps of ashes. They will find Salt Lake, if they ever reach it, a heap of ashes. They will find that they have to fight against Russia and the Russians. Whoever goes there will meet the fate of Napoleon’s army when he went to Moscow. Just as sure as we are now standing in the Senate, these people, if they fight at all, will fight desperately. They are defending their homes. They are fighting to prevent the execution of threats that have been made, which touch their hearths and their families; and depend upon it, they will fight until every man perishes before he surrenders.



That is not all. If they do not choose to go into conflict immediately, they will secure their women and children in the fastness of the mountains; they will have provisions for two years and they will carry on a guerrilla warfare which will be most terrible to the troops you send there. They will get no supplies there. You will have to transport them all from Independence, in Missouri. When the fire will consume it, there will not be a spear of grass left that will not be burnt. . . . I know not what course will be taken on the subject. I hope it will be one of conciliation. As for the troops to conquer the Mormons, fifty thousand would be as inefficient as two or three thousand; and in proportion as you send troops in that vast region without supplies, and without the hope of them, with no means of subsistence after a certain period, unless it is transported to them, the greater will be your danger. Consider the facilities these people have to cut off your supplies. I say your men will never return, but their bones will whiten the valley of Salt Lake. If war begins, the very moment one single drop of blood is drawn, it will be the signal of extermination.

Mr. President, in my opinion, whether we are to have a war with the Mormons or not, will depend on the fact whether our troops advance or not. If they do not advance, if negotiations be opened, if we understand what the Mormons are really willing to do, that they are ready to acquiesce in the mandates of the government, and render obedience to the Constitution, if you will take time to ascertain that, and not repudiate all idea of peace, we may have peace. But so sure as the troops advance, so sure they will be annihilated. You may treble them, and you will only add to the catastrophe, not diminish human suffering. These people expect nothing but extermination or abuse more intolerable than even extermination would be, from your troops, and they will oppose. (Sam Houston, Congressional Globe, 35th Congress, 1st Sess., vol. XXIV (1857-1858), p. 874.)


[151] Abraham O. Smoot, Judson Stoddard, and Porter Rockwell, were mail carriers who first learned of the plan and broke the news of the government forces aimed at the Mormons. Smoot and Stoddard were at Independence, Missouri, when they were held up by a large caravan of troops and equipment moving west and learned that they were on their way to make war against the Mormons. They started their race of 1200 miles and half-way met Porter Rockwell who joined in the race to bring the news to Brigham Young.


It was July 24th, and the Saints were up in Big Cottonwood Canyon celebrating their tenth anniversary of entering the Valley. Brigham Young had been on hand when Gov. Boggs, Gen. Lucas, Col. Brockman and Gov. Ford had expressed the same sentiments as those behind the Expeditionary Army. The Saints had experienced enough persecution from these Americans and “Christians” to understand their real methods. It was well known that they had always wanted to exterminate the Mormons, and Brigham was adamant in his desire not to let them enter the Salt Lake Valley.


Brigham sent out spies to follow the Expedition, and some of them even joined it. Thus, the Mormons were well informed of what Johnston’s Army intended to do when it arrived in Salt Lake City. Years later, in 1869, when John Taylor visited with Vice President Schuyler Colfax, he revealed to him:


We had men in all the camps, and knew what was intended. There was a continued boast among the men and officers, even before they left the Missouri River, of what they intended to do with the “Mormons.” The houses were picked out that certain persons were to inhabit; farms, property, and women were to be distributed. “Beauty and booty” were their watch-words. We were to have another grand “Mormon” [152] conquest, and our houses, gardens, orchards, vine-yards, fields, wives and daughters were to be the spoils. (CHC 4:259)


Preparation for war was occurring on both sides–the United States vs. the Kingdom of God. In September of 1857 a wagon train composed of people from Arkansas and Missouri, calling themselves “Missouri Wildcats” came through southern Utah, boasting that they had participated in mobbing the Mormons in Missouri and that they had the gun that killed Joseph Smith. As they traveled, they burned crops, robbed homes, poisoned water holes, and killed Indians and their cattle. One Mormon boy was killed, and a woman in Fillmore was poisoned, affecting her for the rest of her life. They also said they were waiting to join the U.S. troops so they could “kill every G— D— Mormon, man, woman and child, that they could find in Utah,” etc. (See Bancroft’s History of Utah, p. 549.)


The people in southern Utah were strained to the limit by the atrocities of the wagon train. However, Brigham Young, knowing that government troops were on their way to Utah, needed no more troubles. He sent a message down south telling the Saints to escort the wagon train out of the territory and see that they caused no further problems. However, the message arrived too late. The Indians and others had already attacked the train, resulting in the loss of several tribesmen and two chiefs. The Indians had threatened the Mormons that either they fight with them or else they would fight against the Mormons. It was therefore agreed to cooperate together, and the result was a terrible tragedy, killing nearly all the members of the wagon train. It was handled very poorly; it was at the wrong time; and it was against the wishes of Brigham Young. B. H. Roberts aptly concluded:



The conception was diabolical; the execution of it horrible; and the responsibility for both must rest upon those men who conceived and executed it. (CHC 4:156)


Mormon involvement in what has since been called the Mountain Meadows Massacre was not the kind of publicity that the Mormon Church needed right then. It would provide additional fuel for the fires of bias and prejudice that already existed against the Saints.


Brigham Young, as head of both the Church and the Kingdom of God, had his hands full. He could see the folly of both the approaching army on the east and the unfortunate massacre on the south, and he was caught in between. However, in October 1857, he told Captain Van Vliet–


. . . I did not care how many troops they sent. “Why,” said he, “The United States, with an overflowing treasury, can send out ten, twenty, or fifty thousand troops.” I replied, “I do not care anything about that.” The Captain then asked whether I had counted the cost; and I said, “Yes, for this people I have; but I cannot estimate it for the United States; for if they actually persist in their present tyrannical course, before they get through they will want to let the job to sub-contractors.” They do not know the Captain of the armies of Israel; and although they profess to believe in Him, they do not realize that He is about to hold a controversy with them for their iniquity. (JD 5:331)


The Government’s tactic for war was to be armed to the teeth; the Mormon tactic was to “shed no blood.” Of all the battles in all the wars, this probably “took the cake.” Whoever heard of going to war, with the intent to win, but not shed the blood of your enemy? The well-prepared enemy was planning to make an invasion–determined to take or destroy everyone and everything. In the face of all this power and determination, the Saints were commanded not to shed a drop of blood!


[154] If God were on the side of the U.S. Government, He certainly wouldn’t have to do much to achieve victory. On the other hand, if the U.S. Government were against the Kingdom of God, it could be disastrous for the Government and those who created the war.


Many of the Mormons who were prepared to fight for the United States in the war with Mexico were now faced with fighting against the U.S.


While Capt. Van Vliet was in Salt Lake, he sent a message to Floyd, one of the military leaders of the U.S. army, and told him that the Mormons forbid him and the troops from entering the Salt Lake Valley–or at least it would be very unwise to attempt it–especially so late in the season.


On September 15, 1857, Pres. Brigham Young declared marshal law, and the Nauvoo Legion was ordered to stop the invaders. Utah Gen. Wells sent the following word to his troops under the command of Lot Smith:


Stampede their animals and set fire to their trains. Burn the whole country before them, and on their flanks. Keep them from sleeping by night surprises; blockade the road by falling trees or destroying the river fords where you can. (History of Salt Lake, Tullidge, p. 172)


This sounded more like a series of annoyances than the usual method of operation for battle.


Several detachments of Mormon troops were sent to carry out these orders. Fort Bridger and Fort Supply were both burned to the ground so government troops could not have supplies or protection at these two locations. General Wells and about 1300 men established hidden posts along the [155] narrow part of Echo Canyon. They destroyed bridges, flooded and blocked roads and burned everything that could be burned. On top of this they harassed the enemy troops by night to prevent their sleep. Then with boldness they entered the enemy camps to burn their wagons and supplies.


Under cover of darkness, with only twenty-three men, Lot Smith and his band swooped down on one train of fifty-two wagons encamped for the night. Shrewdly keeping a number of his riders in the shadows, that the sentries might have no accurate idea as to the size of the attacking force, Smith and his men, guns drawn, boldly strode into the firelight, announcing to the startled leader, a Captain Dawson, their intention of applying the torch.

“For God’s sake, don’t burn the trains!” Dawson moaned aghast.

The camp was disarmed, the arms stacked, and the men put under guard. At that precise moment a courier arrived from Colonel Alexander warning Dawson “that the Mormons were in the field; that captains and teamsters must not go to sleep; that four companies of cavalry and two pieces of artillery would arrive in the morning.”

When the Mormons retreated to the Green River Bluffs, they left behind nothing but charred remnants of fifty-one wagon loads of precious military freight. The remaining wagon housed the personals of the unhappy Dawson and his men. (Kingdom of the Saints, Ray West, Jr., p. 260)


Second and third government supply trains were also destroyed by Major Lot Smith and his men, sending a serious message to their opponents.


Winter was setting in, and food was scarce for Johnston’s Army. All hope of getting into the Salt Lake Valley had to be abandoned. Added to this miserable situation winter came early that year and was very severe. It was a disastrous [156] defeat even before reaching their field of battle. It was a victory for the Mormons without the loss of a single man.


Temperatures dropped to 15 degrees below zero and continued to -44 degrees, which resulted in heavy losses of precious animals. Over 500 animals froze to death. Brigham sent word to Gen. Johnston that he would send some assistance as a gift; but if Johnston thought it would place himself under obligation to the Mormons, he might pay for it if he wished. Johnston never responded. He was bent on war at all costs with little regard for his men.


About this time newly appointed Governor Alfred Cumming entered the valley and was warmly greeted by Brigham Young, who showed him all the territorial records which had been reported as being destroyed. Gov. Cumming noticed lines of Mormon people leaving Salt Lake Valley because Pres. Young’s plan was to go into the desert so they would not have to battle with the people of the United States. Let them destroy themselves in a civil war, he had advised. Cumming realized this was not a rebellious people and reported this to Washington, causing a political furor. National leaders demanded a reason for such a preposterous expedition.


Then came another message from Gen. Johnston, who requested more troops in order to make an invasion of the Great Salt Lake Basin. The whole picture began to turn around.


In the unpredictable fashion of American Democracy, public opinion in the east was by now undergoing a radical change. Buchanan was under fire by both Congress and the press. Graft of the army contractors was under congressional investigation. The dramatic evacuation of the Mormon people had [157] caught public fancy. Brigham Young, instead of being the world’s most obscene rascal, was suddenly being lauded by the press as another Prince Orange, and a hero. The New York Tribune had come out flatly in support of the Mormons and their stand.

President Buchanan now began knowing what it was to be on the barbed side of public opinion. (Holy Smoke, Paul Bailey, p. 118)


Isn’t it strange how God can turn the tide of battle and diminish the power of the enemy? This is an excellent example of the nation at first being opposed to the Mormons, and then practically overnight, be turned in their favor. From the New York Times came the following:


No dispassionate person, whatever his political partialities, can fail to see that the various enterprises undertaken by Mr. Buchanan do not seem to prosper in his hands. The latest news from Utah places the administration in a position marked by a singular mixture of farce and tragedy, and the whole story of the war is crowded by as much ignorance, stupidity, and dishonesty as any government ever managed to get in the annals of a single year. An army was sent to chastise rebels before it was clearly ascertained whether or not there were any rebels to chastise. (June 17, 1858)


One of the great armies of the kingdoms of the world was being embarrassed by the “army” of the Kingdom of God. But there’s still more–


General Johnston was stunned. He was getting ready to do battle with the Mormon “enemies” while Pres. Buchanan signed a “Proclamation of Pardon” for the Mormons. Johnston was bent on war and told the President, “I have ordered that when they are met in arms, they be treated as enemies.” But Gen. Johnston had a very poor military record on this expedition. For example:



  1. He was always bent on war rather than reconciliation.
  2. He refused food when his troops were starving.
  3. He countermanded the wise military decisions of his junior officers.
  4. He attempted to drive his troops in the dead of winter to certain death in freezing storms.
  5. He chose to attack through Echo Canyon, which would be considered a colossal military blunder.
  6. He refused to have any correspondence with Brigham Young.
  7. He continued to prepare his troops for battle after the U.S. President had settled the issue with the Mormons.
  8. He asked for more troops when the “war” was already over.
  9. He refused to accept Gov. Cumming’s statement that the Mormons were not in a state of rebellion.
  10. He was a blood-thirsty general whose heart delighted in carnage, death and destruction, and was unfit to represent the United States.


All of these characteristics proved even more true when the Civil War broke out. Albert Sidney Johnston, who had claimed the Mormons were treasonous and rebellious, joined the South and was part of the rebels who fought against the United States.


Johnston’s Army was allowed to march on through Salt Lake until they reached Camp Floyd, several miles south of Salt Lake. There these “Christian” Americans were caught up in their usual drunkenness, gambling, immoralities, thieving and disorderly conduct. Once again, they demonstrated their “Christianity” to the Mormons as they had done in Ohio, Missouri and Illinois; but this time the Mormons had the upper hand and played no part in it.


[159] So what was the end result of sending this army to Utah? Did they put down a rebellion? Did they win anything, prove anything or accomplish anything? Did the Mormons lose their homes, their families or their wealth or political offices? Did the U.S. Government demonstrate their power, might and wisdom to the Mormons? Did the U.S. Government gain anything financially through their great sacrifice and tremendous efforts? Of course not!


Politically, the government was embarrassed by the whole Expedition. The news media and the citizens of the U.S. turned against Pres. Buchanan, and he left office in disgrace. Financially, the government spent millions on that humiliating fiasco. When the army left Camp Floyd in 1861 to go fight in the Civil War, government agents sold at auction four million dollars worth of property and supplies for less than a hundred thousand dollars. The Mormons profited greatly in this last chapter of “Buchanan’s Blunder.”


The great “war” was over for the Mormons, but it was just the beginning for the United States. The costly and devastating Civil War was about to begin, and its greatest battles, with the most fatalities, would be fought in the very states that had so wickedly persecuted the Mormons.


In the East the U.S. Government had allowed mobs to burn, rape and pillage the Mormons without any excuse and with just the words, “Your cause is just, but we can do nothing for you.” They continued to plot their destruction–first by creating the Battalion and then by sending an army against them. Soon they began to pass laws against them. Certainly the Mormons had every reason to join the Confederacy; but in the first message from Utah sent over the telegraph lines to the East, Brigham Young stated, “Utah has not seceded, but is firm for the Constitution and laws of our once happy country.” (History of S.L., Tullidge, p. 250)


[160] Brigham Young offered his services to the country. Lincoln sent word for him to establish a force of men to protect the overland mail, freight lines, and passengers moving through the west. Strange that Lot Smith, who once burned those freight lines and wagons, was now hired to protect them.


Ironic is the fact that the Mormons who had played such a conspicuous role in the Utah War–Brigham Young, Daniel H. Wells, Lot Smith and Robert T. Burton–were now valiantly serving the Union, while Jefferson Davis, John B. Floyd, and Albert Sidney Johnston, who had fiercely denounced the Mormons for alleged treasonable utterances and actions, were now enlisted under the rebel flag. (Mormonism, Americanism and Politics, Richard Vetterli, p. 520)


If the Mormon people would have enlisted on the side of the Confederates, the direction of the Civil War could easily have been changed:


Is it unreasonable to assume that with the Saints actively on the warpath against the federal government, and combined with the Confederates, a condition which strategists in both the North and South held highly probable, the designs of the South might well have been realized, and perhaps the course of the Civil War and consequently the history of the world changed measurably? (Ibid., pp. 538-539)


John Floyd, who helped lead the Expedition against the Saints, was soon led into another war with fate. Brigham Young prophesied that “he will become a stink and a byword among his friends, and will rot; and many of you will see it come to pass.” (JD 8:357) Eventually in 1860 he was fired by the President because of the crooked army contracts he made and was later indicted by the Dept. of Interior for fraud. Then he turned against the government and joined the Confederate [161] Army. His corruption showed up in the South, as well, and he was relieved of his command. He was shunned by both the North and the South and died a broken man in 1863.


Because of demands from the general public, the media and Congress, Col. Johnston was dismissed from his command. As a traitor in the Confederate Army, he was later killed at Shiloh.


* * *


The U.S. expeditionary army had been out-generaled, out-maneuvered and out-classed. It was one of the strangest defeats of any war because no blood was spilled on either side. It was a victory for Brigham Young, similar to the war against Jehoshaphat when the Lord fought the battle for ancient Israel. When Jehoshaphat saw the enemy coming against him, he told the Lord:


We have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee. * * *

Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chron. 20:12, 15)


As a result, the next day they found all of the enemy had died. And Jehoshaphat and his people “found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and . . . they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.”  (Ibid., 20:25)


Thus, the tide was changing, and for a time the Kingdom of God enjoyed a little peace and prosperity in the western valleys.



[162]                             Chapter 13




And Jesus answered and said unto them [His disciples], . . . nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: … then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (Matt. 24:4, 7, 9)


It seems that when the Kingdom of God is presented to the people of the earth, they would rejoice, sing and weep for joy. The coming of that Kingdom to mortals should bring peace, happiness and prosperity. It could answer all their problems and bring heavenly hosts to earth–even Jesus would visit them with blessings and eternal life. But this is not necessarily the case. On the contrary. As history has shown from generation to generation, it has been associated instead with destruction, war and even the murder of God’s most holy prophets.


In His wisdom, God has appointed the devil to come to earth and allows him to present choices to the Saints of God. Jedediah Grant called it a “mission” for Lucifer:


In relation to spirits, for it seems to be the subject introduced today, I have this idea, that the Lord our God absolutely gave Lucifer a mission to this earth; I will call it a mission. You may think it strange that I believe so good a being as our Father in heaven would actually send such an odd missionary as Lucifer. You [163] may call him a missionary, or anything else you please, but we learn he was thrust out of heaven, the place where the Lord dwells, to this earth; and his mission, and the mission of his associates who were thrust down with him, and of those whom he is successful in turning away from God’s children who have tabernacles, is to continue to oppose the Almighty, scatter His Church, wage war against His kingdom, and change as far as possible His government on the earth. He could take the Savior upon the pinnacle of the temple, and show him the kingdoms of this world, and could perform many wonderful works in the days of Jesus. When the Priesthood of God is upon the earth, then the priesthood of the devil may be seen operating, for he has got one. When the kingdom of God is on the earth, you may expect to see a special display or manifestation of the opposite to the Gospel of the kingdom, . . . (JD 2:11)


We live in a time of relative peace and prosperity now, but the big battle is soon to begin with great losses on both sides. Mormonism has fallen into the sand traps of Babylon, but eventually there will be a victory for the Kingdom of God as promised by the prophets.


Not all wars are started because both sides want to kill each other; some wars are created by the wicked trying to destroy the innocent. All wars started by the devil are intended to destroy everything good. The Kingdom of God does not try to start wars with the kingdom of the devil; rather the opposite is true. According to Brigham Young–


Who has sought for war? Have we? No. We have preached the Gospel to Saints and strangers, when strangers would come and tarry long enough to hear it. We do not want to stand here and talk about war. There is nothing so repugnant to my feelings as to injure or destroy. But what is upon us? Nothing, only another manifestation of the opposition of the Devil to [164] the Kingdom of God. War has been declared against the Saints over twenty-seven years, and our enemies have only fallen back so as to gain strength and pretexts for making another attack. Will that spirit increase? If it does, and we love our religion, let me tell you that we will increase faster than our enemies will. (JD 5:340)


Wars against the Kingdom of God do not always come from the most wicked people on earth. Many times they originate from sources we never would have expected. Men become apostates and turn to fight against the principles they once embraced. Innocent people can be influenced to oppose God’s work because of the deceptions of others who should know better–such as Christian ministers of our day. Even when Jesus presented the Kingdom to the Jews, who were hoping and waiting for the Kingdom, they rejected both Him and the Kingdom. Furthermore, Jesus said it would be the same when His disciples would present the Kingdom of God.


They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (John 16:2)


We need not expect the devil to take a vacation, be converted, or die of old age. He will battle against the Kingdom of God for as long as this earth remains.


Fortunately, the devil’s power against the Saints does not diminish them in numbers or in strength. On the contrary, it can serve as a hidden blessing. Brigham Young explained:


Christ and Belial cannot be made friends; the devil is at war with the Kingdom of God on the earth, and always has been, and will continue to be, until he is bound. They do not personally hate you, nor me, any more than they did Joseph Smith, whom they have slain; they do not hate the Latter-day Saints any more [165] now than they did twenty years ago. The same deadly hatred was then in the heart of every one who had the privilege of hearing the doctrines of this Church and refused to embrace them, that we see exhibited at this day. If they had the power twenty or twenty-five years ago, they would have slain the Prophet Joseph as readily and with as much rejoicing as they did when they massacred him in Carthage Jail, in the State of Illinois. It is not any particular doctrine or men and women that they are opposed to, but they are opposed to Christ and to the Kingdom of God on the earth. I observed here last Sabbath, “Let the wicked rage and the people mock on, for now is their day, and it will soon be over.” Let them do all they can, and if they have power to destroy any more of this people, Amen to it; what will it do? It will only augment the cause of Zion, spread the Gospel of Salvation, and increase the Kingdom of God on the earth. Their persecutions will never destroy this people, or the everlasting Gospel. Every time they have killed any of this people and opposed the Gospel, both have increased ten fold, and the work has spread still the more; yes, more than it would have done had they let it alone, and not have come against the Saints to drive them from their possessions. If it is wisdom that the Saints should be driven again, it would be the greatest blessing that could come to this people, for it would give greater permanency to the Kingdom of God on the earth. (JD 2:319-320)


The main reason the gentiles opposed the Mormons was because of their beliefs. If the Mormons would only live and believe like the apostate Christians, there would be harmony. When the Mormons give up enough of their principles, doctrines and ordinances, then persecution will stop. When persecution stops, it indicates that we have a different gospel.


The devil’s opposition to the work of God is in proportion to the faith, strength and goodness of the Saints. The Lord does not allow the devil to tempt or oppose the Saints any more than they can withstand. Said Heber C. Kimball:



The trials in the last days will be numerous, but to the faithful they will be of but small moment, for they will live above these things, they will increase in power. the work of God is bound to increase, and just in that proportion will the devil’s kingdom rise in power and strength, and walk up to battle against us. The adversary is bent on having a war with this people, we shall have him right by the side of us, and you will find that he will keep you very busy, if you strive to come off victorious. (JD 4:6)


As the Saints grow in strength and power, so will the opposition. However, if we decrease in our faith, testimony and power, it does not mean that the devil will lose his strength and power. Also, if the devil backs off from his fight against the Saints, it does not mean that he is giving up or has lost his power.


If we live, we shall see the nations of the earth arrayed against this people; for that time must come, in fulfillment of prophecy. Tell about war commencing! Bitter and relentless war was waged against Joseph Smith before he had received the plates of the Book of Mormon; and from that time till now the wicked have only fallen back at times to gain strength and learn how to attack the kingdom of God. (Brigham Young, JD 5:339)


When the Lord begins His judgments upon the earth, it will be a war of “kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 24:7), which, of all the wars ever fought, this one will be the most justified and the most needed. “Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass. . . .” (Matt. 24:6) This war is necessary to prepare the world for the millennium of peace. The time of this war will be when the glory of men shall be hoisted to its highest, and the glory of God will be at its lowest.


[167] This will be the “abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (Matt 24:15), which will be a clash of two supreme powers in a war for world supremacy. It will once again be between Satan and his plan and Jesus Christ and his program.


This final war will be when most of the hosts on earth will be living according to Lucifer’s plan, whether they know it or not; but as in most wars, being on the wrong side can be fatal. Cleansing the earth of the wicked will be a gigantic undertaking “for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21)


If you walk along the beach, you have little fear of being attacked by sharks; but if you swim in deep water, it could be disastrous. If you live away from Babylon, you may be quite safe; but if you swim in their waters, you will be consumed. Brigham Young asked the question–


How long will it take us to establish Zion, the way we are going on now? . . . I suppose, and say, “If forty years has brought a large percentage of Babylon into the midst of this people, how long will it take to get Babylon out and actually to establish Zion? (JD 15:133)


We might ask the question today, “Since we have 100% of Babylon in our midst, how long will it take to establish Zion?”


However it has also been said:


I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. (Dan. 7:21-22)


[168] This was also mentioned by John in Revelations:


And it was given unto him [the devil] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. (Rev. 13:7)


In nearly every war there are losses and casualties, and the great final battle will be no exception. In such a battle we must consider the losses and be willing to pay the price. The Saints may suffer losses and death, but the devil will lose more. We should take the attitude of that valiant fighter, John Taylor, who said:


We have got within us the principles of eternal life. If our bodies shall crumble into the dust, we shall move in another sphere and associate with other intelligences that are connected with the same kingdom and government, and continue to live and roll forth the purposes of God. And if we should have a war and a few things like this, never mind: who cares? Just grin and bear it. Do right and cleave to God, and all will go off well. (JD 6:114)


In one of Jesus’ parables about the Kingdom of God, He compared it to a seed; but nature tells us that when a seed is placed in the ground, it takes awhile for it to germinate and grow above ground. The little seed of the Kingdom in the latter days has made an appearance, but its growth seems to have been stunted. Today the kingdoms of the world are prospering, gaining power and dominion, but the Kingdom of God seems to be temporarily dormant.



[169]                             Chapter 14




And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, . . . (Rev. 17:7)


History is full of the accounts of tyrants and despots who have had the goal of ruling over the world. They are usually led by vain ambition, personal motives and wicked practices. They believe that the end justifies their means. Names of those ancient aspirants, like an echo, keep returning–Pharaoh, Caesar, Gengis Kahn, etc. More recently, there were Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Stalin and Mao Tse Tung. We now have a new crop of names–possibly more subtle–to add to the list, i.e., Rothschild, Rockefeller, Kennedy, Kissenger, Bush, etc. Their vanity is the same, their deeds are the same, and their desire to rule the world is the same. Ancient or modern, the plan to rule the world still would be by wealth and politics, by death and destruction. This time, however, the plan may be more successful, for it is written that, “she [Babylon] made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” (Rev. 14:8)


If all the kingdoms of the world under the direction of corrupt atheists, dictators and murderers were to establish the New World Order under the United Nations, imagine what it would be like! With no honor among thieves, total chaos and control would result.


[170] Our society today is a sorrowful catalog of all that the kingdom of Satan represents. We are plagued by drugs, fraud, rape, robbery and murder. Even back as far as 1973, facts show that over eight million babies were killed by legal abortion. Homosexuality is commonplace. Our schools have tossed out the Bible, prayer, God and the Ten Commandments. The majority of all major crimes are being committed by youth under 21. The international bankers and oil barons create and control inflation, depression, shortages and even wars. There is nothing they won’t do to satisfy their greed. Our prisons, mental institutions, and hospitals are all over crowded. We truly live in a sick society. Wilford Woodruff predicted:


The day is not far distant when nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and State against State, and there will be sorrow such as never was among men. Watch the signs of the times, for we are living in an important age. The prophecies relating to our time are rolling in upon us. Are we prepared to meet them? It is important for men and angels to note the events of this age. We live in the commencement of a new era of the dealings of God with the world. The earth has been under the dominion of the Devil almost from its creation. But in our day the Lord has set up his kingdom, never to be destroyed. (JD 6:120)


We do little or nothing to clean up political traitors, bribery, vast indebtedness, cover-ups and corruption. Today the house of God sits on a slumbering, smoking volcano. This corrupt condition was mentioned by Daniel when he spoke of mixing clay with iron. (See Dan. 2:43.)


[171]                       NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S DREAM




Head of Gold                        Assyio-Babylonish Monarchy

671-538 B.C.

Breast and Arms of Silver     Medo-Persian Empire

538-331 B.C.

Belly and Thighs of Brass     Greco-Macedonian Kingdom

331-160 B.C.

Legs of Iron                        The Great Roman Empire

160 B.C. to 488 A.D.

Feet and Toes –               Kingdoms of the (10) Toes

Part Iron and Part Clay             496 to 1829 A.D.

(as they originated)


The beasts mentioned in Daniel and Revelation have often been interpreted to be representative of portions of the Kingdom of God. This was not only the interpretation of many sectarian churches, but also on one occasion of a Mormon Elder. The Prophet Joseph interpreted these “beasts.”


I will endeavor to instruct you in relation to the meaning of the beasts and figures spoken of. I should not have called up the subject had it not been for this circumstance. Elder Pelatiah Brown, one of the wisest old heads we have among us, and whom I now see before me, has been preaching concerning the beast which was full of eyes before and behind; and for this he was hauled up for trial before the High Council.



The High Council undertook to censure and correct Elder Brown, because of his teachings in relation to the beasts. Whether they actually corrected him or not, I am a little doubtful, but don’t care. Father Brown came to me to know what he should do about it. The subject particularly referred to was the four beasts and four-and-twenty elders mentioned in Rev. 5:8– “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four-and-twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints.”

Father Brown has been to work and confounded all Christendom by making out that the four beasts represented the different kingdoms of God on the earth. The wise men of the day could not do anything with him, and why should we find fault? Anything to whip sectarianism, to put down priestcraft, and bring the human family to a knowledge of the truth. A club is better than no weapon for a poor man to fight with.

Father Brown did whip sectarianism, and so far so good; but I could not help laughing at the idea of God making use of the figure of a beast to represent His kingdom on the earth, consisting of men, when He could as well have used a far more noble and consistent figure. What! the Lord made use of the figure of a creature of the brute creation to represent that which is much more noble, glorious, and important–the glories and majesty of His kingdom? By taking a lesser figure to represent a greater, you missed it that time, old gentleman; but the sectarians did not know enough to detect you.

When God made use of the figure of a beast in visions to the prophets, He did it to represent those kingdoms which had degenerated and become corrupt, savage and beast-like in their dispositions, even the degenerate kingdoms of the wicked world; but He never made use of the figure of a beast nor any of the brute kind to represent His kingdom.

Daniel says (ch. 7, v. 16) when he saw the vision of the four beasts, “I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this,” the angel interpreted the vision to Daniel; but we find, by [173] the interpretation that the figures of beasts had no allusion to the kingdom of God. You there see that the beasts are spoken of to represent the kingdoms of the world, the inhabitants whereof were beastly and abominable characters; they were murderers, corrupt, carnivorous, and brutal in their dispositions. (TPJS, pp. 288-289)


So, according to Joseph Smith, the interpretation of beasts in the visions of Daniel and John should not be pointed in our direction. Instead, they refer to corrupt governments of the world.


But in addition to the smaller beasts, there is to be one great beast which will overshadow all the others. It was to be composed of the melting together of all the others. This would be the last great kingdom on earth to meet in a final contest with the Kingdom of God.


So where and when does this great beast come forth in the last days? The answer lies in those who claim the power, authority, means and wisdom to rule the whole world.


The first embryo of that worldly organization was introduced as “The League of Nations” by members of a combination of men who were both public and private. Those who were hidden held the power and control and were the most dangerous. By definition, the League of Nations is–


The International body for the promotion of peace, security, and cooperation among all the nations of the world, and between individual member states. (New Modern Enc., p. 588)


It was organized January 10, 1920, but never reached full steam. It gradually faded by the wayside without the full support of the nations that did not trust the over-reaching powers that could easily destroy their nation’s sovereignty and rights.


[174] But the death of one monster did not prevent the birth of another. Like a phoenix from the ashes came the United Nations. It was born with all the ugly features of a savage, corrupt, murderous beast. Although these characteristics did not show on its outward appearance, they were nevertheless hidden in its heart and mind. The banners of world-wide “understanding,” “good will,” “unity” and “our last best hope for peace,” were marvelous labels, but even a bomb can be deceitfully wrapped with cheerful paper and colored ribbons. And this was certainly the case with the organization of the United Nations.


This beast was born January 22, 1942, and on June 26, 1945, a conference was held in San Francisco where they adopted an international charter. The main creators of the United Nations were Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White and Lauchlin Currie–all dedicated Communists. Ironically, Hiss and Currie were aids to President Roosevelt. On the surface, the U.N. would promote world peace, which Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tong and other tyrants of the past had also claimed. Peace can be defined in two ways: (1) freedom and liberty, or (2) the absence of war. By the latter definition, people living under an absolute tyranny and dictatorship could be living in peace. For Communist and Internationalist dictatorial one-worlders to be on peace-keeping missions, is like the Mafia supervising the prevention of crime. Interestingly, the United Nations Constitution and the Soviet Constitution are very similar, and in some places are word for word.


The governments of the United Nations, Communist China and the Soviet Union are based on rights given to the people by the government. The American government was designed to be just the reverse: the government should derive its rights from the people.


[175] Edward Griffin wrote an excellent book on the United Nations in which he summarized his findings with the following:


I challenge the illusion that the U.N. is an instrument of peace . . . it could not be less of a cruel hoax if it had been organized in Hell for the sole purpose of aiding and abetting the destruction of the United States. (Fearful Master, Griffin, p. 158)


United Nations headquarters in New York City


The “gospel” of the United Nations is called the New World Order. It is simply a system of total control over finance, education, judiciary, military, politics and religion. Even our individual rights would be owned by this super-sized all inclusive government. Thomas Jefferson warned:



. . . when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government or another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated. (Wisdom of Thomas Jefferson, Edward Boykin, pp. 105-106)


These events were described in the prophecies of the past. For example, the parts of Daniel’s image were interpreted by Joseph Smith:


Daniel’s image, whose head was gold, and body, arms, legs and feet, were composed of the different materials described in his vision, represents different governments. The gold head was to represent Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon; the other parts, other kings and forms of government which I shall not now mention in detail, but confine my remarks more particularly to the feet of the image. The policy of the wicked spirit is to separate what God has joined together, and unite what He has separated, which the devil has succeeded in doing to admiration in the present society, which is like unto iron and clay. (TPJS, p. 103)


This great New World Order has not only been conceived and approved, but it has been nursed and nourished with the riches from America. It has been said the Lord saved some of his greatest spirits for the last days; undoubtedly, the devil has done the same thing. These two powerful factions have created two super and opposing governments–the kingdoms of Christ and the anti-Christ. Unfortunately, the Kingdom of God has been growing weaker, while the kingdoms of the world are growing stronger. It is similar to the contrast of power between David and Goliath–only on a much larger scale. But the day will come when there will be a battle between these two–and the anti-Christ will finally be destroyed.


[177] The goal of a conspiracy is to cleverly turn people’s minds from one thing to another without their even knowing it. It is to convince people that black is white and vice versa. But to change people’s ideals pertaining to religion, government, morals and correct principles is not easy. It involves very special tactics and evil designs to seduce a moral priest to be immoral, a policeman to turn into a criminal, a military man to fight for the enemy, or a patriot to become a traitor. Some individuals in these conspiracies have labored all their lives to see the fulfillment of their objectives, even knowing that they may not occur until years and years later. Such diligence and patience has to be admired, but also pitied and exposed.


Americans and Mormons alike have been blinded by the “secret combinations” which have infiltrated into the United States Government. We have been warned but have failed to see and recognize the enemy because the camouflage made it too difficult to detect. We have opened the gates and let in a modern Trojan horse. (See adaptation of illustration on following page.)


Today the United Nations government, consisting of more than 180 member nations, is the biggest government on earth–and should be our biggest concern.


That great mastermind of evil, who presented his plan in the Pre-existence to overthrow the Kingdom of God, has “patiently” worked on earth for 6,000 years to accomplish that objective. With his tools of wealth, power, deception and wickedness, he has almost achieved his objective. He has bought up the armies, navies and governments of the world and will soon reign with blood and terror over all the earth.


[178] “Where There Is No Vision, The People Perish.”

Proverbs 29:18


The Largest TROJAN HORSE In History



[179]                             Chapter 15




We should leave Babylon. Twenty-four hours of improvement now, are worth as much as a year a hundred years ago. * * * The small lights that God has given are sufficient to lead us out of Babylon; when we get out, we shall have the greater light. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 104)


It has been prophesied that the strength and power of the devil’s kingdoms will one day battle against the Kingdom of God. We are told, however, that the battle is the Lord’s, and He will provide the means of overcoming the power of the great beast. Joseph Smith said:


I listened, and lo! I heard a voice, and it was the voice of my Shepherd, saying, Listen, all ye lions of the forest, and all ye beasts of the field, give ear. Ye have sought to injure the innocent, and your hands have been lifted against the weak, the injured, and the oppressed. Ye have pampered the libertine, the calumniator, and the base. Ye have winked at vice, and trodden under foot the virtuous and the pure. Therefore hear, all ye lions of the forests. The Lord God will take from you your teeth, so that you shall no longer devour. He will pluck out your claws, so that you can no longer seize upon your prey. Your strength will fail you in the day of trouble, and your voice will fail, and not be heard afar off; but mine elect will I uphold with mine arm, and my chosen shall be supported by my power. And when mine anointed shall be exalted, [180] and all the lions of the forest have lost their strength, then shall they remember that the Lord he is God. (DHC 5:276-277)


Isaiah had uttered a similar prophecy:


I [Christ] have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. ***

And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth. (Isa. 63:3-4, 6)


In the latter days the Lord again repeated this information and added even more. (Refer to D & C 133:46-51.)


These passages refer to the Second Advent of Christ, because it talks of anger, vengeance and bloodshed coming to His enemies. His First Advent was one of love, peace, mercy and kindness, while the second one will destroy all governments on earth, will wipe out all the wicked and will cleanse every people. So bad will be this vengeance that Christ’s own garments will be stained with blood.


Prior to this massive destruction, God will touch the hearts of the elect and warn them to “gather” together and stand in holy places. God will hide them and remove them from worldly and evil places. These are to be the “first fruits” of His harvest. The world will be unconscious of this gathering until it is too late–much like Noah shutting the door of the ark and destruction coming upon the wicked. Jesus prophesied, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matt. 24:44, Insp. Ver.)


[181] When these days of tribulation have passed, these passages of scripture will be so clear that it will amaze the readers that they did not understand them before.


The investiture of the Son of Man, David’s Son, with the Kingdom, and the bestowment of judgment or rulership upon the saints associated with Him, is done by the Ancient of Days, for the Kingdom is given by Him to the Son of Man and His saints. But this is done here on the earth–as the representation in its entire scope demands–even while the anti-Christian power, so arrogant and hostile, is in existence and holds sway over the nations. (The Theocratic Kingdom, George Peters, 3:25)


When all the earth is turned against the Saints and the Kingdom, the Lord shall come out of his hiding place to vex these nations. Knowing the tremendous, overwhelming odds, He had promised to fight their battles and left them with the consolation, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) And then according to Paul, “For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (I Cor. 4:20)


In the latter days the Lord revealed that the inhabitants of the earth will be made to feel the “chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations.” (D & C 87:6) In His wrath, the Lord will eliminate the competition. Brigham Young explained:


You have heard brother Kimball testify that this kingdom will stand for ever. It will begin to roll onto and mash the toes of the great image, and by-and-by it will fill the whole earth, and no power of earth or hell can hinder it. The Lord Almighty will reign until he puts all enemies under his feet. That is the promise–that is the decree of the Father, that Jesus shall begin to reign on this earth in the latter days; and his kingdom [182] will increase upon the right and upon the left, until, by-and-by, it becomes a great kingdom and fills the whole earth, when he will begin to reign King of nations, as he now reigns King of Saints. It is and has been a warfare with Satan, and the war will continue until Jesus puts all enemies under his feet, disposing of death and him who has the power of it, who is the devil. (JD 8:69)


Do we appreciate the blessings of this our mountain home, far removed from the war, blood, carnage, and death that are laying low in the dust thousands of our fellow-creatures in the very streets where we have walked and in the cities and towns where we have lived? If we constantly live under a proper sense of the greatness of our blessings, the stone in the mountains will soon begin to attain colossal proportions and roll with crushing weight upon the toes of the “great image.” (JD 9:170)


And from Wilford Woodruff:


It is the decree of the Almighty God, that the kingdom of heaven shall be established, and shall never again be overthrown, that judgments shall lay waste the nations, enough at least to give that kingdom room to grow, and spread, and prosper. This is the truth, and you will all find it so. Those judgments have begun, that will never leave the earth until it is swept as with the besom of destruction, until thrones are cast down and kingdoms overthrown, until each man draws his sword against his neighbor, and every nation and kingdom that exists will be at war with each other, except the inhabitants of Zion. The Lord has spoken it, and it will come to pass. (JD 2:201)


In the last days the Kingdom of God will not prevail without conflict, violence and war. John describes a woman in pain and travail to deliver the man child. It was so in the meridian of time, and it will be so in the latter days. As the [183] Jewish nation opposed the Kingdom and was smashed to pieces, so it will be with the kingdoms of the world for opposing the Kingdom of God in the latter days.


For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. (Rev. 19:2)


Just as Pharaoh lost his whole army, so shall the armies of the world be destroyed. According to an 1880 revelation to Wilford Woodruff:


The devil is ruling over his kingdom and my spirit has no place in the hearts of the rulers of this nation, and the devil stirs them up to defy my power and to make war upon my Saints. * * *

This nation is ripened in iniquity and the cup of the wrath of mine indignation is full and I will not stay my hand in judgments upon this nation or the nations of the earth. * * *

As I the Lord have spoken so will I fulfill. I will spare none who remain in Babylon, but I will burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts. As I the Lord have suffered, so will I put all enemies under my feet. For I the Lord utter my word and it shall be obeyed. * * *

And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed, and with famine and plagues and earthquakes and the thunder of heaven and the vivid lightnings shall this nation and the nations of the earth be made to feel the chastening hand of an Almighty God until they are broken up and destroyed and wasted away from under heaven, and no power can stay my hand. (Revelations, 1880-1890, Pioneer Press, pp. 8, 10, 11)


How will all these terrible destructions affect the population of America? According to three early prophets:



President Heber C. Kimball while at the Endowment House prophesied that when the final, last struggle came to this nation, it would be at the Hill Cumorah, where both of the former nations were destroyed. (Wilford Woodruff Jrnl., Dec. 17, 1866)


And now I [Joseph Smith] am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation; pestilence, hail, famine and earthquake will sweep the wicked of this generation from off the face of the land, to open and prepare the way for the return of the lost tribes of Israel. . . . (TPJS, p. 17)


Joseph Smith once said, on the stand in Nauvoo, Ill., “That if the government of the United States did not redress the wrongs of the Mormon people inflicted upon them in the State of Missouri, the whole nation should be distracted by mobs from one end to the other; and that they would have mobs to the full, and to their hearts’ content.” (Mill. Star, quoted by Orson Hyde, 24:18, May 3, 1862) . . . God will lay his hand upon this nation, and they will feel it more terribly than ever they have done before; there will be more bloodshed, more ruin, more devastation than ever they have seen before. (John Taylor, JD 20:318)


Since America has become a part of Babylon, its laws and rulers have become a part of the great beast that is to fall:


Factions now sprang up as if by magic. Capital had entrenched itself against labor, and throughout the land labor was organized in opposition to capital. The voice of the wise sought to tranquilize their powerful factors in vain. Excited multitudes ran wildly about, strikes increased, lawlessness sought a place in the regular government.



At this juncture, I saw floating in air a banner whereon was written, “Bankruptcy, famine, floods, cyclones, blood, and plagues.” Mad with rage, men and women rushed upon each other. Blood flowed down the streets of cities like water. Thousands of bodies lay unentombed in the streets. Men and women fell dead from the terror inspired by fear. This was but the precursor of the bloody work of the morrow. All around lay the mournfulness of a past in ruins. (Charles D. Evans Vision, Visions of the Latter Days, Pioneer Press, pp. 59-60)


The millions of Mormons who have taken part in administering the laws and promoting the international programs of the New World Order and also in supporting these wicked kingdoms of the world will not be exempt from the catastrophes of these last days.


The people had become indifferent to the counsel and advice of the authorities of the Church, and were more interested in the accumulating of wealth than they were in living their religion, and at this time there began to be war and bloodshed.

He [John Taylor] saw blood running down the gutters of Salt Lake City as though it were water. People were fighting among themselves until it became so serious that the entire Church records were all taken across the Colorado River. President Taylor said to her [Mrs. Edward Lunt in Cedar City]: “If you are alive at that time, be sure that you are not far behind the records, because after the Church records leave and are secure, the very powers of hell will be turned loose, and there will be such destruction that but very little life will remain.

Not only Salt Lake but other adjoining cities will be destroyed, and in the east, in Missouri, in Jackson County, civilization will become entirely extinct. All means of transportation, such as railroads and high-ways, will be destroyed; the only means of travel will be on foot, and all manufacturing of all kinds will be [186] entirely destroyed.” (“The Vision of John Taylor,” related by Edward Lunt, Visions of the Latter Days, p. 100)


For the last century both Americans and Mormons have been supporting, to some degree, the wrong laws and the wrong kingdom. By now, the ride of a modern Paul Revere is too late; the emergency sirens have been silent too long; and the armies of Israel have overslept! The fate of this nation is sealed, and the prophecies of destruction will be fulfilled.


If the Kingdom of God could finally get established enough so that the enemies could not interfere, scatter, or destroy it, there would be enough good fruit produced to convince the people of its virtues. But people will not need to be convinced of the greatness of the Kingdom by academic or scriptural proofs, because it will demonstrate its own goodness and power. Heber C. Kimball explained:


There are enough of us; for the Lord is going to manifest his power and to play with our enemies as he did with Pharaoh and all his host. Now, mark it, and see if it does not come so, or something similar. (JD 5:220)


Pharaoh relinquished his kingdom to the mandates of the Kingdom of God because he had to. The children of Israel did literally nothing because God did it all. God made Pharaoh say the words, “Let them go.” God will direct this nation and all nations in such a way that eventually they will say, “Let God rule over us.”



[187]                             Chapter 16




The decline of millennialism in Mormon history thus coincided with the decline of the belief in the political kingdom of God. (Quest for Empire, Klaus Hansen, p. 23)


Mormonism’s opponents thought they could destroy the Saints with mobs, martyrdoms, Mormon Battalion, Utah War and government-appointed lawyers and judges. But all these tactics failed. The new plan was to attack the Mormons for polygamy, which would create more support for their anti-Mormon legislation. This was a subject that resulted in media headlines, lies and false propaganda from the pulpits, and the wrath of politicians. The Mormons tried to defend themselves by writing and preaching in favor of the principle of plural marriage. For example, Parley P. Pratt explained to Rev. Briggs:


As polygamists, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are approved and commended by Jesus Christ, who expressly declares that, “many shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south; and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of God.” While, at the same time, he declares that, “those wicked and adulterous persons, who in that age, considered themselves the children of the Kingdom should be thrust out.” I sincerely hope my mistaken friends here will learn, ere that eventful day, to distinguish between a house of Polygamy and a crowd of adulterers; but they might by [188] mistake consider the kingdom of God a house of ill fame, and go with the wrong crowd. * * *

Again sir, John the Revelator describes the eternal Jerusalem of Heaven, the Royal City of God, as peopled and governed by the great family of polygamists; which, in its lineage, includes Jesus and the holy prophets and apostles of all ages. The pearly gates are embellished with the names of twelve polygamists, the sons of four women by one man.

While, on the other hand, this same John expressly declares that the place for all liars, sorcerers, whoremongers, and adulterers is outside; and that there shall in no wise enter into the city anything that defileth or maketh a lie. (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 1979 pb. ed., pp. 419-420)


But such explanations usually fall on deaf ears.


Another plan to destroy the Mormons and their kingdom was to bring in an influx of gentiles with their laws and customs. This was accomplished with the coming of the railroad, bringing a new breed of people into the Salt Lake Valley. Numerous gentiles, merchants, land speculators and lawyers all flocked to the valleys to see if they could personally enrich themselves. Historian Leonard Arrington described this condition:


The completion of the Pacific railroad in 1869 posed three threats to the Mormon Kingdom in the Great Basin: (1) Offering, as it did, opportunities for eastern and midwestern enterprisers to exploit new mines and markets, the railroad threatened the continuance of theocratic control of the region: (2) entailing increased commercial intercourse, it threatened the economic autonomy of the exclusively Mormon commonwealth; and (3) by involving the Mormons increasingly in “worldly” trade and exchange, the railroad threatened to break up the Kingdom of Saints into conflicting segments and to secularize economic relationships generally. (Great Basin Kingdom, Arrington, p. 234)


[189] Brigham Young also described this condition in a letter to his son:


We have had quite an influx of lawyers into the city of late. Like the birds of prey they snuff the carcass from afar. Business is poor where they have been; but they imagine that with the land claims and other business the enemies of the truth promise them here, they will reap an abundant harvest. Armies have not been found to operate well in breaking us up, but it is now hoped that vexatious law suits and setting up and enforcing claims for our land may do it. (Mill. Star 28:604)


Along with the increase of gentiles, came the emphasis on making money and personal profit–and mining. In 1866, a women by the name of C.V. Waite published a book, The Mormon Prophet, in which she wrote:


Among the agencies already at work to accomplish this desirable end, and to redeem Utah from her enthrallment, may be mentioned the discovery of mines of precious metals, and the large influx of miners.

These hidden riches, thank God, have been brought to light. Miners are flocking in by the thousands, and their rights will be protected, if necessary by the strong arm of a strong government. Mormonism will soon give way before the advancing tide of American civilization. (pp. 279-280)


Unfortunately, this “tide of American civilization” was the kind of tide that destroys–not builds up. The Mormon “enthrallment” referred to the Kingdom of God; the American civilization included thieves, drunks, murderers and prostitutes. In 1872 Alta had a population of 5,000 with 23 saloons, two breweries, a long line of houses of prostitution and a list of over 100 miners killed in fights and saloon brawls. It was the same in many other “American” settlements. Thanks to the [190] railroads, “American civilization” had arrived in Utah. The Mormons had had experience with this “civilization” in Missouri and Illinois and had gone west to try to get away from it. About 20 years later “enemy settlers” followed and infiltrated.


Near the close of the Civil War, Col. Connor (“The Father of Utah Mining”) and Gov. Harding worked together to publish a short-lived anti-Mormon newspaper called The Vendetta. These two took an active step to cooperate with corrupt politicians and apostate Mormons in opposing Brigham Young–similar to what had happened to Joseph Smith. This renewed verbal attack would continue for another 25 years.


During the late sixties the non-Mormon and anti-Mormon elements began in earnest their attacks against polygamists. This effort was so volatile, it had the potential of war. In 1870 a political caucus was organized for a new “Utah Liberal Party.” Their newspaper was called The Tribune.


Mormon political, economic and religious rights were being increasingly denied. Politicians saw Utah as a place of vast economic and political advantages. Like gold miners dashing to the gold fields, government agents rushed to the Utah territory to confiscate Mormon personal, private and church properties. Even though it was all un-Constitutional, it was “legal.”


A similar transition had occurred when the Romans supposedly became Christians. It is written that in 325 A.D. the Romans became Christians, but in reality the Christians became Romans.


It was evident that the battle for the Kingdom was not going as victoriously, or as courageously, as did the Utah War. It appeared all would be lost. Klaus Hansen elaborated:



When it became apparent that the enemy was willing to retreat in return for some painful concessions, and that the Lord was not about to destroy the adversaries of the kingdom, hopes for a miraculous delivery receded. The decline of millennialism in Mormon history thus coincided with the decline of the belief in the political kingdom of God. (Quest for Empire, Hansen, p. 23)


As the Mormons’ faith in the Millennialism Kingdom began to wane, so did their interpretation of it. Their efforts toward maintaining a practical kingdom began to lean more toward just a theoretical hope of it. They believed their enemies were too powerful. The situation was similar to when the Israelites perceived their enemy to be giants, and they told Moses, “we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” (Num. 13:33) However, the Lord had told the Israelites to go up against their enemies, but when they refused, “the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them….” (Num. 14:45) Because they had failed to fight, their losses were greater than if they had gone to battle as God had commanded.


If we didn’t know better, it would seem that the modern Mormons were the children of Israel reincarnated. As persecution increased, the Saints’ belief in and support of the Kingdom of God decreased.


During the 1880’s there were over 20 bills against the Mormons that were presented to Congress. Most of these bills and laws were prejudicial and were aimed at taking property and political power. Passing legislation against the Mormons became politically popular and gained votes for their party. It was like kicking a wounded dog, knowing he couldn’t bite back. Both Democrats and Republicans tried to outdo each [192] other to gain votes by attacking the Mormons, and most of the bills presented became laws:


Morrill Bill, 1862

Wade Bill, 1866

Cragin Bill, 1867

Ashley Bill, 1869

Cullom Bill, 1870

Poland Bill, 1874

Arthur Bill, 1881

Edmunds Bill, 1882

Segregation Ruling, 1884

Edmunds-Tucker Bill, 1887


Very little thought went into these anti-Mormon bills as to their Constitutionality. Even Mark Twain made more sense than the Congressmen. He spoke to Lillian Whiting who was crusading against the Mormons and said:


Am I a friend of the Mormon religion? No, I would like to see it extirpated, but always by fair means, not these Congressional rascalities. If you destroy it with a book–by arguments and facts, but not brute force–you will do a good and wholesome work.”(Brigham Young, M. R. Werner, p. 359)


It was not the law, the facts, the Constitution, or individual rights that the federal lawmakers were interested in; it was politics, popularity and money.


Are we to assume that Washington legislators who were committing adultery and had mistresses and prostitutes, were really concerned about immorality of the Mormon marriage system? Immorality in Washington then was no different than it is now. How can we expect Bill Clinton to understand Biblical morality and the marriage commitments of Mormonism?


[193] Polygamy was just the obvious and most unpopular aspect of Mormonism that the government could turn public opinion against. But in reality, there were more deep-seated threats that the politicians were concerned about, i.e. the political Kingdom of God and the economic system of the United Order. They knew that with the passage and enforcement of all these anti-Mormon laws, the very foundation of Mormonism would begin to crumble. All three of the basic fundamentals upon which the Mormons had built their empire were in jeopardy: (1) their political Kingdom of God; (2) their temporal power in the United Order; and (3) their population growth through plural marriage. Leonard Arrington recorded the eventual abandonment of these three fundamentals:


The most influential of all the “Anti-Mormon” bills was the Edmunds Act, passed in 1882, which in essence, removed the government of Utah from the hands of the Mormons and placed it in the hands of a commission appointed by the national president. It was quickly followed, in 1887, by the Edmunds-Tucker Act, in which Congress provided for the confiscation of the properties of the Mormon Church. Eventually, church leaders found it necessary to give up the unequal struggle and attempted to bring their ideas and practices more into conformity with the prevailing sentiment of the federal Congress. National leaders and church leaders are said to have entered into a “compact.” We do not know whether such a “compact” was actually made, but at least the agreement and actions which it is said to have involved did take place. In the supposed “compact,” national leaders are said to have promised statehood for Utah provided three things were done: (1) plural marriage was abandoned; (2) the church political party was dissolved; and (3) the church dissolved its relations with the economy. Plural marriage, of course, was abandoned with the Manifesto of 1890; the Peoples’ party was dissolved in 1891 [194] and the people were divided between Republicans and Democrats; and the church began to take steps to withdraw from many of its economic activities. (“Religion and Economics in Mormon History,” Arrington, BYU Studies, 3:31-32)


The “compact” had a disastrous effect upon the basic structure of Mormonism and the Kingdom of God. By the turn of the century, the Mormons had abandoned their economic (United Order), their political (Kingdom of God), and their social (polygamy) doctrines. They not only shook hands with the enemy, but actually joined their ranks as well.


President Buchanan had sent an army against the Mormons to prove to the Democrats that he was opposed to at least one of the “twin relics of barbarism.” However, after negotiations with the Mormons and a peace settlement was made, it still did not stop the tide of prejudice and hatred against the Mormons:


Nevertheless, the handwriting was on the wall for Young’s Mormon kingdom; further government attacks on polygamy and the political kingdom were delayed only by the Civil War. Beginning in the 1870’s, the United States Congress exerted increasing pressure on the Mormons, who, in 1890, were forced to relinquish polygamy and the political kingdom as the price of their religion’s survival. Mormon president Wilford Woodruff’s manifesto disavowing any further sanctioning of plural marriages by the church symbolized the passing of an era and the beginning of the reconciliation of Mormonism with the world. (The Enc. of Religion, Simon & Shuster, vol. 9, p. 110)


Klaus Hansen summarized the rise and fall of the Kingdom council:



[Joseph] Smith organized a secret Council of Fifty in the spring of 1844. This council continued as one of the most influential organizations in Mormon history until about the turn of the century. As long as the influence of the council persisted, Mormonism was bent on establishing itself as a political as well as an ecclesiastical authority. The suspected goals and activities of the Council of Fifty and the political kingdom of God were, therefore, the primary cause for the harrowing persecutions which the Saints suffered throughout the nineteenth century. But because of the intense secrecy, the Mormons could always deny, with some success, the accusations of their enemies. Yet they could not deny polygamy. Hence, the Gentiles deliberately crusaded against polygamy in order to destroy the political kingdom of God. The disappearance of the Council of Fifty, therefore, far exceeds in significance the demise of polygamy. The death of the political kingdom clearly marked the most incisive watershed in the history of Mormonism. (Quest for Empire, Hansen, frontispiece)


It was very clear that Washington wanted to destroy the social structure, the political power and the economic order of Mormonism. Pres. Wilford Woodruff stood on dangerous ground by giving the Saints his “advice” to give up plural marriage when he issued the Manifesto. However, his compromise with the enemy to give up the United Order and the Kingdom of God in exchange for statehood was even more serious.


Relinquishing these three vital Priesthood doctrines placed the Church in a similar position to the ancient Israelites who, by rejecting the higher laws, then functioned under the order of the Aaronic Priesthood. Salvation and exaltation depend upon the laws we live. The Lord has made this very clear:



For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory. (D & C 88:22)


And [the church] are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; and Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. (D & C 105:4-5)


Brigham Young also clarified:


. . . no person can be exalted in the kingdom of heaven without first submitting himself to the rules, regulations, laws and ordinances of that kingdom, and being perfectly subject to them in every respect. (JD 15:220)


If we obey the laws of a gentile kingdom, can we expect to receive the blessings of God’s kingdom?


Orson Pratt saw danger signs for the Mormons as he read some of the prophecies, and he tried to warn the Saints:


“Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man who shall lead them like Moses led the children of Israel. For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, with an outstretched arm. And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.” (D & C 103:15-18) ***

It seems, then, that this people, at some future time in their sojourn here in this land, may possibly be in bondage greater than they are at the present time. I try to hope for the best, and to think that the bondage we are in and have been in for years, in consequence of the efforts of those who are striving to take away our rights as American citizens, and to trample us down in the dust; I say I have been in hopes that that would be all the bondage that was meant here in this prophecy, [197] but I do not know but what there may be a greater signification to these words. I do not know what the purposes of the Lord are in relation to this particular thing. It may be that we shall have our rights completely taken from us; it may be, if we do not live sufficiently faithful before the Lord, that he will yet bring us into still greater tribulation than that which we have hitherto had. It may be that we shall yet be in bondage like the Israelites in the land of Egypt;…. (JD 17:289, 303)


It should not be difficult for the Latter-day Saints to realize we are now in both temporal and spiritual bondage–and that the Kingdom of God has declined to the point that it is collectively non-existent.



[198]                             Chapter 17






Zion’s Standard


Lo! the Gentile chain is broken;

Freedom’s banner waves on high;

List, ye nations! by this token,

Know that your redemption’s nigh.


See, on yonder distant mountain,

Zion’s standard wide unfurled,

Far above Missouri’s fountain,

Lo! it waves for all the world.


–Parley P. Pratt (CHC 3:276-277)


[199] Flags or ensigns are used for representation and patriotic purposes, such as those seen at post offices and schools, in parades, etc., but they are also a means of recognition. The flags on ships, military vehicles, old-time forts, and at the front lines of battles are for the purpose of identification–both for their own troops as well as for the enemy.


By definition, an ensign is referred to as “a flag flown as the symbol of nationality; a badge of office, rank, or power.” (Webster’s New Cyclopedic Dic., p. 334)


In speaking of the last days, Isaiah prophesied:


And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isa. 11:12)


Thus, the flag can be used as a rallying point, or standard, which a people, nation or king can use as their symbol. It distinguishes nations, kings, estates, clans, and military organizations. If a king wanted to make a proclamation, or needed to gather his people, he would determine their loyalty by seeing how many would rally around their flag.


It is interesting that symbols, emblems and ensigns have always been important to people. Even in the Pre-Existence it was recorded that they had a special meaning. Mosiah Hancock, who saw a great panorama of that world, stated:


We who were faithful to the Father and the Son, had a white star upon us, and the others chose a red star; about one-third of the males and females would not accept of either star, but withdrew from the conflict. . . . (Mosiah Hancock Jrnl., Pioneer Press, p. 72)


[200] The star symbol carried over into mortality and was used on many flags. It became a significant part of all the United States flags.


Every nation has its symbolic ensign. Some have beasts, some birds, some fishes, some reptiles on their banners. Our fathers chose the Stars and Stripes–the red telling of the blood shed by them for their country, the blue telling of the heavens and their protection, and the [white] stars announcing the different States embodied in one nationality, E Pluribus Unum. (Our Flag, Campbell, p. 58)


The first official recorded account of the adoption of our “Stars and Stripes” was very brief. On June 14, 1777, a resolution was passed by the Congress at Philadelphia, which was nearly a year after the Declaration of Independence. The resolution read:


Resolved, that the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes alternate red and white; and that the union be thirteen stars, white, in a blue field, representing a new constellation. (Ibid., p. 55)


[201] In Nauvoo, just before his martyrdom, Joseph Smith mentioned a special flag that was to be a “Standard of the Nations” and their ensign. In his journal he recorded:


June 22, 1844: * * * At 7 p.m. I instructed General Dunham [of the Nauvoo Legion] to cause the regiment of the 2nd Cohort to turn out tomorrow, and work by turns three or four hours each, with entrenching tools, and to take the best measures in case of attack. I also gave orders that a standard be prepared for the nations. (DHC 6:528)


Five days later the Prophet was dead. The Saints realized they would have to leave the United States for protection. Joseph had left instructions for going out west to the mountains, and it was now even more evident they would need to do so. Though the Prophet was dead, his presence and influence were not far away.


. . . while they were fasting and praying daily on the subject [the migration west], President Young had a vision of Joseph Smith, who showed him the mountain that we now call Ensign Peak, immediately north of Salt Lake City, and there was an ensign fell upon that peak, and Joseph said, “Build under the point where the colors fall and you will prosper and have peace. (George A. Smith, JD 13:85)


Before leaving Nauvoo, Brigham Young declared that he knew how to make that flag:


Pres. B. Young said that the saying of the Prophets would never be verified unless the House of the Lord be reared in the Tops of the Mountains & the Proud Banner of Liberty wave over the valleys that are within the Mountains & I [B.Y.] know where the spot is & I know how to make this Flag. Jos[eph] sent the colours and said where the colours settled there would be the spot. (recorded in John D. Lee Diary, Jan. 13, 1846)


[202] On May 29, 1947, while the pioneers were on their way to the Salt Lake Valley, camping on the Platte River, Brigham Young addressed the members, and some non-members, of the Church. He spoke of how this “ensign” or “standard of Zion” would be raised and that it would function to protect the rights of both Mormons and non-Mormons. According to Wilford Woodruff:


He [B.Y.] then spoke of the “standard” or “ensign” that would be reared in Zion to govern the kingdom of God, and the nations of the earth, for every nation would bow the knee and every tongue confess that Jesus was the Christ; and this will be the standard–“The Kingdom of God and His Law.” * * * And on the standard would be a flag of every nation under heaven, so there would be an invitation to all nations under heaven to come unto Zion. (Wilford Woodruff Jrnl., May 29, 1847, as quoted in CHC 3:276)


Two days after entering the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young said he wanted to climb up the hill [Ensign Peak] so he could have a better view. He went with Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, Richards, Ezra T. Benson, Carrington, Clayton, and L.D. Young–Woodruff being the first to make it to the top. From there, with the aid of a telescope, they platted out the city. They also formed a circle of prayer and dedication and hoisted Kimball’s spotted yellow bandanna on Richards’ cane. (See “`A Banner is Unfurled:’ Mormonism’s Ensign Peak,” Ronald W. Walker, Dialogue 26:4, p. 81.)


Some reports state that the U.S. flag was flown on Ensign Peak right after the pioneers’ arrival. However, according to B. H. Roberts, this is not the case:


Considering the circumstance under which the little company of the Pioneers ascended this mount, it becomes utterly impossible that they should raise the [203] flag of the United States upon it. They did not leave their encampment that morning of July 26th with any intent to climb that or any other mountain. They started out to examine the nature of the Salt Lake valley–the plains northward of their encampment. The ascent of the mount they named “Ensign Peak,” as above described, was an unintended incident that developed after they started on their exploring trip. CHC 3:271-272)


Utah’s Congressional delegate, William H. Hooper, when speaking to the House of Representatives against the Ashley Bill to dismember the territory of Utah, explained:


“The Ensign” that these Latter-day Saint Pioneers had in mind, and of which they had frequently spoken en route, was something larger and greater than any national flag whatsoever; and what it was meant to represent was greater than any earthly kingdom’s interest, and I speak not slightingly of earthly kingdoms either; but this “Ensign” in the minds of the “Mormon” Pioneers concerned not one nation, but all nations; not one epoch or age, but all epochs and all ages; not nationality but humanity, is its scope and concern. It was the sign and ensign of the Empire of the Christ; it was a prophecy of the time to come when the kingdoms of this world would become “the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and forever.” (Rev. 11:15) (Congressional Globe, Feb. 25, 1869, as quoted in CHC 3:275)


On the one-year celebration of the July 24th entrance into the valley, with 4,000 in attendance, a 104-foot pole was raised with the Kingdom flag on it. (See “Minutes of Meetings,” Tom Bullock, July 23, 1849.) This was one week before they first applied for statehood. For many years during the celebration of Pioneer Days, both flags were raised. We celebrate this event every time we sing:


[204] High on the mountain top a banner is unfurled.

Ye nations, now look up; It waves to all the world.

In Deseret’s sweet, peaceful land,

On Zion’s mount behold it stand!


For God remembers still His promise made of old

That he on Zion’s hill Truth’s standard would unfold!

Her light should there attract the gaze

Of all the world in latter days.


His house shall there be reared, His glory to display,

And people shall be heard in distant lands to say:

We’ll now go up and serve the Lord,

Obey his truth and learn his word.


For there we shall be taught the law that will go forth,

With truth and wisdom fraught, to govern all the earth.

Forever there his ways we’ll tread,

And save ourselves with all our dead.

(Hymns . . ., p. 62)


It was a considerable time after the Saints had arrived in the Salt Lake Valley that a “Kingdom” flag was made. Some references about ten years later said that it was completed and used. For example, in a letter to his mother on July 7, 1859, William Knight wrote:


The Mormons were celebrating the day with a flag of their own, firing cannon and marching about to Yankee music. (California Pioneer, Bertha Knight Power, p. 19)


Ronald Walker referred to the age-old patterns and customs that had interested the Mormons:


The Mormons were re-enacting patterns as ancient as humankind itself. As religious people had done for millennia, they used symbols such as Ensign Peak to consecrate their new land, reminding themselves and generations to follow of their sacred [205] purpose. But they were doing more than settling and claiming a new land. They knew that they were actors, not just observers. In God’s latter-day drama, they were bringing in Christ’s millennial reign.  (“`A Banner is Unfurled:’ . . .” Walker, Dialogue 26:4, Winter 1993, p. 91)


It has been recorded that this Kingdom flag has been raised on Ensign Peak on at least a few occasions. It was also seen at the funeral services for such great pioneers as Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball. Though disagreeing with B. H. Roberts, author Don Maguire described the appearance and use of this flag:


Kindly note, gentle reader, that Utah history states that the flag known as the Stars and Stripes was placed on Ensign Peak about the twenty-ninth [sic] day of July 1847. The so-called flag of the Stars and Stripes placed there on that occasion was a flag having in its upper left-hand corner a blue field with a circle of twelve stars and in the center a large white star. The stripes on that flag, instead of being red and white stripes, were blue and white stripes, and it was to be the flag denoting Mormon sovereignty over an area that they had now taken possession of . . . for good and sufficient reasons the so-called flag of Stars and Stripes raised on Ensign Peak above Salt Lake City in July 1847 was never again seen in public until the day of Brigham Young’s funeral when it hung from a second-story window of Heber C. Kimball’s residence. That flag was exposed to public view on that morning September 1877 and it may be supposed that between the hours of eleven o’clock and two o’clock of the same day, it was carefully folded and laid away in the redwood casket containing the mortal remains of Brigham Young, there to rest with him unto the morning of the Resurrection. (Holy Murder, the Story of Porter Rockwell, Maguire, pp. 93-94)


[206] The ensign, or flag of the Kingdom, represents a very interesting part of Mormon history–the government of God’s Kingdom on the earth. That was something no other flag represented. It frequently was flown at the side of the nation’s stars and stripes.


To the Mormon people there would be another flag allied with the American national flag which would have a higher symbolism and meaning. It would be broader than national, extending to international; it would mean more than civil, extending to spiritual loyalties; and finally it would be a banner for all the house of Israel to gather to the Kingdom of God. It would not supplant the flag of the United States, but support it. They would fly together.


In a small city park at the base of Ensign Peak are displayed three flags: the American flag, the Utah State flag, and the flag of the Kingdom. However, the Kingdom flag should have a field of blue with white stars, instead of the reverse, as pictured below:


(picture of three flags)


[207] There is some very probable symbolism connected to this flag: the 13 stripes represent the 13 tribes, or nations, of ancient Israel, with Ephraim as the 13th. The twelve stars represent the 12 original sons of Jacob or the 12 apostles of Christ, with the large star in the middle representing Christ Himself.


As previously mentioned, there are always two opposing powers or kingdoms in the world. Thus, as there should be, there are two ensigns or flags representing these two kingdoms. Both are universal flags rather than national; both are backed by people with their own Constitution; both represent peace to the world; and both contain the colors of light blue and white. However, one flag represents the Kingdom of God, while the other the kingdoms of the world.


(picture of two flags, The Kingdom of God Flag and The United Nations Flag)


[208] The final triumph of this flag and what it represents was described in a vision to Patriarch Charles D. Evans:


A voice was now suddenly heard declaring these words: “In the distant mountain tops are to be found the true lovers of freedom and equal rights, . . . . Go there.”  . . . when suddenly appeared on Ensign Peak near Salt Lake City, a beautiful flag standing for “Human Liberty throughout the world,” . . . Tyrants were hurled down . . . one unbroken nation whose banner  waved for all the world. (Ensign of Nations, Francis M. Darter, p. 11)


If this flag will have such a powerful destiny among the nations of the world, shouldn’t it be given more understanding and respect today?



[209]                             Chapter 18




The world has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 252)


If the Kingdom of God is so important that Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom,” then it must be essential for us to understand what it is in order to identify its organization, purpose and blessings. We need to realize that the Kingdom is not just a heavenly place, an attitude, a philosophy or a peaceful feeling. John Taylor gives us a better idea of the power of this Kingdom:


The same power that governs in the heavens, that rules and regulates the planetary system, that causes seed-time and harvest, day and night, summer and winter, and all the regular changes of the heavenly bodies in their proper succession,–this same intelligence is required to govern the world, produce order out of chaos, and bring back that same state of things which has been forfeited in consequence of the transgressions of man,–to restore correct government, legitimate rule and dominion, true religion, morals, and science, and every other correct principle; for there is no good or perfect gift that does not proceed from God, in regard to religion, government, mechanism, or science. (JD 7:324)


Throughout history many worldly kingdoms, great and small, have come and gone. Archaeologists find remains of [210] their bones, pots and buildings. They try to learn all they can about their civilizations. Why did they rise and why did they fall? Why didn’t these kingdoms last longer? And we might ask, would the Kingdom of God be any different?


We have a thousand different churches throughout our country, but few if any even claim the Kingdom of God. It has been prophesied that in the latter days God will restore two things–His Church and His Kingdom. Both will be established under the direction of His authority or priesthood. But ministers and priests of today preach, teach and build churches, but never mention the kingdom. What is missing in their calling from God? Could it be lack of understanding of the Kingdom or lack of priesthood authority?


It is evident in reading the New Testament how frequently the Lord and His Apostles refer to the Kingdom compared to their mention of the Church. But today the reverse is true–ministers frequently refer to the Lord’s church but seldom to His kingdom. It is interesting to compare references to the Kingdom and the Church–in both the New Testament and the Doctrine and Covenants:


New Testament:

Kingdom     240 times

Church      92 times


Doctrine and Covenants:

Kingdom     132 times

Church      17 times


Regarding the re-establishment of the Kingdom of God in the latter days, it is interesting to note how similar Rev. George Peters’ interpretations of the prophecies are to the beliefs of the Latter-day Saints:



Thus in Ezek. 36:8-38 there is a profusion of circumstances irreconcilable with any other view than the one adopted. In the enumeration of them there are (1) the gathering out of all countries and the bringing again into their own land; (2) they shall dwell in the land given to their fathers; (3) they shall be also converted; (4) the desolate land is to be tilled and sown; (5) man and beast are to be multiplied on it; (6) the cities shall again be inherited and the wastes builded; (7) they shall be settled after their “old estates:” (8) God “will do better unto you than at your beginnings;” (9) the land shall be for an inheritance: (10) the land shall no more be bereaved; (11) it shall not be burdened with the shame of the heathen; (12) the identical land defiled by Israel’s sins is the one thus again obtained; (13) the removal from the land caused by sin; (14) the return to it caused by God’s mercy and faithfulness; (15) the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field so sure as to prevent famine; (17) the land once desolate to become like the Garden of Eden; (18) the heathen that are left shall acknowledge the Lord’s power when this is done; (19) the house of Israel shall be increased with flocks of men and the waste cities with the same. So circumstantial and minute are details given that no unprejudiced mind can resist their force. (The Theocratic Kingdom, Peters, 2:63)


There are many purposes and benefits for the Kingdom of God mentioned throughout the Bible. These correspond to information given by early LDS leaders. Though certainly not a complete list, a few are listed here.


Proper Authority

I [Brigham Young] will now refer you directly to the building up of the Kingdom of God in the last days. What do we see next? Joseph as an Apostle of the Lamb, with the keys of the eternal Priesthood committed unto him by Peter, James and John. What for? To build up the Kingdom of God on the earth. (Brigham Young, JD 1:135)




Again, the kingdom of God must be concentrated–the people must be together and gathered into one place. How would the king of France or England look undertaking to reign over a kingdom, when their subjects were scattered all over the world, except in France of England? So with the Saints, they must be gathered together. (Brigham Young, Manuscript History of B.Y., p. 140)


Freedom of Worship

If they wish to worship a white dog, they will have the privilege; if they wish to worship the sun, they will have the privilege; if they wish to worship a man, they will have the privilege, and if they wish to worship the “unknown God,” they will have the privilege. This kingdom will circumscribe them all and will issue laws and ordinances to protect them in their rights–every right that every people, sect and person can enjoy, and the full liberty that God has granted to them without molestation. * * *

But the kingdom of God, when it is established and bears rule, will defend the Methodists in their rights just as much as Latter-day Saints, but it will not allow them to infringe upon the rights of their neighbors; this will be prohibited. (Brigham Young, JD 17:156)


Temporal Wealth

The earth and the kingdoms thereof will be given unto the Saints of the Most High God. Will they be rich then? Do you not think they will possess the gold mines and treasures of the earth? Yes. (Brigham Young, JD 10:332)



Now I want to give you these few words–the kingdom of God will protect every person, every sect and all people upon the face of the whole earth, in their legal rights. I shall not tell you the names of the members of this kingdom, neither shall I read to you [213] its constitution, but the constitution was given by revelation. The day will come when it will be organized in strength and power. Now, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, we work our way along the best we can. Can you understand this? (Brigham Young, JD 17:157)


Joseph commenced the organization of a Council for the purpose of taking into consideration the necessary steps to obtain redress for the wrongs which had been inflicted upon us by our persecutors and also the best manner to settle our people in some distant and unoccupied territory; where we could enjoy our civil and religious rights, without being subject to consistent oppression and mobocracy, under the protection of our own laws, subject to the Constitution. (Brigham Young, Mill. Star 26:328)



The kingdom of God is a righteous kingdom, all its laws are righteous, its government is a righteous government, and the king who governs and controls it does so upon righteous and eternal principles, and we must act upon the same principles of righteousness. Who cannot see that if a man seeks first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, that he will become righteous and hence he will be blessed. (Wilford Woodruff, Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 173)


Correct Principles

The Almighty has established this kingdom with order and laws and every thing pertaining thereto, that we might understand his will and operate in his kingdom, that we might be taught of God and understand correct principles, that when the nations shall be convulsed, we may stand forth as saviours, and do that which will be best calculated to produce the well-being of the human family and finally redeem a ruined world, not only in a religious but in a political point of view. (John Taylor, JD 9:342)



Freedom from Bondage

In any government or kingdom the citizens are subject to various kinds of bondage, some more easily detected than others. A corrupt government will bring its people into slavery, while a righteous one helps free its citizens from bondage. Note the different kinds of bondage that we are under:


  1. Physical (slavery, kidnapping, addiction)
  2. Economic (servitude to banking structure and national debts; excessive taxation)
  3. Political (dictatorships; unrighteous dominion of an elect group; legal power structure)
  4. Ideological (control by the media; conspirators, capitalists, criminals and propaganda)
  5. Spiritual (apostate churches; ignorance of the truth; sin, disobedience and crime)


With the establishment of the Kingdom of God, all these evils will be eliminated. That alone will be like heaven itself.


So when will these conditions and benefits be realized? When will the Saints be able to enjoy such peace and safety? According to Micah, when Babylon has fallen, a beacon of light and hope will break forth from the mountains. It will be the Kingdom of God!


And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Micah 4:1-3)


[215] Both ancient and modern prophets have prophesied of the marvelous effects, both physical and spiritual, that the Kingdom of God will have on the earth. Government, people, the land and all things will be transformed for the better to exemplify the power and organization and blessings from God. Buildings and temples will reflect the Spirit of God, tremendous knowledge will be available–as the following vision of Patriarch Charles D. Evans describes:


Among the many banners, I saw one inscribed thus: “The government based on the Constitution now and forever!” On another there was: “Liberty of Conscience!” And there were several others, both religious and political.

The light of the Gospel, which had but dimly shone because of abominations, now burst forth with a lustre that filled the earth. Cities appeared in every direction, one of which was in the center of the continent.

It was an embodiment of architectural science after the pattern of eternal perfection. Its towers glittered with a radiance emanating from the sparkling of emeralds, rubies, diamonds, and other precious stones set in a canopy of gold, and so elaborately and skillfully arranged as to shed forth a brilliancy which dazzled and enchanted the eye. It excited admiration and developed a taste for the beautiful beyond anything man had ever conceived.

Fountains of crystal water shot upwards through transparent jets, which, in the brilliant sunshine, formed ten thousand rainbow tints at once, so delightful to the eye. Gardens, the perfection of whose arrangement confound all our present attempts at such genius, were bedecked with flowers to develop and refine the taste and strengthen man’s love for these–nature’s choicest endowments.

Schools and universities were erected to which all had access. In the latter, Urims were placed for the study of the past, present, and future, and for obtaining a knowledge of heavenly bodies and of the construction of worlds and universes. The inherent [216] properties of matter, its arrangements, laws, and mutual relation, were revealed and taught and made plain as the primer lesson of a child.

The conflicting theories of geologists regarding the foundation and age of the earth, were settled forever. All learning was based on eternal certainty. Angels brought forth the treasures of knowledge which had lain in the midst of the dumb and distant past hidden from the world.

The appliances for making learning easy surpass all conjecture. Chemistry was rendered extremely simple by the power which Urim conferred on man of looking into the very elements themselves. A stone furnished no more obstruction to human vision than the air itself. Not only were the elements and all their changes and transformations plainly understood, but the construction, operation and laws of spirit elements were also rendered equally plain as those which govern the coarser elements. (Vision of Charles D. Evans, originally published in the Contributor, vol. 15; quoted in Visions of the Latter Days, Pioneer Press, pp. 62-63)


In reality, we are not waiting on the Lord for these things to happen; He is waiting for us. Daniel Wells said, “So fast as He can get a people who will be able to bear the kingdom off, He will roll it onward.” (JD 7:293) How can we as Latter-day Saints bear off the Kingdom if we think it is in heaven, or it is just a burning in our bosom, or it is the LDS Church? It is similar to an army going into battle with an incorrect map!


For centuries, Christians have prayed to God “thy Kingdom come;” but when it came, they didn’t recognize it. It is obvious they don’t know what they are praying for, so they couldn’t recognize it when they saw it. Jesus predicted it would be that way in a parable. A certain king was preparing for a marriage and sent his servants out to make the announcement, but some “made light of it, and went their [217] ways,” while others took the servants and “entreated them spitefully, and slew them.” The king then “destroyed those murderers and burned up their city.” So then his “servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.” (See Matt. 22:4-10.)


Babylon is a huge world-wide monster that must be destroyed before God’s Kingdom can exist in all its power. The devil must be chained, and the evils of his kingdom eliminated. It will be a time of great rejoicing. This Millennial Kingdom will last a thousand years. Increasing knowledge, powers and blessings will be enjoyed by the people during that time. The telestial order of the earth today will change to a terrestrial order. Then after that thousand years, the earth will become the celestial kingdom of God.



[218]                             Chapter 19




Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so on earth, that thine enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor, power and glory, forever and ever. Amen. (D & C 65:6)


The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven are often used synonymously without much distinction between them. They do have many similarities, i.e., the ruling power, government organization, and purpose. The main distinction is locality. The Kingdom of Heaven is God’s kingdom in the heavens, while the Kingdom of God can be either in heaven or on the earth.


The Kingdom of Heaven is interwoven so closely with the earth that there is a great connection between them. The Lord’s prayer states, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10) When we do the will of God, then we will experience a little of the spirit of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.


Many people have seen short glimpses of paradise or the spirit world, but rarely has anyone actually seen the Kingdom of Heaven. On one occasion the Prophet Joseph and Sidney Rigdon were able to see and record the final destiny of mankind in the three major divisions of heaven:



And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding; and no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it. And thus we saw the glory of the terrestrial which excels in all things the glory of the telestial, even in glory, and in power, and in might, and in dominion. And thus we saw the glory of the celestial, which excels in all things–where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever; . . . (D & C 76:89-92)


Many of those who have witnessed a short view of the spirit world (near-death experience), think it is heaven because it is so beautiful. Yet even the telestial degree of heaven far surpasses mortal earth or paradise.


Everyone will be exceedingly happy in the glory he or she receives. These three kingdoms of glory will be the final “resting place” for people of all nations. Because of the glorious conditions there, no one will want, nor be required, to be reincarnated back to this wicked world. Paul said:


There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. (I Cor. 15:40-42)


As all stars have a different brightness, so also are the variations of man’s glory in the resurrection. The earth itself has passed through stages and will eventually be resurrected in glory as a heaven. Orson Pratt explained:


When the Lord brings up the children of Israel out of their graves, he will do it just as Ezekiel saw it in vision. The materials that form the bones will come together; first, the anatomy or framework, the most [220] part of the system; then the flesh, afterwards the skin, and then the Spirit of the living God will enter into them, and they will live as immortal beings, no more to be subject to death. And when they leave, instead of going away off to a heaven inconceivable, such as we find in the articles and creeds of men–a “heaven beyond the bounds of time and space”–a place supposed to be beyond infinity, they will actually come here and be brought to the land of Israel, as immortal beings, male and female. They will have kings and priests among them, and they will reign on the earth. And if you want to know how long, you can learn it from the revelation which John had. He says, “a thousand years.” But that “the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” After the thousand years here referred to, this earth will die; it will pass through a change similar to that of our bodies; it will pass away, as an organized world, but not a particle, however, will be destroyed or annihilated; it will all exist, and when it is resurrected again, it will be a new earth. Then those immortal beings who come up out of their graves, at the beginning of the thousand years, will again descend from heaven upon the new earth; and the earth will be eternal; and the beings that inhabit it will be eternal. (Masterful Discourses of Orson Pratt, Lundwall, pp. 286-287)


Orson’s brother, Parley, also was familiar with the future of mankind and earth:


Every person knows, by reflection, that intelligence may be imparted without diminishing the store possessed by the giver. Therefore it follows, that millions of individual beings may each receive all the attributes of eternal life, and light, and power.

Again it follows that in the use of this power, by consent and authority of the Head, any one of these Gods may create, organize, people, govern, control, exalt, glorify, and enjoy worlds on worlds, and the inhabitants thereof; or, in other words, each of them can find room in the infinitude of space, and unoccupied [221] chaotic elements in the boundless storehouse of eternal riches, with which to erect for himself thrones, principalities and powers, over which to reign in still increasing might, majesty and dominion, for ever and ever. (Key to the Science of Theology, 5th ed., Pratt, pp. 35-36)


The modern ministers of Christianity preach about heaven, but they have never seen it. They talk and write about an eternity of “playing a harp” or “staring at Jesus.” It is a blessing for us to have the revealed word of the Lord through prophets to provide us with something more significant and important than these phony theories. The Prophet Joseph Smith gave some very important information regarding man’s progress and destiny when he said:


When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel–you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave. (TPJS, pp. 347-348)


On the pioneer trek from Nauvoo, Brigham Young explained how this eternal increase can be accomplished:


For your satisfaction I will show you a rule by which you may comprehend the exaltation of the faithful. I will use myself as a figure, and say that I am ruling over 10 sons or subjects and soon each one of them would have 10 men sealed to them and they would be ruler over them and that would make me ruler over 10 Presidents or Kings whereas I was ruler over 10 subjects only, or in other words I ruled over one Kingdom but now I rule over 10. Then let each one get 10 more. Then I would be ruler over 100 Kingdoms [222] and so on, continued to all eternity, and the more honor and glory that I could bestow upon my sons, the more it would add to my exaltations. (Wilford Woodruff Jrnl., Feb. 16, 1847)


Merely belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ will not save a man in God’s Kingdom. Neither will holding the Priesthood or holding a high office in the Church. Preparation for the Kingdom begins in the heart and mind, as Orson Whitney explained:


Ah, reader, the redemption of Zion is more than the purchase or recovery of lands, the building of cities, or even the founding of nations. It is the conquest of the heart, the subjugation of the soul, the sanctifying of the flesh, the purifying and ennobling of the passions. Greater is he who subdues himself, who captures and maintains the citadel of his own soul, than he who, misnamed conqueror, fills the world with the roar of drums, the thunder of cannon, the lightning of swords and bayonets, overturns and set up kingdoms, lives and reigns a king. . . .” (Life of Heber C. Kimball, Whitney, p. 65)


In the resurrection, every loss, sacrifice and pain for the Gospel’s sake will be rewarded. This world provides continual opportunities to gain rewards. We will be proud of every offering we have made and every difficulty we have endured. As Daniel H. Wells described:


How often have I witnessed the pride and joy the brethren have felt in relation to this in their reunions at the parties of the “Mormon Battalion,” the “Pioneers” and “Zion’s Camp” and other associations. How many have said to me, “I was with you at such a place, and such a place; and I was with the Saints in their troubles in Illinois and Missouri.” And they speak of it as though they were proud to have been there. And even in the times of trouble we had in our early settlement here, when clothing and provisions were [223] scarce, the same feeling is manifested. “I was here,” says one, “and I,” says another, and they feel glad that they were counted worthy to endure these trials and stand firm. It is a matter of satisfaction to every one who has proven himself worthy thus far; and when we shall have passed a little further along, and have got through this state of mortal existence, will we not, in that great reunion beyond the grave, feel still more to congratulate ourselves and each other that we have passed safely through, and that we have had virtue, strength and integrity sufficient for our day? And we shall be glad and rejoice that the difficulties we encountered were thrown in our way, and that we had the opportunity of proving ourselves before the Heavens. (JD 12:234-235)


When we arrive in heaven, this world will become just a memory, but we will be glad and honored that we passed through it and experienced its challenges.


“This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.” (Isa. 43:21) It is a great joy to God to create His spiritual children, just as it is for a father to have a beautiful family of mortal children. As a child obeys and honors his father, both receive satisfaction and joy. So it is with our Father in Heaven and us mortals. It is a joy to the Saints to serve their King, and in turn for the King to shower His choicest blessings upon them. One compliments the other; each labors to the benefit and joy of the other in the Kingdom. Love and devotion grow and spread throughout the Kingdom like the warmth of the morning sun, growing in brightness and glory.


When most mortals receive this final reward, they will then know how merciful, kind and loving God really is. No one will ask for more, for happiness will then be known and shared by all in the Kingdom of God.



[224]                             Chapter 20



Where Is the Kingdom Now?


The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 231)


The final clash between the two great kingdoms is imminent. At present, however, they are very unequal in power. The great powers displayed by contemporary Babylon are fulfilling the desires of every conqueror and tyrant. The kingdoms of the world possess all the economic, military, and legal powers they desire. Combined together there is very little that stands in the way of this “super-power” and its “super-government.”


By contrast, the Kingdom of God has become less and less powerful. It has been mis-identified and disorganized. It has no wealth, no identity and no organized body. The very people who were given the Kingdom of God over 150 years ago now willingly participate in and work for the kingdoms of the world.


[225] The sample prayer that Christ gave us to pattern ours after includes these two important phrases: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven;” and “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.” (Matt. 6:10, 13)


When these words are repeated by Christians of all denominations, it is doubtful that they know what they are praying for or they wouldn’t have rejected it when it was restored. The Prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation in 1831 which he identified as a prayer. It could be considered as additional material for the Lord’s prayer and should be heeded just as diligently:


The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.

Yea, a voice crying–Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom. Pray unto the Lord, call upon his holy name, make known his wonderful works among the people. Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth.

Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so on earth, that thine enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor, power and glory, forever and ever. Amen. (D & C 65:1-6)


Will the great body of Mormons be qualified to go back to Missouri to redeem Zion and establish the Kingdom of God over the world? Not by any means. According to prophecy, [226] there will be only a few called and chosen to do that work, as the following prophecies explain.


Joseph Smith:

. . . the Lord will have a place whence His word will go forth, in these last days, in purity; for if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, in His sight, He will seek another people; for His work will go on until Israel is gathered, and they who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel His wrath. (TPJS, p. 18)


Brigham Young:

God will preserve a portion of this people, of the meek and the humble, to bear off the kingdom to the inhabitants of the earth, and will defend His Priesthood; for it is the last time, the last gathering time. (Contributor 20:362)


We are gathering a few that will be faithful in the midst of this people, and prepare themselves to be crowned kings and priests unto God. (JD 9:138)


Heber C. Kimball:

But the day will come when the Lord will choose a people out of this people, upon whom he will bestow his choicest blessings. (Des. News, Nov. 9, 1865; see also JD 11:145)


John Taylor:

What would be necessary to bring about the results nearest the hearts of the opponents of Mormonism? Simply to renounce, abrogate, or apostatize from the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage in its fulness. Were the Church to do that as an entirety, God would reject the Saints as a body. the authority of the Priesthood would be withdrawn with its gifts and powers and there would be no more heavenly recognition of the administrations. The heavens would permanently withdraw themselves, and the Lord would raise up another people of greater valor and stability, for his work must, according to his [227] unalterable decrees, go forward; for the time of the second coming of the Savior is near, even at the doors. (Des. News, April 23, 1885)


Daniel H. Wells:

Many will doubtless make shipwreck of their faith, and will be led away by the allurements of sin into by and forbidden paths; yet the kingdom will not be taken from this people and given to another, but a people will come forth from among us, who will be zealous of good works, . . . (JD 18:96)


And if we as a people do not hold ourselves on the altar ready to be used with our means and all that God has bestowed upon us, according to the Master’s bidding, for the upbuilding of His kingdom upon the earth, He will pass on and get somebody else; because He will get a people that will do it. I do not mean to say that He will pass on and leave this people; no, there will come up from the midst of this people that people that has been talked so much about. (Des. News, Dec. 9, 1882)


Orson F. Whitney:

Many of this people are perhaps preparing themselves, by following after the world in its mad race for wealth and pleasure, to go down with Babylon when she crumbles and falls; but I know there is a people, in the heart’s core of this people, that will arise in their majesty in a day that is near at hand, and push spiritual things to the front; . . . (Des. News, Aug. 11, 1889)


Orson Pratt:

I do not know but that it would be an utter impossibility to commence and carry out some principles pertaining to Zion right in the midst of this people. They have strayed so far that to get a people who would confirm to heavenly laws, it may be needful to lead some from the midst of this people and commence anew somewhere in the regions round about in these mountains. (JD 15:361)


[228] Even the scriptures themselves testify to this idea:


Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men. . . . (D & C 121:34-35)


Let’s recap, then, the major points from these references:


  1. Most Mormons will fail to participate in that great work because they seek wealth and the pleasures of the world.
  2. The Kingdom will not be taken away from this people.
  3. Another people will come out of the midst of the Mormon people to establish the Kingdom of God.
  4. Many Mormons will go down with Babylon.
  5. A few select people will push spiritual things, rather than temporal, to the front.
  6. It is impossible to prepare this entire people for the Kingdom, because they have strayed so far from heavenly laws.
  7. This will be a very important event that people have talked about for a long time.
  8. The Mormons would eventually give up celestial (plural) marriage.
  9. They aspire to the honors of men.


Even in the days of Brigham Young, he saw the failure of the Elders to accomplish their responsibilities:


There are thousands of our Elders who ought now to be teachers, and to know enough to commence the kingdom of God on the earth, and establish it, and continue to lead, guide, and direct it, leading the people directly through the gate into the celestial kingdom of our Father and God, and yet they need to be taught like children. (JD 9:279)


[229] When we look at the political and moral trash in our government and nation, we wonder what is left that has any worth.


The time could be approaching when the question will be not whether America can be saved, but whether America is worth saving. Sodom and Gomorrah were not. Only the moral deserve to be free. (Tom Anderson, Utah Independent, Sept. 9, 1970)


The Jewish nation rejected the Kingdom of God and was responsible for the crucifixion Christ. So the Lord took away their Priesthood, caused them to be killed by their enemies, burned their temple, destroyed their city and made an end of their nation. Then he scattered the remnant throughout the world.


History seems to be repeating itself. In the latter days, enemies have tried to destroy the restored Kingdom of God. They formed mobs to burn the homes and crops of the Mormons. They persecuted them, driving them from state to state and killing hundreds of them. They murdered their Prophet in an attempt to break up their religion and scatter the believers. Then they demanded them to fight a war with Mexico, while about ten years later they turned around and sent an army out to destroy the Mormons. Their final and perhaps most effective evil deed, was to appoint federal lawyers, judges and constables who would try to force the Mormons to confirm to these unconstitutional laws of Babylon. This final outrageous act of wickedness caused the Saints to compromise and give up spiritual laws, their economic order and the political Kingdom of God.


Compromise became a comfortable solution, and the Mormons soon mastered its techniques. Within a century they became the most prominent supporters of the laws of the land. [230] But by that time the laws of the land had become the laws of the great beast which Daniel saw and part of the secret combination that Moroni saw.


What will be the result? Isaiah predicted: “Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.” (Isa 3:25) Six out of every seven men will be killed. But who shall escape? Isaiah continued:


Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. * * *

And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. (Isa 13:9, 11, 12)


Such men are few because they are expected to devote their all to the building of God’s Kingdom. According to Brigham Young:


If you give anything for the building up of the Kingdom of God, give the best you have. What is the best thing you have to devote to the Kingdom of God? It is the talents God has given  you. How many? Every one of them. (JD 8:346)


When a person loves God with all his might, mind and strength, he will freely devote all to the building up of His Kingdom. Remember, we are told to seek first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added.


Who are these men more precious than fine gold? How will they be identified? According to prophecy, they will be the elect who will establish the Kingdom of God over the earth.


[231] It is not the great, the wealthy, the learned or the powerful that will come forth with the Kingdom of God. Nor will the mass of Mormons accomplish it. John Young said:


I heard brother Brigham say that, if there are not more than fifty that keep the faith and are united, the kingdom will be sure to stand. (JD 5:370)


And Joseph Smith narrowed it down even more:


. . . I say, in the name of the Lord, that the Kingdom of God was set up on the earth from the days of Adam to the present time. Whenever there has been a righteous man on earth unto whom God revealed His word and gave power and authority to administer in His name, and where there is a priest of God–a minister who has power and authority from God to administer in the ordinances of the gospel and officiate in the priesthood of God, there is the kingdom of God;… (TPJS, p. 271)


According to Brigham Young, the day will come when the enemies of the Kingdom will attempt to exterminate some of the defenders of the Kingdom here in Utah:


Thurs., 3rd, 1895: Went to fast meeting. . . . Pres. D. D. MacArthur spoke of a prophecy uttered by Brigham Young in the year 1857, that the time would come when in S.L. City an armed force would persecute and slay those of the Saints who would not renounce their allegiance to the Kingdom of God and come over on their side. I referred to a prophecy of Brigham on the 24th of July 1857, up Big Cottonwood Canyon when some of the brethren brought word that the U.S. Army were then on the plains marching for Utah to wipe out the Saints. He said, “The time would come when the whole world would be arrayed against this people just as much as the United States are at this time.” (Charles Walker Jrnl., p. 46)


[232] We can learn a great deal from the story of King Arthur who built the beautiful, peaceful kingdom of Camelot. But because of human weaknesses and frailties, the kingdom was divided and destroyed. The king watched his kingdom being gradually dissolved by the very people who had been commissioned to build it. What extreme sorrow he felt as he saw his subjects, his friends, his family and his noble knights clashing in conflict over the kingdom of Camelot. Soon there was little or nothing of the kingdom left. But then he saw a young lad who knew about the legend and glory of Camelot, and King Arthur realized his hopes for the kingdom were not entirely lost. Within the heart and mind of that child, he had planted the seeds of a future kingdom.


So also the Kingdom of God has suffered from war, conflict, and deceit. Its enemies came from both within and without–until little of the Kingdom is left. But the Lord left us a glimmer of hope. When all seems lost and the Kingdom has crumbled, the “weak things of the world,” like a burning ember, would rise up and ignite the flames of liberty and “shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones.” (D & C 1:19) A few weak and humble Saints shall roll forth like a tiny stone to fill the world with the Kingdom of our God.


* * * * *

* * *




[234]                           DIAGRAM OF THE



(Taken from the Millennial Star, Vol. 9, pp. 23-24)


(diagram of the Kingdom of God)


The above diagram shows the order and unity of the kingdom of God. The eternal Father sits at the bead, crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. Whereever the other lines meet, there sits a king and a priest unto God, bearing rule, authority, and dominion under the Father. He is one with the Father, because his kingdom is joined to his Father’s and becomes part of it.


[235] The most eminent and distinguished prophets who have laid down their lives for their testimony (Jesus among the rest), will be crowned at the head of the largest kingdoms under the Father, and will he one with Christ as Christ is one with his Father; for their kingdoms are all joined together, and such as do the will of the Father, the same are his mothers, sisters, and brothers. He that has been faithful over a few things, will be made ruler over many things; he that has been faithful over ten talents, shall have dominion over ten cities, and he that has been faithful over five talents, shall have dominion over five cities, and to every man will be given a kingdom and a dominion, according to his merit, powers, and abilities to govern and control. It will be seen by the above diagram that there are kingdoms of all sizes, an infinite variety to suit all grades of merit and ability. The chosen vessels unto God are the kings and priests that are placed at the head of these kingdoms. These have received their washings and anointings in the temple of God on this earth; they have been chosen, ordained, and anointed kings and priests, to reign as such in the resurrection of the just. Such as have not received the fulness of the priesthood, (for the fulness of the priesthood includes the authority of both king and priest) and have not been anointed and ordained in the temple of the Most High, may obtain salvation in the celestial kingdom, but not a celestial crown. Many are called to enjoy a celestial glory, yet few are chosen to wear a celestial crown, or rather, to be rulers in the celestial kingdom.


While this portion of eternity that we now live in, called time, continues, and while the other portions of eternity that we may hereafter dwell in, continue, those lines in the foregoing diagram, representing kingdoms, will continue to extend and be lengthened out; and thus, the increase of our kingdoms will increase the kingdom of our God, even as Daniel hath said: “Of the increase of his kingdom and government there shall be no end.” All these kingdoms are one kingdom, and there is a King over kings, and a Lord over lords. There are Lords many, and Gods many, for they are called Gods to whom the word of God comes, and the word of God comes to all these kings and priests. But to our branch of the kingdom there is but one God, to whom we all owe the most perfect submission and loyalty; yet our God is just as subject to still higher intelligences, as we should be to him.


The great fault of all nations has been that they would worship more Gods than one. They well knew that there was more than one God, and vainly sought to worship all they imagined. We well know that there are more sovereigns than one over the kingdoms of this world, but would it not be folly in the extreme for an Englishman to attempt to serve other kings and rulers, while a subject of her Majesty, and living within her dominions? Most certainly it would: his Queen would be jealous of him, but if there was no other power to serve, she never would be jealous; there would be no room for fear or suspicion. If there was only one man on earth, that one man would never be jealous of his wife. Our God says that he is a jealous God; but how could he be jealous if he were the Only God? These kingdoms, which are one kingdom, are designed to extend till they not only embrace this world, but every other planet that rolls in the blue vault of heaven. Thus will all things be gathered in one during the dispensation of the fulness of times, and the Saints will not only possess the earth, but all things else, for, says Paul, “All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”

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