Chapter 11: Establishing the Political Kingdom of God

Under the influence and power of the Kingdom of God, the Church of God will rest secure, and dwell in safety.1

When the Church was restored in 1830, it laid the foundation for the creation of the Kingdom of God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom2 of God---the spiritual organization set up to preach the gospel, administer the saving ordinances and strengthen the faith of the Saints. But it is not the Kingdom of God, which will be a non-denominational political organization that will protect the rights of all citizens and religions.3 When Joseph is resurrected, he will help to complete the establishment of the Kingdom of God, which will first grow from within the Church.4

The establishment of the Kingdom of God will be a momentous undertaking that will create the political foundation to rule the nations during the Millennium. All of these things must occur according to the Lord's timetable. The Lord has told His prophets why the Church had to be restored first before the Kingdom of God could be created. He has also told us how the Kingdom will flourish and grow, and why it must be established before the Second Coming and Millennium can occur.

God Is in Control of the Nations of the World

As we learn from the visions of Daniel, John and other prophets, God has known since the beginning of the earth of the rise and fall of all of the nations of men. It is in His providence that there will be a change at the end of the latter days, and the 6,000 years of rule by the wicked will come to an end. The Lord will establish a new order of righteousness and peace, and He will want the Saints to help Him in this important task. As President Brigham Young testified:

“Great and mighty empires are raised to the summit of human greatness by Him, to bring to pass His inscrutable purposes, and at His pleasure they are swept from existence and lost in the oblivion of antiquity.

“All these mighty changes are pointing to and preparing the way for the introduction of His Kingdom in the latter times, that will stand forever and grow in greatness and power until a holy, lasting, religious and political peace shall make the hearts of the poor among men exult with joy in the Holy One of Israel, and that His Kingdom is everywhere triumphant.

“The Lord is willing that we should be the pioneers of this work, and it is now our duty to prove ourselves worthy of His confidence, by educating ourselves until our traditions are precisely according to the gospel and will of God.”5

The Kingdom of God Grows Out of the Church

The Kingdom of God has not been fully implemented. This is the Kingdom that will fulfill the prophetic dream which was interpreted by Daniel.6 The Kingdom of God is the stone cut without hands that will break down and replace the wicked nations of the world.

While it is true that the Church has been restored, it does not act as a political entity and cannot fulfill Daniel’s prophecy of replacing the political nations of the world. But the Kingdom of God, which is the government that will rule the people through righteous laws, is the political organization that will be able to fulfill the prophecy of Daniel. The Kingdom will grow out of the Church and become an independent organization, as President Brigham Young explained:

“That Kingdom is actually organized, and the inhabitants of the earth do not know it. If this people know anything about it, all right; it is organized preparatory to taking effect in the due time of the Lord, and in the manner that shall please Him.

“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, for a man may be a legislator in that body which will issue laws to sustain the inhabitants of the earth in their individual rights, and still not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ at all.”7

We also learn from John Taylor as to why the church of God had to be restored and established before the Kingdom of God could be created. Just as the earth had to be created spiritually before it could be created physically, the same principle applies to the Kingdom of God:

“Before there could be a Kingdom of God, there must be a church of God . . . And why so? Because of the impossibility of introducing the law of God among a people who would not be subject to and be guided by the spirit of revelation. Hence the world has generally made great mistakes upon these points. They have started various projects to try to unite and cement the people together without God; but they could not do it.”8

As John Taylor stated, any nation or people that will not be ruled by God, in the end, cannot be ruled at all. This is one of the founding principles of the Kingdom of God. When the people have had their hearts prepared to obey the laws of God, the Kingdom of God will work successfully, and rule over them in peace and order.

An Explanation of How the Kingdom of God Will Operate9

President Brigham Young spoke often about the rise of the Kingdom of God during the many years that he was serving as President of the Church. It was a frequent topic of his discourses. On Sunday, July 8, 1855, in a Sabbath-day celebration of America’s Independence Day, he gave an extensive discourse in his endearing and good-humored style about the rise of the Kingdom of God. His explanation is so clear and decisive that it is worth repeating here:

“I wish to proceed a little further with regard to the Kingdom of God. The principles, doctrine, germ, and, I may say, marrow of that Kingdom are actually planted on the earth, but does it grow to perfection at once? No. When wheat is planted and germinates, you first see the blade, and by and by the head forming in the root, from which in due time it bursts forth and makes its appearance. . . .“

Suppose the Kingdom of God is compared to the American eagle; when it spreads over the nations, what will it do? Will it destroy every other bird that now flies, or that will fly? No, but they will exist the same as they do now. When the Kingdom of heaven spreads over the whole earth, do you expect that all the people composing the different nations will become Latter-day Saints? If you do, you will be much mistaken.

“Do you expect that every person will be destroyed from the face of the earth, but the Latter-day Saints? If you do, you will be mistaken. . . . Will there be wickedness then as now? No. How will you make this appear? When Jesus comes to rule and reign King of nations as He now does King of Saints, the veil of the covering will be taken from all nations, that all flesh may see His glory together, but that will not make them all Saints.

“Seeing the Lord does not make a man a Saint, seeing an angel does not make a man a Saint by any means. A man may see the finger of the Lord, and not thereby become a Saint; the veil of the covering may be taken from before the nations, and all flesh see His glory together, and at the same time declare they will not serve Him.

“They may, perhaps, feel something as a woman in Missouri did, who had been driven four times, and when she was about to be driven again she said, ‘I will be damned if I will stand it any longer; if God wants me to go through such a routine of things, He may take me where He pleases, and do with me as He pleases; I won’t stand it any longer.’

“When the nations shall see the glory of God together, the spirit of their feelings may be couched in these words, ‘I will be damned if I will serve you.’”10

Even though these individuals will choose to not join the Church and they will refuse to serve God, they will still be required to submit to the laws of the Kingdom of God if they wish to enjoy law, peace and order.11

Those who refuse to obey these laws will not be allowed to live in the communities of the Kingdom of God.12 They will be left on the outside of the Kingdom, in those areas of the world that will be filled with tumult and chaos.13 President Young continued his discourse:

“In those days, the Methodists and Presbyterians, headed by their priests, will not be allowed to form into a mob to drive, kill, and rob the Latter-day Saints; neither will the Latter-day Saints be allowed to rise up and say, ‘We will kill you Methodists, Presbyterians, etc.,’ neither will any of the different sects of Christendom be allowed to persecute each other.“

What will they do? They will hear of the wisdom of Zion, and the kings and potentates of the nations will come up to Zion to inquire after the ways of the Lord, and to seek out the great knowledge, wisdom, and understanding manifested through the Saints of the Host High. They will inform the people of God that they belong to such and such a Church, and do not wish to change their religion.”14

The Prophecy that “Every Knee Shall Bow” Will Be Fulfilled

Continuing his remarks, President Young explained how the prophecy that “every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess”15 will be fulfilled through the Kingdom of God:

They will be drawn to Zion by the great wisdom displayed there, and will attribute it to the cunning and craftiness of men. It will be asked, ‘What do you want to do, ye strangers from afar?’

“‘We want to live our own religion.’

“‘Will you bow the knee before God with us?’

“‘Oh yes, we would as soon do it as not;’ and at that time every knee shall bow, and every tongue acknowledge that God is the framer and maker of all things, the governor and controller of the universe.

“They will have to bow the knee and confess that He is God, and that Jesus Christ, who suffered for the sins of the world, is actually its Redeemer; that by the shedding of His blood He has redeemed men, women, children, beasts, birds, fish, the earth itself, and everything that John saw and heard praising in heaven.

“They will ask, ‘If I bow the knee and confess that He is that Savior, the Christ, to the glory of the Father, will you let me go home and be a Presbyterian?’

“‘Yes.’

“‘And not persecute me?’

“‘Never.’

“‘Won’t you let me go home and belong to the Greek Church?’

“‘Yes.’

“‘Will you allow me to be a Friend Quaker, or a Shaking Quaker?’

“‘O yes, anything you wish to be, but remember that you must not persecute your neighbors, but must mind your own business, and let your neighbors alone, and let them worship the sun, moon, a white dog, or anything else they please, being mindful that every knee has got to bow and every tongue confess.’

“‘When you have paid this tribute to the Most High, who created you and preserves you, you may then go and worship what you please, or do what you please, if you do not infringe upon your neighbors.’”16

The Banner of Liberty of the Kingdom of God

As he concluded his discourse, President Young prophesied that the flag of the Kingdom of God will be the flag of the United States, and it will stand as a banner of liberty, signifying equal rights for all people:

“The Church of Jesus Christ will produce this government, and cause it to grow and spread, and it will be a shield round about the Church. And under the influence and power of the Kingdom of God, the Church of God will rest secure and dwell in safety, without taking the trouble of governing and controlling the whole earth. The Kingdom of God will do this, it will control the kingdoms of the world.

“When the day comes in which the Kingdom of God will bear rule, the flag of the United States will proudly flutter unsullied on the flag staff of liberty and equal rights, without a spot to sully its fair surface; the glorious flag our fathers have bequeathed to us will then be unfurled to the breeze by those who have power to hoist it aloft and defend its sanctity.

“Up to this time we have carried the world on our backs. Joseph did it in his day, besides carrying this whole people, and now all this is upon my back, with my family to provide for at the same time, and we will carry it all, and bear off the Kingdom of God.

“And you may pile on state after state, and kingdom after kingdom, and all hell on top, and we will roll on the Kingdom of our God, gather out the seed of Abraham, build the cities and temples of Zion, and establish the Kingdom of God to bear rule over all the earth, and let the oppressed of all nations go free.”17

Freedom for the People within the Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God will be a great blessing to mankind. Under its leadership and laws, all citizens will be able to blossom and grow to the best of their abilities. No religion will be hampered. All will be free to worship God “according to the dictates of [their] own conscience.”18 In a later discourse President Young explained:

The Kingdom that the Almighty will set up in the latter days will have its officers, and those officers will be [men of] 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, and will understand right from wrong, truth from error, light from darkness, that which tends to death. They will say [to the citizens of the Kingdom who are not members of the Church], ‘We offer you life; will you receive it?’

“‘˜No,’ some will say.

“‘Then you are at perfect liberty to choose death: the Lord does not, neither will we control you in the least in the exercise of your agency. We place the principles of life before you. Do as you please, and we will protect you in your rights, though you will learn that the system you have chosen to follow brings you to dissolution.’”19

The freedom of the people under the Kingdom of God will exist within the laws that have been given. If an individual violates the laws of the Kingdom of God, he will be punished accordingly. This means that certain heathen religions will not be protected under the laws of the Kingdom of God, such as religions who practice human sacrifice. These religious practices will be outlawed, as President Young explained:

“If the Kingdom of God was now established upon the continent of North and South America, and actually held rule and dominion over what we call the United States, the Methodists would be protected just as much as the Latter-day Saints; the Friend Quakers, the Shaking Quakers, and the members of every religious denomination would be sustained in what they considered to be their rights, so far as their notions were not incompatible with the laws of the Kingdom.”20

The Kingdom of God Will Bring Political Unity, Order and Peace

When the Kingdom of God is established, it will give the people a hint of the order and unity that prevails in the courts of heaven where God presides using the principles of righteous priesthood leadership. In His celestial courts, His servants and angels are filled with light, peace and joy as they serve their Creator, walking circumspectly in those duties that they have been given. As John Taylor explained:

“What is priesthood? Without circumlocution, I shall briefly answer that it is the government of God, whether on the earth or in the heavens, for it is by that power, agency, or principle that all things are governed on the earth and in the heavens, and by that power that all things are upheld and sustained.

“It governs all things---”it directs all things---it sustains all things---and has to do with all things that God and truth are associated with. It is the power of God delegated to intelligences in the heavens and to men on the earth; and when we arrive in the celestial kingdom of God, we shall find the most perfect order and harmony existing, because there is the perfect pattern, the most perfect order of government carried out.”21

President Young also told us that the Kingdom of God will be the first time in recent history that mankind has been blessed with a perfect system of government. It will be unlike anything the citizens of the earth have ever experienced. He told us:

“When all nations are so subdued to Jesus that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess, there will still be millions on the earth who will not believe in Him; but they will be obliged to acknowledge His kingly government.

“You may call that government ecclesiastical, or by whatever term you please; yet there is no true government on earth but the government of God, or the holy priesthood. Shall I tell you what that is? In short, it is a perfect system of government---a kingdom of Gods and angels and all beings who will submit themselves to that government. There is no other true government in heaven or upon the earth.”22

The Kingdom of God will also bring the people and their divisive opinions into a feeling of political unity. Many of the contentious  issues of today will melt away into a common feeling of what is just, right and true. Truth and eternal verities will fill the minds of the people and cover the earth with a spirit of unity. As the wicked perish from the judgments of God, the remaining people will be able to more readily agree on what is nationally expedient and morally correct. President Young noted:

“You might take a Democrat, a Republican, a ranting Methodist, an old, stiff-necked, ranting Presbyterian; and when they came to consider Joseph Smith and the Saints, they saw that they were one in faith, and it scared them all. They would say, ‘We are Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians, but we are of different politics; in our churches may be found all kinds of politics, but you, Joseph Smith, alter men’s politics; you change them and make them all one.’”23

This unity within the Church will spread throughout the Kingdom, and the spirit of dissension will be reduced and eliminated.

Eventually the powerful precepts of the Kingdom of God will spread throughout the world during the Millennium, giving hope and order to those nations that will submit to the rule and law of God.

Chapter Footnotes

1 . Brigham Young, July 8, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:317.
2 . In this book, the Church is noted with a lower-case kingdom, and the political Kingdom of God is noted with an upper-case Kingdom.
3 . Brigham Young, July 8, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:315-317.
4 . D&C 105:30-32; Heber C. Kimball, April 7, 1861, Journal of Discourses 9:27.
5 . Brigham Young, August 31, 1862, Journal of Discourses 9:369.
6 . Daniel 2:19, 34-35, 44.
7 . Brigham Young, July 8, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:310.
8 . John Taylor, October 10, 1875, Journal of Discourses 18:136.
9 . For more extensive information about the operation and structure of the Kingdom of God, see Richard N. Skousen, Hanging by a Thread, The Rebirth of Our Dying Constitution, (Orem, Utah: Verity Publishing, 2015).
10 . Brigham Young, July 8, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:315-316.
11 . Brigham Young, July 8, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:309.
12 . The Majesty of God's Law, pp. 146-148.
13 . D&C 45:68-69.
14 . Brigham Young, July 8, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:316.
15 . D&C 88:104.
16 . Brigham Young, July 8, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:316-317.
17 . Brigham Young, July 8, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:317.
18 . Articles of Faith 11.
19 . Brigham Young, July 31, 1859, Journal of Discourses 6:345-346.
20 . Brigham Young, July 8, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:309; emphasis added.
21 . John Taylor, "On Priesthood," Millennial Star (November 1, 1847) 9:21:321.
22 . Brigham Young, May 22, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:142.
23 . Brigham Young, August 30, 1857, Journal of Discourses 5:172.