Chapter 12: The Kingdom of God Will Cover the Earth

The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever.1

Someday when the Kingdom of God is established by the Church, it will grow to fill the world with peace, order and hope. It will be an important and monumental task to correctly set up and organize the Kingdom of God. The Saints will need to prepare themselves to institute the Kingdom of God, to administer it righteously, and to spread its principles throughout the world.

President Brigham Young taught the Saints in his day about the responsibilities resting upon their shoulders to prepare themselves to accept the Kingdom of God. He asked the Saints:

“Is man prepared to receive that government? He is not. I can say to these Latter-day Saints, ‘You are not prepared to receive that government.’ You hear men and women talk about living and abiding a celestial law, when they do not so much as know what it is, and are not prepared to receive it. We have a little here and a little there given to us, to prove whether we will abide that portion of law that will enable us to enjoy a resurrection with the just. . . .

“We have line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, and it is something that accords with the capacity of finite beings, and you improve upon this, and the Lord will open your minds to receive more, and let you see the order of the eternal priesthood; but if you do not live your religion, you cannot receive more.”2

As the Saints pass through the trials of the last days it will help to soften their hearts and prepare them to receive the Kingdom of God when it is established. Of course, as the scriptures teach us, we can choose to be humble, or the Lord can humble us through adversity if we refuse to repent.3 Daniel H. Wells, who served as second counselor to President Brigham Young, told the Saints:

“I have often been asked the question, ‘When will the Kingdom be given into the hands of the Saints of the Most High God?’ and I have always answered it in this way: ‘Just so soon as the Lord finds that He has a people upon the earth who will uphold and sustain that Kingdom, who shall be found capable of maintaining its interests and of extending its influence upon the earth.’ . . . Therefore, it depends in a great measure upon the people themselves as to how soon the Kingdom spoken of by Daniel shall be given into the hands of the Saints of God.”4

President Young further warned the holders of the priesthood of the heavy responsibility resting upon them to establish and promulgate the Kingdom of God throughout the world:

“You men, prepare yourselves; for a greater responsibility will come upon you than you have ever dreamed of. Millions will seek to you for salvation. Are you prepared for this? . . . You will see the time when thousands will seek salvation at the hands of this people, and say,’Guide us in the way of life; the earth is emptied of wickedness, and it has come to an end.’ The Lord knows whether or not the elders of this Church will be ready to step forward and take upon themselves these great responsibilities.”5

It will be the duty of the Saints to teach the people how they should be organized under righteous principles of government. We have already been given a pattern of the laws that will be in operation under the Kingdom of God, and it is found in the set of political laws that were given to the prophet Moses. The Founding Fathers were deeply influenced by these laws. During the Millennium the people will be ruled and governed by the divinely-inspired principles of God’s law.6

The Kingdom of God Will Be Established by the Saints

The prophets have testified that it will be the Latter-day Saints who will have the privilege of establishing the Kingdom of God and extending its marvelous influence throughout the earth. President Young stated:

“Our course is onward to build up Zion; and the nation that has slain the Prophet of God and cast out His people will have to pay the debt. They will be broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel; yea worse, they will be ground to powder. ‘And whoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it shall grind him to powder’ [Matthew 21:44].

“If there is a people within the pales of this nation that is worthy of the Constitution, good laws and institutions of the American government, it is this people called Latter-day Saints. It is the best earthly government that ever was framed by man, and the true and righteous are alone worthy of it. It cannot long be administered by wicked hands. ‘When the wicked rule, the people mourn’ [D&C 98:9].”7

President John Taylor also prophesied of the rise of the Kingdom of God among the Saints, who would protect and save the Constitution from the grasp of wicked men:

“We have got to establish a government upon the principle of righteousness, justice, truth and equality, and not according to the many false notions that exist among men. And then the day is not far distant when this nation will be shaken from center to circumference. And now, you may write it down, any of you, and I will prophesy it in the name of God.

“And then will be fulfilled that prediction to be found in one of the revelations given through the Prophet Joseph Smith: ‘Those who will not take up their sword to fight against their neighbor must needs flee to Zion for safety.’

“And they will come, saying, ‘We do not know anything of the principles of your religion, but we perceive that you are an honest community; you administer justice and righteousness, and we want to live with you and receive the protection of your laws, but as for your religion we will talk about that some other time.’

“Will we protect such people? Yes, all honorable men. 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, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of all nations. This is part of the program, and as long as we do what is right and fear God, He will help us and stand by us under all circumstances.”8

The Rise of the Kingdom of God9

The Lord will fulfill His purposes in the latter days and bring about the rise of the Kingdom of God. As the Church comes under attack by the wicked, the Saints will be forced to withdraw from the influence and control of Babylon, especially when the wicked halt all commerce with the righteous.10 Since the Saints will then be cut off from the government of the United States, the political Kingdom of God will begin to be established among the members of the Church.11

This will bring peace and order among the Saints, in spite of the chaos of the world around them.12 The Kingdom will begin to grow in strength as the Saints are governed by it. The Saints will be taught and instructed in what manner to administer the Kingdom of God as they practice it among themselves.13

At the same time, as the corrupting influence of wickedness spreads among the people of the United States, the Constitution will continue to be shredded until it is merely a tattered document. It will be a ghost of the former document that was crafted by the Founding Fathers.14

When the Lord unleashes His destructions upon the wicked, the world will quickly disintegrate into mob-like chaos.15 Peace will only be found in Zion, where the Kingdom of God has been established and is ruling with justice, truth and equity.16 Millions will flee the death, disorder and destruction that will rise up among the wicked. President John Taylor prophesied to the Saints:

“You will see them flocking to Zion by thousands and tens of thousands; and they will say, ‘We don’t know anything about your religion, we don’t care much about religious matters, but you are honest and honorable, and upright and just, and you have a good, just and secure government, and we want to put ourselves under your protection, for we cannot feel safe anywhere else.’ There is a scripture which says, the time will come ‘when he that will not take up his sword to fight against his neighbor, must needs flee to Zion for safety’ [D&C 45:68]. And they will come.”17

The Constitution Will Hang by a Thread

It was prophesied by the Prophet Joseph that the time will arrive when the Constitution will be on the verge of destruction, and that the people would lean on the Saints for leadership during this crisis. On two different occasions he prophesied:

“Even this nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to pieces and tumbling to the ground; and when the Constitution is upon the brink of ruin, this people will be the staff upon which the nation shall lean, and they shall bear away the Constitution away from the very verge of destruction.”18

“The time would come when the Constitution and government would hang by a brittle thread and would be ready to fall into other hands, but this people, the Latter-day Saints, will step forth and save it.”19

It will be the Kingdom of God that will provide the leadership for the people during this critical time when the government of the United States is teetering on the edge of collapse. As President Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball prophesied:

“When the Constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the ‘Mormon’ elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it.”20

“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.”21

“We will yet save the Constitution of the United States. We will do it, as the Lord liveth, and we will save this nation, every one of them that will be saved. Brother Brigham Young and Brother Joseph Smith stand at our head, and will do that thing, as the Lord liveth. Yes, we, as their children, with our children to assist us, will do it. We have that power, and so have they, and will bear the kingdom off victoriously to every nation that is upon God’s footstool; and I know it.”22

The Kingdom of God Will Spread Throughout the World

Once the Kingdom of God has been established among the Saints, it will begin to fulfill the prophecy of Daniel that “a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image [representing the nations of wicked men] of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. . . . And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”23

As the wicked are destroyed and the United States government begins to collapse, the Kingdom of God will fill the land with peace and order. As other nations succumb to decay, corruption or internal turmoil, they will also turn to the Kingdom for leadership. Eventually, the Kingdom of God will cover the entire earth with righteous leadership.24 All of the people will then be living under the majesty of God’s law.

Many of the citizens of the Kingdom of God will have no idea that they are living under a government founded and operated by the Lord Jesus Christ. As President Brigham Young told the Saints:

“When the Lord reigns King of nations as He does King of Saints, the inhabitants of the earth will not distrust but that it is the power of some great One, that it is the plans of wise men brought into action.

“Thus they will be governed and controlled and overruled, and led by the principles of the holy priesthood, and they will never mistrust but that it is the doings of wise men at the head of a powerful nation, schooled in governmental affairs, who know how to control their own nation and then bring into subjection their neighboring nations, until the whole earth has become subject to them.

“They will not know that it is the Savior who is ruling King of nations as He does King of Saints. A great portion of the inhabitants of the earth will never mistrust but that it is the effects of the wisdom of men.”25

Making Room for the Kingdom of God

The destruction and dissolution of the wicked nations will open up the way and give space for the Kingdom of God to spread throughout the world. As various governments collapse because of war, internal strife and chaos, the people will naturally turn to the Kingdom of God, which will be the only source in the world for hope and order. Wilford Woodruff explained:

“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.”26

According to Parley P. Pratt, this downfall of the wicked nations will occur when the judgments of God are poured out at the end of the times of the Gentiles. As these wicked nations are destroyed, the Kingdom of God will spread into these countries to fill the earth with law, peace and order. Parley P. Pratt said:

“Now, when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled there will be an uprooting of their governments and institutions, and of their civil, political, and religious polity. There will be a shaking of nations, a downfall of empires, an upturning of thrones and dominions, as Daniel has foretold, and the kingdom and power, and rule on the earth will return to another people, and exist under another polity, as Daniel has further foretold.”27

Because the Kingdom of God will replace the wicked nations that Satan has influenced and controlled, he will lose his ability to manipulate the nations of the earth. His 6,000-year reign of blood, terror and intimidation will come to an end. It is for this reason that he has been in strong opposition to the kingdom of God from the very beginning, and he will continue to oppose the future establishment of the Kingdom of God. Wilford Woodruff told us:

“The devil knew when the angel delivered that record to Joseph Smith that it was the foundation of a system that would overthrow his kingdom. . . . The latter-day work which we represent will bind the power of the devil, which has held sway among the children of men for 180 generations. Then it is not strange that the devil should become mad and stir up the wicked to make war against it.”28

The Righteous Will Rule the Nations During the Millennium

Once the wicked are slain, God and the righteous will be able to rule the nations. President Young prophesied:

“The sinner will slay the sinner, the wicked will fall upon the wicked, until there is an utter overthrow and consumption upon the face of the whole earth, until God reigns, whose right it is.”29

As the wicked lash out against the righteous, they are only bringing destruction upon themselves, which will ultimately result in their downfall. Heber C. Kimball prophesied:

“When the United States have done their best, then other nations will tackle us, and so things will go on, until every nation is brought into subjection to the Kingdom of God. Go and read it in the Bible. I could not say anything else, if I should try.”30

As the wicked nations pass away into oblivion, the righteousness of the Kingdom of God will fill the earth with truth, light, justice and order. It will be a wonderful epoch of peace.

The Role of the Prophet Joseph

The Lord has said that the Prophet Joseph will help to establish and spread the Kingdom of God throughout the world.31 Additional revelation will be needed to fully establish the Kingdom of God, which the Prophet Joseph will be privileged to receive, as Elder Franklin D. Richards told us:

“Do not let us think that we have all the revelation there is. In the last great revelation which the Lord gave to Joseph, He told him that He had not revealed all to him, but that there were many laws pertaining to His priesthood which He would reveal hereafter [see D&C 132:66.]”32

The Prophet Joseph and other faithful brethren will serve an important role in the leadership of the Kingdom of God. This is one of the many important tasks that Joseph was assigned to complete before the Second Coming.33

In addition to this, the Prophet Joseph has also been appointed by the Lord to restore the law of consecration and stewardship.34 This law, which has sometimes been misunderstood and misapplied in the past, will be established in order and beauty through the Prophet Joseph so that it can function correctly and completely. The law of consecration and stewardship will be critical for the well-being of the Saints in the latter days.

Chapter Footnotes

1 . Revelation 11:15.
2 . Brigham Young, May 22, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:142-143.
3 . D&C 19:15, 20.
4 . Daniel H. Wells, October 6, 1882, Journal of Discourses 23:305.
5 . Brigham Young, July 28, 1861, Journal of Discourses 9:144.
6 . W. Cleon Skousen, The Majesty of God's Law, (Salt Lake City: Ensign Publishing, 1996).
7 . Brigham Young, August 31, 1862, Journal of Discourses 9:368.
8 . John Taylor, August 31, 1879, Journal of Discourses 21:8.
9 . For more extensive information about the prophesied rise of the Kingdom of God, see Richard N. Skousen, Rebirth of Our Dying Constitution.
10 . Revelation 13:16-17, 14:8-12.
11 . Brigham Young, July 8, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:310.
12 . History of the Church 3:391.
13 . Brigham Young, May 22, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:142; Brigham Young, July 28, 1861, Journal of Discourses 9:144; Daniel H. Wells, October 6, 1882, Journal of Discourses 23:305.
14 . Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith, (Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1980), pp. 279, 416.
15 . D&C 29:15-21; 45:26, 32-33.
16 . D&C 45:68-69.
17 . John Taylor, December 1, 1878, Journal of Discourses 20:135.
18 . The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 416.
19 . The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 279.
20 . Brigham Young, February 18, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:182.
21 . Brigham Young, July 4, 1854, Journal of Discourses 7:15.
22 . Heber C. Kimball, September 6, 1856, Journal of Discourses 5:217.
23 . Daniel 2:34-35.
24 . Brigham Young, May 22, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:142.
25 . Brigham Young, October 3, 1852, Millennial Star 16:594-595 and Deseret News, May 11, 1854.
26 . Wilford Woodruff, February 25, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:201.
27 . Parley P. Pratt, October 7, 1855, Journal of Discourses 3:135.
28 . Wilford Woodruff, January 22, 1865, Journal of Discourses 11:65.
29 . Brigham Young, February 18, 1855, Journal of Discourses 2:190.
30 . Heber C. Kimball, September 27, 1857, Journal of Discourses 5:275.
31 . D&C 103:21; 105:13, 30-32.
32 . Franklin D. Richards, April 4-5, 1885, Journal of Discourses 26:169.
33 . D&C 105:30-32, Heber C. Kimball, April 7, 1861, Journal of Discourses 9:27.
34 . D&C 85:7; 2 Nephi 3:24; Brother Joseph, pp. 934-936.