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Council of Fifty

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Council of Fifty Statement of Purpose:
“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 Kingdom of God, that my servants have heretofore prophesied of and that I taught my disciples to pray for, saying ‘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 civil and religious liberty in this nation and throughout the world; and all men of every nation, color and creed shall yet be protected and shielded thereby; 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.”

- Prophet John Taylor revelation, June 27, 1882, in Collier, Unpublished Revelations, 133, vv 4-8; see Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p. 88

Purpose according to modern LDS church:
“to organize the political kingdom of God in preparation for the second coming of Christ.”

- Church History in the Fulness of Times, Church Educational System, 1989, p. 270

Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805 - 1844):

“The time has now come to tell why we held secret meetings. We were maturing plans fourteen years ago which we can now tell... When God sets up a system of salvation, he sets up a system of government. When I speak of a government, I mean what I say. I mean a government that shall rule over temporal and spiritual affairs.”

- Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v. 6, p. 290, 292

Sidney Rigdon (1793 - 1876):

“A man is not an honorable man if he is not above the law, and above government.... The law of God is far more righteous than the laws of the land; the laws of God are far above the laws of the land. The kingdom of God does not interfere with the laws of the land, but keeps itself by its own laws.”

- Sidney Rigdon, Times and Seasons, v. 5, May 1, 1844, p. 524, alternative version in History of the Church, v. 6, p. 292

Prophet Brigham Young (1801 - 1877):

“I am going to stop my talking by saying that, in the millennium, when the kingdom of God is established on the earth in power, glory and perfection, and the reign of wickedness that has so long prevailed is subdued, the Saints of God will have the privilege of building their temples, and of entering into them, becoming, as it were, pillars in the temples of God, and they will officiate for their dead. Then we will see our friends come up, and perhaps come that we have been acquainted with here. If we ask who will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation, the answer is Joseph Smith, Junior, the Prophet of God. He is the man who will be resurrected and receive the keys of the resurrection, and he will seal this authority upon others, and they will hunt up their friends and resurrect them when they shall have been officiated for, and bring them up. And we will have revelations to know our forefathers clear back to Father Adam and Mother Eve, and we will enter into the temples of God and officiate for them. Then man will be sealed to man until the chain is made perfect back to Adam, so that there will be a perfect chain of priesthood from Adam to the winding-up scene.”

- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 15, p. 135, August 24, 1872


I do not Care whether you sit one day or not, but I do not want you to lose any part of this Government which you have organized. For the time will come when these men will give laws to the Nations of the Earth. Joseph Smith organized this Government before in Nauvoo and He said if we done our duty we should prevail over all our Enemies. We should get all things ready & when the time Comes we should let the water onto the wheel and Start the machine in Motion.”

- WWJ 6:92-93; Journal History of the Church, Manuscript, January 19 1863.



“Many may not be able to tell why we are in this Capacity. I do not think that you see this thing as it is. Our organization will be kept up. We may not do much at present in this Capacity yet what we have done or shall do will have its Effect. Our Constitution which we sent to Washington has been Closely scanned by the members of Congress. All of our moves here are feared by the nations of the Earth Especially the United States. This body of men will give laws to the Nations of the Earth. We meet here in our second annual Legislature & I do not Care whether you pass any laws this season or not. But I do not wish you to lose one inch of ground you have gained in your Organization but hold fast to it for this is the kingdom of God and we are the friends of God and you will find that much will grow out of this organization. But I will say without the inspirations & revelations of God our acts are of no use.

“We are called the State Legislature [of Utah], but when the time comes, we shall be called the Kingdom of God. Our government is going to pieces, and it will be like water that is spilt upon the ground that cannot be gathered. For the time will come when we will give laws to the nations of the earth. Joseph Smith organized this government before, in Nauvoo, and he said if we did our duty, we shall prevail over all our enemies. We should get all things ready, and when the time comes, we should let the water on to the wheel and start the machine in motion.”

- Brigham Young quoted by Dale Morgan, Mormon scholar, “The State of Deseret,” Utah Historical Quarterly, v. 8, 1940, pp. 139-140



Here we are in a legislative capacity, and this body of men or their representatives have got to send laws to the nations of the earth to govern every nation and people that lives upon the face of the whole earth. I shall know whether these men are true or not. There is not a man in this house but what professes to be Latter-day Saints, and I care not if others were here.

I would as leave say what I am speaking here today in the halls at Washington as here. The doom of the nation is sealed; and the Lord will never cease the chastening hand on them until they are wasted away. I have prayed for them, and run my legs off, almost, to preach the gospel to them, I have travelled thousands of miles with blisters on my feet and blood in my shoes to preach to them, and warn them but did they care anything about it? No. I have told them of this very crisis for this thirty years and over from the mouth of the prophet; I have cried in their ears to repent and return to God lest the chastening hand of the Almighty shall come upon them.

Do you know how long it will be before we are left here as isolated and free as we were left unnoticed in the message of the chief magistrate of the nation; he stepped over Utah to notice our neighbouring Territories; how glad I was for just so it will be, we shall be left here, and this legislative assembly will find that they must legislate for themselves for nobody will do it for them; for there will be war and trouble, and sickness and desolation that will waste this nation and all the nations of the earth; but this is preaching a sermon to the brethren. I fixed up a document which has been read to you, and if anybody wants to print it, print the whole of it, and not pick out a word here, and a sentence there in this style, “Let him that stole steal,” leaving out the words “no more”. “Judas went out and hanged himself,” “go thou and do likewise” etc.

Now I want this body of men really to consider themselves as they are. That being whom we call the God of the universe, our Heavenly Father whom we serve, He is as interested in our welfare, and in our doings this day, as we are interested in the welfare of our children, and more so; He is looking upon us, and our brethren who have gone behind the veil, Joseph, the prophet, Hiram, father Smith, and the whole retinue of departed saints are watching us, and can we sit here caring nothing about the purpose for which we have met, because we do not get three dollars a day for our services; we shall yet see the day that we would give worlds if such if such a feeling had never entered our bosoms. I warn you against coveting wages, and against thinking that this assembly is an idle and useless spectacle behold merely for the present time never to be thought of again; I give this warning to you and I take it to myself.

We never can have justice done us as a people, and as a nation until men are endowed with power from on high and be the people to judge according to the merits or demerits of their ease acts, that will be a court of justice, what is called the court of errors in some countries, that will be called a court of renown where there word is law, Until we have righteous judges, righteous legislatures, and representatives, and righteous officers in every place, no people can be controlled in righteousness.

We have got to see that day; and a kingdom of God will be established pertaining to the world to govern the Church of England, the Presbyterians, and every reformed church that has ever left our mother Church, every people of every creed, and color, and every nation; the time has got to come that laws will be issued to control and govern each and every one of them, and that kingdom will encircle the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in its protection. We shall not turn out to be Methodists nor Presbyterians, neither shall we be the mother Church in acts and faith, and doings, never.

When the kingdom of God reigns triumphantly upon the earth, it will be God like, it will rule and reign as God would rule and reign. He gives His sun to rise upon the evil and the Good, and he sends rain upon the just and the unjust; so we shall do when we are sanctified and prepared to issue laws to the nations. We may ask if we are going to live to see this? It is no matter, men will live in the flesh that will do this work and they will be our successors in Office. If we live we shall be the men to do this work, if we do not it will be those that hold the priesthood of God, who will be sanctified, and understand the mind and the will of God and be ready to do it; and show mercy, and be filled with long suffering and kindness to all who will not make iron bedsteads and measure all men by the same measure, cutting off those who are too long and stretching those who are too short; but all will live in the enjoyments of their inalienable rights, enjoying their agency before the Lord, and all men will be dealt with as a part of the great brotherhood of mankind. This will be the situation all.

- (Van Wagoner, Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, 2258-59) 23 January 1865, Salt Lake City, Legislative Assembly., George D. Watt Report. LJA 12-56-2, 22; BYC.




The Legislative Assembly of [p.40] the State of Deserett Convened in the State House in Great Salt Lake City at 11 oclok it being the first time the State Legislature ever met in Deserett. The House occupied the lower room & the Senate the uper room.

The Senate organized by Electing John Taylor Presidet, T. W Elebeck Chief Secretary & Patrick Lynch assistant Secretary S. L. Sprague Messenger, Robert Pierce Foreman, Joseph Young Chaplain, Joseph Taylor Sargent at Arms. A. P. Rockwood was appointed speaker of the House.

After we became organized A Committee was appointed to wait upon the govornor and inform him we were ready to receive any Communication he wished to make to the general assembly. We went into Joint Session whare Governor Brigham Young met us and delivered unto us his message which was read by Wm. Clayton. Voted to print 500 Copies for the benefit of the Legislature. The Lieut. Gov H C. Kimball delivered an address followed by D. H. Wells President of the Convention After which Presidet B. Young addressed the Assembly in a vary interesting manner.

He said The Machine is now built in all its parts. The wheel is now ready for you to turn the water on & set the machine in motion or not Just as you please. We have got to frame our own Governmet and govern ourselves or [for] we shall not be governed ownly by the devel & wicked men and go to Hell together.

Now I am going to Stick to the old ship of Zion and she will Carry us safe through. The wicked will sware to support the Constitution of the United States but they will turn around and break the constitution daily. The Constitution does not give the Congress of the United States power to govern the people in a Territory any more than in a State Capacity. They have the power to admit States but not to form there government or send officers to rule over them. I am willing that you should do all that is necessary, appoint all the officers and set the Factory in [motion] & see if we Cannot make some Cotton Cloth. I have no fears in the matter. If we will Bless [p.41] ourselves the heavens will bless us. If we will help ourselves God will help us and in Him alone should we trust.

- WWJ:6:40-41, 14 April, 1862


Prophet John Taylor (1808 - 1887):

“We used to have a difference between Church and State, but it is all one now. Thank God.”

- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, v. 5, p. 266, September 20, 1857

“Now the Kingdom of God is assuming another phase to what it has done... And what shall we do?…Seek to carry out the designs of the Almighty and his representatives upon the earth. And if we do these things, in the name of Israel's God we shall arise and flourish, and Zion will become a terror to all nations.”

- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, v. 7, pp. 123-125

“Let us now notice our political position in the world. What are we going to do? We are going to possess the earth. Why? Because it belongs to Jesus Christ, and he belongs to us, and we to him; we are all one, and will take the kingdom and possess it under the whole heavens, and reign over it for ever and ever.”

- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, v. 1, p. 230, April 8, 1853

Apostle Orson Hyde (1805 - 1878):

“The kingdom and government of God are the only legitimate jurisdiction that ever did exist.”

- Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, v. 6, p. 49, November 1, 1857

Prophet Ezra Taft Benson (1899 - 1994):

“Youth of Zion, do you realize you are living in the days of the fulfillment of these signs and wonders? You are among those who will see many of these prophecies fulfilled. Just as certain as was the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews, so shall these words of the Savior be certain to your generation... You will live in the midst of economic, political and spiritual instability. When you see these signs – unmistakable evidences that His coming is nigh – be not troubled, but ‘stand... in holy places...” These holy places consist of our temples, our chapels, our homes and the stakes of Zion, which are as the Lord declares, ‘for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from the wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth'... We have every confidence that you, ‘the rising generation,' will not falter. I repeat: You were valiant spirits reserved for this exceptional time. You have but one choice: To rise to the task of history's most significant hour!”

- Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Yourselves for the Great Day of the Lord,” address delivered to the Devotional Assembly, Ricks College, Idaho, September 16, 1980


“If Smith waited until 1844 before he formally organized the government of the kingdom, the logic behind that move goes back to the very beginning of the new religion, because he never conceived of Mormonism as merely another sect.”

- Klaus J. Hansen, Mormon scholar, Mormonism and the American Experience, 1981, p. 132

“... the church must not triumph over the state, but actually swallow it up.”

- “Religion and Politics,” Times and Seasons, v. 5, March 15, 1844, pp. 470-471, 477

“Latter-day Saint prophets have made many prophecies concerning a series of internal wars which will bring about the collapse of the government and dominion of the United States. [These] wars will cause the complete collapse of national and state governments in the United States!”

- Duane S. Crowther, Mormon scholar, Prophecy: Key to the Future, 1967, pp. 65-66

“In an attempt to live in the world, the Mormons were forced to modify their ideas of a political kingdom and to relegate them to the uncertain period of a future millennium, a context in which aspirations of world government would cause little alarm to suspicious Gentiles. In a logical attempt not to arouse the already excited non-Mormon world further, Church leaders thought it wise to publicize their true aims regarding the political Kingdom of God as little as possible. At times, the leaders felt it necessary to flatly negate political aspirations.”

- Klaus J. Hansen, Mormon scholar, “The Theory and Practice of the Political Kingdom of God in Mormon History, 1829-1890,” Master's Thesis, Brigham Young University, Department of History, 1959, pp. 15-16

“... the Prophet [Joseph Smith, Jr.] taught POWER doctrine. POWER doctrine. This is what the Church thrives on! And this is what will help us to bring about the political part of God's kingdom on earth!”

- Hyrum L. Andrus, Doctrines of the Kingdom, 1973, see pp. 40-60

“Most people in this nation do not understand the origin and destiny of the United States as the Latter-day Saints do... How wonderful it would be if all Americans viewed the marvelous country in which we live in the same light as the Latter-day Saints....
“The Lord created the United States for a specific purpose. He provided freedom of speech, press, assembly and worship....
“Here He had determined to restore the gospel. From here it would be taken abroad. From here, during the Millennium, Christ will govern the world.”

- “Preserving Our Loyalties,” Church News, November 6, 1982, p. 16

“When we go to foreign countries, we teach a model constitution which has been drawn up by the Freemen Institute [LDS think-tank] here. It is patterned similarly after the U.S. Constitution. We've taken certain concepts of the Restored Gospel [LDS] and incorporated them into our working model of what an ideal constitution should be.”

- Interview with an anonymous official, Freemen Institute, Salt Lake City, (ca. 1981), as quoted in The Mormon Corporate Empire, by John Heinerman and Anson Shupe, 1985, p. 154

“It is well understood by the British Mormons that the Prophet is ‘King over all the earth' in this day. I was unmistakably told that the Prophet of Utah is ‘King,' and the only King reigning upon the earth by ‘Divine authority:' that I must obey him in preference to any king, ruler or potentate on earth.”

- William Jarman, USA – Uncle Sam's Abscess or Hell Upon Earth for U.S., 1884, p. 34

“Joseph Smith had himself anointed King and Priest… in a revelation dated 1886 given to President John Taylor, mention is made of Joseph Smith being crowned a king in Nauvoo. Not only was he ordained a king but the leading members of the Church were assigned governmental responsibilities. Brigham Young was to be president, John Taylor vice president, members of the Church were assigned to represent different states in the house and senate of the United States, and a full cabinet was appointed.”

- “Causes of Mormon Non-Mormon Conflict in Hancock County, Illinois, 1839-1846,” Ph.D. dissertation, BYU, 1967, pp. 63-65