Theodemocracy

[WARNING: at the 2014 MHA annual conference, employees of the LDS Church Historical Dept. unveiled details regarding the Nauvoo Council of Fifty Minutes that render the entire post generally inaccurate. The minutes will be published in 2016 as A1 with the Joseph Smith Papers.]

On April 7th, 1842, Joseph Smith received a revelation instructing the establishment of a new organization parallel to the church. Since its inception, this organization has been referred to as the Council of Fifty, though the true name is quite different. It is an organization that has captured the fancy of many, both sympathetic and critical of Mormonism, yet it remains somewhat enigmatic for want of public documentation (1). In short, Joseph Smith ordained the council to be the governing body of the world, with himself as its King.

The name as revealed:

Verily thus saith the Lord, This is the name by which you shall be called, The Kingdom of God and His Law, with the Keys and power thereof, and judgment in the hands of his servants, Ahman Christ. (2)

The concept of a Kingdom of God, separate from the Church, remains somewhat familiar in Mormon discourse (3), but the idea that Daniel’s rock hewn from the mountain never to be stopped is not the Church but a parallel organization is quite foreign. Moreover the original concepts have been modified to fit more keenly into a correlated perspective (4). Brigham Young, however, described the ultimate destiny of this kingdom. After rebuking the Saints by the Platte River for excessive frivolity, Brigham gathered the leadership around him and described their mountain destination. Wilford Woodruff recorded:

He then spoke of the standard & 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 & every tongue confess that JESUS was the Christ. And this will be the standard: The Kingdom of God & his Laws & Judgment in {the [-] if [--] man Christ}. 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. (5)

Despite receiving the revelation in April 1842, Joseph waited until April 1844 to establish the kingdom. This wait was during Bennett’s crusade against the church and while Hyrum and Emma had yet to be fully converted to all of Joseph’s teachings. Once they were converted and the Fullness of the Priesthood was restored (with the associated capacity of King and Queen) the council was soon organized and Joseph publicly announced some of his views on World government (6).

Joseph established the Kingdom in secret and the business of the members was to remain so. Joseph purportedly initiated members into the council by covenant, password and penalty (7). Members included a wide demographic of Mormon hierarchy and non-Mormons. All members were chosen by the Prophet, which action required unanimous consent of the council. Though relatively few non-Mormons were included in the Council, the Lord revealed that non-Mormons would persist into the Millennium, and any just government would require their representation (8). Council members were organized into a hierarchy by age and Joseph was chairman and anointed Prophet, Priest and King over the Council and the world.

It is in this context that Joseph preached just days after receiving the revelation on the organization of the Council:

Although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood, & the priesthood that he received & the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage (9)

Joseph taught that his first-born son in the covenant, David Hyrum – born after Joseph’s death, would be this latter-day King over Israel (10), which teaching was widely recognized by 19th century church leaders (11).

Once the Council was organized, it adopted parliamentary “Rules of the Kingdom,” including those governing legislation:

To pass, a motion must be unanimous in the affirmative. Voting is done after the ancient order: each person voting in turn from the oldest to the youngest member of the Council, commencing with the standing chairman. If any member has any objections he is under covenant to fully and freely make them known to the Council. But if he cannot be convinced of the rightness of the course pursued by the Council he must either yield or withdraw membership in the Council. Thus a man will lose his place in the Council if he refuses to act in accordance with righteous principles in the deliberations of the Council. After action is taken and a motion accepted, no fault will be found or change sought for in regard to the motion. (12)

While affirmation or sustaining is required of members, it is interesting that all members were under covenant to voice dissent. There is tension in this legislative process as in the instance that no resolution could be passed, the chairman would attain the will of the Lord by revelation. It seems, however, that the Lord gave the people an ultimate veto. The council could not meet unless fifty percent of the members were in attendance. If a majority of council members did not favor pending legislation they could simply not allow any meetings to be held.

In reality, however, the Council never realized the measure of its prophetic capacity. In Joseph’s day, it did send out ambassadors to foreign governments and lobbied the American government. It caused quite a stir when it usurped the Nauvoo High Council’s authority and excommunicated William Law. It explored expeditions to Texas, Oregon and California for the emigration of the Saints and it was the foundation for Joseph’s campaign for U.S. President.

While the Council was quite active during the duration of Joseph’s life, his death was the beginning of its end. This secret Council of Fifty and Joseph’s political kingship was one of the primary accusations of the Expositor. The Council did play a significant role in the succession crisis, but Brigham’s later use of the council was quite perfunctory. And while there was a significant amount of Council activity from 1848 to 1850 while the civil government of the Utah Territory was established, the Council subsequently fell into disuse.

John Taylor aspired to re-kindle the council and is the last publicly recorded individual to be anointed Prophet, Priest and King, however all real power remained with the First Presidency and the Council continued to be a largely a figurative body until the death of its last member in 1945 (13).

As he left for Carthage, Joseph instructed his secretary to burn all the minutes of the council. Fortunately, William Clayton spared them by burial and they continue to reside, unmolested by foe and scholar in the vault of the First Presidency. Perhaps one day, these minutes, hundreds of pages, will inform our allegiance and educate those who seek to build up the Kingdom in the latter-days.

___________________

  1. While the official records of the Kingdom remain vaulted, many extant journals and secondary sources describe the workings of the Council of Fifty. The best information to date is catalogued in the works of Andrew F. Ehat and D. Michael Quinn:
    • Quinn, D. M. (1980) The Council of Fifty and Its Members, 1844 to 1945. BYU Studies vol. 20 no. 2 pg. 163.
    • Ehat, A. F. (1980) “It Seems Like Heaven Began on Earth”: Joseph Smith and the Constitution of the Kingdom of God. BYU Studies vol. 20 no. 3 pg. 253
    • Ehat, A. F. (1982) Joseph Smith’s Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Succession Question. Master’s thesis, Brigham Young University.
    • Quinn, D. M. (1994) The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power. Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates. Salt Lake City.
  2. See Ehat’s “It Seems Like Heavan on Earth,” pg. 254.
  3. See commentary on Isaiah 2:3, “Out of zion shall go forth the law . . . the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” E.g., Smith, J. F., Doctrines of Salvation. vol. 3 pg. 69-71.
  4. E.g., Bruce R. McConkie states in Mormon Doctrine. (1966, pg. 499) that:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth; it is the kingdom which shall never be destroyed or left to other people; it is the kingdom which shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms; and it shall stand forever. But for the present it functions as an ecclesiastical kingdom only.

    With the millennial advent, the kingdom of God on earth will step forth and exercise political jurisdiction over all the earth as well as ecclesiastical jurisdiction over its own citizens.

  5. 29 May, 1847. Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Kenny, S. eds. vol. 3, p. 188. Spelling corrected.
  6. Joseph Smith wrote the following in the Times and Seasons, vol. 5 no. 8. ( April 15, 1844) pg. 510:

    As the “world is governed too much” and as there is not a nation or dynasty, now occupying the earth, which acknowledges Almighty God as their law giver, and as ‘crowns won by blood, by blood must be maintained,’ I go emphatically, virtuously, and humanely, for a THEODEMOCRACY, where God and the people hold the power to conduct the affairs of men in righteousness. And where liberty, free trade, and sailor’s rights, and the protection of life and property shall be maintained inviolate, for the benefit of ALL. To exalt mankind is nobly acting the part of a God; to degrade them, is meanly doing the drudgery of the devil. Unitas, libertas, caritas esto perpetua!

    With the highest sentiments of regard for all men, I am an advocate of unadulterated freedom.

  7. Quinn, D. M. The Mormon Hierarchy. pg. 128-129.
  8. John Taylor received a revelation that stated that the Lord instructed Joseph to include nonmembers that they “be admitted to the right of representation. . . and have full and free opportunity of presenting their views, interests and principles, and enjoying all the freedom and rights of the Council.” Revelation dated 27 June 1882 in notebook collection of John Taylor revelations, Church Archives. Cited in Ehat’s “It Seems Like Heaven on Earth,” pg. 257. Entire revelation also available on the New Mormon Studies CD-ROM
  9. The Words of Joseph Smith. pg. 331
  10. Brigham related in a 7 Oct. 1863 sermon that Joseph said: “I shall have a son born to me, and his name shall be David; and on him, in some future time, will rest the responsibility that now rests upon me.” LDS Archives, as cited in Quinn, D. M. (1975) The Mormon Succession Crisis of 1844. BYU Studies vol. 16 no. 1 pg. 229. For Biblical reference to this latter-day David see 2 Samuel 7:8-29, 37:21-28; Zechariah 3; Isaiah 55:3-5; Jeremiah 30:4-9; Psalms 89:1-4; and D&C 113:5-6 (scriptural references taken from footnote 29 of the preceding WoJS citation).
  11. Esplin, R. K. (1981) Joseph, Brigham and the Twelve: a Succession of Continuity. BYU Studies vol. 21 no. 3 pg. 336-338; see also Origins of Power pg. 231-232.
  12. Ehat, A. F. “It Seems Like Heaven on Earth,” pg. 260
  13. President Heber J. Grant was the last living member of the Council, of which there is public documentation.

Note that you can download all the relevent BYU Studies article for free here.

Comments

  1. Fascinating. Where do you get this stuff? I know, I know, kind of a pointless question; you cited all your sources. But seriously, vaulted minutes describing a parallel organization for building up the Kingdom??

    Have you ever seen that episode of the Simpsons where Shelbyville is introduced as the neighboring town that turns out to be almost a mirror of Springville though somewhat less cool?

  2. Don’t forget Klaus Hansen’s Quest for Empire: The Political Kingdom of God and the Council of Fifty in Mormon History (Univ of Nebraska, 1967). This was the first major treatment that gave Quinn, Ehat and others the road map. This is probably still available in Utah used book stores.

    I’m fascinated by this part of Mormon history because of my intense interest in the proclamation of the Kingdom of God by Jesus in the NT, but more on that later.

  3. A couple of questions, one personal. You seem to have a certain nostalgia for the CoF (“Perhaps one day, these minutes, hundreds of pages, will inform our allegiance and educate those who seek to build up the Kingdom in the latter-days”). Care to elaborate? Are you imagining its future reinstatement?

    Second, what of David Hyrum? Does Brigham’s recording of Joseph’s prophecy pique your interest? (Seems to me that the second David the Bible makes reference to would have to be Christ, in any standard Christian view of these things.) If Joseph’s son was to be his successor as king, then this isn’t the model for a “Theodemocracy,” it’s a model for a theocratic hereditary kingship! How un-American! (No wonder it annoyed people.)

  4. I am reminded of the government proposed by Plato. He proposed the best form of government was one headed by “guardians” or priest-kings. These guardians were to educated in the art of politics (go political science!) as well as possesing virtue (in the greek sence of the word).

    This sounds like a similar system wherein the priesthood, revelation, and good governance (hense the democratic function) allowed for the promotion of God’s Kingdom on the Earth

  5. Ed, if I remember right, whenever Quest for Empire is cited, it is to find fault with it (though I could be remembering wrong). Do you really see this as a must read?

    Ronan, I have no personal nastalgia beyond a desire to better understand. Imagine what light those minutes would shed on our understanding of Joseph and his apocolypse!

    RE: David Hyrum, it is a bit complicated, eh? On one hand Joseph seems to extoll the US constitution for the basis of the Kingdom (in Johnson’s retrospective account) and on the other he establishes a kingdom in the very real sense of the term. I imagine the minutes would shed light on this dillema; however, when you consider the doctrines such as the Law of Adoption, Polygamy, and the Fullness there is a very strong royal bent that has been completely abandoned by the modern church…so no surprise that it is a bit foreign.

    Craig, that is an interesting parallel, one that I don’t remember having been explored.

  6. I’ve read Quest for Empire, and it’s sensationalistic, to say the least. Quinn’s work on the Council of Fifty is largely an attempt to deinflate Hansen’s stance on this. Hansen gives the Fifty credit for a lot of decisions and a lot of theocratic power actually belonging to the church hierarchy. Really, Quinn (in particular) or Ehat are the right places to go to understand the Council of Fifty…

    By the way, the Council of Fifty devised a flag for the theocratic kingdom of God. You can buy it here. (Entrepreneurship, no?)

    The Council of Fifty is often mentioned in older official church publications using euphemisms such as the “general council,” and sometimes in diaries using the crashingly unsubtle code word “YTFIF.” So when you find a committee of some kind being mentioned, and it includes some people who aren’t general authorities, the first good bet is that it’s the Council of Fifty.

  7. Amazing. Simply Amazing. Thanks for expanding my mind yet again.

  8. “This secret Council of Fifty and Joseph’s political kingship…”

    It seems like I’ve heard an oft repeated phrase in defense of temple activities that goes something like, “it’s not secret; it’s sacred.”

    I’m wondering if this is just a trite phrase and/or if there is something inherently wrong with secretness. Secrets seem to be a favorite past time of our beloved prophet, and it’d be nice to have a decent explanation as to why that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Also, do we need a separate post on the First Presidency vault? What other goodies do they keep in there? Do they keep it from themselves as well? Or do they dive into vaulted materials only to coordinate keeping it mum?

  9. Well, for one, Bob, they have a huge file on you in there.

  10. I believe that there’s also a secret document in there that says that the Catholic Church is, in fact, true. Either that or it’s etched on the wall in Latin.

  11. Or maybe in the Deseret Alphabet.

  12. Ronan-

    I’m glad you confirmed this. My life’s goal has always been to make it into the First Presidency vault. The mission is complete. It’s good to know that I can finally retire to the Bahamas.

  13. Kevin Barney says:

    The concept of a “latter-day David” (apart from Jesus Christ) has had a continuing influence in LDS thought. While no one today would say that this figure was David Hyrum, there are still those around who anticipate such an eschatalogical figure. Recent examples would include Victor Ludlow, Hugh Nibley and, most famously and controversially (since he took this concept and really ran with it), Avraham Gileadi.

  14. The First Presidency vault is one of the great mysteries of Mormonism — perhaps even more mysterious than the second anointing. In fact, it’s so mysterious that the First Presidency itself often doesn’t know what’s in there. During the Mark Hofmann affair, the church was interested in acquiring (by negotiated donation) a set of documents called the “McLellin Collection” from Hofmann. (This was the transaction that resulted in the pipe bombs.) A little while later, the church actually found the real McLellin Collection — sitting safely tucked away in the First Presidency vault. You can now buy it from Amazon; that’s just exactly how secret it is!

    In addition to the McLellin papers and the Council of Fifty minutes, there are evidently fairly reliable reports that the First Presidency vault contains the seer stone that Joseph Smith used in translating the Book of Mormon.

  15. Kevin, do you have a recomended source for Gileadi’s take? I am not familiar with it and am interested.

    If I am not mistaken, there are three seer stones in the vault!

  16. J., you’re right — but the one that interests me most is the Book of Mormon one.

  17. This brings up an interesting point. Not to threadjack, but there are many “relics” of mormanism scattered about. I have seen a sword that is kept in the Manti Temple (assumed to be Joseph’s militia sword). You make me wonder what other odd bits and pieces are laying about.

  18. Re #s 5 & 6, Quest for Empire is to the Fifty what Brooks’ Mnt. Meadows Massacre is to, well, Mnt. Meadows Massacre.

    Hansen really didn’t have access to everything Quinn or Ehat had access to–it was 1967!–so to say Quest for Empire was wrong or sensationalistic is not entirely accurate by my way of thinking. Someone will be saying this about Quinn and Ehat in 50 years. I’m only suggesting that they all need to be read together.

    I should note Hansen’s Mormonism and the American Experience is his best book IMHO, with several intriguing interpretations.

  19. Kevin Barney says:

    J. re: Gileadi and the latter-day David, I don’t have a single source for you. It is kind of strewn around in his writings. I know about it because he was my Isaiah teacher at BYU. And I’ve always assumed, without really knowing, that his excommunication as part of the September Six was orchestrated by Religion Dept. colleagues who in large measure were unhappy with his views on this subject.

  20. Hansen is currently working on a second edition of Quest for Empire. You also may be interested in Marvin Hill’s book, based on his 1968 U of Chicago dissertation, called Quest for Refuge, which takes issue with Hansen’s use of the Council of Fifty was the central paradigm for understanding nineteenth-century LDS history.

  21. re: Gileadi

    I think people were partly put off by his belief that his own son was the latter-day David.

  22. Reading between the lines, King David was not such a great guy. Once one focusses on the contradictions it becomes clear that much of the David “cult” is merely propaganda.

    Obvious propaganda items include questions about who killed Goliath (three different accounts) and the issue of regicide.

    Samuel was remarkably prescient when he warned the Israelites about a king. He told them that a king would only seize their daughters and their property. It is obvious that King Saul met Samuel’s low expectations. And so did David. As David’s posterity remained in power the historians were more constrained to report the matter openly.

  23. Thanks for the update in #20. I sat next to Hansen at last year’s MHA conference dinner. He’s an interesting guy to talk to. Somehow he and I started talking about Mormonism and the American Experience‘s interesting interpretation of Joseph Smith’s foibles noted in Joseph Smith’s History and it was all down hill from there. You’ll have to read that chapter to see what we were talking about.

    I’ve read Marvin Hill’s Quest for Refuge and liked it a lot. I think Signature has the entire text online at its website now.

    Yes, saying that the Council of Fifty was the central paradigm for understanding nineteenth-century LDS history is a stretch. I’ll be interested in the 2nd edition of Quest for Empire, though. You could also argue wtih Hill’s “central paradigm” of Mormons seeking to avoid pluralism, I guess. Any central paradigm will be susceptible to attack, which is why overarching theories, while very useful, are never totally satisfying, and always misleading.

  24. Ed, I agree. Maintaining that the Council of 50 was the central paradigm for understanding 19th century Mormonism is too reductionistic. The Biblical Theology movement of the mid to late 20th century suffered from this too (lots of cooky monographs out there!).

    Helmut — a balanced approach to Davidic studies is how I was trained. The truth is probably somewhere in between Samuel-Kings on the one hand, and Chronicles on the other. Bruce Halpern’s book on the subject is recommended.

  25. I believe Gileadi’s The Last Days: Types and Shadows from the Bible and Book of Mormon (1991) drew the most fire from BYU professors. His book The Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interpretive Keys from the Book of Mormon (1988) also goes on about the Davidic figure.

  26. Think about this quote:

    “I go emphatically, virtuously, and humanely, for a THEODEMOCRACY, where God and the people hold the power to conduct the affairs of men in righteousness. And where liberty, free trade, and sailor’s rights, and the protection of life and property shall be maintained inviolate, for the benefit of ALL. To exalt mankind is nobly acting the part of a God; to degrade them, is meanly doing the drudgery of the devil. Unitas, libertas, caritas esto perpetua!
    With the highest sentiments of regard for all men, I am an advocate of unadulterated freedom.”

    How inspiring is this political quote! The smallest morsel of thought from Joseph can lead to a lifetime of contemplation.

  27. Costanza says:

    Ed, you are correct that Hill is open to criticism–I actually did argue with Hill’s paradigm in my Ph.D. dissertation. You are also correct that any grand-narrative is highly susceptible to charges of reductionism. On another note, I have spoken with Hansen’s brother, who is my stake clerk, and he has some very interesting stories to tell….

  28. Elisabeth says:

    This is a silly question, but I really don’t understand what a theodemocracy is. Is it that the democratic procedures are divinely inspired so that the voters always elect the “right” leader? Or is it that the individual voters are divinely inspired to elect the right leader, and the voting mechanisms don’t matter much? And is a theodemocracy a representative democracy?

    I guess I’m just not understanding why God would need to bother with democracy at all. There’s not much that’s “democratic” about the will of God.

  29. That is an interesting question Elisabeth…and I really don’t know. Joseph taught that in the millennium, Jesus wouldn’t be governing full time, but that he would leave that up to the government. What Joseph established as the council of Fifty really doesn’t look all that democratic, and I think we are at a disadvantage by not have very many of his teachings on the topic. The reality remains that any legislation had to be the will of the majority…which is democratic enough. The thing is that memebers of the council, at least in Joseph’s day, were not elected by the people. But again, I suspect that there is a substantial disparity between what was tought about the future of the council and what was actually effectuated in the 19th century.

  30. Duane S Crowther’s book “Prophecy”, first published in 1962 has a very interesting chapter entitled “The Establishment of the God.”

    Summary

    When law, order, and government collapse in the Untied States, the Church will be compelled to establish a government to preserve peace in the in the Western United States.

    This government will be known as the The Kingdom of God. A problem in terminology arises because of this political organization will be called the Kingdom of God. The early Church leaders taught that the government the Saints was to establish was to be apart from the Church.

    That is to say, there are two Kingdoms of God. The first kingdom of God is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is Christ’s church on earth, often referred to as the kingdom of God on earth. And the second kingdom of God is the yet to be created and organized political Kingdom of God, which is not the LDS Church, rather, a new political party, an independent party which shall be officially called the Kingdom of God; a new government which will be base upon the US Constitution. This new US Constitution has already been written by Joseph Smith and is in the position of the Church.

    Crowther outlines the chapter The Establishment of the Kingdom of God.

    History

    1. The (political kingdom yet to be organized) was first organized by Joseph Smith shortly before his death.
    2. It was to be governed by a “General Council” which was also called the “Council of Fifty.”
    3. This organization played an important part in the Westward exodus of the Church, but became a source of antagonism to the non-members in the West and so it was discontinued by the Church.

    Characteristics (When it is organized in the future.)

    1. The Kingdom of God will be led by a Council of Fifty. Some of them might not be Latter-day Saints.
    2. It will uphold the rights of men of all creeds and will be dedicated to rule justly.
    3. The Kingdom will be a theocracy.
    4. It will uphold the principles of the United States Constitution and be somewhat similar in method of operation to the present United States Government.
    5. In the Kingdom will be include people of all nations.

    Future (The future will progress through three stages of growth.)

    1. The beginning stage-The Saints will be in the West (). Here the influence of the Kingdom will be relatively limited and unknown.
    2. The growth stage-During this period many of the Saints will journey from the West to establish the New Jerusalem. There the Kingdom of God will rise in power, not by waging war on other nations, but by being a standard of peace and lawfulness while other governments collapse through corruption and war.
    3. The world-ruling stage-This period will commence with the second coming of Christ and will take place during the Millennium.

  31. The problem with that treatment, Patriot, is that it rely’s on the accounts of those not intimate with the workings of the Council and isn’t particularly in harmony with the extant primary account we do have. So, if you want one guy’s projected vision of what he wants the council to be, that is great.

  32. D. Cross says:

    This work Theodemocracy seems to be an attempt at recreating the Davinci code effect. The writer obviously understands little of Mormon history or prophecy. Also the writer seems to be ignorant of the Bible and Jesus’ statements about the Kingdom of God and the Roman government’s anxiety over the subject. Facinating stuff but unimportant in the greater scheme of things. I’m sure it will be widely published in anti-mormon circles where peope take anything they can find, accurate or not and publish it in the hopes of bolstering their own lagging faith.

  33. D. Cross says:

    Oh, and I forgot to point out the author obviously not read Hebrews (in the Bible by the way) otherwise the author would know where the reference to Kings and Queens, Priests and Priestesses in reference to the Priesthood comes from. I’m always facinated by people who don’t do their homework.

  34. Mark Butler says:

    There is no work called “Theodemocracy” under discussion here. The New and Old Testaments, especially the latter, have references enough to the temporal establishment of the Kingdom of God in the last days, although modern revelation would be more than adequate if they did not.

    Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.

    And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.

    For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
    (Dan 10:14-17)

    And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.

    Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?

    Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

    For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:

    But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.
    (Jer 30:4-9)

    Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
    In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

    But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
    (Jer 23:5-8)

    And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

    And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

    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 11:10-12)

    And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:

    Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
    (Zech 6:12-13)

    For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

    For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

    And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

    For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
    (Romans 11:25-27)

    Whether Jesus Christ, or another David, or more than one type of Christ is the central character of these prophecies, all of them have yet to be fulfilled. We should take care not to spiritualize them away.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The Nauvoo era is demarcated in Mormon history by three institutions: the Council of Fifty; the Anointed Quorum and the fullness of the Temple ordinances; and Polygamy. During this time, the Seventies participated in Missionary work with Twelve, but were not involved to the same extent as the Twelve in these developments. While the Twelve became the center of the new theological innovations, the First Council and the Seventy remained on the periphery (20). [...]

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