Joseph Smith/Status in LDS belief/Heber C. Kimball on Joseph as "a god"

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Did Heber C. Kimball say that future generations would see Joseph Smith as "a god"?

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Question: Did Heber C. Kimball say that future generations would view Joseph Smith as "a god"?

Kimball is using a biblical allusion to insist that Joseph and his heirs to the priesthood have a right to leadership of the Saints in both spiritual and temporal things

It is claimed that Joseph's place in LDS theology is blasphemous and even idolatrous. As evidence for this, critics of Mormonism cite Heber C. Kimball's remark that future generations would see Joseph as "a god." However, Kimball is not here assigning Joseph divine status, nor he is teaching the doctrine of theosis. Rather, he is using a biblical allusion to insist that Joseph and his heirs to the priesthood have a right to leadership of the Saints in both spiritual and temporal things.

Critics, especially Bible-believing ones, ought to be aware of the allusion, but they omit it from their citation and their interpretation, distorting both.

In the wake of difficulty with the US government over the leadership of the Territory of Deseret, Heber C. Kimball said:

You call us fools: but the day will be, gentlemen and ladies, whether you belong to this Church or not, when you will prize brother Joseph Smith as the Prophet of the Living God, and look upon him as a God, and also upon Brigham Young, our Governor in the Territory of Deseret. [1]

Well, I will say there is no other man, except it is his successor in the Priesthood, that will ever rule over me as a Governor.

Kimball's remarks are centered around who would lead the Saints in the territory

Kimball makes clear that Joseph is to be recognized as a prophet of God, and then alludes to the Bible. When Moses, the great prophet and political leader of Israel, was called as a prophet, he was told by God that:

And [Aaron] shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God (emphasis added) (Exodus 4:16).

To see citations to the critical sources for these claims, click here

Notes

  1. ↑ Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses 5:88-89.