Question: Did Brigham Young plan to "rule over all the earth"?

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Question: Did Brigham Young plan to "rule over all the earth"?

President Young didn't believe that the Kingdom of God was on the earth, nor did he believe it was synonymous with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The book One Nation Under Gods asserts that Brigham Young assured his followers: "[W]e 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." [1] The author cites "Young, July 8, 1855, in JOD, vol. 2, 317".

This is one of two quotes used by the author of ONUG from a single discourse by Brigham Young. The author uses these quotes to bolster his belief that Brigham Young felt the Kingdom of God was on earth, that it was synonymous with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that it would oppressively rule over everyone else.

As was shown in an examination of the earlier quote used by the author of ONUG (see the article [[../Brigham and the Kingdom of God|here]]), President Young didn't believe that the Kingdom of God was on the earth, nor did he believe it was synonymous with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This particular quote from President Young bears further scrutiny, however. Take a look at the full quote, in context. (The bold portion of the quote indicates the words used by the author of ONUG) In talking about the coming Kingdom of God, Brigham Young stated:

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."

The brethren who spoke this morning had not time to explain these points, and I have only just touched upon the subject.

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.

The Kingdom of God would not be oppressive: people will be able to worship as they like and live in peace with each other

Does such a Kingdom sound oppressive? According to Brigham Young (and contrary to ONUG's statements about the Mormons' beliefs), people will be able to worship as they like and live in peace with each other. In fact, President Young makes several points in closing his discourse:

  • People can worship any way they like (even "worship the sun, moon, a white dog, or anything else they please").
  • Neighbors will not infringe upon neighbors.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ will produce this government (but it will not be that government, as was made clear in President Young's remarks earlier, in the same talk).
  • The Church of God will dwell in safety.
  • The Church of God will not govern or control the whole earth (the Kingdom of God will, but not the Church of God).
  • The United States will still exist under the Kingdom of God, and separate from the Church of God.
  • The Kingdom of God will "let the oppressed of all nations go free."

Notes

  1. ↑ Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, Endnote 89, page 554 (hardback); page 552 (paperback).