What is the House of God?
7 And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints (a Moses-like calling) whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;
The National or Political Salvation of Ephraim:
15 Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power;
16 Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.
17 For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.
18 And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.
Therefore, saith the Lord, this requires a savior to have the necessary lineage (Davidic) and Ephraimaic to set in order both the ecclesiastical and political affairs of the “House of God”.
6 Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.
26 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:
The three divisions of the House of God, in Book of Mormon times can be further illustrated: just before Mosiah died, he conferred the Urim and Thumim, the sacred records, and other spiritual things upon Alma the Younger.1 Thus, Alma the Younger received the top spiritual authority which Mosiah had held. But Mosiah for a time retained the political leadership. Alma the Younger, still later, ALSO received the leadership of the church from his father Alma. 2 Finally, Alma the Younger received also the leadership over all political matters.3 Thus in three separate transactions, from SEPARATE sources, Alma the Younger received three top positions of leadership: Head of all priesthood, chief high priest of the Church, and chief political judge of the people.4
1, Mosiah 28:20 2. Mosiah 29:42. 3. Mosiah 29:42-44 4. In our time, Brigham Young was governor of the territory, as well as head of the Political Kingdom o/ God. See The Rise and Fall of the Kingdom of God ire Pioneer Days, unpub. thesis by David N. Pierce. Joseph Smith was chief civil magistrate of Nauvoo, while at the same he was head of the Political Kingdom of God, is another example.
POLITICAL KINGDOM SEPARATE FROM CHURCH
Recall, that the political kingdom nucleus was organized in the spring of 1814 and consisted of about 50 men who were to be the governing council of it.1 Emphasizing the distinction between this political kingdom and the Church, Brigham Young says:
"The Kingdom of God grows out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it IS NOT THE CHURCH, for a man may he a legislator in that body which will issue laws to sustain the inhabitants of the earth in their individual rights. and still not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ at all." (JD2: 310)
Certainly this would indicate a distinction between the two:
POLITICAL KINGDOM SEPARATE FROM the Church
George Q. Cannon, who was counselor to four presidents of the Church 2 and who was secretary of the Political Kingdom of God ` spoke of the Prophet Joseph Smith's distinction between the Political Kingdom of God and the Church:
"The Kingdom of God is a SEPARATE ORGANIZATION from the Church of God. There may be men acting as OFFICERS in the Kingdom of God who will NOT be MEMBERS of the CHURCH of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On this point the Prophet Joseph gave particular instructions before his death, and gave an example, which he asked the younger elders who were present to always remember. It was to the effect that men might be chosen to OFFICIATE as members of the Kingdom of God who had NO STANDING IN THE CHURCH of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Kingdom of God when established "will not be for the protection of the Church of Jesus Christ alone, but for the protection of all men, whatever their religious news or opinions may be. Under its rule, no one will be permitted to overstep the proper bounds or to interfere with the rights of others. (HC, 7:382)
Clearly, then, the Political Kingdom of God not only is a separate organization from the Church, but also, its officers need not all be Church members.
POLITICAL KINGDOM OF GOD PROTECTS ALL PEOPLES
We have just quoted George Q. Cannon's summary of Joseph Smith's instructions on the political kingdom, that it is established to protect all churches and peoples. On this subject, Brigham Young said:
"This Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is organized for the building up OF THIS CHURCH ALONE: it is "NOT for the, building up of Catholicism ... it is alone for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and for NO OTHER BODY OF PEOPLE. But the kingdom of Gad when it is established and bears rule, will defend the Methodists in their rights dust as much as Latter-day Saints, but it will not allow them to infringe upon the rights of their neighbors; this will be prohibited. ...the kingdom of God WILL PROTECT EVERY PERSON, every sect and ALL PEOPLE upon the whole earth, in their legal rights." (JD 17:156-7)
POLITICAL KINGDOM OF GOD PROTECTS ALL PEOPLE
POLITICAL. KINGDOM and CHURCH DO NOT DICTATE EACH OTHER
It may be thought by some that if the political kingdom has a protecting hand over the Church, that thereby the political kingdom rules the Church. But this is not so. The political kingdom cannot tell the Church how to run its own all airs, so long as the Church does not infringe on another's rights. I For instance, the political kingdom cannot tell the Church that it must have fifty deacons per quorum instead of twelve. The political kingdom cannot order the Church to use "sprinkling" instead of "immersion" for baptism. It is in this sense, then. that the Church is not under the jurisdiction of the political kingdom. After the martyrdom of the prophet. some of the early brethren who did not understand this, wanted the leaders:
"to call together the Council of Fifty and organize the church.' They were told that the Council of Fifty was NOT A CHURCH ORGANIZATION, but was composed of members irrespective of their religious faith .,. and that the organization of the CHURCH BELONGED TO the PRIESTHOOD alone." (HC.7;213)
But neither is the Political Kingdom under the Church. The Church does not have the responsibility of stopping one person from infringing on the rights of another. This is the duty of the political kingdom. for as Brigham Young said, "The Church ... is organized for the building up of this Church ALONE.": It is not the Church which makes the rules and laws by which the nations will be ruled, but as Brigham Young also said of the political Kingdom of God, "'This kingdom ... will issue laws and ordinances to protect them in their rights -every right that every people, sect and person can enjoy".
In light of the principle that neither the political Kingdom is under the Church, nor is the Church under the political Kingdom, it may also now be understood how it is that the "Kingdom grows out of the Church."4 It has been said that the rulers and great men of the earth receive their training in the home, or Mothers are the rulers of nations since mothers are the teachers of the rulers. In this sense, the Political government grows out of the home. By the same token. the kingdom grows out of the Church, for it is through the Church that many righteous principles may be learned.'
ORGANIZATIONAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN POLITICAL KINGDOM of God AND the CHURCH
It has already been indicated that the governing nucleus the political kingdom consists of fifty men. This is very well documented. I The following, from Brigham Young is typical:
March 11. 1814 - "Joseph commenced the organization of a Council for the purpose of taking into consideration the necessary steps to obtain redress for the wrongs which had been inflicted upon us by our persecutors, and also the best manner to settle our people in some distant and unoccupied territory; where we could enjoy our civil and religious rights, without being subject to constant oppression and mobocracy, under the protection of our own laws, subject to the constitution. The Council was composed of about FIFTY members. Several of whom were NOT MEMBERS of the CHURCH."
March 19, 1844 - "I attended the Council of FIFTY"' (11.5._x6: 328-9, History of Brigham Young, compare HC.6:260-1 )
But the Lord’s Anointed Commands Both Bodies (by revelation)
If Joseph had a right to dictate me in relation to salvation, in relation to a hereafter, he had a right to dictate me in relation to all my earthly affairs, in relation to the treasures of the earth, and in relation to the earth itself. He had a right to dictate in relation to the cities of the earth, to the natives of the earth, and in relation to everything on land and on sea. That is what he had a right to do, if he had any right at all. If he did not have that right, he did not have the Priesthood of God, he did not have the endless Priesthood that emanates from an eternal being. A Priesthood that is clipped, and lacks length, is not the Priesthood of God; if it lacks depth, it is not the Priesthood of God; for the Priesthood in ancient times extended over the wide world, and coped with the universe, and had a right to govern and control the inhabitants thereof, to regulate them, give them laws, and execute those laws. That power looked like the Priesthood of God. This same Priesthood has been given to Joseph Smith, and has been handed down to his successors.
(Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., 2:, p.14)
SUMMMARY Of DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHURCH and POLITICAL KINGDOM
We see then that the Church of Jesus Christ and the political kingdom of God are definitely two separate organizations. Their birthdates and birth places are different. Their shapes are different. Their sizes are different. They have different names. They have different jobs. They are two very different things:
But priesthood is also essential to the Political Kingdom of God: Of this, john Taylor explained:
"The Lord is king; ...his revealed will is the law of his kingdom, the PRIESTHOOD is the ADMINISTRATOR of those laws ...'' (Times and Seasons, 4:21)
"The Lord God has established his kingdom upon the earth, . The Priesthood upon the earth is the legitimate government of God, whether in the heavens or on the earth. Some people ask, 'What is Priesthood?' I answer, 'It is the legitimate rule of God, whether in the heavens or on the earth:' and IT IS THE ONLY LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY.
As stated above:, The Keys of The Priesthood governs ALL THINGS. which, of course, would include ALL Priest. hood upon the earth:
“The Priesthood) of God shall govern all things upon the earth. . . and lie who holds the keys of that Priest. hood sill be recognized as the Chief Ruler." (Ibid.)
Also, the Lord said:
All covenants. contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise. of him who is anointed, ... through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and THE KEYS OF THIS PRIESTHOOD are conferred), are of no efficacy ...in and after the resurrection from the dead ... ' (D&C 132:7)
Joseph Smith received the Keys of the Priesthood from Peter. Of this, John Taylor testified when speaking of the great council which was to be held at Adam-Ondi-Ahman:
"All who have held KEYS OF THE PRIESTHOOD, will then have to give an account to those from whom they received them. ... Joseph delivers his authority to Peter, who held the KEYS before him, and DELIVERED them to him." (The Government of God, 1852. p.116-7)
The records indicate that Peter initially gave these Keys to Joseph almost a year before the Church was legally organized, and that he gave these keys to him at the time he came with his brethren, James and John, to Joseph and Oliver. This took place on the banks of the Susquehanna River as indicated in D&C 129:20. The only time that both Oliver Cowdrey and Joseph Smith were together near the Susquehanna, between Harmony and Colesville, and before the legal organization of the Church, was before David Whitmer took them to Fayette to finish translating the Book of Mormon. This is indicated by tracing the activities of these men for the corresponding period of time. the legal organization of the Church, was before David Whitmer took them to Fayette to finish translating the Book of Mormon. This is indicated by tracing the activities of these men for the corresponding period of time. Since David Whitmer bought them to Fayette no later than the forepart of June, 1820,3 we may place the date of Joseph receiving the Keys of the Priesthood, between May 15, 1829 and the forepart of June, 1829. That Peter had rot come before the 15th of May is indicated by D&C 13 and History of the Church, volume 1. pages 39 to 40, wherein John the Baptist explained that Peter, James and John were soon to come.
The Keys of the Priesthood, then, were upon the earth prior to either the Church or the Political Kingdom of God. Also, since the Keys of the Priesthood govern all priesthood upon the earth, and as we've seen, since both the Church and the Political Kingdom of God are subordinate to priesthood, then the coordinating principle between the Church and the Political Kingdom of God is The Keys of the Priesthood (Lord’s anointed).
If the Keys of the Priesthood governed OVER the Political Kingdom of God, by virtue of a Church position or function, then the Church would rule the Political Kingdom of God. But we have seen that the Church does not rule the Political Kingdom of God.4 So then the keys of the Priesthood must be separate from the Church:
Likewise, if the Keys of the priesthood governed OVER the Church by virtue of a position or function in the Political kingdom of God, then the Political Kingdom of God would rule the Church. Since the Political Kingdom of God does not rule the Church, the Keys of the Priesthood must also be separate from the Political Kingdom of God organization and the Church Organization.
Then both the Church and the Political Kingdom of God are subordinate to the Keys of the priesthood, which Keys of the Priesthood are separate and distinct from both organizations.
Of this principle, Brigham Young said:
"I do not care who leads the church, even though it were Ann Lee; but one thing I must know, and that is what God says about it. I have the keys and the means of obtaining the mind of God on the subject. Does this church want it as God organized it? Or do you want to clip the power of the priesthood, and let those who have the keys of the priesthood go and build up the kingdom in all the world, wherever the people will hear them? (HC 7:230,2.15)
"Perhaps it may make some of you stumble, were I to ask you a question - Does a man's being a Prophet in this Church prove that he shall be the President of it? I answer, no! A man may he a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and it may have nothing to do with his being the President of. the Church. Suffice it to say, that Joseph was the President of the Church, as long as he lived: the people chose to have it so. He always filled that responsible station, by the VOICE OF THE PEOPLE. Can you find any revelation appointing him the President of the Church? THE KEYS OF THE PRIESTHOOD were committed to Joseph, to build up the Kingdom of God on the earth, and were not to be taken from him in time or in eternity; but when he was called to preside over the Church. it was by the voice of the people; though he held THE KEYS OF THE PRIESTHOOD INDEPENDENT of their voice.” (JD 1:133)
DIFFERENT USES OF THE TERM, KEYS OF PRIESTHOOD
We have already spoken of Priesthood as the authority to act in God's name. We have also seen that "Keys" of Priesthood refer to the "opening and closing of doors." Priesthood Keys then can open or close doors on different levels. Then we observed that we may properly speak of different levels and types of priesthood keys. For instance, an individual holding the Melchizedek priesthood has a key thereby to baptize, lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, administer the sacrament, etc.5 The leader of a Ward has jurisdiction of the priesthood within the confines of that Ward, and accordingly, may be spoken of as the man who holds the Keys of Priesthood AS IT PERTAINS TO THE WARD. Likewise, the leader of the Stake may be spoken of as being the leader of all priesthood within (he confines of the stake, and thus may be spoken of as holding the Keys of Priesthood as they pertain strictly to that stake only.
By the same token, the leader of the whole Church be spoken of as holding the Keys of Priesthood as it pertains to the whole Church throughout the world. But likewise, by the same principle the man who heads the Political Kingdom of God heads also all the priesthood which pertains to that political kingdom, and may he spoken properly as the man who holds the Keys of the Priesthood as pertaining strictly to that Political Kingdom o/ God. Finally, The man who is over ALL priesthood in the world, irrespective of any organization, may properly be spoken of as the man who holds The Keys of The Priesthood pertaining to all priesthood among mortals upon the earth:
(Parts Taken from Keys of the Priesthood Illustrated, by Lynn L. and Stephen L. Bishop of Draper, Utah.)
I, Art Bulla, might here give an account of my coming in contact with the
One day in Spring of 1974, while attending Brigham Young University I took a