The Kingdom of God

1842-09

Millennial Star

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“The Kingdom of God.” Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star (Liverpool, England) 3, no. 5 (September 1842): 92–94.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

OR THE STONE CUT OUT OF THE MOUNTAIN WITHOUT HANDS.

“In the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom which shall not be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” Dan. ii c 44 v.

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, by the aid of a dream, and a prophet, was enabled to trace the course of empire, from his own time down through all succeeding ages, until the empires of the world should shake to their centre, the thrones of kings crumble to atoms, the sceptres, of rulers become as broken reeds, and the last vestige of regal power in the hands of corrupt man should dissolve in air, and disappear as the morning cloud. Gazing still over the ruined world, the wide-spread chaos of desolation and death, he caught a glimpse of a new Empire, rising from obscurity, like a small stone from the mountain quarry, but enlarging at every motion, until it became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

It is not our intention to review the four great monarchies of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, which, in turn, rose in power and crumbled to decay; nor yet the kingdoms of modern Europe, which in their divided state, are remarkably portrayed by the feet and toes of the image, composed part of iron and part of clay; for these things have been so often dwelt upon, that we trust our readers understand them. Suffice it to say, the Great Image was a representation of the forms of government, and institutions, both civil and religious, from the days of Daniel, down to the present time, including the four great Monarchies, and all the modern kingdoms, forms of government, and civil and religious institutions which have been perpetuated by, or handed down, or borrowed from the Roman empire. No only the Catholics, but the Protestants of every sect and name constitute parts of this image, as they derived their priesthood and ordinances, either directly or indirectly from popery. All these corrupt and tyrannical, civil and religious institutions and organizations are fast hastening to ruin, and are doomed to sure and certain destruction,—they must soon pass away as the “chaff of the summer threshing floor, and be found no more.”

With these considerations we turn away from the image, and abandon it to its fate; and will now commence our review of the kingdom of God, which is to rise over the ruins of fallen empires, and control the world.

This kingdom is represented by a stone cut out of a mountain without hands. By this we understand that it does not originate from any part of the image. It neither springs from the head of gold, the breast and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, nor the feet and toes of iron and clay; but it originates as it were, in a distant mountain, which was not included in these dominions—was never subjugated by them, and which never derived its institutions, its laws, its ordinances, its priesthood, its oracles or records, either directly or indirectly from Rome, or from any of the powers of the image.

A land separated, a country secluded, a nation by itself. Its laws, institutions, revelations, and oracles peculiarly [92] its own, preserved in purity from the contaminating influences of falsehood and corruption, and brought forth by the direct command of the Almighty; thus giving rise to a government, a civil, a political, and religious organization under his immediate directions, at once a theocracy. Such is the nature of that kingdom which the God of Heaven would set up, and which should never be destroyed, or left to other people, but which would break in pieces all these kingdoms and stand for ever.

But where shall we find such a country, such oracles, and institutions, and such a people?

In answer to these inquiries, we assert that America is such a country, the Book of Mormon contains, and is connected with such oracles and institutions, and the Latter-day Saints are such a people.

The most ancient records in the Book of Mormon are from the Jaredites, who came to America from the tower of Babel, before the days of Nebuchadnezzar; consequently, the image of which he was the head did not exist, until these Jaredites had removed beyond the bounds of that continent, where afterwards rose the Babylonian empire.

Therefore it follows that the oracles of the Jaredites contained in the Book of Mormon, never were connected with, or handed down by any of the governments represented by the image. Secondly, the other oracles contained in the said book, as revealed to the Nephites, and written by them, were enjoyed by a people who left Jerusalem eleven years before the Babylonish captivity, and while there was a king in Judea; and they were all written after they had gone into the wilderness as a free people, or after they had arrived in America, and had become entirely distinct and separate from all the forms of government represented by the image.

Therefore the oracles, the institutions, laws, government, ordinances and revelations in the Book of Mormon, together with the Urim and Thummim connected with it, have been perpetuated, preserved, and handed forth to this generation as entirely independent of, and separate from all the institutions and forms of the governments of the image, as the moon is separate from the earth; or rather as the western continent is separate from the eastern. They have come forth from Mount Cumorah without hands; that is, by the immediate interposition of the Almighty and his angels—so much for the oracles.

We now come to speak of the country where, or the mountain from which this kingdom should originate. That which modern historians call the history of the world, is but the history of half of it. Man may turn over the pages of the past, and contemplate the rise and fall of nations and empires, from the great Babel down through the Medes, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans—he may extend his researches through all the kingdoms of the world, as they are called, down to the fourteenth century of the Christian era, and still there is a “world” untouched, a land afar, a continent unconnected, and nations as unconcerned with any of these matters, as if they lived on some other planet.

Revolution might succeed revolution—cities might rise and flourish and return to dust— heroes might fight, and patriots bleed and die—tyrants might conquer and subdue, and reign amid the tears, and sweat, and groans of enslaved millions—the trump of war might call its myriads to the field—armies might rush to battle, and arms on armour clash, while the engines of death, sounding dismal in the distance, might rend the earth and make the mountains tremble. A long succession of kings might rule in turn and pass to the shades. Empires might rise and flourish and pass away—thrones might crash amid the wreck of thrones, nations clash against nations, and in turn devour and be devoured, and still the western world reposed in security from all the commotions of the eastern hemisphere; its wall of waters secured it from foreign invasion, and bid defiance to their fleets and armies, and engines of war.

Such was the land held in reserve from the dominion of the image, and destined to give rise to the kingdom of the “stone.” Such the holy mountain where God’s purposes lay concealed, and from whence they were to originate in the latter day.

We might further add that in the covenants and oracles given to the Jaredites, the western continent is called a chosen land of the Lord, “choice above all others; that it was destined by the God of heaven and held in re-[93]serve for a righteous people, a land of liberty that all nations who should dwell thereon should be free from bondage and from all other nations under heaven, if they would serve the true God; but if not, they should be destroyed when they were ripe in iniquity. No tyrannical government such as is so fearfully pourtrayed in the beasts and images of the book of Daniel should prevail, or long maintain its dominion in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.

When our fathers first discovered and peopled America in modern times, the first colonists were refugees form oppression, who fled from England and elsewhere for the sake of liberty of conscience. These colonists in process of time threw off the yoke of oppression imposed on them by the mother country, and laid the foundation of a free and independent government, and of free institutions. A Washington and others were raised up and inspired by the spirit of freedom (which is the spirit of God) to form the constitution, and to organize and defend a country and government as different from the tyrannical and oppressive governments of the old world as light differs from darkness, or as heaven is higher than the earth. The hand of Providence was manifest in all these events in order to prepare the way for His church and kingdom to be re-established as in days of old, and to come forth out of the wilderness as a bride adorned for her husband. Scarcely had this free government become established upon a solid basis, when, lo! the heavens were opened and angels were commissioned to bear glad tidings of great joy to the people of that favoured land—tidings which have resulted in introducing the kingdom of God, and organising a people under the commandments and institutions of the Almighty—a people every way governed by direct revelation from the King of heaven and earth the Lord Jesus Christ.

This people, thus organized and governed, must grow in numbers and in power, and in favour with God and with all good men; they must maintain the freedom of their country and the cause of God, and spread their dominion and power by the dissemination of truth, until the great image which has so long held men in bondage and caused the earth to be troubled shall disappear; and then shall the government of Jesus Christ, under the administration of His saints, extend its dominion so as to form a universal kingdom over the whole earth. So much for the kingdom of the “stone.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. ”—ED.

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