The history of Mormonism reveals that almost from its beginning, the new church was to be not only a basis for an ecclesiastical Kingdom of God but for a temporal Kingdom as well. This temporal Kingdom, never fully realized, was to develop into a political state preparatory to the inauguration of the Apocalyptic Kingdom. Ultimately, this Kingdom was to rule the whole world.
Theory and practice did not always merge in the organization and administration of this Kingdom. When Joseph Smith organized the nucleus of a political government for the Kingdom of God in 1844 it became rather obvious that the separation between the political and the ecclesiastical Kingdom was rather theoretical; the leading officers of both organizations were identical.
The Council of Fifty, as this embryo world government was most generally called, actively worked to bring about the political Kingdom of God. In response to its immediate cause for organization, the Council explored the possibilities for relocating the Saints in an uninhabited region where they might build the Kingdom without interference. After the untimely death of Joseph Smith it was this Council which organized and directed the exodus of the Saints to the West.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hansen, Klaus J., "The Theory and Practice of the Political Kingdom of God in Mormon History, 1829-1890" (1959). All Theses and Dissertations. 4755.
Mormon Church, Government