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Brigham Young’s King of Kings

By Sharon Lindbloom

This article is taken from Mormon Coffee 10/22/12.

In the spring of 1863 Mormonism’s prophet Brigham Young taught,

 “Though we are in the world, yet we should be as perfect as mortals are required to be. We are not required in our sphere to be as perfect as Gods and angels are in their spheres, yet man is the king of kings and lord of lords in embryo.”  (Journal of Discourses 10:223)

Brigham Young’s teaching was to help the Latter-day Saints recognize that they should not expect to achieve the same sort of perfection that Gods and angels enjoy; after all, they were only human. However, lest the people grow lax in their striving for perfection, Brigham reminded them that man is “the king of kings and lord of lords in embryo.”

God, in His Word, uses this phrase in an abbreviated form (i.e., “King of kings and Lord of lords”) three times, each time in reference to Himself:

… [God] who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:15-16)

…the Lamb will conquer them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings… (Revelation 17:14)

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which He is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)

Is this a description of the future of mankind–of you and me–once we have managed, by obedience to Mormonism’s laws and ordinances, to grow into Gods? Brigham Young thought so:

“The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like Himself; when we have been proved in our present capacity, and been faithful with all things He puts into our possession. We are created, we are born for the express purpose of growing up from the low estate of manhood, to become Gods like unto our Father in heaven. That is the truth about it, just as it is. The Lord has organized mankind for the express purpose of increasing in that intelligence and truth, which is with God, until he is capable of creating worlds on worlds, and becoming Gods, even the sons of God.” (Journal of Discourses 3:93)

Brigham Young believed and taught, “man is the king of kings and lord of lords in embryo.” May the only true King of kings and Lord of lords be merciful toward those who have not yet recognized the terrible blasphemy proclaimed by this prophet of Mormonism.

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