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Select Quotations from The Gospel Kingdom: Writings and Discourses of John Taylor

The following quotes come from the book The Gospel Kingdom: Writings and Discourses of John Taylor, edited by G. Homer Durham. This was an employee gift by the First Presidency in 1996. To visit the site with all of the books and quotes from these, go here.

Authority

“We could progress a great deal faster, and could prosper a thousand times more than we do if we would be one in carrying out the counsels given us by the Lord through his servants” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 180-181).

Christianity

“THE ABSURDITY OF SOME RELIGIOUS NOTIONS.–Now, what can God think of a people, placed here on the earth, the most intelligent of his creations possessed of reasoning faculties, who, in many instances, have investigated and understand the laws of Nature. I say, what can he think of men who set up every form, notion, and theory, every species of absurdity that can be imagined, and call it the worship of God? Suppose we were to put ourselves in his place for a little while, we should think there was something a little strange in relation to these matters. He might reasonably say, these men exhibit wisdom and intelligence in many respects. So far as discovering the operations of Nature, and examining and testing the laws thereof, they all agree; but in religious matters they exhibit inbecility and weakness, in that there is no union. . . . ” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, pp. 74-75).

“CHRISTIANITY WILL BEAR HONEST INVESTIGATION.—We call ourselves Christians, that is, we Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Episcopalians and Mormons, we all call ourselves Christians. Well, perhaps we are, and then, perhaps we are not. It is a matter that would bear investigation, I think. And then I think . . . we should be honest with ourselves about all things, and especially in religion and the service and worship of God. ‘Well, but my father was a Methodist, and I am one.’ My father was a Presbyterian, and I am one.’ My father was a ‘jumper, and I am one.’ My father was a Mohammadan, and I am one.’ ‘My father was a worshipper of Buddha, and I am one.’ . . . Let us examine these things for a little while; or, at least, try to go to the foundation. Believing in the Bible, we will not go at once into these outside systems, but examine our own for a little while, and see how it stands, and how we stand in relation to it” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, pp. 75-76).

Godhood

“A GOD IN EMBRYO.—Man is a dual being, possessed of body and spirit, made in the image of God, and connected with him and with eternity. He is a God in embryo and will live and progress throughout the eternal ages, if obedient to the laws of the Godhead, as the Gods progress throughout the eternal ages.—JD, 23:65, April 9, 1882” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 52).

“MAN AS AN ETERNAL BEING.—What is he? Let us look again and view him in another aspect. Why, he is an eternal being, and possesses within him a principle that is destined to exist ‘while life and thought and being last, or immortality endures.’ What is he? He had his being in the eternal worlds; he existed before he came here. He is not only the son of man, but he is the son of God also. He is a God in embryo, and possesses within him a spark of that eternal flame which was struck from the blaze of God’s eternal fire in the eternal world, . . . He is an immortal being. He is a part of the Deity” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 54. Ellipsis mine).

“CHRIST’S SERVICE PLACES GODHOOD WITHIN MAN’S REACH—As a man through the powers of his body he could attain to the dignity and completeness of manhood, but could go
no further. As a man he is born, as a man he lives, and as a man he dies. But through the essence and power of the Godhead, which is in him, which descended to him as the gift of God from his
Heavenly Father, he is capable of rising from the contracted limits of manhood to the dignity of a God, and thus through the atonement of Jesus Christ and the adoption he is capable of eternal exaltation, eternal lives, and eternal progression” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 58).

Joseph Smith

“I heard Joseph Smith say, at the time he was making a tomb at Nauvoo, that he expected, when the time came when the grave would be rent asunder, that he would arise and embrace his father and mother, and shake hands with his friends. It was his written request that when he died, some kind friends would see that he was buried near his bosom friends, so that when he and they arose in the morning of the first resurrection, he could embrace them, saying, ‘My father! My mother!’” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 23).

“The Seer

The Seer, the Seer, Joseph the Seer!

I’ll sing of the Prophet ever dear;

His equal now cannot be found,

By searching the wide world around.

With Gods he soared in the realms of day,

And men he taught in the heavenly way.

The earthly Seer! The heavenly seer!

I love to dwell on his memory dear;

The chosen of God and the friend of man,

He brought the priesthood back again;

He gazed on the past, and the future too,

And opened the heavenly world to view” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 386).

Mormonism

“THE STRENGTH OF MORMON DOCTRINE.—I have traveled to preach these doctrines in most of the United States and in the Canadas; I have preached them in England, in Scotland, in Wales, in the Isle of Man and the Jerseys, in France, Germany, in the principal cities of America and Europe, and to many prominent men in the world; and I have not yet found a man that could controvert one principle of Mormonism upon scriptural grounds—JD 5:239, September 13, 1857” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 6).

“Now I come to us, Mormons. We are the only true Church, so we say. We have the only true faith, so we say and believe. I believe we have many great and true principles revealed from the heavens. I will tell you how I feel about it, and what I have said many times when I have been abroad among the priests, people, and philosophers. If any man under the heavens can show me one principle of error that I have entertained, I will lay it aside forthwith, and be thankful for the information” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 50).

Preexistence

“For although we came into corporal existence here, we existed thousands of age before we came here. We only came here to live on this state of action, whereon we are to work out our probation, and to prepare ourselves for the eternal courts of glory and a celestial kingdom of God. Time is a short space between, or in, eternity. Eternity existed before time was, and will exist when time will cease; and so did we.—MS, 8:84-85, July 6, 1845” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 12).

“As eternal beings, we existed with our Father I the eternal worlds. We came on this earth, and obtained tabernacles, that, through taking possession of them, and passing through a scene of trial, and tribulation, and suffering, we might be exalted to more glory, dignity, and power than would have been possible for us to obtain had we not been placed in our present position.—JD, 1:230-231, April 8, 1853” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 14).

Revelation

“A good many people, and those professing Christians, will sneer a good deal at the idea of present revelation. Whoever heard of true religion without communication with God? . . . The principle of present revelation, then, is the very foundation of our religion. The Christian world rejects that, and says the Bible is all-sufficient” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 35. Ellipsis mine).

Truth

“THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION.—There is one of two things true. We are either laboring under one of the greatest delusion that ever afflicted the human race, or we are under the direction of the great God” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, pp. 7-8).

“THE CONSTANT SEARCH.—We are after the truth. We commenced searching for it, and we are constantly in search of it, and so fast as we find any true principle revealed by any man, by God, or by holy angels, we embrace it and make it part of our religious creed.—JD, 14:341-342, March 3, 1872” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 47).

“WE ARE OPEN FOR THE RECEPTION OF ALL TRUTH. . . .’—We are open for the reception of all truth, of whatever nature it may be, and are desirous to obtain and possess it, to search after it as we would for hidden treasures; and to use all the knowledge God gives to us to possess ourselves of all the intelligence that he has given to others; and to ask at his hands to reveal unto us his will, in regard to things that are the best calculated to promote the happiness and well-being of human society” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 48).

“TESTS OF MORMONISM.—I have generally taken the liberty of applying the word of God to principles of religion, whether taught by the Methodists, Church of England, Roman Catholics, or any others; and when Mormonism was presented to me, my first inquiry was, ‘Is it scriptural? Is it reasonable and philosophical?’ This is the principle I would act upon today. No matter how popular the theories or dogmas preached might be, I would not accept them unless they were strictly in accordance with the scriptures, reason, and common sense. . . . I believe it is good to investigate and prove all principles that come before me. Prove all things, hold fast that which is good, and reject that which is evil, no matter what guise it may come in. I think if we, as Mormons, hold principles that cannot be sustained by the scriptures and by good sound reason and philosophy, the quicker we part with them the better, no matter who believes in them or who does not. In every principle presented to us, our first inquiry should be ‘Is it true? Does it emanate from God?’ If he is its author, it can be sustained just as much as any other truth in natural philosophy; if false, it should be opposed and exposed just as much as any other error. Hence upon all such matters we wish to go back to first principles.—JD, 13:14-15, March 14, 1869” (John Taylor, The Gospel Kingdom, p. 236).

 

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