Brigham Young’s Kings of Kings

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.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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30 Responses to Brigham Young’s Kings of Kings

  1. Rick B says:

    I must be an LDS prophet since I predict some LDS will say Brigham young did not mean that, or we misunderstand him, or since it is from the journals of discourse they are not binding, or it’d history we don’t understand.

  2. falcon says:

    Rick,
    We have to point out that there are sects of Mormonism that don’t buy into Young’s stream of consciousness. They see Smith and Young’s foray into religious experimentation as way outside of the level of acceptable Christian doctrine. There are other Mormon sects who double-down on the pronouncements of these false prophets and hold tightly to the linkage between polygamy and spiritual achievement re. becoming a god. Then we have the Utah bunch who are caught somewhere in between.
    Interestingly enough there isn’t anywhere in the original BoM information that would support the notions of polygamy or men becoming gods. Fundamentalist Mormons don’t accept the “revelation” that resulted in the manifesto that ended polygamy which was the result of another “revelation”.
    There is One King of Kings and Lord of Lords and His name is Jesus. Jesus isn’t one of many gods as Mormonism teaches. He is the One who came to sit on David’s throne and rule over the House forever. There’s only room for one King and one Lord. Satan likes nothing better than a bunch of people thinking that they can also be Kings and Lords.

  3. parkman says:

    “There are other Mormon sects who…”
    One day I am taught here at mrm that the diversity of “traditional Christian” sects is proof that they are true.
    The next day I am taught that having many Mormon sects is proof that they are false.

    ????????????????????????????????????????????????

  4. parkman says:

    “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.””

    One small change:
    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.
    IN ADDITION,
    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.”

    You forgot the part where we will continue to grow after our resurrection. If Jesus had not died for us on the cross, we could not progress.

  5. Marsha says:

    Parkman,

    The Bible DOES NOT teach progression for mankind after death. Instead, it plainly teaches judgment (“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” Hebrews 9:27).

    To think that Jesus’ voluntary, vicarious, and victorious death on the cross provided only an opportunity for mankind to continue on some journey of progression entirely misses the point of WHY Jesus died.

    We could not and will not progress: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)

  6. parkman says:

    “The Bible DOES NOT teach progression for mankind after death. Instead, it plainly teaches judgment (“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” Hebrews 9:27).”

    The only way you can get your understanding of that verse is if you filter God’s teachings in the Bible through the manmade definition of trinity; as written, the verse says nothing about what happens after the judgment.

    You have left out and ignored the part of Heavenly Father’s latter day teachings that speaks of the judgment as part of our progression.

  7. Mike R says:

    Marsha , that was clear and right on the money.

  8. Marsha says:

    Parkman . . . . Filter? Who is using a filter and reading something INTO the Bible passage????

    You stated that “you have left out and ignored the part of Heavenly Father’s latter day teachings that speaks of judgment as part of our progression.” Tell me, dear sir, where is that principle taught in the Bible??? Chapter and verse, please.

  9. parkman says:

    “Parkman . . . . Filter? Who is using a filter and reading something INTO the Bible passage????”

    There are a bunch of manmade councils, some of which you have been taught, by men, is what God meant when He taught something. Since the manmade definition Trinity is the one most used to “prove” that I am not a Christian, it is the one I use as an example.
    For example, the manmade defination Trinity forces you to misunderstand the proper balance of faith and works.

  10. Rick B says:

    Parkman,
    You really need to stop listing to your so called “true teachers” and blindly following them.

    First off, you again mention the

    filter God’s teachings in the Bible through the manmade definition of trinity;

    Who mentioned the trinity in this verse? Who mentioned it at all? You did.
    Then if you would simply read the Bible, which clearly you have proven over and over you dont. I wont give you everything, only some, and you do your own research.

    First off, you wont find this so called eternal progression ever mentioned in the Bible. Like some have said, give chapter and verse.

    Next the bible tells us in revelation, After the judgment we will either be let into heaven, or we will be cast into the lake of fire that burns forever.

    Then you can read in the Gospels, People say to Jesus during the judgment day, Lord, Lord, did we not do all these works? Mormons do works, The people said to Jesus, We feed the poor, we cast out demons, we cured the sick, Etc. Great, people did works in the name of Jesus, yet how did Jesus reply, Depart from me you workers of evil, for I never knew you.

    So maybe you better go back and read the Bible.

    Also JS said, a man will get nearer to God from reading the BoM, My paraphrase, yet even the BoM does not teach this false teaching of eternal progression.

  11. falcon says:

    Man these Mormons are really fixated on the doctrine of the Trinity lately, at least this latest bunch. It doesn’t seem to matter what the thread topic is, they keep wanting to talk about the Trinity. I think I’m going to find a site that dedicates itself specifically to that topic. I would say that what the Mormons need to do is study the doctrine and also the history of the first four hundred years of the Church. Then maybe they’d have some foundation with which to actually have an intelligent give-and-take.
    I think it’s basically a strategy to take the conversation way off track and disrupt.

  12. Marsha says:

    Parkman,

    You wrote: “You have left out and ignored the part of Heavenly Father’s latter day teachings that speaks of the judgment as part of our progression.”–a statement that I believe you believe.

    So, Parkman, what is your belief based on? Is it based on the Bible? If so, it should be simple to cite the chapter and verse that supports your belief.

    Or is your belief based on something else? Do you know what your belief is based on?

    For me, I hold true to the reveal Word of God as recorded in the Bible–and I hope the same for you.

  13. parkman says:

    “Then if you would simply read the Bible, which clearly you have proven over and over you dont.”

    Thank you for your uninformed insight into my life.
    I WILL REMEMBER THAT I AM NOT READING THE BIBLE NEXT TIME I SIT AND READ FROM ITS PAGES!

    “Who mentioned the trinity in this verse? Who mentioned it at all? You did.”
    As I have said before there are many manmade creeds that you force God’s Teachings through. Since the manmade definition Trinity is the one most used to “prove” that I am not a Christian, it is the one I use as an example. If you stop using manmade filters while you read God’s teachings you have a good chance to see that they mean something other than you have accepted from your “true teachers”.

  14. TJayT says:

    A very interesting article that quite nicely sums up the doctrine of exaltation. Thank you for sharing it Sharon.

    I found it quite interesting that this seems to be where the LDS term “gods in embryo” got it’s start (gods in embryo being our ineloquent way of saying we share God’s essence). I had always wondered exactly where it came from. Good stuff.

  15. parkman says:

    “You wrote: “You have left out and ignored the part of Heavenly Father’s latter day teachings that speaks of the judgment as part of our progression.”–a statement that I believe you believe. So, Parkman, what is your belief based on? Is it based on the Bible? If so, it should be simple to cite the chapter and verse that supports your belief.”

    You were telling the world what you think the LDS Church teaches and believes. I was just correcting you. You must already know that we believe that God is still giving scripture today, so your remark about the Bible is a red herring.

  16. Marsha says:

    Parkman,

    I am attempting to have an intellectual and logical conversation with you. However, you don’t seem interested in the same.

    First, you denied my request for a Biblical citation that supports your assertion. Afterall, you must have some basis for your beliefs, right?
    And second, when I repeted my request for the Biblical citation, you stated that I was using a red herring.
    Really? Really, that’s the best you can do??????? If you can’t find a Biblical citation, please admit it. Please be an adult in this forum. Thank you.

  17. Rick B says:

    Marsha
    Sad as it is, that is the way parkman is. That is why I started calling him a troll and why me and falcon for the most part ignore him. He really has nothing to say and simply wants to waste our time.

  18. parkman says:

    ” And second, when I repeted my request for the Biblical citation, you stated that I was using a red herring.”

    When I speak with my Hebrew friends about Christ, they know that I am speaking from a group of scripture that they do not believe in. You know, the New Testament.

    You come across the same type of issue when you talk to a Mormon.

    If you truly do not understand that, I will apologize.

    Since I think you understand we believe that God is again speaking to His children through an authorized Prophet, I still think you are using the question as a smoke screen.

  19. parkman says:

    “You really need to stop listing to your so called “true teachers” and blindly following them.”

    It looks likeBilly Grahm has been taken off your “true teacher” list.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/billy-graham-faces-backlash-over-mormoncult-removal/2012/10/24/2f9ca0c6-1e1b-11e2-8817-41b9a7aaabc7_story.html

    [Parkman, though this comment is off topic and you have met your daily comment limit, I've approved it in order to let the Mormon Coffee community know that "On Monday's Viewpoint on Mormonism, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson discuss the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's decision to remove an article that specifically stated Mormonism is a cult. Has the BGEA changed its position regarding the LDS Church? Listen Monday, 9:45am, KUTR 820am." Access the program online here (beginning Monday): http://www.mrm.org/podcast ]

  20. Ralph says:

    Masha,

    As far as man’s progression in the Bible –

    You believe that Jesus is a God, or is God, however you want to word it. I agree with Jesus being a God.

    After His resurrection He said -

    Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

    John 15:16 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

    Then God inspired holy men to write -

    Romans 8:16-18 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
    And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

    And -

    Reveltions 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

    So Jesus inherited all power in heaven and earth and all that The Father has. We are joint-heirs with Jesus meaning that we inherit everything that Jesus did.

    And finally if we overcome the world we will sit with Jesus on Heavenly Father’s throne. Now if a king sets one on his throne that means that he wants all to esteem that person as they would the king, but not as an equal to the king. So if we sit on Heavenly Father’s throne with Jesus what does that mean Heavenly Father want all who see do for us?

    It is in the Bible

  21. Mike R says:

    Nice try Ralph. If you think you’re going to be an Almighty God one day sitting upon
    a throne with multitudes of your progeny rendering homage to you as King, as their heavenly
    father in your kingdom like all the Gods before you , then you’re in for a massive shock that will
    get you back to reality when you find out you’ve only succumbed to “vain imagination ”
    because you chose to follow false prophets . That’s the bad news , if you believe it. The good
    news : you can receive eternal life from the one True God and be accepted by Him into His
    presence to render to Him that which only He rightly is to be accorded —all honor, praise ,
    glory . But for this to happen you’ll have to start by dismissing the modern day prophets you
    follow . May you make that decision today.

  22. Ralph says:

    Mike,

    Why not tell me where I am wrong in these scriptures? They all are in context about what is going to happen to man after this life. The main one is that we will be joint-heirs with Jesus. Now if we inherit all that power and authority in vain (ie we will not be using it) then God does do things in vain which then contradicts the Bible.

  23. Mike R says:

    Ralph, becoming a joint heir with Jesus is quite a blessing . But that in no way can be
    construed to say that we will become Almighty Gods ruling distant worlds etc. God is unique
    there has never been nor ever will be a God like Him . Sinful man can be forgiven and receive a
    right relationship with His creator because of Jesus’ death and resurrection .That relationship
    that man receives will always be one between a creature and His Creator , not between two
    equals .To be a joint heir with Jesus : this term can be wretched out of it’s intended context to
    prove something it was never intended to teach . I don’t know how things legally work in
    Australia but here in America people can leave a sizable amount of their will to their children
    and also to their pets in their will , so both become joint heirs . But this is no way makes a pet
    a human etc. Likewise , since Jesus was already the Lord God Almighty before He came to
    earth , the “inheriting” He receives upon His ascending to heaven is something that is made to
    convey a thought different than His attaining to Godhood . Jesus was also the King of Israel ,
    son of David , suffering servant and victorious King .To those who submit to Him as this
    King He can allow to BECOME His sons– through faith in Him . We are joint heirs with Him
    in reguard to His victorious rule in HIS kingdom .It has nothing to do with humans becoming
    Gods peopling distant kingdoms and being honored as Almighty Gods and Goddesses themselves.
    More could be said on this, that’s it for now.

  24. Marsha says:

    Mike–your answer to Ralph was spot on! Thank you for clearly showing that a being a joint-heir with Christ does not automatically mean we will have the same attributes as He does, including deity!

    Ralph–thank you for providing Biblical citations that we can discuss. You show yourself to be thoughtful and intellectual, willing to discuss what the Bible does and does not say.
    Looking at Matthew 28:18 . . . keep reading! After Jesus says that all authority has been given to Him, He then tells us plainly what He expects from us—and that’s NOT to become a god! If it was, He would have said so. Instead, He wants His followers to go, make disciples, baptize, and teach!
    Please recheck the citation for John 15:16 as it differs significantly from: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” I think you may intend a different verse because this verse teaches that God has chosen us, appoints us to serve, and allows us to pray to the Father through the Holy and Precious Name of Jesus.
    Regarding Romans 8:16 ff, start reading BEFORE verse 16. Notice that in verse 14 it says “because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” . . . . Hmm? Notice that some people are sons of God, not everyone??? And that there’s a requirement to be a son of God? It states here “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” This idea is further brought out in John 1:12: “Yet to all you received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” So, Ralph, not everyone is a child of God; there is a requirement to be fulfilled before we can claim this relationship with Him.
    And, Revelations 3:21 is a wonderful promise that we will be with Christ—a promise I look forward to!
    Ralph, thank you for being willing to look at this issue and to sort out what the Bible teaches!

  25. Marsha says:

    This idea is further brought out in John 1:12: “Yet to all you received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” So, Ralph, not everyone is a child of God; there is a requirement to be fulfilled before we can claim this relationship with Him.
    And, Revelations 3:21 is a wonderful promise that we will be with Christ—a promise I look forward to!
    Ralph, thank you for being willing to look at this issue and to sort out what the Bible teaches!

  26. shematwater says:

    Mike and Marsha

    1 John 3: 2
    “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

    If we shall be like him, does this not tell us we will be glorified as gods, or being of the same essence or substance as him?

    Hebrews 1: 3
    “…when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”
    Hebrews 10: 12
    “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;”

    Both these verses clearly teach that it was after Christ had performed the atonement that he took his seat at the right hand of God, and thus show that he himself did progress to the point he is at now.

    As to death being the time of final judgment, we read in Revelation 20: 13 concerning the final judgment, at which time “…the sea [will give] up the dead which [are] in it; and death and hell [will deliver] up the dead which [are] in them: and they [will be] judged every man according to their works.”

    So clearly there is a time after death when another judgment will take place, and those who were cast into hell when they died will have a chance at a new judgment.
    Again the progression is clear.

  27. Mike R says:

    Shem, you asked a question concerning the meaning of 1Jn 3:2 : ” If we shall be like him , does
    this not tell us we will be glorified as gods , or being of the same essence or substance as him.?”

    Short answer: no . But we can be like Him in some ways .

    Heb .1:3; 10:12 reveal some great things about Jesus. After His ascension to His Father
    He did ” progress ” to the point He is at now , but what He did’nt do was become our Eternal
    Almighty Creator then . He already was the Lord God Jehovah who rightly is to receive
    worship from all —-Isa 43:23 ; Jer.10: 6,10,11 , and that’s what redeemed sinners can look
    forward to continuing to render their Creator .

  28. shematwater says:

    Mike

    I will never deny that Christ is the great Jehovah of the Old Testament. It was through him that the world was created, and he is the one who most frequently appeared and spoke to the ancient patriarchs, as well as to Moses and the Israelites.
    I have never denied this, and neither have the leaders of the church. However, even while he was doing these things he was a spirit, not having taken a physical body yet. As such, while he held great authority and stood as the second member of the godhead, he was not, as yet, in a state of glorified perfection that we in the church refer to as godhood. This came only after he had gained his physical body and had submitted himself fully to the will of the Father while in the flesh, and performed the require atonement for mankind. After this was done he received the glorified state of existence of godhood and took his rightful place at the right hand of the Father in that existence.

    None of this is contradictory, and none of it is contradicted by anything in the Bible. He progressed to his current state just as Hebrews tells us.

  29. Mike R says:

    Shem, what you said makes no sense . The Bible does not teach that Jesus /Jehovah received
    the ” glorified state of existence of godhood” only after resurrection and ascension to heaven.
    But He was as much the Lord God Almighty before His incarnation as afterward. Your confusing
    His human role as victorious suffering Messiah with truths about His Deity , which truths are
    mentioned many times in the Old Testament. Mormon apostles are well known for creating
    new doctrines about God and Jesus that run past what the Bible clearly reveals . This is another
    example of their error and it underscores the importance of making a choice of picking which
    apostles a person should follow — either Jesus’ original apostles or Mormonism’s modern day
    apostles —Rev. 2:2

  30. shematwater says:

    Mike

    It makes perfect sense if you are not trying to filter it through your doctrine. If you try to understand the LDS doctrine of Christ by explaining in terms of other denominations it will never make sense. You have to understand it by explaining it in the terms of the LDS doctrine.

    I am not confusing anything simply because I do not accept your doctrines regarding Christ and his nature. I do not attempt to separate his divine nature from his physical nature. To me they are one and the same and the Bible, when looked at from this point of view, clearly teaches a progression in the life of Christ as I have outlined.

    So tell me, what does Hebrews means when it says that he sat down at the right hand of God after the atonement?

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