The Essential Joseph Smith
Foreword by Marvin S. Hill
“K[ings] & P[riests] unto God & His Fa[the]r,” A Sermon Delivered on 16 June 1844
(from a manuscript by Thomas Bullock, original in archives, Historical Department,
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah)
[p.251]The Prophet [Joseph Smith] read the 3rd Rev text 6th. v. & made us K[ings] & P[riests] unto God & his Fa[the]r. to him be glory & dom[inion] for evermore—
It is altog[ethe]r correct in the translat[io]n.— now you know that of late some have sprung up & apostat[ized]. & they declare that [the] Pro[phet] bel[ieves] in a plurality of Gods—&c. & behold a very great secret[,] they cry it has been my intent[io]n to take up this subj[ec]t & show what my Faith is in the matter—I have contemplated the saying of Je[sus] as it was in the days of Noah so shall it be at his 2nd. coming & if it rains I’ll preach—the plurality of Gods—I have selected this text[.] I wish to declare I have allways–& in all congregat[ion]s when I have preached it has been the plurality of Gods[.] it has been preached 15 years—I have always decl[are]d God to be a distinct personage—J[esus] C[hrist] a sep[erate] & distinct pers[onage] from God the Fa[athe]r. the H[oly] G[host] was a distinct personage & or Sp[irit] & these 3 constit[ute] 3 distinct personages & 3 Gods—if this is in accordance with the New Test[ament]—lo & behold we have 3 Gods any how & they are plural any how—our text says
the apostl[es] have disc[overe]d that there were Gods above—God was the Fa[the]r of our L[or]d J[esus] C[hrist].—my object was to preach the Scrip[tures]—& preach the doctrine there being a God above the Fa[the]r of our L[or]d J[esus] C[hrist].—I am bold to declare I have tau[gh]t all the strong doctrines publicly—& always stronger than what I preach in private—John was one of the men & the apos[tles] declare they were made K[ings] & P[riests] unto God the Fat[he]r of our L[or]d J[esus] C[hrist]. it reads just so[,] hence the doctrine of a plurality of Gods is as prominent in the Bible as any doctrine—it is all over the face of the Bible, it stands beyond the [p.252]power of controversy—a wayfaring man tho a fool need not fail—Paul says there are gods many & Lords many—I want to set it in a plain simple manner—but to us there is but one God pertaining to us, in all thro all,—but if J[oseph] Smith says there is Gods many & L[or]ds many they cry away with him crucify him[.] mankind verily say that the Scrip[ture] [i]s with them—Search the Script[ures] & & they testify of things that apostates wo[ul]d blaspheme—Paul[,] if Jo Smith is a blasphemer you are—I say there are Gods many & L[or]ds many but to us only one & we are to be in subject to that one & no man can limit the bounds, or the eternal existence of eternal time—hath he beheld the et[ernal] world & is he auth[orize]d to say that there is only God he makes himself a fool—& there is an end of his career in knowledge[.] he cannot obt[ai]n all knowledge for he has sealed up the gate to [it.]
some say I do not interpret same as you—they say it means the heathen God. Paul says there are Gods many &c it makes a plurality of Gods any how—with[ou]t a rev[elatio]n I am not going to give the God of Heaven to them any how—you know & I testify that Paul had no allusions to it—I have it from God & get over it if you can—I have a witness of the H[oly] G[host] & a test[imony]. that Paul had no allusion to the Heathen G[od] in the text—Twice I will shew from the Heb[rew] Bible & the 1st. word shews a plurality of Gods—& I want the apostate & learned men to come here—& prove to the contrary[.] an unlearned boy must give you a little Hebrew—Berosheit &c In the begin[ing]. rosheit—the head—it sho[ul]d read the heads of—to organize the Gods—Eloiheam[.] Eloi. God in sing[ular] heam, reanders Gods[.] I want a little learning as well as other fools
[Alexander] Popes quot[ation]: Drink deep
all the confusion is for want of drinking and draught[.] the head God—organized the heavens & the Earth—I defy all the learning in the world to refute me.
In the begin[ning] the heads of the Gods organized the heaven & the Earth—now the learned Priest—[and] the people rage—& the heathen imagine a vain thing—if we pursue the Heb[rew] further—it reads
The Head one of the Gods said let us make man in our image[.] I once asked a learned Jew once—if the Heb. language compels us to render all words ending in heam in the plural—why not render the first plural—he replied it would ruin the Bible—he acknowledged I [p.253]was right. I came here to investigate these things precisely as I believe it—hear & judge for yourself—& if you go away satisfied—well & good—in the very beginning there is a plurality of Gods beyond the power of refutation—it is a great subject I am dwelling on—the word Eloiheam ought to be in the plural all the way thro—Gods—the heads of the Gods appointed one God for us—& when you take a view of the subject it sets one free to see all the beauty holiness & perfection of the God—all I want is to get the simple truth—naked & the whole truth—Men say there is one God—the Fa[the]r Son & the H[oly] G[host] are only 1 God—it is a strange God any how 3 in 1. & 1 in 3. it is a curious thing any how—Fa[the]r. I pray not for the world but I pray for those that thou givest me &c &c all are to be crammed into 1 God—it wo[ul]d make the biggest God in all the world—he is a wonderful big God—he would be a Giant[.] I want to read the text to you myself—I am agreed with the Fa[the]r & the Fa[the]r is agreed with me & we are agreed as one—the Greek shews that is sho[ul]d be agreed—Fa[the]r. I pray for them that thou hast given me out of the world &c &c that they may be agreed & all come to dwell in unity & in all the Glory & Everlasting burn[in]gs of God & then we shall see as we are seen & be as God– & he as the God of his Fa[the]r.—I want to reason—I learned it by translating the papyrus now in my house—I learned a test[imony] concerning Abraham & he reasoned concern[in]g the God of Heaven—in order to do that s[ai]d he—suppose we have two facts that supposes that anot[he]r fact may exist[;] two men on the earth—one wiser than the other—wo[ul]d shew that an[o]t[he]r who is wiser than the wisest may exist—intelligences exist one above anot[he]r that there is no end to it—if Abra[ham] reasoned thus—if J[esus] C[hrist] was the Son of God & John disc[overe]d that god the Fa[the]r of J[esus] C[hrist] had a fa[the]r you may suppose that he had a Fa[the]r also—where was ther[e] ever a Son with[ou]t a Fa[the]r—where ever did tree or any thing spring into existence with[ou]t. a progenitor—& every thing comes in this way—Paul says that which is Earthly is in likeness of that which is Heavenly—hence if J[esus] had a Fa[the]r can we not believe that he had a Fa[the]r also—I despise the idea of being scared to death—I want you all to pay partic[ula]r attent[ion]. J[esus] s[ai]d as the Fa[the]r wrought precisely in the same way as his Fa[the]r had done bef[ore]—as the Fa[the]r had done bef[ore]—as the Fa[the]r had done be[fore]—he laid down his life & took it up same as his Fa[the]r had done bef[ore]—he did as he was sent to lay [p.254]down his life & take it up again & was then committed unto him the keys &c[.] I know it is good reasoning—I have reason to think that the Church is being purged—I saw Satan fall from heaven—& the way they ran was a caution. all these are wonders & marvellous in our eyes in these last days—so long as men are under the law of God they have no fears, they do not scare themselves—I want to stick to my text—to shew that when men open their lips—they do not injure me—but injure themselves—To the law & to the testimony—they are poured all over the Scrip[tures.]
when things that are great are passed over with[ou]t even a tho[ugh]t I want to see all in all its bearings & hug it to my bosom—I bel[ieve] all that God ever rev[eale]d. & I never hear of a man being d[amne]d for bel[ievin]g too much but they are d[amne]d for unbel[ief].
they found fault with J[esus] C[hrist] bec[ause] he s[ai]d he was the Son of God & made himself equal with God—they say like the apost[ates] of old [that] I must be put down—what [did] Je[sus] say[s]—it is written in your law[:] I said Ye are Gods—it was thro’ him that they drink of the rock—of course he wo[ul]d take the honor to himself—J[esus] if they were called Gods unto whom the word of God [was given] why sh[ou]ld it be tho[ugh]t incredible that I sho[oul]d say I am the Son of God. Oh Apostates did ye never think of this bef[ore]. these are the quotations that the apostates take to the Scrip[tures.] they swear that they bel[ieve] the Bible & the Book of Mormon &c & then you will get filth & slander & bogus makers plenty—& one of the Church members prophesied that Jo[seph] Smith sh[ou]ld never preach any more—& yet I am now pr[e]ach[in]g.—go & read the vision— there is glory & glory—Sun, moon & Stars—& so do they differ in glory & every man who reigns is a God—& the text of the Do[ctrine] & Cov[evan]t[s] damns themselves— Paul[,] what do you say—they impeached Paul & all went & left him—Paul had 7 churches & they drove him off from among them—& yet they cannot do it by me—I rej[oice] in that—my test[imony] is good—Paul—says there is one Glory of the Sun the moon & the Stars—& as the Star differs &—They are exalted far above princ[ipalities] thrones dom[inions] & angels—& are expressly decl[are]d to be heirs of God & j[oin]t heirs with J[esus] C[hrist] all hav[in]g et[erna]l power—the Scrip[tures] are a very strange doct[rine].—I have an[othe]r Scrip[ture]—now says God when [he] [p.255]visited Moses in the Bush—moses was a stuttlerling sort of a boy like me—God said thou shalt be a God unto the children of Israel—God said thou shalt be a God unto Aaron & he shall be thy spokes[man]. I bel[ieve] in these Gods that God reveals as Gods—to be Sons of God & all can cry Abba Father—Sons of God who exalt themselves to be Gods even from bef[ore] the foundat[io]n of the world & are all the only Gods I have a reverence for—
John s[ai]d he was a K[ing].—J[esus] C[hrist] who hath by his own blood made us K[ings] & P[riests] to God. Oh thou God Who are K[ing] of K[ing]’s & L[or]d of L[or]ds—We cannot bel[ieve] thee—[the] old Catholic Church is worth more than all—here is a princ[iple] of logic—that men have no more sense—I will illustrate an old apple tree—here jumps off a branch & says I am the true tree & you are corrupt—if the whole tree is corrupt how can any true thing come out of it—the char[acte]r of the old ones have always been sland[ere]d by all apos[tates] since the world began—I testify again as God never will acknowledge any apost[ate]: any man who will betray the Catholics will betray you—& if he will betray one anoth[e]r he will betray you—all men are liars who say that they are of the true—God always sent a new dispensat[io]n into the world—when men come out & build upon o[the]r men’s foundat[io]n.—did I build on anot[he]r mans found[a]t[io]n but my own—I have got all the truth & an indepen[den]t rev[elatio]n in the bargain—God will bear me off triumphant—I will drop this subj[ec]t. I wish I co[ul]d speak for 3 or 4 hours[;] it is not exped[ien]t on acc[oun]t of the rain—I will still go on & shew you proof on proof. all the Bible is as equal one part as another.