What is a sacred cow? My definition is anything that is believed based only on tradition, and has little to zero basis on actual fact. These beliefs are held so strongly that the “worshiper” declares “blasphemy!” to anyone that challenges said belief.
Sacred Cow #7: The Church is the Kingdom of God
The purpose of this article is not to explain in detail what the “Kingdom of God” is (that would take much longer) but to show the fallacy of the idea that the Church and the Kingdom of God are one and the same. They are in fact, distinct and separate organizations.
Admittedly, the terms “Church” and “Kingdom of God” have been used interchangeably since the very beginning of the Restoration, which has caused this misconception. Church leaders have discussed the incorrect mixing of the two:
“We are asked, Is the Church of God, and the Kingdom of God the same organization – and we are informed that some of the brethren hold that they are separate. This is the correct view to take. The Kingdom of God is a separate organization from the Church of God. There may be men acting as officers of the Kingdom of God who will not be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (George Q. Cannon, History of the Church 7:381-2)
Since there are individuals acting as officers of the “Kingdom” that are not members of the Church, they are clearly separate organizations.
Brigham Young explained:
“This (the Church) is what we are in the habit of calling the Kingdom of God, but there are further organizations. The Prophet gave the full and complete organization to this kingdom the spring before he was killed. The kingdom is the Kingdom Daniel spoke of, which was to be set up in the last days… I shall not read you the names of the member of this kingdom, neither shall I read to you its constitution; but the constitution was given by revelation” Journal of Discourses 17:156
That same revelation that gave the constitution of this Kingdom revealed the complete name of the kingdom to the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“The Kingdom of God and His Laws, With the Keys and Power Thereof, and Judgment in the Hands of His Servants, Ahman Christ,” (William Clayton Journal, 1 January 1845)
Further explaining the false merging of the two terms and then explaining the distinction, John Taylor said:
“God has established His Church, and we sometimes say His kingdom. What do we mean by the Kingdom of God?… There is the Church of God and the Kingdom of God. The Church of course, refers more particularly to spiritual things, and the kingdom to temporal rule and government and management and to temporal affairs.” (Journal of Discourses 20:166)
The scriptures teach the fact that they are separate organizations as well. We read in the Joseph Smith translation of the book of Revelation, chapter 12:
1) And there appeared a great sign in heaven, in the likeness of things on the earth; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.
2) And the woman being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
3) And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God and his throne.
4) And there appeared another sign in heaven; and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman which was delivered, ready to devour her child after it was born.
5) And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore years.
6) And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought against Michael;
7) And the dragon prevailed not against Michael, neither the child, nor the woman which was the church of God, who had been delivered of her pains, and brought forth the kingdom of our God and his Christ.
8) Neither was there place found in heaven for the great dragon, who was cast out; that old serpent called the devil, and also called Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth; and his angels were cast out with him.
9) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ;
Here again we see that the Church (the mother) and the Kingdom (the child) are represented and shown to be two separate entities.
The mother is the Church of Christ, the child is the Kingdom of God. Who is the father? For more information on the structure and activities of the Kingdom under Joseph Smith, check out the newly published Joseph Smith Papers project, Administrative Records: Council of Fifty Minutes.
You can also find a proposed Constitution of the Kingdom of God to display in your home here http://www.ebay.com/itm/112469285759?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649