The King Follett Discourse: true or false? Part One

The doctrine concerning God taught in the King Follett discourse by Joseph Smith has been trashed recently on the internet. I personally believe that the King Follett discourse teaches true doctrine. Therefore, I feel a need to respond to the degrading of the discourse and I will present 4 or 5 blogs in support of the doctrine taught in the discourse.

We all know the importance of understanding the true nature of God,  life eternal is equated with knowing God.

(John 17:1 – 5) 1 THESE words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

I don’t believe that our ignorance and confusion concerning the doctrine of God will condemn us at this particular time when the fullness of priesthood is not on the earth, but will at some time when the servants return and the 3rd Watch Marvelous Work takes place. I hope that we will all be able to come to a unity of the faith when truth sweeps the earth. Until then we all struggle on trying to know God and the truth about Him.

(Moses 7:62) 62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.

In the series on the priesthood model I describe two probation’s: 1st. as children saints and 2nd. as angel fathers. I believe that God the Father passed through these two probation’s in his quest of perfection when he was a man on his first earth, plus he passed through two more 3rd. as an Adam and 4th. as a Christ, before arriving at perfection as one of many Elohim. This is the path that God trod and the path that he lays before us to follow if we want to dwell with him in the eternities.

Hence, to bring to pass his work and his glory, God the Father gives us a series of probation’s that bring to pass our immortality and eternal life, which is how we keep the commandment to be perfect like our father in heaven, in whose image we were created. It is the same path by which God the Father of us all attained to his perfection.

God is a Perfect Man

Yes, the King Follett discourse really does say that God the Father was once a man like us upon an earth. 

(Words of Joseph Smith pg. 344 – 345) God who sits in yonder heavens is a man like yourselves.. … I want you to understand God and how he comes to be God. We suppose that God was god from eternity. I will refute that idea, …. the Father was once on an earth like us. …

It appears that the famous couplet was penned during the Kirtland time period showing that the doctrine of the progression of God was a long standing doctrine.

(Words of Joseph Smith pg. 84 note 9 Lorenzo snow Kirtland time period) As man now is, our God once was; As God now is, so man may be, and thus unfolds our destiny.

So, it’s not surprising that God the Father himself declares that he is a perfect man, describing himself ‘Man of Holiness” and ‘Man of Counsel”. 

(Moses 7:35) 35 Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.

(Moses 6:57) 57 Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, …

Not only is God the Man of Holiness, Jesus Christ is the Son of the Man of Holiness.

(Moses 6:57) 57 … and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time.

Moses teaches us that there are an endless progression of earths, fulfilling Gods purpose of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. The description of the elect seed and family of God Is as follows: Christ is the Son of the Man of Holiness,  Adam is the grandson of the Man of Holiness, the Angels are the great grandsons of the Man of Holiness, and the children saints are the great great grandsons of the Man of Holiness. Each generation comes to being through the constant roll over of one earth after another without end, forever, through one eternal round after another.

(Moses 1:37 – 39) 37 And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine. 38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come, and there is no end to my works, neither to my words. 39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

The creation of the children saints  in the image of the Man of Holiness is the beginning of becoming like him, a perfect man of holiness also. 

(Genesis 1:27) 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Becoming perfect is not just something we want to try to do, it is a solemn and eternal commandment. Becoming perfect in the image of the Man of Holiness is our destiny.

(Matthew 5:48) 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

(3 Nephi 12:48) 48 Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

Webster’s 1828 definition of Holiness:

HO’LINESS, noun [from holy.] The state of being holy; purity or integrity of moral character; freedom from sin; sanctity. Applied to the Supreme Being, holiness denotes perfect purity or integrity of moral character, one of his essential attributes.

God is a Personage of Glory and Power

The essence of God is a man, a person, a personage; who is perfect, a Man of Holiness, who is imbued with and surrounded by power and strength which is his glory. This glory and power is God’s perfection.

(Lecture on Faith #5) The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power:

Zebedee Coltrin was allowed to see God’s personage, describing Him as having hands, legs, feet, eyes, nose, mouth, head and body. Zebedee also saw God’s glory which is his perfection, describing Him as a flame of fire, and he feared that he just might melt in God’s presence.

(Minutes, Salt Lake City, School of the Prophets, 1883) At one of these meetings after the organization of the school, (the school being organized on the 23rd of January, 1833), …Afterward Joseph told us to resume our former position in prayer, which we did. Another person came through, he was surrounded as with a flame of fire. He (Brother Coltrin) experienced a sensation that it might destroy the tabernacle as it was of consuming fire of great brightness. The Prophet Joseph said this was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I saw Him….When asked about the kind of clothing the Father had on, Brother Coltrin said: I did not discover his clothing for he was surrounded as with a flame of fire, which was so brilliant that I could not discover anything else but his person. I saw his hands, his legs, his feet, his eyes, nose, mouth, head and body in the shape and form of a perfect man. He sat in a chair as a man would sit in a chair, but this appearance was so grand and overwhelming that it seemed I should melt down in his presence, and the sensation was so powerful that it thrilled through my whole system and I felt it in the marrow of my bones.

Joseph Smith saw and described the personage and the glory of God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ at the first vision.

(JS History 1:17) 17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

Daniel saw father Adam with his glory.

(Daniel 7:10) 9 ¶ I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Ezekiel describes the glory of celestial beings.

(Ezekiel 1:26 – 28) 26 ¶ And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. 27 And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. 28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

Joseph Smith also saw the personage and glory of the angel Moroni. The Angel Moroni is a personage, a man, a person who who is filled with glory, but not to the level of God the Father.

(JS History 1:30 – 32) 30 While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor. 31 He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom. 32 Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person. When I first looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me.

In the scriptures the personage of God is described both as a spirit and as having a body of flesh and bones. 

(John 4:24) 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

(Words of Joseph Smith pg 60) On that occasion William Clayton recorded the Prophet as saying: That which is without body or parts is nothing. There is no other God in heaven but that God who has flesh and bones.

(Words of Joseph Smith, pg 63) Six weeks later “Joseph said concerning the Godhead [that] it was not as many imagined—three heads and but one body; he said the three were separate bodies.

The answer to this apparent discrepancy lies in a clearer understanding of the relationship of spirit and matter. We are told that spirit and element must be connected for fullness of Joy; they must be connected for perfection. Therefore, our intelligence is clothed with spirit in our pre-mortal 1st estate, then our spirits are clothed with physical matter of flesh and blood in our 2nd estate, finally through the quickening of the resurrection our bodies become perfected and added upon and changed even further into a spiritual state of flesh and bone. This is the process that all celestial beings experience. This is how God the Father began his ascent to Godhood. 

(D&C 93:33) 33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;

A more permanent quickening takes place at the resurrection when the saints are filled with God’s glory and made equal with him even joint-heirs with Christ.

(D&C 88:107) 107 And then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him.

Jesus Christ is the example of a spiritual / physical being. Christ appeared to his apostles and startled them by materializing out of nowhere right in the middle of them all, and then he proceeded to eat fish with them. Christ is not a spirit, he has flesh and bones, yet he is spirit like and can move in and out and through whatever element he wants like a spirit. That is the ability of a celestial being in a telestial world.

(Luke 24:36 – 43) 36 ¶ And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? 42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Joseph also teaches us that spirit is a more refined matter.

(D&C 131:7 – 8) 7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; 8 We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.

God the Father is a personage who is also described as invisible.

(Colossians 1:15) 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

(1 Timothy 1:17) 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.

(John 5:36 – 38) 36 ¶ But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. 37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

God the Father is described as invisible because no man can see him without being changed; being filled with the priesthood and with the Holy Spirit. A man has to be quickened to a similar spiritual level that approaches to God’s level to see him and commune with him. 

(D&C 84:21 – 22) 21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; 22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.

(Genesis 32:30) 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

(Moses 1:2) 2 And he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence.

(D&C 107:18 – 19)18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—19 To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.

The Sons of God, his seed, his children will become like him, they will grow up through a series of probation’s and become perfect like he is. We shall see God as he is and we shall be like him.  It is way interesting that we start out as a spirit, we come to this earth to take a body of flesh and blood (matter) to turn around and become a spiritual being of flesh and bones. Then when we completely obey the commandment to become perfect we will become a glorious, all powerful man of holiness.

(1 John 3:1 – 2) 1 BEHOLD, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 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.

God the Father is part of the Elohim which perfection is the end game for his children who are of the seed and family of God.

(Teachings Pg 237) …instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessing which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days.

(HC 6:476) In the very beginning the Bible shows there is a plurality of Gods beyond the power or refutation … the word Eloheim ought to be in the plural all the way through—Gods,

(King Follett Discourse, Newly Amalgamated Text) I suppose I am not allowed to go into an investigation of anything that is not contained in the Bible. If I would, you would cry treason, and I think there are so many learned and wise men here who would put me to death for treason. I will, then, go to the old Bible and turn commentator today. I will go to the very first Hebrew word—BERESHITH—in the Bible and make a comment on the first sentence of the history of creation: “In the beginning. …
I want to analyze the word BERESHITH. BE—in, by, through, and everything else,: next, ROSH—the head, ITH. Where did it come from? When the inspired man wrote it, he did not put the first part—the BE—there, but a man—an old Jew without any authority—put it there. He thought it too bad to begin to talk about the head of any man. It read in the first: “The Head One of the Gods brought forth the Gods.” This is the true meaning of the words. ROSHITH [BARA ELOHIM] signifies [the head] to bring forth the Elohim. If you do not believe it, you do not believe the learned man of God. No learned man can tell you any more than what I have told you. Thus, the Head God brought forth the Head Gods in the grand, head council. I want to simplify it in the English language.

(Abraham 4:1 – 3) 1 AND then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth. 2 And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate, because they had not formed anything but the earth; and darkness reigned upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters. 3 And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light; and there was light.

(George Laub Journal) Cain signifies Posesion. Able denots sorrow Eloheam denots Gods,

(HC 1:27) O Thou, who seest and knowest the hearts of all men – Thou eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Jehovah – God Thou Elohim, that sittest, as saith the Psalmist, enthroned in heaven look down upon Thy servant Joseph at this time; and let faith on the name of Thy son Jesus Christ, to a greater degree than Thy servant ever yet has enjoyed, be conferred upon him.

(HC 5:94) Shall we shrink at the onset? No! Let every man’s brow be as the face of a lion; let his breast be as unshaken as the mighty oak, and his knee confirmed as the sapling of the forest: and by the voice and the loud roar of the cannon; and the loud peals and thundering of artillery; and by the voice of the thunderings of heaven as upon Mount Sinai; and by the voice of the heavenly hosts; and by the voice of the eternal God; and by the voice of innocent blood; and by the voice of innocence; and by the voice of all that is sacred and dear to man, let us plead the justice of our cause; trusting in the arm of Jehovah, the Eloheim, who sits enthroned in the heavens; that peradventure He may give us the victory…

(HC 5:2, 4 May 1842) all those plans & principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings which has been prepared for the church of the first born, and come up into and abide in the presence of God the Eloheim in the eternal worlds…

3 Comments on “The King Follett Discourse: true or false? Part One

  1. Joseph apparently made the following statement “We suppose that God was god from eternity. I will refute that idea”

    The Book of Mormon teaches this

    Moroni 8:18
    18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.

    Lectures on Faith says the same thing as the Book of Mormon

    Lecture 3rd #15
    “He changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from ever lasting to ever lasting, being the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that his course is one eternal round without variation.”

    Without the idea of unchangeableness in the character of the deity, doubt would take the place of faith.. but with the idea that he changes not, faith lays hold upon the excellencies of his character with unshaken confidence, believing he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that his course is one eternal round…”

    Also, the scriptures claim that God is a sovereign being that does not get his power from another source, however the follett sermon claims that God got his power from another God that went before him…

    Can you please reconcile this obvious discrepancy between the King Follett Sermon and the scriptures?

    1. For me there is no discrepancy between the King Follett discourse and the scriptures and I describe how I believe they mesh together in my book “the Generations of God”. I’ll give a brief response here, but if you want more detail you will have to read the book. My belief in God is surrounded with many other concepts, priesthood being chief among them, I just can’t bring myself to rehearse them all over again when they are in my book.

      I believe in a God that is in a state of perfection. My God commands us, his children to become perfect like him. As the “man of holiness” (Moses 6:57, 7: 35) God commands us to become perfect and holy just like him. God’s work is to bring to pass our eternal life which eternal life, I believe is being perfect like God is perfect.

      My God, as I view him, sits in the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy on his throne. My God is perfection and created the billions of plants and the millions of habitable plants within the Milky Way Galaxy. My God is perfect just like billions and trillions other Gods in other galaxies throughout the universe. The Universe is without beginning and without ending. But like the Gods that created them, the galaxies do have a beginning. I believe that when God became God he began to create his own galaxy.

      I believe that my God in his state of perfection is unchangeable. In this state of perfection he is not a partial God, neither is there variableness in him, He is perfection. He is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity. My God satisfies all these scriptural requirements.

      Eternity is God’s measurement, time is man’s measurement. God measures his works in eternities. From this set of eternal creations to another set of eternal creations. From one eternal round to another eternal round. Thus in these eternal rounds man is created and set on his own path to perfection and his own quest for eternal life. To me the scriptures you quote are describing God’s creative process and is not telling us that God had no beginning and no end.

      But you are right, I get my basic belief that God has a beginning from Joseph Smith the prophet in his King Follett discourse. No doubt about it.

      I have read all your posts about how Joseph’s eyes were covered and therefore the things he taught in the Nauvoo period are suspect. I went through the idea that Joseph was a fallen prophet with you. But I have changed my mind and now believe that Joseph was and is a true prophet of God and never was a fallen prophet. The people were a fallen people and God gave them a lesser law to live, a law surrounded with polygamy and the masonic endowment which are a cursing to them but also a schoolmaster to face them toward God. We are all under a latter-day law of Moses brought to us by Joseph Smith, the one who is like unto Moses. Moses was a true prophet in his day and Joseph is a true prophet in our day. God used them both to give their perspective people a lesser law and they retained their status as true prophets through it all.

      Now as for the doctrine that Joseph taught in Nauvoo, I guess the question for me was Joseph speaking as a man or a prophet, but the New Testament answers that for me. I believe the doctrine Joseph taught in the King Follett sermon can be found in the New Testament and therefore provides the two witnesses for me to base my belief on. I have certainly expanded on Joseph’s teachings with my ideas of God being over a Galaxy and all, Joseph didn’t say that. But it is my way of reconciling the questions you bring up. You have the ability to push the envelope which challenges my beliefs and I have you to thank for my perspective. Without you Watcher I would not have searched so long and so hard.

      I am a man just like you and not a prophet, therefore, I hope that Joseph and the returning messengers of God will school me in those area’s that I am woefully lacking. In the 3rd Watch we will all need to band together to create Zion to be able to stand against the powers and principalities in high places. I look forward to that time when all these questions will be answered and we will come to a unity of faith.

      Thank you, Watcher.

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