The King Follet Discourse
(Here Joseph Smith drops a bombshell on the Church...one that Mormon scholars are still struggling with trying to explain. It endorses polytheism, denies the eternality of God, says God the Father dwelt on the EARTH as a man, and implies that God the Father had died as a savior for another pre-adamic population. )
Delivered by Joseph Smith, on April 7th 1944, at the funeral for King Follet:
"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the vail was rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit; and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible-I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form-like yourselves, in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image, and likeness of God, and received instructions from, and walked, talked, and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another.
It is necessary we should understand the character and being of God, and how he came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and will take away the vail, so that you may see. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.
The scriptures inform us that Jesus said; "As the Father hath power in himself, even so hath the Son power"-to do what? Why, what the Father did. The answer is obvious-in a manner to lay down his body and take it up again. Jesus, what are you going to do? To lay down my life, as my Father did, and take it up again. Do you believe it? If you do not believe it, you do not believe the Bible.
Here, then, is eternal life: to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you-namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.
How consoling to the mourners when they are called to part with a husband, wife, father, mother, child or dear relative, to know that although the earthly tabernacle is laid down and dissolved, they shall rise again to dwell in everlasting burnings, in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer, or die any more; but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? [i.e., to be joint heirs with Jesus Christ]. To inherit the same power, the same glory, and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a God and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before. What did Jesus do? Why, I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. My Father worked out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to my Father, so that he may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take his place, and thereby become exalted myself. So that Jesus treads in the tracks of his Father, and inherits what God did before; and God is thus glorified and exalted in the salvation and exaltation of all his children. It is plain beyond disputation, and you thus learn some of the first principles of the gospel, about which so much has been said.
When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel-you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the vail before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world: it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation, even beyond the grave.
I shall comment on the very first Hebrew word in the Bible; I will make a comment on the very first sentence of the history of the creation in the Bible. Berosheit: I want to analyze the word. Baith-in, by, through, etc. Rosh-the head. Sheit-grammatical termination. When the inspired man wrote it, he did not put the baith there. A Jew, without any authority, added the word: he thought it too bad to begin to talk about the head! It read at first, "The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods." That is the true meaning of the words. Baurau signifies to bring forth. If you do not believe it, you do not believe the learned man of God.
Thus the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council. The head God called together the Gods, and sat in grand council to bring forth the world. The grand Councilors sat at the head in yonder heavens, and contemplated the creation of the worlds which were created at that time. In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods, and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it. "
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