"It Seems Like Heaven Began on Earth": Joseph Smith and the Constitution of the Kingdom of God

Articles
Journal: 20:3

In the last issue of BYU Studies, D. Michael Quinn presented for the first time a chronology of the Council of Fifty that annihilates the previously held theory that this Council was one of the most important institutions in nineteenth-century Mormon history. Formally organized by Joseph Smith on 11 March 1844, just three months before he was murdered at Carthage, Illinois, the Council of Fifty was his concrete description of the millennial government of God. In his article, Quinn gave an overview of the organization, officers, activity, and meaning of the Prophet’s Council of Fifty and presented insight into some of the internal political doctrine that guided Council meetings. However, he did not present or analyze the governing directive of the Council: The Constitution of the Kingdom of God. Nor did he discuss all the parliamentary procedures of the Kingdom that illustrate the theoretical rights, powers, and limitations of its officers and members. The purpose of this article then is to show that internal nature, role, and organization of Joseph Smith’s “Kingdom of God.”