Brigham Young’s brief tenure (1851–58) as territorial governor and Church president allowed him to wield power of both church and state. How he used this authority reveals much about the man. His sermons during his brief reign as both God’s representative and United States’ regent reveal how tempting the use of church and state power becomes once consolidated. His “Telestial Kingdom” reflected excesses not only of rhetoric, but also of conduct. This paper will explore this period as a challenge to conceptualizing how a “king’s rule” is unsuited to the American republic and will include cautions from the Book of Mormon against attempting this very thing.
Denver C. Snuffer, Thomas Alexander