Council of Friends
The Council of Friends was an organization described by Joseph Smith in early 19th century Mormon theology. He viewed the organisation as being part of a world government which would guide and direct the Kingdom of God (Zion) on earth during the end times as a theodemocracy.
Smith envisioned this council as serving in an advisory capacity to both the Priesthood authorities of his church and a Council of Fifty. This group of three organizations was expected to rule as a world government just prior to the Millennium. As advisers, the Council of Friends would serve as the base of the governing body, but possessed no real political power. Although claims to priesthood authority preceded the official organization of Smith's church in 1830, and a Council of Fifty was organized on March 11th, 1844, no Council of Friends was ever organized by Smith.
A Mormon polygamist family in 1888.
The concept of a Council of Friends, later known as the Priesthood Council, has played an important role in Mormon fundamentalist groups, who have promoted a council with this name at various times. In December 1928 Lorin C. Woolley created a group which he called by this name. The intent of this group was not the same as was originally envisioned by early Mormon leaders. Instead it was to help perpetuate plural marriage after the 1890 Manifesto and the 1904 Second Manifesto, by providing a theological framework for claims to continuing priesthood authority after polygamists were expelled from or left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This group was originally headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Short Creek Community.
- Andrus, Hyrum Leslie (1958). Joseph Smith and World Government. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. OCLC 4146522.
- Riggs, Robert E. (Winter 1959), Joseph Smith and World Government, "Book Reviews", BYU Studies 1 (1): 71–73
- Bradley, Don (April 2006), "The Grand Fundamental Principles of Mormonism: Joseph Smith's Unfinished Reformation", Sunstone: 32–41
- Hales, Brian C. "The Council of Friends". mormonfundamentalism.com. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
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