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The Stone Cut From The Mountain...


Uncle Dale

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I recently came across this item in a Philadelphia newspaper from August of 1843 -- it probably

was written at the time of JS's July 9, 1843 sermon in Nauvoo [[see LDS HC 5:498-501]]

Elder Rigdon's articulation of how the Mormon Church fulfills the prophecies of Daniel was not

well recorded by the 1843 journalist -- perhaps somebody today can elucidate the doctrine for us?

We spent a Sunday with the Mormons, at their city of Nauvoo, and attended their service

in the grove, both morning and evening. The Great Prophet of these "Latter Day Saints,"

Joe Smith, addressed the meeting in the morning for about two hours, much of which related

to his late arrest and release under a habeas corpus, as an accessary, we believe, in the

attempt on the life of ex-Governor Boggs. He then, for the first time [in] his life, as he said,

and as for our especial information, ran his parallel of the Mormon faith with other denominations

of Christians, and, to hear the conclusion, you could not say but they were good orthodox Baptists,

but in some of their forms they run close into Catholicism. He is a bad speaker, and appears to

be very imperfectly educated.

In the afternoon service, his "Vice gerent," Mr. Sidney Rigdon, addressed the numerous

multitude. He took no text, but proceeded at once, in a historical discourse, commencing with

the early Prophets, and brought us eloquently down to the reign of Charlemagne, and to the

Latter Day Saints. He described the different kingdoms that have passed from the earth,

corresponding to the image of gold and silver, brass, iron and clay, revealed to the King of

Babylon by the Prophet Daniel, which was broken to pieces by "a stone cut without hands,

and became a great mountain that filled the whole earth." We could not follow him in all his

conclusions, as he spoke so rapid, but inferred that the fulfilment of this prophecy was intended

to apply to the Mormons, who are to fill the whole earth.

After the discourse was concluded, the Choir sang a hymn with much sweetness, accompanied

by instrumental music; the ceremonies were then concluded by a solemn prayer from one of the

Saints; at the end of which, he notified the congregation that he had lost a valuable sorrel horse,

about sixteen hands high, and requested to be informed if any person present should discover him!

The evening was then closed by a Public Baptism, in the Mississippi, of one or two hundred, and

some of the Disciples were immersed perhaps twenty times, first for themselves and then for

some deceased relative or friend. After leaving the water, they take seats on the shore, and are

confirmed by another set of priests in waiting; this is repeated as often as they are immersed.

The city of Nauvoo contains twelve to fifteen thousand inhabitants, all Mormons we believe,

and new converts are fast flocking to their standard. They have many missionaries travelling

throughout the country and in Europe, and they are now fitting out one for Russia. We believe

they have no community of interest, as some suppose, but each man works for his own living;

they are compelled to work one day out of ten, however, on the Temple, which will be a

magnificent building when finished. Their dwellings are generally small frames, thrown up in a

few days.

The people are industrious and sober -- no spirituous liquors are allowed in the city, or persons to

be out after 9 o'clock at night. We recieved much kindness from Smith and others, and the day was

very agreeably spent.

UD

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I recently came across this item in a Philadelphia newspaper from August of 1843 -- it probably

was written at the time of JS's July 9, 1843 sermon in Nauvoo [[see LDS HC 5:498-501]]

Elder Rigdon's articulation of how the Mormon Church fulfills the prophecies of Daniel was not

well recorded by the 1843 journalist -- perhaps somebody today can elucidate the doctrine for us?

UD

It is believed by Latter-day Saints to be the restored Church of Jesus Christ -- eventually augmented greatly by the "restoration" of the lost tribes of Israel and the return to the earth of Enoch and his city, and that its ultimate fulfillment will not take place until after the second coming of Christ. The tenth article of faith embodies LDS beliefs in reference to the prophecy of Daniel.

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It is believed by Latter-day Saints to be the restored Church of Jesus Christ -- eventually augmented greatly by the "restoration" of the lost tribes of Israel and the return to the earth of Enoch and his city, and that its ultimate fulfillment will not take place until after the second coming of Christ. The tenth article of faith embodies LDS beliefs in reference to the prophecy of Daniel.

That much I comprehend -- and yes, I have Talmadge's book beside me to consult if necessary.

None of which tells me what Rigdon might have said in 1843 -- and how the Mormons of that day

viewed their own role in setting up the Political Kingdom of God prior to the anticipated arrival of

Enoch's city, the return of the ten tribes, the blossoming of the Lamanites, the Second Coming. etc.

UD

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Nice story, Uncle Dale, but how does it relate to your question of this thread?

What is it, if anything, that is in that story of history that leads you to believe the LDS church may not be the kingdom spoken of in Isaiah's revelation?

I believe the rock actually refers to revelation.

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That much I comprehend -- and yes, I have Talmadge's book beside me to consult if necessary.

None of which tells me what Rigdon might have said in 1843 -- and how the Mormons of that day

viewed their own role in setting up the Political Kingdom of God prior to the anticipated arrival of

Enoch's city, the return of the ten tribes, the blossoming of the Lamanites, the Second Coming. etc.

UD

What Rigdon said, and what "Mormons of that day" thought were probably two very different things -- at least in many key respects. I don't think there is any doubt that Brother Sidney often let his tongue run wild and that he had a very literalistic -- and immediate -- sense of the fulfillment of the prophecies he cited in his discourses.

Did Rigdon view the "kingdom" in very real, political terms? No doubt. Did Joseph Smith (and subsequent leaders) view it similarly? Certainly, but tempered with the wisdom to let things take their natural course rather than informing the "Gentiles" at every step that their kingdoms were about to be "broken to pieces."

Do Latter-day Saints continue to believe in a literal "Kingdom of God" -- an actual physical polity upon the earth? Without a doubt we do. Do we believe that the kingdoms of this earth will be "broken in pieces" and subsumed by that kingdom? Yes, in time. But only under the personal direction and by the power of Christ himself.

Is that what you're driving at, Uncle?

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I don't have any doctrinal insights but I will say that the growth of the LDS church(to which LDS members use to show how this scripture applies to the Church) is actually comparable to many other religious movements once you account for some important differences. The LDS Church came into existence about the time many other religious movements arose. While many of these disappeared others thrived and even exceeded the LDS church in growth. For example, Seventh Day Adventists, officially established in 1863 as of 2006 had over 14 million baptized members. It is also important to recognize that most religious movements do not mandate individual missionary service which would have greatly increased it's growth. The only other movement which is comparable in missionary efforts is the Jehovah's Witnesses who, as of August 2006 had 6.6 million ACTIVE proselyting members. The LDS church, by most estimates that I've heard, has no more than 40% active and so would have only around 5 million active. The LDS church's growth and influence is certainly impressive, but not unprecedented.

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Nice story, Uncle Dale, but how does it relate to your question of this thread?

What is it, if anything, that is in that story of history that leads you to believe the LDS church may not be the kingdom spoken of in Isaiah's revelation?

Well, for one thing, I watched a recent Republican candidates' debate on TV in which

Mitt Romney said that his religion believes in the separation of church and state.

How can you have a world-wide kingdom prepared for the millennium, if its leaders are

not the leaders of a world-wide religion that has rolled throughout the earth crushing under

it all other rival human institutions?

The doctrine spoken of at the time of JS's own bid for the US Presidency was emphatically

one of joining church and state, with the ultimate triumph of the Mormons over all other

rival groups.

Did I miss something between 1844 and 2007?

UD

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That much I comprehend -- and yes, I have Talmadge's book beside me to consult if necessary.

None of which tells me what Rigdon might have said in 1843 -- and how the Mormons of that day

viewed their own role in setting up the Political Kingdom of God prior to the anticipated arrival of

Enoch's city, the return of the ten tribes, the blossoming of the Lamanites, the Second Coming. etc.

UD

I've recently wondered about the beliefs of our early prophets on the actual timing of many of the events you listed here. Some seem to have thought it would be within their lifetime, others would project a distant date. Jesus Christ told his disciples [during his mortal ministry] that he couldn't tell them when he'd come again, and that only His Father in Heaven knew the hour. During his mortal life it seems that knowledge was hidden from view, and He knows it now, if I read Him correctly in the revelations.

As you know, Joseph Smith wanted so badly to be on the earth for the Millenium, he wanted to know when it would be, and was given an obscure answer, thus we died first.

So how much did they expect to accomplish? I don't know. I know he went to the grave believing the groundwork was completed, that the keys were with the 12, and that the Kingdom would continue to roll forth.

As far as the political aspect, here's a word from Parley Pratt in 1853:

One thing is certain, in the minds of all Christians who admit the truth of the Bible, and who have perused its pages, and that is, there is a day coming when all mankind upon this earth will be free. When they will no longer be shackled, either by ignorance, by religious or political bondage, by tyranny, by oppression, by priestcraft, kingcraft, or any other kind of craft, but when all will positively have the knowledge of the truth, and freely enjoy it with their neighbors. However they may do in other points, these points are clearly developed in that good Book which Christendom acknowledges.

This is the destiny that the Prophets of old have predicted in regard to the race of mortals upon the earth. Whatever principles of darkness have united to obscure ages and generations; whatever of wrong and blood-shed might prevail; whatever of corruption, deception, or superstition might enslave the mind of man, and chain down his body; however the earth might be drenched in the blood of millions; however many might be the futile struggles of nations or individuals for liberty; yet, in the final result, the darkness which has covered the earth will be chased away, light will prevail, liberty triumph, mankind be free, the nations be brethren, and none have need to say to his neighbor, "Know ye the Lord," or the truth, which is just the same thing; for all will know Him, from the least to the greatest. (from a 4th of July sermon, 1853, Journal of discourses 1:147)

Again, Parley Pratt in 1853:

Whether men realize it or not, when they say, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is heaven," it is as much as to say, "O God, sweep away all the falsehood and abuses of power there are in the world, whether religious or political; down with the tyrants, down with the abuses, down with the pride, extravagance, and idleness of the one class, and down with the hard trials, want, oppression, and poverty that are heaped upon the other class; do away with all the kingcraft, priestcraft, and republic-craft that are in the world. And in the place of all these false governments and religions, in political and social life, introduce that eternal government, that pure order of things, those eternal principles and institutions, which govern society in those better worlds, the worlds of immortality and eternal life." That is what a man prays for, as well as I can tell it, when he says, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." He says, "Sweep away all abuses, all corruption, all falsehood, all war, all ungodly and selfish ambition; and in its place introduce a new government for universal man, a system that will touch all his wants, religiously, politically, and every other way; which will organize and govern society upon the principles that society is governed upon in heaven.

Brigham Young was more specific on the Daniel prophecy:

The Lord God Almighty has set up a kingdom that will sway the scepter of power and authority over all the kingdoms of the world, and will never be destroyed, it is the kingdom that Daniel saw and wrote of. It may be considered treason to say that the kingdom which that Prophet foretold is actually set up; that we cannot help, but we know it is so, and call upon the nations to believe our testimony. The kingdom will continue to increase, to grow, to spread and prosper more and more. Every time its enemies undertake to overthrow it, it will become more extensive and powerful; instead of its decreasing, it will continue to increase, it will spread the more, become more wonderful and conspicuous to the nations, until it fills the whole earth. (JoD 1:198)

Interestingly, the majority of that discourse was encouraging the saints to not place their hearts upon worldly things like money, etc. and to prepare for the Millenium. It seems he taught the stone was, in fact, rolling.

More explicitly, John Taylor taught the Government of God was the Priesthood, and that it would, in fact, govern the world, but not until "he whose right it is to reign" takes the dominion would the Government of God rule. IE the Millenium, as William S. stated earlier, referring to the Articles of Faith:

The question, "What is Priesthood?" has often been asked me. I answer, it is the rule and government of God, whether on earth, or in the heavens; and it is the only legitimate power, the only authority that is acknowledged by Him to rule and regulate the affairs of His kingdom. When every wrong thing shall be put right, and all usurpers shall be putdown, when he whose right it is to reign shall take the dominion, then nothing but the Priesthood will bear rule; it alone will sway the scepter of authority in heaven and on earth, for this is the legitimacy of God...Here are legitimacy and rule. You place the power in their hands to govern, dictate, regulate, and put in order the affairs of the kingdom of God. This is, Vox Dei vox populi. God appoints, the people sustain. (JoD 1:221)

Mitt Romney has not received a call from God to usher in the political Kingdom of God, and thus, any stone he would roll in the government would be cut with hands, created by man. We are talking about a stone cut without hands; a figure for the fact that God will be the one, though we may be instruments. Romney is a Republican candidate and does not represent the Church or the Kingdom of God in an official capacity in government whatsoever. You can imply Joseph Smith believed he was to take the reigns of America and thus become King over the whole of it, under God, but unfortunately that is complete conjecture; there is no substantial evidence to lead one to believe that Joseph Smith believed the US government would last through eternity, or that he would lead it there.

The current government is an old cistern, if you will, and as you know, God chooses not to put old wine into new bottles lest the bottles burst, and thus the political kingdom of God will not be the current United States government, a lesser law of government, but will be completely new; or in other words, completely God, and everlasting, the first becoming the last indeed.

There is more, but that should do for now.

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None of which tells me what Rigdon might have said in 1843 -- and how the Mormons of that day viewed their own role in setting up the Political Kingdom of God prior to the anticipated arrival of Enoch's city, the return of the ten tribes, the blossoming of the Lamanites, the Second Coming. etc.

Unk, we have but scant information on the Council of Fifty's doings in them there days. Concerning what we do have, different folks can arrive at different conclusions what the record actually means. How seriously are we supposed to take it, even assuming the contemporaneous reports are to be given the most sinister spin, when the high-fallutin' aims expressed are so very millenial? So what if they discussed such things as sewage treatment and garbage disposal for the returning Ten Tribes marching down through Canada and the Rust Belt to Missouri?

USU "Great Basin Kingdom, indeed" 78

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Well, for one thing, I watched a recent Republican candidates' debate on TV in which

Mitt Romney said that his religion believes in the separation of church and state.

How can you have a world-wide kingdom prepared for the millennium, if its leaders are

not the leaders of a world-wide religion that has rolled throughout the earth crushing under

it all other rival human institutions?

The doctrine spoken of at the time of JS's own bid for the US Presidency was emphatically

one of joining church and state, with the ultimate triumph of the Mormons over all other

rival groups.

Did I miss something between 1844 and 2007?

UD

What you're apparently missing is that all millenialist movements, of which there were many in the first half of the 19th century, view the prophecy of Daniel in similar terms. Indeed, the Bible is quite clear in predicting a millenial reign of Christ and his redeemed. The second coming of Christ, in almost every interpretation of the prophecies, presupposes a virtual "destruction" of the kingdoms of this world, and their replacement by a theocratic model headed by the "King of Kings."

You're stirring a tempest in a teapot with the allusions to dark combinations between Romney and the leadership of the church to effect this "kingdom" before its time. No one has ever suggested that the worldwide kingdom would precede the second coming, but rather follow it.

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Well, for one thing, I watched a recent Republican candidates' debate on TV in which

Mitt Romney said that his religion believes in the separation of church and state.

How can you have a world-wide kingdom prepared for the millennium, if its leaders are

not the leaders of a world-wide religion that has rolled throughout the earth crushing under

it all other rival human institutions?

Where are you getting the idea that the kingdom of God is going to "crush all other rival human institutions", and in what sense do you mean that?

The doctrine spoken of at the time of JS's own bid for the US Presidency was emphatically

one of joining church and state, with the ultimate triumph of the Mormons over all other

rival groups.

Do you think "triumphing" over all other rival groups is necessarily the same thing as "crushing" all other rival groups?

I don't.

I believe God and his kingdom have already triumphed... even though some other people don't know it.

Did I miss something between 1844 and 2007?

Yeah. My birthday... and celebrations of it.

Where were you?

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You're stirring a tempest in a teapot with the allusions to dark combinations between Romney and the leadership of the church to effect this "kingdom" before its time. No one has ever suggested that the worldwide kingdom would precede the second coming, but rather follow it.

Exactly. Again, The current government is an old cistern, if you will, and God won't put old wine into new bottles lest the bottles burst. IE: the political kingdom of God will not be the current United States government, but will be completely new; or in other words, completely God, and completely everlasting, the first becoming the last indeed.

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So is the Kingdom of God going to destroy and replace all other earthly governments?

Not just that -- but in Daniel's day, separation of church and state was unheard of.

Each of the Four Empires also held a religious monopoly over its subjects --- (OK, not

a total monopoly -- sects like the Jews, or Isis-worshippers, etc. were tolerated in

some cases, so long as they did not challenge the imperial order of things).

So, if the Mormon Church is the Fifth Empire, then we should expect it to not only

destroy and replace civil governments, but institutions like the Church of England

and the theocracy in Iran -- sooner or later.

As some other good MB members have already said, it is unclear how much of this is

supposed to occur before the millennium and how much after the Second Coming.

But it is the PREPARATION for the joining of church and state that I am interested in.

A year after the July, 1843 discourses, Sidney Rigdon again addressed the Saints at

Nauvoo, and told them that they were chosen to be part of the Political Kingdom of God --

not just a theoretical proposition, but a real civil-religious institution.

A year later, in Pittsburgh, Rigdon claimed to have set up that very Kingdom.

????

UD

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According to Truman Madsen, Joseph was well aware before he died that the second coming would be some time in the future as Joseph saw the church growth and spreading into evey nation. As to the phrase "a stone cut without hands, and became a great mountain that filled the whole earth," I think one can see a pretty literal fulfillment in that the church became established in a great mountain and from there has gone out to fill the earth. Just my opinion.

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Not just that -- but in Daniel's day, separation of church and state was unheard of.

Each of the Four Empires also held a religious monopoly over its subjects --- (OK, not

a total monopoly -- sects like the Jews, or Isis-worshippers, etc. were tolerated in

some cases, so long as they did not challenge the imperial order of things).

So, if the Mormon Church is the Fifth Empire, then we should expect it to not only

destroy and replace civil governments, but institutions like the Church of England

and the theocracy in Iran -- sooner or later.

As some other good MB members have already said, it is unclear how much of this is

supposed to occur before the millennium and how much after the Second Coming.

But it is the PREPARATION for the joining of church and state that I am interested in.

A year after the July, 1843 discourses, Sidney Rigdon again addressed the Saints at

Nauvoo, and told them that they were chosen to be part of the Political Kingdom of God --

not just a theoretical proposition, but a real civil-religious institution.

A year later, in Pittsburgh, Rigdon claimed to have set up that very Kingdom.

????

UD

Where is Rigdon's Kingdom today, then?

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I asked Cleon Skousen about this one time and he said "Oh the brethren are going to set the kingdom up when the right time comes." I was like, Huh? -- it was already set up and the council of the Kingdom hasn't convened in over 100 years. Not only that, but the Church pretends to be completely apolitical and its growth hasn't negatively affected any earthly governments in any way that I know of.

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I asked Cleon Skousen about this one time and he said "Oh the brethren are going to set the kingdom up when the right time comes." I was like, Huh? -- it was already set up and the council of the Kingdom hasn't convened in over 100 years. Not only that, but the Church pretends to be completely apolitical and its growth hasn't negatively affected any earthly governments in any way that I know of.

Well, the Methodist candidates for the Legislature of Western Samoa might tell us a thing or two.

But back to Skousen -- was he happy to see ETB in the Cabinet in his day? Any words about Smoot

being both a Senator and an Apostle in his time?

And, of course, the White Horse Prophecy....

UD

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Not just that -- but in Daniel's day, separation of church and state was unheard of.

Oh, really.

I think the kingdom of God in Daniels day was known as Israel, referring to Israel, the person, and his (righteous?) descendants.

And during the mortal ministry of Jesus Christ he said his kingdom was then within them, even though they were then under the rule of the Romans.

Where are you getting your ideas???

Each of the Four Empires also held a religious monopoly over its subjects --- (OK, not

a total monopoly -- sects like the Jews, or Isis-worshippers, etc. were tolerated in

some cases, so long as they did not challenge the imperial order of things).

Uh huh. Yeah, right.

So, if the Mormon Church is the Fifth Empire, then we should expect it to not only

destroy and replace civil governments, but institutions like the Church of England

and the theocracy in Iran -- sooner or later.

In what sense do you mean "destroy" and "replace".

I believe we can live in the world without being of the world... even now.

As some other good MB members have already said, it is unclear how much of this is

supposed to occur before the millennium and how much after the Second Coming.

But it is the PREPARATION for the joining of church and state that I am interested in.

On your mark.

Get set.

Go!

A year after the July, 1843 discourses, Sidney Rigdon again addressed the Saints at

Nauvoo, and told them that they were chosen to be part of the Political Kingdom of God --

not just a theoretical proposition, but a real civil-religious institution.

A year later, in Pittsburgh, Rigdon claimed to have set up that very Kingdom.

????

It's here, Uncle Dale.

Take another look at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. :P

... and I apologize for the mess in this world. <_<

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So, if the Mormon Church is the Fifth Empire, then we should expect it to not only

destroy and replace civil governments, but institutions like the Church of England

and the theocracy in Iran -- sooner or later.

...Where are you getting your ideas???

Uh huh. Yeah, right.

In what sense do you mean "destroy" and "replace".

Obviously my right brain needs to have a good long talk with my left brain -- oh well...

If the LDS Church is doing nothing to overthrow the theocracy in Iran, then what is the

current LDS doctrine about Islam being allowed to continue during the millennium?

If the LDS Church is indeed the 5th Empire, then it joins all earthly civil and religious powers,

then (sooner or later) it will be responsible to elminating all of the enemies of God, right?

Or, maybe I'm wrong --- and we'll have to call upon the Reorganized Elders of of Israel to

save the US Constitution, as it "hangs by a thread."

????

UD

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If the LDS Church is doing nothing to overthrow the theocracy in Iran, then what is the

current LDS doctrine about Islam being allowed to continue during the millennium?

The people of Iran, and/or Islam, will continue to live on the Earth as long as they obey righteous laws, and any evil-doers will go "live" somewhere else.

... and I wouldn't say we (LDS) are doing "nothing" to overthrow false idea.

LDS.org is a world-wide web page that is available to everybody, and there are some other ways for people to hear our message(s).

If the LDS Church is indeed the 5th Empire, then it joins all earthly civil and religious powers,

then (sooner or later) it will be responsible to elminating all of the enemies of God, right?

Right... but I don't necessarily agree that it will be "us" who is joining with "them".

I think it makes a little more sense to say they will be joining with us since we truly do have God with us.

Or, maybe I'm wrong --- and we'll have to call upon the Reorganized Elders of Israel to

save the US Constitution, as it "hangs by a thread."

I recommend that you go with your first instinct.

... or just leave off the word "Reorganized" :P

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No, I don't think the Church is the "stone cut from the mountain".

Since the Church is the "people" (not a physical object), let's look at how the "Church" has done in comparison to the world population:

Church Members/ World Population/ Percentage

1900 - 283k / 1.65 Billion (.0172%)

1950 - 1,1 Million / 2.25 Billion (.049%)

2000 - 11 Million / 6.1 Billion (.18%)

2005- 12.6 Million / 6.45 Billion (.19%)

I'm absolutely impressed that the Church was able to go from .0172% of the worlds population to .18% in 100 years. But I don't know if I would look at that and call it "filling the whole Earth", especially since I used the Church's self reported numbers, and not a more realistic approximation of active members.

Also, as pointed out by luigi, there are several other religions with growth rates equal to or better than the LDS Church. JW's, Scientology, Pentacostals, and Seventh-day Adventists are also impressive stones. But I'm sure Daniel refers to the LDS Church, because the LDS Church is true.

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