Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22
                               Journal of Discourses,
                                      Volume 22
          1
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                Delivered at the General Conference, Salt Lake City,
                        Tuesday Afternoon, October 7th, 1879
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                        (Continued from page 376, vol. XXI.)
                         OPPOSITION TO THE WORK OF GOD, ETC.
          2
          And what then? Why, we have been told about the Gentiles
          introducing into our midst what is termed the social evil; and we
          find some of our youth, and older ones too, contaminating
          themselves with it, thereby breaking their covenants and
          forsaking their God, and disgracing themselves before God, angels
          and all good men. Such men are a disgrace to any community, much
          less to a community professing, as we do, to be Saints. Are such
          persons Saints? No, they are not. Can we fellowship them? No, we
          cannot. God requires it of us before we talk of cleansing the
          outside of the platter, to see that the inside is clean, to place
          ourselves right upon the record. Do we do it? Well, sometimes--I
          was going to say, "hardly ever." Sometimes we do it, but in a
          great many instances we do not do it. What is the matter? Good
          men have mean sons, and the sons must not be handled. Why so?
          God, you will remember, had a host of sons in heaven who did not
          do right, and they were cast out, even a third part of His entire
          family. That is the way I read it. Again, there are some sons who
          are good men, who have disreputable fathers, who have departed
          from correct principles, but out of respect to the fathers in the
          one instance and the sons in the other, we allow evil way to go
          unchecked. Well, you Presidents and you Bishops and you Priests
          and Teachers may do that if you please, but their blood will be
          upon your heads, not upon mine. And we call upon you to honor
          your calling and Priesthood and purge from your midst corruption
          of every kind. And we call upon the Presidents of Stakes and
          their Counselors, upon the Bishops and their Counselors, and upon
          the Priests, Teachers and Deacons, to magnify their offices, and
          not to be partakers of other men's sins. For as sure as I live
          and as God lives, if you do God will require it at your hands.
          And therefore, I call upon Presidents and men in authority, where
          men do not magnify their calling to remove them from their
          positions of responsibility and replace them by men who will; and
          let us have correct principles and the order of God carried out
          in Zion.
          2
          Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists were placed
          in the Church of old for what? "For the perfecting of the Saints,
          for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of
          Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the
          knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure
          of the stature of the fulness of Christ." It is so to-day. My
          brethren who have spoken have told you plainly of many evils that
          exist in our midst; but we can scarcely perceive them, many of
          us. Sometimes it is very difficult to discern between a Saint and
          a sinner, between one who professes to fear God and one who does
          not. It is for us to straighten out these matters; and you men in
          authority will be held responsible, and the Twelve will be held
          responsible, and I hold you responsible, and God will hold you
          responsible for your acts. The great difficulty with us is that
          we are too fond of catering to the world, and too much of the
          world has crept into our hearts? the spirit of covetousness and
          greed, and--what shall I say?--dishonesty has spread itself like
          a plague throughout the length and breadth of the whole world in
          every direction, and we have drunk more or less into that spirit.
          Like a plague it has pervaded all grades of society; and instead
          of being governed by those high, noble, and honorable principles
          that dwell in the bosom of God, we are after the filthy lucre
          which is spoken of as being the root of all evil; and instead of
          setting our affections upon God, we set our affections upon the
          world, its follies and vanities. Come ye out from the midst of
          her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord; and honor
          your Priesthood and calling, and show and prove to the world, to
          angels and to God that you are on the side of truth and right, of
          honesty, purity and integrity, and that you are for God and His
          Kingdom, let other people do as they will.
          3
          We sometimes talk of the affairs that are taking place around us.
          There is now a little commotion that interested parties are
          getting up about the "Mormons" for the purpose of forwarding
          their political operations. Bless your soul, we knew about that
          long, long ago, and also knew what it would be for. It is about
          the same with these parties as it was with the editor I have read
          of; the printer asked for "copy," it was handed to him, but it
          was not enough, he wanted more. The editor told him that he had
          not time to prepare any more then, but to pitch into the
          "Mormons." That was a kind of standing matter they kept on hand.
          The move that is being made now is simply a political scheme, out
          of which to make political capital. It was started by interested
          demagogues for that purpose, in order that they might have the
          honor of putting down "Mormonism," and sailing into power on the
          current of incensed public opinion. Now they can have all the
          honor they can get on that score; and I guess it will be the same
          as Stephen A. Douglas and others have attained to by pursuing
          that course, and I think no more.
          3
          We are here to serve God and keep His commandments; and if we
          will purge ourselves from our iniquities, live our religion and
          keep the commandments of God, there is no power on this side of
          hell nor on the other, that can harm us, for God will be on our
          side to protect us in the position we occupy.
          4
          There is one thing I wish to speak to you about that you are well
          acquainted with. We had a little commotion gotten up about some
          of our money matters associated with the heirs of the late
          President Young, and it has been talked about generally. We
          thought we had made a settlement with them at one time, which we
          did, and the executors of the estate took their releases which
          exonerated them from all blame, and they avowed themselves
          satisfied with the settlements made. But then, some men's word
          and some men's signatures do not amount to much. What next? Why,
          some of our very pure and high-minded lawyers are not above
          entering into such things because of a little monetary
          inducements. It would not be proper to say they were anything but
          pure, high-minded and honorable men, for it is understood that
          all lawyers are, is it not? Well, we knew we had treated them
          very liberally before; and so did you. We knew we had given them
          all we ought to give them, and more too. But we felt to be
          generous to the heirs of President Young; and we did what we
          could to promote their welfare. Still these things came out. No
          matter. Bonds and writings and signatures and releases amount to
          nothing with some people. So they started in, and we have had a
          legal fight about it. Some of the Apostles have had to be
          confined in the penitentiary; and it was a pretty narrow squeeze
          with me. [Laughter.] But then I have been in such places before,
          and was shot at while there and hit, and therefore it would have
          been nothing new, and I was not much concerned about it. When
          they wanted to get hold of some of your means and property which
          I held in trust, and which they had no right to, I told them No,
          they could not have it. "Well," said they, "you will have to go
          to jail." "Well," said I, "jail it is then. Some folks go off to
          rusticate at Soda Springs and other places; I think I will go and
          rusticate in the penitentiary." But they would not have me.
          [Laughter.] They took Brother Cannon, Brother Brigham and Brother
          Carrington; I suppose they considered them worthier men, and that
          I had better stay out. There are all kinds of curious things
          started up; and among other things that have grown out of this
          contest is what is termed a cross suit; and because of this
          movement some people think we are going to law. I will tell you
          how much. We were merely attempting to put the complaining heirs
          in the same position as they had put us; thinking that by doing
          so they might be led to reflect that there were other people in
          the world besides themselves, and that other people might be
          placed in jeopardy besides some of our brethren. "But," say you,
          "was it not contrary to a law of the Church to go to law with
          your brethren?" We did not exactly do it; we merely started in. I
          will tell you what we would have done if this settlement had not
          been made. We would have called upon all those who were good and
          honorable of President Young's family--and I am happy to say that
          with very few exceptions they are of that class and are desirous
          to carry out and fulfil their obligations, and stand by the
          covenants they have entered into--we were going to call upon them
          to turn over to our side, and then we were going to cut the
          others off the Church, and then go to law with them and sue for
          their property as they had for ours. That is all. I thought I
          would explain this because it is not generally understood by the
          people. It is really one of those things called a legal fiction,
          which had to arise to meet certain technicalities of the law, in
          order that the proper releases might be given, releases that
          would stand, and also a decree from the court to settle these
          difficulties.
          4
          This compromise was talked of, but it could not be reached very
          readily, for some of them wanted a little more money, and the
          lawyers wanted a little, and of course such honorable gentlemen
          should have it. Well, the compromise was at last effected. We
          thought it better to furnish them a little means than to have
          these unpleasant things going on month after month, and perhaps
          year after year; and we could see that we would have to be very
          smart indeed to prevent some of these men of honor from running
          away with the balance of it. That being done, we have done all we
          could to try to promote peace in our midst. We have taken the
          best of counsel, and have acted in this matter according to the
          very best of our judgment.
          4
          And now about the money involved. It is a large amount? Yes, some
          seventy-five thousand dollars paid by the Trustee-in-Trust in
          behalf of the Church, beside a further amount paid by the
          administrators. That would be just a dollar apiece from 75,000
          people. It is quite a little sum; but then, did you ever know of
          people giving a bone to a dog? And after you had done so, you did
          not think you had lost much, did you? We thought it better to
          take that course than to be mixed up any longer with such
          miserable doings; and we agreed to do it. And I would like to
          know whether you approve of this act or not. You who do, please
          signify it by holding up your right hands. [A forest of hands was
          raised; and a unanimous vote declared.]
          4
          Well, some have asked what we were going to do with these
          complaining heirs. I think we will have to deal with them
          according to the laws of the Church. Are you going to bring their
          case before the Conference? No, I think not; there are the proper
          officers in the Church to attend to such things, and we say to
          them, go, and do your duty. We are very sorry that they should
          have placed themselves in that position; and we are very sorry
          that a great many other people should, and we are very sorry that
          a great many of these evils referred to should exist in Israel.
          But they do; and what shall we do about it? Go to work and
          cleanse the inside of the platter, and then we can go before our
          God in good faith, and stand approved of him, and rejoice in the
          fulness of the blessings of the gospel of peace.
          4
          There are some other things I would like to touch upon, but as
          the time has already expired, and as there will be a Priesthood
          meeting to-night in this tabernacle, to which the young and the
          old of both sexes are invited, I will defer speaking further
          until then.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / John
          Taylor, January 9th, 1881
                           John Taylor, January 9th, 1881
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, January 9th, 1881.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                 TITHING AND OTHER MATTERS--CORRECT VIEWS NECESSARY.
          5
          I made some remarks yesterday afternoon, in answer to certain
          questions which have been put to me in relation to the principle
          of Tithing, and I thought this morning that I would make a few
          additional remarks on the same subject, and perhaps touch upon
          some other matters.
          5
          I read over yesterday certain questions which have been asked me
          pertaining to this matter; and I thought I would take the liberty
          of answering these questions to this Conference. Perhaps there
          may be some here to-day who were not here yesterday, and there
          may be some here to-day who do not read the Doctrine and
          Covenants, and who are not acquainted with some of the principles
          relating to this subject. Therefore I will read again that which
          was read yesterday afternoon, which will be found on the 418th
          page of the Doctrine and Covenants, new edition. There may be
          some who have not this edition, and I will say therefore that the
          same revelation will be found in section 107 of the old edition.
          5
          "Revelation given at Far West Missouri, July 8th, 1838, in answer
          to the question, O Lord, show unto thy servants how much thou
          requirest of the properties of the people for Tithing?
          5
          "Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus
          property to be put into the hands of the Bishop of my Church of
          Zion, for the building of mine house, and for the laying the
          foundation of Zion and for the Priesthood, and for the debts of
          the Presidency of my Church; and this shall be the beginning of
          the Tithing of my people; and after that, those who have thus
          been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually,
          and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy
          priesthood, saith the Lord.
          5
          "Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who
          gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus
          properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be
          found worthy to abide among you.
          6
          "And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law, to keep
          it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that
          my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be
          most holy, behold, verily I say unto you it shall not be a land
          of Zion unto you; and this shall be an example unto all the
          Stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen."
          6
          The scriptures say that we shall receive line upon line and
          precept upon precept; and therefore it is necessary sometimes, to
          carry out these ideas in order that, where a people have been
          misinformed or have not judged or heard correctly, they may be
          put right in relation to all general leading principles. A
          feeling has more or less prevailed among the people that Tithing
          is a matter to be decided on exclusively by the individual paying
          it, and that if he pays it, all right; if he does not pay his
          Tithing, it is not quite so right, but it makes not so much
          difference. A good Saint perhaps, may be honorable and upright
          and honest in dealing; may be a tolerable good neighbor; he may
          be zealous to a certain extent, according to his ideas and
          notions in regard to the propagation of the word of truth; he may
          be active and energetic in many things, but if he does right in
          the main, Tithing is a matter of very little importance; it is
          only a temporary idea, it does not concern us much, it is only
          meant to meet the financial affairs associated with the
          Church--and that is a matter of very little importance.
          6
          Now it is proper that we should be correctly informed in relation
          to these matters, and as I stated yesterday, there is a great
          diversity of opinion existing among men, and even men in
          authority in the Church, say, bishops and probably Presidents of
          Stakes and others, in relation to the principle of Tithing. Now,
          it is proper that we should have a correct view and a proper
          understanding of this principle. We are here to carry out the
          purposes and designs of God, and as I understand it we have been
          gathered together according to certain revelations which have
          been given for the establishment of His Church upon the earth,
          and that we, as a people, profess to be the Lord's people, and
          under His guidance and direction. Each one, if he is living his
          religion, is supposed to have the spirit of light, of truth and
          intelligence within himself, the spirit of revelation, the Holy
          Ghost given unto him by the laying on of hands which, if he
          follows in all its guidings and dictates will lead him into all
          truth. Each man and each woman is placed in the position that
          they can draw nigh unto God through Jesus Christ: to have the
          light and intelligence of the Spirit of God imparted unto them;
          but because of the weakness of man, because of our many
          infirmities, and because of the powers of darkness and of the
          many influences that have been at work from the commencement of
          the world until the present time seeking to destroy, to uproot
          and to overturn the principles of eternal truth, and to lead men
          into error, darkness, confusion, and death, and because it is the
          way and order of God, He has ordained a holy Priesthood for the
          guidance, for the direction, and for the instruction of His
          people.
          7
          We are told that in ancient days God placed "in the Church first
          Apostles, secondly Prophets, thirdly Teachers;" and again, "He
          gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and
          some Pastors and Teachers." For what? "For the perfecting of the
          Saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the
          body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith and of
          the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the
          measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we
          henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried
          about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and
          cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but
          speaking the truth in love, may grow up unto him in all things,
          which is the head, even Christ." That was the teaching of one of
          the old Apostles. Furthermore, the Lord has instituted in the
          Church in these last days the same Priesthood that formerly
          existed, and for the same purpose. We have, say, a First
          Presidency; then we have the Twelve; then we have High Priests;
          then we have Seventies; then we have High Councils, and Bishops
          and their Counselors; then we have Presidents of Stakes, each
          Stake in its form a compact body, with a President and his two
          Counselors, and Bishops operating in their place and presiding
          over their various Wards, and the High Councils operating in
          their place, with the Priests, Teachers, and Deacons operating in
          theirs, all working and operating together. Then we have Relief
          Societies, and Mutual Improvement Societies, and our Sunday
          Schools, and Primary Associations, and all the various
          organizations and institutions which are organized for the
          instruction of the rising generation, male and female. Thus we
          have the various officers in the Church performing their several
          duties with honor, integrity and truthfulness before God, looking
          after the interest, the welfare and the happiness of those that
          are associated with and that are under their jurisdiction. Then
          these various Stakes, in their organizations, with their
          Presidents, are subject to the presiding authorities, and the
          Presidents thereof have to render an account to the Presidency of
          the Church; and the Presidency of the Church ought to be able at
          all times to render an account to their Heavenly Father.
          8
          This is an order, as I understand it, that is introduced by the
          Almighty, and by Him alone. It is not of man, nor did it proceed
          from man, neither can it progress nor be perfected by man without
          the direction of the Almighty. In fact, with all these helps,
          with all these organizations, with all these principles, owing to
          the weakness and infirmities of man, we find it difficult to
          preserve in purity those sacred institutions that God has given
          unto us, and we continually need the greatest care, humility,
          self-denial, perseverance, watchfulness and reliance upon God. We
          talk sometimes about free will; is that a correct principle? Yes;
          and it is a principle that has always existed, and proceeded from
          God, our Heavenly Father. When God revealed Himself to Joseph
          Smith it was optional whether he obeyed His counsel or not; I
          suppose, however, looking at things as they exist, and as they
          are in truth, God understood that he would do it, he having been
          selected for that purpose a long, long time ago; and that the
          Lord knew that he would adhere to those principles and would
          carry out the designs of Heaven as they should be communicated
          unto and required of him. We received the Gospel; was any one
          forced to obey it? Was there any coercion in any possible way
          manifested toward us? Not that I know of. Was Oliver Cowdery, who
          was the second Elder in the Church, obliged to receive this
          Gospel? No, he was not. Was Hyrum Smith obliged to receive it?
          No, he was not. Were any of the witnesses to the Book of
          Mormon--the Whitmers and others? No. And after they did identify
          themselves with this Church, were they compelled to stay in it?
          No. Have any of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve, the
          Seventies, the High Priests, or the members of the High Councils,
          or the Presidents of the Seventies, or any class of men in this
          Church, been compelled to occupy the position to which they have
          been called? I do not know of any, do you? I know there was no
          coercion used with me further than the force of truth
          recommending itself to my mind, neither was there with you
          further than the power of truth operating upon your minds. And
          after you received the Gospel were you compelled to leave your
          homes to come here? No, you were not. In fact, it was your desire
          to come here, and you could not be kept back from coming, because
          you were impelled by the spirit which the Latter-day Gospel
          inspires to come to the land of Zion. If this is called
          compulsion, it is not the compulsion of man, but the operation of
          the Spirit of God, which you received through obedience to the
          Gospel.
          9
          We may here ask, in acting under the dominion or control of the
          Priesthood are any of you forced to do anything you do not want
          to? If you think you are in any possible way, I absolve you from
          it to-day, every one of you. These are my ideas about the rights
          of men. It is "all free grace and all free will, as the poet has
          it. We have not been coerced to come into the Church, we are not
          coerced to remain in it. But we have taken upon ourselves a
          profession of faith in God, and as Latter-day Saints we believe
          that God has spoken, that the heavens have been opened, that the
          everlasting Gospel has been restored to man, and we believe that
          God has organized His church by revelation, through his servant,
          Joseph Smith, in the form that we now have it. This is our faith.
          We cannot help that faith. I cannot help my faith, neither can
          you help yours. There was from the first, scriptural evidence
          adduced and a certain kind of reasoning used to enlighten our
          minds. We believed, after hearing the preaching of the Gospel,
          that it was our duty to be baptized in the name of Jesus for the
          remission of our sins, and to have hands laid upon our heads for
          the reception of the Holy Ghost. And when we received that Holy
          Ghost, which takes of the things of God, it showed them unto us;
          and then we were placed upon another footing from what we were
          before; and that Spirit has enlightened our minds in regard to
          those things of which I have spoken, as well as in regard to many
          others. If God has revealed unto us certain things can we help
          our faith in them, and can we help knowing this to be the Church
          and Kingdom of God? No. Can I? No. Can you? No. What would men
          have to do to deprive me of this faith? They would have to cut
          off my head, or in some other way to kill me; and then they could
          not change my faith, that would be impossible. If a man knows a
          thing, he knows it, and he cannot un-know it. There is one way
          whereby we can un-know these things, and that is by giving way to
          evil influences, to the powers of darkness, and by departing from
          the light of God; and then the light within us becomes darkness,
          and then "how great is that darkness." But when you talk about
          controlling a man's faith, it cannot be done; and I would say to
          people who are bent upon having me change my faith, all you have
          to do is cut off my head, and even that would not do it, because
          I would still be myself entertaining the same faith in the next
          world. And therefore, all that men could do toward accomplishing
          this object would be to destroy the body, but that principle
          which God has implanted in our hearts it would be impossible to
          destroy; hence says Jesus, "And fear not them which kill the
          body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him
          which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
          9
          Now, speaking again of the organization which I have referred to,
          connected with it are laws which are calculated to lead us on
          from strength to strength, from knowledge to knowledge, and from
          intelligence to intelligence, until we shall all see as we are
          seen and know as we are known. And hence God has given for this
          purpose the various offices that exist in the Church and Kingdom
          of God. I would further ask, What is this Priesthood given us
          for? That we may be enabled to build up the Zion of our God. What
          for? To put down wrong and corruption, lasciviousness, lying,
          thieving, dishonesty and covetousness, with every kind of evil,
          and also to encourage faith, meekness, charity, purity, brotherly
          kindness, truthfulness, integrity, honesty, and everything that
          is calculated to exalt and ennoble mankind, that we may be the
          true and proper representatives of God our Father here upon the
          earth, that we may learn to know His will and do it; that His
          will may be done on earth as in heaven. And hence, Zion is spoken
          of as being the pure in heart.
          9
          When the disciples of our Lord asked Him to teach them how to
          pray, what did he say? "When you pray say, "Our Father, which art
          in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come: Thy will be
          done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily
          bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And
          lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine
          is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."
          Besides other things they were taught to pray that God's kingdom
          might come. Why? That the earth might be delivered from
          oppression, cruelty, tyranny, from corruptions, infamy,
          licentiousness, debauchery, and all the evils that afflict
          humanity, and which have been introduced by the powers of
          darkness for the overthrow and destruction of the human family.
          Jesus stands forth as the great propitiator between God and man.
          He came here as the representative of His heavenly Father, He is
          our great High Priest, and he lives to intercede for us before
          the throne of God, who is also our Father, Jesus being our elder
          brother.
          10
          Now, then, God has gathered us together for a purpose, and that
          purpose is to build up Zion and to establish His kingdom on the
          earth and He could not do it in any other way that I know of than
          the way in which He is doing it; He may however have some other
          way, but if he has I am not acquainted with it. It is sufficient
          for us to know that He has chosen this way. Very well. We are
          taking hold and are doing a great many good things. I feel very
          much interested in the labors which are being performed. My heart
          is drawn out in many instances to many peoples and organizations
          that are engaged in trying to teach the people the ways of life.
          When I see the Twelve thus engaged, traveling about from place to
          place teaching the pure principles of the Gospel of peace, I feel
          like saying in my heart, God bless you, and God sustain you; and
          all Israel ought to have the same feeling. Then when I see our
          missionaries doing the same thing not only in our midst but
          elsewhere, seeking to promote the benefit of men, to introduce
          correct principles and to expose error, and to lead men to the
          truth and to gather them to Zion, I feel to say, God bless you in
          all your operations, and may the Spirit and blessing and power of
          God be with you; and all Israel ought to sustain such men who are
          engaged in such beneficial labors. Then when I see our Sunday
          Schools in operation, with our young men and women, and in many
          instances the aged men and aged women taking an interest in our
          youth and trying to train up the rising generation in the paths
          of life, I say to all such, God bless you and may His peace and
          blessing be upon all who are interested in the welfare of Israel.
          And again when I see our young men and young women associating
          themselves together for mutual instruction and edification,
          learning to comprehend correct principles and educating
          themselves to become efficient laborers in the work, the great,
          the important, the eternal word of God which He has committed to
          us--when I see our young men and women engaged in that way, I say
          to such, God bless you, and may the peace and the blessing of God
          be with you. And when I see our juveniles who are organized as
          Primary Associations, brought together and taught to sing the
          praises of God, and to comprehend the principles of the
          Gospel--and in many instances their parents scarcely sense the
          responsibility God placed upon them when He placed these precious
          jewels in their care, making them the fathers and mothers of
          lives--when I see our brethren and sisters engaged in teaching
          these children to lisp the praises of God, and to honor and obey
          their parents and to do that which is right, I say God bless
          them. And when I see our Bishops engaged in doing the will of
          God, and exerting themselves to promote the welfare of His people
          over whom they preside; and seeking counsel from God and other
          sources, and doing all they can to build up Zion unselfishly,
          with pure hearts and clean hands, I say, God bless you and may
          the spirit and power of your office rest upon you, that you may
          magnify it and honor your God. And when I see the Seventies and
          Elders go among the nations of the earth, as many have done
          before, trying to benefit mankind, trying to snatch them from the
          fearful calamity that is near at hand, but people do not know it,
          when I see men going forth to accomplish the purposes of God and
          gather out His elect, I say to such, God bless you; and I feel
          desirous and hopeful that these men may be able to present the
          eternal truths of heaven in such a way that the honest in heart
          may see and admire them, and participate in the blessings
          resulting from obedience thereto.
          11
          We are here, then, to build up Zion. We have a temple going up
          here, and we have others in course of erection in other places.
          Now, while we have no disrespect for the world, no disrespect for
          the nations in which we live, or for the authorities thereof, if
          they act wisely, well; if they do not act wisely it is not so
          well. No matter about that; we can trust them in the hands of
          God. We are the friends of all men, and are the friends of this
          nation; we are the friends and supporters of the Constitution of
          this nation, we are the friends of right, of freedom and of good
          administration and good men everywhere, and that on the principle
          of which I spoke a while ago--on the principle of freedom,
          liberty, believe, and let believe, worship, and let others
          worship, worship as you please according to the dictates of
          conscience, and let others do the same. It is for us to be
          governed by correct principles, and as far as it lies in our
          power to extend to all men this right, and then maintain, on
          correct principles, our own rights, the rights of others and the
          rights of God. These are my feelings in relation to this matter.
          But the world do not comprehend our principles; they cannot. But
          we can afford to teach them the Gospel even if we are abused for
          doing it; we can deal justly with them, and then suffer their
          abuse. No matter. We can do all this and a good deal more, and
          also advocate the rights of men, look after our own interest of
          the community we are associated with, and sustain all just laws
          and correct principles. And then we can leave those men who
          violate correct principles in the hands of God. But they cannot
          comprehend these things, they do not possess that spirit which
          alone enables men to fulfil those principles, which are given by
          the Almighty for the benefit of the human family. We do
          understand them, I mean, those who are faithful to their
          profession, as Latter-day Saints; but some of us possess the
          spirit by which they are actuated, and I am sorry when I see it.
          But as a people we are not of the spirit of the world; we are
          here not to pattern after the follies of the world, but to build
          up Zion, the Church and Kingdom of God upon the earth; and God
          has given unto us a portion of His Spirit, that we may seek after
          Him, and seek to carry out His will, and He will continue to
          enlighten our mind, and we shall grow and increase, and our path
          will be as that of the just, growing brighter and brighter unto
          the perfect day. Do the world understand anything of the religion
          we have received? No. It is nothing new to say this; this was
          understood long, long ago.
          11
          "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:
          for they are foolishness unto him, neither indeed can he know
          them, because they are spiritually discerned;" and when they do
          not possess the spirit of truth, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost,
          by which alone they are understood, how can they comprehend them?
          Well, having said so much, let me come back to the question of
          Tithing.
          11
          The people were anxious at the time the revelation was given in
          Far West, to know what the Lord required as a Tithing from His
          Saints. I was there at the time; it was in 1838--quite a little
          time to look back to. Some time, however, before this revelation
          was given, God had revealed the principle of the United Order,
          which as you know, the people could not abide; and when we come
          to think about it, it could hardly be expected that they could do
          so, they having been in the Church but a short time, taken out of
          the world, with all the prejudices and weaknesses that you and I
          have. But the time will come when we will obey these things as
          they are given by the revelations of God, and it will not be a
          hardship either; it will be a pleasure to those who are under the
          influence of the Lord. But like all other things, it will be
          "free will and free grace."
          12
          Now, then, we come to this. Here is a command given; who to? Not
          to outsiders, not to men of the world, not to people who do not
          believe in God nor in His laws; but it is given directly to us
          who profess to have faith in Him, in His laws, and in His
          priesthood. The question then is, what is our duty, as we have
          not obeyed the other law? I will remark here, incidentally, that
          when this law of Tithing was given, a great many people were
          gathering up to Far West and to that district of country, as we
          are to this country; but it would apply more to our early
          settlements than at the present time. This people thus gathering
          to Far West, were told that it was required of them to give their
          surplus property--I will read it.
          12
          "I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of
          the Bishop of my Church of Zion, for the building of mine house,
          and for the laying the foundation of Zion, and for the
          Priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church; and
          this shall be the beginning of the Tithing of my people." What
          then? "And those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of
          all their interest annually, and this shall be a standing law
          unto them forever, for my holy Priesthood, saith the Lord."
          12
          Now, here is a people, of whom we form a part, who met together
          to ask the Prophet of the Lord to inquire for them the will of
          the Lord concerning this matter of Tithing; and He gives it in
          these words:
          12
          "And this shall be a standing law unto them forever."
          12
          I will ask, has the Lord ever annulled this? No. Then it stands
          in full force to-day to this people. Then again:
          12
          "Verily I say unto you, it shall come to pass, that all those who
          gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus
          properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be
          found worthy to abide among you."
          12
          That is very plain talk. Is there any compulsion about it? No;
          but if they do not do it they shall not be considered worthy to
          abide among you. What are we to make of it? As I said yesterday,
          I did not make it; President Young did not make it, neither did
          Joseph Smith make it; but by the request of the people he asked
          the Lord what His will was, and this was the answer; and this was
          given in 1838. And does it not seem strange that we do not
          comprehend it? I think it does sometimes. Here we have had the
          Doctrine and Covenants in our hands, which contain this
          revelation, since the year 1838; that is nearly forty-two years
          ago. We have had forty-two years to study this doctrine, and it
          is as plain as you can make it, and yet it would seem that we
          cannot understand it. Do we want to understand the laws of God?
          If we do, and will read these things under the influence of that
          spirit which I have referred to, I think that we will understand
          our duties without much trouble.
          13
          Now then, if Zion--we were talking about building up Zion--I am
          not going to enter into the whys and wherefores of these things,
          but will say it is a test to the people of God, or for us who
          profess to be, that we may know whether people will observe a
          certain specific law given by the Almighty or not, and thus have
          a proof of their fidelity and obedience. Now, if we abide this,
          all is well and good; if not, it is written, "They shall not be
          found worthy to abide among you." What will you do with them? I
          often think that there are a great many people who are not worthy
          to abide among us; don't you? And then if God were to put
          judgment to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, most of
          us would be in a very poor fix. I will tell you what I think
          should be done, and that is why I am treating upon this subject
          to-day. I think the people ought to be instructed in these
          things, and then if they do not live up to them you will not then
          be held responsible to the authorities that preside over you. The
          Lord tells us that they shall not be worthy of a place among us.
          Do we want to alter that? Not one iota. Would I wish to be harsh
          to men that are ignorant? No, I would not; I would bear with
          them, and teach them and instruct them. And if I were a Bishop I
          should instruct my Teachers to do it; and then by and by, after
          they were fully informed, and had every opportunity to become
          acquainted with things, we might take final action in relation to
          their standing. I would not wish to enforce that law at present,
          until men were thoroughly informed. For instance, the case I
          referred to yesterday. There were two men; one paid $100 in
          tithing, the other paid $25 in tithing. Both of them owned about
          the same amount of property; but the first paid his tithing, the
          other did not. The second, however, paid some $75 in donations;
          but he did not pay his tithing, he only paid a quarter of it.
          That now may have arisen from ignorance with regard to the law.
          The last paid out as much money as the first; and he may have
          been wrongly taught. Some of the Bishops do not understand these
          things, and yet we have had this doctrine given unto us for
          forty-two years. Has a man a right to turn and change things as
          he pleases? I have not, and I do not believe any other man has.
          And if any Bishop or a President of a Stake or anybody else tells
          you that you can do as you please about the disposition you make
          of the means you pay, as long as you pay a certain amount, or you
          may pay it on Tithing or not, as you please, I tell you that he
          teaches false doctrine. But should we be hard with such people?
          No. If they have been under influences of this nature and been
          wrongly taught, I will say, as a certain party said to me who had
          been doing these things, "I will switch off and pay my Tithing
          according to the law." You, Bishops and Presidents of Stakes,
          switch off and get the people to do things right. There is no
          commandment about donations, but there is about Tithing; and I am
          not at liberty to change this, neither any other man.
          15
          I will follow this subject a little further. We are talking about
          building up Zion. Here is where the thing applies itself with
          great force to me as well as to you, when you comprehend it as it
          exists and see it by the light of the Spirit of Truth. For it is
          written: "And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law,
          to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto
          me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that
          it may be most holy, behold, verily I say unto you, it shall not
          be a land of Zion unto you." Well, we are talking about building
          up the land of Zion, which is one of the things we are here for.
          And God has said that if we do not obey this law, it shall not be
          a land of Zion unto us. Does this apply to us? I will read a
          little further: "And this shall be an ensample unto all the
          Stakes of Zion. Now, I speak these things for your information. I
          will go a little farther upon the subject. A person wrote me a
          letter, stating that a young man had applied to a certain Bishop
          for a recommend to get married. He asked him if he had paid his
          Tithing. He answered, No. "Well," said the Bishop, "We are
          instructed not to give recommends to those who do not pay their
          Tithing." "But," said the young man, my father I suppose paid my
          Tithing for me." If this was so, that would be very proper,
          especially in farming districts, where the grown sons assist in
          cultivating the farm, and the daughters, perhaps, assist in
          making the butter and cheese, etc. When the Tithing on the whole
          is paid, that is all straight enough, because what is made is the
          proceeds of the united labor of the family, and the family are
          all, of course, represented until they come to age. And then
          what? Why then comes another state of things. "Have you paid your
          Tithing since you left your father?" the young man was asked. No.
          Why? I have been careless and indifferent and I have not done
          what was right. Well, if you haven't paid your Tithing, and you
          seem to have forgotten God, why is it that you want to get
          married according to the laws of God? Why not get married in some
          other way, seeing that you observe not the laws of God? Well, in
          the first place, my father and mother wish me to be married
          according to the laws of God; and then my intended wife's father
          and mother want us to be married in that way; and again, the girl
          has told me that she will not have me unless we get married in
          that way. I will here remark, I think this very sensible and
          creditable on the part of the young lady; I think she acted very
          wisely, and I wish all our young sisters felt the same, and they
          ought to on a matter of such importance to them. Says the young
          man further: "I have a desire to keep the laws of God, for I was
          born in the Church, and I have grown up with such feelings, but I
          was not man enough to practice them. But if you give me the
          recommend I will try and do it in the future." But the question
          is, under these circumstances, should the recommend be given? I
          could not do it, unless there was some visible manifestation on
          his part to mend his ways and to make up the thing he had been
          deficient in. "Why," it may be asked, "Is it not better to have
          our sons married in the right way and be kind to them, than to
          see them go elsewhere to be married." As I said yesterday, as I
          say to-day, if it were a son of mine I could not give him the
          recommend; and other men's sons under the same circumstances are
          no better than mine. It is principle we are to be governed by. I
          am not here, you are not here to carry out our own designs, and
          feelings, and purposes. Why, Jesus himself did not come to do
          that. According to His own words, He came not to do his own will,
          but the will of his Father who sent Him. And we are here not to
          do our own will, but the will of the Father who also sent us, and
          who has called us to our holy and exalted calling. And what shall
          be done? Unless this young man could convince me, if I were a
          Bishop, that he was sincere in his heart and made some
          satisfactory attempt at fulfilling this law, I would not give him
          a recommend. What? Would Elders of Israel take men into the House
          of God, would you, because God has revealed some of the greatest
          blessings that can be conferred upon humanity, blessings which
          thousands and tens of thousands of good men sang about and prayed
          about and longed to receive, but who died without enjoying them,
          should we take a man, a man whom this Book says, shall not be
          worthy to abide amongst you, should we, I say, take him through
          the House of the Lord and confer and seal upon him blessings and
          lives eternal, and thrones and principalities and powers and
          dominions, and introduce him into the society of the highest
          intelligences that exist in the eternal worlds? I forbid you to
          do it in the name of the Lord. We cannot do it, we are not at
          liberty to do it, neither are we at liberty to use our judgment
          in regard to it either. If we bear with men in their weakness and
          infirmity and are obliged to carry a lot of men like so many
          automatons, the time will come and it must come when they will be
          shut out, they will not be found worthy to abide among you; they
          are not worthy now. But we have to bear with them until they are
          better informed; but until then they must do the best they can,
          for they cannot go into the House of the Lord, they cannot be
          sealed up to eternal lives, they cannot have part in the
          blessings which God has conferred upon us until they bring forth
          fruits meet for repentance.
          15
          I will take it in another point of view. We pay our Tithing and
          we pay Temple donations, we attend to the duties of the House of
          the Lord; we go forth and proclaim the Gospel of peace to the
          nations of the earth; we convert people, under the blessing of
          God, and they come to a knowledge of the principles of the
          Gospel, and we continue our labors to build up Zion; looking at
          it in this light, would it be just, after we have laid out our
          means, would it be in accordance with the principles of equity to
          grant this privilege to such men, a privilege which we have
          earned and, in a certain sense, paid for? It is generally the
          case that they are the first to rush forward and want certain
          blessings without earning them. Jesus said in His day that the
          "kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by
          force." These are some of that class who crowd in where they are
          not worthy to tread. These temporal matters they assume are of
          very little importance, they are of very little importance
          judging from the way that many of us labor; but they are of very
          great importance when weighed in the balances of truth, the
          principles of eternal life which God has revealed are of the
          utmost importance to the Saints, both to the living and the dead,
          to the myriads of men that have lived and that may live, these
          things are of vast importance.
          16
          I thought I would talk a little upon this subject this morning. I
          will now offer a few remarks upon another subject. We talk
          sometimes about justice; and I have noticed the spirit manifested
          among us sometimes, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."
          This is something that really does not belong to us. We are full
          of infirmities. We pray to the Father to forgive our trespasses
          as we forgive them that trespass against us. How often do we sin
          against God? Many times, and ask His forgiveness. How often
          should I forgive my brother? I hear people say, "here is such and
          such a man, he has wronged me, and I cannot forgive him." Then
          you have not the true spirit of the Gospel. "But he has acted so
          meanly towards me, he has injured my reputation, and he sought to
          do it." Bless your soul, he cannot injure your reputation if it
          is good; on the contrary, by taking a correct course, according
          to the spirit of the Gospel, he that has traduced you will
          respect you and will be the sufferer, not you. It is our duty to
          forgive our brother seven times, yes, seventy times seven, when
          he turns to you and seeks your forgiveness; and we should forgive
          men in our hearts whether they ask our forgiveness or not. And
          what about our enemies? What shall we do with them? Offer them
          peace and forgive them the first time. And what then? Go again
          the second time and forgive them? Yes, if they ask forgiveness.
          And the third time? Yes; but the fourth time the Lord says thine
          enemy is in thine hand, do with him as seemeth thee good. You
          have then fulfilled the law; and even then, if you are merciful,
          it is said it shall be accounted to you for righteousness. This
          is the law of the Gospel.
          16
          I am desirous to see the people observe this law of Tithing,
          because it is a plain and direct command to us. Not that I care
          anything personally whether people pay their Tithing or not, and
          I do not think the Lord cares much himself. The gold and the
          silver are His, and so are the cattle upon a thousand hills; and
          to Him belongs power to command all things. And what we do
          possess of this world's goods is given unto us to make a wise use
          of, because we cannot take them with us when we shall be called
          hence. It is for us, as Saints of the Most High, to be honest and
          upright and take a correct course, to be full of integrity and
          maintain correct principles everywhere and at all times. If our
          enemies cannot afford to treat us aright, we can afford to treat
          them aright. But we will not barter away our rights, but leave
          ourselves in the hands of God, and seek to Him for His guidance;
          and if we keep His commandments, God's blessing will rest upon
          us. Therefore, in regard to this, it is not a matter of pecuniary
          interest that prompts me to speak to you; it is a test of faith
          which God has given unto us, and which affects us all and that
          for some reason known to God. But speaking of ourselves, it is
          positively stated, as before referred to, that those who do not
          observe this law shall not be considered worthy to abide among
          us; and further, that this shall be a standing law unto all the
          Stakes of Zion. Again, the Lord says: "If my people observe not
          this law, etc., it shall not be a land of Zion unto them."
          16
          We have to build up Zion, and make it the praise of the whole
          earth; but to do this acceptably to God, we must be governed by
          the principles of purity and honesty; truthfulness and integrity
          and all the sterling virtues which God has pointed out for man to
          be governed by. And when the Saints arrive at this state of
          perfection, thus fulfilling this scripture with regard to the
          greatness and splendor of Zion, God will make His people not only
          the richest of all people in spiritual things, but also in
          temporal things.
          16
          God bless you, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / John
          Nicholson, February 6, 1881
                          John Nicholson, February 6, 1881
                           DISCOURSE ON THE BOOK OF MORMON,
                              BY ELDER JOHN NICHOLSON,
                      Delivered in the Salt Lake Assembly Hall,
                        Sunday Afternoon, February 6th, 1881.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                  THE CHURCH OF CHRIST ORGANIZED ANCIENTLY ON THIS
                                 CONTINENT--PROPHECY
           FULFILLED AND FULFILLING--PREPARATORY WORK FOR THE GATHERING OF
               ALL ISRAEL COMMENCED--PRESENT CONDITION OF THE NATIONS
             FORETOLD--EXHORTATION TO RIGHTEOUSNESS AND THE AVOIDANCE OF
                               HYPOCRISY AND IDOLATRY.
          17
          Having been called from the midst of the congregation to address
          this assemblage this afternoon, I feel my inability personally to
          do justice in the performance of this duty, unless I am aided by
          the spirit of the living God. I earnestly solicit that you will
          exercise faith for me while I shall occupy this position, that I
          may be able to speak through the influence of that power, and
          truthfully present the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
          which the Latter-day Saints have embraced in their faith and
          practice, so far as they understand them.
          18
          There are a great many subjects connected with the plan of
          redemption that are of interest to all who are seeking for
          salvation in the kingdom of God. The field is so wide, in fact,
          that there is sometimes great difficulty in selecting the class
          of matter best suited to the circumstances that immediately
          surround us. There is, however, one phase of this work that I
          think is specially interesting in connection with it. I hold in
          my hand a volume which is known for good or evil throughout the
          entire civilized world--the Book of Mormon. The Latter-day Saints
          claim that this book is a record of peoples that dwelt anciently
          on the face of this continent, and that it was brought forth in
          this generation, through the instrumentality of a great Prophet,
          namely: Joseph Smith. This book has not been generally received
          in this light; in other words, it has been, so far as the great
          bulk of the world is concerned, repudiated as not properly
          authenticated, not what it claims to be. In my travels in the
          world, however, I have found very few people who could give an
          intelligent reason for the repudiative stand they have taken in
          reference to this record. I have asked a great many of them--and
          I presume that numbers of the Elders besides myself have done the
          same thing--whether they had perused this book and endeavored to
          make themselves acquainted with its contents, and also to make
          themselves familiar with the evidences in favor of its
          authenticity. In the majority of instances these have never as
          much as seen a Book of Mormon. Now, it appears to me that this is
          not a proper position to be taken in regard to any subject by an
          intelligent person. If a matter is worthy of consideration at all
          it should be intelligently investigated. This is the only method
          by which we can arrive at correct conclusions in reference to
          religion or any other subject.
          18
          We claim this book is a record or history of the ancient
          inhabitants of America, the remnants of whom are now scattered on
          various portions of this continent. Numbers of them surround us
          in these valleys, and are known as the aborigines of America. It
          is unnecessary for me to more than allude to the fact that there
          did exist, in the ages of the past, peoples on this land who had
          arrived at an advanced stage of civilization, and who cultivated
          the arts and sciences. The ruins of vast cities, among which are
          the remains of great structures, giving ample evidence of this
          fact. This testimony is presented before the world and is being
          constantly produced for the consideration of the reading public.
          Then there was a people anciently upon this continent who were in
          a condition of advancement; this is universally acknowledged, I
          believe, by those who have considered this question. When Jesus
          came to offer himself up as an atonement to satisfy the law that
          had been broken by mankind, and to organize his Church in the
          land of Palestine, he did so organize what he called his Church.
          It was composed, so far as its officers are concerned, of men who
          were inspired of God, and who were directly authorized and
          commissioned by Him to act in His name and to administer the
          principles of life and salvation wherever they went. What was the
          nature of their commission? He said to His ancient Apostles whom
          He commissioned: "Go ye into the world and preach the Gospel to
          every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
          and he that believeth not shall be damned." The Apostles,
          according to the power that was given to them, and according to
          the nature of the commission with which they were thus entrusted,
          went into the various parts of the world and made this
          proclamation, calling upon all men everywhere to repent of their
          sins, to obey the everlasting Gospel that they might be saved in
          the Kingdom of God, to come into the true fold of Christ. Nobly
          did they perform the great work that was entrusted to them. But,
          so far as we are aware, they did not extend their labors to this
          part of the world; for the peoples who dwelt on the eastern
          hemisphere were ignorant of the existence of this continent. Yet
          the Lord Jesus Christ said to His Apostles: "Go ye therefore and
          teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
          of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." Now, seeing there was a people
          here on this continent, surely they were entitled to the benefits
          of the Gospel of the Redeemer as well as those who lived on other
          parts of the earth. We find that so far as the Book of Mormon is
          concerned, an explanation is given in regard to how the people
          who lived on this portion of our globe were visited and
          administered to in the things of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even
          as those ministrations were manifested in other parts of the
          world.
          19
          Sometimes we allude to the Scriptures and select passages to
          substantiate those things that are written in the Book of Mormon.
          I will now draw the attention of the congregation to a passage
          that we consider has reference to this subject, which is found in
          the 10th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, the 15th
          and 16th verses: "As the Father knoweth me"--these are the words
          of the Savior--"even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life
          for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this
          fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and
          there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." What is the necessary
          conclusion to be arrived at from this remark of the Savior? It is
          very plain and simple. There were other sheep who were not of the
          fold at Jerusalem, and it was necessary that they also should
          hear the voice of the Savior and be brought into the fold of
          Christ, that there might be one fold and one shepherd.
          20
          The Book of Mormon, from page 501 to 540, gives an account of the
          fulfilment of this inspired utterance of the Redeemer. It tells
          how, after he was crucified in the flesh, at Jerusalem, and
          showed himself to many of his disciples, He, in fulfilment of
          this assertion, that he had "other sheep," that he must visit
          them, and that they also must hear his voice and be brought into
          the fold, visited the ancients on this land and established His
          fold amongst them. He performed that work on this continent,
          among the people of whom the Book of Mormon is a history or
          record. What is the fold of Christ? It is the Church of Christ.
          What is the Church of Christ? It is an organized body, at the
          head of which stands Apostles, and Prophets. That was the Church
          of the Redeemer in ancient times, it was the Church established
          by himself in Palestine, and it always will be the Church as long
          as there is a true Church of Christ--not a revelationless,
          uninspired, dead formula, "having a form of godliness but denying
          the power thereof," but an organization wherein there is
          authority to act in the name of him whose Church it is. Men are
          reasonable upon most subjects, it appears to me, excepting when
          it comes to matters of religion. A great many people seem to be
          willing that any thing should do for them in the shape of
          religion, so long as it does not give them much trouble. But
          there is nothing by which humanity can be sanctified unless it be
          the truth; and no church can offer salvation except it be the
          true Church of Christ, for in it alone is the power of God unto
          salvation. It is a strange thing that people can read the record
          of the New Testament, of the sayings of the Apostles, the
          description of the organization of the Church as it existed in
          its primitive completeness and power, and then be prepared to
          accept of a church of a different description entirely. This is a
          day when revelation is denied, when Prophets and Apostles are
          stated to be no longer needed. This is the position of the whole
          of so-called Christendom. But what do the Scriptures say these
          inspired teachers were given for? Paul says they were given "for
          the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of
          Christ,"--and if we say that such officers are no longer needed,
          then we must also assume the position that the ministerial work
          can be safely abolished and that the body of Christ which is the
          Church, requires no more edification; for this was the means
          established by Jesus Christ for its edification and instruction.
          Another purpose for which these inspired teachers were given was
          that we might be all brought to a unity of the faith, and yet it
          is stated that those officers who were placed in the Church for
          that purpose are no longer needed. If that assertion were
          correct, unity would be unnecessary in the Church, or else the
          Church has arrived at that condition of unity, when the means for
          bringing about that result is entirely unnecessary and can be
          dispensed with. But no person can claim this latter position.
          Those who call themselves the Church of Christ cannot
          consistently assume this position; for if there is a subject upon
          which men and women are divided in their views and practices, and
          engender towards each other feelings of bitter animosity, it is
          religion, and that also which is claimed to be the religion of
          the meek and lowly Jesus Christ, who came to fill the hearts of
          His disciples with peace. This was His motto, this was the
          proclamation that ushered in his birth, "Glory to God in the
          highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men." We claim
          that it requires the same today to save men and women as it did
          in ancient times.
          21
          But, to return to the Book of Mormon. Portions of Scriptures can
          be cited, to substantiate, or tend to substantiate at least, the
          validity or authenticity of this book. But there are other
          evidences that are more potent in their character, in my
          estimation and these evidences are contained within the book
          itself; it speaks for itself. Its teachings are in the strictest
          harmony with those of the Scriptures of eternal truth; its
          morality is faultless; its religion will bear the closest
          scrutiny in comparison with the instructions of Jesus himself and
          the Apostles, as contained within the lids of the Bible, the
          record that is accepted by Christendom as the history of the
          early Church. But there is internal evidence of the Book of
          Mormon being what we claim it to be, and to have been brought
          forth by the power of the living God. What is the character of
          this evidence? It is prophetic in its nature. I will draw the
          attention of the congregation to one passage that occurs to my
          mind, which will be found on page 122 of the latest edition. It
          gives the words of the Prophet Nephi: "And now I would prophecy
          somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the
          book of which I have spoken shall come forth"--that is the coming
          forth of this book--"and be written unto the Gentiles and sealed
          up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe
          the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth to
          the remnant of our seed. And then shall the remnant of our seed
          know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that
          they are descendants of the Jews. And the Gospel of Jesus Christ
          shall be declared among them; wherefore they shall be restored
          unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of
          Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers. And then shall
          they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them
          from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to
          fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away
          among them save they shall be a white and delightsome people. And
          it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered, also
          shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather
          in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in
          Christ, shall also become a delightsome people. And it shall come
          to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all
          nations, kindreds, tongues and people, to bring about the
          restoration of his people upon the earth." A portion of this
          prediction has received a literal fulfilment, while the remainder
          is in process of verification. The tens of thousands of
          Latter-day Saints render the prophecy that many shall "believe
          the words of the book" an accomplished fact. The inspired
          utterance purports to have been spoken over two thousand years
          ago. The unbeliever may repudiate the claim regarding the ancient
          character of the record, and assume that it originated with
          Joseph Smith. But this would not much improve the position of the
          skeptic, for as the Book of Mormon was published before the
          Church was organized, Joseph Smith had no ordinary means of
          knowing that many would believe in the divine authenticity of the
          book.
          21
          There have been many, I believe, even among the Latter-day
          Saints, who, under the circumstances of the past, have found it
          all that their faith could grasp to believe some of the words
          which I have just read in your hearing--those relating to the
          Lamanites. Nearly from the organization of this Church, and for
          many years subsequently, missionaries, Elders of this Church,
          were sent among the remnants of the ancient people of this
          continent, the aborigines, to endeavor to bring them to a
          knowledge of their fathers. It appeared, however, as if the
          efforts in that direction were fruitless--that these people had
          fallen so low in the scale of being, so depraved that it seemed
          next to impossible for the rays of truth to penetrate their
          minds. It appeared as if we might as well despair of
          accomplishing anything so far as they were concerned. But this is
          an inspired record, and these words which I have read to you this
          afternoon were the inspired utterances of a great Prophet, which
          must come to pass in the last days, in connection with the great
          latter-day dispensation. They have commenced to be fulfilled, not
          by the power of man, but by the power of the living God.
          23
          About seven years ago there was a movement among some of the
          tribes of the people to whom I allude. They came forth and made
          statements to the effect that the Great Spirit had directed them
          to come to the Elders of this Church and be baptized for the
          remission of their sins. There is an Elder in this congregation,
          Brother George H. Hill, who sits in the gallery, who has, as well
          as others, been instrumental in doing much in this direction. As
          many as 300 of these people at one time solicited of him the
          administration of this ordinance. Was it the influence and power
          of man that accomplished this? No, it was not; it was the
          influence and power of the living God, who, according to the Book
          of Mormon, made a promise to the fathers of these people that he
          would visit the remnants of their posterity and restore them to a
          knowledge of their progenitors. This covenant was made with the
          fathers at the solicitation of the latter, who knew by the spirit
          of prophecy that their descendants would become dark and
          benighted, through the influence of apostasy and wickedness. It
          is true that comparatively few of that people have received the
          truth and forsaken their idle habits and evil practices, and are
          endeavoring to live as peaceable and respectable citizens; but
          the work of reclamation has commenced. It has a small beginning,
          but this is the case with nearly all great results. But there is
          an element of growth in this work, and it will increase and
          expand until it shall take many of this portion of the House of
          Israel within the Gospel fold, and they shall accomplish the
          great work that is predicted of them in connection with this last
          dispensation of the fullness of times.
          23
          There is another thing in connection with this great work
          beginning amongst the aborigines--a work that was to be
          contemporaneous with its inauguration. It is predicted in the
          Book of Mormon that when the Lord should remember the portion of
          Israel on this continent, and they should begin to believe the
          words of this book, at that time, contemporaneous with that
          event, the Father would commence to prepare the way among all
          nations for the gathering of the house of Israel from the four
          quarters of the earth to the lands which he had promised to their
          fathers for an everlasting inheritance, to them and their
          children for ever. This was the sign given by the Savior when he
          preached to the ancient inhabitants of this continent, and I will
          show that this was the case, so far as the Book of Mormon records
          the prediction. On page 527 are these words: "And when these
          things come to pass, that thy seed shall begin to know these
          things, it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the
          work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of
          the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the
          house of Israel." And again, on page 529: "And then shall the
          work of the Father commence at that day, even when this Gospel
          shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily, I say
          unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among
          all the dispersed of my people; yea, even the tribes that have
          lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the
          work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with
          the Father, to prepare the way whereby they may call on the
          Father in my name. Yea, and then shall the work commence, with
          the Father, among all nations, in preparing the way whereby his
          people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. And
          they shall go out from all nations."
          23
          Here is a statement that is made in connection with this work;
          here is a prediction that when the Lamanites should commence to
          believe in the words of this book, the Father was to commence to
          gather the whole house of Israel and to prepare a way amongst all
          nations. Is this the case? If this be an inspired utterance, then
          the Lord is preparing the way, and has been ever since this sign
          became a fact--for the gathering of the Jews and the other
          branches of the whole house of Israel. Has this been so?
          23
          I draw the attention of the congregation to recent events in the
          political world, which point in that direction. Shortly after
          this work commenced among the remnants of Israel on this
          continent, there was warfare between Russia and Turkey, which
          culminated in what is known as the famous Berlin Treaty, in the
          production of which Lord Beaconsfield, himself a Jew, was the
          leading spirit. There are clauses in that treaty that are
          favorable to the accomplishment of the work to which I
          allude--the gathering of the house of Israel from the nations of
          the earth to the lands that were promised to their fathers, to
          them and to their children for ever. Political freedom,
          comparatively speaking, was, by that instrument, granted to the
          Jews contiguous to Palestine--in Romania and other principalities
          of the East. A short time subsequent to the formation and
          ratification of the treaty, Great Britain assumed a protectorate
          over that part of the world in which is Palestine, and the Jews
          have rights now accorded to them that they have not enjoyed for
          many generations. But one of the greatest evidences of all is the
          fact that the Jews themselves are beginning to awaken upon this
          subject and are operating with a view to the colonization of
          ancient Palestine by the house of Israel. A Mr. Oliphant, not
          long since, applied to the Sultan of Turkey for the privilege of
          purchasing portions of Palestine for this very purpose, and
          organizations are being affected in various parts of the world
          with no other object in view than the one to which I am now
          alluding. There is another thing that I believe will aid this
          work of influencing the ancient people of God to go to their own
          land, and that is the circumstances by which they are being
          surrounded in some of the countries of Europe. They are being
          persecuted in Germany and Russia, and the condition of Europe is
          becoming so disturbed and so broken up, and business matters are
          becoming so uncertain, that I expect these circumstances will
          lead the Jews to consider the question of establishing a Hebrew
          nationality before long; for we are living in the very day when
          God will fulfil the promises he made to Israel. Let the people
          hear it, for it has been uttered by the voice of inspiration,
          ancient and modern, and the words of the Lord, through his
          servants, will not fall to the ground, but will be fulfilled to
          the very letter.
          24
          Why, my brethren and sisters, are we not more familiar with the
          contents of this book? No Latter-day Saint can intelligently
          comprehend the signs of the times unless he is informed in regard
          to the teachings of this record. In the early rise of the Church
          the Lord manifested his displeasure with the Saints because they
          did not pay sufficient attention to the revelations contained in
          the Book of Mormon, and that book itself promises and the
          revelations through the Prophet Joseph promise, that, in the due
          time of the Lord, when the people are sufficiently advanced to
          receive them, other records of momentous importance shall be
          brought forth for the consideration of the Saints; but I do not
          think we will receive anything additional to what we have already
          obtained in this form until we have manifested a suitable
          appreciation of that which has already been given to us. This
          record and the revelations of Jesus Christ generally have been
          given for the perusal of the people, that they may reflect upon
          them, upon the principles that they make manifest, upon the law
          of God, that the law may be written in their hearts, and that
          they may be men and women of understanding. It must be pleasing,
          however, to every person who is interested in this great work, to
          see that there is a fresh impetus in this direction. The Saints
          are giving more attention to what God has revealed for our
          acceptance and which is contained in the records which have been
          given to this Church. I believe this spirit will increase,
          because when the minds of the people are bent in that direction,
          their appetites for the things of God are increased and they
          desire more, which shall accordingly be given them.
          25
          How clearly is the condition of the nations of the earth to-day
          depicted in this book! It is stated, near to the quotation which
          I first made, that in these latter days God would create a great
          division among the people, that the wicked would destroy the
          wicked. There is a question on a subject that is clearly
          described in this record, that is drawing the attention of the
          ablest minds of the age. It is an influence that is shaking the
          governments and nations of the earth from centre to
          circumference--I refer now to the "secret societies" that are
          filling the heads of governments with fear, that commit all kinds
          of diabolical depredations among the nations, and that are even
          threatening their very existence. These societies, which are
          inspired by a desire to throw off every kind of legal restraint,
          exist, in some form or another, in almost every nation under
          heaven, and especially in those nations claiming to be civilized.
          Perhaps this is what is meant by the great division among the
          people. This subject was brought up before the mind of Moroni,
          the last man in whose custody the plates from which this record
          was translated were, and who was so highly privileged as to hide
          them up in the hill Cumorah, where they were found by the Prophet
          Joseph Smith, in this age, being directed to obtain them by the
          angel of the Lord. It was a habit with Moroni, while making the
          closing portion of this record, to discourse upon the subject
          matter, to speak with the peoples of the earth who would live in
          this day in which you and I are living as if he spoke to them
          face to face, as one man speaks with another, and warn them of
          the evils that would exist among them and the destruction that
          would fall upon their heads. He also called upon them, by the
          voice of prophecy, to repent of their sins and accept of the plan
          of redemption, that they might be saved in the kingdom of the
          Father. Perhaps it would be interesting to you, considering the
          nature of the times in which we live, to draw your attention to
          what he (Moroni) says about this very condition to which he
          pointed by the spirit of prophecy, a condition that was to exist
          in the day in which we live. You will find it on page 588. He is
          now addressing the Gentiles who would be living when this book
          would be brought forth, and the work of the Father commenced.
          Hear his words: "And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret
          combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread out
          over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed, for the Lord
          will not suffer that the blood of his Saints, which shall be shed
          by them, shall always cry unto him from the ground for vengeance
          upon them, and yet he avenge them not. Wherefore, O ye Gentiles,
          it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you,
          that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that
          these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built
          up to get power and gain, and the work, yea, even the work of
          destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of
          the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and
          destruction, if ye shall suffer these things to be. Wherefore the
          Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among
          you, that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation,
          because of this secret combination which shall be among you, or
          woe be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain;
          for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon
          those who build it up. For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth
          it up, seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations and
          countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people,
          for it is built up by the devil who is the father of all lies;
          even that same liar who beguiled our first parents; yea, even
          that same liar who hath caused man to commit a murder from the
          beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men, that they have
          murdered the Prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from
          the beginning." Now here is a prophecy. There is no ambiguity in
          reference to these words. This Prophet is speaking as if he were
          speaking face to face with those who would be living in this day,
          and he tells them to beware of these things, and we witness the
          fulfilment of his words, for such things are among the nations of
          the earth to-day, and are spreading everywhere and causing
          anxiety and fear to take hold of the hearts of the people.
          25
          These predictions and many others that are receiving a literal
          verification, establish the inspiration and genuineness of this
          record, which was brought forth by the instrumentality of Joseph
          Smith to this generation. It is an inspired record, and contains
          within itself the evidences of its authenticity. Men have but to
          give this subject an unprejudiced investigation, considering it
          upon its merits to come to that conclusion. Although people may
          not be willing to admit that it is of divine origin, that it is
          an inspired record, they surely cannot, at least, set aside the
          facts which it enunciates.
          26
          Let us, then, who belong to this great Church--the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--prize that which God has given
          to us for our instruction and edification, and let us not treat
          them as things that are of no moment. We live in a great day, the
          greatest of all ages, the greatest of all dispensations. It is a
          great privilege to be associated with so noble a work as that
          with which we are connected, and I believe that the time will
          soon come when this Church will go forth clear, purified by the
          agencies which God will bring to bear upon it for that purpose. I
          expect to see the time come when the hypocrite in Zion shall
          tremble, being afraid because of the power of God that shall be
          in the midst of the people who will be living as they should
          live. I expect to see the day when there shall be less worshiping
          of the god of this world, which wins the hearts of many people
          from the worship of the true and living God. There is a sin which
          God has denounced in every age; it is the sin of idolatry. In
          ancient times, when people were less cultured than they are now,
          they bowed themselves down before blocks of wood and stone, and
          golden calves, and worshiped at such shrines, prostrating the
          powers that God had given them before that which was dumb and
          unintelligent. But there are different forms of idolatry.
          Whatever a person uses his powers most to accomplish is that
          which he worships. If a man has given him exclusively in pursuing
          the object of self-aggrandizement--the building up of self, to
          all intents and purposes that individual is an idolater before
          the shrine of mammon. God is a jealous God, and He wills not that
          any of His people should have any other God than Him. Let the
          poor and the meek be lifted up in their hearts and rejoice before
          God, for He hath them in remembrance, and let those who truckle
          to position and to wealth beware, for the Lord will not suffer it
          long. Let the hand of fellowship be extended to him who is cast
          down, that he may be comforted. Surround him with a halo of love
          and friendship, and let him know that he is not forgotten, and
          the Lord will remember those who act this brotherly part. I am
          reminded sometimes of the weakness of humanity, when called to
          the scenes of death which sometimes visit us. We are called to
          the funeral of some man, some Elder in Israel, or some sister or
          friend who has departed this life; and, O, how we love to dwell
          upon their good qualities, to speak of their goodness and to cast
          the vail of undiscerning charity over their faults. We should not
          wait until our brethren and sisters are seized with the chill
          hand of death, and their bodies are about to be laid in the cold
          tomb, to recognize the good points in their characters. We should
          manifest a little of that appreciation while we are surrounded by
          them. This course would be much more consistent. Let us cultivate
          the spirit of the living God, which leads to righteousness. Every
          sentiment of our hearts that leads to good is planted there by
          the living God, and that which leads to evil is placed there by
          the adversary of our souls. There are but two sources, one of
          light and one of darkness. The Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, is
          given to us to cultivate in our hearts as a well of water
          springing up to everlasting life. It can be so cultivated in a
          human being that it can be listened to as a voice of a familiar
          friend, in every time of difficulty and trial. Its voice is known
          and distinguished as a voice of friendship, for that spirit is
          the friend of every Saint who cultivates its acquaintance. It is
          a searcher, a deep searcher, of the motives by which men and
          women are inspired. If we merely have an outward semblance of
          righteousness and our motives within are not of the godlike
          character they should be, that spirit will depart from us,
          leaving us in greater darkness than before we possessed the Holy
          Spirit. This Church is a brotherhood or it is nothing. It is a
          unity; it is the highest phase of communism and individualism
          combined. It cultivates man to perfection as a social and
          individual being. It meets the legitimate wants and aspirations
          of every class of humanity.
          27
          I pray that the power of God may increase in the midst of the
          people from the head to the feet, throughout the whole of the
          body religious, and that we may be successful in uprooting evils
          that are manifested in our midst as a community or as
          individuals. God has revealed the laws and principles for the
          purification of His Church. They are contained in His statute
          books--in the Book of Mormon, in the Doctrine and Covenants,
          containing the revelations of Jesus Christ, and in this Bible.
          The Lord tells us we are to deal with all things according to the
          laws of His Church. We know what these things are; they are
          contained in these books to which I refer. Then I say that the
          law of God and the power of God will ultimately correct every
          evil existing in the Church of Christ, for it must ultimately
          become pure, and those who will not purify themselves will,
          sooner or later, be cast off from the body-religious, as not of
          that kind of material to be used in the building up of the
          glorious kingdom of our Heavenly Father.
          27
          I pray that we may be continually awake to the signs of the times
          in which we live; that we may see the importance of every one
          attending to his and her duties, according to the sphere in which
          each moves; and that we may be on the alert, avoiding everything
          that is evil, is my desire, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / Orson
          Pratt, October 10th, 1880
                           Orson Pratt, October 10th, 1880
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
                Delivered at the General Conference, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Morning, October 10th, 1880.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                  THE DIVINE AUTHORITY OF THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD, ETC.
          27
          I have been asked by President Taylor to address the congregation
          this morning on a particular subject, in which we are all
          interested, namely, the divine authority of the Priesthood,
          divine callings, ordinances, etc.
          27
          We have in this Church several thousand male members who hold
          authority and power which they say is from heaven. If it be from
          heaven, as we testify, and have testified ever since the rise of
          the Church, then the Lord our God has manifested his power, and
          in His mercy has once more bestowed authority upon the children
          of men to administer His holy ordinances, and to occupy the
          positions to which we have severally been called. On the other
          hand, if the views of the world are correct--they do not consider
          us to have any authority--we are then on the same ground and
          platform with the rest of the religious world, there is no
          authority upon the earth. One or the other is true.
          27
          There never was a principle more clearly proven than that the
          inhabitants of the earth are destitute of all divine authority,
          among all religious denominations, whether Pagan, Mohammedan or
          so-called Christian; the authority cannot be found throughout all
          the various denominations that have existed through the long
          period of time called the dark ages, until the Lord, in His
          mercy, has organized His Church again on the earth and bestowed
          that authority, and if He has not, there are no persons upon this
          whole earth that have any authority from the heavens; and
          therefore we are just as well off as the balance of them.
          28
               We are not indebted to man for the various authorities in
          this Church; this is our testimony. Man did not commence this
          work, man is not the originator of this work, neither is he the
          origin of the authority by which we administer. The Lord did not
          see proper to organize the authority of this Church all at once
          in all the various councils and authorities that, from time to
          time, have been ordained among this people; it was a gradual
          work. Authority was bestowed before there was any Church. First
          (not the authority of the Priesthood) but the authority to bring
          forth the plates of the Book of Mormon, and to translate them by
          the Urim and Thummim, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. This
          was the first authority conferred upon the one whom the Lord
          chose to commence this great work. The authority of the
          Priesthood was not conferred upon him at that time, but He
          revealed unto him concerning the everlasting Gospel contained in
          the ancient records kept by the Nephites, or Israelites, upon
          this great Western Continent.
          29
          Joseph Smith, when he translated these records by the aid of the
          Urim and Thummim, had not yet received any Priesthood, so far as
          his temporal existence was concerned. But now, do not
          misunderstand me in regard to this position. He did hold the
          Priesthood before he came here upon the earth. I remarked that
          Joseph, so far as any ordination here in the flesh was concerned,
          held no Priesthood at the time that he brought forth the plates
          of the Book of Mormon and translated them; but he did hold the
          Priesthood, which was conferred upon him in the councils of
          eternity, before this world was formed. You will find this
          recorded in a sermon delivered by the Prophet Joseph, showing
          that not only he, but also all of the faithful that have received
          the Priesthood here in this life, were ordained before the
          foundation of the world. Consequently, they had the ordination;
          that ordination was after the order of Him who is from all
          eternity to all eternity, an everlasting Priesthood, without
          father, without mother, without beginning, without end; having
          been handed down from all eternity. That Priesthood was conferred
          upon Joseph Smith before he came here; he was among those that
          are spoken of in "The Pearl of Great Price," whom the ancient
          Prophets saw in heaven. Moses saw them, and Abraham saw them,
          namely, the spirits that existed before the world was made; and
          they saw that among that vast number of spirits there were some
          choice ones, some that were noble in the sight of God, probably
          because of their integrity and steadfastness in upholding truth;
          among those noble ones were those whom the Lord chose before the
          foundation of the world to come forth upon the earth in their
          second estate, and to hold authority and power in the various
          dispensations, and to administer the plan of salvation to the
          human family. Abraham was among that number. The High Priests
          that lived from the days of Adam down to the flood were among
          that number, who were then chosen and then ordained, according to
          the fore-knowledge of God. It is recorded in the Book of Alma
          regarding the Priesthood, that the ordinances of the Priesthood
          and the calling to the Priesthood were without beginning or end.
          There may be a beginning to the person who is called, but that
          Priesthood existed before that person was called, and there was
          no beginning to the calling, no beginning to the ordinances of
          the Priesthood, no beginning to the Priesthood itself, being
          handed down from all eternity, being in existence in all of the
          worlds that were worthy of having the Priesthood and authority
          from God. The reason for my making this observation is to clear
          up one point which may perhaps trouble the minds of some of the
          Latter-day Saints.
          29
          You have read in the revelation given on the 22d day of
          September, 1832, that without the Priesthood and the ordinances
          thereof, the power of godliness is not manifested unto men in the
          flesh. You have also read in that same revelation, that without
          the ordinances of that Priesthood and the power thereof to
          administer to the children of men no man could see the face of
          God the Father and live. When you read this plain saying your
          minds may have reverted back to the days when there was no
          Priesthood so far as ordination was concerned, on this earth, I
          mean the ordination that took place here. You find a little boy,
          Joseph Smith, calling upon the name of the Lord, in the spring of
          the year 1820 before he was not yet fifteen years of age; and the
          result of his calling upon the name of the Lord was that a pillar
          of fire appeared in the heavens above him, and it continued to
          descend and grow brighter and brighter, until it reached the top
          of the trees that were growing around about where he was praying;
          and so great was the glory of this light that this lad, this
          youth, this boy, seemed to feel almost fearful lest the trees
          themselves would be consumed by it. But it continued to descend
          until it rested upon this lad and immediately his mind was caught
          away from the surrounding objects, was swallowed up in a heavenly
          vision, in which he saw two glorious personages, one was the
          Father, the other was the Son.
          29
          "No man without the Priesthood, can behold the face of the Father
          and live."
          29
          Now, this has troubled the minds of some of the Latter-day
          Saints. "How is it, (say they) that Joseph lived, after having
          seen the face of the Father, after having heard the words of His
          mouth, after the Father had said unto him, 'He is my beloved Son,
          hear ye him.'"
          30
          If you had thought upon this other subject, namely, that Joseph
          had been already ordained before this world was made,--to what
          Priesthood? To the Priesthood after the Order of an Endless Life,
          a Priesthood that is everlasting, a Priesthood handed down, that
          had no beginning, a Priesthood after the holiest Order of God, a
          Priesthood that was after the Order of His Only Begotten Son. If
          you had only reflected that that same Priesthood had been
          conferred upon him in the councils of the holy ones before the
          world was made, and that he was ordained to come forth in this
          dispensation of the fulness of times to hold the keys of
          authority and power of that high and holy Priesthood,--that he
          was ordained to come forth and perform the work that God intended
          to accomplish in the latter times, then the mystery would have
          been cleared up to your minds. He was not without the Priesthood
          in reality; but was a man chosen, a man ordained, a man appointed
          from before the foundation of this world, to come forth in the
          fulness of times to introduce the last dispensation among the
          children of men; to come in order to organize that kingdom that
          was predicted by the ancient Prophets, that should stand for
          ever; to come to fulfil the great and glorious work of
          preparation for the coming of the Son of God to reign in
          righteousness upon the earth; he could see the face of God the
          Father and live. But after having received this heavenly vision,
          after having brought forth the Book of Mormon, and translated it,
          (the Lord having prepared a way by which the book could be
          printed,) and having received the command of the Almighty to
          organize the Church, and having received the Priesthood
          re-confirmed upon him by Peter, James and John and prior to that
          having received the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, on the 15th
          day of May, 1829,--having all these preparations here in the
          flesh as well as having been preordained to this mission, he was
          prepared to begin the work that should be everlasting, or in
          other words, the establishment of the kingdom of God that should
          never again be taken away from the earth.
          30
          The Apostleship being conferred--the Aaronic Priesthood having
          been previously conferred--all the powers of the Priesthood
          rested upon this man, and he had the right to the authority to
          administer, not only in the introductory principles of the Gospel
          of the Son of God, by which people might be born into the
          kingdom, but also had the authority and the power from the
          heavens to administer in all the sacred ordinances of this
          kingdom, at least so far as the building up of the Church was
          concerned, and of officiating in the various offices of the
          Priesthood. After having conferred this authority and power, the
          Lord was prepared to give little by little, one portion or degree
          of Priesthood after another, until by and by, in accordance with
          the revelation given in June, 1829, He called twelve men to be
          Apostles, some three or four years after the revelation was
          given, when it was predicted that such should be the case. What
          did we know about the callings and duties of this council of the
          Twelve? Nothing, only as God revealed it through His servant
          Joseph.
          30
          After this Apostleship was given, some were faithful therein,
          others were not; some lost the authority of the Priesthood,
          others retained it, and the blessings of God were upon those that
          were faithful in their calling, while the curse of an offended
          God followed those who abused this sacred trust, and their
          Priesthood was taken from them and conferred upon others that
          were worthy of it. The Lord also, about the same time that He
          called the Twelve Apostles, was prepared to call Seventies to
          minister under the direction of the Twelve; and many were
          ordained to this Apostleship, and they were men who had proven
          themselves faithful before the Lord: and others were perhaps
          ordained who had not been fully proven, and therefore the
          opportunity was afforded them, acting upon the agency they had in
          common with all men, of proving themselves before God. Some of
          them were faithful, others were unfaithful; those that were
          unfaithful apostatized eventually and left the Church, while
          those that were faithful continued in their office and calling
          until many of them passed down to the tomb; and having magnified
          the good office and calling that had been conferred upon them,
          they will claim, in the eternal worlds the blessings appertaining
          to their several offices.
          31
          And what did we know about these Seventies and their particular
          calling? Were there specified duties assigned to that body of men
          anciently, whose call by the Savior is recorded in the New
          Testament? No, we were ignorant. The Prophet himself, the Twelve
          and all that had been called, knew nothing in relation to the
          duties of these Seventies until the Lord revealed what they were,
          and at the same time He pointed out the duties of the Presidency
          of the Seventies, both the duties of the seven men constituting
          the Presidency of all the Seventies, and also those of the seven
          men that were to preside over each Council of the Seventies. The
          Lord made manifest these things not all at once, but from time to
          time, as the people progressed and were counted worthy in His
          sight to receive further knowledge upon these things. You may
          ask, why it was that the Lord did not give the whole pattern at
          once, why He did not unfold everything all in a moment? It was
          because we were as little children then, and indeed I am of the
          opinion that many of us are little children still--and we could
          not bear all things at once; therefore He revealed unto us enough
          from time to time to set our minds reflecting; He revealed
          sufficient to cause us to be stirred up in our minds to pray unto
          Him; and when we prayed unto Him about any of the duties of the
          Priesthood, then He would reveal it. But He would be sought unto
          by His people before He would reveal a fulness of knowledge upon
          these important subjects. This seeking unto the Lord to obtain
          little by little, and precept by precept in the knowledge of the
          things of God, is just the way a wise parent would instruct his
          own sons. Our parents would not tell us all about the various
          branches of education when we were two or three, or four years
          old; but they taught us as children, giving us line upon line
          until we could understand more fully those things that pertained
          to a good education. So the Lord dealt with His people, as a
          wise, judicious, kind-hearted parent, imparting just according to
          the faith of the Latter-day Saints, and according to His own mind
          and will, and good pleasure.
          32
          By and by, after the Church was organized and there being no
          Bishops the Lord saw that it was necessary to introduce some kind
          of a plan in relation to the property of His people in the State
          of New York. What did the Lord say to us under those
          circumstances, when we were not fully organized? Said He to the
          Church in the State of New York, in the General Conference,
          through the mouth of His servant Joseph, in a revelation given on
          the 2d day January, 1831, He said, Let my Church in this land
          flee out from the State of New York; let them go westward to the
          land of Kirtland, and join my people in the State of Ohio; let
          them do this immediately, lest their enemies come upon them, etc.
          The Lord understood what was in the hearts of the enemies of His
          people; He understood what they were doing in their secret
          councils, in their secret chambers to bring to pass the
          destruction of the Latter-day Saints that were in the States of
          New York and Pennsylvania. How shall this work be done? No Bishop
          to take charge of the properties. The Lord said, Let certain men
          among you in the State of New York be appointed to take charge of
          the properties of my people, that which you cannot dispose of or
          sell in time to flee out; let them have charge of it to sell it
          in after times for the benefit of the Church. Here, then, was a
          revelation appointing certain men without ordination, without the
          Bishopric, to handle properties, to do that which Bishops were
          afterwards required to perform. Now, here is a lesson for us.
          Because the Lord does one thing in the year 1831, and points out
          certain men according to the circumstances in which people are
          placed, that is no evidence that He will always continue the same
          order. The Lord deals with the children of men according to
          circumstances, and afterwards varies from that plan according to
          His own good will and pleasure. When these men had fulfilled
          their duties in relation to the properties of the Saints, and the
          Saints had gathered out from New York and Pennsylvania to the
          land of Kirtland, then it became necessary for a regular Bishop
          to be called and ordained, also his Counselors. Did the Lord
          point out that these Bishops should be taken from the High
          Priesthood? No.
          32
          "And again, I have called my servant Edward Partridge and give a
          commandment, that he should be appointed by the voice of the
          Church, and ordained a Bishop unto the Church." And with regard
          to choosing his Counselors, the Lord said they should be selected
          from the Elders of his Church. Why did He say Elders? Because the
          High Priests at that time had not been ordained; that is, they
          had not been ordained under that name. Although the Apostleship
          had been conferred upon Joseph and Oliver, even they were called
          Elders; the word High Priest was not known among them to be
          understood and comprehended until a long time after Bishops were
          called; and that is the reason why the Lord said to Bishop
          Partridge, "select from the Elders of my Church." "But," says one
          who has read the Doctrine and Covenants, "you will find in the
          revelation given on the 6th of April, 1830, something about
          Bishops, High Priests, etc."
          32
          [The speaker was here stopped that an important notice might be
          given out.]
          33
          I was saying that at the time that Bishop Partridge was called
          and ordained a Bishop, on the 4th of February, 1831, that at that
          time there were no High Priests, they were not known under that
          name, but were known under the name of the Apostleship, etc., and
          hence Elders were specified to be called as Counselors. I was
          also saying that in the revelation given on the 6th day of April,
          1830, there was nothing said about High Priests at the time the
          revelation was given; neither about Bishops. But you will find
          two paragraphs in that revelation which mention them, which
          paragraphs were placed there several years after the revelation
          was given, which the Lord had a perfect right to do; and if it
          were necessary we might quote examples from Scripture to show
          that the Lord adds to any revelation when He sees proper, in
          order to make it more fully understood. For instance, you
          recollect that Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah a lengthy
          revelation regarding the king of Israel and the house of Israel.
          And that when the revelation was given to the king of Israel and
          after he "had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the
          penknife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until
          all the roll was consumed." Did the Lord give it over again? Yes,
          "and," says the Scripture, "there were added besides unto them
          many like words," not in the former revelation. If the Lord took
          that method in the days of Jeremiah, was there anything
          inconsistent in the Prophet Joseph, in years afterwards, adding
          the words, "Bishops and High Priests," in order that the people
          might more full understand? My motive in mentioning these things
          is that the people may understand the ways of the Lord. His ways
          are not as the ways of man, neither are His thoughts limited by
          our limited thoughts or conceptions. But He does as He pleases.
          33
          By and by the time came when the Lord saw proper to make manifest
          something in relation to the name and the authority and the power
          of this High Priesthood; showing us that it was after the order
          of His Only Begotten Son, that it holds the keys to power, etc.,
          on the earth.
          33
          Well, after the first Bishop had been chosen, and two Elders
          selected by him to operate with him, his duties began to be more
          fully made manifest. I shall not have time on this occasion to
          point out the various duties that were assigned to Bishop Edward
          Partridge, in the land of Zion, in Jackson County, Missouri, and
          other duties devolving upon him while he yet remained at
          Kirtland. Perhaps it might be well enough, however, to just
          briefly touch upon his duties, that were more fully made manifest
          when he was required to go out from Kirtland about a day's
          journey to the southeast, and organize the Colesville branch in
          the town of Thompson. The Lord told him how to organize the
          people, and that there was a man in the Church whose name was
          Leman Copley, who had a large tract of land, and he covenanted
          before God that if the Colesville Branch would go upon his land,
          they might have their inheritances, etc., and that they might
          enter into the Order of God, as should be pointed out by the
          voice of the Prophet. And when the Prophet Joseph went out to
          Thompson and undertook to organize the Branch according to this
          promise and covenant that was made, Bishop Partridge was there,
          and he had it pointed out to him how he should deal with that
          particular organization, that they should all be made equal, and
          should receive their stewardships, and should consecrate all of
          their property into the hands of the Bishop; and that was made a
          sample for all other churches throughout the Lord's vineyard. You
          may judge whether we have kept it or not. And his duties were
          also made manifest in the latter part of the summer of 1831. And
          many of the first Elders were commanded to go west of Kirtland
          about one thousand miles; and the promise was that the land which
          the Lord intended to give to His people should be made known, and
          it should be told them where the city should be built. In the
          months of July and August of that year, the Lord pointed out more
          fully the duties of Bishop Partridge in regard to dividing the
          land, that is, the land that had been purchased by the Church,
          dividing it out among the various families of the Saints. The
          first families, with the exception of some that had been baptized
          in that land, were faithful ones among the Colesville branch, one
          of the earliest organizations of the Church. They were commanded
          to flee from the town of Thompson, because this rich man had
          broken his covenant. They went up to Jackson County, and Bishop
          Partridge was commanded to divide off to them inheritances by the
          law of consecration.
          34
          Here then was a Bishop whose duties were made known and
          specified, and which were very different in their nature in many
          respects from our Ward Bishops. Can you not see the difference
          between these duties assigned to Edward Partridge, and the duties
          assigned to the several Ward Bishops of our Church? So far as the
          Ward Bishops' duties go, they coincide perfectly with the duties
          that were assigned to this general Bishop. But there were a great
          many things required of him that are not required of Ward
          Bishops; quite different in their duties and in their callings.
          34
          In December, 1831, the Lord saw proper again to give another
          Bishop, his name was Newel K. Whitney. Was he merely a Bishop of
          a Ward, whose jurisdiction was limited to a little spot of ground
          that might be termed a place for the residence of a Ward Bishop?
          No; he was another general Bishop. Bishop Partridge having
          general jurisdiction in Jackson County, and in the regions round
          about; while the duties of Newel K. Whitney extended to the State
          of Ohio and the States of Pennsylvania and New York, and
          throughout all the Eastern countries, wherever the Church of God
          was organized.
          34
          Here were two Bishops, then, one having jurisdiction in the West,
          a thousand miles from the other; the other having jurisdiction in
          the East. Their duties were pointed out, but neither of them was
          a Presiding Bishop. But what were they? As was clearly shown by
          President Taylor at the Priesthood meeting on last evening, they
          were general Bishops. By and by, after the Church of God was
          driven from the State of Missouri, it became necessary to have a
          Presiding Bishop; and the Lord gave a revelation, saying:
          34
          "Let my servant Vinson Knight, and my servant Shadrick Roundy,
          and my servant Samuel H. Smith, be appointed as Presidents over
          the Bishopric of my Church."
          34
          Here, then, is the first intimation that we have of a Presiding
          Bishop. Neither Bishop Partridge nor Newel K. Whitney at that
          time was a presiding Bishop, but each one held distinct
          jurisdiction, presiding in a distinct locality, neither presiding
          over the other. But when Vinson Knight, in years afterwards, was
          called, it was his duty to preside over all of the Bishops that
          were then appointed. Was there any general Bishop after the death
          of Bishop Partridge? Yes:
          34
          "Let my servant, George Miller, receive the Bishopric which was
          conferred upon Edward Partridge, to receive the consecrations of
          my people," etc.
          34
          He was ordained to the same calling, and called to the same
          Bishopric; not to the Presiding Bishopric, but to the same
          Bishopric conferred upon Edward Partridge, to receive the
          consecrations of the Lord's Church, to administer to the poor and
          needy, etc. Here, then, were two distinct orders of Bishops, so
          far as their duties, jurisdiction and responsibilities were
          concerned, but as Bishops they held the same calling as others.
          By and by, in the process of time, as the Church increased and
          multiplied upon the earth, it became necessary that there should
          be local Bishops; hence arose Bishops over this town and over
          that town, not general Bishops, but Ward Bishops, the same as you
          have throughout your respective Stakes.
          35
          Now the duties of these three distinct callings of those that are
          termed Bishops are very different, so far as their duties are
          concerned. The jurisdiction of a Ward Bishop does not go beyond
          his Ward, unless he be particularly called to do so. He must be
          selected, must be appointed, and must be sent to some other place
          in order to have jurisdiction outside of his Ward in the capacity
          of a Bishop. The office of the Presiding Bishop still continues,
          but for some reason we have not at the present time, so far as I
          am aware, any traveling or general Bishop like Bishop Ed.
          Partridge, and like Bishop Newel K. Whitney, who afterwards did
          become a Presiding Bishop. A traveling Bishop in his jurisdiction
          would not be limited to a Ward; it would be his duty if so called
          and appointed to travel through the various Stakes of Zion to
          exhort the people to do their duty, to look after the temporal
          interests of the Church, to humble the rich and the proud and
          lift up the low and the meek of the earth.
          35
          There is another class of Bishops. We find in every Stake of Zion
          what is termed a Bishop's Agent. Does he hold the Bishopric? He
          should have that office conferred upon him. Why? Because it is
          duty to administer in temporal things. Does his jurisdiction
          extend beyond that of a Ward Bishop? It does. Why? By
          appointment, by selection, by being sent by the Presidency of the
          High Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek to administer in
          the special duties of his office in any or in all the Stakes of
          Zion, as the case may be according to the nature of his
          appointment, and by the authority of the Presiding Bishop. There
          are a great many things to be taken into consideration when we
          strive to understand the Book of Covenants according to the
          revelations that are therein given. Because God confined His
          servants to certain duties in the early rise of this Church, that
          is no proof or evidence that He will always work in the same
          channel. He will enlarge the borders of this kingdom; He will
          stretch forth the curtains of Zion; He will lengthen her cords
          and strengthen her Stakes and will multiply them not only
          throughout this mountain Territory, but throughout the United
          States, this land of Joseph: and they will be called the Stakes
          of the great City of Zion.
          35
          Let me here take the liberty to say to this congregation that the
          City of Zion when it is built in Jackson County, will not be
          called a Stake. We can find no mention in all the revelations
          that God has given, that the City of Zion is to be the Centre
          Stake of Zion; the Lord never called it a Stake in any revelation
          that has been given. It is to be the head quarters, it is to be
          the place where the Son of Man will come and dwell, where He will
          have a Temple, in which Temple there will be a throne prepared
          where Jesus will dwell in the midst of His people; it will be the
          great central city, and the outward branches will be called
          Stakes wherever they shall be organized as such.
          36
          We cannot suppose, as I was saying, that when the Lord shall thus
          enlarge the borders of Zion and multiply her Stakes, that He will
          be obliged to confine Himself to those circumstances and that
          condition of things that existed when we were a little handful of
          people. We are swelling out, we are becoming numerous upon the
          face of the land; and the day will come when Isaiah's prophecy,
          as contained in the 60th chapter, will be literally fulfilled,
          that is, a little one shall not only become a thousand, but the
          small one a strong nation. Are we then to be governed in all
          respects by those limited things that we were governed by in our
          childhood? Will there be no change of circumstances? Yes, as
          there is in the growth of grain, we have first the blade, then
          the ear, then the full corn in the ear, but these will all be in
          accordance with the development made by the progress of the
          kingdom as is explained in the blade, the ear and the full corn
          in the ear, and let me here prophesy on the strength of the
          revelations that were given through the Prophet Joseph, and
          through all the ancient Prophets, that the time will come when
          the Lord our God will so manifest His power that every soul upon
          the face of this great Western Continent that will not believe
          the Book of Mormon, that will not repent of his sins, that will
          not turn away from his iniquities, and that will not hearken to
          the voice of His son that it will be with such a one as Moses
          said, he shall be cut off from among the people. Do you believe
          it? It will be the case. And when that day comes that the Lord
          shall cut off such people, when the day comes that he will fulfil
          the revelations of Isaiah, as well as many other revelations that
          have been given, Zion will have to go forth in her strength and
          power, and the inhabitants of the nations that are afar off will
          say, "Surely, Zion is the city of our God, for the Lord is there,
          and His glory is there, and the power and the might of His terror
          is there,"--terror to the wicked, terror to those who commit sin:
          and many people will say, "Come, let us be subject to her laws."
          That will be after the Lord has broken up the nations, after He
          has destroyed and wasted them away, so far as the wicked portions
          are concerned. Those who are left will gladly acknowledge Zion,
          will acknowledge God and His people, and will acknowledge the
          laws that will be literally sent forth from Zion to the nations
          of the earth. Must we then be limited in all respects as we were
          limited in the early rise of the Church? No. New circumstances
          require new power, new knowledge, new additions, new strength and
          new Quorums; not to do away with the old, but additional in their
          nature. Men will hold authority and power to carry forth the laws
          of Zion to the remnants of this nation, and to foreign
          nations--ministers or plenipotentiaries, if you please, to use a
          political term, will go forth to the nations of the earth with
          the laws of God. Now, this is a prophecy of my own, but it is a
          prophecy according to that which is written, according to that
          which God gave to His ancient and His modern Prophets.
          36
          I find that I shall not be able to continue my remarks as they
          present themselves to my mind, for there are numerous branches
          pertaining to this subject of the Priesthood, besides that of the
          Bishopric, and blessings pertaining to the two Priesthoods, upon
          which it would be very pleasing to my mind to dwell, that is, if
          I had the time and the strength of body to do so.
          38
          I would say, however, that in regard to the organization of the
          First Presidency, it was done soon after the rise of the Church.
          The Lord exhibited to us, by revelation, the order of things as
          it existed in former days, away back in the dispensation before
          the flood--the dispensation of the antediluvian Patriarchs and
          their order of government; and also the dispensation of the
          Patriarchs after the flood and their order of government, and
          which I dwelt upon some two or three days since. I say that in
          relation to these matters much might be said, and much might be
          said in regard to our privileges, the privileges of those holding
          these two Priesthoods. And much might be said of the First
          Presidency, which quorum presides over all the Church of God; and
          much might be said in relation to the duties of the Twelve, not
          only as a traveling High Council, but in regard to the setting in
          order of the various offices in Zion. We might talk a great deal
          about that. We, as the Twelve, have been fulfilling both of these
          duties, traveling abroad and sending abroad, and also setting in
          order the councils of the Priesthood in the midst of Zion, as the
          revelation required of us. In so doing, we have acted for a short
          time as a Presiding Council in the midst of the Church of God. We
          did so upon the death of the Prophet Joseph. The Spirit of God
          wrought upon his servants, that during our administration for
          some three or four years after the death of Brother Joseph, the
          First Presidency was not organized. Did the Council of the Twelve
          forget it? No. Did they ignore it? No; they all the time had
          their minds fixed upon the revelation which God had given showing
          that the Council of the First Presidency was the supreme Council
          and authority in the Church, and that the Twelve could not act in
          that supreme authority and power only as the First Presidency was
          made vacant. This Quorum was reorganized some three or four years
          after the death of the Prophet, and it continued organized until
          the year 1877, and upon the death of President Young, who was the
          President in the First Presidency, it then fell again upon the
          Twelve as formerly, and they have continued some three years and
          upwards occupying that position. Have they done right? Yes; they
          have done as they were required to do during the time being. And
          now, after having performed their duties, they still keep in mind
          the necessity of this First Quorum of all Quorums of the Church
          again being filled up, so that the revelations of God may be
          honored and we fulfil their requirements. Hence, the Council of
          the Apostles has taken into consideration this subject, and the
          question in our minds was, Have we sufficiently, as the Quorum of
          the Twelve Apostles, magnified our office and calling, in setting
          in order the Church of the living God, in organizing the various
          Councils, or is there something lacking? Every time we thought
          upon the subject we saw that one Council, the most important of
          all, was still vacant. Could we ignore it? No. We therefore
          considered the propriety of organizing it at the present
          Conference; and Brother John Taylor, by the voice of his
          brethren, the Twelve, being the person holding the legal right to
          that office, as the President of the Twelve Apostles, was
          selected to occupy the position of the President of the whole
          Church. And he, according to the right and authority given to
          him, suggested his own Counselors. They were sanctioned by the
          Twelve Apostles; hence, the First Presidency again, so far as the
          Council of the Twelve is concerned, has been re-organized. We
          have fulfilled our duties, then, in relation to that revelation
          which says, it is given unto the Twelve apostles to set in order
          all those offices that are named in that revelation, we, I say,
          have done it. And we have laid the subject before the Priesthood
          of all the various Quorums, as they were assembled in general
          council on last evening, and they with us have had the privilege
          of sanctioning this action, that that quorum be filled up and be
          complete. It now remains with the body of the people to give
          their sanction, males and females, as well as the Priesthood. And
          in order that this may be done according to the pattern which God
          has given through His servant Joseph, the Priesthood will be
          organized this afternoon in their respective Quorums, and this
          subject will be brought before them to be voted upon by each
          Quorum separately; and then the whole congregation will be called
          upon to sanction the same.
          38
          I would state that this change made a vacancy of three in the
          Quorum of the Apostles, and persons have been selected to fill
          this vacancy thus made; or, rather, two persons have been
          selected from among the High Priesthood to partially fill that
          vacancy in the Council of the Apostles. The third one has not yet
          been chosen to completely fill the vacancy in the Apostles'
          Quorum; we, however, may be prepared to act on that to-day, and
          we may not.
          38
          Having said so much, in a very scattered manner, in regard to the
          Priesthood, and the dealings of God with us from time to time, I
          would state to my brethren and sisters, to the Latter-day Saints,
          I rejoice that the time has again come when our Quorums in the
          Church of God will be completed as given in the Doctrine and
          Covenants. I feel to rejoice in seeing this order carried out.
          There never has been a time, from the commencement of the history
          of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when the
          organization has been so complete as during the last two or three
          years. I trust that His great purposes will be carried out and
          fulfilled, until Zion shall become, as it is written in the Book
          of Mormon, in the parable of the vineyard, shall become one body
          and its branches shall be equal. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / John
          Taylor, October 10th, 1880
                           John Taylor, October 10th, 1880
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                Delivered in the General Conference, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, October 10th, 1880.
                             (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs)
                   THE ORGANIZATION OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY, ETC.
          39
          I will make a few remarks while the Sacrament is being
          administered. It is gratifying to me to be able to state that now
          all the various organizations of the Church are provided for. For
          some time the Twelve have been operating in the capacity of a
          First Presidency, and it was very proper that they should have
          acted in that capacity. As you heard Brother Pratt state this
          morning, in referring to this subject, this was the course
          adopted at the time when the Prophet Joseph Smith left us. The
          Twelve then stepped forward into the position of the First
          Presidency, and operated for about three years in that capacity.
          And when President Young left us it was thought proper that the
          same course should be pursued. The Twelve, I believe, have in
          this respect magnified their calling and taken a course that is
          approved by the Lord, and I think also by the brethren, judging
          from the vote given here to-day.
          39
          Had it not been our duty to have the Church organized fully and
          completely in all its departments, I should have much preferred
          to have continued with the brethren of the Twelve, speaking of it
          merely as a matter of personal feeling. But there are questions
          arising in regard to these matters that are not for us to say how
          they shall be, or what course shall be pursued. When God has
          given us an order and has appointed an organization in his
          Church, with the various quorums of Priesthood as presented to us
          by revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith, I do not think
          that either the First Presidency, the Twelve, the High Priests,
          the Seventies, the Bishops, or anybody else, have a right to
          change or alter that plan which the Lord has introduced and
          established. And as you heard Brother Pratt state this morning,
          one duty devolving upon the Twelve is to see that the churches
          are organized correctly. And I think they are now thus organized
          throughout the land of Zion. The Churches generally are organized
          with Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, with High
          Councils, with Bishops and their Counselors, and with the Lesser
          Priesthood, according to the order that is given us.
          39
          Then we have the High Priests, Seventies and Elders occupying
          their places according to their Priesthood, position and standing
          in the Church. And the First Presidency seemed to be the only
          quorum that was deficient. And it is impossible for men
          acquainted with the order of the Holy Priesthood to ignore this
          quorum, as it is one of the principal councils of the Church.
          While the Twelve stand as a bulwark ready to protect, defend and
          maintain, to step forward and carry out the order of God's
          Kingdom in times of necessity, such as the above referred to, yet
          when everything is adjusted and matters assume their normal
          condition, then it is proper that the Quorum of the First
          Presidency, as well as all other quorums, should occupy the place
          assigned it by the Almighty.
          40
          These were the suggestions of the Spirit of the Lord to me. I
          expressed my feelings to the Twelve, who coincided with me, and,
          indeed, several of them had had the same feelings as those with
          which I was actuated. It is not with us, or ought not to be, a
          matter of place, position, or honor, although it is a great honor
          to be a servant of God; it is a great honor to hold the
          Priesthood of God; but while it is an honor to be God's servants,
          holding His Priesthood, it is not honorable for any man or any
          set of men to seek for position in the Holy Priesthood. Jesus
          said, Ye have not called me, but I have called you. And as I said
          before, had I consulted my own personal feelings, I would have
          said, things are going on very pleasantly, smoothly and
          agreeably; and I have a number of good associates whom I respect
          and esteem, as my brethren, and I rejoice in their counsels. Let
          things remain as they are. But it is not for me to say, it is not
          for you to say, what we would individually prefer, but it is for
          us holding the Holy Priesthood; to see that all the organizations
          of that Priesthood are preserved intact, and that everything in
          the Church and kingdom of God is organized according to the plan
          which he has revealed; therefore we have taken the course which
          you have been called upon to sanction by your votes to-day.
          40
          I would further remark that I have examined very carefully for
          some time past some of those principles you heard read over in
          the Priesthood meeting, and which were referred to in part, by
          Brother Pratt, this morning. And there are other principles
          associated with the Priesthood that we wish and hope to have
          thoroughly defined; so that every man will know his true position
          and the nature of the calling and responsibility and Priesthood
          with which he is endowed. It is very proper and very important
          that we should comprehend these things; every man in his place,
          and every woman in her place; but I more particularly refer to
          the Holy Priesthood, that every man may feel and realize the
          duties and responsibilities which rest upon him.
          40
          It is gratifying to me, and it is no doubt satisfactory to you,
          to see the unanimity and oneness of feeling and the united
          sentiment which have been manifested in our votes. Those votes
          being taken first in their quorum capacity, each quorum having
          voted affirmatively, then by the vote of the Presidents of the
          several quorums united, and afterwards by the vote of the quorums
          and people combined, men and women, among the many thousands
          assembled who have participated in this vote, having a full and
          free opportunity, uncontrolled by any influence other than the
          Spirit of God, to express their wishes and desires, there has not
          been, from all that we could discover, one dissenting vote.
          40
          You could not find the same unanimity anywhere upon the earth.
          Union is a principle that exists in the heavens, and so far as we
          manifest this feeling in all sincerity, so far do we exhibit our
          faith in God, in His Priesthood, and in His law as revealed to
          us. For our religion, our Priesthood and all the blessings and
          ordinances that we possess were not given us by any man or any
          combination of men; it was the Lord who revealed all of these
          things or we could not have been in possession of them. We have
          had an example here to-day of the unanimity which characterizes
          those possessed of the Spirit of the Gospel, and it ought to be a
          pattern for us in all of our affairs.
          41
          And now let me refer with pride to my brethren of the Twelve
          here, which I do by saying that while they as a quorum held the
          right by the vote of the people to act in the capacity of the
          First Presidency, yet when they found, as Brother Pratt expressed
          it this morning, that they had performed their work, they were
          willing to withdraw from that Presidency, and put it in the
          position that God had directed, and fall back into the place that
          they have always held, as the Twelve Apostles of the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I say it is with pride that I
          refer to this action and the feeling that prompted it. I very
          much question whether you could find the same personal exhibition
          of disinterested motives and self-abnegation, and the like
          readiness to renounce place and position in deference to
          principle, among the same number of men in any other place. They
          saw the necessity of this action; a motion was made in that
          Council; and the vote was unanimously adopted that the First
          Presidency be re-organized, and afterwards the brethren to fill
          this quorum were selected. The next step was to present the
          matter to the Church, and it was laid before the Priesthood at a
          meeting, when there were present a representation of all the
          important authorities of the Church in the different Stakes in
          Zion. After having done that, lest some difficulty might exist
          some where, it was thought proper to pursue the course taken
          to-day--that each organization of the Priesthood, embracing all
          the quorums, should be seated in a quorum capacity by themselves,
          and separately have the opportunity of voting freely and fully
          without control of any kind, and of expressing their feelings,
          and finally, that the whole congregation should have the same
          opportunity. This is emphatically the voice of God, and the voice
          of the people; and this is the order that the Lord has instituted
          in Zion, as it was in former times among Israel. God gave his
          commandments; they were delivered by His Prophet to the people
          and submitted to them, and all Israel said, Amen. You have all
          done this by your votes; which vote, so far as we can learn, has
          been without a dissenting voice either among the separate
          quorums, or in the vote of the combined quorums and people. Now,
          continue to be united in everything as you are in this thing, and
          God will stand by you from this time henceforth and for ever. And
          any man who opposes principles of this kind is an enemy of God,
          an enemy of the Church and kingdom of God upon the earth, an
          enemy to the people of God, and an enemy to the freedom and
          rights of man. The Lord has selected a Priesthood that He might
          among all Israel make known His mind and will through them, and
          that they might be His representatives upon the earth. And while
          He does this He does not wish men to be coerced or forced to do
          things contrary to their will. But where the Spirit of God is,
          there is union, harmony and liberty, and where it is not there is
          strife, confusion and bondage. Let us then seek to be one, honor
          our God, honor our religion, and keep the commandments of God,
          and seek to know his will, and then to do it.
          41
          I do not know but that I have spoken as long as I ought to. God
          bless you; God bless the Twelve; and God bless the Presidents of
          the Stakes and their associates, and the Seventies and the High
          Priests, and the Elders, and the Bishops, and the Lesser
          Priesthood. And God bless the Relief Societies, and the Young
          People's Mutual Improvement Associations, and all who love and
          fear God and keep his commandments. And may God bless the Sunday
          Schools and the Primary Associations and the educational
          interests, and all interested in the welfare of Zion, as well as
          the good and virtuous, the honorable and high-minded everywhere,
          who are seeking to promote purity, holiness, and virtue on the
          earth. And God bless our singers and all who make music for us;
          and may the peace and blessing of God rest upon all Israel. And
          when you go to your homes, carry out the principles you have
          voted for, and God will bless you and your generations after you;
          and you shall be blessed in time, and through all eternity. And I
          bless you by virtue of the holy Priesthood, in the name of Jesus
          Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / Joseph
          F. Smith, February 6, 1881
                          Joseph F. Smith, February 6, 1881
                       DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOSEPH F. SMITH,
                        Delivered at Logan, February 6, 1881
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
              THE PERSECUTIONS OF THE ANCIENT SAINTS--THE ORGANIZATION
                  OF THE CHURCH IN OUR DAY--NECESSITY OF OBEDIENCE
                           TO THE LAWS OF THE GOSPEL, ETC.
           F. Smith
          I desire an interest in the faith and prayers of my brethren and
          sisters who are present, that I may be able to speak under the
          influence of the good spirit, such things as will be encouraging
          to the faith of the Saints.
           F. Smith
          I rejoice always in the truth of the Gospel with which I have
          become acquainted; and although there may be many things with
          which I am unacquainted, yet that portion of the plan of
          salvation which I do understand is sufficient to convince me
          beyond the possibility of a doubt, that we are engaged in the
          great latter-day work of God Almighty, which is for the salvation
          of the human family, the establishment of the kingdom upon the
          earth preparatory to the coming of the Son of God in power and
          great glory, to take possession of the kingdom and of the world;
          to take the reins of government in His own hands, to judge and
          rule with righteousness, and with equity reprove for the meek of
          the earth, to the honor and glory of God, to the salvation and
          deliverance of His people, the downfall of Babylon, the
          destruction of the wicked and the overthrow of all man-made
          systems and organizations that are in conflict with the
          requirements of heaven and the laws of God. There is, to my mind,
          nothing lacking in proof or evidence of these facts, which have
          plainly been set forth in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, and
          also in the revelations through the Prophet Joseph Smith; which
          last named are recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. I
          am perfectly satisfied, as much so as I am that I breathe the
          breath of life, that these truths pertaining to the last
          dispensation and the great latter-day work have been revealed to
          us from God, and that we are in possession of truth, eternal
          truth that can never be uprooted or destroyed. It is true that we
          are but a handful of people in comparison to the vast multitude
          that are in the world, indeed we are few in comparison to the
          population of our own nation; for while we, as a community,
          number a few thousands, the nation numbers nearly half as many
          millions; and our nation is only a small portion of the human
          family. But yet it is not presumptuous, nor is it unreasonable or
          inconsistent, notwithstanding the paucity of our numbers, our
          supposed lack of intelligence pertaining to scientific matters,
          and our poverty as compared with the wealth of the world, for us
          to claim that we have received revelation from God, that the
          Almighty has spoken to the children of men with His own voice and
          by the voice of angels and ministering spirits, or personages
          whom He has sent to reveal His will to man. For it is in this way
          that God has ever revealed Himself to the nations of the earth.
          He calls a Prophet now and a Prophet hereafter, and He reveals
          himself to His servants the Prophets, and He makes known His will
          unto them, and it becomes their duty to proclaim the law and the
          will of the Almighty to the inhabitants of the earth, and to call
          others to the ministry, sending them forth that they may proclaim
          the Gospel to their neighbors and associates; and so the work of
          God has to work its way, spread and increase among the children
          of men, like the leaven, referred to by the Savior, that is
          placed in the measure of meal that works until the whole lump is
          leavened. So God has done in all ages of the world when He has
          undertaken to renew His covenant with the people; He has called
          certain men (who doubtless had been foreordained to come forth in
          certain ages to do a certain work) through whom He has made known
          to the nations and peoples of the earth His mind and will. When
          Jesus came to the earth He scarcely found faith among mankind;
          only John the Baptist holding a commission from God to minister
          in the first ordinances of the Gospel; John having been called
          and appointed of God and ordained by a holy angel to that
          ministry and Priesthood. A few that had listened to his testimony
          and teachings, and had been baptized by his baptism, with him,
          constituted all who were acknowledged of God upon the earth at
          the time of the coming of the Savior. And Jesus called unto Him
          twelve disciples, ordained them, commissioned them and sent them
          forth to preach the Gospel; but they sojourned with him for three
          years during his own ministry to receive instruction, to be
          taught of Him, to learn the ways of the Lord from the Great Head,
          that they might be qualified to go forth at the expiration of
          that time being witnesses of God, witnesses of the divine mission
          of their Lord and Master, and prepared to proclaim the Gospel to
          the inhabitants of the earth. After Jesus was crucified of man,
          he went in the spirit to the spirits that were in prison, who had
          been disobedient "when the long suffering of God waited in the
          days of Noah," that by his coming the Gospel might be taught unto
          them, their prison doors be opened, and liberty be proclaimed
          unto them, even the liberty of the Gospel, that they might live,
          through obedience to its requirements, according to God in the
          Spirit; and when the ordinances of the Gospel necessary for the
          redemption of the dead had been performed for and in their behalf
          upon the earth, that they might be judged according to man in the
          flesh. When Jesus had done this He again took up the body of
          flesh and bones which had been hung upon the cross, and pierced
          unto death and laid away in the tomb; that body which had passed
          through the portal of death and the ordeal of the grave, he again
          brought forth from death unto life. Thus he conquered death and
          gained the victory over the grave and brought about the
          resurrection from the dead through the power of the Gospel and
          the holy Priesthood. Shortly after he visited His disciples, when
          He breathed upon them, saying unto them, "Receive ye the Holy
          Ghost." He also commissioned them to go forth to preach the
          Gospel to every creature. Then He departed from them, and they
          went forth and testified of Jesus Christ, and proclaimed the
          Gospel to the world, with power and with the demonstration of the
          Spirit of God. These chosen disciples of Christ suffered
          ignominious deaths from the first to the last, with the single
          exception of the Apostle John, who we are informed, was preserved
          from the power of his enemies, from their attempts to destroy his
          life, for a wise purpose of God, to fulfil the promise of the
          Savior unto him; and yet notwithstanding this promise, it is
          believed by the Christian world that he died a natural death
          after wicked man had attempted several times in vain to destroy
          his life. Notwithstanding, the disciples of Jesus, excepting John
          the Revelator, suffered ignominious deaths, they sowed the seed
          of the Gospel among, and conferred the Priesthood upon men, which
          remained for several generations upon the earth, but the time
          came when Paganism was engrafted into Christianity, and at last
          Christianity was converted into Paganism rather than converting
          the Pagans. And subsequently the Priesthood was taken from among
          men, this authority was re-called into the heavens, and the world
          was left without the Priesthood--without the power of
          God--without the Church and Kingdom of God. There were tens of
          thousands that hearkened to the teachings of the disciples and
          yielded obedience to the Gospel; and they suffered persecution
          such as the people of God in this generation have never begun to
          suffer. Some of the Latter-day Saints who were associated with
          this Church in its early history, and suffered the persecutions
          in Ohio, in Missouri and Illinois, thought that their persecution
          was very great, even greater than that of any other people. But
          this is not so, for this people have never begun to endure the
          persecution that was inflicted upon the former day Saints, those
          who received the testimony of the Apostles. People in former days
          believed that they were doing God service to burn those Saints to
          death, to whip and to spear them to death, to drag them until
          they were torn to pieces and otherwise to torture and destroy
          them, and, indeed, in some instances they sewed up the believers
          in cloths and in sacks, which they covered with pitch or tar and
          then set on fire to light the streets of imperial Rome! In
          ancient days it was considered lawful to perpetrate these
          barbarities upon those who professed to believe in the Lord Jesus
          Christ. They were driven from place to place; they were hunted
          down as wild beasts, and otherwise suffered persecution such as
          this people have never begun to suffer, and as I earnestly hope
          and pray they never will be subjected to.
           F. Smith
          But it was under such circumstances the Gospel was proclaimed
          among the people. In this way were the believers in Christ
          treated, being esteemed as worthless, refuse, unfit to live, and
          worthy only of the most cruel and ignominious deaths. The same
          feelings existed, and do to-day exist, in the hearts of some
          people toward the Latter-day Saints. But the Lord Almighty has
          prepared the way for the coming forth of the kingdom of God in
          this dispensation by establishing the republican government of
          the United States; a government affording the widest liberty and
          the greatest freedom to man that has ever been known to exist
          among men, outside of those governed by the direct communication
          of heaven. It was part of the design of the Almighty when He
          influenced our fathers to leave the old world and come to this
          continent; He had a hand in the establishment of this government;
          He inspired the framers of the Constitution and the fathers of
          this nation to contend for their liberties; and He did this upon
          natural principles, that the way might be prepared, and that it
          might be possible for Him to establish His kingdom upon the
          earth, no more to be thrown down. And when the way was prepared
          and the time fully come for the restoration of the Gospel, God
          revealed Himself to Joseph Smith, giving to him certain promises
          concerning the coming forth of the Gospel and the establishment
          of His kingdom in the last days. And subsequently God sent
          messengers to him and ordained him to the Priesthood, or
          conferred on him the rights, powers, keys and authority of the
          holy Priesthood, to act as His representative in establishing the
          Gospel of the kingdom once more among men, and for the last time,
          also to restore the Priesthood to earth, that man might again
          officiate in the name and authority of God, for the salvation of
          the living and the dead. He had to call one man to this office,
          who afterwards, as Jesus did, called and set apart twelve others,
          together with Seventies, High Priests, Elders, Bishops, Priests,
          Teachers and Deacons, for the work of the ministry, and for the
          edifying of the body of Christ, that all may come to the unity of
          the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to the fulness of
          the measure of the stature of Christ Jesus; that we might come to
          a oneness in the knowledge of the truth, that the world might be
          leavened with the leaven of truth, that all mankind might have
          the privilege of hearing the Gospel and of being gathered into
          the fold and family of Christ.
           F. Smith
          In the space of about fifty years, I suppose, we have gathered
          from first to last into the fold of this church, some three or
          four hundred thousand people. It may seem to some that this would
          indicate that we have made very slow progress in half a century;
          having succeeded in gathering into this Church only between three
          and four hundred thousand people; and that to-day we do not
          number more than 150,000 to 200,000 members all told, in good
          standing; that is, taking all that can be called Saints in
          America, in Europe, in Australia, and upon the islands of the
          sea; wherever this Gospel is preached, or people acknowledge
          membership in this Church, all told, perhaps, we do not number
          more than 200,000 members in good standing. It may seem that we
          are making haste slowly; that we are not progressing very
          rapidly. It might seem to some of us that we ought to have
          accomplished a great deal more in the fifty years past since the
          organization of this church. I confess that I believe with all my
          heart, that as a people we might have made far greater progress
          in the accomplishment of the purposes and will of God than we
          have, if we had only done as we should. In my humble opinion, and
          I express it as my firm conviction and belief, the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints might have numbered to-day many
          times more than it does, if those who have embraced the Gospel
          had remained true and all had been as faithful as they should
          have been. The progress of the work of God does and will depend
          greatly upon the righteousness of the people, the faithfulness of
          the Priesthood in keeping His commandments, honoring His laws,
          and laboring for the accomplishment of the purposes of God upon
          the earth, instead of self-aggrandizement. I will venture, as my
          opinion, that the Latter-day Saints through their follies, their
          neglect of proper example, their carelessness respecting their
          duties, not to mention greater sins, and the evil resulting
          therefrom, have prevented the conversion of as many people as
          have been converted unto God. There are to-day perhaps nearly as
          many that have apostatized as are now in good standing in the
          Church; many of whom were honest but have been deceived and led
          away from the truth, many others, I admit, have turned away
          because of their own sins. Others again have left the Church
          because they were unable to distinguish between the actions of
          their foolish brethren and the principles of eternal truth, and
          in that way have allowed themselves to go into darkness and turn
          away from the Kingdom. In almost every place you go, where the
          Gospel is being preached, you may find scores and scores of
          people that once belonged to the Church, how are they to-day? Are
          they members of this Church? No; they are apostates, in darkness,
          knowing not the truth, for the light they had is gone out and
          darkness has taken the place thereof, and they are now under the
          power of darkness or Satan and cannot help themselves.
           F. Smith
          And again, there are many people who have come among us, who, if
          they had found that perfection in the conduct and character of
          Latter-day Saints which they expected to find among those
          professing to be Saints, if they had found more of the fruits of
          righteousness in the midst of this people, and less of their
          follies and weaknesses, they would no doubt have been constrained
          to yield obedience to the Gospel; whereas they only became
          hardened in seeing the weakness and imperfection of many
          so-called Latter-day Saints, concluding that they, judging them
          by their acts, are not much better than other professing
          Christians. And in this way many that might have been brought to
          a knowledge of the truth, have been discouraged, disappointed and
          deceived, because they failed to discover or feel as they might
          and should have done, if all the fruits of the Gospel had
          abounded as they should, that power of the Priesthood and
          efficacy of the Gospel which should be exhibited in the midst of
          the people of God.
           F. Smith
          Now, am I finding fault with the Latter day Saints? If I should
          find fault with you of course I would be finding fault with
          myself. I acknowledge that I have not lived up to the standard as
          I should have done. I have not possessed that power, that
          inspiration, that knowledge of truth, that close communion with
          God and with the Holy Ghost, that I might or ought to have done.
          Therefore if there is blame attached to the Church I am willing
          to acknowledge and share my proportion of that blame.
          Nevertheless, what I say in regard to this matter I believe to be
          the truth. I will give you, if you wish, and I think I had better
          do so, one or two simple and undeniable proofs of my assertion.
          Excuse me if I refer to things which may be considered quite
          common; I am not here to teach you new doctrine, I am endeavoring
          to teach you truths, which we have been taught for the last fifty
          years.
           F. Smith
               I will refer you to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, to
          that simple principle called the Word of Wisdom. How many of this
          congregation have kept this law? and how many do keep it to-day?
          It would perhaps not astonish you very much were I to say that
          there were members of the Church of forty years standing and
          upwards, who take their tea, coffee, tobacco, etc., just as
          though God had not some forty-eight years ago, revealed the Word
          of Wisdom. I can point out men and women that have been in this
          Church some twenty-five or thirty years, that are no nearer
          keeping the commandments of God, in this respect, than they were
          twenty-five or thirty years ago, and some of them not so near. If
          I were pressed on this point I could call the names of some
          individuals in proof of what I say. We have not lived up to the
          privileges nor kept the laws of God as given unto us. What is the
          result? Is it not that when we preach these principles we preach
          them in word only and not in the demonstration of the power of
          God? Certainly not in the demonstration and power of example, but
          with the words of our lips which proceed not from the heart. And
          that is not all. In the Book of Mormon it is recorded that Christ
          commanded the people to call upon God in His name, morning and
          evening with their families. Similar instruction is given in the
          Doctrine and Covenants, and the same principle is inculcated in
          the Bible. God has said that He will be sought after by His
          people; and Jesus said that we must knock in order that the door
          might be opened unto us; and that we should seek in order to
          find, and ask in order to receive. And, yet, how many heads of
          families in the Church fail to meet with their families to call
          upon God in family prayer? How many Saints neglect this duty? It
          is a duty, it is the word of the Lord to the Saints, that they
          should meet with their families morning and evening, and call
          upon God in His name. This principle is part of the Gospel, it
          was taught by the Savior on the eastern, and also on the western,
          continent: and, simple as it may appear, it is absolutely
          necessary that the Latter-day Saints should come together in the
          family capacity, and kneeling around the family altar, call upon
          God for his blessings morning and evening. And they need not
          confine themselves to morning and evening prayer, for it is their
          privilege to enter into their closets and call upon Him in
          secret, that He might reward them openly.
           F. Smith
          Again, it is written that God is angry with those who will not
          acknowledge His hand in all things. How many of the Latter-day
          Saints whom God has blessed with riches of this world, with
          houses, lands, flocks, herds, gold and silver, have forgotten to
          acknowledge His hand in the bestowal of the wealth they possess,
          and have been blinded by the gifts conferred upon them, and in
          that blindness have forgotten the Giver? Having an abundance, the
          rich are too apt to feel that they do not have to kneel down and
          ask God to give them houses and daily bread, for they have
          palaces and wealth. They say, we have these things; we have no
          need to ask for them, nor to thank God for them, for they are
          ours; we have gained them by our own industry and ability. Thus
          God is left out of the question. But God has said, "I love them
          that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me;"
          therefore He will be inquired of by His people, and He requires
          that they shall acknowledge Him in all things; yet we often
          forget to acknowledge him in His greatest mercies. When the blow
          of an enemy that has been aimed at our destruction is warded off
          by the wise counsel perhaps of the holy Priesthood, we say, "We
          outwitted them; we did it, we circumscribed the cunning and craft
          of our enemy: we did this, and we did that, and we did the other
          thing;" it is great I with some of us, and God is not
          acknowledged by such at all. There is too much of this spirit
          amongst us, I am sorry to say.
           F. Smith
          God requires one-tenth of our increase to be put into his
          storehouse; and this is given as a standing law to all of the
          Stakes of Zion. And has said that unless all observe this law to
          keep it holy and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto Him,
          etc., that this land shall not be a land of Zion unto us. And
          yet, how many of us have neglected to observe this law? We
          profess to believe it, but how many have neglected to obey it in
          full? If the Savior were to come to-day, who will judge us not
          after the sight of the eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of
          the ears, but with righteousness, and with equity and by the
          knowledge of eternal truth, and the balance of eternal justice,
          how many would he find who really have paid one-tenth of their
          increase in compliance with this law? There are some people that
          do it, but when you take out these that do keep this law
          according to the strict letter and spirit of it, you will find
          that in comparison to the whole they are few. The people pay a
          portion of their tithing. President Young frequently charged the
          people with not paying one tenth of their tithings. I presume
          that was an extreme view. I believe the people are doing better
          than that, now at least; but at the same time I believe that a
          very large proportion of us pay only a portion of the tenth of
          that which God puts into our hands.
           F. Smith
          Now, why do I refer to these things? I leave it to you--to
          conscientious men and women--it would not become me to say that
          Brother Jones or Brother Smith, or any other individual is the
          person that is delinquent in his duty; but it behooves me to
          speak on the principle in general terms, and I think I am very
          near the truth in relation to this matter. I will leave that for
          you, however, to say in your hearts, whether you pay an honest
          tithing before God, or whether you pay a portion of your tithing.
          God knows; we cannot deceive Him. Why do we now comply fully with
          this law? Simply because we lack wisdom, faith, understanding,
          and confidence in the promises of God. If we felt the fire of the
          Holy Spirit in our hearts; if we were conscientious in all our
          acts before God, this people would be raised to a higher plane;
          faith would be increased, good works would abound, and others,
          seeing our good works, would be led to glorify our Father in
          heaven. I will read a few instructions that were given to the
          ancient Saints. They are not new, therefore, they are very old
          instructions. They are applicable, however, to us, although
          spoken to the former-day Saints, for the key by which the
          blessings are obtained is given to us. "Blessed are the poor in
          spirit, for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they
          that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek,
          for they shall inherit the earth." The meek shall inherit the
          earth. Shall the proud and the haughty and those that are lifted
          up in the vanity of their hearts? No, God has said that they
          shall be burned as stubble; that the day that is coming shall
          burn them up; that neither root nor branch of them shall be left,
          but they shall become as ashes beneath the feet of the righteous.
          But "blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." Then
          as meekness is one of the requisite qualities of a Latter-day
          Saint, a Christian, a member of the Church of God upon the earth,
          except we are meek and lowly, we shall not receive the promised
          blessing. "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
          righteousness, for they shall be filled." "Blessed are the
          merciful for they shall obtain mercy." Shall they that are not
          merciful obtain mercy? No. Why? Because it is said elsewhere that
          the measure which we meet out shall be measured back to us again.
          And when it is measured back unto us it will be shaken down and
          pressed together, heaped up and running over. If we act, for
          instance, in regard to the law of tithing as I have mentioned, we
          shall be judged accordingly, and receive according to our works.
          If we forgive them that trespass against us, it shall be measured
          back unto us in mercy, etc. "Blessed are the pure in heart for
          they shall see God." Shall the corrupt see Him? No. Shall they be
          counted worthy to stand in His presence, and be called "blessed?"
          Certainly not. "Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be
          called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted
          for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
          Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and
          shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
          Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in
          heaven: for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before
          you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his
          savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for
          nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
          Ye are the light of the world." Who? The peacemakers, the pure in
          heart, the meek, those that hunger and thirst after
          righteousness, the good, the honorable, the Godlike. "Ye are the
          salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith
          shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be
          cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." "A city that is
          set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and
          put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light
          unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before
          men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father
          which is in heaven."
           F. Smith
          That I understand to be the duty of a Latter-day Saint, "Let your
          light shine" that men shall see your good works. And if God has
          given a commandment, prove to the world that you believe it, by
          keeping it so that men, seeing your good works, may glorify your
          Father in heaven. If God has said that tobacco and strong drinks
          are not good for us, let us hearken to this warning and not
          defile our tabernacles by indulging in things that are injurious
          to our systems; and thus respect the word of God ourselves, and
          show a good example to others. When we can show to the world that
          we are saved from the sins of the world, they will see our good
          works and be constrained to glorify our Father in heaven. But
          when strangers come among us and witness drunkenness, hear
          profanity, see that some of us are dishonest and cheat each
          other, that so far some of us are no better than the people of
          Babylon; "the Pharisees and Sadducees" of the present age, at the
          same time professing to be the children of God; they justly say,
          "These people are hypocrites, they profess one thing and do
          another; they profess to be the children of God, but they are the
          children of the devil." In other words, if we bring not forth the
          fruits of the Gospel, it will be set down as a natural and
          philosophic conclusion that we either do not have the Gospel, or
          if we do, we do not live it. For "a bitter fountain cannot send
          forth sweet water," nor vice versa. And if, therefore, we are
          redeemed from sin through the atoning blood of the
          Savior--redeemed from the world--we will have power to establish
          the Kingdom of God upon the earth. There will be no swearing, no
          whoredom, there will be no crimes of infanticide or foeticide. No
          such sins will be known among us, our children will be born in
          honorable wedlock under the ordinances of the holy Priesthood,
          and not illegitimate, to be denied the privileges of the
          congregations of Israel, until perhaps the tenth generation
          according to ancient law. But to-day, I am sorry to say it, some
          of these evils exist; we see them cropping out here and there
          once in a while. Yet, while this is the case, I say--and I say it
          without fear of successful contradiction--that the Latter-day
          Saints are the best people that I know of upon the face of the
          earth; a greater proportion of them are honest, honorable and
          virtuous, according to the light they possess and the ability
          they have, than the same proportion of the rest of mankind. But
          let us be more faithful and spread the kingdom and gather the
          people of God, and possess the land which He has given unto us,
          even the Zion of God--this land of Joseph.
           F. Smith
          May God help us to do so, is my prayer in the name of Jesus,
          Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / John
          Taylor, June 27, 1880
                             John Taylor, June 27, 1880
                          REMARKS BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Afternoon, June 27, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                             OPINIONS OF THE WORLD, ETC.
          51
          I am pleased to have the opportunity of listening to our brethren
          who have just returned. It is always interesting to hear from
          those who have been absent, with whom we have been acquainted for
          years. It is pleasing to listen to their views and ideas
          pertaining to us as a people, as contrasted with those of others.
          In regard to the opinions of men, I would say, however, although
          we are desirous of pursuing a proper and correct course--it is to
          us a matter of very little moment what their opinions may be
          concerning us. The truths of God in every age of the world have
          been opposed by a certain class of men. That they should be so at
          the present time is nothing remarkable or strange. And
          furthermore our trust is not in man but in the Lord. It is to Him
          that we are indebted for any light, any truth, any intelligence
          that has been communicated to us. We have not received our
          religion, the doctrines that we profess, the ordinances that we
          administer in, nor any knowledge that we have of God, or the
          things of God, from the world, neither from its divines, its
          scientists, its philosophers, nor from any class of men in
          existence. We have received them not of man, nor by man, but
          through the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, and
          consequently we are dependent upon Him for our guidance and
          direction; and while we wish to treat all men with respect, all
          authorities and all men holding positions under government, at
          the same time we feel that our strength, our power, our might,
          and our sustenance does not exist with them, but the Lord, and
          that we are dependent upon Him alone.
          51
          In speaking of our Priesthood, we knew nothing about it till God
          revealed it. In speaking of our doctrines we knew nothing about
          them till God revealed them. And furthermore, in speaking of the
          ordinances we administer in, whether for the living or the dead,
          we knew nothing about them till God revealed them; nor did the
          world, nor do they to-day. Concerning our temples, what do the
          world know about them? Nothing. If they had them built to-day for
          them they do not know how to administer in them, nor what they
          are for. The world generally is in darkness. God has revealed the
          Gospel to enlighten the world, and He has sent us forth not to be
          taught of the world, but to be their teachers and to show them
          the paths of light and life, and for this purpose He has
          organized His Church, His kingdom and His Priesthood; for this
          purpose He has stretched out His hand to protect us in the
          valleys of the mountains.
          52
          In regard to the position in which we are situated here, what
          have the world had to do with it? What have those people had to
          do with it that are so very much interested in our welfare as
          Brother Cannon has remarked? If they think they can benefit the
          world, it is very wise that they should go and try as we have
          done, show the same zeal, interest and welfare for mankind that
          we have done, travel the thousands and hundreds of thousands of
          miles without purse or scrip for the benefit of mankind that we
          have done, and then we will believe them a little quicker. But
          there are a great many men who think it much easier to tear down
          than to build up; much easier to oppose good principles than it
          is to establish and maintain them. All this, however, makes very
          little difference to us. We care very little about such things.
          We are engaged in a work in which God has set his hand, and we
          shall continue to do it, and another thing, there are no persons
          on this side of heaven or hell that can prevent it. They have
          tried and they will try, but will be frustrated, for God has set
          his hand to accomplish a certain work, and that work will be
          done, and by the help of the Lord, we will try and help Him to do
          it. The main thing we have to attend to is ourselves, to our
          morals, to our religion, to the training of our children, to the
          cultivation of our lots, to making our homes pleasant and
          agreeable, to promoting the welfare of the human family, that is,
          all that will permit us to do so. Whom do we interfere with? Whom
          do we calumniate? Whose religious rights are interfered with by
          us? They have their churches here. They are not molested; I hope
          not; I do not hear of it; I hope they are not, for our opinion is
          that we ought to treat all men aright, believing that matters of
          religion are matters of conscience. Our opinion is that we ought
          to treat our government aright, and be loyal, patriotic, just,
          honorable and law-abiding, honoring all good principles,
          sustaining all honorable men, and thus endeavor to promote peace,
          union, and happiness among mankind. Our motto is, "Glory to God
          in the highest, and on earth peace and good will toward men." If
          people do not offer us that, we cannot help it. It is because
          they do not know any better. In the meantime, however, we will
          pursue the even tenor of our way. Let us be virtuous, honest,
          true and faithful. Let us treat one another aright, and God will
          bless us. We will serve the Lord and obey his laws, and Zion will
          roll forth, the kingdom of God will progress and no power can
          stop it. The things that have been spoken of by the Prophets will
          all be fulfilled. The knowledge of God will grow and increase,
          while the wicked will be rooted out, until "the kingdoms of this
          world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; and
          he shall reign forever and ever," when liars, hypocrites,
          deceivers and corrupt men will be destroyed and swept away as
          with a besom of destruction.
          52
          May God help us to be faithful and true to our trust, that we may
          be saved in His kingdom, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus.
          Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / George
          Q. Cannon, June 27, 1880
                           George Q. Cannon, June 27, 1880
                        DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEO. Q. CANNON,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Afternoon, June 27, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
               THE ORIGINATORS OF REPORTS AGAINST THE SAINTS--FEELINGS
                           OF THE PEOPLE IN THE EAST, ETC.
          53
          If I were to consult my natural feelings to-day, it would afford
          me much greater pleasure to sit still and listen and look at the
          faces of this congregation than attempt to speak. But this,
          doubtless, would be a disappointment to very many, and might not
          be understood. Therefore, I arise this afternoon to make a few
          remarks--such as may suggest themselves to me--to my brethren and
          sisters who are present. I shall not attempt to describe to you
          the emotions, the feelings which I have in being once more
          re-united with you, for you have heard them expressed by others
          so frequently, and also by myself, and many of you have
          experienced them yourselves, that I am relieved from the
          necessity of re-stating them in your hearing. I may say, however,
          that I am exceedingly thankful for the opportunity of returning
          once more to our home and finding circumstances and surroundings
          so favorable to the people of these valleys as they are at the
          present time, and also that I can, to a certain extent, return as
          the bearer of good tidings; that I can speak favorably concerning
          our present and our future prospects; that is, so far as my
          information extends.
          53
          When I left here last November, it seemed to me that the elements
          were charged with threatenings to us as a people and to our
          liberties. I have had some experience, of several years'
          duration, in public affairs; that is, political affairs, and have
          had occasion to notice the signs of the times; but I can say now
          that at no time did affairs appear more threatening to us than
          they did when I went to Washington the latter end of last
          November, or beginning of December. You probably can recollect
          the circumstances which existed at that time.
          55
          The greatest enemies we have had to contend with for many years
          have been those who should, from their intimacy with us, from
          their knowledge of our labors, from their familiarity with our
          proceedings, have been our friends--those who reside in our
          midst. It has been the case for several years that all the
          excitement, all the ill-feeling, all the manifestations of hatred
          which have come to the surface or been exhibited outside of the
          Territory of Utah concerning the people called Latter-day Saints,
          or "Mormons," have had their origin in this Territory, and have
          been stirred up by those who reside here. There has not been in
          Congress, there has not been throughout the country on the part
          of the public press, or on the part of public men generally, much
          of a disposition to take or to adopt harsh measures against the
          people of these mountains. But there have been those residing in
          this Territory who have seemed to be uneasy lest we should be
          treated too kindly, or be viewed too favorably by those who are
          outside of the Territory, and there has been apparently a great
          dread on the part of a few individuals, lest there should be a
          disposition manifested by Congress and by those in authority to
          recognize us as fellowcitizens, and to extend to us those rights
          and privileges to which we are entitled--I mean our rights to
          become a State, to be admitted into the Union, to receive
          recognition, the recognition of our numbers, of the good
          government of this Territory that has been maintained for
          thirty-three years; of the peace which has prevailed and the
          developments which have been made, all of which have entitled us
          to recognition and to admission into the Union as one of the
          States, and because this fear has seemed to exist in the minds of
          some individuals, they have done all in their power to
          misrepresent the people of this Territory, that is, the majority
          of the people, circulating all manner of falsehoods, representing
          the people as disloyal, as not being fit to be entrusted with the
          full powers of citizenship; they have endeavored to create the
          impression throughout the Union that if the Territory of Utah
          should be admitted as a State, it would be impossible for any
          person but a "Mormon" to live within its confines; that property
          would be unsafe, that life would be in jeopardy; that there would
          be an unbearable condition of affairs here; the "Mormon"
          Priesthood, as they say, would have such extraordinary power, and
          wield it so despotically and so much in the interest of their own
          people and to build up their hierarchy, that it would be
          impossible for any person of independent views, who did not act
          with them, to reside in this Territory in peace. These views have
          been so industriously circulated that a great many people have
          almost thought that this would be the case. However, I may say in
          relation to this that these statements do not receive the
          credence they once did. It is not a new thing for these
          misrepresentations to be circulated; they have been harped upon
          for many years. There is one thing, however, that has helped to
          show their falsity, and that is this great railroad that has been
          constructed across the continent, which has facilitated
          intercourse with the world, which has enabled hundreds and
          thousands of the people of the East and West to visit our
          Territory and see for themselves. This has been one of the best
          means of educating the public mind correctly in relation to Utah
          and its people that I know of; it has done more to dissipate this
          cloud of misrepresentation that has overshadowed us for so long a
          period than anything else I know of. It is more difficult at the
          present time, in consequence of this, that is, this speedy means
          of intercourse, to circulate those falsehoods and have them
          receive credence than in past years. I am thankful that this is
          the case, I have done all in my power to urge public men to visit
          Utah. I have said to them, Come; Come to Utah, come to Salt Lake.
          If you are going to California, don't miss visiting Salt Lake
          City. I have known that the effects of such visits have been
          beneficial to the parties who make them, as they tend to
          enlighten their views concerning us, beneficial to us, as they
          are the means of informing intelligent men and removing a vast
          amount of prejudice which exists regarding this people. And I
          have this to say, that I do not know to-day a public man in
          either branch of Congress, who has visited Utah Territory, who is
          not--that is, so far as the rights of the people are
          concerned--the friend of Utah. This is saying a great deal, it is
          a broad statement, but I make it without scarcely hinting at
          qualification, for it is true. During this past session--and it
          has been the case for several sessions--measures have been
          introduced by men who apparently have a monomania concerning
          "Mormons" and "Mormonism." Measures have been introduced by
          persons of this kind, who have been anxious, apparently, to make
          that a hobby, hoping, I have thought, that they would gain favor
          with their constituents by doing this. When such measures have
          been introduced, and I have needed assistance respecting them,
          the men to whom I have gone in the Senate and in the House, have
          been men who have been in Utah Territory, have come down by the
          railroad to Salt Lake City, and have seen the city and the
          people. They have not been converted to "Mormonism." They have
          not gone away believing that it is right for a man to have more
          wives than one. That does not follow as a consequence of their
          visit. But they have seen a people who--notwithstanding that they
          may consider them mistaken in some of their religious views and
          practices--are honest, industrious, persevering and orderly, and
          who behave themselves as good citizens should, and their
          sympathies have been aroused in behalf of the people, the more so
          because of the previous misrepresentations which have been made
          respecting them. They have been so thoroughly undeceived by their
          visit, that it has had a reactionary effect in many instances
          upon them, because of the statements that had been made to them
          previous to coming here. Therefore, you can see that I am
          warranted in saying as I do so frequently to my friends in
          Washington, Come; come West; and if you do come West, be sure and
          stop at Salt Lake City. It is not such a country as California.
          We have not so many attractions in Utah as you will find in
          California, but your trip will be incomplete without you visit
          Utah, and see Salt Lake City and its surroundings.
          56
          Of course, there are those who are ready to attribute all sorts
          of bad motives to those who come here and who are disposed to be
          favorable after their visit. I have stated this to officers.
          There have been a number of gentlemen appointed to offices here
          with whom I was on very familiar terms in Washington. We could
          visit, we could meet together, we could associate together, and
          nobody would wonder at it or attribute any bad motives to either
          party. But I have said to these gentlemen when they have been
          appointed to office in Utah Territory--Now, I shall continue to
          be familiar with you as I am here if you wish it, but let me say
          to you that as soon as you get inside of the limits of our
          Territory, if you and I are very familiar, somebody will raise
          the story that the "Mormons" have bought you, that they have got
          you in their hands, and it would hurt your influence. Is not this
          a strange condition of affairs, that in a Territory of the United
          States citizens cannot associate together without a lot of
          miserable creatures here raising the story that there must be
          some corrupt motive in this association? And they have endeavored
          in this way to deter public men from doing their duty when they
          have come here. I remember one friend who came here, and in
          riding around he was seen in the presence of President Young. He
          came here as one of a committee going further West, and he was
          opposed in the public press here, till he became so indignant
          that he got copies of all the papers and mailed them to President
          Grant, to show him the assaults made upon public men, when they
          come to Utah, by a certain class who are here.
          56
          We have these things to contend with; we shall probably have them
          to contend with. We have lived through them so far, and we shall
          continue to prosper and live through them in the future. I have
          no doubt about that. I merely refer to these things to show the
          character of the opposition that is manifested towards us, and
          towards those who are friendly to us. But, as I have said, there
          is a better understanding gaining ground everywhere respecting
          this people called Latter-day Saints, and I expect it will
          continue to be the case, until we are known and understood in our
          true light; and it is a remarkable fact that those who have
          fought against us, and sought in the manner to which I have made
          allusion to heap all kinds of obloquy upon us, have not succeeded
          at that business, they have not succeeded, it has not paid them.
          They may have thought while doing this that it would injure us;
          but it has not injured us, it has advertised us, it has made us
          more widely known. There are public men whom I have met in my
          life who would rather have evil spoken about them than not be
          noticed at all. They would rather have newspapers attack them and
          tell that which is not true concerning them than to maintain
          silence about them and their movements. In this way we have
          certainly had the benefit of advertising now for a great many
          years, and people have known us either for good or for evil in a
          great many quarters of the earth where, if it had not been for
          this publicity, we might not have been known. It has been of
          great advantage to our missionaries in foreign lands. For
          instance, I have been very much pleased to hear by letter and
          otherwise through our missionaries in Europe, concerning the
          effect of secretary Evarts' circular which he sent abroad
          respecting emigration to Utah Territory. I do not suppose that he
          would have given that circular the publicity he did, or even
          written it at all, if he had been conscious at the time that it
          would have been so good an advertising power for the "Mormon"
          missionaries as it has proved. I am told that a great many
          journalists and public men of various kinds have had their
          attention drawn to us and to our doctrines, and to this
          organization in these mountains, in consequence of that circular,
          who probably would not otherwise have known anything about us. So
          that, as we have been taught, all things work together for good
          to all the people who serve the Lord. Everything is overruled for
          good. We have been told this afternoon, by Elder Cummings,
          respecting the wonderful organization that sprang up immediately
          upon the death of the Prophet, in New England. It had only been a
          very short time before this that the doctrine we believe in--the
          vicarious submission of the people to the ordinances of life and
          salvation had been taught.
          57
          Well, in all these things we behold the hand of God, and in
          witnessing His hand acknowledge it. It is the great strength--as
          I have, I think, told you very frequently--of the Latter-day
          Saints. We believe in God. We believe in Him as He is. We believe
          that He is a Being who hears and answers prayer, and who protects
          and blesses those who put their trust in Him. If I did not have
          that faith, you would not find me going to Washington as your
          representative. I would not go there for all that could be piled
          up as an inducement. But I go there, not strong in my own
          strength, but strong in the strength of that God whom we worship,
          and whom we know controls all the affairs and all the destinies
          of the children of men to suit His own purpose and to bring to
          pass His own designs. I know further, that the prayers of this
          people here, and of the thousands of others who live throughout
          all these mountains, which ascend every night and morning unto
          the God of Sabbaoth, from the humble habitations and from the
          humble hearts of the people, are heard of God, and are answered,
          according to the faith and good desires of the people who offer
          them. What else is there that could have sustained or preserved
          us, or could have delivered us as we have been so wonderfully
          delivered up to the present period? Is there any other power that
          could have done it? I am satisfied that there is no power beneath
          the heavens--no power of man, no combination of men, no wisdom or
          shrewdness or cunning of men, could have effected such great
          deliverances as have been wrought out for this people called
          Latter-day Saints; nothing of this kind could have been brought
          to pass but by the power of God. He who created the heavens and
          the earth, and who placed man upon the earth, and who sent His
          son Jesus in the meridian of time to die for man, the Redeemer
          and the Savior of man--no power but His could have brought about
          that which we witness and preserved to us that liberty which we
          now enjoy and for which as a people we should feel so thankful.
          Take the entire history of this people from the inception of the
          Church, its first organization, until to-day; you trace it from
          its beginning at Fayette, Seneca County, in the State of New
          York, and through its travels, through the journeyings, the
          mobbings, drivings, and persecutions to which the people have
          been subjected: you trace it through until this day of grace,
          June 27th, 1880, the anniversary of the death of the Prophet
          Joseph, and his brother Hyrum, and if a man can do so and not
          acknowledge that there is a God in heaven that overrules the
          affairs of the children of men, then he is in a worse condition
          than I can conceive it possible for a thinking man, who has ever
          had any of the light of truth in his heart to be in.
          58
          Let others then do as they please concerning these matters. Let
          others say that there is no God, that the universe is governed by
          unalterable laws, that there are no special interpositions of
          Providence among the children of men, that God governs the
          universe, governs the earth and the inhabitants of the earth by
          great unalterable laws, that there is no variation in these laws,
          that God does not operate to deliver men except they do it by
          their own wisdom and by their own management, that every man
          reaps the fruit of that which he does, and that his fate is
          unalterably fixed, and a great many have that idea--let others, I
          say, think as they please concerning these matters; but let us,
          as a people, cling to the old faith, to the old doctrine that has
          come down to us through the Bible, that God is, that He is to-day
          as much as He ever was, and put our trust in Him. Let us train up
          our children to the faith that He is a God who hears and answers
          prayer, so that they will have faith in Him, that in times of
          trial, in times of difficulty, when they are encircled by danger
          and it would seem as though there were no possible way of escape
          from the danger with which they are threatened, they can humble
          themselves and call upon God with a faith that cannot be
          overcome, to deliver them and to give unto them those blessings
          which they need. It is the greatest comfort that a human being
          can have to be in close communion with his Father in heaven or
          her Father in heaven. If children grow up with that sort of
          faith, you will find many of the things Elder Cummings has
          alluded to, such as the healing of the sick, and the works that
          were done in ancient days by that same sort of faith, will be
          done, as they are done, in our households and in our communities.
          58
          I have given expression to a few of my feelings. I am thankful to
          find you in such favorable circumstances. I say to you, live the
          doctrines that you profess. Be Latter-day Saints, not in name,
          but in word and deed. Be an example in your lives. Live the
          religion you profess. Be meek, be gentle, be kind. If others
          revile you, revile not again. How easy it is to revile back when
          a man calls you something that is vile and low; how natural it is
          to say something equally sarcastic, equally severe, in return.
          Let us study to control our tongues in our households. Let no
          father give utterance to any word that he would blush to have any
          person of the world hear. Let no mother do such a thing. Let
          every child be taught to respect and reverence not only their
          parents, but old age. Let us endeavor to raise up a generation
          that will respect age. One of the great and growing evils that
          exists to-day in our land is the disrespect that is manifested by
          the young to age. Let us train our children to be respectful and
          to honor the gray hairs of the aged, to honor their parents that
          the great promise that was made in olden times may be bestowed
          upon them, namely: that their days may be long in the land.
          58
          I pray God, my brethren and sisters, to bless you and let the
          peace of heaven descend upon and abide with you in your homes and
          in your habitations, which I ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / George
          G. Bywater, January 30th, 1881
                        George G. Bywater, January 30th, 1881
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE G. BYWATER,
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, January 30th, 1881.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                    THE PECULIARITIES OF THE PEOPLE OF UTAH, ETC.
          59
          The appearance of the congregation before me awakens within my
          mind a number of pleasurable reflections. There is one unerring
          method of determining the value of all subjects, of all objects,
          of all matters pertaining to the interests of our common
          humanity; and that method is the rule by which the results are
          attained, and the determination of the character of those
          results, whether they be good or whether they be evil. And this
          method moreover is not only applicable in determining the various
          secular conditions and circumstances of mankind, but it is
          equally unerring in determining the higher phases and conditions
          of the life of man. It reaches upward into the realms of mind and
          invades, if you please, or spreads itself over the entire field
          of human thought, embracing not only our secular but our
          spiritual interests.
          60
          When Jesus of Nazareth, the Savior of mankind, was on the earth
          sojourning for a few brief years with the children of men, he
          gave expression to this most beautiful and highly philosophic
          rule: "For every tree is known by its fruit. For of thorns men do
          not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. By
          their fruits ye shall know them." It is the contemplation of the
          elementary principles embodied in this rule that has awakened
          within my mind the reflections I have referred to, while gazing
          upon this congregation seated in this beautiful place of worship.
          It is true that the spectacle presented before our minds when
          contemplating the surroundings of the people of the Latter-day
          Saints--the comforts of life they are enjoying, and the material
          blessings that they have become possessed of--does not alone
          determine the divine character of the spiritual philosophy, the
          system of principles and doctrine which constitute their faith.
          For when we travel the world, and extend our observances over the
          great centres of what is called the civilized world of mankind,
          we can behold on every hand stupendous edifices gorgeously
          denominated cathedrals' draped in the most costly tapestry and
          finished in the most elaborate manner, bespeaking a high
          cultivation of art and a development of science in its most
          advanced stages, with every means improvised to render the object
          and purpose of those structures efficient to the ends designed.
          And a reference to these representations of man's industry and
          skill, and to the exhibition of that wisdom, which is at once the
          standard of the intellectual growth and advancement of the race
          and age in which they were brought forth, enables us to judge
          comparatively of the growth of wisdom, and the growth of
          intelligence which has become the heritage of our race, and which
          we inherit through the very mysterious and complex nature of our
          spiritual and physical constitutions. But that which imparts
          greater value to the physical labors of the Latter-day Saints,
          producing the unmistakable phenomena presented here to-day and in
          other places throughout the Territory of Utah, and wherever the
          Latter-day Saints are assembled together in their more scattered
          conditions of life, following the varied pursuits thereof, in
          developing the various branches of labor which have been
          developed in society, and which society demands the performance
          of, is the uninviting character and crude quality of their
          surroundings on one hand, and the indomitable energy awakened by
          inspiration of their faith on the other hand, elucidating to a
          demonstration their faith to be the gift of God, and that their
          works, so far as they are the products of that faith, to be the
          works of righteousness. Therefore we lay claim to considerations
          of an equal character, to considerations of equal merit, to the
          respect and gracious judgments that are awarded to the builders
          of the various centres of civilization, and that are conferred
          upon those active agents and instrumentalities by which they have
          been established among men.
          60
          But that which actuates my mind my brethren and sisters, and more
          especially on the present occasion, is the peculiar character and
          constitution of the faith we have espoused; and upon this
          subject, as I have been invited by my brethren to address you for
          a short time, I respectfully ask your attention.
          61
          What is it, I would ask, that constitutes the peculiarities that
          distinguish the people of Utah from the rest of the world of
          mankind, from the divisions of human society variously
          denominated Christian--Christian Presbyterians, Christian
          Episcopalians, and the Christians of the various denominational
          titles by which they respectively desire to be recognized as
          distinct and separate societies? I ask, what is it that marks so
          peculiarly the distinction between the Latter-day Saints and the
          rest of their fellow-creatures? We claim them to be our
          fellow-creatures, whether they are willing to claim us as their
          fellow-creatures or not. We know we have proceeded from the same
          boundless, the same limitless, the same immutable source of life
          from which they sprang as also our forefathers, and indeed all
          the generations of the children of men, back to the border lines
          of ethnological territory and earliest dawn of human history.
          This distinction of which we speak may be stated in a very few
          words, however unacceptable that statement may be to those of our
          friends, or those who ought to be our friends, who differ from
          us. It is in this--that in the profession of Christianity we have
          accepted it as a whole; we have not regarded fractional
          Christianity, sectional Christianity, modern Christianity, as the
          embodiment of those principles and teachings which the great
          Founder of our faith came into this world incarnate to reveal,
          and which He left as a heavenly legacy to the children of
          men--children of the great common Father, with whom we, with Him,
          once existed, He being the first begotten of the Father, full of
          grace and truth, the first born of many brethren. And we chose to
          accept Christianity in its complete and entire constitution;
          uninoculated by the precepts and doctrines of men, pure from
          heaven, unfolding to our understandings the incomparable plan of
          human redemption. We have accepted the Christian revelation as
          proclaimed by angels and inspired Prophets and Apostles and
          Evangelists of every degree. To us it is a modern revelation, and
          we accept it with all the obligations which it has imposed upon
          us as conditions of salvation; with all its constituted and
          organized officers; with all its divinely instituted ordinances,
          and with all its pure and heaven-born principles that it
          embodies. The truth and elements which go to make up that system
          of worship, that system of faith, that system of belief, or, in
          other words, that system of divine knowledge, possess in their
          nature every virtue requisite, and every element of worth, and
          every force and principle of energy that can reach man--man in
          his entirety, man as a whole, not some particular phase of his
          nature, as they are not designed to develop one particular
          characteristic of his being. The teachers of the Gospel of Jesus
          Christ are not evolutionists who choose to develop one particular
          characteristic to the extreme, and to suppress others to an
          abnormal condition, thereby producing results the most derogatory
          and pernicious in their government over the constitution of the
          being. We have embraced the Gospel which has been revealed for
          the express purpose of meeting man's every want, and of
          furnishing an intellectual regime and mental discipline adequate
          to the unfoldment of every attribute and quality of man. In this
          constitutes the essential difference, the distinctive
          discriminative features between the Latter-day Saints and the
          rest of the so-called Christian world. It is upon this ground
          that our friends differ from us; that our fellow-men wage war
          against us. They, however, would tell you, no. They would say it
          is because we have institutions and practices that are
          antagonistic to the moral ethics of the age; that we support
          practices and lend our defense to doctrines that are repugnant to
          the moral sense of Christianity, to the enlightened races of
          mankind; that they do not at all oppose us on the ground that we
          believe in the Bible, that we accept the doctrines of the Lord
          Jesus Christ--because we believe in prophecy and revelation--but
          that we have come in contact with would-be customs and usages,
          with the popular interpretation of moral principles and moral
          conduct; and that, therefore, we have rendered ourselves
          obnoxious to the Christian world. And that, therefore, because we
          are in the minority, forsooth, it would be in good grace for us
          to abandon that which the majority so strenuously oppose and so
          persistently reject. And they claim that we must do it.
          62
          Now, my friends, I have stated in a very brief manner the
          feelings of the Christian world. I do not speak of any other
          phase of society, because the rest of the world of mankind are
          not in pursuit of divine knowledge; they are not searching for
          those principles which bring life and immortality to light; they
          are generally committed to the science of money-making; they have
          exerted and brought into play all the energies of their being to
          develop trade and commerce, and to engage in developing all of
          the secular interests of the world, not only of one nation, but
          so broad and expansive have become their ideas, that they have
          become purely international in their scope of utility; they have
          crossed the expanse of oceans and penetrated the continents, and
          taken into consideration the welfare of other races as well as of
          that of their own, financially, secularly. But the Christian
          world oppose us upon the ground of our being offensive to them
          because of our institutions. Now, my friends, brethren and
          sisters, it is a consolation to us when we read the pages of
          prophecy; when we open the sacred volume and pore over its
          historical pages and take a retrospective glance into the history
          of the past, and learn that similar charges were brought against
          the Founder of our faith, against Jesus of Nazareth, and also
          against His Apostles and Prophets and the Patriarchs; and that it
          is with the unbeliever in revelation, and with those who are
          influenced by proscribed principles and spirit of any age in
          which they lived to oppose progress, to oppose development in any
          direction.
          62
          There is one great difficulty in the way of progress and that is
          invested interests, not less so in religion than in the avenues
          of commerce and trade. Whenever there have been any great
          principles brought forth in the mechanical world, in any
          department of mechanism from the agricultural through all the
          ramifications of society, they have rarely escaped opposition.
          And, indeed, this obstruction in the way of progress, is not
          confined to mechanical pursuits. There is a spirit with large
          capitalists and men who have invested deeply and extensively
          their capital in the manufacture of any commodity, produced for
          the world's market, which arrays itself against growth and
          progress made in any direction excepting only where it will
          especially benefit them. There is opposition; their invested
          interests stand in the way of progress; and it is not only in
          temporal affairs, but also in religion, in theology. One great
          reason why the doctrines of the Latter-day Saints are opposed by
          the so-called Christians, is, because they place at a discount
          their fractional faith, their fractional currency of belief, so
          to speak, and they do not wish to have their faith discounted;
          they do not wish to be placed in the unenviable light as to be
          regarded as only professing a fragmentary Christianity. And in
          this they only manifest the same envious traits that have marked
          the history of our race in all the great phases and stages of
          progress which the world has made.
          63
          I must here, my friends, make one remark in relation to the
          spirit of persecution that is in the world, and which, by the
          way, is a very anomalous phenomenon, very much so indeed.
          Christianity, in its fundamental principles, has running through
          it a broad vein of charity; and that spirit of mercy and love
          permeates every avenue of it, and thrills with sensitive
          pulsations through every brain, heart and vein of its unfeigned
          believers. There is no duty to be performed, no services rendered
          which the doctrine of the Christian revelations requires of its
          devotees, of its acceptors, but that enjoins the administration
          of mercy and forbearance, and long suffering, and gentleness, and
          tenderness, and meekness, and brotherly kindness, and all those
          excellencies and virtues which grace the character of an
          exemplary Christian. And I may here say, and I do so with
          feelings of shame and regret, that the bitterest persecutions
          that have ever been waged upon the world's battle fields have
          been waged by men who have professed the doctrines of the meek
          and lowly Jesus. Yes, the most overwhelming torrents of human
          blood that have ever stained the world with its gory hue, have
          been let out by the violent hands of those who professed to
          administer in the sacred things of God, who professed to be
          inspired by the spirit of the Divine Master. And of all classes
          of men and women that I have ever met or that I have any
          knowledge of, theological and religious fanatics have been the
          most unreasonable, the most unapproachable, the worst of infidels
          to the Christian cause. This is a broad statement to make; it is,
          notwithstanding, made with due consideration. It has not been
          hurriedly pronounced, for I have given this matter some thought,
          some study and some little observation. And I am convinced my
          friends, that the ignorance and superstition that have produced
          the direst evils, the knowledge of which has been recorded upon
          the pages of history, have not been the legitimate outgrowth of
          the principles of Christianity, but of Christianity falsely
          so-called; they have been the product of unenlightened ideas,
          they have been the result of misguided zeal, that was not
          according to knowledge; and they have been too frequently
          manifested in directions and among communities where better
          results and more genteel and gracious things were expected to
          predominate.
          63
          Now, the history of the Latter-day Saints is one that has been
          before the world for a number of years in many of its phases, not
          probably in all its bearings, not in all its features; but there
          are many salient points in our history that indicate, and that
          most unmistakably, to the impartial student of history, that the
          hostile attitude assumed by theological demagogues and their
          partizan adherents towards the Latter-day Saints is very similar
          to the conduct of the world towards the former-day Saints, and
          stands in offensive comparison with their parade of Christian
          benevolence and religious toleration. In this particular, history
          repeats itself. The revelations of truth have ever awakened the
          spirit of persecution in misbelievers. And our Lord Jesus Christ
          assigned a very acceptable reason why this is so. He says that
          "men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are
          evil." Now, upon this point I do not wish to be understood by my
          brief quotation of this text that I consider mankind
          incorrigible, that the race is hopelessly sunken in depravity and
          sin. No, my brethren, I have more faith in the potency of the
          plan of redemption, and more faith in the remaining stamina and
          integrity of human nature itself, than to give up the hope that
          God will fail to fulfil His purposes in the creation of man. On
          the contrary, I believe that He will develop His heavenly designs
          in the God-like combination of the attributes and qualities that
          constitute man a moral and spiritual being. I have faith that man
          will yet stand forth erect in the likeness of his Maker, in whose
          image he was first created. Man will then be filled with the
          glory of God, which is intelligence and truth; his divine origin
          will then be self-evident; and the truth of what the historian
          Moses has said of the genesis of man, will receive the concurrent
          sanction of science and religion.
          64
          We have received this Gospel from its first principles, through
          the varied stages of progress which it has made, and which has
          been made since its restoration in the dispensation in which we
          live, until to-day. And here we must confess that the verity of
          the Savior's words have been most fully established, that the
          truth comes not to us in its fulness; comes not to us in its
          complete and entire character; but it comes to us as a beautiful
          little bud upon a choice and tender plant that blooms; it comes
          to us as a growing protuberance on the top of a stem; it comes to
          us presenting the appearance of something more to follow; it
          swells: it enlarges; the leaves that modestly and beautifully
          cover up the internal structure of that bud begin to open and
          expand through the vitalizing energies of the sun, whose
          radiating rays impart warmth and life and vigor to the growing
          plant. And it grows stronger and higher; it branches, and
          spreads, and opens more and more until the blossom is spread open
          to full view, and kisses the sunbeams as they descend through the
          vestibule of Nature's laboratory into the sanctum sanctorum, if
          you please, where the formative principles and co-ordinating laws
          reside. The plant has passed through many stages of unfoldment
          from its germinal origin to its maturity--its maximum attainment.
          It has spent its energies in self-development and in elaborating
          provisions for a new existence. The environments change. The
          winter of its life has come. It passes into a season of rest, to
          be again called into new life and enlarged activity when spring
          time comes again. This exemplifies the great law of growth and
          progress in universal nature, not only in the "lily of the
          valley," but in the realm of universal nature where God presides.
          64
          Now the Gospel has come to us something after the fashion
          presented in this little figure. It was not given to us in its
          entirety; it came to us line upon line, precept upon precept,
          here a little and there a little. We are, moreover, informed in
          holy writ, that Jesus, who was the likeness of the Father and the
          express image of His person, in whom dwelt the fulness of the
          Godhead bodily, that He did not receive of that fulness at first,
          but received grace for grace; He increased, He grew in knowledge
          and in favor with God and man; and He is the great prototype, the
          great exemplifier of our faith. And so has been the growth and
          faith of the Latter-day Saints.
          64
          When we received this faith, we received it in the simplicity of
          our hearts. We received it as a message from God, not
          comprehending it in its entirety any more than the child when he
          is conducted to school and placed in a primary class to receive
          his first lesson, is capable of understanding all at once the
          several courses of study and the various branches of knowledge
          which he has the capacity to acquire. No, my friends, he learns
          little by little; he learns first to distinguish between the
          various forms of the characters to which are attached specific
          and distinct sounds, and by which they are to be known. He learns
          to attach the proper value to each and all as they stand in
          relation to one another in the alphabet; and after mastering
          that, learns to arrange and re-arrange and change and modify the
          relationship of those characters, producing various results
          according to the principles of orthography and orthoepy. Thus he
          acquires a knowledge of the language he speaks. So with every
          other branch of knowledge in like manner, the study of theology
          being no exception to the rule.
          65
               So far as our history is concerned; so far as the opposition
          which we have met in propagating this message of mercy, and of
          heralding forth to the world the glorious news and "glad tidings
          of great joy," which shall be unto all people, namely, the plan
          of redemption, we anticipate opposition; it is nothing new; it is
          nothing marvelous when we understand human nature. Not at all. We
          sometimes speak unadvisedly; we sometimes marvel at things which
          happen, but of which, upon more deliberate reflection, we would
          not, because there is nothing strange in this. We see rivalry in
          all things, in all the various phases of society; we see
          competition and rivalry in the present crude and undeveloped
          state of human intellectuality, in the present--if I may be
          allowed the expression--immoral state of society; and I maintain
          that society is in an immoral state when the good of all is not
          contemplated, when the greatest good to the greatest number is
          not the dominant principles, is not the inspiring motive, is not
          the moving and propelling incentive urging men forward in the
          various concerns of life. I say again, that unless there is a
          motive which pervades all our actions, taking into contemplation
          the good of the whole and not of a part, society so conditioned
          is not, in a proper sense, in a moral condition. The condition of
          society contemplated in the Gospel embraces this expressed
          injunction, that we should help to bear each other's burdens;
          that we should do unto others as we would have others do unto us.
          And requires, moreover, that whatever other gifts, whatever other
          qualities, whatever other characteristics may be distinguished in
          our conduct toward our fellow-men, or whatever other features may
          disappear and subside in the rolling tides of the ages in the
          developing of our nature, assimilating it more and more in the
          image of God, that there are certain attributes that will never
          fail, namely, faith, hope, and charity. These will forever abide.
          66
          And when I consider these facts as inseparably connected with the
          system of salvation left by Jesus our elder brother, our Lord and
          Savior, what are we to think of the attitude of the Christian
          world toward us. How very uncharitable they are! How very unlike
          the Savior in His conduct, in the judicial murder of the
          crucifixion upon a Roman cross--"Father, forgive them for they
          know not what they do." Do our Christian friends feel so towards
          us? Do they who think we are deluded; that we are beguiled by
          false conceptions of righteousness, that we have been decoyed by
          some impure motives to the maintenance of institutions that are
          damning in their character upon man, do they exercise this
          forgiveness towards us? No, my friends. But as there is a kind of
          Christianity referred to in the Scriptures, whose propagandists
          appear in sheep's clothing, garbed with all the sanctity of
          innocent lambs, but within are ravening wolves, we are confined
          to the Savior's rule of judging men and things--"By their fruits
          ye shall know them." But it is our duty to emulate the examples
          given us by Him in whom was no guile. When Jesus came into the
          world, did He seek to exterminate everybody? Or His followers,
          poor fishermen, Did they seek to destroy and institute
          persecution against those who differed from them in opinion? No.
          Have the Latter-day Saints exhibited this spirit towards the
          world? No, they have not; and we modestly and friendly challenge
          the universal world to cite us to any feature or trait that may
          be found in any chapter of our history wherein we have sought to
          wage war against man or woman because they did not believe as we
          did; to coerce them to the acceptance of our faith; to drag them
          into prison or drive them with the sword because we could not
          make disciples of them. No, my friends, such a disposition even
          is contrary to the genius of our faith. We have invited
          respectfully, the most competent expounders of the doctrines of
          the various sects when they have chanced to come among us, to
          enunciate their views from our pulpits and in our lecture rooms,
          to our own congregations. We have never closed our door against
          them, although we have been so very exclusive; although we are so
          peculiar a people, and so arbitrary in our priestly rule as
          charged by our liberal accusers. But when our missionary Elders
          have gone forth to the world, it has been a very rare thing,
          indeed, to meet with such a favor; and when such an opportunity
          has been proffered, we have known how to prize it. When ministers
          have opened the doors of their meeting houses or churches,
          offering us the use of the same to preach to their assemblies, we
          have acknowledged most respectfully the receipt of such favors.
          Who do you think is the more charitable? Where are we to draw the
          line of demarkation between the charity of the "Mormons" and that
          of other dissenting Christian churches, and their feelings and
          sentiments towards us? It would not be a difficult thing to draw
          this line; but I forbear this afternoon.
          66
          I will simply say, it affords me pleasure to realize that God has
          thus far presided over our destinies; that we have been held, as
          it were, in the hollow of His hand. We have been a handful of
          people with the prejudices of an unbelieving generation running
          high tide against us. We have been looked upon as unworthy a
          passing notice. But a change has come over the vision of their
          minds. Now everybody is giving us notice. God has permitted us to
          gather strength, and that, too, in the face of the bitterest
          persecution and the fiercest opposition which we have had to
          contend with, and that which God has designed to develop and
          establish in the earth will triumph all the more by being thus
          opposed. The more the effects of resistance are brought to bear
          against it, like the shaking of the forest tree, very frequently
          promotes its growth: it disturbs its roots; it loosens the soil
          around it and it commences to put forth fresh energy, increasing
          in strength and size; and like the mustard tree, the more it is
          kicked the farther the seed is scattered.
          67
          Now this is the view I take of the results of opposition which we
          have had; and we have excellent precedents for believing this,
          not only in the day and age in which we live, but all past
          history contributes to the support of this belief and its supply
          of material is ample for the argument. Now, this is not only the
          case with reference to the truth itself, but it is a principle
          inherent in nature that sometimes a bad cause is also fostered by
          the opposition it meets with. So that those of our friends
          whether here or elsewhere who suppose that opposing the truth
          will produce an arrest of its growth, and extinguish the life it
          contains, the vitality embodied in it, are simply poor readers of
          human history, are simply ignorant of the facts of history, and
          are ignorant of the various phases of human nature, as that human
          nature has been developed in the varied schemes that have sprung
          into life during the centuries past and gone. But when we take
          these indestructible principles that outlive the ages; when we
          take a truth that is universally so, one that is a truism in its
          nature, and when we take our association of those truths together
          and constitute a system, and then undertake to wage war against
          that system, my friends, it is a very costly experiment; it is a
          losing game. For "truth though trampled to the earth will rise
          again." You cannot destroy that which cannot die. You cannot put
          life out of that which is life itself. You cannot extinguish the
          power that is limitless in its resources. You cannot do it.
          67
          Now, I do not purpose occupying your time but a few moments
          longer. I have directed your thoughts over quite a breadth of
          ground in quite a rambling manner. I have not felt disposed to
          take a subject and direct your thoughts specially to it; for I am
          aware when subjects are spoken of, and questions are sprung, the
          mind involuntarily follows out and conducts itself through a
          series of reasons and deductions until it arrives at legitimate
          conclusions, satisfying itself or otherwise as the case may be;
          but I have brought up a number of questions showing the general
          character of the work in which we are engaged. I am convinced
          that God has directed our destiny, and that His hand is still
          over us for good; and that we are the happy recipients of many
          proofs of his divine favor. He has withheld from us the
          chastening rod of our enemies; He has dispelled the clouds which
          have gathered around us in sable thickness, and has shed forth
          the light of heaven upon us, which has caused our hearts to
          rejoice in the God of our salvation. We have received the
          doctrines of Jesus Christ: faith in Him; repentance of sins, and
          baptism for the remission of sins; and we have essayed and
          covenanted to live a new life in Christ Jesus; to seek to do good
          to all men, and evil to none; and like Daniel of old, to be
          faithful to the statues and to the decrees and behests of
          Jehovah, the decrees of man against us notwithstanding; we having
          come to the conclusion in our own minds that God and a few good
          men form an overwhelming majority. And we shall see and yet learn
          that truth will triumph and prevail. But it may be--and we have
          promises moreover to that effect--that clouds of darkness will
          gather; that threatening storms will rise; that the impending
          dangers will be so imminent as to cause the countenance of some
          to pale and their knees to tremble and their faith to falter.
          But, then, the darkest hour is before the dawn of day. So shall
          we find that God, when He shall have been fully convinced of our
          integrity, having proven us as gold is purified through fire,
          will abide by the results of obedience to His covenants; that we
          shall come off more than conquerors through Him who loves us,
          even Jesus Christ our Savior.
          67
          May His Spirit and His grace sustain us in the discharge of every
          duty, in the developing of every divine institution and in
          maintaining every correct principle, and in promoting peace and
          righteousness upon the earth, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus
          Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 /
          Charles W. Penrose, January 30, 1881
                        Charles W. Penrose, January 30, 1881
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER CHAS. W. PENROSE,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, January 30, 1881.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                    THE SPIRIT OF REVELATION AND ITS OPERATIONS.
          68
          I have listened attentively to the remarks made to us by Brother
          Bywater, this afternoon. He has presented to us a great many
          things that are true and profitable for us to reflect upon. I
          always take pleasure in listening to my brethren when they say
          something. I take pleasure in reflecting upon the ideas which
          they present and in carrying them to their legitimate conclusion.
          When we hear a truth presented to us by the Spirit of the Lord,
          it is of this nature, that we are not only instructed in that
          particular truth for the time being, but it leads us to reflect
          upon truths that grow out of or are connected with it. One truth
          seems to lead to the contemplation of other principles, and they
          to others, until the great field of truth is open to our view,
          and we see that we know but very little, but that there will be
          an opportunity afforded us to advance and learn that of which we
          are now ignorant.
          69
          Brother Bywater has to some extent this afternoon drawn the line
          of distinction between the faith of the Latter-day Saints and the
          creeds of the various denominations, expressing himself to the
          effect that whereas each of them take in but a part of the Gospel
          of Jesus Christ as declared in the Scriptures, in their creeds,
          the Latter-day Saints embody in their faith the whole of it; that
          whereas the different Christian denominations are founded upon
          some few peculiar ideas and tenets, the faith of the Latter-day
          Saints is based upon a broader foundation--that we take in the
          whole of the Gospel, the whole of the revealed will of God to
          man. This is correct so far as it goes. But the faith of the
          Latter-day Saints is not comprehended alone in that which God has
          revealed and is placed on record. The creed of the Latter-day
          Saints is not comprised by a certain number of tenets; we are not
          limited to a certain number of articles of faith; we are not
          confined to the things which are laid down in the book called the
          Bible, which all the professing Christians of the times declare
          they believe. We are not bound up by the Old Testament, nor the
          New Testament, nor by both combined. We have received certain
          principles that can be found within the lids of the Bible. A
          great many of our principles can be found existing among the
          various Christian denominations. One sect believes in some things
          which we believe in; other sects believe in other things in which
          we believe. But there are principles connected with our faith
          which go over and beyond and above all that which is comprehended
          in the Christian world, and all that which is contained within
          the lids of the Bible. And yet at the same time there is nothing
          in our faith, there is nothing in our creed which contradicts
          that which is in the Bible. There is no principle in our faith
          which contradicts anything that can be demonstrated by known
          truth. Truth always harmonizes with itself. And when a person
          grows in the knowledge of the truth and advances to higher
          principles, he does not receive anything that contradicts any
          truth he had previously learned, for truth is never discordant
          with itself. Truth is eternal; truth, as we have been told this
          afternoon is indestructible and never contradicts itself.
          69
          The great distinction, as I view it, bringing it down to a small
          point, existing between the people called Latter-day Saints and
          all other bodies of professing Christians is this: That our creed
          is founded upon doctrines and principles and a spirit which have
          come from heaven in our own times. The doctrines of our faith,
          most of them, can be found laid down in great plainness in the
          books of the Bible and were revealed aforetime. Yet we have not
          received our training, our ideas concerning them, from the Bible.
          They have come to us from heaven direct. Every doctrine and
          principle of our faith has been sent down to us in our own times.
          These doctrines have come by present revelation. Now in that
          there is a marked difference between us and the rest of the
          people who profess to believe in the Christian religion. The
          various sects of modern times draw their creed--or profess to do
          so, from the Bible; they take it from the written books; they do
          not profess to have received any direct communication from the
          heavens. Take all these various sects of modern times and examine
          into their different creeds and the foundation of their belief in
          them, and you will find that it rests upon the hypothesis of the
          divinity of the Old and New Testaments. They trace their
          doctrines--or profess to do so--to these books, and they believe
          in the various doctrines which exist among them, because they
          consider that they can find them in these books. The book is the
          foundation. The Bible the written word, the dead letter, is the
          foundation of all their creeds. Perhaps the Roman Catholic
          Church, as it is commonly called, is the only exception in that
          respect. But even the Roman Catholic Church, who look to the Pope
          as the great earthly head of the Church, do not believe in
          present revelation, they did not obtain their creeds through
          direct communication with the heavens. Although the Pope
          professes to be the direct descendant of St. Peter, he does not
          even profess to have that great gift which made Peter a veritable
          Apostle--that is, the gift of revelation. Peter received
          communication from on high; so did his brethren of the
          Apostleship. This was the real source of their light, this was
          the real power by which they instructed the people. They were
          filled with the Holy Ghost, the spirit of revelation; they were
          in communication with the great unseen Head of the Church, Jesus,
          who was crucified, and had departed from their midst.
          70
          But all the various sects that compose modern Christendom more or
          less repudiate the idea of present revelation. They do not
          believe that in these times man can commune with his Maker. They
          believe, to use one of their favorite expressions, that 'the
          awful voice of prophecy is closed forever; that the canon of
          scripture is full;' and they believe that when John the Apostle
          wrote the book of Revelation, that was the last sacred record
          committed to man.
          70
          Now you see there is a great difference between the whole
          Christian world and the Latter-day Saints. Whereas we also
          believe in the Bible; whereas we also believe that God inspired
          holy men of old and that they wrote as well as spoke by the Holy
          Ghost: while we believe in the merits of Jesus, the mediator of
          the New Covenant, believe in his atonement, believe in the work
          he wrought out for the salvation of mankind; and believe in the
          teachings of his inspired Apostles, yet we do not found our faith
          upon that which is recorded in the sacred book called the Bible.
          But our faith is founded upon communications received in our own
          times, in the nineteenth century by living Prophets and living
          Apostles--by men who to-day hold that authority which the men
          held who wrote the things contained in that book. In that, then,
          is a great distinction between us and all the rest of the
          Christian world.
          70
          And there is another distinction, as I remarked just now; that
          whereas these various Christian sects are confined within certain
          narrow limits of faith, tied up within a certain number of
          articles or principles, our faith is not tied up by any number of
          tenets. The revelations which have been given to us at the
          present time do not constitute the whole of our creed. True, they
          constitute our creed so far as we have advanced today, but we
          stand ready to receive still further communication from the same
          source; the way is still open for us to receive still further
          light, further principles, further admonitions, further counsels,
          and further plans for the rolling forth of the great work of God
          on the face of the earth. So that our creed--although it is true
          it can be likened to the blossoming of that flower which Brother
          Bywater has so beautifully pictured before us, but which will
          fade and fall away--is to me more like the tree of life, which
          shall never perish, whose leaves are for the healing of the
          nations, whose fruit bears the flavors and the juices of
          immortality, whose leaves never crumble or decay, whose roots are
          grounded in eternal soil, and that shall never wither and never
          die. This everlasting Gospel which we have received is the tree
          of life that shall flourish forever. And the same power which has
          revealed faith, repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands,
          and the holy Priesthood, and has made known unto us the plan for
          the redemption of the living and the dead, and has inspired us to
          our works up to the present time, is still ready to communicate
          line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a
          little, that we may be ready for every emergency, prepared for
          every event in the work of our God as it rolls forward on the
          earth. And when we, as individuals, depart behind the vail, we
          shall find the same opportunities there. We shall not lose the
          power to receive revelation. Our Priesthood will go with us. We
          will continue to grow in the knowledge of correct principles.
          That same Holy Spirit which has revealed a few things to us on
          the earth, and stamped the truth of them upon our hearts, will
          continue to open unto us the great things of the boundless
          universe; for it is the spirit of truth, and it will guide into
          all truth.
          71
               This is the condition that the Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints is in, and in that respect it stands distinct
          from all other bodies of so-called Christians now extant upon the
          face of the earth. But in this respect it is exactly the same as
          the old Church we read about in the Bible.
          71
          The beginning of this great latter-day work was when the Father
          and the Son revealed themselves to the Prophet Joseph Smith. God
          spake from heaven. God opened up the communication that had been
          lost for centuries. Ages had rolled along and there was no voice
          from above. But the Lord spake to Joseph saying, "This is my
          beloved son, hear him." The Lord, the Great God, the Eternal
          Father, who spake in ancient times by the Prophets; and in the
          meridian of time by His Only Begotten Son, has spoken in this age
          for the world and has pointed to His Son as His mouthpiece as
          standing between him and the inhabitants of the earth, and this
          work in which you and I are engaged, is under the immediate
          direction of that holy being, our Elder Brother Jesus Christ,
          whom we are commanded to hear. We are not to go after the vain
          traditions of sects, nor the vagaries of men; we are to "hear
          him." God has said so. Every doctrine and every principle that
          has been revealed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
          Saints has come from the Father through the Son, and by
          messengers who have been sent to this world by the Son, and by
          the power of the Holy Spirit, which bears witness of the Father
          and the Son. It is as it was in that revelation given to St. John
          on Patmos. Read the first two verses of the first chapter of the
          book of Revelations: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God
          gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must
          shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel
          unto His servant John." That is the order. God, our Father, is
          the author of all things here upon this earth. He is the
          developer or revelator of truth to us. He is the author of our
          existence and of our faith; it all comes from Him; but it comes
          through Jesus Christ; He stands between us and the Father, and
          although all things are of the Father, they come by and through
          Jesus Christ, the mediator. He sends others as the Father sent
          Him. These come and minister to those on the earth. And the Holy
          Ghost that proceeds from the Father, that fills all the immensity
          of space, that is in all things and through all things and round
          about all things, and is "the law by which all things are
          governed;" that beareth witness of the truth to all people who
          abide by the truth, will quicken them and bring them into
          communion with the Father and the Son. And therein lies the
          beauty of our faith.
          72
          Now, this communication that I am speaking of is not confined
          alone to those that are called to the Priesthood of the Church;
          it is not confined to three or twelve or seventy, or any given
          number of men, or to all the men; it belongs to the whole Church,
          male and female. It is the spirit of revelation, the spirit of
          Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy. This spirit quickens the
          whole body. And here again is a distinction between us and the
          rest of the world. We can not only receive the Holy Spirit to
          gladden our hearts, to cheer our souls, to comfort us, to make
          plain what is written in the books, but also as a present
          revelator. Just as the light that comes from the sun streams down
          to gladden our eyes and make plain the physical objects of
          creation, so the light that comes down from the sun of
          righteousness is universally diffused in the Church, that every
          man and every woman and every child of proper years who has
          obeyed the ordinances of the Gospel, may receive of that
          spiritual light and revelation, each and all in their own place
          and for their own purposes as they need.
          72
          When I speak of this spirit of revelation, I wish to be clearly
          understood. As I have said, each one in his own place is entitled
          to the manifestations of the spirit. But the President of the
          Church, who is sustained by the voice of the Church and by Divine
          appointment, stands as the revelator to the Church. If there is
          anything to reveal for the guidance of the Church as an organized
          body, or for the comfort and edification of the Church, it will
          come through the head. That is clearly laid down in the
          revelations God has given us, that we might never be deceived by
          the revelations of this person or that person who might claim to
          have received a Divine message. In the rise of the Church the
          Lord said if He had anything to communicate to the Church as a
          body, He would reveal it through his servant Joseph. "None else,"
          said the Lord, "shall be appointed unto this gift except it be
          through him, for if it be taken from him, he shall not have power
          except to appoint another in his stead; and this shall be a law
          unto you, that ye receive not the revelation of any that shall
          come among you, and this I give unto you that you may not be
          deceived, that you may know they are not of me." But, says one,
          supposing the head does not obey the ordinances; supposing he
          transgresses; suppose he turns aside and is unfit to receive the
          revelations of God for the Church--why, then, the Lord says
          another shall be appointed in his stead. Thus we have an order by
          which we may not deceived. When we get any revelation from God to
          this Church, it will come through the head of the Church. Yet
          when a man is called to preside over a portion of God's Church he
          may obtain, by the power of the Holy Ghost, a knowledge of his
          duties, a knowledge of the wants of the people under his care,
          and thus be able to counsel them under circumstances in that
          particular sphere. So in a family. A man who has a family, and
          who has been ordained to the Priesthood, can have the light of
          God to guide him in the interests of his family, that he may know
          how to rule and conduct all things properly in that household;
          but it is not his duty to dictate to the Ward or to the Stake in
          which he resides; that belongs to the constituted authorities;
          but in his own affairs he may obtain the revelation that he
          needs, and so in regard to principle and doctrine for his own
          benefit. A man or a woman in this Church is not tied down to
          written tenets of faith, but has no right to teach or attempt to
          expound that which God Almighty has not given through the head,
          although all have the right to receive light and knowledge for
          themselves. And I know the way is open. I know the Lord is ready
          to hear the prayer of every member of the Church. I know He will
          hearken and hear and speak to their souls that which they need in
          due season.
          73
          There is this difficulty sometimes in this Church, however, and
          the same difficulty existed in former times. If a person should
          happen to grow a little in the knowledge of the truth, and get
          something which others may not have received, he may become
          puffed up in the vanity of his heart, and think he should be
          exalted into a high position. For instance the Lord gives gifts
          to the Church--the gift of tongues, the gift of prophecy, the
          gift of healing, the gift of being healed, the gift of
          discernment of spirits, and a great many other gifts according to
          the faith, desires, and capacities of the Saints. A person may
          get a gift and rejoice very much in that gift, but just as soon
          as he becomes desirous of displaying it, and wishes to be
          considered great among men because of it, just at that moment he
          is in danger of being led by a false and delusive spirit, led out
          of the strait and narrow path that leads to lives eternal. All
          these gifts properly used are for the benefit of the Church.
          Above all, every member should enjoy the spirit of revelation.
          Were it not for this spirit of revelation we would not be any
          different from other churches, this Church would be dead without
          this divine light, which indeed is the life thereof.
          73
          Now, my brethren and sisters, seeing this is a day of revelation,
          seeing we stand in this position before the Lord, seeing the Lord
          is nigh to us, that he can hear our prayers, and that he will
          answer them, what kind of people ought we to be? Why, we should
          be a people ready and anxious to receive every word he may reveal
          through the authorities of His Church whom he has appointed to
          lead, guide and instruct us. People make a great deal of fuss
          about the "Mormons." They say we are led by men. They think we
          are bound up in chains of bondage, compelled to do this, that or
          the other. Why we are of all people in the world most free!
          Sometimes I think we have almost too much freedom. We have
          embraced the gospel of liberty, and seeing that God has placed at
          its head men to make known how we are to act, we should be ready
          and anxious to receive the word of life; and when we pray for God
          to sustain the authorities of the Church in their respective
          positions, we should be ready and willing to sustain them
          ourselves, and receive the word of God revealed through them for
          our guidance. And if we were willing to put into actual practice
          the things that God has revealed in the Book of Doctrine and
          Covenants--a book which contains some of the revelations given in
          our time--I know the Lord would reveal more. Just as soon as we
          are ready to carry out what has already been revealed, the
          heavens are ready to reveal more. We have only received a little
          of that which is designed to be made known in the latter days.
          God is ready to reveal in this great dispensation all things that
          were revealed in former times, and many things that have been hid
          from the foundation of the world. Well, let us live up to that
          which we have received, let us reduce it to daily practice, and
          if we have been doing things that are wrong and contrary to the
          will of God, let us make up our minds that we will do so no more,
          that we will live the lives of Latter-day Saints, doing our duty,
          filling the sphere we are called upon to occupy, and we shall
          have joy in our labors, God will be near to us, He will be unto
          us a Father and a Friend, and we will have all the time a
          testimony of this work.
          74
          I bear my testimony this afternoon before this congregation--and
          I am willing to do so before all the world, if my voice could
          reach to the ends of the earth--that I know God lives, that Jesus
          of Nazareth, who died on Calvary's Mount, is His son; that He has
          revealed Himself in our time; that the Holy Ghost, the spirit of
          revelation, has spoken to my soul, bearing witness to me of the
          truth of this work, and I rejoice that I am a Latter-day Saint.
          74
          I pray God to bless us as a worshipping congregation to-day; that
          He will seal upon our hearts the spirit that shall help us to be
          truthful and righteous and pure, and that we may always be
          actuated by the spirit of revelation, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / Henry
          W. Naisbitt, February 20th, 1881
                       Henry W. Naisbitt, February 20th, 1881
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER HENRY W. NAISBITT,
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                       Sunday Afternoon, February 20th, 1881.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                THE ADVANCEMENT OF GOD'S PEOPLE UNDER THE INFLUENCES
                                 OF THE GOSPEL, ETC.
          74
          It is related in the history of the Lord Jesus Christ, that upon
          a certain occasion (after some of His marvelous works,) He was
          followed by a great number of people; and upon noticing that this
          continued, He called His disciples and said:--
          74
          "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with
          me now three days, and have nothing to eat; and I will not send
          them away fasting, lest they faint by the way. And his disciples
          said unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the
          wilderness as to fill so great a multitude? And Jesus saith unto
          them, how many loaves have ye? And they said, seven, and a few
          little fishes. And he commanded them to sit down on the ground.
          And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks and
          brake them, and gave to his disciples, and his disciples to the
          multitude, and they did all eat and were filled; and they took up
          of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full, although
          they that did eat were four thousand men besides women and
          children."
          75
          In looking upon a congregation like the present, I think that
          every Elder in Israel must feel that from the few small loaves
          and fishes which he may have accumulated in his experience, he is
          unable to feed and supply the necessities of the multitude before
          him. But while he occupies the position, he realizes that the
          infinite resources of the Holy Spirit are within general reach,
          and that this can be supplied and so administered as to bring
          home the little food that may be presented; and that by the
          processes of its multiplication, every man and every woman, and
          all the youth who are assembled, may have their "portion of meat
          in due season," they may go away satisfied and refreshed and
          fitted for the duties of life, and their minds may be so expanded
          as to realize that through the inspiration of the spirit there is
          more left than appeared at the beginning. If this result depended
          upon a man's native intelligence, if it were to come alone from
          the narrow field of his own experience, in my opinion it would be
          presumptuous in one to expect to be able to do much good. But the
          Elder who stands before the congregations of Israel, realizes
          that he is but the instrument, that he is but the medium, and
          that he needs to be taught as well as to be the medium for
          teaching; that he needs to be fed, as well as to be the
          instrument of feeding others; that his character and capacity are
          pretty much like the majority of those who are in communion with
          the same Church; that if he is to grow, to increase, to acquire
          strength, to become filled with intelligence, that he must reach
          beyond the confines of man's thought; that he must get beyond the
          boundaries of man's experience, that he must draw his supplies
          from resources which are greater than those that man controls;
          and that it is only from this outreaching that he will be able to
          satisfy the wellings of the spirit within him which desires to
          comprehend and to accumulate and to enjoy all truth.
           
          75
          The many agencies which are at work among the Latter-day Saints,
          to bring to pass the purposes of the Almighty, are more or less
          understood by all. I think that there are none of us scarcely,
          who would claim the title of "Master of Arts." We are all, I
          think, satisfied to be acknowledged (and to feel it an honor and
          a privilege to be acknowledged) as students or pupils in the
          great school of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have all
          comprehended the depths of our ignorance; we have all realized
          that the training which has been necessary for us, the lessons
          which have been given unto us had to be adapted to our capacity
          and to our condition; no matter how high our spirits might soar
          in anticipations of the present or the future that spreads before
          us--when we have come to ourselves; when we have really felt our
          insignificance, when we have realized how easily we are
          influenced by temptations that are opposed to our best interest;
          when we realize how easily we are diverted by the fashions and
          frivolities of life; when we realize how we are cast down by
          opposition, and how the efforts of our enemies seem measurably to
          test our faith--I say, when we realize that these are the
          feelings of the masses of the people, we then comprehend that we
          need to be buoyed up and sustained by a power that is vastly
          higher and greater than ourselves.
          76
          We are a good deal in the condition of our boys when they go to
          school. They come in contact with those who are far in advance of
          themselves; in their simple primary lessons they realize what an
          immense gulf there is between them and their preceptor. And when
          in our ignorance we realize how far we are behind many of those
          who have grown gray with experience, who have been passive to the
          reception of the spirit of revelation, who have been able to
          grasp a large amount of truth, and to comprehend the bearings
          which one truth had upon its neighbor truth, (all together
          jointly working out that process which is called and constitutes
          education in the life of a Saint), we have had our ambition
          stirred, our feelings wrought up, our minds illuminated by the
          influences of this same spirit of inspiration. Sometimes this has
          been in reading the productions of the old Prophets, sometimes in
          listening to the champions of the Gospel in our day, sometimes in
          sitting beneath the combined influences of the hosts of
          thoughtful men and women among the congregations of the Saints.
          Probably we might illustrate, for a moment or two, how the
          changes we look for are likely to be brought to pass, and the
          ways have been presented to us from time to time. And if the
          illustration is drawn from homely things, I hope that it will
          bring home to the good Saints and to this audience the truth
          sought to be established.
          76
          Many of the inhabitants of this Territory are
          agriculturists--tilling the soil of these mountain valleys.
          Looking at it naturally, it would not seem to be so highly
          productive, or to yield the vast advantages which spring from
          tillage, that subsequent experience seems to confirm. But here is
          a man engaged in this occupation who has had a measure of
          experience, and who knows, at all events, the rudimentary
          principles which pertain to his occupation.
          76
          In the beautiful months of summer he walks into his field. He
          remembers his labor there, how he took pride in the preparation
          of that field for the harvest which he desired. It was well
          ploughed; it was well harrowed; it was well seeded; and as the
          spring rains descended it became clothed in a garment of lustrous
          green. As the weeks pass by it advances towards a higher form,
          even towards maturity, until with the warmth of the increasing
          sun, and partly as the product of the good cultivation which it
          has had, it glows in this sunshine of the summer with the promise
          of an abundant harvest.
          76
          The farmer, realizing the destiny of the grain, was disposed to
          question it, after the manner of the fables we read in the days
          of our childhood. He goes into this field of grain as the passing
          cloud flits over it; as the wind sweeps across its face he
          notices how it bends with its weight and wealth of grain, he
          admires its beauty and he says, "What a magnificent field of
          wheat is here." And addressing himself to it he suggests:
          76
          "How would you like to be presented to the king?"
          76
          The wheat is growing up in the dark soil of the earth, having no
          idea of its purpose or future; but the question being asked, it
          lifts itself in pride, it rejoices in the prospect that is
          suggested, and finally says:
          76
          "Yes, I would like to be presented to the king."
          77
          But by and by, as it colors to ripeness, the laborers come, and
          with the reaping machines or sickle they go to work in this
          beautiful field of grain, and before it knows where it is,
          instead of waving in the sun and enjoying the elements
          surrounding it, it finds itself lying prone upon the earth. And
          as it lies thus prostrate, the question naturally arises, "How is
          the promise of my master going to be fulfilled? How am I to reach
          the destiny to which he alluded?" While it is pondering over the
          situation, more laborers come along, and they take it and bind it
          into bundles; and the wheat wonders to itself whether the
          bundling process is a step towards its destiny. By and by another
          set of hands comes, and the bundled wheat is set on ends, in
          (what they call in the part of the nation from which I came) the
          form of "stooks." After the stooks have been formed, a cap-sheaf
          is put on them, to protect the grain from the changes of the
          weather. It stands a while in this condition, undergoing the
          mellowing process; but after standing sufficiently in this form,
          another gang of laborers come along, and thrusting their steel
          forks into the sheaves, pitch them on to wagons and haul them
          away to the barnyard, where they are put into a stack. Here it
          remains probably for a time, undergoing another process, passing
          another stage, which fits it better for its final use. But it
          does not remain very long before it is moved again; this time it
          passes through the threshing machine. It goes through the
          beaters, and is subject to the fan, and is thus separated from
          the straw and chaff. It is then put into sacks and tied up at the
          mouth, and after a while it is hauled away to the mill, and there
          it is put into the smutter, and cleansed from foul seed, smut,
          &c.; then passing between the upper and nether millstones, it is
          ground almost to powder; from thence it must perforce pass
          through the bolt, and finally comes out fine, or very fine flour,
          according to the quality of the wheat, or the design of the
          miller. But notwithstanding the many changes it has undergone,
          its end is not yet; it is not yet in a condition to realize the
          fulfilment of the promise. The flour is now taken home to the
          good housewife, who puts a little of it into a pan, and then
          pours hot or cold water upon it, and adds the elements which
          cause fermentation; and then it assumes another condition. It
          begins to think again, "Surely my destiny is now about to be
          fulfilled." But the good wife takes it, and works it, and kneads
          it into loaves, and finally opens the oven door and thrusts it as
          it were into the furnace. By this time it thinks that its end has
          come; it is now about to be consumed. After it has undergone this
          baking process for a while, it comes forth from the oven a
          beautiful, brown, pleasant, well-flavored loaf, in which
          condition it is fit to be presented to the highest authority in
          the land.
          78
          Now, to return again. Here is the human family unconscious of
          their origin, unconscious of their destiny. But the Elders of
          this Church go forth and tell mankind that they are the children
          of their common Father; that they had their origin in the eternal
          worlds; that there lies before them a grand and sublime destiny;
          and they say, inasmuch as this is so, how would you like again to
          be presented to your Father--to the King? How would you like to
          return to His presence, and to enjoy His smiles. How would you
          like to be brought back again to the surroundings you once
          enjoyed? And as the stirring impulses of these warm thoughts rush
          through the hearts of the listeners in the midst of the nations
          of the earth, their minds begin to expand and their hearts begin
          to swell with the newfound dignity thus spread before them, and
          in the promise of the future; but by and by there is a change in
          their condition; in the pride of their hearts, under the
          inspiration of those men who thus taught and counseled them, they
          thought they were going to be somebody. But other contingencies
          of life were upon them. The sickle is at their roots; adverse
          circumstances come along, and withal they are perhaps laid low
          upon a bed of sickness; and when they least expect it they are
          called to pass through the valley of humiliation. And under these
          circumstances they inquire, Is this the way through which I am to
          pass into the presence of the King? The Elders who first prompted
          them to these ennobling thoughts have now induced them to take
          another step in this preparatory process. They repent of their
          sins; they go down into the waters of baptism and become members
          of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they are
          now bound in bundles, or, as they are called, "branches;" and
          when they are tied up in this fashion there is a cap-sheaf put
          over them in the authority of a presiding officer of the branch.
          I know that occasionally there are those in the lower sheaves who
          are disposed to find fault with the position they occupy. They
          say, we are just as good wheat as you can find on the cap sheaf;
          we are just as valuable, we possess just as much intelligence;
          but while this is the case, and they may rebel, yet they finally
          realize that there is an order in the organization with which
          they are identified, and the increase of the spirit of
          intelligence tells them that the same destiny, the same grand
          future awaits the wheat in the sheaves that stand upon the
          ground, as it does the wheat which crowns the pile.
          78
          But a new impulse begins to work in their hearts, and the agents
          came along and gathered them up to the railroad and to the
          steamboat. "From the east and the west, and the north and the
          south," they are taken away in a body and placed in the form of,
          or in the stackyard--this is the gathering place in Zion. They
          are with the body of the Church, in a larger form, than they were
          in the little branches in the old world. And after they have been
          in the stack a while, they begin to look around and to ponder
          upon the changes which they meet from time to time; they find
          themselves in the midst of new conditions; that they are
          surrounded with new combinations of circumstances, subject to new
          influences. Soon they discover that they have reached the
          threshing-floor of the Almighty, and as they pass through the
          cylinders (as it were), through the trials and friction which
          belong to the gathering place of the Saints, as their defects and
          surplusage become apparent, there may be groanings in spirit, but
          the conclusion is reached that they need to lay off the straw of
          old tradition, the chaff of early training, the influences and
          powers which molded them in the past, and to make themselves
          satisfied with every process pertaining to the present and the
          future.
          78
          By and by they come forth from the threshing machine measurably
          divested of extraneous and comparatively useless characteristics;
          but no sooner have they got through than change is on them again;
          they find themselves in the mill, and between the upper and
          nether millstones at that--between the friction of their enemies
          and the direction of the authorities of the Church of Christ,
          they are almost ground to powder, in order that they may know
          themselves, that they may be the better prepared for the future.
          79
          After a while a man is called upon a mission. He goes out to
          colonize the desert, or he is sent to the nations of the earth,
          and here comes the kneading process. The call may be to a hot or
          a cold country, to a pleasant place or a disagreeable one, but he
          all the time realizes that his character is changing, that it is
          being molded into a higher form, becoming more and more willing,
          yet also becoming solidified and established. And after having
          been thus kneaded and watered until in thought and inspiration,
          he begins to ferment, he is again molded into still another form
          and thrust into the oven, that it may consume that which is evil,
          that he may throw off those gases that are unnecessary for his
          future, and having passed through this process, he comes forth
          purified, as it were by fire, and fitted for the Master's
          presence.
          79
          I presume that all the Latter-day Saints are more or less
          acquainted with these trials through which they have passed--with
          the influences that have been at work upon them until they have
          yielded obedience to the Gospel. You that are from the old world,
          or from the new, will realize the feelings of joy and of gladness
          with which you received the Gospel. You will comprehend how, for
          the moment your judgment was carried captive by the power of the
          Spirit of God; how you realized the grandeur and the adaptability
          of the Gospel to your condition, and how much you enjoyed
          association with those who were of a like spirit with your
          selves. You took satisfaction in their society. If you saw a man
          or a woman who belonged to the same branch, you used to rush to
          give him or her the morning or the evening greeting, as the case
          might be. In the midst of your daily avocations you looked
          forward to the meeting in the evening, or you looked forward to
          the meeting on the Sabbath. But after you had been but a little
          while in the Church, you began to realize that every one did not
          look at the Gospel as you looked at it. There were those who
          began to think that you were foolish, enthusiastic, deceived; who
          began to show you that they had no interest in that which you had
          accepted. They treated you with indifference, looked upon you
          with contempt, and you soon found your only satisfaction was in
          the association of your brethren and sisters; you were drawn,
          even forced, into their society. The bitterest opponents you
          found were in the religious world. The old Sabbath school
          teacher, the old class leader, the old superintendent, the old
          minister, became enemies to you. While professedly anxious for
          your welfare, they considered you were in error, they feigned
          sorrow for your delusion, they hoped for your deliverance. And if
          you lived in a small village or in a small town, it became almost
          an impossibility for you to secure employment. The opportunities
          of living were measurably denied you. Hence you found more
          abiding solace in the Gospel, and you began to comprehend the
          advantages of gathering. You began to realize that there was
          something of an intelligent character in connection with it; that
          by gathering you would escape from this contempt and from this
          opposition; that you would be in the midst of those who were of
          like faith with yourself. By and by you had the chance of leaving
          your native land; but the trials and difficulties which you had
          to meet on the way to "the valleys of the mountains" were very
          hard, and such as you were not accustomed to in your native land.
          You were placed under new conditions, subject to new trials. You
          felt yourself surrounded by new temptations, and you began to
          comprehend that you had within you features of character that
          were comparatively unknown before. You felt the inconvenience of
          traveling on the plains, as we used to do in olden times, with
          eight, ten, or a dozen in a wagon.
          80
          After a time you landed in Zion, and you soon began to realize
          that here was another state, or condition. I recollect my own
          experience when I first settled in this city. I came from the
          active ministry in the old country. No one knew me here, and no
          one seemed to care to know me. I occupied no position; nobody
          bade me welcome; I was a stranger in the midst of a strange land.
          I began to feel a little blue. I had to wonder within myself
          whether gathering had made any difference in my feelings or
          faith, and it was only upon reflection I discovered that from a
          life of comparative activity I had been brought into a condition
          where I was comparatively dormant; my faculties were unexercised,
          and instead of being sought unto, had to seek counsel from those
          who presided over the Ward. Conditions were reversed,
          circumstances were changed, and it was only reflection that led
          me to comprehend this fact. After I had been here a little while,
          I had to look for something to do. I was not sure that I would
          find the employment to which I had been accustomed. I had been
          used to standing behind a counter and attending to business of
          that kind in the old world, but when I came to Salt Lake City
          there was hardly a counter in it. I could find no occupation of
          that character. I therefore went to work as a carpenter, in order
          to sustain myself and family, and become a useful member of
          society. This was a new experience. It brought with it its
          trials. When Saturday night came I was not sure as to the kind of
          wages I would receive. I would likely be paid in something; it
          might be in something I had made myself--the product of my own
          hands; it might be in something I did not want. These were the
          old days of "barter and swap" in the midst of Israel. When we
          wanted a candle we had to melt a piece of fat in a saucer, stick
          a piece of rag in the centre, and by this means light ourselves
          to labor, or to bed. When we want a fire we had to get a little
          wood--there was no coal--and go to work and chop it, and instead
          of a fireplace, we had to make the fire on the hearth, in
          stooping to which my wife would almost break her back in
          attending to the necessities of domestic life. These were in
          their way trials. They gave us new thoughts, new feelings, they
          brought momentarily strange conclusions; we began to inquire
          whether the Zion we had reached was worthy of the ideas we had
          cherished in regard to it. We met with many trials. If we had to
          trade in any way, we came in contact with those who were disposed
          to take advantage. We were "green" in our way, so to speak; we
          were not acquainted with this order of thing, and there was more
          or less friction until we became used to the ways and methods
          which belong to a new country. The old land is the product of
          thousands of years in the history of the past; this was a new
          land, it was but of yesterday, and had all the newness that
          pertained to infancy. Yet I must say that even at that time,
          after a little acquaintance, social life was very warm. People
          used to visit each other with great freedom. There was no vast
          amount of style; there was nobody able "to put it on." When we
          visited we were satisfied to enjoy our molasses and bread and
          squash pie, and with these we thought we feasted almost upon the
          food that the Gods were wont to eat, or upon angels' food. We
          enjoyed these things, until by and by we began to increase in
          means and to build up our homes.
          81
          When we look back upon these primitive times, we see how little
          really the human family can get along with. How many things we
          hunger after, desire to have, and spend our lives in obtaining,
          yet how easily we can get along without them. I think that one of
          the greatest losses I experienced in this Territory was that of
          intellectual enjoyment. I had come from Mechanics' Institutes,
          Lyceums and Athenaeums, which offered opportunities of amusement
          and intellectual growth. But you know how it was here in those
          early times. The newspapers have been telling us lately that we
          were occasionally two or three months without a mail, while
          newspapers and books were few and far between. We had left even
          our Stars and Journals and pamphlets on the plains; we had thrown
          them out of our trunks--and I do not know but some had to leave
          their trunks also--and we were thrown more decidedly upon our own
          resources, and we had each to seek more earnestly the inspiration
          of the Almighty to give us intelligence. But even in these
          adverse conditions our minds became enlarged, we continued to
          grow, and had feasts of fat things in the tabernacle, and in the
          Ward, Quorum and other meetings of the Saints. The spirit of
          inspiration rested upon those who spoke to us, and our minds
          expanded to the truths of the Gospel, and the future of the grand
          system with which we had become identified.
          81
          Gradually the Gentile world came into our midst in considerable
          numbers; as they kept increasing they tried many methods to
          divert our attention. They pointed out to us the mines in the
          everlasting hills; they brought along the fashions that belong to
          Babylon; they tried to work upon our feelings; they called upon
          our sons and daughters to throw off the bondage (as they called
          it) which had been placed upon them by the Priesthood. But when
          we pondered upon these things, we realize how little they
          understand our position, how little they understand our
          condition, how little they understand the thoughts we have in
          regard to the future, how little they comprehend the foundations
          of our faith, even while they pray, beg, beseech and coax us to
          recant, how little they know of the power of the spirit and of
          the result of the experience we have passed through in the school
          of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, they continue in
          this direction, and we have to meet it. We must comprehend the
          rivalry--if I may so express myself--the ever-present opposition
          which exists between the powers of intelligence and the powers of
          ignorance.
          81
          Well, we continued to live in Zion. Our families continued to
          increase. People gathered in from the nations of the earth. They
          spread out on the right hand and on the left, built up cities and
          redeemed the waste places. The power and authority of the
          Priesthood has been conferred upon the rising generation. Hosts
          of them are going forth as missionaries in the midst of the
          nations of the earth. They go with power and force, and when they
          return they acknowledge that the process through which they have
          passed has agreed with them. It has given them strength,
          increased their faith, and enlarged their thoughts.
          82
          And so Zion continues to grow. Her population increases in
          intelligence; they are becoming more and more fitted and adapted
          for the society of "the Church of the First Born and the spirits
          of just men made perfect." They are men and women who are looking
          forward to the time when, through their faithfulness and
          integrity, they shall be admitted into the celestial kingdom and
          presented to the King. Their "eyes shall see the King in his
          beauty, and the land that is now afar off;" there they shall
          rejoice in His presence, and feel amply repaid for all trial,
          when they have triumphed and overcome.
          82
          I pray for and am assured that God, by His Spirit, will continue
          to work with the Latter-day Saints; that they will continue to be
          passive to its admonitions and more active to obey; that they
          will seek and learn, by "line upon line and precept upon
          precept," and that while they follow this goodly advice, while
          they are edified by the ideas which are thrown out before them,
          while they enjoy the songs and the anthems which are rendered by
          the choir, I hope they will be strengthened in their faith, and
          carry home with them the influence and the power of the food they
          have received here, and that thus there will be more life in the
          midst of Israel. I hope that even to-day, from the few words
          thrown out, that they will be spiritually strengthened, and so
          know that there are positive elements of growth to be obtained by
          attendance at the sanctuary of the Lord.
          82
          That we may continue to enjoy the life which has been given to
          us, and that we may finally "become men and women in and through
          the Gospel," is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 /
          Charles W. Penrose, May 1st, 1880
                          Charles W. Penrose, May 1st, 1880
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER CHAS. W. PENROSE,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Afternoon, May 1st, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                        PARTAKING OF THE LORD'S SUPPER, ETC.
          82
          We have met this afternoon, my brethren and sisters and friends,
          to worship God the Eternal Father, in the name of His Son Jesus
          Christ, I trust under the influence of His Holy Spirit, and I
          pray that that Spirit may rest upon this entire congregation, and
          that I may be enlightened by its influence so as to be able to
          say something this afternoon which will edify and instruct the
          congregation. Having been called upon to speak to you I hope I
          shall have your attention and the benefit of your faith and your
          prayers, so that such subjects may be presented to my mind as
          will be profitable for us to ponder upon this occasion.
          83
          We are partaking of the emblems of the body and blood of Jesus
          Christ, the Redeemer of the world. We do this in remembrance of
          him, in remembrance of the atonement which he wrought for us and
          for all mankind who will listen to his voice and obey his
          commandments, and also to direct our thoughts to another great
          event in connection with the history of our Lord and Savior Jesus
          Christ, which is yet to take place. We take this sacrament this
          afternoon not only in remembrance of the past but to direct our
          minds to the future. We partake of it to witness that we believe
          in the atonement wrought out by the Lord Jesus on the Mount of
          Calvary, and also that we expect his reappearance on the earth.
          We expect that he will come again, not the next time as the babe
          of Bethlehem, not the next time to be despised and rejected of
          men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, but as the Lord
          of life and glory, as the King of Israel to sit upon the throne
          of his father David, to rule from the rivers to the ends of the
          earth; not to be brought unto the subjection of men, but to have
          all things made subject to him; not to bear his cross up the side
          of Calvary, but to come as a monarch, as a ruler of men, as the
          rightful Lord and King of this earth upon which we live. In
          partaking of these emblems this afternoon, then, our minds are
          carried back to the past, and carried forward to the future, and
          when we hold a piece of bread, blessed by the servants of God, in
          our hands, we take it in token and witness to God that we believe
          in him of whom this piece of bread is a representative. This
          bread is to us a representation of the body of Christ broken for
          us. When we drink of the cup we do so in remembrance of his blood
          and as a witness to God and to each other, that we believe in
          Jesus Christ. Not only that, but we also bear testimony before
          the heavens and one another, that we are willing to take upon us
          the name of Jesus Christ, and remember him, and keep the
          commandments which he has given unto us. So that in our public
          assemblies on Sunday afternoon--or the Sabbath day if you please
          to call it so--we come together to renew our covenants, to make
          manifest before God and one another our feelings and desires in
          relation to these matters, to witness to the heavens and the
          earth that we are called to be Saints, that we have come out of
          the world, that we have separated ourselves from that which is
          evil, and dedicated and consecrated ourselves to the service of
          God, to carry out his purposes on the earth, to be guided by his
          Spirit, to be prompted by the same motives that actuated our Lord
          and Saviour Jesus Christ, when he was a man among men, to renew
          our covenants before God, that we will serve him in all things,
          and that we will prefer the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, that
          we will prefer the Kingdom of God as He has set it up on the
          earth in the latter days above all other things; that we will
          place in our estimation first the Kingdom of God and his
          righteousness with the hope and belief that if we do this all
          other things shall be added unto us as we need them.
          84
          This, then, is a solemn occasion, and although we have the
          privilege of meeting as we do this afternoon every Lord's Day,
          yet it is none the less sacred, and should be none the less
          solemn to us, and we should endeavor on this occasion to call in
          our scattered thoughts, to refrain from thinking upon the things
          of this world, our cares, our business, the affairs that belong
          outside of the Tabernacle, and concentrate our thoughts and our
          feelings and our desires towards God, and the things of God, so
          that his Spirit may brood over us, and that we may be refreshed
          thereby; that we may be spiritually nourished and fed; that when
          we leave our meeting place, we may go away strengthened and
          prepared to battle with the ills of life and with the evils of
          this world. I sometimes think that if we were deprived for a
          little season of the privilege of meeting together, and partaking
          of those sacred emblems, we would attach more importance to our
          meetings and to the ordinances of the Lord's House. If we were
          deprived of the privilege of listening to the voice of the
          servants of God instructing us in our duties for a time, perhaps
          we would value their teachings more than we do. The absence of
          the music this afternoon from our large organ puts me in mind of
          this. I am sorry we cannot have music from the organ to-day. I
          like to hear the tones which come from that fine instrument, an
          organ built by the handiwork of the people of God, of this
          community, when played upon by a good musician. Perhaps if we are
          deprived of the use of that organ for a little while we will
          value it the more after the repairs are completed. So it is with
          our public gatherings; so it is with the various means of grace
          which are so abundantly bestowed upon us as the children of God.
          God has been very merciful to us in affording us so many
          privileges of instruction. All the time there is a voice saying,
          'this is the way, walk ye in it.' There is no need for any man or
          any woman among the Latter-day Saints to go astray for the lack
          of instruction. We have our public meetings in our settlements on
          the Sabbath day, where the people come together to worship the
          Father in the name of the Son, where they can receive the
          outpourings of the Spirit in a collective capacity, as a
          congregation. We have our Sunday Schools to which we can send our
          little children that they may be taught in the way of life, and
          in the paths of holiness and virtue before the Lord. We have our
          Ward Meetings on Sunday evenings, where we can meet together in a
          ward capacity, and bear our testimony to the truth, or receive
          instructions from our Bishops and from the missionaries, who may
          visit us from time to time. And during the week we have many
          opportunities of assembling together, to hear the word of life,
          to talk to one another of the things of God, and be instructed in
          our various duties, both temporal and spiritual. Then we have the
          great privilege given us of God, that all the time we may draw
          near unto the throne of grace and receive for ourselves,
          individually as well as collectively, the power of the Holy
          Spirit to enlighten us in regard to the purposes of God, to
          strengthen us against sin, to enable us to cultivate the good
          that is in us, and grow up unto him who is our living head in all
          things, even the Lord Jesus.
          86
          This is the greatest boon that could be conferred upon mortals
          while dwelling in the flesh, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the
          Comforter, the spirit of truth, which reveals unto men the things
          of the Father and of the Son, which is a spiritual light to the
          inward being, which is the same to the spiritual nature of man as
          the light that streams from the sun is to the physical nature of
          man. As we are able to see the various physical objects of
          creation by the light of the sun, or as we call it, natural
          light, so by the aid of this spiritual light we can discern the
          things of God, and they can be made just as plain to our
          spiritual eyesight by the power of the Holy Spirit, as the things
          of the earth are made plain to our natural eyes by the power of
          the natural light that comes from the sun, or any artificial
          means which we may use or discover. The light which comes from
          God to enlighten the mind of man, to some degree is universally
          diffused like the light of the glorious sun. It is the true light
          that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. There is no
          person born into this world who breathes the breath of life, but
          who at the same time receives a portion of this divine spirit,
          this divine illumination. This blessing is not confined to people
          who are called "Christian," it is not confined to any particular
          branch of the human family. All people who live and move and have
          a being on the face of the earth are enlightened measurably, by
          this Spirit of truth which comes from God. It is the light and
          the life of the world at the same time. Just as we read in the
          first chapter of the Gospel according to St. John. Speaking in
          regard to Jesus, who is there called the word, we read: "In the
          beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word
          was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were
          made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
          In him was life, and the life was the light of men." * * * "That
          was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the
          world." This is that spirit of intelligence spoken of in the Book
          of Job. We read there that "There is a spirit in man, and the
          inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." If we
          have any understanding at all, any intelligence at all, any
          natural intelligence born with us into the world, it is the gift
          of God. He that created the heavens and the earth, the seas and
          the fountains of water; He that made the sun and his light
          thereof--He lighteth every man that cometh into the world. This
          is the same spirit which is called the Comforter, although it
          does not operate in the same degree as that spirit which is
          called the gift of the Holy Ghost, which we read about in the New
          Testament, in the promises of Jesus Christ to his disciples and
          to those who would keep his commandments; but all people born
          into the world receive a portion of divine light, and if they
          would grow up under the influence of that light and be actuated
          and guided by its whisperings all through their earthly career,
          it would lead them gradually up to the fountain of light, to "the
          Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of
          turning;" it would lead gradually to God, so that they could
          commune with God while they remain in the flesh; they would grow
          up nearer and nearer to Him, for they would choose the good and
          refuse the evil; they would take into their nature that which
          would lead them towards God, and they would repel from them that
          which would lead downward, they would discern the strait and
          narrow path that leadeth unto life, and they would avoid the
          broad road which leadeth unto destruction, in which so many of
          the human family have walked from the beginning. It is because
          the people that dwell on the earth do not listen to the "still
          small voice" of that natural light which is born with them into
          the world, that they do not receive the things of God. It is
          because they love that which savors of darkness and of evil that
          they do not comprehend the things of God as they are in him, and
          that they are shut out from that communication which all people
          might have if they would walk in the right way.
          86
          We are placed here in a world of opposites. Just as it was
          symbolized in the Garden of Eden with regard to the tree of life
          and the tree of death, or the tree of the knowledge of good and
          evil. So it is here. All through the ages that are past, God has
          placed before his children good on the one hand and evil on the
          other, and it is the privilege of all men to choose the good or
          the evil, which they please. Their agency is free. God will force
          no man to heaven; he will allow no man to be forced to hell. We
          are placed here where there is a mixture of good and evil, of
          light and darkness, of truth and error, of sorrow and joy, of
          bitter and sweet, of life and death; life spiritual and death
          spiritual, and also life and death natural. Why are we placed
          here in a world of death, in a world of opposites? That we may be
          tested; that we may be tried, and that we may manifest to God and
          angels and the heavenly hosts, and to one another what we are fit
          for in the world to which we are hastening. We are all hastening
          to another sphere, and we shall all be judged for the deeds we
          have done while we have dwelt in this sphere. All will be judged
          according to their acts and opportunities, according to the light
          that they have received or the light that they might have
          received if it had pleased them to open their eyes to it, and
          everyone in the due time of the Lord will be placed where he or
          she is fit to be. We will find our own level. Just as water finds
          its natural level. The time will come when every spirit will find
          its own level. We will all gravitate some day into the place
          where we belong, and that place will be determined by our
          condition, according to the opportunities we have had, and
          according to the manner we have availed ourselves of them, either
          in cultivating the good and rejecting the evil, or in rejecting
          the good and cultivating the evil. We are all responsible
          individuals. Every person who arrives at the years of
          accountability becomes a responsible being. He is responsible to
          the Being who created him, to God who is the Father of his
          spiritual nature; for although we are all living under various
          circumstances here upon the earth, although mankind is made up of
          different races, yet, so far as our spiritual nature, the real
          individual, is concerned, we are the sons and daughters of God,
          who is the Father of the spirits of all men, and he that "hath
          determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their
          habitation," has sent us his sons and daughters to dwell upon the
          earth in earthly bodies, some of us in one part of the world and
          some in another, but we are all the children of one Father, and
          therefore we are all brethren and sisters. And the time will come
          when our Father, who has sent us here for an experience, for a
          schooling, for an education, that we might understand the things
          that pertain to this lower sphere and grapple with evil and
          overcome it, will judge us with a righteous judgment, and we will
          all go to the place which we have fitted ourselves for by our
          earthly acts.
          87
          Now, the Lord, in the beginning of our temporal existence on the
          earth, placed within us this spirit of life and light, and if we
          would be actuated by that spirit and walk in the path that leads
          to the Father's presence, we would get so near to him that we
          would learn of him personally. But all have gone astray, and when
          we take up the history of mankind and view it in the various ages
          and among the various races of men, we find that they have all
          been prone to do evil; that the great bulk of the human family,
          at any rate have loved darkness rather than light; that they have
          loved error rather than truth, and that they have been led by the
          Evil One rather than by the spirit which comes from the Father.
          When Jesus Christ came upon the earth, he told the people that if
          he had not come among them, they would not have had sin, but now
          that he had come among them they had no cloak for their sin. Why?
          "Because," said the Savior, "light is come into the world, and
          men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were
          evil." And as Christ came in the meridian of time to reveal the
          Father to the children of men, so far as they could understand
          him, so at different times during the world's history God has
          sent holy men, inspired of the Holy Ghost, men authorized of him
          to declare his word to the people that they might have life, that
          they might, if they pleased, choose the light and walk therein,
          or choose the darkness and walk therein.
          88
          But how has it been with those holy men? Have the people of the
          world generally received them? Have they welcomed them and their
          testimony? Have they hailed with joy the messengers from the Holy
          One, bringing light and truth and glad tidings of great joy? No.
          We find when we come to investigate the matter, that in all ages
          of the world the Prophets of God have been rejected of men.
          Jesus, the Son of God, had to say to the people in his day,
          "which of the Prophets have not your fathers slain?" and He told
          the people of his day that upon them would come "all the
          righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous
          Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom they
          slew between the temple and the altar. Verily, I say unto you,
          all these things shall come upon this generation." Why? Because
          they had the testimony of those previous Prophets, they had the
          testimony of those holy men who had come in former ages, and they
          could see, by reading the history of the past, how wickedly
          mankind had rejected the servants of God, and yet, when the Lord
          Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came right into their own midst
          they rejected him, and in rejecting him they also rejected the
          Prophets which were before him, who predicted his coming, and the
          blood of all was to come upon that generation. This is how it has
          been in all ages of the world, the Prophets have been rejected.
          If a man came who flattered the people who spoke the enticing
          words of man's wisdom, or according to the learning and science
          of the age in which he came, they would receive him with open
          arms, they would welcome him to their hearts, they would receive
          his teaching, they would feast and applaud him, they would clothe
          and feed him and make him rich. But if a man came with the word
          of the Lord, with authority from the Holy One, to minister in the
          name of the Most High, they would reject him and put him to
          death. Take up the Bible and read the history of the old
          Prophets. What was their fate? Why, just as Paul tells us in his
          epistle to the Hebrews. They were stoned, sawn asunder, beheaded,
          persecuted, counted as not fit to live save it was in dungeons
          and caves of the earth: they were afflicted, tormented and
          rejected.
          89
          Some people who live in these times say, perhaps, "Oh, but if we
          had lived in those days we would have received the servants of
          God, we would have hearkened to the voice of the Prophets, we
          would have rejoiced to hear the words of men sent of God, men
          holding authority from the Most High, men who could communicate
          with the heavens, we would have looked upon them as deliverers
          from our doubts, from our darkness, from our divisions, from our
          strife, from our lack of knowledge." Would you? Are you sure of
          that? If you had lived upon the earth in the days when Jesus
          Christ came, how would you have told that Jesus was really the
          Christ? How would you have found it out? The people to whom he
          came rejected him. There was no special mark set upon Him by
          which mankind could discern that He was the Christ. There was
          only one way by which it could be found out whether Jesus was the
          Christ or not. And what was the way? Why, by revelation from God,
          and if you and I had lived in those times and did not believe in
          revelation from God, how should we have found out that Jesus, of
          Nazareth, was the Christ? We read that the disciples on one
          occasion were asked by Jesus Christ, "Whom do men say that I the
          Son of Man am? And they said, some say that thou art John the
          Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, of one of the
          Prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am. And
          Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ,--the Son of
          the Living God." Now, how did Peter find that out, when those
          wise men, those Pharisees, those doctors, those lawyers, the
          expounders of the Mosaic law, the men that were looked up to by
          the Jews as lights of learning, men who had studied the holy
          Scriptures and made the teaching of them a profession, men who
          prayed long prayers on the corners of the street and had passages
          of scripture sewed upon the hem of their garments--how was it
          that Peter found out that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the
          Living God, and the rest of the people could not find out? "And
          Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon
          Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but
          my Father which is in heaven. And I say unto thee, that thou art
          Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates
          of hell shall not prevail against it." What rock? "Peter,"
          somebody will say. The name of Peter--Cephas, signifies a stone,
          and people think that Christ built his church upon Peter. Well,
          if he did, he built it on a poor foundation; for it was only a
          little while after this, in accordance with the prediction of
          Jesus, that Peter was put under a severe trial which caused him
          to deny the Lord that bought him. The people declared that Peter
          was along with those who were with Jesus, and he denied the
          accusation and swore that he never knew him. Well, it was upon
          this rock of revelation that the Lord would build his Church. It
          was by revelation that Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ. No
          man can find out that Jesus is the Christ except by that same
          spirit; no man can know that he is the Lord but by the Holy
          Ghost. Now, there may be a great many people say that Jesus is
          the Christ. How do you know? "Well," I believe it. Why? Because I
          have been brought up a Christian, and therefore I believe it. But
          do you know that Jesus is the Christ? No, you cannot know unless
          you get a revelation from God to that effect. You may believe
          that Jesus is the Christ, you may have been trained up in that
          belief, but you cannot know it unless God shall reveal it to you.
          It is only by the power of the Holy Ghost, that this knowledge
          can come to the children of men, neither can knowledge come to
          any one concerning the things of God, except by the same spirit.
          91
          Now this gift of the Holy Ghost, as I before remarked, is the
          greatest boon that can be conferred upon mortal men, because by
          it they can discern and comprehend the things of God, and without
          it they cannot. They may reflect upon them, ponder upon them,
          speculate about them; they may come to certain conclusions in
          their own minds by reason and logic, but they cannot obtain a
          knowledge of these things unless it is by the power and gift of
          the Holy Ghost, which is a spirit of revelation. How can this
          gift be obtained? It can only be obtained in the way that the
          Father has pointed out. The way is plain and simple, but there is
          only one way. The Lord does not confer his gifts just as people
          please. The God who governs the universe has a way of his own. He
          does not ask us how we want seed time and harvest regulated, or
          how the earth shall revolve upon its axis, or how it shall move
          around the sun. He does not ask us when we want warm weather, or
          cold weather, nor when we want the rain or snow to descend, or
          the clouds to move away and leave the sun to shine forth in all
          its splendour. He governs the universe by fixed laws that cannot
          be turned out of their way by the whims of men. And so it is in
          the spiritual universe. Earthly things are a pattern of heavenly
          things, and as there are laws that govern the physical things, so
          there are also fixed laws which govern spiritual things. There is
          a way by which this gift of the Holy Ghost as a spirit of
          revelation to make manifest the things of the Father and of the
          Son, and make them plain to mortal men in the flesh can be
          obtained. What is it? It is pointed out very clearly in the
          Scriptures, but strange to say the great bulk of the people who
          profess to believe in the Scriptures, do not take that way when
          it is made plain to their understanding. In the first place,
          according to the Scriptures, men must believe in God. They cannot
          come to him without they believe in him. Faith must be quickened
          in the human heart, and all people have power to believe. When a
          servant of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, preaches the word of
          life, those who are desirous of the truth will be stirred up into
          faith by the power of his testimony and his preaching, and the
          authority of the Priesthood he bears. That natural light that
          comes into the world will be awakened. For light cleaveth unto
          light, and truth cleaveth unto truth; and as the light of the sun
          when it streams over the mountain tops wakens up the latent light
          in the earth, and as the warm rays pouring down waken up its
          latent warmth, so the testimony of the servant of God, by the
          power of the Holy Ghost, and the authority which he holds wakens
          up the natural spirit of intelligence born in every man and
          woman, and the testimony he bears will find an echo in their
          hearts, the truth he presents will be made plain to their
          understanding, and they will see as he sees. He bears testimony
          that God lives. Why? Because he knows. He knows it by communion
          with him through the power and gift and light of the Holy Ghost,
          and as he bears testimony to the people that God lives, and that
          he is sent with a message from him, they begin to believe. But if
          men believe in God, they must also believe in Jesus Christ as the
          Savior of the world, as the Redeemer of man; they must believe he
          is the Son of God, because all men come to God by Jesus Christ.
          His name is the key word of salvation. By him we have access to
          the Father, and we cannot come to the Father but by the Son. The
          servant of God also bears testimony that he knows that Jesus who
          died on Calvary is the Son of God and the Redeemer of the world,
          and that he is sent as a witness of this, to bear his testimony
          concerning these things. Then, having exercised faith in God and
          in Jesus Christ, a natural desire springs up to obey the
          commandments of God and of Jesus Christ. Those who believe see
          that they have transgressed, that they have sinned, and come
          short of the glory of God, and desire to put away their sin and
          cease to do evil. This is repentance. What is the next principle?
          Faith first. All things must spring from faith, for without faith
          it is impossible to please God. Faith is the first principle,
          repentance comes next. I do not mean a mourning, a weeping; I do
          not mean throwing one's self into paroxysms of grief and anxiety
          of heart; I mean a fixed determination, by the help of God, to
          cease to do what is wrong and try to do what is right. That is
          the next principle. The next is to get remission of past sins.
          "Why," some will say, "if a man repents is he not forgiven?" Not
          at all. A man may contract a heavy debt at a store, but his being
          sorry for having contracted the debt would not pay off the old
          score. Faith and repentance, then, are the first and second
          principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the first and second
          steps towards the attaining of that great boon, the Holy Ghost,
          the Comforter. What is the next step? To be buried in the water
          in the likeness of Jesus Christ's death by a man holding
          authority from God to administer that ordinance, and to be raised
          up from the water by that person in the name of the Father, and
          of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This ordinance is for the
          remission of sins--not that water cleanses the man spiritually,
          not that the water washes away any sins the man may have
          committed. The blood of Christ alone cleanseth from all sin. That
          blood was shed for all humanity, but humanity will only obtain
          the full benefits flowing therefrom by obedience to the fixed
          laws that relate to the matter and pertain to salvation. We must
          obey the commandments of the Lord to obtain the blessings of the
          Lord. "Not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter
          into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my
          Father, who is in heaven." Jesus Christ set the pattern. He went
          down into the river Jordan; he was baptised of John; he was
          raised up from the water, and then the Father testified that he
          was well pleased with him. The Holy Ghost descended in the sign
          of a dove, and the Father spoke from the heavens saying that he
          was well pleased. Now, here are the Holy Trinity all bearing
          witness to this ordinance--the Son in the water, the Holy Ghost
          descending, and the Father in the heavens uttering his voice
          saying, "This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
          Christ set us an example that we should follow in his steps. The
          man that baptized Jesus Christ had a right to baptize him, he had
          authority from God, and if he had not that authority the baptism
          would have been void, just like the baptisms in the so-called
          Christian world to-day. Any man pretending to be an official who
          is not a bona fide official, cannot perform a valid official act,
          all his acts are void, and any man who baptizes another--even if
          he uses the form, the formula, all exactly right according to the
          pattern--if he has not authority from the Father, and the Son and
          the Holy Ghost to baptize, the baptism he performs is nothing but
          a bath. Why should he use the name of the Father, and of the Son,
          and of the Holy Ghost? Does he not imply that he has authority
          from the Trinity? And if he has not authority from the Trinity,
          then the baptism is without effect; it is as though it never was.
          Christ was baptized by John, a man called of God, a Prophet of
          God, a man holding authority to baptize. Jesus Christ also
          received His authority from God. We read that He "glorified not
          Himself to be made an High Priest, but He that saith unto Him,
          Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten Thee. * * Thou art a
          priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." Christ received
          his Priesthood from the Father. Christ bestowed that same
          authority upon his Apostles, saying to them, "As my Father hath
          sent me, even so send I you." Now here is the pattern: Those who
          believe and repent must be taken down into the water and be
          buried from their old lives, must put off the old man with his
          deeds, must be buried in the likeness of Christ's burial and
          raised up again in the likeness of Christ's resurrection. Then,
          when they come forth from the water, if they have believed,
          repented, and been baptized by a man sent of God to
          baptize--then, "though their sins be as scarlet, they shall be as
          white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as
          wool." They are cleansed, they come forth to a new birth, they
          are born of the water, and every time they partake of the holy
          sacrament they witness to God that they will continue in his
          ways, and walk in his paths, that they have put on Christ, and
          that they will remember him to keep his commandments in all
          things. Now when people are thus properly cleansed, and purified
          and made white, like unto newborn babes on entering into the
          world, without blemish or spot, then their tabernacles are fit to
          receive the Holy Ghost. How does it come? Like the remission of
          sins, it comes according to fixed laws; it comes through the
          laying on of hands of men appointed by the Almighty to
          administer. They lay their hands upon the baptized believer and
          they confirm upon him the Holy Ghost? Can a man confer the gift
          of the Holy Ghost? No; man is but the minister; the Holy Ghost
          comes from God; but this is the plan set and fixed in the economy
          of the heavens whereby people dwelling upon the earth shall
          receive this gift. Faith, repentance and baptism, then the gift
          of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands.
          93
          Now, if you will take up the New Testament, you will find that
          this is the plan the Apostles followed in every instance wherever
          they went to preach the word of the Lord. They called upon people
          to believe in Jesus whom the Jews crucified, and to be baptized
          for a remission of their sins, then have hands laid upon them for
          the reception of the Holy Ghost. They had authority to baptize,
          but they did not always have authority to confer the gift of the
          Holy Ghost. Philip went down to Samaria and preached the word of
          the Lord, and a great many were baptized, but they did not
          receive the Holy Ghost, although they believed in Jesus and were
          baptized. They could not receive that gift until some one came
          down from Jerusalem, having authority, but when Peter and John
          came down and laid their hands upon them, then the Holy Ghost
          fell upon them. When people received this holy Spirit in olden
          times, what were its effects upon them? We read here in the New
          Testament that people had an inward witness that they were
          accepted of God. That was the blessing of every man and woman in
          the Church enjoyed in olden times. It was no longer a matter of
          speculation; they had the Comforter, the holy Ghost, the Spirit
          of the Lord, which revealed the things of the Father and Son to
          them, and they could say like Peter, "Thou art the Christ the Son
          of the living God." "God has revealed it to me, and I know it. I
          am no longer in doubt. My faith has grown to knowledge. I know
          that thou livest, I know that Christ is thy Son, and I know that
          I am on the path which leads to thy presence." What else? All
          those who received this spirit received the same spirit. They
          were no longer Sectaries, Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes,
          Herodians, or of any other sect; they were "all baptized by one
          spirit into one body, whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free," and
          they had "one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one hope of their
          calling." Hence you see one of its effects was to make all see
          eye to eye. They were no longer divided in their opinions in
          regard to these matters, but were united, seeing alike and
          understanding alike. Now, some will say it is impossible for
          people of differently constructed minds to see and know alike.
          Why? If they will only reflect a little, they will see that this
          is not the case. How many people will dispute that five times
          four make twenty? Is there anybody that disputes that? In that
          case all people understand alike. And so in regard to any of the
          principles of mathematics when understood. Now, if we can agree
          in regard to these things, why not in regard to spiritual things?
          If we are all influenced by the same spirit, why should we not
          see eye to eye? There is a day to come when "the earth shall be
          full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea,
          and when no one shall need say to his neighbor, 'Know ye the
          Lord,' for all shall know him from the least to the greatest."
          All shall see and comprehend alike, being baptized by one spirit
          and having the glorious boon of the holy Ghost, the Comforter,
          which reveals the things of God, and makes them plain to the
          human mind. The gifts of the spirit are enumerated by St. Paul,
          in the 12th chapter of Corinthians. "To one," he says, "is given
          the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge; to another
          faith; to another the gifts of healing; to another the working of
          miracles," etc.--different gifts to different persons, all by the
          same spirit. What else? "Why," says the Apostle Paul, "the fruit
          of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
          goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." These are some of the
          fruits of the spirit, and according to the amount of the
          outpouring of that spirit upon the different individuals, so will
          be their possession of these various gifts internally and
          externally. If a man having the holy Ghost prays that he might
          have the gift of tongues, and sets his heart upon it, he will get
          it. What! In this age of the world? Why, certainly, if the holy
          Ghost has not changed.
          93
          "Oh," says one, "I do not believe in any such thing. There is no
          revelation now-a-days. There is no administration of angels; that
          is all visionary, all nonsense. There is no prophesying
          now-a-days by the gift of the holy Ghost; there is no communion
          with the Eternal Father now. Jesus Christ has been shut out from
          the gaze of men for centuries, and they will not see his face
          again? Why do people talk in that way? Because the holy Ghost has
          ceased to work among the children of men. Hundreds of sects and
          thousands of preachers, but no holy Ghost. Hosts of men claiming
          to be sent, but not one of them with authority from the Almighty.
          Trained to be preachers, paid to be preachers, desiring to be
          preachers, but no communion with the heavens, and therefore no
          authority from God. In fact they have repudiated the very idea of
          such a thing, and a man who declares that he has communion with
          the heavens and authority from God simply gets laughed at, and
          the cry is "Away with him, he is an imposter, let him be put to
          death," just as they did in the days of Jesus and in the days of
          the old Prophets.
          94
          Now in our own time, in the generation in which we live, a young
          man came forth bearing testimony that he had had a vision in
          which he beheld the Father and the Son; and the Lord told him
          that the world had gone astray and that the time was near at hand
          when the Gospel should be restored in all its fullness, attended
          by all its ancient power, gifts and blessings. Afterwards he
          testified that divine beings had come down from on high and
          ordained him to the authority which they held when they were men
          in the flesh. He testified that John the Baptist, the same who
          baptised Jesus, came and ordained him to the same Priesthood that
          he held, and sent him as a forerunner to prepare a people before
          the second coming of the Redeemer. Afterwards he testified that
          Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Apostleship in
          early times, came and ordained him to the same Apostleship which
          they held, and sent him forth to administer in the same way that
          they were authorized to administer when they were in the flesh.
          What was the consequence? All the world was turned against him,
          and particularly men professing to be ministers of the Gospel.
          "All such things," they said, "are done away with, do not listen
          to him, he is a vile imposter." But in spite of this he bore his
          testimony, and people who had been looking for the restoration of
          the everlasting Gospel received his ministry. His words
          penetrated their hearts; they repented, were baptized, and had
          hands laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost. But did
          they get the Holy Ghost? So they say. They testified to having
          received the various gifts--the gift of tongues, the
          interpretation of tongues, prophecy, etc.; the lame were made to
          walk; the ears of the deaf were unstopped; the eyes of the blind
          were opened. They say, "I know that Jesus is the Christ; I know
          that Peter's testimony is true, and I know that this man, who is
          cast out as an impostor, is a Prophet of God; the Holy Ghost so
          testifies to me. I am not dependent upon his testimony. God, my
          Father, has revealed this to me, and I know it." The work went
          on. Men were ordained with the same authority and went to the
          different nations, and wherever they went the same effects
          followed--Jew or Gentile, bond or free, Scandinavian or German,
          Italian or French, English, Scotch, Welsh or Irish, all received
          this testimony; were baptized into the same spirit, and received
          the same gifts. This is why we are here dwelling together in
          these mountain valleys. We have all received the same Gospel, the
          same testimony. Our testimony to all the world is we know that
          God lives; we know that Jesus is the Son of God; we know that the
          atonement was wrought out for us and all the world who will
          receive it; we know that we have received a remission of our
          sins; we know that the Lord has brought us up out of the miry
          clay and placed our feet upon a rock and put a new song in our
          mouths of everlasting praise to God and the Lamb. We are all
          looking forward to the second coming of Jesus, and the time is
          not far distant when he shall come and reign from pole to pole
          and from shore to shore. He will come to take vengeance on those
          that know not God, and obey not the Gospel; to cleanse the earth
          as with the besom of destruction, and to subdue all things to
          himself.
          94
          Well, what did they do with this young man who bore this
          testimony that the Gospel in all its ancient purity and power had
          been restored to the earth? What did they do with him? They
          hunted him from place to place, from city to city, persecuting
          him on the right hand and on the left. So-called ministers of the
          Gospel preached all manner of falsehoods against him. They
          stirred up the populace against him, and time and time again he
          was taken by wicked hands and cast into prison. Some forty-nine
          times he was accused of various crimes, but no conviction could
          be had. At last they got him into Carthage jail. A guard was
          placed around the prison to make his friends believe that he was
          safe, and just as soon as this idea was established, the mob with
          their faces blackened burst into the prison and slew the Prophet
          and his brother Hyrum, who died for the truth and for the
          testimony of Jesus, the last words the Prophet was heard to say
          were, "O Lord, my God."
          95
          Joseph Smith, a Prophet of God, was rejected of men like unto the
          ancient Prophets. He came to a wicked and perverse generation. He
          came to a people who had turned away from God and followed after
          the ways of men. He came to a people who worshiped God with their
          lips, while their hearts were far from him. He came to a people
          who loved darkness rather than light, and therefore they did the
          deeds of others who were in the same position in previous
          ages--they slew the Prophet of God. His blood stains the soil of
          Illinois, and of the United States, his blood smokes up to God
          with the blood of Abel, and with the blood of all the martyrs,
          and will be laid at the door of a wicked and corrupt generation;
          for although all did not imbrue their hands in his blood, yet
          they consented to the deed and were ready to say, "served him
          right, we are glad he is out of the way." The same spirit is
          manifested toward our leaders to-day. The world would like to see
          them slaughtered too. What harm did Joseph Smith ever do the
          world. He bore testimony of these things to those who professed
          to believe in this book (the Bible) and who hug it to their
          bosoms and sing:
          95
                       Holy Bible, book divine,
          95
                       Precious treasure thou art mine,"
          And they rejected the very truths contained in that book, that
          this man, a Prophet of the Lord, proclaimed by the power of the
          Holy Ghost.
          95
          We Latter-day Saints have gathered from all parts of the world to
          these valleys of the mountains, occupying a country north, south,
          east and west, for about 500 miles. Christ said that one of the
          signs of his coming would be that "this Gospel of the kingdom
          shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all
          nations; and then shall the end come." This Gospel is being
          preached as a witness unto all nations and the end is
          approaching. What else did he say in connection with this? "And
          he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and
          they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from
          one end of heaven to the other." Isaiah saw them coming "as a
          cloud and as the doves to their windows;" and through him the
          Lord has said, "I will say to the north, give up, and to the
          south keep not back: bring my sons from afar, and my daughters
          from the ends of the earth." We have come from the nations of the
          earth to the tops of the mountains to erect a house to the God of
          Jacob, that we may learn of his ways and walk in his paths. God
          once more speaks to men on the earth; Jesus Christ has revealed
          himself, and the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the spirit of truth,
          makes manifest the things of the Father and of the Son. "The Lord
          shall suddenly come to his temple," and we partake of this
          sacrament to keep us in remembrance of this and to prepare
          ourselves, for the day is near at hand.
          96
          I bear my testimony to you, my brethren, sisters and friends, in
          all sincerity and soberness, before God and the angels, the
          heavens and the earth, that I know this work is true. I am not
          dependent upon another person for this knowledge. I know for
          myself I have received this Gospel in my heart; I have obeyed its
          ordinances; I have received of its spirit: I know that God lives.
          I know that this work will roll on. I know that the Gospel will
          be preached to every creature. I know that the honest and
          truth-loving, who dare meet the frowns of men, who dare face
          popular opinion, will come out from the sects and parties of the
          earth and from the different nations and countries, and be
          baptized into this Church and receive the Holy Ghost, and thus be
          drawn near to God, and prepared for the advent of the Lord. They
          will come from all parts of the earth. This work will roll on. No
          government, or kingdom, or power, or president, or ruler, or
          monarch, can stop its progress. It is not the work of man. It is
          the work of the great God. People marvel how it is this people
          can be brought together in hundreds and thousands, and be so
          united. They think they are under the influence of some scheming
          men and that we are in a state of bondage. It is all nonsense and
          folly. The power that binds us together is the power of the Holy
          Ghost, the power of the Comforter, the power of the spirit of
          revelation. This power is in our hearts. The union that binds us
          together is brought about by the same power that binds together
          the waters of the great sea. This sea of humanity, composed of
          people of all nations, has been acted upon by the power and gift
          of the Holy Ghost. That is where our unity comes in; it is our
          obedience to law and to truth, not to man. People very much
          mistake the character of the Latter-day Saints, if they think we
          are a lot of serfs. We have come out from amongst the various
          nations against the opposition of our friends and kindred and
          stood up for the right. We have crossed the great deep and
          traversed the broad plains for our religion. When I crossed the
          ocean, it took thirty days to accomplish the voyage, and thirteen
          weeks to cross the plains. I am the only one of my family who
          received the Gospel. I came here because I knew it was true and
          that I might learn more of the ways of God. I came to throw in my
          lot with the people of God for life or for death, for time and
          for eternity, with all my powers bodily, mental, physical and
          spiritual. In giving my testimony I merely speak the testimony of
          hundreds and thousands that inhabit these mountain valleys.
          96
          Well, now we are here, what do we intend to do? We will find out
          the law of God as fast as we can and by the help of God we will
          live it. We will try to carry this Gospel to the uttermost parts
          of the earth, east, west, north, and south. We are willing to go
          any number of miles to any nation, bearing our own expenses
          generally. What for? To preach this Gospel, and bear testimony
          that God has spoken from the heavens. But some may say, "You are
          a very bad people. You marry many wives and are raising up a host
          of children." Well, we are no worse than the father of the
          faithful, Abraham, the friend of God, and if you do not like men
          who have more wives than one, I am very much afraid that when you
          get to the gates of the holy city, the New Jerusalem, on which
          will be inscribed the names of twelve men who were the sons of
          four women by one man--and if you should pass through the gates
          into the celestial city, and find Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the
          kingdom of God, with their wives and children as the beginning of
          their everlasting glory and dominion, that you will say, "I want
          to go somewhere else: let me get out of this city, it is
          inhabited by polygamists."
          97
          Before I sit down let me say, my friends that those in this
          community who have married more wives than one have done so from
          pure motives. But some people cannot comprehend that. This
          generation is so corrupt and licentious that some cannot
          understand how a man can marry one wife from pure motives. Now if
          you can understand the feelings and motives with which a virtuous
          man marries the wife of his youth, "for better or worse," then
          you can comprehend the motives of the Latter-day Saints when they
          marry more wives, for the same promptings that actuated them in
          the first place, actuate them in the next. God Almighty has given
          us a revelation concerning this matter. We marry our wives under
          divine direction and divine sanction, and under the same holy
          Priesthood which has power to administer baptism for the
          remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the gift of the
          holy Ghost, and "whatsoever it shall bind on earth shall be bound
          in heaven: and whatsoever it shall loose on earth shall be loosed
          in heaven." I have no time, however, to dwell on this subject,
          but I will just say that our marriage is celestial marriage for
          time and all eternity--like that with which Adam was married to
          Eve in the Garden of Eden when they were immortal beings, and
          when there was no one to unite them but God. Christ died also for
          them and though they were divided by death they will come forth
          and be united again as glorious resurrected beings. As our hymn
          says:
          97
          Come to me; here are Adam and Eve at the head,
          f a multitude quickened and raised from the dead;
          ere are worlds that have been, and the worlds yet to be;
          ere's eternity--endless: Amen. Come to me."
          97
          After that pattern are we married for time and all eternity, and
          we expect when we come up in the resurrection of the just, if we
          have been worthy, to receive our wives to our bosoms, and our
          children to the family circle; that they will be the beginning of
          our exaltation and glory; that then the blessing of Abraham
          pronounced upon us shall be fulfilled, and of our increase there
          shall be no end. The Lord will multiply our seed as the stars of
          the heaven and as the sand which is upon the sea shore. And when
          we enter this holy order of marriage, whether it be with one or
          two, or more wives, we marry in this order and in the fear of
          God, and under the direction of his spirit and for holy purposes,
          and not for the gratification of lust, and those that say we do
          are either very much mistaken or they wilfully lie. There are
          people who are constantly and persistently lying about us, but of
          them I do not wish to speak for fear that I should get angry, and
          I feel too happy to reflect upon them. I rejoice in knowing that
          my sins have been washed away by the blood of Christ, through
          obedience to his commandments. I rejoice in knowing that the Holy
          Ghost is in my heart and guides my footsteps; that I can call
          upon God and receive an answer to my prayers; and that I know he
          loves to hear and answer the prayers of his servants. I bear this
          testimony to you this afternoon, and as a servant of the Lord I
          say to all who have not obeyed the Gospel, in the name of the
          Lord Jesus Christ, and by authority of the holy Priesthood,
          repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of the Lord
          Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the
          gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your
          children, and to all who are afar off, even as many as the Lord
          our God shall call, and if you reject this testimony and
          commandment and love darkness rather than light, you must give an
          account therefore in the great day of judgment.
          97
          May God bless this congregation, and fill his Saints with his
          holy Spirit continually, that we may roll on the glorious work of
          God, and that we may live for the truth, and if necessary die in
          its defense. May peace and blessing be multiplied upon you,
          through Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / George
          Q. Cannon, July 25, 1880
                           George Q. Cannon, July 25, 1880
                        DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE GEORGE Q. CANNON,
                      Delivered in the 14th Ward Meeting House,
                           Sunday Evening, July 25, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                 OFFICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT--EQUALITY PRODUCED BY THE
                  GOSPEL--THE EVIL OF CLASS DISTINCTIONS--DANGER OF
               WORLDLY-MINDEDNESS--RICHES ALONE NOT PRODUCTIVE OF TRUE
           HAPPINESS--A CONTRITE HEART NECESSARY--SHOULD BE AN INCREASE OF
           SPIRITUAL GIFTS--WORD OF WISDOM--THE RETURN TO JACKSON COUNTY.
          98
          While I was sitting here to-day, a portion of the record of Alma
          suggested itself to my mind, which I will read, as found recorded
          in the 4th chapter of the Book of Alma--(new edition).
          98
          [The speaker then read the greater portion of the 4th chap.]
          Continuing he said:
          98
          I should not attempt to get on my feet to speak to you my own
          thoughts, or my own feelings, or that which my own spirit would
          suggest. I have had sufficient experience in my life to know that
          for a man to impart profitable instruction unto his fellow
          creatures in the capacity of a teacher of the things of God, he
          must have the aid of the Spirit of God. Without that he cannot
          impart that which will be of permanent profit to any one. I know
          it is the privilege of a people situated as we are to know the
          mind and will of the Lord concerning us, and also when we come
          into an assemblage of this character to receive the instruction
          which is adapted to the circumstances of each particular
          individual, and that is the office of the spirit. I cannot tell
          your feelings, I do not know your hearts. There may be secret
          sorrows, there may be griefs, there may be doubts, there may be
          many things that oppress you in your feelings, of which I am
          entirely ignorant. But the Spirit knoweth the things of God. God
          knoweth our hearts and his all-piercing eye can penetrate the
          in-most recesses of our hearts, and every thought, every secret
          is known to him, and he can, through the aid of his holy Spirit,
          impart to each one that portion of strength, of comfort, of light
          which each soul may need to strengthen it on its onward journey
          in the path which God our Father has marked out for us to pursue,
          and unless a meeting of this kind is attended, with these
          effects, to me it is exceedingly unsatisfactory. When I go as a
          listener, I desire to go to meeting to be fed, to go away from
          the meeting with a feeling that I have received that which will
          be a benefit to me in my life, in the acts of my life, and so
          also if I speak.
          101
          The position of the Latter-day Saints in this respect is
          different from that of every other people which I know of on the
          face of the earth. We profess to serve God. We profess to have
          received from him blessings as the result of our obedience to his
          commandments. We profess to live by every word that proceedeth
          from the mouth of God, and we believe that this is a time when
          God speaks in various ways to his children, manifesting his mind
          and will to them, and that it is not with us as with other people
          who are dependent upon that which is written, dependent upon the
          Bible for the food and nutriment necessary to strengthen them. We
          depend upon the revelations of God to us. In this respect our
          position is different from that of every other people which I am
          acquainted with, and of course, this being our position, it is of
          the utmost importance to carry out the principles which we
          believe in, that we should live in such a manner as to have the
          mind and will of the Lord made manifest to us. How is this mind
          and will communicated? By what means is the mind and will of the
          Father made manifest unto the children of men? There are various
          ways. One is--he has placed in his Church officers whose duty it
          is to instruct the Church. Yet this does not relieve the members
          of the Church from their responsibility. It is for the members of
          the Church also to so live that when they are taught and
          counseled, when instruction is given unto them, that they shall
          be able to know whether that instruction and counsel be from God
          or not. This is the privilege of every individual, and there is
          no person, however humble, who is a member of the Church, who
          should be destitute of this spirit of which I speak, this light
          and this intelligence. God our Eternal Father is the Father of us
          all. The relationship which exists between us and him is not
          confined to a small portion of the human family, but it is the
          same with all of us; every individual who is within the walls of
          this house to-night, occupies I may say precisely the same
          relationship to our Father in one sense. Not that all have the
          same responsibility, not that all are required to perform the
          same duties; but all occupy the same position of children, and
          our Father in heaven is our father, the Being whom we worship. As
          God is the father of us all, we trace our descent from him, our
          children trace their descent from him, they are as much his
          children as we are his children, and I often think in my
          association with my own children that I would just as soon hurt
          the feelings of a grown person as I would one of my children. I
          think in one respect they are my equal, though I occupy the
          relationship of father to them; and so I feel towards all. Now,
          the Gospel produces this sense of equality. There could be no
          slavery where the Gospel is taught in its fullness and in its
          perfection. There could be no distinction where the Gospel is
          practised. You read here--or rather I have read for you--in this
          record which has come down to us, that when the principles of the
          Gospel were practised among the people of this land, they were
          equal to a very great extent; but when they began to violate the
          principles of the Gospel, their inequality manifested itself.
          Some were lifted up in pride, some looked with scorn upon their
          poor brethren and sisters. Classifications arose in society which
          had their origin not in virtue, not in holiness, not in purity,
          not in any superiority arising from intelligence, but because
          some were richer than others, some could dress better than
          others, some could have better surroundings than others,
          doubtless dwelt in finer houses, better furnished, and they were
          better clad, and had probably finer and nicer food. Distinctions
          of this kind grew up not out of the Gospel, but out of the
          violation of the principles of the Gospel. Wherever the Gospel of
          the Lord Jesus Christ is taught, it produces, as I have said,
          this sense of equality, it makes the man who may know and
          understand the things of God feel that he is no better than his
          fellow man, and the woman who understands the things of God feel
          that she is no better than her sister. If this sentiment were
          practiced among us, it would produce the results we find that
          Alma sought to produce among the people, and which he did produce
          by the preaching of the word, as recorded in the subsequent
          verses to those which I read. He went forth preaching the word as
          he found it the most effectual means, as described by the
          historian, of checking the evils that were growing among the
          people. It would be so among us in a while if it were not for the
          preaching of the word of God, and with the preaching of the word,
          with all the faith, all the zeal, and all the power which our
          leaders are capable of exercising, it needs it all to repress
          these inclinations and these tendencies. There is something in
          the human heart of that character that when human beings are
          prospering they are apt to be lifted up in pride and to forget
          the cause or the source of their prosperity; they are apt to
          forget God, who is the fountain of all their blessings, and to
          give glory to themselves. It requires a constant preaching of the
          word of God, a constant pleading with the people, a constant
          outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the people to bring them to
          a true sense of their real condition. With all the experience the
          Latter-day Saints have had, who is there among us that cannot
          perceive this tendency? Why, it is constantly bringing itself
          into notice. It becomes in some instances quite offensive,
          because those who are humble feel the effects of it. Those who
          are poor, needy and destitute, not gifted with ability to
          accumulate the things of this world, feel it, and very frequently
          their hearts are grieved because of it. There is this tendency we
          have to contend with as a people and as individuals, and it is
          something we should constantly bear in mind, that God has sent us
          here and given us a mission on the earth, not to accumulate
          riches, not to become worldly-minded, not to pile up the things
          of this world which are perishable, to the injury of ourselves or
          to our detriment in our progress in the things of the kingdom of
          God. Is it right that we should take care of ourselves as a
          people and as individuals? Certainly. Is it right that we should
          be prudent, that we should take care of those gifts and blessings
          which God has given unto us, that we should husband our
          resources, that we should be economical, and not extravagant?
          Certainly; this is right, this is proper, we should be culpable
          if we were not so. But with this there is also something else
          required, and that is, to keep constantly in view that the
          management and care of these things is not the object that God
          had in sending us here, that is not the object of our probation.
          God has shown unto this people repeatedly--and there is scarcely
          an individual member of the Church who has not had experience in
          it--that he can give and he can take away. I have in my mind now
          many instances where men of wealth --comparatively wealthy at
          least--have joined this Church, and it seemed as though there was
          a succession of events after they joined the Church, to deprive
          them of all they had, to test their faith apparently, but to show
          them that God did not give men means for the purpose of placing
          their affections upon them, and then, after they were stripped,
          he has, in many instances, begun to bless them again, and allowed
          them to have means in greater abundance than ever they had
          before. He has done so with this people. We have been stripped of
          our property, reduced to the last extremity for food and for
          other necessary comforts, and yet God has multiplied upon us
          these blessings when he has sent us food, and we have had
          abundance. But the happiness of a people does not consist in the
          abundance of worldly things, that is, the abundance of food or of
          raiment, or of houses, carriages, horses, and costly apparel. It
          is true that if we are relieved from the pressure of want, if we
          have the wherewith to supply our necessities, we feel better, we
          feel a relief that we do not feel when ground down by poverty.
          But happiness is not entirely dependent upon these circumstances,
          as doubtless many of my brethren and sisters have proved. I have
          proved it myself to my entire satisfaction. I have been in
          reduced circumstances; been on missions when I did not know where
          to get a mouthful to eat; turned away by the people who dare not
          entertain me because of the anger that was kindled against us. I
          could stand by and weep, being a boy and away from all my
          friends. But I, nevertheless, was happy. I never enjoyed myself
          in my life as I did then. I know that happiness does not consist
          in the possession of worldly things. Still it is a great relief
          when people can have the means necessary for the support of
          themselves and families. If they possess these things and the
          Spirit of God with them, they are blessed. But the Lord requires
          of us different things in this day to what he did in ancient
          days. I often think of it.
          103
          There is a great deal of inequality among us as a people, not so
          great as described by the writer in the book of Alma, but still
          there is a great deal of inequality among us, a great deal of
          pride and more disunion than there should be. This people are not
          united as they should be. There are many things existing among us
          that should be uprooted and not have an existence in our midst.
          And what is the reason that these things exist? The reason is to
          be found in our neglect of the principles we have espoused. The
          Lord requires all his people in these days to bring unto him a
          sacrifice. In olden times, before the coming of the Lord Jesus,
          we read in the Bible that the people brought their offering of
          oxen, of sheep, of fowls of various kinds. These were burnt
          offerings, they were sacrifices, the blood of animals flowed, and
          the sins of the people apparently were remitted by their
          obedience to these requirements. But the Lord has said respecting
          us, that the offering he requires at our hands is a broken heart
          and a contrite spirit. Let me ask you--and in asking you--I ask
          myself--do you, when you go unto the Lord, bring this offering,
          or do you go to God without asking him in this spirit in this
          manner? If you go to the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite
          spirit, he will show to you all your faults, and all your
          weaknesses, he will bring plainly before you wherein you have
          come short in doing his will, and when you see yourself in the
          light of that spirit instead of being filled with pride, you will
          feel to abase yourselves and bring yourselves down in the very
          dust of humility; your own unworthiness will be so plain before
          you, that if pride should come into your heart at any time, you
          will almost be shocked at it, and you will feel to put it away
          from you. It is in this way that we as Latter-day Saints should
          live. There is enough taught to us in the Bible, in the Book of
          Mormon, in the Doctrine and Covenants, and by our leaders from
          time to time, to guide us into the presence of God Our Heavenly
          Father. We should be the most humble people on the face of the
          earth. Why? Because God in communicating to us the knowledge of
          our weakness and faults, will give us humility. We should be the
          most thankful people upon the earth. Why? Because owing to the
          abundance of God's goodness and mercy to us, and realizing it as
          we should do, it will fill us with a thankfulness that words
          could not express; our hearts would overflow with extreme
          gratitude to the Lord our God for the blessings that we enjoy.
          Under these circumstances should there be any murmuring? Not any.
          Should we find fault with our condition and our circumstances?
          Certainly not, if we are living the religion which God has
          revealed to us. Should there be any quarrelling or fault-finding?
          No; because where the Spirit of God exists there is no
          disposition of this character. There is a manifestation to suffer
          wrong rather than to do wrong; not to revile, not to prosecute,
          not to assail back when we are assailed. If a brother comes up to
          me, he is in a bad temper, he says something that is annoying,
          and I lose my temper and reply in the same spirit, do I do right?
          Certainly not. However much the provocation may be, it is not my
          duty as a Latter-day Saint, as a professed follower of Jesus
          Christ, to indulge in any such feeling or expression. Well, but
          one may ask, have we to submit to abuse? Yes, that is one of the
          requirements of the Gospel, that you shall submit to abuse. Have
          we to submit to wrong? Yes, if somebody attempts to wrong you, it
          is your duty as professed followers of Jesus Christ to submit to
          that. Supposing I am struck, must I submit to a blow? Yes, I
          must, or else I am not carrying out the principles of my
          religion. Well, but suppose a person tells falsehoods concerning
          me, assails me and reviles me, must I submit to this? Yes. Why?
          Because the requirements of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ
          are that we should do so, that we should not quarrel, that we
          should suffer evil and wrong and pray for the person who does
          these things to us. This is a hard lesson I know. Some men would
          think their children cowards unless they would fight when they
          were struck. They teach their children to strike back when
          struck, to resent attacks upon them. Then, again, if one man
          calls another a liar, the first thing we know the man is knocked
          down, and as a result of training he would be considered unmanly
          if he did not resent the insult in this way. I am very glad,
          however, that a change has taken place in this respect. There
          must be changes of this kind among us. If a man forgets himself
          so far as to call his brother a liar, or any other offensive
          name, there should be enough of the Spirit of God and the spirit
          of patience and the spirit of self-respect left in the brother to
          bear the insult without resenting in the same spirit. Would this
          make us pusillanimous? Would this make us a people devoid of
          spirit? Certainly not; there is plenty of room for the exercising
          of all the spirit we have in life without exercising it in that
          manner, without expending it in senseless quarrels. If we have
          this spirit to which I have alluded, this meek, humble, broken
          and contrite spirit, will it not produce union? Yes, it will, it
          will produce union and love, and I wish to say to all who are
          here to-night, that it is the duty of every man and woman in this
          Church to live at peace with him and herself, and then to live at
          peace with everybody else, husbands with wives, wives with
          husbands, parents with children, children with parents, brothers
          with sisters and sisters with brothers; this is the duty that God
          requires at our hands. I am speaking now of something which is
          not an abstract theory, that cannot be carried out; I am speaking
          of that which can be carried out, which every one of us can carry
          out, and of results which can be accomplished in the midst of
          this people.
          103
          The feeling has grown upon me, and is growing upon me every day,
          that as a people we do not live up to our privileges. We do not
          have the knowledge of the things of God that we should have.
          There is not that amount of revelation enjoyed by us which there
          should be. Is there revelation? Yes, I know that and can testify
          of it. Are there gifts, are there blessings enjoyed by the
          people? Yes, I am convinced of it. Are there manifestations of
          the goodness and the power of God among this people? I am
          satisfied that there are manifestations of this kind. The sick
          are healed. The mind and will of the Lord is communicated to the
          people, but it is not to that extent that it should be
          considering our circumstances, and considering the length of time
          the church has been organized. Who is there that is not conscious
          of this. Ask yourselves, each of you, "Have I the knowledge of
          the things of God that I should have? Does the Spirit of God bear
          testimony to me and warn me and teach me as it should do?" Let
          each one ask himself and herself this question. Now, if we live
          as we should, there is no event of any importance that could
          occur but we would have some intimation respecting it; we would
          be prepared for it, we would be prepared for every public event
          that affected us, every private event, everything of this
          character that could occur to us that would affect us in the
          least degree would be known by us at the very time. The Spirit of
          God with its monitions would say to us, "If you pursue that path
          there is danger, you may lose your life, you may meet with some
          accident." Mothers would have the teachings of the spirit
          respecting their children, and how to take care of them, and
          fathers also respecting their families. I am not talking about
          something which is entirely beyond our reach and is impossible
          for us to receive. I am speaking of something which is within the
          reach of all of us to a greater or less extent. Some are gifted
          in one direction and some in another. But all who belong to this
          Church and have taken the course which God has pointed out, and
          have humbled themselves in obedience to the commandments of God,
          and endeavored to carry out these commandments, have this promise
          made unto them, that they will be taught of the Lord.
          104
          If there is one desire that I have as an individual greater than
          another, it is that I may so live as to have the blessing, and
          next that you, this Church, this people, may so live as to have
          the same. I would not have those gifts unless somebody else had
          them, for I have learned in my life that when one man is blessed
          more than his fellows, temptation comes in, pride comes in, and
          the adversary is apt to suggest to him that he is so much better
          than his fellowmen. Therefore, if I wanted to have any great
          gifts from the Lord, I never have felt--and I do not think I ever
          shall, I certainly will not with my present state of feeling--to
          have these myself, I would like somebody else to have them also.
          I would not want to be the richest man in the community; I would
          not want to be the most gifted, the most prominent or the most
          honored in any respect. I would want others to share in these
          blessings. Then I would have less fear concerning the effect of
          them upon myself. When I am blessed I want to see the Latter-day
          Saints blessed, I want to see the people of God receive the gifts
          of God, and enjoy them so that we shall all grow, increase and
          develop together.
          105
          I noticed when I was very young in the Church, that men who were
          greatly gifted of the Lord and had many manifestations, were the
          men who apostatized; with the exception of the Prophet Joseph
          Smith, nearly every one was overthrown. I suppose the reason of
          it was that they were lifted up in pride and allowed the
          adversary to take advantage of them. I would like well enough to
          see these gifts and blessings multiplied among us and upon us,
          that as a people we should have dreams and visions and
          manifestations of the Spirit; but there is one thing that we have
          all got to be very careful about, and that is this: I have seen
          Elders in my experience that when they got their own spirit moved
          very much they imagined that it was the Spirit of God, and it was
          difficult in some instances to tell the difference between the
          suggestions of their own spirit and the voice of the spirit of
          God. This is a gift of itself, to be able to distinguish that
          which suggests itself to our own hearts and that which comes from
          God. And we are misled sometimes by our own feeling, because of
          our inability to distinguish between the voice of the Spirit of
          God and the suggestions of our own spirit. There is a still,
          small voice in the heart of every human being. There is an
          influence comes with every son and daughter of Adam that is born
          into the world. What! Outside of the Latter-day Saints?
          Certainly, I told you in the beginning that we are all the
          children of God. There is an influence born with every person
          that to a certain extent is a spirit of revelation. Hence you
          will frequently find it the case--probably some of you adults
          have experienced it, when you joined the Church, that this
          influence told you what proved to be true. Brother Woodruff,
          here, I have heard him tell, in his experience, how he was led
          before he joined the church by this influence, how it operated
          upon his mind until it was brought in contact with the truth. I
          have heard a number of others relate the same thing, and if they
          received the truth this influence increased with them, but if
          they rejected the truth, if they refused to receive the testimony
          of the servants of God, the light that was in them became
          darkness, and as the Savior said, how great is that darkness! I
          proclaim it as a truth, that when a man or a woman enters into
          this Church and is baptized, repents of his or her sins, humbles
          himself and herself in the depth of humility before the Lord,
          determined with His help to forsake their sins, to put them away
          from them, I say, when a man or a woman comes to the Lord in that
          spirit and lives so that the Holy Ghost will rest upon them, that
          there will be no event of any importance from that time forward
          but what they will have some intimation respecting it, some
          premonition, and they will walk in the light, some to a greater
          extent than others, because some are more gifted than others,
          some live in such a manner as to have this developed within them
          to a greater extent. But if they continue to cultivate this
          spirit, to live in the light of it, it will become a principle of
          unfailing revelation to them.
          105
          Is this your privilege? Certainly it is. It is also the privilege
          of children, boys and girls, young men and young women,
          middle-aged and aged to enjoy this. It is not confined to any one
          in particular, to any sex, to any particular position in life,
          but it is extended to all. It is the design of God that it should
          be so. But it is dim within us because of the generations of
          unbelief and wickedness of heart which have existed. We have
          inherited a great amount of unbelief from our fathers; it has
          come down to us. The heavens have been as brass over the heads of
          the people, and there has been a spirit of unbelief which has
          excluded the revelations of Jesus and the manifestations of the
          Spirit of God.
          105
          Fifty years ago this Church was organized. There are men and
          women who have been fifty years in the Church, some who have been
          forty years, a great many thirty years, a still greater number
          twenty years. Is it not time, then, after all we have heard, and
          all we know concerning these things, that some of this unbelief
          should disappear and more of that love be exhibited which draws
          us nearer to God and places us in closer communion with Him? Is
          it not time that this should be the case with our children? Why,
          it seems to me so, and I have no doubt it is so. And yet there is
          much room for improvement in these things.
          107
          There is one thing above all others which strikes me with
          astonishment when I think about it among our people. A great many
          years ago, the Lord gave what is called the "Word of Wisdom" to
          us as a people. It is a thing I very rarely allude to. I never
          drank tea or coffee in my life, I never drank liquor, I never
          used tobacco, and I have endeavored to keep the Word of Wisdom.
          It is no credit to me, my parents instilled it into me. I never
          allude to it in public speaking. I never allude to it in my
          family. I have set the example and allowed them to follow it, and
          they have done so, most of them. But when I think about it, when
          I see our people, after what God has said upon this subject,
          after the plain manner in which he has spoken to us and told us
          what would be the result of the observance of certain laws,
          deliberately day after day flying in the face of the counsel
          which God has given unto us in that Word of Wisdom, I get
          exceedingly amazed and I wonder how it is that God bears with us.
          It is a grievous thing to trifle with that promise, and with the
          many promises which are connected with that promise and with the
          many promises which are connected with the Word of Wisdom. We see
          young men learning to drink liquor, to smoke and chew tobacco,
          and acquiring this habit and the other habit which is expressly
          forbidden, or at least that counsel is given respecting, which
          ought to be more binding because it comes with an appeal to
          us--it appeals to our sense of right that a commandment does not,
          because a commandment comes with strict injunctions which leaves
          no alternative but to obey; but this is a word of counsel by a
          kind father, and He tells us that if we will observe it, we shall
          have health, the destroyer shall not have power over us, nor over
          our families, and that we shall have treasures of knowledge and
          wisdom given to us. Supposing here are a good many young men that
          belong to this Church, some of whom are very eager for
          knowledge--reading books, studying, going to the University,
          imagining that is the most direct and easy way to obtain it, and
          at the same time these same young men, members of the Church,
          drinking their tea and coffee and smoking their cigarettes. Does
          it not seem like a great inconsistency for men and women to do
          these things? I proclaim to you Latter-day Saints, that the Word
          of Wisdom is the word of God, that those who obey it will receive
          every blessing which is promised in the revelation, that they
          will have health, and that they will have power and blessings
          which they cannot conceive of until they try it. It is a simple
          thing, yet it shows how neglectful we are as a people. I believe
          the time is not far distant when we shall have to be very
          different from what we are in these respects. I will tell you
          what I have sometimes thought: that the Lord is going to deal
          with us as he did with the Israelites. They hardened their hearts
          against the Lord, became careless and disobedient, and finally
          the Lord, in His wrath, decreed that none of them, with the
          exception of Caleb and Joshua, should enter the promised land.
          The words that are used are very expressive. Their carcasses were
          to fall in the wilderness, all over a certain age. But the Lord
          spared the little ones. He raised up a new generation and led
          them to the promised land. We have the same promise that some
          will be left to go back to the promised land, and I feel
          satisfied it will be fulfilled. But would it not be better for us
          all to exercise faith and do right, that we might all receive the
          fulfilment of this promise? Certainly. There were times in our
          lives when we felt that we would do anything for the sake of the
          spirit we had received. Is there any person in this Church, in
          this room to-night who has not seen the time in his or her
          life--if they had any experience--when they would sacrifice
          anything to be in possession of the Spirit of God. Every one who
          has joined this Church of any age and experience knows this to be
          the case. There is a sweetness to be experienced in receiving the
          Spirit of God, that is preferable to everything else in life.
          Every one should be in possession of this spirit. If you do not
          have it, let me say to you, do not rest till you get it. I do not
          believe in the sectarian style of doing things, neither do you;
          but there are some things exceedingly necessary for all to do
          whether they belong to this church or not, and that is to look at
          their lives and examine and see wherein they have come short, and
          repent and humble themselves before the Lord, and get a renewal
          of His Holy Spirit. Of course people who do not belong to this
          Church are not likely to take this course; yet in the sectarian
          world they feel the necessity of revival. As a people we should
          live day by day so as to have the spirit of God resting upon us.
          109
          I have great pleasure in testifying to you of my own experience
          in these matters. I have been away now for some eight or ten
          years, more than half of my time from the Church; alone, so to
          speak; I have not had the advantages of other Elders, because
          they are visiting among the various branches. I therefore can
          appreciate these things which I perhaps would not appreciate if I
          had been constantly in the society of the Saints. I sometimes
          regret this; I feel that I have not the advantages my brethren
          have; but I have no doubt the Lord makes up for it in other ways.
          I have proved to my entire satisfaction, that God is willing to
          reveal Himself to His servants under all circumstances, to make
          his mind and will plain to them, and I have had to live in that
          way while I have been gone. Circumstances have sometimes been of
          such a nature that I could not see what to do by my own wisdom;
          but I have never yet--and I do not say this from vanity at all, I
          say it to encourage you; I do not say it because I consider
          myself blessed above you, but I say it because it is your
          privilege and because I would like to stir you up to faith that
          you may receive those blessings of God--I say there never has
          been a moment when I have been absent, but what I have had shown
          to me what to do, what steps to take, what to say and what not to
          say. It gives me great joy to bear testimony to these things; and
          if there is one thing that I feel more thankful for than another,
          it is that God has restored His Church, and that I have the
          privilege of being a member of it. When Brother Erastus Snow was
          speaking to-day, and when Brother Woodruff was speaking
          yesterday, I could scarcely control myself. You heard how the
          Lord led the brethren across these plains, and how when President
          Young saw the valley, he said to Brother Woodruff, and afterwards
          to the brethren of the camp: "Here is the place." Was there any
          doubt in his mind? No; the Lord had revealed the place to him, he
          knew it for himself. I remember on one occasion telling President
          Young, the first year we were here--I was then quite a boy--that
          if we could only get bread and water I should feel satisfied if
          we could only have peace. Well, we had peace. We were not
          harassed; indeed a more peaceful time than we had when we came
          into these valleys never was enjoyed by any people on the face of
          the earth. President Young knew what the Lord would do. The Lord
          had revealed it to him, and described many things which have not
          yet occurred. Is not this precious?--to have the word of the
          Lord, to know we are led by the inspiration of the Almighty. It
          is one of the greatest blessings that a people can enjoy. Ever
          since the Church was organized, we have been led by revelation.
          And who has been misled by it? People have always prospered who
          have listened to the voice of the Shepherd. It was so in the days
          of Joseph, it was so in the days of President Young, it is so
          to-day under President Taylor, and it will be so to the end. The
          Lord has stretched forth his hand to accomplish his purposes, and
          it will not be withdrawn until all is fulfilled. We shall not be
          destitute of the voice of revelation. We may do a great many
          things contrary to the mind and will of God, for which he will
          chastise us and scourge us, if necessary; but he will not
          withdraw His Priesthood from us, and his voice will not cease to
          be heard; it will be given unto those of his servants who live
          for it, and they will know the mind and will of God for this
          people. Persecution may go on. People may say we have not the
          gifts; but the Lord will not leave us; he has not left us; he
          will make of this people a great nation; and there is no power
          upon the face of the earth that can arrest the progress of
          "Mormonism," as it is called by the world, but which is the
          Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It will grow, increase and
          spread abroad as the Prophet Daniel saw it, until it fills the
          whole earth. Some of you may get discouraged and say the Lord
          delayeth His coming, and begin to get weak in faith because of
          drunkenness and gambling in our midst, and say Zion is not going
          to be redeemed because our enemies have got such power. But will
          that prevent the redemption of Zion? No. The Lord is bringing us
          through these circumstances. There was a time when we were driven
          by mobs, and our faith was tried in various ways. It is necessary
          that there should still be trials to test the faith of this
          people. There are no mobs now, we do not have our houses burnt
          down now, or our cattle shot down. But shall we be without
          trials? No. Why? Because it is necessary--at least I accept it as
          necessary in the providence of God--that there should be liquor
          saloons, etc., so that Latter-day Saints who make so many
          professions can, if they want to drink beer and get drunk, or go
          in and play billiards and gamble, or go to other places that are
          worse--can do so. "But," says one, "I thought in coming to Zion I
          was coming to a place of purity where none of these things
          existed." If that had been the case how would you have been
          tried? It is necessary you should be tried for a while in order
          to develop your strength. We have to be brought in contact with
          the world, and we have to show the world that there is something
          connected with our religion which is enduring. Yet all these
          things have been a source of strength to us. Why, says one, how
          can that be? Well, now, I am in a position to know the feeling
          towards us. Our enemies have been trying to get legislation
          against us. But some say, "what is the use of legislating against
          the Mormons? If you will only let them alone, it will come all
          right. The Catholics, the Episcopalians, the Methodists, the
          Baptists, the infidels, have their meeting houses, school houses,
          and newspapers, and have brothels, gambling houses, drinking
          saloons, and milliner's shops, and you cannot imagine what a
          great work these things are doing among the Mormons! The young
          people are growing up and they do not want more wives than one.
          Why, it is as much as they can do to keep one. The girls want
          fine millinery, fine dresses, fine furniture. What is the use of
          resorting to unjust legislation when these things are going on?
          When they get rid of their polygamy they will be a good people."
          I have sometimes thought that in the providence of God he suffers
          such things. At the same time it is operating upon our own
          people. Our young men are led on to smoke, to drink, and to do
          wrong. At the same time, trials are necessary; we must be tested,
          and when we emerge from these trials we will feel better and
          stronger. Has the Lord forgotten Zion? Can a mother forget her
          nursing child? Can you mothers forget your nursing babies? When
          you do, which is not very likely, then the Lord may forget Zion.
          His eye is upon Zion. His hand is over this people. His hand has
          overruled all things for the good of this people and their
          salvation. Will Zion be redeemed? Yes. Will you be redeemed? That
          is for you to say. Will I be redeemed? That is for me to say. We
          need have no fear about the welfare of this work; we need not
          tremble and think there is danger. Congress may pass laws,
          attempts may be made to overthrow this work; but we need have no
          fears: Zion will be redeemed. Many will fall by the wayside, many
          will lose their faith, many will be led away by false and
          seducing spirits; but there will be those who will be saved and
          exalted, and all of us who are here to-night have this privilege
          if we will accept of it; we can be saved each of us and crowned
          with glory in the presence of God and the Lamb. There is no
          provision to exclude us; we are not predestined for damnation; we
          are predestined to be saved if we will accept of the salvation
          offered. Therefore, in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ, if we
          are not saved we cannot look up and charge God with having done
          anything to prevent us, we will have no one to blame but
          ourselves, and that will be our hell.
          109
          I pray the Lord in the name of Jesus Christ, that we may all be
          saved and exalted in the celestial kingdom. Let us live our
          religion, this precious and holy religion, and let me say to you
          that if you have not had the happiness of it lately, get the
          happiness that it produces, and you will not exchange it for
          anything else in the world. It ought to be a pearl of great price
          to all of us, and we ought to cherish it more than we do our
          lives. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 /
          Erastus Snow, August 7th, 1880
                           Erastus Snow, August 7th, 1880
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER ERASTUS SNOW,
                           Delivered at Paris, Bear Lake,
                        Saturday Afternoon, August 7th, 1880.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                      HIS LATE TRAVELS THROUGH THE SOUTH, ETC.
          110
          President Taylor referred in his remarks this morning to myself
          as coming from the far South, and as traveling extensively
          through the country; and I feel led in my feelings to make some
          remarks on the south country, and also the north, and perhaps on
          some other portions of the country through which I have traveled.
          110
          Two years ago this summer I visited the greater portion of the
          Territory of Arizona; that is, I, with others, passed through the
          north-western portions of the Territory, along near the eastern
          boundaries, southward to the extreme south-eastern portions of
          the Territory, returning through Tucson; crossed the desert to
          the Gila, then crossed Salt River and up through the Tonta Basin
          and over the Nookhoon to the Little Colorado, and obtained a very
          general understanding of the country and the condition and
          facilities of the Territory; and also the western portions of New
          Mexico. Last summer I also visited the south part of Colorado; I
          passed along the line of railroads from Ogden to Cheyenne, thence
          passing south through Colorado, on the east side of the mountains
          to Denver, and thence to Pueblo on the Arkansas; thence southeast
          to the Rio Grande Del Norte, and down that stream to the New
          Mexico line. It is in contemplation that myself and a few other
          brethren will visit, during the coming fall, the southeastern
          counties of this Territory--those new counties, Emery and San
          Juan, which have been recently organized, and the lower valleys
          on Grand River, and from Grand River to the San Juan and its
          tributaries, and the settlements which our people are forming
          upon those streams, and probably we shall extend our travels
          further into New Mexico, and visit our new settlements on the
          head waters of the Little Colorado, and the tributaries of the
          Gila, along the borders of New Mexico and Arizona.
          110
          The chief object of our visits is to learn the facilities of the
          country, and to look after the flock of Christ, and also to hunt
          after any that might have strayed away, and when found to try to
          gather them to some fold, where we can place some shepherd over
          them who will endeavor to feed them with the bread of life, and
          keep them from being entirely lost, or torn by wolves. We shall
          visit the new settlements as fast as practicable, and the older
          ones also, to labor among the people according to our calling, to
          teach the people their duty, and to organize them as shall be
          necessary, and to set in order all things necessary for their
          development and growth, and to maintain the union and fellowship
          of the Saints, and respect for the Gospel and the order and
          government of His Church and Kingdom.
          110
          There seems to be a necessity for the Latter-day Saints to gather
          together, and then to scatter a little, and so on; in other
          words, something after the fashion of the bees: they go out of
          the hive empty and return with their legs and wings laden with
          honey and bee bread. Now, if all can do this, we shall continue
          to thrive in the hive of Deseret; but if, on the other hand, we
          scatter and waste and destroy the good we have, we had better
          remain in the hive until we shall have learned our duty better.
          112
          There is a tendency with some to want to get away from the
          restraint of the Priesthood and the earnest teachings and
          admonitions of the Gospel and the wholesome government that is
          maintained among the Saints, in order to enjoy greater liberties,
          not greater liberties to serve the Lord, for there is nobody in
          anywise restricted. Some are desirous of greater liberties than
          they think they enjoy among us in occupying the country and
          getting possession of the land and accumulating stock, and desire
          a greater range. Now, this feeling ought not to take possession
          of us too much, because if we indulge it too much we are liable
          to become darkened in our mind measurably, and lose the spirit of
          the Gospel. But when we are called and sent out to labor, either
          to preach the Gospel in foreign countries or to gather the poor
          from distant lands, or sent to locate in any distant place with a
          view of helping to establish towns and villages and settlements,
          and building up and organizing and helping to maintain good order
          and wholesome government, and to extend the spirit of the
          Gospel--when we are called upon to assist in establishing these
          new settlements, it is right that we should respond; it is as
          legitimate labor as any other branch of labor in building the
          Church and Kingdom of God upon the earth. But we ought to guard
          against a restless spirit of changing locality merely for its own
          sake, and moving to and fro in search of something better. This
          restless feeling is not good, nor will it tend as a rule to
          happiness and permanent good and prosperity to those who possess
          it. We are not all alike. Some become attached to whatever place
          they call their home; wherever they labor and build up a home
          they gather around them the comforts of life, and feel settled in
          that place, and attached to their surroundings; while others seem
          hard to settle down and make any place seem like home for any
          length of time. To me this spirit has always appeared strange, so
          contrary to my nature and disposition. Notwithstanding, as has
          been remarked, I travel among the people as much as, or more than
          any of my brethren of the Apostles of late years--perhaps for the
          last twenty years--still my home has been in St. George. Having
          had the care of the churches in the southern part of the
          Territory, to a great extent, I have been obliged to travel a
          great deal; but this has been from a sense of duty, and not
          because I have felt tired of home and wanted to move about from
          place to place. And I may add, that in all my travels, the
          thought of seeking a new or better place for myself or family has
          never entered my heart, no matter how many good places I may
          find; it is for others and not myself; it is to search out places
          where we can plant colonies of Latter-day Saints, where the sons
          and daughters of the Saints who are growing up in the older
          settlements, and who desire soon to spread out where they can
          make homes and form new settlements, where we can plant nurseries
          of Latter-day Saints. But it is not, as I said, to seek locations
          for myself or for my own family, only such portions of them as
          ought to go out and begin to operate for themselves, and make
          themselves homes. I am not one of that shifting sort of men. The
          lot that was assigned to me in Salt Lake City at the time the
          pioneers entered Salt Lake Valley, I retained until I was sent to
          St. George, and then transferred it back to Pres. Young from whom
          I received it. I have never felt to change since I located in St.
          George; and if I had been located upon a barren rock, I would
          have packed soil enough to make a beautiful home of it. And, by
          the way, I believe the home I have made has cost me as much labor
          as if I had hauled the earth on to it. I have had to manufacture
          a great deal of what is now there; and so I may say it has been
          so with the greater part of our town and "Dixie" County.
          Naturally to look at it, it was a very forbidding country when we
          first settled there. We were not allured to that region by the
          green fields, the fine extensive meadows such as you have here.
          The grass which we see upon the surrounding hills, inviting the
          flocks and herds to eat, and the flowing crystal streams of pure
          water which make music, sweet and enchanting to the heart, as
          they wend their way through your valleys to the lake beyond, is
          in marked contrast to the natural facilities of our southern
          home. Why, if I were to tell you half the truth, the most of you
          would never want to go south to live; but we are not in the habit
          of picturing the unpleasant features of the country, but rather
          of speaking the best we can about it, feeling that we have need
          to do it. And there are some who have had faith enough and
          stamina enough in them to speak well of the country, and nothing
          short of faith and Mormon grit could do it; while we were doing
          this we did not forget to ask the blessing of God upon the land,
          and I need hardly say that it has been through His blessing that
          we have been prospered and enabled to make beautiful homes out of
          the once forbidding, sterile wastes.
          113
          We were sent there to raise cotton when our nation was thrown
          into anarchy through a civil war, and when it had become a
          question with all Israel, "Shirts or no shirts?" It was shirts we
          were after; we went to make cotton farms, and it was anything
          else but an inviting cotton region. As I have said, no extensive
          fields made the eye glad, but everything looked as though the
          whole country had been thrown together in an irregular broken
          manner. The water had to be raised from the low channels in which
          it flowed, in quicksand bottoms by means of long and expensive
          canals, in order to get it upon the bench lands. But now through
          the blessing of the Lord, and hard knocks, we have a very fine
          city, inhabited by a pretty good people. I will say, however,
          that the country is not so very much changed from what it was
          when we went there, excepting in a few places where the people
          have made inviting homes; but the homes which have been made are
          the more precious because of the labor it has cost to make them;
          and they are prized more highly on that account than they
          otherwise would be. You may ask me, if I am beating up for
          volunteers for that country? No, not at all; and yet the southern
          people would welcome most heartily any of the brethren and
          sisters from Bear Lake or any other section of the country who
          may feel desirous of locating among us, to share with us the
          rocks and sands and the cactus and lizards. I say, we shall
          welcome them most heartily; and then while they would have to
          take their share, and maybe more, of this natural product of our
          southern climate, they would also share with those who labor for
          their kindred and friends and their own exaltation, in the Temple
          which our Father has graciously and in His indescribable
          providence located among us, and permitted us to build, with the
          help of the Saints generally throughout the Territory. We feel
          that there is a wise providence overruling this. It is in such a
          country that the wicked have no desire for what they see around.
          They have passed through it, and as a general thing are satisfied
          not to come back again, there being nothing to induce them to do
          so. And this being the case St. George is a peaceful home of the
          Saints, and as a rule a very good spirit prevails there.
          Sometimes a little too much of the spirit of wine because the
          grape is a staple article among us, and foolish persons sometimes
          indulge too freely in the wine which is manufactured from that
          fruit. And it is one of the labors that we have upon us, to teach
          the people how to use the things which God gives us in a proper
          way and not abuse them, to control their appetites, and not allow
          wine to bring evil into the community. And we feel in this labor
          that we have succeeded to a goodly degree, there being much less
          of this kind of indulgence practised among the people now than
          there has been since we settled and improved the country.
          113
          Now, touching the climate and soil and general facilities of the
          country through which I have traveled in Arizona, and along the
          borders of New Mexico, when compared with this region of country,
          it is a desert; that is, the facilities for agricultural purposes
          are far less than in Utah, and you know pretty well what they are
          in Utah. It is more of a grazing region. There is a lack of
          mountain streams, for the hills are generally low; they do not
          tower up in the clouds, and are not capped with snow as they are
          in this northern country. The main range of the Rocky Mountains
          falls off about the time you reach the New Mexican line, and the
          hills then become lower, and the streams are not so numerous. The
          facilities most attractive to my mind are along the continental
          divide, in the eastern portion of Arizona and the western portion
          of New Mexico. The northeastern portion of Arizona is watered by
          the Little Colorado and its tributaries, and the farming region
          is on the head waters of this stream, but it is not extensive;
          there are, however, facilities for small settlements, and
          extensive ranges for sheep and cattle. The garden of Arizona, so
          far as agricultural facilities are concerned, is on Salt River,
          after it emerges from the mountains and where our people are
          locating, at Mesa City and Jonesville. The country along Salt
          River is being occupied by people from various parts of the
          world, who are not of us. These two settlements of our people are
          doing very well, so I understand, and there are facilities for
          many more in the same region. The climate is warm; the summer is
          long, scarcely any winter at all, and scarcely any frosts. But in
          that immediate vicinity there is not range for stock; that is,
          there is not very extensive growth of grass. The range is mostly
          in the hills, in the northeastern and southeastern parts of the
          Territory, on the headwaters of the Gila and its tributaries, the
          San Pedro and Black and White rivers; and also are many
          facilities for small agricultural settlements. The climate
          generally is milder than this, and consequently more pleasant.
          The eastern and northern portions are temperate, neither very hot
          nor very cold. In the southern portion, as I have said, the
          summer is long and warm; it is decidedly a hot and a dry country.
          114
          The country I visited last summer, further to the east and
          northeast, the upper valleys, or valleys on the Rio Grand del
          Norte, which are in Southern Colorado, and run into New Mexico,
          is a fine agricultural and grazing country. Fine mountain streams
          come out of the foot hills to the broad valleys and open plains.
          This region affords facilities for flourishing settlements, as
          well as for flocks and herds; and the climate is as cool as that
          of Bear Lake and the other elevated valleys of Utah, and if not
          so severe winters as in Cache and Bear Lake valleys, at least
          something approaching them. There are facilities for many fine,
          flourishing settlements in that region of the country; and we are
          establishing some colonies in that, consisting mostly of
          emigrants from the Southern States, with a few from Utah, to
          counsel and instruct them in the art of irrigating the soil and
          establishing settlements after the order of Zion. We find
          ourselves under the necessity of sending a few more to that
          region, and a few others to different localities, to assist in
          establishing and maintaining our new settlements.
          114
          But now, I return to this lovely valley of Bear Lake--lovely
          indeed it has seemed to me whenever I have visited it; but it
          must be remembered that I have never visited it only when it was
          covered with green. Still, I understand that the country is
          covered for many months in the year with the white mantle, and
          for this reason many of you complain of the long winters. But if
          it were not for the hard, cold winters and the melted snows, you
          would not have these beautiful meadows and green hills; you
          certainly have to thank the snows for this blessing. But I have
          no doubt you will say, that you could do with a little less snow
          and a little shorter winters, and take a little less grain and
          meadow. Well, I think I would do so too. If I had the choosing of
          climates, I should not choose that in which I should have to cut
          hay three months in the summer, and be six or eight months
          feeding it out in the winter. I think with you I could get along
          with a little less snow, if I had to sacrifice a little of the
          rich meadow, and at the same time, correspondingly less
          mosquitoes and flies. And talking about flies, you cannot begin
          to show flies like we can in St. George and they are not this
          common horse fly, they are the pesky house fly that is ever ready
          to contend with you for your meal.
          115
          Now, if I lived in Bear Lake valley, I believe I should look upon
          it as a very choice place to make any home; and if once I settled
          down, I should not think of moving away, or speaking of it as a
          very bad country to live in. I have made it a rule never to
          forsake old friends in order to take up with new ones; or to lay
          aside an old wife for the sake of getting a new one. The same
          rule would apply to my living in this northern country; once I
          settled down I should not think of moving away unless duty called
          me, and in that case of course I should drop everything and go
          without a whimper. I see on this stand an old friend in Brother
          John Nebeker, who moved down to our "Dixie" country, and after
          living there some time, returned to Bear Lake. I do not know how
          he feels about it, whether or not he is ready to make his home
          with us again in St. George. [Bro. Nebeker: Not yet, Bro. Snow.
          Laughter.] I would say to you who are doing well, let well enough
          alone, go on and stick to what you have got. I think I can see a
          chance to make some beautiful places where you have not more than
          half done it. It is now some fourteen years since I was here;
          some of you will remember it was when President Young came here,
          accompanied by General Chetlain and others. I took in the
          situation at that time; I mapped it out in my mind, and I have
          retained a pretty good understanding of the region of country. It
          may not become me to suggest to you who have had fifteen or
          twenty years' experience here, but it strikes me that your faith
          has not been fully developed; I am inclined to think that you can
          do something besides raising calves, hay, wheat, oats and
          potatoes, and making butter and cheese--and here let me not
          forget to give you the credit of filling up the country with
          young men and women, which is a noticeable feature of the growth
          and wealth of the people. You have a big country here; so much,
          in fact, that you hardly know what to do with it. You try to
          enrich it all, and you skim it over, but you may depend that you
          have facilities here for a much heavier population than you have
          got; and upon the whole it is a healthy region. There may be some
          diseases peculiar to this cold region, and some feel, and that
          truly, that a warmer climate might tend to lengthen out their
          days, as well as add to their bodily comfort. I believe there is
          no objection on the part of anybody that such persons should try
          a warmer climate as may feel inclined to do it. There is no
          disposition to chain or fasten anybody to this country who may
          feel that they crave, and their health and comfort require a
          warmer climate. If there be such, I can assure them I have
          traveled through many other regions where there are facilities
          for making nice, comfortable, happy homes, and where the climate
          is milder; in fact, a person may suit himself with almost any
          climate he may choose between here and the Mexican line--in
          Southern Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. But as I remarked in the
          beginning, we ought to study contentment, and not indulge in a
          restless spirit, for change for its own sake, without having a
          good and sufficient reason, or without having some duty assigned
          to us where we may labor with better advantage to accomplish
          greater good in the building up of Zion, or in extending our
          borders and establishing and maintaining righteousness in the
          earth; and wherever our lot is cast, whether it be in Cache
          Valley, or Bear Lake Valley, whether in a warm or a cold climate,
          or whether in a hot climate, we should as much as possible try to
          content ourselves and adapt ourselves to the surrounding
          circumstances, always doing the most good we can.
          116
          Respecting the relative conveniences of St. George, for instance,
          and the surroundings of that country, as compared with this
          northern country, I have this to say, and I speak sincerely as I
          view it, and verily believe it, that in our efforts to subdue the
          country, and having to contend with difficulties and hardships,
          in order to plant our settlements there, making our roads and
          getting building material, and controlling the waters and the
          quicksands, and in having to meet and overcome obstacles which
          are peculiar to that country, we have worn out a great many good
          people, a great many good men have succumbed under the hardships
          we have had to endure; and I was counting up the number of
          families in the little city of St. George, whose husband and
          father had passed away under these circumstances, and I found
          that there were no less than between thirty and forty widows
          there, besides quite a number who have left and returned North,
          having buried their husbands down there. This is not the result
          of any contagion, or violent sickness, or any special disease,
          for we have had none; we have no prevailing disease, and it is
          not naturally an unhealthy country by any means. There is here
          and there a locality where they, having neglected common sanitary
          rules, have perhaps suffered from chills and fever, or ague.
          Diseases of this kind, which are incident to hot climates, have
          been experienced where they have allowed water to stand in pools.
          In St. George, however, we have been troubled with it. Washington
          and Santa Clara have, but it has arisen from defective sanitary
          measures. Naturally, I think our Southern country is quite as
          healthy as the general average of places in Utah. And when I
          speak of the number of men who have worn themselves out in
          helping to subdue the barrenness of the land, I might have said
          they have been mostly hale, hearty men, who went there in their
          prime, that wore themselves out with constant work in making
          homes for themselves and families. They have fallen a prey to
          exposure and labor both summer and winter, and to poor fare. But
          after saying this, I am happy to say also, that I think we have
          passed the crisis in this respect. We have learned wisdom by the
          things we have suffered: the comforts of life are being increased
          around us, and we are making up our minds now not to kill
          ourselves trying to live as fast as we have done in times past.
          116
          Now, I have said on different occasions, which it is as well for
          the youth of our large towns, our railroad towns and cities,
          where emigrants are dropped by the shipload, and where there is a
          redundancy of labor and surplus workmen, who are seeking for
          something to do and cannot find it, and are idling away their
          time and are waiting for something to turn up, and waiting for
          some easy chair, some clerkship, some place to make a living
          without working much--and I may say this class of people are
          abounding among us, and they receive an unfavorable education,
          and are contracting habits which are not good; I have said, and
          do say, that it is better for such to enter into swarms and form
          material for new colonies, to help to establish new places, and
          make new roads to the timber, get out farms, build mills, and
          subdue the elements, as their fathers did when they first settled
          this country. But in saying this to the surplus population of our
          older towns and railroad centres, we do not wish to apply it to
          these regions, where you have an abundance of room, needing, in
          fact, a much heavier population. I am persuaded that the people
          of this valley will be healthier, happier, and will enjoy more
          facilities and comforts when their population is treble to what
          it is to-day. Three times the population you now have can handle
          the facilities which you do much easier than the present
          population can handle them, and to better advantage and to better
          profit to all. And you will have better roads, and better farms,
          and better houses, and better mills, and better schools, your
          cities will be much better built up and improved, and your
          property more valuable, and everything will conduce to your
          comfort and growth, than under existing circumstances.
          117
          I was favorably struck with Garden City as I passed through it; I
          was favorably impressed with St. Charles as I passed through it.
          These are beautiful locations. I was particularly pleased with
          one thing I saw in Garden City, which was the long canal from
          Swan Creek. In this cold climate, where the seasons are short, it
          is important in irrigating, that the water should run slow and as
          long as possible before it is put on to the land, in order that
          it might get warmed, because it has a much more salutary effect
          on young crops than where it is cold and chilly direct from the
          canon; and I am persuaded that a good deal of your small grain is
          injured this way. Brother Thatcher took it upon himself to speak
          a little upon this practical question, and you will pardon me for
          doing the same. Though you farmers may think you know more than I
          do about it, you will all agree with me in this, that any
          suggestion I may make will not harm you, as you can do as you
          please about adopting it. But I know the difference between the
          effect of cold and warm water in agriculture in making things to
          grow; when you wish to rush the growth of your plants or crops in
          warm weather, the one is far preferable to the other. And if you
          wish to raise fruits and plants which are delicate and tender, of
          course you can get on to your warm, gravelly soil, and there put
          on your manure; and if you can use warm water, and have the
          benefit of the canon breezes to prevent frost, you can raise a
          great deal of fruit. You now raise a great deal of small fruit,
          such as strawberries, raspberries, currants and gooseberries; and
          what is there to hinder you raising plums and many varieties of
          choice apples, such as we cannot grow in St. George? That country
          is really too hot for growing apples. I raise apples, but they
          are not as good as the same variety raised in Salt Lake City. I
          am persuaded that this Northern region could beat us on apples,
          but we could beat you on pears and peaches, apricots and some
          other fruits. I should advise you to keep trying, and if your
          trees kill down once in a while, keep replacing them, and make
          the land as warm as possible, and put on the water warm, but not
          when the plants can stand it without; and then, do not leave it
          on late in the fall, thus keeping the plant growing late in the
          season, for when this is done the first severe frost that comes
          generally takes them off. I will leave this subject to Brother
          John Nebeker, who is abundantly able to continue it, and who, by
          doing so, might greatly benefit the people of this Northern
          country.
          118
          I would like to offer a little advice to your board of trade. You
          have one I suppose? (A voice: Yes, sir) of course, in giving you
          my reflections in this as in other matters you are at liberty to
          please yourself about accepting it. You are here in a
          comparatively solid position, you can have things about your own
          way, that is, if you choose to be united. You are not mixed up as
          they are in Salt Lake City and in Ogden, you can control the
          trade of this whole region of country, not only in marketing your
          own produce but in the buying of your merchandise, wagons,
          carriages, machinery, and everything you have to import which you
          could get from first hands and at first cost and thereby save to
          yourselves the profits now made by middle-men. And in marketing
          your produce you can do likewise, but then you would have to
          control the business among yourselves, and give it your hearty
          support, and be resolved that you will operate together. Now, you
          are enriching men every year by your trade, and you are doing it
          by being divided, every man being for himself undertaking to
          market his own produce and to buy his own plows, rakes, mowers
          and reapers, and hauling his own produce to market and then doing
          the largest part of his trading with stores in which he is not
          interested, and his own co-operative store doing but a small
          languishing business. The great bulk of the business of this
          Territory is handled by outsiders at a distance from your
          settlements both as to importations and as to marketing your
          produce. You haul to market your butter and eggs, and the
          merchants dictate to you the price which they will pay, and you
          cannot help yourselves. In this way they grow rich on the
          profits, while you remain poor comparatively speaking, that is,
          you do not enjoy the benefits of your own labor and produce to
          the extent you might, if you were properly united. Your board of
          trade and co-operative stores throughout the county ought to work
          together and enter upon a system to handle your own produce in
          bulk; and then in buying wagons and agricultural machinery, etc.;
          instead of every man buying a single wagon or farming implement,
          this organization would deal direct with the manufacturers by the
          car-load, at manufacturers' prices, having them shipped to
          Evanston, the nearest point, instead of Salt Lake. I think the
          same also in relation to your stock. I understand you were making
          some efforts in this direction--the handling of your stock and
          marketing it. Every step you take in this direction will tend to
          consolidate the interests of the people and increase your common
          comforts, and will at the same time have the tendency to keep at
          arms' length Jews and Gentiles, who may be hunting chances to
          pick up what little money you have to spare, or to make what
          money they can out of you. The more you concentrate your business
          relations and the greater degree of confidence you beg one for
          another, thereby having and increasing a desire to build each
          other up, the less you will be troubled with sharpers who thrust
          themselves into your towns and neighborhoods wherever there is
          evidence of the existence of money. I feel that this is our duty
          as a people, to adopt this co-operative manner of doing our
          business, in order to protect ourselves against the spirit of
          greed, and our children to a great degree from the contaminating
          influences that Gentiles, as a general thing, carry with them
          wherever they have located among our people. We have been taught
          for years to sustain Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution:
          and our local merchants should buy of them. But in all
          probability, if you were combined in this valley in your business
          relations, instead of every little store in every settlement in
          this valley being obliged to send to Salt Lake or Ogden for
          supplies of merchandise, it would be a matter of necessity to
          have a centre here such as they have in Ogden and Logan, only on
          a smaller scale, in which you might do your wholesale business
          direct, and so arrange it that the parent co-op will ship to you
          most of the articles you need direct, which you need only go to
          the city to "sort up," instead of going for all of your supplies.
          I think this would naturally come to be the result of a thorough
          union and combination of labor and interests in this valley; and
          I think too, that your isolated position eminently fits you for
          building up such home trade.
          118
          I am pleased to learn of the goodly degree of fellowship which
          prevails in your settlements, and that there are but little
          apostasy and opposing influences to contend with. You have been
          highly favored of the Lord in that which you have enjoyed, from
          the early settlement of this valley, the presence and counsels
          and labors of President Charles C. Rich, whom I regard as one of
          the wisest and most prudent counselors in Israel, a father indeed
          in the midst of his people; and the blessing of God has attended
          his ministrations among you, as is evidenced in the condition of
          the people generally.
          119
          My heart feels to bless the people, and to invoke the blessing of
          the Lord upon the land and upon the elements, that they may be
          made to conduce to your happiness and comfort; and that while you
          reap the fruits of the Father's mercy and goodness, your hearts
          may be ever found to acknowledge Him as our benefactor and
          friend, and to appreciate His blessings. I trust that President
          Taylor and the brethren who are with you may be able to impart
          such words of counsel and consolation as your circumstances
          require; and that soon you will have in your midst again.
          President Budge,--that is, if we succeed in getting our mind upon
          the right man to take his place. He has been doing an excellent
          work in Europe, and we do not want to release him until we can
          replace him with a suitable man.
          119
          Your local Priesthood in your several wards and settlements, I
          doubt not, are earnestly seeking to learn their duty and to
          qualify themselves to magnify their callings; and if the people
          give them their faith and prayers and confidence and support, you
          will steadily advance in good works, in faith and wisdom; and I
          trust you will improve also in your educational interests. I
          suspect what is common in our new settlements, that you may seem
          behind in this respect, or at least you are not as far advanced
          in the condition of your schools as is desirable; and for the
          reason that there are more or less of the people who are so much
          absorbed in the cares of life, in making themselves homes, in
          order to be able to withstand the rigors of the climate, that
          they cannot bestow the attention and care to the training of
          their children which they ought to. I suppose they are willing to
          build schoolhouses, however, because they serve a triple purpose;
          first, for dancing; second, for school purposes; and third, for
          religious worship. Perhaps I ought to reverse it, but you can if
          you choose. People are willing to help to build school-houses for
          triple purposes. And when they have done this, they think that
          the Trustees should find teachers for them to teach their
          children who are not large enough to work; and these are often
          sent to school to be kept out of the way.
          120
          Now brethren and sisters, I do not mean, in making these remarks,
          to charge any of you harshly; and it may be I do not give you the
          credit which you are entitled to. I only speak what I find to be
          quite common in our new settlements throughout the country where
          I travel, and I feel the necessity of appealing to the good sense
          of the fathers and mothers; and to say to the Bishops and the
          Elders and Trustees particularly--and here let me say, that our
          Trustees should be chosen from our most energetic men--men who
          will fill the office, who will give it their most earnest
          consideration, who will seek to make everything comfortable
          around the schoolroom, men who will take an interest in the
          welfare of the children, and who will look to the wants and
          encouragement of the teachers, and who will also see that good
          and suitable books are provided, especially the Bible and Book of
          Mormon. Now, do not be afraid to see the good books which God has
          given unto us in the hands of your school children; do not be
          afraid of the teacher who will open school by prayer, and who
          will encourage faith in God, and morality, and everything that
          makes people good citizens. And I beseech the people generally to
          encourage the combined efforts of the County Superintendent and
          the Trustees and school-teachers in establishing good schools in
          your midst; and that you will also sustain all the other good
          institutions, such as the Relief Society, the Mutual Improvement
          Associations, and your Sabbath Schools, and also those who act as
          Superintendents and Teachers in the Sabbath School. And do not,
          my brethren and sisters, consider it a little calling to act as a
          Sunday School Teacher; for when faithfully acting in this
          capacity you are sowing seeds in the minds of the youth which
          must sooner or later produce the natural fruit; and thus prepare
          men and women to carry on the work which their fathers have
          begun, and in which some of them have worn themselves out.
          120
          That God may bless the people of these valleys, and that their
          children may grow up to perpetuate their names with honor to
          themselves and glory to God is my earnest prayer, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / George
          Q. Cannon, October 31, 1880
                         George Q. Cannon, October 31, 1880
                       DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON 
               Delivered at Tooele City, On Sunday, October 31, 1880. 
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.) 
                DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TRUE CHURCH OF CHRIST AND THE 
               CHURCHES OF THE WORLD--THE LOVE AND THE UNION BEGOTTEN 
           BY THE HOLY SPIRIT--THE GLORY OF THE LATTER-DAY WORK BELONGS TO
                                         GOD
                ALONE--GREATNESS OF CELESTIAL GLORY--SAINTS PROVED BY
                                  TRIAL--CELESTIAL
           MARRIAGE--COMPLETE SUBMISSION TO GOD'S WILL NECESSARY--BUILDING
                                         OF
                           TEMPLES--SALVATION OF THE DEAD.
          121
          We profess as a people, to be led by revelation, and I hope our
          
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / John
          Taylor, June 27, 1881
                          REMARKS BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR, 
                  Delivered at Hooperville, Monday, June 27, 1881. 
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.) 
                         THE PRIVILEGES OF THE SAINTS, ETC.
          The Saints' Mission is One of Peace, Etc.	139 
          
          I have been interested in the remarks made by Brother Cannon, 
          who has addressed us, because I am personally well conversant 
          with most of the events to which he has referred. I also 
          coincide with him in his feelings as regards the position we 
          ought to occupy in this Territory as an integral part of the 
          United States, in relation to the melancholy event which has 
          so recently transpired in the nation; for all right feeling 
          people must execrate a crime like that attempted on the life
          of the President. It is usual with many people when they think
          they have received an injury to hope and wish that the like 
          calamity 
          may rest upon those who are their opponents, or by whom they have 
          received, or supposed they have received, certain slights or 
          injuries; and it is very difficult for such people to comprehend 
          the principle that actuates, or ought to actuate, all 
          high-minded, 
          honorable men, especially those who profess to be influenced by 
          that Gospel which was introduced by our Lord and Savior Jesus 
          Christ. 
          Our motives as Latter-day Saints should be very different indeed 
          from those which many are actuated by, who do not believe in 
          the principles enunciated in the Gospel of the Son of God. Our 
          mission to the world is a mission of peace. Our proclamation 
          is the same as that which was made by the angels of mercy who 
          heralded the advent of the Son of God; it is: “Peace on earth, 
          and good will toward men.” We have never entertained any other 
          feeling or principle than this; nor do we desire to cherish 
          any unhallowed feelings in our bosoms either to individuals or 
          the nation.
          
          Reference has been made by Bro.
          140 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          Cannon in his remarks to the feeling and animus which exist among
          many calling themselves Christians, in their conventions, etc., in
          their endeavors to stir up a spirit of persecution and opposition 
          to us. Let them take their course; let them follow the influence 
          by which they are governed. We cannot afford to entertain a spirit
          of that kind, nor do we desire to cherish a spirit of 
          retaliation. 
          If Jesus, when upon the earth, could patiently endure the scoffs, 
          sneers and reproaches of men which were so indiscriminately heaped
          upon Him; if we are in possession of the principles which were 
          enunciated by Him, we can afford also to cherish the same noble 
          and 
          magnanimous feelings which dwelt in His bosom. I know of no other 
          principle than this associated with the Gospel of the Son of God, 
          whether in this age or any other age. Jesus came here according 
          to 
          the foreordained plan and purpose of God, pertaining to the human 
          family, as the Only Begotten of the Father full of grace and 
          truth. 
          He came to offer himself a sacrifice, the just for the unjust; to 
          meet the requirements of a broken law, which the human family 
          were 
          incapable of meeting, to rescue them from the ruins of the fall, 
          to deliver them from the power of death to which all peoples had 
          been subjected by the transgression of a law, and He Himself took
          the initiatory in this matter, and offered himself, the Son of 
          God, 
          as competent propitiation for the sins of the world. And when He 
          was 
          opposed, rejected, cast out, spat upon and maligned; and again, 
          when 
          He was crucified, in His last remark He used the words which have 
          already been referred to, “Father, forgive them; for they know 
          not 
          what they do.” He taught that it was written in the law in 
          olden times,
          
          that there should be “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a 
          tooth;” but says He, “I say unto you, That ye resist not evil 
          * * Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them 
          that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and 
          persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which 
          is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on 
          the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” 
          These were principles worthy of a God; these were feelings which 
          if cherished by the human family, would elevate them from that 
          low, groveling position in which they are laboring, would place 
          them on a more elevated platform, would bring them into communion 
          with their Heavenly Father, and prepare them for an association 
          with the Gods in the eternal worlds.
          
          In reference to this late melancholy affair which has occurred, I 
          feel in my heart a strong sympathy for President Garfield. People 
          may think this strange. Why, say they, did he not make some 
          remarks which are calculated to injure you as a people? Yes. But 
          he, like the rest of us is a fallible being. We are all fallible, 
          and it is not every man who can resist the pressure which is 
          brought to bear upon him, and the influence by which he may be 
          surrounded. Even Pilate, who was inspired by strong principles of 
          justice, found it difficult to resist the popular clamor against 
          Jesus; he felt a disposition to deliver the Savior from the 
          position in which he was placed by his enemies, and asked the 
          people, What harm has this man done? Nothing. Only the people 
          continued to cry out, “Crucify him, crucify him;” and in 
          answer to their demands he delivered Jesus into their hands, 
          saying, however, “I
          	The Saints' Mission is One of Peace, Etc.	141 
          
          wash my hands of his blood.” He had not the firmness to resist 
          the cries of the population but yielded to their unreasonable 
          demands.
          
          But to return. In speaking of these matters, I have reasons 
          personally, myself, to have very vindictive feelings if I would 
          entertain them, in regard to misrule and mob violence, for under 
          the pledge of the governor of Illinois, made to me and to Dr. 
          Bernhisel, (who is here presented) Joseph and Hyrum Smith were 
          guaranteed protection, and the governor pledged us his faith and 
          that of the State therefore. But these two innocent victims were 
          slain in cold blood, and the very guards whom the governor 
          ostensibly placed for their protection, assisted in the murder, 
          whilst I, myself, who was not there as a prisoner, received four 
          balls at the time of their massacre. Under these infamous 
          circumstances it would be very natural for a man to entertain 
          vindictive feelings. But do I have feelings of revenge in my 
          heart concerning these men? No. Did any of you ever hear me give 
          utterance to feelings of that kind? I think not. I do not wish to 
          be governed by such influences. Those who perpetrate such acts 
          have enough to answer for without any maledictions from me. I do 
          not cherish feelings of that kind. I consider that all these 
          things are governed by an all-wise and inscrutable Providence, by 
          a God who rules and regulates, manages and directs the affairs of 
          the human family. I saw Joseph and Hyrum Smith mortally wounded 
          by men with blackened faces, and, as I have said, I was severely 
          wounded—quite as severely as President Garfield is. Do I feel 
          enmity towards these men? No, their case is not an enviable one. 
          There is a Being who knows the acts
          
          of the human family and is acquainted with their affairs, who 
          will judge all men and all nations according to their deserts. Do 
          I know this? I do know it. The Gospel reveals many things to us 
          which others are unacquainted with. I knew of those terrible 
          events which were coming upon this nation previous to the 
          breaking out of our great fratricidal war, just as well as I now 
          know that they transpired, and I have spoken of them to many. 
          What of that? Do I not know that a nation like that in which we 
          live, a nation which is blessed with, the freest, the most 
          enlightened and magnificent government in the world today, with 
          privileges which would exalt people to heaven if lived up to—do 
          I not know that if they do not live up to them, but violate them 
          and trample them under their feet, and discard the sacred 
          principles of liberty by which we ought to be governed—do I not 
          know that their punishment will be commensurate with the 
          enlightenment which they possess? I do. And I know—I cannot 
          help but know—that there are a great many more afflictions yet 
          awaiting this nation. But would I put forth my hand to help bring 
          them on? God forbid! And you, you Latter-day Saints, would you 
          exercise your influence to the accomplishment of an object of 
          that kind? God forbid! But we cannot help but know these things. 
          But our foreknowledge of these matters does not make us the 
          agents in bringing them to pass. We are told that the wicked will 
          slay the wicked. We are told in sacred writ, “that vengeance is 
          mine, saith the Lord, and I will repay.” And in speaking of 
          ourselves we need not be under any apprehensions pertaining to 
          the acts of men, for the Lord has said, “It is my business to 
          take care of my
          142 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          saints;” but it is our business to be Saints. And to be worthy 
          of that character it is our duty to live by the principles of 
          virtue, truth, integrity, holiness, purity, and honor, that we 
          may at all times secure the favor of Almighty God; that His 
          blessings may be with us and dwell in our bosoms; that the peace 
          of God may abide in our habitations; that our fields, our flocks, 
          and our herds may be blessed of the Lord; and that we, as a 
          people, may be under His divine protection. Fear him and keep his 
          commandments, and if we do this we need know no other fear either 
          on this side of heaven or of hell, for God has pledged himself to 
          take care of his people and to sustain and deliver them from the 
          hands of their enemies, Therefore we may feel easy, and we can 
          always afford to treat all men right. What! Would you treat your 
          enemies well? Why, yes. If they were hungry I would feed them; if 
          they were thirsty I would give them drink; if they were naked I 
          would clothe them; but I would not be governed by their 
          principles, nor influenced by the feelings which animate their 
          bosoms. I would try and imitate and cherish the same truths that 
          dwell in the bosom of God, who makes his sun to rise on the evil 
          and on the good, and the rain to fall on the just and on the 
          unjust. Then, having done that, I would leave them in the hands 
          of God, and let him direct his affairs according to the counsels 
          of his own will.
          
          I am sorry to see this murderous influence prevailing throughout 
          the world, and perhaps this may be a fitting occasion to refer to 
          some of these matters. The manifestations of turbulence and 
          uneasiness which prevail among the nations of the earth are truly 
          lamentable. Well,
          
          have I anything to do with them? Nothing; but I cannot help but 
          know that they exist. These feelings which tend to do away with 
          all right, rule, and government, and correct principles are not 
          from God, or many of them are not. This feeling of communism and 
          nihilism, aimed at the overthrow of rulers and men in position 
          and authority, arises from a spirit of diabolism, which is 
          contrary to every principle of the Gospel of the Son of God. But 
          then do not the Scripture say that these things shall occur? Yes. 
          Do not the scriptures say that men shall grow worse and worse, 
          deceiving and being deceived? Yes. Do not the scriptures tell us 
          that thrones shall be cast down and empires destroyed and the 
          rule and government of the earth be trodden under foot? Yes. But 
          I cannot help but sympathize with those who suffer from their 
          influences; while these afflictions are the result of wickedness 
          and corruption, yet we cannot shut our eyes to the fact that 
          those who engage in these pernicious practices are exceedingly 
          low, brutal, wicked and degraded. I would say “my soul come not 
          thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not 
          thou united.”
          
          I have traveled abroad myself, quite extensively among the 
          nations of the earth. Did I ever interfere with them? No, not in 
          the least particular. Did I see things that were wrong? Yes, but 
          it was not for me to right them. That was not my mission. I had 
          no command of the kind. My mission was to preach the Gospel of 
          salvation to the nations of the earth, and I have traveled 
          hundreds of thousands of miles to do this, without purse or 
          scrip, trusting in God. And so have many of my friends traveled. 
          We did not hurt anybody, did we? For
          	The Saints' Mission is One of Peace, Etc.	143 
          
          instance, now, right in our own city, we have Methodists, 
          Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians, and all kinds 
          of isms. Do we interfere with them? We do not. Would you 
          interrupt them in their worship? I know of no such thing, good 
          Latter-day Saints will not do it. Would I malign or persecute 
          them? No, I would not. If we told the truth about some of them it 
          would be quite bad enough without stating falsehoods, and if 
          other men cannot afford to treat us aright, we can afford to 
          treat them properly and to give the fullest and broadest liberty 
          to all who come within our reach; liberty to do right, not 
          liberty to oppress, not liberty to trample upon correct 
          principles, not liberty to rob men of their property or religion. 
          Men who would do this are villains which we want nothing to do 
          with; but all honorable men, all men who do right and maintain 
          the laws and the Constitution of the United States, we are their 
          friends and will sustain them to the last. These are my thoughts 
          in relation to that matter.
          
          In connection with President Garfield, have we any feelings of 
          enmity? No; I have none. I feel truly to sympathize with him in 
          his affliction, but I feel more profoundly moved that deeds of 
          this description can occur in a free, liberal and enlightened 
          government like this. We might expect such things in some of the 
          European nations where the principles of nihilism exist to so 
          great an extent, and where there seems a disposition to subvert 
          all rule and government and place the people and nations in the 
          hands of irresponsible mobs, and of low, brutal, murderous men, 
          without any regard to the principles of law, order, justice, 
          equity and righteousness. I could account for some of
          
          these things taking place there. It is really astonishing to see 
          what efforts are being made to accomplish the overthrow of rule 
          and government in Russia, Austria, Germany, Spain, England, 
          Italy, France, Turkey, etc. These things are beginning to spread 
          among and permeate the nations of the earth. Do we expect them? 
          Yes. These secret combinations were spoken of by Joseph Smith, 
          years and years ago. I have heard him time and time again tell 
          about them, and he stated that when these things began to take 
          place the liberties of this nation would begin to be bartered 
          away. We see many signs of weakness which we lament, and we would 
          to God that our rulers would be men of righteousness, and that 
          those who aspire to position would be guided by honorable 
          feelings—to maintain inviolate the Constitution and operate in 
          the interest, happiness, well-being, and protection of the whole 
          community. But we see signs of weakness and vacillation. We see a 
          policy being introduced to listen to the clamor of mobs and of 
          unprincipled men who know not of what they speak, nor whereof 
          they affirm, and when men begin to tear away with impunity one 
          plank after another from our Constitution, by and by we shall 
          find that we are struggling with the wreck and ruin of the system 
          which the forefathers of this nation sought to establish in the 
          interests of humanity. But it is for us still to sustain these 
          glorious principles of liberty bequeathed by the founders of this 
          nation, still to rally round the flag of the Union, still to 
          maintain all correct principles, granting the utmost extent of 
          liberty to all people of all grades and of all nations. If other 
          people see fit to violate these sacred principles, we must uphold 
          them in their en-
          144 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          tirety, in their purity, and be patriotic and law-abiding and act 
          honorably toward our nation and to its rulers. It is truly 
          deplorable to see our President, the President of this great and 
          mighty nation, one of the greatest rulers in the world stricken 
          down by an assassin. Yet these things we have to mourn over. But 
          in all cases it is for us to be true to our God and to our 
          religion, to obey the laws of God, cleaving to correct 
          principles, letting purity, virtue, honor, truth and integrity 
          characterize all our acts, that we may be the blessed of the Lord.
          
          I pray God to bless you, and that we may be led in the paths of 
          light;
          
          and I pray God to bless all honorable men everywhere, and to 
          bless our President and our rulers who rule in righteousness, and 
          that wherein any of them are doing wrong, that they may be led in 
          the right path, and that we may be led to pursue that course at 
          all times that shall secure the approbation of God, the 
          approbation of our own conscience and the esteem and respect of 
          all honorable men everywhere. Regarding the notions of others, we 
          care nothing; our trust is in God; and we will try and observe 
          His laws and keep His commandments. May God help us to do so in 
          the name of Jesus. Amen.
          
          aints Have Cause to Rejoice—Their Labors and Future
          Discourse by Elder Wilford Woodruff, delivered at the General 
          Conference, Sunday Morning, April 3, 1881.
          Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.
          Wilford Woodruff
          144 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          I think that all of us as Latter-day Saints should have our 
          hearts filled with gratitude and thanksgiving to God our Heavenly 
          Father for his mercies and blessings which we enjoy this day. It 
          is certainly a source of much pleasure to me to have the 
          privilege of meeting with so many of the Latter-day Saints, and 
          with so many bearing the Holy Priesthood in this dispensation of 
          God to man. I cannot but re-
          
          joice when I reflect upon the history of this people, and 
          contemplate the dealings of God with us, how that He has 
          protected us and sustained us and delivered us and made us a 
          community in the land, and that too under adversity and 
          opposition.
          
          In tracing the history of the Prophets and Apostles of old, as 
          well as those of our day, we find that there have been some very 
          peculiar manifestations of the trust and con-
          	The Saints Have Cause to Rejoice, Etc.	145 
          
          fidence in God which they have exercised. Consider, for instance, 
          the position of the Three Hebrews. They could afford to trust 
          themselves in the hands of God; they could afford to meet 
          whatever punishment or affliction or persecution which might be 
          heaped upon them in consequence of their obeying the law of God. 
          But they could not afford to bow down and worship the image which 
          Nebuchadnezzar had caused to be set up, because it was contrary 
          to the commandments of God. The history of the result of their 
          refusing to obey the royal edict, commanding all Babylon to fall 
          down and worship it, we are familiar with; also with the similar 
          circumstance in which the Prophet Daniel figured. In any and 
          every age of the world when God has called or commanded a man or 
          a people to perform a certain work, they through determination 
          and perseverance, and faith in him, have been enabled to 
          accomplish it; and I do not know of a single instance wherein 
          anything ennobling or exalting has been gained when his command 
          has been shunned or willfully disobeyed. I will here mention the 
          case of Jonah, which presents itself to my mind, when the Lord 
          sent him to deliver a message to Ninevah. The requirement was a 
          little too much for Jonah, and he thought he would try to avoid 
          it; but after he had spent three days and nights in the belly of 
          a whale, he thought, no doubt, that if ever he got to land he 
          would unhesitatingly obey the commandments of the Lord. The 
          result we know. We take our Savior, and also the Apostles who 
          followed him; we read the history of what they suffered and 
          passed through. All of the Apostles suffered death (excepting 
          one, whom they could not destroy), including the Son of God
          
          himself, in order to seal their testimony with their blood; while 
          the Savior had to suffer upon the cross, to fill the mission 
          which he had been preordained to perform; which, by the way, is a 
          very strange ensample to man, to see the Son of God, the Only 
          Begotten of the Father on the earth, the Firstborn in the spirit 
          world, a person of His high exaltation and glory, condescending 
          to come forth to be born in a stable and cradled in a manger; and 
          after he grew up, how he traveled about in adversity and 
          suffering, never shrinking from any duty imposed upon him—it 
          should certainly be a good ensample to all of his followers. And 
          the Apostles themselves, because of their integrity to the truths 
          of the Gospel which they had received through their Master, the 
          Savior, they like him, suffered death, and thus sealed their 
          testimony with their blood. They could perform no more than he 
          could towards turning the hearts of the people to the truth; but 
          they determined to risk whatever suffering, trouble or 
          tribulation they were called to pass through for the word of God, 
          and the testimony of Jesus, that they might receive eternal life.
          
          I bring this home to ourselves. I bring it home to the Latter-day 
          Saints; I bring it home to our day and generation. Many of us 
          have been acquainted with our Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and 
          Hyrum Smith. We know their lives; we know the suffering and 
          trouble they passed through. These men are true and faithful unto 
          death. They could afford to do it; but they could not afford to 
          deny the faith; they could not afford to shrink from the 
          important message which God had given unto them, of establishing 
          this Church and kingdom upon the earth, but they could afford to 
          be
          146 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          true and faithful to the last moments of their lives, in 
          advocating and defending the principles of the Gospel of the Son 
          of God. I wish to say to our leading men, the Presidency of this 
          Church, the Twelve Apostles, the Presidents of Stakes and their 
          Counselors, the Bishops, the Seventies, the High Priests and 
          Elders, and to all men bearing the Holy Priesthood, as well as to 
          all who have entered into covenant with God, that we can, as 
          individuals and as a people, afford to maintain our integrity in 
          this our day and generation, regardless of consequences. We can 
          afford to be true and faithful to God; we can afford to carry out 
          every principle and commandment which God has given unto us; we 
          can afford to do this, as much so as Prophets and Apostles and 
          people of God of other dispensations and generations. And I would 
          say to all Israel, there is not one soul of us who can afford to 
          compromise one of the revelations or one of the commandments 
          which God has committed to our charge. No man can afford to do 
          this who is called of God to build up this Kingdom. We can 
          afford, however, to meet the consequences, whatever they may be. 
          And I would say to all present this day, that we should have, and 
          that we have as much comfort, as much hope and as much cause to 
          trust in God, and have received as much encouragement, by the 
          overruling hand of Almighty God in our behalf, to go on 
          magnifying our calling and to be true and faithful to every 
          commandment which God has given unto us, as the people of any 
          other generation had in their day; and for one I can say, “It 
          is the kingdom of God or nothing for me and I am willing to risk 
          the consequences. I know that I cannot afford to disobey any com-
          
          mandment which God has given to me, because there is no man who 
          holds the Priesthood, and possessing the inspiration and the 
          gifts of God and the light of truth, but would be ashamed both in 
          the flesh and in the spirit world to meet his God, and to be 
          obliged to acknowledge that he did not obey His commandments. And 
          I will here say that whenever we do our duty, whenever we keep 
          the commandments which have been made known to us, we will see 
          the fulfillment of the promises which God has made to us with 
          regard to this day, age and dispensation. There is no promise 
          which God has made to us but what will be fulfilled to the very 
          letter. I read these—the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the 
          Doctrine and Covenants, and I regard them as eternal truths. I 
          cannot find any revelations given from the days of Moses down to 
          the days of Joseph Smith, nor from the days of Joseph to our day, 
          by men who have spoken as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, 
          but what has been fulfilled to the very letter, as far as time 
          would admit of. Though the heavens and the earth pass away, not 
          one jot or tittle which will fall unfulfilled. When I read these 
          solemn, these eternal declarations made through the mouth of 
          Joseph Smith, my heart swells with gratitude and praise to God, 
          my heavenly Father. I consider that the Doctrine and Covenants, 
          our Testament, contains a code of the most solemn, the most 
          Godlike proclamations ever made to the human family. I will refer 
          to the “Vision” alone, as a revelation which gives more 
          light, more truth, and more principle than any revelation 
          contained in any other book we ever read. It makes plain to our 
          understanding our present
          	The Saints Have Cause to Rejoice, Etc.	147 
          
          condition, where we came from, why we are here, and where we are 
          going to. Any man may know through that revelation what his part 
          and condition will be. For all men know what laws they keep, and 
          the laws which men keep here will determine their position 
          hereafter; they will be preserved by those laws and receive the 
          blessings which belong to them.
          
          I say again, the Latter-day Saints have every encouragement; 
          their pathway is plain and inviting before them. And the nearer 
          we adhere to the commandments of God, the more confident we shall 
          become that God is our friend and that He is watching over us, 
          and that his Son Jesus is our advocate, with the Father, that he 
          is in the midst of this people, and that he will contend for the 
          rights of his Saints, and will ward off every weapon which is 
          formed against Zion. So far at least we have been sustained; the 
          arm of Jehovah has been made bare in our behalf ever since we 
          have been in these valleys, and all Israel whose eyes are open to 
          see, and whose minds can comprehend the dealings of God with his 
          people, know it. We have been sustained by the power of God from 
          the beginning to this day, and nothing short of the power of God 
          could have saved us and brought us through; and nothing but the 
          power of God can preserve us, and nothing but his wisdom can 
          pilot us safe to the high destiny which awaits us. Perhaps I may 
          be permitted to say, we met with a good deal of persecution and 
          oppression and suffering before we came to these valleys, and 
          still the hand of oppression is stretched out against us, and the 
          public mind everywhere within the pale of Christendom is more or 
          less set on our destruction, and that because a
          
          certain Biblical principle—the patriarchal order of marriage is 
          practiced by us. When Earl Rosborough was visiting this city, he 
          inquired of President Taylor what excuse the State of Missouri 
          had in driving ten thousand of this people beyond their borders 
          into the State of Illinois; and what excuse the people of this 
          nation had who took part in, and those who countenanced the 
          persecution which we have endured, for persecuting us before the 
          principle of patriarchal marriage was practiced by the Latter-day 
          Saints. President Taylor replied, it was because we believed in 
          revelation, because we believed in Prophets and Apostles, and 
          because we believed in the ancient, the apostolic, the 
          everlasting Gospel, with all its gifts and blessings. Then, said 
          Earl Rosborough, “it would make no difference, as far as your 
          being at variance with the Christian world is concerned, whether 
          you practice plural marriage or not, unless you renounce all 
          other principles you hold to that caused your persecution 
          heretofore; you would be persecuted still.” I say the same 
          today. The nation cares no more about our practicing the order of 
          plural marriage than any other principle of the Gospel; it would 
          make no difference with us today. Were we to compromise this 
          principle by saying, we will renounce it, we would then have to 
          renounce our belief in revelation from God, and our belief in the 
          necessity of Prophets and Apostles, and the principle of the 
          gathering, and then to do away with the idea and practice of 
          building Temples in which to administer ordinances for the 
          exaltation of the living and the redemption of the dead; and at 
          last we would have to renounce our Church organization, and mix 
          up and mingle with the world, and
          148 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          become part of them. Can we afford to do this? I tell you no, we 
          cannot; but we can afford to keep the commandments of God. And I 
          will here say, that we have been sustained by the hand of Jehovah 
          in a marvelous and miraculous manner ever since we came to these 
          valleys and proclaimed to the world our belief in the revelation 
          of celestial or plural marriage; and I will say further, and in 
          the name of Jesus Christ our Savior and Elder Brother, we shall 
          be sustained from this time until he comes in the clouds of 
          heaven, inasmuch as we shrink not from the performance of our 
          duties. We have somebody to deal with besides man. The God of 
          heaven holds our destiny; he holds the destiny of our nation and 
          of all the nations, and he controls them. Therefore, I say to the 
          Latter-day Saints, let us be faithful; let us keep the 
          commandments; let us not renounce a single principle or command 
          which God has given to us. Let us keep the word of wisdom. Let us 
          pay our tithes and offerings. Let us obey the celestial law of 
          God, that we may have our wives and children with us in the 
          morning of the first resurrection; that we may come forth clothed 
          with glory, immortality and eternal lives, with our wives and 
          children bound to us in the family organization in the celestial 
          world, to dwell with us throughout the endless ages of eternity, 
          together with all the sons and daughters of Adam who shall have 
          kept the commandments of God.
          
          I pray that we may be able to do our duty in this world. I pray 
          that we may not fear man who can only kill the body, but fear God 
          who hath power to cast both body and soul into hell. I feel to 
          say that there is no people under heaven who have so much cause 
          to rejoice and
          
          to be grateful as the Latter-day Saints. There is no other people 
          since the foundation of the world called to perform the work 
          which you, Latter-day Saints, are called to perform. The God of 
          heaven has given you the kingdom, the great and last kingdom, the 
          only kingdom which has ever been set up on this earth to remain 
          until the coming of the Son of Man. Although in its infancy, this 
          work has a great and a mighty future; and as I have often said, 
          the eyes of all the hosts of heaven are over us; the eyes of God 
          Himself, and the eyes of all the Prophets and Apostles who have 
          ever lived in the flesh are watching this people. They know that 
          they are not neither can they be made perfect without you; and 
          they fully understand that we cannot be made perfect without 
          them. They understand the greatness, the extent, the power and 
          the glory of this dispensation.
          
          When I contemplate the fact that the few men and women dwelling 
          in these mountain valleys have had committed to them this great 
          and mighty work, I feel that of all people under heaven we ought 
          to be the most grateful to our God; and that we ought to remember 
          to keep our covenants, and humble ourselves before him, and labor 
          with all our hearts to discharge faithfully the responsibilities 
          which devolve upon us, and the duties which are required at our 
          hands. For we can afford to do anything which God requires of us; 
          but none of us can afford to do wrong. It would cost far more 
          than this world with all its wealth is worth for the Latter-day 
          Saints to do wrong and come under the disfavor of Almighty God. 
          Our prayers, one and all, should be that of David's—“Keep 
          back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let
          	The Saints Have Cause to Rejoice, Etc.	149 
          
          them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I 
          shall be innocent from the great transgression.”
          
          I pray God to bless this assembly of His people; and to bless the 
          Presidency of the Church, the Apostles and all bearing the holy 
          Priesthood, together with all who have entered
          
          into covenant with him. My earnest prayer is that the blessings 
          of our God may be over us in time, that when we get through and 
          shall pass behind the veil, we shall have done all that was 
          required of us, and be prepared to dwell with the sanctified and 
          the just made perfect through the blood of the Lamb. Amen.
                    149
          
          The Gospel—The “Perfect Law of Liberty,” Etc.
          Discourse by Elder Erastus Snow, delivered at the General 
          Conference, Monday Afternoon, April 4, 1881.
          Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.
          Erastus Snow
          	The Gospel—The “Perfect Law of Liberty,” Etc.	
          149 
          
          I desire to be heard, not that I am ambitious of speaking, but if 
          I speak I desire that my strength shall not be unnecessarily 
          taxed.
          
          One of the ancient expounders of the Christian religion said, 
          that the Gospel was the perfect law of liberty. I believe it; and 
          if I take a text at all, that is my text.
          
          The Gospel as understood and expounded by the Savior and his 
          ancient Apostles, is a perfect law of liberty. Everything 
          pertaining to the spirit of the Gospel, as taught and expounded 
          and practiced by the Savior and His disciples, tended to liberty. 
          All the revelations which God ever gave to man from the beginning 
          of the world tended to liberty. The government which our heavenly 
          Father has exercised, or
          
          attempted to exercise over His children on the earth or in the 
          heavens, has not in the least tended to restrain or abridge them 
          in their liberty, but rather to enlarge it, to extend it, to 
          insure, to preserve and maintain it. The Gospel of Christ, and 
          all of the revelations of God to man have sought to mark the line 
          of distinction between liberty and license, between correct 
          principles of government and anarchy or oppression and slavery. 
          Oppression and slavery are the result of sin and wickedness, 
          violations of the principles of the everlasting Gospel either by 
          the rulers or ruled or both, and generally both. True freedom of 
          mind and body and true liberty, even the enjoyment of human 
          rights is founded and maintained, and rests
          150 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          upon human integrity and virtue and the observance of those 
          principles of truth on which all true happiness and true freedom 
          is founded. Sin was never righteousness, nor can be; license was 
          never liberty nor can be; misery was never happiness, nor can be; 
          and yet because of the blindness and ignorance of some people, 
          they never appear to be happy only when they are perfectly 
          miserable. And there are some people too who think they are 
          always in slavery and bondage unless they are trying to get 
          themselves into trouble; and they think there is no true liberty 
          only in acting like the devil. The Nihilists of Russia, the 
          Socialists of France and their sympathizers in America, including 
          the “Liberals” of Utah, are panting for liberty; they are 
          restive under the restraint of order and law; they are opposed to 
          government, and like the French Socialists and Communists, they 
          would destroy Jehovah himself and behead the king and burn up 
          Parliament and assassinate every representative of power and 
          government; and when they had reduced the country and themselves 
          to anarchy, they would look upon their condition as the acme of 
          freedom and human liberty. The world today is drifting in this 
          direction, including our own liberal America.
          
          If we take a retrospective view of the dealings of God with his 
          people whom he recognized, and who acknowledged his laws, and 
          among whom he raised up Prophets, and with whom he established 
          his covenants, we will find that they have been the freest of all 
          peoples which have existed on the earth. The students of the 
          Bible and the Book of Mormon know this to be the case. They know 
          that the first king who ruled over ancient Israel, was chosen at 
          their own earnest solicitations,
          
          when they began to apostatize from God, and to despise His 
          counsels. They know that Samuel the Seer, who judged them in 
          righteousness, and who taught them faithfully the ways of the 
          Lord, earnestly remonstrated with them when they clamored for a 
          king to go out and in before them and lead them to battle, that 
          they might be as other nations who were around them. Samuel 
          foretold the results—that such a course tended to bondage; that 
          they were but forging the links of the chain that would bind them 
          and deprive them of freedom. He labored long and arduously to 
          dissuade them from it; but they would not listen to him. And yet 
          they were not willing to consent for anybody else to make them a 
          king but that same Samuel; and when he had prayed to the Lord, 
          the Lord told him to “hearken to the voice of the people in all 
          that they say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee but they 
          have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” Samuel 
          did as the Lord commanded him, and Israel was ruled over by a 
          king of their own choosing. But the heavens were displeased with 
          them for so doing, and you who are conversant with Bible history 
          are familiar with the troubles and sorrows which befell Israel in 
          consequence of this departure from the ways of God. And those who 
          read the Book of Mormon find the same spirit breathed throughout 
          that book. The people, in the days when they were willing to 
          listen to the voice of Prophets and inspired men, were the freest 
          and best of all people; but when they began to apostatize and 
          harden their hearts against the words of the Lord and the counsel 
          imparted to them by His servants, they began to drift with sin 
          and oppression and bond-
          	The Gospel—The “Perfect Law of Liberty,” Etc.	
          151 
          
          age. Anarchy—shall I say, is the worst of all governments? No: 
          Anarchy is the absence of all government; it is the antipodes of 
          order; it is the acme of confusion; it is the result of unbridled 
          license, the antipodes of true liberty. The Apostle Paul says 
          truly: “For there is no power but of God: the powers that be 
          are ordained of God.” At first this is a startling statement. 
          Even the monopoly of the one-man-power as in Russia, or the 
          monopoly of the aristocracy as in other parts of Europe, or the 
          imbecility and sometimes stupidity of a republic like our own, is 
          far better than no government at all. And for this reason, says 
          the Apostle Paul, “The powers are ordained of God,” not that 
          they are always the best forms of government for the people, or 
          that they afford liberty and freedom to mankind, but that any and 
          all forms of government are better than none at all, having a 
          tendency as they do to restrain the passions of human nature and 
          to curb them, and to establish and maintain order to a greater or 
          less degree. One monopoly is better than many; and the oppression 
          of a king is tolerable, but the oppression of a mob, where every 
          man is a law to himself and his own right arm, is his power to 
          enforce his own will, is the worst form of government. The 
          efforts of extremists clamoring for human freedom are all tending 
          in this direction; and those who clamor for human rights are, as 
          a general thing, the first to trample them under foot—I mean 
          those who are the most loud-mouthed; their ideas of freedom are 
          all on their tongue; they conceive of no freedom only when they 
          wield the sword, or dictate terms to others. The Gospel of the 
          Son of God extends to the world
          
          that perfect law of liberty. Founded on truth, and a proper 
          appreciation of those principles which tend to the largest 
          possible happiness to humanity, it restrains mankind, not in the 
          enjoyment of freedom and liberty, but from efforts to deprive 
          their fellows of it. In other words, the power which God has 
          sought to exercise, and which he has recommended and sanctioned, 
          is only to seize the arm which is raised to fell his fellow, and 
          to stop the loud tongue of the raging maniac, which would destroy 
          the peace of his fellow man, and who would seek to build himself 
          up on the ruin of others. There is no system of government ever 
          instituted among men which is so well calculated to give and 
          maintain human freedom, and at the same time to restrain the 
          vices and excesses of fallen humanity, as the government of the 
          Gospel sought to be established by the Savior and His Apostles. 
          We heard quoted this forenoon the words of God spoken through the 
          Prophet Joseph, and which are and always will be in force among 
          this people, to the effect that the powers of the Priesthood are 
          inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and cannot be 
          exercised in any degree of unrighteousness; that the power of 
          that man departs from him when he attempts in the least degree to 
          exercise an unrighteous dominion over his fellow man—or any 
          power or dominion except that power of truth and of persuasion 
          founded upon it.
          
          The teachings of the Savior in relation to the settling of 
          difficulties arising among brethren in the Church of Christ, 
          through visiting them and talking frankly one with another, 
          explaining and expounding to each other until they come to an 
          understanding of all troubles which
          152 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          may arise among members of the Church; and in cases of 
          disagreement invoking the aid and council of visiting priests and 
          teachers to act in the premises as peacemakers, as helps to the 
          parties to arrive at a proper understanding, constitute the best 
          method of settling and adjusting the differences of mankind which 
          has ever been instituted; agreeing with the experience of Bishop 
          Hunter, who has often said, that no cases of difficulty are so 
          thoroughly and effectually settled as those which are disposed of 
          in this way. This is the chief labor of the visiting Priesthood 
          among the people of God. And yet the enemies of this people prate 
          a great deal about the oppression of the Priesthood. There is no 
          pope or bishop, priest or clergyman or ecclesiastic belonging to 
          any sect on the earth, so far as my knowledge extends, which is 
          so approachable as the President and Apostles and Priests and 
          Bishops and Elders of this Church, whose hearts and ears are open 
          to everybody to hear what everybody has to say, and to give it 
          due weight in all patience and long-suffering, to enlighten and 
          teach them correct principles, so that they may act honestly with 
          each other and secure each other the greatest possible amount of 
          liberty, freedom and happiness. The same may be said of the 
          domestic relations in the family circle—I will not say with 
          wicked men, with men who are naturally tyrannical, having the 
          spirit of tyranny and oppression born in them; but I will say 
          that free men and women who are imbued with the spirit of the 
          everlasting Gospel, who are living in polygamy, that they 
          manifest a greater degree of parental affection and of conjugal 
          love, and evince greater earnest desire to promote peace and 
          happiness
          
          and comfort and liberty and freedom to each member of their 
          families, than at least the great majority of the families of the 
          Christian world. And as I have often said—and I am as well 
          acquainted with polygamous families in Utah, as perhaps, any 
          other man, in consequence of my traveling constantly among the 
          people and mingling with them—that, as a rule, the polygamous 
          families of Utah are the best regulated families in the land, and 
          they enjoy the greatest degree of happiness and freedom, unity, 
          fellowship and love and reverence for correct principles. Our 
          would-be regenerators would feign try and make us believe that 
          unless we all go to the polls and vote their ticket we are slaves 
          to the Priesthood; that because we chose to vote for our friends, 
          we are doing the bidding of the Priesthood. Yes, and so we are. 
          The Priesthood has always taught us that we would be fools, 
          indeed, to vote for our enemies, for those who would rob and 
          plunder us, for those who would not only rob us financially, but 
          would steal from us the common rights of citizenship were it in 
          their power to do so. And, yet, forsooth, because we vote for our 
          friends, for men in whom we have confidence, they say we are 
          priestridden, etc. And what does it all mean? “Why, we want you 
          Mormons to vote for us that we may get our arm into the public 
          treasury, for we are too lazy to work.” All who are acquainted 
          with the administration of affairs in Utah, know that the affairs 
          of government, both territorial and county, and also municipal, 
          are the most economically administered of any other Territory or 
          State in the Union; that there is not one delinquent or case of 
          embezzlement to where there are ten in any other Territory or 
          State. And yet our
          	The Gospel—The “Perfect Law of Liberty,” Etc.	
          153 
          
          would-be regenerators are exceedingly angry because we will not 
          vote for men to misrepresent us and our interests at the seat of 
          government; because we do not squeak when they squeak, because we 
          do not sneeze when they take snuff. This they call liberty! And 
          there are perhaps some of our own people who are so far befogged 
          that they run with this class of men; they read their twaddle so 
          much and they become so much beclouded that they think it is 
          necessary, in order to show their manhood, to vote for their 
          enemies because, if they do not vote for their enemies they will 
          be put down as “Mormon slaves;” and this would be too much 
          for them, they could not stand so much.
          
          Now, thinking men understand the object of all this cry. It is 
          prompted by the same spirit which we see manifested by the 
          extremists almost throughout the civilized world. It is true 
          there is a great deal of oppression in the world, and these men 
          see it and they wish to improve things, but do not know how; and 
          instead of commencing to rectify what is wrong in their own 
          hearts and in their own families, and then extend their influence 
          for good to those immediately around them, instead of using moral 
          suasion and showing a good example, they turn to and undertake to 
          serve God like the devil, trying to right things the wrong way by 
          casting down everything in the form of order and government, 
          producing anarchy and ruin instead. Like the idiot who, because 
          he himself was houseless, having to sleep on the doorstep of some 
          rich man, put the torch to the rich man's palace and destroyed 
          it. Fools can demolish and destroy; it requires wise men to build.
          
          I said of the ancient people of God; I say of the Latter-day 
          Saints,
          
          there is no people capable of appreciating true liberty and of 
          understanding the principles on which it is founded, and who know 
          so well how to maintain them; because we have found it in the 
          Gospel which we have received. And every man who has received the 
          spirit of the Gospel, and whose heart is warmed with the love of 
          it, is preparing his heart and is using his influence to educate 
          the people to understand the true principles of human freedom, 
          and the means by which they can be maintained. And I say, as 
          President Cannon has said, referring to what the Prophet Joseph 
          Smith told us, that the time would come when the extremists of 
          the land, who are undermining the fabric of freedom, and little 
          by little breaking under foot the guarantees of human liberty 
          which have been raised up by our heavenly Father, through the 
          instrumentality of wise men whom he raised up to establish the 
          institutions of our country; these extremists of the land are 
          gradually undermining those safeguards of human liberty, and 
          plotting to carry out their nefarious designs in their 
          endeavoring to oppress the people of God, and to destroy the 
          institutions of heaven out of the earth. The time will come when 
          the voice of such men will be heard in the land, like the roaring 
          of a tornado, so that the still small voice speaking from the 
          heavens cannot be heard; and the voice of the loudmouth, plotting 
          destruction to human liberty and freedom will be heard all over 
          the land, and everybody raise up and say, it is the voice of God; 
          and they will be willing to stand and look on and see the Saints 
          butchered and Prophets martyred, and our institutions wrested 
          from us and wasted away. But when that time arrives, the Lord 
          will come forth
          154 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          from his hiding place and “vex the nations;” he will raise 
          his arm, and it shall not be turned back, and he will stay the 
          hand raised against his people to destroy them and their 
          institutions.
          
          The Gospel has been the means of gathering us out from among the 
          nations, and has made us a free and happy people, an able and 
          united commonwealth; and the Lord is using us to establish its 
          principles in these mountains, that throughout these valleys may 
          be formed a nucleus around which honorable men and women may 
          gather, men who will be capable of appreciating the blessings of 
          liberty and of helping to extend them to others. And all 
          presidents and senators and judges, and all men in official 
          authority who shall lend themselves and their influence to 
          trample upon the common rights of man, those rights which God has 
          bestowed upon us and which are our common heritage, and who shall 
          be found warring against God and his institutions, when the cap 
          of their iniquity shall be full, the Lord Almighty will cause 
          them to disappear from the public gaze, he will let them sink 
          into oblivion and disgrace.
          
          Those who suppose they can secure happiness in doing wickedly are 
          grievously mistaken. And if they seek to oppress their neighbor 
          by appropriating to themselves his hard earnings without 
          rendering him a just equivalent, they will find every time they 
          do it, they are but weaving together withes for their own backs, 
          preparing punishment for themselves, and bringing themselves into 
          bondage—the bondage of sin. For all judgments and punishments 
          which the law of the Lord has ordained and appointed unto man
          
          are designed to correct their errors and sins. And where they are 
          corrected and they learn better, then He is ready to stretch 
          forth His hand to save and exalt them. The Gospel is ever ready 
          to step in to assist repentant man when he has become sensible 
          that he needs help to be redeemed, and he realizes that he has 
          not the power to redeem himself. Then repentance unto life is 
          granted to him; but it never can come until his judgment is 
          convinced, until his mind is enlightened and his eyes are opened 
          to see himself, and to comprehend his true position. And whether 
          he be in this world or the world to come, he must place himself 
          in a condition to be saved before redemption can come unto him; 
          and it is only by the light of truth and of true and correct 
          principles which can bring happiness and liberty and freedom, and 
          with it a disposition to extend that liberty to all around, and 
          to maintain it and protect each other in its enjoyment; and not 
          with a spirit of vengeance upon the erring, and oppression upon 
          the ignorant, but only with a disposition to seize and hold the 
          hand which is raised to smite his fellow and stop in his wayward 
          course the individual who would override his fellow. And all men 
          should be protected in this freedom to go so far and no further.
          
          May the Lord help us to live and walk in the light, and think for 
          ourselves, and act like sensible people, paying heedless regard 
          to the blatant foolish lunatics who are attracting the attention 
          of the world. They, however, have their day, after the manner of 
          the old adage—Every dog has his day; and when it is past he 
          will cease to bark and bite.
                    154
          
          Divisions of Modern Christendom—Effects of Sectarian 
          Proselytism, Etc.
          Discourse by Elder C. W. Penrose, delivered in the Tabernacle, 
          Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, July 17, 1881.
          Reported by John Irvine.
          Charles W. Penrose
          	Divisions of Modern Christendom, Etc.	155 
          
          Being called upon this afternoon, to address this congregation, I 
          arise to do so, trusting that the Spirit of God will rest upon me 
          to enlighten my mind and suggest such thoughts to me as may be 
          profitable to the congregation assembled, and I desire that my 
          brethren and sisters will sustain and support me by their 
          attention and their faith, and prayers, that I may be inspired to 
          speak the truth, and that all who listen may have the same spirit 
          resting upon them, that they may be able to see and understand 
          the things presented.
          
          There are a great many people assembled today in different parts 
          of the world to worship God according to the various forms which 
          prevail in what is called Christendom. All those people who 
          profess to be Christians, believe that there is a God, and that 
          Jesus of Nazareth who died on Calvary, was the Son of God. They 
          also believe that the book called the Bible, contains the 
          revealed will of God to man. But although they all profess to 
          believe in the same book, in the same God, and in the same 
          Savior, yet they have different forms of worship, different 
          tenets of faith, and they are traveling in different roads, with 
          the
          
          expectation of arriving at the same place at the end of their 
          journey. The differences which exist in the world in regard to 
          religion are very deplorable. If mankind were actuated by the 
          same spirit in their worship of God, they would worship in one 
          way, they would walk in the path of truth, and would not be 
          tossed to and fro and carried about by different winds of 
          doctrine. The fact that people are divided in their belief in 
          regard to religious principles, is proof that the same spirit 
          does not rest upon them; they are guided by different influences, 
          therefore are led in different paths. There is to be a time, 
          according to the Scriptures, when the people who believe in God, 
          will all be brought into such a condition that they will “see 
          eye to eye.” There is to be a time when all people living upon 
          the earth “shall know God, from the least even to the 
          greatest,” and there will be no need to contend about doctrine 
          or principle, but all will understand alike, for “the earth 
          shall be full of the knowledge of God, as the waters fill the 
          great deep.” How is this great change to be brought about? At 
          the present time people who profess to believe in God have a 
          great many different ideas concerning
          156 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          Him. They have a great many different opinions in regard to the 
          being who is called His Son, they have a great many different 
          ideas of the Gospel as taught by His Son, and these contentions 
          do not decrease, on the contrary they increase. New sects are 
          springing up, churches are increasing in the earth, but the 
          children of men are becoming more and more varied in their 
          opinions in regard to religion. If things continue in the present 
          way, how long will it take till all the inhabitants of the earth 
          are brought to a knowledge of the truth? How long will it take to 
          bring them all to the unity of the faith, and to the knowledge of 
          the Son of God? We are told in the Scriptures, that one of the 
          objects of the preaching of the Gospel was that people might be 
          brought to “the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the 
          Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature 
          of the fulness of Christ.” It appears to me that if things 
          continue in their present condition, instead of the inhabitants 
          of the earth being brought to a unity of the faith and to the 
          knowledge of God, division and contention will increase. When 
          missionaries are sent from Christian nations to heathen nations, 
          they do not establish any unity of faith among those to whom they 
          are sent. On the contrary, they introduce division. For instance, 
          a number of missionaries go among the Mahomedans, and if they 
          convert a portion of them to the different faiths which those 
          missionaries teach, they are turned away from the union, such as 
          it is, of their old creed to the divisions of modern Christendom. 
          If the Baptist missionary should convert a certain number of 
          Mahomedans to his creed, the Baptist church would be established 
          among them; and if the Meth-
          
          odists introduced their creed and obtained converts, there would 
          be the Methodist faith and the Baptist faith among them; and so 
          with the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians and the various isms 
          which are prevalent in Christendom. If all these sects were 
          introduced into a Mahomedan country, then instead of the people 
          being brought to greater unity of the faith, division would be 
          established in their midst, they would be split up into sects 
          just like modern Christendom is today. And yet if the Bible is 
          true, the time is to come when all shall know God from the least 
          to the greatest, and when all shall bow the knee and confess that 
          Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God the Father. Unless 
          something is introduced into the world of a different nature and 
          character to the various sects which now exist in Christendom, 
          these results can never be brought about.
          
          If the Gospel which Jesus Christ introduced into the world, and 
          which His Apostles were sent forth to preach, were restored again 
          to the earth, and the people were brought to the understanding of 
          that Gospel, then they would come into this condition, because 
          this was one of the characteristics of the Gospel, one of its 
          great effects upon the people when it was introduced into the 
          world 1,800 years and more ago. When the Apostles whom Jesus 
          Christ sent forth went to preach the Gospel in the country in 
          which they were born, Palestine, they found people professing 
          different creeds, but when these people came to receive the 
          Gospel which the Apostles taught, they were all brought to the 
          unity of the faith. If Peter went out and preached in one part of 
          the world, say to the Jews, and Paul, “the Apostle of the 
          Gentiles,” went out among the Gentile nations and
          	Divisions of Modern Christendom, Etc.	157 
          
          preached to them, the converts made by Peter, and the converts 
          made by Paul, believed exactly alike, no matter where they were 
          born, no matter what creed they had previously professed; and 
          when James went out, or any of the rest of the Apostles, and made 
          converts, all came to the same belief as the converts of Peter 
          and the converts of Paul. Indeed the Apostle Paul says, “For by 
          one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jew 
          or Gentile, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to 
          drink into one Spirit”—“We have,” said he,” “one 
          Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one hope of our calling.” 
          This was the effect of the acceptance of the Gospel in the days 
          of the ancient Apostles. And upon the principle that the same 
          cause will always produce the same effect under the same 
          circumstances, if that Gospel were to be preached in this day of 
          the world the people who obeyed it would be brought into the same 
          condition, no matter what their creeds were. When they received 
          the Gospel of Jesus Christ they would be brought to a unity of 
          the faith, they would receive one doctrine, they would receive 
          one spirit, they would have one Lord, one baptism, one faith and 
          one hope of their calling, they would be started on the same 
          road, they would worship the same God in the same way, under the 
          influence of the same spirit.
          
          Well, what is the matter in what is called the Christian world? 
          The difficulty is that the people of the earth have departed from 
          the plan of salvation which was taught by Jesus Christ and His 
          Apostles, and the opinions of men have been introduced instead of 
          the word of God. Men have stepped forth from the ranks to be 
          preachers and teachers of the people, and have introduced
          
          their own notions, and churches have been built up and 
          established upon those notions. In the olden times the Apostles 
          of Jesus Christ did not feel that they had any right to go out 
          and preach their views about doctrine, their ideas about 
          salvation, but they went out as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus 
          Christ having authority from Him to preach the Gospel which He 
          delivered to them and no other, and the Apostle Paul went so far 
          as to say, “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any 
          other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, 
          let him be accursed.” And John, the beloved and loving 
          disciple, who talked so much about love and charity, says, 
          “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of 
          Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, 
          he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, 
          and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, 
          neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed is 
          partaker of his evil deeds.” The servants of God who have been 
          called at various times from the beginning to preach the word of 
          the Lord to the inhabitants of the earth have always come with 
          the word of the Lord; not their own ideas, not with their 
          peculiar notions about doctrine, but they came to bring a message 
          from the Almighty, and they delivered it with authority. Every 
          word they spoke under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was the 
          word of God to the people, and was binding upon them, for those 
          men were the representatives of God upon the earth, so far as 
          their teachings were concerned. “Holy men of God spake as they 
          were moved upon by the Holy Ghost,” and that which they said 
          under the influence of that
          158 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          spirit, was the Word of God to the people to whom it came. But 
          for hundreds of years the people of the earth have been taught 
          the doctrines of men. They have been “teaching for doctrines 
          the commandments of men,” just as we read in the Scriptures 
          they would do; and in consequence of this the people have become 
          divided, sects have multiplied, division has increased, and the 
          people, instead of obeying the voice of the Lord and walking in 
          His ways, have the teachings of men and have walked in the ways 
          of men, and therefore they have departed from the Almighty. We 
          say sometimes that God has departed from the world. That is not 
          exactly the case; the world have gone away from God; “they have 
          heaped to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they have 
          turned away their ears from the truth, and have turned unto 
          fables,” as the ancient Apostles said they would. This, in a 
          few plain words, is the condition of the Christian world today. 
          Notwithstanding this, however, there are a great many people 
          among those various sects and religions who are sincere in their 
          worship. Their desires are good, and a great many of them think 
          they are walking in the way of life. But as the wise man Solomon 
          says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the 
          end thereof is death.” There is and can be but one way, one 
          true way into the presence of God. “Strait is the gate, and 
          narrow is the path, which leadeth unto life, and few there be 
          that find it,” said Jesus, while “Broad is the road, that 
          leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” 
          There is but one way, and, “He that entereth not by the door 
          into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a 
          thief and
          
          a robber.” There being but one road to eternal life, he that 
          walks not in that road is on another, but there is but one road 
          to take him into the presence of God to receive the glory of His 
          Father's kingdom. Now, this may sound in some people's ears very 
          uncharitable. People say the Latter-day Saints are uncharitable, 
          because they aver that there is only one way to heaven. You never 
          hear a man called uncharitable when he says there is only one way 
          in mathematics. If five times five are twenty-five, anyone who 
          differs from that is acknowledged to be wrong, but when we talk 
          about religious affairs there seems to be an idea in the world 
          that people can believe what they please about religion, and it 
          is all right. Now, this seems to me very inconsistent. Truth 
          cannot be bent or turned aside. Truth cannot be turned into 
          error; there is no compromise between truth and error. If a 
          principle is true in one age of the world, it is just as much so 
          in another; and the notions and sincerity of the people will not 
          alter that truth in the slightest degree. Jesus came to show the 
          way of salvation. He sent His Apostles to teach one way, one 
          plan, and as the Apostle Paul said, if anybody preaches any other 
          he will be accursed.
          
          But supposing we look into the nature and character of this plan 
          of salvation, this way that Jesus laid down. I will refer you to 
          the 3rd chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, and the 5th 
          verse. The words I am about to read are the words of Jesus 
          Christ. Now if you please to say that Christ was uncharitable, 
          you may. I will not say so. Jesus is the great Divine Master. 
          Those who do not profess to believe that He was the immaculate
          	Divisions of Modern Christendom, Etc.	159 
          
          Son of God, believe He was a great inspired Teacher, and what He 
          said was the word of life to the inhabitants of the earth. 
          Nicodemus came to Jesus by night to enquire about the way of 
          life. And “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I 
          say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the 
          kingdom of God.” Nicodemus did not quite understand what was 
          meant by being “born again,” whereupon Jesus further 
          explained, saying, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a 
          man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the 
          kingdom of God.” This was the declaration of the Lord Jesus 
          Christ. There is no compromise about it, no two ways about it. 
          Here is the one way laid down by the Lord: No man can enter into 
          the kingdom of God, except he has been born of the water and of 
          the Spirit. How are we to understand this Scripture? We are to 
          understand it, I suppose, just exactly as it was laid down. Jesus 
          was making himself plain to Nicodemus. He told him that except a 
          man was born again he could not see the kingdom of God, and when 
          Nicodemus inquired how this could be, He further explained, that 
          except a man was born of the water and of the Spirit, he could 
          not enter into the kingdom of God.
          
          We are told in the Scriptures that Jesus was not only the 
          Teacher, but He was the Great Exemplar. Jesus “left us an 
          example, that we should follow in his steps.” If this be the 
          case, Jesus must have been born of the water and of the spirit, 
          and if we can find out how He was so born, then we can find out 
          how we must be born of the water and of the spirit. We are told 
          here in the New Testament; that when Jesus Christ was about 
          thirty years of age (he conformed to the laws and customs of
          
          the Jews among whom He resided) before he went on his ministry, 
          he went to John, the forerunner, and asked to be baptized, but we 
          read that John, who knew the character of Christ's mission, said, 
          “I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And 
          Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus 
          it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 
          And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the 
          water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the 
          Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And 
          lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I 
          am well pleased.” Here is a pattern set by Jesus Christ, for 
          mankind to follow. He knew it was necessary for every one to be 
          born of water and of the spirit, and He went to John, a man who 
          had authority from God to baptize, and was immersed by him, or 
          baptized by him—the words are of similar meaning—and the 
          Spirit descended and the Father witnessed that He was well 
          pleased with this act.
          
          Now, you will find, if you will read the Scriptures, that when 
          Jesus Christ sent His disciples to all the world, he told them to 
          “preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is 
          baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be 
          damned.” Again, he says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all 
          nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the 
          Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” If we read the book called The 
          Acts of the Apostles, we find that these instructions were 
          carried out to the very letter. In that great sermon preached by 
          Peter, on the day of Pentecost, when so many were brought to 
          obedience to the truth, when asked by the
          160 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          people, “What shall we do?” Peter said unto them, “Repent, 
          and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for 
          the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy 
          Ghost.” First, the birth of the water, then the birth of the 
          Holy Ghost. This was the example of Christ, and this was how the 
          Apostles taught it.
          
          If you follow the Apostles in all their travels and 
          teachings—so far as the history is given to us in the book 
          called the Acts of the Apostles, and so far as laid down in the 
          epistles which they wrote to the churches—you will find that 
          this was the preparatory Gospel, the Gospel of the kingdom. 
          First, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” What shall we do 
          when we do believe? “Repent, and be baptized every one of you 
          in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye 
          shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” And you will find 
          further that after the people were baptized, the Apostles laid 
          their hands upon them, and by the administration of that 
          ordinance the Holy Ghost came upon them. And this was uniform. It 
          was not one Gospel in one country and another in another; it was 
          the same Gospel for all. Neither were there a number of baptisms 
          for different people in different parts, but one Lord, one faith, 
          one baptism; not “pouring” in one part of the world and 
          “sprinkling” in another, and the “sign of the cross” for 
          another. No, it was one baptism, being buried in water after the 
          likeness of Christ's death, and being raised up out of the water 
          in the likeness of His resurrection; brought forth from the womb 
          of the water into the element of air in the likeness of the 
          natural birth, all done in the name of the Father, and of the 
          Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by men holding
          
          divine authority. No man had a right to administer these 
          ordinances as he pleased or according to some fancy within his 
          own mind. A man must be appointed to the ministry by the voice of 
          God through the living oracles, or his ministrations are void and 
          of non-effect. When people were baptized in this way they were 
          prepared to receive the birth of the spirit, and when the 
          Apostles' hands were laid upon them they received the Holy Ghost, 
          they were born of the spirit, and the effects were as I remarked 
          at the beginning, no matter what they previously believed or 
          disbelieved, they were all brought to the unity of the faith. 
          They believed alike, they had similar impressions, the same 
          spirit rested upon them, they were brethren and sisters, they 
          were no longer divided in feeling, but all were inspired by the 
          same influence, and desired to labor for the same object and 
          purpose. We find also that this spirit developed certain gifts 
          among the people, some that were internal, not perceptible to the 
          natural eye, except as they influenced the acts of men; while 
          others were external. For instance, we read that the fruits of 
          the spirit are these: “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, 
          gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance, brotherly love 
          and charity;” these were the effects of the Holy Ghost in the 
          human heart in former times. Now, if the same spirit rests upon 
          the people today, it will bring forth the same fruits. “Every 
          tree is known by its fruit.” There were other gifts given by 
          this spirit, which we read of in the First Epistle of Paul to the 
          Corinthians and 12th Chapter. He says, “To one is given by the 
          Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by 
          the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another 
          the
          	Divisions of Modern Christendom, Etc.	161 
          
          gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of 
          miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; 
          to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation 
          of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame 
          Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.” These were 
          the fruits of the spirit in the days of the Apostles. Now, if 
          this same spirit is given to people today, through obedience to 
          the Gospel, it will bring forth the same fruits. The gift of 
          tongues will be enjoyed; the gifts of interpretation, of healing, 
          prophecy, discerning of spirits, etc., and people will be united 
          together in spirit and be filled with love, joy, peace, patience 
          and charity, and be baptized by one spirit into one body.
          
          Now, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—to which 
          most of the people of this congregation belong—has been 
          established by direct communication from heaven in our own times, 
          and the reason for the establishment of this Gospel again by 
          revelation from heaven is this: The world has departed from the 
          ancient Gospel, an outline of which I have been giving to you 
          this afternoon; people have turned away from it, and taken to the 
          vagaries of men. The world has heaped to itself teachers. Men 
          have been hired by the people to preach doctrines which would 
          suit the people. Hence division has been in the world in place of 
          union; discord and contention have sprung up instead of peace, 
          joy and brotherly love, which are the fruits of the Gospel. But 
          God Almighty has restored this Gospel in the day and age in which 
          we live, because, according to the Scriptures it must be 
          “preached to all the world as a witness, and then shall the end 
          come.” The true Gos-
          
          pel, the Gospel of the birth of the water and of the spirit, 
          without which man cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, must be 
          preached to all nations. God has restored that Gospel by direct 
          communication from the heavens. It is the only way in which it 
          could be restored. It cannot be evolved from the mind of man. It 
          must come from God or it is not the work of God. If Jesus Christ 
          has nothing to do with a church personally, it cannot be the 
          Church of Christ. It may be a Methodist church, an Episcopalian, 
          Presbyterian or a Quaker church, or it may be a church bearing 
          any other name that men have put upon it; but if it is the Church 
          of Jesus Christ, He will be in communication with it. Well, the 
          Lord has restored this Gospel by revelation from heaven. With it 
          he has also restored the same authority held by the ancient 
          Apostles. Angels have come down to the earth that they might 
          restore this Priesthood. Peter, James and John have come as 
          ministering angels and restored the ancient Apostleship, in which 
          is authority to preach the Gospel, to baptize for the remission 
          of sins, to lay on hands for the imparting of the Holy Ghost, to 
          organize the Church of God, and set all things in order; that 
          authority has been restored to the earth, and by that authority 
          the Gospel must be preached to all the world as a witness, before 
          the end shall come.
          
          The world marvels how it is that people can be brought together 
          from so many different nations and countries, and all settle down 
          under one form of faith. People have an idea that there are 
          certain persons here holding great influence over the minds of 
          men; that they have gathered people together by that influence, 
          and now hold them here in
          162 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          bondage. There could not be greater freedom anywhere upon the 
          face of the earth than is enjoyed right here in Utah, by the 
          people called Latter-day Saints. But what has drawn them here? 
          What makes them willing to go through any trial or any sacrifice 
          for their faith? It is just simply this: They heard the Gospel, 
          received it in their hearts, and they have been born of water and 
          of the spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. The spirit by which 
          the Prophets wrote and spoke; the spirit by which Jesus Christ 
          brought forth the living word of God; the spirit by which the 
          ancient Apostles were inspired is here on earth, and dwells in 
          the hearts of the Latter-day Saints. They have been baptized by 
          one spirit into one body, and all the gifts of the spirit 
          anciently enjoyed are the fruits of the spirit today, and each 
          man and each woman for himself and for herself, has received a 
          divine witness direct from the Almighty to their own souls that 
          God has commenced the great work of the latter days, which is to 
          establish His government on the earth bring all mankind to the 
          unity of the faith, and prepare the world for the coming of Him 
          whose right it is to reign. It is the power of the Spirit of 
          Almighty God which rests upon the Latter-day Saints. It is that 
          which has drawn them here, to leave their homes and friends and 
          come up here to these mountains, where they can learn more of the 
          ways of God, and walk more closely in His paths, where they learn 
          further of this Gospel and of those glorious ordinances which 
          pertain to the salvation of mankind.
          
          But the question which may be asked here is: “If there is only 
          one way of salvation and you have received that, and all the rest 
          of man-
          
          kind are in the dark and not walking in the ways of life, what is 
          to become of them, and what is to become of the masses of the 
          human race that never heard this Gospel?” Will you tell me what 
          is to become of the heathen that have died, who never heard of 
          Christianity in any shape? For there is but one name given under 
          heaven by which men can be saved. What is to become of the 
          myriads that have passed into the spirit world without even 
          having heard the name of Jesus Christ? What is to become of all 
          the Jews—numbers of good men and good women amongst them—what 
          is to become of the millions of Jews who have passed away into 
          the spirit world from every land—and some of them in a great 
          hurry too, driven by the hands of “Christians”—who have 
          never obeyed any Gospel at all? Now, the word of Jesus Christ 
          must stand good. Even if I could not comprehend the decree, if 
          there was no ray of light to make it plain to my mind, yet if I 
          believe in the Lord Jesus Christ I must believe that saying that 
          there is only one way into the sheepfold, that no man can get 
          into the kingdom of God, who has not been born of the water and 
          of the Spirit, and until it is made plain to my mind I must hold 
          on to it by faith, if I cannot comprehend it by my reason. But 
          thanks be to God, this has been made clear to our minds, not 
          because we are wise and learned in the Scriptures, but because 
          God Almighty has been pleased to make it known. That is the only 
          way we have come to an understanding on this point. All the 
          doctrines we have in our Church are scriptural, but they have not 
          been taken from the Scriptures, they have come direct from the 
          Almighty by revelation in our time. The Prophet
          	Divisions of Modern Christendom, Etc.	163 
          
          Joseph Smith, previous to his death, obtained from the Almighty a 
          knowledge in regard to the condition of the dead. He was shown 
          the condition they would occupy in the eternities which are to 
          come. In one great vision it was revealed to him that there are 
          three degrees of glory, the celestial, terrestrial, and 
          telestial: that those who enter into the celestial kingdom are 
          they who obeyed the laws of the celestial kingdom; that those who 
          enter into the terrestrial kingdom are they who did not obey the 
          celestial law but obeyed a lesser degree of law and therefore 
          were only prepared to receive a lesser degree of glory; and that 
          those who enter into the lowest degree of glory are those who are 
          cast down for their sins and who must pay the penalty of the 
          same, but all, except the sons of perdition, eventually will come 
          out of their suffering and enter into a condition for which they 
          are qualified. But over and above this the Prophet Joseph Smith 
          saw that the Gospel of the Kingdom could be preached not only to 
          people in the flesh, but to people out of the flesh; that when 
          people depart this life they retain their identity; that they can 
          be informed; that they can receive and reject; and he was also 
          shown that the time must come when all shall hear the Gospel of 
          the Lord Jesus Christ, because by that they shall be judged. The 
          Apostle Peter says: “For this cause was the gospel preached 
          also to them which are dead, that they might be judged according 
          to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” 
          Every one must hear the Gospel and be judged by it: It would not 
          be just to judge any one by that Gospel if they never heard it. 
          “But,” says some one, “that is a new idea altogether. The
          
          idea in the Christian world is that there are two conditions to 
          which the spirits of men go after death, namely, to heaven or to 
          hell.” That is the common idea, I know; but according to the 
          doctrine which Joseph Smith taught, and which he learned by 
          revelation from heaven, the time is to come when everybody will 
          hear the Gospel of the Son of God, every one will have the chance 
          to bow the knee to King Emmanuel, and to do it understandingly.
          
          Now, when we come to look into the Scriptures, we find that Jesus 
          Christ on a certain occasion read in the Jewish Synagogue a 
          passage out of the Book of Isaiah. You will find it in the 61st 
          chapter of Isaiah. What is it? “The spirit of the Lord God is 
          upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings 
          to the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to 
          proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison 
          to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the 
          Lord.” This was a part of the mission of Christ. He was not 
          only sent to preach good tidings to the meek, but it seems he had 
          a mission to some that were in captivity. I will read a verse or 
          two upon the same subject from the 42nd chapter of the Book of 
          Isaiah: “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will 
          hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant 
          of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind 
          eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that 
          sit in darkness out of the prison house.” In the 49th chapter 
          of Isaiah, we find some remarks of the same kind: “That thou 
          mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in 
          darkness, Shew yourselves” I ask, were these predic-
          164 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          tions which it is generally admitted were uttered concerning 
          Jesus Christ, fulfilled? Let us see. Jesus Christ was taken by 
          wicked hands, hung upon the cross and crucified. He prayed for 
          his enemies before he departed; he prayed that God would forgive 
          them, because they knew not what they did, and then “bowed his 
          head and gave up the ghost.” Where did the ghost or spirit of 
          Christ go to after it left the body? The body was taken down and 
          placed away in the tomb; but where was Jesus? Was he lying in 
          that tomb, embalmed? Oh, no, that was merely the helpless body. 
          His spirit had gone. Where had it gone to? Says one, “it went 
          to heaven, of course.” Stay a moment. Three days after this we 
          find this same Jesus, whose body was placed away in the tomb, 
          walking in the garden, “and for fear of him the keepers did 
          shake, and became as dead men.” Jesus, while walking in the 
          garden, met Mary; and Mary, supposing him to be the gardener, 
          asked where they had laid Jesus. Making himself known to her, she 
          sprang towards him. Whereupon he said to her, “Touch me not; 
          for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, 
          and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and 
          to my God, and your God.” Now, there were three days between 
          the placing of Christ's body in the tomb and the raising of it. 
          Where was Jesus, the real Jesus, the living Jesus, while his body 
          was lying in the tomb? Who can tell us? We read in the third 
          chapter of the first epistle of Peter, 18th to the 20th verses: 
          “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the 
          unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the 
          flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he
          
          went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were 
          disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the 
          days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that 
          is, eight souls were saved by water.” Where was he? Where did 
          he go? “Put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, 
          he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” That is where 
          Christ was between the time of his death and his resurrection, 
          preaching deliverance to the captives, the opening of the prison 
          to them who were bound. But some may ask, How do you know what he 
          preached to them? The answer will be found in the 4th chapter of 
          the same epistle, and the 6th verse, namely, “For for this 
          cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that 
          they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live 
          according to God in the spirit.” From this it appears that 
          Jesus Christ went and preached the Gospel to the dead. What for 
          “That they might be judged according to men in the flesh;” 
          for it would not be fair to judge them by that Gospel if they 
          never had the opportunity of hearing it. Here is Jesus, stretched 
          out upon the cross, praying for his enemies; he bows his head and 
          gives up the Ghost; his spirit departs from his body; he goes to 
          Paradise. That is where the thief went who repented on the cross. 
          “Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom;” he 
          cried. And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, Today 
          shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Was that in the presence of 
          the Father, in heaven, in glory? Oh, no. It was in the place for 
          departed spirits, some of them disobedient spirits; a portion of 
          it the place in which the rich man found himself who is
          	Divisions of Modern Christendom, Etc.	165 
          
          spoken of in the parable of Lazarus. Christ went to the spirit 
          world and the thief went with him. It was a place where the 
          wicked pay “the uttermost farthing” for their sins in the 
          flesh. There Jesus went. No longer trammeled by the laws which 
          govern the earth, no longer subject to the bonds of the flesh. 
          This is the place that David speaks of when he says, “Lift up 
          your heads, O ye gates; and be lift up, ye everlasting doors; and 
          the King of glory shall come in.” Jesus is not now the babe of 
          Bethlehem, he is not now the despised of men, he is not now 
          bearing the sins of men upon the cross, but he is Jesus the 
          mighty, Jesus the conqueror. Jesus the Son of God, Jesus the 
          Prince, Jesus the pure, who knew no sin, and over whom death had 
          no claim. He entered the abode of the doomed. He proclaimed 
          deliverance to the captives. He preached the Gospel to the dead. 
          He opened the prison house and “led captivity captive.” He 
          then came back to where his body lay in the tomb. The guards fell 
          back as though they were dead men, when the angels with the keys 
          of the resurrection appeared at the door of the sepulchre. The 
          great stone was rolled away and the risen Christ came forth in 
          his might. He grasped the keys of hell when he entered the dark 
          regions of Hades. He grasped the keys of death when he came back 
          triumphant and arose on high to receive “all power both on the 
          earth and in the heavens.”
          
          Now this may be a different view to that which has been 
          entertained for hundreds of years, but it is the eternal truth of 
          God, and as it was with the disobedient in the days of Noah, so 
          it will be with those of the latter days. It will be as we are 
          told in the 24th chapter of Isaiah,
          
          where the Prophet in speaking of the last times says: “And it 
          shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the 
          host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the 
          earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as 
          prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the 
          prison, and after many days shall they be visited.”
          
          Jesus Christ when He was upon the earth, made use of this 
          remarkable language: “He that believeth on me, the works that I 
          do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; 
          because I go unto my Father.” It appears from this that those 
          who really believe in Jesus, those who are really his disciples, 
          shall follow in His footsteps, do the works that he performed, 
          follow in the same path which he trod, that by and by they may 
          come up to the same glory. So we learn from the revelations of 
          God, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, that when the servants of 
          God depart from this stage of action they follow the footsteps of 
          the illustrious captain of our salvation, they preach deliverance 
          to the captives, they publish the Gospel of peace in the regions 
          of the departed. Hosts of the Jews, hosts of the heathen, and 
          hosts of the Christians have died to wake up and find themselves 
          in the spirit world, and not in the glory they expected, because 
          the time to receive the glory and the reward is not till after 
          the judgment. And they will be offered in the spirit those 
          essential truths which they could not learn while in the flesh.
          
          Is not this comforting to our hearts? It is to mine. I had 
          thought over this many a time before I understood this principle, 
          and when this light came to me it filled me with gladness: That 
          all people
          166 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          whoever dwelt on the earth will have the privilege of hearing the 
          Gospel of Christ; that God is not so narrow as sectarian 
          preachers would make him; that he does not regard a few of his 
          creatures only, but that “His tender mercies are over all his 
          works,” and that all shall have an opportunity of receiving or 
          rejecting the means of salvation, and will stand or fall thereby.
          
          Now, there is another question that will come up, that I must say 
          a word or two about to make this doctrine plain. When people who 
          depart from the earth without hearing the Gospel, go into the 
          spirit world, and by and by a man of God comes preaching the word 
          of God, and they are willing to receive it, can they be born of 
          water and of the spirit? Is baptism an ordinance that can be 
          attended to in the spirit world? I thought, says one, that water 
          was an element or compound of elements, belonging to the earth. 
          Well, according to the revelations of this great Prophet, Joseph 
          Smith—one of the greatest Prophets that ever breathed the 
          breath of life, excepting, of course, the Lord Jesus 
          Christ—those who receive the Gospel in the spirit world can 
          have the necessary earthly ordinances attended to for them by 
          proxy, that is, the living can be baptized for the dead. This 
          will startle some people. Some good Christians will feel shocked 
          at the idea. But stop; do not be in a hurry. Did you ever think 
          of the principle of one dying for another? Did not Jesus suffer 
          for all on the principle of a vicarious atonement? On this 
          principle of proxy rests the whole scheme of human redemption. 
          Without that principle of proxy, every one must pay the penalty 
          of blood and death, for the wages of sin is death, and “all 
          have sinned, and come short of
          
          the glory of God,” and “without the shedding of blood, there 
          is no remission of sin.” Christ died for you and for me and for 
          all mankind, on condition that they would receive His Gospel. He 
          died, “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to 
          God.” He who knew no sin died for those that had sinned. Here, 
          then, is the principle of proxy in the vicarious death of Jesus 
          Christ, as was typified in the ordinances and sacrifices that 
          were given in the law of carnal commandments.
          
          But is this a scriptural doctrine? It is. In the 15th chapter of 
          I Corinthians, 29th verse, we find Paul asks a peculiar question. 
          He is talking about the resurrection of the dead. The people in 
          those days did not understand much about that subject. He asks, 
          “What shall they do which are baptized for the dead? If the 
          dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for the dead?” 
          From this it would seem that in the early Christian church, the 
          living were baptized for the dead. From this we can understand 
          what Paul meant when, in writing to the Hebrews concerning their 
          departed ancestors, he said, “God having provided some better 
          thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” 
          That is the condition of a great many of our forefathers, they 
          cannot be made perfect without us. There is no redemption for the 
          living or the dead except by the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not 
          the Gospel of Wesley, Calvin, Luther, or of any man, but the 
          Gospel of Jesus Christ in its purity, as it comes down from Him 
          for the salvation of the human family. Without obedience to that 
          Gospel, neither the living nor the dead can be saved.
          
          I take great pleasure in bearing my testimony that I know the true
          	Divisions of Modern Christendom, Etc.	167 
          
          Gospel has been restored to the earth. I know that the 
          Apostleship has been sent down from heaven to the earth again, 
          and that the power as well as the name of it is here. Men have 
          received authority from the heavens to administer in all the 
          ordinances of God's house. This is the one Gospel, the true 
          Gospel of faith, repentance and baptism for the remission of 
          sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost, through the laying on 
          of hands, with the cultivation of all that is good, and the 
          overcoming of everything which is evil. This is the Gospel of the 
          kingdom. It will be preached to all the world as a witness that 
          the end is near. There is no power which can stay the progress of 
          this work. It is for this our missionaries go abroad in the 
          world. Some people have an idea that they are simply emigration 
          agents to gather out people to Utah. It is not so. They go abroad 
          to preach the Gospel of Christ among the nations of the earth. It 
          must be proclaimed to every nation, kindred, tongue and people: 
          to professors of religion and non-professors, to preachers and 
          their congregations, to pastors and their flocks, to the king 
          upon his throne and to the peasant in his cottage, to the 
          presidents of republics, and in fact to all peoples on the face 
          of the earth. All must hear the warning voice: Repent of your 
          sins, O ye inhabitants of the earth! Turn away from your 
          corruptions where with you have defiled yourselves and the earth 
          on which you dwell, or woe unto you, for I the Lord God will 
          cleanse the earth as with the besom of destruction. Repent, 
          before judgment shall overtake you. Repent and be baptized every 
          one of you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and you shall be 
          cleansed from sin, and a new heart
          
          shall be put into you. You shall be born of the water and be made 
          new creatures in Christ Jesus. You shall be born of the Spirit, 
          the Holy Ghost shall be given unto you as a gift from God, which 
          shall be a light to your feet and a lamp to your path, by which 
          you can be brought into communion with the Father and the Son and 
          the heavenly hosts, by which light and intelligence can be 
          flashed from the celestial kingdom to your souls, and by which 
          you may know you are accepted of God! This Gospel must be 
          preached to all the world by the servants of God. And wherever 
          their testimony has been received—in England, Scotland, Wales, 
          Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the Islands of 
          the sea, throughout the United States, South America, Africa, and 
          the East Indies, those who have obeyed it have all been baptized 
          into the same body and worship the same God in the same way, and 
          they all want to come here, the great gathering place of the 
          Saints. There is no need to coax them to come: the great 
          difficulty is to find money to bring them here when they want to 
          gather. In this they are fulfilling the words of Isaiah and 
          Malachi: “And it shall come to pass,” says the Prophet 
          Isaiah, “in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's 
          house shall be established in the tops of the mountains, and 
          shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into 
          it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up 
          to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; 
          and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: 
          for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord 
          from Jerusalem.” Those who receive the Gospel come in here 
          “as the doves to their windows.”
          168 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          From the east and from the west, from the north and from the 
          south, God is gathering His elect from the four quarters of the 
          earth. This is one of the signs of the second coming of the Son 
          of Man. We are building this Temple—I do not allude to the 
          Tabernacle in which we are now assembled, although the Prophet 
          Isaiah speaks also of a Tabernacle, a shadow from the heat and a 
          covert from storm and from rain—but I allude to the Temple on 
          another part of this block; we have others also at St. George, 
          Logan and Sanpete. What are they for? Why, that the living may go 
          into the House of God, according to the pattern received from on 
          high, and attend to the ordinances for the dead. Joseph Smith and 
          Hyrum Smith were slain for the word of God and the testimony of 
          Jesus, and are following in the footsteps of their Divine Master. 
          They have gone into the spirit world and preached deliverance to 
          the captives, and we are building these Temples to the name of 
          God, in the tops of the mountains, that the dead may be fully 
          redeemed.
          
          I have merely touched upon this subject, and my time will not 
          allow me to go further. But I wish to bear my testimony to this 
          congregation that the Lord has restored this Gospel I have spoken 
          about. The power of it is here, the ancient gifts are here, and I 
          know it, and hundreds and thousands that are occupying these 
          valleys know it. That is why we are Latter-day Saints; that
          
          is why we are willing to be cast out and despised of men: that is 
          why we cleave to our faith: and I tell you this work will roll 
          on, no matter what may happen or what opposition is set up 
          against it, for this is God's work. The kings of the earth and 
          the legislature of nations may counsel together, they may lay 
          their plans and fulminate their decrees, but they cannot stop 
          this work in which we are engaged. It will roll on, not because 
          we are so wise or so great—for God has called the weak things 
          of the earth to confound the mighty—but because it is the work 
          of God. No power can hinder this work in the least degree; every 
          weapon that is raised against it will fall to the ground. The 
          Gospel will be preached, Israel will be gathered, and all nations 
          and peoples shall be subdued, until every knee shall bow and 
          every tongue confess that Jesus is the Lord to the glory of God 
          the Father. And the mansions of the dead, and the halls of the 
          spirit world, and every part of the universe will resound with 
          the Gospel of peace, preached by the servants of God, until all 
          shall hear and obey, and when the work is done, Jesus Christ will 
          go before the Father and present to Him this finished work, that 
          God may be all in all.
          
          May the Lord help us to be obedient, to labor in His cause as we 
          are called to work, that we may find our way back to the presence 
          of our Father, and receive the crown and reward of the faithful, 
          even so. Amen. 
                    168
                    
          bject of Assembling Together—The Sacrament, Etc.
          Discourse by Elder Wilford Woodruff, delivered in the Tabernacle, 
          Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, June 12, 1881.
          Reported by John Irvine.
          Wilford Woodruff
          	The Object of Assembling Together, Etc.	169 
          
          We have assembled ourselves as Latter-day Saints for the purpose 
          of worshipping God, of listening to instructions, and 
          administering one of the ordinances of the house of God—the 
          sacrament. I look upon the sacrament as an ordinance of great 
          importance to us; in fact, from the days of Adam down to the days 
          of Jesus Christ, there were sacrifices offered; not only by Adam 
          but by his posterity, by Moses and the house of Israel, and all 
          the generations of people who were led by the Lord—sacrifices 
          were offered as a type of the great sacrifice to be made by the 
          Messiah. They offered the blood of bulls, rams and doves as a 
          type of the great and last sacrifice and death of the Messiah, 
          whose blood was shed for the redemption of the world. Prior to 
          the death of the Savior, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was 
          administered to His disciples, and they were informed that they 
          were to partake of the bread as an emblem of the broken body of 
          the Lord, and of the wine—or whatever is made use of as a 
          substitute—in token of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
          
          I feel disposed here to make a remark and say, that if I were the 
          emperor of the world and had control of every human being that
          
          breathes the breath of life on earth, I would give to every man, 
          woman and child the right to worship God according to the 
          dictates of their own conscience, and when I say this I speak the 
          sentiments of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, the Presidency of this 
          Church, the Twelve Apostles, and all the Elders of Israel. This 
          is the sentiment of all the Latter-day Saints. What! Would you 
          grant the Methodists this privilege? Certainly. And the Baptists? 
          Yes, certainly. And the Catholics, the Shakers, the Quakers? Yes, 
          and everybody else under heaven. I would grant to all people the 
          right to enjoy their religion without molestation. I would even 
          extend this privilege to the Latter-day Saints; I would give them 
          the privilege of believing in the Bible and the organization of 
          the Church according to the ancient pattern with Apostles and 
          Prophets, Christ Jesus being the chief corner stone. Why would 
          you do this? I would do it because God himself does it. The God 
          of heaven grants to all his children, every sect and party of 
          whatever name and denomination under the whole heavens, their 
          agency and the right to worship God according to the dictates of 
          their own conscience. The Lord
          170 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          forces no man to heaven. He places before him life and death, 
          light and darkness, truth and error, and having before him all 
          these principles, he is at liberty to worship God and believe 
          what he chooses. He alone is responsible to God for his actions. 
          Now, when I read the history of the world in days which are past, 
          when I note the illiberal spirit which was manifested, and the 
          blood which has been shed upon the earth—for the earth has been 
          deluged with blood, under what is termed holy wars, under the 
          garb of holy religion—I look upon it as the most ungodly and 
          unrighteous thing that was ever committed upon the earth. I look 
          upon what is taking place today in the same way. I marvel 
          sometimes when I see the spirit of our nation and the feelings of 
          the sects of today toward Utah and the Latter-day Saints. Have we 
          ever stood in the path of any man, sect or people with regard to 
          their religion? No, we have not. We have been willing at all 
          times that men should preach their doctrines and believe them, 
          unmolested by us, and I would say, to express my own feelings, 
          that if a man believed he had to climb a cottonwood tree three 
          times a day, for salvation, I would never hinder him. No, this 
          liberty, this freedom, especially under the American Government 
          of all nations under heaven, ought to become universal. No man or 
          set of men should attempt to hinder their neighbors from enjoying 
          their religion. And while I say this, and while we grant all men 
          this fight and privilege, as we have done here in this city, this 
          Tabernacle and various other buildings having been opened to the 
          clergymen of the day, we have been perfectly willing, after we 
          have heard all they have had to say, to accept any truth they 
          might have that we are not in possession
          
          of. If there is a man in this world who has one truth which I 
          have not got, I am willing to exchange all the errors I have got 
          for that truth. But we as a people claim the same right we grant 
          to others. We claim the right to worship God unmolested by our 
          fellow men. The laws of God, the decrees of God, the oracles of 
          God, as well as laws of our country and the constitution of our 
          government grant this right to the human family—yes, even to 
          the “Mormons,” as we are called, to the Latter-day Saints as 
          well as every other class.
          
          Then, why this tremendous furor among the sects of the day with 
          regard to these “Mormons” and their religion? The trouble is 
          the world do not know anything about our religion, they do not 
          know what we believe in, and if anybody forms an idea from what 
          they hear abroad, they hear anything but the truth. I have been 
          amused sometimes—I have of late—in reading the speeches 
          delivered by gentlemen—clergymen at that—who profess to have 
          lived in Utah, and to understand this people. One gentleman who 
          professes to be acquainted here delivered a speech in Rochester, 
          before a missionary society, in which he stated that “there 
          were in Utah 620,486 young persons in the Mormon district, and it 
          was the youthful element that missionaries were working on.” 
          Well, now, how does this gentleman make out 620,486 young people 
          out of 140,000? I do not know by what process of mathematics, or 
          by what rule he arrives at this question. That gentleman knew 
          just as well when he made that assertion that it was false as I 
          know. Our population is only about 140,000. Mr. Conyer, who had 
          lived here some six years, stated “that there were 40,000 
          scholars in the mission, and he wanted assistance to
          	The Object of Assembling Together, Etc.	171 
          
          furnish his enlarged school.” Well, now you take 40,000 
          scholars out of the total population of 140,000, and I do not 
          think you will have many for the Mormons. But all this is as near 
          true as anything you get abroad, and I really wish that 
          gentlemen, clergymen and everybody else who attempts to report 
          Utah would tell the truth. That is all we ask of any persons who 
          visit us. But it seems impossible for anybody to speak of Utah 
          and the Latter-day Saints—“Mormons” as they are 
          termed—with any degree of truth; but I wish they would, it 
          would be better for them, better for us, and they would be under 
          less condemnation.
          
          Now, what are the principles in which the Latter-day Saints 
          believe? What is the dreadful crime which we have been guilty of 
          for the last fifty years? Why, the Lord has raised up a 
          Prophet—Joseph Smith. He sent an angel from heaven in 
          fulfillment of the revelations of St. John. And that angel 
          delivered the Gospel to Joseph Smith; delivered unto him power 
          and knowledge to obtain the Book of Mormon, a record containing 
          the history of the ancient inhabitants of this continent who 
          dwelt here hundreds and thousands of years ago. He translated it 
          into the English language. Does the Book of Mormon contain a 
          different Gospel to that contained in the Bible? It does not. It 
          gives a history of the people who dwelt upon this continent 
          anciently, tells where they came from and how they came here, 
          tells of the dealings of God with them, and the establishment of 
          the Church of Christ among them. They were visited by Jesus after 
          his resurrection. Hence he said, “Other sheep I have, which are 
          not of this fold: them also I must bring and they shall hear my 
          voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.”
          
          He also told the Nephites when he established His church among 
          them, that he had other sheep. They were the ten tribes of 
          Israel. The Book of Mormon is a history of the dealings of God 
          with that people; the Bible is a history of the dealings of God 
          with Judah and with the Jews and the twelve tribes of Israel: it 
          contains in fact a short outline of the dealings of God with the 
          Jaredites and Nephites from the building of the Tower of Babel 
          down to the days of the Savior and after His resurrection. The 
          Bible is the Stick of Judah in the hands of Judah, and the Book 
          of Mormon the Stick of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim. Both books 
          contain the same gospel. There was never but one gospel and there 
          never will be any other revealed to the human family. Hence Paul 
          says: “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other 
          gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let 
          him be accursed.” Now, if Joseph Smith had established any 
          other gospel on the earth than the gospel which Paul taught, that 
          Christ and His Apostles taught, and that was taught to Abraham, 
          Noah, and the antediluvian world, why we would have the curse of 
          God resting upon us. The great trouble with the so-called 
          Christian world is that they have spiritualized the Scriptures 
          until there is not a semblance of the gospel left. I never could 
          find it. I never could hear a gospel sermon in my life, and I sat 
          under Dr. Porter and Dr. Hawes and other great divines of the 
          day. I never could hear a gospel sermon according to the ancient 
          pattern as was taught by Joseph Smith. Of course all sects have 
          had some truth. All sects have professed to believe in the blood 
          of Jesus Christ, more or less; all sects and parties have
          172 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          their various roads to heaven and to hell, but none of them teach 
          the Gospel according to the pattern laid down in the New 
          Testament.
          
          It required an angel from heaven “to fly in the midst of 
          heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that 
          dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue 
          and people,” to prepare them for the great judgments of our 
          God, before the winding-up scene. The angel has come: that Gospel 
          has been delivered. It was delivered to Joseph Smith. He did not 
          receive his power from man, but from the revelations of Jesus 
          Christ. What did that Gospel teach? Why, faith in Jesus Christ. 
          “Yes, oh yes,” say the Methodist, “we believe in Jesus 
          Christ.” All right. Then the next principle was repentance of 
          our sins. “But,” say the sectarian world, “we also believe 
          in repentance.” Well, what is next? The revivalists who visited 
          this city, (Messrs. Sankey & Moody) believed in Jesus Christ, and 
          they said that if a person only came to Christ, he did not 
          require to be a Methodist, Baptist, Mormon, or anything else. 
          Prophets and Apostles were not required; all that was required 
          was to come to Christ. But we say there is something more 
          required besides believing. A man has to be baptized for the 
          remission of his sins in order to enter into the kingdom of 
          heaven. That law of baptism has never been altered. Many believe 
          in baptism even by immersion, but not particularly for remission 
          of sins. What next? Having repented of our sins and been baptized 
          for a remission of them, we must have hands laid upon for the 
          reception of the Holy Ghost, and when we have received the Holy 
          Ghost, it will be unto us as a principle of revelation, a 
          testimony of the Father and of the Son.
          
          Well, what kind of a church are you going to have? Paul, in 
          speaking of the Corinthians, goes on to represent the Church of 
          Christ as the body of a man. He shows that every part of the body 
          must act in unison; the head, the eyes, the ears, the mouth, the 
          feet, must all work together in order that the body may be 
          perfect, and that there may be no schism. We are also told that 
          God set in the Church Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, 
          and Teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of 
          the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Now we have 
          had independence of mind enough to believe this doctrine. This is 
          “Mormonism.” It is faith in Christ, repentance of our sins, 
          baptism for the remission of our sins, and the reception of the 
          Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. These are the principles 
          which we as Latter-day Saints believe in. We do not believe that 
          God ever had a church on the earth without Apostles and Prophets 
          in it, without inspiration in it. To do away with any of the 
          principles of the Gospel would cause a schism in the Church of 
          Christ. When you cut the head off a man he will die. He may live 
          if he loses an arm or a leg but if you cut the head off he will 
          die. Precisely so with the Church of Christ. We believe in the 
          Bible; we believe in all the prophecies; we believe God meant 
          just what he said and said just what he meant; we believe that 
          the prophecies of the scriptures are of no private 
          interpretation; we believe in the second coming of Christ; we 
          believe that the judgments of Almighty God will be poured out 
          upon this generation. All the unbelief of the world will not stay 
          the fulfillment of the decrees of the Almighty. The unbelief of 
          the in-
          	The Object of Assembling Together, Etc.	173 
          
          habitants of the antediluvian world in the days of Noah did not 
          stay the deluge. The unbelief of the inhabitants of Sodom and 
          Gomorrah did not avert the destruction of these cities. The 
          unbelief of the Jews did not avert the destruction of Jerusalem. 
          We look for a literal fulfillment of the decrees of God. We know 
          as a people that he has set his hand to establish his Church. He 
          has set his hand to warn all nations. The Holy Priesthood has 
          been restored, not by the power of man, but by the power of 
          Almighty God.
          
          As I have said, we believe in the Book of Mormon as containing a 
          record of the ancient inhabitants of this continent, and a clue 
          to the ruins which have been discovered in various parts of the 
          land and for which the world can find no origin. The whole 
          history of these things, however, is pointed out in the Book of 
          Mormon, and if the world would only take the trouble to read that 
          book they would understand these things more perfectly. The 
          American Indians are a remnant of the ancient inhabitants of this 
          continent. Their forefathers were an enlightened people. They had 
          the Gospel among them and the power of God was manifested in 
          their midst; but when they became wicked and turned away from 
          God, the judgments of the Almighty fell upon them and they were 
          overthrown and destroyed by warfares. The Lamanites, now a 
          downtrodden people, are a remnant of the house of Israel. The 
          curse of God has followed them as it has done the Jews, though 
          the Jews have not been darkened in their skin as have the 
          Lamanites. The fate of the Jews in this respect is a standing 
          monument to all infidelity. The prediction of Jesus with regard 
          to them has been liter-
          
          ally fulfilled. He predicted that they should be led away captive 
          unto all nations, and that Jerusalem should be trodden down of 
          the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. When 
          Pilate was ready to release Jesus because he found no fault in 
          him, the Pharisees and high priests, being filled with prejudice, 
          would not have it. They cried out “Crucify him, crucify him, 
          and let his blood be upon us, and our children.” The prediction 
          of Jesus has been verified, and its fulfillment is before the 
          world today. The Jews have been trampled under the feet of the 
          Gentiles for 1,800 years, and they are today being persecuted in 
          European nations. Why? Because that curse of God rests upon them 
          and will rest upon them until Shiloh comes, until they are 
          regathered to Jerusalem and rebuild the city in unbelief. You 
          cannot convert a Jew. They will never believe in Jesus Christ 
          until he comes to them in Jerusalem, until these fleeing Jews 
          take back their gold and silver to Jerusalem and rebuild their 
          city and temple, and they will do this as the Lord lives. Then 
          the Gentiles will say, “Come let us go up to Jerusalem; let us 
          go up and spoil her. The Jews have taken our gold and silver from 
          the nations of the earth—come let us go up and fight against 
          Jerusalem.” Then will the prophecies that are before you be 
          fulfilled, The Gospel was preached first to the Jews and then to 
          the Gentiles, The Jews rejected the message: the Gentiles 
          received it, and unto them was given all the gifts and blessings 
          of the Gospel. But Paul told them to take heed lest they fell 
          through the same example of unbelief. Yet in time, we Gentiles, 
          departed from the kingdom of God, and the church went into the 
          wilderness. There has not
          174 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          been an organization of the church of Christ on the earth from 
          the days of the ancient Apostles, until the days of Joseph Smith, 
          who came forth in this great and last dispensation, and who by 
          inspiration and power from on high again restored the Gospel. The 
          world do not believe this. We cannot help that. The unbelief of 
          the world does not make the work of the Lord of non-effect. The 
          Lord has set his hand to establish his church and kingdom, and 
          the warning voice is to all men. He has called his servant to 
          bear record of this to all nations. This is what the Lord is 
          doing with these despised Mormons. And already the members of 
          nearly every sect under heaven have embraced this work, though 
          our numbers are small compared with the Christian world. We 
          expect this. As it was in the days of Noah and Lot so shall it be 
          at the coming of the Son of Man. These principles are true. The 
          world does not know what awaits them no more than they did in the 
          days of Noah, or in the days of the Jews.
          
          But, why this furor against the Latter-day Saints? Do you know? 
          “Oh, yes, we do. You are Polygamists. That is what is the 
          matter.” Well, indeed! Now, let me ask you a question. Were we 
          polygamists when we were driven from Jackson and Clay Counties? 
          Why, the worst persecution we have ever had, was before polygamy 
          was revealed to us, or before we received it. What cause, then, 
          had the Missourians and others to drive us in the beginning? 
          “Oh, you believe in revelation, you believe in prophets: we 
          cannot bear these things, they are all done away with. These 
          things were only given in the dark ages of the world, but today, 
          living as we are in the blaze of the glorious Gospel, we do not 
          need
          
          them; but if you will believe as we do and scatter yourself 
          abroad among the Methodists, etc., and do as they do, it will be 
          all right.” Now, gentlemen it is not polygamy. What do you care 
          about polygamy? What does our nation care about polygamy? What do 
          the sectarians care about polygamy? Bless your souls, nothing. 
          But nine percent of these Mormons may be polygamists. Dreadful! 
          Why, have you no evils in New York? Have you no evils in Boston? 
          Have you no evils anywhere? Are you all perfect? If so, you are 
          pretty well off; you are certainly prepared for salvation. But 
          no, my friends, I will tell you: If we were to give up polygamy 
          today—if we were to say to our government, “Oh, yes, we will 
          give up polygamy”—why the next they would say would be, But 
          look here; you have got to give up something more than that.” 
          They would tell us, as the Missourians did, that we must quit 
          believing in prophets, apostles and revelation. The same feeling 
          exists today as existed then.
          
          We, Latter-day Saints, are called out of the world. We have 
          received the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord Almighty has raised 
          up Prophets and Apostles in this our day, and has set his hand to 
          establish the kingdom that Daniel saw in fulfillment of 
          revelation and prophecy. We have been gathered out from the 
          nations of the earth to these valleys of the mountains. Zion is 
          growing and increasing. This has been the case from the 
          beginning. There has never been an hour from the organization of 
          this Church but what our course has been onward and upward. Even 
          in the midst of mud and water, on the banks of the Missouri 
          River, where, by an edict of Governor Boggs, some 10,000
          	The Object of Assembling Together, Etc.	175 
          
          were driven—no matter under what circumstances we have been 
          placed, the hand of God has been over us. The Almighty has set 
          his hand to gather in the meek of the earth. And after our 
          testimony, will come the testimony of thunderings and lightnings. 
          Read the revelations of St. John: see the signs of the times, and 
          prepare yourselves for that which is to come. We trust in God. We 
          cannot afford to deny the Lord, we cannot deny his revelations. 
          We have a code of revelations called the Doctrine and Covenants. 
          That code given through the mouth of Joseph Smith, contains the 
          most sublime revelations concerning this generation that were 
          ever given to the world. Many of these revelations have had their 
          fulfillment so far as time has permitted. Joseph Smith was a true 
          Prophet of God. I traveled thousands of miles with him, in fact 
          the revelation he gave concerning the war which would break out 
          between the North and South, I wrote that revelation myself as it 
          was given by the Prophet twenty years before it was fulfilled. 
          That revelation was published to the world broadcast, and I 
          merely refer to it because it is a thing that is clear to the 
          minds of all men. All the revelations in the Book of Doctrine and 
          Covenants, the Bible, and the Book of Mormon, will have their 
          fulfillment in the earth.
          
          We are living in an important day. We are living in the most 
          important dispensation God ever gave to man. There is a great 
          change awaiting us; there is a great change awaiting Zion, our 
          Government, and the whole Christian world. The signs of the times 
          indicate the coming of the Son of Man in power and great glory. 
          But before His coming the Gospel has got to be preached to all
          
          nations. We have been preaching the Gospel for fifty years, and 
          by it a few have gathered out from the nations of the earth to 
          these valleys of the mountains. That is why the world hate us. It 
          is because the Lord has called us out of the world to establish 
          the everlasting Gospel. And I want to say to the Latter-day 
          Saints: Have faith in the revelations of God; have faith in the 
          promises which have been given. We should be preparing ourselves 
          for the great events which await us. Darkness covers the earth 
          and gross darkness the people. The Lord is withdrawing His Spirit 
          from the nations of the earth, and the power of the devil is 
          gaining dominion over the children of men. See how crime is 
          increasing. Fifty years ago when the Book of Mormon was 
          translated by Joseph Smith, there was not one murder where there 
          are a thousand today; there was not one whoredom where there are 
          a thousand today; and so you may go through the whole black 
          catalogue of crime. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he 
          also reap.” “With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured 
          to you.” Look at the wickedness which is on the increase in the 
          world, covering the earth like the waters of the great deep. What 
          will the end be? Death, destruction, whirlwinds, pestilence, 
          famine and the judgments of God will be poured out upon the 
          wicked; for the Lord has withheld these judgments until the world 
          is fully warned. To this end we have been laboring diligently for 
          fifty years, so far as we have had opportunity. But all these 
          judgments will come. The seals will be opened; plague will follow 
          plague; the sun and the moon will be darkened; and the unbelief 
          of the world will make no difference to all
          176 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          these things coming to pass.
          
          I have a desire with you, as Latter-day Saints, that we may keep 
          the faith, overcome the world, and magnify our high and holy 
          callings. We will be held responsible before the Lord for the 
          light we possess. We should be diligent and faithful in our 
          labors, for if we turn our backs upon the truth, once having 
          known it, we will be under far greater condemnation than those 
          who rejected the truth. What we may be called upon to suffer for 
          the Gospel's sake is neither here nor there. This nation and 
          every other nation is in the hands of God. Your destiny is in the 
          hands of God. Men can go no further than the Lord will permit 
          them to go. But we should be faithful to God and to our fellow 
          men, ever ready to do what is required of us.
          
          I pray God our Heavenly Father, that His blessing may be over us; 
          that the hearts of the people of our nation and other nations may 
          be open to the light of the Gospel, that they may not pursue the 
          course the Jews did, for we know what it has
          
          cost them. It will cost this nation or any other nation the same 
          to shed the blood of the servants of God. Whatever course a 
          nation pursues in this respect, it will have to foot the bill. 
          The constitution of our country is one of the best that was ever 
          given to any government. Our forefathers were inspired of God to 
          write that instrument. I have a respect for our government, flag 
          and constitution. I know this nation has been raised up by the 
          power of God for a certain purpose, and that to establish his 
          kingdom upon it, and inasmuch as we do our duty the Lord will 
          sustain us. Those who labor to establish the kingdom of God on 
          the earth will be blessed, and those who fight against the work 
          of God, will be held responsible for their actions.
          
          I feel to bear my testimony to the truth of this work. I know 
          Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and I have a desire that I may 
          be faithful with the rest of my brethren that I may inherit 
          eternal life, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. 
                    176
          
                    18emarks of Brother Woodruff—The Prophets and 
          Servants of God Rejected in Nearly All Ages, Etc.
          Discourse by President George Q. Cannon, delivered in the 
          Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, June 12, 1881.
          Reported by John Irvine.
          George Q. Cannon
          	The Remarks of Brother Woodruff, Etc.	177 
          
          I have listened with great satisfaction and pleasure to the 
          remarks which have been made by Brother Woodruff this afternoon, 
          and I know they are true, and that they will be profitable unto 
          all those who treasure them up in their hearts and make 
          application of them in their lives.
          
          While he was speaking, the query ran through my mind respecting 
          the prophets and men of God who lived in ancient days—was there 
          ever a prophet of God—a man who had a message from God who was 
          received by the generation among whom he lived? They had very few 
          indeed. The Prophet Jonah stands out almost as an exception. 
          Nineveh did repent when he went to it with the message from God; 
          but from Noah down one prophet after another was rejected by the 
          generations unto whom they were sent and unto whom they bore 
          messages from the Almighty. Even Moses, though successful in 
          leading out the children of Israel, with difficulty escaped being 
          stoned to death by his own adherents. And so with every prophet 
          until the days of the Savior himself. Jesus was persecuted; Jesus 
          was derided, Jesus was
          
          rejected. Jesus, who came—his coming having been predicted by 
          the holy prophets and the whole nation being in expectation of 
          him—was rejected because he did not come according to the 
          ideas, the preconceived notions of the people—that is of his 
          own kindred unto whom he was sent.
          
          The world entertain certain ideas concerning truth, they 
          entertain certain ideas concerning God and concerning His 
          servants, and when men come to them with something that conflicts 
          with these ideas they are led to reject them, and it is not until 
          a man has died, not until in many instances his blood has been 
          shed, that he is recognized as a Prophet of God. In fact it was 
          an accusation of the Savior against the Jews that they garnished 
          the tombs and sepulchres of the Prophets whom they had slain. 
          They slew them, but after their death their children said, “If 
          we had lived in their day we would not have slain the prophets, 
          we would have received their testimony,” while they treated the 
          Prophets in their midst the same as their fathers had done their 
          predecessors. But it takes time to bring
          178 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          men to esteem Prophets. It has taken centuries to sanctify the 
          memory of the Son of God; centuries have rolled on before He was 
          recognized by the world as the being whom his disciples testified 
          he was. To his generation he was a vile impostor, and was counted 
          worthy of the most ignominious death that could be inflicted—to 
          be crucified between two thieves. Why, they had the most 
          irrefutable evidence, as they supposed, that He was not the Son 
          of God. “Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” 
          “'Why,” said they, “art thou also of Galilee? Search, and 
          look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” He was a 
          Galilean, and therefore, because of his lowly birth and 
          surroundings, they deemed themselves perfectly justified in 
          rejecting Him. And as has been quoted today, so confident were 
          they that He was not the being whom He represented himself to be 
          that they said, “His blood be on us, and upon our children.” 
          They felt so secure in calling for his crucifixion, they were 
          willing to incur all the penalties which might be inflicted upon 
          themselves and their posterity for the death of a man who, in 
          their estimation, was so vile an impostor.
          
          In the same way it will take time to make the merits of the 
          predictions of Joseph Smith recognized. Will they be recognized? 
          Yes. Joseph Smith has uttered predictions which cannot be 
          disputed, and that have come to pass. Before his death he 
          predicted that the Latter-day Saints should become a great people 
          in the Rocky Mountains. Years before we were compelled to leave 
          the States, he predicted that the South would rebel, and that the 
          civil war would break out in South Carolina. That prediction was 
          in print long years before it was fulfilled. And when
          
          it seemed as though the rebellion would break out in Florida, the 
          Latter-day Saints never had any doubt as to where the war would 
          commence. They knew the word of God had been spoken, and that it 
          would be fulfilled. And it was fulfilled, literally, as also many 
          other predictions which have been uttered.
          
          But do these things come to man in a way that man will receive 
          them? No: they come in contact with worldly pride. They invoke 
          the same opposition which Paul had when he was at Ephesus, when 
          the silversmiths cried out, “Great is Diana of the 
          Ephesians.” And they bawled and cried so much in favor of 
          Diana, that his voice was drowned. So it is today. These things 
          come in contact with established institutions, with established 
          crafts; man's craft is in danger, and hence the outcry. There is 
          a great outcry, and it comes from those whose craft is most in 
          danger. It has ever been so, and it ever will be so while man 
          continues under the same influence which now operates upon him.
          
          The organization of this Church does not coincide with men's 
          minds, it is contrary to their feelings, it comes in contact with 
          their traditions and their prejudices. “Can any good thing come 
          out of Nazareth?” It is the same idea. Can any good thing come 
          from Joseph Smith, an uneducated man? Can any good thing come out 
          of the “Mormon” people. And the whole world seemingly is in a 
          turmoil. Every conceivable falsehood is told about this people. 
          Well, this will continue to be the case; I have no doubt of it in 
          my mind. We have got this warfare to fight, and every people who 
          have stood in our position had it before us. Every reformation 
          which was ever effected among men had to be
          	The Remarks of Brother Woodruff, Etc.	179 
          
          effected in the face of opposition, and frequently the foundation 
          stones have been laid in the blood of the men who were the 
          instruments in the hands of God in laying the foundation. 
          Opposition in this respect is not a new thing. It is as old as 
          Adam that there should be opposition to contend against. Jesus 
          predicted it, because he knew it was the history of the past, and 
          he knew it would be repeated. Thus those who embrace 
          “Mormonism,” or the Gospel of Christ, may make their 
          calculations upon it.
          
          But there is this difference between the dispensation in which we 
          are engaged and other dispensations which have preceded it: we 
          have the promise of God that His work introduced in this the 
          dispensation of the fulness of times shall never be overthrown, 
          so that this dispensation differs in this respect from every 
          dispensation which has preceded it. There is no stopping this 
          work. Men may fight it, they may kill those who advocate it, and 
          use every means in their power against it; but the fiat of 
          Jehovah has gone forth concerning it, and it will spread and 
          increase and will gather within its pale every holiest soul 
          throughout the earth sooner or later, not making war, not 
          attacking, not assaulting, but by the power of divine truth and 
          by the spirit that accompanies it, bearing testimony to every 
          honest soul. And as these troubles increase of which Brother 
          Woodruff has spoken—for they will increase, in our own land, 
          too; they have increased, and they will increase—men will 
          become unsettled in their minds as to what they will do and where 
          they will seek for protection; for the day will come when stable 
          government in these United States will be very hard to find. The 
          ele-
          
          ments are already operating that will produce this instability. 
          Men will be glad to seek refuge, glad to seek protection, glad to 
          live in any place where men and women are honest and true, and 
          where the principles which Brother Woodruff has announced, the 
          principles of true liberty are maintained, and God grant that 
          they may be ever maintained.
          
          It has been said that those who have been persecuted will, when 
          their turn comes, become persecutors. This has been said 
          concerning us. “Oh,” it has been said, “you are now in the 
          minority. It is all very well to plead for liberty and contend 
          for the rights of man. But wait. If you ever get power, you who 
          have been persecuted will turn round and persecute other 
          people.” This has been cast against us as bearing out the 
          history of the past. The Pilgrim Fathers, it is quoted, did this. 
          After being persecuted themselves, they turned round and 
          persecuted others—Episcopalians, Quakers, Baptists, etc.—who 
          did not believe as they did. Well, we have not done this yet. We 
          did not do it when we had everything our own way in these 
          mountains, removed a thousand or twelve hundred miles from every 
          other people. We gave perfect liberty to all, and there never has 
          been an hour since we first occupied this country when our 
          tabernacles, boweries, and other places of worship have not been 
          open to men of every denomination to preach within their walls or 
          under their shade. Time and time again our children have been 
          invited to this tabernacle to listen to ministers of different 
          denominations, that they might know what other people taught; 
          this has been upon the principle which Brother Woodruff has 
          stated, that if they have one
          180 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          truth we have not got, we are willing to exchange our errors for 
          that truth.
          
          I would not give much for a religion which would not stand 
          contact with the world. It was said once respecting President 
          Young, that he read the remark that he would not give much for a 
          religion that could not stand one railroad. I think the same. If 
          my religion cannot stand all the railroads which can be brought 
          here, I do not want it for myself nor for my children. It there 
          is anything superior to that which we believe outside of our 
          religion, let it come, we will welcome it. We are not wedded to 
          our religion only so far as it is true. So far as it is true we 
          are wedded to it, and as such we have espoused it, as such we 
          maintain it, and as such we hope to die believing in its tenets 
          and practicing them; but if anyone else has something better let 
          him come along. We have sacrificed enough for truth to show that 
          we love it. We have forsaken everything for the truth as we 
          believe it, and a people who have been willing to have their 
          houses burned, property destroyed and be driven into a wilderness 
          as we have been, and to create homes in this desolate land—a 
          people that has been willing to do this should not shrink from 
          accepting any truth which may be presented to them, and I do not 
          believe they will. We have given no evidence of such a tendency 
          at any time, I have never heard of it, but there has been a 
          constant willingness to receive the truth.
          
          And this doctrine of plural marriage which is so much talked 
          about; we have shown our devotion to truth by espousing it. If 
          its practice had been of the same nature as that which is popular 
          with the world, there would not have been a word said against us. 
          It is not be-
          
          cause other people do not do wrong with women that the outcry is 
          raised against us. It is not for doing wrong with women, it is 
          for marrying more than one woman, which we could have avoided if 
          licentiousness had been our object, that we are attacked. When 
          God revealed that principle to the Latter-day Saints, there were 
          men who felt as though they would rather go to their graves than 
          carry out that principle. They were men who had lived all their 
          days and had been true to the covenants they had made with their 
          wives, and the thought of marrying more than one woman was as 
          repulsive as it could be to any men in the world. They shrank 
          from it. I heard President Young himself say, that as the hearse 
          passed his house in Nauvoo on the way to the cemetery, he thought 
          he would like to be the occupant of that hearse and of the coffin 
          which it contained, when he thought of this doctrine and the 
          opprobrium that would descend upon him and upon our people, when 
          it became known that we believed in and practiced plural 
          marriage. Here is President Taylor, and Brother Woodruff, who has 
          spoken, and other men of mature years in those days—they know 
          how it was. They would have shrunk from it if they could, but the 
          very fact that they have embraced it ought to be sufficient to 
          show the world that they are devoted to principle, that they have 
          been willing to lay down their lives, if necessary, to carry out 
          principle. It would be cheaper, no doubt, to discard plural wives 
          and follow the ways of the world. Do you think I would have any 
          persecution if I had a wife here and one or more mistresses in 
          Washington? Not in the least: there would not be one word said 
          about my marital
          	The Remarks of Brother Woodruff, Etc.	181 
          
          relations or my domestic affairs; not one word. I know this. How 
          do I know it? Because there are those who are in that condition. 
          But because men marry wives and give their names to their 
          offspring, and are not ashamed of them, and are true to these 
          wives and do not go outside of the family circle, and believe a 
          man ought to be killed who does it—because they do this they 
          are decried and all hell is stirred up. Now, if these things are 
          wrong we practice them without knowing they are wrong. We believe 
          them to be true. We believe this principle has been revealed for 
          the salvation of women. And a man takes a great responsibility 
          upon himself who enters into this order. Reflect upon this a 
          moment: A man marries a wife, and he does it—if he does it 
          properly—with the clear understanding between them beforehand, 
          that if it be right to take another, according to the tenets of 
          his religion, he may do so. Well, he takes another wife. What is 
          the result? He doubles his responsibility, he increases his care. 
          What man of sense or principle is there that would take these 
          obligations upon him lightly? Would any man do it for the sake of 
          gratifying lust? He would be a simpleton and a villain if he did 
          it. A man in this position, if he feels as he should do, will 
          feel there is a great responsibility resting upon him in the 
          taking care of the children of such marriages, in the education 
          and training of them, and the preserving of them from vice. And 
          what is there to induce him to shoulder this responsibility 
          except principle?
          
          We desire to have no margin of unmarried women among us. We do 
          not want institutions among us which are not of God, and which 
          propagate death and disease. We
          
          desire every woman to be married, and as there are not more women 
          than men in Utah, if everyman marries, there will be no plural 
          marriage, it will cease, and that is the best remedy in the world 
          for this “Utah Polygamy,” as it is called. Let every man 
          marry, and there will be no single women of marriageable age. But 
          as all men will not marry, we have instances of two and more 
          women who love one man and who choose to live together and live 
          together virtuously and properly.
          
          “Ah, but,” says one, “there is a law of Congress against 
          such a thing.” I know that, and I am not advising any man to do 
          anything that would make him liable to go to the Penitentiary. 
          But I am talking about principle, about that which we believe and 
          practice, and that which has impelled us to action in this 
          matter. I have taken some of my children down to Washington, and 
          have said to them, “Now, here you see the other side. I want 
          you to have the opportunity of seeing society, and understanding 
          something of it outside of our Territory.” I would not hoodwink 
          a child. I would set before children all which is necessary to 
          give them light upon this subject, that they may understand it. I 
          would like every one of my daughters to understand it thoroughly; 
          and in speaking thus about my own family, I speak about every 
          girl in this community. I want to see a virtuous community, one 
          which is free from vices which infest the world. Diseases that 
          are common elsewhere are unknown in this land, among our people; 
          and I thank God for it, and I pray that it will continue to be 
          the case.
          
          Shall we become persecutors in our turn? No. Why? We do not have 
          the same motives to impel us
          182 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          to such a course that people who persecute have. Persecutors 
          generally believe that those whom they persecute are doomed to 
          spend the endless ages of eternity in hell fire, unless they can 
          be made to repent of their errors. Persecution becomes, 
          therefore, with them, in many instances, a highly justifiable and 
          meritorious method of saving souls. This has been the feeling 
          which has impelled many persecutors in every age—a holy, 
          burning zeal to snatch souls from perdition. The men who have 
          been most zealous in hailing men to prison and inflicting 
          torment, have been as a rule, men zealous and sincere in their 
          religion. They thought it better to destroy the body than that 
          the soul should be consigned to hell; they thought it better for 
          heretics to burn an hour or too on earth than that they should 
          burn eternally. But the Latter-day Saints have no such views 
          respecting future punishment? We believe there is an endless 
          hell. We do not, however, believe that human beings are consigned 
          to it eternally. The hell may be endless and the punishment 
          endless, but it does not follow that they who are consigned there 
          are to remain in it eternally. We believe men will be rewarded 
          for the deeds done in the body, and we therefore can afford to be 
          liberal in our views in this respect. As President Woodruff has 
          said, we would give every man the right to worship God according 
          to the dictates of his conscience, knowing that he will have to 
          be responsible for his actions, and that it is none of our 
          business except to present the truth as we understand it before 
          him, and if he accepts it, all right, if he rejects it he must 
          endure the consequence.
          
          As for ourselves we are opposed to being seized by the throat, 
          because men think we are in error.
          
          And to avoid this we have fled a number of times, leaving 
          everything, and finally came out here into the wilderness, 
          thinking we could have peace for a while which we have had. But 
          this people might as well take wings and fly from the planet as 
          try to get out of the reach of the world. A prominent man who 
          called upon me here, said to me upon one occasion: “When I see 
          this beautiful valley, and see how comfortable you are, I wish 
          you were out of the United States.” “Why,” said I. 
          “Because,” said he, “I can foresee what trouble you will 
          have, and that you will not be allowed to remain in peace; you 
          will have to leave here, people will not be content to have you 
          stay.” “Where shall we go?” I enquired. We might go to the 
          deserts of Sahara, or the most forlorn place on the face of the 
          earth, and it would only be a little while our industry, our 
          frugality, our union and those qualities which characterize us, 
          would draw the world to us. We cannot be hid. If we were to go to 
          the remotest part of the earth, to Patagonia or anywhere else, 
          that which we witness here would be repeated. We are like a city 
          set upon a hill that cannot be hid. Those qualities that 
          characterize this people, which make us so remarkable, which have 
          enabled us to make a beautiful place out of the desert, as we 
          have done in this country, and would do wherever we might 
          go—those qualities would draw men to us. If we were on an 
          island we should have ships coming with commerce; upon a 
          continent we should have railroads and means of communication 
          such as we have today. He would have been a bold man who would 
          have ventured to have said—unless he were a Prophet; you know 
          Prophets take strange liber-
          	The Remarks of Brother Woodruff, Etc.	183 
          
          ties; God gives them liberty to say remarkable things—that in 
          the space already passed such great changes would have occurred 
          in this valley, and throughout these valleys, and that this place 
          would become so important. We hear of railroads coming in here 
          from every direction, making Salt Lake City their objective 
          point. We are bound to be lifted up. You cannot conceal us, it is 
          impossible. We have got to stand contact with the world, and if 
          our religion will not stand such contact, then it must succumb. 
          But it will not. It will stand the test, it will pass through the 
          ordeal purer and better, and men will recognize its beauty. Our 
          destiny is to be brought in contact with the world.
          
          God has predicted it. We may hide ourselves in a corner, but God 
          will bring us out to the light, for we have to come in contact 
          with the world to prove our strength, to prove what is in us, and 
          to learn many things the knowledge of which we need.
          
          I pray God to bless you my brethren and sisters and friends, to 
          let His Holy Spirit rest down upon you and preserve you in the 
          truth. Let us love and cling to the truth with all our hearts, 
          and it will bear us through. It is that which will endure in time 
          and throughout eternity; and that God may assist us in 
          maintaining our integrity and keeping the faith, is my prayer, in 
          the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
                    183
                    
          The Church Governed By Law, Etc.
          Discourse by Elder John Nicholson, delivered in the Tabernacle, 
          Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, June 26, 1881.
          Reported by John Irvine.
          	The Church Governed By Law, Etc.	183 
          
          I have unexpectedly, to myself, been called upon to address this 
          congregation. While I shall endeavor to do so, I desire that you 
          shall give me your sympathy and faith, that I may be able to 
          speak in clearness whatsoever may be put into my mind by the 
          inspiration of the Holy Ghost, if I shall be so fortunate as to 
          enjoy a goodly portion
          
          of that influence. I have no special subject on my mind upon 
          which to speak, and am therefore dependent upon the inspiration 
          of the moment as the spirit shall give utterance.
          
          It has been the privilege of the servants of God in all ages to 
          enjoy a portion of His power to direct them in their ministry and 
          to make plain to their understanding the
          184 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          things that they should speak about when it became their duty to 
          preach the truth. This congregation is very largely composed of 
          people who profess the same religious doctrines as those which I 
          have myself embraced, adhered to and advocate. There are others, 
          however in the congregation who are unacquainted with the 
          doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and 
          who perhaps are more or less anxious to obtain some understanding 
          of the nature and character of the work which is represented 
          among and by this people. Heretofore they have been dependent 
          upon popular report, which has been, in almost every instance, 
          erroneous upon this subject, for we have been greatly 
          misrepresented in all the world. There is one particular point 
          that I wish to direct the minds of this audience to regarding the 
          work, and in doing so, I wish to point out a popular error which 
          exists in the understanding of many people in reference to us. 
          There is a prevailing opinion, based on false representations 
          regarding the Church which I have the honor to be identified 
          with, that there exists among the people called Latter-day 
          Saints, a species of serfdom or bondage, or that one or more men 
          rule over the people with a high hand—a species of despotism. I 
          wish to state here that my personal experience in this Church for 
          half of the time which I have spent in this life, informs my 
          judgment that such is not the case, that the Latter-day Saints 
          are a free people, and the system which they have adopted—which 
          they understand to be of divine origin—is calculated in its 
          character to make them free. The reason why it makes them free is 
          because that the greatest bondage which can exist among the human
          
          family is the result of doing that which is wrong, which is 
          contrary to the laws of God, and to the laws of righteousness, 
          that should exist between man and man. I do not wish to say that 
          this Church or this people as a whole are entirely free from 
          evil. It would be very wrong to assert this, to do so would be 
          stepping beyond the bounds of truth and consistency, for we are 
          in a state of imperfection, and where imperfection exists there 
          necessarily follow departures from the strict line of 
          righteousness. But there is one feature connected with this 
          Church that is glorious, and it is this: that so far as the laws 
          of this Church are concerned, there are none who are exempt from 
          them, they are applicable to all, from those who hold the highest 
          positions in this Church to the humblest member therein; all must 
          subscribe to them. There is, however, an organization—an order 
          in this Church which we recognize and which we sustain. This 
          feature extends to this beautiful principle in the Church—which 
          is the highest form of what might be termed the democratic 
          principle—that all the main measures pertaining to this work, 
          in order to be valid in the sight of heaven, and to be in 
          accordance with the strict law of this Church, must have the 
          consent of the people before it becomes binding upon the people, 
          from whatsoever source it may emanate. In order to show you that 
          this is the case, I will refer the congregation to what we esteem 
          as the law and the testimony. We have a book here which is called 
          the Book of Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ 
          of Latter-day Saints, containing the revelations of Jesus Christ 
          through the Prophet Joseph Smith, who was raised up specially by 
          the Almighty, according to our
          	The Church Governed By Law, Etc.	185 
          
          faith, to organize the Church of Jesus Christ according to the 
          will of heaven, by revelation and commandment from the Most High. 
          In order to show you that that which I have spoken is according 
          to the law of our Church, I will read a small portion of 
          instructions which emanated from him whom we esteem a great 
          Prophet. Talking of the government of the Church and the people 
          in July, 1830, these instructions came through that medium: 
          “And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, 
          by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by 
          faith.” That is a law of this Church that the affairs of the 
          Church shall be done by common consent of the body religious, and 
          therefore there is no despotism here; there is no one-man power 
          in the sense in which it is accepted regarding us in the world, 
          because when measures that are deemed for the advancement of this 
          work are brought up, they have to be received by the people, and 
          their consent obtained, in order to make them in accordance with 
          the law which God has revealed for the government of the 
          organization that He has established in this day. And there 
          exists among this people a reverence for law, a regard for that 
          which is legal and proper, that I have not seen exist to the same 
          extent in any other community with which I have mingled.
          
          There is at the present time a disposition among the people of 
          the world which is quite remarkable, I might even say that it is 
          phenomenal in its character. There is a question now existing in 
          the world which is not confined to one nation alone, nor one 
          section of the globe; but there is an influence at work which 
          appears to be fast becoming a question pertaining to this
          
          whole world—I refer to the spirit, and influence and 
          disposition which are growing everywhere to throw off every 
          species of restraint. Because of the increase and development of 
          this power and influence in the hearts of the masses of the 
          people, some of the governments of Europe are being shaken from 
          center to circumference, and we not only hear—in consequence of 
          this feeling which is growing in the minds of the people—we not 
          only hear of threats to cast down thrones and to destroy the 
          heads of governments that are existing, but that these things are 
          actually taking place, and the heads of nations are trembling for 
          fear because of this existing disposition to break in pieces the 
          powers that be. I may draw the attention of this congregation to 
          the fact that the revelations which were brought forward by 
          Joseph Smith, the Prophet, pointed to this very movement and 
          stated, in definite terms, that such a condition would exist 
          among the nations, and that it would bring about the destruction 
          of those governments in which it was suffered to exist and to 
          spread. But in place of the Latter-day Saints having a 
          disposition of this kind, it is the genius of this work, it is 
          the spirit of this Church, to conform to proper organization, to 
          recognize laws that are according to human rights, to recognize 
          that which will benefit mankind. It is true that most of the 
          governments of Europe are not based on correct principles. The 
          rulers do not recognize the rights of the people whom they 
          govern; but at the same time the condition that would be brought 
          about by these things which I have referred to, this undermining 
          governments, etc., would bring about a ten-fold worse condition 
          of things
          186 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          than the despotism even which exists in the old countries, 
          because it would bring about anarchy and confusion; it would 
          bring about a condition of things wherein the strong would 
          oppress the weak even to a greater extent than they do at 
          present, and surely there is no need for that.
          
          Then, it might be asked, if you Latter-day Saints have so great a 
          regard for law, for existing regulations to rule and govern 
          society, why is it that you make exceptions to this rule? Why is 
          it that there is, at least, one law that you are not willing to 
          conform to?—referring to the law that was passed in 1862, for 
          the suppression of our system of marriage. The reason is 
          this—that we regard the Constitution of our country as sacred, 
          and the will of our Heavenly Father as supreme. That sacred 
          instrument—the Constitution of this land—says that a man and 
          woman in the practice of their religion shall not be interfered 
          with, that Congress shall have no power to make such interference 
          as that proposed by the law to which I have made allusion. But it 
          might be said in regard to this that it is a law nevertheless 
          because it has passed the Congress of the United States and been 
          sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States. 
          Nevertheless—I now speak for myself—I lay it down as a 
          proposition that any law that infringes upon my religious rights 
          cannot be a constitutional law, if all the courts in the world 
          should decide that it is of that character. But it may be 
          said—and it is said frequently—that our system of 
          marriage—the same system of marriage that obtained among the 
          ancients who held direct communication with the Almighty—is not 
          a part of religion. But I state, so far as I am individually 
          concerned, that
          
          I hope never to get into the position where any man or class on 
          the face of this earth shall prescribe to me what shall or shall 
          not be my religion, for the moment that such a condition is 
          admitted, then farewell to religious liberty. It becomes as a 
          sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal, having no basis in reality. 
          But it is sometimes said that our system of marriage is obnoxious 
          to the ruling sentiment of the country, and especially to those 
          whose crafts are in danger, and who are professors of other 
          religions. Then on the same principle, if we were in the majority 
          would it be right for us to use coercive means to put down in the 
          religions of others what might be obnoxious to our system? It is 
          a poor rule that will not work both ways. But it seems to me 
          somewhat remarkable that people who are living perhaps thousands 
          of miles away from this part of the country, should have such 
          powerful visual organs that they can gaze and see something that 
          needs correcting among the people called Latter-day Saints, when 
          there is sufficient perhaps within a radius of half a mile of 
          their own dwelling places which would require their attention in 
          correcting for the rest of their lives. But whenever a man 
          travels in this country or any other, we shall find a large 
          proportion of the people who are liberal in regard to this 
          community, and who think that they should not be interfered with 
          in their institutions, and instead of getting up all this furor 
          and excitement in reference to what is called the “Mormon 
          Problem,” the sensible part of the community particularly are 
          willing that the “Mormons” should be left to the solution of 
          that problem themselves, and we assert that, with the help of 
          God, we are able to accomplish that work and
          	The Church Governed By Law, Etc.	187 
          
          show eventually, if not at present, a model community that it 
          would be good for others in the world to pattern after.
          
          There are a great many ideas in reference to this people, as I 
          have said, which are erroneous. I have met, in traveling on the 
          trains people who were utterly surprised to find that the 
          Latter-day Saints looked like other people. I presume that they 
          expected to see men walking about with slouch hats and belts 
          filled with weapons of destruction, so erroneous and so 
          slanderous have been the reports concerning this people which 
          have gone abroad about them. There is only a percentage of the 
          people that were here who are willing, on account of the 
          deep-seated prejudice that everywhere exists concerning this 
          people, to speak the truth concerning them. There are men who 
          have come here who belong to different denominations, without 
          naming any of the religious bodies with which they were 
          connected—who have been treated with the utmost courtesy and 
          respect; perhaps more respect than their characters entitled them 
          to. They have been allowed to preach their tenets, disseminate 
          their doctrines among the people here, to build their churches 
          until you can see them on every hand, not only in this city, but 
          in other cities of this Territory. For purposes of the deepest 
          mendacity they have gone abroad and been the chief instruments in 
          arousing public sentiment against the Latter-day Saints. They 
          have risen in their religious conventions in the United States, 
          and told to my positive and certain knowledge, as black and 
          infamous lies as ever fell from the lips of human beings, and 
          were thus enabled to ply their vocation in collecting money in 
          order to save the downtrodden women of
          
          Utah, and to help solve the “Mormon problem.” I say that such 
          men are unworthy of the title of manhood. They obliterate within 
          their narrow souls every principle which is worthy or entitled to 
          respect. I have no respect for them whatever. Although I do not 
          wish them any harm at all, I have no regard for them, because 
          they are too limited, too narrow, too devoid of principle; in 
          fact they can get along with as small an amount of principle as 
          any class of men that I ever knew of in my life. So far as I am 
          concerned, I have not reached that condition of perfection which 
          our Savior taught and practiced. I am imperfect in that 
          respect—when He says you shall love your enemies. I say that I 
          do not have any love for characters of that kind, who will go in 
          the face of facts with which they are acquainted, as well as men 
          can possibly be acquainted with anything, and willfully and 
          knowingly misrepresent the characters of this or any other people 
          on the face of the earth. I would feel the same if these 
          animadversions and calumnies which are heaped upon this people 
          were heaped upon any other. There is one individual especially 
          whom I knew when he was here, at least passingly, who said that 
          in Provo, a quiet, peaceable settlement in the South, one of the 
          most peaceable places on the top of this earth, perhaps—at 
          least it would be if they were all Latter-day Saints who are 
          there—this individual said that he was under the necessity, in 
          going to preach in the morning or in the afternoon, or whenever 
          he had to ascend the stand, of laying a pistol by the side of the 
          word of God—a falsehood as plain and direct as ever was spoken; 
          for I have lived in this Territory fifteen years and have never 
          known the time when it was
          188 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          any more necessary for one of those hirelings who preach for 
          money and divine for wages and not for the good of the souls of 
          men, to go on to the stand armed and equipped for defense, any 
          more than it is for me to do the same thing at this moment, in 
          this building.
          
          But my brethren, sisters and friends, that is the way false 
          reports are started regarding this people. And what is the 
          reason? One reason is, I presume, because of our success.
          
          I told you that the measures adopted by this Church are done by 
          common consent, as anyone knows who has attended one of our 
          General Conferences when this huge building is filled in every 
          part with the Latter-day Saints from the various places that we 
          have located in this Rocky Mountain region, when we come together 
          to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience 
          and according to that which we have accepted as true. When we 
          come together for that purpose our missionaries are called. They 
          are not reared in colleges for the purpose. We claim to have in 
          our midst the same Priesthood and authority which existed in the 
          ancient Church, and the same power characterizes the 
          administrations of that Priesthood. Men are called from the plow, 
          they are called from the carpenter's bench, from the shoemaker's 
          bench, from the office of the accountant, from the merchant's 
          store, and from any of the other vocations of life by the 
          authorities of the Church, and when the selections are made their 
          names are called out in this conference that the voice of the 
          people may be given by which to endorse the selections which are 
          thus made. The people are requested to manifest whether the 
          selections meet with their wishes or
          
          no, a show of hands is called, a forest of them goes up, and 
          these men, if they be filled with the faith of this Gospel, are 
          ready to go to the ends of the earth at such a summons, and 
          perform their God-given duty in fulfillment of the words of the 
          Lord and Savior when He said, referring to it as one of the signs 
          of the last days, “And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be 
          preached in all the world for a witness and then shall the end 
          come.” They lay aside their business interests and go forth 
          without remuneration and perform this labor. Their efforts are 
          blessed, for they are generally successful, and they return after 
          as many years as may be assigned them to labor in the nations of 
          the earth in preaching this Gospel; they come back with their 
          sheaves with joy and rejoicing, to reunite themselves again with 
          the main body of this Church.
          
          There is a statement in the Scriptures something like the 
          following: “To the pure all things are pure.” Now there are 
          many who attribute the existence of our marital institutions to a 
          desire on the part of the men who form this Church to minister to 
          the lower instincts and passions of their natures. I do not say 
          that in every instance the Church is free from this kind of 
          crime, for crime I consider it is; but I say that when such is 
          the case, when a man enters into this holy bond, whether it be in 
          taking more wives than one, merely for the gratification of his 
          passions he infringes upon a law of God, of nature and of this 
          Church, for this Church decides that its members shall be pure in 
          every respect; therefore those who are governed by impure 
          instincts, feelings and sentiments are departing from the genius, 
          the spirit, and the true practice of this Church, whoever they 
          may be. But this is not the purpose. There
          	The Church Governed By Law, Etc.	189 
          
          are purposes in the mind of Jehovah in regard to this principle, 
          at least we accept them as such. God has decreed that in this day 
          He will build up His Kingdom, and we are seeking to build it up, 
          and as it is said in the Book of Mormon that was brought forth by 
          the power of God, through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith, 
          that if the Lord should desire to raise up children to himself, 
          that He shall command His people, otherwise they shall not 
          practice the principle of plural marriage. Our Elders go abroad 
          into the nations; they sound the trumpet of the Gospel both long 
          and loud. But although they meet with some success, the numbers 
          that hear their testimony and embrace it are comparatively few, 
          compared with the great masses, that disregard their message. 
          This kingdom must have people, and if the people of the world 
          will not come and join with us and build up the kingdom of God, 
          we will build it from the internal strength within itself. Let a 
          person who does not believe in this go through this Territory 
          from north to south and from east to west, and see the flocks of 
          beautiful children who are growing up in the midst of this 
          people, who will aid in bearing off this kingdom.
          
          There is a great cry in reference to the stoppage of the influx 
          of population to Utah. Attempts have been made to stop the flow 
          of immigration of Latter-day Saints on the most flimsy pretexts. 
          I have no fears, however, that anything of that kind will ever 
          amount to much, because no measure of that kind can, in this 
          country, obtain without overriding and trampling under foot every 
          principle of the constitution of our country. But it appears to 
          me that there is a source of power that is growing up in this
          
          community that is comparatively lost sight of. That is the youth 
          who are growing up. Many state that the youth of this community 
          are becoming demoralized. There are some who are demoralized, and 
          who have departed from the faith which their fathers suffered to 
          establish and sustain. Some of the latter have suffered death and 
          others have suffered almost death time and time again, because of 
          the persecution and opposition with which they have had to 
          contend in almost every form. But those who suppose that the bulk 
          of the youth of this community will not sustain this work are 
          mistaken. The bulk of them will, and a great many of them are, 
          and I will say today, in behalf of our young men, that, according 
          to my experience, having been recently on a mission abroad, 
          generally the most successful among the Elders of this Church, 
          and the most fearless in the enunciation of the principles and 
          doctrines of this Gospel, the most laborious and indefatigable 
          laborers in the cause of truth, have been the boys who have been 
          born and reared in the Territory of Utah, and in the city in 
          which we now are. I have great hopes of our young people, and I 
          am pleased to note within the last few years the great 
          solicitude, the anxiety which has been manifested in regard to 
          their welfare, that they should be brought up in the nurture and 
          admonition of the God of Jacob, to shun the drunkard's path, the 
          path of the libertine, and every form of pollution and 
          degradation.
          
          But this brings me back again to an idea that I was about to draw 
          your attention to, in regard to the idea that men embrace the 
          principles of plural marriage in order to minister to their baser 
          passions. I have spent between five and six
          190 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          years exclusively preaching this Gospel in the nations, and I 
          have been acquainted, in that capacity, with hundreds of Elders. 
          I have labored and traveled with them in the nations of the 
          earth, and I know, as well as I know that I stand here, and that 
          you are listening to the tones of my voice, that they are, as a 
          rule, as pure as the angels in regard to the matter to which I 
          now allude. They go abroad for one, two, three or four years, or 
          as many years as may be necessary, and refrain from every form of 
          gratification of the kind to which I now refer. I have known of 
          instances of departures from this rule, and there is a singular 
          thing connected with this work that I wish here to note. Those 
          who have been guilty of thus violating the principles of 
          chastity, and consequently the holy Covenants they have entered 
          into, there has been a departure from them of the light and power 
          of the Holy Spirit, and they became wilted like the flower 
          without moisture which has been blighted by the heat of the sun. 
          It was visible to every eye that something had happened which was 
          derogatory to such individuals. It is opposed to the spirit of 
          this work that men should violate the principles of purity and 
          chastity, and I know this to be the case. Where such instances 
          have occurred, what has been the sentiment of this Church? Has it 
          sustained it? If it has ever been sustained by any person in 
          authority in this Church, I know not of any instance of that kind.
          
          What is there so very horrible, what has awakened the sentiment 
          of the world at large that they should become so shocked in their 
          moral susceptibilities regarding this people? What is there about 
          this people that appears so enormously
          
          wrong? There is peace, there is regard for each other, there is 
          respectability, there is a large amount of honesty and 
          uprightness. What is there to shock the sensibilities of the most 
          enlightened professor of religion or of anybody else in the world 
          at large, which is reeking with corruption from center to 
          circumference. Some people say—“What is going to be done in 
          regard to this question? “The United States Government are 
          going to come down on you and crush your institutions or crush 
          you.” Well, you see, we have got so often crushed in theory, 
          that we are becoming used to it. We have been crushed, 
          obliterated, annihilated, until there was not a spot left of a 
          Latter-day Saint in theory, but the practical part has not yet 
          come. We have no fears. Some of our friends regard us with 
          solicitude, they are deeply concerned for our welfare, and they 
          think surely the end will come this time, whichever time it might 
          be, but we do not think so. We have great faith in the Almighty. 
          That is a good quality in any people, is it not? To have faith in 
          God. I do not know of a people who have more faith in God and the 
          Scriptures, so that, seeing we are told that without faith it is 
          impossible to please God, in that respect at least we must to 
          some extent please our Father in heaven. We have often seen the 
          clouds that have gathered around us thick, dark and threatening, 
          at the darkest hour dispelled. Then we have seen the sun of 
          prosperity shine again in its glory and in its strength, so that 
          we think every cloud that comes will be dissipated in a similar 
          way, and that the God of heaven will not forsake a people who put 
          their trust in Him. We put our trust in Him, and also believe in 
          doing the best we can our-
          	The Church Governed By Law, Etc.	191 
          
          selves, believing that God helps them the most who help 
          themselves. But some say—“You will have to give up what is 
          demanded of you; you will leave to abolish your institutions and 
          become like unto us.” This is what the world say. Then I say 
          God forbid that we shall become in some respects like the world 
          or their institutions. We do not want to become like that, and no 
          people have a right to coerce us into that condition, 
          notwithstanding that there is a journal published in this 
          city—and we have preserved the record of it, published to the 
          world—advocating what? Purity, instruction and intelligence to 
          be disseminated among the Latter-day Saints, that their delusion 
          might be dispelled, and that they might be brought out of the 
          thralldom in which they are supposed to be involved? No. What are 
          the measures advocated? The establishment, encouragement and 
          sustenance in the midst of the Latter-day Saints of gambling 
          dens, houses of ill fame, drinking saloons, and all those 
          institutions which are damning in their character, and which drag 
          poor humanity down to the very depths of degradation! Surely the 
          words of the Prophet are coming to pass when he said that in the 
          last days the corrupt in heart would say, “let us go up to Zion 
          that her sons and daughters may be defiled.” And I now say, 
          that leave it to the sentiment of the Latter-day Saints, leave it 
          to the prevailing feeling in the midst of this people, and there 
          would not exist in the Territory of Utah today, an institution of 
          the kind which I have named. I have seen the day when houses of 
          ill fame were not suffered to exist within the confines of this 
          Territory. But those officials who are sent forth to us by this 
          mighty government have in
          
          many instances encouraged these evils instead of sustaining the 
          noble sentiment of the people. They have ignored and set aside 
          local laws enacted for the suppression of these iniquities. I 
          say, out on such characters as these, whether they be judges, 
          whether they be governors, whatever position they hold, as far as 
          I am individually concerned. I have no hesitation in saying that 
          I have not the slightest atom of respect for such individuals. 
          These are the men who would bring into this community the worst 
          species of despotism that could exist among any people, that is, 
          to force into and encourage in the midst of a community those 
          elements which are degrading and corrupt. They have not the 
          welfare of the people at heart, and I utterly and totally, as an 
          individual—I am not speaking for others, but for myself—I 
          despise them from the bottom of my heart and all such characters. 
          But all those men who sustain righteousness and uphold purity and 
          equal rights, I say that I feel in my heart to bless them and to 
          sustain them, and to respect them as every man who takes a course 
          of that kind should be respected.
          
          “But will you not forego your institutions because of the 
          amount of pressure which may be brought against you.” I say so 
          far as I am concerned that I have no concessions to make. I do 
          not want to be understood as talking for others; but I say we 
          claim that God has revealed this system, and the only concessions 
          which can be made so far as our principles are concerned must be 
          made by their Author, otherwise they are null and void. So far as 
          religious liberty is concerned, we claim the same as other 
          people, and, in the language of the celebrated orator who figured 
          in the early history of this country—Patrick Henry
          192 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          —I hope to be able to say as he said: “Give me liberty or 
          give me death.” I believe that is the ruling sentiment among 
          the faithful of this Church, and those who suppose that we are 
          always going to lay our necks down to be trampled upon and 
          crushed, and that we shall always be crowded to the wall, I say 
          that I am of the opinion that they will sometime find out their 
          mistake.
          
          But we Latter-day Saints have a great deal to learn. Sometimes we 
          complain of the waywardness of many who have become connected 
          with us; that they have gone back into the practices of the 
          world; that they have become backsliders and do not conform to 
          the principles of this Gospel. Then I say there is a provision in 
          the law for cases of this kind. To the law and the testimony, for 
          God has revealed the laws, and they are contained in this book 
          (Doctrine and Covenants), in the Bible, and in the Book of 
          Mormon, for the regulation of His Church, and for its 
          preservation and purity. There is one universal law in regard
          
          to the evildoer in this Church, and it is this, in the language 
          of the revelation in which it is given, “He who sinneth and 
          repenteth not shall be cast out.” If that law were applied, the 
          unpardoned and unrepentant would be shaken off and the Church 
          purged of its worthless elements.
          
          This, my brethren and sisters, is a great work. God has revealed 
          it. Then let us cultivate within us that principle of eternal 
          life which Jesus spoke about when he said to the woman at the 
          well, that if she had asked him he would have given her to drink 
          that which would have caused her never to thirst, and would have 
          been as a well of water springing up to everlasting life, which 
          is the Spirit of the living God, given to the faithful for their 
          guidance.
          
          May the Lord bless all the House of Israel, the dispersed of 
          every tribe, and the righteous, the pure, the holy and the good 
          in every nation under the whole heavens, is my prayer in the name 
          of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
                    192
           
                    204ithood, Its Organization, Etc.
          Discourse by President John Taylor, delivered in The Tabernacle, 
          Ogden City, Sunday Morning, July 18, 1880.
          Reported by James Taylor.
          John Taylor
          	The Priesthood, Its Organization, Etc.	193 
          
          I am pleased this morning to have the opportunity of meeting with 
          the Saints in this place. If you will try to be still, I will 
          endeavor to lay before you a few principles on the subject, 
          concerning which your President enquired of me a few days ago. It 
          seems that there have been, somewhere in this Stake, difficulties 
          existing between the Bishop of a Ward and certain members of his 
          Ward. Failing to arrive at an amicable settlement, the parties 
          appealed, against the Bishop, to the High Council. President 
          Peery sent a telegram desiring my answer to the 
          question—“Whether a High Council had authority to try a 
          Bishop.” I could have answered yes, and I could have answered 
          no, to that question; but it was a matter that would require some 
          explanation, and on which the brethren, in many instances, are 
          not very well informed. I knew it would be almost useless to give 
          an answer of that kind, without making some little explanation 
          thereto, because there are some things with which more than one 
          truth is connected.
          
          If you were to ask me whether I am dressed in woolen clothes or 
          cotton, I could not give you an answer, in the simple words yes 
          or no, because part of them are woolen, part of them cotton, and 
          part of them
          
          linen; and I should need time to explain.
          
          There are many questions pertaining to the Priesthood, which 
          cannot be answered categorically without further explanation, and 
          as this is a conference, I wish to make a few remarks concerning 
          some of them; but I do not propose to enter into all the details 
          of these matters; there would not be time, nor half time, nor a 
          quarter time. I simply propose to make a few remarks in regard to 
          the question which was asked me by your President.
          
          I will here read on this subject a passage which people take up 
          sometimes, without understanding it, and, consequently, when they 
          do so, they are apt to make quite a number of mistakes. The 
          passage to which I will refer you, is the 22nd verse of the 68th 
          section, in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. After reading it, 
          you would think you had got the whole answer, but then you might 
          not have it, although you might think you had.
          
          “And again, no bishop or high priest who shall be set apart for 
          this ministry shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save it 
          be before the First Presidency of the church.”
          
          Now, does not that look very plain? It does, when apart from the 
          context, and if we do not exam-
          194 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          ine the other parts associated therewith. I will further read 
          some more pertaining to this matter, which will be found in the 
          Book of Doctrine and Covenants, page 249, section 68.
          
          “Ver. 14. There remain hereafter, in the due time of the Lord, 
          other bishops to be set apart unto the church, to minister even 
          according to the first;
          
          “15. Wherefore they shall be high priests who are worthy, and 
          they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the 
          Melchizedek Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of 
          Aaron.
          
          “16. And if they be literal descendants of Aaron, they have a 
          legal right to the bishopric, if they are the firstborn among the 
          sons of Aaron;
          
          “17. For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over 
          this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same.”
          
          Now, I desire to draw your attention to one thing very 
          distinctly, that you may comprehend—“For the firstborn holds 
          the right of presidency over this Priesthood.” Over what 
          Priesthood? The Bishopric. There is a Presidency in that 
          Priesthood; and this firstborn of the literal descendants of 
          Aaron would have a legal right to that Presidency. No man has a 
          legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this Priesthood, 
          except he be a literal descendant of Aaron, and the firstborn 
          among his sons. Then, he would have a legal right to it. I could 
          tell you the reason why, but it would take too long a time; and 
          these things will be spoken of hereafter more fully. But I wish 
          to speak of one or two leading principles pertaining to this 
          subject; and as a High Priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has 
          authority to officiate in all the lesser offi-
          
          ces, he may officiate in the office of Bishop, when no literal 
          descendant of Aaron can be found, and it is stated, “And they 
          shall be set apart under the hands of the First Presidency of the 
          Melchizedek Priesthood.” To what authority? To what power? To 
          what calling? To what Bishopric? To the Presiding Bishopric. This 
          is what is here referred to:
          
          “Ver. 20. And a literal descendant of Aaron, also, must be 
          designated by this Presidency, and found worthy, and anointed, 
          and ordained under the hands of this Presidency, otherwise they 
          are not legally authorized to officiate in their Priesthood.
          
          “21. But, by virtue of the decree concerning their right of the 
          priesthood descending from father to son, they may claim their 
          anointing if at any time they can prove their lineage, or do 
          ascertain it by revelation from the Lord under the hands of the 
          above named Presidency.”
          
          Without that the Presiding Bishop could not be set apart, because 
          there is where the authority is placed.
          
          “22. And again, no bishop or high priest who shall be set apart 
          for this ministry shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save 
          it be before the First Presidency of the church;”
          
          In regard to what ministry? Why the Presidency of the Aaronic 
          Priesthood. That is what is here spoken of.
          
          “23. And inasmuch as he is found guilty before this Presidency, 
          by testimony which cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned;
          
          “24. And if he repent he shall be forgiven, according to the 
          covenants and commandments of the church.”
          
          Now, then, I will read you something more on the same subject,
          	The Priesthood, Its Organization, Etc.	195 
          
          which will be found in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, page 
          383, section 107.
          
          “Verse 1. There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, 
          the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.
          
          “2. Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is 
          because Melchizedek was such a great High Priest.
          
          “3. Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the 
          Order of the Son of God.
          
          “4. But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme 
          Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, 
          the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after 
          Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.
          
          “5. All other authorities or offices in the church are 
          appendages to this priesthood.
          
          “6. But there are two divisions or grand heads—one is the 
          Melchizedek Priesthood, and the other is the Aaronic or Levitical 
          Priesthood.
          
          “7. The office of an elder comes under the priesthood of 
          Melchizedek.
          
          “8. The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of presidency, 
          and has power and authority over all the offices in the church in 
          all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things.”
          
          Now here is a principle developed that I wish to call your 
          attention to, and that is, that it is the especial prerogative of 
          the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has been “in all ages of the 
          world, to administer in spiritual things,” and to have the 
          right of presidency in those things.
          
          But then, here is another distinction that I wish to call your 
          attention to, at the same time, which is found in the next verse:
          
          “9. The Presidency of the High
          
          Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, have a right to 
          officiate in all the offices in the Church”—spiritual or 
          temporal.
          
          But there is a difference between the general authority of the 
          Melchizedek Priesthood and the one that is designated, which 
          presides over them all: and that which presides over the whole 
          has the right to administer in all things. The Aaronic Priesthood 
          is an appendage unto the Melchizedek Priesthood, and is under its 
          direction
          
          I mention these things that you Bishops, and you Seventies, and 
          you High Priests, and you Elders, and you High Councilors, and 
          you Presidents of Stakes and Councilors, may comprehend the 
          position of things, as here indicated; and, as was said formerly, 
          I think it was by Paul, “that you may be able to rightly divide 
          the word of truth, and give to every man his portion in due 
          season.” These principles are written here, and are very plain, 
          if they are understood, but if not understood, then they are 
          mysterious, and it is required of us to make ourselves acquainted 
          with the principles inculcated and herein developed. The things 
          which I have mentioned are plain to the minds of all intelligent 
          Latter-day Saints, who have studied the Doctrine and Covenants on 
          these points.
          
          “Verse 10. High priests after the order of the Melchizedek 
          Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under 
          the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual 
          things, and also in the office of an elder, priest (of the 
          Levitical order), teacher, deacon, and member.”
          
          That is the reason why, as soon as they possess this Priesthood 
          and right, if they are appointed to any particular office in the 
          Church, they
          196 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          have a right to administer in that office.
          
          I will now speak a little upon the High Priesthood. This High 
          Priesthood, we are told, has held the right of Presidency in all 
          ages of the world. But there is a difference between the general 
          powers of the Priesthood, and the particular office and calling 
          to which men are set apart; and you, when I tell you, will 
          understand it very easily. For instance the Presidency of the 
          Priesthood, or the Presidency of the Church, are High Priests. 
          The Twelve are High Priests. The Presidents of Stakes and their 
          Counselors, the High Council of a Stake, and of all the Stakes, 
          are High Priests. The Bishops are ordained and set apart through 
          the High Priesthood, and stand in the same capacity; and thus 
          Bishops and their Counselors are High Priests. Now, these things 
          you all know. There is nothing mysterious about them.
          
          There is another question associated with this matter. Because a 
          man is a High Priest, is he an Apostle? No. Because a man is a 
          High Priest, is he the President of a Stake, or the Counselor to 
          the President of a Stake? No. Because he is a High Priest, is he 
          a Bishop? No, not by any means. And so on, in all the various 
          offices. The High Priesthood holds the authority to administer in 
          those ordinances, offices, and places, when they are appointed by 
          the proper authorities, and at no other time; and while they are 
          sustained also by the people. Now these are the distinctions 
          which I wish to draw, simply to classify them. And when there is 
          anything said about a High Priest, you say, “I am High Priest, 
          and if such a man has authority, I have it!” You have if you 
          have been appointed to it, or you have not if you have not.
          
          You have it if you are appointed to fill the office, and are 
          properly called and set apart to that office; but unless you are, 
          you have not got that office, but still you are a High Priest; 
          and “High Priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood 
          have a right to officiate in their own standing under the 
          direction of the Presidency, in administering spiritual 
          things;” but they must be under that direction or Presidency. 
          Now here is where the question comes in. Is it not plain when you 
          look at it? To me it is very distinct and pointed, and it is to 
          you who are intelligent and have studied these things. It is not 
          because a man holds a certain class of Priesthood that he is to 
          administer in all the offices of that Priesthood. He administers 
          in them only as he is called and set apart for that purpose. 
          Hence, as you are organized here, you have a Presidency. They 
          were presented here for you to vote upon, and after that they 
          were set apart to administer in that office. But supporting 
          Brother Peery and his counselors had not been called and set 
          apart, would they have a right to administer in the office of the 
          Presidency? No, they would not; and you can all see it when you 
          reflect upon it.
          
          Now, then, as we have read, a High Priest, after the order of the 
          Melchizedek Priesthood, has the right to administer under the 
          direction of the Presidency, in all spiritual things, and also in 
          the office of an Elder, Priest, Teacher, Deacon, and member. And 
          in the following verses we read that:
          
          “11. An elder has a right to officiate in his stead when the 
          high priest is not present.
          
          “12. The high priest and elder are to administer in spiritual 
          things, agreeable to the covenants and com-
          	The Priesthood, Its Organization, Etc.	197 
          
          mandments of the church; and they have a right to officiate in 
          all these offices of the church when there are no higher 
          authorities present.
          
          “13. The second priesthood is called the Priesthood of Aaron, 
          because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all 
          their generations.
          
          “14. Why it is called the lesser priesthood is because it is an 
          appendage to the greater, or the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has 
          power in administering outward ordinances.
          
          “15. The bishopric is the presidency of this priesthood, and 
          holds the keys or authority of the same.” We will read a little 
          further:
          
          “16. No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys 
          of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant of Aaron.”
          
          That is, he has no legal right; but in regard to certain 
          conditions pertaining to this right, I do not propose to enter 
          into an investigation this morning.
          
          “Verse 17. But as a high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood 
          has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may 
          officiate in the office of bishop when no literal descendant of 
          Aaron can be found, provided he is called and set apart and 
          ordained unto this power by the hands of the Presidency of the 
          Melchizedek Priesthood.”
          
          To what power? To hold the keys of this Priesthood, and to 
          preside over the Aaronic Priesthood.
          
          “Verse 18. The power and authority of the higher, or 
          Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual 
          blessings of the church—
          
          “19. To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the 
          kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to 
          commune with the
          
          general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the 
          communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator 
          of the new covenant.
          
          “20. The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic 
          Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and 
          to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, 
          the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to 
          the covenants and commandments.
          
          “21. Of necessity there are presidents, or presiding officers 
          growing out of, or appointed of or from among those who are 
          ordained to the several offices in these two priesthoods.
          
          “22. Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High 
          Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that 
          office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the 
          church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.
          
          “23. The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the 
          Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in 
          all the world— thus differing from other officers in the church 
          in the duties of their calling.
          
          “24. And they form a quorum, equal in authority and power to 
          the three presidents previously mentioned.
          
          “25. The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to 
          be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the 
          world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the 
          duties of their calling.
          
          “26. And they form a quorum equal in authority to that of the 
          Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named.
          
          “27. And every decision made by either of these quorums, must be
          198 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          by the unanimous voice of the same; that is, every member in each 
          quorum must be agreed to its decisions, in order to make their 
          decisions of the same power or validity one with the other—
          
          “28. A majority may form a quorum when circumstances render it 
          impossible to be otherwise—
          
          “29. Unless this is the case, their decisions are not entitled 
          to the same blessings which the decisions of a quorum of three 
          presidents were anciently, who were ordained after the order of 
          Melchizedek, and were righteous and holy men.
          
          “30. The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to 
          be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of 
          heart, meekness and long suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and 
          knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness 
          and charity;
          
          “31. Because the promise is, if these things abound in them 
          they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord.”
          
          Again, we read in the same section, page 389:
          
          “Verse 60. Verily, I say unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts, 
          there must needs be presiding elders to preside over those who 
          are of the office of an elder;
          
          “61. And also priests to preside over those who are of the 
          office of a priest;
          
          “62. And also teachers to preside over those who are of the 
          office of a teacher, in like manner, and also the deacons—
          
          “63. Wherefore, from deacon to teacher, and from teacher to 
          priest, and from priest to elder, severally as they are 
          appointed, according to the covenants and commandments of the 
          church.
          
          “64. Then comes the High Priesthood, which is the greatest of 
          all.
          
          “65. Wherefore, it must needs be that one be appointed of the 
          High Priesthood to preside over the priesthood, and he shall be 
          called President of the High Priesthood of the Church;
          
          “66. Or, in other words, the Presiding High Priest over the 
          High Priesthood of the Church.
          
          “67. From the same comes the administering of ordinances and 
          blessings upon the church, by the laying on of the hands.
          
          “68. Wherefore, the office of a bishop is not equal unto it; 
          for the office of a bishop is in administering all temporal 
          things;
          
          “69. Nevertheless a bishop must be chosen from the High 
          Priesthood, unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron;
          
          “70. For unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron he cannot 
          hold the keys of that priesthood.”
          
          You see the keys of this Priesthood are specifically mentioned 
          whenever the Presidency is mentioned; and whenever the rights of 
          the literal descendants of Aaron are mentioned, it is to hold the 
          keys of this Priesthood.
          
          “Ver. 71. Nevertheless, a high priest, that is, after the order 
          of Melchizedek, may be set apart unto the ministering of temporal 
          things, having a knowledge of them by the Spirit of truth;
          
          “72. And also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of 
          the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors upon testimony 
          as it shall be laid before him according to the laws, by the 
          assistance of his counselors, whom he has chosen or will choose 
          among the elders of the church.
          
          “73. This is the duty of a bishop who is not a literal 
          descendant of Aaron, but has been ordained to
          	The Priesthood, Its Organization, Etc.	199 
          
          the High Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek.
          
          “74. Thus shall he be a judge, even a common judge among the 
          inhabitants of Zion, or in a stake of Zion, or in any branch of 
          the church where he shall be set apart unto this ministry, until 
          the borders of Zion are enlarged and it becomes necessary to have 
          other bishops or judges in Zion or elsewhere.
          
          “75. And inasmuch as there are other bishops appointed they 
          shall act in the same office.
          
          “76. But a literal descendant of Aaron has a legal right to the 
          presidency of this priesthood, to the keys of this ministry, to 
          act in the office of bishop independently, without counselors, 
          except in a case where a President of the High Priesthood, after 
          the order of Melchizedek is tried, to sit as a judge in Israel.
          
          “77. And the decision of either of these councils, agreeable to 
          the commandment, which says:
          
          “78. Again, verily, I say unto you, the most important business 
          of the church, and the most difficult cases of the church, 
          inasmuch as there is not satisfaction upon the decision of the 
          bishop or judges, it shall be handed over and carried up unto the 
          council of the church, before the Presidency of the High 
          Priesthood.”
          
          “79. And the Presidency of the council of the High Priesthood 
          shall have power to call other high priests, even twelve, to 
          assist as counselors; and thus the Presidency of the High 
          Priesthood and its counselors shall have power to decide upon 
          testimony according to the laws of the church.”
          
          “80. And after this decision it shall be had in remembrance no 
          more before the Lord; for this is the highest council of the 
          church
          
          of God, and a final decision upon controversies in spiritual 
          matters.”
          
          “81. There is not any person belonging to the church who is 
          exempt from this council of the church.”
          
          “82. And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall 
          transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common 
          council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors 
          of the High Priesthood;
          
          “83. And their decision upon his head shall be an end of 
          controversy concerning him.”
          
          “84. Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws 
          of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity 
          before him, according to truth and righteousness.”
          
          I will read you a little more on this subject:
          
          (Doctrine and Covenants, sec. 124, page 431.)
          
          “Ver. 20. And again, verily I say unto you, my servant George 
          Miller is without guile; he may be trusted because of the 
          integrity of his heart; and for the love which he has to my 
          testimony I, the Lord, love him.
          
          “21. I therefore say unto you, I seal upon his head the office 
          of a bishopric, like unto my servant Edward Partridge, that he 
          may receive the consecrations of mine house, that he may 
          administer blessings upon the heads of the poor of my people, 
          saith the Lord. Let no man despise my servant George, for he 
          shall honor me.”
          
          I would remark here that Edward Partridge was the first Bishop of 
          the Church, and that he was appointed at an early day to go to 
          the land of Zion, and to preside over the Bishopric in that 
          district of country. He was to purchase lands for the people that 
          should gather there; he
          200 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          was to receive the consecrations of the people when they should 
          present themselves to him; he was to divide up the inheritances 
          for the people, and to sit as a common judge in Israel and hence 
          he held charge, not as the Bishops do here, over a particular 
          Ward, but over the whole of that district of country in the land 
          of Zion. I would remark, again, that Bishop Whitney was chosen 
          and set apart as a Bishop, to manage the affairs in Kirtland, 
          Geauga County, Ohio, and not only there, but to preside over all 
          affairs associated with that Bishopric in all of that country, 
          and occupied the position of a general Bishop, presiding over a 
          large district of country, the same as Edward Partridge did in 
          Zion. But these are not what we call presiding Bishops. In the 
          same revelation that George Miller was called to occupy the place 
          of Edward Partridge, and to hold the same kind of Bishopric that 
          he held, we find that there was a Presiding Bishopric appointed.
          
          “141. And again, I say unto you, I give unto you Vinson Knight, 
          Samuel H. Smith, and Shadrach Roundy, if he will receive it, to 
          preside over the bishopric.”
          
          Now, I have briefly laid before you some ideas pertaining to 
          these matters. I will explain them a little further. I will say 
          that the Bishopric is a good deal like the High Priesthood in the 
          position that it occupies. There have been men who, under the 
          Bishopric, have been appointed to fill various offices in the 
          Church, and at different times. I have told you, already, the 
          nature of the office which Bishop Partridge held, the nature of 
          the office which Bishop Whitney held; and then there were other 
          men who did not hold the same kind of Bish-
          
          opric that they did. For instance, there was Bishop Alanson 
          Ripley, whom many of you know, who lived back in Nauvoo; and 
          other Bishops were appointed in some Stakes that were then 
          organized. And as it requires the direction of the Presidency of 
          the Church to regulate these general Bishoprics, such as Brother 
          Partridge held, and such as Brother Whitney held, and also being 
          appointed by the Presidency, they have a right to be tried and 
          have a hearing before them. But that does not apply to all 
          Bishops, or to all men who may be placed under different 
          circumstances. For instance, you have here in this Stake of Zion, 
          quite a number of Bishops. How far does their authority extend? 
          It extends to the boundary of each of their respective 
          Bishoprics. No further. You all know that—over their Wards 
          where they preside, and not over somebody else's, unless they are 
          appointed to it, which would be another thing. But without some 
          special appointment, they are simply appointed to preside over 
          their several Wards, and no one else's. That is the extent of 
          their authority in the Bishopric. But a person holding a general 
          Bishopric, the same as Bishop Whitney did, is different. He had 
          that appointed unto him by revelation, and under the direction of 
          the Presidency of the Church; and the appointment that Bishop 
          Partridge held—that was under the direction of the First 
          Presidency of the Church; and these Bishops would have the right 
          to be tried by the same power that appointed them and set them 
          apart. Still, how is it with other Bishops in Stakes; are they 
          under the same direction? To a certain extent all are under the 
          direction of the First Presidency; but unless the First 
          Presidency shall
          	The Priesthood, Its Organization, Etc.	201 
          
          otherwise decide, there is authority held by the Presidency in 
          those several Stakes, to try those Bishops who are under their 
          jurisdiction in their Stakes and for the High Council, with the 
          Presidency of the Stake presiding, to call them before them to 
          have a hearing, and adjudicate those matters. Thus the presidency 
          of Stakes occupy the same position to their Stakes as Joseph 
          Smith did to the Stake in Kirtland, the difference being in this, 
          that Joseph Smith, while he presided over that Stake in a Stake 
          capacity, presided also over all Stakes and Churches throughout 
          the world, while the Presidents of Stakes only preside over their 
          several Stakes, and their jurisdiction does not extend to any 
          others. But if the First Presidency should see it necessary to 
          interfere, and say, in a case of that kind, that the case was of 
          such a nature as to require another tribunal; they have a right 
          to dictate, and manage those matters. But if Presidents of Stakes 
          and their Counselors and the Bishops fulfil their duties, and all 
          act in harmony with the First Presidency, then everything goes on 
          smoothly, and all men can be judged according to the principles 
          laid down here in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.
          
          And there are some few things pertaining to these matters that I 
          will now speak about; and as this is a conference, it is as good 
          a time to talk about these doctrinal matters as we shall have. 
          There are a great many things mixed up with these subjects. 
          Suffice it, however, to say, that it requires the Presidency of 
          the Church to seek after God in all of their administrations. 
          Then it behooves the Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors to 
          be feeling after God, and after the First Presidency, and be
          
          in harmony with them, and to feel that there is union and harmony 
          and the principles of peace and order prevailing everywhere. And 
          where these things are carried out on correct principles, there 
          is harmony throughout all Israel. If these things are departed 
          from, then come disorders, difficulty and hard feeling. Now we 
          ought not to allow our feeling to have any place in these 
          matters. No man has a right to use his priesthood to carry on his 
          own peculiar ideas, or to set himself up as a standard, with the 
          exception of the First Presidency, and they have no right to do 
          it unless God be with them, and sustain them, and they are upheld 
          by the people. And then it is for Presidents of Stakes to follow 
          after their spirit, and carry that out just as they would follow 
          after God, and seek for and obtain light and the spirit of 
          revelation from Him, and thus be prepared to bless the High 
          Priests, the Bishops, and all men under their charge.
          
          What is the High Priesthood? Why are you organized as a High 
          Priesthood? Read the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. What does it 
          say? It says (Sec. 124, verse 134) “Which ordinance is 
          instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be 
          appointed standing presidents or servants over different stakes 
          scattered abroad.” It is a kind of normal school, where they 
          may be taught lessons in the Presidency, and be prepared to judge 
          and act in the various places which they may be called to. Do the 
          Priesthood fulfil their calling? No, they do not. When the Stakes 
          were being organized, we had to call upon Seventies and Elders, 
          and all classes of men to hold positions which High Priests 
          should have held. But there are some who talk about
          202 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          being great big High Priests, who, when they should have been 
          called upon to be Bishops, or Bishops' Counselors, were found to 
          be incompetent because they had not prepared themselves to occupy 
          these offices associated with their calling, and been dabbling 
          with the world and had been led by its influence, instead of 
          being wide awake and full of the life and power and revelations 
          of God. If they had magnified their Priesthood, then God would 
          have been with them, and they would have been selected, until all 
          those places would have been filled. Then, how is it in regard to 
          the Seventies? Just the same. According to your statistical 
          report, which has been read, you have in this Stake 360 
          Seventies; and how many of them, if they were called today, are 
          prepared to go to the nations of the earth to preach the Gospel? 
          You are not prepared to do it any more than the High Priests were 
          prepared to magnify their calling. The Twelve are commanded first 
          to call upon the Seventies, but when they do so they frequently 
          find they with one consent begin to make excuses. I know it is 
          so, if you do not. Very well, what then? As there are other 
          appendages to the Melchizedek Priesthood, the Twelve are obliged 
          to call upon the Elders, and High Priests, and others, to go and 
          perform duties which should be performed by the Seventies, but 
          which they neglect to do. I speak of this, shall I say to your 
          shame? I do not like to use hard words, they do not do any good. 
          I would rather say five hundred pleasant things than one harsh 
          one; but I want to state truths as they exist, so that you can 
          comprehend. Now, notwithstanding this being the case, the work of 
          God cannot stand still. The nations must be warned. The
          
          word of God must go forth, or the Twelve would be held 
          responsible, if these things were not done; and we have to keep 
          doing it, doing it!
          
          Now, as a sample of the excuses that men make who are called to 
          go on missions, I will tell you what people tell me. One man 
          says, “I have been building a house, and have not got the roof 
          on it.” Another comes, and says, “I have just been entering 
          some land, and I am afraid I shall be placed in difficulty, if I 
          go; I pray you have me excused.” And one man said he was so 
          engaged in merchandising, and he was so much interested in the 
          people's welfare, that he was afraid they would suffer very 
          materially in their temporal interests, if he ceased to keep 
          store that it would not be well to take him away. Another has 
          bought five yokes of oxen, and is proving them, and prays to be 
          excused. And another has married a wife and he cannot go. I will 
          tell you what I once had to say to President Joseph Young. He had 
          been calling upon a number of people to go forth on missions. He 
          being the presiding officer over the First Presidents of 
          Seventies was the party for us to apply to; but in selecting 
          missionaries they had employed a system of what might be properly 
          called machine work, as you would go to work and pick out horses 
          or cattle by their teeth. They had selected them generally 
          according to age, etc., without inquiring as to their 
          qualifications, circumstances, etc. Now, we want the spirit and 
          power attending all of these matters, that we may find out the 
          true position of things before we can call men. After he had 
          received a great number of names from the said presidents, there 
          came in a perfect, stream of excuses to me. They wanted to be 
          excused; and
          	The Priesthood, Its Organization, Etc.	203 
          
          Joseph himself came to me and said, “how are you getting along 
          with the Seventies?” I said, “If you don't hurry up and get 
          the balance in, they will all be gone. You had better hurry 
          up.” Well, it is rather a lamentable story to tell. Yet, while 
          we hold this important Priesthood, it is a sorry way of treating 
          it.
          
          Now, it is for us to look after these things; and they are 
          beginning to work up into a little order—to do a great deal 
          better; and men are beginning to realize the importance of their 
          office and calling, and express a greater desire to magnify it; 
          thus things are beginning to look a little brighter on that 
          score, as the Twelve have been attending to these things.
          
          Now, the idea is not that one or a dozen men have to bear off 
          this kingdom. For what is the Priesthood conferred upon you? Is 
          it to follow the “devices and desires of your own hearts,” as 
          I used to hear them say in the Church of England when I was a 
          boy? Is it to do that? I think not. Or were we enlisted to God 
          for time and eternity? I think we were; and we want to wake up to 
          the responsibilities which devolve upon us, and honor our calling 
          and magnify our Priesthood. There are a great many more things 
          which I could talk about in this connection, but this may suffice 
          at present.
          
          We have a variety of institutions. We have the sisters' 
          societies. I attended a meeting of one of these a short time 
          before I came here, and set apart Sisters Eliza R. Snow, Zina D. 
          Young, and Elizabeth Ann Whitney. We set some of these same 
          sisters apart in Nauvoo, under the direction of the Prophet 
          Joseph Smith, about forty years ago; and they are doing a good 
          work, and it is for them and their associates to continue to do 
          right and pursue a
          
          proper and correct course. We want the Relief Societies and the 
          Young Mens' Mutual Improvement Societies to take hold with a 
          hearty good will. I was pleased to hear the remarks which were 
          made in relation to the course they are pursuing in trying to 
          keep the Word of Wisdom. Now, I am not very strenuous about 
          urging any particular point, but that is a good thing for them to 
          attend to. We must try to live our religion. We are on the eve of 
          important events. There are troublous times in advance of us and 
          the world—such times as the world has not taken it into their 
          hearts to conceive of. And we need to be united and to operate 
          together in all of our affairs. Be united as one; and, “if you 
          are not one you are not mine,” saith the Lord. Men who are 
          influenced by Gentiles, and every corruption that prevails, are 
          not fit to be the Saints of God. You want to pay your tithing 
          honestly and squarely, or you will find yourselves outside of the 
          pale of the Church of the Living God. We have to lay aside our 
          covetousness and our pride, and our ideas which are wrong, and be 
          united in our political affairs, in our temporal affairs, under 
          the direction of the Holy Priesthood, and act as a mighty phalanx 
          under God, in carrying out His purposes here upon the earth. And 
          all Israel ought to do the same. And then we have our Cooperative 
          Institutions, and other useful institutions among us. Well, what 
          shall we do? Sustain them? Yes; and fulfil our covenants with 
          them as we expect them to fulfil their covenants with us; and let 
          us be one and act together upon correct principles. Whoever 
          violate their contracts before God and the Priesthood have to be 
          dealt with for that, no matter who they are, nor what
          204 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          position they occupy. We have to act under the direction of the 
          Almighty. I know it is not popular to serve God, But God has 
          called us to be one; and he expects us to be one and carry out 
          his purposes,
          
          and be obedient to the laws of Heaven.
          
          May God bless you, and lead you in the paths of life. In the name 
          of Jesus. Amen. 
                    204
          
          The Responsibility to Preach the Gospel, Etc.
          Discourse by President Wilford Woodruff, delivered in the Salt 
          Lake Assembly Hall, at the Half Yearly Conference, of the Salt 
          Lake Stake of Zion, Sunday Afternoon, Jan. 9th, 1881.
          Reported by John Irvine.
          Wilford Woodruff
          204 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this 
          thing willingly, I have a righteous reward: but if against my 
          will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.” These 
          were the words of the Apostle Paul. Again he said: “But though 
          we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you 
          than that which we have preached unto you, let him be 
          accursed.” And he repeats this. Again he says: “But if our 
          gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god 
          of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, 
          lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image 
          of God, should shine unto them.” I will say as Paul did, “Woe 
          be unto me if I preach not the gospel.” I will say the same for 
          the Apostles, the High Priests, the Seventies, and the Elders, so 
          far as
          
          they are called to declare the words of life and salvation to 
          this generation; the judgments of God will rest upon us if we do 
          not do it. You may ask why. I answer, because a dispensation of 
          the Gospel of Jesus Christ has never been given to man in ancient 
          days or in this age, for any other purpose than for the salvation 
          of the human family. Again, the Lord says (in sec. 1 of the Book 
          of Doctrine and Covenants): “And the voice of warning shall be 
          unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have 
          chosen in these last days. And they shall go forth and none shall 
          stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them. Behold, this is 
          mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface 
          unto the book of my commandments, which I have given them to 
          publish unto you, O, inhab-
          	The Responsibility to Preach the Gospel, Etc.	205 
          
          itants of the earth. Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, 
          for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled. * * 
          Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come 
          upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph 
          Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him 
          commandments; And also gave commandments to others, that they 
          should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it 
          might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets.” Again, 
          the Lord has said, “Behold, now it is called today until the 
          coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, 
          and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed 
          shall not be burned at his coming. * * and I will not spare any 
          that remain in Babylon. Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will 
          labor while it is called today.” This is the word of the Lord 
          to the Elders of Israel. And I say the same to the Latter-day 
          Saints. It is no light thing for any people in any age of the 
          world to have a dispensation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ 
          committed into their hands, and when a dispensation has been 
          given, those receiving it are held responsible before high heaven 
          for the use they make of it.
          
          I feel to back up the testimony given to us this forenoon by 
          President Taylor. I have had the same feelings resting upon me 
          for the last years of my life. I realize that our condition, our 
          position, the responsibility we hold, the relationship we sustain 
          to God, and the relationship we sustain to this great and last 
          dispensation—I feel that many of us as Latter-day Saints, hold 
          too lightly these important trusts committed to our charge. The 
          angel of God, as declared to St. John, the Revelator,
          
          while upon the Isle of Patmos, had come forth in the last days, 
          flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel 
          to preach to them that dwell upon the earth, and to every nation, 
          kindred, tongue and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, 
          and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come. This 
          Gospel was committed to Joseph Smith, and connected with this 
          Gospel was the proclamation, “Fear God, and give glory to him; 
          for the hour of his judgment is come.” This was the position in 
          which Joseph Smith was placed when he was in the flesh; it was 
          the position of those that were connected with him, his brother 
          Hyrum, and others of his father's house, as well as the Twelve 
          Apostles, the Seventies, and those early Elders of Israel who 
          were called to make the proclamation of this Gospel to the world. 
          They were sustained by the power of God. They were called and 
          commanded to go forth into the world and preach this Gospel to 
          the inhabitants of the earth, without purse or scrip. This is the 
          manner we traveled in early days. The early Elders of the Church 
          were called to pass through a great deal. Joseph Smith himself, 
          from the hour that he received the records from the hand of 
          Moroni, and commenced to proclaim the restoration of the Gospel, 
          to the day of his death, had to suffer tribulation. The whole 
          world arose against him—priest and people. What was the matter? 
          Simply that Joseph Smith was like other prophets and apostles. He 
          brought forth a dispensation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which 
          came in contact with the traditions of the people—traditions 
          which have been handed down from generation to generation. He was 
          the first man since the day the
          206 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          Savior was put to death, and the Apostles and the Priesthood 
          taken home to God—he was the first and only man that ever 
          attempted to establish the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to 
          the ancient order of things. But he was sustained in his work. He 
          knew very well when he undertook to introduce this Gospel that it 
          would be unpopular, his brethren knew this also; but being called 
          of God, and a dispensation of the Gospel having been committed to 
          his hands and the hands of his brethren, the Gospel had to be 
          preached.
          
          This is our condition today. O ye Elders of Israel who have 
          received the Holy Priesthood, we have this work laid upon our 
          shoulders, we have to take hold and build up this kingdom or be 
          damned. This is our condition; we cannot get away from it; the 
          ancient Apostles could not; we cannot. It is the greatest 
          dispensation God ever gave to the human family in any age of the 
          world, and we are commanded to carry it forward. We cannot afford 
          to treat lightly this work. We cannot undertake to serve God and 
          mammon. We cannot undertake to serve the world and fulfil our 
          missions as Apostles and Elders of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have 
          got to take one side or the other. And I will also say we cannot 
          be fruitful in the things of the kingdom of God, except we are 
          diligent in searching for the things of God. It is our duty to do 
          so. We have been called by the spirit of revelation, by the voice 
          of God from Heaven, through the mouth of his prophets, to preach 
          the Gospel and build up this kingdom. This is the word of the 
          Lord unto us. The Lord said in the beginning, some fifty years 
          ago, in the first revelation almost which was given to us, that 
          the harvest
          
          was ripe, and that whosoever would thrust in his sickle and reap 
          the same is called of God.
          
          I have given you my views and feelings with regard to these 
          things. I have my faith, my hope. I believe that God Almighty 
          reserved a certain class of men to carry on his word. They have 
          been born into the world in this generation. I believe this was 
          the case with Joseph Smith. I believe he was ordained to this 
          work before he tabernacled in the flesh. He was a literal 
          descendant of Joseph who was sold into Egypt, and the Lord called 
          him and ordained him. He gave unto him the keys of the kingdom. 
          He received the record of the stick of Joseph from the hands of 
          Ephraim, to stand with the Bible, the stick of Judah, in the last 
          days as a power to gather the twelve tribes of Israel, before the 
          coming of Shiloh, their King.
          
          We have been under the necessity of carrying this Gospel to the 
          generation in which we live. The Lord has never sent judgments 
          upon any generation which we have any knowledge of until he has 
          raised up prophets and inspired men to warn the inhabitants of 
          the earth. This is the course the Lord has dealt with all men 
          from the days of Father Adam to the present time.
          
          I need not stop to tell you that we live in a day of darkness, 
          wickedness, unbelief, and transgressions of every kind; I need 
          not tell you this; the heavens know it, the earth knows it, the 
          devils know it, all men know it who are acquainted with the human 
          family in the day and age in which we live. The Lord told us 
          fifty years ago, that “Darkness covereth the earth, and gross 
          darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become 
          corrupt before my face.” But He has sent forth the warning voice
          	The Responsibility to Preach the Gospel, Etc.	207 
          
          to them. He has called upon all men to repent and obey the Gospel 
          of Jesus Christ, that they may be counted worthy to escape the 
          judgments of God.
          
          President Taylor treated this forenoon upon the law of Tithing. 
          Perhaps the Latter-day Saints do not want to hear much more upon 
          this subject; but I have felt a long time that we as a people 
          were somewhat ignorant of that law. We have looked upon it as a 
          matter of little consequence; we have looked upon it with a great 
          deal of indifference whether we pay tithing or not. But the 
          subject was clearly set forth this forenoon by President Taylor. 
          He has no power to change this law, nor has any other man; and if 
          we do not obey it, we can lay no claim to the promises made to 
          those who obey it. These things are very plain and pointed. The 
          principle of tithing has been a principle of sacrifice in almost 
          every age of the world; in fact, it was peculiarly so among the 
          people in ancient days, and among even the heathen nations of the 
          earth. Now I have thought many times that some of those ancient 
          kings that were raised up, had in some respects more regard for 
          the carrying out of some of these principles and laws, than even 
          the Latter-day Saints have in our day. I will take as an ensample 
          Cyrus, on account of his temperance. He was one of the kings of 
          the Medes and Persians. I believe his father was a Persian and 
          his mother a Mede. To trace the life of Cyrus from his birth to 
          his death, whether he knew it or not, it looked as though he 
          lived by inspiration in all his movements. He began with that 
          temperance and virtue which would sustain any Christian country 
          or any Christian king. And even when he was sent in his youth to
          
          his grandfather Astyages, the king of the Medes, he showed that 
          he had been carefully brought up, and he followed his early 
          training in a great measure throughout his life; while as king or 
          leader of the Median armies, he conquered nearly the whole 
          world—in fact I do not know that he ever lost a battle. His 
          grandfather was living in luxury, and when young Cyrus was sent 
          to him he offered to serve him as a butler—only he didn't do as 
          butler's sometimes do—that is, taste the wine before putting it 
          on the table. Cyrus, when offered wine, said, “I am afraid it 
          is poison.” “You are afraid it is poison?” “What makes 
          you think it poison?” “Why, because I have seen it make you 
          and some of the princes act very strange, you would stagger and 
          act very curious.” He followed this principle of temperance 
          during his whole life. Before a battle he offered sacrifices to 
          the Gods; when he finished a battle and had a victory he did the 
          same thing. I have been struck in reading his history with the 
          course he took in this matter. He would never enter into revelry 
          or debauchery over the nations he had conquered. He taught such 
          principles until the day of his death. Before he died he told 
          those by whom he was surrounded, that he did not want his body 
          put into a gold coffin or a silver coffin; he simply desired his 
          body to be laid in the dust and covered with the earth. Many of 
          these principles followed him, and I have thought many of them 
          were worthy, in many respects, the attention of men who have the 
          Gospel of Jesus Christ. But the law of tithing was carried out by 
          all Israel, from the creation of the world down to the present 
          time—that is, whenever God had a people upon
          208 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          the earth they observed the law of tithing. And I believe, as 
          President Taylor has stated, that it is our duty to pay our 
          tithes and offerings before the Lord. It is a commandment of the 
          Lord that we should do this, and I do not feel myself called upon 
          as a member of this Church and kingdom to require the President 
          of this Church to attempt to change this order, or attempt to 
          find fault with him because he does not permit young men who 
          curse and swear, who do not pay their tithing, etc., to enter the 
          Lord's house and there have sealed upon their heads the highest 
          blessings that were ever given to Patriarchs and Prophets, who 
          have sealed their testimony with their blood. He has told the 
          Bishops and Presidents of Stakes not to give recommends to young 
          men or old men, or anybody else, who do not obey the laws of God 
          in this respect, and I feel to back him up in this matter, for I 
          know he will be justified before the Lord. If we attempt to 
          please the world on the one hand and serve the Lord on the other, 
          we will fall.
          
          I feel to say to my brethren who have received the holy 
          priesthood: We occupy a position in the world which is of great 
          importance to us. We have received the teachings of heaven; in 
          fact, I believe there never was a people since God made the 
          world, who received more teachings than the Latter-day Saints, 
          for the last fifty years. The world has rejected the light of 
          truth, and the fulness of the Gentiles will come in. But it is 
          our duty to preach the Gospel to them, until the Lord says, “It 
          is enough.” We must round up our shoulders, and bear off this 
          kingdom.
          
          The Lord compared the kingdom of heaven to ten virgins; five were 
          wise and five were foolish; five had
          
          oil in their lamps and five had not. Now the question is, how can 
          we keep oil in our lamps? By keeping the commandments of God, 
          remembering our prayers, do as we are told by the revelations of 
          Jesus Christ, and otherwise assisting in building up Zion. When 
          we are laboring for the kingdom of God, we will have oil in our 
          lamps, our light will shine and we will feel the testimony of the 
          spirit of God. On the other hand, if we set our hearts upon the 
          things of the world and seek for the honors of men, we shall walk 
          in the dark and not in the light. If we do not value our 
          priesthood, and the work of this priesthood, the building up of 
          the kingdom of God, the rearing of temples, the redeeming of our 
          dead, and the carrying out of the great work unto which we have 
          been ordained by the God of Israel—if we do not feel that these 
          things are more valuable to us than the things of the world, we 
          will have no oil in our lamps, no light, and we shall fail to be 
          present at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
          
          I have felt for a good while that we required stirring up with 
          regard to the law of tithing, and other things. The question is 
          here: If this is the work of God, and the Lord has given us 
          commandments, will we be blessed in obeying these commandments? 
          The Lord holds our destiny in his hands. The earth, the riches of 
          the earth, the crops, the herds, or flocks, our food and raiment 
          are all the gifts of God to us.
          
          Of course, we are required to practice what we preach. I believe 
          in that doctrine. Now, I know for myself, that the presidency of 
          this Church pay their tithing. As chairman of the Auditing 
          Committee, I know what their tithing is. The
          	The Responsibility to Preach the Gospel, Etc.	209 
          
          Twelve Apostles pay their tithing. Bishop Hunter and his 
          Counselors pay their tithing, as well as a great many others in 
          this Church and Kingdom. I would not preach tithing if I did not 
          pay it. I consider it my duty to pay my tithing. I consider it is 
          a law of God to me, and I am no poorer for obeying it. I wish my 
          brethren and sisters to take this principle to heart. As the 
          President has said, the Lord does not care anything about our 
          cattle, our gold and our silver. The law of tithing is a law of 
          God to us. Obedience is better than sacrifice. We are building 
          temples to the name of the Lord. What are we building them for? 
          That we may enter in and redeem our dead. The Lord has had his 
          endowments a great many years ago. He has ascended to his 
          thrones, principalities and powers in the eternities. We are his 
          children. He has given us a law, and he has placed us here on the 
          earth to obey that law. We are here to fill a probation and 
          receive an education. I once read a man's view of education—he 
          was not a Mormon, but a man of the world—who said, “No man is 
          fully educated unless he can tell where he came from, why he is 
          here, and where he is going to.” That being the case, I thought 
          there were few fully educated in the world. No man can tell where 
          he came from unless it is revealed to him. We have had these 
          things revealed to us in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Book of 
          Doctrine and Covenants. We have thus come to the knowledge that 
          we had an existence before we came here, and that we had a 
          probation before we came here. We are now upon our second estate, 
          and our eternal destiny depends upon the few years we spend in 
          the flesh. We are placed here that it may be seen which law we 
          will keep.
          
          Our Heavenly Father has placed before us the laws celestial, 
          telestial and terrestrial. If any man will obey the celestial 
          law, he will be preserved by that law; all the glory, power and 
          exaltation, belonging to that law, will be given to him. What 
          does the Savior, the Son of God, say to us in our Testament? He 
          says, in speaking of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, that “they 
          who receive this Priesthood receiveth me, saith the Lord; for he 
          that receiveth my servants, receiveth me; and he that receiveth 
          me, receiveth my Father; and he that, receiveth my Father, 
          receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore, all that my Father hath 
          shall be given unto him; and this is according to the oath and 
          covenant which belongeth to the Priesthood. Therefore, all those 
          who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of my 
          Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved.” Who in 
          the name of the Lord can apprehend such language as this? Who can 
          comprehend that, by obeying the celestial law, all that our 
          Father has shall be given unto us—exaltations, thrones, 
          principalities, power, dominion—who can comprehend it? 
          Nevertheless it is here stated. How few there are on the earth 
          today, or in any other dispensation, who have been able to abide 
          the celestial law of God. It brings down the hatred of the whole 
          generation in which we live. No man can live the celestial law 
          without bringing upon his head persecution. It cost the Savior 
          his life; he suffered an ignominious death upon the cross. Joseph 
          Smith sealed his testimony with his blood, as also have others 
          connected with this Church and kingdom.
          
          Now, our position is this: We have been chosen out of the world,
          210 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          the world hate us, our nation hates us, indeed the inhabitants of 
          the earth in a great measure hate us. Of course there are 
          honorable exceptions. But a great many despise us; a great many 
          wish our destruction. Why? Because we are trying to abide the 
          celestial law of God; we are preaching the Gospel of Jesus 
          Christ, and endeavoring to carry out its principles. Now the 
          question is, will it pay us to do so? Will it pay us to be 
          faithful? Will it pay us to pass through whatever trials or 
          afflictions, or persecutions, or even death itself, for the 
          kingdom of God, for salvation and eternal life, the greatest of 
          all gifts which God can bestow on the children of men? I say it 
          will, and I hope that the Latter-day Saints, that all men in 
          authority—that we will all be faithful before the Lord, that we 
          will remember our prayers, labor for the Holy Spirit, labor to 
          know the mind and will of God, that we may know the path to walk 
          in, that we may obtain the spirit of the Lord and the
          
          Holy Ghost, and that we may overcome the world and magnify our 
          calling till we get through this probation. There is a long time 
          hereafter. Our aim is high. There are a few in this generation 
          who have attempted to keep the celestial law. I desire to keep 
          that law, so that when I have finished my probation here, I may 
          get into the presence of my Heavenly Father, where our Savior is, 
          where the old patriarchs and prophets are, where Joseph Smith and 
          his brethren the Apostles and those who have lived faithful until 
          the day of their death are. That is my desire, and I say I desire 
          this for myself, I desire the same for my family.
          
          I pray God my Heavenly Father, to let his blessings rest upon us; 
          I pray that his Holy Spirit may be with us to guide us in the 
          path we should walk in; I pray that we may magnify our calling 
          and overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, and inherit 
          eternal life, for Christ's sake. Amen. 
                    210
                    211
          
          The Testimony of the Gospel, Etc.
          Discourse by Elder Chas. W. Penrose, delivered in the Tabernacle, 
          Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon, Aug. 14, 1881.
          Reported by John Irvine.
          Charles W. Penrose
          	The Testimony of the Gospel, Etc.	211 
          
          One of the many evidences of the truth of the Gospel which we 
          have embraced is the experience of young brethren, some of them 
          born in Utah, others who have come here in their childhood and 
          have grown up in the midst of the people, and who are 
          occasionally sent out into the world to advocate the Gospel of 
          Christ. We find that every one of them who is faithful to his 
          trust, who attends to the duties imposed upon him, and keeps 
          himself unspotted from the world, returns with a testimony of the 
          truth in his heart. He is able to say that he knows the work is 
          true independent of the instruction which he may have received or 
          the testimony which he may have heard from others, and he is able 
          to say that he has received this witness from God to his own 
          soul. Now the testimony of the young brother who has spoken this 
          afternoon is the testimony of all our brethren who go out in like 
          manner and return in the same way. And there is another thing 
          connected with this which corroborates it, and that is if any of 
          our missionaries go out into the world and become contaminated, 
          fall into the ways of the world, transgress the commandments of 
          God, and stain their garments with impurity, they lose that 
          testimony, and when they return they do not come back full of 
          confidence and
          
          of zeal, they do not come back with the spirit of union in their 
          hearts towards the rest of the Church, but they go into the dark, 
          they become full of faultfinding, they fall away, and finally 
          make shipwreck of their faith.
          
          It has been truly said this afternoon, that the bond of union 
          which binds the Latter-day Saints together, is this testimony, or 
          the spirit by which it comes. We are not bound together by any 
          cast-iron rules or ceremonies, nor are we held together by the 
          power of men who preside over us, as is supposed in the world; 
          but the bond of union which unites us, is the inspiration of the 
          same spirit. We have obeyed the same Gospel in the same way; we 
          have been baptized by one spirit into one body, whether we were 
          previously Catholics or Episcopalians, Methodists or Baptists, 
          Congregationalists or Quakers, Theists or Infidels—no matter 
          what our faith or lack of faith may have been before, when we 
          received this Gospel we all received the same truths in the same 
          fashion, and being baptized by one baptism, we were prepared to 
          receive the same spirit, and that spirit resting down upon us 
          enabled us to see eye to eye.
          
          It is claimed by some people in the world that it is impossible 
          to make different people see alike; that
          212 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          it is a matter of impossibility to bring all people to the unity 
          of the faith. It is claimed that as our countenances differ, so 
          do our dispositions and our minds, that what will convince one 
          person will not convince another, and therefore that it is 
          impossible to make a body of people all understand alike, and if 
          they do act together it must be through some compulsion. Now, I 
          regard this as a great mistake. I know it is not true by my own 
          experience and by what I see here among the people called 
          Latter-day Saints. I know that it is possible for a great number 
          of men and women to be brought to see things exactly alike. We 
          may look at this outside of religious matters. If a number of us 
          take a problem in geometry, as soon as we all understand the 
          principles which govern it, are we not able to solve the problem 
          in the same way? Certainly. So with a sum in arithmetic. So in 
          regard to any branch of exact science. It is supposed, however, 
          that theology is not a science, cannot be made a science, that it 
          is a mere matter of opinion, and that as people differ so much in 
          opinion in other things, they will be bound to differ in their 
          views in regard to religion. But these ideas are founded on 
          fallacies. Theology, properly speaking, is not a mere matter of 
          opinion. What is called religion in the world, I admit, is a 
          matter of sentiment and opinion, and one man's opinion is just as 
          good as another—and in some respects, as the Irishman said, 
          “a great deal better.” One reverend divine's opinion is just 
          as good as another's, for they differ just as much as the people 
          do whom they teach. And so the idea prevails that religion is a 
          mere matter of opinion, and therefore we can expect nothing but 
          division. But true religion does not come from
          
          man. True religion comes from God, if there is a God. Our young 
          brother this afternoon, says he knows there is a God. It is no 
          matter of opinion with him. He knows that God hears and answers 
          prayer, and you may find thousands of men and women here in Utah, 
          who are willing to bear the same testimony. They do not hold this 
          as a matter of faith alone, it has become knowledge to them. They 
          know that there is a Supreme Being, that He is a personage, that 
          He hears and answers prayer, and He has demonstrated to their 
          entire satisfaction not only that he lives, but that the Church 
          of which they are members is his; that this work in which they 
          are engaged is his work; that he has established it, that he is 
          rolling it on, and that he will sustain it and bring it to a 
          glorious consummation, no matter what earthly power may 
          intervene. Now, I say if there is a God, and if that God made 
          this world upon which we live, and if he is our Father, the 
          Father of our spirits, then he has the right to control the earth 
          and all the people that live thereon, and it is unreasonable to 
          think, if there is such a Being who made the earth and formed the 
          creatures that dwell upon it, and who guides and controls their 
          destinies, that he will never manifest himself to his creatures. 
          It is unreasonable to me to think that. We have a book here 
          called the Bible; we have another book called the Book of Mormon, 
          and here is another called the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. In 
          each of these books it is declared that there is a God, and that 
          he has revealed Himself. The Bible gives a history of some of the 
          revelations of that Divine Being to people on the eastern 
          continent, in Palestine particularly. The Book of
          	The Testimony of the Gospel, Etc.	213 
          
          “Mormon” gives an account of some of the revelations of the 
          same Being to the ancient inhabitants of this continent, the 
          progenitors of the American Indians, civilized persons from whom 
          the American Indians have descended, for they were not always the 
          despised beings they are at present. The Book of Doctrine and 
          Covenants contains revelations from the same Being, given in the 
          day and age in which we live. Each of these books corroborates 
          the others. They run together like three drops of water, or, to 
          make scriptural reference, like the three measures of meal in the 
          parable. In each of these books the testimony is given of a God, 
          and also the fact that he will reveal himself to those who 
          rightly approach him. If this be true, if the united testimony of 
          the Bible, the Book of Mormon and Book of Doctrine and Covenants 
          is true, then it is possible for the inhabitants of the earth to 
          obtain knowledge from God, and further than that, if these books 
          are true, knowledge has been sent down from on high, religion has 
          been sent down from heaven, for the guidance and benefit of 
          people dwelling on the earth. If these books are true, God, at 
          different times in the world's history, has called and appointed 
          men to be His representatives—not to represent his perfection, 
          because they were only human beings, but to represent certain 
          truths which he revealed to them for the benefit of their 
          fellows, and in some instances, for all the people dwelling upon 
          the widespread earth. If these books are true, Jesus, who died on 
          Calvary, was the Son of God, and he sent out his Apostles unto 
          all the world to preach the true religion. Now the religion that 
          God gave to these men in any age, whether
          
          we find it in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of 
          Doctrine and Covenants is not the religion of man. It did not 
          spring out of the human heart; it was not framed by men meeting 
          together in conclave; but it came by revelation from the Supreme 
          Being. He manifested it to mankind. I know that there are a great 
          many different things called religion in the world that have come 
          out of the hearts of men, at least in part if not altogether. 
          They have taken some of the things written in the Bible, they 
          have reflected upon them, and then have added a little of their 
          own opinion concerning these things. They have taken a part of 
          what God has revealed and added their own notions to it. But true 
          religion, the religion of God, must come from God. The religion 
          of Jesus Christ must come from Jesus Christ, and not from man. If 
          religion comes down from God to man and man receives that 
          religion and the spirit of it, they will all come to the same 
          understanding concerning it. Being baptized into one body, they 
          will comprehend it alike. Having the same light they will “see 
          eye to eye.” And according to the Scriptures, there is to be a 
          time when all people shall see alike. “Thy watchmen shall lift 
          up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they 
          shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion,” so 
          says the prophet Isaiah. And there is to be a day when all people 
          that breathe the breath of life will know God, from the least 
          unto the greatest. They will be able to bear the testimony our 
          brother has borne this afternoon, and no one will have need to 
          say to his neighbor, “Know ye the Lord.” But if religious 
          affairs go on as now in the world it will take a long time to 
          accomplish the change, will it not?
          214 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          Well, the Latter-day Saints, as I said just now, are able to bear 
          this testimony. Why? Because they are better than anybody else? 
          They make no such assertion; but if they are no better than the 
          people of the world they have not very much to boast of. I have 
          traveled a good deal and know the doings of the world, and if the 
          Latter-day Saints are no better than the majority of the people, 
          they have nothing particular to boast about. But we do not claim 
          that we can bear this testimony because of our extra goodness. We 
          do not say, “Come not near unto us; we are holier than you.” 
          We have no such disposition or spirit. But having heard the 
          principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Elders 
          of this Church and reflected upon them, prayed about them and 
          compared them with the old scriptures, we came to the conclusion 
          that they were true, because they corresponded in every respect 
          with the teachings of Christ and his Apostles. And let me say, in 
          passing, that this cannot be claimed for any religious sect in 
          the world—we do not call our Church a sect—there is no 
          religious sect in the world whose creed, ordinances, formula, and 
          Church government correspond, in every particular with that we 
          read about in the New Testament. But we find on close comparison 
          that the doctrines taught by the Elders of this Church correspond 
          in every respect with the doctrines taught by Jesus and his 
          Apostles. They made the same promises to us that the ancient 
          Apostles did. On hearing this we prayed about it; we sought 
          wisdom from God; we did not turn away from these men because 
          their names were cast out as evil; but we turned to the Lord. He 
          heard our prayers and answered them, and stamped the truth of
          
          their testimony upon our hearts. We were baptized, and being 
          baptized we received the testimony that our sins were remitted; 
          for we came forth from the liquid grave to a new life, we had 
          “put off the old man with his deeds” and “put on Christ” 
          to walk after the pattern of his life. And when the Elders laid 
          their hands upon us, according to the order of confirmation, that 
          God established in the Church, the Spirit of the Almighty rested 
          down upon us, and filled our hearts with sweet satisfaction, and 
          with the knowledge that we had received the truth, and we were 
          filled with light, communication was opened up between us and our 
          Father. We received peace, revelation, knowledge and wisdom, 
          gifts and powers for our own individual benefit as members of his 
          Church. The Holy Ghost bore testimony to us that God lived, that 
          the religion we had received was his religion, and that Spirit, 
          to those who have been faithful and listened to its whisperings, 
          has been a continual guide, “a light to their feet and a lamp 
          to their path,” a continual monitor, an abiding witness, which 
          brings things past to their remembrance, confirms the things of 
          the present, shows us things to come, and bears record of the 
          Father and the Son. It is this that has drawn this people here. 
          The Latter-day Saints received this Spirit wherever they dwelt on 
          the face of the earth, when the Gospel came to them. We have come 
          a great many of us from various parts of Europe, the different 
          States of America, and from other countries and nations, north 
          and south—we have all come here and embraced the same faith, we 
          see many things eye to eye, understand alike and work together, 
          not because we are forced to do so, as some people im-
          	The Testimony of the Gospel, Etc.	215 
          
          agine, by the craft and cunning of men who understand human 
          nature, but because we have received the same spirit. Men who 
          oppose this work—“Mormonism” as they call it—leave this 
          matter out of consideration altogether. In consequence of this 
          they can never comprehend this work, they cannot discern the 
          cause of the union of this people; they cannot account for the 
          work accomplished by the Latter-day Saints, in spite of all the 
          opposition and persecution they have had to endure. But the real 
          cause of our union is the Spirit of the living God, which rests 
          upon us. That Spirit led us here, and we are here to stay. We are 
          here to do the work which God designs shall be done. We are 
          willing to make any sacrifice—if there be such a thing as 
          sacrifice—because God Almighty has enlightened our minds, 
          because we know that he lives, that he hears and answers our 
          prayers and gives us the blessings we ask for when they are good 
          for us, and withholds them when they are not; for like children 
          we are apt to ask for razors to cut our fingers with. God answers 
          our prayers when it is wise to grant the things we desire.
          
          This testimony which we have received is not imaginary, it is not 
          a phantom, it is a fact, and the same testimony has been 
          experienced wherever this Gospel has gone. It is claimed that 
          Joseph Smith was an impostor. We say we know that Joseph Smith 
          was a prophet of God. The promises he made have been fulfilled. 
          When the Elders were sent out to proclaim the Gospel, they made 
          the promise to all who should obey it, that they would receive 
          the testimony I have been talking about. Could man have bestowed 
          this testimony? No. But we received it and we know it came from 
          God, and
          
          as I said before, wherever people have received this Gospel, this 
          religion that the Lord has something to do with personally—they 
          receive the same testimony, and when they seek for the gifts of 
          the Gospel, they obtain them if they ask in faith. I speak now of 
          the gifts enumerated in the Bible, that were manifested in the 
          ancient Church. They are now manifested in this Church; for it is 
          the Church of Christ, and it is established on the same basis 
          that it rested upon in the first place. In the Church now is the 
          power of the holy Priesthood, the authority of the Apostleship, 
          and of all the different offices of the Church, as was the case 
          in the Church anciently. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
          Saints is joined to the Church of the Firstborn behind the veil. 
          This is not the church of man. The principles we have received 
          have not sprung from the brains of men. They have been revealed 
          from God. This Gospel is now being preached as a witness to all 
          nations before the end shall come. Jesus promised this to his 
          disciples just before his crucifixion. He gave a number of signs, 
          “Behold the fig tree, and all the trees. When they now shoot 
          forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is nigh at 
          hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know 
          ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” “And this gospel 
          of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness 
          unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” This Gospel of 
          the kingdom, the Gospel that Christ preached, has been sent down 
          from heaven in our own time, and is being preached as a witness 
          to all the world—not preached for hire or proclaimed for money; 
          for the Elders go out without hope of pecuniary reward, in fact
          216 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          in most instances they pay their own traveling expenses in order 
          to bear their testimony. And wherever people receive that 
          testimony they receive this spirit and they know it is true, and 
          that is the power which bound them together. No human being could 
          weave such a tie as that which unites the Latter-day Saints. It 
          is a heavenly union among themselves, and it is a union between 
          the heavens and the earth. The Saints are gathering from all 
          nations to the place which the Lord has appointed, and are 
          building temples to his name for the benefit of the living and 
          the dead. We have come out of the world, and therefore the world 
          hate us; we have turned our backs upon our former friends and 
          kindred, and have formed new relations and new associations. We 
          have experienced the influence of the Spirit of God, and our 
          desire is to bear testimony to the truth of this work, which 
          shall roll on until the kingdoms of this world shall become the 
          kingdoms of our God and his Christ, and until “every knee shall 
          bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to 
          the glory of God the Father.” That is our work, that is what we 
          are here for. If we are accumulating any earthly wealth here, it 
          is by the blessing of God that we may the better accomplish his 
          purposes, that we may help to build up his kingdom on the earth, 
          that wickedness may be swept from the earth, that he whose right 
          it is to reign may come and take possession of his kingdom.
          
          Now, my friends, the time at my disposal has nearly expired, but 
          before sitting down, I desire to bear my testimony, in the name 
          of the Lord Jesus Christ, that I know this is the work of God; I 
          know that God lives and that he hears and answers the prayers of 
          the faithful; and I
          
          know this work will prevail. I know that no earthly powers can 
          retard it. The combined powers of the earth—Presidents, Kings, 
          Emperors or Governors—cannot stay the progress of this work, 
          because the great Jehovah hath spoken it. This is the way, walk 
          ye in it. Avoid evil and choose the good. “Be ye perfect, even 
          as your Father in heaven is perfect.” I know this work will 
          roll on, though all the world is against us. We are a little 
          handful of people compared to the nation of the United States, 
          but true strength is not in numbers. I do not mean when I make 
          such a comparison, that all the millions of this nation are 
          against us; many are opposed because they do not know us, they do 
          not know our object, they do not know our spirit, they do not 
          know what manner of men and women we are. They think we are a set 
          of fanatics. But it is principle that has brought the Latter-day 
          Saints to dwell in these valleys and we live and labor that out 
          of this Church may be built up the kingdom that all the prophets 
          and inspired men of God have seen from the beginning, upon which 
          the glory of God shall shine, and over which the Lord shall rule. 
          This work will prevail, no matter what opposition may be brought 
          to bear against it. If this whole nation should rise up and other 
          nations should join them, with the object of destroying the 
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they could not 
          accomplish it. Our kind Methodist friends are anxious to see 
          “Mormonism” stamped out; but the more they attack it, the 
          stronger they will make it, as the more united will be our 
          people, and the firmer our desires and our determination to roll 
          on the work of God, and live as He directs. The best policy, 
          therefore, for the
          	The Testimony of the Gospel, Etc.	217 
          
          Methodists, or any other sect, to pursue, is to let us alone. 
          However, they cannot let us alone, for there is an 
          influence—the influence of the evil one—which is antagonistic 
          to this work, and stirs up the hearts of the wicked against it. 
          All manner of lies are circulated concerning us, which, however, 
          only serve to increase our strength. If we were let alone there 
          might arise internal divisions; but while we are hated and 
          derided by the world, misrepresented and maligned, by preachers 
          and editors, and men who profess to be men of God, we shall 
          become more and more consolidated, for all this only unites us 
          more together. It is according to human nature that it should do 
          so, and in all this we can see the providence of God. This will 
          continue and prevail. I know it just as well
          
          as I know that I am here. The general outline of the work to be 
          performed in this generation is clearly mapped out in my mind. 
          And if the Latter-day Saints will keep the commandments of God, 
          and walk in the path they have commenced to tread, revelation and 
          knowledge and wisdom will be given to them from on high, the 
          servants of God at the head will be filled with revelation to 
          feed the flock of Christ, and this work will roll forth in 
          strength and power in the earth, until all things which have been 
          predicted by the Prophets are fulfilled.
          
          May God hasten the day and help us to be faithful, that when His 
          kingdom is established, we may be worthy of a place therein, 
          through Jesus Christ. Amen. 
                    217
          
          The Privileges of the Saints, Etc.
          Discourse by President John Taylor, delivered at Hooperville, 
          Monday, June 27, 1881.
          Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.
          John Taylor
          	The Privileges of the Saints, Etc.	217 
          
          219
          It is a very great privilege to be Saints of the most high God,
          and it is of much more importance than many of us sometimes
          comprehend. It is a great privilege to have God for our father
          and friend. And then while we have God for our father and friend,
          on the other hand, we ought to be the friends of God. It is said
          of Abraham, that he was the friend of God, and we, the Latter-day
          Saints, ought to be the friends of God, and to take pleasure and
          delight in doing his will; for we are indebted to him for every
          blessing which we enjoy, whether pertaining to this earth or to
          the heavens, to the life that now is or to the life that is to
          come. Many of these truths are not known in the world, for the
          simple reason that they have not been taught, nor are there any
          people outside of the Priesthood of this Church who are capable
          of teaching men the principles of life, the principles of
          salvation, the principles of exaltation and eternal lives. And
          the reason why they are not capable of teaching them is, because
          they do not understand them themselves. And no man can teach
          correctly principles which he does not himself comprehend. It was
          upon this ground that Jesus in his day said: "If the blind lead
          the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Also quoting the
          words of the Apostle: "The things of God knoweth no man, but the
          Spirit of God." And if we do not find out, we Latter-day Saints,
          how to approach God, as has been referred to by a previous
          speaker, and how to call upon him acceptably and to approach him
          as our Father, and to feel that we are his children, and to take
          pleasure in calling upon him, and to cultivate His Holy Spirit;
          if we do not do this, nor comprehend these principles, we have
          indeed made slow progress in the things pertaining to the kingdom
          of God.
          
          
          It is a very great privilege to be Saints of the most high God, 
          and it is of much more importance than many of us sometimes 
          comprehend. It is a great privilege to have God for our father 
          and friend. And then while we have God for our father
          
          and friend, on the other hand, we ought to be the friends of God. 
          It is said of Abraham, that he was the friend of God, and we, the 
          Latter-day Saints, ought to be the friends of God, and to take 
          pleasure and delight in doing his will; for we are
          218 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          indebted to him for every blessing which we enjoy, whether 
          pertaining to this earth or to the heavens, to the life that now 
          is or to the life that is to come. Many of these truths are not 
          known in the world, for the simple reason that they have not been 
          taught, nor are there any people outside of the Priesthood of 
          this Church who are capable of teaching men the principles of 
          life, the principles of salvation, the principles of exaltation 
          and eternal lives. And the reason why they are not capable of 
          teaching them is, because they do not understand them themselves. 
          And no man can teach correctly principles which he does not 
          himself comprehend. It was upon this ground that Jesus in his day 
          said: “If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the 
          ditch.” Also quoting the words of the Apostle: “The things of 
          God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” And if we do not 
          find out, we Latter-day Saints, how to approach God, as has been 
          referred to by a previous speaker, and how to call upon him 
          acceptably and to approach him as our Father, and to feel that we 
          are his children, and to take pleasure in calling upon him, and 
          to cultivate His Holy Spirit; if we do not do this, nor 
          comprehend these principles, we have indeed made slow progress in 
          the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
          
          God has restored the Gospel for the purpose of bringing life and 
          immortality to light; and without the knowledge of the Gospel 
          there is no knowledge of life and immortality; for men cannot 
          comprehend these principles only as they are made known unto 
          them, and they cannot be revealed only through the medium of the 
          Gospel, and through obedience to the laws of salvation associated 
          therewith. And hence
          
          as the Gospel emanates from God, and as that is the great medium 
          of salvation, through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, God 
          said in former times to his former-day Apostles, and also in 
          latter days to his latter-day Apostles, “Go ye into all the 
          world and preach the gospel to every creature.” He sent them 
          with a message that was fraught with greater blessings than 
          anything that could be conferred upon mortals. And hence when the 
          heavens were opened and the Father and Son appeared and revealed 
          unto Joseph the principles of the Gospel, and when the holy 
          Priesthood was restored and the Church and kingdom of God 
          established upon the earth, there were the greatest blessings 
          bestowed upon this generation which it was possible for man to 
          receive. If they could comprehend it, it was the greatest 
          blessing which God could confer upon humanity. Then he sent his 
          servants forth to proclaim this Gospel to the nations of the 
          earth, and he is now sending them forth to preach the Gospel of 
          the Son of God, to deliver the testimony that he has given unto 
          us. And, speaking for the Priesthood, have we done it? We have, 
          and we have done it in the name of Israel's God; and he has been 
          with us and I know it. And with regard to praying, if we had not 
          known how to pray we should have been in a bad position many a 
          time, regarding both temporal and spiritual things. But we 
          learned to call upon him, and he has heard us and has come to our 
          help in time of need. Is it not a great privilege and blessing to 
          have a Father of this kind to approach. Let us look at it. Jesus 
          tried in his day to get the people to comprehend one thing—to 
          ask and receive. It is a simple thing. Seek and you shall find; 
          knock and
          	The Privileges of the Saints, Etc.	219 
          
          it shall be opened to you. For he that asketh receiveth, etc. Do 
          you believe it? If you do, go and try it, and see whether God 
          lives or not, and you will know for yourselves. It was said in 
          former times, “We know that God lives.” How do you know? 
          Because we received the things which we asked at his hands. In 
          one place the people are told. You receive not because you ask 
          not; and our Heavenly Father upbraids them for not asking. The 
          Lord declares, I have plenty; I own all things, the gold and the 
          silver are mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills are mine. 
          Now if you are prepared to use them properly, he is prepared to 
          give them to you. He enquires, If a son ask for bread, would you 
          give him a stone? The little child when it is hungry, asks its 
          mother for a piece of bread and butter; the mother would not 
          think of picking up a stone and handing it to the child; but she 
          gives the little one something to eat to satisfy its hunger. And 
          when the child is hungry it will come again and ask for more. 
          After this kind of reasoning the Savior then said to those around 
          him, if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your 
          children, how much more shall your Father in heaven give his Holy 
          Spirit to them that ask him. Let us try then to have confidence 
          in God, as our children have confidence in us. They will come to 
          us and say, Papa, can I have a new hat? Mamma, can I have some 
          new shoes? Papa, please give me five cents to buy candy. If you 
          can you like to gratify their little wants. Our Father feels just 
          the same towards us. But suppose they were to ask you for a 
          razor? “That would be dangerous,” you would say. “Why, 
          child, I don't want to give you that.” And then
          
          when you want things of no use to you, and your Father knows that 
          it would not be good for you—although he does not tell you so, 
          he does not give them to you because they would be injurious.
          
          There is nothing of more value to me than the principles of 
          eternal truth; than the principles of eternal lives; eternal 
          salvation, and eternal exaltations in the kingdom of God; but 
          then it is for us to comprehend it, for if we do not comprehend 
          it, no matter how great the truths, they cannot benefit us. We 
          frequently think a little more of a nice span of horses, or a 
          nice wagon, or a favorite cow, and such things, than we do of 
          God's work, as our boys sometimes get attached to a few marbles, 
          thinking that they are everything, and they do not like to leave 
          their marbles to obey father or mother; and God finds us about 
          the same. We get a few dollars, or a farm, and a little stock, 
          and a few other things; and we cannot afford to neglect these; we 
          cannot afford to take time to pray, nor to listen to the voice of 
          Father, we are so busy playing marbles. And occasionally when we 
          play marbles among the dollars, we try to cheat one another, as 
          boys sometimes do at marbles, and try to take advantage one of 
          another. I never like to see boys cheat, and never like to see 
          men cheat at their kind of marbles. Our feelings and affections 
          get placed on wrong things. We are here to build up Zion, and to 
          establish the kingdom of God. The kingdom of what? The kingdom of 
          God. Then if it is the kingdom of God, it is not the kingdom of 
          man, originating or belonging to man. It came not of man nor from 
          man, it came from God, and we are indebted to him for it; and we 
          are indebted to him for all the
          220 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          light and all the intelligence we have. For the life we have, for 
          the pure air we breathe, for the use of our bodies and our 
          reason, for the food and raiment we eat and wear, and in fact, 
          for everything we have and enjoy, both of a temporal and 
          spiritual nature. All these things God gave us. We did not have 
          them; we did not grow them. You may have planted the corn and 
          plowed it; but I think the Scripture tells us that Paul may plant 
          and Apollos may water, but it is God that gives the increase. It 
          is so in our farming or anything else. If we have good crops, it 
          is through the blessings of the Almighty that we receive them, 
          and if he did not give them to us, then we should go without. He 
          could send an army of crickets or grasshoppers, or a great 
          hailstorm, sweeping away the fruits of our labors, and in that 
          event, whose would they be? I think it very foolish to quarrel 
          over marbles; I think it foolishness in men to seek after the 
          things of this world and place their affections on them. I see 
          men, and I have seen a great many men in my time, grasping after 
          the world, and they sometimes will succeed in gathering 
          considerable together; and when they have gathered it, they would 
          fold their arms and say, “Soul take thine ease; eat, drink and 
          be merry, for I have much good laid up in store; I am not 
          dependent on any man, soul, take thine ease.” That man hears a 
          little whisper; the finger of God is laid upon him, and this 
          whisper says, Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of 
          thee; and then, whose shall these things be that thou possessest? 
          Who shall have them then! O, I will leave them to my children! 
          But somebody may cheat them out of it. It is a very difficult 
          thing for people to
          
          leave things for their children, and have things done just as 
          they wish, there being so many people to interrupt and grasp 
          after this world's goods righteously or unrighteously. What a 
          fool to gather large possessions, and now to only occupy a few 
          feet of mother earth. And that brain once so busy, is now 
          slumbering, decaying in the tomb, and worms are reveling within 
          its chambers. And those limbs that were active and energetic and 
          full of life, are now helpless and powerless. And what of these 
          things? I have sometimes, in speaking on matters of this kind, 
          related my own experience when a boy. I have dreamed, for 
          instance, of being very rich, but I would say in my dream, I am 
          afraid I am dreaming; I am afraid when I awake I shall not find 
          my treasures; but I'll try to hide them and make them secure. In 
          the morning I would hunt for my treasure, but never could find 
          it. You will find, every one of you, that, naked you came into 
          the world, and naked you will return; you can take nothing 
          pertaining to this world with you, not if you were to possess the 
          whole earth. If you possess any portion of this earth by right or 
          title or authority, you will have to get it from God, and you 
          will have to get it when the earth shall be renewed. Abraham had 
          great promises of lands, so had Isaac and Jacob. And what did 
          Abraham have? We are told by Stephen, who lived many generations 
          after him, that God had promised Abraham that he should have this 
          land; but nevertheless he gave him no inheritance in it, not so 
          much as to set his foot on. Notwithstanding the promise of the 
          Lord to him respecting his possessing that land, he had to buy a 
          place in which to bury his wife, and in which he himself should 
          be buried.
          	The Privileges of the Saints, Etc.	221 
          
          And yet, did God's promise fail? No, he will yet possess that 
          land and his seed with him, and the promise be literally 
          fulfilled. While it is proper for us to seek after everything 
          that is right and honorable, on the other hand it is quite as 
          right and very proper that we should set God before us all the 
          time and render obedience to his law, so that we may acquire an 
          eternal inheritance in the kingdom of God. God is now 
          establishing his kingdom upon the earth. If it is the kingdom of 
          God, and he is establishing it, he expects us to be subject to 
          his law, and to be governed by it, and to keep his commandments.
          
          What then shall we do? We will do everything which God requires 
          at our hands. Have we families? We will try to train them up in 
          the fear of God. Have we wives? We will treat them as we would 
          angels of God, and be their protectors and guardians and make 
          them comfortable and happy. And then, as was remarked, we will 
          dedicate our houses and lands to God, and ourselves to God, and 
          our wives and children and everything we have, and feel that we 
          are the children of God and our offspring with us. Again, if I 
          was a woman, I would try to treat my husband right and to make a 
          heaven of my home, and would try to make everything pleasant 
          around me. You husbands now and then quarrel with your wives, and 
          you wives quarrel with your husbands, and you wives sometimes 
          quarrel with one another; I will say cease such folly, and have 
          another kind of feeling; and treat everybody not as they always 
          treat us, for that would not always be right; but let us do unto 
          all men as we would have them do unto us. A man came to Jesus on 
          one occasion, and asked him, which was
          
          the greatest commandment. The Savior answered him: “Thou shalt 
          love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, 
          and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. 
          And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as 
          thyself.” Can we do that? It is sometimes hard work, is it not? 
          We too frequently feel we would rather put two dollars in our own 
          pocket than one in our neighbor's, do we not? We would rather 
          have two or three cows than that our neighbor should have one? Is 
          not this the kind of feeling? “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as 
          thyself.” The law—some of us talk about law sometimes; we 
          cannot get enough of it in the Church, therefore we want to go 
          outside for it. I have known, for instance, men to go to law over 
          water difficulties, and they would fee the lawyers liberally, and 
          then, of course, the streams would flow in rich abundance, and 
          there would be plenty of water for everybody. [Laughter]. I 
          remember when a little boy, seeing a somewhat curious picture. 
          Two farmers were quarreling over or disputing the ownership of a 
          cow; and one had her by the horns, the other had her by the tail. 
          In order to settle the difficulty they secured the services of 
          one of these peacemakers of the law, and his love for his fellow 
          man was so great that while they pulled at either end of the cow, 
          he sat between them quietly milking her. [Laughter]. In case of 
          difficulty, for difficulties will arise sometimes, would it not 
          be better for us to attend to the milking of the cow ourselves; 
          and go to the Lord for His guidance and manifest feelings of 
          liberality and kindness towards our fellow men, towards all men? 
          What, would you do so with Gentiles?
          222 	Journal of Discourses	
          
          Yes; it would be a pity if we could not do that. Why, we are told 
          that the Lord “maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the 
          good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Let us 
          try to be like him. We do not want much association with them; we 
          do not want to take counsel at their hands; we do not want to be 
          influenced by them; we do not want them to teach our children 
          while they are seeking to destroy us and to induce legislation 
          against us, and are doing everything they can to injure us. We 
          will say, Father, these are thy children as well as we are; we 
          ask thee to put a hook in their jaws, so that they cannot go any 
          further than thou shalt permit them; and the balance of their 
          conduct we will strive to endure. Make us worthy to be acceptable 
          in thy sight; and if thou seest fit to let them stir up any 
          commotion, we will try to bear it, because we believe it will be 
          overruled for our good and for the advancement of thy cause in 
          the earth. Would I hurt them? No, if I were to see one of them 
          hungry, I would feed him; if I were to see them naked, I would 
          clothe them; but I would not give them my daughters to wife, 
          neither would I let them teach my children to lead them down to 
          death. I want those to teach my children and the children of this 
          people who will lead them in the paths of life. But treat 
          everybody well, and do what is right to everybody, and cultivate 
          the spirit of kindness towards all. And when you see somebody's 
          cattle in somebody's grain, feel sufficient interest in his 
          welfare to go and drive them out; and try to promote the welfare 
          of your neighbors and make them feel as comfortable as you can, 
          and God will bless us, and we will bless one another.
          
          And we will build our Temples; and what will we do with them? 
          Administer in them. And then we will spread the Gospel to the 
          nations, and teach our children the principles of intelligence 
          and set before them good examples. And let every father of a 
          family feel that he would not want his wife or wives or children 
          to see him perform an act that he would not have them do; and 
          thus be prepared to say: Follow me as I follow Christ. Let us 
          live together in peace and union and cultivate the Spirit of God, 
          and sustain those who are placed to preside over us. You have a 
          President of the Stake, pray for him that he may comprehend 
          correct principles and draw near to God, and bring down his 
          blessings upon him. Pray for Brother Richards, and pray for us. 
          Here is Brother Woodruff, a faithful man; so are the balance of 
          us; so are many of you, good, faithful men. Well, sustain all 
          honorable people. We need praying for; we are all alike: we are 
          all of that class of whom the old lady was talking when she said: 
          “We are all poor, miserable, independent sinners.” We all 
          need assistance, and we should bear with one another. And while 
          we are seeking to do right in many instances, let us be kind and 
          charitable and long-suffering in the Spirit of Christ, which is 
          the Spirit of the Gospel.
          
          Brethren, God bless you; Sisters, God bless you and God bless 
          your institutions. Be diligent and faithful in observing the laws 
          of God, and the peace and blessing of God will be with you. I 
          pray my heavenly Father to bless this people, and to bless these 
          lands, and all that pertains to you, that your habitations may be 
          habitations of peace, that your children may grow up full of 
          light and truth, and become no-
          	The Privileges of the Saints, Etc.	223 
          
          table men and women in Israel, whose names shall be known among 
          the honorable of the earth. Zion is onward; let us progress along 
          with her, and the men who at present affect to despise us because 
          we are so small, will by and by dread us because of our unity and 
          power. While the finger may be pointed in scorn at a “Mormon” 
          today, by and by it will be said that such and such a man was 
          born in Zion, for we are men and women of integrity and fidelity; 
          that will be the case
          
          with our posterity, who will rise up and call us blessed. And 
          they will esteem it the greatest honor that could be conferred 
          upon them, so far as the honor of this world is concerned, to 
          have been born in Zion; because we purpose living in such a way, 
          that while the world generally will grow worse and worse, our 
          conduct will be of that nature that we shall command the 
          admiration of honorable men as well as the favor of our Heavenly 
          Father. God bless you. Amen.
          
          220
          God has restored the Gospel for the purpose of bringing life and
          immortality to light; and without the knowledge of the Gospel
          there is no knowledge of life and immortality; for men cannot
          comprehend these principles only as they are made known unto
          them, and they cannot be revealed only through the medium of the
          Gospel, and through obedience to the laws of salvation associated
          therewith. And hence as the Gospel emanates from God, and as that
          is the great medium of salvation, through the atonement of the
          Lord Jesus Christ, God said in former times to his former-day
          Apostles, and also in latter days to his latter-day Apostles, "Go
          ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."
          He sent them with a message that was fraught with greater
          blessings than anything that could be conferred upon mortals. And
          hence when the heavens were opened and the Father and Son
          appeared and revealed unto Joseph the principles of the Gospel,
          and when the holy Priesthood was restored and the Church and
          kingdom of God established upon the earth, there were the
          greatest blessings bestowed upon this generation which it was
          possible for man to receive. If they could comprehend it, it was
          the greatest blessing which God could confer upon humanity. Then
          he sent his servants forth to proclaim this Gospel to the nations
          of the earth, and he is now sending them forth to preach the
          Gospel of the Son of God, to deliver the testimony that he has
          given unto us. And, speaking for the Priesthood, have we done it?
          We have, and we have done it in the name of Israel's God; and he
          has been with us and I know it. And with regard to praying, if we
          had not known how to pray we should have been in a bad position
          many a time, regarding both temporal and spiritual things. But we
          learned to call upon him, and he has heard us and has come to our
          help in time of need. Is it not a great privilege and blessing to
          have a Father of this kind to approach. Let us look at it. Jesus
          tried in his day to get the people to comprehend one thing--to
          ask and receive. It is a simple thing. Seek and you shall find;
          knock and it shall be opened to you. For he that asketh
          receiveth, etc. Do you believe it? If you do, go and try it, and
          see whether God lives or not, and you will know for yourselves.
          It was said in former times, "We know that God lives." How do you
          know? Because we received the things which we asked at his hands.
          In one place the people are told, You receive not because you ask
          not; and our Heavenly Father upbraids them for not asking. The
          Lord declares, I have plenty; I own all things, the gold and the
          silver are mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills are mine.
          Now if you are prepared to use them properly, he is prepared to
          give them to you. He enquires, If a son ask for bread, would you
          give him a stone? The little child when it is hungry, asks its
          mother for a piece of bread and butter; the mother would not
          think of picking up a stone and handing it to the child; but she
          gives the little one something to eat to satisfy its hunger. And
          when the child is hungry it will come again and ask for more.
          After this kind of reasoning the Savior then said to those around
          him, if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your
          children, how much more shall your Father in heaven give his Holy
          Spirit to them that ask him. Let us try then to have confidence
          in God, as our children have confidence in us. They will come to
          us and say, Papa, can I have a new hat? Mamma, can I have some
          new shoes? Papa, please give me five cents to buy candy. If you
          can you like to gratify their little wants. Our Father feels just
          the same towards us. But suppose they were to ask you for a
          razor? "That would be dangerous," you would say. "Why, child, I
          don't want to give you that." And then when you want things of no
          use to you, and your Father knows that it would not be good for
          you--although he does not tell you so, he does not give them to
          you because they would be injurious.
          221
          There is nothing of more value to me than the principles of
          eternal truth; than the principles of eternal lives; eternal
          salvation, and eternal exaltations in the kingdom of God; but
          then it is for us to comprehend it, for if we do not comprehend
          it, no matter how great the truths, they cannot benefit us. We
          frequently think a little more of a nice span of horses, or a
          nice wagon, or a favorite cow, and such things, than we do of
          God's work, as our boys sometimes get attached to a few marbles,
          thinking that they are everything, and they do not like to leave
          their marbles to obey father or mother; and God finds us about
          the same. We get a few dollars, or a farm, and a little stock,
          and a few other things; and we cannot afford to neglect these; we
          cannot afford to take time to pray, nor to listen to the voice of
          Father, we are so busy playing marbles. And occasionally when we
          play marbles among the dollars, we try to cheat one another, as
          boys sometimes do at marbles, and try to take advantage one of
          another. I never like to see boys cheat, and never like to see
          men cheat at their kind of marbles. Our feelings and affections
          get placed on wrong things. We are here to build up Zion, and to
          establish the kingdom of God. The kingdom of what? The kingdom of
          God. Then if it is the kingdom of God, it is not the kingdom of
          man, originating or belonging to man. It came not of man nor from
          man, it came from God, and we are indebted to him for it; and we
          are indebted to him for all the light and all the intelligence we
          have. For the life we have, for the pure air we breathe, for the
          use of our bodies and our reason, for the food and raiment we eat
          and wear, and in fact, for everything we have and enjoy, both of
          a temporal and spiritual nature. All these things God gave us. We
          did not have them; we did not grow them. You may have planted the
          corn and plowed it; but I think the Scripture tells us that Paul
          may plant and Apollos may water, but it is God that gives the
          increase. It is so in our farming or anything else. If we have
          good crops, it is through the blessings of the Almighty that we
          receive them, and if he did not give them to us, then we should
          go without. He could send an army of crickets or grasshoppers, or
          a great hail-storm, sweeping away the fruits of our labors, and
          in that event, whose would they be? I think it very foolish to
          quarrel over marbles; I think it foolishness in men to seek after
          the things of this world and place their affections on them. I
          see men, and I have seen a great many men in my time, grasping
          after the world, and they sometimes will succeed in gathering
          considerable together; and when they have gathered it, they would
          fold their arms and say, "Soul take thine ease; eat, drink and be
          merry, for I have much good laid up in store; I am not dependent
          on any man, soul, take thine ease." That man hears a little
          whisper; the finger of God is laid upon him, and this whisper
          says, Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee;
          and then, whose shall these things be that thou possessest? Who
          shall have them then? O, I will leave them to my children.
          222
          But somebody may cheat them out of it. It is a very difficult
          thing for people to leave things for their children, and have
          things done just as they wish, there being so many people to
          interrupt and grasp after this world's goods righteously or
          unrighteously. What a fool to gather large possessions, and now
          to only occupy a few feet of mother earth. And that brain once so
          busy, is now slumbering, decaying in the tomb, and worms are
          revelling within its chambers. And those limbs that were active
          and energetic and full of life, are now helpless and powerless.
          And what of these things? I have sometimes, in speaking on
          matters of this kind, related my own experience when a boy. I
          have dreamed, for instance, of being very rich, but I would say
          in my dream, I am afraid I am dreaming; I am afraid when I awake
          I shall not find my treasures; but I'll try to hide them and make
          them secure. In the morning I would hunt for my treasure, but I
          never could find it. You will find, every one of you, that, naked
          you came into the world, and naked you will return; you can take
          nothing pertaining to this world with you, not if you were to
          possess the whole earth. If you possess any portion of this earth
          by right or title or authority, you will have to get it from God,
          and you will have to get it when the earth shall be renewed.
          Abraham had great promises of lands, so had Isaac and Jacob. And
          what did Abraham have? We are told by Stephen, who lived many
          generations after him, that God had promised Abraham that he
          should have this land; but nevertheless he gave him no
          inheritance in it, not so much as to set his foot on.
          Notwithstanding the promise of the Lord to him respecting his
          possessing that land, he had to buy a place in which to bury his
          wife, and in which he himself should be buried. And yet, did
          God's promise fail? No, he will yet possess that land and his
          seed with him, and the promise be literally fulfilled. While it
          is proper for us to seek after everything that is right and
          honorable, on the other hand it is quite as right and very proper
          that we should set God before us all the time and render
          obedience to his law, so that we may acquire an eternal
          inheritance in the kingdom of God. God is now establishing his
          kingdom upon the earth. If it is the kingdom of God, and he is
          establishing it, he expects us to be subject to his law, and to
          be governed by it, and to keep his commandments.
          223
          What then shall we do? We will do everything which God requires
          at our hands. Have we families? We will try to train them up in
          the fear of God. Have we wives? We will treat them as we would
          angels of God, and be their protectors and guardians and make
          them comfortable and happy. And then, as was remarked, we will
          dedicate our houses and lands to God, and ourselves to God, and
          our wives and children and everything we have, and feel that we
          are the children of God and our offspring with us. Again, if I
          was a woman, I would try to treat my husband right and to make a
          heaven of my home, and would try to make everything pleasant
          around me. You husbands now and then quarrel with your wives, and
          you wives quarrel with your husbands, and you wives sometimes
          quarrel with each other; I will say cease such folly, and have
          another kind of feeling; and treat everybody not as they always
          treat us, for that would not always be right; but let us do unto
          all men as we would have them do unto us. A man came to Jesus on
          one occasion, and asked him, which was the greatest commandment.
          The Savior answered him: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
          all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This
          is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto
          it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Can we do that? It
          is sometimes hard work, is it not? We too frequently feel we
          would rather put two dollars in our own pocket than one in our
          neighbor's, do we not? We would rather have two or three cows
          than that our neighbor should have one? Is not this the kind of
          feeling? "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." The law--some
          of us talk about law sometimes; we cannot get enough of it in the
          Church, therefore we want to go outside for it. I have known, for
          instance, men to go to law over water difficulties, and they
          would fee the lawyers liberally, and then, of course, the streams
          would flow in rich abundance, and there would be plenty of water
          for everybody. [Laughter]. I remember when a little boy, seeing a
          somewhat curious picture. Two farmers were quarreling over or
          disputing the ownership of a cow; and one had her by the horns,
          the other had her by the tail. In order to settle the difficulty
          they secured the services of one of these peace-makers of the
          law, and his love for his fellowman was so great that while they
          pulled at either end of the cow, he sat between them quietly
          milking her. [Laughter]. In case of difficulty, for difficulties
          will arise sometimes, would it not be better for us to attend to
          the milking of the cow ourselves; and go to the Lord for His
          guidance and manifest feelings of liberality and kindness towards
          our fellow-men, towards all men? What, would you do so with
          Gentiles? Yes; it would be a pity if we could not do that. Why,
          we are told that the Lord "maketh His sun to rise on the evil and
          on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Let
          us try to be like him. We do not want much association with them;
          we do not want to take counsel at their hands; we do not want to
          be influenced by them; we do not want them to teach our children
          while they are seeking to destroy us and to induce legislation
          against us, and are doing everything they can to injure us. We
          will say, Father, these are thy children as well as we are; we
          ask thee to put a hook in their jaws, so that they cannot go any
          further than thou shalt permit them; and the balance of their
          conduct we will strive to endure. Make us worthy to be acceptable
          in thy sight; and if thou seest fit to let them stir up any
          commotion, we will try to bear it, because we believe it will be
          overruled for our good and for the advancement of thy cause in
          the earth. Would I hurt them? No, if I were to see one of them
          hungry, I would feed him; if I were to see them naked, I would
          clothe them; but I would not give them my daughters to wife,
          neither would I let them teach my children to lead them down to
          death. I want those to teach my children and the children of this
          people who will lead them in the paths of life. But treat
          everybody well, and do what is right to everybody, and cultivate
          the spirit of kindness towards all. And when you see somebody's
          cattle in somebody's grain, feel sufficient interest in his
          welfare to go and drive them out; and try to promote the welfare
          of your neighbors and make them feel as comfortable as you can,
          and God will bless us, and we will bless one another.
          223
          And we will build our Temples; and what will we do with them?
          Administer in them. And then we will spread the Gospel to the
          nations, and teach our children and the principles of
          intelligence and set before them good examples. And let every
          father of a family feel that he would not want his wife or wives
          or children to see him perform an act that he would not have them
          do; and thus be prepared to say: Follow me as I follow Christ.
          Let us live together in peace and union, and cultivate the Spirit
          of God, and sustain those who are placed to preside over us. You
          have a President of the Stake, pray for him that he may
          comprehend correct principles and draw near to God, and bring
          down his blessings upon him. Pray for Brother Richards, and pray
          for us. Here is Brother Woodruff, a faithful man; so are the
          balance of us; so are many of you, good, faithful men. Well,
          sustain all honorable people. We need praying for; we are all
          alike: we are all of that class of whom the old lady was talking
          when she said: "We are all poor, miserable, independent sinners."
          We all need assistance, and we should bear with one another. And
          while we are seeking to do right in many instances, let us be
          kind and charitable and long-suffering in the Spirit of Christ,
          which is the Spirit of the Gospel.
          224
          Brethren, God bless you; Sisters, God bless you and God bless
          your institutions. Be diligent and faithful in observing the laws
          of God, and the peace and blessing of God will be with you. I
          pray my heavenly Father to bless this people, and to bless these
          lands, and all that pertains to you, that your habitations may be
          habitations of peace, that your children may grow up full of
          light and truth, and become notable men and women in Israel,
          whose names shall be known among the honorable of the earth. Zion
          is onward; let us progress along with her, and the men who at
          present affect to despise us because we are so small, will by and
          by dread us because of our unity and power. While the finger may
          be pointed in scorn at a "Mormon" to-day, by and by it will be
          said that such and such a man was born in Zion, for we are men
          and women of integrity and fidelity; that will be the case with
          our posterity, who will rise up and call us blessed. And they
          will esteem it the greatest honor that could be conferred upon
          them, so far as the honor of this world is concerned, to have
          been born in Zion; because we purpose living in such a way, that
          while the world generally will grow worse and worse, our conduct
          will be of that nature that we shall command the admiration of
          honorable men as well as the favor of our Heavenly Father. God
          bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / Orson
          Pratt, September 18, 1881
                           Orson Pratt, September 18, 1881
                       LAST DISCOURSE OF APOSTLE ORSON PRATT, 
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 
                   September 18, 1881. (Reported by John Irvine.) 
                       THE GREAT PRINCIPLES OF SALVATION, ETC.
          225
          It has been almost one year since I have been able to stand up
          before a congregation to address them, having been severely
          afflicted during that period of time. I am now blessed with the
          opportunity and privilege of occupying a few minutes, as long as
          my health would justify, in speaking a few words to the
          congregation. I am just able to stand upon my feet, most of the
          time scarcely able to sit up. I believe that the Saints have
          exercised their prayers and their faith in my behalf. If they had
          not done this, I doubt very much whether I would now be able to
          appear before you. Notwithstanding the afflictions of my body and
          the long silence that I have kept, so far as public congregations
          are concerned, yet I have felt the same enduring love for the
          principles of truth and for the people of God in all my
          afflictions, that I had in the time of my health. There is
          nothing so precious to me as the great principles of salvation.
          They have for the last 51 years of my life--it being 51 years
          to-morrow since I was baptized--occupied the uppermost place in
          my mind. Riches, the honors of this world, etc., have been but a
          very small consideration with me, compared with the riches of
          eternal salvation, the blessings of the everlasting Gospel, the
          new covenant which we have embraced, the great work which the
          Lord our God is performing by his mighty hand in the age in which
          you and I live. I trust and verily believe that that which has
          had so conspicuous a place in my understanding, in my thoughts,
          in my meditations, in my mind, will continue to hold the same
          position with me so long as the Lord shall permit me to tarry
          here in this probation. Fifty-one years ago tomorrow, as I have
          said, I entered this Church, the Church then being confined to a
          small district of country in the State of New York. The knowledge
          of the Gospel, and the doctrines which we have taught, had not
          spread forth except within a very small limit of country. What a
          contrast between then and the present! To-morrow--if I live till
          to-morrow--I shall be 70 years of age, which is said to be the
          average old age of man. They are the years appointed to man. So
          says one of the inspired writers, and if man, peradventure,
          should reach a few years beyond three score and ten, it is said
          that it is filled up with afflictions and sorrow and infirmities
          of old age. I trust, however, that if I am permitted to tarry
          still longer than this appointed time, or rather this period of
          time, I trust that my days may not be those of suffering. At any
          rate, so far as my mind is concerned, my understanding, that is
          at rest, that is at peace. I know what my hopes are. I know the
          plan of salvation. I have had the communications of the spirit of
          the Lord God, to teach me more or less all the days of my life,
          and this has given me great consolation. Hence, if I live past
          seventy, I do not expect to have sorrow of mind. I may have
          afflictions; I may encounter them; I may not to any great extent.
          226
          I wish to call your attention for a few moments to a subject
          closely connected with those days that I have been speaking
          of--the rise of the Church. It will be, next Thursday night, 54
          years since the Prophet Joseph Smith, then but a lad, was
          permitted by the angel of the Lord to take the gold plates of the
          Book of Mormon from the hill Cumorah, as it was called in ancient
          times, located in the State of New York. This I consider one of
          the most marvelous occurrences which has taken place for the past
          eighteen centuries--to be permitted to observe the face of an
          holy angel, and then be permitted, in addition to that, to take
          out of the ground, in fulfilment of ancient prophecy, a record of
          one-half of our globe, giving a history of the peoples and
          nations that occupied this great western hemisphere--more
          marvelous than anything that has transpired during that long
          period. What makes it still more marvelous is, that it is
          connected with revelation, with something that comes from heaven,
          with divine authority. God permitted this record to be taken from
          its place of ancient deposit. He it was that sent the angel to
          deliver those records into the hands of this boy. It was God. And
          what object did the Lord have in performing this marvelous thing?
          It was to establish on this earth that kingdom predicted by the
          ancient Prophet Daniel, that should be set up in the last days,
          which should stand forever, and should finally become a great
          mountain and fill the whole earth. What could be of more
          importance? Such an event was predicted to happen, that such a
          kingdom should arise, that God should be the authority of it,
          that he should lay the foundation of it, that he should set it
          up. If we go back to the finding of the records of the Book of
          Mormon; if we go back to that eventful day when God sent his
          angels to confirm the divinity of that record to three other
          persons; if we go back to the time of the organization of this
          Church, we find that God has in all these matters spoken himself.
          We did not select the day on which this kingdom should be
          organized. Joseph Smith, the Prophet, did not select the day, but
          God pointed out the very day, the very month, in which this work
          should be performed. Hence it is God's work; it was God and not
          man that set up this kingdom. Has there been an authority
          established in this Church from the day of its organization that
          was established by man's authority? Not one. Every authority in
          this Church, however high or however low, or whatever the nature
          of the callings might be, whatever the duties of the callings,
          God has introduced that authority. We have no record, no minutes
          in our Church, where there have been Apostles called and ordained
          in this kingdom, by man's authority. It is just what we might
          expect. Anything else than this would not be ascribed to the
          kingdom of God. The kingdom of God could not be set up by man.
          Man has no right to select even the day for the organization of
          that kingdom. Man has no right to select the least officer of
          that kingdom; it must all come from heaven. It was said that such
          a kingdom should be set up. It was set. It was set up according
          to the mind of God, according to his own mind, not according to
          the whims and notions of sectarians, or any theologians, or any
          learned man, but according to the mind of the great Jehovah. We
          have seen the progress of this kingdom. We have seen what God has
          accomplished during the last 51 years. We have seen his hand made
          manifest. We have seen the kingdom organized, not to dwell in the
          place of its particular organization, and the people be scattered
          all over the world like sectarianism, but a kingdom that should
          gather together the sons and daughters of God, according to the
          predictions of the ancient prophets into one place upon the face
          of our globe, to prepare them for the mighty events and
          occurrences that should take place when he should accomplish that
          work. And how marvelous it is to see the hundreds and hundreds of
          vessels that have crossed the ocean, the mighty ocean, in perfect
          safety, bringing the Saints of God to their destined haven, to
          rejoice in one body, in one place, in one region in the mountains
          of Israel, the great back bone of the western hemisphere, if we
          may so term it. This is all to fulfil prophecy.
                                       
          227
          But I must not enlarge upon this subject. How happy I feel that I
          am once more, after having been brought so low, so near the gates
          of death--how happy I feel that I am permitted once more to lift
          up my voice before you. I do not know that I can make you all
          hear, but I trust that my voice will be strengthened, I trust
          that my body will be strengthened, I trust that my mind--if it
          has been weakened at all by sickness--may also be strengthened,
          and that I yet may have the humble privilege of lifting up my
          voice and testifying, before thousands of people in these
          mountains, if not abroad among the inhabitants of the earth, of
          God's power. It is a day in which he has commenced to perform a
          mighty work, and the foundation is already laid and is quite
          broad, and he has quite a numerous people through whom he can
          work and accomplish his mighty purposes; and although feeble in
          body, I do not know but what the Lord may yet strengthen me to
          again publish glad tidings of great joy abroad among the nations
          of the earth, or perform whatever duties may be assigned unto me
          by the general authorities His Church.
          227
          May God bless the people of Zion--all the Latter-day Saints
          scattered throughout all these mountain regions; may he favor us
          before many years with a full and complete redemption according
          to the promises that are made in His word. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / John
          Taylor, June 26, 1881
                             John Taylor, June 26, 1881
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR, 
                Delivered at Bountiful, Sunday, A.M., June 26, 1881. 
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.) 
               THE WORSHIP OF GOD, THE SACREDNESS OF THE SABBATH, ETC.
                                       
          227
          We have not come my brethren and sisters to preach great
          discourses, but to talk to you in a friendly way about some of
          the things in which we are all interested. When I am instructing
          others I feel instructed myself, and the advice I give others, in
          a general way, fits me also. The best of us are not too good; we
          all of us might be better, and do better and enjoy life better,
          having more of the Spirit of the Lord in our own homes and in our
          own hearts, and do more to promote the welfare of all who come
          within our reach and influence. To serve the Lord, is one of the
          great objects of our existence; and I appreciate as a great
          privilege the opportunity we enjoy of worshiping God on the
          Sabbath day. And when we do meet to worship God, I like to see us
          worship him with all our hearts. I think it altogether out of
          place on such occasions to hear people talk about secular things;
          these are times, above all others perhaps, when our feelings and
          affections should be drawn out towards God. If we sing praises to
          God, let us do it in the proper spirit; if we pray, let every
          soul be engaged in prayer, doing it with all our hearts, that
          through our union our spirits may be blended in one, that our
          prayers and our worship may be available with God, whose Spirit
          permeates all things, and is always present in the assemblies of
          good and faithful Saints.
                                       
          228
          I will tell you how I feel on a Sabbath morning. I realize this
          is a day set apart to worship Almighty God: now I ought to
          worship God myself, and I ought to look after my family and
          discover whether they are engaged in the same thing or not. For
          we are commanded to keep holy the Sabbath day and to rest from
          all our labors, as God did when he created the earth upon which
          we dwell. He has given us six days to attend to the various
          labors and duties of life, and if we pretend to keep the Sabbath,
          let us do it acceptably to God our Father, dedicating ourselves
          to him at least, for that day, and placing our feelings and
          affections upon him. And then, the Elders of Israel, throughout
          the broad earth are engaged this day in trying to teach the
          principles of salvation, and I feel like praying for them, and
          also for our missionaries who are going abroad among the Saints
          in this land, as well those who speak, as those who dictate in
          the assemblies of the Saints in this land and in all other lands,
          that as this is a day set apart for the worship of God, all
          Israel everywhere may be under the influence and guidance of the
          Spirit of the living God, and that those especially who speak may
          be under the divine influence of the Holy Ghost, and present to
          the various congregations the words of eternal life. God has
          conferred upon us very many great and precious blessings, and I
          sometimes think it is difficult for us to appreciate them as we
          should.
                                       
          230
                                       
          We are here in the land that is emphatically called, the land of
          Zion. I think when I hear these words, that they have some
          significance. What is meant by Zion, or the people of Zion? As I
          understand it, in fact, as the Lord has told us, it means, the
          pure in heart. That would hardly apply to all of us, but it would
          in part. We would like to be pure in heart, but we can hardly
          reach it yet. There are a great many things which we admire in
          others, and there are a great many principles which we admire in
          the abstract, and there are a great many things which we wish we
          could do, but which we do not do. Still we are aiming in a great
          measure to do what is right; and if there are any people upon the
          earth that are doing this, I believe the Latter-day Saints are
          that people. And, yet, we do not do it, do we? If I were to ask
          you individually, the answer would generally be, "No, I do not
          perform my duties as I should, but I would like to do so, but
          sometimes I yield to improper influences, and while I know that
          in doing this, I am not performing my duty, yet I realize in some
          instances that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." But
          I think we are improving, and that is encouraging. We are the
          professed people of God, and being so, we ought, at least, to
          observe all of the leading principles of the Gospel, not to hear
          them only but to do them. We profess to be under the government
          of the United States, and being citizens we want to be good
          citizens, better than any other citizens, and I believe we are. I
          firmly believe that we are more loyal and more patriotic to our
          national government than any other citizens belonging to it. That
          is my opinion. And I think that we can well afford to observe all
          of the principles instituted among men by any proper government,
          we can well afford to observe all of the principles instituted
          among men by any proper government, we can well afford to observe
          all the prominent principles thereof, and I do not know of any
          law that as a people, we violate, excepting one, and that has
          been made on purpose to make us either break the command of God,
          or violate the law of the land. I wish that our legislators would
          not make such laws; I wish they would adhere strictly to the
          Constitution, and to the spirit and genius of our institutions,
          and not depart from them. For while we are desirous of obeying
          all of the laws of our country, we cannot violate the law of God.
          We say, O Lord, teach me thy will and help me to do it. The law
          expects that one man shall not infringe on the rights of another.
          That is right; all would agree to that. It expects us to
          contribute our proper proportion to maintain the existence and
          responsibilities of the government, both in times of internal
          trouble and outward aggression. That is proper and we do not wish
          to have any other feelings than that. They make laws that men
          should be honest; that is all right. If a man steal, he should be
          delivered over to the laws of the land. That is part of our
          religion as well as part of our politics. Our governors sometimes
          act foolishly, but we cannot help that. The office they hold is a
          part of our institutions, and because they act illiberally and
          dishonestly toward us, shall we condescend to berate them? No; it
          would be bad enough to tell the truth about some of them without
          resorting to falsehood. We will respect every man in his
          position, whether he respects himself or not, and respect all
          laws and all proper authority everywhere. What, would you pray
          for the Government of the United States? Yes, certainly; and when
          it shall depart from correct principles and violate the laws of
          God, and incur his displeasure, I shall feel very sorry for it.
          Before our late war broke out I knew it, for God had revealed it
          to me; and when it did come, the trouble and distress that would
          overtake the people I knew of, and my heart wept over them
          because of it. But it had to come, and no man could prevent it.
          When wrong is committed, or an unwise course is taken, it bears
          with its own punishment. And as far as we are concerned, so long
          as we keep the commandments and are true to the trust that God
          has reposed in us, we need not fear the consequences, for he has
          said, it is his business to take care of his Saints. It is our
          duty to cultivate and cherish the spirit of the Lord. And what is
          the fruit of that Spirit! In former days it was--"love, joy,
          peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness,
          temperance." What is the fruit of the spirit of evil? Envy,
          malice, hatred, evil-speaking, lying and slandering one another
          and towards other people. This was the fruit of evil anciently;
          it is so to-day. Principles that were good eighteen hundred years
          ago are good to-day. And if men, by taking a wrong course, act
          imprudently and seek to injure us, shall we seek to injure them?
          No, we will try to do them all the good we can. "But that is not
          natural." But then we ought to be changed from nature to grace.
          Jesus stated, "Ye have heard that it hath been said, thou shalt
          love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love
          your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which
          despitefully use you and persecute you," etc. When you have done
          all that and met all the requirements of the law, what more can
          be asked of you? Nothing. Some say we violate their laws. What
          law? The law that was introduced to make as violate the
          revelations of heaven; but though men seek to trammel us, yet in
          the name of God we will perform all our religious duties and
          responsibilities, and let all Israel say amen. [Amen from the
          congregation]. And yet, will we be subject to law. Yes. Here is
          Brother George Reynolds, who is present, he was subject to the
          law. Did he fulfil the law? Yes, he did. Did he meet all its
          demands? Yes. And having met them, what more remains? If a law is
          made, and because we are conscientious before God, seeking to
          fulfil his law unto us, we violate such a law, and we are
          deprived of our liberty, by the help of God, his power and grace
          being with us to sustain us, we will bear the consequence. What
          can be asked then? We think we can fulfil the law of God and the
          law of man as near as they will let us; and if they wish to
          punish us for keeping the commandments of God, let them do it,
          and let them abide the consequence. And when we get through we
          will say, you Judge and Jury, who passed upon certain men, we
          have met your requirements, we now go to the Lord and say,
          Father, we have also met thy requirements; we could not barter
          away thy laws; we could not violate thy commandments, but, O God,
          we have been true to thee, and we have been true to our national
          obligations. And having done our best to promote peace, and
          having fulfilled the law of both God and man, we feel that we
          shall be justified by the Lord, and by all honorable, highminded,
          just and patriotic men. We are not the first who have been put to
          the test--Daniel and the three Hebrew children had to pass
          through this ordeal, they met the consequences, as we propose
          doing. This was under a despotic government, but under our
          republican form of government, and with our free institutions,
          with a Constitution guaranteeing human liberty and the free
          exercise of religious faith, we have a right to expect a
          different action. But should this nation persist in violating
          their Constitutional guarantees, tear away the bulwarks of
          liberty, and trample upon the principles of freedom and human
          rights, that are sacred to all men, and by which all men should
          be governed, by and by the whole fabric will fall, and who will
          sustain it? We will, in the name of Israel's God. Of this the
          Prophet Joseph Smith prophesied long, long ago. This is the
          position we stand in. And if the Government of the United States
          can afford to oppress us, we can afford to suffer and grow
          strong.
                                       
          230
          Let us go to the law of God. We are here to build up Zion; and
          how ought we to feel? We want to make as good houses as we can.
          That is all right provided we come by them honestly. We want to
          lay a foundation for our children if we can. That's all right.
          but do not let our hearts and affections be placed upon these
          things, for there are other things we have to do. We have to pay
          our tithes and offerings, as we have been commanded. We have to
          build Temples. And that is all right. I was going to say, if we
          do that; I need not put the if in, for we are doing it, we are
          building three Temples to-day, and I feel to give credit to the
          Saints for their liberality and zeal in the work. So far that is
          all right.
                                       
          231
                                       
          But do we want to speculate out of our brethren and get something
          from them to build us up? That is not right. We want to build one
          another up as well as ourselves. Do we object to a man making
          money and means? O, no; but I should very much dislike to see him
          accumulate it from his brethren by taking advantage of their
          circumstances. That is not right. We should be governed by the
          principles of law and equity. The Scriptures say, speaking of the
          Lord, "judgment and justice are the habitation of thy throne."
          But "who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly
          and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
          He that back biteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his
          neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose
          eyes a vile person is condemned; but he honoreth them that fear
          the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He
          that putteth not out his money at usury, nor taketh reward
          against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be
          moved." Let us seek to promote one another's welfare, and feel
          that we are brethren, that we are the representatives of God upon
          the earth. Our Heavenly Father is desirous to promote the
          happiness and welfare of the whole of the human family; and if
          we, any of us, hold any Priesthood, it is simply for that same
          purpose, and not for our personal aggrandizement, or for our own
          honor, or pomp, or position; but we hold it in the interest of
          God and for the salvation of the people, that through it we may
          promote their happiness, blessing and prosperity, temporal and
          spiritual, both here and in the world to come. That is why the
          Priesthood is conferred upon us, and if we do not use it in this
          way, then there is a malfeasance in office; then we violate our
          obligations before God, and render ourselves unworthy of the high
          calling that the Lord has conferred upon us. The Priesthood
          always was given for the blessing of the human family. People
          talk about it as though it was for the special benefit of
          individuals. What was said of Abraham? "In thee and in thy
          seed"--what? I will confer blessings upon thee. O, that is all
          right so far as it goes. But "in thee and in thy seed shall all
          the families of the earth be blessed." Let us act in the capacity
          of benefactors, and if we are descended of Abraham, let us walk
          in his footsteps and make ourselves worthy of the promises, let
          us extend our feelings wide as eternity, and seek to bless and
          benefit, lift up and ennoble all around us; that we may all
          rejoice together and be exalted by the same principles which have
          been revealed for the benefit of all men. That is the way I look
          at these important matters, and such is the position we all
          should occupy.
                                       
          231
                                       
          People talk sometimes--they have a particular case to be
          adjudicated, and they would like to get hold of a High Councilor
          and warp his judgment, and make him dishonor himself and his
          calling. Tell such men when they approach you, to desist; that
          you are after justice, equity and mercy among men; and then let
          everything else go, yielding individual feeling, relations and
          all else to justice and equity, and God will sustain you. While
          speaking of justice, I do not believe in seizing a man by the
          throat and crowding him down; but do justice between man and man
          when placed in that position. We do not wish to destroy men, nor
          to use any vindictive or oppressive measures. It is said of the
          Savior: "The Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but
          to save them." That is the way I read these things. And while we
          deal justly, let us deal mercifully. While we act in
          righteousness, let us do it with judgment. We all need the Spirit
          of the Lord; and we all need to humble ourselves before him and
          seek for his guidance. Were I a President of a Stake, I would
          feel like saying, O God, help me to control and manage things
          according to thy will, for I do not want my way or to carry out
          my own feelings; I want to do thy will; show it to me, O Lord,
          and help me to do it. If I were a Bishop--I do not know what I
          would do, but I know what I should do. I should feel like saying,
          Father, thou hast committed a number of souls to my care; help me
          to look after their temporal interests and also to promote their
          spiritual welfare, and see that they are properly instructed in
          the laws of life; help me also to teach the teachers that go
          among the people, that they may go full of the Holy Spirit to
          bless and benefit the people, that with the aid of my brethren I
          may be a Savior among them. That is the way I ought to feel and
          to do if I were a Bishop; and that is the way you Bishops ought
          to feel and to act, and do it humbly with a desire to do good.
          And then, if I were a Priest, Teacher, or Deacon, and was going
          around as an instructor among the people, I would want to watch
          over their welfare. And if I knew of difficulty between two
          neighbors, I should try to hunt it out, and seek after the Spirit
          of God to guide me, that I might do everything that is right and
          be under its influence. And if I was not a Teacher, but was the
          head of the family, I would want to teach my family right and
          teach them the principles of virtue, holiness, purity, honor and
          integrity, that they might be worthy citizens, and that they
          might be able to stand before God, that when they and I get
          through this world, we might be worthy to meet the elect of God
          (those whom he has selected from the nations of the earth), and
          the Gods in the eternal world. Therefore, every morning, as head
          of my family, I should dedicate myself and my family to God; and
          if there be trouble existing between me and anybody else, I would
          meet them half-way, yes, I would meet them three-quarters or even
          all of the way. I would feel like yielding; I would say, I do not
          want to quarrel, I want to be a Saint. I have set out for purity,
          virtue, brotherhood, and for obedience to the laws of God on
          earth, and for thrones and principalities and dominions in the
          eternal worlds, and I will not allow such paltry affairs to
          interfere with my prospects. I am for life, eternal lives and
          eternal exaltations in the kingdom of God. If we obey the law of
          God, and then obey the holy Priesthood over us and respect them,
          and, instead of falling out with them, pray for them, it would
          not hurt us, would it? We must learn to do good for evil. It is a
          most delightful principle. David prayed that his enemies might go
          to hell quickly; but Jesus prayed, saying, Father forgive them,
          for they know not what they do. I like the sentiment and feeling
          of the latter better than that of the former, because it is
          calculated to cement people together in their interests and
          feelings, in their desires and sympathies. Let us try to make a
          heaven on earth. God bless you, and lead you in the paths of
          life, in the name of Jesus. Amen. 
                                       
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 /
          Wilford Woodruff, June 26, 1881
                           Wilford Woodruff, June 26, 1881
                       REMARKS BY PRESIDENT WILFORD WOODRUFF, 
                       Delivered at Bountiful, June 26, 1881. 
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.) 
                   THE WORK OF THE SAINTS IN THIS GENERATION, ETC.
          233
          There are a few of us still living in the flesh and able to
          mingle with the people, but our orbit or circuit has become so
          extended that we are a little like the courts--it takes us a long
          time to get around to visit the people.
                                       
          234
                                       
          You have had excellent counsel this morning from our brethren.
                                       
          They have taught us a portion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
          which we should treasure up. We occupy a different position from
          any other generation; there has never been a generation since God
          made the world that has been called upon to perform the work that
          the Latter-day Saints have. Reference has been made to the city
          of Enoch. Enoch stayed as long as he could in this world; and
          through his labors a people were sanctified who, with himself and
          their city were taken away from the earth because of their
          righteousness. The people of God in no generation have been able
          to dwell upon the earth only so long as they were able to finish
          their mission; the wicked living contemporaneously with them have
          warred against them and have conquered and overcome them in a
          great measure, until many have had to seal their testimony with
          their blood. It is our lot to live in the great and last
          dispensation that God has given unto man, the dispensation in
          which a people is to be prepared to build up the kingdom of God
          on the earth, which is to be thrown down or overcome no more
          forever. God has called a class of men and women who, with the
          exception of a few, have been permitted to live out their days
          and die a natural death. It is true that Joseph Smith, who laid
          the foundation of this work, and others, have had to seal their
          testimony with their blood; and if I were to tell what I think
          about it, I would say it was ordained of God that our Prophet and
          head should be sacrificed in the manner that he was, as much as
          it was ordained of God that Jesus should be sacrificed in the way
          that he was; and that for two purposes--in order that his
          testimony might remain in force upon all the world from the hour
          of his death, to rise up and condemn this generation who reject
          the Gospel of salvation. With the exception of a few, it has been
          designed, I believe, that the Prophets and Apostles of this
          dispensation should not have to seal their testimony with their
          blood, but that they should live until they finish their missions
          on the earth, bearing their testimony to the truth of the work,
          and building up the kingdom of God; and then they will gather up
          their feet and sleep with the fathers, surrounded by their
          children and friends. This people and these Elders who bear the
          Melchizedek Priesthood, through the providence of Almighty God,
          will not be called upon to go forth, like David of old, and shed
          the blood of their fellow-man in their own defence. There were
          many things required of him which will not be required at our
          hands; and some things he was not permitted to do, because he was
          a man of blood. These are my views with regard to our position.
                                       
          234
                                       
          We are called of God. We have been gathered from the distant
          nations, and our lives have been hid with Christ in God, but we
          have not known it. The Lord has been watching over us from the
          hour of our birth. We are of the seed of Ephraim, and of Abraham,
          and of Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, and these are the
          instruments that God has kept in the spirit world to come forth
          in these latter days to take hold of this kingdom and build it
          up. These are my sentiments with regard to the Latter-day Saints.
          I will repeat what I have often said--there is no power beneath
          the heavens that can remove Zion out of her place, or destroy
          this Church and kingdom, as long as the people do the will of
          God, for he will sustain them, and overrule the acts of their
          enemies for their good and for the final triumph of his truth in
          the earth. It is now over fifty years since the organization of
          this Church and kingdom, and since its birth it has continued to
          progress and grow in numbers and in influence and power, and it
          will do so until Zion presents herself before the heavens in her
          glory, power and dominion, as the old prophets have seen it in
          vision. Then, what manner of men and women ought we to be, who
          are called to take part in the great latter-day work? We should
          be men and women of faith, valiant for the truth as it has been
          revealed and committed into our hand. We should be men and women
          of integrity to God, and to his holy Priesthood, true to him and
          true to one another. We should not permit houses and land, gold
          and silver, nor any of this world's goods to draw us aside from
          pursuing the great object which God has sent us to perform. Our
          aim is high, our destiny is high, and we should never disappoint
          our Father, nor the heavenly hosts who are watching over us. We
          should not disappoint the millions in the spirit world, who too
          are watching over us with an interest and anxiety that have
          hardly entered into our hearts to conceive of. These are great
          and mighty things which God requires of us. We would not be
          worthy of salvation, we would not be worthy of eternal lives in
          the kingdom of our God, if anything could turn us away from the
          truth or from the love of it. The Lord told Joseph that he would
          prove him, whether he would abide in his covenant or not, even
          unto death. He did prove him; and although he had the whole world
          to contend against, and the treachery of false friends to
          withstand, although his whole life was a scene of trouble and
          anxiety and care, yet, in all his afflictions, his imprisonments,
          the mobbings and ill-treatment he passed through, he was ever
          true to his God, and true to his friends.
                                       
          235
          I have had some reflections of the same subject referred to by
          Brother Cannon. In going into the house of Brother Call, and
          those of the many of the brethren, what do we see? We see good
          houses, pleasant homes, and the inmates thereof, enjoying the
          necessaries and comforts of life. We have places to rest, we have
          places to lay our heads. How different are the circumstances that
          surround us to-day in comparison with our situation before we
          came to these valleys, and in comparison with the experience of
          many of the ancients. Jesus himself, the son of the living God,
          had not where to lay his head. The foxes, he said, had holes, and
          the birds of the air had nests, but the Son of Man had not a
          place to lay his head. He traveled in the midst of poverty all
          the way to the cross. We have been in the same condition. We who
          have been in this Church since its early days, have known what it
          is to be without homes, to travel without purse or scrip, to go
          hungry and almost naked, to suffer from cold and fatigue. When we
          came here the ground was all that we had to lie upon, and we were
          glad and felt to rejoice in our hearts that God had brought us to
          a place where we could lie down, if it was upon the ground, in
          peace, free from the persecution of our enemies. God has proved
          us in days that are past and gone. He has now given us a country
          and a home. It has been well said that we should be careful lest
          these conveniences and comforts, by which we are now surrounded,
          should draw us from the things of God. Remember, my brethren, the
          greatest gift that God can bestow upon us is eternal life, and it
          is worth more than all the houses and lands or the gold and the
          silver upon the earth. For by and by we will go to the grave, and
          that puts an end to worldly possessions, as far as our using them
          is concerned. The grave finds a home for all flesh, and no man
          can take his houses and lands, his gold and silver, or anything
          else of a worldly character, with him. We brought none of these
          things with us when we came from our previous state. As Bishop
          Hunger says, babies are born without shoes and stockings. All the
          knowledge that we can accumulate from experience and observation,
          and from the revelations of God to man, goes to show that the
          riches of this world are fleeting and transitory, while he that
          has eternal life abiding in him is rich indeed.
                                       
          235
          We have a great work before us in the redemption of our dead. The
          course that we are pursuing is being watched with interest by all
          heaven. There are fifty thousand millions of people in the spirit
          world who are being preached to by Joseph Smith, and the Apostles
          and Elders, his associates, who have passed away. Those persons
          may receive their testimony, but they cannot be baptized in the
          spirit world, for somebody on the earth must perform this
          ordinance for them in the flesh, before they can receive part in
          the first resurrection, and be worthy of eternal life. It takes
          as much to save a dead man as a living one. The eyes of these
          millions of people are watching over these Latter-day Saints.
          Have we any time to spend in trying to get rich and in neglecting
          our dead? I tell you no.
                                       
          236
          Here is a subject I have thought about. David said, "Let my
          enemies go to hell quickly." He got angry, and he did some things
          he should not have done. Our Savior acted right the reverse. The
          more light and knowledge a man has, the more of the power of God
          he enjoys, and the more he is able to comprehend the things of
          God. Why did the Savior say, when he was under the agonies of
          death, "Father, forgive them?" Because He knew well that,
          although they were blind as to what they were doing, they and
          their posterity would welter for 1,800 years under the curse of
          God, for the deed they were perpetrating. He knew what the result
          of the shedding of his blood would be upon the human family, yet
          he was sorrowful because he knew that before he should come again
          as their Shiloh, the Jewish nation would be trodden under foot of
          the Gentiles. The result of their treatment of the Savior of the
          world still afflicts them. In many countries they are still
          persecuted and deprived of the right of citizenship, and are not
          permitted to purchase land and hold it as personal property. The
          Savior could foresee their future, and what would befall them and
          their race, until he should come again. While he himself
          suffered, he could exclaim, knowing all the circumstances,
          "Father, forgive them." Brother Taylor feels the same towards
          this nation. We should all have the same feeling, and if we enjoy
          the Spirit of God, we can overcome that feeling which arises in
          the hearts of men to resent a wrong, to return evil for evil.
          Joseph went to God, and he opened his mind by vision, in which he
          saw the destruction of our nation; he saw that famine and
          pestilence and war would lay waste our land, until it became so
          terrible that he prayed God to close the vision. Well may we say,
          "Father, forgive them." Well may we pray for them, and feel in
          our hearts not to envy them, but leave them in the hands of God.
                                       
          236
          There are two spirits with us. I will relate a little
          circumstance which took place with me. I brought President Young
          sick in my carriage on July 24th, 1847, the first time he set his
          eyes upon this valley. In process of time I followed President
          Young to the Utah penitentiary, under the edict of a religious
          bigot and wicked man, because he felt his dignity was not honored
          by President Young. On my way to the place of confinement I
          remember what my reflections were. I thought to myself, "Now,
          here is President Young, the man, under God, who came here, far
          removed from civilization, the pioneer of emigration to the great
          West, and found a barren, desolate land, inhabited only by a very
          poor lot of Indians and wild animals: to-day it blossoms
          comparatively as the rose; and to-day he is a prisoner on his way
          to jail." It worked upon my mind considerably. By and by another
          spirit said to me, "Be still, and know that I am God, and will
          fight the battles of this people; you need not allow yourself to
          be troubled about this." The result we all know. That very act
          levelled Chief Justice McKean to the ranks of the common citizen
          from which he never rose again, and he has since passed away, and
          like others, is in the hands of God. Brigham Young will rise in
          judgment against him and against all men who have persecuted and
          maligned and abused him. That will be the case with all of us--we
          shall be called upon to judge this generation. We should as
          Saints of God, never allow ourselves to wish the destruction of
          those who oppose or persecute us, but leave them in the hands of
          our God, to deal with them as he in his justice and mercy may see
          fit.
                                       
          237
          With regard to the law of God, it is all right. We can well
          afford to keep it and trust in him. I look upon it as really
          marvelous, when we bear in mind the ceaseless endeavors to make
          themselves notorious at the expense of those who have obeyed that
          law. I say, when I look upon the results of all that has been
          said and done about it, I regard it as a marvel. If the hand of
          God has not been manifested in behalf of this people, I do not
          know where to look for it. This kingdom will stand, God will
          plead with her strong ones, but Zion will not be moved out of her
          place. Quite a remarkable thing has just happened--four cyclones
          start from near the same point, each taking a different course,
          the results of which are known. God has nothing to do with them,
          says the world. But the judgments of God will be poured out, and
          the spirit of unbelief will grow in the hearts of the people, and
          they will be blind to his power until it is too late.
          237
          Brethren and sisters, seek after God; call upon him in your
          secret places, and do not turn away from righteousness and truth;
          there is nothing to be gained by doing that, but everything to
          lose.
          237
          God bless you. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / George
          Q. Cannon, April 24, 1881
                          George Q. Cannon, April 24, 1881
                      DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON, 
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 
                          Sunday Afternoon, April 24, 1881. 
                             (Reported by John Irvine.) 
                   REVELATION--THE PRIVILEGES OF THE SAINTS, ETC.
                                       
          239
          The principles which have been advanced this afternoon are so
          strictly in accord with the principles which were taught by the
          servants of God in ancient days, that every one, upon reflection,
          must acknowledge that to have a church professing to be the
          Church of Christ there must of necessity be in it, if the ancient
          principles be adhered to, the spirit of revelation. In the Bible
          that has come to us as the record of God's dealings with his
          people from the days of Adam our father down to the days of the
          last disciples of Jesus Christ: in that record we are told that
          every man who professed to be a follower of the Lord, and
          especially those who belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ,
          enjoyed from the Lord that spirit of revelation. It is difficult
          to conceive--if we did not see around us organizations professing
          to be his followers and not enjoying His Holy Spirit, or the Holy
          Ghost, which communicates his mind and his will unto those who
          seek for it. Of course we see around us in Christendom any number
          of churches which profess to be the churches of Christ, the
          members of which deny present communication from God, who say
          that revelation is no longer needed; that the canon of scripture
          is full, that all the revelations that God had to give to men he
          has given, and that they are embodied in the Old and New
          Testament. We have, as I have said, any number of churches which
          make this statement, teach these doctrines and train the children
          and the grown people in the belief that God had ceased to speak,
          that he has ceased to communicate his mind and will unto his
          children; that the channel of revelation which was once opened
          and by which all who were his true children were
          distinguished--that that is forever closed. But, as I have said,
          if it were not the existence of these organizations; if it were
          not for the fact that these are the teachings that mankind
          receive; if we were to read the Book itself, and rely upon its
          statements, the natural conclusion
          would be that it would be the privilege of every man of every
          woman who belonged to the Church of Christ to have communications
          from him, for the reason, as I have already stated, that it was
          the distinguishing characteristic of the organization known as
          the Church of Christ in the Messianic dispensation. It was the
          distinguishing characteristic also of the men who were the
          servants of God anterior to the days of Jesus. It would be a most
          singular idea--if it were not for the existence of those
          traditions to which I have referred--that God, our eternal
          Father, our Great Creator, should cut off his children from all
          communication with him, and leave them to grope in the dark,
          wandering hither and thither without any certain means of knowing
          his divine mind, of comprehending his divine will concerning
          themselves and the affairs of the earth. I can join with Brother
          Nicholson, who gave expression to his joy and gratification that
          we live in a day when God has once more broken the silence which
          has reigned for ages, and has revealed his mind and made known
          the plan of salvation in its old plainness and purity to the
          inhabitants of the earth. And if there is one thing that causes
          my joy to be greater than another, it is the fact that this
          knowledge, as he has stated, is not confined to one man, nor to
          three men, nor to twelve men, but that it is communicated unto
          every humble soul who seeks for it in a spirit which is
          acceptable unto God. It is a constant cause of thanksgiving to me
          that a people have been gathered together who are relieved, to a
          very great extent, from the uncertainty, and from the strifes,
          contentions and divisions upon points of doctrine that prevail
          throughout Christendom. There is in every human heart a desire to
          know something concerning God. I think it is Bancroft who says
          that the natural man, the barbarian, believes in God naturally;
          but skepticism and unbelief are the attendants of civilization,
          of enlightenment so called. There is no man who has not stifled
          that portion of the spirit of God which is born in him, who does
          not desire to know something concerning God, concerning his
          purposes, concerning the plan of salvation, concerning the object
          of his creation and of his being placed on the earth, and also
          concerning his future destiny. And because this knowledge does
          not come in the way in which men would like it to come, because
          God does not conform to men's ideas and to men's expectations, a
          great many deny the existence of a God, and say that if there be
          a God, he certainly would reveal something to those who seek
          earnestly to comprehend him. But there is one saying recorded by
          an ancient Prophet, that experience proves to be true, even the
          experience of those who have known God best, and have been best
          acquainted with the plan of salvation. The Lord said that, "as
          the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than
          your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." We cannot
          comprehend God; we cannot dictate to him the plan that he shall
          pursue in saving his children. Men frequently say, "How easy it
          would be for God to reveal himself; how easy it would be for him
          to make his mind and will known so indisputably that no one could
          cavil about or reject it; how easy it would be for him to open
          the heavens and make manifest his glory, and send angels that all
          might see." No doubt the Elders of this Church have been
          frequently met by the objection--whenever they had testified that
          God had established His Church in its ancient power, with its
          ancient gifts, restored the everlasting Gospel, and the authority
          to administer its ordinances, and that he had done this by the
          administration of holy angels,--they have been met by the
          objection "Well, if this testimony be true, why did he not send
          angels to somebody or to some people whom all would believe, and
          concerning whose testimony there could be no doubt, instead of
          sending them to an obscure youth, an illiterate boy, in the State
          of New York, and withholding from the rest of mankind all
          knowledge concerning this wonderful event." Of course this sort
          of argument applies to the Savior himself, it applies to the
          whole plan of salvation, it applies to every Prophet that ever
          lived, and cannot be confined alone to Joseph Smith or to the
          Latter-day Saints. With equal force it might apply to those who
          lived at the time of the resurrection of the Savior. Why was he
          not seen by all the people? Why was the Son of God born in so
          obscure a place, born in a stable and cradled in a manger? Why
          did he not reveal himself in power? Why did he not convince all
          the inhabitants of the earth so irresistibly that they would be
          compelled to accept Him as the Son of God. This argument would
          apply to other dispensations than that of the Son of God. It
          would apply to Noah, to Abraham, to Moses, and to the whole of
          the Prophets and Apostles that ever lived. But God, as I have
          said, has a way of doing these things that does not comport with
          the ideas of men. There is one thing that we as a people should
          understand, and that is, that God has purposely drawn a vail
          between himself and the inhabitants of the earth to accomplish
          his own designs. He has the power--we all admit it, that is, all
          who believe in God--to reveal himself in his fulness; he has the
          power to open the heavens and show every living being all that
          the heavens contain. There is no limit to his power. He controls
          the innumerable hosts of heaven. He has but to utter his command
          and they obey.
                                       
          240
          Jesus said, on one occasion, "Thinkest thou that I cannot now
          pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than
          twelve legions of angels?" 
          But God, as I have said, has purposely drawn a vail over the
          inhabitants of the earth. He permitted Adam to fall; he permitted
          him to transgress his law, to bring about the fall of the human
          race, in order that man might be, for without the fall man would
          not have had an existence upon the earth. 
          "Adam fell," therefore, "that man might be, and men are that they
          may have joy." There was a purpose in this. God, through his
          foreknowledge, comprehended it all. He knew the end from the
          beginning. It was all arranged. The Son of God was foreordained,
          to come as a Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world,
          to die for man and atone for the original sin, and to bring to
          pass the resurrection from the dead, he being the first fruits of
          them that slept. God designed that he should come here and be
          clothed upon with humanity. He designed we should struggle and
          contend here in this probation with a glimmering of knowledge, a
          little light. He gave unto us his word. He has commanded us to
          seek unto him, and he that seeks shall find, to him that knocks
          it shall be opened, and he that asks shall receive. How? Will it
          come in such a manner as to convince all the world? No. There
          would be no faith if this were the case; there would be no room
          for the exercise of faith. God wishes his children to be
          developed. And what better position could we be placed in for
          development of every kind than in such a school of experience as
          that through which we are now passing on the earth? If God were
          to reveal himself as many would like, there would be no room for
          the exercise of faith, there would be no necessity to struggle.
          But there are two great powers on the earth. Here is the power of
          God on the right hand, and on the left hand here is the power of
          evil, and as the Book of Mormon tells us, "it must needs be that
          there is an opposition in all things." We could not enjoy the
          sweet if we had never tasted the bitter. There are two principles
          at work, and we have to contend with them. Jesus, our Great High
          Priest and Elder Brother, when he was upon the earth had to
          contend against evil. He was not free from temptation. He was
          tempted in all things like unto us, but he differed from us in
          being able to overcome temptation, in being sinless through the
          power that he had through his sonship. But he set us the example.
          He knows through that which he had to contend against the
          weakness of human nature. He stands as mediator at the right hand
          of the Father, pleading for his brethren and sisters who, like
          himself, are subject to the trials, temptations and afflictions
          that exist in this mortal life. But because of this shall we say
          that God does not speak? Because we do not see his face, shall we
          say he does not exist? Because we do not hear his voice, shall we
          say he has no voice? Because we do not see his hand or his
          arm--that is, that which we call a hand or an arm--shall we say
          that he has neither hand nor arm? Certainly not. He will be
          sought after and all those who seek him will receive his
          blessing. He will give certainty, he will remove doubt and
          misapprehension, and give light and enable all such to comprehend
          and see as far as necessary that which is good for them; he will
          lead them on step by step, until they reach his presence if they
          will obey his commandments. They will not have to do this in
          darkness or in doubt, they will not have to throw aside or
          surrender their judgment, but he will give unto them his mind and
          will in such plainness that they will know and comprehend for
          themselves, although they may be tempted and tried and afflicted.
                                       
          242
                                       
          The proclamation of the Gospel as it has been taught in our day,
          has brought peace to thousands and thousands of seeking souls. It
          was very remarkable at the time that this Church was organized,
          how the spirit of God moved upon a great many people throughout
          the United States, in Canada, in Great Britain, Denmark, and in
          other countries to which the Elders went, carrying the glad
          tidings of the restoration of the ancient Gospel. In many places
          members of churches were dissatisfied with the want of power in
          the churches to which they belonged, dissatisfied with the
          absence of gifts, and they met together and prayed unto God to
          reveal himself or to give unto them some knowledge concerning the
          old plan of salvation. Here are my two brethren on this stand,
          President Taylor and President Woodruff, aged men, who in their
          early youth or early manhood were in this condition--President
          Taylor in Canada, and President Woodruff in Connecticut, one of
          them a Methodist preacher, and the other a member of no
          denomination. Both of them for years sought God with all the
          earnestness of their souls to make manifest unto them his mind
          and will. They were dissatisfied with the existing condition of
          affairs. President Taylor with other members of the church to
          which he belonged, would gather together to read the Scriptures,
          and investigate the principles taught by the Savior and his
          Apostles, such as the gifts following believers, but in the
          church to which they belonged and other churches around them no
          such gifts existed. They were dissatisfied with this condition of
          things, being conscious that God was the same then as he had been
          1800 years before. They sought for the restoration of these
          gifts, and when an Elder came along with the glad tidings that a
          church had been organized after the old pattern, and they were
          convinced it was true, it filled their souls with gladness, and
          President Taylor and a number of others who are now in this city,
          or in this Territory, members of this Church, received the
          doctrines gladly. At first they doubted its truth. It seemed too
          good to be true. And they also felt a good deal like the people
          of Judea in olden times when Jesus was on the earth. People asked
          them, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" So they
          feel in respect to this Church. People say, "What good can come
          from such a source as this is reported to be from." The same with
          Brother Woodruff, the same with hundreds of men and women. And I
          do not know that it should be limited to hundreds; it may be said
          hundreds and thousands had a yearning, anxious desire for
          something higher, something nobler, something more certain,
          something that was from God. This feeling animated thousands of
          hearts in various lands, and the Elders were guided to them, and
          when they saw their faces, when they heard their teachings and
          humbled themselves in obedience to the commandments of God, they
          became profoundly convinced by the testimony of Jesus Christ,
          that the Gospel they taught was indeed the ancient Gospel
          restored. And from every land where the glad tidings have been
          carried by the Elders of this Church have these humble people
          crossed continents and oceans, forsaking all because of the
          Gospel, glad in their hearts that they had received it; like the
          man that had found the pearl of great price, they were ready to
          sell all for the purchase of that, so that they could have it in
          their possession. They were ready to forsake home, kindred, old
          associations; they were ready to sacrifice their good name--for
          that had to be sacrificed--all the past repute that they might
          have had, everything had to be thrown as it were to the winds.
          But they had found the pearl of great price. They had obtained a
          testimony from God, and they could endure persecution. Mobs could
          not extinguish the love of truth.
                                       
          242
          The burning of houses, the destruction of property, and even the
          loss of life itself, could not cause them to abandon the truth.
          They cast their lot with the Saints. This feeling of unity has
          pervaded this entire people, go where you will. You may go to the
          antipodes and find a branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints. They may have never seen an Elder from Utah,
          and yet when you go into their congregations and meet them, you
          find that they believe in the same doctrines, they have precisely
          the same spirit and the same faith. Before they heard the truth
          they might not have desired and never thought of leaving their
          native land, but as soon as they have received the Gospel, you
          will find in their bosoms, even if no Elder has ever taught it,
          an unquenchable desire to come and associate with the people of
          God in the Rocky Mountains, and they are never content until they
          can gratify their desire. Go to the north and the south, to the
          east and the west, and to the most distant lands, upon the face
          of the earth and you will find in their hearts the same feeling,
          nothing else will satisfy them. God has spoken, God has touched
          their hearts by the power of the Holy Ghost, and it is this that
          has sustained us. It is this feeling we should cherish. It is
          dearer to us than life itself. It is the spirit of God that
          unites heart to heart, that unites man and woman with bonds that
          are stronger than death--death cannot break them. Where that
          feeling is cherished, persecution may rage with all the
          fierceness that is possible, it cannot destroy it. I thank God
          from the depths of my heart, when I think of it, that I live in
          such a day and that I belong to a church of this kind, that I am
          permitted to have a membership in the Church, for go where you
          will on the earth you cannot find anything like it. This
          brotherhood comes from God. It is a foretaste of that brotherhood
          that will exist in the heavens; it is a foretaste of that union
          and that love that will prevail there, and without which heaven
          would not be heaven. And whence its origin? Where did it
          originate? It originated in heaven, and it was communicated
          through an humble instrument whom men despised.
                                       
          243
          It is a test of faith to embrace a Gospel taught by a man with
          the repute that the world gave to Joseph Smith, with all the
          falsehoods that were circulated concerning him. It is a test of
          faith to-day to the inhabitants of the earth to receive anything
          that has an origin among the "Mormon" people. Why, you might as
          well accuse a man of being a leper in some societies as accuse
          him of being a "Mormon!" Men will shun coming in contact with
          him. To those who know the Latter-day Saints, it is laughable to
          see the feeling that is manifested, and there is no greater cause
          of wonder in the minds of this class than when they come to Utah
          and see the condition of things existing here, it is so different
          from everything they have expected. Men and women frequently get
          filled with the most outrageous ideas respecting the Latter-day
          Saints. They come here expecting to see monsters, as though you
          wore horns or were beings of a different species to other people.
          Now, as I have said, it takes faith and a love of the truth to
          embrace the Gospel under such circumstances. And the devil is
          doing all he can, as he always has done, to prejudice men's
          minds, to deceive them, to throw dust in their eyes by maligning
          the servants of God and the people of God. He did it with the
          Savior. Why was it that all Judea did not believe in the Savior?
          a holy being whose life was spotless, performing mighty miracles
          in the midst of the people. Could they not all have embraced the
          Gospel? Was it God's design that they should not embrace it? No.
          God gives unto us our agency, and we do not ourselves realize how
          great this is.
                                       
          244
          There is no limit to our agency. The power to choose good, the
          power to refuse evil, the power to choose evil and refuse good is
          given to every human being. We can, if we choose, accept God, we
          can, if we choose, reject God. There is no compulsion about Him,
          about His Gospel, or about the plan of salvation. If you and I
          are saved, we will be saved because we have been obedient, and we
          have exercised the power that God has given unto us. There is no
          limit to this. We can seek unto Him in humility in the name of
          Jesus, and continue faithful to the end; we can walk humbly and
          uprightly with all the ability of which we are capable, observing
          virtue, chastity, honesty and truthfulness, or we can on the
          other hand turn to evil, we can reject everything that is good,
          we can be untruthful, we can be unvirtuous, we can be dishonest,
          we can practice iniquity. As the Lord said to Cain,
                                       
          "If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." If he would do
          right, he would be accepted. The agency was within him; God had
          given it to him, and he would not take it from him. We should
          cease to be the beings he designs us to be if he did. We are not
          automatons to be moved by some master hand or pulled with a
          string. God will control our actions, but he will not dictate to
          us and compel us. He overrules all things for his glory and for
          the accomplishment of his purposes. Your acts and mine, and the
          acts of all the inhabitants of the earth are subject to God, who
          is the overruling providence over all, and he controls all to
          suit his divine purposes through his superior knowledge and
          supreme power. But if you get to heaven, as I have said, if you
          sing the songs of the redeemed, you will do it, because you
          yourselves have chosen that path and have determined, by his aid,
          to walk therein all your days; if any are ever numbered with the
          damned, if any, ever go into outer darkness and endure the misery
          of those who have rejected the truth and violated those laws
          which God has given, violated, in other words, the light that was
          within them, and which comes from God--if any be there it will be
          because they have chosen to walk in the path that leads in that
          direction, and Jesus came not to save them unless they seek to
          save themselves; it would be contrary to the plan of salvation if
          he were to do so. There is divine wisdom, therefore, in our
          seeing as little of the divine presence as we do, it is a test of
          our faith, and yet those who follow the right course receive the
          light that is necessary. I can testify of this to you this day in
          all solemnity before the Lord, I know that God is a God of
          revelation. I know it for myself. I know that he is a God that
          hears and answers prayer. I know that he is a God that heals the
          sick when he is approached in faith, and that the mighty works
          that were done in ancient days he is as willing that they should
          be done to-day if his people will exercise faith. He has not gone
          to sleep like old Baal did. You remember Elijah and the Prophets
          of Baal. Elijah believed in a God that heard and answered prayer,
          but the believers in Baal called upon Baal. They called upon him
          throughout the day, but he heard them not, and Elijah mocked them
          and said, "Cry aloud for he is a god; either he is talking, or he
          is pursuing, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth,
          and must be awaked." But Elijah's God was not asleep. He had not
          gone so far but what he could hear the prayer of his chosen
          servant. The God of heaven never sleeps. His ear is open
          constantly to the cries that come up unto him; his eye is never
          closed; he looks upon all his creations; and though he rules in
          the heavens above and regulates the motions of the universe and
          controls the planets with which the heavens are emblazoned, there
          is none of us so insignificant, small or obscure that he cannot
          hear our prayers and our cries. We have proved this time and time
          again in the history of this people. His preserving care has been
          round about us; he has never forsaken us; and often, when
          everything seemed as though destruction was inevitable, and that
          there was no path of deliverance, he has calmed the angry
          elements, he has opened the path and made it plain, he has caused
          the light of his glory to shine upon that path, and it has been
          clear to those who have been walking humbly and upright before
          him. This people are a standing witness in the midst of all the
          nations of the earth that God lives, and that he is the Being the
          Scriptures say he is. Think of the plots that have been devised
          against us; think of the plans that have been laid for our
          destruction; no end to them, and yet this little handful of
          people, six in the beginning, have gone on increasing, trusting
          in God as their Deliverer. We have been mobbed, tried and
          persecuted in various ways, but all these things have had the
          effect of cleansing us, they have all had their purpose.
                                       
          244
          I would not give much for this Church to-day if all who had
          joined it were members of it--that is, members of it with their
          sins and corruptions and inclinations to do wrong. I am thankful
          for one thing connected with this work, namely, that every trial
          has the effect of cleansing the Church, of keeping it pure, of
          taking away from it the dross and leaving the somewhat purer
          element. It would not do for the tares to grow up and choke the
          wheat. Therefore all these things have served a wise purpose in
          the economy of God; and there is this peculiarity about this
          Church, it has the power of self-purification, it carries with
          it, as it were, the power of self-purification. Let a man or a
          woman in this Church do wrong and persist in that wrong, and
          sooner or later the Spirit of God will be grieved and they will
          lose that spirit and their attachment to the truth, and will fall
          away. In this way we have been preserved. The union of the people
          to a great extent has been preserved. It is true that those who
          have left us are opposed to us; it is true there is opposition
          from various sources; but this does not change nor affect the
          fact that there are those who do right, nor does it detract from
          nor lessen the spirit of God which they have received, the spirit
          of union and of love. That spirit burns as brightly to-day in the
          midst of faithful people as it ever did.
                                       
          246
                                       
          Now there are a good many who look upon this work--and some of
          our faithful Saints, too--and get discouraged because they see
          iniquity around them, because of evil here in our city, for
          instance. There was a time when we were free from these evils,
          many of which now abound, and some are fearful that the evil is
          overcoming the good. I do not share in these apprehensions. I
          think it is our duty to be vigilant, to be watchful, and to be
          all the time doing our best to repel every iniquity, to
          extinguish as far as we can every temptation, every wrong that is
          practised; to use our influence against it, and to do all in our
          power to stamp it out. For instance, there is drunkenness and the
          sale of spirituous liquors or intoxicating drinks. I think it is
          the duty of every Latter-day Saint to help put away such things
          and to do all in their power to put down gambling-houses, houses
          of ill-fame, and other haunts of vice; to discourage blasphemy,
          the use of profane language, dishonesty, taking advantage of our
          neighbor, everything of this character. I believe that is our
          duty, and every man and woman should exercise himself and herself
          to this end; but after having done that and those efforts do not
          succeed in preventing or in extirpating them entirely, then what?
          Shall we be discouraged? Not in the least. You and I cannot
          sustain this work alone; it is no use thinking the burden of the
          work is upon us. It is God's work. I have been made to feel this
          a good many times when I have been concerned in my mind, being in
          a strait, as it were, as though everything was closing around me.
          But I have learned by experience that this work is not the work
          of man; that the responsibility of carrying it forward and
          gaining success and preventing evil does not depend upon me
          alone. I of course have my part, but God presides over it, God
          has it in his keeping, he is arranging and overruling everything
          for its final success and triumph. He will make the wrath of man
          to praise him, and the remainder of wrath will he restrain. All,
          therefore, that we have to do is to do that which devolves upon
          us individually and collectively, and leave the rest to him, and
          borrow no trouble. One half of our unhappiness is due to borrowed
          trouble, looking forward to something that will never occur. The
          Savior gave us a very wise admonition upon this point. Said he,
          "Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." Enjoy to-day, not
          improperly, but properly. Take pleasure to-day and let the
          threats come. The clouds may be dark here in the west, when the
          sun sets, and you may think to-morrow is going to be a stormy
          day; but how unwise it would be for us to make ourselves
          miserable in anticipation of the storm to-morrow, when we have
          the sun shining upon us to-day, when the heavens are glad and all
          nature is thankful for the goodness of God. Why should we think
          of the storms to-morrow? Let them come, and let us be prepared to
          meet them as best we can. Let us put our trust in God, and while
          we have peace to-day, let us enjoy the peace. Be happy as you
          progress. Enjoy the day as it comes. If adversity comes you will
          be prepared to meet it, just as well as if you had been brooding
          over it for months or years. The Latter-day Saints should be the
          happiest people upon the face of the whole earth. I believe we
          are. There is one thing the Lord has done for us. He has removed
          that uncertainty and fear that people have respecting the future.
          And if we do right, if we keep the commandments of God to the
          best of our ability, confessing our sins and repenting of them,
          we have no cause to be unhappy. If afflictions come, if death
          enters our habitations, shall we bow down our heads and mourn as
          though we had no hope? No. Let us accept it as from God,
          believing that he controls all things for the good of his people.
          And remember this, my brethren and sisters, that God has said
          through his Son Jesus Christ, that not one hair of our heads
          shall fall to the ground unnoticed. He is watching over us. He
          cares for the humblest. Even the very sparrows are the objects of
          his care, and we are worth more than many sparrows.
                                       
          246
          I pray God the Eternal Father to bless you, to fill you with His
          Holy Spirit. Let it be read in your countenance. God loves a glad
          heart and a cheerful countenance. Carry these into your homes.
          Husbands: instead of carrying your cares unto your homes to
          afflict your family with them, throw them off outside and go in
          with a glad face, so that your children may welcome you with
          gladness and joy, as they would the presence of the sun after a
          storm. Let your wife also receive you with gladness, and if she
          has had anxiety and care let your presence comfort her. One of
          the most painful things to me, is to see men cross in their
          families, carrying into their houses a spirit that incites fear
          in the hearts of the mothers and children, and that makes them
          feel glad when the man goes out. Why, such a man ought not to
          have a wife, he is unworthy of children. Husbands when they go
          into their homes ought to carry with them a spirit of peace and
          joy, so that all might be cheered by his presence, the children
          glad to meet him, glad to have him come, and sorry when he goes
          away and the wife, on her part, gladdened by the same spirit.
          246
          I pray God to bless you, my brethren and sisters, and to fill you
          with His Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 /
          Francis M. Lyman, October 7, 1881
                          Francis M. Lyman, October 7, 1881
                          DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE F. M. LYMAN, 
                        Delivered at the General Conference,
            Friday Morning, October 7, 1881. (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.) 
           THE CHARACTER OF GOD'S WORK--TRUE RICHES--OUR RESPONSIBILITIES,
                                        ETC.
                                       
          246
          My brethren and sisters, I am pleased to meet you in this General
          Conference, and although it is a great task to undertake to speak
          to so large an audience, I am willing to undertake my part if you
          will give me your faith and prayers, and the Lord will bless me
          with His Spirit.
                                       
          247
               The work that engages our attention is more remarkable than
          any work that the Lord has ever commenced upon the earth. The
          determination of our Heavenly Father that this work shall stand
          forever, that it shall not be taken from the earth nor be given
          to another people, is one of its important features. And I
          sometimes fear that we do not feel as ambitious, as energetic to
          do our part, to bear the responsibility that he designs to come
          upon our shoulders, that we are not as careful as we ought to be
          in observing his laws and requirements; that we do not appreciate
          them and prize them as we ought to. If we did we would not sin;
          if we did we would every day of our lives seek to know the mind
          and will of the Father; to have His Spirit to be present with us,
          prompting and inspiring and urging us forward to the
          accomplishment of the purposes of the Lord. We forget the early
          love of the Gospel. We are too much swallowed up, perhaps, in the
          making of a living, in obtaining the comforts of this life and a
          little more of this world's goods. We ought to labor; we ought to
          be industrious; we ought to seek to gather from the elements
          means that would sustain us, to clothe us, to build our
          habitations, and to enable us materially to build up the kingdom
          of God. But as the spirit and body are one, and grow together,
          sympathizing with each other, the spirit giving life to the body,
          without which the body cannot live at all, so it should be with
          us in regard to the things of the kingdom. The Spirit of the Lord
          should be first, the life, the energy that should propel us to
          the performance of our temporal duties. In cultivating the earth,
          in buying and selling, in caring for the wealth of the world, our
          object should be to supply our necessities, to make ourselves
          comfortable, to keep us alive, to keep us in good condition; but
          the chief part of our lives should be used in works of
          righteousness, of charity, seeking to improve the spiritual
          condition of man, to develop the intellectual man, to develop the
          moral man, and to gain favor with our heavenly Father; and to lay
          up treasures in this life that can be taken hence with us. We are
          not ambitious enough to excel in doing good. We are ambitious
          enough to excel in obtaining wealth--and yet I do not know that
          it ought to be called wealth. Prest. Taylor gave a very nice
          explanation of true wealth yesterday. Quoting from the revelation
          of God to us which says,
                                       
          "He that hath eternal life is rich," and applying those words to
          our late Brother, Orson Pratt, he said, pointing to his remains,
          "There lies the body of a rich man." We all know that Brother
          Pratt was not rich in this world's goods, but it can be safely
          said of him, that he is rich,--rich in the things of God. What he
          has done and accomplished is more than all the wealth of the
          world, the gold and the silver, the diamonds and precious stones,
          the houses and lands, and the cattle on a thousand hills; for he
          has earned the title of a son of God, and he cannot be robbed of
          it, having been true to the end and faithful to his latest
          breath.
                                       
          248
                                       
          Well now, what of worldly wealth, what of houses and lands,
          flocks and herds? They bring care and responsibility and trouble,
          that is if we have too much of them, and if we do not use them
          properly and rightly. If a man is endowed with the Holy Ghost; if
          he has first and foremost the kingdom of God and the
          righteousness of our heavenly Father, let wealth flow unto him as
          it may, he will use it properly; he will remember the poor, he
          will pay his tithing, he will give liberally for the building of
          Temples, for the supporting of the families of missionaries, and
          for the building up of home industries. The more wealth a man
          has, the better if he has the Spirit of God to guide him in its
          use. The kingdom of God must be built up with means. Money is
          necessary in some instances with us to-day. I presume the
          Trustee-in-Trust finds money very necessary to supply certain
          materials in the building of Temples; and the men working on them
          need some money to procure some of the necessaries of life, and
          probably, in some instances, the unnecessaries of life. Money is
          necessary to supply these demands, and we cannot very well get
          along without it, not as well as we could when there was none
          here. But it is not necessary that a man should be contaminated
          with wealth. If wealth necessarily contaminated and destroyed
          life or destroyed man, what should we say of our Father who
          dwells in heaven, for His wealth is boundless. The wealth of the
          world is only borrowed for a little season. The wealth of our
          millionaires does not belong to them in reality, it is not
          theirs, not a dollar of it; they are entitled to use and to enjoy
          the benefit of it; in other words, they are stewards over it for
          the present time. If the wealth they possess were theirs, they
          would take it with them; they would not divide it among their
          friends, they would take it with them. That is, that amount which
          they hold to in this world. They would still cling to it
          tenaciously if it were possible to take it with them. Of course,
          I except that which they distribute before hand; and I am not
          sure but what some would be less generous in the distribution of
          that wealth even to their children if they could take it with
          them. But they know they cannot do this, hence they divide it as
          they see fit before they are released from their stewardship.
          These means are necessary. God has made this earth. He put in
          every vein of gold and silver and iron and precious metal, etc.
          He has given fertility to the earth; and he has done these things
          by His own power. And He has a right to say what shall be done
          with them. He has a right to say to us, when you cultivate the
          earth, "I require you to give me one tenth of all that is
          produced, and the nine-tenths you are welcome to use for your own
          support, and for the accomplishment of my purposes. But I require
          this of you as an acknowledgement that you are using the earth
          that belongs to me."
                                       
          249
          Why should the Lord require this? There is a philosophical reason
          for it, there is a philosophical reason why He should require us
          to have faith in Him, He being the owner of the earth has the
          right to direct and control in regard to it, and to all who come
          upon it, hence it is necessary that we should have faith in Him.
          For He is the foundation of life, the fountain of intelligence,
          the fountain of knowledge, of happiness, of joy; and He knows
          exactly what is good for us. He knows every particle of
          experience that we pass through, that is necessary for us. And
          this earth has been brought together and arranged according to
          eternal principles, eternal laws, by which other worlds have been
          made, and by which other worlds will yet be made, that are behind
          us, that will follow this earth. The Lord is well acquainted with
          these things; and the revelation of the Gospel is intended to
          give unto us knowledge in regard to these eternal laws, that we
          may go parallel with them, walk with them and by them, in order
          that we may be saved--saved from sin and sorrow, saved from
          death, saved from destruction, saved from evil, and be blessed
          and rewarded for our fidelity and faithfulness to those laws.
          249
          In the first place, God requires us to have faith in Him, because
          it is not possible to please Him without faith. If we do not have
          faith in Him, we will not listen to Him, we will not accept His
          word, we will not be led and counselled by Him, hence it is
          necessary that this principle should be and abide with the
          Latter-day Saints.
                                       
          249
                                       
          It is necessary, too, that we repent and turn away from sin, and
          work righteousness. I would to the Lord that all Israel had thus
          worked up to this day, from the time we embraced the Gospel, that
          we had done right from that time until now, that our sins should
          all be forgiven us. We cannot have our sins forgiven, and
          continue in sin. That would not be rational; it would not be
          philosophical. We will find that every requirement that God has
          made upon us tends to direct us in the strait and narrow path.
          But when I consider the organization of the kingdom of God, the
          Priesthood that he has restored to us, crowned with the First
          Presidency and the Apostleship, giving to us every quorum in the
          Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthoods, setting all things in order;
          and requiring every man and woman to be prayerful morning and
          evening, and to remember our secret prayers; to pay our tithing;
          to build Temples; to perform missions; to partake of the
          Sacrament of the Lord's Supper every Sabbath day--and the various
          duties that are required of the several quorums of Priesthood: it
          does seem to me that the Lord has been well acquainted with man's
          situation and necessities here, to arrange so many safeguards and
          provisions, for caring for the people, looking after them, and
          feeling after them, directing them, counselling and advising
          them, and holding them to the strait and narrow way into which
          they have been led by faith. And not only do they need to be
          planted in the strait way, but it is necessary that all those
          requirements be made upon them, and that they listen to them, and
          heed them in order that they may be kept in that way through
          life. For there is another power in the world that is working
          assiduously and faithfully, by night and day, to destroy the
          children of men and defeat the will of God, and to thwart His
          plans. And it is the business of that power to destroy man, to
          turn him from the service of God to the service of the Evil One.
          And hence the necessity of all this carefulness, these detailed
          plans and regulations urged in the Gospel of Christ, to keep men
          in the strait and narrow path. And with all this, some of Israel
          will go over the wall, they cannot be kept in. They will break
          out in spite of all the guards and bulwarks thrown around them.
          And the Spirit of the Lord which we received when we embraced the
          Gospel, and that was intended to be with us always, is grieved
          and driven from us because of our want of fidelity and humility,
          and because of our carelessness in the observance of the laws of
          God.
                                       
          250
          I spoke somewhat in regard to the ambition that Latter-day Saints
          should have, which I think has somewhat cooled in the Elders of
          Israel. If it was in the obtaining of a good country; if in
          colonizing Arizona, for instance, we had found an admirable
          country like Illinois, like Ohio and the Mississippi Valley and
          the Middle States that are watered by the rains and the dews of
          heaven, if we had found a country like that in Arizona or Western
          Colorado, or in Southeastern Utah, in Southern Idaho, in Eastern
          Nevada or Western Wyoming, broad acres inviting people to come in
          and take up large farms, we would be ambitious enough. There are
          railroads that are being built in the country; we are ambitious
          enough to take contracts and work in their construction. The
          Latter-day Saints cannot be charged with being idlers, but on the
          contrary, they are working themselves to death, in many
          instances. They are not a slothful people, if they were they
          never would have been satisfied with this country, and subdued it
          as they have. The spirit of the Lord has prompted them to
          industry. But it seems to me that our desire to work carries us
          to such an extent that we have little time to devote to the
          performance of our religious duties. We have not been so prompt
          in attending to our prayers, and to our meetings; our time and
          attention seem to be absorbed by getting teams and wagons, horses
          and lands, and clothing and food for ourselves and families. In
          early times we did not take our meals so regularly; food was not
          so plentiful, neither was it so easily obtained, consequently we
          did not get the variety nor so much of it as we do to-day.
          Circumstances have changed; and as the earth answers to the
          labors of the husbandman, we put on better clothing, we set our
          tables more sumptuously, and our homes are altogether better
          furnished. We eat more and drink more; we eat extravagantly and
          we drink to excess of things that are proper to be taken, and of
          things that are improper and should not be indulged in.
          250
          This is not right, and the Lord is not pleased with those who do
          it.
                                       
          251
          And it is the duty of every one bearing the holy Priesthood, to
          make his voice heard against extravagance and evil. But first of
          all let him see that he himself is free from that which he would
          denounce in others. He should himself observe the law which God
          has revealed as to what we should eat and what we should drink.
          The Lord knows exactly what men should do and how they should
          live in order to obtain happiness, the realization of which is
          the object of life. There are a variety of ways in which men seek
          happiness, which, however, result in their sorrow. But there is
          no sorrow to be found or experienced in keeping the commandments
          of God. It is true, we may have to face death, and perhaps meet
          it; we may suffer from the loss of property, and have to endure
          persecution; but when we suffer such experience by reason of our
          rendering service to God, it promotes eternal joy in the soul of
          man. Our mission as Elders should be from now on to vie with each
          other in doing the works of righteousness, and in living humble
          and pure lives. In this we will find wealth and joy, and I desire
          to say to you that the Elder, the Priest, Teacher or Deacon--and
          the term Elder covers every man bearing the Melchizedek
          Priesthood--who neglects these things, will be found sorrowing;
          he will be found mourning; that he did not fill his mission--and
          every man is on a mission upon whose head the hands of servants
          of God have been placed, conferring upon him the holy Priesthood;
          all such persons are missionaries. And we should not wait to be
          called to the Old Country or elsewhere, or to be set apart as
          Home Missionaries, or to be Bishops or Presidents of Stakes, High
          Counselors, etc. For I say unto you that every man who has
          received any portion of the Priesthood is a missionary; and the
          salvation of the world, to a certain extent, rests upon his
          shoulders. And the man who neglects his duty will see a day of
          sorrow for his neglect.
                                       
          251
          Then, I exhort you, my brethren, as your fellow-laborer, and as a
          servant of the Lord, to be diligent in observing to keep the
          commandments of God, to magnify the holy Priesthood that the
          Lord, through his servants, has placed upon you. We are expected
          to be saviors, working in conjunction with our elder brother,
          Jesus, and also in conjunction with our deceased friend and
          brother, Apostle Orson Pratt, who has gone to continue his labors
          in another sphere. When did Brother Pratt allow his mind to be
          idle? He exercised it continually in the right direction; he
          labored and studied; the bent of his ambition lay in searching
          the Scriptures, ancient and modern, and seeking to become
          acquainted with the Lord. Hence he became profound in knowledge,
          a man possessing the true riches, a servant of the living God,
          who has gone to reap his reward--gone from his sorrow, from his
          weariness and from his labors in this life, and, as was remarked
          yesterday, he will find his quorum, he will find his place
          therein, and will abide with the saved, exalted and redeemed and
          those who have "fought the good fight and kept the faith." May
          this be said of us! But if it is said, it will be because we
          labor better in the future than we have done in the past.
                                       
          251
          Let every man look into his own heart! Let every man ask himself
          this question: Has this tongue of mine been used to the very best
          advantage? Have I spoken words of counsel to my neighbor? Have I
          taught my wives, my children, my brothers and my sisters as I
          ought? Has my mouth always been willing to give forth counsel to
          the world? Have I shrunk from bearing testimony of the truth? If
          you have in the past do not do it in the future. This life is not
          very long. We are only here for a little while. We are here to
          obtain experience. That is the object of our being, and the Lord
          has revealed unto us the Gospel, and we should be faithful. When
          we look over the world and find it teeming with millions of
          people who have not a knowledge of the truth--and many of them
          just as honest as we are in their worship, but they know not the
          truth, they have not sought after it, and in some instances they
          have been so educated and so prejudiced, and have taken error for
          truth, until they do not know the truth when they hear it--what a
          boon it is to us that God has given us a spirit by which we may
          know the truth and not be deceived! What a great gift and boon
          this is, and it ought to make us good husbands, good wives, good
          parents, good children, good neighbors, good men and women,
          laboring for the salvation of the human family.
          252
          We cannot be Saints without the spirit of the Lord. And as I said
          before in regard to these ordinances and requirements, they all
          tend in their particular place and time to keep us in the strait
          and narrow path. Hence upon the Sabbath we partake of the
          sacrament, and thus renew our covenants with the Lord, we
          fellowship each other, and we ask the Father to forgive the sins
          of the past and desire to have His Spirit to be with us in the
          future. This we do every Sabbath day, prayers every morning,
          prayers every night, prayers secretly every day of our lives; and
          when this is the case with the Latter-day Saints, when they
          partake of the sacrament worthily, and do not eat and drink
          condemnation to their own souls, there will be less sickness and
          less quarrels among us, and the spirit of the Lord will brood
          over Zion.
                                       
          252
          I have thought that if we as Elders of Israel would seek to
          obtain a knowledge as to why these principles are given to us and
          their force and effect upon us, we could then explain them better
          to our families than we can to-day. But we have been satisfied by
          receiving a portion of the spirit of the Lord. We have not
          progressed as we should; we have yielded obedience to the
          ordinance of baptism, but we have not gone forward as we ought to
          have done. Possibly we have gathered with the Saints into these
          valleys, but individually we have settled down more or less to
          follow the ways of the world, to the making of means, to the
          cultivation of our farms, etc. We send our children to school, it
          is true; but there is not that system of education, there is not
          that training and teaching of the sons by the mothers that ought
          to be. We have grown more or less careless regarding these
          things; we have become somewhat wrapped up in the things of the
          world.
          252
          But I tell you that every Elder in Israel ought to feel like
          saying,
          "Father, use me as thou wilt. Give me power to magnify my calling
          and Priesthood, so that when contagious diseases come into the
          land I may look unto Thee for help." By observing the Word of
          Wisdom, I believe that many of the calamities which come upon us
          as families could be averted; not that we would live for ever;
          but I do believe that many would be saved unto us that are taken
          away because of our want of faith and because we break the laws
          which have been revealed unto us. When a man is doing right he
          has remarkable courage. You know it is said that sin makes
          cowards of us all. Now, the man that would approach the Father
          should not be a coward. In approaching the throne of grace, we
          should do so with humility, but with frankness, asking in faith,
          believing that the Lord will give.
          252
          Take my exhortation, my brethren and sisters, and observe the
          laws of the Lord; become acquainted with them, practise them in
          your lives, and let your time be employed from this day
          henceforth in observing the laws of God, that we may have His
          salvation and blessing in this life and exaltation in the life to
          come. May the Lord bless you. Amen.
                                       
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / George
          Q. Cannon, September 18, 1881
                        George Q. Cannon, September 18, 1881
                       DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON 
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 
                        Sunday Afternoon, September 18, 1881. 
                             (Reported by John Irvine.) 
                  THE ABUNDANT TESTIMONIES TO THE WORK OF GOD, ETC.
                                       
          253
          The remarks which have been made by Brother Orson Pratt have no
          doubt been listened to with great attention and with a feeling of
          delight by those who have heard them. It is indeed a very great
          pleasure to have him in our midst once more, and especially to
          listen to the sound of his voice--to hear the testimony that he
          still bears to the work of God. It is probable that to-day
          Brother Orson Pratt is the oldest living member of the Church,
          and certainly there is no man in the Church who has labored
          longer and more diligently and with a greater spirit of
          self-sacrifice in proclaiming its principles, in defending it,
          and in advocating the cause of God in the midst of the earth. And
          no doubt, as he has said, the fervent prayers of the Latter-day
          Saints have been offered up without ceasing throughout all our
          valleys, and in all our settlements, in every dwelling-place,
          unto God the Eternal Father in his behalf, that his life might be
          spared, that his health might be again restored to him, that he
          might have the privilege of proclaiming the word of the Lord unto
          the people. I trust that these prayers will still be offered up,
          that faith will be exercised in his behalf, that the desire of
          his heart may be granted unto him; for I know that faith will be
          exercised in his behalf, that the desire of his heart may be
          granted unto him; for I know that there is no desire so strong in
          his breast as that which he has expressed--the desire to proclaim
          the truth, and to win souls unto Christ, and to help establish
          that Zion of which God has laid the foundation. It is indeed
          encouraging to listen to the voice of a man who has had his
          experience, and to witness the unflinching zeal that he still
          possesses for the work of the Lord. I felt as though I did not
          want to say one word--if I could have answered my own
          feelings--after he had concluded. I would much rather have left
          his remarks to be pondered upon by the people, than to have said
          one word myself. But as there is time remaining, and we have come
          together for the purpose of partaking of the sacrament and
          worshiping our God, it is not improper that that time should be
          occupied.
                                       
          255
                                       
          Brother Pratt has alluded, in brief terms, to the revelations
          which God gave unto his servant Joseph Smith, through the Book of
          Mormon, or through the plates upon which that record was found.
          To-day there is probably no greater stumbling block in the way of
          the people regarding this latter-day work than this record.
          Everything has been done that could be done to blind the eyes and
          darken the understanding of the children of men concerning the
          Book of Mormon. Every conceivable falsehood, almost, has been put
          into circulation concerning the origin of that work, and the
          inhabitants of the earth have been led to believe that it is one
          of the greatest impostures that was ever palmed upon mankind. And
          the name "Mormon" has been applied, in consequence of this, in
          derision to us because of our belief in that work. I have many
          times been reminded of the falsehood that was palmed upon the
          people by the Pharisees concerning the resurrection of Jesus
          Christ. They would not believe that most momentous event in that
          generation, though borne testimony to by living witnesses. They
          declared that his Apostles, or disciples, had stolen the body,
          that he had not been resurrected, and that false belief became
          current in that generation and was an accepted theory concerning
          the founder of the Christian religion, and the whole world deemed
          themselves justified--speaking now in general terms--in rejecting
          Jesus as the Messiah, and his disciples as the Apostles of God,
          and yet to-day it is the belief of Christendom. A man who doubts
          that the Savior was resurrected the third day from death, is
          looked upon as unworthy of that holy name, the name of Christian.
          So beliefs change and misrepresentation and falsehood fade away
          as time passes on and truth is received and accepted; and the day
          will yet come--and it is not very far distant, when we speak
          about it in comparison with this event to which I have
          alluded--when this Book of Mormon and all connected with it will
          be received and accepted, that is, all the truth, as the truth of
          the living God, for the reason that it is true, and that God
          himself is its author. For that reason, and for that reason
          alone, the time will come--and as I have said, it is not far
          distant, though it may seem very presumptuous to make such a
          statement--when this record will be accepted, as the Bible is now
          accepted, as a book of divine origin, and that it has been
          revealed through the ministrations and agency of holy angels. We
          accept the Bible to-day without a question--that is, those of us
          who believe in Jesus Christ and in God. There is not a living
          witness to substantiate its truth. We accept it because our
          fathers and our mothers and our teachers from our earliest days
          have taught us that it is true, that it is the word of God, and
          among protestants a belief in its sacredness, that I am sorry to
          say is fading away in many circles, was general. The Bible was
          accepted, after the reformation as infallible; it took the place
          of the infallibility of the Pope, and yet, as I have said, there
          is not a single living witness whose testimony has come down to
          us authenticated respecting its divinity, and in fact it is so
          open to attack that there are thousands who deem themselves
          justified, because of the insufficiency of the testimony and the
          conflict between statements which it contains, in rejecting it as
          the word of God. But in the case of the Book of Mormon, three
          witnesses, in addition to the man who was chosen of God, to
          translate it, testify in the most solemn manner that an holy
          angel came and exhibited the plates and testified to them that it
          was of God. We have heard those living witnesses bear testimony
          to this, and though they became alienated from Joseph Smith
          afterwards, though every one of them afterwards left the Church,
          because of differences that they had with members of the Church,
          and because fellowship was withdrawn from them, in consequence of
          acts of rebellion--yet all three men maintained their testimony
          unflinchingly--two of them being now dead--when they came back to
          the Church as they had done before, and as they did during their
          alienation from the Church, that the Book of Mormon was true;
          that they had seen an angel, and that that angel had testified to
          them that this was the work of God. One of these witnesses is
          still living, and though not connected with the Church, he still
          bears testimony, and publishes it--we see it frequently in the
          newspapers--confirming that which he had written, constantly
          bearing testimony unto all with whom he is brought in contact,
          and who make inquiry of him concerning this matter. When I was a
          boy I heard it stated concerning Oliver Cowdery, that after he
          left the Church he practised law, and upon one occasion, in a
          court in Ohio, the opposing counsel thought he would say
          something that would overwhelm Oliver Cowdery, and in reply to
          him in his argument he alluded to him as the man that had
          testified and had written that he had beheld an angel of God, and
          that angel had shown unto him the plates from which the Book of
          Mormon was translated. He supposed, of course, that it would
          cover him with confusion, because Oliver Cowdery then made no
          profession of being a "Mormon," or a Latter-day Saint; but
          instead of being affected by it in this manner, he arose in the
          court, and in his reply stated that, whatever his faults and
          weaknesses might be, the testimony which he had written, and
          which he had given to the world, was literally true.
                                       
          255
          Besides the three witnesses who saw an angel and handled the
          plates, there were eight others who testified also in the most
          solemn manner that, though not shown the plates by an angel, they
          were shown the plates by Joseph Smith; that they hefted the
          plates, that they handled them, that they examined them, that
          they appeared to be of ancient workmanship, that they saw the
          characters upon them, which were curious; and these eight men
          have testified to this, making in all twelve witnesses, many of
          whom we have known. But if this were the only testimony
          concerning this work, I myself would have, I might say,
          comparatively slight faith in it. It would have weight, of
          course. The testimony of men of character, men who testify
          solemnly to any fact, always did have weight with me. I suppose
          such testimony has weight with all more or less, according to the
          credibility of the witnesses. But there are evidences in this
          work itself of its divinity.
                                       
          257
                                       
          It is the internal evidence which the Book of Mormon contains
          that bears testimony of it. If Joseph Smith's claims as a Prophet
          of God had no other foundation than that which this book
          furnishes, then there is foundation enough for him to rank as one
          of the greatest prophets that has ever lived upon the face of the
          earth. There were predictions recorded in this book and published
          to the world in the winter of 1829 and 1830, which are being
          fulfilled today, and which have been fulfilled, or have been in
          process of fulfilment since the day that the work was issued from
          the press. There is scarcely a thing connected with the movement
          of the Latter-day Saints that has not been foreshadowed in the
          Book of Mormon. The way in which the work should be received, the
          manner in which it should be treated--I mean this organization,
          this Church, the manner in which the world would receive it, the
          manner, also, in which they would receive the record--that is the
          book--the expressions which they should use concerning it, had
          all been described in the greatest plainness before the Church
          itself was organized, even to the gathering of the people
          together, to which Brother Pratt has alluded as being so
          wonderful a work; and it may be said so phenomenal a work in its
          character. For the gathering out of this people called Latter-day
          Saints from every nation is a phenomenal work; the bringing them
          to these mountains; their organization throughout these valleys;
          the union, the love and the peace which prevail among them are
          all phenomenal in their character. This Book of Mormon, before
          there was a Church organized, before it had an existence,
          foreshadowed, in great plainness, that a people would be gathered
          together from the nations of the earth, and it has also described
          to us what their fate would be, how they would be driven and
          mobbed, and how they would be compelled to flee into the
          wilderness, as we did flee. There is scarcely a thing, as I have
          said, connected with this Church, or its history, that has not
          been alluded to with greater or less plainness, but especially
          the rejection of the Gospel by the nations and the treatment that
          those who espoused it would receive. This book was published,
          too, at a time when it was the proud boast of every American
          citizen, that religious liberty was universal wherever the stars
          and stripes waved; when such a thing as religious persecution was
          unknown; when every man could worship God without let or
          hindrance, according to the dictates of his own conscience; when
          such a thing as mobocracy, as driving men and women from their
          homes, burning their houses, destroying their property, or
          anything connected with these scenes, had never been witnessed in
          the Republic. Yet God, through this record, revealed in great
          plainness that such would be the case when this Church should be
          organized, and this was published, as I have said, before the
          Church had an existence upon the earth. It also testified what
          the fate of Joseph Smith should be. It alluded to the persecution
          that he should receive. It described how he should be treated by
          his enemies; these things were set forth and can be found within
          the pages of this book, and also many events that have not yet
          transpired. Joseph Smith has made predictions, and they are
          embodied in this book. I say he has made them, that is, God chose
          him as an instrument to bring these predictions to
          light--concerning the remnants that are left in the land--the
          Indians. Now, it is the general opinion--and it has been the
          opinion entertained for many years--that the Indian tribes would
          disappear, that they would be wiped out from the face of the
          land, that they would disappear as the buffalo have disappeared,
          and that it would only take a very short time until they would be
          obliterated. If there is any one opinion that is general in our
          land among the people in our Republic, this to-day is the general
          opinion concerning the Red Man. Of course there may be some who
          entertain a different opinion, but they are so few that they can
          scarcely be noticed, certainly they cannot be heard. Even those
          who advocate and espouse the cause of the red man, and look upon
          his race as terribly wronged, see no hope for him in the great
          future, but believe that he must disappear before the march of
          civilization and the increase of the pale faces. Now, Joseph
          Smith has predicted in this Book of Mormon the very opposite of
          this, and the world will yet see and know for themselves whether
          he is a true Prophet or not concerning this. This Book of Mormon
          with its promises is to a very great extent based upon the idea
          and the view that there is a future for the red man of this
          continent, and that they will at some time become an enlightened
          people and be redeemed from their present condition.
                                       
          257
                                       
          Now, if Joseph Smith had chosen to have said something as an
          impostor that would have suited the people, he would never have
          published the promises which this book contains concerning the
          red man; he would never have thought of such a thing, because the
          whole current of thought, even as early as the days of his
          childhood, was in a different direction. But inspired of God he
          made these predictions, and they are left on record like the
          other predictions to which I have alluded, and they will be
          fulfilled just as sure as God has spoken. And it is in
          consequence of our entertaining these views that we have been
          accused of having undue sympathy with the red man; because we
          have believed that they were human beings, that they had souls to
          be saved, and have felt to treat them with that kindness which we
          think is due to every man that stands in the form of God,
          whatever his race or color may be, whether black or red, yellow
          or white. Because we have taken this course and entertain these
          views, we have been accused thousands of times of having undue
          sympathy with the Indians, and sometimes of rendering them aid in
          their depredations. In our valleys and throughout our mountains
          an Indian has been as safe as he would be in the midst of his
          tribe. We have fed them, we have clothed them, we have endeavored
          to elevate them, we have treated them kindly. We have thought
          that a man who would shed the blood of an Indian would receive as
          severe condemnation and punishment therefore, as if he were to
          shed the blood of a white man. We have also endeavored to teach
          the people this idea, and the consequence is that travel where
          our people may, if it be known that they are the people of Utah,
          they can travel with a degree of safety that no one else can,
          because for these thirty-four years in these mountains we have
          pursued this policy--not to aid them in their attacks upon the
          whites, but, on the contrary, to persuade them--and, in fact, we
          have endeavored by force of arms to prevent them from doing such
          things when they have resolved to go upon the warpath. We have
          invariably said to them: "You cannot commit a greater crime than
          to shed the blood of your fellow-men, whether it be of your own
          race or any other race." Our influence has been to maintain
          peace, to endeavor to reclaim them from their degraded and
          indigent condition, and teach them industrious habits and those
          arts which would elevate them from their degradation. The Book of
          Mormon has had that influence with us, and, as I have said, there
          are promises connected with it which will yet be fulfilled, and
          which will establish, even more than it is already established
          the truth of what I have said, that Joseph was a man inspired of
          God, and that he spoke by the inspiration of the Almighty.
                                       
          259
                                       
          I know that it is very fashionable--we have experienced it, we
          know about it--to decry everything that is not popular. In every
          reformation, who have endeavored to stem the public current, and
          to mark out a path different from that trodden by the majority of
          mankind, have had the most bitter opposition to contend with.
          They have had everything to meet, and in many instances have had
          to lay down their lives in testimony of the truth of that which
          they were doing. And we are no exception to this rule. Our
          pathway has been marked from the beginning with sufferings from
          this cause, and we may expect that it will continue to be. We
          need not look for anything else. Our religion is an unpopular
          one, and we might possess all the virtues of the angels and they
          would be obscured by the misrepresentations and the clouds of
          calumny that are raised against us. Our virtues are lost sight
          of. Our industry and the good qualities which have made this land
          so beautiful; those qualities which have been the means in the
          hands of God of reclaiming this land from its desert condition,
          and peopling it, and making the valleys resound with the hum of
          industry, and creating beautiful homes in it, from north to
          south, and from east to west; the practice of temperance and
          virtue, and the other qualities which characterize this people,
          are entirely lost sight of, because in the opinion of the
          majority we are heretic. We adhere to a religion that is, as they
          believe, or as they assert, an imposture, and because of this
          they are ready to do with us as the Jews did with the Savior, and
          with those who believe in his divine mission. Nevertheless, this
          being the truth, it must prevail. There need not be any doubt in
          our minds, I do not believe there is. I do not believe that
          150,00 or 200,000 people can be found in any part of the globe
          who have the feelings of serenity and calm security, and who have
          less apprehension concerning the future than have the Latter-day
          Saints who dwell throughout these valleys of the Rocky Mountains.
          I do not believe another people can be found who have the
          feelings I describe. And when the clouds have been darkest, when
          everything appeared to foreshadow the destruction of the people,
          when it seemed as though all earth was raised against us, there
          has never been a time, even during those dark hours, that there
          has been any quailing in the hearts or feelings of the Latter-day
          Saints concerning the future. They know that God reigns; that
          this is his work, that he has laid the foundation of it, and that
          he will preserve and make it triumph in the earth; that he has
          sustained every man, woman and child belonging to this church
          from the beginning. When mobs have descended upon us like an
          avalanche, and when all the evils which they have wrought have
          come upon the people, even then there has been no flinching, no
          quivering of the hands, no shaking of the knees, no quailing of
          the heart, but calmly reposing upon the promises of God, the
          people have been sustained, and have gone forward rejoicing that
          they were counted worthy to be numbered among the Saints of God.
          This has been the feeling, it is today--and notwithstanding that
          threats of the most fearful character have been fulminated
          against us from time to time, and the press has come out with too
          great unanimity for its credit, suggesting every manner of scheme
          to exterminate us--notwithstanding all this the Latter-day
          Saints, I believe, of all the people upon the face of the earth,
          have had more peace in their hearts, have had more peace in their
          habitations, have had more confidence and less apprehension
          concerning the future than any other people to be found upon the
          face of this wide globe, go where you will to find them. And why
          is this? "Oh," says one, "it is your fanaticism; you are an
          enthusiastic, fanatical race of people. Your leaders are shrewd
          men, and the rest of the people are the dupes of your imposture;
          you exercise an influence over them, you blind their minds and
          they are led by you because you shrewder than they." This is the
          common expression of opinion respecting us. It shows how ignorant
          mankind are concerning this work. There is not a faithful man,
          there is not a faithful woman, who crossed the Mississippi River
          when driven from Illinois, but felt and knew that it was right
          for us to go into the wilderness and to carve out a new home, far
          away from those people who called themselves Christians, but who
          belied their profession--who did not feel this as much as
          President Young did, or any of the Twelve Apostles. Even the
          children themselves had the spirit of it. The whole people
          crossed that river and started out into the then Territory of
          Iowa, with entire confidence that God would lead them to a good
          place; they started with far more confidence than the children of
          Israel did under the leadership of Moses. And from that day to
          the present the people have had this spirit. Not a settlement has
          been formed throughout these mountain regions without the people
          themselves who founded it, being fully imbued with the feeling
          that they were called of God to come to this land, and it needed
          no constraint from President Young or any other man to influence
          them to do so. They were ready to act for themselves.
                                       
          260
                                       
          Every man and woman who enters into this Church has the right to
          know whether this doctrine be of God or not. I would not give a
          fig, if we numbered millions, if the people did not know for
          themselves that this was the work of God. I would rather have the
          six persons who formed the nucleus of the Church on the 6th of
          April, 1830, if those six knew for themselves that this was the
          work of God; I would feel we were a greater strength in the earth
          than six millions who had not this knowledge. And so I say
          concerning this people to-day throughout these valleys; if they
          only know for themselves that this is the work of God; if they
          have received this knowledge by the revelations of God for
          themselves individually, then they become a power in the earth,
          they are a living force. Murder may be resorted to for the
          purpose of destroying them, but as long as one remains there is a
          power through which God can work and bring to pass that which He
          has said shall be accomplished. The killing of Joseph Smith did
          not destroy this work, that was tried; it is not the killing of
          those who were associated with him that will do it. The past
          expulsions of the people did not injure or destroy the work,
          neither would any such attempts, if permitted, do so in the
          future. It is a living entity, and it is composed of living
          entities, men and women who know for themselves that this is the
          work of God, not depending upon Joseph Smith, not depending upon
          Brigham Young, not depending upon John Taylor, not depending upon
          Orson Pratt, or any other man tabernacled in the flesh, for their
          knowledge concerning this work. You might kill all these men off,
          if God would permit you, and still the knowledge remains until
          you extirpate the whole people; and in this respect it differs
          from every other work known among men. I have said it was
          phenomenal. It is phenomenal. This people who come from the
          nations of the earth--each one comes bearing testimony that he or
          she knows it is the work of God. They know that before they leave
          their homes, and they come impelled by that living faith, and
          they bear testimony to it. Hence it is a power in the earth. It
          is God's work. As Brother Orson Pratt has said, God dictated the
          day of its organization; God dictated that we should come to
          these mountains. There is not a settlement we make without our
          seeking to know the mind and will of God concerning it. We do not
          send a missionary abroad without asking the mind and will of God
          upon the subject. His mind and will is sought for in all things
          in holy places, and this Church has been guided from the first
          day of its organization until to-day, by that spirit of divine
          revelation. Hence the prosperity that has attended us, and the
          wonderful results that we witness to-day.
                                       
          260
          God has broken the long silence that has reigned for centuries.
          It is not to us alone, but He has spoken to the whole world, if
          they will open their ears to hear and their hearts to understand.
          God is working mightily to-day among the nations of the earth,
          and He is bringing to pass His great purposes, that have been so
          long deferred. But who hears His voice? Who seeks to understand
          it? Very few indeed. Unbelief is increasing, until even among
          those who profess to be ministers of religion you hear the power
          of God questioned respecting the affairs of men, and it is a rare
          thing to-day to find any man, even a professor of religion, who
          believes that God interposes by special providence in behalf of
          any of His children upon the earth. It is very rarely you can
          find men who have such a belief. They believe that God allows all
          things to go on without interference on His part. That, however,
          is not the faith of Christ, that is not the teaching of the
          Savior, who taught His disciples and all men to go unto the
          Father, and ask in His name for that which they needed, and that
          the very hairs of their head could not fall to the ground
          unnoticed. This is the God the Latter-day Saints believe in and
          seek after. They know that He lives. They know by revelation for
          themselves, and this constitutes the great difference between
          this Church and every other church. We believe in revelation from
          God to-day. We believe that He is the same yesterday, to-day and
          forever; that He changes not, and that if His mind and will were
          revealed unto the inhabitants of the earth 1800 years ago in
          answer to prayer, in the same manner they can be obtained to-day.
          260
          I pray God to bless you, to pour out His Holy Spirit upon you, to
          lead and guide you into all truth, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / George
          Q. Cannon, May 8th, 1881
                           George Q. Cannon, May 8th, 1881
                       DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON, 
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 
                                       
             Sunday Afternoon, May 8th, 1881. (Reported by John Irvine.) 
            THE BLESSINGS ENJOYED THROUGH POSSESSING THE ANCIENT RECORDS,
                                        ETC.
          261
          President Cannon having read the whole of the 12th Chapter of the
          Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, said: It is a blessed thing
          for us who live in this day and age to have records in our midst
          which have come down from olden times, and which are recognized,
          at least by Christendom, as the Word of God, and as containing
          principles of life and salvation. A people who are destitute of
          such records are in many respects to be pitied, for they have not
          the benefit of the experience and teachings of those who have
          preceded them and are deprived of that knowledge concerning the
          things of God, which is a great stay unto those who possess it.
          It is a great comfort to a person in the midst of trials and of
          afflictions, who has a desire to look unto God or some being who
          is superior to us, to read the life and the experience of others
          who may have been similarly situated in other ages, and to know
          from the record that has come down how they felt and acted, and
          the deliverances they received through the power of God. In like
          manner it is a great blessing and a comfort to those who are
          struggling in the midst of the darkness, error, and confusion
          which prevail upon the earth, whose souls go out after God, who
          desire to know concerning Him, to comprehend the plan of
          salvation, to have some understanding concerning the objects of
          their creation; and while in this life to have the experience of
          others who have preceded them, and also to read that which they
          knew concerning God.
                                       
          262
          In this respect the chapter which I have read from this book is
          of priceless worth; its value cannot be estimated by anything
          that is known among men upon which value is fixed. If we did not
          have this book, and it could be given to us with the testimony
          that we now have as to its authenticity and its divine origin, I
          suppose there are hundreds today in this Tabernacle who, if they
          could not get it in any other way, would be willing to give all
          that they have in the world to possess a copy of it. The fact
          that we have it, the fact that we have always had it, the fact
          that our forefathers always had it, at least so far as we know,
          has made us to a certain extent careless about it. We do not
          value it as we might do if our attention had been newly awakened
          to its existence. But in the Latter-day Saints it should always
          be a precious treasure. Beyond any people now upon the face of
          the earth, they should value it, for the reason that from its
          pages, from the doctrines set forth by its writers, the epitome
          of the plan of salvation which is there given unto us, we derive
          the highest consolation, we obtain the greatest strength. It is,
          as it were, a constant fountain sending forth streams of living
          life to satisfy the souls of all who peruse its pages. Our
          condition is bad enough, it may be said, in some respects with
          this in our possession and having this to refer to; but we can
          imagine that it would be much worse if we did not have it, if we
          could not appeal to our fellow creatures who believe in God, who
          believe in Jesus Christ, who believe in the Old and New
          Testaments--if we did not have this to appeal to, to prove that
          whatever our peculiarities may be, however different our views
          from the views of many who profess Christianity, we at least
          share in those views with others who were called the people of
          God, the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in days that are
          past, and who among all people throughout Christendom are
          recognized as the true exponents of the word of God, and the plan
          of salvation which He revealed.
                                       
          263
                                       
          There was a day in our history when it was considered a crime for
          us to believe in revelation from God. I do not know that that day
          is entirely past. There was a day in our history when it was
          considered very improper for us to believe in Prophets or
          Apostles--that is, to believe that they ought to be in the
          Church. There was a time when we were indicted by a mob in its
          written proclamation for believing in miracles. It was considered
          sufficient cause and justification to expel us from our homes
          because we believed that God, through His power, could heal the
          sick, and perform miracles like unto those that were performed in
          ancient days by His servants. How do you think it would have
          been, my brethren and sisters, if we had not had the Bible to
          refer to? How would it have been with many of those who passed
          through those scenes if they had not had the teachings of the
          Apostles and the words of the Savior written as we have them in
          the Bible to comfort them, to cheer them, and to show them that
          it was not a new departure for men to have those ideas and
          beliefs? With the Bible in our hands we could test all men who
          professed to be followers of Jesus Christ; for God has plainly
          said, that He is the same yesterday, to-day and forever; that He
          does not change; that He is as near unto His people in these days
          as He ever was; that he is as willing to hear their cries, to
          answer their petitions, to grant unto them the desires of their
          hearts, in our age as He ever was in any preceding age. Now, this
          is a doctrine plainly taught in the Bible, and it has been the
          cause of immense satisfaction to those who have espoused its
          doctrine, it would have been a very trying thing for us in the
          days of gloom through which we have passed had we not been
          assured in a very reliable way that God would hear and answer our
          prayers, for there have been many times when if it had not been
          for this assurance and this knowledge, the Latter-day Saints
          would have sunk beneath the weight of their afflictions, it is
          doubtful if they would have endured them; but by having this
          knowledge, by having received a testimony concerning the
          willingness of our Father in heaven to answer prayer, and to deal
          with us as He dealt with His ancient children, we have been
          comforted, we have been sustained, we have been filled with hope
          and have been cheered in our onward progress, and this knowledge
          to-day is more precious than any knowledge there is upon the face
          of the earth; for in the darkness, in the unbelief, in the denial
          of God, which is so common at the present time, the man who knows
          that God lives, that God hears and answers prayer, the woman who
          knows this occupies a very superior position and has great cause
          for thanksgiving and praise that such knowledge has been placed
          in his or her possession. Now Paul, who wrote this epistle from
          which I have read, understood this perfectly. His life, in many
          respects, resembles the lives of those who preceded him in the
          same career. In many of its features it resembles the lives of
          the prophets who lived before the days of the Savior; and the
          lives of the servants of God in this day in which we live have a
          strong resemblance to that of Paul and his fellow Apostles.
          Brother Woodruff has published a little work, called, "Leaves
          from my Journal," and in reading that book I have been very
          forcibly reminded of the lives of the ancient Apostles, it
          resembles them so much. You have doubtless thought, all of you,
          about the character of the men whom Jesus chose to be His
          Apostles. They were men who were stumbling-blocks to their
          generation, for they did not belong to the popular classes. They
          were not learned men, they were not rich men--that is in the
          worldly sense of the word--they were not dignified men; and Jesus
          Himself, the Lord of life and of glory, was a constant
          stumbling-block to His generation. His origin was
          humble--although he came of a kingly line: his surroundings were
          mean and low; his reputed father a carpenter, and doubtless he
          himself worked at the business, and the men whom he chose were
          fishermen, men of low degree, men of low origin; not scholars,
          not men of fine presence so far as worldly advantages were
          concerned. But he filled them with the power of God; he gave them
          the revelations of heaven; he taught them the plan of salvation;
          he sent them forth endowed with power from on high; and they
          effected a great revolution in the earth. They laid the
          foundation of a system that has accomplished marvelous results,
          and through their work the name of Christ has been spread
          throughout all the earth.
                                       
          264
                                       
          Have you not been frequently struck, my brethren and sisters,
          with the peculiar manner in which God called his people and his
          servants. It is not many wise, it is not many learned, it is not
          many noble who have been called as his servants. He called his
          Prophets wherever he could find them, and they were suited to his
          purpose. He called his apostles and his disciples in the same
          manner. It seemed to be a necessity that the faith of the
          generations of men should be tried, that their confidence in God
          should be tested, to see whether they would be willing to receive
          his truth from any source however humble. It would not be any
          trial of a man's faith if some man possessing supreme power, who
          wielded wonderful influence, were to declare that what he said
          was the word of God unto the people--a man of popular honors, a
          man who could control all the people, who could make the system
          which he advocated popular and desirable among mankind, what
          trial would there be of a people's faith to embrace truth under
          such circumstances? But that has not been the course which God
          has taken with his people. He could have sent his Son Jesus
          Christ among men at a time and under circumstances that would
          have made his influence irresistible on the earth and among the
          people. He could have given him such power that men would have
          been compelled to have received him, but that was not the way in
          which the Lord did his work. He never did it in that manner. He
          never consulted men's views and their ideas respecting his work.
          He chose his instruments and he sent them as he desired under the
          circumstances which he deemed best adapted to accomplish his
          purposes. Therefore His Son Jesus was born--though as I have said
          deriving his descent from the kingly house of David--under
          circumstances that did not carry with them great influence. There
          was nothing about his birth or his surroundings to convince the
          inhabitants of the earth that he was the Son of God. They were
          left entirely to know this by the Spirit of God; they were left
          to derive this knowledge by seeking for it unto him who could
          bestow it upon them, and were not to be actuated by that which is
          called the popular voice; and in this way man's agency is tested
          to the very utmost. To illustrate the idea that I have on my
          mind, suppose that Jesus had been born under circumstances that
          mankind would have had to accept him as the Son of God; suppose
          his disciples had been under such circumstances and surrounded by
          such influences that mankind would have naturally followed them
          and accepted their doctrines without hesitation, because it would
          have been to their worldly interest to do so, would man's agency
          have been tested as it was in the days of the Savior? No, his
          agency would not have been tested. He had presented before him
          truth and error. Truth was not popular. The espousal of truth was
          not of worldly advantage to men at that time. If he therefore
          espoused it, it would be because of his love for it, and for the
          blessings which would flow from it, and not because there would
          be any profit of a worldly character attending its espousal.
          There is a reason therefore for God sending many of his
          messengers as he has done. It was rarely that they were men who
          by their position could control the people and cause them to
          follow them naturally aside from the truth. We know how it was
          with many of the Prophets. They were unpopular. The truths that
          they declared did not add to their popularity, and it was a test
          of men and women's love for the truth when these men came among
          them, for when they espoused the truth they did it because of the
          love of the truth. God has evidently determined that when men and
          women embrace the truth, they shall embrace it for the love of
          it; that they shall not be converted by man's influence; that
          they shall not follow in the train of men because of some
          advantage that will accrue to them. Evidently, then, it is the
          will of God concerning us, that if we embrace the truth we must
          embrace it because we love it, not because of the instrument who
          brings it to us. We must be willing to receive it through
          whatever channel he may choose. If it be John the Baptist, if it
          be any of the disciples of the Savior, if it be Joseph Smith, if
          it be Brigham Young, if it be John Taylor, or any other man, no
          matter who the man may be, God chooses his own instruments, and
          he sends his truth to the earth in a way that he sees fit.
                                       
          265
          The most of those who are of adult years in this audience this
          day know how it was before they heard the sound of the Gospel as
          preached by the Elders of this Church. They know very well that
          nowhere within the range of their acquaintance was there a man
          among all the churches, who declared that he had authority from
          God to administer the ordinances of life and salvation by direct
          revelation from him. The most of you know that the common
          expression was that the canon of scripture was full; that there
          were no more miracles; that angels would come no more to the
          earth; that God would no more bestow the old blessings that were
          enjoyed in ancient days, and that he would no more speak unto
          men. This was the teaching, and every one was led to expect that
          all things would continue as they were, and when men and women
          were dissatisfied about this, and they went to their ministers
          and asked them about it, they invariably replied that the
          blessings pertaining to the days of Jesus and his Apostles were
          not for this generation. I was but a child when my parents joined
          the Church, but I learned to read very early. Among the first
          questions I remember asking my father was in relation to the
          Apostles and to the gifts. I asked him if there were no Apostles
          now. He told me there were not. I asked him if there were no men
          who performed the works that they did. He told me that there were
          none, and I have time and time again gone to bed and cried
          because I could not live in the days of Apostles, because I could
          not see Jesus and know the things which he taught, and which his
          Apostles taught. This was my experience in my childhood. I
          yearned with all my soul to live in a day when these things were
          possible, when God would speak from the heavens, when God would
          bestow his power upon men, and when those who were faithful could
          receive the gifts and blessings of the Gospel as they did in
          ancient days, and I repined in my heart because I did not have
          the privilege of living in a day like that. And as I have said,
          though but a child when the Gospel came to my father's house, I
          rejoiced in it, and I have rejoiced in it from that day to the
          present.
                                       
          265
          God has restored the old Gospel, God has rebuilt the old Church.
          God has restored the old authority, and with the Gospel have come
          the old gifts and manifestations of the spirit, and with the
          Church, and with the authority and with the gospel and with the
          gifts have come the old persecution, the old hatred, the old
          animosity, the same determination to destroy the work of God that
          has always been manifested when it had an existence upon the
          earth. And how inconsistent it would be to entertain any other
          views concerning the Gospel than that which we do. How
          inconsistent it would be to believe that the inhabitants of the
          earth would be entirely cut off from any further revelation from
          God. But, says one--this is what is said when they object to
          these things--how is it that we have lived for so many
          generations without this knowledge? There is a reason for this.
          God does not deprive the earth, nor the inhabitants of the earth
          of His knowledge without cause. When the Prophets disappeared
          from Israel before the coming of the Savior, there were reasons
          for their disappearance. When there was witchcraft, as we are
          told, in the days of Saul, and there was a time of famine in the
          land for the word of God, there were reasons for this.
                                       
          267
                                       
          When communication ceased between heaven and earth in those and
          subsequent days, there were good reasons why that should be so.
          Communication never ceased when the people were faithful. When
          they honored God, when they kept the commandments of God, when
          they listened to the voice and admonitions of His Prophets,
          communication never ceased under these circumstances. But when
          the people turned unto idols, when they followed Baal, when they
          hardened their hearts against God, when they persecuted and slew
          His Prophets, then in his anger he withdrew from them, his face
          was hidden, his voice was no longer heard, there were no longer
          visions, there were no longer prophecies in the land,--an
          unbroken stillness reigned between the heavens and the earth
          until the people again repented, sometimes under the inspiration
          of a Prophet, sometimes under some good king raised up and
          turning to the Lord. Then again Prophets appeared, predictions
          were heard, the voice of revelation, or in other words, the voice
          of God through his servants, was heard in the land. And so it was
          after the days of the Savior. When he was killed his Apostles
          still lived, and they proclaimed the truth, and they would have
          continued to do so, to have perpetuated the line of the Apostles,
          to have ordained Apostles after Apostles, for, as Paul has said,
          God has placed first in the Church, Apostles. The Church of
          Christ is not perfect without Apostles. Apostles were as
          necessary as Teachers; they were as necessary as Evangelists;
          they were as necessary as Pastors. But the wicked would not allow
          Apostles to live, for Apostles were men who had revelation,
          Apostles were inspired of God; they became, as it were, the
          oracles of Jehovah to the inhabitants of the earth. But they were
          slain, one after another. The Church was persecuted, the men of
          God were destroyed, and of course when this came to pass,
          darkness prevailed. There were no means of receiving revelation.
          How could God send men unto people who would kill them? He
          destroyed the Jewish nation for killing his Son, and he broke in
          pieces other nations for killing His Apostles. And thus there
          arose a system having the form of godliness, but denying the
          power thereof; a system that was popular, a system of religion
          that monarchs caused to be taught in their dominions and to their
          subjects, and a great change occurred throughout what is called
          Christendom. The followers of this religion, instead of being
          persecuted and hunted, instead of having to hide in caves and
          dens to escape the wrath of the governing powers, those that were
          left of them emerged from their hiding places and were elevated
          to places of power and honor, and the followers of him who was
          called the meek and lowly Jesus, became, in some instances, the
          rulers of the land. Thus persecution ceased, and with the
          stoppage of persecution there was also a cessation of revelation.
          There was no voice from heaven, no angels descended, no men had
          visions--that is, I am speaking now in general terms. The Church
          was not organized upon its original plan; it departed from it;
          and from that time until a little over half a century ago, this
          continued to be the case. Have there been reformers? Yes; good
          men, men who served God to the best of their ability, Wycliffe,
          Luther, Calvin, Wesley, and many others, arose in their
          generations, and strove to the best of their ability to turn the
          tide and to have men seek after God. But they had not the
          authority of the Holy Priesthood; they had not the authority to
          rebuild the Church according to the original pattern, and though
          they were blessed of God, though they enjoyed his favor, though
          his spirit was with them to a very great extent, they did not
          have the authority to initiate men and women into the Church, and
          through their administration to bestow upon them the gifts that
          were enjoyed in ancient days. This was the cause of such a long
          period of darkness, of gloom and ignorance that prevailed
          concerning God.
                                       
          268
                                       
          Now, if a man had gone with his Bible in his hands throughout
          Christendom at the time the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
          Saints was organized, and inquired of the various churches
          respecting their organization and the gifts and blessings that
          Paul has described in the chapter I have read as necessary to the
          Church of Christ, he would have found no church corresponding to
          his description. He compares it to a man's body. He impressed
          upon those to whom this epistle was addressed, the necessity of
          being a member of the body; that the head could not say to the
          feet, "I have no need of thee;" that an Apostle could not say to
          the humblest member of the Church that there was no need of that
          member or that officer. Neither, on the other hand, could that
          officer say, because he was the feet, that there was no need of
          the head. All the officers, all the gifts, all the blessings that
          were enjoyed in ancient days are as necessary to the perfection
          of the body of Christ now as they ever were. The Saints were all
          partakers of the same spirit, and when men had that spirit, as
          Paul had it in his day, they had these gifts. Not every man the
          same gift, by any means; but God gave his gifts through his
          spirit according to the wants of the people, according to the
          necessities of the Church, and thus they were in every respect a
          perfect body. You take out Apostles and you leave the body
          imperfect, and you take out Prophets and the body is no longer
          perfect. You take out miracles, and helps, prophecies, tongues,
          interpretations of tongues, and all these gifts, or any of them,
          and you leave the body of Christ, or the Church of Christ
          imperfect. Are all Apostles? No. Are all Prophets? No; but every
          one ought to have the spirit of prophecy. There is necessity for
          Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, and all the gifts in the Church,
          and whenever the Church of Christ is organized on the earth it
          possesses those blessings. Now, referring to this chapter which I
          have read, if a man had gone out sixty years ago among the
          Christian sects and denominations in search of the Church of
          Christ, according to the ancient pattern, would he have found it?
          Was there such a church on the earth? No; there was not. The Lord
          sent his angels to Joseph Smith and ordained him to the old
          authority, for as there was no man remaining on the earth then
          that had that authority, it was necessary that they should come,
          otherwise the authority could not have been bestowed. It had gone
          back to heaven, therefore the heavens had to be opened, angels
          had to descend, even the same men that held it when they were in
          the flesh on the earth. They had to lay their hands upon a man
          and ordain him as they would have done in the flesh, as they did
          in fact while in the flesh upon him who took the place of Judas
          Iscariot when he betrayed the Lord and lost his apostleship. They
          laid their hands upon Matthias, and he became an Apostle. The
          council would not have been complete without this. Matthias
          occupied that place by ordination under the hands of his brethren
          the Apostles, and in like manner when Joseph Smith and Oliver
          Cowdery were ordained Apostles, they received the Apostleship by
          the laying on of the hands of the men who had held that authority
          in the flesh, and hence you can see the propriety of angels
          coming.
                                       
          269
                                       
          Now, it is a remarkable fact that Joseph Smith had gifts before
          he was ordained. He was a Seer, for he translated before he was
          ordained; he was a Prophet, for he predicted a great many things
          before he was ordained and before the Church was organized; he
          was a revelator, for God gave unto him revelations before the
          Church was organized. He therefore, was a Prophet, Seer and
          Revelator before he was ordained in the flesh. Did you ever think
          of it? Brother Joseph Smith was a Prophet, Seer and Revelator
          before he ever received any Priesthood in the flesh. But did he
          on that account presume to administer the ordinances of life and
          salvation? Did he presume to lead men into the waters of baptism
          and baptize him? No, he did not. Why? Because he had not received
          that authority. He could act in those other capacities, he could
          possess those other gifts, they were born with him. He was
          ordained a Prophet, doubtless, before he came here; but that
          ordination did not give him the right to immerse men and women in
          the waters of baptism, neither did it give him the power to lay
          on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. He had to await the
          authority from on high. And who came? The man that held the
          authority in ancient days, the man who baptized the Son of
          God--John the Baptist, who was beheaded by the order of Herod. It
          was necessary that someone holding that authority should come
          from heaven, there being no one on the earth, and all the
          churches then in existence denied such authority, to a very great
          extent, at least. At any rate, whether they denied it or not,
          they did not possess it. And when he came, he laid his hands upon
          Joseph Smith and his companion, Oliver Cowdery, and gave them the
          authority, and then, having received the authority, they were
          baptized for a remission of their sins. But there still remained
          another authority which they did not have. Joseph was not a
          presumptuous man. Why, there are thousands of men in this
          generation who would say, "if I am a Prophet, Seer and Revelator,
          I have authority to do everything else." But he did not do that,
          he did not take that view, he waited, as I have said, until the
          due time of the Lord, and when the Lord sent his messenger to
          ordain him, then he acted. But he did not think, after having
          seen an angel, after having been ordained by an angel to the
          Aaronic Priesthood, after having received authority to
          baptize--he did not presume to lay on hands upon any one for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost. As in the other cases he waited, and
          in the good time of the Lord, he sent his Apostles, the three
          leading Apostles--Peter, James and John, the First Presidency of
          the Church, in the days of Jesus after his death; he sent those
          who held the keys, he commanded them from heaven to go and
          administer unto those two men, to lay hands upon them. And when
          they were ordained Apostles, they proceeded then to lay hands
          upon each other, the one ordained the other, having received
          authority from God to do this. In virtue of this Apostleship they
          proceeded to organize the Church under the command of God.
                                       
          269
                                       
          And witness, my brethren and sisters, the marvelous results which
          have followed the restoration of this angelic and divine power,
          witness the marvelous results wherever this Gospel has gone. It
          has gone forth accompanied by the convincing power of God. The
          humble of the earth have been baptized and they have received a
          testimony from God that their sins have been forgiven. What
          wonderful power this is! the power to remit sins by the
          administration of an holy and divine ordinance. Yet this has been
          the case. Humble men have been chosen and ordained of God, and
          have gone forth carrying this power with them. They have taken
          those who believed into the waters of baptism, immersed them, and
          God has witnessed unto those souls that their sins have been
          remitted. A wonderful power! And then they have laid their hands
          upon them and the Holy Ghost has descended as in ancient days,
          and the gifts, blessings and graces of the Gospel have
          accompanied the administration of that holy ordinance, and the
          hearts of the people have been bound together. Oh, how wonderful
          it is when we look at it!--men and women of every nation,
          kindred, tongue and people to be bound together as the heart of
          one man, under the influence of the power of God, through this
          humble agency. Such men start out feeling their dependence on
          God. They have no learning to boast of; they have no advantages
          to any great extent, yet they have not the disadvantages that
          some people have to contend with. I think it is a positive
          disadvantage to be as many ministers are. A man is terribly
          incumbered who goes through the mill to be prepared to teach the
          Gospel. But when a man goes forth putting his trust in God, he
          feels that in and of himself he is nothings; that if he brings a
          soul to the knowledge of the truth, he knows that it must be by
          the power of God. He goes forth trembling and weeping, yet he
          bears precious seed. He knows he has the message of life and
          salvation, that God has chosen him to deliver that message, and
          he goes among the people, bearing his testimony in humility,
          calling upon God to bear witness of the truth of what he has
          said, calling upon the people to repent and to forsake their sins
          and turn to God. It is not his eloquence, it is not his
          popularity, it is not his wealth, it is nothing of this kind that
          convinces the people, but it is the Spirit of God which rests
          upon them. They are filled with joy and peace. They read the
          Bible as they never read it before. The scales drop from their
          eyes. They see the beauties of the Gospel, and they wonder how it
          was they did not see them before. And all this through the
          restoration of the Holy Priesthood. The Prophet Joseph Smith,
          inspired of God, laid the foundation of a Church that has not the
          like of it on the earth. Men wonder at it. They say, "What an
          organization you have; how wonderful it is." It is wonderful
          because it is Divine, it came from God. Man's wisdom did not
          devise it--man's wisdom has not maintained it. Whatever there is
          about it, God must have the glory.
                                       
          270
          In conclusion, my brethren and sisters, I say to you, cleave to
          the truth, revere this book (the Bible) and the other books that
          we have received. These precious records contain the word of God.
          We can look back to olden times and see how our brethren and
          sisters did, and what God did for them, and how similarly he is
          blessing us now. These records are a source of comfort in the
          midst of affliction and trial; they are a source of blessing and
          joy to every soul who will peruse them and treasure up the truths
          therein contained.
          270
          May the Lord help us to be true to that which he has committed to
          us, that after we have fought the good fight, after we have done
          all we can do for the salvation of our fellow-creatures and the
          spread of truth, we may be received into the mansions of the
          blessed, there to dwell eternally with our God, and with those
          who have gone before, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / John
          Henry Smith, October 8, 1881
                          John Henry Smith, October 8, 1881
              REMARKS BY APOSTLE JOHN H. SMITH Delivered at the General
                                     Conference,
           in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Saturday Morning, October 8,
                                        1881.
             (Reported by John Irvine.) THE CALLING OF MISSIONARIES--THE
                                       PROPER
                             TRAINING OF THE YOUNG, ETC.
          270
          I am pleased to meet with you this morning, and have had much
          satisfaction in listening to the teachings and instructions of
          our brethren.
                                       
          271
                                       
          The duties and responsibilities which are imposed upon us are of
          that nature that it is necessary for us to be called together
          from time to time to have our memories freshened in regard to the
          principles of the Gospel, the order of the Priesthood, and the
          duties and responsibilities that are incumbent upon us, as the
          servants of the Most High. Our minds are caused to reflect upon
          various subjects. My reflections have been directed for some time
          in a direction that is different in some measure from what it has
          been heretofore, and that is in regard to the selection of
          missionaries from among the various Stakes of Zion, to go abroad
          and represent the cause and kingdom of God upon the earth, in the
          various fields of labor wherein we are enabled at the present
          time to introduce the principles of the Gospel. And in looking
          round among my brethren for those that it would be proper to send
          upon missions, I find, in my judgment, that it is highly
          necessary that fathers and mothers is Israel should adopt a more
          strict and conscientious course in the instruction of their sons
          in regard to the principles of the Gospel. We find in searching
          among our brethren, that we are compelled at times to call upon
          men who have in some measure--and to a very great extent in some
          instances--neglected to fully study and comprehend in their
          entirety the principles of the Gospel. They have been faithful in
          the discharge of some of their duties, but the cares of life, the
          necessity of providing for families, aiding father and mother,
          etc., have prevented them receiving that care and attention and
          instruction, by those who are placed to watch over them that they
          should receive. It is a fact, patent to all of us, that those
          children who are called around the fireside at home and
          instructed in the principles of the Gospel by father and mother;
          that these children, though they may be wayward for a season, as
          they grow older, get the principles of the Gospel fixed upon
          their minds, a substantial foundation is laid, and as the days of
          thoughtlessness pass away, they are prepared to step forward and
          perform their part in the advancement of the work of God upon the
          earth. I think, therefore, is would be a wise and prudent thing
          for every family in Israel, that have sons arrived at the years
          of accountability, to teach them, not only when they have grown
          to this age, but from childhood up, so that when the time arrives
          they may be prepared to go forward in the various fields of
          labor, and use their influence in the advancement of the work
          which our Father has established. We frequently have to strive,
          in some measure, to keep our children around us, inasmuch as they
          are engaged in various pursuits, sometimes in various places; yet
          it would be the ambition and pride of every man and woman who are
          rearing a son in Zion, that he should be a messenger of peace and
          salvation to the world.
                                       
          271
          This is one of the subjects that I felt to touch upon in
          Conference.
          271
          I have never been called upon before to look around in the
          interests of missionary work, but I have been led to reflect upon
          this matter. The noblest work that a son can be engaged in is the
          work of carrying the Gospel to the nations of the earth, and to
          do this successfully they must have a testimony of the truth
          within their own hearts. Every father and mother, as their sons
          become of age, should see that they are prepared for the
          responsibility and honor of a position of this kind, and thus be
          an honor to their parents, who have stood firm to the principles
          of the Gospel. In my brief experience in this matter I have had
          to approach many young men who have been in some measure wayward,
          not wicked; they are willing to go and try, but they feel that
          their lives have not been as exemplary as they might have been.
          No young man, however lowly his estate may be, is exempt from
          this right and privilege--the son of the farmer and the son of
          the lumberman, as much as the son of the merchant, the doctor, or
          the sons of the Twelve, Presidency of Stakes, Bishops of Wards,
          etc.; the same responsibility rests upon all who have espoused
          the cause of truth, and who are desirous that our names should
          stand in Israel.
                                       
          272
          I would therefore plead with the young men that are within the
          sound of my voice this day, that they prepare themselves for this
          great work, study the scriptures of truth, cultivate the spirit
          of humility, and strive to learn the way of life and be prepared
          for the duties and responsibilities of Elders in Israel. This
          should be the desire of every young man; and if we, as fathers
          and mothers, will attend to our duties, if we will study the
          interests of our families, enter into their feelings and
          sentiments, and cultivate within their hearts a regard for the
          principles of truth, we will find our sons and our daughters grow
          up around us honoring the Priesthood of the Son of God, honoring
          the Lord and His laws, and striving to do their utmost in
          furthering the advancement of His work. It is the duty of every
          young man who has received the principles of the Gospel, so that
          he may be able to aid in the accomplishment of this great labor.
          And in order, my brethren and sisters, that they may have a
          proper education for this labor, it is necessary that we begin
          with them in childhood; that mother makes it her sacred duty in
          the absence of father, or whether he be at home or no, to call
          her little ones around her and teach them to pray to their Father
          in Heaven for His blessing upon themselves, their friends, their
          kindred, and the good and pure everywhere. And where fathers and
          mothers begin to thus train their children in early childhood, in
          the principles of the Gospel, we will find that in after life
          they will take their place in the Church, when the proper time
          arrives. Under this influence and teaching they will take their
          place in the Young Men's Improvement Associations, and learn to
          bear their testimony intelligently, and feel desirous of
          responding to every call made upon them. They may feel timid at
          the first, as I believe all men do to a greater or less extent;
          but the right spirit is within their breasts, and they cannot
          shake it off.
                                       
          273
          Now, I am sanguine that there are many who call themselves
          Latter-day Saints, who have neglected their duty in this respect,
          and many a son is permitted to grow to manhood, whose father has
          never asked him to bow with them at the family altar. This is a
          serious neglect upon the part of those who have named the name of
          Jesus, who have come up to these mountains to be taught in the
          ways of the Lord. It is a sad neglect, and those who have done it
          in the past should guard against it in the future. We should
          attend to the sacred duty of instructing our sons and daughters,
          so that when they are called to fill various positions, they will
          feel it an honor to respond. This sentiment and feeling should
          actuate us at all times. It is not necessary that our children
          should be taught to make particularly long prayers. Christ, our
          elder Brother, has set us a wise and prudent example in this
          respect; He has given us an example worthy of imitation. It is
          not for the number of words that we use in approaching our
          Father, but it is that we approach Him in earnestness, realizing
          that He can bless us; and if we draw near unto Him as we should,
          we shall receive a blessing at His hands. I have sometimes
          thought that fathers have been unwise in this matter: their
          prayers have been too long; so much so that those who may be
          taking part in the same get tired and desire to be away from the
          family when this duty is to be performed. This should not be so.
          The children should be taught to take a pride in this duty, and
          made to feel that it is their duty to be in attendance when the
          family bow down to return thanks to God for all the mercies and
          blessings He has vouchsafed from time to time. If we as parents,
          will do our duty in this respect, if we exercise our privileges
          as the servants of our Father, we will find a race of men and
          women growing up around us who have faith, who will honor their
          parents and the cause we desire them to represent; but if we
          allow them to grow up without culture and a proper regard for the
          ordinances of the Gospel of Christ, we will find that our sons
          and our daughters will stray from us and from the principles of
          truth. We should look well to this condition of things and see
          that we are performing the duties devolving upon us.
          273
          I trust this is enough from me upon this subject.
                                       
          273
          I desire to speak a few minutes to the young men, for I see there
          are quite a number within the sound of my voice. I feel as a
          rule, that I am more at liberty to talk and reason with them than
          I am with those who are older and more experienced than I am. I
          desire to plead with the sons of Zion, that they will select for
          their example the best men that can be found in the kingdom. If
          there is a man in the Church whose life is unspotted, upon whose
          name rests no stain, and who is clear from every evil; pattern
          after his virtues; study to possess integrity as he possesses it;
          study to be honest as he is honest, just as he is just, and avoid
          the shoals, the rocks and evils upon which many men have wrecked
          and gone to pieces; for no man that is a thief, a liar, a robber,
          an adulterer, can keep the faith of the Gospel. I would warn you,
          my young brethren, to look well to your course in life, see that
          it is free from sin; for no man can remain in the kingdom of God
          long who has the thought of resting upon him that he is guilty of
          wickedness. I find in my experience, in looking around me, men
          whose growth in the kingdom has ceased, and I find in seeking to
          know and understand the cause of this, that they have been guilty
          of indiscretions that they cannot face. We should see, therefore,
          that our course of life is free from stain, for if we leave the
          path of rectitude, we must expect to go down to disgrace and
          dishonor; but if we lay our foundation in righteousness, we will
          find ourselves in the path of life, and the blessings of Heaven
          will be upon us. We will have neither fear nor doubt. It is he
          that is guilty of sin that is doubtful and fearful, for he fears
          the justice of God.
          273
          Well, my brethren and sisters, I am pleased to be with you, to
          see your faces and to feel your spirit. I feel that Zion is
          growing, and that she may continue to grow and spread, until the
          purposes of God are accomplished, is my prayer, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / George
          Q. Cannon, April 5, 1881
                                       
                           George Q. Cannon, April 5, 1881
                       DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON, 
                        Delivered at the General Conference, 
             Tuesday Morning, April 5, 1881. (Reported by John Irvine.)
                  EDUCATION--ITS ADVANTAGES AMONG THE SAINTS, ETC.
          274
          A great variety of topics have been alluded to during our
          Conference; and I trust that the people will be able to remember,
          after their return to their homes, the various counsels and
          instructions that they have received. Our meeting together in a
          conference of this character ought to be exceedingly profitable
          to us. Certainly these are occasions of great interest; and I am
          sure if the instructions which have been given are carried out by
          the people, they will produce a marked improvement in their
          lives.
          274
          There are many subjects which suggest themselves to us upon
          occasions like the present. We are placed in such circumstances
          that it requires constant teachings, constant counseling to
          enable us to accomplish the duties devolving upon us.
          274
          There is one thing that has impressed itself very much upon my
          mind, to which allusion has been made by others since our
          Conference commenced, namely, the subject of education.
          274
          My position for many years has been such as to deeply impress me
          with its value and with the importance of our attending strictly
          to this matter in our various settlements.
                                       
          274
          There are no people with whom I am acquainted upon the face of
          the earth who need and who can find use for education to the
          extent that the Latter-day Saints can. The sending out of
          missionaries, the building up of settlements, the laying the
          foundation of a government in a desert land uninhabited by other
          people; the framing of a polity that produces the results that we
          have seen produced already in our valleys, and the taking part,
          as we naturally will have to do, in all matters affecting the
          weal and the independence of our children and others, all these
          considerations appeal most powerfully to us as a people, as
          fathers and mothers, and as citizens, to do all in our power for
          the advancement of the cause of true education in our midst.
          Those who are familiar with the people and with what has been
          done must feel gratified at the improvement which has already
          been made in various directions. There is a rapidly-growing taste
          for everything that is elevating. I can remember when a boy, when
          we came here, of the feeling of the boys and the young men; to
          ride bronco horses, wear big spurs, use the lasso dexterously,
          break wild horses, and pursuits of that character, were then
          deemed the most desirable accomplishments by man.
                                       
          276
                                       
          A great change has taken place. We now have our Mutual
          Improvement associations for the young of both sexes; the meeting
          of last evening gave evidence of the great improvement there has
          been made in this direction, and the crowded condition of the
          meeting of the Sunday School superintendents and teachers held
          the evening previous to that, was an indication of the interest
          that is being taken in these matters by all classes. This means
          improvement; this means a growing taste an increasing desire to
          advance. You can see it in the children. Books are sought for.
          Children take pleasure in reading. The great demand to-day in
          this Territory is for libraries. And let me here say, we should
          be exceedingly careful in the selection of books that we put in
          the hands of our children. And there is one thing that I would
          have said last night, had time permitted, to those engaged in
          these associations, that is, to teach the children not to accept
          that which they read in a book as true, because it is printed;
          but to teach them to weigh for themselves, to examine for
          themselves, and test for themselves the statements which may be
          made upon any and every subject that may be brought to their
          attention through the medium of books, whether scientific or
          otherwise. The danger in indiscriminate reading on the part of
          young people lies in this: their impressions are vivid, and if
          what they read be incorrect; if, in point of fact, what they read
          is based on unsound premises and be entirely wrong, but it is
          presented in an agreeable taking and specious manner, they are
          apt to accept it as being true. Now, as we have heard this
          morning, God has revealed certain principles which we know to be
          true, certain grand cardinal truths which are as finger-boards
          pointing the way of life. We should teach them to our children of
          the Sabbath School and of the Mutual Improvement Associations,
          and endeavor, by the help of God, to implant them in their
          hearts, so that they afterwards in their search for knowledge, of
          any kind, may be able to bring what they may read to this
          standard and test the same thereby. And if our children are
          taught thus to read, the danger of infidelity, the danger arising
          from superficial reading, and the imbibing of incorrect ideas,
          sometimes set forth in a scientific way will be, to a great
          extent, obviated; and to my mind great care should be taken in
          these things by all teachers, by all parents, by every one, in
          fact, who has the care of young people, or the direction of their
          studies; and not only this but the same rule applies to every one
          whether a child or an adult. Let us endeavor to cultivate this
          disposition in our children, to investigate carefully, to weigh
          properly the statements which may be presented to them. And in no
          place in our territory should there be a child left without
          education. A man who suffers his children to grow up in ignorance
          and without the benefits of education--that which pertains at
          least to a common school education--is guilty of a great wrong.
          We should take every pains in our power to instruct our children,
          to furnish them every facility for learning. Educators who have
          had experience in other places all join in stating, that they
          never found a class of pupils more apt, more bright, or who
          manifested a special aptitude for knowledge and who acquired it
          with greater case than do the children of the Latter-day Saints.
          This is the statement of educators repeatedly made to me, a
          Chancellor of the University of Deseret; and I believe it. We
          have children growing up who are bright--who only need have
          ordinary facilities for education to make them cultured men and
          women. We had better take the means that others probably would
          covet, as mobs have done before, and which is a standing
          temptation in the eyes of certain persons, take that means, I
          say, and spend it in educating our children with the view of
          preparing them to enter upon the great and important duties which
          will devolve upon them, than to have it as a standing temptation
          to induce somebody to make a raid to get possession of it, or to
          keep it, and when we can keep it no longer, to bequeath it to our
          children to possibly quarrel over, and cause disturbances and
          divisions in our families, and at a time too when our voices are
          silent and our influence powerless to remedy the evil. Spend it
          wisely upon your children in your lifetime, and when you have
          educated them, when you have given them something which they can
          keep when they lie down at night, without the slightest danger of
          burglars stealing it, they are equipped for the struggle of life.
                                       
          276
          Every child in our community should be educated, not in books
          alone, but to sustain himself, or herself, so that in case he or
          she be left alone, or otherwise, they will be able, from the
          elements around them, inasmuch as they possess the use of their
          limbs and faculties, to earn a living and thereby aid somebody
          else to live. And it seems to me, that if parents were worth
          millions, they should never be content to let their children,
          boys and girls, grow up to manhood or to womanhood without
          teaching them to earn their own living at some trade or some
          manual or skilled labor. I say to my brethren, teach your
          children the use of their brains, and when they have learned to
          use their brains, teach them the cunning and skill that can be
          taught to the right hand of man, by which all that is glorious
          which we see around us is produced. A good brain and the skill of
          man's right hand can produce wonders. The nations who have thus
          developed themselves have made their mark in the history of the
          world; and to this characteristic in the nations who are so
          fortunate as to possess it may be traced the secret of their
          growth and prosperity. There is no reason why we should not be
          equal to the most favored in this respect.
                                       
          277
                                       
          A remark was made last evening to the effect, that some of our
          young men had very little desire to take part in the exercises of
          the Improvement Associations, because their early education had
          been neglected. If there had been time I would have related for
          the benefit of such, a few incidents in the career of a gentleman
          with whom I am acquainted; he sat by my side at the last session
          of Congress. He is a man about 45 years of age; when he was 29
          years of age, he had a wife and one child, and could not read or
          write; to-day he is a member of Congress, and a very creditable
          representative of his State; he has served also in the
          Legislature in his State; and has been speaker in that body. Now
          this is a remarkable instance of what a man can do when he
          applies himself to learning. There is no man who possesses a
          sound mind who need be afraid if he will apply himself, using the
          faculties which God has given him, and not sit down with the idea
          that he cannot learn. Why a man ought to learn if he should live
          to be 150 years of age, learn something every day until he dies;
          there is no limit to a man's capacity to learn. And because a
          young man is 20 or 21 years old, or even older, and has a wife
          and children to sustain, to sit down with the idea that he cannot
          learn or that he is past learning because his early education has
          been neglected, is folly; there is no propriety in either man or
          woman entertaining such ideas. This gentleman of whom I was
          speaking, at the age of 29, could not read; he was a farmer and
          was suffering from an attack of bronchitis. His physician told
          him that if he did not stop work he would gradually sink into the
          grave. He knew that if he remained upon his farm he could not
          live without working; so he rented it, and with his wife and
          child moved down in the city, determined to spend in study the
          time he could not employ in work. His wife helped him. He had a
          worthy partner--a most excellent woman I should judge, from what
          he told me. He commenced his studies, his health improved, but
          instead of returning to the farm he kept on for four years, and
          secured a good education in that time; he pinched himself, and
          both he and his wife struggled, by working all they could and
          living economically, to acquire this education. After thus
          applying himself for four years he returned to his farm,
          completely restored in health. His neighbors thought that as he
          had been a good student, he would make a good supervisor, to
          which office they elected him without any effort on his part; and
          after awhile they elected him a legislator, and returned him
          several times, and he served as speaker to that body in the
          State, where probably for its population there are as many men of
          culture and energy, as can be found anywhere else. And then he
          was sent to Congress.
                                       
          278
          It struck me that it was an instance of perseverance and energy
          worth remembering for the benefit of its example, and I relate it
          so that if there are any young men or young women within the
          hearing of my voice who may be similarly situated, they need not
          be discouraged because they have not had the advantages of
          education in their youth. There ought to be no discouragement
          under such circumstances. I hope, however, that we shall do
          everything in our power to furnish facilities for our children.
          Do not spare means in this direction, my brethren and sisters.
          You do not know what future there is before your children. They
          are like diamonds. True, they may need polish, in order to bring
          out their brilliancy and best qualities; and education of the
          right kind will impart this lustre. There are some as bright
          intellects in obscure families in this Territory as can be found
          elsewhere. God has so distributed his gifts that he has not given
          them to any one family. I thank him for that. He is not going to
          build up a dynasty in his kingdom. He does not confine his gifts
          and blessings to any special class of men. He has distributed
          them like he has the air, so that all have them and all share in
          them. A man and his wife may be an obscure couple, yet their
          children may make the brightest men and women. None of you know
          what your children are capable of until you give them proper
          opportunities. You should not think that because you have got
          through life without much education, that therefore your children
          ought to go through in the same manner. Give your children
          opportunities, and do not work them to death and thereby stunt
          their minds; but give the boys a chance and give the girls a
          chance; bearing in mind that they will have more extended
          opportunities than you have had for the use of education, and you
          ought to train them accordingly. At the same time do not,
          sisters, bring up your children in idleness, and encourage them
          in the thought that their hands, because they are educated and
          have a few accomplishments, are not designed for labor; and so
          with the boys, because they get an education that they cannot
          hold a plow or handle a shovel, or an axe or other tools. This is
          a wrong idea. We must not, in educating our children, degrade
          labor, but rather ennoble and dignify it, and make it worthy the
          ambition of everybody to work, to toil, to look upon labor as a
          blessing from God.
                                       
          279
                                       
          I would like to see knowledge spread through our land, in all our
          settlements; and while we give the boys and girls every facility
          we can, at the same time we should develop, within them the love
          of the truth; that is very important, in fact, it is
          indispensable with us. I am exceedingly anxious upon this point.
          I have felt, I may say, concerned about it for years. I have done
          what I could in my limited way to help our children. I resolved
          years ago that I would do all in my power for them, and I have
          been struggling to do so ever since. I have not been able to do
          what I would like to do, but I still hope, and I know others have
          felt as I do, and that with our combined exertions and efforts we
          will be able to uphold the cause of true education throughout all
          our land, and raise the standard so high that, in a few years, we
          shall have the best educated children to be found within the
          confines of the republic. There is no reason why this should not
          be, and yet not depend upon taxes altogether. I, myself, am not
          unconditionally in favor of taxation schools under all
          circumstances. I have views about that which I have not time to
          express now. Let us advance education by individual effort. I
          hope we shall never have heavy taxes in this Territory. They
          should be kept down to the very lowest amount consistent with the
          preservation of good government and the making of the necessary
          improvements. Have light taxation and stimulate individual effort
          in this direction; and not bring a child into the world and
          instil into its mind that because he is born somebody owes him an
          education. I think it degrades children to give them such ideas.
          Teach them it is their duty to work for themselves. And when a
          man has children he should provide for and educate them, and not
          think that because he may have a rich neighbor that he should
          help give them an education. Such an idea is doing more at the
          present time to pauperise the children of our country in their
          feelings than almost anything else. They get the idea that they
          ought to be educated at the expense of the State; and when they
          are educated they then are to be sustained at the expense of the
          State. The consequence is the country is filled with men seeking
          for office; every new President is almost killed by the clamor
          and pressure of men applying for office. I think it a very bad
          condition of affairs. I am thankful for one thing. I have been
          your delegate now for upwards of eight years, and I have scarcely
          had an application from any of my constituents for help to get
          office. This relieves me from much that Representatives generally
          find very unpleasant. Our people are self-sustaining and taught
          how to work and look upon manual, honest labor as dignified and
          honorable, and such pursuits as require this as being as noble as
          any other.
                                       
          279
          I pray God to bless you and fill you with His Holy Spirit, in the
          name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 22 / George
          Q. Cannon, October 31, 1881
                         George Q. Cannon, October 31, 1881
                       DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT GEO. Q. CANNON, 
                     Delivered at Meadow Creed, Millard County, 
                   October 31, 1881. (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.) 
                      THE SAINTS TO BE A PECULIAR PEOPLE, ETC.
          279
          It is very interesting to meet with the Latter-day Saints as we
          do in the various settlements throughout these mountains, and to
          witness the growth, prosperity and increase of the people--a
          state of things which is very evident to those who travel as we
          are now doing.
          279
          It is very important, in fact, of the greatest importance to us
          that we keep before us the objects for which we have been
          gathered together in these mountains.
                                       
          279
          There is a large number of children growing up to manhood and to
          womanhood, to whom the old persecutions and drivings and the old
          teachings that the Church had in its early days, are unknown only
          as they are related and imparted to them by those who are
          familiar with these matters. And in consequence of this many,
          unless they should be taught and reminded of these things would
          imagine that we are here only as other people come here, and that
          the objects of our lives are only the same as theirs. Therefore,
          it is of the utmost importance that we should have these things
          set before us in such plainness, and be reminded of them so
          constantly, that we shall not forget them; and that the rising
          generation shall have them impressed upon their minds so that
          they will grow up with a knowledge of them.
          280
          It is very evident that God our Heavenly Father, did not bring us
          to these mountains to get rich. If that had been his idea he
          might have taken us to a land better adapted for the acquisition
          of wealth than ours is. And yet he has promised unto us that we
          shall be a rich people, and this promise is being fulfilled, but
          we shall not acquire riches, we shall not become a wealthy and
          powerful people upon the same basis as other people do. We shall
          get rich by keeping the commandments of God; we shall get rich by
          building up the kingdom of God. He will wean us from and make us
          to see the folly of old traditions which we have inherited from
          our fathers; and I think he is doing this very rapidly among us
          at the present time, and has been from the beginning. It is
          contrary to all the traditions of mankind to do what we are
          doing. I will illustrate my idea by pointing out some things that
          go to prove that God intends to make us a people dissimilar from
          the rest of mankind.
                                       
          280
          In consequence of the departure of our fathers from the truth, we
          have inherited lies; and we have fallen into a false method of
          living. For instance, you could not get any people besides the
          Latter-day Saints to go out and preach the Gospel as we are
          doing. All the traditions that belong to the race from which we
          spring are in antagonism to such a practice. For men to go out
          without purse or scrip is something new in the world in this age.
          It requires uncommon faith in God to enable men to do this; faith
          in the living God who hears and answers prayers for men to place
          themselves upon the tender mercies of the world as bearers of the
          Gospel message, which is and always has been unpopular to them,
          and in the women to stay at home to take care of their families
          during the absence of their husbands, their fathers and sons. But
          this faith God has given unto us, and he has taught us that he is
          able to supply our wants when we do that which he requires at our
          hands.
          280
          It may be thought that the payment of tithing, in obedience to
          the law of God, would be a means of impoverishing all those who
          did it; that the giving of a tenth of their means would be a
          burdensome tax upon them. God has taught us that this law is
          essential to our salvation, and that if we obey it in the spirit
          in which it is given, he will bless us in our basket and store,
          and increase us in the earth.
                                       
          280
          Now, it is an apparently remarkable fact--but remarkable only
          because it comes in contact with our traditions and
          prejudices,--that the men who have gone without purse and scrip,
          have prospered in it; and it is also a remarkable fact that those
          men among us who have been the most punctual in responding to the
          calls of God, through his servants, has made upon them, are to
          day the men who are the most prospered in the land. Illustrations
          of this can be easily found all around us. God, in his dealings
          with us, shows that he intends that we shall break away from the
          old traditions--for the old traditions would lead us to believe
          that the man who paid his tithing would not grow as rich as the
          man who did not pay it. But God is proving to us that he has his
          own method of building up his kingdom. And he is proving to us
          that the men who go out without purse or scrip on missions,
          devoting their time to the interest of this work, are the men who
          have been most prospered among us.
          280
          You take the men in your own settlement--for there are men in
          most of your settlements who have spent considerable time upon
          missions--and you will find, upon examining the results of their
          labors, that they have been more prospered, when at home, than
          men who have not gone upon missions, so that their absence from
          home has not been a loss to them. It is our experience that the
          men who have gone upon missions have had their absence made up to
          them afterwards by the Lord increasing his blessings upon them
          for their faithful labors in the ministry.
          281
          I speak upon this matter of tithing to show you that God intends
          to bring about results favorable to the Latter-day Saints, from a
          basis entirely different to that acknowledged and adopted by the
          world; and that he can control all things for the good of his
          people, if they put their trust in him.
                                       
          281
          It may have been thought that when we were driven from our homes,
          and came to these mountains, that those who stayed behind in
          those fertile lands would grow rich in comparison with those of
          the Saints who came to this wilderness. But what are the facts?
          The Latter-day Saints in these mountains have been prospered by
          keeping the commandments of God in a manner that those who live
          back there know nothing about; and we are richer to-day than the
          people from whose midst we were driven. I was greatly surprised,
          when on a visit, in company with Brother Brigham Young, Jr., some
          eight years ago, to Nauvoo. Upon inquiring respecting the price
          of land between Carthage and Nauvoo, we learned that it could be
          bought for $20 per acre; while in the vicinity of Salt Lake City,
          land sells to-day for $150 per acre, and much of it could not be
          bought at that price. This shows the difference there is in our
          value and theirs. God has prospered the people who came to these
          mountains, to this once desert land, to an extent that our
          enemies know nothing about. And to-day, in the places where our
          people lived, the present occupants of these lands are mourning
          over our lost crops, while our granaries are groaning under the
          weight of the grain stored within them.
          281
          And there are other things very remarkable, which show that God,
          in his dealings with us, intends to make us a people different
          from any other. I allude now to our system of marriage. It is a
          subject of constant remark to me in Washington. Men with whom I
          am familiar ask in relation to the large families of our people:
          "Why, Mr. Cannon," they have said, "How do you live? It is as
          much as I can do to keep one wife and bring up and furnish two or
          three children with education and the things they need. And how
          you people in Utah can sustain such families as you have and take
          care of them and bring them up as they ought to be brought up is
          a marvel to me.
                                       
          281
          And of course the curiosity is great of people who came here from
          the east, to know with regard to our domestic institutions, as to
          the number of our wives and children, and it is a mystery to
          them, they cannot understand it. It is a noticeable fact that the
          men among our people who have obeyed this commandment of God to
          us are the men most prospered in the land. I do not suppose this
          would be denied by any one who has traveled throughout our
          Territory, that as a rule the men who are the wealthiest and most
          influential and the most successful in our community are those
          who have obeyed the command of God. It might be supposed,
          naturally speaking, that that would be the means of impoverishing
          them; that the men who marry wives take upon them burdens that
          would crush them and that they would necessarily have to live in
          poverty in consequence. But the contrary of this is the case; and
          actual experience has proven to us that God is determined to
          remove from us the old traditions of the world, and show us that
          he is able to build up his kingdom upon a new plan and upon an
          entirely different basis from the kingdoms of the world. We can
          see this everywhere we go.
          282
          It is frequently said at the present time in the east--and the
          evil, I regret to say, I sometimes imagine is growing in our
          midst--a young man says it is as much as he can do to take care
          of himself, without attempting to sustain a wife. But a young man
          marries a wife, and he sustains himself and his wife too. He
          feels as though he would not be able to sustain a wife and child;
          but the baby comes, and they are able to get along as well after
          as they did before the child came. And thus it seems the way is
          provided for a second child and a third. And in times past some
          of our young men have taken second wives, and they have got along
          as well, and in many instances a little better, than when they
          had but one wife. And as the family increases, they have been
          able to provide for them all.
                                       
          282
          God is building up a peculiar people, a people of faith, a people
          who will do that which he requires of them, although what he may
          require of us may be directly opposed to our traditions; and in
          doing his bidding in all things, he will show us that he is able
          to feed and clothe and take care of us. But I wish to repeat, he
          did not bring us here to make us a rich people; that is not the
          first consideration. It was to prepare us for the destiny which
          awaits us. God is about to perform through His Saints, one of the
          mightiest revolutions that has ever been effected in the earth.
          He is able to establish his kingdom--a new order of things, an
          entirely different rule and power among men.
                                       
          283
                                       
          When God inspired the leading men of this nation to seek to
          establish a government here that should be independent of all
          governments upon the earth, it was the design that men should
          enjoy equal rights throughout the land. This is the form of the
          constitution; this came to us according to the purposes of God.
          But throughout this nation at the present time there is
          oppression. And in the eastern cities the evils under which the
          old world groans, are increasing; so much so is this the case
          that men who travel in Europe can see but little difference when
          they come here, between the evils that are fast developing
          themselves in the midst of the large cities of the United States.
          The government has, to a certain extent been mismanaged. We are
          an illustration of this. We have been prosecuted and persecuted;
          we have been driven; we have been mobbed, and we have been robbed
          and despoiled of our homes and possessions, and all because we
          would not worship according to the dictates of other American
          citizens; because we chose to worship God according to the
          dictates of our own conscience we are in these mountains. We were
          driven from lands that belonged to us by the right of purchase
          and possession, and were compelled to come into the wilderness to
          seek a place where we could live free from mal-administration,
          and enjoy the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution. To-day
          we are a standing protest in the midst of the nation against
          evils that are growing, and the results of which must, sooner or
          later, be felt by others to their sorrow. Freedom and liberty,
          virtue, honesty, good government and everything, in fact,
          desirable among men must be nourished and cherished and
          maintained in our midst. We must be for sustaining these things,
          and, as I have said, for establishing a new order of things upon
          the earth. For that which God has revealed unto us meets all of
          our wants; it supplies every righteous desire of every heart;
          there is no right and proper desire of the human heart that any
          human being can entertain, that this Gospel does not satisfy. It
          is equal to all the circumstances and all the wants and all the
          desires of every human being, it having been designed and framed
          by Him who created us and who knows our wants. And having such a
          religion, we must of necessity be willing to extend the blessings
          and benefits of this religion, and of human liberty, to every
          person God has raised us up for this purpose, and to establish
          these things on the earth, and to perpetuate the reign of
          righteousness among the children of men. He has brought us here.
          These valleys of the mountains are the best, or, at least, as
          well adapted as any land upon the face of the earth for the home
          of a free people. It would be something extraordinary if a people
          brought up as we are in these mountains should not be a
          liberty-loving people; if we should not be a free people. We
          could not well be otherwise with such surroundings as we have.
          And our children will grow up filled with the love of freedom;
          and God designs that this shall be our home, and that we shall
          multiply and increase until the time shall come for us to go
          back, according to the revelation, to repossess the land from
          which we were driven.
                                       
          283
          But we have an immense work to do in these mountains. This is the
          foundation of that which is to be. The Lamanites must be brought
          into the covenant; they must receive the Gospel from us. We must
          be their "nursing fathers and their nursing mothers." This, among
          other things, is a labor devolving upon us. We are here for this
          purpose; not to become rich ourselves, that when we shall pass
          away we may bequeath to our children large possessions for them
          to enjoy the good things of this world to spend upon their lusts
          and to gratify their carnal desires. God will not give unto us
          riches, neither lands nor property, for any such purpose as this;
          but it will be for the accomplishment of that which He has
          predicted by the mouths of the Holy Prophets. We have Temples to
          build; and these buildings will doubtless be, before long, of
          easy access to the entire people, and through the sealing
          ordinances we shall be welded together and be made one people,
          and also be connected with the past generations until we get to
          Father Adam. This is the nature of the work to which we are
          called. And every boy and girl in our community should be taught
          to look forward to it. The idea of our cultivating a little land
          and getting our minds concentrated upon little things that
          pertain to a livelihood, and think that this is all we are here
          for; to come and take upon us a probation merely to eat and drink
          like the animals; do you think for a moment, my brethren and
          sisters, that this is all we have been sent here to do? There is
          something more than this. There is an object to be accomplished
          of far greater and higher importance. It is of course intended
          that we should use that which God has given unto us, but we
          should use it all to right advantage. But this may be said to be
          of minor consideration, a matter of small moment compared with
          the great work with which we are identified.
                                       
          284
          Every mother should train her children to look forward to the
          destiny that God has in store for them, to fit and qualify them
          for it. And every boy should be trained in such a manner as to
          fit him to move in the first circles of society; and every
          advantage of training should be given to every son we have. He
          should be made as perfect as it is possible to make him. We
          should not be content to make our children like ourselves; that
          because we have lived in a certain way that they may do so also.
          Our children will occupy positions that we scarcely dream of, if
          we will do our duty by them. Our boys and girls should be
          cultivated and trained. Give them the best training and the best
          education that you can afford; and do not think that you can do
          too much for them in this direction. And while you are
          cultivating the soil and building houses and making improvements
          of different kinds, look forward to the future, and put
          yourselves in a position in which you can do far more good than
          you are doing at the present time. Great and glorious promises
          have been made to us, and we should be reaching out in the proper
          direction to realize the benefit of them. Of course this can only
          be done by the necessary work of preparation. The Lord has said
          that he will make us the noble of the earth, the greatest among
          men, the rulers and even saviors of men. This means rule and
          dominion; it means control. And still we should be humble and
          meek and lowly, and put our trust in God, and look to him as the
          source of our strength.
          284
          Mothers, let me beg of you to bestow all the care and training
          that you possibly can upon your daughters. Make them as perfect
          as you can; give them every facility within your power to become
          women of culture. And, fathers, do the same by your boys. If
          there is a man in your settlement who excels in any one thing,
          let him teach the rest. If there be among you a good penman, let
          him teach others this beautiful art. And if there is a woman that
          excels in anything, let the girls be taught in that one thing
          until they shall equal or surpass her. If there is a man among
          you who is accustomed to society, let him impart lessons to the
          boys, and let them imitate him. This is one thing that devolves
          upon us, as Latter-day Saints.
                                       
          284
          You are living in a small place, and you are apt to become narrow
          in your views. You have a log-house for a meeting-house, and you
          seem satisfied with it; and how many of you live in log-houses?
          Many of your ditches I see, are wide, and your wives and
          daughters have either to jump them or wade through them. It is
          time you were building a new and better meeting-house, and then
          you will erect better dwelling-houses; and your ditches will be
          bridged, and your fences and sidewalks be improved.
          284
          Do not allow the feeling of indifference to come over you.
          Improve your city, make it attractive, so that when people come
          into your midst, they will say, "Here is a thrifty, prosperous
          people; this people are improving their condition, and they are
          seeking to excel." This is a duty that devolves upon you. The
          work of improvement connected with this great, growing country
          which God has given unto us, which he has placed in our hands, so
          to speak, is our work, and we should have pleasure in improving
          and beautifying the places of our habitation.
          285
          Parents, you should see that your boys are taught mechanism. You
          need good mechanics. You need masons, you need carpenters, you
          need painters and other skilled workmen, and why not let the boys
          learn? Everything they learn of a practical nature will be useful
          to them some time or other during their lifetime, and workmen in
          the building line almost always find employment. In regard to
          what I have said about the training of your families, I do not
          mean to reflect upon you, for I expect you do what you can in
          this direction; at least, I hope so; but I speak of what we ought
          to do in regard to our families.
                                       
          286
                                       
          Our enemies are continually trying to destroy us, and we as a
          people should be banded together in the bonds of the Gospel. I
          desired to have said some things at Fillmore, and should have
          done so had I had another opportunity. I understand there are a
          great many bad influences in this county. You have apostates
          among you, and your daughters--at least there have been some
          cases where your daughters have married into the families of
          apostates and your sons have married the daughters of apostates.
          If this is the case, it is a deplorable condition of things. When
          Latter-day Saints marry those who are not of their faith, I look
          upon it as a great misfortune to those who do so. If those
          barriers were to be broken down which ought to exist between us
          and the world I should view it as a great calamity. One of the
          strictest commands that the Lord gave to Israel in olden times
          was that they should not marry with the nations surrounding them;
          and this law is equally binding on us, and we should do
          everything in our power to maintain it inviolate. For our enemies
          are determined to take away from us the control of our affairs.
          And such people, part of whom are in Fillmore, and you may have
          some down here, if they had their way--or if the measures which
          they would vote for could be carried out, you, all of you, would
          be reduced to the condition of serfs; you would not even have the
          right to vote for a justice of the peace; you would not even have
          the right to vote for a constable, nor for a probate judge, nor
          selectman, nor for an assessor or collector; they would deprive
          you of the right of suffrage, and reduce you to the condition of
          slaves, if they could have their way. It is not only once or
          twice, but it has been many, many times that bills have been
          introduced into Congress containing these features, and leaving
          us the bare privilege of paying taxes, while they who live here
          and urge this legislation, would have the right to spend them.
          Now, I am told that there are people in this county who are
          sustained principally by the Latter-day Saints so-called, who use
          their influence and their means against us, who are in full
          sympathy with the men who make it their study and their business
          to destroy us, and who, if they had the power would imprison and
          put to death the best men among us. A man calling himself a
          Latter-day Saint, who would do that--that would use his means and
          his influence, which by the way he is indebted to God for, to
          destroy his work, I consider as being terribly ignorant; or if
          having good sense, is not worthy of a name and place among the
          Latter-day Saints. I feel keenly on this point, because it is a
          vital point; and I repeat, that the man who would put his means
          into the hand of the enemy, the avowed enemy of this Church, to
          destroy his brother is most culpable, and cannot escape the
          condemnation of the Lord. The man who is a free man, and who
          values his own liberty and that of his neighbors, will do nothing
          of the kind; he will jealously guard against aiding such people
          even to the amount of one cent. He would say, "I cannot afford to
          let my means, or any part of it, go to destroy my own peace or
          that of my neighbor, nor to deprive us of our liberty." But there
          is a disposition which I have noticed among many of our folks to
          break down these barriers and distinctions. They would sustain
          men who, directly or indirectly, are pledged to do all they can
          against this people, against the liberties and rights of this
          people, against our freedom and against our religion. If they
          have any influence at all, it is used against us. They would take
          control of this Territory from the old settlers and give it to
          their deadly enemies. The man who would so far forget himself as
          to do such a thing has no part in this work, if he comprehends it
          at all, and unless he repents, he will sooner or later lose the
          Spirit of God, and go into darkness and apostacy. It matters not
          who the man may be, or what his standing may be among the people,
          such a course is bound to sever his connection with us. God has
          called us to build up Zion. He has called us from the world for
          this purpose. He has not called us to be like other people, but
          to become a peculiar people unto Himself, a people upon whom he
          can pour out His Holy Spirit to enable us to accomplish His
          designs. And we should act in accordance with the testimony of
          this Spirit, and according to the instructions of his servants
          unto us; and if we do this all will be right. But the man who
          will use his influence against my brethren is not my friend; I
          have no fellowship with him. He may talk very nice and profess
          great friendship, but he is not my friend if he is opposed to my
          brethren and the work of God; there is no sympathy in common
          between us; we do not stand upon the same platform. It seems to
          me that this should be understood by all who consider themselves
          members of this Church. We must stand together: we must be
          united. We must exercise faith in God, and we must do that which
          he requires at our hands, or we shall lose that which he has
          given unto us. And it would be a sorry day for us if we were to
          fall into such a condition that God would let our enemies loose
          upon us, to drive us, and get control in these mountains.
                                       
          286
          I pray God to bless you, my brethren and sisters, and fill you
          with His Spirit, that your zeal, interest and devotion may
          increase in the work of God, and that your understanding may be
          enlarged, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal