Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20
                               Journal of Discourses,
                                      Volume 20
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / George
          Q. Cannon, April 7, 1878
                           George Q. Cannon, April 7, 1878
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON,
                 Delivered at the Annual Conference, Salt Lake City,
                           Sunday Morning, April 7, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                      SAINTS TO
          It is somewhat unexpected to myself that I have the opportunity,
          this morning, of appearing in your midst. Important business
          demanded my return to this city for a short time; but in
          consequence of certain responsibilities devolving upon me at
          Washington, it seemed imprudent for me to leave and come here. A
          week ago last Friday morning I scarcely thought it possible that
          I could get away; but during the day I was favored in making such
          arrangements that I felt I could leave with safety, for a few
          days at least. And I immediately started for this city by way of
          I am glad to have the opportunity of meeting with so many of my
          brethren and sisters, of beholding your faces, of listening to
          the instructions which have been given, and in sharing in the
          spirit that has been and will be poured out upon us. It is a
          great relief to one who has been absent for any length of time,
          mingling with the world, to have the opportunity of associating
          with you, my brethren and sisters; at least I esteem it as such.
          I never turn my face homewards without experiencing joy and
          gladness at the thought of once more being reunited with you.
          I never in my life have had a deeper interest in the welfare, in
          the prosperity and in the advancement of the cause with which we
          are identified, than at the present time. This feeling has rested
          with great weight upon my mind; I feel we are living in a most
          important era of time. I feel that the mission assigned unto us
          is one that we, at the present time, scarcely begin to
          comprehend. The most important results that are to flow from it
          have scarcely begun to dawn upon our minds. At least personally
          this is my feeling. When I contemplate the immensity of the field
          of labor that lies before us, the evils and wrongs that have to
          be corrected, as I believe, through the agency of this people, as
          also the reforms that have to be effected and to be carried out
          successfully, it seems to be that as the days roll around, I
          begrudge the passing hours; I feel as though the days are
          entirely too short, and that I should like to live for a
          millennium to help those with whom I am associated to bring to
          pass the great, the important, the soul-saving as well as
          body-redeeming plans that are to be carried out in order to bring
          to pass the designs of Providence in relation to man and the
          Already the Latter-day Saints can see that the leaven that has
          been planted by the Gospel has been doing a gradual work in
          effecting important changes. It may be thought of a people
          confined to these mountains, numbering no more than we do, that
          our influence must be necessarily very limited, and that we can
          accomplish but very little. But the ideas that have been
          propagated by the Latter-day Saints, though they have not
          converted as many to our faith as they should have done, have had
          a most wonderful influence upon the religious, the philosophic
          and the scientific world. Ideas that men now believe in and
          receive readily, Joseph Smith was persecuted and denounced for
          proclaiming. And while there are millions who do not believe that
          he was a Prophet of God, or that the principles he taught were
          revealed from God, there is no mistaking the fact that his
          teachings, that the truths he advanced, and the ideas which he
          disseminated, have had a wonderful effect upon the human mind
          throughout Christendom. If those of you who have had experience
          in the world, who have arrived at the middle age, will let your
          minds revert to the time when you first heard these principles,
          and will compare the condition of human thought at that time with
          the condition of human though today, I doubt not you will agree
          with me in saying that, although men and women have not become
          Latter-day Saints, nor have the mass of mankind received the
          religious truths in their entirety, as they were taught by
          Joseph, and as they have been taught by those who succeeded him,
          yet there has been a very visible and a marked advancement by men
          and women all over the world wherever the Elders of this Church
          have traveled. So that it is not in the gathering of the people
          together alone that we are accomplishing great results; but it is
          in teaching the world the principles that God has revealed to us,
          and gradually indoctrinating the mind of mankind, to some extent
          at least, uplifting them from the prejudices and the darkness and
          the ignorance in which they have been enshrouded to a higher
          plane, to breathe a purer and a freer spirit of inquiry in
          religious and scientific thought. Much, however, remains to be
          done, and it devolves upon us, as a people, to discharge our
          duty, each one of us, as though the entire responsibility
          devolved upon us. And herein, probably, there is as much fault to
          be found with us as upon any other point--a non-recognition by
          the Latter-day Saints of the fact that God holds us, each one of
          us, individually responsible; for there is assigned unto every
          man and every woman an individual labor which he and she must
          perform. For myself, I know that the influence of one man rightly
          exercised is potent for good; or, if improperly exercised, for
          evil, upon his fellow man. Each man's life, each man's
          conversation, each man's deportment and walk before his fellow
          man, wields an influence that he most probably does not begin to
          comprehend, or understand. And if we all understood this, and
          acted accordingly, living up to the light and knowledge we
          possess, just think of the influence that we, as a united body,
          could wield among the inhabitants of our land, and in fact among
          the inhabitants of the whole earth.
          I look upon our position, politically, as one that is most
          important, far more important than that of any other community
          with which I am acquainted. To-day it is conceded upon all sides,
          and the fact is not disputed by intelligent persons, that the
          Latter-day Saints, or, to speak more properly, the people of Utah
          Territory, occupy a position superior to that of any other
          Territory within the confines of the Union. This is conceded. And
          for temperance, for frugality, for economy, for good government
          and for submission to the law (if I may except that relating to
          plural marriage, which is in violation of the constitution, and
          which was passed as a blow at our religion), for the honest
          administration of financial and governmental affairs, for the
          preservation of good order and the maintenance of peace, and for
          the promotion of education; on all these points at least, we are
          the equals, of any other people of our Republic. While the
          eastern states are burdened with debt and groaning under local
          taxation, with failures of no mean magnitude occurring
          continually, the men not knowing what to do to redeem themselves
          from their financial difficulties, Utah Territory, occupies, it
          may truly be said, the unique position of being out of debt: no
          Territorial debt to speak of, no county debts. Notwithstanding
          the innumerable temptations that have existed, and that our
          officers might have succumbed to we are, I am happy to say, free
          from debt, and also the most lightly taxed community now within
          the confines of the government. When I mentioned these facts to
          President Hayes he remarked: "Your position is certainly an
          enviable and unique one." This is conceded upon all hands. In our
          own neighboring territories, take, for instance, Wyoming, the
          people of which are justly proud of their position, because they
          have comparatively little debt; yet their taxes are 2 1/2 higher
          than ours; and so with our neighboring territories. Our
          percentage of illiteracy is lower than that of any of the
          territories, and also than many of the states; not but that the
          illiteracy of Utah ought to be lower still, for there is room for
          great improvement in matters of education. We have 1200 miles of
          telegraph line owned in this Territory; we have upwards of 300
          miles of local railroad, not counting the Union and Central
          Pacific railroads. This is the condition of this Territory. If we
          take the statement of the last Federal census respecting our
          population and apply the ratio of increase during the previous
          decade--that is the increase from 1860 to 1870--to the last eight
          years, it will be seen that Utah has a population of at least
          150,000. But our ratio of increase has been greater during the
          last eight years than the previous ten. The States are divided
          into Congressional districts, at the present time, with a
          population numbering about 135,000; that is to say, a district
          having a population of that number is entitled to a member of
          Congress. In this Territory our population is in excess of that
          number. No Territory has ever applied for admission into the
          Union with so many advantages as ours. In 1789 the Federal
          Constitution was adopted, and we became a consolidated Republic.
          This was 89 years ago. We have lived in this country upwards of
          one-third of that time. It might be thought, then, that with such
          a lengthened experience and advantages, with such capacity for
          self-government, with such a developed and lightly taxed
          Territory, with such good order and freedom from debt, that Utah
          would be welcomed into the union of states. Why are we not?
          Because we are "Mormons." That embodies the whole reason. If we
          are split up into factions, if we were fighting, party against
          party, if drinking saloons and houses of ill-fame were through
          all our settlements, and if we were heavily in debt, not having
          even the requisite population, and were not "Mormons," we would
          be admitted into the union of states. What is the reason assigned
          for it? "We do not want to countenance polygamy. If we admit
          Utah, we sanction, to a certain extent, polygamy." This is the
          reason assigned. Suppose, for instance, that one man of every ten
          among these "Mormons" is a polygamist, are there any more than
          that? If there are I do not know it. I have never taken the
          census, but in the range of my personal acquaintance, as I have
          scanned them, I think that there are not one-tenth of the men in
          this Territory who have attained their majority who are
          polygamists. And we will say there are 150,000 people in the
          Territory how many of them are men? If we apply the same rule of
          ascertaining this that we do to other communities--and it will
          not apply to ours because our children are in excess; but as it
          is, we will apply the same rule and divine 150,000 by five, how
          many does it leave? Thirty thousand. We will say there are thirty
          thousand men in Utah Territory who have attained their majority,
          and one-tenth of this number are polygamists, what do we have
          left? Three thousand men. And for three thousand men the Congress
          of the United States say that the bulk of the people shall not
          have their political rights. Does it not seem as though--by the
          action of Congress in this respect, that they are uplifting a
          doctrine comparatively obscure, when you take into consideration
          the forty millions of people that live under the flag of the
          United States--and giving it national importance? This is one of
          the most extraordinary instances of fatuity that I ever recollect
          reading of in any history; yet such a thing is done, and this is
          the only reason that can be truthfully and correctly assigned for
          the refusal, on the part of the nation, of admitting Utah as a
          State. In spite of all we can say and do, there seems to be a
          determination to give this doctrine of plural marriage a national
          and world-wide importance, like everything else connected with
          this people. It has been advertised and talked of as though it
          might be the practice of twenty millions of people, instead of
          that of three or four thousand men.1
          Now, I say that we have to teach the world a lesson in this
          direction. A people patiently pursuing their course, without
          murmuring, without rebelling, without rising in riotings, when
          receiving a denial of their legitimate and constitutional rights.
          Such a spectacle as this is worthy of admiration, especially when
          it is understood that not an officer within the confines of our
          Territory can hold an office of Federal appointment, if it be
          known that he is a "Mormon," or scarcely if it be known that he
          is even favorable to the "Mormons." As soon as the office of
          Postmaster becomes worth holding, the Mormon Postmaster, who may
          have held it when it did not pay him for his labor, is turned out
          and somebody else is put in. The Marshal, the Secretary, the
          Governor, the Judges and all of the Federal officials were
          appointed during the last administration from those who were
          known to have no sympathy with the "Mormons." It was as much as
          our present Governor could recently do to retain his position,
          because he was accused of favoring the "Mormons," because it was
          believed that he favored a people he was sent to govern. This is
          most extraordinary when you think of it; but the most surprising
          thing connected with it is, that the people thus imposed upon
          should bear it with the forbearance and equanimity that the
          Latter-day Saints manifest under these circumstances.
          You remember our last Governor. He started out thinking he had
          been sent here to govern this Territory and the people of the
          Territory as his fellow-citizens. He was disposed not to know the
          difference between a Mormon and a non-Mormon; he was disposed to
          travel through the Territory and mingle with the people, attend
          their public gatherings, and talk to them, as he would were he in
          any other place. This he did, and it was brought against him as a
          crime, as a reason why he should not continue to hold office. And
          an important official no less a person then the Assistant
          Secretary of the Interior, was sent to find out whether these
          things were really true. And this office of the government, a
          gentlemen, who is acknowledged to be efficient, and who had
          served three terms in Congress with credit to himself and his
          constituency; and who is looked upon as a man of national
          reputation, and who, in his private life, is considered most
          exemplary, for no other reason than that he was mingling with the
          "Mormon" people, treating them as his fellow-citizens, was
          removed from office.
          I allude to these things not to find fault particularly, not to
          embitter your feelings because of treatment you have received,
          this is not my motive; but to call to your attention the fact
          that among other things we have to teach this nation and show to
          the whole world is, that although largely in the majority in this
          Territory, we have learned the great and most important lesson
          that a citizen can and should learn, namely, that of obedience. I
          am glad that this is the case. I am glad to know that the
          Latter-day Saints are setting an example to their fellow-citizens
          all through the union in this respect. Will this continue? Shall
          we continue to live as we are living to-day--denied rights to
          which we are entitled? We shall, doubtless, for a time, until, in
          the Providence of the Almighty, we shall be enabled to assume the
          position that rightfully belongs to us, and receive those rights
          to which we are fully entitled. The time will come, and it is not
          far distant--although we may occasionally get tired waiting, and
          may ask ourselves, how long will it be delayed--but let me say to
          you that the signs of the times portend for us a much greater
          degree of liberty than we possess to-day, or even than we have
          dared to anticipate. And as I have said often--for I have never
          failed to declare it--that the Latter-day Saints or "Mormons" as
          we are called, expect it to be their destiny to uphold
          constitutional liberty on this continent, and to preserve our
          government and the forms thereof from overthrow and destruction.
          I have been taught from my boyhood that this was to be the
          destiny of the Latter-day Saints, and this people have been
          trained in the same belief, and we train our children to look
          forward to it, and to cherish the love of civil and religious
          liberty in their hearts, toleration for all men of every creed,
          of every nation, of every language and of every color, that all
          the sons and daughters of Adam, without exceptions, who dwell
          upon this broad land, may enjoy the inestimable blessing of
          liberty, and that it will be our favored and honored destiny, in
          the course of human events, unlikely as it may appear to-day to
          be the case, to preserve constitutional liberty in this land,
          which God has said shall be a land of liberty to all those who
          are righteous who dwell thereon. I have said, and I firmly
          believe, that the day will most assuredly come when the people of
          these mountains will become a great factor in the settlement of
          differences, in the preservation of human rights in the future,
          in the great contests which seem ready to burst upon us at any
          moment. You contemplate the condition of the East to-day! The
          elements of destruction are widespread in society, and instead of
          being smothered and allayed, they are more or less fostered and
          harbored, and are fast maturing; and when certain contingencies
          arise, they are likely to burst forth, and that, too, to the
          death and misery of many souls. Think of the feeling that existed
          thirteen months ago, when it was not known who would be the
          President of the United States, or whether we would have another
          President or not. That was a time when the memories of the late
          war were forced upon the attention of earnest and thoughtful men.
          They remembered the blood and sacrifices and dreadful horrors of
          that struggle, and they shrank from the bare thought of their
          repetition. Had it not been that the great civil war had been so
          recent, and the recollection of its horrors was so vivid,
          especially among the Southern people, undoubtedly there would
          have been a conflict of arms before the President could have been
          seated in the presidential chair. But men shrank from the
          dreadful arbitrament of war and they preferred to submit even to
          what they believed to be wrong, agreeing to a compromise as being
          better than war.
          Our position, as a people, in many respects, is one for which we
          can be exceedingly thankful. We can congratulate ourselves, that
          we are in these mountains, a land of liberty, a land of freedom.
          No man, that is a man, can breathe this air and be a slave. When
          he looks upon these towering mountains, lifting their grand and
          lofty peaks to heaven, and he breathes the pure air of freedom,
          and his lungs expand with it, he feels as though he never could
          bow to slavery, nor his children after him. There is a race
          springing up in these mountains whose influence and power, sooner
          or later, must be felt in shaping the future of this nation.
          There need be no fear about this. Let us pursue the course marked
          out for us, submitting, if necessary, to wrong, but never failing
          to protest and contend, nevertheless against it; let our
          continued protest go forth, that we understand our rights, and
          that we are disposed to maintain them, as far as we can without
          violence. Let us continue to pursue our course patiently and
          unitedly, presenting an unbroken front to the enemy, having no
          traitors within, no factions, no strifes, or bickerings, burying
          our little piques and feelings, having the one great and grand
          object to accomplish, namely, the establishment of truth and
          righteousness upon the earth, that eventually a place and people
          may be found worthy of Him who will come, and whose right it is
          to reign, and in pursuing faithfully and diligently the course
          which God has marked out, you may depend upon it that the
          day-star will arise, and the dawn of that glorious day will be
          witnessed by all that share and engage in this labor. But how
          many labors devolve upon us, and how they accumulate and crowd
          upon us. The labor of lifting up the people and uniting them,
          furnishing suitable work for the unemployed and for our sons and
          daughters, that there may be no idleness in our land, that there
          may be no need of any Union societies to be organized, arraying
          labor against capital. How necessary it is that we should listen
          to the words of wisdom and instruction which have been given,
          counseling us to so organize ourselves and arrange our temporal
          affairs, that here may not be a single individual throughout our
          land, who desires to work, go unemployed, but that all may have
          this blessed privilege, for when men labor they keep out of
          mischief. You remember the old proverb--"An idle man's brian is
          the devil's workshop." We want to banish idleness, how shall we
          do it? By organizing, and every President of Stake and every
          Bishop making it the study and object of his life to furnish
          employment to every man under his immediate presidency who may
          desire it. And thus we will preserve ourselves, and our sons will
          find employment at home, instead of scattering abroad, going
          hither and thither: and our daughters, too, will then find
          husbands who will be in a position to maintain them honorably and
          properly, and thus marriage be promoted in the land. Our boys,
          when they arrive at years of maturity and can take care of a
          wife, should get married, and there should not be a lot of young
          men growing up in our midst who ought to be, but are not married.
          While we do not make a remark to apply to individual cases, I am
          firmly of the opinion that a large number of unmarried men, over
          that age of twenty-four years, is a dangerous element in any
          community, and an element upon which society should look with a
          jealous eye. For every man knowing himself, knows how his
          fellow-man is constituted; and if men do not marry, they are too
          apt to do something worse. Then, brethren, encourage our young
          men to marry, and see that they are furnished employment, so that
          they can marry.
          And then there is the education of our children. O, that we could
          bestow upon them, in every sense of the word, a proper education,
          so that they might become the peers of any people. Our children
          are noted for their brightness of intellect. Teachers say, who
          come from the east and the west, they never saw children receive
          knowledge with more ease than the children of these mountains do.
          We should take all the pains in our power to educate our
          children, furnishing them the best facilities, that our daughters
          and sons may be educated and accomplished. And at the same time
          teach them to labor. I tell my daughters that I want them to
          learn to wash, and sew, and cook, and become the best of
          housewives; and that I do not care then how much else they may
          know about music and other accomplishments, that they may be
          fitted to mingle with and feel at home in the best society. Girls
          as well as boys ought to be so trained as to confer dignity upon
          labor; and the idea, prevalent among some people, that because
          girls are accomplished they are spoiled and unfitted for labor,
          or to do housework, ought to be frowned down.
          Let us think of these things after we separate and go to our
          homes; and let us endeavor to carry in our breasts the spirit of
          this Conference, and diffuse the same among the people not
          present. And let us so live that the desire may continually well
          up in our hearts, not how can we aggrandized ourselves, but how
          can we enrich this community, how can we benefit and bless this
          people, how can we elevate them and make these multitudes of
          children growing up in our midst more useful, so that they can be
          ornaments to society?
          I pray the Lord to bless us and preserve us in the truth, in the
          name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / Orson
          Pratt, June 23, 1878
                             Orson Pratt, June 23, 1878
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, 
                          Sunday Afternoon, June 23, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I will call the attention of the congregation to a portion of a
          prophecy by Malachi, which will be found in the last chapter of
          the Old Testament.
          "For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all
          the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the
          day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that
          it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
          "But unto you that fear my name shall the Son of righteousness
          arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow
          up as calves of the stall.
          "And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes
          under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this,
          saith the Lord of hosts."
          On arising, and on opening the Bible, I happened to open to the
          words which I have just read, which were spoken through Malachi,
          one of the last of the ancient Prophets. They are words very
          familiar to the Latter-day Saints, for their attention has been
          often called to them. In reading the prophecies of the holy
          Prophets, we expect that that portion of them which has not
          already been fulfilled, will take place in its time and in its
          season. We do not read the Scriptures as most of the inhabitants
          of the earth do, thinking that they must be spiritualized. There
          are scarcely any of the prophecies but what this generation, as
          well as some of the past generations, interpret as meaning
          something altogether different from the reading of them. They
          look upon inspired men as saying one thing and meaning another,
          and the only way to ascertain what meaning they really wish to
          convey is to get an uninspired man to give some other meaning
          entirely different from the literal construction of the words of
          the inspired writer. There are but few individuals, comparatively
          speaking, among the nations of Christendom, who differ from the
          prevalent belief, namely, that the Bible is a book to be
          understood only by the learning and wisdom of man, that the
          uninspired preacher, who may be highly educated after the manner
          of men, is a great deal better qualified to interpret the things
          of God than he or they through whom they were spoken. The
          Latter-day Saints, who may have been similarly trained, were more
          or less disposed, to entertain such views; but when they embraced
          the everlasting Gospel, and received of the Holy Ghost, even that
          Spirit by which the Scriptures were written, they were corrected
          in their judgments, and learned that the word of God would all be
          fulfilled, which have not already come to pass, and that they are
          to be understood in the same light, and in the same sense as we
          would understand the writings of uninspired individuals, when
          plainly and clearly written upon any special subject. This is
          something that every ordinarily intelligent man, without any
          book-learning whatever, is abundantly able to do, especially when
          simple language, easy of comprehension is used. For instance,
          when we get letters and communications from our friends aborad,
          we never think of putting a different construction upon their
          sentences, and claim that they did not mean what they had
          written. When, therefore, the ancient Prophets predicted that
          "the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven," and that "the
          proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the
          day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that
          it shall leave them neither root no branch"--we must believe that
          the Prophet meant precisely what he said. When we read in the
          Book of Genesis about the rains which fell from the heavens,
          causing a flood of waters to deluge the earth, in fulfillment of
          a certain warning message which had previously been preached to
          the people then living, by which they were swept away and
          drowned, we must believe that the inspired writer who penned the
          words, described the event as it occurred, so far at least as the
          general facts are concerned, and that the flood spoken of was a
          literal body of water, and that it did prevail upon all portions
          of the earth. I do not say that the flood did prevail, at the
          same moment, upon all the face of the earth; but before the
          floods abated, every part of the solid portions of the earth that
          were habitable, were covered by the waters. How this was
          accomplished is not given by the inspired writer, but is left for
          us to conjecture. The Lord has a great many ways and means by
          which he could bring about an event of this nature. For instance,
          how easy it would be to drown all the inhabitants of the
          temperate and arctic regions, by just merely stopping the earth
          from rotating on its axis. Unless there should be another miracle
          performed to prevent the waters that are heaped up around the
          equatorial regions from flowing to the polar regions, they would
          necessarily, as the earth began to cease or rotate more slowly in
          its axial revolutions, cause the waters of the equatorial region
          to flow towards the two polar regions. It is an easy matter for a
          mathematician to demonstrate the depth of the waters in any part
          or latitude of our globe, should such an event take place or
          happen. The waters in receding from the great equatorial regions
          would cover up the great mountains on our east, and we, in this
          altitude, would be buried under water at least over a mile in
          depth. I do not say that this was the manner which the Lord took
          in "breaking up the fountains of the great deep." There may have
          been other causes unknown to us; but to say there never was such
          an event is something entirely unwarranted. Still, it may be
          said, this would not cover all the solid portion of the earth,
          but leave the equatorial land still further elevated above the
          ocean, and if all the lands of the earth were to be under water,
          how could that be accounted for? Very easily. Cause the earth to
          rotate on its axis more swiftly than what it now does, say for
          instance, in one-half the time--in 12 hours instead of 24--and
          you would bury up all the equatorial lands of our globe. How easy
          a matter it would be for the Lord to cause the earth to rotate
          more swiftly, and then again to rotate more tardily, and produce
          the effects ascribed to the flood.
          When therefore, we read that the earth was once depopulated,
          except a few individuals, who were saved in the ark, why should
          it be thought a thing incredible that the Lord should again
          depopulate our globe, not by a flood, but by devouring fire. It
          may be said that we cannot see how a universal fire can prevail
          over the face of the earth. There are various ways by which this
          could be accomplished. How did the Lord cause fire in ancient
          times to break out among the children of Israel, when they
          transgressed his holy laws, and when they murmured and complained
          against God? Fire was sent forth from his presence we are told,
          rested upon the tabernacle; he was in the tabernacle, and his
          cloud was over the tabernacle; and fire went forth from this
          centre, or the place where the Lord chose to manifest and show
          forth his glory, and it destroyed many of the people. You may
          say, "But this was a supernatural fire that proceeded from the
          presence of God, from the tabernacle, consuming thousands of
          transgressors." I would ask, cannot the same Being who was able
          to produce this destruction by fire upon a few thousand
          individuals cause it to be more extensive and more universal in
          its operation? Has he not the same power to produce a
          supernatural fire over all the earth; even to the consuming of
          "all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly;" burning them up
          literally their bodies becoming as "ashes," as a farmer would set
          fire and burn up the stubble of his fields? Well, you say, "If we
          admit that the first was supernatural, that God did actually burn
          the transgressors among Israel by fire, we are willing to admit
          that the same Being that could do this upon a small scale, could
          perform a similar work on a universal scale." But then, perhaps
          the Lord may not see proper to do this work of burning in the
          latter-days altogether upon a supernatural principle; he may,
          perhaps, bring it about by certain physical forces or laws, by
          certain changes that may be wrought upon our elements; for the
          Lord holds in his own hands all the elements, and not only those
          of this little globe of ours, but all the elements that compose
          the universe; they are in his hands, he can give instructions and
          they are made subservient in the accomplishing of his great and
          wise purposes. Now, there is in the very air which we breathe,
          and which all animated beings, more or less, breathe, and by
          which they live--a principle of heat; and when this heat in its
          latent form is evolved, or comes forth from the constituents of
          the atmosphere, would there not be a sufficient amount to produce
          this revolution upon the earth? Is there not sufficient heat not
          only to burn up the wicked and the proud, but to cause the very
          elements of our globe to melt by its intensity? thus fulfilling
          another prophecy which says, "the hills melted like wax at the
          presence of the Lord;" and yet another prophecy, which says, the
          mountains shall flow down at His presence like melted substance;
          run like rivers, in consequence of the intensity of the heat,
          connected with the elements of which our atmosphere and mountains
          are composed.
          Again, independently of the latent heat which is connected with
          the atmosphere of our globe, is He not able to cause the great
          centre of our system, the sun, to give forth more heat,
          sufficient to consume the wicked and melt the earth by its
          intensity? Yes, I recollect reading in one of the prophecies of
          Isaiah, in relation to this matter. I recollect reading too in
          the revelations of St. John that men should be scorched with
          great heat. Rev. chap. 16, verse 8. It was to be one of the great
          judgments of the latter-days, as seen by that inspired man. And
          Isaiah, in speaking on this subject, says, "Moreover the light of
          the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the
          sun shall be sevenfold," etc. Suppose the heat should be
          increased in the same proportion that the light is increased; or,
          in other words, supposing that our thermometers, when standing at
          a hundred degrees fahrenheit, should be increased to 700 degrees
          Fahrenheit, what would be the effect? A general conflagration
          over the whole face of the globe would be produced, thereby
          fulfilling the ancient as well as the modern prophecy.
          But we will pass on. It is not for us, unless we have some
          definite instructions by the word of God, to tell how He is going
          to accomplish His great purposes. It is sufficient for us to know
          that he will do it. We are told this burning is to be universal,
          so far as all the proud, and all that do wickedly are concerned.
          It seems, then, it is to be one of the last destructions of the
          wicked. Prior to this there will be numerous destructions, by way
          of earthquakes, plagues, hailstorms, wars, etc., that will
          prevail and that will sweep away millions from the face of our
          globe. But the great judgment that is to cleanse the earth from
          all sin, is to be by the element of fire, "But," inquires one,
          "do you think there will be many in that day, that will be proud
          and wicked? Will they not be mostly converted, and consequently
          escape this great conflagration, as Noah escaped being drowned?"
          I will answer this by repeating another prophecy, that now occurs
          to my mind, recorded in the 24th chapter of Isaiah. This man of
          God saw the period of time when the earth should real to a fro
          like a drunken man; and he saw that glorious day when the Lord of
          Hosts shall be about to reign in Zion and Jerusalem. And among
          other things he saw in vision was that the earth became defiled
          under the inhabitants thereof; "because," says the Prophet, "they
          have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the
          everlasting covenant." Plainly showing that they were to be a
          corrupt people; a people who, for instance, would change the
          ordinance of baptism from immersion to sprinkling or pouring, or
          doing it away altogether, and in the same manner changing the
          various ordinances of the Gospel from the original form in which
          the Lord revealed them. He says, through the mouth of His
          Prophet, that the people who should be guilty of this great
          wickedness should be visited with fire; "the inhabitants of the
          earth are burned and few men left." This is a little more
          definite. We learned through Malachi, that they should be
          destroyed both root and branch--no branch of wickedness, no roots
          of wickedness left; but it does not give us the proportion,
          between the righteous and the wicked. But Isaiah gives us a
          little further clue to this matter. To the query, how many are to
          be overtaken by this last great judgment, Isaiah would answer,
          "the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men left." What,
          only a few persons to be converted, only a few to receive the
          true Gospel, and be prepared for the coming of the Bridegroom;
          only a few people to escape this awful desolation? So says the
          Prophet Isaiah; that is, few in comparison to the great and
          numerous population of our globe. Even some few millions would be
          few compared with the twelve hundred millions that inhabit the
          earth. Isaiah, in the same chapter, in describing the glory of
          his personal reign on the earth, says that "Then the moon shall
          be confounded and the sun ashamed," because of the superior light
          that will attend the presence of the being who is to reign in
          Zion and Jerusalem. The Lord causes the natural light of the sun
          and the heat thereof; he causes the natural light of the other
          luminaries that twinkle in yonder heavens, and also the heat
          which proceeds from their bodies. Now, if he can produce such
          intense heat by such bodies as our sun; if he can cause the
          surrounding worlds to be hated and to receive a certain
          temperature by the radiation of light and heat; if the sun can
          produce such a high temperature on our earth, existing some 90
          millions of miles away, who not the Lord be able to produce a
          greater light and heat if necessary to sweep off the wicked, and
          to cause the earth in a moment, as it were, to feel the power of
          heat, even to its melting like wax before his presence? But, you
          may ask, way not this heat destroy the righteous, as well as the
          wicked? Have not the righteous often times been burned at the
          stake? have they not been consumed to ashes, by the power of the
          wicked? And why should this intense heat, of which you are
          speaking, which is to destroy the wicked root and branch, not
          affect the righteous as well?" Let us explain. before this day of
          burning there will be no righteous on the earth. Not one? No, not
          one. "What is to become of them?" The Apostle Paul informs us
          that, "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,
          with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God; and
          the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we, which are alive and
          remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to
          meet the Lord in the air." It seems, then, that the righteous
          that sleep in their graves are to arise at this time, to be
          caught up with those living on the earth, who will be
          sufficiently righteous. Now, suppose they should not ascend to
          meet the Lord, but should remain on the earth, and he saw proper
          to preserve them from this devouring fire, could he do it?
          Certainly, and on the same principles he preserved the three
          Hebrew children in the midst of fire. We are told, in connection
          with this remarkable preservation of life, that there was not so
          much as the smell of fire on their garments, neither was a hair
          of their heads injured, while some of the wicked, when they were
          in the act of casting these young men into the furnace, which had
          been heated seven times hotter than was usual for them, were
          devoured themselves. Yet the righteous were spared receiving no
          harm whatever. Now, that same God who did preserve the three
          Hebrew children in the midst of the most terrible ordeal which
          they passed through, could preserve the righteous on the earth if
          he saw proper to do so. But he will take them up into the cloud,
          and they will be with him when he comes. But, you may say, "Have
          you not said that when he comes the sun will hide his face in
          shame, etc., therefore will not that glory which surrounds the
          personage of the Savior consume the righteous after they are
          taken up?" Not at all; they will not be subject to the devouring
          element of fire, even though they have not as yet been changed to
          immortality; for the time for the righteous who remain alive, to
          be changed, will be as much as a thousand years after they
          descend upon the earth; after there shall have been generation
          upon generation here upon the earth; then, at the sound of the
          last trump the Apostle Paul informs us, that those who are
          righteous shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye. They are
          not to undergo this change, when Jesus comes at the beginning of
          the thousand years' reign, but after the thousand years are
          ended, at the sound of the last trump, which shall awaken and
          call forth the sleeping nations of the wicked from their graves,
          then the righteous, who remain in the flesh will be changed in a
          moment; and after that time there will be no more mortality upon
          the earth. "But," you may say again, "we can hardly believe these
          great miracles will take place as you say, according to
          prophecy." Supposing you cannot, does your unbelief make the
          predictions of the servants of God without effect? Supposing, for
          instance, we should disbelieve excepting eight souls, as was the
          case with the ante-deluvian world, would our unbelief subvert the
          word of God. No. The Lord is a God of miracles, or in other
          words, he is a God of power and he operates upon the materials of
          our globe, according to his own good will and pleasure. When he
          burns up the wicked, when he cause the elements to melt with
          fervent heat, when he causes the mountains to flow down and melt
          like wax before his presence, all this does not destroy one
          particle of matter, but only changes matter from one condition to
          another. There is not a particle of the materials of our globe
          that will be annihilated, they will all exist, and although the
          time should come that the intense heat should be such as to
          disperse the materials of our solid globe and convert the great
          and mighty deep into gaseous substances, and separate the
          elements, and the water should cease to exist as either steam or
          water, although the time should come when the hydrogen and the
          oxygen, which possess the great bulk of the water upon our globe,
          should become gasses, yet the Lord could reorganize these
          elements, so scattered in space, by his power, bringing them
          together again by his law and by his word, making a new world,
          and creating a new heaven, and a new earth, wherein, says the
          Apostle Peter, shall dwell righteousness. This new earth, which
          is to be created, is not to be inhabited by the disobedient and
          wicked, as is not the case with the present world; there will be
          an entire change in the condition of the earth, and also in the
          condition of the human family, the curses of the fall will not be
          found in either, and consequently there will be no mortality upon
          the new creation, neither sorrow, nor weeping; neither will there
          be any more death; for the former things will have passed away,
          and all things will become new. There will be but one government,
          not several hundred different forms of government, but one form
          will prevail upon the new creation, inhabited by immortal beings.
          All these changes are what the Latter-day Saints are looking for.
          We do not read these prophecies and then undertake to change
          them, and tell our hearers that they must be understood to mean
          something else, in some spiritual sense. We do not tell them that
          this day of burning is a day in which wickedness is to be
          cleansed from the earth by the purifying influence of the Spirit
          of God, and that all the people are to be converted, and
          therefore, the earth will be inhabited by none except the
          righteous; and that the portion of the Scriptures referring to
          the wicked becoming ashes under the feet of the righteous, means
          something entirely different from the literal reading, and that
          their sins will all be consumed, and that they will be righteous
          and will all walk upon the new earth free from sin. No, but when
          we speak of devouring fire burning as an oven, we expect it will
          be fire; we expect it will be intense heat; and when he says it
          will consume all the proud and all that do wickedly, we do not
          expect there will be a wicked man or woman left upon the whole
          earth; and when it says there shall neither be root nor branch
          left of them, we do not expect there will be found a vestige of
          wickedness in any corner of the earth however remote; but that
          all will be consumed and none but the righteous left.
          Our modern Prophet, Joseph Smith, when he delivered his
          prophecies the Lord spoke through him, and we do not need any
          uninspired man to get up and tell what the Lord meant, when He
          spoke through him. For instance, our Prophet spoke of this same
          day of burning; it is referred to by him in many places in the
          Doctrine and Covenants, which book I hold in my hand. Has the
          Lord undertaken to spiritualize, in giving these new revelations?
          No; but he has told us the facts in the case. For instance, in
          one place speaking of the Lord's coming, it says the wicked shall
          be destroyed out of the earth, and that the righteous shall be
          caught up, in the same manner as the New Testament describes it.
          And then it speaks of the righteous also coming down after the
          wicked are destroyed. There is a promise made to the Latter-day
          Saints as well as the former-day Saints. The Lord said, in 1831,
          to the Prophet Joseph, in a revelation given before a general
          conference, and written by a scribe in presence of the
          conference, that among other great things that should take place,
          the Saints should possess the earth for their inheritance in this
          our day, and that all wickedness should cease. I make a promise,
          saith the Lord, and this is my covenant with you, and your
          children after you that you shall have a certain land that I will
          give unto you, for an inheritance and you shall possess it in
          time, while the earth shall stand, and shall possess it again in
          eternity, never more to pass away. If the Latter-day Saints want
          to know where this promise is found, let them read the revelation
          given on the 2nd of January, 1831. It was a revelation given when
          we were but a small people, before there was any gathering of the
          Saints; and in fact, when there were only a few individuals in
          the house of Father Whitmer, the place where the Lord first
          organized His Church. There, we were informed, that the Lord
          intended to give a certain portion of this continent to the
          Latter-day Saints, and to their children after them, for an
          everlasting inheritance. This was contrary to our former faith,
          when we were Methodists and Baptists, and when we were
          Presbyterians and professors of the different denominations,
          before we came into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
          Saints; we were taught then, that our home was away in yonder
          heavens, away in some distant part of the universe, beyond the
          bounds of space, if anybody can comprehend where that is; I never
          could. And yet enlightened Christians sing about it. Before I
          became connected with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
          Saints, I often attended the meetings of the Methodists, the
          Baptists and the Presbyterians; and I well remember that this
          sentiment was embodied in one of the favorite hymns sung by the
          Methodists. They had a very good tune to the words, and being but
          a boy at the time, I could not but think it the very best kind of
          religion. I never mistrusted the truthfulness of the sentiment,
          because I too had entertained the belief that we were going to
          take an everlasting farewell to earth, and that we were going to
          be wafted and wafted until we got beyond the bounds of space,
          there to find a heavenly place, adapted to our heavenly
          condition. But when I commenced to reflect and search the
          Scriptures for myself, I found that although the tune was sweet
          and the singing was beautiful, yet there was no truth in it; I
          found that the "Saints' secure abode" was not beyond space, but
          that it was on this our earth. And for how long? For all
          eternity. But the earth has to undergo numerous changes. A
          partial change will take place when Jesus comes, at the beginning
          of the thousand years' rest; then a still further change, after
          the Millennium should pass, when the great last trump should
          sound, awaking the nations of the wicked from their sleeping
          graves. I then read in the Scriptures of truth that God would
          create a new heaven, and a new earth, and that on this new
          creation should dwell righteousness. I also read of a holy city,
          called the New Jerusalem, which should come down upon this new
          earth, and that God himself, should be among those righteous
          people who should inhabit that holy city. And I also read that
          the former things should pass away, and that all things should
          become new. I read, too, that not only the New Jerusalem should
          descend on this earth, but another city called the Holy
          Jerusalem, whose dimensions and architecture are described, and
          that because of the glory that should exist there, the
          inhabitants thereof should not have need of the light of the sun,
          nor of that of the moon, nor of the stars; for God himself should
          dwell there with them, and he would be their light and their
          glory. and that those two great cities which are to descend upon
          this new earth are to be the great capitals of this new creation,
          inhabited by immortal being--the Saints of God that have lived in
          the various dispensations of this world. This was something new
          to us; and it was contrary to our sectarian notions and views,
          and the sectarian teachings about the future condition of man,
          and the earth we live in. Yet, when we come to compare the new
          doctrine of the new revelation, with that laid down in the Old
          and New Testament, we find a perfect agreement. For instance, let
          our minds revert back to the days of the Patriarchs, and we find
          Abraham, after leaving his native country, in obedience to a
          direct command of God, dwelling in a new land called Canaan, now
          known as Palestine, and while there, we learn of the Lord
          conversing with him, and promising him and his seed "the land of
          Canaan for an everlasting possession." What does this all mean?
          Did Abraham ever inherit any of that land? Not a foot of it. He
          did buy a place--a burying place for himself and kindred; but he
          did not realize this promise, the possession of the land of
          Canaan, but on the contrary, he counted himself a stranger and
          pilgrim in that very land. And not only Abraham, but his
          descendants have failed to realize this promise. The martyr
          Stephen, who lived many centuries afterward, just prior to his
          death, in bearing testimony to the people who stood before him,
          concerning Abraham, said, referring to this promise of the Lord,
          that he did not receive so much as to set his foot on, during his
          lifetime. Nevertheless, the Lord promised him the whole of the
          land, to be for an everlasting inheritance, for himself and his
          seed after him. The Apostle Paul, speaking of the same things,
          says, that "they all died in faith, not having received the
          promises, but having seen them afar off." How far? Thousands of
          years after they should sleep in the tomb. They looked forward in
          faith to the vast futurity, being persuaded of the truth of the
          promise; but they saw that before they could inherit the promised
          land, they would have to seek a city, that was in the heavens,
          and there to dwell, until the due time of the Lord should bring
          them in possession of their inheritance. The Prophet Ezekiel saw
          the way in which they should come in possession of it, as is
          recorded in the 37th chapter of his prophecy. The spirit of the
          Lord took him into the midst of a valley--a great cemetery, as it
          were, where he saw a vast quantity of bones which were very dry,
          the flesh having crumbled to dust. And the questions was put to
          him, no doubt to try his faith, "Son of man can these bones
          live?" Ezekiel was not an infidel, he did not say it was
          impossible, nor that there could be no such miracle, but he said,
          "O, Lord God, thou knowest." He was willing the Lord should know
          all about it, and that he should display his power provided he
          saw proper to do so. Then the Lord commanded him to prophecy,
          using these words: "Prophecy unto these bones, and say unto them,
          O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord
          God unto these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter into
          you, and ye shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will
          bring up flesh upon you, and over you with skin, and put breath
          in you;, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the
          Lord." And after he had thus spoken, the Prophet tells us that
          "there was a voice, and behold a shaking, and the bones came
          together, bone to his bone." They did not make any mistake, such
          as one bone belonging to a certain tabernacle uniting with that
          of another; but each bone joined its fellow bone, and sinews and
          flesh and skin covered them, and thus the tabernacles were
          formed. But here was as yet no life in them. Therefore he was
          commanded to prophecy again, and say to the wind: "Thus saith the
          Lord God; come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon
          these slain, that they may live." He did so "and the breath came
          into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an
          exceeding great army." This was a vision of the resurrection--the
          resurrection of the ancient patriarchs prophets of God, and all
          the righteous of Israel. It seems from the record, that the Jews,
          in the days of Ezekiel, had formed an idea very similar to that
          of many of our Christian friends now living--they had got rather
          infidel in their views; they had begun to say in their hearts,
          referring to their fathers, "Our bones are dried, and our hope is
          lost; we are cut off for our parts;" or, in other words, our
          forefather, whose children we are, and whose names are held in
          sacred remembrance by us, are all dead. The promises have not
          been fulfilled and we are cut off from the part of our
          inheritance, and how is it possible now that they can come to
          pass? They were of similar mind to the Sadducees--they did not
          believe in the resurrection. But the Lord, in order to encourage
          them in the belief that it would be fulfilled, gives the
          interpretation of this vision. I have heard the Methodists give
          their version of this vision. Whenever there was a revival among
          them, I have seen them get down on their knees and exclaim, O
          Lord, make a shaking among these dry bones; believing that the
          sinners were the bones, and the resurrection, the conversion of
          sinners. The same interpretation is given by a great many of the
          Christian sects of the day. But hearken, O Latter-day Saints to
          the Lords interpretation, and judge between them: "Behold, O my
          people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of
          your graves and bring you into the land of Israel." What can be
          plainer than that? And which is the better of the two, the Lord's
          interpretation or that of the sects of the day?
          This promise will most assuredly be fulfilled, the patriarchs,
          and their seed who are worthy, will come into possession of the
          inheritance. But when? It will be about the time, or a little
          after, this great day of burning. The graves of the Saints will
          be open just before the fire sweeps over the nations to consume
          the proud, and all they that do wickedly; and they will be opened
          at the sound of the trump by the Archangel. And the Saints will
          come forth; for then the face of the Lord will be unveiled, then
          the heavens will be parted as a scroll, then will be seen the
          Prophets of God, and all the righteous who have not yet arisen
          from their graves, and they will appear in the clouds of heaven
          with the Savior. Abraham will be there, Isaac and Jacob will be
          there, and all the ancients of whom the children of Israel, in
          Ezekiel's days, said, "Our bones are dried, and our hope is
          lost," will all be there, ready to enter into the possession of
          the earth as their inheritance. "Blessed are the meek," says our
          Lord in his sermon on the mount. And what is the peculiar
          blessing of the meek? "For they shall inherit the earth." Did
          they formerly inherit the earth? No; they wandered about, in the
          days of the Apostles, in sheep skins and goat skins, finding
          shelter from the inclemency of the weather, and concealment from
          the persecutors in the solitary dens and caves of the mountains.
          A great many infidels and sectarians cannot believe that this
          promise can ever be literally fulfilled, because they did not
          realize it in the day of their immortality. But Jesus says, they
          shall inherit the earth;" this includes too, all the Gentile
          Saints that have, and that will embrace the Gospel, among all
          peoples, and nations, and kindreds and tongues, for all such
          become Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. What
          promise? The promise made to Abraham. To inherit the earth. Hence
          all people who are baptized into Christ, whether Jew or Gentile,
          bond or free, male or female, and who are true and faithful to
          him, have Abraham for their father; and they, with him and the
          patriarchs, will inherit the earth, when wickedness ceases to
          It is then that the enmity of the beasts of the field as well as
          that of all flesh will cease; no more one beast of prey devouring
          and feasting upon another that is more harmless in its nature; no
          more will this enmity be found in the fish of the sea, or in the
          birds of the air. This change will be wrought upon all flesh when
          Jesus comes, not a change to immortality, but a change sufficient
          to alter the ferocious nature of beasts, birds and fishes. In
          those days the lion will eat straw like the ox; he will no more
          be the terror of the forest, but will be perfectly harmless, and
          gentleness, will characterize all the wild and ferocious animals,
          as well as the venomous serpents, so much so that the little
          child might lead them and play with them and nothing should hurt
          or destroy in all the holy mountain of the Lord; all things
          becoming, in some measure, as when they were first created. For
          it will be remembered that animals did not devour one another
          until after the fall, neither was there any death, until after
          the fall. What did they eat, then? The Lord said, "To every beast
          of the field, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth,
          wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat."
          The grass, and the herbs, and every green thing were their food.
          And Adam and Eve ate fruits and vegetables, not animal flesh. The
          whole earth will be restored; and man will be restored; and not
          only upon man, but upon all flesh the Spirit of God will be
          poured out and they will eventually be restored to all that was
          lost by the fall of our first parents. Then the knowledge of God
          will cover the whole earth, as the waters cover the great deep.
          And then the animal creation will manifest more intelligence and
          more knowledge than they do now, in their fallen condition.
          Indeed, we have a declaration, by John the Revelator, that when
          this time shall come, they will even know how to praise God. He
          says, "And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth,
          and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are
          in them, heard I, saying, Blessing, and honor and glory, and
          power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the
          Lamb for ever and ever." What? The animal creation endowed with
          language? Yes, a language of praise, saying something concerning
          the Lamb that was slain, and about his glory and excellency. What
          a beautiful creation this will be when all these things are
          fulfilled. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, July 7, 1878
                              John Taylor, July 7, 1878
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER JOHN TAYLOR,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday, July 7,
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                            SEVENTIES--HONOR THE SABBATH.
          I have been very much interested, as no doubt all of you have who
          have attended this Conference, in the principles that have been
          taught here. It is true a very great many have not been present
          to hear the things that have been spoken of by the Elders of
          Israel, and the Apostles of the Lord, during this Conference.
          There has been a number of reflections, no doubt, in relation to
          principles advanced by the various speakers; a great many plain
          truths have been enumerated; but we need, as has been stated,
          continual awakening up to a sense of our duty, and to a
          realization of those great responsibilities which devolve upon
          We are living in a very important age of the world, when great
          events are about to transpire, and the Lord has called upon us to
          perform a very great work in our day and generation. He has sent
          forth a revelation of his will; He has restored the ancient, the
          everlasting Gospel; he has restored the Holy Priesthood; He has
          manifested himself by the opening of the heavens and
          communicating his will, by the ministration of angels, by the
          organization of his Church and kingdom, by the continuous
          manifestation of his Holy Spirit, daily imparting faith to the
          human family who are humbly and diligently seeking to observe his
          laws and to keep his commandments.
          The Lord has a work to perform upon the earth; and the ancient
          Priesthood who have lived upon the earth and who now live in
          heaven have also a work to perform. And this Gospel and this
          kingdom has been introduced that there might be a Priesthood upon
          the earth to operate with God and with the Priesthood in the
          heavens, for the accomplishment of his purposes, for the
          redemption of the living, even all who desire to love truth and
          work righteousness, and for the salvation and redemption of the
          dead; that the purposes of God from before the foundation of the
          world may be carried out, and that the laws, principles, rules
          and government as they exist in heaven, may be taught to man upon
          the earth; and that through the operation and co-operation of the
          heavenly Priesthood and the earthly Priesthood, and God the
          Father, and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, an
          organization may take place, a union be formed, truth developed,
          and a kingdom established that the will of God may be done upon
          the earth as it is done in heaven. And this is what Jesus taught
          his disciples to pray for. "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on
          earth, as it is in heaven." But we cannot do the will of God as
          it is done in heaven, until he reveals it; we cannot know the
          will of God in heaven, until he reveals it to man on the earth.
          And then, as it requires the powers and the spirit and wisdom of
          God to manage and direct and control the affairs in the heavenly
          worlds, and to regulate his kingdom there, so it requires the
          same power, and same wisdom, the same light and intelligence to
          carry on this purposes here, and to establish his kingdom on the
          earth. And hence, for this very purpose, he has commenced to
          reveal himself to the human family, and also for the purpose of
          organizing the everlasting Priesthood. Do we know what that
          means? A Priesthood that administers in time and through all
          eternity; a Priesthood that is under the guidance, direction and
          control of the Almighty; a Priesthood to whom he will communicate
          his will, make known his designs, through whom he will accomplish
          his purposes, build up his Zion and establish the kingdom of God
          on the earth. And it is for this purpose that the kingdom of God
          is established; it is for this purpose that the various
          organizations of the Priesthood are put in order; it is for this
          purpose that men are ordained and set apart to fulfill the
          various duties and responsibilities devolving upon them, at home
          or abroad as the case may be. It is not to seek after our own
          gain, or interest, or emolument, or to satisfy the devices and
          desires of our hearts; we are here as Jesus was here, not to do
          our own will, but the will of him who sent us--not to speak our
          own words, but the words of life, under the inspiration of the
          most High, so that Zion may be instructed in the principles of
          righteousness, and that she may comprehend the laws of life, and
          be able to fulfill her destiny on the earth.
          Ye Latter-day Saints, this is why this Church was organized; this
          is why the Priesthood was organized; this is why messengers have
          been sent, and are now being sent, and will continue to be sent
          more abundantly to the nations of the earth. And it is proper and
          right, in our Conferences, to reflect upon these things, and upon
          the duties and responsibilities devolving upon us, and to ask
          ourselves, Are we fulfilling the requirements of the great
          Eloheim? It has been asked here by brother Brigham, who has just
          spoken, whether this kingdom will fail. I tell you in the name of
          Israel's God it will not fail. I tell you in the name of Israel's
          God it will roll forth, and that the things spoken of by the holy
          Prophets in relation to it will receive their fulfillment. But in
          connection with this I will tell you another thing: A great many
          of the Latter-day Saints will fail, a great many of them are not
          now and never have been living up to their privileges, and
          magnifying their callings and their Priesthood, and God will have
          a reckoning with such people, unless they speedily repent. There
          is a carelessness, a deadness, an apathy, a listlessness that
          exists to a great extent among the Latter-day Saints, and there
          never was a stronger proof of this than that which was exhibited
          here yesterday. I asked myself, as I looked over the empty
          benches, Where are all the Bishops? Have they not time to attend
          the Quarterly conference? Oh, shame on such men! are they worthy
          to hold a place in the Bishopric, and associate with the Holy
          Priesthood of God? They are desecrating the holy principles by
          which they ought to be governed. Where are their Counselors, I
          asked myself, and where are the Priests and Teachers and Deacons?
          Is there no interest manifested in the Church and kingdom of God,
          or in the Zion he is about to establish? Not much with many of
          them. Where were these thousands of Seventies and High Priests
          and Elders? The great majority of them were not here; but to-day
          they are, and I thought I would talk to them while here, and not
          when absent. Are the things of God of so small importance--are
          the issues of life, the destinies of the world, and the salvation
          of the living and the dead of so small importance, that we can
          not afford time to spend a day once a quarter in attending to the
          duties of our office, in representing our different districts,
          and in fulfilling the duties of our Priesthood, and the
          obligations God has placed upon us? I tell you, ye Elders of
          Israel, who neglect these things and who shirk your duties, God
          will remove your candlestick out of its place, and that speedily,
          unless you repent. And I say so to the Bishops, and I say so to
          all Israel who hold the Priesthood. We are not here to do our own
          will, but the will of our Heavenly Father who sent us. God has
          placed an important mission upon us; he expects us to fulfill it.
          If we treat it lightly and neglect our duties, he will remove us
          and others will take our crown. But he is not going to allow His
          kingdom to be overthrown, for it will roll forth and spread and
          increase until the kingdoms of this world shall become the
          kingdoms of our God and His Christ and he will rule for ever and
          I was reminded, yesterday of a parable made use of by the Savior
          in his day.
          "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins
          which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
          And five of them were wise and five were foolish.
          They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with
          But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
          While the bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept."
          I thought that part of it was very pretty nearly fulfilled; for
          very nearly all of the people belonging to this stake were caught
          napping. By and by, or to quote the words of the text:
          "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom
          cometh: go ye out to meet him.
          Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
          And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our
          lamps are gone out.
          But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough
          for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for
          And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that
          were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was
          shut;" and the others did not, and--that's all. And there is
          another Scripture to which I will refer. Jesus says: "Many are
          called, but few are chosen." And there are many other peculiar
          Scriptures in relation to this matter. I will refer to another
          one. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not
          prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and
          in they name done many wonderful works?
          "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from
          me, ye that work iniquity." Or in other words, Depart from me, I
          never approved of you. Who, my brethren and sisters, do you think
          these Scriptures refer to? Some will say to the Gentiles; but I
          have quite another opinion about it. There are men before me
          to-day who have prophesied in the name of God, who have cast out
          devils in the name of God, who have healed the sick in the name
          of God, and done many wonderful works in the name of God; but
          they are not keeping his commandments, nor magnifying their
          priesthood; they are tampering with sacred things, and God will
          hold them to an account for it; and if they expect they can serve
          mammon, the world and the devil, at the same time, they are
          making a grand mistake. God will say to them, "I never knew you."
          Now I shall be there, and you will be there; and I warn you, in
          the name of Jesus, to repent of your sins, and humble yourselves,
          and from henceforth magnify you priesthood and honor your God.
          How is it with our various quorums and authorities, and how is it
          with many of the Bishops? They do not care much about things
          whichever way they go. They have time to attend to their
          merchandizing and trading and business operations and pleasures,
          but they have not time to attend to the cause of God nor the
          interests of the flock, over whom he has placed them. But if they
          cannot find time, God will find a people that will find time to
          attend to his affairs. We have been engaged for years, but more
          especially of late years, in organizing the church more
          perfectly. And we have been ordaining men in the various quorums
          for the last 40 years and what for? Merely to give them a place
          and position and the priesthood? No, I tell you nay; but that
          holding the holy priesthood you may magnify it and become the
          saviors of men. But is it not the case with a great many of our
          Elders and Seventies, that they are trying how little they can do
          to save themselves and preserve a standing in the church; instead
          of how much they can do? Why, all the heavens ware waiting for
          our operations; the Gods are in the eternal worlds and the
          fathers of the departed spirits--the holy priesthood behind the
          vail, are all waiting for our operations, to see what we will do.
          And we are found slumbering and careless and indifferent, willing
          that anybody should perform the work of the Lord, if we will be
          left out. I tell you, in the name of God, that he will give you
          your wish; he will leave you out, unless you speedily repent. "Be
          not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth,
          that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of
          the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall
          of the Spirit reap life everlasting." But what are the duties of
          these Seventies, so many of whom are before me to-day? As I read
          it, it is to be under the direction of the Twelve, and to be on
          hand to go to the nations of the earth, as messengers, and to
          prepare themselves for that purpose. We sometimes talk about the
          work we have done. A very few men, comparatively, have done this
          work, and the great majority have done next to nothing. How many
          nations are yet unwarned, and know nothing about the principles
          of salvation? Our fathers are anxious about them, looking to us
          to carry the word to them. O shame upon the Elders of Israel,
          especially upon the Seventies who are called specially to this
          work. I received a letter from one of our Elders a short time
          ago, who is out laboring in the ministry, faithfully and
          diligently, in which he writes something like this: "If you can
          send me two or three Elders here, I shall be very much obliged;
          if the Seventies or Elders would not consider it to much trouble
          to come here." What? Too much trouble for the Elders of Israel to
          proclaim the words of life and salvation to their fellowmen, and
          to magnify their calling and priesthood? O shame on such Elders
          and such Seventies and such High Priests; shame on them. God, I
          tell you in the name of God, will hold you responsible for these
          things. And yet that man's statement was pretty nearly true. If a
          man goes on a mission, he thinks he is accomplishing a wonderful
          thing. We used, in former years, to think it our duty, regarding
          it as one of the things which God required at our hands. We held
          ourselves in readiness all the time. And some of us who have
          never been abroad will begin to talk of the great work we have
          performed. How we apples swim, don't we? To tell what we have
          done, when perhaps hundreds and thousands of brethren who have
          never been abroad on a mission in their lifetime would consider
          it a great calamity to be called to go on a foreign mission.
          I am talking plainly, but it is true before God, and you know it
          its true, and I know it is true. And I say to you Seventies and
          you Elders, Awaken up! God has placed the priesthood upon you,
          and he expects you to magnify it, and not be all the day long,
          and year after year, singing,
                  "Lullaby baby one the tree top
                   When the wind blows the cradle will rock.
          we want something else; we want some manhood, and some priesthood
          and power of God to be manifested in Israel, and the Spirit of
          God to be poured out upon Israel and upon the Elders thereof. And
          I pray God, the Eternal Father, to waken up these Elders, that
          the spirit of their mission may rest upon them, and that they may
          comprehend their true position before God.
          Now, I would not have said these things before a public
          congregation, if I had not said them before you frequently in
          your priesthood meetings. But it is time we were waking up to a
          sense of the position we occupy before God; for the day is not
          far distant when we will hear of wars and rumors of wars; not
          only rumors of wars, but wars themselves--nation arrayed against
          nation and seizing one another by the throat, and blood will
          flow, and general carnage will be spread through the lands, and
          if you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you
          responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your
          duty. How many of you can say, My garments are clean from the
          blood of this generation? I speak in behalf of the nations and
          the people thereof, and the honest in heart who are ignorant of
          God and his laws. He has called upon us to enlighten them, and to
          spread forth the truth, and send forth the principles of the
          Gospel, and point out the way of life. And it is for us to attend
          to these things, that we may secure the smiles and approbation of
          But we are careless and thoughtless; and, as has been already
          remarked, we pay very little attention to the Sabbath day. Some
          would rather go on these Sunday excursions and take their
          families with them leading them in the paths that lead to death,
          then they would bring them to the house of God. But let me say to
          all such, that as sure as you do these things you will have to
          feel, and that keenly too, the result of your acts, and they will
          follow you in time and all eternity. And I call upon you, ye
          Latter-day Saints, to repent of your iniquities, and keep the
          Sabbath day holy, set it aside as a day of rest, a day to meet
          together to perform your sacraments, and listen to the words of
          life, and thus be found keeping the commandments, and setting a
          good example before your children. Let us do that which is right,
          honor our God and magnify our calling, and the spirit and
          blessing of God will rest upon us. But if we do not these things,
          his Spirit will depart form us, and we be left to ourselves. God
          will not be mocked by his people, or by any other people; but we
          shall reap the reward of our doings.
          We talk about being a good people. Well, we are when compared
          with the rest of the world; but we ought to be twenty times
          better than we are to-day. And if we, as Latter-day Saints, were
          to strictly observe the Sabbath day, and pay our tithes and
          offerings and meet our engagements, and be less worldly minded,
          be united in temporal and spiritual things, Zion would arise and
          shine, and the glory of God would rest upon her. And it would not
          be long before all nations would call us blessed. But we are
          slothful and careless and indifferent and we neglect our duty and
          the responsibilities that devolve upon us.
          I pray that god may enlighten our minds, and lead us in the paths
          of life; and that we may honor our calling and our God; that we
          may be found worthy to be associated with the just on the earth,
          and with them obtain an inheritance in the kingdom of God, in the
          name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / Joseph
          F. Smith, July 7, 1878
                            Joseph F. Smith, July 7, 1878
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER JOSEPH F. SMITH,
          Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, July
                                      7, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                          IMPERATIVE--BLESSINGS RESULTING.
           F. Smith
          I naturally shrink from the task of addressing a congregation in
          this house, feeling as I do my inability to make myself heard.
           F. Smith
          I have been interested this morning in listening to the remarks
          of Brother Cannon. We cannot but be delighted with the testimony
          that has been given in our hearing, and that we are continually
          receiving from many sources, which go to prove that the world can
          do nothing against, but for us. Even their attempts to slander
          and misrepresent us, and their unrighteous attacks on the
          principles of our religion have ever tended to excite inquiry and
          investigation into the facts, which cannot but result
          beneficially to us as a people. I say, the efforts of our enemies
          against us have ever had a tendency to cause people who desire to
          arrive at the truth, to inquire into the real condition of
          things. The more people interest themselves in this direction,
          the more truth they will learn, and we court such investigation,
          for there is certainly nothing connected with us, as a religious
          community, in consonance with the gospel we preach, that we
          should be ashamed of, or that should not be known by all men. It
          makes no difference with the truth how much we are wrongfully
          accused; nor will it permanently injure us. If we sustain injury
          or suffer loss by the misrepresentations and evils maliciously
          promulgated about us by our enemies, it can only be such injury
          and loss as will be temporary, for when the facts do come out,
          and people learn the truth, so much the more good will be
          accomplished in our favor, and so much greater injury to those
          who are the authors of the falsehoods concerning us. We want
          nothing hidden or covered up neither can we respect any principle
          or individual that will not bear the daylight and the most
          careful investigation. Since 1830 the Elders of this church have
          been faithfully endeavoring to promulgate the gospel which we
          have received to every nation and people, without distinction as
          to race or color that would receive them; in other words they
          have diligently sought to "expose 'Mormonism'" to the world.
           F. Smith
          We are not ashamed of our domestic relations, so far, at least,
          as they exit in accordance with the principles of the Gospel, nor
          does any right-minded man or woman feel in his or her heart to
          shrink in any manner from the most rigid exposition of correct
          views in relation thereto. It is true that in common with mankind
          generally, we shrink from that, and it is natural that we should.
          It is very proper that we should feel a reluctance to have our
          weaknesses and imperfections exposed to the world, or even to our
          neighbors. This feeling is a very proper incentive to us to
          continue in the work of self-improvement, until we shall overcome
          the weaknesses we have inherited, living nearer to the principles
          of life and salvation which we have received. But the errors of
          man affect not in the least the principles of the Gospel of the
          Son of God. You show me a man who had embraced the Gospel in its
          entirety, in faith and practice, and I can then point to a man
          who has overcome the follies and weaknesses of the flesh; or show
          me a mean who is trying to live according to these principles,
          and I will show you a man who is trying to overcome his
          weaknesses. Hence there can be no blame attached to the doctrines
          of our faith, because of the infirmities and shortcomings of
          mankind; but we should rather attribute such weaknesses to their
          proper source--the defectiveness of man, or to his failure, at
          least, to comply with those principles which are calculated to
          correct every evil, and to establish man in righteousness. It is
          perhaps a difficult things for us, under the circumstances in
          which we are placed, the traditions of the fathers clinging to
          us, the practices of the world before us, and the temptations to
          evil so continually surrounding us, at all times to live the
          religion of Jesus Christ as perfectly as we should or otherwise
          might. It is no doubt difficult for us to overcome our follies,
          to forsake the traditions of the fathers, to eschew the practice
          of sin, to be patient in suffering, to endure privations and
          trials of our feelings, while we possess so little, as we do, of
          the Spirit of the Lord, and the knowledge of the truth. But we
          need not be discouraged because of this, nor because we see
          faults in each other, for no man is perfect; all men have, more
          or less, the shortcomings incident to humanity. We need not
          falter or be discouraged because of this, for perhaps it would
          not be possible for one who was perfect in all good to remain in
          the midst of this corrupt and perverse generation. Still it would
          seem good if we had a few among us who were really perfect, whose
          example we could see, whose precept we could learn, and whose
          footsteps we might follow. We might then be the better able to
          perfect ourselves. Still we will do well to emulate the good that
          are in our midst, and to observe those great truths we have
          already received in part, which in their fulness are able to save
          us unto the uttermost. We shall not be cast off, my brethren and
          sisters, for those sins which we ignorantly commit, which are the
          results of misunderstanding in all honesty before the Lord. The
          difficulty does not lie here; the danger lies in our failing to
          live up to that which we do know to be right and proper. For this
          we will be held responsible before the Lord; for this we will be
          judged and condemned unless we repent and forsake our follies,
          and our unwillingness to obey the light and the knowledge which
          we have received. There are some plain, simple truths which we do
          know, but which we do not observe. Herein lies our great sin. The
          condemnation of the world, when the Savior commenced his mission
          among men, was that light had come into the world, but they loved
          darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. This
          principle applies with equal force to us in this dispensation. If
          we had remained without the Gospel, we would not be under
          condemnation. But now that light has come into the world; now
          that truth and the authority of God have been restored, we cannot
          longer remain without sin, unless we obey this Gospel so
          revealed, and practice our profession.
           F. Smith
          There is a great deal said about our plural marriage by the
          outside world, and sometimes it is referred to by the Latter-day
          Saints at home. I fancy sometimes that not only is the world
          without knowledge in relation to this principle, but many of
          those who profess to be Latter-day Saints are far from possessing
          a correct understanding of it.
           F. Smith
          In the first place, it is a principle that savors of life unto
          life, or of death unto death; therefore it is well for those who
          have embraced the Gospel to obtain a knowledge in relation to
          this matter. It is a principle that pertains to eternal life, in
          other words, to endless lives, or eternal increase. It is a law
          of the Gospel pertaining to the celestial kingdom, applicable to
          all gospel dispensations, when commanded and not otherwise, and
          neither acceptable to God or binding on man unless given by
          commandment, not only so given in this dispensation, but
          particularly adapted to the conditions and necessities thereof,
          and to the circumstances, responsibilities, and personal, as well
          as vicarious duties of the people of God in this age of the
          world. God has revealed it as a principle particularly suited to
          the nature of the work we are called to perform, that it might be
          hastened to its consummation. It is a righteous principle not an
          unrighteous one. It is a pure and holy principle; and, therefore,
          persons, either male or female, who have not the desire in their
          hearts to become pure and righteous, have no business to practice
          it, for it cannot be practiced acceptably before God on any other
          principle than that of purity and righteousness, therefore no
          wicked unjust or impure person can enter into the law of
          celestial or plural marriage without incurring the displeasure of
          the Almighty and his own condemnation before the Lord, unless he
          speedily repent of all this impure motives and designs. A man
          that is no honest in his heart, who does not desire to be just
          and impartial, even as God is just and impartial, has no business
          in plural marriage; and before he enters into the practice of
          that principle he needs to repent, to learn wisdom to get the
          Spirit of God, to get understanding in relation to the purpose
          God has in view in regard to this principle; that he may go into
          the practice of it understandingly, that his heart and mind may
          be set upon practicing it in righteousness. It is a difficult
          matter, I am aware, to distinguish between the actions of a man
          and the principles in which he professes to believe. A corrupt
          ungodly hypocrite can do more injury in the midst of a people, in
          a given length of time, correspondingly, than a host of upright
          men can do good. Send an Elder to preach the Gospel among the
          nations, and let him degrade himself, dishonor his priesthood and
          calling, and he will bring more reproach upon the cause
          misrepresented by him, than twenty good men could remove. Because
          people generally look at the man. To judge him by his acts would
          be righteous judgment: but to condemn the Gospel or the Saints,
          because of his acts, would be unjust; yet the cause he
          misrepresents suffers wrong because of his connection with it. A
          man's acts may unjustly be considered as resulting from his
          principles. We judge a tree by its fruits. The fruits of the
          Gospel are good; he that has actually embraced the Gospel will do
          good, only so far as he may err, or depart therefrom. Hence, it
          is difficult to separate a man's actions from his principles.
           F. Smith
          There is no difficulty, however, in this matter to those who
          always bear in mind, that evil and corrupt practices are not the
          results of obedience to the Gospel, but of disobedience, and of
          the preservation of truth. If we would keep this in our minds we
          would not cast blame upon the principles themselves when we see
          or hear of men, who should represent them, do wrong; but we would
          rather say, the man has departed from his principles and gone
          into error. It is he that is defective, through not practicing
          what he professes, the principles are good and holy, and he
          himself would become so too, if he would but practice them.
           F. Smith
          It is precisely so in relation to our domestic relations. We see
          trouble in families occasionally, not any more so in plural than
          in single families. There is no reason why there should be any
          difference between the husband and wife, or the husband and
          wives, in the midst of this people, if all are disposed to obey
          the principles and doctrines of the Gospel. It is only by the
          practice of these principles that we can avoid the disturbances
          that occur in families, or among mankind. We must learn and obey
          correct principle, or we will ever ben in turmoil and confusion,
          and in antagonism one towards another. Where differences exist in
          families they are traceable directly to some cause. I want to
          impress upon the minds of my hearers that the cause of such evils
          is not traceable to the practice of any principle which God has
          revealed touching these matters, but to the non-observance of
          them; and this is true in relation to every principle of the
          Gospel. Sometimes it is the fault of the man, sometimes of the
          woman, and oftener of both, but never the fault of the principle.
          The principle is correct, great, ennobling and calculated to
          bring joy, satisfaction and peace, if we would but observe and
          practice it as we should. But in order to do this we must get
          wisdom and understanding. These, by many, are acquired only
          through long experience. We begin as children, we have to learn
          precept by precept, line after line, here a little and there a
          little, which is good, provided we profit by that which we learn.
          Men must be just, so also must women, in relation to these
          matters. All must be just one towards another; also forbearing
          and patient, cultivating largely that Christian attribute called
          Charity, in order to get along peaceably with our neighbors, our
          brethren and sisters, as well as with our wives, husbands and
          children. We are all imperfect, we have to learn by little as we
          pass along, profiting ofttimes by that which we suffer, yet often
          repeating the same errors.. When we find ourselves overcome in
          fault, that should be set down as an example for the future time,
          if possible, never allowing ourselves to be caught in the same
          predicament again. Thus profiting by the experience we gain.
           F. Smith
          Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage
          was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential, to the salvation or
          exaltation of mankind. In other words, some of the Saints have
          said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the
          authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive
          an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he
          possibly could with more than one. I want here to enter my solemn
          protest against this idea, for I know it is false. There is no
          blessing promised except upon conditions, and no blessing can be
          obtained by mankind except by faithful compliance with the
          conditions, or law, upon which the same is promised. The marriage
          of one woman to a man for time and eternity by the sealing power,
          according to the will of God, is a fulfillment of the celestial
          law of marriage in part--and is good so far as it goes--and so
          far as a man abides these conditions of the law, he will receive
          his reward therefor, and this reward, or blessing, he could not
          obtain on any other grounds or conditions. But this is only the
          beginning of the law, not the whole of it. Therefore, whoever has
          imagined that he could obtain the fullness of the blessings
          pertaining to this celestial law, by complying with only a
          portion of its conditions, has deceived himself. He cannot do it.
          When that principle was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, he
          very naturally shrank, in his feelings, from the responsibilities
          thereby imposed upon him; foreseeing, as he did in part, the
          apparently insurmountable difficulties in the way of establishing
          it, in the face of the popular opinion, the traditions and
          customs of many generations, the frowns, ridicule, slander,
          opposition and persecutions of the word. Yes, this man of God,
          who dared to meet the opposition of the whole world with bold and
          fearless front, who dared to dispute the religious authority and
          accumulated learning and wisdom of the age--who dared everything
          for the truth, and shrank not even from the sacrifice of his own
          life in testimony of his divine mission, shrank, in his feelings,
          from the weight of the responsibility of inaugurating and
          establishing this new innovation upon the established customs of
          the world. But he did not falter, although it was not until an
          angel of God, with a drawn sword, stood before him; and commanded
          that he should enter into the practice of that principle, or he
          should be utterly destroyed, or rejected, that he moved forward
          to reveal and establish that doctrine.
           F. Smith
          To put this matter more correctly before you, I here declare that
          the principle of plural marriage was not first revealed on the
          12th day of July, 1843. It was written for the first time on that
          date, but it had been revealed to the Prophet many years before
          that, perhaps as early as 1832. About this time, or subsequently,
          Joseph, the Prophet, intrusted this fact to Oliver Cowdery; he
          abused the confidence imposed in him, and brought reproach upon
          himself, and thereby upon the church by "running before he was
          sent," and "taking liberties without license," so to speak, hence
          the publication, by O. Cowdery, about this time, of an article on
          marriage, which was carefully worded, and afterwards found its
          way into the Doctrine and Covenants without authority. This
          article explains itself to those who understand the facts, and is
          an indisputable evidence of the early existence of the knowledge
          of the principle of patriarchal marriage by the Prophet Joseph,
          and also by Oliver Cowdery.
           F. Smith
          When the revelation was written, in 1843, it was for a special
          purpose, by the request of the Patriarch Hyrum Smith, and was not
          then designed to go forth to the church or to the world. It is
          most probable that had it been then written with a view to its
          going out as a doctrine of the church, it would have been
          presented in a somewhat different form. There are personalities
          contained in a part of it which are not relevant to the principle
          itself, but rather to the circumstances which necessitated its
          being written at that time. Joseph Smith, on the day it was
          written, expressly declared that there was a great deal more
          connected with the doctrine which would be revealed in due time,
          but this was sufficient for the occasion, and was made to suffice
          for the time. And, indeed, I think it much more than many are
          prepare to live up to even now. When the time came to introduce
          this doctrine to those who were worthy in the church, God
          commanded the Prophet and he obeyed. He taught it as he was
          commanded to such as were prepared to receive and obey it, and
          they were commanded to enter into it, or they were threatened
          that the keys would be turned against them, and they would be cut
          off by the Almighty. It need scarcely be said that the Prophet
          found no one any more willing to lead out in the matter in
          righteousness than he was himself. Many could see it--nearly all
          to whom he revealed it believed it, and received the witness of
          the Holy Spirit that it was of God; but none excelled, or even
          matched the courage of the Prophet himself.
           F. Smith
          If, then, this principle was of such great importance that the
          Prophet himself was threatened with destruction, and the best men
          in the Church with being excluded from the favor of the Almighty,
          if they did not enter into and establish the practice of it upon
          the earth, it is useless to tell me that there is no blessing
          attached to obedience to the law, or that a man with only one
          wife can obtain as great a reward, glory or kingdom as he can
          with more than one, being equally faithful.
           F. Smith
          Patriarchal marriage involves conditions, responsibilities and
          obligations which do not exist in monogamy, and there are
          blessings attached to the faithful observance of that law, if
          viewed only upon natural principles, which must so far exceed
          those of monogamy, as the conditions responsibilities and power
          of increase are greater. This is my view and testimony in
          relation to this matter. I believe it is a doctrine that should
          be taught and understood.
           F. Smith
          The benefits derived from the righteous observance of this order
          of marriage do not accrue solely to the husband, but are shared
          equally by the wives; not only is this true upon the grounds of
          obedience to a divine law, but upon physiological and scientific
          principles. In the latter view, the wives are even more
          benefitted, if possible, than the husband physically. But,
          indeed, the benefits naturally accruing to both sexes, and
          particularly to their offspring, in time, say nothing of
          eternity, are immensely greater in the righteous practice of
          patriarchal marriage than in monogamy, even admitting the
          eternity of the monogamic marriage covenant.
           F. Smith
          Man may receive great reward, exaltation and glory by entering
          into the bond of the new and everlasting covenant, if he continue
          faithful according to his knowledge, but he cannot receive the
          fullness of the blessings unless he fulfills the law, any more
          than he can claim the gift of the Holy Ghost after he is baptized
          without the laying on of hands by the proper authority, or the
          remission of sins without baptism, though he may repent in
          sack-cloth and ashes.
           F. Smith
          "But," says one, "how will it be with good men who believe the
          doctrine, but are prevented, or cannot enter into the practice of
          it?" I reply that every man and woman will receive all that they
          are worthy of, and something thrown in perhaps on the score of
          the boundless charity of God. But who can justly expect to obtain
          more than they merit? All the judgments of God are not given unto
          man. What we do not learn relative to the salvation of our souls
          which are our bodies and spirits, in this probation we will have
          to learn in the eternity which lies before us, for we cannot be
          saved without knowledge. "But what if we never get knowledge?"
          Then we never will be saved.
           F. Smith
          Suppose we live and die without knowledge? Then, if we ever
          obtain salvation we will have to get it in the next world, as the
          Antediluvians did, who rejected the Gospel as preached unto them
          by Noah and were destroyed by the flood, sent to the prison-house
          to be punished for their disobedience and other wickedness, and
          in the meridian of time received knowledge by the proclamation of
          the Gospel, as preached unto them by the Savior while his body
          slept in the tomb, without which they would forever have remained
          ignorant of God, his government and laws, in a lost condition.
          All men must obtain salvation upon their own merits, for by our
          works shall we be judged, and by them justified or condemned.
           F. Smith
          It is a glorious privilege to be permitted to go into a Temple of
          God to be united as man and wife in the bonds of holy wedlock for
          time and all eternity by the Authority of the Holy Priesthood,
          which is the power of God, for they who are thus joined together
          "no man can put asunder," for God hath joined them. It is an
          additional privilege for that same man and wife to re-enter the
          Temple of God to receive another wife in like manner if they are
          worthy. But if he remain faithful with only the one wife,
          observing the conditions of so much of the law as pertains to the
          eternity of the marriage covenant, he will receive his reward,
          but the benefits, blessings and power appertaining to the second
          or more faithful and fuller observance of the law, he never will
          receive, for he cannot. As before stated no man can obtain the
          benefits of one law by the observance of another, however
          faithful he may be in that which he does, nor can he secure to
          himself the fullness of any blessing without he fulfills the law
          upon which it is predicated, but he will receive the benefit of
          the law he obeys. This is just and righteous. If this is not
          correct doctrine then I am in error, and if I am in error I want
          to be corrected.
           F. Smith
          I understand the law of celestial marriage to mean that every man
          in this Church, who has the ability to obey and practice it in
          righteousness and will not, shall be damned, I say I understand
          it to mean this and nothing less, and I testify in the name of
          Jesus that it does mean that. But what will become of him that
          cannot abide it? Says the Lord, "whoso having knowledge have I
          not commanded to repent, and he that hath not understanding it
          remaineth with me to do according as it is written." In other
          words he that is without understanding is not under the law, and
          it remains for God to deal with him according to his own wisdom.
          If a man acknowledge that he is incapable, or disqualified by a
          lack of knowledge, wisdom or understanding to obey this law, when
          it remains with God to deal with him according to those
          principles of justice which are written, or are yet to be
          revealed it is not like however, that he will take his seat with
          Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or share in their promised blessings.
           F. Smith
          This law is in force upon the inhabitants of Zion, and he that is
          qualified to obey it cannot neglect or disregard it with
          impunity. But it must be observed in righteousness. The
          commandment is "be ye righteous as your Father in heaven is
          righteous; be ye holy as he is holy.
           F. Smith
          Why did the Son of God make this requirement of his disciples,
          seeing that it is so universally believed by the world, that man
          cannot be righteous at all? Did Jesus require anything
          inconsistent or impossible? No, he did nothing of that kind. All
          that he commanded us to do, we can accomplish by the help of the
          Holy Spirit; but we cannot do it ourselves. Therefore if we will
          seek for the Holy Spirit, the gift of wisdom and understanding
          from God, we may practice these principles of righteousness, and
          they will make us righteous even as God is righteous, in the
          sphere in which we are called to act. We will fulfil the law, and
          receive the blessings, exaltation and reward which will follow;
          if we do not, we will fail of the reward.
           F. Smith
          This is very simple reasoning, I admit. Critics would say, these
          are axioms that need not be told. If we do wickedly we will be
          punished; if we do righteously, we then receive blessings at the
          hands of God.
           F. Smith
          May God bless you, and keep us all in the path of righteousness,
          and enable us to live the religion we have received from him, is
          my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / George
          Q. Cannon, July 7, 1878
                           George Q. Cannon, July 7, 1878
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON,
          Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Morning, July
                                      7, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          It is with much pleasure I meet with the Latter-day Saint this
          morning; it was a great pleasure to me yesterday to sit and
          listen to the remarks which were made by the brethren who spoke,
          and to the testimonies which they bore; and I trust that the same
          spirit which rested upon them while addressing us yesterday, will
          be upon us, speaker and hearers, today.
          I can appreciate the privilege we enjoy in meeting in these
          quarterly conferences, perhaps more so because of my lengthened
          absence from home, than I could were I constantly in your midst.
          After a person has been deprived of food, many of you know how
          good it is to sit down to a well-spread table. I do not know that
          the Latter-day Saints are exactly in this condition. There are
          privileges we need and which we can enjoy, even when away from
          the body of the Church, which enable those who are thus separated
          to rejoice in their religion and its blessings. It has been a
          rule of my life, since I was old enough to comprehend the truth,
          to so live that the Spirit of the Lord would be my companion, and
          thus to have peace, to have joy and to have satisfaction of mind;
          and this I can testify I have had. But still absence from the
          society of the Latter-day Saints is a great deprivation; at least
          it is to me.
          With regard to our condition politically, I do not think it would
          be inappropriate for me to allude to it casually, although it is
          Sunday. There probably never was a time since we have been in
          these mountains when we were in a better political position than
          we are today. Notwithstanding all the efforts which are being
          made against us to destroy our liberties, to embarrass us in our
          progress and to malign us, the people who reside in these
          mountains have gained and are gaining a credit which in many
          respects is very gratifying to those who live the truth. It is a
          difficult thing to condemn an entire people, and make the world
          believe that those who manage a Territory such as ours, the
          affairs of which are so well managed, and are in so healthy and
          thrifty a condition, are a wicked people. And so far as my
          observation has extended, I think we are being better understood.
          There is one thing particularly that I have noticed, that where
          men and women have visited this Territory, with scarcely any
          exception, they speak favorably of what they have seen. I have
          endeavored to urge men of national standing, men who hold high
          positions in the Government, to visit Utah. And I may say that
          some of the warmest friends we have, while they do not sympathize
          particularly with our religious views, but are tolerant and
          desirous that we should have our rights in common with other
          people, are those who have visited this Territory and have seen
          us in our homes, and have had opportunities of witnessing the
          changes that been affected in this desert land by our residence
          and labors.
          As to the time when we shall become a state, concerning which
          considerable is said by outside parties, as well as by ourselves,
          it is difficult at the present time to say anything definite
          respecting it. I believe, however, the time will come, and that
          too before long, when certain exigencies of a political character
          will arise that will make the vote of Utah necessary in deciding
          national questions, and under those circumstances it would be
          important to have Utah as a state. In fact it is already
          acknowledged that had Utah been admitted as a state when Colorado
          was, that all this difficulty which has occurred connected with
          the presidential election would have been entirely settled;
          indeed it would not have arisen. This is now conceded. But this
          experience comes too late to be of any benefit in correcting the
          injustice which we suffered, and to be of any avail in the
          presidential contest which is now past; but it may have some
          effect in the future. There are many, a great many men of both
          political parties who have said to me that they would vote for
          Utah's admission whenever the question should be brought up,
          provided they had a voice in the matter. However, as far as this
          is concerned I think sometimes it is a matter of comparatively
          small moment. It is true we have looked to our admission to
          statehood as likely to greatly relieve us, and to bring about a
          better condition of affairs throughout our Territory. But the
          conviction has grown upon me in watching the progress of events
          that our being kept in a territorial condition to the present
          time has been attended with great advantage to us as a people.
          The experience we have gained under this condition of affairs is
          an experience that is necessary to us, and without which we could
          not so well, in my opinion, fulfill the destiny assigned to us. I
          believe there is an overruling Providence in all these affairs; I
          believe the Lord is watching over this people, and that he is
          controlling and shaping events and circumstances, and managing
          everything connected with the affairs of this nation, and our
          affairs as part of the nation, with a view to accomplish his
          great designs and purposes. And whenever it shall be wisdom in
          his sight that we should have our political condition changed and
          our Territory become a State, it will be effected. And it will
          come, too, as easily as other changes that have been wrought out
          and that at one time seemed exceedingly improbable. So that it is
          not necessary that we should become excited or impatient or
          indulge in too much anxiety concerning such things, but leave
          them in the hands of Him who has up to the present time
          controlled all things for the good of his people and for the
          bringing to pass of his own purposes.
          I consider our condition to-day in these mountains the best
          condition that we can occupy. When I travel through the States
          and converse with gentlemen who are familiar with the affairs of
          the nation through its length and breadth, I never arise from
          such conversation without feeling impressed more than ever with
          the excellence of the circumstances which surround us. It is true
          we have a desert land, that it is a land requiring excessive toil
          to make it fruitful and habitable for those who live in it. The
          grass does not clothe our hills spontaneously; our territory is
          not favored with the rains of heaven to make it green with
          verdure: our fields would be barren indeed, if it were not for
          the labor of irrigation and the constant efforts of the
          husbandman. In this respect our country differs very much from
          every other place east of us. In travelling through the broad
          prairies of Illinois, with the continuous fields of grain; and
          through Iowa and Nebraska, so far as Nebraska is settled, and
          contrasting the ease with which those lands are cultivated,
          compared with the toil required in this mountain region, I could
          not help thinking that if we were permitted to live in so good a
          land, under favorable circumstances, we would soon convert it
          into an Eden. But in the providences of the Almighty we were
          driven out and led to this land, and the Lord has showed unto us,
          and is showing to the inhabitants of the earth, that when a
          people will do that which He requires of them, that he is
          abundantly able to sustain them and make their labors successful.
          He has done this in leading us to this country, in sustaining us
          since we came here. Our condition in many respects is far
          superior to those who live in those favored localities to which I
          have referred. We have a healthy land; we have a land that the
          Lord has blessed and made fruitful as the result of our labors.
          It is a land in which men cannot, from the very nature of things,
          monopolize large bodies of land to the exclusion of their poorer
          neighbors. This is an advantage to the people of this country.
          The nature of our surroundings compels us to occupy small
          holdings and the result is our land it better cultivated, there
          is a more widespread ownership of the soil than you will find in
          any part of these United States; that is, there are more men
          holding land and owning and occupying it, in this country, in
          proportion to the entire population, than you can find elsewhere.
          The result is a condition of independence you cannot find
          elsewhere. At the present time, in the western States especially,
          men are greatly concerned about the element known as Communism,
          which has taken possession of the minds of a numerous class of
          the people. The working classes are becoming very dissatisfied,
          and men are trembling for fear of what will come upon the nation.
          One of the strongest arguments that was made in favor of keeping
          up the United States army up to its present numbers was, that
          there would probably be riots in large cities and in populous
          centres, which would require the presence of the military acting
          as police to quell. And had it not been for this evil the army
          would have been cut down. But a good many men were anxious to
          have it increased, deeming it necessary for the preservation of
          life and property. When we reflect upon this it shows how changed
          have become the affairs of our nation, when it is deemed
          necessary to appeal to military power to maintain good order in
          the Republic. There can be no surer sign of the decay of a
          republic than when human life and property and liberty cannot be
          sustained by the masses of the people, and the military power,
          the ranks of which are filled with hired soldiers, has to be
          appealed to sustain good order in the midst of the people. Let
          such a state of thing continue and there would soon be an end of
          true republicanism.
          In this respect we also have our difficulties. The business of
          furnishing employment for our poor people so that our streets
          shall not be filled with idle men and boys, has no doubt pressed,
          and will continue to press itself upon the minds of the leading
          men of this Territory. But in comparison with the magnitude of
          this question elsewhere, it seems to sink into insignificance
          here. It is a matter of small moment, comparatively speaking, in
          this Territory; because the great bulk of the people have
          employment, and can easily furnish themselves with employment.
          However, this is a matter that should receive attention and from
          those, too, who care for the people and have their welfare at
          heart. No doubt everything will be done that should be to
          preserve good government throughout this Territory, and
          throughout all these valleys which are inhabited by the
          Latter-day Saints. The fact is, the time will come, concerning
          which there has been so much said in the past, when it will
          devolve upon the people of these mountains to maintain good
          government, to uphold constitutional rights; and we are receiving
          the training necessary to fit and prepare us for that great and
          glorious destiny. I have no doubt that the day will come, and
          come speedily, when Utah will be looked to, as an example of good
          government, and that the condition of affairs in this Territory
          will be pointed to as a example for other communities and other
          societies to imitate with advantage to themselves and the country
          at large. There is every inducement therefore for us, as
          Latter-day Saints, to continue to persevere in the direction in
          which we are going.
          I have no doubt many of you would be surprised if you knew the
          interest that is being taken, outside of our Territory, in our
          affairs. When the news of the death of President Young reached
          the east, there was, I might say, a general expectation that
          rival claimants to the power he wielded would arise, that
          dissensions would ensue and that the work of disintegration would
          commence and the speedy overthrow of the system soon follow. I
          suppose I have been spoken to hundreds of times upon this point
          and men seem surprised that this has not been the result. Many
          have said to me, "Your affairs seem to go on prosperously,
          notwithstanding the death of your great leader." Yes. "Well, we
          scarcely expected this would be the case; we have heard so much
          said through the newspapers concerning the probability of
          dissensions in your midst and quarrels over the leadership, that
          we were expecting you would have trouble." I have told them
          invariably that President Young had all his life-time
          acknowledged that the qualities and powers he possessed he owed
          to what the world call "Mormonism;" that he was not the creator
          of "Mormonism," but he himself was the product of it, and that
          this would continue to increase, no matter how many leaders might
          die or pass away. The results which have followed the decease of
          President Young have given to thinking men a higher idea of the
          strength and power of this system. It assumes a different
          position in their minds. The idea now begins to prevail that it
          is not entirely dependent upon the life or the ability of any
          single individual and I think the death of President Young has
          had the effect also to cause men to pause, and to look upon the
          work a little differently. He was the target at which every arrow
          was aimed he was the object of every plot and scheme; every
          combination for evil had for its object, his destruction or his
          embarrassment. His withdrawal from the scene spoiled these plots
          to nought. To this I attribute the quiet of the past season.
          Although I have often been at Washington for the past 20 years,
          and have spent a considerable portion of my time there for a
          number of years past, I have never seen less of the disposition
          on the part of public men to take adverse measures against the
          people of Utah Territory than there has been this season. The
          feeling has been to let us alone for the present; and although
          there were emissaries sent down from here who labored very
          diligently to stir up feeling and to secure action again the
          people of Utah, their efforts scarcely created a ripple upon the
          surface of political affairs, and they attracted no attention
          outside of the committees, to whom they addressed themselves.
          Though it is unpleasant upon some accounts to have men there who
          are circulating all manner of falsehood about the people of Utah
          to gain their ends, they have their uses. They create discussion.
          They stir one up, and their presence and opposition furnish
          opportunities to talk to committees and members about Utah
          affairs, which otherwise the Delegate would not have. Such
          discussions made things lively in the committee rooms, but
          outside of the committees there was not a feeling that I could
          discover particularly hostile to Utah. This is a remarkable
          condition of affairs; and I attribute it in part to the effect
          that the death of President Young has had upon the public mind
          throughout the entire country.
          I do not think there is any less hostility against the truth; I
          do not think that Belial has lost any of his hatred to the Lord;
          but the Lord in his wisdom has permitted a feeling of this kind
          to grow up, and is overruling it for his own purpose.
          I have said the eyes of the people are upon us; they are watching
          us and great hopes are entertained concerning us by many people
          who are not of us. We are looked upon as the pioneers in many
          reforms. The ladies, as you are aware, have lately been agitating
          in Congress their question--Woman's Rights. Among other ladies
          who argued their cause before the general committees of the
          Senate and the House, was a sister of the Rev. Henry Ward
          Beecher--Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker, a lady of character and
          great ability. It was most gratifying to me to hear the tribute
          that these ladies paid to the woman of Utah; not that they
          sympathized with plural marriage, for they disavowed their
          sympathy with it; but they begin to recognize, as they never have
          until quite recently, the true position that men and women of
          this Territory occupy upon this question. Indeed, I heard more
          than one say, and among them was one very prominent lady, that if
          there had to be a choice, she would prefer plural marriage than
          to have the condition of affairs which exists in their
          communities. There seems to have been a good deal of light thrown
          upon this subject: and our sisters here, through their
          publication, the "Woman's Exponent," as well as other channels of
          communication, have greatly aided in this matter. Their efforts
          are commendable, and are already beginning to have their good
          effects in the States among their sisters; and I am pleased to be
          able to bear this testimony. When the question of legislation for
          Utah was argued, the committee rooms were thronged to listen to
          my argument upon the subject; and on one occasion two ladies took
          part in the discussion against the bills urged by our enemies and
          in favor of the rights of the women of Utah. A knowledge of the
          future condition of affairs in this Territory is gradually
          growing, and although it may be but slowly, it is of faster
          growth than we generally imagine. This is especially true of that
          much abused principle called plural marriage. It is becoming
          recognized in its true light, and people are beginning, as I
          never heard them before in my experience, to talk about it and
          reflect upon it, often alluding to it in a way that shows that a
          better understanding of the subject is steadily spreading among
          the people. And there is a reason for this: This question has
          been so much agitated. It is a remarkable fact that every
          publication against this doctrine of the Latter-day Saints has
          the effect to spread the knowledge of it among the people and it
          makes men and women reflect upon it. Our efforts alone would not
          be attended with the results that are now witnessed. But every
          man that has published articles against it, or lectured or
          written books or made any effort against it, has helped to
          propagate the knowledge of it; they have been missionaries in its
          favor. And no true doctrine need ever fear being assailed and
          denounced; for it will emerge from the conflict brighter and
          better understood than it otherwise would appear. Every man who
          has gone down to Washington from here to fight us has made men in
          Congress think about us and talk about us, and has made editors
          write about us. They have, without designing it, helped to
          disseminate a knowledge of our cause. The more the "Mormon"
          question, as it is termed, is agitated, the better it is for us;
          the more it is fought, the more it is written against and talked
          about, the more that Congress is stirred up to take steps against
          it, the better the principles of our faith are understood;
          because there are some men and some women who reflect upon these
          things, and who will contrast that which they hear of us, with
          that which exists in their midst. And when they see a man stand
          up boldly and say, "We believe in plural marriage; we do not
          believe in prostitution; we do not suffer women to become the
          slaves of men's lusts; but believe they ought to become honored
          wives and mothers, and that children ought to be educated and
          provided for and called by the name of their father, and at their
          father's death his property be equally divided among them even
          though their mothers should be plural wives." When they hear
          this, they cannot help thinking about such a condition of
          affairs; and they say, there is a moral courage which these
          people evince in this matter that is admirable. I have had it
          said to me often times, by both sexes, that it is better that we
          should live as we do, than such practices as exist elsewhere
          should come in our midst.
          So that, as has often been said, everything done against us is
          overruled for the good and spread of the work of God.
          The subject of plural marriage is always in interesting subject,
          and it is made still more so by the constant attacks made upon
          it, and the misrepresentations made concerning it. Whenever
          people meet with the Latter-day Saints it is almost sure to be
          the first topic broached. The opinion which some entertain who
          take their views from the slanderous reports published about us
          is that we are a licentious people, who take wives to gratify
          lust. Such persons, if reasonably honest, are soon made to
          reflect and to modify their views by asking them a few questions.
          A prominent gentleman with whom I recently conversed, entertained
          that opinion. I said to him, after conversing a little while:
          Sir, you believe the People of Utah are bad and licentious, and
          that they degrade women by their system of plural marriage. Let
          me ask you, if their purposes were only sensual, have they any
          occasion in this day to marry women? Could they not accomplish
          sensual ends much easier, cheaper and without creating any
          especial remark by not marrying women and not caring for and
          educating and legitimatizing their children? There are practices
          which prevail in society and which are not unpopular if a certain
          degree of secrecy be observed which a licentious people could
          avail themselves of, without the trouble, care, expense and
          responsibility of marriage. What is the crime of which the people
          of Utah are accused? It is of marrying women! It is not that of
          seducing or debauching them. All the pains and penalties inserted
          in bills before Congress for the punishment of the "Mormon"
          people are affixed to the marriage of women. This is made a
          crime, and because of it, it is proposed to punish men. Not one
          word of condemnation, nor penalty of any character, is proposed
          for the seducer, or the vile betrayer of female innocence; he is
          to walk up to the polls and vote unchallenged; but the man who
          marries women, and maintains them honorably and virtuously,
          sustaining family and parental relations in all purity and
          sacredness, is to be disfranchised and visited with other pains
          and penalties! You will perceive, therefore that the "Mormon"
          people are either not a licentious people or they are the most
          foolish in the world. No one ever charges them with a lack of
          shrewdness or prudence. Such a charge would be utterly at
          variance with all their known characteristics. If they were not a
          conscientious people, with strong moral and religious
          convictions, they would not risk becoming martyrs, as they do,
          for the sake of marrying women, when, if they followed the usual
          practice of the age, they could get them without marrying.
          He frankly acknowledged that what I had said has given him a new
          view of the case, and he admitted that if the gratification of
          sensual desires were our object, we could reach that without
          marriage and without exciting any particular odium. The fact is,
          illicit connexions are winked at and overlooked by very many
          people in the world while they are kept from public knowledge;
          they only excite scandal and unfavorable comment when the parties
          to them are so unfortunate as to become known.
          A reply of Bro. Hooper and myself, which we are credited has
          having made to inquirers who were curious to know respecting our
          domestic relations, is often quoted and created some amusement in
          Washington city. Both of us have doubtless made remarks similar
          to that quoted; the reply, however is not original with us, but
          with Bro. Horace S. Eldredge. Upon one occasion, while purchasing
          machinery in the East, he called upon a firm in Providence, Rhode
          Island, to whom he brought a letter of introduction. One of the
          members of the firm, after carrying him in his carriage to see
          the various objects of interest in the city brought him back to
          his place of business and introduced him to his partner. This
          gentleman had a number of inquiries to make respecting Utah and
          its people, and soon learned that Bro. Eldredge was a "Mormon."
          After stating that he understood that the "Mormons" believed in
          marrying more than one wife, to which bro. Eldredge replied in
          the affirmative, he asked if he himself has more than one, to
          which he again responded affirmatively. He then asked how many he
          had. to this bro. Eldredge replied: "I have such a plenty of my
          own that I have no occasion to trouble my neighbors'; and that is
          more than a great many in the land of steady habits can say."
          This was a home shot. His partner laughed heartily. Knowing the
          other's character, he could appreciate its applicability to him.
          After getting his reply, the gentleman had no more questions to
          ask, and soon made an excuse to go out. Many who have heard of
          this reply, think the idea embodied in it a capital one, for it
          is not uncommon in many places for other men's wives to receive
          attentions which should be only tendered to them by their
          I desire greatly to see this people prosper and increase in
          everything which will make them the favored people of God. I want
          to see us become a strong people, strong in our virtues; looking
          after our children, and bringing them up in the fear of God, and
          teaching them good morals and good precepts; whilst we endeavor
          to put down the evil practices that are creeping in, such as
          smoking and chewing tobacco, using the name of the Lord in vain,
          and also profane and improper language, and to see that our boys
          and girls are educated in everything that will make them great
          and noble. It is the great desire of my life to see this people
          become all that the Lord desires us to be. But when I saw how few
          there were in this Tabernacle yesterday, few compared to the
          attendance this morning, I felt the reproofs that were made by
          brothers Pratt and Woodruff were well-timed, and ought to be
          taken to heart by all of us, and the disposition be encouraged to
          be more attentive to our duties.
          That the Lord may bless you, and bless all who belong to his
          Israel, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, August 4th, 1878
                            John Taylor, August 4th, 1878
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
               Delivered at Logan, Sunday Afternoon, August 4th, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                  STEPPING STONE TO
                            LABORS--SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS.
          I have been a good deal interested in the remarks made by my
          brethren; and in connection with them, I am very much pleased to
          see you meet in this beautiful house, and in possession of the
          privileges you enjoy; and you have a right to enjoy them, because
          you have made them yourselves. And then again, you did not make
          them yourselves, only as God assisted you. I think there is a
          modern Scripture which reads: "Against none is His wrath kindled,
          save those who do not acknowledge his hand in all things." And
          there are some other principles connected with these matters that
          are of a good deal of importance to us. One of the old prophets,
          in speaking of the people and their relationship to God, says:
          "The Lord is our God, the Lord is our king, the Lord is our
          judge, the Lord is our law-giver, and he shall rule over us." If
          we could really place ourselves in this position, and feel that
          we live in God, that we move in God, and that from him we derive
          our being, and that he holds the issues of life, and every
          blessing we enjoy whether of a temporal or spiritual nature,
          either referring to this world or the world to come, proceeds
          from God. If we, as a community, could comprehend our position in
          regard to this grand, leading, and very important feature of our
          faith, we should be prepared to receive greater blessings at the
          hand of the Almighty, and be prepared also to magnify that great
          and holy priesthood which he has placed upon us. We should be
          prepared more understandingly to build temples, and to operate in
          them; we should be prepared to stand as saviors upon Mount Zion,
          and to operate with God and the holy angels, and with apostles
          and prophets who have lived before, and with the holy priesthood
          in the eternal worlds, as well as in this world, for the
          accomplishment of the purposes of God for the redemption and
          salvation of the living and the dead; for the salvation and
          exaltation of ourselves, our progenitors and our posterity. But
          we need to realize and comprehend our position and relationship
          to the Almighty.
          Some of the brethren who have addressed you have spoken upon our
          political rights, which is all very correct. It would be a poor
          thing indeed, if, after God has gathered us from among the
          nations of the earth to place his name upon us, and to establish
          and build up His kingdom upon the earth, we should be under the
          necessity of calling in the devil to help us to do the Lord's
          work. It is one of those incongruities which the reasonably
          intelligent and reflective mind will necessarily disown. We are
          gathered here, not in the interests of any political party or any
          essential organization, other than that which God dictated and
          ordained. Why are we here to-day? It is because the heavens have
          been opened, because angels have appeared, because the
          revelations of God's will have been made known to man, it is
          because God and holy angels, with the eternal priesthood, have
          thought proper to manifest in these last days the fullness of the
          everlasting Gospel, which Gospel has been proclaimed to us in the
          different nations from whence we came. And having yielded
          obedience to its first principles we have gathered here. We did
          not come here as being associated particularly with any
          colonization scheme; we did not come here because of the richness
          or fertility of the soil, we did not come here because there was
          gold and silver in our mountains. We had no such idea. We came
          here because we believed that the Lord had restored the
          everlasting Gospel; because he had renewed the everlasting
          covenant; and because he had sent forth the proclamations,
          "Gather my people together, those who have made a covenant with
          me by sacrifice," and because we had been baptized into Christ,
          and put on Christ. This is the reason of our being here; and,
          therefore, as Latter-day Saints, it becomes our first and most
          paramount duty to build up the church and kingdom of God upon the
          Now, we all believe this. And there is a number of duties that
          seem to devolve naturally upon us, such as to prepare buildings
          like this, that we may meet in to attend to the worship of God;
          and to build temples in which to administer the ordinances of
          God. Who for? The living and the dead: for ourselves, our
          progenitors, and our posterity. And that we might operate and
          co-operate with the priesthood behind the vial, in the
          accomplishment of his purposes toward the human family. This is
          the kind of labor we are engaged in. But I occasionally think we
          are something like the disciples who lived in the days of the
          apostles on the Asiatic Continent. It is said of them, that they
          saw in part, and prophesied in part, and of course comprehended
          in part. But they thought then, and we think now, that when that
          which is in part is done away, and that which is perfect is
          come--and which the Lord is trying to introduce as fast as he
          can--then shall we see as we are seen, and then we shall know as
          we are known; then we shall comprehend as God comprehends in
          relation to all of these subjects which we have been reflecting
          upon and praying about. But we only comprehend in part at the
          present time. We are something like our little children--when
          they begin to walk a little, they make awkward stumbles,
          oftentimes falling down and scratching themselves. Our Father
          watches over us, the same as our mothers did when we were babies.
          You all know what watchful care a fond mother bestows upon her
          little child; how anxious she is about its safety and welfare.
          But our children frequently think they are much smarter than
          their parents. They would think nothing at all of taking hold of
          a razor and cutting their fingers with it, or running over rough
          and dangerous ground. We are, in many respects, a good deal like
          them. We see in part and comprehend in part; and some of us have
          been so long steeped in the superstitions and traditions of the
          age, and are imbued with false religions and political ideas and
          notions, and so inoculated by the world, that we hardly know what
          is right and what is wrong. We want a little of God in the
          kingdom of God, a little of man, and, I am sorry to say, a little
          of the devil in the kingdom of God, so that we might all mix up
          together and be hail fellows will met, God and all creation
          together. That is not the calculation of the Almighty. He has
          called us together; what to do? Let me tell you what the prophet
          said: "I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I
          will bring you to Zion." And what will he do with those he gets
          there? "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart,
          which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." Who would
          give them pastors? The Lord. One of the prophets, in speaking of
          this time, when people should be very much better than we are
          to-day, says: "And they shall be all taught of God." But some of
          us would like a little infidelity with it, a little of this
          world's politics, a little of the theories of men, and a little
          false tradition with it; and it is difficult for us, with all our
          traditions and erroneous training which we have inherited from
          our forefathers, and which we have been brought up in from our
          early childhood, to divest ourselves from them, and listen to the
          pure word of God, and be governed by the laws of life.
          We talk sometimes about the thing we call the kingdom of God.
          Now, if it is the kingdom of God, it is not the kingdom of man,
          it is not our kingdom only so far as we are subject to its laws,
          which are the laws of God. We have made attempts lately, under
          the direction of our venerable and respected President Young, who
          has left us and gone behind the vial, to organize the church of
          God, and this organization has spread, more or less, through the
          Territory. But it is a good deal with us as it was with the boy
          in Salt Lake City. A stranger, walking along, said, "Boy, are you
          a Mormon?" The boy answered: "No, sir, I am not, but dad is."
          "Oh, he is?" "Yes, sir; but he does not potter much at it." It is
          a good deal so with many of us. We have our individual affairs
          and our own operations, which occupy our attention, and we have
          little time to attend to the things of god. We have an
          organization of our priesthood; we have our stakes organized with
          President, and High Council, with Bishops and their Counselors,
          and Priests, Teachers and Deacons; and we have our Seventies'
          quorums, our High Priests' Quorums, and our Elders' Quorums; all
          of which are in accordance with the order that exits in heaven.
          But how little many of us think of this. Yes we are doing pretty
          well, as has been remarked here. I have no feeling of complaint
          in my mind about the doings of the people generally. I think that
          you have manifested a zeal, liberality and generosity in the
          building of this house, that is praiseworthy and commendable; and
          I think you have manifested the same in the progress that is
          exhibited in the building of your temple here. But these are only
          very small parts of the duties of this priesthood which we have
          taken upon us; very little parts indeed. How many of our Bishops
          are there who do not comprehend really and truly that they hold
          their priesthood from God? that they administer in the cities of
          Zion, or ought to, by virtue of that priesthood; and therefore
          ought to be fathers over the people over whom they preside,
          having self and its interest in abeyance, laboring as good
          shepherds in the interests of their flocks, and thus operating in
          it according to their ability; but a great many do not comprehend
          the position of things in relation to these matters. If a man is
          appointed a Bishop, is it that he may aggrandize himself? No. Is
          it that through his position he may monopolize certain interests?
          No. It is expected of him that he will operate in the interest of
          the Church of God, and more especially in the interests of the
          community over whom he presides. That is the way I understand
          this matter; and these are some leading features by which a
          Bishop ought to be governed. And in our Bishop's Courts, when
          cases are brought before them, they ought to be as free from
          partiality in their judgments as the Gods of the Eternal worlds
          are, and feel to administer justice and righteousness, and seek
          for the Spirit of God to actuate and govern them in all of their
          decisions. And the same spirit and feeling ought to actuate in
          the High Council. They are making a record of which there is a
          record kept in heaven; and so are the Bishops. And when you are
          administering in any of these offices, God will hold you to an
          account, and the priesthood on the earth will hold you to an
          account; and you are now writing a history in indelible
          characters that never can be erased. If for every word and secret
          act all men shall be brought to judgment, how much more will the
          public acts of public men be brought into account before God and
          before the holy priesthood.
          Here, for instance, is the President and his Counselors, who
          preside over this Stake. They ought to feel interested in the
          welfare of every man, woman and child in the Stake, so far as
          they come under their observations; and these men, by virtue of
          their high calling, ought to be full of life and the spirit and
          revelations of God, to comprehend things as they are presented to
          them and that they may administer justice in righteousness, and
          rule over the people in the way and manner that will secure the
          favor and approbation of the Most High; always seeking first the
          interests of the kingdom of God and the flock that God has given
          them the oversight of.
          Now I will maintain some things here that my attention has been
          called to, in regard to union, and union of effort. We have had a
          great deal said about the United Order, and about our becoming
          one. And some people would wish--Oh, how they do wish, they could
          get around that principle, if they could! But you Latter-day
          Saints, you cannot get around it; you cannot dig around it; it
          will rise before you every step you take, for God is determined
          to carry out his purposes, and to build up his Zion; and those
          who will not walk into line he will move out of the way and no
          place will be found for them in Israel. Hear it, you Latter-day
          Saints for I say to you in the name of Israel's God that it is a
          revelation from the Most High, and you cannot get around it.
          There seems to be difficulties in the way at present; but we
          shall surmount these. The only way for us to do now, in
          consideration of the weaknesses and infirmities with which we are
          surrounded is to do the very best we can, and advance those
          interests as near as we can, practically and in their spirit and
          essence, until we can bring about the things that God designs,
          for men are not prepared for these things yet in full. But we are
          in part, as they of old prophesied in part, and understood in
          part; and by and by that which is perfect in relation to these
          matters will be introduced. Joseph Smith tried to introduce this
          order, but such was the corruption, covetousness, fraud and
          injustice of men, that he found it almost impossible to do it.
          This was the idea he conveyed, if not the precise words that he
          used in speaking upon this subject. We have made various attempts
          to do what the Prophet Joseph tried to do. In some places they
          are doing very well, and in other places very poorly; I can tell
          you this much about it, it is pretty hard work to make sheep out
          of goats. Did any of you ever try it? Let me quote you a passage
          of our Savior's: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and
          they follow me."--"A stranger will they not follow, but will flee
          from him; for they know not the voice of strangers." And he
          prayed to the Father concerning them: "Holy Father, keep through
          thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be
          one as we are." "That they all may be one, as thou, Father art in
          me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the
          world may believe that thou hast sent me." Or, in other words,
          "God sent him, and his people knew it and knew him, but the world
          believed it not; but when this oneness should be brought about,
          the world would know it. And when we become one in all things,
          our condition will be a spectacle for God, angels and men to gaze
          upon with delight: and the world then will know that God is with
          us, and that we are his Israel, and that he is our guide, our
          shield, our deliverer. There are some things that Brother Lorenzo
          Snow is doing that are very creditable; but it is not the United
          Order. He is working with the people something after the same
          principle that the sisters teach the little ones how to walk;
          they stand them in a sort of chair which rolls along, and the
          babies appear delighted, they think they are walking. But we have
          not learned how to walk yet. And then there are other
          institutions scattered throughout the Territory, having the same
          laudable object in view, many of them have most excellent
          principles among them, and they manifest a most admirable spirit;
          but they only see in part, and know and comprehend in part. And
          you here are doing pretty well in some things; but some of you
          are like it was said by President Young of Brother Snow, that he
          had got the folks into the United Order without their knowing it.
          You have hardly got one foot in yet, but you are aiming at
          progress, and are making some little advancement. For instance, I
          hear you have a kind of commercial business here in connection
          with some other interests that you are trying to unite on. This
          is very proper, and it is proper that your president should
          dictate in such matters; it is his business to do it, and it is
          your duty to be governed by such principles and follow such
          instructions as may be given in regard to these things; and keep
          together, and let this individualism be held in abeyance, and let
          us feel that we are all holding the holy priesthood, and that we
          should, as brethren, operate in the interests of the church and
          kingdom of God. I suppose these things could go on and increase,
          and everything in regard to your commercial relations could be
          operated with one common consent, under the proper authority and
          administration of the priesthood, and you all labor unitedly,
          with singleness of heart before God. And what would be the
          result? You could not be preyed upon by outsiders; you would have
          no middle-men living off you, and what speculations might be
          entered into would be in the interest of the community. And then
          you could operate in regard to your farming interests, and the
          disposing of your grain, and cattle, sheep, etc. And operating
          and co-operating together, you will be able to form a phalanx in
          this valley that will become a power in this part of the land.
          And then if you could go to work and manufacture your own leather
          and cloth, and make your own boots and shoes and harness, and
          your own wearing apparel, men's and women's wear, as they are
          doing in Brigham City, a great deal for remunerative employment
          could be furnished your own people and it would be the means of
          putting trades in the hands of many of your boys; and by and by
          you could become a self-sustaining people. The people of the
          world comprehend this principle that we are striving to
          comprehend among ourselves. There has been quite a talk lately
          about something that has existed in France. You will remember
          that in the late war with Germany, the French nations was badly
          beaten, and an enormous debt was the result, which the French
          Government has since paid. And how? The first Napoleon, in his
          day, introduced what was called at that time the "Continental
          System," which meant nothing more nor less than home manufacture.
          Every encouragement was extended to the people of that nation to
          raise and manufacture everything possible, that they might become
          independent of other nations for their sustenance. And this was
          the secret of their success in paying their indebtedness incurred
          by the late war. We have had enough talk about these things; the
          only thing left is to contrive in all our various settlements, to
          introduce such things, gradually and according to circumstances,
          as will subserve the interests of the people and make them
          self-sustaining. And then let the people throughout the Territory
          do the same thing, and we shall be progressing in the march of
          improvement and get, by and by, to what is called the United
          Order. But I will tell you one thing you can never do--unless you
          can get the United Order in the hearts of the people, you can
          never plant it anywhere else; articles, and constitutions amount
          to very little; we must have this law, which is the law of God,
          written in our hearts. Many men associated with these
          institutions do not act in good faith. I have seen men unite with
          them, thinking that they could get a very easy living by preying
          upon the people who were more confiding and honorable than
          themselves. Will such men be blessed? No, they will not but the
          curse of God will rest upon them for trying to pervert his
          purposes; and it would have been better for them never to have
          entered into such connections. These have been some of my
          reflections in relation to these matters.
          We have here Seventies and Elders. I wish to talk a little upon
          some things associated with their callings, for there are a great
          many of them present to-day. I suppose the great majority of the
          brethren here are either Seventies, High Priests, or
          Elders--three prominent quorums in the church and kingdom of God.
          Now then, what are we called to do? What, for instance, is the
          duty of an Apostle? We used to understand it to be our duty to go
          to the ends of the earth and preach the Gospel; and I may say we
          have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles to accomplish that
          object. But some of us are getting whiteheaded. As I was saying
          to one of my wives a little while ago, Your head is getting a
          little grey, but mine is not (it is white). And it is so with
          many of the Twelve; they have got past that some time ago. But
          the Twelve went out, and were always ready to go out, and are
          to-day if required. And I will say of my brethren who are around
          me, I do not know of a better set of men in existence, nor could
          I tell where they can be found. I will bear this testimony
          concerning my brethren of the Twelve. They are ready to do what
          God requires of them at any time. Now, we have had a great many
          honorable men among our Seventies, our High Priests and Elders
          who have gone forth with alacrity, as have the Twelve, filled
          with the spirit and power of their calling, feeling to rejoice
          all the day long, and sing, hallelujah, the Lord is our God; they
          have been the means of gathering the House of Israel, as they are
          to-day in these mountains. Shall they have credit among Israel?
          Yes, and so will they have credit before God and the holy angels.
          But the Presidency or the Twelve, or the Seventies, or the High
          Priests, or the Elders, never could have done it, unless God had
          been with them. They went forth in the name of God, bearing
          precious seed; and they returned again rejoicing, bringing many
          sheaves with them. And God will hold all such men in honorable
          remembrance in time and through all eternity. But a great many
          are getting like myself, they are getting old; and we cannot
          expect them always to be going. But then, they have a lot of boys
          growing up, and we expect the boys to step forward and take the
          place of their fathers, and try to do something in the interests
          of the church and kingdom of God upon the earth.
          We have been passing through quite a scene for some time past,
          and the world generally has, especially the European nations,
          since about 1873. There was, as was termed, a financial panic,
          and it has grown worse and worse until the present time; and
          trouble seems to be spreading and going among the nations, and is
          permeating the nations with which we are associated. It is now
          workmen against employer--labor versus capital, and vice versa,
          instead of union, harmony, fellowship, and sympathy, which ought
          always to exist between man and man. And we have felt a little of
          the effects of the monetary crises here. Then the grasshoppers
          have paid us a visit now and then; and the codling moth is among
          us, and some parts of our valleys have suffered considerably from
          winter frosts. And I have thought sometimes that if the people
          did not understand that God ruled, they would find out by and by;
          for I believe that all these things are used by the Lord to bring
          the people to reflection. And if I read my Bible aright,
          judgments are first to begin at the house of God. And if
          judgments are to commence at the house of God, where are the
          wicked and ungodly to appear? There is a terrible time
          approaching the nations of the earth, and also this nation, worse
          than has ever entered into the heart of man to conceive of--war,
          bloodshed and desolation, mourning and misery, pestilence, famine
          and earthquakes, and all those calamities spoken of by the
          prophets will most assuredly be fulfilled, and they are nearer by
          forty years than they were forty years ago. And it is for us,
          Latter-day Saints, to understand the position we occupy. Among
          the honorable men I have referred to, there are some things that
          make it extremely difficult for men sometimes to perform the kind
          of missions that they did formerly, owing to age, infirmities,
          and circumstances. Yet I have frequently felt ashamed when I have
          seen the acts of many in these quorums to which I refer, when
          they have been called upon to go on missions. One has one excuse,
          and another, another. It was easier some twenty years ago to
          raise two or three hundred men than it is now among all those
          thousands in Israel. How do you account for this? Partly in
          consequence of an apathy that exists in the different organisms
          of the priesthood; and partly from circumstances with which we
          have been surrounded. We have been grappling with these
          difficulties in common with others; and the Lord has placed us in
          this position to try us to see what material we are made of. Or,
          to use a common saying to see who would be found at the rack, hay
          or no hay. But the general feeling seems to be--and I suppose it
          is so with us in Salt Lake and other places--that we would rather
          go to the rack when there was plenty of hay. But there is such a
          thing as having faith in God, I will tell you how I have viewed
          these things. A great many have been thrown into circumstances
          that without distressing their families it would be extremely
          difficult to pick themselves up and go on missions. We did not
          use to think about this; but there should be in this, as in other
          things, a co-operation, a united order if you please. We have
          found, in looking over some of our affairs, that these pinching
          times have reached to England. And lately when our Elders have
          returned home after having been absent two or three years, they
          themselves not having the means to pay their way home, have had
          to give their notes for the money; and the consequence was they
          would return with a load of debt upon their shoulders. The
          Council have considered this matter, and decided to cancel such
          indebtedness; it amounted to some $50,000; and then we contrived
          with Brother Staines and the Presidency in Liverpool, to try to
          make such arrangements that when our brethren returned home from
          missions, they shall come free. How do you feel? All who are in
          favor say aye. [The congregation said aye.] We do not want Elders
          to feel pressed down or embarrassed, but, if possible, to be
          relieved; and we are aiming to accomplish this. And when they are
          away, it is not proper that they should feel worried and
          concerned about their families at home; and therefore we will
          call upon our brethren here who preside, to see that the families
          of the missionaries are looked after, that they may not suffer. I
          hear men sometimes pray God to bless and provide for the families
          of those on missions, and in their prayers they are ever mindful
          of the poor. This is all very well as far as it goes, but it does
          not go very far. My feelings are, never ask the Lord to do
          anything I would not do myself. If I were a woman--but then I am
          not, you know and I do not know much about it; but if I were a
          woman, the wife of one of our missionaries abroad, I would much
          rather have a sack of flour; a little meat, some butter and
          cheese, a little fire-wood or coal, and a little cloth for
          myself, and family, than all the prayers you could offer up for
          me. And if you want to see these folks taken care of, you must
          see to it yourselves. And you sisters of the Relief Society, do
          not give your husbands any rest until these families are all
          provided for. And do not spare the Bishop if they are not
          provided for but go after him and "ding" it into him; and perhaps
          by your continued teasing and worrying him, he may hearken to
          your prayers. And I will risk it, if the sisters get after him.
          Now after making excuses of that kind, we cannot excuse
          everybody. There are lots of able-bodied men who, if they could
          only have a little more faith in God, and could realize the
          calamities that are coming upon the earth, and the
          responsibilities of that priesthood that God has conferred upon
          them, they would be ready to break all barriers and say, Here I
          am, send me; I wish to benefit the human family. If Jesus came to
          seek and save those who are lost, let me be possessed of the same
          spirit. And if the Twelve, the High Priests and the Seventies,
          who are now aged, have done these things, let me also do it: I am
          willing to enter into the harness and do all that God requires at
          my hand. I tell you, my brethren, in the name of God, that right
          among the nations of Europe, where many of you have come from,
          there will be some of the bloodiest scenes that you ever read of;
          and God expects you to assist in warning the nations, and in
          gathering out the honest in heart. Then when you come back,
          having accomplished a good mission, you can say, "My garments are
          clean from the blood of this generation." Many of you cannot say
          that now, therefore I wish to remind you of these things, that
          you may reflect upon them, and prepare yourselves for the work
          that is before you.
          Another thing that has been referred to here--about our schools
          and education. God expects Zion to become the praise and glory of
          the whole earth; so that kings, hearing of her fame, will come
          and gaze upon her glory. God is not niggardly in his feelings
          towards us. He would as soon we all lived in palaces as not; but
          he wants us to observe his laws and fear him, and standing as
          messengers to go forth to the nations; clothed upon with the
          power of the priesthood which has been conferred upon us; seeking
          "first the kingdom of God and his righteousness;" seeking first
          the welfare and happiness of our fellow-men, and God will add
          unto us all the gold and silver and possessions an everything
          that may be good for us to receive. I was going to say, perhaps
          more than would be good for us. But all these things shall be
          added, for no man that forsakes father and mother, houses and
          lands, wives and children for God and his kingdom, but what shall
          receive in this world a hundred fold, and in the world to come
          life everlasting. This was true anciently, it is true to-day.
          This being the case, we ought to foster education and
          intelligence of every kind; cultivate literary tastes, and men of
          literary and scientific talent should improve that talent and all
          should magnify the gifts which God has given unto them. Educate
          your children, and seek for those to teach them who have faith in
          God and in his promises, as well as intelligence. I was talking
          with Bro. Maeser, who is principal of the Brigham Young Academy,
          in Provo. I saw the students go through their various exercises
          in the several classes, and I was congratulating him upon the
          success, when he remarked--"There is one thing, Pres. Taylor, I
          will guarantee, that is, that no infidels will go from my
          school." He would teach them the Gospel, and inculcate its
          principles, which are so far advanced of infidelity, that it
          would have to hide its hoary head in shame before the light,
          glory, and intelligence that comes from God, and that exist in
          all his works, and that fools do not comprehend. I am pleased to
          know that Pres. Young made arrangements before his death for the
          endowment of a college in this neighborhood, and the brethren
          acting as trustees in the matter are feeling interested, and are
          taking steps for the accomplishment of that object. And that
          object is, as I understand it, to afford our own children greater
          facilities to become learned, and that they also have the
          privilege to learn trades, and agriculture, and horticulture, and
          become progressive, intellectual and informed in regard to all
          these things, and that they may comprehend the earth on which we
          stand, the materials of which it is composed, and the elements
          with which we are surrounded. And then, by having faith in God,
          we might stand as far above the nations in regard to the arts and
          sciences, politics, and every species of intelligence, as we now
          do in regard to religious matters. This is what we are aiming at;
          and if there is anything good and praiseworthy in morals,
          religion, science, or anything calculated to exalt and ennoble
          man, we are after it. But with all our getting, we want to get
          understanding, and that understanding which flows from God.
          Bro. Smith said his time was up; mine is more than up.
          Brethren and sisters, God bless you. Let us love one another; let
          us seek to promote one another's welfare. And let the Bishop's
          and the Relief Societies, and the Young Men's and Young Women's
          Associations, and our mechanics and manufacturers, and also our
          merchants, and all hands, operate in the interests of the whole
          for the welfare of Zion and the building up of the Kingdom of God
          upon the earth; and the blessings of God will begin to rest upon
          us, Zion will begin to arise, and the glory of God will rest upon
          her. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / Angus
          M. Cannon, August 25, 1878
                          Angus M. Cannon, August 25, 1878
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, August 25, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                           DEAD--EXAMPLES BEFORE CHILDREN.
          I have listened with deep interest to the instructions we have
          received through Elder Teasdale this afternoon; and rejoice in
          being numbered with the people of God. I have just returned from
          a trip through the south-eastern portions of our Territory,
          having visited localities that, five years ago, were barren and
          unfruitful, and where frosts were known to appear every month in
          the year; and finding these places cultivated by our people, and
          their crops in a flourishing condition, and the crops themselves
          acknowledging the overruling hand of God in tempering the
          elements for their good, I have felt to magnify God in my soul;
          and I return to you, my brethren and sisters, with heartfelt
          gratitude to our heavenly Father, in thus blessing the land and
          the elements for the good of his Saints. And this is only an
          additional testimony to me that God lives and rules, and that
          Jesus is indeed the Christ.
          We have been called out from the world, to be separated from the
          world. When John the Revelator was on the Isle of Patmos, he
          beheld the darkness that the churches indulged in, and realized
          that they would drive the Priesthood from the earth because of
          the errors that had crept in amongst them, which were being
          tolerated, and which were antagonistic to the truth. And while
          there the Lord favored him with heavenly manifestations, among
          which was that of an angel flying in the midst of heaven, the
          bearer of the everlasting Gospel to every nation and tongue and
          people. And after this he says he heard another voice, saying,
          "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her
          sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
          We have received the Gospel; the Angel Moroni brought it, and
          with faithfulness he delivered it to the Prophet Joseph. He
          watched the record for centuries with increasing care that he
          might reveal unto us the lost knowledge of the Gospel in its
          purity. God has taken one of a city and two of a family, and
          brought us to Zion, and he has taught us the principles of his
          Gospel, and the testimony of his servants, who were instrumental
          in his hands of introducing those principles of divine truth to
          the world, was sealed by the blood of his anointed. When our
          enemies have expelled us from our homes, and deprived us of the
          sustenance we had provided, God has blessed the endeavors of his
          people in cultivating the soil, and he has rebuked the destroyer,
          and where sand and aridness seemed to prevail, the earth has been
          made productive, and we have reaped abundance. When our enemies
          have sought to follow us, he has rebuked them, and the divisions
          which they would introduce in our midst, to enfeeble us, he has
          caused to be visited upon those who have sought to destroy us.
          The Lord has said through Isaiah, "The ox knoweth his owner, and
          the ass his master's crib," and they will come where they are
          used to be fed. We have been fed by the hand of God, we have been
          succored in the hour of our deepest distress; he has made us
          strong out of weakness, he has blessed us beyond our most
          sanguine expectations. He has taught us the principles of eternal
          life; and has taught us to turn our hearts to the father, as the
          fathers' hearts have been turned towards us, lest he should smite
          the earth with a curse and we not be permitted to inherit it.
          Lehi, when he led his little family from Jerusalem, was shown of
          the Lord that he would lead him to a land of promise, a land that
          was choice above all other lands. The Almighty blessed his
          posterity, and they enjoyed peace and plenty until they became
          envious toward each other, and their hearts were filled with
          hatred towards God. Lehi was told that this land should be
          consecrated as a blessed land to his posterity and they should
          continue to enjoy it and possess it, and that that pure in heart
          should dwell upon it, but the corrupt in heart should not possess
          this land in peace and prosperity. He led us to this land when we
          were oppressed, when we were wounded and afflicted, and when we
          were bleeding and hungry and naked; and here he has succored us
          and fed us, promising to be our Father and Friend if we would
          continue to rely upon him. Witness the extent of our increasing
          population, and the multiplicity of our settlements, as well as
          the prosperity that has attended us on every hand; and then ask
          ourselves the question: Are we possessed of the same humility, of
          the same love, and of the same undying devotion, as when our
          enemies were driving us from the rear, and apparently nothing but
          destitution unto starvation presented our front. Jesus once said
          to his Apostles, when he saw some of his disciples forsake him,
          "Will ye also go away?" But Peter answered him and said, "Lord,
          to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." Then,
          if we now begin to idolize our possessions, the creations of our
          own hands, under the blessings of God, what profit is it to us in
          our having been led of the Lord to this land? Wherein, I ask, are
          we profited, if we turn a deaf ear to his words. Has he not said
          through Paul, as recorded in the 4th chapter of Ephesians, that
          he has placed in his church apostles, prophets etc. What for?
          "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," etc., remaining in this condition until that
          which is perfect is come. And when we shall have arrived at that
          state of perfection, seeing as we are seen, and knowing as we are
          known, we shall not need Prophets to teach us, for we will then
          see alike, dwelling in the presence of God. Then, shall we turn a
          deaf ear to the voice of Prophets before we become united, before
          we see eye to eye? If we do we shall prove ourselves no better
          than the world of mankind whom we have left. We have come here
          and demonstrated that the Lord has blessed us--for he has
          demonstrated this to our heart's content; he has given us wives
          and children, pledges of an eternal union that is to exist
          between us and them for ever. Our children are the offspring of
          the Almighty, they are placed under our guardian care to be
          instructed in the principles of eternal life; they should be
          taught that they are created in the image of God, that they owe
          allegiance to him, and that they have not come upon the earth to
          do their own will, but the will of their Father in heaven. It is
          said and understood by us that Jesus will come and take unto
          himself the people that are prepared to meet him. What is our
          condition? We are anxious to bless the earth we occupy; we are
          anxious to nourish and cherish our flocks and our herds. We say
          our prosperity depends upon these things, and that they are
          created for our sakes, that they were created for man, to be
          subject to him, and that our children will succeed us in the
          possession of them. How important that they be filled with
          intelligence; how important it is that we endeavor to keep open
          communication between God and our children, how important it is
          that we see that they receive a good sound education, and that
          they have proper associations, and that they are early impressed
          with truths calculated to make them immortal and bring them
          everlasting joy and happiness, and that they do not become
          infidel and ungrateful in their hearts. Moses was raised under
          peculiar circumstances, having been taught in all the learning of
          the Egyptians--a people who were estranged from God, and received
          the best education that the Court of Pharaoh could afford. But
          did his heart become alienated from God, his kindred and people?
          No, he learned to love them. And as he saw them plodding and
          laboring under the most unpleasant and adverse circumstances to
          make brick, his heart was drawn out in sympathy towards them; and
          he never rested until he prevailed with God to rescue them from
          their bondage. And when his mission to deliver his people was
          made known to them, and when he had obtained their confidence,
          did they hearken to his counsels? And when he had so far led them
          on their way to the wilderness, the Red Sea before them, the
          forces of Pharaoh in rear of them, with no chance of escape on
          either hand, did they relent and want to retrace their steps, or
          did they follow their leader, he acting as a God unto them? They
          followed the man whom it has pleased God to place at their head,
          between Him and them, and they never questioned him they knew
          there was no salvation for them only through him. And he led them
          to liberty; he led them to prosperity; he led them to the favor
          of God, and with uplifted hands, while his mortal strength
          endured, he plead their cause with the Lord.
          God has given us Apostles; he has given us homes that are
          beautiful to look upon, and lands that are productive and
          fruitful; and he has made us gracious and precious promises in
          that eternal union with our wives and children, restoring us to
          the society of our fathers in favor with God. He has placed great
          and glorious blessings within our reach, but has first called
          upon us to erect sacred edifices to his name in which to receive
          them. Shall we, my brethren, withhold our substance and the labor
          of our hands necessary to complete this work? If we do we shall
          be found in the condition of those that Jesus came to. What did
          he say to them on a certain occasion? "It is written, my house
          shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of
          thieves." And he further said: "I send unto you Prophets, and
          wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and
          crucify," Why? "That upon you may come all the righteous blood
          shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Able unto the
          blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the
          temple and the altar." Infidels say, this is injustice, why
          should they be condemned and held answerable for the blood of
          their forefathers who were slain before they came into existence?
          These very men had the chance to redeem them. The Messiah himself
          stood before them inviting them to be taught in these principles
          of salvation. The burden of his soul was to draw men to him that
          they might be fed with the bread of life. "Come unto me, all ye
          that are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon
          you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye
          shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my
          burden is light." Would they do it? No. But on the contrary they
          took John the Baptist and slew him; and they took Jesus and
          crucified him. Why? said they, "His blood be on us and on our
          children." Part of the Savior's mission was "to preach
          deliverance to the captives," which he did when he passed to the
          other side of the vail. They rejected the Gospel, and therefore
          would not go into the Temple to administer in the ordinances on
          behalf of their fathers who had not the opportunity to hear the
          Gospel through the Savior, and could not pass through the
          ordinances of his house; and they took part with their enemies
          and with those who slew the Prophets and consequently they were
          under this condemnation. The work that was required at their
          hands is required of us, namely to perform ordinances for our
          fathers and forefathers which they were not permitted to do for
          themselves while living in the flesh. Let us lay our hand to and
          never cease our labors until the Temples of our God are erected,
          and our fathers' hearts are warmed into their knowing that their
          children are laboring for their redemption.
          Our fathers, for many generations, knew not the Gospel. Hireling
          ministers preach, and have preached for years, what they conceive
          to be the truth. But God has, in our day spoken from the heavens;
          he has proclaimed the regeneration of the human family, the
          redemption of Zion and the establishment of His kingdom in power.
          And he has told us that he would make us instrumental to this
          end. Then if we would have our sons be faithful, and not infidel
          in their hearts let our acts conform with our doctrine, let them
          understand from our conduct and the spirit within us, that we
          love God more than we love anything in earth; that we revere His
          Apostles, from the fact that we listen to their counsels and
          carry out their instructions. And I will tell you, my brethren,
          that our children will respect and honor us; and when we sleep we
          will be numbered among the blessed dead who die in the Lord; and
          we will rest from our labors, and our works will follow us. There
          is no consistency in our acts when we say, we will receive this
          principle or doctrine and reject another. If we have the Spirit
          of the Lord within us, we well know, as has been said, that Jesus
          is the Christ; but if we lose claim to the Holy Spirit, we can no
          longer testify that Jesus is the Christ and that His Apostles are
          his ministers. And when once bereft of this we enter into
          temptations, and by and by fall into darkness, and will be found
          walking in bye and forbidden paths, and our sons and daughters
          begin to view us with distrust, and they say in their hearts,
          "Surely, father must have lost faith, for he does not practice
          what he once professed."
          As I have said, we have left our homes; for what? To be taught to
          be instructed by the servants of the Lord, in other words, to do
          the will of God, and not of man. And the Lord's manner of
          instruction is to give line upon line, precept upon precept, here
          a little and there a little, until we become perfect in the
          knowledge of his laws. Under these circumstances we will not
          refuse to go and proclaim the Gospel to the world of mankind,
          without purse or scrip; we will not refuse to contribute of our
          substance to build temples to His name, neither will we reject
          any of the counsels of the Almighty. Are we not to have the full
          liberty of our agency? Yes; and we are to be responsible for our
          conduct; just as much as Moses was when he undertook to rescue
          his brethren from bondage. There is a danger of becoming
          faint-hearted. You remember what Jesus said: "As the days of Noah
          were, so shall also the coming of the son of man be. For as in
          the days that were before the flood they were eating and
          drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that
          Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and
          took them all away: so shall also the coming of the Son of man
          be." How is it to-day? Only a few consult the Spirit. Has he not
          likewise said, the kingdom of heaven shall be likened unto ten
          virgins, five of them wise and five foolish. Has he not said the
          kingdom of heaven is like unto a net which is cast into the sea,
          it gathers of all kinds of fishes, and that when the net is
          brought to shore, a separation takes place? I would ask if it is
          difficult for Latter-day Saints to perceive that a separation
          must sooner or later take place among us? This work in which we
          are engaged is the kingdom of God, and those who are found
          keeping the commandments of God will be possessed of His Holy
          Spirit, they will know the voice of the good shepherd, and the
          place where they have been fed, and them he will separate from
          the wicked even as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats.
          The Holy Spirit is given to men, who have rendered obedience to
          the requirements of the Gospel, to enable them to comprehend the
          will of the Father, or that they may know the voice of the true
          shepherd; and it is only by constant watching, living the lives
          of purity and uprightness and carefully eschewing evil, that we
          can retain it in our hearts, as our guide and revelator, after we
          have received in the way prescribed. Peter was enabled to say, in
          answer to a question put to him by the Savior, "Thou art the
          Christ, the Son of the living God." It was by virtue of the
          Spirit of God which he possessed, that he was enabled to say
          this, nothing but is could reveal that knowledge to him. And it
          was against his spirit he said the gates of hell should not
          prevail; and it is this same Spirit that enabled Peter to say
          that Jesus was the Christ enables us to declare that these men
          who preside over us are His Apostles, servants of the living God.
          But let a man, possessing his Holy Ghost indulge in drinking,
          profane the name of Deity, or violate in any way his covenants,
          will he then enjoy its light and influence? No; the Spirit of the
          Lord dwells not in the tabernacles of such men. What is their
          condition? They may be found in groups and on street-corners,
          idling away their time, and assailing the characters of those God
          has called to lead us, ever ready to cast doubt into the minds of
          the honest; while their children, as a general thing, become like
          unto them--distrustful, disobedient, and in time alienated from
          God. There is only one way by which we can ensure eternal life,
          and that is by abiding by all the counsels of God, seeking to
          cherish in our hearts the quiet, peaceable influences of the Holy
          Spirit, which will grow within us until we become fully
          developed, perfect men and women, in the likeness and stature of
          the Lord Jesus. And our children will also partake of this
          influence. Will they all do so? They will, unless they are
          inclined to be wilfully wicked, or we neglect to afford them such
          care and attention as is due to them.
          We know it is essential we should be faithful in all things: pay
          our tithes and offerings, and let children be witnesses of our
          faithfulness to God and His kingdom, and although they may wander
          for a season from the true path, their hearts will warm towards
          us in the days to come, and they will remember the examples and
          precepts of their fathers and mothers, and they will say, I will
          return to the God of my fathers, the communion of whose spirit I
          enjoyed in childhood before I knew sin. And they will repent of
          their folly, and like the Prodigal Son of the Scriptures, they
          will learn to appreciate the good by the things they suffer. Let
          us not be filled with jealousies, and vanities and strifes. Let
          us cherish in our hearts the peaceful influences of God; they
          will lead us to be good fathers, good husbands, to be good sons
          and good daughters, and to be good wives and mothers; and the
          blessings of the Almighty will rest upon us, and peace will flow
          unto us, and prosperity will attend us, and our children will
          inherit these blessings after us. And when the days of calamity
          and the justice of God overhangs the nations, our children will
          be found with oil in their lamps, prepared for the coming of the
          May God help us so to live that this may be our happy lot, is my
          prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, September 22, 1878
                           John Taylor, September 22, 1878
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
            Delivered at Ogden, on Sunday Afternoon, September 22, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          As has been remarked, by others, I have been very much interested
          in the remarks which have been made. They are things in which we
          are all concerned. They are part of our religion, part of our
          faith, part of the principles of the Gospel which we have
          embraced; and as I stated at the priesthood meeting yesterday, so
          I repeat now, for my part I do not know how to get around them if
          I would. I cannot find any loop-hole whereby I can be excused. It
          is true, as remarked by brother Snow, we are not now called upon
          to enter into these things in their fullness and perfection, but
          we are called upon to make steps towards it. We have been partly
          in the United Order, many of us but we have not known it. For
          instance, I remember the time, and many of you do, so far back as
          Far West, in Missouri, when we were surrounded with difficulties
          and had to leave the State in consequence of persecutions and the
          intolerant feeling and persecution that existed there. We agreed
          among ourselves to help one another, to use all the means, all
          the teams and all the property we had to help each other out of
          the State, until there should not be a person left there, that
          wished to come away. We fulfilled it; and yet, properly and
          technically speaking, we were not in the United Order, but we
          were stimulated by the principles of union, liberty and
          communion, if you please. We did the same thing, when in Nauvoo,
          after the Prophet Joseph was killed, and mob-violence again
          prevailed, and prosecution, tyranny and persecution were rife. We
          had to leave that country. Was it because we had injured any one?
          No. Because we had violated any law? No. Because we had
          interfered with any body's right's? No. Because we were
          troublesome in the community? No; but because we were Latter-day
          Saints and because we chose to believe in a religion revealed to
          us by God, and which the people would not let us do and live in
          peace among them. What next? We met in the Temple of the Lord,
          and there, with uplifted hands before God, we entered into a
          covenant that we would help one another out with our means, as we
          had done in the State of Missouri; and as we were coming to this
          country we would not rest until there should not be a Latter-day
          Saint there who desired to come to this land. Did we fulfill
          that? We did; we carried it out to the very letter; we fulfilled
          our covenants and sent our teams back year after year, until
          there was not one left in the country that desired to come to
          Zion. Was not this a United Order? Yes it was, in part, and we
          have done a great deal of the same kind of thing since we came
          here. So soon as we fulfilled that covenant, we organized a
          Perpetual Emigration Fund Company, under the direction of
          President Young, having for its object the gathering of the poor
          from distant lands; and thousands and hundreds of thousands of
          dollars were subscribed and used for that purpose. It was
          organized on a wise principle, not exactly what you would call
          the United Order; yet it was an order calculated to benefit our
          poor brethren to bring them from their distant homes to unite
          with us in Zion. Many of your present remember when we sent our
          boys with our teams, loaded with provisions to bring them from
          the frontiers. I am very sorry to say that a great many of them
          have not lived up to the principles of that order in making good
          their indebtedness, as it was calculated they would do in order
          to make the fund perpetual in its operations, using the same
          means to bring others here who were situated in a condition
          similar to that of themselves. I say again, I am very sorry to
          have to say that a great many have failed thus far to repay the
          amount used to emigrate them, although in very many cases they
          were abundantly able to do so,. Brother Carrington, who is
          President of the Fund, informs me that there is now due to the
          Perpetual Emigration Fund the sum of about one million dollars,
          without interest, and if the interest were added it would be
          about double that amount. That is one thing where in we have
          failed in part to make good our agreement; but a great many have
          met their obligations promptly and honorably. I wish we could say
          the same of all those who have been assisted by this Fund. I hope
          that those who are still owing for their emigration will be led
          to reflect upon these things, and consider the situation of the
          brethren who are now in the same position as they themselves were
          some years ago.
          This is a principle of union which has been abused; but it is
          right, and shall we cease our endeavors in this direction because
          it has been abused by thoughtless or dishonest men? No, we will
          try and do what we can, with the aid of the Lord, to deliver
          scattered Israel from the oppression and poverty under which many
          are suffering. I would remark that of this sum now due to the
          Fund, there is quite a large amount that has been advanced by the
          Church to help out the poor. And if you were to hear the letters
          that I receive, if you were addressed and supplicated and
          importuned as I am from time to time in relation to these things,
          describing the terrible condition and poverty under which the
          people are laboring, you would feel that if common honesty could
          not induce you to meet you obligations, that at least the
          sympathies of human nature would prompt you to extend to others
          that same kindness that has been extended to you. We should
          reflect upon these things, and at least try to make them right.
          But to return to the United Order; when the Bishops in those days
          came around to you and informed you that so many men and teams,
          with the necessary provisions, were needed to go east to bring in
          the poor Saints, they were furnished. The Presidency and Twelve
          made the calculations and apportionment of those teams. They were
          then handed to the Bishops, and they called upon you, and you
          furnished from one to two hundred, and as many as five hundred
          started out in one season. I think this looked very much like the
          United Order. Many of you, perhaps, have gone yourselves, or else
          you have sent your boys to perform this labor; and you did not
          let praying for them suffice, but you sent them food, and you
          felt as we ought always to feel for one another. We have done a
          great many such things. Now we are called upon to build temples.
          Are we doing it? Yes. I suppose there are to-day upwards of 500
          men engaged in building temples throughout the Territory. So
          taking the temple at Manti, in Sanpete Valley, the Temple in Salt
          Lake City and the temple in Logan, Cache Valley, all these things
          are going on just about as well as we could reasonably expect,
          and the people are contributing of their means and their
          substance quite as liberally as we could expect. Is this the
          United Order? Why, yes. What are we doing it for? For ourselves?
          Yes. For anybody else? Yes; for our fathers and mothers, uncles
          and aunts, and for those we do not know anything about. We are
          building them because God has commanded it, and because the
          ordinances of God will be performed in these houses; and so far
          as this is concerned, we are in the United Order. Now, then, we
          have tried to introduce home manufactures, a combination of
          effort, not, as has been remarked, strictly according to the plan
          laid down in the Doctrine and Covenants; we have not got to that
          yet, we are not prepared for it, we are not educated to that
          standard yet; but we are aiming at it, and in some places the
          people are entering into it, not exactly according to any
          particular law laid down in the Doctrine and Covenants, but
          approaching it as near as circumstances will admit of it, in the
          present state of society and with our present surroundings. The
          great majority of the people to-day who have gone into Arizona
          are approaching as near as they can to what we term the United
          Order. Brother Snow has been operating for quite a while in that
          way, and the result is that to-day in that little out-of-the-way
          settlement, Brigham City, notwithstanding the many difficulties
          it has had to cope with, having had its woolen factory burned
          down as well as quite a number of other damaging misfortunes,
          there is not a man, woman or child that wants labor there but
          what can get it. I wish we could say the same of all the
          settlements of this Territory, I think we should be in a better
          position than we are to-day. In Brigham City the people make
          their own cloth, their own boots and shoes, and almost everything
          they need to sustain themselves, having upwards of forty
          industrial departments all in running order. Well, but you say,
          "the prices they have to pay for their goods are altogether to
          high, and what a pity that is." Shall I tell you why they fix
          their prices at a high rate. It is because the people are
          desirous to have big wages. If they all agree among themselves to
          fix the prices of their goods at certain rates, who is injured by
          it? I can tell you how it is with them. The carpenter says to the
          shoemaker. See there, you have charged me very high for those
          shoes, and the shoemaker says, Yes, but then you charged me very
          high for my doors and sash; while the farmer charges very high
          for his wheat and flour. It makes no material difference whether
          they charge fifty cents or ten dollars, so long as they agree
          among themselves. A man working there is asked how much he gets a
          day; Oh, three and a half and four dollars a day. That is pretty
          good wages for a common hand, especially for these times, you
          know. And he feels pretty well in telling you this part of it;
          but he does not tell you how much the other folks get. Can a man
          get a house built? Yes. Why? Because they have the masons and
          carpenters, etc., and the expense attending it is charged to his
          account. Then, if he wants to get butter, he does not put his
          hands in his pockets to feel for the money, for perhaps there
          would not be any there if he did; but he puts his hand in his
          pocket for an order, which procures him his butter. Then, if he
          wants a hat, he can get it; and the same may be said of
          furniture, and so on all through the chapter. I think this is a
          pretty good united order, and I think if we could have these
          things all over the Territory, we should be doing much better
          than we are. And I certainly cannot but praise the course the
          Brother Snow has pursued in relation to these matters. In a place
          called Orderville, too, they are doing very well; they have
          things pretty much in common, and there is a good, kind and a
          generous spirit prevailing among them. I remember talking to a
          sister, who was quite an accomplished lady, and on seeing an old
          man there, who was quite infirm tottering along, I said to her,
          What kind of employment do you put such people to. She answered,
          that she did not think it necessary to put such a man to any
          employment; he has seen a great many years of hard toil, and if
          we can feed him and clothe him and take care of him in his
          declining years, perhaps somebody with the same spirit will take
          care of us when we get old and infirm. Is not that a good spirit?
          It think it is; I think it a right kind of feeling, a feeling we
          should all have one towards another, all being bound together by
          the bonds of the everlasting gospel, which makes us love one
          another as God loves us; and feel for one another's welfare, and
          pursue that course which will tend to bring about these results.
          In Cache County, in Davis County, in Tooele County, and other
          places, they are trying to establish the same order of things as
          fast as they can. Here is Brother Farr, he went to work, with
          others, and built a factory; he ought to be sustained by the
          Latter-day Saints. They should take their wool to him; and if he
          charges you a big price for his cloth, do with him as they do in
          Brigham City; you charge him a big price for your wool. But let
          us sustain one another, and place things on a proper basis, and
          not be governed by the rules of the Gentiles. Gentileism and
          Mormonism do not fit very well; the things of God and the things
          of the Devil never did and never will fit well. Tanneries are
          being introduced in many places among us; and a very good article
          of leather is being manufactured, from which boots and shoes and
          harness are made. The first thing started in relation to these
          things was co-operation. President Young told us it was the will
          of God that we should enter into it; and we did, but we made
          awful bungling at it, the same as we have done with a great many
          other things. But is it right to co-operate? Yes. But we find
          people beginning to pull off in their own interests. If we go on
          a little further in the way we are going, we shall take a
          retrograde path, instead of going forward. But the ship of Zion
          is onward; the "little stone" is hewn out of the mountain without
          hands, and will roll until it fills the whole earth; and under
          the direction of God we have a duty devolving upon us as his
          Priesthood, to carry out his will upon the earth. And shall we,
          because of individual interests and personalities draw off from
          things that God has ordained? I say no, never! No, never! But let
          us unite closer together, and harmonize our temporal interests,
          until we shall manufacture everything we need to make us
          independent of the world.
          We took a vote at the Priesthood meeting, yesterday, and so far
          as I could discern, the brethren all voted to sustain
          co-operation, and that those in the merchandise business will
          purchase of the co-op.
          But some may say, have not the co-operative organizations made
          many blunders? Yes, they have, and in many instances acted very
          foolishly. But shall we give up the principle of co-operation
          because of the unwise acts of a few individuals? We do not act
          thus in regard to other matters. We baptize men into the Church,
          and lay our hands upon them that they may receive the Holy Ghost,
          and after they have thus been blessed with light, spirit and
          power of God, many of them act very foolishly, violate their
          covenants, and transgress the laws of God. Shall we, therefore,
          repudiate baptism and the laying on of hands because of their
          folly and wickedness? Certainly not. The Lord has provided a way
          to purge the Church, and those men are dealt with according to
          the laws of the Church, and are rooted out. This is the way that
          we ought to manage our temporal affairs. If the people do wrong,
          deal with them according to the laws of the Church, and if the
          co-operatives do wrong, professing to be governed by correct
          principle, deal with them in the same way, and let those wrongs
          be righted and evil eradicated.
          But we do not want to find fault nor cast reflections on our
          brethren in the Co-op., nor on those out of it; but merely to
          touch upon some important principles necessary for building up of
          the kingdom of God upon the earth. As I have said, we took a vote
          yesterday, and the brethren agreed to sustain co-operation, and I
          would like to know from this congregation, whether you will
          sustain co-operation as directed by the Priesthood or not. All
          that are in favor of doing so, hold up the right hand. [The
          congregation voted unanimously.] Let us stick to our covenants,
          and get as near to correct principles as we can, and God will
          help us. We want to be united in other things as well--in our
          elections, for instance, we should act as a unit. Other men are
          not ashamed to use their influence and operate in behalf of their
          party; why should we? As American citizens, have we not the same
          right? Yes, we have. Then let us be one and operate as one, for
          God and his kingdom. And let us, as we are told in the Doctrine
          and Covenants, select the wisest, the most prudent, intelligent
          men, and put them in office, and maintain them in it. That is the
          way for us to do; not be pulling apart, each one pursuing the
          devices and desires of his own heart. The members of the Church
          of England pray to the Lord every Sunday to forgive them for
          following the devices and desires of their own hearts. Are we in
          the Church and Kingdom of God? Are we instructed of God? If we
          are let us honor our calling, and show to God, to angels, and
          men, that we are true to our trust that he has conferred upon us;
          and go on in the good work and aim at more union. And while we
          have done a great deal of good, let us try to do more. And in
          regard to schools and the education of the young, I would endorse
          most emphatically what brother Cannon has said in relation to
          this matter. We have committed to our care pearls of great price;
          we have become the fathers and mothers of lives, and the Gods and
          the Holy Priesthood in the eternal worlds have been watching us
          and our movements in relation to these things. We do not want a
          posterity to grow up that will be ignorant, depraved, corrupt,
          and fallen, that will depart from every principle of right; but
          one that will be intelligent and wise, possessing literary and
          scientific attainments, and a knowledge of everything that is
          good, praiseworthy, intellectual and beneficial in the world, and
          become acquainted with the earth on which we stand, and the
          elements of which it is composed, and by which we are surrounded,
          and know how to control them and manage them, and how to put to
          the best use everything that comes within our reach. And above
          all other things, teach our children the fear of God. Let our
          teachers be men of God, imbued with the Spirit of God, that they
          may lead them forth in the paths of life, and warn them against
          the various evils and iniquities that prevail in the world, that
          they may bear off this kingdom when we get through, and be
          valiant in the truths of God. Teach them how to approach God,
          that they may call upon him and he will hear them, and by their
          means we will build up and establish Zion, and roll forth that
          kingdom which God has designed shall rule and reign over the
          nations of the earth. We want to prepare them for these things;
          and to study from the best books as well as by faith, and become
          acquainted with the laws of nations, and of kingdoms and
          governments, and with everything calculated to exalt, ennoble,
          and dignify the human family. We should build good commodious
          school-houses, and furnish them well; and then secure the
          services of the best teachers you can, and thus "train up your
          children in the way they should go." Solomon said, if you do,
          "when they are old they will not depart from it."
          I am very pleased to find out that there is a great deal of
          interest manifested in regard to our youth. I see three of our
          brethren here--brothers Goddard, Evans, and Willes; they have
          been out visiting some of the settlements in the interests of the
          Sunday Schools; I wish to encourage such men in their labors, for
          they fully realize that a great mission has been committed to
          them, to teach the youth of this people. And then, there is our
          Young Men's Mutual Improvement Associations; they are very good
          institutions, and we have some very excellent young men, that are
          rising up and going among the youth, calling upon them to study
          and understand the laws of God. And all the Elders of Israel
          ought to sustain such men in their operations. And then the
          ladies associated with the Relief Societies have rendered
          themselves very efficient. Let them operate for the good of all,
          and as mothers in Israel, let them be united and lay aside every
          petty jealousy and little feelings that are wrong, and be one;
          and let the Bishops assist them, as well as the Young Ladies
          Mutual Improvement Associations, in their labors in the interest
          of the female portion of society, and all objects of mercy and
          charity, or anything that comes within their reach. And I say,
          God bless you, sisters, and lead you in the paths of life that
          you may prove yourselves worthy of the highest trust committed to
          your care. And throughout all of our institutions, let us sustain
          the right and put down the wrong and be valiant for the truth,
          asking no odds of this world, for God is on the side of Israel,
          and he will defend us if we obey his laws and keep his
          commandments. Are we going to be broken up? Will this plan of our
          enemies, spoken of by brother Cannon, be accomplished? No. Will
          this people fail of their mission? No, but many of them will, and
          many of them will be rooted out. But the work of God will go on,
          and Zion will progress; and if we can put ourselves in the
          harness to fulfill the various obligations devolving upon us, God
          will be with us, and will lead us in the right path. We want
          everybody to perform their duties, in all the various branches of
          the Priesthood, every man to operate for God, and not in his
          individual interests. This is what we ought to strive for, and to
          be on the side of Zion and operate for the welfare of Israel and
          for the establishment of righteousness. We want our Seventies and
          High Priests to wake up, and our young Elders and middle-aged
          Elders to feel the responsibilities of the mission that rests
          upon them. The world has to be evangelized, the Gospel has to be
          proclaimed to all nations. God has laid it especially upon the
          Seventies, with the others to assist them. And we call upon the
          Seventies and High Priests to wake up, to assume the
          responsibilities that devolve upon them, and prepare themselves
          to do the work of God. For instead of being through and having
          finished our work we are only just beginning to prepare ourselves
          for the conflict. Wars and rumors of wars are beginning to sound
          in our ears; the terrible day is fast approaching, and God
          requires it at our hands that we prepare to go forth to the
          nations of the earth to proclaim to them the words of life. Never
          mind what people can do among us, we ask no odds of them. God is
          with Israel if Israel will only be with God. And if the world
          will only treat us fifty per cent as well as we have treated
          them, it is all we ask of them; and if they won't, we will still
          continue to do them good. And when the day comes that all men
          will be brought to justice, we want to feel conscientiously free
          from the blood of this generation. Do we want the aged and infirm
          to go and preach the Gospel. No. Had there been time yesterday, I
          would have very much liked to have heard the brethren of the
          priesthood express their feelings; but I would say to you, High
          Priests, get together and humble yourselves before God, seek unto
          Him for wisdom to guide you in all your operations, and prepare
          yourselves to magnify your offices in the various duties of your
          calling, which is really that of presiding, that when changes may
          take place in the present Stakes, or other Stakes may be
          organized, you may be prepared as President and council, as
          Bishops and council, as High Councils, or whatever office you may
          be called to fill, and I would say the same to the Seventies and
          also to the Elders, prepare to magnify your callings; let us
          humble ourselves before God, and purify ourselves and walk in
          uprightness before him and live our religion and magnify our
          calling, and be quick and active and diligent and energetic in
          the performance of our duties, and the power of God will rest
          upon the Priesthood, and they will be prepared to go to the
          nations to proclaim the Gospel message to all peoples.
          I do not know how many we will want to call at our approaching
          conference; I have had applications for twenty to fill missions
          in the Southern States, besides a great many other places, but
          whether few or many be needed, we must be in readiness at all
          times and under all circumstances to magnify our Priesthood and
          to do everything required of us. We will build our Temples and be
          Saviors on Mount Zion, and the kingdom will be our Lord's.
          God bless you and lead you in the paths of life. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / Orson
          Pratt, August 25, 1878
                            Orson Pratt, August 25, 1878
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
          Delivered at the Thirteenth Ward Assembly Rooms, Sunday Evening,
                                  August 25, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          There is a sentence in the Book of Mormon, (p. 510) that has come
          to my mind, which I will read, "And whoso receiveth this record,
          and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are
          in it, the same shall know of greater things than these." This
          passage from the Book of Mormon is one that I do not remember
          having chosen as a foundation of any special remarks. It is one
          that applies directly to the present generation--the people that
          should live on the earth at the time that the Lord our God should
          bring forth this record, and affording them the opportunity of
          reading its contents. They were written by the Prophet Moroni,
          who was the only man of his nation--the Nephites, who was
          righteous; his nation having been destroyed a few years before he
          penned this sentence. It is true a few of his nation had deserted
          and gone to the opposite nations--the Lamanites, and a few had
          fled at the general destruction; but they were hunted down by the
          Lamanites, and were destroyed as a people. Moroni, being a
          Prophet of God, would not join that nation in their wickedness
          and idolatry, and the only way he could preserve his life was to
          keep himself secreted and hidden from the knowledge of the
          Lamanites. While concealing himself from his enemies, he finished
          the record of the Book of Mormon. The latest date which he gives
          in the record is 420 years after the birth of Christ, according
          to the signs that were given on this American continent,
          concerning his birth. Thirty-six years prior to this time his
          nation was destroyed in what we term as the State of New York,
          around about a hill, called by that people the Hill of Cumorah,
          when many hundreds of thousands of Nephites--men, women and
          children, fell, during the greatest battle that they had had with
          the Lamanites. For 36 years this prophet of God kept himself hid,
          and wrote as he was prompted by the spirit of inspiration, and
          finally hid up the plates of gold, containing the records in the
          hill of Cumorah, with the promise which the Lord gave him that
          these records should come to light in the last days, that He
          himself would bring them forth by his own wisdom and power. And
          he also tells us his object, namely, to benefit the Gentiles who
          should occupy this American continent--the Promised Land, as they
          term it; and also for the benefit of other nations of Gentiles to
          whom the book should afterwards be sent; and when they should
          reject it, the Lord would cause it to be published to the
          remnants of the Lamanites inhabiting this country, whom we call
          American Indians, which shall be the means of revealing to them
          the history of their forefathers, and also certain promises made
          to them as a branch of the house of Israel, setting forth that
          many of their descendants should believe the record when it
          should be made know to them, and that they should be instructed
          in the things of God, and the curse which has degenerated them to
          their present low condition, should be removed, and that they
          should lay down their weapons of war, and that they should cease
          to war and commit murders, and thefts and robberies, and that
          they should become a peaceable, and also a white and delightsome
          people. These are the predictions given in the Book of Mormon as
          some of the objects of the bringing forth of that record in the
          last days. And among other objects that the Lord had in view was,
          that he might enlighten the minds of the people in regard to the
          Gospel in all it plainness, and fulness, and all its promises,
          blessings, gifts and ordinances; so that the people, the Gentles,
          to whom this record should be sent, might have no excuse for
          rejecting it, and also that the Gospel might be established in
          the earth in its purity, according to ancient prophecies. Another
          object was, that he might build up his church among the Gentiles,
          if they should believe in this record and in the preaching of His
          servants when they should be sent forth in the last days among
          them, testifying to its truthfulness. In speaking of this work
          which the Lord is doing in the earth, we sometimes call it the
          Church of God, and we also speak of it as the kingdom of God. It
          is both, God himself being the King; not a civil power, not a
          civil government in the earth, for we already have established
          here upon this choice land a government wherein all classes of
          religious people may worship God as they please; but the Lord
          intended among these various religions and ecclesiastic
          denominations, to have a peculiar denomination, a peculiar
          people, a peculiar church, which he denominates his kingdom, and
          himself as the great law-giver in this kingdom. Another object
          was that men might have more faith than what they had been in
          possession of in the former generations of apostacy and
          wickedness, and that the faith which the ancient Saints exercised
          might again dwell in the hearts of the children of men. For
          instance, a power of faith, through our repentance and through
          our obedience to the ordinances of baptism, to receive that
          greater and miraculous baptism of the Holy Ghost. And that this
          gift, this baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost which should be
          given to all the members of the Church of God, should put them in
          possession of certain gifts, which no other people on the face of
          the whole earth should have or know anything about, providing the
          members of the Church were worthy to possess them. I will name,
          in short, the various gifts that the Lord intended to be given to
          this people. In the latter days, when this record should be
          brought forth, he intended, in the first place, to raise up a
          great and mighty Prophet to translate the divine book. This was
          fulfilled before the rise of the Church about 50 years ago. This
          Prophet who was raised up to perform this work was permitted to
          take these records out of the hill where Moroni had deposited
          them some 420 years after Christ. This Prophet was spoken of in
          the records, and the work that he should perform was also spoken
          of. And notwithstanding his youth and inexperience in regard to
          the learning and wisdom of the world, he proved himself a great a
          mighty man of God; he not only was the instrument in the hands of
          God of bringing to light the Book of Mormon, but also received
          numerous other revelations which were contained in this book
          called the Doctrine and Covenants, a book that contains nearly as
          much reading matter as the Book of Mormon; and besides these you
          will find that many of the revelations were given by him which
          are found in what is called the new edition of the Pearl of Great
          Price, published by the Deseret News Office, which gives a
          knowledge of things that took place in the creation much more
          fully than what is described in the book of Genesis, giving an
          account of a great many occurrences and events that transpired
          before the flood, also giving us much information of the Gospel
          that was taught in those early ages, and giving us some very
          important prophecies, reaching down to the present period of the
          world, and also prophecies that reach down still further, from
          the present day to the end of the world. These are not the only
          revelations, given through this great modern Prophet. The Lord
          brought to light sacred records from the Catacombs of Egypt.
          After several hundred men had wrought and toiled for many months
          in digging down one of these vast structures, they entered into
          its interior; they found a great number of mummies--the bodies of
          persons that had been preserved since the catacomb was built, and
          some eleven of these mummies, well preserved, were taken out by
          these men, and they finally fell into the hands of a person named
          H. Chandler. They were sent from Egypt to Ireland, where it was
          supposed he resided, but learning that he resided in America,
          they were sent to him. After receiving the mummies he began to
          take off some of the ancient covering or wrapping, and to his
          astonishment he found upon the breast of one of these mummies a
          record written upon ancient papyrus in plain characters, written
          both in black and red inks, or stains, or colors. And the mummies
          and the records were exhibited by Mr. Chandler, in New York,
          Philadelphia, and many of the Eastern States of our Union; and
          thousands of people saw them, and among them many learned men;
          and these characters were presented to them, and not unfrequently
          was Mr. Chandler referred to "Joe" Smith as they used to term
          him, who, they said, pretended to have translated some records
          that he found in the western part of New-York, and that if Mr.
          Chandler would go and see him perhaps he would translate those
          ancient characters. Many of these references were made with the
          intention of ridiculing Mr. Smith; but it so happened that in
          traveling through the country, he visited Kirtland, Ohio, where
          the Prophet Joseph Smith resided, bringing the mummies and the
          ancient papyrus writings with him. Mr. C. had also obtained from
          learned men the best translation he could of some few characters,
          which however, was not a translation, but more in the shape of
          their ideas with regard to it, their acquaintance with the
          language not being sufficient to enable them to translate it
          literally. After some conversation with the Prophet Joseph, Mr.
          Chandler presented to him the ancient characters, asking him if
          he could translate them. The prophet took them and repaired to
          his room and inquired of the Lord concerning them. The Lord told
          him they were sacred records, containing the inspired writings of
          Abraham when he was in Egypt, and also those of Joseph, while he
          was in Egypt; and they had been deposited, with these mummies,
          which had been exhumed. And he also enquired of the Lord
          concerning some few characters which Mr. Chandler, gave him by
          way of a test, to see if he could translate them. The Prophet
          Joseph translated these characters and returned them, with the
          translation to Mr. Chandler; and who, in comparing it with the
          translation of the same few characters by learned men, that he
          had before obtained, found the two to agree. The Prophet Joseph
          having learned the value of these ancient writings was very
          anxious to obtain them, and expressed himself wishful to purchase
          them. But Mr. Chandler told him that he would not sell the
          writings, unless he could sell the mummies, for it would detract
          from the curiosity of his exhibition; Mr. Smith inquired of him
          the price which was a considerable sum, and finally purchased the
          mummies and the writing all of which he retained in his
          possession for many years; and they were seen by all the Church
          that saw proper to visit the house of the Prophet Joseph and also
          by hundreds of strangers.
          The Prophet translated the part of these writings which, as I
          have said is contained in the Pearl of Great Price, and known as
          the Book of Abraham. Thus you see one of the first gifts bestowed
          by the Lord for the benefit of His people, was that of
          revelation--the gift to translate, by the aid of the Urim and
          Thummim, the gift of bringing to light old and ancient records.
          Have any of the other denominations got this gift among them? Go
          and inquire through all of Christendom and do not miss one
          denomination. Go and ask the oldest Christian associations that
          are extant; go to Italy, headquarters, and ask the man that holds
          the greatest power and authority in the Romish Church, "Can you
          translate ancient records written in a language that is lost to
          the knowledge of man?" "No," he would say, "we cannot, it is out
          of my power to do it." Go to Russia and inquire of the heads of
          the church of Greek Catholics, if they can do this; and they will
          give you, substantially, the same answer. Then try the later, and
          the present day denominations, inquire of every one of them,
          beginning with the Lutherans and the Calvinists, and the Church
          of England, and then put the same question to all of the branches
          that have sprung from them; as well as to those that have come
          into existence by other means; and the universal reply of the
          Christian denominations, numbering some 400,000,000, would be
          that they have not the power to do it. Ask them if they pretend
          to possess supernatural power from God, to accomplish a work of
          this nature; and they will all tell you that God have never
          bestowed such power upon any of their ministers. And then, if it
          were possible, ask the 400,000,000 of the Christians, scattered
          throughout Asia, Europe, America and the islands of the seas, if
          a man can be found among them endowed, as ancient seers were,
          with the gift to see, or as ancient revelators were who told
          future events, what should befall men and nations and their final
          destiny; and the universal reply will be, O, no, such things are
          all done away. Here then the very first gift that the Lord set in
          his church, is a peculiar gift so far as the religions of the
          world are concerned, not peculiar so far as the Church of Christ
          is concerned, but so far as the religious world in the four
          quarters of the earth is concerned, we have something which they
          have not got, and something that is in accordance with the Bible.
          What man, I would ask further, among all the religions of the
          earth, for the last seventeen centuries, that has possessed the
          Urim and Thummim, the gift that would constitute him a seer and a
          revelator? There may have been some seventeen thousand million of
          people that have passed off from our globe without such gifts
          being among them; and they were gifts given to the people of God
          before the advent of the Savior, and that were enjoyed by his
          servants that lived contemporary with him and with those who
          lived after he had performed his mission to the earth, and
          ascended to heaven. Then, in speaking to strangers, I would say,
          you must give us credit of at least professing to have these
          great and important gifts, gifts which all the other religions of
          the world do not even profess to be in possession of. Let me
          candidly enquire, which is the most pleasing in the sight of God,
          for people to obtain the great and precious things which come
          through the operation of the Holy Ghost? or for people to have no
          information, no instruction for some seventeen hundred years,
          only what they could glean out of the writings of some of the
          ancient Seers, or Prophets, or Revelators, or apostles, who have
          lived and who have died centuries ago? Perhaps strangers might
          claim that they have the writings of those favored men of God,
          and that they need no more, and that all the generations of men
          since the days that such men of God fell asleep needed no further
          instruction than that which was given to former-day Saints. The
          strangers present will readily concede this to be the sentiment,
          the belief and testimony of all, or nearly all the religious
          people upon the face of the whole earth. You also know if you
          have read the history of Christendom for seventeen centuries
          past, that their belief and testimony in this respect have been
          similar to those entertained by Christianity of to-day. Now, I
          ask again, which is the more Godlike, which is the more in
          accordance with the Bible, for a people to enjoy the same gifts
          that were enjoyed by the people of God in earlier dispensations,
          or to be obliged to depend upon some one else's gift who has long
          ago passed away? Now, any consistent religious man will give his
          testimony on religious affairs independent of the traditions of
          his fathers, and would say in his own mind, it is ore consistent
          for us to have Revelators, Prophets, Seers and Translators
          inspired from heaven in our Church, it is more in accordance with
          the Bible to be in possession of those gifts ourselves than to
          depend upon Revelators and Seers of former ages. I do not suppose
          for a moment that there is any consistent person but that, if
          left to his own reasoning, would say that this is certainly the
          more reasonable and the more consistent; and especially when the
          Bible is referred to, in which there is nothing limiting the
          generations that have lived upon the earth for seventeen
          centuries in regard to these gifts. It is more consistent than
          when God should raise up a Church he should have Prophets, Seers
          and Revelators in that Church, inspired men, men that can receive
          the word of the living God, upon all the subjects that should
          come before them which might concern the people. How many
          millions of questions and matters of more or less magnitude might
          be cited for which no instruction could be found in the Bible
          that would be at all suitable to the circumstances. Take any one
          individual among the many of the human family, and you could find
          thousands of things, pertaining to his individual welfare and
          temporal circumstances, that he could never learn out of the
          Bible. The Lord guides and directs the temporal as well as the
          spiritual affairs of his people; he always has done so. How many
          thousands of things does a single head of a family need to know,
          in regard to his own temporal circumstances, what course he
          should take most pleasing to the Almighty, whether to pursue this
          course or that branch of business, or whether to pursue some
          other branch of business, wherein he might do the most good; and
          wherein he could glorify God most; and which would be the
          greatest blessing for his household and family, and wherein he
          could please the Lord and live more uprightly and more godly, and
          more consistently and honestly, by pursuing one branch of
          business rather than that of another. All these things concern
          every head of a family; therefore, if he had the spirit of
          revelation, if he could go and inquire of the Lord, if he found
          it to be the whisperings of his spirit which course to pursue in
          temporal matters, what a great blessing it would be for him; and
          then not for that one person only, but for all his sons as they
          grow up, and for his wives, if he have a number of wives. The
          Lord used to give revelation not only to the head of a family,
          but also to a man's wives. Read, for instance, what the Lord
          revealed to the wives of Jacob, how he used to reveal a great
          many things to Rachel, a great many things to Leah, a great many
          things to Bilhah, and a great many things to Zilpah. These four
          wives were revelators; they were prophetesses; they were
          individuals that could inquire of the Lord, and obtain an answer
          from him; and we have their revelations recorded in the
          Scriptures. We call their revelations the Word of God to them.
          What a benefit it would be for a man who had three or four or
          half a dozen wives, who could receive the world of the Lord in
          relation to their several duties; how calculated it would be to
          produce peace, and union, and salvation in the family and
          household. And what great comfort it would be for a man if he had
          several wives, and knew by the spirit of revelation how to deal
          in relation to all his domestic and temporal affairs, according
          to the mind and will of God. Again, how great would be the
          benefit to a body of people--to say nothing of households and
          families--located for instance, in one region of the county, a
          people who were united together according to the law of God,
          desiring to advance each others welfare and happiness, and each
          man was required to love his neighbor as himself; a people who
          knew how to so conduct their temporal affairs that each man's
          neighbor might be benefitted as well as himself; and each one
          looking not only for his own welfare or that of his own
          household, but for the welfare of the whole community, with whom
          he was associated, producing at least that unity and oneness
          which the Lord requires in the numerous revelations which he has
          It requires revelation then; it requires revelation for one
          single branch of the church located in one region of the country;
          how much more necessary, when there are numerous branches, and
          that those branches should know their duties in regard to one
          another, that they might not work against one another's interests
          in any way or manner, but on the contrary, labor for the mutual
          benefit of all the branches of the Church and Kingdom of God, and
          thus preserve means, even as Joseph did in Egypt. Joseph was a
          man that sought after riches, he advised King Pharaoh to seek
          after riches, by building storehouses, and procuring as much of
          the surplus grain as he could, during the seven years of
          plentiful harvest which he foretold, and to store it away for
          future use. Some people might have supposed, if they had lived in
          that day, that Joseph was a great speculator, and wanted to take
          advantage of the people, getting rich himself at their expense.
          But the Lord directed this; he gave a revelation, clearly showing
          what would be necessary for the salvation of the Egyptian and
          also the children of Israel who were sojourning in the land.
          Hence we perceive it was necessary to get revelation in regard to
          temporal matters, and that without it the famine would have come
          upon them unawares and destroyed hundreds of thousands of people,
          and they would have perished over all the land. Hence by the few
          words of revelation given through a Prophet of God, that lived in
          their midst, millions of people were saved alive.
          If we trace the history of the people of God we shall find it a
          history of revelations of God to man given for the purpose of
          directing them as individuals, as families, as neighborhoods, as
          tribes and as peoples, directing them in regard to their temporal
          affairs, as well as concerning the great matters that pertain to
          a future state of existence.
          I mention this in order to refer to the text which I have taken.
          He that receives this record, and shall not condemn it because of
          imperfections that are in it, the same shall know of greater
          things than these. That is, they shall know of greater things
          than what are contained in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon
          contains some wonderful things about the colonization of this
          country soon after the flood, the history of a certain nation
          that lived here some sixteen or seventeen centuries; then of
          another nation that succeeded it, and that lived here some 600
          years before Christ, and down to the time that the records were
          hid up. Great things, historically, are revealed in this book
          great thing are revealed in it concerning prophecies that are yet
          to take place, and that have already taken place--when this
          record was translated. Not only this, but it contains the Gospel
          of the Son of God. I mean the first principles of the Gospel--the
          principles of faith in God and in his Son Jesus Christ;
          repentance--turning away from sin, from all unrighteousness;
          baptism by immersion in water for the remission of sins; the gift
          and power of the Holy Ghost to be shed forth upon those who
          should receive this record--that is, receive its truths and obey
          them. It does not mean those who should read this record and not
          perform the things that are contained therein; the promise is not
          extended to them. "Whoso receiveth this record." That is,
          receives the Gospel therein contained, will assuredly believe in
          Christ; will assuredly repent of his sins; will assuredly be
          baptized for the remission of his sins; and will assuredly be
          confirmed by the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy
          Ghost. No man or woman that fails to comply with these things
          that I have named--believes and receives the record; they may
          pretend to believe the record, they may say it appears to be a
          very good record, and it speaks as if it might be true; but
          unless they do receive it, by obeying its ordinances, and it
          institutions, and complying with the principles of the Gospel,
          they would not be entitled to the promise recorded in the words
          of my text, "They shall know of greater things than these." I
          would ask, if the Latter-day Saints know of anything greater than
          that which is contained in the Book of Mormon. What a wonderful
          thing the Book of Mormon is, to be brought forth by an angel sent
          from heaven to be translated from the ancient languages of this
          country into our english language, to have the Urim and Thummim
          given to the translator by which the words were translated. What
          a great and wonderful thing the Book of Mormon is so far as its
          prophecies are concerned so far as its history and its doctrine
          are concerned; and so far as its predictions of those thing which
          are immediately in the future are concerned, what a great benefit
          it has been to us Latter-day Saints to read our own history
          before it comes to pass.
          I might take up a whole discourse in showing how the Book of
          Mormon has been fulfilled since it has been translated up to the
          present time, in the bringing forth of the Gospel from among the
          Gentiles. The persecutions that they should endure are predicted
          in the Book of Mormon. It is a great thing, it is a wonderful
          thing. In fact it is just what Isaiah said it would be in
          prophesying of the Book; he said it should be a marvelous work
          and a wonder. But the people who should receive this record
          should know of greater things. What greater things have we
          learned? We might have searched the Book of Mormon from beginning
          to end, and we never could have learned the perfect organization
          of the kingdom of God upon the earth, such as we now find it in
          the midst of this people. We might have read in the Book of
          Mormon about the Melchizedek priesthood, as it existed among the
          Nephites; we might have read of the Aaronic priesthood such as
          also existed in this land; and we might, too, have read about the
          first principles of the Gospel and about Twelve Apostles chosen
          among the ancient Nephites; but do we read of the manner in which
          the Nephites were organized after they were baptized and received
          the Holy Ghost? No. Why? Because the Lord saw proper to withhold
          this from us, deeming it proper to reveal it through the
          patriarch Joseph, whom he would raise us, as something greater
          than the Book of Mormon should contain; showing that there were
          to be Twelve Apostles in our day. Did the Book of Mormon inform
          us that we were to have twelve Apostles? No. The Lord therefore
          have greater things to this people who believed the record that
          had come unto us, by revealing directly that we were to have
          raised up in this dispensation twelve men, called Apostles, and
          that they should go forth and preach this Gospel, first to the
          Gentile nations, and when the times of the Gentiles should be
          fulfilled, they should go forth and preach His Gospel to the
          scattered remnants of the house of Israel. This was taught when
          the revelation was given soon after the last part of the Book of
          Mormon was translated; that the Lord would raise up a Church;
          that he would call twelve men and send them forth as apostles,
          that he would build up his Church among the Gentiles first; that
          he would, when their times were fulfilled, send them to the house
          of Israel, to bring the people back to a knowledge of the Gospel.
          Now this was new information to the people. They at first learned
          the Book of Mormon, and having learned it, having been taught
          concerning what God taught ancient Israel on this land, then the
          Lord revealed unto them greater things according to the promise
          in our text by telling them what should be done directly in our
          Then again, what could we learn from either the Bible or Book of
          Mormon in regard to three glories--the celestial, the terrestrial
          and the telestial glories? What did we know concerning those that
          should inhabit these various worlds of glory? Nothing at all. It
          was merely referred to in Paul's writings, that there were three
          glories, "one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon,
          and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from
          another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead."
          But Paul left us here; he did not tell us anything about the
          celestial, or anything about terrestrial, or telestial glories;
          he told us nothing about the inhabitants of these worlds, nor
          anything about the laws by which these different glorified worlds
          were governed but merely referred to them in a few words and then
          dropped it. The people, to whom he was writing may have known all
          about the subject he so casually referred to, if they did, the
          knowledge they possessed was not handed down to us. But the Lord,
          on the 16th day of February, 1832, poured out His Spirit from on
          high while Joseph was engaged in the work of translating another
          record, and also upon his scribe, and they saw in vision the
          celestial world, and they were commanded to write a portion of
          the things which they saw, to write about the greatness and power
          and majesty and the knowledge of the people who inherit the
          celestial world. And they were also shown, in the same manner the
          terrestrial world and the inhabitants thereof and their glory,
          and what their condition would be in the eternal worlds; and then
          they descended also in their vision and beheld the lesser or
          telestial glory, and they saw the inhabitants that dwelt there
          and comprehended the laws by which they were governed. Some of
          these things they were commanded to write while there were things
          which they beheld which they were strictly commanded not to
          write, as the world was not worthy to receive them. Neither was
          the Church, at that time, prepared to receive a full knowledge
          concerning these things. But that portion which they were
          permitted to write they wrote, and it has been printed now some
          40 years for the Saints and for the inhabitants of the world to
          learn concerning the future condition of all those that shall
          pass out of this state of existence behind the vail.
          Here, then, were greater things made manifest than those in the
          Book of Mormon, or those in the Bible. Whoso receives this record
          and shall not condemn it because of imperfections, the same shall
          know of greater things. "But," says one, "what imperfections
          could there be in the writings of an inspired man?" I will tell
          you. Imperfections may creep in through the printing press,
          unless there was some expert person to examine the printing of
          the Book. There might be imperfections creep in through the
          persons that recorded these things--Moroni and the various
          prophets that preceded him who wrote upon the plates.
          Imperfections might occur through the omission of some words. But
          one of the Prophets says, he knew of no imperfection in the
          record; nevertheless, the Lord knew all, therefore, he said judge
          not, lest ye be judged; judge not with harsh judgment, lest ye be
          judged harshly--that is unrighteously. Probably the individual in
          reading the first edition of the Book of Mormon from the hands of
          the printer, knew of no error so far as the printing was
          concerned. But when we came to examine the first edition, and
          even all the editions, we found some few little imperfections
          that were introduced chiefly of a typographical nature. Well,
          those who will not condemn the work of God because of such little
          things, have the promise that they shall know of greater things
          than these. The Latter-day Saints are witnesses. You have upon
          your shelves the Book of Covenants and Commandments, the
          revelations of heaven, you also are in possession of the Pearl of
          Great Price, containing the vision of Moses, that great and
          glorious vision which he received on the mount, revealing to him
          the history of the creation of the world. The Lord saw proper to
          descend upon a certain mountain before Moses, and showed himself
          to him, and the glory of God rested upon Moses so that he stood
          in the presence of the Lord; and the Lord showed unto Moses the
          works of his hands in relation to the various creations that he
          had made. And when Moses began to inquire of the Lord, the Lord
          said unto him, No man can behold all my works, except he behold
          all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory and afterwards
          remain in the flesh upon the earth. Here, then, Moses began to
          understand that it was not for him as a mortal personage to cast
          his eyes forth and behold all the infinite creations of the
          Almighty dispersed through boundless space; but the Lord was
          willing that he should know in part. And Moses, when he saw the
          glory of God, and the things with which he was surrounded,
          pertaining to the planetary systems, he began to wonder and
          marvel, as you and I would do if we had the privilege of gazing
          in vision upon the works of God. And while he was marveling at
          what he had seen, the Lord for some reason, withdrew from him,
          probably to try him, to see if he would be faithful to him. And
          when the Spirit of the Lord was taken from him, and the glory of
          God had withdrawn from him and the Lord himself had departed from
          before him, Moses was left to himself. O how weak! He fell to the
          earth, and for the space of many hours he did not receive his
          natural strength. And when in this weak, fallen condition he
          exclaimed, I know now that man is nothing; and he began to call
          upon the Lord to restore his strength. And Satan, we learn, took
          advantage of Moses on this occasion, while thus left to himself,
          and came and stood before him, and said Moses, son of man, I am
          the Only Begotten, worship me. Moses looked upon Satan and
          perceived the difference at once between the glorious personage
          that had appeared to him a short time before, and the personage
          of Satan. And Moses in looking upon this strange visitor said,
          Where is thy glory that I should worship thee? Behold, I could
          not look upon God save his glory were upon me; but I can look
          upon thee in my natural state. Having said so much to him, he
          commanded him to depart; but being so weak his faith was not
          strong enough to prevail against Satan, hence he did not leave at
          his bidding. Moses then called upon God, and Satan began to
          tremble and the earth began to shake; and Satan went upon the
          earth, and commanded Moses, saying, I am the Only Begotten,
          worship me. But Moses still called upon God for strength, and the
          Lord heard and answered his prayers; and he then commanded Satan,
          in the name of the Only Begotten Son, to depart; and he was
          rebuked from his presence. And again Moses lifted up his voice to
          heaven and cried to the Lord, and the glory of God began to come
          upon him; and the Lord stood in his presence again, and Moses
          lifted up his voice to heaven and cried to the Lord, and the
          glory of God began to come upon him; and the Lord stood in his
          presence again, and Moses was again filled with his glory. And
          while he was filled with the glory of the Lord he beheld all the
          earth and the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a particle
          of the earth withheld from his vision; he saw every particle of
          it. He beheld it not by the natural vision, but by the Spirit of
          the living God.
          Moses not only saw the whole of this beautiful creation in its
          entirety, but he doubtless beheld the laws by which every
          particle is governed by the law of gravitation or electricity or
          heat, Moses comprehended it. He was then desirous to know how the
          Lord created the earth, as well as other heavenly bodies; but
          would the Lord grant his desires in full? No; because it was not
          for mortal man to know so much. But Moses still plead with the
          Lord in this language: "Be merciful unto thy servant, O God and
          tell me concerning this earth and the inhabitants thereof, and
          also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content." He
          thought that if he could not behold other worlds, if he had not
          the privilege granted to him of looking upon more glorious
          creation, it would be satisfaction for him to look upon this
          earth and also the heavens. But what was the Lord's answer to
          him? "The heavens! they are many, and they cannot be numbered
          unto man, but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine, and
          as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof, even so
          shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to
          my words." But, said the Lord, "I will reveal to you concerning
          this earth upon which thou standest, and also the heaven
          belonging to the earth, and you shall write the words which I
          speak to you." This is the way that Moses obtained what is now
          called the Book of Genesis, which gives an account of the
          creation. How did we learn of these things? By way of fulfillment
          of this promise, contained in the words of our text: "Whoso shall
          believe in this record and shall not condemn it because of its
          imperfection, the same shall know of greater things than these."
          Here then we have come to a knowledge of the great and grand
          vision given to the Revelator Moses. God communicated to Moses
          concerning the creation of the heavens and this little earth upon
          which we dwell. He tells us that darkness came upon the face of
          the great deep, after the earth was created. What was there
          before this darkness came upon the face of the great deep, after
          the earth was created. What was there before this darkness came,
          can any one tell us? A great many religious people, without any
          reflection have supposed there was no light, from all eternity,
          until about six thousand years ago; that then the Lord created
          the sun, moon and stars, they really think that that was the
          first time from all the endless durations of past eternity that
          there was any light. I mean a great many ignorant people. But
          according to the revelation given to Moses, there was light
          before the foundations of this world were laid, before God caused
          darkness to come over this great deep; after he created the
          heavens and the earth, then God spake and said, let there be
          light and there was light. And as we are told, the evening and
          the morning was the first day. Why does it begin with the evening
          and not with the morning? Because darkness reigned, the Lord
          having caused darkness to reign over the whole face of the earth.
          How he did it, in what way he produced it is not revealed. At any
          rate, it is not said in the book of Genesis that the sun was
          permitted to shine forth, or that the moon gave its light on the
          first day; but that was something which was permitted to take
          place on the fourth day instead of on the first day. What the was
          it that existed before darkness came over the face of the deep?
          Was it sunshine? I think not. It was that probably which is
          connected with all creations in their first
          formations--self-luminous matter. Darkness was then made, but how
          we know not; it might have been by causing the light associated
          with those materials to become latent in the substance--not
          permitted to shine forth. How long this darkness continued is not
          revealed. How long it was before the Lord said again, "Let there
          be light, and there was light," is not revealed.
          Again, we find that the solid portions of the earth were entirely
          covered with water, for the Lord commanded the waters to be
          gathered together to one place; and commanded the dry land to
          appear. The dry land he called earth; the gathering together of
          the waters called he seas. How did he do this? He may have done
          it by a direct miracle, or he may have done it according to
          certain laws which he controlled, and which were always under his
          control. How easy it would be for him to take this globe of ours
          that was entirely covered by water, and set it in motion, and
          cause it to rotate upon its axis. Would not this cause the waters
          to be gathered together from the equatorial regions to the two
          polar regions--the Arctic and the ant-Arctic seas, and in the
          intermediate regions, and thus leave the dry land in the
          equatorial regions?
          Then again how easy it would be for him to compress the solid
          portions of the earth at the poles and cause the same to bulge
          out above the equator. Or in other words, to do this also by law,
          by causing the earth to turn more swiftly than it does at the
          present time, which would give a greater diameter through the
          equator then at the poles.
          There are many things in the new translation besides the vision
          and revelation in regard to the creation, written by Joseph
          Smith, which are far greater than anything contained in the
          Bible, or in the Book of Mormon, or in the Doctrine and
          Covenants. I bring up these things in order to show you that God
          has fulfilled his promise to the present time, by giving us
          greater knowledge concerning the creation of our globe.
          The Prophet Joseph Smith revealed to us that all the materials of
          our globe and all the materials of the universe, are eternal in
          their nature, that their substance is eternal, not created out of
          nothing, according to the vagaries and foolish ideas of the
          religious world. The Lord told us that he created the earth out
          of materials that previously existed; he told us that these
          materials were eternal in their nature, and of everlasting
          duration. In what condition have these material been for the
          last, say millions of ages--for instance, as many millions of
          years as there are sands upon the sea shore? Have they been lying
          dormant without any control of law? Were there no electric
          principles or laws to govern them, was there no heat connected
          with them, or was there no latent principle called light, neither
          a gravitation power in connection with these materials? I have no
          doubt in my own mind but what there have been laws from all
          eternity--or if you do not wish to call them laws, call them
          forces, call them powers, call them by any name which may suit
          you--that have controlled these materials; and then again these
          laws or forces have also been under the control of a wise,
          supreme intelligence from all eternity to the present time. How
          many organizations the materials of our earth have undergone
          before they were organized according to the revelations given to
          Moses, are not revealed. How many worlds they had entered into
          prior to that time; how many conditions existed through the
          millions of ages of past duration are nowhere revealed. A great
          many learned men are beginning to see that the materials of our
          globe have been in existence, as they say, for millions of ages.
          Some of them have made calculations in regard to how many
          millions of years since such and such phenomena took place, in
          regard to certain materials of which our earth is composed; and
          because they have discovered some of these things, they have, in
          the weakness and foolishness of their minds, began to doubt the
          Mosaic history, concerning the creation. I presume if I had never
          heard of the Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or the
          revelations of which I am speaking, I suppose I should have been
          probably an infidel, so far as regards the religious sects; I
          could not have believed them, if I had suffered my mind to
          reflect. But when I come to learn and understand that God has
          nowhere spoken in all the revelations that he has given, that he
          ever made so much as one particle of this earth out of nothing;
          and when I found that God has never hinted or revealed any such
          thing; but, on the contrary, that he organized the world out of
          pre-existent materials that were eternal in their nature, then I
          could reflect back with our learned philosophers and suffer my
          mind to go back just as far as they dare to go in their theories,
          and then go back to all eternity beyond that which they go, and
          say, these materials were in organization, and say worlds were
          being organized, and different conditions were taking place, and
          laws were being given for all these vast ages of the past, and
          still reconcile it with the revelations God has given in these
          latter times. Science and true religion never can possibly
          contradict each other. There never was any truth in science that
          would contradict any principle of revelation that God ever
          revealed to man. Why? Because true science is founded upon a true
          understanding of the laws and forces of nature. But who ordained
          from time to time these laws of nature in connection with the
          universe as we now behold them? It was the Lord whom we serve,
          the great Supreme Ruler of the universe, who organizes and
          disorganizes according to his own will and pleasure. He garnishes
          the heavens in his wisdom and builds the vast superstructure of
          the universe, as a very handy work. He brings into life and being
          new worlds and disorganizes them, scattering the elements, and
          again brings them together by his power or by the laws he has
          ordained, and by his laws makes new creations, new worlds, and
          one universe, and inhabits them with myriads and myriads of
          intelligent beings? This is the work of the great Supreme Ruler
          of all things.
          This we find out by reading the first two chapters of Genesis, as
          revealed anew, and many other things, of which we were profoundly
          ignorant, until God raised up his youth, this unlearned Prophet
          of the nineteenth century, to bring these things to light. By
          revelations given in ancient days, and renewed through this young
          Prophet of God, we learn that we, ourselves, did not begin to
          exist when we were born into this state of existence; we learn
          that we are of higher origin than that assigned by poor,
          unbelieving man. Contrast the ideas of the last few centuries
          with the ideas that God has revealed from heaven. They would make
          man look for his origin down to the very reptile and the worm
          that crawls upon the earth, and to the fish of the sea--as the
          first father, the first origin, the first oyster. Such is the
          reason of the learned of the last few centuries--the evolution
          theory; in other words, that which you learn from books, the
          creation of man's folly and foolishness. But when we learn
          through the revelations of God that instead of man's coming up
          from the poor worm of the dirt, he descended from the being who
          controls the universe by his power; that he descended form that
          being who is the fullness of all knowledge, and who sways his
          sceptre over more planetary systems than there are sands upon the
          sea shore. We are his offspring, we are his sons and his
          daughters, we are his children, he has begotten us, and we
          existed before the foundation of the world. Who among the wise,
          and the great, and those who have studied as far as human wisdom
          can at present reach; who among them can tell the origin of life?
          Who among them can tell the origin of this intelligence in man,
          this reasoning power, and this perceptive faculty, that enables
          man to grasp not only a great many things appertaining to the
          laws connected with their own little earth, but enables him to
          launch out into the regions of space for hundreds of millions of
          miles and find out and understand many things that govern worlds
          afar off. Is there no man that can tell the origin of this
          Intelligence? Let the trained collegiate mind, whose lifetime has
          been occupied in study, come forth and tell us how man obtains
          the first principle of knowledge, how came knowledge to be
          connected with matter, how came knowledge connected with flesh
          and bones, and blood, and skin, and sinew? That knowledge--that
          intelligence is Godlike; God is the author, he is father of our
          spirits, and we were begotten before this world rolled into
          existence. Once we dwelt in the presence of our Father; once we
          were enabled to lift our songs of praise in the celestial world,
          from which we emigrated; once we dwelt in the society of an
          innumerable convention of angels, upon a world that had passed
          through its stages, its ordeals, the same as this world is
          passing through its various mutations. That celestial world from
          whence we came, is more perfect than this earth, it is organized
          after a celestial order, a higher order and glorified by the
          presence of immortal, glorified, celestial beings. That is our
          home, from that world we came. Here is our dwelling place for a
          season; to that world we will return, to that being by whom we
          were begotten we will render an account; he who is our Father
          will require us to give an account of our doings in this
          probation. We must meet him, and behold him, in all his glory, in
          all his power, in all his majesty, and greatness, and superior
          excellency and with that infinite knowledge of which he is in
          possession; we must appear of our doings while shut out from his
          presence on this little world.
          Here then is another thing in which the Lord has fulfilled our
          text. He has told us of our pre-existence; he has told us of the
          glory and the greatness of our ancestor, even the Supreme Being;
          he has told us when we existed, that it was before this world was
          brought into existence. Are not these greater things than are
          contained and explained in the Book of Mormon or the Bible? It is
          true the Book of Mormon barely alludes to the pre-existence of
          man, without explaining it. Jesus, before he appeared in the
          flesh, showed his spiritual form to the brother of Jared; it was
          not a body of flesh and bones; but a spiritual form, like the
          image of man. He said unto the brother of Jared, Seest thou, that
          thou art created after mine image? And he further says, All men
          in the beginning have I created after the image of the body of my
          Spirit; that is the spiritual form occupied by him. All men and
          women in the beginning were created by Him, and there never was a
          person, there is not any one now living, and there never will be
          a man or woman, but what was in the beginning created in his
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / George
          Q. Cannon, April 6, 1878
                           George Q. Cannon, April 6, 1878
               I do not know but what I am occupying to much time, I will
          briefly say, however, before closing, that certain records which
          God has promised to bring to light in his own due time, will far
          exceed anything that has been revealed through the Book of Mormon
          or the Bible, or that which has come to us through the Abrahamic
          record taken from Egyptian papyrus, or that which is contained in
          the vision of Moses, revealing to him the history of the creation
          of the world. All these will be as a drop in the bucket in
          comparison with the eternal knowledge that will yet flow down
          from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints before this
          generation shall pass away. The earth will be filled with the
          knowledge of God, as the waters cover the great deep, and the
          things of all nations will be revealed. The records of old that
          were kept by the people of Asia, who have since dwindled into
          savages by reason of the transgressions of their fathers; and
          those that have been kept by the ten tribes of the north
          countries, where they have lived for over 25 centuries; and those
          records that have been kept by the people of the City of Enoch,
          giving an account of the dealings of God with ancient Zion, will
          all come forth to help fill the earth with the knowledge of God,
          as the waters cover the great deep. And John, when upon the Isle
          of Patmos, saw things in vision, which were commanded to be
          sealed up, and they are yet to be unsealed; and in this way we
          shall receive knowledge upon knowledge, revelation upon
          revelation, concerning not only the six or seven thousand years
          of the earth's temporal existence, but concerning the materials
          of the earth before it was made, and the elements and materials,
          and all things pertaining to the future earth that is to be
          created when the elements of this earth shall be dissolved and
          pass away into space. There is nothing too great to be withheld
          from the Saints of God in the last dispensation of the fulness of
          times Hear what the Prophet Joseph Smith said, when confined in
          Liberty Jail. As well may the puny arm of man attempt to stop the
          waters of the Missouri River as to try to prevent the Almighty
          from pouring down knowledge upon the Latter-day Saints. It will
          come; it will come like a mighty flood, it will come like a
          mighty ocean, and there will be no mental darkness upon the whole
          face of the earth. The laws by which the earth is governed, by
          which the materials were governed, by which intelligence produces
          intelligence, by which one material cleaves to another, and by
          which all the various mechanisms are performed, will be revealed
          in their times and in their seasons. And then the Lord will not
          stop there; but he will unfold other systems and heavens that
          shall come into connection with ours. How, I know not; in what
          way, I know not. There will be telescopes, microscopes and other
          instruments discovered in these systems, that will so far
          outstretch the discoveries made at the present time, that all
          these things will dwindle into insignificance, and when the
          inhabitants of one system can converse with those of another, and
          when there shall be communication between all the creations that
          God has made with the present creation we inhabit, and when the
          Lord shall bring forth Zion out of all the creations he has made;
          then, I think, we shall begin to look back in astonishment at the
          littleness of the discoveries of the learned of the 19th century.
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON,
            Delivered at the Semi-Annual Conference, on Sunday Afternoon,
                                   April 6, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                      POWER OF
                                AND THE UNITED ORDER.
          The speaker read from the Doctrine and Covenants (new edition),
          commencing at the 24th paragraph, and ending at the 33rd
          paragraph, of section 58.
          This is a great people, and if anything would be likely to appall
          a man and make him feel his own nothingness, it is to stand up
          before such an audience as is here assembled, to attempt to speak
          to them and to instruct them. We have, however, something besides
          our own strength to rely on; if it were not so, I should not be
          here. The promise of the Lord is that when we assemble together
          as we have this day, and as we are now assembled, he will give us
          that portion of his word and his counsel as shall be suited to
          our circumstances, so that every soul shall eat of the bread of
          life and go away satisfied, and rejoice in the privilege he may
          have had of coming together as we now are.
          This work in which we are engaged embraces more and more. The
          older I grow the more I become acquainted with its magnitude,
          with the responsibilities that are connected with it, and
          especially the responsibilities which rest down upon those who
          are the chosen leaders of the people.
          We know, as was testified to this morning, that this is the work
          of God, that God has laid its foundation, that God has chosen the
          men who are associated with it and who are in authority connected
          with the work, to fill the situations which they occupy. We know
          also that he has restored the authority that was once enjoyed by
          man, by which men are enabled to act in the midst of the people
          in Christ's stead. And knowing these things we are encouraged as
          a people and as individuals to press forward and to help
          establish that cause which he has revealed to the earth. But
          there are many things connected with this work, with its
          advancement, with the binding of the people together, with the
          carrying out of the great designs which God has revealed for the
          salvation of the children of men; which press upon our attention
          and cause us to exercise every faculty of our minds in thinking,
          in pondering upon and in giving shape to measures that shall
          result in the greatest good to this great people.
          The principles of the Gospel we are all familiar with, as a
          people; we have studied the lesson from the beginning and have
          become familiar with it in almost all its details. We have
          traveled, we have preached, we have borne testimony to this work;
          we have helped to gather the people together, organizing them,
          before doing so, into branches, into conferences, into missions,
          and then have organized them into companies to travel by sea, to
          travel by land, to bring them to the gathering places which have
          been appointed. With these labors the Elders of this church have
          obtained great familiarity; they have become experts in preaching
          spiritual salvation, in preaching the first principles of the
          Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; in telling the people how they
          shall be saved from their sins, and what they shall do to obtain
          the promises of God connected with obedience to this Gospel. And
          we have, in coming to these mountains, obtained considerable
          knowledge concerning other matters. Probably to-day a man would
          not be open to the charge of egotism, of being vain concerning
          the people, were he to say that, to take the Latter-day Saints,
          the men of this church, and in no other body of men of the same
          numbers will you find men of such experience in preaching, in
          traveling, as missionaries, as Elders, in organizing the people,
          in handling companies of large bodies of men and women and laying
          the foundation of settlements, in building cities, in developing
          countries, and in organizing systems of government in those
          countries. I do not know that I am open to the charge of being
          vain concerning the Latter-day Saints when I make this
          statement--that in all the earth, among all the inhabitants of
          the earth, you cannot find so large a body of principal men
          familiar with spiritual things, familiar with temporal things,
          familiar with the handling of large bodies of people and
          organizing them and dictating their labors and planning for their
          temporal salvation, and for their good government, as you will
          find in the midst of these mountains and numbered in the Church
          of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
          And yet, after making this statement, we stand, as it were, at
          the very threshold of our work, just at the door of it; we have
          scarcely accomplished anything compared to what remains to be
          done connected with the work devolving upon us. We have made a
          beginning, it is true, we have solved some problems; but there is
          an immense amount of work to be done by us as a people, and
          especially by those who act in our midst in the capacity of
          leaders. The highest qualities of statesmanship are needed and
          called for; the highest qualities that men and women possess that
          make them capable of planning for nations devising schemes and
          plans that will not only save a town or a small community of
          people but that will extend to nations the means of saving them
          from national peril and from evils that menace the existence of
          every power that now exists upon the face of the earth.
          You look abroad to-day among the inhabitants of the earth and see
          their condition, see the evils with which they are afflicted and
          which threaten the downfall and overthrow of nations and we need
          not to go beyond our own land to gain experience in this matter,
          and to ascertain the danger which besets this republic, the most
          glorious nation, and the most glorious form of government that
          exists upon the habitable globe. How many times it is said that
          this republic cannot stand, that evils are working and
          undermining the fabric of government, and which threatens its
          speedy overthrow. You can scarcely talk with a thinking man upon
          these subjects, a man who takes in, to the extent of his vision,
          all the evils which threaten our nation, without having him
          acknowledge that the future, in many respects, looks exceedingly
          dark, and that it is somewhat doubtful whether the republic can
          be preserved as it is at the present.
          With all these facts, then, before us, it is well for us to-day,
          assembled as we are in this general Conference, to take into some
          consideration our own condition, the circumstances which surround
          us, and examine them in the light of intelligence and wisdom, as
          he has given it to us, and whether we should not take steps to
          preserve our existence, and not only preserve, but perpetuate it,
          and to increase our power, and to cause that work with which we
          are identified to continue to progress and to fulfil its high and
          glorious destiny.
          There is one principle which I think in mentioning everyone will
          see the power of, and that is union. It is a trite saying, often
          repeated, that union is strength. Certainly we have proved the
          truth of this saying through the long or short period, as it may
          be, of our existence as a people. There is no people to-day with
          whom I am acquainted who has proved so satisfactorily as we have
          throughout our past experience, the value of union. It is that
          which makes us, numerically a weak people, a strong people; it is
          that which makes us one hundred and fifty or one hundred and
          sixty thousand, or perhaps two hundred thousand people throughout
          these mountains north and south, a power in the land; and a power
          certainly which there is more said about than any other power,
          probably, in existence. Divide us up, segregate us into
          denominations, into factions, and what would we amount to?
          Nothing; our strength would be dissipated, we would be enfeebled,
          and nothing particularly would be said about us more than is said
          about thousands and millions of others from whom we are
          separated. It was the union of the Latter-day Saint which in the
          beginning created opposition against us, brought it to the
          surface, and made it moving when there were but fifty or less
          members of the church. The very fact that a new principle of
          union, had been brought to light, through which these fifty men
          and women were united as the heart of one, was sufficient to
          arouse opposition and to create to a certain extent, fear.
          Sectarian influence was brought to bear against us. "Our creed is
          in danger, our sect is in danger, our place is in danger, if this
          people with this union should gain a foothold among us." Alarm
          was felt in the ranks of the various sects, and they felt that
          although a power insignificant and weak, as it were, it should be
          fought and its existence extirpated, if possible from off the
          earth. Hence the opposition it met with in the beginning a few
          weeks old, like a little trembling, puny infant not able to walk,
          not able to speak or make itself felt. Yet the very existence of
          the infant aroused fear, as great fear as that which animated
          Herod of old when he issued an edict for all the first-born male
          children of Israel to be slain. It created terror in the land;
          and all because a certain babe of Bethlehem had been born, and he
          hoped, in issuing this cruel edict, to destroy this man-child and
          with him the power which he feared. So it was in the beginning of
          this work, when it was weak and feeble it created in the minds of
          those who watched its birth and its aftergrowth a feeling of
          fear, and they were determined to destroy it from off the earth,
          if they could.
          When the church moved to Kirtland and the people began to gather
          together to go to that place to settle, you will see by reading
          the history, the fear that was produced. And you read the history
          of the settlement of the people in Jackson County and you will
          see the same manifestations, only more violent, until such a
          spirit was engendered that the mob succeeded in driving the
          people from the county. You can trace it through all the history
          of this people to the present time. It has been the union of the
          Latter-day Saints that, as I have before said, aroused
          opposition, crystallized it and made it as effective as it has
          been against us. Had we been a divided people, had we been
          quarrelling among ourselves, had there been factions among us and
          jealousies among our leading men, you would not have seen this
          opposition neither would you have seen the credit that has been
          given to us, nor the power that this people have wielded in the
          earth to the present time. You would not have seen this
          spectacle--this inspiriting spectacle of 12,000 people assembled
          under one roof to worship God according to the dictates of their
          own consciences and the revelations of God, and partaking of the
          Lord's Supper, as we are to-day. You would not have seen these
          valleys peopled from Idaho in the north to Mexico in the south
          with settlements of people of one faith, of one belief,
          worshipping God in the same manner and calling upon him unitedly
          to bestow upon them the same blessings, and laboring for the same
          objects. The value, therefore, of union we, as a people, have
          demonstrated as no other people now living have. And I leave you
          to your own reflections to imagine what we would be without it.
          Everyone can think for himself, or herself, upon this subject,
          and can draw his or her own conclusions. But as we are united and
          have been spiritually, it is not the design of God, as is clearly
          manifest in his revelations, plainly spoken through his word, and
          deeply impressed by his Holy spirit upon every heart belonging to
          this church, that this alone is not the object of our
          organization as a people. It was not for spiritual salvation
          alone that the word of the Lord came to us to gather out of
          Babylon; it was not for spiritual salvation alone that the Elders
          of this Church traversed sea and land for so long a period,
          gathering the people together at such an expense of time and
          means; it was not for spiritual salvation alone that we have
          suffered the attacks and the violence of mobs, that we left our
          homes in the east--the pleasant places that many left, and
          crossed these dreary wastes, and planted ourselves in these
          mountains. There was something more than this embodied in the
          idea; there was something more than this embodied in the effort.
          There was temporal salvation also connected with the spiritual
          salvation that had been extended to us. I use the term "temporal
          salvation," because it is better understood probably than any
          other term I could use. My training has led me to blend the two,
          it being difficult for me to draw the line of demarcation between
          the temporal and spiritual; but in many minds there is a
          distinction. I use the phrase, therefore, that those who are
          familiar with it will understand my meaning. Temporal salvation
          is as necessary, according to the faith of the Latter-day Saints,
          in its time and season, as spiritual salvation. Of course
          spiritual salvation occupies the first, and ought to be foremost
          within every heart, but we cannot accomplish our spiritual
          salvation and the destiny of our Father and Creator without also
          connecting with it temporal salvation, temporal acts, the
          performance of temporal labor. Hence, as I have said, it should
          occupy some portion of our thoughts, it should be considered by
          us; and as I have remarked, we have not come out of our present
          location for purely spiritual performances, but to lay the
          foundation of a system that should stand forever, that should be
          connected with man's existence here upon the earth, both his
          spiritual and his temporal existence; a work that should affect
          everything connected with man and his relationship to his
          A great many of the Latter-day Saints have failed, as I have
          sometimes thought, to grasp this idea, to grasp the idea that the
          Lord was founding a great nationality--if I may use such a
          limited phrase as that, it limits the idea to call it a
          nationality. The Lord is gathering out from every nation,
          kindred, tongue and people a community, out of which he intends
          to form for himself a kingdom, not an earthly kingdom, but a
          kingdom over which he will preside in the heavens; a kingdom that
          should be based upon purely republican principles on the earth;
          and therefore not a kingdom in the strict sense of the word, so
          far as its earthly location is concerned; but a republic. And for
          this purpose, as the Latter-day Saints have believed from the
          beginning, the Lord raised up the founders of our nation and
          inspired them--George Washington and others--to do the work that
          they accomplished, in laying the foundation of a form of
          government upon this land under which that kingdom that he should
          establish should grow and flourish and extend itself without
          interfering in the least degree with the genius of the
          government. And this is the work in which we are engaged; this is
          the labor that should occupy our attention, and as I have said,
          we should take warning by that which we see around us on every
          hand--the decay, the disintegration of the various governments
          and powers, and organize ourselves so that we can preserve
          ourselves, and grow and increase and add to the power we already
          possess. I believe our people are beginning to take higher views
          of the organization with which they are connected, and
          consequently higher views of their own individual responsibility
          and the labor that devolves upon each one as an individual. We
          see more of this spirit manifested. The Elders have ever evinced
          a willingness to go forth at the call of the proper authorities
          to preach the Gospel and perform labors of this character for the
          public good; but it has been a difficult lesson for us to learn
          that it was equally binding upon us, as servants of God, that we
          should labor in temporal matters with the same devotion and the
          spirit of self-abnegation that we did in laboring to preach the
          Gospel. There seemed to be a higher calling in the mind of man
          associated with spiritual matters; it seemed to be more
          dignified; it has seemed to be more worthy of men's gratuitous
          labor, than to labor with their hands or brain for the temporal
          advancement of the work and for the temporal salvation of the
          people. I believe that you will all have noticed that there is a
          change taking place in many minds in regard to this, and many men
          are beginning to take a different view--in fact they have done
          for years; probably some never had any other view, but a great
          many who have had different views, who have imagined that it was
          their duty to look at these temporal matters, are beginning to
          take different views, to take a higher conception of their
          responsibility in this direction. It is right and proper that we
          should do so. There is no good reason why a man should imagine
          that he has fulfilled the acquirements more acceptably, more
          approvedly in preaching this Gospel, than in laboring, after the
          people have been gathered home, for their salvation in temporal
          There is a subject that has occupied a great amount of thought,
          and has been dwelt upon very frequently in our public assemblies
          for the past few years; I refer to that of the United Order.
          There have been some attempts, in fact I may say many attempts at
          organization with a view to its more complete carrying out. There
          is another principle connected with this that has been in force
          also upon our attention for many years past, namely, the system
          of cooperation in temporal matters. We have felt to a very great
          extent the importance of this; I believe the spirit of it has
          rested upon the Latter-day Saints. When you look back a few
          years, by way of contrasting our condition then with our
          condition to-day, you will perceive, doubtless, there has been a
          great change effected among us in regard to this matter. There
          has been considerable thought among the people concerning it; a
          great many have reasoned upon it for themselves, and have become
          thoroughly convinced of the importance of the principle. In this
          a good work has been done, because it is an exceedingly difficult
          thing to leaven the whole mass of people, like this people who
          inhabit these valleys, to leaven them with correct ideas and have
          them understand them. If the First Presidency of the church
          comprehend a principle and the Twelve comprehend it, but the
          people fail to comprehend it, you can readily understand how
          difficult it would be to make that principle practical and
          operative. The leading men, then, have carried the whole people
          upon their shoulders, so to speak; if under those circumstances
          anything has to be done it is to be done upon their faith and
          influence alone. But when you can get the thinking men and women
          throughout our community to understand and realize the importance
          of the principle, the victory is won, the work then is
          comparatively easy of accomplishment. And this has been a subject
          of congratulation to me in my feelings, that notwithstanding the
          many errors, notwithstanding the many failures, notwithstanding
          the lack of success in many directions, the principle of
          co-operation, the principle of uniting ourselves together in the
          United Order has been reflected upon, has been cogitated and
          discussed in all the circles of this people and at their
          firesides, until it may be said an understanding of it permeates
          the entire mass of the people, as a people; and there is scarcely
          an argument needed in talking about it now to convince those who
          are the most stubborn and reluctant in giving adherence to the
          principle. When you hear any opponent to the principle express
          himself now-a-days, it is in this way: "It is an excellent
          principle, if we could only carry it out properly." The principle
          is conceded, its correctness is assented to; it only remains now
          for us to carry it out properly, in order for us to gain the
          confidence and the support of those who are doubtful upon that
          point. And I think this a great work accomplished. It seems to me
          that the Latter-day Saints to-day are in this position: Tell us
          what to do and how to do it. You leading men, tell us how we can
          operate, how we can unite together. Devise the plan, suggest how
          it can be carried out successfully, and we are on hand to carry
          it out." I do not know from your expressions, whether I state
          your feelings correctly or not on this point; but I state that
          which I believe, and which I am impressed with in connection with
          my brethren and sisters, wherever I meet them, and whenever this
          subject or topic comes up for discussion or mention. There is one
          thing, brethren and sisters that must strike us all as being
          right and proper; and this is to throw our efforts in one
          channel, to make our influence felt as an entire body and not as
          I have remarked, to divide ourselves and scatter our influence so
          that it will be unfelt.
          I have endeavored to describe to you the influence we wield
          because of our union in spiritual matters. The same remark will
          apply exactly to our union in temporal matters. Let this people
          be united in temporal matter; let it be known that we work
          together for one another's good, that we labor, as a people to
          benefit the whole and not the individual, and that our influence
          is in this direction; and I tell you that the same influence, the
          same power, that wield now as a spiritual organization will be
          felt in our temporal affairs, in our financial affairs, in all
          the affairs in fact which attract our attention.
          One great object we should aim to reach, that we should aim to
          accomplish, is to make ourselves independent in regard to
          manufactures. We have had, the last week, considerable
          conversation with leading men from various parts of this
          Territory concerning this principle of co-operation.
          Notwithstanding some differences of opinion upon some points,
          upon this one point that I have endeavored to set before you in
          my last few sentences, there has been an unanimity of feeling and
          opinion, that is of the imperative necessity of our being united
          in our business matters, in our financial matters and work to
          sustain each other and build each other up. I am persuaded that a
          great amount of good will result from these interviews and from
          the measures that will be adopted. I have felt that it will be a
          most excellent thing for us to have a permanent organization of
          our best business men, and the most practical men, from all parts
          of our Territory, acting in the capacity of a board of trade,
          whose duty shall be to look after our manufacturing, mercantile
          and other interests; and should there at any time be anything
          wrong in our systems of doing business, tending in the least to
          prevent perfect union, that the necessary measure might be
          devised to remedy these things and bring about a concert of
          action upon all hands. Now you have heard it stated frequently
          that those who hare engaged in home manufactures do not receive
          the patronage that they should do, that our home manufactories
          were not treated properly, that those engaged in them did not
          receive the sympathy of business men, and that the masses of the
          people were not disposed to patronize them. I think there is at
          the present time but little cause for statements of this kind; in
          fact I have not heard of them of late. But if we had such an
          organization as this--and I understand that Pres. Taylor is
          thinking seriously of having it a permanent organization--then if
          there were anything of this character that needed correction, if
          there was a struggling institution that needed help, by making a
          requisition to this Board of Trade, it perhaps could receive the
          support it needed, and be placed upon a firm footing in our
          midst, and perhaps be able to sustain itself and live.
          Already the stockholders of Z. C. M. I. as it is called--Zions
          Co-operative Mercantile Institution, met, and a report was made
          by the President and Secretary of that Institution, which I think
          was most gratifying to all present upon that occasion. I have
          been familiar with the institution since its inception. I think I
          can truly say that at no period since its organization was it
          ever in so good condition, having so few liabilities to meet as
          it has to-day. It is in sounder, healthier and more prosperous
          condition than it has ever been. I allude to this because it is
          called the Parent Institution. In Box Elder County where Brother
          Snow presides, he took the profits of their mercantile business
          to start the branches of manufacture that are now in successful
          running order. Our institution has done much in a similar
          direction. It has carried many a struggling enterprise; it has
          been the best of burden for almost every institution and every
          establishment and railroad almost in the country. It has
          accomplished an immense amount of good, far more than the mere
          paying of dividends, although it has done this to a surprising
          extent. Those who invested their means seem to have become the
          most discouraged. Therefore, in alluding to it in this manner, it
          is in justice to it, and in justice to those especially who have
          all the time, over and again, kept their shoulders to the
          Institution, sustaining it and bearing it up to the best of their
          ability. You all know, who have attended conferences in past
          times, how much Prest. Young was interested in this matter; not
          so much in the sale of merchandise as in the principle of
          co-operation. And he and others have stepped forward repeatedly,
          and have sustained it in the mist of the people, when otherwise
          it would have gone down. I allude to this because it comes in the
          line of my remarks, in the thread of my argument, so to speak. To
          be successful we ought, instead of dividing asunder and drawing
          one from another, to cling closer together; it is of the utmost
          importance that all our financial matters should be conducted in
          a way to contribute to the influence of the whole people; it is
          of the utmost importance that we should take steps to develop in
          our midst something of a home character. Steps have already been
          taken, as some of you know, in the establishment of a tannery,
          and in connection with it a shoe manufactory. I was exceedingly
          gratified to learn from the report that nearly $100,000 of home
          manufactured goods, besides a large list of small articles, the
          value of which was not estimated, had been sold during the last
          half year by the Co-operative Institution. I am informed that
          this was the purchase price, the price at which they were sold
          would of course amount to still more. This speaks well for home
          manufactures, sold by one institution.
          It is an easy thing to tear down; any man no matter what his
          knowledge, no matter what his experience can pull down; a fool
          could set fire to a building; a few fools could set fire to a
          city and consume the works of man that had cost hundred of years
          of labor. It requires no wisdom for a man to criticize the acts
          of another man. It is even said that a fool can ask questions
          that could not be answered by the wisest men. Unwise people can
          criticize plans and schemes the creation of wise and experienced
          heads; that is a comparatively easy matter for persons to do. But
          is requires great wisdom to organize; it requires great wisdom to
          create measures that will bind a people of diversified interests
          together; of varieties of views, dissimilar habits and to some
          extent of training, and to bring them together, and bind them
          together, and make one people of them, requires the highest
          qualities of wisdom, and it is this we are endeavoring to do. Can
          it be found fault with? Undoubtedly there are many things in our
          organizations that are defective; but it is our duty, if there be
          faults, to correct them. If there be wise men among us let them
          come forward; let us see their wisdom, and not retain it to
          benefit one, but let it be used to benefit the whole. There was
          not any more obligation upon Prest. Young, when he was alive, or
          upon the Prophet Joseph when he lived, than there is upon us
          individually; that is looking at it in one light. You and I all
          expect to share if faithful, the same glory that they will
          attain. Every man and every woman in this audience comprising
          this body of Latter-day Saints, expect, if found faithful, to
          share with those who have gone before--the righteous and holy,
          and become heirs of God, and joint heir with Jesus Christ; that
          is, attain to the very highest glory. If this be our aspiration,
          our hope and anticipation, we should work for that, we should
          labor for it. In the words of the revelation I have read in your
          hearing, "He is a slothful servant that waits to be commanded." A
          man may do, and he should do many things of his own free will in
          the exercise of his agency and if there be wisdom in the breast
          of any man that has not been brought to light, let it come forth
          to the light that we may have the benefit of it in causing to be
          effected a more perfect organization of this people. For I tell
          you we have a perfect organization in view, and nothing short of
          it will satisfy us. The Twelve have all had it at heart, and they
          are bound by the covenants of the Holy Priesthood and by the
          responsibility which rests upon them, and upon him, who is the
          President of the Twelve and of the Church. I say we are bound by
          these covenants and these signs of responsibility, and to labor
          to-day, and labor to-morrow, and labor continuously until
          eternity shall dawn upon us for the more perfect organization of
          this people in their temporal affairs. And as for division, we
          want it not; disunion, we want it not. We do not want to see the
          Elders of Israel fall asunder, dividing this people and leading
          them away from the union that should characterize us. We say that
          any man that does it is not of God; the man that does it is not
          inspired by the Spirit of God, and has not the love and
          prosperity of this work at heart.
          We are struggling now, the elements are chaotic. In some respects
          we are endeavoring to gather together. Dealing in merchandise is
          a small matter, and yet it lies to a certain extent at the
          foundation of our business; therefore we talk about it; but
          merchandizing is a small matter compared with the work of
          organizing the people to get them to manufacture and to furnish
          labor, that there may be no idle among us, that every boy and
          every girl, and every man and every woman in this community shall
          find employment; and that measures may be devised to use their
          labor and talent and ingenuity for the welfare and prosperity of
          this people for the elevation of the whole; not for the elevation
          of a few individuals, but for the uplifting of the entire
          community, and the whole human race out of ignorance, out of vice
          and from vicious habits, and everything degrading, lift us up,
          until we shall stand as man and woman could in the divine
          presence, filled with the divinity which we inherit from our
          Heavenly Father; and govern and control the elements with which
          this earth is so abundantly endowed, for our happiness, for the
          happiness of our posterity, for the happiness of the entire human
          family as far as they reach--from the north to the south, from
          east to west, until we shall comprehend the whole family of God
          or Heavenly Father, gradually diffusing the blessings we enjoy in
          these valleys throughout the entire earth, until the whole earth
          shall be benefitted and blessed by our organization and by our
          existence upon it.
          These are some of the responsibilities that devolve upon us as a
          people. Shall I live for myself? God forbid that I should live to
          spend my time and exercise the talent I may possess for my
          personal benefit, or for the benefit of my family alone. Why? It
          is unworthy of any man or any woman to live for self alone; to
          pile up our benefits and comforts for our own luxury and
          aggrandisement. God forbid that we whom God has chosen, we whom
          he has called and inspired by his Holy Spirit, and blessed with
          the everlasting Gospel, and upon whom he has placed his Holy
          Priesthood, and called us to be saviors of men, I say God forbid
          that we should do this, that we should settle down and think
          entirely of self and build up self, and let our sphere of
          usefulness be limited to our own family, extend not an inch
          beyond our own household and our own family circle. God did not
          choose us for any such purpose, he did not reveal himself to us
          for any such object; but he has chosen us to be his missionaries
          in the earth, to be the pioneers in laying the foundation of that
          great work that shall stand forever, that shall swallow up all
          the works and powers of man, all the organizations of man, shall
          swallow all up and comprehend them all within itself. He has
          called us to this high and holy calling; and it should be your
          aim and it ought to be my aim to labor for the general good. To
          starve ourselves? No. Neglect ourselves? No. Let our families go
          uncared for? No. This is not necessary, that is the other
          extreme. I have no right to have a family and neglect them; but
          on the other hand I am under obligation to look after them, to
          treat them properly and give them every advantage in my power.
          When I became a father I took upon myself that responsibility,
          and it is a serious one, that is, I should educate my children
          and train them up in a proper manner, and see that they do not go
          hungry or naked. But I have another duty, a duty that reaches out
          beyond the family circle, a duty I owe to my fellow creatures. It
          is my duty to use my surplus strength and surplus means for their
          good, to endeavor to make them better for my existence; because I
          have been born that the earth will be better for it, that men and
          women will be better because I have lived. And it should be that
          the world will be better, because this Church has been organized,
          that the world will be better for our existence as an
          organization. And it should be the aim of every man in this
          Church, of every Bishop and every President of Stake and every
          Counselor and officer of whatever name or calling; it should be
          his aim to labor for the salvation of the people. And the
          Apostles above all, it devolves upon us, it is the covenant, as I
          have said, of the priesthood we have received, and it rests upon
          us, and it requires us to labor to combine and unite the
          interests of this people. And we beseech you, in Christ's stead,
          brethren and sisters, be ye united, put away bickerings, put away
          strifes, put away all those causes of division whether they are
          real or imaginary, and be united as a people, and I tell you in
          the name of Jesus, as one of his Apostles if you do this, the
          heavens will be open to you and the blessings of God will descend
          upon you, in your basket and in your store, in your fields and in
          your flocks, and herds, in your wives and children, in your
          husbands, in your fathers and mothers, in your brothers and
          sisters and all your organizations; the blessings of God will
          descend, like the dew distilled from heaven, and rest upon you,
          and all that bless you will imbibe and cherish the same spirit.
          Now, these things are pressing upon us. We have everything
          against us, the whole world it may be said, are ready to pass
          judgment upon us; but yet there are many who oppose the work of
          God who do so because they have not understood it, and such
          people, many of them will yet be gathered in and numbered among
          us. This work is not for this little handful of people, it is for
          the whole earth and all the inhabitants thereof and the day will
          come when the lessons taught by the Latter-day Saints will be
          approved by those who are not Latter-day Saints. When the good
          government maintained in the midst of the people of God will be
          copied after, and we will be looked to as exemplary.
          I pray God to bless you, to pour our his Spirit upon this
          Conference and upon all who shall speak and all who shall hear
          and all who are kept away from the Conference that the same
          spirit may run through every heart; for I tell you, my brethren
          and sisters, it is in vain we labor, unless God is with us, in
          vain we assemble unless his Spirit is poured upon the people to
          make them to comprehend and to soften their hearts. It is a need
          greatly to be desired that God's Spirit will descend upon the
          Latter-day Saints. Oh, that it might be poured out in power and
          break and rend asunder the darkness that beclouds our minds, that
          we may see the things of God as they really are, and sense fully
          the responsibilities we are under as individuals before him. And
          I believe that it will be poured out more and more, the blessings
          that we have yearned for and which we have prayed for and that we
          have so much desired in our hearts, and for which we have built
          Temples, these blessings will descend upon us, and the angels
          will be nearer to us, and the heavens will be more open to our
          cries and to our supplications to bestow upon us the blessings
          thereof. We approach nearer to heaven correspondingly as we live
          the Gospel revealed to us. It is a precious Gospel, it is a
          Gospel in which there is contained every requisite to make men
          and women happy and to produce a heaven upon earth; and if we
          obey it and carry it out there will be more blessings conferred
          upon us. And that this may be the case, is my prayer, in the name
          of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / George
          Q. Cannon, September 15, 1878
                        George Q. Cannon, September 15, 1878
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON,
          Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, September 15, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          The speaker commenced by reading the 7th chapter of St. Matthew,
          commencing at the 7th verse; there are many important principles
          embodied in these few verses which I have read in your hearing,
          and they are especially applicable to us as Latter-day Saints, a
          people professing to be the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
          We claim the holiest of names, and certainly with such
          professions as we make, there should be holiness of life
          corresponding to those professions. If we are called the
          disciples of Jesus, the followers of the Son of God, and have any
          claim to that name or title, we should exemplify in our lives the
          principles which he taught; if we do not, then our claim to his
          name is baseless and may be treated with contempt.
          The Lord Jesus has caused to be left on record certain
          principles, certain doctrines, a plan which has been properly
          called the plan of salvation; and He required in ancient days,
          when upon the earth clothed in mortality, that those who
          professed his name and to be his followers, should believe in and
          practise those principles and doctrines. If they did not, they
          ceased to be his followers and they soon left him. His doctrines
          came in contact with many things that were popular in the day and
          follies, the pride, and the selfishness of men, then, and in this
          respect they have not changed a particle. They come in contact
          to-day with the selfishness of men, with men as found in what is
          termed their natural condition, or more properly speaking, their
          fallen condition. And this is one reason for the unpopularity of
          the doctrines of Jesus. He taught mankind a higher life, the
          means of attaining to a better condition; and to require the
          assistance of the Holy Spirit which he promised to bestow upon
          those who kept his commandments to enable them to carry out in a
          proper manner the principles he imparted to them. If he had
          taught man to gratify all his inclinations; to indulge in every
          selfish desire; that self-denial and self-abnegation were not
          necessary, it is probable that he would have had many more
          followers than he did have; and his doctrines doubtless would
          have been more popular than they were. But this was not the case.
          The Savior started out teaching men at the beginning of his
          ministerial career the most pure and godlike principles,
          principles which were not understood and practised by men
          generally, which were more heavenly, which seemed to be more
          fitted for a more exalted race of beings; than for man in his
          fallen condition. Hear what he says:
          "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of
          Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
          Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
          Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness;
          for they shall be filled.
          Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
          Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
          Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the
          children of God.
          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
          And in another place in the same chapter, he says:
          "Let your communications be yea, yea: nay, nay: for whatsoever is
          more than these cometh of evil."
          And again he said; "Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite
          thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any
          man will sue thee at the law, and take away they coat, let him
          have they cloak also." These were peculiar doctrines. Who is
          there among men naturally that could practice them? Why if a man
          were struck in the cheek by another man, the natural impulse
          would be to knock him down, if he could; to return evil for evil.
          If a man sued another at the law and took his coat, would he be
          inclined to give his cloak also? No he would contend for this
          coat. And again: "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile,
          go with him twain"--go with him two miles. "Give to him that
          asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou
          away." This sort of teaching came directly in contact with man's
          fallen nature. It is the same to-day, and yet they are the
          teachings of the Son of God, they are the principles which he
          taught; their practice he required then, and he requires the same
          to-day. "But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that
          curse you, 'do good to them that hate you and pray for those
          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."
          In order then to be the children of our Father in heaven, we must
          love our enemies, we must bless them that curse us, we must do
          good to them that hate us, and pray for them who despitefully use
          and persecute us. Now mark how pointedly the Savior puts this to
          those who are listening to him: "For if ye love them which love
          you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? and
          if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do
          not even the publicans so? The wicked love one another, that is
          they at least affect to do so. It is natural for man to love
          those who love him; it requires no effort it comes easy. It
          requires no particular superiority in a man to love his friend.
          But the Savior requires more than this; the requirement is that
          he shall not only love his friends and brethren, but he shall
          love his enemies. He shall not hate his enemies he shall not hate
          them that despitefully use and persecute him, but shall pray for
          them, allowing the feeling of forgiveness to reach after them.
          This feature you will find exemplified in the Savior's entire
          life. Up to his last moments when upon the cross suffering the
          agonies of death, and although possessing all power, instead of
          using that power by way of revenge upon those who so cruelly
          treated him, he submitted himself meekly to their hands, and
          cried, "Father forgive them; for they know not what they do." He
          thus set all men an example which they should imitate.
          It is common now, it is common among newspapers, and it is common
          in our city to publish alms doing that everybody might now how
          benevolent we are; that it might be carried by the wings of
          lightning and published to the world what generous people we are.
          This city of Salt Lake does this very thing. "Take heed," says
          the Savior, "that you do not your alms before men to be seen of
          them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in
          heaven." You get your reward when you get the praise of men. His
          teaching was to do good by stealth, that it might not be known,
          and that men might not get honor from their fellow-men.
          "Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet
          before thee, as the hypocrites do that they might have the glory
          of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when
          thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what they right hand
          doeth; that thine alms might be in secret and thy Father which
          seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." The whole of
          these teachings are full of instruction, and indicate the
          character of the Savior and the nature of the Gospel which he
          Here is another saying: "Take no thought for your life, what ye
          shall eat; neither for the body what ye shall put on. The life is
          more than meat, and the body is more than raiment." This kind of
          teaching did not suit mankind, it came in contact with their
          ideas, and with their traditions, and the manner in which they
          had been taught. It was the praise of the world that they sought;
          it was to be seen of men that they worshipped, and it was to be
          seen of men that they gave alms. And they loved those that
          bestowed favors upon them, that were kind to them. They invited
          the rich to their feasts and not the poor. Jesus commanded his
          disciples to invite the poor and not the rich, as they could
          invite themselves. In fact, he taught doctrines that laid the axe
          at the root of all selfishness, and, if carried out, that would
          destroy it entirely, leaving no vestige of it in the human bosom.
          I have already read to you the great rule that the Savior taught:
          "Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to
          you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the
          prophets." Let us Latter-day Saints ask ourselves this afternoon,
          partaking as we are of the Sacrament, eating the bread and
          drinking of the cup in remembrance of the body and the blood of
          our Lord and Savior; let us ask ourselves--and I include myself
          with all of you, for I preach to myself as much as I do to any
          one of this congregation upon these points--do we remember this
          golden rule that the Savior gave? Do we endeavor, when dealing in
          any way or manner whatever with our brother or our sister, put
          ourselves in his or her position and say in our hearts, that
          which I do to my brother or to my sister, or am about to do, is
          just what I would that he should do to me? Do we think of this?
          Do we carry it out? Or do we think about ourselves, and forget
          about our brother and sister, unmindful of their interest and the
          rights and the claims which they have upon us?
          Well, now, I know, that situated as we are it is somewhat
          difficult to carry out these principles properly in their
          perfection, and that there has to be wisdom used. But
          nevertheless, here is the standard to which we are required, as
          Latter-day Saints and as disciples of Christ, to attain to. We
          must attain to it. Just as sure as we live, if we do not attain
          to it, where God and Christ are we never can come; we could not
          dwell in their presence unless we have the same spirit, the same
          feelings and inclinations, having conquered the weaknesses of our
          fallen nature sufficiently, so that the Gospel that He taught
          shall be exemplified in us as it was in him. "Not every one that
          sayeth to me "Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
          heaven;" it is not all those who will say unto him in that day,
          "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name
          have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?"
          It is not all these whom the Savior will recognize and
          acknowledge, and whom he will admit into his presence and into
          his kingdom; but it is those that do the will of his Father in
          heaven; it is those that enter into the strait gate and that walk
          in the narrow way, and that persevere unto the end, denying
          themselves and overcoming every evil inclination, and bringing
          their dispositions into complete subjection to the mind and will
          of God, bringing forth the fruits of righteousness; for every
          tree will be known by its fruits. No corrupt tree can bring forth
          good fruit; no good tree can bring forth evil fruit. No
          Latter-day Saint, that is, a true Latter-day Saint, will bring
          forth the fruits of unrighteousness or wickedness. No professed
          Latter-day Saint who is a hypocrite, who is not of God, can bring
          forth fruit that will be acceptable unto him. I know how we feel
          as a people. The general feeling in our hearts is that we have
          borne witness unto the Father and unto the Son and unto angels
          and unto all the earth, by the course of life we have taken in
          joining this Church, and in taking upon us the name that has been
          hitherto so ignominious, in taking up our cross; and because of
          our obedience to the Gospel of the Son of God there is scarcely
          doubt in our minds respecting our future condition, that we are
          almost sure to enter into the celestial kingdom of God and sit
          down with the Father and the Son, and with the Prophets and
          Apostles who have gone before. I am sensible of the fact that
          this feeling is general. And I believe there is no people of the
          same number who are entitled to this feeling, than the Latter-day
          Saints are. I say this because there is no people who have
          endured so much for their religion; and they have witnessed to
          the heavens and the earth their willingness to forsake all things
          for its sake. They have taken no thought of their lives; they
          have taken no thought in times past as to what they should eat,
          as to what they should drink, or as to what they should wear and
          they have held themselves ready to sacrifice their all for the
          Gospel of the Son of God. But there are other duties, there are
          other obligations resting upon us as a people besides these to
          which I have referred. And it is necessary we should live a Godly
          life after we have done all these things. After we have
          prophesied, after we have done many wonderful works, after we
          have received the Holy Ghost and cast out devils, it is
          essentially necessary we should do other things, and this is to
          carry out in our lives the principles of our Lord and Master. And
          upon these points we need continued instruction and reproof; we
          need continued warning least we should be overcome by the spirit
          of the world and become self-deluded by imagining that our case
          is a good one, our condition is a sure one, and that we are
          secure of eternal life. We should always remember the which the
          Apostle Paul says--"Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth
          take heed lest he fall." There are none of us in so secure a
          position but what we may do things that may displease the Father.
          It is necessary, as the world have been taught by the Elders of
          this Church from the beginning, that men should have faith in
          God; and it is as true to-day as it was anciently that faith
          without works is dead. It is necessary that men should repent of
          their sins, and it is not only necessary to repent of, but to
          forsake those sins and be baptized for the remission of them, and
          that they should receive the laying on of hands, according to the
          apostolic pattern, for the reception of the Holy Ghost, and
          without which no man can see God, nor dwell in his presence, nor
          prepare himself to dwell there. Man needs it all the time to be
          with him to assist, to guide him, acting as a monitor to him. The
          Elders of this Church have testified that these things are
          necessary and essential to salvation in the kingdom of God. It is
          just as necessary now as in ancient days that men should take a
          certain course in order to receive certain blessings, and this is
          the great cause of the disunion and the variety of opinions which
          exist in the religious world to-day. It is because men have
          departed from the truth as it was originally; it is because they
          have changed the ordinances of the Gospel and broken the
          everlasting covenant as foretold by Isaiah. And hence, when you
          travel through the world of Christendom to-day, you find every
          variety of religious belief. You can scarcely conceive of a
          doctrine that is not entertained. There is but one Christ, and
          Christ is believed in, or at least men profess to believe in him.
          But they have some three different kinds of Baptism, and I have
          heard of more. There are as many methods of approaching the
          Savior and obtaining remission of sins, almost, as there are
          sects and denominations; and all professing to be followers of
          the Lord Jesus Christ, as though the Lord were the author of
          confusion, as though the Lord were the author of strife. Hence it
          is that there is so much infidelity, so much atheism, and so many
          men that deny God; for they can see nothing admirable or
          desirable in the professions of Christianity, as it is called.
          And why so? Because men have strayed from the truth; it is
          because they have forsaken the faith and doctrine taught by the
          Savior; and having departed from it, of course they are left to
          themselves. Every reformer that has arisen has presented some new
          form of doctrine; he has enunciated some new ideas, or ideas
          which he thought were new. He promulgated some new teachings, and
          has not failed to draw some followers, according to his
          The Latter-day Saints believe that the Lord has spoken from the
          heavens. And this appears to be very objectionable. I remember
          the time in my boyhood, when it was thought the worst thing--that
          is, before the principle of plural marriage was taught. It is
          very often said now, "If you were not polygamists, and did not
          believe in polygamy, there would be no trouble. You are a pretty
          good people, you 'Mormons,' if you would only get rid of you
          peculiar institutions we could get along with you." It seems to
          be but a few years ago when we were not known generally as
          believers in plural marriage, and what was the objection to us
          then? "You 'Mormons' believe in new revelation, and we do not
          know what kind of revelation you may get: you may profess to
          receive a revelation and get a false one, and we do not know what
          may be the result; it is a dangerous doctrine." Well, it is a
          dangerous doctrine for the wicked world. But think of it. What is
          there about the doctrine of revelation--continuous revelation
          from God, that conflicts with the Gospel as taught in ancient
          days? Why, we are taught in the Bible that all flesh are equal in
          the sight of God; that he that works righteousness is acceptable
          to God in every generation among every people; that God does not
          confine his mercies and providences and blessing to one
          generation, or one people, or one nation, but that he is God over
          the whole earth; that his salvation is as boundless as eternity,
          and his hand is over all his handiwork--that is, over all his
          creations. That he was the God of Adam and those who lived
          contemporary with him; was the God of Noah and was mindful of him
          and those who lived contemporary with him who feared him and kept
          his commandments; and also of the Savior and the Apostles; and he
          is the same God to-day as he was yesterday, the same God in this
          year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and seventy-eight,
          as he was in the first year of our era; and that he has not
          changed or grown old, that his eyes have not grown dim, or his
          arm less powerful to save to-day, than it ever was. And this
          doctrine appeals to every human being as divine truth, as the
          revelation of nature to man--if you may use the word nature, if
          you do not like the word God--that all men of every generation
          are equal before God; and it is a doctrine that runs through all
          the teachings of every inspired man through all the ages. And I
          would not give a fig for a religion that did not teach it, nor a
          system that did not recognize it. It is not worthy of a place in
          a man's belief.
          We believe, then, that God has revealed himself to man again, for
          his own purpose, to accomplish his own design and to prepare a
          people for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. For we believe he
          will come that he will come to reign upon the earth and to
          establish righteousness and uproot iniquity, and carry out the
          doctrine I have read in your hearing; and establish an order of
          society that shall have for its basis eternal truth, some of the
          principles of which I have read to you. We believe he is coming
          for this purpose and to destroy all those man-made systems, and
          this inequality, and this fraud, and all wickedness that
          prevails. He will do it, better than Kearney, better than Labor
          Unions or Workingmen's Leagues. He will do it better than any
          man-made institution. In fact the whole of them will be
          overturned by him; and he will introduce a plan by which every
          man will recognize the value of his brother man, a plan by which
          the poor can rejoice and which will prevent the oppressor and the
          evil-doer and the strong hand of Wealth from controlling and
          governing the earth, as is the case to-day. And it is for this
          purpose that the Gospel has been restored; and we have commenced
          to practice some of the principles calculated to bring about this
          condition of affairs. Imperfectly we admit, very imperfectly; but
          nevertheless the principles themselves are true and are perfect,
          however imperfectly they may be believed in and carried out by
          those professing to be the followers of them, and, as I have
          said, the Lord has restored the ordinances in their ancient power
          and in their ancient purity; and the results we see before us
          to-day, to a certain extent, in this Territory. We are partially
          united; and I thank God for it; I praise him every day of my life
          that my lot is cast among this people and that I am counted
          worthy to be a member of this Church. However humble my station
          may be, I still feel that I would have abundant cause for
          thanksgiving in the fact that I am a member of this Church and
          that through membership I have a claim to the fellowship of this
          people. Imperfect as we are, I nevertheless feel thankful for the
          degree of union that we have attained to throughout these
          valleys. I am thankful for these by brethren and these my
          sisters. When I see their union and course of life and the
          disposition they manifest in the midst of the temptations which
          surround them, I feel thankful that the Gospel has been restored
          and for the power it has upon the hearts of those with whom I am
          associated. To me the spectacle is one that fills me with
          thankfulness and admiration to God, when I see these elements
          gathered to these mountains from so many different nations and
          peoples, notwithstanding our peculiarities and original
          differences of faith and of language education and training, to
          see them dwell together so peacefully as they do, loving one
          another and ever ready and willing to do good to each other; not
          to the extent probably we should do or that we are required to
          do, for in too many instances we forget ourselves and partake too
          much of the spirit of the world. But I am thankful, as I have
          said, for that which I do witness, for the union and love and
          disposition to deny ourselves and the reverence we have for God
          and sacred things and also the regard we have for his Priesthood.
          This Gospel to which I have referred, if taught and believed in
          and practiced by the inhabitant so the earth, would revolutionize
          the face of society; it would change the affairs of the earth, as
          we witness them. Instead of one man lauding it over his
          fellowman, as though he were made of better clay, as though he
          were made of porcelain, while his neighbor was made of common
          stuff, and thinking himself entitled to better board and bed and
          finer clothes, and to live in greater ease, instead of feeling
          that way, when the principles of the Gospel are practiced by us
          in their entirety, we will get rid entirely of these feelings,
          and we will seek to carry out that which he has commanded his
          servants, namely to love your neighbor as yourselves; and not to
          profess to do it; but do it. And when we trade with our neighbor,
          instead of taking advantage of him and of his ignorance and
          necessities, trade with him as we would want him to trade with us
          under similar circumstances, and mete out to him evenhanded
          justice, as we would wish him to do to us were our positions
          reversed. These are lessons required of us in the Gospel; to
          learn them and practice them, and then struggle with our
          weakness--for these are weaknesses in our nature--and they come
          in contact with the sort of doctrine, these heavenly and advanced
          principles which Jesus taught when upon the earth.
          It is an easy thing to tell a true Latter-day Saint from one who
          only professes the religion; it is an easy thing to tell a false
          Prophet from a true Prophet; it is easy to tell where a man gets
          his doctrines from, whether from beneath or from above, by the
          fruits that they bring forth. The doctrines of the Lord Jesus
          Christ bring peace; they bear testimony to every man's soul who
          practises them that they are true. And if a man want to know
          whether God lives and whether Jesus is his Son, and had a right
          to teach the doctrines accredited to him in the Bible, let him
          practice those doctrines, and he will find out for himself that
          they are true, because there will be a spirit that will bear
          testimony to him of their truthfulness. He will have the spirit
          of heaven, the spirit of peace, the spirit of love, of charity,
          of patience and forgiveness, and the spirit of joy in his heart.
          But when he believes them and comes in contact with them, there
          is another spirit takes possession of him and his joy, his peace
          and happiness take their flight.
          Why, brethren and sisters it is good for us on this the Lord's
          day to leave our business, leave our workshop, leave our counting
          houses, leave our stores and our fields and farms, our gardens
          and cattle, and the other things that engross our attentions
          during the six days of the week, and come here on the Lord's Day,
          and ponder upon his Word and on the doctrines given unto us, and
          treasure them up in our hearts, and seek them a practical
          application in our lives as fast as we can. And the more a man
          seeks to do this, the more he labors in his own individual
          interest. In one sense it makes but little difference, and will
          make but little difference to me what your fate may be. It is
          true it would add to my happiness to see and know that my friends
          were saved and exalted in the presence of our Father; but the
          great duty devolving upon you and me, is to see that we are
          individually saved. It is not for met to watch and scrutinize and
          comment upon you, having my attention directed to your
          weaknesses, and then say, "There is Brother So-and-So; how
          unworthy he is;" or "There is Sister So-and-So, look at her
          conduct, and what poor management she has in her household; and
          how she treats her household." It is not for you or me to do this
          one to another, but it is for each one of us to look at ourselves
          and examine our own hearts, look at and scrutinize our own
          conduct doing that which is right in the sight of God ourselves.
          Are we individually complying with those requirements which Jesus
          gave his apostles? If we are, it is well with us. If we are not
          it matters not how many others are doing wrong, it does not help
          my case or excuse you in the least degree. But it is for me to do
          right myself; it is for me to carry out and practise in my life
          the principles revealed, and which I know to be true; and then
          whether those on the right or those on the left do wrong, it
          makes no difference so far as my individual salvation is
          concerned. And this is practical religion. If I were to set down
          and begin to relate to some of my neighbors the faults of another
          neighbor, do you think that would add to my perfection? No, it
          would tend to make me more contemptible in the sight of God, and
          in the sight of all men more just and upright than myself.
          Therefore it is our duty to indulge in and practice
          self-examination, and self-condemnation if necessary. The man
          that looks at himself in the light of the Spirit of God, and who
          is a humble man, will not find much fault with his fellow-man;
          for the presence of his own faults arise before him continually
          when he sees another man's weaknesses, and instead of filling him
          with self-pride and self-justification and feeling
          self-righteous, it produces a feeling within him of commiseration
          for others, and the spirit of charity takes possession of him,
          and undoubtedly a prayer ascends from his heart to God in behalf
          of him who had given way to weakness desiring the Lord to deliver
          him that he might not be left to be overcome by the adversary.
          There is too much talking among us about one another. If we
          perceive a weakness in a brother or a sister, instead of talking
          about it, we should rather, pray for him or her; it would be much
          better for us. If we are so perfect that we need no help
          ourselves, let us exercise faith for those who are not in so good
          condition, and pray the Lord to help them, and they may be
          enabled to overcome.
          The Lord bless you, brethren and sisters, and help us to be that
          which we profess to be, not only to be Latter-day Saints in name,
          but in word and deed, exemplifying the principles of our religion
          in our lives; which I ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / Orson
          Hyde, November 3, 1878
                            Orson Hyde, November 3, 1878
                 Delivered at Mount Pleasant, Sanpete County, Utah,
                        on Sunday Morning, November 3, 1878,
           Said to have been the last delivered by him while living in the
          I am much gratified this morning, my brethren, sisters and
          friends, to meet with you in this Tabernacle in Mount Pleasant,
          in the capacity of a two day's meeting. From the numbers present
          before me, I am led to conclude that a deep and abiding interest
          dwells in your hearts; and you have come here to increase your
          zeal, and add intelligence to your present stock of knowledge
          pertaining to the kingdom of God.
          I hope and trust that you may not be disappointed; for it is,
          bona fide, my intention to lay open to your view, in plain,
          simple, and unmistakable language, the facts that are presented
          to my mind, for I desire all to hear and to understand,
          especially those who may not be fully conversant with the English
          The government of the United States, on paper, is an institution
          approaching as near perfection as any government ever ordained by
          man; but when its administration drifts in to the hands of
          unscrupulous and dishonest politicians, it becomes an engine of
          oppression and very unequal in its bearings. Any crack or
          deformity of the elegant mirror becomes the more conspicuous by
          contrast--so the cracks, splits, and crookedness in our general
          government become the more glaring and unwelcome in the eyes of
          the governed.
          Great effort has been made to ferret out the guilty parties and
          bring them to punishment who were engaged in the horrid Mountain
          Meadow massacre. Had this been done in the spirit of justice and
          truth, free from that animus and extreme desire to criminate the
          whole Mormon Church that effort would have been praiseworthy and
          highly commendable; but conducted as it has been thus far, it
          will go down to the shades, covering with odium the conductors of
          that campaign.
          In contrast with the foregoing, I will now refer to the horrid
          massacre at Hawn's Mill, in Missouri, wherein seventeen
          peaceable, quite, and unoffending citizens, were shot down, in
          cold blood, and their bodies thrown into an old well; and for
          what? I am at the defiance of the whole world to show that it was
          for anything, except for the crime of being "Mormons." I would
          here ask this government how much military and judicial
          investigation was had to ferret out and bring to punishment the
          perpetrators of that bloody deed, to say nothing of the wholesale
          banishment of an entire community by force of arms, and the
          sequestration of their property and inheritances? How does this
          compare with the claims of the government to justice and equal
          Again, my hearers, I will refer you to the murderous assault made
          on Joseph and Hyrum Smith, John Taylor and Willard Richards, in
          Carthage jail. These men were untried and uncondemned,
          incarcerated within the walls of a strong prison, and no danger
          of escape; yet a band of disguised men, about one hundred and
          fifty in number, assaulted the prison and slew Joseph and Hyrum
          Smith, and seriously wounded John Taylor with musket rifle balls;
          and as every man is to be held innocent until proven guilty, they
          remain innocent, because never proven guilty, nor could they be
          proven guilty, by any truthful evidence.
          It was said that some kind of legal proceedings were instituted
          in this tragic affair, yet not with a view to convict and punish,
          but with the intention to place a bar against all future
          proceedings that might be undertaken and prosecuted in good
          faith. Thus the Prophet of God and Patriarch of the Church were
          cruelly murdered, to the great grief of their numerous friends,
          and to the joy of a Christian nation.
          Popular clamour crucified the Savior, and a popular outburst of
          indignation murdered the Prophet of God and his brother, and amid
          fire and storm, cannon balls, swords and bayonets, were the
          "Mormon" people compelled to flee into the wilderness. To the
          shame, dishonor and disgrace of the nation be it spoken; and when
          they ask the cause of the whirlwinds, tornadoes and cyclones,
          that sweep through the land, they are respectfully referred to
          Haun's Mill, Carthage Jail and to the treatment generally of the
          "Mormons" in Missouri and Illinois for the true and faithful
          The Prophet Isaiah, 60th chapter, 12th verse, utters this strong
          sentiment: "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee,
          shall perish; Yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted." They
          may ask, Are we to be so humiliated as to serve the "Mormons"
          whom we have despised, persecuted and rejected? They can take the
          other horn of the dilemma if they choose, and be utterly wasted.
          Wisdom however would suggest that our enemies move slowly and
          For one, I have no objection to any and all federal officers
          coming here to execute the laws, impartially in the spirit of
          justice and truth. I say, they have my cordial good will to do
          so. But when they come full of wrath, with a determination to
          immortalize their names by squelching out "Mormonism," pandering
          to the prejudices of an ungodly age, I can not find language
          sufficiently strong to express my disapproval and contempt for
          their administration--wresting laws from the known intention of
          the Legislature, and applying them by certain technical twists,
          to take the advantage of a people who labor day and night to
          conform to the revelations of God.
          Polygamy is a subject that greatly agitates the public mind at
          the present day. Some men in their depraved zeal to pry into
          every secret of polygamy with a view to expose it, know no limit
          in their efforts to accomplish their hellish purpose. The Supreme
          Ruler above has not yet relinquished all his rights, nor indeed
          any of them, on our little planet to the sons of earth, though
          they hold a very precarious dominion by sufferance, "until he who
          letteth will let, 'til he be taken out of the way." Pestilence
          and famine, earthquake and wars, whirlwinds and cyclones, fires
          and floods, besides accidents innumerable are being called into
          requisition to remove all obstacles; "for the nation and kingdom
          that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall
          be utterly wasted." The day of spiritualizing and daubing with
          untempered mortar has gone by. It is stubborn, self-evident facts
          that we have set forth in a light that all may understand.
          Polygamy is a principle revealed from heaven with a commandment
          to enter into it practically. The principle is abundantly
          corroborated in the ancient scriptures, approved of God and
          sanctioned by all righteous men; and he who labors to overthrow
          this principle, fights against Jehovah and makes himself a
          shining target, courting the arrows of the Almighty upon his
          head, heart and country. Would to God, that I could,
          conscientiously, make an exception here of our wise and learned
          judges, attorneys, juries and marshals; but conscience forbids
          it. The same consequences will follow against the fighting
          against any commandment that God has given, or that he may give.
          The consequences of the judicial war waged against the late
          Brigham Young are not yet cancelled; but the hand of the
          destroyer has already begun his work, though in a comparatively
          mild and gentle form. Churches of various denominations, that
          have always been barred against our preachers, are being opened
          by the hand of Providence, as the cyclone that recently passed
          through Pennsylvania may be considered as a slight reminder; nor
          has Missouri altogether escaped. We are now living in the days of
          a "marvelous work and a wonder." Our enemies are about to be
          checked up in their career of burning strange fire upon the altar
          of God.
          The Elders of this Church, my brethren and sisters, have
          faithfully labored during the last half century in almost every
          nation on the globe, to warn the inhabitants of their duty and to
          tell them the consequences of their not complying with it. It is
          true, that by the help of the lord, we made many converts, yet
          few in comparison to the numbers who rejected our message. We
          can, therefore, with propriety say, we are unprofitable servants;
          yet the Lord wishes to test our fidelity, our fortitude and our
          patience, knowing that the world would not be converted by the
          preaching of the Gospel, hence his design was to "send forth
          judgment unto victory;" and when the judgments of God wax hot in
          the land, many people will say, "Come, let us go up to the
          mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob," and so
          they will "come like clouds and like doves to their windows," and
          Zion's gates be ever open, and Zion will not always be oppressed
          for their kings will yet "become our nursing fathers and their
          queens our nursing mothers."
          We shall not always, my hearers, be under the necessity of
          reasoning with the sceptical and technical unbeliever, to
          persuade him to be saved; for a power will be manifested in the
          land more potent than man's reasoning.
          I wish to ask you, my brethren and sisters, two important
          1st.--Why our unprecedently liberal harvest of grain this year?
               2nd.--Why does the spirit of the Lord rest down upon our
          Elders, directing them to explore the eastern, south-eastern and
          southern countries with the view of finding suitable places for
          new locations and settlements?
          Ans. to first question--That we may be prepared to lay up a
          surplus against coming troubles.
          Ans. to second--to open the way to receive the multitudes
          flocking to Zion, having heard that God is with us, and desiring
          to escape the scourges by enlisting under the aegis of the
          "Mormon" protection; and shall we escape the scourges of the
          Almighty if we foolishly part with the surplus gifts that heaven
          has granted us in trust for other purposes, and that too, before
          the time? If the people of Utah will listen to wise counsels,
          there will be no famine here arising from the refusal of the soil
          to yield her fruits; but there may be danger of famine by the
          rapid increase of population from abroad, especially if the
          stores provided by the hand of Providence be foolishly parted
          with before they may be needed to meet this exigency. A word of
          caution to the wise virgins is sufficient; but bray a fool in a
          mortar, and he is a fool still. Under the profession of great
          piety and deep solicitude for the redemption of our children from
          the influence of "Mormonism," many alleged charitable enterprises
          have been put on foot in the shape of opposition schools, to
          decoy them into their traps. They ensnare some of the children of
          our apostates, and some apostates who claim that they find better
          schools, and better teachers under the supervision of sectarian
          priests, than they do amongst the "Mormons." This claim is made
          through a disposition to depreciate "Mormon" institutions and to
          elevate sectarianism. We have just as good institutions of
          learning and as competent teachers as any of our neighbors; but
          even allowing the children of this world to be wiser in their
          generation than the children of light, it is no reason that I
          should adopt them as my instructors. I now write a clumsy,
          illegible hand. Many men can write my name and with much more
          style and elegance than I possibly can do; yet, if they should
          attach my name to a bond or promissory note for any amount, it
          would not be my signature and could create no binding obligation
          upon me; but the learned and accomplished gentleman who attached
          my name to the instrument might be proven guilty of forgery and
          subject himself to punishment. Jesus says: "Every plant which my
          heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up."
          There is another important feature, my friends, connected with
          this subject that I cannot allow myself to omit. In the great
          rush of people to the Saints in the last days, all sorts, sizes,
          and of both sexes, will rush in upon us to escape the wrath of
          the elements, which will render a time of purification and
          cleansing, actually necessary. The chaff must be blown away, and
          they who laid us waste must go forth from us. The wicked and the
          ungodly must be far away. Now, what agencies must be employed to
          accomplish this important part of the programme. It is out of my
          power to inform you as to what means may be called in to
          requisition to effect this object. We know, however, that wind
          has something to do with the scattering of chaff. The departure
          of the ungodly from amongst the Saints may be voluntary in many
          cases. I have been informed by those who claim to know, that a
          certain lady in this Territory built up a large fire in the room
          where she lived, fancied that that fire was the most desirable
          and lovely place in all the world, and plastered herself with tar
          from head to foot, laid herself down on the fire, and literally
          roasted herself to a chip.
          She was said to be an aged lady, and I presume that God can make
          even hell itself or any intermediate bad place look as inviting
          to a wicked person as a bit of cheese in a trap to a hungry mouse
          outside, but the majority of the departures will be involuntary.
          But suffice it to say that something will occur, in a
          providential way, that will cause sinners in Zion to tremble, and
          fearfulness to surprise the hypocrite. It will, probably, be
          something that will appear terrible to the unrighteous, and will
          be all the nerves of the righteous can endure.
          In conclusion, I will here say to you my brethren and sisters and
          to the Saints generally: Set your houses in order and know that a
          right spirit has dominion over you and things and dwellings and
          over all things under your jurisdiction. Let the blood of the
          covenant be freely sprinkled on your door posts and lintels--a
          deep rooted union exist in your hearts and practiced in your
          lives--devote yourselves to earnest prayer in secret and in your
          families and allow not the cries of the poor to reach the ears of
          Jehovah against you. Omit not the duty of patronizing every
          institution or learning among the Saints, whether day or evening
          schools, or Sunday schools. Defeat not the designs of the
          Almighty by fooling away the fruits of the earth, knowing that we
          are placed here, not to do our own will, but the will of him by
          whose goodness we live; and we should be willing to be used in
          doing good, building temples, places of education and in learning
          to manufacture what we need.
          Notwithstanding all the alleged improprieties of the Saints, and
          charges brought against us--the errors and wrong-doings of any of
          its members--the entire Church is a revelation from the eternal
          God to the world at large, and is their standard reared in the
          mountains and he who fights against it or against any of its
          acknowledged members, fights against his Maker and toucheth the
          apple of his own eye. Now, my brethren and sisters I bless you,
          in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, December 8, 1878
                            John Taylor, December 8, 1878
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                  Delivered at Ogden, on Sunday, December 8, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I am pleased to have the opportunity to meet with the Saints
          here; and I have been quite interested in the remarks you have
          heard this morning from Bro. Joseph F. Smith. There are a great
          many principles associated with the Gospel of the Son of God; and
          Bro. Joseph has presented some things that are quite interesting
          and then there may be a few things said on the other side of the
          question that are equally true. Those doctrines he has taught are
          true; they are in accordance with the spirit of Gospel. We ought
          always to live with reference to eternity, feeling full of
          kindness, benevolence, charity and long suffering to all,
          respecting always the motives and circumstances of others. Then
          on the other hand while we do that, it is not right for others to
          take advantage of that benevolence because a man is a good man
          and an honorable man, a man that fears God and who is lenient,
          kind, merciful and forgiving, it is not right for others to take
          advantage of such goodness and praiseworthy actions; there are
          two sides to all these matters, the question of debtor and
          creditor is not all on one side. I will mention a thing here
          which has been alluded to before, and which will serve to make
          plain my meaning, I refer to the operations of the Perpetual
          Emigrating Fund. There has been a very large amount expended for
          the gathering of the poor Saints to this country. Have any been
          pressed by that Fund for the payment of what they owe it. No. Yet
          there are many of you who have gone with your teams--if you have
          not gone, you have sent them--to assist these people. What for?
          Because you felt it in your heart to do it, and because you were
          called upon to do it, and because your were doing it in obedience
          to a command of God. You not only furnished teams, but you
          furnished provisions for the emigrating Saints. Now they, on the
          other hand, covenanted and gave their notes for the payment of
          this indebtedness, which if paid according to promise, would have
          been used to emigrate other Saints similarly situated. Was it
          right for you to bring them here and to supply them with food,
          etc.? Yes. It is right of us to engage in such enterprises? Yes,
          because the Gospel requires it at our hands, and the love of God
          and the love of our brethren. This was done in good faith. Should
          not this be met? There are a million of dollars due to-day on
          this account. Is it right that it should be so? No. Have these
          debtors been pressed, or has anybody seized them by the throat,
          saying, pay me what thou owest? Not that I am aware of. Have they
          been dragged before courts of justice? No. But still the debt
          remains unpaid; and there is a question that arises in my mind.
          Will it remain there, until it removes itself or not? This is a
          little on the other side of the question, and this is not a small
          thing either, and it is something we are all familiar with. If
          this matter has not been pressed, it makes the obligation none
          the less sacred. We are told to pay our debts, to meet our
          obligations, to deal justly and righteously one with another. And
          I wish we had no debts to pay; I wish we could so live as to keep
          out of debt and meet our obligations day by day. But then we do
          not do this; if we did we should be much better and more
          pleasantly situated and feel more comfortable in our feelings and
          dispositions. And if people do not do these things, what then?
          There is a way appointed by the Lord, and that is to adjust them
          before the bishops' courts. We as Latter-day Saints ought to be
          governed by the laws of the church and not by the laws of the
          land, until the law of God is complied with. How far would you
          take them? Just as far as the law of God prescribes. If a man sin
          against another is it good and charitable and kind to forgive
          him? Yes. Now, I will speak of myself. I never sued a man either
          before our own courts or any other courts. Why? Because I never
          thought the thing worth enough; I never thought money and
          property worth enough to go to law about. I think so yet, I think
          it rather too small an affair to break up those fraternal
          relations that should exist between brother and brother. Then do
          you believe in owing people and not paying them? No, I do not. I
          believe in meeting engagements honorably and honestly before God.
          But will men be blessed for being forgiving? Well, I think so.
          And I think that, as Latter-day Saints, we will have a good
          chance of obtaining quite a blessing on account of our
          forbearance in relation to those having obligations before
          referred to; for there is, as I have said, a million of dollars
          owing among the people, and I do not think they have been pressed
          to pay it. But I wish people would do nearly right. I wish they
          would act honorably and uprightly and consistently and properly,
          and all meet their obligations and pursue an upright course. But
          there is again another question to be adjusted in this matter. It
          is not the value of the money alone nor how it will affect me;
          but how are others affected by it? A perpetual fund was
          established, which fund contemplated a continual help, a
          continual return of the money loaned and perpetual fund kept
          always on hand, for the assistance of those requiring aid. This
          fund was not designed as a gift, but as a loan; but now it
          happens that this fund is crippled, because men have not returned
          their loans. It is not therefore a matter as between ourselves,
          but one that affects hundreds that are very much worse off than
          those who owe these debts. The cry is continually coming to our
          ears for help. The poverty, distress, and trouble in Europe are
          on the increase, and we have continually to hear the wails of the
          poor; they look to us for help, but those debtors have got their
          means and are using it. There is another cry; it is not those
          debtors being oppressed by us; but the ungathered poor being
          defrauded by those who have borrowed money and do not return it.
          It may become quite a question as to how far we are justified in
          permitting those who have been assisted, by this public fund by
          withholding what they justly owe, to block the wheels of the
          institution and deprive others, who may be more meritorious than
          themselves, of obtaining that relief which is justly their due.
          But do you believe in being grasping? No. Do you believe in
          covetousness? No, I do not. I think that as Latter-day Saints we
          ought to have our minds fixed on something else--something more
          elevating, more exalting, more honorable, and more in accordance
          with the position we occupy and the principles we profess to
          believe in.
          As this subject has been broached, I wish now to speak a little
          in regard to our manner of doing business. We are mixed up a good
          deal at present--you, here in Ogden, are especially, and we in
          Salt Lake are too--with Gentile institutions, and their practice
          is strictly upon the ground referred to by brother Joseph, "an
          eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, pay me that thou owest,"
          etc., which in one sense is all very correct; but there is a
          better way to settle difficulties, which is by mixing up with it
          a little charity and benevolence, and then it does very well. But
          when we talk about "popping men through" the courts who do not do
          thus and so, as has been referred to, I tell you what you should
          do, whenever a man would attempt to "pop" you through the courts
          of the law of the land, you should "pop" him through the courts
          of our Church; you should bring him up for violating the laws of
          the Church, for going to law before the ungodly, instead of using
          the means that God has appointed. We think, as Latter-day Saints,
          that the laws of God are a little in advance of the laws of the
          land; and, in fact, it is not an unfrequent thing for men not
          belonging to our Church to express themselves desirous to bring
          their cases for trial before our High Council, believing they
          could get better justice than they could before the courts of the
          world; I believe it with all my heart. Latter-day Saints, we
          ought to be controled by correct principles; and if anybody is
          sinned against, we have our remedy. If the brother that Brother
          Joseph F. Smith has referred to, instead of cherishing and
          harboring those unpleasant feelings, had gone to his brother who
          had given him offence, and told him that his feelings were hurt
          at some word he has spoken, and he thought he would come and talk
          the matter squarely to him, that little affair would have been
          settled, and good feelings, would have existed between them. But
          then, supposing after being so waited on, your brother would not
          hear you, it would then be proper to wait on him again, taking
          with you another brother; and if he still persisted to manifest
          hard feelings, it would then be proper to report him to the
          Church, and let the matter be brought to the notice of the
          Teachers or the Priests, as the case might be. If he refuse to
          hearken to their counsel, let a charge be preferred against him
          to his Bishop who, with his counselors, should hear and decide
          the case according to the evidence, with all long-suffering and
          humility and justice and prayer before God, to guide him in his
          decision. And when they operate together in this way, such things
          will be disposed of aright. And if either party should be
          dissatisfied with the decision, an appeal could be taken to a
          higher court--the High Council. And when that body of men sit
          upon the case and render their decision in the matter, and if the
          brother refuse to hear them, what then? He is cut off the Church.
          "But (a man may say) it is a matter of dollars and cents, and if
          a man owe me $5,000, I cannot afford to lose it, and what
          recourse have I?" Bring him up before the Church, and if he will
          not listen to the counsel of the Church authorities, let him be
          dealt with by this council. And what will be the result? He will
          be severed from the Church. "And am I to lose my money?" No, not
          necessarily so; he is outside of the Church, and now you can "pop
          him through" by the law, if that be the term you use. And this is
          why we take such pain in electing our representatives to our
          legislature. We try to select good men in order, that we may have
          good laws enacted, and then we try to get good Probate Judges.
          Brother Richards here is a Probate Judge, and is he a good man? I
          think he is. Is he an Apostle? Yes. Well, would it be right to
          take your case to him as a Probate Judge? No; if you were to, we
          would deal with you for your fellowship. You say, "That's a
          curious doctrine." You have agreed to be governed by the laws of
          the Church, and I mention this to show you what would be right in
          regard to principles of that kind. And if after summonsing the
          parties referred to before the Bishop's Court, and from there the
          case be carried before the High Council, and then we would not do
          right, the consequence would be that he would be cut off from the
          Church, and then you would be at liberty to summon him before
          Brother Richards, as a Judge of Probate. But there possibly might
          be an appeal from the High Council, and Brother Richards, in a
          Church capacity, might be one to consider the case, then that
          would be all right.
          I speak of these things to show what our duties are, and the
          position we occupy. Do you remember what the Apostle Paul said
          when talking to some of the former-day Saints on this subject?
          The people to whom he addressed himself were doubtless like some
          of our easy-going brethren, who are always in trouble a good
          deal, and are always wanting to "pop 'em through." Says he, in
          the 6th chapter of Corinthians, "Dare any of you, having a matter
          against a brother, go to law before the unjust? Do you not know
          that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be
          judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
          Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that
          pertain to this life? I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there
          is not a wise man among you? No, not one that shall be able to
          judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with
          brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now, therefore, there
          is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with
          another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather
          suffer yourselves to be defrauded?" etc., and is it not said too,
          in speaking of the Twelve, that they shall sit upon twelve
          thrones, and shall judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel? And does
          not the Church to-day possess the same officers as it did
          anciently, and are they not set apart by the revelation of God,
          and ordained by the holy Priesthood to occupy this position? Are
          these men not competent to judge of the comparatively trivial
          things associated with this life? and yet you will take your
          brother before ungodly men to be judged of them. I tell you the
          hand of God will follow you if you do it. And we do not want any
          such thing done by any calling themselves Latter-day Saints; and
          Israel cannot do such things with the approbation of God, or the
          councils of his Church. And I will give you fair warning, and I
          call upon Brother Peery here, who is President of this Stake, to
          carry it out, that when he finds any Latter-day Saint under his
          jurisdiction going to law with his brother before the ungodly, to
          bring him up and deal with him for his fellowship. This is a
          correct principle before God; and as Saints of God we should be
          governed by his laws, and not by the laws of the world. But these
          laws are made and provided for our protection, and when it is
          proper and right we can make use of them in common with other
          citizens. But we have laws among ourselves, and all honorable men
          among us will submit to the decisions of our Church authorities,
          and those who are not honorable we do not want, and we will cut
          them off.
          I attended your monthly priesthood meeting yesterday. I find
          there has been a little feeling about the districting of your
          city, which ought not to exist. We sometimes get a little zealous
          in those local matter, each has his own ideas, and is desirous of
          carrying them out. I do not know that I have any idea of my own
          about these matters. I am desirous to ascertain the will of God,
          and if I know that, I want to do it regardless of my opinion,
          that does not amount to much. But if we can know the will of God
          and understand the principles of life, and then abide by them,
          all will be well. And as to what imaginary line or district you
          live in, I do not think it makes much difference. We want a
          little of this good feeling of brotherhood about which Brother
          Joseph has been speaking so pleasantly. Jesus says: "Blessed are
          the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they
          which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be
          filled. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
          That is of more value a great deal than dollars and cents, if you
          could but understand it. It is worth ten thousand million times
          more, for they perish with their using. You brought nothing into
          the world; you can take nothing out. By and by, and a little
          space of ground six feet by two is all you will want, and your
          money and your property you will leave for others to handle.
          "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness,
          for they shall be filled." Blessed are whom? The liar, the
          hypocrite, the thief, the rogue, the debauchee? No; but "Blessed
          are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Let us hunt after
          these things, and seek to possess more of these principles which
          were taught and inculcated by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
          We have introduced among us the kingdom of God. What is meant by
          it? The law, the rule, the government of God. Now, the Lord has
          laid down a perfect law in relation to our temporal affairs and
          we would not see so much squabling among us if we could carry it
          out. I refer to what we call the United Order. But we cannot bear
          it, it seems to much for us, as much as we talk and boast of our
          intelligence we cannot come to some of these little principles of
          the Gospel. Some of us can manage to pay our tithing, and some of
          us cannot. And then some of us can believe a little in
          co-operation, and we think that it is a terrible stride; to me
          that is one of the least things that God ever instituted among
          men and I sometimes think if we cannot do that we had better
          quit. Talk about being Gods and organizing worlds; why if we fail
          in such a comparatively small undertaking, I do not think we have
          faith enough to drag a sitting hen from her nest. If we cannot be
          united in some of these little things, how can we in greater
          things? We were talking about the principle of co-operation in
          our priesthood meeting; and I thought I would refer to it here.
          And we are getting up County or rather Stake organizations
          throughout Zion. And we want in all of our temporal affairs to
          deal justly one with another. We want to sustain co-operation,
          and then we want co-operation to sustain us. It is not all on one
          side; there are two sides. If we sustain co-operation, we will
          call upon co-operation to sustain us, and all the settlements
          throughout the Territory will be represented, just the same as
          the Saints to-day are represented in the Church through the
          President of Stakes, and we will try to do right ourselves, and
          then we will try and see that they do right. We will sustain them
          with good, honest efforts, and we want square up and down
          operations on both sides, carrying out the principles of
          co-operation honestly and truthfully before God and men. That is
          what we expect and we expect it from your President, his
          counselors and also from the Bishops and from all the people. And
          if you cannot do this never talk about making worlds.
          The world is opposed to us. They say they are not. Well, would
          you injure them? No; I would not hurt a hair of their heads or
          deprive them of any right they enjoy, either religious or
          political. We want to treat all men kindly and with due respect;
          but we do not want to be governed by their religious views, nor
          put our children under their teachings. We want to look after the
          education of our children and see that they are placed under
          proper teachers and receive proper training, and not be placed in
          the hands of the enemies of the Church and kingdom of God.
          Now brethren if we are Latter-day Saints, let us be consistent
          with our belief and profession. I profess to be a Latter-day
          Saint, and I believe in the doctrines that the Lord has revealed
          to us with all my heart; and I do not care who knows it. Now I am
          told in the revelations to bring up my children in the fear of
          God. I believe that this kingdom which the Lord has set up will
          grow and increase until the kingdoms of this world will become
          the kingdoms of our God and his Christ. And this you believe as
          well as I do. We believe in celestial glory; and we believe in
          terrestrial and telestial glory; or in other words, we believe
          there will be a separation finally of the good from the bad. Now
          we are engaged gathering together, or separating ourselves from
          the world and building our temples and administering in them for
          the living and the dead, and we spend millions of dollars in the
          accomplishment of this object, that we may become united and
          linked together by eternal covenants that shall exist in all time
          and through out eternity. And then, when we have done all this go
          and deliberately turn our children over to whom? To men who do
          not believe the Gospel, to men who, according to your faith, are
          never going to the celestial kingdom of God. They will get as big
          a glory as they are prepared for, but they are not going there.
          And you will turn your children over to them. And you call
          yourselves Latter-day Saints, do you? I will suppose a case. You
          expect to be saved in the celestial kingdom of God. Well,
          supposing your expectations are realized, which I sometimes
          doubt, and you look down, down somewhere in a terrestrial or
          telestial kingdom, as the case may be, and you there see your
          children, the offspring that God had given you to train up in his
          fear, to honor him and keep his commandments, and perceive that
          between you and them there is a great gulf, as represented by the
          Savior in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. And supposing
          they could converse with you--which, however, they could not
          do--but if such were the case, what would be their feelings
          towards you? It would be, Father, mother, and you are to blame
          for this. I would have been with you if you had not tampered with
          the principles of life and salvation in permitting me to be
          decoyed away by false teachers, who taught incorrect principles.
          And this is the result of it. But then I very much question men
          and women's getting into the celestial kingdom of God who have no
          more knowledge about the principles of life and salvation than to
          go and tamper with the sacred offspring, the principle of life
          which God intrusted to your care, to thus shuffle it off to
          imbibe the spirit of unbelief, which leads to destruction and
          death. I very much doubt in my mind the capability of such people
          getting there. We had better look after ourselves a little. God
          has given us light and he expects us to be governed by it. In
          speaking of Abraham he says, "I know him." What do you know of
          him? That he will fear me. What else? "That he will command his
          children after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord. To
          do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham
          that which he hath spoken of him."
          Well, the time is passing, but before closing, I wish to say a
          word or two in regard to this co-operation in temporal things.
          They are very little things but they form a kind of stepping
          stone towards other and more important events. A closer union
          which we shall expect to inaugurate by-and-bye, but which we are
          not prepared to yet. But for the time being it is expected that
          as honorable men and women, we will honestly and truly carry out
          our covenants in regard to these little temporal things; and let
          us be one, for the Lord has plainly told us, if ye are not one,
          ye are not mine. If ye are not mine, whose are ye? You can figure
          that up just as you please. These are the facts in relation to
          this matter, we are desirous to bring about these things. What
          for? For the sake of making money? No. Money is of little
          importance where truth is concerned. I would not care if all the
          money was out of existence, but I do care about the principles,
          and the laws of God, about men being what they profess to be, and
          not hypocrites, be-lying their profession. We expect to see these
          things carried out in honesty and truth, because it is the order
          which God has introduced as a stepping-stone to something in the
          future. We build temples and administer in them. How? Precisely
          according to the revelations which God has given to us; but when
          it comes to our temporal affairs, we would ride over and almost
          totally ignore the laws which he has given to us to govern them.
          Jesus says, "In vain you say to me Lord, Lord, and do not the
          things which I say." And I say, In vain you will say, Lord, Lord,
          if you cannot attend to these little things; and those who will
          not, God will shake out from among his people. Now hear it, ye
          Latter-day Saints! and be not deceived: God is not mocked; for
          whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that
          soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he
          that soweth to the spirit, shall of the spirit reap life
          everlasting." We should be governed by correct principles in the
          fear of God; and should righteously, uprightly, and virtuously
          preserve our bodies and spirits pure and keep all the laws of God
          and seek to comprehend his will in regard to all things, and feel
          that we are here to build up the kingdom of God and not
          ourselves, to establish the principles of righteousness and of
          truth and the laws of heaven, and not our ideas and theories; for
          through the ordinances of God and through obedience to his laws
          come the blessings of God to Israel in time and through all
          God bless you and lead you in the paths of life, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, January 6, 1879
                            John Taylor, January 6, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR.
           Delivered at the Quarterly Conference of the Salt Lake Stake of
            in the Salt Lake Theatre, Sunday Afternoon, January 6, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I have been interested in listening to the remarks that have been
          made by the brethren who have addressed us during this
          Conference: and I propose myself to offer a few reflections that
          have passed through my mind while listening to the teaching and
          instruction that has been presented.
          There is a feeling prevailing more or less among all the branches
          of the human family, that the nation or people to which they
          belong is superior in many respects to others, either in
          government, in morals, in science, in manufactures, in the arts
          or in religion, as the case may be, and the Latter-day Saints are
          not without this sentiment. We feel that God has blessed us more
          abundantly with wisdom and knowledge regarding himself, his ways,
          his laws and in relation to eternal things, through our obedience
          to his will than he has others, and that we are moving in a
          higher plane than the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam.
          Admitting this to be correct, there is nothing whereof we as
          individuals or as a people ought to boast. If we have received
          any intelligence or knowledge pertaining either to the present or
          the future, it has been solely through the communications that
          God has been pleased to make known to us. For naturally we are
          very like other men--not much taller, not much shorter, not much
          more intelligent, not much more ignorant, than they are. There is
          not so great a diversity among peoples as some imagine, other
          things being equal; it may be well for us to reflect a little on
          the position we occupy in relation to others, in relation to our
          God, in relation to the world in which we live and the peoples by
          which we are surrounded; to reflect upon the past, the present,
          and the future; and to comprehend, if possible, our true status
          before the Almighty and before all men.
          It is indeed true that God has conferred upon us many great and
          peculiar blessings for which we are indebted to him; but at the
          same the Lord feels interested in the welfare of all men, and all
          peoples of all nations, of all creeds and all religions--not in
          their religions as religions, but in the people who profess to
          believe in them; and he is acquainted with the peculiar ideas,
          habits, dispositions and feelings of men everywhere. One of the
          old apostles in speaking upon these things says, "God hath made
          of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of
          the earth; and hath determined the times before appointed and the
          bounds of their habitations; that they should seek the Lord if
          haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not
          far from every one of us." It is further said, "that we are all
          his offspring," and again "that he is the God and the Father of
          the spirits of all flesh;" and consequently he is interested in
          the welfare of all the human family, everywhere--among all
          peoples, all nations, all kindreds and all tongues.
          Now if this be the case, which we have no reason to doubt--then
          he is interested in all the human family, and will try to promote
          their welfare and happiness so far as he is capable of doing,
          according to certain laws by which he himself is governed, as
          well as all things in creation, and the learning we have heard so
          much about is simply a knowledge of some principles associated
          with those laws which are generally denominated the laws of
          nature. In relation to the nations or peoples the Lord will do as
          well by them as they will let him, and as far as the laws by
          which he is governed will permit, just the same as we would
          towards our children. We fathers and mothers, have children; they
          do not always do as we would like to have them do; but we wish to
          look over their frailties and imperfections as much as possible;
          but when it comes to certain points, then both father and mother
          have to stop. If our children violate the laws of the land, they
          have to be judged by those laws and we can not prevent it,
          neither should we try to. Still our feelings are drawn out
          towards our families, and it is right and natural they should be,
          for these paternal feelings are planted in the human breast by
          the Almighty. It is therefore proper that we should have
          affection and to manifest kindness, forbearance and long
          suffering towards all our children and all those with whom we are
          associated. God has this kind of feeling towards his children;
          and it is a portion of the spirit that emanates from him that
          prompts this affection and regard for our offspring.
          These things are connected also with other matters. We try to
          look after the welfare of our children; we try--that is, those
          who are not utterly depraved--to lead them in the right paths,
          and to influence their minds and their morals and to teach them
          correctly both in relation to religion, education and morals, as
          well as secular matters, in order that they may become
          intelligent men and women, capable of sustaining themselves, that
          they may improve the talents God has given them, and that they
          may be able to comprehend some few of the laws, at least, by
          which the creations, the worlds are governed and the principles
          by which we are surrounded in this world, as also a knowledge of
          the laws of life. This is all very proper; and it is also proper
          that men should cultivate pleasant relations and have a good kind
          feeling towards others. One of the greatest evils alluded to in
          holy writ that, it is said, would develop itself in the last days
          is thus delineated: "in the last days perilous times shall come.
          For men shall be lovers of their own selves" instead of having
          that kind, brotherly, affectionate feeling towards others, they
          shall be "lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,
          blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without
          natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent,
          fierce, despisers of those who are good, traitors, heady,
          high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a
          form of godliness but denying the power thereof." This is spoken
          of as being one of the greatest evils that could exist among men.
          As I before stated, we have a regard for our children, and God
          has also a regard for us. We wish to train our children in the
          way we wish them to go; other people wish to do the same. Talk
          about the Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists and
          other denominations, no matter what their ideas or feelings may
          be, no matter how inconsistent and foolish we may regard their
          manner of worship, yet many of them are quite sincere in trying
          to benefit their children. And God is sincere in trying to
          promote their happiness and welfare as well as he is ours, both
          in regard to this world and the world to come. And hence he will
          do the best he possibly can with all peoples. But as I stated
          before, being governed by law, he can only treat them "according
          to the deeds done in the body, whether those deeds be good or
          evil." And when that judgment takes place all men will have to
          abide its award; there is no appeal from it. No court to which
          they can have access whereby they can change the decree of the
          Almighty. The Lord knows this and he has prepared certain
          classes, so to speak, in his school here upon the earth for his
          people and for all the world. And he has provided a means of
          instruction for the inhabitants of the earth, looking upon them
          as eternal, immortal beings, having to do with time and eternity.
          But all things, as I remarked, are under the influence, control
          and government of law, just as much as the planetary system with
          which we are connected is governed by law. It makes no difference
          what a few of us may do, or how the world may act, the sun rises
          and sets regularly, the earth revolves upon its axis, and so it
          is with all the planetary systems; there is no confusion, no
          disorder in any of the movements of the heavenly bodies. They are
          governed by a science and intelligence that is beyond the reach
          of men in mortality; yet they move strictly according to certain
          laws by which all of them have been, are and will be governed.
          And these laws are under the surveillance and control of the
          great law-giver, who manages, controls and directs all these
          worlds. If it were not the case they would move through space in
          wild confusion, and system would rush against system, and worlds
          upon worlds would be destroyed, together with their inhabitants.
          But they are governed by a superhuman power, by a spirit and
          intelligence that dwells in the bosom of the Gods, about which
          mankind knows but very little. It is so with regard to all the
          forces of nature--the earth on which we stand, the elements of
          which it is composed, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and
          everything in nature is governed strictly according to immutable,
          eternal, unchangeable laws, practical, philosophical, and
          strictly scientific, if these terms are preferred; but they are,
          nevertheless, placed there by the Almighty.
          Now, in regard to the world, and the position we occupy in it.
          There is something peculiar about the relationship we sustain to
          the world of mankind with which we are surrounded. It is not
          proper for us to be censorious, to upbraid people for things that
          they do not comprehend and that are beyond their ken; we should
          be courteous and charitable to all, and not find fault with men
          because they do not comprehend things as we understand them. But
          try to understand our true position and the relationship we
          sustain to our heavenly Father, to his laws, to the peoples with
          whom we associate, and to the world in which we live.
          We read of many prominent men who have existed in the world in
          various ages. For instance, there was Adam, Seth, Enoch,
          Methusaleh, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the Prophets, Jesus and his
          disciples, the people who came to this continent, Ether, and the
          brother of Jared, Lehi and Nephi, Alma, Moroni, and many other
          prominent individuals who held intercourse with the Almighty, who
          were placed by the Lord in a position whereby they could receive
          communications from him, could learn his will and teach it to
          others. We look upon these men as great men, and justly too, as
          wise men, as intelligent and philanthrophic men; as men who were
          interested not only in their welfare, but in the welfare of the
          peoples by whom they were surrounded and the world in which they
          lived. These men did not come as the censors of the world; they
          did not come to aggrandize themselves, to build themselves up,
          nor to control or coerce others. What was the great blessing
          conferred upon Abraham? "In thee shall all the families of the
          earth be blessed;" not cursed, not destroyed, not annihilated;
          but as a messenger of God as the elect of heaven, as a man whom
          he had chosen to accomplish his work, and whom he would use
          through those principles that existed in eternity to pour
          blessings upon fallen humanity. That was the feeling which was
          manifested, as I understand it. It is true that Abraham, when a
          parcel of thieves came along in the shape of a confederation of
          kings, and took away his nephew and others, and despoiled them of
          their goods, that he gathered together his household, pursued
          them and smote many of them, and delivered those they designed to
          oppress and brought the captives back again to their own places.
          And when he had done it, what then? Why, said they, Abraham you
          have done a good deed, you have delivered us and brought back
          this spoil, take what you please. But he told them that he did
          not want any of it: "You were injured, robbed and despoiled, and
          carried captive: these men came upon you and fraudulently
          despoiled you of your goods; and here is my nephew, Lot, who is
          an honorable man and one in whom I am particularly interested,
          and I was only doing for you what one man ought to do for
          another; I will take none of the spoils. Here are these young men
          who were with me, you may give them what you like, but you shall
          not have cause to say that you made Abraham rich."
          Prominent men who were the descendants of Abraham acted in the
          same way; true benevolence makes all cosmopolitans. It has been
          the feeling, the design of all good men to benefit their
          fellow-men; and even the philosophy of the heathen has advocated
          this to a certain extent. What was the message of Moses when he
          was sent as a deliverer to the children of Israel, whom the
          ungodly Egyptians had oppressed and made slaves of? He, as the
          sent of God, delivered a message, Thus saith the Lord, let my
          people Israel go. A message of mercy to Israel, and not even
          injurious to the Egyptians, unless opposed by them. Did he
          deliver them by any inherent wisdom or intelligence in him? No,
          but by the power of the Almighty, by the revelations of God and
          by the intelligence that God gave to him. His labor was
          especially a message to deliver Israel from bondage and unjust
          oppression. He brought them out, and God worked with him. And
          when their enemies pursued them, he protected them; he opened the
          sea and made the waves stand up while they passed over dry shod.
          Some of these philosophical people--I do not call them
          scientists, but ignoramuses--say, that is contrary to the laws of
          nature. But it is not contrary to the laws of God, nor the power
          of God, for he can do things just as he pleases, and manage them
          according to his own will and purposes, and he is acquainted with
          other laws in nature, of which men are ignorant, Moses, we are
          told, was a stranger in a strange land, where he saw a bush that
          burned with fire and the bush was not consumed (it might be said
          that this was contrary to nature's laws also); and a voice spoke
          to him which proceeded from the bush, telling him to take the
          shoes from off his feet, for the ground whereon he stood was
          holy; also telling him that he was a chosen messenger of the Lord
          to accomplish a certain work. And the Lord taught and instructed
          him. And Moses went before the king of Egypt and the powers
          thereof, and delivered the message that God had given unto him.
          It was not a very agreeable message for them to hear, nor a very
          pleasant one for him to communicate. But he was a man of God and
          had the fear of God before him; the Lord had selected him as an
          instrument, and although comprehending his weaknesses he shrank
          not from the responsibility, but went forth in the name of
          Israel's God to perform the commission committed to his care, and
          he delivered the Israelites. It is true they were rebellious and
          ignorant, and it is true they were self-willed, and many of them
          were very corrupt; it is true they could not endure the light of
          the blessings of the Gospel; and it is also true the when God
          would have made of them a kingdom of priests they could not
          receive that priesthood, nor be governed by its influence. He
          then took from them the Melchizedek Priesthood, leaving them the
          lesser of Aaronic Priesthood, because they would not and were not
          competent to magnify the duties of the greater, and of that they
          were necessarily deprived. What then? God did the best he could
          with them as he has done with every nation and every people; he,
          however, sent prophets among them from time to time.
          Now we will pass on. What was the message that Jesus came to
          proclaim to the people, a message of destruction? A message of
          death? A message of condemnation? No, no; it was a message of
          glad tidings and great joy to all peoples. And what did he tell
          his disciples to go and preach? Destruction to all people? No;
          his commission to them was: "Go ye into all the world and preach
          the Gospel to every creature." Where? To all the world. And what
          was the nature of that Gospel? Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,
          repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying
          on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, which would
          place men in a position whereby they could have communication
          with God their heavenly Father, having a hope blooming with
          immortality and eternal life that entered within the vail,
          whither Christ their forerunner had gone. Hence it was a message
          of mercy, salvation and exaltation to all people who would
          receive it. "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to
          every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
          but he that believeth not shall be damned." If they were
          condemned, if they suffered the wrath of God, it was not because
          they had not life and salvation held out to them; it was because
          they rejected that life and salvation through the preaching of
          his word and the atonement of his only begotten Son. Was there
          anything injurious in this? No, nothing of the kind. It was in
          the interests of humanity; it was for the welfare of the world;
          it was to teach man, through those heavenly principles which he
          had communicated, the laws of God, to put them in possession
          those rich treasures of eternal life, opening the kingdom of
          heaven to the believer who would obey his laws and be governed by
          them. This is the message that God has always proclaimed to the
          When Joseph Smith came, what did he preach? Just the same as all
          the others had done. Was it because of any peculiar philosophy,
          or any remarkable intelligence that he had in and of himself in
          the first place to comprehend those principles that he revealed.
          No. It is true that he was a chosen instrument of the Almighty
          for that purpose; it is true that being one of the seed of
          Abraham, that peculiar blessing belonging to him. It is true that
          Abraham in former years through his genealogy was made acquainted
          with the rights pertaining to the priesthood, and that Joseph
          Smith had those rights in common with Abraham, being one of his
          seed. And it is true that he was selected for this purpose; but
          until the Lord made himself known unto him and revealed his
          purposes, he knew nothing about the things of God any more than
          you or I did. I know this for I have talked with him upon these
          subjects. Well, what was the nature of his mission? It was to
          restore the ancient Gospel; it was to bring forth the record of
          the Gospel upon this continent which the people who lived here in
          former years had forfeited, because of their transgressions; it
          was that the stick of Joseph in the hands of Ephraim might be
          united with the stick of Judah, in their testimony evidence,
          prophecies, doctrines and ordinances, developing correct
          principles, that things as they exist in the heavens might be
          made more plain to men upon the earth, and that in the mouth of
          two or three witnesses every word would be established. Was it to
          condemn the world? Not unless the world rejected it. What was the
          Gospel Jesus taught? Just the same as that which Jesus and his
          disciples taught. He called upon the people to repent and be
          baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, and they
          should receive the Holy Ghost. And did he and his brethren go
          forth and preach this doctrine? They did. And was the promise
          they made fulfilled to those who believed and obeyed? It was; and
          you are my witnesses to-day that these things are true, it having
          been made known to us by the Holy Spirit of promise, the Holy
          Ghost, which takes of the things of the Father and reveals them
          unto man. And is anybody harmed by this? What is injured? Whose
          rights are interfered with? Whose principles are trampled under
          foot. Nobody's! Is anybody forced to obey this Gospel? No! Has
          anybody been coerced into any measure pertaining to these
          matters? No! It has always been proclaimed and is to-day, "It is
          all free grace, it is all free will." Would you curtail anybody
          in their religious rights? Not by any means; I would leave them
          with their God. If they cannot comprehend, or comprehending have
          not the inclination to obey correct principle, I would leave them
          with their God, in whose hands we all are, and in those hands are
          the issues of life and death. IF men do not live the truth we
          cannot help it; if men become corrupt and unrighteous and full of
          infidelity we cannot help it, we did not place them in that
          position, it is their own act. Can you find a set of men to-day
          in the wide world, men who are filled with more philanthropy and
          benevolence, or greater benefactors to mankind than these Elders
          who are around me? You cannot find them on this little earth; you
          cannot find men anywhere that have and will make the sacrifices
          for the principle that the Elders of this Church have done. I see
          those around me that have traveled hundreds and thousands of
          miles without purse or scrip, in the midst of persecution,
          contumely and reproach, to deliver the message of life to the
          people, because God had commanded it, and because they were
          desirous to promote the weal and happiness of the human family.
          How have they been treated? Just as Jesus was treated; just as
          his Apostles and just as the prophets of old were treated. Men
          have always killed the prophets and stoned those who were sent to
          them. But then what of that? That is all the worse for those who
          did this; they have the hardest row to hoe, for they as well as
          we have yet to appear before the Judge of the whole earth, and he
          will say, I called but you refused; I stretched out my hand but
          you heeded it not; hence, "I will laugh at your calamity, and
          will mock when your fear cometh." That is the way he puts it. I
          offered you light; I offered you truth; I offered you
          intelligence; I desisted to promote your happiness, your well
          being, but you would not have it, and therefore you are left
          without excuse. Are they his children? Yes. Does he feel sorry to
          see them act that way? Yes; but he cannot help it, he is governed
          by law, and those laws are inexorable and just and they cannot be
          departed from.
          What next? As eternal beings we all have to stand before him to
          be judged; and he has provided different degrees of glory--the
          celestial the terrestrial, and the telestial glories--which are
          provided according to certain unchangeable laws which cannot be
          controverted. What will he do with them? For those who are ready
          to listen to him and be brought under the influence of the Spirit
          of God and be led by the principles of revelation and the light
          of heaven, and who are willing to yield obedience to his commands
          at all times and carry out his purposes upon the earth, and who
          are willing to abide a celestial law, he has prepared for them a
          celestial glory, that they may be with him for ever and ever. And
          what about the others? They are not prepared to go there any more
          than lead is prepared to stand the same test as gold or silver;
          and there they cannot go. And there is a great gulf between them.
          But he will do with them just as well as he can. A great many of
          these people in the world, thousands and hundreds of millions of
          them, will be a great deal better off through the interposition
          of the Almighty than they have any idea of. But they cannot enter
          into the celestial kingdom of God; where God and Christ are they
          cannot come.
          God has made use of various means, in various ages of the world,
          to teach and led men in the right path. He sent forth his
          servants in different ages into the vineyard, and gathered a few
          here and a few there who would obey his law, that they might be
          saved in his kingdom. And what, let me ask, have the other people
          of the world to do with it? They would not listen to the words of
          life; can the messengers of God help it? No, they cannot. Theirs
          is not a very enviable position. It was not a very pleasant thing
          for Moses to go to the Egyptian king to tell him the message he
          had to bear, nor to see the plagues roll on one after another.
          But God set him to work at it, and he did it. It was the Lord
          that managed that matter; he was simply the instrument. Who was
          it that inspired the prophets to predict many things that were
          very unpleasant to the ear? It was God. Could they have helped
          it? No. He had either to do the thing that God required at his
          hand, or not do it, and have suffered the consequences; and if he
          had not done it others would, for God's work is destined to be
          performed. But he did his part of it, and did it well and
          faithfully, and I know it, for I was there when he was killed by
          some of our highly reverend Christian brethren.
          You Elders of Israel who meet together in the capacity of a
          Conference, you have had the priesthood conferred upon you. Where
          did it come from? From the Lord. The Aaronic Priesthood was
          delivered by John the Baptist, who held it in former times upon
          the earth. He communicated that to Joseph Smith and Oliver
          Cowdery. And then Peter, James and John, who had operated in the
          Melchizedek Priesthood in their day, came and conferred it upon
          them, then the apostleship was organized, and then the order of
          the priesthood was manifested unto us as it exists in the
          heavens. Why? That we might be put in possession of principles
          that emanate from God, and that we might be able to carry our
          part in carrying out the purposes of God; not only pertaining to
          ourselves, but more especially to the nations of the earth, and
          then to operate for the dead as well as the living. Had we
          anything to do with it particularly? I did not introduce it,
          neither did Brigham Young, nor Parley P. Pratt, nor Orson Hyde,
          nor Heber C. Kimball, nor Joseph Smith; no man introduced it only
          as God gave it. Joseph Smith was made use of as an instrument in
          introducing it; and then having organized the Church in all its
          various branches, with Presidents, Apostles, Patriarchs, High
          Priests, Seventies, Elders, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, with
          Bishops and High Councils, and all the various organizations of
          the Church. These things were given us for what? To gratify our
          ambition? to enable us to ride over and trample under foot our
          fellow creatures? to place power and authority upon us? No, not
          for any individual affair, not for any man's emolument or
          aggrandizement. Although there is nothing more honorable, nothing
          more dignified, nothing to which a man ought so much to aspire
          to, as to be a servant of the living God, and to be commissioned
          by him to do his work upon the earth. And what is it for? To
          spread correct principles among men; to combat priestcraft,
          statescraft, oppression, fraud and iniquity of all kinds, and to
          introduce among men those pure and holy principles by which the
          Gods are governed in the eternal worlds. It is not for you and me
          particularly; the Lord could get along very well without us, if
          we could without him. But God, and the holy priesthood behind the
          vial, that have lived and operated upon the earth, and who
          operate in eternity, felt interested in regard to the things that
          we were connected with, and interested in the welfare of the
          world. We talk about the wisdom of men. What true wisdom or
          intelligence has man that he receives not from the Almighty? I
          will tell you what the wisdom of men will come to by and by, and
          it is not so far in the future as many people think, "when the
          wisdom of the wise shall fail, and the understanding of the
          prudent shall be hid," their power and glory will fade, and you
          will see war, desolation, carnage and death run riot through the
          nations, plagues, pestilence and famine depopulating the earth.
          And then where will their wisdom, philosophy, and intelligence
          be? Men get a little smattering of knowledge and philosophy, and
          some of the lesser laws that God has planted in nature, and they
          give glory to themselves, as did the Babylonish monarch who said,
          "is not this great Babylon that I have built?" They do not know
          that they are poor, blind, foolish, ignorant, naked, destitute,
          and in the way of death. The nations of the earth, with their
          wealth, their corruptions, their power and might, will become, by
          and by, like the chaff of the summer's threshing floor before the
          wind, as represented by the Prophet Daniel. Why? Because eternal
          justice cries to the great God in relation to all the people of
          the earth. That is the reason, and because of their own acts and
          of their own corruptions. Hear what the Lord has coupled with his
          commission to his servants in this our day, and, when he said it,
          he said that which is verily true; Go forth and bear your
          testimony to the world; and after your testimony cometh the
          testimony of war and of fire, and of sword and bloodshed, and the
          waves of the sea heaving beyond their bounds, etc. He gives them
          fair warning, and they heed it not; but these things must and
          will most assuredly come.
          What next? Does he destroy them for their good sometimes? Yes.
          After Noah had preached the Gospel to the antediluvian world, and
          after their cup of iniquity was full, and Zion and her cities had
          fled, then followed the judgments of God; then came desolation
          and destruction. And why this wholesale sweeping out of existence
          of humanity? To stop them from propagating a corrupt species. Was
          not that right? Yes it was. He said, I will cut them off; I will
          prepare a prison for them, in which they shall be confined for
          generations, where they shall not have power to propagate their
          species; for these pure spirits in the eternal world shall not be
          contaminated with their corruptions: I will take them off the
          earth, and I will raise up another people. And he did do it. What
          then? He was still merciful. When Jesus was put to death in the
          flesh, he remembered them. "He went," said Peter, "and preached
          unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when
          once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, etc."
          What did he preach? The Gospel. And what is it he had told us to
          do to-day? Not only to preach the Gospel and gather the people,
          but to build Temples. What for? To administer in them. Who for?
          For the dead who have died without a knowledge of the Gospel,
          that they might participate with us in the blessings which they
          had not the privilege of enjoying on the earth. We are doing
          this; hence we are doing more than preaching the Gospel to the
          living; we are making preparations for saving the dead, according
          to the word of God.
          Reference was made this morning to the wisdom and learning of the
          world. I don't know where it is. I have traveled quite
          extensively in various parts of the earth, and I must say that I
          have not met with their intelligence. I tell you what I have met
          with very frequently; I have witnessed a great deal of ignorance,
          superstition and wickedness, and any amount of corruption, and
          notwithstanding the little advancement that some few have made in
          the true principles of science, what do they know of things as
          they exist before God? I told a few scientific gentlemen whom I
          happened to meet with a few days ago, a few things that Joseph
          Smith, that unlettered, ignorant boy told me in regard to the
          heavenly bodies and certain things associated with them, and when
          I had done so, one of them said, Mr. Taylor, those are some of
          the most comprehensive ideas I ever heard in my life. I said
          these ideas are from Joseph Smith, that unlearned man; but God
          gave them to him by revelation. Another remarked: I have read a
          good deal and studied a good deal; but I have a great deal to
          learn yet. Was it anything I knew? No, I simply told them
          something that Joseph Smith told me. We have a great many
          ignorant, learned fools; but when you meet sensible, intelligent
          men, as these were, they will acknowledge principle when it is
          presented to them. But many men have not the understanding to do
          it. Talking about saving themselves, who among the philosophers
          can save themselves? who knows anything of God or heaven? They
          know a very little of the earth whereon we dwell, much less do
          they know of things pertaining to the heavens or of God or of
          eternity. And let me tell them furthermore, that no man knoweth
          the things of God, save by the spirit of God--or, to use the text
          as it is given: "For what man knoweth the things of man, save by
          the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God
          knoweth no man, but the spirit of God." And they cannot get that
          spirit without first obeying the first principles of the Gospel
          of Christ. Talk about their intelligence, it is a curious sort of
          intelligence to me. What do they do when they have to grapple
          with the sting of death, and when it stares them in the face?
          Why, they take a leap in the dark. And this darkness is the end
          of all their philosophy and all their science. And the little
          they do know in divining the laws of God is only with regard to
          some very few of the fundamental principles of the laws that God
          has planted everywhere throughout the universe and I do not
          therefore have that reverence for their theories, notions and
          vagaries, nor do I attach that importance to their intelligence
          that some people do.
          I remember on a certain occasion, while in Paris, France, (I have
          referred to this subject before, but it will not hurt to repeat
          it again) quite a number of professed philosophers called on me
          and present so many foolish, dreamy, intangible, mysterious,
          incomprehensible ideas and visionary theories, that I thought of
          all the ignoramuses I ever met with, they beat all. They have a
          certain kind of bread in that city, a kind of light cake, which
          they make there. It is so light that you could blow it away with
          a breath, and you might eat all day of it and not be satisfied. A
          brother who was there visiting me asked if I knew the name of
          that bread. I said I did not know the French name for it, but
          could give it a name. What name would you give it, he asked?
          Well, I said, you may call it philosophy or fried froth, just as
          you please.
          Professor Huxley, in visiting Niagara Falls made some remarks
          which I remember were published and copied extensively in the
          papers, to the effect that here was another evidence afforded of
          the many thousands or millions of years (I forget the number now)
          that it had taken to wash away the rocks below these falls. And
          this evidence was advanced in support of geological ideas. I
          thought to myself, yes, professor Huxley is a very learned man. I
          wonder if he knew that rock was once in a friable, plastic
          condition, when, by the force of the watery element the soft
          stratum might be disintegrated, excavated and removed by the
          washing process in perhaps a very few days. We have seen large
          gaps washed away out of some of our ditches in a few hours. Such
          are common occurrences here. If a change were to take place in
          the elements comprising such washouts, which might very easily
          occur here as elsewhere, and they become petrified, the same
          condition of things would exist as may be seen at Niagara Falls,
          and some other philosopher hereafter might expatiate on the years
          it took to remove so much rock. If we have to submit to their
          theories, we should really be in a sorry condition. I, for one,
          will not fall down and worship at any such shrine.
          We talk about our organizations; are they right according to the
          order of God? Yes. Will they exist in the heavens? Yes. Are we
          all magnifying our calling? No; we are not. We have indeed a sort
          of skeleton fixed up; but I think sometimes it needs flesh on the
          bones and the breath of life, the spirit of the living God
          breathed into it. We need to realize the position we occupy and
          the duties devolving upon us. We see this in almost everything
          around us associated with the Church and kingdom of God. While
          many men are diligent and their whole hearts are engaged in the
          work of God, there are a great many astride of the fence, saying
          Good Lord and Good Devil, know knowing those hands they will fall
          into. And yet they are High Priests, and Seventies and Elders.
          What will be the condition of such! We are told that "Many will
          say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy
          name, and in they name have cast out devils, and in thy name done
          many wonderful works?" Yet to all such he will say, "I never new
          you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." You say, that means
          the outsiders. No, it does not. Do they do many wonderful works
          in the name of Jesus? No; if they do anything, it is done in the
          name of themselves or of the Devil. Sometimes they will do things
          in the name of God; but it is simply an act of blasphemy. This
          means you, Latter-day Saints, who heal the sick, cast out devils,
          and do many wonderful things in the name of Jesus. And yet how
          many we see among this people of this class, that become
          careless, and treat lightly the ordinances of God's house and the
          priesthood of the Son of God; yet they think they are going, by
          and by, to slide into the kingdom of God. But I tell you unless
          they are righteous and keep their covenant they will never go
          there. Hear it, ye Latter-day Saints! Hear it, ye Seventies and
          High Priests! "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.
          For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap
          corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit
          reap life everlasting." You have the priesthood, and if you do
          not magnify that priesthood God will require it at your hands. He
          expects us all to be alive and energetic, honoring our calling,
          our priesthood and our God, for he expects it of all of us. Now
          hear it for as sure as God lives it will be so. It will not be
          "how we apples swim!" You must swim yourselves; for every man
          "will be judged according to the deeds done in the body." If you
          aim at a celestial glory, you must have a celestial spirit and be
          governed by it. You must be honest, virtuous and benevolent; you
          must be men full of the Holy Ghost, magnifying your calling, and
          honoring your priesthood, if you would obtain an entrance into
          the kingdom of God. And so in regard to the sisters, they stand
          precisely on the same ground. What are we to do? To listen to and
          be guided by the world? No; but to regulate our temporal and
          spiritual affairs--things pertaining to time and things
          pertaining to eternity, according to the influence, the law, the
          direction of the Almighty.
          Let us come again to this intelligence. Who would know to-day
          anywhere in the world how to build a temple that would be
          accepted of the Lord? Nobody. Who would know how to administer in
          them acceptably to him when built? Nobody. Let them bring forth
          their wise men, if they have any, and tell us how we shall obtain
          an inheritance in the kingdom of God. This is something they
          cannot do. Why? Because they have not the Gospel; and it is the
          Gospel that brings life and immortality to light, and this is the
          kind of intelligence we are after. To redeem and save the living
          and the dead; to build up the Zion of our God, that a people may
          be prepared who shall be pure in heart, and prepared to associate
          with the intelligences around the throne of God.
          These are some things associated with our duties and
          responsibilities. Have the apostles duties to perform? Yes. Does
          God require it at their hands! Yes. If they do not do it, will he
          hold them guiltless? No. Have the Seventies? Yes. What are they?
          To go to the nations of the earth as bearers of the Gospel. That
          is your duty, you Seventies; and if you do not do it God will
          remove your candlestick out of its place. Do you hear it, you
          Seventies? And you High Priests and Elders, God has not conferred
          the priesthood upon you to dream about, to trifle or tamper with,
          or treat it with contempt: he will spew you out of his mouth
          unless you take another course, many of you. God expects his
          message to go to all nations, and the priesthood ought to be
          seeking after God and to be clothed upon with the power of God
          and with the light of revelation, that they may stand forth as
          his messengers to the nations: and then by and by, after having
          cleared their garments from the blood of this generation, to go
          and administer for the dead in the temples of the Lord, and keep
          laboring and doing until God shall have accomplished his
          What else are you going to do? To build up the kingdom of heaven
          upon the earth, where the voice of God shall rule and where the
          law of God shall have the dominion, and where men shall be
          instructed with the laws of heaven and be taught of God. A great
          many revelations and changes have yet to take place, we have got
          to put ourselves in a position to be guided and directed of the
          Lord in temporal as well as spiritual things, or we will never
          obtain that glory for which many of us are looking.
          Well, what shall we do? Do right, following the counsels of those
          who are placed over us. Follow the counsel of the Twelve, you
          whose business it is to do it; follow the counsel of your
          bishops, you who live in the wards, and you bishops follow the
          counsel of the presidents of Stakes, and you presidents of Stakes
          seek for and follow the counsel of the Twelve. And you people, be
          taught of your teachers; and you teachers, get the Spirit of the
          Lord that you may teach aright, and you Seventies and Elders
          prepare yourselves to go to the nations of the earth. Say, here
          am I, send me; I am on hand, I am ready to fulfil my duty and to
          magnify my calling, and with the help of the Lord I will lift up
          a warning voice to my fellow men. And as High Councils to sit in
          judgment with honesty, truth, fidelity and integrity, without
          fear or favor of any man to act and administer in righteousness.
          And you Bishops, act as fathers over the flock of Christ, that
          you may magnify your calling, and that in your judgment you may
          seek for the inspiration of the Almighty, that you may administer
          justice among the people; that righteousness may prevail in Zion,
          and that it may spread and grow and increase, that the glory of
          God may rest upon us, and that we may rejoice together in the
          fullness of the Gospel of peace. And will it go on? It will. Will
          the kingdom spread? It will, "until the kingdoms of this world
          shall become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ, and he will
          reign forever and ever." And about the wicked and the ungodly,
          protect yourselves against them as well as you can; unite
          yourselves together and be one, and never mind their ideas and
          feelings. God has called us to be one, to be united; and that man
          who tampers with the Gentiles and with their vices and follies
          will go down to death. We are sent to teach the principles of
          life, not to be taught of them; and we are required to be
          governed by the principles, laws, intelligence and truth that
          come from God, that we may magnify our calling, build up His
          kingdom, gather together the elect, save the living and redeem
          the dead, and then when we get through, unite with the assembled
          throng in the Celestial kingdom of God; and honor and praise and
          glory and power and majesty and dominion be ascribed to him that
          sits upon the throne, and to the lamb, forever and ever. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 /
          Charles W. Penrose, January 19th, 1879
                       Charles W. Penrose, January 19th, 1879
                    In the Ogden Tabernacle, January 19th, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I am more than pleased this morning to have the privilege to
          assembling with you, to see the faces of so many of my old
          friends, and to enjoy the blessings of the Spirit of God and the
          instructions of this Conference. I believe we realize to a great
          extent the importance of the subject that has been presented to
          us this morning by Brother F. M. Lyman. I have thought upon it a
          great many times in reflecting upon the condition of the
          Latter-day Saints and the prospects that lie before them, and in
          viewing also the apathy and carelessness of a great many, and the
          influx of the people amongst us who are not of our faith. I have
          sometimes almost dreaded the consequences that may ensure, unless
          we become more united in our feelings and efforts to build up the
          Kingdom of God and to maintain the liberties that God has
          bestowed upon us. The people of Ogden are peculiarly situated. A
          great many people have come here who are not of our faith, some
          good people and some not so good. But their sympathies and
          feelings both religious and political are dissimilar to ours;
          they are not of us, their interests are not identical with ours,
          and although they may seem for the time to be friendly and to
          have an interest with us in our local affairs, yet our experience
          has demonstrated to us the truth of a certain saying of our Lord
          Jesus Christ, "He that is not with me is against me; and he that
          gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." It would seem in our
          history that sometimes this was not the case, some people having
          come among us whose feelings appeared to be in consonance with
          ours and who were friendly disposed towards us, but their faith
          not being our faith, although their views to some extent were in
          harmony with ours, yet we have found in our experience that these
          words of the Savior held good even with them. Something is sure
          to arise to draw the dividing line; some circumstance transpires
          which places them where they belong, and they then occupy their
          true position. They are outside the covenant of the Gospel, and
          their sympathies and feelings and faith cannot be identified with
          ours. They are of the world, we are not; we have come out of the
          world. This may seem strange to some; but it is true as God is
          true. Christ laid this rule down, and we shall find that it is
          perfectly correct.
          The great necessity for us as Saints of God is to become really
          and truly united, not only in thought, but in our faith and
          desires and sympathies one toward another, and in our fellowship
          as brethren and sisters in Christ. We must cherish an active
          living faith, showing our faith by our works in our efforts to
          arrive at a perfect union. I see the necessity of this in our
          political affairs. When I look back at the last election, I am
          reminded of the few votes, comparatively, that were cast in this
          city. This shows something wrong. What is it? There is a
          carelessness growing upon the people, and we perceive it to some
          extent in our religious affairs and public meetings, but we see
          it more clearly when it comes to voting, for many who have a
          right to vote stay away from the polls. We call the attention of
          our brethren and sisters to these matters, and say to every
          Latter-day Saint who has the right of franchise, it is your duty
          to vote. The franchise is not given to us as an ornament or
          plaything, but as a power to be used with our best judgment in
          the maintenance of truth and liberty. The spirit of the Gospel is
          the spirit of liberty, the Gospel itself is the perfect law of
          liberty; and every move that may be made, having for its object
          the maintenance of liberty, we ought to regard in the light of
          Gospel, in the light of duty.
          There is a great deal of talk, and has been for years past, of
          separating religion from politics. I believe that we need a
          little more religion in our politics than we already have, and I
          believe that if there were more true religion in politics
          throughout the world it would be better for humanity. I am
          certain that it is absolutely necessary for us who have come
          here, having separated ourselves from the world, for the purpose
          of building up the kingdom of God, in order to accomplish this to
          permit our religion to enter into our lives and govern us in all
          we do, whether it be secular or religious. We cannot act
          separately, singly and alone; the Spirit of the Lord, which is
          the spirit of the everlasting Gospel, should dictate us in all we
          do in a public as well as a private capacity, and when we are so
          influenced we will act with a due regard to the interests of our
          brethren and sisters. We did not come here for gold and silver,
          no matter how much of these precious metals there may be hid up
          in the mountains around us. We did not come here for flocks and
          herds, for houses and lands, for orchards and vineyards, or for
          substance or earthly wealth of any kind. All these of course we
          desire to obtain, and it is a blessing to have them, for with
          them we can the better assist in rolling forth the kingdom of
          God; but the acquiring of such wealth was not the object we had
          in coming here; it was rather to build up a better system of
          society and establish upon the earth that divine order that
          exists where our Father dwells, a few of the principles of which
          have been revealed to us through the Prophet Joseph Smith. We
          came here, in other words, to find out the will of God, and then
          do it. We must keep that object before us all the time, no matter
          in what capacity we act, whether as members of the Church or as
          members of society, whether we act in political or religious
          matters, we must keep the fact before us that the main object of
          our lives is to establish the kingdom of God upon the earth, that
          He whose right it is to reign may rule. And when we go to the
          polls, whether it be to vote for our municipal officers or
          otherwise, we must go there as Latter-day Saints, to be true to
          our religious covenants; we cannot say, religion, you stand
          aside, I am a politician to-day. We must be Latter-day Saints all
          the time, in every act of our lives. And this carelessness in
          regard to voting we must get rid of; we must understand that the
          exercise of the franchise is required of us, and knowing this we
          should have the manhood to use it; and the sisters who enjoy the
          privilege of voting, should understand that the same obligation
          rests upon them as well as upon the men. This blessing is given
          to them to be used for the good of their brethren and sisters,
          for the benefit of the community of which they form a part.
          It is necessary that we be as one, one in spirit and acts, and we
          must aim all the day long for the accomplishment of the work
          entrusted to us. Every member must be alive and continue to be
          alive. The sign of life is motion, but a great many of the
          brethren and sisters appear to be either dead or asleep in regard
          to these matters. We must do better if we would preserve
          ourselves from the burdens which the people of Tooele county have
          had to bear and are now bearing; if we would maintain our liberty
          and keep the balance of power, we must exercise the powers
          conferred upon us, and if we do not, we shall have to reap the
          consequences. This union we talk so much about, and which we say
          is essential to our strength, how shall we increase it? For we
          need an increase of union, particularly in some places. We will
          take Ogden, for instance, how shall we establish union and
          preserve it here? I have thought there is one thing that needs to
          be impressed upon us, and that is harmony of feeling and of
          thought between the heads and the body of the people. In order to
          establish that and continue it, there needs to be an identity of
          interests of our hearts. It will not do for our brethren, when
          they meet each other, to shake hands and enter into a formal
          conversation, and then when they separate, have something evil to
          say of each other. We must try to establish real harmony; the
          head must be in harmony with the feet, and the spirit that is in
          the head should flow to the extremities of the body. We must try
          to establish an essential union. Not merely a grasp of hands and
          a tying together by rules, but the binding of heart to heart,
          that the spirit may have free course, run, and be diffused among
          the people. And in order to establish this, I have thought that
          we have need to be frank and free, and open one to another. I do
          not believe in that kind of discussion which produces contention,
          which comes from the devil; but I do believe in that free speech
          which establishes mutual understanding, tends to bind men
          together, and produces true affinity. We should be bound together
          by essential union--a union of heart and soul. How can this be
          brought about? By being true and honest one towards another, that
          there may be real confidence in our midst. Because one man may
          differ from another, even though with one called to preside over
          him, is that to say that such a man is rebellious? I think not.
          There should be a distinction between honest difference and
          stubbornness and contention. We cannot all see alike yet, neither
          is it expected that we should in our present imperfect condition.
          As there is a difference in each other's countenances, so there
          is in each other's minds, and the only way to harmonize the
          difference of opinion that may exist among us, is to so live that
          the light of the Spirit of God can shine in our hearts. Some men
          are quick to perceive a truth; others are slow. Some men will
          grasp at an idea and comprehend it in a moment, while it takes
          others a long time, simply because they are slower of intellect,
          or because they do not happen to see from the same standpoint as
          we do. We must be patient and try to convince one another when we
          happen to disagree. How? By threats and denunciations? No; but by
          real forbearance, the same as God exercises towards us. Do we
          ourselves carry out His purposes as He has revealed them? I think
          not. I confess I do not. I can see the standard of righteousness,
          of nobility, and purity before me, but, alas! I know I have not
          reached it; yet I want to keep on striving until I get up to that
          standard, and I believe these desires are in your hearts. God
          exercises patience towards us, and this is the spirit we must
          exercise one towards another, until we can be brought to see eye
          to eye. There will be a time when the watchmen upon Mount Zion
          will sing together with perfect harmony. "Thy watchmen shall lift
          up their voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they
          shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion." But
          the Lord will never bring Zion from above until Zion from beneath
          is prepared to meet it.
          Then I would say, let us cherish forbearance and let us be frank
          and encourage frankness; I do not mean contention, that is a very
          different thing and comes from a different source. There is an
          essential union and there is an apparent union. I would not give
          a fig for the last, but the first is worth all we possess. If we
          only appear to be united and bound together and the bands should
          once be broken, separation would ensue, all would be confusion
          and the strength we possess would be wasted; but if we take such
          a course as will enable us to see alike and act alike, we will
          have veritable strength. Then let us try to establish such a
          union by being free and frank with and true to each other. To
          illustrate my idea: A lady gets a new bonnet, and she meets a
          lady friend and asks how she looks. "O how nice!" says the
          latter, it suits you admirably; it becomes you so much." She
          turns around when her friend is gone, and says to another lady,
          "What a fright she looks in that poke of a bonnet!" So men will
          be friendly to each other's faces and false when their backs are
          turned. We should be free and frank and outspoken; but that is
          not to say we should be unwise and abrupt in our expressions,
          because we are very sensitive and easily get offended. We may
          even drop an innocent remark, which a person may take umbrage at
          and feel that we are his enemies when we are in reality his
          friends and the same feelings are like to result from joking,
          when really no offence is intended.
          But the greatest cause of disunion is promise-breaking. One of
          the evils that is spoken of to be prevalent in the last days is
          that men should become "truce-breakers;" this is, they should be
          guilty of making promises only to break them. I believe it can be
          truthfully said of some who call themselves Latter-day Saints,
          that they give their word to a brother, and almost before the
          breath is cold the falsify their promise; they make contracts in
          writing, and almost before the ink is dry they break them. If we
          make a promise to perform a piece of work, we should try to keep
          it, even if it appears to be to our injury. If we promise to pay
          a brother, we must do it or make it right with him, and not try
          to excuse ourselves by saying, "Oh, it is only a brother;"
          whereas, if it were a "gentile," we would very likely keep our
          promise. We must be true to our words under all circumstances and
          to all persons; if we borrow, we must pay our debt; if we cannot
          possibly do it, we must give our creditor the best satisfaction
          we can. When we meet with one another, and agree to carry out
          certain measures, let us do it, or not promise to do it. And when
          we meet together in our meetings, and any measures are brought
          forward in which the public are interested, or nominations are to
          be made for any of our public officers, and we feel that we
          cannot agree with the measures proposed, or have just cause to
          oppose the nominations, do not sit mum in the meeting, and as
          soon as it is over commence to kindle the spirit of opposition
          among our brethren. In all our political matters, if the leaders
          and the people get together and come to a clear understanding
          with regard to the men who are to occupy certain positions, in
          the manner that I have alluded to, I cannot see how there can be
          any divisions, or how those who are not of us, who are in the
          minority, can expect to succeed in electing opposition candidates
          to fill our public offices. I cannot be done. We have the
          majority in numbers, and if we have a thorough union of power,
          our strength will be preserved. But our weakness is in our
          carelessness and apathy. We have the right to do good, the right
          to vote, but do not exercise it.
          When we disapprove of any man put up to occupy any position, let
          us be sure in our minds that what causes that disapprobation is
          not any private pique against him. We have no right to vote
          against a man from our private feelings. If a man be put up for
          public position, and we have a private pique against him that
          should not weigh in a feather. A man is put up because he is
          considered fit for the position, and when the majority agree upon
          a certain person, we should fall into line, the minority should
          give way to the majority. And when we disagree with our brethren,
          it should not be because of any private feelings. One may say,
          "Oh, I do not want that man." Why? "Well, he said so and so
          against me, or he did not do so and so for me." I is not a matter
          whether you like a man personally or not. The question is, is he
          fit for the position. Is he the right man for the place? Do the
          majority of by brethren want such and such a man? If so, I will
          wave my differences and vote for him who is considered best fit
          for the position. These things are of far more importance than
          many of us think they are. In times past we have had the balance
          of power in our elections, and all things have gone on smoothly
          whether we have voted or not. But the time will come when things
          will be more evenly divided, and we must get in the habit of
          exercising every power that God has conferred upon us for the
          building up the his kingdom and for our mutual benefit. When a
          bishop of a ward calls upon a man to perform any public duty he
          should be willing to step forward to do his part; and every woman
          should feel that she would like to see her husband do quite as
          much as any other woman's husband, and not only in religious
          matters but in all things for the welfare of the community of
          which we form a part. Let us all be active members of the church
          and let us all be active members of the body politic--let us be
          real, live Latter-day Saints, and let the spirit of the Gospel
          flow to every part, and all may be invigorated, particle clinging
          to particle, for when each particle clings to the other particles
          this is the sign of life in a man, but when particles seem to
          have a desire to separate, that is indicative of dissolution,
          that mysterious change which we call death, when we pull apart
          that is a sign of spiritual death in the midst of the Latter-day
          I desire to see the church and kingdom of God alive in all its
          parts; I desire to see every member imbued with the spirit of
          God, and every man holding the holy priesthood feeling that
          spirit and power the belong to it, for I know there is virtue,
          and power and strength in it. I know that it is a reality. I know
          that when a man is ordained to the holy priesthood, if he seeks
          for the spirit of his calling, he can draw nearer to God than he
          could without it; I know he can do more good to humanity with it
          than he could possibly do without it. I know that the priesthood
          of God is effective; that there is life and vigor in it, and that
          through it a man has access to God the eternal Father, and has
          power to help his fellowman. We should be a nation of kings and
          priests unto God, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people zealous
          of good works. This is what we should be, my brethren and
          sisters. And here, in Weber County particularly, where the
          outside element seems to be gathering, and which is naturally
          aggressive, always ready to try and wrest from us our vested
          rights, it behooves you to be earnest and sincere and united, and
          to be diligent in your efforts to hold for God and his kingdom
          those rights and liberties which he has given to us. God intended
          that his people whom he has gathered to this land should possess
          it, and that they should not be ruled over by their enemies, as
          long, at least, as they are in the majority. Then shall we give
          up our strength to the minority who desire to take away our
          rights, and who have tried all the day long to destroy our best
          men? I think we will not; I think we will be more energetic and
          cling to one another, and, if we have differences we will try to
          settle them. Brethren, if you have hard feelings against a
          brother, go to him like a man, and tell him that he has done so
          and so, and that it is your desire to have the thing straightened
          out; and if you cannot make it right yourselves call to your aid
          the services of a teacher, and rather let us sacrifice our
          feelings than allow that genial spirit which belongs to true
          brotherhood to be crushed out of our hearts. Let every man and
          woman in this congregation to-day feel that any difficulties they
          may have had with their brethren or sisters shall be buried from
          to-day, and shall not be harbored any longer. Say in your hearts,
          before I will have anything rankle or tarnish my feelings, I will
          go to my brother or to my sister and confess my weakness and thus
          get rid of it. And if we will be free and frank and honest, and
          say what is in our hearts, without fear or favor, there will be
          more union in our midst, and the Spirit of God will dwell with
          us, and we will see new beauties in our religion every day, and
          we will seek the society of our brethren rather than shun them;
          but, on the other hand, if we harbor hard feelings in our hearts
          without divulging them or seeking relief, we may depend upon it
          that it will, if allowed to go unchecked, result in a separation
          from the very men for whom we to-day profess fellowship, and in
          our own overthrow and death. We are children of the covenant, and
          should be bound together by the influence of the Holy Ghost,
          whose ties are stronger than those which exist between man and
          wife; that influence will make us one, even as the earth is one,
          though composed of millions of atoms. In the beginning, we are
          told, God spake, chaos heard, and worlds came into order. The
          scattered particles came together and they were solidified,
          consolidated, and this little earth now rolling in space shows
          the effects of this real essential union of parts. God has spoken
          to the chaotic particles of humanity; he has gathered us together
          to this place to make us one; and we should live together and
          work together, and present a strong phalanx of power, as real
          brethren and sister in very deed, that the spirit of union may be
          in our hearts, and in every deed and act, which should be made in
          each other's interest, and not for individualism and self. The
          spirit of individualism is, every man for himself; the spirit of
          the Gospel is, every man for his brother; and it is this
          influence that prompts a man to say, "Let me love the Lord my God
          with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my
          strength, and let me love my neighbor as myself, and seek his
          interests as well as my own." This is the Spirit of God; it is
          the spirit of the everlasting Gospel; it is the spirit of peace,
          and joy, and consolation and comfort, and there is real, true
          happiness in it. What a miserable feeling it is not to be able to
          meet a man frankly and cordially. How different when friends and
          brethren meet. Their countenances at once brighten, and there is
          a glow and warmth which bespeak their feelings for each other; it
          is a feeling of joy and satisfaction, and those who possess it
          desire to bless and do good to their fellow-men.
          I feel the importance of these simple truths; they are necessary
          to our growth as a community, and to our progress as individuals.
          God has revealed them for our guidance and salvation, both
          temporally and spiritually. Let us ponder upon them, and let
          nothing come between us and the Priesthood of God. Let us be
          united in all things, and when the time comes for us to vote for
          our municipal officers, let us have a clear understanding before
          hand, and then unite on it, and I will promise you that if you
          will do your part, God will do his part, and we will come off
          more than conquerors. And the day will not be far distant when
          the Priesthood of God will have the balance of power, and their
          rule and dominion now in the hands of the wicked upon the face of
          all the earth will be taken away from the corrupt and the wicked,
          and given unto the hands of the Saints of the Most High God, and
          he will reign for ever and ever. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, December 1, 1878
                            John Taylor, December 1, 1878
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
             Delivered at Bountiful, Davis County, on Sunday Afternoon,
                                  December 1, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I am pleased to meet with the Saints in this place; and I have
          been very much interested in the remarks that have bee made by
          the brethren who have spoken to us this morning as well as this
          afternoon. I think they have laid before us many good and
          precious principles which will result in our good, if we can only
          appreciate them and be governed by them.
          We are living in a very eventful day, in a time that is pregnant
          with great events; and it is necessary that we prepare ourselves
          so that we may be able to conform ourselves to the circumstances
          with which we are surrounded, and to fulfil the various duties
          that devolve upon us individually and collectively.
          The brethren who have addressed you have spoken more particularly
          upon temporal things--a subject which is very appropriate and
          important, because, although we may believe it is right, proper
          and profitable for us to be united in temporal matters, whatever
          our faith may be we do not quite carry it out. We make a stagger
          at it, but we do not seem to appreciate fully the position we
          occupy, and it is very difficult for men to comprehend these
          things. We have established organizations in the several Stakes,
          which are all very well so far as they go; they are the
          frame-work--the bones, and sinews and arteries and flesh
          (comparing them with the human body); they are very beautiful and
          symmetrical in all their parts. But they need the Spirit of God
          to breathe upon them to quicken them; with its life-giving
          vitality, energy and power, that they may fulfil their various
          functions as living, breathing and intelligent powers, that we
          may truly comprehend the position which we occupy in these
          various stakes, both officers and people, and we all of us may be
          active and alive and energetic in the pursuit of those principles
          which God has developed as necessary for our present and eternal
          There is order in all the creations of God. The planetary system
          by which we are surrounded and with which we are associated is
          governed by the strictest principles of law; all those
          magnificent bodies move in their several orbits in the midst of
          the power of God, sustained and directed by his Almighty hand.
          And everything in nature is also governed by law.
          To-day we can talk of railroads and steamboats. I remember the
          time, and many of you old people also remember, when there were
          no such things in existence. Well, but did not steam possess the
          same properties five thousand years ago as it does to-day? Yes,
          it did, the properties were precisely the same but we did not
          understand it, that's all. The principles were the same, and
          there is an eternal law by which all these things are governed.
          The same thing applies to electricity. Your remember very well
          when it took several months to send a message to Washington and
          receive an answer; now we can do it in as many minutes. But did
          not that principle always exist? Yes; but man did not know how to
          avail himself of it. I remember the time, too, very well when
          there was no such thing as gas, when whale oil was used, which
          produced a light that just about made darkness visible. We knew
          nothing about kerosene, or gasoline, or gas or any of these
          superior artificial lights; but then the principles existed then
          as they do now, but we did not understand them. We did not
          comprehend the position of things and it is only quite recently
          that some of these discoveries have been brought into operation.
          The art of photography has not been long known. When I was a boy
          people would have laughed at you if you had talked of taking a
          man's likeness in a minute's time; yet it is done. Did not light
          always possess the same properties? Yes, but man did not
          understand it. The same thing applies to the mineral world, the
          vegetable kingdom, the animal creation, and all the works of God.
          They are all governed by certain laws. The vegetables which you
          grow here, how were they organized? God organized them and placed
          them upon the earth, and gave them power to propagate their
          species; so also with regard to the animal creation, as well as
          birds, fishes, insects, &c.
          We talk sometimes about our temporal things. If we could
          understand things as God does, we should not be much troubled
          about them. If for a moment we reflect upon all creation that
          live upon this little globe--those that move in the air, the
          waters and on the land, we find there is a wisdom, an
          intelligence that provides for all. There is a prescient and an
          omnipotent power that governs, controls and shapes the affairs of
          this world according to the counsel of his will, and especially
          so in all matters pertaining to the human family. As one nation
          rises up and another falls, it is by his power that it is done.
          Nations and people may be in prosperity for a short time, but one
          touch of the finger of the Almighty and they wither, crumble and
          decay. Change succeeds change in human affairs, but the laws of
          God in everything are correct and true, in every stage and phase
          of nature, everything on the earth, in the waters and in the
          atmosphere is governed by unchangeable, eternal laws. There are
          some bodies that will unite; there are others that will not
          unite. You cannot, for instance, mix oil and water; you may shake
          them up together, but soon each one adheres to his own element.
          The sisters sometimes say they have good or bad luck, as the case
          may be, in the making of soap; but in reality there is no luck
          about it, for you would find that if you have the same properties
          equal in strength and quantity, using the same process, that the
          same results would be reached ninety-nine times out of every
          hundred, and you would find that you could afford to throw the
          other one in too--the conditions being the same. And so it is
          with the various minerals in all their organizations and
          conditions. They assume certain forms and they are known by
          geologists by their shapes, etc., and they are always true to
          them. And so it is with all the elements with which we are
          surrounded in the atmosphere, in the earth and in the water. We
          think we have learned a great deal, but if we did but know it we
          are only at the foot of the hill; and when we are able to
          comprehend things as God does we shall comprehend a great many
          principles that have never entered into our hearts to conceive
          of, although we are surrounded with those materials and are even
          treading them under our feet. To speak of these laws, God himself
          is governed by law, and the Priesthood in the eternal world are
          governed by law, just as much as his works are. Our earth rolls
          upon its axis and we have day and night, summer and winter,
          seed-time and harvest. When men comprehend the laws by which the
          planets are governed, they can tell you to a quarter of a second
          when an eclipse will take place, and when our earth will be in
          conjunction with other planets. Why? Because they are governed by
          eternal laws. There are a great many things by which we are
          governed of which we know very little and with which we have very
          little to do. For instance, I will mention the flowing of the
          blood; What has man to do with that? Nothing; still it flows and
          courses through the body. I have noticed an aged person, and seen
          his pulse begin to falter, as though the machinery of life were
          about to stand still, after having been in motion for perhaps
          sixty or one hundred years, during which time the pulse had
          continued to beat without any action on his part, day and night,
          asleep or awake. There is another principle that God has planted
          within us, which we call breathing. We continue to breathe, and
          what effort of the will does it require? No more that it does to
          cause the blood to flow. We are machines; God has made us and he
          is our Father. He has planted within us the breath of life and we
          continue to inhale and breathe day after day, month after month,
          and year after year. And when that stops, what then? Just the
          same as when the blood ceases to circulate in our veins--we pass
          away. And yet these emanate from God, and they are planted within
          us and we have nothing much to do with them. We have organs, and
          it seems as if the Lord plays in them; in his hands in the breath
          of life, and in him we live and move from day to day and from
          year to year, because he suffered us to. He once said to his
          disciples: "Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat;
          neither for your body what you shall put on. The life is more
          than meat, and the body is more that raiment. Consider the
          ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have
          storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye
          better than the fowls?" He watches over all, he cares for all, he
          is interested in all; and in him we live, move and have our
          What next? Are we mortal? Yes. Are we immortal? Yes. Have we to
          do with time? Yes. We have also to do with eternity. We are the
          offspring of God; and God in these last days has seen fit to
          place us in communication with himself. He has, through the
          revelations of himself and his Son Jesus Christ, by the ministry
          of holy angels and by the restoration of the holy priesthood
          which emanates from God, and by which he himself is governed,
          placed us in a position whereby we can fulfil the object of our
          creation. The world generally are not situated as we are; they do
          not comprehend things as we do, and hence in many instances they
          feel very bitter and acrimonious towards us. What is the matter?
          They do not understand our position; and we did not understand
          these things until they were communicated to us by the Spirit of
          the living God, and we could not, nor can any man obtain a
          knowledge of these things only by the laws which God has laid
          down. There may be lightning in abundance, but it cannot be used
          for the conveying of intelligence from place to place only as it
          is governed by law. If you communicate to any part of the world
          through this means, you must have the wires laid and the
          instruments properly connected and adjusted, and then you must
          know how to operate them; if you don't know how to do this your
          labor is in vain--the wire, the instruments, etc., are useless.
          You might possess a most magnificent steam-engine, but unless
          charged with steam of what use could it be? But let the fire and
          water be put to it, and have a good engineer to manage it, and
          you may then travel from your settlement here to Salt Lake City
          or to Ogden quite rapidly. But without these things would the
          engine be of any use? None whatever.
          There are certain eternal laws that have existed from before the
          foundation of the world. There has been a priesthood also in
          existence always, and hence it is called the everlasting
          priesthood, and it administers in time and in eternity. That
          priesthood has been conferred upon man together with the right of
          the Gospel; and we are told how man can get into possession of
          the Holy Spirit of God, and how he can be placed in communication
          with God, just the same as you would place one town in
          communication with another by means of the electric wire. We are
          told how to do that, and that is by faith in the Lord Jesus
          Christ; by repentance and baptism for the remission of sin, and
          by having hands laid upon our heads for the reception of the Holy
          Ghost. This is a way which God has appointed--an eternal law
          which man can not gainsay nor depart from any more than they can
          from any other law of God. He has given us other views in
          relations to these matters. He has revealed things concerning the
          relationship that exists between husband and wife between
          children and parents and between the various quorum organizations
          of his Church. He has placed in our power certain principles
          which are the offspring of God, which have emanated from him, in
          regard to endowments and anointings and other intelligence which
          it would not be proper to speak of at the present time. Where did
          all these originate? In the first place in the one great
          principle that God had revealed himself to the human family and
          had restored the everlasting Gospel, and that with it came all
          these other things--apostles and high priests and elders and
          patriarchs and bishops and high councilors and all the various
          organizations of the Church and kingdom of God as they now exist
          upon the earth, all occupying their own peculiar place and
          position. What for? For the building up of a something that is
          called Zion or the pure in heart. What for? For my
          aggrandizement? for yours? for my individual interests or for
          yours? No. But in the interest of God and of Jesus the Mediator
          of the New Covenant, of Adam and of all the ancient patriarchs
          and apostles and men of God who have lived before, both on the
          Asiatic and American continent, with the powers that exist in the
          heavens that may be revealed through the medium which He has
          appointed to men who dwell upon the earth; that we might stand in
          and occupy our true position before God, not acting and operating
          of ourselves or by ourselves or by anything inherent in us or by
          virtue of any intelligence with which we individually may be
          endowed, but by that alone which God communicates. To whom are we
          indebted for the light we have to-day? Some might say to Joseph
          Smith. Yes, as the instrument, but primarily to God and the
          Priesthood behind the vail. Could Joseph Smith have revealed
          anything if it had not been communicated to him? No. Could
          Brigham Young? No. Could anybody else? No; no man can reveal
          anything pertaining to these matters only as it is given to him
          and he is permitted by the Lord, who is the Author of all light,
          intelligence and knowledge which we, his children, possess. And
          he has gathered us together for the purpose of instructing us
          that we may operate with him and by him and through the
          intelligence which he imparts, in building up his Zion of the
          last days. The world say we are exclusive. We cannot help that.
          Are we exclusive? To a certain extent, yes. For instance, I know
          there is a law which God has given. Can I ignore that law and
          expect blessings from God? No. Can you? No, you cannot. Can men
          climb any other way into the favor of God than that which he has
          appointed? No, they cannot. What will you do? We will try and
          help the Lord to do the very best he can for them; and we will do
          the best we can for them. One thing we can do, and we are set
          apart many of us for that purpose, and that is to go and preach
          the Gospel to every creature. This the Lord requires at our
          hands, especially we Seventies, Elders and Apostles. We can do
          all that is in our power for the people in this way. 
          And what next? Can we make them believe? No. Can we make them
          obey the Gospel? No. We would not if we could, because if there
          was any force made use of for the accomplishment of that object,
          it would only result in evil instead of good. We are told by
          Joseph Smith that "No power or influence can, or ought to be
          maintained, by virtue of the Priesthood only by persuasion, by
          long suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love
          unfeigned; by kindness and pure knowledge." They are not to be
          exercised by force. This is the way I look at these things, and I
          take the same view of our temporal affairs of which we have heard
          so much to-day. Should I wish to control any man? No, I would
          show him the right way. Should I feel indignant at the follies of
          men and wish to destroy people? No. David, we are told, prayed to
          the Lord that his enemies might be sent to hell quickly; Jesus
          said, when suffering at the hands of cruel men all that human
          nature could endure, "Father, forgive them, for they know not
          what they do." I like the latter better than the former. Who are
          the people of the world? They are the children of God. If they
          are not heirs with God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, they
          are all his offspring. And what is he going to do with them? The
          very best he can; and we will try and help him do it. We will set
          them good patterns; we will teach them by precept and example
          better ways, and seek to the Lord for wisdom to govern us, and
          then try and benefit them. But shall we allow them to destroy us?
          No. Shall we allow our children to be taught by them? No, never
          by them, for they know not the way of life, and are enemies to
          God and his laws. God has given unto us children, and he not only
          expects obedience from us, but expects us, as he did Abraham, to
          command our children after us to obey the Lord. Then do not let
          us give them over to the powers of darkness to be taught by the
          enemies of God and his people. But let us study their interests,
          both for time and eternity, and set them good examples, and keep
          them from the contamination of the world. I heard a statement of
          a circumstance said to have transpired in one of those schools in
          Salt Lake City which was something like this; A teacher
          interrogating the children of a certain school asked--Who is the
          great false prophet of the 19th century? In answering a child
          mentioned John Taylor. I was a little amused at it; although I
          suppose it was intended that they should have given the name of
          Joseph Smith, but the little one made a mistake. But what of the
          idea of our children attending the schools of people who teach
          and catechise them in this way? Don't you think it rather
          humiliating? I think we are descending very low when we can
          submit to their tuition. We do not want to partake of their
          feelings nor contract their ways, nor to be degraded with either
          their social or religious principles, but at the same time we
          wish to do them all the good we can. If they lie about us, never
          mind that; we can stand all they can say about us. Would we want
          to injure them? I hope not. We ought to deal with and treat
          everybody aright, acting justly and honorably with all. But then
          we do not want them to be our teachers. They would think they
          were doing God's service if they could by any influence lead us
          astray. What will the Lord do with them? He will put the more
          worthy of them in the Terrestrial kingdom, and the other class
          will inherit a telestial kingdom, but they will never get into
          the celestial kingdom, unless it be through the medium of that
          priesthood conferred upon us by the Lord. Then do we wish our
          children to be taught by those who would seek to degrade and lead
          them to another and a lower place than that we hope to enjoy?
          Certainly not. What was said of Abraham, speaking of his
          children? The Lord says, "I know Abraham." What do you know?
          "That he will fear me and command his children and his household
          after him, etc." We want to be very careful about training our
          children, we should act honestly before them; for if they see
          father or mother act dishonestly, the children will be likely to
          follow their example. We should be careful too not to be found
          speaking harshly or using hard words in their presence. But
          rather do as the old lady used to do when teaching school; when
          the children would come to a word they could not pronounce, she
          would tell them to skip it and call it "hard-word." Let our lives
          and actions and conduct bespeak that we are men of God, that we
          are acting uprightly and righteously and performing the will of
          God upon the earth.
          Well, now, a little further in relation to these things. Shall we
          benefit? Yes, we will do all the good we can. But if men lie and
          become fraudulent, and delight in abominations and are void of
          principle, then we will say, with him of old, "My soul enter thou
          not into their secret, and mine honor with him be not thou
          united." We are gathered here for the express purposes of God;
          the world, however, do not understand it. But I tell you what
          they will do, by-and-by. You will see them flocking to Zion by
          thousands and tens of thousands; and they will say, "We don't
          know anything about your religion, we don't care much about
          religious matters, but you are honest and honorable, and upright
          and just, and you have a good, just and secure government, and we
          want to put ourselves under your protection, for we cannot feel
          safe anywhere else." There is a scripture which says, the time
          will come "when he that will not take up his sword to fight
          against his neighbor, must needs flee to Zion for safety." And
          they will come. But we must prepare ourselves; we have got to
          have the invigorating influence of the Spirit of God to permeate
          all of our organizations, all feeling that we are under the
          guidance and protection of the Almighty, every man in his place,
          and every man according to the order of the priesthood in which
          God has placed him. Does a Bishop expect the members of his ward
          to be subject to him? Yes. Then if the President of a Stake
          expects obedience from those under him he must be subject to
          those over him. The Priests, Teachers and Deacons in their place,
          the Bishops in theirs; the Presidents of Stakes in theirs; the
          High Priests, Seventies, and all others, magnifying their
          respective callings, filling the positions they occupy, holding
          themselves as minute men, clothed upon with the power of God and
          the holy priesthood which rests upon them. And when more of that
          spirit is in existence among the elders of Israel, they will feel
          the word of God like fire in their bones, and they will desire to
          go forth carrying the word of life and salvation to their
          fellowmen who are scattered throughout the earth. A good many are
          beginning to feel like that now, the fire is beginning to burn a
          little more, and if we continue to fulfil our duties--and do not
          go and ask people to believe something we can hardly believe
          ourselves; but go full of faith, seeking all the while unto God
          for more intelligence, his Holy Spirit will beam upon the altar
          of our hearts; the revelations of God will be unfolded and we
          shall feel in our hearts to exclaim, O, God, let me go forth to
          lift up a warning voice for thy judgments are approaching, the
          nations are shaking, thrones are tottering and will be cast down,
          and wars and commotions are spreading abroad, and I want to go
          and snatch those who are honest "as brands from the burning;" so
          that when I have accomplished my work I can feel that my garments
          are spotless from the blood of all men. This is the kind of
          feeling we should have and be governed by. As for these other
          matters of a temporal nature before referred to, if we cannot
          co-operate together and do it honestly and in good faith, as this
          is one of the very best things that can be required of us, it is
          a very little that we can do. We should cultivate the Spirit of
          God ourselves; we ought to drink freely of that water which the
          Savior told the woman of Samaria that he was able, to give to
          her, even that water that would, "be in her as a well springing
          up to everlasting life." We have drank already at that well; it
          remains now for us to permit it to bubble and burst forth, to
          flow and spread its revivifying influence all around. We ought to
          have a heaven upon earth--to be really the Zion of our God, the
          pure in heart, each one seeking another's welfare. "Thou shalt
          love the Lord they God with all they heart, with all they might,
          with all thy soul, with all they strength, and thy neighbor as
          thyself." We have hardly got to that yet; but supposing Paul were
          to come along and say a little further--each one preferring his
          neighbor. That part of it we will let alone awhile. But if we
          could feel we are the children of God, all animated by that same
          Holy Spirit, producing peace and joy, and all welded together in
          one common brotherhood, in the bonds of the everlasting Gospel,
          all operating with God and the holy priesthood who have lived in
          other ages, to carry out his purposes upon the earth, and
          assisting to redeem the earth and establish his kingdom, never
          more to be thrown down. If we could feel like this, we should
          drop our individuality and self-esteem a little, we should seek
          to do not our own will, but the will of Him who sent us.
          I find that the time is passing. In conclusion let me say,
          brethren, love one another, be kind to each other; if you have
          difficulties, settle them honorably. I do not know a man upon the
          earth that I have a solitary feeling against. I would not
          entertain such feelings, because they make one feel miserable.
          Forgive one another; bear with one another's infirmities. We are
          not all alike. Our faces are different, our habits are different,
          although made of the same material and possessing the same kind
          of an organization. So dissimilar are we that you can hardly find
          two people alike. I do not want everybody to think as I do. I am
          willing to grant every one a great amount of leeway in regard to
          these things; but I would like to see everybody do right and
          cleave to God. And as for a great many other little things I care
          very little about them. Let men treat their wives kindly; and
          then you wives can afford to treat you husbands the same, can't
          you? Let all cultivate charity and forbearance, and how much
          better it will make you feel! Children, obey your parents; and
          parents treat your children kindly, and let us all seek to do the
          will of God upon the earth. May God bless you, brethren and
          sisters, and lead you in the paths of life; and may God help us
          all to do right, and may the fear and blessing of God rest upon
          all Israel and upon all that love the truth everywhere, and may
          our enemies be confounded in all their plottings against Zion, in
          the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, February 2nd, 1879
                           John Taylor, February 2nd, 1879
           At the Funeral Services of Brother Dimick B. Huntington, in the
                                      16th Ward
           Meeting House, Salt Lake City, on Sunday Morning, February 2nd,
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          There are a great many things associated with human existence
          that call upon people to reflect. We came into the world, and
          people are coming into it in a continuous stream--children are
          being born as all of us were in our turn; and whilst some are
          coming into the world giving pleasure to their parents and
          friends, there are trials, anxieties, cares and perplexities
          attending to the nurture of the babe and the care of youth until
          they arrive at years of maturity. Then comes the struggles of
          life with all its attendant cares and responsibilities.
          With us particularly the greatest thing that we think of
          associated with the welfare of our youth is that they become
          acquainted with the principles of truth, with the order and
          organization of the kingdom of God, that they comprehend in some
          measure the laws of life and prepare to live for the future that
          is before them.
          Brother Huntington has lived a great length of time associated
          with this church and kingdom, and has arrived to what is often
          termed "the sere and yellow leaf," when it is expected, according
          to the common course of humanity, that people must leave and go
          into another state of existence. For quite a long time it has
          been known by his more intimate friends that he was shortly to
          leave. I visited him not long ago myself, and had a very pleasant
          interview with him, and since then I never thought of his living
          long; in fact I expected to attend his funeral as we are now
          doing. But there was no compunction of feeling--no desire to
          continue to live; but the felt as though he had accomplished the
          work that was assigned him. Speaking to him, as I sometimes do to
          our aged brethren on some occasions, I said, "Well, Brother
          Dimick, you are about leaving, and, when you, go carry my best
          respects to our friends who are already there, and tell them I
          will continue to do the best I can in the hope of by and by
          meeting with them." And that is about the way that I look at
          these things. We have our entries into the world, our struggles
          in the world, and when we get through with these, and the weary
          wheels of life stand still, then we pass into another state of
          existence. The Gospel has revealed to us some of the most
          glorious, exalting, ennobling and encouraging principles; and
          when we are in possession of these principles and the feelings
          they produce, there is no terror in the approach of death. I have
          seen the time myself when I could have died just as easy as not
          if my time had come, and would just as soon have done so as not,
          and I do not feel much otherwise to-day.
          There is something very interesting in all the affairs of human
          life, especially is there associated with us as a people. Brother
          Huntington has been with us for a great many years, and has
          passed through many trying scenes with the church in Missouri and
          elsewhere, and while they are not of the most pleasant nature to
          contemplate, at the same time they serve to show the faithfulness
          and integrity of those who have been associated with them. I see
          around me a good many of the brethren who, by experience, know
          all about these things, and I see too that their hair, like mine,
          is getting--I will not call it gray, but a little white. Some
          people felt sorry for us when enduring these things, but we did
          not feel sorry for ourselves, nor do we to-day. Some felt as
          though it was impossible to bear up under the continued struggles
          that we had to pass through; but the Latter-day Saints had no
          such feelings. They reflected upon the future and upon those
          great principles of eternal life which God has given unto them,
          and these thoughts stimulate us with hope and joy to-day; and as
          the effervescent affairs of time slide and pass away the Saints
          of God rejoice in the knowledge that an inheritance which is
          incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, is reserved
          in the heavens for them. And they feel also that they have been
          called, and chosen, and elected by the Almighty to help to
          establish his kingdom on the earth, to introduce among men those
          principles that exist in the eternal worlds and to maintain them
          by the Spirit, the power and strength of the living God. They
          feel that they have a work to perform, and doing that work they
          realize that God is with them and that all will be right, whether
          it relates to this world or the world to come; that is the
          feeling which the Gospel of the Son of God inspires in the hearts
          of those who live up to its requirements, obey its demands, and
          fulfil the various duties devolving upon them.
          It is not with them simply a personal matter. The Latter-day
          Saints feel as though they occupy a peculiar position in the
          world--that God has selected them from among the nations of the
          earth and gathered them together that he might place his name
          among them; and that in the coming struggle, in the great
          revolutions that shall transpire upon the face of the earth, it
          will be for them to manage, to direct, to control and adjust, and
          under the influence and guidance of the Spirit of the living God,
          to promulgate the principles of eternal truth to all people, that
          all mankind may have the opportunity of listening to the great
          and glorious principles that God has revealed to them, that they
          may be inducted into the laws of life and comprehend the
          principles of truth as they exist in the bosom of God; and
          holding the priesthood in all its various forms, organizations
          and powers, they feel that they are associated with the
          priesthood on the other side of the vail, who are interested in
          their welfare, in the progress of the work in which they are
          engaged, and in the accomplishment of the purpose which God has
          designed from before the commencement of the world. This is the
          kind of feeling that the Latter-day Saints are inspired with who
          comprehend their true position. And hence there are organizations
          of High Priests, Seventies, Elders and others, whose duty it is
          to go to nations of the earth to proclaim to all peoples the glad
          tidings of salvation. And whilst men ignorantly, and without
          knowledge, seek to persecute, proscribe and interfere with the
          rights of Israel, the God of Israel stands forth as their
          defender and will protect them under all circumstances, and every
          arm that is raised against them will fall, and every power that
          is marshalled against them will crumble to pieces, for he will
          assuredly take care of his people, and protect them in every
          And when we comprehend these things, we realize that we are here
          not to do our will, but the will of the Father who sent us. We
          are here to introduce those eternal principles that exist in the
          bosom of the Almighty; we are here to build up the Church and
          kingdom of God upon the earth, and to form a nucleus through
          which and by which the God of heaven can work, operate, lead,
          dictate, and control the affairs of all men. He has introduced a
          little leaven which will by and by leaven the whole lump. And
          although wars, commotions, troubles, difficulties, bloodshed,
          plagues, pestilence and famine will stalk over the earth, the
          nations totter and fall, thrones be cast down and the powers of
          the earth be shaken, yet God will protect Israel, he will
          maintain his people, if they will cleave to him and obey his laws
          and keep his commandments; and we are here to introduce and
          establish these heavenly principles that exist with God, and to
          teach the principles of life to the people, that all mankind may
          have the opportunity of hearing and knowing of the great things
          that God has revealed for the salvation of the human family. We
          are here, then, for the accomplishment of these things. We are
          here not only to proclaim salvation to the living, not only to
          introduce the principles of law, and government, and religion,
          and everything calculated to exalt and ennoble man upon the
          earth, until the kingdoms of this earth shall grow and increase,
          and become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ, but we are
          here also to redeem the dead, to build temples and administer
          therein and to accomplish all the various works that God requires
          us as his servants to attend to. And when one after another of
          our friends passes away, what of it? It is only the ordinary
          course of nature, and it makes very little difference whether a
          man be on this side of the vail or on the other. Brother Dimick
          has gone where paralysis cannot strike him any more, where sorrow
          and sighing with him are passed, and where everything is
          pleasant, joyous and happifying, and where he can rejoice with
          his brethren who have gone before him. Do we feel to sorrow
          because of the change? No, not in the least. We feel about this
          as you, my brethren and sisters, did in years gone by, when
          leaving your friends and, perhaps families, to gather to Zion,
          and as your friends did in seeing you take your departure. They
          would shake you heartily by the hand and say: "Well, I am sorry
          you are going and yet I am glad, and I will try to follow you as
          soon as I can." That is about the feeling. It is an ordeal that
          God has placed upon all men, and we have got to meet it, and
          having met it, like all other things, we are prepared for what
          But let us speak of the living, for it is with those actualities
          we have now to do in relation to things that are transpiring.
          Sometimes people will say, "Don't you feel a little scared about
          things now?" referring to inimical legislation. No much; at least
          I do not. I do not know that it makes my knees tremble much. I
          feel as pleasant, joyous, comfortably and happy to-day as at any
          other time; all is right. Men cannot do as they please. God rules
          in the heavens; and the Prophet has said, "Surely the wrath of
          man shall praise thee, and the remainder of wrath shalt thou
          restrain." It is His duty to take care of His Saints, and why
          need we trouble much about it? We have children, and it is our
          duty to take care of them; and it appears that they are not much
          concerned where their dinner or their clothes come from; the
          believe that "daddy" will take care of that.
          As regards brother Dimick, it is all right with him. I would say
          to him, "Peace to his ashes," and I would say to his family and
          friends, "Be comforted, peace be multiplied to you, and have
          confidence in God and all will be right." And by and by you will
          pass along, and we will come and see you if you do not come and
          see us; that is, we will bury you if you do not bury us first.
          And by and by we will all be on the other side of Jordan, singing
          "Hallelujah, hallelujah, the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth."
          Let us seek to do right. That is the main thing for us Saints to
          do. I do not fear the world, nor any of its affairs or
          influences, or powers, or any of its intrigues, nor anything it
          can devise; for God will take care of his people if they do
          right. The only fear that I have is, that people will forsake
          their God, and lose faith in him and his promises, and be found
          serving the evil one instead of serving the Lord. If we fear God
          and keep his commandments, live our religion, and pursue a proper
          course, all will be well with us in time and through eternity.
          Brother Huntington for many years was associated with the High
          Council; he has gone now to associate with the councils above,
          and with the various organizations of priesthood that are
          eternal, endless and everlasting. And we, by and by, will follow
          to join our quorums, our friends and associates who have gone
          I am reminded of an item in Brother Dimick's written request,
          desiring that only his good deeds should be spoken of at his
          funeral, and also of a remark by Brother Taylor, in referring to
          it, that we should not speak anything but good of our friends
          whether living or dead. I am really astonished sometimes to
          witness the hard feelings and rancor that exist among men. They
          come--I do not know where they come from; yes, I do too, they
          come from beneath. The fruits of the Spirit of God are love,
          peace, joy, gentleness, long-suffering, kindness, affection, and
          everything that is good and amiable. The fruits of the spirit of
          the devil are envy, hatred, malice, irritableness, everything
          that tends to destroy mankind, and to make them feel
          uncomfortable and unhappy. The fruits of the Spirit of God are
          love, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and the man that says
          he loves God and hateth his brother, is a liar, and the truth is
          not in him. I do not care who he may be, or what his name, or
          where he lives. This is the way I read the Scripture, and the way
          the Gospel teaches me. "By this shall all men know that ye are my
          disciples, if ye have love one to another." Even an outside poet
          has sung:
          "Then speak no ill, a kindly word 
          Can never leave a sting behind," etc.
          Let us be governed by these principles, and cleave to everything
          that is ennobling, that we may be associated together in the
          bonds of fraternity, love and affection, live our religion, keep
          God's commandments, and cultivate his holy Spirit, and the spirit
          of kindness, affection, and love and fraternity among ourselves;
          so that when we get through with our affairs on this earth, we
          may meet with joy all those with whom we have associated on the
          earth below.
          God bless the family of Brother Huntington--his wives and
          children and grandchildren, and all pertaining to him. To his
          children I would say: follow the example of your father, and God
          will bless you and save you ultimately with him in his kingdom.
          And may God help us all to be humble and diligent in keeping his
          commandments, that we may be saved in his kingdom, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / Orson
          Pratt, March 9th, 1879
                            Orson Pratt, March 9th, 1879
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
              Delivered in the North Branch Meeting Room, of the London
                         on Sunday Evening, March 9th, 1879.
                       (Reported by Joseph May, of Sheffield.)
          It is with pleasure, brethren and sisters, that I rise before
          this small assembly to address them upon such subjects as may be
          put into my heart. However much learning and information may be
          in the possession of a speaker is does not matter, God is able,
          by his Spirit, to make use of the most unlearned, if they will
          but seek unto him, and have faith in him, that he can speak
          through them to the edification of the people who hear. We have a
          vast amount of information which the Lord has revealed from on
          high in different periods of the world's history, as well as in
          our own day; information that is of the greatest importance to
          the human family; information that has relation to our eternal
          happiness and welfare in the world to come, if we can but obtain
          enough of the spirit of truth to impart that information to our
          We latter-day Saints, are living in a peculiar age of the world;
          we are called by the Almighty, by new revelation. We have not
          taken this name upon ourselves, it is a name the Lord gave by
          direct revelation through the prophet and seer, Joseph Smith. The
          Lord spoke to him, as he always did to those who were sent forth
          to build up his Church on the earth; hence, this Church has not
          been built upon the opinions of men, neither upon the learning of
          men, neither upon the doctrines and covenants of men; but in the
          very beginning, before there were any Latter-day Saints, or true
          Church, the Lord gave a revelation regarding the time when the
          Church should be organized. A few had believed, a few had
          repented, a few had been baptized for the remission of their
          sins, and a few had been confirmed, by the laying on of hands,
          for the gift of the Holy Ghost. They were organized into a Church
          by commandment, and on the same day that they were thus
          organized, the Lord pointed out the duties of the members, and
          also of the officers of the Church. It was also revealed that in
          the Church of the living God there would be inspired apostles. We
          did not assume the apostleship ourselves, we did not pick up this
          information in and of ourselves, but the Lord gave revelation
          respecting it. And, indeed, there is not one doctrine believed in
          or practiced by the Latter-day Saints, but what the Lord our God
          has given revelation upon that subject or that doctrine. In the
          first place, before the establishment of the Church, the Lord
          intending to set up his kingdom again on the earth, made
          preparation for it by raising up a boy--a young man, unlearned in
          the schools of theology. This youth was inspired from on high.
          God sent his holy angels to minister to him, and gave him power
          to bring forth a sacred record of a branch of the house of
          Israel, a record, in other words, of a remnant of Israel, who
          inhabited the great western continent. Their records were brought
          forth by this boy, this young, unlearned, uneducated youth. He
          did not attempt to establish the Church while translating those
          records. This was the first duty required at his hands--namely,
          to translate from the plates of gold, which he discovered, by the
          aid of an instrument, called the Urim and Thummim. This sacred
          instrument was used in ancient times to inquire of the Lord. This
          young man continued the work of translation from the autumn of
          the year 1827, until 1829, as time and circumstances would
          permit. He was a man whose father was in poverty, and
          consequently a portion of his time had to be occupied by himself
          in laboring to obtain the necessary comforts of life; but he,
          after some two years and a half, succeeded in finishing and
          printing the record, a record which contains about 600 pages.
          After this record was translated, and the manuscript placed in a
          hands of the certain printer in Palmyra, State of New York, and
          after it had been printed, and the Lord had prepared all things,
          he then gave commandment to this young man to organize the
          Church, that is, to establish the Latter-day kingdom spoken of by
          Daniel, the prophet, on the earth, and gave the name by which the
          same should be called--namely, "The Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints."
          In regard to our forms of Church government, we are also guided
          by written and printed revelations. We were not left to
          ourselves, to conjecture, or merely to base our opinion, in
          regard to what the various duties of the officers of the Church
          are, but the Lord did distinctly point out the duty of an
          apostle, telling us that that was one of the officers of the
          Church, that it is his duty to receive revelation--to receive
          communications from the heavens, as the apostles did in ancient
          times, and to administer in all of the ordinances of the doctrine
          of Jesus Christ, and to regulate the Church and watch over the
          same, and to administer in all spiritual things. The Lord also
          pointed out the duties of Elders, and of the lesser priesthood.
          Now we should not have known anything about, what is termed, the
          "lesser priesthood," if it had not been for new revelation. We
          read about two priesthoods in the Bible; one was called, the
          "higher priesthood" the priesthood after the order of
          Melchizedek; the other was called, the "lesser priesthood," or
          the priesthood after the order of Aaron, the Levitical
          priesthood, some would term it. But we knew nothing about these
          things only so far as the Lord revealed them. There were none to
          take us by the hand, and say to us, "we have the priesthood of
          the Church, we can teach you what the duties of the respective
          officers are," but these things had to be learned anew.
          The Lord did not see proper, at the first, to give us the fulness
          of the authority that he afterwards revealed. He gave us the
          lesser priesthood. And how did he do it? It was not on the earth.
          You might have searched all the various Christian churches, built
          up among all the nations, and you could not have found among any
          of them, what is termed the "lesser priesthood," after the order
          of Aaron, and yet we are told, in the Jewish record, (the Bible,)
          that the priesthood of Aaron is an "everlasting priesthood," that
          it was intended to be continued while the sun and the moon should
          endure--that is, when men were acknowledged sufficiently worthy,
          to have that priesthood on the earth. It has never died out. It
          has been in the heavens all the time. Death takes no authority of
          a divine nature, from any human being, when it is once conferred
          upon him, if he is faithful until death; consequently there were
          persons in the heavens who held that priesthood, but no one upon
          the earth, no one that ever pretended to have it, among the
          Christian denominations. And the Jewish people, who pretend to
          have the Levitical priesthood, rejected and do still reject the
          true Messiah, consequently, their priesthood is null and without
          authority, and they could not, therefore, administer baptism, for
          the remission of sins, as John the Baptist did, the forerunner of
          Christ, who held that priesthood.
          There was no other way, therefore, for this priesthood to be
          established again on the earth, only for it to be sent down from
          heaven; and the Lord did this. Without it, all of our
          ministrations would have been in vain. We could not have
          officiated, without some kind of authority, or priesthood. How
          did the Lord restore it? In answer to humble, solemn prayer,
          before the Church arose, the Lord sent his angel, John the
          Baptist, to two of his servants, namely, the translator of the
          work, and also the scribe who was writing from his mouth. This
          angel came, and laid his hands upon their heads, and ordained
          them, unto the same priesthood which he himself held. They were
          also instructed, by that angel, concerning the nature of the
          duties of that priesthood. They were told that they should
          baptize the people, as John did in ancient times, for the
          remission of sins, but they had no power, by this priesthood, to
          lay their hands upon baptized believers, that they might receive
          the Holy Ghost; that authority did not belong to the lesser
          priesthood, but required a greater power than the Levitical
          priesthood to administer that divine ordinance, for the baptism
          of the Holy Ghost. Therefore these persons could, as yet, only
          baptize in water; but they sought diligently, knowing from the
          Bible, and also from the Book of Mormon, which they were
          translating, that the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy
          Ghost, was a sacred and holy ordinance, and that without it, the
          Church could not be organized on the earth. Knowing this, they
          pleaded before the heavens, that God would condescend to give
          them a higher priesthood, that would enable them also to
          administer in those higher Gospel ordinances. The Lord heard
          their prayers, and three heavenly personages were sent to them.
          What authority did these three angelic personages hold? They held
          the apostleship. They were the ancient apostles, Peter, James and
          John, three of the most conspicuous of the ancient apostles. They
          were sent as ministering angels. They also conferred upon them
          the apostleship. The apostleship holds this higher priesthood,
          after the order of Melchizedek, a priesthood greater than that of
          Aaron; and hence, when they received the apostleship, or this
          divine authority, they were commanded to call the baptized
          believers together, and lay their hands upon them, and confirm
          upon them the gift of the Holy Ghost.
          In this way the Church was organized, on the 6th day of April,
          1830, in Fayette, Seneca Co., New York, or rather began to be
          organized, for there are many things besides these first
          principles of the Gospel I have named, that are essential duties
          necessary to be practised amongst the people of God. After they
          were thus organized and confirmed by the laying on of hands, and
          became members of the Church, then it became necessary, that
          there should be other officers, as leaders, and guides, and
          persons, holding different authority, to administer in their
          respective callings, among the people and hence, deacons,
          teachers and elders were given, and after a while bishops. Now,
          we had but little knowledge of the duties of bishops. We knew
          what the sectarian religionists expressed, in regard to bishops,
          that they were to administer principally in spiritual things, but
          the Lord gave us altogether a different view of this subject,
          from what we had learned from sectarian religion. He gave by
          revelation, the duties of bishops, that they were to hold the
          presidency of the Aaronic priesthood, that they were to
          administer in all temporal things, and not spiritual things only.
          And finally other officers were pointed out, from time to time,
          as the Church increased and among these, the Lord had told his
          servants, about a year before the organization of the Church,
          that there would be Twelve Apostles appointed, and that the Lord
          should designate to them, who these Twelve Apostles should be.
          These Twelve, in due time, were called and ordained, by the
          commandment of the Almighty, and they also had their duties
          specified by revelation. Their duties were more particularly, to
          see that the gospel was preached to every nation, and kindred,
          and tongue, and people, upon the face of our globe; first, to
          carry it to the Gentile nations, and after we had completed our
          mission to the Gentiles, then our calling and duties would be to
          the house of Israel scattered in the four quarters of the earth.
          We have been now almost one half a century, in fulfilling the
          first part of our duty, namely, in publishing the Gospel to the
          gentile nations.
          We have sought diligently, year after year, to publish glad
          tidings of great joy, to all the different peoples on the face of
          the earth, so far as the government, and the laws of the
          respective governments, of these nations would permit the Gospel
          of the Church of Christ, to be established amongst them. We have
          sought diligently, therefore, to perform our mission to the
          Gentiles. We have not gone to the house of Israel, because that
          was not the commandment. We were commanded of the Lord our God,
          to preach to the Gentiles first, to warn them, to testify to them
          that their times are nearly fulfilled; and that then the Gospel
          of the kingdom should be turned from among them, and transferred
          over to the house of Israel. We have been faithful, I believe, in
          England, in Wales, in Scotland, in Ireland, and upon the
          Continent, among the European nations, so far as their laws would
          permit, and also among the various States of the American union,
          and in the British dominions, the Canadas. And we have tried to
          be faithful, in carrying out our testimony also to the British
          Colonies in India; and also in the Southern portions of Africa;
          and also in Gibraltar, and in South Australia, and New Zealand
          and in all those various countries, trying to warn the Gentile
          nations, concerning that which the Lord our God is beginning to
          do here on the earth. Having established his kingdom, he offers
          it first to these Gentile nations, if they will receive it; and
          when they shall account themselves unworthy of the kingdom,
          unworthy of eternal life, unworthy of the message which God has
          sent to them, and shall persecute his servants and his people all
          the day long and shall close up their sanctuaries, their
          Churches, and their chapels, their meeting houses, and their
          places of worship against this message, and when it can no longer
          find place among them, so as to bring them to a knowledge and
          understanding of the truth, the Lord will, after a while,
          designate by revelation, and say unto his servants, "It is
          enough. You have been faithful in laboring in my vineyard, for
          the last time;" for it was the decree of heaven, that this shall
          be the last time, that he will labor in his vineyard. It is the
          eleventh hour the last warning that will be given to the nations
          of the earth, first to the Gentiles, and then to the House of
          When they shall render themselves unworthy of this great and
          joyful message, that has been presented to them, the servants of
          God will, as I have already stated, have it revealed to them, to
          confine no longer their mission to the Gentiles; but they will
          receive a commission from the Almighty to go to the scattered
          remnants of the House of Israel, wherever they may be located.
          The American Indians are the descendants of the remnant of the
          tribe of Joseph with a mixture of the descendants of one of the
          kings of Israel of the tribe of Judah; hence, Judah and Joseph
          are mixed together, and God will send his servants among them,
          and they will receive the records of their fathers. They will
          believe in those records, which their forefathers kept by
          inspiration, and believe in the revelations that are contained
          therein. It is their Bible, the same as the Old and New
          Testaments are the Bible of the Jews, that lived at Jerusalem.
          They, the Indians, will not reject it, but obey it, and
          practically receive it, and become a powerful branch of the House
          of Israel. The servants of the Lord will also be sent to the
          Jews, some of whom are here in London. Some are mingled with the
          various nations of Europe. Many hundreds of thousands of them are
          in Asia and among all nations. These Jews must be warned, when we
          get through with the Gentiles; and they will begin to believe in
          Christ, according to the prophecies, that are contained in the
          Stick of Joseph. They will begin to believe in the true Messiah
          and gather unto their land, the land of Palestine; and there will
          be many of the people of Israel, that are scattered upon the
          Isles of the sea,--on the Pacific Isles,--who will receive the
          work; and the Lord will perform in their midst, miracles, and
          signs, and wonders, and make bare his arm, just as is prophesied
          by Isaiah in bringing about his covenants to the House of Israel.
          And he will make bare his arm very differently from what he has
          done among the Gentiles; for among the Gentiles, he has, it is
          true, healed the sick; he has opened the eyes of the blind; he
          has caused the tongue of the dumb in some instances, to sing; and
          he has healed them of various diseases; and there has been a
          certain degree of the power and gifts of the ancient Gospel,
          manifested as in ancient times, among the ancient Gentile
          Churches. But I do not call this the making bare of the arm of
          the Almighty in so great fulness as it is predicted in the Jewish
          record, the Bible. It is making bare his arm in some small
          degree. And we have great reason to be thankful, when he does
          hear the prayers of his servants, when he does heal those who are
          sick, and when he does show forth his power as in ancient time,
          in these spiritual gifts and blessings, which belong especially
          to the Gospel of his Son. But when I speak of the Lord making
          bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, I have reference to
          that what which is predicted in this book, called the Bible, when
          the waters will again be divided, and Israel will go through
          dryshod, as they did in ancient times. When the great deep will
          have a highway cast up through the midst of it, and Israel will
          pass through it dryshod. When I mention about the Lord making
          bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, I have reference to
          that tremendous power, that is specified by the Ancient prophets,
          which will be made manifest before all people, all governments,
          nations and countries upon the face of the whole earth. Israel
          will return with power. Will God be with them when they return?
          He will. He will go as literally before their Camp, as they go
          out from among the nations, as he did in ancient times when he
          brought them out from that one single nation of the Egyptians.
          Then there was a display of great power, great signs, great
          wonders. The Lord condescended to talk with men from heaven. He
          descended upon Mount Sinai and his voice was heard, like the
          voice of thunder, by the numerous multitudes of Israel that were
          gathered at the foot of the mount.
          Upon that mountain he manifested his power by causing it to
          tremble exceedingly, his lightnings and thunders were seen and
          heard and therefore this was making bare his arm in very deed,
          and from that day to this, Israel when scattered among the
          nations, and when they wish to speak of the greatness of their
          God and magnify his great and holy name, still refer to the signs
          and wonders that were wrought in delivering their fathers from
          the land of Egypt, in dividing the waters of the Red Sea. They
          still refer to the cloud they saw over their camp by day, and to
          the shining of the flaming fire by night. They still refer to the
          numerous revelations, given to them while they sojourned forty
          years in the wilderness. They still refer to the waters of Jordan
          which were divided, as they went into the land of Palestine.
          But that was only a display of the power of the Almighty before
          the nations that were in that immediate vicinity. There is a day
          coming when this will be manifested over all the face of the
          earth, when the Lord God shall organize the camps of Israel among
          the various nations and bring them home to their own lands.
          Ezekiel, the Prophet, being filled with the spirit of
          inspiration, and looking forth by the power of that spirit to
          that time when they should be brought back and assembled into one
          body, in the wilderness, says that the Lord should plead with
          them face to face, like has he plead with their fathers in the
          wilderness and the land of Egypt. (See Ezekiel xx.) So we see
          there is a day of power coming, and day of wonders and a day of
          mighty deeds, when the power of the Lord, in great judgment, will
          be upon the nations of the wicked; and also when his glory shall
          be upon his covenant people who shall be restored to their own
          lands. The message with which we are now entrusted is a part of
          the great and last warning message to the nations of the earth,
          first to the Gentiles, and last to the house of Israel. And when
          we get through warning the Gentiles, the proclamation which the
          Lord has given us, shall be delivered to Israel in the islands of
          the sea and among the various nations; and they shall gather home
          to the land of their inheritance. Then Jerusalem shall be
          redeemed and a temple established upon its former foundation in
          the holy land. Then the nations of the earth will see a
          fulfillment of our words. We have told them for the last
          forty-nine years that the Lord God has commenced a work to
          prepare the way before the face of his coming, to prepare a
          people to endure his presence, to gather his people from the four
          quarters of the earth into one, in order that they might be
          prepared, against the day when the veil of eternity shall be
          rent, and the voice of the Lord shall be heard unto the ends of
          the earth. Then they shall behold a fulfillment of our words,
          they shall then know of a surety, if they do not before, that
          there is a God in this work, that he has commenced a proclamation
          and message for the last time, to prepare the way before the face
          of the coming of his Son from the heavens.
          But before that great day shall come, let me foretell, before
          this people, that which they may look for, that which will most
          assuredly come to pass, and that which will eventually cause
          their ears to tingle, and the sound thereof will cause them to
          tremble exceedingly, namely the judgments that are decreed by the
          Almighty, to be poured out upon the nations of the Gentiles, that
          do not repent.
          While this message is going forth, in your midst, it is a time of
          comparative peace, it is a time when the Lord our God is granting
          unto you the proclamation of mercy, and has given you peace in
          your homes, peace among yourselves; no civil wars are raging in
          your midst, though there are some foreign wars that occasionally
          disturb the peace of the people; but the Lord has been specially
          favorable to the people of this island, while the proclamation
          has been sounding, during the last forty-three years in your
          midst. But this will not always continue. You may be assured,
          that there is a change coming as you may be assured of the
          fulfillment of anything that has ever been spoken, by the mouth
          of the ancient servants of God. A change is coming over the
          political affairs of these nations. Great Britain will not
          escape. What will be this change? There will be various causes
          that will bring it about. One change will be this which you,
          without being prophets, can by a little reflection, understand
          for yourselves. You know that England, for many years past, has
          been the great manufacturing nation for the whole world. They
          have looked to you for your manufactures and such merchandize has
          been carried unto all parts of the earth; and this has kept your
          workmen and poor people employed. They have had abundance to do
          the most of their time. You have sent forth a vast amount of your
          manufactures to the continent of America, to the people of the
          United States, but the scene is changing; for any person, with a
          little reflection, can see that the change is already beginning
          to come, and that too very readily. The nations, to whom you have
          exported your products, are beginning to manufacture for
          themselves. This cuts off the trade with Great Britain.
          The American nation is beginning to manufacture for themselves,
          and not only themselves, but they are actually sending their
          manufactures to this little island; and the people here are
          beginning to purchase American goods and manufacture in
          preference to their own. This cuts off in your country a great
          many of the manufacturing establishments, and you have a surplus
          populations, of many millions, thrown as it were out of
          employment, who can scarcely get sufficient to sustain themselves
          from day to day. Is this state of things going to get better? No,
          it will not, there may be prosperous times for a short season,
          but they will soon pass away; and such times are coming, such as
          this nation has not experienced, neither they, nor their
          forefathers for many generations.
          I might go on and tell you many things, in relation to the
          consequences of people being thrown out of employment. I might
          portray it, but I do not wish to harrow up the people, in regard
          to this matter. You yourselves can see, that when people are
          pinched, for the want of bread, for the want of clothing, for the
          want of the necessary comforts of life, and are driven to
          desperation, you can judge for yourselves what must be the state
          of things that will ensue. I have no need to portray them. But I
          would say to the Latter-day Saints who have been taught these
          things for many years, gather out from this nation. And inasmuch
          as we have pointed out the way of escape and shown you that the
          Lord has provided in regard to these matters, for all that will
          believe in him, and repent of their sins, and obey the gospel, do
          not be dilatory, do not be slack, do not be extravagant in your
          expenditures, but strive to lay up means, and so far as you
          possibly can, by being faithful, and serving the Lord your God,
          gather out from these countries: for a day of great tribulations
          is coming, a day of desolation, a day wherein the country will be
          revolutionized, wherein the poor and the afflicted, and the
          needy, will contend earnestly for the lives of themselves, and
          their little ones, instead of seeing them perish by hundreds and
          thousands in the streets. And inasmuch as such a day is coming,
          Latter-day Saints, it would be far better for you, to be out of
          the country, than in it. And would to heaven we could sound this
          message, not only to the Latter-day Saints, but to every good,
          upright, honest-hearted soul, throughout Great Britain. That they
          might take warning, and escape, before the terrible time shall
          Now let me point out some other things which will occur, before
          the coming of the Son of Man. The Lord has a controversy among
          all the nations of the gentiles. He has sent to them a warning.
          He has sent his servants to prophesy to them. He has sent them to
          preach and bear record of the truth. He has sent them to call
          upon the nations to repent, both high and low, rich and poor,
          religionist and non-religionist, priest and people, for all of
          them to repent and receive the Gospel in its fulness, and not
          only to do this, but to gather out from these nations. Will they
          hear? They will not. We know they will not; but this does not
          justify us in being slack in delivering our message. We have a
          responsibility placed upon us, and that responsibility we must
          fulfill, whether the people hear, or whether they forbear, we
          must warn them, so that they shall not have any excuse, when the
          tribulations shall come which I have named.
          The Lord, therefore has a controversy among them, the same as he
          had with the Egyptian nation, with this difference, that the
          Egyptians did not have the same length of time to consider the
          message which you have. They only had a few days, and if they
          would not repent and receive the word which Moses and Aaron
          delivered to them, well and good; and only a short time, a very
          few days were allowed them to decide this matter. You have had a
          portion of a whole generation. Your times are not quite yet
          fulfilled, and hence you have had the privilege to consider it
          from your childhood up to middle age, and some of you from middle
          message which God has sent or not. Now, the consequences will be,
          if you receive it, you will save yourselves by fleeing out from
          the midst of this nation. You will save yourselves and your
          children temporally speaking as well as spiritually. On the other
          hand, if you do not receive it, the Lord, who is long suffering,
          will, after he has borne with the people all the day long,
          withdraw his servants from your midst. When that day shall come
          there shall be wars, not such wars has have come in centuries and
          years that are past and gone, but a desolating war. When I say
          desolating, I mean that it will lay these European nations in
          waste. Cities will be left vacated, without inhabitants. The
          people will be destroyed by the sword of their own hands. Not
          only this but many other cities will be burned; for when
          contending armies are wrought up with terrible anger, without the
          Spirit of God upon them, when they have not that spirit of
          humanity that now characterizes many of the wars amongst the
          nations, when they are left to themselves, there will be no
          quarter given, no prisoners taken, but a war of destruction, of
          desolation, of the burning of the cities and villages, until the
          land is laid desolate.
          That is another thing that will come before the coming of the Son
          of Man.
          What about my own nation--the American nation? What can I say
          more than I have said in times that are past? They have had a
          great desolating war; a war between the North and the South in
          which many hundreds of thousands were destroyed. This war was
          foretold twenty-eight years before it took place; the very place
          where it should commence was marked out by the Prophet Joseph
          Smith, that young man of whom I have spoken. By him it was
          designated that the revolution should commence in South Carolina,
          and it did so. By him it was pointed out that this war would be
          great and terrible, and it came to pass although twenty-eight
          years intervened, before it commenced. These revelations and
          prophecies have been published by hundreds of thousands and
          circulated in your midst here in Great Britain. The people are
          not altogether ignorant about these matters; they have been
          forewarned. But what about the American nation. That war that
          destroyed the lives of some fifteen or sixteen hundred thousand
          people was nothing, compared to that which will eventually
          devastate that country. The time is not very far distant in the
          future, when the Lord God will lay his hand heavily upon that
          nations. "How do you know this? inquires one." I know from the
          revelations which God has given upon this subject. I read these
          revelations, when they were first given. I waited over
          twenty-eight years and saw their fulfillment to the very letter.
          Should I not, then, expect that the balance of them should be
          fulfilled? That same God who gave the revelations to his servant
          Joseph Smith in regard to these matters, will fulfil every jot
          and every tittle that has been spoken, concerning that nation.
          What then will be the condition of that people, when this great
          and terrible war shall come? It will be very different from the
          war between the North and the South. Do you wish me to describe
          it? I will do so. It will be a war of neighborhood against
          neighborhood, city against city, town against town, county
          against county, state against state, and they will go forth
          destroying and being destroyed and manufacturing will, in a great
          measure, cease, for a time, among the American nation. Why?
          Because in these terrible wars, they will not be privileged to
          manufacture, there will be too much bloodshed--too much
          mobocracy--too much going forth in bands and destroying and
          pillaging the land to suffer people to pursue any local vocation
          with any degree of safety. What will become of millions of the
          farmers upon that land? They will leave their farms and they will
          remain uncultivated, and they will flee before the ravaging
          armies from place to place; and thus will they go forth burning
          and pillaging the whole country; and that great and powerful
          nation, now consisting of some forty millions of people, will be
          wasted away, unless they repent.
          Now these are predictions you may record. You may let them sink
          down into your hearts. And if the Lord your God shall permit you
          to live, you will see my words fulfilled to the very letter. They
          are not my words, but the words of inspiration--the words of the
          everlasting God who has sent forth his servants with this message
          to warn the nations of the earth. The Book of Mormon contains
          many of these predictions. This book has now been printed
          forty-nine years, and the prophecies contained in it are being
          fulfilled with great rapidity; and every prediction yet in the
          future, recorded in that book, will be fulfilled literally,
          according to the words that are spoken. The Lord our God has
          already destroyed two great and powerful nations that once
          occupied the western hemisphere, because they fell into
          wickedness and would not repent. We have a record of this. The
          first nation he brought upon that hemisphere, were a people from
          the Tower of Babel. They were led by the hand of the Lord. They
          were located upon the north wing of that continent, and they
          became a great an powerful nation. They inhabited the land for
          some sixteen or seventeen centuries after they came from the
          Tower of Babel. But the Lord made a decree, when he first led
          them forth to that land, that if they or their descendants should
          fall into wickedness, and would not repent, that he would visit
          them with utter destruction. He did so. About 600 years before
          Christ, that great nation were entirely swept off by the
          judgments of Almighty God, and their bones were left bleaching
          upon the plains and mountains of that land--left unburied by the
          numerous armies that went forth slaying and being slain, and
          another colony was brought from Jerusalem in their stead, being a
          remnant of the tribe of Joseph. The same decree was passed
          respecting one branch if that colony, that was made regarding the
          first nation. Said the Lord to them, "Inasmuch as you keep my
          commandments, you shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as you
          keep not my commandments in the land, you shall be destroyed from
          the face thereof." That was literally fulfilled. After living
          upon that land till nearly the close of the fourth century of the
          Christian era, they fell into wickedness and were destroyed, with
          the exceptions of a few who went over to the opposite army.
          And the Lord also made a similar decree, recorded, too, in the
          same book, in regard to the present great populous nations called
          the people of the United States. They must perish, unless they
          repent. They will be wasted away, and the fullness of the wrath
          of Almighty God will be poured out upon them, unless they repent.
          Their cities will be left desolate. A time is coming when the
          great and populous city of New York--the greatest city of the
          American Republic, will be left without inhabitants. The houses
          will stand, some of them, not all. They will stand there, but
          unoccupied, no people to inherit them. It will be the same in
          regard to numerous other cities, or, in the words of the Lord, "I
          will throw down all their strongholds, and I will execute
          vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as
          they have not heard." It will all be fulfilled. But there will be
          a remnant who will be spared. It will be those who repent of
          their sins; it will be those who believe in the lord Jesus
          Christ, and are willing to obey his commandments, willing to
          hearken to his voice, willing to be baptized for the remission of
          their sins, willing to be born of the spirit, or receive the Holy
          Ghost, by the laying on of hands, willing to walk uprightly and
          honestly with all men, and justly one with another.
          These and these only will be spared, for it is the decree of
          Jehovah, and this is not all. We have thus far, only told you
          that which will take place upon the people of Great Britain, upon
          the European nations, and upon the people of the United States.
          But great tribulations will also be among all of the nations of
          the earth, who will not repent. They will be wasted with various
          judgments; but the heathen will be spared longer than these
          Gentile nations who have had the scriptures in their midst, but
          would not obey them.
          You have had the Bible multiplied by the millions of copies, and
          circulated in almost every family. You can read it at your
          leisure. You can see the glorious light of truth, recorded in
          these prophecies, in these doctrines, in these heavenly and holy
          principles, and yet in the face of all this light, knowledge,
          truth and divine revelations, you reject the servants of God,
          reject the ancient Gospel, when it is preached in its fulness,
          refuse to repent of all the iniquities and abominations into
          which the nations are fallen.
          It is because of this, of the light that the nations have in
          their midst, which they will not receive that the Lord will visit
          them first; and when he has visited and overthrown them, he will
          lay his hand heavily upon the heathen nations in Asia, and also
          those who are in Africa, and they will be visited with severe
          judgment, but they will not be utterly destroyed. A portion of
          the heathen nations will be redeemed. Why? They will see the
          power and glory of God that will be manifested among the tribes
          of Israel, who will be gathered out from their midst and return
          to their own land. They will wee the glory of God manifested as
          in ancient times and they will say, "surely Jaggernaut is no
          longer my God." "Surely I will not worship crocodiles, nor
          serpents; neither will I worship the sun, or the moon, for there
          is a God manifested among that people, Israel, who is worthy of
          the natures and attributes of a God. I will cast my Gods to the
          moles and bats, and I will worship the God of Israel. Then will
          be fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet Ezekiel, "then
          shall the heathen know that I the Lord am God." And it will come
          to pass, after that period, when Jesus shall have raised all the
          righteous from their graves, that he will descend with all the
          hosts of heaven accompanying him, and will stand upon the Mount
          of Olives, and he will go out of Jerusalem, and the Jews will go
          out to the mount to meet him and will acknowledge him as their
          Messiah and King; and then it shall come to pass, that the
          heathen nations will also more fully recognize him as the true
          and only God. Then will be fulfilled that which is written in the
          last chapter of Zachariah, that every nation round about
          Jerusalem, shall come up from year to year, to worship the King,
          the Lord of hosts, at Jerusalem, and also to keep the Feast of
          Tabernacles. There will be a great many of those solemn
          assemblies and feasts that were commanded in ancient times, that
          will be reestablished in the midst of Israel when they shall
          return. And the Lord Jesus will be there. His Twelve Apostles who
          wandered about with him, while he was in the flesh, will be
          there; and they sit upon twelve thrones, and assist our Lord and
          Savior in judging the twelve tribes of Israel. But Jesus will
          have a throne as well as these twelve disciples. Where will be
          his throne? A temple is to be reared in ancient Palestine where
          it formerly stood. Ezekiel saw it in vision, and he describes the
          building of that house when it shall be complete, and he saw the
          glory of God coming by the way of the East, and this glorious
          personage entered through the East Gate of that Temple, and
          entered into the temple; and Ezekiel, being full of the spirit of
          God, was picked up and carried into that court, where Jesus had
          entered, and he heard a voice speaking unto him, Behold, the
          peace of my throne, where I will dwell in the midst of the
          children of Israel for ever, and they shall no more defile my
          name, but I will dwell with them for ever.
          This will be a glorious period. It will be a time when all will
          know who the true God is, and who is commissioned to speak in his
          name, and to declare his truths among the people--if we do not
          find it out before. If we will not repent of our sins; if we will
          harden our hearts, that the Spirit of God has no place within us,
          to reveal to us the truth, we shall know then who it is that will
          be saved. We shall know then, that there is a Lord God, and that
          he is in the midst of Israel, and his throne is among them, and
          he will reign over the house of David, and all Israel, for ever
          and ever. Do you not suppose that the Twelve Apostles, who were
          with him, who suffered persecution, and finally the most of them
          were martyred--do you not suppose that they will have thrones?
          John the Revelator saw the thrones of those that were beheaded
          for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God; and he says,
          they will sit upon these thrones as judges. So there will be
          twelve thrones built, when the temple of God is built in
          Jerusalem, besides the throne of the Messiah for these twelve men
          to sit upon, when they shall come forth from their graves to
          reign has kings, and to eat and drink at the table of the Lord.
          "What?" some might exclaim, "eat and drink after the resurrection
          from the dead? Yes, did not Jesus eat and drink with his
          disciples after he came forth from the tomb? He did. He ate the
          broiled fish and the honeycomb, in their presence. Immortal
          beings can eat if they choose to do so. Hence it is written, "You
          that have followed me in the regeneration," meaning these twelve
          disciples, "Inasmuch as you have followed me in the regeneration,
          you shall sit upon twelve thrones and shall eat and drink at my
          table, and you shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel." That
          will be better than to be judged by imperfect mortals. Men who
          are called here to be judges are not always perfect in their
          judgment. They err; the best of them, the wisest of men may err
          in their decisions. But not so with these great judges that come
          forth out of the tomb, raised to immortality, clothed with light
          as with a garment, purified and made white before God. Their
          minds are full of intelligence, and it beams forth from their
          countenances, and they know how to judge by the Spirit that is
          upon them, and their decisions will be in righteousness.
          How pleasant it would be to walk into one of those beautiful
          rooms that will be constructed in the temple of our God at
          Jerusalem, and on which the luxuries of our earth shall be served
          to those immortal beings, and then to see the Master, the great
          King, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings rise up and minister to
          his disciples; wait upon them; setting them an example. He that
          is immortal and as far above mortality as the heavens are above
          the earth, condescending to administer to their happiness. Would
          not this be delightful? Who, that has any desire for holiness,
          and purity, and honesty, and virtue in his heart, would not be
          enraptured at the thought of having the privilege of being an
          invited guest, to go in, even if you did not sit down to the
          table; to see them when they were partaking, with their Savior,
          of this feast? And these will be the men that will be with Jesus
          when he descends upon the Mount of Olives, after the graves of
          the just have been opened. In the resurrection, they will come
          forth immortal, eternal, clothed upon with the fulness of that
          glory that pertains to the celestial kingdom. They will also
          reign as kings and priests here on the earth. To some of the
          raised saints there will be given ten cities to rule over. To
          others there will be given five cities to rule over, according to
          their works here in this life. All will not have the same power.
          All will not have the same rule. The Twelve shall have twelve
          thrones--one throne each, to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
          The tribes will need judging, during the whole thousand years
          they live on the earth; they will need judges in their midst, to
          make manifest unto them that which is important for men, and
          women, and children, to know.
          These twelve men who are appointed to judge these twelve tribes
          of Israel cannot be as it were the judges over all the earth at
          the same time. They cannot be everywhere present at the same
          moment, and hence there will be other judges, other men of God,
          those who are accounted worthy in the sight of the Most High.
          Hence we read in the revelations of St. John that he heard them
          singing a new song, a glorious song. About what? Their future
          glory and their future happiness and their future home, Where? On
          the earth. What? People in heaven singing about coming to the
          earth? Yes. When it is redeemed it will be a glorious mansion, it
          will be a glorious world, it will be worth living on; and it will
          be sanctified, and the knowledge of God will cover the earth as
          the waters cover the deep. All beings will have knowledge. All
          people will have understanding. They will comprehend the things
          of God, and perform them. The Lord will make this earth one of
          the most glorious habitations, inasmuch as the people will
          prepare themselves for it, one of the most glorious habitations
          that can be given to men. It will be peopled by immortal beings
          throughout eternity. But before that it will have to die. The
          earth will have to pass away the same as our bodies do, and the
          dust thereof be mingled in a chaotic form. But that same being
          who organized the earth will again speak, and eternity will again
          hear his voice, and the materials of our earth will come together
          again, and when it unites them in one, and forms them into a
          world, it will be a glorious world, a habitations for immortal
          beings; for kings and for priests, and for those that have been
          faithful to the end. They will dwell upon it, and the generation
          of their children will dwell upon it, till they become
          sufficiently numerous to need another creation. What generation?
          Generations do you say, Mr. Pratt? Do you mean to say that these
          immortal beings are going to have posterity? I do. I mean just
          what I say. Those who are accounted worthy to inherit this earth,
          when it shall be made heavenly, celestial beings will people the
          earth with their own offspring, their own sons and their own
          daughters; and these sons and these daughters which will be born
          to these immortal beings, will be the same as you and I were
          before we took these mortal tabernacles. Now do you understand
          it? How were we then? Perhaps some stranger present may ask,
          "What position did we occupy before we took these mortal
          tabernacles?" We were in the presence of God the Eternal Father.
          We were with our Elder Brother. Who is he? The scriptures say
          that he was Christ. The scriptures say that he was our Lord and
          Savior Jesus "the first born of every creature." Indeed! Does
          that mean his birth in the stable? No. Do the scriptures really
          say that? Yes. Who are the others that were born? It was all the
          human family, who were once in the celestial kingdom from whence
          our spirits came, when they took possession of these mortal
          tabernacles. As Jesus came down from the Father, being the eldest
          of the family, and took upon him a mortal tabernacle, even so
          have his brethren and sisters come from the same region of glory,
          and have taken upon them mortal tabernacles to follow in his
          footsteps, if they will. As he was with the Father, before the
          foundation of the world was laid, so were we, and all the rest of
          the human family. I don't mean this flesh; these bones, I do not
          mean the mortal part of man, but I mean that being that is within
          these flesh, and bones. I mean that being that feels, that
          reflects, that thinks, the being that is godlike in its nature,
          inasmuch as it keeps the commandments of God. That is the being
          that lived, before these mortal tabernacles were framed. We were
          there when the foundations of the earth were laid. We were
          numbered among those sons of God, whom the Lord speaks of to the
          patriarch Job. "Where wast thou, speaking to Job, when I laid the
          corner stone of the earth, when all the sons of God shouted for
          joy, and the morning stars sang together?" Job where were you at
          that time? He was among them; he was there, perhaps he did not
          remember it, any more than we do. This is a principle that was
          taught in ancient times. God is the Father of our spirits, God is
          the author of all the intelligences, that have ever come into
          this world. He begat them. He is called the Father of Spirits.
          Have we to become like him? What is the promise Latter-day
          Saints? What is the great promise made to all Saints, ancient-day
          Saints, as well as Latter-day Saints? The promise is that they
          shall become like him. In what respect? Like him with an immortal
          body. He will purify these vile bodies of ours and fashion them
          after his own body, cleansed from sin and prepared to dwell in
          his presence, having immortal bodies of flesh and bones as our
          Savior has; and if there is no end to the increase of our
          Savior's kingdom, there will be no end to the increase of the
          kingdom of his younger brethren. Here then, we see the propriety
          of what I, a little while ago, stated, that this earth will
          become a habitation of immortal beings and there shall be no more
          death nor sorrow, for the former things have passed away and all
          things have become new. They will spread forth and multiply as
          the stars in yonder heavens or as the sand on the sea shore, that
          cannot be numbered by mortal man. These offsprings will be
          spirits, not bodies with flesh and bones, till they have proved
          themselves as we have done, when they shall be sent upon a new
          earth, and receive tabernacles the same as we have done, and if
          they are willing to keep the laws of God, as the Saints keep the
          laws of God, they will also be redeemed, and there will be a
          mansion prepared for them, namely, the world that is erected for
          their habitation. Thus creations will be multiplied upon
          creations, and universe of worlds will be constructed for the
          kingdoms of our God, all becoming or being subject to him that
          sits upon the throne, who sways his sceptre over all the worlds
          and dominions, and we in connection with him will reign upon
          thrones and in our mansions, that are given unto us. Hence, says
          the Apostle Paul, the man is not without the woman in the Lord,
          neither the woman without the man. People may think they can get
          a fulness of celestial glory, without having a wife. They may
          think so, but they will be mistaken. The Lord our God ordained
          that the male and female should be united for eternity. A
          marriage covenant for time alone, is not the order of heaven. God
          designed that man and woman, being immortal beings, should be
          each others companion, husband and wife, while eternal ages shall
          roll around, and to enjoy all that is intended for them in the
          eternal worlds. This is the object that the Lord had in view.
          These marriages that are celebrated by the gentile nations are
          well enough in their places. They do very well for those who have
          no knowledge of the truth. They do well enough for those who have
          no knowledge of the Gospel. They are human marriages, or, in
          other words, marriages performed by human authority, marriages
          that are necessary in human governments, or governments
          established according to human laws, but all such marriages, and
          institutions, and ordinances will crumble away, with human
          government, and after the resurrection they have no force. But
          that which is of God will endure forever and ever. Marriages that
          are ordained of God are eternal. What he has joined together
          never can be plucked asunder, if the two persons shall remain
          faithful to their covenants, and faithful to the Lord their God.
          Hence eternal marriage was ordained by him for the purpose of
          multiplying intelligent beings after we leave this world. No
          marriage in the next world. This is the world for all ordinances
          as well as the ordinance of marriage. If you want to be baptized,
          do it here. No such thing as being baptized for yourselves in
          that world. If you want to be confirmed, have it done here, for
          there is no confirming there. If you want to partake of any of
          the ordinances of the Lord our God, this is the place for us to
          attend to them. Hence it is written that they neither marry nor
          give in marriage in that world. Why? Because it is supposed that
          people will have secured to them, in this life, all that pertains
          to their future exaltation and glory; and if that thing be
          neglected here, such place themselves in a condition not to
          occupy the fullness of the glory, ordained before the foundation
          of the world, to be given to the sons and daughters of the Most
          High. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, March 2nd, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
            Delivered at Kaysville, on Sunday Afternoon, March 2nd, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I am pleased to have the opportunity of meeting with the Saints
          in this place. I have come to talk with you, and to have a little
          visit; to tell you how I feel, and to learn how you feel, and how
          things are moving generally.
          I desire to talk a while on some of the plain principles of
          "Mormonism," as we used to understand them in former times, and
          as we understand them to-day when we reflect and use our judgment
          dispassionately. Our feelings and ideas are not much different
          from what they used to be. Many of us started in this work many
          years ago, and we entered into it because we believed it was
          true, and that the principles taught and inculcated were from
          God; and when it came to us, we received it as a message from God
          to us. These were about the sentiments that we entertained some
          twenty and thirty, and as long as forty-five years ago; and I
          suppose the majority of us have still the same ideas of the work
          that we then entertained. Before we embraced the Gospel, we were
          beset with the weaknesses of the flesh, and after we embraced it,
          these natural infirmities still followed us. We have had
          difficulties and trials, and have passed through many
          circumstances calculated to perplex and annoy, and caused, too,
          many times, by the unkind acts of others. And then we ourselves
          have not always been the most considerate and kind one towards
          another. And the we have not always done exactly right, ourselves
          being the judges, and the other people were of the sam opinion.
          And hence we have experienced, to no inconsiderable extent,
          little annoyances and difficulties, for which we have no one to
          blame but our own folly and weakness. And this too, in many
          instances, because when we had done wrong, we failed to go to God
          and our brother whom we had offended, making acknowledgements and
          asking forgiveness. And in too many instances difficulties that
          have arisen have been allowed to run on to our injury and
          annoyance, and we have been sometimes ready to ask, "Is this
          Zion?" "Yes, this is Zion." What, with all of our infirmities,
          weaknesses and follies? Yes. I think that Jesus, when upon the
          earth, said that "the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that
          was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind." That is the
          way my Bible used to read; how does your read? Some of those were
          good fish, fit for any market; others rather small, poor eating,
          and perhaps a little bony and horny. And being gathered together
          as we are from different nations, with various customs, habits
          and traditions, with all our peculiarities and odd notions, we,
          as a matter of course, do not agree in many particulars, and
          hence difficulties sometimes arise in our midst. Sometimes some
          of us keep these things to ourselves, and sometimes they leak
          out; but if they were not there they could not come out; could
          they? When there's nothing bad in, nothing bad can come out. And
          I believe Jesus will bear me out in his saying, "Out of the
          abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the
          good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an
          evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth
          evil things." Then again, there is another curious Scripture
          which James makes use of: "the tongue is a little member and
          boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire
          kindleth." It "setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is
          set on fire of hell." That is a peculiar expression. What do you
          think it means? "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and
          therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of
          God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing." And
          then, reasons the apostle, "Doth a fountains send forth at the
          same place sweet water and bitter? Can a fig tree, my brethren
          bear olive berries? either a vine figs? So can no fountain both
          yield salt water and fresh." And says the Savior, in speaking of
          men, "Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of
          thorns, or figs of thistles?" I find many curious things, and you
          must excuse me if I do not preach a very connected sermon; we
          will talk over some matters of fact, as we would in a fireside
          We all of us want to be good Latter-day Saints; we all want to
          secure the favor and approbation of God, and when we get through
          with this life, we all want to be numbered among those who will
          secure a celestial inheritance. This is the general feeling of
          the people I am talking to to-day. We sometimes pray, "Thy will
          be done on earth as in heaven." And then we sometimes make little
          mistakes in our intercourse one with another, and we sometimes go
          to him we have offended, asking forgiveness; and then we pray the
          Father, saying, "Forgive our sins as we forgive them that sin
          against us." Is not this so, my brethren? And would you like to
          be measured in that half-bushel? But if when you pray after this
          manner, you do not forgive your neighbor his trespasses, could
          you feel as your red brethren say, "honest Injun?" Would it be
          consistent with your profession to ask this favor of God, when
          you yourselves are not willing to grant the same to one another?
          I believe you will readily agree with me in answering that in the
          negative; but at the same time, if any of you have any doubt
          concerning it, you can easily reduce it to a mathematical basis,
          and so decide. "But," says one, "there should not be any of these
          things in Zion." I agree with you. In the first place, you should
          not do wrong, or harbor or sustain it when done; neither should
          your neighbor. And what then? Is this Zion? Yes, so we say. Have
          I got a treasure? Yes, but we are told that it is held in
          "earthen vessels," which are subject to all the weaknesses,
          infirmities and follies, incident to humanity. Now this is the
          fact, and God would exalt us and place us on high among men, and
          pour upon us intelligence, and give unto us knowledge of his will
          and his law, and he would like to prepare us as a people that
          would acknowledge his hand in all things, and be submissive to
          his will and who would say, both by precept and example, "Thy
          will be done on earth, as in heaven." I would like we should do
          this, but then we have not done it. And we feel sometimes as
          though we cannot do it, and sometimes as though we won't do it.
          But if we could submit ourselves to the law of God, and to the
          order of God, and to the priesthood of God, and that Priesthood
          submit itself to the law of God and all be under his guidance and
          direction, Zion would arise and shine, and the glory of God would
          rest upon her, and the power of God would be manifested in our
          midst, and we would see and comprehend things we never dreamed
          I find, in examining things, that we are human in every sense of
          the word. I look at myself, for instance. Am I perfect? No, not
          by a long way; neither are my brethren of the priesthood of the
          various quorums. And I look at people, male and female,
          generally, and am forced to the same conclusion respecting them.
          We do not come up to the standard, we fail to fulfil the
          requirements which God makes of us.
          We have had an idea, which is quite correct, that God has
          gathered us from among the nations that he might place his name
          among us, and that his priesthood might be organized, that men
          thus ordained might be prepared to establish his kingdom and
          reign on the earth. But we find men in the priesthood, yes, in
          all grades of the priesthood who are weak. Is there anything
          astonishing in that? Oh, no. Go back, for instance, to the days
          of Jesus, and you will read of some men who were rather of an
          aspiring turn, and one of them got his mother to assist him. Said
          she, "Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right
          hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom." She might just
          as well have added, that she herself would like to occupy some
          important position. But the Savior told her, saying, "Ye know not
          what ye ask;" such a position "is not mine to give, but it shall
          be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father." Then
          there was another circumstance, in which Peter made himself
          conspicuous. Jesus was telling them of approaching trouble, and
          intimating what would take place the approaching night, against
          which Peter boldly demurred, saying, "Though all men shall be
          offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended."
          Whereupon Jesus said unto him, "Verily I say unto thee, that this
          night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice." Peter
          could not believe it; but he did just as the Savior said he would
          do. Was he weak? Yes, after the manner of men. If he had said,
          Lord, though all men be offended because of thee, I will not,
          according to my present feelings, nor will I at all if thou wilt
          give me power to carry them out. But he felt sure that he could
          stand side by side with the Savior under all circumstances, but
          he could not. He did not look so very valiant when the trial
          come; it is easy enough to talk about it in the distance, at
          least much easier than to meet it and overcome it. But were these
          two brothers, whose mother made such a request of Jesus, bad men?
          No; but she had a notion that she would like to see her sons
          occupying such a position, and probably they would not have
          objected to it themselves; this we are not informed of. Then was
          it right in Peter to say he would stand by his Lord? How often
          have we said it? I will not condemn anybody, but merely speak of
          that thing to bring forth for good, and exhibit men as they were
          and as they are. Was Peter a weak man? No; but he was not without
          the infirmities of human nature, and when the trial came he
          faltered a little. After all I do not think the mistake so
          grievous, all the circumstances considered, for he was surrounded
          by, and speaking to, a riotous, corrupt and bloodthirsty people,
          only he had said he would not do it, but he did it, that's all.
          Was Peter valiant for the truth? He was. Was he imprisoned for
          the truth? Yes. Did he proclaim against vice and advocate virtue?
          He did. And did he go forth and feed the lambs and flock of God?
          Yes; and he acted every way becoming to a man of God, and finally
          suffered a martyr's death. Shall we find fault with either of
          these men? No, we love them for their good deeds, and for their
          fidelity and integrity and the great work which they accomplished
          in their day, in bringing forth the truths of the everlasting
          Gospel. Shall we condemn our brethren here with like weakness?
          No. What did you call them? Some of them very weak sisters; some
          of them very foolish and some very ignorant. We won't make use of
          any hard words at all; but I would rather feel like saying to
          them, as the old lady who was teaching school said to her
          children--"When you come to a hard word, and you cannot spell or
          speak it right, pass over it and call it a hard word." I was a
          little amused this morning, you know I have heard of a little of
          your foolishness, and I find that we are all in the same box, all
          tarred with the same stick. And when listening to these things,
          one of the brethren remarked to me that this is a good people.
          What and still do these foolish things? Yes, there are none of us
          so very bad after all, when you come to shake us up, we do not
          mean to be bad. But notwithstanding, many foolish things have
          existed among us. The Priesthood sometimes have not done exactly
          right; and then the people have not been without blame, and
          consequently we make all kinds of curious errors. Now, I would
          like if we could go at it, act "honest Injun" and get right to
          the bottom of things, and then go as near right as we can, being
          guided by the principles of the Gospel, and not influenced by the
          follies of men.
          The fact of our having some amongst us who have weaknesses, does
          not make untrue any of the laws of God which he has revealed;
          unto us, neither does it affect our belief in them. We still
          believe that the priesthood emanated from God; and that he has
          instituted it for the benefit, salvation and exaltation of the
          human family. And as a proof of this we are here to-day, and the
          reason of our coming here is that God raised up and inspired men
          to go forth and preach the Gospel to every nation, and we heard
          such men preach and believed their message. Says Jesus, "My sheep
          hear my voice, and a stranger they will not follow, but flee from
          him for they know not the voice of strangers." Was it the
          Priesthood that did it then? Yes and no. It was they in obedience
          to the commandments of God that went forth, but it was the power
          of God in them, and the power of God operating upon our hearts
          that lead us to the truth; and had God not operated with them
          they could have done nothing, and unless God had revealed from
          the heavens the principles of the gathering and the priesthood
          and power thereof and sealed that upon Joseph Smith, and he in
          turn conferred the same upon his brethren, they never could have
          got this people here, as they are to-day. You all know that this
          is a fact when you give the matter thought and reflection. We
          learn from the Doctrine and Covenants that on a certain occasion
          Jesus and other heavenly messengers appeared to Joseph Smith and
          Oliver Cowdery, and among them was Moses, who conferred upon them
          the keys of the gathering, which should extend to all Israel, and
          also bring back the ten tribes. And my brethren, let me say to
          you, that if the Lord had not sent us these keys in the manner he
          did, you would not be here to-day. But that principle was
          unlocked, and when you received the Gospel you received it,
          because it is a part of the Gospel, and the consequence was you
          wanted to gather and you hardly knew why. You used to sing the
          songs of Zion in far off lands with much earnestness, and the
          gathering was the theme of your conversation and also your
          preaching and in your dreams you have many times seen yourself
          among the Saints of God, long before you managed to get here. The
          Lord as we well know has an object in thus gathering his people
          from among the nations of the earth, but it would take me too
          long to talk about that this morning; suffice it to say that the
          scripture is being fulfilled, which says, "I will take you one of
          a city and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: and I
          will give you pastors according to my heart, which shall feed you
          with knowledge and understanding." And this is why we are here.
          He designed that here his Priesthood should be organized, that
          his will and mind should be made known here and his power made
          manifest. And it is expected that we will not barter away or
          trample under our feet this knowledge when we get it, but use it
          in a proper manner; and in order for us to do so we must
          comprehend our position and understand the relationship that
          exists between us and God and his kingdom. It is true our
          organization has been greatly perfected of late, but then there
          needs to be a great many other developments and much more willing
          obedience and submission to the law and word of God. It is "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 which
          is in heaven." Let me quote a little further. "Many will say to
          me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
          and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name done many
          wonderful works? and then I will profess unto them, I never knew
          you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Or in other words,
          you are not my sheep, I have never approved of your actions. Who
          does this scripture refer to? Is it the unbelieving Gentiles? I
          think not; I don't think they can cast out many devils, at least
          I never heard of their having done so, I have never heard of
          their having prophesied or done any wonderful thing in His name.
          No, it does not mean them at all; it refers to those who once
          held the priesthood, and instead of honoring it, tampered with
          it, losing its power and efficiency and also the Holy Spirit by
          treating lightly the things of God and violating their covenants
          with him. Although they once enjoyed the power to work miracles
          by virtue of their priesthood, they no longer possess it; but as
          "the dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was
          washed to her wallowing in the mire," so have they turned to
          error and wrong doing; and to such men the Savior will thus
          address himself.
          It is not because a man holds the priesthood or whether he be or
          may have been an apostle, a high priest, a seventy, an elder, a
          president or bishop, and may have had power with God in former
          times, doing many mighty works in his name, but it is they who
          not only are thus favored and blessed but who endure faithful to
          the end, that shall be saved and owned by our Lord.
          There are some things that strike my mind that I will refer to. I
          do not know of a time when there was a more perfect organization
          of the priesthood on the earth than there is to-day. There may
          have been in the days of Enoch, and there may have been upon this
          continent in those days when there were no rich nor poor, but
          when they had all things common among them, and every one dealt
          justly on with another; but I do not know, because there is not
          among us any record of the fact. And what is this organization
          for? Is it for my individual interests? I do not so understand
          it. Is it in the interest of the Twelve? I think not. Or in the
          interest of the presidents of Stakes or any of the bishops, or
          any individual? No, but it is in the interest of God and
          humanity, to assist in establishing righteousness upon the earth,
          and union and fellowship one with another, and to elevate us to
          the scale of society, and that we may stand head and shoulders in
          all other matters, as we now do in regard to our religious
          sentiments, that Zion may be the head and not the tail, and that
          God may be honored by us and through us and among us, and that we
          may in very deed be the "Zion of God," which means the pure in
          Now if I talk a little plainly upon some of our secular affairs,
          I trust you will not be offended, you surely will not as long as
          I confine myself strictly to the truth, will you? Well, we have
          talked one time and another, a good deal about the United Order,
          and also about co-operative institutions; let me ask the good
          people of Kaysville, what have we done in that direction, how
          much have we entered into them? As the Indian would say,
          describing it by the size of his thumb-nail, about so much. Do we
          believe in these movements? Some of us do, and some do not know
          whether they do or not. Some of us would believe in them much
          more readily if they would make us rich, and give us prominence
          and position among men. I will tell you, Latter-day Saints, that
          unless we can enter into our co-operative institutions and the
          United Order with singleness of heart and pure motives, as the
          Elders do when they go forth to preach the Gospel, because it is
          God's command, your efforts will be of small avail. We do not
          want to stop and ask, Is their money in it? Is it his will, his
          law and principle? When we combine our interests on this
          principle, and work to it, we will succeed and prosper. But in
          too many instances our co-operative institutions have jumped the
          track. What, the big Co-op? Yes, and little Co-ops too. Have you
          got a Co-op here? No, you have not. Do you know of any? We find
          little institutions they call Co-ops in most of our settlements,
          but when you come to inquire into affairs connected with them we
          generally find, that, instead of their being run in the interest
          of the community, and with a view to build up the kingdom of God,
          a few individuals represent the Co-op, who are the ones, who are
          benefitted by it. That is the trouble. But is the principle
          right? Yes, if you can live it, dealing honestly one with
          another; but if you cannot, you need not try it, for instead of
          giving satisfaction, it will only be a disappointment. But I will
          promise the Latter-day Saints that if they will go into these
          things allowing God to dictate in the interests of Israel and the
          building up of his Zion on the earth, and take themselves and
          their individual interests out of the question, feeling they are
          acting for him and his kingdom, they will become the wealthiest
          of all people, and God will bless them and pour out wealth and
          intelligence and all the blessings that earth can afford; but if
          you will not, you will go downward, and keep going the downward
          road to disappointment and poverty in things spiritual as well as
          temporal. I dare prophecy that, in the name of the Lord. That is
          the way that I look at these things, and that is the way I figure
          them up, and not in the light of every man looking for gain from
          his own quarter. These things are stumbling-blocks in the way of
          the people, and have been for some time. Well, what shall we do?
          Why, do the best we can, and keep on trying to improve upon our
          present conditions, always keeping in view the object to be
          gained, dealing honestly upon a fair basis and correct
          principles, then we will succeed and things will move on
          pleasantly, and we shall be a united people, owned and blessed of
          the Lord. It was on this principle that the Nephites became a
          prosperous, a blessed and a happy people; it was not because one
          was a little smarter than another, or through his smartness
          taking advantage of his neighbor; it was not that a man was a
          good financier, that he should "financier" other peoples'
          property into his own pockets and leave them without. I will
          relate here an anecdote which comes to my mind. A smart young man
          had just returned from college, and at the table he wished to
          show his parents what extraordinary advancements he had made.
          "Why, father, says he, you can hardly conceive of the advance I
          have made." "Well, my son," says the father, "I am sure I am glad
          to hear you say so, and I trust you will make a great man." There
          happened to be two ducks on the table for dinner, and this young
          man proposed to give his father a specimen of his smartness.
          "Now," he says, "you see there are only two ducks, don't you?"
          "Yes," answered the father. "Well, I can prove to you that there
          are three ducks." "Can you," says the father, "That's quite
          extraordinary really, how can you do it?" "Well," says the son,
          "I will show you. That's one?" "Yes." "And that's two?" "Yes."
          "Well, two and one makes three, don't they?" "Quite so," says the
          father, "It is very extraordinary, and to show how much I
          appreciate it, I will eat one of these ducks, and your mother
          will eat the other, and we will leave the third for you." Some of
          our "financiers" have made this kind of discovery, but when it
          comes to the practical thing they, live the boy, have got to fall
          back on father's duck or mother's duck. This kind of proficiency
          may be all very well in its place, but then we have no place for
          it; we want to act honestly and begin right, and then carry it
          out right. Let the big Co-op. straighten itself out, and then the
          little Co-ops. do the same, and let us stick to one another and
          all act one with another, and lay aside our scheming; and let us
          have honest, honorable men, Elders of Israel who have at heart
          the building up of God's kingdom, to do our business, who will
          act for the welfare of all. That is my doctrine on that point. I
          can see plenty of faults in these things, but we will let them
          go, they are the weaknesses of humanity, and they carry with them
          their own reward. If people do right, the right stands by them
          and sustains them; if they do wrong it works them down, down,
          down. Men cannot afford to do wrong if they could but understand
          their true position. A few dollars, a little land, a few houses,
          a few of the comforts of this short life, cannot be compared to
          the glory laid up for those who are true and faithful. But I am
          afraid it will be said of some of those, as was said of the rich
          man, "thou in thy lifetime received thy good things and likewise
          Lazarus his evil things, but now he is comforted and thou art
          tormented." We do not want anything to cling to us but what is
          right, and honest, and truthful, and whenever we can act for the
          benefit of all, then we are doing right, free from this narrow
          contracted feeling and this personal, selfish, aggrandizing
          spirit. Do you not think you can get up something of that sort if
          you try? Do not be in a big hurry; do not break your necks; go at
          it quietly, and start one industry and then another, and make
          your leather, and your harness and shoes, and prepare to raise
          silk. Brethren, operate together, and sisters operate together,
          and let all act in the welfare of each other, that all may be
          encouraged and benefitted. The presidency of this Stake ought,
          and all ought to unite with them, in producing everything as far
          as possible, and as fast as possible, that you require among
          yourselves; and also find employment for every man and woman and
          child within this Stake that wants to labor. That is what you
          should do, Brother Smith. That is the way I read these things.
          And then we should not try to hunt up anything against one
          another, and our little weaknesses, for we all have enough of
          them, God knows; and I would say if I were one of them, Tom, if
          you cry quits, I will; Mary, if you will forgive me, I will
          forgive you; and Dick, if you will overlook my faults, I will
          overlooked yours; Susan, if I have done wrong please forgive me.
          Let us try, one and all, to straighten up, and get up a good
          common surprise, a brotherhood and sisterhood, that we may be
          one; and then if we are desirous to help one another, and pray
          God for his spirit to enlighten us, we will go and improve in
          these things; and we will go on from truth to truth, from wisdom
          to wisdom and from intelligence to intelligence, and God will
          help us, if we will help ourselves by taking a course to
          accomplish these objects.
          There is another thing I want to talk about, and that is the
          priesthood. What is your idea about it? Don't you thing that the
          priesthood should rule in spiritual things, and the other "hood
          in temporal things, or how do you fix it up? I don't know. What
          other "hood" do you call it? It is not brotherhood, nor
          sisterhood perhaps you may call it divisionhood. Is that the
          right way, do you think? Let me talk upon some of the first
          principles upon this subject. To whom are we indebted for the
          knowledge of the principles of truth which we possess to-day? To
          Joseph Smith, to Hyrum Smith, to Oliver Cowdery, to Sidney
          Rigdon, Brigham Young or the Twelve? I think not. We are indebted
          to God for this knowledge, from the fact that the time had come,
          in the councils of heaven, that it was necessary to start the
          Latter-day work, and to prepare a people, gathering them together
          to build up Zion and establish the kingdom of God upon the earth,
          that His will might be done upon the earth as it is done in
          heaven. And if God and the Priesthood with him had never turned
          the key, and given their consent to have these things done we
          would have been in the dark, every one of us; or in other words,
          we would have been where we came from--on the other side of
          Jordan, or somewhere else. At any rate, we would not have been
          here. Do you not think it would have been well for the Lord to
          have come down to consult our opinion about these things first?
          But he did not do it, and we knew nothing about it until the
          elders brought us word. Then we had nothing to do about it, did
          we? We knew nothing about it until God sent the messengers among
          us, did we? I think not. Did we know any more when we came here?
          Who of us knew how to build temples or thought about such thing?
          None. Who knew how to administer in them! None, not even Joseph
          or any other man, until God revealed it. We talk about being
          baptized for our dead; what avail would that have been if God had
          not directed it? Do you think, you are going into a Temple to
          accomplish anything except God direct it? No; what you might do
          would amount to nothing at all.
          God has established his Church, and we sometimes say his kingdom.
          What do we mean by "the kingdom of God?" I wish somebody would
          tell me what we mean by that term. There is the Church of God and
          the kingdom of God. The Church, of course, refers more
          particularly to spiritual things, and the kingdom to temporal
          rule and government and management and to temporal affairs. If it
          does not, what does it mean, I would like some one to tell me? We
          sometimes preach about "the kingdoms of this world becoming the
          kingdoms of our God and his Christ," don't we? Will the kingdom
          of God be the kingdom of men? I think not. What does it mean,
          then, where it says, if we keep the laws of God, we need not
          break the laws of the land? Because the laws of Gods are so much
          more pure and elevated, so much more adapted to the wants and
          situation of humanity, that we walk right over everything of that
          sort; and it is nothing comparatively for us to do; what is
          required we can easily do it, and a great deal on the back of it.
          But when the will of God shall be done on earth as in heaven, and
          the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God
          and his Christ, how will it be done? I have heard lots of you
          preach this: "Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of
          the Lord from Jerusalem." Shall it? O, yes. Do you mean to say
          that is in the Bible? Yes, and what is the meaning of that
          scripture? The law cannot go forth from Zion unless it is made in
          Zion, can it? Who is going to make that law? and who is going to
          give the word of the Lord from Jerusalem? How are these things to
          be accomplished? Are we to have a lot of opposition Tickets to do
          it, do you think? You that feel you can manage things without the
          priesthood, try it and see how far you will go. Go back to your
          ordination and baptism, go back to the spreading of the Gospel
          through the land and the pouring out of intelligence upon the
          priesthood, and God ruling and dictating, and "The Lord shall be
          our judge, the Lord shall be our king, the Lord shall be our
          law-giver, said Israel, and he shall reign over us." Was not that
          the way we used to talk? I had a visit from some of your folks
          during the session of the Legislature. How was it, and which was
          right? None of them was right, just as it was when the Prophet
          Joseph asked the angel which of the sects was right that he might
          join it. The answer was that none of them are right. What, none
          of them? No. We will not stop to argue that question; the angel
          merely told him to join none of them that none of them were
          right. Anything wrong here? Yes, considerable. There wants to be
          perfect freedom about all these matters, the feelings of our
          brethren should be consulted. A bishop has not the right to crowd
          or oppress, the priesthood is not given to him for that purpose;
          but everything should move on harmoniously, and the wishes of the
          people should be consulted and respected. I understand there was
          a little crowding in your election affairs, you were not more
          than ten minutes getting through your business. It is better to
          take ten days, then to have such shameful operations as you had
          here, and you would have spent your time much better doing
          something else. What next? Some thought there was a little
          pressure, that they were not properly represented. I do not know,
          how this was, but I am inclined to think it was a little hasty. I
          think it would have been much better and very much more in
          keeping with our profession, if the leaders could have been got
          together, and acted in unanimity and good feeling, all anxious to
          sustain the principles of right and to select for office those
          who are good, virtuous and competent men, and men who are capable
          of filling offices with honor, and then do it unanimously. But as
          soon as a feeling to crowd is manifested on one side, the feeling
          on the other side, when expressed is, if this is going to be the
          way, we will buck against that, and if we cannot get our rights
          with the priesthood, we will fall back upon our political rights
          as men, and we ill frustrate you in your operations if we can.
          Now both are wrong. There should have been a free and full
          consultation on the one hand, the right to fall respected, and on
          the other I would rather submit myself a thousand times, even to
          an imposition than to act as you did--to speak plainly, if a
          bishop wish to crowd on me, I would let him crowd. I could stand
          it if he could. I am instructed to be obedient to the priesthood,
          and if he would do wrong he might do it, but I would not. Two
          wrongs never make a right. I will not say how far you were wrong,
          but I will say you both were wrong, and that another course would
          have been much better and more satisfactory and praiseworthy.
          What is the result, you men who would fall back on your reserved
          rights? The first thing that you do is to persuade the people to
          give up their rights and franchise. If God gave us certain
          rights, and we trample them under our feet and throw them away to
          suit some little ideas of our own, we are very foolish and
          deserve to be chastened. If I had thought the bishop was wrong, I
          would have gone to him and talked to him respectfully, and see if
          things could not be modified. But you take the other way and
          brusquely say, "I will show you: Here, Tom, Bill, Ned, get up
          your team and see what a devil of a fuss we can kick up." And you
          are elders in Israel, and you are engaged in building up the
          kingdom of God, are you? Pretty elders you are! pretty
          kingdom-builders you are, using all the influence and power of
          your priesthood to pull down and destroy the kingdom by attacking
          the rights of the people and bartering them away, sending a
          petition to the legislature asking that body to take away your
          rights, for you do not want them. And this done by Elders in
          Israel. I feel a little ashamed of you, and when I heard it,
          said, "Tell it not in Gath, publish in not in Askalom." What,
          high priests, seventies, and elders conspiring to take away the
          people's rights? That's the way I figure it up. And why all this?
          To show others we are free men. Are we free? Yes, free to do
          right, but not to do wrong. Have we all rights? Yes, we have
          rights to do right, but we have, every one of us, covenanted to
          be true to God and his cause, have we not? And when we depart
          from that we do wrong. You have lots of sheep here, and you have
          doubtless seen them sometimes make a break: one will start, and
          the others follow and away they go. Where are they going? They do
          not know. Do you know? No. But the sheep perhaps thought they
          were in bondage and wanted to get out; the lead sheep jumps,
          perhaps into a mire-hold, it does not matter, they all follow the
          Let us operate together as men, as Saints. If you have got to
          have elections, meet together honestly and consider and talk
          plainly, with a view of accomplishing the welfare and good of the
          whole. We cannot elect everybody, we cannot all be officers, we
          cannot make magistrates, mayors, councilors and aldermen of you
          all. But as long as we have good and competent men for office,
          that is all I care about, and we have plenty of them and we
          should all pull one way--a long pull, and a strong pull and a
          pull altogether.
          They have had quite good enough of division in Tooele County.
          When the time came for the people of that County to be
          represented in the Legislature, their representative was in
          California, and when matters of importance pertaining to that
          County were pending, they had no one to represent them. Then
          again, they elected a County Superintendent of Common Schools,
          and was he there? No, he was off somewhere and they could not get
          any of his school money. Would you like to be in the hands of
          such men? You would soon want to get back again, and you would
          feel a little like Esau did, after he had sold his birthright; he
          sought to get it back with tears, but could not regain its
          possession. Our strength lies in our union, but our union alone
          would not accomplish much unaided by God; and he will help us if
          we are united in the accomplishment of his purposes.
          I will now refer to some other things. We have Relief Societies,
          and we should encourage them. We brethren, you know, should
          assist our "female brethren," and we should have the loyalty and
          patriotism to do it all times and under all circumstances; and
          when they are seeking to do a good work, help them all we can.
          And if they are trying to get together a little wheat, let us
          help them, it will not do us much harm, and possibly we may find
          it by and by of advantage to us. The women are not always such
          fools as we men sometimes take them to be. I am reminded of a
          circumstance which I will relate. There was a certain lady who
          had a husband who was very free and generous, would give away
          anything he had; she saw that he was a little too liberal and
          careless, and that there evidently would come a time when he
          would be in a pinch. So she asked him one day if he would not
          allow her a certain amount to keep house. "O, yes, how much do
          you want?" "So much a week." He gave her quite a liberal
          allowance, so much that she could manage to keep house and put
          away a certain portion every week; she put her savings in the
          Bible, until by and by it amounted to quite a sum, and the Bible
          was full of greenbacks. Some years afterwards there came a
          financial crisis, and the husband was troubled. The wife readily
          perceived the change in her husband's countenance, and she asked
          him to tell her the cause of his trouble. He told her that he had
          a note coming due, and he was afraid he could not meet it. She
          tried to encourage him by telling him to have faith in God, and
          referred to the good, old Book, telling him to read it, that he
          might get some comfort from it. She handed him the Bible, and as
          he opened it and turned over the leaves the bills began to drop
          out. Why, Susan, says he, what does this mean, I find it full of
          greenbacks? She quietly answered him saying, "I thought you were
          very generous and a little extravagant, and I was afraid their
          would come a time when we would need money; so I put away so much
          a week in the Bible." He blessed his wife, and I think she was
          the better man of the two, and perhaps should have worn the
          breeches. Now we may find a time when we may need this wheat that
          our sisters are storing up; let us not be too confident about our
          affairs, and do what we can by way of helping them. I am pleased
          to witness the spirit manifested by our sisters generally. I hear
          that you are going into silk culture, and am glad of it. The
          Legislature appropriated $1,500 to help our sisters, simply
          because they were our sisters and because they were trying to do
          good. You go to work and help them here, and help about all these
          things and do all you can. You are a little famous in some of
          these parts--in Farmington I believe, they profess to be in
          advance of everything in the silk line.
          And then with regard to our educational pursuits, let us do all
          we can in that direction. Some people talk about the means it
          takes; why money is not to be compared with intelligence. I wish
          we had our own text books, published by ourselves and read by our
          children. I think such things are indicated in the Doctrine and
          Covenants. Then let us have our high schools, that our children
          may be taught in the common branches, that we may be as far ahead
          of the world in regard to literacy, mechanism, the arts and
          sciences, and everything else, as we are now in regard to
          religious principles.
          I am also glad to see our Young Men's and Young Ladies' Mutual
          Improvement Societies doing so well. It will be well for you to
          come together as conjoint societies once in a while; it will
          afford an agreeable change, as well as do much good. I met with a
          very intelligent gentleman a few days ago, who told me that he
          had attended one of the Young Men's meetings, and was astonished
          at the intelligence and talent displayed. He said that he had not
          seen that like anywhere among young people.
          We should not only try to excel in literary institutions, but in
          mechanism as well. We must unite together and make our leather,
          and our boots and shoes, our harness and our implements of
          husbandry, and everything we need for our use, until we become
          self-sustaining, and import nothing more than is absolutely
          necessary, and then we shall find full employment for all our
          I have perhaps said enough. Husbands, love your wives; treat them
          kindly; bear with their frailties and imperfections, and love
          them as you used to do when you went a courting them; it would do
          you good, many of you, to do your courting over again. Wives,
          treat your husbands right; do not "nag" with them and find fault,
          but be full of kindness and try to make your homes a heaven.
          Children, obey your parents, and treat them right. And parents,
          you that have servants, treat them right, and pay them honest
          wages, and deal with them on honorable principles. And in your
          deal one with another, be honest and manly; do not seek to take
          advantage one of another. Do not come and tell what a splendid
          bargain you have made, unless the other party made as good a
          bargain as you did; if he did, it's all right, but if he did not
          it's not all right.
          And now I will turn teacher before I close. Have any of you hard
          feelings against your neighbor? If you have, do to him, not in a
          captious, quarrelsome way, but as a friend. For
          instance--"Thomas, you and I have had a little difficulty; I
          thought I would come and talk the matter over and see if we
          cannot settle it." But if Thomas will not be reconciled, then
          take a third party with you, somebody whom you think would have
          more influence with him than yourself, and if he still refuses to
          yield, let him be reported to his bishop and if he will not
          listen to the Church, let him be considered as a "heathen man."
          Mary, Helen, Susan, how is it with you? Any little unkind feeling
          existing between you? Do you feel as though you can be good
          sisters, and treat one another right? Then seek one another's
          welfare, as the Scripture's says: "Be kindly affectionate one
          with another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one
          another." You say that is rather hard; well, but you had better
          do it. We are told to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we can
          do this, and then prefer our neighbors to ourselves, and if there
          is a little advantage put in on their side, we not only fulfil
          the law and the prophets, but the Gospel. Let us cultivate the
          spirit of love and kindness, and let every little unpleasantness
          be buried, let us forget the election difficulty and our
          neighbor's difficulty, and be one, brethren and sisters together,
          united in building up Zion and establishing the Kingdom of God
          upon the earth.
          Brethren and sisters, God bless you and lead you in the paths of
          life, and God help you do right. And I ask an interest in your
          prayers, that I may be able to do right, and be guided by the
          Lord in the interests of Israel; and that my brethren of the
          Twelve and the presidency of your stake, together with all of the
          brethren, may be aided and blessed of the Lord, and be enabled to
          sustain God and His kingdom and every principle of right, and
          then the people sustain them, and they the people, and everything
          work harmoniously together, and all of us do right, no matter
          where it cuts. Do right and pay our tithes and offerings and be
          free before God, angels and men.
          Praying God to bless you and lead you in the paths of life, in
          the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 /
          Brigham Young, April 8, 1879
                            Brigham Young, April 8, 1879
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER BRIGHAM YOUNG,
              Delivered at the General Conference, on Tuesday Morning,
                                   April 8, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          The privilege that we enjoy of meeting together again in
          Conference I believe is highly appreciated by the Latter-day
          Saints. The dry details of our reports are somewhat tedious I am
          aware; but no doubt many are interested in the reports of their
          several Stakes, for there is a feeling in the hearts of this
          people that causes interest to be felt for all the stakes of
          Zion, and I believe that the present organization together with
          the reports that are made quarterly, semi-annually and annually
          are drawing the people together in their interests. We are better
          acquainted with each other than ever before within my
          recollection. Our general assemblies bring us together and
          pleasant re-unions are made, and the good Spirit of God being
          disseminated among us makes us feel more like the children of one
          common parent than when we are widely dispersed and seldom behold
          each other's faces.
          Many reflections have passed through my mind during this
          Conference. I have listened with interest to the remarks which
          have been made, and to the reports which have been read. Zion is
          growing, financially and in numbers. It is wonderful! I was
          astonished, as well acquainted as I have been with this people
          for the number of years that they have inhabited these valleys,
          to know that one-third of the entire population of this
          Territory--as far as the Latter-day Saints are concerned--are
          children under eight years of age. But such is the fact. These
          reports do not take in the entire populations of this Territory.
          There is quite a number of children over eight years of age who
          have not been baptized and consequently they are not represented
          in these reports. I presume that there are hundreds, if not
          thousands of cases in the midst of the Latter-day Saints where we
          have neglected to administer the ordinance of baptism to our
          children, who, according to the revelations of God, ought to be
          numbered among the members of this Church. The instructions which
          we have received are plain and pointed; perhaps I may not be a
          competent judge for all mankind, or for my brethren, yet to me
          they are full of the inspiration of the Lord and are calculated
          to lead and guide his children in the path of everlasting life.
          And it does seem impossible to me for any man, or any set of men,
          to refute the testimonies that have been borne to this
          It is proper and consistent that we look for counsel to those who
          are advanced in the knowledge of the Gospel. We should do the
          same in regard to law or politics. If I were to go to Washington
          among the politicians of the country and set myself up as a
          politician, pretending to understand all the ins and outs of
          political life as, say, one of the representatives of our nation,
          I would find myself greatly deficient, and I would gladly seek
          some experienced man on whom I could rely to instruct me in
          regard to these things. It is true, I might read the
          Congressional Record, in which the speeches of our statesmen are
          published; I might go to hear them delivered, and exert myself
          otherwise to inform myself; yet though through diligence and
          perseverance I might acquire very considerable knowledge of this
          kind of business, yet I would lack a most important part, namely:
          the experience, and I would willingly and gladly avail myself of
          the teaching of an experienced man. If I were to start in the
          business of law, it would be reasonable to suppose, of course,
          that I, like the seventy men or more who follow that business in
          this city, would have a smattering of legal knowledge; but like
          them too, if a more experienced man were to come along, and
          especially if he were a genius in his profession, I would gladly
          learn of him and it would afford me pleasure to listen to him.
          This is the case in all things. Suppose a member of my family is
          sick; I am at once prompted with a desire to consult some
          experienced nurse who is more competent than myself in
          administering such things as one in that condition ought to
          receive. Perhaps a finger of one of my children may need
          amputating. I might take an ax an cut it off in my way, but I
          could not do it like our Dr. Anderson for instance, a man who is
          a skilled surgeon. I would naturally yield my way to theirs in
          regard to these things. And so it is through all the branches of
          business transacted in this life--the influence, opinion or
          knowledge of somebody else controls or affects that of ours.
          To-day we may be acquainted with a man who is really excellent in
          his profession, but another man comes along who can surpass him,
          and the former is glad to learn of the latter. And so we may
          follow it through until we come to the subject of religion. But
          the moment that subject is touched men rise up, no matter how
          ignorant they may be with regard to the principles which are
          calculated to exalt mankind, and say, "I must think for myself;
          no man must be trammeled in those matters; every man must have
          the privilege of worshipping God according to the dictates of his
          conscience." So say I, but I do know, and we have indubitable
          evidence of the fact that the men who stand at the head of this
          people are skilled in the things pertaining to the building up of
          the kingdom of God in the last days. This fact is proven to the
          satisfaction of the Latter-day Saints, to those at least, who
          have followed them the last 15 to 30 years. We know that they
          understand more about these things than we do. When questions
          arise, whether in politics, finance, morals or law, requiring the
          judgment of sound and experienced men, or when circumstances
          arise in our individual lives which are perplexing and of such a
          nature as to exhaust our ability, we naturally seek the counsel
          of these our brethren; and our experience has proven them to be
          masters of the situation; that they are skilled in their
          profession and abundantly able to direct us. Why should I not
          follow the leaders whom God has placed over me? Why should not
          this privilege be granted me? Is it more inconsistent in me
          showing my principle and desire for right in following these men
          than in acquiring the art of mechanics in being taught by a more
          experienced mechanic? or in politics or law or surgery, by men
          who are farther advanced in those professions than myself?
          Certainly not. And besides this the Spirit of God which I have
          received which is an unmistakable guide, bears witness to me that
          it is right for me to be taught of them and that their teachings
          are the teachings of heaven to the children of men, and that they
          are calculated, if lived up to, to lead men back into the
          presence of God the Father. Yet I, in connection with this whole
          people, am accused of yielding my own will and free agency to an
          overbearing priesthood, thus becoming their dupes and slaves.
          This is in short, the judgment generally passed on the Latter-day
          Saints by the American nation. And while they say this of us,
          their better sense would tell them that they do the same in law,
          in morals, in mechanism, in politics, etc, directly, and in
          religious matters they do the same indirectly. Well, for
          one,--and in saying this I speak the sentiments of this whole
          people--I intend to follow the men appointed and ordained of God
          to lead and direct his Saints, as they follow Christ. "Know ye
          not," says the apostle, "that to whom ye yield yourselves to
          obey, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto
          death, or of obedience unto righteousness."
          May the blessings of God rest upon this people and the peace of
          heaven be with them in all of their locations and settlements,
          and give unto us strength to continue faithful in the cause of
          truth, that we may do our part towards, the building up of his
          kingdom, and at last be saved with the faithful, is my prayer, in
          the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, April 8, 1879
                             John Taylor, April 8, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
          Delivered at the General Conference, Tuesday afternoon, April 8,
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I will state that I feel very much obliged to my brethren for the
          generous feeling manifested to myself. Permit me, however, to
          say, with regard to some of these ideas presented to the
          Conference by Brother George Q. and which he has said, he has
          frequently presented to me and others of the Twelve, that while I
          duly appreciate the feelings and views of my brethren, and am not
          ignorant of the proprieties of life, individually I would not
          wish to change my position. Personally I care nothing about the
          outside show, the glitter and appearance of men; but I do care
          about the great eternal principles associated with the Church and
          Kingdom of God upon the earth. And as has been stated, it was
          some time before I could make up my mind to accept a proposition
          of this kind. And I accept it now simply in the capacity of your
          servant for Christ's sake for the benefit of the Kingdom of God
          and that all things may be conducted in a proper manner.
          Now we will let this pass, and talk about something else.
          I have been very much interested in the remarks that have been
          made at this Conference. It is now forty-nine years since the
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized. There
          were then, as you heard stated and as we very well know, six
          members organized. There were however, more than six persons in
          the Church, as was remarked by Brother Snow, the organization
          being effected for the purpose of legal recognition, still there
          were only a very few, and as the spirit of revelation rested down
          upon God's servant Joseph in these early days, who like Adam,
          Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Jared, Nephi, Moroni and others, had the
          heavens unfolded to his view, and although the Church was so few
          in number the principles and purposes of God were developed fully
          to the vision of his mind, and he gazed upon the things that are
          to transpire in the Latter-days associated with the dispensation
          that he was called upon by the Almighty to introduce. He learned
          by communication from the heavens, from time to time, of the
          great events that should transpire in the latter days. He
          understood things that were past, comprehended the various
          dispensations and designs of those dispensations. He not only had
          the principles developed, but hewas conversant with the parties
          who officiated as the leading men of those dispensations, and
          from a number of them he received authority and keys and
          priesthood and power for the carrying out of the great purposes
          of the Lord in the last days, who were sent and commissioned
          specially by the Almighty to confer upon him those keys and this
          authority, and hence he introduced what was spoken of by all the
          prophets since the world was; the dispensation in which we live,
          which differs from all other dispensations in that it is the
          dispensation of the fulness of times, embracing all other
          dispensations, all other powers, all other keys and all other
          privileges and immunities that ever existed upon the face of the
          earth. At that time he was a feeble youth, inexperienced, without
          a knowledge of the learning of the day. But God put him in
          possession of that kind of intelligence, and what may be termed
          as scientific knowledge of all things pertaining to this earth,
          and the heavens, if you please, which was altogether ahead of all
          the intelligence that existed in the world. He commenced as
          opportunity presented by following the education he had received
          from the Almighty, by teaching the principles of life and
          salvation, the principles of the everlasting Gospel, by
          conferring upon others that priesthood which had been conferred
          upon him and by organizing a state of things that was after the
          pattern of the heavens, that was calculated to live and grow and
          increase, that had the principle of life and vitality within
          itself, and that was calculated to draw together the honest in
          heart and assimilate them in their ideas and views and feelings
          and faith, and empower them to operate with him and with the Lord
          and with the holy priesthood that had existed in former ages. And
          thus he commenced to organize the Church with all its various
          offices under the direct inspiration, guidance and revelation of
          the Lord. The First Presidency was pointed out, the Twelve were
          also pointed out and designated, and these quorums were ordained.
          The high priesthood was organized however before these other
          quorums took shape. Then there were the quorums of Seventies,
          then the quorums of Elders, then the Bishops, then the quorums of
          Priests, Teachers and Deacons, together with the High Councils
          and all that we know about these things. He taught us all that we
          know about them; God taught him. Hence in the various
          organizations of the several quorums of priesthood whether it
          relates to the Melchizedek, Aaronic or Levitical priesthood, all
          of these, together with the duties devolving upon each, were
          given by the Lord. And hence the church that we are associated
          with is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
          Hence Jesus Christ is the medium through whom we are to approach
          the Father, calling upon him in the name of Jesus; for there is
          no name given under heaven, nor known among men, whereby we can
          be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ. And although they do not
          do it now, yet the time is approaching when to him "every knee
          will bow and every tongue confess that he is the Christ, to the
          glory of God the Father." And hence the religion we profess is
          one that has been given us from the heavens. We cannot dispense
          with it; we cannot dispense with any part of it. It is not of
          man, but from the Lord God, our Heavenly Father, through our Lord
          Jesus Christ, making use of his servant Joseph and those whom he
          should call by revelation as the instruments to carry out the
          purposes of God upon the earth. The priesthood we have received
          we received not of man nor by man, but by revelation. And
          latterly President Young, a little before his death, organized
          all the various branches of the Church into Stakes, with the
          officers thereof, carrying out the designs of God and his
          revelations to Joseph Smith; and placed them upon the foundation
          that was first laid by Joseph Smith under the immediate
          revelations of the Lord. And God expects it at our hands that we
          shall magnify it, and not operate according to our peculiar
          notions, but according to the will and law and guidance and
          revelations of God in all things and under all circumstances; for
          we are here as Jesus was here--not to do our own will, but the
          will of our Heavenly Father who has sent us, and who has called
          us to the high calling, and has made us to sit together in
          heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
          In accordance with the order of God, the Twelve, the Seventies,
          the High Priests and Elders have been abroad among the nations of
          the earth, delivering the testimony which God gave to them, and
          the Spirit and power of God has operated with us in our
          ministrations; and the results of these operations and these
          labors, and the faith and the self-abnegation and self-denial and
          the desire to do the will of God, and the testimonies that have
          been borne, are manifested in the Saints gathered to-day as we
          are in the valleys of the mountains. These things have been
          brought about by the interpositions of the Almighty; we are, as
          such dependent upon him to-day, and as we ever were in all the
          days of our lives, for guidance, for support, for revelations,
          for the Spirit of God to guide us that we may not make any false
          steps; but as a people we must magnify the Lord our God in our
          hearts and honor him and observe his laws and keep his
          commandments. There has quite a change taken place since this
          Gospel was introduced, as the thousands of people who inhabit
          these valleys sufficiently attest. And if we continue to progress
          in faith, in union, in intelligence, in virtue, in purity, in
          knowledge, and especially in the knowledge of God and in the
          observance of his ordinances, the work of the Lord will continue
          to roll with tenfold rapidity. We are just commencing our labors,
          and are just getting ready to perform the work that God has laid
          upon our shoulders, and are just commencing to perform the work
          that God intends us to accomplish; everything that has been
          prophesied by all the ancient prophets, as contained in the Bible
          and the Book of Mormon, and those things predicted by Joseph
          Smith, and every other prophet of God, will as surely be
          fulfilled as we are here to-day, without any faltering, or
          flagging, or hesitation.
          We go on and attend to many things. Our organizations are very
          good; but we need, I think sometimes, the breath of life from God
          breathing into them all through, that the Spirit and power of the
          Most High may be in our midst, and that the power and blessings
          of God that come through the ordinances may be in our midst, and
          that the power and blessings of God, the come through the
          ordinances may be imparted to us; and such will be the case if we
          are faithful in the performance of the duties devolving upon us.
          It is not with us a question of what we shall eat, or what we
          shall drink, or what kind of houses we shall live in; it is not a
          matter of so much importance as it is to be doing the will of
          God, to have our hearts engaged in his service, to feel that we
          are building up the Zion of the Lord of Hosts, to feel that we
          are recognized of the heavens, to feel that we are associated
          with the priesthood behind the vail who have lived and operated
          in time and are now operating in eternity; for they without us
          cannot be made perfect, neither can we without them be made
          perfect. We need their assistance from the heavens, and we ought
          to seek it all the time.
          Let me speak of this not only to the Twelve, but to the
          presidents of Stakes and their counselors, and to all men holding
          authority, to seek to God, seek for wisdom, seek for faith, and
          learn to approach God, that we may draw down blessings from
          heaven and partake of that faith which was once delivered to the
          Saints. We are trying to do some things and are doing them pretty
          well. Do I wish to find fault? No. Or to censure anybody? No. But
          I wish everybody would so live and act that they would not
          censure themselves, that their minds would not condemn them; for
          if your own hearts condemn you, God is greater then your hearts.
          We are doing pretty well. We are building our Temples, and there
          is a laudable spirit manifested in relation to these things
          generally. Do all do it? No. Have all this spirit? No. I wish
          they had; but then we would be expecting too much perhaps. But
          there is a growing interest in these things, which I am glad to
          give the Saints credit for. And in speaking of our Temples, I
          suppose there are no less than 500 men engaged to-day in building
          Temples in this Territory. Some people would consider this quite
          a tax upon them, and, I may say, we have some who call themselves
          Latter-day Saints who have a little of this feeling, not much,
          but a little of it. But men who feel right, they feel that they
          and all they have belong to the Lord; they feel that they are on
          hand to perform the work of God, to build up his kingdom, to
          operate with them and with the holy priesthood, and to prepare
          Temples to administer for the living and for the dead; that we
          may indeed be not poor and helpless dolts; but feel that we are
          saviors upon Mount Zion, and that the kingdom is the Lord's.
          There is a good feeling manifested among the brethren and also
          among the sisters, who are quite as zealous in most interests as
          the brethren are. Notwithstanding the immense labors we are
          performing in our building, for we are doing a good deal, we are
          not unmindful of other matters. There is constant labor going on
          in the Temple at St. George, with very little intermission, and a
          corps of persons steadily engaged administering in the ordinances
          of the Lord's House there; while in these other places, as you
          have heard read over, according to the financial accounts
          pertaining to the Temple being built in Manti and Logan--there
          has been expended in a short time on these two Temples nearly two
          hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The brethren have taken hold
          of it with a will, and there seems to be a feeling among many of
          them to see who shall do the most, instead of who can do the
          least. And notwithstanding this there is about fifty thousand, I
          think, in round numbers, more tithing paid this last year than
          there was before these things commenced. I speak this for the
          credit of the Latter-day Saints. Honor, as the Scriptures say, to
          whom honor is due. And I am pleased to see a spirit of that kind
          grow and increase among the brethren.
          There has been a good deal of care bestowed on the sending forth
          of missionaries whom we have sent forth among the different
          nations abroad and to this nation. There is a duty devolving upon
          the Twelve and the Seventies especially, to see that this work is
          performed; and we have been alive to this matter, and have aimed
          to call men that would not be embarrassed or perplexed in their
          minds, but such as would go forth as the servants of the Living
          God, who would not, when they go about two hundred miles from
          home, commence to think when it would be time for them to return;
          and the fruits are fast beginning to be borne in the European,
          the Scandinavian and other missions, and also in the United
          States. And we wish it to be understood among the Elders and
          Seventies that we do not want men to go on missions who look upon
          it as a painful duty for them to fulfil; we would rather such men
          stay at home. But he that hath a desire to preach the Gospel to
          the world, whose life is upright, pure and virtuous, and who is
          capable of presenting the principles of the Gospel to the world;
          he is the kind of man we are desirous to send. We do not want
          anybody to go simply because it might be thought that a mission
          would do him good, or that it might save him from some evil he
          might be likely to fall into. We do not want men to go abroad
          representing the Captain of our salvation to reform themselves;
          let the work of reformation be done at home. We want men to
          preach the Gospel who are honorable and upright men, and full of
          the Holy Ghost; and when such men go they go with our faith,
          carrying with them our esteem and love and affection; and if they
          need anything, we will give it to them. If their families need
          anything, we will have them looked after, we will feed them and
          clothe them and take care of them, and consider that they are out
          brethren and not that they are poor, miserable paupers, or that
          their wives and families are a trouble to us; we want to do away
          with all such feelings. Let us cultivate the spirit of
          magnanimity and kindness, and as the Lord blesses us, let us
          bless others; and that is all the things of the earth are worth.
          Do good to all men, especially to the household of faith. And by
          and by, as was the case formerly, those who go forth weeping,
          bearing precious seed, will return rejoicing, bringing their
          sheaves with them.
          Furthermore, we have an auxiliary among our sisters here. Brother
          Geo. Q. Cannon represented how they were imposed on in many lands
          and how they had been. Why should they be? Are they not our
          mothers? Are they not our wives? Are they not our sisters? Are
          they not our children? Should we not protect them? Do we profess
          to be in the image of God, holding the holy priesthood of God,
          and then would we treat the fair daughters of Zion with contempt,
          or permit them to be injured or imposed upon in any way? God
          forbid. They are flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone; they are
          our helpmeets, and our associations and our relations with them
          ought to be pleasant and agreeable and with all long suffering
          and fidelity. And then the sisters should turn round and help to
          bless one another, and act as our teachers are doing in other
          respects--teaching their sisters, looking after the poor and
          assisting the bishops in the performance of their labors. And the
          Relief Societies which have been organized have been of very
          great benefit to the Saints of God. And I say, God bless the
          sisters, and inspire them with more of that heavenly spirit, that
          they may assist their husbands and their brethren and their
          children--their sons and their daughters--to promote correct
          principles, to stem the tide of iniquity, and to promulgate
          virtue, truth and purity among the Saints of God. And I would
          say, it is the duty of the bishops and presidents of Stakes to
          assist them all they can, which I believe they generally do, to
          carry out everything that is good and praiseworthy.
          There is another class of people among us doing a great deal of
          good; that is our Mutual Improvement Associations; both Young
          Men's and Young Women's. How much more pleasant it is to see our
          youth grow up in the fear of God, trying to instruct one another
          in the principles of life and salvation, than to see them ignore
          the laws of God. How pleasing to us! How pleasing to God and the
          holy angels! Let us encourage these things and instruct our sons
          and daughters, that they may grow up in intelligence, virtue,
          purity and holiness before the Lord.
          And then we want to study also the principles of education, and
          to get the very best teachers we can to teach our children; see
          that they are men and women who fear God and keep his
          commandments. We do not want men or women to teach the children
          of the Latter-day Saints who are not Latter-day Saints
          themselves. Hear it, you Elders of Israel and you
          school-trustees! We want none of these things. Let others who
          fear not God take their course; but it is for us to train our
          children up in the fear of God. God will hold us responsible for
          this trust. Hear it, you Elders of Israel and you fathers and you
          mothers! Talking about education, as I said before, Joseph Smith
          knew more in regard to true educations than all the philosophers
          and scientists of the earth; and he knew it by the revelations of
          God. We want to get together to train our children up in the fear
          of God, to teach them correct principles ourselves, and place
          them in possession of such things as will lead them in the paths
          of life.
          I find it is time for me to quit. I feel to thank you for your
          attendance at this Conference, and for the kind of spirit that
          has been manifested here. and to thank the members of our choir
          who have made for us sweet music; and I would say that our choir
          is a credit to our Territory and to our people. And furthermore
          they are meeting together for the purpose of cultivating the art
          of music, and that we may be organized and be more perfect in
          relation to these things.
          I would like to have said something about our Sunday Schools. I
          do not believe we are behind any people on the face of the earth
          in relation to these matters. I am informed by the general
          Superintendent that we have 29,000 children attending Sunday
          Schools; and I would not be afraid to say that that is more than
          attend the Sunday Schools in all the Territories put together,
          outside of Utah. (A voice from the stand--"And in half the
          States.") Some one remarks, and in half of the States. I do not
          know how that is. But they do say our children are Utah's surest
          and best crop. Let us try to train them up in the fear of God,
          that we may have his blessing to be with us.
          I would like to have said something, too, about our co-operative
          associations. I am pleased to inform you that the Co-operative
          Institution of this city is doing remarkably well; it is on a
          solid foundation and everything is moving along pleasantly and
          agreeably. We have organized for some time a Trade's Union,
          through which all the people of Utah can be represented. And
          while the Co-op calls upon us to sustain them, which is right and
          proper, we want the Co-op to sustain us. There are two sides to
          this question, hence we have an organization called a Board of
          Trade in a number of the Stakes and expect to perfect them in all
          the Stakes, that the whole people may be represented at our
          general board. Then we expect to spread and grow in manufactures
          of all kinds, that we may become a self-sustaining people, a
          people who shall be independent, under God, of all other powers.
          I will not detain you. God bless Israel, and all that bless
          Israel, and let our enemies be confounded. And God grant unto us
          power to serve him and observe his laws that we may have a claim
          upon his blessings, and at last obtain eternal life in his
          kingdom, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 /
          Erastus Snow, April 6, 1879
                             Erastus Snow, April 6, 1879
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER ERASTUS SNOW,
          Delivered at the General Conference, on Sunday Morning, April 6,
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                              WORK--ORGANIZATION OF THE
                                    CALLING GOD'S
          In the 24th chapter of Matthew our Savior uses a figure in
          speaking to his disciples, illustrating the signs of the time in
          which we live.
          "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet
          tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh; so
          likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is
          near, even at the doors, verily I say unto you this generation
          shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
          The rendering of this 24th chapter of Matthew is somewhat
          imperfect in King James' translation; the events connected with
          the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews seem
          to be intermingled with the events that were to precede and
          accompany the second advent of the Savior. In the new translation
          of this chapter by the Prophet Joseph Smith, which may be found
          in the Pearl of Great Price, the difference is made very plain,
          and the figure of the fig tree and the second coming of the Son
          of Man and the generation referred to therein is made applicable,
          not to the period of the destruction of Jerusalem, but to the
          time of the second coming of the Son of Man. And the new
          translation reads, in speaking of the putting forth of the
          fig-tree and the signs that should precede the coming of the Son
          of Man, "Verily, I say unto you, this generation, in which these
          things shall be shewn forth, shall not pass away, till all I have
          told shall be fulfilled." From the reading of the new and correct
          rendering it will be seen that, instead of the things spoken of
          being fulfilled in the generation in which the prophecy was
          made--which is the inference--the application is transferred at
          once from the generation in which the Savior was speaking to the
          generation who should witness the signs of the times therein set
          It is now more than 51 years since the plates from which the Book
          of Mormon was translated were committed by the angel Moroni, to
          the hands of Joseph Smith, who was raised up to be a prophet,
          seer and revelator to the nineteenth century, and to lay the
          foundation of this church and kingdom upon the earth. And since
          that sacred record, which contains the fulness of the everlasting
          Gospel, was first revealed to him in the Hill Cumorah, nearly 56
          years have passed away; it is 49 years since the organization of
          the Church was effected in conformity with the laws of God, and
          in accordance with the laws of New York; that is the say, the
          rule established by the laws of New York governing the
          organization of religious bodies and to comply with the statutes
          and to give it tangible form. The 6th day of April was selected
          by revelation as the day on which this church should be
          organized. The question is asked by some, were there only six
          believers who had received the testimony of the Prophet and been
          baptized for the remission of their sins on that day? I answer
          there were many more. Why, then, was the number six made to
          figure in the organization? I answer in this respect: the same as
          under the statutes of Utah co-operative associations must have at
          least six to unite in the formation of any such associations
          before it can incorporate. But any number not less than six might
          unite and organize themselves into a religious association to
          enjoy the rights and privileges of the law as such religious
          bodies. This number was selected, however, from among the
          believers on this occasion to conform to the requisitions of the
          statutes. This is, therefore, the anniversary of the day on which
          the organization took place, or commenced rather to develop
          itself. And from that time, as the body of the Church increased,
          the Priesthood in its various branches has developed itself into
          the organization as we now behold it in the earth. There were no
          twelve Apostles at that date; the material from which to draw
          them had not been gathered. There were no seventy Elders; the
          material from which to make them was not yet on hand. There were
          no High Councils, no Bishops' courts, nor quorums of High
          Priests, Elders, Priests, Teachers or Deacons. There was no
          classification of the organization of the priesthood as there is
          to-day. Neither is there any organization of the Stakes of Zion,
          for there was no material of which to make them. It was indeed
          but the shooting out of the earth, as it were, of the plant, like
          the mustard see, which is a small plant at first, having but a
          single stalk; and as it rises and receives strength and sends
          down its roots and spreads forth its branches, from one branch
          another grows out and shoots forth. And so from day to day, and
          from month to month, and from year to year did the Lord reveal
          through the Prophet Joseph Smith, line upon line, precept upon
          precept, here a little and there a little, revealing to the
          people the order of the priesthood and the order of Zion and her
          government, her institutions and the classification of the
          priesthood under the two great heads--the Melchizedek and the
          Aaronic or Levitical priesthood, with their various sub-divisions
          and quorums. It was not till the year 1835, in the month of
          February, that the quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the quorums
          of the Seventies were organized in this Church. These were drawn
          principally from those tried men who composed Zion's camp. There
          was a revelation given in this same year showing how a High
          Council should be organized in Kirtland, and shortly after
          another was organized in Missouri; and it also defined the laws
          governing the High Council and Stake organizations. At first,
          when the Church was organized on the 6th day of April, the
          general duties of the Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons were
          defined in that revelation, given in that day, known as the
          articles and covenants of the Church. Elder seemed to be a
          generic name embracing all the branches of the Melchizedek
          priesthood, from the Elder proper to the Apostle, namely the
          Elders, High Priests, (after the order of Melchizedek), including
          the High Counselors, Seventies, Apostles and First Presidency.
          This also corresponds with the language of the Apostle Peter, in
          his exhortation contained in his first general epistle: "The
          Elders who are among you I exhort, who am also an Elder." Still
          he was an Apostle and was ranked as the chief Apostle in his day,
          holding the keys and presidency to bind on the earth and loose in
          heaven; but he ranked himself among the Elders, for this term
          seemed to be a general appellation for classes of the Melchizedek
          priesthood. In a similar manner also the term "priest" was used
          among the Jews under the operation of the law of Moses, and
          subsequently in the Christian church for those who officiated in
          the lesser or Levitical priesthood; and this term included the
          presiding priest or Bishop who was called under the Jewish
          dispensation the Chief or High Priest. But there were lesser
          organizations or sub-divisions under the term of Priest, Levite,
          Nethenims, etc.
          There is one feature through all the organizations of the Church
          of Christ and all the administrations of the people of God, and
          that is: "No man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is
          called of God as was Aaron." This declaration of the Apostle Paul
          is borne out by history both ancient and modern. And the same
          writer says in another place, speaking of those who are called to
          preach the Gospel and of the faith that is begotten in the hearts
          of the people through hearing the word of God: "Faith cometh by
          hearing, hearing by the word of God." But in the new translation
          that passage reads: "Faith comes by hearing the word of God."
          Another Scripture reads: "How shall they believe in him of whom
          they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
          and how shall they preach except they be sent?" The idea I wish
          to convey is this: That all the various offices assigned to the
          servants of God in his Church and Kingdom are assigned to them
          and not in and of themselves and of their own choice, nor at
          their own instance, but at the instance of the Holy Spirit
          manifesting itself through those who are appointed over them in
          the Lord, as Aaron was called to the priesthood, receiving his
          appointment by the manifestation of the will of God through
          Moses, his brother. There is another principle in connection with
          this, laid down in the revelations of God, namely: that all
          things shall be done by common consent. And therefore, where
          there is a regularly organized branch of the church, ordination
          to the priesthood shall not be made without a vote of approval of
          said church. Now this must be understood in the spirit in which
          it was given, to apply not particularly and specially to every
          individual who may be admitted into a quorum of priests, teachers
          or deacons, so much as those who may be called to preside over
          the people in the capacity of a Presiding Elder; a bishop or a
          bishop's counselor, and also priests, teachers and deacons, whose
          labors and duties may be required in that particular branch of
          the Church, they must be sustained by the votes and prayers and
          confidence of the people as well as by the appointment of those
          who are over them in the Lord. And for the same reason those who
          officiate in the more extended spheres, such as presidents of
          Stakes, high councilors and all Stake authorities, are put before
          the people in their several Stakes in conference assembled, for
          their approval, their confidence and support; otherwise their
          appointment has not the same force and effect upon the people. In
          like manner those who may be selected by the working of the Holy
          Spirit through the proper authorities, to preside over quorums,
          are nominated for this calling and are submitted to the members
          for their sanction and confidence. And then come the general
          authorities, who preside over and minister in the affairs of the
          Church in all the earth. These general quorums are not local, are
          not limited to any particular Stake or quorum. Their business is
          to see that the Gospel is preached to the whole world; to impart
          counsel by the spirit of revelation according to the spirit of
          their apostleship and calling, as special witnesses and
          messengers to the world of mankind. These are the First
          Presidency, and the Twelve Apostles and the Seventies, whose
          calling and duty is to labor under the direction of the Twelve
          and bear the gospel to all nations and to regulate the affairs of
          the Church in all the world. These general authorities are
          therefore brought before the general conference assembled, for
          their approval and for them to uphold and sustain by their faith
          and prayers; and in like manner are they presented at the several
          Stake conferences so as to reach the masses of the people, to
          insure the confidence and prayers of the whole people, for whom
          they minister, and whose eyes are upon them, who are criticizing
          their teachings, their walk and conversation before God and man.
          For God proposes to deal with His Church as a whole, and as a
          whole to hold them responsible to work the works of righteousness
          and to defend the faith of the everlasting gospel committed to
          them, and to purify and sanctify the whole Church and see that
          evil is put away from our midst, whether it be in the family
          circle or private walks of life, or in its high officials and
          those who minister in public capacities; in like manner he
          requires of them to see that all our organizations and
          municipalities are in a wholesome condition, and are administered
          with integrity and uprightness before God and the people. And as
          mouthpieces of the Almighty and as watchmen upon the wall of
          Zion, God requires of us his servants, the Apostles, the Elders,
          the Presidents of Stakes, and the Bishops everywhere, not only to
          minister in their several callings in a church capacity, but also
          to instruct officers of every kind intrusted with the municipal
          affairs of life, that they may be found faithful in magnifying
          the law and discharging the trust reposed in them in secular
          affairs as well as ecclesiastical; for civil organizations and
          powers of civil government are also appointed and ordained of
          heaven for the welfare of mankind, for the protection of all
          flesh. And those children of men who may not accept the doctrines
          of Christ and the priesthood, its administrations, counsels and
          decisions in the secular affairs of life; yet if they are
          disposed to obey good, wholesome rules of society in their civil
          capacity, as such are entitled to protection. And it is more
          especially for the benefit of this class of mankind that civil
          governments are established among men and recognized in heaven.
          It was with this view that Paul, in his epistle to the ancient
          Saints, told them that they should respect and honor the civil
          law, and governors in their places, and judges and officers in
          their condition of life, whose duty it is to preserve order and
          maintain peace and protect the rights and privileges of all
          alike, religious or irreligious, believer or unbeliever, saint or
          sinner; for religion with all its accompaniments and everything
          pertaining to it is a matter of conscience between man and his
          Maker, and for the exercise of which he is held alone responsible
          to his God and unto his co-religionists, who place themselves
          under its guidance and control. But the civil power extends its
          protection to all alike. One of the great evils that has
          afflicted mankind has been the bigotry of religious priests, and
          the blind superstition of religious zealots, who seem to have
          lost sight of this principle, the government of our Heavenly
          Father over his children, that in his efforts to exalt his
          children he has never resorted to force or attempted in any wise
          to coerce the human mind. The light of truth, like the glorious
          light of the sun, shines unobstructed, free to all; and all are
          at liberty to draw a veil over their faces if they choose, or
          shut themselves up in a dungeon and lock out the rays of the sun,
          or they may walk out in the sun-light, open their windows and let
          it into their dwellings; so is their free light of heaven
          imparted to all the sons of men. The Lord has reserved to
          himself, however, the right to call into judgment all his
          children for the manner in which they make use of the
          opportunities and privileges afforded them. "This is the
          condemnation," says the Savior, "that light is come into the
          world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their
          deeds are evil." So many people walk in darkness at noonday, when
          the light of heaven shines in its glory and effulgence they are
          surrounded in darkness. When the light comes to the righteous
          they will hail it gladly, and though it may be at first in the
          distance, they will mark it as they would the dawn of the morning
          star, or a light shining in a dark place, and they will give
          diligent heed to it as it approaches, until they enter into its
          effulgence and glory. Such is the experience of the Latter-day
          Saints; such is experience of those who love the light rather
          than darkness and who are waiting for the salvation of Israel;
          they received the testimony of Jesus when it was first sounded in
          their ears. Hundreds and thousands in different parts of the
          world have witnessed the dawn of this light, have heard the sound
          thereof in the distance, have gone in search of it, have captured
          the first ray that penetrated their minds and followed it until
          it has led them finally to the possession of eternal life. These
          are they whose deeds are good. Though they may have erred in many
          things because of false doctrine and the traditions of men the
          fog that beclouded their minds and the minds of their fathers,
          yet since the truth made its way to their hearts they embraced it
          gladly, and they have loved and followed it still. While, on the
          other hand, those who love darkness rather than light, because
          their deeds are evil, are fighting against the light and will
          shun it when it approaches, like the thief at the approach of the
          officer of the law, and conceals himself in darkness. So with
          those who love evil, who have abandoned themselves to wickedness,
          who have given themselves up to hypocrisy and to the lust of the
          flesh, and who sell themselves to the enemy of all righteousness
          to work wickedness for gain; darkness reigns in their hearts, and
          they become the children of disobedience, hating the light
          because their deeds are evil. Truth needs no constraint; it
          exercises its power and dominion over the children of men by
          virtue of its excellence, its beauties, its attractions, it
          loveliness, the good fruits that flow from its observance, the
          peace and happiness that attend it; the fruit of truth and
          righteousness is delicious above all other fruit. The strength
          and power of Jehovah are with the good and virtuous of all His
          children; His power and His love are made manifest through the
          truth; order and peace are the fruits of the laws and regulations
          that He prescribes, and which recommend themselves to the
          intelligent or thoughtful children of men, and the results
          thereof are only peace, union, fellowship and love. Even the
          penalties that are attached to the laws of heaven prescribed in
          the Gospel of the Son of God, are not instruments of vengeance,
          of wrath and indignation, with a view to the utter destruction of
          the children of men. But rather the instruments of restraint upon
          the evil deeds of the wicked and ungodly, to deter them from
          encroachment upon the righteous, in their evil course of
          self-destruction. Even the damnation of hell, threatened in the
          Scriptures upon those who continue in their unbelief and
          disobedience, is but the natural fruit of their unbelief, and
          neglect of the blessings that were held out and designed to be
          bestowed upon them. The same may be said of the indolent and the
          slothful of the children of men in a temporal point of view. When
          the Lord says to his people, Here is a beautiful earth I have
          formed for you, and here are the elements within your reach--the
          grasses, the streams of water which flow pure as the breezes of
          heaven, free to all; here are the animals, I place them under
          your control; and here are the trees bearing fruit, and the grain
          and the vegetables containing seed in themselves; to forth now
          and occupy the land, cultivate, improve, embellish, ornament and
          gratify your eye, your taste, and satisfy your wants, eat, drink,
          and be merry, plow the ground, cast in the seed, and I will send
          you the rains to water the earth, and make it fruitful to reward
          your toil; and this covenant I make with you that so long as you
          see my bow in the heavens, seed time and harvest shall never fail
          you. "But," says the sloth, "I will not do it, I wish to go and
          lay me down under the shade of the trees in the hope that some
          kind soul will bring me a little water to quench my thirst, and
          then bring me some fruit, and put it into my mouth, and then wag
          my jaws, or I lay me down and die." Our Father says: "Then die
          like a fool; the penalty is your own, and the eternal mandate of
          heaven shall not be revoked to indulge your idleness." And the
          same may be said of all those who disbelieve in Christ, and who
          reject the words of life when they are proclaimed in their ears
          without money and without price, and the ordinances of heaven
          made free to all. Those who disbelieve, they perish, and what is
          the condemnation they bring upon themselves? The condemnation of
          the sloth. He perishes in his idleness; they in their ignorance
          and their utter disregard of the means of grace, losing all the
          precious things that others enjoy who put forth their hands and
          partake of the tree of life. And when they die and go hence, they
          will wake up in the spirit world, finding themselves as dark as
          they were in the natural world. He who is filthy, then will be
          filthy still, and he who refused to be enlightened, will be found
          to be in darkness still, yea, in outer darkness, because he
          despised the light and fought against it, because his deeds were
          evil; he finds association with kindred spirits who like himself
          refused to obey, refused to put forth their hands and partake,
          and rejected the proffered gifts of heaven. Their punishment is
          that of ceaseless remorse, fully conscious of blessings cast off
          and rejected, which blessings others are permitted to enjoy, but
          which they are not, because of their sins and transgressions, and
          their own neglect of the means of grace. Their torment is the
          torment of the damned, and it is like the smoke that ascends up
          forever and ever; among them is found weeping and wailing and
          gnashing of teeth, to use the language of the Scripture. But for
          what? For blessings lost, for opportunities gone, for privileges
          ignored, for the means of grace, for glory and exaltation once
          within their reach, which they, in their pride, would not
          receive; for being deprived of the presence of God and the Lamb,
          and the holy angels and the sanctified ones, and of the keys of
          immortality and eternal life and everlasting increase vouch-safed
          to the obedient, while they are doomed to perpetual darkness,
          which they have chosen in lieu of the blessings of the faithful,
          and in which condition they will live to prey upon each other and
          to work out the same evil passions which they delighted to
          indulge in while in the flesh; the devil, who deluded them, will
          rejoice over their downfall, and will reign over them until,
          peradventure, the time shall come when the long-suffering and
          mercy of an indulgent Father shall cause him to send messengers
          from the terrestrial or celestial world, as the case may be, to
          see if there are any among them who, by their sad experience,
          have learned to appreciate the light, and are yearning for a
          better condition. And if they do, the offer of salvation may
          again be made to them, and they, through the means that our
          Savior has wrought out for them, and through the ordinances of
          the House of God, and the servants and handmaidens of God who may
          be called priests and priestesses, to administer for and in their
          Such is the beauty and extent of the plan of salvation which God
          has revealed to his children on the earth. And truly it is as
          Paul has said of it--good news, glad tidings of great joy
          revealed to all people; joy to the righteous, and will be a joy
          to all people who appreciate it, henceforth and forever. And that
          we as a people may be worthy of it, walking in the light, and
          that our pathway may grow brighter and brighter until the perfect
          day, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 /
          Lorenzo Snow, April 7th, 1879
                            Lorenzo Snow, April 7th, 1879
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER LORENZO SNOW,
                Delivered at the General Conference, Salt Lake City,
                          Monday Morning, April 7th, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared
          to Abram and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me
          and be thou perfect."
          In connection with this I will quote part of the words of the
          Savior in his sermon on the Mount, as contained in the last verse
          of the 5th chapter of Matthew.
          "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven
          is perfect."
          In occupying a short time this morning, I desire an interest in
          your faith and prayers.
          We learn that the Lord appeared to Abraham and made him very
          great promises and that before he was prepared to receive them a
          certain requirement was made of him, that he should become
          perfect before the Lord. And the same requirement was made by the
          Savior of his disciples, that they should become perfect, even as
          he and his Father in heaven were perfect. This I conceive to be a
          subject that concerns the Latter-day Saints; and I wish to offer
          a few remarks by way of suggestion, for the reflection of those
          whom it concerns.
          The Lord proposes to confer the highest blessings upon the
          Latter-day Saints; but, like Abraham, we must prepare ourselves
          for them, and to do this the same law that was given to him of
          the Lord has been given to us for our observance. We also are
          required to arrive at a state of perfection before the Lord; and
          the Lord in this case, the same as in every other, has not made a
          requirement that cannot be complied with, but on the other hand,
          He has placed for the use of the Latter-day Saints the means by
          which they can conform to His holy order. When the Lord made this
          requirement of Abraham, He gave him the means by which he could
          become qualified to obey that law and come up fully to the
          requirement. He had the privilege of the Holy Spirit, as we are
          told the Gospel was preached to Abraham, and through that Gospel
          he could obtain that divine aid which would enable him to
          understand the things of God, and without it no man could arrive
          at a state of perfection before the Lord. So in reference to the
          Latter-day Saints, they could not possibly come up to such a
          moral and spiritual standard except through supernatural aid and
          assistance. Neither do we expect that the Latter-day Saints, at
          once will or can conform to this law under all circumstances. It
          requires time; it requires much patience and discipline of the
          mind and heart in order to obey this commandment. And although we
          may fail at first in our attempts, yet this should not discourage
          the Latter-day Saints from endeavoring to exercise a
          determination to comply with the great requirement. Abraham,
          although he might have had faith to walk before the Lord
          according to this divine law, yet there were times when his faith
          was sorely tried, but still he was not discouraged because he
          exercised a determination to comply with the will of God. We may
          think that we cannot live up to the perfect law, that the work of
          perfecting ourselves is too difficult. This may be true in part,
          but the fact still remains that it is a command of the Almighty
          to us and we cannot ignore it. When we experience trying moments,
          then is the time for us to avail ourselves of that great
          privilege of calling upon the Lord for strength and
          understanding, intelligence and grace by which we can overcome
          the weakness of the flesh against which we have to make a
          continual warfare.
          Abraham was called to leave his kindred and country. Had he not
          complied with this requirement, he would not have been approved
          of the Lord. But he did comply; and while he was leaving his
          home, he no doubt was living in obedience to this divine law of
          perfection. Had he failed in this, he certainly could not have
          obeyed the requirements of the Almighty. And while he was leaving
          his father's house, while he was subjecting himself to this
          trial, he was doing that which his own conscience and the Spirit
          of God justified him in doing, and nobody could have done better,
          providing he was doing no wrong when he was performing this
          labor. When the Latter-day Saints received the Gospel in the
          nations afar, and when the voice of the Almighty to them was, to
          leave the lands of their fathers, to leave their kindred as
          Abraham did, so far as they complied with this requirement, so
          far they were walking in obedience to this law; and they were as
          perfect as men could be under the circumstances, and in the
          sphere in which they were acting, not that they were perfect in
          knowledge or power, etc.; but in their feelings, in their
          integrity, motives and determination. And while they were
          crossing the great deep, providing they did not murmur nor
          complain, but obeyed the counsels which were given them, and in
          every way comported themselves in a becoming manner, they were as
          perfect as God required them to be.
          The Lord designs to bring us up into the celestial kingdom. He
          has made known, through direct revelation, that we are His
          offspring, begotten in the eternal worlds, that we have come to
          this earth for the special purpose of preparing ourselves to
          receive a fullness of our Father's glory when we shall return
          into his presence. Therefore, we must seek the ability to keep
          this law, to sanctify our motives, desires, feelings and
          affections, that they may be pure and holy, and our will in all
          things be subservient to the will of God, and have no will of our
          own except to do the will of our Father. Such a man in his sphere
          is perfect, and commands the blessing of God in all that he does
          and wherever he goes. But we are subject to folly, to the
          weakness of the flesh, and we are more or less ignorant, thereby
          liable to err. Yes, but that is no reason why we should not feel
          desirous to comply with this command of God, especially seeing
          that he has placed within our reach the means of accomplishing
          this work. This I understand is the meaning of the word
          perfection, as expressed by our Savior and by the Lord to
          Abraham. A person may be perfect in regard to some things and not
          others. A person who obeys the word of wisdom faithfully, is
          perfect as far as that law is concerned. When we repented of our
          sins and were baptized for the remission of them, we were perfect
          as far as that matter was concerned. Now we are told by the
          Apostle John, that "we are the sons of God, but it does not
          appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear,
          we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." "And every
          man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he,
          Christ is pure." The Latter-day Saints expect to arrive at this
          state of perfection; we expect to become as our Father and God,
          fit and worthy children to dwell in his presence; we expect that
          when the Son of God shall appear, we shall receive our bodies
          renewed and glorified, and that "these vile bodies will be
          changed and become like unto his glorious body." These are our
          expectations. Now let all present put this question to
          themselves. Are our expectations well founded? In other words,
          are we seeking to purify ourselves? How can a Latter-day Saint
          feel justified in himself unless he is seeking to purify himself
          even as God is pure--unless he is seeking to keep his conscience
          void of offence before God and man every day of his life. We
          doubtless, many of us, walk from day to day and from week to
          week, and from month to month, before God, feeling under no
          condemnation, comporting ourselves properly, and seeking
          earnestly and in all meekness for the Spirit of God to dictate
          our daily course; and yet there may be a certain time or times in
          our life, when we are greatly tried and perhaps overcome; even if
          this be so, that is no reason why we should not try again, and
          that, too, with redoubled energy and determination to accomplish
          our object. There was the Apostle Peter, for instance, a man
          valiant for the truth, and a man who walked before God in a
          manner that met with his divine approval; he told the Savior on a
          certain occasion that though all men forsook him he would not.
          But the Savior, foreseeing what would happen, told him that on
          that same night, before the cock crowed, he would deny him
          thrice, and he did so. He proved himself unequal for the trial;
          but afterwards he gained power, and his mind was disciplined to
          that extent that such trials could not possibly affect him. And
          if we could read in detail the life of Abraham, or the lives of
          other great and holy men, we would doubtless find that their
          efforts to be righteous were not always crowned with success.
          Hence we should not be discouraged if we should be overcome in a
          weak moment; but, on the contrary, straightway repent of the
          error or the wrong we may have committed, and as far as possible
          repair it, and then seek to God for renewed strength to go on and
          do better.
          Abraham could walk perfectly before God day after day when he was
          leaving his father's house, and he showed evidences of a superior
          and well disciplined mind in the course he suggested when his
          herdsmen quarrelled with the herdsmen of his nephew, Lot. There
          came a time in Abraham's life, however, which must have been very
          trying; in fact anything more severe can scarcely be conceived
          of; that was when the Lord called upon him to offer as a
          sacrifice his beloved and only son, even him through whom he
          expected the fulfillment of the great promise made him by the
          Lord; but through manifesting a proper disposition he was enabled
          to surmount the trial, and prove his faith and integrity to God.
          It can hardly be supposed that Abraham inherited such a state of
          mind from his idolatrous parents; but it is consistent to believe
          that under the blessing of God he was enabled to acquire it,
          after going through a similar warfare with the flesh as we are,
          and doubtless being overcome at times and then overcoming until
          he was enabled to stand so severe a test. "Let this same mind be
          in you," says the Apostle Paul, "which was also in Christ Jesus:
          who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal
          with God." Now every man that has this object before him will
          purify himself as God is pure, and try to walk perfectly before
          him. We have our little follies and our weaknesses; we should try
          to overcome them as fast as possible, and we should inculcate
          this feeling in the hearts of our children, that the fear of God
          may grow up with them from their very youth, and that they may
          learn to comport themselves properly before him under all
          circumstances. If the husband can live with his wife one day
          without quarreling or without treating anyone unkindly or without
          grieving the Spirit of God in any way, that is well so far; he is
          so far perfect. Then let him try to be the same the next day. But
          supposing he should fail in this his next day's attempt? That is
          no reason why he should not succeed in doing so the third day. If
          the Apostle Peter had become discouraged at his manifest failure
          to maintain the position that he had taken to stand by the Savior
          under all circumstances, he would have lost all; whereas, by
          repenting and persevering he lost nothing but gained all, leaving
          us too to profit by his experience. The Latter-day Saints should
          cultivate this ambition constantly which was so clearly set forth
          by the apostles in former days. We should try to walk each day so
          that our conscience would be void of offence before every body.
          And God has placed in the Church certain means by which we can be
          assisted, namely, apostles, and prophets, and evangelists, etc.,
          "for the perfecting of the Saints," etc. And he has also
          conferred upon us his Holy Spirit which is an unerring guide,
          standing, as an angel of God, at our side, telling us what to do,
          and affording us strength and succor when adverse circumstances
          arise in our way. We must not allow ourselves to be discouraged
          whenever we discover our weakness. We can scarcely find an
          instance in all the glorious examples set us by the prophets,
          ancient or modern, wherein they permitted the Evil One to
          discourage them; but on the other hand they constantly sought to
          overcome, to win the prize, and thus prepare themselves for a
          fulness of glory. The Prophet Elijah succeeded. He so walked
          before God that he was worthy to be translated. And Enoch was
          found worthy to walk with God some 300 years, and was at last,
          with his people, taken up to heaven.
          We are told that in the latter-days "there shall be no more
          thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his
          days; for the child shall die an hundred years old." And in
          another scripture we are told that the age of the infant shall be
          as the age of a tree, and that it shall not die until it shall be
          old, and then it shall not slumber in the dust but be changed in
          the twinkling of an eye. But in those days people must live
          perfectly before the Lord, for we are told in the same passage,
          that "the sinner," instead of being favored, "being an hundred
          years old, shall be accursed." When we once get it into our minds
          that we really have the power within ourselves through the gospel
          we have received, to conquer our passions, our appetites and in
          all things submit our will to the will of our Heavenly Father,
          and, instead of being the means of generating unpleasant feeling
          in our family circle, and those with whom we are associated, but
          assisting greatly to create a little heaven upon earth, then the
          battle may be said to be half won. One of the chief difficulties
          that many suffer from is, that we are too apt to forget the great
          object of life, the motive of our Heavenly Father in sending us
          here to put on mortality, as well as the holy calling with which
          we have been called; and hence, instead of rising above the
          little transitory things of time, we too often allow ourselves to
          come down to the level of the world without availing ourselves of
          the divine help which God has instituted, which alone can enable
          us to overcome them. We are no better than the rest of the world
          if we do not cultivate the feeling to be perfect, even as our
          Father in heaven is perfect.
          This was the exhortation of the Savior to the former-day Saints,
          who were a people of like passions and who were subject to the
          same temptations as ourselves, and he knew whether the people
          could conform to it or not; the Lord never has, nor will he
          require things of his children which it is impossible for them to
          perform. The Elders of Israel who expect to go forth to preach
          the gospel of salvation in the midst of a crooked and perverse
          generation, among a people who are full of evil and corruption,
          should cultivate this spirit especially. And not only they, but
          everybody, every young man and woman belonging to this Church who
          is worthy to be called a Saint should cultivate this desire to
          live up to this requirement that their consciences may be clear
          before God. It is a beautiful thing, either in young or old, to
          have this object in view; it is especially delightful to see our
          young people take a course that the light and intelligence of God
          can beam in their countenances, that they may have a correct
          understanding of life, and be able to live above the follies and
          vanities of the world and the errors and wickedness of man.
          May God bless you, brethren and sisters, and pour out His Holy
          Spirit upon you, that you may be blessed in all your acts, in
          your incomings and your outgoings and in the performance of every
          duty, and be blessed in calling upon the Almighty, that His
          Spirit may be in you as a well of water springing up to
          everlasting life, to guide you in His fear through all the scenes
          of life, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / Moses
          Thatcher, April 8, 1879
                            Moses Thatcher, April 8, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER MOSES THATCHER,
          Delivered at the General Conference, Tuesday Afternoon, April 8,
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          In trying to address so large an audience, I earnestly desire an
          interest in the prayers of my brethren and sisters, that the few
          remarks I may offer may be dictated by the Spirit of God. There
          are many things that we as, Elders in Israel, should always be
          pleased to speak of, and particularly is this the case in
          reference to the kindness of our Father in heaven towards us as a
          people. We are permitted to dwell in peace, surrounded with the
          blessings of life and liberty, having pleasant homes wherein to
          dwell, and God to be our Father and Friend. When I look around
          upon the homes of the Latter-day Saints and see how the elements
          have been changed and made so propitious, enabling us to produce
          food and clothing, the necessities and many of the luxuries of
          life, my heart is exceedingly grateful, for I must confess there
          is no land with which I am familiar where the blessings of God
          are so abundantly bestowed as in our own. It appears to me that
          every bud is not only willing, but does blossom, and where seed
          by man is sown broadcast in the ground it comes forth, bearing
          twenty, thirty, or fifty fold. This, my brethren and sisters, is
          not the result of the work of man; but it is the blessings of our
          Heavenly Father. And how any human being can look upon the
          mountains by which we are surrounded, and gaze upon the beautiful
          fields and smiling nature seen on every hand, and not be able to
          acknowledge God in all these things is beyond my comprehension.
          In speaking to the young people particularly I have had sometimes
          pleasure in referring to the works of man, comparing them with
          the works of God. And while I believe it proper for us to look
          with pleasure upon the accomplishments of art and sciences, and
          upon the skilled workmanship of man, yet I would have our young
          people always realize that God is the originator; I would have
          them understand, as the arts and sciences are being developed and
          new discoveries are being brought out by what we call the genius
          of man, that God understood all these things before they were
          made known to us. And while having them admire and wonder at the
          grand achievement of man in chaining the lightning, thus making
          it to serve his purposes; and while it was the work of man that
          moulded and fashioned the metal into the wire over which
          intelligence is transmitted by the power of electricity, I would
          help to lead their minds beyond, so that they may comprehend that
          the material of which that wire is composed was the creation and
          work of God, and that the electricity itself is at the bidding
          and mandate of the great Jehovah.
          I believe, my brethren and sisters, if we take proper pains in
          the education of the young, employing the right kind of men and
          women to be their preceptors, that, instead of the seeds of
          infidelity being sown in their minds we will have faith, and in
          that faith we will have the manifestations of power.
          In talking with the learned of the world we find that they have
          but a faint conception of God and Godliness. Were you to tell
          them that they hate God, or that the carnal mind is at enmity
          against God, they would not understand you. And yet, when we come
          to the actual facts, we find that the learned and many professors
          of Christianity really do hate God. I do not mean to say they
          hate the God they themselves picture in their own minds; but that
          they hate and fight against him whose attributes and character
          are portrayed within the lids of the Bible. The Supreme Ruler of
          the universe, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, is not
          only the tender and loving Being that the pious Christian of the
          19th century pictures him to be,--he is not only willing to love
          and cherish and save the human family, but he is also a Being of
          justice and judgment, having always power enough to inflict
          punishment upon the breakers of his laws. Yet modern divines
          think with horror of a God who would inflict punishment, on the
          plea that such would be revengeful; and yet, neither they nor any
          of our professed Christian friends would for a moment find fault
          with the judge of an inferior earthly court for passing judgment
          on a criminal, though it might lead even to the loss of the life
          of a fellow creature.
          Having but a very short time to occupy this afternoon my remarks
          must necessarily be brief. But before closing I feel to bear my
          testimony that here in Utah is a people who are trying to serve
          the Lord. And I testify too, that Joseph Smith was and is a
          prophet of the living God, chosen of Him to open up the last
          dispensation to man--the dispensation of the fulness of times;
          and that his successor, Brigham Young, was an apostle of the Lord
          Jesus, and a prophet, seer and revelator. And I feel to bear my
          testimony that this same power and revelation rests upon his
          servant, Brother John Taylor. If we would live for the light of
          God's Holy Spirit we might see not as with eyes through a glass
          darkly, but with eyes that see clearly having also ears capable
          of hearing, and hearts full to understand.
          It is our duty, as young men, as middle aged men and as aged men
          to bestow great care and attention on the education of the young.
          It is not particularly the duty of the father, as I understand
          it, to place in the hands of his son the writings of Payne and
          other infidel authors unless they follow up the reading of such
          works with good sound argument, and then place the Bible and the
          Book of Mormon in their hands to be read and studied, and when
          necessary correctly explained showing wherein the Lord has
          wrought out the literal fulfillment of many of the predictions
          therein recorded. If they would do this with prayerful hearts,
          and with the wisdom God may give them, there will be little or
          nothing to fear from the readings of infidel works. I take the
          broad ground that in infidelity is ignorance. You meet the
          infidel and you will find him as a general thing, ignorant in
          regard to that which is laid down in the Bible, which he claims
          to disbelieve. It has been so from the beginning. It is a truth
          that has been uttered on many occasions by the servants of God,
          that it is easier and more natural for mankind to believe a
          hundred falsehoods than to accept a single truth. It must be
          apparent to all, that it is more in harmony with our fallen
          nature to do wrong than to do right. Let six boys be taken, for
          instance, and be carefully taught in the principles of morality,
          virtue and truth; and another six in the follies and wickedness
          of the world and see which of the two sets will make the most
          rapid progress, those in the right, or those in the wrong? All
          will readily agree with me that immorality is more easily
          acquired than the virtues, and hence we may conclude that we are
          in a fallen world, and that we have the battle against sin to
          May the blessings of God rest down upon the Latter-day Saints.
          And by way of conclusion I will say, if we want to dream dreams
          or see visions, it is our privilege to do so, but we must first
          purify our hearts and seek to love the Lord our God with all our
          might, mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves; and to
          do unto others as we would have others do unto us. And permit me
          to say that in all my experience in life I have found as yet but
          one thing that can afford true happiness and true enjoyment, and
          that is a consciousness of keeping the commandments of God. And
          if we, Latter-day Saints, will live near unto us. And instead of
          having to call in physicians to minister to the members of our
          families when sickness makes its appearance, the power of God
          will be upon us in such rich abundance as to enable us to rebuke
          it from our dwellings, and to invoke the blessings of health to
          attend us and ours, which was the case years ago in the primeval
          days of the Church. If we have lost any of these blessings it is
          not through any fault in the Lord, or that there is less power
          and efficacy in the priesthood we bear, but rather in our own
          lack of faith in the promises made to the faithful. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / George
          Q. Cannon, April 6, 1879
                           George Q. Cannon, April 6, 1879
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE Q. CANNON,
           Delivered at the General Conference, on Sunday Afternoon, April
                                      6, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          In some respects I would prefer to sit and listen to my brethren
          speak, and to partake in quietude of the spirit of this
          Conference, than I would to speak myself. But there is a duty
          devolving upon me I presume, the same as upon my brethren and I
          desire to the best of my ability to discharge that duty. The
          sight of so many people, the singing, the speaking of our
          brethren this morning and the spirit that I felt when I entered
          this building to-day almost overpowered me. There is an
          influence, there is a power, there is a spirit connected with the
          assembling together of a large body of people, such as we witness
          to-day, that must affect those who are sensitive to impressions,
          and especially when one has been absent among strangers, to feel
          that he is home among his friends, among a people who are his
          brethren and sisters, whose faith is his faith, and who are
          laboring and struggling to accomplish the same objects that he
          himself has in his heart. I rejoice exceedingly, my brethren and
          sisters, this day in our midst, and I am thankful for the
          delightful circumstances by which you are surrounded. I am
          thankful that the prospects before you are so promising, so full
          of hope and so delightful to contemplate. It is true we have had
          sickness, we have had many deaths, this has been a cause of
          regret. But death is unavoidable, and with it all we are in much
          better circumstances and more favorably situated than the
          generality of the children of men. The Latter-day Saints are
          rapidly becoming a great and important people. The influence that
          attends us is being more widely felt; our power for good is
          increasing, our strength, our union and the other qualities that
          we possess, and which we have manifested through our career, are
          being more recognized every day. It has always been a favorite
          idea of mine, that no single human being who chooses to exert an
          influence for good among his fellow men, ever spoke or ever acted
          in vain--without making his influence, his example, his words,
          have an effect upon those with whom he has been brought in
          contact. If this be true concerning an individual, how much more
          truth is there in it when applied to an assemblage of
          individuals, and to a community, to hundreds of communities, to a
          great people stretching through these mountains and filling these
          valleys? We have not lived in vain. We have not sought to exhibit
          lives of temperance, of industry, of frugality, of self-denial,
          lives of righteousness with the fear of God before our eyes, nor
          have we lived these lives during the last 49 years, without the
          effect being felt, not only upon those by whom we are surrounded,
          but by the world at large. There is something connected with the
          example of such a people that elevates men and women from the
          slime, from the mire, and from the abject ruin into which, in too
          many instances, they are plunged, to contemplate humanity in its
          better aspects, humanity in its noble appearances, with its
          Godlike attributes, with its powers for good, its capability of
          accomplishing great results. There is something in the very fact
          of a people believing in God in these days of atheism and utter
          infidelity that brings men to serious contemplation. They say
          very frequently that it is fanaticism, but there is something
          about fanaticism that is healthy, refreshing, invigorating in its
          example, for no man ever accomplished anything on this earth,
          without exposing himself by his actions, his earnestness and
          enthusiasm and zeal, to the charge of fanaticism. I am willing we
          should be called fanatics. I have a right to be a fanatic if I
          wish to be, as long as my fanaticism does not interfere with the
          rights of my fellowman. That is a barrier beyond which my
          fanaticism should not be allowed to go.
          It is refreshing to see a people who not only believe in God, but
          who are willing to show their belief by suffering for his
          cause--to leave their friends, to leave their homes, to suffer
          exile, persecution, privations, hardships, and even death for the
          sake of God, for the sake of religion, for the sake of principle.
          What would life be if it were not for such people and for such
          characters? Why, their peculiar lives illume the somber darkness
          of ages; they are bright spots in history. When we look back and
          recall the men who have suffered and died for principle, even if
          they died wrongfully, we find something about their heroic lives
          that is glorious to contemplate. And when a whole people can be
          found, such as are in these mountains, who are capable of making
          the sacrifices which they have made, there is something, as I
          have said, in their example and in their lives that influences
          men, that impresses them, and that causes them, whatever their
          feelings may be respecting the belief of these people, to feel a
          profound and heartfelt respect for them; for no man or woman
          properly constituted ever failed to respect devotions to
          principle, moral courage and the qualities that are exhibited in
          the lives of the Saints; I therefore say, we have not lived in
          vain; we have not preached in vain; we have not suffered in vain;
          we have not protested in vain. The fruits of these labors of ours
          which apparently have been so long in coming, will be reaped in
          the great harvest yet to be reaped upon the earth.
          I feel to speak these words of encouragement to my brethren and
          sisters, many of whom feel probably that their obscure lives and
          struggles, their contest with poverty, their humble and eventful
          histories are sometimes of so little value that they are
          comparatively worthless in the earth. I say to the humble
          struggler, to the man or woman who may be content with poverty,
          whose life may be uneventful in his own estimation, who may be
          hidden from the popular sight and may not figure on the world's
          stage, I say to every such person, as a Latter-day Saint, You
          have a great and important mission to perform, and if you perform
          the duties devolving upon you properly, your influence will be
          felt; and in the days to come, in that great day of God Almighty,
          your worth will be fully recognized, and you will shine as a
          jewel in the kingdom of our Redeemer.
          There is one thing that every parent can do. He can endeavor to
          make his sons and daughters better qualified, better equipped for
          the great struggle of life and better able to perform their part
          in this glorious work that God has established, than himself;
          that is one thing the parents of the rising generation of these
          mountains can do. I have never felt as I do to-day, and as I have
          recently, of the great importance of our training and educating
          our children to the greatest and best advantage, that nothing
          shall be left undone on our part to prepare them for the great
          work which they have to perform. This is a labor that we can
          accomplish. It does not depend so much upon the knowledge of
          books; a great many people imagine that only books are necessary
          for education; but the man is best educated, in my opinion, who
          has thought the most, and that correctly. So far as theology is
          concerned, we have been able, by the blessing of God, the light
          of the Holy Ghost, and the power of truth, to go forth unlearned,
          illiterate, and unprepared, so far as worldly education is
          concerned, and by virtue of the knowledge that comes down from
          above, the elders of this Church have gone forth and met the
          world of Christendom. I do not speak in vanity, nor in the spirit
          of boasting when I say they have never been vanquished. The
          learned, the educated, the professed theologians when they have
          met the elders of this Church with the Bible in their hands, have
          been compelled to retreat before the power of truth proclaimed by
          uneducated but inspired men. Is our mission accomplished by
          having done this? I feel that we as a people are only on the
          threshold of the great work that lies before us. We have an
          immense field of labor stretched out before us. When you look
          ahead and try to see its limits, the field of usefulness, which
          stretches out before this people called Latter-day Saints, is
          beyond the reach of human vision; it is illimitable, stretching
          out in the far distant future. Is there a wrong upon the earth to
          be righted? If so, it is our bounden duty to attempt its
          correction. Is there a false principle extant? It is our bounden
          duty to seek its eradication. Is there tyranny in the world,
          tyranny of the body, tyranny of the mind, physical or mental
          tyranny? It devolves upon us as Latter-day Saints to overthrow
          it. Are there social problems to be solved? Who shall solve them?
          Who can do so? Remove the Latter-day Saints from the field, and
          who can solve these problems which are pressing themselves upon
          the attention of all thinking people? The whole earth is full of
          violence, wrong, oppression, misgovernment, and a thousand other
          evils which I cannot now enumerate. It devolves upon us, as fast
          as we can reach these things, to correct them, to remove them. In
          the first place we have got to correct and remove them from our
          own midst. It is a slow labor to train a people, brought as we
          are from every nation, educated in every creed, speaking almost
          every language and heirs of every tradition. There is, false or
          true, wedded to us old customs and the evils of ages, which have
          been transmitted from generation to generation until they have
          formed a strong part of our very being. It is a slow work, I say,
          educating a people such as we are. We have been at it now 49
          years, and we can scarcely perceive, that is, in comparison with
          that which lies before us, the growth and the development which
          have been made. But we have grown, our minds have been enlarged,
          we have become emancipated from many old follies, and freedom of
          thought has taken place in our midst; but the great labor that
          devolves upon us is to educate ourselves, and then we can soon
          educate the rest of mankind, for as I have said, our example is
          felt; the influence of it goes forth and bears its fruit among
          other people. But it is a most difficult thing to get these
          Latter-day Saints to understand the principles that are as plain
          as the noonday sun--that they should receive readily, and why?
          Because, as I have said, they are heirs of the traditions of
          centuries that have come down through the dark ages. It is a
          wonderful thing to do what we have done respecting woman. Look at
          what monogamy has done. Look at its effects; trace its influence
          from the death of the Apostles, or soon afterwards, down to this
          the nineteenth century, and what do we behold? Why, in every
          generation a large percentage of our sisters has been consigned
          either to that nameless condition of which it is a shame to
          speak, or have died without ever knowing the joys of maternity.
          When I think of it, when I read the history of the boasted
          civilization of the Greeks and the Romans, and think of the
          boasted civilization of our day, inherited from these nations,
          and witness its effects, I wonder how man, standing up in the
          face of heaven, dare look at woman and talk about being her
          protector. Read the history of the sex and of the frightful evils
          which have been brought upon our sitters through man's accursed
          traditions and evils. If it were to be told to another people
          differently situated to us, with different traditions to us, they
          could not believe that intelligent man would entertain for one
          moment, or that women themselves, in view of what their sex has
          suffered, would cherish and cling to the wretched traditions that
          have prevailed in christendom and to a certain extent yet prevail
          in our midst.
          I know I am touching now upon what many people consider a tender
          spot. Say they, "The decision of the Supreme Court has arranged
          all this." Yes, but it will not stay arranged. Let me tell you,
          that wrong may prevail and right may apparently be crushed; but
          right must at last prevail and claim its own in spite of laws, of
          decisions, of mandates, and everything that man can utter. I am
          talking now not respecting law; I am not talking respecting
          tradition; I am not talking about "Mormon" plural marriage or
          patriarchal marriage; I am talking about men and women, brethren
          and sisters as such. Come let us reason together; let us talk
          together, not as religionists, not as "Mormons," not as
          monogamists, not as polygamists, not as citizens of Christendom,
          but as men and women, the children of God, as brethren and
          sisters of the one family. Let us talk together face to face, in
          plainness, in simplicity, without allowing tradition to have
          weight with us, to blind our understandings. It is in this spirit
          that I wish to talk upon this subject.
          Here is a family, a family composed of men and women, and we will
          say this tabernacle contains this entire family of God upon the
          earth, for the sake of illustrating the point. Here are men and
          women in equal numbers and equal proportions, one sex not
          outnumbering the other--a man for a woman and a woman for a man,
          no surplus of women, no surplus of men. If they were to marry,
          each would have a partner, each man would have a wife and each
          woman would have a husband; each would be perfect, for the man is
          not perfect without the woman, nor the woman without the man. We
          turn in and make a law, such as prevailed at one time in Rome
          that every man shall marry a wife. Such a law was made at Rome at
          one time; it was aimed at celibacy. It was aimed at a certain
          class as the law of 1862 was aimed at us. One was enacted to
          prevent marriage, the other to compel marriage, that no class of
          men should grow up in the community without wives, and that no
          woman should be allowed to forsake man and become a nun. We have
          such a law, say in this tabernacle. That answers very well. Every
          woman is provided with a husband, and every man with a wife. But
          after a while somebody comes along and says, "I do not like this
          law, it is oppressive; I know, for instance, where it works very
          badly; I know men who do not want to have wives." They prefer a
          single life, and they succeed after a while in repealing the law,
          as they did in Rome. The law is repealed and men are at liberty
          to marry or not as they please. On the top of this another law is
          enacted, in effect that every man shall have but one wife, and
          shall not be permitted to take two or more wives. The women, of
          course, have to do just as the man say, they cannot compel the
          men to marry them, but must wait until they are invited to marry.
          This law suits a great many individuals. Many men say, "I prefer
          not to have a wife and especially if you will only make a law
          confining the men to marry but one wife each. I like that very
          well because I will not then be under the necessity of keeping a
          wife. If I want a partner, an associate, I can have one without
          being at the trouble or expense of keeping her as such. Because
          if you confine marriage to one man and one woman there will
          necessarily be a share of the women who cannot be married; that
          is, if the sexes are equal in numbers. Then I can do as I please.
          I know the confiding nature of woman; I know how she loves, how
          she clings to the object of her love. This will be my
          opportunity." But what shall be said respecting the women. The
          men so far as they are concerned, have the right to marry or not
          as they please. But here is a large percentage of the women who
          by this law are to a certain extent deprived from marrying, even
          supposing the sexes to be equal. A civil commotion arises. Men go
          to war, they go to sea, they engage in commercial pursuits, they
          leave their homes, they engage in hazardous occupations. The
          result is that though in the beginning the men and women were
          equal in numbers, by the effects of war, and of engaging in
          hazardous pursuits which women do not follow, the men die and are
          killed, and the women survive and outnumber the males. The
          operation of a law then, such as I have described, increases the
          hardship, increases the percentage of those who are not married
          and who have no opportunity of marrying. Here comes along a man
          after witnessing the evils that have grown up among his brothers
          and sisters, and says, "I have a plan to suggest which I believe
          will cure the evils that exist among us. I see that a dreadful
          vice called prostitution has crept into our midst, and arising
          from it are dreadful diseases, diseases that I cannot describe,
          so appalling are they that the very thought of them makes the
          heart recoil with horror; they have appeared in our family circle
          and they are destroying our young men and women. And now then,
          the plan that I have to propose to our family is this, that every
          man shall marry until all the women are married, until every
          woman that wants a husband shall have one, so that the men who
          will not marry shall not have a class of unmarried women, to prey
          upon, to commit violence with, or to prostitute. "Now," says he,
          "if you let all these men and women marry, there will be some
          women who will not want to marry, but that proportion will be
          very small and by this means you will arrest this dreadful evil
          that is growing in our midst."
          Now let me put this to you; let us reason upon this, face to
          face, as I have said. Which will be the better plan? According to
          my judgment, speaking as one of this family, not as a member of
          Congress, not as a "Mormon," but as one of the family I have
          described. The latter law is far superior to the other. I would
          say, as a father, if I had a family of that kind, by all means
          let my daughters marry, let every woman have a husband that wants
          one. Then if every man marries a wife, they will only have a wife
          apiece; but if there should be any of the boys that do not want
          wives, the girls would not necessarily go without husbands.
          I consider our false tradition upon this subject one of the
          greatest evils at the present time that exists upon the earth. It
          has come down to us from the Greeks and Romans, than whom a more
          abominable lot of people never lived upon the earth. To read
          their books is enough to make a man with the least feeling of
          modesty blush and be ashamed of his race. Yet they are introduced
          into our literature. Whoever reads Horace, Sallust, and numbers
          of those authors, well knows how full of corruption they are. Not
          only crimes, but crimes against nature were justified by some of
          the best and most noted of Greek philosophers, and were practised
          by Sophocles, Socrates, and others; and yet this is the
          philosophy that has come down to us. They had a class of women in
          their midst who were regularly compensated and sustained as
          courtesans; they were maintained in order that the purity of the
          domestic circle might be unpolluted. And this has come down to us
          in Christendom, in Europe and America to the present time. The
          fairest of Earth's daughters fall yearly sacrifices to the
          abominable lusts of men. How is the domestic circle preserved in
          monogamous countries to-day? It is only preserved at the expense
          of this class to which I have referred, by those priestesses of
          humanity, blasted for the sins of the people, living short lives
          and carrying with them the effects of man's abominable lust.
          Now I do not want to talk to-day about law; I do not want to talk
          to-day about its effects in relation to this subject--the subject
          of "Mormon" patriarchal marriage; I do not want to talk about the
          law of 1862, nor the decision of the supreme Court of the United
          States affecting it; but I want to deal with the facts that stare
          us in the face. Shall we correct these evils? "O," says one,
          "they always existed." Out upon such doctrine; we do not believe
          it. I cannot believe that the Great Creator, he who formed the
          universe, who placed the sun in the centre of our solar system
          and caused those planets to revolve around it; that that being
          who created these things, and produced order out of chaos who
          said, "Let there be light and there was light;" who called forth
          out of chaos the elements from which our earth is formed and
          created it as a glorious habitation for man; that He possessing,
          as we know he does, infinite wisdom, has placed men and women,
          his sons and daughters, upon the earth in the midst of evils such
          as I have briefly alluded to, and provided no remedy therefore. I
          could no more believe it than I could believe this light to be
          darkness. But I do believe that in the bosom of the Father there
          is wisdom to crete all, to carry out all, and to make this earth
          a heaven, where peace, love, joy and happiness shall prevail, and
          where there shall be no sin, no sorrow, no heartrending or pain,
          where man and woman will dwell together in perfect peace, love
          and harmony, and children grow up in purity with every heavenly
          I have said, probably, enough on this subject. I merely wish to
          point out and to show that certain evils exist and that they need
          correction. How shall they be corrected? Who shall point out the
          remedy? I believe God has done it, and he will continue to do it;
          he will bring to pass in his own way and in his own due time all
          the corrections necessary to change all this. This subject of
          itself, affecting as it does the happiness welfare and prosperity
          of the human family, is one of almost overshadowing importance.
          But there are other evils under which mankind groan. There are
          evils in regard to wealth and the management of property, the
          organization of capital and the organization of labor, the
          relations, that labor shall bear to capital, and capital to
          labor. There are questions of this kind that press themselves
          upon the attention of statesmen, and upon the attention of every
          man of thought and reflection, and he sees there is room for the
          exercise of the most profound wisdom, and the greatest talent in
          order that these things may be corrected. It devolves upon us,
          Latter-day Saints, to help to accomplish this work. It devolves
          upon us, and will devolve upon us more particularly in the near
          future, to maintain upon this continent and through this broad
          land pure republican institutions, constitutional liberty in its
          broadest sense. For the day is not far distant when the power
          such as is growing up in the mountains will be needed. Conflict
          of parties, an increase of party feeling, an increased
          disposition to take possession of power by any means, no matter
          what it might be, are becoming general in the United States. This
          is so self-evident that no man, unless completely wedded to the
          idea that this nation will exist in perpetuity, can fail to see
          for himself that there is a crisis approaching in the affairs of
          our nation. Already the feeling prevails that in order to
          accomplish certain things fraud is justifiable. Money is used to
          an extent in the accomplishing of certain results in government
          affairs, and in politics that you, as a people who live in these
          mountains, have scarcely any conception of. And this is
          increasing. What the end will be is not difficult to foretell.
          Republicanism ceases to be republicanism whenever fraud enters
          into the decision of questions and the will of the people cannot
          be properly ascertained.
          So far as religious liberty is concerned we have fought that
          battle thus far with tolerable success; but we have yet to
          contend still more for greater liberty, not for ourselves alone,
          but for every human being that dwells upon this land, from the
          east to the west and from the north to the south. The principle
          must be maintained, the principle, that actuated the founders of
          our government, when they laid the foundation stone thereof, that
          in matters of religious concernment no man has a right to step
          between his fellowman and his God. I may worship idols; I may
          burn incense to idols; I may worship the sun and pay adoration to
          him, the great luminary of day; I may do other things which may
          seem equally improper, but have I not the right to do these
          things under our constitution? Was it not the intention of the
          framers of our form of government that every man should have this
          right? Certainly it was; and it can be clearly proved that this
          was their intention, that this was the spirit that actuated and
          prompted them.
          In Salt Lake City, if the "Mormons" had supreme control--I say
          "Mormons," I ought to say Latter-day Saints--if they had supreme
          control from our northern boundary in Idaho, to the southern
          boundary, Arizona, and from our eastern boundary, Colorado, to
          our western boundary, Nevada; if we had supreme control and
          undisputed possession of this land, without the right of dominion
          over us being questioned, we would have no authority under the
          constitution under which we live to say to any human being within
          these confines how he should worship, what he should or should
          not do in order to please the Creator. If the Chinaman should
          come here and build a Joss house and burn incense to Joss, if he
          prostrate himself in adoration before the images that he thinks
          represents his deity, we have no right in the world to interfere
          with him. If an Ingersoll should come here and say that he did
          not believe in any God at all, and he could carry his feelings
          into practice, we would have no right to interfere with him.
          Under the circumstances I have described, he would have a perfect
          right to believe in God or not. We would have no right to
          interfere with a man who, believing his priest has power to remit
          his sins, would enter the confessional chamber for the purpose of
          having them forgiven; or with the Episcopalian who may choose to
          sprinkle his infant, or the Jew because he believed in
          circumcising his infant child, or with the Baptist because he
          believed in baptism by immersion. But supposing that a man should
          come along that believes it his right and in accordance with his
          religious convictions to marry more than one wife, and he takes
          care of his wives and provides for them properly according to his
          religion, believing that in the eternity to come he will dwell
          with them. Some of us may think that his ideas of heaven are very
          materialistic; we may think him a very foolish man for having
          such a belief, and especially for going to the expense of keeping
          three or four wives; these may be the popular ideas about him,
          but if he carries out his belief from a religious standpoint, he
          has a perfect right to do it in the face of God and even under
          the constitution of our land. The Parsee and fire worshipper and
          men of kindred belief may yet come to this land of liberty; and I
          tell you if the spirit of the Constitution be maintained, as the
          Latter-day Saints will yet maintain it, they will have a perfect
          right to worship their God according to the dictates of their own
          consciences without any to molest or make afraid. The only time
          that these men can be interfered with will be when their
          religious acts interfere with the rights and liberties of their
          fellowmen. Hear it, ye Latter-day Saints! When John Chinaman
          comes in your midst, teach your children to respect him. When any
          other man of any other creed, race or color takes his abode among
          you, teach your children to respect this form of worship. And if
          they go to the church of the Catholics or that of the
          Presbyterians or of any other sect, teach them to behave
          themselves and treat everybody with civility and kindness, and
          that it is none of their business how these sects worship, teach
          that they violate good order and good law when they in any way
          make light of religious exercises. I would whip a boy for it
          quicker than for anything else. That is the freedom I believe in;
          that is the freedom I mean to teach to my children and to all men
          so far as my voice and influence extend; that is the freedom I
          mean to contend for and, as I have said hundreds of times to
          leading men of this nation, I will, if necessary, take my sons
          and make them swear that they will stand by and maintain this
          liberty as long as they live and contend for it and teach their
          children after them to contend for it also. I believe in the
          fullest liberty upon these points. We have been accused of
          exclusiveness. Our hearts have many times warmed towards
          "Gentiles," as they are called. We have extended the arms of
          kindness thousand and thousands of times to them, as our history
          has proved. We have been full of that disposition. But how have
          our advances been met? Let those in this tabernacle and those who
          are familiar with such matters read the newspapers. I have had
          people visit me at my house where every attention and courtesy
          would be shown them, and they would leave and perhaps through
          reading newspaper articles consisting of abominable lies, would
          go away and betray those who had received and treated them kindly
          and hospitably and so often has this been the case that I have
          almost sworn I will never do it again. It is not because we have
          unkind feelings. The time will come when we will have power; at
          present we are in the minority, and it pays for scribblers to
          write about us and hold us up to ridicule. But suppose the
          Latter-day Saints had control; suppose their ideas were
          fulfilled, that is, that we, as it is destined we shall be, were
          the people who uphold Constitutional government upon this
          continent, who restored the government to its primitive condition
          when all the political parties shall have fallen into chaos;
          would we feel at liberty to say that none but the Latter-day
          Saints should be elected to offices of trust and responsibility?
          No. Joseph Smith set the pattern; he taught the brethren who were
          with him better ideas; you well-informed Latter-day Saints know
          that there are two powers which God has restored in these the
          last days. One is the Church of God, the other the Kingdom of
          God. A man may belong to the Kingdom of God and yet not be a
          member of the Church of God. In the Kingdom of God, using it in a
          political sense, there may be heathens and Pagans and Mahommedans
          and Latter-day Saints and Presbyterians and Episcopalians and
          Catholics and men of every creed. Will they legislate for the
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints alone? Will the laws
          that they enact protect us alone and not protect others? No. Why?
          Because God is the Father of the Latter-day Saints as well as of
          every human being; God is the father of all, is the father of the
          Chinaman, the Hindoo, the African, the European, the American; is
          the Father of all the races of men and of every creed and
          nationality. When he establishes his kingdom it will protect all
          in their equal rights; I as a Latter-day Saint, will not have
          power to trample on my fellow-man who may not be orthodox in my
          opinion, because I am a Latter-day Saint; nor will my fellow-man
          to whom I am heterodox, have the power to trample upon me. Does
          not that look right? That is the kind of kingdom we have to
          contend for; that is the kind of kingdom we have to establish,
          and it is already provided for in the Constitution give unto us
          by God, and through the glorious labors of the fathers who aid
          the foundation of this government, who were inspired and raised
          by our Almighty Father for this express purpose. There is no
          liberty that a human being can desire, neither is there a right
          that can be exercised properly, that we do not have under the
          Constitution of our land. It needs no amendment about it; it is
          broad enough, if interpreted in its true spirit, to cover the
          individual, the continent, and the entire globe and furnish
          freedom for all.
          Now, Latter-day Saints, if you have had narrow views I will tell
          you to put them aside. I do not mean by this you must take
          everybody into your houses. There is the difference. I have seen
          President Young scores of times acting upon the spirit to which I
          have alluded. He has invited strangers to our social parties and
          houses and extended courtesies to them because it was wisdom to
          do so. But a great many of the Latter-day Saints are so ignorant
          upon these points that they do not know when to stop. There are
          some so ignorant that they would in the spirit of kindness let a
          man come into their homes and become so familiar that he would
          try to lead astray some member of their family. Can you not see
          that these are acts of folly, that we are not required, because
          of the liberality we should cherish and cultivate, to throw down
          every barrier and allow vice to stalk through our cities and
          enter into our family circles to pollute the purity that should
          prevail there. Can you not see, Latter-day Saints, however young,
          however uninformed you may be, can you not see that to allow this
          liberty would be wrong? Therefore we ought to discriminate.
          Nowhere in good society has a man the entree without proper
          introduction. If a stranger were to come to me bearing lines of
          introduction from a friend of mine, I would, if necessary, go
          with him to the bank and endorse a note for him, because I would
          be perfectly secure in doing so. But supposing a stranger were to
          come to me for the same favor, without an introduction, I would
          not be under the slightest obligation to do as he wished, though
          I might do so as an act of charity, but of course under such
          circumstances I should not be expected to do more than this. And
          if I were to go among strangers I would not think of attempting
          to push myself among the people without proper introduction. I
          have gone in their midst many times, but have never been a sharer
          of their kindness and confidence only as such confidence was
          established by acquaintance. So in our midst; a man can come
          properly recommended, he is at home. He can have time enough to
          establish his name and to show to the people what kind of man he
          is. Then he will be received as he should be, having that respect
          shown to him that is due.
          I have talked a great deal more than I intended. I hope what I
          have said may be blessed to your profit. If I have said any
          unwise thing, forget it. If I have said any improper thing, I
          hope it will pass from your minds, and that which is good, cling
          to you. Cleave to virtue, to purity, to everything that is good,
          that will elevate you and make you a better people. Above all let
          me say to you, let us get rid of old traditions as fast as we
          can, and learn from the Lord, and be taught by his holy spirit.
          That God may grant this is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / C. W.
          Stayner, May 25th, 1879
                            C. W. Stayner, May 25th, 1879
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER C. W. STAYNER,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon
                                   May 25th, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                         CREATIONS AND HANDIWORK--PROPHECY.
          In rising to address the congregation this afternoon, a brief
          passage of Scripture is suggested to my mind, as the basis for
          such remarks as I may make. It is the latter part of the seventh
          verse of the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation, and
          reads as follows: "and worship him that made heaven and earth,
          and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Believing with the
          ancient Apostles that no prophecy of scripture is of any private
          interpretation; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by
          the Holy Ghost," and that "all scriptures were written for our
          profit and learning that we through faith in them, might have
          hope." I am firmly convinced that the words of the text have a
          profound significance; for although it is acknowledged that the
          sacred writings contain the most sublime language, and furnish
          the most poetic quotations, still I do not believe that those
          holy men sought to round off their sentences, simply for the sake
          of the music they would afford to the ear of the reader; but that
          beneath all the poetry and sublimity of the language, there is a
          beautiful meaning to every sentence recorded, involving the most
          important truths for the benefit of mankind. In order to reach
          clearly the correct significance of the passage we have read, let
          us first consider by whom it was uttered, and inquire into the
          circumstances under which it was recorded. History tells us that
          the venerable Apostle John who wrote the Book of Revelation, was
          sentenced by the Emperor Domitian of the Roman Empire, to be
          scalded to death in a cauldron of boiling oil; that this cruel
          sentence was carried out as fully as it was in the power of men
          to execute it. The cauldron of oil was heated to boiling heat,
          and the great apostle was submerged in the scalding fluid, but
          through Divine interposition he was delivered like Daniel from
          the "lion's den," and Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego from the
          "fiery furnace," by the power of that God, whom he served and
          obeyed; so that he suffered no harm and simply looked like he had
          been anointed. The cruel Emperor was so enraged at this wonderful
          deliverance, that he instantly sentenced the doomed Apostle to
          banishment on the Isle of Patmos. While in exile inaccordance
          with this sentence, St. John was made the happy recipient of the
          most wonderful visions of things to come to pass in the future
          history of the world. Enwrapped in heavenly vision he beheld,
          among other important matters, an "angel 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, saying with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give glory
          to him, for the hour of his judgment is come," and then the words
          of our text, "and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and
          the sea, and the fountains of waters." Thus then we find this
          text was the enunciation of an angel; and as the time when this
          angel was to come is plainly shown to be at a most important
          crisis of the world's history, "the hour of God's judgment," it
          may well be supposed he did not waste time in poetic fancy or
          simply the elegant rounding of periods, but that every word he
          uttered carried with it a depth of meaning, and was in every way
          calculated to impress those to whom he was sent, with the
          importance of his message. What then was his reason for using
          this particular language? Why did he not close without uttering
          the last words? or why did he not call the attention of earth's
          inhabitants to some other peculiarity of the Divine greatness?
          First because it is customary with the Lord and his angelic
          messengers to generally give some reason for the requirements
          made by them; God is ever willing to show his children why we
          should obey his commands, we find his doctrines reasonable; his
          requirements reasonable, and his revelations reasonable; hence
          the angel added by way of reasonable argument, "and worship him
          that made heaven and earth, and the sea and the fountains of
          waters." But why did he not call attention to some of the great
          things in the unseen world; why not refer to the hosts of heaven
          or the majestic glory of God, as he sat upon his throne; or any
          others of the numerous existences that create joy or wonder
          "behind the vail?" No doubt, because the angel could see
          prophetically that when the time should arrive for him to deliver
          his heavenly message, at the hour of God's judgment, the whole
          world would have reached what may be called a scientific age, an
          epoch of "materialism" a time when the universal scientific
          thought would be centered on that which was material in its
          character; and that people would be more devoted to searching out
          the matters of the visible world, than the hidden mysteries that
          lay beyond the vail. Hence he called attention to the things
          which were most engrossing their thoughts. He saw that men would
          reach as they have done, some conclusions concerning the
          planetary bodies, and establish some theories, the correctness of
          which has in certain instances been proved, as particularly shown
          in the precision with which eclipses are predicted, that
          frequently occur within a minute, and even a few seconds of the
          time designated. Although men have discovered comparatively
          little with regard to such matters, and even in our own solar
          system are at a loss in some things, still enough has been
          discovered to create wonderment and inquiry as to the origin of
          the worlds that "roll upon their wings" in the firmament, and I
          believe I shall be endorsed by the highest scientific authorities
          when I say that they acknowledge the existence of a master
          intelligence that organizes, sustains and controls the universe.
          But who or what that power and intelligence is, they do not
          comprehend, neither can they without he should reveal himself
          unto them. But when the inquiry arises as to who is this
          organizer? the voice of the angels comes ringing down the cycle
          of time, "Worship God, who made the heavens," for, as the
          Psalmist gives it, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the
          firmament showeth his handiwork." How charming it is to
          contemplate the beauty of the heavens, and then think of the
          discoveries that have been made; concerning light, for instance.
          How wonderful it is! To think that light, traveling, as
          scientists assert, from the sun to the earth in eleven minutes, a
          distance that would occupy a cannon ball twenty-five years in
          transit; and yet, notwithstanding its velocity, it is so composed
          as not to harm in the least degree the tenderest of animal or
          vegetable substances; the minutest plant--the most delicate
          flower is blessed by its influence, and not in the least injured
          by the rapidity of its motion. How is this accomplished? By the
          particles of which it is composed being so minute as not to offer
          any resistance to the slightest substance. And yet a single
          sunbeam, which no one can paint or define, looking so innocent
          and colorless, is found to consist of seven colors, and will
          penetrate the deepest darkness and reveal all existing objects in
          their proper and actual form and color. The beneficial effects of
          the sun's light cannot be too highly appreciated, and, in
          contemplating its blessings we are constrained to "worship God
          who made the heavens." Let us now consider the earth; take for
          instance the atmosphere which we breathe and by which we are
          sustained. We find it in a pure condition originally, but we
          ascertain that it is rendered impure by being breathed. Through
          passing through the lungs it becomes so highly carbonized that it
          is unfit for our use; the large infusion of carbonic dioxide it
          receives through the process of respiration, renders it poisonous
          to men and animals; but strange to say it is then in the most
          proper condition to nourish the life of the vegetable kingdom.
          Plants thrive on it, and vegetation generally, receives its chief
          nutriment from that impurity which animals could not endure.
          Scientific experiment has proved that a sprig of mint placed in a
          bottle of air rendered impure by respiration or putrefaction,
          will so absorb the impurity, and nourish itself on the
          unwholesome carbonic acid gas, as to again render the air
          sufficiently pure to sustain human and animal life. Thus we find
          that the atmosphere which would otherwise become unfit to sustain
          our lives, is purified, and at the same time is enriching us
          through the medium of the vegetable creation, from which we
          derive much of our support and sustenance.
          Then think of the richness of our fields, of the mineral wealth
          in these huge mountains, of the beauties to be seen and studied
          in the floral creation, of the grandeur of earth's scenery, and
          the capacity of the soil to support its wonderful population,
          think of what is on the earth's surface, and consider what is
          discovered in its deepest recesses; and when the inquiry arises
          as to the originator of these blessings, and men of science and
          reflection ask who and what is the controlling power that bestows
          and regulates all these things, the loud voice of the angel comes
          down through the ages, "Worship God who made the earth!" Then
          there is the mighty ocean that covers such a large portion of our
          globe. Now, some people have thought that there was too great a
          proportion of our earth covered by water; but scientific men, who
          have thought deeply on this subject, declare that if there were
          any less, there would not be sufficient to furnish moisture for
          the fertilization of the land. Here, then, is an element
          prepared, from which, through the action of the atmosphere, the
          moisture is drawn up into the clouds, and, what is very
          wonderful, it is not emptied out in torrents, to ravage and
          destroy by its furious impetuosity, our fields and gardens, but
          is carried in the clouds as they are gently wafted by the wind,
          and beautifully distributed in grateful showers, to refresh and
          nourish the crops of the husbandman. Then, again, see the
          provision for preserving those large bodies of water, called
          seas, so that they may not become putrid and malarious; they are
          strongly supplied with salt, and thus turned into brine, which
          preserves the water in a wholesome state. Upon the surface of the
          seas are the vessels of the commercial world, laden with
          treasure, and down in those almost unfathomable depths are found
          endless varieties of the finny tribes, that delight to dwell
          there, and are so useful to man. The sea is their home, from the
          smallest specimen that floats near the surface, to the huge
          leviathan that lashes the ocean in his fury. They are perfectly
          adapted to live there, and the element is specially fitted to
          supply their necessities. Then, too, beneath its surface we
          discover beauteous and precious gems for the adornment of the
          person; providing even for the pleasures and fashionable tastes
          of "them that dwell on the earth." And when we ask what
          intelligence and beneficent power has provided for our happiness,
          we still hear the voice of the angel as he cries, "worship God
          who made the sea!" There is still another branch of the subject
          to which we must briefly refer, and that is the "fountains of
          waters" What can be more delightful than a fountain, or spring of
          pure water? Up in these glorious mountains which have inspired
          the Saints with a love of liberty, we can see and hear the
          rippling brook as it escapes from a bright, cold, pure spring in
          the nook of a canon or the crevice of a rock! How is it formed
          and sustained? We find that through the process of evaporation
          before alluded to, moisture is drawn from the oceans and lakes up
          into the clouds; some of these clouds pass over the mountains,
          and deposit sheets of snow, and showers of rain in the canons and
          on the mountain sides. These sink into the crevices between the
          rocks, and here and there burst forth in bubbling springs of
          fresh water which feed the rivulets and streams, and form the
          creeks that descend to the land in the valleys, then pass into
          rivers and finally return to the bosom of the oceans and lakes
          from whence they came, there to be again preserved till again
          evaporated. But one peculiarity we should notice here, and that
          is, the water in these springs is fresh and sweet, although the
          bodies of water from whence it is evaporated are salt. Here we
          live on the borders of the Great Salt Lake, yet did you ever
          notice any saline flavor to the springs and streams sustained by
          the evaporations from the lake? No, and yet this is a body of
          water having the strongest saline character in the world! What a
          glorious provision to have pure fresh water in constant supply!
          And how beautiful to contemplate, is the present fertility of
          these valleys! When we look back to the time when those grand old
          pioneers set their feet on this soil, and realize its past
          barren, arid condition, we are led to thank God, "who made the
          fountains of waters;" and we can see the literal fulfillment of
          his word through the ancient prophets, that he would "turn the
          dry ground into water springs," and "make pools in the desert;"
          we see that "fountains of water" have sprung up in unexpected
          places, to enable this dry and unpromising soil to yield and
          equitable return for the toil of the laborer; and we can now say
          that indeed the "Desert has been made to blossom as the rose." In
          short it seems that "the heavens and the earth and the sea and
          the fountains of waters" have formed a grand combination to
          introduce their united evidences of the Divine existence,--and
          the rich Divine dealings with mankind. Through the ages that are
          past every method consistent with the perfection of omnipotence,
          has been adopted to impress man with reverence for the Deity;
          angels from the heavens declare the glory of God, and the music
          of the spheres as they perform their wonderful course in the
          firmament, invite our attention to his glorious handiwork; God
          has written his being on the imperishable rocks, has recorded the
          existence of Deity in the granite mountains and among "the
          everlasting hills;" if we "go down into the depths of the sea, he
          is there;" and at his bidding, "fountains of water" burst forth
          in fertilizing streams, to nourish the barren soil that it may
          bring forth its rich fruit for the sustenance of the Saints. Thus
          the heavens in their glory, the earth with its rich blessings,
          the seas upon which we ride, and the "fountains of waters" that
          supply us with an element without which we could not live,
          furnish us with a chain of material evidences, of the existence
          and goodness of the Deity, that cannot be successfully denied.
          But I would still fail in the performance of my duty this
          afternoon, if I should close without touching upon the subject of
          spiritual evidences that are furnished in such rich abundance
          from the very commencement of the world's history to the time
          when God revealed himself to Joseph Smith, a young boy of
          fourteen or fifteen years of age, unskilled in the sciences, and
          unlettered in the learning of the world. God revealed to him not
          only the fact of Divine existence, but even how he became God;
          that it was through living up to correct principles, and by
          developing within himself every sublime sentiment that had its
          origin in truth. He taught him how the people "who dwelt on the
          earth" might also be thus exalted to be angels of God, and
          finally Gods themselves; how they could scale the ladder of
          intelligence step by step, till they finally overcame all evil,
          and sat down at the right hand of the "majesty on high." Read and
          consider the beautiful prophecies in the Book of Daniel! Read his
          florid account of the wonderful visions given to him, of the
          method he was commanded to adopt in order that he might be worthy
          to receive them. How he was required to fast, "to eat no pleasant
          food;" to subsist on flowers and other innocent kinds of
          vegetation; and then ponder over his prophecies, and the
          prophecies of angels recorded by him, especially concerning the
          four beasts, which represented the four great kingdoms of the
          world, Babylon, the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, the
          Macedonian Empire, and the Roman power. Read his prophecies
          concerning the last days; and compare them with the writings of
          Gibbon and other historians whom while they denounced God and
          religion, and declared the prophets were impostors, actually
          recorded the most literal fulfillment of their glorious
          predictions; and it will be found by those prophecies and their
          recorded fulfillment, that Daniel and his colleagues were not
          simply writers of poetry for the amusement of themselves and
          their neighbors, but that they were ministers of God, chosen to
          warn mankind of the great things that should come to pass on the
          earth, long centuries after those prophets should be called
          behind the vail. God has painted the history of the world in the
          rich colors of prophecy, and mankind, under Divine Providence has
          sculptured its fulfillment in the marble of history. The two
          records are before us, and I am ashamed of the intelligence of
          the nineteenth century when I think that scientific men, and
          learned people can be induced to impute to those holy servants of
          God other motives than the advancement of God's purposes in the
          earth. But I do not condemn the caviller by any means, or consign
          him to endless torments; no, I regard him as being of great use
          and of infinite importance to society; he, acting like the
          tempestuous elements, promotes a healthy condition of the
          atmosphere, and stirs up the great ocean of thought; this leads
          us to reflect and consider, and while investigating more closely
          the works of God, we are apt to come to right conclusions and be
          more firmly established in the principles of truth.
          May God add his blessing, is my prayer in the name of Jesus
          Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 /
          Charles W. Penrose, May 25th, 1879
                         Charles W. Penrose, May 25th, 1879
                           REMARKS BY ELDER C. W. PENROSE,
               Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday
                                   May 25th, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I have listened with a great deal of pleasure, my brethren and
          sisters, to the remarks of Elders Stayner. There are a great many
          arguments which might be adduced from the material universe to
          establish the fact that a divine hand has formed the worlds; and
          I think there are few people, even in this skeptical age, who
          altogether repudiate the idea of a grand Creator of the universe.
          This is called an age of infidelity. It is a fact that there is
          very little real faith in God upon the earth. There is very
          little knowledge concerning God in the world, and there are some
          people who altogether repudiate the idea of the existence of a
          God; but I believe they are in number very few indeed. But while
          there are few who entirely reject the existence of Deity, there
          are a great number of people in the world who have no definite
          idea concerning God, concerning his ways, his dealings with
          mankind, or concerning the right manner of worshipping him and of
          learning from him.
          In the text which Elder Stayner has read this afternoon, and from
          which he has made some very excellent remarks, the command is
          given "to worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea,
          and the fountains of water." In the explanation which has been
          given to us it has been made clear that the words which have been
          read in our hearing were to be uttered by an angel of God; they
          were to be spoken at a period in the worlds history, some time in
          the future of the day in which the Apostle John saw the vision
          referred to. In the 4th chapter of the same book (Revelations),
          and the first verse, you will find that having seen a number of
          events portrayed before this mind, John says: "After this I
          looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first
          voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me,
          which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which
          must be hereafter." All we read in that Book of Revelations,
          after the first verse of the 4th chapter, describes events to
          transpire after these things were seen. And if we take the
          trouble to read the whole of that book, we will find that John
          was shown the dealings of God with man, age after age, down until
          the time that this angel should come to the earth. Says the
          Apostle: "And I saw another angel 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. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him
          for the hour of his judgment is come; and worship him that made
          heaven and earth, and the sea and the fountains of waters." (Rev.
          xiv., 6, 7.) According to this prediction, just before the hour
          of God's judgment--that time which all the prophets of God have
          foreseen and prophesied of, just before the grand consummation,
          just before the time when the Lord should come to judge the quick
          and the dead--this angel was to come to the earth with the
          everlasting Gospel; and that Gospel was to be preached to every
          nation, and kindred, and tongue and people. Now, what does that
          pre-suppose? To every reasonable mind, that the people of every
          nation, and kindred, and tongue upon the face of the earth were
          destitute of that Gospel. For, if the Gospel was already there,
          already preached by any nation, kindred, or people, there would
          be no need for the angel to reveal it anew to mankind. And
          further, if there were people living upon the earth who did
          worship God aright--that is, the true and living God, not the God
          of the heathen, not the God of men's imagination, but the God
          that made the heaven and the earth, the sea and the fountains of
          waters--if people dwelling upon the earth were already
          worshipping that God aright, there would be no need of a heavenly
          messenger to leave the courts of glory to come to the earth to
          call upon them to do so.
          Now this may be a rather startling declaration to make in the
          face of all Christendom, in the face of the hundreds and
          thousands of Christian ministers of the various Christian
          denominations, who spend their time, their talents and ability in
          preaching what they call and perhaps believe to be the
          everlasting Gospel; and in the face of the millions of the earth
          who think they do worship God and give glory to that Being who
          make the earth, and the seas, and the fountains of waters. But
          here is the text, here is the language of Scripture given by
          inspiration. We must believe the declaration to be divine, or not
          believe it at all. The Apostle John saw in the vision that at a
          certain time the angel was to come again to earth and reveal, or
          restore anew the everlasting Gospel, the true Gospel, by which
          alone man can receive a fulness of salvation in the presence of
          God the Father.
          There are millions of people living to-day upon the face of the
          earth who believe that a divine hand formed this world, and that
          he is also the Creator of the universe; but they know nothing
          certain about that Being. Notwithstanding the boasted knowledge
          and intelligence of the 19th century, the world today know
          nothing concerning this divine Being. While most of them admit
          the fact of his existence, yet at the same time he is to them as
          he was to the Ephesians to whom Paul preached on a certain
          occasion--an "unknown God." If this is not the case who is there
          that can tell us anything about him? what he is like? where he
          dwells? what are his purposes with regard to the people of the
          present age? which is the right way to approach him that we may
          learn to know him for ourselves?
          We read in the Scriptures that in olden times men communed with
          this divine Being, that he walked and talked with men in the
          flesh, and revealed himself to them. But he is neither seen nor
          heard of men to-day, and what is even worse, none seem to know
          how to approach him to learn of him as his servants did in
          earlier times. But some will say, "We have no need of such
          communications now, for we have the writings of these men; they
          approached him, and they have written books containing his words
          which have been handed down to us; we have no need to approach
          God as they did." But who can tell us how to read this Bible
          aright? These people who say they have no need of revelation do
          not agree as to what those prophets meant when they wrote these
          things. Take the minister of one Christian denomination, for
          instance, and get him into conversation with a minister from
          another Christian denomination, each of these men of course
          professing to believe that the Bible is a divine record given to
          us for our guidance in spiritual things; and in a very short time
          you will get them into a quarrel. Take half a dozen men from half
          a dozen Christian denominations, each professing to be called of
          God to explain his word, and you will find that all of them have
          different views and ideas concerning that which the prophets
          wrote. Ask any one of these Christian ministers to tell you
          anything about God, and after exhausting his store of language in
          trying to do so he will wind up thus: "God is incomprehensible."
          There is an attempt to describe God in the Episcopalian
          prayer-book. We are told in that book, which contains the
          articles of the faith of that body of people, that God is three
          and yet he is only one; that there are three distinct personages
          in the Godhead, yet only one personage, and that this being is
          without body, without parts and without passions. Here, then, we
          have an imaginary being composed of three parts, who yet is only
          one without any parts. We are told further that one of these
          bodiless, passionless beings without parts had a body, and that
          he was a man in all points as we are, possessing like passions,
          but that he sinned not. This is a strange attempt at description
          of a divine Being. I do not wish to take up the time in further
          reference to these absurdities, you can read them in the
          Athenasian creed, and in the thirty-nine articles which all
          Episcopal ministers must subscribe to before they can receive
          "holy orders."
          We read in the Bible: "For a man indeed ought not to cover his
          head (when he prayeth), forasmuch as he is the image and the
          glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man." (1 Cor.,
          xi, 7) According to the Scriptures, when you see a perfect man,
          as far as man can be perfect in this imperfect condition which we
          now occupy, we see a being in the image of Deity. When Jesus
          Christ, who died that we might live, appeared on the earth, we
          are told that he was "the image of the invisible God," and "the
          express image of his (the Father's) person." So much indeed, was
          he like his Father, that when one of his disciples asked him to
          show them the Father, he answered him saying, "He that hath seen
          me hath seen the Father;" giving us to understand that the Son
          inherited the likeness of his Father. Some read it to signify
          that he was the same person; but the Savior says again, "My
          Father is greater than I." The words of Jesus to Mary in the
          garden are significant on this point: "Go to my brethren and say
          to them, I ascend unto my Father, and you Father, and to my God
          and your God." And at the baptism of the Savior we find that the
          Holy Ghost descended upon him, and that the voice of the Father
          was heard out of heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son in whom
          I am well pleased;" showing that there were three distinct
          substances--the Son coming up out of the water, the Father
          speaking from heaven and the Holy Ghost descending.
          In regard to this divine Being. The Son is the first born in the
          spirit, the only begotten in the flesh, sent into the world to
          die for the sins of the world. How can the people of the earth
          learn anything concerning him? and which is the right way to
          worship him? Says the Catholic minister, "Here is the way, the
          only way." "No," says the Episcopal minister, "here is the way."
          Says the Methodist, "No, you are both wrong, we have the true
          way." Against these assertions the Baptist minister enters his
          protest, saying "All these are wrong, ours is the way." And so
          with all the various sects and parties that exist upon the earth.
          Let us bear in mind now that the angel spoken of by John was to
          come from heaven and call upon every nation and tongue to worship
          this Being, the true and living God. And not only call upon them
          to do so, but to bring the everlasting Gospel, by which man can
          learn of God and walk in his ways. And it is very evident what
          they would do, from the predictions of other prophets. We read in
          the writings of Isaiah, also in the writings of Micah, that in
          the last days there should come a people from all the nations of
          the earth, who should gather together in the tops of the
          mountains to learn of the ways of God and to walk in his paths.
          It seems, then, that the angel was not to bring his message for
          nought; here was to be a people among all these nations who would
          receive the message and who would respond to it; and in
          consequence of that response they would leave their homes and
          would come from the East and from the West, and God would "say to
          the North, Give up, and to the South, Keep not back, bring my
          sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth." And
          they would go up to the mountain of the Lord to be taught in his
          ways and to walk in his paths; that they might be prepared for
          the day when the "law of God would go forth from Zion and the
          word of the Lord from Jerusalem." And the work was to continue;
          for according to another prophet, the time shall come when "they
          shall teach no more every man his neighbor, saying, Know ye the
          Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the
          greatest of them, saith the Lord." How shall this be brought
          about? "And they shall be all taught of God." The Lord is to
          teach them; they are not to be taught by the enticing words of
          man's wisdom, but as God spake to the people in olden times, so
          he is to speak to them in the latter times. He said he would
          raise up shepherds after his own heart, who should "feed them
          with knowledge and understanding;" not with speculative ideas,
          notions springing from their own minds, but with the truth from
          the true and living God, sent down from on high. Jesus, when upon
          the earth, made a remark very pertinent to this point; said he:
          "And no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any
          man the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will
          reveal him." The inhabitants of the earth will never come to a
          knowledge of the true God, they will never know how to approach
          him, they will never know how to obtain knowledge and
          intelligence from him, unless they walk in the way his Son shall
          point out. He stands between us and the Father; he is the
          First-born, the Mediator, chosen from the creation of the world.
          He performed the work on the earth which he was sent to do. "Thou
          hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even
          thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy
          fellows." He stands as a Mediator between God and man. When we
          approach God we must do it through the Son. Who can tell us how?
          We hear the cry, "Come to Jesus," in every camp meeting. We are
          told by the preachers of every Christian denomination to "come to
          Jesus." But how are we to come? The ways pointed out are
          different and various. I am reminded right here of a saying of
          the Prophet Jeremiah: "Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways,
          and see and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and
          walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they
          said, We will not walk therein." "The old path," what is that?
          The everlasting Gospel which the angel was to bring. "Enter ye in
          at the straight gate," says the Savior; "for wide is the gate,
          and broad is the way, that leadest to destruction, and many there
          be which go in thereat: because straight is the gate, and narrow
          is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find
          it." There is but one way into the sheepfold; he that climbs up
          any other way will be accounted as "a thief and a robber." The
          angel was to bring the old way; that those who walk therein might
          find rest for their souls; but it appears the great bulk of the
          people would say, "We will not walk therein."
          I bear my testimony to this congregation, that in the times in
          which we live, which are just preceding the coming of the Son of
          man in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, to
          accomplish all things spoken of, God, the Eternal Father, has
          spoken from the heavens by his own voice, revealing his Son, and
          has sent holy angels committing the everlasting Gospel to men who
          have been commissioned and ordained of God to go to all the world
          to preach it as a witness before the end comes. I bear my
          testimony that as soon as that Gospel reached my ears in a
          distant land, I received it and obeyed it. That is, believing in
          the truth thereof, I repented sincerely of my sins before God,
          and went humbly and submitted to the ordinance of baptism for the
          remission of sins, receiving that ordinance from men ordained of
          God to preach this Gospel. That having been buried in the water
          in the likeness of the death of Christ, and raised again in the
          likeness of his resurrection, I received a witness from God that
          my sins were remitted. I bear my testimony this afternoon before
          God and angels, and before this congregation, that I received a
          remission of my sins, through the atonement of the Lord Jesus
          Christ, in obedience to his ordinances. The hands of the servants
          of God were laid upon my head, and I received the Holy
          Ghost--that same Spirit which God gave to the prophets that same
          Spirit which rested upon John upon the Isle of Patmos, that same
          Spirit by which holy men of old wrote and spoke as they were
          moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and that Spirit is the same
          yesterday, to-day and forever. It takes of the things of the
          Father and makes them plain to the human mind; it makes things
          past clear to the understanding of man, and it lifts upon the
          curtain of futurity and shows things to come. It is the Spirit of
          prophecy, the testimony of Jesus; it is the light of God to the
          human soul. And as natural light discloses to the vision of men
          the objects of the material universe, without which none can
          discern them, so the Holy Ghost is the light of God which reveals
          to the spirits of men the things of eternal life, and without
          which men cannot understand the things of God. It is because of
          the absence of this divine light that the world lies in darkness
          in regard to their Father and God; this is why men,
          notwithstanding their learning, their scientific discoveries in
          the material universe, cannot comprehend the things of God. Man
          by searching cannot find out God. He can reveal himself to
          mankind, but must do it through the Son, and obedience to the
          Gospel of his Son is the only way of salvation. There is no
          other, and no name given under heaven whereby man can be saved
          but the name of Jesus Christ. A mere form of worship avails
          nothing; we must obey the commandments. "Not every one that
          sayeth to me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven,
          but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven." This
          Gospel is restored to the earth, and everybody may know it for
          themselves. We are not dependent upon the words of Joseph Smith;
          we need not depend upon the Twelve Apostles who received their
          ordination under his hand. Every man and every woman and every
          child who have come to years of accountability can receive direct
          from the Lord, direct from the fountain of their being, a
          testimony by which they may know that he lives, that they are
          walking in his ways, and learn how they can approach him
          Some people may think that it does not matter how people worship,
          that God will accept of their worship, anyhow. But from what we
          read of His dealings in the Bible, we find it a matter of the
          greatest importance. Abel, for instance, offered to the Lord that
          which God commanded; Cain offered what he pleased to give. Abel's
          offering was accepted, Cain's was rejected. Cain slew Abel in
          consequence, and the spirit manifested by him has been
          perpetuated to this day. God has marked out the way by which he
          may be worshipped. He has ordained certain ordinances through
          which certain blessings are to come; and the blessings of God
          will not come except by means of the ordinances. Those who obey
          these in the way that God has ordained invariably receive the
          blessings; for spiritual laws are as fixed and unchangeable as
          are the laws of the material universe. No man expects to reap
          oats from sowing wheat. That which a man soweth, that will he
          also reap. If he sow to the flesh, of the flesh he may expect to
          reap corruption; if to the spirit, of the spirit life
          everlasting. By walking in the way that God has ordained every
          man can know and receive for himself the testimony promised. And
          this people who are here inhabiting these valleys of the
          mountains knew for themselves before they left their homes in the
          old world, that they had received and obeyed the Gospel brought
          from the heavens by means of the angel described by the Apostle
          John, it was in obedience to the requirements of that Gospel that
          they left their homes to come here to learn more of his ways, to
          walk more perfectly in his paths, and to prepare themselves for
          the great day of the Lord that is nigh at hand. This Gospel is
          sent to prepare the way before his coming, to be preached "as a
          witness" that all mankind may know that God has sent it. How
          about the people who will not hearken unto it? They feel as Cain
          did when he learned that his offering was not acceptable--he
          desired to slay Abel; and this is the feeling that has been
          manifested towards the Latter-day Saints from the beginning. We
          have come out of the world, and the world hates us, and many seek
          to destroy us. What harm are we doing to the people of the earth?
          We have come away from them; we have sought the wilds of this
          once desert country that we might worship God according to the
          dictates of conscience, and we are here trying to serve him with
          all our hearts. We have many imperfections, but we are trying to
          obey the Lord in his appointed way; and because we have accepted
          this way, the way ordained of God, those who will not walk
          therein are stirred up to anger against us; they circulate all
          manner of evil reports concerning us and like the ancient Saints
          we are "everywhere spoken against." They endeavor to stir up
          strife in our midst, and failing to divide us they gnash their
          teeth in anger, seeking to bring all kinds of evil upon us. But
          God will rule and over-rule for the good of His people, and
          accomplish His ends and purposes.
          In the midst of these trials we recognize the hand of God, as we
          see it in relation to the material elements which have been
          referred to this afternoon; just as much as we understand that
          there is a controlling hand which guides the destinies of the
          earth, which formed the planets, which put them in motion and
          arranged them in such perfect order that one world should not
          rush against another, and causing the whole universe in all its
          beautiful variety and adaptation to move in perfect order and
          harmony; as we recognize the Divine hand in these material
          things, the physical objects of the universe, so we can recognize
          it in spiritual things. We acknowledge God in all things; we know
          that he lives, that in him we move and have our being, that he is
          the same yesterday, to-day and forever, that he changeth not;
          that he communes with his children today as he did five or six
          thousand years ago. The God of Abraham is the God of the
          Latter-day Saints. As he guided and directed him and delivered
          him from his enemies, so the Almighty's hand has been and is over
          us, and will continue to guide and deliver us, inasmuch as we
          continue to carry on his work.
          Now I say that all people may receive these blessings if they
          will walk in the narrow way. But they must believe in Christ, and
          repent of their sins by putting them away; they must be baptized
          in a proper way; they must receive the Holy Ghost by the laying
          on of hands of men ordained and authorized of God, which Spirit
          will bring them en rapport with the Lord; and then if they will
          seek the interests of his kingdom they have a claim upon his
          blessings, and in proportion to their righteousness before God,
          so shall their communion be. But although they are baptized and
          confirmed members of the body of Christ, yet, unless they
          continue to walk before God, continue to be taught of him,
          continue to obey the divine word, they will not enjoy much
          communion with the Father. But if they strive to "live by every
          word that comes from the mouth of God," their minds will become
          more enlightened, the Holy Ghost will increase within them and
          their path will grow brighter and brighter, even to the perfect
          day. God will speak by his Spirit direct to their hearts; and
          when he reveals anything through his appointed servants, every
          word will find an echo in the hearts of those who have received
          this Spirit, and the people will see eye to eye, for they will
          become united as one, as a band of brethren and sisters, to roll
          forth the purposes of God, to prepare the way for the feet of the
          Lord Jesus.
          I bear my testimony to what has been said by Brother Stayner and
          the Gospel of Jesus Christ which the angel has brought, and pray
          God to bless this congregation, that all who are here, may be
          able to learn of him and walk in the good old way, that they may
          know how to worship and obey the true and living God, even him
          who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the
          fountains of waters, and finally come into his presence and be
          crowned with a fullness of his glory. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, December 15, 1878
                           John Taylor, December 15, 1878
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
           Delivered at the 17th Ward Meeting House, on Sunday Afternoon,
                                 December 15, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          We meet together from time to time to attend to the worship of
          the Almighty, because we think it is proper for us to pay due
          respect unto the Lord God, our heavenly Father; we assemble
          ourselves for the purpose of praying to him, of singing his
          praises, of speaking of principles, doctrines, ordinances and
          other matters in which we are individually and collectively
          interested, all of which is more or less connected with the
          worship of our God.
          There is something associated with our religious views that
          differs materially from those of many others. The Lord has
          revealed unto us his will, or law; he has given unto us a
          knowledge of the principles of truth and righteousness; and he is
          seeking by the means he has appointed--the medium of the
          everlasting Gospel, to prepare us for the events that will
          necessarily take place in a short time, and to enable us to
          introduce among men those pure, holy and heavenly principles
          which exist with the Gods in the eternal worlds, and to
          prepareus, through the medium of the Gospel, to operate with him
          and with the holy priesthood that has existed in former ages, in
          the development of the purposes of God upon the earth. It is a
          great and important work in which we are engaged, and we need
          continually the direction and the guidance of the Almighty; for
          it stands to reason, when we reflect upon it, that no man, as is
          spoken of in the Scriptures, can know the things of God unless
          they are revealed to him by the Spirit of God. We talk of these
          things sometimes rather flippantly, and probably, in many
          instances without due reflection. But when we look upon man as he
          is organized, and the limit and bounds of his intelligence, and
          then reflect upon the position that he sustains to the Almighty,
          we shall find that there is nothing very mysterious in these
          remarks, but that there is a great amount of truth and reason
          associated therewith. For instance, men know very little about
          themselves, or about the things of man or how to control their
          passions and habits and the various evils with which they are
          surrounded and have to combat. They know very little about the
          true condition of man and his relation to God, to the world, to
          the past, present, or future, as is evidenced by the position of
          the world everywhere wherever we turn our attention. We are
          beginning to find out some few things in relation to the laws of
          nature and the earth on which we dwell, but our knowledge of
          these things is very small comparatively, and yet we boast
          sometimes quite freely of our intelligence. But when we reflect
          on our true position, we know very little in reality even about
          the world in which we live, or about the properties of matter or
          the elements with which we are surrounded; and yet a few years
          ago the world knew much less than we know to-day. I can remember
          the time very well when there was no such thing as steamboats. I
          remember sailing across the Atlantic more times than one when no
          such thing as a steamboat was used for that purpose. I remember
          the time, too, when there were no such things as locomotives or
          railroads; and many of you know very well how it was in regard to
          the telegraph, the photograph and a great many other things. They
          are simply certain principles that exist in the laws of nature
          that have been unveiled to us; but there are thousands of other
          things that we know very little about. And then what do we know
          about the future? What do we know about the heavens that are
          above us? We can get some scanty ideas and we boast very much of
          them, but really there is not very much to boast of when we
          reflect upon these things. These things are simple principles
          that we have become acquainted with through study and research by
          chemical analysis and the development of eternal laws. We are
          simply becoming acquainted with some of the principles that exist
          in nature. The question necessarily arises, who placed those
          principles there? Who organized this earth on which we dwell and
          man upon it and all creation as it exists? Some superior
          intelligence, or power--we call it the power of God. "By faith we
          understand that the worlds were made by the power of God, so that
          things which are now seen were not made of things that do
          appear." There is not a particle of the human system but what is
          full of intelligence and displays forethought, prescience,
          design, skill and creative power; and everything bespeaks the
          handiwork of a wise, intelligent, omnipotent Creator, or God.
          When a little boy I used to ask myself, Who am I? Where did I
          come from? What am I doing here? And why am I here? etc. These
          things still puzzle us, at least many of them do, yet these are
          thoughts we cannot help reflecting upon. We see children born
          into the world, and we see spring and summer, autumn and winter
          follow each other in regular succession, and we ask ourselves, By
          what power were these things brought about? Why are we here, and
          what is the object of all these things which we see around us?
          not to say anything about the worlds with which we are environed.
          For speaking of ourselves, we are only a speck in creation; there
          is nothing to or of us scarcely, or in the world we inhabit, in
          comparison to the myriads of worlds with which we are surrounded.
          Now we frequently want to know the object of our existence and
          why we are here; and the Saints will still go a little further by
          asking, Why have we to battle with the affairs of this world, and
          to struggle, to be tried and tempted? And we go still further and
          ask, when we see our friends pass away from this state of
          existence one after another, and the body that was once full of
          life, animation and vitality now lying helpless and void of life,
          and our minds reach back into the years that are past and we
          think of the thousands of millions, yea, of myriads who have
          inhabited this earth and who have gone into another state of
          existence, and we are led to ask ourselves, Why is it thus? And
          we are led to ask ourselves further, Why are we thus situated?
          And why should we thus come into life, have an existence and then
          fade and decay? And it is proper that we should have such
          thoughts and such reflections. Who can unravel these things? Who
          can tell us upon natural principles the meaning of this strange
          phenomena, the whys and wherefores in relation to these matters?
          Nobody. We have peculiar feelings and sensations in common with
          all men in regard to the future. But what are the views, ideas
          and feelings of men generally in relation to these matters? And
          if they have views, what is the source of their intelligence?
          What scientist philosopher, or divine can unravel to us many of
          these mysterious principles which we see every day exhibited
          before us? It is very difficult for man to comprehend, and
          nothing as I said before, but the Spirit which organized the
          creations of God can reveal those principles and give us a
          knowledge of that fitness of things as they exist in the mind of
          the Creator, of our relationship to God and to each other and the
          world in which we exist and the worlds that are to come. Nothing
          but superhuman intelligence, even the inspiration of the
          Almighty, can reveal these things. We have ten thousand ideas,
          notions and feelings; the world is full of ever kind of theory in
          relation to these matters. But what does it amount to? We may
          theorize as much as we please, but unless we receive some
          communication from the beings possessing intelligence superior to
          anything mortal, that are associated with these vast creations
          and know something of their origin and object, what can we know?
          We need communication with and revelation from God enlightening
          us thereon, or we shall still be in the dark and know nothing
          concerning the future and many things of the present and past.
          Some of our poets in rather beautiful metaphor point us to some
          place "beyond the bounds of time and space," where we are to look
          forward to a heavenly place, the Saint's secure abode. There is
          something very pleasing about such reflections, but at the same
          time there is something very foolish. I do not know how or upon
          what principle we are to get beyond the bounds of time and space;
          it is beyond my comprehension, and I very much question whether
          the person who wrote it could; in fact I know he could not. We
          sing sometimes, too, about "singing ourselves away to everlasting
          bliss." What is this and were is it? How shall we enjoy it and
          under what circumstances? Certainly those who talk about these
          things display no intelligence. We can never comprehend anything
          about these things but by the revelations of God either made
          directly to us or to us through others.
          Now we Latter-day Saints are indebted--I was going to say to
          Joseph Smith, for what knowledge we have; but this would not be
          strictly true, for we are not indebted to him or any other man
          for the knowledge we possess; we are indebted to the Lord, and
          the Prophet Joseph was made use of by him as the medium to
          reveal, in the midst of the chaotic mass that existed in the
          world, the principles of life, light and intelligence and the
          laws by which the Gods are governed in the eternal worlds, to
          teach us what course we should pursue, that we might act wisely,
          prudently and intelligently, and comprehend the position we
          occupy here upon the earth, and the relationship that subsists
          between man and his Maker, and that we might understand things
          pertaining to the future as well as things pertaining to the
          present. And the religion we have had unfolded to us is to
          prepare us to take part in these things both in this world and
          the world to come; to teach us how to approach our Maker and to
          get further knowledge of his laws and the principles of truth
          that have been revealed to us. The world generally treat these
          things very lightly. The reason is they do not comprehend them,
          and therein lies the difficulty. And we only know them in part
          and see them in part and comprehend them in part; but without
          communion with the Almighty we certainly should not have
          understood anything at all about these things. There is something
          very peculiar in the world and we as well as others are sometimes
          apt to be quite narrow and contracted in our ideas pertaining to
          the world in which we live and the people with whom we are
          surrounded. We are told that "the manifestation of the Spirit is
          given to every man to profit withal." And I would state further
          that all true intelligence which men possess in regard to the
          laws, nature and their operations, as well as any moral,
          scientific or philosophical ideas we may form that are correct
          proceed from the same source, whether acknowledged by men or not.
          And furthermore, whatever correct religious ideas that the world
          possess in relation to the future state, proceed from that
          portion of the Spirit that is given to every man to profit
          withal--not unto us only, but to every man, and to the influence
          of that Spirit all men are indebted for the degree of honor and
          integrity that exists among men. It is true there is very little
          comparatively, but for the amount there is they are indebted to
          God just as much as we are. The Apostle Paul, on a certain
          occasion, said that God had not left himself without witness.
          This is a general principle that exists everywhere and among all
          mankind. But there is another principle which is separate and
          distinct from that, and that is the principle that brings men
          into closer communion with the Almighty. And what is that? It is
          the Spirit of the Lord in a more eminent degree, and is called in
          the Scriptures the Holy Ghost. How do men obtain that? Through a
          certain medium that God has appointed, viz., by faith,
          repentance, baptism administered by proper authority and laying
          on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now the Lord has had
          his "witness" upon the earth in different ages of time. When he
          has had this witness the Gospel has generally been associated
          therewith; it is a part and parcel of the great programme. There
          is a very foolish idea prevailing in the world, that there was no
          such thing as the Gospel until Jesus came. It is the greatest
          folly in creation. No Gospel until Jesus introduced it! Say you,
          "Do not the Scriptures say that life and immortality are brought
          about through the Gospel?" Yes. "And did not Jesus introduce the
          Gospel?" Yes. "Well, then, if he came and introduced the Gospel,
          why do you say that they had the Gospel before?" They always had
          the Gospel whenever men had a knowledge of God. It is the Gospel
          that brings life and immortality to light; it is the Gospel that
          places man in a position to obtain a just knowledge of God and of
          the eternities to come, of their position on the earth, and of
          their position as it will be hereafter. It is that very principle
          that brings, as we are told, life and immortality to light. And
          if you will trace out the records of either the Book of Mormon or
          the Bible or those of any people that have lived upon the earth,
          and anywhere a people that had a knowledge of life and
          immortality, then I will point you out a people that had the
          Gospel. It was through that principle that men before the flood
          had a knowledge of God and had communication with him. It was
          through that that Enoch understood the principles of heaven, and
          applied those to his position, and it was by that power and
          through that principle that he, with the cities in which he
          lived, was translated, as well as the thousands who lived then
          and also after that time were translated; it was through the
          principle and power of the Gospel that brings life and
          immortality to light. It was through the same principle that Noah
          was saved; he had communication with God, who revealed to him
          what was coming on the earth and the results of it. God warned
          him and prepared him and told him what to do and how to do it,
          and he pursued the course given him, and he received his reward.
          It was through that principle that Abraham comprehended God and
          had revelation and communication with him, for without it he
          would have known nothing about God. But he understood, through
          the records of his fathers, of certain privileges that are
          mentioned in his history--certain privileges pertaining to
          himself and his progenitors, which he traced clear back to the
          days of Adam, by which he learned that he was an heir to the holy
          priesthood; and when he ascertained this he sought an ordination
          from the Lord. And when he was persecuted for his faith he left
          the land in which he lived, and he did so at the instance of the
          Lord: "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and
          from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee." And
          the Lord greatly favored him and blessed him, and said unto him:
          "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth
          thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
          Was that so? Yes, it has been fulfilled. Let us look at this for
          a moment and see whether it has or not. Who were Isaac and Jacob?
          Did they have communication with God? Yes. How did they obtain
          it? Through the medium of the Gospel and through the promises
          made to their father Abraham. And when Israel was in Egypt who
          delivered them? Moses. And who was Moses? A descendant of
          Abraham. Did he lead the people out of Egyptian bondage? Yes; God
          manifested his power in their behalf. Did Moses have the Gospel?
          Yes, and so did Abraham. The Apostle Paul says, in his epistle to
          the Galatians, "that God foreseeing that he would justify the
          heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham,
          saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed." The Israelites had
          the Gospel preached to them in the wilderness; but, as the
          Apostle says in speaking of them, "The word preached did not
          profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."
          But Moses did lead some of them into the presence of God--those
          who were prepared to receive it; the others, when they heard the
          thunders and saw the lightning and heard the voice of God, they
          said unto Moses, "Speak thou unto us and we will hear; but let
          not God speak with us, lest we die;" we are not prepared for this
          glory, for this kind of manifestation which has been given unto
          Well, they were foolish; they departed from correct principles,
          they violated the laws of God and therefore incurred his
          displeasure, and his Spirit was withdrawn from them, and the
          Gospel was taken from them and they were left under a law of
          carnal commandments, and the law was given them as a
          schoolmaster, we are told, until Christ came. And what did Christ
          do? He restored the fulness of the Gospel that they had
          forfeited, because of their former transgressions. What next? We
          go to the promise made to Abraham, which was that in him and in
          his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. Moses,
          as I have said was of his seed, and he was the deliverer of the
          whole of that nation. And who were the prophets that existed
          among ancient Israel? They were descendants of Abraham; and to
          them came the word of God and the light of revelation. Who was
          Jesus? After the flesh of the seed of Abraham. Who were his
          Twelve Apostles? Of the seed of Abraham. Who were the people that
          came to this continent--Lehi and his family, about 600 years B.
          C.? Of the seed of Abraham. Who were the Apostles they had among
          them that spread forth among the millions that then lived upon
          this continent? Of the seed of Abraham. Who was Joseph Smith? Of
          the seed of Abraham; and he, we are told, was to be the son of
          Joseph, and should himself be called Joseph. And he was raised up
          for what purpose? To injure or destroy mankind? No; but to bring
          life and immortality to light through the Gospel. He, like other
          prominent men of God, came in the fulness of times to do the work
          which the Lord had appointed unto him, being called of God and
          taught of God; and being thus taught he possessed an intelligence
          second to none on the earth. He introduced principles, that no
          philosopher, or scientist, or all the wisdom of this world
          combined was capable of developing; neither was it possible for
          anybody to bring to light such principles, unless through the
          revelations of God--principles of truth, principles of
          intelligence, principles which affect man in time and in
          eternity; principles which affect the world in which we live;
          principles which affect thousands and myriads that have lived
          before; principles of salvation that extend to all nations and
          all peoples living or dead, pertaining to time and pertaining to
          In what manner were these principles to be made known? How were
          men to get acquainted with these things? By being brought into
          communion with the Lord. And how was this to be done? Jesus, when
          upon the earth, ordained and set apart others and told them to go
          into all the world and preach the Gospel. What Gospel? That
          Gospel that brings life and immortality to light; that Gospel
          that brings men into communication with their Maker; that Gospel
          that will show us who we are and what we are, and why we are
          here, and the object of our existence, and what lies before us.
          Jesus said to his disciples in his day, "Go ye into all the
          world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth
          and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall
          be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: in my
          name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new
          tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any
          deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the
          sick and they shall recover. And lo, I am with you always, even
          unto the end of the world." Was he with them? Yes. How did they
          preach? They called upon the people to repent and be baptized for
          the remission of their sins, Who did? Men authorized of God and
          commissioned of him, and not by somebody else. And what then? If
          they did this, they should receive the Holy Ghost. And what
          should that do for them? It should take of the things of God and
          show them unto them; it should bring life and immortality to
          light; it should place them in communication with the Lord; it
          should enable them to comprehend principles that no man could
          comprehend nor ever ought to comprehend, without the Spirit; it
          should bring to their remembrance things that were past; it
          should lead them into all truth, and it should show them things
          to come. Was it so? Yes. Did they have that Spirit? Yes. The
          spirit of prophecy? Yes, The spirit of revelation? Yes. Did they
          have the ministry of angels? Yes. Was the vision of all truth
          open to their mind? Yes. They comprehended the manifestations of
          God until the winding up scene, and until the dead small and
          great shall stand before God, and until this earth shall not only
          be redeemed but become celestialized, and celestial beings
          inhabit it. They understood these things and prophesied and wrote
          about them. Is it so with our Gospel? Precisely the same. Have we
          had these things communicated to us? We have. Have the Elders
          been called upon to go forth to the nations of the earth to call
          upon people to repent and be baptized as in former times? They
          have. Have most of you heard this Gospel preached among the
          different nations of the earth? You have. Have you received it?
          Have you obeyed it? Yes. Did you receive the Holy Ghost
          accompanying it? You did, and you know and can bear testimony of
          it. It is the self-same Gospel: and why the same? Because it is
          the everlasting Gospel, not something started eighteen hundred
          years ago. Says John, "I saw another angel fly in the midst of
          heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that
          dwell on the earth etc." What Gospel? The everlasting Gospel; the
          Gospel that existed with the Gods before this world rolled into
          existence or the morning stars sang together for joy; the Gospel
          that was preached to Adam and which he preached to his posterity;
          the Gospel that was preached by Enoch and Noah, by Abraham, Isaac
          and Jacob, and all the ancient prophets; the Gospel that was
          preached by Jesus and his Disciples when he commanded them to go
          and preach it to all nations; in fine, the Gospel that brings
          life and immortality to light. It can be said of us as of them of
          whom it was said, "Ye have been baptized into one baptism, and
          have all partaken of the same spirit." Did they? Yes. It was not
          many baptisms, it was not many faiths and many ideas and many
          notions; but it was "one faith, one Lord and one baptism and one
          God who is above all and through all and in you all."
          There are a great many things associated with these principles in
          which the children of men are very deeply interested and in which
          more especially the Latter-day Saints are very, very deeply
          interested. The Lord has gathered us from among the nations of
          the earth, just as he told some of his ancient prophets, who
          wrote it, that he would do. And one of them while wrapped in
          prophetic vision gazed upon the purposes of Jehovah in relation
          to this generation, and saw the people of God gathering together,
          exclaimed: "Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves
          to their windows?" and another says: "I will take you one of a
          city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:" what
          will you do with them when you get them there? "I will give you
          pastors according to mine own heart, which shall feed you with
          knowledge and understanding." "Saviors shall come upon Mount
          Zion," says another, "and the kingdom shall be the Lord's." Very
          peculiar expressions and very significant some of these remarks
          are. Yet they were made by men when under the influence of the
          Holy Ghost, the spirit of revelation which unfolded to their view
          things that should transpire in the Latter-days which is
          emphatically, what is called in the Scriptures, "The dispensation
          of the fulness of times," when he would "gather together in one
          all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on
          earth; even in him." He would gather his people in one to
          commence with, and hence our position to-day in these valleys of
          the mountains. Why are we here? We came here because it was
          according to the eternal purposes of God that we should gather
          together; and because God has restored this principle among other
          principles through the ministration of holy angels, and by the
          manifestation of his power by the revelation of his will through
          the ancient priesthood that existed upon the earth. And what made
          us gather together? you could hardly tell, many of you, if I were
          to ask you. I know very well that when you received this Gospel
          in foreign lands you could not rest until you gathered to Zion;
          and there was a correspondent feeling among the Saints here to
          help to bring about these things. Before the railroad across the
          plains was built, you used to send out your teams as many as five
          hundred at a time. What made you do it? It was the spirit of the
          gathering that associated itself with the latter-day
          dispensation, if there were time I might tell you how peculiarly
          some people were moved upon.
          The Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery baptized each other.
          Why? Because John the Baptist appeared and conferred upon them
          this priesthood, and they went and administered in it. Why did
          Joseph Smith and others lay hands upon men for the reception of
          the Holy Ghost? because Peter, James and John, who held the keys
          of the priesthood and of this Gospel in former days conferred
          that power upon them and they operated in it. Why did the people
          feel inclined to gather? because Moses who was at the head of the
          gathering dispensation and to whom the keys of this dispensation
          were given, came and conferred upon them the power to gather the
          house of Israel and the ten tribes from their dispersion; and
          when you received this Gospel you received this as a part. This
          dispensation of the fulness of times embraces all other
          dispensations that have ever existed upon the earth, with all
          their powers. That is the reason you desired so to gather
          together, and for these peculiar impulses which many of you could
          not account for. 
          Why do we build temples? because Elijah appeared and conferred
          the powers of his priesthood which were to "turn the heart of the
          fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their
          fathers." And why do you expend so much--even your enemies are
          complaining because of the millions of dollars that are used in
          the erection of temples. Why do you do it? Simply because God has
          commanded us to do it and we know it and because the spirit
          attending this peculiar work rests upon us until we feel its
          impulses in our very bones. And is it a trouble to do it? No. We
          feel a pleasure in it. And then when we build our temples we feel
          a pleasure in administering in them, not only for ourselves but
          for our fathers and mothers and those of our progenitors who have
          died without the Gospel and then to help to save all that have
          been worthy of salvation that have ever lived upon the earth. And
          we have got to continue our labors in this direction, we have
          only just commenced; and if this little thing troubles men all
          the consolation I can give them is that they will be worse
          troubled yet. If others know not what we are doing we do; we know
          in whom we have believed, and consequently we operate in these
          Now then, what shall we do? Continue to do good; continue to live
          our religion; continue to carry out the purposes of God; continue
          to humble ourselves before the Lord and cultivate his Holy Spirit
          that we may comprehend his laws and know his will concerning us.
          You have received the Holy Ghost. Now I will tell you a piece of
          instruction that Joseph Smith once gave me, and it wont hurt you.
          Said he, "Elder Taylor, you have received the Holy Ghost: now
          follow the leadings of that spirit; and if you do, by-and-by it
          will become in you a principle of revelation that you will know
          all things as they come along and understand what is right and
          what is wrong in relation to them." That is just as applicable to
          you if you can receive it and live up to it and enjoy it.
          Well, what are we? We ought to be the Saints of God without
          rebuke in the midst of a cooked and perverse generation. We ought
          to be full of charity, of brotherly kindness and affection and
          love one towards another and love towards all men. We ought to
          feel as our heavenly Father does. What does he do? "He maketh his
          sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the
          just and on the unjust." He will save all men to such a degree of
          salvation and exaltation as they are capable of receiving; but he
          cannot bestow upon people what they are not prepared to receive.
          There is a celestial glory and a terrestrial glory and a
          telestial glory; "there is one glory of the sun, and another
          glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star
          differeth from another star in glory, so also is the resurrection
          of the dead." But there is, we must bear in mind, a celestial
          glory which is one, and there is a terrestrial glory which is
          one, etc. And we want as Latter-day Saints to comprehend the
          position we occupy; and while God has conferred many great and
          precious privileges upon us, we want to appreciate them and honor
          them. Are we Seventies? We ought to be full of light and life and
          the power and spirit of the Living God and feel that we are
          messengers to the nations of the earth; we ought to feel the word
          of God burning like fire in our bones, feeling desirous to go and
          snatch men from the powers of darkness and the chains of
          corruption with which they are bound, and lead them in the paths
          of life. We ought to be prepared to go forth weeping, bearing
          precious seed that we might come back again rejoicing bringing
          our sheaves with us. If we are High Priests, we ought to magnify
          our calling in that portion of the priesthood and to prepare
          ourselves for the duties and responsibilities that are devolving
          upon us associated with that priesthood, that we may be prepared
          according to the revelations we have received in regard to these
          subjects, to preside over and among the different Stakes when
          they shall be organized and to be prepared to operate in all
          things according to the mind and will of God. If we are Elders we
          should seek to magnify our calling in every particular, and put
          away from us every evil and satisfy ourselves that we are
          accepted of God, living so that it will be a pleasure as well as
          a duty to carry out the will of God in all things. If we are
          fathers, we should treat our children properly and train them in
          the fear of God; we should treat our wives with mercy and
          tenderness and with love; we ought to bear with their infirmities
          and sustain them in the pathway of life, pour joy and happiness
          into their bosoms, and help them to bear the struggles and
          difficulties that they have to cope with. If we are wives, we
          should try to make a heaven of our homes. And as children and as
          parents and as Latter-day Saints and as Elders of Israel, we
          should seek by the prayer of faith to fulfil the various duties
          that devolve upon us, that we may honor our God, magnify our
          calling and fill the measure of our creation here upon the earth,
          and purge ourselves from all unrighteousness, and be full of
          love, kindness, generosity and philanthropy, and also full of
          honesty, of truthfulness and integrity, feeling in our hearts to
          say, O God, search me and try me and prove me, and if there is
          any evil in me, help me to purge it out from me, and help me to
          honor and magnify my priesthood and every duty devolving upon me.
          And as fathers and mothers we should never utter a word or do an
          act that we should be shamed for God, or angels, or our children
          to hear or see. And if we will do right and cherish and cultivate
          the spirit of God to the extent that it can prevail and
          predominate in our midst, we will see Zion arise and shine, and
          the glory of God will rest upon her. God help us to do right and
          preserve our purity, keep this laws and lead us in the paths of
          life, that while we live upon the earth we may operate with him
          in the salvation of the living and the dead, and be saved
          ultimately in his celestial kingdom, having fought the good
          fight, finished our course, and kept the faith. In the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 /
          Aurelius Miner, May 11th, 1879
                           Aurelius Miner, May 11th, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER AURELIUS MINER,
               Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, on Sunday
                                   May 11th, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          The young brethren who have spoken this afternoon, and who have
          so recently returned from missions to England, have told us
          something about the Gospel they were sent to preach. By way of a
          continuation of the remarks which have already been made, I
          propose to ask this question: "What is the Gospel?" The Apostle
          Paul declares the answer in the following language: "It is the
          power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth."
          Believeth what? Believeth that God is; that Jesus Christ died and
          rose again, and opened the way, provided the means and devised
          the plan whereby man may be delivered from the power of evil.
          This Gospel, then, being the power of God, it is the power by
          which God acts. If we secure salvation we shall have to obtain
          that power ourselves, in order that we may overcome every
          obstacle which stands between us and eternal life. Christ said,
          "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit down with me on my
          throne." Then if Christ exercised the power of this Gospel, and
          it was by that power that he overcame the principle of evil,
          which has ever existed and which ever will exist in some form
          upon some of the creations of God, we must in like manner and by
          like means accomplish for ourselves the same result. In this
          struggle he conquered; in obedience to certain principles he
          acquired power by which he overcame and attained to eternal life.
          This principle comes to us as the same mean to gain the same end.
          But what are these principles which; if we adopt them and
          practise them in our lives, will enable us to attain to this
          exalted position and power? These brethren have told you that
          they are made manifest in the teachings of the elders of Israel.
          How do we know this? Ministers of other denominations will tell
          us that they have the truth, the way and the life; that they
          preach the Gospel, the word of God to the people. But they
          propose different plans, teach different systems. One will teach
          us one system, another a different one. If you go into the old
          country especially you will hear it upon the streets, "Only
          believe in Jesus and you are saved." Other systems hold that it
          is all free will and all free grace on the part of God and
          ourselves. Another sums up the doctrine in this form: "You will
          and you won't, you shall and you shan't, you will be damned if
          you do, you will be damned if you don't. It makes no difference
          on the part of the individual what he thinks or believes, so far
          as appertains to his salvation."
          Why this difference in the religious world? God is not the author
          of confusion, or of conflicting doctrine and principles. Go into
          the scientific world, if you please, and range through the field
          of exact sciences, and what do you find there? If I were to ask
          the enlightened people of all nations what is the product of 2
          multiplied by 2, they would all tell me 4. Why? Because the
          answer is understood to be correct; they have been taught it and
          they have demonstrated it in the practical operations of life.
          There is no dispute, then, that 2 and 2 are 4 the world over. Why
          this universal declaration of this one truth? Is it not because
          all have been taught a correct principle? That they have all been
          taught the same doctrine, and that those who have taught them
          have been inspired by the same sentiment, the same truth. But
          suppose I should find some who were teaching that 2 and 2 are 3,
          or that 2 and 2 are 6; I would at once say, Some of you are
          wrong, all cannot be right, certainly not. What would be the
          conclusion in our minds? That some had been taught imperfectly;
          that those who had been taught that 2 and 2 were 3, or 5, had
          been instructed by teachers who did not understand the principles
          they essayed to advance. And the conclusion would be correctly
          drawn that there were systems of error being taught, and that all
          were in error except those who proclaimed the doctrine that 2 and
          2 are 4. This figure of 2 and 2 are 4--3-6, may be appropriately
          applied to the teachings of the religious world; for we find one
          class who profess to be the teachers sent of God, who declare to
          us one set of principles, another class who declare another set
          of principles, or doctrine, diametrically opposed to the first;
          we find a third opposite to both; and continuing our research
          until we traverse the entire globe, we find that there are
          several hundred different denominations professing to worship God
          according to his laws, all differing more or less in their
          doctrines, discipline and forms of worship. There being but one
          Lord, one faith, and one baptism, we discover that some have been
          and are teaching a doctrine that 2 and 2 are some number other
          than 4. That some are preaching something that is not "the power
          of God unto salvation," but a system embracing the doctrines and
          precepts of men. Such a system is devoid of the power of God, and
          is not that system which will bring salvation to the human soul.
          It is not that system which will impart to individuals the
          knowledge of the true God, and of his Son Jesus Christ. It is not
          that system which will bring man up from the condition of sin and
          error to the great plan of righteousness and truth. A system
          revealed from God alone can accomplish such results. But where
          can we find these principles of the Gospel, this power of God
          revealed to mankind, if it be revealed at all, that men may know
          that 2 and 2 are 4 for themselves, that they may know that the
          power of God is unto salvation unto all that believe and obey. It
          is written in this Bible, and we sometimes refer to it as
          authority to those who do not comprehend the higher law, or
          rather have not understood that law of which this book is but the
          exponent. Just upon the same principle that I may ask an
          individual what is the product of 2 multiplied by 2, and he tells
          me 4. But if I were to ask him to demonstrate the 42nd
          proposition of Euclid, he would answer me that he knew nothing at
          all about it. This is simply a higher law, an advanced principle
          of knowledge; the plan by which the power of God is obtained is a
          progressive system in its enunciated principles and doctrines.
          With this system we go on from step to step, as Paul declares the
          "righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;" or in
          other words, that the power of God was and is increased upon
          himself by his obedience to an eternal law, and thus became the
          King of kings and Lord of lords. Jesus Christ also, in obedience
          to this eternal law, obtained that power by which he triumphed
          over sin and all the opposing powers of evil, and attained to his
          exalted position at the right hand of God. Practising these same
          principles and law, we obtain salvation and power to become Gods,
          even the sons of God. And in observing these principles and laws,
          we but follow the advice of Paul which he gave to the Saints in
          his day: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
          Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to
          be equal with God." What, humanity attain to the dignity of the
          God? Yes; if we are the sons of God, why not attain to something
          of the honor and dignity by inheritance with our Father? But how
          shall we do this? This Gospel, which these brethren have been
          teaching in distant lands, points out the system which brings to
          us this power of God. And what is it? It is said that to those
          who believe it it will become the power of God unto salvation.
          And what do you mean by salvation? Deliverance from the power of
          sin, which is death, and thus attain to eternal life. How shall
          we triumph over the power of death? By believing in Jesus Christ;
          believing that he is, and that he is the rewarder of all that
          diligently seek him. How can we hear except there be a preacher,
          and how can that individual preach except he be sent of God? And
          if he be sent of God, will he not proclaim unto us the doctrine
          of God? Will he not proclaim the doctrines of Christ if he be
          sent of Christ, and is taught of him? But if he be not sent of
          him and taught of him, then he takes the honor unto himself, and
          is unworthy to be called an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and
          ambassador of heaven bearing the words of eternal truth. But how
          may we know these things? We know that 2 and 2 are 4, this fact
          is demonstrated in our daily transactions. How may we obtain this
          power of God, which shall be unto us salvation? By doing the will
          of the Father, by following diligently the instruction of the
          Apostle Peter, given on the day of Pentecost: "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: for the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to
          all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall
          call." And he further says, "Save yourselves from this untoward
          generation." What did he tell them to do? To repent. They already
          believed in Jesus, for he had preached Christ to them, and they
          were pricked in their hearts and they cried out, "Men and
          brethren, what shall we do?" Peter did not tell them to come to
          an anxious seat to be prayed for. No, there was a work for
          themselves to do. What do you mean by repentance? Forsaking all
          evil, turning away from all unrighteousness; "Let him that stole
          steal no more;" let him that was drunken drink no more, etc.;
          overcome all your sins by righteousness and obedience to the law
          of God. Repent, then, every one of you. What, all these good men
          who had come up to Jerusalem? Yes, a new dispensation had now
          been ushered in. "Repent." What else? "And be baptized every one
          of you." What for? "For the remission of sins." Is there no other
          way, Peter, by which we can get our sins remitted? He has not
          declared any other; if there were he ought to have told them, for
          they asked him a most important question, and he preached by
          command of the Savior and was taught of him for forty days prior
          to his ascension, and it is to be presumed that Christ gave to
          him, in connection with his fellow Apostles, every particle of
          instruction they needed, for he cannot be accused directly or
          indirectly of leaving his work half done. For, says Christ, what
          more could I have done that I have not done. He gave them all the
          instruction needed to go forth as teachers and ministers to all
          nations and peoples. After Peter told these people what to do,
          what fulfilment of promise was to follow obedience to his
          instructions? "And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
          That is the promise, is it? Peter, have you not made a mistake?
          Have you been telling us that 2 and 2 are 4, or that 2 and 2 are
          6. He has told us the truth presumedly. How may you know? Oh,
          says one, the promise was only to the Apostles and those to whom
          they preached. But the promise was not confined to them; it was
          an extended promise, "And to your children, and to all that are
          afar off, even as may as the Lord our God shall call." How many
          has the Lord called? Read the 1st verse of the 50th Psalm: "The
          mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth from
          the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof." Read also the
          17th verse of the last chapter of Revelations: "And the spirit
          and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And
          let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take
          the water of life freely." Are not you, my hearers, as well as
          the whole of mankind, included in this general call? The promise
          is, then, to you. "But supposing I do come in obedience to the
          testimony, borne by these young men this afternoon, how shall I
          know for myself that I shall have done the will of God?" I
          answer, do the things that they say and you shall know whether
          the doctrine they preach be of God or whether they speak of
          themselves. For know ye that if the promise be not fulfilled to
          you, the Lord speaks not by them or by anyone else. If a promise
          has been made by the great Jehovah to the children of men upon
          certain conditions, and those conditions be performed upon their
          part and the promise be not realized, then know ye that the God
          of heaven never made that promise. But said Christ, they did not
          believe him in his day. And they asked him how they should know
          whether the things he taught were true or not. He told them to do
          the things which he commanded. And you, my friends, can know in
          no other way. This is a practical work. Is there no theory about
          the Gospel? Yes; but the theory is worth no more than the theory
          of anything else; it is the practical part we want, that which
          brings benefit and blessing; that which comes like the old Yankee
          to the man who fell from his horse and broke his leg. Said some
          of the spectators who had gathered around, I am very sorry for
          this man, he has a large family and their only support will now
          be taken away from them. The old Yankee, it will be remembered,
          said, I am sorry for him just ten dollars, how much are the rest
          of you sorry; and handed over the money. That ten dollars was
          worth more to the injured man than all the sympathy in the
          universe. And if the Gospel does not come with blessing and
          benefit, with intelligence, power and exaltation to the human
          family, it is of no practical benefit; and if of no permanent
          benefit it is not worth our time to meddle with. So the
          Latter-day Saints may feel sorry for the poor people in England,
          whose deplorable condition has been described to us this
          afternoon by the brethren who have just returned from missions to
          that country; but if they do not put their hands in their pockets
          and assist them to the extent of their means their sympathy will
          not amount to a hill of beans. The Savior gave and observed this
          form of doctrine, and if he taught not a correct system let us do
          away with it altogether; for if he is not the author of our
          salvation, who is? There is no name given under heaven whereby
          man must be saved but the name of Jesus Christ, and if we do not
          preach the form of doctrine he taught where shall we find it?
          What is the promised result of obedience to this counsel of
          Peter? "you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." What shall
          be the result of the reception of that spirit? Christ told his
          disciples that it should bring all things whatsoever he had said
          to them to their remembrance. And was it to bring to memory only
          the things which had been heard? or was it to reach back into the
          vista of the past and unfold to us some knowledge of our
          pre-existent state? Why not, since the spirit comprehends from
          the beginning to the end? But is that all it was to do? He also
          said that it should lead us into all truth. Then we have the
          great teacher who teaches by the spirit of revelation that 2 and
          2 are 4 in every part of the known world, and to all people. You
          have the same teacher now that taught you in England or Russia or
          China or America, or wherever the human family exits, that spirit
          will lead you into all truth; and if we are in possession of that
          spirit we will be taught the same doctrine and the same principle
          and will all tend according to our faithfulness to the same
          degree of exaltation. Thus shall you know that God lives, thus
          shall you know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And thus by
          the revelation of that spirit which shall lead and guide you into
          all truth. What else can it do? It shall show you things to come;
          and if you were peradventure to declare any of these things you
          would become a prophet. This would be a terrible thing, to become
          a prophet! But Moses said when Joshua wanted him to rebuke
          certain ones and forbid them from prophesying in the camp of
          Israel, after asking him if he was jealous for his sake, "I would
          that all the Lord's people were prophets," because it would imply
          that they had obeyed this form of doctrine, that they were living
          in constant communion with the Holy Ghost, it would be to argue
          that they were living according to the doctrine of John when he
          said "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." How shall they know that
          Jesus is the Christ? Only by the testimony of the Holy Ghost.
          For, says the Apostle Paul, "No man speaking by the spirit of God
          calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the
          Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." Did Paul tell the truth or not? No
          man can say knowingly that Jesus is the Christ but by the power
          and revelation of the Holy Ghost; and no man ever obtained this
          knowledge in any other way, or ever will. It is the plan God has
          designed, and if we would come unto him we must do so in his own
          appointed way. We must run the race that is set before us, and
          not attempt to prescribe the rules of the race-track ourselves.
          Let us therefore so run that we may gain the prize at the end of
          the race. In order to secure this we must conform to the
          ordinances of the Gospel which comprise this testimony which is
          given by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the spirit of
          prophecy; and he who has the spirit of prophecy has the testimony
          of Jesus. Then mankind may ridicule the idea that prophets are no
          more upon the earth; it is tantamount to saying, "that we know
          not God and are without hope in the world." And who can know the
          Father but by the revelations of the Son, and he unto whom the
          Son may reveal him?
          It seems then that this Holy Ghost is full of intelligence, full
          of knowledge, full of power, and is the acting minister of God
          throughout all the dominions of the great Jehovah. That spirit
          reveals to man that Jesus is the Christ, and Christ reveals the
          fact of the existence, power and glory of his Father. And this is
          the order. And how shall we know this fact? By rendering
          obedience to the ordinances, and then you can know it for
          yourselves. It is no great trouble; a little cold water will not
          hurt any of you. I presume there are many in this congregation
          who have been buried in the water of baptism when the ice has had
          to be cut, and they will tell you that by obeying these simple
          forms of doctrine they have received for themselves, by the
          laying on of hands of the Elders, this Holy Ghost, and that it
          has borne record to them of the Father and the Son? Is not the
          experiment worth trying? Is not the prize of sufficient value to
          induce you to sacrifice the follies of the world to put on
          Christ? Shall we not run the race that is set before us? Shall we
          not do and perform the acts which bring unto us the power of God? 
          But is this power acquired only by acts or words? let us see what
          the Savior says. You remember that a certain man brought his son
          who was possessed of a devil to the Savior that the Savior might
          cast the devil out as the Apostles had failed to do so. The
          Savior, it will be remembered, gave them a severe rebuke upon
          that occasion saying in substance. How long shall I be with you
          as a teacher and you be so thick-headed that you will not learn
          these principles which I teach from day to day? How long shall I
          suffer you to be my disciples, and how long shall I have to be
          with you as your teacher before you learn these things? Bring the
          boy to me. The father obeyed and by that power which had been
          developed in Christ by obedience to law he commanded the unclean
          spirit to come out of the tabernacle of the boy and to depart
          from him and it obeyed him. The disciples felt the rebuke, and
          when opportunity presented itself they asked the Savior why they
          could not cast out the evil spirit. And Jesus answered and said
          unto them, "because of your unbelief: for verily, I say unto you,
          if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto
          this mountain, remove hence to yonder place: and it shall remove
          and nothing shall be impossible unto you." What? I have heard
          ministers say, yes you can remove mountains by utilizing a lot of
          Chinamen. But shall we thus curtail the power of faith, for it is
          a principle of power and not simply a volition of the will. It
          was by the power of faith that God created the heavens and the
          earth? and if God could by the power of faith organize these vast
          planets which revolve in most perfect order through space, if, I
          say, that he could do this by the power of faith, how great a
          portion of that power would it take to remove the Wasatch range?
          Not a very large proportion. Said the Savior to his disciples in
          answer to their inquiry: howbeit this kind goeth not out but by
          prayer and fasting. Then we have a clue from the declaration of
          the Savior himself as to how this power is obtained. To believe
          only? No. Belief only would be worthless; belief followed by
          works under the direction of the holy spirit which is the power
          of God brings forth the power of faith. Have you elders of Israel
          found yourselves in the same condition as these disciples, when
          called upon to perform a similar act, and if you have did you
          know the reason why? Learn the answer from the lips of the
          Savior. Do you fast and pray according to the ordinances of this
          system, through which the power of God is obtained? If you have
          not, then your ministrations were in vain because you failed to
          comply with the conditions. Are the promises to men in an
          individual capacity? In one sense, yes, in another, no. When the
          conditions prescribed are complied with, then the fulfilment of
          the promises must be forthcoming, for God cannot lie. Is it the
          individual that acts then? No. He is simply the representative;
          it is the ministering servant of God who acts, not in his own
          name but in the name of his principal, by virtue of the power
          behind the throne. Just the same as the Judge upon the bench or
          the Police upon the street. Do they act in their own name? No,
          but are representatives of a power from whom they hold their
          commissions. So they who minister in the holy ordinances of the
          Gospel, minister not in their own name, but by virtue of the
          authority of their commission. For how can men preach the Gospel
          except they be sent, and sent of God to declare his Gospel, so
          that their words may be the words of God to the people? Then the
          exhortation of the Elders of Israel is, repent every one of you,
          and be baptized for the remission of your sins and the promise is
          that you shall receive the Holy Ghost, which will lead and guide
          you into all truth; it will bring things past to your remembrance
          and it will show you things to come. It will enlighten your minds
          and will lead you step by step, giving line upon line, precept
          upon precept, here a little and there a little. But owing to the
          weakness of the flesh and the weaknesses of our fallen natures
          that are ever present with us, we learn slowly. But by
          perseverance in the warfare against sin we continually increase
          this power within us, which though gradually developing will
          ultimately become in us a principle of revelation and prophecy,
          sufficient to enable us to hold converse with God and to receive
          wisdom and knowledge from the great fountain of intelligence. The
          Gospel does away with all narrow contracted feelings; it widens
          the range of thought as well as ennobles the mind; it makes us
          feel that God is our father, that the world is our home and that
          mankind are our brethren, all the sons and daughters of God; and
          I am not benefitted by crushing you nor you by crushing me, but
          that we are only exalted in the scale of being by acts of
          intelligence and goodness; and that as we increase in knowledge
          so do we increase in the power of God.
          The government of God upon the earth is denominated as his
          priesthood, as is declared by Paul in his letter to the Romans,
          is the power of God made known and that which may be known of God
          is manifest in them who hold this priesthood, for God hath shewn
          it unto them. The knowledge of God comes then through the
          priesthood which has been established upon the earth; and the
          salvation of the human family through the administration of the
          ordinances of this Gospel by the power and authority thereof. His
          knowledge comes to us with an assurance which is stronger and
          more convincing than the seeing of the eye, the hearing of the
          ear and the handling of the hand put together. For it is as Paul
          says, the sure word of prophecy, which is more satisfactory
          evidence to the human mind than all other evidences combined. And
          it comes to us with such convincing power that it cannot be
          gainsayed. And hence these young Elders stand up and say they
          know the things to be true whereof they testify by the gift and
          power of the Holy Ghost. And they tell us that they have obtained
          this knowledge by obeying this simple form of doctrine, which is
          so plain that a wayfaring man need not err therein if he sets his
          heart to do the will of God. Are they narrow, contracted in their
          feelings? If so why do they spend their time in going forth to
          labor in the vineyard of the Lord without compensation, except
          that which comes from God and the satisfaction of knowing that
          they are doing the will of Heaven? they preach not for hire nor
          divine for money but go forth and preach the everlasting Gospel
          to all, calling upon the people everywhere to repent and be
          baptized for the remission of their sins, promising them in the
          name of him who commissioned them, that when these requirements
          are complied with in all sincerity they shall receive the gift of
          the Holy Ghost, which shall give them to understand and know for
          themselves that 2 and 2 are 4, that God lives, that Jesus is the
          Lord; all being taught by this Spirit will know and understand
          alike. Ignorance will depart and knowledge will increase and
          abound and to all there will be but one Lord, one faith and one
          baptism. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / George
          G. Bywater, June 29, 1879
                          George G. Bywater, June 29, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEO. G. BYWATER,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon
                                   June 29, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. G. Gibbs.)
                             TO THE DIFFUSION OF TRUTH.
          We are assembled here this afternoon as a congregation of
          worshippers; we have come together to worship God according to
          the dictates of his word; according to the revelations of his
          divine will, as it has been made known to the people of the
          Latter-day Saints. We represent a faith, a spiritual
          constitution, an organization of ideas which incorporates our
          sense of duty, our duty to our God and our duty to our fellowmen.
          This is not a new occasion; this is not a new announcement. We
          have existed as a people in the midst of the nations of the earth
          for a third of a century. Our doctrines are not new; our
          principles of which these doctrines are compose, are not of the
          19th century; they are not the outgrowth of the intelligence of
          this age; they are not the products of that intellectuality which
          is by many regarded as the highest standard of advancement, as
          the most elevated platform of thought. Our principles are from
          eternity to eternity. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which
          is the name commonly applied to the religion we profess, was
          preached aforetime unto Abraham; was revealed unto our fathers,
          the ancients. Many of its fundamental principles, several of its
          divine ordinances and very many of the hopes that inspired and
          caused to heave with heavenly emotion, and delight the bosoms of
          the purest men and women of this age, or of ages preceding this
          of ours, were principles that had been re-revealed in ages and
          dispensations gone by. But we claim to have received this Gospel
          in the dispensation in which we live as a new revelation; not new
          principles, but a new revelation of old principles, of ancient
          doctrines, of institutions that the greatest benefactors,
          philanthropists and humanitarians that ever graced the human
          race, were more or less made familiar with. We are here to-day,
          beloved friends, as the result of the operations of the ministry
          of this Gospel, as a people occupying this section of country
          called the Territory of Utah. We are fruits, we are results of
          the ministry of reconciliation brought forth through the mission
          of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness and primitive purity
          in the day and age in which we live, and to us as a people when
          we thus address each other and reiterate these truths in each
          other's hearing, we are not announcing that which we do not
          understand, but we simply do so to remind each other, to stir up
          our thoughts, to put into activity our reflective powers and call
          forth those intellectual energies which are awakened by the
          revelation of these principles of life and immortality in the
          development of our faith, and to stir up our minds, that they may
          become more pure and to bring to our remembrance things that are
          past, as well as cause to pass before our minds the
          circumstances, the duties and the incidents of the present, and
          thus carry with us the history we are creating, and produce by
          the combined action of our past and present labors those results
          which the Gospel in its entirety and its power and influence
          exercises over the heart of man in bringing to pass that human
          regeneration so long spoken of by the prophets; so long ago sung
          of by the inspired psalmist and the songsters of Israel, which
          should characterize the features, that would mark the development
          of God's purposes in this humanity, in this great mass of
          intelligence, which he has created and given a conscious
          existence to upon the earth.
          In speaking in this manner, my brethren and sisters, I desire to
          do so as making a few preparatory remarks to what may be said by
          my brethren who may follow after me, as I shall not occupy your
          attention but for a limited portion of time this afternoon. I
          wish to say, however, in addition of what I have already said
          with reference to the character of the Gospel, that we need not
          look to any other source for an evidence of the divinity of the
          mission in which we are engaged, the divinity of the revelations
          which have been intrusted to us in this dispensation of the
          fulness of times, for an evidence of its divine character and
          heaven-born nature, or for the proofs of its practical result as
          to ourselves. We can, my friends, examine our own experience; we
          can review, each individual one of us, the several chapters which
          each day's acts, conversations and the results of our labors as
          individual members of this body ecclesiastical and of this Church
          militant, and see what have been the fruits which these
          principles have borne in our lives, and moreover see how far we
          have conformed to those conditions upon the blessings of the
          second birth, the regeneration of the human heart under the
          inspirations of the spirit of the Lord have been vouchsafed, and
          see whether our professions are professions merely, whether they
          are simply wordy acknowledgements or whether we preach those most
          practical of sermons in the actions of our lives, in the
          practices of our everyday conduct, so as to verify the
          correctness of our testimony and to justify our friends and
          ourselves in the conclusion that we are honest and sincere in the
          worship of the Lord our God according to the revelations of his
          Brethren and sisters, we have received revelations from God, the
          unbelief of the world respecting those revelations to the
          contrary, notwithstanding. We have received those glorious truths
          pertaining to the regeneration of man, pertaining to his further
          development and to his final and complete redemption; or, in
          other words, to use, perhaps, language more familiar to some
          minds, the more perfect development of man. We have received
          those glorious principles; we have accepted them in the
          simplicity of our hearts as truths from God, and we have realized
          in our individual experiences that our testimony is true; that
          the principles we have embraced are true; that they have verified
          themselves in our experiences and verified the promise made by
          our Redeemer in the declaration to his disciples: "And ye shall
          know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." "If the Son,
          therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." Our
          principles are simple; they are perspicuous; they are clear; they
          are self-evident: they become self-evident to every mind capable
          of perceiving the relation which these principles bear to our
          conditions of life, including the physical and mental.
          The plan of human redemption, which we call the Gospel of the Son
          of God, is composed of principles and doctrines that are pure,
          that are in perfect harmony with every want of our natures, with
          every rightful desire, with every legitimate unfoldment of our
          being, physical or mental, material or spiritual, whichever terms
          we choose to select to express the materiality or spirituality of
          our being. I repeat, that the Gospel of the Son of God contains
          every provision and is enriched with every quality, is endowed
          with every element necessary to the perfect enjoyment of all the
          powers of man and of all the capacity with which he is endowed
          for the development of his power and intelligence.
          In speaking upon this subject, my brethren and sisters, we are
          led to the further consideration of the eternity of our being; we
          are conducted thereby into premises which spread out on the right
          and on the left; we are guided in our reflections under the
          inspiration of principle--for every truth possesses its own
          principle of life, its own quality of power, its own
          characteristic energy, and whenever that truth is received by a
          sentient being, by a conscious being, by a being possessed of
          consciousness of the quality of the ego feeling, and when the
          complement of his intellectual faculties are not impaired; when
          they are awakened to a healthful exercise by the laws of thought,
          by the force of principle, by the impress of objects, and when
          the man is awakened as a thinking intellectual being, he is
          unavoidably open to receive a portion of the inspiration which
          they inherit; and the more advanced he is, the more elevated he
          becomes in the plane of intelligence, the greater will be his
          susceptibility and capability to receive of that inspiration; and
          the more he indulges in the contemplation of the higher and
          loftier aims of life, the more value he attaches to every
          principle of morality and virtue, to ever principle of revelation
          from God, to truth of every kind, and more especially those
          truths that have an immediate bearing upon his present condition,
          as well as those truths which affect his future state.
          There is much of the knowledge that has been conferred upon the
          family of man, there is much of that intelligence and
          understanding which man has been brought into possession of that
          we can not use immediately in regulating our affairs socially, or
          in any other work in the structure of society. But the principles
          to which I am now directing your attention; the principles of the
          Gospel of Jesus Christ, are fundamental principles; they are
          cardinal elements, they are the foundation stones, if you please,
          of the great superstructure of humanity; they reach the
          fundamental conditions of its being; they possess the virtue of
          delving down into the most intricate recesses of our natures and
          of causing to well up from our inmost natures those qualities and
          excellencies, those virtues, those deeds which are praiseworthy
          and of good report, and command veneration, those deeds which
          have adorned the lives of all men who have made themselves
          benefactors to their race, and who have shone as the reformers
          and regenerators of society. No matter by what name they have
          been called, if they have done good in any capacity or sphere; if
          society to-day owes anything to the past, to the great motor
          force that has affected the interests of humanity or guarded the
          conditions of its welfare, or has directed its energies in any
          degree to produce a condition that is desirable in the history of
          our race, we owe it to that class of men, we owe it to men that
          have been firm and true to their convictions of what was right;
          we owe it to men who have stemmed the current of popular
          prejudices or who have dared to row against the stream of popular
          opinion; we owe it to men who have sacrificed the good will of
          those who were floating with the tide of popularity, and to men
          who have stood firm and true and inflexible to their convictions
          of right. Have there been such men? Yes, my brethren and sisters.
          I rejoice that through the sable darkness, that through the
          almost impenetrable clouds that intervene between us to-day and
          the ages of the past we can see glimpses, scintillas of light
          that illumed time, and I revere and honor the memories of such
          men who did what they could to fulfil the purposes of their Great
          Creator, the Father of the human race, and the creator of all
          things that are. I honor their memories. If they were not in the
          possession of so much truth as those who followed them; if their
          philosophy was not as sound, and if in their theology there were
          greater incongruities, yet it must be remembered that they were
          not so far advanced as to be able to perceive their errors, and
          if they were devoted and sincere in the course they pursued,
          living up to the best light they possessed, I, for one, cherish
          with fond remembrance the memories of such people.
          But there is a very anomalous mental state existing in the midst
          of the human family, which is not a new one, however. It is the
          constant battle that is being waged by antiquated theories and
          principles, which are perhaps established in the hearts of the
          majorities, whenever a new truth is introduced to the world;
          whenever a principle that has not been recognized distinctly as
          such has not entered into the constitution of their own religion,
          philosophy, politics or science. Whenever a new truth is
          introduced, the stubborn and inflexible conservators of
          antiquated notions and ideas are unwilling to widen the area of
          their thoughts, and extend the boundary of their reflections
          still outward. And it is refreshing when we discover one here and
          there the world over entertaining the sensible views expressed in
          the language of Humboldt, the German naturalist: "Weak minds
          complacently believe that in their own age humanity have attained
          to the culminating point of intellectual greatness, forgetting
          that by the internal connection existing among all natural
          phenomena, in proportion as we advance, the filed to be traversed
          acquires additional extension, and that it is bounded by a
          horizon, which incessantly recedes before the eyes of the
          inquirer." How forcibly true, how substantially correct are these
          words spoken by this noble man, one of the brightest minds of the
          19th century! Are we able to extricate ourselves from these
          thoughts, from this dwarfed condition of ideas? No, I fear not.
          And is it not as true to-day as it ever has been, that whenever
          an individual or a community of individuals introduce into the
          world any principle or doctrine which they conceive to be in the
          most perfect accord with the principles of truth already
          revealed, they are sure to be met with the same old cry; the same
          weapons of warfare that are strewn around over the battle grounds
          of the ages are eagerly clutched by some of the sturdy veterans
          who will grab at anything--infidel, sceptic, heterodox, fanatic,
          immoral, and it matters not what the odium attached to such words
          may be, as long as they think they can be used to arrest the
          progress of truth, of principle, of doctrine which has not been
          incorporated in their views.
          We talk about our progressive enlightenment; we talk of our
          advancing intelligence; we speak eloquently of the march of
          intellect, and yet we are free to condemn every effort that is
          made by the world's most staunch advocate of human progress, in
          feeling after the foundation of society, in feeling after the
          foundation of faith, in seeking to determine the soundness or the
          unsoundness of principles, and if we discover that our fathers
          ate sour grapes, and we their children have had our teeth set on
          edge, we wish to administer some panacea to remove the
          difficulty, to change the elements that are sapping the
          foundation of that society which we are trying to build up, and
          supply its place with elements of a homogeneous texture, of a
          more durable fibre, and reconstruct it upon the basis developed
          by the principles of the everlasting gospel, which brings life
          and immortality to light, and we are confronted with the cry of
          "fools," "fanatics" and a very great number of uncomplimentary
          terms. But I have long ago, my friends, come to the conclusion
          that there is a great deal said when there is a very little
          meaning to be drawn from what has been said in relation to these
          men. They are "as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal."
          We, as Latter-day Saints, have embraced the Gospel of Jesus
          Christ. What is that Gospel? It is faith in God; it is an avowed
          confession of the existence of a Deity, that there is a supreme
          intelligence that not only governs, but built the universe, the
          great architect of the heavens. We believe in his existence; that
          he is a rewarder of all them that diligently seek him. We believe
          in the Lord Jesus Christ, his only-begotten son, who came into
          the world in the meridian of time to announce the message of
          mercy, who proclaimed principles of eternal truth, who made known
          the conditions whereby mankind could attain salvation, could
          elevate himself by the means provided in this great scheme of
          man's redemption from his low estate, that he might ascend the
          ladder that Jacob saw, having its feet placed upon the earth and
          its top reaching to heaven, whereby he might climb round after
          round, receiving line, upon line, precept upon precept, here a
          little and there a little, until he shall become a perfect man in
          Christ Jesus our Lord. We believe then in Jesus Christ as the
          Savior of the world. We believe in the gospel he received and the
          principles of that gospel which ave been handed down to us by
          Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the four historians who compiled
          the history of his ministry and recorded the principles he
          taught. We believe them to be eternal truth; we believe them to
          be essential to the salvation of mankind. We believe in
          repentance of all past sins; a genuine and sincere
          repentance--not a professed repentance, but a repentance which
          need not to be repented of; a repentance which brings forth
          fruits mete for repentance, namely a forsaking of sin, a
          forsaking of every evil habit of which we have a knowledge of
          their being evil, turning away therefrom and seeking to the Lord
          our God with full purpose of heart, adorning our lives with his
          doctrine, with his sacred precepts and principles, believing that
          "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and before
          honor is humility." We believe in baptism for the remission of
          sins and in the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy
          Now, we believe all this and much more. Our doctrines have been
          before the world for many years. Our Church works contain a very
          full and clear exposition of our views in relation to our faith,
          in relation to our principles affecting our life here and
          hereafter, and yet we discover, my friends, that we are
          unpopular, that we are not to be included among the Christian
          elements of society; we are considered Pagans, heathens, outlaws,
          barbarians, an immoral and reprobate race. And let me ask, how
          was it in the days of Jesus, this great prototype of human
          perfection, this great master-teacher of the purest of all truth?
          Our Christian ministers to-day speak eloquently from the pulpit
          to their congregations, telling them that there is no name given
          under heaven whereby man can be saved but the name of Jesus; and
          yet when men go forth as our Elders do, declaring in all
          soberness that they have the message of life and salvation
          revealed from the heavens, which is the power of God unto
          salvation to all that believe and obey, and ask these men
          permission to preach to them and their people the Gospel of the
          meek and lowly Jesus, this same once despised Nazarene, in their
          pulpits or lecture platforms, and they at once express themselves
          fearful least we should inoculate them with this dreadful
          contagion. What do we preach? The self-same principles that Jesus
          taught. We do not take it as expressive of a high and lofty mind
          to be combative, to court discussion, but we are at the defiance
          of the unbelieving world to prove one principle of our
          fundamental doctrines, revealed to us in this age by Joseph
          Smith, or by Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, that is not
          in perfect consonance with the declarations of holy writ. We have
          had men contradict us, we have had people tell us that we are
          duped and led astray, but their simple assertions are of no
          weight or value unsupported by legitimate argument. Our doctrines
          are biblically pure, they are doctrinally sound according to the
          embodiment of divinity contained in this most ancient of books,
          called the Bible not only our first principles, but all other
          principles pertaining to it, including our social institutions,
          which is the great bone of contention with the moralists of our
          day. I dare not permit myself to talk upon this question at the
          present time. I am so thoroughly disgusted with the rottenness
          and the canting hypocrisy of society, and with the infidelity of
          its social relations, and with the entire degeneracy of the
          morality of our age, to talk upon this subject, particularly with
          men who have jumped at conclusions and who have reached them
          without measuring ever step they have taken, without analyzing
          the elements of the doctrines they call in question; but we can
          say in meekness of heart and in confidence, without hypocrisy and
          without a zeal that is not in accordance with knowledge, but with
          a zeal that is being fanned into a glow that becomes honest men,
          that we know our doctrines are of God and the whole world who
          oppose its principles lie in the gall of bitterness and in the
          bonds of iniquity.
          I feel grateful, my brethren and sisters, that we have a religion
          that is self-sustaining; that we have a faith whose foundations
          are God and heaven, whose bulwarks are immutable, indestructible
          truths. We may fight them as did the ancients; our enemies may
          fight those doctrines as did the unbelieving Jews, and the
          surrounding unbelieving Sadducees and Pharisees, and the various
          discordant faiths, during the ages that are past; but truth, like
          the diamond, is unchangeable in its nature, it is unbedimmed in
          its own eternal lustre. You may heap upon it the odium of grosser
          materials; you may endeavor to conceal it from the gaze of the
          world or cover it up in reproach, it is a diamond still, and like
          truth, it will one day triumph and conquer, and roll forth in its
          own, naked and unborrowed lustre and brightness and vindicate its
          own claims. So it will be with the truth of the Gospel we have
          embraced. We have received it from God, and we have but one thing
          to fear. I am not afraid of the prejudice of the world; I am not
          afraid of the influences that are and might be brought to bear
          against us by people and communities or the universal world who
          are opposed to the progress of humanity, who are stereotyped in
          their views, who make no advancement in that path of the
          righteous which shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect
          day; but I fear more for our own neglects, our own selfishness,
          our own yielding to the depravities of human nature, our own
          backslidings from God and the covenants we have made, than
          anything else. I have no fear of the final triumph of truth; I do
          not shake or tremble while contemplating the results of the great
          work which the Lord has recommenced in this dispensation, which
          is one of the many dispensations which have preceded it, for God
          will so conduct the issues of his work, the labors of His
          Priesthood, the operations of His ministry and the final
          consummation of His purposes as to cause to be torn asunder all
          false systems, false politics, false religions, false philosophy
          and false bonds and obligations of society; and in the place
          thereof he will fill the earth with true and correct knowledge.
          Then every man in every place shall meet a brother and a friend;
          then no man shall have need to say to his brother, Know ye the
          Lord, for all shall know him, from the least to the greatest.
          This will be the final result; this will be the finish, the
          consummation of the purposes of Jehovah in perfecting the earth
          and the sanctification of his children who dwell thereon. They
          shall no more see as through a glass, darkly, but face to face;
          becoming heirs with God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ to a
          kingdom and government in which dwelleth righteousness and peace.
          This will be the final triumph, fight it who may.
          I will conclude my remarks, thanking you for your attention and
          feeling pleased for the opportunity of expressing my feelings
          with regard to the great latter-day work. Let us carry out the
          oft-repeated precept of President Young, which he reiterated in
          our hearing: "Brethren and sisters, live your religion;" "Fear
          God and keep his commandments; this is the whole duty of man."
          And then we shall learn one day that all things work together for
          the good of them that love God; that truth is mighty and will
          prevail. And that this may be the result of the experience of
          each and every one of us, is my prayer, through Jesus Christ.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / George
          Q. Cannon, August 3rd, 1879
                         George Q. Cannon, August 3rd, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                        on Sunday Morning, August 3rd, 1879.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          I will read a portion of the 23rd chapter of St. Matthew,
          commencing at the 34th verse:
          "And, wherefore, behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men,
          and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and some
          of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues and persecute them
          from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood
          shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the
          blood of Zecharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the
          temple and the altar."
          There is another portion of Scripture which I will read. It will
          be found in the 6th chapter of the Revelations of St. John:
          "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the
          souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the
          testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice,
          saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and
          avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"
          Very unexpectedly I have been called upon to make a few remarks
          to you this morning. Naturally I would prefer to sit still and to
          reflect upon the sad event that has called us together. It is
          plain from the reading of these passages of Scripture that you
          have heard, that innocent blood--the blood of the servants of
          God, of the prophets, or the wise men, of the scribes, all those
          who have the testimony of Jesus, who are the bearers of the word
          of God--when shed wickedly, remains as a heavy debt to be atoned
          for at some period by the inhabitants of the earth. Also that in
          the days of John the Revelator, one of the apostles of the Lord,
          in the visions which he saw it was made manifest that there were
          yet more lives to be offered up for the cause of truth before the
          blood that had been shed could be avenged upon those that dwelt
          upon earth. It doubtless seemed strange to the inhabitants of
          Jerusalem when Jesus said unto them that all the righteous blood
          that had been shed in past generations from the blood of
          righteous Abel to Zacharias, son of Barachias, should be required
          of that generation. There were reasons for this which he well
          understood. There are reasons existing now and that will continue
          to exist and operate, why the blood of those who have been slain
          for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus in ancient days,
          should be avenged upon some generation in the future, from the
          time that John spake and wrote the revelation he had received.
          Jesus said when he was upon the earth: "And this is the
          condemnation; that light is come into the world and men love
          darkness rather than light." They were held to a strict
          accountability after light was revealed. The generation in which
          he lived were held to a stricter accountability than any
          preceding generation, because he himself, the Son of God, was in
          their midst, performing mighty works, preaching the Gospel of the
          kingdom in its purity and in its power, and communicating unto
          them the mind and will of heaven. Every generation who have the
          privilege of hearing the pure Gospel of Jesus preached in its
          fulness are held to a similar accountability. Their position is
          different to that of the generations who do not have that
          privilege. The generations that intervened between the time that
          Zacharias lived and the coming of the Son of Man in the flesh,
          were not held to the same strict accountability as the
          contemporaries of the Savior. Why was this? Because they did not
          have the truth in its fulness revealed unto them; they did not
          have the prophets and apostles and righteous men in their midst
          to communicate unto them the will of heaven, as the generations
          in which the Savior lived had; and for the same reason the
          generations that have lived since the death of the Savior, and
          since the visions that John the Revelator had, are not held to
          the same accountability as this generation, unto whom the fulness
          of the everlasting Gospel has been revealed. When God
          communicates his mind and will unto his children by the medium of
          angels, by the medium of prophets, by the medium of holy men whom
          he has raised up, those who hear that testimony, those unto whom
          that message is communicated, are held to a strict accountability
          to obey the same or be held in great condemnation for their
          rejection of it. If you will read the history of God's ways of
          dealing with the children of men throughout all ages, you will
          find that it is invariably the case that judgments and
          calamities, the fiery indignation of the Almighty always follow
          the rejection of his truth, when that truth is proclaimed by his
          authorized servants, such as are apostles and prophets. If
          Nineveh had not heard the voice of Jonah, the Ninevites could not
          have been held to the same accountability as those to whom the
          word of the Lord had been proclaimed; and when prophets arose in
          the midst of Israel, prophets whom God raised up to declare his
          word, when the children of Israel repented of their sins and
          obeyed the warning voice of the servants of God, then the
          blessings of God always followed their obedience. But on the
          other hand, when the children of Israel rejected the testimony of
          the servants of God, when the prophets preached in vain, when
          they testified and warned the people without the people obeying
          their testimonies or their warnings, then invariably the
          judgements of God followed, his anger and indignation were
          kindled against that people or generation, it rested down upon
          them and in many instances to their destruction.
          This is our position to-day. In this respect the Latter-day
          Saints occupy a unique position in the midst of the inhabitants
          of the earth. Men wonder very frequently at the testimonies that
          we bear. They express surprise that a people so few in number as
          we are, should imagine that there is so much importance attending
          the testimonies that we bear, or the Gospel that we preach. But
          it is a remarkable fact, abundantly sustained in the history of
          God's dealings with the children of men, that he does not hold
          mankind guiltless because there are only a few who are the
          oracles of truth in their midst and who have the authority to
          proclaim that truth. If there was but one prophet on the face of
          the earth, and he had no followers, but stood alone in the midst
          of the nations of the earth, his warnings would be followed by
          terrible results if they were disregarded by those who heard
          them. The Lord does not look upon men according to their numbers;
          the importance of his work and his dealings with the children of
          men is not to be measured by the number of those who adhere to
          the principles that he proclaims. When Joseph Smith stood alone,
          when he had only two or three followers, and he declared unto
          those by whom he was surrounded that God had spoken to him from
          the heavens, that God had revealed the everlasting Gospel in its
          ancient purity and power, that God had sent his holy angels to
          him, and that those angels had laid their hands upon his head,
          and upon the head of Oliver Cowdery, and ordained them to the
          everlasting Priesthood, his testimony was as binding upon those
          who heard it as if millions of men had testified to the same
          truths. His testimony was binding from the moment that he
          commenced to bear it to those by whom he was surrounded, and the
          accountability of the people who listened to him and heard his
          voice, and heard his testimony, began from the moment that he
          opened his mouth and bore testimony of these things. And so it
          has been from that day unto this, wherever the Elders of this
          Church have gone and have borne testimony to the inhabitants of
          the earth respecting the work that God has commenced--from that
          very moment the condemnation of the generation commenced if they
          did not obey these testimonies and warnings. This seems to some
          minds scarcely what it ought to be, that is, it seems to many
          that we attach too much importance to what one or two men might
          say, when we assert that condemnation follows their testimony;
          but their is this to be considered connected with the testimony
          of God's servants in ancient days, as in the days in which we
          live: God has not left the inhabitants of the earth without a
          witness, God has not left them without some testimony which they
          can obtain to assure them that the words of God's servants--that
          is the true servants of God--which they hear are from him. When
          he called Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, and when he sent his
          angels to lay their hands upon their heads to ordain them to that
          priesthood which had been withdrawn from the earth, he also sent
          his Holy Spirit to accompany their words and to seal the
          testimony with power upon the hearts of all that were honest, and
          who prayerfully sought for a knowledge from God concerning the
          truth of their words. When Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery laid
          their hands upon other men's heads and ordained them to the same
          priesthood which they had received from heaven, God confirmed the
          ordination by bestowing the Holy Ghost upon them, and when they
          went forth and proclaimed the truth, the Holy Ghost accompanied
          their words, and those who were desirous of knowing from God
          respecting the truth of their testimony had the opportunity of
          receiving a knowledge direct from heaven that it was of God, and
          on this very account condemnation commences because light hath
          come into the world, and when men reject it they reject it
          because they love darkness rather than light. God does not hold
          people accountable for that which they do not know, or that which
          they have not had an opportunity of knowing. Where there is no
          law, there is no transgression. Transgression commences when the
          law is received and men reject it. What is the duty of the
          inhabitants of the earth when they hear a man stand up and
          proclaim in the power and authority of the priesthood, and in all
          solemnity, that God has spoken from the heavens, that God has
          revealed the everlasting Gospel, that God has established his
          church in this ancient power and in its ancient purity, that God
          has endowed man to go forth and administer in the ordinances of
          life and salvation as in ancient days. What is the duty of the
          inhabitants of the earth under such circumstances?
          Situated as the world is to-day, there is no voice from God. You
          travel throughout the whole of Christendom and there is an
          unbroken silence reigning between heaven and earth; no voice to
          disturb the solemnity of eternity. Go visit all the different
          churches, and all the ministers of the various denominations, and
          talk to them who profess to be the followers of Jesus Christ; ask
          them, "Do you know anything about God? Has God communicated his
          mind and will to you?" and the universal answer from all sects is
          "No, revelation has ceased, God no longer speaks to man; we
          depend upon his written word in the Bible for our knowledge of
          God. We are divided into sects, we are split up into parties, we
          have all our own way of worshipping God, but there is no voice
          from God, there has been no revelation from God to disturb the
          silence of ages, since the death of the Apostles, and our
          knowledge concerning the plans and purposes of God is derived
          from the Bible." This being the case, then, what is the duty of
          the inhabitants of the earth when a man comes as Joseph Smith
          did, and as the Elders of this Church are doing, proclaiming the
          truths which I have alluded to? Why, they being in ignorance of
          God, they having no revelation from God, they not having heard
          the voice of angels, they being split up into parties and sects,
          and divided and quarrelling respecting the points of doctrine
          which Christ revealed--they being in this position should humble
          themselves and ask God, in the name of Jesus, and in mighty
          prayer to reveal unto them whether the testimony of these men who
          come with this new revelation be true or false. That is the duty
          of every living soul upon the face of the earth who hears the
          testimony of God's servants concerning this truth, and there
          never has been, from the time that Joseph Smith made his first
          proclamation until this day, the 3rd of August, 1879, a time when
          a man who took this course did not receive a witness from on
          high, the testimony of Jesus Christ, that these truths,
          proclaimed by the servants of God are divine and from heaven.
          Wherever the Elders of this Church have gone and lifted up their
          voices in humility, in meekness, calling upon the inhabitants of
          the earth to repent--and they have gone to many lands and spoken
          in many languages--and the people have repented and sought unto
          God in the name of Jesus Christ for a testimony of the truth,
          there has never been a single instance where they have failed to
          receive that testimony; not one. Who have rejected this ? The
          indifferent, those who would not take the trouble to investigate
          it, those who would not take the trouble to bow in submission
          before the Lord and ask his testimony concerning it, those who
          thought it beneath them, those who have been too proud, or too
          rich or too well situated or who, for some other reason, have
          failed to take any interest in the work; these are they who are
          not members of this Church and who have failed to obey this when
          they heard it preached in its simplicity and its purity amongst
          the nations of the earth. Well, now, will this generation escape
          condemnation? I say unto you, nay. There will be a heavy
          condemnation fall upon this generation because of their
          inattention to these things. Judgements and calamities will be
          visited upon the inhabitants of the earth in consequence of
          neglecting the word of God written in the Scriptures, and also
          the word of God to his servants in these days. The Prophet Joseph
          Smith, his brother Hyrum, and numbers of others have been slain.
          What for? Why, said the mob who killed him, because they could
          not reach them by law. They were brought before courts, Joseph
          Smith particularly, as you all know, from time to time, but they
          failed to find any cause of condemnation against him, and at last
          his blood was shed. He sealed his testimony with his blood. Like
          other apostles and prophets, he laid down his life as witness
          before God and before all men of the truth of the testimony that
          he bore. Others have done likewise.
          We have met here to-day on this mournful occasion to pay the last
          rites, to offer the last testimony of respect to the remains of
          one who has in like manner laid down his life for the truth, one
          of the many who have been slain for the testimony of Jesus and
          for the word of God which he bore. Was there anything wrong in
          the testimony that he declared when he lived? Was it wrong to
          call upon men to repent of their sins, to be baptized for a
          remission of them, to have hands laid upon them for the reception
          of the Holy Ghost? Was it wrong to entreat men to forsake sin and
          to lead better lives, to be more pure, more holy, to live near
          unto the Lord, to seek knowledge from God, to contend for the
          faith that was once delivered to the Saints? If these things were
          wrong, then our brother, whose remains are before us, was guilty
          of wrong. This was the extent of his offence and no more. He
          endeavored to persuade men to lead purer, holier lives, and
          proclaimed that the days of God's judgment was near at hand. He
          went forth to declare these principles, filled with zeal, filled
          with good desires, exemplary in his life, pure in his
          conversation, the admiration of all who knew him, the joy of his
          father's household, an example to all his associates of the same
          years, and even to those older than himself, a young man of whom
          we all had great hopes, whose future we thought was bright. In
          reading his letters, in listening to the accounts of his labors,
          in hearing from his co-laborers, we could not help feeling
          gratified. We indulged in bright anticipations for his future,
          not because of his birth, not because his parents were rich, not
          because of any extraordinary talent which he possessed, not
          because of any earthly advantages, but because in his youth he
          humbled himself before God and attained a knowledge concerning
          the of Jesus Christ, and burning with zeal, he had a heartfelt
          desire to proclaim the great truths which God had revealed to
          him, to a fallen world and tried to save the children of men from
          the pit into which they were likely to be engulfed. The same
          spirit that animated the breast of the Savior, animated the
          breast of Joseph Standing, that is, he had a portion of that same
          spirit. He did not count bodily fatigue anything, he did not
          count toil anything, he did not take into consideration his
          health, the feebleness of his frame; none of these things had
          weight with him. He did not think how, by staying at home and
          attending to his business, he could benefit himself and receive
          worldly advantages; none of these things were thought of, but the
          very moment he was called to go from home he dropped everything,
          although in somewhat feeble health and although he had already
          filled an honorable mission, he felt it his duty to go when he
          was called, to go without purse and without scrip, without hope
          of earthly reward, putting his trust in God, laboring with
          unselfish zeal for the salvation of his fellowmen, and thus he
          labored until he fell a victim to the ungodly hate of those who
          knew him not, who understood not the objects for which he
          labored, and the purpose which animated his noble heart.
          Who shall mourn to-day? The Latter-day Saints? No. Who shall
          mourn to-day? The family and friends of Elder Joseph Standing?
          No. It would be difficult and it would not be right that we
          should repress the natural emotions of our hearts, that we should
          stifle those natural affections; it is right and proper that we
          should shed sympathetic tears, allow the heart's affection to
          flow out in this manner and receive relief by the tears that are
          shed. But there is no cause for grief to-day in this Tabernacle.
          A servant of God who has occupied a faithful position, who has
          been true, who has been upright, who has been blameless, has
          fallen a victim--a victim to that hate that the adversary of
          souls seeks to instil into the hearts of all the children of men
          who will be led and guided by him, and the men who have to mourn
          today are those who have been guilty of this foul deed. The land
          that ought to mourn is the land that has been drenched with his
          blood. If the Governor, the Judges, the Legislature, and the
          other officials of the State of Georgia feel as they should they
          will not rest satisfied until there shall be atonement made, and
          the guilty wretches who took part in this great crime shall have
          been brought to justice. But it will be a most extraordinary
          thing if such shall be the result. Not but what I believe the
          Governor is an upright man, and, so far as I am acquainted with
          him, would do everything in his power to punish these murderers;
          but there are other influences at work that are stronger than the
          influence of the Governor, there are prejudices harder to conquer
          than anything else that can be met with and there are hundreds,
          and probably thousands of people who think that in killing the
          "Mormons" they are doing God's service. Shall we hate them for
          this? No; they are to be pitied. Men who indulge in such feelings
          carry with them in their own breasts their punishment, and they
          will experience a still more severe punishment before they get
          My brethren and sisters, when we embraced this, those of you who
          were old enough to comprehend it, doubtless took into
          consideration all the consequences that might follow; those who
          were not old enough, or who have been born in the Church have had
          experience enough upon these points to see and understand what
          the results of the espousal of the truth are likely to be. It
          cost the Savior his life. It cost the greater portion of his
          apostles their lives. It cost every prophet almost that has lived
          his life for proclaiming the truth. It has cost the best blood of
          this Church and this generation to lay the foundation of this
          Church. We have been mobbed, we have been driven, we have been
          persecuted, we have been hated, our names have been cast out as
          evil, there is no crime, there is no evil of which men could be
          guilty that we have not been accused of, and we all know how
          falsely and with how little foundation we have been charged with
          these things. This is part of the results that we have to meet in
          espousing the truth. The man that holds his life dear, that
          values it more than the truth is unworthy of the truth. If we
          value house, if we value lands, if we value a good name, if we
          value property, if we value self, if we value even life itself
          more than we do the truth we are unworthy of the truth. But God
          has given unto us the truth; it is worth more than all else
          beside. He has revealed himself to us. When we pray to him we
          know that he hears us. When we ask him for a blessing that we
          need we have the testimony from on high that he hears our
          prayers, that he is willing to answer and grant unto us the
          righteous desires of our hearts. These things compensate for the
          loss of all other advantages; we have this consolation which our
          persecutors do not have.
          The Prophets who have preceded us have been slain generation
          after generation; they have passed away. The Savior and his
          apostles likewise passed away, the work, the foundation of which
          they laid, having been overcome and destroyed by the adversary
          from the face of the earth. They foresaw that for a long time
          ahead, apostacy would follow their labors and administrations,
          and a sorrowful thing it was for them to contemplate; but in our
          case it is different. We live on the threshold of a new era; the
          work that God has established in our day shall never be given to
          another people. The priesthood which God has restored, the
          authority by which men can administer in the ordinances of
          God--that priesthood shall never be taken from the earth. Joseph
          Smith, Hyrum Smith, David Patten and other martyrs may fall,
          Brother Joseph Standing among the rest, their blood may be shed,
          and the blood of others yet living may yet be shed to confirm the
          testimony that has been borne, but though this is the case, there
          is this to console us who live, to console us in contemplating
          the future for ourselves and our posterity after us, and it is
          that there is no power on earth, nor in hell that can destroy the
          church that God has established, nor obliterate the priesthood
          from the earth again as it was obliterated in ancient days. It
          was necessary when this Church was started that angels should
          come to restore that which was taken away, the everlasting
          priesthood, but there will be no future necessity for this. We
          are at the threshold of a thousand years of peace, we are engaged
          in laying the foundation of that work which shall stand forever,
          not only the thousand years but as long as time shall last and as
          long as the earth itself shall endure. This is the consolation we
          have that our predecessors did not have, and we can rejoice in
          the contemplation of the glorious future of this work. As for
          Brother Standing, no hero could wish to die a more glorious death
          than his. He will be crowned among the glorious army of martyrs,
          as one who was willing to lay down his life for the truth without
          shrinking, without fear, without faltering when the time came. He
          has borne a noble and untiring testimony all the time to the
          truth of God, and there is in store for him a glorious crown
          along with those who have been alike faithful in this work.
          That his companion, Elder Rudger Clawson is alive and in our
          midst to-day, is due to the wonderful providence of God. My
          belief has been that had the mob commenced their whipping they
          would both have been killed. The death of Brother Standing
          doubtless saved Brother Clawson's life.
          I pray God the Father to comfort your hearts, to pour out the
          spirit of consolation and peace upon the family and upon all the
          friends of the deceased. I pray for his enemies and for those who
          have shed his blood. I would not do them any harm if I could.
          There is not in my bosom, nor should there be in the bosoms of
          the Latter-day Saints who have the true spirit of the resting
          upon them, a feeling to revenge. We ought to be and I think we
          are, far uplifted above such feelings, and if we do not have we
          should have the feeling which Jesus had when he was upon the
          cross and led him to say, "Father, forgive them, they know not
          what they do." They had treated him with the greatest ignominy,
          treated him as if he had committed the greatest crime, but in his
          dying hour he could implore the blessing of his Father upon them.
          And so we may upon those who seek to destroy this work. They
          think they are doing God service; they are actuated by a spirit
          of which they know nothing. They are to be pitied, they are to be
          mourned over, and the day will come when, as we comprehend the
          sufferings of those who did these deeds, our souls will swell
          with pity and compassion and sorrow for their wretched condition.
          I pray that the Spirit of the may rest down upon all of us, and
          that the peace of heaven may be and abide in all our hearts,
          which I ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, August 3, 1879
                             John Taylor, August 3, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                           Sunday Morning, August 3, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I wish to make a very few remarks on the present occasion; and I
          desire that order and quietness may prevail.
          We are met to-day on what may be termed a very sorrowful
          occasion. We see before us the body of a murdered man, cut off in
          the bloom and flower of his youth, with brilliant prospects
          before him of a useful and glorious future. It is sorrowful to
          reflect that men in a land of liberty, a land that boasts of its
          enlightment, its religious liberty and its liberal institutions,
          should be guilty of embruing their hands in the blood of an
          upright honorable man because he dared to worship God according
          to the dictates of his own conscience, and to teach his fellow
          man the ways of life. It is a sorrowful reflection to feel that
          liberty is only a name and that protection and even equal rights,
          is only a figment, and exploded theory; and we may say, how has
          the glory of this nation become sullied! How has the fine gold
          become dim! How have the high and noble principles that inspired
          the founders of this nation, in whose breasts burned the spirit
          of freedom been desecrated, and those glorious principles for
          which they battled been trailed in the dust. And what a miserable
          showing we have before us of the efficacy of those sacred
          principles for which the founders of those institutions battled
          and died. It is sorrowful to reflect upon it. And on the other
          hand it is a matter of pride to Latter-day Saints to see one of
          our youth firm and unshaken in the principles of our holy
          religion, and ready to maintain them in the midst of fanaticism
          and hate even unto death. Pride, indeed mingled with sorrow.
          Pride to see the heroism of the dying martyr, and poignant grief
          for his loss, and more especially have we met here to sympathise
          with his parents, the family and friends, and to mingle our tears
          with theirs, and to reflect that although he died, he died with
          the harness on, he died battling for the principles of the
          everlasting Gospel; he died maintaining those eternal truths as
          they have emanated from God our heavenly father; and that having
          died he still lives and is numbered with those who are beneath
          the altar, crying, how long, O Lord, holy, just and true, wilt
          thou not avenge us of our adversaries? He has gone. Peace be to
          his ashes. I would rather by ten thousand million times be lying
          where he is than be in the position of those who imbrued their
          hands in his blood, who, wherever they may be cannot help seeing
          and feeling the horror of their fiendish act--their hellish deed,
          and they will go down to the grave execrated as murderers and men
          who have no friends or hope either in time or in eternity.
          That young man has gone where others have gone whom I have seen
          leave this earth under circumstances of a very similar nature. I
          was with Joseph and Hyrum Smith when they were killed; and then,
          their murderers tried to dispatch me too, and came very near
          doing so. They shot at me and hit me a number of times. But I am
          here yet; I suppose my time had not come. That is all right,
          however. They have gone, and this our brother has followed, and
          that is all right too, so far as he is concerned. His father
          here, I have been acquainted with for upwards of forty years; and
          his son, whose remains now lie before us, was born in this City;
          he is one of our boys. He received, as has been stated, the
          truths of the everlasting Gospel; he believed them with all his
          heart and advocated them, going forth as a messenger of life
          clothed with the Spirit of the living God. But this generation
          does not like the truth, and indeed the generations have been
          very few that have not rejected the truth when it has been
          proclaimed to them. Stephen said in his day, "Which of the
          prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain
          them, which showed before of the coming of the just one of whom
          ye have been now the betrayers and murderers." They lauded the
          dead prophets, but killed the living ones.
          Many of the people to-day are actuated by the same malignant
          feelings, not knowing what spirit it is that incites them to
          fight against and feel inimical to the principles of the
          everlasting Gospel. And were Jesus here to-day appearing as he
          did before--meek and lowly as the Savior of the world, preaching
          the same doctrines, there would be as loud a cry by the professed
          Christians throughout this land as there was in the land of Judea
          by the Scribes and Pharisees: "Crucify him, crucify him! let him
          be crucified," and there are many in our midst to-day who would
          imbrue their hands in our blood, as those murderers in Georgia
          did in the blood of this young martyr, if they dared do it.
          God has committed to us the principles of truth, and has
          commanded us to proclaim them to the ends of the earth; and
          regardless of consequences and in the name of Israel's God we
          will do it and let all Israel say Amen. (The vast congregation,
          as with one voice, responded, "Amen.") We are not scared of
          bonds, imprisonment or death. A few days ago they were talking
          about putting me in prison because I chose to decline to betray a
          trust committed to me by this people, and turn over to them
          certain properties entrusted to my care. I said, You may take me
          to prison, gentlemen; I am ready, but I am not ready to forsake
          my principles, I am not ready to betray my people, I am not going
          to barter away my honor nor the things that God has communicated
          to me and that his people have vested in my hands. I can afford
          to go to prison if you can afford to send me there; I can stand
          it if you can. These are my feelings.
          The same feeling exists in our midst that laid that young man
          low. Men may clamor for our property; they may clamor for our
          blood just as much as men have at any other time; but in the name
          of Israel's God Zion will go on and prosper; the principles of
          truth will prevail; the things that God has committed to us we
          will bear off triumphantly, God being our helper, and there is no
          power in this land, nor in any other land, nor on this side of
          hell nor in hell itself that can prevent it. If we will cleave to
          God and do our duty and purge ourselves from unrighteousness and
          live our religion and keep His commandments, Zion will arise and
          shine, and the glory of God will rest upon her. And when this
          nation and other nations shall crumble to pieces, Zion and the
          glory thereof will extend from nation to nation, and it will
          continue to spread and grow until the kingdoms of this world
          shall become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ, and every
          creature in heaven and on the earth will be heard to say,
          Blessing and glory and honor and praise and power, and might and
          majesty and dominion be ascribed to Him that sits upon the
          throne, and to the Lamb for ever. In God is our trust. He will
          sustain his Israel. Our course is onward; and purity, virtue,
          truth, integrity, the laws of God and equality to all men is our
          motto, and protection to every honest man under all
          circumstances. We are friends of God and the friends of humanity.
          Like Brother Cannon, I do not mourn over the departed dead. He
          has gone to associate among an honorable band who dared during
          their life-time to do their duty, and who battled valiantly for
          the cause of truth. Here is Brother Rudger Clawson, who was with
          Brother Standing when he was shot. The mob threatened his life
          and leveled their guns to take it. He calmly folded his arms and
          looking his adversaries in the face told them to shoot. But they
          did not do it. God preserved him, that's all. Here is Brother
          John Morgan, who has labored and traveled extensively in that
          region of country. He and Brother Standing as one of his
          colaborers had preached the Gospel and succeeded in baptizing a
          number of people. This had aroused the feeling of opposition in
          the hearts of some, and the reason they were opposed to these
          things was because people believed the Gospel, and they did not
          want them to. That's all. Did they hurt anybody? No. Are they
          honorable men? Yes. Did either of them interfere with the rights
          or privileges of any one? No. For what then was this young man
          killed? Because he dared to believe in God, and dared to proclaim
          that God had revealed himself in these latter days as he did in
          former days. Because he dared to tell the people to repent of
          their sins and be baptized for the remission of them, promising
          all that would do so that they should receive the Holy Ghost.
          What a great crime for him to die for! That is what I am sorry
          for. I am sorry to see that vindictive and revengeful spirit
          existing among mankind. We have very different feelings from
          this, as our history from the beginning abundantly proves. David,
          you know, on a certain occasion, feeling angry with the people by
          who he was surrounded because of their wickedness, prayed that
          God would send them to hell quickly. Jesus, while suffering the
          agonies of death, exclaimed, "Father, forgive them, they know not
          what they do." How much better the latter is than the former. Let
          us cultivate that spirit. But while we do that, do not let your
          enemies think you are asleep; but woe to those men who fight
          against Israel. In the name of Israel's God, they shall be wasted
          away, and you may write it down and see whether it comes to pass
          or not. And let all Israel say Amen. (Again the congregation
          responded, "Amen.") But Zion will arise and shine, and the glory
          of God will rest upon her.
          Brother Standing (the speaker turned and addressed himself to the
          father of the deceased, who was seated on the stand) it is right
          you should mourn; it is right that you and your family and
          friends should be sorrowful and possess those feelings of
          sympathy; but your son has gone to prepare a place for you that
          where he is you may be also.
          What do you propose to do? To do good to all men as far as they
          will let us; but to prevent them from robbing us and interfering
          with us, as God give us power; and maintain our rights, the
          rights of freemen, the rights that God has committed to us, and
          honor our priesthood and calling and still go to the ends of the
          earth and proclaim the unsearchable things of the kingdom; gather
          together the honest in heart from among all nations, build
          temples and administer in them, honor the Lord our God and keep
          his commandments; and by and by, when the dead shall hear the
          voice of the Son of God, and come forth, that young man, with
          Joseph and Hyrum Smith, whom I saw butchered by a mob, while
          under the protection of the law--under the protection of the
          Governor of the State, who pledged his honor and the faith of the
          State to me and to Dr. Bernhisel, that if we would go there
          without any arms, that we should be protected; and soon after we
          had complied with his request, these men were murdered in cold
          blood. These are things I am personally conversant with. Well,
          what of them? They are gone to mingle with the Gods, so has
          Brother Joseph Standing. Brother Standing, (addressing the father
          of the deceased) do not be troubled, your son is all right. I am
          glad to see the care that has been manifested by Brothers Clawson
          and Morgan in regard to getting the body of their fellow-laborer
          here that we might have an opportunity of paying the last tribute
          of respect to this our departed brother, who was faithful to the
          end, and who will receive a crown of light and glory among the
          Gods in the eternal worlds.
          Brethren, let us be faithful to God, let us live our religion,
          keep his commandments, treat everybody well even all men who do
          right; treat them well and be kind and just to them whether of
          your faith or not; but do not allow those miserable miscreants
          that exist in our midst to have dominion over you. We must
          maintain our rights--rights that are guaranteed unto us by the
          constitution of our country and which God has given to us; and if
          we do this he will stand by us. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / John
          Taylor, March 2, 1879
                             John Taylor, March 2, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
            Delivered in the Ogden Tabernacle, on Sunday, March 2, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I thought I would come down and talk with you a little this
          morning. I am pleased to hear the remarks made by Brother Joseph
          F.; they are very well worthy of all acceptation by all good men.
          We indeed, as he said, are engaged in a great work--the ushering
          in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, wherein it has
          been decreed thousands of years ago, that God would "gather
          together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven,
          and which are on earth, even in him." And for this purpose he has
          manifested himself; for this purpose the Son of God has
          manifested himself; for this purpose those holy prophets,
          referred to in the revelation read to you by Brother Joseph,
          manifested themselves; for this purpose the heavens and the
          intelligences around the throne of God are united; for this
          purpose the Holy Priesthood that have existed in the various
          dispensations of time are interested, and for this purpose those
          who held the keys of the several dispensations that have passed,
          have brought those keys and conferred them upon the Church of the
          latter-days, through the medium of Joseph Smith. The work that we
          are engaged in is associated with the interest of all
          humanity--all men that have ever lived, those that now live, and
          those that will live, and the salvation of the living and the
          dead is mixed up with these matters.
          We are not here for the purpose of looking after our own
          individual affairs and interests, or to carry out our own
          peculiar notions or feelings associated with any of our interests
          or the interest of any particular party or clique, or anything of
          that kind. But the Priesthood of the Son of God has been
          manifested in the interests of God, in the interests of the
          heavens, and in the interest of all humanity; embracing all
          people and extending to all nations and tongues. The Lord has
          gathered us together for the express purpose of forming a
          nucleus, an organism, a people to whom he could communicate and
          reveal his will, and to whom he could make known his designs, and
          among whom he could establish the principles of eternal truth and
          the light, intelligence, rule and law of God, as they exist in
          the eternal worlds. This is why we are gathered here to-day, if
          we can comprehend it.
          Jesus, when here upon the earth, had a people and called them his
          sheep. Said he, "My sheep hear my voice and they know me and they
          follow me, and a stranger will they not follow, for they know not
          the voice of a stranger." And again he says while supplicating
          the Father, "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for
          them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. Neither pray I
          for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me
          through their word; that they all may be one, as thou, Father,
          art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that
          the world may believe that thou hast sent me," that they may have
          evidence of a union that exists nowhere else in the world of the
          love and affection of those godly principles that cement and bind
          men together, which nothing but the power and spirit of
          revelation can do; that they may have evidence of something more
          exalting, more ennobling, and which will unite and associate men
          together in indissoluble bonds of eternal truth according to the
          laws of God; that there may be evidence in existence in the world
          that thou hast sent me, and that the principles that thou hast
          given me have been revealed to them and that they are to be
          governed by them: "thine they were, and thou hast given them me."
          That was the feeling that existed in former times among the
          Saints of God, and these were some of the teachings unto them.
          The sheep have been scattered abroad among the nations of the
          earth to whom this communication has been sent, and thousands
          have heard and obeyed the voice of the good Shepherd and have
          gathered themselves together, as we are here and as they are over
          this Territory, according to the impulses originating from the
          Spirit of God, which has operated and worked upon our minds and
          brought us together as we are here to-day.
          Now then, what was this for? To preach first the Gospel of
          repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying
          on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, to be followed
          by the gathering together, etc. And what was it for? That we all
          might be baptized into one baptism, that we all might partake of
          the same spirit, that we all might be brought into communication
          with the Almighty and derive wisdom and intelligence from the
          same fountain, having "One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God
          and Father of all, through all, and in you all." When Jesus sent
          forth his servants formerly he sent them to preach this Gospel.
          When the Father and the Son and Moroni and others came to Joseph
          Smith, he had a priesthood conferred upon him which he conferred
          upon others for the purpose of manifesting the laws of life, the
          Gospel of the Son of God, by direct authority, that light and
          truth might be spread forth among all nations. There was a number
          of men selected by the Savior anciently, to whom he said: "Ye
          have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you." What
          to do? To do the things you have seen me do, as I have come to do
          what I have seen my Father do. The words which I speak, I speak
          not of myself; but the Father who dwells in me, he doeth the
          Now then, we have got a priesthood organized here upon the earth,
          as there was one organized in the days of Jesus, only with this
          distinctive difference,--that that was a dispensation of God to
          them; this we live in is the dispensation of the fulness of
          times, embracing all other dispensations and times and powers and
          authorities that have existed upon the face of the earth, in the
          various ages, from the commencement to the present time. Herein
          it differs from others. Hence we are requested to gather
          together, something which they were not commanded to do. We are
          told to build Temples: they were not. We are told to administer
          for the living and the dead, which ordinances were only performed
          then to a very limited extent. We are called upon to build up not
          only the Church, but the kingdom of God, and to introduce the
          rule and government of God upon the earth. We are here just as
          Jesus was, not to do our own will, but for the purpose of
          carrying out our own ideas or theories, but to do the will of God
          who sent us. That is the way Jesus preached: "For I came down
          from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that
          sent me." Sometimes it was trying and perplexing, sometimes it
          was hard to endure; but he did endure and suffer it, and he
          accomplished the work he was sent to do. But sometimes when
          struggling with the powers of darkness, and environed with the
          corrupt and ungodly, he gazed upon and comprehended the gravity
          of the situation and things before him, it so operated upon him,
          that in mortal agony he sweat great drops of blood. "For it
          became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things,
          in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their
          salvation perfect through sufferings." "For we have not an high
          priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our
          infirmities; but one who was in all points tempted like as we
          are, yet without sin." He endured everything possible for mortal
          to endure on the earth. Finally, when the last struggle came,
          said he, "Father," if thou art willing, "if it be possible,
          remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be
          done." What were his feelings in the midst of all this sorrow?
          Did he give railing for railing, contumely for contumely? No, he
          did not. David, you know, prayed that God would send his enemies
          to hell quickly. He was quite in a hurry about it, as we are
          sometimes. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not
          what they do;" they are ignorant, they are foolish, and blinded
          through superstition; they comprehend not the laws, they know
          nothing of my mission. Father, forgive them. I admire the
          sentiments and feelings of the Savior under such circumstances,
          very much more than those of David.
          As I understand it we are called upon to be saviors. And as
          saviors of men, endowed with the holy priesthood, we should, with
          one feeling and spirit, operate together in the interests of
          Zion; we ought to humble ourselves before God and seek for His
          Holy Spirit to lead us in the right path, that all may comprehend
          His law, and that we may operate together in the interests of
          Israel, and in the building up of the Kingdom of God upon the
          earth; and every other feeling and idea ought to be esteemed
          subservient to that, and that ought to be the first, leading,
          guiding, and controling sentiment of all the elders of Israel,
          and especially of those who take the lead in Israel.
          We get tried sometimes, and we sometimes try one another; and we
          sometimes feel as David did on a certain occasion, when he
          exclaimed: "For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I
          could have borne it; neither was it he that hated me that did
          magnify himself against me; then I could have hid myself from
          him. But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and my
          Did you ever know it is necessary that we should be tried in all
          things? If you do not you will find it out before you get
          through, and we are not through yet quite. In this connection, I
          am reminded of what I heard the Prophet Joseph say, speaking more
          particularly with reference to the Twelve, "The Lord will feel
          after your heart-strings, and will wrench them and twist them
          around, and you will have to learn to rely upon God and upon God
          alone." Has he done it? I think he has pretty thoroughly. The
          Prophet himself was tried about as much as anybody I know of, and
          his Brother Hyrum had his full share, the Twelve also have been
          tried as much as any men that I know of, and a great deal more
          than you know anything about. He furthermore said, "If God could
          in any other way more keenly have tried Abraham than by calling
          upon him to offer up his son Isaac, he would have done it." And
          as I have said, Jesus himself sweat great drops of blood, and in
          the agony of his suffering cried out, "My God, my God, why hast
          thou forsaken me?" And why is it thus? We are told by one of old,
          "For it became him, for whom all things, and by whom all things,
          in bringing many things unto glory, to make the Captain of their
          salvation perfect through sufferings." "For we have not an High
          Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our
          infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet
          without sin." Oh, what a happy thing it would be if we could
          follow in his footsteps in that particular! But we have our
          weaknesses and infirmities in common with all men. It is incident
          to humanity, and the devourer is at work seeking to destroy, to
          contaminate, to corrupt and defile, and to lead men down to
          perdition, to produce discord and envy, hatred and strife, and
          every evil that proceeds from that source. Shall I tell you its
          fruits? Envy is one; hatred is another; malice is another;
          uncharitableness is another; evil speaking is another; and so
          on--all these things proceed from an evil spirit; and it is said,
          "That to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants
          ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or obedience
          unto righteousness." Men sometimes falter? Yes, sometimes they
          think they are strong; but no man is strong unless he be strong
          in the Lord. No man is sustained only as God sustains him; and if
          he do not sustain him, I would not give much for his ideas or
          position. We sometimes think we are strong and that we can do a
          great deal. So thought Peter on a certain occasion--at the time
          when Christ said to his disciples, "All ye shall be offended
          because of me this night." But Peter answered him, saying,
          "Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I
          never be offended." The Savior doubtless appreciated his
          feelings, but knowing better than he the frailty of humanity, he
          said unto him, "Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before
          the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice." Did he do it? Yes he
          did; but Jesus did not get angry with him, nor begin to upbraid
          him and speak angry words to him. He knew too well the weakness
          of mortal man, and he knew it before that time. But he says,
          "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith
          unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee." If you love
          me, if you are my friend and my disciple, "Feed my Lambs." That
          was not very hard to do; he had been called for that purpose. "He
          saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest
          thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love
          thee. He said unto him, Feed my Sheep." And the third time the
          Savior put the same question to Peter, and which on being
          answered as before, he said to him, "Feed my Sheep." What is the
          duty of the Apostles, the Presidents of Stakes, the High Priests,
          and Seventies, especially of those that are generally presiding?
          If Jesus was here, he would tell you to lay aside your nonsense,
          your follies and weaknesses, and act more like men and Saints,
          and go to work and "Feed my Sheep." Said he, "If I be lifted up,
          I will draw all men to me," not that I will rule with an
          iron-hand, not that I will trample upon them, not that I will let
          you see that I possess power and authority; but "I will draw all
          men to me." That will not be accomplished until the time spoken
          of when every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall be heard to
          say, "Glory, honor, majesty and power, be unto him that sits upon
          the throne and to the Lamb for ever;" but it will be done through
          the influence of the Gospel, through its cementing and
          harmonizing influences, through the aid of the Almighty and the
          operations of the holy priesthood combined together, united as
          the heart of one man in the accomplishment of the purposes of
          God; with kindness and brotherly affections, with long suffering
          and with every principle of righteousness that is calculated to
          draw the feelings and affections of men, that they may see the
          truth and know it for themselves, and that they may know also
          that we are their friends, acting for the welfare of all men,
          living and dead, and in the interest of the Church and Kingdom of
          God upon the earth. And where this principle does not exist,
          there is something wrong, the principles of the Gospel are not
          lived up to. For God is love, and they that dwell in God, dwell
          in love; and "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother,
          he is a liar," so said the word or God formerly, and it says
          to-day. God is love, and they that dwell in God, dwell in love.
          They are surrounded by that element, it is the fountain of life
          within them. Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, whom he asked to
          give him drink, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst
          again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him
          shall never thirst; but the water I shall give him shall be in
          him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life." If we
          will live so as to be entitled to drink of the well streams that
          flow from the fountain of all light, all these little, narrow,
          contracted, by gone influences, will vanish like the dew before
          the rising sun, and the light, the Spirit and revelations of God,
          will rest upon the priesthood, and Israel will be one and his
          priesthood one, and they will fight side by side in the defence
          of truth, an in the maintenance of those principles calculated to
          exalt men through all time and all eternity.
          These things referred to by Brother Joseph F. are too small for
          men to have anything to do with. It might be excusable in babies,
          but for men to be engaged in such things is a shame upon the
          priesthood, and an outrage upon the holy principles that God has
          been pleased to reveal to us. That is the way I look at these
          things. And it is a trick of the devil to decoy and destroy, to
          divide and disrupt, and to lead men down to perdition. What would
          be the result if these things are carried out a little further?
          The whole head would be sick and the whole heart faint. I say,
          shame on the Elders of Israel! shame on men holding the holy
          priesthood that cannot be united and operate together in the
          interest of the Church and the Kingdom of God, but must drag in
          their mean, low, contemptible ideas and notions, forgetting the
          high calling with which they are called.
          What shall we do? Why, lay them aside and repent of your
          foolishness, and forgive one another of your hard speeches and
          words, and your rash and hard treatment made us of to produce
          stings, trouble and annoyance among men; and study from this time
          henceforth one another's feelings, and act the part of a brother
          and friend one towards another, live your religion and keep the
          commandments of God. How did Jesus teach his disciples to pray?
          When you pray, say, "Our Father which art in heaven." What? I
          must tell a little story here. There was a poor man once called
          upon a minister for assistance; the minister tried to cheat him,
          and would not give him what he had agreed to for some labor
          performed by him; the man was not very well suited about it. The
          minister, it would seem, was one of those fellows who, if he
          could squeeze a little out of the poor man, was quite willing to
          do it. "Well," said the man, "I will take what you offer me,
          although it is not what you agreed to give me, providing you will
          teach me the Lord's prayer." To this the minister agreed and
          said, "Repeat after me and say, 'Our Father which art in
          heaven--'" "What!" says the man, "is God your Father and my
          Father, too?" "You must repeat what I say," said the minister,
          "Our Father," etc. "What," said the man, "my father and your
          Father?" "Yes, yes." "Then," broke in the man again, "is he
          indeed my Father as well as your Father?" "Yes," replied the
          minister, but you must repeat my words." "Well, what a rascal you
          must be to try to cheat your poor brother in this way?" We should
          all feel that God is our Father, and that we are all brethren and
          sisters. There are none of us very big; in fact we are all very
          little when you come to know all about us. None of us can do
          anything except the Lord help us, and if he does not help us, we,
          as a certain lady said, are "all poor, miserable, independent
          sinners." There is none of the "big I and little you" amongst us.
          We should have a common sympathy one for another, and feel a
          kindly regard for the lowest of God's creations, and especially
          for the Saints of God, no matter what position they occupy. If
          any are in error, try to reclaim them by kindness; if they have a
          bad spirit, show them a better one; if any do not do right, do
          right yourselves and say, "Come follow me, as I follow Christ."
          Would not that be the right course to pursue? I think it would;
          that is the way I understand the Gospel. We do not, any of us,
          have the priesthood for self aggrandizement, or to be used to
          oppress, or take advantage of anybody, or to use improper
          language; but with all kindness and long suffering and
          forbearance and with love unfeigned. I will read from the
          Doctrine and Covenants something bearing on this, from page 386.
          "Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are
          they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the
          things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, and they
          do not learn this one lesson--"just the very thing I have been
          talking about--"That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably
          connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of
          heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles
          of righteousness." Do you think that God will give power to any
          man only to carry out his own contracted or selfish purposes? I
          tell you he never will, never, no never. "That they may be
          conferred on us it is true; but when we undertake to cover our
          sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise
          control, or dominion or compulsion, upon the souls of the
          children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold the
          heavens withdraw themselves, the Spirit of the Lord is grieved;
          and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood of that man."
          We think sometimes, we are standing in heavenly places in Christ
          Jesus; and so we are. But there is no priesthood of the Son of
          God that authorizes one man to oppress another or to intrude upon
          his rights in any way. There is no such thing in the category; it
          does not exist; as it is said--"Behold! ere he is aware, he is
          left unto himself, to kick against the pricks; to persecute the
          Saints, and to fight against God." We have learned by sad
          experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all
          men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose,
          they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
          Hence many are called, but few are chosen. No person or influence
          can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only
          by persuasion, by long suffering, by gentleness, and meekness,
          and by love unfeigned, by kindness, and pure knowledge, which
          shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without
          guile, reproving by times with sharpness, when moved upon by the
          Holy Ghost, and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love
          toward him whom thou hast reproved lest he esteem thee to be his
          enemy; that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than
          the cords of death. Let thy bowels also be full of charity
          towards all men," not of envy, not of hate, not of fault-finding,
          but "be full of charity towards all men and to the household of
          faith; and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, then
          shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God, and the
          doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the
          dews from heaven." Then shall you feel the power of the Holy
          Ghost resting upon you and its influence penetrating your soul,
          and then it will grow and spread until its influence extends
          everywhere; and then will men respect, esteem, and venerate you
          for your fidelity and for your adherence to the truth. "The Holy
          Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an
          unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth, and thy dominion
          shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it
          shall flow unto thee forever and ever."
          These are great truths for us to reflect upon. And in connection
          with this I wish to say, we not only need to have confidence in
          men, but we must exhibit that confidence. "Be kindly affectionate
          one to an other with brotherly love; in honor preferring one
          another," not preferring ourselves, but "in honor preferring one
          another." This may be a hard lesson for some to learn, but we
          have got it to learn, or we never shall be fitted to hold any
          important position in carrying out the designs of God, in
          building up His Church and Kingdom on the earth. We want to feel
          a free interchange of that union one with another, not for one
          man to stand up among his fellows as though he were
          unapproachable, and say to others, "Stand off, I am holier than
          thou." Nothing of this kind; but entertain a kindness, a sympathy
          and a desire to promote the happiness and welfare of all men,
          just as God does. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and on
          the good, and he sends his rain on the just and on the unjust.
          There is something I thought I would refer to in order that it
          might be known and properly understood. There is a feeling
          generally entertained that President Young, in his lifetime, got
          possession of a certain square here in Ogden wrongfully. Certain
          things are continually being originated by certain minds, and
          rumors get circulated, and it is too often the case that people
          do not stop to consider as to their truthfulness and in many
          instances conclusions are formed, and I would venture to say that
          in nine cases out of every ten such conclusions are wrong.
          Brother Lorin Farr is present: he was Mayor at the time this land
          in question was transferred to President Young, and is conversant
          with the whole transaction. I will therefore call upon Brother
          Farr to come forward and relate the same fully, yet concisely,
          that you may be apprized of the facts.
          Elder Lorin Farr then made the following statement:
          President Young spoke to me, as Mayor, either once or twice--I
          think it was twice--wishing to know if Ogden City would let him
          have the "Union Square" for the purpose of making a Utah Central
          Railroad Passenger Depot, saying that if he could obtain it for
          this purpose he would also make of it an ornamental square,
          suitable for a summer resort; which I believe he fully
          contemplated doing, and would have done, or have made the
          necessary provisions for it to be done, had he known he was so
          soon to leave us. I have no doubt in my mind but what he intended
          to make a very nice public resort of it, and believing so, I laid
          the matter before the City Council, informing that body that
          President Young had a claim on this city which arose in this way:
          when he located Ogden City, between the forks of the two rivers,
          there was then a very desirable farm here which was owned by
          Father Bingham, containing 160 acres more or less. The President
          intimated to Father Bingham his design of locating a city
          hereabouts, and that he knew of no situation so good and suitable
          as that commanded by his farm and proposed to purchase his farm
          for that purpose. Father Bingham consented to the proposition,
          the purchase was affected, President Young paying for the land
          out of his own pocket, and turned it over to the city. I
          supposed, as one of the members of the City Council, that that
          piece of land belonged to the city and belonged to the Church, as
          President Young belonged to the Church. I thought so, and we all
          thought so, and there was no thought given to it. It passed along
          for about twenty years in that way. It is true, I sent down to
          President Young at one time the sum of sixty dollars of City
          money to apply on the interest then due on the money he advanced
          for the purchase of the land,--the money we sent to him was the
          proceeds of City lots which we sold at five dollars each, which
          about paid the expense of surveying and recording, leaving a
          small part of pay for President Young. It was understood that he
          was to have his pay sometime. I think I sent down a small amount
          of money another time, but the amount I do not now remember. I
          laid this matter before the City Council, stating to that body
          how President Young looked at it, and I told them I thought it
          quite right and proper that President Young should have his pay,
          but that I disliked very much to give up the square; but, I said,
          seeing that President Young intended to make of it an ornamental
          square, I would consent; without the other consideration I was in
          favor of sending a committee to wait on President Young to
          ascertain how much he paid for the land previously owned by
          Father Bingham, and refund him the money with ten per cent
          interest. I requested the Council to appoint such a committee;
          but some differed from me, while a few, I believe, favored my
          suggestion. We agreed, however, seeing that President Young had
          advanced the means to buy the location of our city, and actually
          purchased and possessed it, which probably no other man but he
          could have done, and that he had requested the City to deed him
          the square in payment of his claim, and that he had proposed to
          beautify it for the benefit of the public, we concluded to deed
          him the square; and when the time of filing the land came, which
          was shortly afterwards, President Young filed upon the square and
          got his deed for it. 
          I will here take occasion to remark that when I gave this
          explanation at our Caucus meeting lately held in Ogden, that a
          gentleman, an editor from the East, afterwards spoke to me about
          it, and in telling you what he thought about the matter will
          illustrate my feelings in regard to it. He said--that is before
          this land jumping--I think that you did nothing more than right,
          I think President Young has done enough for this people, and he
          richly deserved that square, and you would not have exceeded
          fairness to have given him more than that ten acres for the 160
          acres which you say he purchased and turned over to the city for
          city purposes.
          President Taylor then resumed, the stand. Some people will say
          "Oh, don't talk about it." I think a full, free talk is
          frequently of great use; we want nothing secret nor underhanded,
          and for one I want no association with things that cannot be
          talked about and will not bear investigation. I wanted to hear
          Brother Farr's statement about this affair, and I wanted you to
          hear it, because out of such things, unless properly understood,
          a great many misunderstandings arise. I have heard it stated that
          President Young had exacted too much in getting possession of
          this ten acre square; I wonder now if any of you speculating men
          had owned this 160 acres of land in this locality if you would
          have been satisfied to take ten acres of this swampy land for it?
          There is no decent man anywhere that would object to anything of
          that kind, neither Jew, Gentile, or Mormon, and such
          unpleasantness frequently arises from a miscomprehension of
          affairs. Had President Young, because he was President of the
          Church, no right to have pay for that which belonged to him? And
          if he furnished 160 acres of land and got sixty dollars for it, I
          think nobody was injured very seriously in giving him ten acres
          in lieu of it. Some of you would have thought your toes were
          trodden on pretty heavily had you been required to trade on any
          such terms. I herd a man say not long ago, when something
          perplexing occurred, he did not know what excuse to make about
          it. I said to him, a right needs no excuse, and an excuse will
          not make a wrong right. We want facts, and when we get them let
          us appreciate them, and lay aside our nonsense which so
          frequently arises from our misconception of things.
          There is another thing I wish to refer to pertaining to your
          local officers. I have heard it said that the City Council was in
          trouble about the land on which the Tabernacle stands, because it
          was thought the Church would get the benefit of it. Why? Because
          they have occupied it so long. Who for? For the Church generally?
          No; but for the local church in this place. The Church, as a
          Church, has bought a part of that square above referred to, and
          has paid the estate for it. Brother Joseph F. Smith and Brother
          F. Richards here are cognizant of the fact, as auditors. I refer
          to the land where our Tithing Office stands; but this other
          matter is something that pertains to yourselves and not to the
          Church. You have had this for upwards of twenty years. (Brother
          Joseph F., addressing himself to President Taylor, said: "This
          place was designated by President Young, when the city was first
          laid out, as a place to build a meeting house.") I am informed
          that this place was designated by President Young, when the city
          was laid out, as a place for church purposes. (A voice from the
          stand--"That's correct, and Brother D. H. Wells carried the flag
          when it was surveyed.") Brother Herrick testifies to its
          correctness. (Brother Wells said, "I am also conversant with the
          fact; I carried the flag-pole when this square was laid out."
          Brother Wells also bears testimony to the same thing, he carried
          the flag-pole when the Square was surveyed. I want these matters
          understood, open and above board; we have nothing to conceal from
          anybody. But there was some inattention manifested by your local
          authorities--for the general authorities of the Church have
          nothing to do with it; this place through neglect, was not
          entered at the time the city entries were made, and because of
          this technicality some of the City Councilors seemed to object to
          the Church having two-and-half acres of the ten acres, which was
          all they asked for, and that, too, on behalf of the citizens of
          Ogden, by paying for it what it had cost the city, the same as
          they have done with private individuals, I believe as provided by
          law. But somebody seems to think that somebody is injured. Who is
          injured? If the Church had ten acres and only desires
          two-and-half acres, or if they desired the whole of it, I don't
          think it any great stretch of liberality of anybody, and I do not
          see why any one should be at all exercised about it. They will
          say, What will the Gentiles say? No honorable Gentile would say
          it is wrong, or take any exception to it, and as for those who
          are not so, we do not care anything at all about them. That is my
          idea. Somebody said the City Council had given two-and-half acres
          to some outside religious sect. Well, if they had it to spare,
          who cares? We do not want to be pinched up in a nutshell. But
          then, I think the Latter-day Saints have just as much right to
          lands surveyed and owned by them upwards of twenty years ago, as
          the Gentiles to receive a free gift. I do not know why this kind
          of feeling should exist, and therefore I speak of it. We are all
          one, or ought to be; and therefore I speak of these things as
          they have been presented to me. Is there anything wrong in that?
          Again, here the Seventies, I understand, have given a large hall
          over to the city. Anything wrong in that? No, not if they felt
          able to do so. I would not think it very good policy, however, to
          give such a hall away and then be left without any place to meet
          in. But then it belonged to them and they have done it, and who
          cares? I don't. But if the city has got things of that kind from
          the Seventies, if they have done an act of that kind, why not the
          city turn around and be a little generous? Can't the city be as
          generous and kind? Who are the city? I suppose you are, along
          with a few outsiders. Brother Richards mentioned to me, as
          Trustee-in-Trust, that there were five acres of land here,
          joining the schoolhouse, in the lane, saying, "We would like to
          get it, for we wish to use it for the purposes of a high school
          or academy." I said, "I will mention it to the brethren of the
          Council." We have since turned it over. Whose business is it? The
          city is not injured, and the Church is not. I mention these
          things that we may have a proper understanding of them, and not
          be found talking about things we do not understand. I fee very
          liberal towards the liberal class of Gentiles; but do I feel
          liberal in any feelings to every miserable "unprincipled man?"
          No. But to the good, and virtuous, and upright everywhere.
          What was our message to the world? Salvation. What was the
          promise to Abraham? "In thee and in thy seed shall all the
          nations of the earth be blessed," not cursed. The priesthood of
          God was not given to curse men or destroy them, but to bless
          Again, we are told to go and preach the Gospel to every creature;
          and there is a great deal of pains being taken to do this. What
          is it? The Gospel of life and salvation. Is it free to all? Yes,
          free as the streams that pass your city, and all are invited.
          Some do not like it. What of that? We cannot help that; we are
          going to perform the work that God has set us at, and we will
          treat all men right. When they come here, as strangers in our
          midst, will we treat all men right. When they come here, as
          strangers in our midst, will we treat them right? Yes. Do they
          treat us right? Not quite. Will we be liberal and generous and
          kind? Yes; I would give to every man of whatever name, or creed,
          or color, all his rights without his ever asking for them; we
          need no plot, or intrigue, or anything of that kind. We expect to
          build up and establish the kingdom of God, that will contain in
          it, admiration, protection of the virtuous and good among all
          nations. The time will yet come when he that will not take up his
          sword to fight against his neighbor, must needs flee to Zion for
          safety. All those who are not fond of blood and carnage and
          desolation, if they want to be preserved will flee to Zion. Have
          we not got to have a Zion for them to flee to? Yes. And what is
          Zion? The pure in heart. We want to organize in such a way, and
          advocate and maintain such correct principles, that they will
          become the admiration of all honest men, who will flee that they
          can be protected and find safety and an asylum in Zion. What of
          that? Are we going to follow them then? No, no, no, we are not.
          Are we going to be governed by their notions? No, we are not. Are
          we going to mix up with their Babylonish ideas? No, we are not;
          we are going in for Israel and for the Church and kingdom of God,
          but we will protect every man in his rights so far as God gives
          us power to do so, but we will not mix up with their iniquities,
          their frauds and corruptions, that they are seeking in many
          instances to crowd in upon us; we want to be free from these
          evils, and put our trust in the living God and cleave to the
          right and the truth. If a man is a good man, won't I treat him
          right? Yes; but at the same time, our moral and social ideas are
          very different, and while I accord to them all the civil
          liberties that any reasonable men should want, I do not wish to
          be governed by his standard of morality, nor do I wish him to
          teach my children. Why? Simply because I do not wish them
          perverted. No Gentile or reasonable man would find fault with me
          for that. He does not want me to teach his children my faith. All
          right, he can keep them away, and I want to keep mine from his
          influences. Why? Because we are associated with things that are
          eternal in their consequences. We are aiming at the celestial
          glory. We believe they will get as big a glory as they are
          looking for, but it will not be that which we anticipate;
          therefore we don't want them to train our children and lead them
          down to death. We want to manage these things ourselves, but
          injure nobody. Is anybody injured by it? No. "I cannot see as you
          see," say some. All right, we cannot help that. Would I find
          fault with the City Council because they give a burying ground to
          some who prefer to have their dead by themselves? No, not if you
          have it to spare; but on the other hand, don't let us shut out
          our own people and our own interests, but maintain every right
          wisely, to the building up of the kingdom of God. We will be as
          generous as the world dare to be; and we expect the principles of
          the everlasting Gospel will go on and increase until the kingdoms
          of this world become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ.
          I say to those men who may have any differences, settle them like
          men and don't act the baby any more, but conduct yourselves as
          servants of the Most High God. And may he enable you to do so and
          bless us all and lead us in the paths of life, is my prayer in
          the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 20 / George
          Q. Cannon, July 20th, 1879
                          George Q. Cannon, July 20th, 1879
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         on Sunday Morning, July 20th, 1879.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          I am greatly pleased this afternoon at having the opportunity of
          meeting with the Latter-day Saints, and of listening to the
          testimonies that have been borne by Brother Staines in relation
          to this work. I, also, have been absent for some length of time.
          Upwards of 34 weeks ago I left this city to go east; I have been
          back twice during that period for a few days, and it is a great
          pleasure and I may say a delight to me to have the opportunity of
          being here to listen to the instructions, to the singing, and to
          partake of the Spirit that prevails in this Tabernacle; to me it
          is the spirit of home, it is the spirit of peace, and I have more
          delight and satisfaction in mingling with the Latter-day Saints
          than I have under any other circumstances. They are my people.
          Their religion is my religion. Their God is my God. Their future
          is the future in which I hope to share. If they be prosperous I
          hope to be prosperous. If they have adverse circumstances to
          contend with I expect to share in them; and it is this knowledge
          of which Brother Staines has spoken that prompts these feelings
          to which I refer.
          If there is any peculiarity about what the world calls Mormonism,
          or that which we term the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as
          taught by his Church, that I admire, that I love, that causes me
          to feel thankful unto God; it is the peculiarity which reference
          has been made by Brother Staines, namely, that William C.
          Staines, or George Q. Cannon, or any other man or woman however
          humble, who is connected with this Church, has a right, according
          to the promises of our heavenly Father, to receive revelation
          from him when needed. I would not give much for a religion, the
          revelations of which were confined to two, three, four, or
          perchance twelve men. It would not recommend itself as the
          religion of that Being who is the Father of all, who has created
          all, and who has placed us all here upon the earth as his
          children. This feature to which I refer is one of the most
          delightful characteristics of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus
          Christ. Brother Staines has referred to the Prophets Joseph Smith
          and Brigham Young, and to others who have stood in prominent
          places in this Church, who have received revelations from God;
          and who imparted these revelations to the people. Of what value,
          of what special value, would these revelations be to those to
          whom they were imparted through the medium of these men, unless
          they had some means of testing their truthfulness? What a
          terrible condition we should be in if God, in his providence,
          were to confine his knowledge in that way--if we were required,
          as some imagine mankind are required, to submit to the teachings
          of their fellow-men and to accept and practise them because those
          men say they are from God! Imagine the condition of the
          Latter-day Saints if this were the case! Imagine the condition of
          the whole world if one man stood prominent, or three men, or
          twelve men, or fifteen men, stood prominent, receiving
          revelations from divinity and conveying these revelations to the
          children of men, with the requirement that those who received
          them should submit to them as the voice of God, and the people
          themselves be destitute of any means of testing the truthfulness
          of these revelations, except so far as they might appeal to their
          reason and to the sense of right that is begotten in them! Now, a
          great many people who are not acquainted with the Church of Jesus
          Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the teachings of that
          Church--and I do not know but some who are members of that
          Church--imagine that this is the nature of the organization of
          the Church of Christ, and that this is the manner in which
          knowledge is conveyed to the people, and in which the
          requirements of the people are submitted to by the people. Why
          this Church could not stand, could not have endured the trials
          and afflictions and the opposition to which it has been exposed,
          one hour if that were the case. It would fall to pieces, there
          would be no power, no cohesive power, to hold it together. The
          strength, the power, the cause of the perpetuity of this work,
          the marvelous character of its operations throughout the nations
          of the earth, the wonderful attractiveness of this Gospel, the
          secret of its great success in foreign land, preached by
          illiterate men, consists in the fact that God the Eternal father,
          reveals his mind unto every honest soul who humbly seeks for it.
          Not to one man, not to three men, not to apostles, not to
          bishops, not to high priests, not to seventies, not to elders
          alone, but to every humble soul who in sincerity, and with a
          broken heart and contrite spirit, bows himself or herself in
          secret before the throne of the great Eternal, and in humility
          asks, in the name of Jesus, for a knowledge to be imparted to him
          or to her whether it is the truth he or she has heard. This is
          the secret of the success of this work. This is the cause of its
          wonderful power and the attractiveness it has for the hearts of
          the children of men. This is the reason that illiterate men,
          going forth bearing testimony of these things, have been so
          successful throughout all the nations of the earth where they
          have been, and it is this that draws them, as we have been told
          this afternoon by Brother Staines, by thousands from foreign
          lands and causes them to come to this land and to assimilate with
          those already here; until we have in this Territory of ours,
          throughout these valleys running north and south, east and west,
          a people unexampled, and, in many respects, unlike every other
          people that we know anything about. Why, in this last company,
          which came in a few days ago, the members of it spoke some seven
          languages. I remember a company of Saints leaving Liverpool while
          I was there, the members of which spoke nine different languages.
          They were Latter-day Saints gathering up from various lands, some
          from Switzerland, from France, from Great Britain, and from the
          various nations of Europe, all coming together, singing the songs
          of Zion in their own languages, bearing testimony that God had
          revealed to them in their own language the truth of this, the
          everlasting Gospel. With such a spirit they come to these
          mountains, they scatter among the people already here, they
          become homogeneous. We have here a oneness of feeling and
          purpose, a oneness of spirit, and a oneness of sentiment and of
          heart, that you may look for in vain elsewhere throughout the
          whole earth. I sometimes think we overlook those great and
          glorious blessings that God has given to us. We overlook too
          frequently the spirit of oneness that has been poured out upon
          this people. Men ask for a sign; they say, "Where are the
          evidences of the divinity of the work you believe in? You say
          that you preach the Gospel of Jesus; you say that you are the
          people of God." Why, could there be any greater evidence given of
          the divine character of this mission than is witnessed in the
          effects of this Gospel upon the people who embrace it? We are led
          to expect that heaven is a place of unity, a place of love; that
          there is no quarreling, no litigation, no strife in heaven; no
          man warring against his fellow-men, no man exalting his creed and
          his ideas as superior to the creed and the ideas of his neighbor;
          all dwelling in peace and in love. That is the idea of heaven
          that has been taught to us in the Bible? Anything else would not
          be heaven; any other kind of place could not be heaven. Is it not
          reasonable to suppose, then, that if the spirit of heaven rests
          down upon a people, that they will be united, that they will love
          one another, will die for one another, if necessary? Why,
          certainly. If I were to start out to-day in search of the Church
          of Jesus Christ, if I did not know of its existence upon the
          earth, I would expect to find a people united together, a people
          who loved one another, and who brought forth the fruits of the
          Gospel of Jesus as he taught it. I would expect to find a people
          who gave an exhibition in their lives of those heavenly truths
          taught by Jesus when he was upon the earth. And until I found
          such a people I would despair of finding the Church of Christ.
          Men might perform miracles before me, and say a great many
          wonderful things unto me, but unless I could find a people with
          the love of Christ in their bosoms, united together as the heart
          of one man, a people who loved one another, I do not think I
          could, with the knowledge I have, recognize them as the people of
          Christ, or as the people of the Church of Christ. For the
          evidences that they were that Church it would not be in
          profession alone I would seek. It would not be in their Sunday
          service alone. It would not be in the sermons that were preached
          in their tabernacles, or meeting houses, or churches alone. It
          would not be in any of these things alone that I would seek, but
          it would be in the fruits of the Gospel as I found them exhibited
          in their daily life, in their conversation, in their
          associations, one with another. If I found a quarrelsome people,
          if I found a people fighting one with another for their rights,
          if I found a people taking up weapons of war against each other,
          no matter by what name they were called, no matter how
          high-sounding their professions, I would say, these cannot be the
          people of Christ; these are not the fruits which the Gospel of
          the Lord Jesus Christ brings forth. But if I found a people who
          were humble, meek, lowly, willing to endure wrong rather than do
          wrong; if I found a people persecuted for righteousness sake; if
          I found a people of whom all men spoke evil, though their lives
          were not evil, though their conduct was humble and pure and they
          were disposed to love one another and dwell together in peace, I
          would begin to say, here are some of the signs, some of the
          fruits of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I must stop here. I must
          examine into this matter. I must look after these people, and see
          whether they are the people of whom I am in search. If I were to
          come into this valley of Salt Lake and find a people professing
          to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
          were I trust to report I would be inclined to say they cannot be
          the people they profess to be. Why? Because all manner of evil is
          spoken against them. Is there any crime in the black catalogue of
          crime of which they have not been accused? Is there any evil
          which people can perpetrate with which they have not been charged
          and declared guilty? If I were to be disheartened by reports, I
          need only stop in Salt Lake City, or in Utah Territory, to have
          that feeling; but if I remembered that those in Christ Jesus are
          sure to suffer persecution, and that "if they have called the
          Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them
          of his household?"--I might, if I bore that fact in mind, stop
          and examine further. If I looked around me and inquired
          concerning the Latter-day Saints, I would probably find that they
          did not drink liquor, did not get drunk; I would probably find
          they did not take the name of the Lord in vain, did not go to law
          one with another, but were averse to it, and were in favor of
          promoting peace, and that because of this they offended lawyers,
          judges and others. If I were to look at the material aspects of
          the city, I would find a beautiful city, laid out and planned
          with wisdom, laid out by somebody who knew something of life and
          what was proper for society. If I made further inquiry I would
          learn that a few years ago, before the advent of so-called
          civilization in the midst of the Latter-day Saints, that from the
          Idaho line in the North to the Arizona line in the South, there
          were no liquor saloons, no drunkenness, and profanity was
          punished; but in every settlement and in every house, throughout
          the length and breadth of the land, prayers ascending morning and
          night to the God of heaven, on behalf of themselves and their
          children, and on behalf of the honest in heart throughout all the
          nations of the earth. If I happened to be there when a company
          came in, and in mingling with that company asked what brought
          them to this land, I would be told in Norwegian, in Swedish, in
          Danish, in German, in Italian, in Welsh, in English, in Polish,
          in Dutch, in French, that each of these men and women had obeyed
          the Gospel as it was taught to them by the Elders who had been
          sent to them, and that in answer to prayer they had received a
          testimony from the Almighty for themselves that they knew this
          was the Gospel of Christ, that they were commanded of God to
          gather out from the various nations, and that in response to that
          commandment they had come out and were here. These would be the
          things that would be told to me. If I were to inquire among them
          respecting other matters, I would find that they believed in this
          book (the Bible) in its entirety, not a part, not in isolated
          parts of this book, some parts of this book, some parts separated
          from the rest, but in its entirety, in its doctrinal parts. I
          would find that they believed that God was the same to-day as he
          was yesterday, that he is a God of revelation, a God of truth, a
          God who could hear and answer prayer. I would find that they
          believed in the organization of the Church apostles, prophets,
          teachers, etc. I would find further that they were contending, as
          James commanded the Saints to do in his day, earnestly for the
          faith once delivered to the Saints, a faith by which the mighty
          works concerning which Paul speaks in the 11th chapter of his
          epistle to the Hebrews were accomplished. I would find that they
          were contending for this faith, that they believed in the signs
          following them that believe; that they were contending for them,
          contending for that faith; and teaching their children to
          exercise it to the greatest possible extent. Now, where else upon
          the face of the earth could I find a community teaching and
          practising these things! I have been, in my time, a somewhat
          extensive traveler. I have mingled with a great many people, in a
          good many lands, and I confess to you today, I have never seen a
          people who answered this description, except the Latter-day
          Saints. I do not say this out of vanity, or by way of boasting,
          because this Gospel is intended for every person, not only for
          those who are Latter-day Saints to-day, but for every honest man
          and woman throughout the face of the whole earth. This Gospel of
          the kingdom has to be preached to all nations, and then will the
          end come. It is not, therefore, with any feeling of pride because
          of these being the doctrines believed in and practised by the
          Latter-day Saints that I allude to them in this manner, but
          because God, in his infinite mercy, has revealed the Gospel to
          the inhabitants of the earth, because it is taught again by
          divine authority. How could you account for it in any other way?
          Tell me, if there be philosophers or wise men here. Men say it is
          delusion, men say it is imposture, men say that the building up
          of this system is the result of fraud. Most extraordinary results
          of fraud, if this be fraud! Men going out without purse or scrip,
          as in ancient days, and preaching the everlasting Gospel,
          baptizing people, and the spirit of unity and love resting down
          upon them, accompanied by the Spirit of God, which testifies, as
          we have heard this afternoon from Brother Staines, as it had
          testified to him, that this is the Church of Christ, that this is
          the Gospel of Jesus which they have embraced. People may think,
          people may talk about the delusion of the Latter-day Saints. Why,
          to believe that these results which we see are the product of
          fraud, or imposture, would require far more credulity than faith
          to believe them to be from God. Where is there a peculiarity of
          the ancient Church that is not possessed to-day by the Latter-day
          Saints? Can one be mentioned? Can a doctrine or a principle be
          mentioned that was contended for in the ancient Church, that is
          not contended for and sought after to-day by the Latter-day
          Saints? Where they persecuted? Then it is quite certain we can
          claim a blessing, if it so be that persecution brings blessings.
          Were their names cast out as evil? Then we can claim with them
          the same results, if blessings attend any such thing. "Oh, but,"
          says one, "they were good people, the Apostles in ancient days
          were good people, but you Mormons are a very wicked people." Why,
          do you imagine that if they had considered Jesus a very goodman,
          a very holy being they would have crucified him between two
          thieves? No. The populace, when Pilate wanted to have him
          forgiven because of the feast of the passover, cried out: "No;
          release to us Barabbas, the murderer, the vile person. Let him be
          released, but crucify the Christ; let his blood be upon us and
          our children." They were willing to risk the consequences,
          because they believed him to be a vile impostor. Do you think
          that Peter and Paul, one of whom was beheaded, and the other of
          whom was crucified with his head downward--do you imagine that in
          killing them the Romans thought they were killing good, innocent,
          pure men? Certainly not. They were hated just as much as we are
          hated. Of course they thought they were doing God service, as
          many think they are doing God service to-day in persecuting the
          Latter-day Saints. They thought they were doing the world some
          good by ridding the earth of such impostors as Peter and Paul.
          Their eyes were blinded to their goodness and to their virtues.
          Such things were hidden from their sight. They could only say
          they were deluders of the people, that they led people astray,
          and as impostors were worthy of death. And so it is throughout
          this Territory. The virtues of the Latter-day Saints are not
          perceived. Our temperance, our frugality, our perseverance, our
          industry, our union, and all the qualities that have made this
          wilderness blossom until it is the admiration of every visitor,
          the joy of every traveler--all these things are obscured, and
          with many people lost sight of, before the idea, imagined by very
          many, that Brother Brigham was a vile impostor, that all those
          who have been associated with him are no better, and that it
          would be doing God service to destroy them from the face of the
          earth, that the people who are deluded by them might be free from
          the influence which they wield over them. Oh, generation of
          blind--I was going to say fools, but shall I use such a phrase?
          But is there not evidence sufficient before the eyes of this
          generation of what has been done in the pst, in the persecution
          of righteous and holy men, in the killing of them, in the
          shedding of their blood, that men cannot learn that there is such
          a thing as a man being a good man, a virtuous man, a pure man,
          and yet be maligned by the enemies of purity and virtue, as in
          the days of Christ? This generation will have a great deal to
          answer for in consequence of this thing. As Latter-day Saints, we
          have been accused of every crime. It has been told of us that we
          were ready to commit murder at any time, in order to serve our
          own ends, that we were ready to shed the blood of the innocent,
          and that this feeling to destroy life existed among us, when at
          the same time, throughout these wild mountains and secluded
          valleys life has been more safe, property more secure, than in
          the streets of the best managed cities in the Union. There never
          has been a day since we came beyond these mountains that
          travelers could not pass from the North to the