Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21
                               Journal of Discourses,
                                      Volume 21
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Taylor, August 31st, 1879
                           John Taylor, August 31st, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR.
             Delivered at Logan, on Sunday afternoon, August 31st, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          If the congregation will try to be quiet I will endeavor to talk
          to them a little in my way.
          It is some time since I met with the Saints in this place, not
          because I was not desirous to come but because circumstances have
          controlled and prevented me. We come here, now, more particularly
          to attend to a little affair associated with your Temple. There
          seems to have been a little misunderstanding about its
          construction, and as we have a Temple Committee and architects
          for the Church, we thought it best to have the brethren composing
          this committee and the architects, present, that we might confer
          with them, so that everything pertaining to this building might
          be done properly according to order and correct principles.
          Elder Truman O. Angell was sustained at the General Conference as
          Architect of the Church, and William H. Folsom and Truman O.
          Angell Jr., as his assistants, and were therefore the proper
          persons to consult, in the adjustment of any matters that might
          be in question.
          I speak of this as one of those things in connection with the
          holy priesthood, and with the building of this sacred edifice
          that we are erecting to the name of the Lord. We found that a
          slight change had been made from the original plan, which however
          is not material, and there will no difficulty arise therefrom. I
          thought I would mention this because people generally like to
          understand things as they exit. It is much better to tell things
          right out as they are than to hear of whisperings about this and
          the other thing, which in many instances are incorrect.
          We are pleased to find the progress you are making in the
          erection of this temple, the energy and zeal that are being
          displayed and the liberality that has been manifested by the
          people of this temple district. 
          We are engaged, as has been mentioned by Brother Snow, in a great
          work; in the work that prophets and seers have gazed upon and
          prophesied of, namely the gathering together of the Lord's elect,
          the building of temples for the redemption of the living and the
          dead; in the establishment of the kingdom of our God. These
          things have been more or less understood according to the power
          of the spirit and the light of revelation that has rested upon
          his prophets ever since the world began. It is difficult, as has
          been remarked, for us sometimes to realize the position we
          occupy--the relation we sustain to our heavenly Father--the
          responsibility that rests upon us and the various duties we have
          to perform in the fulfillment of the purposes of God; in the
          interest of a world lying in wickedness; in the building up of
          the Zion of our God, in the establishment of righteousness and in
          bringing to pass those great and glorious principles which have
          been contemplated by the Almighty "before the world rolled into
          existence or the morning stars sang together for joy." It is our
          lot to be placed upon the earth in this time. It is our lot to
          have our minds enlightened by the Spirit, intelligence and
          revelation that flows from God. It is our lot to operate and
          co-operate with God our heavenly Father,--and with his Son Jesus
          Christ,--and with the ancient patriarchs, apostles and men of God
          who have lived before; and while they are operating behind the
          vail in the interests of humanity in the fulfilment of the
          purposes of God and in the establishment of righteousness upon
          the earth, we are here to operate with them, that we and they may
          act conjointly under the influence and guidance of the Almighty
          and the power and Spirit of the living God, in carrying out the
          designs of the great Jehovah. This is what we are here for. And
          it is necessary that we should comprehend our position; for in
          the performance of our duties associated with this work it is not
          as some people seem to suppose. We have got something else to do
          besides folding our arms and crying "Lullaby baby on the tree
          top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock." We have something
          to do besides "sitting and singing ourselves away to everlasting
          bliss." It is our duty--and God expects it of us, that we should
          seek unto him for wisdom, for guidance, for revelation and for a
          knowledge of his law, that we may be filled with the Holy Ghost
          and the power of God and that we may be enabled to magnify our
          calling and priesthood and accomplish that work which God has
          designed from before the foundation of the world. It is in
          reality a labor. We have gone forth, as many have gone forth to
          preach the Gospel of life and salvation to a fallen world. We
          have gathered in "one of a city and two of a family;" we have
          combated the errors of ages and inveighed against the wickedness,
          corruptions and stratagems of wicked and ungodly men, who have
          opposed us on every hand; and we have, with the help of the Lord,
          succeeded in gathering out many of the honest in heart from among
          the different nations of the earth. And we have come here to
          carry out the will, purposes and designs of God. I never supposed
          that we were to come here to get rich, to increase in worldly
          possessions; but we came as I understand it in accordance with an
          express command of the Most High, that we may be taught in the
          knowledge of God, that we might come to an understanding of his
          laws. We are not here to follow the devices and desires of our
          own hearts; we are not here to carry out any particular theory of
          our own; we are not here to build up any system of man's
          creation; but we are here simply to do the will of God in the
          establishment of his kingdom on the earth. In many things however
          we have not lived up to that high and glorious privilege which
          has been presented to us; we have been careless and indifferent,
          and it seems as though Satan has been permitted to try and tempt
          us in every possible way. For a few years past a spirit of greed
          and covetousness has run through the land and cursed as with a
          withering blight every thing it has touched. It is as bad in its
          effects upon the mind of man as any pestilence or plague upon the
          human body. We have begun to run after the things of the world;
          our hearts, feelings and affections, in many instances, have been
          estranged from God. It is time that something should transpire to
          wake us up to a sense of the position we occupy; it is time we
          realized how God and angels look upon men who are absorbed in the
          things of this world instead of living up to their professions
          and the covenants they have made with him.
          We have many of us however been doing a good work notwithstanding
          these grievous evils. It is true it is not always smooth sailing.
          Sometimes we seem when a little difficulty comes along to be
          struck with amazement, as though something very extraordinary had
          happened. There is nothing very strange about these things. "What
          are you doing? What is the position of affairs? What are you
          going to do? etc." Those words express the kind of feelings that
          actuate the minds of the Latter-day Saints. There has been a war
          ever since the commencement of the world to the present time
          between the powers of light and the powers of darkness. Adam, we
          are told, had two sons. One was a covetous man, a wicked man who
          did not fear God; the other was a righteous man who feared God.
          The wicked son, who was instigated of the devil, said, I will
          kill my brother and then I will have his possessions. He did so
          and it seems that this kind of feeling existed until in a short
          time that influence had so prevailed that wickedness and
          corruption made such rapid strides that the world had to be swept
          as with a besom of destruction, and only a very few men were
          left. And then it seemed necessary that the same spirit and the
          same power should continue; and hence a part of this Canaanish
          seed came through the flood. Why? That there might still be the
          two powers--the power of light and the power of darkness; the
          power of God and the power of the devil--that the struggle and
          warfare among men might still go on, so that man might be made
          perfect through suffering. Hence the servants of God in the
          different ages of the world have had to combat with the powers of
          darkness. John the Revelator speaks of a great company of people
          whom he saw arrayed in white, singing a new song. And on his
          inquiring as to who they were, he was told that they were they
          that had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of
          the Lamb. They were they that had come up through much
          tribulation, therefore they were next the throne. It is in
          consonance with the fore-ordained plan of the Almighty that a man
          should pass through certain trials and difficulties, and be
          tested in every possible way, in order to be prepared for an
          exaltation in the kingdom of God. It was so with Job. He was
          peculiarly situated. It seems that the devil appeared among the
          sons of God in heaven, as he does on earth very frequently. When
          the sons of God were assembled together, the devil was among
          them, and he went, as it appears, to instigate a feeling against
          Job. The Lord said to him, "Hast thou considered my servant Job?"
          "Yes," said he, "I have considered him." The Lord said that Job
          was a perfect and an upright man, etc. "Oh, yes," said he, "I
          know all about him. You think that Job is a very good man; but
          just let me have a rap at him, and I will show what Job will do."
          "Well," says the Lord, "you may try him." He went to work and
          concentrated the lightning in one focus and hurled a thunderbolt
          against his oldest son's house, where all his children were
          feasting, and destroyed them. No sooner had the messenger
          reported the result of this catastrophe to Job than the news came
          that a certain people--I was going to say "Christians"--had
          fallen upon his oxen and asses and killed his servants. They
          called them in those days Sabeans and Chaldeans and Hittites, I
          think; we call them now-a-days Baptists, Presbyterians,
          Methodists, etc. They called things by different names in
          different ages, but they are the same class of people. They went
          after his camels, his asses, his goats and all his property that
          they could lay their hands on, leaving him helpless and
          destitute--and he was, it is said, the richest man of the East.
          Job, in looking at his changes situation, summed the whole thing
          up in these few words: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and
          naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave and the Lord hath
          taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." 
          Well, the devil did not succeed that time; but like the lawyers
          who are after the executors, however, I suppose he thought he
          would take another shoot--serve some fresh papers. He presented
          himself before the Lord the second time. And addressing him the
          Lord said, "Well, what do you think about Job now?" He said his
          efforts had not succeeded very well as yet; but "skin for skin,
          all that a man hath will he give for his life; let me lay my hand
          upon his body and he will curse thee to thy face." "Well, I put
          him into your hands, but do not interfere with his life." The
          devil then let loose something like small-pox upon him--only it
          was called by a different name in those days--covering him with
          boils from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, and he
          scraped himself with a potsherd wallowing in ashes. And while he
          was in this condition some of his friends came along for the
          purpose of sympathizing with him; and after offering a great deal
          of advice, they came to the conclusion that Job must have been a
          very wicked man, or such a calamity never could have come upon
          him. And then, to cap the climax, his wife came along, and in her
          way says, Job, you are a fool for putting up with all this; you
          have suffered enough, and were I you I would not stand it any
          longer. I would curse God and die like a man. Job replied, "You
          talk like one of the foolish women of old. Have we not received
          good at the hands of the Lord, and shall we not also receive
          evil? The Lord gave and the Lord taketh away, and blessed be the
          name of the Lord." And then he looked around and saw his
          desolation, stripped of his children and possessions, sick and
          weary, deserted by friends, laughed at by enemies and upbraided
          by his wife, afflicted with a loathsome disease, lonely, deserted
          and desolate, he cried out, "Though he slay me yet will I trust
          in him. The lightning may destroy my offspring, the Sabeans and
          Chaldeans may rob me of my possessions, and Satan may be
          permitted to lay his hand upon me and smite with this loathsome
          disease, and although I may be clothed in sackcloth and have to
          wallow in ashes, and go down into the grave, and worms prey upon
          this body and crawl and revel in my brain, yet in my flesh shall
          I see God; I shall see him for myself, and not for another."
          Inspired by the spirit of revelation and the power and light of
          the Holy Ghost, he could say, I know in whom I have believed; and
          although I do not know--and it matters not--where I may go, or
          where my resting place may be, yet I shall stand in the latter
          day upon the earth, and shall behold my Redeemer, whom I shall
          see for myself and not for another. This is the kind of religion
          he had. But we think it very strange sometimes that we should
          have a little bother; we think we ought to go along peaceably,
          having nothing to disturb our equanimity, that everything should
          move smoothly and pleasantly along until we reach the celestial
          abode of the Father, to associate with the gods. Some of us would
          make curious gods, if such were to be our lot; but we may rest
          satisfied that such will not be our lot. The Lord does not do
          things in that kind of a way.
          When we were traveling abroad preaching to the world, among other
          things we predicted was that the world would grow worse and
          worse, deceiving and being deceived. Thousands of our Elders have
          preached among the nations to the effect that God was having a
          controversy with them; that he would arise and shake terribly the
          earth and vex the nations sorely. Many of you Elders before me
          to-day have proclaimed these things; and you have told the people
          that empires would be cast down and the kingdoms overthrown and
          the nations wasted away, but that the work and purposes of God
          would grow and increase until the kingdoms of this world should
          become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ. Are you
          astonished, then, that these things should begin to be fulfilled?
          Quite a favorite theme has been with many of our elders, that the
          "little stone" spoken of in the Scriptures has been cut out of
          the mountain without hands, and it is destined to strike the
          image whose head was of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly
          and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet part of iron and part
          of clay, upon its feet, breaking it to pieces; and that the
          materials, which represent the various nations of the earth,
          composing the image should become like the chaff of a summer's
          threshing-floor, carried away by the wind until there was no
          place found for it. This is exactly as it has been foretold many
          thousands of years ago, and you brethren are perfectly familiar
          with it from having preached it both to the world and to the
          Latter-day Saints. When this little stone, then, as it rolls
          forth, strikes the toes of the great image, are you surprised
          that there should be a little kicking? You don't like to have
          your toes trodden upon any more than anybody else. The fact is,
          the same great conflict is going on between the two great powers;
          the only difference is that we are in much better circumstances
          than many who lived in earlier days who had to wander about in
          sheep and goat skins, seeking the dens and caves of rocks as
          places of retreat and safety. You, my brethren and sisters, do
          not look to-day as though you were pushed to such extremes, do
          you? I think it another kind of spectacle. We are an integral
          part of this great government of the United States, not a very
          large part, but a very small part; and we have assumed a species
          of political importance; and every now and then they get after us
          without knowing hardly the why or the wherefore. They talk
          sometimes quite loudly about our corruptions. Why, as I told
          them, some time ago in Salt Lake City, in talking about this
          matter, there is more wickedness carried on in Washington, where
          they talk so much about purity, in one day, than there is in
          these valleys of the mountains in six months, the gentiles and
          all thrown in. And yet it is quite important that they should
          call upon a number of European nations to help them to correct
          the morals of two hundred thousand people in these far distant
          mountains. What magnanimity! Well, what about it? Not much. But
          there is this much about it--that this nation, nor the powers of
          Europe, nor any other power, can overturn the Church and Kingdom
          of God that he has established on the earth. It will go on in
          spite of all the powers of earth and hell. You have heard that
          prophesied over and over again, and I will prophesy it again
          to-day. And every power that lift its hand against the kingdom of
          God will be wasted away: for God will have a controversy with the
          nations who oppose his work, and he will manage them in his own
          way; he will put a hook in their jaws and will lead them
          whithersoever he will. The wrath of man shall praise him, and the
          remainder he has said he will restrain. Hence I feel a good deal
          like taking the advice of Jesus: "Fear not them which kill the
          body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who
          is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
          The only fear I have for the Latter-day Saints is that they will
          not live their religion. And I call upon you here to-day to lay
          aside your covetousness, your greed and your avarice, and act
          honorably and just one with another as your brethren, humble
          yourselves before God and seek unto him for his guidance, and he
          will help you, he will bless and sustain you, and he will deliver
          you. And I say unto the priesthood, be one; for if you are not
          one you are not of God. No contention, no strife, no backbiting,
          no hard words; but let us have the love of God dwelling and
          welling up in our hearts, and extending to all men. But war
          against evil, corruption and iniquity of every kind, wherever
          found; stand firm in upholding and maintaining the principles of
          truth as they have been revealed to us, before high heaven,
          before all men. We want to be united, and, as Paul says, "Put on
          the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the
          wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
          but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of
          the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high
          places. Paul had to maintain the truth as he had received it in
          the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; and we have to do
          the same, and God will sustain us in our endeavors. But if we are
          trembly and shaky, our religion is not worth much to us. We have
          a few among us who say, "Oh, don't! you'd better take it easy!
          Keep quiet! You may offend the devil, for what I know. We have a
          few dollars somewhere, and we are afraid something will disturb
          them, and the property we have made will go!" Well, let it go;
          who cares about it? "Love not the world, neither the things that
          are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the
          Father is not in him." We ought to be governed by correct
          principles and act wisely and consistently, and treat all men
          alike. There are a great many who have the idea that there are
          certain classes that have rights which do not belong to others. I
          do not know of any such people. We are all the free-born sons of
          Zion; we all partake of the holy priesthood, and we all have our
          rights and privileges with God. We want to act according to
          correct principle, and be governed by the law of God, not one law
          for one man and another for another man. But operating together
          and maintaining one another's rights upon the pure principles of
          truth and equity, as they exist in the bosom of God. When the
          things spoken of referring to the last days shall transpire,
          righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness
          the girdle of his reigns, and it will be as was remarked by
          Brother Richards, and as the Prophet Jeremiah foretold: "I will
          put my law in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall
          be my people." As we adhere to the principles of law, equality,
          justice and right, and are governed by those principles. The man
          who is governed by the Spirit of God and lives in the light of
          revelation, has the law of God written on his heart and it is
          engraven in his enward parts. He feels as Jesus did about these
          things. It was said to him on a certain occasion, "Behold, thy
          mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with
          thee." When he said, referring to his disciples, "Behold my
          mother and my brethren; For whosoever shall do the will of my
          Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister and
          mother." That is the kind of feeling. We want to be united in our
          hearts and feelings: united to each other; united to the holy
          priesthood, bound together by those indissoluble ties that will
          unite us in time and through eternity, according to the
          principles of the everlasting covenant which we have entered into
          which reaches beyond the vail.
          We have a struggle. Some of the "Amalekites" and Hittites are
          abroad. But who cares? Satan works for a little while, and he
          will work and no doubt do his utmost as long as he is permitted;
          and when the time comes for him to be removed, God will remove
          him. We may struggle as we please and do as we please in regard
          to these things, but we are all in the hands of God. As has been
          remarked, it is quite easy for the Lord to handle us in these
          mountains. He can send grasshoppers if he wants to; he can
          withhold the snows from coming on our mountains if he wants to,
          and thus cause drouth in the summer season and he can send the
          moths to destroy our fruit; all of which we have more or less
          already experienced. In fact he can do with us just as he pleases
          and we cannot help ourselves. Our only resource is in him. We
          want to be right ourselves in our families, every man with
          himself. Forsake your sins, and cleave unto God. Pay your
          tithings and your offerings and comply with the laws of God in
          every particular so that you may feel that you are acceptable
          before the Almighty, and then teach your families the same thing.
          Humble yourselves as families before God. You seventies, high
          priests and elders. Do the same thing as quorums and seek for the
          guidance and blessing of the Lord. Have you cheated or defrauded
          anybody? If you have, then make things right, and try forever
          afterwards to be governed by correct principles. And then let
          there be perfect union in all the various quorums and among all
          the people; and let us all say in our hearts and lives, whatever
          the Lord commands us to do that we will observe and do; and let
          all Israel do the same, and the devils then may howl and all hell
          may boil over, but God will preserve his people he will stand as
          our shield and buckler and our strong defence.
          We have got this kingdom to build up; and it is not a phantom,
          but a reality. We have to do it, God expects it at our hands. We
          have got to have--now do not tell any body for it is a great
          secret; we have got to have political power. What, will not that
          be treason? Perhaps so, but no matter; we have got to go on and
          progress in these things. We have got to establish a government
          upon the principle of righteousness, justice, truth and equality
          and not according to the many false notions that exist among men.
          And then the day is not far distant when this nation will be
          shaken from centre to circumference. And now, you may write it
          down, any of you, and I will prophesy it in the name of God. And
          then will be fulfilled that prediction to be found in one of the
          revelations given through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Those who
          will not take up their sword to fight against their neighbor must
          needs flee to Zion for safety. And they will come, saying, we do
          not know anything of the principles of your religion, but we
          perceive that you are an honest community; you administer justice
          and righteousness, and we want to live with you and receive the
          protection of your laws, but as for your religion we will talk
          about that some other time. Will we protect such people? Yes, all
          honorable men. When the people shall have torn to shreds the
          Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be
          found holding it up to the nations of the earth and proclaiming
          liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of
          fellowship to the oppressed of all nations. This is part of the
          programme, and as long as we do what is right and fear God, he
          will help us and stand by us under all circumstances.
          Therefore, Latter-day Saints, fear God; work the works of
          righteousness; live your religion; keep the commandments and
          humble yourselves before him; be one, and be united with the holy
          priesthood and with each other, and I will tell you in the name
          of God that Zion will rise and shine and the power of God will
          rest upon her; and her glory will be made manifest, and we will
          rejoice in the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel of peace;
          and the work of God will go on and increase until the kingdoms of
          this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and his Christ,
          and every creature in the heaven and on the earth and under the
          earth will be heard to say, Blessing, and glory, and honor and
          praise and power, might and majesty and dominion be ascribed to
          him that sits upon the throne and to the Lamb for ever and ever.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / Joseph
          F. Smith, December 7th, 1879
                         Joseph F. Smith, December 7th, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER JOSEPH F. SMITH,
             Delivered at the Funeral Services over the Remains of Elder
                William Clayton, Held in the 17th Ward Meeting House,
                         Salt Lake City, December 7th, 1879.
           F. Smith
          By request of President John Taylor, I arise to make a few
          remarks. I deeply and sincerely sympathize with the family, the
          wives and children of the deceased, Bro. William Clayton, who
          remain to mourn the loss of the society of their husband and
          father for a little season. And yet, when we consider all the
          circumstances, we may conclude that we have not very great cause
          to mourn. For when a man has lived to a good old age, worn out as
          it were through toil, passes away, we can realize at least that
          he has accomplished his mission, that he has performed his work
          on this earth, and is ready to return to the father from whence
          he came; behind the vail.
           F. Smith
          Brother Clayton had reached a ripe age, after laboring
          unceasingly among his brethren from his first connection with the
           F. Smith
          He has had a long and varied experience among this people. He was
          a friend and companion of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and it was to
          his pen to a very great extent that we are indebted for the
          history of the Church--that is, the history of the Prophet Joseph
          more particularly, during his acquaintance with him and the time
          he acted for him as his private secretary, in the days of Nauvoo.
          We have the journals which he kept during that time, in the
          Historian's Office, from which--in connection with those of
          Elders Willard Richards and Wilford Woodruff and the Times and
          Seasons, a publication of the Church at that time--we have
          obtained the history the Church during that period. It was his
          pen that wrote for the first time the revelation in relation to
          the eternity of the marriage covenant and of a plurality of
          wives. Although that revelation had been given to the Prophet
          Joseph many years before, it was not written until the 12th of
          July, 1843, at which time Elder William Clayton, acting as a
          scribe for the Prophet, wrote it from his dictation.
           F. Smith
          I am happy to say that he has left on record a statement in the
          shape of an affidavit, prepared by himself, in relation to this
          important subject, for it is a subject that is of the most vital
          importance, not only to the Latter-day Saints, but to the whole
          world; for without the knowledge contained in that revelation, we
          never could consummate the object of our mission to this earth,
          we never could fulfill the purposes of God in this estate.
           F. Smith
          I have this paper in my possession, and have had for a number of
          months past. In fact, it was written at my request, and then
          given into my care, and I have preserved it with a view, when
          thought proper, to have it published. And as it is a sermon of
          itself, it would perhaps be more interesting than anything I
          could say on the present occasion, and therefore, with President
          Taylor's permission, I will read it to the congregation.
           F. Smith
          [The affidavit was then read by Elder Smith.]
           F. Smith
          He then continued:
           F. Smith
          As I before said, I felt to read this document because of the
          instruction it would afford, and for the further object of
          showing that although "he is dead, he yet speaketh." For this
          testimony of Brother Clayton will stand forever, though his body
          moulders into dust. And I am, and so was the deceased when
          living, at the defiance of the world to dispute those statements.
          They are made from personal knowledge derived from personal
          associations with the Prophet Joseph Smith himself, not with a
          view to gain notoriety, but rather to leave behind him his
          testimony with regard to this important principle. He had done
          so. And as he has here stated, as having come from the mouth of
          the Prophet, this doctrine of eternal union of husband and wife,
          and of plural marriage, is one of the most important doctrines
          ever revealed to man in any age of the world. Without it man
          would come to a full stop; without it we never could be exalted
          to associate with and become gods, neither could we attain to the
          power of eternal increase, or the blessings pronounced upon
          Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the fathers of the faithful.
           F. Smith
          There are but a few witnesses now living in relation to the
          coming forth of this revelation; there never were many that were
          intimately acquainted with the prophet and his teaching upon this
          subject. I look around me and see a number of persons in this
          assembly whose hair has grown grey in the service of God, and who
          had an intimate acquaintance with our martyred prophet; but few,
          if any of them, were so closely identified with him in this
          matter as Brother Clayton.
           F. Smith
          There are, however, enough witnesses to these principles to
          establish them upon the earth in such a manner that they never
          can be forgotten or stamped out. For they will live; they are
          destined to live, and also to grow and spread abroad upon the
          face of the earth, to be received and accepted and adopted by all
          the virtuous, by all the pure in heart, by all who love the
          truth, and seek to serve Him and keep His commandments; they are
          bound to prevail, because they are true principles.
           F. Smith
          Now we are called upon to pay our last respects to Brother
          Clayton. His spirit has taken its flight; it has gone to the
          Father from whence it came, as is taught in the Book of Mormon.
          When the spirit leaves the body, it returns, says the prophet,
          immediately to God, to be assigned to its place, either to
          associate with the good and the noble ones who have lived in the
          Paradise of God, or to be confined in the "prison" house to await
          the resurrection of the body from the grave. Therefore we know
          that Brother Clayton has gone to God, gone to receive the partial
          judgment of the Almighty, which pertains to the period
          intervening between the death of the body and the resurrection of
          the body, or the separation of the spirit from the body, and
          their uniting together again. This judgment is passed upon the
          spirit alone. But there will come a time which will be after the
          resurrection, when the body and spirit shall be reunited, when
          the final judgment will be passed on every man. This is in
          accordance with the vision of the Apostle John the Revelator.
           F. Smith
          "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the
          books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book
          of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were
          written in the books, according to their works.
           F. Smith
          "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and
          hell were cast into the lake of fire. That is the second death.
           F. Smith
          "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast
          into the lake of fire."
           F. Smith
          That is the final judgment, which we will all receive after we
          have performed this our earthly mission.
           F. Smith
          The Savior did not finish his work when he expired on the cross,
          when he cried out "It is finished." He, in using those words, had
          no reference to his great mission to the earth, but merely to the
          agonies which he suffered. The Christian world I know say he
          alluded to the great work of redemption. This, however, is a
          great mistake, and is indicative of the extent of their knowledge
          of the plan of life and salvation. I say he referred merely to
          the agonies of death, and the sufferings He felt for the
          wickedness of men who would go so far as to crucify their
          Redeemer. It was this feeling, and this alone, that prompted him
          to cry out in the agony of His soul, "It is finished," and then
          He expired.
           F. Smith
          But his work was not completed; it was in fact only begun. If he
          had stopped here instead of his being the Savior of the world,
          he, as well as all mankind, would have perished irredeemably,
          never to have come forth out of the grave; for it was designed
          from the beginning that he should be the first fruits of them
          that slept; it was part of the great plan that he should burst
          the bands of death and gain the victory over the grave. If
          therefore his mission had ceased when he gave up the ghost, the
          world would have slumbered in the dust in interminable death,
          never to have risen to live again. It was but a small part of the
          mission of the Savior that was performed when he suffered death;
          it was indeed the lesser part; the greater had yet to be done. It
          was in his resurrection from the tomb, in his coming forth from
          death unto life, in uniting again the spirit and the body that we
          might become a living soul; and when this was done, then he was
          prepared to return to the Father. And all this was in strict
          accordance with the great plan of salvation. For even Christ
          himself, though without sin, was required to observe the outward
          ordinance of baptism, in order to fulfill all righteousness. So
          after his resurrection from the dead he could return to the
          Father, there to receive the welcome plaudit, "Well done, you
          have done your work, you have accomplished your mission; you have
          wrought out salvation for all the children of Adam; you have
          redeemed all men from the grave; and through their obedience to
          the ordinances of the Gospel which you have established, they can
          also be redemed from the spiritual death, again to be brought
          back into our presence, to partake of glory, exaltation and
          eternal life with us." And so it will be when we come forth out
          of the grave, when the trump shall sound, and these our bodies
          shall rise and our spirits shall enter into them again, and they
          shall become a living soul no more to be dissolved or separated,
          but to become inseparable, immortal, eternal.
           F. Smith
          Then we shall stand before the bar of God to be judged. So says
          the Bible, so says the Book of Mormon, and so say the revelations
          which have come direct to us through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
          And then those that have not been subject and obedient to the
          celestial law will not be quickened by the celestial glory. And
          those that have not been subject and obedient to the terrestrial
          law will not be quickened by the terrestrial glory. And those
          that have not been subject and obedient to the telestial law,
          will not be quickened by a telestial glory; but they will have a
          kingdom without glory. While the sons of perdition, men who had
          once been in possession of the light and truth, but who turned
          away from it and deny the Lord, putting him to an open shame, as
          did the Jews when they crucified him and said, "Let his blood be
          upon us and upon our children; men who consent, against light and
          knowledge, to the shedding of innocent blood, it will be said
          unto them, "Depart ye cursed, I never knew you; depart into the
          second death, even banishment from the presence of God for ever
          and ever, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched,
          from whence there is no redemption, neither in time nor in
          eternity." Herein is the difference between the second and the
          first death, herein man became spiritually dead; for from the
          first death he may be redeemed by the blood of Christ through
          obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, but from the
          second there is no redemption at all.
           F. Smith
          We read in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, that the devil
          tempted Adam and he partook of the forbidden fruit, and
          transgressed the commandment, wherein he became subject to the
          will of the devil because he yielded unto temptation, and because
          of this transgression he became spiritually dead, which is the
          first death "even that same death which is the last death, which
          is spiritual, which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when I
          shall say, depart ye cursed!"--Book of Doc. and Cov. p. 147.
           F. Smith
          But who will receive such punishment? Only those that deserve it,
          those that commit the unpardonable sin.
           F. Smith
          Then there is the banishment of the transgressor, (not the sons
          of perdition) into the prison house, a place of punishment, with
          no exaltation, no increase, no dominion, no power whose
          inhabitants after their redemption may become servants of them
          that have obeyed the laws of God and kept the faith. That will be
          the punishment of such as reject the truth, but sin not unto
           F. Smith
          But as touching the terrestrial kingdom, as the stars differ from
          each other in lustre, so those who enter into the telestial
          kingdom differ in glory.
           F. Smith
          "Well, now, how is it with Brother Clayton? He was not without
          faults in the flesh?" But what were they? Were they such as
          partook of a deadly character? Did he ever deny the Lord? Did he
          ever deny the Prophet Joseph, or did he deny the truth or prove
          unfaithful to his covenants or to his brethren? No, never. I can
          in all truthfulness before God and man bear that testimony of our
          departed brother, for I have known him from my youth. Yet, he was
          not without his failings? but then, they were of that nature that
          injured nobody perhaps except himself and his own family. But
          notwithstanding his unflinching integrity, and his long life of
          fidelity and usefulness, let me say to you, that for his faults,
          however trivial, or important, he must answer. But he will be
          able to pay his debt and to answer for his failings, and he will
          come forth and all that has been pronounced upon his head by
          Joseph Smith and by the Apostles, will be confirmed upon him
          through all eternity; and there is no power on the earth or in
          hell that can deprive him of them. For as it is said--and,
          indeed, I need not refer you to the revelation on celestial
          marriage; but will quote from the words of Christ, as given in
          the New Testament. "Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin
          and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, but the blasphemy
          against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto me, * * *
          neither in this world, neither in the world to come." Our
          departed friend and brother whose remains are now before us, has
          not sinned unto death. I would not have it understood for a
          moment, that I or any of the Elders attend funerals to smother
          over the weaknesses of the departed dead, trying to make it
          appear that they were without faults, and therefore will not have
          to answer for any. We know that every man will be judged
          according to the deeds done in the body; and whether our sin be
          against our own peace and happiness alone or whether it affects
          that of others, as the Lord lives we will have to make
          satisfaction or atonement; God requires it, and it is according
          to his providences, and we cannot escape it. We must comply with
          the provisions of the law, which Brother Clayton in my belief, is
          abundantly able to do. And when this shall have been done, he
          will come forth to receive his crown, his glory, dominion and
          kingdom, and the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob which have
          been pronounced upon his head.
           F. Smith
          Then let me say to the family of our deceased brother, Follow in
          the footsteps of your husband and father, excepting wherein he
          may have manifested the weaknesses of the flesh; imitate his
          staunch integrity to the cause of Zion, and his fidelity to his
          brethren; be true as he was true, be firm as he was firm, never
          flinching, never swerving from the truth as God has revealed it
          to us; and I will promise you, in the name of the Lord, that you
          will rise, to meet your husband and father, in the morning of the
          first resurrection, clothed with glory, immortality and eternal
          lives. Which may God grant in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Taylor, February 8, 1880
                            John Taylor, February 8, 1880
           Preached over the Remains of Joseph M. Cain, Son of Joseph and
                  Elizabeth Cain, in the 14th Ward Assembly Rooms,
                          Salt Lake City, February 8, 1880.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          We are met here to-day, as we frequently have to do, to pay the
          last tribute of respect to the departed dead. Time with all its
          changes and mutations brings us face to face very frequently with
          the kind of thing that is now present before us. We come into the
          world, we struggle a little while with the affairs incident to
          human nature, and by and by the struggles of the present are
          over. The weary wheels of life stand still and we go into another
          state of existence. As wise, prudent and intelligent men it
          behooves us really to comprehend the true position we occupy in
          relation to the past, in relation to the present, as well as to
          the future.
          Speaking of the past, we all of us have had our ideas about a
          pre-existence. We consider that God is Father of the spirits of
          all flesh, not only of those that fear him, but of those who do
          not fear him, and who disobey His laws. He is the father of the
          spirits of all, and as is spoken of in the Scriptures, "We are
          His offspring" and emanated from him. We came into this world to
          attend to certain things which are designed by the Almighty and
          which in the programme of the Lord it was necessary that we
          should take our part in. We had very little to do with our coming
          here; all things move along naturally. But we have something to
          do, however, with our affairs while we are here, in a state of
          probation. But about our leaving, in ninety-nine cases out of a
          hundred, or more than that even, we have little to do with it.
          There are certain inscrutable purposes associated with the divine
          programme which men generally do not comprehend. We know a very
          little of the world in which we live, and of its inhabitants. But
          what and how little do we know in relation to the past, or in
          regard to anything pertaining to the future? Who can comprehend
          the purposes of God pertaining to the organization of the earth,
          say to commence with, and the peopling of it, and the maintaining
          of it, or in regard to the position of the nations and their
          destiny; or in regard to the world itself and the various changes
          yet to transpire upon it. And then, who of us knows anything
          definite pertaining to ourselves, or about the impulses by which
          we are governed and actuated, or of the powers of darkness, or
          the powers of light, as the case may be, with which we are
          surrounded? How many of us comprehend these things? Very few
          indeed. It is the design of God, as I understand it, in our
          coming here, to give unto us bodies, that the spirits that were
          created before, might have tabernacles wherein they might live
          and exist, and move and act, as corporeal substances, if you
          please; and that according to certain inscrutable laws of God
          pertaining to the human family and the future destiny of man, and
          the world in which we live; that through the union of the body
          and spirit, and their obedience to certain laws which the great
          Eloheim has given for the guidance of His people, that they might
          be more exalted, more dignified, more glorious than it would be
          possible for them to be, had they not come here to sojourn in
          these tabernacles, and combat with the various evils to which the
          flesh is heir.
          Under these circumstances, from time to time, he has made known
          his will to men. He has in different ages raised up men with whom
          he communicated, and to whom he revealed his will, and under
          certain circumstances to whom he committed his law, and he has
          made them his mouthpiece to the human family, and through them
          has revealed life and its principles, and has unveiled the
          heavens and given man a knowledge of the future, and has shown
          his condemnation, or evinced his hatred to evil and iniquity of
          every kind, and has shown through them the evil effects of
          pursuing this course. These men, in the different ages in which
          they lived, warned the people and the nations in regard to evil,
          and have tried to incite them to good, and held out to them the
          principle of lives, eternal lives hereafter to be obtained in the
          celestial, terrestrial or telestial kingdoms. These men and these
          principles, which have been introduced by the Almighty, have had
          their effect more or less among the human family. But there has
          been associated with this a spirit of antagonism to God to
          virtue, to truth, to purity, to holiness, and to those principles
          that were calculated to elevate and exalt humanity through time
          and through the eternities that are to come. Thus two influences
          have been at work among the nations and among the various peoples
          of the earth in the different ages. Sometimes it seems mysterious
          to the human family that things should be as they have been. They
          do not comprehend the meaning or the purposes or designs, or even
          the law of God in fact, some of these laws have not been made
          known generally to mankind. Permit me to say there are eternal
          laws that exist with the Gods in the eternal worlds, and from
          which they cannot depart, and to which they are bound in all
          their acts, I was going to say as we are, but I will say not as
          we are, but as we ought to be, subject to the law of God in all
          our acts, and that it is absolutely necessary that men should be
          placed in a state of trial, in a state of probation. It was just
          as necessary that Satan, if you please, would exercise his power
          as that God should exercise his. This is a thing that is not
          always understood by men, and, in fact, they understand very
          little about it. We are told, however, that "It must needs be
          that there is an apposition in all things," good and evil, light
          and darkness, happiness and misery, corruption and incorruption,
          life and death, heaven and hell.
             We talk about a futurity and about heaven, of which men have
           certain vague ideas. Some think heaven is beyond the bounds of
          time and space. It is a kind of poetic thought, which sounds very
           well; but where is such a place? When we reflect upon it in our
          sober moments, we naturally conclude that it is nowhere. But men
            have entertained singular notions and ideas pertaining to the
           future, many of which have been erratic, foolish and ignorant;
              and the fact is, it is impossible for man, unaided by the
           revelations of God, to comprehend anything about him. Job says:
           "Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the
            Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst
                  thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know?"
          We are told emphatically that no man knows the things of God but
          by the Spirit of God. And how are they to become acquainted with
          these things, unless they are in possession of that light and
          that spirit which is capable of imparting to them that
          intelligence? A knowledge of God is out of the ken of uninspired
          humanity. Who can draw aside the vail of the invisible world? Who
          can penetrate into the future and look, as some men have, through
          the dark vista of future ages and see the purposes of God roll on
          with all their majesty and glory to consummation; of which, they
          nor we, nor anybody can know anything about, except by and under
          the influence of that spirit? They cannot know it; it is out of
          their reach.
          Well, what then in regard to the things of men? We see men
          bickering and quarreling over religious matters, over things
          really that they are just as ignorant of as babes are. They
          contend about certain principles, dogmas and theories, and get up
          debates about them, oft times causing troubles in families, and
          neighbourhoods; often persecuting one another and even putting
          one another to death concerning things that they knew nothing
          about themselves. This is all very foolish.
          How does God feel towards the human family? He feels that they
          are his children. What, all? Yes; the white, the black, the red,
          the Jew, the Gentile, the heathen, the Christian and all classes
          and grades of men; he feels interested in all, he has done so
          from the beginning, and will continue to do so to the end. He
          will do all that lies in his power for the benefit, blessing, and
          exaltation of the human family, both in time and eternity,
          consonant with those laws and those eternal principles that I
          have referred to: from which he himself cannot deviate. We
          sometimes get up feelings about parties that do not think as we
          do, and do not believe as we do, and we are apt to cast
          aspersions upon them. Why, these are their affairs. What! would
          you allow everybody to worship as they please? Certainly. What?
          If you knew they were in error? Certainly? I would not wish to
          control the human mind; I would not control the actions of men,
          God does not do it, he leaves them to their own agency to combat
          with the trials, temptations, adversities and evils of every kind
          that are in the world, to which humanity is, or can be incident.
          He put within their reach, however, certain principles and would
          like to lead them to himself if they would be led. If not, he
          then does the very best with them that he can. In some instances
          he has had to come out, as it is said, "in his fierce wrath,"
          upon the peoples and upon the nations of the earth; and many
          other things have been in his programme; because this life, with
          its few years is only comparatively, as it were, a few moments in
          the estimation of Jehovah. It is but a span, a dream, or a tale,
          that is told and passed away. But in regard to the eternities
          that are to come, and the realities we have to do with hereafter,
          that is another affair. I have heard men talk about the cruelty
          of God, just like some foolish people talk about their fathers.
          Who knows anything about God? Did you ever see him? Some think it
          was very cruel in him to destroy the world at the flood. How do
          they know but that it was the greatest boon he could confer upon
          that wicked people? How do they know but that it was one of the
          richest blessings he could pour out upon their heads in sweeping
          them off the earth and sending them into another existence and
          then shutting them up in prison after that. How do you know?
          Certainly you do not know that it is not the case.
          Let us reason for a few moments and look at things about as they
          are; I will tell them as they are and as they were. Satan before
          the days of the flood obtained the ascendancy over many men and
          brought them under his rule and dominion. He started in with Cain
          and made a murderer of him the very first thing he did and taught
          him many principles of evil, and he was called the great Master
          Mahon. Under the influence and power of Satan he operated to
          thwart the designs of God and to stop the purposes of Jehovah.
          Satan first started in the heavens, but was cast out and
          succeeded in obtaining a great ascendancy over the minds of the
          people, whom he caused to corrupt themselves, leading them into
          evil, folly, vanity and corruptions of every kind, so much so we
          are told that the "imaginations and thoughts of their hearts were
          only evil and that continually." What had to be done then? There
          were other parties interested besides those upon the earth. There
          were innumerable hosts of spirits in the heavens that had to come
          and take tabernacles. Was it proper and righteous, was it
          equitable, was it according to the principles of justice that
          those that were pure with their Father in the heavens should come
          and take bodies and be forced to enter into tabernacles, that
          were the offspring of those corrupt beings who were then peopling
          the earth? If I or you had been there should we not have spoken
          to our Father and said, "Father, do you see the corruptions that
          exist upon the face of the earth?" Yes, I know it." "Is it just
          that we should have to go into these corrupt, contaminated, evil,
          wicked bodies to receive our earthly parentage from them; and be
          subject to that power and iniquity in all its phases for
          thousands or millions of years to come?" "No," says He, "It is
          not, and I will sweep them away, I will destroy them; they
          possess the power, while living to propagate their species, but I
          will deprive them of that power. I will send in the floods upon
          them, and then I will shut them up in prison." Did he do it? He
          did. But before He did it, he had the Gospel preached to them as
          it is now being preached, and men clothed upon with the
          priesthood were sent forth among the peoples to proclaim to them
          the great principles of life, and they had the Gospel and the
          revelations of God and communion with their heavenly Father.
          Enoch was a preacher of righteousness, and numerous Elders at
          that time were sent forth among the people and proclaimed the
          principles of eternal truth and gathered the people together so
          that every man who would fear God and obey his law and be
          governed by the principles of righteousness, might have the full
          blessings of the everlasting Gospel; and He gathered them
          together before destruction came. They were gathered unto Zion,
          and that Zion was caught up, by the power of God, away from the
          earth, and then the avenging hand of God came upon the corrupt
          inhabitants that were left because of their iniquities. Would it
          be proper to allow corruptions and wickedness to predominate, and
          the powers of Satan to have the presiding influence, and God to
          be left out of the question? No. Therefore He accomplished what
          He did. Did He injure them? No; they would only have lived a few
          years longer anyhow; but He did not want them to perpetuate that
          kind of folly, wickedness, and corruption that then prevailed,
          and said "I will stop it," and he stopped it. Now, what about the
          future of such people. We may have curious ideas about them. Some
          think that they are going to remain in hell for ever and ever.
          But they were in the hands of God, and He did right by them. By
          and by when Jesus came, what did he do? As soon as He got through
          with His short mission upon the earth, "He was put to death in
          the flesh, and was quickened by the Spirit, and went and preached
          unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient when
          once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah;" that
          they might be placed on the same plane and in the same position
          that others were; that they might obtain their proper status in
          the eternal worlds, and be rewarded with all that was possible
          for them to enjoy, according to the eternal laws and inscrutable
          justice of Jehovah. Thus justice was satisfied, the law
          vindicated, the wicked punished, the unborn and pure protected
          and provided for, and finally, the imprisoned released from their
          bondage and salvation extended to the prisoners. Was there
          anything wrong in that. "Yes," says the ignoramus who does not
          know anything about it, "it was very cruel." Well, the greatest
          cruelty there is about such men is that they are cruelly ignorant
          and do not know what they are talking about. 
          Now in regard to other things. The Gospel has been sent from time
          to time among the people. And what does it do? It brings life and
          immortality to light. Has God ever given up his idea in relation
          to the inhabitants of the earth? No; but He has in the different
          ages given certain laws and principles to certain classes of
          individuals. It is said that God has made of one blood all
          nations of the earth, yet there are certain classes of men among
          the nations just as much as there are certain classes of metals.
          Everything is not gold, everything is not silver, everything is
          not brass; everything is not iron; all hold their proper position
          and have their relative value. So in regard to the heavens. There
          are bodies celestial, there are bodies terrestrial, there are
          bodies telestial. We are told there is one glory of the sun,
          another glory of the moon, another glory of the stars, and that
          as one star differs from another star in glory so also shall it
          be in the resurrection. This distinction arises from the acts of
          men, as it is said "ye are servants to whom you yield yourselves
          servants to obey."
          Now what are we here for? What are the things we profess to do? I
          will ask what did Jesus seek to do when he was here? Did he come
          to curse mankind? No, but to bless them; he came to seek and to
          save those that were lost; He came to unfold the principles of
          eternal truth, to bring life and immortality to light by the
          Gospel. He came, according to the eternal decree of the Almighty,
          to offer his life as a sacrifice, as an atonement for the sins of
          the human family. He came to introduce principles that emanated
          from God to organize his church upon the earth, and to endow his
          disciples with authority that they might go forth as His
          messengers to proclaim the principles of eternal truth to the
          human family. Hence says he, "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." This
          is one of those eternal decrees that you cannot get away from.
          And then we talk about the damnation of hell; and people have as
          strange notions about that as they have about other things. I
          have read statements from men which were really terrible when
          depicting the state of the damned. It is bad enough, but it is
          not the kind of thing they represent. I remember, too, reading a
          piece of poetry, which ran something like this:
          Infinite years in torment must I spend,
               And never, never, never have an end.
               Ah! must I lie, in ruinous despair,
               As many years as atoms in the air; 
               When these are past as many thousand
               As grains of sand upon the ocean shore.
               When all these doleful years are spent in
               And multiplied by millions yet again,
               Till numbers drown the thought, could I 
               That then my dismal years would have a
               This would afford a hope; but ah! I shiver
               To ponder on this dreadful word, forever;
               I in this burning gulf blaspheming lie,
               Time is no more, but vast eternity."
          This may be poetic. It is certainly grim and terrible; but it is
          not true. Is there justice? Yes. Eternal justice? Yes. These men
          that I have referred to suffered eternal justice; they were
          destroyed by the Almighty, and at last were saved again by the
          Almighty. Have we eternal punishment? Yes. What is it? It is
          God's punishment. Are there everlasting prisons? Yes. What are
          they? God's prisons. Do people stay in them forever? No. Not in
          all of them. We have prisons upon the earth, penitentiaries, in
          which to confine people for one, five, ten or twenty years, as
          the case may be; and when their time expires they come out; but
          the prison is there still. Is it an everlasting prison? You may
          call it so if you please; but people do not stay in it always.
          Has God a way to manage his affairs? Certainly; the judge of all
          the earth ought to be at least as capable in the management of
          his affairs, as mortal men are in theirs. 
          We have come upon this stage of action, and are called to preach.
          And God has revealed his will, and some people seem to be very
          angry about it. Joseph Smith had revelations from God. Do I know
          it? Yes, I do. Could he help it? Suppose the Lord were to speak
          to any of you, could you help it? or if an angel were to come to
          you, could you help it? No, you could not. Now, you might do what
          they tell you, or not; that is optional. If you did what they
          told you, however, the world and the devil would say you were a
          fool; and they have always said so in every age of the world; and
          the devil and the world have always been opposed to God and his
          law, and they would persecute you as they persecuted him. Very
          well, do we have need to fight? I do not. I thank God for the
          light and intelligence he has revealed unto us, through the
          medium of the everlasting Gospel. Could we have it if God had not
          revealed it? No. Who knew that God lived? Nobody until Joseph
          Smith came, and the Lord spoke to him pointing out to him his
          son, saying, "This is my beloved Son, hear him." Who knew
          anything about it? Nobody on the wide earth. Could he have helped
          it if he wanted to? I do not think he wanted to much; I do not
          think anybody need want to much, if God would condescend to
          reveal his will; I do not think they would be very desirous for
          him to hold his peace. It is true a number of the children of
          Israel did when they heard the thunderings on Mount Sinai. They
          said to Moses, speak to us; but do not let the Lord speak to us,
          lest we die. The fact is, they were not prepared for it.
          Now then, this Gospel is introduced for what? To spread life and
          salvation to the world. God blessed Abraham in the same way. What
          for? In thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be
          blessed. I will give unto you my law, I will reveal unto you the
          principles of eternal truth; I will open the mysteries of heaven
          to your view, and you shall gaze upon me and upon my purposes. I
          will instruct you in the principles of life and salvation, and I
          will tell you what to do with those principles when I shall have
          committed them to you. As he spake unto Moses, he told him to
          select a man to be his mouth-piece; and said, Moses shall be a
          God unto you, and I will speak through him. That is it. Now, he
          has done the same in this day, and restored the same principles,
          and has sent forth a message to the nations of the earth, and
          gathered together men who had the manhood, integrity and desire
          to carry out the purposes of God, and who would be valiant for
          those principles which he had revealed; and he prepared them for
          his purpose; and if he had not sustained them they would not be
          here to-day. Are these men enemies to the world? If teaching men
          the truth is enmity, they have done that; if going without purse
          or scrip, traveling among the nations to proclaim to them the
          glad tidings of salvation is enmity, they may possess it. But
          impelled by the spirit of eternal truth and enlightened by the
          spirit of the Almighty and comprehending the position they
          occupied, they have gone forth among the people of the earth and
          proclaimed to them the glad tidings of salvation, and God has
          taken care of them. Very well. Anything great about this? No; it
          is simply performing a duty. I have traveled hundreds and
          thousands of miles in this way myself, trusting in God. Was I
          ever forsaken? No. Did I ever need anything? No, not that I did
          not get. Did I ever have to go hungry, naked or destitute? No,
          the Lord always provide and raised up means in every kind of way,
          and I did not beg either. I would like anybody to tell me when I
          ever begged anything from them either here or anywhere else. But
          I have begged of the Lord, for my religion teaches me to go to
          Now then, we have a work to do. Do we wish to vilify anybody in
          our midst? No. Do we see wicked, corrupt and abominable men among
          us? Yes. What will we do with them? Leave them in the hands of
          God, he will manage them; it is for us to do right, to work
          righteousness and pursue a course right before the Lord. I see
          that time is passing. My mind has been led rather discursively on
          some of these matters, arising partly from circumstances with
          which we are surrounded. How is it with this young man here?
          Well, I wish it were otherwise; I wish he had lived a very good
          Saint, which, however, he did not do. We have not come here to
          indulge in any kind of false sentimentality. He was a drunkard;
          that is a truth and many of you know it. When you have said that,
          can you say anything worse? That is bad enough, but I do not know
          anything evil about the young man further than that. I knew his
          father. I baptized him thousands of miles away from here, in the
          neigbourhood of 40 years ago, when he was a much younger man than
          he (his son) is now. His father lived up to the Gospel, and died
          strong in the faith; and his mother has been a very good woman,
          so far as I know; I have never known anything against her. This
          boy has caused her a great deal of trouble; and I have been sorry
          for him. Well, should we tell things? Yes, always; that day is
          not far distant when the coverings will be taken from the face of
          all people, and we shall all stand naked, as it were, before
          God--both you and I and this young man. Well this boy,--I call
          him a boy, he is a young man, and is a nephew of mine by
          marriage; and I would not want to say anything about him on that
          account, neither would I falsify the young man on that account;
          but let us tell things and understand them as they are. Let me
          call the attention of the youth present. Would you like to be
          lying in this position, under these circumstances? You would not?
          Then let us look at thing as they are. What next? We will do the
          best we can; and what is it? There is a curious saying that Paul
          made on a certain occasion, in speaking about the Jews and the
          "What advantage hath the Jews? or what profit is there of
          "Much every way; chiefly, that unto them were committed the
          oracles of God.
          "Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh
          Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever," etc.
          It is a sorrowful thing to see our youth pass away as he has
          done? Yes. He did not die drunk? No, but that was the cause of
          it. We may as well talk honestly about him. What next? He has
          gone. Has he hurt anybody? No, only by his example. Has he hurt
          his mother? Yes. I do not think he did sin while his father was
          living; but since then he has caused his mother many a sorrowful
          hour? Did I feel sorry when he died? No. Why? Because I knew it
          was much better for him to leave the earth than to be in the
          position he has been.
          Now, what about the future in relation to these things! What
          advantage has the Jew over the Gentile? Much every way. Their's
          were the fathers; and unto that people were committed the oracles
          of God. Their's were the fathers--we have fathers that are living
          in the eternal worlds; fathers that are interested in our
          welfare; fathers that are associated with the beings that exist
          behind the vail; fathers who are operating with us in trying to
          bring about the great purposes of God and the salvation of the
          human family. Can anything be done? Yes, and all that can be done
          will be done, but the future has got to be left with the Almighty
          in regard to these matters. But we can do a great deal according
          to principles that God has revealed to us, and these things will
          be done, as far as they can be.
          I would say, I do not utter these things to cause any unpleasant
          feeling in the bosom of the family; they cannot help it. If I
          could have helped it, I would; if the mother could have helped
          it, she would; if the sister could have helped it, she would; if
          the friends could have helped it, they would. But we cannot
          control circumstances.
          We are now talking not to the dead, but to the living. I would
          say, Let us avoid these evils, they lead down to death; let us
          seek to live our religion, to obey the laws of God and keep his
          commandments. And in regard to the future, we leave that in the
          hands of the Almighty who doeth all things well; and we will do
          all we can to promote the comfort of the living and the dead. We
          are doing a great deal for the accomplishment of this object; we
          are building temples and administering in them, and we are doing
          it in obedience to the law of God and in consonance with the
          feeling of the patriarchs and apostles and men of God who have
          lived before. And we will try to go on and live our religion and
          keep the commandments of God that we may rejoice together
          hereafter. And I would say to the mother, Let your heart be
          comforted for you shall be blessed both in time and in eternity.
          And I say unto all of you, Live your religion, keep the
          commandments of God, for in that only there is safety. God bless
          you in time and in eternity. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 /
          Erastus Snow, October 1879
                             Erastus Snow, October 1879
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER ERASTUS SNOW,
             Delivered at Brigham City, on Sunday Morning, October 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I feel somewhat weary in body from the effects of labor and
          infirmities; and were I to consult my own feelings I would be
          inclined to waive this privilege, and sit and listen to my
          brethren. Indeed, I may say I rather counted upon a rest in
          coming to Brigham City; yet I never allow myself to shrink from
          bearing that portion that properly attaches me in life to the
          calling and duties devolving upon me. I feel that we are all here
          in a school, that we have a work to perform; and if when we shall
          have done that work we shall be satisfied with it, we will not
          regret having worn ourselves out in accomplishing it. But on the
          contrary we shall rejoice at our success in having got safely
          through and entered into the "rest" which is prepared for the
          people of God in the future state. This is a scriptural phrase,
          implying that there is a rest beyond for the people of God. But I
          have sometimes thought that strictly speaking rest was only a
          change, and that a change was rest; because to be absolutely at
          rest, to be entirely free from labor and care would be
          inconsistent with our existence; in such a condition our being
          would be a blank, a nonentity. The course of God, we are told by
          the prophet Nephi, is one eternal round; that, like eternity, it
          has neither beginning nor end, and is illustrated in the Book of
          Abraham by the hieroglyphic of the circle. You may start upon
          this ring at any given point, and in traversing it you will come
          to the same point--it is without beginning, without end.
          We sometimes speak of eternity in contradistinction to time; and
          often say, "through time and into eternity;" and again "from
          eternity to eternity," which is simply another form of expressing
          the same idea, and "pass through time into eternity." In other
          words, time is a short period allotted to man in his probationary
          state--and we use the word time in contradistinction to the word
          eternity, merely for the accommodation of man in his finite
          sphere, that we may comprehend and learn to measure periods. And
          for this purpose the Lord gave unto Adam his reckoning after the
          movements of the planets, which would appear to him stationary,
          or at least comparatively so, making a suitable standard by which
          man in his mortal state may measure periods and count out the
          days and the months and the years and the cycles.
          The Scriptures speak of a time "when time shall be no more." And
          the Apostle John in his visions, while banished to the Isle of
          Patmos, heard the angel say, "time shall be no more." We may not
          fully comprehend the meaning and the purport of this expression.
          All phrases or expressions whether used by men, angels or God
          have a relative meaning, as one thing is compared with another;
          and to understand the full force of them, we must understand that
          to which it has reference by comparison. I simply understand by
          this, that so far as we are concerned, time will be no more when
          we shall be merged into eternity, and we cease to reckon our
          periods by the diurnal revolutions of the earth, and the changes
          of the moon, etc.; when we shall enter into a sphere where we can
          mingle with the gods and become acquainted with their reckoning,
          and the eternal periods or cycles of revolutions of numberless
          creations in space, which to-day the most profound astronomers of
          the earth are unable to fathom or mark their place of beginning.
          And this is called eternity by man, and, as far as man is
          concerned, is in contradistinction to other periods and modes of
          reckoning known and in use among the Gods. For they have their
          periods and reckoning as well as we, only on a vast and, to us,
          incomprehensible scale. We are in a state of progression, very
          small beginnings, but onward and upward for a more exalted
          sphere, in which they move. But I conceive of no stopping place;
          I conceive of no absolute resting place, but only, as before
          remarked, a change, a change in our circumstances and conditions,
          and consequently a change in our labors.
          I speak now of man as an immortal being, having no reference to
          this earthly house of our tabernacles; for this mortal house
          which we occupy for the period of a few short years upon the
          earth, will not be associated with the immortal man--the god in
          embryo. The clothing we wear covers the nakedness of the body; it
          answers a good purpose for a little season--until it becomes worn
          out, when it is cast aside as of no further use for that purpose.
          So with the outer house of our tabernacles. This mortality serves
          the purposes intended for a few short years until it is worn out
          with use, like the farmer's agricultural implements, like the
          machinist's or mechanic's tools, or any other piece of
          machinery--for the human body is one of the finest and most
          perfect pieces of machinery known upon the earth; there is none
          superior. Indeed, most of the mechanism employed by men in
          various branches of industry is founded on the anatomical
          structure of the human body; the angles, the joints, the
          tendrils, the cords by which they are bound together; the
          wonderful construction not only of the outer portions of the
          body, but the very fine mechanism of the nervous system, and also
          that of the eye, the ear, and of the means of sensation, and that
          by which knowledge is communicated from one part of the body to
          the other. If the finger be abused or injured, a telegraphic
          communication is made to the seat of knowledge--the government of
          the body; conveying the information that a finger is in danger;
          and wherever pain is felt, in whatever part of the body, it is
          but the ringing of the bell of alarm, giving notice of a hostile
          attack, and to make preparations for defense, lest the enemy
          making the assault take possession of the citadel and destroy it.
          The wonderful mechanism of the nervous system, through which the
          spirit makes its impressions upon the body, is, as it were, an
          intermediate organism between the fine spiritual body and the
          coarser elements of our tabernacles. And those who have given the
          most time and study to this wonderful machine are lead to fully
          appreciate and endorse the saying of the Psalmist, "I am
          fearfully and wonderfully made." Its adaptability to the uses and
          purposes intended, with its remarkable endurance when suitable
          guarded and protected against disease and what we term accident,
          is in itself sufficient to call forth the admiration of all
          intelligent beings. We look upon an aged person, say, 70, 80, 90
          or 100 years old, and realize that there is a machine, a
          mechanical structure--shall we call it a model representing
          perpetual motion? Not exactly, but a machine that has been in
          motion say, 100 years; a double action pump that has been
          constantly going, distributing the fluids of the system by way of
          keeping up a constant circulation of the blood; sometimes working
          very hard to remove obstructions arising from colds and other
          causes to keep the channels from becoming stopped up, and at
          other times working slowly. And the functions of the body are
          ofttimes kept in such constant use for such a period of time
          without the touch of the mechanic to repair a break unless it
          may, perchance, be the surgeon's saw to remove a disabled limb
          that threatens to encumber the whole body, or the tying up of a
          broken artery to prevent the escape of the vital fluid. But
          otherwise the most skillful physician is unable to make a single
          repair or improve any part or portion of it; and the most he can
          do is to give something to be taken into the stomach to effect a
          chemical change on the fluids of the system, to neutralize
          perhaps an excess of the acids, thus working a change in the
          quality of the blood, and consequently a change in the deposits
          that are being made in all parts of the system by the circulation
          of this fluid. But this wonderful machine is kept in motion by
          what power? We say it is the power of God; we say it is in Him we
          live and move and have our being. And, yet, He always works
          through means, all His wonderful works being performed by agents;
          but He is not confined to one agent nor any special method in
          performing His works. But there is a spirit in this earthly
          tabernacle of ours that is relative to our Father and God, and
          who is the owner of this tabernacle, and for whom the tabernacle
          is organized as his dwelling house. It is this spirit that keeps
          the functions of this tabernacle in motion; when this spirit
          leaves the body, it is either because the Father calls it away,
          wishing to use it in another sphere, considering the time it has
          spent in this tabernacle sufficient for the purposes required,
          and therefore takes it to a higher school, through special design
          to do a special work; or it may be, it has used its tabernacle
          until it is so worn out that it has become like a bow which has
          been long and constantly bent,--it has lost its elasticity; its
          bones impaired in strength, its muscles stiffened, and the whole
          frame ready, like our old clothes, to be thrown aside; and the
          spirit comes to the conclusion that it has had its run with this
          old tabernacle and that it is time this old garment were laid
          aside for a new one. Our Father comes to this conclusion and
          gives the spirit a ticket of leave, and removes it into another
          sphere. But this is all necessary as a school for us. The various
          pains and sorrows to be endured in life are all necessary in
          their time and place; the trials as we term them, are all
          necessary in their place, they are all a part of the scheme of
          education or training to prepare us for the future. One of the
          sacred writers, in speaking of Jesus, said: "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." And again: "For God giveth not the spirit by
          measure unto him." It is measured out to you and me in the
          providence of the Lord; but for him there was a storehouse to
          draw upon, as it were, without measure. He could continue to heal
          the sick and raise the dead and perform great and marvelous
          things, and yet the supply of vitality was not in the least
          abated. Mortals less gifted and less favored who should be the
          means of healing many sick by the power of God, would feel that
          in taking their infirmities upon them, they were sinking under
          the weight, and would want to hie themselves away to rest and
          recuperate their exhausted frames. Jesus was an exception in this
          respect; he took upon himself our infirmities and bore our
          sickness, as had been predicted by Isaiah the prophet. He truly
          did heal the sick wherever he went; and some found that if they
          could even touch the hem of his garment the disease from which
          they suffered could be rebuked; and one instance is given where
          this was done, in which case we are told, virtue went out of him.
          But notwithstanding the great burden that he bore, together with
          the vast amount of vitality that was at various times
          communicated from him to others, he did not faint under the load;
          his mortality did not give way. But no man, unsupported as he
          was, could have done it without sinking under this weight; none
          other could have grappled with devils and cast them out of
          individuals and held them at bay, as he did, without suffering
          from bodily exhaustion, and therefore had to seek retirement and
          rest. He, however, waged war constantly, and was well prepared
          for this work, having an inexhaustible source of strength to draw
          from, the Spirit having been given to him without measure. But at
          length the time came when the Father said, You must succumb, you
          must be made the offering. And at this dark hour the power of the
          Father withdrew itself measurably from him, and he was left to be
          taken by his enemies, and, like a lamb, was led to the slaughter,
          but he opened not his mouth, because his hour had come. And when
          he was led to exclaim in his last agony upon the cross, My God,
          my God, why hast thou forsaken me? the Father did not deign to
          answer; the time had not yet come to explain it and tell him. But
          after a little, when he passed the ordeal, made the sacrifice,
          and by the power of God was raised from the dead, then all was
          clear, all was explained and comprehended fully. It was necessary
          that the Father should thus measurably forsake his Son, leaving
          him to his enemies, otherwise they never could have fulfilled
          what had been prophesied concerning him. So we may say with
          others, it is only a sample for us to reflect upon, that may be
          equally applicable to us all in our times and seasons. 
          It is not necessary, in the providence of God, that we should all
          be martyrs; it is not necessary that all should suffer death upon
          the cross, because it was the will of the Father that Jesus
          should so suffer, neither is it necessary that all the Saints of
          this last dispensation should perish because our prophet
          perished, but yet it may be necessary that some should, that a
          sufficient number of faithful witnesses of God and of his Christ
          should suffer, and even perish by the hands of their enemies, to
          prove and show unto the world--the unbelieving and
          unthinking--that their testimony is true, and that they are ready
          not only to bear testimony in word, but in deed, to sustain and
          honor their testimony through their lives; and also in their
          death; and greater love than this no man can have for his friend
          or for his bosom companion, not even David and Jonathan, whose
          love for each other is said to have surpassed the love of woman.
          No one can give a stronger assurance of his devotion to the
          principles he has received and which he teaches to his fellowman,
          than to patiently endure suffering, for their sake, and, if need
          be, to continue that suffering and endurance even unto death.
          In the economy of heaven, it has been deemed necessary, at
          various periods of the world's history, that such witnesses of
          Christ should suffer death for their testimony's sake, and that
          others may yet have to suffer in our own time is probable. Nay,
          the Scriptures give us clearly to understand that such will be
          the case, that more or less will suffer, but to what extent the
          servants of the Lord may be called upon to thus suffer is not
          given us to know, nor is it necessary we should. For what
          difference does it make when we have performed a good work or so
          far completed it that the Lord accepts of it and is willing for
          us to pass behind the veil, and perhaps given his consent whether
          we go by a bullet or through violence at the hands of our
          enemies, or whether it be by a lingering sickness? In most cases
          the former would be preferable, so far as we are personally
          concerned, for in such the pain and suffering would be slight,
          although it would be calculated to shock the sensibilities of
          living friends who would mourn over us. 
          In philosophising upon these things, I scarcely have a tremor or
          thought or care in relation to the death I may suffer, or when it
          shall come, or how it shall come. It matters not when or where or
          under what circumstances it may be, my feeling is as it always
          has been--it will be all right. I take no more thought or care of
          this matter than the infant child does about the preparation of
          its food. The Lord cares for us and such matters, and will order
          them in their time and season.
          But there is a principle involved. When a man is faced by his
          enemies, when the wicked conspire against the righteous,
          threatening death and destruction if he do not turn truant and
          deny our God and obey their behests; all this is calculated to
          try the faith of the people and put them to the test, as to
          whether they have more confidence in God and his promises, than
          in his satanic majesty and the host of his servants upon the
          earth, who in many instances offer them what they have not power
          to give. They remind me of the devil when he took the Savior into
          a high mountain and showed him all the riches of the earth,
          promising to give him all he could see if he would only fall down
          and worship him. The Savior replied: "It is written, Thou shalt
          worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." He did
          not revile him by telling the poor devil that he did not own
          anything, that he had not the power to give what he proposed to;
          but merely quoted the Scripture referred to, which was applicable
          and suitable for the occasion. And I for one propose to obey the
          command; and this is all we need say to our enemies when they
          place us in similar circumstances. They may say, "you are a very
          great people in your way; you are a very economical and frugal
          people in your way, and are predisposed to be peaceful. You have
          redeemed the desert from sterility, and built up fine homes, and
          made roads, railroads, and telegraph lines, and you possess all
          the elements and natural advantages calculated to make a people
          prosperous and happy, and a nation great; and there are many good
          things to commend in you. But then, you have one evil exiting and
          encouraged among you which we deplore and which we are desirous
          and determined to eradicate. Now, if you will renounce that and
          cast it from you, we will give you the right hand of fellowship
          and be friends, and all the fullness of the earth is yours; and
          we will welcome your delegate, your representatives and your
          senators to Congress, and we will give them a seat by our side,
          and we will even call off our dogs of war, and withdraw our
          governor, and judges and marshals and attorneys whom we send to
          harass you, and also the little cur dogs that follow along
          barking at your heels; we will call them off, and let you possess
          the earth in peace if you will only deny your principles and lay
          aside those which we pronounce to be evil, and fall down and
          worship God as we do." Whether we will be true in all these
          things; whether we have the same confidence in God, the God we
          serve, who has led us all our lives and been true to us in all
          conditions and circumstances, and to the promises made to us up
          to the present time; whether we will still trust in him, and face
          the cannon's mouth, if need be, or face death in any form it may
          come, or imprisonment, if that form of treatment is preferred, or
          anything that they have power to inflict upon us, rather than
          deny our God. "How far will they go," says one? I answer, just as
          far as our Father permits them, and no farther. He has set bounds
          to the waves of the ocean, and he has also set bounds to the
          wrath of the wicked. He controls the elements that war in the
          heavens,--the fearful thunderstorm--that darkens the firmament
          and that shakes the earth with its roar, the vivid lightnings
          that add terror to the scene, the tumultuous waves that leap and
          dash in the fury of the gale, and the earthquake that bellows
          forth its lurid flames, which make men tremble at the gaze. But
          He speaks, and all is still; the thunders are hushed, the clouds
          dispersed, the lightnings cease and the belching of the
          earthquake is heard no more; all is peace and quiet. So with the
          wrath of man and of nations that may be heard raging in the midst
          of the wicked, under the control of the prince and power of the
          air, who works and controls in the midst of discordant kings and
          rulers who array themselves against each other. Nations are at
          loggerheads, and war is proclaimed; the energies of war are set
          in array, and misery and death stalk in their wake. And again by
          some slight means, the Lord changes the fate of nations and turns
          the fortunes of war, and changes the tide of events, and all
          human calculations fail. He causes some angel of his to put some
          obstruction in the way of the march of some general and his army
          so that he arrives, perhaps, at the scene of battle five minutes
          too late; he causes a chariot wheel to fall off or some slight
          accident to happen to an engine of destruction, and the best
          calculations of the shrewdest officer and the proudest king fail
          and their works come to nought. He sets up and pulls down men and
          nations at his pleasure. He did this in the case of the first
          great and proud monarch of the world--the King of Babylon who
          swayed universal sceptre upon the earth. He was a strong-minded,
          and strong-willed and haughty monarch; but God taught him by an
          extraordinary and humiliating experience to know that the Lord,
          the Most High God rules in the heavens and also controls the
          affairs of men as it pleases him. And his bitter experience God
          caused to be written as a warning to kings and rulers and the
          great ones of the earth; and they are lessons of warning equally
          appropriate to every human soul.
          I have occupied more time than I intended or thought I could. I
          pray God to bless us in all our labors, that union, peace and
          love may abide in your midst and in your habitations, and that
          prosperity may attend you in your business, that the difficulties
          which annoy you and impede your progress may be removed and the
          dark clouds that to-day seem to hang over your heads, be
          dispersed and the genial warmth of the sun's rays again be felt
          among you, that the hearts of the Saints may be cheered, and
          those who feel the weight and responsibility of carrying on the
          work you have so nobly undertaken, be encouraged and relieved
          from any apprehensions they might have felt in consequence of the
          misfortunes and losses you have recently sustained, which may God
          grant, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Taylor, April 9, 1879
                             John Taylor, April 9, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
           Delivered at the Semi-Annual Conference, Held in the Tabernacle
                           Salt Lake City, April 9, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          It has been very properly remarked that we are becoming a great
          people, and there are a great many interests of a temporal, as
          well as spiritual nature, that must necessarily be attended
          to--in fact it has been so contemplated from the beginning. We
          talk sometimes of earthly things: at other times we speak of
          heavenly things. Sometimes we speak of things pertaining to time,
          and at other times of things pertaining to eternity. We have to
          do with both or we could not have been here. And being here it is
          proper we should come to a right understanding in regard to the
          position we occupy; and especially that we should comprehend our
          duties relating to our temporal affairs and by acting truthfully,
          honorably and conscientiously avoid so much annoyance, trouble,
          litigation and difficulty that so frequently exists. In relation
          to the Gospel of the Son of God, it gives us information
          pertaining to our existence and to our general relationship to
          God and to each other, pointing out our various duties and
          responsibilities. Associated with it is a priesthood which among
          other things is to promulgate the will of God to the ends of the
          earth; it has taught us principles pertaining to our future, both
          in relation to the living and the dead, relative to the present,
          past and future. We talk a great deal about our Gospel, about our
          spiritual affairs; we have our church organized according to
          certain principles associated therewith. We have a priesthood
          organization, embracing our Stake organization; we have
          organizations pertaining to spiritual things, if you may so call
          them, and also for temporal things, for we have to do both with
          time and with eternity, both with earthly and with heavenly
          things, and consequently it is necessary we should be interested
          in all. When we reflect upon our position, there is something
          peculiar associated with it. At first the Elders of this Church
          were told to go forth and preach the Gospel to every creature;
          then they were instructed to gather together those who believed.
          According to the Scriptures, "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 mine heart, which shall feed you with
          knowledge and understanding." We are gathered together; but being
          gathered together there is something more than spirituality
          associated with our existence. We brought our bodies with us when
          we came, and we necessarily have to eat and drink and to have
          houses to live in, etc.; in fact, we require the common
          necessaries of life just as much as any other people. And then,
          if we have children, as Bishop Hunter says, "there are none of
          them born with shoes and stockings;" but these things have to be
          provided. Furthermore, being gathered together, we necessarily
          form a body politic, if you please, and we cannot help ourselves
          if we would; but we do not want to. We frame laws according to
          the usage of the nation we are associated with; for being here
          and finding ourselves in the territory of the United States, we
          necessarily have had to organize a government which has assumed a
          territorial form; and that means a legislature with its
          enactments and all the various adjuncts of a government. Laws
          have to be made, officers must be created to execute those laws;
          and we necessarily become an integral part of these United
          States, and have to perform all the political functions
          associated therewith.
          These things naturally flow unto us, and they will continue to
          grow and increase, if it be true what the Scriptures say, and if
          it be true what many of our brethren have preached to you since
          the assembling of this Conference. Then it becomes a matter for
          us to reflect upon that we understand our true position, how we
          can best sustain ourselves religiously, socially, politically and
          financially, and among other lessons learn to produce at home
          those articles we stand in need of.
          We have been brought up in the world, and have imbibed many ideas
          in common with mankind generally pertaining to commerce, trade
          and manufactures. But we need the inspiration of the Almighty in
          all of the affairs of life; for we profess emphatically to be the
          people of God, and as it is with us in our religion so it ought
          to be with our politics, our trade and manufactures. They ought,
          in all things, to be subservient to one grand principle, and that
          is the acknowledgment of God and his laws. Permit me here to
          state that before the revelations of God to man in these last
          days, there were no people that had a correct knowledge of God,
          that we have any knowledge of, anywhere upon the earth. All were
          without prophecy, without revelation, without a knowledge of the
          doctrine or ordinances of the Gospel. And to whom are we indebted
          for a knowledge of these things? Certainly not to ourselves, and
          as assuredly not to any earthly body or system in existence. We
          are indebted alone to God for a knowledge of these things;
          through His revelations made first by himself and by his well
          beloved Son, and then by the ministering of holy angels, by
          communication from the heavens to the earth. We are indebted to
          him for all the light and intelligence we possess in relation to
          these things. What did we know about the first principles of the
          Gospel? Nothing. What did we know about the gathering, or about
          Zion, or about the ordinances of the Gospel or about the holy
          priesthood? Nothing at all. Nor did we know anything about the
          building of Temples, or about the mode of administering in them
          until directed by the Almighty; it was He who revealed the
          necessity of the construction of those sacred edifices and the
          mode of administering therein. What does the outside world know
          about these things? Nothing. And if they had our Temples they
          could not administer therein. We are indebted to God alone for
          the light and intelligence we have received.
          Again in regard to political matters, where is there a nation
          to-day, under the face of the whole heavens that is under the
          guidance and direction of the Lord in the management of their
          public affairs? You cannot find one. It is true that the founders
          of this nation, as a preliminary step for the introduction of
          more correct principles and that liberty and the rights of man
          might be recognized, and that all men might become equal before
          the law of the land, had that great palladium of liberty, the
          Constitution of the United States, framed. This was the entering
          wedge for the introduction of a new era, and in it were
          introduced principles for the birth and organization of a new
          world. The Prophet Joseph Smith said that "The Constitution of
          the United States was given by the inspiration of God." But good,
          virtuous and holy principles may be perverted by corrupt and
          wicked men. The Lord was opposed by Satan, Jesus had his Judas,
          and this nation abounds with traitors who ignore that sacred
          palladium of liberty and seek to trample it under foot. Joseph
          Smith said they would do so, and that when deserted by all, the
          elders of Israel would rally around its shattered fragments and
          save and preserve it inviolate. But even this, good as it was,
          was not a perfect instrument; it was one of those stepping stones
          to a future development in the progress of a man to the
          intelligence and light, the power and union that God alone can
          impart to the human family. And while we acknowledge, as citizens
          of the United States, the laws and institutions thereof (which by
          the way are very easily complied with), we have a higher law,
          more noble principles, ideas that are more elevated and
          expansive; principles that reach to the whole human family, and
          which he will continue to reveal to us. Does that prevent us from
          obeying the laws of the land? Certainly not. But then, is that a
          prefect system? I do not think that many of you will say it is,
          nor do I think that the people of the United States of any
          political party will tell you it is. I do not wish to cast any
          reflections or refer to any events that have taken place; I am
          merely speaking on religious principles, and principles too in
          which we as Latter-day Saints are interested. We are united,
          then, as a body politic, as an integral part of this Government,
          and it becomes our duty to submit to the laws and institutions of
          that Government--to all that are constitutional, framed and based
          upon correct principles, and not in violation of what the fathers
          of the country instituted.
          But have we any higher aim than this? We have. Do any object? If
          so why should they? Do we in anywise interfere with any man's
          rights, Government, or make war upon any parties? No, but we are
          interested in the preservation of justice, equality and the
          rights of man in the development of peace, the further
          establishment of correct, more elevated, refined and exalted
          principles, in placing ourselves in a position more in accordance
          with things as they exist in the heavens, for the welfare and
          happiness of the human family. God has given unto us certain
          principles which we feel bound to observe. Is there anything
          wrong in this? I think not. We have all kinds of institutions
          here in the United States and in other nations, such as Odd
          Fellows, Free Masons, and others; and they have a right to their
          ideas and manner of doing things as long as they observe the
          laws, and so have we, and have a right to be protected also in
          those rights. But to say we must stand still is a thing not
          connected with our creed. If others do not desire to accompany or
          keep pace with us, we must still go on under the guidance of the
          Lord. As was said of ancient Israel, "The Lord is our God, the
          Lord is our King, the Lord is our judge, and he shall rule over
          us," so we say. We need information and revelation in regard to
          out religious matters, we also need information, intelligence and
          revelation in regard to our political, social and all temporal
          matters. If we humble ourselves and purify ourselves, and magnify
          our callings as the Elders of Israel, according to the
          Scriptures, we will yet teach the princes of this world wisdom
          and their kings knowledge and understanding; for these things
          that are spoken of will assuredly come to pass when "out of Zion
          shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
          The purposes of God shall yet be fulfilled in relation to these
          matters; God's work will most assuredly progress, until "the
          kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God and
          his Christ, and he will rule for ever and ever," not in war, not
          in confusion and strife and discussions, not in evil and
          corruption; but in the interests of humanity, according to the
          laws of life and in accordance with the intelligence that dwells
          in the bosoms of the Gods, and in the interests of a fallen
          Now we come to other matters pertaining to our mercantile
          associations, I might talk further about our social relations,
          etc., however, these are subjects we hear a good deal about; we
          are pretty well informed in relation to them. The information we
          have pertaining to our associations with our wives, and wives
          with their husbands has been revealed to us by God, and we are
          striving to carry out those eternal principles,--principles that
          will exalt us, our progenitors and our posterity in the celestial
          kingdom, where we can enjoy the presence of God and that of the
          celestial hosts who have gone before.
          We come again to our temporal interests. Has the world been our
          exemplar with regard to any of these things that I have
          mentioned? No, the Lord has been our teacher, He has been our
          guide and director; without him we could have accomplished
          nothing, for we knew no more naturally than anybody else did.
          In relation to temporal things. Are we capable, as Latter-day
          Saints, of fulfilling our destiny on the earth, and procuring a
          full temporal salvation and sustaining ourselves, on temporal
          principles without the interposition of the Almighty? I tell you
          no, we are not, no more than we are in regard to any other
          things. We read in the Scriptures of a time that is coming when
          there will be a howling among the merchants in Babylon, for men
          will not be found to buy their merchandise. This is in accordance
          with the prediction of John the Revelator. And the gold and the
          silver and the fine linen, etc., in Babylon will be of no avail.
          But before that time comes, we as a people must prepare for those
          events, that we may be able to live and sustain ourselves when in
          the midst of convulsions that by and by will overtake the nations
          of the earth, and among others, this nation. The time that is
          spoken of is not very far distant. "He that will not take up his
          sword against his neighbor, must needs flee to Zion for safety."
          And Zion herself must flee to the God of Israel and hide herself
          in the shadow of his wing, seeking for his guidance and direction
          to lead her in the right path, both as regards spiritual and
          temporal affairs; things social and things political, and
          everything pertaining to human existence. We are not prepared as
          a people to-day for the accomplishment of this object; we need
          the interposition and guidance of the Almighty. It is just as
          necessary that we be under his guidance in relation to these
          matters, as it is in regard to any other matters. Who made the
          earth? The same being that made the heavens. Who made our bodies?
          The same being that made our souls; and it takes the "body and
          the spirit to make the soul of man." We need not arrogate to
          ourselves any particular intelligence, whether of mercantile,
          manufacturing, chemical or scientific nature, for if there is
          anything good or intelligent, it is the Lord who has imparted it,
          whether man acknowledge it or not. We want to acknowledge the
          Lord in all things, temporal as well as spiritual.
          I wish now more directly to touch upon some other principles
          associated therewith. Some of us seem to be very much confused in
          our minds as to how we shall operate in regard to temporal
          affairs. We have brought with us the feelings, views and ideas of
          the people from whence we came, which are conflicting, and which
          tend to disintegration and division, and lead to covetousness and
          fraud, which ought not to have an existence among the Saints of
          God. We have advertisements published in our newspapers by the
          Latter-day Saints too, things that are infamous, that are untrue,
          that are a shame and a disgrace among honorable people, and stand
          as a living lie. The community at large should not countenance
          such things as we see daily in our papers to attract the
          attention of the unwary and bring what they call grists to their
          mill, in the interest of the individual. We as a people are not
          called together to act in individual interests; we are called
          together as Saints of God to operate in the interests of the Zion
          of God, for the welfare of Israel, and not let ourselves float
          along with the balance, and all swim together, or all sink
          together. We ought to be governed by principles of union,
          fellowship and right feeling, carrying out honorable and upright
          principles that should be acknowledged before God, the holy
          angels and all honorable men.
          Now after speaking so much upon general principles, let me touch
          upon some things referred to here about these reports, etc. We
          have long talked about the united order and about co-operation;
          and we have started in a good deal like some of our little boys
          when they begin to run--we have made a great many stumbles in
          this matter. Little Willie and Annie often think they can manage
          things better than Daddy and Mammy; and we, like them, have
          assumed to ourselves strength, and the first thing we know are
          pulling this way, that way and the other. Then, have the
          institutions been exactly right? No, all kinds of foolishness and
          all kinds of blunderings have occurred in their administration.
          But shall we quit? I think not; that is just what the devil would
          like, just what many of our merchants want, and it would be the
          very thing that would suit the world, and the devil would laugh
          at us. What we want to do is to purge out the things that are
          wrong, and correct them and place them upon a correct basis, and
          then adhere to them as we would any other part of our religion.
          In the Church, if a man lies or swears, or commits adultery, or
          does anything wrong, we deal with him according to the laws of
          the Church. But because men do wrong, we do not abandon our
          principles, nor leave the Church, but we turn such individuals
          out that will not be righted, and we aim to adjust all things and
          place them on a proper basis. Why not do the same in temporal
          things? We have, for instance, Zion's Co-operative Mercantile
          Institution; it is called the Parent Institution, and it ought to
          be the parent of all these institutions and act as a father and
          protector and benefactor, doing all it can to promote the welfare
          and prosperity of the people. And then the people, on the other
          hand, ought to protect it and sustain it by doing their business
          through that institution and act prudently, wisely, orderly and
          unitedly in regard to these matters, that we may be one; for our
          revelations tell us, If we are not one, we are not the lord's.
          And if we are not the Lord's, whose are we?
          We talk sometimes about the United Order. I do not propose to
          read to you on this occasion from any of the revelations bearing
          on this subject, but will quote to you in substance from one of
          them. The Lord has told us that those who would not comply with
          the requirements connected with this order should have their
          names erased from the book of the law of God, and their
          genealogies must not be found on any church records or history,
          their names shall not be found nor the names of the fathers, nor
          the names of the children written in the book of the Law of God.
          These words are to us, Latter-day Saints; they are true and are
          binding upon us.
          Another thing; what did we do when President Young was among us,
          urging these things upon us? Did we not enter into covenant by
          re-baptism to be subject to the Priesthood in temporal as well as
          spiritual things, when we took upon ourselves the obligations of
          the United Order? Let me ask you, what do we mean by doing this?
          Is it a mere form, a farce, or do we intend to carry out the
          covenants we made? I tell you in the name of Israel's God they
          will be carried out, and no man can plow around these things, for
          God has decreed that they shall be accomplished; and any man who
          sets himself in opposition to these principles which God has
          established, he will root him out; but the principle itself will
          not be rooted out, for God will see that it is accomplished. And
          in the name of Israel's God we will help him to do it; and all
          who feel to do it, say amen. (The large congregation responded
          with a loud, "Amen.")
          We have started co-operative institutions, and I will touch on a
          principle now, showing how they ought to be governed. God has
          ordained two priesthoods upon the earth--the Melchizedek and the
          Aaronic. The Melchizedek presides more especially over the
          spiritual affairs of the Church, and has done in all ages when it
          has existed upon the earth. You will find this provided for in
          the Doctrine and Covenants; you can hunt it up at your leisure, I
          do not wish to stop to make the quotation now. The Aaronic
          priesthood is presided over by the presiding bishop. If we had a
          literal descendant of Aaron he would have a right to preside over
          the bishopric, and to operate and manage and direct these things
          without the aid of counselors. In the absence of such men the
          Lord has directed us to take men from the high priesthood and set
          them apart to be bishops to administer in temporal things. This
          Aaronic priesthood is an appendage to the Melchizedek priesthood,
          and its province is to administer in temporal affairs. One reason
          why we want men of this class to administer in temporal things is
          because there is a special provision made for it. Nevertheless a
          High Priest that is after the order of Melchizedek may be set
          apart to administer in temporal things, having a knowledge of
          them by the Spirit of truth. And before a man attempts to
          administer in Zion in temporal things, he ought to obtain a
          knowledge of that spirit of truth to administer according to the
          intelligence which that spirit of truth imparts. Thus we have the
          Aaronic priesthood in its place; the Melchizedek priesthood in
          its place. And in all the various functions it is necessary to
          enter into all the various organizations. It is on one or two
          particular points that I wish to speak now.
          In the first place the Lord requires certain things to be done to
          meet his approbation; and everything has to be done under the
          direction of the presidency of the Twelve, both temporal things
          and spiritual things. The bishops and the presidents of Stakes
          and all the officers in the Church of God are subject to this
          authority and they cannot get around it. And when any officer of
          this Church who by virtue of his calling does things without
          counselling with the proper authorities of the Church, he takes
          upon himself things that he has no right to do, and such a course
          cannot be acceptable before God and the Priesthood.
          Now then, we come to the bishopric. Ought the bishops to be
          consulted in regard to temporal things? Yes, they ought. And as
          an example, let me tell you that for the last year Bishop Hunter
          has associated with the Council of the Twelve whenever they have
          met to consider temporal matters. And I may say we have been
          pleased to have his company, because it was his place to
          understand the position of temporal things, that we may know his
          feelings, and counsel with him and he with us, that everything
          may be done according to the order and laws of God, that there
          may be perfect unanimity. With this view he was placed as one of
          the counselors to the Trustee-in-Trust--because the
          Trustee-in-Trust thought it belonged to him to hold that
          position, and thinks so to-day. But then, does he preside over
          the Melchizedek Priesthood? No, he does not. Who and what is he?
          A high priest ordained and set apart to the bishopric. By whom?
          The Presidency. Does he control the Presidency? No, he is set
          apart by them; as bishop he is an appendage to the higher
          priesthood, and does not control it. No man controls it. I
          remember a remark made on one occasion by Joseph Smith, in
          speaking with Bishop Partridge, who was then Bishop. He was a
          splendid good man, as Bishop Hunter is. But he got some crooked
          ideas into his head; he thought he ought to manage some things
          irrespective of Joseph, which caused Joseph to speak rather
          sharply to him. Joseph said, I wish you to understand that I am
          President of this Church, and I am your president, and I preside
          over you and all your affairs. Is that correct doctrine? Yes. It
          was true then and it is true to-day.
          Well, it is necessary that we should have an understanding of
          these things, that we may make no mistakes in our administration.
          I want, then, in all our operations to confer with our bishops.
          And if this institution of ours is "Zion's Co-operative," then it
          should be under the direction of Zion, under the direction of the
          Priesthood; and if it is not "Zion's" Co-operative, then it is a
          living lie. But do we wish to interfere with them? No, we do not.
          Do we wish to interrupt them in any of their operations? No, we
          want to help them; we want to unite them and all the people into
          one, with God at our head, governed by the holy priesthood. Have
          they rights? Yes. Do we respect them? Yes. Have the people
          rights? Yes. Shall the people be respected in their rights? Yes,
          they shall, all the people in all the Stakes; and while we
          sustain them they must sustain us; and if they expect to have our
          support, they must give us theirs.
          Having said so much, I will tell you that I believe sincerely
          that the men managing our Co-operative Institution are doing just
          as well as they know how. And I will state further, that I don't
          know of any persons in this community who know how better than
          they do. And I have been now for some time associated with them,
          and am acquainted with their proceedings.
          There are other principles besides this; we want to learn to
          manufacture our own goods. And while on the one hand we use the
          best talent and financial ability we can get to attend to our
          mercantile institutions; on the other hand, we need to cherish a
          spirit to encourage home manufactures of every kind, and we want
          to get this institution to help us do it. If we manufacture
          cloths and boots and shoes or anything else, we want the
          institution to dispose of our goods. If we need encouragement in
          regard to the introduction of any manufactures of any kind, we
          want them to help us, and we have a right to expect this of them
          so far as is wise, prudent and legitimate, I will state that the
          directors of Z.C.M.I. feel interested in the very things that I
          am talking about, and I say it to their credit and for your
          satisfaction. I do not think there is an institution in the
          United States in a better condition than that is to-day; and it
          is improving all the time, not after any fictitious manner, but
          on a solid, firm, reliable basis. Now then, I have proposed to
          these brethren, which they quite coincide with, that when they
          shall be able to pay a certain amount as dividends on the means
          invested, after reserving a sufficient amount to preserve the
          institution intact against any sudden emergency that may arise,
          which is proper among all wise and intelligent men, that then the
          profits of the institution outside of this, should be
          appropriated for the development of the home manufactures, the
          making of machinery, the introduction of self-sustaining
          principles and the building up of the Territory generally, and
          they acquiesced in this feeling; and I say it to their honor and
          credit. And I will tell you again that the Church has got a large
          interest in that institution, consequently we wish to see
          everything go aright, not on any wild erratic principle, but on a
          solid, firm, reliable basis, that can be carried out and that
          will elicit the admiration and confidence of all good and
          honorable men.
          Sometimes little difficulties have arisen outside through
          interested individuals who have resorted to a good deal of
          trickery; other times perhaps from just causes. And I will say
          too that complaints have been made that we have not sufficiently
          sustained our home manufactures. I will say however that the
          Institution has stood in a very delicate position. We have been
          struggling with the financial crisis that has cast a gloom over
          all this nation for the last number of years--since 1873. But we
          are now getting into a solid firm position, and when we declared
          3 per cent for the six months dividend, it was because the
          Institution was able to do so. And when we are able to extend
          this a little farther we will be quite willing to do so.
          Some of the complaints that have been made against the
          institution we have heard; and we have thought best to have a
          board and refer to that board any complaints that might be made
          from any part of the Territory. This board that has been
          temporally organized has given us these various reports which
          have been read in your hearing, which indicate their views and
          feelings in regard to these things. We wish a board of that kind
          to be organized upon a correct basis according to the order of
          this Church and Kingdom of God; and then as the people throughout
          the Territory send to purchase their goods from them, let the
          people that make these purchases be represented; and if there is
          anything not straight in their operations let them be made
          straight. And this is what this committee is for, that the people
          may be protected as well as the Institution.
          Then Stake organizations are recommended, with a representative
          from each Stake at the general or central board, and it will make
          it much more pleasant for the management of that Institution to
          have a criticism of that kind. And it will also tend to allay
          many of these foolish things which are frequently put in
          circulation in different parts of the Territory. The object then,
          of this Board is that the people may be represented, and that
          Zion's Cooperative may also be properly represented, that it may
          serve as a balance wheel to adjust and correct any matters of
          difficulty that may arise.
          I am happy to say that in many parts of the Territory they are
          introducing the manufacture of leather and boots and shoes and a
          variety of other articles. And suffice it to say that, according
          to these reports, the Parent Institution has sustained the
          manufacturers of these home-made articles quite liberally; and we
          want it to be in that position that everything we use can be
          bought there. This is, too, the feeling in relation to this
          matter. And when we get things into a proper fix we will pull
          with a long pull and a strong pull and a pull altogether. We will
          strive to be one; and if we cannot go so far as to sustain
          co-operation in regard to these things, how in the name of common
          sense are we ever going into the United Order? But we will begin
          with this, and then co-operate in all the different Stakes, not
          only in your merchandising, but in your manufacturing affairs and
          in your producing affairs; and in every thing it will be the duty
          of this general Board of Trade to regulate the interests of the
          whole community, honestly and faithfully, at least we will do it
          according to the best ability we have; and if there should any
          mistakes arise, we will try to correct them; if they are on the
          part of the people, we will talk to them about it, if on the part
          of the institution, we will talk to its management about it. And
          we will keep working and operating until we succeed in
          introducing and establishing these things that God has desired,
          and until Zion shall be a united people and the glory of all the
          God bless you and lead you in the path of life, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / Henry
          W. Naisbitt, November 23rd, 1879
                       Henry W. Naisbitt, November 23rd, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER H. W. NAISBITT,
              Delivered in the 13th Ward Meeting House, Salt Lake City
                                November 23rd, 1879.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                          NOT BE DISCOURAGED BY DIFFICULTY.
          My brethren and sisters: I can say that I have had some very
          pleasant and interesting reflections while listening to Brother
          Fowler's remarks, and think the purpose for which we have met
          this evening has been a success. I have felt that I have been
          fed, that I have been blessed, and that I shall carry with me
          more or less of the influence and spirit of those remarks, and
          upon reflection we all understand that this is really the purpose
          for which we come together.
          Mormonism, in a sense, is opposed to formality. All that there is
          associated with it is meant for use, and there are results
          expected to accrue from all the practices of the Church that have
          been established by revelation, and everything is intended to aid
          in the great work which we call salvation. To be sure, that is a
          very common word, it is a word that we are all familiar with, it
          is something that we have heard from the time that we were
          children, from the time that we went to Sabbath school, and
          before we went there, and after we attained to youth and manhood.
          But in the light of the Gospel how narrow and contracted and how
          offensive the word in its sectarian sense becomes to us, so much
          so that many of us scarcely like to use it; we would prefer to
          use another expression which more thoroughly carries with it all
          the ideas associated with the reception and practice of the
          Our memory has been cited to the fact that during the history of
          this Church, and during the history of the primitive church,
          there were those who possessed the spirit of unbelief, there were
          those who became more or less indifferent and negligent in regard
          to that which they received, and we have been referred to the
          history of those who have fallen from this Church--men who have
          seen great things, men who have had wonderful experiences, men
          whom we might have considered as stable as the eternal hills by
          virtue of that experience. Now what is the difficulty in such
          cases? What is the difficulty in any cases, in your case, and in
          my case, when we lose an interest in the things pertaining to the
          kingdom of God? Is it a healthy sign? or is it not rather, if
          continued, a sign of approximating death? Is the man or the woman
          who are alive to their duties--are they those who apostatize? Is
          it the faithful man or the active, stirring woman, who are
          laboring earnestly, following the practice and principles of the
          Gospel, that leave the Church? No, it is not, but it is those
          who, from some cause or other, become cold, heartless,
          indifferent, and neglectful of their duties.
          Salvation, in its largest aspect, consists in the proportion of
          truth received; men and women only are saved in proportion to the
          truth which they appropriate. An ignorant man will only obtain
          the salvation which belongs to the ignorant. The idler will only
          obtain that salvation which belongs to an idle man. Is it not
          "the hand of the diligent that maketh rich?" and there are
          parallels running through all the actions of the Saints in a
          religious sense similar to those which run through the actions of
          men in a social sense, even down to the lowest details of human
          life, into every avenue of life, in every direction in which
          human happiness is involved, constituting as they do in their
          entirety that which is spoken by the Apostle Paul, "how shall we
          escape if we neglect so great salvation?" I presume, if I am to
          judge by my experience, that every man and every woman realizes
          that it is just in proportion to our experience, our use of the
          opportunities of life, our understanding of the principles
          involved, that we are successful. If you find a man who essays to
          be a merchant, who desires the accumulation of wealth, you will
          find a man who points his energies in that direction. He is a man
          who not only looks at things in general but at things in detail;
          he not only looks at his business as a whole but he looks at it
          in its parts; and if he were to abstain or refrain from a
          consideration of the details which insure success the probability
          is that he would find himself in the courts of liquidation. Many
          a man, fortunate in a mercantile sense, has gone to the wall
          through carelessness in regard to little things as boxes, paper,
          time, etc., through trivial waste that every prudent man would be
          disposed to notice; but the successful merchant in almost any
          instance--and these instances are the exception and not the rule,
          is the man who is economical, prudent and careful of the details
          of his business. If you go into our houses, and you take our
          girls that are grown up, and they are unable to bake bread,
          unable to cook a potato, unable to wash and attend to all the
          duties which belong to domestic life, how much of a domestic
          salvation will they receive? What attraction will there be for
          the husband, working away in the battle of life, when he comes
          home to find that rest which is so desirable? Our domestic
          salvation depends upon attention to the details which lie at the
          foundation of domestic happiness, and there can be no peace in
          the domestic circle where there is a lack of intelligence, there
          can be no success only where the good housewife masters the
          details of her daily life.
          As it is in these two every-day yet diverse instances of life, so
          also it is in all other directions, and the same principle is
          just as prominent and just as applicable to the details of our
          most holy faith. You go out into the missionary field and preach
          the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After you have
          finished your discourse some one may come up to you and say, "my
          friend, I believe the doctrine which you teach, I acknowledge the
          existence of the Deity, I believe in the message of his son, I
          understand the necessity of obedience to the first
          principles--including baptism." But mark when a man has been
          baptized if he becomes careless and indifferent and says "Well, I
          am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to
          this extent." In your estimation now, what would be the amount of
          salvation that man would receive? Why, he might receive the
          remission of his sins and that is all he is entitled to, but he
          salvation which belongs to the ordinance of the "laying on of
          hands" would form no part of his blessings. But supposing he
          advances a step further and says: "Having done so well I would
          like to enjoy a little more of the blessings," and he goes and
          receives the laying on of hands. He feels the promptings of the
          spirit of intelligence from above, he rejoices in its influence;
          it suggests, persuades counsels, and advises. Supposing that
          under the operations of this spirit he should turn a deaf ear to
          its promptings--suppose that it prompts him to go in one
          direction and he feels to run the other, suppose that he should
          resist this influence, how much of a salvation in that respect
          would he receive? For instance, you are all aware of the power of
          the spirit, or rather the impulse it gives to gathering. We have
          all felt this. It has been apart of our experience when we have
          been under the influence of that spirit; we desired to associate
          with the Saints in a local capacity, in their general assemblies,
          and in a larger sense we have been desirous of gathering with
          them to the great gathering place wherever that may be. Suppose
          that spirit of gathering is resisted, and a man says "Well, I
          have got a good situation here, a nice little home, I enjoy the
          society in which I mingle"--and he continues in that course, how
          on earth or heaven or any where else, can that man get the
          special and particular salvation which belongs to gathering? It
          cannot be done; it is not in the nature of things. If he would
          enjoy that salvation he must absorb the principle of gathering
          until it grows and blossoms into life. And there are those even
          in this Territory who, when they get among the Saints believe
          that all the purposes of their holy religion have been served in
          their experience, and they set themselves down and say, "Well
          now, I will endeavor to get for myself a good home; I will try to
          make myself comfortable; I will spread out on the right hand and
          on the left; and as for some duties which pertain to my
          religion--well, I have not time to attend to them, they absorb
          too much of my attention, and I will give my life to making
          myself and family comfortable." They think that because they have
          been baptized, because they enjoy the spirit of the Lord through
          the laying on of hands, because they have forsaken fatherland and
          come to the mountains, that, therefore, they are sure of "the
          great salvation" which the Gospel brings. Why, it is all a
          mistake. They will get the salvation which is necessary
          consequent upon the truth which they have absorbed and put into
          practice; no more and no less. 
          Again, we find that some of our people when Christmas comes round
          will begin to make excuses in regard to their tithing. Now,
          tithing is one of the eternal principles which pertains to the
          order of God. But a man goes up to his Bishop and says, "Well
          now, it's all I can do to make both ends meet; the necessities of
          my family, the responsibilities and cares that belong to the
          position in which I move, compel me to use all the income I
          receive, and it scarcely suffices to serve my wants." Do you
          believe that that man will ever enjoy that particular portion of
          salvation which belongs to those who promptly pay their tithes to
          the Lord? No, it cannot be done; that man never can enjoy the
          special and peculiar blessing that belongs to all those who pay
          their tithing.
          You go into a man's house and you find there disorder, children
          disputing, the wives--two or three as the case may be--at
          loggerheads (to use a rather vulgar expression) in fact the
          spirit of peace has fled from the hearthstone, what salvation in
          a domestic sense does that man enjoy? Is that the outcome of the
          order of family government, or rather was it not instituted to
          promote peace and harmony, so that we might have a type of the
          great heaven which we desire to enjoy in the not far distant
          future? The man who would have domestic salvation has got to work
          for it. He must understand the nature of the element with which
          he deals, he must so manipulate that it will bring forth the
          domestic salvation which he earnestly seeks. But supposing a man
          has got the peace he desires in this respect, yet in the morning
          as in the evening the song of prayer or praise is never heard in
          his house. Now there is a certain position of domestic salvation
          which pertains to the carrying out of these ideas and principles
          which we have received that cannot be secured by any other
          process, and the man who neglects to have family prayers, and to
          induce and persuade his family to join in, has lost one of the
          great elements which operate and secure for him and his, domestic
          Well, now, there are some who attend to all these duties; but
          still there are a great many other principles that require to be
          observed. A man, for instance, has got the wife of his youth and
          a little family growing up, yet there is a principle in the
          Church of Christ called patriarchal marriage, and many a woman in
          regard to this will say to her husband, "Now let us be satisfied
          to leave well enough alone. If your family circle is enlarged,
          you will increase your responsibility, and there is great risk
          connected with the introduction of a foreign element in your
          family. It is true there may be peace, but it is far more likely
          that there will be contention or division." Now, is there any
          advantage in the practice of the patriarchal order? That is the
          question. If there is--and I know there is, in spite of any
          difficulty connected therewith--how can you expect to enjoy any
          benefit which accrues from the practice of this eternal principle
          and yet remain in neglect or disobedience of that principle. It
          cannot be done. A great many think that it can, and they will
          employ all manner of subterfuge to back up their position. They
          will read the revelation on the subject, and they will construe
          and misconstrue all that it says, in order to justify themselves
          in the position which they have assumed; but every man and every
          woman may rest satisfied that the blessings which flow from this
          order of the Church of Christ cannot be secured by any other
          process than the one pointed out by Divine authority. "But," says
          one, "I have known in my experience where difficulties have
          originated through the practice of this principle." Very true.
          Have you never known of difficulties originating in any other
          direction or arising from the practice of any other principle?
          Were there no difficulties set before you when you were baptized?
          Were there no difficulties presented before you when you thought
          of gathering? Were there no difficulties in your way when you
          endeavored to make your feet fast in the valleys of the
          mountains? Is it not difficulties that make the man? Is it not
          difficulties that make the woman? Is it not those circumstances
          and changes of life that call forth every energy and arouse us to
          continued action to that we may ensure success? In the common
          walks of life we are accustomed to notice men and women who pride
          themselves in the assurance that where others have failed they
          have brought forth success. The same idea is applicable to many
          in the direction of the patriarchal order. Where a man has failed
          in one or some other given direction, that failure should be an
          impetus to his neighbor, requiring and stirring him to use all
          his ability so as to secure success.
          Now when I was in the old world I met a great many of the
          brethren there who were engaged like myself in the work of the
          ministry, and whenever I met a man of the character I have
          described I invariably found that he was shorn of power, that he
          did not carry with him that full influence which a missionary of
          the Gospel should carry; at all events he had not that influence
          which practice and experience gives in this direction and I have
          imagined a case to myself sometimes. In going into any small town
          or country village, into the midst of those peculiar influences
          which exist in England, you will find an audience congregated on
          the village green or elsewhere listening to the missionary. After
          he is through with his discourse a man steps up and says, I have
          heard the remarks you have made; I believe in the principles that
          you advocate; but I am at the mercy of the squire, or of the Lord
          of the Manor' here, or the owner of this coal pit, or the one who
          runs this factory, and if I should embrace the doctrine that you
          preach I should be turned out of my cottage; I should lose the
          opportunity of earning my bread, my boys and girls would be
          thrown out of employment, and I should soon be all astray in a
          financial and industrial sense." What does the elder say in a
          case of that kind? He says, "My friend I hear all your argument.
          It is very good, that is so far as it goes, but the Lord has
          promised to take care of his Saints; he has promised that when
          one door shuts another shall open; and he has declared by
          revelation that it is his business to provide for his Saints; and
          now if you will go down in humility and be baptized and associate
          yourselves with the church and kingdom of God upon the earth your
          way will be opened before you." The elder believes what he is
          advocating. The man goes down and is baptized, and sure enough
          directly it comes to his employer's ears, he receives a week's
          notice to quit his work, or quit his cottage, as the case may be.
          He pulls a long face when the elder comes round again, but the
          elder says, "never mind, all will come out right; exercise your
          faith; trust in Providence; do what is right and let the
          consequence follow." Soon after this the man gets a good
          situation and an advance of a few shillings per week probably;
          the Lord has blessed him, he has opened up his way before him,
          and the words of the servant of God have been fulfilled. By and
          by through this increase he gets to Zion, and arriving there he
          goes to visit the house of this missionary and be introduced to
          his family. After awhile he takes the elder to one side and says,
          "How long have you been in Utah?' And the answer is ten, fifteen,
          or twenty years, as the case may be. "You are pretty comfortable,
          nice little house well furnished." "Oh yes, first rate." Is this
          all the family you have got?" "Yes, this is all I have got; never
          had but one wife; I could not maintain any more families." "But
          says the man, "did you not tell me when I got baptized to keep
          all the commandments of God; did you not tell me it was the
          Lord's business to provide for the Saints; did you not make the
          assertion that the path of duty was the path of safety?'" "Yes"
          says the elder, "that may do very well for Babylon, but it won't
          do here in Zion." Now there is something not right here; there is
          surely a weak point somewhere. If the principle is good in the
          midst of the nations, it is good at home, and if men are honest
          and honorable in the practice of that which they know to be right
          in the valleys of the mountains, the path of success will as
          surely open before them as it did to the man who received the
          Gospel in a foreign land. A great many of the brethren think they
          cannot afford to keep any more families. I remember when I was a
          lad I used to think and say I should not be able to keep myself,
          and on remarking this to my landlady she replied" "I have often
          found that a man who thinks he cannot keep himself can keep a
          wife and five or six children." Why? Because the responsibility
          called forth his energies; he became speculative and energetic in
          order to secure success. There is a blessing, there is an element
          of salvation, there is something which tends to progress in the
          obedience to every principle that has been received, so far, in
          connection with the church and kingdom of God, and every man and
          every woman will receive only that amount of salvation for which
          they work. Our measure of salvation, then, consists in the
          absorption of the truth we hear. Truth neglected, truth
          unemployed, truth unappropriated, is as valueless as the snows of
          ten winters ago are for the irrigation of our fields in the
          coming summer. But where the spirit of life is, where the spirit
          of vitality exists, where throughout the whole organization of a
          man there burns the spirit of intelligence, the spirit of
          advancement, he will lead out continually in the right direction,
          and his wives and children will follow after him, they will catch
          his spirit, his neighbors will feel his influence, the ward to
          which he belongs will feel after and emulate his example, and
          society generally will be the better for his presence; but when
          this coldness, this indifference, this negligence comes in, why,
          the blessings that belong to obedience will not be received any
          more than the blessings that belong to our attending meeting on a
          Sunday can be received if we stay at home. I recollect a person
          saying to me once, "Well, who preached to-day?" "Oh brother so
          and so." "Well, I know all he can say; and besides when such and
          such persons preach I can stay at home and read the Bible"--and
          not much of that I think--"I can read the Book of Mormon,
          Doctrine and Covenants, DESERET NEWS, and any of the books
          published by the Church and I enjoy myself better than I do in
          going to meeting." Now is that a fact? A man may think so; but is
          it a fact that a man can increase in the knowledge of the things
          of God if he absents himself from the services of the sanctuary
          as established by divine appointment? I say, no. The meeting
          house is the place where the table is spread, where the food is
          prepared by the eternal spirit, and when we go there and hear men
          speak to us under the influence of that spirit, and we are in
          possession of the same spirit--we are fed, we grow and increase,
          and the roots and fibres of our being run deeper, and so enable
          us to "bring forth more fruit."
          I presume the time is exhausted. I desire to continue faithful to
          the appropriation of truth, wheresoever it may originate; no
          matter where, for all truth is divine. It is my privilege to
          enjoy the spirit of inspiration, to feel the flow of revelation
          from above; and that God may grant us peace and wisdom and save
          us in his kingdom is my prayer, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 /
          Charles W. Penrose, November 29th, 1879
                       Charles W. Penrose, November 29th, 1879
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER C. W. PENROSE,
                     In the Tabernacle, Provo, Saturday Morning,
                                November 29th, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                         OF THE PRIESTHOOD--SPHERE OF WOMAN.
          I feel thankful to meet with the Latter-day Saints in this house
          to participate in the enjoyment of this Conference; for it is
          really enjoyment to me to listen to the instructions imparted to
          the Saints by the power of the Holy Ghost through the covenants
          of God. It is not supposed that when we come together as we do
          this morning, that we wish to be treated to the views and
          opinions of men. The Lord has instructed his servants to speak as
          they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and it has been shown to
          us that it is our privilege when we assemble on such occasions to
          receive instructions, not in the enticing words of man's wisdom,
          but in the demonstration and power of the Holy Ghost; and this
          will be the case when we assemble in the right way and unite our
          faith and our attention and our spiritual energy so as to call
          down upon us the blessings of the Almighty, and to have the
          presence of those influences, those ministering spirits who are
          sent forth to minister to the heirs of salvation. It is our
          privilege in these public gatherings appointed for the worship of
          God, to have the presence of these holy ones in our midst, and to
          have the power of the Almighty to rest upon both speaker and
          hearer, that we may be fed and nourished by the bread of life
          that comes down from heaven, and that when we part and go to our
          respective callings and places of abode we may each carry with us
          "a live coal from the altar."
          We meet here to-day to manifest that we are willing to sustain
          the brethren appointed of God in their several callings and
          offices of the holy priesthood. It may seem rather a dry and
          formal matter to some of the people to come together and lift up
          their hands to sustain the authorities of the Church, but it is a
          necessary duty and, if we look at it properly, we shall take
          pleasure therein. It may seem a little monotonous, but, as I have
          said, it is necessary, for it was designed by the Almighty in the
          organization of this Church, that the voice of the people should
          respond to the voice of the Lord. It is the voice of the Lord and
          the voice of the people together in this Church that sanctions
          all things therein. In the rise of the Church the Lord gave a
          revelation which said that "all things shall be done by common
          consent." And the Lord designs that every individual member shall
          take an interest therein, shall bear a part of the
          responsibility, and shall take upon him or her the spirit of the
          Church, and be an active living member of the body. It is
          designed that this Church shall be alive in its parts; that every
          individual particle shall be influenced by the spirit thereof.
          When the human body is in a healthy condition, the spirit that
          dwells therein animates every portion; but when the body gets
          into an unhealthy condition, there are parts of it through which
          the spirit does not circulate. So with the Church that the Lord
          has established upon the earth. There are plenty of dead forms in
          the world; religious institutions that are not alive, but are
          forms without the power. The Lord is building up a society, a
          kingdom, if you will, which he designs to animate by his power in
          every part of it. And this is necessary for the good of the whole
          that every individual member of the Church may be inspired by the
          spirit that dwells in the body, and that the inspiration thereof
          may not only rest upon the twelve apostles, upon the various
          presidents of Stakes and the bishops who take charge of the
          various wards, and upon the teachers who minister among the
          people, but that it may go to every individual member of the
          Church, that the whole body may be filled with life, and all be
          in unison with the highest powers. Therefore, we are called
          together from time to time to manifest our willingness to sustain
          the men presiding over us, through whom comes the word of the
          Lord to us in an organized capacity. It is our privilege
          individually to receive the word of the Lord direct. The twelve
          apostles stand to communicate the word of the Lord to the Church
          as a whole. The word of the Lord to the Church comes through its
          presidency. In the various stakes it comes through the
          authorities appointed there, and is given to the wards through
          the bishops. But it is our privilege also to receive the word of
          the Lord direct to ourselves each in our individual sphere and
          capacity, for we hold a relationship to God as individuals, as
          well as a community. It is our privilege if we live aright, each
          one for himself to receive direct from the fountain of life,
          intelligence, wisdom and knowledge for our individual guidance,
          inspiration to direct us in all things that we are called upon to
          perform. The father of a family has a right to receive the
          inspiration of the Holy Ghost to direct him in all things
          pertaining to his house-hold, to give words of wisdom and counsel
          to his wives and his children and all within the sphere of his
          authority and influence. It is the privilege of every mother to
          have the spirit of the Lord to direct her in the course she shall
          take with her children. And it is the privilege of every boy and
          girl, who has been baptized into the Church, to receive the Holy
          Ghost for their guidance, so that the whole Church may be
          quickened, bodily and spiritually, with that life that comes from
          above; so that God may be able to impress us as individuals with
          desires and intelligence for the accomplishment of his purposes.
          And we should so live as to be in harmony with the authorities of
          the Church; in harmony with those who preside over us, that we
          may be able to see as they see, and act as they desire us to act
          when they give us the word of the Lord. But we cannot do that
          unless we possess this spirit. And not only should we be in
          harmony with those men, but with the powers behind the vail; and
          we should be so tuned that our whole natures will be in perfect
          accord with the influences that come from on high, and be
          sensitive to the impressions God intends to make upon us.
          We sustain our brethren of the twelve, as prophets, seers, and
          revelators; and I have heard it remarked by some brethren, that
          they could not see any need of doing so, and that holding up
          their hands does not make those men prophets, seers and
          revelators. That is true enough as far as it goes. But by
          sustaining these brethren in our customary way, we manifest to
          God and the powers behind the vail, who work with the brethren in
          the flesh, that we are willing to receive any revelation that the
          higher powers may see fit to communicate through them in that
          capacity. We have a great deal of principle and doctrine given to
          us through the means of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the
          Doctrine and Covenants, etc., with which we ought to make
          ourselves thoroughly familiar. At the same time we have men
          presiding over us in this Church through whom the word of the
          Lord will come in our present circumstances for our guidance and
          for the guidance of the whole Church in its onward march, as the
          exigencies of the case may require. And when we lift up our hands
          to heaven to sustain them, we manifest that we hold ourselves in
          readiness to receive the word of the Lord whenever he sees fit to
          impart it to us. They are the legal channels; they are the
          appointed receptacles to receive the words of the Lord for us as
          an organized body; and by lifting up our hands to heaven in this
          way, we show to God and to angels, that we are ready at any time,
          if the Lord has a word of revelation to communicate to us, to
          receive it, no matter how it may come; whether by the inspiration
          of the Holy Ghost, or otherwise; by means of the Urim and
          Thummim, if he sees fit to restore it to the Church, which he
          will do as sure as we are gathered here to-day, and a man will
          stand up like unto Moses, who will communicate the word of the
          Lord unto us, line upon line and precept upon precept, until God
          brings forth everything needed for the building up of his work;
          and the things kept hidden from the foundation of the world will
          be brought forth, and all the ancient records that have been lost
          will be brought to light, by men through whom God shall operate
          by means of the Urim and Thummim as well as by the inspiration of
          the Holy Ghost. We manifest to him by our uplifted hands that we
          will receive his word by inspiration, by the Urim and Thummim, or
          by revelation, or the ministration of angels, or in any way he
          may be pleased to communicate. It is fitting then that we should
          do this. We do not know when the Lord may have some new word for
          us. I am sorry to say we do not all know what is placed on
          record, for we do not often read it. Nevertheless the Lord may
          see fit to impart to us something not placed on record, and we
          should be ready and willing to receive every word of counsel, or
          instruction, or command, or rebuke that he may see fit to impart.
          It is necessary also that we should show to our brethren who are
          called to these various offices that we are willing to sustain
          them. For they have not called themselves, neither do they run
          for office; we are not office-seekers in this Church. It is very
          generally the case that a man who seeks and office is not a fit
          and proper person to occupy it. But we are willing to receive any
          appointment or calling the Lord may see fit to place us in; we
          are on hand, we are ready; but we are not office--seekers. As I
          have said the men whom we voted to sustain this morning, the
          presidency of the stake, bishops, home missionaries, etc., did
          not call themselves, but have been called to act in those
          positions; and they are not paid for it either, that is in
          worldly wealth. Of course they are blessed and paid, as every man
          is paid when doing good, in the blessings pertaining to his
          calling. For every man called to occupy any position can, if he
          seeks aright, obtain the spirit of that calling, and in that
          there is peace and joy and satisfaction, so that he is paid in
          his labors in any office which he may be called to fill. But our
          brethren do not thrust themselves forward to seek for position.
          Somebody else calls them, and we, to-day, manifest our
          willingness to sustain them in those callings, and to give them
          the benefit of our faith and prayers, and to assure them that so
          far as we are placed under their counsel we will accept it and
          act upon it. So this is a good work we do. It does not take a
          great deal of time or labor; and it is a fitting duty for
          Latter-day Saints to perform, and I feel that we are privileged
          in so doing.
          As the children of God, we need to rally around our brethren who
          are acting in the various offices in this Church, and be one with
          them; and not only manifest this by lifting up our hands, but by
          really sustaining them in the positions they are called to fill,
          so far as lies within our power, each one taking an interest in
          these things, each one feeling that he has a part in this matter.
          For this work does not rest altogether upon those required to act
          in official positions, but upon every individual called by the
          name of Latter-day Saint. Some people think that the sphere of
          labor they are called to occupy, is not a great one, that if they
          were called to occupy some office in the Church they could
          accomplish more good and have something more to live for. But I
          think we shall discover that if we are all anxious to fill our
          sphere of action, we can find ample opportunity for the exercise
          of those powers with which God has endowed us; every man and
          woman can find a sphere of usefulness if they are desirous; each
          one can find his or her own place, and we will all come to it by
          and by. I believe it to be one of the powers and authorities of
          this priesthood that God has revealed from heaven, to find out
          the place for which every individual in the church is adapted,
          and to get them into place.
                               A place for everything, and
                              Everything in its place."
          And the time will come when the Lord shall have established his
          Church perfectly upon the earth, and all things move in their
          proper course, that God will find a place adapted to every
          person, in which each will have more joy than in any other place
          and be able to do more good to the community than in any other.
          And we can find this measurably to-day if we are desirous to do
          so. For there is an ample sphere of labor for every man, and also
          for every woman, in this Church. Every man in this house, this
          morning, whether bishop, teacher, or missionary to preach the
          Gospel, can find something to do for the exercise of the powers
          with which he is endowed, magnifying his office or calling in the
          priesthood--for we nearly all have some portion of the
          priesthood. If we seek for the spirit of that calling, we shall
          find plenty of opportunity for the exercise of its duties. But
          the great difficulty is, many of us are content simply to be
          ordained to the priesthood. "I am a high priest, or seventy, or
          an elder, as the case may be, and am satisfied with my calling;
          and do not seek for anything further." Now, my brethren, there
          are privileges and powers pertaining to these callings--and we
          can read about them here in this book (Doctrine and Covenants),
          and what the various duties are of these different callings in
          the priesthood. The powers of the Aaronic priesthood reach out a
          great way, for we are told that that priesthood holds the keys of
          the ministration of angels. I wonder how many there are who
          obtain such a blessing as this? I do not know whether we are fit
          for communion with the higher powers, the beings sent forth to
          "minister unto the heirs of salvation." But we read that the
          Melchizedek priesthood contains greater powers than that. It not
          only holds the keys of the ministration of angels, but of
          communion with the heavenly Jerusalem, the general assembly and
          church of the first-born with Jesus Christ the Mediator of the
          new covenant and God the highest and holiest of all. And the time
          will come when under this priesthood to those who hold this
          authority and calling, and have the spirit of it and minister in
          that spirit and obtain the power thereof, the Lord will unveil
          his face and they shall gaze upon his glory. That time will come,
          for there is no word of the Lord revealed but what will come to
          pass. It may not come in the time and season we expect it, or
          when we are looking for it; but we may be assured that everything
          that God has promised by the power of the Holy Ghost through his
          servants will come to pass in his due time. The time will come
          when the servants of the living God will purify themselves before
          him until they will be fit to receive these blessings. When that
          holy temple is built in Zion God will take away the veil from the
          eyes of his servants; and the day is yet to dawn when the sons of
          Moses and Aaron, having become sanctified to the renewing of
          their bodies, will administer in that holy house, and the veil
          will be taken away, and they will gaze upon the glories of that
          world now unseen, and upon the faces of beings now to them
          invisible; but it will be when they have purified themselves from
          the evils of this world, and are really the servants of the
          living God, and temples of the Holy Ghost.
          We can get a measure of the spirit of this calling to-day, and by
          the power thereof we can have communion with our Father. Not only
          through the living oracles in a Church capacity, but as
          individual members of the Church we can come near unto the Lord,
          so that there will be no barrier between us and him, and so that
          his Spirit can come upon us freely, and the light of God can
          illuminate our souls and so direct us that we may have the life
          and strength of this eternal priesthood. For this priesthood is a
          reality and not a mere name; it is not a mere calling in word,
          but an office which confers upon us power and influence that
          comes from the Almighty. I know that men holding the priesthood,
          and who magnify it and receive the spirit and power of it, are
          different from other men, their influence and motives are
          different, their feelings are different and the spirit and
          influence they carry with them are different. Such men can go
          forth in the midst of the wicked, enwrapped in the power and
          influence of their priesthood, like the garments they wear, and
          be separate from the world, and they can carry an influence in
          the world which other men cannot carry. There is force in it,
          there is power and salvation in it; and every man called to hold
          this priesthood should be a minister of salvation in the midst of
          the earth. If he is not called to minister abroad in the world,
          he can be a minister of peace and righteousness at home; he can
          strengthen the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees, and drive
          away doubt from the sceptical mind; bear testimony to the truth
          which he has received and understands, and wherever he goes he
          can carry the Spirit and blessing of God that will build the
          people together, and thus help to build up the kingdom of God.
          And he will not spread contention or encourage any spirit which
          would prompt men to speak evil of each other; he will not
          encourage anything that savors of contention and strife and
          disunion, but, on the contrary, will encourage all that tends to
          unite the people together. And any man holding the priesthood has
          power to do that much in the sphere which he is called to occupy.
          And also of speaking a word in due season, and of standing in his
          calling and of being a representative of the Most High God.
          And the sisters, too, have also a good, wide sphere. I was
          pleased to see that the presidency of the Relief Society was
          presented and sustained at this Conference. The sisters are one
          with the brethren in their labors, and have duties peculiar to
          themselves, in carrying on the work which God has given them to
          do. It has been well said, that "Man is not without the woman,
          nor the woman without the man, in the Lord." And we shall find
          that through all eternity the sexes go together, and that the
          female portion of God's children have a part and a lot in this
          matter as well as the male. These Relief Societies give
          opportunity for our sisters to do much good, and even those who
          do not belong to the society have frequent opportunities for
          doing good. Every mother has a field of usefulness at home among
          her own children; this is her peculiar sphere. Do not let me be
          understood to mean that woman should be a fixture in the house,
          to be tied up to a table leg, or to a wash-tub. I think many of
          our sisters stay at home too much. If they would make it their
          business to take more out-door exercise they would find it a
          relief to the monotony of household work. I do not believe that
          women should be tied up at home; but I say that home is woman's
          peculiar sphere. She reigns there as queen; she can make that
          home comfortable, peaceful and pleasant for the husband, so that
          he would rather come there than any other place on earth; and
          that woman is foolish, I think, who does not do this. Women
          should make their homes as comfortable as they can, with the
          means at their command, that the husband, the children and all
          that belong to the family may be glad to come home to enjoy the
          society of the family circle. Right there is where a woman can
          exercise the great power God has given unto her. What a blessing
          it is when the Lord gives to a woman children, boys and girls
          born heirs to the covenant, heirs to the holy priesthood, that
          they may grow up with natural rights to the blessings of the
          priesthood; to become servants of the Most High; to become
          vessels for the Holy Spirit to dwell in; to become
          representatives of the Lord upon the earth; to become ministers
          of salvation for the living and the dead! What a sphere for the
          labors of these sisters, to train up the minds of their children
          in the fear of the Lord; to teach the boys good principles; to
          teach them as well as the girls to be virtuous, pure, chaste, and
          holy, for those that are unholy cannot receive the fullness of
          the blessing and power of God, that is, like those who keep
          themselves pure before him. And the brethren can plant these
          ideas in the minds of their boys, and if not fully at first, by
          and by they will be enabled to comprehend their full meaning.
          Fathers should take all the time they can in instructing their
          children but the mothers are with them so much more and have so
          much greater influence over them in a certain direction, and
          therefore they should seek to exercise their powers by training
          up their children in the way they should go. And we are not
          required to train them up by word and precept alone, but by
          example. If we do not want our children to use strong drink, it
          will not do to for us to use it. Try therefore to set our
          children examples which we would feel perfectly willing that they
          should imitate. Our sisters can work in this way both by precept
          and example, and above all things by the spirit they carry; they
          can impress the minds of the young and rising generation so that
          they may grow up with a natural tendency to that which is holy.
          Let girls be brought up by a mother who is full of kindness and
          love and charity--which are much more beautiful adornments than
          the glittering show of jewelry; earthly jewels are nothing in
          comparison to those precious jewels of eternity, and all the
          finery that woman could put on is nothing to the adornment of the
          mind which peculiarly shines out in the mothers and daughters of
          Israel--let a mother be embued with this good, kind, teachable
          spirit and she can surround her children with it, she can have
          that spirit in the home where she resides. And although she may
          have a great many cares and tribulations and trials which may
          tempt her to anger, yet, she can conquer all the passions that
          will rise up in her nature and subdue them, and can train up her
          children in the midst of these adverse circumstances, in the fear
          of God, and her tribulations will be turned to her good, and it
          will be easy for her children to walk in the way of God, and they
          will grow up with a natural repugnance for the things which are
          evil, and a natural desire to receive in their hearts everything
          that is good. The Lord is saying 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." He has brought us to this
          place from the nations of the earth that we may become a chosen
          generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people
          zealous of good works. This is why he has given unto us laws with
          regard to the marriage relations, that Israel shall not marry
          Gentiles; that Israel shall wed Israel; that the daughters of God
          shall marry the sons of God, etc., in order that our children may
          be heirs to the blessings pertaining to the everlasting covenant,
          that by and by there may be a race of men and women upon the
          earth who will be holy unto the Lord, born with natural desires
          in them to do right, which they have inherited from their
          parents, who shall train them up in the way they should go, with
          that holy atmosphere surrounding them, that they may be
          thoroughly under the influence of the spirit that comes from on
          high, that their whole natures may be sensitive to the
          whisperings of Almighty God, that they may grow up, his sons and
          daughters, and that it may be a mark of honor that such and such
          men were "born in Zion." The Lord will give honor unto such
          people. And their sons will go to nations afar off and the earth
          will tremble under their voice, and evil spirits that are
          deceiving the sons of men will flee before them, for the power of
          the priesthood will be with them. And they will search out the
          seed of Israel wherever they preach to them the Gospel in their
          own tongue by the power of the Almighty--for this the gift of
          tongues was designed--and they will gather in the seed of Israel
          to the Zion of our God. And he will be their strength; he will go
          before them and be round about them. And our daughters will grow
          up pure and virtuous, and the angels of God will be round about
          them. And the Lord will multiply his people upon the earth until
          all things are fulfilled, his kingdom will be built up, the Lord
          Jesus Christ will come, and all that has been spoken by the
          prophets will be brought to pass. 
          Now, these things are right before us. God expects us to be a
          different kind of people from those in the world. He does not
          expect us to be of the world, worldly. We have come here to be
          separate from the world, that we may purge ourselves from the
          spirit of Babylon. We must have different motives from the world,
          we must not have the same desires as the Gentiles, for their
          hearts are set upon the things of this life. They worship the
          wealth of the world. I hope to see the time when every Latter-day
          Saint will have plenty, and the time will come when God will give
          unto his people all the wealth they desire, but that will be when
          they know how to use it aright, and when their hearts are right
          and set upon the law of the Lord and upon the counsel of his
          will, and when they will be willing to use it for his glory and
          the blessing of their race. We must remember we are Latter-day
          Saints, having come here to serve the Lord, to learn his ways and
          walk in his paths, and to unite ourselves together, that we may
          be a solid, compact body, a living body filled with the spirit of
          life and light that comes from God, ready at any moment, as
          individuals or as an organized church community to move forward
          in any direction required, that the word of God may be
          proclaimed, that Israel may be gathered and the Kingdom of God
          built up, and the power taken out of the hands of the wicked and
          vested in the hands of the servants of God, who will rule in
          righteousness in the midst of the earth.
          I bear my testimony to this congregation, many of whom are
          strangers to me, and some of whom I have met, conversed with and
          labored with in foreign lands; I can say to you all that I know
          this work is true. I know by the revelation of the Holy Spirit
          that the Lord has commenced the great work of the latter days
          spoken of by the prophets. I know it will remain, and will
          prevail; though all the world rise up against it--as they will do
          some day, not only this nation, but others--and will say, "Let
          her be defiled." But they know not the Lord, neither do they
          understand the counsels of his will. For he will say unto Zion,
          "Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn
          iron, and I will make thine hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in
          pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the
          Lord, and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth."
          Though all nations oppose, this work will roll onward to
          completion; for the power of God will be in our midst and we
          shall be able to accomplish with greater ease and facility
          everything we are directed to do. This kingdom will prevail, and
          this work will roll on and accomplish everything predicted. And
          the time will come when the pure and good of every clime will
          gather up to Zion: and the Temple will be built in the centre
          city of Zion, the New Jerusalem, and the glory of God will rest
          upon it, and the purposes of God will be developed and his
          kingdom roll on, while the kingdoms of this world, with all their
          pomp and splendor, will be brought low; and God through his
          priesthood, will rule from the rivers to the ends of the earth.
          And Christ our Redeemer will come and bring his reward with him.
          May God help us to be faithful in this work, so that when he
          shall come, we may as individuals and a church be purified and
          prepared to enter into the joy of our Lord to receive the
          fullness of the blessings of the Gospel of peace. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Taylor, September 21, 1878
                           John Taylor, September 21, 1878
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
               Delivered at the Regular Priesthood Meeting of the Weber
          Stake of Zion, Held at Ogden, on the 21st September, 1878.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                   GOSPEL'S SAKE.
          I have been desirous to meet with the priesthood of this Stake,
          and I have invited a number of the presidents of Stakes within
          this district of country to be present at this meeting, for the
          consideration of certain questions that have been pressing
          themselves upon my mind for some time, that I want to lay before
          the people here.
          We have met here in a capacity of the holy priesthood, and all of
          us profess to be elders in Israel, and to be disposed at least to
          walk according to the order of God, and to seek to establish the
          principles of righteousness as far as lies in our power, and to
          try to build up his kingdom on the earth. That, at least, is our
          profession, and I believe is the sentiment of the hearts of most
          of the brethren now assembled. At the same time we have different
          ideas about many things, particularly things of a temporal
          nature, so called, We go in a good deal for what is called "free
          trade and sailor's rights"--we want to enjoy a large amount of
          liberty. All these things are very popular and very correct. But
          in our acts and doings it is necessary that we be governed by
          certain laws and principles which have been given unto us by the
          Lord. We all concede to this. But there are some things we seem
          to be very much confused about, in regard to our temporal
          matters. During the lifetime of President Young--several years
          ago, it seemed as though he was wrought upon to introduce
          co-operation and the United Order, to quite an extent. He told us
          at the time that it was the word and the will of God to us. I
          believed it then; and I believe it now. And yet, at the same
          time, every kind of idea, feeling and spirit has been manifested.
          In many places co-operation and the United Order have been
          started under various forms; in some they have succeeded very
          well, and in other places people have acted foolishly and
          covetously, seeking their own personal, individual interests
          under the pretense of serving God and carrying out his designs.
          Others have been visionary and have undertaken things which were
          impracticable, while others have not acted in good faith at all.
          There has been every kind of feeling among us as a people, that
          is possible to exist anywhere. And I have thought sometimes in
          regard to our co-operative institutions, that some of those who
          are engaged in them and sustained by them are as much opposed to
          co-operation and United Order as any other class of people we
          have. At least, I have noticed feelings of that kind. I do not
          say they are general. But there are certain reflections in
          relation to these matters that have been pressing upon my mind
          for some time. And let me here ask myself a question--a question
          not of a personal nature; I have not come here to talk about any
          personal matters at all, but upon principle and upon some of
          those principles that we as Later-day Saints, and as elders in
          Israel, profess to believe in. The question would be and my text
          would be to-day, if I wanted to take a text: Shall we sustain
          co-operation and the United Order, and work with that end in view
          in all of our operations, or shall we give it up as a bad thing
          unworthy of our attention? That is where the thing comes to, in
          my mind. At any rate, we wish to act honestly and honorably in
          this matter. If we believe that these principles are true, let us
          be governed by them; if we do not, let us abandon them at once,
          conclude that we have made a mistake and have no more to do with
          them. For we, all of us, profess to be at least honest men, and
          to act conscientiously. If there is anything wrong in these
          things, let us know the wrong; and if it is not a command of God,
          and not binding upon us, let us quit it. And then the question
          naturally arises, Are we prepared to do this? And, on the other
          hand, if we believe that these are principles that are inculcated
          by the Lord, then let us be governed by them. In fact, whichever
          way we decide let us carry out our decisions in good faith, and
          not have our sign painted on one side in white and on the other
          black or some other color. But let us feel as the prophet Elijah
          did on a certain occasion, "If the Lord be God, follow him; but
          if Baal, then follow him." There was a disposition in ancient
          Israel to have a part of God and a part of the devil or Baal--an
          idolatrous god which was worshipped by them. I sometimes think
          that in some respects we are a good deal like them. Do we believe
          our religion? Yes. Do we believe in the holy priesthood and that
          God has restored it to the earth? Yes. Do we believe that God has
          established his kingdom? Yes. And do we believe that the holy
          priesthood is under the guidance of the Lord? O, yes; but still
          we would like a good deal of our own way. If we must introduce
          something that the Lord has commanded, we would like to put it
          off just as far as we can, and if we cannot do it any other way
          we will fight against it, according to circumstances, and how
          things move and operate. We often wish the Lord would not exact
          certain things of us; we would rather have our own way. But let
          us look at things calmly and dispassionately. As I understand it,
          the Lord has gathered us together to do his will, to observe his
          laws and keep his commandments. And we have certain obligations
          devolving upon us in the holy priesthood which God requires at
          our hands. He requires, for instance, of the Twelve to go, when
          called upon, to the nations of the earth and preach the Gospel to
          those nations. If they were not to do it, would they be
          justified? No, they would not; God would require the blood of the
          people at their hands. That is the way I figure up these things.
          I do not know of any half-way house. As one of the Twelve, I do
          not want to dodge any of these questions, but meet them fairly
          and squarely. And I think I have done it; and I think the Twelve
          generally have. They have always been on hand to go anywhere when
          the Lord has required them to go, whether in sickness or health,
          in poverty or abounding in means; no matter what their
          circumstances, or what individualism would have to be sacrificed,
          their object has ever been to do the will of God. And so it has
          been with a great many of the seventies, high priests and also
          with a great many of the elders. Their feelings have been: Let
          the Lord speak, and here am I, ready to do his will and carry out
          his designs. And this feeling exists to-day in the hearts of a
          great many; but there are also a great many who do not feel so,
          who want to dodge these questions. Here is Brother Eldredge, who
          is one of the presidents of the seventies; he knows how extremely
          difficult it is to get men, as we used in former years--"at the
          drop of the hat," as it was termed, to go on missions. However, I
          do not wish to dwell upon that; I merely refer to it in passing
          We are here, as I understand it, as Jesus was, "Not to do our own
          will, but the will of our Father who sent us." If God had not
          felt after you, and his spirit operated upon you, you would not
          be here in these mountains to-day. What does Jesus say about
          these things in speaking of them? "I pray for them: I pray not
          for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they
          are thine." You have been in the same situation; you have seen
          the elect of God gathered together through the medium of the holy
          priesthood, by the opening of the heavens and the revelation of
          the will of God to man and the restoration of the holy Gospel.
          You have been gathered together in this way, and we all have.
          What to do? Is it, as they used to say in the Church of England,
          to follow the devices and desires of our own hearts? Is it to
          follow out some petty scheme of our own? I do not so understand
          it; I understand that it is to build up the Church and kingdom of
          God upon the earth, and to prepare the earth and the people of
          the earth for the things that are coming on the earth; and to
          prepare ourselves, as a people, to receive further intelligence,
          wisdom and knowledge from God, that he may have a people in whom
          he can place confidence, and whom he can bless, and through them
          confer blessings on mankind. He expects us to build up his
          kingdom, and that is the first consideration with us. And this is
          what he told his disciples in former days "Seek ye first the
          Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these
          things"--referring to our temporal concerns, which comparatively
          are like so many chips and whetstones--"shall be added unto you."
          But these things, too, enter into our daily life and our
          intercourse one with another, and into the purposes of God
          associated with the gathering of his people together, that they
          may be one, that through them he can communicate his will to the
          human family, that there may be a nucleus formed around with the
          honest in heart form all the world may rally; and be in
          possession of the word and will of the Lord, and the light,
          intelligence and revelations of God our Father; that the secret
          of the Lord might be with those who fear him, and that they might
          fear him and understand the things which are approaching, and
          prepare the earth for those things that are coming. We appear
          here, as it were, in a normal school, to prepare ourselves to
          carry out the purposes of God upon the earth. Can you find a
          people anywhere on the earth that will listen to the word of God?
          No, you cannot; neither can you find anybody to whom God could
          communicate his will. We talk a good deal, and often preach a
          good deal, about the judgments which are to come upon the earth:
          wars, pestilence, famine, and distress of nations, and testify
          that a calamity will follow so continuously that by and by it
          will be a vexation to hear the report thereof. We have talked
          about these things for years. I have myself for upwards of forty
          years; and as I have said before, so I repeat, that these things
          which await the world, are forty years nearer than they were
          forty years ago. God did not mock us when he told us of these
          things; but all that he has said concerning them through ancient
          prophets and through Joseph Smith are true, and as sure as God
          lives they will take place. I will prophecy that they will take
          place as sure as God lives, and they are approaching very rapidly
          upon us. We are told that the day will come when he that will not
          take up his sword against his neighbor must needs flee to Zion
          for safety. And is that true? Yes, it is. If that should take
          place today, are we prepared for it? I think not. If we should go
          on for years as we are now going on shall we be prepared for it?
          We are not, to-day, all of us, preparing for these things. We can
          hardly manage a few miserable apostates and a few Gentiles, and
          we feel very creepy sometimes about anything that transpires, not
          knowing how or what may be the result; instead of being clothed
          upon with the spirit of God and being filled with the Holy Ghost,
          the light of revelation and the power of God. But we do not have
          this kind of feeling, and we are divided up in our interest, one
          man pulling against another, so much so, that we have to-day all
          kinds of Gentilism among us. Even our newspapers give circulation
          to certain classes of advertisements which are a living lie, and
          it is a shame and disgrace that such things should be seen in
          Zion. Some call it Gentile trickery, the tricks of trade etc.,
          but I call it chicanery and falsehood, and it is so in regard to
          many other things. Does this comport with the position we occupy
          as men holding the holy priesthood? I do not think it does. I
          think we ought to occupy a more elevated and honorable position;
          I think we ought to be governed by other influences, and be
          actuated by other motives. I think that our lives, our desires,
          our feelings and our acts ought to be to try to build up Zion and
          establish the kingdom of God upon the earth; that we should be
          united in our temporal as well as in our spiritual affairs, for
          God says: "If you are not one you are not mine." Do you believe
          it? You elders of Israel, do you believe that saying? And if we
          are not the Lord's then whose are we? We have our own plans, our
          own notions and our own theories; and as one of old expressed it,
          we are seeking for gain, every one from his own quarter. And we
          are governed to a very great extent by selfishness, and too much
          by our own personal feelings, and allow these things to influence
          us instead of being governed by those high, noble, dignified and
          glorious principles that dwell in the bosom of God, which
          emanated form him, and which dwell also in the bosoms of those
          who in sincerity fear God and keep his commandments.
          Now, I know what many of you will say, in speaking of
          co-operation: "there has been a great many abuses." Yes, I admit
          it--numbers of them. "What and under the name of the United Order
          also?" Yes, any quantity of them. Joseph Smith in his day said it
          was extremely difficult to introduce these things because of the
          greed, covetousness, selfishness and wickedness of the people. I
          wish here to refer to one or two things connected with this
          subject. I spoke about the Twelve, the seventies, the elders and
          the high priests; and stated that a great many of them had been
          out preaching the Gospel, and that some of them felt as though it
          is hard work. It is, no doubt, very up-hill business for a man to
          be a Saint if he is not one; and if he has not the principles of
          the Gospel in his heart, it must be very hard work, I may say an
          eternal struggle, for him to preach. But if a man has got the
          pure principles of the Gospel in his heart, it is quite easy for
          him to expound the truth. Well, now, I will take the words of
          Jesus: "Except a man can forsake father or mother, wife and
          children, houses and lands, for my sake, he cannot be my
          disciple." And let me say to you, my brethren, that that Gospel
          is just as true to-day as it was then, that except a man is
          prepared to forsake his earthly interests for the sake of the
          Gospel of the Son of God, he is unworthy of it, and cannot be a
          true Saint. Now, this is where the hardship comes in and it also
          accounts for this eternal rubbing and bumping. "How much can't I
          do, and how little can I do to retain fellowship with the Church;
          and how much can I act selfishly and yet be counted a disciple of
          Christ?" Did you never feel as Paul describes it--the spirit
          striving against the flesh? I guess you have, and you doubtless
          know all about it; for these are plain matters of fact. This is
          the position the Gospel has placed us in; and it is a very
          difficult thing to serve two masters, in fact it is useless for
          any man to attempt to do it, "for (as the Savior says) either he
          will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to
          the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
          And therefore Jesus said: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of
          me; for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto
          your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
          But to return to the principles of co-operation and United Order.
          Supposing a man had come to you elders, when you were out on
          missions, requesting baptism at your hands, without having
          repented of his sins, would you have baptized him? No, you would
          not. But supposing he claimed to believe in the Lord Jesus
          Christ, but not in baptism; would you receive him into the
          Church? No, you dare not do such things. But supposing again that
          he believed in baptism and in the Lord Jesus Christ, and had
          repented of his sins, but did not believe in the laying on of
          hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost; would you baptize him?
          No. And further supposing he had complied with all these
          requirements, and he had the opportunity to gather to Zion but
          did not improve the opportunity, would you consider him a very
          good Saint? No. Now, beside all these, the Lord has given us a
          law pertaining to tithing; and if he did not comply with that
          would you consider him a good Saint? No. And we are told to build
          temples, and the man who would refuse to do this work, you would
          consider a very poor specimen of a Latter-day Saint. Referring to
          the United Order, the Lord has given us to understand that
          whosoever refuses to comply with the requirements of that law,
          his name shall not be known in the records of the Church, but
          shall be blotted out; neither shall his children have an
          inheritance in Zion. Are these the words of the Lord to us? I
          suppose there are none here to day but would say, Yes. How, then
          can I or you treat lightly that which God has given us? It is the
          word of God to me; it is the word of God to you. And if we do not
          fulfil this requirement what is the result? We are told what the
          result will be. These things have not taken place now; but we
          have been wandering about from place to place, and the Lord has
          blessed us in a remarkable degree. And we are gathered together,
          as I have said, for the purpose of building up Zion, and we are
          supposed to be the servants of God having engaged to perform this
          work; and individually, I would say, I do not want to profess to
          be a Saint, if I am not one, nor if the work we are engaged in is
          not of the Lord; if the principles we believe in are false, I do
          not want anything to do with them; on the other hand, if they are
          true then I want to be governed by them, and so do you. We must
          carry out the word and will of God, for we cannot afford to
          ignore it nor any part of it. If faith, repentance and baptism
          and laying on of hands is right and true and demands our
          obedience, so does co-operation and the United Order. Some may
          say, here is such and such a man has been connected with the
          United Order, and how foolishly he has acted, and others have
          gone into co-operation and made a failure of it. Yes, that may be
          all very true, but who is to blame? Shall we stop baptizing
          people and make no further efforts to establish the kingdom of
          God upon the earth, because certain ones have acted foolishly and
          perhaps wickedly? Do the actions of such people render the
          principles of the Gospel without effect or the doctrines we teach
          untrue? I think you would not say so. What do we do with such
          cases? We purge them out, we cut them off according to the laws
          God has laid down; but we do not stop the operations of the
          Gospel, such a thought never enters our minds, for we know the
          work already commenced is onward and upward. Shall we then think
          of putting an end to these other principles because men have
          acted foolishly and selfishly and done wrong? No, I think not; I
          do not think we can choose one principle and reject another to
          suit ourselves. I think that all of these things, as we have
          received them, one after another are equally binding upon us,
          Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word
          that proceedeth out from the mouth of God." This is as true
          to-day as it was when spoken.
          I have seen a disposition among many of the brethren to pull off
          in every kind of way, and this spirit and tendency is spreading
          and growing in every part of our Territory. We have co-operative
          stores started, and we have the eye of God painted over the
          doors, with the words "Holiness to the Lord" written overhead. Do
          we act according to that? In a great many instances I am afraid
          not. But what of that? Shall we depart from these principles? I
          think not. What was the principle of co-operation intended for?
          Simply as a stepping stone for the United Order, that is all,
          that we might be united and operate together in the interest of
          building up Zion. Well, having started, what do we see? One
          pulling one way another pulling another way; every one taking his
          own course. One man says: Such a one takes his own course, and I
          will take mine. Using the same line of argument, because one man
          commits a wrong unworthy the calling of a Latter-day Saint, his
          doing so is to be an excuse for my doing the same thing. As I
          understand it, I am called to fear God, whether anybody else does
          it or not; and this is your calling just as much as it is mine.
          We may indeed shirk it and violate the covenants we have made.
          The Lord has blessed us with endowments and covenants of which
          the world know nothing, neither can they know anything about it.
          And he has given unto us these things that we might be brought
          into closer union with God, that we might know how to save
          ourselves, our wives and children, as well as our fathers and
          progenitors who have gone before us. Having done this, what next?
          God has revealed certain things to the children of men now as he
          formerly revealed the Gospel to the children of Israel. But could
          they stand it? No, they could not. Moses succeeded in leading
          seventy of the elders of Israel to the presence of God; he would
          have lead all Israel into his presence, but they would not be
          led; they turned to idolatry, to evil and corruption, and hence
          they became disobedient and unmanageable. And when the Lord spake
          to them they became terrified and said, "Let not God speak unto
          us lest we die." God wants to bring us near to him, for this
          purpose he has introduced the Gospel with all its ordinances. Has
          he been true to us? Yes. And when you elders have been out
          preaching and baptizing people for the remission of their sins,
          and when confirming them members of this Church, you have said,
          Receive ye the Holy Ghost, have they received it? They have, God
          bearing witness of the truth of your words and of his ministry
          conferred upon you.
          Now then, he calls upon us to be one. What for? Because we are
          associated with his kingdom. With what? With his kingdom. What is
          his kingdom? It is his government, rule, authority, dominion,
          power, etc. God has introduced his kingdom after his order, and
          it is for him to guide that kingdom and direct it, and manage it,
          and manipulate it in the interest of the honest in heart, and of
          all nations. He has commenced it among us that he might have a
          little nucleus where he could communicate and reveal his will,
          composed of such as would carry that will out, and do his bidding
          and obey his behests. That is what we are here for, and not to do
          our own will, any more than Jesus came to do his will, but the
          will of his Father. What do we know about building up the kingdom
          of God? What do we know about the calamities that are to come? I
          can tell you that while we have peace to-day and everything runs
          smoothly and quietly on, the day is not far distant before the
          Lord will arise to shake terribly the earth, and it will be felt
          in this nation more keenly and more severely than any of you have
          seen it by a great deal, and I know it, and I bear testimony to
          it. We have no time to experiment in following our own notions
          and ideas; we have something else to do, we have got to build up
          the kingdom of God; and in order to do this we must of necessity
          unite ourselves together, and seek to know the mind of God to
          carry it out. And all that we do should be done with this object
          in view. We have all kinds of individual interests and
          enterprises among us; some men are operating quite considerably
          one way and another, and some are not. Brother Jennings, for
          instance, who is present with us to-day, besides owning stock to
          the extent of $90,000 in Z. C. M. I., is, with others, engaged
          with other pursuits of a manufacturing nature, which are very
          laudable. Such enterprises tend to give employment to the people,
          and this is what we want, and what we must have sooner or later.
          There is one thing, however, I would here say about forming
          unions and partnerships in any line of manufacture: Let them be
          formed with the understanding that when the proper time shall
          arrive they can merge into co-operation, or the United Order. It
          is very important that in all of our undertakings we should have
          at heart this feeling and work to this end, and then we may
          reasonably expect that it can be but a question of time to bring
          out a grand consolidation of all individual interests. I have
          been impressed in my feelings upon these subjects for some time,
          therefore I speak about them as I do. How many years is it since
          this was started, and how little we have done! I tell you if we
          go a little further in our drawing off, and each taking his own
          course, God will leave us to ourselves. But he will not leave us
          as long as we manifest a desire to do right; and I am pleased to
          say there is a feeling generally among the brethren to listen to
          counsel, yet at the same time we are apt to get confused,
          forgetting the object we have in view, amidst the variety of
          things that present themselves. Shall we, my brethren, give up
          co-operation? or shall we consider men in good fellowship who are
          pulling off in either direction, or shall we not? What shall we
          do? Shall we be true to our religion, true to our faith, true to
          the principles that God has commanded; or shall we forsake them?
          We will not forsake them, and the brethren generally do not feel
          like doing it; but there are a few now and then who get off the
          track. We want to get together and untie our hearts and
          sympathies into one, placing ourselves under proper direction,
          holding ourselves in readiness to perform any work required by
          God at our hands. I will tell you in the name of Israel's God
          that if you keep his commandments you will be the richest of all
          people, for God will pour wealth upon you; but if you do not, you
          will have to struggle a good deal more than you have done for the
          Spirit and blessings of God will be withdrawn from us, just in
          proportion as we withdraw ourselves from God. We are living in an
          eventful age, an age in which many wonderful changes are to be
          wrought. We are told many other things of a similar nature, that
          he who will not take up his sword against his neighbor, must
          needs flee to Zion for safety. The Latter-day Saints will see the
          day when people will flock to Zion, and many of them will say, we
          do not know anything about your religion, but you are an
          honorable, just, industrious and virtuous people, you administer
          justice and equity, and the rights of man are protected and
          maintained. You maintain good government, extending protection to
          everybody, and we want to live with you and be one with you. We
          want to prepare ourselves for these things, for they are coming
          as sure as God lives. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Taylor, January 4th, 1880
                           John Taylor, January 4th, 1880
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
             Delivered in the Salt Lake Assembly Hall, at the Quarterly
                  Conference, Sunday afternoon, January 4th, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          I have been very much pleased and interested in the proceedings
          of this conference and in the teachings that we have had from
          those who have addressed us, and I take very great pleasure in
          performing my part in these exercises in which we are now
          engaged. It would seem that this building is rather too small for
          us at present; I do not know that we can stretch it any;
          consequently we will put up with things as they are. However it
          will only be on extraordinary occasions that we shall have the
          amount of people in it that there is to-day. By and by the storms
          will be over and the winter past, and we have got a larger
          building close by, that we can go to. I am very much pleased
          however, with the exertions that have been made in preparing this
          building so far, it is true that it is in an unfinished condition
          for the assembling of the Saints at this conference; but I
          suppose that it will be quite gratifying to the priesthood and to
          all who have assembled together on this occasion, to possess the
          privilege we now enjoy.
          There are a few thoughts that have passed through my mind in
          hearing the remarks of some of my brethren. I was much pleased
          this morning in listening to the remarks made by Brother Pratt
          and the brethren who succeeded him, particularly in regard to the
          subject that they seemed to have their minds upon, that is in
          relation to the observance of the word of wisdom; and although,
          like Brother Pratt, I should have to make an acknowledgement that
          I have not fulfilled that always, yet, I heartily sustain and
          coincide with every principle that God has revealed for the
          temporal or spiritual salvation of his people. There were some
          remarks associated with those made by some of the brethren that
          also bore a little on my mind, namely, that our religion did not
          consist simply in one principle but in many, agreeable to what
          has been spoken in ancient days that "man shall not live by bread
          alone but by every word that procedeth out of the mouth of God."
          But we are none of us justified in repudiating or ignoring any
          one of those principles which God has given unto us, and if we
          have been negligent in these or other matters the proper way for
          us to do is to reform, to begin anew, or, at least if we have let
          down any stitches, as the sisters sometimes say when they are
          knitting, gather them up again and put things in proper position
          that we may be able, not only in that but in everything else, to
          honor our God in all sincerity, fidelity and integrity; that we
          may be able to present ourselves before the Lord in a manner
          which shall always have his acceptance.
          We need teaching continually, line upon line, precept upon
          precept, here a little and there a little. Hence we have our
          various organizations of the priesthood, calculated to oversee to
          manipulate, to regulate, to teach, to instruct, and to enter into
          all the ramifications of life whether they pertain to this world
          or the world to come. We need continually not only the guidance
          and the teachings of the apostles, the presidents, the bishops,
          priests, teachers, deacons and the various organizations of the
          priesthood; but we need individually to look unto the Lord for
          wisdom to direct us in all the affairs of life, that we may speak
          aright, that we may think aright, that we may act aright, and we
          may perform the various duties devolving upon us to attend to in
          all of the avocations of life, and in our prayers, in our various
          devotions in a family capacity, in a church capacity and in every
          position that we occupy, we need the guidance and direction of
          the Almighty. And it is with individuals as it is with families
          and branches and portions of families, we need to seek unto the
          Lord and obtain wisdom from him. There is one fact, and that is a
          great many people--scarcely any of us--know what is good for us.
          We may have our ideas about that; but we need continually the
          guidance and direction of the Almighty. The disciples, that is
          the apostles of old, understood this principle and they asked the
          Lord to teach them how to pray and in a very few words he uttered
          one of the most comprehensive forms that has ever been penned or
          spoken. He said when you pray say "Our Father, which art in
          heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done
          on earth as it is done in heaven; give us this day our daily
          bread; forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass
          against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from
          evil; for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever
          and ever, amen." That is a most comprehensive prayer. In the
          first place the God of the universe is recognized, our Father who
          is in the heavens, the God and the father of Jesus christ. And
          what else? The God and Father of the spirits of all flesh. We
          recognize and reverence him as "Our Father, which art in heaven,"
          we bow before him and seek unto him for his guidance and
          direction. We hallow and reverence his name. And then what next?
          "Thy kingdom come." What kingdom? All those things branch out
          into great and important principles, that can only be understood
          by revelations from the Most High. "Thy kingdom come." Why? That
          "thy will may be done on earth as it is done in heaven."
          I wish to refer a little to some of these things, those ideas and
          principles that are developed in this saying, in part, because
          these things can only be done in part. We talk a good deal about
          the church and kingdom of God. I sometimes think we understand
          very little about either. The kingdom of God means the government
          of God. That means, power, authority, rule, dominion, and a
          people to rule over; but that principle will not be fulfilled,
          cannot be entirely fulfilled, until, as we are told in the
          Scriptures, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of
          our Lord and his Christ, and he will rule over them. And when
          unto him every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is
          Christ, to the glory of God, the Father. That time has not yet
          come, but there are certain principles associated therewith that
          have come, namely, the introduction of that kingdom, and the
          introduction of that kingdom could only be made by that being who
          is the king and ruler, and the head of that government, first
          communicating his ideas, his principles, his laws, his government
          to the people; otherwise we should not know what his laws were.
          The world has been governed in every kind of form; we have had
          every species of government. Sometimes we have had patriarchal
          government, at other times we have had unlimited monarchies or
          what may be called despotic governments, where the power to rule
          is in the hands of one individual. At other times we have had
          limited monarchies such as exist in many places now upon the face
          of the earth. In other places and at different ages we have had
          what is termed republican governments where the voice of the
          people has ruled and governed and managed the people's affairs.
          There have been various forms independent of these, which I do
          not wish to enter into at present, but nowhere have we had the
          government of God. It is true that for a limited period among a
          very small people in early days, among the Jews, they professed
          to be under the guidance of God for a certain length of time. But
          they were continually departing therefrom. They had their
          priesthood, they had their prophets, they had their Urim and
          Thummim, and through these mediums they sought the wisdom and
          guidance of God in regard to many of the prominent enterprises in
          which they engaged. The law given by Moses was one of those
          things that emanated from God. Moses received from the Lord the
          ten commandments written upon tables of stone--written by the
          finger of God--and this people, who were then quite a small
          people comparatively speaking, received the commands of God and
          professed, at least, to be governed thereby. The Lord gave them
          commands and they were proclaimed to the people, and when
          proclaimed it was usual for all the people to say "Amen. These
          laws we will observe and do." But this was among a very limited
          people. Very soon they desired to have a king to rule over them,
          but the idea that was then considered proper among them was: "The
          Lord is our king, the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our
          lawgiver, and he shall rule over us." We see the feeling which
          they had and entertained as a people, but they departed from it
          and they sought a king and were led astray from correct
          principles--led into folly, darkness, ignorance--until they were
          scattered abroad to the four winds of heaven.
          There has been a time spoken of by all the holy prophets since
          the world was, when God should govern his people, and the Jews,
          when the Messiah come, expected that he was come to reign over
          Israel as a temporal king, that he was going to take possession
          of his kingdom to overthrow all other kingdoms, empires,
          dynasties and powers, and declare himself the king of Israel and
          of the world. But they did not understand many things associated
          therewith, and they do not now; and the world does not, and we
          ourselves understand very little about them. But the Scriptures
          say that "till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall
          in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled." Now then, if
          the kingdoms of this world have never yet become the kingdoms of
          our God and his Christ they will be, and it is necessary that
          there should be a commencement to this as well as to every other
          thing. This is a matter that has been looked forward to by
          prophets and apostles, patriarchs, and men of God in the various
          dispensations of time. It is called "the dispensation of the
          fullness of times" when God will gather together all things in
          one whether they be things on the earth or things in the heavens.
          Now there must of necessity be a starting point for this, and the
          question is how is it to originate? Who among the nations of the
          earth knew or comprehended anything about the government of God?
          None did; nowhere; no king, no emperor, no potentate, no
          president, no power upon the face of the earth; no divine or
          theologian, no scientist, no philosopher, understood anything
          about this matter. It is indeed the kingdom of God, and being his
          kingdom, it must originate with him, it must receive from him its
          teachings, its forms, its principles, its laws, its ordinances,
          its institutions, and everything connected therewith must emanate
          from God, and as it was necessary that it should originate with
          him, it is also necessary that it should be upheld and sustained
          by him and that those who should operate in this kingdom should
          be governed by the same spirit that you heard Brother Pratt talk
          about this morning. It became necessary also that a medium should
          be introduced whereby man might be placed in communion with God;
          that they might comprehend him, that they might understand his
          laws when he gave them, that they might be acquainted with the
          principles which he had to develop; for there is one great
          principle that men very little understand, viz: "The things of
          God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God," and if they don't
          know only through his wisdom it would be in vain for God to
          communicate with a people who could not comprehend him, who had
          not the capacity to receive these principles which he had to
          communicate. The same principle holds good everywhere among all
          the principles with which we are acquainted or know anything
          about. You cannot teach a child algebra, nor arithmetic, until it
          has gone through a certain system of training. You cannot teach
          the arts and sciences without necessary preparation for their
          introduction, nor can you teach people in the government of God
          without they are placed in communication with him, and hence
          comes the Church of God, and what is meant by that? A school, if
          you please, wherein men are taught certain principles, wherein we
          can receive a certain spirit through obedience to certain
          ordinances. And we, having received this spirit through those
          ordinances, were then prepared to take the initiatory steps in
          relation to other matters, and hence as a commencement the Lord
          appeared unto Joseph Smith, both the Father and the Son, the
          Father pointing to the Son said "this is my beloved Son in whom I
          am well pleased, hear ye him." Here, then, was a communication
          from the heavens made known unto man on the earth, and he at that
          time came into possession of a fact that no man knew in the world
          but he, and that is that God lived, for he had seen him, and that
          his Son Jesus Christ lived, for he also had seen him. What next?
          Now says the Father, "This is my beloved Son, hear him." The
          manner, the mode, the why, and the wherefore, he designed to
          introduce through him were not explained; but he, the Son of God,
          the Savior of the world, the Redeemer of man, he was the one
          pointed out to be the guide, the director, the instructor, and
          the leader in the development of the great principles of that
          kingdom and that government which he then commenced to institute.
          What next? The next step was that men having held the priesthood,
          that had ministered in time and eternity and that held the keys
          of the priesthood came and conferred them upon Joseph Smith. John
          the Baptist conferred upon him the Aaronic priesthood, and Peter,
          James and John the Melchizedek priesthood; and then others who
          had operated in the various ages of the world, such as Moses and
          Enoch, appeared and conferred upon him the authority that they
          held pertaining to these matters. Why? Because it was "the
          dispensation of the fullness of times," not of one time only but
          of all the times; it was the initiatory step for the development
          of all the principles that ever existed, or would exist
          pertaining to this world, or the world to come. What next? He was
          commanded to set apart other men, to baptize them that believed,
          that had faith in God and in his kingdom, and in his revelations
          and in this government. After they were put in possession of
          these principles, they were commanded to baptize those who
          believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who repented of their sins,
          that they were to be baptized for a remission of their sins and
          to have hands laid upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost.
          What then? There was a priesthood organized, a First Presidency,
          the Twelve, a High Council, Patriarchs, quorums of High Priests,
          Seventies, Elders, Bishops, Priests, Teachers and Deacons, to
          carry on the purposes of God, and to instruct men in the laws
          pertaining to his kingdom, even the laws of life. Men were sent
          forth in the name of God to preach the principles of truth which
          had been revealed, and a great many believed and were baptized
          and were initiated into the Church of God, and we may say into
          the initiatory or preparatory steps necessary for the
          establishment of the kingdom of God. They then received the
          Spirit of God, which is "no cunningly devised fable;" it did not
          originate with man, it was the gift of God to man. The Elders,
          for instance, were told to go forth and call upon men to repent,
          to be baptized, and they were to lay their hands upon them that
          they should receive the Holy Ghost. And what should that do? Take
          of the things of God and shew them unto the people. This is one
          of the greatest developments of power that ever existed among
          men. You Elders, hundreds of you that are now listening to me,
          have gone forth to preach this Gospel. You have called upon men
          to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and they have done it. You
          have called upon men to repent, and they have done it. You have
          told them to be baptized and you have baptized them. You have
          then laid your hands upon their heads and said "receive ye the
          Holy Ghost," and they have received it. And you know, and this
          congregation knows, that what I say is true, and by that
          principle, through obedience to the law of God that he had
          introduced in his gospel. What for? To prepare men to be placed
          in communion with God. To prepare them to be members not only of
          his Church but of his Kingdom, and to prepare them to take part
          in this great event that had to transpire in the last days. Now
          these are facts that you cannot controvert, nor anybody else. You
          know that these things are true. What does it prove? That it is
          God's kingdom, he has introduced it, and as it was said in former
          times, "Ye are my witnesses," as well as the Holy Ghost that
          beareth witness of us. Now, then, could you have received this
          without the interposition of the Almighty and his Son Jesus
          Christ? No you could not. Could you have received it without the
          keys of the priesthood being restored and which some men affect
          to despise so much? No you could not. Hence we trace out the
          order of these institutions as they dwelt in the mind of God, and
          as they were made manifest among men. Have those elders that
          perform these ceremonies their weaknesses? Yes just as much as
          Elder Pratt and I have our weaknesses. Have they their
          infirmities? Yes. Was it a rich treasure that was conferred upon
          us? Yes, but we received it in earthen vessels, surrounded with
          the infirmities of man. But God knew these infirmities; he was
          acquainted with all our weaknesses. Nevertheless, he conferred
          upon us this priesthood, this power, and this authority, and when
          we went forth in his name and by his authority. God sanctioned
          our acts. Is God with us while these things take place? I think
          so. What do you think about it? It is a principle that is clear,
          and plain and demonstrable. Well, what next? Then we began to
          gather together. And why do we gather together? Some of us can
          hardly tell why, and I am often surprised when I read letters
          importuning us in regard to this matter. I get letters time and
          again praying that some means may be devised that the Saints may
          be delivered and gathered to Zion, and be enabled to live with
          the Saints of God. What is the reason of it? Why do they want to
          gather? Because there was a spirit and influence associated with
          this Church and this kingdom which led and propelled them to this
          action, and you who hear me have felt this influence; you felt a
          desire together, and you came, and those that are not here now
          feel as strong a desire to gather as you did. And when you have
          gathered, many of you think it is a curious kind of Zion, don't
          you? It is; for while the net gathers in the good, it brings in
          all kinds as well, good and bad. We have some very good fish, and
          some very bad ones, and some a kind of half and half, and some
          feel like saying "Good Lord and good devil," as they do not know
          into whose hands they may fall. Nevertheless, this is the order,
          and the wheat and tares, I suppose, have got to grow together
          until the harvest comes, and that is not quite here yet, and
          hence we are jostling one against another, and some of us hardly
          know whether it is us or somebody else. Difficulties and trials
          beset us, and we are amazed. But we are here, and we are here
          according to the command of God and according to the operation of
          the Spirit of God that rests upon us, and did rest upon us, and
          led us here, and I was going to say, we are here because we could
          not help it.
          Well, what next? Who are we, and what are we when we are here?
          Some good Latter-day Saints, and some, as I have said, half and
          half, some one thing and some another. But how do we stand in the
          position we occupy as a Church and as other people stand? We
          believe in God. We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe
          in virtue, purity, holiness, integrity, honesty. We believe in
          good citizens and good Saints. We believe in keeping the
          commandments of God, and carrying out his purposes. We believe in
          spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We believe in
          gathering together the honest in heart. We believe in building
          temples and administering therein for the living and for the
          dead, and we believe in acting as saviors upon Mount Zion
          according to the word of the Lord. All these things and a great
          many more are leading principles which we as Saints profess to
          believe in. Well, we have a right to do that, although there are
          others who do not believe in those things. They have just as much
          right not to believe in our principles as we have to believe in
          them. And we sometimes feel angry and out of sorts with others
          because they do not believe as we do. Well, we do not believe as
          they do. Some of them think we are very foolish, very
          enthusiastic, very superstitious, and very wicked. Those that
          know us do not think we are so bad after all. We have our
          weaknesses and imperfections, yet we are quite as good as the
          balance of them, and a little better, and we ought to be, for we
          make great pretensions. But they think these things about us.
          They think we are deluded. Now the only difference between us and
          them is that we know they are superstitious and corrupt, and that
          they violate those laws they profess to believe in and those
          principles which they profess to be governed and guided by. But
          we have no right to expect everybody to submit to our doctrines,
          our views, our principles, it is a matter of free-will with them,
          and as I said they have just as much right to believe as they
          think proper and to worship as they choose as we have. These are
          some principles that are really correct. Well, they try to
          prevent us from worshipping as we believe? Now that is--what
          shall I call it? a doctrine of devils, it does not come from God,
          he is more free and generous in his feelings than that. He does
          not control the consciences of men nor force them to obey his
          behests; it is a matter of free grace, it is a matter of free
          will. Well, though they think they have a right to interfere with
          us, we do not think we have a right to interfere with them. And I
          do not think we do. There is a number of institutions here in
          this city, Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists,
          Baptists, etc., and I do not know how many more, quite a pile of
          them. If they think they are right I am quite willing they should
          think so. I do not wish to interfere with them. Who interferes
          with their building meeting houses? Who interferes with their
          worship? If there is anything of this sort I do not know of it; I
          hope I shall not know of it; I hope never to hear of such things.
          I believe that all men have the privilege of worshipping God
          according to the dictates of their own consciences and then I
          think we possess just the same right; and when they depart from
          this principle and wish to curtail us of our rights they are
          violating the spirit and genius of the institutions of our common
          country, and also those of the kingdom of heaven with which we
          are associated. They are also violating those good feelings that
          ought to exist between man and man, brother and brother, and they
          are interfering with things that in no wise belong to them.
          Now then, here is the ground that we stand on in a religious
          capacity. If I can find a way and you can find a way, whereby we
          can approach our God and have him for our guide, our teacher and
          instructor, if they cannot do it, it is none of their business
          what we do. They have nothing to do with it, it is none of their
          business in any way whatever, and any interference is an
          interference with the legitimate rights and inherent principles
          that belong to humanity.
          Well, so far as they stand on their platform and we on ours, they
          may be Methodists, they may be Presbyterians; all right. They may
          get up their revival meetings and think they are doing a great
          deal of good; all right, and so far as they teach good moral
          principles, and do not depart from truth, all right. So far as
          they obey the laws of the land, all right; we have nothing to do
          with them? Have you? Has the city? Has the Territory? No.
          Well then, we will go a little further. By being here we become
          an integral part of the government of the United States, as a
          Territory. Very well. Here is another thing we are talking about.
          Is that the government of God? Not quite, but it is the
          government we are living under, and if they treat us right and
          extend to us any kindness we appreciate that. If they treat us
          wrong, we think it is not according to correct principles. We
          think as American citizens we ought to receive all the privileges
          equally with other people; we think we ought to be allowed to
          worship God according to the dictates or our consciences and be
          protected in our worship. So far, then, as I have said before, we
          are on a level. Now then, we are on the same ground in regard to
          political circumstances. We are under the United States, but the
          United States is not the kingdom of God. It does not profess to
          be under his rule, nor his government, nor his authority. Yet we
          are expected as citizens of the United States to keep the laws of
          the United States, and hence we are, as I said before, an
          integral part of the government, Very well, what is expected of
          us? That we observe its laws, that we conform to its usages, that
          we are governed by good and wholesome principles, that we
          maintain the laws in their integrity and that we sustain the
          government, and we ought to do it. But there is a principle here
          that I wish to speak about. God dictates in a great measure the
          affairs of the nations of the earth, their kingdoms and
          governments and rulers and those that hold dominion. He sets up
          one and pulls down another, according to his will. That is an old
          doctrine, but it is true to-day. Have we governors? have we a
          president of the United States? have we men in authority? Yes. Is
          it right to traduce their characters? No, it is not. Is it right
          for us to oppose them? No, it is not. Is it right for them to
          traduce us? No, it is not. Is it right for them to oppress us in
          any way? No, it is not. We ought to pray for these people, for
          those that are in authority, that they may be lead in the right
          way, that they may be preserved from evil, that they may
          administer the government in righteousness, and that they may
          pursue a course that will receive the approbation of heaven.
          Well, what else? Then we ought to pray for ourselves that when
          any plans or contrivances or opposition to the law of God, to the
          Church and kingdom of God, or to his people, are introduced, and
          whenever we are sought to be made the victims of tyranny and
          oppression, that the hand of God may be over us and over them to
          paralyze their acts and protect us, for as it is written, the
          wrath of man shall praise him, the remainder of wrath shall he
          Now, we in Utah here are under the government of the United
          States; we are a very little portion of it. It is true we have
          our legislators, we have our probate judges, we have our
          marshals, constables, etc., we have our city charters etc., etc.,
          and certain immunities and privileges of this kind. Well, shall
          we be governed by them? Yes. Shall we obey the law? Yes. Shall I
          as a citizen of this city obey the laws of this city? Yes. Shall
          I cause trouble or speak evil of the mayor or city council or any
          of the administrators of the law? No, I ought to pray for them
          that they may lead aright and administer justice equitably and
          act for the welfare and interest of the community wherein they
          live and for whom they operate. Am I a citizen of the United
          States? Yes, and I ought to feel the same toward them.
          Well, now, there are some important points come in here. As I
          have said, we are a very small portion of this government. Now,
          do we wish to overthrow the government. I think not. I think we
          do not. Do we wish to cause them trouble? Not that I know of. I
          know we are accused of that; but it is not rue. These statements
          are not correct. Our religion, however, differs from the religion
          of many others, and as I have said before, while they look for
          liberty to worship God as they please, they do not want us to
          possess the same privileges. There is nothing new in this; but
          because of this have they a right to interfere with the
          institutions of which we have become a part? Do not our
          legislators, our governors, and all men here swear fealty not
          only to the Territory, but to the United States, and say they
          will support the Constitution, laws, and institutions thereof?
          They do. This is the position we occupy. But we are placed in a
          peculiar position in some things. They--I was going to say in
          their wisdom, but I will say in their folly, and I hope they will
          excuse me, for I look upon it in that way--have passed certain
          laws trying to interfere with us in our operations in religious
          affairs. Well, we cannot help that. I told you a while ago--you
          believe me, this congregation believes me with very few
          exceptions--that God had introduced and instituted this Church,
          that he was the founder of it, that it emanated from him, the
          doctrines, ordinances, principles, government, priesthood,
          authority, and all that pertain to it emanated from him; we had
          nothing to do with it. Joseph Smith had nothing to do with it,
          only as a passive worker in the hands of the Lord. Brigham Young
          had nothing to do with it only acting in that capacity. I have
          nothing to do with it, nor my brethren of the Twelve. God
          revealed it. I can not help it. Can you? Can any one? Now, then,
          this people have been received into this Church in the way that I
          have spoken of, and have actually received communication from God
          by the laying on of hands, received the Holy Ghost, and have a
          hope within them blooming with immortality and eternal lives, and
          are in possession of a hope that enters within the veil whither
          Christ has gone. Can you uproot that from the minds of this
          people? No, no power on earth, no power in heaven, nor all the
          combined nations of the earth can do it; God planted it there,
          man cannot take it away, and men are foolish in trying to attempt
          it. Very well. But they do try to interfere with us under a
          pretence that we are very wicked here. Well, it is enough to make
          a person laugh sometimes, when we think about these things, and
          enough to make us sorry when we know of the hypocrisy,
          lasciviousness, crime, murder, bloodshed that prevail in this
          nation and other nations, to hear them talk to us about our
          morality. We know when they talk in what way that they are
          hypocrites. We know that they know better when they tell these
          things to the world.
          Now, then, the United States pass a law that a man shall not
          marry wives according to the order that God has revealed. Now it
          is a fact that we should like to obey the laws of the United
          States, if we could do it. If they could only tell us how to get
          out of the dilemma they have placed us in we should be very much
          obliged to them, we really should like to get out of it. But we
          have had no hand in either of thee things. We had no hand in
          making the commandment that God has given to his people, and we
          have had no hand in making the law of the United States
          pertaining to these things. We fell very desirous of keeping the
          laws of the land if they would only let us; but we should pray
          out Father in heaven that he might preserve them from making laws
          that we cannot conscientiously keep without violating our
          consciences and transgressing the law of God. And if they do we
          shall be under the necessity of leaving them in the hands of God
          for him to deal with them as he may deem proper, and we will put
          our trust in the living God and risk the consequences let them be
          what they may.
          Now, these are our feelings on this point. Is it well to tell
          these feelings? Yes. We want to be frank and open and candid and
          free from hypocrisy of every kind, and feel as though we were the
          children of our Father in heaven without guilt, without
          treachery, without fraud of any kind. Let us be sincere
          worshippers of God and believers in him and in his law. But do we
          propose to govern, interfere with, or rebel against the
          Government of the United States? No, we do not. That is not in
          the programme. Has God given us a law? Yes. All right we will get
          along and do the best we can, but we won't forsake our God. All
          who are willing to abide by the laws of God signify it by raising
          the right hand (unanimous vote). Now try and keep them. But will
          we fight against the United States? No, we will not. Well, how
          will these things be brought about? Don't you expect that the
          kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God and
          his Christ? Yes, I do, as much as I believe I am speaking to you
          and you are hearing me, and I not only believe it but know it.
          Well, now, how will that be brought about if you do not pitch in?
          We need not do this. There is plenty that will pitch in; there
          will be plenty of trouble by and by without our interference,
          when men begin to tear away one plank after another out of the
          platform of constitutional liberty; there will not be much to tie
          to. And how will you get along with them? We will leave them to
          get along with themselves. And how will that be? We are told the
          wicked shall slay the wicked, but says the Lord: "It is my
          business to take care of the Saints." God will stand by Israel,
          and Zion shall triumph and this work will go on until the kingdom
          is established and and all nations bow to its standard.
          May God bless you, may he lead you in the path of light, is my
          prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / George
          Q. Cannon, October 5th, 1879
                         George Q. Cannon, October 5th, 1879
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON.
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, October 5th, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          In standing up to address this congregation there is one feeling
          that rests upon me, and that is, my inability to instruct so
          numerous a people unless God shall pour out his Holy Spirit upon
          me and upon you.
          We have come together to-day according to our custom to be
          instructed in those duties that devolve upon us and also in the
          principles of our holy religion. These meetings are to me
          exceedingly precious; they are seasons of great rejoicing. And
          having the opportunity as we have to-day of assembling in peace
          and quietness without any to molest or make afraid, we should
          feel thankful, to that God who has brought us here; who has
          preserved and protected us since we came.
          The instructions which we have had to-day since we have assembled
          together, if fully obeyed by us and carried out in our lives,
          will make us a people who shall be worthy the name we bear, the
          name of Latter-day Saints. And as was remarked this morning the
          great object in teaching the people and impressing upon them the
          counsels that are given from time to time, is to have us carry
          out practically in our lives the principles of that religion
          which we have espoused. This is the great labor devolving upon
          us. It is not to be theoretical alone; it is not to dwell with
          great interest and with great eloquence upon those heavenly
          doctrines that God has revealed and to become enraptured over
          them while listening to them, but it is to make a practical
          application of them to our thoughts, to our words and to all the
          actions of our lives. And in this way alone can we acceptably
          serve the Lord our God, whose name we bear and whose people we
          profess to be. There is no reason why this people called
          Latter-day Saints should not have all the powers and all the
          gifts and all the graces that ever characterized the Church of
          God upon the earth at any time; there is no reason, I say, why
          they should not have all these if they themselves are true to the
          principles which have been revealed, and seek to carry them out.
          Who is there of this congregation, who is there that belongs to
          this Church in any part of this Territory, who does not have a
          desire in his or her heart for those blessings and those gifts
          and qualifications that were promised to the ancient Saints and
          which have been renewed in our day to those who embrace the
          Gospel with all their hearts? The Lord is the same yesterday,
          to-day and forever. This is the corner-stone, it may be said, of
          our faith. It is upon this foundation we have built; that he is
          an unchangeable God; that he does not manifest his mind and his
          will in plainness and simplicity to one people, and hide the same
          from a succeeding people who are equally faithful. But the great
          truth has been impressed upon us; the great truth that runs
          through all the writings of every man of God concerning whom we
          have any account from the beginning down to the last revelation
          that has been given, that God is no respecter of persons, that he
          is to-day as he was yesterday and as he ever was, and that he
          will continue to be the same being as long as time endures or
          eternity continues. And we have been impressed with this as I
          have said, by every man who has spoken concerning God and spoken
          by authority from him. I say, therefore, there is no reason why
          the Latter-day Saints to-day should not obtain and enjoy the
          gifts and graces and blessings of the Gospel the same as they
          were enjoyed in ancient days by the ancient servants and people
          of God.
          Has God grown old? Have God's ears become heavy? Has his sight
          become dim? Has his arm become shortened? Has age affected him or
          the lapse of time detracted from his powers? Has it had the same
          effect upon him as upon mortal beings who are subject to decay
          and death? Is this the kind of being concerning whom the prophets
          and apostles have spoken and written? Certainly not. We worship
          him, we adore him, we lift upon our eyes to him, we rely upon him
          as the Supreme Being, the Creator of the heavens and the earth,
          the founder of the universe, the builder of the planet which we
          inhabit and which we tread, the being over whom centuries have
          passed without making any change to his injury; eternity has
          rolled and continues to roll and will continue to roll without in
          the least affecting his power or his capacity for good, his eye
          does not grow dim by the laps of ages; his ear does not become
          heavy by the passage of time neither does his arm become short or
          feeble. He is the God whom we worship. When we call upon him,
          though he may be remote from us, dwelling in his holy habitation
          in the midst of the eternities, the very thoughts of our hearts,
          the very conceptions of our minds, the feeble whisperings of our
          voices, they ascend to him, are carried to him, his ear
          comprehends them; his bowels of compassion are moved towards us
          his children, his all-piercing eye penetrates eternity, and the
          glance of his vision reaches us.
          There is not a single thought of our hearts which he does not
          comprehend; there is nothing connected with us he does not know.
          We may hide ourselves in the bowels of the earth, but we cannot
          conceal ourselves from his all-piercing sight. We may climb the
          highest mountains or descend into the deepest valleys or we may
          go to the uttermost parts of the earth, but wherever we may go he
          is there, his power is there, his vision is there to hear and to
          comprehend the desires and the wishes of our hearts.
          This being the case, why should we not approach him in faith?
          What reason is there that men and women living in this the 19th
          century should not approach him with the confidence of those who
          lived in the 15th century of the world, or the 20th or the
          4,000th year of the world? If he could hear their cries, if he
          could answers their prayers and if he could grant to them the
          desires of their hearts; if he could open the heavens to them and
          reveal his mind and will unto them when they called upon him in
          faith, believing that he would do so, is there any reason why we
          should not have that same faith and exercise it and obtain those
          same blessings and receive them at his hands? Who is there that
          can stand up and say there are reasons why this should be the
          case? If we admit, as we must do, that he is this being which I
          have attempted so feebly to describe; if we admit that he is the
          God of gods, the Lord of lords, the creator of all, the father of
          all, the sustainer of all; if we believe this, why cannot we
          believe that if he bestowed his blessings upon other generations
          and other people, he will do so to us, also that he will hear our
          prayers, that he will grant unto us the desires of our hearts?
          Now, my brethren and sisters, I look upon these conferences and
          these assemblages as having for their object the enforcement of
          these great truths upon us and upon our attention; the object of
          them as I understand them, is to make us Latter-day Saints not in
          name alone but in word and in deed; to be men and women of God;
          to place us in communion with God; to receive communication from
          him; to have our false tradition, our improper ideas, our
          unbelief, our hardness of heart, and those feelings that surround
          us, that grow up with us, to have them removed from us. Is there
          any reason why this should not be the case? No reason except that
          which may be found in ourselves. There is no reason outside of
          this. God is willing, he has made promises, and he has fulfilled
          his promises so far as we have placed ourselves in circumstances
          to receive them. When we have complied with the conditions he has
          never from the beginning up to the present time failed in his
          part, he is incapable of failing. If there be failure it is due
          to us, the fault is our own, we are the guilty ones. Let me ask
          of you, when did you ever, any one of you, humble yourselves
          before God, when did you in secret call upon him in the name of
          Jesus and ask him for his Holy Spirit and the blessings thereof,
          and fail to receive an answer to your prayers? If there are any
          Latter-day Saints in this condition then there is something wrong
          with them. God has made promises unto us that if we will do
          certain things, if we will obey certain commandments and
          ordinances, he will bestow his blessing and he will answer the
          prayers of those who take this course. But how many are there of
          us who go on from day to day and from week to week and from month
          to month careless upon these points, failing to live so as to
          receive the blessings that he has promised, until it would seem
          when they bow down to call upon him that their prayers scarcely
          ascend higher than the tops of their heads.
          As I have said, God in ancient days was a God of revelation; God
          in our day is a God of revelation, and he communicates his mind
          and his will unto those who seek after it, not to the President
          of the Church alone; not to the apostles of the Church alone; not
          to the high priests or seventies or any of the officers or all of
          them alone, but he communicates his mind and his will to all who
          seek after him in humility and meekness and lowliness of heart,
          obeying his commandments. To the latter-day Saints alone? No, not
          even to them alone for there is no human being that is born of
          woman, there is no son or daughter of Adam that has ever lived
          upon the face of the earth who has not the right and who has not
          obtained at some time or other in his or her life, revelations
          from God, but who may not have understood what those revelations
          were. The Latter-day Saints are not so cramped in their feelings
          as to imagine that they are the only and peculiar people above
          all others who have, in this sense received revelation. They
          believe themselves to be the people of God and the only people
          who have obeyed the commandments of God; but they do not think
          that, of all the children of God, they are the only recipients of
          his blessings.
          God has revealed himself at various times and in various ways to
          many people. The heathen have had communication from him. All the
          light that exists; all the truths that are taught and all the
          correct principles and knowledge that have been communicated and
          existed among the children of men, have come from God; he is the
          author of all. Socrates, Plato, Confucius, the heathen
          philosophers who knew nothing about Jesus Christ and the plan of
          salvation, received important truths from him, and so did many
          other people to a greater or less extent, according to their
          abilities in improving upon the knowledge communicated to them.
          But the difficulty has been concerning these matters that mankind
          have not recognized God in all this. A man has a dream. It is
          most wonderfully fulfilled. He has a presentiment; his
          presentiment is fulfilled, and he relates it to his friends as a
          most remarkable thing. A man has a truth communicated to him
          after study and research. He communicates it to his friends as a
          wonderful discovery. Does he acknowledge God in it? Sometimes;
          but in many instances he does not acknowledge God; but, on the
          contrary, he thinks it is the product of his own thought, of his
          own mind. If it be a dream or some remarkable manifestation that
          partakes of the supernatural, instead of giving God the glory and
          praising God for having made the communication, some other
          principle is glorified or some other thing is talked about, the
          remarkable character of it is dwelt upon without the person
          thinking that God has anything to do with it.
          Well, there is, as I have said, no human being but that has, at
          some time or other, had communication from the Almighty Father.
          Some have recognized God and have given the glory to him for it;
          others have not done so. The remarkable discoveries that are
          being made in the world of science; in fact, all the remarkable
          discoveries that have been made from time to time are produced by
          the operations of an unseen influence upon the mind of the
          children of men. For instance, it has frequently happened in
          astronomy and other branches of science that when an important
          discovery has been made two or three men about the same time
          widely separated from each other have received the communication;
          and disputes have arisen as to which of them was entitled to the
          credit. This was the case as to the application of steam and the
          principles of telegraphy and also many discoveries in astronomy
          and other sciences. Disputes have arisen in various nations upon
          these points; whereas the truth is that God is the Author; it is
          God that moved upon the minds of those individuals. It was God
          that inspired them to do as they did; it was he who led on from
          step to step until they achieved the results which have made them
          famous, and sometimes quite unexpectedly to themselves.
          What is this which has led these famous men in the path of
          discovery? The Latter-day Saints call it the spirit of
          revelation; the spirit of revelation resting down upon the
          children of men. Some men possess it to a greater extent than
          others. Some have the gift in one direction and they are capable
          of receiving communication from God in a direction that others
          are not, their minds are better prepared to receive revelation
          upon a given subject, than are the minds of others. Some will
          receive great moral truths, and these men differ in their
          organisms; but the light they receive all comes from our heavenly
          Father; it is he who gives the inspiration. And so man has
          progressed from one degree of knowledge to another, from the rude
          canoe of the Indian, with which he navigates the stream, to those
          mighty steam ships whose keels plough every sea and
          circumnavigate the globe.
          Now, in what respect do the Latter-day Saints differ from the
          rest of mankind in relation to these matters? In this: We
          acknowledge God as supreme, the fountain of all knowledge, the
          fountain of all power, the fountain of all intelligence, the
          fountain of everything that is good. Who are men? The creatures
          of his workmanship, if you please, his descendants, his own
          children begotten by him, descended by lineal descent from the
          God we worship. The same being whom we worship is our God, is our
          Creator, is our Father. When I worship him I worship him as my
          Father. That which I possess, if there be anything godlike in it,
          I attribute it to him, as having come from him by lineal descent.
          Every aspiration, every noble thought, every pure desire,
          everything that is good and holy and pure, elevating, ennobling
          and godlike comes from our Father, the God of the universe, the
          Father of all the children of men. In him we move, in him we have
          our being. He can extinguish life; he can create life; he can
          perpetuate life. There is no power that human beings can conceive
          of which he does not possess. The light that now shines comes
          from him. The revelation we may get, imperfect at times because
          of our fallen condition and because of our failure to comprehend
          the nature of it, comes from God. The Latter-day Saints glorify
          him for it. If there is anything good or great or noble, if there
          is anything to be admired it comes from God, not man. Man is but
          the medium, but the instrument, is but the conduit through which
          it flows. God is to be worshipped; God is to be adored; God is to
          be glorified, and he will be. And when we are saved, when we are
          delivered from death, hell and the grave, we will glorify God,
          not man. Man will receive no glory; it will be the eternal
          Father, through Jesus Christ, who will receive it all. 
          This is the position occupied by the Latter-day Saints. We
          believe in revelation. It may come dim; it may come indistinct,
          it may come sometimes with a degree of vagueness which we do not
          like. Why? Because of our imperfection; because we are not
          prepared to receive it as it comes in its purity; in its fullness
          from God. He is not to blame for this. It is our duty though to
          contend for more faith, for greater power, for clearer
          revelations, for better understanding concerning his great truths
          as he communicates them to us. That is our duty; that is the
          object of our lives as Latter-day Saints--to live so near unto
          him that nothing can happen to us but that we will be prepared
          for it beforehand. And I know many, many Latter-day Saints who
          are in this condition, who do live so that there is nothing of
          any importance that can occur for which they are not prepared,
          and the mind and will of God is made known to them, and they walk
          according to it, and seek earnestly and humbly to have it
          revealed to them; and in taking any important step they seek to
          know the will of God concerning it. Are they perfect? Far from
          it. They are mortal, full of weaknesses, and nobody is better
          aware of the character of earthly weaknesses than the man or
          woman who thus lives.
          It is the duty of all to live in this manner, and if the
          inhabitants of the earth could comprehend it as they should do
          they would seek to know the mind and will of God concerning
          themselves. But what is the spirit of the world to-day? Let a
          preacher in the world deliver a fine discourse and who thinks
          about giving God the glory for it? Who thinks of the Holy Ghost
          under such circumstances? God is removed far from them, he does
          not exist in their thoughts, the preachers who attempt to preach
          Christ and him crucified, they are glorified. Who gives glory to
          God for Henry Ward Beecher's discourses? Who gives glory for Dr.
          Fotheringham's or Mr. Talmage's or any of the popular preachers
          of to-day? Do men glorify God for Spurgeon's? No, he himself is
          glorified. Beecher himself is glorified, and Fotheringham is
          glorified. Is God glorified? No, he is not thought about. Morse
          discovered the principle of telegraphy. Who gave the glory to
          God? I was in the hall of the House of Representatives when a
          grand meeting was held. What for? To glorify Morse, the
          discoverer of that great principle and who practically applied it
          and made it useful. Now, I do not mean to say that there are none
          who have God in their thoughts. I am speaking now of the general
          feeling that prevails, of the general course that is taken.
          Inventions, no matter how grand they may be, are not attributed
          to the Father of them all, the Creator and Fountain of all
          knowledge. But man, whom he has chosen to be his instrument, he
          has blessed with knowledge concerning all these things, as the
          result of his earnest study and his untiring efforts to obtain
          knowledge. The Being who does this is very seldom thought about
          by man.
          Latter-day Saints, is this the course for us to take? Shall we
          glorify the creature at the expense of the Creator? As a people,
          I believe we are tolerably free from this. But we have to make a
          degree of progress much greater than we have in these things. We
          have got to seek after God with an earnestness, a fervor and
          devotion that we at the present time cannot comprehend. It is our
          duty as Latter day Saints to seek for knowledge. Will God bestow
          it upon us if we do not seek for it? He may in his condescension
          at times do this. Brother Rich said this morning that he believed
          some people were too lazy to think. It is a truth plainly
          expressed. There are too many too lazy or too indifferent--it may
          be indifference and not laziness in every instance, to think, to
          feel after, to seek for and receive the blessing of God, although
          they make the profession of being Latter-day Saints.
          Now, I do not think a man's religion amounts to anything if he
          only makes a profession of it and does not practice it. I would
          rather have an intelligent heathen, if he is honest and
          determined to do the best he can, living upon to the light he
          has, than a Latter-day Saint who is careless and indifferent, who
          does not seek to enjoy the spirit of his religion.
          I am in hopes that after awhile we will begin to realize as we
          never have yet, that there are practical duties resting on us
          Latter-day Saints; that there is something more than being
          members of the Church required of us. How is it with a great
          many? Why, every evil thought, every wrong speech that comes in
          their hearts, either to think or to utter, they entertain and
          express, and then take credit to themselves for not being
          hypocrites. Is not this great folly? Men and women think evil
          thoughts, they give place to angry feelings; and they think it a
          meritorious act, and pride themselves upon their conduct because
          they give them utterance instead of quenching them! Is not this
          extraordinary? Lacerate the feelings of their brethren and
          sisters and friends, because they think they would be hypocrites
          if they did not utter their evil thoughts, however unfounded or
          repulsive they might be! What right have I to do this? If my
          heart is wicked does that justify me in giving utterances to its
          foul conceptions? Certainly not. If my heart were such that I
          could not think good thoughts nor entertain good feelings; if I
          were possessed of anger and could not contain myself, than it
          were better for me to sew up my mouth and stop my utterance. It
          is no merit in a man or woman because he or she thinks an evil
          thought or indulges in an angry spirit to give utterance to it;
          and they are not hypocrites because they do not do it either. It
          is not hypocrisy to quench the evil thoughts that arise in our
          minds. Our hearts are evil in consequence of the fall. As the
          prophet Jeremiah says: "The heart is deceitful above all things,
          and desperately wicked: who can know it?" There are a great many
          things that are conceived in our hearts that it would be well for
          us to stifle before they received shape. What is frequently the
          result of these evil conceptions? Innocent people suffer
          wrongfully; injury is done; slanders are circulated; while those
          who start them justify themselves, because forsooth they
          concerned them. Just as well might the counterfeiter, the
          bogus-maker, say that because he makes a bogus bill he has the
          right to circulate it. There is not any of the Spirit of God
          connected with such conduct. 
          It is my duty and your duty to think pure thoughts to have holy
          desires, to be charitable, to be kind, to be long suffering, to
          be full of love, and not any of those evil influences. Why, the
          devil would have no power on the earth if it were not for some
          people who allow him to use their tabernacles. I have often
          thought of this valley when we first come here. There were a few
          Indians; but who witnessed the devil or his power here? If there
          were no wicked men nor women here how could the devil manifest
          his power here? Who heard tattling? Who heard backbiting? Who
          heard of litigation? Who heard of fighting? Such things were
          never heard of. But no sooner did men come and the adversary
          obtain power over them, than all the evils we now witness
          throughout this land and in this city, which grieves us so, began
          to manifest themselves. And the more there are who will yield to
          the influences of the evil one, the more there are who will be
          guided by him, and the worse the conditions become. There are
          those who would have here gambling houses and liquor saloons and
          houses of ill-fame and other deplorable evils which abound in the
          earth. Why? Because they are willing to yield themselves to the
          devil, I speak it plainly, it is the truth. If such people who
          practice these and kindred evils would not lend themselves to the
          devil he would have no power here. What is our duty? It is not to
          lend ourselves in any particular to the devil, but it is to obey
          God; to let the fruits of righteousness be manifested in our
          lives. If we are Latter-day Saints, let us live up to the
          profession and be that in truth and in deed, and not think that
          we have no labor to perform in the controlling of our thoughts
          and our evil desires; neither to allow ourselves to imagine that
          because we have become members of the Church God will do it all
          without any efforts on our part.
          There is a work devolving upon every son and daughter of Adam;
          there is a fight that we have to fight against--the evils of our
          own natures, for the heart of man is deceitful and desperately
          wicked. The natural man is at enmity with Christ and with God;
          and unless he seeks to conquer his nature by bringing it into
          subjection to the mind of God, he is not a son, or she is not a
          daughter of God. This is the labor that devolves upon us. This is
          why we meet together at conference; it is to impress upon the
          people the character and the magnitude of this work that rests
          upon each individual man and woman. As I have said once before in
          this Tabernacle, we may be heralded through the earth as famous;
          but unless we conquer ourselves it is in vain that our names are
          known and that our deeds resound through the earth. I care not
          how famous a man in this Church may be--he may be an apostle, he
          may be a high priest, a bishop, or hold any other important
          office or position; but unless that man conquers himself and
          carries on the work within himself of self-improvement, and
          brings himself and all there is within him in subjection to the
          mind and will of God, I tell you his fame is as empty as the
          sound of a trumpet when it passes away. We hear it; it strikes
          the ear, but it presently dies away, and that is the end of it.
          So it is with fame of this character. Therefore I say to you that
          that which is applicable to the individual is applicable to us as
          a people. Our fame may go forth for great works and mighty things
          that we have done; but unless we ourselves bring forth the fruits
          of righteousness in our lives; unless we conquer our evil
          passions, our evil habits, our evil inclinations, our evil
          desires, and bring them under complete subjection to the Spirit
          of God our labor is comparatively profitless, for that is the
          object of preaching the Gospel to us.
          I would like to have the power to impress upon your minds the
          importance of this great truth. There is nothing so important to
          me as an individual, as my own salvation. This is the most
          important thing to me that can be--that I myself shall be saved;
          that I myself shall so live as to be counted worthy by the
          Almighty to receive an exaltation in his kingdom. This is of the
          utmost importance to me individually. As Brother Rich said, if
          all the rest did certain things, and he did not, he could not
          receive the blessing, the reward of such works; or if he did, and
          all the others did not, they could not have the blessing. That is
          a great truth; and it should be impressed upon us.
          You may think it a grand thing for men to go on missions. I
          remember the time, and probably the feeling still exists--I hope
          it does--when it was deemed a great honor for a man to go upon a
          mission, especially a foreign mission. It is right that we should
          value these labors. It is a great thing to preside as a bishop or
          president of a stake, or to act in the calling of an apostle. All
          these things are great in and of themselves, and they reflect
          honor upon those who bear these offices, and especially when they
          seek to magnify them. But after all, the great labor, the most
          honorable labor that any person can perform is to do that which I
          have attempted to describe to you--to improve ourselves; to be
          Latter-day Saints in deed and in truth, to live our holy
          religion. When we arise in the morning, to examine ourselves, to
          see if there is anything that is in opposition to the mind and
          will of God within ourselves; and through the day to pursue the
          same course of self-examination. And at night before we retire to
          rest, to bow ourselves before our Father and God in secret, and
          pour out our souls in prayer before him, supplicating him to show
          unto us wherein we have done wrong during the day, wherein we
          have come short in thought, word and deed; and then repeat of the
          same before we lie down to rest, and to obtain from him a
          forgiveness of our sins. And then, going on day after day, week
          after week, and year after year until the end shall come. If we
          do this, the promises of God are sure, and they cannot fail.
          That it may be our happy lot to attain to an exaltation with our
          Father, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 /
          Charles W. Penrose, April 25th, 1880
                        Charles W. Penrose, April 25th, 1880
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER C. W. PENROSE,
             Delivered in the Salt Lake Assembly Hall, Sunday Afternoon,
                                  April 25th, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                       THE GOSPEL--JOSEPH SMITH CALLED OF GOD.
          The Latter-day Saints are often accused by the people in the
          Christian world of been very much deluded. Our religion is
          counted a delusion and a snare. I was thinking, however, during
          the meeting this afternoon about the great number of Christian
          preachers who today are standing up in various parts of the world
          informing the people who listen to them that simple belief on the
          Lord Jesus, who died on Calvary, is all that is necessary to save
          them and exalt them in the presence of God the Father. And it
          seems to me that if there is one delusion more pernicious than
          another it is that very doctrine, which seems to be fundamental
          principle of all the various Christian sects. You will find, go
          where you will in the Christian world and listen to any of the
          great preachers of the day, that this is the common topic of
          discourse. Jesus Christ is preached--which is quite right, I am
          very glad that he is--as the Savior of the world. So we testify
          as Latter-day Saints. In connection, however, with this great
          truth which is proclaimed to the inhabitants of the earth by men
          professing to be sent of God, is preached the great error that
          mere belief in the work which Jesus Christ wrought out is
          sufficient for the salvation of the people. The inhabitants of
          the earth are informed that it is not by any works of
          righteousness which they may perform that they can gain any favor
          whatever in the sight of God, but it is the righteousness of
          Christ alone which is acceptable to the Father and which they can
          gain the benefit of if they simply believe in him.
          When we search the Scriptures and read the sayings of Jesus
          Christ, and of his servants whom he sent forth to preach the
          Gospel, we do not find any such statement as this. We find, it is
          true, that the apostles of the Lord Jesus preached Christ and him
          crucified to the world wherever they had an opportunity; they
          directed the attention of the people, Jew and Gentile, wherever
          they went, to Jesus of Nazareth who was slain on Calvary as the
          Redeemer of the world, and faith in him was declared to be
          absolutely necessary. But we do not find that in proclaiming
          faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to that generation they informed
          the people that a mere belief in Christ was all that was needful;
          we find that, in addition to teaching the principle of faith in
          God and in his Son Jesus Christ, they taught the people it was
          necessary to observe certain rules, and commandments, to obey
          certain forms and ordinances, to comply with certain conditions
          that they might obtain the benefit of the shedding of Christ's
          blood. We find by searching the New Testament, which contains
          some of the teachings of the apostles and some of their letters
          to the churches, that the doctrines was held forth by them that
          "the blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin." We find that
          this applied, as they taught it, not only to what is called
          original sin, but also to actual sin. The sin which our first
          parents committed in the Garden of Eden is called original sin;
          and the sins committed individually by the inhabitants of the
          earth, are called actual sin, for "all have sinned and come short
          of the glory of God." The apostles sent forth to preach the
          Gospel by our Savior himself, taught the people that through the
          shedding of Christ's blood remission of sin might come to all and
          that mankind might be redeemed from sin, original and actual. But
          we find this distinction in their teaching in regard to original
          sin, and their teaching in regard to individual sin; that the
          blood of Christ redeems mankind from the effects of the fall and
          will eventually bring up all who died in Adam--for "as in Adam
          all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,"--but that
          while people had nothing whatever to do with the sin which Adam
          committed and therefore have nothing whatever to do with the work
          of atonement for that sin, yet for their own sins there is some
          action required on their part that they may obtain redemption
          therefrom, inasmuch as the blood of Christ was shed for original
          sin unconditionally, but for the remission of actual sin
          God, when he placed our first parents in the Garden of Eden put
          before them a certain tree, the fruit of which he said "they
          should not partake of, if they did they should surely die." They
          partook of that tree in disobedience to the divine commandment,
          and planted the seeds of death in their bodies, and that death
          has passed upon all their posterity. "It is appointed unto men
          once to die." This act of our first parents introduced death into
          the world. Death came by sin, and death has passed upon all the
          posterity of Adam and Eve. Jesus came in the meridian of time as
          "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world," to
          bring mankind up from the effects of the transgression of our
          first parents. Hence he is called "the Second Adam," and we are
          told that as in the first Adam all die, even so in Christ, the
          second Adam, shall all be made alive again. And he himself
          proclaimed that the time should come, "in the which all that are
          in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall
          come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of
          life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of
          damnation," or in the words of the inspired translation, "they
          that have done good in the resurrection of the just, and they
          that have done evil in the resurrection of the unjust." It is
          through the transgression of Adam that we have to suffer what is
          called the temporal death. Through that transgression our spirits
          have become separated from our bodies; our immortal spirits held
          by these mortal tabernacles must be taken out, and our bodies
          must return to the ground and crumble into dust; but by the
          atonement wrought out by the Lord Jesus Christ the time is to
          come when all who lived in the body shall live in the body again.
          Christ was raised from the dead and became "the first fruits of
          them that slept;" afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming
          will be brought forth. This is the first resurrection. "Blessed
          and holy," says the Apostle John in his vision, "are they that
          hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death
          hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of his
          Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." After that
          John saw, that "the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and
          death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they
          were judged every man according to his works."
          The atonement wrought out by the Lord Jesus Christ for original
          sin will apply just as far as the effects of the sin are felt. As
          all the posterity of Adam died through that sin, even so all the
          posterity of Adam will be raised up again through the atonement.
          "But every man in his own order," says the apostle, "Christ the
          first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming;"
          and then after the thousand years have passed away, the rest of
          the dead, as John said, will be brought forth and judged each one
          according to the deeds done in the flesh. All must give an
          account unto the great eternal Father. We are responsible for the
          acts done in the flesh, for like as it was in the case of our
          first parents, good and evil, truth and error, are placed before
          us, and every individual is left free to choose the good and
          refuse the evil, or to choose the evil, and refuse the good, as
          he please. Both are set before us and, if we yield to either, it
          will lead us in either direction. There is, however, a spirit in
          man, born in him, which comes from God, the fountain of light and
          truth. This light is planted in the breast of every man and every
          woman who breathes the breath of life. It is the true light that
          lighteth every man that cometh into the world, and if people
          would listen to the whispering of that still small voice, be led
          by that natural light and natural inspiration, they would be led
          up to God. By this natural light, by this general inspiration, if
          people would listen to its whisperings, and be guided thereby,
          they would be led up to the fountain of light. "Every good gift,"
          says the Apostle James, "and every perfect gift is from above,
          and cometh down from the Father of lights in whom there is no
          variableness neither shadow of turning." But on the other hand
          there must be, as the Book of Mormon says, "an opposition in all
          things," and there is a spirit of evil, a spirit of darkness,
          which draws downward to death, and a spirit of light which leads
          upward to life; the one leads to Satan and his works, the other
          to God and to righteousness. But the inhabitants of the earth
          generally have been more prone to listen to the inspiration of
          the spirit of darkness as did our first parents, than to listen
          to the still small voice of light and life in their souls. 
          All people must give an account of the deeds done in the body
          according to the measure of light they have received, and the
          opportunities they have had of obtaining that light, while they
          dwelt in the flesh. Some people have lived on the earth when God
          has sent his servants inspired of him to make plain his ways,
          while others have tabernacled in the flesh when no inspired voice
          was heard, when no communication was open between the heavens and
          the earth. And he who is just, who is the embodiment of the
          eternal principles of justice, will deal out to all according to
          their light and according to the opportunities they have had of
          obtaining that light, but all must be judged, all must appear
          before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for their
          individual works.
          Now, we will take the case of an individual who has broken all
          the laws of God and perhaps all the laws of man, and finally has
          shed the blood of a fellow-creature, and is condemned by the laws
          of man to die; he is, in fact, unfit to live, unfit to associate
          with mortal beings, therefore, they must needs thrust him out of
          the world that he may mingle with immortal beings. Where do they
          send him to? A minister will come and preach to him, and tell him
          that all he has to do is to cast his soul on Jesus; that he has
          just to believe that Christ died for him and the righteousness of
          the pure, immaculate, sinless, Christ will be grafted into that
          rotten branch, so that he will have the fruits of righteousness
          and peace. That is according to the modern Gospel. The man
          believes this, he confesses Christ with his lips and acknowledges
          him with his tongue, and straightway is strung up between the
          heavens and the earth, and choked to death; his spirit is forced
          out of his body, and ushered into the presence of the eternal
          Father to stand before his spotless throne, and is deemed fit to
          dwell in the society of the pure and holy ones on high. That is
          according to the modern Gospel, but not according to the ancient
          Gospel of Jesus Christ, the everlasting Gospel which says "no
          murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."
          But some one may ask, "Is there no efficacy, for actual sin, in
          the atonement wrought out by Jesus Christ? Is there no method by
          which people can obtain a forgiveness of their individual sins?"
          Yes, there is a way, and that is the plan of the true Gospel, but
          it does not consist in mere belief in the righteousness of
          another; mere belief in the righteousness somebody else will not
          make us any better ourselves. What is to be done then? Here the
          Gospel is very plain and simple, when pointed out by one who
          understands it. But "how shall they call on him in whom they have
          not believed? And 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?" It is men who are not
          sent who preach the nonsense we hear in the world. It is men who
          are not sent who deceive mankind with their strong delusions, and
          then turn round and call the Latter-day Saints deluded. If they
          were sent of God they would not preach such nonsense, they would
          not deceive mankind and thus become the cause of so much sin and
          evil in the world. For while people believe that at the last
          moment, at the last gasp of their existence, they may cast their
          souls on Jesus, and by believing in his virtue escape the penalty
          of their sins, they will continue to sin on, like many of these
          false teachers who revel in sin up to their very eyes, and will
          die in their sins and go down into the pit where they must wait
          until they are released, in the time and way of the Lord. The
          doctrine of belief without works is a strong delusion. There is
          more to do, according to the Gospel, than merely to believe in
          the Lord Jesus Christ. Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is
          necessary. That is the foundation, it is the root of the matter,
          but it is not all the matter. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
          and thou shalt be saved." Why? Because if you have true faith in
          Christ, if you really believe on him, you will believe in his
          sayings and keep his commandments. Hear him: "If ye love me, keep
          my commandments." "Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall
          enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of
          my Father which is in heaven." "Therefore, whosoever heareth
          these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a
          wise man which built his house upon a rock: And the rain
          descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon
          that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. And
          every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not,
          shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon
          the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the
          winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and great was
          the fall of it."
          When Jesus Christ sent his apostles unto all the world after he
          had risen from the dead, he commanded them to "teach all nations,
          baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of
          the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I
          have commanded you." They were to go out and preach to all the
          world, baptizing those that believed, and then proceed to teach
          all things whatsoever he had commanded them. Christ taught his
          disciples many principles while he tarried with them in the
          flesh, and after he had risen from the dead he continued his
          instructions from time to time. He also told them that when he
          went away the Comforter should come to reveal unto them the
          things of the Father and the Son, and to guide them unto all
          truth; for it is only by receiving truth and living it that
          people can be saved and exalted. "Sanctify them through thy
          truth," prayed the Savior, "thy word is truth." The Holy Ghost
          the Comforter, was to come, therefore, to make plain the truth,
          and to reveal things past, present, and to come. It is necessary,
          however, to have faith in Christ. Why? Because every blessing
          that flows to the inhabitants of the earth from God the eternal
          Father comes through Jesus Christ. We must first of all believe
          in God, then believe in Jesus Christ, and if we really do believe
          in God and in Jesus Christ we will find out in ourselves that we
          have broken the commandments of God and of his Son Jesus Christ,
          and the desire will enter our hearts to turn away from sin. Thus
          it is said "whosoever heareth these sayings, and doeth them, I
          will liken unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock."
          It is taught by some that repentance is the first principle of
          religion, but if a man does not believe in God, will he pray unto
          him? What has a man to repent of except the breaking of the
          commandments of God? And how shall he feel anything to repent of
          if he does not believe in God? It is necessary therefore to have
          faith first, and then comes repentance, a determination to
          forsake evil, and this is what the ancient apostles taught.
          What next? We find that wherever the apostles went, whenever they
          found a people who believed in Jesus and repented of their sins
          they baptized them. By sprinkling a little water in their face?
          Or by making the sign of the cross upon their foreheads? No. They
          were taken down into the water and buried there in the likeness
          of Christ's death and burial and raised up in the likeness of his
          resurrection, that henceforth having "put off the old man with
          his deeds" they might walk in newness of life, observe his laws
          and keep his commandments, and follow his footsteps, for he "left
          us an example, that we should follow in his steps." Then the
          apostles laid their hands upon those that were baptized, and we
          read that they received the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, the spirit
          of truth, which opened up a communication between each individual
          soul and the fountain of light and eternal truth, which testified
          that they had been washed clean from their sins. How washed? By
          water? Yes, and no. Water does not wash away sin, but if people
          desire remission of their actual sins they must be baptized. Thus
          it must be, "to fulfil all righteousness." Even Christ himself
          had to be baptized to fulfil that commandment, and if he had not
          obeyed it there would have been no manifestation of the Holy
          Ghost resting upon him in the sign of a dove, and a voice from
          heaven declaring, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well
          pleased." Christ left us this example, and his apostles followed
          in his footsteps, baptizing according to the commandment for the
          remission of sins. John the Baptist also taught this same
          doctrine when he went out to preach in Judea, and when the people
          came to him confessing their sins he baptized them in Jordan for
          the remission of sins. "I indeed baptize you," says John, "with
          water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes
          I am not worthy to loose; he shall baptize you with the Holy
          Ghost and with fire."
          Baptism for the remission of sins! "Why," says one "I thought the
          blood of Christ redeemed us from our sins." And so it does. Water
          itself will not wash away guilt. If a person has no faith in
          Christ, and has not repented of his sins, baptism will be of no
          avail. But baptism properly administered by one who has a right
          to administer in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
          the Holy Ghost, will avail. The person to be baptized must go
          down into the water and therein be buried for a remission of
          sins, having repented, and having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
          and in his atoning blood, for the blood of Christ was shed "for
          the sins of the whole world." But the "whole world" will not
          receive the benefit of the atonement unless they comply with the
          conditions laid down, namely: faith, repentance, and baptism.
          They who do not receive this ordinance cannot enter into the
          presence of the Father, for "except a man be born of water and of
          the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." So said
          Jesus. This is a little different from the teachings of modern
          divines, is it not? Yes, but it is according to the teachings of
          Christ and his apostles.
          Now, then, in regard to the administration of this ordinance. Men
          must have right to administer before they do anything in the name
          of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. I ask who
          has that right? There are a great many ministers standing up in
          the various chapels and churches to-day administering in the name
          of this holy trinity. You can see men in the Christian world
          stand up before a congregation and sprinkle a little water upon
          an unconscious babe, and call it baptism, and actually do it in
          the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Who sent them? Who
          told them to do this sprinkling? Did God the Father, or the Son,
          or the Holy Ghost? No. Did any person to whom God has spoken,
          having authority from God to ordain, appoint them to that office?
          No. Why! Because for hundreds of years communication with the
          eternal world has been shut off, inasmuch as the people who
          profess the Christian religion have not even believed in the
          doctrine of present communication with God. They have been
          contented with the old revelations contained in the book we call
          the Bible, which contains a few of the things that God revealed
          hundreds of years ago. They do not believe in having
          communication with the heavens. How did they get this authority,
          then? When did a man ever get authority from God to sprinkle and
          call it baptism, or to baptize and infant in any form? It is not
          to be found in the Bible. "He that believeth and is baptized
          shall be saved," so Christ said. And you will find that wherever
          the apostles went, faith was the first principle they taught. "If
          thou believest with all thine heart thou mayest," said Philip to
          the eunuch who sought to be baptized. Baptism without faith and
          repentance is valueless, it is void; and baptism administered by
          one who has not the right to attend to that ordinance in the name
          of the holy trinity is also void. Supposing men were to come to
          us with as groundless claims in temporal things as they do in
          spiritual. Supposing a man came from Germany to this country and
          professed to be a minister from the German court. We would ask to
          see his credentials, and if he had been sent as an ambassador for
          that people, he would be able to show his authority. Supposing
          all that he had to prove his right to represent the German Empire
          was, he felt called in his heart to do so. We should consider him
          a fit subject for a lunatic asylum. But there are men
          administering in these sacred things (administering in the name
          of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost), ordinances
          to which God never appointed them, for they say there is no
          communication between them and God, nor has there been among the
          inhabitants of the earth for hundreds and hundreds of years. They
          say the canon of scripture is full; God talks no more with the
          inhabitants of the earth. Where, then, do they get the right to
          administer in the name of the Lord? I tell you as sure as they do
          this they will be called to account and held guilty of taking the
          name of the Lord in vain. How did the apostles of the Lord Jesus
          Christ get the authority to baptize? Christ gave it to them. How
          did Christ get the authority? Did he assume it himself? No. Jesus
          said, "I come not to do my own will, but the will of the Father
          which hath sent me." It was his Father in heaven who called him
          to be a high priest after the order of Melchizedek, and Moses and
          Elias who had previously held that priesthood, administered to
          him in the mount. Thus Christ received that holy priesthood,
          after the order of Melchizedek, which embraced all the higher
          powers and comprehended the lesser or Aaronic priesthood (for the
          greater includes the less), and he ordained his apostles to that
          priesthood. "As my Father hath sent me," said he, "even so sent I
          you." They obtained their ordination from Christ, and therefore
          had a right to baptize and also to call others as the Holy Ghost
          "But," says one, "there are many people who have felt called in
          their hearts, they have had the spirit of the Gospel. Have they
          not a right, seeing they believe in Christ, to administer in
          these ordinances?" Certainly not, not a particle of right. Let us
          look at Paul and his history, related by himself, Saul, of
          Tarsus, who went to persecute the Saints and was smitten to the
          earth by the light from the glorious presence of the lately risen
          Jesus. He was led blind into the city to which he carried letters
          intended to be used in the persecution and annoyance of the
          Saints. Says Paul: "And one Ananias came unto me and said,
          Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up
          upon him. And he said the God of our fathers hath chosen thee,
          that thou shouldst know his will, and see that Just One, and
          shouldst hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his
          witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now
          why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins,
          calling on the name of the Lord." Saul attended to the ordinance
          and was baptized. "Well, now," says one, "surely Saul had a right
          to preach the Gospel. He had seen Jesus and heard his voice. A
          miracle had been wrought upon him and he was told that he should
          be a witness unto all men." No, he had not yet the right. The
          hands of the servants of the Lord had not yet been laid upon him.
          But we read in the thirteenth chapter of Acts, that while certain
          prophets and teachers were waiting before the Lord, "the Holy
          Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto
          I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed and laid
          their hands on them, they sent them away." It is written, "No man
          taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God as
          was Aaron." Aaron was called by Moses, who received divine
          authority by direct communication from God. Aaron, it appears,
          could talk better than Moses, but Moses was the man called to
          hold the keys of the ministry. If any man desires to act in the
          holy ministry he must first be baptized for a remission of his
          sins and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, otherwise he cannot
          be a teacher unto others. And even then, although he may have had
          visions, although he may have seen the Lord and had the glories
          of heaven opened unto his view, though the curtain that hides the
          future may have rolled up before him like a scroll, so that he
          could gaze into the glories of the eternities,--all this would
          give him no authority whatever to administer in the name of the
          Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. He must be called,
          he must be ordained, he must receive the authority of the holy
          Well, what condition has the Christian world been in for
          centuries? Just the same in a great many respects as the heathen
          world. The people have been in the depths of error. Darkness has
          covered the earth and gross darkness the people. "Stay yourselves
          and wonder," says the Prophet Isaiah, speaking of the latter
          times, "cry ye out and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine;
          they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured
          out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes:
          the prophets and your rulers the seers hath he covered." And the
          Lord said that in that very time, when the people should be in
          this condition, when they should draw near unto him with their
          mouth, and honor him with their lips, while their hearts were far
          from him, "I will proceed to do a marvelous work among the
          people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of the
          wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men
          shall be hid. * * * * And in that day shall the deaf hear the
          words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of
          obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase
          their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in
          the Holy One of Israel." Just as the prophet predicted so it has
          been in the age in which we live. Out of darkness has come forth
          light. God, from his holy dwelling place, looked down upon the
          world and beheld that all had gone astray, that none were doing
          good, no not one. They were divided and contentious, jangling and
          quarrelling about creeds. Men were crying lo! here, and lo!
          there; in fact the blind were leading the blind and both were
          failing into the ditch together. The Lord beheld this from his
          holy habitation and again restored the truth from the eternal
          world. He sent his holy angels and revealed anew the everlasting
          Gospel. Truth came out of the earth, and righteousness looked
          down from heaven and both joined in one, gave joy to the meek,
          and became a power among men in the earth. God called Joseph
          Smith to the great work of ushering in the last dispensation. He
          made manifest to him the truth, sent angels to him, enlightened
          his mind and gave him the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, and
          as Moses and Elias came to Christ in the Mount, so also did
          Peter, James and John ordain Joseph Smith to the Melchizedek
          priesthood. The authority of that priesthood is here now, and the
          servants of God who are called by that authority go forth and
          preach the Gospel to every creature, for a witness unto all
          nations, declaring that the end is near, and that the second
          advent of the Lord is close at hand. People are called upon
          everywhere to repent of their sins; to be baptized for the
          remission of sins, and to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by
          the laying on of hands, and whenever people have received the
          Gospel and obeyed its ordinances his blessings have come to them.
          The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, which speaks direct to their
          souls, has borne witness that their sins are remitted, that they
          are raised to a newness of life, and that it faithful unto the
          end they will be received back into the presence of the Father,
          to dwell in his society and glory. This is a privilege offered to
          all the inhabitants of the earth who will believe in this Gospel
          of the latter-days. Yet it is no new thing. It is the old Gospel
          restored. Not a doctrine, not a principle, not a precept therein,
          but what may be found in the old Scriptures. And this is what
          people call delusion! The Gospel came to us in the various
          nations of the earth, some belonging to the various religious
          sects, and some belonging to no sect whatever, and when we
          received and obeyed it a power took hold of us superior to
          anything we have ever experienced before, and witnessed to us in
          an unmistakable manner the truth of this work. It is not a
          phantom. It is not something imaginary, but it is a solemn fact,
          as certain as the fact of our existence. No one can reason us out
          of it, or force us out of it. Why? Because it is stamped upon our
          spiritual nature, it is a part of our very being. God Almighty
          has revealed this truth to our souls, and we know it as we know
          we live. That is why we are here.
          Now, our business is to live this religion, to learn further of
          the ways of God, and to do his will in all things. The matters I
          have been speaking of are only the A B C of the Gospel. We must
          learn "line upon line and precept upon precept," and continue to
          grow and increase in a knowledge of the truth, living by "every
          word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Now I would ask
          whether this is the case? Having been redeemed, or having had our
          individual transgressions remitted, are we walking in the
          straight and narrow way? Are we learning of God? Are we seeking
          to understand more distinctly and clearly the things that pertain
          to our salvation? Are we performing the task allotted to us? For
          we are living in an important day. The day of the second coming
          of the Savior is nigh at hand, and when he comes shall we be
          found, as in the parable, among the wise or among the foolish
          virgins? How is it with us this afternoon? Have we oil in our
          lamps to guide us on our path? There is no need for us to do
          anything in the dark. We should be the children of the light. We
          are accused of following our leaders in "blind obedience." There
          is no such thing in the Gospel. We have in our midst those who
          give us the word of the Lord in a church capacity, "for the
          perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the ministry and for
          the edifying of the body of Christ," but it is our privilege to
          have the same light. "The manifestations of the spirit are given
          to every one to profit withal." The Holy Ghost is conferred upon
          each individual and it is our privilege to see our way. When the
          true Saints hear the word of life, there is an echo within their
          hearts and a spirit which testifies to its truthfulness. When the
          word comes through our inspired leaders it proceeds from the
          spirit of light which guides us unto all truth. It is the
          privilege of every Saint to have this light for themselves, the
          light of God, the light of truth, "the light that is in all
          things and through all things and round about all things, and is
          the law by which all things are governed." It is our privilege to
          be in possession of that faith that we may ask and receive, that
          we may seek and find, that we may knock and have the door opened
          unto us. Well, are we doing this? If so, then we rejoice in our
          religion. The world compared therewith is as nothing; all things
          are as dross compared with the excellency of the knowledge of
          Christ. If we are living our religion it is everything with us
          "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all
          these things shall be added unto you." Earthly things perish with
          the using and when we pass away we must leave them behind, but we
          will carry with us the Gospel, and every one of its truths we
          have made our own. We will carry with us the holy priesthood and
          its gifts and powers, if we have been faithful, and will be
          permitted to mingle with the spirits of just men made perfect,
          and rejoice in the hope of a glorious resurrection.
          Now let us strive to walk in this path that we may gain this
          great glory. Let us attend to the duties we are required to
          perform. There is nothing in the Gospel that is non-essential.
          Every principle that has been revealed unto us is necessary for
          the salvation of man, for I tell you before we are fit to dwell
          in the presence of God and enjoy the fulness of his glory we must
          become like him. Latter-day Saints, the ordinances of the Gospel
          will not save you, they are only aids to salvation. What, then,
          will save us? A knowledge of truth and the practice thereof,
          nothing else. We must learn the ways of God. We must walk in his
          paths. We must be Saints in every deed, and walk in the footsteps
          of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then, by-and-by, where
          he is we will be also. If we turn our backs upon the truth we
          will go down to death; we will be beaten with many stripes, we
          must suffer the consequence of our guilt, and after we have gone
          through the depths of suffering and sorrow in the due time of the
          Lord we may get some kind of salvation and glory, but where God
          and Christ are we cannot come, worlds without end.
          I would say to my friends who are here this afternoon, that I
          know this work is true. God Almighty has made it known to me. I
          bear this testimony to you, and I am willing to meet it before
          the great judgment seat. God has spoken from the heavens in this
          our day. He has restored the Gospel of Christ and the authority
          to preach it. It will go forth to every nation, kindred, tongue
          and people. The wise and the prudent will not receive it, but
          "the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel."
          This work will go on to this end and purpose. Zion will be built
          up, Jerusalem will be redeemed, and the time will come when
          Jesus, our Redeemer shall descend in power and great glory to
          reign upon the earth. I bear my testimony that this is the work
          of God, that he requires our whole heart, and that we should love
          our neighbors as ourselves. let us put away our follies and our
          errors. Let us not drink into the spirit of the world. Let us not
          pattern after the wickedness that is creeping into our midst.
          Come out from among them and be ye separate, and touch not the
          unclean thing! Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. It
          is only by the practice of righteousness and personal purity,
          that we will be made fit to dwell in the presence of the Lord. A
          doctrine contrary to this is the worst kind of delusion.
          May God help us to live the life of a Saint and finally save us
          in his kingdom, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Taylor, April 13th, 1879
                            John Taylor, April 13th, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
              Delivered at Ephraim, Sanpete County, on Sunday Morning,
                                  April 13th, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I am pleased to have the opportunity of meeting with the brethren
          and sisters of this place, and of looking at your faces; and I
          would like to hear more of the brethren speak to you, but I know
          you want me to talk awhile; and as I have to leave this afternoon
          I will occupy the time now, and we will leave some of the
          brethren to preach to you then. I desire your faith and prayers,
          for we are all dependent upon the Lord;none of us can do or say
          anything that is good or useful or beneficial to society unless
          we are under the aid, guidance and control of the Lord. A man
          cannot speak aright unless he speaks under the inspiration of the
          Almighty; and then the people cannot hear aright, nor understand
          aright unless they have a portion of the same Spirit. And hence
          there was something peculiar in the expression made by Jesus upon
          this subject. He understood this principle very well, and in
          speaking on it, says, "My sheep hear my voice, and know me, and
          follow me; but a stranger they will not follow for they know not
          the voice of a stranger." And hence when the elders were sent out
          to preach the Gospel at first, they were told to go forth and God
          would go with them, and his Spirit would accompany them and his
          angels should go before them. The Lord had his sheep scattered
          all over the face of the earth; and those sheep, when they heard
          the sound of the Gospel, understood it; there was something that
          bore testimony to their hearts, which they could not well
          describe, and that something directed you, my brethren and
          sisters, to those who brought the everlasting Gospel; and when
          you heard it you said, "That is true." And people might say what
          they pleased, still you believed and felt that it was true. You
          experienced this feeling, but you could hardly account for it.
          This was the Spirit that Jesus alluded to when he said, "If I be
          lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me." He has
          his own way of accomplishing that object, and it takes time, a
          great deal of time to do that. But he was not going to drive them
          nor force them, nor in any way to coerce them; but he would
          present to their minds such beautiful principles, such lovely
          sentiments and develop such glorious things among them, that they
          could not but see and appreciate them, nor could they find them
          anywhere else. And then when those principles were confirmed by
          the influence of the holy priesthood through the revelations of
          God to the people, it produced the effect upon them that we have
          seen. And hence you have gathered here, left your homes in the
          old world--the major part of you from Scandinavia. I was one of
          those brethren that started out in an early day with this message
          of glad tidings; and Brother Erastus Snow found his way to you
          folks, while I went to others in a different part of the world,
          and still others of the brethren hunted up other sheep in other
          places. What was the result of our preaching? We see it here
          to-day; the result is that you have been brought to a knowledge
          of the truth, and through obedience to the ordinances of the
          Lord, you have received the Holy spirit of God, which has led you
          into the truth, so that you, as did the ancient Saints before
          you, sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. You no longer
          experience the kind of uncertainty you used to be afflicted with,
          but you have a certainty, an abiding reality. You do not care to
          die; that is a matter of very little importance. Jesus said to a
          woman on a certain occasion, whom he had asked to give him water
          to drink, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that
          sayeth to thee: Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him,
          and he would have given thee living water." We have drunk of that
          stream which makes glad the city of our God. And we want to
          realize and appreciate the position we occupy before God, and the
          great blessing and privileges that are within our reach. We have
          just commenced, as it were, in the great work. We have received a
          great many precious principles, and have seen and experienced a
          great many things. But how was it? Simply through a glass,
          darkly; and we yet, in many instances, see them through a glass,
          darkly--at least very many of them; and sometimes we can scarcely
          perceive the difference between ourselves and the rest of
          mankind, or between the religion we have embraced and that which
          other people have. If we could only reflect upon it, there is as
          much difference as there is between light and darkness. But we do
          not always comprehend these things, and hence we labor under
          difficulties pertaining to this matter; because we do not see, we
          do not comprehend the position and relationship that subsists
          between us and our God. God is our Father; we are his children.
          He has brought us into his covenant, and it is our privilege to
          go on from wisdom to wisdom, from intelligence to intelligence,
          from understanding of one principle to that of another, to go
          forward and progress in the development of truth until we can
          comprehend God. For we are his children, we are his sons and
          daughters, and he is our Father. He has organized this Church in
          order that we may be educated in the principles of life, that we
          may comprehend those principles that exist in the bosom of God,
          that we may be able to teach our children correct principles, in
          order that we may be placed in a position whereby we can be
          assimilated into the likeness of our heavenly Father, and have a
          communication opened between angels and us, that we may feel that
          we are of the family of God and of the household of faith, and
          that we can operate with them; and that while part of his family
          who have lived upon the earth and who live again in another state
          of existence behind the vail, are operating with him and with the
          angels of God and with the whole of the Holy Priesthood in
          developing his purposes in the heavens, that we may be prepared
          to operate with him on the earth in carrying out his purposes
          here; that his people may be preserved from the powers of
          darkness, that the light, intelligence and revelations of God may
          be upon us, that we may comprehend our true position to him, to
          each other, to his Church and kingdom, and to the living and the
          dead; that we may realize the position we occupy in relation to
          all the various duties and the responsibilities of life. And then
          after realizing them, magnify our callings, unite ourselves
          together as the heart of one man under the influences of the
          Spirit of eternal truth as the family of God upon the earth, and
          purge out everything from us that is evil, corrupt, low and
          degrading, and elevate our minds and feelings to a higher
          standard of intelligence, morality and obedience to his laws, and
          thus prepare ourselves to carry out the things of God in relation
          to the earth whereon we dwell, and each of us take a part in
          bringing to pass his purposes here upon the earth, not by any
          intelligence we may have; but by the wisdom and intelligence that
          God shall impart from time to time, until we shall progress in
          every principle that is calculated to elevate and ennoble
          mankind, until finally we shall see as we are seen and know as we
          are known.
          We are now gathered together to Zion. For what? To build up Zion,
          and to accomplish the purposes of the Lord pertaining to the
          human family upon the earth. And being gathered together we are
          organized with apostles and prophets, with presidents and their
          counselors, with bishops and their counselors, with elders,
          priests teachers and deacons. We are organized according to the
          order of God, and these very principles that look small to us
          emanate from God. We have seventies and high priests, and all
          these men hold certain positions which it is expected of them
          that they will fulfill and magnify, here in the flesh, in the
          interests of truth and righteousness; in the interests of the
          kingdom of God and in the establishment of correct principles
          among the Saints of the Most High. We are here to co-operate with
          God in the salvation of the living, in the redemption of the
          dead, in the blessings of our ancestors, in the pouring out
          blessings upon our children; we are here for the purpose of
          redeeming and regenerating the earth on which we live, and God
          has placed his authority and his counsels here upon the earth for
          that purpose, that men may learn to do the will of God on the
          earth as it is done in heaven. This is the object of our
          existence; and it is for us to comprehend the position.
          For instance, Joseph Smith in the first place was set apart by
          the Almighty according to the counsels of the gods in the eternal
          worlds, to introduce the principles of life among the people, of
          which the Gospel is the grand power and influence, and through
          which salvation can extend to all peoples, all nations, all
          kindreds, all tongues and all worlds. It is the principle that
          brings life and immortality to light, and places us in
          communication with God. God selected him for that purpose, and he
          fulfilled his mission and lived honorably and died honorably. I
          know of what I speak for I was very well acquainted with him and
          was with him a great deal during his life, and was with him when
          he died. The principles which he had, placed him in communication
          with the Lord, and not only with the Lord, but with the ancient
          apostles and prophets; such men, for instance as Abraham, Isaac,
          Jacob, Noah, Adam, Seth, Enoch, and Jesus and the Father, and the
          apostles that lived on this continent as well as those who lived
          on the Asiatic continent. He seemed to be as familiar with these
          people as we are with one another. Why? Because he had to
          introduce a dispensation which was called the dispensation of the
          fulness of times, and it was known as such by the ancient
          servants of God. What is meant by the dispensation of the fulness
          of times? It is a dispensation in which all other dispensations
          are merged or concentrated. It embraces and embodies all the
          other dispensations that have existed upon the earth wherein God
          communicated himself to the human family. Did they have the
          Aaronic priesthood in former times? Yes. So have we. Did they
          have the Melchizedek priesthood in former times? Yes. So have we.
          Did they have a gathering dispensation in former times, when
          Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt? Yes. So have we,
          just as it was predicted by the prophet Jeremiah: "I will take
          you one of a city and two of a family, and I will bring you to
          Zion." And what will you do with them when you get them there?
          "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall
          feed you with knowledge and understanding." We have that
          dispensation. Moses, when he appeared to Joseph Smith, committed
          to him "the keys of the dispensation of the gathering of Israel
          from the four quarters of the earth and the restitution of the
          ten tribes." Read it in the Doctrine and Covenants: it is there
          plainly written. Why are you here to day, from Scandinavia and
          other parts of the world? Because God has, among other
          dispensations, restored the dispensation of the gathering.
          In relation to other matters. Was there a time to transpire that
          Elijah should come to "turn the hearts of the fathers to the
          children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers?" That
          Elias has come, and has introduced that dispensation; and in that
          are associated the very things you are engaged in and which we
          have come to attend to, namely the laying of the foundation stone
          of the Temple. Now, I will ask, whoever thought of building
          Temples until God revealed it? Did you? If you did, I wish you
          would tell us of it. And did you know how to build them? No. And
          did you know how to administer in them after they were built? No,
          you did not. We are indebted to the Lord for these things. And
          when Elijah the prophet appeared to Joseph Smith he committed to
          him the keys of this dispensation; and hence we are at work
          building Temples; but some of us hardly know why. We go at it the
          same as we follow plowing, sowing, planting, reaping and such
          kinds of pursuits. There are other things behind that. There are
          ordinances associated behind these things that go back into
          eternity; that are the offspring of God, that are intended for
          the welfare, the happiness and exaltation of mankind; for those
          who are living and those that are dead and for those that will
          live hereafter, pertaining both to our progenitors and our
          posterity. And that is one of those keys that have been turned.
          Do you think that the elders who brought the Gospel to you in far
          off lands could have gathered you here if they were not the
          bearers of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and if this had
          not been a gathering dispensation? I think not. As I have said,
          the elders went to different parts of the earth, for we have
          preached a great deal. I, myself, have traveled hundreds of
          thousands of miles preaching the Gospel; and without purse or
          scrip, trusting in the Lord. Did he ever forsake me? Never, no
          never. I always was provided for, for which I feel to praise God
          my heavenly Father. I was engaged in his work and he told me that
          he would sustain me in it; he has been true to his trust, and if
          I have not been true to mine I hope he will forgive me and help
          me to do better. But the Lord has been true and faithful, and I
          have never needed anything to eat or drink or wear, and was never
          prevented for want of means of traveling where I pleased.
          Well, to return. After you received the Gospel and the spirit of
          the same, the great desire of your hearts was to go to Zion. And
          in order to accomplish this you put away your little savings and
          you began to contrive how to dispose of your little properties,
          and many of you were almost ready to sell yourselves to get to
          Zion. You could not tell why you had such feelings, but you did
          have them, and you could not get rid of them until you were
          brought here. You would not have come here had it not been for
          that, would you? I have no idea that you would. When you were
          told to build Temples, what made you build them? Because you had
          received the Gospel in your hearts, associated with which was the
          mission of Elijah which was to turn the hearts of the children to
          the fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children. I
          wish I could tell it to you as I understand some of these things,
          and I wish you could understand those principles. Suffice it to
          say that Satan has tried from the beginning of the world to
          overturn the works of God, and in some instances he has
          apparently succeeded admirably. He was the cause at one time of
          all the people of the earth being destroyed except a little seed
          which was saved to propagate the human species. Probably the
          devil would laugh pretty heartily over that thinking that he had
          accomplished his purposes. However that was not the end. It is
          true that the judgments of God overtook them; it is true they
          were destroyed by a flood in the flesh, and were shut up in
          prison in the spirit; but it is also true that the same Savior
          who is our Savior, when he was put to death in the flesh, was
          quickened by the spirit, and that he visited those spirits in
          prison, opening up the door of salvation to them that they might
          be redeemed and come forth and accomplish certain purposes which
          God had designed; and hence we find the Savior operating among
          all that body of people that the devil thought were destroyed,
          but through this visitation were placed within the reach of
          deliverance. But has Satan prevailed to a great extent? He has.
          Has darkness spread itself over the earth? Yes. Have people
          wandered away from God and forsaken him and his laws? They have.
          But them the Lord will be merciful towards them, they not having
          received the light that we have, hence he feels towards them as a
          father feels towards his children, being desirous to promote
          their happiness as far as it lays in his power; and if he could
          not save them while in the flesh, he understands certain eternal
          laws and principles whereby they may hereafter be redeemed. The
          Judge of all the earth will do right. And while the priesthood
          behind the vail are operating and preaching to the spirits that
          are in prison that have been there from the different ages, he
          calls, upon us to build temples that we may administer for the
          bodies of these people that have died without the Gospel, that
          they may be judged according to men in the flesh and live after
          God in the spirit. At the commencement of the dispensations he
          sends out his elders generally to all the world to preach the
          Gospel to every creature. In this dispensation he not only does
          this; but as we live in a gathering dispensation, he also gathers
          in the people, and when they learn a little of his law, there are
          many ordained to the priesthood and sent out as messengers, and
          we keep sending them out to preach the Gospel and to gather in
          the elect; and we send them to their own people to tell them what
          God has done and is doing. And they keep coming and going. And
          whom do we send? If we send to England we send Englishmen, or men
          who can speak the English language; if to Scandinavia, we send
          Scandinavians: we send generally their own people, accompanied
          with men of experience, after the Gospel has been introduced to
          them. Why? That they may go and teach their own people the way of
          life and salvation. What then? They come back again and build
          Temples. And what then? They and their people from the various
          nations of the earth go into these Temples and administer for
          their fathers, and grandfathers, their uncles and aunts, their
          friends and relatives, and thus reach back, back into distant
          times to redeem and save others. And who are these men? Just such
          as the ancient prophets talked about. They are saviors upon Mount
          Zion, are they not, saving and redeeming their people--and those
          men who are quarrying and hauling the rock, and those who are
          engaged in laying up these terrace and temple walls, and those
          who are otherwise engaged in making the necessary preparation for
          the building of the temple are all laboring in the same
          direction. The Lord requires this work at our hands in order to
          test us, to see whether we will carry out his laws or not. And
          when we build our temples and he accepts of them, we will then
          enter into them and administer in the name of God; and
          administering in them we become saviors upon Mount Zion, as it is
          written, "And Saviors shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the
          Mount of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord's" Don't your
          Bible read so? The one I have does. Who shall they save? These
          men become saviors of their own nations; they administer and
          operate in their interests and in the interests of their fathers
          and their friends and associates. Hence this is one thing we are
          engaged in, and is part of the dispensation of the fulness of
          Then what does one of the prophets say? "Behold, I will send you
          Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful
          day of the Lord." And what shall he do? "And he shall turn the
          heart of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the
          children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a
          curse." And what shall be done? Saviors shall come up on Mount
          Zion; and the kingdom shall be the Lord's. It is written, they
          shall all be taught of God, but the kingdom shall be the Lord's
          not man's. We do not want to lean upon man nor put our trust in
          man. While we are obedient to every ordinance of man that is
          proper and right, and which does not conflict with the law of
          God, while we are obedient to these things we do not want to sell
          our selves to the wicked and ungodly. We do not care much about
          their ways or their theories or ideas. "The Lord," says one,
          "shall be our judge, the Lord shall be our king, the Lord shall
          be our law-giver and he shall rule over us." And we, under the
          inspiration of the Almighty, will introduce the laws of God that
          exist in the heavens and upon the earth, and form a nucleus of
          truth, of virtue and intelligence, of law and order, of
          principles pertaining to morals, to philosophy, to politics, to
          religion and to everything that is pure, exalting and ennobling,
          and the kingdom will be the Lord's. And we will operate together,
          we will try to frustrate the works of darkness and the powers of
          the adversary, to save the living and redeem the dead, have our
          hearts turned towards our fathers who have lived before us who
          have been ignorant of the principles of life and salvation which
          God has been pleased to confer upon us, while the brethren behind
          the vail are feeling after us who are their children. The Lord
          will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the
          hearts of the children to the fathers through Elias who was to
          come, which if not accomplished, it is written, "the earth would
          be smitten with a curse."
          Hence we are operating with the ancient patriarchs, apostles,
          prophets and men of God who lived on the continent of Asia and
          America, and we will gather together all things in one according
          to the words of God, gather his Israel in one from the four
          quarters of the earth and also the ten tribes before we get
          through; and Judah will listen to the words of life, and the
          principles of eternal truth will go forth and spread and grow,
          "until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God
          and his Christ; and to him every knee will bow and every tongue
          confess that Christ is God to the glory of God the Father." And
          we are here for that purpose. Do you think we are going to fail?
          Do you think the Lord is going to back down? I think not. Men may
          combine against us ignorantly, for many of them are very
          ignorant. I do not cherish the least feeling of wrath in my heart
          when I see the courts, legislators or Congress take steps
          inimical to us. They do not know what they do, hence we should
          feel charitably disposed to those who seek our injury. David
          prayed that God would send his enemies to hell quickly. Jesus,
          when he was being crucified, suffering the pain of a cruel death,
          said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." I
          like that prayer much better than the other one. Father, forgive
          them, for they know not what they do. They are thy children,
          though in the dark. Thou hast enlightened our minds, for which we
          feel thankful; but, O Lord, forgive them and lead them, if thou
          canst, in the way of life. This is the feeling we ought to have.
          We ought to have it one towards another and treat one another
          with kindness and not get up hard feelings. Talking about people
          giving away to passion and giving expression to hard words; such
          things do not belong to the Gospel, to no part of it; they come
          from beneath. This has been pointed out and made very plain to
          us. Every spirit, says one, that tends to good is of God; and
          every spirit that tends to evil is of the wicked one and comes
          from beneath. I hear a man say sometimes "I hate such a man." Why
          I do not know of a person that I hate in the world. The command
          is to love one another. When Jesus was about to leave his
          disciples, the burden of his prayer was, "Father, I pray for
          these whom thou hast given me; thine they were, and thou gavest
          them me. I pray for them, Father, that they may be one, even as I
          and thou art one, that they may be one in us." What, a sister or
          a brother, a citizen of the kingdom of God, a member of the
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one who has received
          peradventure of the ordinances of the house of God, and who
          expects to associate with the Saints of God, quarrels with his
          brother about peanuts and baby toys and then talk about your
          honor being infringed upon! I tell you if you take care of
          yourselves, your honor will take care of itself and you need not
          be concerned about it. Treat one another aright. Have you sinned
          one against another? then go and make restitution. Have you
          defrauded one another? go and make it right. Have you spoken
          unkindly to your brother or sister? then go and acknowledge your
          wrong and ask to be forgiven, promising to do better in the
          future. And then he or she might say, on the other hand "Yes, and
          I said so and so the other day, won't you please forgive me?" How
          much better and how much more in keeping with the calling of a
          Saint of God such a course would be than to harbor hard feelings
          in the heart. And you parents, get your families in the morning
          and evening and call upon the Lord, and ask his blessing upon
          your families, your flocks and herds, and upon everything that
          you have, and do not be quarreling one with another because you
          are scarce of water. I tell you in the name of the Lord God that
          if you will do your duties, God will do his, and furnish you with
          what water is necessary. Try me "and prove me herewith saith the
          Lord of Hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and
          pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to
          receive it." Husbands, treat your wives right; treat them with
          kindness and with sympathy; try to make them comfortable, and
          make their houses and surroundings comfortable and do all you can
          to make them happy. And you wives, treat your husbands right; try
          to make their homes a little heaven, and seek earnestly that the
          blessings of the Lord may abide in your dwellings. And parents,
          treat your children aright; train them up in the fear of the
          Lord, they are of more importance to you than many things that
          you give your attention to. And you, children, obey your parents;
          respect your fathers and mothers. Your mothers have watched over
          you, and your fathers are desirous for your welfare, and their
          hearts and feelings and affections are drawn out towards you. Do
          not give them pain by departing from correct principles; but walk
          in the paths of life. And parents, and children, husbands and
          wives and all people, fear God and put your trust in him and
          carry out the principles of your holy religion which God has
          revealed to us.
          I would speak a few words of praise of many of our brethren; I
          think it would apply to many of you here. I have no disposition
          to find fault, but I have a disposition to speak kindly of many
          of my brethren and sisters in many of their operations. In the
          tithing operations, for instance, I think that during the last
          year there has been paid some 50,000 dollars more than the year
          before. This speaks well for the Latter-day Saints; not but what
          the Lord could get along very well without these things, but he
          wants to test his people. This, however, proves that there is an
          increase in the right direction, and a proper feeling that ought
          to exist among the Saints. Hence, says the Lord, "Bring ye all
          the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine
          houses, and prove me now herewith, if I will not open the windows
          of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room
          enough to receive it." The Lord wants to prove his people and he
          will have a tried and proven people, and this is one of the ways
          he has chosen to do it. In addition to this tithing there has
          been expended on this temple and the Temple in Logan in the
          neighborhood of 250,000 dollars; this is very creditable, besides
          a very fair tithing on the back of that. I think I can speak good
          in the name of the Lord to a people that will do that, that is,
          if we will lay aside all evil things. Let us keep doing good. You
          have done about as much here as they have done in Logan, and they
          expect to get their Temple up to the square this summer. But then
          they did not have to make the foundation you have had to make
          here. They made some mistake in fixing up the mountains here;
          they do not seem to be in a right shape; but then we can put them
          in a right shape, you know. The scriptures talk about the
          mountains being thrown down. Well, you have done considerable
          towards levelling this down. God is pleased with you, and
          everything is going on right, and I speak this for your
               I am pleased to see the sisters take the part they do in
          their Relief Societies. They are doing a good work and their
          labors are a credit to them. And then there are our Young Men's
          and our Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Associations; they are
          going on very well. And then your educational interests are doing
          pretty well. Do I not so understand you, Brother Petersen?
          [President Canute Petersen--Yes, Sir; pretty well.] We do not
          want outside folks to teach our children, do we? I think not. We
          do not want them to teach us how to get to heaven, do we? If we
          did, it would be of no use, for they do not know the way. Well,
          then, we do not want them to tamper with the minds of our little
          ones. You will see the day that Zion will be as far ahead of the
          outside world in everything pertaining to learning of every kind
          as we are to-day in regard to religious matters. You mark my
          words, and write them down, and see if they do not come to pass.
          We are not dependent upon them, but we are upon the Lord. We did
          not get our priesthood nor our information in regard to his law
          from them; it came from God. The world profess to know a little
          about what they call science, literature and the arts. Where did
          they get their knowledge of these things from? And what is it
          they really do know? They know something about the laws of
          Nature. Who made those laws? God made them; and he knows how to
          govern them; and it is by his almighty power that they are
          I remember talking with some celebrated scientists from Europe
          some time ago, and I explained to them some of the principles
          relative to the heavenly bodies that were revealed through the
          Prophet Joseph Smith. They were astonished to know that ideas so
          grand could be developed through one that was comparatively
          unlearned. One of them remarked that they were the most
          magnificent principles he had ever heard of; another one said
          that he had red and studied a great deal, but he had a good deal
          more yet to learn. We are, as the French would say, enrapport,
          with God. Let us live so that we can keep that up, so that angels
          can minister to us and the Holy Spirit dwell with us. We have
          received his guidance and instruction. It is for us now to go on
          from truth to truth, from intelligence to intelligence and from
          wisdom to wisdom. And while nations shall crumble and thrones be
          cast down, and the God of heaven arise and shake terribly the
          earth, while the elements melt with fervent heart in fulfilment
          of ancient as well as modern prophecy; while these things are
          going on he will whisper, peace to Zion. But the judgments will
          begin at the house of God. We have to pass through some of these
          things, but it will only be a very little compared with the
          terrible destruction, the misery and suffering that will overtake
          the world who are doomed to suffer the wrath of God. It behooves
          us, as the Saints of God, to stand firm and faithful in the
          observance of his laws, that we may be worthy of his preserving
          care and blessing. 
          Now a word about other things. We want elders to go and preach
          the Gospel. But some people will say, "Here is such a young man
          who is a little wild; if he were to go abroad perhaps he would
          reform." Brother Peterson, we do not want such folks to go as
          representatives of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And I say to you,
          Presidents of States, we do not want such an order of things; we
          want men that have got within them the gift of the Holy Ghost,
          men who have the gift and power of God in them. We do not want
          men to go abroad to be reformed. They are not fit to live in Zion
          if they cannot reform themselves at home. We must have men filled
          with faith and the Holy Ghost. And you seventies and high
          priests, wake up to a sense of the responsibility of your
          callings, and purge away your follies and nonsense and feel that
          you are indeed the servants of the living God; for God will hold
          you responsible for the priesthood you bear. Then honor the Lord
          and magnify the priesthood, and when you go forth to the nations
          bearing precious seed, angels will go with you and the gift of
          the Holy Ghost will accompany you in your administrations and
          though you may go weeping, bearing the precious seed of the
          Gospel, you will return rejoicing bringing you sheaves with you.
          I do not know but what I have talked enough. Brethren and sisters
          God bless you. And God bless the relief societies and the young
          men's and the young ladies' societies, and God bless your
          president and this counselors, and your bishops and their
          counselors, and all that fear God, and work righteousness. And
          the Lord God put a hook in the jaws of our enemies that seek our
          injury and overthrow, that they may not have power against the
          Israel of God. And God bless all Israel, that Zion may arise and
          shine and the glory of God rest upon her. I ask it in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / Henry
          W. Naisbitt, March 7th, 1880
                         Henry W. Naisbitt, March 7th, 1880
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER H. W. NAISBITT,
             Delivered in the 16th Ward Meeting House, Sunday Afternoon,
                                   March 7th, 1880
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          I presume we all understand that the Spirit of the Lord is in the
          congregation of the Saints. If we do not understand it and if
          there is any one that does not realize the necessity of enjoying
          it, it would be a good thing perhaps for him to get up here a
          while. When a person is called upon to address a congregation and
          notices the upturned faces before him, waiting, wishing, very
          likely praying, for the blessings which they particularly desire,
          I think that no man can look upon such a sight unmoved, he must
          feel his own ignorance and weakness, and dependence, and when he
          does this I believe that all public administrations will be an
          advantage and blessing both to the speaker and hearers, and I am
          sure that is my object this afternoon. I have no personal
          ambition to serve, but I do want to bless and I do know that I
          need to be blessed. And this is the place appointed (so far as
          this ward is concerned) for the reception of those blessings
          which pertain to the public services of the Church of Jesus
          Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here is the place where there should
          be intelligence. Here is the place where there should be wisdom.
          Here is the place to expect revelation, and that not in any
          vague, misty, half understood sense,--not lost or covered up by a
          multitude of words, but divested of everything that will deprive
          us of knowledge as to the essential principles which belong
          really to revelation. The world, however, holds very peculiar
          ideas in regard to this. Every elder in Israel who will look back
          upon his experience, if it reaches even to the early history of
          this Church, will comprehend how odd and mythical the ideas in
          regard to revelation were as then held by mankind. It is true
          that the masses of the people as well as the teachers believed
          that in the ancient times there had been some communication with
          the intelligences who dwell behind the vail. They all agreed--all
          Christians did at all events--that the Spirit was made manifest
          and its utterances recorded in a book. They believed that without
          that book the world was in a lost condition, that men were left
          to grope in darkness and to wonder in ignorance, but with that
          book it was believed that every man and every woman could
          understand themselves; they could understand something of their
          origin and the purpose for which they were dwelling upon the
          earth, the destiny which belonged to the human family, and also
          the process by which that destiny could be best secured. But it
          is astonishing what a little light will do for a man. It is
          astonishing how our minds expand when we receive the key to the
          situation. And when we look at the vast difference there is
          between the community who inhabit these mountains and the
          communities of the nations from which we have been
          gathered--probably most can see and are aware that between the
          two there exists a great and ever widening gulf. Men who reject
          the principle of revelation in any direction must inevitably
          become stunted, they must inevitably cease to live, because
          revelation is the element of life, it is the secret of growth, it
          is the power of increase, and it is only in proportion to the
          receptive ability of a man, or woman, or child, that they can
          increase in intelligence. Now, divested of all extraneous or
          outside ideas, divested of all the mystery that has been thrown
          around the idea of revelation by man-made teachers, divested of
          all traditions and thoughts that have been written in regard to
          it, what is the essential idea involved in revelation in its
          significant simplicity. What is there that is difficult of
          comprehension? What is there that it should need men of classical
          education to explain it; what is there that there should be these
          large colleges and this immense army of ministers in order that
          the world may be enlightened in regard to the principle of
          revelation? Why when you come to probe and to reach the
          foundation of the idea it is nothing more nor less than the
          communication of intelligence possessed by one to another who in
          regard to that subject remains in ignorance. That is all there is
          involved in revelation, and whenever you find a human being who
          is ignorant of any subject pertaining to any direction of human
          thought, or in regard to any useful field of human experience,
          there revelation is an absolute necessity.
          Now, then, revelation may vary in degree; it may vary in
          character, according to the necessities of the case, according to
          the intelligence of individuals. The mother who guides the
          destiny of a family and endows it with all the comforts of
          domestic and social life finds herself surrounded by a few crude
          men and women, or, as we call them, boys or girls. You consider
          the character of this offspring. When they were born they were
          helpless, and in infancy they possessed no intelligence save
          those animal instincts which lead only to the preservation of
          life. But in a few weeks or months the spirit of intelligence
          begins to dawn. The mother watches the growing spark and seeks to
          fan it to a flame; to point out the remedy where difficulty
          occurs in early experience; to explain the educational process
          through which the child must pass from man or womanhood; and to
          show that when the first efforts are made, and even when they are
          comparative failures, that these only stand as sentinels or
          pointsmen in the great highway of success--prompters to ultimate
          and final success. The probability is that every young woman who
          has learned to make bread has had an experience of this
          character. And it is true that many of the first trials, unless
          the mother watched very closely, would not be successful, the
          bread might be heavy, or it become sour. Now it is the mother's
          duty to reveal, to give from her intelligence to one
          comparatively ignorant, a solution or remedy for the difficulty.
          The young girl is expected to listen to the mother. She has the
          faculty to receive the intelligence that is communicated, and to
          put that intelligence into practice. And when the bread was heavy
          the mother showed the cause which brought about that condition.
          If the bread was sour, a little neutralizing element had to be
          put into the dough, in order that the acidity might be removed a
          little soda or something of that kind; and this is a revelatory
          process from the mother to the child. If you take one of our good
          mothers in Israel who has grown grey under the weight of
          experience, you will find that she possesses a vast fund of
          information, and in every direction in domestic or social life
          she is the great standard of appeal, and even when the daughter
          has become a married woman, when she passes into the
          responsibility of motherhood, when sickness takes hold of the
          darling that God has given her, she instantly appeals to the
          higher or wider intelligence and experience of the mother, and
          that which the mother, by the advantage of years, by the
          experience through which she has passed, has gained, she
          communicates unto the daughter, and thus the daughter becomes the
          recipient of revelation. And as it is with the mother and the
          daughter, so also it is with the father and the son; so also it
          is with those who are learning a trade, so also it is with those
          who attend our daily or our Sabbath schools, and the very fact
          that we are so constituted that we can receive revelation in
          these channels is a revelation in and of itself, written in the
          fundamental organization of the human character, that revelation
          is not only possible and desirable, but that it is also a
          necessary and inevitable element pertaining to the highest
          welfare and the grand destiny and future of those who submit to
          its varied processes from day to day! Now, this character of
          intelligence may be said to mark the very lowest phases of human
          life; but while man is an animal, while he has his physical
          necessities, while he is surrounded with domestic life, while he
          is subject to and is a member of the social arena of life, there
          are also attributes of character which are beyond this physical,
          this animal, and this social cast. There is something in every
          man and in every woman which savors of the divine, in all the
          circumstances of life there is a reaching out after something
          which is beyond the grasp; there is a soaring of the spirit, a
          seeking after something to which the present surroundings gave no
          clue. Man feels that he is. He not only feels that he is, but
          thousands and millions of the human family have an inkling of the
          great fact that they have been, and millions and millions more
          have an inkling of the other great fact that when they leave this
          stage of existence they will continue to be. And it is the
          realization of such things which establishes the idea outside of
          any other special revelation that our origin is divine as well as
          human. When we sense these ideas, when they become interwoven
          into the fabric of our lives when we instinctively feel that we
          do possess this characteristic, there must be certain elements
          and certain principles which will minister to the growth of such
          ideas; just as there are elements of and in nature which minister
          to the welfare of the lower, so there are elements which minister
          to the higher, and fitted for the cultivation of every attribute
          of the human character, no matter how low we may esteem it to be,
          or how lofty we may conceive it to be, there are resources in the
          economy of God for the development and growth and glory of that
          characteristic. Hence when a man realizes that he has a
          pre-existence, when he realizes that the present existence is but
          a transitory condition, when he realizes that there is a vast and
          illimitable future before him, he desires to comprehend how he
          shall best minister to his individual welfare in that future. And
          here steps in the necessity of revelation based upon philosophy,
          based upon human necessities and human needs. The only way that
          we can be educated in this direction is by revelation coming to
          us from outside sources, from higher intelligences, from those
          who have passed through the self-same experience as we ourselves
          have and will for ever pass.
          Now, then, as a fundamental process for our education in this
          respect we have given unto us the Gospel. That Gospel is just as
          systematic and just as orderly as are the details of education in
          a school. It is just as orderly and systematic as are the methods
          by which our boys are taught and trained in the various branches
          of education or trade. It is just as orderly and systematic as
          the education our wives give to their daughters, or that mothers
          give to their married girls. You never find a mother, in training
          her children for domestic life, begin to tell them in the first
          place how to make one of those very rich cakes that we sometimes
          make ourselves sick with at Christmas. You would scarcely find a
          man who took an apprentice, begin to teach him in the first place
          some higher branches of his trade. You would scarcely find a
          teacher begin to teach his pupils the advanced principles
          pertaining to a classical education. There is an order; there are
          steps and processes in every educational direction, which we take
          in their order and in their time and place. Now one of the most
          startling revelations that has been given to the human family in
          the day and age in which we live, by the elders of Israel, to a
          dark and benighted world, is the great fundamental idea of "the
          fatherhood of God." Now, this may not appear so startling to the
          American citizen whose mind is impregnated with the idea that the
          human family are equal,--that one man is as good as another, but
          in the Old World there exists conditions of class and of caste.
          You who have come from England or from any European nation, will
          realize what I mean by class and caste. There is the charmed
          circle of the royal blood, into which the plebeian never enters.
          There is the larger circle of the aristocracy, or, as we call
          them, the "upper ten," and into the precincts of that circle,
          jealously guarded as they are, a stranger scarcely ever enters.
          Then you were surrounded in England by what is called the middle
          classes, and even they look upon the lower classes as being made
          of some material distinct and different from themselves; but when
          the elders of Israel landed in Old England and proclaimed "the
          fatherhood of God," and laid the axe at the root of caste and
          class, they were preparing for the foundation of a kingdom that
          should recognize the essential unity of the human family and of
          necessity the brotherhood of man. It is quite true that under
          some social, religious or political circumstances, we hear of a
          certain unity and equality among the human family; but if you
          attempt to put that unity and equality into practice, what are
          the results that inevitably flow from such a course? You are
          surrounded with obstacles on every hand, and it is only perhaps
          after the lapse of two or three generations that a man in his
          posterity is able to make his way from the ranks and associate
          with the higher class. It is true there are those here and there
          who do this, and they do it by virtue of inherent genius or some
          chance legacy, and when they are accepted into this higher class,
          it is by virtue of this chance, etc., but as a rule they are
          looked upon as intruders. Take the Prime Minister of England,
          Lord Beaconsfield. There is a man who has made himself a
          necessity to the government of the country, to Her Majesty, to
          the higher classes; he has done this by virtue of the inspiration
          of the Almighty, and yet with all his grand attainments, that man
          is looked upon more or less as an intruder because he was not
          nobly born! And so I might multiply illustrations which would be
          familiar to you all. But the Gospel sets out in the first place
          with these two ideas, twin ideas, that never can be put asunder,
          the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of the human family.
          Now, then, if we are one in our origin, if we are really one in
          destiny, we must all reach that destiny by the self-same process,
          and that process is to be found in the ordinances of the Gospel,
          in the power of inspiration and revelation resting upon those who
          initiate men and women into that order. And in connection with
          this, wherever and whenever you comprehend this higher
          intelligence that bears rule in the eternities, controlling the
          destinies of these great orbs that we see from time to time in
          the midnight heavens--wherever you find those that have graded
          from a fallen world you will find those who graded up and through
          the instrumentality of the self-same Gospel that is given to you
          and me. There is no other Gospel. There is no other way to that
          exaltation which pertains to the Gods only through the revelation
          of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So that there is "no royal road"
          to heaven; no matter what a man's condition, no matter what the
          class to which he may have been known in social life on earth by
          virtue of birth or by virtue of wealth; no matter what position
          he may occupy because of his ignorance or lack of information; no
          matter whether he may live in a hovel or dwell in a palace, or
          though he may have but a crust to eat or his table be laden with
          all the good things of the earth, he must submit to the self-same
          spirit of revelation, and reach the final issue through the
          self-same channel.
          Now, then, what is it that we expect through the Gospel? Why,
          that it may develop in you and me, from our crude, ignorant,
          unlovable condition--the results of many a fearful fall--the
          appearance and the characteristics of the eternal father. This
          self-same idea animated the Saints in ancient times. They had
          faith that by obedience to righteous laws there would be evolved
          in and from them, through the attributes which they already
          possessed, measurably dormant or measurably active as the case
          may be--that they would be able to produce the likeness of God
          the eternal Father. Now, at first view this may appear
          surprising, but suppose we reason upon it for a moment or two.
          Here are some of you good brethren; you go to work this spring
          and you set out an orchard of apple trees, and by and by the time
          for fruit arrives and you go and look for pears, or plums, or
          cherries upon the apple trees! Now, what would be thought of your
          intelligence? Why everybody would say you have certainly made a
          mistake; they were apple trees that you planted, and apples are
          the fruit; if you want pears you must plant pear trees. Men don't
          gather grapes off thorns nor figs off thistles. Then, if we are
          the children of our Father you can see at a glance by that
          illustration that if we submit to the process of education which
          he had pointed out and laid down, we must become like him. Well,
          now, this may seem incredible to some that a human being, defiled
          and deformed as he is by sin and transgression, the result of
          ages--I say it may seem almost incredible that a human being
          should be able to rise to the characteristics and attributes and
          appearance of the Father; but it is not only possible but it is
          inevitable, and all the ancient Saints had this idea. One of the
          old prophets, for instance, when under the inspiration of the
          Almighty, has said, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy
          likeness;" and in the New Testament, one of the apostles said,
          looking forward to the time of the resurrection, that "When he
          shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he
          is." We shall have an opportunity of demonstrating our likeness.
          We shall be able to make the contrast, "We shall be like him; for
          we shall see him as he is." And of Jesus it was said that "He was
          the brightness of his Father's glory and the express image of his
          person. He was like his Father, and this likeness was in him by
          virtue of the fact that he lived in possession of the inspiration
          of revelation; his course was marked out by that spirit. It
          animated every faculty, controlled every action, prompted every
          motive, and because that spirit was poured upon him "without
          measure," he became the glory of his Father and exhibited in
          himself the "express image of his person," and he, in speaking to
          his disciples, declared that they should become "like unto him
          even as he was like his Father," by the reception of "line upon
          line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little."
          Now, probably I might illustrate this from the facts of everyday
          life, the possibility, I mean, of a change in the features of
          those with whom we are familiar. Did you ever notice a man and
          wife who had lived happily together, whose thoughts were one, who
          had become assimilated to each other in their tastes and feelings
          so far and to such an extent that when you see them white with
          the snow of years you would say of them, "I never saw a couple so
          much alike; they are positively like brother and sister." Did
          that ever come under your observation? It has come under mine
          many and many a time. Now, what was the secret of that? Why the
          wife had become assimilated to the husband and the husband to the
          wife; they were actuated upon in a great measure by the selfsame
          impulses, until they had become similar in their habits of life,
          so thoroughly one that they were like each other even in their
          facial expression, and when death claimed one or the other, but a
          few hours or days would pass before they were again and for
          evermore united. And this is a characteristic in which we glory.
          But to illustrate this in another direction. Here is a mother,
          now, or a young wife. Her heart overflows with affection for the
          husband of her youth. God has blessed the union that was made by
          the authority of the priesthood. She passes along until she
          attains to the condition of motherhood, and in the fulness of her
          heart she brings the babe to the assembly of the Saints that by
          the authority of the priesthood it may be dedicated to the
          service of God and to the building up of this kingdom. The
          mother's heart is full. It bursts almost with gratitude for the
          great boon she has received. She breathes many a prayer of the
          child that God has given, and by and by, even when the cup seems
          full to the very brim, some of her sisters come along and say,
          "what a beautiful baby you have got; how very like its father;"
          and that is the last drop needful to make the mother's soul and
          ambition full to overflowing. To say that the babe was like
          herself would perhaps have been quite as correct; but when it was
          pronounced to be like his father, more especially if its father
          was a good husband, if he was everything that he should be in
          regard to character--there was no limit to the love and affection
          she could bear for her husband and their child.
          There is an illustration we can apply in another direction. We
          have all come down from the eternities of the past to this period
          of probation. I think the probabilities are that while we dwelt
          there we were in possession of a good deal of intelligence. There
          were many facilities, I expect, for the acquisition of such
          intelligence as was adapted to our condition. I believe that we
          were there taught the necessity and advantage of taking a
          probation upon the earth. I believe that there we exhibited a
          great many of the attributes of our Father, the Father of our
          spirits; but we came down here and we took upon us tabernacles;
          these tabernacles are given to us by our earthly father and by
          our mother. And they came to us corrupted, they came to us
          contaminated by the vast variety of evils with which our fathers
          have afflicted themselves during many generations. When we
          consider the exalted character of our first father, when we
          consider the position that he occupies, and when we consider his
          offspring on the earth subject to the infirmities of the flesh,
          it is not unlikely that many are lead to say, "how can we be the
          children of our father who art in heaven? And if we are his
          children how can we renew or be restored to his image and
          likeness, how can we develop the attributes which he possesses,
          how can we become like him in our spirits and more or less in our
          tabernacles." Why we shall have to do this by the reception of
          his spirit, and by cultivating the principles of life that come
          through revelation. When we come to look at each other as we are,
          we see stamped in our countenances selfishness, we see
          exhibitions of sensuality, we see the evidences of a thousand and
          one conditions to which we have been subjected and our fathers
          before us. Now, the Gospel has been given us to do away with sin
          and death; it has been given to develop in us the attributes and
          characteristics of our Father in heaven from faculties we already
          possess. Well, now, we will suppose that one of those angels of
          intelligence surrounding the throne of God comes down to the
          streets of Salt Lake City. He goes up one of the principal
          thoroughfares and peers into the face of everyone that passes. He
          marks our plainness, or, in some instances, ugliness. He can
          detect at a glance where the faculties are perverted, and where
          they are in their normal condition. He can see in a moment how we
          have been beclouded by sin, how we have been subjected to evil
          influence, how we have given way to temptation, and how we are
          the subjects of the conditions which surround us. But as he
          passes along he meets one of a little different stamp. A man may
          be dwelling in a hovel on the bench or in the low wards of the
          city, and the steps up to such a one and says, "how do you do."
          "Why," says the person addressed, "you have the advantage of me,
          I do not know that I ever saw you before." "Well, now, probably
          you never did, but," says he, "I know you although I never saw
          you." "Well, how do you know me." "Why, I am from the eternities
          that are beyond the vail, I am come from where your Father dwells
          and I can see in the lustre of you eye, I can feel by the aura or
          influence which surrounds you as you move from place to place,
          that you are animated by the spirit of your Father's house, I can
          discern in your physiognomy the lineage of your progenitors."
          Well, what is the secret? Simply that there is a man living his
          religion. He is filled with the Spirit and power of God. It is a
          lamp to his feet and a light to his path. It actuates him in all
          the circumstances of life; as a father, as a member of the Church
          to which he belongs and as a citizen. It is this which gives
          lustre to the eye and elasticity to the step, even when the body
          is bent with wight of years, and the stranger who has come direct
          from the eternal worlds can see that there is a man who has been
          with Jesus and has learned of him. Will it glorify a man and
          woman in this respect while they are in the flesh? Yes, it will,
          and when men and women in general come in contact with them, they
          will be prepared to bear testimony that they are in the enjoyment
          of a good, or as we may say, right spirit. While they are
          tabernacling in the flesh they are preparing for the more exalted
          condition and state which belongs to them in the future, and many
          and many a man and woman have exhibited some of the
          characteristics which were exhibited by the individual who came
          to the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos. John fell at his feet
          to worship him, "See thou do it not (said he), I am thy fellow
          servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus.
          Worship God." John thought from the glory surrounding him that he
          must be God himself, and he began to bow the knee to him. "See
          thou do it no." And when we see a man whom we recognize as
          faithful in all the conditions of life, as "a man whom we can tie
          to"--to use a common expression, a man who is on hand all the
          time, who is living his religion, we feel involuntarily to lift
          our hats to such a one, and this intuitive reverence which we pay
          to human character, is testimony of God within the vail of flesh,
          and also an evidence of the spirit of revelation and inspiration.
          Now, this is the purpose of our religion, and although our
          receptive faculties may be comparatively dormant, yet they can
          become enlarged. You and I have a right to enjoy revelation and
          inspiration. It is not confined to officials or to the ordained
          elders of Israel, it is not confined to the first presidency to
          the twelve apostles, to the seventies or the high priests, but it
          is within the reach of every man and woman in Israel, and we can
          bring that spirit of revelation to bear upon our duty, in our
          social as well as our religious life. Now, I know there are a
          great many who think that the spirit of revelation and
          inspiration is of no use in the details of every day life. This,
          however, is a mistake, for the self same inspiration and
          revelation can qualify a man in business, it can help his
          faculties, enlarge his reason, and make him more noble and
          godlike and intelligent in all the directions he may be called
          upon to act in. To be sure there are those who say that our
          religion has nothing to do with our business. I recollect one of
          our leading men asserting that President Young might direct in
          spiritual things, he might direct in matters pertaining to the
          Gospel, "but, when it came to business, he knew what business
          was!" Now, that is a mistake because the object of this Gospel is
          to minister to our spiritual and also to our temporal wants and
          interests. Take our bishops as an illustration. Are they not
          called to administer in the temporal affairs of the kingdom? What
          is their office? They are fathers to the people. They are to see
          that every man becomes self-sustaining. They are called upon to
          open up industries for the growing youth of our Territory. We
          sustain them in that office. Thus our religion enters into
          temporal things and they are ordained and set apart for this.
          When Brother George Q. Cannon goes to represent us in Congress he
          is set apart for that office, and the priesthood lay their hands
          upon him in order that he may be blessed in that capacity. When
          Brother Staines goes down to New York, he goes there to attend to
          those duties which are temporal, but he is set apart by the
          Authorities of this Church to officiate in that character. The
          Gospel therefore interferes in our temporal arrangements. And
          this is no new theory. It is as old as the everlasting hills; it
          pertains to eternity, it will exist throughout all the eternities
          of the future. If you turn back in the old book to the history of
          the tabernacle in the wilderness, you find that, under the
          jurisdiction of Moses, there were certain men who labored on that
          building that were inspired of God. He caused his Spirit to rest
          upon them, and you will notice it in a greater degree when you
          come to the building of the temple of Solomon. You will find
          there were men inspired to work in that direction. And that which
          was good in the years of the past is good in the day and age in
          which we live, and the day will yet come in Israel when men will
          be set apart to act in more temporal capacities than many in
          Israel dare to think of now. When a man shows that he has
          received a gift from God, no matter about its character, whether
          it is a gift of wisdom, or whether it is a gift leading into
          mechanics, science or literature--whenever that man exhibits
          these attainments, and he is taken and set apart by the servants
          of God, you will see that spirit enlarge his faculties, increase
          his judgment, and when that day comes, you will see a good spirit
          in the midst of Israel. It will glow and grow and increase in
          every direction that will minister to the welfare of the kingdom
          as a whole. Why, even now, in the building of our Temples,
          Brother T. O. Angell and others are sustained as architects. Now,
          what has religion to do with building a house? Much. Has it to do
          with teaching a school? Yes. Has it to do with domestic economy?
          Yes; I know it has; and wherever you find men and women who will
          cultivate that spirit and follow its counsel, you will find that
          they will become famous in the direction in which they act. They
          are inspired of God, lead by his spirit, and have access to the
          intelligence that lies behind the vail, and those who have had
          experience there will minister to our wants, so that when Zion
          begins to grow she will fairly shine. She will support everything
          that will contribute to the welfare and glory of the greatest
          kingdom that was ever set up upon the earth, until men shall say,
          "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the
          house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and
          we will walk in his paths." Now, this is the purpose for which
          you and I have come from the Old World, from the different States
          in the New World, and from the different parts of Europe and the
          islands of the sea, to be taught of God, to enjoy his Spirit, to
          be educated in his Church, to be subject to his authority, and to
          grow and increase in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now
          that is something worth having, something that is worth living
          for, something that outshines and outdistances all the
          organizations and systems which men may have introduced. It is
          the Gospel of the living God. It is the Spirit of the living God
          burning in the hearts of the Saints. But far too many of us
          neglect this Spirit, we grieve it, we do not listen to its
          admonitions. How many in Israel have bartered their homes and
          sunk their means in a "hole in the ground," because they would
          not listen to the counsels of God through his servants? How many
          failures in life, because of our ignorance, notwithstanding the
          fountains of intelligence are open at which we can drink? How
          many of us lose our children because we fail to apply to these
          great fountains, so that all could operate and understand how to
          resist adverse influences, while we are in the flesh. Now, if we
          would cultivate this spirit, if we would listen to its teachings,
          it would come to us in many ways, in visions, in dreams and
          manifestations of the power of God. We could have the
          ministration of angels, and many of us probably the ministration
          of the Son--as some have done in the history and experience of
          this Church--and this is the position to which we will all arrive
          if we are faithful to the great trust that is laid upon us; we
          shall not only enjoy the society of "an innumerable company of
          angels," not only come "to the general assembly and church of the
          firstborn," but we shall also be privileged to go to Jesus, and
          to God the Father of us all and there bask in his presence and be
          educated in his ways and sit down to the glory which awaits the
          Now, may God bless us with his Spirit, may he lift us from the
          grovelling condition in which we find ourselves placed; may he
          infuse into and surround us with the influence of his Spirit,
          that we may live indeed a new life, and so glorify God "in our
          bodies and spirits which are his," is may prayer in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Taylor, November 28th, 1879
                          John Taylor, November 28th, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
               Delivered at American Fork, Friday, November 28th, 1879
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I have been much interested in the remarks made by Brother Joseph
          F. Smith this morning. They are true and are a part of the Gospel
          of life and salvation which embraces all truth. While he was
          speaking this passage of Scripture occurred to my mind. Jesus
          said, "Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I
          will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock:
          And the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and
          beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a
          rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth
          them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his
          house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came,
          and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; and
          great was the fall of it."
          There is not a principle associated with the Gospel of the Son of
          God but what is eternal in its nature and consequences, and we
          cannot with impunity trample upon any principle that is correct
          without having to suffer the penalty thereof before God and the
          holy angels, and in many instances before men. The principles of
          the Gospel being eternal, they were framed and originated with
          the Almighty in eternity before the world was, according to
          certain eternal laws, and hence the Gospel is called the
          everlasting Gospel. It is like God, without beginning of days or
          end of years, and, as the Lord says, "I am the Lord and I change
          not." The Gospel is eternal and does not change; it is eternal in
          its principles and consequences.
          And the angel who was to come in the last days flying in the
          midst of heaven was to proclaim the everlasting Gospel--the same
          Gospel that Adam had, the same Gospel that Noah had, the same
          Gospel that Abraham had, the same Gospel that the prophets had,
          the same Gospel that Jesus had, also the same Gospel that the
          Nephites had here upon this continent, and which Jesus revealed
          to them, and that they had indeed before he was in the flesh. It
          is the everlasting Gospel which brings life and immortality to
          light, and which enters into all the ramifications of human
          existence and to the existence of the Gods, and to the existence
          of this world and of all other worlds.
          As Brother Joseph F. Smith has justly said, the first command
          given was, "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and
          subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over
          the fowls of the air, and over every living thing that moveth
          upon the earth."
          There is a principle of life associated with the Gospel--life
          temporal, life spiritual and life eternal. Hence men are called
          to be fathers of lives and women are called to be mothers of
          lives. We are fathers and mothers of lives. And there is
          something different associated with the order of God from any
          order of men that exists upon the earth.
          When God created the earth and placed man upon it, and the fishes
          of the sea and the fowls of the air, and the grasses and plants
          and trees, etc., he placed in them the principle of life, or, in
          other words, the power of propagating their own species. And if
          it were not for that, what would you farmers do? Men can
          accomplish a great many things. They can build houses, railroads
          and steamboats, and can do a great many clever things whereby
          they can command, to a certain extent, the forces of nature; but
          they cannot give vitality to any of them. They cannot even
          furnish material to make a grain of sand, the wisest of them. But
          God has ordained that this principle of vitality exists within
          themselves. You take a single grain of wheat, for instance, and
          put it into the earth and you will see the principle of life
          begin to manifest itself, it is very small apparently, but
          contains within itself the power of increase. The same is also
          true with regard to the grasses, shrubs, plants and flowers, and
          the various things that exist in creation. They spread, they
          extend, and they have spread over the face of the earth as man
          has spread, and the rain descends and the sun shines and nature,
          as we term it, operates; but I would call it the power of God
          which operates according to eternal laws and principles that he
          has ordained. He gives vitality to all creation and sets life
          into motion and controls it, in the heavens as well as in the
          earth; not only among men, but among the beasts of the field, the
          fowls of the air, the fishes of the sea, and all the grasses,
          plants and flowers and herbs etc., everything possessing the
          principle of life within itself. You farmers know that, and hence
          you store up your different seeds and in the proper season take
          them and plant them and they grow and increase and spread; these
          things look very small. It is very little to look at a grain of
          wheat, but then if you don't have it you never could raise wheat.
          Can you farmers make one solitary grain of wheat without the
          seed? It is apparently a small thing but you can't do it. You can
          try it if you please, but you will not succeed. You cannot make a
          peppergrass seed; but if you take one of those seeds or a grain
          of wheat and sow it and water it you may by its increase spread
          it over all the face of the earth; but if you did not have the
          seed you could not accomplish anything. I do not care how smart
          you are or what rules of philosophy or science you may have come
          across, all I ask of you is to make a grain of oats or wheat. But
          then, we will stop at the wheat. If we cannot do that we are not
          so very important, are we? There needs a superior power to give
          this vitality. You look at it. You see to-day the trees are
          leafless, there are no flowers in bloom, everything is seared and
          withered and apparently gone to decay. By and by according to the
          principles of nature, or the laws of God, spring comes along, and
          the birds begin to sing and feel happy, the grass begins to shoot
          forth, the flowers begin to bud, the trees begin to blossom. And
          who gives this vitality and maintains it? God. Could you do much
          without him? No. Why, you cannot even make your grain to grow
          after it is provided for you without water. You try it sometimes
          but you make a poor out of it, and withal we need the revivifying
          heat of the sun. The grass begins to shoot up and by and by we
          have the wheat and corn, first the blade and ear and then full
          corn in the ear. We have apple threes, plum trees, and the
          various fruit trees budding, blossoming and bearing fruit, all
          these things are provided by whom? By the omnipotent, omniscient
          hand of the Almighty according to certain eternal laws that he
          has provided for man and for every creature that exists upon the
          face of the earth.
          But we will come back to the things spoken of by Joseph F. Smith.
          This principle of life is the origin of our world, not only of
          his world, but of others; and this propagating and multiplying is
          ordained of the Almighty for the peopling of these worlds. And
          this production of life that I have briefly alluded to is another
          principle that exists to supply the want of another kind of life
          that exists here upon the earth. And without this there could be
          no world; all would be chaos, all would be darkness, all would be
          death, and the works of God would amount to nothing if it were
          not for this life and vitality.
          Now, I want to speak further on a principle associated with this
          subject, that is, that in the providence of God, or according to
          the eternal laws of God and the eternal fitness of things as they
          exist with him in the eternal worlds and as they exist here upon
          the earth, all of us are or should be as much under the guidance
          and direction of God, and are as much obligated to listen to his
          law and be governed by his counsels and advice--and I should
          think a little more so--than we would be in making that grain of
          wheat to grow or ten thousand million of them to grow, for we
          could not do it without being governed by those laws requisite to
          produce the increase. Furthermore, we all are the offspring of
          God, are we not? I think the Scriptures read that "We are all his
          offspring; that he is the God and Father of the spirits of all
          flesh;" and being the God and Father of the spirits of all flesh,
          and having made a world for all flesh to inhabit, and having made
          provision for the sustenance of that flesh, for their food,
          clothing, comfort, convenience and happiness, and given them
          intelligence and told them to go forth and manipulate the
          abundance of nature to their use, has he not a right to lead and
          direct us, to ask obedience to his law? Would not that be a
          legitimate right, when we reflect upon it? The world says, No, he
          has no right; I am my own master, etc. Some of the Latter-day
          Saints almost say the same thing; not quite, but they would like
          to get near it. "I am a free man; I will be damned if I don't do
          as I please," etc., Well, I will tell you another part of that
          story. You will be damned if you do act as you please unless you
          please to do and to keep the laws of God. We cannot violate his
          laws with impunity nor trample under foot these eternal
          principles which exist in all nature. If all nature is compelled
          to be governed by law or suffer loss, why not man?
          Now, then, he has revealed unto us the Gospel. He has gathered us
          together from among the nations of the earth for the
          accomplishment of his purposes. For this he has used higher
          measures and more exalted principles than are associated with
          some of the lower orders of nature, some of these things that
          exist in nature. But who can comprehend them? The world with all
          its wisdom knows very little about them. The world with all its
          wisdom knows nothing about God. What is the acme of the
          perfection of knowledge that exists anywhere today? What is the
          highest step of the ladder they can reach? To discover some
          principles or laws of nature and become acquainted with them and
          then they make terrible blunders at that. But this is the acme of
          perfection that any philosopher or scientist or intelligent man
          professes to reach--to understand some of the laws of nature. But
          how much of these do they know. Why, in my time, in order to show
          how much they know and how little, I will mention some things
          that have not existed in my day. They did not know of the oil we
          burn in this room. I can remember that in some of the large
          cities of the earth all they had to light then was tallow or wax
          candles or whale oil, which was just about enough to make
          darkness visible. And after all the thousands of years that men
          have existed upon the earth they cannot even make the oil you
          burn to-day, and they did not have it when I was young. But did
          that principle that exists in the oil always exist? Yes. Why
          didn't they find it out? Because they only understood a few of
          the principles of nature notwithstanding all their philosophy and
          intelligence. Again, who knew anything about gas in those days? I
          can remember the time when the streets and shops were first
          lighted up with gas. What did they have before? Tallow candles;
          those in common use we used to call dips. You old people know
          about this and whale oil, but you did not know anything about
          gas; but did not gas always exist? Yes. Why did they not know it?
          Because they were like us, didn't know much. Again, what did they
          know about the power of steam? I can remember the time when there
          was no such thing as steamboats, when we who lived in England had
          to come to America in sailing vessels. They had, it is true, some
          small vessels that were used on the rivers propelled by steam,
          which they could not trust in the ocean, and a little time before
          that they had no steamers of any kind. And then what about our
          railroads? Did they know how to apply steam to locomotives? No. I
          remember riding on the first railroad that was built, and here is
          Brother Robinson, who was one of the conductors of that same
          railroad that ran between Liverpool and Manchester. I think he is
          now nearly the first railroad conductor, and the oldest living.
          Why didn't men find out these things? We have had intelligent men
          and philosophers in all ages to the present time, but none could
          understand these things. Yet the principles are eternal in their
          nature and always existed, and all it needed was to bring them
          out. And when men discovered them they thought they were some
          great beings. And what did they discover? Simply something that
          God had already made long ago, only they didn't know it. In
          talking about these things I am reminded of a little baby. You
          sisters have your babies, and you are aware how little they know
          at first, and we ourselves do not know very much; we are only
          babies of a bigger growth. One of the first things they find out
          is that they have a foot, and they try to put it in their mouth.
          They look at it in astonishment. Why, they always had that foot
          since their birth. Why did'nt they know it before? Another thing
          they find out they have a hand and they think what a curious
          thing it is, and they look at it and the motion of their fingers
          with astonishment, and they think they have made a great
          discovery. But there is not much difference between the world of
          mankind and the babies when we come to look at it. The child had
          nothing to do with the making of its hands, neither have we had
          anything to do with originating any of these principles. God made
          them, and we have simply discovered some of the powers of what is
          termed nature, and when we have found out a little of these
          things we take the glory to ourselves; we feel very much like the
          king of Babylon when he said, "Is not this Great Babylon that I
          have built?" The Lord, however, started him off to eat grass like
          an ox. He had to live on it until seven years had passed over
          him, when the Lord restored him to his natural state, and he then
          knew that there was a God who lived and ruled in the heavens and
          on the earth. It is for us to learn this lesson and to find out
          that there is a God who rules in heaven, and that he manages,
          directs and controls the affairs of the human family. We are not
          our own rulers; we are all the children of God; he is our Father
          and has a right to direct us, not only us, but has a perfect
          right to direct and control the affairs of all the human family
          that exists upon the face of the earth, for they are all his
          offspring. Now, he feels kindly towards them and know what kind
          of people they are, and also what we are, and he would do
          everything he could for them even if in his almighty wisdom he
          has to kill them off in order to save them. He destroyed the
          antediluvian world on that account, because they were not filling
          the measure of their creation. They had corrupted themselves to
          such an extent that it would have been an injustice to the
          spirits in the eternal worlds if they had to come through such a
          corrupt lineage to be subject to all the trouble, incident
          thereunto, and therefore God destroyed them. He cut off the
          cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in consequence of their corruptions,
          and by and by he will shake all the inhabitants of the earth, he
          will shake thrones and will overturn empires and desolate the
          land and lay millions of the human family in the dust. Plagues
          and pestilence will stalk through the earth because of the
          iniquities of men, because of some of these corruptions that
          Brother Joseph F. Smith has briefly hinted at, namely, the
          perversion of the laws of nature between the sexes, and the
          damnable murders that exist among men.
          Not long ago, I was called upon by some intelligent, or those who
          profess to be intelligent men, who asked me something about
          polygamy. "How is it with you," said I; "do you know that in this
          land of yours you are murdering hundreds of thousands of infants
          every year? Do you know that you have among you people who are
          considered the most fashionable and honorable that are murderers,
          who destroy the life that God has given before and after birth,
          and interfere with the laws of the Almighty. Do you know that
          they are doing that? "Yes, we believe they are doing it." "Do you
          know that you are wallowing in corruption and degradation, and
          that your social evils and other damnable corruptions that exist
          are spreading and permeating through all our society?" "Yes."
          "Well, you please go and attend to your own affairs. It certainly
          does not look well for you who hail from these sinks of infamy
          and degradation to preach morality to us. Please attend to your
          own affairs first and get them straightened out before you come
          to correct us." Yet these very people, these lascivious men
          sitting upon the bench and pleading in the courts will arraign
          honorable men for obeying a law of God. Will we obey it? In the
          name of Israel's God we will. (The congregation said "Amen.") We
          will carry out his purposes, we will obey his behests, we will,
          with his help, abide his law, and our persecutors cannot help
          themselves, for God will put a hook into their jaws and he will
          lead them whithersoever he will and put a stop to their career by
          and bye. But he will look in kindness upon Zion and honor those
          who honor and obey his law.
          Now these are my feelings in relation to these things. We ought
          to observe the laws of God. The Lord has taken a great deal of
          pains to bring us where we are and to give us the information we
          have. He came himself, accompanied by his Son Jesus, to the
          Prophet Joseph Smith. He didn't send anybody but came himself,
          and introducing his Son, said: This is my beloved Son, hear him."
          And he permitted the ancient prophets, apostles and men of God
          that existed in different ages to come and confer the keys of
          their several dispensations upon the prophet of the Lord, in
          order that he should be endowed and imbued with the power and
          Spirit of God, with the light of revelation and the eternal
          principles of the everlasting Gospel, and that the keys committed
          to him might, through him, be conferred upon others, and that the
          principles of eternal truth as they exist in the heavens, might
          extend to the nations of the earth, that these degrading
          loathsome, damning principles might cease, that his people might
          be gathered to Zion from the four corners of the earth, and learn
          his laws. Says Jesus in his parable of the good shepherd, "and
          the sheep hear his voice, and he calleth his own sheep by name,
          and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep he
          goeth before them and the seep follow him; for they know his
          voice." Now, he has brought us together here. Whose sheep are we?
          Says Jesus, "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." He has
          gathered us together here for what? To teach us his law through
          the medium of the Holy Priesthood. Jesus, in sending forth his
          disciples in former times said unto them, "He that receiveth you
          receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent
          Now, God has ordained his Holy Priesthood upon the earth with
          presidents, apostles, bishops, high councils, seventies, high
          priests, and the order and organization of the Church and kingdom
          of God in its fulness and completeness, more complete perhaps,
          than it ever was since the world was framed. Why? Because it is
          the dispensation of the fulness ofttimes, embracing all other
          times that have ever existed since the world was, and he has
          gathered us together for that purpose. Is it to sow and plant and
          try to make ourselves comfortable and to follow the customs of
          the world in their corruptions and to wallow in infamy and rob
          and plunder one another, acting deceitfully and impurely without
          any regard to virtue or any of the laws that govern the Church
          and kingdom of God? No. But that we might be a peculiar people
          full of the light of truth and intelligence and revelations of
          God; that we might be a people having no longer need of the oral
          law or the written law, but a people upon whose hearts the law of
          God shall be written and engraven as in characters of living
          fire, being under the inspiration and guidance of the Almighty,
          walking according to the principles of eternal truth, and being
          led in the paths of life; being united with God and his Son Jesus
          Christ and with the ancient patriarchs and apostles and men of
          God, operating with them in the building up of Zion, in
          establishing the kingdom of God upon the earth, and in spreading
          salvation to the ends of the earth. This is what he has brought
          us here for. And also that we might build temples to officiate in
          them for the living and the dead, and that we might go forth to
          the nations of the earth, carrying the glad tidings of peace; and
          that we might be as a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid;
          and that being in unison with God and the patriarchs and
          apostles, we might draw down the light and intelligence of heaven
          upon the earth to enable us to operate with them according to the
          principles of justice and equity and the laws of life and every
          principle connected with the salvation of the human family, and
          that we might go on from strength to strength from intelligence
          to intelligence, until we shall be capable of enjoying a
          celestial glory and shall be prepared to enter therein; and until
          all that shall be prepared to have a celestial glory shall enjoy
          that, and those who are prepared for the terrestrial glory to
          have that, and also the telestial to enjoy what belongs to them,
          and that we may co-operate with God in the eternal worlds and the
          intelligences of heaven for the accomplishment of this object.
          And that while they operate in the heavens, we may operate for
          them upon the earth. This is what we are here for as I understand
          What else? Make settlements; break loose. Some of you are crying
          "give us room." There is plenty of room, and in making thee
          settlements we want to carry with us the principles of the Gospel
          and plant them in different places. We are sending out persons
          into the north-east of this Territory, and we want them to go
          filled with the Holy Ghost and the spirit of the living God. And
          we are sending some to Arizona, Colorado, Idaho and other places,
          and we will stretch out further and further. Zion's cords shall
          /:%e lengthened and her stakes shall be strengthened until her
          armies shall become mighty and numerous and until God shall say
          to the Gentiles, it is enough, and then God will give the
          government into our hands.
          We have come to see you and to talk with you. We want to see you
          at your own homes. These railroads whisk us by at such a rapid
          rate that many times we have not time to stop and visit with you.
          But we thought this time we could come with our own carriages to
          visit the people in their own homes and talk with them and see
          how they feel and that they may judge of our feelings with regard
          to the building up of the kingdom of God upon the earth. You
          elders of Israel--and there are many in this congregation--let me
          ask you--Do you have prayers in your family? (Turning round and
          addressing Bishop Harrington, the speaker said): May I act as
          teacher for a little while?
          The Bishop--Yes, we will be glad to have you.
          The speaker--Well, then, I will repeat the question--Do you have
          prayers in your family? (A voice in the congregation. Yes.) And
          when you do, do you go through the operation like the guiding of
          a piece of machinery, or do you bow in meekness and with a
          sincere desire to seek the blessing of God upon you and your
          household? That is the way that we ought to do, and cultivate a
          spirit of devotion and trust in God, dedicating ourselves to him,
          and seeking his blessings.
          Here is one brother says he does. But how is it with the balance
          of us? I am talking to all of you. Husbands, do you love your
          wives and treat them right, or do you think that you yourselves
          are some great Moguls who have a right to crowd upon them? They
          are given to you as a part of yourself, and you ought to treat
          them with all kindness, with mercy and long suffering, and not be
          harsh and bitter, or in any way desirous to display your
          authority. Then, you wives, treat your husbands right, and try to
          make them happy and comfortable. Endeavor to make your homes a
          little heaven, and try to cherish the good Spirit of God. Then
          let us as parents train up our children in the fear of God and
          teach them the laws of life. If you do, we will have peace in our
          bosoms, peace in our families and peace in our surroundings. Have
          we any difficulty with our neighbors? Why, Gentiles strive to
          avoid that. Cannot we pass by some of these hard words, as the
          old man used to say when a child would come to a big word, 
                     Pass it by, my dear, and call it a hard word." 
                     hen you come across a hard word, pass it by; 
                          on't utter it.
                     ay, speak no ill;
                    A kindly word can never leave a sting
          Let us treat one another with kindness and one another's
          reputation with respect, and feel after one another's welfare,
          treating everybody as we would like God to treat us. And then,
          when we come to the Lord, we can say, "Father, forgive us our
          trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us;" for if
          we do not forgive our brother, how can we expect our heavenly
          Father to forgive us? If we have had any difficulty with our
          neighbor, let us endeavor to make it right. Say, "Brother or
          sister so and so, my conscience rather troubles me about
          something I said about you or did to you, or some deal I had in
          which I got the advantage of you, and I have come to make it
          right, for I am determined to do right, no matter what other
          people do." And let us all seek after one another's welfare. If
          we can help one another, let us do it--financially or
          socially--and don't betray one another. Some people, some poor,
          miserable--I don't care to say a hard word--I will call them
          sneaks, they will try, because a man has married a wife according
          to the laws of God, to bring an accusation against him. Such men
          will be damned and such women will be damned. Do you know that,
          when these miserable sneaks come into your house on every kind of
          pretence, perhaps to sell wagons or machinery of some kind, in
          the midst of their conversation they are known to ask such
          questions as "how many wives has your husband got?" Poor, low
          miserable sneaks. Kick them out of your house, have nothing to do
          with such low, infernal trash. While we treat good men aright,
          kick such villains out of your house, they have no business among
          decent people. We do not want them. Tell them to attend to their
          own affairs and let our business alone. Tell them to go back
          where they came from, we do not want them among decent people.
          These are my feelings. That's saying a pretty hard word. It is
          such a word, though, as suits such people, for there is no decent
          word that's appropriate for such contemptible beings.
          Be true to one another, respect another's reputation. And then,
          you elders, treat one another as gentlemen with courtesy and
          kindness. And you ladies treat one another as ladies, and, old
          gentlemen, treat ladies as ladies, and you, old ladies, treat the
          gentlemen as gentlemen.
          I feel to tell a little story about Bishop Hunter. Most of you
          know Dr. Sprague. He was sent by President Young to see brother
          Hunter, when on the frontier many years ago. The doctor had a
          squeaky kind of a voice. He says (imitating the doctor), "Does
          Brother Hunter live here? Bishop Hunter replied (the speaker
          imitating the Bishop's voice), "My name is Hunter." Doctor
          Sprague: "President Young has sent me to see if you were sick,
          and if so he wanted me to administer to you." Bishop Hunter:
          "Physician heal thyself." Doctor Sprague: Well, sir, I feel just
          like two clap boards stuck together." Then he says, "Is this your
          old woman, Brother Hunter." Bishop Hunter: "This is Mrs. Hunter.
          Mrs. Hunter is a lady, she is not an old woman, sir." When you
          meet with women, treat them as ladies, and have everybody else do
          the same. We can afford to treat everybody right, that is, every
          decent body, but these sneaks we do not want anything to do
          with--poor miserable beings who go around pretending to do
          business, but whose real purpose is to obtain information that
          they may inform upon you, to whom? To men who are as wicked,
          treacherous, lascivious and degraded as the devil in hell. What
          for? To destroy you. Will you receive such miserable sneaks in
          your midst? Tell them to go about their business.
          Let us live our religion, keep the commandments of God, pursue a
          right course, and God will bless us. I ask God the eternal father
          to bless you and lead you in the paths of life. I say to you,
          respect the counsels of those over you; Brother Smoot as your
          president; listen to him, listen to the counsels of the bishop
          and pray for him. And then your president and bishops should pray
          for the people. Treat one another with kindness and courtesy, and
          let us all feel we are the sons and daughters of God, living our
          religion and obeying his commandments, following the counsels of
          the holy priesthood, and seek for the blessings of God upon us
          and upon our posterity. Never mind what other people do. We will
          go on and take a course in everything calculated to promote the
          happiness of the human family, and Zion will grow and spread
          until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord
          and his Christ, and the laws that God has introduced will prevail
          and his will be done upon the earth as it is done in heaven, and
          every creature be heard to say, "Blessing and honor and glory and
          power be unto him that siteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb
          for ever and ever," and we will join in the universal chorus. God
          help us to be faithful in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 /
          Wilford Woodruff, June 6th, 1880
                          Wilford Woodruff, June 6th, 1880
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon,
                                   June 6th, 1880
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          I have a desire to be heard in what I say to this assembly. I
          know the difficulties there are in speaking here. It requires not
          only attention, but quietude among the people.
          I feel disposed to read a few verses from the good old book the
          Bible--some of the sayings of Isaiah and Ezekiel. [The speaker
          then read from the 12th chapter of Ezekiel, from the 21st to the
          end of the chapter.] I have (the speaker continued) a few
          reflections upon my mind that I would like to lay before the
          Latter-day Saints, especially those who bear the holy priesthood.
          Among the lessons which we are learning in our day and time is
          this one truth: that we all of us need the spirit of revelation
          in order that we may teach mankind of the things of God. I do not
          believe myself there ever was a man lived in the flesh on the
          earth, in any day or age of the world, no matter what his
          position, calling, name, or age might be--I do not believe any
          man ever had the power to do the work of God, to build up his
          kingdom or to edify the souls of men, without inspiration and
          revelation; for the Lord has never called any man in any age of
          the world to do any of this kind of work, whether to preach the
          Gospel, to prophesy, or to declare the word of the Lord to the
          inhabitants of the earth, or to administer in any ordinance in
          any temple or in any tabernacle, without the holy priesthood.
          There are no ordinances acceptable in the sight of God of any
          force after death or in the eternal worlds except those
          ordinances that are performed by men bearing the holy priesthood.
          Our heavenly Father himself has officiated by this principle in
          the creation of all worlds, in the redemption of all worlds, and
          in all the work which he has performed; it has all been done by
          the power of the Godhead and the holy priesthood, which is
          without beginning of days or end of years. This priesthood has
          power with the heavens. It has association with the heavens. The
          heavens are connected with this priesthood, let it rest upon the
          shoulders or head of any man, whether it be Jesus Christ, or
          those fishermen, or the ancient patriarchs or prophets or Joseph
          Smith, or any other man who is called of God as was Aaron, by
          revelation, and prophecy to bear record of the name of God in any
          know I need the Spirit of God. I know you do. I know any man does
          who rises on this stand, and attempts to teach the people. You
          give a man the inspiration of Almighty God and the eternal truths
          of heaven and he can instruct and edify the children of men upon
          the principles of life and salvation; without this he cannot do
          it. And in order to present to my brethren and sisters and
          friends the subject that I have on my mind, I will just refer a
          little further to some words of the Lord to the Prophet Ezekiel,
          [The speaker again referred to the Book of Ezekiel, and quoted
          from the 9th, 14th and 33rd chapters, all of parts quoted having
          reference to the dealings of God with the wicked.] Continuing,
          Elder Woodruff said: Now, having quoted all these passages of
          Scripture, I want to say to my brethren the apostles, the high
          priests, the seventies, the elders of Israel, who bear the holy
          priesthood, upon whose shoulders the God of heaven, in this day
          and generation has placed the responsibility of the Melchizedek
          and Aaronic priesthood; has placed the responsibility of this
          great and last dispensation, the fulness of times, and the
          building up of the great kingdom of God which Daniel saw by
          revelation, vision and inspiration in his day and generation as
          proclaimed by all the prophets and apostles who have written in
          this book, in the stick of Judah as well as in the stick of
          Joseph and other revelations given to us through the mouth of the
          prophets and apostles in our day and generation--I want to ask in
          the face of all this--and I take it home to myself--what position
          are we in before high heaven, before God the Father, before his
          Son Jesus Christ, before the heavenly hosts, before all justified
          spirits made perfect from the creation of the world to this day?
          What condition are we in as the servants of the living God, men
          holding the holy priesthood into whose hands the God of Israel
          has given this kingdom. Are we disseminating the mighty flood of
          revelation and prophecy in these records and these books which
          are now to rest upon the generation as in the days of Noah and
          Lot. In this respect are we justified in the sight of God, in the
          sight of heaven, in the sight of angels, and in the sight of men?
          Can we fold our arms in peace and cry "all is peace in Zion,"
          when, so far as we have the power of the priesthood resting upon
          us, we can see the condition of the world? Can we imagine that
          our garments will be clean without lifting our voice before our
          fellow-men and warning them of the things that are at their
          doors? No, we cannot. There never was a set of men since God made
          the world under a stronger responsibility to warn this
          generation, to lift up our voices long and loud, day and night so
          far as we have the opportunity and declare the words of God unto
          this generation. We are required to do this. This is our calling.
          It is our duty. It is our business. We have had to perform this
          work for the last 50 years of our lives. When the Lord called
          Joseph Smith to lay the foundation of the Church he called him in
          fulfilment of many revelations given in other dispensations to
          men. He was preserved by the hand of God to come forth in the
          last days, even in the dispensation of the fulness of times. He
          was a prophet of the living God. He was a prophet, seer and
          revelator. The Lord called upon him to do the work for which he
          was ordained before the foundation of this world. He did all that
          was required of him, and he was surrounded with thousands of men
          who were acquainted with his life, and with the Spirit and power
          of God which rested upon him, and who sustained him in life and
          in death. We know he was a prophet of God, and we know he brought
          forth the stick of Joseph, the Book of Mormon, which was given
          unto him by the angel of God. This Church and kingdom has been
          organized by the command of God and by the revelations of heaven.
          It has continued to grow and increase, and has been upheld by the
          Lord Almighty, from its organization until the present hour. And
          when I look at this Tabernacle and think of the words of the
          prophet Isaiah, "that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be
          established in the tops of the mountains;" when I look at these
          everlasting hills and the land given by promise to Father Jacob
          and his posterity; when I see this barren desert peopled by
          150,000 Saints of the living God who have been gathered from
          nearly every nation under heaven through the proclamation of the
          Gospel of Jesus Christ--what can I say about it? Can I say it is
          a dream? Can I say that it is a vision? Can I say that this work
          is of man and not of God? Can I say these are revelations and
          prophecies which belong to some other generation? I tell you no.
          This is the kingdom of God. Here are the Saints of God. These
          mountains are being filled with the Latter-day Saints from every
          nation under heaven, and with these things before me I know that
          it is my duty to preach the Gospel, to warn Saints and sinners
          wherever I have the opportunity. The Lord told Joseph Smith that
          he would prove us in all things, whether we would abide in his
          covenant even unto death, that we might be found worthy. The
          prophet sealed his testimony with his blood. That testimony is in
          force upon all the world and has been from the day of his death.
          Not one word of the Lord shall pass away unfulfilled. The
          unbelief in this generation will make no difference with regard
          to the building up of the kingdom of God. As it was in the days
          of Noah so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Therefore,
          I desire to ask my brethren, the elders of Israel--and I ask
          myself at the same time--do we understand our position before the
          Lord? Ezekiel has passed away. He is in the spirit world. He has
          received his resurrected body and stands at the right hand of God
          with other prophets and apostles who lived in days gone by. They
          had their day and generation. All these patriarchs and prophets
          and apostles had a time to prophesy, to preach, to labor, and to
          administer in the ordinances of life and salvation. Now, in this
          last dispensation, ye elders of Israel, this work has been put
          into your hands. Therefore what shall we say, and what shall we
          do? Are we acting as watchmen upon the walls of Zion? If we are,
          are we justified in closing our mouths, in closing our ears, or
          in setting our hearts upon anything else excepting the building
          up of the kingdom of God? I do not think we are. In my view our
          responsibility is very great. We should live our religion. We
          should practise ourselves what we preach. We should treasure up
          the words of life. We should search the records of divine truth.
          We should seek to comprehend the day and age in which we live.
          This is the way I look upon our situation to-day. I do not look
          upon the revelations recorded in these books, touching the
          dispensation of the fulness of times, as something that will pass
          away unfulfilled. We live in a generation when great changes are
          about to take place. We live in a time when darkness covers the
          whole earth and gross darkness the people. The world are a great
          way from the truth. Infidelity overwhelms the earth, in fact it
          is a hard matter today to get either priest or people, sect or
          party, of any name or denomination under heaven to believe in the
          literal fulfillment of the Bible, as translated in the days of
          King James, which contains the revelations given from the days of
          Father Adam down to our own time, and which point out to us the
          signs of heaven and earth indicating the coming of the Son of
          Man. We live in the generation itself when Jesus Christ will come
          in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. We live in
          the generation when the Gospel of Jesus Christ will go to the
          House of Israel, to the descendants of Lehi, in fulfilment of
          that which is recorded in their records in the 9th, 10th and 11th
          chapters of the last book of Nephi. These prophets spake by the
          power of God and the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and as the
          apostle says, "No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private
          interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will
          of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy
          Ghost." I feel therefore to say to my brethren who bear the holy
          priesthood, and I say it to myself and to all--I do not think we
          have much time to lie down and slumber. We have no time to
          speculate in trying to get rich in trying to accumulate gold and
          silver. What we have got to do is to build up the kingdom of God.
          As apostles, high priests, elders, seventies and the lesser
          priesthood, we are bound together by this new and everlasting
          Gospel and covenant; we are called to perform the great and
          mighty work of building up Zion, of building temples wherein we
          may labor for the living and the dead, and we should live in that
          way and manner that we may be governed and controlled at all
          times by the Holy Spirit.
          I know very well how the world look at these things. As I said
          before, the world is far from the Lord. We ourselves are too far
          from the Lord as a people. We ought to draw near to the Lord, and
          labor to obtain the Holy Spirit, so that when we read the
          revelations of God we may read them by the same Spirit by which
          they were given. Then we can understand their purport when given
          to the children of men.
          The Lord has said by the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah, that he
          would proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder; and when I
          look at the rise and progress of this Church, when I behold the
          great work the Lord has performed, it was a marvelous work and a
          wonder indeed. There never has been, in my view, any generation
          in which the same amount of prophecies and important events have
          to be fulfilled as in the generation in which we live. Joseph
          Smith, an illiterate boy, was raised up by the power of God. His
          teachers were the angels of heaven. He was administered unto by
          the Son of God. He received the Aaronic priesthood of John the
          Baptist, who was beheaded for the testimony of Jesus Christ. He
          received the apostleship and Melchizedek Priesthood under the
          hands of Peter, James and John, who were also put to death for
          the word and testimony of Jesus Christ. He made use of these
          ordinances by the commandment of God. He organized the Church and
          kingdom of God; he did that which all the wisdom of the sectarian
          world could never have comprehended. He established the only
          church on the face of the earth according to the ancient order of
          the Church of Jesus Christ, with apostles, prophets, teachers,
          gifts, helps, governments, baptism for the remission of sins, the
          laying of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost--an
          organization which has not existed on the earth from the day the
          ancient apostles were put to death, and the holy priesthood taken
          from the earth, until the present. This Church has continued to
          rise. It is the only true church upon the face of the whole
          earth. Its history is before the world. It has continued to grow
          and increase from the day it was organized until the present
          time. This is the Zion of God. We see an embryo of it in these
          valleys of the mountains, and it is designed by the Most High God
          to stand on the earth in power and glory and dominion, as the
          prophets of God saw it in their day and generation. This is the
          kingdom that Daniel saw, and it will continue to roll forth until
          it fills the whole earth. These are eternal truths, whether the
          world believe or disbelieve them, it matters not, the truths
          cannot be made of non-effect. This is certainly a strange work
          and a wonder. There has been every exertion made to stay it.
          Armies have been sent forth to destroy this people; but we have
          been upheld and sustained by the hand of the Lord until to-day.
          And now I desire to bear my testimony. I have no fears, my
          brethren and sisters--and I say the same to our nation, to all
          kings, queens, emperors, presidents and governments of this
          world--I have no fears with regard to "Mormonism," and the
          ultimate triumph of the kingdom of God; because the Lord Almighty
          has said that the nation and kingdom that will not serve him
          shall perish and be utterly wasted away. If this had not been the
          Zion of God it would not have stood so long as it has done. This
          kingdom, however, has not been organized by the power of man but
          by the power of God, and whatever God undertakes to do he will
          carry out. I have therefore no fear of this kingdom. It was
          ordained to come forth before the world was made; and the Lord
          never undertook a dispensation of this kind without due
          preparation before he commenced. He had material in the spirit
          world who would in time be raised up to carry on this kingdom. I
          have no fears about this work being accomplished, but I have
          fears about many of the Latter-day Saints; because if we have the
          holy priesthood upon our heads and do not live our religion, of
          all men we are under the greatest condemnation. We have baptized
          a great many into this Church and kingdom--not many, certainly,
          when compared to the twelve hundred million inhabitants of the
          earth--but a great many have apostatized. What! Latter-day Saints
          apostatize? Yes. I tell you people will apostatize who have
          received the holy priesthood and Gospel of Jesus Christ, if they
          do not honor God, if they do not keep his commandments, obey his
          laws and humble themselves before the Lord; they are in danger
          every day of their lives. Look at the number of devils we have,
          round about us! We have I should say, one hundred to every man,
          woman and child. One third part of the heavenly host was cast
          down to the earth with Lucifer, son of the morning, to war
          against us--which I suppose will number one hundred million
          devils--and they labor to overthrow all the Saints and the
          kingdom of God. They even tried to overthrow Jesus Christ; they
          overthrew Judas, and they have succeeded in overthrowing a
          good-many Latter-day Saints, who had a name and standing among
          us, who undertook to build themselves up instead of the Kingdom
          of God and when men having this priesthood--I do not care whether
          it was in the days of Adam, in the days of Moses, in the days of
          Joseph Smith, or in the days of Brigham Young, I care not in what
          day they lived--if they bore this priesthood and undertook to use
          it for any other purpose than the building up of the kingdom of
          God, then amen to the power and priesthood of such men.
          The Lord will have a people to carry on his purposes who will
          obey and serve him. He has a good many people in this day and age
          of the world, who will be faithful unto death, whether called to
          seal their testimony with their blood or not. He has a people who
          will maintain his work while they are here. But here is the
          danger, ye Latter-day Saints, and the Savior saw it very plainly,
          and has left it on record in the earth: He compared the kingdom
          of God 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 them; But the wise took oil in their vessels with their
          lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and
          slept. 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 yourselves.
          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. Afterwards came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord,
          open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I
          know you not." Now, those who have got oil in their lamps, are
          men who live their religion, pay their tithing, pay their debts,
          keep the commandments of God, and do not blaspheme his name; men
          and women who will not sell their birthright for a mess a pottage
          or for a little gold or silver; these are those that will be
          valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ.
          This is the way I feel to-day. I feel to warn my brethren and
          sisters, the Latter-day Saints, to live their religion, to trim
          their lamps, because as the Lord lives, his word will be
          fulfilled. The coming of Jesus is nigh at the door. These
          judgments that I have read will come to pass, and though Brigham,
          Joseph, Noah, Daniel and Job, or anybody else were in the land,
          they could not do more than deliver their own souls by their
          righteousness. The man that is righteous cannot save the wicked.
          We have got to live our own righteousness, that is keep the
          commandments of God.
          We are approaching changes. There are judgments at our door.
          There are judgments at the door of this nation, and at the door
          of Great Babylon. How do the world feel to-day? How does our
          nation feel? Something similar to Belshazzar, the king. On the
          night that he drank out of the golden and silver vessels, with
          his princes and his wives, he thought, "Well, I made this
          country. I made this city. I am the god of this country;" but
          when the Lord Almighty manifested his displeasure by the writing
          on the wall, the scene was changed. His kingdom was broken up and
          given to the Medes and Persians. His greatness, his gold and
          silver did not save him. In the same way the Lord in ancient days
          swept away great cities when they were ripened in iniquity.
          Jerusalem was overthrown in fulfilment of the words of the Lord.
          Jeremiah and Isaiah prophesied what would come to pass, and it
          was fulfilled to the very letter. So I say to the Gentiles, so I
          say to the Latter-day Saints. What the Lord has spoken concerning
          our nation, and concerning the nations of the earth,
          notwithstanding that the unbelief of the world may be great,
          notwithstanding that they may reject the word of God and seek to
          put the servants of god to death--will all be fulfilled. War,
          pestilence, famine, earthquakes and storms await this generation.
          These calamities will overtake the world as God lives, and no
          power can prevent them. Therefore I say to the elders of Israel,
          be faithful. We have had the priesthood given to us, and if we
          fail to use it right, we shall be brought under condemnation.
          Therefore, let us round up our shoulders and bear off the
          kingdom. Let us labor to obtain the Holy Spirit--and power of the
          Gospel of Jesus Christ--which has been put into our hands, and
          inasmuch as we do this, the blessing of God will attend our
          We have been here a number of years. We have preached the Gospel
          and labored to build up this kingdom. Many have been associated
          with this Church almost from the beginning. Many have been taken
          away. Joseph and Hyrum sealed their testimony with their blood.
          Many have passed to the other side of the ail, and many others of
          us will soon follow them; but I do not want when I get there to
          have it said, "When you were in the flesh you had the priesthood,
          you had the power to rebuke sin, but you were not man enough to
          chastise the ungodly." Neither do I want my relatives to rise up
          and say "You had the power to do a work for the redemption of the
          dead, but you have neglected these things." I do not want these
          things to rise up against me. As for gold and silver, they are of
          very little account compared with eternal life. When we die we
          must leave the riches of this world behind. We were born naked
          and we will go out of the world in the same condition. We cannot
          take with us houses, gold, silver, or any of this world's goods.
          We will even leave our tabernacles for somebody to bury. Our
          spirits must appear in the presence of God, and there receive our
          reward for the deeds done in the body.
          Therefore, I pray God my heavenly Father to enable us to live our
          religion, to labor for light and truth that we may not work in
          the dark; to live nearer and nearer the Lord and be prepared for
          that which is to come, and eventually gain eternal life, is my
          prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / Orson
          Pratt, September 7th, 1879
                          Orson Pratt, September 7th, 1879
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
          Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, September 7th, 1879.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          It is with feelings of thanksgiving to my Father who is in
          heaven, that I stand before you this afternoon, after having been
          absent from this place for some nine months that are past.
          I suppose that the Latter-day Saints who are congregated here,
          understand the object of the mission which was given to me, to go
          to Great Britain, and there get the pages of the Book of Mormon,
          and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, electrotyped, with double
          sets of plates, for the purpose of spreading forth copies of
          these works, among the inhabitants of the earth by hundreds of
          thousands. I therefore, feel very much pleased to have the
          privilege of bearing testimony to you, that I have, through the
          blessing of the Lord, been enabled to finish or complete the work
          that was given me to do, in relation to these two standard works
          of our Church.
          Had it not been for the Book of Mormon this territory would not
          be occupied by a people called the Latter-day Saints. That lies
          at the foundation of the work of the last days, in which we are
          engaged. All of you are acquainted, if you have endeavored to
          exercise your judgment and your capacities as intelligent beings,
          with the nature of that book. If you are not acquainted with it
          you certainly ought to be. We all ought to inform ourselves
          concerning every principle that is contained in that record. We
          ought to make ourselves very familiar also, with the Book that is
          called the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, given by divine
          revelation in the generation in which we are permitted to live.
          These two books, we as a people, esteem to be as sacred as any
          other revelations which were ever given to the human family. We
          look upon the Book of Mormon as a very precious record,--a
          precious blessing to the people who live in this dispensation, a
          divine work,--a divine revelation. It has now been before the
          world almost 50 years, being published over 49 years; and the
          whole world, if they had seen proper to inform themselves,
          concerning the nature of the work, could have been blessed with
          the privilege. It is a work which the Lord our God has commenced
          by his own power. The book was not written by the wisdom of man,
          by the inspiration of man, but it was written by the commandment
          of the Most High God. It was written as revealed to a young man,
          the founder of this Church, under the divine influence of the
          Holy Spirit. This young man being inspired of God, and having
          revelations granted to him from heaven, had the privilege of
          bringing forth this sacred record to this generation. The record
          was translated, as the Latter-day Saints understand, and as the
          world generally have been informed, by revelation, by the
          inspiration of the Holy Ghost, through the aid of an instrument
          that was used anciently and called the Urim and Thummim. The Lord
          did not, in revealing this work to us, require us to receive it
          blindly and enthusiastically, but to receive it on good,
          substantial, sound evidence, such as we cannot controvert, such
          as we cannot contradict--evidence that no reasonable person,
          having the common reasoning faculties of man, can consistently
          reject. The Lord did not raise up this Church--did not commence
          its foundation, until he revealed this Book; and in the
          revelation of this Book, he fulfilled many predictions, made in
          ancient days, by the mouth of the Jewish prophets, and also the
          apostles that succeeded the Jewish prophets. They spake as they
          were moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and they predicted that such a
          work would come forth in the latter times; and if this is not the
          work, as the world say it is not, then we are to look forward to
          the day when a similar work will be brought forth by the power of
          Almighty God; for the events predicted by the mouth of the
          prophets, recorded in the Jewish Bible, never can be fulfilled,
          never can be brought to pass, unless a work of a similar
          description, to the one that has been presented to the people of
          the nineteenth century shall come forth.
          The Book of Mormon, we say, is just as sacred as the Bible--the
          Old and New Testaments. We cannot see any reason why we should
          exclude all other books from the compiled books of the Jewish
          Bible. We have nothing in the compiled works of the Bible (King
          James' translation), we have no declarations in this Book, that
          the canon of Scripture should be full at the close of the fourth
          century of the Christian era. We have no declarations in this
          Book, that about 400 years after Christ there should be a church
          or people on the earth that should collect together manuscript
          books and call them the Bible, and that that should be a complete
          revelation of God's will; or that there were no other sacred
          books in existence, only what the Catholic church, at the close
          of the fourth century, happened to collect together.
          We believe that God is the God of all nations, as well as the God
          of the Jews. We believe that he did not confine his divine power
          and the inspiration of his Spirit to one little spot of our
          globe; although he did work wonderfully, and in a marvelous
          manner, in the land of Palestine among the Jews, and did shew
          forth his power by raising up prophets, and revelators, and
          apostles. Yet we cannot, in our views, limit the Almighty, as the
          Christian nations do, and say that he has never spoken to any
          other people. We cannot, with the intelligence and light that God
          has given to us, say that the Bible is the only revelation of God
          to man. We believe that he made all nations, and all the
          inhabitants of the earth. We believe that he had as much regard
          for the ten tribes, after they revolted from the house of Judah
          and separated themselves into a distinct nation--when they
          wrought righteousness, as he had for the Jews who dwelt in
          Jerusalem, and in the vicinity of that great capital city. Indeed
          the Lord has shown to us that he was no respecter of persons. So
          far as the ten tribes were concerned, he had revealed himself to
          them. Some of the greatest prophets that were raised up in days
          of old, before the coming of the Messiah, were prophets that
          lived among the ten tribes, who were not Jews: not included in
          the house of Judah, or the two years and a half. For instance,
          Eloijah, who had such great power given him from God, that he
          could call upon His name and the heavens would be shut up so that
          there would be no rain fall upon the earth, according to his
          prayer, for three and a half years. A man with such faith, that
          after three and a half years of great famine, he prayed for the
          Lord to send rain, and rain was given immediately. A man with
          such power that when a captain of fifty with his fifty came to
          take him--who mockingly called him a man of God--he said to the
          captain, "If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven
          and consume thee and thy fifty," and it was done, according to
          his word. He was not a Jewish prophet; he was a prophet of the
          ten tribes. A man also that had such great faith in God, that he
          was taken away from the earth, in a chariot of fire, and wafted
          to the abodes of immortality, among the immortal beings. Here
          then was a prophet raised up among another branch of the house of
          Israel. Here was also Elisha, another prophet, not of the Jews
          but of the ten tribes. Were not their revelations just as sacred
          as the revelations of the prophets of Judah? They certainly were;
          and were incorporated in the Jewish Bible. Were there any other
          branches of Israel besides those ten tribes, who dwelt in the
          northern parts of the Land of Palestine, and the Jews? Yes, we
          read in various parts of this Bible, that many of the house of
          Israel were taken away from the main body who dwelt in Palestine,
          and scattered to the four quarters of the earth. Did God forget
          them and their generations after them, after they were thus
          skittered? I think not. He did not forget them; and in the days
          of their righteousness, he revealed himself to them and to his
          prophets. And this great and choice American continent was once
          peopled by the seed of Israel, not the ten tribes or Jewish
          nation especially, but a small remnant of one tribe, namely the
          descendants of Joseph who was carried into Egypt. These American
          Indians scattered over this great continent of ours, are the
          literal descendants of the chosen seed. Now, do you suppose that
          the Almighty, who desires the salvation of the children of men,
          would take a company, however great or small it might be, and
          locate them upon such a great and vast continent as ours, and
          leave them without any guidance by revelation from him?--leave
          them from generation to generation without prophets and without
          revelators? Such an event is inconsistent to my mind. God, who is
          no respecter of persons, who loves all people of all nations, of
          all kindreds and tongues, surely would not thus lead away the
          chosen seed, and plant them upon such a vast continent as ours
          and obscure or withdraw himself, leaving them in total ignorance,
          without any revelation from heaven. What is the Book of Mormon?
          It is their record, their Bible, their revelations, their
          predictions, their doctrines, their manifestations and visions,
          and their history, the same as the Bible is the record and
          history of the Jews. Why then should it be thought inconsistent
          with the character of God that he should bring forth records, so
          sacred, so great, so important to join with the testimony of the
          Jewish record that the nations of the last days might have the
          testimony of two hemispheres that God is the same God, that his
          doctrines are everlasting, the same unchangeable Gospel and plan
          of salvation, and that his people Israel were as precious to him
          on the western hemisphere as they were on the eastern, and that
          the great atonement which we are now celebrating in this house,
          should not be shut out from the minds of the people in the
          western hemisphere? Is it consistent that this should be the
          case? There is not a man living, who will free himself from the
          traditions of false doctrines that have prevailed for many
          generations, but what will say it is godlike, it is consistent
          with the character of the Almighty to reveal himself to the
          western hemisphere as well as to the great eastern hemisphere,
          and if he did this would there be anything inconsistent that
          these records should be brought to light in the last days? Is God
          limited in his power? I appeal to the whole of Christendom, do we
          as Christians believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and in his Father,
          as being limited in their power, and that people should be left
          without divine knowledge, without information from heaven, when
          it is so easy for them to reveal? Is not the knowledge of God to
          cover the earth, according to the prediction of Isaiah the
          prophet, as the waters cover the great deep, before the end shall
          come? Are not many, in the last days, to run to and fro, and
          knowledge be increased, and when I speak of knowledge I mean that
          knowledge which is of God, the knowledge revealed from heaven,
          concerning the great plan of salvation. It is reasonable, it is
          consistent, it is in accordance with the Jewish Bible, that God
          should reveal himself and the plan of salvation to the people of
          the latter days, that the knowledge of God may truly cover the
          earth as the waters cover the great deep. In revealing this
          additional knowledge, will it do any harm? Is there any church on
          the face of the whole earth that is in the least degree harmed by
          the additional revelations sent from heaven? I think not. What
          harm is there in the Lord's making manifest to the people in this
          western hemisphere, that the same Gospel was preached to the
          inhabitants of this land as was preached to the Jews and the
          people of the eastern continent in ancient days? Who is harmed
          among all the religious denominations of Christendom, the four
          hundred millions of Christians, so called, by the addition of
          further revelation? Did it harm any of the branches of the church
          that were anciently Christian, after they had the Book of Matthew
          revealed to them, to be permitted to have a testimony from
          another inspired man, called the Book of Mark? I think there was
          no harm in Mark's writing his Gospel, after Matthew had written
          his. It did no harm to the ancient Christians that Luke should
          write his testimony of the Gospel; that John should write his,
          that John should be permitted to receive a great prophecy and
          revelation on the isle of Patmos. Did that close revelation from
          God? No, because we find that the Lord inspired John to write his
          testimony of the Gospel, showing that the canon of Scripture was
          not closed up when John left Patmos. What harm is there for
          another nation to know about the Prophet Moses, the Lord Jesus
          Christ, and the atonement that he made by his own suffering and
          death? Would it not be a privilege and blessing for the ancient
          inhabitants of America to be informed concerning the only way by
          which they could be saved in the kingdom of God? The Book of
          Mormon records the fact that Jesus did appear on this American
          continent, after his resurrection from the dead; that he did
          administer in person, in his immortal body, after his
          resurrection, for several days, in the midst of this remnant of
          Israel, the forefathers of these American Indians. What Gospel
          did he teach? Did he teach one Gospel in Asia and another in
          ancient America? No. If the same Gospel then is taught, who is
          harmed among the four hundred millions of Christians, by having
          the information concerning it? It seems to me as if I could
          imagine the feeling of the strangers that may be present this
          afternoon. I can imagine some one saying, "Oh, it would be a very
          beautiful theory, if we could only believe it; if we only had
          testimony sufficient to believe what you Latter-day Saints
          declare, that the Book of Mormon is actually a divine revelation
          of the Gospel as it was preached in ancient America; if we knew
          this fact we could not denounce it as something that was
          calculated in its nature to destroy the peace and happiness of
          Christendom, but we should consider it a great blessing to the
          human family if we only had the evidence and testimony that the
          facts are as you state them." Now I expect these thoughts are
          running through the minds of some individuals here. Well, now,
          what must be the evidence? What would you naturally suppose would
          be the kind of evidence that the Lord Almighty would give to
          substantiate the divinity of a book that is almost two-thirds as
          voluminous as the Jewish Bible? Can you imagine any testimony
          that ought to be given to convince the children of men? "Well,"
          says one, "if we could only have it confirmed by the ministration
          of angels, that would be an evidence, a great evidence or
          testimony." The inhabitants of this generation, for nearly fifty
          years, have had the testimony of three men, besides the boy that
          translated the Book of Mormon--the testimony of three witnesses.
          The Lord would not suffer his Church to be organized, would not
          suffer his servants to build up this kingdom on the earth--this
          ecclesiastical kingdom, until he gave sufficient evidence unto
          three chosen witnesses, as well as the boy that translated the
          work. Their testimony is given, in connection with the book, and
          there is no man living that can contradict their testimony or can
          prove it to be untrue. The witnesses themselves have never denied
          their testimony; and not only three other witnesses who saw the
          angel, heard the words of his mouth, saw the glory of his
          countenance, and saw the plates--the original plates from which
          the Book of Mormon was translated, but also eight other witnesses
          who saw the plates, but did not see the angel; saw the engravings
          upon the plates, handled them with their hands, and have recorded
          their testimony. Hence we have the testimony of the young man
          that was called by the angel to translate and bring forth the
          book, and then the testimony of eleven other witnesses besides.
          In the mouth of two or three witnesses, we are told in the Jewish
          record, every word shall be established. But God saw fit to give
          twelve witnesses before the Church of the Latter-day Saints ever
          had an existence on this earth. That certainly ought to be
          sufficient to begin the work with, to begin to enlighten the
          minds of the children of men, concerning what God was about to do
          upon the face of the earth. But are we confined to these twelve
          men and their testimony? Are there no other means by which we may
          for ourselves come to a knowledge that this work is divine? I
          will tell you how the Lord has provided in a godlike
          manner,--just as we would naturally expect he would do--that the
          children of men, however weak, frail, and imperfect in their
          judgment, if they have the common sense and common attainments
          that the children of men generally have, may not only have a
          faith concerning the truth of this work, founded on the evidence
          of others, but also a knowledge for themselves. And how is this?
          How can people get a real knowledge that this Book is divine?
          Says one: "I should like to embrace it, but then you are so
          unpopular. Still if I knew it to be true," perhaps some stranger
          may say in his heart, "If I knew that God was the author of it, I
          would not mind anything about the contumely, or anything about
          the unpopularity of the people called Latter-day Saints." There
          is a way to know whether this work be true, if you will follow
          the conditions. And what are the conditions that God has pointed
          out, by which we may receive a knowledge now as well as they
          received a knowledge in ancient times, concerning similar
          doctrines and principles? It is by obedience to the Gospel of the
          Son of God. The Lord, before he suffered this Church to be
          organized gave authority to his servants to preach the Gospel and
          to organize his kingdom on the earth in fulfilment of the ancient
          prophecies. In connection with this authority, he gave them
          authority to administer the ordinances of the Gospel to those
          that would repent of their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus
          Christ. He gave them not only power and authority to
          baptize--that is divine authority to baptize--for the remission
          of sins, but also to lay their hands upon the heads of baptized
          believers and pronounce upon them the blessings of the Holy Ghost
          as they did in ancient days. This was placing the people of this
          generation in a condition to prove whether this work was divine
          or not. The elders were sent forth in the early rise of this
          Church, saying unto the people, "If you will repent of your
          sins--if you will turn from everything that is evil, if you will
          with all your hearts enter into a covenant with the Almighty to
          obey the Lord of righteousness, to keep his commandments, to do
          right all your future days, and will be baptized by the authority
          that God has given from heaven, and also be confirmed by the
          laying on of hands, God will give you the Holy Ghost, and by this
          gift of the Holy Ghost you shall know that the Book of Mormon is
          a divine revelation, and that this is the Church and the kingdom
          of the living God." Very many honest hearted people in the
          American Union, in the nation of Great Britain, in the various
          nations of Europe, and upon the islands of the Sea, have tested
          the truth of this commandment of God give unto his servant in the
          first rise and beginning of this Church. Did they receive the
          Holy Ghost? They testify that they did. They say, that 'by
          obeying that message which you brought to us, which you testified
          that God had sent you to preach, the promises you made to us are
          fulfilled. You stated that we should receive the Holy Ghost. We
          have received it because we have humbled ourselves before God. We
          have been baptized by you. You stated you held authority. We
          believed it from testimony that you gave us, that such was the
          case, but we did not know it. We went forth and acted upon our
          faith, and now we can testify we know you are the servants of
          God; for God has fulfilled the promise which he has given to us
          through your word." Thus scores of thousands have proved the
          divinity of this work. You marvel that this people are so well
          united. You marvel that we come out from the nations of the earth
          and assemble ourselves in one. You marvel what it is that prompts
          this people called Latter-day Saints to come from the lands of
          their forefathers, from the islands of the Sea, from distant
          nations, and assemble themselves here in this great basin of
          North America. It is not man that has accomplished this work. It
          is because you have received the Holy Ghost that you are here in
          these valleys. It is because God witnessed unto you in your own
          lands, before you started upon your journey that he had again
          spoken to the inhabitants of the earth as in ancient days. You
          there learned that this was his true Church, his true kingdom
          established upon the earth as he predicted by the mouth of his
          servants, and you felt anxious to be gathered with the rest of
          the Saints that had the same testimony with you. Hence you gather
          not only from choice, but by actual commandment. We do not gather
          here merely for the sake of being together, but it is because the
          same God who revealed the Book of Mormon by his servant Joseph,
          the youth of whom I have spoken--that same boy received another
          revelations which is published in the Book of Doctrine and
          Covenants, which I now hold in my hand, commanding the Latter-day
          Saints to gather out of all nations of the earth, to this
          American continent. Hence you came here because you had received
          the Holy Ghost. You have come here because you had received the
          Holy Ghost. You have come here because you knew this work was
          true. You have come here that you might fulfil the commandment
          which God gave near the time of the rise of this Church in
          relation to the gathering of his Saints from among all the
          nations and kingdoms of the earth. Has God fulfilled that which
          he spoke when we were but a little handful of people, not
          numbering one hundred souls? He told us that his people should be
          gathered from all quarters of the earth into one place upon the
          face of this great continent. Has he fulfilled it? The testimony
          is before the eyes not only of the Latter-day Saints, but the
          eyes of all people, nations and tongues, and among the most
          distant nations of the earth concerning the gathering of the
          people called Latter-day Saints. God has fulfilled his word--this
          word, which was given nearly fifty years ago, as to the gathering
          of his people from the four quarters of the earth. Now this great
          work of the last days never could be accomplished without this
          gathering together of the Saints. There are no other people
          fulfilling it. For instance, take the Roman Catholics; they were
          not gathering from all parts of the earth. Take the Greek Church;
          they do not come out from the nations from which they receive
          their doctrine. Take all the Protestant denominations, and who
          among them all are assembling themselves together in one? If they
          should issue a proclamation by human wisdom and by human
          commandment, requiring their members to gather together, they
          could not accomplish it. Why? Because there is not enough unity
          amongst them; the Holy Ghost has not been given to them in its
          fulness, as given to the ancient Saints; hence they could not
          gather the people together. But the Lord has done it through this
          people. And what will he yet do? Permit me to prophecy, not in my
          own name nor by my own wisdom, but on the strength of that which
          God has revealed to this Church since the year 1830, and that
          also which is given in the Book of Mormon--I prophesy that this
          is only just the beginning, as it were of the great work of the
          gathering of the Latter-day Saints.
          [I would say that some of our friends that have called in this
          afternoon are obliged, in consequence of the cars leaving, to
          retire. May the Lord Bless them, pour out his Spirit upon them,
          may he manifest the truth unto them that they may be blessed in
          common with all those who keep the commandments of God.]
          The Lord our God has therefore fulfilled that which he spoke; and
          as I said this work, instead of being nearly accomplished, nearly
          fulfilled, and all things brought about according to the purposes
          of the Almighty, only the foundation, as it were, is now laid,
          and instead of being gathered in a little company of 150,000, by
          and bye we shall be gathered in hundred of thousands and even
          millions. Now do you believe it? I not only believe it but know
          it will come to pass just as much as a great many other things
          which have already been fulfilled since the promises were uttered
          and published in this book. I knew they would come to pass, for
          God has revealed these things to me, and given me a knowledge of
          them, and I also know concerning the future of this people, as
          also do a great many of our brethren that have received
          testimonies concerning these matters. Is God limited to this
          little narrow spot, called the great basin of North America? Why,
          no. It is only for the present, for the time being that we dwell
          here. Where will we dwell in the future? What is our future
          destiny? It is not on the Sandwich Islands, it is not in New
          Zealand, it is not in Australia, it is not in any of the islands
          of the sea, but I will tell you the future destiny of this people
          in a very few words. Not many years hence--I do not say the
          number of years--you will look forth to the western counties of
          the State of Missouri, and to the eastern counties of the State
          of Kansas, and in all that region round about you will see a
          thickly populated country, inhabited by a peaceful people, having
          their orchards, their fruit threes, their fields of grain, their
          beautiful houses and shade threes, their cities and towns and
          villages. And you may ask--Who are all these people? And the
          answer will be--Latter-day Saints! Where have they came from?
          They have come from the nations of the earth! They have come from
          the mountains of Utah, from Arizona, from Idaho, and from the
          mountainous territories of the North American Continent, they
          have come down here, and are quietly cultivating the lands of
          these States! Now, this will all come to pass, just as sure to
          come to pass as there is a God that reigns in yonder heavens, and
          not many years hence either. Thus you see that for some time to
          come, our future destiny is not to build up this kingdom upon any
          of the islands of the sea, but to be located where God has
          decreed, by his own power that his people shall dwell. "Oh, but,"
          says one, "you have to get the land first." But I would ask is
          there any breaking of the Constitution--is there anything
          calculated to take away the rights of American citizenship by
          emigrants going from one part of this nation to another,
          peacefully and quietly, purchasing the land and locating upon it?
          I think not. "But," says one, "perhaps they will not allow you to
          purchase the land." The Lord will take care of that; that is in
          the hands of the Lord. That same being who will assist in the
          building of a great city on the western boundaries of the State
          of Missouri, has all power; and when we purchase the land, and go
          and take possession of it, I do not think we will be driven from
          our own lands, if we mind our own business and do not meddle with
          our neighbors' business, and do not undertake to injure them in
          their rights and privileges, guaranteed to them by the
          Constitution of our country. If we conduct ourselves in a
          peaceable manner, I do not see why we may not dwell there as well
          as other citizens. We have the strongest assurance that such will
          be the case. These were promises made to us, before there were a
          hundred persons in this Church. It was promised that we should
          have a land as an inheritage; but we were commanded of God, to
          purchase the land. Now, when the time comes for purchasing this
          land, we will have means. How this means will be brought about it
          is not for me to say. Perhaps the Lord will open up mines
          containing gold and silver, or in some other way as seemeth to
          him best, wealth will be poured into the laps of the Latter-day
          Saints till they will scarcely know what to do with it. I will
          here again prophesy on the strength of former revelation that
          there are no people on the face of the whole globe, not even
          excepting London, Paris, New York, or any of the great mercantile
          cities of the globe--there are no people now upon the face of the
          earth, so rich as the Latter-day Saints will be in a few years to
          come. Having their millions; therefore they will purchase the
          land, build up cities, towns and villages, build a great capital
          city, at headquarters, in Jackson County, Missouri. Will we have
          a temple there? Yes; will we have a beautiful city? Yes, one of
          the most beautiful cities that will ever be erected on the
          continent of America will be built up by the Latter-day Saints in
          jackson County, Missouri. Consequently, when congressmen and
          statesmen, and the great men of our nation, want to know what the
          future destiny of the Latter-day Saints will be, let them
          remember the words of your humble servant, who has addressed you
          this afternoon; for they will come to pass--they will be
          fulfilled. We have see too many revelations fulfilled, already,
          to be mistaken in regard to these matters. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 /
          Charles W. Penrose, April 11th, 1880
                        Charles W. Penrose, April 11th, 1880
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER C. W. PENROSE,
             Delivered in the Salt Lake Assembly Hall, Sunday Afternoon,
                                  April 11th, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                               PROFESSING CHRISTIANS.
          I am thankful to-day for this opportunity of meeting with my
          brethren and sisters in this fine hall to worship God and spend a
          little time in reflecting upon the principles of the Gospel of
          Jesus Christ, and I am thankful also for this opportunity of
          bearing my testimony to the truth of the work in which we are
          engaged. I trust that during the short time I shall stand before
          you I may be lead by the Holy Spirit to say something which will
          edify and instruct the people.
           It was remarked by Brother N. H. Felt, who has just addressed
          us, that it would be a difficult matter to answer the
          question--wherein do the Latter-day Saints, or "Mormons," differ
          in their views from the rest of the people who profess the
          Christian religion. True this would be a difficult question to
          answer in a few minutes satisfactorily. There are a great many
          points of difference between our doctrines and the doctrines of
          the so-called Christian world, but if I were to attempt to answer
          the question in brief I would say the chief difference consists
          in this:--That the religion which we have received has come down
          from God out of heaven direct, by revelation, in the day and age
          in which we live, while the religions which are believed in by
          the various Christian denominations who meet to-day in different
          parts of the world to worship God, most of which have been in
          existence for a long time have been in every case arranged by
          men. The people who belong to the various Christian sects all
          profess to believe in one Book--the Bible, and in one God; but
          their ideas in regard to religion and in regard to the manner in
          which God shall be worshipped and served are very different, and
          when we trace up the origin of their religion we find that in
          every case, with perhaps one exception, they have been started by
          men; by individuals who, no doubt, in the first place, believed
          they were enlightened of God and had come to the conclusion that
          such and such doctrines were the doctrines of Christ, and that it
          was their duty to preach these doctrines. They convinced others
          of the truth of the ideas which they had adopted, and together
          they formed a religious society. Now, we shall find that this is
          the case with all those different sects and parties, that compose
          modern Christendom with the exception perhaps of the Church which
          is called the Church of Rome, the Roman Catholic church. That
          church professes to be a continuation of the Church which Jesus
          Christ established. It professes to have the same authority,
          handed down from generation to generation, which was exercised by
          the ancient apostles. It professes to have the keys that Peter
          held. The Pope of Rome professes to be the successor of St.
          Peter, and the priesthood of the church of Rome profess to have
          the same authority, or similar authority, or a succession of the
          authority, which was held in the primitive Christian church. They
          say there has been no interruption of this line of priesthood in
          the church which Jesus Christ established, to build up which the
          ancient apostles lost their lives--that this priesthood has been
          continued down through the stream of time to our own period. All
          the rest of the denominations called Christian have sprung from
          that body directly or indirectly, and their organization was
          started in the way that I have briefly described.
          You see then there is a great difference between our professions
          and the professions of all the rest of the Christian world in
          this particular. We testify that in the day and age in which we
          live, God, who spoke in ancient times to the prophets, and in the
          meridian of time by his Only Begotten Son, has uttered his voice
          again out of heaven; that Jesus who died on Calvary, that we
          might live, has manifested himself in this day and age of the
          world; that the angels of God, who were men that ministered in
          the name of the Lord, in the flesh, in times of old, who died in
          the truth and live in God, have come to the earth in this age of
          the world and revealed the things of God; and that this Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been organized, not by the
          wisdom of man, not by persons who have reflected and studied and
          come to certain conclusions in their own minds and then founded a
          church, but that it has been organized and established and
          carried on and directed under the immediate revelations of the
          Most High God. You see this is quite a difference. There is quite
          a distinction between us and all the rest of the people called
          Christians. I do not know, however, whether the great body of
          people called Christians will allow us to adopt that name. They
          dispute our right to the title of Christians. They call us
          "Mormons:--rather a foolish title to give us. Mormon is the name
          of a man, a servant of God, a prophet of the Most High, who lived
          anciently on this continent and wrote some of the things revealed
          to him in a book called the Book of Mormon; and because we
          believe in that book, our "Christian" friends call us "Mormons."
          We might just as well call them Peters, because they believe in
          Peter; we might just as well call them Pauls, Jeremiahs, Isaiahs,
          or Lukes, because they believe in the sayings of these men
          written in the book called the Bible.
          But the stranger might say, "It is very well for you to make such
          a statement as you have made, that your Church has been organized
          by the commandment of God and by divine revelation from him in
          the present day, but how can you prove that to the world?" There
          is a very simple way by which this can be found out, by which the
          truth or falsity of what I have said can be established. The
          people who live here in Utah, who have been gathered here from a
          great many different parts of the earth, are here because they
          know that what I have spoken of this afternoon is true. This is
          what brought them here. They have not come up to the heights of
          these mountains to dig for gold or silver, to make themselves
          rich with the fruits and products of the earth, or to unite
          together to establish some socialistic system for the mere
          bettering of their temporal circumstances. They have come here
          from the east, from the west, from the north and from the south,
          from the different continents and from the islands of the sea,
          because in their own souls they have received a testimony similar
          to that which I have borne this afternoon. They have investigated
          the subject; they took the course pointed out to them by which
          they could find out the truth or falsity of this work for
          themselves, and having received a testimony that it is true they
          have come up here to these mountains; they have left their homes
          in various lands, they have turned their backs on their former
          homes and relationships, broken up their business affairs, many
          of them having left friends and family and have come up here to
          these mountains that they may learn more of this important work,
          having first of all received a testimony from God that it is
          true. Well, some one may say, "How did they find it out? Did they
          find it out because somebody told them? Did they receive their
          testimony from some other man or woman? No; they received it
          direct from the Lord, direct from the heavens, for "God is no
          respector of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him and
          worketh righteousness is accepted of him;" he is just as willing
          to manifest himself to an Englishman, an American, a Scotchman,
          an Irishman, a Dutchman, a Scandinavian, a South Sea Islander or
          anybody else, as to a Jew. How did they obtain this testimony?
          The Apostle James, some of whose writings we have in this book
          called the New Testament, told the people in his day, "If any of
          you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men
          liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let
          him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like
          a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not
          that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord." Now
          when the elders of this Church went out with this testimony that
          God had again spoken from the heavens, that communication between
          the heavens and the earth, which was once enjoyed by men of old
          had again been opened up, they told the people who heard their
          words that if they would believe in the true and living God, if
          they would believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, if they would repent
          of their sins and be baptized in water for the remission of sins,
          they should receive the Holy Ghost, and by this Spirit they
          should obtain a testimony direct from the Almighty to their own
          souls, that God had in very deed commenced the great work of the
          latter days, spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world
          began. What was the result of this teaching? Why, in every place,
          in every part of the world, among any people, no matter what
          their former customs or religion might have been, no matter what
          condition they might be in, no matter how they had been educated,
          no matter of what race they might be, wherever they heard the
          sound of this Gospel and obeyed it, they received a testimony of
          the truth of this work and therefore have gathered up to these
          This is my testimony to this congregation this afternoon: that,
          having received this Gospel and obeyed it in the way that I have
          pointed out I received a testimony to my own soul, from the
          Almighty, by which I have no longer any doubt as to its truth; no
          longer to depend upon the testimony of man. I can say for myself,
          before God, before the heavenly hosts, before all nations
          wherever I may be sent, that I know this work is true. I know
          that God lives. I know that God hears and answers prayer. I know
          that Jesus is the Christ. I know that angels have come down from
          the heavens in these the last times and restored the ancient
          Gospel. I know that the holy priesthood, the power of God, the
          authority to administer in the name of the Lord, held by men, in
          ancient times, has been restored to me in these the latter days,
          and that it is here upon the earth, never to be taken away again
          until the work has been accomplished for which it was sent; until
          every nation shall hear the sound of the Gospel; until every
          nation, kindred, tongue and people, shall hear of the purposes of
          the Great Jehovah; until all people shall be warned, and the
          honest and upright, and the truth-loving in every clime shall be
          gathered unto the fold of Christ; until the way shall be prepared
          for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ--to reign in Mount Zion
          and Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously; until the
          earth is redeemed from the curse; until Satan and his hosts are
          bound; until the great work of God is accomplished and all his
          children brought up from death and hell and the grave, and placed
          in a position where they can glorify God throughout the countless
          ages of eternity. 
          It is popularly supposed that when our leaders go out as
          missionaries to the different countries of the earth, they go for
          the purpose of inducing people to gather here to these peaceful
          valleys, that they might be made subservient to our leaders. That
          is the popular idea. There cannot, however, be anything more
          false and ridiculous than this. What object could men have in
          taking the trouble to go, as our elders do, to face the frowns of
          the world, to be scoffed at and despised, to travel "without
          purse or scrip," as did the ancient servants of God, suffering
          contumely, persecution, privation, and even hunger and thirst,
          traveling foot-sore and weary, among a people who, generally
          speaking, do not desire to hear their testimony? Their object is
          to preach the Gospel of Christ, and to bear witness of this great
          work. It is not merely to gather people to these mountains. When
          people do come here they come just as I have said,--because they
          have received the Gospel, and know it to be true. they come up
          here that they may learn more of the ways of the Lord. And this
          is the testimony that our leaders bear wherever they may be sent:
          That God has restored the ancient Gospel and that he is building
          up his Church on the earth again for the last time; that the hour
          of God's judgment is nigh; that the angel, to whom Brother Felt
          referred, and about whom he quoted from the revelations of St.
          John, has come to the earth with "the everlasting Gospel to
          preach 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." This is our testimony, this is
          why we go forth, and when the people hear our testimony and
          believe it, and call upon the Lord for a witness, they receive
          it, and then they are willing to forego everything for the sake
          of the Gospel.
          There is another great difference between our religion and the
          religions of the world, and that consists in the power and
          authority of the priesthood to which I have briefly referred.
          Now, it is true that the church called the Church of Rome,
          professes to have the priesthood. That church professes to have
          the same authority which was in the ancient church, and that it
          has been handed down from generation to generation to our own
          times. The Church of England--or the Episcopal Church as it is
          called here--professes to have a portion of that same authority.
          The Greek Church also professes to have a portion of that
          authority. They are branches or off shoots from this Roman
          Catholic Church; but the rest of the Christian denominations
          repudiate any idea of a priesthood. They think there is no need
          for any priesthood. They say that Jesus was the Great High
          Priest, and that there is no need for any more priests; that is
          the prevalent idea among the rest of the Christian sects. But we
          do believe in the necessity of this priesthood, and say that it
          has been restored from heaven in this our own times. In what way?
          In the first place John the Baptist, who went before Jesus to
          prepare the way for him as the prophets predicted, who held the
          priesthood of Aaron, or the Levitical priesthood--that same
          person who baptized Jesus in the river Jordan, and who was
          beheaded for preaching the word of the Lord, has come to the
          earth in this day and age of the world, and ordained man to the
          same authority and priesthood that he held while he was in the
          flesh. Now, I do not know that there is another people on the
          face of the earth that possess any such thing as that, so that in
          that respect there is a great difference between our religion and
          the religions of the world. Further, we testify that not only
          this lesser priesthood which was held by John the Baptist has
          been restored, but that Peter, James and John, who held the
          Apostleship, the same priesthood which Christ held, have come in
          this our own time and restored the authority which they held. "As
          my Father hath sent me, even so send I you," said Jesus to his
          disciples. They were ordained to the same authority that He held.
          What authority was that? We are told that Christ was called to be
          a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, an unchangeable
          priesthood, everlasting, without beginning of days or end of
          years. He conferred the same priesthood upon His apostles, and
          Peter, James and John were left to take charge of the Church when
          He departed; they had the keys of the kingdom; whatsoever they
          should bind on earth was to be bound in heaven, and whatever they
          should loose on earth was to be loosed in heaven. Now, we testify
          that these three individuals holding the keys of that
          apostleship, the higher priesthood, have come down to the earth
          as ministering beings in our own times, and ordained the Prophet
          Joseph Smith to the same apostleship and priesthood and authority
          which they held, and through him it has been conferred upon
          others, so that the ancient authority and priesthood held by men
          of God in times of old, is here on the earth in this Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
          Then there is another difference between us and the rest of the
          people called Christian, who profess to believe in the Christian
          religion. This lesser priesthood holds the power to baptize for
          the remission of sins among other things, but it does not hold
          the power to confer the Holy Ghost upon the people. When John the
          Baptist baptized for the remission of sins he said, "There cometh
          after me one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not
          worthy to unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water but he
          shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost." And we read in the New
          Testament, in the Acts of the Apostles, that on a certain
          occasion when the apostles were passing through the upper coasts
          of Ephesus, they found certain disciples who had simply been
          baptized with the baptism of John, who did nothing but baptize
          for the remission of sins, he having no authority to lay his
          hands upon the people; they had not received the Holy Ghost. But
          the apostles had received that power and authority from Jesus
          Christ which He himself held, and they laid their hands upon
          these people, and they received the Holy ghost. Here is the
          difference, or one point of difference, between those two
          priesthoods. Now this priesthood has not remained upon the earth,
          hence the necessity of restoring it. The only person in
          Christendom who professes to have the keys of the apostolic
          priesthood is the Pope of Rome. What is the Pope of Rome? Is he
          an apostle? No; he does not profess to be an apostle. Then how
          came he to be the successor of Peter? Peter was an apostle. He
          held the keys that Christ gave to him. Christ ordained him. Does
          the Pope of Rome profess to have the keys of revelation? No, he
          does not profess to receive any new revelation. He, with others,
          sometimes meet in holy Convocation, as it is called; they meet in
          council, they enunciate certain dogmas, but he does not profess
          to receive any revelation from God. What was the great power of
          the ancient apostleship? The power to commune with the Highest.
          The form of the apostleship was nothing; the power was
          everything. That power departed from the earth. The people in
          ancient times were unworthy of it. They put out the lights of God
          which He had placed in the world, and left themselves in
          darkness. They cut short the apostles' lives, and the world was
          left in the gloom. They would not have the power and authority of
          that apostleship in their midst, and instead of the ancient
          Church of Christ with the power of God, with the ministration of
          angels, with the gifts and blessings we read about in the New
          Testament, we find arising a church of a different form, a church
          that has persecuted the Saints, a church that is stained with the
          blood of the innocent, a church that put people to death for
          their religious belief (which the Church of Christ never did),
          and yet that church, including all the various contending
          denominations and sects extant upon the earth, is called
          Now, our testimony to the world is that God has restored these
          two ancient priesthoods--that is, the power to administer in the
          name of the Lord by authority, and that the power of God
          accompanies that authority. Here are men who profess to have the
          right to administer the ordinance of baptism for the remission of
          sins, who profess to have the authority to lay hands upon the
          people for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now, an impostor might
          profess to have this power. Having read about it in the New
          Testament, and seeing that the ancient servants of God possessed
          such power, a man might profess to have authority to lay hands
          upon people for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost. But an impostor
          cannot really confer the Holy Ghost. That comes from God. No man
          can bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost upon any one; that is the
          gift of God. We read about a man who thought he could purchase
          this power. He offered the apostles money for it. But Peter said
          unto him, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought
          that the gift of God may be purchased with money."
          Now, here we have in Utah about 150,000 people. A great many of
          them came to these mountains under very adverse circumstances.
          They left their various homes in different parts of the world to
          gather out here with the Saints. Why? Because they knew that this
          was the work of God by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. How
          did they receive it? They received it by the laying on of hands
          of men who professed to have the authority to do so. Now, the
          fact that they received the gift of the Holy Ghost is a proof
          that the power of God accompanies the administration. The same
          fruits that were made manifest in days of old are made manifest
          to-day. We read in the New Testament that certain gifts existed
          in the ancient Church. The sick were healed and the lame made to
          walk. Some had the gift of tongues, others the interpretation of
          tongues, others the gift of prophecy, etc. What was the effect of
          the existence of these gifts? Union, concord, brotherly love, all
          seeing eye to eye. Now, inasmuch as we find the same gifts among
          the Latter-day Saints--although of different nationalities,
          formerly of different religions, brought up in different ways--it
          is evidence clear and plain that the power of God is in the midst
          of this people; that the Holy Ghost has been conferred upon them,
          and this is their united testimony. This is clear to me, but it
          may not be clear to everybody else. I do not believe it possible
          for others to see things as I do, unless they take the same
          course as I have done, and test the matter for themselves.
          If a man believes in God, and in his Son Jesus Christ, and in the
          Scriptures, he will manifest his faith by receiving the doctrines
          laid down and the commandments given; and if he will ask of God
          he will receive a testimony. I can make bold to promise this
          blessing to every man and woman in this house--and I do it in the
          name of the Lord Jesus Christ--if they will obey this Gospel
          which God has sent from heaven for the salvation of mankind. My
          friends, if you will turn away from your evil deeds, if you will
          turn unto the Lord God, obey the ordinances and ask for a
          testimony of the truth of this work; if you will do this in
          sincerity, I promise you in the name of the Lord you shall
          receive the testimony you seek. Is there any minister upon the
          face of the whole earth, amongst the so-called Christian sects,
          who can make you a similar promise? No. Why? Because they have
          not been called to this work. This is another point of difference
          between our religion and that of the world. Our elders go forth
          with boldness, because they are not sent by men. They are not
          called to preach for hire. They are called of God to bear the
          holy priesthood and carry forth this message of glad tidings
          wherever they may be sent. It is their duty to proclaim this
          Gospel to the uttermost bounds of the earth, and their testimony
          is similar to that I have borne here to-day, and our witnesses
          are the Latter-day Saints--gathered from the nations--who dwell
          in the valleys of the mountains.
          There are a great many other points of difference between us and
          the so-called Christian world, that I have not time to refer to.
          For instance, we believe in the doctrine of gathering to this
          land from all parts of the world. When we go out to preach this
          Gospel, we do not advise the people to stay and erect great
          churches in the countries where they receive the Gospel. We bear
          testimony to them that this is the time of God's judgments. We
          say, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her
          sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." We testify that
          the time is near at hand when great Babylon shall fall; when God
          shall smite terribly all the nations of the earth; when he will
          turn and overturn; when nation shall rise against nation and
          kingdom against kingdom; people against people and family against
          family; when there shall be wars and rumors of wars; plagues,
          famines and pestilence; such a time as has never been known upon
          the earth from the beginning even unto the present day. Therefore
          we call upon the elect of God to come out from the nations of the
          earth, and they come from the east and from the west, from the
          north and from the south, to this chosen land, to serve the Lord,
          to learn of his ways and to walk in his paths, and prepare
          themselves for the great events that are about to transpire on
          the earth.
          Another great point of difference is the building of Temples. The
          different Christian denominations build houses and call them St.
          Paul's church, St. Peter's church, St. Mark's church, etc. They
          build churches to these various saints, but they know nothing
          about building a house to the name of the Most High God,--a
          temple in which the Lord may come and place his feet; for this is
          the day spoken of by the prophets, when "the Lord, whom ye seek,
          shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the
          covenant whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the
          Lord of Hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming, and who
          shall stand when he appeareth, for he is like a refiner's fire,"
          etc. We call upon the people to come out and help build temples
          in which ordinances can be administered for the benefit of the
          living and the redemption of the dead. The redemption of the
          dead! Can the living do anything for the dead? When people pass
          away from the earth, is not their condition settled? When the
          tree falls, does it not lie there? Yes, it does, till it is
          moved. In connection with the Gospel we have received glad tiding
          of salvation which is preached to the living and to the dead. The
          Lord has revealed to us the glorious doctrine of redemption for
          the dead--a plan by which the living may aid the dead. Not by
          saying mass over the soul of the departed, but by attending to
          certain ordinances for them which belong to the Gospel. Are all
          the thousands and millions of people who have passed away without
          a knowledge of the Gospel to perish? No. There is no name under
          heaven but the name of Jesus whereby man shall be saved. Ask our
          Christian friends if the millions of heathens who have passed
          away from this world have ever heard the name of Jesus. If not,
          what is to become of them? Millions of people who dwell upon the
          earth even in so called Christian countries know nothing about
          the true Gospel. The so-called Christian churches lack this
          knowledge and light. By the confession of the episcopal Church in
          its homily of the perils of idolatry the whole of Christendom,
          "clergy and laity, men, women and children of all ages, sexes and
          degrees, have been at the time the homily was written, buried in
          the most abominable idolatry for the space of 800 years or more.
          According to the testimony of the Apostle in the Apocalypse, the
          whole world, Christian as well as heathen, has gone astray, all
          nations have become drunk with the wine of the wrath of the
          fornication of Babylon the great, the mother of harlots; and
          there has been no voice from heaven, no revelation from God, no
          communication with the eternal world for many centuries. Although
          a great many people have tried to do the best they could--and so
          far being accepted of God--yet they have not received the Gospel
          by which they can enter into the presence of the eternal father;
          they have not entered in at the straight and narrow gate which
          leadeth to lives eternal.
          By this Gospel which has been revealed to us, the servants of God
          who depart from this mortal sphere, take with them the authority
          and priesthood they hold, as Christ did, when he went to preach
          to the spirits in prison. So the servants of God, bearing the
          same priesthood, go and minister to the spirits behind the vail
          whether Christian, heathen or pagan. No matter what clime or race
          they belong to, all must hear the same Gospel and be judged by it
          on the great day of judgment. They have therefore an opportunity
          of repenting in the spirit, if they did not hear the Gospel in
          the flesh. The Spirit can believe, can be informed and instructed
          in the ways of God, but the Spirit beyond the vail cannot attend
          to ordinances pertaining to the flesh. To this end, therefore, we
          are building temples so that, when they are sanctified and
          accepted of God, the holy priesthood may administer both for the
          living and the dead. For this is the great dispensation of the
          fulness of times in which Christ will gather together in one, all
          things that are in him, both which are in heaven and which are on
          earth. This is the last dispensation of God's mercy to man. The
          work has been commenced and it will roll on until the Gospel has
          been preached to every nation, kindred, tongue and people, and
          the honest in heart have been gathered out from among the
          Gentiles. Then the Lord will send his servants unto the Jews and
          the House of Israel, and thus fully accomplish all he has spoken
          by the holy prophets. We will therefore work while we dwell in
          the flesh, and when we have finished the work we will pass behind
          the vail to sweet rest. Rest from our trials and sufferings, from
          our sorrows and tribulations, from our persecutions and
          misrepresentations, but not to cease from our labors of love, but
          to minister in the power, in the strength, in the might and
          majesty of the eternal priesthood among the hosts behind the
          vail, and those that dwell upon the earth will continue to build
          temples and minister therein, that the dead may be redeemed.
          I have not time to continue further on this subject. I have
          briefly pointed out some of the differences between us and the
          "Christian" world. And now I will bear my testimony to this
          congregation in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that this is
          not the work of man; that "Mormonism" is the work of the Great
          God, and no power can overturn it. And I testify further, that
          every nation and kingdom that shall rise against this work shall
          perish and be utterly wasted away. The Lord will have a reckoning
          with that nation, no matter where it is, for all the nations of
          the earth are in the hands of God, and every human government
          that will not serve him shall be brought low, until his kingdom
          spreads forth and is established upon the whole earth with Christ
          the Redeemer, as King, whose right it is to rule.
          May the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, rest in
          the hearts of the Saints, and also guide all people who desire
          the truth, in the way of life eternal, through Jesus Christ.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / Orson
          Pratt, November 1st, 1879
                           Orson Pratt, November 1st, 1879
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
            Delivered in the Tabernacle, Logan City, Saturday Afternoon,
                                 November 1st, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                             PRACTICE--THE UNITED ORDER.
          I will read a few passages from the Book of Jacob, one of the
          sacred compilations of the Book of Mormon.
          "And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with
          their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them
          and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard,
          in all things. And there began to be the natural fruit again in
          the vineyard; and the natural branches began to grow and thrive
          exceedingly; and the wild branches began to be plucked off, and
          to be cast away; and they did keep the root and the top thereof
          equal, according to the strength thereof. And thus they labored,
          with all diligence, according to the commandments of the Lord of
          the vineyard, even until the load had been cast away out of the
          vineyard, and the Lord preserved unto himself, that the trees had
          become again the natural fruit; and they became like unto one
          body; and the fruit were equal; and the Lord of the vineyard had
          preserved unto himself the natural fruit; which was most precious
          unto him from the beginning."
          These words occurred to me this forenoon, while Brother Snow was
          speaking upon the subject of the Order laid down in the Doctrine
          and Covenants. We have here a clear and plain prediction, in the
          form of a parable, that was recorded upon plates of gold, almost
          600 years before Christ, in relation to the great work in which
          we, as the servants of the Lord, and the Latter-day Saints, are
          engaged. Perhaps there may be some persons, numbered among this
          community, who may have a feeling something like this; "that we
          are not living according to the law that is given in the Doctrine
          and Covenants, in all respects." And they have drawn the
          conclusion, that perhaps the Lord would forsake us in consequence
          of our not carrying out the laws so clearly defined and explained
          in that record. These things were clearly set forth before the
          people, this forenoon, in regard to wherein we have not entered
          into all the fulness and perfection of that order of things. But
          the question is, can we do much better, under the present
          circumstances? This is a great question to be considered. And in
          the consideration of it, we have to enquire into a number of
          other things, such as can we lay aside the present order of
          things that is not consistent with the Doctrine and Covenants;
          and can we begin anew here in these valleys, and carry out the
          law of the Lord in all its perfection? I do not know but what
          there may be a bare possibility of our doing it; but whether the
          Lord requires this at our hands under the present circumstances
          is another thing. We are very imperfect, and yet we try to do
          right. We want to keep the commandments of the Lord; we desire to
          be members of his Church; we desire to have his Holy Spirit
          resting upon us, and we desire to be guided by it. We wish to
          know what the counsel of the servants of God is concerning us;
          and yet, hardly know which way to turn. We see a united order
          established in one place, according to one principle; we go to
          another part of the land, and we find an order established on a
          little different principle; and we hear of another, all differing
          somewhat. And so on until we visit nearly all the settlements of
          these mountains. And as was stated this forenoon, they differ as
          do the elders themselves in their views.
          Now what has the Lord said in this parable of the vineyard? "And
          they did keep the root and the top thereof equal." In what
          respect were they made equal? The next part of that same sentence
          declares that they were made equal "according to the strength
          thereof." Now there is a great deal expressed in those few words.
          They were not made equal all at once, as the inhabitants of a
          celestial world are, without any improvements being introduced;
          but they were to keep the root and the top of the great tree
          equal, according to the strength thereof; that is according to
          the condition and circumstances in which the people are placed.
          Now I consider, that notwithstanding all our deviations from the
          perfect law that God has given, notwithstanding the condition of
          things pointed out so clearly in the Doctrine and Covenants in
          regard to holding stewardships and inheritances, and giving an
          account of those stewardships and inheritances, according to the
          perfect order,--I consider we are doing pretty well, in a great
          many respects. We have progressed; we have made improvements; we
          are in a mere united condition than we were 45 years ago. Hence
          there has been an improvement among the Latter-day Saints; and
          this improvement has been for the better; it has been pointing
          all the time towards equality, though we have not succeeded,
          according to the perfect law. But we have succeeded according to
          the strength of the people,--according to the circumstances with
          which they are surrounded. We have succeeded in a great measure
          to instil into their minds the great principle of unity and
          oneness, not only in spiritual things, but in temporal things
          also. The day will come when this will be fulfilled to the very
          letter, in accordance with words which say, "they became like
          unto one body; and the fruit were equal." That is the destination
          of the Latter-day Saints in the future. The fruit is to be equal;
          the roots and the branches are all to be kept in their perfect
          order, and the whole tree kept in a thriving condition. Then we
          shall have learned the great principle of the celestial order,
          that must be carried out among the children of men. During that
          long period called the Millennium, this people will see the
          importance of attending to that perfect order when our strength
          shall warrant. At present we have no perfect example before us.
          Where has there been either in this Territory or in Arizona an
          instance where the perfect law of God has been carried out, as
          laid down in the Doctrine and Covenants? I know of no such
          instance. I know of a great many improvements upon the old
          condition of things which has existed among our fathers--the
          Gentile notion and idea of each one holding separate and
          individual interests, without being accountable to anyone. That
          is the old system. We have made many improvements, but we have
          not carried out in any one solitary instance in any settlement I
          am acquainted with, the order of things laid down in the
          revelations, contained in the Book of Covenants. 
          There has been a great deal said, at different times upon the
          subject of families being united as one,--eating at the same
          table, for instance, and having one large field, where their
          farming operations might be carried on, all who are farmers going
          forth into the same field to labor; and the same principle
          carried out in regard to other branches, all taking hold
          unitedly, having the common interest at heart. Is there anything
          in the revelations given in these Latter-days requiring this
          order of things, or is it something we ourselves have considered
          as being a little ahead of what our fathers have been practising?
          I do not know anything laid down in the revelations, requiring us
          to take this particular method. Yet, is it right? Yes. Why it is
          right according to the circumstances with which they are
          surrounded; it points forward to unity and tends to instruct us
          in the preliminary ideas of being united together. And hence,
          those that can enter into this order, who are willing to unite in
          this way, are doing well and will be blessed for it. But let no
          person set any stakes, in regard to this matter, that because he
          may have entered into a special order, introduced in one
          settlement, that all others are wrong, because they do not do
          likewise; they should not find fault with their brethren, neither
          be discouraged in well-doing.
          There are a great many different ideas among the Latter-day
          Saints, in relation to these matters. But then, we have a
          standard given in the Book of Covenants, by which we should be
          governed. By and bye, I expect we will be in different
          circumstances, in which stewardships or inheritances can be
          issued for all families of the Saints, some in one kind or branch
          of business, and some in another; and the full law of
          consecration will take place.
          I am, and I presume a great many others who are acquainted with
          the revelations of God, as contained in the Doctrine and
          Covenants, are looking for the period of time to come, in the
          history of the Latter-day Saints, when we as a people shall
          possess a very different country from the one we are now
          inhabiting. We do not expect to go to the Sandwich Islands,
          neither to the Society Islands, neither to any of the islands of
          the oceans, nor into South America, nor Central America, to carry
          out the order of things which we expect to enter into in all its
          fulness. But we expect, just as much as we expect the sun will
          shine, when it arises on a clear morning, that the Lord will by
          and buy, take us back to the land referred to by Brother Snow,
          this forenoon. We do not expect that when that time shall come,
          that all Latter-day Saints, who now occupy the mountain Valleys,
          will go in one consolidated body, leaving this land totally
          without inhabitants. We do not expect any such thing. But we do
          expect, that there will be a period in the future history of the
          Church when many hundreds of this people--our youth, for
          instance, who will grow up in those days, when they will be
          consolidated as a body, and will go to the eastern portions of
          the state of Kansas, and also to the western portions of the
          state of Missouri to settle. And when that time shall come, if it
          be needful to carry out the commandments which Brother Snow read
          this morning, referring to the purchase of lands, we will have
          property and means sufficient to accomplish this work. It was
          necessary some 47 years ago to purchase lands, and also for
          several years afterwards. But we did not do it then. It may be
          necessary for us in times to come, and probably will be necessary
          for us to purchase that whole region of country. Why so? Because
          if there be prior occupants to it, should we not be willing to
          give them an equivalent, such as will satisfy them, for its
          possession, including the improvements attached thereto?
          Certainly. Consequently it may be necessary for us to carry out
          the fulness of all these revelations, notwithstanding all the
          abuses and persecutions that have been heaped upon the Latter-day
          Saints. But whether this be the case or not there is one thing
          certain--something that you and I may depend upon, with as much
          certainty as we expect to get our daily food, and that is, that
          the Lord our God will take this people back, and will select from
          among this people, a sufficient number, to make the army of
          Israel very great. And when that day comes, he will guide the
          forces of those who emigrate to their possessions in those two
          states, that I have mentioned. And the land thus purchased will
          be no doubt, as far as possible, located in one district of
          country, which will be settled very differently from the way we
          now settle up these mountain regions. You may ask, in what
          respect we shall differ in settling up those countries when we go
          there to fulfil the commandments of the Lord? I will tell you. No
          man in those localities will be permitted to receive a
          stewardship on those lands, unless he is willing to consecrate
          all his properties to the Lord. That will be among the first
          teachings given. When this shall be done, the people will be, as
          the parable says, like unto one body--all equally poor, or all
          equally rich; in other words, they will be persons that can claim
          no property as their own, everything being consecrated. And the
          land being purchased, will be held on a different principle, from
          what it is now. To-day fifty thousand dollars worth of real
          estate property is the most that can be held by a religious
          organization; but in that day the whole of our properties,
          amounting a very much larger sum, will be held in trust. For
          whom? For the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Saints, and for
          all this great company that will be gathered together. And there
          will be such a change in governmental affairs, that the trustee,
          whoever he may be, will only act as such as long as he is
          faithful; and if he becomes unfaithful it will be transferred to
          another. Neither in case of death will the heirs of such trustee
          have any claim whatever on the property; the power regulating
          such matters will then be vested in the proper authority who will
          mete out even justice to all parties.
          These persons, therefore, will be in the same condition that all
          the rest of the people are in. The properties they hold will not
          be their own, although it may be called so, as far as that is
          concerned. And when it shall be ascertained that an individual
          has consecrated everything he has, inquiries will be made as to
          the size of his family, and land will be apportioned to him
          accordingly--not to deed him the property, according to the
          Gentile practice; but rather that the extent of his stewardship
          may be determined. When this is done, he takes his stewardship,
          each man having his own table, without being necessitated at all
          to eat at his neighbor's. People will build their own houses,
          etc., when needful, provided they are able to do so, if not, what
          assistance they require will be rendered them. And then they and
          all the others will be required to keep an account of their
          proceedings and present the same to the bishops at the end of the
          year, or as often as may be required. These bishops, if they do
          their duty, will scan these things: "Brother, you have been
          unwise in such and such things, but in other particulars you have
          done well." In this way each man will give an account of his
          stewardship, as the revelation says, both in time and eternity.
          And he that proves himself a faithful and wise steward in time,
          will be counted worthy to receive not only a stewardship but an
          inheritance in eternity. What is the object of the stewardship?
          Is it not to prepare us for that still higher order of things
          that shall exist when we shall receive an inheritance? And when
          that time comes, and we shall still be found faithful to our
          trust, the Lord will be pleased to say, "I can trust that man, he
          has proved himself in the days of his probation: he is a wise
          man; he has done right in all things with which he has been
          entrusted. Now let him have not merely a stewardship, but let it
          be given to him as an everlasting possession, for him and his
          seed after him for ever and ever, both for time and eternity."
          You may perhaps ask when this time will come? for the Saints to
          receive bona fide inheritances. The time will come for the Saints
          to receive their stewardships, when they shall return to the
          lands from whence they have been driven; but the inheritances
          will not be given, until the Lord shall first appoint to the
          righteous dead their inheritances, and afterwards the righteous
          living will receive theirs. This you will find recorded in the
          Doctrine and Covenants; and in the same Book it is predicted that
          there is to be one "mighty and strong," as well as to be an
          immortal personage,--one that is clothed upon with light as with
          a garment:--one whose bowels are a fountain of truth. His mission
          will be to divide, by lot, to the Saints their inheritances,
          according to their faithfulness in their stewardships. This too
          agrees with another revelation, given on the 27th Dec. 1832,
          which says, in great plainness, that when the Saints are
          resurrected and caught up into heaven, and the living Saints are
          also caught up, and that when the seventh angel shall have
          sounded his trump, then the Saints shall receive their
          inheritances. The time then is there specified, concerning the
          period that the Lord has in his own mind, when inheritances shall
          be given. Finally after the Saints have been resurrected and
          caught up, in connection with all the then living Saints, into
          heaven; and after the seventh angel sounds his trump, the earth
          will be given to the Saints of the Most High for an inheritance
          to be divided out to them. This land, about which I have been
          speaking, is called in some places in the revelations of God to
          the Prophet Joseph, the land of our inheritance; and in other
          places it is referred to in the form of stewardships. In one
          sense it may be considered our inheritance, because the Lord
          designs, in his own wisdom, that the Latter-day Saints shall
          possess that land as such, and their dead with them. And having
          decreed this, even before we ever saw it, he will fulfil it. I
          will refer you to a part of the revelation given on the 2nd Jan.,
          1831, at the house of Father Whitmer: "And I hold forth and deign
          to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise, a land
          flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse
          when the Lord cometh: And I will give it unto you for the land of
          your inheritance,"--not only stewardship, but inheritance; "And
          this shall be my covenant with you," says the Lord further, "ye
          shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the
          inheritance of your children, forever, while the earth shall
          stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity, no more to pass
          away." In this sense it is called the land of our inheritance.
          But when we come to speak definitely, we will have to be proven
          as stewards first. If we shall be unwise in the disposition of
          this trust, then it will be very doubtful, whether we get an
          inheritance in this world or in the world to come.
          What is it then we look for? We expect--I was about to quote from
          the prediction of Isaiah regardless of consequences; I trust,
          however, there is no one present who will look upon that great
          and good man of God as a traitor against the government of the
          United States--that, "A little one shall become a thousand, and a
          small one a strong nation." I expect that this people, if they do
          not become a "strong nation" in one sense of the word, they will
          be a great and strong and powerful people upon the face of this
          land. This is one of the things your humble servant is looking
          for. And I expect that when we go from these mountains, by
          hundreds of thousands, down to that land to purchase it and to
          occupy it, that we will take with us a great deal of gold and
          silver--for the Lord will in those days make his people very
          rich, in fulfilment of another promise made in the same
          revelation, in which he says, that we shall become the richest of
          all people. If this is to be the case, the Lord will probably
          fulfill that prediction by Isaiah, contained in the 60th chapter
          of his book--"for brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will
          bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stone iron;" and he
          will bestow upon his people riches that they will not know what
          to do with them, unless directed by the counsels of the servants
          of the living God. With this we will purchase the land, and go
          down and inherit it, as a strong and powerful people, receiving
          our stewardships. And we will not spread forth in that land three
          or four miles apart, and think we are crowded when people come
          and settle within a mile of us; but we will settle in such a
          manner as to make a very dense population. It is a country that
          is susceptible, almost every foot of it, to agricultural
          purposes; and we can settle with a very large population upon
          every square mile of country. And we will extend our borders
          around about the great central city, not stake, of Zion. You have
          heard of the centre-stake of Zion, but did you ever read in the
          revelations of God that the place where the New Jerusalem is to
          be built is called a stake? There are other places, called Stakes
          of Zion, but they will be round about the city. And we will be
          multiplied by hundreds and thousands; and we will build,
          throughout the region of country, our meeting houses, our school
          houses, our academies and universities; and we will see to it,
          that all of our children have equal advantages, as far a
          possible, of becoming acquainted with all necessary and useful
          learning. Not as it is now: some obtain great learning; while
          others are obliged from their childhood, from the time they are
          six or eight years of age, to work to that extent that they
          cannot devote any time to acquire an education. This order of
          things will be remedied; and the youth of God's people will have
          equal opportunities, to develop themselves; not that they will
          all gain the same ideas exactly; not that they will all advance
          in the same direction in education, and to the same extent. One
          perhaps may follow a certain branch, calculated to prepare him to
          act in a certain position in his future life; while another may
          adopt an entirely different course of study, by which he could be
          of benefit to Zion. But there will be equal privileges and
          blessings bestowed upon the Latter-day Saints.
          Now about thee stewards. They have to be accountable; and if they
          gain anything in their stewardships over and above that which may
          be necessary to conduct the business of stewardships, and also to
          support themselves, if there be a surplus of means, what will be
          said? Will it be said by bishops, "Here, brother you must give up
          all this surplus to the storehouse of the Lord?" It might be said
          to one to unite him to the stewardship, without having any
          greater means to extend his operations, for the time being; and
          again, it might be deemed wisdom to assist another to the amount
          of five, ten, twenty thousand dollars or so, by way of extending
          his branch of business, because in doing so it would be the means
          of not only benefitting himself and family but the people of Zion
          The revelation says: "They shall give into the store-house all
          that is not needed for the support of the needy families." In
          this way the Lord's storehouse will be full and in great
          abundance; and these means will be used for public purposes, and
          also by way of providing farming implements, books, etc., for the
          remnants of Joseph who will come into the covenant in those days,
          that they may also have their stewardships in the midst of the
          people of God. There will be a portion of the avails of these
          stewardships, that will be consecrated to the Lord's storehouse,
          and which will be used for the building of Temples, and for
          beautifying public places in the city of the New Jerusalem, and
          making that a city of perfection as near as we possibly can.
          Now, there will be this difference between that city and the
          cities and Temples which are being built. The cities and temples
          which we are now engaged in building, we expect to decay; we
          expect the rock and the various building materials will in time
          waste away, according to natural laws. But when we build that
          great central city, the New Jerusalem, there will be no such
          thing as the word decay associated with it; it will not decay any
          more than the pot of manna which was gathered by the children of
          Israel and put into a sacred place in the ark of the covenant. It
          was preserved from year to year by the power of God; so will he
          preserve the city of the New Jerusalem, the dwelling houses, the
          tabernacles, the Temples, etc., from the effects of storms and
          time. It is intended that it will be taken up to heaven, when the
          earth passes away. It is intended to be one of those choice and
          holy places, where the Lord will dwell, when he shall visit from
          time to time, in the midst of the great latter-day Zion, after it
          shall be connected with the city of Enoch. That then is the
          The Lord our God will command his servants to build that Temple,
          in the most perfect order, differing very much from the Temples
          that are now being built. You are engaged in building Temples
          after a certain order, approximating only to a celestial order;
          you are doing this in Salt Lake City. One already has been
          erected in St. George, after a pattern in part, of a celestial
          order. But by and bye, when we build a Temple that is never to be
          destroyed, it will be constructed, after the most perfect order
          of the celestial worlds. And when God shall take it up into
          heaven it will be found to be just as perfect as the cities of
          more ancient, celestial worlds which have been made pure and holy
          and immortal. So it will be with other Temples. And we, in order
          to build a Temple, after a celestial order in the fulness of
          perfection, will need revelators and prophets in our midst, who
          will receive the word of the Lord; who will have the whole
          pattern thereof given by revelation, just as much as everything
          was given by revelation pertaining to the tabernacle erected in
          the wilderness by Moses. Indeed, before we can go back to inherit
          this land in all its fulness of perfection, God has promised that
          he would raise up a man like unto Moses. Who this man will be I
          do not know; it may be a person with whom we are entirely
          unacquainted; it may be one of our infant children; it may be
          some person not yet born; it may be some one of middle age. But
          suffice it to say, that God will raise up such a man, and he will
          show forth his power through him, and through the people that he
          will lead forth to inherit that country, as he did through our
          fathers in the wilderness. Did he then display his power by
          dividing the waters? Yes. Did the mountains and land shake under
          his power? Yes. Did he speak to the people by his own voice? Yes.
          Did he converse with Moses face to face? Yes. Did he show him his
          glory? Yes. Did he unfold to him in one moment more than all our
          schools and academies, and universities could give us in ten
          thousand years? Yes. God will assuredly raise up a man like unto
          Moses, and redeem his people, with an outstretched arm, as their
          fathers were redeemed, at the first, going before them with his
          own presence, and will also surround them by his angels. I
          expect, when that time comes, that man will understand all the
          particulars in regard to the Temple to be built in Jackson
          County. Indeed, we have already a part of the plan revealed, and
          also the plat explaining how the city of Zion is to be laid off,
          which may be found commencing on page 438, Volume 14 of the
          MILLENNIAL STAR. From what has been revealed of this Temple to be
          erected we can readily perceive that it will differ from anything
          that we have had. It will differ in regard to the number of
          rooms; it will differ very much in its outward and also its
          inward form; and it will differ in regard to the duties to be
          performed in each of its rooms to be occupied by the respective
          departments of priesthood. This house will be reared, then
          according to a certain plan, which God is to make known to his
          servant whom he will, in his own due time, raise up. And he will
          have to give more revelation on other things equally as
          important, for we shall need instructions how to build up Zion;
          how to establish the centre city; how to lay off the streets; the
          kind of ornamental trees to adorn the sidewalks, as well as
          everything else by way of beautifying it, and making it a city of
          perfection, as David prophetically calls it.
          And then God will come and visit it; it will be a place where he
          will have his throne, where he will sit occasionally as King of
          Kings and Lord of Lords, and reign over his people who will
          occupy this great western continent; the same as he will have his
          throne at Jerusalem. "Beautiful for situation the joy of the
          whole earth is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of
          the great King."
          And again he says:
          "Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined."
          Does the Psalmist mean that God will shine literally out of Zion?
          Yes, shine with light that will be seen by the righteous and the
          wicked also.
          For fear of taking up too much of the time, I will bring my
          remarks to a close. I will say, however, I desire greatly that
          the Lord will bless the Latter-day Saints, and bless his servants
          that some, at least, may have the pleasure of entering into all
          the perfection of this glory, here in this temporal life; while
          the more aged, the grayhaired and gray bearded like myself, will
          perhaps pass away, if the Lord requires it. And that our sons may
          rise up after us, being filled with the power and Spirit of God,
          to carry out his great and righteous purposes, even to
          I pray God to bless the inhabitants of Logan and those of the
          towns round about in this valley, and throughout all our mountain
          regions; and that his peculiar blessings and favor may continue
          to attend us while we sojourn in these mountains, and go with us
          when Zion shall be redeemed in all its fulness. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Taylor, December 7th, 1879
                           John Taylor, December 7th, 1879
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
              Delivered in the 14th Ward Meeting House, Sunday Evening,
                                 December 7th, 1879.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          We meet together from time to time to speak, to hear, to reflect,
          to converse, and to exchange views in regard to the worship of
          Almighty God. There is something associated with these matters
          that has generally attracted the attention of the human family in
          all ages, among all peoples, and under almost all circumstances.
          There is and always has been a feeling of reverence existing
          among the human family for a Divine Being of some kind and of
          some form, even amongst the most low and debased people of the
          earth. The position that we occupy in the world, our ideas of the
          mutability of affairs of time and sense, the continuous departure
          of one after another from this stage of existence to another,
          leads us, as well as other portions of the human family
          generally, more or less to reflect upon those things pertaining
          to the future. Various ideas and theories have existed amongst
          different peoples. Some have worshipped a great variety of Gods
          of their own making, while others have followed the notions and
          theories of men in regard to certain doctrines formulas theories
          and ideas that have been promulgated among what would be termed
          the wise, the prudent, and the intelligent of the earth. But in
          relation to religious matters there is no one can have any true
          or correct conception of a hereafter unless it has been revealed
          by the Almighty, who alone is able to comprehend the end from the
          beginning and is acquainted with the position and destinies of
          men and of the world.
          We have had revealed to us from time to time, as manifested in
          the Scriptures, developed therein, many ideas pertaining to God
          and to futurity; but any intelligence in regard to these matters
          was generally obtained directly from the Lord, or through the
          ministering of angels, or by the Spirit of prophecy and
          revelation given to them by the Almighty. And it is emphatically
          stated in the scriptures that "the things of God knoweth no man
          but by the Spirit of God," and hence when men assume to
          comprehend principles pertaining to futurity, predicated upon the
          learning, the wisdom, the intelligence or the science of the
          world, they are always very much at fault. Who can comprehend the
          Almighty or understand his designs? As one of old said, "It is
          high as heaven." What can'st thou know? "Deeper than hell." Who
          can penetrate its mysteries? What really do we know? To commence
          with, who can understand the designs of God in relation to the
          organization of this world, or in relation to the position of man
          and his destiny? His past operations, his present dealings with
          the nations and his designs in the future, to the uninspired, are
          all a profound enigma. Who knows anything about it? We find all
          kinds of theories, notions and opinions in existence at the
          present day, but what do they amount to? What would my
          unsupported opinion be worth, or what would anybody's opinion be
          in relation to these matters? It would amount to nothing. In
          regard to other principles, of a more material nature that we are
          intimately associated with, there are certain facts that
          scientists and men of intelligence always wish to be
          demonstrated, and unless they are, they pay very little attention
          to any unsupported hypothesis. If this be true in regard to the
          known sciences, how much more particular should we be in regard
          to more important matters. Theories, hypotheses, notions, dogmas
          and opinions amount to very little when associated with the great
          and eternal principles connected with the welfare of mankind, and
          the salvation of a world. And hence we need something higher,
          something of more intelligence than anything that man possesses
          to give unto us information pertaining to these matters.
          When God created the world and placed man upon it he had certain
          ideas and designs that were fixed, immutable, and eternal, they
          were based or predicated, in the most consummate wisdom; the most
          profound intelligence; the wisdom and intelligence, if you
          please, that dwells with the Gods. The organization of the
          heavens and the earth, the creation of the world as we understand
          it, and also the creation of man and best, fowl, fish and insect,
          and everything that exists upon the face of this earth. There was
          an object and design in relation to all these matters. We could
          know nothing about that, however, unless it had been revealed
          unto us, unless it had been communicated by the being who knows
          the end from the beginning, and who comprehends all things
          pertaining to the present condition as well as the past and the
          future destiny of the human family and of the world.
          Certain men in different ages have told us, so it is recorded
          here in the Bible, about certain communications which they had
          from the Almighty. They seemed to have a mode and manner of
          approaching him, and he in the various dispensations made choice
          of and selected individuals through whom and to whom he
          communicated his will to the human family. There is something
          very remarkable in regard to these things. There are many
          remarkable things in the old antediluvian history of the world,
          that we have only very imperfectly related to us in the Bible. We
          read, for instance, of a man by the name of Enoch--we are told in
          the Bible that "Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God
          took him." That is about all that is said about him except that
          he was a man that feared God. But Enoch, when we come to know
          more of his history from the revelations that have been given, we
          find, was a man that had communication with God from time to
          time. The Bible says he walked with God and was not, for God took
          him, but in other revelations which we have received, we have an
          account of the kind of ministry that he had, the labors that he
          performed the preaching that he did, the manifestation of the
          power of God on his behalf, and finally of his gathering together
          a large number of people. That he built a city; that in that city
          they were under the guidance, direction and control of the
          Almighty; and that he and his city and people, or many of them,
          were translated, and hence as the Bible says, "he was not for God
          took him," and he also took the people that were with him, those
          that feared him and worked righteousness.
          There are other events associated with these matters which are
          very interesting when we come to examine them. The people had
          corrupted themselves very much, departed from the law of God,
          violated his ordinances, and committed all kinds of iniquity, so
          that, as the Bible tells us, all the thoughts of their hearts
          were only evil and that continually, and it repented the Lord
          that he had made man because of the wickedness and corruption
          that then existed. We have a very short account of this in the
          Scriptures, but through other means that have been communicated
          to us we have received a further knowledge of these matters; for
          other men that embraced the Gospel in former ages became
          preachers of righteousness as well as Enoch. They had the Spirit
          of the Gospel as Moses had it, as Jesus had it, and as we have
          it. They held communion with God an were under the inspiration of
          the Almighty, in their administration, and when they came
          together--those that feared God and worked righteousness--they
          had visions and revelations and prophesied of events that should
          transpire. There were many prophets in those days and they
          prophesied of a prison house that God had prepared, told the
          people of the destruction that was coming upon the earth: that
          they should be swept off the face of the earth by the waters of
          the flood and that none should be spared except a few to
          perpetuate the name and fame of the Almighty and again propagate
          their species. This is a thing that has seemed very singular to
          some men who do not comprehend the designs of God, and they
          suppose that there was a degree of cruelty attached to the
          Almighty in sweeping off the people of the land, with the
          exception of a very few. They assume to say there was a degree of
          injustice, cruelty and tyranny associated with it. However, that
          is for want of an understanding of correct principle, and the
          designs of the Almighty, and many conclusions that people arrive
          at, predicated upon the same ground--arise from a lack of
          understanding the principle that they talk about.
          There are some principles connected with these things which put
          matters in a very different light. When we understand the nature
          of man, when we consider that he is a dual being, that he is
          possessed of a body and spirit, that he is associated with time
          and with eternity, that according to the Scriptures the spirits
          of all men were created before this world was made, and that God
          is the God and Father of the spirits of all flesh; and being God
          and Father of the spirits of all flesh, it was his right and his
          prerogative to dictate what should be done for the benefit of
          those spirits and his children that he had created here upon the
          earth. It was not a matter of theory, according to the opinion of
          men, but an immutable plan, according to the eternal wisdom of
          God as it existed in his bosom before the world was, or "before
          the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted
          for joy." These spirits, that he was the father of, had their
          rights and privileges and immunities; and as he had created man
          upon the earth or prepared a tabernacle, or a body, if you
          please, for these spirits to inhabit, it became his interest, as
          the Father of the human family, to look after their welfare. They
          had been led aside by the influence of Satan and had corrupted
          themselves and departed from correct principles, and violated the
          law of God, and became degraded and sunken in iniquity and
          infamy. Now, suppose we take ourselves back into the presence of
          our Father, and looking down upon these degraded wretches that
          inhabited the earth at that time, would we not turn to our Father
          as a just God and say, "Father, do you see the corruption, the
          degradation, the infamy and the evil that exists and permeates
          the world of mankind?" "Yes, yes, of course I see it." "Is it
          just that our spirits should be condemned to go and inhabit the
          bodies of these men, or of their seed, that are so fallen, so
          degraded and so corrupt, and whose actions and operations are so
          at variance with thee and thy laws? Is it just and equitable that
          we should go and be mixed up with these infamies and be led
          astray like them into the paths of vice and suffer for things
          that we have not done and could not help ourselves in: is it
          just? "Why, no it is not, and I will cut them off; and as they
          possess the power of propagating their species upon the earth, I
          will stop that power by a flood and raise upon other people, that
          justice may be done you, my sons and daughters, and that the
          judge of all the earth may do right." When we look at things in
          that point of view, it places them in another position from what
          they would appear otherwise, and justifies the ways of God with
          Now, when this event took place, people were cast into the pit,
          into the prisons, as it had before been said that they should be.
          Well, what about that? Trace things forward to the time that
          Jesus appears upon the earth, and we see something then
          pertaining to these very individuals, in the acts of the
          Almighty, as they transpired at that time. When Jesus
          accomplished his work, when he had fulfilled the mission that he
          had to do here upon the earth, and when he was put to death in
          the flesh and quickened by the Spirit, he went and preached to
          the spirits in prison" that some time were disobedient when once
          the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah;" and
          although they had suffered the wrath of Almighty God, he who had
          come to proclaim deliverance to the captive, to open the prison
          doors to those that were bound, to release them and to proclaim
          the acceptable time of the Lord, he went to them as their Savior,
          in common with others, and preached the Gospel unto them. Hence
          we find the acts of God justified in relation to these matters,
          and while he had power to destroy, while he had power to send
          them to prison, he also had power to conceive a plan for their
          deliverance therefrom, when the time should come that they should
          be delivered after they had suffered sufficiently for the crimes,
          evils and iniquities that they had committed upon the earth.
          There are many singular things associated with these matters that
          men do not really comprehend. We come again to another prominent
          character, that is Abraham, a very remarkable man in his day and
          age; although at the present time men look upon him as a kind of
          an old shepherd, a man that attended flocks and herds and sheep,
          a sort of herdsman and a shepherd; and there was very little of
          him anyhow except that he lived in his day almost as a barbarian.
          That is the opinion that many men have formed of him--that he was
          something like our backwoodsmen, some of our farmers who have not
          mixed upon with the elite of society, or made themselves familiar
          with the intelligence that pervades the world. I look upon him as
          another character entirely, and from information that we can
          gather from revelations that have been referred to, we find that
          there was something very peculiar about him. We read his history
          and we find that he was a man that sought after righteousness,
          that he desired to obtain more righteousness, that he examined
          the records of his fathers, that he found in examining the
          records, tracing them back through the flood, clear away back
          unto Adam's day, he found many circumstances that were connected
          with mankind, not only to Adam's day, but before the world was.
          In doing this, among other things, he found he had a right to the
          priesthood. I need not stop to tell you what that is, you
          Latter-day Saints. You understand it is the rule and government
          of God, whether in the heavens or on the earth, and when we talk
          of the kingdom of God we talk of something that pertains to rule,
          government, authority and dominion; and that priesthood is the
          ruling principle that exits in the heavens or on the earth,
          associated with the affairs of God. Hence, we are told in the
          scriptures that Christ was a priest forever after the order of
          Melchizedek. Then of what order was Melchizedek? A priest for
          ever after the order of the Son of God, for if Christ was after
          the order of Melchizedek, Melchizedek must have been after the
          order of Christ, as a necessary consequence. Very well. Now,
          then, in relation to that priesthood it was something that
          ministered in time and through eternity; it was a principle that
          held the keys of the mysteries of the revelations of God, and was
          intimately associated with the Gospel, and the Gospel, wherever
          it existed, was in possession of this priesthood; and it could
          not exist without it. It always "brought life and immortality to
          light." The notions and opinions and religions of man generally
          are altogether devoid of a principle of that kind, they know
          nothing about it. Whenever men are placed in communication with
          God and are in possession of the Gospel of the Son of God, it
          brings life and immortality to light, and places them in
          relationship with God that other men know nothing about.
          They were spoken of in former times as the "sons of God." "Now
          are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet 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." It was this priesthood that would
          be the means of introducing him into the presence of God that
          Abraham found that he was a rightful inheritor of, according to
          his lineage and descent, and he applied for an ordination, which
          he received, according to the revelation given unto us, and with
          that ordination the powers, the blessings, the light,
          intelligence and revelation associated with the Gospel of the Son
          of God. And what then? The next that we read of is that he had
          the Urim and Thummim, and thus he sought unto God for himself,
          and while searching unto him, God revealed himself unto Abraham
          and said: "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that
          curseth thee, and in thee shall all families of the earth be
          blessed." There is something very remarkable about this when we
          reflect upon it, and when we examine the position that he
          occupied, and that his seed occupied, we can see the fulfillment
          of these things. Afterwards, the Lord revealed himself to him
          from time to time, communicated his will to him, and he was made
          acquainted with the designs of the Almighty. The Lord showed unto
          him the order of the creation of his earth on which we stand, and
          revealed unto him some of the greatest and most sublime truths
          that ever were made known to man. He got these through revelation
          from God and through the medium of the Gospel of the Son of God.
          Well, let us look a little at the fulfillment of some of these
          things. "I will bless them that bless thee; and in thee shall all
          families of the earth be blessed." We read sometime afterwards of
          Isaac and Jacob. Jacob had communication with God. The Lord
          appeared unto him from time to time, and revealed his purposes
          and designs unto him. Abraham prophesied that the children of
          Israel should be in bondage in Egypt for 400 years, that after
          that time they should be delivered; and Moses was raised up as a
          deliverer and he conversed with God. He saw a bush that burned
          with fire, and the bush was not consumed. He afterwards conversed
          with the Lord upon mount Sinai, and received tables of stone
          written upon by the finger of God, which were the commandments of
          the Lord to the children of Israel. And who was Moses? A
          descendant of Abraham.
          We also read of prophets who, by the spirit of inspiration, could
          draw aside the dark vail of futurity and penetrate into the
          invisible world, and contemplate the purposes of God as they
          should roll forth in after ages in all their majesty and power
          and glory. And who were they? They were the seed of Abraham. We
          read that Jesus, also, who was the Son of God, was born of the
          seed of Abraham according to the flesh. Who were His apostles?
          The seed of Abraham. Then there were Nephi, Lehi, Ishmael and
          others who came from the land of Jerusalem to this continent
          according to the Book of Mormon. Who were they? The seed of
          Abraham. There were also the Twelve Apostles called and set apart
          upon this continent, who went forth by the power and Spirit of
          God, aided by intelligence and revelation such as they never had
          on the other continent. Who were they? The seed of Abraham. "In
          thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed;"--not
          cursed; that was not what the priesthood of God was introduced
          for, but to spread light, truth, and intelligence, to unfold unto
          mankind the ways, purposes and designs of God, to make man
          acquainted with his origin, his position in life and his future
          destiny; and to make him acquainted, as an eternal, intelligent
          being, with things past, with things present, and with things to
          come. This is what Jesus taught them on the continent of America.
          "It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away the
          comforter will not come unto you;" which is the Spirit of God.
          And what shall it do? It shall bring things past to your
          remembrance. You shall be made acquainted with the actions of the
          ancient principles and of God in ages that have preceded you. It
          shall lead unto all truth. You shall comprehend all matters that
          are necessary for you to know by the light, intelligence, and
          revelation which flows from God. And what else shall it do? It
          shall show you of things to come. It shall draw aside the vail of
          the invisible world. It shall make you acquainted with the things
          pertaining to eternity, and you will be enabled to square your
          lives according to the eternal principles of intelligence as it
          dwells in the bosom of God, and as the Holy Ghost will make known
          and reveal unto you. It is this priceless treasure that is spoken
          of that we possess in earthen vessels "that ye are came," says
          Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews, "unto Mount Zion, and unto
          the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the
          enumerable company of angels. To the general assembly of the
          first born which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of
          all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. And to Jesus
          the mediator of the new covenant and to the blood of sprinkling,
          that speaketh better things than that of Abel." This is what the
          Gospel does for you, it brings life and immortality to light.
          These are some of the leading, prominent principles as they have
          existed heretofore, along with thousands of others that we have
          not time to mention or touch upon this evening.
          Now, we will come to other events, of later date; events with
          which we are associated--I refer now to the time that Joseph
          Smith came among men. What was his position? and how was he
          situated? I can tell you what he told me about it. He said that
          he was very ignorant of the ways, designs and purposes of God,
          and knew nothing about them; he was a youth unacquainted with
          religious matters or the systems and theories of the day. He went
          to the Lord, having read James' statement, that "If any of you
          lack wisdom let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally
          and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." He believed that
          statement and went to the Lord and asked him, and the Lord
          revealed himself to him together with his Son Jesus, and,
          pointing to the latter, said: "This is my beloved Son, hear him"
          He then asked in regard to the various religions with which he
          was surrounded. He enquired which of them was right for he wanted
          to know the right way and to walk in it. He was told that none of
          them was right, that they had all departed from the right way
          that they had forsaken God the fountain of living waters, and
          hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that could hold no
          water. Afterwards the Angel Moroni came to him and revealed to
          him the Book of Mormon, with the history of which you are
          generally familiar, and also with the statements that I am now
          making pertaining to these things. And then came Nephi, one of
          the ancient prophets, that had lived upon this continent, who had
          an interest in the welfare of the people that he had lived
          amongst in those days.
          But how is it in relation to these people and in regard to some
          of these matters? Why and how should these men that have lived
          here upon the earth have anything to do with the people that now
          live upon it? You Latter-day Saints ought to be acquainted with
          these matters and I suppose you are; but I will show one or two
          principles here in case, peradventure, there may be those present
          who have not thought or reflected properly upon the subject. The
          Melchizedek Priesthood, we are told by Paul, is without beginning
          of days or end of years. He speaks of Melchizedek as a man
          "without father, without mother, without descent." Now, he would
          be a very singular man, according to our idea of things, without
          father or mother, without beginning of days or end of years, but
          it was the priesthood of which he spake in contradistinction to
          the priesthood of Aaron. He was then among the Jews. The Jews
          believed in the Aaronic priesthood; but they knew very little or
          nothing about the Melchizedek priesthood, and a man to be a
          priest of Aaron must be a literal descendant of Aaron, and of the
          tribe of Levi, and he must be able to prove his lineage from the
          records. But in contra-distinction to this priesthood there was
          the priesthood of Melchizedek, hence we come to account for some
          of these things of which I have been speaking. And now I will go
          a little further in regard to this matter. I find, for instance,
          a man by the name of Moses who lived at a certain time to whom I
          have referred. I find another man by the name of Elijah, who was
          a great prophet and who had great power with God, among other
          things in controlling the elements, in shutting up the heavens
          and in again opening them by his prayer of faith under certain
          circumstances, which it is not necessary for us now to enter
          into. We find that when Jesus was here upon the earth he ascended
          a mount with his disciples, Peter, James and John, and there
          appeared unto them Moses and Elias, in great glory. Peter,
          turning to Jesus, said, "Lord, it is good for us to be here, if
          thou wilt let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee and
          one for Moses, and one for Elias." Now then, the question arises,
          What was Moses doing here? What was Elias doing here? Where had
          they come from? Why, they had the Gospel. The Gospel is an
          everlasting Gospel as spoken of in the Scriptures, and associated
          with that Gospel is the priesthood that administers in time and
          in eternity. And Moses, who had led the children of Israel out of
          the land of Egypt, and had conversed with God and given the law
          of the Lord unto the people, with Elias the prophet, who was also
          a man of God--the Melchizedek priesthood, which held the keys of
          the mysteries of God, and it ministers in time and in eternity.
          Both of these men had ministered on the earth, and, holding that
          priesthood in the heavens they came to minister to Jesus, and to
          Peter, James and John, upon the earth. There is nothing very
          remarkable about that.
          We come again to John on the Isle of Patmos, where he had been
          banished because of his religion. I do not know whether he was a
          practical polygamist or not; but his religion was very much
          opposed to the ideas and theories of the people in that day. He
          was a Christian and he dared to fear God and keep his
          commandments, and they banished him to the Isle of Patmos, that
          he might labor amongst the slaves there in the lead mines. But
          while there, being in possession of the light, the truth, the
          intelligence and revelation that proceeded from God, he gazed
          upon the purposes of God as they should roll forth in a
          subsequent period of time, and he contemplated the position of
          man in the various ages of the world unto the time that the
          heavens and the earth should pass away; when there should "be a
          new heaven and a new earth whereon dwelt righteousness." He gazed
          upon all these things and fell down at the feet of the angel to
          worship him, whereupon the angel said, "See thou do it not; I am
          thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony
          of Jesus; worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit
          of prophecy." In other words: "I was like you once, on the earth,
          persecuted, cast out, condemned, despised had every kind of
          opprobrium and approach cast upon me; wandered about in
          sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, afflicted, tormented;
          wandered in deserts and mountains, and dwelt in dens and caves of
          the earth. I am one of thy fellow servants the prophets, I have
          fought the good fight, finished my course, I have kept the faith,
          I was true to my covenants, my God, and my priesthood, and I come
          now to minister to you." Again who more likely than Mormon and
          Nephi, and some of those prophets who had ministered to the
          people upon this continent, under the influence of the same
          Gospel, to operate again as its representatives? Who more likely
          than those who had officiated in the holy Melchizedek priesthood
          to administer to Joseph Smith and reveal unto him the great
          principles which were developed?
          Now, then what has he revealed? Anything new? Why, yes; a new
          Gospel; but an everlasting Gospel. What is it that John said he
          saw? "I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven having the
          everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell upon 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." Did John see that among other things?
          Has it come to pass? Yes, it has, "And in thee shall all the
          families of the earth be blessed." Who was Joseph Smith? The Book
          of Mormon tells us he was of the seed of Joseph that was sold
          into Egypt, and hence he was selected as Abraham was to fulfil a
          work upon the earth. God chose this young man. He was ignorant of
          letters as the world has it, but the most profoundly learned and
          intelligent man that I ever met in my life, and I have traveled
          hundreds of thousands of miles, been on different continents and
          mingled among all classes and creeds of people, yet I have never
          met a man so intelligent as he was. And where did he get his
          intelligence from? Not from books; not from the logic or science
          or philosophy of the day, but he obtained it through the
          revelation of God made known to him through the medium of the
          everlasting Gospel. Now, people who are ignorant of these things
          are ready to point the finger of scorn, and heap contumely and
          reproach upon him and upon others who dare have the hardihood, as
          they say, to express the same kind of sentiments that he did. I
          dare do it! I have done it among the nations of the earth, and
          dare do it to-day before any man or any set of men that the world
          can produce, and I defy them to successfully contravert or
          overturn any principle that God has revealed through the Gospel
          of the Son of God in these last days!
          But could Joseph Smith help being selected of God? There is, to
          say the least of it, and intelligence displayed that the world
          knows nothing of. Is that to be despised? Is that to be
          regretted? Was he the enemy of man? No; no more than Abraham was;
          no more than the prophets were; no more than Jesus was; but could
          Abraham, or the prophets know what God was going to demand of
          them? No, they could not. And if they could not, if they were to
          tell a truth that God has revealed to them, would their telling
          it make it a falsehood? I think not. It was an unpleasant thing
          for a man to rise up and tell the people they were wrong. To go
          to our divines--our right reverend divines--and their followers
          and tell them they were all out of the way! I expect they would
          be no more satisfied with such a message than the same class were
          with the teachings of Jesus when he spoke of the Scribes and
          Pharisees and called them hypocrites, like unto whited sepulchres
          which appeared fair on the outside to me, but inwardly they were
          nothing but rottenness and dead men's bones. This was not very
          palatable for some of the wise of the Jews and some of the
          leading men of that day who professed such a great amount of
          piety. But he came to tell them the truth, not to speak his own
          words but the words of his Father who sent him and to communicate
          those great principles which God had revealed to him.
          Well, now, do I believe that Joseph Smith saw the several angels
          alleged to have been seen by him as described, one after another?
          Yes, I do. Why do I believe it? Because I obeyed this Gospel. And
          what was there connected with the obeying of it? What was the
          Gospel that he taught? Precisely the same as that that Jesus and
          his disciples taught both on the continent of Asia and on this
          continent. What did he do? Why, says he to his disciples: "Go ye
          into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." Was
          he an enemy of mankind? I think not. Go unto all the world and
          tell them of the love of God to man, preach the Gospel to every
          creature, and, "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
          but he that believeth not shall be damned." What else? "And these
          signs shall follow them that believe; in my name they shall casts
          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."
          Here was something practicable, something real, something
          intelligent, something that was worthy of a God, communicated by
          the Son of God for the welfare of the human family.
          What have we now? Ideas, notions, theories, opinions, hypotheses,
          and all the various confusion of ideas and notions, but no man to
          say "thus saith the Lord." They used to say "thus saith the
          Lord;" they had the word of God for the people, and not the
          opinions and creeds and notions and fancies of men.
          The Lord has restored the same Spirit by which we know of the
          truth of the principles declared by Joseph Smith and by others. I
          know it and so do you, many of you, who hear me. Was it an injury
          to the world in the days of Jesus for his disciples to go and
          proclaim salvation? I think not. Is it an injury to the people
          to-day for us to proclaim the same Gospel to the world? I think
          not. You can find very few people who will do what thousands of
          our elders have done--go out without purse or scrip to proclaim
          the glad tidings of salvation, things that they not only believe
          in but know for themselves before God that they are true--go out
          as the friends of mankind to publish the same Gospel under the
          same authority that others had in former ages. Did they prosecute
          and persecute men in former ages? They did. Why? Was it because
          they were wicked and corrupt? No; it was because they dared to
          tell a corrupt world that God had spoken, that light and truth
          had been reveled from heaven, that the Son of God had appeared
          and that if they would repent of their sins and be baptized for
          the remission of them, they should receive the Holy Ghost, that
          should take of the things of God and show them unto them. That
          was the doctrine they taught; that is the doctrine that we teach.
          Is there anything very remarkable about it? Yes, very remarkable.
          Is there a people that dare say what the Elders of the Latter-day
          Saints dare say to the world? I think not. What have these elders
          done, many of whom are here? Gone to the ends of the earth
          without purse or scrip proclaiming the Gospel of the Son of God.
          And what did they tell the people to do? To repent and be
          baptized for the remission of their sins and to have hands laid
          upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost; and you do the
          same; you baptize them when they believe in the name of the
          Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And what does a
          name mean? Power and authority, Supposing a man was to come here
          as Governor or Secretary, or holding any other office under the
          government of the United States; he comes in the name of the
          United States, or by the power or authority of the United States,
          does he not? Yes. But supposing some of you was to set up here as
          Governor, they would want to see your credentials and know by
          what authority you came here and whether you were appointed by
          the legitimate authorities of the United States or not. If not,
          they would pay no attention to you; they would look upon you as a
          very common-place, foolish individual, and moreover, they would
          also look upon you as a fraud. Well, then, if God does not send
          men, of course they cannot act under the authority of God; if
          they do, they act fraudulently. Now, how can men go in the name
          of God when they tell you that God has never spoken for the last
          eighteen hundred years, and that he does not now reveal himself?
          That being the case, how then can they go forth in the name of
          God? I do not know; it is a mystery to me; these people possess
          some mysteries which I cannot fathom, and that is one of them. I
          now of only three ways of obtaining authority of that kind--one
          is by lineal descent, another by writing, and a third by
          speaking. Now, then, if we can find no record among the people
          who profess to teach in the name of God, and they do not profess
          to have a lineal descent, and they even hold that God has not
          spoken for eighteen hundred years--they place themselves in a
          very awkward position. But when you come to understand, to fully
          comprehend the priesthood held by our forefathers, you can see by
          what authority the Holy priesthood is conferred upon you. Well,
          then, where did you get this authority from--from the world? No,
          the world did not have it to give, and consequently you could not
          get it from them; and if God has not spoken, if the angel of God,
          has not appeared to Joseph Smith, and if these things are not
          true of which we speak, then the whole thing is an imposture from
          beginning to end. There is no half-way house, no middle path
          about the matter; it is either one thing or the other. Now you go
          forth to the nations of the earth in the name of the Lord, I
          appeal to you elders, you contradict me if you can--and when
          people believe and have been baptized, you lay your hands upon
          them in the name of the Lord, and you say unto them "Receive ye
          the Holy Ghost," and they receive it, do they not? They do, and
          you are my witnesses of that. And what does the Holy Ghost do? It
          takes of the things of God and shews them unto us. Can we
          conceive of a greater principle, of one more majestic, and grand,
          and noble, and exalted. What is man? A poor feeble worm of the
          earth, going forth in the name of God to call upon the human
          family to repent and be baptized for a remission of their sins,
          and after the name of God, he lays his hands upon their head, for
          the reception of the Holy Ghost. Who gives it? God, and it is the
          greatest evidence that exists upon the face of the whole earth;
          no men anywhere have an evidence like that which is given from
          the Almighty. It did not come from us, it did not come from
          Joseph Smith, though he was the medium through which those things
          were communicated; it did not come from Brigham Young, it did not
          come from me or any other individual; it comes as the free gift
          of God according to the eternal laws of the everlasting Gospel.
          Now, then, here we are. We find ourselves in this position,
          having entered into these principles, we believe in them and are
          willing to be governed by them.
          The Lord, however, has revealed many other great and important
          principles to us, and among these the eternal covenant between
          man and woman. Did Joseph reveal that principle? Yes, he did. Do
          you know it? Yes, I do know it; if nobody else knows it, I do.
          Did he tell you of it? Yes, he did; but I have had other
          manifestations besides that, and therefore I know of what I
          speak, and I know the principle is of God. Now there are some
          people who tell us we are very wicked. Are we? Why, yes, in many
          respects we are. But not in that! not in that! not in that! Are
          we careless? Are we indifferent? Are we covetous? Do we love the
          world more than we ought to do, and allow our minds, our feelings
          and affections to be carried away by the transitory things of
          time and sense? Yes, yes, to our shame, in many instances, be it
          spoken; this is true. Do we violate in many instances the great
          principles that God has revealed? We do, to our shame be it
          spoken, many of us; but we do not violate the law of God nor the
          laws of chastity in that thing. Well, what are we to do? God has
          revealed a principle to us; do we know it? Yes. Do I know it?
          Yes. Do you? Yes, yes, a very great many of you that are here and
          hear me speak know it. But does the Congress of the United States
          know it? No. Does the Supreme court know it? No; they cannot know
          of the things of God but by the Spirit of God. Do they know
          anything about eternal relationship and perpetuity in the eternal
          world? No, they do not, they are ignorant of the principle, they
          know nothing about it, and we did not until it was revealed to
          us. Now, then, what is to be done? They place us in a position
          like this; God says this is an eternal law associated with the
          eternal perpetuity of lives in time and throughout the eternities
          that are to come; that a man having a wife must have her sealed
          to him for time and for all eternity. Why, long ago we have heard
          of a religion to live by but none to die by; none that could
          reach to the other side of the vail and prepare us for eternal
          associations and eternal lives in the eternal world, or
          eternities that are to come. But this principle involves that
          thing and places us in this position: God says "Go and obey my
          law." Congress say "No, you shall not do it." Now the question
          is--who shall we obey? We would like to be in accord with
          Congress. We would like to submit ourselves to every ordinance of
          man. We would like to be good and peaceable citizens, which we
          are. We don't wish, however, to follow their corruptions--don't
          we know enough of them? Yes, we do. We know a good deal more
          about them than they know about us. We know their crimes, we know
          their licentiousness, we know of the millions of murders that are
          perpetrated by mothers and fathers of children and they know it.
          Many of these murders are committed while the children are
          pre-natal; they kill them either before or after they are born,
          just as it happens. We also know of this horrible social evil
          that exists among them, and of the corruption, degradation and
          rottenness that exist in their midst. And as I have said to some
          of them sometimes, "you come from these dens of infamy, reeking
          with corruption and rottenness, steeped in crime and bloodshed
          and you will come here, will you, and teach morality to us? Go
          home, attend to your own business, cleanse yourselves from your
          corruptions, for they are a stink in the nostrils of Jehovah, and
          of all honest men, and don't come to set us right in regard to
          things that God has given us to do, and which with the help of
          the Lord we will carry out."
          Now, these are our feelings in relation to these matters. This
          Gospel reveals to us, as it did in former days, the light and
          intelligence of God. It opens up the visions of eternity; it
          places us in communication with the Lord. It prepares us for life
          and for death and for exaltation, and we are going to go on with
          our temples and administer in them in the name of the Lord. We
          shall enter therein and be baptized for the living and the dead
          and stand as saviors upon Mount Zion, and let the world wallow in
          corruption and follow the evil desires of their hearts, let them
          pursue their own course, fighting, if they please, against the
          Zion of our God, but the Lord will be after them and they will
          know before they get through that there is a God that rules in
          the heavens and he will say to them as he did to the waves of the
          mighty deep, "hitherto thou shall come but no further, and here
          shall thy proud waves be stayed."
          What, then, shall we do? Fear God, be faithful, be honest and
          upright and full of integrity and truthfulness; shun evil of
          every kind, preserve our bodies and spirits pure, maintain our
          covenants before God, and he will smile upon us, he will be on
          the side of right, and his kingdom will grow and increase and
          spread until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms
          of our God and his Christ, whose right it is to rule for ever and
          May God help us to be faithful in keeping his commandments that
          we may be saved in his kingdom, is my prayer, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / Orson
          Pratt, September 21st, 1879
                          Orson Pratt, September 21st, 1879
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon,
                                September 21st, 1879.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          If the congregation will give their attention, I will read a
          portion of the word of God, given in these last days, dated
          march, 1829--a portion of revelation--through the Prophet, and
          Seer, and Revelator, Joseph Smith, in Harmony, Susquehanna
          County, Pennsylvania, a little over one year before the rise of
          this Church, commencing with the 10th verse:
          "But this generation shall have my word through you; and in
          addition to your testimony, the testimony of three of my
          servants, whom I shall call and ordain,--unto whom I will show
          these things; and they shall go forth with my words that are
          given through you; yea, they shall know of a surety, that these
          things are true, for from heaven will I declare it unto them. I
          will give them power that they may behold and view these things
          as they are, and to none else will I grant this power, to receive
          this same testimony, among this generation, in this the beginning
          of the rising up and the coming forth of my Church out of the
          wilderness: clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible
          as any army with banners. And the testimony of three witnesses
          will I send forth of my word; and behold whosoever believeth on
          my word, them will I visit with the manifestation of my Spirit,
          and they shall be born of me, even of water and of the Spirit.
          And you must wait yet a little while, for ye are not yet
          ordained; and their testimony shall also go forth unto the
          condemnation of this generation, if they harden their hearts
          against them; for a desolating scourge shall go forth among the
          inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out
          until the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are
          consumed away and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my
          coming. Behold, I tell you these things, even as I also told the
          people of the destruction of Jerusalem, and my word shall be
          verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified."
          Fifty-two years shall have passed to-morrow since the Lord
          permitted his holy angel to descend from heaven and commit into
          the care and charge of Joseph Smith, a young man, plates which
          had the appearance of gold, filled with engravings. He obtained
          these plates on the 22nd day of September in the year 1827, being
          then not quite twenty-two years of age. This young man was not
          learned, like those educated in colleges and theological
          institutions; indeed, he was a farmer's boy, unacquainted with
          the arguments, and the tenets, and the creeds, and the
          institutions of religion that existed around him, except what he
          had heard from time to time, in the neighborhood where his father
          resided; a young man not versed in the Scriptures any more than
          most of the common lads of that age. And we all know that there
          are but a very few among farmers that have the opportunity of
          informing their minds at so early a period--at the age of
          twenty-one--in regard to the doctrines and prophecies contained
          in the Scripture.
          You may, some of you, wonder, perhaps, why the Lord should select
          an instrument of this kind; why he did not take a person, more
          qualified by education, more experienced in the doctrines taught
          among the human family, more conversant with the Bible. You
          perhaps, may think in your own mind that if you had had the
          selection of the individual to begin the work of the
          establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last
          days, and you had followed the best wisdom you had on the
          subject, that you certainly would have selected a person well
          trained and skilled in the different doctrines of the day. But
          the Lord does not see as man sees, his thoughts are not like our
          thoughts, neither are his ways like our ways. Hence he chose a
          man unconnected with any of the religious societies of the
          day--untaught in the Scriptures and doctrines of the different
          religious denominations--he selected a man of his own choice, as
          he had frequently done in former ages of the world.
          We all recollect the selection that the Lord made in relation to
          David, when he was called to be king of the House of Israel, and
          anointed for that purpose. There were, I think, seven brethren
          older than David,--men of fair appearance, men of
          experience,--men that probably their neighbors, their
          acquaintances, would have selected either one of them in
          preference to the youth that was tending the sheep. But Samuel,
          being a prophet of the Lord, when these certain brethren came up
          before him, said: "The Lord hath not chosen him," and continued
          to say so until all the seven had passed by, and then the inquiry
          was made, "Is there not another?" "Why, yes, there is a boy; but
          he is keeping his father's sheep." "Send and fetch him," said the
          Prophet Samuel. He was brought in,--he was goodly to look upon,
          but he was simply a youth, untrammelled with the traditions
          around him, but yet an honest-hearted boy. The Lord chose him,
          the anointing oil was poured upon his head, and he was appointed
          to be the future king of Israel.
          Now, the Lord did not have any prophets in the year 1827 on all
          the face of the earth. There was no Samuel existing, no person
          who had the spirit of prophecy; consequently the Lord, instead of
          sending a Samuel, sent an angel to make the selection. This angel
          committed, as I have always said, the plates of the Book of
          Mormon, together with the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of
          this youth, and also gave him many instructions informing him
          that he must be very strict in keeping the commandments of God,
          and that he must do with these plates as he was counseled from
          time to time, not to shew them to everybody that might wish to
          see them, but was strictly forbidden, by the angel, to shew them
          unto any person until the Lord should give him commandment so to
          do. He translated these plates unlearned as he was. And now let
          me ask, would you naturally expect that if he--this unlearned
          youth--did this by his own wisdom, that it would agree with the
          Jewish record in all the doctrines taught, or said to be taught
          in the translation of this record? Would it be reasonable to
          expect that this unlearned, inexperienced youth could be able to
          sit down and in a very short period of time translate a book
          two-thirds as long as the Old Testament, without contradicting
          himself in some way? Would it be reasonable to suppose or to
          conclude that he would get all the doctrines, contained in that
          Book of nearly 600 pages to agree in every respect with the
          ancient Gospel as it was taught in the New Testament, especially
          when there were several thousand different notions in regard to
          that doctrine? We could not expect any such thing. The more
          inexperienced a man is the less qualified he is to write, by his
          own human wisdom, and get into proper shape, a history said to
          extend over a thousand years or a little more--a history
          commencing with the colony that came from Jerusalem to this
          continent, down until the records were sealed and hid in the
          earth--a thousand years' history of a nation, of two nations that
          were opposed to each other, of their wars and their travels to
          and fro upon a large continent, like ours--we would naturally
          expect that a young man, so inexperienced, would, by his own
          human wisdom, get that country awfully muddled up as regards
          places, as regards the location of cities, and location of
          countries. We would naturally expect, I say, such contradiction
          to occur in the writings of an unlearned youth.
          But what is still more marvellous, is the prophetic portions of
          this record, called the Book of Mormon. It is full of prophecies
          from the opening of the record unto the closing thereof.
          Predictions not only concerning events that took place after this
          colony left Jerusalem, during 600 years before Christ,
          predictions that were to take place down to the coming of Christ
          in the flesh, but predictions that were to be fulfilled after the
          first coming of Christ down until the end of time. The book is
          full of these predictions. Would you not naturally expect
          therefore, could you look for any other thing than that an
          inexperienced, unlettered young man, unread in prophetic history,
          should contradict himself in different parts of the record; speak
          of an event on one occasion and forget and speak of something
          quite different on another? Then again, where did you find a
          young man, unacquainted with the Jewish record, that could make
          all these predictions and prophecies coincide with the ancient
          prophecies of the Jews? Would it be likely that he could do so by
          his own wisdom? I think not. All these things, therefore, so far
          as the history is concerned in the Book of Mormon, so far as the
          prophetic writings are concerned in this late record, so far as
          the doctrinal parts of that Book are concerned, it is a marvel in
          the age in which we live; it is a marvel in my eyes; but perhaps
          my eyes are not constituted as the eyes of others. To me,
          however, it is one of the greatest marvels of the age. I am
          familiar with this; and I have read it, perhaps, more carefully
          than any other man that has ever lived in this generation, and
          probably ten or fifteen times more than any other man has done.
          Why, when I was a boy, 21 years of age, I had, for the two years
          during my first acquaintance with the book, read it so much that
          I could repeat over chapter after chapter, page after page, of
          many portions of the Book of Mormon, and could do it just as
          well, with the Book closed or laid to one side, as I could with
          the Book open; and I have continued to read it from that day down
          to the present, without finding one contradiction in the book. I
          have read the comments, I have read the writings of our greatest
          opposers who have undertaken to examine the book from the
          beginning to the end. I have tried to follow their arguments, in
          relation to the contents of this book, but I have never unto the
          present day--and it is forty-nine years since I became acquainted
          therewith--been able to find one contradiction in the whole work.
          Can we say as much concerning the Jewish Bible in the present
          state of its existence? What is the great fault found by the
          opposers to the Jewish Bible. The infidel says, "We do not
          believe it, because it apparently contradicts itself in doctrine,
          in history, and in many other portions." And the Christian
          undertakes to read it, he undertakes to show that these are not
          contradictions; but with the arguments of the Christian on the
          one side, and the infidels on the other, in relation to the Bible
          it is confessed by the generality of mankind that there are many
          contradictions, not original contradictions, but contradictions
          that have been introduced into the record since it was originally
          given,--introduced by the wisdom of man, or rather by the
          wickedness of man. But does the Book of Mormon contradict the
          teachings of the present day? Yes. There is a great difference
          between the Book of Mormon and modern Christian religion; but
          there is no difference between that book and ancient
          Christianity. We may hunt the wide world over, amongst some 400
          millions of Christians, so called, and search deeply for a
          complete, and good, and thorough understanding of their
          doctrines, and when we have made ourselves thoroughly acquainted
          with them, take up the Book of Mormon, compare their doctrines
          with this Bible of ancient America, and there is a great
          difference, a fundamental difference, not a trifling difference,
          but a difference that lies at the foundation. It is the same when
          we come to compare these modern doctrines of Christendom with the
          doctrine taught in the New Testament. Where can we find a man who
          can reconcile the two? Or the thousand if you please? Who is able
          to show that the New Testament proves and sets forth clearly the
          ancient doctrine of the Gospel? There may be now and then an item
          which each denomination has in accordance with the New Testament;
          but where is the authority which lies at the foundation of
          Christianity? Where is the man among all these 400 millions of
          Christians that is a revelator, that is a prophet, or is inspired
          of God? He cannot be found and yet the ancient Christianity,
          recorded in the Bible advocates that great gift as one that lies
          at the foundation of Christianity. Christianity is built upon it,
          built upon Jesus, who was the great revelator of the Church, and
          built upon apostles who were also revelators, as well as Jesus,
          and who received their revelations by the gift and power of the
          Holy Ghost, by inspiration as men of God. Can you find such an
          order of things in Christendom? Do any profess to have these
          gifts? They say that they are unnecessary; they say that these
          gifts were intended for the first age of Christianity, but when
          Christianity was once established these high gifts were no longer
          necessary. This is their argument almost as one. They seemed to
          be agreed, however much they may be opposed in other points of
          doctrine--they all, almost without an exception, seem to be
          agreed that there is no need of these high gifts of inspiration,
          and prophecy, and new revelation that accompanied the preaching
          of the Gospel in ancient times. "The Gospel is established," say
          they; "we have no need of it." As much as to say that these gifts
          are no part of the Gospel; that the Gospel is one thing and the
          gifts are another; that the Gospel was established by the
          evidence of the gifts, but the gifts are no part of the Gospel.
          They are as much a part of it as faith; just as much a part of
          the Gospel as repentance, as baptism for the remission of sins,
          or as the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost; and
          to undertake to separate the blessings of the Gospel, and then
          call something else the Gospel, does seem very absurd, very
          inconsistent, and is something that cannot be proved from the
          divine record. Now, here is something that is of minor
          importance, something that is not particularly necessary, that
          might be called non-essential, but something that lies at the
          very foundation of Christianity. These gifts are a portion of
          Christianity. Revelation, inspiration and the gift of prophecy,
          are part and portion of the Gospel as taught by the ancient
          apostles and men of God, and by our Savior; and to do away with
          these gifts destroys the fundamental principles of Christianity.
          What does the Book of Mormon advocate? It comes directly in
          contact with all modern Christendom, and goes back to the old
          Gospel as it was taught nearly 1800 years ago, and maintains that
          there must be in the kingdom and Church of God, in every age of
          the world, these gifts as well as outward forms and
          ceremonies,--maintains that these gifts are a part of the ancient
          Gospel and must exist wherever the Gospel exists,--and when they
          cease the Gospel ceases to be preached, and true believers, in a
          Scriptural sense, cease to exist with them.
          Now, it does not seem likely to me, that a young man whose beard
          had scarcely grown--a youth untutored, untaught in the sectarian
          notions of the day, brought up to labor hard on his farmer's
          farm, should be able to make these great distinctions, to come
          out in opposition to all modern systems of religion, and
          establish the very fundamental principles that are necessary to
          the very existence of Christianity in the last days. But God was
          with that young man. He was not his own teacher, he was not left
          to his own judgment in regard to what Christianity should be and
          what it should not be. The angel that came from heaven and
          revealed himself to the youth understood his mission. He
          understood what the Gospel was and should be; he understood the
          revelations of St. John; he understood that these revelations
          never could be fulfilled unless an angel were sent from heaven in
          the last days, with the message of the Gospel to be proclaimed
          unto the inhabitants of the earth, not to a sectional portion of
          it, not to some corner of it, or to some obscure people, but to
          commit the everlasting Gospel unto the inhabitants of the earth,
          to be proclaimed to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. He
          understood the difference between modern Christianity and ancient
          Christianity. And when the Urim and Thummim was lighted up by the
          power of God, and magnified before the eyes of this youth, those
          ancient characters upon the plates of the Book of Mormon, the
          distinction was clearly made, between the purity of the Gospel as
          it was taught in ancient days, and the doctrines and innovations
          of man as have been taught during many long centuries of
          How I have rejoiced, since I was a youth of nineteen, in this
          record! Why I esteem it,--I was going to bring up some earthly
          comparison, but I will not compare great and glorious and
          heavenly things,--so great, so pure and so important, as that of
          the plan of salvation, with anything of an earthly nature, as
          there cannot really be any comparison. When I look at all the
          earthly riches and grandeur of this world, and then look at the
          Book of Mormon and the Bible, with power to select, which should
          I choose? Why the grandeur of this world, the riches of this
          world, the glories of this world, would be nothing; they would be
          like the dream of a night-vision when a person is disturbed, not
          by the Spirit of God, but by his own cogitations in the night. I
          would look upon them as nothing, as vanity and foolishness, as
          unworthy of the love or approbation of any man of God, were they
          to be set before me and contrasted with the glory of this book.
          It is a record given to this generation as one of the choicest
          gifts of heaven! No other books exist upon the face of our globe
          so choice as the books which God has given in different ages of
          the world: the Bible for one, the Book of Mormon for another, and
          the book called the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, containing
          the revelations which God gave through his servant the prophet,
          during some seventeen of the last years of his existence here
          upon the earth. These revelations, these books are more precious
          than the riches, and kingdoms, and glories, and honors of this
          present life, so far as I am concerned. Do I esteem them more
          than I do my own life? I would be unworthy of my Father and my
          God in the eternal worlds if I would refuse to lay down my life,
          if it were required of me of the Lord. If I should save it for a
          moment, and deny the Book of Mormon; if I were to deny the gifts
          of the Gospel, or any of the revelations that God has given--that
          are published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants--if I were to
          do such a thing, could I look upon my Father's face without
          blushing? could I think upon God without blushing? could I think
          upon anything that was pure and holy, without being, in my own
          mind, in perfect torment? If I were to be so ungrateful as to
          deny anything that God has given me, I should be unworthy of the
          kingdom of God. I do most sincerely and humbly hope and trust
          that the Lord will not call me and try me in this respect, for I
          know the weakness of man; I know that man has been weak in all
          ages, and I do not wish to be thus tried, I do not covet this
          trial, I do not pray for it; but if ever I should be brought to
          this condition, with my present feelings, with the feelings I
          have had for a great many hears, I would say: "Come martyrdom
          come burnings at the stake, come any calamity and affliction of
          the body, that may be devised by wicked and ungodly men--let me
          choose that, and have eternal life beyond the grave; but let me
          not deny the work of God." Why do I thus feel? If I had not a
          knowledge that the Book of Mormon was true, I should not have
          these feelings. Then I should probably say, if I only had faith
          that the Book of Mormon is true, "My life is precious, let me
          save my life, let me deny something which I do not know is true."
          But when a person has a knowledge, as I have, of the divinity of
          this work,--having this revealed to me when I was but a beardless
          boy--I hope never to be brought in that condition, where the
          trial will be upon me, but should it come I hope to be able to
          lift up my hands to high heaven, and say, "Oh Lord enable me to
          endure the trials and afflictions that may come, that I may be
          faithful unto death."
          Am I the only one that feels in this way, among the Latter-day
          Saints? Are there no other persons that have this knowledge,
          excepting your humble servant? Yes, there are scores of thousand,
          if they testify the truth, and I have no reason to think that
          they would falsify their word; scores of thousands who know as
          well as they know they have an existence, that the Book of Mormon
          is a divine record; that the revelations given through the
          Prophet Joseph Smith, published in the Book of Doctrine and
          Covenants, are divine; they know it. Would they be willing to
          suffer martyrdom? I think they would. There might be individual
          cases, as in ancient times, where they might reject the truth,
          lose their hopes of salvation, to save their temporal lives; but
          take the great mass of this people, they would be willing to lay
          down their lives, or be burned at the stake before they would
          reject their religion. 
          How kind, how good was our Heavenly Father, before the rise of
          this Church, after he had inspired this boy to translate these
          records; how good it was to send an angel from heaven to three
          other persons, namely: David Whitmer, Martin Harris and Oliver
          Cowdery, Joseph Smith being with them on the occasion. The angel
          descended from heaven, clothed with light and glory, and, taking
          these records in his hands, turned them over leaf after leaf,
          showing to these three other men, besides the translator, the
          engravings on the plates. How kind this was. A Church was to be
          raised up. The Lord was willing that they should have all the
          evidence that they could reasonably ask for, before even the
          first branch of the Church was organized. Did he condescend, in
          many of the past ages of the world, to do so much for the
          different generations that have lived, as he has done for the
          present generation? Look at the days of Noah. He had a message to
          deliver--a message that affected the human family. He had to tell
          the people that were living around him that God had spoken. "And
          what has God said?" He has told me that because of your
          wickedness he will send the floods upon you. He will break up the
          foundations of the great deep, he will open the windows from on
          high and he will pour out the floods upon these nations and they
          will be swept away root and branch, except a few that will
          believe in my message, and come into the ark that I am building.
          How many witnesses did God raise up then? I expect he must have
          revealed himself to the sons of Noah, as well as to Noah. That
          would be but four witnesses; but we have no account that the Lord
          revealed himself to these three sons. They, however, believed the
          testimony of their father; whether they knew it or not we do not
          know. At any rate their faith was sufficiently strong to cause
          them to labor with the old man, and they labored along year after
          year, weary no doubt, in forming the timbers of this huge ark or
          vessel. Finally they got it fixed together, and the beasts of the
          field--that appeared to have more inspiration than the men and
          the women of that age, began to come from the forests towards the
          ark, and finally the door was closed. They must have been
          prophetic beasts, beasts that had revelations, beasts that were
          able to judge far better than the world of mankind in that age.
          The rains descended, and the earth was covered with the flood,
          and we read that Noah by his testimony condemned the whole world.
          What! One witness? One witness alone condemned the whole world,
          and they perished from off the face of the earth, because one
          witness was sent unto them! The Lord has done a little better
          with this generation. He sent four witnesses before he organized
          the Church, and that was not all. There were other men that had
          great testimony and evidence given to them; but they did not see
          the angel; they did not see the plates in the hands of the angel
          but what did they see? They saw this boy have these plates. They
          took the plates and handled them themselves. They saw the
          engravings upon these plates--eight other men, besides the four I
          have mentioned--and they testify to what they saw. They bear
          witness in words of soberness, that they did handle the plates
          with their own hands, that they did feel the weight of the
          plates, that they did observe the engravings thereon, that they
          had the appearance of ancient work and of curious workmanship,
          and they bear testimony to what their eyes saw and to what they
          handled with their hands. Their names, as also the names of the
          four that saw the angel, were attached to this record, when the
          first edition of that book was issued from the press. Twelve
          witnesses then did God condescend to raise up immediately before
          he organized this Church. Are not twelve witnesses sufficient to
          condemn the world in this age, if one witness condemned the world
          in the days of Noah? I think that God has been very lenient, very
          kind and very merciful in beginning the work with so many
          But there seem to be other witnesses and evidences concerning the
          correctness and divinity of this book that are far greater than
          those I have named. There is a promise to all the human family,
          that is far better than the ministrations of angels to others.
          What knowledge does it give to me, to you, to any other person,
          among all the nations and kindreds of the earth, concerning the
          divinity of the Book of Mormon, because four witnesses, that
          lived in some portion of our globe, state that an angel had come
          from heaven? Does that give me a knowledge? No. Did that impart a
          knowledge to any other creature on the face of the globe? No. Did
          we not need a knowledge as well as they? Yes. I have a soul as
          well as these four men that must be saved or must be lost. If
          that be the case, ought I not also to have a knowledge concerning
          my safety as well as they? I think so. Has the Lord made it
          impossible for me to obtain this knowledge? No. The very message
          itself in the book, and in the New Testament, and in the modern
          revelations that are given through the prophet, told me, told
          you, told all the people upon the face of this earth, how they
          also might obtain a knowledge of the truth of the Book of Mormon
          and of this work. How? By getting a vision or manifestation from
          that same God? No. That we should all have the ministration of
          angels? No. To some is given one gift, and to some are given
          other gifts. To some it is given to know in one way, and to some
          it is given to know in some other way. The Lord has promised that
          if I will repent, if you will repent, if the people of the United
          States will repent, if the people of all the nations of the earth
          will repent, turn unto him and obey his commandments that they
          should receive the Holy Ghost. Will that give us a knowledge as
          clear, as definite, as pointed as could be revealed by the
          ministration of angels? Yes.
          Supposing now that I were a natural man, never had received the
          Holy Ghost. Supposing that a person should come and testify to me
          that he had received the Holy Ghost, that he had received
          Heavenly visions that the Lord had sent angels to him, what would
          I know about it? What would I know about the Holy Spirit, if I
          never had received it? No man can discern the things of God, but
          by the Spirit of God; so says the Apostle Paul to the
          Corinthians. It is impossible for the natural man to know the
          things of God, and if I were a natural man, and had never
          partaken of the Holy Ghost I might hear a cloud of witnesses
          testifying to what they had received. I might say, "Well you seem
          a sincere people, you seem to be honest in your declarations, you
          say you have had the visitation of angels, you say you had
          heavenly visions, you say the Holy Ghost has been poured out upon
          you, but I have never received these things as a natural man."
          Now what reason would there be to condemn me on the great
          judgment day, if I rejected their testimony? They would tell me
          that I might be put in communication with the heavens the same as
          they. They might tell me that on certain conditions, I might
          obtain the Holy Ghost, as well as they, if I would only exercise
          sufficient faith, to repent of my sins and to be baptized for a
          remission of them, and to have the servants of God lay their
          hands upon my head for the reception of the Holy Ghost; that if I
          would enter into a covenant with the Most High God, to obey his
          commandments and to call upon his name in faith, and to exercise
          faith before him--I expect if I did not do all these things, that
          all this cloud of witnesses that I have named, would stand up on
          the day of judgment and would condemn me. But if I would exercise
          faith though I had no knowledge, and would obey the commandments,
          would be obedient to the principles, and then I received for
          myself the testimony, I should then be dependent neither upon
          David Whitmer, Martin Harris nor Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith,
          nor any of the twelve witnesses that saw the plates, nor any
          other man living on the whole earth. I could then say, "Oh Lord,
          my God, thou hast fulfilled thy promise which thou hast made.
          Thou hast said if I would repent and be baptized I would receive
          such and such blessings. Thy have been given unto me, and now I
          know that thy word is true." And from that forth I could be a
          witness myself, but before that I could not be a witness.
          Are the ministers of the different denominations of this day, who
          have never had the spirit of revelation upon them--are they
          competent witnesses of God to stand before this generation and
          declare the things of God? No. Can they stand up in the great
          judgment day and condemn any of this generation to whom they have
          preached? No. Why not? From the very fact that they are not
          witnesses. They can tell what the ancients say, how the ancients
          became witnesses, but they themselves have not an experience in
          these things, and therefore, God has not made them witnesses.
          They cannot condemn any man living on the face of the earth, by
          their preaching and their testimony.
          We are living, then, in the great and last dispensation, in which
          God has provided a way that he might raise up scores of thousands
          of witnesses, a way that all might know as Peter did. Peter did
          not get his knowledge from seeing miracles wrought. He did not
          obtain his knowledge because some other man had received a
          knowledge. The Savior blessed him and said, "Blessed art thou,
          Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto
          thee, but my Father which is in heaven." The Lord had revealed
          this knowledge unto Peter, consequently Peter was constituted a
          witness. And so the Lord, by having given revelation from the
          heavens to scores of thousands of the Latter-day Saints, has made
          them witnesses of the divinity of this work.
          O, how the Latter-day Saints ought to rejoice! How faithful we
          all ought to be! How frivolous are the things of this present
          life, compared with the knowledge of God, which you have
          received! Do you appreciate this, Latter-day Saints? Do you
          realize it as you ought to, or are your minds swayed to and fro
          by the frivolities and vanities of this present life? Do they
          absorb the greater portion of your attention? Do you forget your
          God, the greatness of your calling, and the knowledge which you
          have received? I have not.
          I believe that the Latter-day Saints are the very best people on
          the face of our globe. Why? Because they have been will to endure
          hardships, persecutions all the day long. They have been willing
          to leave their houses, their lands, their possessions, have been
          willing to see all fall into the hands of their enemies and flee
          to a desert country for the sake of their religion. Has God
          forgotten all these things? O, ye children of Zion! do you
          suppose that the Lord has forgotten, because many years have
          passed away, your tribulation, your sacrifices--if they can be
          called such--your mobbings and persecutions in times that are
          past? No. They are written as it were on the palms of his hands,
          they are printed indelibly upon the thoughts of his heart. He has
          all these things in remembrance, and a day of controversy is
          coming, and it is not far in the future--a controversy for Zion;
          a controversy with all the nations of the earth that fight
          against Mount Zion--the Lord has all these things in his mind,
          and he will fulfil them in his own due time and season. But now
          is the day of our tribulation and has been for some forty years
          and upwards that are past. Are there better days to come? Yes.
          How far in the future I am not prophet enough to know. All that I
          do know is that they are nigh, near at the very door, when the
          Lord will rise up and come forth out of his hiding place and
          fulfil that which he has spoken concerning Zion and the
          inhabitants of this land. Zion is not destined to be crushed down
          forever into the dust. Zion is not destined to be overcome by the
          kingdoms of this world forever. The turning point will come, and
          that is nigh at hand. The days are coming--I know they are close
          at hand--when the young and rising generation that are now
          sitting in this congregation, and who are spread forth upon the
          face of the land, throughout these mountains and valleys, will
          see the turning point for Zion. What will they see? They will see
          a man raised up like unto Moses in days of old--a man to whom the
          Lord will reveal himself, as he did to his servant Moses, by
          angels, by visions, by revelation from the heavens, and will give
          unto him commandments, and make him an instrument in his hands,
          to redeem the people and to establish them in their everlasting
          inheritance upon the face of this American continent. Will he
          show forth his power in that day as he did unto his servant Moses
          and to Israel? Yes, only more abundantly, more extensively than
          in the days of Moses, for there is a larger continent than the
          land of Egypt, in which the Lord will make manifest his power--a
          greater people than the Egyptians, among whom he will work.
          Consequently he will show forth his power unto all the
          inhabitants of this land. He will fulfil the plain predictions of
          the Prophet Isaiah that the Lord shall make bare his arm in the
          eyes of all the nations, until al the ends of the earth shall see
          the salvation of God. What will be said then concerning this
          people and Zion? It will then be said by those that are spared in
          the midst of the terrible judgments that will fall upon these
          nations, "Surely the people called Latter-day Saints, the people
          of Zion, are the people of our God. God is there, his power is
          there, it is his power that delivers that people; it is his power
          that is over them as a cloud by day and the shining of a flaming
          fire by night. It is his power that protects their congregations,
          protects their settlements, protects their holy temple. Let us no
          longer fight against Zion or the people of God, let us enter into
          the everlasting covenant which has been revealed anew. We will
          join ourselves with the people of God." In that day will be
          fulfilled that which has been spoken by Isaiah in the second
          chapter, by the prophet Micah, in the four chapter, that in the
          last days many nations shall say: "Come ye, and let us go up to
          the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and
          he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths, for
          out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from
          May God bless--not the wicked, not the ungodly, not those that
          blaspheme the name of the Lord, not those that fight against
          Zion--but all the true, pure hearted Latter-day Saints, is my
          prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Morgan, May 23rd, 1880
                             John Morgan, May 23rd, 1880
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER JOHN MORGAN,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon,
                                   May 23rd, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                              SOUTHERN STATES MISSION.
          I am pleased to have once more the privilege of meeting with the
          Latter-day Saints, and I trust that while I shall endeavor to
          address you I shall have an interest in your faith and prayers,
          that what I may say may be in accordance with the mind and will
          of our Father in heaven and for our mutual good and benefit.
          To an elder returning home from missionary labors the privilege
          of meeting with the assemblies of the Saints in their Sabbath day
          meetings is one that is very highly prized. We feel to rejoice in
          the privilege of returning to these peaceful valleys of the
          mountains, and of listening to the voice of the servants of God
          teaching the principles of the kingdom of God, and explaining the
          mind and will of our common Father and God in the heavens. I have
          often thought and meditated in regard to this privilege when away
          from home traveling in the midst of strangers, that when here we
          scarcely prize and realize the value of it. And doubtless this is
          true in regard to very many of the great and glorious principles
          of the Gospel. We must see the opposite, come in contact with the
          opposite; we have to taste the bitter before we can appreciate
          the sweet; we have to see and experience the condition in which
          the worlds is to-day to appreciate the situation the Latter-day
          Saints are in.
          During the past year, since last I had the privilege of meeting
          with you here, I have been engaged in preaching the principles of
          the Gospel in the United States, more particularly in the
          Southern States. Our labors there have, to a greater or less
          extent, been crowned with success. The Lord has opened up our
          way. We have been enabled to reach many of the honest in heart,
          and the principles of the Gospel have been spread by the
          preaching of the elders, and by the distribution of books and
          pamphlets, until many thousands of people in that section of the
          country to-day are becoming acquainted with the principles of the
          Gospel, who, twelve months ago, although possibly aware that
          there were such a people as the Latter-day Saints in the valleys
          of the mountains, were ignorant in regard to the doctrines that
          they professed to believe in. I find that within the past
          twelve-months quite a change has taken place in the sentiments
          and minds of the people in the Southern States relative to the
          principles that we promulgate. I form my judgment in regard to
          this from their actions, and it is said they speak louder than
          words. Something like twelve months ago a spirit of persecution
          and mobocracy was prevalent throughout a great portion of the
          South, brought about, to a great extent, by inflammatory articles
          in the newspapers, misrepresenting us and our objects, and the
          denunciations hurled at us from the pulpit and from almost all
          directions, which resulted in the mobbing of a number of the
          elders and the driving from their homes of quite a number of
          families who had embraced the Gospel in their native land. In one
          particular instance an entire branch of the Church was driven
          from their homes, lost their property and their means and were
          forced to rely upon the generosity of the Latter-day Saints
          already gathered to the valleys of the mountains here to enable
          them to emigrate to where they could live in peace and safety.
          This character of opposition was very violent, very unpleasant to
          meet with, very unpleasant to have to deal with, but by the
          blessing of God and the perseverance of the elders, the obstacles
          were overcome, our work was pushed forward, and very many
          right-thinking, honorable men and women, while not conceding with
          us in a religious sense, came out and refuse to endorse the
          action of men who were using violence, came out in the press, in
          private conversation, in public speech, and stated that while the
          Latter-day Saints might be wrong the course that was being taken
          was undoubtedly wrong, that whatever the nature and character of
          their doctrines might be, mob-violence, persecution, and
          unauthorized, illegal prosecution was not a proper means of
          overcoming the difficulty. Even the editors of many of the
          Southern papers conceded that the course that was being pursued
          was most unwise, and would have a tendency to bring dozens of
          converts to the "Mormon" doctrines where there had been one
          before, which proved true, as our labors have continually
          increased and grown, our numbers have been added to, and the
          spirit of emigration to gather out to where they could be
          protected in their religious belief has grown stronger day by
          day, until we scarcely need to preach in the Southern States the
          principle of emigration, so anxious are the people to escape from
          their surroundings.
          The elders who have been engaged in the Southern States Mission
          have, almost without exception, proven themselves worthy of the
          trust that was reposed in them. They have endeavored to perform
          the duties devolving upon them as men and as the servants of God,
          not counting privation, slander, exposure, contumely as anything
          in comparison to the great work in which they were engaged.
          The Southern people are naturally a kind-hearted, hospitable,
          noble class of people, with the finer instincts of nature more
          fully developed than possibly among some other classes of people.
          They recognize the labors of our elders, and while they may not
          coincide with our views, yet they give us credit for the
          determination with which we press forward, and the earnestness
          and zeal displayed by our young elders in preaching the
          principles of the Gospel. Especially was this note-worthy in
          connection with the very many young elders who had never been
          upon missions before,-- young men who had been called from the
          various mutual improvement associations, unlearned in regard to
          the condition of the world, unacquainted with its customs,
          manners and habits--especially with this class was a deep
          impression made upon the minds of the people. That feeling of
          kindness, which is characteristic of the people there, seemed to
          feel after those boys, beardless boys as they were, as they stood
          up in their places, where they could obtain a church or a school
          house, to preach, and where they could not obtain a place, in the
          open air, by the road side, or wherever they found a man ready to
          stop and listen to them in proclaiming the things they had been
          sent to declare. It made a deep impression on the minds of the
          people, and, in a number of instances, while the violent feelings
          of men were raised against them, there were those who said, "We
          have boys of our own, and if our boys were in the place of these,
          separated from their homes and their kindred by thousands of
          miles, and there were those seeking to do them violence, we would
          feel to bless the hand that protected them." And, as a general
          thing, there came a division, and the two contending parties were
          left to get through the struggle as best they could.
          The Southern States Mission at the present time is divided into
          conferences, with a president over each conference, and traveling
          elders at appointed places laboring in the districts. Yet, with
          all that we can do, there are localities in the Southern States
          to-day, that have been asking for elders for some considerable
          length of time, which we have not yet been able to supply, owing
          to a deficiency in our numbers. I discover, in coming in contact
          with the people of the United States, that, notwithstanding the
          nation numbers forty millions of people,--a vast innumerable
          multitude almost, compared to the Latter-day Saints who dwell in
          these distant valleys of the mountains,--yet, if a company of
          eight, ten, twelve or fifteen elders should happen to pass
          through any of the large cities, en route to their fields of
          labor, they are visited by reporters, they are interviewed, and
          the interview is published far and near, causing considerable
          excitement in regard to this small company of elders going to
          their fields of labor; in fact two elders, going into a locality
          where the people are unacquainted with the teachings of the
          Latter-day Saints, and announcing themselves as Mormon elders,
          will create a really more genuine sensation than almost any other
          incident that could happen, and it is, doubtless, well that some
          of us, who are possibly a little more zealous than wise, should
          be restrained in regard to our anxiety to push the work forward.
          There is, however, an abundance of room for elders to labor
          throughout the entire Southern States. We scarcely ever preached
          in a place where we could not obtain a hearing. He scarcely ever
          visited a neighborhood--I do not recollect of any now--in the
          Southern States where I desired a hearing, but what I could both
          obtain a place to preach in and a good sized audience to hear
          what I had to say.
          Many of the leading men of the Southern States, having visited
          Salt Lake City and been treated kindly by our people--having
          observed the thrift, enterprise and peacefulness of our homes,
          extended to us many kindnesses and many courtesies,
          notwithstanding that, with the mass of the people, it was quite
          unpopular to do so. The Governor of one of the leading States of
          the South, offered the use of the Senate Chamber--the
          representative hall of his State--to preach in, if I was prepared
          to use it, extending any courtesy I desired. Their leading papers
          freely noticed our meetings and published thousands of handbills
          to be distributed among the people, refusing any compensation
          whatever. Many of these incidents that come to my mind in regard
          to the courtesy and kindness of the people that we have been
          preaching the Gospel to, warms our hearts as elders of Israel,
          and we feel to do them good, to bless them, and benefit them all
          that we can.
          During the past year, a little over 400 Saints have been gathered
          from the Southern States Mission. The principal part of these
          have emigrated to the neighboring State of Colorado, in San Luis
          Valley, 250 miles south and a little to the west of Denver, where
          the Saints have found a good valley, most excellent land and
          timber, water, grass, and all that is necessary to enable them to
          build up a settlement and locate themselves. I had the privilege
          of visiting them in their homes a number of times, and while they
          have had the privations that are incidental to the formation of a
          new settlement everywhere, yet they have been blessed and
          prospered. The people of the State of Colorado have, as a rule,
          treated them kindly, have welcomed them to their borders, have
          endeavored to benefit them, and assisted them in forming their
          settlements all they could. The railroad, that has been in
          process of construction for the past two years, runs down the
          centre of the valley, within three to five miles of our line of
          settlement, so that we have easy railroad communication. Our
          rates for emigration are exceedingly low. The railroad companies
          have extended to us many courtesies and kindnesses, and have
          sought to do what they could--apparently being moved upon by the
          right Spirit--to enable us to gather those who were unable to
          gather themselves, and to assist those who were but little able
          to gather. In the location of the settlement in the State of
          Colorado, there are now, I believe, 500 Latter-day Saints from
          the Southern States, which will possibly be augmented by 300 more
          this season, if deemed prudent to do so. In the first town that
          was located, all the lots have been taken up. Another location of
          similar dimensions is being occupied, while still another will be
          occupied some few miles distant from the first two in the course
          of the next two or three months.
          The health of the Saints has not been as good as could have been
          desired, principally owing to the fact that in emigrating from
          the Southern States--a malarious district to those great, dry
          altitudes--the changes thus brought to bear upon them were
          calculated to produce sickness to a greater or less extent. The
          scourge of measles passed through the settlement in the month of
          April; some 160 cases. Our neighbors, at a railroad town near by,
          where there were about an equal number of inhabitants that we
          had, with all the appliances of physicians and drug stores, lost
          quite a large percentage of their cases of sickness. In the town
          of Alamosa, some twenty miles distant from our settlement, where
          there were almost an equal number of cases, there was quite a
          large percentage of deaths. In about 165 to 170 cases that
          occurred in our settlement, I think there were but three or four
          deaths from measles. When I was talking to the Mayor of Alamosa,
          he called my attention to the disparity of deaths in that town in
          comparison with those that had occurred in our settlement, and
          asked me if I thought the location of the town of Alamosa
          unhealthy. I replied I thought not, that it was equally healthy
          with our settlement. He asked me to what I attributed the number
          of deaths. I replied that I believed they were attributable to
          the number of drug stores and physicians they had in it, that
          that was the cause, as I earnestly believed, to a greater or less
          extent, of the disparity of the number of deaths. With some 500
          inhabitants in our settlement with quite a number of cases, some
          of them very serious, there has never been a physician called to
          prescribe one single prescription to any of these people, and I
          have an idea that if we were to look at them to-day we would find
          them equally healthy with those of the adjacent town where there
          are several physicians with two drug stores to draw their
          supplies from.
          The people in the settlements are satisfied with their location.
          I heard but very little complaint, and what complaints I did here
          were, I thought, almost entirely due to the inconvenience
          incident to emigration, to breaking up their homes, to disposing
          of their property, to riding distances upon railroads, landing at
          their destination wearied, to not being so carefully housed and
          protected for a limited length of time after their arrival, and
          to their being unacquainted with the country. I believe, however,
          that out of the 500 souls emigrated there have been but four
          turned back from the work and returned to their former homes. I
          heard no expression of a desire to return on the part of any one
          when I was there. Wishing to test this as I was returning back to
          the States, I publicly made the offer that if there were any
          persons who desired to return back to their old homes, to lay
          down the principles of the Gospel and forego the gathering, I
          would see and accompany them back, and if there were any unable
          to go back with their own means, a fund would be raised for the
          purpose if desired. I received no applications, hence I was led
          to believe that the people as a rule were satisfied with their
          situation and surroundings.
          Adjacent to our settlement there is a large number of Mexicans
          who live in plazzas, as they term them, which are capable of
          accommodating from ten to fifty families in a plazza. These
          people have had rather an unpleasant and chequered history in the
          Territory of New Mexico and the State of Colorado. They have been
          looked upon to a certain extent as legal and lawful prey by the
          Christians surrounding, who have, to a greater or less degree,
          taken advantage of their innocence and of their ignorance in
          regard to the rules of business. To illustrate this, one man, a
          merchant with whom we deal, a man that I have always looked upon
          as in every sense trustworthy, made this statement to me. In
          speaking of the Mexican people, said he: "We cannot trade with
          them as we do with other people. They have been deceived and
          cheated until they come here and ask how many pounds of sugar we
          give for a dollar. We would not dare to tell them the exact
          number of pounds. If it is six, we have to tell them ten."
          "Well," I said "Do you weigh out the ten pounds?" "Not much; we
          weigh them six or five and a half pounds as the case might be."
          Such is the character of the dealings the Mexican people have had
          to contend with until to-day they have no confidence whatever in
          the white people by whom they are surrounded, and it is something
          almost unknown in their history, it is something strange for them
          to be placed in a position whereby they would be dealt with
          honorably and uprightly by white people. Said one of their
          leading citizens to me, Mr. Valdez, who was formerly a Judge in
          Old Mexico, a leading citizen in the State of Colorado, a
          Representative in the Legislature, and a man of considerable
          ability--said he to me, "The white people we have come in contact
          with heretofore, have endeavored to take every advantage of us,
          and when your people came here we expected they would treat us
          the same way. Last season we could have furnished you land to
          plow, teams and seed; but we were afraid that you would repeat
          the history of some other portions of our possessions, where we
          have furnished seed, land, teams and plows, and rented these
          things upon shares to people who came into our midst, and when
          the fall season came they not only claimed the land and crops,
          but our teams and plows, and we have failed to obtain any redress
          whatever; consequently we were afraid of your people." But after
          some short acquaintance with us, after coming in contact with us
          a limited length of time, they learned to think better of us, and
          by their votes elected one of our brethren magistrate over a
          considerable portion of the county of Conejas, in which they
          lived. This brother told me he had been magistrate for eight
          months, had gained the confidence of the people, until to-day
          people outside of the precinct where he lives will bring their
          cases to him to arbitrate and adjudicate upon, and the people
          almost universally are willing to submit to his decisions. There
          is a kindly feeling between them and the Latter-day Saints. They
          are naturally a kind hearted people. I noticed when our people
          were living in their plazzas, as some of them did for a season,
          that when any of them took sick, the Mexicans were on hand to
          nurse them and to do what they could for their comfort. The
          Saints rejoice at the privilege of gathering where they can live
          in peace and quietness, and receive the instructions of the
          elders, and have their children taught. I believe about the first
          thing they did in the first town they started was to build a
          comfortable school-house, and during the past winter they have
          had a school in session the entire winter, expecting that as soon
          as circumstances would permit a summer school would be commenced.
          A Sabbath School is in session regularly each Sabbath, and some
          six home missionaries visit the surrounding country where the
          Latter-day Saints are located, and instruct the Mexicans who
          desire to hear the principles of the Gospel. 
          In laboring in the States, we can see that there is a rapid
          change taking place. It may not be observable by the masses of
          the people. However, this change can be seen on the right hand
          and on the left. We hear men remark in regard to the change that
          is occurring politically, religiously and socially. We cannot
          blind our eyes to the fact that affairs in the United States are
          traveling at a rapid rate. We sometimes hear an elder, on
          returning home from his mission, ask one of the brethren, "How is
          everything moving?" His reply is, "very slowly." He does not see
          with the eyes of the elder who is abroad preaching the Gospel. To
          my mind, the seeds of dissolution have been sown in the midst of
          the people, and they are springing up to an abundant growth. Men
          are fulfilling the Scriptures--"their hearts are failing them for
          fear of the things that are coming upon them." The people of the
          United States are in doubt in regard to what is in store for our
          government. We hear quite loud expressions every hour of the day
          by men of all classes--governors, senators, congressmen and
          clergymen. I think one of the most eloquent sermons--eloquent for
          the sound of its words, not particularly for the principle it
          contained, but more particularly for its sound of words--I ever
          heard, was one in which the minister portrayed the condition of
          the United States, the fearful condition in which the government
          was today, the condition in which political affairs were, and
          strange as it may seem, after telling the people that there was
          not a political party in the United States that would receive
          Jesus of Nazareth. After telling the people of St. Louis (the
          city in which this sermon was preached) that if Jesus were to
          come to one of their wards and run for Alderman, they would
          outvote him by a large majority--after telling them all these
          things, he then commenced upon the other hand to portray the
          glorious spread of Christianity! It sounded strange to my ears,
          for one was a direct contradiction of the other; if one was true
          the other was false. Certainly Christianity could not grow and
          increase and spread and be engrafted into the minds of the
          people, and at the same time he who stood at the head of
          Christianity be rejected from the head to the foot of the whole
          The situation to my mind as I have observed it--and I have tried
          to do so calmly and deliberately and without prejudice--is
          anything but agreeable. Men have ceased to try to hide this; and
          the present political contest that is waged so hotly even for the
          nomination of the man who shall fill the presidential chair is
          stirring up the people as I have never seen an election stir them
          up before. It seems as though they are not content with dividing
          into parties but these parties are divided into fragments, the
          one contending against the other. A few years ago it was the
          Democratic party on the one side and the Republican party on the
          other. To-day it has changed and materially altered in the
          Republican party. It is the anti-third term men, the Blaine men,
          Sherman men etc., struggling one against the other in their own
          party until it seems as if the shadow is cast, of the time when
          every man's hand shall be raised against his neighbor. Certainly
          these are indications of it,--and we see the fulfilment of
          prophecy in these things. It is a most unpleasant report for a
          person to make of the situation of their country. We are not
          aliens to our land. We love and revere and respect the
          constitution of our common country. We have a love for the old
          flag that floats over it, and it is with feelings of
          mortification, chagrin, and pain that we have to report back to
          the Saints here in the valleys of the mountains the fearful
          condition in which matters are to-day. One instance comes to my
          mind in connection with a matter in which the Latter-day Saints
          are interested. During the trial of the men--or one of them at
          least--who assassinated Elder Joseph Standing, I was astonished
          and surprised to listen to the testimony of the witnesses. The
          court would commence its session at eight o'clock and run till
          twelve and then adjourn for an hour and run till candle light,
          and when night came we would hear the bells ringing across the
          street calling the people to a revival meeting. I noticed that
          those men who had been upon the witness stand would pass over to
          the meeting, and for two weeks the revival was kept up calling
          men and women to Jesus after dark, and in the day time came into
          that court and testified to things they knew were utterly false,
          and that they knew the people in the court room were satisfied
          were false. The thing was a talk and a laughing stock on the
          streets of Dalton. It seemed strange to me, and after I had had
          several days experience I asked the attorney General, a man that
          I looked upon as an honorable man, a man who sought to do his
          duty in that trial to the best of his ability--I asked "how many
          men are there that came upon this stand that you can rely upon to
          testify to the truth?" His reply was, "If I get one in ten I am
          doing very well." I thought that a strange comment indeed upon
          this boasted land of freedom, of free schools, churches,
          libraries, lecture associations and yet hold ourselves up before
          the world as a representative government for all other
          governments to copy after, for all civilization to follow, and
          for all Christians to model themselves from. It looks strange to
          me, and I scarcely could have believed it had not mine own ears
          heard and mine own eyes beheld it.
          The sentiment and feeling of the better class of people in the
          South, and I may say the people of the United States are in favor
          of letting the Latter-day Saints alone, of letting them work out
          their own problem, and but for the religious influence that is
          brought to bear there would be but little said in relation to the
          work the Latter-day Saints are doing. But this religious
          influence has not changed in the least. The same influence that
          fought and contended against the Latter-day Saints in the State
          of Missouri, and that drove them to the valleys of the mountains;
          the same influence that cried out nearly 2000 years ago "crucify
          him, crucify him," is still abroad in the land, and I think the
          worst treatment I have ever received at the hands of any class of
          men has been from men who can pray the longest prayers, preach
          the loudest sermons, and wear the longest face, and who profess
          to be going back to Abraham's bosom. This class of men have
          always contended against the elders. They have sought to bring
          persecution upon them, and to villify them upon every hand, and
          if we have difficulties they are to be a greater or less extent
          caused by those who profess to believe in this Bible, and who
          preach "glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and
          goodwill towards men." But this perchance, is but history
          repeating itself. Notwithstanding the difficulties and obstacles
          the elders have had to contend with in this and other directions
          they have been blessed and prospered. They rejoice in the
          privilege of going forth to proclaim the principles of the
          Gospel, to bring Israel to a knowledge of the truth, and to
          gather the honest in heart home, that Zion may be built up and
          the kingdom of God established on the earth. The elders rejoice
          in this privilege. Our young elders who go abroad with fear and
          trembling in regard to their own ability are willing to pass
          through all kinds of difficulties, are willing to endure anything
          and everything that they may be instruments in the hands of God
          in proclaiming the principles of the Gospel. I heard but very few
          complaints from the elders. It is true that sometimes they are
          not situated as pleasantly as they would desire to be, but I
          heard very few complaints. They express very great surprise at
          the situation of affairs abroad. They say, "why, we did not dream
          that matters were as bad as they are. We did not dream that the
          world was so corrupt as it is both politically, religiously, and
          socially." They seemed surprised, when walking through the
          streets of the religious St. Louis--whose editors, you know,
          write long homilies in the shape of editorials in regard to the
          terrible situation of affairs in Utah,--to see, on a Sunday, just
          close by where these articles are published, saloons open, men
          and women drinking, and business going on just as though it were
          any other day in the week, "Why," say these young elders, "in
          reading these articles back in Utah we were led to believe that
          these places here were really religious. But we find that such is
          not the case. We find they are allowing their charity to play
          leap-frog over their own wrong-doings, and in place of looking to
          the affairs of Utah they had better attend to their own." These
          things look strange to the young elders when they first come in
          contact with the world. In speaking with one of the officers of
          the State of Colorado, said he to me, "We trust that you people
          will assimilate with our people, that they will adopt our habits
          and customs and become one with us." I told him we did not wish
          to make any rash promises about that, for, said I, "We would not
          wish to have drinking saloons on the corner of each block." We
          would not like to have all kind of wrong-doings in our midst, and
          certainly here in this city of Denver, we would not wish to copy
          after the morals of this or your adjoining city of Leadville.
          Some people seem to have an idea that the Latter-day Saints
          gathered here in the valleys of the mountains are samples of all
          that is wrong, all that is iniquitous, and I have sometimes been
          amazed at the situation we have been placed in. In one
          neighbourhood where we stopped over night, and had some talk with
          the folks in regard to the social conditions with which they were
          surrounded, one sanctimonious person, the next day, refused us
          the privilege of meeting in a log cabin school-house, for fear we
          should corrupt the morals of the people! In another instance, a
          large number of people had gathered together in a meeting house
          to hear one of the leaders preach. When he got through preaching
          he asked a gentleman who had been induced to come to the stand to
          tell the people what he thought of the doctrine that had been
          advanced. He very reluctantly did so in about these words: "I
          have listened with great attention to my young friend. I believe
          he is honest. I believe he has tried to tell the truth, and in
          fact he has told you the truth. He has read from the scriptures;"
          but at this stage he drew up (evidently realizing that he had
          gone too far to please his friends) and concluded by saying: "But
          my dear, dying friends, I do not believe one word of it."
          Notwithstanding that he had just told the people that the young
          man had told them the truth, and that he had preached according
          to the Bible. It sounded strange, even to his own people. Yet
          there is a class of people who, when we come down to the real
          facts of the case, will not, do not believe in the Bible, however
          much they pretend to do so. They believe certain parts of it, and
          disbelieve other parts. This spirit of unbelief is growing in the
          minds of the people, until in the United States to-day there are
          thousands of people who openly repudiate their belief in the
          Bible. Ingersoll, and various men of that stamp who are lecturing
          throughout the United States, take for texts the mistakes found
          in the books of Moses, and otherwise ridicule the word of
          Scripture. By this means they are undermining the faith and
          belief of the people in the Bible, and are creating infidels by
          thousands. We meet them on the railroads, we hear them from the
          lecture stand, we find them among all classes of people, lawyers,
          doctors, etc., and as I told one of them, a leading citizen of
          St. Louis, with whom I traveled a couple of days, I can
          understood opposition to preaching and praying from those who do
          not believe in this book, but it savors of hypocrisy coming from
          those who profess to believe in the teachings of Jesus and his
          Well, these are some of the reflections that pass through our
          minds as elders in preaching the Gospel. We pray that the
          blessing of Israel's God may rest upon his work, and upon the
          elders who are abroad preaching the Gospel, that they also may be
          permitted to return in peace, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 /
          Wilford Woodruff, July 3rd, 1880
                          Wilford Woodruff, July 3rd, 1880
            Delivered in the Salt Lake Assembly Hall, at the Semi-Annual
                     Conference, of the Salt Lake Stake of Zion,
                         Saturday Afternoon, July 3rd, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                              THE WICKED--THE END NEAR.
                    I have listened to the instructions given here this
          afternoon by my brethren, as well as the remarks of Brother
          Cannon, this forenoon, with feelings of a great deal of interest.
          When we talk of our duties as Latter-day Saints, I think many
          times some of us, perhaps all of us, more or less, fall short of
          comprehending and understanding the responsibilities which we are
          under to God. I believe there never was a dispensation or a
          generation of men in any age of the world that ever had a greater
          work to perform, or ever were under greater responsibility to
          God, than the Latter-day Saints. The kingdom of God has been put
          into our hands. We have been raised up as sons and daughters of
          the Lord to take this kingdom, to lay the foundation of it, to
          build upon it, to carry it out in its various branches until it
          becomes perfected before the heavens and before the earth as God
          has foreordained it should be. And those principles which have
          been referred to by the brethren in regard to our duties we
          cannot safely ignore them nor turn aside from them. I will say as
          one of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, from the time I was
          first acquainted with this organization until to-day we have
          never felt ourselves at liberty to stay away from our meetings
          unless we were sick or circumstances hindered us in some way or
          other. I can say that for myself, and I believe I can say the
          same for my brethren. We have always felt duty bound to attend
          our meetings, and if we do not attend the question might arise,
          what has become of the Twelve Apostles? Where are they that they
          do not attend their meetings? It would be a very proper question
          to ask. And if this responsibility rests upon us in the capacity
          which we occupy does it not rest upon other men? I think it does.
          I do not believe the Lord ever required Joseph Smith or Brigham
          Young or any of their counselors to undertake to build up this
          kingdom alone. He never required them to build these Temples
          alone. They were required to perform their duties, that is true
          Joseph Smith was called of God inspired of God, raised up of the
          Lord, ordained of God long before he was born, to stand in the
          flesh, as much as Jeremiah or any of the ancient prophets, to lay
          the foundation of this Church and kingdom. He performed his work
          faithfully. He labored faithfully while he tabernacled in the
          flesh, and sealed his testimony with his blood. Other men were
          called also to build upon the foundation which he laid.
          We have in days that are past and gone been under the necessity
          of going forth to preach the Gospel in the world. We have had
          this to do. We have been called to do it. We have been ordained
          to do it. We have been commanded of God to do it, and so have
          hundreds of thousands of the elders of this Church and kingdom.
          We have all some responsibility, more or less, resting upon us,
          whether as regards going on missions or anything else. I remember
          Brother Joseph Smith visited myself, Brother Taylor, Brother
          Brigham Young and several other missionaries, when we were about
          to take our mission to England. We were sick and afflicted many
          of us. At the same time we felt to go. The Prophet blessed us as
          also our wives and families; and I was reading a day or two ago
          his instructions from my journal. He taught us some very
          important principles, some of which I here name. Brother Taylor,
          myself, George A. Smith, John E. Page and others had been called
          to fill the place of those who had fallen away. Brother Joseph
          laid before us the cause of those men's turning away from the
          commandments of God. He hoped we would learn wisdom by what we
          saw with the eye and heard with the ear, and that we would be
          able to discern the spirits of other men without being compelled
          to learn by sad experience. He then remarked that any man, any
          elder in this Church and kingdom--who pursued a course whereby he
          would ignore or in other words refuse to obey any known law or
          commandment or duty--whenever a man did this, neglected any duty
          God required at his hand in attending meetings, filling missions
          or obeying counsel, he laid a foundation to lead him to apostasy
          and this was the reason those men had fallen. They had misused
          the priesthood sealed upon their heads. They had neglected to
          magnify their callings as apostles as elders. They had used that
          priesthood to attempt to build themselves up and to perform some
          other work besides the building up of the kingdom of God. And not
          only did he give us the counsel, but the same is given in the
          revelation of God to us. I have ever read with a great deal of
          interest that revelation given to Joseph Smith in answer to his
          prayer in Liberty jail. I have ever looked upon that revelation
          of God to that man, considering the few sentences it includes, as
          containing as much principle as any revelation God ever gave to
          man. He gave Joseph to understand that he held the priesthood,
          which priesthood was after the order of God, after the order of
          Melchizedek, the same priesthood by which God himself performed
          all his works in the heavens and in the earth, and any man who
          bore that priesthood had the same power. That priesthood had
          communication with the heavens, power to move the heavens, power
          to perform the work of the heavens, and wherever any man
          magnified that calling, God gave his angels charge concerning him
          and his ministrations were of power and force both in this world
          and the world to come; but let that man use that priesthood for
          any other purpose than the building up of the kingdom of God, for
          which purpose it was given, and the heavens withdraw themselves,
          the power of the priesthood departs, and he is left to walk in
          darkness and not in light, and this is the key to apostasy of all
          men whether in this generation or any other.
          Our responsibilities before the Lord are great. We have no right
          to break any law that God has given unto us. The more we do so
          the less power we have before God, before heaven and before the
          earth, and the nearer we live to God, the closer we obey his laws
          and keep his commandments, the more power we will have, and the
          greater will be our desire for the building up of the kingdom of
          God while we dwell here in the flesh.
          We have no right to break the Sabbath. We have no right to
          neglect our meetings to attend to our labors. I do not believe
          that any man, who has ever belonged to this Church and kingdom,
          since its organization, has made anything by attending to his
          farm on the Sabbath: but if your ox falls into a pit get him out;
          to work in that way is all just and right, but for us to go
          farming to the neglect of our meetings and other duties devolving
          upon us, is something we have no right to do. The Spirit of God
          does not like it, it withdraws itself from us, and we make no
          money by it. We should keep the Sabbath holy. We should attend
          our meetings.
          This kingdom is advancing. It has got to advance, and somebody
          has got to build it up. Somebody has got to labor in it. The God
          of heaven has had a people prepared before the world was made for
          this dispensation. He had a people prepared to stand in the flesh
          to take this kingdom and bear it off; and the very spirit of the
          prophets and apostles, who have gone before us, has been
          manifested in the lives of faithful men and women from the
          organization of this Church until to-day, and will continue until
          the coming of the Lord, as there are a great many men and women
          who will live their religion and carry out the purposes of God on
          the earth.
          It is our duty as apostles, as elders and as Latter-day Saints,
          to contemplate, to reflect, to read the word of God, and to try
          to comprehend our condition, our position, and our responsibility
          before the Lord. If our eyes were opened, if the vail were
          lifted, and we could see our condition, our responsibility, and
          could comprehend the feelings of God our heavenly Father, and the
          heavenly hosts, and the justified spirits made perfect, in their
          watch-care over us, in their anxiety about us in our labors here
          in the flesh; we would all feel that we have no time to waste in
          folly or anything else which brings to pass no good. All of us,
          as elders of Israel and as Latter-day Saints, bear some portion
          of the holy priesthood, either the Melchizedek or Aaronic. It is
          a kingdom of priests, and there is work enough for this people to
          magnify their calling. The Lord has agreed to sustain us, and to
          break every weapon that is formed against us. He has promised to
          sustain Zion, and when the Prophet saw this Zion of God in the
          mountains, his soul was filled with joy and he cried, "Sing, O
          heavens, and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O
          mountains; for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have
          mercy upon his afflicted." Again the prophet says, "Can a woman
          forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on
          the son of her womb?--yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget
          thee." Zion has been before the face of the Lord since the
          creation of the world! Our heavenly Father has protected this
          people. We have been favored from the day we set our feet in the
          valleys of the mountains, notwithstanding the tribulation and
          opposition we have had to contend with. All the designs of the
          wicked and ungodly to stop this work have been thwarted. The hand
          of God is over Zion. He is our Comforter. He sustains us, and we
          have every encouragement on the face of the earth, as Latter-day
          Saints, to be true and faithful unto him the little time we spend
          in the flesh.
          Our responsibilities are great; our work is great. We not only
          have the Gospel to preach to the nations of the earth, but we
          have to fill these valleys, towns, cities, etc., and we have,
          among other important things, to rear temples unto the name of
          the Lord before the coming of Christ. We have got to enter into
          those temples and redeem our dead--not only the dead of our own
          family, but the dead of the whole spirit world. This is part of
          the great work of the Latter-day Saints. We shall build these
          temples and, if we do our duty, there is no power that can hinder
          this work, because the Lord is with us; and certainly our aim is
          high! As a people we aim at celestial glory; we aim at the
          establishment of the kingdom of God. We have been raised up for
          the purpose of warning the world; to preach the Gospel; to go to
          the meek of the earth and bring them to these valleys of the
          mountains, that they may be delivered from the power of sin and
          Satan. Our numbers are many compared with former dispensations.
          Nevertheless, our numbers are few when compared with the twelve
          or fourteen hundred millions of inhabitants who dwell in the
          flesh. Still, with the help of God, we have power to redeem the
          world. This is our work. We are obliged to labor and to continue
          to while we are here, and when we have finished our work, our
          sons, the rising generation, have got to take this kingdom and
          bear it off.
          Eight of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are in the spirit
          world today who were in the flesh when we came here, and so they
          pass away, one after another, when they finish their work. Do you
          suppose that in their minds and feelings they realized they had
          done too much? I think not. Just so with those who remain in the
          flesh. There is no time to throw away, and I would to God that
          the elders of Israel could fully realize and comprehend the great
          work that God has put upon their shoulders--the building up of
          his kingdom.
          This kingdom has continued to increase and spread. When we came
          here thirty-three years ago we found this place a barren desert.
          There was no mark of the white man here. It was a desert indeed,
          hardly a green thing to meet the eye. You can see to-day for
          yourselves. The inhabitants of Zion are a marvel and a wonder to
          the world. They occupy these valleys of the mountains from Idaho
          to Arizona. The valleys, as it were, are filled with Latter-day
          Saints. And who are these Latter-day Saints? They are the people
          whom the God of heaven has raised up in fulfilment of promise and
          revelation. He has carefully gathered them together by the power
          of the Gospel, by the power of revelation, and placed them here
          in the valleys of the mountains. Has there ever been any power
          formed against this people that has been successful? Nay; and
          this people will never see the day when our enemies shall
          prevail, for the very reason that God had decreed that Zion shall
          be built up; the kingdom that Daniel saw shall roll forth, until
          the little stone cut out of the mountain without hands shall fill
          the whole earth. The people of God shall be prepared in the
          Latter-days to carry out the great programme of the Almighty, and
          all the powers of the earth and hell combined cannot prevent
          them. When I see the view that the world take in regard to this
          great latter-day work; when I hear it questioned as to whether
          God has anything to do with it; when I see the feeling of hatred
          that is manifested towards us, to me it is the strongest evidence
          that this is the work of God. Why? Because we have been chosen
          out of the world and therefore the world hate us. This is a
          testimony that Jew and Gentile and the whole world look at. Then
          if this is the work of God what is the world going to do about
          it? What can this nation or the combined nations of the earth do
          about it? Can any power beneath the heavens stay the progress of
          the work of God? I tell you nay, it cannot be done. I do not
          boast of these things as the work of man; it is the work of the
          Almighty; it is not the work of man. The Lord has called men to
          labor in his kingdom, and I wish the elders would look upon this
          subject as it is and realize our position before the Lord. Here
          we are a handful of people chosen out of some twelve or fourteen
          hundred millions of people; and my faith in regard to this matter
          is that before we were born, before Joseph Smith was born, before
          Brigham was born--my faith is that we were chosen to come forth
          in this day and generation and do the work which God has designed
          should be done. That is my view in regard to the Latter-day
          Saints and that is the reason why the apostles and elders in the
          early days of this Church had power to go forth without purse or
          scrip and preach the Gospel of Christ and bear record of his
          kingdom. Had it not been for that power we could not have
          performed the work. We have had to be sustained by the hand of
          God until to-day, and we shall be sustained until we get through,
          if we keep the commandments of God, and, if we do not, we shall
          fall, and the Lord will raise up other men to take our place.
          Therefore, I look upon it that we had a work assigned to us
          before we were born. With regard to the faithful leaders of this
          Church and kingdom, beginning with Joseph Smith, how many times
          have I heard men say in my travels--Why did God choose Joseph
          Smith, why did he choose that boy to open up this dispensation
          and lay the foundation of this Church? Why didn't he choose some
          great man, such as Henry Ward Beecher? I have had but one answer
          in my life to give to such a question, namely, that the Lord
          Almighty could not do anything with them, he could not humble
          them. They were not the class of men that were chosen for a work
          of this kind in any age of the world. The Lord Almighty chose the
          weak things of this world. He could handle them. He therefore
          chose Joseph Smith because he was weak, and he had sense enough
          to know it. He had the ministration of angles out of heaven. He
          had also the ministration of the Father and the Son and of the
          holy men who once dwelt in the flesh.
          We have been obliged to acknowledge the hand of God. From out of
          the pit have we been dug. We have been taken from the plough, the
          bench, the various occupations of life, having limited knowledge
          of what the world calls learning. The Lord has called this class
          of men as elders, and inspired by the power of God they have gone
          forth and warned the world, and those of this generation who
          reject the testimony of these elders will be under condemnation,
          for the elders will rise up in judgment and condemn them. The
          building up of this kingdom rests upon our shoulders--not upon
          the shoulders of Brother Taylor and the Twelve Apostles alone,
          but every man and every woman who has heard this Gospel and gone
          into the waters of baptism will be held responsible for the light
          and knowledge they received.
          This is my testimony to you today. You have got the kingdom of
          God here. It has grown and increased, and will continue to grow
          and increase. I look at this building; I look at the tabernacle
          here; I look at the temples that are being built; I see what is
          going on in the mountains of Israel, and I ask what is it? It is
          the work of God. I acknowledge his hand in it. This is the reason
          why we are inspired to build these temples. Why we labor to build
          them is because the day has come when they are needed. Joseph
          Smith went into the spirit world to unlock the prison doors in
          this dispensation or generation. He stayed here long enough to
          lay the foundation of this kingdom and obtain the keys belonging
          to it. The last time he ever met with the quorum of the Twelve
          was when he gave them their endowments, and when they left him he
          had a presentiment that it was the last time they would ever
          meet. He had something to do the other side of the vail. He had a
          thousand to preach to there, where you and I have one in the
          flesh. And this is the great work of the last dispensation--the
          redemption of the living and the dead.
          We ought not, as elders of Israel, to treat lightly the blessings
          we enjoy. We ought not to treat lightly the holy priesthood, or
          attempt to use it for any other purpose under the whole heavens
          other than to build up the Zion of God. The counsel that has been
          given this forenoon upon this matter we should lay to heart. The
          eyes of all the heavenly hosts are over this people. They are
          watching us with the deepest anxiety. They understand things
          better than we do, for our vail is our bodies, and when our
          spirits leave them we will not have a great way to get into the
          spirit word. They know the warfare we have with wicked spirits
          and with a wicked world, but what encouragement we have when we
          read the revelations! We live in a generation when the Lord has
          decreed that his kingdom shall be preserved. The prophets of
          every other dispensation have been called to seal their testimony
          with their blood. My faith is that those of this dispensation
          will not be called to do this. Joseph and Hyrum, it is true, were
          called to lay down their lives. Why? I believe myself it was
          necessary to seal a dispensation of this almighty magnitude with
          the blood of the testator for one thing, and for another thing
          the people were worthy that put him to death, and will have the
          bill to pay as the Jews had to pay for the blood of the Messiah;
          but as far as the leaders of this people and the people generally
          are concerned, I think the Lord intends we should live at peace.
          With regard to Brigham Young, we all know the disposition there
          was on the part of his enemies to take his life. I never
          believed, however, that he would die a violent death. Neither do
          I believe that we shall be required to go forth and stain our
          swords in the blood of our fellow men in our defence. It has been
          decreed that the wicked shall slay the wicked. Now, I give you my
          views regarding these things. I speak the sentiments of my own
          heart and what I believe. The judgments of our God will be poured
          forth, but the elders of Israel will not be called upon to slay
          the wicked. The wicked will slay the wicked. When I read the
          Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants,
          I feel that it is with us as with the generation that lived in
          the days of Ezekiel. In those days the Lord told the prophet to
          tell the people that what he said he meant to fulfil. And so it
          is in the day and age in which we live. All things will be
          fulfilled. The judgments of Almighty God will be poured out upon
          the wicked. The harvest is ripe, and I know the farmer has got to
          cut his crops when they are ripe, otherwise they will go back
          into the ground and rot.
          When I see the wickedness and abomination that prevail in
          Babylon, covering the earth, as it were, like a mighty sea--when
          I see these things I feel to ask myself the question, how long
          can these things rise up in the sight of heaven and not have
          their reward? In my own mind I can see a change at our door. In
          the face of the revelations I cannot see how it can be otherwise.
          The signs of heaven and earth all indicate the near coming of the
          Son of Man. You read the 9th, 10th and 11th chapters of the last
          Book of Nephi, and see what the Lord has said will take place in
          this generation, when the Gospel of Christ has again been offered
          to the inhabitants of the earth. The Lord did not reveal the day
          of the coming of the Son of Man, but he revealed the generation.
          That generation is upon us. The signs of heaven and earth predict
          the fulfillment of these things, and they will come to pass.
          Therefore, let us try to live our religion. We have the kingdom
          of God. There is no question about this. There was none with
          Joseph Smith when the angels of God ministered unto him, and we
          had a living testimony of this work from that day to this. What
          is the greatest testimony any man or woman can have as to this
          being the work of God? I will tell you what is the greatest
          testimony I have ever had, the most sure testimony, that is the
          testimony of the Holy Ghost, the testimony of the Father and the
          Son. We may have the ministration of angels; we may be wrapt in
          the visions of heaven--these things as testimonies are very good,
          but when you receive the Holy Ghost, when you receive the
          testimony of the Father and the Son, it is a true principle to
          every man on earth, it deceives no man, and by that principle you
          can learn and understand the mind of God. Revelation has been
          looked upon by this Church, as well as by the world, as something
          very marvelous. What is revelation? The testimony of the Father
          and the Son. How many of you have had revelation? How many of you
          have had the Spirit of God whisper unto you--the still small
          voice. I would have been in the spirit world a great many years
          ago, if I had not followed the promptings of the still small
          voice. These were the revelations of Jesus Christ, the strongest
          testimony a man or a woman can have. I have had many testimonies
          since I have been connected with this Church and kingdom. I have
          been blessed at times with certain gifts and graces, certain
          revelations and ministrations; but with them all I have never
          found anything that I could place more dependence upon than the
          still small voice of the Holy Ghost.
          I know this is the work of God. I know God is with this people. I
          am anxious for them. I am anxious for the rising generation, for
          the young men and young women, for I know this kingdom has got to
          rest upon their shoulders. When I see the evils that exist in
          Salt Lake City, I realize they are in danger. Our
          responsibilities as parents are great. We have not only to set an
          example ourselves, but we must pray for them, and counsel them,
          and I am satisfied that the Lord will prepare our young men and
          young maidens, the sons and daughters of this people, so that
          they will take this kingdom and bear it off. The kingdom will
          never be thrown down or given to another people.
          I thank God I live in this day and age of the world. I thank God
          that I heard the Gospel. I thank the Lord I have been made
          partaker of the holy priesthood in connection with the Gospel,
          and all the fears I have had have been about myself and friends.
          I never had any fears about the kingdom of God. I do not have any
          to-day. I realize and understand, as well as I know anything,
          that this kingdom is ordained to stand. It will grow and
          increase. Zion will arise and put on her beautiful garments. The
          only fears that I have are with regard to myself, my family, my
          wives and my children. We are surrounded with temptations which
          have a tendency to lead us away. We have got to guard against
          them; we have got to increase our faith and live nearer and
          nearer to the Lord.
          I pray God to bless you and bless this people, and bless those
          who are called to watch over us. We have to watch as well as
          pray. We have to guard the Church and kingdom of God. By and by
          our mission will close. We will soon pass away and shall reap our
          reward. We are living in the last dispensation. Joseph Smith, I
          expect, will sound the sixth trumpet. He will be at the head of
          this dispensation; or, if he does not blow the trumpet of this
          dispensation, I do not know who will. Somebody has got to do it,
          and it must be somebody holding the keys of the various
          dispensations of the world. No other angels are coming from any
          other world to administer in this dispensation; those men will
          minister who dwelt here in the flesh.
          May God bless us and help us to keep his commandments, for Jesus'
          sake. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / Orson
          Pratt, November 12th, 1879
                          Orson Pratt, November 12th, 1879
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
                  Delivered at Mount Pleasant, November 12th, 1879.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                            MILLENNIUM--THE FINAL CHANGE.
          Through the kind providence of our heavenly Father we are
          permitted, on this pleasant day, to assemble here in this
          comfortable house, for the purpose of worshiping God, and hearing
          instruction as the Lord may see proper, in his kindness and
          wisdom, to pour out his spirit, and make manifest the truth to
          us. It is a pleasing thing for the human mind, to contemplate
          that it has some object to worship; that there is a being, far
          exalted above us, who dwells in the heavens, who is worthy of all
          adoration and praise; and that we are his children, in possession
          of a portion of his attributes.
          The world which we inhabit is a fallen creation, a fallen world,
          shut out from the presence of our Father, the being whom we
          worship, so that we cannot behold his face, nor the glory of his
          presence. It is for a wise purpose, that we are placed here, in
          this fallen condition. It seems to be so, as far as we have been
          made acquainted with the purposes of the great Jehovah. It seems
          to be the ordeal, through which all intelligent beings must pass,
          in order to gain that fulness of exaltation, in the presence of
          God, which is promised in his word. 
          We were not always in the condition we are now in. We are only
          placed here for a few years, and are adapted to our present
          condition. A long time before you and I came here upon this stage
          of action, we had an intelligent existence; we dwelt in a better
          world than this, and a world that had been redeemed, a world that
          had been sanctified and glorified; in other words, a world that
          had been made celestial, just as we are in hopes that our present
          world will, at some future period, be exalted to the celestial
          glory, and become the habitation of celestial beings. That world
          we occupied, before we came here, was celestial; our Father had
          his dwelling place there, or, at least, one of his dwelling
          places; and we were surrounded by our Father's glory, we were
          familiar with his countenance, familiar with the beautiful
          mansions that were there,--familiar with all the glory that
          existed there, so far as we were capable of comprehending. There
          was no vail drawn between us and our Father, no vail drawn
          between us and the associates of our Father, who were also
          celestial beings, many of them having been redeemed from a world
          more ancient than ours. We had a long experience, I suppose, in
          that world; at least, we know from that which our Father has
          revealed to us, that we were born there; that this intelligent
          being that has power to discern, power to reflect, power to
          reason,--that this intelligent being was born in that previous
          These were some of the first revelations given in this last
          dispensation. The Lord did not wait several years, before he
          revealed unto us, in some measure, concerning our condition
          before we came here. Hence, it was away back in the year 1830,
          that this doctrine of the pre-existence of man was revealed, in
          greater fullness, than it was given in the Book of Mormon. There
          are two or three places in the Book of Mormon that reveal the
          pre-existence of man; but not in such great plainness, as was
          given soon after the publication of that Book, through the
          Prophet Joseph Smith, before the Saints began to gather,
          informing us that we were in reality the children of our Father
          and God; that we had a pre-existence in which we had learned many
          very important principles, connected with spiritual existence,
          before taking bodies of flesh and bones, which was also necessary
          to afford us a still greater experience. Now, in this plan that
          God has devised for the advancement of these intelligent
          beings--by passing them through various stages of existence,
          under different circumstances, and in different conditions,--he
          gives them experience that they never could have gained, had they
          remained in the presence of the Father, in that world which was
          celestial; in other words, we were his offspring in that world,
          our spiritual bodies not having flesh and bones but being in the
          image of the Father and Son,--his own sons and daughters. He had
          a great desire that we should be educated and taught. He could
          teach us a great many things in that world as we teach our
          children; he could impart to us a great many things--for there
          were as many truths in existence in that day as are in existence
          now; but truths were taught to us, as we were capable of
          understanding them. The Lord felt anxious that we might come up
          and eventually be made like him, as it is written in the New
          testament, "who shall change our vile body that it may be
          fashioned like unto his glorious body." I have no doubt before we
          came into this world, we had a great anxiety, that we might be
          brought up in the same way he was instructed and taught, and led
          along, passing through different conditions of existence, that we
          finally might be counted worth to be exalted at his right hand,
          and receive the fullness of his celestial glory the same that he
          is in possession of and that we might have all his attributes,
          dwelling within us, as separate individuals and personages, that
          he might exalt us like unto himself. Now, there is a great deal
          to be comprehended, when we are told that we are children who
          will become like our Father; that we were like him in our first
          stage and condition of existence. We were there, as it were,
          children without a fullness of knowledge; many experiences had
          not yet been given to us; but we were like him in our general
          outline--the outline of our persons; our general form was like
          him, "after his image" etc. It is thus written in the Book of
          Mormon, in that great vision to the brother of Jared, in which
          the Lord condescended to take the vail off his eyes. The brother
          of Jared had gone up into the mountain, and had moulten out of a
          rock sixteen small stones, which he carried up into the top of
          the mount. He went there with an object in view; the object was
          to get the Lord to touch the stones that they might shine forth
          in darkness in the eight vessels, (which had been built to convey
          him and his brother across the great waters) one to be placed at
          each end of each of the vessels. It would naturally increase the
          faith of the brother of Jared, to believe it possible that he
          might see the finger of the Lord. He was going to pray that God
          would touch the stones, the same as we pray for the Lord to put
          forth his finger and touch the particles of oil, when we dedicate
          it, for sacred purposes. If we pray in faith, we must suppose
          that the finger touches the oil. And Jared prayed in faith. He
          did not know but what it might be his privilege to see his
          finger. He did see it; it appeared to him like the finger of a
          man, like unto flesh and blood. But his faith was too great for
          his nervous system; for when he saw the finger of the Lord, he
          feel to the earth through fear. And the Lord looked unto him and
          asked him why he had fallen. He answered and said, "I saw the
          finger of the Lord and I feared lest he should smite me; for I
          knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood." He did not know but
          what his imperfections were so great, that the Lord would smite
          him; but he was commanded to arise. The Lord then asked him,
          "Sawest thou more than this?" And he answered, "nay, Lord, shew
          thyself unto me." Here was a prayer that extended a little
          further. The Lord wanted to see what amount of faith he had and
          he put another question to him, "Believest thou the words which I
          shall speak?" And he answered, "Yea, Lord, I know that thou
          speakest the truth for thou art a God of truth and canst not
          lie." And when the brother of Jared had manifested his faith, the
          Lord condescended to show his whole personage to him, and said,
          "Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image. Behold,
          this body, which ye now behold is the body of my spirit, and man
          have I created after the body of my spirit."
          Here the pre-existence of man was taught in the Book of Mormon.
          "All men in the beginning were created after the image of this
          body which he was then shewing. All the human family that then
          existed, and that would exist in future time upon the earth, were
          created in the beginning, after the image of that body; that is,
          that body which he showed was not a body of flesh and bones, but
          a pure spiritual body, organized out of pure spiritual substance,
          filled with light and truth. He informed this great man of God,
          that he was prepared, from before the foundation of the world, to
          redeem his people. "Behold," says he, "I am Jesus Christ, I am
          the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have light, and
          that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name."
          Here, then, was a great deal of information given to us,
          concerning the formation of the human spirit, the formation of
          men,--the formation of their persons, and their individualities,
          before the foundation of this world.
          It was after this was given, and the Book of Mormon was
          published, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
          arose. But the Lord, thinking that we had not sufficient
          understanding of this pre-existence, began to tell us (in the
          month of June 1830, only a few months after the organization of
          the Church) more about these things. He told us about the
          spiritual creation, something we did not comprehend before. We
          used to read the first and second chapters of Genesis which give
          an account of the works of the Almighty, but did not distinguish
          between the spiritual work and the temporal work of Christ.
          Although there are some things in King James' translation that
          give us a little distinction between the two creations, yet we
          did not comprehend it. The light shone, in some measure, in
          darkness, but so dark were our minds, through tradition, that we
          did not comprehend the light--or the few feeble glimmerings of
          light, contained in these first and second chapters of the
          uninspired translation. But our heavenly Father inspired his
          servant Joseph smith, to translate several chapters more in the
          Book of Genesis, in December 1830, which gave a more full
          account, down to the days of the flood. He told us a great many
          important principles, principles that he did not give, so far as
          the historical matter was concerned, in the Book of Mormon. They
          were an addition in some respects, and therefore, they were new
          to us, who lived in the early rise of the Church, and calculated
          to give us great joy.
          In these two creations that took place in the beginning,
          represented as the beginning of this creation--not absolutely the
          beginning of all the creations of God; for his works are without
          beginning and without end, they never cease, nor does his word
          cease; he speaks to us, so far as this creation is concerned,
          according to our natural ideas and understanding. He says, "all
          things I have created by the word of my power, which is the power
          of my spirit--I created them firstly spiritual and secondly
          temporal, which is the beginning of my work; and again firstly
          temporal, and secondly spiritual, which is the last of my work,
          speaking unto you that you may naturally understand; but unto
          myself my works have no end neither beginning."
          We learn, therefore, when speaking of this spiritual creation,
          that not only all the children of men, of all generations, and of
          all ages, were created spiritually in heaven, but that fish and
          fowls, and beast, and all animated things, having life, were
          first made spiritual in heaven, on the fifth and sixth days,
          before bodies of flesh were prepared for them on the earth; and
          that there was no flesh upon the earth until the morning of the
          seventh day. On that morning God made the first fleshly
          tabernacle and took man's spirit and put within it, and man
          became a living soul--the first flesh upon the earth--the first
          man also. Though it was the seventh day no flesh but this one
          tabernacle was yet formed. No fish, fowl and beast was as yet
          permitted to have a body of flesh. The second chapter of Genesis,
          (new translation) informs us that the spirits of fowls were
          created in heaven, the spirits of fish and cattle, and all things
          that dwell upon the earth, had their pre-existence. They were
          created in heaven, the spiritual part of them; not their flesh
          and bones. We are also told in this inspired translation, that
          these living trees which we behold--for God has given life unto
          all things--had their spiritual existence in heaven before their
          temporal existence; every herb and every tree, before it was
          planted out on the earth, that is, the spiritual part of it, the
          life of it, that which, in other words, animates that which gives
          power to the vegetable to bring forth fruit after its
          likeness--the spiritual part existed in heaven. It was a
          spiritual creation first. We are also told that the earth was
          organized in a spiritual form, that is, that portion that gives
          life to the earth. We read about the earth's dying, and that it
          shall be quickened again. What is it that will make the earth
          die? It will be the withdrawing of the spiritual portion from it,
          that which gives it life--that which animates it, and causes it
          to bring forth fruit; that which quickens the earth is the Spirit
          of God. That spiritual creation existed before the temporal was
          formed. This was the beginning of the first part of his work,
          pertaining to this creation. On the seventh day he began the
          temporal portion. There was not yet a man to till the ground,
          "and the gods formed man from the dust of the ground, and took
          his spirit--that is the man's spirit--and put it into him and
          breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a
          living soul." This we read in the 2nd chapter of Genesis, and you
          will find it recorded on the 6th and 35th pages of the new
          edition of the Pearl of Great Price.
          Abraham also obtained a knowledge of the spiritual creation, as
          well as the temporal. In giving a history of the creation, he
          speaks of the formation of man out of the ground, how he took
          man's spirit that was created in heaven and put it within the
          body of man, and man became a living soul--the first flesh upon
          the earth, as recorded in the second of Genesis. Now, we have
          been in the habit of thinking that the various kinds of animals
          that have lived, according to geologists, were the first flesh on
          the earth, and we go away back millions of ages to see that these
          lower formations of life existed before man. But the Lord gives
          us different information from this. He shows us that among all
          the animated creatures of flesh, man was the first that was ever
          placed upon the earth in this temporal condition, contradicting
          the theories of geologists--that is, so far as placing man on the
          earth in this present probation is concerned. What may have taken
          place millions of ages before the world was organized temporally
          for man to inhabit is not revealed; but, so far as this present
          change is concerned, that took place about six thousand years
          ago, man was the first being that came upon the earth and
          inhabited a body of flesh and bones. Afterwards, on the seventh
          day, out of the ground the Lord God created the beasts of the
          field. Go back to the first chapter of Genesis, and you will find
          that the beasts, etc., were formed on the sixth day or period,
          and that on the seventh there was no flesh on the earth, and
          having created man as the first flesh upon the earth, God then
          created, out of the ground, the beasts of the field.
          Here is the second part of the beginning of his work: firstly,
          spiritual,--the beasts created in heaven; then, secondly,
          temporal,--their bodies formed out of the ground, their spirits
          being put within these bodies, and the beasts became living
          souls. As it was with the birds of the air, so with the fish of
          the sea, and so with all animated creatures pertaining to this
          world. This is the history of the generations of the heavens and
          the earth, on the day that the Lord God created them; and the
          Lord has seen proper to reveal this great information in the
          first of Genesis, and in the Book of Abraham.
          Now, let us consider the condition of the temporal work, for it
          is needful for us to understand these things, that we may advance
          in the knowledge of God, in the knowledge of truth, in this great
          school of experience. Let us try to understand, then, the nature
          of the temporal work; for it was formed in the manner specified
          in this revelation. Was there any death in this creation after
          the temporal was formed, before the fall? No. Were any birds of
          the air subject to death? No. Were any of the fishes of the sea?
          No. Were there any animals placed on the earth in their temporal
          condition their bodies being formed and adapted to the spirit
          that came from heaven--were any subject to death? No. Were they
          ferocious? No. To every animal that God had granted life he had
          given every green herb of the field for meat, whether it was the
          lion, the leopard, the wolf, or whatever animal may have existed
          upon the face of the earth. There was no such thing as one animal
          destroying another--fighting and quarrelling were unknown among
          the beasts of the field. A little child, if there had been any,
          could have played, so far as any danger was concerned, with these
          animals, and they feasted upon the green herbs which were given
          to the beasts for their sustenance. By and by, a garden was made
          eastward in Eden, in which the Lord planted a great many
          beautiful trees. This was purely a temporal work, and that Garden
          would have existed until to-day if death had not come into the
          world through the fall of our first parents.
          How different was the second or temporal work, that existed in
          the beginning of the great work of creation, from the present
          order of things! Now we see, and according to history we learn,
          that all creation are at enmity one with another in their natural
          state. Hence we find the lions with teeth, probably constructed
          since the fall, and adapted to devour their prey. I do not
          believe they had such teeth in the beginning. They had teeth with
          which they ate "straw like the ox." But everything was changed in
          a great measure, in this beautiful temporal creation; and the
          beasts began to fight, and quarrel and devour each other; and man
          began to be ferocious, like the beasts, desirous to kill his
          fellow man. We see him at this early stage in our race, seeking
          the blood of his fellows, and entering into secret combinations
          to kill, and destroy, and rob one another of their position and
          property, and to be at enmity one against another. The Lord in
          the midst of this fallen condition of his temporal work, has
          permitted it to continue for about 6,000 years. But mankind have
          been devising a multitude of measures, by which they reform one
          another; but after they get pretty well reformed they rise up
          again and devour one another by wholesale. While they are engaged
          in reforming each other, they are making weapons of destruction
          to destroy one another. Enmity prevails, and has prevailed, for
          the last 6,000 years, with the exception of now and then a
          dispensation, being introduced, wherein this fallen nature of
          ours becomes, in a great measure, changed through obedience to
          the plan of salvation which God has revealed; and then we begin
          to love our fellow-men, are filled with love and kindness like,
          in some measure, our heavenly Father, going forth and proclaiming
          to them the Gospel of peace, and trying to do them good, and
          redeem them, and reclaim them; and we succeed, now and then, in
          bringing some to a higher stake; they are born of God, and become
          new creatures in Christ, being filled with that superior power,
          that exists in that celestial world, where we formerly resided.
          It comes down from the Father, and from the Son, and enters into
          the hearts of the sons and daughters of God, and they are made
          new creatures; they begin to love that which is good, and hate
          that which is evil, and begin to perfect themselves in their
          various dispensations, according to the light and knowledge sent
          down from heaven for their perfection.
          Notwithstanding so many dispensations, and the world has
          continued so long under the power of Satan, now is the time when
          the Lord our God has begun to send forth a proclamation of
          redemption, to lift us up out of this low fallen condition in
          which we have been placed, and our fathers before us, for so long
          a time; and it so happens that we are living very near the period
          when the earth will be restored from its fallen condition to that
          same temporal condition in which it existed before the fall, when
          there was no enmity existing between mankind. I say, the day is
          now almost at hand when the Lord is going to begin the last of
          his work, which will be to make this earth again temporal--or in
          other words, to remove, in some measure, the curse--to restore it
          back to the temporal condition in which it was when he first
          organized it and before sin contaminated it.
          In order to accomplish this work, he is working, according to his
          own will and pleasure, among the nations, raising up a kingdom, a
          nucleus, by taken them "one of a city and two of a family,"
          gathering them out from every nation to the land of Zion and
          planting the truth in their hearts; they become more and more
          instructed and learn more and more of the ways of the Lord,
          preparatory to the organization of this world again in its
          temporal beauty and perfection as it was when it first issued
          forth in its temporal form from the hands of the Almighty.
          There is one thing connected with the temporal form of the earth
          which I did not mention; I will refer to it now. While this earth
          existed in its more perfect temporal form, Adam and Eve were
          placed upon it, and they were immortal, just like all the beasts
          and just like the fishes of the sea; death had not yet come upon
          any of them; all things were immortal so far as this creation was
          concerned. The first pairs, the beginning of his temporal work,
          were not subject to death. And another thing, they were not to be
          shut out from the presence of the Almighty. They could behold his
          countenance, they could hear his voice. Those who then
          existed--could converse with him freely. There was no veil
          between them and the Lord. Now, when the more perfect temporal
          condition shall be restored again, in the last of his work, and
          the Lord shall begin to remodel this earth, to transfigure it,
          and get it prepared for the righteous, the veil will be taken
          away, in a measure; we shall behold the face of the Lord again;
          we shall be able to associate with immortal beings again; and we
          shall be able to enjoy a great many blessings that were
          introduced in the beginning, which were lost through the fall.
          The Lord Jesus Christ will be here, a part of the time, to
          instruct us, and those ancient patriarchs, Adam included, will
          come down out of their ancient celestial world, where they were
          first made spiritual. They are coming upon this creation; and
          they will have their homesteads here; and they will frequently,
          no doubt, take great joy in gathering together their faithful
          children, from the day of their own probation to the one
          hundredth generation. It will be some pleasure for one of our
          ancestors that was born a hundred generations ago to say, "Come,
          my children, you that are here in the flesh that have not as yet
          become immortal, you that dwell upon the face of this earth,
          partially redeemed--come, I have some glorious tidings to
          communicate to you. I have something that you are not in
          possession of, knowledge you have not gained, because we have
          been up in yonder celestial world; we have been dwelling in the
          presence of our Father and God. We were restored there in the
          dispensation in which we died and in which we were translated,
          and we have learned a great many things that the children of
          mortality do not know anything about. Come, gather yourselves
          together, that you may behold your former fathers, your fathers'
          fathers and so on, until you extend back for a hundred
          generations. Hear the instructions that they shall impart to you.
          They will tell you about the celestial kingdom, and the higher
          glory thereof, and the blessings that are to be enjoyed by those
          that attain to the fulness of that kingdom." Will not this be
          encouraging to those that are yet mortal, during the millennium?
          I think it will. Then will the knowledge of the fathers, the
          knowledge of the earth, and of the things of God, and the
          knowledge of that which is celestial, and great, and glorious,
          and far beyond the comprehension of imperfect beings as we now
          are in our fallen state--then that knowledge will be opened up to
          the minds of the children of men, during their respective
          generations here upon the earth, during the great sabbath of
          creation. What is all this for? It is to prepare their children,
          during the millennium that they may have this earth made
          celestial, like unto the more ancient one, that they, with this
          creation, may be crowned with the presence of God the Father, and
          his Son Jesus Christ. We gain this knowledge and information by
          degrees. Our children are educated and taught, until the heavens
          become familiar with them; the Lord becomes familiar with them;
          his countenance becomes familiar to all the righteous of the
          earth. Before we can fully understand the nature of a still
          greater change than that which has been wrought upon the temporal
          creation, during the millennium, we begin to expect it, and look
          for it, and bye and bye, when evil fruit again appears in the
          Lord's vineyard, and the earth is corrupted by the sons of
          perdition, and some of his people begin to reject the heavenly
          light and deny their God,--when this period of time shall come
          the earth will be spared only for a little season, and the end
          will come, and the great white throne will appear, and God will
          sit upon the throne, and utter forth his voice and our temporal
          heaven will flee away; and this earth although it will be so
          greatly blessed, although it is so far redeemed, although it is
          inhabited by the righteous for a thousand years, yet, because it
          will become contaminated, and because it has been so corrupted in
          the past, in consequence of the fall of man, it will have to die
          and undergo a greater change, than all those changes of which I
          have spoken.
          But what says the revelation, called the "Olive Leaf," given Dec.
          27th, 1832, on this subject? We are told in this that the earth
          shall die, and pass away, but it shall be quickened again, for
          God shall quicken the earth upon which we live. It will become a
          new earth; but will be prepared more perfectly than it was under
          the three other conditions in which it was placed; first its
          spiritual creation, secondly its temporal, in which its spiritual
          and temporal were combined. The next condition is that of
          restoring it from the fall back to a temporal condition, and then
          a still greater change, like unto the death of our bodies, when
          our bodies crumble back to mother earth and pass themselves among
          the elements. So it will be with this earth. It will crumble, or
          in other words, the elements will be separated asunder, and the
          world will pass away from his presence. What next? Another great
          change to be wrought. The same elements, constituting the earth,
          and the atmosphere will be brought together again, in such a
          manner and way, that the new earth will look like unto a sea of
          glass, and those who are worthy of the celestial glory will
          inhabit it forever. What will be the condition of the people who
          dwell upon that glorious celestial world? They will have the
          presence of God the Father with them. They will be permitted to
          dwell where he is. He will light up that world; they will have no
          need of the rays of the sun, as we now have, neither of the moon,
          nor stars, so far a slight is concerned, for the Lord God will be
          their light and their glory from that time henceforth and
          forever. In this new creation the tree of life will flourish and
          grow. All beings that partake of the fruit of the tree of life
          will be constituted, so that they will live for ever and ever.
          These are the different conditions of this creation given in a
          general outline. We are now living near the close of 6000 years
          during which time evil and wickedness have prevailed. The devil
          has had great power and dominion over the generations of the
          earth; and the earth itself has groaned under the load of sin and
          corruption which has been upon its face. Enoch when enveloped in
          the vision of the Almighty, beheld and heard the earth groan
          under this load of wickedness, crying out to the Lord,
          saying--"When will my creator sanctify me, that righteousness may
          abide upon my face. When shall I rest from all the wickedness
          that has gone out of me." He was informed that there was a day of
          rest coming for old mother earth,--for he was grieved in his
          heart for the earth itself, as well as the inhabitants thereof;
          for he saw how the earth was afflicted, until she groaned to be
          relived. But the time will come, when it will be sanctified. We
          are living near that period of time. It is for this purpose you
          have come to these mountains. It is for this purpose you have
          received the spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost, the comforter, to
          sanctify you, and prepare you to take part in this great work of
          the latter-days, which God has decreed from the beginning should
          come to pass in its time and season.
          You have come from the nations abroad, to be instructed in the
          ways of the Lord, to be taught in the ordinances that pertain to
          the great and last dispensation of the fullness of
          times,--ordinances that did not pertain to any former
          dispensation,--ordinances that were not made known to any former
          people, but ordinances and principles that pertain to the
          exaltation and glory of the world which we inhabit.
          This being then the present condition of our earth, the present
          condition of the Latter-day Saints, and the work that is before
          them, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, and for the
          redemption of the earth, what manner of persons ought you and I
          to be, to prepare for so great a change which is to come over the
          face of this creation? How ought we to act and conduct ourselves?
          How careful we ought to be in our doings, in all our
          conversations, in all our ways, to sanctify the Lord God in our
          hearts, to have an eye single to his glory, to keep his
          commandments in all things, to obey him with full purpose of
          heart, that we may be visited with more and more of that heavenly
          divine spirit, the Comforter, the Holy Ghost which we had
          confirmed upon us, by authority, through the laying on of hands.
          That Comforter should be nourished and cherished in our hearts.
          We should not grieve it. We should listen to its whisperings, and
          we should seek after more light, and knowledge, and truth. We
          must not expect the Holy Spirit to impart the future knowledge
          that will be necessary for the advancement of Latter-day Saints
          without any exertion of the mind on our part. In all things the
          Lord requires man as an agent to exert his faculties in order to
          obtain any blessing, of whatever nature it may be, whether it be
          the spirit of vision or the spirit of translating, or any other
          gift. We cannot let our minds remain dormant, taking no thought,
          expecting to be filled with the spirit of translation, or the
          spirit of inspiration, or revelation, or vision; but there must
          be an exertion of the mind, there must be an exercise of the
          agency of man and woman, in order that we may reach out after
          these great and glorious gifts, promised to us. And by and by, we
          will, after a school of experience has been given to us, find
          ourselves advanced to that degree, that the Lord will condescend
          to visit us by his angels--visit us by heavenly
          communications--visit us by visions--visit us more fully by the
          spirit of revelation that the worlds of Isaiah may be fulfilled
          to the very letter. When speaking of the latter-day Zion, he
          says, "Thy children shall all be taught of the Lord"--not being
          under the necessity of being taught by man, but all shall know
          the Lord from the least of them unto the greatest of them. This
          is the promise. All the children will be taught from on high,
          like the Nephite children in ancient days. We know how it was
          with them. The power of the Holy Ghost descended upon them,
          filling them, and encircling them round about, by a pillar of
          fire, and their tongues were loosed, even the tongues of babes
          and sucklings uttered forth great and marvelous things--far
          greater than that which Jesus had taught to them. The Lord
          operated upon them, to utter forth his knowledge, so that their
          fathers marvelled exceedingly. So great was the power and
          intelligence of Almighty God, manifested through these little
          babes, that no man was permitted to write the words they spoke,
          no man was permitted to utter them, no man was permitted to hand
          down these things to future generations; they were things too
          great, too glorious, too holy, too far advanced for the children
          of this world. Hence they were hidden up from the world.
          May God assist us, and pour out his Holy Spirit upon us is my
          prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Taylor, March 1st, 1880
                            John Taylor, March 1st, 1880
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
            Delivered at Kaysville, on Sunday Afternoon, March 1st, 1880.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          We have been voting for our officers and for those holding places
          in the Church and kingdom of God in this stake of Zion. And it is
          well for us sometimes to understand what we do in relation to
          these matters. We hold up our right hand when voting in token
          before God that we will sustain those for whom we vote; and if we
          cannot feel to sustain them we ought not to hold up our hands,
          because to do this, would be to act the part of hypocrites. And
          the question naturally arises, how far shall we sustain them? Or
          in other words, how far are we at liberty to depart from this
          covenant which we make before each other and before our God? For
          when we lift up our hands in this way, it is in token to God that
          we are sincere in what we do, and that we will sustain the
          parties we vote for. This is the way I look at these things. How
          far then should we sustain them, and how far should we not? This
          is a matter of serious importance to us; if we agree to do a
          thing and do not do it, we become covenant breakers and violators
          of our obligations, which are, perhaps, as solemn and binding as
          anything we can enter into.
          We frequently pass by many of those important things which we
          have engaged to abide by, and sometimes begin to whisper by way
          of complaining or finding fault one with another after we have
          entered into solemn obligations that we will not do it. What is
          meant by sustaining a person? Do we understand it? It is a very
          simple thing to me; I do not know how it is with you. For
          instance, if a man be a teacher, and I vote that I will sustain
          him in his position, when he visits me in an official capacity I
          will welcome him and treat him with consideration, kindness and
          respect and if I need counsel I will ask it at his hand, and I
          will do everything I can to sustain him. That would be proper and
          a principle of righteousness, and I would not say anything
          derogatory to his character. If that is not correct I have it yet
          to learn. And then if anybody in my presence were so whisper
          something about him disparaging to his reputation, I would say,
          Look here! are you a Saint? Yes. Did you not hold up your hand to
          sustain him? Yes. Then why do you not do it? Now, I would call an
          action of that kind sustaining him. If any man make an attack
          upon his reputation--for all men's reputations are of importance
          to them--I would defend him in some such way. When we vote for
          men in the solemn way in which we do, shall we abide by our
          covenants? or shall we violate them? If we violate them we become
          covenant breakers. We break our faith before God an our brethren,
          in regard to the acts of men whom we have covenanted to sustain.
          But supposing he should do something wrong, supposing he should
          be found lying or cheating, or defrauding somebody; or stealing
          or anything else, or even become impure in his habits, would you
          still sustain him? It would be my duty then to talk with him as I
          would with anybody else, and tell him that I had understood that
          things were thus and so, and that under these circumstances I
          could not sustain him; and if I found that I had been misinformed
          I would withdraw the charge; but if not it would then be my duty
          to see that justice was administered to him, that he was brought
          before the proper tribunal to answer for the things he had done;
          and in the absence of that I would have no business to talk about
          It is well for us to get at some of these little things; they are
          matters, however, of a good deal of importance. What I have said
          with regard to a teacher, would apply to the priest and the
          Then, again, we have bishops, We vote for them; and they hold a
          portion of the priesthood which renders their duties many times
          very unpleasant; that is naturally they would be unpleasant; but
          no duty ought to be unpleasant to the servants of God. Now,
          supposing the bishop should do something that is wrong, what
          would be our duty? It would be to go to him and say, "Bishop, I
          have reason to believe that thing are thus and so, evidence
          having been presented to me, and it is of such a character that I
          am inclined to think that you have been taking a wrong course and
          therefore I have come to talk to you, yourself, about the
          matter." Who ought to do this? Anybody. What, would not his
          position deprive us of that right of approaching him? No.
          Supposing you had been injured by him, or somebody else had been
          injured by him, or something had occurred that caused you to
          entertain feelings against him it would be much better to probe
          the thing to the bottom and have it straightened out than to
          foster it and allow it to corrode and interfere with your peace
          and happiness, because you have covenanted to sustain him; on the
          other hand, we cannot sustain anything that is unrighteous,
          impure or unholy. We go to him and say, Bishop so and so, I have
          come to see you on unpleasant business--you may be polite about
          it or you may not--but people can always afford to be polite; I
          have learned thus and so; I hope I am misinformed, can you
          explain that to me? If the matter could be explained to your
          satisfaction you would be glad of it; but whether it could be or
          not you would have the satisfaction of knowing that you had
          performed your duty. If not, however, and the matter be of such a
          character as to call for an investigation, it would be proper
          that it be inquired into by the proper authorities. Then you are
          free, and you have not violated any covenant. If any covenants
          have been violated, it is he that is guilty, and it is for him to
          account for his acts to the Lord and his brethren; and if no
          wrong shall be found in him, there is no good man but what would
          be pleased to see such a man acquitted. But while we seek equity
          and justice on the one hand, on the other we must not interfere
          with the rights of anybody; no matter who it is that indulges in
          iniquity, their iniquity will find them out sooner or later. And
          it is better for us instead of talking to this one and the other,
          if wrong exists, to go direct to the persons themselves and have
          it adjusted, then bring it up according to the rules laid down
          governing such matters. Then the doer of the wrong is accountable
          for the wrong, not somebody else. Then when he is dealt with by
          the Church, whether he be a teacher, priest, deacon, bishop or
          anybody else, you are free from all responsibility afterwards of
          sustaining that man. And until the proper course has been taken
          with such a person, we should be very careful what course we
          pursue in relation to this kind of thing, so that we do not
          violate our covenants.
          There is an uneasy feeling existing among some people: they can
          see plenty of wrong all around if they have a mind to; and some
          will apostatize because somebody else has done wrong. What a
          foolish course that is to pursue! If we follow God's plan we can
          bring the sin right home to the man who has done the wrong; and
          if he did not repent of it, he would have to be cut off. But the
          devil would say, "I would not stop in a church where there were
          such folks." He would first influence a number of the people to
          do wrong, and then he would try to get the others to leave the
          Church because some of the members were doing wrong. That however
          would be foolish, and contrary to the order of God.
          The Lord has placed in his Church Apostles and Prophets, High
          Priests, Seventies, Elders, etc., what for? For the perfecting of
          the Saints. Are we all perfect to begin with? No. These various
          officers are for perfecting of the Saints. What else? For the
          work of the ministry; that men might be qualified and informed
          and be full of intelligence, wisdom and light, and learn to
          proclaim the principles of eternal truth and to bring out from
          the treasury of God things new and old, things calculated to
          promote the welfare of the people. Now, then, these offices
          having been placed in the Church, every man ought to be respected
          in his office. I know some of you think we can respect some, and
          some we cannot respect; we can respect some of the prominent
          authorities--I do not know who they are, do you? You remember
          when Jesus was upon the earth, some of his followers were
          contending, as to who was the greatest: and he took a little
          child and placed it in their midst, he said, "he that can be most
          like this little child, is the greatest in the kingdom of
          heaven." And I will tell you more than that, that the teacher, or
          deacon that fulfills his duties is a great deal more honorable
          than a president or any of the twelve that does not. And there
          are duties and responsibilities devolving on all of us pertaining
          to these matters; and we ought to be very careful in all our acts
          that we do not transgress the laws of God.
          In a few remarks yesterday I referred to the various officers of
          the Church, and to some of the leading duties that devolve upon
          them to attend to. There are duties devolving upon all of us
          which we cannot ignore. Duties as Apostles, duties as presidents
          of stakes, duties as bishops, duties as high councilors, duties
          pertaining to all the various officers in the Church. Well, can
          any man that has received the holy priesthood, and who
          comprehends the position he occupies before God--which very few
          of us can do--can he afford to neglect any of those duties? I
          think not. We call this organization that we are associated with,
          the church and kingdom of God. Is it the Church of God? Yes. Then
          it is God's church is it not? Yes. Who is at the head of it? The
          Lord ought to be, and we ought to be subject to him. Who? Why
          every one of us; myself, say, and all the Twelve, the presidents
          of stakes, the bishops, the high priests, the elders, the
          seventies, the high councilors, and all men in the Church ought
          to feel that we are the church of God, in the Church of God and
          subject to the law of God. We talk about a priesthood; who are
          the Priesthood, and what is it? As I understand it, it is the
          rule and the government of God, whether it exists in the heavens
          or on the earth; whether we refer to the things of time or to the
          things of eternity; whether we refer to spiritual things or to
          temporal things, they are, or ought to be, under the guidance and
          dominion of God. How and from whom did we receive our authority?
          Let us go back for a while, and who could we find anywhere upon
          the earth that had authority even to proclaim the Gospel, or to
          administer in the ordinances of the Gospel? Could we find
          anybody? No, we could not. I could not in my younger days--and I
          sought diligently for it, but I could not find anybody who
          possessed it. What, not among the religious professors of the
          world. Nowhere among the learned, the intelligent, the
          scientific? No, nowhere. Very well, how did we come at a
          knowledge of this? God revealed it to his servant Joseph Smith.
          And when he did so, he did not say much about it himself. The
          first thing he did when he appeared to Joseph was to introduce
          his Son; pointing unto him, he said: "This is my beloved Son,
          hear him." And what did the Son say? We have his teachings in the
          Gospel, in his communications with the Nephites and others. Then
          there were others who held the priesthood with him; who held it
          on the earth and who now hold it in eternity, and who held the
          keys of this priesthood; and those several parties came and
          conferred the keys which they held upon him, but not until the
          Lord had come and given them permission to do so. Hence we got
          our Aaronic priesthood through that means, and we got our
          Melchizedek priesthood through that means, and any office or
          ordinance that any of you have received, you received it through
          that medium, or you have received none at all. Very well, what
          does it lead us to? To those whom we call sons of God. Just as it
          was said on former occasions, "Now are we sons of God, and it
          doth not yet 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." Very well, we are the sons of God then, the chosen of God,
          the elect of God, called by him, set apart by him, through the
          medium of this holy priesthood of which I have spoken. And if we
          have received any office, or calling, or authority, or any power
          to administer in any of the ordinances, we have received that
          from the hand of God, and we can only perform these ordinances
          according to the priesthood we are permitted to possess. For
          instance, an elder cannot perform the labor of an apostle; a
          bishop cannot perform the labor of an apostle; and a bishop, as a
          bishop, outside of other things, has not authority to lay on
          hands to impart the gift of the Holy Ghost; whatever he may do in
          that capacity it is through the Melchizedek Priesthood which he
          holds, and he could not do it without. Can a priest lay hands
          upon people and say, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost?" No, it does not
          belong to him to do it. Well, then, men are necessarily confined
          to operate within the limits and authority of the various offices
          of the priesthood to which they are called and ordained--an elder
          to perform the office of an elder, a priest to perform the office
          of a priest. In early days it was quite common for a priest to go
          out and preach the Gospel and baptize people for the remission of
          sins, and then call upon an elder to lay hands upon them to
          confirm them members of the Church, for the priest did not have
          the power to do it. And while the priest could baptize, a teacher
          or a deacon could not, not having the authority to do it; if they
          were to do it, it would not amount to anything. There is strict
          order about these things associated with the Church and kingdom
          of God. Well, then, on the other hand, if we perform our duties,
          each one of us in our proper position, God gives us power to
          accomplish the object we have in view, no matter what it is, or
          what priesthood we hold; no matter whether it is the president of
          the Church, or the president of the stake, a bishop, a high
          councilor, a high priest, a seventy, or an elder, priest, teacher
          or deacon; no matter what, if they perform duties with an eye
          single to the glory of God, he will sustain them in their
          operations and administrations.
          Now, I will refer to a principle which is perhaps one of the
          greatest manifestations of the power and goodness of God that
          exists in this Church, and at the same time one that is as little
          noticed; but one wherein God does manifest himself in a most
          remarkable manner in the view of all reflecting, intelligent men.
          For instance, the elders go forth to preach the Gospel; they call
          upon people to repent and to be baptized in the name of Jesus for
          the remission of their sins. Did you ever think what the name
          meant? If a man go in the name of another person, he goes by the
          authority of that person. If an agent, say of Z. C. M. I., or any
          other firm, go in the name of this firm, it is expected that he
          has credentials from the firm he represents. Or, if a governor
          comes here, he is first appointed by the proper
          authorities--nominated by the President and confirmed by the
          Senate of the United States, and he comes with proper credentials
          to act as governor of this Territory; he comes in the name or by
          the authority of the United States; and the government of the
          United States feels itself bound to back up his acts, the same as
          a mercantile firm would feel obligated to acknowledge the acts of
          its agents.
          Now, then, the Lord has commenced his Church here upon the earth.
          He has conferred upon men his holy Melchizedek priesthood; he has
          told them to go forth and preach and call 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. You all know about
          these things, it is not necessary to talk much about them.
          Very well; now, then, this elder goes forth in the name of God,
          does he not? That is the way I understand it--by the authority of
          the Lord, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, he preaches
          this doctrine to the people. "Now," says he, "repent and be
          baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus, for the
          remission of your sins, and you shall receive the Holy Ghost." A
          priest could not say, You shall receive the Holy Ghost; a teacher
          or a deacon could not say it, neither could a bishop say it by
          virtue of his bishopric, but he could by virtue of the high
          priesthood he holds. Now, then, let any of these men go to work
          and lay hands on anybody for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and they
          might as well do anything else, it would not amount to anything.
          But an elder, or anyone holding the proper authority, comes
          along, and takes the candidate for baptism and, after baptizing
          him, he lays his hands upon his head and says: "In the name of
          the Lord Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the holy priesthood
          conferred upon me, I lay my hands upon your head and confirm you
          a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and
          I say unto you, receive ye the Holy Ghost." Did you ever think of
          that? It is quite a significant thing, is it not? And you do it
          in the name of Jesus Christ and by authority which God has given
          you. You lay your hands upon the individual who has been baptized
          for the remission of sins, and say, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost,"
          and he receives it. If that is not so, tell me, will you, you
          that have had hands laid upon your heads by the elders of this
          Church. You know what I say is true. Now, I propose to show a
          certain principle, namely, that God is true to the covenants
          which he makes with us, and that there is no violation of the law
          or promises on his part. God will bless a teacher of this Church
          when he goes forth in the performance of his duties among the
          people; he will bless a bishop in his administration, and others
          in the discharge of their several duties, no matter what their
          priesthood may be. But here is an important item: there are some
          of these things which I have referred to that some cannot
          do--they cannot not lay hands upon them to impart unto them the
          Holy Ghost. If an elder can, he does it by and through the
          authority of Jesus Christ, through the medium of the holy
          priesthood conferred upon him by those holding authority. And
          when he performs this act, the recipients having complied with
          the requirements--faith, repentance and baptism--when he lays his
          hands upon their heads, God sanctions his action by imparting the
          Holy Ghost. Thus proving that God is true to his agreement; and
          through that means we become the sons of God and belong to the
          household of faith, and to us properly belong the covenants and
          blessings associated therewith. These are the initiatory steps.
          And we have a witness within ourselves, each one of us, in regard
          to those great principles that God has revealed to the human
          family. Now, then, are we the sons of God? Is he our Father? Yes.
          Have we received his Spirit, whereby we are enabled to cry, "Abba
          Father," or "my Father?" Yes. What have we done since we received
          it? We do not like to look at some of our acts when we think of
          these things; we would rather we could blot them out from our
          memories, but we cannot; they are there. And when we reflect upon
          our follies, our imperfections and our iniquities of various
          kinds, how do we feel? We do not feel pleasant about it. God has
          conferred upon us the greatest treasure and the greatest boon he
          could bestow upon the human family, but we have received the
          treasure in earthen vessels. We often do things we ought not to
          do, and leave undone things we ought to do; and how often have we
          grieved the Spirit of God within us! He has done more for us than
          this. He has placed us here in his Church and kingdom; he has
          gathered us together; he has organized us according to the laws
          and order of the holy priesthood. He has united us to our wives,
          and our wives to their husbands, with an everlasting covenant
          that cannot be broken. But we break it sometimes, don't we? He
          has shown us how and in what way our wives may be united with us
          in the eternities to come, and how we may have our children
          sealed to us and be one with us in time and in eternity, and has
          poured blessings upon many of our heads that will exist while
          time shall last and eternity endure. It was said of Jesus, that
          to his government and dominion there should be no end. And the
          same has been said of a great many more; and yet we will allow
          little things to separate us from our God, and from our brethren,
          and from our wives and then our wives from their husbands, and
          break up, and rant and rear and destroy, until we hardly know
          whether it is us or somebody else. Sometimes we hardly know
          whether we are in the Church and kingdom of God or not, until in
          many instances the light within us becomes darkness, and then,
          oh, how great is that darkness! It is necessary that we should
          study well and watch well the path of our feet. We are here
          laying the foundation for eternity, and for no other purpose. We
          are here that we may receive bodies, that in our bodies and
          spirits, and through them and through the powers of the
          priesthood and the everlasting Gospel, we may gain a position by
          and bye, among the Gods in the eternal worlds, and with them
          possess a glory and dominion and authority, power and exaltation
          that has hardly entered into our hearts to conceive of. And yet,
          we will fritter away our privileges, treat lightly the things of
          God, disregard the counsels of God and the priesthood of God, and
          wander in by and forbidden paths, and lose sight of these great
          and glorious principles that God has revealed for the salvation
          of the human family.
          Referring to the principle of union, we ought to be one. We have
          things come up quite frequently, say, in a legislative capacity
          and otherwise, and our legislators and others enter into certain
          measures, but the people will not be sufficiently united to carry
          them out. And there seems to be a spirit, more or less among the
          people like this: some will brusquely and thoughtlessly say, "I
          will be damned if I don't have my own way." All right. I will
          tell you another thing: you will be damned if you do, unless your
          way is the way that God will sanction.
          Let me speak of some other things associated with this. If we had
          perfect union, what is there we could not accomplish? And yet God
          has done a great deal for us. We have for instance, one man in
          Congress to represent our interests; only one man, and he has not
          a vote at that. And in a great many instances the combined powers
          of the United States have been plotting against us, and it is
          to-day seeking our overthrow. And why? Because we dare believe in
          God, and because we dare keep his commandments, miserably as we
          do it, and the little we do of it. We do not do much, but the
          little we do, produces this kind of feeling; because this world
          is opposed to God and to his laws and to his church and kingdom.
          And what have they done hitherto? You could not get a man
          anywhere in the United States that knows anything of the workings
          of government or affairs brought in operation against us, but
          what believed that we would have been destroyed and swept off the
          earth long ago. But we are still here. Why? Not because you and I
          had fulfilled all our covenants and observed the laws of God; but
          it is because God knows and remembers that we are but flesh, but
          weak, fallen humanity; he remembers we are but dust; it is
          because he feels kindly and graciously toward us, and has said
          that it is his business to take care of his Saints, and to fight
          our battles for us. It is not because of what we have done, for
          we have not done much. And if God had not sustained us and turned
          away and restrained the wrath of mar, we would not have been here
          to-day. Now, this is a fact. Well, God is kind to us; do not let
          us treat him so thoughtlessly; do not let us treat his ordinances
          lightly; but rather let us reverence and esteem those men upon
          whom God has placed his holy priesthood, and let us try by our
          faith and prayers and by our acts, to sustain them in all
          particulars as we agreed to do when we held up our hands. And
          then I ask no odds of the combined powers of the whole world, for
          God is on our side, and as long as we maintain our position
          before him, I will risk the balance. He holds the nations in his
          hands, and he will say to them, as he did to the waves of the
          mighty ocean--"Hitherto shalt thou go and no farther, and here
          shall thy proud waves be stayed." And they cannot help
          themselves. We are in the hands of God, and they are. And I am
          afraid sometimes, when I see the follies of my brethren; I
          tremble for the result; but God is gracious and kind. Do not let
          us be ungrateful, but let us try to remember the blessing with
          which we are surrounded, the benefits he confers upon us--the
          light of the holy Gospel, our present and eternal associations;
          and remember that we are placed here as representatives of God
          upon the earth, to operate with prophets and apostles and men of
          God who lived and died and are now behind the vail, to operate
          with them in the accomplishment of the purposes of God,
          pertaining to the earth whereon we stand. We are living in an
          eventful time, in the dispensation of the fullness of times, the
          period in which God has said he would gather together all things
          in one, whether they be things in heaven or things on the earth;
          and therefore, he has organized us as we are.
          When Jesus was here he felt the importance of the things I am now
          speaking of; and when he was about to leave his disciples he knew
          what the powers of darkness were, for he battled with them; and,
          indeed he was able to do so, having been anointed with the oil of
          gladness above his fellows. But notwithstanding this and the fact
          of his being the Only Begotten of the Father, yet, when he came
          to wrestle with the difficulties he had to cope with, he sweat
          great drops of blood, and said "Father, if it be possible, let
          this cup pass from me; I shrink to encounter the things I have to
          cope with, but nevertheless, not my will but thine be done." Now,
          we have to pass through a variety of things; many of us are tried
          and tempted, and we get harsh and hard feelings against one
          another. And it reminds me of your teams when going down hill
          with a heavy load. When the load begins to crowd on to the
          horses, you will frequently see one snap at his mate, and the
          other will prick up his ears and snap back again. And why? A
          little while before, perhaps, and they were playing with each
          other. Because the load crowds on them. Well, when the load
          begins to crowd, do not snap at your brethren, but let them feel
          that you are their friends, and pull together. Says Jesus, with
          reference to his disciples, "Father, I pray that these may be
          one, I in them and thou in me; that that spirit, O God that
          dwells in thee and that thou hast imparted unto me, might also
          dwell in them, and that their hearts may be united together by
          the bonds of eternal life and fellowship and priesthood; that
          they may feel after one another's welfare and seek to promote one
          another's happiness, we having drunk of that river, the streams
          whereof shall make glad the city of our God:" that it may arise
          and flow and bubble in our hearts, and that its vivifying streams
          may be felt wherever we go, an that the influence and light and
          power and spirit and intelligence of God may be with us, that we
          may be one, according to the prayer of our Lord, "As I Father, am
          in thee, and thou in me, that the world may know that thou has
          sent me." These principles are as eternal as the heavens. Do they
          exist in heaven? Yes. You read the first chapter of Genesis
          pertaining to these matters; and how is it? "In the beginning God
          created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form
          and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the
          Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
          And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
          He had nobody around him to rise up and say, had you not better
          put it off for a little while, or otherwise change things, or to
          intimate that they were not prepared for what was done. No, they
          knew better. I suppose it would be more correct to render it,
          "And the Gods said, Let there be light, etc" But to us you now
          there is only one God; and he said, let there be light, and there
          was light. And God saw the light that it was good. It was made
          according to eternal principles according to the strictest
          principles of intelligence and philosophy; and when it was made,
          it was declared good.
          In the councils of the Gods in the eternal worlds there was no
          confusion--I rather think there were no politicians there, no one
          to get up any feelings of animosity. Things were agreed upon, and
          when this was done they were carried out. When agreed upon God
          would say, let so and so be done, and it was done. Now, we see
          that there was perfect unanimity; but there was not always
          unanimity in heaven even. What, not in heaven? No, not until one
          third part was cast out; and I do not think that it was for doing
          any good. Sometimes I think we will have to cast out quite a
          number too, in order to get things in the right shape. Satan was
          cast out, and those that adhered to him who rebelled against God
          in the eternal worlds. Well, everything has not been altogether
          pure in heaven; but they straightened them out as well as they
          could, as we do here sometimes, and as we do not do here very
          And when we talk about the heavens, there will be a new heaven as
          well as a new earth. You know, we read that there will be a new
          heaven and a new earth, wherein righteousness will dwell.
          Well, we are here struggling and trying to introduce correct
          principles, and to advance not only the interests of the Church
          of God, but the kingdom of God, for God will have a kingdom. I
          hope you will not tell it to anybody if I tell you something--God
          will have a kingdom, and he will have rule and dominion, for this
          earth belongs to him and he will possess it, and his Saints will
          inherit it at last. We did not use to be afraid of talking about
          these things. In former times they told us that the Saints of the
          Most High should finally take the kingdom and the greatness of
          the kingdom, which should be given to the Saints of the Most High
          God. Do you believe it? I happen to be one who believes it. And I
          prophesy that it will be fulfilled. But we are a sorry lot of
          people to do a thing of that kind, are we not? We have not made
          much progress yet in the race; we are only preparing for it, many
          of us cannot do what Brother Joseph F. Smith was talking about
          yesterday, that is making a sacrifice and feel that we are for
          God and his kingdom. But we can hardly get out of it. I tell you
          how some of us feel--"God bless me and my wife, my son John and
          his wife us four and no more. Amen." That feeling is a long way
          from the other. God feels interested in the welfare of the whole
          human family. What, of the Saints? Yes, and others too. But the
          others do not have the priesthood. The others, if they ever
          obtain a celestial glory, will have to obtain it through the
          Latter-day Saints. What manner of people ought we to be? A little
          different from what we are. We think it troublesome sometimes to
          pay our tithing; we think it troublesome sometimes to pray in our
          families; we think it troublesome sometimes to feed the poor and
          take care of the destitute. Well, suppose we were to change
          places a little while with them, how would you feel then? You
          would feel that it was much better to give than to receive. We
          want our feelings and sympathies drawn out. And God has placed us
          where we are, in order that we may be preserved to receive
          instructions from his hands. We have in our school operations
          what we call our normal schools, to prepare teachers to teach
          others. Now, the Lord has a normal school in Utah. He is
          preparing us in a variety of ways--sometimes we have not enough
          snow in the winter season, and consequently a scarcity of water
          in the summer; sometimes too much rain, and at other times not
          enough; we have some wise and some unwise, and we have some rich
          and some poor. Yes, we have some who are poor among us, and why?
          We would not know what it was to see persons in those
          circumstances if we did not have some among us, and then, the
          opportunity is afforded us to show our kindness, and to develop
          within us that fellow-feeling we sometimes talk about. But we do
          not want to call them poor, for some of them are just as good as
          we are, and some perhaps a little better than many of us. If good
          people are suffering for the common necessaries of life, the
          scriptures say, "If a man having this world's goods see his
          brother in need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion, how
          dwelleth the love of God in him?" And in regard to those matters,
          we ought to look to the wants of everybody; that, however, more
          particularly devolves upon the bishops and the brethren of the
          Aaronic priesthood. Do not let us make paupers of them; but let
          us treat them as brethren and sisters, as good, honorable men and
          women; let us see that they are provided for. I have seen some
          people who would get down upon their knees and pray most heartily
          for God to feed the poor and clothe the naked. Now, I would never
          ask the Lord to do a thing that I would not do. If we have them
          among us, suppose we go at it and relieve them. I do not think we
          have much of that to do here; but, enough, perhaps, to draw forth
          your good feelings and sympathies. And if people sustain
          misfortune of any kind, look after them and bestow upon them
          those things necessary for their welfare and happiness. And God
          will bless us in so doing. I would a great deal rather that you
          would take, say a sack of flour, some beef, a hundred of sugar,
          some butter and cheese, and clothing and fuel, and such comforts
          and conveniences of life, and thus try to make people feel happy
          than all the prayers you could offer up to the Lord about it; and
          he would rather see it too; that is the proper way to do things.
          In receiving blessings ourselves, try to distribute them, and God
          will bless and guide us in the ways of peace.
          Perhaps I am occupying too much time. I do not care much about
          making a big discourse; I am talking in a plain, easy way, and I
          think you understand it. And if there is a widow, or an orphan,
          or any destitute persons, or any one who has to struggle hard,
          look after them, and do not try to make paupers of them; but what
          you do for them, do it in a kind, good feeling making them to
          feel and realize that you are their friends. And then, let us try
          to do away with all our little difficulties--husbands with their
          wives. Why will you complain about your wives? Because they will
          get cross. Are you not cross? "Yes; but my wife is not as kind as
          she used to be." Well, try to get along with her, and treat her
          kindly; and be kind to one another. If you live in this way while
          here in the flesh, you will be glad to meet one another in the
          eternal worlds. Cultivate every good principle, and live in his
          fear day by day, and he will take care of us, and he will bless
          and multiply our flocks and herds, our lands and everything we
          I will tell you a secret. If we could only prepare ourselves to
          do the will of God and keep his commandments and live our
          religion so that God could trust us with more means than we have,
          he would so order things, and that too by natural ways, that our
          desires in that direction would be fully gratified. But we are
          not prepared for it; it would only destroy us, and lead us to the
          devil; and the Lord knows it. At the same time we cannot complain
          in this regard; the Lord has treated us very well. I do not know
          of a people anywhere that are better off as a whole than we are.
          It is true we do not have the amount of wealth among us that may
          be found in older countries; but then we do not have the poverty,
          the suffering and distress that may be found elsewhere. It is for
          us to introduce principles that will obviate all these
          difficulties, and that will prepare us to receive blessings from
          God, and to administer the same wisely.
          Another thing. We are building temples. Are we doing pretty well?
          Yes. Do you find fault? No. I have nothing to say about it; I
          think the people are doing very well especially in some districts
          in the north and south, indeed, I think more than they are able
          to do. But they could not do what they have already done and what
          they are doing without the assistance and blessing of the
          Almighty. They are building two beautiful edifices. What for? Is
          it a matter of speculation? Yes, one of the greatest speculations
          ever conceived of. It is for the salvation of the human family;
          it is for the redemption of the living and salvation of the dead.
          It is for the accomplishment of the purposes of God pertaining to
          the inhabitants of the earth, our forefathers, and then, all we
          can attain to after that. In those things we are doing very, very
          well; and I feel to bless the people because of their liberality
          in relation to those matters, especially those of the districts I
          have referred to.
          Well, now, I do not know that I should detain you much longer.
          What shall we do? Keep our covenants, sustain Brother Smith; and
          let Brother Smith act in a way that will be worthy of being
          sustained. And then sustain your bishops, and let them also so
          act as to be worthy of your esteem. And sustain their counselors,
          and hearken to their counsels and advice. They are seeking to do
          you good; and to build up your interests. and then sustain your
          teachers, and your deacons and your priests, and do all you can
          to lift them up that they may be enabled to do a good work in
          their day and generation, and benefit you and your generations
          after you. And then there are others. You have your Relief
          Societies, and I am glad always to speak a word in behalf of
          them. Our sisters are one with us; and we are operating together
          in trying to build up the kingdom of God. I would say to the
          sisters I would watch after the youth and after the interests of
          the sisters, and try to introduce everything good and
          praiseworthy, and try to do all you can to promote the welfare of
          your sons and daughters; and God will bless you as he has done,
          and more abundantly. I was pleased to hear a compliment that was
          made to our Young people's Mutual Improvement Associations. It is
          gratifying to parents and to all who have the interests of Zion
          at heart, to hear of, and to see our young men and women grow up
          in the fear of God. Some, as is the case everywhere are inclined
          to be a little rude and thoughtless. It is our privilege, and the
          privilege of the youth, to improve, and to cultivate our morals
          and manners so that if it should ever be our pleasure to mingle
          with the angels, we should find the most happy and enjoyable
          society. Let us learn to treat one another with kindness and
          courtesy, and let the young cultivate the fear of God. I tell you
          what I used to do when quite a young boy. I made it a practice to
          go and call upon the Lord; it was before there was any
          "Mormonism." And many score times have I gone into fields behind
          the bushes, and also into hay lofts to call upon God to guide me
          and keep me from evil and to lead me in the paths of
          righteousness. Did I feel happy? Yes, for I had a portion of the
          Spirit of God with me. How much better in this respect it is for
          our youth. I had parents who feared God, but they, any more than
          any one else, did not know anything at all about the true plan of
          salvation, for it had not been revealed. I sued to go to the
          Church of England; and many of you present used to go too; and we
          used to say that we were all "miserable sinners." We also
          confessed every sunday that we had "done the things we ought not
          to have done, and left undone the things which we ought to have
          done." This was all very true. The teachers themselves did not
          know any better, neither did we. But I used to take pleasure in
          calling upon the Lord to lead me in the right way. I did not have
          the helps that you have. You have the benefit of your mutual
          Improvement Societies. Attend them, and seek to cultivate
          intelligence of every kind; and above all, reverence and respect
          your parents, they who have watched over you and take care of
          you, they who have educated you and fed and clothed you and felt
          an interest in your welfare.
          And in regard to all of our operations, brethren and sisters, let
          us ever try to do right, and let us try to invent something
          whereby we can be self-sustaining; let us purchase from our own
          people, and above all let us try to make our own goods and supply
          our own wants and necessities. Let us try and carry these
          principles out, for they are true and correct. And if there is
          anything good and praise-worthy, let us seek after it; and shun
          everything that tends to misery, degradation and death.
          God bless you, and lead you in the paths of life. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 /
          Charles W. Penrose, August 8th, 1880
                        Charles W. Penrose, August 8th, 1880
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER C. W. PENROSE,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon,
                                  August 8th, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                            THE INSPIRATION OF THE LORD'S
          Having been called upon this afternoon to address this
          congregation, I rise before you trusting that the Holy Spirit,
          which makes plain to the human mind the things of God, may rest
          upon me and upon you; that I may be inspired by that Spirit to
          say something which will be of profit to those who hear, and that
          those who listen to what I may say may be able to understand in
          the same light and under the same influence as that by which the
          words are spoken.
          The elders of this Church, in ministering as public speakers,
          stand before the people in the name of the Lord. They do not
          address congregations for the purpose of ventilating the opinions
          and ideas which they may entertain, but they occupy the position
          of ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ, to speak that which is
          given to them by the influence of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless,
          the servants of God are instructed to "treasure up in their
          hearts continually the words of life," with the promise that if
          they do this and are diligent in seeking for the mind and will of
          God, in the very hour that they are needed words shall be placed
          in their mouths, or ideas be brought up in their minds, which
          shall be for the benefit of all who hear. It is in this Spirit
          that I endeavor to address the congregation this afternoon, and I
          hope I shall have not only your attention, but the benefit of
          your faith and prayers, that the Spirit of God may rest upon me
          and the congregation also.
          We are living upon the earth at a time when there are a great
          many creeds--a great many different doctrines, each professing to
          be the true faith--the Christian religion. There is a spirit of
          doubt and division in the world. Men are ever learning but not
          able to come to a knowledge of the truth. They indulge in a great
          many speculations. Some good people study the Scriptures and
          endeavor to find out what is divine truth, but their ideas are
          various; they do not come to the unity of the faith; and the
          great reason why this is so is because they do not seek to the
          fountain of light and truth with the expectation of receiving any
          reply. In olden times God used to speak to the people. He had
          servants upon the earth who spoke as they were moved upon by the
          Holy Ghost; angels ministered to the sons of men, and truth was
          revealed in great plainness from the Father. But in these times
          people have to put up with the ideas and notions that men hold in
          relation to these truths which were anciently revealed. There is
          now no voice from heaven, no prophet among the people; there are
          no inspired apostles; angels have ceased to minister, and to use
          the words of one of the great divines of the day, "The awful
          voice of prophecy is silenced forever."
          Of course in making use of these remarks I am speaking in
          relation to what is called the Christian world. The Latter-day
          Saints believe that God is the same yesterday, to-day and
          forever, and that if he is sought after to-day in the same way
          that he was sought after yesterday, he will answer in the same
          manner. We believe that it is just as possible for angels to come
          to earth in these times as in any former age of the world; we
          believe that the power of the Holy Ghost is the same to-day as it
          was thousands of years ago; that divine truth can be made
          manifest direct from God to the people now as it was in the days
          of Jesus, or in the days of the prophets who preceded him on the
          The religion we Latter-day Saints have received--which we hold
          to, which we live for, and which a great many of us are willing
          to die for, if necessary--has come to us by revelation from God
          in the day and age in which we live. In taking up the writings of
          the old prophets, in reading the letters written by the ancient
          apostles, we find that the religion which God has revealed to us,
          is the same religion which God revealed to them. What is
          contained in the Bible corroborates that which we have received,
          and the spirit which accompanies the preaching of the word to us,
          is similar in its effects to that spirit which accompanied the
          preaching of the ancient prophets and apostles of the Lord. We
          find this out by reading that portion of their records which has
          been left. So that the religion of the Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints is not a mere theory of men. The doctrines
          which we have received have come to us direct from the Lord in
          our own time. We are not left to speculation, we are not left to
          our own theories, but we have defined principles given to us of
          God for our guidance, for our comfort and for our edification.
          Now, there is a disposition existing in the world to-day to go
          away from the Lord. Men seem to have a desire to follow out their
          own imaginations, their own ideas and notions, and in consequence
          of this a great many wrong principles have been received for
          truth in the Christian world, and this disposition seems to
          increase. The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Saints in his day,
          advised them to "beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy
          and vain deceit, after the tradition of man, after the rudiments
          of the world and not after Christ." Now, that same advice is good
          for the people in our times; good for the Latter-day Saints; good
          for the people who compose the various sects of modern
          Christendom. If we have received the doctrines of Christ, if our
          feet are planted firmly upon the rock which he has laid, there is
          no fear of our going astray; but if we depart from that and walk
          in the ways of men, and are led by their theories and their
          speculations and their vain philosophy, e are very likely to go
          I notice in reading some of the works of modern divines, and
          noting the progress of religious thought among the people, that
          there is a doctrine which is becoming very widespread among the
          people called "Christians," that is, a heresy in regard to the
          doctrine of our condition in the future. It is believed by a
          great many people at the present time, that there is no such
          thing as a literal resurrection of the body; that when this body
          is laid away in the ground and goes back to the elements out of
          which it was organized, that is the end of the body, and that it
          will never come up gain. They do not see any need of a literal
          resurrection of the body; they cannot perceive by what process it
          can be resuscitated; and not being able to comprehend how this
          great change can come, how the scattered elements of the body can
          be brought together again, they reject the doctrine altogether.
          This is the belief of the people who are called spiritualists or
          spiritists. This is one of the doctrines of that great delusion
          of the latter times, that "strong delusion" that the Lord has
          permitted to come into the world because men would not receive
          the truth, but turned away from it and loved a lie. It is taught
          by that rapping and muttering influence, that when the spirit
          leaves the body and passes into another state, that is the
          resurrection; that the body will be raised up no more; that the
          spirit, liberated from the body, will progress from sphere to
          sphere--how many spheres they do not know--but that there is no
          further need of the body. This idea is increasing in its hold
          upon the minds of the people, among the various "Christian"
          sects, and some of the greatest preachers and divines of the day
          entertain this idea, philosophize upon it and teach it to their
          congregations. Now we have the satisfaction of definite knowledge
          in regard to this matter, as well as all the articles of our
          creed--if we have such a thing as a formulated creed. The ideas
          we have in relation to this doctrine have come from God. There is
          no need of any doubt about it, no need for any speculation. The
          Lord has revealed something concerning this. It is true he has
          not revealed the philosophy of it in full, he has only given us
          some ideas concerning it. But he has made the fact very plain
          that there may be no misunderstanding about it. In the Book of
          Doctrine and Covenants--which contains many of the revelations
          that God has given to the Church through the Prophet Joseph
          Smith, we find this doctrine laid down in great plainness. It is
          stated that the spirit and the body make up the soul of man, and
          that the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the
          soul. We are taught also that there are material elements and
          spiritual elements; that the spiritual part of our being was in
          the beginning with God, and that the spiritual and material when
          inseparably connected receive a fulness of joy, otherwise men
          cannot receive a fulness of joy. It takes the spiritual part of
          man and the material or physical part joined together inseparably
          to obtain a fulness of joy. When the spirit is separated from the
          body, a fulness of joy cannot be obtained. When the spirit is
          joined to the body temporarily under a temporal law, under the
          law of death, it cannot receive a fulness of joy. The spirit and
          the body must be so joined together that both will be immortal,
          and in that condition man can receive a fulness of joy.
          The Book of Mormon is also very plain upon this subject. I will
          read one or two texts from that book, and if I have time I may
          refer to the Bible, to show that the things contained in the Book
          of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants are the same as
          contained in the old scriptures. I will read a passage from the
          seventy-ninth page (new edition) of the Book of Mormon, namely:
          "And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual
          death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell;
          wherefore death and hell must deliver up its captive spirits and
          the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and
          the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is
          by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
          "Oh how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the
          paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and
          the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit
          and body is restored to itself again, and all men become
          incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a
          perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh; save it be that our
          knowledge shall be perfect.
          "Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt,
          and our uncleanliness, and our nakedness, and the righteous shall
          have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment and their
          righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe
          of righteousness."
          Now, according to the Book of Mormon, the spirits of men, the
          righteous and the wicked, are to be brought up from the place to
          which they shall go when they depart from this life. There is no
          need for any dubiety about this, there is no need for any
          mistake; it is clear that the separation of the spirit from the
          body is not the resurrection spoken of in this book.
          The Prophet Alma, touching on this subject, explained to the
          people in his day what an angel of God made known to him. These
          words, which I am about to read to you from the Book of Alma, in
          the Book of Mormon, are not Alma's ideas and speculations. He
          says they were revealed to him by an angel. I would advise you to
          read the 40th chapter, 352 page, new edition. Alma states here
          that he was very much troubled concerning the doctrine of the
          condition of people after they passed away from this life. He
          wanted to know something of the condition of man between death
          and the resurrection, and he says an angel of God made known to
          him that there is a space between death and the resurrection,
          that the spirits of the wicked are in a state of unrest, having a
          knowledge of all their wickedness, and a remembrance of all their
          transgressions; that they are in a state of fear, looking for the
          wrath and indignation of God, not knowing what their punishment
          will be; while on the other hand, the spirits of the righteous
          enter into a state of rest. They have a perfect knowledge of all
          that God has done for them, and all their acts of righteousness,
          and they await in peace for the time when their bodies shall be
          brought forth from the dust to stand in the presence of their God
          to receive their crown. Alma then goes on to say:
          "But this much I say, that there is a space between death and the
          resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or
          in misery, until the time which is appointed of God that the dead
          shall come forth, and be re-united, both soul and body, and be
          brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their
          works. * *
          "The soul shall be restored to the body and the body to the soul;
          yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea,
          even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall
          be restored to their proper and perfect frame."
          Now, that is clear and distinct on this point. In regard to the
          times and seasons of this resurrection, about which Alma speaks,
          he said he did not know, but those things he did know were made
          known to him by an angel, namely, that there is a space between
          death and the resurrection; that at the resurrection the body and
          the spirit shall be brought up and restored to each other, and
          not only the body and spirit, but every part and particle
          belonging to the body; not a hair of the head shall be lost;
          every joint and muscle and fibre and sinew, and every part and
          particle necessary to make up a perfect physical body for the
          spirit to dwell in, shall be restored to that spirit in the
          resurrection. That is the doctrine laid down by the Prophet Alma,
          as taught to him by an angel.
          The very meaning of the word "resurrection" ought to dispel the
          idea that the separation of the spirit from the body at death is
          resurrection. The word itself means, "I stand up again." The idea
          which all the prophets and apostles of old had was that at some
          future time the voice of God should be uttered, and the dead
          should stand up again, their bodies should come from the grave;
          just exactly the doctrine laid down in the Book of Mormon and
          Book of Doctrine and Covenants. Some have an idea that the people
          who lived upon the earth before Jesus, had no correct ideas in
          regard to the future. I have seen such statements published by
          popular divines of the day; but when we come to take up the Old
          Testament Scriptures, we find that the writers, holy men of God,
          who wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Ghost, had a
          distinct and unwavering faith in regard to this same doctrine,
          that of the resurrection of the body.
          The book of Job is said to be the most ancient book of the Bible.
          I will read a verse or two from the 7th chapter. In the 9th verse
          we read: "As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that
          goeth down to the grave shall come up no more." Now, that is a
          very plain statement of Job's, that when a man goes down to the
          grave he shall not return. Those who believe in the vain
          philosophy that I have referred to, take a great deal of comfort
          in quoting that passage, and also some sayings of Solomon, the
          wise man; that is, he was a wise man once, but he became a
          foolish man before he died, not because he married more wives
          than one, but because he transgressed by marrying strange wives.
          Solomon, in some of his writings, speaks in the same way as Job.
          But I will read a verse from the 14th chapter of Job:
          "As the waters fall from the sea, and the flood decayeth and
          dryeth up; so man lieth down and riseth not."
          This also is a very plain statement, is it not? But Job did not
          stop here as he did in the 7th chapter, for he continues,
          "Till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised
          out of their sleep. O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave,
          that thou wouldest keep me secret until the wrath be passed, that
          thou wouldest appoint a set time, and remember! If a man die
          shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I
          wait till my change come. Thou shalt call and I will answer thee:
          thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands." Chapter xiv,
          Read again in the 19th chapter, where he is a little more
          explicit, commencing at the 23rd verse:
          "Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were printed in
          a book. That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the
          rock forever! For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he
          shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my
          skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."
          Now, in the first place, Job is speaking in regard to what we all
          seek in this world, in regard to the common lot of mortals. "Man
          lieth down and riseth not." In saying that Job had no reference
          to what would take place in the future. He was speaking of the
          common experience of mankind. But afterward, inspired by the
          spirit of prophecy, he looked right down to the latter days, in
          the midst of his afflictions, his trouble and sorrow, his pain of
          body and anguish of mind, when his friends were turned against
          him--he looked down to the latter days and wished that his words
          were written and printed in a book, that the words were graven in
          the rock with an iron pen and lead put into them, that they might
          stand as a witness to all future generations, as a testimony to
          the resurrection of the body and a rebuke to the vain philosophy
          of the latter times.
          I will now read a verse or two from the book of the Prophet
          Isaiah, to show that others of the ancients, besides Job, had
          some idea of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. In the
          19th, 20th and 21st verses of the 26th chapter of Isaiah we read;
          "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they
          arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as
          the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
          Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors
          about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until
          the indignation be overpast.
          For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the
          inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall
          disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain."
          Isaiah, you see, had the same spirit as Job. He spoke about the
          time when the indignation or wrath of God should pass over the
          earth, and he wished to be hidden in the grave until that time
          was over, and then he expected the earth to cast out her dead.
          I have not time to read the 37th chapter of Ezekiel--you can read
          it at home--but in that chapter we find that the Lord showed
          Ezekiel a valley full of dry bones. The Lord asked him whether
          these bones could live, and he answered, "Thou knowest." Then the
          Lord told him to prophesy upon these bones, and as he prophesied,
          there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came
          together, bone to his bone, the sinews and the flesh came upon
          them, and the skin covered them above but there was no breath in
          them. Then the Lord again told them to prophesy, and he
          prophesied as commanded, and the breath came into them, and they
          lived and stood upon their feet, and exceeding great army. Now,
          we have no need to read the writings of the divines of the
          present time to find out what this means. Right in the same
          chapter is given the interpretation.
          "These bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our
          bones are dried and our hope is lost; we are cut off for our
          parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them: Thus saith the Lord
          God, 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. * * And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live;
          and I will place you in your own land. Then ye shall know that I
          the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord."
          Now, by these testimonies that I have quoted from the Old
          Testament scriptures, we find that the people who lived on the
          earth before the days of Jesus had some knowledge in regard to
          the future, in regard to the condition of the spirit when it left
          the body, and also in regard to the resurrection of the body. The
          wise man Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes 12th chapter and 7th
          verse, speaking in regard to death, after giving a very poetical
          description of the house we live in, says: then shall the dust
          return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto
          God who gave it." He had some idea in regard to life after death,
          although if we read some of his writings we might gain the idea
          that man ended when his body was laid down in the grave.
          Now, these doctrines, which were understood by the people before
          the days of Christ are the same as believed in by the disciples
          of Jesus, the same as Jesus taught. We will take, for instance,
          Jesus' own declaration in regard to the resurrection, in which he
          says: "Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which
          all that are in their graves, shall hear his voice. And shall
          come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of
          life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of
          damnation." Or as it reads in the Prophet Joseph Smith's version,
          "they that have done good in the resurrection of the just, and
          they that have done evil in the resurrection of the unjust." Now,
          according to Christ's own statement to his disciples, all that
          are in their graves are to come forth, both the righteous and the
          wicked, just as it is taught in the Book of Mormon. This is also
          in accordance with what the Prophet Daniel--another of those
          ancients who understood this doctrine--says in the 12th chapter
          of his book. He speaks of Michael and the great trouble that
          shall come upon the earth in the latter days and says: "And many
          of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to
          everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
          Daniel understood that there was to be a resurrection both of the
          just and the unjust. Now take the 20th chapter of the Book of
          Revelations, read it, and you will find the resurrection
          portrayed to John by vision when he was on the Isle of Patmos. He
          "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was
          given unto them, and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded
          for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had
          not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received
          his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived
          and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the
          dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This
          is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part
          in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no
          power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall
          reign with him a thousand years."
          And after the thousand years passed away, John saw in the vision
          the rest of the dead brought forth. "The sea gave up the dead
          which wee in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which
          were in them: and they were judged; every man according to their
          The Apostle Paul in writing to the Philippians, 3d chap., 20-21
          v. says: "Our conversation in his heaven, from whence also we
          look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our
          vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto this glorious
          body." Now, according to this testimony, the righteous, who look
          for a part in the first resurrection, expect to have bodies like
          the glorious body of the Son of God. What kind of a body was
          that? We read that Jesus Christ was put to death upon the cross;
          that when he had cried with a loud voice, he said "Father, into
          thy hands I commend my spirit," and then gave up the ghost. The
          body was placed in a new tomb in which no man had lain, and to
          guard the body, lest somebody should come and take it away, Roman
          soldiers were placed before the door of the tomb or sepulchre.
          But we read that two angels came, before whom these Roman
          soldiers fell as dead, and they (the angels) rolled away the
          stone from the tomb and the sleeping body of Jesus awakened and
          came forth. When the disciples arrived the body was gone. Mary
          went into the garden to try and find out something concerning the
          body, and while she was weeping Jesus appeared unto her. She
          sprang forward and was about to embrace him when he said, "Touch
          me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my
          brethren and say unto them I ascend unto my Father and your
          Father, and to my God and to your God." When the disciples were
          informed of this they could not believe it, and they met together
          on a certain occasion, and when the doors were shut, for fear of
          the Jews, and they found they were securely alone, they began to
          talk about the wonderful things that had transpired; about the
          death of Jesus, the crucifixion of one whom they though was to
          take the throne and sit upon it in power forever. And we read
          that while they were talking Jesus appeared in their midst and
          said, "peace be unto you."
          "But they were terrified and frighted, and supposed that they had
          seen a spirit. And he said unto them, why are ye troubled? and
          why do thoughts arise in your hearts. Behold my hands and my
          feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit had
          not flesh and bones as ye see me have. * * *
          And while they yet believed not for joy and wondered, he said
          unto them, have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a
          broiled fish and of an honeycomb. And he took it and did eat
          before them. Luke xxiv 36-43.
          Now, here was a resurrection of the body. Not the raising of
          Christ's spirit, but his body out of the tomb. In that body he
          appeared before the disciples, and when they thought it was
          merely a spirit, he told them that a spirit had not flesh and
          bones as they saw him have. The disciples who had this
          manifestation told some of the rest. Thomas, however would not
          believe it. He said, "Except I shall see in his hands the print
          of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and
          thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." After making
          use of these foolish remarks, Jesus appeared to Thomas when he
          was assembled with the other disciples, and he said unto Thomas,
          "Reach hither thy finger and behold my hands; and reach hither
          thy hand and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless but
          believing." Thomas could not help believing them, but Jesus said
          unto him, "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou has believed:
          blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed." Faith
          is a great blessing. Some people will not believe anything they
          cannot grasp with their human reason or cannot see with their
          natural eyes. But blessed is the man of faith, blessed is the
          woman of faith! For by faith they can see into things that cannot
          be discerned by the natural eyes. They can reach out to the
          regions of immortality, grasp eternal realities and lay hold upon
          the things of God! Now, Jesus appeared in the same body that was
          placed in the tomb, and yet it was not the same, there was a
          change in it. What change was it? We read that Jesus Christ shed
          his blood "for the remission of sins; not for our only, but for
          the sins of the whole world." Jesus was raised up from the dead
          by the power of God, and says Paul, "If the spirit of him that
          raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up
          Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his
          spirit that dwelleth in you." Paul also says "Flesh and blood
          cannot inherit the kingdom of God." Blood is corruptible, the
          blood-quickened body is subject to the law of death. But Christ's
          body when it was raised from the dead was "quickened by the
          spirit." There was a great deal of difference not only in this
          respect but in others. When the disciples were shut up in that
          room Christ was able to enter it without opening the door, which
          could not be done by mortals. He had power to manifest himself to
          his disciples, and he had power to cover himself from their gaze.
          He had power to overcome the laws of gravity, and on a certain
          occasion, after he had visited his disciples, had appeared to 500
          brethren at once, had given instructions to his apostles to build
          up his church, as he spoke to them "a cloud received him out of
          their sight." He was able to lift himself up from the earth and
          depart from this sphere to another; his body was no longer a
          mortal body, no longer governed by the same laws as those by
          which we are governed. We are also told that "While they looked
          steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by
          them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee why
          stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken
          up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have
          seen him go to heaven--Act. i, 9-11." When he shall come again he
          shall come in the same body, and we are told in the 14th chapter
          of Zachariah that his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount
          of Olives and in the 13th chapter that when the Jews behold him,
          the Messiah, whom they have expected so long, they will say "What
          are these wounds in thine hands." Then he shall answer, "Those
          with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." And then
          every family will mourn apart; the whole house of Israel will
          mourn because of the wickedness of their forefathers in putting
          him to death. In receiving him at his second coming they will
          comprehend the truth of his first coming, and not before, and
          they will welcome him as the resurrected Christ. Now, the Apostle
          Paul says that "He shall change our vile body, that it may be
          fashioned like unto his glorious body." What kind of bodies will
          the righteous possess in the resurrection? They are to be bodies
          of flesh and bones quickened by spirit; not quickened by blood,
          no longer subject to death, pain, or any of the ills of
          mortality. This does not look much as if the separation of the
          spirit from the body is resurrection, Such a doctrine as that is
          not according to the scriptures, it is only "vain philosophy."
          Latter-day Saints, beware of this vain philosophy which would rob
          you of your faith in the resurrection that is to come. O, what a
          glorious hope it brings! Husbands who mourn the loss of their
          wives, whom they loved and whom they have placed away in the
          tomb, shall receive them again in the resurrection. What a
          glorious meeting, that is, if they have been sealed by the holy
          order of God. Whatever is thus sealed to them on earth is sealed
          in heaven. Husbands and wives, those sealed and united according
          to the holy order of celestial marriage, will be joined again in
          the resurrection. They will come forth out of the tomb and their
          bodies will be quickened by the power of the Holy Spirit, and
          made glorious like unto the body of the Son of God. They will be
          re-united as man and wife forever, and of their increase and of
          the extent of their dominion and glory, power and might and
          majesty, there shall be no end! Mothers who put away the bodies
          of their little ones in the ground in deep sorrow and lamentation
          shall receive their babes again to their bosoms. As they were
          laid down in the grave, so shall they come forth again in the
          same stature, the same likeness, nothing shall be lost, not even
          a hair of their heads, but they shall be quickened after the
          power of an endless life. The Apostle Paul illustrates this in
          the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians. He says: "It is sown in
          corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor;
          it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in
          power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.
          There is a natural body; and there is a spiritual body." When
          wheat is planted in the ground, the seed seems to die. It is said
          that in the midst of life we are in death. But in the midst of
          death there is life. There is a nucleus of life that is
          imperishable. There is a germ within that little kernel of wheat
          that seems to perish and die, that is also indestructible, and so
          with the body planted in the ground. What is raised, Paul? Is it
          the spirit raised out of the body? No; it is the resurrection of
          the body. That was the testimony the apostles bore. Their chief
          testimony was that Jesus was crucified upon the cross, and that
          he was raised up from the dead.
          But, says one, I cannot see any good of it. What is the use of
          this old body after it goes to the ground and mingles with the
          dust? What is the use of taking the trouble to bring it up again?
          How is it possible? In regard to the possibility, there are a
          great many things possible with God that are impossible with man.
          A few years ago it was not thought possible for a man to stand in
          New York and talk to another in London, but it is done, it is
          possible, and many things are done now that were not thought of
          years ago. Supposing a person who knows nothing about the
          properties of the magnet were to visit some of the big factories
          in England, he would see in many of them large quantities of
          brass and steel filings all mixed together. I have been in such
          works and seen that the proprietors are very careful to allow
          nothing to go to waste. They sweep up all these filings and put
          them in barrels or others receptacles, and by and by some one
          comes along with a large magnet and digs it into the mass of
          mixed filings, and when it is withdrawn it is seen to be covered
          with particles of steel or iron. This is repeated over and over
          again until all the steel is separated from the brass. But a
          person who had no knowledge of the magnet would naturally think,
          on seeing these particles all mixed together, that it would be
          impossible to separate them. Now, do you not think that God has
          more power than man. That he has "magnets" with properties beyond
          our present ken? I think he has. I think if God desires to bring
          the particles of the human body together, he understanding their
          composition, can easily do so. In the beginning he spake to
          chaos, and by the power of his faith the worlds were formed.
          Faith is a force. It is as much a force as magnetism or
          electricity. It is the power by which the universe was formed.
          God can speak to the elements of our bodies and bring them forth
          again according to certain fixed laws known to him if not to us.
          Jesus spoke to the winds and they obeyed him. He walked upon the
          water. Out of five loaves and two fishes he made a great feast,
          "And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of
          the fishes. And they that did eat of the loaves were about five
          thousand men." All this was done upon natural principles, and we
          would be able to comprehend this if we understood natural
          principles thoroughly. And I have no doubt in my own mind, that
          when the resurrection shall come, when God shall speak, and we
          shall answer, it will be just as natural to bring up our bodies
          in the morning of the resurrection as it was for us to lay them
          down. Why we do not understand how it is that they crumble away.
          Can you explain the death process, when an individual is taken
          hold of by some mysterious power, and the life goes out of him?
          There is no brightness to the eye, no beauty on the cheek, no
          motion to the lip, all is quiet, cold and lifeless. The body is
          placed away in the ground and the particles begin to separate,
          when, but a little while before there was something that caused
          all the particles of that body to cling together. A change has
          come, and they all want to get away from each other. What is the
          process and who understands it? There are a great many things we
          do not understand. This afternoon we are whirling in space at an
          immense velocity. The earth is revolving upon its own axis and
          traveling around the sun. How is it done? "By the operation of
          certain forces." But how did these forces come into operation,
          what did they spring from, how are they regulated? Who knows? Who
          understands the process of sleeping and walking up again? Here is
          a thing that takes place every night. We go to sleep. How do we
          go to sleep? I do not know. Sometimes I try to go to keep awake
          and cannot. Sleep is in the likeness of death, and waking up is
          in the likeness of the resurrection. I do not know how it is
          done, only that it is done by the power of God. It will be as Job
          says, God will call and we will answer. The glorious frame of
          man, the most beautiful piece of God's workmanship, so "fearfully
          and wonderfully made," will come forth in its full perfection and
          endure throughout all the ages of eternity.
          "Well, what is the good of it?" I think that passage in the Book
          of Doctrine and Covenants explains it clearly. The Lord through
          the Prophet Joseph Smith said that the spirit and the body of man
          must be inseparably connected before a fullness of joy can be
          obtained. Man must be raised up in an immortal body which cannot
          be grasped by the hand of death. The unembodied or disembodied
          spirit cannot receive the joys that come through the grosser
          elements. Spirit ministereth to spirit. Spiritual things have
          affinity for that which is spiritual. There are pleasures which
          can only flow through the medium of a material body, and hence
          the necessity of the resurrection. A perfect being is an immortal
          spirit dwelling in an immortal body, and by affinity with all
          things, and heaven the key to the heights and depths and breadths
          of the universe, is able to draw from every source the joy and
          bliss and pleasures and glories, that are the heritage of the
          celestial ones who are filled with the fullness of the eternal
          God. I am afraid that those vain philosophers who do not want any
          more to do with the body after death, will find themselves in the
          same condition as those who are spoken of in the vision of
          Ezekiel to which I have referred. The Lord declared of them
          "Behold they say, Our bones are dried our hope is lost, we are
          cut off for our parts."
          There is a great deal in the revelations that God has given to
          the prophet Joseph that may not be plain to our minds at the
          first glance. Therefore, I would advise my brethren and sisters
          to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the things that God has
          placed on record for our guidance, and let us place our trust in
          them rather than upon the vain philosophy and foolishness of men
          who think they are great scientists, and imagine that they can
          reason out the things of God. Man, by searching, cannot find out
          God, but He reveals them to the faithful by his spirit which
          "searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God." And if we
          will take for our guide the laws and precepts God has given; take
          the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and
          Covenants, which all run together like three globules of water,
          and are like the three measures of meal in the parable, and seek
          to God Almighty for the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, that it
          may be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, then we will
          have manifested unto us those things that are necessary for us to
          understand. God has set in the Church in these days, as he did in
          olden times, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers,
          etc., for the work of the ministry and for the perfecting of the
          Saints, and if we are guided by the living oracles of the Church,
          and the power of the Holy Ghost and the sacred books, we will not
          go astray, but if we are guided by the vain philosophy of
          uninspired men we are almost sure to get upon the wrong path.
          This is the point which I desired to make plain this
          afternoon--the glorious doctrine of the resurrection of the body,
          one of the main doctrines of the Christian religion. It all
          hinges on that; for if Christ is not risen, then is our hope
          vain. Christ died and was raised again. So shall we die--perhaps
          not all of us will sleep in the earth, for some are to remain and
          be alive at his coming--but we shall all be raised, and those who
          dwell upon the earth when the Lord appears shall be changes in
          the twinkling of an eye. The trumpet shall sound and the dead
          shall awake, and with those who are living shall be caught up to
          meet the Lord. Perhaps this may be the lot of some in this
          congregation this afternoon. The day of the Lord is nigh at hand.
          Behold he cometh, as the prophets have declared! Not as the babe
          of Bethlehem, but as the Lord of power and glory, as the
          resurrection and the life! Every word which has been spoken
          concerning him will be fulfilled. Christ will appear and he will
          call the righteous to himself. They will come forth in the
          morning of that great "day of the Lord, that bright and beautiful
          morning when the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in
          his wings, and the lambent rays of his regal glory shall warm the
          righteous dead to life. But wo unto them that know not God and
          obey not the Gospel, for they shall be banished from the presence
          of the Lord, and until the millennial day is over they cannot
          come forth in their bodies to receive their portion.
          May God help us to walk in his ways and keep his commandments,
          that we may have a right to a part in the first resurrection, is
          my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / Orson
          Pratt, August 8th, 1880
                            Orson Pratt, August 8th, 1880
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon,
                                  August 8th, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          What we have heard from this stand, this afternoon, as well as on
          former occasions, we must meet again in the great judgment day.
          We have quite a number of scribes at the table, who are writing
          down anything that is said. These are not, however, the only
          scribes. There are others behind the vail, who take down the
          discourses of the servants of God; they are recorded there; and
          the books will be opened at some future time. All the warnings
          that have been given to the Latter-day Saints, and to the world,
          will again come up, in the own due time of the Lord, in judgment;
          and it will be required of us to render an account, whether we
          have been obedient to those warnings, or whether we have been
          disobedient. The Lord is a consistent Being in all his doings. He
          will not condemn the children of men, for not receiving something
          that they were ignorant of; but, if they are condemned at all, it
          will be for rejecting something that they have understood, or
          something that they might have understood, had they improved the
          opportunity. They will be judged according to law, according to
          testimony, and according to that which is written in the sacred
          books. The records of heaven will be opened. The records, kept by
          divine authority on the earth, will also be opened. The evidences
          and testimonies will be set forth; and every man and every woman,
          who is condemned, in the great judgment day, will be condemned
          according to law, according to testimony, according to evidence,
          according to the light that has been given, according to the
          deeds done in the body.
          The Lord is a Being who has given laws unto all things; and he
          adapted these laws, according to the condition and circumstances
          of all things. All agents, free agents, who have light and
          knowledge to know how to act, how to discern good from evil, will
          be judged according to one law. They are not compelled to obey
          the law which they hear, but they can act according to their
          agency, either in obeying or disobeying, receiving the blessings
          of obedience or the fruits of disobedience. The Lord has given a
          great many laws, besides those which he has given to free agents,
          or to intelligent beings; but they differ in their nature,
          according to the condition and circumstances of the materials to
          which these laws are given. See a revelation upon the subject of
          these laws, which was given on the 27th day of December, 1832
          (Doc. &. Cov. pp. 305 to 310). This revelation was called, in
          those days, the "olive leaf." In this revelation, the Lord
          informs us that "he hath given a law unto all things by which
          they move in their times and their seasons." These laws which are
          given to the materials of nature, are generally obeyed. There
          does not seem to be any agency on the part of these materials, so
          far as we naturally comprehend it; at least, if there is an
          agency, it seems to be very obedient instead of disobedient.
          Hence, when he issues forth a law to govern the materials of
          creation the law seems to be obeyed; at least do not know of any
          disobedience. It would almost seem as though these materials act
          under compulsion and are really obliged to act as they do. Yet
          there are some sayings in this same revelation, which seem to
          indicate that there is a degree of intelligence even in these
          materials. We read that "the earth abideth a law of a celestial
          kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and
          transgresseth not the law." This would seem to indicate that
          there is something connected with the earth itself, wherein it
          has an agency; and that because of the exercise of its agency,
          and keeping the law, it should be crowned with celestial glory.
          The materials out of which our earth is formed, are also governed
          by law. Not only the earth as an organized world, but the very
          materials themselves, are governed by laws. These laws were given
          of God; and when we search into the laws, not of nature merely,
          but the laws of God, and the more we comprehend the laws by which
          materials are governed, the more we understand the laws of God
          and his operations in the universe.
          The earth seems to take one continued course. It has an orbit. It
          does not deviate from this orbit, unless acted upon by some other
          force, which may cause come fluctuations or deviations from its
          apparently destined path. Some, in reflecting upon this might
          say, that the earth is obliged to follow this course. I do not
          know about this, I am not so sure. I think if we could see a
          little further, we would understand that, connected with the
          materials of the earth is a living principle, a principle too,
          that acts according to certain laws, intelligently, not blindly;
          and that our earth, in performing its course, following the track
          marked out, does so according to law, as much as we do when we go
          forth and are buried in the waters of baptism. We go according to
          law, and obtain a blessing, so does the earth, when following the
          course marked out for it. "God hath given a law unto all things,
          by which they move in their times and their seasons." We know
          that all of these great movements, which we observe taking place
          in the universe around us, are conducted according to certain
          laws, which mankind have, in a few instances, been able to search
          out themselves through the intelligence that God has given them.
          For instance, we see a force in exercise, when we lift up a stone
          from the ground, and hold it in our hands; the moment we let go
          this stone, it falls to the earth. What causes it to fall?
          Philosophers tell you that "it falls according to a law of
          nature." But who is this nature that gave this law? Why do
          material bodies fall? Why do they not remain stationary,
          suspended in the air, or in a vacuum? Why do they have a tendency
          to approach the centre of the earth? It is because there is a
          force which draws them towards such centre. What is this force?
          Scientists have called it gravitation; but the name does not
          explain the force. We are certain that a central force exists;
          and that such force is something that acts according to a certain
          law. Now, if you were to take a material body, as for instance, a
          stone, 4,000 miles above the surface of the earth and let go of
          it; it would only fall one-fourth part of the distance, in a
          second, that it will fall here, near the surface of the earth.
          Why will it not fall with the same velocity up yonder as here?
          Because the law which God has given in relation to these
          materials, varies in its intensity of force, according to some
          law of the distance from the central force. A body will fall,
          near the earth's surface, about 16 feet and one inch, in one
          second of time. You take it up 4,000 miles, and it will fall only
          about four feet in one second of time. This has been demonstrated
          by the action of the earth upon the moon which is nearly 60 times
          further from the earth's centre than we are. The moon only falls
          toward the earth about the eighteenth part of one inch in a
          second, which is about 3,600 times slower than a stone or other
          bodies would fall at the earth's surface. Thus, it will be
          perceived, that this gravitating force diminishes in its
          intensity according to a fixed law, depending on the distance
          from the centre of the earth. This law was discovered by Newton.
          It is known beyond all controversy that if we go twice the
          distance which we are from our earth's centre, bodies will weigh
          two times two less than they weigh here. If we recede thrice our
          present distance, bodies will weigh three times three, or nine
          times less than if weighed here. At ten times the distance, the
          weight would be ten times ten less than here. At sixty times our
          distance from the earth's centre (which is the distance of our
          satellite) bodies would weigh toward the earth, sixty times sixty
          less than they weigh here; but sixty times sixty are thirty-six
          hundred; that is, a pound would weigh thirty-six hundred times
          less if carried to the moon's orbit, than here.
          In the language of mathematicians, "the intensity of the
          gravitating force varies inversely as the square of the distance
          between gravitating centres." This law is undoubtedly universal
          in its operations, extending to all the visible universe.
          This law, combined with orbital movements, is necessary to the
          stability of worlds revolving in space. Without it, systems on
          systems would soon rush to ruin. If any other law of intensity
          than the one which now exists were assumed, irretrievable ruin
          would soon follow. Out of the infinity of laws of variable
          intensities depending on distances, the only one has been
          selected which alone can impart stability to all systems in
          space. Who made this all wise selection? Did blind matter select
          its own laws? Or did an all wise and an all-powerful Being impart
          these laws,--selecting out of an infinity of force intensities,
          the only law of variable intensity, which would render stable the
          grand machinery of the universe?
          This curious law some will tell us is merely a law of materials,
          that God had nothing to do with it. But I dispute it. I say that
          God is the Author of this law; and were it not for this
          infinitely wise provision, there would not be such a thing as one
          particle of matter being drawn to another; and a stone, when
          loosened from the hand, would still remain where it is set free.
          Again we see our world here--the earth on which we are permitted
          to live and have our being,--sweeping round the great centre of
          the solar system, once in 365 days and a fraction of a day: it
          has continued in this path, not only through a few centuries, but
          for thousands of years; or, in other words, it has followed this
          course according to some undeviating law. Whatever this law may
          be God has ordained it, for he has ordained the "law which is
          given to all things, by which they move in their times and their
          This earth does not revolve around the sun, once a year, in a
          circular orbit, but in an oblong, elliptical orbit. Now, it is
          just as easy to cause a body to revolve around the sun, in an
          ellipse, as in a circle. For instance, if our Earth, when at its
          mean distance from the Sun, should be projected, with its present
          mean velocity, in a line at right angles to the lines joining the
          Earth and Sun--it would describe a perfect circle around that
          luminary. But let the projections deviate from a right angle, a
          little less than one degree, and it will take the very form of
          orbit it now has, provided it is projected with the same mean
          velocity that it now has. Again let this same earth be projected,
          at its mean distance from the Sun, in a line making an angle of
          70 degrees, 31 minutes and 44 seconds of an arc, instead of 90
          degrees, as in the instance just named, and the form o the orbit
          would be greatly changed: the distance from the Sun, when
          nearest, would be only sixty-one millions of miles; and in six
          months after, the distance would be doubled, that is, one hundred
          and twenty-two millions of miles. Under these circumstances, the
          Sun, when nearest, would appear four times larger than at its
          aphelion distance.
          You see, then, how easy the Lord, by deviating the angle of
          projection, could cause a great difference, in the eccentricity
          of an elliptic orbit, without altering the mean distance or
          without shortening or lengthening the year. The year would remain
          the same, without any deviation in its length, if the earth
          revolved in an ellipse of the kind that I have just named. Again,
          if you wanted the earth to go so near the Sun that it would
          almost graze its edge, and still retain, the length of our year
          unchanged, it would not take our advanced university students
          long to determine the angle of projection the earth should have,
          so as to just graze the edge of the Sun, at the perihelion
          distance, and come back again in an ellipse, which would be
          almost equivalent to a straight line, provided it was projected
          at the mean distance that we now have, with its present mean
          velocity; and the year would be exactly the same as now. I
          mention these things to show you how the Lord, by a little
          deviation, can design a great variety of orbits, in which worlds
          may revolve, according to law; for all these things are done
          according to law; and if actually projected, as we would propel a
          cannon ball, then all the Lord has to do is to decree the form of
          the elliptical orbit, having one year for its description, and
          the projecting angle will be, at once, known.
          This is a law, and the Lord is the Author of it. It is not a law
          of nature. It is not a law of blind materials which have no
          knowledge or life connected with them, or in them or round about
          I have been speaking of bodies projected at different angles, and
          at the mean distance of our earth from the sun. But let us next
          go still further off into space. We can go away to the orbit of
          Jupiter, about four times our distance from the sun. Is there any
          law for projection or a law of velocity that would cause bodies
          to revolve in orbits, at four times our distance from the sun?
          Yes. What is the law! It must not have the same velocity that we
          have. It must, at four times that distance, have only one
          one-half of the mean orbital velocity of our earth; and, if you
          gave it more than one half of such velocity, it would decrease
          the mean distance of the orbit below four; if you gave it less,
          it would increase that mean distance above four; but if you gave
          it exactly one half of the velocity our earth has, then it would
          preserve its orbit in a circle, or in any kind of an ellipse at
          that mean distance. Is there any law to govern this velocity
          depending upon the distance from the sun? Yes. What is the law?
          According to mathematical expressions, "the velocity varies
          inversely as the square root of the distance." Well, says one,
          that is no information to us. We don't know what you mean by
          inversely and don't know what you mean by the square root; for
          all of us have not sufficiently studied arithmetic so as to
          understand the roots and powers of numbers. In reply, I will say,
          it is something very simple to all advanced students of
          arithmetic. Let me say a few more words, in regard to this law;
          for this is also a law of God. For instance, we will say, that
          the earth travels a certain distance in one second, which we will
          call a unit distance or 18 miles in a second, in its orbit--we
          will call this distance one. We go four times further off than
          our earth is from the sun, and takes the square root of four. But
          inquires one, how do you get the square root of four? A number
          that will multiply into itself, say two into two, makes four; two
          then is the square root of four, that is, it is the direct square
          root, not the inverse. But now you put this figure 2 underneath a
          line, and place the figure 1 above it (thus 1/2) and such a
          fraction is the inverse square root of four. Hence, one-half the
          velocity that our earth has, must be given to bodies which are
          four times further from the sun than we are. When nine times
          further off from the sun than we are the orbital velocity will be
          only one third of ours; because one third is the inverse square
          root of nine. In like manner, when sixteen times further off, the
          orbital velocity is ours. When twenty-five times more distant,
          the orbital velocity will be one-fifth, and so on to any
          Here, then, is a regular law of velocity; and you may extend this
          to any distance, in the solar system, that you please.
          Now, who ordained this velocity? Did the unconscious materials of
          nature come together, and undertake to consider this matter? Here
          are laws that are conducted with great
          intelligence,--intelligence too, that was not understood for
          several thousand years preceding the period of Newton. We have no
          account that the most civilized nations of the earth had any idea
          of the law of velocity depending on the inverse square root of
          the distance. Yet this law existed, whether understood by man or
          not; it made no difference whether the nations were ignorant in
          regard to this matter or not, the law existed, and operated for
          ages unperceived by mortals.
          The Latter-day Saints say, that the Lord of Hosts who has given
          us laws, adapted to our condition as free agents, has also given
          laws to these material worlds, by which they act and by which
          they are preserved for a great, and wise and good purpose, to
          sustain unnumbered myriads of animated beings, who are by
          numerous other laws adapted to these worlds, and enjoy life
          therein. We now have been speaking of the infinitely wise law of
          the velocity of planets. But this law would not preserve our
          universe in its present beautiful order, if the law of
          gravitation was not exactly what it is. We say that the law of
          gravitation acts inversely as the square of the distance. Now,
          why doesn't it vary as the cube of the distance? Why doesn't it
          vary inversely as the fourth power of the distance, or some other
          law of distance? Because all these other laws would throw the
          system into destruction at once; it could not be sustained. There
          is only one law among an infinite number that might be chosen,
          that would preserve the system in its present beautiful order,
          and that is the law of the inverse square of the distance. Who
          gave this law to materials that they should have this attractive
          force? The Book of Covenants tells us that "God hath given a law
          unto all things by which they move in their times and their
          seasons;" but if he had given a different law than this I have
          named, in regard to gravitation, the whole system, in a very
          short period, would be reduced to a chaotic mass, lifeless and
          inanimate, existing for no purpose, accomplishing no design or
          end. All this infinite wreck of worlds would be the necessary
          result of selecting an unwise law, varying from the one which now
          obtains among gravitating materials.
          The law of velocity must be exactly adapted to the law of the
          inverse square of the attractive power. Who was it that made this
          adaptation? Did the materials endow themselves with both of thee
          laws? Did they perceive that no other laws would render the
          universe stable of lasting? Or, otherwise, is there an all-wise
          and all-powerful Governor who brings all things under the
          dominion of laws, wise in their action, powerful in their nature,
          and preserving the grand machinery of the universe, in the most
          perfect harmony in the working of all its parts?
          There must, then, have been some great supreme intelligence who
          organized these worlds and gave them laws of attractive force and
          adjusted velocities and thus produced the harmonious orbits which
          we have, and which will preserve themselves, unless interfered
          with by some extraneous force, for thousands of years to come.
          We might go on and speak of a great many other principles
          connected with these laws, but let us now come to the laws given
          to intelligent beings. God has given laws to what might be termed
          intelligent nature; but let me say, that what is termed
          intelligent nature is sometimes called in this same revelation
          from which I have been reading, a spirit, or rather, a power that
          "is in all things, through all things, round about all things,
          and the law by which all things are governed." It is, then, an
          intelligent power that encircles itself through, or over, or
          round about every particle or every atom, and these atoms act in
          accordance with the law that is ordained, and do not deviate from
          it unless commanded by the same authority that gave the law. The
          same Being who gave the law to materials by which they act, can
          counteract the law. He did so in the instance when Elisha caused
          iron to swim. We read, that as one was felling a beam, the axe
          head fell into the water. The man, was much concerned, because it
          was a borrowed axe. "And the man of God said, Where fell it? And
          he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick and cast it in
          thither; and the iron did swim." Now what was it that caused the
          axe to rise in the water? The same Being who gave the law of
          gravitation, which caused the axe to sink, counteracted that law,
          and caused the axe to swim. The same Being who gave the law of
          universal gravitation, can counteract this law. He did it, in
          many instances, in ancient times. He divided the Red Sea to allow
          the Israelites to pass. The water stood up like walls, in a great
          heap, not for a few seconds, or minutes, but stood there
          sufficiently long to allow the Israelites to get to the other
          side of the sea. Now, what was it that counteracted this law of
          nature? What was it that caused this watery element, which has a
          tendency to spread out and sink to its own level, to stand up in
          a heap, almost like a solid body? The same Being who gave the
          law, which governs the yielding liquid properties of water, can
          counteract the law, so as to make the water stand in heaps. God
          is the great Author of all law, and is just as able to counteract
          a law, as he is to continue a law. Let him withdraw the command
          that materials shall attract all other materials; let him say to
          matter, "I no longer require you to act according to that law,"
          and you would not find the earth going in an orbit around the
          sun. There would be no bond of union to keep things in their
          proper place; everything would be left to itself. Let God
          withdraw his law, or let him command adversely, and he will be
          obeyed; because he has the power thus to direct; and the
          intelligence which surrounds these materials, the spirit that is
          in and through all these things, would understand the command and
          act accordingly. In the same way the Lord heals the sick. He has
          made the tabernacles of the children of men, and he has organized
          them according to a law, so that every part of the human system
          is adapted to every other part. The blood flows through the
          arteries, and through the veins, and every part performs its
          proper functions. When any part or portion of this wonderfully
          constructed being, or, in other words, this almost perfect
          machine, becomes deranged or out of order, the same Being who
          first constructed man, with all the different organs, muscles,
          sinews and skin, can easily mend or regulate the same, and cause
          every part to work in perfect harmony with every other part, so
          as to impart health, and life, and vigor to the whole machinery.
          You would certainly think that a person was not much of a
          mechanic if, after he had constructed a beautiful clock, and it
          had run for several years, and got out of order--if when you
          applied to him for repairs he replied that he could not, you
          would be apt to say, "you made it in the first place: you
          certainly ought to know what is the matter, and you can repair
          and restore it to working order." Just so with the Lord. When our
          human machinery is out of order, he understands all about it; and
          he is the best physician that can be employed; and he also can be
          employed without money and without price. He imparts to this
          machinery his Holy Spirit which circulates through the whole
          body, and promotes health and strength in the individual. But how
          apt we are to apply to inferior physicians. As soon as something
          ails this mortal tabernacle, the cry is, "Oh, mother, or husband,
          will you send for the doctor. My son is very sick, and we need
          the doctor." Now this is sometimes the way with those who call
          themselves Latter-day Saints, but they ought to be ashamed that
          they do not honor the name which they have taken upon themselves.
          The Lord has ordained that when you are sick, you should apply
          the simple ordinance of the laying on of hands, or the anointing
          with oil by his servants in the name of Jesus Christ. In this
          ordinance there is more power than in all the medical ability in
          the world; for there are many diseases which baffle the skill of
          the wisest physicians, while by the laying on of the hands of the
          servants of God--not in their own name, but in the name of Jesus
          Christ--according to the directions given in the scriptures, we
          have the promise that they shall be healed; that is, if they are
          not appointed unto death.
          Here, then, is another law of God; and we might go on and touch
          upon instances of the healing power,--the healing of the lame
          man, the blind man, the deaf man, or of fevers removed from the
          body, and the restoration of broken bones. Now, we have many
          testimonies, especially among our brethren in Wales, where they
          have, in the coal mines in which they worked, been crushed, as it
          were, until many bones in their body were broken, so much so,
          that it was supposed they could only live a very few hours, at
          the longest; yet by the laying on of the hands of the servants of
          God, we have the testimony of many witnesses that those bones
          were brought together, making a noise like the crushing of a
          basket and were placed in their proper form; and the individuals
          were restored to health and soundness. Could any herbs, or
          minerals, or physicians have accomplished this? No. Who did
          accomplish this? The Lord Jesus Christ, through his servants, by
          the laying on of hands, according to his commandment. Did he do
          it according to law? Yes; for all his works are carried on,
          according to certain laws which he has ordained; and if we had
          the same wisdom that he has, we could see the workings of the
          Holy Spirit upon the bones that are broken; we could see the
          circulation of that spirit in bringing those bones together; we
          could see the action of that spirit in relieving the optic nerve,
          so as to impart sight to the eye. If we could see the workings of
          that spirit, and then understand by what power it works, these
          things would not be a miracle to us. God has no limit to these
          laws that are called the laws of nature. He has an infinite
          number of laws; and he can work according to any of them, which
          are suitably adapted to the circumstances so as to bring about
          his righteous purposes and wise designs according to his own good
          will and pleasure. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / John
          Taylor, March 21st, 1880
                            John Taylor, March 21st, 1880
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
             Delivered at Ogden Tabernacle, on Sunday, March 21st, 1880.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          It affords me pleasure to have the opportunity of being with the
          Saints of this place to-day. I came here to attend to your
          Primary meeting of the juveniles; and as I was here, I thought I
          would stay over Sunday and talk to the fathers and mothers a
          little. And I would state, as is generally understood by you all,
          that we do not have our discourses arranged for us, or marked out
          particularly. Our ideas are to present ourselves before the
          people, and to seek of the influence of the Spirit of the Lord,
          that such things may be communicated as may be advantageous and
          interesting to those who hear. And, therefore, when we meet
          together in an assembly like this we ought all of us, both
          speaker and hearer, to feel that we are in the hands of our
          Heavenly Father, and to seek for the aid of his Holy Spirit, that
          the speaker may speak correctly and understandingly, and in a
          manner that shall be calculated to promote the welfare of the
          people, and that the people themselves may also be prepared to
          receive such things as may be communicated.
          We occupy a peculiar position on the earth at the present time,
          perhaps a little different from that of any other people that
          have existed on the earth--our thoughts, our ideas our
          principles, our organization, our doctrines, our ordinances, and
          everything connected with our religious matters are different
          from those of other people; and it is our opinion, and not only
          our opinion, but a certainty--in fact, it amounts to knowledge
          among a great many of the Latter-day Saints, that the influences
          and principles that we have received have been communicated to us
          by the Almighty. We were not the originators of the principles we
          believe in; neither was Joseph nor Hyrum Smith, nor Prest.
          Brigham Young, nor the Twelve; neither was any individual nor any
          people associated with the priesthood or the organization of the
          Church at the present time. We believe that these things have
          been communicated to us by the Lord; that they are in strict
          harmony with principles that have existed heretofore, to a
          certain extent, with this difference however, that in the various
          dispensations that have existed upon the earth since its
          formation, each one has had its peculiar role to fulfil, with
          certain duties devolving upon those operating to attend to. We
          are living in the dispensation which is emphatically called the
          dispensation of the fulness of times, which we are informed from
          the scriptures has been "spoken of by all the holy prophets since
          the world was;" and this being the case, the dispensation in
          which we live embraces necessarily all that was contained in any
          and all of the other dispensations that have existed in all the
          ages preceding ours; and that consequently whatever
          organizations, manifestations, revelations or communications that
          have ever come from God to the human family in their times and
          dispensations, we may consistently expect to be embodied in this
          one. And, therefore, in some respects, as I stated before, the
          dispensation or time in which we live differs in many particulars
          from those in which God has communicated to man.
          We have, for instance, what is called the patriarchal
          dispensation, which existed before and after the flood. And those
          patriarchs and men of God that lived in those remote ages had
          communications with the Almighty, and they also had the Gospel.
          And they not only received revelations pertaining to their own
          day and age, but also in regard to the future. And hence we are
          told that Adam, three years before his death, gathered together a
          great many of his people and the prominent authorities of the
          holy priesthood, and he blessed them, and being filled with the
          Holy Ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto
          the latest dispensation, including all the leading events that
          should transpire in the different ages of time, even until the
          winding up scene, associated with this our earth; embracing those
          things that have been and are to be brought forth in this the
          present dispensation. And, in fact, this dispensation, we are
          told, has been "spoken of by all the holy prophets since the
          world was." And, therefore, it must of necessity have been
          associated with the teachings of Adam, of Seth, of Enoch, of
          Methuselah, and of Noah, Abraham, Moses and many other prominent
          characters that held communication with the Lord, and who had
          revealed unto them his purposes and designs in the days in which
          they lived. Many people listened to the principles of truth in
          their day. Enoch was a remarkable man and had a special mission
          to the people in his day, and he was full of the spirit of
          prophecy and revelation; he also had a Church organization as we
          have to a certain extent, and he preached to the people and
          forewarned them of certain events that should transpire upon the
          earth. And the wicked were angry with them, as they are sometimes
          with us; they did not like their teachings and operations, and
          they conspired against them, and great numbers of their enemies
          assembled for the purpose of destroying them. And Enoch was
          clothed upon by the power and spirit and revelation of God. And
          whilst under the inspiration of the Almighty he uttered his
          prophecies, and his enemies and the people generally trembled at
          the power of his words; and the earth shook, and the people fled
          from his presence afar off, and were not able to injure him, for
          God was with him. And Enoch, with the united labors of the elders
          of his day, gathered the people together who hearkened to his
          words and believed the message sent to them, in the same manner
          as you have been gathered together. They built up a city which
          was called Zion; and the people who inhabited it were under the
          inspiration of the Lord for a great number of years; receiving
          instruction, guidance and direction from him. And finally, as
          wickedness grew and increased, and as the testimony went forth
          among them, the good, the virtuous, the honorable, the pure and
          those who desired to fear God and work righteousness assembled
          themselves together, constituting the city of Zion; and the
          others became more corrupt. And Enoch and his brethren prophesied
          unto the people about the calamities that should overtake them,
          that the world was to be destroyed by a flood; and there were
          provisions made for the continuance of the human family, and it
          was made known to Methuselah that his seed should be the medium
          through which should be perpetuated the human family upon the
          earth. And Methuselah was so very desirous to have this thing
          fulfilled that Noah, his grandson, who was the son of Lamech, was
          ordained by Methuselah when he was ten years old.
          The people, we learn, grew to be so corrupt that "the
          imaginations of the thoughts of their hearts were only evil, and
          that continually;" and we are told that it even repented the Lord
          that he had made man. But the servants of God went forth
          preaching the Gospel of life and salvation to this wicked people,
          and warned them of the destruction that was coming upon the
          earth. Before this great calamity took place Enoch and his city
          were translated.
          The power of translation was a principle that existed in the
          Church in that dispensation. There is something very peculiar in
          these things. Some people, who are not in the Church, might ask
          me where I got my evidence from. To the Latter-day Saints I would
          say, we get it by revelation. We do not believe that, say some.
          That we cannot help. I am speaking now to those who do believe
          so, to those who are believers in God, and who are believers in
          the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and
          who believe in the revelations which the Lord has given and in
          those he continues to communicate. It is to those people I am
          speaking to-day on these points. 
          The Bible does not give us a very extensive history of these
          matters; in fact, it is very, very brief. Referring to that great
          man, Enoch, it tells us that he was not for God took him; and
          that is all. This is a very short history for so important a
          After that the flood came, which was a terrible calamity, to
          overtake the inhabitants of the earth; and they were swept away
          according to the prophecy--cut off from the earth, deprived of
          life and existence, and shut up in prison.
          After some thousands of years Jesus came, associated with another
          dispensation. And when he appeared on the earth and had got
          through with his ministry, and had suffered in the flesh and was
          quickened by the spirit, "he went and preached to the spirits in
          prison" who were, as stated, "sometime disobedient in the days of
          Noah." And hence thousands of people that had suffered the wrath
          of God for so long a time had the opportunity of listening to the
          principles of the Gospel in another dispensation that Jesus came
          to proclaim. And when he had got through with his mission on the
          earth to those who lived, he went then to preach to those who had
          been dead, and I might properly say were damned for so many
          years. And what was the special mission he had to proclaim? He
          came "to preach the Gospel to the poor, to open the eyes of the
          blind, to set at liberty those that were bound, and to preach the
          acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our
          God." That was part of his mission; the whole of his mission,
          however, has not yet been fulfilled. But he came to liberate the
          prisoners, which he did in the spirit, when he got through with
          his mission on the earth.
          On the back of that Noah steps forward in a prominent position,
          and he had his work to perform, which he did perform, and began
          to raise up another seed; and they lived also in what may be
          termed a patriarchal dispensation. And among them were many of
          his leading posterity. There was Melchizedek, for instance, who
          was called the King of Salem and the Prince of Peace, of whom
          Paul makes some curious remarks, among which was that Christ was
          a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek. If he was, then
          of course Melchizedek was a priest after the order of Christ. And
          as Christ introduced the Gospel, so Melchizedek had the Gospel,
          and had and held and administered in the same priesthood that
          Jesus did. And we read too, according to some men's ideas, a very
          singular thing concerning him, that "he was without father and
          mother, and without beginning of days or end of years, and
          abideth a priest continually." He must be, indeed, a very
          singular man, to be without father and without mother and without
          descent, and yet that he should be a priest forever. Well, how is
          it? You generally understand it; but I will inform those who do
          not that the Apostle Paul referred to the priesthood that
          Melchizedek held, and that they had what was termed the Aaronic
          of Levitical priesthood in their day, that is, the day in which
          Saul lived; and that a man to be a priest had to be literal
          descendant of Aaron and of the tribe of Levi; and he had to be
          able to prove his lineage, tracing his descent back to the time
          when this priesthood was given by Moses in the wilderness. But
          the Melchizedek priesthood was different from that, it had
          nothing to do particularly with either father or mother, it being
          without descent, and, therefore, people holding it were not
          altogether dependent upon their father or mother or descent for
          this authority; but that priesthood is an everlasting priesthood,
          administering in time and in eternity. And this is what Paul
          referred to by way of contradistinction to the Aaronic priesthood
          which then existed.
          Associated with this priesthood there were certain powers and
          privileges. These Abraham possessed and enjoyed. Some people
          think that he was a kind of a shepherd with very few more ideas
          than a mushroom; that he lived in the dark ages and did not
          comprehend much; that he was not intelligent and had a species of
          what we term now-a-days "old fogyism." But if we examine into his
          character and the position he occupied, and if we understand
          something about the principles he promulgated, we shall find that
          he was another character entirely. In giving his history he tells
          us that "He sought for the blessings of the Father and the right
          whereunto he should be ordained to administer the same." He
          further says:--"Having been myself a follower of righteousness,
          desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be
          a great follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater
          knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace;
          and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the
          commandments of God I became a rightful heir, a high priest,
          holding the right belonging to the fathers; it was conferred upon
          me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the
          beginning of time. Yea, even from the beginning, or before the
          foundations of the earth, to the present time, even the right of
          the first-born, on the first man, who was Adam, or first father,
          through the fathers unto me." Times and Seasons, vol. iii, p.
          704. His father however was an idolator; but had probably
          possessed a record of his genealogy, for Abraham in his record
          continues;--"I shall endeavor hereafter to delineate the
          chronology, running back from myself to the beginning of the
          creation, for the records have come into my hands, which I hold
          until the present time." And having found out that he had a right
          to the priesthood, he, therefore, sought an ordination, and he
          was ordained by Melchizedek to the Melchizedek priesthood. And
          the Lord gave unto him certain privileges and powers that were
          very great; not only did he have an ordination in the way I refer
          to, but he sought more information from the Lord. And the Lord
          communicated with him and gave him a Urim and Thummim by which he
          was enabled to interpret, to read and comprehend the mind and
          will and the laws and purposes of God. And, furthermore, I would
          state that he went still further. He asked God for certain
          blessings and privileges and powers which belonged to him and
          which he considered were within his reach, and which were his
          privilege to obtain. And the Lord revealed himself to him and
          communicated unto him certain eternal principles--that no man can
          comprehend unless God does reveal them--and many other
          things--the motion of the planets, and the planetary system of
          the earth on which we live, and the sun and the moon and the
          stars and the various bodies that compose our solar system; and
          them, of other suns, and other heavenly bodies and the laws
          governing them. Abraham wrote those things, and was well versed
          in those great principles; and some men affirm to-day that he was
          the founder of certain abstruse principles which they allege are
          discovered in what is called the Great Pyramid of
          Egypt,--principles that not only pertain to the planetary systems
          but to events yet to transpire on the earth. I am not going to
          say anything about the truth or the untruth of these latter
          statements, as I have not investigated them sufficiently to
          comprehend them; but I merely give the opinion of a great many
          men respecting him and the intelligence he possessed. But suffice
          it to say, that the Lord himself instructed Abraham in things
          pertaining to this and other worlds, and that he in his day
          possessed more light and intelligence on the principles alluded
          to than all the combined wisdom of the world of to-day.
          Now, this was the kind of a man that Abraham was. And his heart
          and feelings and affections were drawn out after God. And God
          blessed him and said unto him, "That in blessing I will bless
          thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thee and thy seed shall
          be as the stars of heaven," &c. And further the Lord told him,
          "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,
          because thou hast obeyed my word." And hence he occupied a very
          important position. And, as I before said, being a patriarch he
          had the gospel and the priesthood belonging to it, namely, the
          Melchizedek priesthood.
          I do not propose to-day to show how these things have all been
          literally fulfilled that are here spoken of; that I will leave
          for you to hunt up for yourselves. But the promises made to that
          man of God have been literally fulfilled, even to the present day
          to the coming forth of this work with which we are associated.
          Now, that was a peculiar dispensation; it was under the
          dispensation that was introduced, say by Noah, or the one that he
          was, I was going to say, founder of; he was not the founder of
          it, but he was the one preserved by the Almighty from the wreck
          of the world, in which he had lived for upwards of 600 years to
          introduce it. And Abraham was one of the prominent actors in
          operating and carrying out the purposes of God in that
          dispensation, and there were a great many others too that were in
          possession of the same kind of intelligence; but he was one of
          the most prominent, therefore I have referred more particularly
          to him.
          Then, there was another dispensation followed, called the Mosaic
          dispensation. Moses was made use of as an instrument to deliver
          the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. It had been
          predicted that the descendants of Israel should go into bondage
          and be confined there for 400 years, and that they should be
          delivered by the power of God. And Moses was the man chosen of
          the Lord to perform that work; and he was indebted to the Lord
          for the instruction and the intelligence he received. We read in
          the Bible that on a certain occasion he saw a burning bush, and
          the bush, we learn, was not consumed; and on going towards it he
          heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto him, telling him to
          take his shoes from off his feet, for the place whereon he stood
          was holy ground. He did as he was commanded. The Lord then told
          him that he had a work for him to perform, which was that he
          should go down to Egypt where he had been reared from his youth,
          and where he had been taught according to the learning of the
          Egyptians to deliver this people Israel out of their bondage. You
          that are acquainted with your Bible know the history of it. The
          account is lengthy and I shall not attempt to enter into it.
          Suffice it to say, he succeeded in delivering the children of
          Israel from Egyptian bondage. He had the power, when his people
          reached the Red Sea, to smite the sea and cause the waters to
          divide, thereby making a way of escape from their pursuers, the
          Egyptians. He lead them into the wilderness where they had to
          depend entirely upon the mercies of God for their sustenance. But
          having been in bondage for so long a time it was difficult for
          them to comprehend many things that were communicated to them;
          and, we are told, they began to long for the leeks and the
          onions. We, in our day, would think that their taste was not so
          very delicate; but that was their desire, many of them feeling
          that they would rather go back to Egypt than to suffer the trials
          that seemed to await them. And the Lord manifested himself to
          them in many marvelous ways, and Moses who was their leader and
          who had been especially appointed by the Lord, went up to the
          mount, and the Lord gave unto him certain commandments which he
          wrote with his own finger, upon tables of stone which were
          prepared for that purpose. Moses was away from the people for
          some time conversing with and receiving communications from the
          Almighty, and when he came down he found that the people whom he
          had led out of Egypt and to whom the manifestations of the Lord
          had been shown, had made a golden calf and were worshipping
          it--about the same as we do sometimes, and we profess to be a
          much more enlightened people than they were--and they said,
          "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee out of the land
          of Egypt." On seeing this wickedness on the part of his people he
          became angry, and he threw the tables of stone to the ground and
          broke them. Afterwards other stones were prepared and the same
          laws written on them. And the Lord was desirous that they as a
          people should be faithful in the observance of his laws, that
          they should be governed by the principles of the Gospel which
          Moses taught them. This is a singular idea to some people; they
          think there was no Gospel until Jesus came. Well, we cannot help
          that, but Paul understood it better. He tells us that Moses
          preached the Gospel to them in the wilderness, but the word
          preached did not profit them, etc., wherefore the law was added
          because of transgression. Added to what? To the Gospel. Paul
          understood this if men in this age do not. And Moses did himself
          get into the presence of God, and he also led seventy elders who
          were so instructed and prepared that they could go into the
          presence of God to communicate with him; but the people were
          afraid of God, and when the Lord appeared to them on Mount Sinai,
          when they heard the thunders and saw the lightning and felt the
          mountain quake, they said to Moses, do not let the Lord speak to
          us any more lest we his people die; but do thou speak to us and
          be mouthpiece. They were not prepared to come into the presence
          of the Lord; they were not sufficiently pure, neither did they
          understand the laws and principles which God had communicated.
          But they murmured and murmured and that continually--the same as
          we do, we see something of the same spirit, we are found
          sometimes murmuring against God, or at least against some of the
          revelations he has given unto us, or against the priesthood, and
          in many instances without cause. And what had God done for them?
          He brought them out from the midst of Egypt, from a state of
          servitude and vassalage, and delivered them from the hands of
          their oppressors, and when the Egyptians pursued them, he opened
          the waters of the Red Sea and let them pass through in safety;
          but swallowed up their enemies who pursued them. Then when they
          were short of food he supplied them with angel's food, manna.
          That was all the harm he had done to them--just about as much as
          many other who murmur. They murmured against God for bringing
          them away, and against Moses for being the instrument in doing
          it. Whereas God was trying to fulfill the promises he had made
          with Abraham, their father; and he was making use of Moses as his
          instrument to deliver the people from that bondage with which
          they had been oppressed for so long a time; but because of their
          transgressions, their wickedness and their rebelliousness, the
          law was added or given unto them, which was a law of carnal
          commandments and ordinances, of which a later writer in speaking
          of it says, "neither we nor our fathers were able to bear."
          Well, he placed them in another position, and gave unto them the
          Gospel, but as they could not endure the greater light he gave
          them a lesser light in the form of a law of carnal commandments
          and ordinances. Hence that dispensation is therefore called the
          Mosaic dispensation; and Moses was the instrument made use of by
          the Almighty to introduce it, and it was revealed to him upon the
          mountain. And that law of carnal commandments and ordinances
          seemed to suit them a little better than the Gospel; they loved
          these carnal commandments better than the light, the truth, the
          revelation and spirit that was associated with the Gospel. And
          they could not come into the presence of God. If you remember,
          certain men at one time went running to Moses to complain of
          certain other men whom they said were prophesying; and Moses said
          to them, would to God that all the Lord's people were prophets;
          would to God that all could be inspired with that spirit of
          revelation that flows from him. Says the Prophet Joel, in
          speaking of the glory of the latter-day, "And it shall come to
          pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;
          and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men
          shall dream dreams; your young men shall see visions; and upon
          the servants and the handmaids in those days will I pour out my
          spirit," etc. Now, they had a dispensation then called the Mosaic
          dispensation; and associated with that was a sprinkling of the
          Gospel. Once in a while the light of the day star would dawn upon
          the people, foretelling some things in which they and their
          children were interested; and that was manifest through certain
          men among them who were peculiarly inspired by God. But they did
          not have then a regularly ordained organization of the
          Melchizedek Priesthood as we have it. If a man received these
          things in those days he received it from God. A young man came to
          me to ask me some questions on this subject, and I will here
          mention one thing I told him. These prophets had the Melchizedek
          Priesthood, but they did not have it in the regular organized
          form as we have it. Hence when Elijah was about to be
          translated--for that spirit and power was yet with him; it had
          not left the earth after Enoch's day, for many were translated
          besides him and his city--there were certain prophets scattered
          up and down among Israel, and as Elijah and Elisha were
          travelling together, Elijah said to Elisha, Tarry here, I pray
          thee, for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. But Elisha said as the
          Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And
          they went on together. And at Bethel the sons of the prophets at
          that place came forth unto Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest
          thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head
          to-day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. At
          this place Elijah wanted Elisha to tarry, saying that the Lord
          had sent him to a place called Jericho; but Elisha made the same
          answer. Elijah at this place made the same request of his
          companion, saying the Lord had sent him on to Jordan; but Elisha
          would not be separated from his master. And they went on to
          Jordan together; and when they came to that stream, Elijah took
          off his mantle, wrapped it together and smote the water which
          divided, so that they went over on dry ground. And when they had
          passed over, Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him before
          he should be taken away. Elisha, knowing that he had something to
          do and that he was about to be left alone, and that he might be
          the better prepared to perform the work before him, requested
          Elijah to let a double portion of his spirit rest upon him. But
          could Elijah grant his request? No, he could not. What answer did
          Elijah make him? He said, thou hast asked a hard thing;
          nevertheless, if thou seest me when I am taken from thee, it
          shall be so unto thee; but if not it shall not be so. How did
          Elijah know that? Because he knew that the Melchizedek Priesthood
          holds the keys of the mysteries and the revelations of God; and
          that if he could see him as he ascended, it would be an evidence
          to him that the Lord had granted his request, although he himself
          had not power to grant it, Elisha would then know that his prayer
          was heard. Those other prophets, who knew that Elijah was to be
          translated, went and stood to view the event afar off; I do not
          suppose that they saw anything of Elijah as he was being taken up
          into heaven. But he was taken up, and Elisha saw the manner in
          which he went, and cried out, "My father! my Father! the chariot
          of Israel and the horsemen thereof." And how did he see them? God
          had conferred upon him that priesthood by which he was enabled to
          see them. Elijah threw down his mantle as he ascended, which
          Elisha took up and started off alone, his "head" having been
          translated. But he had received the answer to his prayer; and
          approaching the banks of the Jordan, with the mantle that had
          been left him he smote the waters saying, "Where is the Lord God
          of Elijah?" And when he did so they parted as they had done at
          the command of Elijah, and Elisha passed over. And God was with
          him, manifesting his power through him, as he had done through
          his predecessor. I speak of this as a certain principle and I
          speak of it now for the information of you elders, that they did
          not have then an organized Melchizedek Priesthood, but that if it
          was conferred upon individuals, they did not have the power to
          confer it upon others, unless through special command of the
          Lord. And Elijah knew that if Elisha could see him when he was
          ascending, that his prayer would be answered. Why? Because the
          Melchizedek Priesthood holds the keys of the mysteries and the
          revelations of God.
          This is a principle on that point; and it may be of use to you
          elders, that you may comprehend the position, that they occupied.
          That was associated in part with the Mosaic dispensation, but
          only in part. But when Jesus came he introduced the Melchizedek
          priesthood in an organized form, and restored the Gospel. But
          those men did not restore the Gospel. But let me show you that
          are acquainted with the history of the Book of Mormon, they had a
          great many more revelations in regard to these things upon this
          continent than they had upon the continent of Asia. And they had
          the Gospel and administered in the ordinances and talked about
          the coming of Christ, still they administered in the laws of
          Moses until the coming of Christ; and yet at the same time they
          did have the Gospel and an organization of that Gospel in part
          and ordinances among them different from what they had on the
          other continent before Christ came. You that are acquainted with
          the Book of Mormon will find these things in it; and if you have
          not found them, hunt them up, and you will find what I say in
          relation to this matter is true.
          Very well. When Jesus came he had been looked forward to by all
          the prophets since the world was, and it had been prophesied
          about him that he would come to redeem the world and offer
          himself as a sacrifice, as an atonement for the sins of the
          world, of which there were many shadows and types. I will refer
          back again to Moses, and then I will refer to the sacrament.
          Moses, as I stated, had the Gospel when he went among the
          children of Israel. There were many signs and wonders poured out
          among them and many calamities overtook the Egyptians. And Moses
          went from time to time into the presence of Pharaoh telling him
          what should take place, and among the rest he said that if they
          did not let Israel go the first born of the Egyptians should be
          slain. And he told the people that dwelt in the land Goshen--the
          children of Israel--that they were to kill a lamb and sprinkle
          the blood of the lamb upon their door posts, and that when the
          destroying angels passed through, their children should escape
          death. And it happened precisely as had been told them--while the
          first-born of the Egyptians was destroyed, the children of the
          Hebrews were preserved. Now, that was called the passover among
          the children of Israel, and it was continued among them year
          after year, and the day on which it was kept was called the day
          of the Passover.
          When Jesus was upon the earth he sent his disciples to go and
          prepare a place that they might hold the passover together. "And
          as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake
          it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my
          body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them,
          saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new
          testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
          What was it they were doing? It was partaking of the passover of
          the sprinkling of that blood which was typical of the shedding of
          the blood of the Lamb of God upon Calvary. And the breaking of
          that bread was typical of his broken body. And they offered in
          former times the blood of bullocks and of rams, goats, etc., as
          sacrifices. And all this, as Paul says, had reference unto the
          shedding of the blood of Christ; and was typical of that of which
          he was the great ante-type when he came to fulfil all these
          things. Very well, what was that? Did they have the passover
          then? Yes. They looked forward from that passover to the time
          when Christ should come and shed his blood to atone for the sins
          of the world. And we look back to the time when he did it, and we
          partake of this sacrament--this bread and water, which we use
          instead of wine--in commemoration, in token of what he has done
          for us. And we are told by the apostles, that as often as we eat
          and drink of this, we show forth the Lord's death until he come
          again. And let me say to you Latter-day Saints, while we are
          doing this, there is something very important connected with it,
          and we ought to be careful that we do not partake of these
          emblems to our condemnation. Do you ever quarrel with your
          brethren, or act in such a way as to get up feelings, and perhaps
          speak harsh words one about another, and in other ways do that
          which is wrong, and then meet together in solemn mockery before
          God and eat condemnation to your souls? We want to be careful
          about these things; and hence we should understand that when we
          bring our gift to the altar, and there remember that we have
          ought against our brother, we should first go and be reconciled
          to him and then come and offer our gift. Not come in any kind of
          hypocrisy, but come with clean hands and pure hearts and feel to
          say "O God search me and try me and prove me, and if there is any
          way of wickedness in me, let it depart, and let me be thy true
          representative upon the earth, and let me partake of the spirit
          that dwelleth in Christ, and live in the enjoyment of that upon
          the earth; that when he comes again I, with my brethren, may met
          him with clean hands and pure hearts." And I would say to the
          teachers who go around to visit their brethren, when you find ill
          feeling of any kind, it is your duty to root it out, and to see
          that there is no hardness and no contention or strife among the
          people who come to participate in this sacred ordinance.
          Well, so far as the gospel is concerned, that dispensation was
          introduced to the world first by John the Baptist, who was the
          forerunner of Jesus. And when the Savior came John knew it, and
          on seeing him he exclaimed, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh
          away the sin of the world." And when people were flocking to John
          to be baptized of him, Jesus came also as a candidate for
          baptism. But John told him that he (John) had need to be baptized
          of him. But the Savior told him to suffer it to be so, then "to
          fulfil all righteousness." And he was baptized of him. Well, that
          dispensation continued for a long while after, and it began to
          decline and disappear; but there were a great many men in
          different parts who listened to the principles of the Gospel of
          the Son of God. But by and by it began to fade away, both upon
          the Asiatic continent and upon this continent. It was prophesied
          that it would, and that there should a certain power arise who
          should seek to make war with the Saints of God and that it should
          overcome them; and this power should seek to change times and
          seasons and things, and they should be given into his hands until
          a time and times and the dividing of a time. These things were
          fulfilled--the Church of God fell into darkness and the
          priesthood was taken from them, and they had instead something in
          the form of a bogus priesthood and a bogus creed instead of the
          true principles which Jesus introduced among men. That was on the
          continent of Asia. On this continent they seemed the same pretty
          much; but they had an unparalleled scene of prosperity and joy in
          the Gospel of the Son of God after he came; and it grew and
          spread and prevailed throughout the land. And as it was in their
          love for one another that no one said that ought he possessed was
          his own; but they had all things common among them. We are told
          of these things more elaborately in some other places which might
          be introduced, but which I do not wish to enter into now. On this
          continent they remained in this condition for two hundred years;
          and they dealt justly one with another, and dwelt together in
          peace. I wish we could do that always. By and by they fell into
          darkness, and the result was, as recorded in the Book of Mormon,
          to which I again refer you to read and investigate.
          Then what next? Were things to go on in that way for ever? No;
          the dispensation of the fullness of times has got to be restored
          to introduce all that has been spoken of by all the holy prophets
          since the world was. The Apostle John, when banished to the Isle
          of Patmos says that he saw another angel flying 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. What do you mean? The same Gospel that Adam had, the
          same Gospel that Seth had, the same Gospel that Enoch had, the
          same Gospel that Noah had, the same Gospel that Abraham had, the
          same Gospel that Jesus had; the Gospel that brings life and
          immortality to light, and that places men in communion with their
          Heavenly Father--the everlasting Gospel. And who introduced it?
          God himself came to earth with his son Jesus and manifested
          himself to the prophet Joseph, and, pointing to his Son, said,
          "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, hear him."
          Jesus from that hour was to be his instructor. What then? Then
          came Moroni, who had charge of the records of the people on this
          continent, who came and delivered them to Joseph Smith. What
          next? Then came John the Baptist and laid his hands upon his head
          and upon the head of Oliver Cowdery, and said, Upon you may
          fellow servants, I lay my hands and confer upon you the Aaronic
          priesthood, which shall never be removed again from the earth
          until the sons of Levi shall offer acceptable sacrifices to the
          Lord. Why did John come? Because he held the keys of that
          priesthood and was the last that held them in that dispensation.
          And then Peter, James and John came and laid their hands upon his
          head and ordained him to the office of the Melchizedek
          priesthood. Why? Because they had held that priesthood themselves
          and they were the ones that held the keys of that priesthood; and
          when they left, the keys of that priesthood were taken with them,
          and they came having it in their charge to confer it upon Joseph
          Smith. What else? Then Elijah appeared in the Temple at Kirtland
          and conferred upon them the blessings that were spoken of
          pertaining to him. "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
          before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and
          he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the
          heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the
          earth with a curse." The prophet conferred upon him those keys;
          and hence we try to do these things. And people wonder why we are
          building our temples. It is that the hearts of the fathers may be
          turned to the children, and the hearts of the children to the
          Fathers. And if Jesus saw it necessary after being put to death
          in the flesh to go and preach to the spirits in prison that they
          might be judged according to men in the flesh, it was also
          necessary that provisions should be made for men who had died
          without the Gospel, without a knowledge of the principles of
          eternal truth, that we might be baptized for them, as the
          Scriptures say, according to the flesh, that they may live
          according to God in the spirit. Why is it you are so willing to
          build temples? You would squeeze your dollar in many other
          things, but when it comes to that you say, "I want to do it." And
          it is so throughout Israel. I suppose we have as many as five
          hundred men engaged in this work. And the brethren feel willing
          to do it. Why? Because you want to secure certain blessings for
          yourselves; and, then, you want to look after your friends, that
          the hearts of the fathers may be turned to the children, etc. We
          are operating upon the earth because we have the power; and they
          are operating in the heavens because they have the power; and as
          the Scripture says, they without us cannot be made perfect,
          neither we without them. And neither they nor we could operate in
          these things unless those keys had been restored and things put
          in the position they are to-day. Then we will build our temples,
          won't we? I think we will, and then administer in them. Were we
          to talk to the world about a great many of the things I have
          referred to to-day, we would have to bring up evidence to prove
          the truth of them. I am talking to Latter-day Saints, however,
          to-day; and you ought to know of them, if you do not; and if you
          are not acquainted with them "search the Scriptures for in them
          you think you have eternal life," and you will find all these
          things I have mentioned.
          Now, then, all of these dispensations had to be restored. Then
          comes Moses. Why? because he held the keys of the gathering
          dispensation: And he conferred upon Joseph Smith the power to
          gather Israel from the four quarters of the earth, and also the
          ten tribes. But the latter have not come yet; but people are
          hunting them up, and they will be found by and by; when the time
          comes, and the mountains will flow down at their presence, and a
          highway will be cast up, and they will come to a knowledge of the
          people. But they could not come without the restoration of the
          keys I have referred to.
          Now, here are all these different dispensations, and there is one
          I have not mentioned. We are told to build up Zion, shall we do
          it? I tell you in the name of Israel's God we will do it with the
          help of the Almighty; we cannot do it without, but with his help
          we will do it. We will build up the Zion of our God, and help to
          roll on the work which God has commenced. And those children you
          saw here the other day, [referring to a general conference
          meeting of the children of Weber Stake] many of them will live to
          participate in these things. And we will endeavor to train them
          in the fear of God that their tender hearts may be rooted in the
          principles of truth; and they be led to acknowledge the God of
          their fathers. Having said so much I will pass on to something
          Here we are. We are organized under the direction of the
          Almighty, and as I before said, not according to our ideas and
          notions, but according to the word and will and revelations and
          law of God. And none of us can do anything only as God permits
          us. What are we going to do? We are going to build up Zion. What
          then? When Zion is built up--and it is not built up yet; but it
          will be built up; and when that is done Jerusalem that is spoken
          of shall be built--and we are a long way from that--but when that
          is built up and the glory of God shall rest upon it, upon every
          dwelling of Mount Zion as it did in former times--then we will
          build up our Zion after the pattern that God will show us, and we
          will be governed by his law and submit to his authority and be
          governed by the holy priesthood and by the word and will of God.
          And then when the time comes that these calamities we red of,
          shall overtake the earth, those that are prepared will have the
          power of translation, as they had in former times, and the city
          will be translated. And Zion that is on the earth will rise, and
          the Zion above will descend, as we are told, and we will meet and
          fall on each other's necks and embrace and kiss each other. And
          thus the purposes of God to a certain extent will then be
          fulfilled. But there are a great many things to be brought about
          before that time. And we are here in an organized capacity trying
          to prepare ourselves for all the providences of the Almighty. We
          are trying to instil into the hearts of the people the principles
          of honesty, truth and integrity, and remove covetousness and
          iniquity of every kind. Never mind the world nor what they can
          say or do, for they can only do what the Lord permits them. We
          will then continue to do as we have done only a great deal more
          abundantly. We will send out the Gospel to them, and continue to
          advocate the principles of truth, and to organize ourselves
          according to the order of God, and seek to be one--for if we are
          not one we are not the Lord's and never can be, worlds without
          end. Hear it, you Latter-day Saints! And do not be figuring for
          yourselves and for your own aggrandizement; but feel to say in
          your hearts, "What can I do to help to build up Zion. I am here,
          and everything that I have got is upon the altar, and I am
          prepared to do the will of God no matter what it may be, or where
          it sends me, to the ends of the earth or not." But we are not
          doing that yet; we are too much after our own affairs and
          drinking into the spirit of the world, and yielding and catering
          to that feeling and influence. Now, while we wish the world well
          and would desire to promote their happiness, we cannot be
          governed by their practices nor be under their influences. God is
          the Lord our God; he is to be our king and law giver, and he must
          rule over us. We must not permit ourselves to conform to the
          ideas, notions, dogmas, theories nor the wickedness that exists
          in the world, and of which there is too much already among us.
          But to the contrary, battle against these evils, continuing the
          warfare until we purge them from us, and call upon the Lord to
          assist us, and to lead us in the paths of life, and to enable us
          to comprehend to some degree the position we occupy to him, and
          the magnitude of that priesthood that has been conferred upon us.
          What will you do with the world? I was talking with a gentleman
          lately who thought because of certain inimical legislation that
          had been manifested towards us, that we should feel at enmity
          against our government. I told him that he was laboring under a
          very great mistake; that there was not a more loyal, patriotic
          feeling people in the United States than the Latter-day Saints
          are. But have they not done so and so to you? Yes, but the Lord
          has guided us, and we can put our trust in him and wait his time.
          We are not in a hurry; he will bring things about in his own way,
          and will abundantly fulfil the words of the Psalmist--"Surely the
          wrath of man shall praise thee, the remainder of wrath shalt thou
          restrain." Some men seem to think that we are going to be
          swallowed up; but we are not very much alarmed about it. We have
          been "Swallowed up" a great many times, but they have generally
          managed to vomit us up again. [Laughter.] Among the legislators
          of our nation and throughout the land, there are many
          high-minded, honorable men, who desire to see all men protected
          in their rights, but because there are a great many who are not
          and who feel otherwise, and who do not understand us, should we
          entertain feelings of enmity? What was the message that Jesus
          came to perform? "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel
          to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be
          saved," etc. What have we been told to do? To go into all the
          world and preach the Gospel to every creature; he that believeth
          and is baptized shall be saved he that believeth not shall be
          damned. We go and offer the message of life and salvation. How
          many of these grey-headed men whom I see around me to-day that
          have travelled thousands of miles in order to promote the welfare
          of the human family. I have travelled hundreds of thousands of
          miles myself. And did he ever forsake me? Never; he was always
          true to his word. And when you elders have gone forth he has been
          true to you. And when people have believed, repented and obeyed
          the message you bore to them, and you laid your hands upon them
          to confirm them members in this Church, and said, "Receive ye the
          Holy Ghost; they received it. Is not that proof that God has been
          with you? Yes, it is. Will he not be with us to the end? Yes.
          What is our message to the people? Peace on earth and good will
          to man, and seek to promote the welfare and happiness of the
          human family, in every possible way that we can. And we ought to
          feel to endure as Jesus did the contumely of sinners until the
          Lord shall say: "Stop it is enough." They will have hard enough
          times of it. Do we need to seek or injure anybody? No. Is that
          our mission? No; but to seek to promote the welfare of all men.
          Well, we are here in a political capacity as well. We are an
          integral part of the United States--a very small part. What shall
          we do? Why live so that no man can bring any reproach against us;
          treat all men right, deal honestly with one another, and with all
          men, and be true to God and your religion. If we do this then we
          have a claim upon God; then we shall be blessed of the Lord and
          our offspring with us; then the Almighty will smile upon us, and
          then we shall advance from wisdom to wisdom, from intelligence to
          intelligence and knowledge to knowledge, until we shall see as we
          are seen and know as we are known. And we will go on performing
          the work God has placed upon us; and we will continue to teach
          and instruct and educate and elevate our children; and also teach
          all men who will be taught by us, the principles of life; and by
          and by God will work with us in a more powerful manner than he
          has done yet; and thousands upon thousands will flock to the
          standard of Zion, and many will come and say, "We do not know
          much about your religion, but you are an honorable people and
          execute justice and we want to be governed by those principles
          and be under their influence; and if we cannot endorse your
          religious views, we seek your protection and want to be one with
          you." You will find hundreds and thousands of people will yet
          come in this way, and many are pretty near it now. But we are not
          prepared; we sometimes pull and haul, and talk and get hard
          feelings and seek to tear in pieces and destroy, and carry out
          our own ideas and will. I have no will of my own; I do not want a
          will of my own; I want to know the will of God, and then do it.
          Don't you? We ought to do it; and let our own feelings and
          judgment be emerged in the will of God, and seek to carry out his
          purposes. As seventies go forth and be ready to go to the ends of
          the earth at the drop of the hat, when required to fulfil any
          mission that may devolve upon you, or that you may be called to,
          and consider this your mission of life, you seventies, do you
          hear it? I tell you that this is the will of God concerning you,
          and not to consider how you can fix yourselves and make
          yourselves comfortable; but attend to the other first, and be on
          hand to do that, and then it will be all right.
          May God help us to do right and keep his commandments, that we
          may have his spirit to be with us and live in the enjoyment of
          the same, and be saved in his kingdom, in the name of Jesus.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / Orson
          Pratt, June 13th, 1880
                            Orson Pratt, June 13th, 1880
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon,
                                  June 13th, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          I shall endeavor to occupy a few moments of time, and perhaps I
          may continue my remarks until it is time to close the meeting. I
          wish I enjoyed better health; I should then feel more like
          speaking. But as it is, I feel willing to exert myself as far as
          possible, and also to bring my mind to bear upon the great
          subject of salvation, and the principles that pertain to eternal
          life and happiness in the world to come. It is difficult,
          sometimes, for a person who does not feel well in body, to
          concentrate his mind upon those subjects which will be edifying
          and instructive to the people.
          It gives me great joy and pleasure, at all times, when I have the
          opportunity to express myself in regard to the great and
          important work, which our Father in heaven has seen proper to
          commence in our day. We have been made partakers, in a measure,
          of the spirit of the living God, pertaining to this last
          dispensation. This spirit, when received, and when we give it our
          attention, and bring our minds to bear upon the object of its
          operations, is calculated to instruct and impart much information
          and knowledge to both male and female who are in the possession
          of it. The Spirit of God is a spirit of revelation. It always was
          a spirit that revealed something to the human family, when
          mankind were in possession of it. There have been, however, many
          ages since the commencement of the world, when the children of
          men have so far wandered from the Almighty, so far departed from
          his ordinances and precepts, that the spirit of revelation has
          not had place within them. The world may be considered in a
          woeful state of darkness and unbelief, whenever this great and
          glorious gift is withdrawn from the children of men; for without
          this gift, without this spirit, without revelation from the Most
          High, it is utterly impossible for the human family to be saved
          in the celestial kingdom of our Father and God. Perhaps some may
          think that this is a very broad statement. They will refer back
          to the last sixteen or seventeen centuries, and will say, that
          our fathers have not enjoyed the spirit of revelation, during
          that time, and if your statement, Mr. Pratt, be true, our fathers
          are not saved in the celestial kingdom of God. I do not say that
          our fathers will all be sent to an endless hell. I have made no
          such assertion. I do not say that they will receive no happiness,
          no glory, no reward in the world to come; I have made no such
          assertion; but understand my assertion, that if the world have
          not been in the possession of divine revelation directly to
          themselves, during this long period of time, then there have none
          of them been saved in the celestial kingdom of our Father and
          God. Now I hope that you have understood me. There is quite a
          difference between being saved in some kingdom, where there is
          some glory, some happiness, and being saved in the kingdom where
          our Father resides. There is only one way to obtain this
          kingdom--the kingdom that is represented, in its glory, by one of
          the most brilliant luminaries that shines in yonder heavens,
          namely, the sun. We are told by our Saviour that those who obey
          his commandments shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of
          our Father. The Apostle Paul informs us that there are in the
          eternal worlds many different kinds of glory. In the 15th chapter
          of his first epistle to the Corinthians, he says, that "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." They do not all
          rise to the same glory, nor to the same happiness, nor to the
          same fulness, nor to the same kingdom; but they arise from their
          graves, and come forth--those who are counted worthy of any kind
          of glory--to receive that which they are worthy of, all that they
          have lived for, and nothing more.
          Our Father who dwells in yonder heavens, and his Son Jesus
          Christ, inhabit the highest degree of glory in eternity. They are
          possessed of all the fullness of glory. They have a fullness of
          happiness, a fullness of power, a fullness of intelligence, light
          and truth, and they bear rule over all other kingdoms of inferior
          glory, of inferior happiness, and of inferior power. Their glory
          is like that of the sun, or at least, the sun being the most
          conspicuous body with which we are immediately acquainted, in
          regard to its glory, it is referred to as being typical of the
          highest degree of glory in the heavens. The Gospel is intended to
          exalt the children of men to that same degree of glory, where our
          Father and where his Son reside. Hence it is said by our savior,
          just as he was taking leave of his apostles in ancient times,
          "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also
          in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so,
          I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I
          go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you
          unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." There is a
          mansion where he dwells. Where this mansion is located in the
          midst of the vast surrounding space, has not been revealed to us.
          It may have been revealed in former ages of the world, but to us,
          as Latter-day Saints, we have no revelation concerning its
          location. But there is a location, where these two glorious
          personages dwell. It has a location, just as much as our earth
          has a location in the solar system. But when I speak of our
          Father and our God being located in a glorious mansion, or
          celestial world, I do not wish to be understood that he is
          confined to that location. Do not misapprehend the subject. He is
          not confined to that particular locality, in the midst of
          universal space. He has power which we are not in possession of.
          He has power to waft himself from that particular locality to
          other dominions, other worlds, other creations; and to do this
          with an immence velocity. Of course, to accomplish this must
          occupy time. There are some, however, so foolish in their ideas
          that they suppose that it does not require time for the Almighty
          to go from world to world, or for any celestial messenger to do
          so. But this is a grand mistake. Time is included in all motion.
          Time is included between the event of a heavenly being leaving
          the celestial abode, where he dwells, and going to some other
          abode at a distance. How great this time may be is not revealed;
          but I have an idea that it is much swifter than any velocity with
          which we are familiar; I mean the velocity with which our Father
          and God can convey himself from the celestial abode where he
          dwells to some other kingdom. I believe it to be much swifter
          than that of the common light which shines from the heavenly
          bodies of our system, or from the distant bodies of the stellar
          system. Now, light travels with immence velocity--185,000 miles
          in one beat of the pulse, or in about one second of time. We
          might suppose that that is about a swift as any being would want
          to be wafted. But suppose that our Father, in the heavenly world
          where he dwells, should feel disposed to visit one of the vast
          dominions of his great creation as far distant as the nearest
          fixed star. If he could go no faster than light is transmitted
          through space, it would take him three and a half years to
          perform the journey. And to go to one that was situated some ten
          or fifteen times further off, it would take, of course, ten or
          fifteen times longer. And to go to some which are as far off from
          him as the distant creations that are just visible through our
          most powerful telescopes, it would take him six hundred thousand
          years to perform the journey, provided his velocity was only
          equal to that of light. I draw the conclusion, therefore, that
          God is not confined to the velocity of light, or to any other
          velocity with which we are acquainted--that he can go with
          immence velocity, perhaps thousands and hundreds of thousands of
          times swifter than that of light, if he feels disposed so to do.
          It is out of the question for us to suppose that God does not
          travel in going from creation to creation. That he could be
          momentarily and instantaneously in two creations at the same time
          is something that I never could comprehend, although it is
          believed in by some of the religious professors of the present
          day. They believe that God, in his person, can be in infinite
          space all at the same moment. That is not our doctrine. It is not
          my doctrine, at least. He may be, by his power, by his
          intelligence, by his spirit, in infinite space, working
          throughout all the vast dominions of space, according to laws he
          has ordained and instituted.
          Having said so much, in regard to the locality of our Heavenly
          Father, and of the celestial beings who dwell in the same abode,
          or in the same mansions where he resides, let me now say a few
          words more in regard to his presence being everywhere. I cannot,
          for a moment suppose, and I do not believe that any intelligent
          being who exercises his intelligence, independently of the
          traditions of the children of men, can suppose, that a person can
          be everywhere present at the same instant. "But," inquires one,
          "When a good man dies, passes out of this body of flesh and
          bones, it is said that he is in the presence of God. Does this
          mean that he has actually gone from his tabernacle, perhaps
          millions and millions and unnumbered millions of miles, to the
          abode or mansion where Jesus is, because he is in the presence of
          God?" No; I do not look at it in this way, I look at it in this
          light: if this world in which we dwell had the vail withdrawn
          from off its face, and the vail taken away from our faces, I
          consider that we would see the Lord, however far distant he might
          be; hence we would be in his presence; and on the other hand,
          those who dwell in his abode, however distant, can see us; for
          there is no vail over his face, no vail over the celestial abode
          of our Father and God, and there being no vail over him, nor over
          the beings that dwell in his abode, they can behold the most
          distant creations, which they have made. Now, this is my view. I
          do not say this is the view of the Latter-day Saints, but my own
          individual views, in regard to these matters. If then we pass out
          of these bodies of ours, and the vail is taken away, we are in
          his presence, just as much as we would be if we were wafted to
          the mansion where he dwells: I have no doubt, but what we will be
          wafted (if we are worthy) to that mansion, in due time; but I
          say, that we are in the presence of God, while our spirits are
          yet here upon the earth; because the vail is removed and our eyes
          can pierce eternity, and eternal things.
          Now, we have some examples of this, Latter-day Saints: and I
          sometimes wonder, when we have such plain examples as are to be
          had in this book which I hold in my hand, (The Pearl of Great
          Price) I sometimes wonder that people should be so limited in
          their ideas and in their views, concerning the future state of
          man (I mean the glorified man), as to suppose that he will be
          confined in his vision to some particular locality, and that he
          will be something similar to what we are here in this mortal
          life. Now, even mortal men, before they obtained immortality,
          have enjoyed this spirit of seeing things that were naturally
          supposed to be utterly impossible. Who that is acquainted with
          this book (the Pearl of Great Price) has not read with great and
          deep interest, the words of that great man, Moses, before he was
          sent down to Egypt to redeem the Israelites? Who is there among
          the readers of the Latter-day Saints who cannot comprehend, in
          some measure, how the vision of that man was enlarged, while he
          was yet here in a state of mortality? He went up into the Mount
          to pray to the Lord. The veil was removed. The glory of God
          rested upon Moses, and great and important things were made
          manifest to him. All things were not revealed; for he was
          incapable of receiving all things while yet a mortal being. But
          the Lord saw proper to reveal some things; and Moses sought to
          know some other things, but the Lord would not grant it and told
          him that no man could behold all his works, except he beheld all
          his glory; and no man could behold all his glory and afterwards
          remain in the flesh upon the earth; that is, in the state of
          mortality. But, said he, "Moses, my son, I will show unto thee
          some of the works of mine hands. I will reveal unto you
          concerning the heaven that is over your head, and this earth upon
          which you dwell." And as the Lord talked with Moses, the Spirit
          of God being upon him, his eyes were opened, the vail was taken
          away, and he saw the whole earth, not merely the surface of it,
          but the interior of it; every particle of it was before the eyes
          of Moses. This, then, shows that there is within each of these
          mortal tabernacles a spirit, and this spirit, when lit up by the
          Holy Spirit from on high, has certain faculties and powers, far
          beyond that which we are able to develop naturally here upon the
          earth. We cannot, by our own natural powers, discern one foot
          underneath the surface of the earth. We cannot discern through
          anything that is opaque in its nature--anything that will not
          admit the natural light to be transmitted through is substance.
          But still, we have the faculties within us; we have the power;
          there is merely an obstacle, or obstruction, in the way; and when
          this obstruction is removed it shows the godlike powers that are
          planted within the tabernacles of men, by which they can behold
          and pierce those portions of creation that are not discernable by
          the natural man. This Moses obtained during the few moments that
          he was thus enwrapt in vision. He obtained more information in
          those few moments than could be imparted in all the universities
          and colleges that ever existed, since the creation of the world
          to the present day. We may study the ponderous volumes that are
          published by the learned, and it takes a long time to grasp the
          information that some very learned men have received. But oh, how
          different is the method of receiving revelation, when it comes
          from the Most High! In a moment, as it were, those faculties of
          ours that have been lying dormant ever since we were born into
          this world--those faculties which are enshrouded with the
          darkness of a fallen creation--those faculties, when once
          illuminated, when once touched by the finger of the Almighty, can
          pierce the creations of the Almighty, so far as he permits us to
          This things encourage me. I am in hopes, when I get to the other
          side of the vail, that it will not be so difficult for me to
          understand the different laws of science, and the different laws
          and branches of education, that are taught in this little
          creation of ours. I am in hopes that when my spirit shall launch
          forth out of this mortal tabernacle, and go into the eternal
          world, that I shall not, at that time, require Lord Ross's great
          six feet telescope; I am in hopes that I shall not need any of
          the telescopes, or other instruments invented in the nineteenth
          century; but I am in hopes there will be a telescope prepared for
          me, by which I can see the vast creations of the Almighty, and
          comprehend, in a short period of time, more than could be
          unfolded to the children of mortality in a thousand years.
          I mention this in order to bring before the Latter-day Saints a
          principle which, I think, we should all, more or less, reflect
          upon. How encouraging it is to think we are not always going to
          be bound down to this slow process of gaining knowledge, and
          information, and wisdom, pertaining to the works of the Almighty!
          How glorious it is also, to reflect upon the celestial host, who
          dwell in the fulness of celestial glory, where there is no vail,
          and where they have their bodies; for some of them have been
          raised from the grave to immortality, and are clothed upon with
          all the fulness of the attributes of the Father. I say, how
          glorious it is to reflect upon the heights and depths and lengths
          and breadths of knowledge that will then be unfolded to the
          children of men! These things, as I said before, inspire my heart
          with joy. I do not confine my hopes to the volumes of works on
          science, with which I may come in contact here in this world; I
          do not confine my hopes to the slow process of advancing in
          knowledge and intelligence that the children of this world have;
          but I look forward to that higher school--that great university
          which will scope in boundless and eternal space, that will scope
          in the most distant creations that we can imagine in the vast
          field of eternity, in which we will be able to comprehend those
          laws by which the various creations are governed; not understand
          them as we now comprehend some few laws, but understand them in
          all their perfection and fulness, being like unto our Father and
          God, made like unto him, fashioned like unto his glorious body,
          and become indeed "sons of God." Shall I go still further and say
          Gods? Are we not the children of our Father? Will not the
          children ascend to the same height, to the same glory, to the
          same celestial world, and to the same fullness of the attributes
          of their Father? Are not our children, take them as a body,
          qualified to come up to all the perfections and attributes of
          their fathers, who came on the earth before them? It seems to be
          a general law that children will grow up and possess all of the
          perfections of their parents, provided that they take the
          necessary steps, and are favored with long life, and have the
          natural intelligence that is common to man. If, then, this seems
          to be a natural law in regard, not only to man, but also to all
          animated creation--that the children come up and possess the
          perfections of their fathers before them--may we not reason, by
          analogy, that our Father who begat us--our Father who dwells in
          yonder celestial world, intends to make us one with him, that we
          shall receive the same fulness with him, that we shall partake of
          light, and truth, and knowledge, and advance from grace to grace,
          as the revelations in the Book of Covenants state, until we shall
          receive a fulness of all truth? Then will not this make us, in
          one sense of the word, sons of God? Will it not make us Gods
          also, according to the word of God? "But," inquires one, "how can
          two persons possess the same attributes without quarreling with
          each other?" That is not the order of heaven. That is not the
          pure law that God has ordained, that there should be quarrels
          with those that have the same degree of intelligence; but the law
          is that they shall become one, as "I and my Father are one, so
          that these my brethren may also become one in us as we are one."
          That is the law; and if they are one there will be as much unity
          between his children who are exalted to that high condition in
          the celestial glory, as there is a unity and oneness between the
          Father and his only begotten Son. Have they any quarrel? Have
          they any difficulties? Have they any difference of views? Does
          one intend to carry on one government, and another a different
          kind of government? No; whatever is the will of the Father, is
          the will of the Son; whatever the Father is prepared to do,
          throughout all his vast dominions, the Son is in accord with him;
          and whatever the Father desires to perform and accomplish, his
          children who are made like him and one with them, will take hold
          and perform the same work, with all that unity and oneness which
          exist between the Father and the son. In the celestial glory they
          are made equal in oneness, in power, in knowledge, and in all
          perfections; and the Lord their God is with them, and they are
          one with him, to carry on all his purposes, and will be one with
          him throughout all the future ages of eternity.
          I thought perhaps the time was expired; but I will say a few more
          words in regard to this great glory, this high destiny prepared
          for the sons of God. I told you that our process of gaining
          information would be very rapid--would be immense in its growth,
          and that we should have the faculties within us developed to the
          highest degree. But now let us for a few moments, look into this
          high state of perfection. When our faculties are thus developed,
          and when we have all the wisdom that I have been speaking of,
          that dwells in the bosom of celestial beings, in the eternal
          worlds, what will we do with this wisdom? Will we fold up our
          arms, and remain throughout all the future ages of eternity, in
          perfect indifference and laziness, without anything to accomplish
          or perform? No; we will have works assigned to us to perform in
          the eternal worlds, that will be proportionate to all the fulness
          of that glory and knowledge which we are endowed with. Did the
          sons of God in ancient times, come forth and assist in the
          formation of this little creation of ours? Did they all shout for
          joy when the materials were brought together, and when the
          foundations of the earth were laid? Did they all feel happy and
          sing a song of rejoicing, and with great joy; did they look upon
          the works which they were performing? Yes. Jesus was there--the
          First Born of this great family of our Father in heaven. He had
          the superintendence of this creation. He had the power, because
          the power dwelt within him, to build this earth of ours, the same
          as you give to your superintendent power to build your temples,
          about which Brother Rich has been speaking. It is said that the
          worlds were made through our Lord Jesus Christ. But do you
          suppose that he alone made them? No; he had the sons and
          daughters of God with him. And there were prophets in those days,
          before our earth was made. They shouted for joy when they saw the
          neucleus of this creation formed. Why? Because they could look
          into the future, and by the spirit of prophecy, behold the
          designs and purposes of the great Jehovah in regard to the
          creation which they were then in the act of forming. Did they not
          understand that they would have the privilege of coming forth and
          peopling this earth? Yes. Did they not understand that they were
          to pass through a probation on this earth, the same as we are now
          passing through, in order to prepare them for a still higher
          exaltation and glory, with immortal bodies of flesh and bones?
          Yes; they understood these things, hence their joy, when they saw
          the creation being formed for them. I mention this, in order to
          show to the Latter-day Saints that the great work that will be
          entrusted to those who are prepared, will be proportionate to the
          wisdom, intelligence and understanding that will be imparted to
          those who enter into the fulness of the glory of the celestial
          kingdom. They will not remain in idleness to all eternity. They
          will have a work to perform. They will form worlds under the
          direction, no doubt, of those that may be appointed to
          superintend works of such vast magnitude. Furthermore, when they
          have formed these worlds, they will set them in motion in the
          midst of universal space, in some location, where they can
          continue their mission, and where all necessary things shall be
          fulfilled and accomplished during the days of the probation of
          these various creations. There will be laws given to govern these
          new creations, the same as there are laws given to govern the
          creations with which we are surrounded. The inhabitants upon
          these creations will be visited from time to time by those that
          have taken part in the great work of their formation. The
          inhabitants thereof will be dealt with according to law. They
          will be intelligent beings. They will have their agency, and they
          will pass through their probation the same as the people are now
          passing through their probations here in this world. Everything
          will be accomplished according to laws that shall be ordained
          when these creations are made. Will they visit these creations?
          Yes; for they will have the same power of locomotion, the same
          power to pass through space (almost in the twinkling of an eye)
          that our Father has--that his Son Jesus Christ has--that all
          celestial beings who are exalted in his presence have, and
          possessing the power, they will visit from creation to creation;
          they will impart knowledge and understanding to their children in
          these creations. They will visit them with the light of their
          countenances, and the children of these creations will be made
          glad in their hour, in their times, and in their seasons, by the
          light and countenances of the celestial beings who, from time to
          time, organized them. These are the high destinies that await the
          Latter-day Saints, if they are faithful. These are the high
          destinies into which many of the Former-day Saints have already
          entered. These are the great, and choice, and exalted blessings
          in store for all who will keep the commandments of our Father and
          God. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / George
          Q. Cannon, November 2nd, 1879
                        George Q. Cannon, November 2nd, 1879
                          DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEO. Q. CANNON.
             Delivered at Hyde Park, Sunday Evening, November 2nd, 1879
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I will read a portion of a revelation given through the Prophet
          Joseph Smith, previous to the organization of the Church, dated
          April, 1829: "Oliver Cowdery, verily, verily, I say unto you,
          that assuredly as the Lord liveth, who is your God and your
          Redeemer, even so surely shall you receive a knowledge of
          whatsoever things you shall ask in faith with an honest heart,
          believing that you shall receive a knowledge concerning the
          engravings of old records, which are ancient, which contain those
          parts of any Scripture of which have been spoken by the
          manifestation of my Spirit. Yea, behold I will tell you in your
          mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon
          you, and which shall dwell in your heart. Now, behold this is the
          spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses
          brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry
          The point I wish to call your attention to is contained in the
          second and third verses of this revelation. The Latter-day Saints
          are in many respects like other people who are not Latter-day
          Saints. We are apt to entertain views which are not very correct,
          and which may be the result of our traditions and preconceived
          ideas. This is a peculiarity that pertains to mankind generally,
          that whenever they deal with the things of God, or speak about
          them, or contemplate them, and especially when they read the
          predictions made by the servants of God concerning future events,
          or events that may transpire right before their eyes, they are
          apt to get, sometimes, erroneous ideas, or, at least, exaggerated
          ideas, in relation to them. The prophets have foretold the events
          that should take place in connection with this work. There is one
          prophecy that comes to my mind, recorded by Isaiah and Micah,
          respecting the building of the house of God in the top of the
          mountains and the gathering of the people there, and the object
          for which they should gather, that they should come up and be
          taught of the Lord, etc. Now it might be supposed that when that
          prediction would be fulfilled it would be so prominent and
          remarkable in the midst of the nations of the earth, that all the
          inhabitants thereof who should witness it would say, "This is the
          fulfillment of the predictions of Isaiah and Micah." And it might
          be thought that all the inhabitants of the earth who witnessed it
          would be convinced of the truth of it, and would say, "We have no
          further opposition to this work, because we behold the
          fulfillment of the predictions of those holy prophets whom we
          have been taught to regard, and whose writings we have read as
          authority from God.
          And, doubtless, there are many of the Latter-day Saints who have
          thought, in the early days of their experience in this Church,
          when they have heard the elders predict concerning the great
          events that should take place in connection with this work--they
          have thought and felt in their hearts that when the wicked and
          those who oppose this work should see the fulfillment of these
          predictions they would be constrained to acknowledge that this is
          the work of God, and would cease from hostility and opposition,
          and would say they had been mistaken. For instance, the elders in
          the early days of this Church, predicted concerning calamities
          and wars and troubles of various kinds that would come upon the
          inhabitants of the earth. There was a revelation given to the
          Prophet Joseph Smith, in December, 1832, concerning the war that
          should take place between the Southern States and the Northern
          States. This was a definite prediction, stating the exact point
          where a certain trouble or rebellion or division in the nation
          should take place. Most of us who have been brought up in the
          Church knew about this revelation from early days. It has been
          published so that all the members of the Church, and the world
          also, could have it, and it was but reasonable to expect that so
          definite a prophecy as this, which stated the exact character of
          the difficulty that should take place between the south and the
          north, and that also stated with such definiteness the exact
          point where the division should occur--I say it was but
          reasonable to expect that when it should be fulfilled, it would
          have the effect of convincing unbelievers of the truth of the
          mission of Joseph Smith, and that he really was a man inspired of
          the Lord to speak the word of God to the people.
          In 1860, Brothers Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow, myself, and others,
          were going on missions, and we arrived at Omaha in the month of
          November of that year. A deputation of the leading citizens of
          that city came to our camp and tendered to us the use of the
          Court House, as they wished to hear our principles. The
          invitation was accepted, and Elder Pratt preached to them. During
          the service, there was read the revelation to which I have
          referred--the revelation concerning the division between the
          South and the North. The reason probably, for reading it was that
          when we reached Omaha, the news came that trouble was already
          brewing, and several States were threatening to secede from the
          Union. Its reading made considerable impression upon the people.
          A good many had never heard of it before, and quite a number were
          struck with the remarkable character of the prophecy. It might
          have been expected, naturally speaking and looking at it as men
          naturally do, that the reading, of such a revelation, at such a
          time, when the crisis was approaching, would have had the effect
          to direct men's attention to it, and they would be led to
          investigate its truth and the doctrines of the Church and the
          foundation we had for our belief. But if there were any converted
          in that audience I am not aware of it. Good seed was sown, but we
          did not remain to see what effect it produced. The revelation
          being so remarkable, and the events then transpiring being so
          corroborative of its truth, one might naturally think, as there
          were present on that occasion the leading and thinking portion of
          that community, that a great number would have been impressed
          with the probability of its truth, and would have investigated
          and joined the Church. You doubtless remember it was for a good
          while doubtful whether the rebellion should commence at South
          Carolina or not. I was in England at the time, and was engaged in
          publishing the Millennial Star, and took a great deal of notice
          of the American papers, and I well remember that to all human
          appearances it seemed for a while as though the trouble would
          break out at Fort Pickens, Florida. But the word of God had been
          spoken concerning that event, and consequently it had to be
          fulfilled as predicted, and the war did commence at South
          Carolina. It was fulfilled, as you know, to the very letter, Fort
          Sumter being the place where the rebellion broke out.
          Now, I allude to that, in connection with this subject, to show
          you that not only is the world mistaken in its views respecting
          the fulfillment of the predictions of the prophets, but even
          Latter-day Saints have doubtless, in many instances, entertained
          erroneous views respecting the fulfillment of revelation and
          prophecies of the Bible. I have no doubt there are many here
          to-night, who have had some experience in this, and can look back
          at times in their own lives, when they have thought: "Surely when
          these things which the prophets have foretold are brought to
          pass, the people will be convinced. My friends who now ridicule
          me will then be convinced, and they will be forced to confess
          that I did right in embracing the Gospel."
          No doubt there are some in this audience to-night who have had
          these ideas, and certainly there are good reasons for
          entertaining them. But experience has taught us that, while there
          may be a few who, when they have seen the predictions fulfilled,
          have acknowledged that our course is right, in the majority of
          cases throughout the earth where the Gospel has been preached,
          the fulfillment of the predictions of the prophets has not had
          the effect to convince the people of the truth of the ministry
          God has given unto us.
          Even with this experience in the past, the Latter-day Saints
          themselves are not entirely divested of extravagant views
          respecting the effects which are likely to follow the fulfillment
          of predictions yet in the future. Are we not all inclined to look
          forward to many events which have been predicted by the servants
          of God as being of so great and wonderful, and I may say so
          supernatural a character, that when they shall be fulfilled they
          will even startle us, who believe they are coming, and will
          compel the unbelieving inhabitants of the earth to accept them as
          evidences of the truth? In our thoughts this seems to be the
          natural tendency. I notice it in myself; I notice it in others.
          When we read respecting the great events which are to take place
          in connection with this work, as predicted in the Book of
          Doctrine and Covenants, are we not inclined to think that,
          surely, when these things shall come to pass all the earth, as
          well as ourselves, will be constrained to acknowledge this to be
          the work of God, and these events to be indeed those which have
          been predicted by the prophets?
          Now I would not, for the world, say one word to lessen in the
          minds of my brethren and sisters the importance of these events;
          I would not say one word to weaken your proper expectations; but
          my experience has taught me that the Lord works in the midst of
          this people by natural means, and that the greatest events that
          have been spoken of by the holy prophets will come along so
          naturally as the consequence of certain causes, that unless our
          eyes are enlightened by the Spirit of God, and the spirit of
          revelation rests us, we will fail to see that these are the
          events predicted by the holy prophets.
          You take two persons, one who has the Spirit of God, whose mind
          is enlightened by that Spirit,--the spirit of revelations, the
          same spirit that rested upon the prophets who wrote the
          revelations and prophecies we have--you take a man of that kind,
          and then take another who has none of that spirit, and put the
          two together, and the one man's eyes will be open to see the hand
          of God in all these events; he will notice his movements and his
          providence in everything connected with his work and they will be
          testimonies to him to strengthen his faith and to furnish his
          mind with continual reasons for giving thanks to and worshipping
          God; while the man, who has not the Spirit of God, will see
          nothing Godlike in the occurrences: nothing which he will view as
          supernatural (as many suppose everything which exhibits God's
          power to be), or nothing which he will accept as a fulfillment of
          prophecies; his eyes will be closed, his heart will be hardened,
          and to all the evidences of the divinity of these things he will
          be impenetrable.
          To those who have mingled with the world the reasons for this are
          very plain. Men do not believe in these days in the direct
          interposition of God in the affairs of men. If they even believe
          in God, they believe that he governs the universe by great
          natural laws. When, therefore, a great and wonderful event
          occurs, they seek for its origin and explanation in some natural
          law. They ignore the fact that God works through natural laws;
          but seem to think that if he were to interpose at all, it would
          be by manifesting his power through the suspension of natural
          laws, by overriding and violating them, and in such a
          supernatural manner that mankind would be compelled to
          acknowledge it was his act, as they would be utterly unable to
          account for it by any laws known to them, or in any other way
          that as being through his power. Wars, famines, pestilences,
          cyclones, earthquakes, and the great variety of calamities which
          God has said shall be poured out upon the wicked nations, are
          therefore looked upon by men generally in these days as the
          results of certain well-defined and easily explained causes. When
          any of these calamities visit a city or a nation they immediately
          commence to investigate the laws which govern them, and by the
          violation of which they assert they are produced; and when they
          discover what they allege is the cause, they triumphantly point
          to it, and that is sufficient proof that the Lord has nothing
          special to do with it; for if it were a visitation from him, it
          is supposed it would be so supernatural as to be inexplicable.
          And thus men go on, hardening their hearts and denying God's
          power, until they will be so completely given over to the evil
          one, that he will lead them captive according to his will.
          My reason for calling your attention to the word of the Lord I
          have read to you is, that I have sometimes thought that our
          people do not appreciate as they should do the spirit of
          revelation, the spirit of prophecy, the power of God that has
          been poured out upon us as a people. The fact seems to be
          overlooked that it was in the manner in which the Lord tells
          Oliver Cowdery that Moses brought the children of Israel through
          the Red Sea on dry ground. The Lord said to Oliver: "I will tell
          you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which
          shall come upon you, and which shall dwell in your heart. Now,
          behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the
          spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the
          Red Sea on dry ground." How many of the Latter-day Saints are
          there who understand that this is the way in which Moses led the
          children of Israel so miraculously? How many are there who think
          that if we had a man like Moses among us, the people would be led
          differently and with greater manifestations of power than they
          are? How many are there who are dissatisfied with what God is
          doing at present, and are looking for some one to appear in the
          future who shall exhibit convincing and overwhelming
          manifestations of power? How many are there at the present time
          who are neglecting the precious and inestimable gift of
          revelation which God has bestowed upon his people, because it
          does not come to them in the way to suit their preconceived
          notions and ideas--or who are not suited with the way the Church
          has been and is led, because there is not that wonderful degree
          of power exhibited which they imagine should be?
          Apostates have asserted that there was not the power in the
          leaders of the Church which there should be. They said so during
          the life of the Prophet Joseph, asserting that he was a fallen
          prophet. After his death they made the same statements respecting
          President Young, his counselors, and the Twelve Apostles. And, if
          I am not mistaken, there are some members of the Church who have
          appeared to think that there has been some power lacking, and
          have manifested a feeling of restlessness, anticipating the
          rising of some one who should have greater authority than at
          present exists. While I would not wish to detract from the
          reasonable expectations of my brethren and sisters upon this or
          any other point, my view is that the apostleship, now held in
          this Church, embodies all the authority bestowed by the Lord upon
          man in the flesh. Yet I believe that the power of God will be
          increased among us, that we will have manifestations of his power
          such as we never have before witnessed. For the day of God's
          power in the redemption of Zion will come. But I do not expect
          that to come upon us all of a sudden. I expect that it will be
          the natural result of the natural growth of the people in the
          things of God. I expect that we will go on step by step from one
          degree of knowledge, and of power, and of faith to another, until
          we shall be prepared to receive all the Lord has in store for us
          and be prepared to enter into that glory promised to the faithful
          Saints. The Lord has given unto his people and to his church
          every gift and every qualification and every key which is
          necessary to lead this people into the celestial kingdom of our
          father and our God. There is nothing wanting. When the Lord
          restored the Apostleship to the earth he restored all the power
          that was possible for a human being to hold in the flesh. When he
          restored the keys of the holy priesthood unto his servant Joseph,
          when he gave unto him the sealing powers, when he gave unto him
          the endowments and the keys of the holy priesthood associated
          therewith, when the Prophet Joseph received the keys from Elijah,
          and from all the prophets that had existed upon the earth from
          the beginning down--each one, as he says himself in one of his
          epistles--each one in his dispensation coming forward and
          bestowing upon him the authority pertaining thereto, there was
          embodied in him all the priesthood they held, and he bestowed
          upon his fellow Apostles all the priesthood he exercised and all
          the power and authority bestowed upon mortal man to exercise here
          upon the earth, so far as the present is concerned; that is, all
          the keys of the priesthood and everything that is necessary in
          this preparatory state, and to make man a fit subject for the
          celestial kingdom of God. By the command of the Lord he conferred
          that authority upon his fellow servants to bind upon earth and it
          should be bound in heaven, to seal the children to the father and
          the mother, and to seal the wife to the husband, and to weld all
          the links necessary in order to complete the salvation of all the
          children of men from the days of Adam down to our day, and also
          to prepare men and women for the future that lies before us, the
          millennium to which we are all hastening. Who can conceive of any
          power that was lacking? Who had power to promise unto man that
          they should be kings and priests unto God? And in addition to
          that, who had the power to seal upon them the actual kingly and
          priestly dignity and confirm upon them the fulness of it, and
          also to give them promises respecting the Godhead that should be
          fulfilled upon them, and if faithful, to come forth in the
          morning of the first resurrection? Now, there was nothing
          lacking, and there was no power, there was no gift, there was no
          authority, there were no keys lacking, and these keys have been
          handed down through him. Others may have claimed to have had
          them. We have had Strang, John E. Page, William Smith, Gladden
          Bishop, and a host of others; each has claimed to have received
          that authority, either through Joseph Smith or from some other
          source. Some have claimed that Joseph was a fallen prophet; and
          some have set up one claim and some another. But the fact remains
          that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as it is
          organized in these mountains, has had the apostleship; that the
          men who have stood at our head, President Young and the Twelve
          Apostles, whose President at the death of the Prophet Joseph he
          was, actually received under the hands of the Prophet Joseph,
          every key, and power, and authority that he himself possessed,
          and that they actually did take hold and complete the temple he
          started, and endowed their fellow servants therein with the same
          authority and the same priestly and kingly dignity that they had
          received from under his hands. And from that time to the present
          this work has gone forth with might and power, and the power of
          God has attended the labors of his servants who have been sent
          forth by these apostles, chosen by revelation to take charge of
          this work; everything they have done God has blessed. They have
          gathered the people together, they have led the people, they have
          been delivered by the mighty power of God when it seemed that
          they would be overwhelmed by opposing influences. They have
          gathered the people together from the nations of the earth in
          fulfillment of the predictions of the holy prophets. Not only
          that, but they have laid the foundations of temples here; one
          temple, at least, has been completed while three others are in
          process of erection, which we hope will soon be completed, into
          which buildings the Saints of God can enter and receive their
          endowments, receive their washings and anointings and sealings
          and ordinances, and have the keys of the holy priesthood bestowed
          upon them, which they can exercise in the right way for the
          building up of the work of God. And this is the work of God,
          although men may say there has been so supernatural manifestation
          of power, such as some suppose ought to attend his work. This
          work has gone forth with a rapidity and impetus that has been
          irresistible, and there is no power able to stand against it. It
          has gone forward to the fulfilment of all that has been spoken
          thus far concerning it, that is as far as we have gone. And the
          people have received the Holy Ghost, they have been filled with
          it, they have been filled with the spirit of revelation. The same
          spirit of revelation that Moses had, concerning which God speaks
          through the Prophet Joseph Smith, has rested upon men that have
          held the keys of this kingdom, whether it was during President
          Young's life or at the present time--that same spirit of
          revelations rests upon him who holds the presidency as senior
          apostle in the midst of the people of God. The apostles of this
          Church have all the authority, they have all the keys, and it is
          within the purview of their office and calling to have all the
          spirit of revelation necessary to lead this people into the
          presence of the Lamb in the celestial kingdom of our God.
          I have desired to say this much, because I have felt at times
          there was a feeling among some people that there was not that
          manifestation of power, neither was there that authority wielded
          by the men who preside over this Church and kingdom that should
          But it is the truth, that the same spirit of revelation that
          rested upon Moses, and which enabled him to lead the children of
          Israel through the Red Sea, rests upon the servants of God in the
          midst of this people, and you will find it so to your entire
          satisfaction if you will listen to their counsels and be guided
          by them. Does God reveal himself to his servants now? I know he
          does. The same spirit that rested upon Joseph--the same spirit
          that rested upon Moses, I know it is in the midst of the
          Latter-day Saints--precisely the same spirit. But then we are a
          nation of Gentiles. We who have come here, what are we? We are
          called from the Gentile nations. The promises are not made to us
          that are made to people who are the unmixed descendants of
          Israel. In many respects, when they come into the covenant and
          are baptized, and the power of God rests upon them, you will see
          a different work than you see at the present time. It is just as
          much as we, with our Gentile traditions--an inheritance we have
          received from our fathers, which have come down through
          generations--it is as much as many of us can do, with all the
          power we can exercise, to remain in the Church.
          I was speaking with Brother Simpson Molen this evening, who as
          you know has lately returned from a mission to the Sandwich
          Islands. It is now 29 years since the Gospel was introduced to
          the people of that country. I labored there for four or five
          years, and was the first to preach the Gospel to them in their
          language in this generation. During my experience among that
          people, a red skinned race, I never knew a man, because of
          transgression or anything else, after he received the truth--I
          never knew one of them to turn around and fight this cause in the
          manner that we witness men doing among our race. How is it with
          the Gentiles, the race of which we are a part? When a man gets a
          testimony from God and falls into transgression he is almost
          immediately seized with the spirit of murder. He wants to shed
          the blood of innocence. He wants to kill the servants of God, is
          full of bitterness and hatred, and seeks to find vent for his
          wicked passions. We have seen this spirit manifested in our
          history among our own race. But here is a people who receive
          strong testimonies concerning the Gospel, and from all that I can
          learn there has not been an instance of a man's turning around
          and bitterly fighting this work. There seems to be natural
          receptiveness about them to receive the truth. The Indians will
          be the same in my opinion. You will find the same peculiarity,
          you will find them ready to receive the truth, and they will
          cleave to the truth. It is difficult for the Gentiles to receive
          the truth. It will be easier for them, because unto them are the
          promises. I look for a very different condition of things when
          these races come into the church and are brought into the
          covenant. I expect then to see the work accomplished by a power
          that we do not witness just now. But it is not because something
          is lacking in the organization or in the authority of the
          priesthood. We have, as I have said, all that is necessary, and
          we have this spirit of which I have spoken and which is alluded
          to in this revelation--the same spirit of revelation which
          reveals to us that which we should do and the course we should
          take in order to please the Lord and in order to build up his
          kingdom, and this Church will always be led by that authority
          from this time henceforth until Christ himself shall come to
          preside over us and be our king.
          My brethren and sisters, if you want more revelation, here is the
          principle upon which to obtain it. Are you entitled to it? Yes,
          every one of you--the same spirit of revelation that Moses had,
          the same spirit that all the prophets and apostles had, it is
          your privilege, it is my privilege, it is the privilege of every
          man and woman who possesses the Gospel to receive the spirit of
          God, the Holy Ghost, to have that same spirit resting upon him
          and upon her, and the more we seek after it and cherish it the
          more we will have.
          My time is exhausted. I pray God to bless us and fill us
          continually with the light of that spirit, in the name of Jesus.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 21 / Orson
          Pratt, June 20th, 1880
                            Orson Pratt, June 20th, 1880
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER ORSON PRATT,
           Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, Sunday Afternoon,
                                  June 20th, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          I will call the attention of the congregation to a few verses,
          contained in the 50th Psalm, and the first six verses: "The
          mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from
          the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion,
          the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come,
          and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and
          it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to
          the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his
          people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a
          covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his
          righteousness: for God is judge himself." It is very evident that
          the Psalmist, when writing these words, must have been inspired
          of the living God; for the events, here foretold, are clearly set
          forth in many other parts of the sacred scriptures. Two very
          important events are announced here; one is, the gathering of the
          Saints,--those who have made a covenant with the Lord by
          sacrifice;--and another is the coming of the Lord, not his first
          coming, but his second advent, when a fire shall devour before
          him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him; when he
          shall, in other words, come in his majesty, in his power, in
          great glory, or, as the apostle Paul expresses it in one of his
          epistles to the Thessalonians, "he shall be revealed from heaven,
          with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them
          that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus
          Christ." There seems to be connected with this advent of the Lord
          from the heavens, great power; his arm is to be made manifest
          before all people. Preparatory to this great event, there will be
          a universal gathering of the Saints from the four quarters of the
          earth. It is one of the signs preceding the second advent. It is
          clearly foretold by many of the prophets. David alludes to it,
          not only in this Psalm, but in many parts of his Psalms. The
          Spirit of God seems to have moved upon him to portray more or
          less the great work of the gathering of the Saints in the last
          days. Many suppose that he will come and find the Saints
          scattered all over the world, not gathered into any special
          country; but it is evident that those who have taken this view of
          the subject don't understand the Scripture writings. Nothing is
          plainer in all the sacred Scriptures than the gathering of the
          people of God. The apostle Paul, in the first chapter of his
          epistle to the Ephesians, prophecies "that in the dispensation of
          the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things
          in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth." It
          seems to be a new dispensation, a dispensation that is
          characterized by the words "fulness of times." When these times
          shall be fulfilled: when the day shall come for this great
          preparatory work to take place, the Lord will signify it, by
          speaking from the heavens; or, as it is here stated, in the
          fourth verse of this Psalm which I have just read, "he shall call
          to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge
          his people. Gather my Saints together unto me; those that have
          made a covenant with me by sacrifice." From this we draw the
          conclusion, that when the dispensation shall be fully ushered in:
          when the time for the great preparatory work shall take place,
          the heavens will no longer be sealed up, but the Lord will again
          speak, will call to the heavens, call upon his angels, call upon
          the ancient prophets who have died and gone the way of the whole
          earth, and are dwelling in the heavens, to do the work assigned
          to them, in the great and last dispensation of the fulness of
          times, in bringing about the gathering and restitution of his
          people upon the face of the earth. David, in the 107th Psalm, has
          very clearly portrayed this wonderful and great event. Perhaps it
          may be well for us to read the exact words. He commences the
          Psalm thus: "O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his
          mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
          whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy." Now notice the
          gathering--"and gathered them out of the lands, from the east and
          from the west, from the north and from the south. It seems to be
          a gathering from the four points of the compass, out of all
          lands. You might inquire if the prophets have said anything
          special in relation to the country where these Saints, or people
          of God are to be gathered. Let us read the next verse. After
          gathering them out of the different countries and lands, from the
          east, west, north and south, the Psalmist says, "They wandered in
          a wilderness, in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
          Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried
          unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of
          their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way," etc.
          Now this cannot refer to any former dispensation of gathering.
          When the children of Israel in ancient days were collected
          together as a body, they were not taken from the east, west,
          north and south, but they were taken from one little country--the
          land of Goshen in Egypt. From there this handful of people, about
          twenty-five hundred thousand were taken, and in the course of
          time were permitted to inhabit the land of Canaan. But this
          gathering that is here spoken of informs us that they are to be
          gathered out of all lands. Who? The redeemed of the Lord,--people
          who have heard the message of redemption, obeyed the ordinances
          of redemption, received the Gospel of redemption, and were the
          people of God, the people of Christ; they were the ones that were
          to wander in the wilderness, after they were thus gathered, and
          that wilderness would be a solitary way. Now, in gathering from
          Egypt to the land of Canaan, they wandered, it is true, in a
          small wilderness, on the east side of the Red Sea, but instead of
          bringing them forth where there was no city or habitation he
          brought them forth to large and populous cities. The first city
          that they came to, after crossing from the east side of Jordan to
          the land on the west side, was the great city of Jericho, which
          the Lord delivered into their hands; and then there were numerous
          other cities that are mentioned in the Book of Joshua, which were
          delivered into the hands of the people. The children of Israel
          gathered out of one land; but this latter-day gathering was to be
          a people called "the redeemed of the Lord;" they were to go into
          a wilderness country. They were called, in many parts of the
          Scripture writings, "the people of Zion," and "the Zion of the
          latter-days." The Lord calls them by this special name in the
          51st chapter of Isaiah, and these are the words that are used:
          "For the Lord shall comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste
          places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert
          like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found
          therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody."
          When I was a boy, I was inclined to attend very frequently the
          meetings that were held by the different denominations in the
          State of New York, my native State. I often heard this prophecy
          of Isaiah sung, by those who were singing anthems of praise to
          the Lord, "The Lord shall comfort Zion," etc., but little did I
          know, in my boyhood or youth, what was meant by these predictions
          of Isaiah. It seems that the people of Zion are to be gathered
          out from all lands, from every nation under heaven, from the four
          points of the compass, and are to be brought into a solitary
          place, a wilderness, and when they arrive in that solitary place
          or wilderness, they will, at first, be greatly afflicted, sorely
          distressed, so much so that they will be under the necessity of
          crying unto the Lord, and he will deliver them from their
          distress. "They found no city to dwell in," says David. Now, this
          was the case with the Latter-day Saints, whom the Lord commanded
          to gather together. When we started forth over the great desert
          plain, where there were no settlements, no cities, no towns,
          traveling hundreds of miles without any track to guide us, it was
          a "solitary way," and rendered more terrible by the wild beasts
          that roamed over the plains. We could hear the sound of the wolf
          in his howlings; we could hear the sounds of the buffalos in
          their bellowings, but the sound of the human voice, from any
          village, or town, or settlement was unknown for hundreds of
          We commenced this journey in the year 1846, leaving the great
          Mississippi river in the cold month of February. After a portion
          of us had crossed the river in boats, the river was frozen over,
          and the rest of the company crossed in wagons on the ice. We had
          no grass to sustain our teams. Our teams depended upon the
          cottonwoods, and barks of trees, and a little corn that we could
          occasionally get by sending down to the settlements, and
          purchasing it for that purpose. We wandered in the wilderness "in
          a solitary way," and when we had traveled some fourteen hundred
          miles, we found no city to dwell in, just precisely as the
          Psalmist said would be the case. We entered this valley in the
          month of July, 1847, having been detained during the winter, by
          sending over 500 of our people--young and middle-aged men--to
          help the United States in their war against Mexico. That detained
          us during the winter, so that we could not journey any further
          than Council Bluffs, or the regions a little above Omaha, where
          we built up a temporary residence. The next spring we started
          off, traveling over the plains "in a solitary way," and entered
          this valley just about where Fort Douglas is now established on
          the bench; we called it Emigration Canon. We came down here upon
          this plot of ground in the month of July, and commenced planting
          a few potatoes. It was very late to put in any corn, but we
          wished to try the soil to see whether there was any virtue in it.
          We found it, however, like an ash heap. It seemed as though there
          had been no rain upon the land for years. We could dig down a
          great depth in many places, where this city now stands, without
          finding scarcely any moisture, but we succeeded by taking the
          water from the creek--City Creek we call it--in flooding a small
          portion of ground, and put in our potatoes, and planted corn, a
          few beans, garden seeds, etc. to see if there was any virtue in
          the soil. What were the results of our first crop? We found that
          there was fruitfulness in the soil; but of course it was too late
          for anything to be matured. The same fall, or autumn of 1847,
          several thousand of the Latter-day Saints followed up our track.
          They came upon the land in the fall of the year, bringing with
          them a little breadstuffs to sustain them during the winter, and
          also our farm utensils, and everything in the shape of wearing
          apparel that could be brought. We had not much to bring, for we
          had already been driven four or five times in the United States,
          from our houses and from our lands;much of our bedding was burnt;
          our stores torn down, and the goods carried into the streets and
          destroyed. Hence, we had not much to bring with us: but we came
          trusting in our God, and we found that the Lord really fulfilled
          the prophecy of Isaiah, and made the wilderness to blossom as the
          rose, made the desert to bloom like the Garden of Eden--literally
          fulfilling that which our Gentile religious denominations had
          been singing in my ears, when I was a youth. Very pleasant song
          to those who did not understand it, but much more pleasant to
          those who do understand and are fulfilling it. We made great
          calculations in laying off this city. We did not lay it off
          merely one square mile, as if we were doubtful as to whether
          there would be any inhabitant to occupy it, nor two miles square,
          but we laid it off, covering an area of about five square miles.
          We expected that there would be a great emigration. Upon what did