Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23
                               Journal of Discourses,
                                      Volume 23
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER H. W. NAISBITT.
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Afternoon, May 15th, 1881.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          there have been larger opportunities for the acquisition of the
          knowledge which pertains to the designs of the Creator. I think
          that all thoughtful men and thoughtful women have felt within
          themselves that there were a great many problems in regard to
          human existence upon which they would like to have light and
          intelligence, they would like to understand and to have a surety
          as to whether a man was anything more than a mere animal in
          creation, whether it was his destiny only "to eat and to drink,
          for to-morrow we die," or whether his existence was of a
          continuous character; whether after having laid down this
          tabernacle of flesh he would be privileged to enjoy again the
          associations which have been agreeable to him on earth, whether
          the family circle would be burst asunder, or whether continuing
          to exist he would be divested in a great measure of the
          temptations which seem to influence him on the right hand and on
          the left, and which appear to lead so many thousands of the human
          family down to degradation and death. It appears to me that there
          are questions in connection with all these things that thousands
          would like to solve, and questions which really never can be
          solved by the ordinary wisdom and knowledge which pertain to the
          educational facilities of mankind. Now, in reading these
          prophecies concerning the future angelic visitations that are to
          take place in the history of mankind, I have no doubt that those
          who have pondered over these prophecies have thought that in
          these visitations they would find the key which should unlock the
          past, the present and the future, and be of great value in the
          salvation of the human family--salvation from ignorance, from
          sin, and from death. These are the things which men everywhere
          need. They need to be saved from themselves; they need to be
          saved from each other; they need to be saved in regard to the
          future, according to the Scriptures, and the generally received
          notions of the Christian world.
          Now, this angel that was to come in the latter times was declared
          to be one who was to bring the everlasting Gospel in order that
          it might be preached among all nations. Now, the everlasting
          Gospel, whatever that may mean, is something that is divine in
          its character. It is not conjured up by cunning and designing
          men. God was its author; in fact the Scriptures say that His Son
          Jesus was the "author and finisher" of the Christian faith on
          earth. Whenever, therefore, the revelation of that Gospel comes
          it must give man an account of his origin, of the necessity of
          the circumstances of the present, and something of his future.
          There is one thing that strikes the reader as being very peculiar
          in regard to this angel coming to the human family. It is implied
          upon the surface, and in its depths also, that there would be no
          necessity of sending the Gospel if the children of man had the
          Gospel already, this would be superfluous. Then when this angel
          comes is he to come to Christendom, or is he to come to
          heathendom? Is he to come to men that have not heard of Jesus,
          know nothing of God, know nothing of the way of salvation, or is
          he to come to the Christian world. If he is to come to heathendom
          it of course would be to bring salvation, the redemption of the
          soul and body of man; but if he is to come to Christendom it
          would almost seem to imply that amid them even the Gospel of
          redemption was unpreached or misunderstood, for in all the
          creations of our God there does not appear to be anything of an
          unnecessary character, there are no steps taken in His government
          that are inapplicable to the existing condition of things; but
          the fact that an angel was to come in "the dispensation of the
          fulness of times" naturally implies that the Gospel would not be
          at that time preached on the face of the earth. Now this is
          rather an awkward conclusion to arrive at when all Christendom is
          said to be doing so much in regard to the building of churches,
          the teaching of religion, the payment of ministers, the sending
          of the so-called Gospel to the heathen, and the furnishing of
          Bibles to all the nations of the earth. And on reflecting upon
          the visits of this angel a man would naturally enquire, if this
          angel is going to bring the Gospel, in what does the Gospel
          consist, and as a necessary consequence he would also begin to
          enquire as to what the records say which have come down to us
          from ancient times. He would look into the New Testament; he
          would read the sayings of those whose names have become historic;
          he would read the sayings of the Great Teacher, who was sent from
          heaven, even Jesus Christ the righteous; and he would read the
          acts and doings in that book of His successors the Apostles, and
          of the primitive church, and from this record he would endeavor
          to find out what the Gospel was as preached in ancient times, and
          after he had done this he would begin to contrast the Christian
          organizations with which he was surrounded, the theories which
          Christians hold, the doctrines which they teach and put them side
          by side in parallel columns with the teachings of the ancient
          Church. He would institute comparisons and so would show a desire
          to understand the necessity for this angel coming expressly from
          heaven to "preach" the everlasting Gospel unto them that dwell
          upon the earth, and to every nation and kindred and tongue and
          people." And in taking the New Testament for his guide, in
          pondering the acts and teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, he
          would begin to understand that there was method and order in
          connection with that Gospel; that it consisted of a series of
          principles, of ideas, and thoughts and practices, which were
          intended to work out some desired end. Hence it was said that the
          Gospel in ancient times "was the power of God unto salvation." It
          was an important thing, it was something of value; it was
          something calculated to affect a man's interests in time and in
          eternity, it was "the power of God unto salvation;" and I do not
          think that in any other recognized record are we so likely to
          find a portrayal of that Gospel in its purity and original
          simplicity as in the record called the New Testament. When we
          come to search that, we realize that Jesus professed to be the
          Son of God. He encouraged his followers to exercise faith in his
          Father, and in regard to his works he told them that he "did
          nothing of himself, but that which he had seen the Father do that
          did he," and that which he did before his Apostles, and which he
          commanded them to do, was according to the commandments which he
          had received of the Father. I think the Christian world will be
          willing to acknowledge that this faith in God was a principle
          which was calculated to enhance the welfare of the human family.
          It was calculated to infuse high and lofty thoughts into the man
          or woman who accepted it; faith in the existence of God, faith
          that they were his children; faith that he was alive to their
          interests; faith that he was able to teach them the purpose of
          their existence, and the design that he had in their creation,
          faith that he was able to hear and answer their prayers. And the
          man who enjoyed this faith in God after he had been taught it was
          a man who was likely not only to feel higher conceptions in
          regard to humanity, so far as he himself was concerned, but there
          would be bound to spring up in his heart feelings, growing out of
          this, in regard to his brother-man, and to his sister, woman; he
          would be bound to look upon them with more regard for their
          interests, well-being and salvation upon the earth, than he would
          have done without this conception. He would be interested in the
          moral, mental and spiritual condition of his neighbor; he would
          be interested in imparting to his neighbor the truth, and thus
          the spirit of faith in God would begin to spread and exercise a
          salutary influence wherever it was felt among those who received
          And Jesus was not satisfied only with teaching this faith in God,
          but he realized that there would grow out of it these or
          similarly certain principles of action with regard to the conduct
          of those who received it. A man would begin to realize that
          inasmuch as he was a child of God, that he had in many respects
          been unworthy of that position, that he had been guilty of many
          acts both of commission and omission that were derogatory to such
          origin, and he would naturally begin to repent, to be sorry for
          having committed himself in this way and not to be sorry only,
          but to lay everything of this character aside in order that he
          might stand approved of God His Heavenly Father. Hence there
          would grow out of faith the spirit of repentance for past sins,
          and then it was found that there was an ordinance in the Gospel
          by which through divine appointment, a man was enabled to receive
          the "remission of his sins," consequent on the sacrifice that was
          to be offered on Calvary. That ordinance of the Church, as
          established by Jesus, was the ordinance of water baptism for the
          remission of sins. This was one of the principles of the Gospel,
          one of the principles of salvation, one of the steps in the
          educational process of those who submitted themselves to the
          authority of the Great Teacher, Jesus Christ. Now there is a vast
          diversity of opinion in the Christian world in regard to baptism,
          but this diversity we need not stop to consider. We can take the
          New Testament, and see what is laid down there upon the subject.
          Some think baptism unimportant. Christ, however, evidently
          thought it important. In speaking to Nicodemus, he said, "Except
          a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into
          the kingdom of God." And when he commissioned his Apostles to
          preach the Gospel, they went forth among the people, "baptizing
          them in water, confessing their sins." Indeed, there are
          illustrations in abundance of this fact, that will be familiar to
          all the students of the New Testament. The great Apostle Peter,
          who appeared to have been the master spirit of the Church on the
          day of Pentecost, when men began to inquire what they should do
          to be saved, answered the inquirers in this way, "Repent and be
          baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the
          remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy
          Ghost." This was the ancient order; this was the order
          established by Jesus, and the presumption is beyond dispute that
          if it was necessary for any one single member of that primitive
          church, or for any of the Apostles, or for Jesus himself to be
          baptized in water, it was necessary for the whole. Hence the
          irresistible conclusion is, that every member of the primitive
          church was baptized, "buried with him by baptism unto death, that
          like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the
          Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." This was
          one of the doctrines of the ancient church, and the next doctrine
          that followed it in the programme and system of the Gospel was
          the giving of the Holy Ghost. Now the scriptures tell us that
          "the manifestation of the spirit is given to every man to profit
          withal." In every land and clime, in all conditions of the human
          family, of every color, among the most highly civilized as among
          the most degraded, there is given to every man this measure of
          the spirit of God to profit withal, and it is in accordance with
          his obedience to the measure received of that spirit that he will
          be rewarded in the future. But in the Christian church there
          appears to have been an order that went in advance of this
          universal gift of the spirit. It was called "the gift of the Holy
          Ghost by the laying on of hands." Hence those who are familiar
          with the New Testament will realize that when men were baptized
          they were afterwards confirmed by "the laying on of hands," and
          upon that confirmation they received the Holy Ghost. This Holy
          Ghost in them was the power of God. It opened up their minds, it
          informed their reason, enlarged their capacity, and enabled them
          to comprehend, as the scriptures say, the past, present and
          future. It was a grand gift, and one essential to salvation. To
          one man it gave the spirit of wisdom; to another the word of
          knowledge; to another faith; to another the gift of healing; to
          another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another
          discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues, etc.
          It was to them the fountain of divine intelligence and power. And
          these manifestations followed the believer everywhere. It
          harmonized all the conflicting thoughts and ideas that they might
          have had in regard to God, in regard to the institutions with
          which they were surrounded, in regard to the duties devolving
          upon them, in regard to their destiny in the future. It made them
          one in Christ Jesus. They were baptized by one baptism, and they
          enjoyed one spirit. They were rich in the unity of the faith. And
          when men were thus baptized and received this spirit it was not
          expected that they should stand strictly upon their own
          individuality. They were not left to wander abroad to the right
          and to the left, but there appeared to have been in the primitive
          times a good deal of what we see in our own day. An organization
          grew up. They formed what was called a church. It is called in
          the New Testament, in some places "the Church of God," in other
          places it is called "the Church of Christ." It was a church
          composed of those who had thus been baptized, and thus received
          of the Holy Ghost. They were united together for self-defense.
          They were united in order that they might be taught by the
          authorities of that church. They were not taught by strangers or
          by men who had never passed through the same gateway and received
          the same spirit as themselves, but according to the New Testament
          they were taught by Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and
          Evangelists, men who were engaged in the ministry of the Lord
          Jesus Christ. These officers were "set in the church," according
          to the New Testament, for the edifying of the body, for the
          training of the members, until they all came to the unity of the
          faith and to the full stature of men and women in Christ. Now,
          that was a glorious age. I have heard good men and women, ever
          since I heard anything, wish that they had lived in those
          primitive times. They have said how glad they would have been to
          have the privilege of even touching the hem of the Savior's
          garment, witnessing his miracles, hearing his teachings, and to
          have been obedient to the principles which he taught. Men and
          women have said that they would have been glad to have lived in
          the Apostolic age; that they would have belonged to the primitive
          church; that they would have been in their glory to share in its
          trials and persecutions, to have enjoyed its spirit, to have
          received of its blessings, and to have acquired the knowledge and
          intelligence which accompanied the Priesthood that had control of
          that special church. I believe there are thousands everywhere
          to-day--men who are Elders, Deacons, Superintendents of Sunday
          Schools, teachers in Sunday Schools--who, on reading the history
          of the past feel that they would have been glad to have lived in
          the primitive times and seen the leaders and apostles of that
          church. Well, now, these feelings are natural. We realize the
          glory and blessing which belong to that ancient order. But it
          appears that this order in a great measure has become obsolete;
          it has passed away, it is not to be found anywhere in the form in
          which it existed anciently. There may be a church that has faith
          in God; there may be many churches that include repentance, that
          practice baptism; some may have faith in baptism for the
          remission of sins; there may be here and there men who believe in
          the reception of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands; but in
          its beautiful primitive order it is nowhere to be found among the
          children of men.
          Now, in regard to the angel that should "fly in the midst of
          heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that
          dwell on the earth," it is only reasonable to suppose that when
          the Gospel is restored, it will be restored with all its ancient
          power, blessings, ordinances, Priesthood, and everything that
          gave it grandeur and glory in the primitive times. But now the
          query is, Has this angel come? If he has not, are the children of
          men looking for him? Is there any anticipation in the midst of
          the Christian world of his appearance? I think not. But here
          among a small section of men and women in the Rocky Mountains,
          gathered from all the nations of the earth, there is an
          understanding that this angel has come, and should not the world
          be pleased at the assumption; for if they are delighted in
          reading the account of this angel's probable visitation, why not
          take comfort and delight in the thought that angelic visitation
          may again become general or partial, as the case of necessity may
          require. Here, then, we have a little nucleus of men and women
          who say this angel has come in the 19th century, in the
          "dispensation of the fulness of times;" that he has brought with
          him and given to those who are preaching it, the "everlasting
          Gospel" as it existed in the ancient times; that in their
          practice they are in the habit of exercising faith in God; that
          they have repented of their sins; that they have been baptized in
          water for the promised remission; that they have laid aside their
          follies; that they want to free themselves from error and from
          all unrighteousness; that they have again identified themselves,
          as did the ancient Christians, with the Church, possessing within
          itself the ancient organization, the ancient Priesthood, the
          ancient authority to teach, to lead, and to govern and control,
          until all the obedient come again to the unity of the faith. Now
          if the Christian world take joy and satisfaction in reading
          ancient history or prospective history; if there are thousands of
          longing hearts in every denomination who say they would have
          rejoiced to have lived in the ancient times, to have listened to
          the teachings of the authorities of the primitive church, and to
          have shared in its blessings, etc.; what should be the thought
          when they hear again from men passing to and fro in the nations
          of the earth declaring that the ancient order has been restored;
          what should be the thought of men of intelligence, men of
          reflecting minds, men that know the merits and demerits of the
          Christian world should not these hearts leap for joy when they
          hear that the Gospel has been thus restored in all its ancient
          The Latter-day Saints testify--it is a standing testimony to the
          nations--that this angel spoken of by John, the Revelator, has
          come to the human family, that he has brought with him the
          ancient Gospel, and that all those who are willing to accept
          their testimony, to exercise faith in God, to lay aside their
          dead works, their foolish notions and their false traditions, to
          divest themselves of the errors of the ages, and to be baptized
          and receive the power of the Holy Ghost, that they shall be as
          full of assurance as were the Saints in ancient times. For this,
          the Gospel of the kingdom neither was nor is a cunningly devised
          fable, nor was it something got up by the craftiness of men, but
          the obedient realized and know that it is "the power of God unto
          salvation;" it has come to them not in word only but in power and
          in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance; and there are thousands
          throughout the length and breadth of the Territory, thousands
          throughout the United States, the islands of the sea, and
          throughout the nations of the earth, that rejoice in this Gospel.
          They are ready to testify that they know that God lives, that
          Jesus was the Savior of mankind, that the Gospel in all its
          pristine purity and beauty has been restored, and that in our own
          day all the blessings and privileges necessary for a complete
          salvation are offered to mankind. This may seem a reflection upon
          the intelligence of ages that are past and gone. But it is not
          so. I presume that there are thousands and millions who have
          passed away, that did the best they could, they lived up to the
          light they had, they sought to please God in their daily walk and
          conversation; but the Elders of Israel take the liberty of
          pointing out "a more acceptable way," and they are free to
          testify and speak of their own knowledge that God has restored
          the Gospel and prepared the way for the salvation of all who are
          willing to give obedience to that which has been revealed.
          May God enable us to appreciate the day of our salvation and live
          according to his design, that we may be saved in his kingdom, is
          my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 /
          Erastus Snow, February 5th, 1882
                          Erastus Snow, February 5th, 1882
                           REMARKS BY ELDER ERASTUS SNOW,
              Delivered at Logan, Sunday Afternoon, February 5th, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                     INTEREST OF
                                     PEACE, ETC.
          I am asked to occupy the few minutes yet remaining: If the Spirit
          gives me liberty I will pursue the train of thought that has
          passed through my mind while Brother Richards has been speaking
          upon the spirit that has gone abroad upon the remnants of the
          house of Israel who occupy this land, the American Indians whom
          we understand to be the descendants of the Nephites, the
          Lamanites, the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites who formerly
          possessed this land, whose fathers we have an account of in the
          Book of Mormon. Those who are most familiar with their history,
          and with the history of our settlements in these mountains for
          the last thirty years--the manner in which we have sent out our
          colonies to locate upon the land of the Lamanites: the manner in
          which we have treated with them to obtain their consent and
          approval to occupy and improve the land which they claim; the
          manner in which we have moved among them to maintain ourselves
          and to build the towns and cities which are now inhabited by our
          people throughout this mountain region: the manner in which we
          have sent out missionaries in advance of our colonies to open up
          the way, carrying with them the spirit of the holy Gospel, the
          spirit of peace, the spirit of love and brotherhood, to endeavor
          to impress them with the belief that we were not men of blood,
          but that we were a people who cherished and cultivated the spirit
          of peace; the course we have taken when difficulties would arise
          between them and our settlements, which occasionally would occur
          through the indiscretion of thoughtless and selfish men, to
          settle the same in a friendly, peaceful way, thereby avoiding
          bloodshed and war; and the spirit in which we have chastised them
          when it became necessary to do so, not in malice nor revenge, but
          as a father would chastise his wayward child, and then as soon as
          possible pour into their wounds the oil and the wine to heal them
          up again--those, I say, who are best acquainted with our labors
          in this direction will best appreciate the results.
          I have had much experience during the last twenty years in this
          direction; and have, by means of the spirit of the Gospel,
          averted much war and bloodshed.
          Wherever our colonies have been sent in advance, their influence
          has been felt for good--not alone to them, not only has it tended
          to establish confidence and a bond of friendship between the
          natives and our colonies, but it has also tended to restrain the
          uprising in their hearts to war against the white race, and has
          thus promoted peace to our General Government, the
          misrepresentations and the lying of our enemies to the contrary
          We know there are to-day, as there always have been, men who are
          suspicious and full of green-eyed jealousy, ever ready to
          misrepresent the purest motives of the best people on the earth;
          and acts of loyalty and honesty and commendation are construed to
          be those of conspiracy and wickedness. And we know too that among
          this class of vilifiers and defamers are many of the clergy, some
          of whom have come among us as followers of the meek and lowly
          Jesus, to bring to us glad tidings: but being wolves in sheep's
          clothing they do the work of their master, and, therefore, they
          scatter broadcast lies and defamation. And many newspaper
          scribblers, who are ever ready to pander to popular sentiment,
          whether it be right or wrong, who know not the facts in the case,
          take up and republish to the world the untruths and
          misrepresentations of the wicked men who are seeking notoriety at
          the expense of truth and justice.
          The history of Utah Territory gives the lie to all these
          misrepresentations. There is no part of the American continent
          that has been peopled and redeemed from its desolated condition
          with so little bloodshed as Utah. There is no other State or
          Territory where the general government has expended so little
          money or so little force, or where so few lives have been lost in
          settling a country and maintaining peace with the Indians as
          Utah. To-day the American nation is indebted for the spirit of
          "Mormonism" that has been diffused through this mountainous
          country in the maintenance of peace, and the saving to the nation
          of millions of treasure as well as thousands of lives.
          And the wisdom of the Lord, through His servant Brigham Young, in
          sending colonies into Arizona, and on the several branches of the
          Colorado, also into the San Juan country, as well as on our
          eastward borders, may be witnessed to-day in the influence that
          is exerted by our people to check the spirit of war and bloodshed
          among the Navajoes and the Utes and the Apaches. The wars that
          have troubled the country during the last four or five years in
          Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, have been, to my certain
          knowledge, greatly mitigated by the presence of our colonies on
          their borders, and by the labors of our missionaries among the
          Indians. During those years I have spent considerable time in
          visiting those colonies, and have, therefore, been brought in
          contact with many of the nations of the different tribes when
          they have been visiting colonies and missionary stations. And so
          has Elder Woodruff and some others of the Quorum of the Twelve.
          And I am a witness to this fact, that in every instance where the
          influence of our missionaries and our colonies has been exerted
          upon these fallen people, their chiefs have been imbued with the
          spirit of peace, and they in turn have exerted their influence on
          the side of peace to allay the uprising of their more
          bloodthirsty brothers. And when they have been almost on the
          point of joining distant warlike bands engaged in hostilities
          against the Government, and have come to us to know our views and
          to seek our counsel, our advice has always been in the interest
          of peace, in the spirit of kindness; we have always taught them
          to restrain their hostile feelings, and have portrayed to them
          the benefits of peace, forbearance and longsuffering, and advised
          them to endure what they considered wrong rather than to attempt
          to redress their wrongs in their feeble, helpless condition, by
          taking up arms against the strong and powerful government of the
          United States; and besides, that it was displeasing to God our
          heavenly Father, that they should shed the blood of man. Such is
          the character of the teachings and counsels of our leading men of
          the various settlements to the Indians, and of our missionaries
          who are sent among them.
          And I have had the testimony, during the last two years, of many
          of our presiding Elders and Indian missionaries--and they are
          men, I know, whose word may be relied upon, and who are
          themselves, I know, the true friends of the Indians, and are
          laboring for their welfare--they assured me that had it not been
          for this influence, the young men of the Navajoes would have been
          fighting with the Utes in Colorado during the last war, and that
          many more of the Apaches would have been on the war-path with the
          late Victorio in New Mexico.
          And here let me say, the last outbreak of the Apaches last fall,
          was forced upon them by the foolish and ruthless procedure of
          some of the officers at Camp Apache, greatly to the disgust of
          every thinking man acquainted with the affairs of that country.
          It was no more nor less than an attempt to make a great national
          affair out of a little, harmless, religious enthusiasm that
          sprang up among that tribe. Once in a while the Indians become
          very much excited over some local prophet; and it was merely an
          event of this nature that led to the late Apache war; the
          interference of the troops to quell their religious enthusiasm.
          And I want to say that a general war all through these eastern
          mountains and Arizona was imminent last September and October,
          and have no doubt would have broken out, had it not been for the
          presence and influence of our colonies extended along their
          immediate borders, which are presided over by careful, wise men,
          and their intercourse and labors among the Indians; and for the
          conservative influence of those chiefs and leading Apaches that
          Brother Woodruff visited and preached the Gospel to two years
          ago, and whom I and some half dozen of our brethren visited and
          labored with three years ago last summer, which had the tendency
          to restrain the uprising of their more hot-headed brethren and of
          quelling it. They did more than all the troops from California,
          New Mexico and Eastern Arizona in bringing about peace.
          The influence of those friendly Indians, who had listened to the
          counsels of our missionaries and our leading men in that country,
          and to Brother Woodruff, who went through the mountains to hunt
          up the bands that had hidden, and who were procuring ammunition
          and otherwise preparing for war--I say, their influence was felt
          for good, as was fully attested by their success in bringing the
          hostiles in by hundreds in the vicinity of Cooley's ranch and
          elsewhere, and in allaying the warlike spirit among the Indians
          generally around Camp Apache; and thus in a quiet way bringing
          about peace and preventing a general war.
          I know these things are true. I was posted every day, being at
          the time on the Little Colorado, and in company with President
          Jesse N. Smith, who was in communication with our brethren on the
          borders of those hostile Indians, who had messengers going and
          coming every day to and from them bearing counsels of peace; and
          I know that the prayers of our people ascended to the Father in
          the interest of peace, that the counsels of peace might prevail
          among them; and I know too that our prayers, together with the
          good influences that had been exerted, did prevail on behalf of
          the Saints of that region of country. And I know and can testify
          that the influence of our interpreters and discreet Indian men
          and missionaries, whom we have located on the San Juan River,
          between the Navajoes and the Ute reservations, who have been
          there during the last three years, as also those on the south of
          the Navajoe reservation, and between the Navajoes, and the
          Apaches on the various branches of the Little Colorado, I know
          that their influence and the effect of their teachings and
          counsels upon the Lamanites is in the interest of peace between
          the white race and the Indians of that country.
          I feel it a pleasure to be able to speak knowingly of these
          things, and hope that this spirit of peace may extend throughout
          the land. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / John
          Taylor, November 9th, 1881
                           John Taylor, November 9th, 1881
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                       Delivered in the St. George Tabernacle,
                       Wednesday Evening, November 9th, 1881.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          I feel pleased to have the opportunity of again meeting with you.
          There are many things that if I had time, I should like to talk
          about. However, there were one or two statements, that I made
          yesterday, which I will further explain. In speaking of the
          position of the people and of their settlements in this southern
          country, I then stated that President Young did not make any
          mistake in laying out a city here, nor in building a Temple here;
          that it was quite as important a move as any that could have been
          made in the interests of the Church and kingdom of God upon the
          earth. If I were to enter into the details of that move I should
          speak of it perhaps in a two-fold capacity; but I will speak for
          a short time, at least, upon some of the leading features
          associated with the position that we occupy here in these valleys
          of the mountains.
          We are quite a long distance from the outside world. It is true
          there are railroads and more are being made; and it is right
          there should be. That is their part of the business. In this way,
          and in many instances, they are assisting us to build up the
          kingdom of God, but they don't know it. If they did they would
          not like to do it.
          The position that we occupy in these valleys of the mountains, is
          a very peculiar one. When we came up here the first place that
          was designated was Salt Lake City. President Young said that he
          had a manifestation that that was the place. There was a valley,
          a very good valley, a comparatively rich valley, a valley that
          was well watered, a valley that could be irrigated without much
          labor, where the streams were quite easy of access and where a
          small community could easily raise their sustenance; and this we
          did. Now, had we landed in a place like this at first, it would
          have been more difficult, people would have become more
          discouraged, and some of them felt very much discouraged as it
          was--some going to California because everything looked so
          forbidding. Yet others thought it would be a pleasant place to
          reside in, a place where a living could be as easily obtained as
          in most other places, except we go to some of the rich lands of
          Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, etc. But there were other circumstances
          associated with these things that would have made it difficult
          for us to sustain ourselves even in those places. For instance we
          lived in a rich land back in Missouri. Everything there seemed to
          grow at a very rapid rate, everything increased very fast. I have
          heard some people tell such big stories about the productiveness
          of that country that I have sometimes been afraid to tell what I
          myself knew of it, for fear that people would not believe me. For
          instance, I have seen fields of corn that a regiment of soldiers
          could ride into and they would be out of sight; and I have seen
          beans grow where corn has been planted where the corn stalks have
          served as bean poles; and I have seen pumpkins and squash grow
          among them, three crops growing the same year and at the same
          time. That country, nevertheless, has many drawbacks. In that
          country we were very unhealthy. We were subject to what is called
          fever and ague every year; in fact, in the spring we used to
          think we did well if we didn't happen to die off in the fall. Why
          could we not stop there? Because the land was too good, and we
          were easy of access to men desirous to possess our property, and
          they told us to move on, and we had to go. We had to leave
          Missouri, and I suppose God intended to try the Saints, to let
          them pass through certain kinds of experience and place them in a
          position that they would have to lean on Him. Some of the people
          rebelled against these things in their feelings. Among the rest,
          I remember being much shocked at the remarks of Sidney Rigdon
          after he had been imprisoned with the Prophet Joseph in Richmond
          jail, as well as many others. I visited them in jail, and Sidney
          Rigdon made a remark soon after he got out, to the effect that if
          God did not care anything more about us than He seemed to do,
          that if He allowed us to be hauled around as we had been, he did
          not care about serving such a God. That is, he found the trials
          were heavier for him than he was capable of bearing,
          notwithstanding that he had seen the Lord and had had visions
          pertaining to the celestial, terrestrial and telestial kingdoms,
          in which he had seen the position of men in the future, and the
          purposes of God regarding the nations of the earth, and had borne
          testimony of it in connection with Joseph Smith, as we find
          recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. Yet when trials
          came his knees faltered, and the knees of many others have
          faltered in the same way. Now, we talk about lands, good rich
          land. Why did we not stay in Missouri? Because people would not
          let us. It was just so in Illinois. Why did we leave there?
          Because, as I have heard Brother George A. Smith say, we left
          because we could not help ourselves; at least, that was the
          purport of his saying. I think the Lord was very merciful to us
          in Salt Lake Valley. I believe we landed just in the right place.
          The people commenced to establish themselves; they began to find
          that they could raise crops there, and that the land was very
          productive. We stayed there for a while and began to make little
          settlements and little excursions out into the surrounding
          country. The people had all kinds of difficulties. I remember
          once, in Bountiful, there were three or four families went up to
          settle there, and they felt that there was not enough water, and
          that they could hardly get along. They got to quarreling about
          water rights, as we do sometimes. I do not know of much
          quarreling down here; I do not think you have as much water to
          quarrel over as they had. Afterwards President Young was moved
          upon to begin to make settlements in other places. We had now
          obtained a foothold. We had a place where we could raise all the
          grain necessary for our sustenance, where we could raise sheep,
          cattle, etc. We pushed out to Ogden on the one hand and to Provo
          on the other, and then occupied some of the best places in Salt
          Lake Valley, in Utah Valley, and on the Weber. We began to
          increase; more immigrants came in, and others began to come from
          above. Things went on. A Temple was started there, but it seemed
          to progress very slowly; as well it might when we consider the
          substantial nature of the building. When we started, we had
          nothing but wagons to haul the rock on, and they were very big
          rock, if you remember. Those rocks had to be hauled about 17
          miles in those wagons, and owing to the liability of the wagons
          to break down, this work gave us a great deal of trouble. To-day,
          and right along for a number of years past, since the railroad
          has been built, it is not uncommon to bring in some three or four
          car loads at a time, delivering the rock in the Temple yard. Then
          it was thought best to commence down here. Why? Let me tell you
          some other things and show you about the settlements north and
          south, and especially south. If you remember, Brother Geo. A.
          Smith, as much as 25 years ago--I don't remember exactly how
          long--came down and made a settlement at Parowan, and another at
          Cedar--and here is Brother Henry Lunt present, who was one of
          that number. He came to Cedar at that time, and they tried to
          start iron works at that place. And then Brother Joseph Horne and
          some others were sent down to see if cotton could not be raised
          in this district of country in the hope that something could be
          done whereby we might produce the raw material for the
          manufacture of our clothes, and they stayed a little while
          somewhere not far from here, some five miles south on the Santa
          Clara, I am told. There was a rich little settlement up there.
          Some time after, a great deal of it was washed away. I remember
          the struggles Brother George A. used to have. He labored under
          difficulties, being so very heavy, and not as active as most men;
          but he was a man of great energy. He would come down here and
          bring a few men, and would settle them down and go back again. By
          and by he would bring some more down, all that he could pick up
          that would volunteer. By the time he came down again, he would
          find half of the others had gone. They did not want to stop. They
          thought the land was set up on edge and had never been finished,
          and they had all kinds of notions. Then he would return to the
          city, and drum up a few more recruits, and take them down; and by
          the time he got here he would find that a good many of those he
          left had also gone. Finally, they became weeded out and left,
          until he got a lot of folks who, if they had considered it a duty
          to go on to a barren rock and stay there until they should be
          instructed to leave, would have done it. It needed just such an
          element to come to this country. What Brother Snow said here,
          referring to the sad fact of there being such a number of widows
          in this place whose husbands had gone to their graves through
          having worked themselves to death, was perfectly true; but, then,
          we don't want to cry about it. We may as well laugh as cry about
          the past. You have done a great deal of hard work. In coming down
          from Pine Valley we found immense dugways in the most forbidding
          places, and it has required all the perseverance, energy,
          intelligence and faith of even those men who were capable of
          living on a dry rock--it required the combined energy of the
          whole to accomplish these things, and a good deal of faith too.
          Still President Young urged forward the people; Brother Geo. A.
          Smith and Brother Erastus Snow urged them forward, and others
          urged them forward, and there was a general feeling to build up
          this southern country. Finally it was found that our Temple in
          Salt Lake City would take such a long time to build, it was
          thought best to erect one down here. Why? Because there was a
          people living here who were more worthy than any others. Who were
          more worthy of the blessings of a Temple than those who had
          displayed the self-abnegation exhibited by the pioneers of the
          south? God inspired President Young to build a Temple here
          because of the fidelity and self-abnegation of the people; and,
          furthermore that there might be an asylum here for those living
          further south to be administered to in the holy ordinances of
          God. I speak this for your credit--not that all of you are of
          that class, but let those that are worthy take the credit, and
          those that are not, need not take it. This Temple was built and
          we went into it, and a great many thousands of people have been
          administered to, and for, within its walls. People have
          administered for themselves and for their progenitors. Over
          150,000 people, Brother McAllister says, have been administered
          for in this Temple. Don't you think it is worth while building a
          Temple where such a work can be done? If life is worth anything,
          if salvation is worth anything, if the life of our friends and
          brethren with whom we shall be associated in the kingdom of God,
          is worth anything, then I think a good work was done in the
          building of this Temple. In other words, it was a wise move. Why?
          Because it helped to sustain this part of the country. Means were
          brought from other places down here to supply the people with
          means and labor, thus it has been a blessing both to the living
          and the dead. You men who comprehend things aright, you would not
          take in exchange anything that could be conferred upon you for
          the blessings you have received in that Temple.
          There were then blessings of a temporal nature, as well as of a
          spiritual nature, connected with the labor performed in the
          building of that house. There was another thing. In establishing
          the kingdom of God it was necessary that there should be a strong
          place somewhere here between the land south and the land north.
          It was necessary that there should be a foothold here all through
          these valleys of the mountains between Salt Lake City and north
          of Salt Lake City clear away, as you have heard President Young
          say, on the backbone of the American continent. And why? We make
          remarks sometimes, but I always like to get at the bottom of
          them. Why is it better for us to be here than to be somewhere
          else? If we had been in Missouri we should have been mobbed and
          robbed long ago. If we had been anywhere in Central America or
          South America where we could have been reached, our Christian
          friends would have come there and stolen what we had from us.
          But, furthermore, President Young, who was governed by the
          inspiration of the Spirit of God in leading the people forth in
          the way he did, expected that these railroads that are now coming
          would come along. Years ago I expected the same thing, because I
          saw them at work here, and clear away into Mexico. I had it
          manifested to me, and Brother George Q. Cannon here has heard me
          speak about the matter. Didn't you Brother Cannon? (Brother
          Cannon: Yes, sir.) At that time I was very sick. I told President
          Young of some things that I then believed would take place, among
          the rest was this railroad building. And if there had not been
          some pretty strong places, such as a settlement on Salt Creek, a
          settlement at Beaver, a settlement at Parowan, a settlement down
          here, etc., we never would have been able to carry out the will
          of God, and we should have been in a different position with
          regard to other settlements further south than we are to-day. Now
          your young men are beginning to say, they want room. There is
          plenty of room south. Here is Brother Snow, who has been working
          like a beaver, and there are others, who are doing the same,
          establishing settlements in the various valleys south, in
          Arizona, in Colorado, and all through this southern country,
          until we now occupy, as I have stated in other places, some 800
          miles of country in a direct line, running north and south.
          What did we have when we left Nauvoo? Not much. Any property to
          spare? I think not. I think many of us would have gone without
          shoes, without clothing, unless God had interposed in a
          miraculous manner in sending down--I was going to say, a shower
          of clothing. You remember that Brother Kimball prophesied at a
          certain time that clothing would be as cheap here as in the East.
          Regarding this some people felt a good deal like the man did when
          Elijah prophesied about a measure of meal being sold for so much.
          Says one man; if the heavens were to open this could not happen;
          but it did happen; and the other happened that Brother Kimball
          talked about. When the gold fever burst out, people brought
          clothing by the wholesale and sold it for a mere song, and let
          you sing the song; until the wants of the people were all
          supplied. Who supplied them? These men. Did they want to do it?
          No, it was the Lord who controlled these matters. He started up
          this feeling which brought the people here, and they acted more
          like crazy men than any I ever saw. They were ready to give us
          their goods almost for nothing. The Saints at that time in Salt
          Lake City were supplied with all the necessaries of life brought
          by traders whom they knew nothing about, and they traded off
          their cattle and their horses and anything these people could
          pack away. Here was a manifestation of the work of the Lord, of
          the will of God, and the protecting care of our heavenly Father
          over His Saints.
          As I told you yesterday we have traveled among the Saints and
          found thousands of happy homes, good farms, good gardens and
          orchards, cattle, sheep, horses, etc., and that the people
          generally are now in a very prosperous condition. What has it
          originated from? We certainly did not bring it about. God has
          blessed our labors on the land and increased the water for our
          Now, having said so much upon this subject I will turn to our
          political position. We have already made in Salt Lake City
          numbers of very nice places. You have also got some very
          beautiful buildings here. I am sorry to see so much saleratus yet
          in the land; I wish you had a little easier times; but while I am
          inclined to sympathize with you, yet I do not want my sympathy to
          overcome my judgment about matters of this kind.
          Now, we have really the foundation for a prosperous State. We
          started with nothing a little while ago. I think we have made
          pretty well at it. You have had hard times; still you are living
          and thriving: there are none of you naked or without shoes, hats
          or bonnets. You seem to be provided with a great many of the good
          things of this life. You seem to be doing tolerably well. I know
          very well that you have a hard struggle to make two ends meet; I
          understand it. But there is one advantage you have--no one will
          want to steal away your place from you; will they? (Laughter.) I
          do not think they would want to carry it off. I do not think they
          would want to drive you away because of your extraneous wealth;
          consequently, you are free from this trouble. That is not the fix
          of the nations of the earth. Go to some of the nations to-day and
          look at their condition. Take England for instance; they are
          prospering very well, but look at the trouble they have had in
          Ireland. They have tried to benefit that people in one way or
          another, but they seem to spurn those benefits, and are inclined
          to stir up commotion which is not unlikely to end in bloodshed.
          We are not troubled in that way. In Russia, look at the horrible
          condition they are in. They have secret societies, as spoken of
          in the Book of Mormon. They are engaged in all kinds of plots,
          plans and calculations. They have tried to kill their present
          Czar, after having assassinated his father. There seems to be a
          feeling of uneasiness and trouble among the nations. Then again,
          in Turkey, they have had a great deal of trouble there. It has
          leaked out lately that the Sultan, who was said to have died a
          natural death, was strangled, and they have lately been
          prosecuting his assassins. There are terrible forebodings among
          the nations of the earth because of troubles that seem to be
          threatening them. Here we have had our own President killed, and
          a little while ago President Lincoln was assassinated, and there
          seems to be a spirit of that kind rampant, and it will grow worse
          and worse. Not long ago in Pittsburgh there was a shocking state
          of things, where they burnt up and destroyed property to the
          amount of three millions of dollars or more. We have apparently
          prosperous times. There is now a lull in the storm, but it is
          only a lull to burst out more violently by and by. You will see
          it. There are elements at work to uproot the government and
          destroy the foundation of society, and to take away the rights of
          men and pull down the bulwarks of this government, and scatter to
          the four winds the principles by which it has been governed, and
          to let loose the wildest passions of men. These are some of the
          things that are taking place. These are the elements that are at
          work to-day. They are running around, and through, and among the
          people almost everywhere. And it will not be long before there is
          trouble again in the United States. These inflated times will by
          and by bring about a great reaction, and then there will be
          trouble and difficulty; and so these things will continue to
          Now, we are here in the tops of the mountains, far away from
          these things. We are here learning the laws of life and the
          principles of truth, and we are here as saviors upon Mount Zion,
          operating in the interests of humanity, sending forth
          missionaries to the nations of the earth, gathering people
          together; and when they are gathered together, we build temples
          and administer in them. We are here, forming closer connections
          with the heavens, with God our Heavenly Father, with Jesus the
          Mediator of the New Covenant, and with the ancient Apostles,
          Prophets and men of God. We are here participating in some of the
          greatest blessings that ever were conferred upon mankind since
          the world was formed. We are here as those that God has selected
          from the nations of the earth, that He may plant among us the
          principles of eternal truth, and that we may operate with Him and
          with the Priesthood behind the vail in the interests of all
          humanity that have ever lived upon the face of the earth. We are
          a blessed people if we could only comprehend our position. And we
          need not be too anxious about the affairs of the world. Men of
          wealth, men of standing, men of position, men who stand in high
          places, are beginning to tremble and quake everywhere. They are
          looking forward with terrible forebodings to something that they
          fear is coming upon the earth. They do not know what it is, but
          it will burst upon them and their forebodings will be realized.
          But we will look at this matter again. Could we be in a better
          place? I think not. Let me show you the reason for that. We are a
          very small people, and we are in the midst of a very large
          people. We occupy these valleys among these rugged mountains, and
          we dwell in deserts, and in many of the most forbidding places.
          We see people living in little places, on little streams of water
          trickling along, and perhaps all of it would go through an inch
          pipe without much pressure, and they are professing to farm and
          raise fruits, vegetables and vines in such places, wrenching
          their living from the barren desert soil. And they do live, but
          it is hard sledding, and there is a great deal of it here. Now
          then, go over the ground we have traveled to get here, say
          starting from Utah County to Juab, from Juab to Fillmore, from
          Fillmore to Beaver, from Beaver to Parowan, and so on down
          through here, and among these rocks where little settlements are
          placed, and up and down your rivers, how very, very few
          comparatively they are. Yet what an extent of land, is there not?
          We occupy the country it is true; but I tell the people sometimes
          that our mountains have very large feet, and that our deserts
          occupy very large tracks of land. But wherever there is a
          habitable place, Latter-day Saints are living on it, and
          consequently living in these little places they control the
          mountains and the country. Is not that a fact? And suppose we did
          not have these little forbidding, barren places, the little
          springs and little rivulets that come along reminding one of
          oases in the deserts--if we did not have them we could not have
          the country, but we have them and God has given us possession of
          them. If we had not possessed these narrow valleys and defiles
          they would have been in the possession of bands of Gadianton
          robbers, who would have preyed upon the people and their
          property, as "cowboys" and guerillas are now doing in Arizona.
          But our possessing them gave strength and protection to our more
          important settlements.
          We have paid for what we have got. I expect your land is all
          entered here?
          Answer--Yes, sir.
          You have paid for the land then, and you have paid for it up here
          in Pine Valley. There is a big mountain between, and you own that
          in the bargain, and all those sand ridges and rough places,
          including Jacob's Twist are thrown in for nothing. You own the
          country here and there and all the way through. How far is it
          from these mountains to Kanab?
          Answer.--About 80 miles, sir.
          The most of it is mountainous. But there are little places here
          and there which enable you to control all of it; the mountains
          are thrown in as chips and whetstones. It is the same all the way
          from here to Nephi; there are little places here and there; we
          own them and have got our titles for them, and we are the owners
          of the soil and the mountains are thrown in. So that owing to the
          small quantity of land we have been compelled by circumstances to
          go into Idaho, Arizona and Colorado. We cannot hide from
          ourselves that these things give us some political rights in
          these places; but who are we injuring, whose political or
          religious liberties are infringed upon by us? Nobody's! If we
          live on and conquer those forbidden districts we ought not to be
          begrudged the limited influence that those positions naturally
          award us; and while we do not interfere with others and their
          political arrangements, we think we ought to possess that meagre
          share that these forbidding circumstances place in our
          There is another remarkable thing. Who is it that we are to thank
          for this? The Lord. Did he inspire Brigham Young in these
          things--to occupy these places! Yes. Is it right for us to occupy
          them? Yes. Is it right for us to build temples? Yes. Is it right
          for us to administer in them? Yes. Is it right for us to seek to
          establish the kingdom of God on the earth? Yes. Is it right for
          us to seek wisdom from God to do it? Yes. That is what we have
          been doing for a great many years and we are doing it to-day.
          Here is Brother Cannon. He is going to Washington as our
          representative in the general government. Only think about it.
          Here is a Territory several hundred miles long and I do not know
          how wide. Let me see (the speaker turning and addressing himself
          to President Cannon) George, how many representatives have they
          in Congress?
          Answer: 293 representatives and 9 delegates.
          And then there is the Senate?
          Answer: 76 members.
          And we, a little people in the valleys of these mountains, right
          in the tops of these mountains, in the midst of 50 millions of
          people, all the representation we have is just one delegate, and
          he has not a right to vote! And yet what have they done to us?
          Not much. Have they been plotting against us? Yes, they have. Are
          they seeking to injure us to-day? Yes. Who? All classes of men,
          and especially the religious kind. Our feeling is to save people,
          not to curse them. It must be a miserable feeling for men to have
          when they are seeking to destroy their fellow-men, yet they are
          doing it. It is because they have not the intelligence to cope
          with the principles that God has revealed to us, that they want
          to drag the strength of the government to put down by arms that
          which they have not the power to do by argument or on any just or
          regular principle. I would be ashamed if I were one of them; I
          would be ashamed if I could not do something else besides praying
          to destroy a few, weak people in the tops of the mountains of
          Utah, far away from everybody, and pretending that we are so
          awfully corrupt that they are afraid we shall demoralize them.
          God save the mark! They themselves are killing off their own
          children by tens of thousands and by hundreds of thousands before
          they are born. That is the feeling that is growing up among them.
          It is adultery, fornication, lasciviousness that is undermining
          the constitutions of the people. They are rotting by thousands
          and tens of thousands, and they will come here and preach
          morality to us. We do not want them. We tell them to go among
          their own lepers and cleanse their own social evils, sweep out
          their own Augean stables, and purify themselves from their own
          corruptions, and then come and talk purity to us. That is what I
          would say to those people. We understand them as well as they
          understand themselves, and for that reason we do not want any of
          that kind of hypocrisy here.
          Now, then, we come to ourselves. We are here. Could we have been
          placed in any better position than we are to day? No. What has
          been the object of God for sometime? In the first place He
          operated upon Columbus to come and find this land. He then
          operated upon the Puritans and other men in England and other
          places to come to this land, and many of them were good,
          honorable, high-minded, virtuous people. The grandfathers and
          grandmothers of this nation were not murderers; they did not
          murder infants; they were honorable people who cherished human
          life, and considered it a blessing to have a large posterity and
          to take care of them. The spirit of the early fathers was, if
          their land was poor they could raise men. What are they doing
          now? Raising murderers and murderesses. From among those people
          and from Europe and other parts the Saints have been gathered.
          The Lord is gathering them together, and His kingdom is spreading
          and growing, and it is our privilege to grow and expand with it,
          and we should be true to ourselves, be true to our religion, be
          true to God, and operate in the interests of humanity. We could
          not find a better place for Latter-day Saints than in these
          valleys of the mountains, nor in those rugged parts further
          south. We expect to go on and to increase and seek to the Lord
          for his guidance, protection and sustenance, while we must learn
          to do right and observe his laws and keep his commandments. The
          kingdom of God is onward. It is accelerating in its speed. God
          has called the First Presidency, the Twelve, High Priests,
          Seventies, Elders, Bishops, High Councilors, Priests, Teachers
          and Deacons--he has called upon them to devote themselves to him.
          He expects us to be willing in the day of his power. He expects
          us to be true to our integrity, and having taught us eternal
          principles, he expects that we shall have the law of God written
          in our hearts and be valiant for the truth and for God. God and
          all the intelligences that he is surrounded with are on our side
          and are enlisted in our protection and for the sustenance of this
          people; and for the rolling forth of his work, and the
          accomplishment of the objects that he designed in the
          introduction of the Gospel in the last days, even in the
          dispensation of the fulness of times, when he would gather all
          things into one. Being called to live in a land like this, in the
          midst of rugged mountains and barren deserts we will sing, "For
          the strength of the hills we bless thee, our God, our fathers'
          God;" for the wisdom Thou hast displayed we praise Thee, O God,
          our fathers' God. And we will be true to God, to our religion and
          will keep our covenants; we will maintain strict integrity to our
          vows which we have vowed in sacred places; we will follow the
          guidance of the Holy Priesthood, and God will lead us from
          strength to strength, from victory to victory, from power to
          power, until the kingdom of God shall be established, and no man
          can stay its progress to-day, God being our helper. Let us go to
          him and put our trust in him, and all will be well with us in
          time and through all eternity.
          Brethren: God bless you, and prosper you in all your journeyings,
          and enable you to accomplish your object, and frustrate all the
          designs of your enemies, and let all the congregation say, Amen
          [the congregation responded, Amen.] May God bless this people.
          Hold on a little longer, for this motto which I see in your house
          will be fulfilled, "After the cloud there will be sunshine."
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / John
          Taylor, December 11, 1881
                           John Taylor, December 11, 1881
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, December 11, 1881.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                                    BUILDING, ITS
          I am pleased to have the opportunity of meeting with and
          addressing the Saints in this place. Since our last Conference I
          have traveled a great deal among the Saints in different parts of
          the Territory, in part accompanied by some of my counsel and the
          Twelve. Personally within a short time I have visited all the
          leading settlements of the Saints both north and south, east and
          west, and it may not be uninteresting to you to hear a brief
          statement of the position which the Saints occupy in their
          various locations and settlements; because we all of us feel more
          or less interested in the welfare of all. It was in view of this
          that I felt a desire to visit the Saints at their own homes, to
          associate with them at their own firesides, or at least to meet
          them in their public assemblies. It has been very interesting to
          myself and accompanying brethren to find out the true position
          which the Saints occupy, to know what their standing is in
          relation to their religious views and sentiments, and also to
          ascertain their moral status and how they conduct themselves not
          only religiously but socially. And then another thing that we
          felt desirous to understand was the true educational condition of
          the Saints; and what they were doing to enlighten the minds of
          the youth and to train them in the right paths, and how far
          literature, science and those principles of intelligence which
          are calculated to exalt and ennoble men when under proper
          influences, prevailed among our people, and in what manner they
          deported themselves in regard to all these things. We have felt
          the more desirous to do this because many of the Saints live far
          from the seat of the Presidency of the Church. I suppose so far
          as we have been in this Territory, in the adjoining Territory of
          Idaho, in some portions of Wyoming, and in other portions south,
          that we have not traveled less than from 500 to 600 miles in a
          direct course north and south, besides visiting nearly all the
          prominent settlements east and west, and our feeling and
          impressions after visiting the whole of the Saints in all of
          their locations are to us very interesting and encouraging. So
          far as the temporal position of the people is concerned, they
          seem to be in possession of a reasonable share of the good things
          of life; their habits of industry and perseverance, their
          self-abnegation, the desire to comprehend and sustain correct
          principles, together with the blessing of the Almighty, have
          tended to promote their welfare in a temporal point of view.
          We do not find so many very wealthy people as there are in some
          communities, but our people, so far as our observation goes (and
          we have had a pretty fair opportunity of investigating all these
          matters), are second to none in regard to the comforts,
          conveniences and necessaries of life; and perhaps there is no
          place nor people (at least, none that I have any knowledge of,
          and I have traveled quite extensively myself in the world), that
          are better situated as a whole than are the Latter-day Saints in
          this and the adjoining territories, nor where more of the people
          dwell in their own homes. We find thousands upon thousands of
          happy homes, and the people that inhabit them are sober,
          industrious, frugal and God-fearing, feeling a strong desire to
          observe the laws and keep the commandments of the Lord; and
          notwithstanding the many aspersions cast upon them by wicked and
          designing men, they nevertheless evince a strong desire to
          observe the laws and institutions of the land. We find them in
          possession generally of good houses, farms, orchards, gardens,
          and in many instances, of cattle, sheep, horses, and all the
          appliances of life which tend to promote comfort in a social and
          family capacity. We find, too, that this season has been a very
          prosperous one, with very few exceptions, throughout the length
          and breadth of the Territory. The Lord has blessed our labors,
          exceedingly, and I presume that the crops, as a general thing,
          have been increased at least 20 to 25 per cent, I think we should
          be quite safe in saying 20 per cent; and this, of course, tends
          to make existence more pleasant and agreeable, and to enable the
          people to more easily struggle in the battle of life in its
          various forms and phases. In addition to this we find that they
          are generally seeking to live their religion and to keep the
          commandments of God. And the various organizations which you have
          among you here, in this city, prevail throughout all the
          settlements of the Saints with very few exceptions, very few
          indeed. We find that the Relief Societies which are so active and
          energetic among you here and which are operating so creditably in
          looking after the interest and welfare of the female portion of
          our society, also exist all over the Territory, and that there is
          a creditable zeal and intelligence without that obtrusiveness
          which we see among many--a desire to promote the well-being of
          those with whom they are associated, and to make themselves
          useful in all the affairs of life; and we feel whenever we find a
          disposition of this kind, to appreciate it. We find, also, that
          our Young Men's and Young Women's Mutual Improvement Associations
          prevail almost everywhere, and that there is a desire to elevate
          the youth and lift them up from the sloughs of ignorance and
          darkness, and to implant within their minds true and correct
          principles, putting them in possession of a knowledge of science,
          literature, and the arts, and cultivating those principles that
          are calculated to elevate and ennoble mankind, as well as to
          correct their morals and govern them in their religious pursuits.
          We find, also, that their Primary Associations are attended to
          with the same vigilance that they are around us here, and that
          the most wise, prudent and intelligent ladies are selected for
          the purpose of supervising their movements and in "teaching the
          young idea how to shoot." We find, also, that throughout the
          Territory our Sunday Schools receive that attention which we
          consider all such institutions ought to merit and do merit, and
          that the best of men and women are selected for their teachers,
          who, as we see, take an interest in the welfare of our rising
          It is not for me to enter into all particulars; I merely wish to
          give a brief outline of these matters. All of these institutions
          that I have referred to are in a very creditable position; are
          managed with great care, and many of your old neighbors who used
          to live here in the city, both men and women, and who were known
          as high-minded, honorable persons--we find mixed in the various
          societies throughout the settlements and organizations, exerting
          an influence which is truly interesting to all who feel desirous
          to promote the welfare of Zion and the building of the kingdom of
          God upon the earth. Then, again, in regard to our scholastic
          affairs, we find that there is very great progress being made in
          our common schools, or rather what are termed our district
          schools. We find that a more intelligent class of teachers is
          being employed, and that with the operations of the normal
          department of the University, with the Brigham Young Academy in
          Provo, and other institutions of learning, they are telling very
          favorably upon our youth, and as better teachers are obtained,
          there seems to be a greater desire manifested among the people to
          acquire intelligence of every kind. From the best information
          that I am able to obtain, I suppose there are at least thirty
          normal students turned out every year. They are prepared in our
          University and in the other scholastic institutions referred to,
          and as these teachers, coming from their own counties and
          peoples, return to their several homes, properly qualified as
          instructors, they do a great deal of good among the community.
               In relation to other matters, such as the building of
          Temples, they are also progressing very favorably. I need not say
          anything about the one we are building here; you are all
          acquainted with that. The one which is being built in Logan is
          now covered in. A large force of carpenters are engaged in
          finishing the interior department thereof, and another year will
          count very favorably in the work on that structure. It is a
          beautiful building, and stands in a very imposing position on an
          elevated plateau in Cache County, near Logan. About 200 miles
          from that, in the south, in Sanpete County, there is another
          Temple being built. That also occupies a very eligible position.
          A very large amount of labor has been performed in preparing the
          site. The point of a mountain has been removed, and a great
          amount of labor has been expended on the walls which surround the
          Temple, forming nearly a semi-circle. There are three terraces
          elevated one above another, the same as the gallery may be
          elevated above the lower part of this house; they surround the
          Temple, being wider, of course, at the lower part and narrower as
          they approach towards the Temple. A very large amount of means
          and labor have been expended in preparing these terraces and also
          in preparing the Temple. The Temple itself is a beautiful
          structure. They expect to have the walls up to the square in
          another season. I think they have built up the wall this year
          some 28 feet. It is built of beautiful white rock--or at least
          very light, clear rock--and is hewn on the outside where the
          joints come together, and presents a very beautiful and
          creditable appearance. It is interesting, too, to find how
          strongly the feelings of the people are drawn out in relation to
          these edifices. They seem to think that no sacrifice is too great
          to accomplish the object which they have in view; indeed in both
          of these Temple districts they seem to take very great pride in
          prosecuting this labor. I was informed that the superintendent
          was a little short of means a short time ago at the Manti Temple,
          and he asked if he must slacken the labor. They told him no, he
          was to proceed with it, and I think in a very short time a number
          of people from different parts subscribed 7,000 bushels of wheat
          to assist in the construction of the Temple, and there seems to
          be, generally, a strong desire for the accomplishment of this
          The religion that we have espoused, connects time with eternity,
          heaven with earth, this world with the next, and while the Lord
          has revealed unto us what is termed a new Gospel, and hence it is
          called the new and everlasting Gospel--new indeed to the people
          of the world, but everlasting so far as God is concerned and the
          interests of mankind both living and dead; for God is interested
          in the welfare of all humanity that has ever lived, that now
          lives, or that ever will live. He is, we are told, the God of the
          spirits of all flesh, and he has introduced principles which have
          been made known to us for the benefit of all. The principles that
          we are associated with reach back into eternity and forward into
          eternity. They are not the ideas, the theories or notions of men,
          they emanate from the Almighty. And in regard to the ideas which
          have been developed pertaining to the past, the present and the
          future, none of us can claim ourselves to be the founders or the
          originators of any one idea associated with the Church and
          kingdom of God, neither was Joseph Smith, neither was Brigham
          Young, neither are any of the Twelve, nor is anybody that now
          exists or has existed; all of these things come from the Lord.
          And having proceeded from him he has dictated the whole matter
          from first to last. We did not receive our ideas from any
          theologian, from any scientist, from any man of renown, or of
          position in the world, or from any body or conclave of
          religionists, but from the Almighty, and to him we are indebted
          for all life, all truth, and all intelligence pertaining to the
          past, pertaining to the present, or pertaining to the future.
          Therefore we feel our dependence upon him. Neither are we
          indebted to any man for any doctrine that we have received, nor
          for the organization of our Church, nor for the Holy Priesthood,
          whether it be the Melchizedek or the Aaronic; all of these
          proceed from the Almighty, and if he had not given them we should
          have been as ignorant of them as others are, for they do not
          generally comprehend the law, the word, the will, or the design
          of the Almighty; for no man knows the things of God but by the
          Spirit of God; and if the Father did not reveal them we should be
          very ignorant indeed, as are the rest of mankind pertaining to
          these matters. But the time having come to introduce what is
          termed, the "dispensation of the fulness of times," when God
          would gather together all things in one, whether they be things
          in heaven or things on the earth, it became necessary, because of
          the ignorance of men, because they did not comprehend God, nor
          his laws, nor the principles of eternal truth, that men should be
          taught of the Almighty, that God should be their instructor, and
          hence he introduced through the medium of the Holy Priesthood
          that had existed heretofore upon the earth, those principles
          which are calculated to bless and exalt the human family, prepare
          them to carry out the word and will of God, and to accomplish
          those purposes which he had designed from before the foundation
          of the world. Hence he organized the First Presidency and the
          Twelve, he organized the Seventies, he organized Elders, Priests,
          Teachers, and Deacons, he organized Bishops and High Councils and
          all the various adjuncts associated with the organization of the
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And why, it may be
          asked, should these institutions be introduced in our midst? For
          certain obvious reasons when we reflect upon this all-important
          matter. Having revealed his will to man, to Joseph Smith, as he
          had done to other men in former ages, it was necessary that that
          will should be made known to all nations, kindreds, tongues and
          people, that men might be informed of the things that he revealed
          for the salvation and exaltation of humanity. Hence the Twelve
          were set apart. For what purpose? That they might introduce the
          Gospel to the nations of the earth, and preach the principles of
          life as they emanate from God. Then the Seventies also were
          ordained until we now have upwards of seventy times seventy. What
          is their business? Under the direction of the Twelve, to preach
          the Gospel to the nations of the earth. Are they doing it? Yes.
          Have they been doing it? Yes. And the Twelve? Yes, for these
          many, very many years, and are still doing it. We still feel the
          same responsibility devolving upon us to spread forth that light,
          that truth, and that intelligence which has emanated from God our
          heavenly Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ. And these men are
          going forth bearing precious seeds, even the seeds of eternal
          life, and when the people believe the Gospel what do they do?
          Their testimony to the people is that God has spoken, that the
          Gospel has been restored; they explain what the Gospel is; they
          call upon the people to repent and to be baptized in the name of
          Jesus for the remission of sins, promising that the obedient
          shall receive the Holy Ghost. Do they baptise them? Yes. Do they
          lay on hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost? Yes. Do the
          people receive the Holy Ghost? Yes, and you here to day are my
          witnesses in relation to these things, and you know what I say is
          true. And what will the Holy Ghost do? It takes of the things of
          God, and shows them unto us; it brings things past to our
          remembrance; it leads us into all truth and shows us things to
          come. Does it do that? Yes, and it is because of this principle
          that the Latter-day Saints feel as they do; having partaken of
          the Holy Ghost and tasted the powers of the world to come, and
          having received a hope that enters within the vail, whither
          Christ the forerunner is gone, and knowing to-day that they are
          the sons of God, and that they have rights and privileges
          pertaining not only to time but to eternity, they feel to act and
          operate under the directions of that spirit. And being partakers
          of that spirit, there is a communication opened between them and
          their heavenly Father through our Lord Jesus Christ, and being
          inspired by that spirit, their prayers ascend unto the God of the
          whole earth; they learn to place their confidence in him and to
          obey his laws; and then having been baptized into one baptism,
          they all partake of the same spirit--that is, those who are
          living their religion, observing the laws of God and keeping his
          commandments, and who have not grieved the Spirit of God, whereby
          they are sealed to the day of redemption. Then, that same spirit
          that brought them into the Church and led them to obey the laws
          of God, led them to gather together as we are here to-day. It is
          a false idea entertained by many very ignorant men that we gather
          men together on some kind of emigration principle. The people get
          the principle of gathering in their own hearts by the Spirit of
          God, and that draws them here. There needs no argument, no
          influence, no power of suasion, or anything of the kind to bring
          them here. Their desire, when they receive the Gospel, is to come
          to Zion. And why? That they may learn more fully of the laws of
          life. As the scriptures say--"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 to Zion?" "I will give you pastors
          according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and
          understanding." Hence we have come together as we are here in
          this city and in this Territory. Our object is to fear God, to
          observe his laws, to magnify our calling, to fulfil our destiny
          upon the earth, and to operate with those who are behind the vail
          in the interests of humanity, to lay aside our selfishness, our
          covetousness, our evils of ever kind whatever they may be, and to
          purge ourselves from unrighteousness, that we may be fit
          receptacles for the Holy Ghost and be prepared to do the will of
          God on earth as it is done in heaven. I know a great many men
          object to us doing this. No matter; with God's help we will try
          to do it; no matter what the opinions and ideas, the feelings and
          theories of men are. God has laid on us a mission, and in the
          name of Israel's God we will fulfil it, and let all Israel say
          Amen. [The congregation responded aloud, Amen]. We will try and
          carry out what God has given us to do, no matter what men's
          theories, opinions or ideas may be. We are here, then, for that
          purpose. And we feel that God is our heavenly Father; we feel
          that we are his children; we feel that we are doing his work by
          his assistance, we feel, too, that he is engaged just as much as
          we are, and a thousand times more, in carrying on this work, and
          therefore we feel easy and satisfied in our minds and know that
          all is well. God our heavenly Father, Jesus the Mediator of the
          new covenant, the ancient patriarchs and prophets and men of God
          who have lived upon the earth years and years ago, Adam the
          Father of mankind, and Noah, another great father, and Abraham
          the father of the faithful, and all the Prophets, Apostles and
          men of God who have lived upon the earth are interested as we are
          in the welfare of humanity and in seeking to introduce and carry
          out the word and will of God which he designed before the world
          rolled into existence or the morning stars sang together for joy.
          God will accomplish his work and we will try and help him do it.
          It needs the co-operation of all these men who have held this
          Priesthood, who administer in time and in eternity--it needs the
          co-operation of all those and of the Gods in the eternal worlds
          to assist us in the labors in which we are engaged. Therefore,
          God has introduced the system of things that we have been
          speaking of for the purpose of gathering together a people who
          would listen to his voice, and they are the only people on the
          earth to-day who will listen thereto, and then it is as much as
          the bargain for many of us to do it. God expects to have a people
          who will be men of clean hands and pure hearts, who withhold
          their hands from the receiving of bribes, who will swear to their
          own hurt and change not, who will be men of truth and integrity,
          of honor and virtue, and who will pursue a course that will be
          approved by the Gods in the eternal worlds, and by all honorable
          and upright men that ever did live or that now live, and having
          taken upon us the profession of sainthood, he expects us to be
          Saints, not in name, not in theory, but in reality. And then he
          expects us to do just what we are doing, that is, to build
          Temples, and to preach the Gospel to an unthankful world. Have we
          done it? Yes, we have. I have done it. I have traveled thousands
          of miles to preach this Gospel without purse or scrip, trusting
          in God. Did I ever lack anything? No. Here is Brother Woodruff,
          and many other men who have done just the same thing. High
          Priests, Seventies, Elders, and others have gone forth to the
          world, bearing the precious principles of eternal life, and have
          returned again, as the Scriptures say, bringing their sheaves
          with them. What are we doing besides? Building our Temples. What
          for? That we may have places to enter into that are dedicated to
          the God of the whole earth.
          The world have forgotten that God is the fountain of all truth,
          the source of all intelligence, of everything that is calculated
          to elevate and exalt mankind; but we will give to God all the
          glory. We are seeking to build up the Zion of our God. And shall
          we accomplish it? With the help of the Lord we will. Will we all
          do right? No, many will fall by the wayside as they have done;
          but the work of God will go on and prosper and increase, and the
          Lord will be with Israel if they will only cleave to the truth,
          obey his laws and keep his commandments. Are all good? No, you
          know that many of us do many things that are far from right. Let
          me say unto you that our only safety is in obedience to the laws
          of God. You need not fear the clamor that is now being raised
          against us, nor any of this nonsense, this spite of the world;
          you need not fear the illiberality of religionists who are
          clamoring to deprive you of your liberties, you need care nothing
          about that.
          You all know that they are proclaiming falsehoods against us, and
          that we are misrepresented by them. No matter, they are in the
          hands of God, and we are in the hands of God; and while we seek
          to maintain righteous principles, virtue, purity, and the laws of
          the land, we can afford to leave them in the hands of God, and
          let him be their judge. Let us be for God, for righteousness, for
          virtue, for purity, for truth and integrity, and if our enemies
          prefer to wallow in their iniquities, and lend themselves to vice
          and falsehood, we can stand these things if they can, it is
          better to suffer than do wrong. The Lord will judge both them and
          us, and all will be well with those who cleave to the truth. We
          need not be troubled about their intrigues and mendacity. God
          will protect the right and will save and bless and deliver us
          despite their mendacious assertions, if we fear him, observe his
          laws, and keep his commandments. They, nor any other men, nor any
          power, can go further than God permits them, and when he says
          stop, they must stop. He will control all things according to the
          counsels of his own will. It is for us to be willing to obey his
          laws, to preserve our bodies and spirits pure, to cleave to
          righteousness, to honor the Lord our God, that we may always have
          his spirit to be with us. And if we are faithful by and by, it
          will be said of us, Well done, thou good and faithful servant:
          thou hast been faithful over a few things and I will make thee
          ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.
          May God bless you and lead you in the paths of life, in the name
          of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / John
          Taylor, March 5th, 1882
                            John Taylor, March 5th, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                           Delivered at the Assembly Hall,
                        on Sunday Afternoon, March 5th, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          We are living in peculiar times; we are operating in an eventful
          era; we are associated with a peculiar dispensation, and we have
          a labor to perform which in many respects differs from that of
          all other ages or times. The dispensation that we are connected
          with is called in Scripture the dispensation of the fulness of
          times in which, it is recorded, God will gather together all
          things in one, whether they be things on the earth or things in
          the heavens. There are ideas associated with this dispensation
          that are in many respects distinct, and dissimilar from those
          that have been enunciated and proclaimed in former ages and
          dispensations; and inasmuch as the present dispensation is to
          embrace everything that has been connected with all past
          dispensations--all the prominent features as well as the minor
          ones that characterized the Church and kingdom of God in former
          days, that were essentially necessary to its growth and
          development--must re-appear in connection with the work of God in
          this our day. If the manifestations and developments of other
          dispensations have been made known to us, we have had revealed to
          us doctrines, theories, organizations and systems that have
          existed among the whole of them; because it is emphatically the
          dispensation of the fulness of times. If they had anything that
          was peculiarly characteristic in the days of the ancient
          Patriarchs, we have the same revealed to us. If they had anything
          prominent and important in the dispensation of Noah, we have it,
          and if Noah was called upon to preach the Gospel to the world in
          his day, before its destruction, so are we.
          If in the Abrahamic or Mosaic dispensations God revealed
          important principles, we have a clear knowledge of those things
          made known to us, and the reasons, the whys and wherefores,
          pertaining to them. If they had anything among the ancient
          Prophets and men of God, we have the same principles developed.
          If in the days of Jesus they had manifestations, revelations,
          doctrines or organizations, those things are made known to us. Or
          if the people upon this continent, to whom God revealed his
          will--either the people that came from the Tower of Babel, or
          those who came from Jerusalem during the reign of Zedekiah--if
          anything was revealed to them, we have had it revealed unto us.
          And this is why certain things exist pertaining to organizations,
          etc., referred to by Brother Hatch.
          We have here on the ceiling of this building pictured to us,
          Moroni making known to Joseph Smith the plates, from which the
          Book of Mormon was translated, which plates had been hidden up in
          the earth; and in connection with them was the Urim and Thummim,
          by which sacred instrument Joseph was enabled to translate the
          ancient characters, now given unto us in the form of the Book of
          Mormon; in which is set forth the theories, doctrines,
          principles, organizations, etc., of these peoples who lived upon
          this continent. People talk about their disbelief regarding these
          things. That is a matter of no moment to us. I do not intend to
          bring any argument upon this question, caring nothing about what
          people believe. We know certain things, and knowing them we
          regard them as matters of fact. If we were to take the world and
          its ideas and theories, we should find that there is hardly one
          person in every thousand who believes the Bible. The Christian
          world professes belief in the Bible; that is, they believe it
          when shut, but not when open. Consequently, I do not propose this
          afternoon, at least, to address myself to infidels, whether they
          go under the name of Christian or any other name. I am speaking
          of certain principles to a people who believe them to be true;
          and I wish to refer more particularly to some events associated
          with the dealings of God with his earthly children.
          When John was on the isle of Patmos, certain things were revealed
          to him that were to transpire in the last days, and he prophesied
          of them. While wrapped in prophetic vision, gazing on the
          purposes of God as they were to be unfolded in later times, among
          other things he saw an angel flying in the midst of heaven,
          having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on
          the earth, to every nation, kindred, tongue and people; saying
          with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour
          of his judgment is come. This was a declaration made by this
          ancient Apostle and Prophet of God while banished for his
          religion, as certain men to-day would, if they could, banish us.
          We now declare to the world that this part of the visions of John
          has been fulfilled; that the angel has come and appeared to man
          upon the earth, conferring upon him this heavenly charge, namely,
          the responsibility of opening up a new Gospel dispensation; and
          we declare that God himself took part in it, and that Jesus, the
          Mediator of the new covenant, accompanied him, both of whom
          appeared to Joseph Smith, upon which occasion the Father,
          pointing to the Son said, "This is my beloved Son, hear him."
          Following this the Gospel was to be preached to every nation.
          What Gospel? The same Gospel that was preached to Adam, and to
          the Patriarchs and men of God of every age; the Gospel of
          salvation and deliverance from sin through the atonement of Jesus
          Christ, the resurrection from the dead, life immortal and all the
          blessings associated therewith. And when this Gospel was first
          proclaimed in this age, who knew anything about it? Nobody; it
          was not and had not been among men for centuries. The world of
          mankind had been left without direct communication from the
          heavens, and as a natural consequence while grovelling in the
          dark, they followed the devices and desires of their own hearts;
          they were governed by man-made systems, and bowed to the dictum,
          to the notions, the theories and follies of men. There was no
          Apostle, no Prophet, no inspired men of God, holding His Holy
          Priesthood to say, Thus saith the Lord, this is the way, walk ye
          in it.
          In connection with this I may allude to an incident in my
          personal experience, to show the state of the world religiously
          some forty or fifty years ago. Not being then acquainted with
          this Church, a number of us met together for the purpose of
          searching the Scriptures; and we found that certain doctrines
          were taught by Jesus and the Apostles, which neither the
          Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, nor any of
          the religious sects taught; and we concluded that if the Bible
          was true, the doctrines of modern Christendom were not true; or
          if they were true, the Bible was false. Our investigations were
          impartially made, and our search for truth was extended. We
          examined every religious principle that came under our notice,
          and probed the various systems as taught by the sects, to
          ascertain if there were any that were in accordance with the word
          of God. But we failed to find any. In addition to our researches
          and investigations, we prayed and fasted before God; and the
          substance of our prayers was, that if he had a people upon the
          earth anywhere, and ministers who were authorized to preach the
          Gospel, that he would send us one. This was the condition we were
          in. We knew all that the Methodists knew then, and all that they
          know now. We knew all that the Presbyterians knew then, and all
          that they know now. We knew all that the Episcopalians knew then,
          and all that they know now. We knew all that the Roman Catholics
          knew then, and all that they know to-day; for we made ourselves
          conversant with the doctrines and examined them thoroughly, as
          well as the theories of all men who pretended to have knowledge
          of Gospel light. We prayed earnestly; and in answer to our
          prayers, the Lord sent us Elder Parley P. Pratt, who gives an
          account of this in his auto-biography which has been published
          since his death. Brother Pratt, in relating the circumstances,
          says that Brother Heber C. Kimball came to his house one night
          after he had retired; that Brother Kimball requested him to get
          up, which he did, and then began to prophecy to him. He told him
          there was a people in Canada who were seeking for a knowledge of
          the Gospel, and they were praying to God to send them a minister
          who should reveal to them the truth. Brother Kimball then
          commissioned him to repair to Canada, telling him that the Lord
          would bless him and open up his way. Just previous to that time
          the Saints had been engaged in building the Temple in Kirtland,
          Ohio, and were all very much embarrassed as to means, Brother
          Pratt with the balance having devoted everything he had to spare
          for that purpose. Among other things that Brother Kimball told
          him was, that where he was going he would find means to relieve
          himself, and that many of the people would embrace the Gospel,
          and that it would be the means of introducing the Gospel to
          England. And furthermore, said he, your wife who is now childless
          shall have a son. In the course of time she did have a son, and
          they named him Parley. I do not know but that he may be present;
          but I was going to say, I knew him before he was born.
          I speak of this to show that there was at that time nobody, of
          whom we had any knowledge, from whom we could obtain any
          information with regard to the Gospel of the Son of God, or that
          could teach us the doctrines Jesus and His Apostles taught, as
          contained in the Scriptures. Brother Pratt came and found us, and
          he came in answer to our prayer; at least, that is my faith in
          regard to the matter. And were all these things accomplished?
          Yes: I was baptized myself and others, and I baptized many others
          in that country; and it was the means also of sending the Gospel
          to England. John Goodson, who apostatized long ago, John Snyder,
          a good, faithful man who was one of the committee of the Nauvoo
          House, and who died in the 17th Ward of this City, Isaac Russell,
          and Joseph Fielding, uncle to Brother Joseph F. Smith, were of
          our number, embraced the Gospel, and were afterwards called to
          accompany Brother Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde to England for
          the purpose of opening up the work in that land; and I was the
          first person that wrote a letter to England on the subject of the
          Gospel; I did it at the request of Brother Fielding, who got me
          to write for him to a brother and brother-in-law of his who were
          ministers in England. These were the men that helped to introduce
          the Gospel into England in that early day. I speak of this for
          the information of many of you.
          When Brother Pratt came to me I was, perhaps, as well read in the
          letter of the Bible as I am to-day, and as soon as he commenced
          to talk about Prophets, I said, Yes, we believe in them. And he
          talked about Apostles and I remarked, Yes, we have been looking
          for such men, but we cannot find them. He talked about the
          organization of the Church as it was anciently; and about the
          gift of tongues and the gift of healing, etc., and we were
          delighted with his message, it was something we were seeking for,
          and it was all new to us. We had heard rumors about the Mormons,
          just as people hear rumors now-adays of us; and the rumors we
          heard were not of the most complimentary character, any more than
          are those that are circulated about us to-day, or those that were
          circulated about Jesus and the former-day Saints. You know, the
          pious, hypocritical clergy of that day put the Savior down as the
          vilest creature that ever lived, and influenced the populace
          against him; for said they, if he heals the sick, give God the
          glory, for we know that this man is a sinner; and when he cast
          out devils, this same class attributed it to the power of
          Beelzebub, the prince of devils; and they spoke of him as being a
          bastard, and cast all manner of reflections upon him. The Savior
          in speaking to his disciples gave them to understand that
          inasmuch as they had persecuted him, they would also persecute
          them; and said he, further, when they persecute you in one city,
          flee to another; and he also told them to be exceeding glad when
          they were persecuted for righteousness' sake. What, to be lied
          about by adventurers and political demagogues who seek to rob and
          plunder you? Yes; that is a good and favorable sign. If we were
          guilty of the infamies that they seek to lay at our door, that
          would be another matter. But whilst we are not as good as we
          might be, we do know that what they say and publish to the world
          about us, which has had a tendency to arouse the feelings of the
          general public against us, are infernal falsehoods. "Blessed are
          you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say
          all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and
          be exceeding glad," etc. In this we but share the lot of the
          honorable of other ages, the men of God who stood the abuse of
          their fellow-man, and who, in many instances, were persecuted
          much worse than we are. Our present assailants have not learned
          how yet; but they are trying upon a small scale to introduce the
          inquisition, and may, by and by, in some degree, succeed in
          carrying out their nefarious objects. This is their work, if they
          can stand it we think we can. There are thousands of honorable
          men who will look down with contempt upon all such unprincipled
          and mendacious efforts.
          After the Lord had spoken to Joseph Smith, and Jesus had
          manifested himself to him, and after Moroni had revealed to him
          the hidden plates containing the history of the ancient
          inhabitants of this continent, which, in the wisdom of God, have
          been translated into our own language in the form of the Book of
          Mormon, and which, in connection with the Bible, is to be the
          means of confounding false doctrines, the one being corroborative
          of the other in principle and doctrine and in relation to the
          designs and purposes of God--after this it was necessary that the
          Priesthood held by men in former days should be restored in these
          latter days, that people now, as men in those days, might be
          authorized to act in the name of the Lord. Hence John the
          Baptist, who held the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, came and
          laid his hands upon the heads of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery,
          using these words: "Upon you, my fellow-servants, in the name of
          Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys
          of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance,
          and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this
          shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi
          do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." After
          having been ordained to this Priesthood which is after the order
          of Aaron, it was necessary that they should have another
          Priesthood which is after the order of Melchizedek, and after the
          order of the Son of God. And consequently Peter, James and John
          came and conferred that Priesthood. Why did they come? Because
          they were the last who held the keys of that Priesthood. After
          this order of Priesthood was introduced, the organization which
          we possess to-day was gradually effected, which is as full and
          complete, perhaps, as ever existed upon the earth. How perfect it
          was in the days of Enoch we are not told, but everything that
          they had revealed to them pertaining to the organization of the
          Church of God, also pertaining to doctrine and ordinances, we
          have had revealed to us, excepting one thing, and that is the
          principle and power of translation; that, however, will in due
          time be restored also. And if they in their day built a Zion, we
          have one to build in our day, and when this shall be done and
          everything is in readiness, the Zion which the people of Enoch
          built and which was translated, will descend from above, and the
          Zion of the latter days which this people will build, will ascend
          by virtue of this principle and power, and the former and the
          latter-day Zion will meet each other, and the dwellers in both
          will embrace and kiss each other, so we are told in the
          revelations of God.
          We are indebted to no one excepting God, our heavenly Father, for
          the organization which we possess; and as a little circumstance
          with regard to its practical working occurs to me, I will mention
          it. Among other places, we sent to Bear Lake a copy of the form
          of petition which we are now presenting to Congress. I think it
          was on Wednesday that it was sent out from here, and on Saturday
          night it was returned with thousands of signatures. That is the
          way we do things here. In a few days we had some fifty thousand
          signatures, and I presume before this there are some ten or
          twenty thousand more from the more distant settlements. What does
          it manifest? Union and sympathy one with another, all testifying
          to one thing, which I was very glad to see. People have said that
          we know that polygamy is not a principle of our religion; but
          here are petitions signed by some seventy or eighty thousand, all
          of whom testify to their faith in regard to this principle. I
          think the testimony of seventy or eighty thousand persons living
          right among it, and most of whom are born in it, ought to be as
          strong as that of a few quidnuncs who know little or nothing
          about it.
          The Gospel was then revealed, what for--for you and me, or for
          this man and that man? No; it was for the benefit of the world;
          it was in the interests of humanity; and it was to be proclaimed
          to every nation, kindred, people and tongue, by men commissioned
          of God to do so. That duty belongs to the Twelve especially, to
          either do so in person or see that it is done. I have traveled
          myself tens of thousands of miles, and so have my brethren,
          visiting the nations of the earth in their most prominent cities
          declaring to them the principles of the Gospel as God has
          revealed them. And could we find men upon the earth that could
          successfully oppose us? I declare before God I never found one,
          taking the Bible as a standard; neither can any one be found to
          day that can do it, and that is the trouble.
          In that day, we are told, the meek shall rejoice in the Lord; and
          the poor among men shall rejoice in the holy one of Israel. God
          has had his people scattered among the nations, and his testimony
          was to go forth to all lands; and it becomes the duty of the
          Twelve, the Seventies, the High Priests and Elders to carry this
          message and present it to them in the spirit of the Gospel, not
          to cram the truth down the throats of men, as certain individuals
          would cram their peculiar views down our throats. But when we
          were sent forth we were sent to teach, and not to be taught. We
          could not learn anything from them about the Gospel, for they did
          not know it. They could not teach us, hence the Lord in sending
          out the first Elders, told them they were sent to teach and not
          to be taught. We went in the midst of opposition and persecution,
          mobbings and drivings, and were subjected to every insult,
          indignity and infamy that wicked and corrupt men could invent,
          and we have put up with such things all the time, and many have
          had to lay down their lives in the conflict, and they will, as
          others formerly did, when the time comes, gain a better
          resurrection. And we are still struggling on, in the face of a
          general opposition, trusting in our God to sustain us, while we
          shall continue to sow the precious seed of the everlasting
          Gospel, and maintain in our own midst the principles of life
          eternal, and freedom, liberty and equality to the human race. And
          our sons who have grown up are now doing what we have done; and
          they too are full of the Spirit, full of life, light and
          intelligence, having, as we had and still have, the interests of
          humanity at heart, as they move among the people as messengers of
          life and salvation. Our course is onward; and are we going to
          stop? No. Zion must be built up, God has decreed it and no power
          can stay its progress. Do you hear that? I prophecy that in the
          name of the Lord Jesus Christ. For Zion must and will be built up
          despite all opposition, the kingdom of God established upon the
          earth in accordance with the designs and purposes of God. That is
          true, and you will find it to be true if you live long enough,
          and if you die you will find it to be true; it will make no
          difference. "But shall we not be persecuted?" Yes, and does not
          Jesus say, Blessed are ye when men revile you and persecute you,
          etc.,--would you be deprived of that blessing. "But we have had
          enough of it." O, have you? no matter, you will have to put up
          with it. "But," say you, "have we not certain constitutional
          rights?" Yes, on paper, but when you get through with them, the
          paper does not amount to much; it is like pie-crust, easily
          broken. We do not pay much attention to these things. Honorable
          men will be governed by constitutions, and laws, and principles,
          but dishonorable persons will not. Therefore, we have to do the
          best we can, taking a righteous course that we may be entitled to
          the blessings of God. "What will be the result of this?" I care
          nothing about what the result may be, it is a matter of very
          little importance to me. "Do you expect such things?" Yes, and
          have done for years; I have never expected anything else
          associated with the Gospel. When I first embraced it I considered
          it a life-long affair; and when I came to look at it squarely in
          the face, if I could have satisfied my conscience by getting
          along without it, I would have done so; but I could not, and I
          apprehend that many of you have been in the same situation. I
          believed it was true, and so did you; and after I was baptized
          and had hands laid upon my head for the reception of the Holy
          Ghost, I knew it was true by the operations of the Holy Spirit
          upon my heart. And this is the common experience of all Saints.
          Some people seem to think that we are going to throw away our
          religion at the "drop of the hat." I do not know of any such
          feeling among this people. There have been men who learned to
          endure things quite as bad as those which afflict us. My mind
          runs back to Daniel who was a man that feared God. There was a
          set of political plotters in his day--and probably a fair share
          of religious ones associated with them--who conspired against
          him, for Daniel was a man of God in great favor with the king;
          and the only way they could accomplish their plans was by laying
          a trap to catch him through an edict of the king. They did it by
          getting the king to issue a proclamation that no man should ask a
          petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of the king,
          that if he did he should be cast into the den of lions. This was
          done expressly to catch Daniel, but the king was not made
          acquainted with the secret. Their request was granted and the
          decree established by the king's signature, which then could not
          be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which
          altered not. When Daniel heard of this, we are told that he went
          into his house, and the windows of his chamber being open towards
          Jerusalem, he bowed down before his God, and prayed and gave
          thanks to him, as aforetime, three times a day. He did not
          falter, although he knew the nature of the decree and the laws
          which governed it; but he knew too that the God whom he served
          was able to deliver him. They watched him, of course, and finally
          complained against him; and he was adjudged guilty of violating
          the law. The law had to take its course, although the king, when
          the thing was made known to him felt very sorrowful, and set his
          heart on Daniel to deliver him. He did not feel like some feel
          towards us; although there have been praiseworthy efforts made by
          a few to maintain constitutional principles, and we recognize
          them as the sentiments and feelings of honorable men, who wish to
          see correct principles maintained in our land. There was no
          appeal in Daniel's case; or as a certain class of Christians
          to-day would say, "Daniel had to go." They cast him into the den
          of lions. The king went to the den early the following morning,
          feeling much concerned about him, and he cried out, "O Daniel,
          servant of the living God, is thy God whom thou servest
          continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?" Daniel spoke
          up and said, "O King, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel,
          and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me."
          Now, he dared to do that which showed there was some manhood in
          him. We have another example in the three Hebrew children, who
          refused to bow down to a golden image that had been set up. Shall
          we call it monogamy? [Laughter.] The conditions were that if they
          did not bow down to this golden image, they should be cast into a
          burning fiery furnace. They did refuse to obey this royal decree,
          saying, "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the
          burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand,
          O King. But if not (said they), be it known unto thee, O King,
          that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship thy golden image
          which thou hast set up." This, of course, was considered a great
          indignity on their part to refuse to bow down to this God. These
          three men were cast into the furnace and their persecutors in
          their animus and religious zeal, heated it to such a
          degree--evincing in this respect the same feeling we see
          manifested toward us in a different form--that the men who cast
          Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the furnace were themselves
          destroyed by the flames. And it seems the King himself was
          curious to look into the furnace to know of their fate, and in
          doing so, to his astonishment, he beheld four persons in the
          midst of the flames, one of whom appeared to be like unto the Son
          of God. Nebuchadnezzar then called to these three men to come
          out, which they did; and even the smell of fire was not found
          upon their clothing, nor was a hair of their heads singed. Such
          was the faith of those young men, and such their conduct that all
          honorable men could approve and appreciate the nobility of their
          course, and even the Gods could admire them; and their integrity
          to God was the means of their being promoted to the favor of the
          King, and to distinction in the land. Let us hope that the
          descendants of those people in these days, in the trials that
          they have to pass through, which are now being enacted in Russia,
          in Europe, and in other places, and apparently commencing in this
          land, may be found as true to their integrity as were these noble
          examples of manhood and faith in God.
          But to return to the Christians' idol. The pious, zealous,
          religious and hypocritical in our day, uniting with political
          demagogues, have set up a God for us to worship, which they
          boastfully represent as the embodiment of everything that is pure
          and virtuous, embodying the enlightenment and civilization of the
          nineteenth century. Their god is overlaid with gilt and tinsel,
          but inside it is pregnant with the social evil with its twin
          adjuncts feticide and infanticide. Like a great Moloch it is
          crushing out female virtue, trampling upon innocence, and
          prostituting and destroying millions of the fair daughters of
          Eve. Yet this loathsome, filthy, debauched, degraded monster is
          held up for our veneration and worship by its corrupt Christian
          devotees as the essence of everything that is great and grand,
          noble and praiseworthy; and we are called upon to fall down and
          worship this loathsome monster under the threat of
          unconstitutional pains and penalties, and the violation of every
          principle of liberty and protection guaranteed under the
          Shall we worship this unnatural, lascivious Moloch? Shall we bow
          down before the shrine of this fetid, corrupt and debauched
          monster? No! We will worship the Lord our God, yield obedience to
          his behests, and, if we are faithful, live our religion and keep
          his commandments, the God whom we worship will deliver us out of
          the hands of our enemies, and we shall triumph over all our foes.
          There have been men living nearer our own times who could meet
          the inquisition with its fagot, rack and thumbscrew, and in the
          midst of their sufferings could commit themselves in all serenity
          and calmness into the hands of God; and we can surely do the
          same. If the rulers of this nation can afford to tamper with the
          sacred rights of the people guaranteed by the Constitution of
          this great nation, and ruthlessly tear down the temple of freedom
          erected at the cost of so much blood and treasure, instead of
          anticipated glory, they will bring destruction upon the nation
          and ruin and infamy upon themselves. The sacred bulwarks of
          freedom once tampered with, the floodgates of anarchy and
          confusion will be thrown open and dissolution and ruin will
          follow in their train in rapid succession. It is for us to
          sustain and maintain the principles guaranteed in that sacred
          palladium of human rights--the Constitution of the United States,
          and to contend inch by inch in every legal and constitutional
          manner for our own rights and human freedom, leaving misrule,
          anarchy, violations of law and the trampling under foot of the
          rights of man and constitutional guarantees to religious fanatics
          and clamoring demagogues; and if they can afford to tamper with
          those sacred guarantees, we certainly can afford to have them do
          it. It is for us to seek more exalted ideas, to abide by
          constitutional law, to maintain inviolate the principles of human
          freedom, and to contend with unwavering firmness for those
          inalienable rights of all men--life, liberty and the pursuit of
          happiness; and to seek continually to our God for wisdom to
          accomplish so great, noble and patriotic a purpose.
          One of the first things I ever heard preached by the Elders of
          this Church was that the world would grow worse and worse,
          deceiving and being deceived. Should we be surprised at its
          coming to pass? Another thing that I have heard from the
          beginning is, that people would persecute us, commencing with
          neighborhoods and villages, and then it would extend to cities
          and counties, and then to States, and then to the United States,
          and afterwards to the world. We have got about fifty millions of
          people on our backs now--and it is a pretty heavy load to carry,
          too; but the Lord will see us through. We are acting in the
          interests of humanity: we are proclaiming salvation to a fallen
          world, and in this we are carrying out the word and will of God
          made known and manifested directly to us. We are warning the
          people of their position, and we will continue to send forth our
          missionaries for this purpose until God says, it is enough. And
          if they persecute us in one city, we will do as Jesus told his
          disciples, we will flee to another, searching out the honest in
          heart. Persecution has been our lot from the beginning, and it
          has followed us to this day. I am reminded of a circumstance that
          occurred in Missouri, which I will mention to show the kind of
          feeling that Joseph Smith was possessed of. Some 25 years ago, in
          Far West, a mob--one of those semi-occasional occurrences--had
          come against us with evil intent, placing themselves in position
          to give us battle; and there were not more than about 200 of us
          in the place. We had one fellow who was taken with a fit of
          trembling in the knees, and he ordered our people to retreat. As
          soon as Joseph heard this sound, he exclaimed, "Retreat! where in
          the name of God shall we retreat to?" He then led us out to the
          prairie facing the mob and placed us in position; and the first
          thing we knew a flag of truce was seen coming towards us. The
          person bearing it said that some of their friends were among our
          people for whose safety they felt anxious. I rather think it was
          a case in which the wife was in the Church but not the husband,
          and the mob wished these parties to come out as they, he said,
          were going to destroy every man, woman and child in the place.
          But these folks had a little "sand" in them, as the boys say;
          they sent word back, that if that was the case they would die
          with their friends. Joseph Smith, our leader, then sent word back
          by this messenger, said he, "Tell your General to withdraw his
          troops or I will send them to hell." I thought that was a pretty
          bold stand to take, as we only numbered about 200 to their 3,500;
          but they thought we were more numerous than we really were, it
          may be that our numbers were magnified in their eyes; but they
          took the hint and left; and we were not sorry. (Laughter.) The
          Lord, through simple means, is able to take care of and deliver
          His people, but they must put implicit faith and confidence in
          Him; and when they are crowded into a tight place they must not
          be afraid to make sacrifice for the sake of maintaining the
          truth, and all will be well with us whether living or dying, in
          time or in eternity.
          Well, what shall we do? We will serve the Lord; we will live our
          religion; we will be true to our covenants, keep his commandments
          and be one, and we will sustain one another, and not sustain men
          among us who have it in their hearts to cut our throats; let them
          alone to pursue their own course, and let them draw their
          sustenance from their own kith and kin; and let us pursue the
          even tenor of our way, operating together as a band of brethren;
          and if any have sinned, let them sin no more; and inasmuch as
          this people are found faithful to God and true to themselves and
          their fellow-men, I will risk the results of what our enemies may
          do to injure us. We are in the hands of God, and this nation is
          in His hands, and he will do with us and them according to the
          pleasure of His will.
          Brethren and sisters, God bless you, and God bless the honorable
          of the earth, and may the wrath of the wicked be made to praise
          Him, and the remainder may He restrain. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / John
          Morgan, December 18, 1881
                           John Morgan, December 18, 1881
                           DISCOURSE BY ELDER JOHN MORGAN,
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, December 18, 1881.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                ELDERS--OPPOSITION TO
          It is a very pleasant thought that we, as Elders, have when
          traveling abroad preaching the Gospel, to look forward to the
          time when we shall have the privilege of again meeting with our
          friends and loved ones in the valleys of the mountains, to again
          share their love and to partake of the spirit of those who
          compose the body of this Church.
          During the past summer and until a few days I have been engaged
          in missionary labor, chiefly in the Southern States. Our labors
          there have been, as have been the labors of the Elders in other
          missions, crowned with a certain degree of success. We have
          realized the blessings of God upon us in all our labors in the
          midst of the people, for which we feel to rejoice and give thanks
          and praise to him. The brethren who have gone from the different
          parts of the Territory to labor in the mission have as a general
          thing, enjoyed good health; and they are felling well, as a rule,
          temporally and spiritually; and especially the younger brethren
          who have gone forth bearing the glad tidings of salvation. There
          has been evinced a feeling that certainly is most praiseworthy, a
          desire to emulate the example set by their fathers in preaching
          the principles of eternal truth, often under unpleasant
          circumstances. Because, however much the work of God may progress
          and be received abroad there is, as there has been, and doubtless
          will be, a spirit of opposition which has to be met by every
          Elder in the performance of his duty. It is true our young
          brethren have the benefit of the experience of their fathers and
          of men prominent in the Church, to encourage them, and which is
          highly appreciated by them, but after all they have to get the
          experience for themselves, in order that they may know what their
          fathers know, and that they may be able to stand shoulder to
          shoulder with them. I have scarcely found an exception among the
          scores of young men who have been called from the different
          avocations of life to go forth and proclaim the Gospel, but what
          they were worthy bearers of glad tidings.
          There is an idea entertained by the pious world, whose sympathy
          for fallen humanity is so great as to be exercised towards us,
          that the old and gray-headed of the "Mormon" people, "you can do
          nothing with, they having becoming fossilized in their religious
          ideas and petrified in their faith; but the young may be induced
          to depart from the faith of their fathers." This, however, has
          not been the experience we have had in the Southern States
          mission with our young Elders. On the contrary, we have found
          their faces set like flint toward the building up of the kingdom
          of God, and the proclaiming of the principles of truth. It often
          occurs in our missionary labors that Elders are called upon to
          pass through trying circumstances, but I do not remember of a
          single instance in which a young Elder flinched from the
          performance of his duty. They have always been ready and willing
          to add to the extent of their ability and strength in carrying
          out any measures thought necessary for the good of the cause,
          even to the risking of their lives. And I am led to believe from
          what I have witnessed in the young men who have come under my
          observation, that the great majority of our young people, growing
          up in these mountains have planted in their hearts the principles
          of truth, by which they will be governed in their lives. And in
          this connection there is this peculiarity. In our travels in the
          South we often meet with families who were once members of the
          Church, who during the trying times of Missouri and Illinois, or
          at some other time in the history of the Church, had stopped by
          the way-side--and where they stopped temporally they stopped
          spiritually; the cessation of their temporal work was the
          milestone that marked their spiritual resting place--but
          notwithstanding this falling away on the part of the parents, we
          found, as a general thing, that in the hearts of their children
          there was a love for the principles of eternal truth; and that if
          an elder was known to be in their vicinity they would send for
          him and make themselves known to him, and open their doors to
          him, and ninety-nine times out of a hundred they would ask to be
          baptized. This being true of the children of such families, who
          are isolated from the body of the Church, we might reasonably
          expect that the youth of Zion will be found true and faithful to
          the precepts of truth taught to them, through the force and
          benefit of example they receive from their parents who are
          members of the Church.
          In our labors we at times meet with considerable opposition, but
          we notice that it, in the long run, instead of working to our
          injury, results in good. And what is true in the South in this
          respect is doubtless the case elsewhere. That which our enemies
          inflict upon us in the hope of breaking us up or weakening our
          position is, through an overruling providence, turned to result
          in good by bringing the honest in heart, the Israel of God, to a
          knowledge of the truth. The widespread feeling of opposition that
          exists toward us throughout the United States, arguing from past
          experiences, may be set down as a good omen for the future. But
          notwithstanding this general hubbub which the people seemingly
          have to indulge in semi-occasionally, we find in traveling and
          moving among the people very many upright noble men and women,
          and we find them belonging to various churches and religious
          bodies; and then we meet with others who are not connected with
          any sect or denomination, and who are seeking for truth let it
          come from where it may. And this class, in my opinion, is not
          small throughout the United States; in fact, I might with safety
          say, that there are thousands of such people who have not heard
          the sound of the everlasting Gospel, there being vast districts
          of country occupied by hundreds of thousands of peoples who do
          not know whether the Latter-day Saints believe in God or not,
          whether they accept the Bible or reject it, people who are
          totally ignorant in regard to our views; and among these there
          are many thousands of the honest in heart. We find that the
          spirit of opposition that we have to meet, as a rule, culminates
          in violence; and that the more success we have in baptizing
          people, the more bitter the feeling manifested toward us by our
          We are, doubtless, traveling in the Southern States Mission, by
          way of making converts as fast as it would be prudent. If our
          labors should be crowned with any greater success, that is, to
          any considerable extent, the opposition would be correspondingly
          more ripe, and the consequence would be, we would have a bigger
          row on our hands than we would care to face.
          We find a great many prominent, leading men in our travels who
          are willing to act fairly and honorably by us; men who use their
          influence with their friends in our behalf by endeavoring to
          place in their minds correct ideas in relation to us and our
          situation. To illustrate this idea, I will relate an incident
          that occurred during the summer. The Legislative Assembly of one
          of the States, Missouri--whose members had been urged on by
          sectarian bigotry, had a bill introduced that it was supposed
          would act against the "Mormons" in that State. Some of the
          distinguished citizens, honorable, fair-minded people, said to
          certain of the legislators: "You pass that bill and one-half of
          the State will become Mormons; that will evidently be the result.
          Why? Because the moment you adopt such measures you are in the
          wrong, let them be what they may." There are many men of that way
          of thinking who have moral courage sufficient to speak their
          minds; and the influence of such men is felt for good. And here
          let me say to the credit of the press that, bitter as the
          opposition is, we scarcely ever find a daily newspaper of any
          prominence but what will open its columns for us to vindicate our
          course. And in addition to what I have said in alluding to the
          class of people who are liberal and cosmopolitan in their views,
          we find such people ever ready and even anxious to learn in
          regard to our religious belief. And notwithstanding the fact that
          among this class are found men of learning and deep research, men
          who are looked up to by their fellow-men, strange as it may seem
          to a people who keep pace with the age, we find the great
          majority of them much astonished when they learn that we believe
          in the Bible, and that we take the teachings of that Book to
          substantiate our doctrines. Among this class who are so
          uninformed as to our theological status are Congressmen,
          governors, legislators and others of distinction and character.
          We find also in the ordinary walks of life honest-hearted people.
          We find them in the churches and out of the pale of the church.
          We meet with men belonging to the sects of the day who say, "If
          we have not got the truth, we wish to obtain it." And we meet
          with others who do not belong to any religious denomination who
          say, We have examined the doctrines taught by the different
          churches; they will not do. Now we are willing to investigate
          what you teach. But, then, we cannot help but notice this kind of
          expression in their faces: "Can any good thing come out of
          Nazareth?" Can any good come out of Utah? This, of course, is
          owing to the widespread misunderstanding in regard to our
          religious views.
          The newspapers to-day are teeming with articles in regard to the
          Latter-day Saints. We are written about by editors and special
          correspondents; local editors gather up items respecting us and
          our labors among the people of their vicinity; reporters appear
          to be greedy for an interview with a "Mormon;" ministers preach
          about us from their stands, and lawyers have to allude to us from
          the forum; and to such an extent is this spirit and feeling
          indulged by the people of all grades and classes, that to-day
          "Mormonism" is a living question in the United States. Recently
          some politicians endeavored to work up an issue, and make a live
          question out of the tariff, and it was rather amusing to witness
          after their exertions how slow the public were to take the bait.
          And especially amusing did such efforts appear to those who watch
          with a lively interest the progress of this latter-day work
          called "Mormonism," in view of the fact that if a couple of
          "Mormon" Elders go into a town, almost without any effort on
          their part to make themselves known, the whole town is stirred
          up. In my opinion the "Mormon" iron is red-hot, and it is a
          proper time for the Elders to beat it into shape.
          We observe changes taking place in the minds of the people
          continually. Indeed, I can notice marked changes in the people of
          the United States during the past six years. For instance, quite
          recently I listened to a sermon preached by one of the
          distinguished ministers of the United States, the Rev. Henry Ward
          Beecher, and was very much surprised to hear him enunciate an
          idea like this: "What shall be done with all the thousands and
          millions of the human family who knew not, even of the existence
          of the Bible. Shall they perish?" "No," said he, "not if my God
          reigns in the next world." But, continued he, "what shall be
          done? They will have the Gospel preached to them in the spirit
          world." Another minister, the Rev. Dr. Thomas, of Chicago, of the
          Methodist Church, made similar assertions; but he was not as
          strong as Mr. Beecher, and they therefore excommunicated him from
          the church. But Beecher could make it, and no one dare say nay.
          So we find religious ideas undergoing a change, until there is
          scarcely a religious denomination to-day but what has done what
          the Pharisees of old did--put new wine into their old sectarian
          bottles, and the probable result will be, as Jesus said, their
          bottles will burst. They are endeavoring to patch their old
          sectarian clothes with pieces of new cloth, and the result will
          be that they will be obliged to keep patching in order to keep
          the garment together. And thus their religious ideas are drifting
          to and fro.
          And what is true with regard to their religious views is also
          true with regard to their political ideas. I had an excellent
          opportunity recently to witness a remarkable change in public
          sentiment. Public sentiment, you know, is a very strong argument
          in the minds of some people. "Why, public sentiment is against
          you," they say. I remember listening to Gov. Bross, of Illinois,
          who spoke in front of the Townsend House, one night, some years
          ago. The foundation of his argument was that thirty-five millions
          of people in the United States were opposed to us; that in short,
          public sentiment was opposed to us. I had my mind directed to the
          fickle nature of public sentiment quite recently in Nashville,
          Tennessee. Some 25 years ago a certain race of people were held
          in slavery there. Slavery was an adjudicated question at that
          time. But it was claimed by the opponents of slavery that if a
          negro and his wife could be taken out of Missouri through
          Illinois, that they were entitled to their freedom because they
          were then upon free soil. It was, however, decided in the Supreme
          Court of the United States, by Chief Justice, Roger B. Tanney,
          that black men had no rights that a white man was bound to
          respect, that, in fact, they were chattel property. And the
          people of the United States almost en masse applauded the
          decision, a few only dissenting, they being what were called
          abolitionists. Wendell Phillips, a distinguished orator,
          undertook to lecture in Boston against slavery, and learned as
          Boston was, educated as Boston was, the noted lecturer was egged
          off the platform, having to make his escape from the mob.
          Twenty-five years have gone by since Phillips was mobbed, and now
          for the contrast. Some four or five weeks ago I boarded a through
          passenger car at Nashville, Tenn., to Cincinnati, there were
          seated in the car some 25 ladies and gentlemen. After I got
          comfortably seated alongside a person who proved to be a
          Christian minister of the Campbellite persuasion, and an editor,
          we perceived a little difficulty at the car-door. On
          investigation we learned that a negro woman held a first-class
          ticket, and demanded admittance to a seat in this, a first-class
          car. She was entitled to a seat there, having procured a ticket,
          according to the provisions of the civil rights bill; but the
          rules of the railroad company would not permit it. The manager
          was sent for, and after some conversation with the colored woman,
          addressing himself to the passengers already seated in the car,
          he said: Ladies and gentlemen, will you please take seats in the
          car to the rear. We did so. It proved to be a smoking
          second-class car. He then admitted the old negro woman, who
          occupied our car. After we had taken in the situation and were
          re-seated, addressing myself to the gentleman whose acquaintance
          I formed on entering the car, I said, "Mr. Editor, twenty-five
          years ago, had a man dared to do what this negro woman has done,
          you would have hung him to a lamp-post. Now, I will dare say,
          there is not a paper in the city of Nashville that will venture
          to write one line, in condemnation of this piece of impudence."
          He acknowledged there was not. And why this change? Public
          sentiment had revolutionized in a quarter of a century. The negro
          slave of Phillip's day is the sovereign citizen of to-day.
          These are revolutions that are occurring among the children of
          men that are of a serious nature. And what is true in a political
          sense, is true in a religious sense. It is a very common
          observation among the people everywhere that we are not taught
          religiously what we were twenty-five years ago, or ten years ago.
          They are drifting to and fro religiously as well as politically.
          Another feature associated with this: About forty years ago a
          number of our Elders traveled through the Southern States--it may
          have been in 1844. And as they journeyed along, they scattered
          all over the country tracts and books, setting forth our faith
          and doctrines. And to-day it is not unfrequent, on our going into
          a neighborhood and talking to the people, that they will say,
          "Our minister has been preaching that." Ah, indeed. Well, can we
          see him? O, yes; we will ask him to come and see you." On our
          conversing with him, we have found that he has a Voice of Warning
          hidden away in his saddle pockets, which he had been reading, and
          believing some of its pages, he had been preaching some of the
          principles of the Gospel to his own congregation, which they
          would believe, and receive without even "a grain of salt." This
          willingness on the part of the people to receive principle, good
          or bad, from the lips of their own minister, reminds one of the
          same state of things that existed in the days of the Savior, as
          indicated by these words: "Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees,
          hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for
          ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are
          entering to go in."
          It is a self-evident fact; it is a truth patent to the most
          casual observer that the teachings of Joseph Smith have
          revolutionized the religious world. And the spirit that is
          working this change is growing and extending, until to day there
          is inquiry upon the right hand and the left.
          As a general thing those who receive the Gospel in the Southern
          States are to be from what are termed the middle classes, people
          who are the owners of small possessions which, when sold, realize
          them sufficient to provide themselves a suitable outfit and take
          them to their emigrating point. There have been some instances,
          however, when their possessions have been sold, even where they
          possessed good homes, that the proceeds of the sale have been
          insufficient to emigrate them. This has been due, in part, to the
          peculiar circumstances by which they have been surrounded. In the
          first place a terrible war devastated their country; and since
          that time they have been under carpet-bag rule. And the
          consequence is, in many places property has depreciated, life has
          been insecure, laws have been trampled under foot, and little
          progress has been made.
          The people living in Utah can scarcely sense the true situation
          of the Southern States people. There has been a dreadful drouth
          this summer. I suppose the majority--I may say the entire South
          has not raised sufficient grain to bread themselves to the first
          of April. The corn yield will not, it is said, exceed four
          bushels to the acre, and the cotton crop may be a little rising
          of one-third the usual harvest. The result will be more or less
          suffering among the poorer people this winter. Wages are very
          low. A man can be employed, a strong, able-bodied man, either
          white or colored, for from $6 to $8 per month including board;
          and from $10 to $12 when they board themselves. Flour is 5
          dollars per 100 pounds, and other provisions in proportion. I
          noticed that dry goods were as high in Nashville as they were in
          our settlements in Colorado. Wages are at such a low figure that
          it seems almost impossible for the people to live, when they
          depend upon day's wages for a living. In addition to this there
          seems to be a wasting away of the earth, a weakening in its
          strength, affecting its ability to produce abundantly. Fields
          that a few years ago yielded good crops, are bordering on
          sterility to-day. There are hundreds and thousands of acres of
          land that formerly were very prolific have to-day become
          "commons," covered with edge grass and sassafras bushes. And it
          is talked about by the landowners, and commented upon by the
          people generally; and they believe that something is wrong, but
          what it is or where it is, they do not know.
          Monopolies and corporations have also a tight grip upon the
          people. Where there are iron works, where there are railroads,
          where there are factories, they are owned by a few men, and these
          few men hold such power, that the people cannot make any move and
          succeed in it, that would be opposed to the interest of the
          monopolists. And to-day, it is one of the strongest points of
          opposition that we have to meet in that mission in preaching the
          Gospel. Laboring men say, If I take you to my house and receive
          you as my guest, these men who own this property will turn me
          out; these men who employ me in their factory will drive me away,
          my family will suffer, as I have nothing laid up. Under the
          circumstances, they have not the faith sufficient to meet the
          issue, and consequently our labors are not crowned with that
          success, as they evidently would be if the people enjoyed their
          liberty. But even under these circumstances, many do receive us
          and proclaim openly their faith.
          In addition to this, all experience that opposition which is as
          old, doubtless, as the preaching of the truth; and this comes
          from the clergy. And here let me say, that the opposition we meet
          with from that quarter, to a great extent, has its foundation in
          Salt Lake City. There walk the streets of our city men who
          produce and feed the flame of prejudice that exists to-day in the
          United States; men who profess to be the friends of their
          fellow-men; men who come here with a smile on their faces
          pretending to do us good, pretended followers of the meek and
          lowly Savior. These are the characters that send these infamous
          lies abroad in regard to the Latter-day Saints. They are
          prejudicing the mind of the people of the United States against
          our missionaries and against the truth. When I have visited the
          cities where these men came from who have come to Utah as
          reformers, I have been deeply impressed, and deeply moved at the
          condition of their society contrasted with that of this people.
               Some time last summer I had business in Louisville,
          Kentucky, connected with our emigration, and was detained there
          two or three days, having nothing particular to do but to walk
          around the city and see what was to be seen of interest. And in
          walking the streets of that city I thought that in all my travels
          I had never before seen such evidences of wickedness, corruption
          and degradation. There are portions of that city that seem to
          have become corrupted to such an extent, that Sodom and Gomorrah
          would have blushed at the mention thereof. Men and women could be
          seen in the most beastly state of drunkenness, and little
          children, bearing the marks of the lowest degradation--waifs of
          society, growing up as hoodlums, with no sense of the difference
          between right and wrong excepting that which nature itself has
          planted there, to furnish future material for the gallows. I
          thought in contemplating the scene that presented itself in the
          streets of the city of Louisville, ay, even at noon-day, to say
          nothing of that which the recording angels are obliged to look
          upon in the darkness of the night--I thought of the reformers who
          come to Utah fresh from such haunts of vice and corruption, and
          then I thought of you, my brethren and sisters; and you can
          better imagine my feelings than I can describe them.
          I went to one of their hospitals and sought an introduction to
          one of the physicians; on learning who I was he expressed himself
          pleased to meet me, and proffered his own services to accompany
          me over the building, which I gladly accepted. On passing through
          the different wards I saw sights that I trust my eyes shall never
          be called to look upon again. He opened his book in which was
          recorded the names of the patients who had been admitted during
          the past twelve months, and I had the curiosity to ask him to
          tell me the nature and character of the disease of these people.
          He informed me that three-fourths of all cases were, what is
          termed venereal disease. This is not hearsay; these are facts
          that exist of which the records testify. And from the windows of
          this hospital, this living monument of the morals of Louisville,
          Kentucky, was pointed out to me the residence of one of these
          "reformers" of the Latter-day Saints. And in conversation with
          one of these "reformers" who had been here, whose acquaintance I
          had formed when he was here--he recognizing me while traveling in
          a railway car, and came and shook hands with me, and sat down
          alongside of me--he asked me "how our friends were getting along
          in Utah." "Whom do you mean," said I, "by our friends?" I mean
          the ministers who have gone there," he replied. They are, I
          think, getting along in their way pretty well. What have they
          done? They have established whiskey shops! they have imported
          houses of prostitution, and they have brought hoodlums into our
          midst, and they thrive under their spiritual care. They have
          caused sorrow on the hearts of fathers and mothers, by ruining
          the prospects of sons and daughters whom they have led astray
          from the paths of honor and credit. Now is not that glorious work
          to be engaged in! Do you not congratulate yourselves in having
          been connected with men whose object and labor has been to turn
          men and women from the truth, from bearing the fruits of morality
          and righteousness, and failing in that to join hand in hand,
          heart and soul, with those whose mission is to introduce into our
          midst the seeds of ruin and decay, to deprive and demoralize your
          fellow-men. Certainly it is a noble calling to be engaged in.
          Think of it! Latter-day Saints. Here are men engaged in the work
          of trying to lead our sons and daughters astray, and they are
          bold enough to publish boastfully to the world that they would
          rather see our young people frequent dens of iniquity, saloons,
          gambling houses and houses of prostitution, than that they should
          adhere to the "Mormon" faith. Strange as it may seem, with all
          the enlightenment of this the Nineteenth Century, with our
          glorious constitution, and our declaration of the rights of man,
          and the boasted civilization of to-day, officials of the
          government of the United States will back men up in this damnable
          work. It may be that an Elder abroad devoting his time and
          ability to the conversion of souls would feel this more keenly
          than those who are in the midst of it every day.
          These are some of my meditations as an Elder in the missionary
          Our brethren and sisters who have emigrated to the State of
          Colorado, are succeeding fairly well; they have their fields
          fenced in, and they harvested a pretty fair crop this year. The
          Railroad Companies have been kindly disposed to them, offering
          them assistance in various ways, by way chiefly of affording them
          employment at remunerative wages, and seeking after them, in fact
          to do their work in preference to others. They have their
          organizations--the Seventies, Elders, Priests, Teachers and
          Deacons' Quorums; they have their young people's Mutual
          Improvement Societies organized; and I had the pleasure of
          attending one of their meetings in the meetinghouse which the
          people built two and a half years ago. I remember attending one
          of the first meetings that was held in that house, and there were
          present not more than 27 all told, and said to them that in the
          course of four or five years this same house will not hold the
          people; and to-day it is entirely too small, in fact it would not
          comfortably seat the young people of Manassa. The first location
          was made there in the spring of 1878. Since then some two or
          three settlements have been organized besides; our brethren in
          that quarter are spreading out and wresting from the barren
          wastes comparatively comfortable homes. Their associations with
          the Mexicans are cordial. While they have been kindly disposed
          towards our people, our brethren have acted honorably towards
          them, and hence mutual good feelings exist between them. I also
          spent a few days with our brethren who are locating Sunset,
          Brigham City and St. Joseph. They have had rather a bad year, as
          to crops, on account of high waters, the Little Colorado flooding
          the valleys, and destroying to a great extent their crops. But
          the building of the railroad in their borders has, through
          Brother John W. Young, the contractor, furnished them with labor,
          and it will continue, I understand, for some 12 or 18 months yet,
          so they will not suffer so much as they otherwise would, in
          consequence of the loss of their crops.
          As Elders traveling without purse or scrip, proclaiming the
          principles of eternal truth, we need the faith and prayers of the
          Saints in our behalf, for the devil, it would seem is even more
          determined now than ever to put it into the hearts of wicked and
          bigoted men to oppose and, if possible, hinder us in the
          performance of our duty. And one item that comes to my mind I
          will mention. I have noticed when abroad that if anything in the
          world would cheer and encourage an Elder when far from home, it
          is to receive word from his family that they were cared for, and
          did not want for the necessaries of life. And there is nothing
          that will weaken an Elder so effectually and so discourage him in
          his labor as to receive word from those whom he holds near and
          dear, to the effect that they are in need of the necessaries of
          life, that they are unpleasantly situated, that the house they
          live in does not afford them sufficient protection from the
          inclemencies of the weather. In one or two instances Elders have
          come to me to relieve their minds of such a burden, and, as I
          say, there is nothing that I have witnessed that so effectually
          unfits a man for missionary labor as the receipt of such
          intelligence. Therefore, in behalf of those who have left their
          all to proclaim to their fellow-men the principles of eternal
          truth, let me solicit the good offices of their friends at home,
          in behalf of such families who may not be so well prepared to
          live during the absence of husband and father. Any little
          attention shown them under such circumstances not only does good
          to the family, but is appreciated by him whom duty has called
          elsewhere; and often, under trying circumstances, the knowledge
          of such kindnesses, cheers and encourages him, and makes
          comparatively easy labors that would otherwise be hard to bear.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / John
          Taylor, April 9th, 1882
                            John Taylor, April 9th, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                        Delivered at the General Conference,
                        on Sunday Afternoon, April 9th, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          In attempting to address the congregation this afternoon, I trust
          that all will be as quiet as possible. It is extremely difficult
          to make the congregation hear in this place, especially in so
          large an assembly, when there is the least confusion. While I
          address you, I wish to speak such words as shall be interesting,
          edifying and instructive, and I desire an interest in the prayers
          of the faithful, that I may be able to do so intelligently, that
          we may be the better for our coming together.
          I am aware of the position that we occupy to-day. I feel that I
          am surrounded by a large number of intelligent men and women, and
          while I am addressing you, I am also addressing the world, for
          the remarks I make will be reported and published to the world.
          Therefore, I am desirous to advance such sentiments as will be in
          accord with the enlightenment of the Latter-day Saints, with the
          intelligence of the 19th century, and with the principles that
          have emanated from God.
          Any intelligence which we may possess and which we may be able to
          impart, is not of ourselves, but of God. It did not originate
          with us; it did not originate with Joseph Smith, with Brigham
          Young, with the Twelve Apostles, nor was it received from any
          institution of learning, nor of science, either religious,
          political, or social. Our philosophy is not the philosophy of the
          world; but of the earth and the heavens, of time and eternity,
          and proceeds from God.
          A message was announced to us by Joseph Smith the Prophet, as a
          revelation from God, wherein he stated that holy angels had
          appeared to him and revealed the everlasting Gospel as it existed
          in former ages; and that God the Father and God the Son had also
          appeared to him: the Father pointing to the Son, said, "This is
          my beloved Son, hear ye him." Moroni, a prophet that had lived on
          this continent, revealed unto Joseph the plates containing the
          Book of Mormon, and by the gift and power of God he was enabled
          to translate them into what is known as the Book of Mormon. That
          book contains a record of the ancient inhabitants who dwelt upon
          this continent, a part of whom came from the tower of Babel at
          the time of the confounding of tongues, and another part came
          from Jerusalem in the time of Zedekiah, king of Judah, 600 years
          before the advent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This book
          contains a record of the dealings of God with those people; it
          contains a record of their worship, of their wars and commotions,
          of their righteousness and iniquity, and of the coming of the
          Lord Jesus Christ unto them, and of His preaching unto them the
          same Gospel that was taught on the continent of Asia, attended by
          the same ordinances, the same organization and the same
          I shall not attempt to bring any proof with regard to these
          matters to-day; I am simply making statements, the truth of which
          you Latter-day Saints know, as it would be impossible to enter
          into all the details in a short discourse. Suffice it to say,
          that the Father having presented His Son to Joseph Smith, and
          commanded him to hear Him, Joseph was obedient to the heavenly
          call, and listened to the various communications made by men
          holding the Holy Priesthood in the various ages under the
          direction of the Only Begotten. He and Oliver Cowdery were
          commanded to baptize each other, which they did. John the Baptist
          came and conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood. Then Peter,
          James and John, upon whom was conferred, in the Savior's day, the
          keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood came, and conferred that
          Priesthood upon them. Then Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah,
          Elias, and many other leading characters mentioned in the
          Scriptures, who had operated in the various dispensations, came
          and conferred upon Joseph the various keys, powers, rights,
          privileges and immunities which they enjoyed in their times.
          Again, Joseph was commanded to preach this Gospel and to bear
          this testimony to the world. He was taught the same principles
          that were taught to Adam, the same principles that were taught to
          Noah, to Enoch, to Abraham, to Moses, to Elijah and other
          Prophets, the same principles that were taught by Jesus Christ
          and the Apostles in former times on the continent of Asia,
          accompanied with the same Priesthood and the same organization,
          only more fully, because the present dispensation is a
          combination of the various dispensations that have existed in the
          different ages of the world, and which is designated in the
          Scriptures as the dispensation of the fulness of times, in which
          God would gather together all things in one, whether they be
          things in heaven or things on earth. Therefore, whatever of
          knowledge, of intelligence, of priesthood, of powers, of
          revelations was conferred upon those men in the different ages,
          was again restored to the earth by the ministration and through
          the medium of those who held the holy Priesthood of God in the
          different dispensations in which they lived.
          Under the direction of the Almighty, Joseph organized a church;
          and when people were called upon to believe on the Lord Jesus
          Christ, to repent of their sins, to be baptized in the name of
          Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and to have hands laid
          upon them for the reception of the Holy Ghost, those who did
          believe and obey received the attendant blessings. Then the
          various offices of the Priesthood began to be conferred upon men
          who believed, and in due time the quorum of the Twelve was
          organized, whose commission was to proclaim this Gospel to every
          people, to every nation, to every kindred, to every tongue. Then
          a quorum of seventy Elders was selected, known by the name of
          Seventies; and we now have some 76 times 70 of those Elders.
          A First Presidency was also organized to preside over the whole
          Church in all the world. Then there were High Priests ordained
          whose office was principally to preside as well as to preach the
          Gospel. Then there were Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons;
          and this organization was given by direct revelation, by which
          the Church has been governed from that time until the present.
          Bishops were also appointed whose position in the Church was
          clearly defined by the word of the Lord. Then High Councils were
          organized for the adjustment of all matters of difficulty, for
          the correction of incorrect doctrine, for the maintenance of
          purity and correct principles among the Saints, and for the
          adjudication of all general matters pertaining to Israel. This
          was the testimony and this is our testimony to-day to the nations
          of the earth. The Lord stood at the head as instructor, guide and
          director; and the Elders were told to go forth and to preach the
          Gospel to every creature, because confusion, disorder,
          sectarianism and the theories of men had been substituted for the
          word and will, and the revelation, law and power of God. These
          Elders were told that we approached the latter times, when God
          would have a controversy with the nations, and the message which
          they had to proclaim was that which was described by John when
          wrapped in prophetic vision upon the Isle of Patmos. Among other
          great and important events he said, "I saw another angel fly in
          the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto
          them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred,
          and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and
          give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come." This
          was the commission given by the Lord to the Latter-day Saints.
          This is the mission we have been trying to carry out from that
          time to the present; and I myself have traveled tens of thousands
          of miles without purse or scrip, trusting in God, to teach these
          holy principles, and so have many of my brethren by whom I am
          When we started we were told that we were not sent to be taught,
          but to teach. Why? Because the world was not in possession of the
          principles of life, and therefore could not teach them. We went
          in obedience to the direct command of God to us through his
          servant Joseph, and we have spread forth the Gospel among the
          nations. And is there anything unreasonable about it? No. Is it
          true? Yes. Is it scriptural? Yes. Is it philosophical? Yes. And I
          say to-day, not by way of boasting, because we have nothing to
          boast of (I have no intelligence but what I am indebted to God,
          my heavenly Father and my brethren for,) that while I have
          traveled through various parts of the United States and the
          Canadas, also in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France,
          Germany, and different parts of the earth, among the wise and
          intelligent as well as the poor and ignorant, among all classes
          of men--I have stood in their halls and talked with their
          professors, ministers, legislators, rulers, divines, judges and
          wise men of every class, grade and position in life--but I have
          never met with a man who could gainsay one principle of the
          Gospel of the Son of God, and I never expect to; because truth,
          eternal truth, as it emanates from God, cannot be controverted.
          And what is the nature of the Gospel? It is the same as that
          taught on the day of Pentecost by the Apostles, when they cried
          out to the multitude, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in
          the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall
          receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." That was the testimony which
          they bore to the people. That is the testimony which the Elders
          of this Church bear. There is something about this that is
          reasonable, that is intelligent, and that is susceptible of
          proof. It was a very fair proposition for the Apostle to make,
          promising the people who would obey the requirements which the
          Gospel imposes upon its adherents, that they should receive the
          Holy Ghost. And what should this do for them? It was to cause
          their old men to dream dreams and their young men to see visions,
          it was to make their sons and daughters prophecy, it was to bring
          things past to their remembrance, to lead them into all truth,
          and to show them things to come. This proposition was not alone
          of a religious nature, but it was also strictly philosophical.
          The farmer sows oats or wheat, or plants corn, and what does he
          expect? He expects oats, wheat or corn, as the case may be, and
          nothing else. There are laws and principles in nature, in the
          vegetable, the animal and the mineral kingdoms, as well as in all
          the works of God, that are true in themselves and they are
          eternal. There are such metals as gold, silver, copper or iron,
          each possessing certain distinctive elements which they always
          did possess; and the different bodies in their chemical relations
          possess principles that are always true to unchangeable laws. It
          is so also in regard to all the elements by which we are
          surrounded, and also in regard to the heavenly bodies. Because of
          these unchanging laws, we know precisely when the sun will rise
          and when it will set. We know when certain planets or comets will
          appear and disappear. All their movements are undeviating, exact
          and true according to the laws of nature.
          Now here is a principle of the Gospel that will admit of as
          strong evidence as anything in nature. What is it? "Repent, and
          be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the
          remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy
          Ghost." Or in other words, sow wheat and you reap wheat; plant
          corn and you gather corn. It was a bold position to take. I
          remember that on these points I questioned the Elder who brought
          the Gospel to me. I asked, What do you mean by this Holy Ghost?
          Will it cause your old men to dream dreams and your young men to
          see visions; will it bring to pass the scripture which saith: And
          on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those
          days of my Spirit, and they shall prophecy? Yes. Will it give you
          the permeating influence of the Spirit of the living God, and
          give you a certain knowledge of the principles that you believe
          "Yes," he answered, "and if it will not, then I am an impostor."
          Said I, That is a very fair proposition. Finding the doctrine to
          be correct, I obeyed, and I received that Spirit through
          obedience to the Gospel which gave me a knowledge of those
          principles which I simply believed before, because they were
          scriptural, reasonable and intelligent, according to that
          scripture which saith, "If any man will do His will, he shall
          know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of
          I was ordained an Elder by the proper authorities, and I went
          forth to preach this Gospel. Other Elders went forth as I did to
          the civilized nations, preaching the same doctrine and holding
          out the same promises. Some of them were not very learned; some
          were not very profoundly educated. We send a singular class of
          people in our Elders. Sometimes a missionary is a merchant,
          sometimes a legislator, a blacksmith, an adobe maker, a
          plasterer, a farmer, or common laborer, as the case may be. But
          all under the same influence and spirit, all going forth as
          missionaries to preach the Gospel of light, of life and of
          salvation. They have received the treasures of eternal life, and
          they are enabled to communicate them to others; and they hold out
          the same promises. You who hear me this afternoon, as well as
          thousands upon thousands of others, have listened to those
          principles, you have had held out unto you those promises; and
          when you obeyed the Gospel, you received this same spirit; and
          you are my witnesses of the truth of the things that I now
          proclaim in your hearing, and of the Spirit and power of God
          attending the obedience to the Gospel, and you will not deny it.
          This congregation will not deny it. When you yielded obedience to
          the laws of God, obeyed His commandments, were baptized for the
          remission of your sins and had hands laid upon you for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost, you did receive it; and you are
          living witnesses before God. This is a secret that the world does
          not comprehend. Its people have not obeyed it and they do not
          know it; and the things of God, say the scriptures, no man
          knoweth but by the Spirit of God; and this Spirit has imparted to
          us that intelligence and that knowledge. This people have in
          their possession a hope that enters within the vail, whither
          Christ, our forerunner, has gone. They are living and acting and
          operating for eternity. God is their Father, and they know it.
          Some people think we are a set of ignorant boobies, who do not
          know what we are talking about, and they try to overrun the faith
          of the Latter-day Saints by sophistry, falsehood and folly.
          Whilst the fact is, we are in possession of the principles of
          eternal life, and are operating for eternity; and then we are
          operating to build up the Zion of God, where righteousness can be
          taught, and where men can be protected, and where liberty can be
          proclaimed to all men of every color, of every creed and of every
          Being placed in communication with God, the sophistry, nonsense
          and dogmas of men have no influence upon us. We are built upon
          the rock of revelation, as Peter was, and on the same principle.
          Said Jesus to him, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
          The answer was: "Some say thou art one of the Prophets; some say
          thou art the Elias who was to come," etc. "But whom say you that
          I am?" Peter answered and said: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of
          the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona,
          for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee, but my
          Father which is in heaven; and I say also unto thee, that thou
          art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church, and the
          gates of hell shall not prevail against it." What rock? The rock
          of revelation--upon the intelligence communicated by the Holy
          Ghost to those who obey the Gospel of the Son of God; by this,
          men shall know for themselves, and stand as the rock of ages,
          invulnerable, immovable and unchangeable. That is the position
          which we the Latter-day Saints occupy.
          This, then, is the religious part of the question. What do we
          believe in? We believe in purity, in virtue, in honesty, in
          integrity, in truthfulness and in not giving way to falsehood; we
          believe in treating all men justly, uprightly and honorably; we
          believe in fearing God, observing His laws and keeping His
          commandments. Do we all do it? No, not quite. I wish we did. But
          a great majority of the Latter-day Saints are doing this; and if
          there are those that are not, let them look well to their path,
          for God will be after them, and their brethren will be after
          them, for God cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance.
          And as we are here for the purpose of building up Zion, He
          expects that we will be upright and honorable in all our dealings
          with one another and with all men.
          One part of the Gospel is that we should be gathered together to
          a land that should be called Zion. Have we been doing this? Yes.
          Some people are very much opposed to it. Have we injured anybody
          by gathering in this way? Is this indeed the land of the free,
          the home of the brave, and the asylum for the oppressed? Cannot
          the people of this nation afford to listen to the principles of
          truth, and allow men who are fearing God to assemble together to
          worship Him according to the dictates of their own consciences?
          Have we violated any law of the United States in thus gathering
          together and in thus worshiping our God? Not that I know of. Have
          we been opposed to the United States? No! no! no! we never have,
          and we are at the defiance of all men to prove anything of the
          kind. There are falsehoods set afoot by low, degraded,
          unprincipled men. We believe that the Constitution of the United
          States was given by inspiration of God. And why? Because it is
          one of those instruments which proclaims liberty throughout the
          land, and to all the inhabitants thereof. And it was because of
          those noble sentiments, and the promulgation of those principles
          which were given by God to man, we believe that it was given by
          the inspiration of the Almighty. We have always esteemed it in
          this light, and it was so declared by Joseph Smith. Did we do any
          wrong in coming here in the way we did? I think not. Did we
          transgress any of the laws of the United States? I think not. Did
          we transgress any of the laws of the nations we left? I think
          not. We gathered together simply because we were told there was a
          Zion to be built up. And what was that Zion? The term means the
          pure in heart. In connection with our gathering, I would remark,
          that a short time ago, at one of our public celebrations, there
          were twenty-seven nationalities represented. This is in
          accordance with the scripture which says: I will take them one of
          a city and two of a family, and bring them to Zion. And I will
          give them pastors after mine own heart, that shall feed them with
          knowledge and understanding. This is what we find in the
          Christian Bible, and there is certainly no harm in believing the
          Bible. The Christians send their Bible missionaries among us to
          circulate it, and we are always glad to receive the Bible and be
          governed by it.
          Now, then, being gathered together, we necessarily required some
          kind of social relations with each other, for when we came here
          we brought our bodies with us as well as our religion, and we
          brought our wives and families with us as well as our religion;
          and we needed to cultivate the earth and build houses, and plant
          orchards, and vineyards, and gardens, and attend to the common
          affairs of life. And then as we began to increase we began to
          open and build farms, hamlets, villages and cities. Is there
          anything wrong in this? No. Finally, when we came here we
          petitioned for a State government, the people held a convention
          and a constitution was framed, and forwarded to Washington.
          Congress refused our application for a State, but they gave us a
          Territorial form of government and named the Territory Utah; and
          strange to say, how men and nations change, they are trying to
          interfere with us because of our polygamy, and at that time the
          government appointed a polygamous governor, Brigham Young. People
          change in their sentiments and views; I suppose they call it
          progress. Apostle Orson Pratt, whom you all knew, as soon as that
          revelation was made public, went down to the city of Washington,
          and there published the doctrine of plural marriage and also
          lectured upon it. The paper he published was called The Seer,
          which many of you brethren remember very well. They were not in
          ignorance in relation to these matters. It was then well
          understood by the nation that these were our sentiments, and that
          President Young was a polygamist.
          But passing on. Sometime after that, we had some United States
          officials sent out here, who were not polygamists, but one of
          them went so far as to show us what beautiful civilization they
          had where he came from, and he left his wife at home and brought
          with him a strumpet and took her on to the bench with him, to let
          the people see how intelligent and enlightened the people were in
          the United States. However, fortunately for him, there was no
          Edmunds bill then. Still, we were not much edified. It might be
          according to some people's system of ethics; it may be considered
          beautiful or aesthetic by the admirers of this fast and
          progressive civilization; but we could not appreciate it, and the
          consequence was, that the people felt indignant, they looked upon
          him as a profligate, and that he had defiled and disgraced the
          ermine. These were the sentiments of the people then, and they
          are yours to-day, for you have never been taught anything else.
          He and some others went back to Washington, and reported that the
          "Mormons" were in a state of rebellion; that they were a very
          wicked people, very corrupt and very depraved, almost as bad as
          some of our truth-telling ministers make us out to be, for some
          of them are not very notorious for telling the truth, nobody
          believes them here; but then they have reverend put before their
          names and that, of course, covers--what is it? a multitude of
          sins. And therefore, the mendacious stories that they tell and
          circulate are received as actual truth by thousands of blind,
          ignorant, bigoted people, who, doubtless, are far more sincere
          and far more honest and pure in their lives than these specimens
          of fallen humanity who, in the garb of sanctity, manufacture
          falsehoods and prepare them specially for the vitiated taste of
          the age.
          But to return; judges and other officials were sent here, and
          suffice it to say, we did not like their civilization; and, then,
          they were not much enamored with ours, because whatever we may be
          in the estimation of the world generally, we are utterly averse
          to anything like licentiousness and debauchery; and, if there is
          any among us, we are indebted to our Christian friends for it,
          and to our Christian judges for maintaining and protecting it in
          our midst. We have no affiliation with such things; they cannot
          exist among us as a people, only by the force, the power and
          influence of this federal Christianity that has been introduced
          among us. Until these people came into our midst we had no house
          of ill-fame; and a lady could travel as safely in our streets at
          any time of night as in the day; we had no occasion to lock our
          doors to prevent thieves from preying upon us; we had no
          drunkenness, ribaldry or blasphemy in our streets; all these
          things have been introduced among us by our good, kind, pure,
          pious Christian friends, and in scores of our remote settlements
          where this civilization has not penetrated, they are free from
          these vices to-day.
          Now we will go back to the statement of these men. They were
          believed in Washington. What did they state? Among other things
          they said that we had burned the United States library, and the
          court records, and that a dreadful state of anarchy was in
          existence; and instead of the United States sending out a
          commission to enquire into these matters they took the statement
          of a Lothario and his associates, and sent out an army to destroy
          us. And these troops were reduced to gnawing mules' legs about
          the vicinity of Bridger, refusing salt when we sent it to
          them--for we would have done them good, notwithstanding they came
          as our enemies. I remember writing a letter to one of the
          officers who had a letter of introduction to me, and forwarded it
          by a messenger; I told him that I was very sorry, that as a
          United States' officer, as an honorable man, he should be placed
          in the situation he was then in; because he could not help it, as
          an officer, any more than we could, as he was operating as a
          servant of the government under military rule and had, therefore,
          to obey orders. And that while we esteemed him and other officers
          as patriots and highminded, honorable men, who had exhibited
          their patriotism and bravery in Mexico and other places, and
          while we heard of their excellent military equipments, we did not
          like the idea of their trying the temper of their steel upon us.
          I told him that republics which reflected the voice of the people
          were in many instances excitable and erratic, and that I looked
          for a reaction in public opinion, and that when that change came
          I expected the difficulties that the government had placed us in
          would be done away, and that then I would be glad to extend to
          him that courtesy in our city that one gentleman should extend to
          another, and would then be happy to see him. But we could not
          meet then of course; they could not come to us, and we could not
          very well go out to them.
          So that the Latter-day Saints may know the truth or falsity of
          the allegations made by Judge Drummond, I will have the official
          statement of Governor Cumming, who came out with the army, read
          to this congregation.
          It would be unfair and disingenuous to blame one administration
          for the acts of another, yet when we see a disposition to listen
          to the same kind of popular clamor that then existed, we cannot
          but notice a great similarity of circumstances.
          [Elder L. John Nuttall then read the following extracts from the
          official statement of Governor Cumming, which was dated Great
          Salt Lake City, April 15th, 1858:]
          "Since my arrival I have been employed in examining the records
          of the Supreme and District Courts, which I am now prepared to
          report as being perfect and unimpaired. This will, doubtless, be
          acceptable information to those who have entertained an
          impression to the contrary.
          I have also examined the Legislative Records and other books
          belonging to the office of Secretary of State, which are in
          perfect preservation.
                               *         *                         *                                                                  *         *                                                        
          The condition of the large and valuable Territorial Library has
          also commanded my attention: and I am pleased in being able to
          report that Mr. W. C. Staines, the librarian, has kept the books
          and records in most excellent condition. I will, at an early day,
          transmit a catalogue of this library, and schedules of the other
          public property, with certified copies of the records of the
          Supreme and District Courts, exhibiting the character and amount
          of the public business last transacted in them."
          Thus it appears that the allegations made by our enemies were
          false, and the army was sent out under false representations, and
          their own Governor furnishes the evidence for their own
          refutation. Yet we were subjected to the indignity and outrage of
          having an army sent among us, predicated upon these false
          From the above and other similar actions manifested towards us as
          a people we have learned in the sad school of experience, and by
          the things that we have suffered, the excitability of the
          populace, and the unreasonable, savage and relentless feelings
          that frequently possess the people in their antagonism towards
          us, to be very careful, in all our acts among men, not to excite
          that feeling of hate which seems to be implanted in the human
          bosom against the principles taught by the servants of the Lord
          in all ages of the world.
          Our mission is and always has been peace on earth and goodwill to
          man, to all men. We have in our midst Baptists, Methodists,
          Presbyterians, Roman Catholics and all kinds of "ites." Does
          anybody interfere with them? Not that I know of. Yet there was a
          man, a professed minister in Sanpete County--[addressing
          President Canute Peterson of Sanpete Stake] Brother Peterson, did
          you not have a man in your Stake who got up a sensation by
          publishing far and wide that he had to preach the Gospel in
          Sanpete with a revolver on his desk, to prevent the "Mormons"
          from interfering with him--was not that the purport of his
          statement? [President Peterson: Yes, sir.] Do you know the man?
          [Ans.: Yes, sir.] Is he there yet? [Ans.: No, sir.] [Laughter.]
          Others have stated lately that we were in a state of sedition,
          and that in our different counties there were armed bodies of men
          prepared to fight the United States. The person that made and
          published this last statement was, as I understand, also a
          minister, one of these reverend gentlemen. Do any of you know his
          name? [A voice: Sheldon Jackson.] I am told it was one Sheldon
          Jackson; a reverend gentleman with a big R, a pious man, of
          course, and therefore what he says must be true. [Laughter.] We
          have a set of people that seem to be prowling about; I suppose,
          however, they are as necessary as anything else; I do not know
          but what they are. We have a species of birds called buzzards,
          whose natural tastes are for any kind of nauseous food; nothing
          suits them better than to gorge on carrion. Like them, these
          defamers are fond of trying to root up something against our
          people here. They themselves fabricate all kinds of notions and
          opinions, similar to the above that I have mentioned, that
          everybody here knows to be false, and they circulate them, and
          they have fanned the United States almost into a furore. People
          generally are ignorant of what these men and women are engaged
          in. They think these persons are honorable men and women; and
          they get up a lot of stories about some poor woman or some poor
          girl who has been crowded upon by her husband, and that in this
          state of polygamy there is the most abject misery, and the
          greatest distress that can be found anywhere. Are they true? Some
          individual cases may be true. Some of our men do not treat their
          wives right, and then some wives do not treat their husbands
          right. We do not all do right by a great deal. I wish we all did
          right. But supposing we were to go down to the places where these
          people hail from, to the slums of Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati,
          Philadelphia, New York, and other cities, beginning, say, in New
          York, with the gilded palaces of 4th and 5th Avenues, and trace
          the thing down to Five Points, and then go through other cities
          in the same way, and what would we find there? Do you not think
          one could get up something as dirty and filthy as the most
          foul-minded person can get up about us? A thousand times more so.
          They say we are an ignorant people. We admit that we are not so
          very intelligent, and we never boast of our learning or
          intelligence; but then, they should not boast of theirs either.
          However, we can compare favorably with them any day; and while
          they have had millions of the public funds to sustain their
          educational establishments, we have been despoiled, plundered and
          robbed over and over again, yet we are prepared to compare notes
          with them on education, and also on virtue, honesty and morals,
          any way they can fix it. And I would be ready to say, as one said
          of old, Thou fool, first take the beam out of thine own eye, that
          thou mayest see the more clearly to take the mote out of thy
          brother's eye.
          We will have read some figures for the information of the
          brethren who come from a distance, who may not be acquainted with
          these matters.
          [President Taylor then called upon his secretary, Elder L. John
          Nuttall, to read some extracts from a work published by an
          ex-United States official in New York City, which were as
          Before citing from the still incomplete census reports of 1880,
          let us take that of 1870 and compare Utah and Massachusetts, the
          new theocracy with the descendants of an old
          theocracy--priest-ridden Utah with "cultured" Massachusetts, also
          adding the District of Columbia, which has the enlightening
          presence of the American Congress to add to its advantages, and
          is under its direct government.
          Comparative Statistics from Census of United States 1870.
          School   Illiteracy.  Paupers. Insane Convicts. Printing  Church
          Attendance. (can't read     and      and    Edifices.
               or write,      Idiotic.     Publishing
               10 years             establish-
               and upwards.)           ments.
          Utah                 35   1                     1                                  6                                   5    3    14                                                           1                                                        9
          District of
          "From statistics contained in the Report of the Commissioners of
          Education for 1877, it is shown that in the percentage of
          enrolment of her School population, Utah is in advance of the
          general average of the United States, while in the percentage in
          actual daily attendance at school, she still further exceeds the
          average of the whole Union.
          In 1877, when the school population of Utah numbered 30,792,
          there was invested in the Territory in school property the
          creditable sum of $568,984, being about eighteen and one-half
          dollars per capita of the school population.
          In contrast with this, take the amount per capita of their school
          population, which some of the States have invested in school
          property: North Carolina, less than $0 60; Louisiana, $3 00;
          Virginia, about $2 00; Oregon, less than $9 00; Wisconsin, less
          than $11 00; Tennessee, less than $2 50; Delaware, less than $13
          In respect to the amount, per capita, of her school population,
          which Utah has invested in school property, she exceeds several
          other Southern and Western States, is in advance of the great
          States of Indiana and Illinois, and I believe in advance of the
          general average of the entire Union.
          Thus, in the matter of education, Utah stands ahead of many old
          and wealthy States, and of the general average of the United
          States in three very important respects, namely, the enrolment of
          her school population, the percentage of their daily attendance
          at school, and the amount per capita invested in school property.
          From the census of 1880 I have compiled the following:
          COMPARISON OF ILLITERACY.--The United States & Utah Territory:
                                    4                     ,851
                                    3                     .37
                                    8                     ,826
          Total white population over 10 years of age who
          Percentage of white population who cannot write,
          Of all the States and Territories in the Union there are but
          thirteen showing a lower percentage of total population who
          cannot read, Connecticut having the same 3.37. The rest range all
          the way up 32.32. per centage of total population in South
          We will now produce some evidence with regard to crime, etc.,
          drawn from official sources:
          The population of Utah by the census of 1880 is about 144,000,
          divided as follows:
          Mormons                                         120,283
          Gentiles                                            14,155
          Apostate Mormons         6                                    ,988
          Josephites                                               8                                    20
          Doubtful                                      1                               ,717
          Total                                                1                                    43,963
          "It will be seen that the "Gentiles" constitute only ten percent
          of the population, yet from this small minority are taken the
          incumbents of nearly every position of influence and emolument.
          They have the Governor, with absolute veto power, Secretary,
          Judges, Marshals, Prosecuting Attorneys, Land Register, Recorder,
          Surveyor-General, Clerks of the Courts, Commissioners, principal
          Post-office Mail Contractors, Postal Agents, Revenue Assessors
          and Collectors, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Indian
          Agencies, Indian Supplies, Army Contractors, express, railroad
          and telegraph lines, the associated press agency, half the jurors
          in law, but at least three-fourths and always the foreman in
          practice, in fact, every position not elective.
          Last winter there was a census taken of the Utah penitentiary and
          the Salt Lake City and County prisons, with the following result:
          In Salt Lake City there are about seventy-five Mormons to
          twenty-five non-Mormons. In Salt Lake County there are about
          eighty Mormons to twenty non-Mormons. In the city prison there
          were twenty-nine convicts, all non-Mormons; in the county prison
          there were six convicts, all non-Mormons. The jailor stated that
          the county convicts for the five years past were all anti-Mormons
          except three.
          In Utah we have seen that by the United States Census the
          proportion of orthodox Mormons to all others is as eighty-three
          to seventeen. In the Utah penitentiary there were fifty-one
          prisoners, only five of whom were Mormons, and two of the five
          were in prison for imitating Father Abraham in their domestic
          menage, so that the seventeen per cent "outsiders" had forty-six
          convicts in the penitentiary, while the eighty-three per cent
          Mormons had but five! The total number of Utah lockups, including
          the penitentiary, is fourteen; these aggregated one hundred and
          twenty-five inmates. Of these one hundred and twenty-five, not
          over eleven were Mormons, several of whom were incarcerated for
          minor offences and polygamy; while if all the anti-Mormon
          thieves, adulterers, blacklegs, perjurers, murderers and other
          criminals who are at large, were sent to prison, the Mormons
          claim that their prisons could not hold them.
          In 1878 a Mormon publication made the following boastful
          Out of the twenty counties of the Territory, most of which are
          populous, thirteen are, to-day, without a dram-shop, brewery,
          gambling or brothel-house, bowling or billiard-saloon, lawyer,
          doctor, parson, beggar, politician or place-hunter, and almost
          entirely free from social troubles of every kind; yet these
          counties are exclusively 'Mormon;' and with the exception of a
          now and then domestic doctor or lawyer, the entire Territory was
          free from these adjuncts of civilization (?) till after the
          advent of the professing Christian element, boastingly here to
          'regenerate the Mormons,' and to-day every single disreputable
          concern in Utah is run and fostered by the very same Christian
          (?) element. Oaths, imprecations, blasphemies, invectives,
          expletives, blackguardism, the ordinary dialect of the
          "anti-Mormon," were not heard in Utah till after his advent, nor
          till then, did we have litigation, drunkenness, harlotry,
          political and judicial deviltries, gambling and kindred
          This is what the Mormons assert. Let us see how the case stands
          to-day, and what the facts attest.
          Out of the two hundred saloon, billiard, bowling alley and pool
          table keepers, not over a dozen even profess to be Mormons. All
          of the bagnios and other disreputable concerns in the Territory
          are run and sustained by anti-Mormons. Ninety-eight per cent of
          the gamblers of Utah are of the same element. Ninety-five per
          cent of the Utah lawyers are Gentiles, and eighty per cent of all
          the litigation there is of outside growth and promotion.
          Of the two hundred and fifty towns and villages in Utah, over two
          hundred have no "gaudy sepulchre of departed virtue," and these
          two hundred and odd towns are almost exclusively Mormon in
          population. Of the suicides committed in Utah, ninety odd per
          cent are non-Mormon; and of the Utah homicides and infanticides,
          over eighty per cent are perpetrated by the seventeen per cent
          The arrests made in Salt Lake City from January 1, 1881, to
          December 8, 1881, are classified, as follows:
          Men .......................... 782
          Women ........................ 200
          Boys ......................... 38
               T                otal ...................1,020
          Mormons, Men & Boys ..... 16
               "                  Women .......... 6 169
          Anti-Mormon-Men & Boys .. 65
               "                  Women ..........194 851
               T                otal ...................1,020
          A number of the Mormon arrests were for chicken, cow and water
          trespass, petty larceny, etc. The arrests of anti-Mormons were in
          most cases for prostitution, gambling, exposing of person,
          drunkenness, unlawful dram selling, assault and battery, attempt
          to kill, etc.
          If the seventy-five per cent Mormon population of Salt Lake City
          were as lawless and corrupt as the record shows the twenty-five
          per cent anti-Mormons to be, there would have been 2,443 arrests
          made from their ranks during the year 1881 instead of the
          comparatively trifling number of 169 shown on the record; while
          if the twenty-five per cent anti-Mormon population had as
          law-abiding and upright a record as the seventy-five per cent
          Mormons, instead of the startling number of 851 anti-Mormon
          arrests during the year, there would have been but 56 made."
          I give these statements of facts for the information of the
          brethren who are here from a distance; but, then, they know them
          as facts; that is, they know how these soi disant regenerators
          act, but many of them do not know what their civilization is
          here, and what is sought to be introduced among us, and the
          infamous statements circulated concerning us. We are ready, as I
          said before, to compare notes with them or the people of this or
          any nation at any time. And then again, we ought to be more pure
          and virtuous than they, for we do profess to be the Saints of the
          Most High God. With this view, when this Edmunds bill was being
          canvassed, and there was a prospect of its passing--although we
          thought at first it was impossible that such a concern could pass
          through Congress; but when we saw the falsehoods that were being
          circulated, the furore that was being raised and fanned by
          religious fanatics and political demagogues, petitions were
          gotten up by the people here, one of them representing the male
          class, another our Relief Societies, another our young men, and
          another our young ladies' Improvement Societies. All of them
          represented that we were a virtuous people--that polygamy was a
          religious institution; and the young people asserted that it had
          been taught to them by their parents from their youth up, and
          that the principles of purity, virtue, integrity and loyalty to
          the government of the United States had been instilled into their
          minds and hearts since their earliest childhood; and further,
          that they had been taught and understood that chastity was their
          greatest boon, far above jewels or wealth, and more precious than
          life itself. In a few days we had 165,000 signatures, and they
          were forwarded to Washington. The request was that Congress would
          not act as the government had before--first send out an army and
          then send commissioners to inquire, but that they would send
          commissioners first to inquire into the facts of the case. But
          they did not choose to listen. In fact, there has been a great
          furore in the United States in relation to these matters, and
          that has originated to an extent through our Governor. Now I am
          very much averse to talking about official men; I do not like to
          do such things. They ought to be honorable men; the most
          charitable construction I could put upon his acts would be to say
          that his education had been sadly neglected, and that he was not
          acquainted with figures. He might have learned to read and write
          perhaps, but I would question his having gone so far as
          arithmetic; because he did not apparently know the difference
          between 1,300 votes and 18,500 votes. It does denote a lamentable
          absence of a knowledge of the rudiments of a common education;
          but then, a man should not, perhaps, be blamed for that which he
          does not know. And, indeed, it would seem that some of our
          lawmakers in Washington are not educated. With all due respect to
          them, with these facts before them and condemned throughout the
          United States, they did not think it was any crime for a man to
          be thus ignorant, or they would not have sent him back again. We
          hope the Commissioners will be better educated, that they will be
          men who can tell the difference between 1,300 and 18,500. Now we
          may be very ignorant--and we do not boast much of our
          intelligence, but when such people perpetrate such palpable,
          flagrant outrages, we have to resort to a political phrase in
          order to express our disgust towards them by saying, "There is
          something rotten in Denmark." I have to be a politician as well
          as everything else.
          Still, in the midst of these things, what are you going to do? Do
          the very best we can. Are you going to rebel? That would please
          our enemies, but we do not have much of that spirit in us. We
          feel to sympathize with people who have not better judgment than
          to adopt so suicidal and dishonorable a course as that which has
          been pursued towards us. Yet notwithstanding this, we are
          unshaken towards the principles of our government and believe
          that we have got the best on the earth, these evils arising from
          the corruptions of men and maladministration. It is said that
          error and falsehood will run a thousand miles while truth is
          putting on its boots, but truth ultimately will triumph, as
          according to the old adage, "Truth, crushed to earth, will rise
          again." And what will you do? Contend for constitutional
          principles, or lie down and let the vicious, the mendacious and
          unprincipled run over and overslaugh you?
          We have peacefully, legally and honorably possessed our lands in
          these valleys of the mountains, and we have purchased and paid
          for them; we do not revel in any ill-gotten gain. They are ours.
          We have complied with all the requisitions of law pertaining
          thereto, and we expect to possess and inhabit them. We covet no
          man's silver or gold, or apparel, or wife, or servants, or
          flocks, or herds, or horses, or carriages, or lands, or
          possessions. But we expect to maintain our own rights. If we are
          crowded upon by unprincipled men or inimical legislation, we
          shall not take the course pursued by the lawless, the dissolute
          and the unprincipled; we shall not have recourse to the dynamite
          of the Russian Nihilists, the secret plans and machinations of
          the communists, the boycotting and threats of the Fenians, the
          force and disorder of the Jayhawkeers, the regulators or the
          Molly Maguires, nor any other secret or illegal combination; but
          we still expect to possess and maintain our rights; but to obtain
          them in a legal, peaceful and constitutional manner. As American
          citizens, we shall contend for all our liberties, rights and
          immunities, guaranteed to us by the Constitution; and no matter
          what action may be taken by mobocratic influence, by excited and
          unreasonable men, or by inimical legislation, we shall contend
          inch by inch for our freedom and rights, as well as the freedom
          and rights of all American citizens and of all mankind. As a
          people or community, we can abide our time, but I will say to you
          Latter-day Saints, that there is nothing of which you have been
          despoiled by oppressive acts or mobocratic rule, but that you
          will again possess, or your children after you. Your rights in
          Ohio, your rights in Jackson, Clay, Caldwell and Davis counties
          in Missouri, will yet be restored to you. Your possessions, of
          which you have been fraudulently despoiled in Missouri and
          Illinois, you will again possess, and that without force, or
          fraud or violence. The Lord has a way of His own in regulating
          such matters. We are told the wicked shall slay the wicked. He
          has a way of His own of "emptying the earth of the inhabitants
          thereof." A terrible day of reckoning is approaching the nations
          of the earth; the Lord is coming out of His hiding place to vex
          the inhabitants thereof; and the destroyer of the Gentiles, as
          prophesied of, is already on his way. Already the monarchs of the
          earth are trembling from conspiracies among their own people;
          already has one Czar of Russia been destroyed and another holds
          his life by a very uncertain tenure through the perpetual threats
          and machinations of an infuriated populace; already have the
          Emperor of Germany, the King of Italy, the Queen of England, the
          King of Spain, the Sultan of Turkey, and many others of the
          honorable and noble rulers of the earth had their lives
          jeopardized by the attacks of regicides; already have two of the
          Presidents of this Republic been laid low by the hands of the
          assassin; and the spirit of insubordination, misrule, lynching,
          and mobocracy of every kind is beginning to ride rampant through
          the land; already combinations are being entered into which are
          very ominous for the future prosperity, welfare and happiness of
          this great Republic. The volcanic fires of disordered and
          anarchical elements are beginning to manifest themselves and
          exhibit the internal forces that are at work among the turbulent
          and unthinking masses of the people. Congress will soon have
          something else to do than to proscribe and persecute an innocent,
          law-abiding and patriotic people. Of all bodies in the world,
          they can least afford to remove the bulwarks that bind society
          together in this nation, to recklessly trample upon human freedom
          and rights, and to rend and destroy that great Palladium of human
          rights--the Constitution of the United States. Ere long they will
          need all its protecting influence to save this nation from
          misrule, anarchy and mobocratic influence. They can ill afford to
          be the foremost in tampering with human rights and human freedom,
          or in tearing down the bulwarks of safety and protection which
          that sacred instrument has guaranteed. It is lamentable to see
          the various disordered and disorganized elements seeking to
          overthrow the greatest and best government in existence on the
          earth. Congress can ill afford to set a pattern of violation of
          that Constitution which it has sworn to support. The internal
          fires of revolution are already smouldering in this nation, and
          they need but a spark to set them in a flame. Already are
          agencies at work in the land calculated to subvert and overthrow
          every principle of rule and government; already is corruption of
          every kind prevailing in high places and permeating all society;
          already are we, as a nation, departing from our God, and
          corrupting ourselves with malfeasance, dishonor, and a lack of
          public integrity and good faith; already are licentiousness and
          debauchery corrupting, undermining and destroying society;
          already are we interfering with the laws of nature and stopping
          the functions of life, and have become the slayers of our own
          offspring, and employ human butchers in the shape of physicians
          to assist in this diabolical and murderous work. The sins of this
          nation, the licentiousness, the debauchery, the murders are
          entering into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth, and I tell you
          now, from the tops of these mountains, as a humble servant of the
          living God, that unless these crimes and infamies are stopped,
          this nation will be overthrown, and its glory, power, dominion
          and wealth will fade away like the dews of a summer morning. I
          also say to other nations of the earth, that unless they repent
          of their crimes, their iniquities and abominations, their thrones
          will be overturned, their kingdoms and governments overthrown,
          and their lands made desolate. This is not only my saying, but it
          is the saying of those ancient prophets which they themselves
          profess to believe; for God will speedily have a controversy with
          the nations of the earth, and, as I stated before, the destroyer
          of the Gentiles is on his way to overthrow governments, to
          destroy dynasties, to lay waste thrones, kingdoms and empires, to
          spread abroad anarchy and desolation, and to cause war, famine
          and bloodshed to overspread the earth.
          Besides the preaching of the Gospel, we have another mission,
          namely, the perpetuation of the free agency of man and the
          maintenance of liberty, freedom, and the rights of man. There are
          certain principles that belong to humanity outside of the
          Constitution, outside of the laws, outside of all the enactments
          and plans of man, among which is the right to live; God gave us
          the right and not man; no government gave it to us, and no
          government has a right to take it away from us. We have a right
          to liberty--that was a right that God gave to all men; and if
          there has been oppression, fraud or tyranny in the earth, it has
          been the result of the wickedness and corruptions of men and has
          always been opposed to God and the principles of truth,
          righteousness, virtue, and all principles that are calculated to
          elevate mankind. The Declaration of Independence states that men
          are in possession of certain inalienable rights, among which are
          life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This belongs to us;
          it belongs to all humanity. I wish, and the worst wish I have for
          the United States, is, that they could have liberality enough to
          give to all men equal rights, and, while they profess to have
          delivered the black slaves, that they strike off the fetters of
          the white men of the South, who have been ground under the heel
          of sectional injustice, and let them feel that we are all
          brothers in one great nation, and deliver all people from tyranny
          and oppression of every kind, and proclaim, as they did at the
          first, liberty throughout the land and to all people. That is the
          worst wish I have for them. And when I see them take another
          course I feel sorry for it. I would like if I had time to talk a
          little upon constitutional rights; I would like a little to
          discuss the unconstitutionality of that Edmunds bill; but it was
          ably done by many senators of the United States, and by others in
          the House of Representatives. Very able done; and I honor the men
          who maintain such sentiments. It is true that most of them
          apologized and said that they were as much opposed to polygamy as
          anybody. Well, that is a matter of their own; they have a right
          to their opinions as much as I have a right to my opinion. Would
          I deprive them of that right? No, I would not. I preach the
          Gospel to the world. What is it? Force, tyranny and oppression?
          No: it is all free grace and it is all free will. Is anybody
          coerced? Did anybody coerce you, Latter-day Saints? Are any of
          you forced to continue Latter-day Saints if you do not want to?
          If you think you are, you are all absolved to-day. We know of no
          such principle as coercion; it is a matter of choice. The
          principle that I spoke of before--that is, men receive the Holy
          Ghost within themselves, is the cementing, binding, uniting power
          that exists among the Latter-day Saints. What right have I to
          expect that members of the House of Representatives or the people
          of the United States should advocate polygamy? They would not
          understand it. Nor would it be reasonable for us to expect it at
          their hands; but what I admired in those Senators and Members was
          their fealty to the government, to the Constitution and the
          maintenance of the freedom and the inalienable rights of man, of
          every color, creed and profession.
          I will relate a little conversation that I had with President
          Hayes, when he was here, on the subject of polygamy. I said to
          him, we are not generally understood by the people of the world,
          by the outsiders; and I can look with very great leniency upon
          the action of members of the House of Representatives and the
          Senate, the governors, and others who have expressed strong
          indignation against this principle. From your standpoint, you
          think we are a corrupt people; you think it is a part or portion
          of the thing you call the social evil, that permeates all classes
          of society, and is sapping the foundation of the life of so many
          throughout the land. You think that we are trying to introduce
          something that is encouraging licentiousness and other kindred
          evils among the people, and to legalize these things by
          legislative enactment and otherwise, and trying to popularize and
          make legal those infamies. I continued, that is a false view to
          take of the subject. Mr. President, I have always abhorred such
          practices from the time I was quite young; when I have seen men
          act the part of Lotharios, deceiving the fair sex and despoiling
          them of their virtue, and then seeing those men received into
          society and their victims disgraced, ostracised and esteemed as
          pariahs and outcasts, I could not help sympathising with a woman
          that was seduced. I looked upon the man who seduced her as a
          villain; I do so to-day. Said I, when Joseph Smith first made
          known the revelation concerning plural marriage and of having
          more wives than one, it made my flesh crawl; but, Mr. President,
          I received such evidence and testimony pertaining to this matter,
          scriptural and otherwise, which it was impossible for me as an
          honest man to resist, and believing it to be right I obeyed it
          and practised it. I have not time now to enter into all the
          details; but in regard to those honorable gentlemen in the Senate
          who maintained the principle of constitutional rights and who
          declare, as I declare to-day, that that instrument which was then
          gotten up was unconstitutional in several particulars, I could
          not expect them to advocate my religion; it is not their
          business, but is mine and yours. They can take what religion they
          please; we do not wish to force our religion nor our marital
          relations upon them, nor have we ever done it, nor could we do it
          if we wished, for this principle is connected with the Saints
          alone, and pertains to eternity as well as time, and is known to
          us by the appellation of "celestial marriage." It does not belong
          to them, nor does it pertain to all of our own people. None but
          the more pure, virtuous, honorable and upright are permitted to
          enter into these associations. Now I speak to the Latter-day
          Saints, who are acquainted with what I say. If I state untruths,
          tell me, and I will consider you my friends, and the friends of
          this community. Should we preach the doctrine of plurality of
          wives to the people of the United States? No; you know very well
          that it is only for honorable men and women, virtuous men and
          women, honest men and women who can be vouched for by those who
          preside over them, and whom they recognize as their Presidents;
          it is only such people as these that can be admitted to
          participate in this ordinance. You know it. I know it, you
          Presidents of Stakes know it and the people know it. There are
          any number of people in this Territory who are good people in
          many respects, but who cannot come up to that standard. That is
          the position we occupy in relation to this principle.
          If the United States were to ask us if we could give to them the
          same ordinance, we would say, No; no, we cannot. Why can you not?
          Because it is a religious ordinance, as I have stated; because it
          connects men and women together for time and for eternity;
          because it associates people of this world in the next; because
          it makes provision for our marital associations in the other
          world, and that while we have our wives here we expect to have
          them in eternity; and we believe in that doctrine that reaches
          beyond time into eternity. Others make their marital relations to
          end in death; their covenants last only till death does them
          part. Ours take hold of eternity, they enter into the eternal
          state of existence, and contemplate an eternal union of the sexes
          worlds without end.
          We believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life in the
          world to come; and not only in the resurrection of the male, but
          also of the female. We believe also in eternal unions, union on
          earth and in heaven. And as the heavens declare the glory of God,
          and the stellar universes roll on according to eternal laws
          implanted in them by the Deity, and perform their revolutions
          through successive ages, so will man progress and
          increase--himself, his wives, his children--through the
          eternities to come. Who is injured by this faith? Cannot a great
          and magnanimous nation afford the privilege to enjoy these
          principles without passing bills of pains and penalties for the
          belief and enunciation of such divine, ennobling and Godlike
          Man is a dual being, possessed of body and spirit, made in the
          image of God, and connected with Him and with eternity. He is a
          God in embryo and will live and progress throughout the eternal
          ages, if obedient to the laws of the Godhead, as the Gods
          progress throughout the eternal ages. Is it a thing incredible in
          this generation that God shall raise the dead? Is it a thing
          incredible that the finest and most exalted ties and sympathies
          of humanity, sanctified by family relations--pure undefiled love,
          should continue in the resurrection?
          We have no fault to find with our government. We deem it the best
          in the world. But we have reason to deplore its
          maladministration, and I call upon our legislators, our governors
          and president to pause in their career and not to tamper with the
          rights and liberties of American citizens, nor wantonly tear down
          the bulwarks of American and human liberty. God has given to us
          glorious institutions; let us preserve them intact and not pander
          to the vices, passions and fanaticism of a depraved public
          Cannot the enlightenment, civilization and statesmanship of the
          nineteenth century in this great American nation find a more
          worthy object than to fetter human thought, to enslave its own
          citizens, to forge chains for the suppression of human progress,
          to bind in Cimmerian darkness the noblest aspirations of the
          human soul, to tear down the pillars of the temple of liberty, to
          inaugurate a system of serfdom and oppression, and to copy after
          Egypt, Russia, and the late practices of this nation in enslaving
          and brutalizing humanity, tearing to pieces that great palladium
          of human rights, the Constitution of the United States? Can they
          afford to do this? If there are supposed wrongs, can they not
          find a legal and constitutional way of correcting these wrongs?
          Surely the tearing down of the bulwarks, the very temple of
          freedom, will not aid them in the solution of this, to them,
          vexed question, for if they tear away the strongholds of society,
          they themselves will perish in the ruins.
          But with regard to those not of us, I will tell you what I
          believe about the matter. I believe it would be much better for
          them to have even polygamy in their state of existence than this
          corroding, corrupting, demoralizing and damning evil that
          prevails in their midst. We look upon it that polygamy is the
          normal condition of man; but that has nothing to do with Mormon
          plurality of wives, or what is termed "celestial marriage." I
          would state also, that when we speak of its being the normal
          condition, it has so existed throughout all ages. And when we
          talk about polygamy, I have read the speeches of men in Congress
          when speaking about the Mormon position, telling us that the
          British in India put down suttee, which is the burning of widows
          on the funeral pile of their husbands; casting children into the
          Ganges, etc.--that the British put that down by force of law. But
          the British, if my memory serves me right, have about two hundred
          millions of polygamists under their jurisdiction, and they can
          afford to treat them right and to give them the protection of
          law; but our free government cannot. And when we talk about the
          suttee, that is the destruction of life, while polygamy means the
          propagation of human life. One tends to destruction and death,
          the other to the propagation of life. I will guarantee to-day,
          without fear of contradiction, that there is more of the suttee
          in the United States to-day pertaining to infants than there ever
          was in India among the same number of population. It has become
          unfashionable in the east for women to have large families. I
          have heard remarks like this: one lady was asked, How many
          children have you? One or two. Is that all? What do you take me
          for, do you think I am a cow? Why no, you are not a cow, for cows
          do not murder their offspring. What a terrible tale is here told!
          What a horrible state of affairs is here exhibited. And I am told
          that some of these iniquities are being introduced here. I tell
          you, in the name of God, if you do we will be after you. I am
          told of physicians who are acting as they do in the east--as the
          butchers of infants. Let us look after these things, you Bishops,
          and if you do find it out, bring them up. As God lives we will
          not permit such infamies in our midst; you will not commence your
          fashionable murders here. And I will say now, Wo to this nation
          and to the nations of Europe, or any people among any nation,
          that sanctions these things. Have you not read that no "murderer
          hath eternal life abiding in him?" What shall be thought of those
          unnatural monsters, the slayers of their own offspring? This
          revolting, unnatural, damnable vice may be fashionable, but God
          will require this crime at their hands. Wo to men and to women
          that are licentious and corrupt, depraved and debauched, and
          especially wo, tenfold wo, to the murderers of helpless
          innocence. I tell you this in the name of the Lord. If these
          things are not stopped, God will arise and shake the nations of
          the earth and root out their infamies.
          Now then what shall we do?
          We do not wish to place ourselves in a state of antagonism, nor
          to act defiantly, towards this government. We will fulfil the
          letter, so far as practicable, of that unjust, inhuman,
          oppressive and unconstitutional law, so far as we can without
          violating principle; but we cannot sacrifice every principle of
          human right at the behest of corrupt, unreasoning and
          unprincipled men; we cannot violate the highest and noblest
          principles of human nature and make pariahs and outcasts of
          highminded, virtuous and honorable women, nor sacrifice at the
          shrine of popular clamor the highest and noblest principles of
          We shall abide all constitutional law, as we always have done;
          but while we are Godfearing and law-abiding, and respect all
          honorable men and officers, we are no craven serfs, and have not
          learned to lick the feet of oppressors, nor to bow in base
          submission to unreasoning clamor. We will contend, inch by inch,
          legally and constitutionally, for our rights as American
          citizens, and for the universal rights of universal man. We stand
          proudly erect in the consciousness of our rights as American
          citizens, and plant ourselves firmly on the sacred guarantees of
          the Constitution; and that instrument, while it defines the
          powers and privileges of the President, Congress and the
          judiciary, also directly provides that "the powers not delegated
          to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to
          the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the
          I have heard it boasted by British statesmen, that as soon as a
          slave planted his foot on British soil, his fetters were broken
          and he was a free man. It is the proud boast of Americans that
          her flag floats for all; and while Congress claims the right of
          dominion and legislation over territories, with that same right
          is associated the right of manhood, freedom and American
          citizenship. We need have no fears, no trembling in our knees,
          about these attempts to deprive us of our God given and
          constitutional liberties. God will take care of His people, if we
          will only do right. I am thankful to say that you are doing
          pretty nearly as well as you know how. There are many things
          among us that are wrong, many things that are foolish, but
          generally you are seeking to fear God and keep His commandments.
          Now, treat your wives right, but do not subject yourselves to the
          infamous provisions of the Edmunds' act more than you can help,
          avoid all harsh expressions and improper actions, act carefully
          and prudently in all your social relations. Be wise as serpents
          and harmless as doves. A gentleman in Washington told another,
          who related it to me, in answer to the question, What will the
          "Mormons" do with their wives and children when this bill passes?
          he was told: Turn them out in the streets as we do our harlots. I
          say in the name of God we will not do any such thing, and let all
          Israel say Amen. [The vast congregation, amounting to from 12,000
          to 14,000 persons, responded Amen.] We will stand by our
          covenants, and the Constitution will bear us out in it. Among
          other things, that instrument says that Congress shall make no
          law impairing the validity of contracts. You have contracted to
          be united with your wives in time and in eternity, and it would
          not do for us to break a constitutional law, would it?
          [Laughter.] Others may do it, but we cannot. We cannot lay aside
          our honor, we cannot lay aside our principles; and if people
          cannot allow us freedom, we can allow freedom to them and to all
          men. We will be true to our wives and cherish them and maintain
          them, and stand by them in time, and we will reign with them in
          eternity, when thousands of others are weltering under the wrath
          of God. Any man that abuses his wife, or takes advantage of this
          law to oppress her, is not worthy of a standing in the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and let the congregation say
          Amen. [The immense congregation responded by a loud Amen.]
          Now, what will we do in our relations with the United States? We
          will observe the law as we have done, and be as faithful as we
          have been. We will maintain our principles and live our religion
          and keep the commandments of God, and obey every constitutional
          law, pursuing that course that shall direct us in all things.
          Brethren and sisters, God bless you and lead you in the paths of
          life, and give you wisdom; be calm and quiet; all is well in
          Zion. You need not be under any fears about anything that may
          transpire, as though some strange thing had happened. We have met
          such things before; we can meet them again. God has delivered us
          before. He will deliver us again, if we put our trust in Him and
          remain true to the covenants we have made with Him. Our trust is
          in God. You have heard me say before, Hosanna, the Lord God
          Omnipotent reigneth; and if this congregation feels as I do we
          will join together in the same acclaim. Follow me.
          [The speaker then repeated and was followed by the congregation:
          Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! to God and the Lamb, for ever and ever
          worlds without end, Amen, Amen and Amen.]
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / Joseph
          F. Smith, April 9th, 1882
                          Joseph F. Smith, April 9th, 1882
                        Delivered at the General Conference,
                             on Sunday, April 9th, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                               PROSPERITY--THEIR PAST
           F. Smith
          Nearly all the brethren who have spoken at this Conference have
          referred to the circumstances in which we, as a people, are now
          placed; and it would seem unnecessary for me to make any further
          reference to this all-prevailing subject with which the people
          generally are more or less familiar, and in which we necessarily
          are considerably interested. But while the brethren who have
          spoken have merely referred to some of the sayings of the Prophet
          Joseph, and to items in the revelations through him, to the
          Church, I feel impressed to read in the hearing of the
          congregation one or two passages from the revelations previously
          referred to. I will, therefore, call the attention of the
          congregation to a verse or two in the revelation given in 1831,
          which will be found on page 219 of the Doctrine and Covenants:
           F. Smith
          "Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the
          laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.
           F. Smith
          Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be, until He reigns
          whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under His
           F. Smith
          Behold, the laws which ye have received from my hand are the laws
          of the Church, and in this light ye shall hold them forth. Behold
          here is wisdom."
           F. Smith
          The following I quote from a revelation given December, 1833,
          page 357:
           F. Smith
          "According to the laws and the Constitution of the people which I
          have suffered to be established and should be maintained for the
          rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy
           F. Smith
          That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to
          futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto
          them, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the
          day of judgment.
           F. Smith
          Therefore it is not right that any man should be in bondage one
          to another.
           F. Smith
          And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this
          land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very
          purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood."
           F. Smith
          Again, in a revelation on page 342:
           F. Smith
               "And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the
          land, it is my will that my people shall observe to do all things
          whatsoever I command them.
           F. Smith
          And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that
          principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges,
          belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
           F. Smith
          Therefore I, the Lord, justify you and your brethren of my
          Church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law
          of the land;
           F. Smith
          And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than
          these cometh of evil.
           F. Smith
          I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; and
          the law also maketh you free;
           F. Smith
          Nevertheless, when the wicked rule, the people mourn;
           F. Smith
          Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for
          diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to
          uphold; otherwise, whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.
           F. Smith
          And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil
          and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which
          proceedeth out of the mouth of God;
           F. Smith
          For He will give unto the faithful, line upon line, precept upon
          precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith;
           F. Smith
          And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, or my name's sake,
          shall find it again, even life eternal;
           F. Smith
          Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in
          my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things,
          whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you
          may be found worthy;
           F. Smith
          For if ye will not abide in my covenant, ye are not worthy of
           F. Smith
          This, as I understand it, is the law of God to the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in all the world. And the
          requirements here made of us must be obeyed, and practically
          carried out in our lives, in order that we may secure the
          fulfilment of the promises which God has made to the people of
          Zion. And it is further written, that inasmuch as ye will do the
          things which I command you, thus saith the Lord then am I bound;
          otherwise there is no promise. We can therefore only expect that
          the promises are made and will apply to us when we do the things
          which we are commanded.
           F. Smith
          We are told here that no man need break the laws of the land who
          will keep the laws of God. But this is further defined by the
          passage which I read afterwards--the law of the land, which all
          have no need to break, is that law which is the Constitutional
          law of the land, and that is as God himself has defined it. And
          whatsoever is more or less than this cometh of evil. Now it seems
          to me that this makes this matter so clear that it is not
          possible for any man who professes to be a member of the Church
          of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to make any mistake, or to
          be in doubt as to the course he should pursue under the command
          of God in relation to the observance of the laws of the land. I
          maintain that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has
          ever been faithful to the constitutional laws of our country. I
          maintain also, that I have a right to this opinion, as an
          American citizen, as one who was not only born on American soil,
          but who descended from parents who for generations were born in
          America. I have a right to interpret the law in this manner, and
          to form my own conclusions and express my opinions thereon,
          regardless of the opinions of other men.
           F. Smith
          I ask myself, What law have you broken? What constitutional law
          have you not observed? I am bound not only by allegiance to the
          government of the United States, but by the actual command of God
          Almighty, to observe and obey every constitutional law of the
          land, and without hesitancy I declare to this congregation that I
          have never violated, nor transgressed any law, I am not amenable
          to any penalties of the law, because I have endeavored from my
          youth up to be a law-abiding citizen, and not only so, but to be
          a peacemaker, a preacher of righteousness, and not only to preach
          righteousness by word, but by example. What therefore have I to
          fear? The Lord Almighty requires this people to observe the laws
          of the land, to be subject to "the powers that be," so far as
          they abide by the fundamental principles of good government, but
          He will hold them responsible if they will pass unconstitutional
          measures and frame unjust and proscriptive laws, as did
          Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, in relation to the three Hebrew
          children and Daniel. If lawmakers have a mind to violate their
          oath, break their covenants and their faith with the people, and
          depart from the provisions of the Constitution where is the law
          human or divine, which binds me, as an individual, to outwardly
          and openly proclaim my acceptance of their acts?
           F. Smith
          I firmly believe that the only way in which we can be sustained
          in regard to this matter by God our Heavenly Father is by
          following the illustrious examples we find in holy writ. And
          while we regret, and look with sorrow upon the acts of men who
          seek to bring us into bondage and to oppress us, we must obey
          God, for He has commanded us to do so; and at the same time He
          has declared that in obeying the laws which He has given us we
          will not necessarily break the constitutional laws of the land.
           F. Smith
          I wish to enter here my avowal that the people called Latter-day
          Saints, as has been often repeated from this stand, are the most
          law-abiding, the most peaceable, long-suffering and patient
          people that can to-day be found within the confines of this
          republic, and perhaps anywhere else upon the face of the earth;
          and we intend to continue to be law-abiding so far as the
          constitutional law of the land is concerned; and we expect to
          meet the consequences of our obedience to the laws and
          commandments of Godlike men. These are my sentiments briefly
          expressed, upon this subject.
           F. Smith
          Now I desire to read another passage in a revelation given in
          1834, which will be found on page 364 of the Doctrine and
          Covenants, commencing at the first verse:
           F. Smith
          "Verily I say unto you, my friends, behold I will give unto you a
          revelation and commandment, that you may know how to act in the
          discharge of your duties concerning the salvation and redemption
          of your brethren, who have been scattered on the land of Zion.
           F. Smith
          Being driven and smitten by the hands of mine enemies, on whom I
          will pour out my wrath without measure in mine own time;
           F. Smith
          For I have suffered them thus far, that they might fill up the
          measure of their iniquities, that their cup might be full.
           F. Smith
          And that those who call themselves after my name might be
          chastened for a little season with a sore and grievous
          chastisement, because they did not hearken altogether unto the
          precepts and commandments which I gave unto them.
           F. Smith
          But verily I say unto you, that I have decreed a decree which my
          people shall realize inasmuch as they hearken from this very
          hour, unto the counsel which I, the Lord their God, shall give
          unto them.
           F. Smith
          Behold they shall, for I have decreed it, begin to prevail
          against mine enemies from this very hour.
           F. Smith
          And by hearkening to observe all the words which I, the Lord
          their God, shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to
          prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under my
          feet, and the earth is given unto the Saints, to possess it for
          ever and ever.
           F. Smith
          But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to
          observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail
          against them.
           F. Smith
          For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the
          saviors of men.
           F. Smith
          And inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt
          that has lost its savor and is thenceforth good for nothing but
          to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.
           F. Smith
          But verily I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren
          which have been scattered shall return to the land of their
          inheritances, and build up the waste places of Zion."
           F. Smith
          It is somewhere written as the word of God, that the enemies of
          the people of God can do nothing against but for Zion. Now let us
          review for a few moments the history of the Church, and see how
          far the acts of the enemies of this people have gone towards
          nullifying those words.
           F. Smith
          When Joseph first looked upon the face of the Father and the Son
          in 1820, until the Book of Mormon was translated and published to
          the world in 1829, his enemies did not cease their efforts to
          destroy him; they sought his life continually; they blackened his
          character; they maligned and proscribed him, and his name was
          cast out as evil among all men. But mark you, at the beginning of
          this period Joseph was a lad of a little over fourteen years of
          age; and during the nine years of persecution he was but a boy;
          he had no vast congregation as we see before us this morning to
          sustain, encourage, or cheer him in his ministry and labors. He
          stood alone in the world, friendless and despised, cast out,
          maligned and persecuted on every hand. But did the work cease?
          Did his enemies prevent him from performing the mission which he
          had been sent to accomplish? They tried and they did their
          utmost. They not only made frequent attempts to imprison him
          under the law, but they made several attempts to take his life,
          and thus stop the progress of the work in which he was engaged.
          They spared neither pains nor means, nor did they shrink from
          hypocrisy, falsehood and misrepresentation to accomplish their
          purposes; but they signally failed, and he continued to steadily
          pursue his course, and performed his work, translated the plates,
          published the Book of Mormon, and in 1830 organized the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to the law of the
           F. Smith
          When the Book of Mormon was published and the Church organized,
          did they cease their endeavors? did the hatred of the world
          diminish? did the wicked stop their persecutions? did they
          refrain from slandering, misrepresenting, and otherwise
          attempting to obstruct the progress of this work? No, they did
          not, but on the contrary, as the work developed, as the Church
          increased in numbers and began to spread on the right and on the
          left, the feeling of hatred, animosity, bitterness and
          persecution increased proportionately, and as the Church became
          stronger, her enemies became more numerous and gained strength.
          But notwithstanding, we moved on; built a Temple in Kirtland,
          Ohio, from whence we colonized Jackson County, Missouri. We were
          afterwards driven into Clay, Caldwell and Davies's Counties,
          Missouri, where we founded new colonies. Like the snowball
          starting from the summit of the mountain which gathers not only
          in bulk but in velocity, so did the work of God increase in the
          midst of the opposition, persecution and hatred of the world. In
          the midst of all the powers that were exerted to stop it, it
          moved right on. But did they succeed in expelling our people from
          Jackson County, and finally from the State of Missouri? Yes, they
          drove the Saints from their homes, deprived them of their rights
          as citizens and freemen, murdered many of them in cold blood,
          while others they confined in dungeons feeding them on the flesh,
          (as those heartless wretches themselves boasted) of their own
          brethren; and they dispersed the people, as they supposed, to the
          four winds of heaven, rejoicing in the belief that they had
          finally consummated the destruction of the "Mormons." But like
          the phoenix rising form the ashes of its supposed destruction,
          they gathered like swarms of bees in Illinois, founded a city,
          and built another Temple, which cost a million dollars--the most
          beautiful structure in the Western States at that time; and they
          continued to thrive. Here they gained something which they never
          possessed before, a city charter granted to them by the State
          government of Illinois. They soon became notable for their union
          and their tenacity to the principles which they had espoused, for
          their faith in God and in His servant the Prophet, for their
          unconquerable, irrevocable will to prosecute what they knew to be
          the work of God, and to accomplish, so far as in their power lay,
          His purposes and designs, concerning this great latter-day work.
           F. Smith
          In all these vicissitudes and during all the persecutions of
          fourteen years which were as ceaseless against the Prophet Joseph
          as the forces of nature are endless, did they diminish the
          numbers of Saints? Did they break the Saints to pieces? Did they
          destroy them? No; you know they did not, and it seems that our
          enemies themselves are fully aware of this fact. But when they
          thought they had torn up "Mormonism" by the roots and cast it out
          to dry up and wither under the parching, blighting influence of
          hostile public sentiment, behold, they had only transplanted the
          tree into new and better watered soil. Instead of destroying our
          confidence in the promises of God to us, it had the tendency to
          strengthen our faith, to increase our knowledge and experience,
          thus fitting and preparing us for the future that lay before us.
           F. Smith
          Finally they succeeded in taking the life of the Prophet and that
          of his brother; and they shed the blood of our honored President
          who sits here to-day upon this stand. They thought then they had
          accomplished their hellish work, they thought then the head and
          front, or root and branch of "Mormonism" was destroyed. But was
          it? No; it only made us stronger in faith and more united in
          purpose. "The blood of the martyrs became the seed of the
           F. Smith
               They next drove us from our homes in Nauvoo. I remember the
          circumstances, although at the time I was but a lad. I also
          remember my thoughts on the day the mob besieged the City of
          Nauvoo. My widowed mother had been compelled a day or two
          previously to take her children and ferry them, in an open flat
          boat across the Mississippi river into Iowa, where we camped
          under the trees and listened to the bombardment of the city. We
          had left our comfortable home with all the furniture remaining in
          the house, together with all our earthly possessions, with no
          hope or thought of ever seeing them again; and I well remember
          the feelings I had when we made our camp on the Iowa side of the
          river. They were not feelings of regret, sorrow or
          disappointment, but of gratitude to God, that we had the shelter
          of even the trees and the broad bosom of the "father of waters"
          to protect us from those who sought our lives; I felt to thank
          God that we still possessed our lives and freedom, and that there
          was at least some prospect of the homeless widow and her family
          of little ones, helpless as they were, to hide themselves
          somewhere in the wilderness from those who sought their
          destruction, even though it should be among the wild, so-called
          savage, native tribes of the desert, but who have proved
          themselves more humane and Christlike than the so-called
          Christian and more civilized persecutors of the Saints.
           F. Smith
          After the expulsion of the Saints from Nauvoo, and from the State
          of Illinois, our enemies thought surely the "Mormons" are now
          broken up, and that this would be the last of "Mormonism." But it
          is strange how hard we are to kill; it would seem that we object
          to being killed: there is something dreadful in the thought of
          being destroyed--annihilated. We naturally recoil from such a
          doom and seek to preserve and perpetuate our existence. The fact
          is, we think we have a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit
          of happiness," so long as we do not interfere with the rights of
          others; we therefore most decidedly object to being demolished;
          we do not like nor do we intend to be destroyed. Not that we
          presume to be able to defend ourselves unaided by divine power,
          against our numerous and unrelenting foes; but knowing in whom we
          trust, and the nature of the work in which we are engaged, we are
          not slow to believe, neither are we afraid to openly maintain
          that we were born to live and to uphold truth, to defend virtue,
          to establish righteousness, and to stand by the right, and by the
          help of God we intend to fill the measure of our creation.
           F. Smith
          Let us follow the wanderings of the Latter-day Saints across the
          plains to these mountain valleys, and look at our condition
          to-day compared with our condition in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio,
          or New York, or compared with our condition at any period of our
          existence as a church. What do we see to-day? We see the promises
          of God made on certain conditions fulfilled; and that is an
          evidence to me that the majority of the people have complied with
          the conditions, although many may not have done as they should
          have done. We have prevailed thus far, in accordance with the
          word of God. And what of the future? So far as the ultimatum of
          this work is concerned, there is no man in Israel who has a spark
          of the inspiration of the Almighty in his heart who does not know
          just as well as he knows that God lives or that he himself lives,
          that it will be triumphant. But I do not suppose it would be
          wisdom in God to show us all the vicissitudes and changes, the
          trials and persecutions through which we may have to pass in
          order to reach this consummation, because if He did we might get
          fainthearted before we were prepared to enter into that trial. We
          may have to be driven again. I do not say we shall be driven; I
          do not believe we shall--but what has been done may be done
          again. And supposing we were driven again, what would be the
          result? Is it not fair to presume--have we not good grounds to
          believe from the experience of the past, that if we should be
          again driven and despoiled of our homes, we should rise up
          somewhere else, many fold greater and more numerous than we are
          now? The enemies of God can do nothing against, but much for, the
          work of God. Is it not written that the God of heaven has set His
          hand for the last time to establish His kingdom upon the earth,
          never more to be thrown down, and no more to be left to another
          people? Are we not assured by the word of God, ancient and
          modern, that its destiny is onward and upward, until the purposes
          of God concerning this great latter-day work are consummated?
          This seems to be a point difficult for many to comprehend; but
          when comprehended it is a key to the whole matter. What God has
          decreed cannot be annulled by the learning, wisdom, wealth,
          power, numbers or cunning of man! There is no power beneath the
          celestial kingdom that can stop or impede its progress one iota.
          Its destiny is onward and upward--man may fail, but the purposes
          of God will not. All His enemies, combined with the cunning and
          perfidy of the infernal spirits by which they are moved to hate,
          hound, and pursue him unto death, failed, signally failed, even
          in the crime of murdering him, to prevent Joseph Smith from
          accomplishing his mission; he filled his destiny and sealed his
          testimony with his blood. And his blood is upon this nation and
          upon all the nations that have consented to that terrible deed
          inasmuch as they do not repent of their sins and obey the Gospel
          of salvation which is being preached unto them.
           F. Smith
          My childhood and youth were spent in wandering with the people of
          God, in suffering with them and in rejoicing with them. My whole
          life has been identified with this people, and in the name and by
          the help of God it will be to the end. I have no other
          associations or place of abode. I am in this respect like Peter
          when the Savior, on seeing the people turn away from Him, asked
          him, Will ye go also? Said Peter, Lord, if I leave Thee whither
          can I go, Thou hast the words of eternal life. We have nothing
          else to do save to keep in the narrow path that leads back to God
          our Father. That is the channel He has marked out for us to
          pursue, and it is our duty to press on; we cannot turn aside, we
          cannot switch off; there is no side track, it is a "through
          train" and its destiny is already fixed and mapped out. We have
          got to meet opposition as it presents itself, battling against it
          with the weapons of truth which God has placed in our hands. And
          we must make up our minds that this world with all its pleasures
          is as dross compared with the excellency of the knowledge of God.
          He intends to try us and prove us, and He has a right to do it,
          even to the death if need be, and only those who endure to the
          end, who will not flinch, but will maintain their integrity at
          the risk and sacrifice of their all, if need be, will gain
          eternal life, or be worthy of the reward of the faithful.
           F. Smith
          I am thankful to God that circumstances are as well with us as
          they are. He has delivered His people thus far and blessed them
          from the beginning. His word has been fulfilled concerning them,
          and will be fulfilled from this time henceforth until His
          purposes shall be accomplished with regard to them, providing
          they keep his commandments, which, that they may do, is my
          prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 /
          Wilford Woodruff, March 26, 1882
                          Wilford Woodruff, March 26, 1882
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Afternoon, March 26, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                     EXHORTED TO
          I feel disposed to read a few verses from section 43 of the
          Doctrine and Covenants, a book containing the revelations of God
          to the Latter-day Saints, communicated through the prophet Joseph
          (The speaker then read the whole of the section, commencing at
          the 17th verse.)
          There is one thing I wish to say to the congregation, and I would
          say the same to the whole world if I had the power--it is this: I
          have heard the Prophet Joseph Smith say on several occasions when
          speaking on the agency of man, and the liberty and rights of men,
          that if he were emperor of the earth, having control of the whole
          human family, he would give every man, woman and child the right
          to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience,
          leaving them to be responsible alone to their Creator for their
          individual acts. These are my sentiments, and they are the
          sentiments of this people to-day, and have been from the
          beginning of the organization of this Church, and I trust will be
          to the end of time. And this we believe to be a principle
          emanating from heaven; and while we accord this right to our
          fellow-men, and while we declare it to be a heaven-born right
          guaranteed unto all American citizens through the Constitution of
          our country, we claim the exercise of the same right ourselves;
          and we claim this right and privilege under the Constitution
          under which we live, and we claim it by the laws of God to man.
          And whenever any people rise up and attempt to make war upon the
          rights of men because of their religion, they go beyond their
          right, they transcend their own powers, whether their power be
          derived either from God or man.
          You may wish to know why I make these remarks. I will tell you.
          Because God himself grants this right to every human being upon
          the earth irrespective of race or color; it is part of the divine
          economy not to force any man to heaven, not to coerce the mind
          but to leave it free to act for itself. He lays before His
          creature man the everlasting Gospel, the principles of life and
          salvation, and then leaves him to choose for himself or to reject
          for himself, with the definite understanding that he becomes
          responsible to Him for the results of his acts.
          It is upon this principle that we as Latter-day Saints assert our
          rights and endeavor to enjoy our privileges. And we are accorded
          this right in accepting the Gospel dispensation in which we live,
          and in believing in the Old and New Testaments, the records of
          God's people who lived in what is called the old world, as well
          as in the Book of Mormon, the history of the ancient inhabitants
          of our land, which records are in harmony with each other,
          bearing witness of the one great Head and of the Gospel which He
          taught in Jerusalem and Judea, and which His Apostles preached
          after He left them. It is, in fact, the same Gospel that has been
          taught to man in every age and dispensation, as there is but the
          one Gospel, and that Gospel is adapted to the wants and
          conditions of all men. It is the Gospel of Truth, and truth alone
          can make us free, free from sin and from the power of the
          adversary. And this is the Gospel which we have received, and
          which we take the liberty of preaching to our fellow-men.
          I do not suppose that there has been any dispensation upon the
          earth in which a greater variety of evidence, or important
          evidence of the divinity of the latter-day work has been given
          than that which is occurring, and that will continue to occur
          until the second coming of the Son of Man. There is no man upon
          the earth who believes in the literal fulfillment of prophecy as
          contained in the Old and New Testament, but who must in his heart
          believe that the God of heaven will in the latter days set His
          hand to perform a great work and a wonder in the earth; that He
          will call forth His Church out of the wilderness of darkness and
          establish it upon the foundation of Apostles and Prophets with
          Christ Jesus as the chief corner stone. There is no man who
          believes in the Revelations of St. John who does not believe in
          his heart that in the last dispensation the angel as seen and
          described by John in his vision, will fly through the midst of
          heaven having the everlasting Gospel to commit to man again upon
          the earth, and that this Gospel is to be preached in plainness
          and power to every nation, kindred, tongue and people upon the
          whole earth. There is no man that believes in the literal
          fulfillment of the revelations of God through the Prophets who
          does not believe that the Lord will in the latter days gather a
          people together out of every nation under heaven; and that He
          will also gather the dispersed of Judah--the Jews--that have been
          trodden under the feet of the Gentiles for the last 1,800 years
          for shedding the blood of the Messiah.
          I wish to bear my testimony to all men within the sound of my
          voice and those to whom my words shall come, that we are living
          in that dispensation of God to man that every Prophet and Apostle
          that has ever breathed the breath of life has pointed to. I bear
          my testimony that God, in fulfillment of the Revelations of St.
          John, has sent the heavenly messenger to communicate to man the
          everlasting Gospel. And why did the Lord reveal to John that this
          would be done? Because the "falling away" spoken of by Paul had
          already commenced; because John in his exiled condition sensed
          keenly that the Church would be overcome and driven from the
          earth, and by way of encouragement to him and information to all
          who would believe his word, the Lord showed him what should take
          place in the future. The Jews had rejected the Messiah, they had
          crucified the Lord of life and glory and they had also persecuted
          and taken the life of the Apostles and others who were left to
          represent his cause; and John only was left, and they tried to
          take his life; but, in consequence of the promise he had received
          from the Savior prior to his death, they could not do it: and
          hence they exiled him on this island--called Patmos. When they
          rejected the Gospel, they rejected it in all its power and glory,
          its blessings, its gifts and graces, and also the ordinances of
          the Holy Priesthood--Aaronic and Melchizedek. With regard to
          Priesthood we differ from the Christian world. We believe there
          is no man in heaven or upon earth that administers in the
          ordinances of the Gospel without the Priesthood, and we defy the
          whole world to point to a single passage of scripture from the
          time of father Adam down to Jesus Christ, showing that any man
          had power to administer in any of the ordinances of the Gospel
          without the Priesthood. And we say as Paul said, in referring to
          this delegated power of heaven, that "no man taketh this honor to
          himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron:" and he was
          called of God through Moses with whom he communicated. Therefore
          men cannot legally and authoritatively go forth to preach the
          Gospel until they are sent; and men cannot hear the word and be
          converted by the same unless they hear it through the mouth of a
          preacher who is sent, and who has power to administer in the
          ordinances of the Gospel.
          The Lord has established his Church and his kingdom; and we have
          been laboring now fifty years and upwards in carrying out the
          instructions which he has revealed unto us in connection with
          this work. And as men were formerly, so we have been commanded to
          go forth and call upon men to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,
          and to repent and be baptised for the remission of their sins;
          and as they were authorized, so have we been authorized to say to
          all men who comply with these requirements, that they shall
          receive the Holy Ghost. But say the Christian sects, these things
          are no longer necessary, these outward ordinances are not now
          essential to salvation. We believe they are. In this, of course,
          we differ from them, and we have a perfect right to. Jesus
          himself went to John when he was baptizing in Jordan, and
          requested baptism of him. John demurred, thinking himself
          unworthy, but Jesus satisfied him by saying, "Suffer it to be so
          now; for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he
          suffered him."
          Baptism by immersion is one of the ordinances of the Gospel, and
          the law had to be complied with, and hence Jesus set the example.
          But the Jews, as a nation, rejected him and his teachings; and
          the Apostles were commanded to turn to the Gentiles. I say
          Gentiles--we are all Gentiles in a national capacity; and the
          same Gospel that was taught to the Jews was preached to the
          Gentiles. It never varied one iota; it was sent to them with all
          its gifts and graces, its priesthoods, powers and ordinances
          without any change whatever. And Paul in warning the Gentiles,
          told them to take heed and fear lest they fall, through the same
          example of unbelief; for if God spared not the natural branches,
          which were the Jews, why should he spare them who were the wild
          branches grafted into the olive tree. We all understand that the
          blindness in part which happened to Israel and which, Paul said,
          should continue until the fulness of the Gentiles come in, did
          befall the churches which had been built up by the Apostles, and
          that the Gospel, with its gifts and graces, its Prophets and
          Apostles, has long since ceased to exist among men. The Gentiles
          fell through the same example of unbelief, until to day a man is
          looked upon as a deceiver who will rise up and declare himself a
          believer in the same Gospel that Jesus and his Apostles preached.
          Paul told the people in his day that God hath set in the Church
          first, Apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly, teachers, after
          that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments,
          diversities of tongues; and they were for the work of the
          ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, for the
          perfecting of the Saints, until all come to a perfect man in the
          stature of Christ. But the Christian world do not believe in
          these things; they say they are done away, as not being needed.
          We believe differently, and we have a right to; we say the Lord
          has restored the Gospel as it was preached to the Jews and the
          Gentiles by Jesus and the Apostles, and we know whereof we speak.
          Joseph Smith received the ministration of angels, in fulfilment
          of the revelations of St. John, and we know it. He received the
          keys of the Holy Priesthood under the hands of John the Baptist,
          and under the hands of Peter, James and John, and from that day,
          through the preaching and administrations of the Elders of this
          Church, God has given a testimony to hundreds of thousands, of
          the truth of this work. We believe this, and we have received the
          testimony for ourselves of its divinity.
          In looking upon this congregation assembled in this beautiful
          building, I am reminded of the mercy and goodness of God to us as
          a people. On the 24th of July, 1847, I came here in company with
          the pioneers. At that time Utah was a barren desert, there was no
          mark of the white man, everything was wild and barren. To-day you
          may travel thousands of miles through this country, and you find
          towns and cities, farms, gardens and orchards, temples, and
          tabernacles, and schoolhouses, and large congregations of the
          people, and hosts of children. And where did all these people
          come from, and what prompted them to come here? You came from
          your native lands, from the different civilized nations, impelled
          by the spirit of the gathering which God has restored in
          connection with the Gospel; and you came in fulfilment of the
          prophecies of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and David, and others of
          the Prophets who have spoken of you. The question that arises in
          the minds of persons who pass through our country and see the
          labors of this people is, are we the dupes of impostors? Was
          Joseph Smith a deceiver? There is a way to test this, and we have
          tested it to our satisfaction. The great promise made to us when
          we first heard the preaching of the Elders of this Church was,
          that if we obeyed certain requirements of the Gospel, we should
          receive the Holy Ghost; and this same promise is extended to the
          world of mankind by our Elders who are still proclaiming these
          glad tidings of great joy. If that promise had fallen we, my
          brethren and sisters, would not have been here to-day; and Utah
          would doubtless be as barren as it was when we found it in '47.
          There is no question in our mind, as to the divinity of the work
          in which we are engaged. The Christian world questions it. This,
          of course, we cannot help.
          I want to say to the Latter-day Saints, you are living in an
          important and interesting time in your history, a time when the
          principles of the everlasting Gospel are being brought
          prominently before the world, and it is but natural that they
          should find their opposite in misrepresentation and persecution.
          Jesus himself, together with every servant of God of every age,
          while endeavoring to bless and save mankind through teaching
          correct principles, made themselves unpopular and became the
          subjects of hatred and persecution. And there is no doctrine so
          unpopular to-day as the principles of life and salvation as God
          has revealed them; and there are none so unpopular as those who
          believe in and practice the same. Truth revealed from heaven for
          the salvation of mankind always was unpopular, and always will be
          so long as the world exists in its present state. Men do not want
          truth, and therefore they reject it, and they reject it to-day
          for the same reason that men rejected it formerly, because they
          love darkness rather than light. If the Latter-day Saints expect
          to become popular in this day and generation, they will find
          themselves greatly mistaken. There is a warfare going on between
          truth and error, and this warfare will continue until He shall
          reign whose right it is to reign.
          I also want to say to the Latter-day Saints, you should exercise
          faith in God; you should make yourselves acquainted with the
          revelations of God, and with the promises He has made to His
          people, fully believing that all will come to pass as He has
          spoken it. And each man claiming a standing among this people
          should do his duty to the trust committed to our charge. Our
          responsibility is great before God and man. Any people into whose
          hands is committed a dispensation of the Gospel has a great
          responsibility. And Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the Twelve
          Apostles, would have been under condemnation and would have
          rendered themselves liable to the curse of God if they had not
          gone forth into the world and borne record of this work. Paul was
          placed in the same position and he sensed it, as is inferred from
          these words: "Woe unto me if I preach not the Gospel." And this
          is our position to-day in relation to the world.
          I have been with this Church almost from its organization, and
          have passed through the various scenes of its early history. I
          have seen its rise and progress, and have witnessed the power of
          God manifested in behalf of this people; and I want to bear my
          testimony that the God of heaven has, in fulfilment of the
          prophecies, set His hand to establish His Church and kingdom in
          the earth, which means no more and no less than His rule and His
          government, and that He will accomplish it, and there is no power
          upon the earth or under the earth that can stay the progress of
          Almighty God. But notwithstanding this, we expect to meet with
          opposition, with the hatred of the world; this, in fact, is the
          legacy of the Latter-day Saints. Said the Savior to his Apostles,
          I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates
          you; if you were of the world, the world would love you as its
          own. It hated me before it hated you. And what are we going to
          do? We are going to trust in God. I have no fears myself; I have
          never had since I heard the first Gospel sermon by the Elders of
          this Church; for I know that God lives, and that he has set his
          hand to establish his kingdom, and it will continue to grow and
          increase until it shall fill the whole earth. He has called upon
          us to proclaim to the whole world the Gospel of Christ, and we
          are doing it as fast as circumstances and wisdom permits; and we
          promise all men what the first Elders promised us, that is, if
          they yield to the requirements they shall know for themselves
          whether this work is of God or man. Is there, I ask, any man or
          set of men dare make such promises to their fellow-men? I answer,
          nay; neither could we do it, did we not know that God would back
          up the word by imparting the Holy Ghost. He has done so from the
          beginning, and these people can bear me witness.
          The question may be asked, What about the course our government
          is taking with us? Whatever our nation does or may do, it will be
          held responsible before God; and every emperor, king and ruler
          will be held responsible for the use they make of the power
          committed into their hands. The Lord inspired the men that framed
          the Constitution of our country, and has guarded the nation from
          its foundation, in order to prepare free people in which to
          establish his kingdom. Columbus was inspired of God to persevere
          as he did to discover this continent, and thus prepare the way
          for a class of people upon whom the Spirit of the Lord moved to
          follow; and when they were oppressed hard enough they declared
          themselves independent, and by the help of God they established
          and have maintained the government which God gave our
          forefathers, which is one of the best constitutional governments
          ever known among men. One of its chief and prominent
          characteristics is its guaranty of religious liberty, permitting
          every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own
          conscience. This is a sacred right granted by God himself to all
          men; and when the rulers or legislators of any land undertake by
          enactments of law to step between man and his God, they by that
          act become responsible, and must sooner or later be made to
          answer for interfering with a divine law. This is the light in
          which we regard the position of our own nation in the steps they
          have recently taken against us, as a people. However, if I were
          to express my feelings to Congress and the leading men of our
          nation, and to our enemies and the whole Christian world, I would
          say, do not weep for us--and we are sensible of the fact that
          they will not--but rather weep for yourselves and your children,
          for as sure as the Lord lives the evils that men seek to bring
          upon us, will return in due time upon their own heads, heaped up,
          pressed down and running over. For it is an eternal law, and a
          law by which we are governed, that what measure we mete, shall be
          measured back to us again. Our nation knows not what awaits it;
          the Christian world knows not what awaits it, and the blind
          guides that lead the people cannot tell them, and the result will
          be that both the people and their guides will fall into the ditch
          I will say another thing. The Lord never did bring judgment upon
          any people of any generation until he raised up prophets to warn
          them of the impending danger. You may read the history of the
          great and ancient cities of Tyre and Sidon, Nineveh and Babylon
          and other cities that were built to defy all time and every power
          but that of God; but when they were ripened in iniquity they were
          cut off, the Lord raised up men to warn them and to call upon
          them to repent; but when they rejected them the Lord brought
          judgment upon them and they were cut off in their sins. And so it
          will be with our nation and all others, when they shall be fully
          warned and they reject the message that is sent to them. The
          heavens are full of judgment, and as the prophets have said, they
          will commence at the House of the Lord and then go to the nations
          of the earth. These things are beginning to make themselves
          manifest and the righteous and pure in heart can see it.
          I want to see the Latter-day Saints live their religion, keep
          their faith and do their duty, and trust in God. And if men
          persecute you for the sake of your religion, what can you do? You
          can go to God, and make your wants known to him; and that is our
          duty as Latter-day Saints. And as to our nation, they, as well as
          we, are in the hands of God; and I have nothing to say about
          them. God will deal with them; and what they sow they will reap,
          and he will deal with us upon the same principle. The history of
          the ancient inhabitants of this land, as it has come down to us
          through the mercy and goodness of God, fully testifies to this
          principle; as long as they did what was right the blessings of
          God followed them, but after they became disobedient and wicked
          the hand of God rested upon them. At times when I reflect upon
          the great change that has taken place in our own land in the
          morals of the people during my time, I feel in my spirit to mourn
          and to fear as to the consequences. I was between 20 and 21 years
          of age before I heard of a murder having been committed in the
          whole of the New England States. The first murder that was
          committed in our land from the time I could remember until I
          gained my majority, was committed in New Haven; and I well
          remember how the news of it shocked all New England. What effect
          has such news upon the people of the same region to-day?
          Throughout the whole of Christendom to-day, murder, whoredom,
          blasphemy, and their kindred evils and vices are indulged in, and
          unbelief reigns in the hearts of men. Men profess to believe in
          the Bible; but confront them with the doctrines and prophecies it
          contains, and they will at once either raise a doubt as to their
          real meaning or they will openly deny them; and the few that
          accept the literal meaning of God's word, and confess him and
          acknowledge him in all things, do it at the risk of their
          reputation, and some of them, even of their rights as American
          citizens. What the result of all this will be is already written;
          and it will come to pass as sure as the Lord hath spoken it.
          I rejoice in the Gospel of the Son of God as he has revealed it
          in this our day; I rejoice in the organization of the church and
          kingdom of God, and in the revelations of heaven. I read them
          with a great deal of interest, for I know they are true; and,
          therefore, I look forward with assurance to their fulfilment in
          the earth. We have but a little time to spend on earth even
          though we live to be a hundred years of age, and we have no time
          to waste. We should live in such a manner that the Spirit and
          blessing of God may attend us; and then when we cease our labors
          here we shall pass hence to continue them in the same cause of
          salvation and redemption, and all will be well with us. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 /
          Erastus Snow, April 7, 1882
                             Erastus Snow, April 7, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE ERASTUS SNOW,
                Delivered at the General Conference, Salt Lake City,
                          Friday Afternoon, April 7, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                      TO GOD'S
                                      PEOPLE A
          I regard the mission of the Latter-day Saints as the most
          important that has fallen to the lot of man because we, as the
          people of God, live in the most important period of the world's
          age--the dispensation of the fulness of times, in which the God
          of heaven has set his hand a second time to recover his people,
          the house of Israel; to lay the foundation of the fulfilment of
          the promises made to the fathers through Moses and the Prophets,
          and to bring to pass the covenants made with Abraham, Isaac and
          Jacob, and those made with Joseph the son of Jacob, concerning
          his seed. The Book of Mormon gives a brief history of a portion
          of the house of Joseph who came to this land from Palestine,
          their native land; and it not only gives an account of this
          people but it foretells their future. A great future lies before
          this people in connection with the Latter-day work.
          Our mission is not a mission of blood; it is not a mission of
          war, of strife or contention, but a mission of peace on earth and
          good will to men; a mission to bring life and salvation unto the
          children of men who will receive it; a mission to make known the
          things that God has revealed for the happiness, glory and
          exaltation of his children, both in this world and the world to
          come. And what God has revealed to us, which we call our
          religion, is not only theoretical but eminently practical. It
          could not be otherwise and be the Gospel of life and salvation. A
          religion that is exclusively theoretical, that is merely a matter
          of faith producing no legitimate works or fruits of that faith is
          dead. There are many dead forms of religion in the world; and as
          a matter of course they are without force and effect. But the
          Gospel of the Son of God revealed anew from heaven in our age and
          time, and which his people have espoused, is a living faith,
          producing in its votaries its legitimate fruits--love, joy, peace
          and good works. I am sorry to say, however, that we are not all
          examples of that living faith to the extent that God requires at
          our hands. In this respect it is with us as it was with others
          who preceded us; some of the seed has fallen by the way side,
          producing little effect in them that received it; some has fallen
          in stony places, and as anciently, such rejoice for the time
          being, but alas! when tribulation or persecution arises, they
          having not much depth of soil, are easily uprooted. Some again
          has fallen among thorns, and the cares of the world and the
          deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes
          unfruitful. But blessed are those who break up the fallow ground
          of their hearts, thereby preparing themselves by suitable
          reflection, meditation, humility and prayer, overcoming the evil
          that is in them by the good, that the seed when sown, may take
          deep root and spring forth and bear precious fruit, some thirty,
          some sixty, and some one hundred fold, according to the depth of
          the soil and the strength and cultivation of the mind.
          I said our religion was eminently practical, as true religion
          cannot be separated from true practice. It teaches us to visit
          the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and to keep
          ourselves unspotted from the world; it teaches charity and love
          one toward another, and to assist to bear each other's burdens,
          and be one in Christ Jesus. Just before the Savior was offered up
          upon the cross he prayed to his Father in behalf of his disciples
          and those who should believe on him through their ministrations,
          that they might be one with him as he was one with the Father.
          Now it is quite a fine thing in the estimation of the Christian
          world to preach about Jesus and his doctrines; but when it comes
          to practice it is quite another thing. One of the main objects of
          the Latter-day Saints is to become united, both spiritually and
          temporally. The clergymen of America who have been foremost in
          working up the late furore against the "Mormon" people, who have
          met in solemn conclave and dictated resolutions and gotten up
          memorials to Congress, and who have traveled and visited the
          noted cities as lecturers, among whom may be mentioned the
          celebrated Parson Newman and the celebrated--what shall I
          say?--well, Mr. Schuyler Colfax, and others, have aroused the
          nation and moved the members of Congress to hostile legislation
          against the Latter-day Saints. Their general declaration has been
          that polygamy--though polygamy was the war-cry--was not to be
          dreaded like "Mormon" unity. They term it priestly influence, or
          the influence of the "Mormon" hierarchy. In reflecting upon this
          declaration which was freely expressed on numerous occasions
          during last winter and spring, in the tirades made against the
          Latter-day Saints, it has caused some curious reflections. What
          would have been the result if the Methodists, the Presbyterians,
          the Baptists and all the prominent denominations of America, had
          been true disciples of Christ, and had come under that rule laid
          down in the Savior's prayer--if they had all become one in Christ
          as he was one with the Father? What would have been the result?
          Methinks things would be very different in the history of
          American government from what we now see. We will refer, for
          example, to the condition of things prior to the late civil war,
          and about the time the republican party incorporated in their
          platform at the Philadelphia convention in 1856, the celebrated
          plank known as the twin relics--in which they pledged themselves
          to exterminate the twin relics, slavery and polygamy. What was
          the condition of the religious sects of America at that time?
          Those who are familiar with the history of those times will
          remember that preparatory to that great struggle which resulted
          in the great civil war, there had been a complete separation and
          two distinct organizations of all the prominent sects of America.
          The Methodist church was divided into the Methodist church north
          and the Methodist church south; the Presbyterians were divided
          into the Presbyterian church north and the Presbyterian church
          south; the Baptists, the Campbellites and the other various sects
          were divided in like manner, the Mason and Dickson line, as it
          was called, was the line of division between the churches north
          and the churches south; and substantially the same line marked
          the boundary between the southern confederacy and northern States
          during the war, for the division commenced in the churches, and
          it was the various religious sects of America that worked up the
          war. They divided one against another, and brought on the war.
          And when the Northern and Southern armies were marching against
          and slaying each other by hundreds of thousands, every regiment
          and division of the army on both sides were encouraged by the
          prayers and preaching of their respective chaplains of the
          various sects on both sides, each praying for the success of
          their arms, that each side might succeed in using up the opposite
          Now imagine them, for a moment, to be the true disciples of
          Christ, Ministers of the true and everlasting Gospel holding
          power and authority from him. What would have been the result if
          the Lord had heard the prayers of the religious elements of these
          two contending parties? The only thing we can think of as
          expressing the idea, is the old fable of the Kilkenny cats,
          which, it is said, fought each other and devoured each other all
          but the tails, and they began to jump at each other. From the
          results one would suppose that the Lord heard the prayers on both
          sides to a considerable extent. But it is too serious a matter to
          be treated in a jocose style. And, yet, one can hardly resist the
          temptation, it is so ludicrous to see people professing the same
          holy religion, to be followers of the meek and lowly Jesus and
          his righteousness, and preachers of his Gospel arrayed on each
          side, stirring up the people to war, urging them on, and praying
          to the same God for the success of each others' arms. Now, I ask,
          is this an ensample of Christian unity such as the Savior prayed
          for, when he asked the Father that all that should believe on him
          through the words of his disciples might become one even as he
          and the Father were one?
          The Latter-day Saints, as I have before remarked, are far from
          being as yet what the Lord requires them to be. But that spirit
          which accompanies the fulness of the Gospel, and which the
          Latter-day Saints have received through the preaching of the
          Gospel and through obedience to its requirements, has so far made
          their hearts as one, causing them to see eye to eye, and to
          gather together upon this land of Joseph, that they might learn
          more fully the ways of the Lord and walk in his paths, and
          cultivate the Christian unity which the Savior prayed for. And
          this appears to be the head and front of our offending. Polygamy
          is ostensibly the cry; but what reflecting man that is posted in
          the history of the times, believes that this has a particle of
          influence upon our statesmen? They admit, according to their own
          showing, that there is more immorality, depravity, whoredom, and
          the terrible consequences of the social evil in one of the great
          cities of the Union in a single year than has been in Utah ever
          since it has been founded. They know this full well. They know
          that we are a people of energy, of industry and honest labor, a
          people who do not labor with a view and desire to build ourselves
          up at the expense and ruin of our neighbors; but a people who
          labor to gather from the elements around us, producing the
          comforts of life for ourselves and families. They recognize in us
          a people who have planted a flourishing commonwealth in the heart
          of the great American desert, and made it possible to populate
          the surrounding Territories.
          In 1847 the standard of the American nation was planted on this
          Temple block. I assisted in planting it; and many around me
          to-day participated in those early scenes. At the same time the
          country lying west of the Sierra Nevada and between it and the
          Pacific Coast, was held under the American flag by the Mormon
          Battalion, who under General Kearney captured the State of
          California from the Mexican government and held it for the United
          States government until this country was ceded to the United
          States by treaty on the 22nd of February, 1848. The stars and
          stripes were planted between the Rocky Mountains on the east and
          the Sierra Nevadas west by "Mormon" colonies, and west to the
          Pacific coast by the "Mormon Battalion," and the country held for
          the American government. We proceeded to the establishment and
          organization of civil government. This great basin country
          between the mountains was incorporated into the State of Deseret,
          a provisional government was organized for the State of Deseret,
          a republican constitution was framed and adopted by the people;
          the country was divided into counties and precincts, local
          government was organized, laws adopted and delegates sent to
          Congress to ask for admission into the Union. At the same time
          the gold hunters were flocking to California after the "Mormon
          Battalion" revealed the first gold which they brought to light
          while dragging Captain Sutter's mill race. Some of the men are
          still in our midst who brought about these results, who first
          revealed to the astonished world the gold of California, and who
          raised the first furore, which resulted in thousands flocking to
          the Pacific coast. And, mark you, the first colony of settlers
          upon that Pacific coast after the capture of that country through
          the valor of the "Mormon" Battalion, was a "Mormon" colony
          shipped from the New England States, who took with them a
          printing press, and planted their feet upon the shores of San
          Francisco, and there issued the California Star, in 1847, which
          was the first publication in the English language west of the
          Rocky Mountains--the first free press hailing the American flag
          and proclaiming American liberty, the principles of free
          government; and at the same time we planted a free press in this
          city, whence was issued the DESERET NEWS, proclaiming those
          principles to all the world.
          Both California and Deseret presented themselves at the same
          time, through their delegates, knocking at the door of Congress,
          praying for admission into the Union. The prayer of California
          was accepted; that of Deseret was rejected.
          Jesus had occasion to ask this question of the Jews: If a son
          shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will ye give him
          a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? It
          might ill become me perhaps, to apply these words to our national
          government; but the facts are that when we presented ourselves as
          the State of Deseret, precisely on equal footing with that of
          California, with equally a democratic government and republican
          constitution, both of which States had been organized out of the
          old Mexican States of Upper California, and which had been
          recently captured from the Mexican government, and presented
          themselves to Congress on equal footing; one was accepted, the
          other rejected. Instead of granting to Deseret a State
          government, Congress gave us a territorial form of government
          under the Organic act of 1850. It is true it extended to us
          certain rights of self-government, but to a limited extent. We
          had the right of representation in the Legislative Assembly, but
          those rights were clipped by the absolute veto of a Federal
          Governor; nor, indeed, is the absolute veto of a Federal Governor
          the only veto held over the Territorial Legislature, Congress
          itself reserving to itself a right to annul the acts of the
          Legislative Assembly, though receiving the signature of the
          Governor. But if the Governor chooses to withhold his signature
          no matter how wholesome or necessary the measure, it cannot
          become law, nor would he be, under the Organic Act, required to
          assign any reason for it. The mere whim of a man, a stranger to
          our country who has but little, if any, practical knowledge of
          our needs, and who himself is not a tax-payer, probably may
          deprive a whole community of people of their legal rights. Such
          is the territorial form of government, not of all Territories,
          for with the exception of Utah and New Mexico, this absolute veto
          power does not exist on American soil. Other Territories as well
          as the States, and the United States, may, through a two-thirds
          vote of their legislature, pass any measure over the veto of its
               But what does this signify? It says to us, "we are not
          willing to trust you with the rights and privileges of
          self-government in common with other American citizens; and it is
          deemed advisable that we should hold this check upon your
          legislature." But notwithstanding we have been shut out from
          Statehood, we have prospered and grown into a flourishing
          community of people.
          On several occasions we have renewed our efforts by appealing to
          Congress for the rights of self-government; but on every occasion
          we have been put off. But we have continued to prosper, and yet
          we have received no aid from the general government in
          establishing and maintaining schools, as other portions of the
          country have. We have built our school-houses and maintained our
          schools, and educated our children as best we could. And here let
          me say that Utah will compare favorably in educational matters
          with any portion of the United States, even the older and richer
          States; and while the number of children is three times that of
          other populations, yet, they are all enjoying the benefits of a
          common school education at least; and as the higher schools are
          being established the facilities for more extensive education are
          We have opened up farms and established towns and cities over
          this vast country, of 500 miles in extent. We have established
          mills and have produced the various cereals and vegetables and
          fruits, and raised the beef and mutton, and the wool to supply
          our factories, and cotton, to manufacture to a considerable
          extent, the clothing that we wear; and we have manufactured to a
          considerable extent our farming implements, and yet we are under
          the necessity of largely importing manufactured goods. And,
          to-day, Utah enjoys prosperity equal, if not superior to any
          other Territory, and, indeed, some of the Western States.
          Now these are facts patent to the world. And with such facts can
          they in their inmost souls look upon this people as a vicious
          people, or as a wicked, licentious people, as a people who are
          influenced by worldly considerations and fleshly lusts? Are these
          the works of the licentious and dissolute? We invite the people
          of the United States to attend our Sabbath School Unions and
          attend the public gatherings of the people where they congregate;
          we invite their statesmen and honorable men and women of all
          classes to come and visit us and learn facts as they exist,
          instead of swallowing greedily the malicious calumnies and
          misrepresentations set afoot concerning us by those who know
          little or nothing about us; or if they have known anything about
          us, they have sold themselves to the Devil long since, and they
          are of their father the Devil, who was a liar from the beginning,
          and his works they will do; and when honest people come among us
          we ask them not to sit themselves down and allow themselves to be
          corralled by the lying hypocrites that are fanning the flame of
          persecution, and never come in contact with the people they
          desire to know and understand. Why is it that honorable men
          should act as though they were ashamed to learn the truth? Why is
          it they do not come and hear and see for themselves both sides?
          We are accused of disloyalty. We are accused of being governed by
          priestcraft, and that we are subjects of the one-man power. Here
          we would pause and respectfully say, in the language of
          Scripture, "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine
          own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out
          of thy brother's eye." Where, I would ask, could we look for a
          more decidedly marked expression of the one-man power than in the
          case we have recently had in Utah, in which the Governor gave the
          certificate of election to the man for whom the insignificant
          number of 1,300 votes was cast, withholding it from the rightful
          representative of the people for whom 18,000 votes were recorded?
          The persistency with which he and his friends, the enemies of
          this people, have sought to fasten this fraud upon the people in
          this Territory, not to say anything about the one-man power
          provided for in the organic act! A federal governor, a stranger
          sent among us with an absolute veto, possessing the power to wipe
          out the doings of a whole session of the people's
          I will further direct attention to all reflecting men to the
          scenes in the Senate and the House of Representatives of the
          United States when the Edmunds' bill was put through under what
          is called the gag law of the previous question, cutting off
          amendments and limiting debate. I will appeal to every honest
          man--if there be an honest politician in the land--by asking, Who
          among them possesses the freedom of speaking and acting only in
          obedience to the party lash, and what Senator or Representative
          dare try to air his sentiments or vote contrary to the dictum of
          his party leaders? Shame upon them when they talk about the
          exercise of one-man power in Utah! If there is a people upon the
          earth that exercise greater freedom of speech or action than the
          Latter-day Saints, I hope and pray that we may grow until we
          become their equals at least.
          Every principle in our holy religion tends to freedom, or in the
          language of the New Testament, the Gospel is the perfect law of
          liberty. The reason that it is so is, because it lifts the
          spirits of man above the law, or, in other words, it teaches him
          to work righteousness and thereby escape the penalties of the
          law, and enables him to enjoy that perfect freedom which God has
          ordained for all flesh--the freedom to do right, but there is no
          liberty to do wrong without incurring the penalty of that
          wrong-doing, therefore, every one who does wrong must accept of
          the consequences of that wrong, and may expect to suffer the
          penalty either in time or in eternity. The Gospel then extends to
          us the freedom to do right, and the laws of our common country
          used to extend this right and privilege to its citizens. This was
          declared by the fathers in the famous Declaration of
          Independence, and which was consolidated by the fathers of the
          Constitution of our country, which was one of the fruits of their
          great struggle.
          This famous declaration enunciated the doctrine that "all just
          powers of government are derived from the consent of the
          governed;" and upon this principle are the institutions of our
          country founded; and it is only through the guarantees of this
          fundamental doctrine underlying our institutions that there can
          be any freedom. This declaration of the fathers embodied in that
          celebrated instrument, signed on the 4th of July, 1876, is the
          embodiment of the principles of civil and religious liberty, such
          freedom as God has ever taught and sought to establish among his
          children from the beginning of the world. And whenever there has
          been a people who have listened to the voice of God, they have
          been made free, and oppression has been a stranger to them. The
          careful student of the Bible will at once perceive that
          everything which God sought to establish among his people, tended
          to freedom and the enjoyment of the common rights of humanity.
          Never did ancient Israel enjoy as free and happy a government as
          under the reign of the judges, from the time Moses led them out
          of Egyptian bondage until they clamored for a king. For 430 years
          they triumphed over their foes, and they dwelt in peace and
          unity, and love and freedom existed, and every tribe was a
          commonwealth managing its own local affairs, while they all
          sustained a central power which counseled and directed them; and
          their rulers were judges inspired of God, were prophets, seers
          and revelators, who judged in righteousness, and exercised no
          control over the liberties and consciences of men. The same
          principle is observed in reading the history of the American
          continent. The Book of Mormon is replete with testimony in this
          direction. And during the palmy days of the Nephites there was no
          king among them; and that long and happy period that preceded the
          coming of the Savior, and for hundreds of years that followed
          during the reign of the judges among the Nephites, liberty and
          freedom and happiness prevailed. And although they had at one
          time in accordance with their pronounced and persistent desire, a
          king--King Benjamin and King Mosiah--yet, these were kings more
          in name than in fact; they were only patriarchs or fathers among
          their people, and the term they apply to them might quietly have
          a tendency to cause them to augment power to themselves and to
          exercise oppressive jurisdiction over the people, and foreseeing
          this King Mosiah beseeched the people to abolish the office, and
          establish and maintain free government, and elect their chief
          judge or governor by the voice of the people. He reasoned and
          explained to them the dangers which would result to them by
          having a ruler who was not elected by the people. When Israel
          began to fall into darkness and transgression, in the days of
          Samuel, and they clamored for a king to lead them to war and thus
          be like the Gentile nations around them, it grieved Samuel the
          Seer to his heart; and he besought the people to desist from
          their determination, and he warned them of the dangers that would
          follow, telling them that it would lead to oppression and
          tyranny, and that taxes would be levied and heavy burdens would
          be laid upon the people grievous to be borne, and that it would
          finally lead to war, bloodshed and bondage. But they would not
          listen. And when the prophet inquired of the Lord what he should
          do, he answered and said to Samuel: "Hearken unto the voice of
          the people in all they say unto thee: for they have not rejected
          thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over
          Furthermore, the Book of Mormon tells that God will cause a free
          government to be established upon this land in the latter-days,
          and inasmuch as the people will serve the Lord they shall forever
          be a free people. And in the Doctrine and Covenants is contained
          a revelation which was given to the Latter-day Saints in the
          early history of the Church, commanding us to uphold and maintain
          the principles of freedom and liberty, as claimed by our fathers
          and consolidated in the Constitution of the United States, and in
          which is written this remarkable declaration: "Let no man break
          the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God has no
          need to break the laws of the land;" and we are further told that
          we should uphold and maintain that law which is the
          Constitutional law of the land; for, the Lord said, the
          Constitution was established by wise men whom he raised up for
          that purpose, after the land had been redeemed by bloodshed. This
          doctrine was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith, in the early
          days of this people, and cannot be separated from the religion we
          have embraced; and by the help of the Lord we mean to maintain
          those principles to the end, notwithstanding that some of our
          American statesmen wax wanton in their feelings and tyrannical in
          their acts and expressions, while religious bigots and political
          demagogues are undermining the foundations of our American
          institutions. They commence to-day upon Utah; but it is not the
          first time. From the time the declaration was made in
          Philadelphia by the republican party there have been divers
          departures from those principles embraced in our American
          Constitution. Had the people of America listened to the voice of
          the Lord through the Prophet Joseph Smith, they would have long
          since freed their slaves in an amicable, an honorable and
          economical manner without the shedding of blood. But they
          disdained the counsels of the Lord. The Prophet Joseph published
          his views in pamphlet form on the powers and duties of the
          national government on the then much-mooted question of slavery,
          in which he treated upon the compact of the United States as
          between the North and South on this question of slavery; and
          proposed an easy and honorable plan of settling the question
          without violating that compact or encroaching upon the rights of
          each other; and that was, to negotiate with the Southern States
          for the gradual emancipation of their slaves, the consideration
          to be met by the national treasury, and fixing a time after which
          all children should be born free, thus providing for a gradual
          emancipation, and that they might not feel that they were robbed,
          and by their being gradually emancipated they would have been
          prepared gradually for free government and free labor, and thus
          the ill and unpleasant consequences would have been measurably
          averted, at least, of turning loose a horde of uncultivated
          people, who were totally unprepared for American citizenship. Had
          they listened to this proposition, less than a tenth part of the
          cost of the war would have freed all the slaves, and that too
          without bloodshed, and the utter devastation of the Southern
          States would have been spared.
          But we have seen it. And following the war has been inaugurated
          an era of degeneracy in public morals, degeneracy in politics and
          religion, a degeneracy in the minds of our statesmen which has
          shown itself in a desire on their part to tamper with the sacred
          rights of man, to tamper with every part of the government, not
          even excepting the Supreme Court, which, up to the time of the
          civil war, was looked upon by the American people as almost
          beyond temptation, and beyond the probability of being corrupted
          or bribed. But alas! the Supreme Court itself has been tampered
          with. And for many years, almost from the commencement of that
          effort to break down the barriers of the Constitution and to
          settle this vexed question of slavery by violence--from that time
          politicians have sought to sustain themselves in violent,
          revolutionary and unconstitutional measures by foisting into the
          Supreme Court partisans who are already imbued with extreme
          political notions and ideas, whose carrying them with them on the
          bench has resulted in many decisions which after ages will
          greatly deplore and point out as the stepping stones to the
          destruction of our free institutions. But it remains for the
          Congress of the United States in 1882 to strike the blow at human
          freedom which places a vast people who have enjoyed their freedom
          in part only for 35 years in these mountains, at the disposal of
          a returning board to be sent here by the President. This is the
          object of the Edmunds' bill. Its framers, its advocates and
          supporters scarcely expect anything from it toward the
          extinguishing of polygamy; but they do expect from it the
          transfer of our flourishing Territory into the hands of the
          enemies of the "Mormon" people. And they expect to disfranchise
          whom they will, and decide who may vote and who may hold office,
          who may become members of the Legislature, etc., and vice versa;
          and then dictate what laws they shall make, and then dictate how
          the people shall be taxed to pay their salaries and expenses,
          unless forsooth, Congress shall, according to the recommendation
          of President Arthur, reconsider that part of the law and make
          provision for their salaries.
          It is not my purpose to attempt to foretell the consequences of
          this class of legislation. We shall all see for ourselves; but if
          our neighbors, our Gentile friends can stand it we can; and if
          our nation can stand it we can; and if our statesmen and the
          people who elect them and countenance their acts can stand it, we
          can; and if merchants, miners, bankers, agents, speculators,
          etc., among us can stand it, we can. If the taxes should be
          doubled up, and burdens put upon the people, and they can stand
          their share of it, we can stand ours, because we are used to it,
          and they are not. If they can confine themselves to one woman I
          know we can. (Laughter.) The proof of the pudding you know, is in
          the eating. We do not intend to be worried; we have already
          passed through many very trying places, and we still expect to
          find an outlet. I am reminded often of our experience when
          traveling through some of the narrow gorges in our mountains; it
          often appears that our road has come to an end against a
          mountain, but when we get close up to it, we find a turn, and we
          keep traveling; and this is sometimes often repeated in a day's
          travel, until, at last, our road opens out and a broad, beautiful
          valley is in sight, which never fails to bring feelings of relief
          to the weary traveler, especially if he is not familiar with the
          road. Such has been our experience in the pilgrimage of life up
          to the present time, and we confidently expect that He who has
          led us, through His Holy Priesthood, will continue to open up our
          way, and He will do so if we keep our covenants with Him. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / George
          Q. Cannon, November 20th, 1881
                        George Q. Cannon, November 20th, 1881
                   Delivered in the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                       Sunday Afternoon, November 20th, 1881.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                     CHURCH FROM
                                      UPON THE
          There is a passage in the Book of Mormon which has suggested
          itself to my mind, which I will read. It contains the words of
          Alma unto his son Helaman, and were among the last words which he
          spoke unto him. They will be found recorded on page 368 of the
          new edition, namely:
          "And it came to pass that after Alma had said these things to
          Helaman, he blessed him, and also his other sons; and he also
          blessed the earth for the righteous' sake;
          And he said, Thus saith the Lord God: cursed shall be the land,
          yea, this land, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people,
          unto destruction, which do wickedly, when they are fully ripe;
          and as I have said so shall it be; for this is the cursing and
          the blessing of God upon the land, for the Lord cannot look upon
          sin with the least degree of allowance.
          And now when Alma had said these words he blessed the Church,
          yea, all those who should stand fast in the faith from that time
          President Cannon then continued: In rising to speak unto you this
          afternoon, my brethren and sisters, I do so with a desire in my
          heart that that which I may say may be prompted by the Spirit of
          God, and may be for your edification and comfort as well as my
          own. I am glad to have this opportunity of meeting with you--not
          so much for the privilege of speaking as of being here.
          Some of us, as you know, have been traveling considerably of
          late, visiting the various settlements, and I believe President
          Taylor and party, when they return to this city, will have
          completed the entire round of the Territory and of all the Stakes
          outside of Arizona--that is so far as Utah and Idaho are
          concerned. We have found the people in a very prosperous
          condition and feeling exceedingly well. In almost every
          settlement the crops have been larger than they have been known
          to be before. And the people are prospering in their temporal
          circumstances and of course are feeling well, and I believe I do
          not overstate the matter when I say that they are as attentive to
          their duties generally as I have ever seen them. Good health has
          generally prevailed. I think probably we have had more sickness
          in this city and neighborhood than in any other part of the
          Territory. The people are increasing and spreading abroad, taking
          root in the land. In the southern part of the Territory they are
          not prospering to so great an extent as they are in the middle
          and northern part, owing to various causes. Still there is an
          excellent feeling throughout all these settlements, and they are
          looking hopefully to the future.
          I have often thought in looking at the calmness and serenity of
          the people, and the peace which prevails in their hearts, and in
          their habitations and settlements, that it is not among the least
          wonderful features of this organization that a people, who are so
          much maligned, attacked and threatened as are the Latter-day
          Saints, should be found living so undisturbed by these things and
          apparently enjoying themselves as they do. There is scarcely a
          week passes, or has passed for years in which there have not been
          some threats uttered and circulated against us. "Terrible things
          going to be done with the Mormons; we are going to have them all
          disposed of now; we shall have this Mormon question all settled,
          and the problem so thoroughly solved that it will never require
          to be meddled with again."
          Threats of this character have been in circulation now for years,
          and every time they have been alluded to it seemed to those who
          made them as though their plans would be likely to be successful.
          In the case of any other people it would repress all energy and
          development, it would frighten everybody, and, in fact, no one
          would want to live in a community that was in such constant
          jeopardy. But so far as my observation has extended the people,
          as I have remarked, are full of peace and quiet, undisturbed by
          the prospects for the future. In fact they feel quite happy and
          rejoice that they are counted worthy to have their names cast out
          as evil. It is one of the most remarkable features connected with
          this work that a people so few in number, naturally so quiet and
          inoffensive, molesting no one, interfering with no one's peace or
          enjoyment, threatening no one, minding their own business,
          peacefully pursuing their varied pursuits, should create such a
          stir in the world as we are doing. It might be thought that the
          150,000 people who live in the Territory of Utah, would be such
          an insignificant people and so utterly beneath the notice--so far
          as numerical strength is concerned--of the world at large, that
          they might be permitted to pursue the course which is marked out
          for them without interference and without so much agitation
          respecting them. But I was told yesterday by a federal official
          who had just returned from the east--and I suppose it is
          true--that there was no subject to-day that seemed to have the
          importance in men's minds that Utah had, and that wherever he
          went, when it was known that he was from Utah, everybody wanted
          to talk with him about its affairs and its people. Newspaper
          reporters were after him to find out what he could tell them
          about us, and I am informed that members of Congress and other
          leading men are making the "Mormon question" a special study. I
          hope they will thoroughly investigate it while they are at it; I
          think the investigation will prove profitable to them, if it is
          only done in the right spirit; but the object, I suppose, in
          making it a special study is to do something, to deal with its
          imaginary evils, to devise some plan that will reach this system
          that appears to be so hateful. Well, now, I call this a
          remarkable feature of this work. I think it is exceedingly
          wonderful that so small a people--a people whom every one must
          admit who visits this country, are peaceful--should create such a
          disturbance in the earth and be the cause of so much thought, so
          much writing and speech making. And it has not been the case in
          Utah alone, that is, since the Latter-day Saints came to Utah,
          but it has been a peculiarity of this work--the work of God--from
          the day of its inception in these last days until the present.
          And what is still more remarkable, it was predicted that this
          would be the case about it when it first started and before it,
          in fact, had an organization.
          Doubtless the most of you remember that when Joseph Smith was
          visited by an angel of God when he was quite a youth, it was said
          to him by the angel that his name should be known for good and
          evil throughout the earth, and most wonderfully has that
          statement been fulfilled in his case and in the case of all those
          who have embraced the everlasting Gospel. This was said before
          the Church was organized; it was published directly after the
          Doubtless you are all familiar--or most of you are--with the
          letters of Oliver Cowdery to W. W. Phelps, in which this was
          published among the earliest writings that were sent forth by
          this Church, and when to all human appearances there was not the
          least probability of it being fulfilled, except a man should have
          the spirit of revelation to discern the future. But when the
          Church was organized it created a sensation in the
          neighborhood--it attracted attention--men's minds were drawn
          towards it. As it increased the excitement spread, and among the
          earliest predictions that I remember hearing, connected with this
          work, was, that it had called forth the attention of townships
          and of counties and of States, and it was said of it, that it
          should spread until it would attract the attention of the United
          States and of the world. This was one of the earliest predictions
          that was uttered connected with the work, and it was also
          predicted concerning it, that its missionaries should go to every
          land and to every people, and carry the glad tidings of
          salvation, and should be the means of gathering out of every
          nation, kindred, tongue and people, the honest in heart, who
          should gather together in one place, and should be known by the
          name of Zion. I often think of this. The wonderful manner in
          which this people called Latter-day Saints dwelling in Utah have
          been gathered together is a subject of never-ceasing interest to
          Before the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of
          Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith received revelations which he
          said were revelations from God. They are now embodied in this
          book, which we call the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and among
          the earliest of these revelations is found a statement given by
          the Lord Jesus Christ, through Joseph Smith, to the effect that
          he intended to bring forth and establish Zion, and that He would
          gather together the people who would obey His Gospel. This
          prediction is particularly note worthy, because at the time when
          the first of these revelations was given, there was no such
          organization as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
          upon the earth; it did not have an existence; and in the
          September following its organization--that is five months
          afterwards--another revelation was given, in which it was stated
          still more plainly who were to be gathered, and the purposes for
          which they were to be gathered, and this, too, before there was a
          place designated as a place of gathering. I have often said that
          if the Prophet Joseph Smith had no other evidence to show to the
          world of the divinity of his mission, and of his prophetic
          office, than that revelation alone, it was sufficient in and of
          itself to establish it; for this reason; that at the time it was
          uttered, as I have said, there was no organization of the Church
          of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; there was no gathering
          place; no person had ever witnessed such a proceeding as a people
          belonging to one church gathering together and dwelling together
          in one organization. There was nothing of the kind known; there
          was no organization among the children of men that could have
          given a hint of the possibility or probability of such a great
          event taking place. If other churches had done the same, then it
          might have been thought that the Prophet Joseph Smith could
          easily have predicted that the people that he would be the means
          of gathering together, might do so also. But there was no
          accessible record extant of the gathering together of any people
          in this manner at the time that Joseph proclaimed this principle.
          Yet he, inspired of God, dared to make this statement to the
          world, and to publish it, and to-day, we who are here are living
          witnesses of its fulfilment--not of its complete fulfilment, but
          sufficiently to make it one of the strangest events that has ever
          been witnessed among men. There have been many circumstances
          surrounding the people which have been of such a character as to
          operate against their gathering. It is not long since a Secretary
          of State issued a circular to the nations of Europe to check this
          very business of gathering. I do not suppose that he knew that
          Joseph Smith had made such a prediction, or that God had inspired
          him to give such a revelation, or that he ever imagined for a
          moment that the word of God was recorded upon this subject; but
          he thought it would be a good thing to stop the immigration of
          "Mormons." Mobs have also done their part to accomplish the same
          end, by endeavoring to break up the community and scatter its
          members and frighten those who had not gathered, so that they
          might be deterred from coming. But notwithstanding all these
          influences which have been operating from the
          beginning--commencing as I said in a township, then spreading to
          a county, afterwards to a State, and to States, and then the
          Secretary of State of our nation taking the matter in
          hand--notwithstanding all these influences which have been
          operating to check the gathering of the people together, they
          have gathered as we see them to-day, and are still gathering,
          because God has said they should, and there is no earthly power
          that can prevent their gathering together, though it need not
          surprise you if more thorough measures than ever have been should
          be taken to prevent the Saints from obeying this command.
          When the Elders of this Church first went out, they went out
          without the ordinary advantages that men who call themselves
          ministers possess. They were men selected from the various
          avocations of life. Joseph Smith himself was a farmer. He was not
          a man that was schooled for the ministry. He had had no education
          to fit and qualify him as men are ordinarily supposed to be
          qualified in these days who teach their fellow men what is called
          the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He did not go to a theological
          seminary. But inspired of God, having been ordained of God to the
          everlasting Priesthood (that authority that had been withdrawn
          from the earth in consequence of the wickedness of men; and been
          restored to the earth and bestowed upon him by angelic agency) he
          stood up in the midst of his fellow-men and proclaimed the truth,
          and by the power of God he was the means of bringing many to its
          knowledge; and, as I have said, inspired of God, he selected
          others and laid his hands upon them, that being the ordination
          necessary to qualify them to preach the word of God. They were
          taken from the plow, they were taken from the blacksmith's shop,
          from the mechanic's bench, from the counting room, and from all
          the vocations of life in which they were found; they were taken
          and were thus ordained and sent out to preach the Gospel, without
          purse and scrip, without salary, without that which the world had
          considered necessary--an education, an education suited to the
          calling. In this way they went forth and preached the Gospel--not
          in men's wisdom, not in their own strength, but calling upon God
          in the name of Jesus to bestow His Holy Spirit upon the people
          and to carry their words by that spirit to their hearts, and to
          help them find the honest, the meek, and the humble. This is the
          way in which they went. They could not glory in man. They could
          not take glory to themselves, for there was nothing about them in
          which they could glory. And the result was that wherever they
          went they met honest-hearted people--people who were waiting to
          receive their message; and these people as soon as they were
          baptized were seized with a desire to gather together with the
          people of God, without knowing what God had said upon the
          Now, when God does a work he does it in his own way, and he is
          determined--he always was apparently from all we read--to have
          the glory of that work. If a man were to go forth qualified by
          education and preached by the power of education and of learning,
          who is it that gets the glory? Why, you will find it everywhere
          that man is glorified. If there is a fluent preacher, if there is
          a successful orator in what is called the Christian Church, he
          gets the glory of it, and he gets a salary in proportion to it.
          Commencing, as some of them have done, to preach in humble
          places, the fame of their oratory has spread, and they have had
          calls to the ministry from other places, such calls being
          accompanied by an increase of salary, and a man goes from one
          place to another according to the addition he receives in his
          salary until he becomes noted as many are to day. The fame of
          their oratory goes throughout the United States. Who is it that
          gets the glory for this? Why, it is the men themselves, and they
          get the salary, too. They not only get the glory of men, but they
          get their pay. Man's education is praised, the college where he
          received it receives credit for it according to the ability that
          he may display, and God is very little thought about in the
          matter, and certainly the Holy Ghost gets no credit, for it is
          supposed that the Holy Ghost has nothing to do with it. Well,
          now, God has taken a different method in our day, and he is
          showing forth his power. He is taking the meek and the lowly and
          the humble men who are desirous to keep his commandments, and he
          is making them mighty through his power. But they cannot give any
          glory to any one but the Almighty for this. Let a man attempt to
          travel without purse and scrip, as the Elders of this Church have
          done, and as the ancient Apostles did, and if he is successful he
          is successful through faith, through his reliance upon God
          through keeping his commandments, through being humble, meek and
          lowly of heart, and if he reaches the hearts of the honest, the
          only way he can hope to do it is by having the Spirit of God, and
          having that power accompanying his words. He cannot do it in any
          other way. And who is there in this Church that gives Joseph
          Smith the glory of this work? Yet it is the most wonderful
          organization ever beheld among men. There is nothing like it.
          There is no limit to the power connected with it; there is no
          limit to the union connected with it; there is no limit to the
          capacity for expansion connected with it. You may expand it and
          make it as wide and broad as you please, and the organization is
          equal to it. If it only consisted of six members it answered the
          purpose; if it consisted of six thousand it answered the purpose.
          If it were to consist of six millions it would answer the
          purpose; if it should embrace the whole world it would be found
          equal to the necessity. No man can look upon the organization of
          this Church and examine it in its details without being
          wonderfully impressed--if he be a man who does not give glory to
          God--with the ability of the man who framed it; but if he be
          disposed to give glory to God, he cannot examine it without
          praising God in his heart for giving so wonderful and so simple
          an organization on the earth for a church. But though this is the
          case, who is there that gives any glory to Joseph Smith? Who is
          there that gives any glory to Brigham Young? I have been told
          repeatedly that we do not honor our men enough, we do not give
          them praise enough; but it is a fact, the people look behind the
          instrument. Joseph Smith was a man; yet we have been falsely
          accused of worshiping Joseph Smith in the place of the Savior,
          and the same has also been said of Brigham Young. But the true
          feeling is to look behind Joseph Smith and Brigham Young to the
          Power who raised them up, to that Being who gave them all their
          gifts and endowments, who inspired them and who made them perform
          the work that they did. And when Elders in this Church are
          successful there is very little disposition to give them the
          glory or the praise therefore. The praise is given to God, who is
          the author of these blessings and of the gathering of this people
          together. The world say it was the shrewdness of Joseph Smith
          that first suggested this, and that it was the executive ability
          that Brigham Young had that carried it out. They do not recognize
          God in it; it was Brigham Young. But, my brethren and sisters,
          you know who it was. You know that it was no power of man that
          could have touched your hearts and made you desire to leave your
          homes and come to Zion. This makes every man and woman in this
          Church, who comes from the nations of the earth, a living witness
          for himself and for herself, not depending upon the Elders, for
          the Elders could not do this, they could not offer the
          inducements, but every man and every woman becomes an interested
          person, a witness himself and herself to the truth of these
          things, and especially to the doctrine of gathering. Why the
          desire is so strong and has been in the hearts of the people that
          if it were necessary they would walk on foot any distance to join
          the gathered Saints. If they could walk on the water they would
          do it. They would push hand-carts across the plains if they could
          not come across in any other way, carrying their packs on their
          backs. Why? Because the Spirit of God was poured out upon them,
          and it filled their hearts with this desire that I said is
          irrepressible. They could not be content to stay away.
          In this way God has built up this Church. It did not, as we have
          often heard, depend upon one man. Men thought if they killed
          Joseph Smith they would destroy the keystone; that his existence
          was the means of upholding the work and giving it solidity. But
          he was killed, and still the work prospered, and it will prosper
          if every man that is now in position in the Church should be
          killed or should die. The testimony of Jesus is in the hearts of
          the people. You travel throughout the Territory, and call the
          people together and ask them: "What influence brought you here?"
          Every one who is an adult, and has retained the faith, will tell
          you that it was the Spirit and power of God. No other influence
          nor power could have done this but that. Well, now, men will
          fight it, men are fighting it. It is strange to-day to see people
          who call themselves religious, advocating all manner of means to
          be brought against this people to destroy them. To shed their
          blood is thought to be justifiable; the killing of people in
          order to destroy an organization that they think is so full of
          menace; and yet we are told in the Bible--and we have been taught
          it from childhood, that the righteous never persecute the wicked,
          but it has always been the case that the wicked persecute the
          righteous; and we are told by the Savior himself that his
          followers should be hated of all men, and that men in seeking to
          kill them would think they were doing God's service. It was not
          the Apostles of Jesus who persecuted the wicked, it was not the
          righteous who hated them and who sought their destruction. There
          were no petitions went out from the humble followers of Christ
          against the Pharisees and against the religious sects of that day
          to have them destroyed, to have governmental aid to assist them
          in extirpating their heresies; nothing of this kind has ever been
          witnessed, but here we find to-day the professedly righteous, the
          ministers, advocating the most dreadful measures. Why I heard
          here a few days ago from one of our returned missionaries that
          the sermon of a notorious preacher in the East, delivered some
          time since, in which he advocated the wiping out of the
          Latter-day Saints by the use of arms and cannon and weapons of
          war--I was told that the sermon when it reached England was
          re-printed and distributed gratuitously at the doors of the
          churches. People rejoiced over it, thought it an excellent
          scheme, and yet you tell those people they are not Christians and
          they would be shocked, feel insulted and think themselves
          terribly abused by such a statement, and at the same time were
          rejoicing over the prospect of the Latter-day Saints being killed
          and the system being broken up by violence.
          How shall we feel respecting these matters? I have said that the
          people, so far as my observation has extended throughout this
          Territory, were rejoicing and feeling contented. How shall we
          feel? Shall we be disturbed? The man or woman who entered into
          this Church who was old enough to understand these matters, and
          expected anything different to this, was not properly informed.
          When I became old enough to understand the character of this work
          I made up my mind that it might cost me everything before I got
          through. I did not know what might be involved in it, what
          consequences; but I knew that others who had started out for
          salvation had been slain, and that Saints of God in every age
          have had to lay down their lives for the truth and that my Lord
          and Master Jesus Christ, had been crucified, and if I expected to
          live and reign with Him, that I must also be prepared to endure
          all things. The salvation that God has promised unto us is worthy
          of all this, or it is worth nothing. If we cannot sacrifice
          everything there is upon the face of the earth, that men hold
          dear to them then we are unworthy of that great salvation that
          God has promised unto the faithful. The man that cannot bring
          every appetite into subjection to the mind and will of God, that
          cannot forego everything of this kind, and that is not willing to
          sacrifice houses and lands, and father and mother, wives and
          children and everything that men hold dear to them, is unworthy
          that great salvation that God has in store for His faithful
          children. When I hear people say that they are Latter-day Saints,
          and will drink with the drunken; when I hear men talk about being
          Latter-day Saints who will not conquer their appetites, and will
          not bring them in subjection to the mind and will of God, I think
          very little of their professions. If we value this salvation as
          we should, there is nothing that will stand between us and it. We
          may love our wives as we love our own lives; we may love our
          children as we do ourselves; we may be willing to step between
          death and our wives and children and say, "If any be killed, let
          us be killed; if there is to be any hardship, let us endure it;"
          we may have this feeling, but at the same time we must love the
          Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the cause that He
          established, better than we do our wives and our children, better
          than we do our own lives. There is nothing upon the face of the
          earth that we should love as we do the Gospel. God requires this
          of us. Therefore, if we are Latter-day Saints, what difference
          does it make what is brought against us? Suppose armies should be
          launched against us; suppose the measures urged by some so called
          divines, should be carried out; will it make any difference in
          regard to us and our future? Shall we be disturbed because of
          these threats being fulminated against us? Not in the least; for
          the reason that God is our Father--He stands at the head, and not
          one hair of our heads shall fall to the ground without His
          notice. Nothing can occur that He does not take cognizance of. He
          watches over us as well as the rest of the human family, and He
          will overrule everything for our good. We should, therefore, be
          the happiest people--as I fully believe we are--on the face of
          the earth. We maybe persecuted, maligned and threatened, it ought
          not to make the least difference to us in regard to our
          enjoyment. Our trust should be in something higher than man.
          There is one Being whom we call our Father, and that is God, whom
          we should fear; we should hold Him in reverence and be so afraid
          that we would never do anything to offend Him or to grieve His
          Holy Spirit. But as for man! What is man? What is there about man
          that we should fear him? We have seen men in the plenitude of
          their power array themselves against the work of God, and they
          have passed away one after another; but the work of God lives and
          will live. Opposers may fight it, rave against it; organizations
          may be formed for the purpose of crushing it, but they will pass
          away just as sure as God has spoken and as we live. This work
          that God has established will roll forth. The power connected
          with it cannot be crushed. Men may apostatize, as many have done,
          but it will not affect the work. The three witnesses of this Book
          of Mormon, from which I have read--Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer
          and Martin Harris--two of them are now dead--testified all their
          days that an holy angel came and showed them the plates from
          which this book was translated--even they fell away. They
          disagreed with the Prophet Joseph, and fell away from the Church,
          one of them at least, because of unchastity, the cause most
          fruitful above all others of apostacy. When a man indulges in
          unchaste desires or practices he cannot stand in this Church, he
          will apostatize sooner or later unless he repents. One of the
          witnesses--Oliver Cowdery--upon whose head, with that of Joseph
          Smith, the hands of John the Baptist were laid, upon whose head,
          in company with Joseph Smith, the hands of Peter, James and John
          were laid, even he fell away from this Church, and yet he never
          denied his testimony of the truth of this work, nor did Martin
          Harris. David Whitmer, the only surviving witness, is in the same
          condition. He, too, fell away from the Church during Joseph's
          lifetime, and became Joseph's enemy; but he never denied the
          truth of his testimony connected with the Book of Mormon, and
          still bears testimony to it to-day. These men, it might have been
          supposed, would have shaken the Church. Oliver Cowdery had the
          idea, notwithstanding the revelations he had received, that when
          he fell away the Church would receive a great shock. There were
          twelve men chosen as Apostles from the midst of the people, and
          of these twelve six fell away from the Church and ranged
          themselves against the Prophet of God. They were determined to
          destroy the work if they could. This reminds one of the parable
          of the ten virgins. There were five wise and five foolish;
          one-half of them were unprepared to go out and meet the
          bridegroom. So with the Apostles, half of them fell away. But did
          the Church stop? no; and if all the Apostles had apostatized it
          would not have arrested the onward progress of this work, for God
          has spoken concerning it, and His word will be fulfilled. And
          shall we fear man? Shall we fear earthly organizations? Shall we
          fear threats? Shall our knees tremble and our hands and our
          hearts falter because men array themselves against the work of
          God? If we do, then we mistake entirely its character. No such
          feeling enters into the heart of any faithful man or woman
          connected with this Church.
          Now, my brethren and sisters, the Lord has made great promises
          unto us. I have read you one from this Book of Mormon. This land
          is a blessed land unto all the inhabitants of the earth who will
          act righteously, but is and will be cursed to those who will not.
          There is a curse and a blessing upon the land. No nation can
          prosper in this land that works unrighteousness, and it is a
          painful thing to say that our own nation, unless it repents, will
          meet with disasters sooner or later. It pains us to say this, but
          it is true. God has said it. It will be true about us. This land
          can only be blessed to us if we work righteously. Let us turn
          round and oppress the weak and do wrong, and God will curse the
          land to us. There will be trouble in the land among the
          inhabitants of the earth as long as they work wickedness, just as
          sure as God has spoken. There has been no nation prospered as our
          nation has. No government was ever framed by man that is so
          strong and so good and well adapted to the happiness of human
          beings as our government is. There never was a better instrument
          framed for the happiness of man than the Constitution of the
          United States. The men who framed it were inspired of God. The
          men who fought the battles of the Revolution were the same.
          Washington was inspired of God; he was sustained by the almighty
          arm of God; and the defeats that the mother country received were
          in accordance with the plan of God. This land was kept for this
          purpose. For centuries it was hidden from all the nations of the
          earth. It was not until the 15th century that God inspired
          Columbus to go forth and seek a passage across the Atlantic, and
          land upon some of the islands adjacent to this continent. His
          track was followed by others. All this was in the mind of God. We
          have it all plainly stated to us in this book (the Book of
          Mormon), and the reasons for it, the best possible reasons that
          could be given. It is said that the Norwegians had visited this
          country and that the stone tower at Newport is evidence of it.
          The Scandinavian antiquarians claim that it was thus discovered;
          but if so, it was not peopled. It remained hidden until the 15th
          century, and there was good reason for it. This land would have
          been overrun by other nations had it been discovered earlier, and
          there would have been no place for that which we now behold. But
          God preserved it; and He has said in the Book of Mormon, that so
          long as the inhabitants of this land serve the God of the land,
          who is Jesus Christ--they shall prosper and no nation shall have
          power over them. The Lord has also said that there shall be no
          kings upon this land. The attempt of Maximillian is an evidence
          of the truth of it. Backed as he was by the power of France and
          Austria, particularly by France, he was killed for his attempt;
          for the Lord has said there shall be no kings upon this land, and
          that it shall be a land of liberty unto the inhabitants thereof
          as long as they serve the Lord. And the prosperity that has
          attended the land thus far is due to this blessing. Those who
          contended for liberty in early days were men who desired to serve
          the Lord. They may have been mistaken in many things, but they
          were zealous in this and devoted to it, and many of them were
          willing that every human being should have the rights that they
          contended for themselves. But this is all changed to-day. There
          is a great change. You and I cannot worship God as we desire,
          without being in danger. We are told that it is because we are
          polygamists. Why, the earliest privations which we had to contend
          with, the scenes which are seared in the memories of these aged
          people, and these of middle age, were all passed through by us
          when polygamy was not known. When we chose to worship God, and
          said He was a God of revelation to-day, the same as He was 1800
          years ago. There were men then, and there are men to-day, who
          would destroy us because we exercise that belief. Hence, I say,
          prosperity cannot attend a people who will trample upon liberty
          in that manner, and the party that arrays itself against the work
          of God cannot prosper.
          When men have power and do right they will be sustained; but when
          they do wrong they go against the eternal principles of justice
          and against God. There are many thousands of men who know that
          Utah has not been fairly treated, but they have not the courage
          to say so, because with many who hold office it might cost them
          position. Visitors come here and are impressed with what they
          see, but many of them yield to the force of public opinion and
          say what they do not believe in their hearts. Thus it is that the
          tide of calumny has swelled and there is no one to throw
          obstacles in its way; we have endured its full force as it has
          rolled upon us, and must still stand up and endure it. Although
          it is so painful, it is not without profit; it teaches us many
          valuable lessons. I hope it will have a good effect upon us. I
          suppose it is to chasten us and to keep us humble, and if it will
          teach us to be liberal and not to oppress others, I shall be
          glad: liberty for every man in the land and every woman--liberty
          to the fullest possible extent for all, as long as they do not
          trespass upon the rights of their fellows. If a man wishes to
          worship an idol or an animal, a bull, a calf, a dog, or a serpent
          or anything else--liberty to do so as long as his worship does
          not interfere with the rights of his fellows. If he wishes to
          worship the God of Heaven, all right, he should not be interfered
          with. God has blessed the land in the words that I have read in
          your hearing, and if we were driven out of it, in five years it
          would return to its original desolation. This land of desolation
          God has changed into a fruitful field, because of the blessing on
          the land, and as long as the Latter-day Saints live righteously
          the land shall be blessed to them. The climate will be
          ameliorated; the soil will be fertilized; fruits will grow as
          they have done in this valley.
          When we first came here I remember the thoughts of many. They did
          not believe that we could raise any fruit here, and the man who
          first set out peach stones was laughed at because of the idea he
          entertained that they would grow. Very few believed they would
          grow. And to-day where can you find a better land for fruit than
          this? I suppose when we came many thought if we could raise bread
          enough, it would be as much as we could do, there being frost
          every month of the year. But now it is so charming a place that
          many covet it. When they got up that raid against us a few years
          ago, I was credibly informed that there were certain men here who
          actually went round and selected the places they would occupy!
          They indicted Brigham Young, Daniel H. Wells, and others for
          alleged crimes, and the hope was that we would scare away from
          here and then places could be had for the choosing.
          But we came here to stay, here we expect to stay, and here we
          shall stay as long as we do right. And we shall not only stay
          here, but we shall spread abroad, and the day will come--and this
          is another prediction of Joseph Smith's--I want to remind you of
          it, my brethren and sisters, when good government, constitutional
          government--liberty--will be found among the Latter-day Saints,
          and it will be sought for in vain elsewhere; when the
          Constitution of this land and republican government and
          institutions will be upheld by this people who are now so
          oppressed and whose destruction is now sought so diligently. The
          day will come when the Constitution, and free government under
          it, will be sustained and preserved by this people. This is
          saying a great deal, but it is not saying any more than is said
          concerning the growth of this work, and that which is already
          accomplished. I have just turned to the revelation upon this
          subject, which says:
          "And it shall come to pass, among the wicked, that every man that
          will not take his sword against his neighbor, must needs flee
          unto Zion for safety. And there shall be gathered unto it out of
          every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that
          shall not be at war one with another."
          This revelation was given on the 7th of March, 1831. We have
          already beheld and are now beholding its fulfilment: the
          righteous are being gathered and they are coming with songs of
          everlasting joy: and this was given before there was a gathering
          place, and only eleven months after the Church was organized. And
          it is a remarkable fact that to-day--I do not say it out of any
          improper feeling--our hands as a people, by a singular
          providence, are free from the blood of our fellow-men. We were
          driven out of this land. Our enemies were not content to let us
          remain in the States, on the land that we had purchased, they
          would not permit us to occupy the homes we had built, but
          compelled us to leave, and we came to the Rocky Mountains. And
          when the civil war broke out President Lincoln sent a
          communication to Governor Young, asking him if he could send
          troops to guard the continental highway and preserve it from the
          attacks of Indians. He responded by sending out companies of
          cavalry. They spent the time in guarding the mail route against
          the Indians, and thus, as I have said, our hands to-day as a
          people, are free from the blood of our fellow-citizens by this
          singular providence, through the acts of our enemies. Had we
          remained in the State of Illinois, or in Missouri, we should have
          been compelled--unless we had chosen to occupy a very anomalous
          position--to have taken sides in this fratricidal war, a war
          which Joseph Smith in the year 1832, predicted would take place.
          The revelation was printed in 1850--though known to the church
          long before--stating that the war should commence between the
          north and south, at South Carolina. I suppose there is not a boy
          who has been brought up in this community who did not know of the
          revelation years before it was published, and, still longer,
          before it was fulfilled. I know I was taught concerning this
          revelation, when a boy, and I knew the time would come when there
          would be a bloody war between the north and south and that it
          would commence in South Carolina. Did it commence there? Yes.
          Joseph Smith predicted it 28 years before it occurred. And in the
          manner to which I have alluded, we were driven out and occupied a
          position where, though we did not go to war, our loyalty to the
          Union could not be questioned, for we responded to every call
          that was made upon us. Though we deplored the war, and did all we
          could by our preaching, counsels and warnings to avert it, we
          were true to our obligations; and yet at the same time--though we
          have men among us who took part in the war--as a people our hands
          are clean from the blood of our fellow-men. Our Church has not
          been divided into a church north and a church south. It is a
          church that belongs to the whole people of the north and of the
          south, and there are no sectional heart-burnings in our midst.
          God in his providence had made this a place of refuge from the
          north and from the south. They can come here without
          heart-burnings and without prejudice; no civil broils, no
          disunion; they have nothing to remember or forget connected with
          us. It is a church that is adapted to all. The black man is
          welcome, and he is entitled to the rites of the Gospel, though
          the Lord has shown that to his race the Priesthood is forbidden.
          The red man, and the yellow man and every man of every race and
          of every kindred and of every tongue, has a right in this Church
          and will be received into it and have place in it, just as sure
          as God has spoken. And we shall be preserved from future broils
          and disunion when they break out; we shall stand in places where
          we can maintain our loyalty and our truthfulness and our honor,
          and at the same time not interfere with the rights of any human
          I have talked longer than I intended to. It is probably the last
          opportunity I will have of addressing you for some little time. I
          expect to leave for Washington before another Sunday comes. I
          desire earnestly in my heart that I may have your faith and
          prayers. I have felt greatly strengthened by the knowledge that I
          have had your faith, your confidence, and your prayers, and I go
          out now hoping I shall still have these, for they are more
          valuable to me than anything else. I should go weak indeed if I
          did not have the faith and prayers and confidence of my brethren
          and sisters. I do not believe there is another representative in
          the world, it may be said--and certainly not in our nation--who
          has more cause for thanksgiving in this respect than I have. I
          know I am backed and sustained by my entire constituency; I know
          I have their love and affection; I know their hearts go with me,
          and their feelings and affections are always towards me; I know
          in almost every household prayers are offered in my behalf; it
          gives me strength; and when I am assailed and when our people are
          assailed and our Territory, it gives me strength to know we are
          united, and that when I am in Washington, though I may be
          alone--which I am in one sense of the word--I have an influence
          and a power attending me, in consequence of this, that others do
          not have. God has preserved us, and he will preserve us and
          overrule evil for good. I feel hopeful and cheerful: this is a
          blessing God has given unto me. In the midst of the darkest hours
          I have always felt exceedingly cheerful: fear has been taken away
          from me.
          I pray that you may be blessed exceedingly of the Lord; that His
          Holy Spirit may be poured out upon you; that peace may be given
          unto you and union fill your hearts: I ask this in the name of
          Jesus Christ. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 /
          Franklin D. Richards, April 8, 1882
                         Franklin D. Richards, April 8, 1882
                        DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE F. D. RICHARDS,
                Delivered at the General Conference, Salt Lake City,
                          Saturday Morning, April 8, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                     COMFORT AND
          The greatly increased numbers of Israel, and the greatly
          diversified and multifarious necessities which are occurring, and
          which increase like the branches upon a great tree, call upon us
          each and all, to seek continually for the mind of the Lord, that
          in all our varied ministrations, labors and duties, we may
          perform the same acceptably to him and profitably to all of his
          children; not only to the Saints but to the inhabitants of all
          the earth, inasmuch as they will hearken to his word.
          We have a vast number of witnesses and evidences of the mercy,
          the favor and blessing of God unto us, as a people, as well as to
          ourselves individually and as families, it being the privilege of
          all who live faithfully in Christ Jesus to see and acknowledge
          the hand of God in all things throughout their checkered lives.
          This morning I am reminded of some choice, precious promises
          which the Lord has made to us in the dispensation in which we
          live, having a peculiar application unto us, though like
          blessings may have been promised to people in former generations,
          those now referred to were given especially to the Saints of the
          last days. There is one very significant saying in the
          revelations, you will find it in the Doctrine and Covenants,
          section 103, beginning at the 19th verse. It is as follows:
          "Therefore let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you, as
          I said unto your fathers, mine angel shall go up before you, but
          not my presence, but I say unto you, mine angel shall go before
          you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the
          goodly land."
          Here is a very definite and positive assurance that this work is
          His, that he is particularly to figure in it himself; that he has
          not entirely committed it, even to angels; as represented in the
          parable, so beautifully expressed in the Book of Mormon, where
          the husbandman calls upon his servants to come and help him to
          prune his vineyard for the last time; we are given to understand
          that so we are called to be helpers to the Lord our God, to prune
          his vineyard for the last time.
          We should not allow the cares or corruptions of the world to lead
          us to forget that the work in which we are engaged is the Lord's
          work; we should never forget that the work to which all are
          called, God has undertaken to direct Himself; especially as it
          was commenced in former dispensations, but, for obvious reasons,
          remains to be consummated and perfected in the dispensation of
          the fulness of times in which we live. The Lord has also told us
          specifically in his revelations that it is his business to
          provide for his people. Most encouraging words--calculated to
          increase confidence in the hearts of all those who walk by faith
          before him.
          Furthermore, he has condescended to tell us in the revelations
          given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, "For behold I do not
          require at their (the Elders) hands to fight the battles of Zion;
          for as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil. I
          will fight your battles." Doctrine and Covenants, section 105,
          verse 14.
          One after another passages might be repeated relating to the
          designs and purposes of God, all going to show that he has not
          let out the work to be done by chance or to be controlled by
          others, but that he will direct it himself.
          Have we not evidence of these facts? We have as pointed and
          conclusive evidence of these things, already before us, as the
          Apostle Paul had when he told the Hebrews that, through faith the
          worlds were framed by the word of God; through faith Abraham,
          when he was called to go out into a place which he should
          afterwards receive for an inheritance, obeyed; by faith he
          sojourned in the land of promise, etc. Let us look at two or
          three prominent features of our history for evidences of his
          divine favor in overruling affairs for our welfare according to
          the counsels of his own will.
          In former times there was much destruction of life and a great
          deal of contention between the enemies of God's work and his
          people. The latter have at different times gone forth, and that
          by the holy command of heaven, to mortal combat. The Lord has
          told us in his revelations of the last days concerning the laws
          which governed warfare in the days of Abraham, of Lehi and Nephi,
          etc., which are detailed very minutely in the Doctrine and
          Covenants. He says:
          "Behold this is the law I gave unto my servant Nephi, and thy
          fathers Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, and all mine
          ancient prophets and apostles.
          And again, this is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that
          they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred,
          tongue or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them. (Doctrine and
          Covenants, sec. 98, verse 32, 33.)"
          For an account of the laws that justify warfare the Saints can
          read this section from the 23rd verse to the end.
          In those days there was more contention or mortal combat
          permitted and required, in order to maintain the rights of God's
          people and establish righteousness before his face, when
          idolatrous and all manner of worship, except that of the true and
          living God, prevailed among the nations generally. But it is not
          given unto us that we should contend with weapons of war; that
          inasmuch as we serve him, he will fight our battles for us. How
          has he done this? Have we forgotten how he managed to keep us out
          of the late terrible fratricidal war, when our great country was
          divided in a sanguinary struggle? How did he graciously regard
          us? It was by telling us to arise and go hence.
          Some of you well remember in what haste we gathered our little
          remaining substance in Nauvoo, leaving our homes in the winter
          season, and how we crossed the river on the ice. History attests
          the fact that we left none too soon to escape the dire necessity
          of taking up weapons of war against our fellow-man. The great
          reason why David was not allowed to build a house to the Lord,
          was because he had been a man of blood. He had commenced to
          gather his thousands of talents of gold and silver together, and
          was ready to build, but the Lord told him he should not, that he
          had been too much a man of war, had shed too much blood; but that
          he might get the materials together, and that Solomon, his son,
          should build a temple to his name. It is plainly to be seen, in
          the wisdom of God, that the Saints are not to take that course;
          but on the contrary, the Lord requires of them that they preserve
          to themselves pure hearts and clean hands to build His Temples.
          Was not this a great and wonderful manifestation of his loving
          kindness, was it not a demonstration to a great people of his
          tender mercy in preserving us from that fratricidal strife that
          arose in the nation. Where is the heart that cannot be thankful
          for this? Here is one great, we may say, worldwide demonstration
          of his kindness and goodness to provide for his people, and to
          preserve them from dire calamities, the direst of calamities that
          overtake the human family. Let us then sense the feeling and
          spirit of the ancient prophet. Isaiah when speaking of the
          judgments of the latter days, that the watchmen should lift up
          their voices and speak comforting words to Zion. And what should
          they say? "Thy God reigneth." That is the word to us, brethren
          and sisters. "Thy God reigneth." Let us learn to know and sense
          it, put our trust in him, and learn that it is he that builds up
          nations, and it is he that levels them to the dust; that it is he
          that raises up and makes rulers and people to become mighty in
          the earth, and that it is he that permits them to go down into
          insignificance, shame and contempt.
          How has it been when our enemies in our midst, in violation of a
          sacred principle of the Constitution, have said that we should
          not bear arms, which we had been wont to do in celebrating the
          anniversary of our national independence, and for our own
          protection in this new and Indian country, and that too in
          accordance with a provision of the Constitution; when we
          submitted in silence to this indignity, what has been wrought out
          in our behalf? As if the heavens took momentary record of it,
          from that day to this the enmity that has existed among the
          unprincipled, low and degraded Lamanites upon our borders has
          been hushed to silence; the manner in which we have dealt with
          them has been felt for good. Terrible wars have been prevented by
          the influence of the Latter-day Saints among them, until to-day
          it is not necessary that any, in this region of country, should
          have arms to protect themselves unless it be from professed
          friends. Is there no God in this? Look all around us, God has
          made even our adversaries to be at peace with us. He has made the
          blessings of peace to be multiplied around us, until the very
          occasion for weapons of defence is removed. The wicked had no
          sooner forbidden us to bear arms when God in his tender mercies
          and parental solicitude removed the very occasion of defence,
          leaving us at peace with all around us. The glorious tidings,
          "peace on earth and good will to man," have come sounding to us
          through the ages, and they are being echoed and re-echoed to us
          by the voice of those who hold the keys of the kingdom, and we
          see it not only in word but in power and demonstration of truth.
          These are none other than the blessings of God unto us, my
          brethren and sisters. We ought to think of these things; we ought
          to acknowledge in gratitude this dispensation of his providence;
          and we should make it our business to sanctify ourselves before
          him; yea, let the man that has taken to his cups depart from
          them; and let he who has drunk of the spirit of the world, and
          who fraternizes with the ungodly, turn from the error of his
          ways, wash himself from the filth of unrighteousness and purify
          himself before God, and call upon his name that he may forgive
          and extend his pardoning favor. It is to be deplored that there
          are so many that are so easily to be civilized by this damning
          "civilization" that has come among us; it is an occasion of
          sorrow to the Latter-day Saints that so many are so easily drawn
          away to affiliate with the ungodly. When we remember the mercies
          and blessings of God to us, it is a fitting time to turn and seek
          his face and favor afresh, and renew our covenants before him,
          and become worthy in his sight.
          I might enumerate many other instances of the goodness and mercy
          of God unto us, how he fed the suffering Saints with quails on
          the banks of the Mississippi, how he sent gulls to rid us of the
          crickets when they threatened us with starvation here.
          I must refer to the time when the Lord permitted the United
          States to send an army to Utah. It was told to us that there were
          a million of bayonets in the States ready to be turned toward
          Utah. We did not count them, but we know the details of their
          coming and how the soldiery arrived here. They came with their
          mouths full of ribaldry, full of threatenings, full of animus and
          destruction towards President Young, his family, the Apostles,
          and towards all that were immediately associated with them,
          threatening to hang them like Haman upon a tree. But God in his
          mercy before they got here very much cooled their ardor; and when
          they arrived they came as harmless as any 4th of July
          celebrators. They marched in quiet through our streets, no man
          daring to commit an indignity as they passed.
          Our Heavenly Father sanctified this to our good, for while they
          scattered much means among us, scarcely an act of hostility was
          committed, and, when the time of terrible destruction came they
          marched away to the violence of death. Is not the hand of God to
          be seen in this? If so, should we not acknowledge with
          thanksgiving his mercy in thus making us the objects of such
          care. We ought to bestow the best efforts and energies of our
          lives to build up his kingdom, establish his righteousness, and
          make him our friend for time and eternity.
          I would not dwell too lengthily upon these things, although they
          show the divine goodness and tenderness. Is there a loving father
          that deals more affectionately with his children than this? Could
          the Lord deal more lovingly with us? It is to be feared that his
          tender mercies are so abundant, and we become so used to them as
          to grow ungrateful.
          A few words in regard to the fundamental law established for the
          guidance of the people of this great nation, called the
          Constitution of the United States, that instrument was framed by
          our forefathers, who purchased the power to do so with their
          blood; they were men who went into the revolutionary war pledging
          their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor, and placed
          everything they possessed upon the altar of liberty. The
          Constitution they adopted has been admitted by European statesmen
          to be the grandest palladium of human rights known upon the
          earth. The flag of our nation has commanded respect in every part
          of this habitable globe, whether on land or sea.
          All representatives and officers of the government, state or
          national, from the highest to the lowest, lift up their hands to
          heaven and swear that they will observe that Constitution and the
          laws of the nation or State, as the office may require, to the
          best of their knowledge and ability, so help them God. When
          Congress so far descends as to make special laws, and send forth
          its legislative missiles to us bearing the odor, power, and
          character of attainder, and ex post facto laws; when they can
          provide, directly or indirectly, for conviction without trial by
          jury; when they frame and pass measures having for their object
          the deprivation or spoliation of rights common to all citizens,
          and that in direct opposition to the provisions of the
          Constitution, as appears on the face of the Edmunds' bill, they
          themselves violate that oath of office which they took before God
          and their country. They may, standing in high places, think that
          it does not become citizens to question their acts; but citizens
          of this Republic are the sovereigns of the nation; and when the
          Constitution was created it was provided that every power not
          granted by that instrument was retained by the people. Public
          men, in the true spirit of the Constitution of our government,
          are the servants of the people, put in office to administer the
          will of the people as defined in that instrument.
          When men in high places forget themselves, and in violation of
          their oaths dictate or forbid what shall or what shall not be
          observed as religious rites, they become amenable to the higher
          laws, and will have to answer to the charge of perjury to an
          immortal court, from whose decisions mortals have found no mode
          of appeal by any bill of exceptions.
          The principles upon which our government is founded are most
          excellent, and to all intents and purposes most satisfactory. The
          great and learned Webster, Clay, and their contemporaries,
          considered them a standard of liberty--far above that of any
          other country upon our globe; something that every American had
          cause to be proud of. If the American nation will be governed by
          its doctrines, it will extend to the whole human family the
          precious boon of liberty, and will make this land in reality an
          asylum for the oppressed of all nations. But we have come to a
          time when Congress has undertaken to dictate our ethics, to
          declare what we may or may not accept as tenets of religion. This
          is a right or power that is not conveyed in the Constitution; but
          on the contrary, Congress is expressly prohibited from making any
          law establishing any form of religion or preventing the free
          exercise thereof; this right of worshiping God according to the
          dictates of one's own conscience is the right of every American
          Aside from what may be pronounced legal, there is an equity side
          of the court to which all God-fearing people have recourse. One
          principle of which the courts of the nation seem to have taken no
          consideration, but which the Latter-day Saints cannot afford to
          pass unnoticed, is this: Wherein it is given in the Constitution
          that the States shall make no law to impair the obligation of
          contracts. I wish to ask the people, not in the legal sense, but
          in the sense of equity, of righteousness and eternal truth, if
          the marriage relation is not to all intents and purposes a
          contract? Do we not enter into a covenant, a contract, an
          agreement with our wives. Yes; not only a contract, an agreement
          of a civil nature, as it is regarded in the world, but our
          contracts are of a higher order, of a more sacred nature
          extending as they do in perpetuity from time into eternity. Now,
          if it is a violation of States rights to pass a law impairing the
          obligation of contracts in common financial matters, is it not a
          graver and more serious violation of the Constitution to pass a
          law impairing the obligation of contracts as between man and
          wife? It is laid down by the most eminent law writers of our
          country that properly maintained marital relationship is the true
          basis of all human society; it needs the solemn covenants of
          husband and wife to be taken into account, and then what follows?
          The reasons why contracts and faith in them should not be
          violated is because of vested rights that accrue under those
          contracts; and have you any vested rights, my brethren and
          sisters, under the contracts that you have made with your wives
          and husbands, have you not acquired under those covenants and
          contracts the most precious of vested rights--those of sons and
          daughters given you in the flesh? These are possessory rights,
          the value of which bear no comparison with any thing that can be
          called goods or chattels. We look upon the increase of our
          families, as the foundation of our eternal dominion, we cannot
          but look upon any hand impairing the obligation of these
          contracts as striking at the very root of our prosperity. Our
          children are our vested rights growing out of these holy
          relations, rights not only of a temporal but of an eternal, and
          finally immortal character, and of the highest possible
          I apprehend while I talk upon this subject, that it is very
          improbable that the courts of the world would regard these
          matters in any such light, but they are matters which pertain to
          the laws of the living God before whose court we shall all appear
          and our rights be vindicated; those who have undertaken to
          deprive us of these rights will also appear and on such a writ of
          errors as will bring them effectually within the jurisdiction of
          the court.
               The Lord has given unto us these rights, which we are
          learning to appreciate, but which the world know nothing of. Is
          it to be wondered at that they do many things, as did those who
          slew the Savior, concerning whom he said, "They know not what
          they do?"
          The rulers of our land have undertaken to set snares for our
          feet, to bring us into subjection to the political will of the
          Republican party to teach us how to promote party discord, be
          oppressed with heavy taxes and become burdened with debt. Let us
          put our trust in the living God, and see that while we violate no
          law of man unnecessarily, that we do not violate any of the laws
          of God, so that we may be entitled to His protection and that his
          blessing may abide with us.
          Not desiring to occupy too much time, I would exhort my brethren
          and sisters to renew their diligence in trying to honor the Lord
          by keeping his commandments, remembering our obligations to each
          other; that we continue preaching the Gospel to the nations,
          gathering the honest in heart who receive the word through the
          ministrations of the Elders; and inasmuch as this is God's work
          we have no need to fear. There are those who dwelt here in
          1848-9, who for days and weeks, scarcely tasted bread. Those who
          have passed through these scenes will never fear anything that
          may come upon us again. I often think of the peculiar
          circumstances of the Savior when upon the earth, who when Herod
          the Great sent word to him, inquiring who this Jesus of Nazareth
          was; the answer of the Savior being, Go tell him that the birds
          of the air have nests, and the foxes have holes, but the Son of
          Man hath not where to lay His head. Think of it my friends; He by
          whom the worlds were created, who gave the law upon Mount Sinai;
          He who communicated with the brother of Jared, directing him to
          cross the sea and people this continent; He who was and is our
          great Ruler came and dwelt in the flesh, instead of making
          himself the possessor of houses and lands and earthly substance,
          had not where to lay His head. And after passing through a life
          of sorrows he was tried for His life, when the judge washed his
          hands, saying, he found no fault in Him. The fact was He was
          above the law, He was without sin, and of the things of which
          they tried to convict him he was not guilty, wherein he said he
          was the Son of God, which they, in their blind ignorance, looked
          upon as blasphemy.
          Now, we are charged with blasphemy, because we believe and
          declare that the holy Priesthood has been restored to us from
          heaven. It is made blasphemy to believe that Peter, James and
          John were sent from heaven to earth to ordain Joseph and Oliver,
          and because, as they had been instructed to do, they ordained
          others to the same Priesthood, and then commissioned them to go
          to all the world and preach the Gospel. This is put forth and
          published as one of the blasphemies that we believe in which has
          made us to incur the displeasure and wrath of this self-righteous
          generation. While we contemplate that the Prophets of God have
          been slain, their blood ruthlessly shed, and the nation has never
          made an expression to exculpate themselves from the act, they
          have never even expressed their disapproval of it, but, on the
          contrary, multitudes have said, they were glad of it, but that
          they disliked the way in which it was done.
          While this is upon the nation and until they wash their hands of
          it, we can but look upon them with sorrow and apprehension and
          dread for thus acquiescing in breaking and overriding the
          fundamental laws of the land; for if these things can be
          inflicted upon us they can be done to others. And they have been
          to others. Do you not recollect when the army came here, it was
          the nation's first effort against the "Mormons," against what
          they were pleased to term a "twin relic"--polygamy; and having
          extirpated the "twin relic" of the south--slavery, which was
          deemed necessary to secure the triumph of the republican arms,
          now the attack is made again upon the people representing the
          remaining "relic." They and we are in the hands of God, and it
          becomes us to move on in all our duties quietly, peaceably and
          prayerfully. The nation, of course, can cause us a great deal of
          bodily and mental suffering if God permits. They have already
          shown what they are capable of doing by their deprivations and
          arbitrary rule in the south; and we have every reason to believe
          they would do as much for us were it the pleasure of the Almighty
          to permit them.
          The few men now sitting in Congress, from the Southern States,
          who had the manhood and the moral courage to protest against the
          measure, which has since become a law, aimed directly at our
          liberty and rights, knew from experience the effects of military
          law, and those usurpations which have tended to ruin their
          country after the desolation caused by the war. They had been
          through the furnace, they could feel anew the burnings of the
          fire, and they could see the grief into which we are to be
          The question with us is, are we sufficiently devoted to the
          interests of the kingdom of God to enable us to confidently
          believe, without a doubt, that he will sustain us in all that we
          may be called upon to pass through? If we are he certainly will
          not permit any more to come upon us than we can endure and that
          will be for our good; because he is that God who is nearer to us
          than a friend or a brother.
          He had told us that those who kept his commandments had no need
          to break the laws of the land. We made no law nor passed any
          ordinance contrary to the laws of the land; the law-makers of the
          nation made the law which brought us in conflict with our
          government; and, therefore, we must look to him to overrule this
          conflict, and trust that he will do better for us than we know
          how to ask or even to think for ourselves; provided, we pursue
          the path of duty faithfully and steadfastly.
          I pray that we may so take consideration of our ways that we
          shall not feel vindictive to those who are vindictive towards us;
          but, on the contrary, rise above such a feeling upon the more
          elevated platform which was introduced by the Savior, in which he
          taught his disciples to do good to them who despitefully used and
          persecuted them. This is a lesson that we have not fully learned.
          May the Lord bless and prosper all who seek to do his will, and
          may his mercy be multiplied to all nations until the ends of the
          earth shall see the salvation of our God, and until the kingdoms
          of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ;
          may we live and our generations after us to perform efficient and
          faithful service in bringing about his purposes. Oh, that our
          enemies might see the error of their ways, repent as in dust and
          ashes and place themselves in a condition to receive the favor of
          God, and thereby escape the terrible judgments that must sooner
          or later overtake those who wilfully battle against the truth.
          It remains for us to continue to bear our testimony to the world,
          to build our Temples, in which to perform the work for ourselves
          and our dead, essential to salvation and exaltation in his
          kingdom, and to build up a Zion to the glory of God. That this
          may be our determined purpose to a faithful consummation, I
          humbly pray, in the name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / George
          Q. Cannon, April 3, 1881
                           George Q. Cannon, April 3, 1881
                Delivered at the General Conference, Salt Lake City,
                          Sunday Afternoon, April 3, 1881.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                       SMITH A
          It is with great pleasure that I meet with you, my brethren and
          sisters, in Conference to-day. And though in some respects I am
          not feeling very eager to address so large a congregation as has
          assembled this afternoon, still we all know that if we can get
          the influence and assistance of the Spirit of the Lord, there is
          no difficulty in speaking or advancing such thoughts and
          suggestions as are suitable.
          It seems to me that of all men I ought to be most thankful. I
          certainly feel exceedingly happy in being in your midst, in
          beholding your faces, in sharing in your meetings, in partaking
          of your spirit; I am thankful I have this privilege, for such I
          esteem it.
          I have been absent, as you all know, for some sixteen weeks.
          During my absence I have enjoyed myself very much, that is,
          considering the circumstances. I have had excellent health, and I
          do not know that I ever felt better in my life, under the
          circumstances, than I have during the past winter. Of course
          there has been considerable discussion upon our cause and
          question, and considerable has been said about us; but so far as
          my individual feelings have been concerned, I have not been
          disabled, not for a single second. There is an excitement about
          this warfare, and the consciousness that victory will eventually
          perch upon our banners and that we are on the winning side, that
          makes such a contest pleasurable. I know this, that when
          everything is still--when the stream is quietly flowing along
          without a ripple--I begin to be uneasy. I expect you do. We have
          been accustomed now for so many years--in fact it may be said
          from the beginning--to contending with the turbulence of the
          elements; to battling with angry waves, that it seems to be the
          natural condition for us to be in. At any rate, we know when this
          is the case that somebody is a little disturbed about us, and
          that some think it necessary to be stirring up opposition against
          us. With the activity which prevails at home in the various
          departments of the work, the zeal that is being manifested among
          the Saints by the leading men in the various Stakes of Zion: with
          the labors of the home missionaries, the Young Men's and Young
          Women's Mutual Improvement Associations, the Relief Societies,
          the Sunday Schools, and the various organizations which have
          taken shape in our midst, together with the union of the people,
          and the sending of missionaries abroad in such numbers: with all
          these things at work, tending to consolidate the people, to make
          them of one heart and one mind, to preach the principles of
          truth, to declare to the inhabitants of the earth the salvation
          of our God, and to leave them without excuse for rejecting the
          truth; I say, with all these activities at home and abroad,
          together with the building of Temples--a great work which
          devolves upon us as a people; with all these things, it is no
          wonder to me that opposition should be fierce, and that there
          should be a great deal of talk about the "Mormons." We have been
          taught from the beginning that this would be the case; the
          earliest teachings that I can remember were to this effect,
          leading me forward, as you were led forward, to anticipate just
          such things, just such a warfare as that in which we are
          involved. Year by year, as this work develops, as the purposes of
          God unfold, do we see the literal, the definite fulfillment of
          the predictions that were uttered years and years ago concerning
          the work of God.
          The Prophet Joseph Smith's name has been known for good and evil
          among all the inhabitants of the earth, being regarded by some as
          a man divinely inspired, a prophet of the living God, his words
          treasured up as the words of a prophet should be; and by others,
          he is looked upon as an imposter, an ignoramus, a man in fact too
          bad to live. This Joseph Smith, who is thus known and has this
          repute among various people, is gradually being lifted up and
          made prominent, and through his being lifted up and made
          prominent the name of our God, whose servant he was, is being
          glorified. Thus Joseph Smith, whose predictions were uttered
          fifty years ago, and from that time down until he sealed his
          testimony with his blood nearly 37 years ago--this Joseph Smith
          is being proved to be a prophet, not by the Latter-day Saints
          alone--for we are doing comparatively little towards the
          vindication of his prophetic views, of this divine calling; for
          we are a feeble people; we are a people few in number, but the
          inhabitants of the earth, numerous as they are, by their words
          and acts, are establishing the divinity of his mission and
          proving that he is the man that we have testified he was from the
          To me the ways of the Lord are very wonderful when I thus
          contemplate them. How wonderful are the Lord's works! How
          wondrous are His doings in the midst of the inhabitants of the
          earth! How strangely, and by what singular means he brings to
          pass his great and glorious purposes, using men, using nations,
          using governments, as seems good to him, to effect his divine
          purposes! Those of us who have been brought up in this Church,
          who can remember the days that are past, the days of our
          weakness, the days of our oppression, the days when we were a
          broken and a peeled people, can call to mind how unlikely it was
          that the teachings we have received concerning this work would
          ever be fulfilled. We had faith that they would be. But it
          required the eye of faith and a heart of faith to see or to
          comprehend that they would be, as they have been, developed
          through the years that have intervened until the present time.
          The fulfillment of these teachings and predictions has brought to
          us confirmation of our faith; brought to us more and more with
          the greatest impressiveness the truth of that which we were told,
          and which, as I have said, was so unlikely to be fulfilled.
          In the beginning, this work, before it was an organized body,
          that is when it was in its embryo, when but a few men had any
          knowledge concerning the purposes of God connected with it,
          excited hatred and brought forth contention. An obscure young
          man, without worldly influence, without advantageous
          surroundings, declared that God had again spoken from the heavens
          and that angels had again descended to the earth; testified that
          the Church of Christ was about to be re-established with its old
          powers, and that the everlasting Gospel, the old plan of
          salvation was to be again restored in its original purity, and
          with it the old authority, the everlasting Priesthood, by means
          of which men and women could be inducted into the Church of God
          by the administration of the old ordinances, and receive the gift
          of the Holy Ghost, with its attendant powers and blessings. The
          mere declaration of these things by a young man who was thus
          obscure, without influence, without the prestige of education or
          birth, immediately excited a fever in the neighborhood; an
          excitement was aroused, and men began to persecute him; they
          began to tell lies about him; they began to bring false charges
          against him. There was a restlessness begotten that could not be
          accounted for upon natural principles, or upon anything they
          could see with their natural eyes; it was entirely unaccountable.
          His family was calumniated; he was calumniated and slandered;
          every act of his life was turned over and made evil of, and
          charges of wrong-doing were hurled against him of which he was
          entirely innocent, and for which there was not even the color or
          semblance of truth.
          On next Wednesday, fifty-one years will have elapsed since the
          Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized. It
          then consisted of six members. Not very numerous; you can count
          them on your fingers. It might be thought that so insignificant a
          body of people would escape attention. Not so, however. The whole
          countryside was aroused. A terrible thing had taken place. This
          Joseph Smith had dared to organize a Church. He had found some
          gold plates, had a "golden Bible." He had been a money digger;
          and he had done a great many things, and at last his audacity had
          culminated in the organization of a church. As I have said the
          whole countryside was in a flame.
          "We cannot endure this; it is a disgrace to our city, our
          country, our township, to let such a vile fellow as he palm his
          impositions on the public. We must put a stop to it."
          The result was, accusations, criminal accusations. Joseph Smith
          was brought before officers of the law upon every conceivable
          complaint. The papers heralded his disgrace throughout all the
          neighborhood, as far as they had circulation, determined to lie
          him down. There are certain fabulous attributes incorrectly
          ascribed to the creature called the octopus--or devil-fish. It is
          said that when it wants to devour its victims, it ejects an inky
          substance that fills the whole water around so that it can the
          more easily capture its prey. It was something in this manner
          that the press and pulpit endeavored to stifle the truth and to
          destroy those who testified that they had received it. The whole
          country was filled with every kind of slander. Human imagination
          was racked to invent stories. They said that Joseph Smith had
          tried to establish his divine calling by attempting to walk upon
          the water, with cunningly arranged planks placed a short distance
          beneath the surface of the water, but that, fortunately, he had
          been detected in his imposition. They said he had tried to raise
          the dead, and that the man whom he tried to raise nearly died,
          because the apparatus which he had arranged for him to get air
          became accidently deranged. There was no end of stories told by
          ignorant people, vile people, deluded people, wicked people, and
          even by men who called themselves ministers of the Gospel. You
          cannot think of anything that was not told, that was not sworn
          to--any number of witnesses could be obtained to testify to the
          truth of these falsehoods. At the same time it was said it would
          only be a little while until the system of which he was the head
          would burst up. "We have only to wait a while and it will
          disappear." But it did not disappear.
          The Elders went forth regardless of the slanders, regardless of
          the falsehoods, regardless of the calumnies, preaching the word
          of God, preaching it in the spirit and power of God. Regardless
          of all these things they went--persecuted, derided, their names
          cast out as evil. Men considered it almost a disgrace to talk to
          them; if they received them into their houses their neighbors
          looked upon them as though they were entertaining lepers. "What,
          have you got a 'Mormon' in your house? Do you know what these
          people are?"
          Traveling without purse or scrip, as their predecessors had done
          in primitive days of Gospel purity, from town to town, from
          village to village, from hamlet to hamlet, bearing all kinds of
          insults and persecutions and hardships, they traveled the land,
          lifting up their voices everywhere where they had the
          opportunity, testifying in all humility that God had again spoken
          from the heavens; that God had again restored the truth in its
          ancient purity and power; that God had restored the ordinances of
          the Gospel as they once existed upon the earth; and declaring
          unto the inhabitants of the earth that God is a hearer of prayers
          and that he will answer their petitions when they call upon him
          in faith. Thus they went, traveling through the United States and
          Canada, and afterwards crossing the ocean to the Old World,
          proclaiming there the same truths. A strange thing to be heard in
          Great Britain--Great Britain! who had been sending out her
          missionaries by thousands to the remotest parts of the earth; who
          considered herself as dwelling in the blaze of Gospel truth, and
          occupying the foremost rank among civilized and enlightened
          nations! A strange thing for men from the wilds of America to
          come and preach to them the truth of heaven, to tell them the
          contents of their Bible. Presumptuous as it seemed, the Elders,
          nevertheless, did this. They had received the dispensation of the
          Gospel, and, like Paul, they felt it would be woe unto them if
          they did not preach it. And they went from land to land until
          every continent, almost every land, has been visited by them.
          While the missionaries were thus engaged, the work at home did
          not cease. Persecution at home was not arrested. Mobs continued
          to gather together as they had done before the Elders crossed the
          ocean; and it was not then the cry that "these Mormons were
          introducing patriarchal marriage, which we think hurtful to our
          civilization;" that was not the charge. In the early days the
          charges urged against the Saints when they went out West to the
          limits of the Republic, were, that they believed in anointing and
          in laying hands upon the sick; that they believed in revelation;
          that they believed in prophets; that they listened to the
          counsels and teachings of those prophets. Was not this very
          dangerous? But this was not all. It sounds very queer in these
          days to think that one of the gravest charges made against the
          Latter-day Saints by the mob that drove them from their homes in
          Jackson County was that they were Yankees and abolitionists!
          Designing men, seeking for pretexts that would answer the purpose
          of inflaming the minds of ignorant people, seized and used this
          as a good ground upon which to base designs for expulsion.
          Missouri was a slave State, and the Latter-day Saints were in the
          main New England people; they who were not were from New York,
          Pennsylvania and other middle States. But they were known as
          Yankees, and, as their enemies asserted, abolitionists--a
          suitable people to be pounced upon and driven out. They were
          driven out from Jackson County, and finally, to get rid of them,
          Lilburn W. Boggs, governor and commander-in-chief of the militia
          of the State of Missouri, issued an exterminating order,
          threatening the Latter-day Saints with extermination unless they
          left the State. There was one alternative left to them if they
          remained in the State--apostacy. But Missouri's favor was not so
          desirable to the Latter-day Saints as the favor of their God, and
          they chose to abandon their homes and they marched out of the
          State as best they could. Now, during all these years, and
          subsequently, when we were being mobbed, plundered, and driven,
          the Latter-day Saints had an abiding faith, based upon the
          revelations that God had given through brother Joseph Smith, that
          the day would come when we should be a great people, when our
          virtues would be recognized, when our patriotism would be
          vindicated, when our loyalty to truth and to the principles of
          virtue and of good government, of pure republicanism would be
          established and the work of God with which we are connected
          become universal. Brother Joseph had predicted this. The Elders,
          the Saints, the people old and young believed it with all their
          hearts. The hatred of mobs, the burning of houses, the
          destruction of property, the expulsion from homes never weakened
          their confidence in the truth of these predictions, and their
          eventual fulfillment. That feeling had been implanted there by
          the Almighty; the Spirit of God had borne testimony to it in
          their hearts, and they never doubted it. Hated by a township,
          they foresaw the time when they would be hated by a county; hated
          by a county, they foresaw the time when they would be hated by a
          State; hated by a State, they foresaw the time when they would be
          hated by men who constituted a party who, it might be said, were
          the representatives of the nation; hated by a nation, they
          foresaw the time when they would be hated by other nations,
          until, as I have said, their loyalty to truth, to virtue, to good
          government, to good order and everything that is pure, holy and
          God-like, would be vindicated and established in the eyes of all
          men--by the nations at large, as well as their fellow-citizens.
          How unlikely a thing to have been when there were but six persons
          composing this church! Yet the revelations given previous to that
          organization, the word of God as it has come down to us embalmed
          in that sacred book which contains the revelations given through
          the Prophet Joseph Smith, foretells in plainness just such
          results as these that I have alluded to. The spirit of this work,
          its character, the results which should follow it were plainly
          mapped out beforehand as though all the events connected with it
          had already taken place and were written by the pen of the
          historian, instead of that of the prophet. The historian can
          delineate with no greater accuracy (though he may give more
          details) when he writes the history of this people and the
          results of the labors of the elders of this Church, than it has
          been written for half a century.
          The inhabitants of the earth, contrary to their will, and despite
          their wishes, are contributing to establish the prophetic calling
          of Brother Joseph Smith, and to fulfill the revelations of God
          given through him. Hated as he has been; despised as he has been;
          derided as he has been, this is the result of their actions. The
          destiny of this people has been clearly foretold. Here are men
          whom I see around me, whose heads are whitened with years, whose
          bodies are frail and trembling, and women, too, who have been
          connected with this Church from its earliest days, who know of
          the truth of what I am stating, who know that there is nothing
          that they behold to-day that they did not behold by the spirit of
          prophecy and with the eye of faith years and years ago. And many
          things that are yet unfulfilled, that yet remain in the womb of
          time, to be yet brought forth. The destiny, as I have said, of
          the people, is written in heaven, it is enrolled in the archives
          of eternity. God has spoken it; the eternal fiat has gone forth,
          and it will never be revoked. We play our part; we figure as
          actors in these scenes. By and by others will come; the column of
          humanity will march on; the column from the eternal worlds will
          continue to descend. Myriads of the just are watching with, I
          might say, eagerness, the development of this work and they are
          doing their part, and unborn myriads are looking forward to the
          future of this work, small as it is to-day, insignificant as it
          is to-day. It is no enthusiasm or fanaticism that inspires these
          words; but it is the plain truth not half told; it is merely to
          hint of that which will be. For this is the work of the eternal
          Jehovah, the work spoken of by all the holy prophets since the
          world began; the great work that is to prepare the earth and its
          inhabitants for the coming of the Son of God. Who that reads this
          sacred book, the Bible, does not know that Prophets and Apostles,
          Seers and Revelators--all looked forward to the time when a great
          work should be done in the earth? They predicted it, they dwelt
          upon it, in inspired strains. Poets, too, who never laid claim to
          inspiration, have looked forward to the "golden age," have dwelt
          with delightful language and, it may be said, with inspired pen,
          upon that great time that should come in the history of our race.
          It is true as I have said, that from the beginning calumny and
          slander of every conceivable kind have been circulated concerning
          this work. It is so to-day. It goes the rounds of the country,
          and is believed in by the great masses of the people. The
          Latter-day Saints are looked upon by many as guilty of every
          conceivable crime. Their true characters are so bogged by
          misrepresentation, that strangers almost come into our borders as
          though they were about to enter a den of thieves--that is,
          strangers who do not know better. Murder, outrage, robbery,
          perjury, villainy of every kind is attributed to this people. Why
          should such a world-wide notoriety be given to a people who
          number no more than we? Why should such lengths be gone to in
          falsifying an innocent people? It might be thought that we, being
          so insignificant numerically, might escape notice; or at least
          such prominent notice; it might have been thought in the
          beginning that Brother Joseph Smith and his compeers would have
          escaped notice. It might be thought that when they were few in
          numbers and their influence did not extend beyond a township,
          that they might have escaped notice. But no, the world has seemed
          determined in a way that to the natural eye seems unaccountable,
          to uplift this people to importance, to give them a world-wide
          reputation, to advertise them throughout the earth. And why is
          this? The Latter-day Saints ought to understand it, and many of
          them do understand it. You know the powers that are at work--the
          same powers that blackened the Son of God, that made him appear
          so hideous that men in crucifying him thought they were doing God
          service--and were perfectly willing to have all the consequences
          fall upon them and their children; the same influence that caused
          an Isaiah to be sawn asunder, that caused a Daniel to be thrust
          into the lion's den, and that caused the death of nearly all of
          the prophets, and that produced the martyrdom of eleven of the
          Twelve Apostles, according to tradition; it is that same
          influence that never rested until every inspired man was
          destroyed from the face of the earth, that is still busy. This
          Satanic power has kept at work slaying the servants of the
          Almighty, including the holiest being that ever trod the
          earth--the Son of God.
          Is it not astonishing that the world cannot see these things?
          Think of the long list of martyrs, coming down through the ages
          from Abel; the best and the holiest men killed by their fellows,
          not because they thought them virtuous, not because they thought
          them holy, not because they looked upon them as pure; but because
          they were considered too dangerous to be suffered to live.
          I wonder when I know that this has been the case that the world
          cannot see to-day, that the same spirit is abroad in the earth.
          It is not usual for wicked people to kill wicked people, that is,
          in the way the prophets and apostles were killed.
          Here is a feeble people in these mountains who have come here
          fleeing from persecution, carrying with them when they left their
          native States and launched forth into an untrodden and unknown
          wilderness, a love for the principles of liberty for which their
          fathers, many of them, had fought. Notwithstanding their
          persecutions and the vile treatment they had received at the
          hands of their fellow-citizens, they did not allow that feeling
          to dominate in their hearts; but loving the flag, the stars and
          stripes; loving the republic; loving the institutions of freedom,
          loving the Constitution, loving the laws, and carrying with them
          that love into the heart of the wilderness, and there laying the
          foundation of a great commonwealth they sought for admission as a
          State, and to have in that State every human right fully guarded
          and civil and religious liberty secured for people of every
          creed, and of no creeds, not seeking for alliance with Mexico,
          whose land they occupied, not seeking alliance with Great
          Britain, who was their neighbor on the north; not seeking
          alliance with the wild races, or endeavoring, or seeking to set
          up an independent republic, but their hearts going back fondly to
          the home of their fathers, to the land which their fathers had
          helped to redeem and make free, to the Constitution upon which
          the government of the land was founded, to the flag for which
          their fathers had fought and bled, they showed to the world that
          persecuted as they might be, hated as they might be, despised as
          they might be, and driven as they might be, they could not
          extinguish within them the love of liberty, the love of true
          republicanism. This was the testimony which this people bore to
          the inhabitants of the earth; and it might be thought, as I have
          said, that the people who had done this, working with unceasing
          toil to reclaim the waste places and make them habitable and
          beautiful and a fit abode for themselves and their children;
          sending out missionaries at untold sacrifice to the nations of
          the earth to proclaim the Gospel and gather in the honest from
          their own land and from the remotest nations of the earth; doing
          this for years, until gradually, as we see, the stately structure
          of a great commonwealth rises up around us; law executed; liberty
          preserved; the utmost freedom extended to every human being
          throughout the length and breadth of these mountain valleys; life
          and property as secure here as they ever were in any of the
          States of the Union; strangers coming in here before the railroad
          was built, weary and foot-sore, received with hospitable
          kindness. This tabernacle, after it was erected, and before this
          was erected, the old tabernacle, and before that was erected, the
          bowery, opened to preachers of every denomination, men of every
          creed united to proclaim their tenets, to give us their views;
          women protected throughout this land with such sacredness that
          they, old or young, beautiful or homely, could traverse every
          valley and pass through every town north and south, night or day,
          without hearing a word that would be improper, without ever
          witnessing a gesture that would annoy them; emigrants with their
          wagons coming in and leaving them in town unguarded, and not a
          thing harmed or taken;--I say, it might be thought, viewing and
          witnessing these results--the virtue, the temperance, the good
          order, the frugality, the industry, the enterprise, the
          liberality, the honesty of the people, that somebody would think
          and say:
          "What do all these attacks mean? Why is this crusade being waged
          against a people of this kind. Surely fifty millions of people
          with all the advantages of the age--the press, telegraph wires,
          pulpit, day and Sabbath schools, the wonderful improvements that
          are being brought out,--everything in fact, in their power,
          including the wealth of the world at their command, surely these
          fifty millions of people should suffer a few thousands of people
          in Utah, to dwell in some degree of peace without constantly
          urging on the dogs of war against them; without hounding on every
          vile fellow in the nation to rob them and to engage in crusades
          against them, with the assurance that they will be justified in
          doing so."
          But no, this is not to be; it is not thus written; it is not the
          destiny of this people. We would never be the people God intends
          and designs us to be if we were to be let alone. The warfare must
          go on; it is an unceasing one; the powers are arrayed one against
          another, with God on one side and the Adversary on the other. The
          devil is not going to relinquish his ground. He has tried
          falsehood from the beginning, and tried it successfully in many
          instances. It has been said of him that he was a liar from the
          beginning; and it is certain he has not lost his old
          characteristics. He has succeeded by means of murder many times
          in the history of our race. He has contrived by this agency to
          maintain his foothold in the earth for a long time. He thinks,
          like men think who steal things and keep them for a long time,
          that he is the owner of the stolen property. The man who jumps
          another man's land or claim, the longer he possesses it, the more
          assured he becomes that he ought to have it. Satan is imbued with
          this same idea; and he has recourse to the old method of
          warfare--lying; and lies are being circulated until the ear is
          tired listening to them. Every conceivable falsehood! Then he
          supplements lies with violence, and even murder has been resorted
          to. He thinks, if he can kill a man that puts an end to him; if
          he can kill a people that destroys them and their influence. But
          this time it is another sort of a work. God has spoken concerning
          this work; this is the last work that the Prophets or the
          Apostles have called the dispensation of the fullness of times.
          There was to be a time when Satan should have to recede inch by
          inch, step by step. That time has come. The column of the
          righteous, of the true is pressing onward; there is an
          irresistible power behind it. It will go forward gathering into
          its ranks the honest and virtuous from every nation; just as sure
          as we live this will be the case. It will gather people from
          every nation. It seems like a very strange thing to say, but on
          all proper occasions I say it with a great deal of pleasure, at
          home and from home, that I have been taught form early life that
          the day would come when republican institutions would be in
          danger in this nation and upon this continent, when, in fact, the
          republic would be so rent asunder by factions that there would be
          no stable government outside of the Latter-day Saints; and that
          it is their destiny as a people, to uphold constitutional
          government upon this land. Now, a great many people think this is
          a chimera of the brain; they think it folly to indulge in such an
          idea; but the day will come nevertheless. There are those in this
          congregation who will witness the time that the maintenance of
          true constitutional government upon this continent will be
          dependent upon this people, when it will have to be upheld by us.
          We are battling all the time for human rights. We did so in the
          States before we were driven out; we have done so throughout
          these mountains, and are doing so to-day, contending for our
          rights. Even before the great tribunal of our nation, Congress,
          the contest is going on; for attempts are constantly being made
          to wrest from us our liberties, as citizens; and we are standing
          our ground as best we can, pleading for our rights, pleading for
          liberty of conscience, pleading for that freedom which belongs to
          the country, which God has guaranteed through the Constitution;
          not for ourselves alone, but for every creed, for every member of
          the human family. We do not want liberty for ourselves alone; we
          desire every man to have it: liberty for Ingersoll, and all who
          believe as he does; liberty for the followers of Mohammed and all
          who believe in the Koran; liberty for Beecher and for those of
          his way of thinking; and even Talmage who has talked so badly
          about us, we would have him enjoy liberty; yes, and permit him to
          say what he pleases about us, to take what view he pleases of our
          belief and practices, and to tell everybody what he thinks about
          them. We would give him the utmost liberty to do this, and every
          other man, to say what they please about us or about anybody
          else, as long as they do not interfere with the rights and the
          liberties of the people against whom they are opposed, protesting
          always, however, that men in criticising others, should confine
          themselves strictly to the truth, or be held responsible to the
          laws for slanders and falsehood. All sects and all people should
          have this liberty, that is, liberty of conscience, liberty of
          speech and liberty of the press, as long as it does not
          degenerate into license, and interfere with the rights of others.
          We claim this for ourselves; we contend for it, and we shall
          contend for it until it is gained.
          Now, my brethren and sisters, I forgot that it is Sunday; I do
          not know, however, but what this is as good Gospel as I can
          declare; it is the Gospel of humanity; it is the Gospel of truth.
          And I hope that you will ever be true to these principles. It
          makes no difference really whether you will or not, so far as
          this great work is concerned; but it is a glorious reflection to
          know that we are striving to accomplish these ends.
          When I look at the wonderful deliverance that has been wrought
          out for us, it is a subject of amazement to me. Still our enemies
          continue to plot and get up machinations. It is all right, let
          them have their agency, let them do as they please; it ought not
          to disturb us or cause us a moment's uneasiness. Let them do as
          they please as long as they keep hands off.
          I pray God to bless you and fill you with His Holy Spirit, and to
          bless His servants who may address us during this Conference, in
          the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 /
          Wilford Woodruff, May 14, 1882
                           Wilford Woodruff, May 14, 1882
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                                Sunday, May 14, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                       AND EVE
                                       AND IN
          I feel disposed to read a chapter in the Bible; the chapter that
          I shall read contains, perhaps, a stronger chain of truth
          concerning life and death, the fall and redemption of man, the
          redemption and resurrection of the dead, than any other I know of
          in the Bible.
          The speaker then read the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, and
          Before proceeding to make any remarks upon this chapter, I wish
          to say that there is no person who knows, before entering this
          building, who is going to address the assembly, and, therefore,
          we have no prepared sermons to deliver, it may be a miller, or it
          may be a mason, it may be a carpenter, or it may be a farmer, a
          lawyer, a merchant, or otherwise; this practice is peculiar to
          the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the tendency
          is to make the speaker, whoever he may be, depend upon the spirit
          of inspiration to guide his thoughts and dictate his remarks.
          And, as a general thing if God, through this means, gives us
          nothing to say, we can say nothing to instruct the people.
          I have often expressed my views with regard to the position we
          occupy before heaven and earth, before God, angels and men, and
          the views of Jesus and His Apostles and Elders, as they have come
          down to us, give a key to what I wish to say upon this subject.
          If there is an Emperor, a King, a President, a ruler of any
          nation or people, whether a monarchy, kingdom or republic--that
          takes away from any of his subjects or fellow-citizens the right
          to worship God according to the dictates of their own
          consciences, he deprives them of a right which the God of heaven
          has guaranteed unto them. These are the sentiments of the
          Latter-day Saints. We believe in giving to all men freedom,
          freedom in spirit and action; we believe in religionists of every
          creed and faith enjoying the liberty to worship God according to
          the dictates of their own consciences, which right is guaranteed
          unto them by God Himself; and the man or set of men that would
          deprive their fellows of this God-given right, assume a
          responsibility that they must answer for before the bar of God.
          If I had the power and control of the whole world I would never
          think of depriving any man, woman or child of this natural, this
          inherent right, whether their religious views were true or false.
          Can you find from history that God at any time forced any man to
          heaven or hell? No, you can not. And we as Latter-day Saints
          claim this right and privilege for ourselves to worship God, to
          believe in God, and to believe in the records of divine
          truth--the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants
          and the Revelations of God.
          A public speaker, a teacher of the people is held responsible
          before God and his fellowmen for the doctrine he teaches; if he
          teaches any other gospel than that laid down in the Bible and
          taught by the ancient Prophets and Apostles he is under
          condemnation, no matter who he may be. Paul realized this fact so
          keenly that he, in speaking about it on once occasion, said:
          "Though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto
          you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be
          accursed;" and he repeats this sentiment two or three times over.
          I wish to say a few words on one of the verses I have read, the
          22nd: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be
          made alive." The world, more or less, has found a great deal of
          fault with Mother Eve and with Father Adam, because of the fall
          of man; what I have to say with regard to it, I express as my own
          opinion. Adam and Eve came to this world to perform exactly the
          part that they acted in the garden of Eden; and I will say, they
          were ordained of God to do what they did, and it was therefore
          expected that they would eat of the forbidden fruit in order that
          man might know both good and evil by passing through this school
          of experience which this life affords us. That is all I want to
          say about Father Adam and Mother Eve. Adam fell that man might
          be, and men are that they might have joy; and some have found
          fault with that. It has been said that God commanded Adam to
          multiply and replenish the earth; and it has been said that Adam
          was not under the necessity of falling in order to multiply and
          replenish the earth, but you will understand that the woman was
          deceived and not the man; and according to the justice of God she
          would have been cast out into the lowly and dreary world alone,
          and thus the first great command could not have been complied
          with unless Adam had partaken of the forbidden fruit. We
          acknowledge that through Adam all have died, that death through
          the fall must pass upon the whole human family, also upon the
          beasts of the field, the fishes of the sea and the fowls of the
          air and all the works of God, as far as this earth is concerned.
          It is a law that is unchangeable and irrevocable. It is true a
          few have been translated, and there will be living upon the earth
          thousands and millions of people when the Messiah comes in power
          and great glory to reward every man according to the deeds done
          in the body, who will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, from
          mortality to immortality. Nevertheless they must pass through the
          ordeal of death involved in the change that will come upon them.
          The Savior himself tasted of death; He died to redeem the world;
          His body was laid in the tomb, but it did not see corruption; and
          after three days it arose from the grave and put on immortality.
          He was the first fruit of the resurrection. There was no prophet,
          no saint or sinner, from the days of Father Adam to the days of
          Jesus that ever rose from the dead through the keys and power of
          the resurrection. Although we read of some who were restored to
          life, but this was not what is termed the resurrection.
          With regard to redemption, Paul said: All the children of Adam
          are redeemed from the fall by the atoning blood of Jesus, and all
          infants are redeemed as well as other people. There is no infant
          or child that has died before arriving at the years of
          accountability, but what is redeemed, and is therefore entirely
          beyond the torments of hell, to use a sectarian term. And any
          doctrine, such as the sprinkling of infants or any religious rite
          for little children is of no effect whatever neither in this
          world nor in the world to come. It is a man-made doctrine, and
          therefore not ordained of God; and I will defy any man to find in
          any of the records of divine truth any ordinance instituted for
          the salvation of little innocent children; it would be
          unnecessary on the face of it, and the only thing that can be
          found is where Jesus took the little ones in his arms and blessed
          them, which is and would be perfectly right to do according to
          the order of God. But the sprinkling of infants or the doctrine
          that infants go to hell under any circumstances, is a doctrine
          ordained of man and not of God, and is therefore of no avail and
          entirely wrong and displeasing in the sight of God. So much about
          the infants. I will say again they are redeemed by the blood of
          Jesus Christ, and when they die, whether of Christian, Pagan or
          Jewish parentage, their spirits are taken home to God who gave
          them, and never go to suffer torments of any kind.
          Another subject I wish to say a few words upon: "In Christ all
          are made alive." Since the day that sin entered into the world
          men have been held accountable for their own acts, and it has
          been known upon this earth from the day, at least, that Cain slew
          his brother Abel. And sin has presented itself in different
          grades; there are murder, blasphemy, lying, stealing, whoredom,
          and abominations of many different forms, which have followed man
          from generation to generation. For there was a power that dwelt
          upon the earth in the form of thousands and millions of fallen
          spirits, one-third of the hosts of heaven, which had been cast
          out of heaven with the devil in the great rebellion, who remain
          in that condition and who do not possess tabernacles, and they
          make war upon the Saints of God, wherever or whenever they are
          found upon the earth, and upon all men; they seek to destroy the
          whole human family, and have done so from the beginning until the
          present day, and they have not ceased their labors, nor do they
          intend to while Satan remains unbound. All the children of men
          who arrive at the years of accountability are guilty of sin, all
          being inclined to do evil as the sparks are to fly upwards. "What
          shall we do to be saved" was the cry of the people who heard the
          preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost, and the same may be
          said to be applicable to all men in every generation. The answer
          would be, obey the law of the Gospel. This is the safe means
          given for the salvation of the human family. The law of God, the
          Gospel of Jesus Christ, which Gospel contains the laws of God; it
          contains the ordinances, it contains the commandments, and any
          man that breaks them is guilty before God. And I will here say,
          as I wish to be understood by all men, that our faith is, there
          never has been but one Gospel upon the earth, though to-day there
          are six hundred three score and six different religious faiths,
          all more or less diverse one from another; but there is but the
          one true and everlasting Gospel, and never will be any more, and
          it is the same Gospel that was taught to Adam, to Noah, to
          Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Patriarchs, and which Jesus and the
          Apostles preached; it never did vary in the least in one single
          instance, nor never will. And I say, if we teach any other Gospel
          than that which was taught by Jesus and His Apostles, we teach a
          false Gospel and shall be under condemnation before God, angels
          and men.
          What is the Gospel as taught by Jesus himself? The very first
          principle was faith in the Messiah; this was the first principle
          ever taught to man. When Adam, after being driven from the garden
          of Eden, went to Adam-ondi-Ahman to offer sacrifice, the angel of
          the Lord asked him why he did so. Adam replied that he did not
          know, but the Lord had commanded him to do it. He was then told
          that the blood of bulls and goats, of rams and lambs should be
          spilt upon the altar as a type of the great and last sacrifice
          which should be offered up for the sins of the world. The first
          principle, then, ever taught to Father Adam was faith in the
          Messiah, who was to come in the meridian of time to lay down his
          life for the redemption of man. The second principle was
          repentance. And what is repentance? The forsaking of sin. The man
          who repents, if he be a swearer, swears no more; or a thief,
          steals no more; he turns away from all former sins and commits
          them no more. It is not repentance to say, I repent to-day, and
          then steal to-morrow; that is the repentance of the world, which
          is displeasing in the sight of God. Repentance is the second
          I have heard many men say, no ordinances are necessary, that
          belief only in the Lord Jesus Christ is necessary to be saved. I
          have not learned that myself from any revelation of God to man,
          either ancient or modern. But on the contrary, faith in Christ,
          repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins were taught by
          patriarchs and prophets and by Jesus Christ and His Apostles.
          Baptism for the remission of sins is an ordinance of the Gospel.
          Says one, baptism is not essential to salvation. Jesus not only
          taught it but rendered obedience himself to that requirement, not
          that He was baptized for the remission of sins--but, as He said,
          "to fulfill all righteousness," thus in this, as in all other
          respects giving the example for all who follow. When these
          principles of the Gospel are complied with a man is then a fit
          subject to receive the Holy Ghost; and this holy gift is bestowed
          to-day as it was anciently, by the laying on of hands by men
          possessing the authority to administer in the ordinances of the
          Gospel. These are the first principles of the Gospel which we
          Latter-day Saints believe in and teach to our fellow-men.
          Joseph Smith received the ministration of Angels, and he by
          revelation organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
          Saints, and he was taught by those who ministered unto him what
          to teach to the people, which was the everlasting Gospel.
          Again, men received the Holy Ghost through the imposition of
          hands, after being baptized for the remission of sins. The Holy
          Ghost was imparted in that way, according to the promise of those
          who preached the Gospel. Joseph Smith when he organized this
          Church in 1830, organized it by revelation; and while we had
          hundreds of churches and systems and religions, not a single
          denomination upon the earth at that time preached the Gospel as
          taught by the ancient prophets and apostles, or had a church
          organized on the earth, with Prophets and Apostles, or with signs
          following the believers as in ancient days. Can you tell of one?
          I never heard of one until I heard the Elders of this Church
          preach the Gospel and set forth the order of God. When God
          commanded Joseph Smith to go forth and organize the Church, what
          authority had he to do so? None at all until he was ordained
          under the hands of those who had held the keys of the Priesthood
          upon the earth. And I will say to this assembly in the days of
          Jesus Christ, he taught these principles to the Jews; he brought
          the Gospel to the Jews, and established his kingdom among them,
          and it came with all its gifts, graces and powers: the sick were
          healed; devils were cast out; the gifts were manifested among
          them. But the Jews rejected him, and they finally put him to
          death,--He and His Apostles. He came to His own Father's house
          but He was not received; and then, according to command, this
          Gospel went to the Gentiles--we are all Gentiles in a national
          capacity, we are not Jews, the Jews are another class of men;
          they put the Savior to death, and have suffered for 1800 years in
          consequence,--they have been trodden under the feet of the
          Gentiles even until the present day. Those that took part in that
          deed and those who sanctioned it, said, Let His blood be upon us
          and our children after us. The Gentile Judge was willing to
          release Him because he could find no fault in Him; but the
          feeling and sentiment of the Jews was, "Crucify him! Crucify
          him!" What infidel is there, no matter who he is, who does not
          believe in God, let him read the revelations of heaven and see
          the fulfillment of prophecy from the beginning of Genesis to our
          day, and he will see them fulfilled to the very letter. There is
          nothing that has been predicted by Jesus or the Apostles, but
          what has already been fulfilled to the very letter as far as time
          will admit, and what has not will be. When, I say, the Gospel was
          preached to the Gentiles, it went to them in all its power, its
          beauty and glory, Priesthood and ordinances as it was offered to
          the Jews. And Paul, in writing to the Romans, told them not to be
          highminded, but to fear; for if God spared not the natural
          branches, who were the Jews, because of their unbelief, how could
          he be more merciful to the unnatural branches, who were the
          Gentiles? Has there been the true Church of Christ upon the earth
          since the Apostles were slain? Can you find a Church upon the
          earth organized as it was in that day? No, not one. The Gentiles
          followed the example of the Jews in their unbelief, and in
          putting to death those who bore the holy Priesthood; and instead
          of the Church of Christ has sprung up every kind of Church during
          the last 1,800 years. But in these the last days, God has again
          restored the everlasting Gospel; and any man who believes the
          Bible must believe the fulfillment of revelation, and he cannot
          believe in the fulfillment of prophecy without believing that God
          would send again to the earth angels to deliver that Gospel. And
          why send an angel for this purpose? Because the Gospel was taken
          from the earth in consequence of the unbelief of the Gentiles,
          and the powerful opposition that was brought against the
          comparative few who represented it. And in fulfillment of the
          revelation of St. John, John the Baptist came to Joseph Smith and
          conferred upon him, after a period of preparation on his part,
          the Aaronic Priesthood, which authorized him to preach and to
          baptize for the remission of sins, and to administer the
          sacrament, but not to lay on hands for the reception of the Holy
          Ghost. In due time, however, Peter, James and John appeared to
          him also and conferred upon him the Melchizedek order of
          Priesthood and Apostleship, which gave him the power to organize
          the kingdom of God upon the earth. These are truths whether the
          world believes them or not. It makes no difference; it is the
          work of Almighty God, and he is the originator of it. How is it
          with the Elders of Israel? God has called men from the plow, the
          hammer and anvil, from the carpenter's bench, etc., unlearned and
          weak mortals, and they have been sent out to the world to bear
          record of this new and everlasting Gospel restored in our day.
          And what have they said to the Methodists, the Baptists, and all
          other religionists and classes of men. God Almighty has given
          unto me a dispensation of the Gospel and I offer it to you; he
          that believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, and that I am his servant
          having His Gospel message to declare to all those to whom I am
          sent, and repents and is baptized for the remission of his sins,
          shall receive the Holy Ghost. This has been the purport of the
          message we have borne to men and nations for the last fifty
          years. And now if God has nothing to do with this, how is it that
          we have been able to gather together thousands and tens of
          thousands from about all nations under heaven by the simple
          proclamation of the Gospel-message? How long would it be before
          Joseph Smith or any other man who would go forth bearing the
          message that we do, and making the promises that we make, would
          be found out to be an imposter unless the promises he made were
          genuine and looked upon in such a way as to give entire
          satisfaction to those who hearkened to his word? The whole secret
          of our success as far as making converts is concerned is, that we
          preach the same Gospel in all its simplicity and plainness that
          Jesus preached, and that the Holy Ghost rests upon those who
          receive it, filling their hearts with joy and gladness
          unspeakable, and making them as one; and they then know of the
          doctrine for themselves whether it be of God or man. And this
          Gospel of Christ which we offer is what has led this Church from
          its first organization until to-day. And, as I have often said,
          had it not been for the Gospel revealed to us, we might have
          labored until we were as old as Methusaleh, and Utah to-day would
          have been as barren as it was in 1847, when we first came to
          these valleys. At that time we found a barren desert, yes, as
          barren as the desert of Sahara, with no mark of the Anglo-Saxon
          race. But travel through Utah to-day, and we find houses and
          cities, gardens and orchards, meeting-houses and tabernacles and
          school-houses and dwellings, with the blessing of God attending
          the labors of the people; and a community of people from almost
          every nation taken from the various sects and parties, and they
          are here through the inspiration of Almighty God, and I know it.
          We have not had power of ourselves to influence any man or woman
          with regard to these things. They have been influenced by the
          testimony of Jesus Christ, and by the Gospel of the Son of God.
          These are principles by which all men are saved. All men are
          saved by and through the blood of Jesus Christ, through obedience
          to the Gospel.
          I realize our condition and the position occupied by this
          generation. I know we are looked upon as a bad people, and we are
          considered a very ignorant people. There never were more epithets
          heaped upon Jesus Christ and the Apostles than upon the
          Latter-day Saints. Why is this? Are we so much worse than the
          world? No, we are not. What then is the matter? The Lord Almighty
          has set His hand to gather His people, and to build up his Zion
          and to establish his Church in these the last days; and the world
          do not like the doctrine we teach, as it lays the axe at the root
          of the tree, and consequently we have been persecuted from the
          time that this Church was organized until to-day; and the
          persecution will continue more or less until He reigns whose
          right it is to reign, until the Lord Jesus Christ comes in the
          clouds of heaven to reward every man according to the deeds done
          in the body.
          Now I want to say to the Latter-day Saints, we are called to a
          certain work, and we have been called of God, and we, as Elders,
          have gone forth whithersoever we were sent, taking our lives in
          our hands, traveling hundreds and thousands of miles without
          purse or scrip. I have waded swamps and swum rivers, and have
          asked my bread from door to door; and have devoted nearly fifty
          years to this work. And why? Was there gold enough in California
          to have hired me to do it? No, verily; and what I have done and
          what my brethren have done, we have done because we were
          commanded of God. And this is the position we occupy to-day. We
          have preached and labored at home and abroad, and we intend to
          continue our labors, by the help of God, as long as we can have
          liberty to do it, and until the Gentiles prove themselves
          unworthy of eternal life, and until the judgments of God overtake
          the world, which are at the door. Does this generation know what
          awaits them? Does our own nation? No, the world is ignorant of
          what must, sooner or later, befall them.
          Here is the Christian world professing to believe the Bible, can
          you show me wherein any of the predictions of the prophets,
          whether those of Jonah to the city of Nineveh, or those of Isaiah
          to Israel, or to Tyre and Sidon and other ancient cities and
          peoples, have fallen unfulfilled? No, there is no man can point
          to a single prophecy of the servants of God that has failed in
          its fulfillment. Does not the Christian world know that the Bible
          is full of revelation pointing to this day and age of the world?
          Let them read the revelations of St. John given him while upon
          the Isle of Patmos and they will know what judgments await this
          generation before the coming of the Son of Man. There is a work
          for somebody to perform. But when we undertake to declare in all
          seriousness that God has anything to do with the work in which we
          are engaged they will laugh you in the face, and the reason is,
          they have departed from God and are entirely unable to comprehend
          his ways or his purposes; and instead of believing the plain and
          literal meaning of the word of God, they spiritualize it to suit
          themselves. Daniel was prepared to enter the den of lions; the
          three Hebrew children were not afraid of the fate that awaited
          them; the Apostles were valiant for the truth and shrank not from
          death for its sake, and why could those men and others under
          similar circumstances stand by their convictions without
          flinching? Because, in the first place, they had the truth and
          they knew it for themselves; and in the second place, the Holy
          Ghost, the Comforter, sustained them as that power alone can in
          all the trying scenes through which the people of God are called
          to pass. And this is so to-day. What the Latter-day Saints have
          done by way of preaching the Gospel under all kinds of
          difficulties, building up cities and subduing waste lands, and
          establishing themselves in the earth, they have done by the
          revelations and commandments of God to them.
          I will say a few words concerning a certain principle, and why I
          say it is because we cannot help looking at the signs of the
          times as they appear to-day. I was reading in the NEWS last
          evening a speech reported to have been made by Joseph Smith, son
          of the Prophet Joseph Smith, in which he accuses us of pursuing
          an entirely different course from that of his father; that his
          father had nothing to do with the endowments which form a part of
          our religious faith; and that his father had nothing to do with
          the patriarchal order of marriage; and he accuses our bishops of
          polluting the women of their several wards so that they are not
          fit for wives. This last accusation is so palpably false and so
          utterly mendacious as to be entirely unworthy of our notice, and
          I believe I ought to apologise to this congregation for referring
          to it at all. But it shows how weak must be the hope and faith of
          men who pretend to be teachers among the people when they descend
          to traduce the character of innocent men by wilfully lying in the
          hope of bolstering up and establishing their own peculiar cause.
          And with regard to the others: I wish to say, that Joseph Smith
          utters falsehoods when he says what he is reported to have said
          about his father: for I bear record to this congregation, and I
          ask our young people to bear it in mind after I am gone, that
          Joseph Smith first made known to me the very ordinances which we
          give to the Latter-day Saints in our endowments. I received my
          endowments under the direction of Joseph Smith. Emma Smith, the
          widow of the Prophet, is said to have maintained to her dying
          moments that her husband had nothing to do with the patriarchal
          order of marriage, but that it was Brigham Young that got that
          up. I bear record before God, angels and men that Joseph Smith
          received that revelation; and I bear record that Emma Smith gave
          her husband in marriage several women while he was living, some
          of whom are to-day living in this city, and some may be present
          in this congregation, and who, if called upon, would confirm my
          words. But lo and behold, we hear of publication after
          publication now-a-days, declaring that Joseph Smith had nothing
          to do with these things. Joseph Smith himself organized every
          endowment in our Church and revealed the same to the Church, and
          he lived to receive every key of the Aaronic and Melchizedek
          priesthoods from the hands of the men who held them while in the
          flesh, and who hold them in eternity.
          I feel to say to the Latter-day Saints everywhere, brethren and
          sisters, do good and you will reap good; what you sow you will
          also reap. What our nation sows that it will also reap, and what
          it measures to others will be meted back to it heaped up, pressed
          down and running over. I have peculiar feelings in reflecting
          upon the condition of our own nation. Here are the Methodists and
          Presbyterians and others all combining to use their influence
          religiously and politically to put down "Mormonism," which they
          say is an abomination in the land, and a great stain upon our
          nation's escutcheon. "O, my God," I feel to say, "I would our
          nation could see and understand things as they really are." I
          want to ask a question. When the sixth angel sounds his trump
          revealing the secret acts of men to an assembled world, which
          will include us, what will be the feelings of the present
          generation and the rulers and leading men and women of our nation
          as well as those of other nations, and the leaders of the
          Christian world when that angel declares unto all those who have
          condemned and cried against the Latter-day Saints, especially
          those who have taken a leading part, saying, "You yourselves are
          defiled with women, and your own acts which are recorded on high
          will rise in judgment against you. I say to this nation, and
          especially to those who are actively engaged in bringing about a
          crusade against us under the cloak of religion, "Sin lies at your
          own doors, and what you measure unto us will, according to the
          eternal law of retribution, be meted back to you, and you cannot
          escape it." We declare to all men that the God of heaven
          commanded Joseph Smith to introduce and practice the patriarchal
          order of marriage, including the plurality of wives. And why?
          Because it was the law given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for
          certain purposes; that holy men might have their wives and
          children with them in the morning of the first resurrection in
          their family organization to inherit kingdoms, thrones,
          principalities and powers in the presence of God throughout the
          endless ages of eternity. Ladies and gentlemen, the Latter-day
          Saints are not the people you think they are; they are not guilty
          of the crimes and wickedness they are accused of, but on the
          contrary, they are as a people, free from the sins and
          abominations of this generation. We are represented as being a
          community of adulterers, and as being murderers. We are no more
          guilty of such crimes than were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. What
          God has revealed unto us, and that which we know ourselves to be
          right and true, we cherish and revere; and the covenants that we
          have entered into in consequence of the revelations of God to us,
          we hold sacred. Our wives and children we love and respect, and
          we could no more deny them their claims upon us as husbands and
          fathers, than we could deny our God.
          Another thing, there is no man that has ever lived who can claim
          a wife or child in the resurrection unless he and she were
          married and sealed by divine authority by a man delegated of
          heaven to perform the ordinance of marriage. All contracts not
          ordained of God entered into by men, end with this life, and are
          therefore without binding effect in the world to come. And herein
          is the difference of the position of the Latter-day Saints and of
          the Christian world with respect to the married state. The nature
          of our marriage covenant is sacred and binding both for time and
          eternity, and I would just as soon think of denying my God as to
          sever the relationship existing between me and my wives and
          children. Our plural wives and our children are just as dear to
          us as the one wife and the children of the Gentiles are to them;
          and what is more, we have married our wives by command of God,
          and by authority of His Holy Priesthood, which has been restored
          again to earth; and if we prove faithful and true to Him and to
          one another, we shall claim our wives and children in the world
          to come. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / George
          Q. Cannon, November 14, 1880
                         George Q. Cannon, November 14, 1880
                   Delivered at the Assembly Hall, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, November 14, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                      WOULD BE
                              SAINTS PURIFIED BY TRIAL.
          It is exceedingly pleasing to me--and I have no doubt it is to
          all the Latter-day Saints--to hear the testimony of the servants
          of God who have gone forth as missionaries to the nations of the
          earth, and have returned bearing a faithful testimony concerning
          the work of God, and giving their experience in declaring the
          word unto the people.
          The labors of the Elders of this Church are, in some respects,
          the most extraordinary of all the labors of the children of men
          with which I am acquainted. The preaching of what is called the
          Gospel is not uncommon. There are thousands upon thousands of men
          who profess to be ministers of life and salvation, and to be
          servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, who devote their lives to the
          proclamation of those principles which they esteem necessary to
          salvation. But it is not a common thing for men to go forth,
          putting their trust in God and relying upon him for that
          sustenance which is necessary to enable them to live and to
          perform their missions. We have missionaries of various
          denominations who have come here, as they say, to enlighten us,
          to dissipate our errors, to put us on the right path, and to
          point out to us a better plan of salvation than that which we
          possess. But they come here because they are paid to come. They
          make their living by coming. It is a profession like that of the
          physician or surgeon, who comes here to administer to our
          physical ailments. In this respect the Elders of this Church
          differ from all others. They go out without purse and scrip,
          relying upon the Lord, putting their trust in him, devoting their
          time, their energies, and the ability that God has given unto
          them for the purpose of enlightening their fellow-men concerning
          that which they know to be the truth. I do not know any greater
          evidence than this that men could give to their fellow-men of
          their sincerity. And when men go forth in this way they are very
          likely to live so that the spirit of the mighty God of Jacob will
          be with them, they are likely to feel after it, to seek in faith
          to obtain God's blessing. When a man is hungry, when he is
          without money, when he has no friends, he is very apt to feel
          after some Being that has power; if he has any faith in God he is
          very apt to exercise it, and by the constant exercise of that
          faith, if he did not know before he went upon his mission that
          God lives, that God is near, that he hears and answers prayer, he
          would be very likely to learn these things before a great while,
          and so become strengthened in his faith so that he would ask,
          believing when he did ask that he would receive the very thing
          that he desired. God in his mercy has commanded his people to
          take this course. He has commanded his Elders to go forth and
          preach his Gospel, not for a salary, not for hire, not for the
          sake of enjoying pleasant times and the favor of mankind, but
          that they may be the means in his hands of saving the world and
          of bearing such a testimony to the world concerning this Gospel,
          that it will be left without excuse, at the same time promising
          his servants that he would raise up friends to them that they
          should have their needs supplied. It is one of the most
          remarkable things connected with this Church, that from the day
          it was founded until the present time no man has gone forth
          called of God to proclaim the Gospel in faith, but he has
          returned bearing testimony that God has opened his way, that God
          has fed him, that God has clothed him, that God has put it into
          the hearts of people to assist him, that he has traveled by sea,
          traveled by land, traveled amongst strangers in lands where
          strange languages were spoken--yet at no time has he ever lacked
          for food, raiment, or any of those things which were necessary to
          enable him to accomplish the mission upon which he had been sent.
          As a people, brethren and sisters, we do not appreciate the value
          of this training. I am satisfied that we ourselves scarcely
          comprehend the blessing there is in such educational conditions.
          In an age of almost universal skepticism it is of the utmost
          value to us as a people that we should receive the training that
          our Elders get when they go abroad among the nations of the earth
          preaching the Gospel. Without it we should lack opportunities of
          testing the Lord, of being tested ourselves in regard to our
          faith, of proving to our own satisfaction that God lives, and
          that God hears and answers prayer, and that he does interpose in
          behalf of the humble, the weak and the insignificant when they
          approach him in faith in the name of Jesus and ask for this
          interposition. A perusal of the journals of the Elders of this
          Church who have kept daily record of that which they have endured
          and witnessed, and the various incidents of their missions would
          be as interesting as the acts of the Apostles in the New
          Testament; for God has manifested Himself in the most
          extraordinary manner in their behalf. Many of this people, before
          they heard of the organization of the Church, read the acts and
          teachings of the Apostles and of the Savior, and also Paul's
          Epistles, and their souls yearned for a day of such power upon
          the earth. Many who are here to-day, many thousands throughout
          this Territory, who are now connected with this Church, have
          wished that they could have lived at a time when these acts were
          being performed, when such men as are described in the New
          Testament had an existence upon the earth. But the history of the
          Elders of this Church--the miracles and manifestations of God's
          power which they have witnessed and been the instruments in
          performing--would make a book far larger than any record we have
          handed down to us.
          To-day, the existence of God may be said to be only known by
          personal experience, to comparatively few people. Thousands
          throughout Christendom think they know, because of their
          traditions, that God lives and that Jesus is the Son of God.
          Their fathers, their mothers, their priests, their school
          teachers, have indoctrinated them with the idea that there is
          such a Being as God, and that Jesus his Son is the Savior and
          redeemer of the world, and they fancy they know and understand
          these things. But how many are there who can testify, by personal
          experience that they know that God lives? How many can say that
          they have asked for and received, through imploring in the name
          of Jesus, the very blessings that they desired and needed?
          Comparatively few people out of the masses that live upon the
          earth. Hence it is that God has removed himself far from them,
          and they say there is no use in calling upon God, there is no use
          in inculcating a belief that he will hear and answer prayer, that
          he will interpose in behalf of individuals, or that he will
          suspend--to use another phrase--great natural laws to accomplish
          certain results. Yet God does not suspend natural laws when he
          interposes in behalf of his people. We are told in the New
          Testament that Jesus ascended in the sight of certain individuals
          into heaven. The law of gravitation apparently may be said to
          have been suspended, or the law which confines bodies to the
          earth--the law by which we are governed; but the Savior
          understood a higher law; he understood laws by which he could
          accomplish this, and at the same time not interfere with the
          general law that governs human bodies, and so in all these
          matters God can interpose his power; he can hear and answer the
          prayers of those who are humble and seek unto him. He can give
          unto them the desires of their hearts in a way that is his own;
          He can operate by unseen influences upon men's minds, and lead
          them to do certain things that will result in the fulfillment of
          the desires of others, concerning which they have offered their
          prayers unto the Lord. In this respect the Latter-day Saints
          occupy, so far as I know a unique position.
          Brother Nicholson remarked that he could see among the young men
          who had gone forth to preach of late years, a wonderful zeal, and
          growth in faith. This will be more and more the case. The
          agencies that are now at work in our midst, our Sunday
          Schools--the scholars of which number upwards of thirty
          thousand--our Young Men's and Young Women's Associations--the
          members of which are numbered by thousands--are doing a vast
          amount of good. The young are being trained in the reading of the
          Scriptures. And who can read the Scriptures without believing
          that God is, and that he hears and answers prayers? What is there
          in the Bible to lead a reader to believe that faith shall not be
          exercised to-day as much as at any time in the world's history,
          or that revelation from God shall not be enjoyed to-day as much
          as 1800 years ago? He who reads the Bible and believes in the
          equality of man, believes in the justice of God, and his
          unchangeable character, that he is the same yesterday, to-day,
          and forever, will have faith spring up in his heart concerning
          the possibility of having knowledge from God, and of God's
          speaking, of sending his messages to the earth to-day as well as
          he did in ancient days. I do not believe that a child can be
          found who, if the New Testament be given to him or to her, and he
          or she read it without the bias which comes from the
          interposition of friends and the comments of teachers, will not
          have faith in God, and will not desire to know why it is that God
          does not work miracles in these days, and why God's power is not
          manifested now as it was in ancient days. These inquiries will
          naturally spring up in their hearts, and their desire to share in
          these blessings will be as natural to them as any other thoughts
          would be. Certainly, they will have no idea unless they are
          taught it, that these gifts and blessings are no longer to be
          enjoyed by men upon the earth. It is false teaching that
          generates such ideas in the mind of the children of men, not the
          Bible itself, not the New Testament, not anything that is written
          within either of those books, but they are ideas that come from
          outside of the Bible. But it is said if these things have not
          ceased, if it was not the will of God that they should cease, why
          is it that we do not have these manifestations now as they had in
          ancient days? Why is it that God does not speak now? Why is it
          that angels do not minister unto men now? Why is it that the Holy
          Ghost is not poured out now? Why are there no persons possessing
          the gift of healing, and other manifestations of the power of
          God? Why is it that Christendom has been for ages without these
          blessings and gifts in their midst?
          These are very reasonable inquiries, and the answer to them is to
          be found in the history of the Church, in this fact: that mankind
          would not permit a servant of Jesus to live in their midst who
          did such things, from the days of himself and his apostles down
          to the days of the restoration of the Gospel in its purity to the
          earth. Inspired men have not been permitted to live in their
          midst. Even men who professed to have a little light, who did not
          profess to have received revelation, but who claimed that it was
          their privilege to seek unto God and to find him and obtain
          knowledge from him, to a certain extent, were persecuted unto
          death. Read the history of the various reformed churches from the
          days of the Apostles down until the present time, or to within
          fifty years, and you will find that this has always been the
          result. Mankind have been determined that a reformed religion,
          and certainly revelation from God, should not be introduced in
          their midst. They would not have it. We have seen it in our own
          age, in this enlightened nation, occupying the foremost rank of
          all the nations of the earth, prominent for liberty, and for the
          freedom of its government, laws and institutions.
          Joseph Smith, the Prophet of God, did not arrogate to himself any
          superiority over his fellows, but he said that every man might be
          a prophet of God, might have the testimony of Jesus Christ, if he
          would live for it. He did not go among the people and say, "I
          have been chosen and elected to be something superior to all the
          rest of you; I have received blessings which no other man can
          receive." This was not his doctrine nor his teaching, but he said
          that every man that would obey the Gospel of the Lord Jesus
          Christ, and have the ordinances administered to him by one having
          authority, should receive the Holy Ghost, and that would make him
          a prophet, it would fill him with the Spirit of God, which is the
          spirit of prophecy; and because he declared this, because he
          declared the equality of man before God, because he contended
          that the souls of men in the nineteenth century were as precious
          in the sight of God as they were in the first century of the
          Christian Era, or at any time anterior to that era; because he
          declared that God was the same in these days as he was in ancient
          days; because he declared that God was not a God who made
          distinction among his creatures; that he did not manifest light
          to one generation and refuse it to another who were equally
          faithful in seeking for it--because he declared these doctrines
          in this nation and in this age his life was sacrificed. Our
          existence to-day in these mountains, the existence of Utah as a
          Territory in its present form, is due to religious intolerance,
          and is due also to the fact that a community has grown up who
          contend for religious equality before God, who claim that they
          are as good as their fathers in the sight of God, who contend
          that, however weak and fallible they may be, they at least are
          the children of God, and the heavens are open to them, if they
          have equal faith, as they were to their fathers who lived 1,800
          or 2,000 or 3,000 years ago. Utah became an organized territory
          because of this fact; that there had been begotten in the hearts
          of the people the feeling to seek after God as their fathers did,
          to seek for him that they might find him and obtain knowledge
          from him for themselves, not content to read of the blessings, of
          the powers, and gifts, and of the ordinances of salvation that
          were extended to others, thousands of years ago. The mere reading
          of these things would not satisfy this people. Nothing short of
          the actual realization of the blessings would satisfy the
          yearnings of their soul. And they stand to-day as a living
          protest against religious intolerance, and in favor of the old
          faith that existed upon the earth thousands of years ago, seeking
          for the old paths, teaching their children that God is the same
          to-day that he ever was, and that they must seek unto him as they
          did in ancient days to obtain knowledge of him and from him. And
          we began in this way: The Lord commanded us to go without purse
          or scrip--a good way of testing us to see whether our desires to
          know him were real or not--to go out in the midst of a cruel and
          unfeeling world, opposed to us, opposed to the ideas we
          entertained, priests feeling as they did in ancient days, that
          their craft was in danger. "Why," said they, "here are men who
          will destroy all our creed. We shall have no pay for our
          preaching if this becomes popular, our profession will be
          destroyed," and from the day that proclamation was made to the
          present time the strongest opponents of this Church and of this
          people have been men who preach for hire, and whose creeds have
          been in danger by the proclamation of these truths. To-day
          religious conventions cannot be held without "Mormonism" being
          introduced and advanced as something against which the power of
          the nation should be directed.
          The Lord has been with us and has helped us or we could not have
          done what has been done. It has been his blessing, it has been
          the manifestation of his power, that has shielded and upheld this
          people. His word has gone forth concerning this work. It will not
          return unfulfilled. Commencing with six members, this Church has
          increased until it is a power in the earth, and there is no
          nation which has not heard of this strange people living in the
          midst of the Rocky Mountains. The ideas we have taught are
          revolutionizing the earth, silently and slowly in some respects,
          but nevertheless as thoroughly. We are few in number, but the
          power and influence of the ideas which we advocate wield a power
          that we here do not fully understand. This will increase. As I
          have said to you and to others, the qualities that are possessed
          by the Latter-day Saints will never die. They cannot die unless
          you kill the people themselves. Talk about destroying this work!
          When you destroy the Church of Christ, and virtue, union,
          industry, frugality and temperance from the face of the earth,
          the world will destroy "Mormonism," as it is called. But a people
          with such qualities as we exhibit, as God has developed within
          us, cannot be killed. Ideas have been begotten and given birth to
          that will continue to grow and increase until they fill the whole
          earth, because they are true and divine. If there were only half
          a dozen men left alive who had this organization and held these
          principles, they would continue to grow and gather adherants and
          spread on the right hand and on the left. The principles are
          indescribable in their character. A faith has been begotten, a
          faith been born that will continue to live and increase and
          spread abroad, from the very fact that it is true, and truth
          always finds a lodgement in the hearts of the honest. There is no
          way to destroy this unless those who entertain a belief in it are
          destroyed. That can be done, but it is not likely to be done. It
          was done in the days of the Apostles, for the reason that the
          churches were scattered abroad, here and there. They were
          surrounded by their enemies. Satan had power in the earth. The
          Apostles were slain one after another. Every man that raised his
          voice in favor of divine revelation from God, or contended for
          the equality of man before God, and the unchangeableness of God,
          was slain. The Church was scattered abroad. Paul built up
          branches throughout Asia Minor. Other Apostles built branches of
          the Church wherever they could find a place where the people
          would receive the truth. But they were surrounded by adverse
          influences, and the Apostles and Saints were not allowed to live.
          And we in this day would be destroyed if we were alone, if these
          influences were left to operate against us. You surround a few
          people by multitudes who are actively hostile and aggressive
          against them, and how difficult it is for them to maintain their
          foothold! This was the condition of the churches in the days of
          the Apostles. They were scattered abroad throughout Europe, Asia
          and Africa, and on many islands. The Apostles had gone forth
          wherever they could find an opening. Thousands had been organized
          into the Church, and in these various branches there were men who
          had inspiration from God, who had the authority of the Holy
          Priesthood, who could ask of God and receive from him knowledge
          for the guidance of the people. While these men remained the
          Church continued to grow. But persecution sought the lives of men
          of this character. They were singled out and slain until not one
          was left, until a universal silence reigned. Throughout all the
          nations of the earth, not a voice was heard to disturb the
          silence, no heavenly messenger, no voice from the eternal world,
          no man that had the authority to say, "thus saith the Lord." The
          heavens became as brass over the heads of the children of men,
          all communication was cut off, and of course the Church fell, the
          Priesthood departed, the ordinances were changed, and those who
          survived with a little faith accommodated themselves to the
          circumstances surrounding them. That was the condition in early
          But how the condition has changed! God in his mercy concealed
          this continent from the eyes of the world. For ages it remained
          here a secret place. Neither the Atlantic nor the Pacific could
          be penetrated until the set time came. Then a man was found who
          was moved upon by the Spirit of God. He became possessed of an
          idea that would not die, and his idea prevailed eventually. Ships
          were launched upon the great ocean, and the continent of America
          was discovered. God has revealed the reason this continent was
          concealed for so many ages. If it had been known to early ages,
          it would have been overrun, and there would have been no room for
          the great work of the last days. But he organized a government
          upon this land. He sustained the men who founded it. He filled
          them with His Spirit and enabled them to fight all the battles
          necessary to establish religious, social and political freedom,
          and a system of government was formed under which his kingdom
          could be set up, with all its institutions, without interfering
          in the least with the Constitution. In the Lord's own due time
          this Church was brought forth. The messengers of life and
          salvation were sent to the nations of the earth proclaiming that
          God had established His Church, and inviting them to come to a
          land of liberty. Thousands have been gathered here from that day
          to this, fulfilling in a most remarkable manner the predictions
          of the prophets concerning the gathering of the people in the
          last days. The circumstances which surrounded us are very
          different from those which surrounded our predecessors. We are a
          compact body. We believe in gathering; we believe in one people
          of one faith living together, worshiping God according to the
          dictates of their own consciences. This presents a solid phalanx
          against opposition and persecution. We cannot be slain to-day in
          detail as our brethren were 1,800 years ago. The ideas we believe
          in are being disseminated among our children. We are increasing.
          The teachings of history are that a people like us have a
          destiny, and they cannot be prevented from fulfilling it. You
          take two communities, one a multiplying community and the other
          only partially multiplying, and what will be the result? But I
          need not dwell upon this. There is a line of thought connected
          with this which you can reflect upon at your leisure.
          God has given unto us the conditions that are suitable for the
          accomplishment of the great work that he has said shall be
          established and carried forward in the last days, and we are
          connected with it; and there is this to distinguish it from all
          others--it is not a man-made system. Men may say and think what
          they please about it, but from the President of the Church down
          to the last man who has entered into the Church in sincerity
          there is a faith and a knowledge that this work is of God, and
          the Presidency believe this as much as the humblest man in the
          Church and more too. It is this that gives power, it is this that
          gives influence. It is because they are filled with a knowledge
          concerning it that they have lived it, that they have contended
          for it, that they have passed through persecutions to establish
          it, that they are not unwilling to die for it, if it should be
          necessary. And this is the case with the whole people. Why?
          Because they are deluded? Because they are dupes? Because they
          are deceived? No, but because God has opened the heavens and
          poured out His Holy Spirit upon them and given them a testimony
          for themselves of the truth of this work. The Norwegian, the
          Swede, the Dane, the native of Switzerland, or the German,
          Frenchman, Irishman, Englishman, or the American, together with
          the Icelanders, Sandwich Islanders--all receive it in their own
          lands, all bearing testimony in the self-same words, that God has
          given them a testimony of the truth of this work. Destroy it! You
          might as well try to destroy the heavens themselves, or to
          overthrow the throne of Jehovah. It is true. It will live. Men
          may fall away--for men are weak mortals--man may deny the faith,
          man may say this is all a delusion; men may die, but the grand
          truth still lives. It has found a lodgement in the hearts of
          honest men and women. And they are increasing. Their children are
          multiplying. They are spreading abroad on the right hand and on
          the left, living virtuous, temperate, frugal, industrious lives,
          loving God and loving their neighbors.
          Are there exceptions? Yes, we are human. The devil still lives,
          and he has power to tempt. Therefore we have exceptions in our
          midst. Nevertheless those qualities are increasing and
          multiplying. Men are found who possess them, and those growing up
          to manhood and womanhood are also found to possess them. They
          know God and ask Him, believing that they will have the desires
          of their hearts granted unto them. And thus the work of God is
          spreading abroad throughout the earth, finding a place in the
          hearts of people, humble, it is true, but people who are
          independent--people who are the noblest of earth's sons, for the
          reason that they are not afraid to embrace that which is
          unpopular. The work of natural selection is going on in that way.
          This Gospel is naturally selecting the best of the people from
          the midst of the earth--men and women in humble station, from the
          lower ranks of life, in the most of instances, although there are
          some exceptions, some noble exceptions; but notwithstanding the
          lowliness of their origin and their surroundings, they are people
          of independent thought, people who dare embrace a truth though it
          be unpopular, and cling to it in the midst of all the influences
          that are brought to bear against them. Out of such materials the
          Lord is building up a Church, building up a people, bestowing His
          blessings upon them.
          It would not do for His people to be anything else but valiant,
          and when they pass through the ordeal they will be like gold
          seven times purified. In days gone by it was the mob, it was the
          burning of houses, driving the people from their lands, and this
          has been followed by ordeals just as trying in their character,
          as far as testing the people is concerned. By this process the
          people are becoming stronger in the Lord. Their feet are planted
          upon a rock. They have proved God for themselves, known him for
          long years in the midst of trials, temptations and vicissitudes
          such as no other people on the face of the earth know anything
          I thank God for this. I thank him every day that I live for this
          Church. I thank him that I am a Latter-day Saint. If I can only
          have a name among this people I feel as though I could have no
          greater comfort. I wish to be associated with a people of this
          kind, a people who love the Lord and are willing to do anything
          to show their faith in and their love for him, and if it were
          necessary, to lay down their lives for the truth. I cannot help
          loving a people of this kind. They have weaknesses and faults. I
          have them too. We are alike in this respect. If they will bear
          with me I will strive to bear with them. I know this is the
          Church and Kingdom of God. I know that those who cling to it
          will, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, receive glory and
          exaltation at his right hand. I know that people who love him, as
          the Latter-day Saints do, and are willing to make sacrifice, will
          not be forgotten by him. He will not forget them in the day that
          he makes up his jewels; he will bless them and honor them.
          That we may remain faithful and true unto the end, and be counted
          worthy to receive an exaltation in the kingdom of our God is my
          prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / George
          G. Bywater, June 4, 1882
                           George G. Bywater, June 4, 1882
                        DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEORGE G. BYWATER,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                           Sunday Afternoon, June 4, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                       DUE TO
          Among the loftiest conceptions of the world of mind, relative to
          the purposes and being of man, has, in human wisdom, been
          formulated to be the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of
          happiness. This sentiment has found an echo in every age, when
          the intelligence with which man is inherently endowed has been
          favored with a development to a degree adequate to this
          conception. And although this principle in the general bearing
          upon human interests is accepted by the intelligence of all
          countries and all peoples, we discover that our principles and
          sentiments are in advance of the moral and intellectual culture
          requisite to their full and complete development. But wherever
          and whenever the best cultivated minds have been moved to
          pronounce their conceptions upon the destiny of man, they have
          ever incorporated those principles and those rights in their
          constitutional manifestoes. And amid the multitudinous concerns
          and divine interests, in which the human mind is engrossed, there
          is always a sacred spot reserved for the welcoming and
          christening of those principles in the human heart. Moreover,
          whenever these principles have been invaded and the sanctity of
          the conditions involved in them has been imposed upon by
          ignorance and superstition or unbridled and uncultivated
          passions, they have ever resulted in sorrow, distress and anguish
          to the family of man.
          In speaking a few Sabbaths ago I made reference to the genesis or
          origin of things, and quoted an inquiry which was very
          beautifully put by the intelligent individual who made the
          inquiry, namely, "Whence are all things, and whither do all
          things tend?" and then remarked that the highest and loftiest aim
          of man must necessarily be to obtain the conception of his origin
          and his final destiny. Short of this, his life would be an
          aimless life, and his acts would be acts without intelligent
          motives; they would be disconnected: they would bear no reference
          to the past, no reference to the future, but would be acts
          produced as the result of the force of circumstances, urging an
          acquiescence and recognition of the pressure by which he was
          surrounded, and yielding to the authority of that force.
          But to the free and intelligent man and woman who ascend above
          the narrow zones and stratas of human life, who rise to a higher
          plain of intellectuality and who begin to perceive the vast
          extent over which human interests are spread and the undoubted
          right of association of those interests to go in one grand
          fraternal whole, in one bond of human unity, they must be led to
          inquire into those matters, and in doing so to satisfy
          themselves, at least, according to their highest standard of
          knowledge, and their widest scope of experience and observation,
          so that they might have in view an object, a mark, a prize
          towards which they should aim, a prize for which they should run
          a race, a work to be performed for which they should receive a
          reward; impelled by the eternal, heaven-born endowments which,
          under favorable influences and proper circumstances, they would
          feel awakened within them, impelling them, urging them to advance
          to a higher standard of moral and intellectual excellence, and be
          able to perform a work for the advancement of their race, for the
          amelioration of the condition of human society, that they might
          leave the world, in some small degree though it may be, the
          better for their living in it.
          We conceive, my brethren and sisters, that these are motives that
          no well-directed line of thought can escape, that these are
          feelings that no heart imbued with the genuineness of its nature,
          which we inherit as the patrimony of our Father and God can
          entertain, without being moved thereby; and we certainly could
          not become oblivious to these considerations whatever may be the
          conditions or conceptions in which we find ourselves and those
          with whom we are more immediately associated in the fabric of
          human society--we must feel that this great, grand, dominating
          principle is ever presenting its modest claim upon our
          allegiance, that we should not only desire to enjoy the right to
          life but the right to liberty, and the right to pursue happiness
          according to our highest conceptions of that happiness and that
          As Latter-day Saints we feel that this is our prerogative; we
          feel that the words which I have quoted, although I stated that
          they were formulated by human wisdom, but I beg to qualify that
          statement by a word or two to convey my meaning more clearly to
          you upon this subject. It is true that we draw a line of
          demarcation between human wisdom and wisdom from above--between
          the human and divine; that we draw a broad line by which we
          distinguish the one from the other; but when we express ourselves
          in harmony with the common principle which enters into the
          structure of our faith, as Latter-day Saints, we find that this
          line becomes more and more attenuated; we find that it loses that
          distinctness which we once thought should ever exist between what
          we call temporal and spiritual, and we find ourselves, being
          guided by the inspirations of our faith and the principles which
          we have espoused, coming nearer and nearer into a union, and more
          closely in harmony with that sentiment expressed by one of the
          ancient prophets: "Fear God and keep his commandments: this is
          the whole duty of man." This sentiment was uttered long centuries
          ago, when men, according to modern writers and speakers, were
          supposed to enjoy only the light of Paganism, guided by the
          government of barbarism in the lower stages of the scale of human
          elevation--in the dark ages. But, my friends, if there is a sage
          or philosopher that has ever uttered a sentiment or declared a
          principle or enunciated a law by which he would give birth to his
          conception of the philosophy of life, of the purpose of human
          existence, that could express it more forcibly, more
          philosophically or in stricter harmony with the principles of
          exact science than this ancient Prophet, then I know not his name
          nor am I acquainted with him as an author.
          Permit me, in a few words, to illustrate my meaning upon this
          principle. We will suppose that a master builder has conceived a
          plan for a magnificent structure, for a beautiful residence, for
          a temple of worship, for a temple of science, for a temple of
          freedom, a temple of truth; and he would embody, as the result of
          his deep and practical investigation into the wants and
          necessities embodied in his conception, a necessary provision to
          meet those wants, to supply those necessities, and to accord with
          the character of the work, or the results to be produced after
          the work should be completed, that there was no part of the plan
          conceived as being unnecessary or beyond what was called for, or
          any part of the structure that was built for nought, and that
          might as well be disposed of as to have it; but he would feel
          that he had completed his ground plan, the several floor plans,
          even to the topmost stone or the last elaborate and artistic
          touch of the painter's brush or mechanic's chisel, according to
          the genius of decorative art, that it was all necessary to
          carrying out the external principles and character and importance
          of the work to be performed and of the results to follow the
          completion of this labor.
          If this be true in works of art, if this be true also in the
          various labors of life, in the domain of agriculture as well as
          the domain of art, in every department of nature as well as in
          every department of art, we see design and purpose, we see
          invention and system, we see the indelible mark of intent upon
          every part designed to constitute the entire and perfect whole;
          and we would say that the man who would conclude that the work of
          such an architect, of such a master builder, was unnecessary, was
          simply an utterance of mind that was unfavorable to more mature
          investigation of such matters, and consequently could not be
          considered a competent judge upon such a subject.
          We regard man as the highest form of intellectual and moral
          existence with which we are acquainted. We regard man as the most
          perfect embodiment of all the creations of nature with which we
          are acquainted. He possesses the highest development of a nervous
          system, the most complex organization in all its parts, the most
          fruitful brain, producing the grandest results witnessed in every
          form of animated existence; and if this be true--and I have never
          yet seen a man who could be considered by his best friends to be
          sane who doubted it--then we must admit that if man who is
          created with a complement of capabilities, with a capacity for
          advancement in knowledge of a variety of degrees and kinds, and
          that he is adapted in his mental and moral nature to perform
          works that are productive of the highest possible good, not only
          to himself as an intelligent being, but to all subordinate or
          inferior forms of life with which he is surrounded, we certainly
          cannot fail to come right into the presence of this inquiry:
          "Whence are all things, and whither do all things tend?"
          Many and wide are the speculations indulged in by men who feel
          free to give themselves the most unbounded latitude in their
          speculations, forming theories not only devoid of ingeniousness,
          not only devoid of truth and symmetry, but possessing some
          features of fascination for the intellectual and good among
          mankind; yet, where do we find in the whole realm of mind, where
          through all the ages that have gone by, men that have wandered
          and gleaned information from every open avenue among the various
          civilizations which the words of history give unto us a knowledge
          of, is there a more rational and consistent solution of this
          question than is found in the writings of the most ancient
          historian and primitive lawgiver, Moses: "God made man in his own
          image; in the image of God created he him; male and female
          created he them."
          If then, my friends, we have an origin--and there is no doubt but
          that we have; and there are very few men with whom I have come in
          contact that have ever hesitated to admit man's origin. It will
          therefore be rational to enquire whence are we. But to trace back
          through the ages that have elapsed and take a retrospective gaze
          into the past and endeavor to unearth the history of lost
          civilization; to exhume from the buried ruins the intelligence
          that existed upon the surface of this globe during the long, long
          centuries that have gone by, and there glean the very cream and
          gather together the most precious sentiments ever enunciated by
          sage or philosopher, can we find anything superior to this? No,
          we cannot, my friends; there is none on record. Pardon my freedom
          in making so broad and conclusive a statement; but I speak after
          many years reflections, and after considerable research.
          And although, my beloved brethren and sisters, many grand and
          cherished principles have been brought to light by man's will and
          power of investigation, by seeking to open nature's temples and
          explore her departments and endeavor to comprehend law through
          phenomena, and formulate the laws of nature in harmony with the
          connected and continuous occurrences of events, with the uniform
          appearance and re-appearance of her operations, and they have
          been gratified with the glorious results which have followed the
          earnest, the honest and indefatigable labors of good men, men who
          have sacrificed friends and homes and associations, who have bid
          adieu to their dearest friends on earth, sacrificing all the
          comforts and luxuries with which they were surrounded to embark
          on the ocean of peril and uncertainty in pursuit of principles
          which they felt were to be discovered, and results to be attained
          by persistent and indefatigable labor. They have traveled to
          earth's utmost bounds; they have endured hardships, and many of
          them have sacrificed their lives in order to accumulate a fund of
          human knowledge to add to those experiences which seem
          indisputably necessary to build up society upon its more enduring
          basis. Yet, my friends, have they ever brought to light by their
          researches, without naming those worthies for whom I entertain
          profound respect, a great many of them, have they ever introduced
          to the human family such a plain, such a clear, lucid and
          satisfactory explanation of the principles of which I have
          spoken, and to which I am now alluding--the design of man and his
          final destiny upon the earth--as is given in the records of
          revelation. It is true that the scientific man is satisfied that
          there is a high destiny awaiting man; that there is an ultimatum
          pertaining to his being that science cannot unfold, that
          philosophy cannot teach, that man's experience and observation
          cannot gather the materials for the solution of; but they see a
          grandness in the structure of the human frame, they see a
          profoundness in the constitution of his mind; they see such a
          variety of adaptations and combinations in his person that augurs
          for him a higher life and nobler results and grander purposes,
          than are presented within the narrow realm of his mortal sphere,
          in which he now sojourns. But to say what that life is, to
          explain what will be his future destiny and the future destiny of
          the human family at large, the earth and the universe, who can
          tell? The wisest of men here bow their heads in humility, their
          countenances become more or less suffused with expressions of
          humiliation. They stand in the presence of the future, the effect
          of which they feel, but the character of which they do not
          comprehend; and they will say with Professor Proctor and others,
          that whatever may be the laws that will bring to pass the
          resurrection of the world, as the prophets have said, it will die
          and pass away; what will be the laws and powers and forces that
          will make themselves manifest in the resurrection or regeneration
          of matter, they do not know, but they believe that there exists
          in nature an intelligent power which will conduct her operations
          to eternal perpetuity.
          My friends, we are indebted to revelation as the source of
          knowledge; we are indebted to God and angels, and the spirit of
          revelation, for our understanding of those divine principles
          which afford a clear and final solution to these important and
          vital inquiries. As Latter-day Saints we appeal to this source;
          and while we do not ignore any truth, come from where it may, or
          wherever found, whether upon Christian or heathen ground, we hail
          the light of the everlasting Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ
          which has been revealed in our day and dispensation as the only
          unerring, as the only truthful and unqualifiedly certain mode of
          interpretation by which we can attain to a knowledge of these
          things. We may say, the works of God and the word of God both
          constitute the avenues of human information, and that whoever
          ignores the one deprives himself of much of the benefits which
          flow from accepting the other; that there are two doors which
          open to the temple of truth, and they are both indispensably
          necessary to engage man's full capacity and to endow him with the
          principles of knowledge, and with the purposes of his being here
          upon the earth, together with his origin and final destiny.
          My beloved friends, I feel grateful for a knowledge of these
          things; I feel thankful that God has restored again the fulness
          of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that we
          are living in the dispensation in which God has foretold through
          his ancient servants the prophets that he would make known his
          mind and will concerning the earth and its inhabitants, and his
          purposes in relation to them; and that he will bring to pass all
          of his great and grand designs as they have been foreshadowed in
          the volumes of revelation from the earliest period of his
          speaking to the children of men to the present hour. And as
          Latter-day Saints we rely especially and entirely upon him for
          absolute truth. Although men deny this, they say there is no such
          thing as absolute truth, that all truth is relative. But we have
          learned, through the revelations of God, and taking them as a
          standard, that there is a great deal of false reasoning here.
          Truth is absolute in its nature. Man's apprehension of it may be
          only partial and imperfect; he may know two few of its sides,
          comprehending it not in its entirety; and, therefore, to form a
          perfect and unerring judgment as regards its force and power and
          character requires a thorough application of its elements. I aver
          that truth is absolute. It is admitted by our wisest men that the
          existence of God is an absolute existence; we accept this
          admission, and say that whatever truth emanates from him, is an
          absolute truth. It may be beyond our comprehension. Truth may
          come unto man in relative quantities. It may be revealed in the
          form of line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and
          there a little. It nevertheless comes to us in the character and
          absoluteness of his character, and this, we say, is stamped upon
          every principle that emanates from his divine presence.
          As a community of people we have received this Gospel; we have
          embraced its first principles. We have gathered ourselves
          together to these mountain valleys in fulfillment of prophecy to
          be further taught of him. We are entering into the development of
          that work which has been the theme and burden of the prophetic
          song of men who lived long ages ago. We live in an age of
          revelation. We live in an age of Prophets and Apostles and
          inspired men. But who believes this? Here is a question, who
          believes it? It was asked in the day of the Savior, When the Son
          of Man cometh shall he find faith on the earth? When and where, I
          ask, has a dispensation of God to the children of men found a
          universal acceptance? We know of no time in the world's history
          when the intelligence of the masses of mankind has been of that
          advanced and refined culture as to accord the right to the
          Creator of the universe to dictate a government for the children
          of men. They have ever assumed the role en masse or in the great
          majority, that they had the right to dictate to themselves. This
          is strikingly illustrated in the parable of the Savior, in which
          is represented a vineyard and the giving charge of it to stewards
          to cultivate it and take care of its fruit. This having been
          done, the Lord of the vineyard sends his servants or messengers
          to investigate as to the management and working of their
          stewardship. But when they came, making known their business to
          those in charge, were they received as they should have been? No,
          but on the contrary, they agreed among themselves that it was
          their right to manage their own affairs according to their own
          will and in their own way, and that it was their right to dictate
          to themselves. Vox populi, vox dei. We are the voice of God; we
          know what is best for ourselves, etc. And they took the
          messengers that were sent unto them by the master and owner of
          the vineyard, and beat one and stoned another, etc.; and they
          returned and reported the cruelties that had been inflicted upon
          them. By this act they ignored the right and authority of the
          Master to make any inquiries as to the management of affairs.
          Finally the Lord of the vineyard said: "I will send my Son,
          surely they will reverence my Son." He came, and they recognized
          him; said they, "He is the heir, let us kill him."
          My beloved brethren and sisters, and friends, this is a very
          truthful, a very forcible illustration of the spirit that has
          been manifested by the generation of the children of men in our
          own age, when God has again sent a divine messenger, crying
          repentance to the people and inviting them to forsake their sins
          and return to the Lord their God, and recognize his right to
          dictate to them the form of government they should live by.
          How is it to-day in this nation, that boastingly iterates and
          re-iterates from one part of our common country to the other the
          rights of men which are embodied in the noble Constitution of the
          country, and expressed in the words I quoted, "Life, liberty, and
          the pursuit of happiness." Do they recognize God's right to rule?
          No, my friends, and I must say, pardon the allusion, in the
          sarcastic though too truthful article of Mrs. Gail Hamilton, with
          regard to the power and effects of science and the power and
          effect of the Christian world in their prayers for our late
          lamented President Garfield, when she tauntingly throws up to
          them that they have no faith; that the prayers of the whole world
          were turned, that the whole Christian world bowed itself, asking
          and pleading with heaven to save unto us our President; but the
          only prayer answered was that of the wretched and despised
          Guiteau, the assassin. There is too much truth in this sarcasm.
          Would we rule God out of the government; would we rule Him out of
          the Constitution, claiming the right to rule ourselves and
          dictate the conditions upon which we would live, or would we say
          with one of old, that "to fear God and keep his commandments is
          the whole duty of man." It is with regret that we have to record
          the admission, that the general sentiment of to-day, is, that God
          has nothing to do with human affairs, which only expresses the
          real state of things as they now exist. But then this is merely a
          fulfillment of a prophetic utterance. In the latter-days, said
          Timothy, many false prophets should arise and also false
          teachers, who would teach the doctrine of devils. Forbidding to
          marry, (but tolerating prostitution); that men would become
          "covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers; that they would be
          "without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers,
          incontinent, fierce, despisers of them that are good." That they
          would also be traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure
          more than lovers of God. "Having a form of godliness but denying
          the power thereof."
          What is the state, not only of our own glorious Republic, but of
          the governments of the world--whither are we drifting? We have
          eyes, but whether we can see enough of the circumstances that are
          to constitute the grand panorama spoken of in Holy Writ, is
          another question. It may be that they are too close to our doors
          to be seen distinctly, and that we are unable in consequence to
          comprehend their magnitude and foretell their results. Be that as
          it may, we nevertheless are right in the presence of these
          sorrowful facts of human history.
          May we, as Latter-day Saints, be faithful, trusting in God. May
          we be like Daniel of old, though the king should forbid we should
          pray; though princes and rulers should tell us we shall not
          worship God only as we are permitted to, that we must accept and
          abide by popular opinion and bow in deference to popular
          prejudices, shaping our convictions after the ethics and theories
          of men, may we still trust in Him, and still be found at the post
          of duty and devotion.
               Is this the age of life, liberty and the pursuit of
          happiness? Is this the age when we are to enjoy those immunities
          and guarantees which the highest conservators of human wisdom,
          the founders of our great Constitution were enabled to give unto
          us, to bequeath unto us as their patrimony? Alas! alas! It is in
          this instance as in that expressed by Oliver Goldsmith:
                                    I                     ll fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
                                                         Where wealth accumulates and men decay.
          When men will tell you that the constitution is not sufficient;
          that we have grown beyond it--that there is no sacredness to be
          attached to any institution that comes short in its provisions to
          supply means by which party purposes and popular prejudices can
          be fostered and carried into execution, that all these things
          must go by the way--I fear for my country; I fear for any nation
          and any people so situated. For remember, this is not the only
          to Central Arabia, and we find these relics of an ancient
          civilization, many phases of which would put to the blush the
          vanity and pride of the intelligence of the age in which we live.
          They have gone; the generations then living have melted away. And
          the generations that now live will pass away; but God lives and
          rules, and his purposes will roll on. And, pardon me, I will
          close my remarks with another couplet:
                                                         "Yet I doubt not through the ages
                                                          One eternal purpose runs,
                                                         And the thoughts of men are widened
                                                          By the process of the suns."
          And by the development and the upholding of the principles of
          nature God is consummating his designs, which will terminate in
          the salvation of man and the perfection of the earth as a
          residence for the redeemed of all past ages, when the light of
          the sun will not be needed, for the glory of God will be the
          light, and intelligence and truth shall flow as the mighty ocean,
          and knowledge shall cover the great deep, and no man then need
          say, Know ye the Lord, for all shall know him from the least to
          the greatest; and every man in every place will meet a brother
          and a friend.
          May God in His own due time hasten these things, and we, His
          children, be prepared for every dispensation of His providence,
          is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 /
          Lorenzo Snow, April 7th, 1882
                            Lorenzo Snow, April 7th, 1882
                          DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE LORENZO SNOW,
                        Delivered at the General Conference,
                           Friday, A. M., April 7th, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
          The speaker read the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th verses
          of the 14th chapter of Exodus, and then said:
          There is an important lesson contained in these verses, and the
          lesson is not only applicable to this community as a whole, but
          to each individual. It appears that the children of Israel at the
          time referred to in the passage I have read, were not very well
          acquainted with the Lord, or with his ability to carry out his
          purposes. They, however, had not the opportunities of becoming
          acquainted with him, as have the Latter-day Saints. They had seen
          some of the works of the Lord wrought in the presence of the
          Egyptians as well as in their own presence; but their hearts had
          not been touched, neither had their understandings been
          enlightened by the intelligence of the Holy Spirit, as has been
          the case with the Latter-day Saints, and therefore, when they
          were brought to face the Red Sea, which, to all human appearance,
          was impassable, and with the armies of the Egyptians pressing
          close upon them, their hearts failed them.
          The Latter-day Saints in latter days have been placed in
          circumstances very similar. I well remember in my own experience
          the Latter-day Saints being placed in situations where it became
          very necessary for them to rely upon their knowledge of the
          things of God and their faith in His power to carry out His
          It is not at all strange that the Israelites at that time,
          possessing the little knowledge they did, should be considerably
          alarmed, or that they should display a great amount of ignorance
          and folly, having expressed themselves to Moses as being in doubt
          as to the propriety of attempting to deliver them from their
          fettered condition, notwithstanding the Egyptians had been so
          severe upon them, and had taken the lives of their children, yet
          they had so little faith in the word of the Lord through their
          deliverer, Moses, that they were willing to still continue slaves
          rather than place themselves under the direction of the Almighty.
          They wished to know of Moses if there were not sufficient graves
          in Egypt that it became necessary for them to be destroyed by the
          army of Pharaoh in the wilderness, and chided Moses for the
          course he had pursued, and wished themselves back in bondage.
          I do not think the Latter-day Saints in any period of their
          history have displayed such weakness and lack of faith; however
          trying our circumstances may have been, we have never been guilty
          of such pronounced ingratitude to God. At the time the mob came
          against us in Missouri there were but a few of us, and the
          circumstances were such it was impossible to expect deliverance
          except through the intervention of the Almighty. There may, it is
          true, have been some persons at that time whose hearts failed
          them under the very trying circumstances in which we were placed;
          but they were very few. The Latter-day Saints had received the
          Gospel accompanied by the Holy Spirit; and it was in consequence
          of that miraculous influence and power that was and had been upon
          them at various times, which caused them to have faith in their
          deliverance. They did not display the weakness and folly that we
          see manifested in the children of Israel on the occasion referred
          to in the verses I have read, as well as on many other occasions.
          There were a few, however, that wished to turn back to Babylon
          and give up their faith, the ordeal being too severe. In reading
          ecclesiastical history we find that even the prophets on certain
          occasions, displayed more or less weakness; and I have thought
          that Moses exhibited a little on this occasion, that is, if the
          translation be strictly correct. He saw the difficulties, and
          although he had more faith and knowledge in his bosom than all
          the faith and knowledge of the people put together, yet there
          seemed to be a feebleness in the course that he advised on this
          occasion. With the Red sea in front and the army of Pharaoh
          pressing closely in the rear, the state of affairs, of course,
          seemed critical, and it was apparent to all: and while the people
          were bewailing their condition Moses gave instructions, saying,
          "Fear ye not"--now that part of it was excellent, and may apply
          to the Latter-day Saints, and will always be applicable in
          whatever condition they may be placed; but the after part of the
          instruction I would scarcely think was exactly applicable on that
          occasion, and it certainly would not be to the Latter-day Saints
          in any situation or circumstance, namely, "Stand still, and see
          the salvation of the Lord." It appears from this verse which I
          will read, that Moses began to cry unto the Lord for deliverance;
          and the Lord answered him saying: "Wherefore cryest thou unto me?
          Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward." There
          was no standing still; there never has been since the day that
          the Almighty commenced to establish His work, the people have
          always been required to move on and never stand still. Although
          the Lord will work and accomplish wonders in regard to the
          deliverance of His people when impediments arise in the path of
          their progress and no human power or ability can remove them,
          then God by His power will do so, but it is the business of those
          who profess to be engaged in His work to move on, to go forward,
          and that too without murmuring or having to be urged; so long as
          there remains a step forward to be taken, that step should be
          taken. As in this case it was not wisdom for the people to stand
          still to see the salvation of the Lord, but the word was, move
          on, go forward, have faith, so that when they should come to the
          water's edge and place their feet therein, that then the Lord
          would either move upon the Egyptians to stay the hand of
          destruction, or show His power in delivering them in some other
          way; but so long as they could make a move in the direction that
          God through Moses had appointed, it was their duty to do so.
          It may appear through our ignorance in not understanding fully
          the ways of the Lord and His purposes, that in our onward march
          in carrying out the programme before us, we sometimes come to a
          stopping place for the time being, but the fact is, there is no
          such thing in the programme, and there cannot be providing the
          people continue their labors putting their trust in the promises
          of God. The Apostles, notwithstanding the opportunities they had
          of acquainting themselves with the purposes of the Almighty,
          through personal converse with the Son of God, thought there was
          a time when they would have to stand still, and cease their
          labors as ministers of God. When they saw the Savior hanging upon
          the cross in the agonies of death, their hearts failed them, and
          they concluded that all was over with them. They had thought that
          Jesus was to be king of Israel, and deliver them from the Gentile
          yoke, but now their hopes seemed vain and all was lost; now said
          their leader, let us go a fishing. Was there a cessation of the
          work of God, when Jesus was suffering upon the cross? No, the
          work was still going on, but the Apostles did not understand it;
          they did not seem to comprehend the act; that the purposes of God
          were being carried out when He was suffering upon the cross; but
          when Jesus appeared to them after He arose from the tomb, He gave
          them to understand that in His suffering and death the words of
          the prophets were being fulfilled; and He opened their
          understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. But the
          High Priests of the Jewish faith, and all those who were foremost
          in the crucifixion of the Savior, believed they had accomplished
          their purpose in putting to death Him whom they feared would take
          away their name and nation, and doubtless felt satisfied with
          their work, especially as He failed to come down from the cross,
          when they cried out, If He be the Son of God let Him come down
          from the cross.
          There is no standing still with the Latter-day Saints. When we
          were driven from Kirtland and Jackson County by mob violence, the
          purposes of God were being fulfilled and the work was undergoing
          changes necessary to its growth and progress, and the trials and
          afflictions incident thereto were necessary to the proving of the
          Saints and the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the
          earth. And I would say, let the motto be to every Elder in
          Israel, and to every person worthy to be called a Saint. Fear
          not, and never stand still, but move on. Let the farmer go
          forward making improvements, plow and sow and reap; and those
          engaged in proper and useful enterprises continue to do what
          seems good according to the Spirit of God that may operate upon
          them, and let every man be faithful and very diligent in keeping
          the commandments of God, and cultivate the desire to do good to
          those around him; and if, in reflecting on the past, we find we
          have not acted strictly in accordance with the dictates of our
          consciences and duty, let us make ourselves right before God and
          man, that we may be prepared for every event that may transpire.
          Let the work of building temples and houses of worship go on; let
          Israel continue to educate their children and bring them up in
          the fear of the Lord, and let the Gospel still be carried to the
          nations afar, and Israel be gathered and the people always be
          found moving on as the purposes of God continue to be fulfilled.
          Do not stand still and expect to see the salvation of God, but
          move on so long as there is a step to be made in the direction
          that he has commanded, and then see the salvation of the
          Almighty. This is the work of God, and he is directing its course
          and progress in the earth, and this work should ever be uppermost
          in our minds; and so long as we are found in the path of duty we
          can surely remain fixed and unmoved and determined in our
          purpose, and thus exhibit to the world our faith and devotion to
          the principles of truth which God has revealed, as did the Saints
          when they were driven from their homes as recorded in the history
          of the Church. And because of this exhibition of faith God
          blessed us wonderfully and miraculously after we had passed
          through the trials which followed in the accomplishment of this
          work, trials which seemed indeed to the world almost unbearable.
          However we regard those afflictions, they were not so very
          disagreeable. When the three Hebrew children, for instance, had
          been brought to a certain position, cast into the fiery furnace
          because of their undying faith and integrity, they could not
          after all perhaps have been placed in more pleasing and agreeable
          circumstances. A holy being, it is said, appeared and walked with
          them, side by side in the midst of the flames; and so with Daniel
          under similar circumstances. Did they wait to see what God would
          do for them? No; it was "move on" with them. They knew that in
          the hands of their Master were held the issues of life and death,
          and that to die in Him is to live, live eternally, to go on, on
          to perfection until they should become even like unto Him; and
          having a living, an abiding faith, and a knowledge of the true
          and living God they were ready to live and they were ready to die
          for the truth. It was not with those men as it was with the
          children of Israel of whom I have read. They were in possession
          of knowledge through the operation of the Holy Ghost which
          prepared them for any circumstances in which they might be
          placed. And so with regard to the Latter-day Saints: When
          compelled to sign over our property to the mob in Missouri, we
          were advised to disperse and mix up among the people and not
          attempt to gather together again; and yet under these
          circumstances the Lord moved upon the legislature of the State of
          Illinois to grant us a city charter in which there were favorable
          provisions that were not found in any other charter. And this was
          as he had told us he would do, namely, that he would soften the
          hearts of rulers from time to time that they should show favor to
          his people. I do not believe, as some do, that no good can come
          out from Nazareth. We talk sometimes rather harshly about some of
          the politicians of our country, and deservedly, too; but
          notwithstanding the illiberal and unjust policy they show towards
          us, I believe they can do us a great deal of good provided the
          Lord operates upon the hearts of ruling men, as he has done in
          the past, and as he will do in the future, which will result in
          their showing and granting us favors and blessings that many now
          little imagine.
          The circumstances under which we came to these mountain valleys
          are well known; they need not be recited now. After we had passed
          through the chastisement, the Lord moved upon our national
          government to bestow favors upon the people of God. They gave us
          what is called the Organic Act, a bill of rights as good as we
          could expect from their hands, and what was more, they conferred
          political favor upon our leader, our Prophet and President,
          Brigham Young, by making him Governor of the Territory. And who
          would have thought of such a thing? Any man that would have
          predicted such a thing at the time we were being driven from
          Missouri, would have been considered to say the least, an
          enthusiast. And besides that, one of our United States judges was
          a Mormon Elder; the Secretary of the Territory was also a Mormon
          Elder. And who, let me ask, did this? Was it the Congress or the
          President of the United States? Well, now, I would dislike very
          much to say anything that could be construed into ungratefulness
          on our part or in failing to recognize all the good that our
          nation has designed to do us, for we recognize it as our uncle,
          and sometimes it has been a pretty good uncle; but,
          notwithstanding, we see in all this the hand of our God, who
          through them, has wrought out this good and this deliverance for
          his people, while we are ready and willing to acknowledge an
          overruling Providence in the good that comes to us; and for one I
          am ever ready to acknowledge that good also can come out of
          Nazareth. We can certainly afford to suffer a little when at
          times we perceive magnanimity displayed towards us by our
          government, which has been the case in the past, and which I
          firmly believe will be in the future despite the pressure that is
          being brought to bear against us and the nature of the means that
          are being now employed.
          The Lord moved upon rulers in former generations; he moved upon
          infidel kings to favor his people, and he is the same God now as
          We talk about the Edmunds bill, what it is going to do I do not
          pretend to say, neither do I think that its framers and abettors
          know what is going to come of it. One thing I have noticed, and
          that is that Congressmen themselves differ widely with regard to
          certain of its provisions; and that being the case it would
          perhaps, become us to wait and watch. But there is one singular
          feature about it relating to plural marriage. And about that
          allow me here to say, I happen to have some knowledge of it as a
          principle of revelation belonging to the religion we have
          espoused. I was personally acquainted with Joseph Smith during
          twelve or fourteen years and, of course, through him I first
          learned what I now know about that principle. And as to his being
          a man of truth and honor I, nor any one else that knew him, have
          any reason to question for a moment. But then I never went forth
          to preach the principles of this Gospel depending entirely upon
          any information I received through him or any other man; but I
          believed on his words, coming as they did to me as the words of
          truth, from an inspired man of God; and from that hour the Spirit
          of God, the Holy Ghost which all men may receive and enjoy, has
          confirmed the truth of what he had told me, and it became
          knowledge to me of that nature which no man can give or take
          away. And now, as there is good, more or less, to be found
          elsewhere, the Edmunds bill is not without its good; and,
          therefore, I say, let us accept the good and feel thankful
          therefor. That extraordinary bill legalizes the issue of plural
          marriage up to the 1st day of January, 1883. Now, who could have
          expected so much good to come out of Nazareth? Uncle Samuel is
          now and then a pretty good uncle after all. (Laughter). And, mark
          you, the framers of the Bill have been too considerate as to
          distinctly provide that the children thus legalized must be the
          offspring of marriages performed according to the rites and
          ceremonies of the sect known as the Latter-day Saints. In the
          language of the small boy I say, "good enough." (Laughter.) Now,
          if any of our Gentile friends have been indiscreet, or should
          hereafter be guilty of bigamy, their offspring of course are not
          so favored. (Laughter.) We ought to be thankful for this
          unexpected favor, and indeed I have no doubt we are. I really
          never expected that the law-makers of our nation would ever
          legalize plural marriages as performed for the last thirty years
          or more. If the Lord is able to do a thing of this kind through
          men who framed that strange and singular bill, our open and
          avowed enemies, what is he not able to do? What may we not expect
          if we remain faithful and true to the trust reposed in us?
          The Lord very possibly may cause a heavy pressure to bear upon
          us, such as will require great sacrifice at the hands of his
          people. The question with us is, will we make that sacrifice?
          This work is the work of the Almighty, and the blessings we look
          for which have been promised, will come after we have proven
          ourselves and passed through the ordeal. I have no special word
          to this people that there is, or that there is not, before them a
          fiery ordeal through which they will be called to pass; the
          question with me is, am I prepared to receive and put to a right
          and proper use any blessing the Lord has in store for me in
          common with His people; or, on the other hand, am I prepared to
          make any sacrifice that he may require at my hands? I would not
          give the ashes of a rye straw for any religion that was not worth
          living for and that was not worth dying for; and I would not give
          much for the man that was not willing to sacrifice his all for
          the sake of his religion.
          Well, I close my remarks by saying to one and all, Move on! move
          on, and see the salvation of the Lord, and not stand still. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 /
          Charles W. Penrose, June 4, 1882
                          Charles W. Penrose, June 4, 1882
                         REMARKS BY ELDER CHAS. W. PENROSE,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                                Sunday, June 4, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                      LIFE AND
                               HOW IT MAY BE ATTAINED.
          It is written in the Scriptures, that "man by searching cannot
          find out God;" and the experience of all ages has proven the
          truth of this. We are living in an age of great intelligence, at
          a time when the wise things which have been said and written by
          sage, philosopher and prophet centuries ago can be read and
          reflected upon; and when men can bring to bear their own
          researches, their own experience and the facilities which they
          have for gaining information, upon the investigation of the
          subject of Deity; yet, we find that people who now live are as
          much at sea in regard to this matter as any people who lived in
          former times. If we take up the works of the wise men who live
          upon the earth in our times and read their remarks concerning
          God, we are forced to the conclusion that they, like the people
          for whom they write, know little or nothing of the subject upon
          which they touch.
          Many years ago certain divines of the Church of England, chosen
          for the purpose, endeavored to formulate a creed in which they
          tried to explain to the people what God is. And after making a
          number of very contradictory and foolish assertions, they came to
          the conclusion that God is "incomprehensible." Man, by searching
          cannot find out God, the only way whereby man can come to the
          knowledge of God is by communication from God, and if the people
          receive what he does communicate they may find out clearly and
          truthfully what he is, and what are his designs and purposes in
          relation to them.
          "Man know thyself," is another saying; not in the Holy
          Scriptures, but just as good as though it were. Man cannot know
          himself, cannot comprehend himself any more than he can
          comprehend Deity by his own reflections. Unless the Creator who
          made him, and who comprehends what he was made for reveals it to
          him, he cannot comprehend even his own being. Who is there that
          understands the nature of that intelligent spirit which inhabits
          the tabernacle of man? A good surgeon can take the human body and
          dissect it; point out its various parts and their relation one to
          another, and name every bone and every muscle and every sinew and
          every nerve. But there is something even pertaining to the body,
          (leaving out the spiritual part of man) that gives the body life,
          which he cannot grasp or comprehend. The vital force that gives
          animation to the body is beyond his ken. And every man who has
          studied himself to any degree whatever, knows that there is
          something about himself besides the life of the body; that there
          is something superior to the body, and to that vital force which
          animates the human frame. How did that intelligent being get into
          his physical nature, and where did it come from? Did it come into
          existence with the earthly body, or did it exist before? When the
          common lot of humanity comes and we "shuffle off this mortal
          coil" and our bodies go into the ground, each part separating
          from the other, and the elements go back whence they came, does
          this spiritual, this intelligent being which inhabited the body
          still exist, or does that also separate into particles? Who knows
          of himself, and who can comprehend this by his own reflections?
          No man. Unless we get some information from the Being who made
          man, we cannot comprehend ourselves, much less can we of
          ourselves comprehend the Being that made us.
          The inhabitants of the earth in the different ages have had a
          great many duties; they have formed ideas concerning God in their
          own minds, and they have worshipped that which seemed to them the
          clearest representation of Deity. Some of the idols which men
          have worshipped appear very foolish to us; they are no doubt
          indications of the low degree of development of the people who
          set them up as objects of worship. But here, in the 19th century,
          among people called Christians, we hear a great deal about God,
          the God of the Bible, the God that made man, the God that rules
          the universe, and when we inquire of the wisest men we have in
          Christendom in regard to this Being, they tell us that he is
          incomprehensible; they tell us that he is an immaterial being
          whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere:
          that he has no body and no parts and no passions; that there is
          nothing which can represent him; there is nothing like him in the
          heavens above or in the earth beneath, and that man's mind cannot
          grasp anything about him. They say he is one, and yet he is
          three; that he is not three but is one. That there are the
          Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost--three separate substances,
          and yet not three but only one. They say that one of these three
          beings without a body had a body; that one of the three parts of
          this partless being had both a body and parts, and that he, the
          Son, was in all things like the Father, and was also like us
          excepting that he was without sin, but had passions as we have.
          This is the result of the attempt on the part of the wise men of
          Christendom to find out God for themselves. It is impossible, and
          is so laid down in Holy Writ; "man by searching cannot find out
          God." The only way that can be relied upon whereby man can find
          out God is by obtaining information from the Almighty Himself.
          "Well," say the people, "but he does not communicate anything to
          any of the inhabitants of the earth." Why not? Has he not power
          to manifest Himself to mortals? Is He so great and mighty and so
          far above the human family that He cannot reveal Himself to
          humanity? "No. He used to do so hundreds of years ago." And why
          does he not do it now? "Because the day of revelation has gone
          by," they say. Who told them so? The fact is that for a long
          period the people have not been expecting to receive revelations
          from God. They have not sought for them and, therefore, have not
          obtained them. But we find in the Old Scriptures a promise
          something like this: "Return unto me and I will return unto you,
          saith the Lord: Even from the days of your fathers you have gone
          away from mine ordinances and have not kept them," you have
          "transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and broken the
          everlasting covenant;" now "return unto me and I will return unto
          you, saith the Lord of hosts."
          We also find in the scriptures the declaration, that God changeth
          not, that he is "the same yesterday, to-day and forever." And we
          may reasonably infer that if God was a God of revelation hundreds
          of years ago, he is the same God of revelation to-day, only the
          people do not inquire of him, they do not seek unto him in the
          right way that they may obtain communications from him. The
          Apostle James declares, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask
          of God who 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."
          It appears then that God may be approached; that we may ask of
          him, but if we do ask of him we must ask in faith. We must
          believe. If we do not believe we will not obtain. This principle
          of faith seems to be the means of approaching the Almighty. If we
          take up the Bible and read how the ancients received revelation,
          we find that they approached God by faith. And further, we learn
          that when God communicated anything to them they tried to carry
          it out in their practice; they tried to embody in their lives
          those instructions and communications. As Brother Bywater, who
          preceded me this afternoon, has quoted: "Fear God and keep his
          commandments. This is the whole duty of man." Those holy men of
          old, when they learned anything from God were willing to carry it
          out, no matter what the cost might be. God held communion with
          them by means of the Holy Ghost, which seems to be the natural
          means of communication between God and man.
          The word and will of God were revealed to the Prophet Joseph
          Smith. Why should we not receive this blessing of heavenly
          communication in our day? As Latter-day Saints we have our names
          cast out as evil, simply because we believe in this doctrine of
          receiving communication from God. We are simple enough to believe
          that God will speak to people now if they will approach him in
          the right way. Men have borne testimony that they have received
          communication from above, and have made known the same to us; and
          having believed on their word and done exactly as they directed
          us, God has confirmed the truth of their words upon our hearts,
          with signs following. And now we can say ourselves we know that
          God lives, that he communicates to men; we know the channel of
          communication is opened up between the heavens and the earth, and
          that the people of the nineteenth century, by taking a proper
          course and exercising faith in the right way, and being humble
          enough to carry into effect the commandments which the Lord gives
          when he does manifest himself unto them, can obtain communication
          from on high by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, by dreams
          and visions, and by the visible manifestation of God's power in
          the midst of his people.
          This is our testimony to the world, and it is for this that we
          are opposed; this is the ground work of the opposition applied to
          us in what is called the Christian world. For if the fact be
          admitted that the Latter-day Saints are the people of God and
          those who preside over them are the servants of God, that they
          receive communications from him, and that this is His Church,
          that would be to admit also that all other churches are the
          churches of men and not of Christ; that those who minister in
          them are not delegated of heaven and that the doctrines they
          teach are merely the doctrines and commandments of men. Thus our
          faith comes in contact with the established systems of
          Now, the Lord has made known to us a few simple truths in regard
          to our being--who we are, where we came from, what we are here
          for, where we are going to, and what is to be our final destiny.
          These things in our minds are not mere articles of faith, they
          are not myths, they are not mere opinions or sentiments, but they
          are to us, to use the language of Brother Bywater, "absolute
          truths;" they have been revealed from the Almighty, and are his
          word to us and not the say-so of men. God has borne testimony of
          the truth of them in our own hearts; and to us they have become
          absolute truths. We are not left in doubt about them; they are to
          us facts as palpable as the fact of our existence.
          I have not time to dwell upon this subject, but I will mention
          two or three facts that God has made known to us, and will leave
          them for the reflection of the congregation. God has made known
          to us, in the first place, that we--the real beings, the
          intelligent spirits which are entabernacled in these mortal
          frames--are the offspring of Deity, the children of God, as much
          so as our bodies are the offspring of the children of men; that
          just as men and women are the sons and daughters of men, so far
          as their earthly bodies are concerned, so the spirits which
          inhabit these bodies are beings born of the Almighty God in the
          eternal worlds. This spark of intelligence that exists in the
          human form is stricken off from the eternal flame of Deity; the
          children of men are the offspring of God. And when Jesus told his
          disciples, in addressing the throne of grace, to say, "Our Father
          who art in heaven," he said that which was absolutely true, not
          in a spiritual or Methodistical sense, but as an absolute fact.
          God is our Father, and we are his sons and daughters. Our earthly
          bodies are framed in the image of God; they are framed to fit our
          spirits which are the offspring of God, which are therefore in
          his image, according to the law that every seed brings forth its
          own kind. A comprehension of the offspring of God will therefore
          lead to an understanding of God Himself.
          These spiritual beings now sojourning upon the earth in mortal
          tabernacles, dwelt in the bosom of eternity and were with the
          Eternal Father "when the morning stars sang together and the sons
          of God shouted for joy" on beholding the organization of this
          earth. We were there and we joined in the heavenly chorus. Said
          the Apostle John: "Beloved, 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." By that time we will be able to comprehend God,
          notwithstanding the assertion of the learned of the world to the
          contrary. We were sent down upon the earth to dwell for a time
          that we might learn the laws which govern this lower sphere, that
          we might have a portion of it framed as a body in which we should
          dwell, that in it and through it we might become acquainted with
          sin which is the transgression of law, and learn that only by
          obedience to law is happiness possible for the offspring of God;
          that only by obedience to eternal laws and wholesome regulations
          can man be made happy in time and in eternity. And by becoming
          acquainted with darkness we can appreciate the light; by becoming
          acquainted with pain and sorrow we can appreciate perfect bliss
          and happiness; by coming in contact with death, and understanding
          it through experience we may comprehend the blessings of life,
          preparatory to an endless existence in the presence of the Father
          to dwell in perfect submission to his eternal laws. We are here
          for experience, and while we dwell in mortality there are lessons
          to be learned and that must be learned, if needs be through
          suffering. It is our privilege, while here in the school of
          experience and adversity, far from our ancient home, to struggle
          up to the light from whence we came, and by the power of the Holy
          Spirit to obtain a knowledge of the past, a comprehension of the
          present, and an unfoldment of the future; for "when the spirit of
          truth is come he shall guide you into all truth, and he shall
          take of the things of the Father and of the Son and show them
          unto you; he shall show you things to come, and shall bring to
          your remembrance things that are past, he shall give you
          knowledge of the present and shall unfold to you the future."
          This is the office of the Holy Ghost in bestowing its gifts and
          blessings upon men.
          Now we can learn our duty, we can learn what is the mind and will
          of God concerning us. The Lord has manifested a great many things
          to us while in mortality which has had the effect of stirring up
          the opposition of the world and the powers of darkness against
          us. This is a necessary experience as it tends to develop our
          being, and so long as we have this warfare to fight, if we carry
          out strictly the commandments of God, we shall have more present
          joy, more present satisfaction and more present pleasure than if
          we were in accord with the world, as we have the consciousness
          that we are doing what is right, and we also have the
          gratification of knowing that the Lord will plant our feet upon
          the rock of eternal truth and in his own time will bring us up to
          mingle and dwell with those who have overcome, and who move in a
          higher sphere of intelligence. Our duties are pointed out and
          made known to us as fast as we are prepared for them. We have the
          means whereby we can learn the will of God, line upon line,
          precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, as fast
          as we develop and grow up to the comprehension of higher truths;
          and in every man's heart who walks in the ways of life is this
          spirit prompting and directing, and encouraging him to refrain
          from evil.
          After we have performed our mission upon the earth the spirit
          will be liberated from the body and will go to a place prepared
          for it, and that place will be according to the acts of the
          individual while dwelling in earthly life. The spirits of the
          wicked will gravitate together, while the righteous will go to
          their place in the paradise of God, where they rest from their
          labors. The wicked go to a place prepared for them, not however,
          a place of literal fire and brimstone as taught by some religious
          teachers, but a place where they will have a knowledge and
          remembrance of their wickedness, and at the same time be without
          a knowledge of the future; their condition will be a state of
          awful suspense, not knowing what their fate will be; while the
          righteous will dwell together, and having served and communed
          with God while tabernacling in the flesh, they will have closer
          communion in the spirit, and be prepared for the glorious reign
          to come. Then when the resurrection day shall dawn, the
          righteous, they that have been faithful, who have been planted in
          the likeness of Christ's death and raised in the likeness of his
          resurrection; having walked in his ways, and followed his
          example, will be brought forth in the morning of that great day;
          for the trumpet shall sound and the voice of Christ shall be
          heard, and they will come forth and stand erect again upon the
          earth in their own bodies, every part and particle restored to
          its proper part, making a whole and perfect frame; not a natural
          body, but a spiritual body; not a corruptible body, but an
          incorruptible body, made out of the same elements, purified and
          quickened by the power of God. And they will stand upon their
          feet again and enter into the presence of the Father, and be made
          like him. They will be in his perfect image and in his perfect
          likeness. And while eternal ages roll along they will pattern
          after the works of their Eternal Father; as he does, so will they
          do, and they will all work together in perfect harmony with
          celestial beings, one spirit pervading the whole.
          I have briefly outlined a few ideas embodied in our religious
          faith and have not time to pursue the subject further; suffice it
          to say, that man is the offspring of God, and was born in another
          sphere; that he is only a sojourner upon the earth for a short
          time; that his destiny is to be made in every respect like the
          Father, possessing as he does an immortal, eternal spirit, which,
          in course of time, through obedience to the laws of life and
          salvation, will dwell in an immortal, eternal body, by means of
          which he will be in communion with all that is good and
          beautiful, great and glorious throughout the boundless universe,
          and he will be under the inspiration and direction of the Father,
          and in the presence of the Son and all holy beings who are like
          him. In respect to the rest of the children of men, they will
          each occupy that station for which they are fitted by their
          earthly acts. But to enter into the presence of God and enjoy a
          fullness of his glory and be associated with him in the
          government of the universe, there is but one path, one gate to
          enter in by, one place of salvation, and that is the Gospel of
          Jesus Christ as preached by himself when upon the earth and
          revealed anew in this our day; the systems that men have invented
          being ineffectual and powerless to save. All the sects of
          Christendom in that respect are like the sects of heathendom,
          they must pass away. What truth they have emanated from God, for
          all truth comes from Him; but their systems are organizations of
          men, and they, therefore, must all perish in their time and
          season, whilst the kingdom of God which is being set up on the
          earth will remain and continue to spread forth and prevail, until
          the whole earth is subdued to our Father and brought into
          complete subjection unto him; that it may be purified from evil
          and the dominion of sin which has invaded it for centuries, and
          that Satan and his hosts may be banished for ever from its pale,
          and this world be made radiant and glorious, transfigured, as the
          Savior was upon the mount, and come up among the worlds redeemed,
          refulgent in its own splendor, shining like the sun in the
          firmament. And the ransomed of the Lord will walk thereon,
          clothed in white raiment, rejoicing in the presence of the
          Eternal whom they will recognize again as their Father; for the
          past, now shut out by the veil of the flesh, will come back to
          them, and all their former history will return to their minds;
          those memories which were shut out by tabernacling in the flesh
          will come back again, and all their past experience upon the
          earth and in the spirit world will be fresh to their minds, never
          to fade away. Then will they comprehend God, being quickened in
          him and by him, dwelling in his presence and filled with the
          fullness of his glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / Orson
          Pratt, September 6, 1880
                           Orson Pratt, September 6, 1880
                          DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE ORSON PRATT,
                    Delivered at the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                        Sunday Afternoon, September 6, 1880.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
          In the year 1832 the Lord gave a revelation concerning the
          calling and sending forth of his servants, the missionaries,
          among the nations. I will read you a few paragraphs or verses in
          relation to their calling, commencing at the 64th verse of the
          revelation that was given on the 22nd day of September, 1832.
          "Therefore, as I said unto mine Apostles I say unto you again,
          that every soul who believeth on your words, and is baptized by
          water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost;
          and these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name they
          shall do many wonderful works; in my name they shall cast out
          devils; in my name they shall heal the sick; in my name they
          shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the
          deaf; and the tongue of the dumb shall speak; and if any man
          shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them; and the
          poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them." That is a
          very curious commission to be given in the nineteenth century of
          the Christian era to those that are called in our day; very
          curious. If Joseph Smith, through whom this revelation was given,
          was not called of God, the promises here made would not be
          fulfilled. On the other hand, if God is the author of this
          revelation, then all the world may prove for themselves the
          divinity of His word. An imposter would take very good care to so
          word his language in the promises that there would be a double
          meaning to them, and if they were not fulfilled in one sense they
          might perhaps be fulfilled according to a second interpretation,
          and thus he would escape the obloquy of being an imposter. But
          the Lord does not deal with the human family in this double kind
          of dealing. All his promises are yea and amen, plain, pointed,
          definite, no two meanings about them. Here we are told that
          inasmuch as the servants of God, the missionaries, should go
          forth "that every soul"--meaning every person among all people,
          languages, nations and tongues,--"who believeth in your
          words,"--believeth on the testimony of these missionaries that go
          forth--"and is baptized by water for the remission of sins shall
          receive the Holy Ghost." Now can you make out two meanings to
          that? Or is there only one meaning? "They shall receive the Holy
          Ghost." And then in order that every soul in all the world might
          know whether they were true believers or not there were certain
          signs promised to them. "And these signs shall follow them that
          believe." Believe what? Believe in your words, the words of you
          missionaries. What shall they do? "In my name they shall do many
          wonderful works; in my name they shall cast out devils; in my
          name they shall heal the sick; in my name they shall open the
          eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf; and the
          tongue of the dumb shall speak; and if any man administer poison
          unto them it shall not hurt them; and the poison of a serpent
          shall not have power to harm them." Is there anything indefinite
          in that? Does it say that these signs possibly may follow those
          that believe? Does it say perhaps you will receive the Holy
          Ghost, perhaps you may have power to heal the sick, perhaps you
          may have power to open the eyes of the blind, etc. No, that is
          not the language. Here is a definite promise made to them. To the
          missionaries alone? To whom was this promise made? To every soul
          in all the world that would believe and receive the testimony of
          these missionaries. Here we see something very similar to the
          commission that was given--and referred to by Brother Reid in his
          remarks--in the last chapter of Mark. The ancient-day servants of
          God were sent forth to all the world, to every creature, and the
          language of our Savior to them was that all, in every part of the
          earth that should believe their testimony should be saved. Then
          in order that there might be no mistake in regard to believers
          and unbelievers, he told them that certain signs should follow
          them that believe. Do you discover any difference between the
          former-day commission, 1800 years ago, and the latter-day
          commission? I do not discover the least difference between the
          two. Did the Lord verify and fulfill his promises to the
          former-day missionaries? He did. In the same last chapter of Mark
          we are told that the servants of God, the Apostles, went forth
          and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and
          confirming the word with signs following. How did he confirm it?
          By fulfilling the promises in the last chapter of Mark, that they
          in all the world might know whether they were Gospel believers or
          not. Well, what was to become of all other sects that did not
          believe? They shall be damned, says the Savior. He did not say,
          "If you are sincere in your belief you will get into heaven
          whether you receive the message I sent you or not." He did not
          say, "If you come across any sincere people don't baptize them,
          don't try to get them to believe your message, for they will get
          into heaven anyway." They had only one proclamation to deliver to
          all people whether that people were sincere or insincere; whether
          that people worshipped idols or worshipped something else,
          whether they were infidels or whatever might be their profession,
          the commission was--tell them that if they do not believe your
          message they shall be damned. No half way business about it, it
          was not half a commission. Does the latter-day commission testify
          of the same things? Let me read a little further. "Verily, verily
          I say unto you, they who believe not on your words, and are not
          baptized in water, in my name, for the remission of their sins,
          that they may believe the Holy Ghost, shall be damned, and shall
          not come into my Father's kingdom, where my Father and I am."
          Just the same as the ancient commission. It did not excuse the
          ancient commission; it did not excuse one person in all the world
          however sincere, whatever the profession might be, every man,
          every woman among all nations, kindreds and tongues, all were to
          be damned if they did not receive the message that these servants
          of God took to them. Just so it is in the latter-days. If it was
          anything else we would not believe it, we could not look upon it
          as divine. God only had one message for the people to receive,
          and all that received it were to be blessed, and all that would
          not receive it were to be damned. That is our charity, that is
          the charity of the ancient Apostles and servants of God, that is
          true charity. If we should come and tell you that you
          Protestants, and you Methodists, and you Baptists, and you
          Campbellites, and you Church of England members, and you Roman
          Catholics, that if you are only sincere you would all get to
          heaven we should have no charity for you; but when we come and
          tell you that if you do not repent of your sins--you Catholics,
          Protestants, and all other denominations--and receive the message
          that God has commissioned his servants to declare in your hearing
          that every one will be damned. This is true charity, just as it
          was in the ancient days. But is this in force upon all people,
          says one? Yes; we will read the next verse. "And this revelation
          unto you and commandment, is in force from this very hour upon
          all the world, and the Gospel is unto all who have not received
          it. It is a witness unto all nations that they may receive the
          truth and be prepared for the great day of the Lord Jesus Christ.
          The Lord, in relation to sending this mission forth among the
          inhabitants of the earth, did not desire that the people should
          have any dubiety upon their minds. He did not want them to hope
          merely that they were right and to be all the time trembling and
          quivering for fear they were not right; but in order that they
          might be sure, as the ancient believers were, he tells every soul
          that will receive this work that these signs shall follow them.
          Now, then, here in this house, probably are many hundreds of
          believers that have manifested their faith by receiving the
          message of the Gospel, and they have further manifested their
          faith by gathering out from the various nations and coming here
          to Utah Territory. They are believers. Is there any chance for
          them to doubt? How can you doubt if you yourself heal the sick,
          cast out devils, open the eyes of the blind, or cause the lame to
          leap? If you yourselves have received the Holy Ghost, and these
          signs are following you, is not this a testimony that you are
          Gospel believers? And if these signs do not follow you, on the
          other hand, you know that you are not Gospel believers. No
          dubiety, no uncertainty, no hanging our heads down and doubting
          whether we are believers or not. Here is an undoubted testimony
          to every Latter-day Saint that if they are true Gospel believers
          these signs shall follow them, and if these signs do not follow
          them they are not true Gospel believers. Does this apply not only
          to Latter-day Saints but to all people? Yes. If the Methodists
          want to know whether they are true Gospel believers let them ask
          themselves the question if the signs follow them that are
          promised to believers; if they do not, they know they are not
          Gospel believers. So with the Presbyterians, so with the
          Baptists, so with every Christian denomination under the whole
          heavens. They can all prove themselves by the word of God; they
          can all know whether they are true believers according to the
          true Christian religion, or whether they have false hopes--merely
          something that is leading them along in a crooked path. When
          people have the signs they have a good foundation for their
          hopes; their hopes are built upon something that is like a rock;
          they stand firm and steadfast. But when they have not the signs
          and the promises are not fulfilled to them, where are their
          hopes? They are gone, they are the hopes of those that are
          flattering themselves they are Christians when they are not. And
          they are afraid to compare themselves with the New Testament and
          the Gospel contained therein; they are afraid to come to the
          light of the Gospel; they are afraid to read the promises of
          Jesus, or if they happen to read them exclaim, "We must do away
          with these. It won't do for us to acknowledge that the promises
          of God made to believers can be enjoyed in our day." Let us read
          the first promise in the last chapter of Mark. Not only were
          these signs promised, but Jesus said: "He that believeth and is
          baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
          damned." Do you Christians believe that you will be saved? Do the
          various denominations among the four hundred millions of
          Christians in America, in Europe, and in other parts of the
          earth--do these four hundred millions of Christians expect to be
          saved? Oh, yes. What makes you think so? You don't have the signs
          which follow the believers, and how can you hope for salvation?
          Why should you hope for it? Why expect to be saved in the kingdom
          of God? The promises are made to believers, they were not made to
          those that have not the signs. One promise was just as sacred as
          the other, and if you have not the signs of believers you have
          not the promise of salvation. Very curious Gospel, says one.
          Well, there is no mistaking that gospel, we can all of us know on
          what ground we are placed. If we cannot obtain the promises made
          to the people anciently, namely the signs, how shall we obtain
          the greater promise of eternal life and salvation in the world to
          come? Surely if the people cannot have faith to get the little
          promises, how can they expect to get the greater promise? All
          their faith is foolishness, their faith is all founded upon sand,
          and they go blindfold to the other side of the vail to wake up
          and find they never had received the Gospel. But, says one, we
          have received the Gospel. Our ministers have preached it long and
          loud generations before "Mormonism" came upon the earth; we and
          our fathers have heard it. It is one thing to hear the Gospel as
          recorded in the New Testament, and another thing to enjoy the
          blessings of it. It is one thing to read about people receiving
          the Holy Ghost, and it is another thing for you to be baptized
          and receive the Holy Ghost. It is one thing to be baptized by a
          man holding authority from God who has the right to baptize, and
          another thing to be baptized by one holding no authority from
          God, and no right to baptize. Do you suppose that the signs would
          follow those that had the ordinance of baptism administered by a
          man that had no authority. No. For instance there is the
          Methodist baptizer, the Presbyterian baptizer, and the baptizers
          of the various religious denominations--most of them baptize,
          some of them for the remission of sins, and some because they
          suppose their converts have already received a remission of sins.
          Perhaps they may perform the ordinance by immersion--the true
          mode of baptism; but can an unauthorized man baptize his neighbor
          and that be called baptism in the sight of heaven? No. A man that
          is not called of God, a man that has no revelation, and says
          there has been none since the close of the first century of the
          christian era, all his administrations are as invalid as it would
          be for a heathen priest to baptize you, or for any person upon
          the face of the whole earth to come and baptize you. Such
          baptisms are not good; they are illegal; they are unlawful; they
          are not accepted of God unless the administrator is a true
          servant of God, and if he be a true servant of God, the signs
          will follow him, and if the signs do not follow him he has no
          authority to baptize. No wonder then that four hundred millions
          of people have been without the signs. There has been nobody
          authorized to baptize them to begin with. A true believer is a
          man that receives the ordinances, and not only believes in them
          but manifests his faith by his works. He obeys the ordinances and
          the blessings follow. The blessings do not follow the four
          hundred millions because they have not obeyed, and they cannot
          obey without there is a man authorized to administer the
          Well, says one, what do you Latter-day Saints say about the
          authority to administer these ordinances? We say, and have said
          from the beginning of this Church, that the Lord God Almighty,
          who sits upon His throne in yonder heavens, has spoken again to
          the inhabitants of the earth. He has called by name his servants.
          He has sent forth angels in glory from his holy presence, and
          they have administered the authority of the apostleship, and
          bestowed it upon the heads of men to administer again among the
          children of men in all the ordinances of the Gospel. This is our
          testimony. Has it ever been that since the rise of the Church? It
          has. We never have varied from that testimony. What further do we
          say? We say that among all people, nations, kindreds and tongues,
          Christians, heathens, Mahommedans, and the savages upon the
          islands of the sea--that among all these nations there is no
          authority, not one person among all their denominations that has
          the least particle of right to baptize you, or to administer the
          sacrament, or to lay on hands that you may be baptized with fire
          and with the Holy Ghost, according to the ancient pattern and
          order of things; not one of them; they are all powerless, they
          are all without authority, without revelation, without any
          knowledge that comes from God direct to themselves in this age.
          No man among them has been called of God, as was Aaron. Everybody
          knows that Aaron was called by new revelation. He did not have to
          go back to revelations given 1800 years before he was born to
          tell him how God commissioned somebody before the flood; he did
          not have to do that; but says he, "I have been
          ordained"--how?--By a revelation from God. "Moses set apart
          Aaron. He is thy brother. I call him by name. Set him apart to
          the Priesthood, ordain him, let him be clothed upon with priestly
          garments, let him administer and his administration I will
          accept." This was the substance of the revelation, and calling
          and commission that was given to Aaron, the servant of God. Is it
          true what Paul said, that no man can take the honor of the
          Priesthood to himself unless he was called of God as was Aaron?
          If that be true there must be more revelation in order that there
          may be a calling. You that say the canon of scripture is full,
          that no more scripture has been given since John the Revelator
          left the earth, what becomes of your callings? You have
          none--that is, that are divine. No wonder, then, that while the
          world were wandering in darkness without God, without any true
          knowledge from the heavens direct to themselves, without the gift
          and power of the Holy Ghost, without the organization of any true
          church, without prophets, without revelators, without inspired
          men--no wonder that God has again commissioned an angel from the
          heavens to begin the work on the earth. Brother Reid spoke during
          his discourse about Joseph the Prophet--how he was called, that
          the Lord appeared to him, that Jesus appeared to him, and that
          angels appeared to him and conferred upon him authority and
          power. There is no wonder that the Lord should send his angels
          and thus appear in order to begin the work on the earth where so
          much darkness reigns. It is called a day of Gospel light by these
          four hundred millions of people. A day of Gospel light! Well, all
          the Gospel light they have is the history of a Gospel preached
          1800 years ago. They have no power to administer in it. They have
          the history of something, without any power to partake of it;
          that is, you cannot be baptized, you cannot receive the Holy
          Ghost by the laying on of hands, you cannot receive the Lord's
          Supper for want of administrators; but can read about it, you can
          read how the authority was once on the earth. That is some
          satisfaction, is it not? How much satisfaction I do not know. It
          is something like the case of a man who, after traveling a long
          journey, arrived at a place where he knew there was a splendidly
          spread table. But the door was locked and the key was
          lost--nobody could introduce him to that table to eat that he
          might appease his hunger. How very satisfactory it must be to
          that man to know the history of such a good spread table, and yet
          no power to get to the table. Just so it is with these four
          hundred millions of Christians. It is so much satisfaction to
          read how the believers in ancient days were baptized by one
          holding authority to baptize, and how they could distinguish
          themselves from unbelievers; but, alas, say they, "We cannot
          partake of it; no blessings of the Gospel for us; no one to let
          us receive the same Gospel. We would like to feast like unto the
          ancient Saints, but is it not enough--our priests say it is--to
          know how others enjoyed these blessings?" Now that is precisely
          the situation of this generation.
          This is true charity. If I were to come and tell you that you are
          all in the right path inasmuch as you are honest and sincere, and
          walk in your various doctrines and principles, it would be false
          charity, it would be flattering you to walk in paths that were
          wrong, it would be flattering you that you had hopes of salvation
          when you had none. But we do not do this. This flattery we leave
          to other portions of the world, we leave that to the Christian
          denominations that are without any of the powers and gifts of the
          ancient Gospel. Let them flatter, let them occupy this position,
          let them have this false charity; but as for us we have the plain
          naked truth--plain as words can make it--to tell unto all people,
          namely, if you will believe and receive the Gospel you shall be
          blessed, not with common-place blessings, but with the
          supernatural gifts of the Gospel, and on the other hand that
          every soul of you that do not receive it shall be damned. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / Joseph
          F. Smith, June 18, 1882
                           Joseph F. Smith, June 18, 1882
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                               Sunday, June 18, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                   CHRIST--SONS OF
           F. Smith
          We are called mortal beings because in us are the seeds of death,
          but in reality we are immortal beings because there is also
          within us the germ of eternal life. Man is a dual being, composed
          of the spirit which gives life, force, intelligence and capacity
          to man, and the body which is the tenement of the spirit and is
          suited to its form, adapted to its necessities, and acts in
          harmony with and to its utmost capacity yields obedience to the
          will of the spirit. The two combined constitute the soul. The
          body is dependent upon the spirit, and the spirit during its
          natural occupancy of the body is subject to the laws which apply
          to and govern it in the mortal state. In this natural body are
          the seeds of weakness and decay, which, when fully ripened or
          untimely plucked up, in the language of scripture, is called "the
          temporal death." The spirit is also subject to what is termed in
          the scriptures and revelations from God, "spiritual death." The
          same as that which befell our first parents, when through
          disobedience and transgression, they became subject to the will
          of Satan, and were thrust out from the presence of the Lord and
          became spiritually dead, which the Lord says, "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!" And the Lord further says, "But, behold
          I say unto you, that I the Lord God gave unto Adam and unto his
          seed, that they should not die as to the temporal death until I
          the Lord God should send forth angels to declare unto them
          repentance and redemption (from the first death) through faith on
          the name of mine only begotten Son. And thus did I, the Lord God,
          appoint unto man the days of his probation, that by his natural
          death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even
          as many as would believe, and they that believe not unto eternal
          damnation, for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall
          because they repent not." From the natural death, that is the
          death of the body, and also from the first death, "which is
          spiritual" there is redemption through belief on the name of the
          "only Begotten Son," in connection with repentance and obedience
          to the ordinances of the Gospel, declared by holy angels, for if
          one "believes," he must also obey; but from the "second death,"
          even that same death which is the first death, "which is
          spiritual," and from which man may be redeemed through faith and
          obedience, and which will again be pronounced upon the wicked
          when God shall say, "depart ye cursed," there is no redemption,
          so far as light on this matter has been revealed. It is written
          that "all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men
          who receive me and repent; but the blasphemy against the Holy
          Ghost, it shall not be forgiven unto men." If men will not repent
          and come unto Christ, through the ordinances of His Gospel, they
          cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, but must remain
          forever subject to the will of Satan and the consequent spiritual
          darkness or death into which our first parents fell, subjecting
          all their posterity thereto, and from which none can be redeemed
          but by belief or faith on the name of the "only Begotten Son" and
          obedience to the laws of God. But, thanks be to the Eternal
          Father, through the merciful provisions of the Gospel all mankind
          will have the opportunity of escape or deliverance from this
          spiritual death either in time or in eternity, for not until they
          are freed from the first can they become subject unto the second
          death, still if they repent not "they cannot be redeemed from
          their spiritual fall," and will continue subject to the will of
          Satan, the first spiritual death, so long as "they repent not." I
          have been speaking of those who repent not, and thereby reject
          Christ and His Gospel, but what of those who do believe, repent
          of their sins, obey the Gospel, enter into its covenants, receive
          the keys of the Priesthood and the knowledge of the truth by
          revelation and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and afterwards turn
          away wholly from that light and knowledge? They "become a law
          unto themselves," and "will to abide in sin," of such it is
          written, "Whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it,
          and altogether turneth therefrom shall not have forgiveness in
          this world nor in the world to come." And again--"Thus saith the
          Lord concerning all those who know my power and who have been
          made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves, through the
          power of the devil to be overcome and to deny the truth and defy
          my power--they are they who are the sons of perdition of whom I
          say that it had been better for them never to have been born, for
          they are vessels of wrath doomed to suffer the wrath of God with
          the devil and his angels in eternity; concerning whom I have said
          there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come;
          having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and
          having denied the only Begotten Son of the Father, having
          crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame." Now,
          there is a difference between this class and those who simply
          repent not and reject the Gospel in the flesh. Of these latter it
          is written, "they shall be brought forth by the resurrection of
          the dead through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb," and
          "shall be redeemed in the due time of the Lord after the
          sufferings of his wrath." But of the others it is said, "they
          shall not be redeemed," for "they are the only ones on whom the
          second death shall have any power." The others never having been
          redeemed from the first, cannot be doomed to the second death, or
          in other words, cannot be made to suffer eternally the wrath of
          God, without hope of redemption through repentance, but must
          continue to suffer the first death until they repent, and are
          redeemed therefrom through the power of the atonement and the
          Gospel of salvation, thereby being brought to the possession of
          all the keys and blessings to which they will be capable of
          attaining or to which they may be entitled, through the mercy,
          justice and power of the ever-living God, or on the other hand
          forever remain bound in the chains of spiritual darkness, bondage
          and banishment from his presence, kingdom and glory. The
          "temporal death" is one thing, and the "spiritual death" is
          another thing. The body may be dissolved and become extinct as an
          organism, although the elements of which it is composed are
          indestructible or eternal, but I hold it as self-evident that the
          spiritual organism is an eternal, immortal being, destined to
          enjoy eternal happiness and a fullness of joy, or suffer the
          wrath of God, and misery--a just condemnation, eternally. Adam
          became spiritually dead, yet he lived to endure it until freed
          therefrom by the power of the atonement, through repentance, etc.
          Those upon whom the second death shall fall, will live to suffer
          and endure it, but without hope of redemption. The death of the
          body or natural death is but a temporary circumstance to which
          all were subjected through the fall and from which all will be
          restored or resurrected by the power of God, through the
          atonement of Christ.
           F. Smith
          Man existed before he came to this earth, and he will exist after
          he passes from it; and will continue to live throughout the
          countless ages of eternity.
           F. Smith
          There are three classes of beings, or rather man exists in three
          separate conditions before and after his probation upon this
          earth--first in the spirit or pre-existent state, second in the
          disembodied state, the condition which exists after the
          dissolution of the body and spirit until the resurrection takes
          place, and third in the resurrected state. For instance, some
          fourteen hundred years before the coming of Christ into the world
          to sojourn in the flesh, he showed himself to the brother of
          Jared and said, "Behold, this body, which ye now behold, it the
          body of my spirit, and man have I created after the body of my
          spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit, will
          I appear unto my people in the flesh." He further declared,
          "Behold I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world
          to redeem my people. Behold I am Jesus Christ." Here "Jesus
          showed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner
          and in the likeness of the same body, even as he shewed himself
          unto the Nephites"--that is prior to his coming in the flesh.
          This I consider typical of the first condition of all spirits.
          Again it is written, "for Christ also hath once suffered for
          sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God,
          being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit, by
          which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which
          sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God
          waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing wherein
          few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water," etc. Thus we see
          that while the body of our Savior slept in the tomb, He went in
          the spirit, and preached His glorious Gospel to "the spirits in
          prison," who were disobedient in the days of Noah, and were
          destroyed in the flesh by the flood. This was their second
          condition or state in the spirit awaiting the resurrection of
          their bodies which were slumbering in death. "Marvel not at
          this," saith Jesus, "for the hour is coming in the which all that
          are in their graves shall hear his (the Redeemer's) 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." In reference to the third condition or state we will
          refer to the account given of the risen Redeemer before his
          ascension. John tells us that he appeared unto his disciples
          three times after his resurrection, on which occasions he ate
          bread, broiled fish and honeycomb, and opened the eyes of their
          understanding, that they began to comprehend the Scriptures and
          the prophecies concerning Christ. But when he appeared unto them
          "they were terrified and affrighted 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 me; for a spirit hath not
          flesh and bones as ye see me have." Here is presented the true
          type of the resurrected being. And after this manner are all
          those who have their resurrected bodies, and there are many of
          these, for we are told in the scriptures, that, "the graves were
          opened, and many bodies of the Saints which slept arose and came
          out of the graves, after his resurrection, and went into the holy
          city and appeared unto many." This class of beings dwell in
          heaven, or in the paradise of the just, having been counted
          worthy to come forth in the first resurrection, even with Christ,
          to dwell with him and to be associates with and members of the
          kingdom of God and his Christ. These comprise the three
          conditions or estates of man in heaven. Not all, however, of the
          disembodied spirits enjoy the same privileges, exaltation and
          glory. The spirits of the wicked, disobedient, and unbelieving
          are denied the privileges, joy and glory of the spirits of the
          just and the good. The bodies of the Saints will come forth in
          the first resurrection, and those of the unbelieving, etc., in
          the second or last. In other words, the Saints will rise first,
          and those who are not Saints will not rise until afterwards,
          according to the wisdom, justice and mercy of God.
           F. Smith
          Christ is the great example for all mankind, and I believe that
          mankind were as much foreordained to become like him, as that he
          was foreordained to be the Redeemer of man. Whom God did
          foreknow--and whom did he not foreknow? "He also did predestinate
          to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the
          firstborn among many brethren." It is very plain, that mankind
          are very far from being like Christ, as the world is to-day, only
          in form of person. In this we are like him, or in the form of his
          person, as he is the express image of His Father's person. We are
          therefore in the form of God, physically, and may become like him
          spiritually, and like him in the possession of knowledge,
          intelligence, wisdom and power.
           F. Smith
          The grand object of our coming to this earth is that we may
          become like Christ, for if we are not like him, we cannot become
          the sons of God, and be joint heirs with Christ.
           F. Smith
          The man who passes through this probation, and is faithful, being
          redeemed from sin by the blood of Christ, through the ordinances
          of the Gospel, and attains to exaltation in the kingdom of God,
          is not less but greater than the angels, and if you doubt it read
          your Bible, for there it is written that the Saints shall "judge
          angels," and also they shall "judge the world." And why? Because
          the resurrected, righteous man has progressed beyond the
          pre-existent or disembodied spirits, and has risen above them,
          having both spirit and body as Christ has, having gained the
          victory over death and the grave, and having power over sin and
          Satan, in fact having passed from the condition of the angel to
          that of a God. He possesses keys of power, dominion and glory
          that the angel does not possess--and cannot possess without
          gaining them in the same way that he gained them, which will be
          by passing through the same ordeals and proving equally faithful.
          It was so ordained when the morning stars sang together, before
          the foundations of this earth were laid. Man in his pre-existent
          condition is not perfect, neither is he in the disembodied
          estate. There is no perfect estate but that of the risen
          Redeemer, which is God's estate, and no man can become perfect
          except he becomes like them. And what are they like? I have shown
          what Christ is like, and he is like his Father, but I will refer
          to an undoubted authority to this people, on this point, "The
          Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's, the
          Son also, but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones,
          but is a personage of spirit; were it not so the Holy Ghost could
          not dwell in us." Doc. and Cov., Sec. 130. There is not time to
          refer to the many scriptural passages which might be cited in
          proof of these important facts, enough already has been referred
          to, to place the matter beyond a doubt.
           F. Smith
          It is believed by many in the Christian world, that our Savior
          finished his mission when he expired upon the cross, and his last
          words on the cross, as given by the Apostle John--"it is
          finished," are frequently quoted as evidence of the fact; but
          this is an error. Christ did not complete his mission upon the
          earth until after his body was raised from the dead. Had his
          mission been completed when he died, his disciples would have
          continued fishermen, carpenters, etc., for they returned to their
          several occupations soon after the crucifixion, not yet knowing
          the force of their holy calling, nor understanding the mission
          assigned them by their Master, whose name would soon have been
          buried with his body in the grave to perish and be forgotten,
          "for as yet they knew not the scripture that He must rise again
          from the dead." But the most glorious part of his mission had to
          be accomplished after the crucifixion and death of his body. When
          on the first day of the week some of the disciples went to the
          tomb with certain preparations for the body of their Lord, they
          were met there by two men clothed in "shining garments," who said
          unto them, "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here
          but is risen. Remember how He spoke unto you when He was yet in
          Galilee, saying the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands
          of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
          And not until then did the disciples remember these words of the
          Savior, or begin to understand their meaning. Why were they thus
          forgetful, and seemingly ignorant of all they had been taught by
          the Savior respecting the objects of his mission to the earth?
          Because they lacked one important qualification, they had not yet
          been "endowed with power from on high." They had not yet obtained
          the gift of the Holy Ghost. And the presumption is, they never
          would have received this important and essential endowment had
          Christ's mission been completed at the time of his death. It may
          seem strange to some who may not have reflected on this matter
          fully, that the disciples of Christ were without the gift of the
          Holy Ghost until after his resurrection. But so it is written,
          notwithstanding the Savior on one occasion declared, "blessed art
          thou Simon, etc., for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto
          thee, but my Father which is in heaven." While Jesus was with
          them he was their light and their inspiration. They followed him
          by sight, and felt the majestic power of his presence, and when
          these were gone they returned to their nets and to their various
          occupations and to their homes saying, "we trusted that it had
          been he which should have redeemed Israel, but the chief priests
          and our rulers have delivered him to be condemned to death, and
          have crucified him." No wonder that Jesus exclaimed unto some of
          them, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the
          Prophets have written."
           F. Smith
          If the Disciples had been endowed with the "gift of the Holy
          Ghost," or "with power from on high," at this time, their course
          would have been altogether different from this as the sequel
          abundantly proved. If Peter, who was the chief Apostle, had
          received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the power and testimony
          thereof prior to the terrible night on which he cursed and swore
          and denied his Lord, the result would have been very different
          with him, for then he would have sinned against "light and
          knowledge," and "against the Holy Ghost," for which there is no
          forgiveness. The fact, therefore, that he was forgiven, after
          bitter tears of repentance, is an evidence that he was without
          the witness of the Holy Ghost, never having received it. The
          other disciples or apostles of Christ were precisely in the same
          condition, and it was not until the evening of the day on which
          Jesus came out of the grave, that he bestowed upon them this
          inestimable gift. John gives a careful description of this
          important event which concludes as follows: "Then said Jesus to
          them again, Peace be unto you; as my Father sent me, even so send
          I you. And when he had said this he breathed on them and said
          unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whosoever sins ye remit,
          they are remitted unto them," etc. This was their glorious
          commission, and now were they prepared to receive the witness of
          the Spirit--even the testimony of Jesus Christ. Yet they were
          told to "tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power
          from on high," which they did. Jesus further told them that if he
          went not away the "Comforter"--that is the Holy Ghost--would not
          come unto them, but if he went away he would "send him," and he
          it was who should testify of Christ, and of the Father, and bring
          to their remembrance "all things whatsoever" he had commanded or
          taught them, and it should "lead them into all truth." Thus we
          see that the resurrection from the dead, not only of Christ but
          of all mankind, in the due time of the Lord; the endowment of the
          Apostles with the Holy Ghost, and their glorious commission from
          Christ, being sent out by him as he was sent by the Father; the
          opening of the eyes of the disciples to understand the prophecies
          of the Scriptures, and many other things did Jesus after he cried
          out upon the cross, "it is finished." Further, the mission of
          Jesus will be unfinished until he redeems the whole human family,
          except the sons of perdition, and also this earth from the curse
          that is upon it, and both the earth and its inhabitants can be
          presented to the Father redeemed, sanctified and glorious.
           F. Smith
          Things upon the earth, so far as they have not been perverted by
          wickedness, are typical of things in heaven. Heaven was the
          prototype of this beautiful creation when it came from the hand
          of the Creator, and was pronounced "good."
           F. Smith
          Much might be said in continuation of this subject, but I see
          that my time has expired. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / John
          Taylor, July 24, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
             Delivered at the Funeral Services of Bishop Reuben Miller,
                        at Mill Creek, Monday, July 24, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                       OF THE
          I thought I would come here to-day to mingle my condolence and
          sympathy with yours while paying the last token of respect to the
          remains of your husband, your father, your friend, your Bishop.
          These are occasions that cause us to feel sorrowful, and yet we
          should not sorrow at the departure of a good man--a highminded,
          honorable man, a good Latter-day Saint, as I have always esteemed
          Bishop Miller to be. I am told that many of you were not born
          when Brother Miller was first installed Bishop; that there are
          only two women, of whom his wife is one, and three men that are
          now living in the Ward when he was first ordained Bishop here;
          and that he has during his bishopric blessed, when children, a
          great many of the congregation assembled here to-day.
          When a man who has been faithful and true leaves the world to go
          into another state of existence, what is there to mourn for?
          Should his family mourn? No. They cannot help the natural
          feelings of sympathy that well up in the heart at the departure
          of their friends; wives cannot help having sympathy for their
          husbands, and husbands for their wives, parents for their
          children, and children for their parents. The family of Brother
          Miller have lost a good husband, a loving father, a faithful
          friend, and under such circumstances they mourn when they are
          deprived of his society and his counsel.
          When men leave this earth they leave it to occupy another sphere
          in another state of existence. And if, as is the case with
          Brother Miller, they hold the Priesthood that administers in time
          and in eternity, having fulfilled this part, as many others have
          done who have left the world, and as our deceased brother has
          done, they hold that Priesthood in the eternal worlds, and
          operate in it there. It is an everlasting Priesthood, that
          administers in time and in eternity. And the Gospel that we have
          received unfolds to us principles of which we were heretofore
          entirely ignorant. It shows us the relationship that exists
          between God and man, and it shows us the relationship that exists
          between men who have dwelt upon the earth before and those who
          exist to-day. It shows that while God has revealed the Priesthood
          to us upon the earth and conferred upon us those privileges, that
          in former generations he revealed the same Priesthood to other
          men, and that those men holding that Priesthood ministered to
          others here upon the earth; and that we are operating with them
          and they with us in our interests and in the interests of the
          Church and kingdom of God, in assisting to build up the Zion of
          God, and in seeking to establish truth and righteousness upon the
          earth; and that there is a connecting link between the Priesthood
          in the heavens and the Priesthood upon the earth.
          God, our heavenly Father, has gathered unto himself, through the
          atonement of Jesus Christ, very many great and honorable men who
          have lived upon the earth, and who have been clothed with the
          powers of the Priesthood. Those men having held that Priesthood
          and administered in it upon the earth are now in the heavens
          operating with the Priesthood in the heavens in connection with
          the Priesthood that exists now upon the earth. Consequently I do
          not feel sorrowful when I see a good man go, and yet in some
          respects I do. There is something painful about the separation.
          But I look upon it a good deal as it was with us when we were
          coming to this land. Said you to your friends when they were
          leaving: "Thomas, Mary, James or William, you are going away to
          Zion; I am sorry to see you go, and yet I am glad you are going."
          We feel sorry to part with our friends; but when the struggle is
          over, when they have battled with the world and the powers of
          darkness, and by the Spirit and power of God have overcome and
          triumphed, having remained true and faithful to the last and have
          gone to join the hosts in the eternal worlds, to associate with
          the eternal Priesthood that exists there, do we feel to mourn?
          No, I do not; there is no cause to mourn; it is a cause of
          rejoicing. By and by we shall follow; for we expect to mingle
          with them.
          A few days ago I attended the funeral of one of my wives; and
          while doing so I looked upon the great city of the dead. I
          thought to myself, here are thousands of honorable men and women
          who are sleeping the sleep of peace, who have served their God,
          and who have got through with the affairs of this world; and that
          while their bodies are decaying here, their spirits are soaring
          in the heavens. Do I feel sorry for them? No, they have gone to
          rest, and all is peace with them, according to the mind and will
          of God in relation to those matters, He having appointed unto man
          that he must die.
          Since the organization of the world myriads have come and have
          taken upon themselves bodies, and they have passed away,
          generation after generation, into another state of existence. And
          it is so to-day. And I suppose while we are mourning the loss of
          our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil; and
          while he has left us, others are coming into the world at the
          same time, and probably in this our territory. There is a
          continuous change, and ingress of beings into the world and an
          egress out of it. As near as my memory serves me, from one-third
          to one-fourth of our population to-day are children under eight
          years of age. There are thousands of men upon the earth to-day,
          among the Saints of God, of whom it was decreed before they came
          that they should occupy the positions they have occupied and do
          occupy, and many of them have performed their part and gone home;
          others are left to still fulfill the duties and responsibilities
          devolving upon them.
          I was remarkably struck on looking at the three mottoes before
          me, one is, Holiness to the Lord, which I suppose was placed
          there by your late Bishop. There is something beautiful and
          glorious in the contemplation. And when I heard Brother Gardiner
          speak about his visits with Brother Miller to talk over the
          things of the kingdom of God, it indicated to me that his heart
          and feelings were interested in it, as well as interested in the
          welfare of the county, as others have testified of. We should all
          have those feelings, not only Bishops and Presidents but all the
          people ought to be interested in one another's welfare. Our
          welfare and happiness depends upon our obedience to the laws of
          God, upon our conduct before him in all our acts. We wish to have
          inscribed not only in our meetinghouse, but in our hearts and
          acts, Holiness to the Lord, God is my God, God is my Father, God
          is my friend; and I wish to devote and dedicate myself unto Him,
          ought to be the feeling of every man and woman, and especially of
          every Latter-day Saint. Let there be no act of my life, no
          principle that I embrace, that shall be at variance with these
          words which were first inscribed by the Almighty, and prophesied
          of that it should come to pass in the last days, that even upon
          the bells of the horses should be written "Holiness to the Lord."
          That is not in name only, but it is to be written on the tablets
          of our hearts, as with a pen of iron, for when this principle
          shall become universal, righteousness will extend "from the
          rivers to the ends of the earth."
          Then, here is another motto: "Thy kingdom come." All these things
          are full of meaning and interest. This was taught by Jesus to his
          disciples when they came to him, saying, teach us to pray, as
          John taught his disciples. Said he, "When you pray, say, Our
          Father, who art in heaven." Who? Our Father. What, my Father and
          your Father? Yes; and the God and Father of the spirits of all
          flesh. Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be Thy name. Let me
          reverence Thee, O God, in all my doings, in all my acts, in all
          my proceedings, in all my associations with men and with the
          Church and kingdom of God and with the world--let me always
          reverence Thee. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. What
          kingdom? What is the meaning of "thy kingdom come?" It means the
          rule of God; it means the law of God; it means the government of
          God; it means the people who have listened to and who are willing
          to listen to and observe the commands of Jehovah; and it means
          that there is a God who is willing to guide and direct and
          sustain his people. Thy kingdom come, that thy government may be
          established, and the principles of eternal truth as they exist in
          the heavens may be imparted to men; and that, when they are
          imparted to men, those men may be in subjection to those laws and
          to that government, and live in the fear of God, keeping his
          commandments and being under his direction. Thy kingdom come;
          that the confusion, the lasciviousness and corruption, the evil
          and wickedness, the murder and bloodshed that now exist among
          mankind may be done away, and the principles of truth and right,
          the principles of kindness, charity and love as they dwell in the
          bosom of the Gods, may dwell with us.
          "Thy will be done." Not my will, not my desires, not my wishes. I
          do not know, you do not know, what would be good for us; I do not
          know what would be good for this people only as God teaches me. I
          do not want to teach my ideas; I want to know the will of God,
          and then teach it. We should all seek to know the will of God,
          and then do it. Thy will be done. What brought you and me here?
          Did we have any knowledge of the will of God? Not until he
          revealed it. Did we have any knowledge of the kingdom of God? Not
          until He revealed it; and numbers of us have very little
          knowledge of it to-day, very little indeed. We have very little
          knowledge of the kingdom of God; and yet we have been here year
          after year, and have been taught for many years the sacred
          principles of truth communicated by the holy Priesthood, but we
          hardly comprehend them. Is there a principle that we have
          received associated with the Gospel of the Son of God, that we
          should have received if God had not revealed it to Joseph Smith
          His Prophet? No; we knew nothing about them. Is there anybody
          among these aged and gray-haired men who came to an understanding
          of even the first principles of the Gospel until he revealed them
          anew? No. Do you know it? I know it to be a fact. I knew Joseph
          Smith and Brigham Young very well and other prominent men of this
          Church; and I have met with men in different nations, of all
          grades and classes of position and intelligence, and I know that
          they do not know the principles of eternal truth as God has
          revealed them to us. Have we anything, then, to boast of or to
          glory in? I have not, only in God. But I thank God our Heavenly
          Father and His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Priesthood that
          existed, that God in his mercy has been pleased through their
          instrumentality to again restore the everlasting Gospel, bringing
          with it light, immortality and eternal life.
          What did we know about the ordinances of the Gospel--could I find
          them anywhere? There is not a man living to-day that could, only
          as God revealed them, and I am at the defiance of any man to say
          that he knew anything about the principles of the everlasting
          Gospel until God revealed them. Did any of us find out anything
          about the Gospel? No. Who knew anything about the gathering? The
          prophets had spoken about it, but who comprehended their words?
          Nobody. Did they know anything about gathering men together to a
          land of Zion that should be, or about the kingdom of God that was
          to be set up? Some of them would talk about what Daniel saw, but
          they knew nothing about it; and they are in the dark about it
          to-day, for no man can know the things of God but by the Spirit
          of God, and they cannot obtain that Spirit only by obedience to
          His law, and hence there is so much misapprehension about us, and
          they will remain in the dark until they obey the Gospel of the
          Son of God. What do they know about the future? Nothing. What do
          they know about the celestial, or the terrestrial or the
          telestial glory? Nothing; they do not comprehend anything about
          these matters; and when they leave this world, as a prominent
          philosopher has said, they take a leap in the dark. We know where
          we are going; we know where Brother Miller has gone. God has
          revealed these things to us, and consequently we are enlightened.
          But did we find it out by our own wisdom and intelligence? No, it
          was the Lord who revealed it.
          And what about our dead, and what about our Temple building? That
          is a singular thing for men to be engaged in. Do you find
          anything like it anywhere else? No. I remember talking with Baron
          Rothschild when showing him our Temple. He asked what was the
          meaning of it. Said I, Baron, your Prophets centuries ago, when
          under the inspiration of the Almighty, said that the Lord whom
          you seek shall suddenly come to his temple. "Yes," he said, "I
          know they said that." "Will you show me a place upon the face of
          the earth where God has got a temple to come to?" Said he, "I do
          not know of any such place." But if your Prophets told the truth,
          then there must be a Temple built before your Messiah can come.
          Said he, Is this that Temple? No, sir. What is this then? It is a
          Temple but not the Temple your fathers spoke of. But you will yet
          build a Temple in Jerusalem, and the Lord whom you seek will come
          to that Temple. What is this for, he enquired? Among other things
          that we may perform the sacred ordinances about which we are so
          much maligned, wherein we make eternal covenants with our wives,
          that we may have a claim upon them in the resurrection. Who
          revealed this? God our Heavenly Father. And because he has
          revealed these things, and because we are fulfilling these
          things, our nation, groveling in darkness, wrapped in midnight
          gloom, knowing no more about God and eternity than that piece of
          iron railing, makes it criminal for us to form associations that
          are to exist "while life or thought or being lasts or immortality
          endures"--associations with our wives and children, with our
          fathers and mothers, with our friends and associates, so that
          when the last trump shall sound and the dead hear the voice of
          the Son of God, that we with them may come forth to obtain the
          exaltation which God has prepared for those that love him, keep
          his commandments, and are obedient to his laws. Shall we forego
          these things and give up our hopes of eternal lives and
          exaltations at the instance of low, degraded, corrupt, besotted
          and benighted men. Verily I say unto you, Nay. We are after
          truth, exaltation and eternal lives; exaltation for ourselves,
          for our fathers and mothers and for all men and women who can
          comprehend the law of God, and who will obey his precepts and not
          reject the Gospel of his Son.
          These are the things that we seek, and God is with us and will be
          with us, and will sustain us, and no power on earth or in hell
          can stop the progress of this work; for it is onward according to
          the decree of Almighty God, and will be from this time henceforth
          and forever. And as the prophets have said, so say I, woe to
          those men and woe to that nation or to those nations that lift up
          their hands against Zion, for God will destroy them. I prophecy
          that in the name of the Lord God of hosts. And he will be with
          his Israel, and will sustain his people and bring them off
          victorious; and if faithful to the end we shall obtain thrones,
          principalities, powers, dominions, exaltations, and eternal lives
          in the kingdom of our God, and Brother Miller will be there. Let
          us try to emulate his good example and seek to do that which is
          right in the sight of God and man. God has given us great
          principles and put us in possession of great blessings. Let us
          appreciate them. Let us, in all sincerity, be honest and
          virtuous, truthful, holy and pure. Let us abstain from
          covetousness, fraud, lasciviousness and corruption of every kind,
          and be indeed and in truth what we profess to be, the Saints of
          the living God.
          God bless you in time and throughout the eternities to come, in
          the name of Jesus, Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 /
          Erastus Snow, May 6, 1882
                              Erastus Snow, May 6, 1882
                          DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE ERASTUS SNOW,
                Delivered at Logan, Saturday Afternoon, May 6, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                 GOSPEL--EPHRAIM AND
                                       TO THE
          I will call the attention of the congregation to the words of the
          Lord through Moses, spoken to the children of Israel, contained
          in the 5th and 6th verses of the 19th chapter of Exodus:
          "Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed and keep my
          covenant, then shall ye be a peculiar treasure unto me above all
          people: for all the earth is mine.
          And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy
          In connection with this passage I will read the words of the
          Apostle Peter, as recorded in the 5th verse, 2nd chap. of 1st
          "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an
          holy Priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to
          God by Jesus Christ."
          Also the 9th verse of the same chapter:
          "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
          nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises
          of him who hath called ye out of darkness into this marvelous
          Elder Penrose referred this morning to the fact of so large a
          portion of the Latter-day Saints being called and ordained to
          bear some portion of the Priesthood, remarking that at times he
          had queried in his mind as to why this was so appointed unto us.
          This reminded me of the Scriptures I have just read in your
          hearing. The consideration of the subject involves the whole
          mission of the Latter-day Saints. The promise of God to ancient
          Israel contained in the first text sets forth the purposes of
          Jehovah in choosing the seed of Abraham especially and separating
          them from other peoples and nations, and taking them under His
          especial care and guidance, and leading them as he did out of
          Egyptian bondage with a mighty hand and an out-stretched arm and
          planting them in Canaan in fulfilment of the promises made to
          their father Abraham, and to Isaac and Jacob. And when God called
          Abraham to leave his father's house and go to a land which he
          should show him and which he afterwards promised to him and his
          seed for an inheritance, he had this in view, to make of him and
          his seed a peculiar people; to make of them instruments in his
          hands of accomplishing good for the benefit of the world.
          He promised Abraham on another occasion that in him and his seed
          all the nations of the earth should be blessed. And although this
          had reference chiefly to the coming of the Son of God through his
          lineage, who was to be the Chief Apostle and High Priest of our
          profession, the Redeemer of the world, it implied the fact also
          that through his seed the Gospel should be carried to all the
          world, and the oracles of God delivered to men; that prophets and
          righteous men should be raised up who should act as the
          mouthpiece of God to the people among whom they should live, and
          they should have Abraham for their father. Among his descendants
          also, his Temple as well as the Tabernacle should be established,
          and the ordinances were to be revealed through them and the
          Priesthood conferred upon them, and the word of God preserved
          among them and handed down to future generations, thus
          maintaining the true character and knowledge of God, and
          perpetuating the same upon the earth. This was a great work that
          the Lord purposed concerning the seed of Abraham, and it was for
          this reason and purpose that he promised to establish his
          covenant with them forever.
          Now the Priesthood referred to in Scripture had not reference
          alone to that lower or lesser order known as the Levitical
          Priesthood which was confirmed by covenant upon Aaron and his
          seed and upon the house of his fathers, the tribe of Levi, which
          Priesthood officiated in offering sacrifices and all the lesser
          duties pertaining to the law; but it comprehended something more
          than this, the Priesthood as a whole, including the Melchizedek
          or that holy order of Priesthood after the order of the Son of
          God. And when Moses was made the mouthpiece of the Lord to Israel
          in this precious promise we find them hearkening to him and
          keeping his covenants, they being a peculiar people unto him,
          above all the earth, a chosen generation, a royal Priesthood; and
          he referred to them as a whole people and not to the Levites
          alone, and to the Priesthood, as I before remarked, as a whole
          including, of course, the Melchizedek Priesthood, hence the words
          of Peter: "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal Priesthood, an
          holy nation."
          The same great purpose and object prevail at the present time.
          The calling and mission of the Latter-day Saints are to fulfill
          what is here promised in these Scriptures--to bring about the
          restoration of scattered Israel, the establishment of Zion, the
          preparing a people for the coming of Christ; a people who are to
          be Saviors upon Mount Zion, and thus fulfilling one of the
          prophesies of one of the Jewish prophets concerning the Zion of
          the latter days, that Saviors should come up upon Mount Zion to
          save the house of Esau, but the kingdom should be the Lord's. No
          matter how many might be employed in this work of salvation, as
          Saviors upon Mount Zion, all should labor as helpers and
          co-laborers with Christ in the salvation of men.
          God has promised in the revelations given to the Latter-day
          Saints to make known unto them the fullness of all former
          dispensations, and he has confirmed upon his servants in this
          dispensation of the fullness of times the keys of all former
          dispensations and revealed all the ordinances made known to the
          ancients; and, therefore, it is our calling to complete the work
          that was inaugurated in former dispensations of God to man. At
          first Joseph Smith received the gift of seeing visions and the
          gift of translating dead languages by the Urim and Thummim, and
          when he had exercised himself in these gifts for a season, he
          received the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, together with his
          Brother Oliver, under the hands of John the Baptist, who was a
          resurrected being, and who was the last of the Jewish High
          Priests under the dispensation of the law, the only son of
          Zachariah the High Priest, and a child of promise, who was
          beheaded by order of Herod, having first performed his mission in
          preparing the way of the Lord, and having preached the baptism of
          repentance for the remission of sins, testifying of Jesus that
          was to come, and baptizing those who received him, including the
          Savior himself. John having finished his mission, sealed his
          testimony with his blood, rose again from the dead and continued
          to hold those keys of the Priesthood which he inherited from his
          fathers and which were confirmed upon him by the angel of the
          Lord when he was eight days old. And he was a fit and proper
          person to send to confer those keys of Priesthood upon Joseph and
          Oliver. In due course of time, as we read in the history which he
          has left, Peter, James and John appeared to him--it was at a
          period when they were being pursued by their enemies and they had
          to travel all night, and in the dawn of the coming day when they
          were weary and worn who should appear to them but Peter, James
          and John, for the purpose of conferring upon them the
          Apostleship, the keys of which they themselves had held while
          upon the earth, which had been bestowed upon them by the Savior.
          This Priesthood conferred upon them by those three messengers
          embraces within it all offices of the Priesthood from the highest
          to the lowest. As has been often taught us that the keys of the
          presidency of this Apostleship represent the highest authority
          conferred upon man in the flesh. And by virtue of these keys of
          Priesthood the Prophet Joseph from time to time proceeded to
          ordain and set in order the Priesthood in its various quorums as
          we see it to-day in the Church. And if the question be asked why,
          and for what purpose, the answer would be the idea conveyed in
          the language I have quoted: In accordance with the design of the
          Lord to raise up a peculiar people to himself, a holy nation, a
          royal Priesthood--a kingdom of Priests, that shall be saviors
          upon Mount Zion, not only to preach the Gospel to the scattered
          remnants of Israel, but to save to the uttermost the nations of
          the Gentiles, inasmuch as they will listen and can be saved by
          the plan which God has provided.
          The first important labor of this ministry is to go abroad and
          preach the Gospel to the nations. The Gospel of the kingdom must
          be preached to all people and nations and tongues before the end
          can come; and by the preaching of the word and the administering
          of the ordinances of the Gospel, is Israel sought out from among
          the nations among which they are scattered, especially the seed
          of Ephraim unto whom the first promises appertain, the promise of
          the keys of the Priesthood. For it must be remembered that of all
          the seed of Abraham whom the Lord chose to bear the keys
          pertaining to this holy order of Priesthood, the seed of Ephraim,
          the son of Joseph, were the first and chief. While the tribe of
          Levi, unto which Moses and Aaron belonged, was specially charged
          with the administration of affairs of the lesser Priesthood under
          the law, yet Ephraim, the peculiar and chosen son of Joseph, was
          the one whom the Lord had named by his own mouth and through the
          Prophets, to inherit the keys of presidency of this High
          Priesthood after the order of the Son of God. In this also we see
          the fulfillment of the covenants and promises of God; not that
          Joseph by birthright inherited this blessing, for Reuben was the
          first-born among the twelve sons of Jacob; but we are told in
          Chronicles, the 7th chapter, that Reuben forfeited this
          birthright by his adultery, and that God took it from him and
          conferred it upon the sons of Joseph; and of the sons of Joseph
          he chose Ephraim as the chief; and while the Patriarch Jacob, as
          we read in the 49th chapter of Genesis, adopted into his own
          family two of the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, yet he
          placed Ephraim the younger foremost, and blessed him with the
          chief blessing, saying, that Manasseh shall be great, but Ephraim
          shall be greater than he; he shall become a multitude in the
          midst of the earth. Another Scripture also says concerning
          scattered Israel, that Ephraim has mixed himself among the
          people; and speaking of the gathering of Israel in the latter-day
          dispensation, the Prophet Jeremiah has said that God would gather
          Israel and lead them as a shepherd does his flock, and says he, I
          am Father to Israel, but Ephraim is my first-born. Now, if
          Ephraim has been scattered and has mixed himself with the people
          until their identity is lost among the nations, how are they
          going to be recognized and receive the promised blessings--how is
          it that Ephraim shall be the first-born of the Lord in the great
          gathering of the latter-days? If we turn back to the blessing
          which Moses gave to the twelve tribes of Israel, as found in
          Deuteronomy, we shall there see that in blessing the tribe of
          Joseph, he especially charged them with the duty of gathering the
          people from the ends of the earth. Said he, Joseph's horns are
          like the horns of unicorns, which shall push the people together
          from the ends of the earth, and they are the thousands of
          Manasseh and ten thousands of Ephraim; showing that it shall be
          the ten thousands of Ephraim and thousands of Manasseh who shall
          be in the foremost ranks of bearing the Gospel message to the
          ends of the earth, and gathering Israel from the four quarters of
          the world in the last days. Whoever has read the Book of Mormon
          carefully will have learned that the remnants of the house of
          Joseph dwelt upon the American continent; and that Lehi learned
          by searching the records of his fathers that were written upon
          the plates of brass, that he was of the lineage of Manasseh. The
          Prophet Joseph informed us that the record of Lehi, was contained
          on the 116 pages that were first translated and subsequently
          stolen, and of which an abridgement is given us in the first Book
          of Nephi, which is the record of Nephi individually, he himself
          being of the lineage of Manasseh; but that Ishmael was of the
          lineage of Ephraim, and that his sons married into Lehi's family,
          and Lehi's sons married Ishmael's daughters, thus fulfilling the
          words of Jacob upon Ephraim and Manasseh in the 48th chapter of
          Genesis, which says: "And let my name be named on them, and the
          name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a
          multitude in the midst of the land." Thus these descendants of
          Manasseh and Ephraim grew together upon this American continent,
          with a sprinkling from the house of Judah, from Mulek descended,
          who left Jerusalem eleven years after Lehi, and founded the
          colony afterwards known as Zarahemla and found by Mosiah--thus
          making a combination, an intermixture of Ephraim and Manasseh
          with the remnants of Judah, and for aught we know, the remnants
          of some other tribes that might have accompanied Mulek. And such
          have grown up on the American continent. But we are not informed
          that the Prophet Joseph and the first Elders of this Church who
          were called and chosen of God to bear the Priesthood and lay the
          foundation of this work, were descended from any portion of those
          remnants that peopled America anciently, and whose history is
          given us in the Book of Mormon. Yet we find in the Doctrine and
          Covenants the declaration concerning the first Elders of this
          Church, that they were of the house of Ephraim; and another
          passage referring to the wicked and rebellious, says, they shall
          be cut off from among the people for the rebellious are not of
          the seed of Ephraim. And there is a passage in the Book of Mormon
          which is a part of the prophecy of Joseph written on the plates
          of brass and quoted by Lehi, concerning the Prophet Joseph Smith,
          who, it says, was to be raised up in the latter days to translate
          the records of the Nephites, and whose name should be Joseph, and
          who should be a descendant of that Joseph that was sold into
          Egypt, and also that that should be the name of his father.
          Now if the Prophet Joseph Smith was that chosen vessel out of the
          loins of Joseph, it may be asked by some, what evidence have we
          of this lineage? I answer, the testimony of God, the best of all
          testimony, for no record kept by mortal man can be equal to it;
          and that, too, by reason of that quaint but sensible old maxim,
          "it takes a wise man to know who his father was, but a fool may
          find out who his mother was." And even if we had the lineage of
          the fathers, it would not be as sure and certain to us as the
          word of the Lord. For he has had his eye upon the chosen spirits
          that have come upon the earth in the various ages from the
          beginning of the world up to this time; and as he said to
          Abraham, speaking of the multitudes of spirits that were shown
          unto him in heavenly vision, you see that some are more noble
          than others? Yes. Then you may know there were some others still
          more noble than they; and he speaks in the same manner of the
          multitude of the heavenly bodies; and said he to Abraham, thou
          art one of those noble ones whom I have chosen to be my rulers.
          The Lord has sent those noble spirits into the world to perform a
          special work, and appointed their times; and they have always
          fulfilled the mission given them, and their future glory and
          exaltation is secured unto them; and that is what I understand by
          the doctrine of election spoken of by the Apostle Paul and other
          sacred writers: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did
          predestinate to be confirmed to the image of His Son, that he
          might be the first-born among many brethren." Such were called
          and chosen and elected of God to perform a certain work at a
          certain time of the world's history and in due time he fitted
          them for that work. It will be remembered when Jeremiah was
          called of God in his youth that he, in order to excuse himself,
          complained of his youth and of his being slow of speech, that the
          Lord said unto him that he would be mouth for him and matter to
          his heart, for, he said, he knew him and called him from his
          mother's womb to be a prophet unto the nations. And so he called
          John the Baptist by sending his angel Gabriel to his father
          Zachariah, and giving him a promise that his wife Elizabeth,
          though old and barren, should yet conceive and bear a son, and
          that his name should be John, who should be a forerunner to the
          Savior to prepare the way before his face. And so he elected the
          seed of Ephraim to be that peculiar people I have referred to,
          that holy nation, a kingdom of Priests, a people to receive the
          covenants and oracles, and to be witnesses to certain nations of
          the God of Israel. And how strict were his commands that they
          should have no other Gods but him, that they might be a standing
          rebuke to the idol worshippers, and to all who believe not in the
          true and living God.
          Now the same spirit of revelation that sought out the Prophet
          Joseph from the loins of Joseph who was sold into Egypt, and that
          raised him up in this dispensation to receive the keys of the
          Priesthood and to lay the foundation of this great work in the
          earth, has also called the children of Abraham from among the
          kingdoms and countries of the earth to first hear and then
          embrace the everlasting Gospel; and the remnants of the seed of
          Ephraim who were scattered from Palestine and who colonized the
          shores of the Caspian Sea and thence made their way into the
          north of Europe, western Scandinavia and northern Germany,
          penetrating Scotland and England, and conquering those nations
          and reigning as monarchs of Great Britain, and mingling their
          seed with the Anglo-Saxon race, and spreading over the waters a
          fruitful vine, as predicted by Jacob, whose branches should run
          over the wall. Their blood has permeated European society, and it
          coursed in the veins of the early colonists of America. And when
          the books shall be opened and the lineage of all men is known, it
          will be found that they have been first and foremost in
          everything noble among men in the various nations in breaking off
          the shackles of kingcraft and priestcraft and oppression of every
          kind, and the foremost among men in upholding and maintaining the
          principles of liberty and freedom upon this continent and
          establishing a representative government, and thus preparing the
          way for the coming forth of the fullness of the everlasting
          Gospel. And it is the foremost of those spirits whom the Lord has
          prepared to receive the Gospel when it was presented to them, and
          who did not wait for the Elders to hunt them from the hills and
          corners of the earth, but they were hunting for the Elders,
          impelled by a spirit which then they could not understand; and
          for this reason were they among the first Elders of the Church;
          they and the fathers having been watched over from the days that
          God promised those blessings upon Isaac and Jacob and Joseph and
          Ephraim. And these are they that will be found in the front ranks
          of all that is noble and good in their day and time, and who will
          be found among those whose efforts are directed in establishing
          upon the earth those heaven-born principles which tend directly
          to blessing and salvation, to ameliorating the condition of their
          fellow-men, and elevating them in the scale of their being; and
          among those also who receive the fullness of the Everlasting
          Gospel, and the keys of Priesthood in the last days, through whom
          God determined to gather up again unto himself a peculiar people,
          a holy nation, a pure seed that shall stand upon Mount Zion as
          saviors, not only to the house of Israel but also to the house of
          Now the work of carrying the Gospel to the nations and gathering
          the people, mighty as it is, is not the chief, it is but laying
          the foundation for the still greater work of the redemption of
          the myriads of the dead of the seed of Israel that have perished
          without the fullness of the Gospel, who too are heirs to the
          promised blessings; but the time had not come when they passed
          away for the fulfillment of all that God had promised Abraham,
          Isaac and Jacob concerning their seed: Ezekiel in the 37th
          chapter of his book beautifully illustrates this doctrine in his
          vision of the valley of dry bones. I respectfully refer you to
          it. The substance of the vision is this: The Lord showed Ezekiel
          a valley full of dry human bones; and he asks him if those bones
          can live. Ezekiel answered, "O Lord God, thou knowest." The Lord
          then tells him to prophecy to the bones: Oh ye dry bones. Hear
          the word of the Lord; and as he did so there was a shaking, and
          behold the bones came together, bone to its bone; and according
          to the word of the Lord through him, flesh and skin and sinews
          came upon them, and the breath of life came into them, and lo,
          and behold, they stood upon their feet an exceedingly great army.
          The Lord then tells the Prophet that these are the whole house of
          Israel; and that they complain of the non-fulfillment of the
          promises upon their head, saying, "Our bones are dried, and our
          hope is lost: all are cut off for our parts. But he further tells
          him to prophecy unto them, saying, "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," etc. And by whom shall this great and marvelous work be
          accomplished? I answer, by the thousands of Manasseh and the ten
          thousands of Ephraim; by this same people who shall search out
          and gather together the house of Israel, and who will come up as
          saviors upon Mount Zion.
          Paul tells us concerning the Melchizedek Priesthood, that it is
          after the order of an endless life, without beginning of days or
          end of years; or, in other words, that it is eternal; that it
          ministers in time and also in eternity. Peter, James and John and
          their fellow-laborers still minister in their Priesthood on the
          other side of the veil; and Joseph Smith and his fellow-brethren
          still minister in their office and calling under the counsel and
          direction of the same Peter, James and John who ministered on
          earth, and who conferred upon Joseph the keys of their
          Priesthood; and all the Elders of this dispensation who prove
          faithful and magnify their calling in the flesh will, when they
          pass hence, continue their labors in the spirit world, retaining
          the same holy character and high responsibility that they assume
          here. And these men will be engaged there hunting up the remnants
          of their fathers of the house of Joseph through Ephraim and
          Manasseh; and then all the other tribes of Israel; while their
          children and children's children remaining in the flesh, holding
          the same Priesthood, are building and will continue to build
          Temples and enter into them, and there officiate for the whole
          house of Israel, whose bones are dry and hope lost; but with whom
          it will be, as the Apostle Peter has expressed it, "Blessed be
          the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to
          his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by
          the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." When Peter
          buried his Lord he buried his hope also, and when in this state
          of mind he said, "I go a fishing." He returned to the old mode of
          living, and his fellow Apostles accompanied him. After toiling
          all night and catching no fish, the Savior appeared to them, but
          the disciples did not know him; and after learning that they had
          caught nothing, he told them to cast the net on the other side of
          the ship, and instantly the net was full of fishes. And
          straightway the inspiration of the Almighty was upon Peter, who
          said, that's the Lord; that's one of his tricks. And the
          impetuosity of his nature was such that he could not wait, but
          threw himself into the water to go and meet the Savior, knowing
          that it was He just as well as if the Father himself had told him
          so. And when they got ashore they found that their Lord had
          prepared food for them, of which they all partook. And then the
          Savior takes Peter to task by giving him to understand that He
          had called him and fellow-apostles to be fishers of men, and says
          to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than
          these," (fish)? Peter answered, "Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I
          love thee." The Savior said unto him, then "feed my lambs;"
          repeating his question and admonition three times. This rebuke
          was sufficient for Peter all the rest of his days; we never hear
          of his going fishing again.
          The morning of the resurrection dawns upon us. Ere long we will
          find Joseph and his brethren overseeing and directing the labors
          of the Elders of Israel in the Temples of our God, laboring for
          the redemption of the dead, which work will continue during the
          thousand years rest when the Savior will bear rule over the whole
          The Gentile nations comprehend not these things. Congress and the
          hireling priests are blind and ignorant to them. And why? Because
          they have not been "born again," being in the same condition that
          Nicodemus was when the Savior told him that except a man were
          born again--that is born of the water and the Spirit--he could
          not enter into (or see) the kingdom of God. They talk about
          religion, and they profess to be teachers of Christianity; so far
          as they honestly believe, and show by their works, that Christ
          was the Son of God, so far God will have them in remembrance; so
          far as they honestly receive those principles of morality that
          should govern men in their walks of life and their intercourse
          with their fellows, and do respect and strive to live them, so
          far will he hold them in honorable remembrance, and they will be
          numbered among the honorable of the earth, and the mercy of the
          Lord will reach them in his due time; but the hypocrite who
          conceals his wicked heart under the cloak of religion, who has a
          form of godliness, but denies the power thereof, all such will he
          waste away.
          Understanding this as we understand them, we do not wonder at
          this class of persons combining with the powers of earth to throw
          stumbling blocks in the way of this community. But will the Lord
          suffer them to bring persecution upon us? Peradventure he may;
          and he will if it is necessary to prune the vineyard, to cleanse
          his people from sin, to purge out evil and frighten away the
          hypocrites in Zion; for it has been decreed that fearfulness
          shall surprise the hypocrites in Zion; and if he suffers the
          wicked to combine against us, he will overrule it for the
          salvation of the righteous. The righteous can endure trials,
          realizing as they do that:
                                    B                     ehind a frowning providence,
                                    H                     e hides a smiling face.
          And that after much tribulation comes the blessing. And such are
          of Ephraim. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 /
          Lorenzo Snow, May 6th, 1882
                             Lorenzo Snow, May 6th, 1882
                          DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE LORENZO SNOW,
                     Delivered at Logan, Sunday, May 6th, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                               DEVOTION AND SACRIFICE.
          The speaker commenced by reading the first ten verses and the
          18th verse of the 35th chapter of Jeremiah; also part of the
          139th Psalm; and then said:
          I read these verses with a view of riveting more forcibly upon
          our understanding a principle which I desire to present for
          consideration, namely, the establishing of a proper character, as
          Latter-day Saints, before God our Father.
          I am under the strongest impression that the most valuable
          consideration, and that which will be of the most service when we
          return to the spirit world, will be that of having established a
          proper and well-defined character as faithful and consistent
          Latter-day Saints in this state of probation. In cases where a
          stranger applies for employment, or an office of trust, it is
          often required that he produce papers attesting his worthiness,
          from reliable parties, letters of recommendation and of
          introduction which are exceedingly useful in their way, assisting
          in obtaining favors and privileges which otherwise would be
          difficult to secure. It is, however, comparatively easy to obtain
          a written character, as it is termed, a character that one can
          put in his pocket; and, indeed, according to my observation it is
          not infrequently the case that people are the bearers of written
          characters which their real and true character fails to attest.
          There are those among us who are recognized as members of this
          Church who take a vast amount of pains to be favorably known by
          those around them, but whose real character, or the inwardness so
          to speak, of such people, is veiled or disguised, being to all
          outward appearance reputable Latter-day Saints, but whose inward
          character, the character that is written indelibly upon their own
          hearts, would, if known, render them unfit for the association
          and fellowship of the people of God. Now this prayer that I have
          referred to--"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and
          know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and
          lead me in the way everlasting"--is very significant; it was a
          prayer that David in the principal course of his life could
          conscientiously and with a degree of confidence offer up to the
          Lord. But there were times when he would feel the faltering and
          quivering sensation of weakness in offering up a prayer of this
          I have reason to believe that many of the Latter-day Saints,
          during a great portion of their lives, could approach the Lord in
          all confidence and make this same prayer--"Search me, O God, and
          know my heart, and see if there be any wicked way in me;" but if
          we, as a people could live so as to be able at all times to bow
          before the Lord and offer up a prayer like this, what a
          delightful thing it would be, what an attainment we should have
          acquired in righteousness and good works! To every person who has
          at heart the preparing of himself for the great change, that is
          the work of regeneration, I would recommend that he adopt this
          prayer of David, and see how near he can live according to the
          light that he has, so as to make it in all sincerity part of his
          devotions to God. Many fail in coming up to this standard of
          excellence because they do things in secret where mortal eye
          cannot penetrate, that has a direct tendency to alienate them
          from the Almighty, and to grieve away the Spirit of God. Such
          persons cannot in their private closet use this prayer; they
          could not unless they had repented of their sins and repaired the
          wrong they may have committed, and determined to do better in the
          future than they had done in the past, and to establish a
          character before God that could be relied upon in the hour of
          trial, and that would fit them to associate with holy beings and
          with the Father himself when they shall have passed into the
          spirit world. In order to arrive at the state of perfection that
          David did when he poured out his soul to the Lord in the prayer
          that I have referred to, we must be true men and true women; we
          must have faith largely developed, and we must be worthy of the
          companionship of the Holy Ghost to aid us in the work of
          righteousness all the day long, to enable us to sacrifice our own
          will to the will of the Father, to battle against our fallen
          nature, and to do right for the love of doing right, keeping our
          eye single to the honor and glory of God. To do this there must
          be an inward feeling of the mind that is conscious of the
          responsibility that we are under, that recognized the fact that
          the eye of God is upon us and that our every act and the motives
          that prompt it must be accounted for; and we must be constantly
          en rapport with the Spirit of the Lord. We should strive
          earnestly to establish the principles of heaven within us, rather
          than trouble ourselves in fostering anxieties like the foolish
          people of the Tower of Babel, to reach its location before we are
          properly and lawfully prepared to become its inhabitants. Its
          advantages and blessings, in a measure, can be obtained in this
          probationary state by learning to live in conformity with its
          laws and the practice of its principles. To do this, there must
          be a feeling and determination to do God's will.
          There are many things that I admire in the character of the
          prophets, and especially in that of Moses. I admire his
          determination to carry out the word and will of God with regard
          to Israel, and his readiness to do everything that was in the
          power of man, assisted by the Almighty; and above all I admire
          his integrity and fidelity to the Lord. There is something very
          beautiful and lovely to contemplate in the character of the
          children of Rechab of whom I have read: there is something that
          ought to command the admiration of all men, and indeed, God
          himself admired it and recognized it in the great promise that he
          made their father as a recognition of this remarkable virtue
          exhibited in their character, namely, "Jonadab the son of Rechab
          shall not want a man to stand before me forever." How comforting
          and consoling, what a feeling of gratification and joy to the
          heart of a parent to receive such a promise from the Lord,
          because of the obedience of his children in strictly adhering to
          this counsel; his posterity forever should be represented among
          those who should stand before the Lord. And God admires the men
          and women to-day who pursue a course of rectitude and who,
          notwithstanding the powers of Satan that are arrayed against
          them, can say, Get thee behind me Satan, and who live a
          righteous, a godly life, and such people have influence with God
          and their prayers avail much. Moses, for instance, had such power
          with the Almighty as to change his purposes on a certain
          occasion. It will be remembered that the Lord became angry with
          the Israelites, and declared to Moses that he would destroy them,
          and he would take Moses and make of him a great people, and would
          bestow upon him and his posterity what he had promised to Israel.
          But this great leader and lawgiver, faithful to his trust, stood
          in the gap and there plead with the Lord on behalf of his people;
          by the power that he could exercise and did exercise, he was the
          means of saving the people from threatened destruction. How noble
          and glorious Moses must have appeared in the eyes of the Lord,
          and what a source of satisfaction it must have been to him to
          know that his chosen people, in their obstinate and ignorant
          condition, had such a man at their head.
          In Jonah again we find an interesting trait of character. When
          upon the raging waters, and fears were expressed by the sailors
          as to their ability to save the ship, Jonah, feeling
          conscience-stricken at the course he had taken in not proceeding
          to Nineveh as commanded of the Lord, came forward and confessed
          himself as being the cause of the disaster that was about to
          befall them, and was willing to be sacrificed in the interest of
          those on board. Also in other prophets and men of God, although
          they may have on certain occasions, like Jonah, exhibited
          weaknesses, there is something really grand and admirable shown
          in their character. But such traits of character as we find
          evinced in the ancient worthies are not the products of accident
          or chance, neither are they acquired in a day, a week, a month,
          or a year, but are gradual developments, the results of continued
          faithfulness to God and to truth, independent of either the
          plaudits or criticisms of men.
          Written characters do not always amount to much; they are well
          enough in their place however. It is important that we, as
          Latter-day Saints, should understand and bear in mind that
          salvation comes through the grace of God, and through the
          development in us of those principles that governed those
          righteous people before mentioned. The idea is not to do good
          because of the praise of men; but to do good because in doing
          good we develop godliness within us, and this being the case we
          shall become allied to godliness, which will in time become part
          and portion of our being. I will refer again to the Rechabites,
          and the strong temptation that they were under when invited to
          the Temple of God, and there, in one of the apartments, asked by
          Jeremiah, one of the greatest Prophets, to drink wine; or, in
          other words, to do something that they had been instructed by
          their father not to do. But they could not be moved, the teaching
          of their father had found an abiding place in their hearts, and
          the consequence was that they utterly refused to do what the
          Prophet of God told them to do. The Lord Himself admired the
          course that they took in this matter, and was led as I before
          said, to make such a glorious promise to the house of Rechab; and
          I would not be astonished to know that among this people may now
          be found some of the descendants.
          Do we not at times do things that we feel sorry for having done?
          It may be all very well, provided we stop doing such things when
          we know them to be wrong; when we see the evil and then reform,
          that is all we can do, and all that can be asked of any man. But
          undoubtedly, it is too much the case with some that they consider
          and fear the publicity of the wrong they commit, more than
          committing the wrong itself; they wonder what people will say
          when they hear of it, etc. And, on the other hand, some are
          induced to do certain things in order to receive the approbation
          of their friends, and if their acts fail to draw forth favorable
          comments or to be recognized, they feel as though their labor had
          been lost, and what good they may have done was a total failure.
          Now, if we really desire to draw near to God; if we wish to place
          ourselves in accord with the good spirits of the eternal worlds;
          if we wish to establish within ourselves that faith which we read
          about and by which ancient Saints performed such wonderful works,
          we must, after we obtain the Holy Spirit, hearken to its
          whisperings and conform to its suggestions, and by no act of our
          lives drive it from us. It is true that we are weak, erring
          creatures, liable at any time to grieve the Spirit of God; but so
          soon as we discover ourselves in a fault, we should repent of
          that wrongdoing and as far as possible repair or make good the
          wrong we may have committed. By taking this course we strengthen
          our character, we advance our own cause, and we fortify ourselves
          against temptation; and in time we shall have so far overcome as
          to really astonish ourselves at the progress we have made in
          self-government and improvement.
          We have received a Gospel that is marvelous in its operations:
          through obedience to its requirements we may receive the choicest
          blessings that have ever been promised to or bestowed upon
          mankind in any age of the world. But, like the child with the toy
          or the plaything, we too often satisfy ourselves with the
          perishable things of time, forgetting the opportunities we have
          of developing within us the great, the eternal principles of life
          and truth. The Lord wishes to establish a closer and more
          intimate relationship between himself and us; He wishes to
          elevate us in the scale of being and intelligence, and this can
          only be done through the medium of the everlasting Gospel which
          is specially prepared for this purpose. Says the Apostle John:
          "Every man that has this hope in him purifieth himself, even as
          He (Christ) is pure." Are the Latter-day Saints applying the
          principles of the Gospel to their lives, and thus accomplishing
          the design of God?
          We sometimes, though perhaps not to a great extent, trouble
          ourselves about some probable or possible persecution that our
          enemies may bring upon us. We look upon the past history of the
          Church and see that the Lord has suffered our enemies on certain
          occasions, to destroy our houses, despoil us of our property and
          drive us from one place to another. We say, such things have been
          allowed; and we query in our minds, whether they will still be
          permitted to bring trouble upon us, and if so, to what extent. We
          acknowledge that God has blessed us--that he has given us houses
          and lands, flocks and herds, and has put us in the way to obtain
          the conveniences and comforts of life. We, no doubt, appreciate
          our temporal condition, and would dislike very much to be
          deprived of these blessings we enjoy. And some wonder as to how
          far the hand of oppression will be allowed to disturb the quiet
          of our mountain homes, and whether we as individuals, will ever
          pass through what this people endured in early days. This is a
          matter that should not trouble the Saints of God particularly;
          but what to my mind is far more important is, what can we do
          under the circumstances to elevate ourselves still higher in the
          righteousness of our God. What advantages, blessings and
          privileges does this system of salvation, which we have obeyed,
          afford, and what means shall be employed to realize them? If
          there should be a sacrifice demanded it will be very opportune
          for all those who wish to make their religion a study, and who
          are endeavoring to conform to its requirements, by living it in
          their everyday life, to show their willingness to bow to the will
          of Jehovah, acknowledging his hand in adversity as in prosperity.
          I remember very well the cloudy and stormy days of Kirtland, and
          how foolishly some people acted. There were men who occupied high
          standing in the Church, who disgraced themselves, having behaved
          in a manner which afterwards brought the blush of shame to their
          cheeks. There was a reason for that. Had they lived so that they
          could have offered up in their hearts David's prayer, they would
          not have been numbered among those who apostatized and fell in
          the hour of trial. It would be well to examine ourselves, hold
          communion with ourselves in the secret closet, to ascertain how
          we stand as Elders in Israel before the Lord, so that if need be
          we may renew our diligence and faithfulness, and increase our
          good works.
          There is no doubt, speaking of the people as a whole, that we are
          greatly improving in the sight of God. But although this is
          undoubtedly the case, I am convinced there are persons among us
          endowed with spiritual gifts and susceptible of cultivation, that
          could be exercised, if they chose, to a far greater extent than
          they are, and who could move much faster in the ways of holiness
          and get much nearer to the Lord. But the spirit which attends the
          things of this world is operating upon them to that extent that
          they do not increase those spiritual powers and blessings; they
          do not place themselves in that close relationship to the Lord
          that it is their privilege, as men holding the holy Priesthood,
          called and chosen to perform a special work in the midst of
          mankind. As it was with Peter and the rest of the Apostles in the
          days of their gloom, when the Master, the Savior of the world,
          hung upon the cross, their hope and prospects sunk in darkness,
          having lost the real spirit of the mission to which they had been
          called, in their despair, they said, Let us go a fishing; let us
          return to our nets, to our former business. So it is with some in
          our day. There are men among us upon whom the Spirit of the
          Almighty once rested mightily, whose intentions were once as good
          and pure as those of angels, and who made covenants with God that
          they would serve Him and keep His commandments under every and
          all circumstances; and many of such were ready and willing to
          leave their wives and children to go or come as the case might be
          in the interest of the cause they had espoused. But how is it now
          with some of those Elders? They do not feel so to-day. Their
          affections are set upon the things of this world which the Lord
          has enabled them to acquire, that they wait now until they are
          called, and in many instances when called, they obey more out of
          a desire to retain their standing and position, than a real
          heart-felt love of the labor to which they may have been called.
          This is the condition of all men, no matter how well they start
          out, who allow their thoughts and affections to run after the
          world and its ways, and it is a plain and indisputable proof that
          when this is the case with men they love the world more than they
          love the Lord and His work upon the earth. Having received the
          light of the everlasting Gospel, and partaken of the good things
          of the kingdom, and being of the seed of Israel and heirs to
          great and glorious promises, we should labor with fidelity and
          diligence to accomplish what God has designed to do through us;
          we should be men and women of faith and power as well as good
          works, and when we discover ourselves careless or indifferent in
          the least, it should be sufficient for us to know it in order to
          mend our ways and return to the path of duty.
          When our friends are stricken down by sickness and disease, or
          when our little ones are in the agonies of pain and death, there
          should be Elders in our midst who have educated themselves so
          thoroughly in developing the gifts of the Spirit within them, and
          in whom the Saints have such perfect confidence, that they would
          always be sought after instead of doctors. There are men among us
          who possess the gift of healing, and might have great faith; but
          they do not exercise the gift, they do not live for it, and,
          therefore, do not have the power to use it so effectually as they
          might. There are men in this Church who are as good in their
          hearts and feelings as men ever were, but lack faith and energy,
          and do not obtain really what it is their privilege to receive.
          If their faith, their energy and determination were equal to
          their good feelings and desires, their honesty and goodness, they
          would indeed be mighty men in Israel; and sickness and disease
          and the power of the evil one would flee before them as chaff
          before the wind. Yet, we say we are a good people and that we are
          not only holding our own but making great advances in
          righteousness before God; and no doubt, we are. But I wish to
          impress upon you, my brethren and sisters that there are Elders
          among us endowed with Spiritual gifts that may be brought into
          exercise through the aid of the Holy Ghost. The gifts of the
          Gospel must be cultivated by diligence and perseverance. The
          ancient Prophets when desiring some peculiar blessing, or
          important knowledge, revelation or vision, would sometimes fast
          and pray for days and even weeks for that purpose.
          As Saints of God, Elders of Israel, we should be willing to
          devote time and labor, making every necessary sacrifice in order
          to obtain the proper spiritual qualifications to be highly useful
          in our several callings. And may the Lord inspire every heart
          with the importance of these matters that we may seek diligently
          and energetically for the gifts and powers promised in the Gospel
          we have obeyed.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / Moses
          Thatcher, April 8th, 1882
                           Moses Thatcher, April 8th, 1882
           Delivered at the General Conference, Saturday, April 8th, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                              FANATICISM--SINCERITY NO
                                    COMMANDED OF
                                     THE ELDERS
                                        TO BE
          I have been very happy in attending the meetings of this
          Conference. I have rejoiced in listening to the remarks of
          brethren who have spoken; and earnestly hope that I may be
          influenced and guided in the remarks I may make, by the same
          spirit and power which has actuated them. Realizing as I do, that
          God is working in the hearts of the Saints and is, at the same
          time, holding as in his hands the destiny of nations, I have seen
          no happier day than this. And, while proscriptive, ex post-facto
          laws, abridging the liberties of the people have been, and others
          may hereafter be enacted by the law-makers of the nation, still
          the honest and good, the meek and pure in heart rejoice in the
          Holy One of Israel, who while preserving their lips from uttering
          guile makes steadfast their feet in Zion, that they slip not.
          I am not aware that we, as a people, have any policy marked out
          by which to meet the issues or overcome the annoyances which may
          be forced upon us, but with those who merit the constant
          companionship of the Holy Ghost, all will be well. The sight of
          the eye, the hearing of the ear, the touch of the hand may each
          and all be deceived, but the instructions of the spirit are in
          all things correct. The combined senses may misguide or fail, but
          he who happily secures the companionship of the Holy Spirit,
          walks in the ways of life and neither fears, becomes weary nor
          faints by the wayside. Christ as the author of human
          redemption--himself a willing sacrifice--comprehending by his
          divine nature, the fulness of this great truth, commanded his
          disciples to tarry at Jerusalem until endowed with power from on
          high-- until he should send the Comforter whose mission it was to
          show them things to come, bring all things which he had taught to
          their remembrance and lead them into all truth.
          They had listened to the words of life and light as the marvelous
          sermon on the Mount came from the divine lips of their Lord and
          Master: they had seen him touch the eyes of the blind, making
          them to see again, the ears of the deaf to hear, and had
          witnessed his power quicken into life, the decomposing body of
          the dead; they had traveled throughout the land of Judea with,
          and perhaps watched many weary nights to keep him from the injury
          of those who desired to harm him; they had eaten and drank with,
          and slept by him, listening by night and day to the inspired
          instructions; but, notwithstanding all the experience thus gained
          during years of unsurpassed opportunity for learning the truth as
          it was in him, they were not yet fully qualified and authorized
          to preach that perfect law of liberty--the Gospel of their
          Redeemer. Hence the command, "Tarry ye in the City of Jerusalem
          until ye be endowed with power from on high."
          The Comforter which came to them is the same that has come to us,
          and his mission then, as we have demonstrated it now to be, was
          to bring things to the remembrance, show things to come and lead
          unto all truth. No man has authority to preach the Gospel and
          administer its ordinances without a commission from Jesus Christ;
          and the seal of such commission has always been, and always will
          be the gifts, blessings and endorsement of the Holy Ghost, which,
          not only leads to the form, but also to the power of godliness.
          It is this that cheers the hearts of the Latter-day Saints,
          brings knowledge of things past, present and to come, unites and
          makes them in their testimony, hopes and aspirations, distinct
          from all the world--a peculiar people.
          The Elders of Israel acting under the authority of an endless
          Priesthood, bear the message of peace, of life and salvation to
          the inhabitants of a fallen world. Without money and without
          price they visit the ends of the earth and, while warning the
          wicked of the judgments to come, they urge the honest and good to
          gather, before the coming of the great and dreadful day when
          Babylon shall fall. Bearing a faithful testimony, they speak of
          that which they know and testify of that which they have
          experienced, saying, "do the will of the Father and you shall
          know whether the doctrine is true or false." In this, their
          testimony differs from that of the ministers of all other
          religious denominations, and they not only speak as having
          authority, but they have it. Where, outside of the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is there a man authorized to
          make the promise of the knowledge of God by revelation as the
          reward of obedience to the principles of the Gospel? Who, beside
          the Elders of this Church are commissioned to perform ordinances
          in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost through which, and
          by which the Comforter comes to the obedient penitent, leading
          him into all truth and showing him things to come? Who, beside
          them are authorized by God, commissioned by Jesus and endorsed by
          the Holy Spirit to preach repentance, baptism and the laying on
          of hands, saying to the inhabitants of the earth, "believe in the
          doctrines of Jesus Christ, repent of all sins, be immersed in
          water for their remission and have hands laid upon you for the
          reception of the Holy Ghost, and you shall know these things to
          be true, for, through obedience to the law of life, comes the
          testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy.
          Ask the members of the so-called Christian sects if their
          ministers come to them offering such a test of their authority to
          speak in the name of Him who descended beneath all things that he
          might arise above all things--ask them for the testimony of Him
          who led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men, what gifts they
          have to offer, what promises of godly knowledge they have to
          make? Ask them for the testimony of Jesus and to show the plan of
          salvation built upon the rock of revelation against which the
          gates of hell cannot prevail, and you will be made painfully to
          feel that they have none of these things. A form of godliness
          they may exhibit, but the power, they do not have.
          "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every
          creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but
          he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall
          follow them that believe. In my name they shall cast out devils;
          they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents,
          and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them."
          Such was the commission given to the Apostles anciently, and the
          gifts and blessings, some of which I have enumerated, following
          the believer whose faith led to works, were evidences of the
          authority of the Lord's disciples who bore that commission. Their
          testimony being true and faithful, received the endorsement of
          the Holy Spirit.
          Unlike ministers of the various Christian denominations the
          Elders of this Church claim no part of the commission given by
          the Lord to his ancient Apostles, but they do claim, and do have
          authority from Jesus Christ to preach his Gospel, and the signs
          that followed believers then follow them now, as thousands can
          testify. Most so-called Christians have long since discarded the
          idea of works, holding that salvation coming only by grace,
          belief alone, is essential.
          Now, I hold that they have not only discarded all works, but
          belief as well. My reason for so doing is I think logical and
          conclusive. Jesus declared that certain signs should follow them
          that believe, but modern divines do not even pretend that any one
          of the signs enumerated follow those that accept their teachings.
          Therefore, relying upon the words of the Lord, we must, we are
          bound to conclude that they do not even believe the Gospel, or if
          they do the promise of Christ certainly fails. I am aware that
          such a conclusion gives a choice between but two horns of a
          disagreeable dilemma, but we had nothing to do in the arrangement
          of matters which have brought it about; we only speak of facts as
          they exist. Again, ask the ministers of any of the Protestant
          churches where they got their authority to preach? They will tell
          you not from the Roman Mother Church which claims Apostolic
          succession from Peter, but they will refer you I think, in most
          instances, to the words of Jesus already quoted, wherein he
          instructed his disciples to go into all the world and preach the
          Gospel to every creature, etc. They will tell you that here is
          where they get their authority, and they claim that commission is
          to them as well as to those to whom it was directly given. Let us
          submit the test and see how this claim stands. Those who
          anciently had the commission and authority were endorsed by the
          spirit and power of God which caused certain heavenly gifts and
          blessings to follow those who believed their testimony and
          teachings. Do any of those gifts and blessings follow the
          believers in the teachings of modern divines who claim the same
          authority and commission? No, not one. They the ministers
          themselves hold them non-essential, and hence done away. They
          are, indeed, done away so far as our Christian friends are
          concerned, and so is the authority and commission of their
          ministers done away, so far as the endorsement of their teaching
          by the Holy Ghost is concerned.
          I desire here to bear my testimony that the gifts and blessings
          enumerated by the Savior as those that should follow believers,
          do follow in this day, the authoritative preaching and
          administration of the ordinances of the Gospel, and that the
          Elders of this Church are clothed with authority from God. It did
          not come from the Roman Mother Church, nor from any of her
          Protestant daughters, but was restored to earth in our day by
          Peter, James and John, to whom Jesus Himself gave it. In their
          charge it was authority that bore fruit as testimony of its
          efficacy and divine power; committed to the charge of God's
          servants it does likewise in this age among this people.
          Lacking the revelations of the Holy Ghost, men and
          self-constituted ministers are not led into all truth but teach,
          instead thereof, opinions and vain imaginings. As an instance I
          refer to a sermon preached not long since by an eminent divine in
          the East for whose liberal views and outspoken advocacy of them
          in many respects I entertain admiration, for they have, in my
          opinion, a tendency to liberalize the ideas of some who otherwise
          would have inclined to religious bigotry or, on the other hand to
          infidelity. In seeking to illustrate how the various Christian
          sects were moving heavenward this divine, compared the kingdom of
          God to the city of Philadelphia, which has numerous railway
          connections leading from almost every direction but all centering
          in that city. Upon these numerous railways daily move many trains
          composed of numerous cars containing many people traveling from
          various directions on different roads, but all bound for the city
          of Philadelphia. Now this doctrine being broad and liberal would
          certainly commend itself to every thoughtful and charitable
          Christian did it not, when tested by the Master's perfect
          standard, reveal a defect--a fatal one too, which all who rely
          upon it must eventually find to their disappointment and sorrow.
          The doctrine however attractive, is absolutely untrue, for Jesus
          Himself has declared that there is but one way, "Straight is the
          gate and narrow is the way, (not many ways like the roads leading
          to the city of Philadelphia), and few there be that find it."
          Now why do eminent, educated, influential men, who have chosen
          the ministry as a profession, and who pretend to teach the Gospel
          to others, advocate as doctrine ideas so diametrically opposed to
          the eternal truths advanced by Christ himself? The answer is
          simple, lacking the inspiration and revelations of the Holy
          Spirit--having no Comforter to lead them into all truth, bring
          things to their remembrance and show them things to come, they
          teach for doctrine the opinions of men. Being filled with worldly
          wisdom but not the power of God. "They divine for money and
          preach for hire." Again Christ prayed that his disciples might be
          one with Him as He was with the Father, and that all should
          believe the words of the disciples that they might be one with
          Him, as He was one with the Father. Are Christians claiming
          belief in those words, one? No, the various denominations are not
          only divided against each other, but in some instances are
          divided among themselves. During the late civil war, as was
          stated yesterday, members of the same church south of the Mason
          and Dixon line were praying for the destruction of their brethren
          of the same church north of it, while, on the other hand, those
          north were making a like petition to the same God against their
          brethren south of that line. According, however, to their own
          idea of God, He could hardly have heard and answered either
          party; for, having no body he could not hear, and having no
          passions he would have been indifferent, had he been able to
          Notwithstanding this, however, many, very many on both sides were
          destroyed and, as we believe, needlessly. Of one thing we may be
          certain, and that is the members of the various Christian
          denominations are not one. Therefore there is but one of two
          conclusions at which the reasoning and thoughtful can arrive.
          Either God has ceased to answer the prayer of His Son, or the
          various conflicting religious sects are not believers in the
          Gospel. And as they put great stress upon faith or belief, I have
          endeavored and think I have not failed to show that they are not
          even true believers, for they are certainly not united and one
          with Christ as He is one with the Father, nor as His ancient
          disciples were one with Him.
          In mentioning these matters, I have tried to do so in a
          respectful manner, having regard for the feelings of those who
          differ from us in religious affairs. There are many people in the
          world who do not believe as we do, but for whom I entertain a
          high personal regard; for according to the light they have, they
          are moral, honest and just, and are as devoted to what they
          believe to be right as we possibly can be. Thousands and hundreds
          of thousands of people in the world are just as sincere as we
          are; but to be sincere in a matter does not make that matter
          While at the City of Mexico recently, I saw many exhibitions of
          religious devotion and sincerity. On certain feast days people
          there do strange things. I have seen women walk upon their knees
          three miles over rough stony roads, being rewarded at the end of
          their painful journey with a plaited crown of thorns placed upon
          their heads, while being carried upon the shoulders of strong
          men, amid the cheering multitude, who praised them for having
          accomplished what they believed to be a saintly, meritorious
          task. Again, I have seen ladies of refinement, wealth and
          influence trail their rich satin and velvet robes through the
          dirt and filth accumulated upon the floors of the great
          cathedral, for hours they would kneel in adoration before an
          image, while being jostled by ignorant, degraded, vermin-covered
          Indians, worshipping at the same shrine. On other occasions I
          have witnessed for weeks together the revelry of Catholic maskers
          who frequented the streets, theatres and balls, night and day. At
          some of those masked balls it was said scenes were enacted that
          were so immoral in their tendency that the general of the Mexican
          army issued orders prohibiting officers and men of the army from
          attending them. And yet, at the termination of the thirty days'
          dissipation, religious sincerity caused those poor, ignorant
          people to feel free from sin after confessing to their priests
          and receiving absolution for all their abominations and securing
          a great black mark in the form of a cross in their foreheads.
          Now, while these things, and many others which I have no time to
          mention, appeared very repugnant, immoral and debasing in their
          practice and tendency, yet I respected those people in their
          religious belief, customs and ceremonies as I desire to respect
          the people of other creeds so long as they do not infringe upon
          the rights and liberties of others. For God intends that all
          should be absolutely free in such matters. When Adam and Eve were
          placed in the Garden, the doctrine of free agency was fully
          established and endorsed by the Creator, for He there gave a
          conditional commandment, obedience to which was to perpetuate
          life, disobedience was to bring death, but the choice was left
          with the man and woman, and from that day to this he has intended
          that man should act upon his own agency; that he should be
          permitted to receive the truth, choosing the path that leads back
          to the presence of God and the knowledge that comes from above;
          or, on the other hand, to reject it, following in the path which
          leads to ruin and destruction.
          In this great American government a man should be free to worship
          the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; he should be equally free
          to worship a mountain, a stream, the sun, moon, or anything or
          not to worship at all; so long as his practice and belief do not
          interfere with the inalienable rights guaranteed to man, so long
          should he be free.
          From the time when God gave to man and woman their free agency in
          the Garden of Eden, making the law and defining the penalty for
          breaking that law, I can find nothing in the revelations that
          would bind or fetter the soul or the body of the children of men.
          There was, however, one unconditional command; it was given in
          the generation of the heavens, when God created man and woman in
          His own image; and that command still rests upon the fishes of
          the sea, upon the fowls of the air, upon the beasts of the field,
          and all beating throbbing nature naturally obeys the edict,
          "multiply and replenish the earth." This great unconditional,
          unrepealed law is still in force. The Roman Catholic church, as
          it has done heretofore, may issue edicts binding certain members
          of that church to celibacy, making the union of man and woman
          obnoxious, but that great command is nevertheless still binding.
          The Roman church and our own Government, in their blind efforts
          to defeat the purposes of God, may continue to forbid marriage,
          and thus fulfill ancient prophecy, but their efforts should not
          surprise us. Is there anything occurring in the midst of the
          Nation to-day that we have not anticipated? I have recently
          returned from the east, and I rejoice exceedingly in what I saw
          manifested there. Does God hold the members of Congress
          responsible for their acts as he does the Elders of this Church?
          No. They will be judged by the light they have and no more. They
          are, many of them, educated, and are men of influence,
          possessing, however, but little genuine moral courage.
          Notwithstanding the evident disregard for principle manifested by
          some of them touching affairs in which we are interested, I
          confess that I lost confidence in them with the deepest regret,
          and find it most difficult to withdraw the faith formerly reposed
          in the law-makers of our great nation. I still desire and hope to
          be able to continue praying for them and for the President and
          cabinet, that they may honor the positions to which the people
          have called them. We will uphold, sustain and pray for them at
          least until God rejects and condemns their works. There is salt
          in the nation yet. I try to comprehend the feelings of faithful
          Abraham when pleading for Sodom and Gomorrah; which, had they
          contained five righteous men, might have been spared.
          Now, I think there are a great many more than five righteous
          men--righteous according to the light they have, in the United
          States; good men too, who, while they cannot see as we see, and
          while they cannot endorse our peculiar ideas in regard to the
          plan of human salvation, love liberty, cherish the memory of our
          forefathers, and regard the foundations of this great government
          so highly that they could not even under the pressure of public
          opinion, vote for a measure so radically wrong, a measure so
          thoroughly unconstitutional as every lawyer must know the Edmunds
          law to be. There were a few honorable members of Congress whose
          high regard for the labors and sacrifices of our forefathers
          precluded them from advocating that infamous measure which
          strikes with deep intent and a spirit born of hatred, at the very
          foundation upon which our government and the liberties of the
          people rest. Those honorable gentlemen, in opposing the bill,
          counted the cost by realizing that their course in the matter
          might offend their constituents, who by reason thereof, might
          retire them forever from the walks of public political life.
          Now I must admit that it would have required nerve and genuine
          moral courage to enable members of the Republican party to vote
          against the passage of that bill when the party lash was being
          swung around them as I have never before seen a party lash used.
          To overcome the fear arising from the contemplated action of
          constituents at home, and the cut and the sting of the party
          leaders in Congress, required more courage than we could
          reasonably expect from members of the dominant party. Moral
          courage is a virtue possessed by few men in this gilded age in
          which ambition, rather than principle, too frequently is the
          moving cause which prompts to action. When, therefore, party
          leaders, sarcastic and unscrupulous, shake their fists under the
          noses of their timid followers, daring them to place themselves
          upon record as advocates of "Mormonism" by opposing measures
          intended for the bondage of "Mormons," it is indeed difficult,
          and we ought not to expect weak men, under such circumstances, to
          do what is right.
          I remember before going East, certain petitions to Congress were
          being circulated in the midst of the Latter-day Saints, which
          were afterwards, I understand, signed by about 65,000 people, and
          what was the prayer of those petitioners--did they ask Congress
          to endorse polygamy, or in the least manifest sympathy for the
          marital relations of the Latter-day Saints? No. The burden of the
          prayer of this community was to give us a trial before condemning
          us, to hear our cause before convicting and executing us; in
          other words, that an investigating committee be sent to the
          people of Utah to see them as they are; to come, if need be, into
          our homes and pry into every detail of our social relations, and
          then judge the tree by its fruits. If the children of the
          Latter-day Saints, as has been asserted, are frail in body and
          weak in intellect, we asked the statesmen of our land to come and
          demonstrate it for our benefit and their information, or send a
          competent and reliable commission to investigate the matter for
          them. If we are an immoral people--as we have been accused of
          being--we want the nation to say so through the mouths of
          honorable men. That is what we prayed for. Our petitions were not
          heard, I doubt if they were even read, and, yet, have we any
          feelings of enmity towards our nation because of it? I have not,
          not in the least. There is not a man, woman or child in all this
          broad land for whom I have one particle of hatred. Thank God for
          that. That is what my religion has taught me. And while I know
          that I am by no means perfect in keeping that higher law which
          Jesus gave, namely, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,
          do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which
          despitefully use you, and persecute you, I am trying to become
          so. That is a law of the Gospel which we must all eventually
          observe in spirit and practice. I am trying to pray for men who
          by night and day use their influence and every means in their
          power to crush out a people whom I love, and who are innocent
          before God of the vile slanders constantly heaped upon them. When
          we, as Saints of the Most High, shall have learned to love our
          enemies and pray for those who despitefully use us--shall have
          learned it so well, that prayerful humble practice impresses it
          upon the tablets of our hearts, from which every desire to
          oppress our fellowman has been eradicated, then, and not till
          then will the government rule, and dominion be given into the
          hands of this people.
          Zion will be redeemed, God's kingdom bear sway and His people,
          under Christ Jesus our Lord, will rule when the law goes forth
          from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
          Much has been said about the domination of the "Mormon"
          Priesthood. In Europe, in the States of the Union, and even in
          Mexico it has been stated that "Mormons" are controlled like
          slaves, being obliged to yield obedience, right or wrong, to the
          behest of Church leaders. I bear my testimony that the statement
          is utterly untrue. No part of the Union possesses a freer and
          more independent people than these mountain valleys. Indeed I
          hesitate not to say that their equal in fearlessness of wrongful
          church, political or other influences cannot be found elsewhere.
          They neither crouch beneath public opinion nor cower before the
          pulpit and press. The names of prominent business men of Eastern
          cities, with whom for years our merchants have done business,
          appeared in the public prints as the vice-presidents of
          anti-"Mormon" meetings; thus making them seem to join in the raid
          against our people. When asked regarding the matter a number
          confessed that their names had been used without either their
          knowledge or consent. But they had not the moral courage
          necessary to stem the current of public opinion and run the risk
          of incurring the displeasure of the press by withdrawing their
          names; and, while disclaiming to me personally, any sympathy with
          the anti-"Mormon" raids, then so numerous in the East, they dare
          not publicly so express themselves. Now, while expressing
          sympathy for those who, under any circumstances, could be placed
          in such a position, I am bold to assert that nowhere in Utah
          among Latter-day Saints could such a thing be found. Such
          domination, ecclesiastical, political or social does not exist in
          Utah among the "Mormons;" possibly it may exist in the midst of
          those comprising their enemies, and known here as the "ring."
          Whatever may have been said or whatever may hereafter be asserted
          regarding the domination of the "Mormon" Priesthood, I know no
          people who regard more highly the individual rights of man or who
          are more willing to defend them than the people called "Mormons,"
          who here, as elsewhere, have the moral courage to protect and
          defend their names while maintaining their individuality. I don't
          think they would hesitate to defend the oppressed whether Jew,
          Gentile or "Mormon," nor would they sacrifice in their lack of
          independence, principle or persons at the shrine of public
          opinion or popular prejudice. The "Mormon" Priesthood dominates
          the affairs of the "Mormon" people upon the principles of
          righteousness and equity. Outside of these it has neither power
          nor authority. I wish this were equally true with the religious,
          political and social organizations throughout the Union; but it
          is not, as I have already shown. When principle is sacrificed to
          prejudice there can be neither safety nor stability. Acting upon
          such a basis men become great in small things, but small in
          greater matters.
          Did principle or a proper regard for the rights of man prevail in
          the Senate and House of our National Congress, pending the
          passage of the Edmunds law? It is true a number of honorable
          members in each branch recognized and protested against the
          passage of that unconstitutional and un-American measure, but how
          few, if any, comprehended the opportunity afforded a great
          statesmen to stem the current and by the force of patriotism and
          the power of right, rise above the waves of popular prejudice
          and, striking out of disguises stand proudly upon the solid
          foundations of constitutional law while victoriously battling for
          human freedom and the natural rights of man. Such an opportunity
          had made Webster, Clay or Sumner even greater than the great men
          we now esteem them. The thought of such as they were, the
          devotion to principle, liberty and right exhibited by Washington,
          Jefferson, Adams, and others in their struggles for human
          freedom, have made me proud to be an American citizen. But when I
          see sacred principles, for the establishment of which our fathers
          devoted property, honor and lives, trampled under foot by our
          national lawmakers, in order to answer the fanatical demands of
          religious bigots against a few thousand loyal citizens in Utah, I
          blush and almost wish I had been foreign born.
          Aside from these drawbacks evidencing the degeneracy into which
          statesmen are falling, I have ever been proud of my citizenship.
          Of but one thing have I ever been prouder and that is of my
          allegiance to God and His laws, and a love for His kingdom and
          people. For these I have patiently, and almost uncomplainingly,
          endured the scorn and ridicule of many people in various
          countries. This I could never have endured, being naturally proud
          and perhaps over-sensitive, had it not been for the comforting
          influence which accompanies a knowledge of truths revealed in our
          During twenty-five years of experience in the Church, having been
          more or less in the missionary field since I was fifteen years of
          age, I have met thousands of people in Europe and America who
          thought of "Mormonism" and the "Mormons" only with contempt,
          believing the system to be a fraud they thought of its advocates
          as wicked deceivers. Under other circumstances I have been thrown
          into contact with men and women who, while appearing chaste and
          fair without, were foul and corrupt within, but who nevertheless,
          would act as though the touch of a "Mormon" Elder was pollution.
          Hundreds of times I have been forced to notice the reluctance of
          men, themselves not averse to the destruction of chastity, to
          publicly appear in the company of Elders, whom I knew, would
          suffer their right hands to be burned from their bodies rather
          than look upon a woman with lust, much less seek to destroy
          virtue, or defile themselves with the unclean.
          Whatever the world may think or say to the contrary, the Elders
          of this Church are the purest men on earth, and there are
          abundance of facts with which to substantiate the assertion. They
          are not all, perhaps, what they should be, but take them as a
          whole--consider their works, their sacrifices, trials and
          temptations, and in that virtue that comes of chaste thoughts,
          words and actions, they have no rivals in this world; for, as
          married men, they are true at home and abroad to their marital
          vows; as single men they are equally true to God and their
          covenants. With men of the world these things may be of but
          little moment, with us they are of vital importance, for upon the
          basis of sexual purity shall be perpetuated that which is noble,
          good and lovely.
          The love of wealth, a desire for luxury, or an ambition for fame
          may move the world, and stir men to ceaseless activity; but for
          us and our children there is more happiness, peace and salvation
          in the quietness and purity of our simple homes, than can be
          found anywhere else.
          In some of the Eastern States, especially in the larger cities,
          the evidences of increasing prosperity appear numerous. Trade and
          commerce, pushed by enterprise and capital, are accumulating
          wealth in the hands of the far-seeing and shrewd very rapidly,
          and the luxurious habits manifested in the erection and
          decoration of magnificent palatial residences, is only equalled
          by the rich personal ornaments of their owners. To excel in these
          things the highest ambition of the worldly is excited to the
          utmost extent, and intelligent men and women too often sacrifice
          truth and honor in the mad strife for gain. Wealth, or the love
          of it, is fast becoming the God of the Christian world. To what
          extent their idolatrous worship produces happiness I am not
          aware, but am personally satisfied to cast my lot with the poor,
          despised people of Utah; who, having less of the things of this
          world, have more of the imperishable things of God. Possessing
          the keys of inspiration, we are able to draw upon the only true
          source of happiness, and our path, if we are faithful, will grow
          brighter and brighter, until the perfect day. Were we able to
          convince the rulers of nations of this fact, they would, I have
          no doubt, willingly forego all earthly hopes of worldly fame and
          the honors of men, and meekly receive that which has been so
          freely given to us. If God were to open the eyes of the Queen of
          England and the President of the United States, as He has opened
          our eyes, I think they would rejoice as we have rejoiced, with a
          boundless gladness. But they, like millions of others, having
          never been born of water, cannot even see, much less enter the
          kingdom of heaven. Could they do so and receive the
          manifestations and revelations, the companionship and
          instructions of the Holy Ghost, they would willingly exchange the
          honors and emoluments of their offices, for the persecution and
          slander to which all who live godly in Christ Jesus are subject.
          They have their mission and work to perform; we have ours. We
          would gladly confer upon them and others a knowledge of that
          which we have received from God, if we could, but we cannot. The
          wealth of this world can neither purchase such knowledge, nor can
          the influence of the mighty and great ever become potent enough
          to secure it for themselves and convey it to others, except upon
          the simple conditions prescribed by the Master and to which we
          have yielded a willing obedience.
          As this people have been obedient to God, so have they been loyal
          to the government. I desire to ask those composing this vast
          congregation, if you are a disloyal people? You are frequently
          accused of being so. Do you not regard the Constitution of our
          nation with respect and veneration? Have you not taught your
          children that the Declaration of Independence is the highest bill
          of rights which man has ever bequeathed to man? Have you not held
          up to them for emulation the character of the father of his
          country, the great George Washington? When recently gazing upon
          his monument in Washington, D. C. which has been so many years in
          building, I asked myself the question: Is all this mass of
          polished marble being accumulated and put together with such
          accurate nicety and at such vast expense because George
          Washington was willing to float with the current of public
          opinion, right or wrong, or is it because he had those noble
          sentiments which beat and throb, in generous hearts for freedom?
          He, while possessing many ideas of the English aristocratic
          school, was no weather-cock to be turned by the passing breeze.
          How few men in the Senate and House of Representatives of the
          United States, appear to have been close students of history. Had
          they been such they would have seen in the characters of
          Washington, Jefferson, and the Adams's something far different
          from that possessed by the average statesmen of our day. Close
          students of history should be able to sense the fact, that in
          emergencies when the waves of popular feeling run high, great men
          whose hearts beat for liberty and freedom come to the front but
          they do not float with the tide, nor are they swerved by
          prejudice or biased by public opinion.
          Public opinion followed Jesus Christ into the garden of
          Gethsemane when, alone and unwatched by His Apostles, He prayed
          to the Father for strength to endure suffering which caused drops
          of blood to ooze from every pore of his agonized body. Public
          opinion followed him to the bench of the heathen judge who, being
          above the prejudices of the age, washed his hands of innocent
          blood and said: "I find no guilt in this man." But the
          self-righteous Jew--the hypocritical Scribe and Pharisee--cried
          out, "Crucify Him!" "Crucify Him!" "His blood be on us and our
          children." Public opinion has caused rivers of human blood to
          flow; sacrificing, it is said, sixty millions of lives during the
          reign of the inquisition. Who can think of the dark and cruel
          work of those days and years of religious superstition and
          bigotry without a shudder of horror?
          In the museum at the City of Mexico I have gazed upon the mummied
          forms of men and women who lost their lives under the pressure of
          the religious public opinion that fed flames, and instituted
          racks, in that land.
          Public opinion, backed by persecution, drove our fathers across
          the deep, and planted the Pilgrims upon Plymouth Rock, ready to
          perish if needs be for God and liberty. Had they been of the
          class predominating to-day in our National legislature, a free
          government on this land would have been unknown to the present
          generation. But they were noble, self-sacrificing men who, loving
          liberty better than life, could neither cringe to the dictates of
          kingly power nor bow to the behest of priestly authority. Hence,
          that conscience might be free and God worshipped accordingly,
          they braved the dangers of the sea in search of a land of
          freedom, a home for the oppressed. And here, upon the choice land
          of Joseph, still persecuted and hated, the survivors prospered
          and grew and became strong under the blessings of God, until
          their noble hearts and generous brains produced thoughts and
          actions that led to one of the grandest and most successful
          efforts, in the interest of human freedom, the world has ever
          known. How strange, how unreasonable it seems that the children
          of those noble ones, should ever become oppressors. Thus
          attesting the truthfulness of the saying: "The oppressed of
          to-day may become the oppressors of to-morrow."
          Persecution, prompted by religious bigots, and urged forward by
          public opinion incited to deeds of violence, and sacrificed in a
          cool, premeditated and bloody manner the Prophet Joseph and the
          patriarch Hyrum Smith, at Carthage in the free and sovereign
          State of Illinois. Unappeased with the blood of martyrs, it
          devastated cities, villages and farms, pillaged homes, killed
          defenceless women and children, and finally drove us as a people
          into these mountains. I remember as a child, the pains and
          sorrows of those days of destitution when the aged and the young
          together walked weary miles with blistered feet in the hot sands
          that formed a part of the wilderness which stretched out between
          the so-called civilization and the place of peace and rest, so
          much desired by our people. Heat and cold, hunger and thirst,
          were each and all forgotten in the intense desire to be free from
          the cruel persecution of our enemies. We asked for neither riches
          nor fame, but around the camp fires at night the people were
          inspired with but one prayer during the weary days of that long
          journey--it was for peace and rest--freedom to worship God
          without being molested, without being persecuted by cruel,
          relentless enemies. For the enjoyment of these blessings we were
          willing to forego the comforts of life, associate with savages,
          and dig roots with which to keep body and soul together, as many
          of us had to do.
          For a time we enjoyed comparative peace, but bitter prejudice
          manufactured and fostered by Christian divines and political
          demagogues, has followed us with malice unparalleled. Securing
          the support of public opinion it sent, in 1857, an army to Utah
          to despoil our people, while sedition ripened in the heart of the
          nation. In 1862 it culminated in a congressional enactment
          against a religious tenet, notwithstanding the positive and
          explicit prohibition of the Constitution which forbids Congress
          to pass any law "respecting the establishment of religion or
          preventing the free exercise thereof," it urged and succeeded in
          passing the Poland law, under the provisions of which "Mormon"
          citizens were deprived of trial by an impartial jury of their
          peers, and by the decision of biased judges were not only subject
          to, but some of them actually were, tried by packed juries. At
          the demand of the clergy of the various religious denominations
          throughout the Union the Edmunds bill, substantially as it was
          drafted by clergymen and carpet-bag officials here, became law;
          and without excuse or apology citizens in Utah are deprived of
          franchise, a sacred, blood bought right, without which no
          American can ever feel proud or properly exercise the liberties
          bequeathed by our fathers to their children.
          Now what does it all mean? What can be the object of this unjust,
          inexcusable, unholy raid? Can it be possible that the dominant
          party holding the reins of government, desire to make of the
          people of Utah a race of slaves--fit subjects for fetters and
          chains? I hope not. But if such is the object would it not be
          well to transport us to the flats of the Mississippi river, to
          the swamps of Louisiana, where association with the black
          freedman might accustom us to the chains of slavery that now lie
          rusting in the blood of thousands that were brave and
          true--willing sacrifices at the shrine of human liberty and the
          equal rights of man.
          There, perhaps, restraining bonds might fret and gall until the
          love for liberty and the rights of free men might be forgotten.
          Not so in these mountains. They are high and noble and grand.
          They are the mighty bulwarks of our God. The snows that drift
          upon their lofty peaks, the waters that leap down their steep
          sides and rush through their rugged gorges, are full of the
          harmony that accords with our love for freedom. The very air we
          breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the soil we walk
          upon, inspire the soul with thoughts and a love for liberty
          undreamed of in lands that produce oppressors. Loyal citizens of
          a great government, honest, frugal, just, charitable and obedient
          to constitutional law, we desire to continue while fulfilling our
          mission of peace on earth and good will to man, but while our
          surroundings remain unchanged and Nature's bulwarks stand, with
          the blessings of God we never can become slaves. Oppressions,
          frauds and wrongs we may for a time endure. We may as in the past
          be subjected to annoyances and to the petty tyranny of small
          tyrants, but we know in whom we trust, and we are not ignorant of
          what the final result will be. Traitors may arise and seek to
          trample upon the provisions of the Constitution, but right here
          in these mountains--on the backbone of the continent--will grow
          the men who will preserve intact that sacred inspired charter of
          human rights, under the just provisions of which millions will
          rejoice long after usurpers and traitors shall have been buried
          in oblivion. And right here in this connection I desire to repeat
          what I have said in public once before. In reviewing the
          tribulations through which the Saints have passed, and while
          contemplating the wrongs which they have endured at the hands of
          despoilers, I have felt and said, rather than be robbed as my
          father on several occasions was, on account of his religion, I
          would endeavor to have facts plainly submitted to the President
          of these United States, so that he might fully understand the
          situation, and then, before I would permit my possessions--the
          hard earnings of years of toil--to go into the hands of those who
          covet our property, and who would rob us, as our fathers were
          robbed, I would deed it to, and make a present, if he would
          accept it, of all the property I have to the President and his
          successor in office forever, as a perpetual reminder, that here,
          in free America, whole communities of citizens have been
          plundered, persecuted and deprived of the peaceful possession of
          property without cause and without redress.
          It is said "there are no persons in Utah who desire the property
          of the "Mormons" except upon the fair basis of purchase." I would
          be glad if this were true, for I wish to think well of all men,
          and especially of fellow-citizens, but I fear recent movements
          and present indications will scarcely warrant belief in the
          statement, and if future developments of the plot of conspirators
          do not demonstrate that polygamy was the chosen pretext with
          which to excite and blind the public mind, while unscrupulous
          tricksters sought to transfer the revenues of the Territory and
          virtually the property of the majority of the people through
          increased and excessive taxation, to the control of the
          insignificant minority in this Territory, then I am neither a
          prophet nor the son of a prophet. The passage of the Edmunds bill
          and the means used to make it law, are but a part of the plot
          concocted in this city and endorsed by certain parties east
          against the rights and liberties of the people of Utah. The
          peculiar mathematical calculation by which Governor Murray
          succeeded in counting about 1,300 votes for a person almost
          unknown here, a greater number than over 18,000 cast for Hon.
          George Q. Cannon, the people's choice for Delegate to Congress,
          was but another part of the programme, and one which has, thus
          far, deprived us of representation in the National Legislature,
          and rendered nugatory, to the majority in this Territory, the
          sacred right of franchise. The late President Garfield, in a
          public State document, declared, in effect, that as a person who
          plotted against the life of the king in a monarchical government
          committed treason, so one who tampered with the ballot-box and
          thereby deprived the citizen of his right of franchise also
          committed treason. If this be sound doctrine and authoritatively
          enunciated, what crime has the Governor of Utah Territory
          committed? If the canvassing of those votes and the issuance of a
          certificate of election to a man who received only about
          one-fifteenth of the whole number, foreshadow the future action
          of our chief executive, what have the people of Utah to expect,
          by way of justice, from him? Being neither of, nor from among
          us--depending upon others for the tenure of his office and the
          amount and payment of his salary, we have, perhaps, no reason to
          expect sympathy or disinterested service, but we do have a right
          to expect unbiased justice in the administration of official
          No American citizen having the love of liberty and the rights of
          man at heart, can endorse the course pursued by the Governor in
          the Cannon-Campbell case. I cannot and never expect to. From
          childhood I have been taught to respect officials because of the
          dignity of their offices, and it may be possible to respect the
          office after having lost confidence in the man occupying it. As
          people, our regard for the Government ought perhaps to enable us
          to do this in the future, as in the past. Faithful, loyal
          citizens can afford to do it, and much more, if necessary.
          But says one, "You are thought to be neither faithful nor loyal
          to the Government, and it is believed by many that you make
          secret covenants against it." In answer I have this to say: The
          brain that concocted and the heart that prompted such accusations
          were possessed by the wicked and cruel. We have proven our
          loyalty under circumstances, most trying circumstances, in which
          actions were more weighty than words, deeds than promises.
          The patient, heroic endurance of the "Mormon" battalion while
          making their wondrous march of 2,030 miles, the planting of the
          Stars and Stripes on these mountains and in these valleys, then
          Mexican soil by their fathers, brothers, sisters and wives are
          historical facts, and so are the circumstances under which these
          things were done, historical facts establishing love for, and
          loyalty to our country that no honest man can ever question. As
          to making secret covenants against the Government, I never was
          requested to do it, and would have spurned the request and the
          person making it if I had been. As applied to this people the
          charge is false as those who make it. I think, however, I can
          understand why these false and unjust accusations are made. We
          have been treated from the beginning like an unloved child, when
          asking for bread we have been given a stone, for a fig we have
          been given a serpent. Now, who ever knew a father to be just to
          an unloved child? Or one unwilling to listen to the accusations
          of the favored against him? And here may be applied the saying
          "We can forgive those who injure us, but those we injure, never."
          And that is just the position we occupy. We have been injured,
          repeatedly injured, and those who have injured cannot forgive us.
          They hate us because they know they have wronged us. If statesmen
          and lawmakers disregard the Constitution by overriding and
          trampling on its provisions in their efforts to solve the
          "Mormon" problem, I hold the act to be no less treasonable than
          if performed by private citizens. I say treasonable because
          disregard for the Constitution by the nation's lawmakers, must
          ultimately result in their rejection by the people, or in the
          dissolution of the Government. Thus the charge of law-breaking
          and disloyalty might more consistently come from, than against
          us. Of one thing we are certain: that which is a crime to an
          individual or a community cannot become a virtue in law-makers,
          even though advocated as an expedient. George Washington, in his
          farewell address to the American people, foreseeing, perhaps,
          what might occur, uttered the following forcible sentiments: "If,
          in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of
          the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be
          corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution
          designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though
          this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the
          customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed." Very
          different are these sentiments from those uttered not many years
          since by a prominent republican leader in the House of
          Representatives, who, when asked if he, as a lawyer, would state
          to the House that the measure introduced by him, and then under
          consideration by it, was in its provisions in harmony with the
          Constitution, answered with a sneer, "Why, any justice of the
          peace would tell the gentleman it is not constitutional, but it
          is a measure we want and one we shall pass, and by the time its
          constitutionality is tested, it will have accomplished the object
          we have in view." The same sentiments as those we have referred
          to were clearly and unhesitatingly uttered by members of Congress
          pending the final passage of the Edmunds bill. They show the
          drift of the party, perhaps the spirit of the times, in which the
          sentiments of Washington are below par. Other members, while not
          entertaining such views, lacked moral courage to oppose them.
          Some of them came privately and confessed that the Edmunds bill
          was an infamous measure; but, said they, what can we do? Public
          sentiment is against your people, and we dare not defend you; if
          we do, our constituents will withdraw their support, and we shall
          be retired." The force of such reasoning we may not comprehend,
          but we do feel that we have no desire to have any man sacrifice
          himself or his prospects for us. We are used to oppressions, and
          with the help of God we can stand all the special ex post facto
          laws and bills of attainder which Congress may pass and the
          President approve, and we don't expect much sympathy or
          friendship from the outside either; for we have proven years ago
          that a man never has fewer friends than when he needs them most,
          nor more than when he needs them least. Does a knowledge of this
          fact tend to destroy our confidence in man? No, I think not, but
          it does tend, by showing how weak and unreliable man is, to
          increase our trust in God.
          In asking for a commission of honorable gentlemen to visit Utah
          to investigate affairs before passing judgment upon us, we did
          express as I said before, a hope that we might be fairly tried
          before being convicted. The signers of these petitions knew, and
          their enemies here knew that the charges constantly heaped up
          against this people could be proven utterly false if a chance to
          do so were afforded. But that is just what certain parties did
          not want, fearing that a thorough investigation conducted by
          honorable men would defeat their plot against the people of Utah.
          I speak of these matters as I understand them. I am not and never
          have been radical, but have desired always to view things from an
          impartial standpoint.
          Irrespective of creed or color, I think there is room in Utah for
          all who wish to locate in the Territory, and those who are here
          and others who may come hereafter, should be protected in the
          enjoyment of their rights, and should be free to exercise them so
          long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others. In these
          matters Gentile, Jew and Mormon should stand upon the same level.
          So far as I am concerned I would contend for, and if necessary
          defend the liberties of the one as soon as I would those of the
          other. Naturally I am inclined to be timid, and am disposed to
          shrink from troubles rather than to court them, believing it to
          be better to suffer wrong than to do wrong; but there are
          circumstances under which even the cowardly throw off their
          timidity, and fearlessly assert their rights. I am not able to
          say how patient, long suffering and kind this people may prove
          under the oppressions which wicked plotters may bring upon them;
          but of one thing I am certain and that is, God will permit
          nothing to occur to our hurt. Nor will he, if we are faithful,
          permit the wicked to do anything that will not ultimately prove
          beneficial to those who love and obey Him. With the companionship
          of the Holy Spirit the doctrines of the Priesthood will distil
          upon our minds as the dews of heaven, and we have nothing to
          fear. The time may be near at hand when men's souls will be
          tried, but those possessing the inspiration of the Almighty, will
          bear the test as the faithful and true in other ages have done.
          Unaided by the power of God, we might be placed under
          circumstances that would cause us to fear and tremble and
          possibly plead for life at the sacrifice of allegiance to Him.
          Under the pressure of fear Peter denied his Lord and Master, but
          that transpired before he was "endowed with power from on high."
          From the day of Pentecost, when he received the Comforter, until
          his death no power on earth or beneath could have induced him to
          do such a thing. This fact is attested beyond doubt, by what we
          know of his life and labors subsequent to that awful night, when
          the powers of earth and hell seemed to prevail even over the Son
          of God.
          Deprived of the sustaining powers of the Holy Spirit, the
          Latter-day Saints might yield to the fear of artillery, bullets
          and bayonets, so often recommended by Christian divines as the
          best means with which to solve the "Mormon" problem; but with
          that spirit such agencies become impotent. Confidence in God
          destroys fear, and a knowledge of the resurrection of the just,
          takes away the sting of death. The inspiration and guidance of
          the Holy Spirit have prompted the Presidency and Apostles of this
          Church to open meeting-houses and Tabernacles for ministers of
          various religious denominations to preach in; while our Elders
          were being persecuted, hunted and sometimes whipped by members of
          these same denominations. The contrast between the treatment
          which we have given and that which we have received is very
          great. And if we have not under every circumstance "turned the
          other cheek to be smitten," we have at least tried to do good for
          evil. Without purse or scrip our Elders have faithfully sought to
          preach the Gospel in every Christian land; and while we, here in
          Utah, have extended courtesy and kindness to ministers of
          Christian denominations, many of our Elders have wandered like
          outcasts, sleeping under the hedges and in the woods with leaves
          as their only covering, like their Master, having no place other
          than that provided by nature, to lay their heads. Others when
          provided with places of rest have been called out and flayed with
          hickory withes. Poison has been administered in the food of some,
          and others have been killed.
          How exactly similar this treatment is to that received by the
          Saints of old; and yet Christians appear to be utterly unable to
          learn a lesson from the parallel. To them nothing good can come
          out of Nazareth, and the kingdom of heaven they cannot see, for
          they have not been born again. The world loves its own, but it
          loved not the disciples of Jesus because he called them out of
          the world. On the same principle the world cannot love us. Let us
          realize this fact, and while being just to all men, let us live
          the religion of Jesus Christ, and trust in God. If we are pressed
          on all sides from without, it will tend to unite and make us all
          the more solid. Snow is soft and yielding, melting easily under
          the genial rays of the sun, but press it hard from every side and
          it congeals into a frozen mass, and in that state is capable of
          resisting mighty forces.
          Pressure from without, as observed before, will tend to unite and
          make us better and stronger. Better because the spirit manifested
          towards us by the wicked, will cause us to lay aside the little
          envies and jealousies that may have existed among us. Stronger,
          because the hatred of our enemies will teach us to trust more
          fully in God. And in doing this we shall learn to follow the
          example of the faithful and true. A special law was passed for
          the sole purpose of entrapping the three Hebrew boys. It failed.
          When questioned by the wrathful king they could not say whether
          God would preserve or suffer them to perish, but they could say
          that "they would not fall down and worship the image which the
          king had made." No fault could be found with Daniel, so those who
          were jealous of his growing influence and power succeeded in
          securing the enactment of a special law which they knew he must
          violate or be false to his God. But Daniel was true to God, and
          with his face turned toward Jerusalem, prayed as before. How many
          Daniels or Hebrew boys we have among us I do not know. Lions'
          dens and heated caldrons, prisons and dungeon cells, the rack and
          the rope, have each and all been used to punish those unwilling
          to forsake God, or disobey His laws. They have their terrors, but
          the blood-stained pages of history attest that they have been
          failures when applied as means with which to change men's
          religion, violate conscience, or coerce the human mind. As it has
          been in the past, so it will be in the future; the faithful being
          inspired with the Holy Ghost, will set their hearts upon the
          redemption of Zion, and relying upon the promises, will turn
          their faces towards Jerusalem, pray as before, and follow Jesus
          Christ in life and death. Let the wicked rage and the adversary
          exert his power, the righteous will gain the victory, and when
          thrones are cast down the Saints shall prevail.
          Let us maintain the Constitution of our country, and all laws
          enacted in conformity therewith, realizing that the destruction
          of the Constitution must lead to the ruin and destruction of the
          Union. Let us honor the rulers of the nation and uphold them, by
          faith and prayers as long as it is possible to do so. I desire to
          regard the President as an honorable man. As the chief executive
          of a great nation he should have the confidence and respect of
          the people. Should he select honorable, unbiased gentlemen for
          the Utah commission, as I have reason to hope he will, they can
          do much towards modifying the unjust law under which they must
          act, but whether such are appointed or not, we must continue to
          pray for our enemies and those that despitefully use us, until by
          and by we shall learn the lesson so well that when the little
          stone cut out of the mountains without hands shall roll forth,
          become a mighty mountain, fill the whole earth, and the Saints of
          the Most High have the rule and dominion they will never be
          disposed to oppression.
          I pray for the peace and blessings of God to be with all Israel,
          and with the honest everywhere. Thousands are misguided and
          deceived by priests who preach for money and divine for hire;
          ministers who make merchandize of the souls of men. The mother of
          Harlots has "made all nations to drink of the wine of the wrath
          of her fornication," just as John the Revelator saw she would do,
          but among those nations are many honest, upright ones. For them I
          pray. In conclusion let me impress upon your minds the spirit of
          inspiration given through Joseph the Prophet, while incarcerated
          in Liberty Jail, while suffering the abuse of his enemies, and
          while being deprived of his liberty and the association of family
          and friends for the Gospel's sake, he says, "No power or
          influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the
          Priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness
          and meekness and by love unfeigned.
          By kindness and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the
          soul without hypocrisy, and without guile.
          Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy
          Ghost, and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love
          toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his
          enemy; that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger then
          the cords of death.
          Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to
          the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts
          unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence
          of God, and the doctrine of the Priesthood shall distil upon thy
          soul as the dews from heaven.
          The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy sceptre
          an unchanging sceptre of righteousness and truth, and thy
          dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory
          means it shall flow unto thee for ever and ever.
          May God enable us to learn these things, and to be true and
          faithful to Him, is my prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / John
          Taylor, August 6th, 1882
                            John Taylor, August 6th, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
            Delivered at Logan Conference, Sunday Afternoon, August 6th,
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                             ORGANIZATION--DUTIES OF ITS
                                  SALVATION OF MAN.
          There is one thing I wish to speak about which has already been
          referred to, that is, in regard to your Temple. I can join with
          the brethren in saying that I am very well pleased with the
          progress made on that building, and with the energy and
          liberality that has been manifested towards it. For one I have
          not a word of complaint to make about anything; I think that
          things have been done and managed very well. Some of the speakers
          have given the Trustee-in-Trust credit for doing something
          towards it; but then, that is nothing--it is your means not mine
          particularly, only as one of you. And what you have done you have
          done outside of these things, and consequently I think there is a
          little more credit due to you than to the Trustee-in-Trust. The
          people in this Temple district have furnished about three-fourths
          of the means, and the Trustee-in-Trust about one-fourth. Now we
          do not wish to have any of the employees deprived of what is
          justly their due; for the laborer is worthy of his hire--I did
          not like to hear some of the remarks this morning to the effect
          that we were in debt; we calculate to pay our debts as we go
          along, and then we feel that we have acted justly and are free
          from all responsibilities and care; for all just demands ought
          always to be met. We have kept things along pretty well, and I
          think that we will be able "to put it through." I have been
          talking with Brother Card, who is the superintendent of the
          Temple, and also with the Temple committee; and I will tell you
          what I am prepared to do, if you are prepared to follow suit, and
          thus stop all remarks about tardiness of pay, for it is proper
          that all just obligations ought to be and must be met. Brother
          Card thinks that the sum of $20,000 will complete the building. I
          do not know whether his figures are too much or too little, but
          if that is sufficient, it seems as nothing compared with what we
          have already done. We have got accustomed to it; and it is much
          easier doing a thing when you are used to it than when you are
          not. There is a proposition to the effect that a fifty cent
          donation be made; if that be done and the people are willing to
          respond to it, all well and good; and whatever amount is
          subscribed, I will, as Trustee-in-Trust, add my proportion to it,
          according to the pro-rata in the figures mentioned. What do you
          say, do you think you can stand it? (President W. B. Preston, I
          think we can, we'll try), Brother Preston says he thinks you can
          or will be found trying. I do not know what your donation will
          amount to, and therefore I will undertake to say now that the
          Trustee-in-Trust will be good for $5,000, which it is stated will
          be a fourth of the sum required to finish the work. I would like
          to know now whether you are willing that I, as Trustee-in-Trust,
          should help you to the amount of $5,000? All that are willing
          raise up the right hand. (A forest of hands went up.) I believe
          that is carried. (Laughter.) Now I want you to put to that the
          sum of $10,000. (Here President Taylor's attention was called to
          the fact that he had made a mistake, that the proportion of the
          people would be $15,000 instead of $10,000.) I am reminded that I
          have made a mistake, that it should be $15,000. Will the clerk
          please give us the correct figures so that we may do things
          understandingly. (The clerk ascertained that the Trustee-in-Trust
          had paid more than one-fourth but not quite one-third.) We will
          not be too precise about these matter, perhaps it would be as
          well to err on that side as on the other, for in any event, we
          are all of us desirous to see the work progress and have all our
          liabilities met. Well, we'll let it go at 10,000. I propose to
          give you my portion on demand that these men may get their pay,
          and then allow you a little time to get in your harvest which
          will give you an opportunity to accomplish your end of the
          matter. What do you say? The question was put to vote and carried
          There were some remarks made about liquor drinking this morning,
          and some people seem to think that there is a great difficulty
          about managing these things, but I don't think there is if we can
          only manage ourselves. I feel like giving you credit for what you
          have done in this respect, and hope that you will be able to keep
          it up.
          I want to state here, that God has organized His Church in such a
          way that all of these matters can be arranged within the Church,
          law or no law, if we will only do our duty, and each of us
          magnify our calling and our Priesthood in the various positions
          that we occupy in the Church and kingdom of God. And it is a much
          better principle than the civil law, as the civil law is
          frequently perverted by mal-administration and made to operate in
          such a way as to trample on the rights of man.
          The organization of the Church is after the plan that exists in
          heaven, and according to the principles that God has revealed in
          the interest of His Church upon the earth and for the advancement
          and rolling forth of his kingdom. We start in with the Teacher
          and with the Priest, whose duty it is to know the position of all
          the members in their several districts; if they do their duty
          they will know really and truly the position of all those who
          come under their charge. Their duty is very simple. What is it?
          They are to see that there is no hard feeling existing in the
          breasts of the Saints one towards another; that there are no
          dishonest or fraudulent acts, no lasciviousness or corruption, no
          lying, false accusations, profanity or drunkenness; and that the
          people call upon God in prayer in their various households--the
          father and mother and children, and that all perform their
          various duties and do right. I look upon it that the Teachers and
          the Priests occupy a very important position in the Church and
          kingdom of God; and that if they perform their duty aright, there
          will be no hard speaking; there will be no hard feelings, no
          bitterness or wrath; there will be no fraud no lasciviousness of
          any kind, no drunkenness, nor will there be any bitter or
          improper feelings of any kind; for it is their right and
          privilege to look after these things, and not only their right
          and privilege but their duty; and if they do not fulfill this,
          they are not magnifying their calling and Priesthood. But if they
          are and people are disposed to listen to them, then everything
          will be right in regard to this matter. And if there are those
          who are not disposed to listen to them and to do right, then it
          becomes the duty of the Teachers, after pleading with them and
          doing the best they can, to report them to their Bishop; and then
          it devolves upon him to do his part, not in anger or animosity or
          in the spirit of vindictiveness, but as a savior; and the Teacher
          and the Priest ought to act in the same way. And while God has
          organized His Church upon the earth after the plan that exists in
          the heavens, it is for the various officers in the Church to
          fulfill the duties devolving upon them, acting in all kindness,
          long-suffering and mercy before the Lord, yet with justice and
          judgment, that the law of God may be honored, that the principles
          of righteousness may be exalted, that the workers of iniquity may
          be ashamed, that the meek may increase their joy in the Lord, and
          the poor among men may rejoice in the Holy One of Israel; that
          righteousness and truth may prevail among the people of God; and
          we may act not in name only, but in reality as the Saints of God,
          without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
          If any persons then should feel that they are aggrieved by the
          acts of the Teacher or the Bishop; if they should think that they
          have been unnecessarily harshly dealt with, they have the right
          of appeal to the High Council--High Priests selected from among
          the people and set apart because of their fidelity, their
          integrity, their honor and their justice--at least these are the
          kind of qualifications necessary to fill this calling. And if
          upon an appeal to the High Council on any of these matters (of
          course including drunkenness), they find there has been
          unnecessary harshness, it would be for them to remedy the evil,
          to see that justice is done and that no man is oppressed; on the
          contrary that all have their rights, freedom, liberty and equal
          justice in righteousness without fear or favor.
          When things are attended to in this way they move along all
          right. If professed Saints will not obey the law of God, but
          violate the commands of the Almighty, they are not fit to be the
          servants and handmaids of the Lord. We are told that they must be
          dealt with according to rules laid down in the law of God, by the
          proper persons that He has placed in His Church for that purpose.
          I heard a man not long ago say that in the place he lived he had
          seen a great many people drunk; it was one of those places
          abounding with saloons in which they could get beastly drunk; and
          that some of those who thus indulged were Elders, High Priests,
          etc. The man himself was a High Priest. If I had seen such men I
          should have gone to them and told them what course to pursue to
          stop those infamies. Every Elder in Israel ought to be on the
          watch-tower as watchmen upon the walls of Zion. Where iniquity
          prevails or evil of any kind, it is for them to do what they can
          to stem the current of evil and to lift up and exalt the people
          that they may comprehend correct principles, live their religion
          and be prepared to receive the blessings of Jehovah. When I was
          quite a boy--I was not a Mormon then, but I had principles of
          humanity nevertheless--there was an old gentleman whom I
          respected, he was a good man, a praying man--he had a wife who
          did not want to pray, and who interfered with his devotions; she
          was uneasy and turbulent, and a kind of thorn in his flesh. Under
          these trials he got along very well, but it used to drive him to
          the Lord. After a while she died and he married again; this time
          to a very amiable lady; his wife was so pleasant and agreeable
          that the change in his circumstances was very great. Being thus
          comfortably situated he became remiss in some of his religious
          duties, and commenced by giving way to the temptation of liquor.
          Seeing the course he was taking I went to him. I felt a little
          bashful on account of my youth at the time, but because of long
          friendship and out of respect for his many good qualities, I felt
          it a duty to bring these delinquencies to his notice; I told him
          that I had seen him drunk a few days previously, and that it had
          hurt me very much to see him in such a state, as his course had
          always been exemplary and he was a man whom I respected very
          highly. He appreciated my good feelings, saying that he felt
          disgraced and promised to mend his ways. Now that was not
          "Mormonism," but it was a correct feeling. Cannot we, as
          Latter-day Saints, do as much good as those who are not
          Latter-day Saints? Cannot we go after our brethren and sisters
          when they do wrong, with love and affection, and lead them in the
          paths of life? But then, if they will not do it after much
          persuasion, it becomes our duty to deal with them as the law of
          God directs; but in doing this we ought to be full of love and
          kindness one toward another, and not be harsh, acrimonious or
          desirous to place them in a wrong; such feelings do not become
          Latter-day Saints. We ought to cherish feelings of kindness and
          love and longsuffering; but we do not want our charity to cover
          too many sins. Everybody is at liberty to do this, whoever he may
          be, it being our privilege to do good, to try to redeem and exalt
          our fellow-men, and to act as saviors upon Mount Zion. But when
          people will not do right, are we to foster the wrong? No, God
          forbid. We talk sometimes about the celestial glory, the
          terrestrial glory and the telestial glory, do you think that a
          man will get the celestial glory if he does not abide the law of
          the celestial kingdom? You Latter-day Saints know better. Well,
          then, if men are disposed to do wrong, to violate the
          commandments of God and yield to evils of various kinds, is a
          Bishop authorized, or is the High Council authorized to cover up
          those sins and allow them to go on? I tell you No, they are not.
          And if the Priest and the Teacher do not do their duty, it is for
          the Bishop to look after them to see that they do their duty. And
          if the Bishop does not do his duty in this respect, it becomes
          the duty of the President of the Stake to do it, to see that
          righteousness prevails, that the principles of truth are
          sustained, that the Gospel of the Son of God is honored, and that
          the principles of equity, justice and righteousness and the fear
          of God are maintained in their purity in the Stake over which he
          presides. And if the President of the Stake does not attend to
          this duty, then it devolves upon the First Presidency to see that
          no iniquity exists in the Church. And when these things are done
          we are then in a position to approach God our Heavenly Father to
          ask and receive, to seek and find and to knock and have the door
          opened unto us.
          And besides these offices, which are the leading, prominent media
          or channels through which these things are reached, there are
          other methods by which they can be adjusted. The Twelve, where
          they go, are expected to regulate matters of this kind. We have a
          Quorum of High Priests in each Stake, and it is for them to
          exercise themselves and their influence individually and as a
          Quorum in the interests of righteousness and virtue and the
          maintenance of the principles connected with the kingdom of God.
          They have no particular position or calling; they are ordained to
          the High Priesthood, and it is for their President to meet with
          them and have them humble themselves before God, and seek for the
          guidance of His Holy Spirit and the light of revelation; "for
          this ordinance" we are told in the Doctrine and Covenants, "is
          instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be
          appointed standing Presidents or servants over different Stakes
          scattered abroad, and they may travel also if they choose, but
          rather be ordained for standing Presidents; this is their office
          and calling saith the Lord your God;" that they may comprehend
          the principles of law, of government, of justice and equity, and
          watch over, not only themselves, but their families and friends,
          associations and neighborhoods, and act as fathers in Israel,
          looking after the welfare of the people and exerting a salutary
          influence over the Saints of the Most High God.
          Again, we have our organization of Seventies, and they ought to
          see that there is no iniquity among their quorums--no
          drunkenness, no whoredom, no fraud, nothing that is wrong or
          improper, unholy or impure; but that they are men of God chosen
          and set apart as messengers to the nations of the earth, and
          wherever they reside it is their duty, and it is the duty of all
          men in Israel, to see that there is no iniquity, to use their
          influence on the side of right, and to put down wrong.
          Then again, the same thing will apply to Elders. The Elder is
          ordained in many instances to act as a standing minister among
          the people, to preach to them, to instruct them as we are doing
          and as your missionaries are doing and as others are doing,
          preaching among the people at home, and frequently going abroad
          as circumstances may require.
          Now, while we are here, we do not want to hear a man laugh and
          say, "Brother so-and-so is as drunk as a fool." Why do you not go
          to him and speak of this evil to himself? Why do you not go and
          try to put him on the right road, and tell him to walk in it? Why
          not ask him to go with you before the Lord to confess his sins,
          to seek for assistance to overcome his weakness? In doing this
          you help him, and you help one another to do right, not in the
          spirit of laughter or lightness; that is not becoming the Saints
          of the Most High, but it should be in the spirit of kindly regard
          and affection.
          We have also our Young Men's Mutual Improvement Associations, and
          I am pleased to find so good an influence prevailing among them,
          yet there are many things that are wrong even among them. They
          need watching over; they require to look after one another and
          use a kind supervisory care over their morals, and if any among
          them should go astray, to admonish them and lead them in another
          path. Then we have our Young Ladies' Associations; they are
          trying what they can do in leading the female youth in the right
          way. And when they see the daughters of Israel liable to be led
          astray, let them labor with them, treat them kindly, preserve
          them from evil, and guide them in the paths of life. We none of
          us are preserved only as we are preserved of God.
          Brother Joseph F. Smith spoke rightly this morning when he said,
          that no man could guide this kingdom; he cannot unless God be
          with him and on the side of the Elders of Israel. But with Him on
          their side, all things will move on aright, and the intelligence
          and the revelations of God will be poured out. His law will be
          made known and the principles of truth be developed; or it is not
          the kingdom of God. And we all of us ought to humble ourselves
          before God, and seek for the guidance of the Almighty.
          There are forces at work in the world that will in time overturn
          the world, which are to-day sapping the foundation of all
          governments and eating as a canker the foundation of all rule and
          dominion; and by and by their thrones will be cast down and
          nations and empires will be overturned, for God will arise to
          purge the world from its iniquities, its evils and corruptions.
          And we have more or less of the principle of insubordination
          among us. But there is a principle associated with the kingdom of
          God that recognizes God in all things; and that recognizes the
          Priesthood in all things; and those who do not do it had better
          repent or they will come to a stand very quickly; I tell you that
          in the name of the Lord. Do not think that you are wise and that
          you can manage and manipulate the Priesthood, for you cannot do
          it. God must manage, regulate, dictate and stand at the head and
          every man in his place. The ark of God does not need steadying,
          especially by incompetent men without revelation and without a
          knowledge of the kingdom of God and its laws. It is a great work
          that we are engaged in; and it is for us to prepare ourselves for
          the labor before us, and to acknowledge God, His authority, His
          law and His Priesthood in all things.
          I have men come to me sometimes with some great complaints to
          make about their Bishop. I hear them, but I either send them back
          to their Bishop or to their President as circumstances dictate.
          Then I have Bishops come to me finding fault with their
          Presidents. I send them back to their Presidents, and write to
          those whose business it is to attend to it. I acknowledge every
          man in his place and office, whether President, Bishop, Priest,
          Teacher or Deacon; and then they should acknowledge everybody
          over them, or God will destroy them. I tell you that in the name
          of the Lord. I know what I am saying. I tell you it is the word
          and the will of the Lord. Do not be wise above what is written.
          Do not be too anxious to be too smart, to manage and manipulate
          and to put things right; but pray for those that God has placed
          in the different offices of this Church that they may be enabled
          to perform their several duties. The Lord will sustain His
          servants and give them His Holy Spirit and the light of
          revelation, if they seek Him in the way that he has appointed,
          and He will lead them and lead you in the right path. This is the
          order of the kingdom of God, as I understand it, and not the
          other. And it is for us to learn that order and be obedient to
          it. And thus by obedience to the law of the Priesthood,
          drunkenness and all other immoralities can be rooted out and
          The work of God is growing and increasing, and it will continue
          to do so until the words of the prophet will be fulfilled who
          said, "A little one shall become a thousand; and a small one a
          strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time" but He
          expects every man in his place to magnify his calling and to
          honor his God. And while there are evils of the kind I speak of,
          there is a great amount of good, of virtue, of self-abnegation,
          and a great desire to do the will of God, and carry out His
          purposes. And it is for every man and every woman to do his and
          her part.
          The Relief Societies are doing a great work generally throughout
          the land; and the Young Men's and the Young Women's Associations
          are doing a great work; but I am sorry to say I sometimes hear of
          occasional acts of fornication among our young people. Our young
          men go to labor on railroads and mix up with the foul mouthed and
          corrupt, and I am sorry to say, that once in a while they copy
          after their ways. Fathers and mothers, look after your sons. You
          members of the different societies, look after your members and
          try to save the erring and lead them in the paths of life.
          There is a great zeal and a great interest manifested in Sunday
          schools, which is also very praiseworthy. It is a good work for
          us to be engaged in. Continue in it. And let all perform their
          parts, whether in Sunday school, in Relief Societies, in Mutual
          Improvement Associations or otherwise; and let all seek to act
          with a single eye towards the glory of God.
          We are living in an important age. Time is marching on, and
          events of great magnitude and importance are transpiring. The
          nation in which we lie has been moved against us. That is all
          right so far as God permits it; but if we fear him and keep his
          commandments as a people, no power arrayed against us can harm
          us. God will come forth to the deliverance of his people, and he
          will save his elect if they will only do right and obey his laws.
          We can do nothing unless assisted by the Almighty, neither can
          this nation, only as he permits. If we do right he has told us
          "the wrath of man shall praise me, and the remainder I will
          restrain." God lives, and his eyes are over us, and his angels
          are round and about us, and they are more interested in us than
          we are in ourselves, ten thousand times, but we do not know it.
          We become self-willed and captious, and lack in a great many
          instances that liberality, kindness and charity that ought to
          dwell in the bosoms of the Saints of God. The Lord is a great
          deal more interested in his work than we are. We think a great
          deal about our farms and our houses, our wives and our children,
          which is all very proper. He is thinking about the redemption of
          the earth, the regeneration of the world, the salvation of the
          living and the dead, and the accomplishment of the purposes
          spoken of by all the holy Prophets since the world began. And it
          is for us to be co-workers with him. He is pleased with your
          efforts in building this Temple; and the angels rejoice as they
          see you go forth to prepare a place in which you may labor for
          the living and the dead. People will be called upon to labor, as
          a mission in those Temples when built. And you will rejoice too,
          for while you are engaged in the work of God, it always brings
          peace and joy. A Temple built to the name of the Lord is a most
          delightful place to labor in: we feel that we are saviors upon
          Mount Zion, and that the kingdom is the Lord's, and that we are
          operating for God and not for ourselves, but in the interest of
          our common humanity and in the salvation of the world.
          Let us attend to our duties and do not get up any quarrels in our
          families. Husbands treat your wives with kindness and try to make
          your home a heaven for them; and train your children in the fear
          of God. Then you sisters, treat your husbands aright; be full of
          kindness, for we are, as the old woman says, all "poor,
          miserable, independent sinners." We have need of more
          longsuffering, we need the assistance of one another, and the
          help of the Almighty. Let us try to do right.
          There are a great many things open to my mind which I would like
          to talk about; there are one or two, however, to which I will
          refer. We have a great work to perform? Who? We Seventies, we
          Elders we Priests. What have we to do? We are required to build
          Temples and administer in them. What else? We have to take the
          Gospel to the world, as we have been doing and are doing, and to
          progress with it; to advance correct principles among men, and to
          lead them in the paths of life and salvation; to gather them to
          Zion and to teach them when we get them here; to go on and
          control matters; to learn to manage ourselves and our own
          affairs, and not trouble ourselves too much with outside matters.
          We talk sometimes about the nation being inimical to us. Whoever
          dreamed of anything else? I never did. What did the Elders preach
          to you, say 10, 30 or 40 years ago? It was that the people of the
          world would grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
          Do you expect it is going to get better? I do not. What did Jesus
          say in his day? He said: "If ye were of the world, the world
          would love its own," that is the kind of love that exists in the
          world. It does not amount to much--it is love to-day and hate
          to-morrow, as the case may be. But continued the Savior: "Because
          ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,
          therefore the world hateth you." What did he say again? "Blessed
          are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say
          all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and
          be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so
          persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Then there
          is nothing strange about it, is there? Some people think that
          because the priests of Baal lie so outrageously about us, that we
          ought to be angry. Why that is their profession; for they are of
          their father the Devil, his works they will do, and he was a liar
          from the beginning. By and by when we and they get through, we
          shall find that all liars will have their portion with hypocrites
          and unbelievers; and they together with whoremongers and
          sorcerers, will be found outside the holy city. But we have to
          take the brunt of it. No matter, we can stand it. As I said to
          some prominent gentlemen--Members of Congress--who were here
          recently, You are cutting up rather peculiar antics down in
          Washington. It does not matter much, however, as our potatoes
          grow all the same. That is how I feel about it. Let them attend
          to their father's business, and we will attend to our Father's
          business, and trust in him and pursue that course that will be
          right in his sight. We do not want to get up any excitement about
          anything. Let us lean upon the Lord, seek to Him and ask for what
          we want, do right and we shall receive. And while they are
          treating us badly we will treat them as well as the circumstances
          will admit of, and follow out the instructions of Jesus, who told
          us to do good for evil; and so far as we are concerned we will
          save them if possible, in spite of themselves.
          The Lord is operating upon the Lamanites, and many of them are
          being baptized into the Church. Some people think all that we
          have to do is to baptize them, that they are a poor miserable set
          of outcasts. This is not the case. Some of us were poor miserable
          outcasts before we came into the Church, and we needed the
          ministrations of the Elders, the teachings of the Holy
          Priesthood, and the blessings arising from the organization of
          the Church. Do not you think that they need the same kind of
          treatment? How would you like a mission, some of you High Priests
          and Seventies, to proclaim the Gospel to that fallen race, that
          Israel may have an equal chance with us, for God expects it at
          our hands. We received that record (Book of Mormon) through their
          ancient prophets and those same prophets are now beginning to
          communicate with them and to unfold unto them the work that he
          has commenced with us, and we shall have more of these things by
          and by. It is proper that our feelings should be drawn out after
          those whom the Lord is operating upon, that we may act in
          conjunction with the Lord in leading them in the paths of life.
          This is a duty that devolves upon you Elders of Israel, for as he
          has commenced to labor with them we ought to be one with him. I
          have taken the liberty recently to request the Twelve to attend
          to this; and they will call upon the Seventies, the High Priests
          and others, that is, they will if they do their duty. What do you
          think of it? I think that the field is enlarging and that our
          labors are increasing and becoming more extensive. We ought to
          feel like little children; we ought to feel like humbling
          ourselves before God, seeking to be one and to enjoy the light of
          His Holy Spirit, saying O Lord God, I am a poor feeble creature,
          thou hast called me to Thy work and hast clothed me with the Holy
          Priesthood; and now I want to magnify it; I want to be a savior
          on Mount Zion; I want to preside anywhere, or preach anywhere, or
          do any labor that Thou shalt call upon me to do, that I may feel
          that I am Thy servant and that Thou art my God, and that I am for
          Israel, and for the salvation of the white man, the red man and
          all mankind. That is the position we are in. These are some of
          the things of which you will hear more by and by. I thought I
          would only tell you a part as perhaps you could not bear it all.
          God bless you, and God bless all Israel, and God bless all who
          are in favor of righteousness, truth and equal rights; and may
          the Lord God confound the enemies of Israel, and all who are
          opposed to just rule and righteous government, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 /
          Erastus Snow, February 26th, 1882
                          Erastus Snow, February 26th, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY APOSTLE ERASTUS SNOW,
                      Delivered in the Salt Lake Assembly Hall,
                       Sunday Afternoon, February 26th, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                     HIS CAUSE.
          Since coming to the stand I have been requested to address the
          I will read the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th verses of the 25th chapter
          of Genesis.
          "And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.
          But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham
          gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet
          lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years.
          Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an
          old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.
          How far I shall confine myself to the matter contained in this
          passage I cannot say. The present eventful period of our lives,
          the prejudices which now move the people of our nation concerning
          us, and the pressure that is being brought upon us chiefly
          through the religious element of the country to influence
          Congress to extraordinary legislation against us, are perhaps,
          the reasons why my mind reverts to the historical facts contained
          in the Scripture I have just read, which was given unto us by men
          of old who, until quite a recent date, have been generally
          revered by all Christians; and even now a large majority of the
          Christian sects of America respect and reverence the ancient
          fathers, their teachings and writings while the sacred Book is
          closed, but ignore in their daily lives what those worthies
          believed and practised.
          The word translated concubine in this Scripture must not be
          confounded with the modern practice which obtains so largely in
          the great cities of Christendom, and with the more wealthy
          portions of old communities. I refer to the practice sometimes
          called concubinage, the practice of marrying under the law one
          wife, and at the same time keeping privately one or more
          mistresses who are not obtruded upon society, having no claim to
          the honored name of wife--a practice which permits those who
          indulge in it to gratify the carnal passions at the expense of
          public virtue, and at the risk of entailing disease upon unborn
          posterity, as well as at the expense of the present and eternal
          welfare of their partners, I will say in sin; for no
          right-minded, correct-thinking person can pronounce it otherwise
          than it has been pronounced by the sacred writers both of the old
          and New Testament--a species of lewdness and, if not classed with
          open harlotry, a violation of sacred marital vows. Those who have
          solaced their consciences or justified themselves in this
          departure from law and public sentiment, no doubt feel partial
          justification from the practices of the ancients who were looked
          up to and revered; but such was not the concubinage of Abraham,
          nor any of the ancient patriarchs, such was not the system that
          obtained under the law of Moses in ancient Israel.
          The word translated concubinage in King James version of the
          Bible, is translated by Luther and is found in Scandinavia and
          Germany, where the Lutheran translation still prevails, as
          meaning an associated wife. In the Danish Bible it is hustro for
          wife and medhustro for concubine; the sacred name of wife is
          given to both classes, the preposition med connecting them
          together and conveying the idea of the second class being an
          associated wife, or a wife in a secondary or subordinate
          position, in contradistinction to the first. Close students of
          the Bible have not failed to recognize this as being the
          character of the plural wives of Moses and the prophets. And it
          was practised as an institution of the Jewish nation down to the
          coming of our Savior, and, so far as any scriptures appear in the
          New Testament, this institution was neither abrogated nor in
          anywise condemned, while harlotry and promiscuous intercourse of
          the sexes--adultery and fornication are condemned in the severest
          We have a great variety of views in Christendom, as to the will
          and mind of God pertaining to the union of the sexes as relating
          to each other, to the state and to our present and future
          happiness. The Latter-day Saints regard the intercourse of the
          sexes, both in time and in eternity, as regulated by sacred law
          given by our Father in heaven who has organized us male and
          female for a wise purpose in Himself, and that purpose is made
          manifest in the first great command given to our first parents,
          namely, to multiply and replenish the earth. And the saying to
          the woman after her transgression as written in the book of
          Genesis, that her desires should be towards her husband and he
          should rule over her--the desires planted in the breast of the
          woman tending to draw to the opposite sex culminating in a union,
          is a wise dispensation of Providence for the accomplishing of the
          great end in view to encourage and stimulate them to multiply and
          replenish the earth, and take upon themselves the cares, labors,
          anxieties and responsibilities attending the rearing of families.
          And among the many different views entertained in Christendom
          concerning the commerce of the sexes we might say, there exists
          every variety of belief and practice growing out of these
          beliefs. We have in Christian America a religious sect--not very
          numerous to be sure--who held the union of the sexes to be sinful
          in any form whatever. This sect I hardly need say is the Shaking
          Quakers; and to become a member of their society,--a person
          already married would be required to dissolve his marriage
          relationship; a husband and wife joining that society would be
          required to do the same, and to abstain from each other for ever
          afterwards, all connection with the sexes being strictly
          forbidden as an evil that may be tolerated in the carnal world,
          but not among those who desire to appear pure and holy before the
          Lord. This first commandment referred to, as having been given to
          father Adam and mother Eve, was in the days of their purity,
          before their transgressions, when they were worthy to converse
          with God face to face; this being the case, if there was no other
          reason, what philosophy can condemn that command or a proper and
          just effort to keep it? There is no reason, to my mind, to
          condemn it, when regulated by law, as an act of impurity; to do
          so would be a direct reflection upon the wisdom and purity of God
          Of course, this is the general view taken of it by Christian
          nations, as shown in their acts and in their laws regulating it.
          Although the Roman Catholic Church prohibits intercourse with the
          sexes to sacred orders, they being, according to the rites of the
          church forbidden to marry. And however much some may doubt the
          iniquity of their holy vows, it is a matter too well known to
          call in question. The more general sentiment of Christians
          recognizes the purity and uprightness of marriage of a man to one
          woman; and they quote the following words of the Apostle Paul to
          testify to it, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed
          undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." But
          the majority of modern Christians consider that for a man to
          marry more than one wife while she lives and is his wife is sin.
          Now I will undertake to say respecting the two conditions of
          marriage, single and plural, that where the duties and
          obligations are the same, and the husband is equally honorable,
          just and virtuous, faithful and true to his wives and children,
          that there is not necessarily any greater impurity existing
          between such a man and his plural family, than between a man and
          his single family; that there is not necessarily a defilement of
          the marriage bed, that there is not necessarily defilement of the
          body or spirit. When the institution of marriage is founded in
          religious sentiment and is confirmed by the enduring love of
          husband, wives and children, and the responsibilities attending
          that relationship, as we find it in many of the ancient worthies,
          there is not necessarily any defilement in plural marriage. There
          was not necessarily defilement in father Abraham and other
          ancient patriarchs and prophets who took to themselves a second
          or a third or a fourth wife, any more than there was in those who
          confined themselves to one wife. Nor have I ever heard from any
          creature--and I have read and heard much and reflected much,
          because our institution of marriage has invited discussion and
          reflection upon this subject. I have never yet heard an argument
          that, to my mind, appeared sound against the marriage of an
          honorable man to two women any more than to one. And the only
          argument that has ever been presented that has had a semblance of
          soundness is the generally admitted fact of the near equality of
          the sexes which would seem to foreshadow the general purpose and
          design of providence that one man should have only one wife. I
          have never heard an argument relating to the physical effects of
          the institution, nor as relating to the state of society that
          could not be applied just as appropriately to monogamy. The
          opposers of plural marriage make many declarations against us
          which are untrue, which they do not understand because they
          accept the reports of certain persons who give way to a lying
          spirit, and misrepresent and belie people far better than
          themselves. The selfishness and weakness of human nature, the
          evils which manifest themselves from time to time between
          families and between husband and wife, and between wives and
          children are quoted as evils greatly to be deplored as growing
          out of this system. I will only say in regard to this, that those
          best acquainted with the inner workings of the system among the
          Latter-day Saints throughout all of their settlements, if they
          testify honestly and truthfully as to the result of their careful
          observations extending over a period of over thirty years--the
          time that this system of plural marriage has been practised by us
          in these mountains, they would, in effect, say, that there is
          less discontent, less strife and fewer family broils and less
          divorce, and less casting off wives and casting upon the
          community of children without care, than would be found in the
          same number of monogamic families. And I may here say, that
          statistics will bear me out in making this assertion. To those
          who are not posted in the matter this may appear incredible; and
          the majority of the christian world would think it impossible
          judging from their standpoint; and what they see and hear among
          themselves, and judging by the spirit by which they are animated,
          they would, I admit, pronounce this a thing impossible. But it is
          simply because they are not imbued with the faith of the
          Latter-day Saints, and this being the case they cannot understand
          the motives that prompt us to enter into this relationship. They
          cannot comprehend the spirit that governs us, the devout
          God-fearing spirit of self-sacrifice which leads us onward to all
          that is noble, forbearing and long-suffering, that teaches us to
          love one another and to be charitable to all men, and which
          teaches us that the relationships which we make through the
          marriage covenant are but the foundation of eternal glory and
          exaltation in the worlds to come; and it also teaches us that the
          glories of the future that open up before us are greatly
          dependent upon the faithfulness of our relationships and
          associations in this life; and that a man must be found capable
          to properly govern and guide his family and preserve in time the
          wives and children that are given to him, leading them in the way
          of life and salvation, and rearing his children in all that is
          pure and praiseworthy, so that he can receive them in the morning
          of the first resurrection, there to have the Father confirm upon
          him his wives and children, the foundation of his individual
          kingdom which will exist for ever and ever. The outside world
          cannot comprehend this, and simply because they cannot believe
          it. It is this same religious sentiment that prompts women and
          the best of women, the most devout women, women of the purest
          motive and character to enter into this sacred relationship, and
          to cause them to determine in their own minds that they would
          sooner be associated with a man who has proven himself a man of
          integrity, a man of strict virtue and honor, who can be relied
          upon by God and man--they would rather trust themselves with such
          a man than to be the only wife of a man devoid of these
          qualifications, a man who, perhaps, for the want of such high
          motives would be the victim of many vices, of whoredom, of
          concubinage or illicit intercourse with the sexes, and defile
          himself and destroy the confidence of his family in him, or he
          would perhaps indulge in drunkenness and other kindred vices
          which would be the means of producing the same result. And such
          has been the experience of many women in monogamy. And I do not
          say that the weaknesses of mankind do not manifest themselves in
          plural families; I do not say that there are not some who may be
          urged on by fleshy lust, but if there are it results in their
          making shipwreck of their faith and becoming, in time, a lasting
          disgrace to themselves. But where there is one example of this
          kind, under our polygamic system, there are at least two under
          the monogamic order that might be cited, who make shipwreck of
          their faith, who sacrifice their honor, and whose family send
          forth a wail of grief for the loss of confidence in husband and
          father. Adultery, fornication, whoredom, God will judge; every
          form of licentiousness He has condemned in His word from the
          beginning of the world to the present. And if follies are
          manifested by some who profess to be Latter-day Saints in this
          direction, so we may cite similar weakness manifested by ancient
          men of God; not, however, to justify such cases but merely as
          examples of human weaknesses.
          Referring again to Abraham, and his wife Sarai. They are held up
          in sacred Scripture as models of noble character, purity of
          purpose, piety, devotion and superior integrity to God, who
          hesitated not to obey Him at all hazards even to the sacrifice of
          that which was nearest and dearest unto them. This Sarai, one of
          the noblest of women, received the promise of her son Isaac while
          in old age, a promise made to her by the angel of God, and this
          because of her barrenness and because too of the integrity of her
          heart towards her husband and her willingness to sacrifice her
          womanly feeling in giving to her husband other wives. And after
          she had given to Abraham Hagar, that she might bear him children,
          mark the Scripture: It was for the purpose that he might not be
          childless because she was childless. It was after she had thus
          sacrificed her womanly feeling, thereby manifesting her love and
          integrity to her husband, that the Lord had compassion upon her
          and granted the desire of her heart, promising her that she
          should in course of time bring forth a son, and telling her that
          his name should be Isaac, in whom and in whose seed all the
          nations of the earth were to be blessed. And it was after this
          lad was partly grown, that God commanded Abraham to take this
          promised child on to the Mount Moriah, and there build an altar
          and offer him up as a sacrifice. Abraham in this was tried as few
          men ever were tried; for his love was great for his son whom he
          would naturally regard as a special gift of the Lord to him,
          through whom no less a personage than the Messiah himself should
          come. Yet Abraham doubted not, he paused not to consider what the
          possible result might be of keeping this command; but he trusted
          in God as Paul said of him, "that God was able to raise him up,
          even from the dead from whence also he received him in a figure."
          He trusted in God and doubted not; and proceeded to Mount Moriah
          and there built an altar, and when everything was in readiness he
          bound the lad, and while in the act of raising the deadly knife,
          he heard a voice saying, "Abraham, Abraham, lay not thine hand
          upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him; for now I know
          that thou fearest God, seeing that thou hast not withheld thy
          son, thine only son from me." And then the Lord went on to say,
          that because of this willingness on the part of Abraham to obey
          Him even to the sacrificing of his only son, "That in blessing I
          will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as
          the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the sea
          shore," etc. Now, I will give back unto you your son, and in
          blessing I will bless him and multiply him, and in him and his
          seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. It was
          because of this precious promise, no doubt, that he desired to
          give his sons opportunities to develop and to make manifest among
          the surrounding tribes the character that was in him, that he
          divided out his goods and gave gifts to the sons of the other
          wives and sent them away, but gave his chief inheritance to his
          son Isaac.
          While contemplating this I can hardly refrain from dropping a
          word of exhortation to my brethren who may be drawing near the
          close of life, not to neglect to make such disposition of their
          worldly effects as will suitably provide for their wives and
          children while they (the brethren) yet live, following the
          example of Abraham, not that by any means would I encourage this
          example in all particulars; for it is not always as it was in the
          case of Abraham that God has made choice of one particular son in
          whom their seed shall be called; but common justice and equity
          requires of every father to deal fairly with each wife and child
          according as God has dealt with him in this world's goods, that
          he may retain their esteem after he shall have departed from
          them. Nor should he trust too much to the uncertainty of courts
          at the present time; for we have in too many instances seen to
          our sorrow that federal courts, whenever they have had it in
          their power, or wherever they could, either by strained
          construction of the law, or by omissions of the law, wrong a
          plural family by giving to the first wife and her heirs that
          which should have been equitably divided among all the family,
          they have never missed the opportunity of doing it, thinking that
          by bringing oppression and injustice to bear they will succeed in
          discouraging the practice of this system of marriage. There is
          nothing in the faith of the Latter-day Saints or in the laws of
          God touching this matter that would prompt aught but justice and
          equality to all the wives and children. The duty of the husband
          is plain in this respect. And the duty of all wives and children
          is to love each other and the husband and father; all cherishing
          that love of the Gospel which binds our hearts together, and
          which alone can carry us through the trials and tribulations of
          life, and lift us up at the last day.
          One would suppose from the hue and cry abroad in the land, which
          emanates chiefly from the clergy, that they are afraid the
          institutions of the Latter-day Saints will contaminate the whole
          land. What hypocrisy! I can hardly exercise patience sufficient
          to treat it with any degree of sobriety.
          I am a native-born American; I was reared in the State of
          Vermont. In my early days the doctrine taught to our first
          parents, to multiply and replenish the earth, was popular; but
          during the period of my life that has elapsed, it has been almost
          totally ignored by the social circles of New England. When I last
          visited the old homestead, an old aunt nearly ready to go into
          her grave, told me that it was irregular for people now-a-days to
          have large families. And it seems that this is the prevailing
          sentiment of that region; for in traveling through New England it
          was rarely I saw a woman with more than two or three children.
          Any of the older families, those honored matrons of New England,
          who lived contemporary with my mother, thought it honorable to
          raise large families; but my old aunt who was one of the last of
          that stock, has, by giving way to allowing the influence of
          death, has imbibed false notions; and when she thus expressed
          herself to me I knew she was not speaking the honest sentiments
          of her heart. To-day infanticide and foeticide are popular.
          Modern doctors and doctresses have arisen, men and women who are
          skilled in what are called the diseases of women, whose special
          practice is preventing fecundity, thereby securing to husband and
          wife the pleasures of self-gratification without bearing the
          responsibilities of maternity, and the trouble and expense of
          rearing children. These doctors and doctresses and the American
          students who have learned to practice their hellish arts, are
          to-day engaged in undermining the constitutions of wives and
          mothers; yes, child murder, this damnable doctrine of devils has
          become popular throughout New England, and is fast spreading over
          the American continent. And now it is the Irish woman, who
          believes in raising children, the foreign element that comes to
          the country that are considered the vulgar people; and were it
          not for this flood of foreign immigration the staid New England
          element would soon become extinct, and I say, in the name of
          Israel's God, the sooner the better unless they repent of their
          murders, their whoredoms and their abominations that ascend to
          the heavens and are a stench in the nostrils of the Almighty.
          And, yet, it is this New England element whose garments are
          stained with the blood of innocence, that has found its way
          through our western States, that has worked heart and soul with
          the hireling priesthood in firing up the national heart, and that
          is urging on hostile legislation against the best and purest
          people that exist upon the American continent. Is it public
          morality they seek? Is it the cause of public and private
          morality they champion? If so, we may repeat what we have so
          often said, which is so extremely unwelcome for them to hear:
          Weed your garden first at home, and then let your virtues be
          directed to the crying evils and sins of your large cities; and
          let child-murder cease, and hang those infernal doctors who by
          means of their hellish arts are destroying the life of your
          offspring, and thus preventing the fulfillment of the first great
          command that God gave to our first parents; first petition
          Congress to pass laws to deal with the murderers and murderesses
          of the nation, the adulterers and adultersses and all those who
          deal in shame, through whose wickedness the seeds of decay and
          death are transmitted to posterity. But methinks I hear one say,
          if this were done, and the laws were enforced, the large majority
          of the nation would be convicted. And it reminds me of a remark
          made recently by a gentleman in Congress. It was proposed that
          the bill, now being urged in Congress against polygamy, be so
          amended as to include adultery; the gentleman to whom the
          proposition was made was at first inclined to endorse the
          amendment, but on reflection, he turned to his friend and said,
          if that be done it would leave us without a quorum in the House.
          No, my friends, it is not adultery they wish to punish; it is not
          whoredom they wish to punish; it is not the cause of public or
          private virtue they champion; it is merely the hue and cry of the
          bigotry of our time against a people who are aiming at a higher
          morality than now exists, who are aiming to do away with and
          effectually destroy out of their midst the evil that is sapping
          the strength and vitality of our nation--a community that does
          not seek to shun the responsibility and the cares and labors and
          expense and trouble of rearing families and of educating them and
          making their children honorable men and women, husbands and
          wives, fathers and mothers, citizens of the state and defenders
          of human liberty.
          We are accused of being governed by priestcraft and priestly
          influence. I do not believe there is any portion of this
          community in any part of the land who are moved by priestly
          influence to half the extent that Judge Edmunds and the advocates
          of the bill that he champions against us are; and their
          consciences must teach them that they are hypocrites, and that
          they are but pandering to bigotry, and that their acts are not
          the acts of statesmen, but the acts of cringing politicians and
          demagogues. The Priesthood of the Latter-day Saints belongs not
          to the lords but the commons; to men who have helped make the
          roads, to build the bridges and to kill the snakes; to men who
          have battled with the difficulties of a new country, and who by
          their hardihood and toil have subdued the wastes and redeemed the
          desert; men who have turned the mountain streams out of their
          course on to the new and virgin soil, making the land fruitful
          with fields and farms, gardens, orchards and vineyards; men who
          build houses, mills and factories, school-houses and churches,
          and who raise families and who take care of and educate their
          children. These are the men who hold the Priesthood, and who
          wield an influence in the midst of this people; and this class of
          men is properly represented in the legislature now in session,
          and they are asked to step down and out and let the government of
          the country pass into the hands of adventurers. Not that I would
          insinuate that there are not a goodly number of honorable men
          among us who are engaged in legitimate business pursuits, men who
          could be trusted to administer the government affairs of the
          Territory if they would follow their own hearts and consciences,
          and not allow themselves to be bull-dozed as certain members of
          Congress are by the hireling Priesthood of the age. We could
          trust the judgment of such men; we could trust their natural good
          sense, and their business habits; but there are few who can be
          trusted to stand like a towering rock in the midst of the raging
          ocean, proof against the waves and surges of popular prejudice
          that pass over the land. And because of this the Latter-day
          Saints have been chary with regard to whom they exalt to power;
          and the few that have their confidence in this respect, are men
          who have never robbed or betrayed them. And honorable business
          men, bankers, merchants, miners, railroad men, etc., who have no
          political or religious standing to jeopardise are satisfied that
          the affairs of our Territory have been administered honorably and
          Tricksters and adventurers clamor for free schools, but how many
          of them and those whose sentiments they voice really want to
          support them? A hobby is a nice thing to ride, and such people
          have many, but they must be hobbies that do not cost much. It is
          rumored throughout the land that the children of the Latter-day
          Saints are growing up in ignorance; those who utter those
          statements either know nothing of what they say, or they wilfully
          and deliberately lie. Some may think these are hard words; it is
          language admissible under the circumstances, and it is easy to
          understand, plain and right to the subject, and I mean every word
          of it. The statistics of the country bear me out in it; and
          whoever will examine the census for the last decade may satisfy
          themselves on this point, namely, that percentage of illiteracy
          in Utah is less than one-half of that of the whole United States.
          They say the offspring of plural marriage tends to idiocy as well
          as illiteracy, which, however, is fallacious and clearly without
          foundation in fact. Let men of discernment and honor pass through
          our land, examine our schools and see the turnout of our forty
          thousand children at our Sabbath-schools, and hear the questions
          put to them and their answers to the same; let them attend our
          children's jubilees in our Tabernacle and look upon fifteen
          thousand faces radiant with youth and beauty, and hear their
          songs and other exercises, and they may at once satisfy
          themselves whether the children of the Latter-day Saints are
          either ignorant or idiotic. The late census shows that Utah's
          percentage of idiocy, as well as illiteracy, is more than fifty
          per cent less than that of the United States; it may also show
          that nowhere upon the American continent is there a place of the
          same age as Utah that has so many common schools in which are
          taught the common branches of an English education, and that too
          without a dollar's aid from the general government. And our
          numerous children are all well cared for; and if we cannot
          indulge in all the excesses of fashion that are common in
          aristocratic circles, we are content to know that we are doing
          well; we are content where our wives are well housed, well fed
          and well clothed with fair advantages of education, self reliant
          and loving one another. And we are satisfied that ere long they
          will be a tower of strength in the land, not to menace the
          institutions of our country as enemies, as foolish men and women
          insinuate; not to menace public morality or private virtue; but
          to the contrary, when the nation, ripe in sin and iniquity, led
          on by reckless demagogues and politicians, shall applaud the acts
          of the legislators and judges and leading men in laying the axe
          deep in the tree of liberty, until they shall sap the juices that
          give life to our institutions, and thus undermine the foundation
          of good government, it will be sons and daughters of polygamous
          Utah, that will be found the true friends of human liberty, the
          true friends of that heaven-born freedom that has come to us
          through the fathers of our nation. The love of liberty is born in
          them, and human liberty is a part of the everlasting gospel; and
          God Almighty has decreed--and let Judge Edmunds and Congress and
          all the world hear it--that the gospel of the kingdom is
          established, never more to be thrown down or given to another
          people, that its destiny is to grow and increase and spread
          abroad until it shall fill the whole earth, and no power in earth
          or hell can stop it. "O, but," say they, "we are going to
          imprison you polygamists and disfranchise you." Supposing you do
          stop our voting, will that stop our tongues? "O, but we'll
          imprison you." Imprison and be damned. [Amen, by voices in the
          congregation] for you will be damned anyhow. [Laughter.] "We will
          imprison your wives, too, and we will not only stop from voting
          the men who have more than one wife, and we will not only stop
          the second or third, but also the first wife from voting." And
          why? Because she, like Sarah of old, gave to her husband other
          wives. Some of the law-makers of our nation would not only
          imprison Abraham were he living now, and also his plural wives,
          but they would disfranchise and imprison Sarah, his first wife,
          because she consented to his marrying other wives.
          Well, this war is not a war of flesh and blood. We are not going
          to fight it with swords and cannons and weapons, but by the power
          of truth, by the word of God, and the eternal principles that our
          fathers fought for and established upon this American continent,
          and which God has decreed shall prevail upon this land. And
          blessed are they whose lives are bent on maintaining the
          principles of civil and religious liberty, for they will reap
          their reward, if not in this life, in the hereafter.
          In all ages when the people of God listened to the voice and
          counsel of apostles and prophets, they enjoyed the blessings
          growing out of human freedom, and the tyranny and oppression of
          kings and rulers was impossible. There never was a kingly power
          placed over ancient Israel except against the remonstrance of the
          prophets; and it will be remembered especially in the case of
          Israel when they openly clamored for a king to rule over them and
          to lead them to battle, how that Samuel warned them and plead
          with them, foreseeing, as he did, what the results would be. And
          the students of the Book of Mormon know how the Nephites
          progressed in establishing the principles of civil and religious
          liberty, and how that freedom extended throughout their borders,
          and how that prosperity and greatness attended their
          administrations under the counsels and teachings of the wise and
          just men who lived in their day.
          Those who suppose that prisons and penalties are going to stop
          the spirit of truth in its onward march to triumph and greatness,
          or the influence and power of the truths of heaven which God has
          established in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints, comprehend
          not the designs of God, nor the spirit by which this people is
          actuated, that spirit which is leading them on, and which enabled
          them to take joyfully the spoiling of their goods in Missouri and
          Ohio, and which still will enable them to sacrifice their all for
          the sake of the liberties of the everlasting Gospel, if God shall
          permit it to be so. What are houses and lands, what are goods and
          chattels, what is this city or thousands of cities like this
          compared with the liberties of the Gospel, the principles of
          worshipping and serving God according to His revealed will? God
          still lives who has led us all our life long to these valleys,
          and He will guide and direct our steps. But oh how strange that
          men pretending to be statesmen should read history so poorly as
          to suppose that by might and power, by bonds and penalties they
          can chain men's thoughts or prevent them from acting according to
          their convictions. The power of might may destroy me--destroy
          you; it may break up homes and demolish cities, but it will be
          like the Canada thistle when it first made its appearance in New
          England. This weed was a great pest to the farmers, and it became
          a question among that class how to prevent its spreading. Some
          attempted to dig the thistles out, but they would spring up again
          all around the old stalk, and it was conceded by others that they
          could not be controlled. There was one man who owned a plantation
          who was determined to work vigorously for their extinction upon
          their first appearance on his land; and so determined was he that
          when he first discovered their whereabouts upon his plantation he
          built a log heap over them and set fire to it, leaving a pile of
          ashes to mark the spot where the thistles appeared. On the
          following season, to his great surprise, he found that where the
          log heap stood there was a perfect bed of Canada thistles, that
          the ashes left from the fire was just the food for the thistle to
          thrive on. So you will find it will be with us. After political
          demagogues and hireling priests and adventurers shall have
          expended their strength in trying to dig up and fire out of the
          land what they term "Mormonism."
          May the Lord help us to prove true to the trust that He has
          reposed in us, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / John
          Taylor, August 20th, 1882
                           John Taylor, August 20th, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                        Delivered at Ephraim, Sanpete County,
                         Sunday Morning, August 20th, 1882.
                            (Reported by Geo. F. Gibbs.)
                                    BUILDING AND
                                      BE PURE,
          The work of God is onward, and we as His servants and people
          propose with His help to carry it on to completion. Some people
          do not like it very well, but we cannot help that. I do not think
          Lucifer likes it, but we cannot help that either. We are here as
          the representatives of God upon the earth to accomplish his
          purposes, and to carry out his designs, to spread forth his
          Gospel, to build up his kingdom, to establish his Zion, and to
          promote the welfare and happiness of all people of every color
          and of every clime, according to the mind and will of the Lord as
          it shall be made known to us from time to time. This is what we
          are here for, as I understand it, and this is what we will do,
          God being our helper, and no man nor set of men can stay the
          purposes of Jehovah, for the enemies of God will wither and
          weaken from this time forth and forever. I will say that in the
          name of the Lord. The Lord is with his people, but he does not
          approve of all our acts. Still we are, generally, striving to do
          what is right and observe his laws.
          We have a great work before us, a very great work to accomplish.
          God has laid it upon us and we expect to do it with his
          assistance. We have the Gospel to preach to the nations, a
          message that the Lord has given unto us to promulgate to all
          peoples; and to accomplish this purpose the Church of God is
          organized with Presidents and Apostles, with Seventies, High
          Priests, Elders, etc. A large amount of this labor is being done,
          and has already been done by my brethren around me as well as by
          myself. We have been among the nations of Christendom traveling
          without purse or scrip, trusting in the living God, to make known
          to the peoples of the earth the great things which he has
          revealed for the salvation and the exaltation of the world.
          Our mission has principally been to preach the first principles
          of the Gospel, calling upon men everywhere to believe in the Lord
          God of heaven, he that created the heavens and the earth, the
          seas and the fountains of waters; to believe in His Son Jesus
          Christ, repenting of their sins, to be baptized for the remission
          of the same; and then we have promised them the Holy Ghost. In
          doing this the Lord has stood by us, sustaining those principles
          that we have advanced; and when we have ministered unto men the
          ordinances of the Gospel, they have received for themselves the
          witness of the Spirit, even the Holy Ghost, making known to them
          for a surety that the principles that they had received were from
          God. And in regard to this I can say as Paul said on a certain
          occasion--"Ye are my witnesses," for this whole congregation,
          with few exceptions, know this to be true. The Twelve and the
          Seventies, the High Priests and the Elders are called upon to
          visit the various nations of the earth and see that the word and
          will of God pertaining to them is carried out. For we are all the
          offspring of God, and as we are interested in the welfare of our
          children, so our heavenly Father is interested in the welfare of
          all his children. He has sent forth the light of his truth and
          the spirit of revelation to gather together his sheep, and in
          this respect, as it was in the days of Jesus, so it is to-day.
          "My sheep (he said) hear my voice; they know me and follow me,
          and a stranger they will not follow, for they know not the voice
          of a stranger." Under the influence of this spirit and Gospel we
          have been gathered together in one in our Stake organizations, in
          our Ward organizations, in our Priesthood organizations, and in
          all those principles that God has revealed for the guidance,
          protection and instruction of the Saints, that we may be prepared
          to operate and co-operate with God in all things in the interest
          of his people, in the interest of the nations, in the interest
          and welfare of all men who will listen to the words of life, and
          then to do the very best with others, as God does. That is about
          the position we occupy to-day.
          We are gathered here to the place we denominate Zion. There have
          been Zions before. Enoch had a Zion which was translated and
          which is reserved till the latter days. And we have a Zion to
          build up, which we shall do with the help of the Lord. We
          certainly shall accomplish these things no matter what the ideas
          and feelings of men may be in regard to it. Zion is onward and
          upward, and the Lord is directing and manipulating the affairs of
          His Church.
          We have our Temples to build, and we are doing it, and I
          certainly have no complaints to make, and I do not think that the
          Lord has. I think that the Lord is well pleased with the actions
          of the people in this respect, and with their zeal in carrying
          out some of these leading principles which he has had in his mind
          from the commencement of the world.
          We are living in the latter times, in the dispensation of the
          fullness of times when God will gather all things in one, whether
          they be things in heaven or things on the earth. We are living in
          a time when we have to operate and co-operate with the Almighty,
          and with the Priesthood, that has existed upon the earth before
          we came here for the benefit, blessing and salvation of the human
          family. Many of the purposes of God have been spoken of and
          pre-figured, in some instances darkly and dimly, in others more
          vividly and plain, pointing out and portraying the purposes of
          God pertaining to the human family; and these purposes will all
          be fulfilled. They will not be thwarted; God will not permit them
          to be. He has his work to perform and he is interested in the
          welfare of his Israel, and in the accomplishment of those things
          spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world was; and he
          will carry out his own purposes in his own way and time as he
          sees best.
          Now, what are we doing? We are sending the Elders abroad and they
          have been and are still going; the Twelve and the Presidents of
          Seventies are selecting and calling upon them and they are going
          to the different nations, and I am pleased to see the spirit
          generally manifested; I think that the brethren begin to
          comprehend the nature of their missions and calling from the fact
          that there are very few excuses made now-a-days. The tenor of the
          letters that I receive now in answer to those sent to brethren
          calling them to perform a mission, is something like this: I have
          received your letter and am grateful to be considered worthy to
          be called. I will be ready at the time appointed." When men
          comprehend their position they feel it an honor to be engaged in
          building up the kingdom of God and of being heralds of salvation
          to the nations of the earth.
          When we build our Temples, what then? The brethren of the Twelve
          have been calling some men and women to go and labor in them. The
          old men whose heads are whitened with the passage of time are not
          without zeal, but they have not the strength to cope with the
          hardships attending a foreign mission; and therefore some of them
          will be called to minister in Temples. I should esteem it a very
          great privilege, if my time were not engaged in other things, to
          be engaged in such a labor, because there is a spirit and
          influence about that kind of work that is happifying, producing
          peace and joy, and tending to enlarge the mind of those that are
          engaged in ministering for others as Saviors on Mount Zion,
          whilst the kingdom is to be the Lord's. We feel in our hearts a
          desire to bless and benefit mankind, and to present the Gospel to
          all to whom the Lord gives us the power. That is one work that we
          have to perform. Another is, the building of Temples. Another is,
          the rearing of our children in the principles of righteousness.
          And in doing this do we need the assistance of outsiders? I think
          not. When our Elders go abroad, they are sent to teach not to be
          taught; and if they should need teaching the ministers of
          Christendom could not teach them for they are not competent to do
          so. That reminds me of a statement that I heard in which a pious
          minister figures conspicuously. It was this: He stated, and his
          statement was published widely throughout the United States, in
          the religious journals, that whilst preaching to some of you
          Sanpete people, he held the Bible in one hand and was obliged to
          hold a pistol in the other. Where is this said to have occurred?
          (Pres. Peterson answered, "In this house over here," pointing to
          the old meeting house.) But then he was a pious man, and other
          pious men published it, and it was copied in all the pious
          newspapers and published as truth; and probably many pious men
          made it the text for their Sunday sermon. What a fortunate thing
          you did not hurt him. (Laughter.) Now, do we want our children
          taught by such people? I think not. We want something of truth;
          we want something of integrity and honor; we want something after
          the character referred to by David: "Lord, who shall dwell in the
          holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness,
          and speaketh the truth in his heart. * * He that swareth to his
          own hurt, and changeth not. He that doeth these things shall
          never be moved." We want men and women of integrity and truth as
          the teachers of our children, in order that our children may grow
          up in the fear of the Lord and full of integrity and
          Then they talk to us about our virtue. I think that some of these
          people had better attend to their own affairs. We do not want
          their system of what they call morality introduced amongst us; we
          can do without it very, very well. Why do we speak of these
          things? Because they are matters which concern us. Whilst men and
          women come here ostensibly to promote your welfare, they hail
          from places where the most outrageous infamies are perpetrated.
          Do we wish these corrupting influences introduced into our midst?
          I think not. Let them cleanse their own Augean stables where they
          came from, and then talk to us if they wish about purity. Do we
          want them to teach our wives and daughters how to murder their
          children--a practice that is prevalent in the places they came
          from? I should rather think not, nor do we wish the influence of
          people so educated to introduce their contaminating, corroding
          and damning practices amongst us, the emanations from such a
          source are like a pestiferous plague endangering, polluting and
          contaminating everything that comes within its reach. Newborn
          children are murdered by the thousands in the large cities of the
          east; and do they stop this evil? No. I have been told over and
          over again that it is not fashionable for women of the places
          where many of our would-be "Christian" teachers hail from, to
          have more than one or two children. And what do they do with the
          rest? To tell it in plain terms, they have a fashionable way of
          murdering them--either before or after they come into the world.
          This started with what was called Restellism; it was then
          denounced as infamous; the plague has now spread until nearly the
          whole nation is inoculated with it. Are these the kind of people
          that we wish to correct our morals. I speak of these things for
          your information. But what will you do with these people, would
          you persecute them? No; but we do not want them for our teachers.
          I would not introduce such people to my family, neither would I
          introduce them to our schools to contaminate our children with
          the vices that prevail in the places they come from. I do not
          know anything about the persons that are among you, neither have
          I heard anything about them excepting this heroic minister of
          pistol notoriety. (Laughter.) I am reminded too of a move that a
          number of these so-called ministers of the Gospel made a short
          time ago in appealing to the nation to help them to root out the
          abominations which they affirm exist here. Why do I speak of this
          thing? Because I have a duty to perform as your teacher. We
          observe all laws and principles that are correct, true and
          virtuous, and if there is anything else contrary to this we have
          from time to time called upon our Bishops to purge themselves and
          their wards from it, and I call upon them here to do the same
          thing. I have been abroad among the nations of the earth, and so
          have many of my brethren, and did I ever go into England,
          Scotland, France, Wales, Germany, or any other nation where I
          have been, and attempt to stir up sedition and trouble, or defame
          the people I was among? No, never. The Elders of this Church have
          been taught differently and they have acted in accordance with
          the teachings they received. We came to this land as religionists
          to serve God, fleeing from the face of persecution; we came here
          because we could not be protected in the places we left. Now that
          we have come here have we practiced anything that is contrary to
          correct principles? Not that I know of. Have we the rights of
          American citizens? We most assuredly have. Has any person in this
          nation any more rights than we? Not if we have our rights given
          unto us. As American citizens we possess as many rights and
          privileges as any other citizens in these United States. What
          have we to do? We do not propose to barter them away, nor to
          relinquish them without a struggle. Do you mean to get up a
          revolution? Oh, no. We mean to contend for all principles that
          belong to free American citizens; and while there is law, justice
          or equity in the land, we design to contend for our rights inch
          by inch, and we do not mean to be despoiled of our rights without
          a struggle. We propose to maintain our franchise in this boasted
          land of liberty. This is the position we propose to take. If they
          disfranchise us as they did Brother Cannon; if we have men who do
          not know the difference between 1,300 and 18,000 we do, and we
          will contend for those principles that God has committed to us.
          In reading some of the histories pertaining to the dealings of
          God with man and the dealings of the devil with him you will find
          that Satan sought to rob man of his free agency, as many of his
          agents are seeking to do to-day; and for this cause Satan was
          cast out of heaven. God will have a free people, and while we
          have a duty to perform to preach the Gospel, we have another to
          perform, that is, to stand up in the defence of human rights--in
          the defence of our own rights, the rights of our children, and in
          defence of the rights of this nation and of all men, no matter
          who they may be, and God being our helper to maintain those
          principles and to lift up a standard for the honorable of this
          and other nations to flock to, that they may be free from the
          tyranny and oppression that is sought to be crowded upon them.
          This is a duty we have to perform, and in the name of Israel's
          God we will do it. It is a duty that our families demand of us;
          it is a duty that the honest in this nation demand of us, and
          that God demands of us; and we will try and carry it out, God
          being our helper. And if other people can afford to trample under
          foot the sacred institutions of this country, we cannot. And if
          other people trample upon the Constitution and pull it to pieces,
          we will gather together the pieces and rally around the old flag,
          or what is left of it, and proclaim liberty to the world, as
          Joseph Smith said we would. Is that treason? I do not know; no
          matter, it is true. Are we going to hurt anybody? No. If they
          were hungry I would feed them; if they were naked I would clothe
          them, and learn to do good for evil as Jesus did. But I would
          say, "O my soul, come not thou into their secret, unto their
          assembly, mine honor be not thou united." Do them good? Yes, but
          do not enter into the associations referred to. We want to mix up
          with honorable men and women.
          I have made some plain remarks, but they are nevertheless true,
          and I have nothing to take back. Will we rebel against the
          nation? No. This nation has done a very great deal towards
          propagating human liberty. We read it in our schoolbooks, and we
          hear it sometimes proclaimed on the 4th of July, when we talk of
          the brave things the fathers of this nation performed in the
          defence of human rights, and it is a great pity, I think, that it
          should have been so short lived, for while the altar of liberty
          is yet stained with the blood of the patriots who fought for
          human rights, it seems almost too bad to make that same altar a
          forge whereon to make chains to fetter the human mind, to retard
          the progress of freedom, and to deprive man of his inalienable
          rights. It is a lamentable thing to reflect upon, yet it is true.
          It was a sad spectacle that we noticed some time ago in Mr.
          Evarts, secretary of the nation, calling upon the nations of
          Europe to assist the United States in crushing out a religious
          people. We have seen a great many things of a similar kind. Judge
          Poland and his operations; then the course pursued by Senator
          Edmunds against an innocent and persecuted people will place him
          in a very unenviable position.
          What course shall we pursue? We purpose to contend for human
          rights, for the Constitution of the United States, and for the
          rights and privileges of man and the freedom of humanity. We will
          try to live our religion and keep the commandments of God. People
          are wondering what the Commissioners will do. They will do what
          the Lord will permit them to do and nothing more. Shall we
          trouble ourselves about the action of Congress? No. We will put
          in a word for the liberty of man, equal rights and constitutional
          principles, and these we will maintain so far as God gives us
          power. When we have done that we will live our religion; we will
          cleave unto God and unto truth, maintain virtue, purity and
          righteousness, and seek for the Spirit of the Lord; we will be
          humble, faithful and diligent, and we will pray for our enemies
          and for all men. Jesus when he was put to the test and men were
          clamoring against him, not only clamoring but they had nailed him
          to the cross, used these words: "Father, forgive them, for they
          know not what they do;" they are ignorant, besotted and dark, not
          acquainted with the principles of righteousness; they know not
          what they do, Father, forgive them. Then we find the Apostles
          speaking, calling upon them to repent and be baptized that their
          sins might be blotted out. When? Then? No. When? When the times
          of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he
          shall send Jesus Christ, who was before preached unto you;" and
          not till then.
          What more have we to do? To become saviors upon Mount Zion; to be
          full of kindness and longsuffering and contend against the sins
          and corruptions of the world, and cherish purity and holiness in
          the Lord our God. What else? Some people tell us we ought to
          proclaim polygamy. We have no such mission. Further, if we were
          to proclaim the principle that they call polygamy, they could not
          obey it. We believe in celestial marriage, in celestial
          covenants, in men and women being united for time and for all
          eternity. Are we going to suffer a surrender of this point? No,
          never! No, never! We intend to be true to our covenants in time
          and in the eternities to come. They call it bigamy. What is a
          bigamist? A man who marries one wife promising to be true to her,
          and afterwards representing himself as an honorable man, marries
          another one and deceives both of them. He is a breaker of
          covenants. A polygamist does not do that. Abraham, Jacob, David
          and Solomon did not perpetrate such infamies. Nor do we. Bigamy
          is an institution of a perverted Christianity and not ours. We
          make covenants with our wives, and we will be true to them and
          they to us in time and in eternity. Supposing, I say, we were to
          preach this doctrine to the world, and tell them what David and
          Abraham and the Patriarchs did, and they were to say we accept
          it; could we administer in it? No, and they could not enter into
          this thing. There are only a few in Utah associated with this
          matter, comparatively, and those none but the most honorable,
          pure and virtuous, yet our nation has seen fit to condemn
          everybody, the non-polygamists as well as the polygamists,
          because the non-polygamists happen to live in the same place as
          the polygamists. Thus nine-tenths are proscribed for what the
          other tenth are alleged to have done. That is the kind of justice
          we have administered now-a-days.
          But if the nation can stand this kind of legislation, we can as
          long as they can. We will try to do right and fear God, and
          observe His laws, and seek to pursue that course that our
          Heavenly Father will approve, and we will have His Spirit to be
          with us and rejoice together in the fullness of the Gospel of
          peace. And we will build Temples; and we will build up the
          kingdom of God, and God will be on the side of Israel, if Israel
          will only be on the side of right, laying aside covetousness,
          corruptions and follies of every kind, and will cleave to the
          truth, He will bless us and we will be blessed in time and
          throughout the eternities to come. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / Joseph
          E. Taylor, September 3rd, 1882
                        Joseph E. Taylor, September 3rd, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER JOSEPH E. TAYLOR,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                       Sunday Afternoon, September 3rd, 1882.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
           E. Taylor
          It is a matter of surprise to people not of our faith when they
          are made acquainted with the fact that Elders of this Church are
          called promiscuously, as it were accidentally, to address the
          congregations that are assembled from time to time in this and
          other places in the midst of this people; that they appear before
          the congregation without any text, without any sermon, without
          giving any thought whatever to preparing the subject or subjects
          upon which they may speak. And these Elders have, by experience,
          learned the lesson that it is very necessary and essential for
          them to depend upon the Holy Ghost for their inspiration, for its
          assistance, for its influence, to enable them to speak and
          instruct the people as the Lord desires they should be
          instructed. What do I know about this audience this afternoon?
          Here is a sea of faces before me beaming with intelligence. I
          feel the influence of the various spirits of the people composing
          this congregation. They are all centered upon myself, or if my
          Brother was speaking, they would be centered upon him or whoever
          the speaker might be.
           E. Taylor
          Some have come to worship God with honesty of purpose, to partake
          of His holy sacrament with clean hands and pure hearts, and are
          worthy of partaking of these sacred emblems of the death of our
          Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They also come to listen to words
          of instruction, and many of them have a yearning desire, perhaps,
          to receive comfort to their souls, information, perchance, upon
          some particular point of doctrine connected with their holy
          religion. And then again, there are those in this congregation
          who have come here simply out of curiosity, having no particular
          interest in anything pertaining to the worship of this people, or
          the sacrament of which they are partaking; having no particular
          fondness for the doctrines taught by the Elders of the Church of
          Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor any of the principles
          incorporated in the faith of this people, but simply to see and
          out of sheer curiosity to listen that they may afterwards talk
          about what they have seen and heard according to their capacity
          and intelligence to understand and to comprehend that which they
          hear. A great number of this vast congregation have come from
          distant nations; they have heard the testimony of the servants of
          God, thousands of miles from the place they now occupy. They have
          received that testimony; they accepted and cherished that
          testimony in their hearts and it has led them to bid adieu to
          fatherland, to scenes of childhood, of youth, of mature age in
          many instances, to come to this land which they believed then and
          still believe to be the land of Zion, to be taught in the ways of
          the Lord, to be made acquainted with the principles of eternal
          truth, to comprehend the law of God, and to have an opportunity
          to practice that law in their lives and conduct. They have come
          also for the purpose of enjoying the companionship of the people
          they love--a people who feel as they feel, who believe as they
          believe, who are inspired as they have been inspired, and are
          to-day inspired; they have come to this land for the purpose of
          receiving ordinances pertaining to their future existence.
           E. Taylor
          By far the greater portion of the people who have thus come, have
          made sacrifices for this purpose, have checked natural feelings
          that have arisen in their bosoms, have severed kindred ties,
          associations, affinities and affections. What for? "I want to
          hear the voice of God; I want to hear the words of inspiration; I
          want to become acquainted with the law that my Father has given
          for me as well as the rest of his children to be governed by; I
          want to be placed under the immediate teaching, instruction and
          counsel of those whom God has raised up and inspired by His Holy
          Spirit. I love you, my father; I love you, my mother; I love you,
          my sister, my brother and my child; but I love God more. I must
          yield your society; I must sacrifice the associations that I have
          enjoyed with you, because you cannot think as I think; because
          you cannot feel as I feel; because you are not inspired as I am
          inspired." We might mention other sacrifices that have had to be
          made, other things that have had to be yielded, given up, parted
          with, for this holy purpose and this holy desire that I have
          named this afternoon; for the feeling that permeates the hearts
          of these Latter-day Saints permeates their entire being, absorbs
          their entire thought, and their entire affection, for a true
          Latter-day Saint is fully devoted to his God and to his religion,
          spirit and body; it affects his time, his talent, every energy
          that he possesses, and wherever can be found among this people a
          man who has any reserve, he is not devoted to his God as his
          religion demands that he should be.
           E. Taylor
          Those present have had, in the main, equal opportunities with
          myself to become acquainted with the truths of eternal life. They
          have been taught where I have been taught; they have eaten,
          figuratively speaking, at the same table where I have partaken;
          and yet this afternoon I stand before you as a teacher and an
          instructor of the very people that have had equal opportunities
          with myself to learn and become acquainted with the law of God.
          How can I teach you? How can I instruct you? Upon what principle
          can I furnish you with the bread of life? Only by the power of
          the Holy Ghost, by its inspiration, by possessing its gifts. Is
          there any man without this Spirit, without the inspiration of
          this agency among the Latter-day Saints, from the President of
          the Church down through all the ramifications of the Priesthood,
          that is prepared to teach the people the law of God of himself?
          No, and I am bold to declare it this afternoon; neither is there
          a minister upon the face of this broad land or in all Christendom
          that can go before his congregation and feed them with the bread
          of life, unless he possesses the gift of the Holy Ghost, and
          speaks by virtue of that gift.
           E. Taylor
          We send our Elders abroad, thousands of them; we have sent them
          for many years that are past, and until the Lord says to his
          servants stop, we shall continue to send them even to the most
          distant parts of the earth. For what purpose? To preach the
          Gospel, to proclaim the simple truths of eternal life, to explain
          to the understanding of the smallest mind what God expects and
          desires of the people in this last dispensation of the fullness
          of times. What Elders have been successful? The men that have
          stood before the people, and by the power of the Holy Ghost have
          declared the word of the Lord God to them; and here let me say in
          this connection, there never was a congregation that listened to
          a discourse delivered by an Elder of Israel, and that discourse
          was delivered by the power and demonstration and Spirit of the
          Almighty, but there came to every man and woman in that
          congregation a response by that same Spirit, "that is true." It
          bore testimony there and then to the truth of the remarks of the
          servant of God, and by this means, and by this means only will
          those who reject the truth stand condemned before God in the day
          that they will appear before Him to give an account of their acts
          in this life.
           E. Taylor
          Simply as a man; is not every man equal to myself? As far as
          opinions go, are not my neighbor's just as precious and of as
          much value to him as mine are to me? Any ideas that I may
          possess, no matter how rational, apparently logical, no matter
          how reasonable they may sound; are not the opinions of every
          other man just as much value to him as mine are to me? Certainly
          they are. We occupy the same place, we are on an equality in this
          respect; but when we proclaim the word of the Lord, when we
          undertake to make known the decrees of the Almighty, and the plan
          of salvation, and we do it by the power and demonstration of the
          Spirit, every man who rejects that proclamation will do so at his
          own risk, and will stand condemned before God, because he will
          not receive of that Spirit, not because he did not receive the
          reasoning of the man who spoke, but because he rejected the
          influence of the Spirit of God, by which he spoke.
           E. Taylor
          I remarked at the outset that a part of this congregation had
          undoubtedly been gathered from distant nations having an object
          in view, with a design in their minds. Let me ask a few questions
          in connection with this: Are we pursuing this object? Are we
          following out this design? Are we continuing in the faith of the
          Lord Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of the Son of God? Are we
          developing righteousness in our lives? Are we making that
          righteousness manifest in our conduct? Are we sustaining the
          principles that charmed our hearts many years ago, thousands of
          miles distant from here? Have we grown in knowledge of the
          principles of life and salvation over and above that which we
          understood many years ago? What is our standing in the midst of
          the people and before God to-day? These are plain questions, but
          pertinent; and we should propound these questions to ourselves
          often and thus become our own catechizers. If we find we are
          lacking in any one particular we should take immediate steps to
          remedy and defect, any neglect, and should cease any wrong-doing
          of which we may have been guilty. We can afford to serve God, but
          we cannot afford to take a contrary course; we cannot afford to
          apostatize and deny the truth; we cannot afford to become
          recreant to the principles we have espoused; we cannot afford to
          go back upon our covenants. We profess more. We declare more. I
          may use another term, which may be strictly correct, we pretend
          more than any other people upon the face of the earth. We have a
          right to do this, but when our pretensions are made known, when
          our professions become the property of others, to the extent that
          these pretensions are understood, we should be consistent
          therewith. Many of us were asked by our friends, will you not
          abandon "Mormonism?" No. Will you not leave the society of that
          people, and not go out to that wild wilderness country, but stay
          with us? We answered most emphatically, No. And our presence here
          to-day and for the many years that are past, testifies that that
          was what we meant, if we did not say so in so many words. Now the
          same scenes, the same conditions, the same society, the same
          influences, the same evils, unbidden, unsought for, undesired,
          have presumed to locate themselves in our midst. Shall we
          affiliate with that which we once abandoned, drink with the
          drunken, shake hands with the evil-doer, fraternize with the
          sinner, defile ourselves before God, and forsake the holy
          covenants that we have made? These are plain questions. We have
          gone too far; we have become possessed of too much understanding;
          we have professed too much to be able to afford to go back again
          and partake of any of the evils that we left in Babylon, years
          and years ago. And if we do so we shall do it at our own risk,
          and that risk and its consequences will be most terrible for us.
           E. Taylor
          We are threatened, we are menaced; we feel it strongly, very
          sensitively, very keenly; and we shall remember well in the days,
          in the years and in the times that are to come the instruments
          that have made these threatenings, and that have dared to raise
          their arms and their voice and their influence against us, while
          in the pursuit of the principles of eternal life. What then is
          our course? In whom is our trust? In God; in his power; in his
          arm; in his strength. Have we not made his acquaintance? Has he
          not revealed himself to us in the Gospel that we have received?
          Do we feel tremulous in the day of trouble--that God will leave
          us and forsake us? Is this our condition? If it is we are not
          living our religion; if it is we are not keeping our covenants;
          if it is we have not cherished the influence of the Spirit of the
          Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or it would produce
          other results.
           E. Taylor
          It is true we number a very few people; numerically speaking our
          strength is weak. Many other things might be quoted concerning
          our position that are equally true; but understand this one
          thing--and the world of mankind will know it by and by--that we
          have set out to serve God, to keep his commandments, to build up
          his Church, to redeem his Zion upon this earth, without
          considering any consequences in the least. That is the condition.
          We have accepted the consequences; accepted conditions as they
          exist, with the powers of hell perchance sometimes combined
          together to force those unpleasant conditions upon us. Yes, when
          death itself shall stare us in the face and seem to be
          inevitable, for to that extent will the Lord try and prove some
          of His people, to see if they will keep His commandments. Even
          then God expects us to remain firm and unshaken. Shall we turn to
          the right hand? No. Or turn to the left hand? Never. Turn round
          entirely and take a backward course? No, not by the help of the
          Eternal One. And this world will know, and the enemies of God's
          people will know by and by of the strength and the power and the
          might of Him who has revealed Himself to His servant Joseph; who
          has conferred his authority, his Priesthood upon men, authorizing
          them to act in his name.
           E. Taylor
          There is a very singular expression in this book--and I think the
          Savior who used the expression had an eye to this last
          dispensation, which reads: "Whosoever shall fall upon this stone
          shall be broken." Mark it, not perhaps, not maybe, not
          conditionally. And again: "But on whomsoever it shall fall it
          will grind him to powder." Thus hath said the Lord God.
           E. Taylor
          Now, my brethren and sisters, have you questioned yourselves as
          to your standing, as to your faith, as to your confidence in
          yourselves, in your religion and the Priesthood of God that
          administers to you, and in God the Eternal Father?
           E. Taylor
          We are in a dark land. Our minds are beclouded, the heavens are
          shut, and the veil can only be lifted by the power of faith. Who
          possesses it? The veil never has been lifted from the day that
          God hid himself from Adam in the Garden of Eden; it never has
          been lifted in any age of the world only by the power of the
          Priesthood and the gift of faith, and then only for a short time.
          We are compelled now to exercise the principle of faith. Whence
          comes it? It is a gift of God; but it needs cherishing; it needs
          cultivation; it needs nourishing, and it will grow within you and
          me, if we will cherish it to the extent that it is our privilege,
          until it will become so mighty within us, that we never can be
          moved not even by death staring us in the face.
           E. Taylor
          The world seem to measure their entire existence by this life,
          this being, these few paltry years upon this dark, cold and cruel
          earth. They say--if not in words in acts--give me enjoyment
          to-day; give me pleasure to-day; give me what I conceive to be
          happiness to-day." "But," says the man of inspiration, the man of
          forethought, the man whose mind reaches into the future, "what
          about eternity?" "Oh," say the world, "never mind eternity, let
          eternity take care of itself; let us gratify passion; let our
          ambitions be satisfied and realized here; it is all we ask." And
          they live like the brute although they have an existence like you
          and I. It is true they move upon the same earth, are surrounded
          by the same circumstances, but their minds have never reached out
          after God, and they are stultified, they are stunted in their
          growth, in the development of their mind; they know nothing and
          care to know less of the object of their creation and existence.
          They never conceived the idea of what dwells in their
          tabernacles--the power independent of the tabernacle, but
          necessary to the life of that tabernacle; a fully organized
          identity that can exist without the tabernacle and possesses all
          the powers and a great many more than it can make manifest
          through the tabernacle, an existence separate from the tabernacle
          that came from God. And yet these men and women, many of them,
          when you talk to them upon the principles of eternal life, will
          say, "Will you reason that out to me so that I can understand it
          in a way to satisfy my natural sense. Can I see what you talk
          about?" No, you cannot see it with the natural eye. Can I hear
          it? No, you cannot hear it with the natural ear. Can I handle it
          with these hands? No, you cannot handle it with the natural
          hands. Then I shall not listen. I will ignore everything you say
          upon this subject. Your parents can approach you through your
          natural senses; they address themselves to the tabernacle. But
          when we come to the constitution of the spirit that dwells within
          the tabernacle, and then come to understand that that spirit
          emanated from God the Father, to whom will God the Father speak?
          Will He speak to the tabernacle that is the result of the agency
          of man and woman in producing it? No, only seldom and then to
          chosen ones, God the Father speaks to his own; and the angels
          that minister and speak, address themselves to the mind, as we
          call it, to this spirit that cannot be seen, that cannot be
          handled, that cannot heard by the ears of the natural man. Here
          is the grand difficulty with the human family to-day. God cannot
          speak to them for they want to compel Him to come down to the
          grossness of the earthly tabernacle and reason everything out to
          the sense of that tabernacle? He will not do it. He did not six
          thousand years ago; and he will not do it now, nor in all time to
          come. The very medium through which inspiration comes, the very
          medium through which knowledge comes that benefits the human
          family, no matter whether it be scientific, philosophical or
          otherwise, there is not a truth extant upon the earth to-day that
          has been utilized, or many truths combined together that have
          been utilized but have been the result of divine inspiration
          directly to the spirit of man, to the mind of man which is
          sometimes incorrectly called the soul of Man. God will talk with
          His own creation, and if that spirit in man will place itself in
          a position to listen to the voice of God, what will he say to
          that spirit, "Control that tabernacle, I gave it to you for a
          greater exaltation; I gave it to you that after it shall have
          passed away, it may be resurrected from the grave, and if you
          subdue its passions, its unholy desires, if you sanctify that
          tabernacle before Me, then I am bound to bring that tabernacle
          from the grave and to bring it to the enjoyment of the fullness
          of My glory, which was the destiny of the spirit when it was
          first created." And, by the way, let me here say that there are a
          great many Latter-day Saints, good men and some few good women,
          who seem to be possessed of a skeptical turn of mind, they want
          everything reasoned out; if they receive any knowledge at all
          they want it to come through the gross, cold reasoning of
          humanity. In this connection there comes to my mind a little
          circumstance that is recorded here in this Testament. The
          disciples of Jesus, who had listened when together many times no
          doubt to His explanations of His own resurrection from the grave,
          found Thomas, and told him that the Savior had arisen. Said he:
          "I will not believe it. Unless I get more positive proof through
          these natural senses of mine that such is the fact, I will not
          believe it though you say it, and I have no reason to doubt your
          word." Undoubtedly they had been truthful with each other; they
          had been taught to be truthful by their Lord and Master. The
          Savior after a while appeared to his disciples. Thomas was there.
          The Savior understanding Thomas's thoughts said: "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."
          Whereupon Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and my God." What did Jesus
          say? Did he reproach Thomas? Did he use harsh, cruel and severe
          words, because of Thomas's unbelief, as one of the chosen? No. He
          said, "Blessed art thou, Thomas, because thou hast
          believed"--upon any condition; if you have received a testimony
          now, you are blessed; but more blessed are they that have not
          seen, and yet have believed. I think again of the beloved
          disciple John upon the isle of Patmos, who had the visions of the
          future opened to him for many ages to come, even unto the
          winding-up scene; he saw this earth eventually celestialized and
          made like unto a Urim and Thummim--a sea of glass, everything
          pertaining to it redeemed, and the earth clothed in the presence
          of God. When the angel commenced to unfold that beautiful vision
          to John, suppose John had questioned and queried and asked to
          have his natural senses gratified before he would receive that
          revelation, do you think we should have been in possession to-day
          of this beautiful vision showing the grand winding-up scene of
          all things? I think not. I can say to this congregation--I want
          to be understood clearly upon this point--wherever it exists in
          truthfulness, intuition--proper, correct and legitimate intuition
          is the safest rule and guide for the people, and Latter-day
          Saints should seek to become possessed of the spirit of intuition
          that comes by virtue of the possession of the Holy Ghost.
           E. Taylor
          But to return now, my brethren and sisters, where do we stand?
          What is our faith? How much is our confidence? Have we lost any
          of it? If so, let us regain it. There is a time yet for
          repentance; there is a time yet left for us to manifest our
          humility before God; there are opportunities for us to retrace
          our steps if we have traveled in the wrong direction. The time
          will come, as far as this earthly existence is concerned, when
          these opportunities and advantages will cease. Can you be
          baptized here in the flesh for the remission of your sins? Yes.
          Can you yourself attend to that ordinance when your tabernacle is
          laid away in the grave? No you cannot; that ordinance was
          revealed especially for this time. Can you have hands laid upon
          you for the reception of the Holy Ghost in this life? Yes. Can
          you enjoy this privilege when your body is laid away in the
          grave? No; and to prove that this ordinance, as well as others
          pertains to this life, this time, I need only say that when we
          undertake to extend the principles of salvation to those that are
          dead, somebody in the flesh must represent the person for whom
          the ordinances are intended who may have neglected or have had no
          opportunity to attend to these ordinances themselves while in the
          flesh. When we get to the other side of the veil, we shall find
          another state of things existing there; we shall find other
          conditions, other surroundings, other laws, pertaining to that
          peculiar existence of spirit; we shall find already existing
          there other organizations. Our bodies will have been left in the
          grave with all their weaknesses, with all their imperfections.
          Our spirits will not go down into the grave. They live in the
          presence of God; they will be held responsible for that
          tabernacle, for its acts, for its development; they will be held
          responsible before God, before the heavens, for the faith they
          have exercised, or for the wrongs that they have allowed
          themselves to be guilty of in the flesh; for I say right here; I
          repeat it again, that it is the business of the spirit to preside
          over, to be master of and to control this fleshy tabernacle to
          all intents and purposes and to hold it subject to all the laws
          of God. But, says one, there are weaknesses that pertain to the
          flesh, are they all sins? No. What about those weaknesses? The
          man who has been pure in his spirit, pure in his heart, pure in
          his intentions and desires before God, when he lays that body
          down in the grave there will be found in the very elements with
          which his body will mingle, a power to cleanse and purify all
          weaknesses as pertaining to the flesh which cannot be regarded as
          sins before God. Yes, give mother earth time and she will so
          effectually purify the tabernacle that she will get it ready for
          the resurrection from the grave to be re-united with the spirit.
          Then after a while we shall become acquainted with the higher
          laws, with principles altogether different to those taught to us
          in the flesh and which also pertain to eternal lives. And then
          again, when we come to be resurrected from the grave we shall
          find other conditions in advance of those; we shall find God's
          Priesthood there, his law there, his power there, his influence
          there, as there will be teachings and instructions to be given
          even then; and thus shall we keep going on from condition to
          condition of perfection and glory until we become possessed of
          the glory that belongs to God. Is it worth living for? Is it
          worth enduring a few threats for? Is it worth being quiet when
          you are menaced, and as passive as the Lord wants you to be? Yes.
          Is it worth making any sacrifice for? Is it worth leaving home,
          father, mother, sister, brother? It is. And why? The day will
          come, perchance, even in the spirit world, when that father and
          mother, sister and brother, who despised you, will be seeking
          after salvation and will want to have conferred upon them the
          powers of eternal life. And you will have placed yourself in the
          position to act for them though your body may be in the grave,
          for your spirit still lives and you can preach and even become a
          minister of salvation to those of your own house. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / George
          G. Bywater, August 27, 1882
                         George G. Bywater, August 27, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY ELDER GEO. G. BYWATER,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, August 27, 1882.
                             (Reported by John Irvine.)
                                     OF ANCIENT,
                                       NOT THE
          "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of
          God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first,
          and also to the Greek." These words were uttered by the Apostle
          Paul, who, prior to his acceptance of the Christian religion was
          a vehement persecutor of the new cause that had sprung up in
          Galilee, and in the regions round about, but who upon being
          divinely inspired in a miraculous manner became convinced of the
          power of this Gospel of which he speaks in the language I have
          just quoted. It will be remembered that at the period of the
          world's history when these words were enunciated by the inspired
          Apostle the Christian religion was not then as it is now, the
          professed religion of a large portion of the inhabitants of the
          earth. It was then a new cause; it was then considered a sect
          which was everywhere spoken against. The doctrines and principles
          of this new faith appear, from the history of its incipient
          development, to have aroused very bitter feelings in the hearts
          of the professors of the popular creeds and philosophies of that
          age. The history of the rise and progress of Christianity
          presents to the intelligent student a history of many of the most
          important principles and lessons connected with the unfoldment of
          civilization and the purification of the moral ethics of that age
          and through the succeeding ages, I may add, even down to modern
          times. The readers of sacred history, as well as the students of
          universal history, know full well that there has been in the
          history of the struggle of our common humanity, rising upward
          from the lower strata of society or masses of the human family
          who could not well be denominated societies in the sense in which
          the term is employed to-day; they, I repeat, know full well the
          struggles which have been made by mankind to emancipate
          themselves and to be emancipated through the instrumentality of
          the light and intelligence that surrounded them and the
          revelations of God to man--what mighty struggles those have been!
          They know, furthermore, that there never has been in all past
          history any marked strides made in the growth and progress of
          men's intellectual and moral nature, but that growth has been
          attended with a series, I will not say uninterrupted, but with a
          series of persistent oppositions, a series of impeding obstacles
          thrown in the way, and the most intense hate has been manifested
          by the maintainers or supporters of orthodox systems of popular
          creeds and time-honored institutions. We can look back through
          the ages that have gone by, we can take a retrospective glance
          into the ages that have rolled into eternity, and there see the
          things that have marked distinctively those ages, and which are
          the landmarks of human history, and there we can discover, my
          brethren, sisters and friends, the effects to which I am now
          alluding, that there never has been any great improvement made,
          nor marked advancement effected, no growth attained, but it has
          met with opposition, which has been the child of ignorance and of
          superstition, and has been succored by that spirit and power
          which we denominate, in the language of the Scripture, the spirit
          and power of evil, the power of the devil. To-day Christianity is
          accepted professedly, by every enlightened nation on the face of
          this globe. There is not a nation speaking the spoken languages
          of the world but what recognizes the cardinal principles of the
          Christian religion as possessing vitality and power that has
          emanated from a source divine, and that which is best adapted to
          the amelioration of the condition of our common humanity. When we
          compare, when we draw lines of comparison between those grand and
          immutable principles that possess within themselves a potency,
          and that carry in their very nature the sanctity and purity of
          the source from whence they have come, bearing upon themselves
          the seal of divinity, and remembering the opposition which those
          principles met with by the learned doctors of the law, by the
          expounders of the writings of Moses and the Prophets, by those
          who were living in expectancy of the fulfillment of the
          prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah, in the coming of
          Shiloh, and then to discover, as the ages and centuries have gone
          by, the growth and strength that these fundamental doctrines have
          acquired; and although generations have come and generations have
          gone, melted away and become absorbed as the dew before the
          morning sun, yet the result of the labors of these generations
          have been witnessed in their accumulating forces, in their
          beneficent and redeeming influences almost imperceptibly
          advancing over the minds and seating themselves in the hearts and
          affections of the good and the great that have lived in every
          age, where those principles have been proclaimed in the ears of
          man. When we reflect upon these things and then take a careful
          review of what it has cost in life and its energies, the potency
          of its powers that have been employed and apparently consumed,
          the places thereof being supplied by new stores unfolded in the
          rising generations, from generation to generation, until,
          towering up high and perceptibly above the dogmas and traditions
          of the heathen world, those down-trodden principles, those
          doctrines that have been everywhere spoken against, have been
          accepted, professedly, by the Christian world as the Balm of
          Gilead, as the power by which the nations were to be healed of
          their moral maladies, by which they were to be enlightened from
          their heathen darkness, and by which they were to be elevated to
          an intellectual and moral plane that should bring them up to the
          high destiny which their Creator had ordained for them, and to
          bring to pass that perfection which was augured, not only in the
          religion of Jesus, but also plainly indicated in the constitution
          of man. To-day we have a nominal acceptance of Christianity as a
          revealed religion. There are but few people living who are so
          obtuse in their minds, or who are so morally degraded in their
          nature, or so far lost to every sense of personal respect and
          Christian propriety, as to deny the goodness of the Gospel of
          Jesus Christ, of which the Apostle Paul avowed himself as not
          ashamed--very few indeed. The 5th, 6th and 7th chapters of
          Matthew containing the sermon on the Mount are an embodiment of
          divinity, are a compilation of principles, are an association of
          ideas, that are unparalleled and are inimitable in the writings
          and learning of the world. They contain the principles that
          constitute the groundwork upon which correct nature is to be
          established. Now then, my friends, if this be true in the light
          of modern science, of modern philosophy, in the light of the
          civilization of the nineteenth century, these principles appear
          as brilliant, undimmed and as transcendent in lustre as any of
          the axiomatic principles, proverbs, and sayings of the learned
          and the wise of all the ages that are gone by. Zoroaster never
          chronicled their equal; Matthew never penned a compilation of
          such principles as are to be found there; Confucius never left on
          the record of his time principles that reach down into the
          innermost depth of human nature, and there bring up into man's
          destiny the design of his creator as has been revealed in those
          principles. And yet, my friends, these were the doctrines and
          principles that were opposed, mark me, and the propagandists of
          those principles were the men that were followed up with the most
          untiring opposition, that were persecuted with the most
          relentless hand; the men who represented these world-redeeming
          doctrines, the purifying, elevating institutions of Christianity
          were the men that suffered martyrdom, the men that lost their
          lives that they might find them, even lives eternal, and they
          lost them, too, at the hands of men who were considered the
          representative men of the time, the learned expounders of
          prophecy, the expounders of law, the teachers of the principles
          of civil and criminal jurisprudence, men who were deeply versed
          in the lore of the time, familiar with every branch of the
          literature of their age, and yet these were the most cruel and
          uncharitable elements which Christianity had to cope with in its
          growing influence in the day when the Apostle Paul averred that
          he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it was the power
          of God unto salvation to all who would believe.
          To-day we have the principles of this same Christianity presented
          to the world in the same attitude, presented with the same
          conditions--avowed with the same sincerity, and its doctrines
          inculcated with the same assiduity and zeal that marked the
          Apostles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ over 1800 years ago. And
          does it meet with any opposition to-day? Need I ask this
          question? Scarcely. The people called Latter-day Saints have for
          a number of years proclaimed the Gospel of Christ in its
          primitive integrity, in its primitive organization, and in all
          its evangelical details, to the inhabitants of this nineteenth
          century,--which by some people is denominated the full blaze of
          civilization, almost approaching the same, the highest pinnacle,
          the last possibly attainable point of elevation in the growth of
          moral worth and intellectuality and power--and if it meets with
          the opposition which we know it has met with, we are confronted
          in our own minds with the inquiry--who are the men, what are the
          character and denomination of the people who raise their voices
          against the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in its apostolical
          purity in this the dispensation of the fullness of times? Is it
          the infidel? Is it the atheist, the man who believes that there
          is no God nor any controlling power but that which exists in the
          forms of matter we behold? Is it the man who ignores the Supreme
          Being, the ruler of the universe? Is it that class of people who
          live without God, and without hope and without faith in the world
          to come? Not exactly that class; but it meets with opposition
          from precisely a corresponding class of men that this cause met
          with in the early days of Christianity, namely, from Christian
          ministers, from the propounders of the doctrines of Christianity,
          from commentators, from men who profess to have studied the law
          of God, and the revealed religion of Jesus Christ--these are the
          men who to-day, in our midst, here in Salt Lake City, in our
          cities and villages throughout this Territory and elsewhere,
          claim to be the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus of
          Nazareth, the crucified, the Redeemer, as the Savior of the whole
          world, of all mankind, the men who tell you he came into this
          world and that he endured persecution and every form of ignominy,
          every form of calumny and reproach in order to introduce the
          glorious principles of Christianity, to introduce the doctrine of
          faith in God as the Supreme Creator of the universe, faith in his
          Son Jesus Christ as the world's Redeemer, faith in the Holy
          Spirit as the only guide of mankind unto all truth, the spirit of
          truth which was promised by Jesus that should come and make the
          ministry of his Apostles effective, and reveal unto them things
          past, things present, and show them things to come. Men who teach
          these principles are the men who oppose the teachings of the
          Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which was preached by the Apostle
          Paul, which was preached by Peter, which was preached by all the
          Apostles, and above all, which was illustrated, not only in the
          teachings, but in the entire life and ministry of Christ, and of
          his immediate followers. Well, is this not very strange. Has it
          never occurred to some of our people that there must be some
          cause for this? Why was it that the Jewish Rabbis and teachers of
          the law, those men who looked so contemptuously upon the poor
          despised Nazarene and his equally contemptible followers, the
          fishermen, whom he had gathered together as his disciples from
          the sea coast of Galilee; men who had studied the prophecies, men
          who claimed to have Abraham for their father, men who claimed to
          be well-disposed towards every agency which tended to bring to
          pass the fulfillment of prophecy and execute the terms
          thereof--why was it that they of all other men should be the men
          from whom the Savior and his disciplesmet the severest
          opposition? Has it ever occurred to us that this is a strange
          inconsistency? If this position had been developed among a people
          and had been exerted by a class of men and women who were
          unbelievers in revelation, who were professedly infidel to the
          doctrines of prophets, to the teachings of patriarchs, to the
          spirit and revelations of Evangelists and of Apostles, we would
          not be surprised; but we find that the most powerful agencies
          that had been brought to bear for the suppression of
          Christianity, for the overthrow of its doctrines, for the
          retardation of its success throughout the land, were fostered by
          men who, from their professed adherence to the scriptures of
          divine truth, to the writings of Moses and the Prophets which
          they claimed to be in possession of, should have been its warmest
          friends; it should have received from them the most effective
          support; but on the contrary, it received from them the most
          heartless and unprincipled opposition. And it appears that there
          was but one solution to the problem, and that solution in their
          minds was this: This man is a promoter of sedition, we must have
          him taken out of the way, and so clamorous become the demand for
          the surrender of the great teacher and founder of Christianity,
          Jesus of Nazareth, that the populace cried, "away with him, away
          with him, crucify him, crucify him;" and when the judges of the
          land, after investigating the charge brought against him, had
          discovered there was no cause for death in that man, and,
          moreover, as it was announced "in this just man;" while they did
          not choose to impugn the judgment of the judge as to his purity,
          or call in question his reading of the law, yet they nevertheless
          cried out "his blood be upon our heads; never mind if it is not
          right, never mind if it is not legal, we do not care for that,
          away with him; release unto us Barrabas; give us a robber, give
          us a thief, give us any kind of individual and release him in
          this jubilee of release to criminals; give any one a chance but
          Jesus of Nazareth." This was the state of affairs. And why did
          they want to get rid of him? Why did they wish to dispose of him
          in this way? What had he done to them? What doctrines had he
          taught that were in opposition even to the law or to good
          morality? None whatever. He was acquitted before the highest
          tribunal of his land, and one of our ablest jurists, Alexander
          Innis, in reviewing the trial of Jesus of Nazareth, concluded
          that in the light of the nineteenth century, in the advanced
          state of the science of jurisprudence, the crucifixion of Jesus
          Christ was a judicial murder. He went about continually doing
          good. He berated men for their sins, to be sure. He chastised
          them for their iniquity. He did call them hypocrites, he did call
          them some uncomplimentary names, but they richly deserved it, and
          any man who is acquainted with the history of the times, with the
          morality of that age, with the depths of degradation to which men
          and women had sunken, and the almost extinction of the first
          conception of morality, knows full well that his accusations were
          only too just, that there was no other cause for their ire being
          raised against him other than it was true, and they could not
          endure it. There are a great many people in this world of ours,
          in this age, as there were in the age of which I am speaking, who
          cannot endure sound doctrine. They prefer having men who will
          teach them plausible and flattering theories, who will pander to
          their power, who will cringe before the influence of wealth, who
          will bow down at the shrine of the almighty dollar, and who dare
          not let Jesus and his Apostles lift up their voices and proclaim
          against the crying evils of the land. As Latter-day Saints we are
          teaching the same principles, the same doctrines; and I need not
          say here, that there are no Christian ministers to-day that
          attempt from their pulpits to take up the subject of our
          religion, to take up any of the leading doctrines and principles
          of our faith, and with the word of God in their hand and with
          sound reason brought to bear upon the doctrines taught by the
          Latter-day Saints and by those taught in ancient times, to show
          that our doctrines are anti-scriptural, that they are unbiblical;
          but they will say that they are unchristian, that it is not in
          accord with the popular sympathies and popular sentiments of the
          times; that it is not in accord with men's ideas of morality, of
          respectability and of cultivation. Yet show me where there are
          any doctrines or principles taught by the Latter-day Saints that
          are not in the strictest accord, in the most perfect harmony, in
          the closest union with the teachings and doctrines taught
          centuries ago? There are not any to be found; and yet we hear the
          cry of immorality; we hear the cry of barbarism, of infidelity,
          of names that I hardly like to repeat, applied to the Latter-day
          Saints just as they were applied to Jesus and the Apostles, 1800
          years ago.
          My friends, if the popular prejudices of the first or second
          century of the Christian era had continued to be the dominant
          influence of the world and had suppressed the promulgation of the
          principles of Christianity and the maintenance of their claim
          upon men and women, where would your boasted Christianity be
          to-day? where would your enlightenment be to-day if the
          revelations of Jesus Christ had been swept out of existence, if
          the world had been deprived of them entirely, what would be our
          state at the present time? It is true we have had a long reign of
          apostacy; it is true that from 1,400 to 1,500 years have passed
          away without any semblance of the Church of Christ upon the
          earth. We have had apostate churches, we have had churches built
          up according to the doctrines of men; we have had sects and
          parties multiplied by the hundreds; but we have never had a
          Christian Church. When the Church of Christ of Former-day Saints,
          with its Prophets, Apostles, and inspired men; with its miracles,
          gifts and powers disappeared from the earth, and the great
          "Mother of harlots" that sitteth upon many waters, established a
          church, and she begat children in her own likeness, until the
          whole world has been filled, comparatively speaking, with the
          effects of the degraded system that has grown out of an apostate
          Christianity--I say, that from the time the Church of Christ
          disappeared from the earth until it was restored and built upon
          the foundation of living Prophets, Apostles, Evangelists, and the
          living powers of the Holy Ghost, there was no Christian church
          upon the earth. And this has all taken place, not for the purpose
          of giving any class of men an opportunity of lifting themselves
          up in the pride and vanity of their hearts, because they have
          become instruments in the hands of God in bringing to pass the
          restoration of those things which were predicted by the ancient
          Prophets, and were to be fulfilled in the last days, but it has
          been brought to pass in the fulfillment of measured prophecy, of
          explicit and well-defined terms of revelation with no ambiguity
          or uncertainty about them; the terms are as explicit, the
          conditions are as comprehensive, as clear and as conspicuous as
          the terms of any contract that was ever made between any two
          intelligent beings.
          I must, however, bring my remarks to a close. I am thankful for
          the opportunity of announcing my feelings; of announcing our
          views as a people with regard to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We
          offer to the world the same Gospel that was proclaimed
          anciently--faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; repentance of sin;
          baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for
          the reception of the Holy Ghost. And how is it that we meet with
          opposition? We have the same opposition that the enemies of
          Christianity waged against the Former-day Saints. Some people are
          finding fault with the treatment that we are receiving to-day at
          the hands of our government. I think many of us are laboring
          under a mistake. Some people are astonished at the partiality
          that is manifested in the law, and in the conditions in which the
          law is to be applied to one class of the citizens of this
          Territory and not against another. We are laboring under a
          mistake. The government is not seeking to legislate against
          immorality; and if we think they are doing so we are deceiving
          ourselves. I consider myself that there is more consistency to be
          accorded to those who are administrators of the laws of our
          nation and the makers of those laws than some of us are inclined
          to credit them with; but if we expect that the recent law which
          has been enacted to apply to the people of Utah--to "polygamists
          and bigamists"--is intended to suppress the social evil, it is a
          mistake; it is not to touch anything outside "the marriage
          relation;" there is no infringement on the liberties of abandoned
          people; they can do as they please. The object of the law is to
          restrict marriage; is to restrict the legitimate and divine
          associations of the sexes; and if we suppose that it is intended
          for anything else we are laboring under a mistake. Let us be
          consistent, my friends, and wait. If our government wishes to
          deal with this question first, it has the right to do so; if it
          wishes to do it, it has the right to do it in the sense that the
          the All-wise and Supreme Ruler of the universe. We are in the
          hands of Him who setteth up kings and who dethroneth kings; who
          buildeth up empires and casteth down thrones at His will and
          pleasure. We are willing to abide the issue. It is God and the
          rulers of our land for it. We cannot measure arms with them only
          with our principles, but they will not fight us on that ground;
          they slink back out of sight, they will not touch us with the
          divine records in their hands; they dare not come to the front
          and challenge a comparison of the principles of Christianity with
          the record upon which they profess to found their faith. Excuse
          the freedom I have taken to express these thoughts; but I am a
          little astonished at the apparent inconsistency manifest in the
          legislative discriminations enacted against the Latter-day
          Saints, and would say, Oh consistency, thou art a jewel rarely to
          be found.
          May God sustain this people; may He fill their hearts with faith
          and hope and confidence. We will seek to live our religion, and
          to pray to the God of Daniel, the God of Moses, to the God of our
          forefathers, to the God of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, to the
          God of the universe, the Father of all; that He will direct and
          guide us in this great contest--I mean the contest that is being
          waged between pure Christianity and the errors of the world,
          until this earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God as the
          waters cover the mighty deep. This is my prayer, in the name of
          Jesus. Amen.
          Journal of Discourses / Journal of Discourses, Volume 23 / John
          Taylor, October 8, 1882
                            John Taylor, October 8, 1882
                         DISCOURSE BY PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR,
                    Delivered in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake City,
                         Sunday Afternoon, October 8, 1882.
                              Reported by John Irvine.
                                     IN ANCIENT
                                  SUBVERTERS OF LAW
                             PRIESTHOOD AND THE PEOPLE.
          We have had a very interesting Conference, and a great many
          thoughts, ideas and reflections have been presented to the people
          in a clear and pointed manner, and I have been pleased to see the
          unanimity and harmony that have existed in our midst. And while I
          attempt to speak to you I shall ask an interest in your prayers
          that I may be strengthened to perform the labor. It is difficult
          for a people to understand and to retain everything that may be
          said in a Conference like this, where there are so many subjects
          dwelt upon and so many principles enunciated; but it is a great
          blessing for us that we are situated as we are, and that we
          possess the intelligence which has been communicated from time to
          time. Many great and precious principles having been revealed
          unto us, it becomes necessary for us to try to comprehend them,
          that we may understand the position we occupy before God, before
          the world in which we live, and before the intelligences that
          exist behind the veil in the eternal worlds. We have a great and
          important mission committed unto us, and it is for us to seek to
          comprehend that mission and fulfill the various duties and
          responsibilities devolving upon us. The Lord has given unto us a
          form of government, an organization, priesthood and authority to
          enable us to perform these several duties, and he has certain
          plans, purposes and designs to accomplish pertaining to us,
          pertaining to this nation, to other nations, and to the world in
          which we live,--pertaining to those who have lived and are now in
          another state of existence, and also pertaining to those who
          shall yet live.
          The time in which we live is denominated in Scripture "the
          dispensation of the fullness of times," wherein it is said God
          will gather together all things in one, whether they be things in
          the earth or things in the heavens. This dispensation embraces
          all other dispensations, all principles and powers, rights,
          privileges, immunities and developments that have existed among
          men in the various ages that are past. This globe did not
          originate with man, nor was it constructed, designed or
          manipulated by him, nor were any of its organisms, sentient or
          inanimate; for we are told that in the beginning God created the
          heavens and the earth and all that in them is: nor did this
          dispensation with which we are associated, nor have any of the
          dispensations associated with the works, plans or designs of the
          Almighty originated with man. After man had fallen, and it became
          necessary that he be driven from the garden, it needed the
          interposition of the Almighty, for as is said in the Book of Job,
          it was necessary to "deliver his soul from the pit; I have found
          a ransom." That ransom was the Only Begotten Son of God who
          offered himself in the beginning to meet the demands of justice,
          to carry out the purposes of the Almighty, and to be a Savior and
          Redeemer to man. Adam was perfectly helpless in this respect, and
          it needed the direct interposition of the Almighty for the
          accomplishment of this object. In the patriarchal, or
          antediluvian age, when men were put in possession of any hope,
          any intelligence, any knowledge, or any revelation pertaining to
          God, these things did not originate with man, they came from the
          Lord and were given by inspiration; and when on account of the
          wickedness and corruption of mankind the old world had to be
          destroyed, a way was provided for a small remnant to be spared,
          By whom? By man? No. God dictated it. The Prophets prophesied
          about it. They taught the antediluvians as the people of this day
          are being taught, they warned them of the impending ruin that
          would overwhelm them, of the prison house to which they would go,
          and of the wrath and indignation of Heaven which would be poured
          out upon the peoples of the earth. It came to pass as they had
          declared. But God provided a way for the perpetuation of the
          human family. It was foretold to Methuselah that his seed should
          be preserved to perpetuate the human family upon the earth, and
          it was so, Noah, who was one of his descendants, fulfilled that
          Again, in later ages when the children of Israel were in bondage
          in Egypt, they did not originate the method of their own
          deliverance, or point out the way for its accomplishment. They
          were in a state of bondage and vassalage. God raised them up a
          Moses, revealed His will to him, set him apart for this mission,
          told him what to do, and after some little difficulties arising
          from human weakness were removed, Moses was accepted, and the
          Lord became his instructor, and pointed out in all instances the
          course that he should pursue, and in what manner the children of
          Israel were to be delivered, and He, the Holy One of Israel, gave
          them His law and ordinances, and revealed unto them His will, and
          stood by and sustained, guided and directed them. This salvation
          did not come from the people, it did not originate with them,
          they owed it all to God, the source of all truth, all light, all
          intelligence, all power and blessings. The time at length arrived
          that the Son of God was to come. Neither the Scribes and
          Pharisees, the High Priests and Saducees, nor any of the sects
          and parties of the day comprehended the things that were about to
          transpire, and had nothing to do with bringing them to pass. His
          advent was announced to His mother by an angel, and His birth was
          heralded to shepherds by an angelic host, and the wise men of the
          East were led by his star to Bethlehem of Judea, where they found
          the infant Savior, whom they recognized as the Messiah, and to
          whom they brought presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh; and
          whom they worshipped.
          It is said in speaking of the Son of God, that he did not come to
          do His own will, nor to carry out His own purposes, nor to
          fulfill any particular plan of his own, but he came to do the
          will of his Father who sent him. Jesus in selecting his
          disciples, took one man here and another there--a tax gatherer, a
          fisherman, and others who it was thought were the most unlikely
          of any men to carry out the purposes of God. He left the great
          men out of the question, that is the High Priests and the popular
          and pious of all classes, and he selected his own laborers to
          perform his own work; and he subsequently told them, You have not
          chosen me, but I have chosen you and set you apart unto this
          mission. When a message had to be proclaimed to the world in
          these last days the agents were chosen on the same principle.
          There was any amount of teachers of divinity, any amount of
          professors of theology, any amount of reverend, and right
          reverend fathers and all classes of religious men and religious
          teachers; but God did not recognize them. He chose a young
          uneducated man and inspired him with the spirit of revelation,
          and placed upon him a mission and required him to perform it; and
          he was obedient to that requirement. I speak of this to show that
          we none of us had anything to do with the introduction of this
          work, but that, as in all other dispensations in the various ages
          of the world, God was the originator of everything that tended to
          develop a knowledge of Himself and of his plans and purposes; to
          unfold the past, to develop the present, and to make manifest the
          To whom are we indebted for this book, called the Bible. We are
          told that holy men of old spake as they were moved upon by the
          Holy Ghost. And from whence did they receive that Holy Ghost? Not
          of man, nor by man, but by the revelations of God, through our
          Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We sometimes feel to exalt
          ourselves a little in the position that we occupy pertaining to
          the Priesthood, pertaining to our organization, and pertaining to
          ordinances, etc. What have we to glory in? Nothing. None of us
          knew anything until it was revealed. None of us could comprehend
          any of these principles only as they have been made manifest. But
          by obedience to the Gospel we have received the Holy Ghost, and
          that Spirit takes of the things of God, and shows them to us. We
          have received this and hence have been baptized into one baptism,
          and all partaken of the self-same Spirit, as Paul expressed it,
          "dividing to every man severally as he will." The question
          arises, What is the object of this? It is that the world should
          be visited from time to time and communications made to the human
          family. Because light cleaves to light, truth cleaves to truth,
          intelligence cleaves to intelligence; and as we are all made in
          the image of God, and as God is the God and Father of the spirits
          of all flesh, it is His right, it is His prerogative to
          communicate with the human family. We are told that there is a
          spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth it
          understanding. God having made the earth, made the people to
          inhabit it, and made all things that exist therein, has a right
          to dictate, has a right to make known His will, has a right to
          communicate with whom he will and control matters as he sees
          proper: it belongs to him by right; and he has seen proper in
          these last days to restore His Gospel to the earth, and, as I
          said before, intelligence cleaves to intelligence. We read in the
          Scriptures concerning man being a son of God. We read in the
          Scriptures about men becoming the adopted sons of God through
          obedience to the Gospel. Hence it is said: "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." By what means? Through the atonement of Jesus
          Christ and by the medium of the Gospel, which has been introduced
          in different ages for that purpose. God having felt disposed to
          reveal the Gospel in these last days, has given the same
          principles and powers, the same light, revelation and
          intelligence that he did in former ages, for the accomplishment
          of the same work, and for the fulfillment of his purposes
          relating to the human family who are his children. Hence we
          occupy a very peculiar position in relation to God, in relation
          to the earth in which we live and the people thereof--in relation
          to both--to the living and to the dead.
          It is proper for us to comprehend the position that we occupy. We
          sometimes arrive at curious conclusions pertaining to the
          wickedness of the world, and a variety of other things associated
          therewith. And permit me to say here, that we had no more to do
          with the peoples of the world, or the placing of them in the
          position they occupy, than we had in restoring the Gospel. We
          find ourselves a few people mixed up with the world. We find too
          that when the word of God is made manifest and the revelations of
          God are developed, that many things as they exist amongst mankind
          are out of order. There is a great amount of priestcraft,
          idolatry, corruption, oppression, tyranny, murder, bloodshed,
          covetousness, licentiousness, and every kind of iniquity that can
          be conceived of; and that is more clearly made manifest to us
          because the Lord has been teaching us through the Prophets, and
          inspiring us with other feelings, and given unto us to comprehend
          things more clearly than others do. But what have we to do with
          the people of the world? We complain sometimes that they do not
          treat us exactly right. Well, they do not in all respects, and I
          do not think this is very difficult to understand. But there is
          nothing new about that, God has revealed unto us His law, and
          they do not comprehend it, neither do they want to; nor did the
          antediluvians. They were very wicked, very corrupt and very
          depraved, very immoral and very dishonest; but that was a matter
          between them and the Lord, and he dealt with them; and it is his
          business to deal with the nations of the earth at the present
          time and not ours further than we are directed by him. What is
          the mission that we have to perform to this nation? It is to
          preach the Gospel. That is one thing. That was the mission given
          to the disciples of Jesus in his day: Go ye into all the world
          and preach the Gospel; he that believeth and is baptized shall be
          saved; and he that believeth not shall be damned. This mission is
          being carried out in the fact of our sending representatives of
          this latter-day work to all the civilized nations that will
          receive our missionaries. But we are not placed here to control
          people; we are not placed here to use any improper influence over
          the minds or consciences of men. It is not for us to attempt to
          do what Mahomet did--to say that there was but one God, and
          Mahomet was his prophet, and by force compel all others to
          acknowledge it. To attempt to do that would be to attempt to
          interfere with the agency of man; and anything of that kind is
          altogether foreign to the character and spirit of our mission. We
          preach the Gospel to the people, and it is for them to receive or
          reject as they may choose. We have done this to a great extent.
          Many of you Elders who are before and around me--and there are
          some thousands--have been engaged preaching this Gospel, but none
          of you ever used coercion, none of you ever attempted to force
          any man to obey the message you had to declare. If you did, you
          did not understand your calling. And when you have been among the
          different nations preaching this Gospel, have you sought to
          interfere with their governments or with their laws, or
          endeavored to stir up commotion or rebellion or trouble of any
          kind? No. I am at the defiance of the world to prove any such
          statement. That does not belong to our faith. When the Elders are
          sent forth, they go as servants of God with a message from the
          Lord, to unfold the Scriptures, and to bear testimony of the
          things that they themselves are witnesses of; and to administer
          the ordinances of the Gospel to all those who believe on their
          words. This is the position that we occupy in these matters. And
          what else do we do? We gather the people together; and they no
          sooner receive this Gospel than they are anxious to gather with
          the people of God. Why? Because the Scriptures say that they
          would? Because the Scriptures say, "gather my people, those that
          have made covenant with me by sacrifice?" No, but because they
          have obeyed the Gospel and received the Holy Ghost, and that Holy
          Ghost has instructed them pertaining to these matters, as it
          instructed the prophets in former times that such an event would
          transpire. The people have gathered together, and you could not
          keep them back if you were to try to. They have been trying. You
          know that Mr. Evarts wrote communications to the European
          ministers requesting them to use their influence by way of
          putting a stop to the "Mormon" emigration. It is rather a sorry
          comment upon the government of this nation, that boasts of being
          "the land of the free, the home of the brave, and the asylum for
          the oppressed," and that a little over a hundred years ago the
          chief complaint against the nation from whence the colonists
          came, was the lack of religious toleration; to think that they
          should so far forget their original condition as to call upon
          what they term the effete monarchies of Europe to assist them in
          suppressing religious liberty and controlling human freedom. And
          when this subject was brought before Mr. Gladstone, the Prime
          Minister of Great Britain, a short time ago by some pragmatical
          zealot in the British Parliament, calling his attention to the
          request of the American Secretary, he very distinctly told him
          that "he was unable to interfere with the operations of the
          Mormons in England, as he presumed their converts went with them
          willingly." Thus while the American government is trying to exert
          force and to interfere with religious matters and bind the
          consciences of men, the British government pleads for and
          guarantees to its subjects religious and social liberty. I am
          told that Mr. Evarts is a great-grandson of Roger Sherman, one of
          the signers of the Declaration of Independence. I should not have
          thought that that gentleman would have so soon forgotten the
          position occupied by his ancestor. But it seems that such is the
          fact, nevertheless.
          I repeat, our mission is to preach the Gospel, and then to gather
          the people who embrace it. And why? That there might be a nucleus
          formed, a people gathered who would be under the inspiration of
          the Almighty, and who would be willing to listen to the voice of
          God, a people who would receive and obey His word when it was
          made known to them. And this people in their gathered condition
          are called Zion, or the pure in heart. I wish we were pure in
          heart; that is, I wish we were more so than we are. And this is
          something that we all need to reflect upon, to consider the pit
          from whence we were dug, and the rock from whence we were hewn. I
          have heard people say, they were born in sin, and cradled in
          iniquity. It is probably very true. Many of us have been rocked
          in these cradles, and we have been nurtured amidst infamies, and
          we have been surrounded by and enveloped in evils of all kinds.
          We talk sometimes about Babylon--"Come out of her O my people,
          that ye partake not of her sins, nor receive of her plagues." We
          need not say too much about those people, for we came out from
          them ourselves; and it would not be becoming on our part to speak
          badly about our former status. That reminds me of a conversation
          I had some years ago with some Protestants who were abusing the
          Catholics. I reminded them of the fact that they descended from
          them. They were calling the Catholic Church the Mother of
          Harlots. Well, said I, if that be true, she has brought forth a
          scurvy offspring. History certainly informs us that the
          Protestants came out from the Catholics, and therefore, if the
          Catholic Church is the mother, they certainly must be the
          daughters, and one would think there should be some affinity
          between them. It is not considered proper for persons to rail
          against their mother.
          It is well for us to comprehend our position with regard to the
          nation. Being gathered together, as a people, we have assumed a
          political status, for we not only brought our religion and our
          spirits with us, but our bodies also; and by thus being gathered
          in this land we become naturally an integral part of the United
          States. We have received by the act of the government of the
          United States a territorial from of government, in which we are
          authorized to perform certain functions of a political nature,
          and to enjoy, as do all other Territories, the free and full
          rights of American citizens therein, and thus have become a part
          of the body politic of these United States, with all the rights,
          privileges and immunities pertaining thereto, as exercised and
          enjoyed by all American citizens throughout this broad land; and
          these are guaranteed unto us in the Constitution of the United
          States and by the Congress of the United States, in an instrument
          denominated the Organic Act. And I will say this much for the
          United States; with all her faults and infirmities, I do not
          believe there is a nation upon the face of the earth to-day,
          where we could have as much liberty as we here enjoy, and that is
          precious little, God knows. We are told sometimes that we live
          under popular government, and that the voice of the people rules.
          It used to, but who rules now? Well, no matter, we have got to
          make the best we can of it. We have a territorial form of
          government, with a governor appointed by the administration. I
          was going to say, God save the mark. We have judges and other
          officers; and we have a nominal legislature that makes our laws,
          but those laws can be vetoed by one man. There is a great deal of
          absolutism about it. But these are the circumstances in which we
          are placed; and I suppose it is thought by a great many that we
          ought to consider it a great privilege to be allowed to live. We
          do think so, but we are not indebted to any officials for it;
          they did not give us our life, neither did this government. There
          are certain principles that are inherent in man, that belong to
          man, and that were enunciated in an early day, before the United
          States government was formed, and they are principles that
          rightfully belong to all men everywhere. They are described in
          the Declaration of Independence as inalienable rights, one of
          which is that men have a right to live; another is that they have
          a right to pursue happiness; and another is that they have a
          right to be free and no man has authority to deprive them of
          those God-given rights, and none but tyrants would do it. These
          principles I say, are inalienable in man; they belong to him;
          they existed before any constitutions were framed or any laws
          made. Men have in various ages striven to strip their fellow-men
          of these rights, and dispossess them of them. And hence the wars,
          the bloodshed and carnage that have spread over the earth. We
          therefore are not indebted to the United States for these rights;
          we were free as men born into the world, having the right to do
          as we please, to act as we please, as long as we do not
          transgress constitutional law nor violate the rights of others.
          Being organized, then, into a government such as it is--that is,
          the name of a government, the name of a legislature, the name of
          a free people--being organized as we are, what next? We are
          necessarily obliged to look after our affairs as men, our
          political affairs. Our mission to the world is a mission of
          peace, the Gospel proclaims peace on earth and good will to man.
          Then, being organized in a governmental capacity, we have certain
          rights. They profess to give them to us, but they don't. They try
          to deprive us of them while professing to impart them. I might
          enter into a long line of argument here; no matter, I am merely
          speaking upon some general principles. What then is our duty
          here, say as a people--leaving religion out of the question
          altogether? As men and as American citizens, we have the right to
          all the privileges, and immunities, protection and rights of
          every kind that any men in these United States have, and no
          honorable man or men would seek to deprive us of them. When we
          talk about rights, these are the rights, as I understand them,
          that we possess in this nation. Is it proper, therefore, for us,
          as men and as citizens of the United States to look after our
          rights? I think it is. Do we want to violate law? No, we do not,
          although we know many of these laws are wrong, corrupt and
          unconstitutional. We have no right to find fault with others
          about their religion. We preach the Gospel; they receive or
          reject it as they please. If we have found the benefit of
          embracing it, let us be thankful; but we will not interfere with
          them in their religion. Are they Methodists? They can worship as
          they please--Presbyterians, Catholics, Baptists, or any other
          "ists" can worship as they please, that is none of our business,
          that is a matter between them and their God. But when they
          interfere with our rights as citizens of the United States, it
          becomes our business to look after our liberties.
          As religionists we call upon them, as a duty committed to us, as
          we aver, by the Almighty. Our mission is to call upon this nation
          and all nations to repent of their sins, of their lasciviousness,
          adulteries, fornications, murders, blasphemies and of all
          dishonest and corrupt practices. But in this we use no force;
          having laid these matters before them, they have their free will
          to receive or reject. As religionists they may proclaim us
          bigamists or polygamists or what they please, that is their
          business, and they must answer for their own acts; as politicians
          or statesmen they must at least give us the benefit of the
          Constitution and laws; these, as a portion of the body politic,
          we contend for as part of our political rights. We do not claim,
          nor profess, nor desire to interfere with any man's religion or
          conscience. We have nothing to do with their religion, nor they
          with ours. Religious faith or belief is not a political factor.
          The Constitution has debarred its introduction into the arena of
          politics; and every officer of the United States has pledged
          himself under a solemn oath to abide by and sustain that
          Instrument, and not one of them can interfere with it without a
          violation of his oath.
          What have we done in defense of our liberties? I have heard
          several people say that we are inclined to be aggressive. I think
          we are not aggressive, but some of the laws are very aggressive.
          We have a grand jury organized of some fifteen men. How many of
          them are Latter-day Saints? Two, I think. So I suppose there is
          one-tenth of the citizens of this Territory loyal, patriotic and
          honorable, and the rest are considered to be unpatriotic,
          disloyal, etc. But we ought at least to be tried before we are
          condemned; that is the law as I understand it. Now this one-tenth
          of loyal, good and virtuous people get thirteen men empaneled,
          and the nine-tenths get but two to represent them. But
          unfortunately for these loyal and patriotic people carefully
          prepared statistics show that this ten percent of population
          supplies eighty percent of the criminals. How is it in other
          things? There is considerable said about offices and officers.
          Where is there a man appointed from among the people to hold any
          office in the gift of the national government? To use the words
          of a thoughtful non-"Mormon" observer, though the 'Gentiles'
          constitute only ten percent of the population, yet from this
          small minority are taken the incumbents of nearly every position
          of influence and emolument. They have the governor, with absolute
          veto power, secretary, judges, marshals, prosecuting attorney,
          land register, recorder, surveyor-general, clerks of the courts,
          commissioners, principal post-office mail contractors, postal
          agents, revenue assessors and collectors, superintendent of
          Indian affairs, Indian agencies, Indian supplies, army
          contractors, etc."
          According to the common usages of men, we have at least a
          reasonable right to our proper proportion, but it is evident we
          do not have it. And then our educational interests are interfered
          with by these very men who state how ignorant we are. For
          instance, the Legislature of Utah appropriated the means of the
          people to help build a university. Who was to furnish the means?
          The people of this territory. Who said they should not do it? The
          Governor, and through his action the appropriation was vetoed.
          These are some of the things we have to contend with. On the
          other hand, laws are enacted inimical to the interests of this
          people. And then His Excellency goes to work and appoints a set
          of officers contrary to the law of the land; goes beyond the act
          of Congress and appoints officers to fill nearly every office in
          the Territory, vacant or not, as the case may be. I am not going
          to enter into the details of it, but we have generally found that
          there were people in those offices; that they had a right there,
          and that the law provided that they should hold over until their
          successors were elected and qualified. I believe the law so
          reads; indeed, I am told that the law not only reads so, but that
          the Governor's commissions to many of these officers also reads
          so, and hence his present action is violative of his own
          These are some of the things we have to contend with.--Do we wish
          to fight the government of the United States? No. What shall we
          do? Stand up for the rights granted to us by the laws and
          constitution of the United States as American citizens. We have
          ex post facto laws, religious inquisitorial laws, we have laws
          which smack strongly of bills of attainder, and we have test
          oaths presented, all of which and many others are
          unconstitutional and are violative of our constitutional rights.
          I have the opinion of some of the best jurists of the nation to
          the effect that all these things are a violation of law, and that
          men have no business to be subjected to such infamies, nor become
          their own accusers. An eminent jurist speaking of this queried
          how this kind of thing would apply in Washington, where
          miscegenation has prevailed to so great an extent. Suppose some
          of those who practised this thing were placed under such a law,
          how would it operate with them? Why several members of Congress
          have said that if the Edmunds law had been made applicable to
          adulterers, and men had to become their own accusers, it would
          unseat three-fourths of the members of Congress. Ex post facto
          laws, have been passed, which are clearly unconstitutional, and
          it is for us to test them in the courts, and we mean to do it;
          for although as religionists we go as messengers of peace to the
          nations, yet as American citizens we mean to contend for our
          rights, inch by inch, legally and constitutionally, God being our
          Another thing God expects us to do, and that is to maintain the
          principle of human rights. I have felt sorrowful in watching the
          action of Congress towards us--sorrowful, not only on our own
          account, but on theirs. We fear no evil arising from those
          things, for we are anxiously performing our duty before God. But
          we owe it to ourselves as men, we owe it to our families, our
          children, and to posterity; we owe it to the lovers of freedom in
          this land, of which there are thousands, yea, millions, who
          despise acts of oppression and tyranny; we owe it to all
          liberty-loving men, to stand up for human rights and protect
          human freedom, and in the name of God we will do it, and let all
          the congregation say Amen. (The immense congregation responded,
          Joseph, the despised of his father's house became their
          deliverer. Moses, the foundling and outcast of Egypt, became the
          deliverer and lawgiver of Israel. Jesus, the despised Nazarene,
          introduced principles that revolutionized the moral ideas and
          ethics of the world. And it may not be among the improbabilities,
          that the prophecies of Joseph Smith may be fulfilled and that the
          calumniated and despised Mormons may yet become the protectors of
          the Constitution and the guardians of religious liberty and human
          freedom in these United States.
          Now these are some of my feelings upon some of these points. And
          I will proceed a little further and say that I do not blame many
          men for entertaining the sentiments which they do towards us.
          There is a feeling and desire to see fair play and honesty deep
          down in the hearts of millions of the people of these United
          States, who ardently desire to see justice equally and honorably
          administered to all people within the nation. That was manifested
          very clearly during the passage of the Edmunds bill, and while
          many of those venerable Senators and honorable members of the
          House could not conscientiously with their limited information
          and the false statements made by our enemies sustain Polygamy,
          yet, to their honor be it spoken, they endeavored to maintain
          human rights, free toleration and religious liberty, and the
          rights of man without distinction of party throughout the realm.
          We honor, appreciate and respect such men as honorable
          representatives of the founders of this nation, and of the
          thousands who to-day embrace similar opinions. It is the
          debauched, the corrupt, the violators of principles and law and
          desecrators of the sacred principles of liberty, it is their
          pernicious practices which are striking at the foundation of the
          institutions of this country and which are demoralizing and
          destroying the nation, and there are thousands of highminded and
          honorable men to-day who, on account of trickery, hypocrisy,
          dishonesty and crime stand aloof from the filthy pool of
          politics. They have seen honor, truth, integrity and virtue
          trampled under foot, they have seen corruption and crime like a
          repulsive octopus pushing its Briarean arms into every department
          of State; they have seen corruption and crime like a deadly
          simoom permeating every department of the body politic, and
          debauching and corrupting the nation, and they have shrunk from
          the disgusting contact; how far they can reconcile this with
          their ideas of patriotism it is for these aggressors to say. It
          is not the honorable and upright, the men of virtue and integrity
          that we would proclaim against; it is the vicious, the
          untruthful, the calumniators, the corrupt and debauched, the
          stirrers up of sedition and strife, and the enemies of law,
          order, virtue, righteousness, justice, human liberty and the
          rights of man to whom our remarks would apply.
          Again, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, and all
          classes have come among us, and who has interfered with them? Has
          anybody interfered with their worship? No. Has any violence of
          any kind been offered them? No, you cannot find it. We are at
          their defiance to show any such thing here. What have we done? We
          have fostered them, as has been referred to; we have treated them
          courteously and kindly and gentlemanly as honorable people ought
          to do. What have they done? Combined together to publish some of
          the most abominable falsehoods that were ever circulated with
          regard to any community. Now, this becomes rather a serious
          matter. Talk about love for these people! I would do them good.
          If they were hungry I would feed them; if they were naked I would
          clothe them; if they were sick I would administer to them; but if
          they lied about me and about this people I would tell them they
          were liars and defamers; I do not care how pious they are, or how
          much religion they have got, I would tell them the naked truth in
          relation to these matters.
          They are the avowed advocates of moral reform, profess to be
          shocked at our moral obliquity and complain of us as being
          licentious and corrupt. Even every prominent Christian minister
          in this city joined in a protest against customs inculcated in
          the Scriptures by the Almighty, and practised by Abraham, Jacob,
          David, and hosts of the most venerated and honorable men that
          ever lived, practices which they aver are lascivious and corrupt;
          and these same ministers issued a circular calling upon their
          fellow-ministers and brother Christians throughout the United
          States to petition Congress for legislation which should stop, as
          they claim, the "foul system of polygamy," and hypocritically
          inserted, to blind the eyes of those not familiar with Utah
          matters, a request for legislation for the suppression of
          "adultery, seduction, lewd and lascivious cohabitation and
          kindred offences," that they might "be punishable as in the
          States and other Territories of the Union;" and political
          demagogues joined with them in the crusade.
          Predicated upon these solicitations scores of petitions were
          forwarded to Congress to this effect. They obtained their
          legislation and in their frantic Christian zeal to stamp out
          polygamy, a Bible institution, Congress, under this priestly
          influence so far forgot the inalienable rights of man,
          constitutional guarantees and forms of jurisprudence, as to
          disfranchise nine-tenths of this community for the alleged crime
          of the one-tenth, and that too, without trial; thus making the
          innocent suffer for the alleged acts of the guilty. And to-day an
          infamous, expurgatory test oath is introduced, at variance with
          all precedents in this nation, which as stated by Judge Black, is
          altogether "odious, unjust and unconstitutional," which "reverses
          those rules of evidence which lie at the foundation of civil
          liberty," and is a flagrant, violent and direct attack upon the
          inherent rights of man. Thus in their intemperate, religious zeal
          making a direct onslaught upon the bulwarks of republican
          institutions, jeopardizing the safety of the state, and
          thoughtlessly, recklessly and inconsiderately ignoring every just
          principle; assailing the fundamental doctrines of political and
          religious freedom; and exerting all their energies in attacking a
          phantom to tear down the pillars of state and to destroy the
          Temple of Liberty, though they themselves, as a Samson, perish in
          the ruins.
          What is the moral effect? This same test-oath, while it assails a
          scriptural usage practised by the most renowned, revered and
          honorable men of antiquity, who are denominated men of
          righteousness and the friends of God, protects and sustains the
          degraded, corrupt and licentious who are supposed to be good
          Christians and not polygamists.
          A very honorable, upright and virtuous gentleman, whom no one
          will accuse of immorality or vice--the respected ex-mayor of this
          city, who has filled that office with dignity and honor for the
          last six years, has a son who was appointed registrar for the
          Fifth Precinct in this city; this son had the painful and
          humiliating duty to perform of refusing to register his father's
          name, because many years ago he had had more than one wife, but
          who, through death, was for some time without a wife at all, and
          has lately married one wife; and yet this young man had to
          perform the disgusting task, according to the provisions of said
          test-oath, of registering a notorious keeper of a bagnio, and
          many of her harlot associates. Another circumstance occurred of a
          gentleman who came to be registered, but thought it would be
          impracticable for him to take the test-oath. More honorable than
          many of his pious associates, he suggested that he did not know
          that he could take the prescribed oath, for he not only had a
          wife, but kept a mistress, but on examination he found the oath
          exempted all those who might engage in illicit intercourse,
          provided the association was not, as expressed in the oath, "in
          the marriage relation." On discovering this, he observed, "I can
          take that oath, for I am only married to one;" and he was
          accepted. Another young man in this city, whilst having the test
          oath read to him, said he could not take it, as he could not
          swear that he had not cohabited with more than one woman; but
          when the reading was continued and the words "in the marriage
          relation" sounded in his ears, he said, "I can go that," and was
          duly sworn.
          Thus these moral and religious reformers and teachers, these
          professors of high moral ideas, these inveighers against a
          scriptural practice professedly because it is immoral, have
          introduced safeguards to protect the libertine, the voluptuary
          and the harlot, whilst they have made criminals of those who have
          been observing a law instituted by the Almighty. Perhaps it would
          be considered too severe to call these "reverend gentlemen" and
          those "venerable seigneurs" who occupy honorable positions in
          Congress by the harsh name of hypocrites, yet it is very
          humiliating to the sensitive and virtuous to contemplate the
          result of their ill-timed and intemperate acts, for they have
          thus made themselves, while professing purity, the advocates and
          abettors of vice, licentiousness, immorality and crime.
          I wish here to apologize a little for the people of the United
          States, for I think sometimes we carry the thing too far in
          relation to them. Here are men supposed--would be in any other
          community--to be honorable men, reverend men that are teachers of
          religion, combining against us. And because they are considered
          honorable men, people say, why there is the Reverend Mr. So and
          So and So and So, they have requested us to send petitions to
          Congress, to do this and that because of the wickedness and
          abominations of this people, and their misrepresentations and
          falsehoods have been circulated in the religious magazines and in
          the political papers, until the people abroad hardly know what to
          think. Many of them think we are a very infamous people; they
          think we are a great deal more corrupt than they are, and that we
          need not be. And they go to work to legislate to correct our
          morals. Now, with thousands of papers circulating these
          falsehoods, and these falsehoods coming from supposed religious
          and honorable men, is it any wonder that the people should be
          deceived with regard to us. I read to-day an account of an
          attempt to drive our Elders from some of their fields of labor?
          What for? Because they are "Mormons." They are so wicked and so
          corrupt, and all because the papers and reverend ministers said
          so and so; and thus thousands of honorable men are deceived; but
          many of them, when they come to a knowledge of the truth, will
          rejoice in it. I want, then, to stand in defence of many of the
          people of the United States who are thus deceived. It is said in
          the scriptures that the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a
          flood. We have certainly had floods of falsehoods, originating,
          many of them, with these pious people. Do we want much
          association with these people? I think not. If they circulate
          falsehoods about us, can we respect them very much? I think not.
          We cannot hold communion with people who are corrupt, low and
          degraded. We were down in the sloughs a little while ago
          ourselves; we have come out from among them and know what they
          are. We know the infamies which exist there, the licentiousness,
          the corruption, the social evil, adulteries, fornication, sodomy,
          child murder, and every kind of infamy. And they come here and
          want to teach our children these things. We have got to be
          careful how we guard our homes, our firesides, our wives, our
          sons and our daughters, from their association. We don't want
          these practices insidiously introduced among us. We want to
          preserve our purity, our virtue, our honor, and our integrity.
          The time is hastening on, and I shall have to stop. I wish to
          make some further remarks, and would have liked to have talked
          some time longer. But what shall we do? I will tell you what I
          will try to do. I will try and humble myself before the Lord and
          seek for his blessing, and say as one of old said: "Search me, Oh
          God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts; and see if
          there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way
          everlasting." I have talked with my counselors in the same way,
          and they are of the same mind. We have talked with the Twelve
          about these things, and they are of the same mind. Now, we call
          upon all you Seventies, High Priests and Elders, you Bishops,
          Priests, Teachers and Deacons individually and your quorum
          capacity, upon the heads of families, upon the various
          organizations in the Church, upon all the Saints who profess to
          revere His name, to humble yourselves before God, to lay aside
          your covetousness and your evils of every kind. And when you have
          done so, you that meet together for prayers in your holy places,
          call upon God for guidance, direction and deliverance, and he
          will hear your prayers and deliver you, and your enemies shall
          have no power over you, for God is on the side of Israel, and he
          will preserve his people. No power can stay the progress of this
          work, for it is onward, onward, onward, and will be, until the
          kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and His
          Christ, and until every creature in heaven and in the earth and
          under the earth shall be heard to exclaim, Blessings and glory
          and honor and power and might and majesty and dominion be
          ascribed to Him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb
          for ever.
          We will leave the wicked in the hands of God: He will deal with
          them in his own way. We are told that the wicked shall slay the
          wicked; and one thing that I am sorry over in this nation is
          this: that they are striking at the tree of liberty and trying to
          fetter humanity and bring men into bondage, they are laying the
          axe at the root of this government, and unless they speedily turn
          round and repent and follow the principles they have sworn to
          sustain--the principles contained in the Constitution of the
          United States--they will be overthrown, they will be split up and
          divided, be disintegrated and become weak as water; for the Lord
          will handle them in his own way. I say these things in sorrow;
          but as sure as God lives u